A collector’s delight: Music & More

It should be obvious that I’m a music and movie fan, and a fan of physical media specifically. I could rant for an hour on the virtue of owning a physical copy of the music or film you enjoy vs. having to rent it in perpetuity from some greedy pinhead who can make your beloved favorites vanish in an instant or pepper them with ads for products you’ll swear not to buy out of sheer annoyance.

Well, there’s a new shop for people like you – people like us – Music & More, located on Lockheed Drive in south Bismarck.

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Finally spotted one in the wild

I was driving on the east end of town the other day when I spotted something very bright, very blue, and very uh-oh along the road. Naturally I had to pull in and take a closer look – not just because I’m curious, but also because I’ve never seen one of these in person. It’s only been in memes or that sort of thing until now.

BSOD means Blue Screen Of Death, and it’s a sure sign that something is amiss with your Windows computer. I don’t know why these have such an allure…maybe it’s the idea of such a public fail, maybe its schadenfreude, maybe it’s relief that it’s not me…who knows. In any case, I can check this off the Bucket List if it was ever there, because now I’ve seen a very large, very public BSOD.

Makes a guy want to come to town more often, see what other spectacular sights await…

Autumn road

I love a cloudy day when the leaves are changing. It wasn’t only cloudy, though, it was rainy. And rain plus dirt tends to equal mud. I found a lot of mud on the back roads of Morton County. In fact, I had quite a time pressure washing it from my truck when I got home! But shots like this make it all worthwhile.

Cabin in the rain

I love this little cabin. I check on it every time I drive Around the World, if you’re old enough to know what that means. This time, while checking out the fall foliage, I got what I think might be my first rainy autumn photo of it. This year has been unusually green, so the leaves have a really nice contrast to their surroundings this year.

I’ve heard multiple people mention how green this year has been. Even though much of our state has technically been in a drought, around here it has been a different story. We’ve also been spared from destructive thunderstorms and late summer wildfires. I’m glad to say it’s been a relatively uneventful summer, from a meteorological perspective. Now hopefully it’ll be a nice photogenic autumn!

First day of autumn? I was there.

I had some spare time – okay, I didn’t, but I took the time anyway – to finally get out with my cameras for a while in search of this year’s autumn photos. I’m glad I had a nice, cloudy day to work with; photographing autumn leaves works so much better in the diffused light of a cloudy day. Normally the clouds are my nemesis, but not today!

I started at Fort Lincoln, and what better place to start than at this old abandoned car? Yes, it’s out there…if you’ve never found it, you haven’t wandered around the park enough yet.

I’m actually a little late; that golden tree behind the car would have looked fantastic a few days earlier, before it dropped most of its leaves. Even so, the car looks pretty cool with that hint of color behind it.

I wandered to the north end of the park road to check out some of the stone staircases, and this one definitely came through for me. If you want to do the same, the lower staircases still have green leaves on all sides. There’s still time…I doubt it’ll be too long before all those leaves turn gold. The trick is getting there before they drop, like the tree behind that car I mentioned earlier.

The top of the hill looks pretty spectacular, as do the trees lining the road up to the blockhouses. It’s not easy to get an angle of both, by the way. I didn’t bring a drone, as I don’t have one that’s waterproof. The rain was off and on all day today.

But this is my favorite shot of my Fort Lincoln visit. It took a lot of adjusting to get this just right: I wanted to get the earth lodge positioned just right beneath the tree, avoid the other lodges to the left and right, include a bunch of the texture of the clouds, and show a little of the grasses between me and my subjects. It was a matter of scooting a foot or two this way, another foot or two that way, constantly adjusting my position in two dimensions until I got what I wanted. And it worked!

I have some additional photos from the day, too, after I left the park and meandered around Morton County. Those will be posted next.

Keeping that bridge doesn’t look like you think it will

While visiting Pompeys Pillar last year, I caught an interesting sight along the Yellowstone River: the Bundy Bridge. See it back there? It has a form similar to the historic Northern Pacific railroad bridge here in Bismarck-Mandan, the one a local group of activists wants to preserve. I ventured over to this bridge and discovered a useful object lesson relative to the bridge back home – and the efforts to preserve it.

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“Tree Rex” isn’t looking so hot

When you’ve got kids, you’re treated to a unique perspective on a daily basis. Take, for instance, this tree near Exit 161 in northeast Bismarck. One off the pines got kinda mowed down long ago, and while it valiantly struggles to survive it has taken on a form familiar to young boys: a dinosaur.

It might be a little more apparent in this photo, even with my typical nasty and intentionally ugly watermark. It looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, especially during certain times of day – and if you’re a kid.

Sadly, the effect is lost on us when we are coming into town. It just doesn’t look the same from the off-ramp on the north as it does from the on-ramp on the south. It’s obvious from this side that the tree is losing its battle for survival, too.

So, like its namesake, Tree Rex is likely to soon become extinct. I’ve been meaning to snap a photo of this forever, but I’m not a fan of stopping for a photo in any place in which doing so might present a safety hazard. I was finally able to grab the shot during a time when traffic was pretty well nonexistent, even though the lighting wasn’t what I wanted. Thankfully I was able to sneak it in while Tree Rex is still there.