December 31st, 2008 - Hometown

I liked this photo of a house in my hometown of Ashland, Wisconsin. 
The winter sun was so low, and with the light so damn bright coming off of the sliding of the house it was painful, the unbroken snow with the ubiquitous Weber kettle still out in the yard, and the long shadows alongside the super simple house. 
I had to do it in black & white because it stuck in my head how much it reminded me of atomic bomb testing footage I've seen. There's just these inordinately simple houses sitting out on the desert, being slowly overtaken by sand, manikins standing inside, and when the nuclear flash goes off it lights up the side of the house just like this one. There is a vacuum of silence, things are much too quiet, somethings got to happen. Imperceptibly everything appears to start to wobble and sway very slowly, and before it can even get started the whole house just disintegrates. 

Further down the street we have the 'Restaurant of Mixed Metaphors.'
Here is cool old "Big Ben" the Double-Decker British bus, hawking Chicago-Style GYROS - "America's Tastiest Sandwich" - The Greek Classic. 
It's parked at what once was a Clark gas station where my brother used to work, maybe one day it just ran out of gas and it was time to make it into a restaurant. 
It sits across from the city's Power Company on Lake Superior, the one that generates that annoying sound that no one can quite put their finger on, along with a stunning view of our stockpiles of coal, lime, and gravel.

Of course an establishment such as this begs for an all-purpose Tiki God, in case we missed any euphemisms that misled you into thinking that this wasn't actually a tacky place.
Unfortunately, or not, it was "Closed for the Season," or longer, so to get proper sustenance you must cross "Front Street" (but don't use the new "tunnel", er, sorry I was told it is to be known as the "Pedestrian Underpass") because it's not finished yet. 
Well, the tunnel itself is finished, but any connecting stairways, paths, and accesses are not. It's just sort of "there." 
Kind of like an abstract sculpture, performance art, or the Bridge to Nowhere.
If you make it across Front Street, A.K.A. Highway 2, without being run-down by a logging truck, the current feature at Taco John's is the "Snackarito", which is available in Ranch Chicken or Buffalo Chicken.

With a name like "Snackarito," you'll probably want to order five or six. Minimum. Maybe that was marketing's idea in the first place. Make it sound like an hors d'oeurve and all the drive-thru customers will buy a dozen.
I was a little freaked out staring at the poster on which the food cast no shadows. Nor had it shown any signs of steam or melting. 
I figured I was doing you a favor shooting in B & W.

Which brings us to the strange but proud brownstone known as the "Masonic Temple Building." 
I always wondered what creepy, secret-society meetings went on up in that turret room with the four round windows right next to each other. Maybe they had a set of the city's most powerful giant binoculars and could see directly into the cellars of power. Being right across the street from City Hall was just, too obvious. 
Was I the only one to notice this atrocity, right under our own noses? 
And my Uncle the lawyer, Uncle Tom, was only two doors down. Was he in cahoots too? 
Among my other seedy recollections of the place was being treated by ol' pipe-smoking Dr, Kreher after getting a good chunk of my face gouged out by Arnie Viater's inordinately long fingernails during a football game in High School. "I should prawly give you ten stitches, but with this new tape they got, I don't think I have to!"
"Be careful out there and tell your friend to wash his hands once in a while!" 
Ahh, good times, good times.

Well, it's probably not a good sign when the Jaguar XJ6 has this much snow on 'er. Must be waiting for Santa to bring over a new valve job from Coventry.

Card-carrying members only, except for Lunch Buffet. 
California Nails customers please to take care eating before glue has dried.

Ah, the house that borne and raised me. Didn't I used to be able to bounce a Super-ball over that Blue Spruce...?

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