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Archive for July, 2018

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Posted by graywacke on July 27, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2410; A Landing A Day blog post number 844.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (27o 20.252’N, 80o 19.682’W) puts me on Florida’s east coast:

Here’s my very local landing map, showing I landed right on Brazilian Circle:

And a little less local landing map:

And a regional map:

Here’s my streams-only map:

So.  I landed in the watershed of the N Fk of the St. Lucie R (2nd hit); on to the St. Lucie (2nd hit).

Here’s a Google Earth (GE) shot to show how incredibly urbanized area around Port St. Lucie:

Of course, I wanted the Orange Dude to have a look at my landing:

As you can see, I landed in a condo complex of some sort.  I am extremely sorry that the GoogleMobile didn’t venture into the complex!  Anyway, here’s what he sees:

OK, so I landed in “St. Lucie Oaks.”  A quick search shows that it’s an apartment complex, with apartments as low as $1050/mo!  Here’s a promotional video:

 

 

As my regulars might know, I’m not enthralled with johnny-come-lately communities filled with suburbanites & retirees. So, basically, I have nothing to say about Port St. Lucie.

Strangely, Wiki (nor anyone else) has anything to say about the name origin.  But there is a Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia in Spanish) that likely morphed into Saint Lucie.  I mean, really, there’s a a Saint Lucia island in the Caribbean.  Oh my!  I spent a week there . . .

So, Wiki says this about the origin of the island’s name:

Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, who were the island’s first European settlers. It is the only country in the world named after a woman.

The only country in the world named after a woman!!!!!!!  Oh my!!

So, who was St. Lucy?  From Wiki:

Lucia of Syracuse (283–304), was a Christian martyr. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Churches. She is one of eight women along with the Blessed Virgin Mary who are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. Her feast day, known as Saint Lucy’s Day, is celebrated in the West on 13 December.

There must be a back story here . . .

Here’s a Catholic church video about good ol’ Lucy:

 

Obviously, I have very little to say about Port St. Lucie.  So, now (as promised in previous ALADus Obscurus pronouncements), here’s a little old fashioned ALAD statistical analysis.

First, a quick review about my obsession with whether a state is Over Subscribed (OS) or Under Subscribed (US).  A quick review:  based on the area of each state and the number of landings, one would expect a certain proportional number of landings in each state.  For example, Texas is about 9% of the area of the lower 48.  So, of course, I would expect that about 9% of my landings would be in Texas.

My spreadsheet makes a similar calculation for every state, so I know for each landing if a given state is OS (has more than expected landings) or US (has less than expected landings).

Today’s landing is landing 2410.  That’s right.  I’ve landed 2410 times.  Now to be fair, I didn’t start blogging until landing 1583.  Before that I landed every day, but did it for my own edification.  Sometime after landing 1500, I started emailing my neighbor Dan about my daily landings, and I started doing the kind of research that launched my blog (with Dan’s help).

But then, at landing 2215, I received an email from my son Jordan, saying thusly:

Your lat longs are random, which is of course a fair way to do it, but there might be a flaw with it. Latitude is fine, as the distance between parallel lines is always the same. However the distance between lines of longitude varies based on latitude and the lines are not parallel.

Look at your most OS state, Montana and compare it with your most US state, Texas.  The distance between W 100 and W 110 is significantly less near Montana than it is near Texas, meaning that your landings are bound to be more dense up north and less dense down south.

Ouch.  So, I came up with an accurate way of coming up with a random lat/long, using a website called “GeoMidpoint,” which, amazingly enough, has a function to select a random lat/long, bounded by N&S lats and E&W longs.

Since the beginning, I have had my spreadsheet calculate a “Score,” which is a measure of how “out of whack” I am with the perfect world where the number of landings in each state would be proportional to the area of each state.  And oh, by the way, if I were to do a million landings, it is inevitable that I would be damn close to such proportionality.

One of the reasons my son Jordan was suspicious about the supposed randomness of my landings is the fact that my Score wasn’t acting like it was asymptotic to zero; rather, it seemed to be leveling off at an arbitrary 150 or so. 

Here’s my Score graph for all 2410 landings:

See what I mean about leveling off at 150?

So anyway, I’m now keeping track of two Scores.  My ongoing original Score that includes all 2410 landings and my new revised Score. 

Here’s a portion of my spreadsheet that calculates my new revised Score (since I changed how I select my random lat/longs 194 landings ago):

You can see that I’ve landed 194 times since I made that change and that my current Score is 356.  The negative numbers show Under Subscribed states; corresponding positive numbers are for Over Subscribed states. The more “out of whack” each state is, the higher the number.  So right now, WV is the most OS state and IL is the most US state.

I won’t go into any detail about how I come up with the numbers; check out “About Landing” for such a discussion. 

Because I can (and because I’m such a nerd), I’ve been having the spreadsheet compare the Scores for the very first 194 landings with the Scores of my most recent 194 landings.

Because I’m now being truly random and back in the day, I wasn’t, I expected my new Score to move more quickly towards zero than my old Score.  Well, it takes a graph to see what’s going on:

Strangely, for nearly all of the 194 landings, my new Score has been staying higher than my old.  Not at all what I expected, but then again, the Landing God acts in strange ways.  But you can see that the Scores have finally converged.  Let’s take a closer look, zooming in at the tail end of the graph:

As I expected (knew?), my more random landings would end up with a Score that is lower than my less random landing Score, because now, I truly am heading towards zero, not some stupid number like 150.

Phew.  I’ll revisit this topic again at some time in the future, but don’t worry, it’ll probably be in a couple of years . . .

Anyway, back to Florida . . .

I’ll close with this GE shot by Jorge Silva of some sort of prehistoric reptilian creature hanging out in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Ingomar, Montana

Posted by graywacke on July 19, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2409; A Landing A Day blog post number 843.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long (46o 50.736’N, 107o 7.788’W) puts me in central-east Montana:

landing 1

Here’s my local landing map:

landing 2

And my streams-only map:

landing 3a

Whoops.  One might think that I landed in the Froze To Death Creek watershed.  Well, I didn’t, so I better zip on over to Google Earth:

ge sv creek map

You can follow the drainage south from my landing, and see that a road with Street View coverage crosses the drainageway.  Well, here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

ge sv creek 1

So, rather than the Froze to Death Creek (which is further west), I landed in the watershed of Big Porcupine Creek.  Here’s a better view of the creek itself:

ge sv creek 2

Now that that’s cleared up, we can look back up at my streams-only map and see that the Big Porcupine Creek discharges to the Yellowstone River (57th hit).  Zooming back:

landing 3b

The Yellowstone discharges directly to the Missouri (430th hit); on, of course, to the MM (936th hit).

So what about Ingomar?  Well, Wiki has very little to say.  It was founded in 1908 as a railroad town, but by 1920 the town was in decline.  “The railroad through the area was abandoned in 1980, and only a handful of people remain in Ingomar today.”

And I featured Ingomar?  What was I thinking?  I could have featured Sumatra (see local landing map).  Wiki has nothing to say about Sumatra, but I could have featured the Indonesian island of the same name.  But no, I featured Ingomar.  Let’s take a GE look at the town:

ge ingomar 1

And there’s Street View coverage leading up to (but not in) Ingomar:

ge ingomar 2

Here’s the view approaching the town:

ge ingomar 3

And the entry plaza (my term):

ge ingomar 4

Right across the street from the plaza is this landmark building:

ge ingomar 5

Wow.  There it is.  Not much.  But it does have a saloon/restaurant, known as the Jersey Lilly.  Being a Jersey guy myself, I thought maybe there was a New Jersey connection here.  Well, there’s actually a website for the Jersey Lilly in Ingomar, and I lifted some information: 

87377af0146687de2f3a4fe54dfcba83

The Jersey Lilly building was completed as a bank in 1914. This would be lngomar’s first brick building.  About that time, the town had 46 businesses and was known as the sheep shearing capital of the world at one time.

In 1933, Clyde Easterday established the Oasis Bar in the bank building. The cherry wood back bar that is currently in the Jersey Lilly was one of two that were transported from St. Louis up the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers to Forsyth in the early 1900s. It remained in “quarantine” in Forsyth until prohibition was over in 1933, then was installed at the Jersey Lilly. The back bar was transported to Ingomar in the back of a Model T pickup causing the “scratches” that you can see to this day in the mirror frame.

In 1948, Bob Seward came to own the Oasis Bar. The Seward Family, who were originally from Texas, didn’t want their bar to have a common bar name so they decided they would name their bar The Jersey Lilly. This name was taken from the story of Judge Roy Bean from Langtry, Texas.

Judge Roy Bean was an eccentric saloon keeper and Justice of the Peace, who called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.” He was quite taken with the British actress Lilly Langtry.  [A coincidence that he lived in Langtry, Texas?  Maybe, maybe not.]  Lilly’s nickname was Jersey Lilly due to the fact that she was from the Channel Island of Jersey in the United Kingdom.

Judge Roy Bean often boasted of his acquaintance with Lilly Langtry when in reality he never did meet her. He built a wooden saloon/courthouse and named it The Jersey Lilly in hopes that one day she would come to see him.  She never did, although she visited the establishment a year after his death.

A 1990s PBS series, “Backroads of Montana” actually had a feature on Ingomar and the Jersey Lilly.  Skip ahead to the 19:45 mark to check out Ingomar:

 

Here’s a more recent video, featuring the current owner, Boots Kope, who owns the bar with June Nygren:

 

Just a few words about Lilly Langtry (from Wiki):

220px-Lillie_langtryEmilie Charlotte Langtry (1853 – 1929), known as Lillie (or Lily or Lilly) Langtry and nicknamed “The Jersey Lilly”, was a British-American socialite, actress and producer.

She was born on the island of Jersey and upon marrying she moved to London in 1876. Her looks and personality attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses, and she was celebrated as a young woman of great beauty and charm.

By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays in the UK and the United States, eventually running her own stage production company. In later life, she performed “dramatic sketches” in vaudeville. She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She was the subject of widespread public and media interest.

I’ll close with shot from TheWeedRoute.com (about the abandoned Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific railroad) showing the tracks outside of Ingomar:

flickr

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Ennis and Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Posted by graywacke on July 10, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2408; A Landing A Day blog post number 842.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (45o 25.314’N, 111o 34.478’W) puts me in southwest Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

As you can see, this landing is very close to a previous landing (just three landings ago):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Jordan Creek, which flows into Ennis Lake.  Ennis Lake is a dammed-up portion of the Madison River (4th hit).

Zooming back:

You can see that the Madison joins the Jefferson and the Gallatin (at Three Rivers MT) to form the Missouri (429th hit).  The MM (935th hit) graciously accepts the Missouri’s contribution.

I’m truly out in the boonies, and therefore have no Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of my landing.  But here’s an oblique GE shot to put my landing appropriately in the local landscape:

Of course, I do have a GE Street View shot of the Madison:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

The town of Gallatin Gateway caught my eye, just due to its name.  Wiki has essentially nothing to say about Gallatin Gateway, but with a little (very little) research, I learned that there are towns with the name of Gallatin in MO, TN, NY and TX (besides MT) and there are counties with the name of Gallatin in IL, KY and MT. 

Montana is big on Gallatin, as besides a town and a county, it also is home to a Gallatin Airport (in Bozeman), the Gallatin River, the Gallatin Range, Gallatin Peak (see local landing map), the Gallatin Petrified Forest and the Gallatin National Forest.

Four US ships have been named Gallatin, along with two colleges and one high school (and school district).

As far as I can see, every Gallatin-named entity was named after one Albert Gallatin.

Who was Albert Gallatin?  And why is he so big in Montana?  About the Montana connection:  Lewis and Clark were fans of Albert Gallatin, and named the Gallatin River (which as shown above, joins with the Madison and Jefferson to form the Missouri). 

I found a write-up in Discovering Lewis & Clark (lewis-clark.og) about Monsieur Gallatin:

Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, into a cultured aristocratic family led by physicians, statesmen and soldiers, one of whom commanded a battalion at the battle of Yorktown. He emigrated to the United States in 1780, at the age of 19, and under the terms of the Articles of Confederation of 1781, gained legal citizenship after nine years of residency, meanwhile teaching French at Harvard University.

[Like I said, Monsieur Gallatin.]

In the tradition of his august family background, Albert was drawn to public life, soon transcending politics to become one of the most influential statesmen in American history.

[Then why have I never heard of him?]

Consistent with his station and the spirit of his time, he was a savant—a diplomat, financier, peacemaker, scientist, geographer, lover of nature, and above all a visionary with unswerving faith in the ultimate wisdom of a people wielding the instruments of democracy.

[Ex-cuuuuuse me!]

Throughout his sixty-year-long career he worked sedulously in behalf of free public education, universal suffrage, and the abolition of slavery.

[Very cool dude!]

Despite powerful and sometimes vicious opposition from the Federalists, Gallatin was a key figure in the implementation of Jefferson’s unprecedented design for a new and growing republic. As Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, he engineered the financial details of the Louisiana Purchase (without increasing taxes), then resolved the constitutional issues that complicated the transaction.

[Wow.  He figured out how to buy some real estate without raising taxes!]

He even helped plan the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In March of 1803, for instance, he asked Nicholas King to prepare a new map of western North America incorporating the main features of nine of the most recent maps by other explorers.

At the age of seventy he wrote a monumental treatise describing the characteristics, territories, and languages of all known Native American tribes, including those of Mexico and Central America.

[He appears to be one of those rare leaders who appreciated what was being destroyed before his very eyes . . . ]

For all that, soon after his death in 1848 his name faded from popular history, and he became “America’s forgotten statesman.”

Although I don’t have anything to say about the town of Ennis (pop 838), it is the largest town around, and I thought I’d make it titular with some photos.  Here’s a shot of downtown:

From Maverick Brokers, here’s a shot of the Madison near Ennis:

And yet another, from Wedding Spot.com:

And Ennis Lake, from New View travel blog:

I’ll close with this Wiki shot of the Madison in Ennis:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Lake Charles, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on July 3, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2407; A Landing A Day blog post number 841.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (30o 18.985’N, 93o 1.146’W) puts me in southwest Louisiana:

Here’s my local landing map:

And a closer look at my titular Lake Charles (both the lake and the city):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Bayou Arceneaux:

A quick note about bayous.  Some are quite small, and are deemed (by yours truly) as creek-equivalent, while others are quite large and are deemed river-equivalent.  The Bayou Anceneaux (which I deemed a creek) makes its way to the Bayou Serpent (which I deemed a river).  This was my first hit for the Bayou Serpent!

As you can see, the Bayou Serpent slithers its way to the Calcasieu River (4th hit).

I zoomed back to show how the Calcasieu eventually discharges to the Gulf:

I have a decent Google Earth (GE) Street View look at my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I sent the OD just a few hundreds yards north to get a look at the Bayou Arceneaux:

And here ‘tis:

See what I mean about it being creek-equivalent?

So.  I took a quick (and admittedly half-hearted) look at the little towns near my landing.  But I immediately knew, that absent an amazing hook with one of these towns, that I would feature Lake Charles.  Why, you might ask . . .

Well, there’s a man from Lake Charles (who, along with his wife and others) who I know personally.  Here’s the story:

Back in the early 2000s, Jody and I had a string of years where we went to the New Orleans Jazz Fest.  For those of you who have no clue, the Jazz Fest is a huge event, attracting many 10s of thousands of people to the N.O. fairgrounds.  Typically, the festival happens the last weekend in April (three days) and the first weekend in May (four days). 

The Jazz Fest features all sorts of music, performed simultaneously on ten (+/-) stages.  There’s jazz, gospel, rock n’ roll, Cajun and Zydeco music.  Light on folk; zero on classical.

We have a number of dear friends in New Orleans – Susan & Kelly, (parents); Rachael & Joel (kids, now adults).  Susan and Jody go way back to hippie days in San Francisco in the early 70s.  So, back in the late 90s – early 00s – we’d stay with Susan (who, at the time, lived within easy walking distance from the Jazz Fest). 

So, one year, we brought my son Jordan (age 13-14) to experience Jazz Fest.  Jordan and I were wandering around, looking for a stage to hang out and listen to music.  We walked near the Fais Do-Do* stage, which features Cajun and Zydeco music. 

* “Fais Do Do” means Cajun dance party.

Even from a distance, we heard some bad-ass bass guitar, warming up.  Slap bass, really funky.  I said to Jordan:  “we gotta check this out.”

So, the band getting ready to play was “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool.”  I had no clue who they were, or what they would do, but I knew they had a great bass player.

Well.  Sean came out, and he immediately had the crowd in the palm of his hand.  He was bigger than life, had a great voice, was full of energy (and, he had a great bass player).  His music was funky rock ‘n roll, anchored by Sean on the accordion.  I loved it, loved it, loved it.

When I hooked up with Jody and our friends at the end of the day, I said “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool” was far and away my favorite act.

More about his [former] bass player – Trip Wamsley – in a bit.  Here’s a picture of Sean at the Jazz Fest.  That’s his nephew Trey Ardoin (who we also got to know) with him.

The next year, Susan had some other house guests who also wanted to go to Jazz Fest.  They were limited to just one of the two weekends.  So, we took the other weekend.  With some trepidation, I went on line to check out the various acts for the two weekends. 

And, yes!  Sean Ardoin and Zydekool was playing the weekend that we’d be there.

Of course, we (Jody and other family members in addition to Jordan) went to see Sean at the Fais Do Do stage.  He was opposite Bonnie Raitt – ouch – but we had no doubt who’d we see.

He was great once again.  After the show, Jody suggested that we hang around and try to meet Sean.  Jody (ever the connector) led the way, and we connected.

Sean (more or less):  “I’ll be playing at Tipatina’s (in New Orleans) in just a few weeks.”

Jody chimed in (more or less): “that’s Greg’s birthday.  Greg –  wanna come back to New Orleans?  We’ll call it your birthday present.”

So, back we came, and our connection with Sean was further cemented when after the show, Sean mentioned he’d be at a music festival in Rhode Island that summer – the Rhythm and Roots festival in Charlestown.  Surely, we’d be able to come up at hang out a while.

So, up we went (from our home in NJ).  Suddenly, Jody was the unofficial band photographer, and we found ourselves hawking Zydekool t-shirts.  Our discussions went to the next time we’d see them, and Jody mentioned that she was thinking about a celebratory dance party, marking the 10th anniversary of her company, Hill Environmental Group.

Yes, the band was going to be up in the Northeast in October, and yes, they’d be delighted to play at our party.  The party, held at a historic unfurnished barn up near Princeton, was a smashing success.

And then Sean said something like, “in a couple months, we’re going to Rio de Janeiro to play at a music festival (the Jambalaya Jazz Fest) that features local bands from Rio, and bands from Louisiana.  Y’all want to join us?”

You’ll never guess what happened . . .

A quick Rio story – we were met at the airport by one of the organizers of the festival who was driving the band (and we, the “band parents”) to our hotel (on Copa Cabana beach).  We asked him how he was publicizing the festival, and he pulled out the front page of the entertainment section of El Globo, one of the local newspapers.  And there was a great photo of Sean at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, taken by none other than Jody!  We got instant street cred!

Obviously, we became friends with Sean and his wife Vanessa.  In the coming years, the band stayed at our house for all of their Northeast trips; we spent Mardi Gras in Lake Charles with Sean & Vanessa (including Zydekool playing at the Port Arthur TX Mardi Gras celebration).  That visit included the famous Ardoin family Mardi Gras dance party, where they invite 1,500 of their closest friends.  Sean & Vanessa have visited us in NJ (sans Zydekool).

We (mainly Jody and her brother Skip) put together beach party in the Bahamas (on the out island of Eleuthera) to raise money for school computers, with Sean as the headliner.

Sean calls Jody “Big Sis,” and Jody (of course) calls Sean “Lil Bro.”

So before jumping into some Sean videos, how about his erstwhile bass player Trip Wamsley (who was with Sean for several years back in the day).

Here’s a Trip Wamsley interview, with some interspersed bass solo.  He’s selling GK amplifiers, but he talks about himself and his music.  Note he’s playing a fretless bass . . .  

 

Here’s a piece Sean did for WXPN (Philadelphia!), where he talks about the roots of Zydeco music:

 

Here’s one of my favorites that I heard back in the day at Jazz Fest – “Mama.”  The song starts out a little slow (for a minute or so, but then he picks it up).  Pay attention to the accordion:

 

Here’s “Around the World.”  Talk about street cred!  You must pay close attention to the words at about the 1:47 mark!!!!

 

Wow.  You gotta listen to Sean doing Adelle’s “Hello.”

 

OK.  One more.  This is great:   a cover of Pharrell’s “Happy,” with great scenes of Lake Charles:

 

I’ll close with this GE shot by pmjparty, of a lake just south of Lake Charles:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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