Always Wondered About That Steeple

I’ve always wondered about the steeple on this church in Eau Claire’s Randle Park Neighborhood. It looks like they plucked it off another church or maybe got it at an estate sale. I finally got around to doing a little digging around about it tonight and turns out that originally there was a dome where the steeple was. The dome was destroyed in a fire at some point and replaced by the steeple. No word on what year the fire happened or if they picked up the steeple second hand.

[Edit] The fire and the building of the steeple happened in 1935. The church was built in 1912.

The Light Stick Over The Door Trick

Since we’re all following the mess in Texas, people are looking into preparedness stuff, and it looks like I haven’t shared this yet, I present to you: The Light Stick Over The Door Trick.

Batteries and flashlights tend not to do so well in the humidity an changing temperatures of a bathroom and my bathroom drawers are always a disaster. So, in case of a power outage while I’m in the bathroom I tape a glow stick above the bathroom door frame. Easy enough to find your way to it, uneffected by heat and moisture, and enough light for you to find your way to a flash light.

In years of doing this I’ve never had to actually use a it, but it’s a once and done kinda thing and light sticks cost less than a buck, and it’s reassuring to have it there.

They Really Were That Stupid

If you scroll back a bit though my posts you’ll find one wondering if the Jan 6th riot was a coup attempt or a temper tantrum. At the time I came to the conclusion that it was a temper tantrum as no one could be as stupid to try a coup or do so badly if they did actually try it. I was wrong. Those people really were that stupid, president Trump included. It really was a coup attempt.

Finally Got Some Ice On The River

Up until the Polar Vortex hit us we’d had a freakishly warm winter and no river ice, which is a two-fold bummer for me as the coming of river ice generally means wintering Bald Eagles are easier to see as they gather at places where there are openings in the river ice and because I like to track the growth, shrinkage, and movement of ice on the rivers.

Chippewa River and UWEC campus

What’s In My Bag?

Do people still do this? Way back in the day on Flickr people would share what they lugged around for photos and daily life. Not sure if it’s still a thing, but if it isn’t I’m bringing it back. It was fun back then and we could use a little fun at the moment. Also, I haven’t done anything remotely close to a “product” photo for a quite a while and it looks like I could use some practice.

On we go.

Tom Bihn Cafe Bag

First the bag. The bag is a medium sized Cafe Bag from Tom Bihn and it’s made in the 🇺🇸. I bought this bag ages ago, have carried it around nearly daily since then, and it is holding up like a champ. According Bihn’s website it has a volume of 500 cubic inches. Just enough room for, well, everything you see here. Great for taking to work or for a jaunt around town. Not so big that it might get awkward. Flying with it and a carry on backpack the airlines have never batted an eye. I clip a carabiner to the shoulder strap for a water bottle (and to signify my membership in: Clan I Clip Carabiners To Things). The little red bobble on the bottom right is a clip on safety light for walking at night and is secured to a loop for a stabilizer strap. Of course, the red color is awesome and shows up well around here in winter time. Longtime readers will have probably noticed that I’m somewhat focused on not getting killed by a speeding car while out for a walk or ride.

On to the contents!

This is pretty typical for what I lug around. On the very bottom is a stainless steel bento box for food. Bento boxes work great and help cut down on the amount of disposable plastic I use. Of course there’s at least one mask in there these days. Sigh. The phone I picked up from LG for $50 few years back. While a $50 phone does have its limits and drawbacks, it’s kinda amazing what you can with it. The battery is an extra for my flashlight; I keep it sealed up to keep it clean and dry and out of contact from anything that might drain it. The flashlight is a Streamlight Protac that runs on 1 CR123 battery. The light works great, it’s not overly loaded with setting and modes, is a good size for carrying around, has good battery life and, importantly, has a lanyard loop. Kinda hard to see, but there are two Swiss Army knives. I use two because I want to have both their scissors and a screwdriver and since I already owned those two it made more sense to just use those than buy another one. Of course there’s always reading material, either a book or my Kindle. I read constantly. The Altoids tin is actually a mini first-aid kit, I’ve done a separate post on that. Hand sanitizer and some Advil round out the medical supplies. The camera is an older version of the Sony RX100 and completely diggable. The light meter is alway bang-on and everything is easily adjustable. The pouch serves as my wallet and is also from Tom Bihn. I’m a bike commuter and a regular wallet will fall out of your pocket if you ride with it and fall open and spill its contents everywhere if you toss it in your bag. When my last regular wallet died I switched to this pouch which was laying around unused. The pouch is about 5 years old now, shows no sign of giving up the ghost soon, and works grand. Bottom left is a wool buff. Buffs are pretty much mandatory in winter in Wisconsin. And of course there’s a bandana: 1,001 uses but mostly for blowing my nose, which runs consistently when I’m out in the cold. There’s usually a Bic lighter (almost never used) in there as well, but mine seems to have gone missing.

So, there you go. I hope you enjoyed your sneak peek into the life and stuff of a not at all famous photographer.

Coup Or Temper Tantrum?

Back to photos and such tomorrow…

DC has cameras everywhere and many of the building have equipment that mimics a cell tower, so that your phone will ping it and security will know exactly who is where in their building. Every airport has cameras everywhere and police have easy access to flight um… Brain freeze can’t remember the word for it… But, law enforcement can see who was on what flight or who has a flight booked. Also, hotel registrations are easy to see, and if law enforcement is looking to charge you or has charged you they’re going to get your credit/debit card data.

Add to the above that people who stormed the capitol didn’t have maps of the building and didn’t have clear objectives once they were in the building. And that’s why I lean more towards Wednesday being more temper tantrum than coup. Although, Wednesday’s actions were definitely both.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people really are just that stupid, and it was the worlds worst coup attempt. But, I can’t help but think that if this was more coup than temper tantrum people would have been more sub-rosa: turned their phones off, tried to avoid or disable cameras, not flown in and out of DC, payed cash if they did need to buy something, and wouldn’t stay in local hotels or stick around after the event and so on. And they would have known the layout of the building or at least had maps and had objectives once inside the building.

Which isn’t to say people shouldn’t be held accountable. If you stormed into the Capitol, fought with cops, and smeared feces on the walls of a building that serves as a symbol of freedom and democracy for the entire world you should catch a serious charge. The people that organized and promoted this, regardless of wether they did so as a temper tantrum or coup, should get kicked out of government/charged with serious crimes as well. But, we need to have some perspective and moderation. The people that walked in after the doors were breached, wandered around a bit and left should pickup something minimal, something that, assuming they don’t reoffend, can be scrubbed from their record in a few years, and should be allowed to get on with their lives.