Monday, October 27, 2014

End of fall morning

This morning was in the very low 30s, and on the way to work in the middle of thunder and lightning of a late late late late late late summer thunderstorm, my car was pelted with not so liquid rain.  It is October and it is illegal even in Northern Lower Michigan to mention that one word term for non-liquid rain this early in the year.

Snow.  There I said it.  And more flurries scheduled for later in the week.    But the sky was remarkable as this storm front moved through.  Blue, black, and countless other colors provided the background for leaf-less naked (leaves-less?)  trees.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


You know what?  It was just a nice day.  I was out of bed by about, oh, 8:30 which was a luxury.  I made tea and read the New York Times and then did chores.  I can even see my table!  I went to "town" to have breakfast and coffee and it was good.  I grocery shopped and even bought healthy stuff.  Once home I raked for an hour and then mowed/mulched and took care of at least 10% of the leaves around this place.  For dinner I had a perfect grilled cheese sandwich made with a good English cheddar  and a wine that was far too good for such simple food.  And now I am sorting type.

To top it off, I received a press in the mail.  I bought it on Ebay a while ago, but it had a long journey from England before it finally made it to me.  I know I am a total geek and it is weird that someone would say a press is cute, but this one is cute.  It is made to print Victorian Era calling cards and you can see from the photo that is tiny.  It is at best 9-10 inches long and it requires half-heighth type which of course is not available.  I don't care.  It looks great on a table or perhaps, even on a key chain.  OK, it isn't that small but it is petite.

It was a stunning day weather-wise as well.  It was in the low 60s and while windy, very pleasant--a perfect fall day.  There is still some color but you have to look for it.  I think of my earlier photos when I had to look for one or a few leaves to photograph.  Then I had but to turn slightly to see and   photograph millions of red, yellow, and orange leaves.  Now, fall wanes, and you have to look for straggling leaves that are still hanging on.

It isn't that leaves are less pretty when they are sparse.  Finding a branch with what one poet called an "arm of flame" is still possible.  Perhaps, finding such a block of color still on the tree is even more striking--certainly we treasure what is rare.

I just like pretty leaves.

As always, click on the photo to make them bigger.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


It was a very foggy morning--30 degrees and lots of wet ground from a few weeks of rain made it so.  Pictured here is beautiful downtown Roscommon.  The first shot is the fine clothier/haberdashery in town, also known as St Vincent DePaul,  and the other shot is of the train tracks, our public transport for hobos and other adventurous types.  Interesting about the train tracks--we don't have many trains running through, but if you happen to be in Fred's, our fine-dining supper club, when a train does go through town, they give you a shot.  Yep, a waiter/waitress walks through with a tray of shots.  Apparently it is to calm you from the excitement of a train rumbling by.  Hey, it doesn't happen too often and we do celebrate signs of progress here.

The other shots are from the College--it really is a beautiful campus.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


OK, I am getting tired of pretty leaves, mainly because they are seemingly all coming to my yard to spend the winter.  But  they are pretty...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More fall

It is still fall and amazing pretty leaf season here in northern upper lower Michigan.  It is amazing--the bright yellow of the birch trees, the orange of the maples, and now, the oak trees with their deeper reds and oranges are chiming into this cacophony of color.  I took a 20 minute walk and found these photos and this color.  I know, it's getting boring but this is what I have to photograph here in northern upper lower Michigan.

Friday, October 17, 2014

press time...

I have been on the look out for more orphan presses and I have found a few in the past few weeks.  When I was in Arizona, I found a Speedball linoleum press.  It was cast iron and probably from the 1940s.  The price was very good, so good I ignored the problem that I bought a press that weighed 35 pounds while being  2,000 miles away from home.  Let's just say the counter clerk at the airport was a bit surprised at the weight of my checked bag!

Tonight I bought another press, my biggest press to date.  On the "press platform" from the left you have a 4x6 Sigwalt Ideal #3 from about 1920.  Next is my new press, the Kelsey Excelsior 6x10 press which is from 1954.  The red press is an Adana 6x4 press from 1936.  The small press is a Sigwalt #10, a 2x3 press from the 1950s.  I have two other of these small Sigwalts from the 1920s but other than being all black, they are exactly the same. And another Ideal #3.  And probably some others, but who is counting?

I am getting close to done.  It is a party.  It is a family.  I would like a 5x8 press and a 3x5, but since I haven't exactly "wore out" these presses, I think I can be patient.  Oh, I want a sign/proof press.  But presses don't a printer make!  I did get some more type today with the big press, but rather than be nicely sorted in drawers, the nice person took it out of the type cases and put it Ziploc bags to make it easier to carry.  16 fonts of type in baggies.  My eyes hurt already.  I also bought paper today, and more ink, and I have exhausted any excuses to not print more.

After I sort some type, of course.

But if you do see any other orphan presses, the home still has some room...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More of more

It was a great day for a drive, complete with dramatic light.  I took my very first rainbow photos--that surprises me, but since I (oddly) remember most photos I have taken, I am pretty sure that I have never taken a photo of a rainbow.  It isn't like I have never seen one, or I never have a camera with me.  I just haven't taken a picture of one.  The sunset is over Lake Michigan.  Again, no Photoshop was involved, just dark dark clouds and a pretty good sunset.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Birthdays are inevitable

I'll post about this day, but not tonight.  More soon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It was a foggy start to the day today, so much so that traffic even slowed down on some roads!  These probably would have been better if I had started a bit earlier but you know how that goes.  Some days you just can't move quickly enough in the morning.

The last photo of the leaf is a harbinger of things I don't want to see.  One of the down sides to living in a woods and living across from a 1,000+ acre woods is that there probably are a few leaves.  A few leaves to rake once they fall, too.  I'm betting that that they all will blow onto my lawn.  But I bet it will be pretty. The sunset was from a few days ago and was taken on Higgins Lake

Monday, September 15, 2014

Irony on paper

So I have mentioned my latest, well, obsession, with printing presses, and I mentioned buying an English press.  It needed a few parts, especially a chase and rollers and I was having a hard time finding them at the usual printing supply places where I offer my custom.

I speak like that because the internet, as we know, is a wonderful thing in that it has made the world a much smaller place.  When I Googled Adana, the name of the press, I found Caslon Limited, the successor to the original Adana press supply company.  When I asked if they had parts for this 80+ year old press, they simply asked if I wished for new parts or refurbished, as they had both.  They sent me a PDF of their "offer sheet" and in their words, I offered my custom.  New and used parts are on their way whilst I wait, sipping tea and eating crumpets.

I had to laugh, though, at their e-mail of the receipt.  They sent it as a PDF, which is fine.  But this printing supply company cautioned against printing out the receipt because of the environment!  Seems an odd notice for a company that just sold me printing supplies so I can print reams of paper.  Not odd, but really and truly ironic.

I wonder if my press can print PDFs...

Dear Customer

Thank you for your recent order.   Attached you will find a copy of the invoice relating to this order attached as a PDF file.  If you have any queries relating to the invoice feel free to contact the Sales Office.

Please note that if you require us to send you a hard copy of the invoice, please let us know.

Best Regards
Sales Office

Caslon Limited, Caslon House, Lyon Way, St. Albans, Herts AL4 0LB / UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1727-852211 Facsimile: +44 (0)1727-855772
Website: Email:

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to!