December 21, 2020


I find a certain amount of beauty in our infrastructure. This is one of the things that compelled me to finally become a civil engineer; building and improving our infrastructure not only keeps society functioning by providing a solid foundation, there’s also a certain amount of beauty in the basis of life as we know it today, or our infrastructure.

I’ve always been a bit reserved when it comes to talk about my interest in our infrastructure. I enjoy the symmetry of power lines and high tension wires. I appreciate the simplicity of a wind turbine effortlessly collecting a natural resource and turning it into electricity. I am entranced by the simplicity of our nation’s roadways and rail lines. When I was in high school I started to talk about these things but I was instantly shot down by classmates who found me weird or not relatable. So I decided it was best to keep quiet about these things.

The truth of the matter is, I really enjoy taking photos of the world’s infrastructure. I find a certain amount of beauty in these man made creations. I don’t fear cancer or being pelted by a deceased bird when I’m taking photos of wind turbines. As a scholar of traffic engineering, I recognize the effort that goes into making a road sign guiding motorists to their destination a contributor to public safety.

On our recent ride across the prairies of Northern Illinois I took photos with both my aging iPhone X and my decade old Canon EOS DSLR camera. The iPhone X, with all its technological ties to algorithms and other associated software, takes better photos. This is one of the reasons I’m still married to Apple when it comes to my technology needs. For the most part, it still just works.

I see beauty in what others find mundane. I appreciate the power lines that have withstood Mother Nature for decades, even when she’s causing tornado sirens to blare a warning to take cover. I love the flatness of the Illinois Prairie and all the crops it provides to the sustenance of our nation.

I look forward to capturing more of this in the way of photography. Whenever and wherever possible.


Photo courtesy of The Atlantic.

I am so very tired. This is why I don’t write about politics or the state of the country like I used to. I am just so exhausted. One more month.

I’m tired of people rationalizing Trump’s ridiculous behavior. I’m tired of politicians with absolutely no sense of moral responsibility or even evidence of some shred of a foundation of decency. I’m tired of the outrage. I’m tired of the outrageous. And I’m really tired of having to tolerate all of this extremely idiotic behavior from entirely too many people.

What the hell happened to this country?

I’m reading dialogues from people in my educational past that didn’t understand that the Underground Railroad didn’t involve tokens or exact change lecture the world on the nuances of the U.S. Constitution. I’m listening to endless, monotonous commentary from paid pundits trying to speak with authority on the next moves of a man who is insane, has no clear agenda outside of sheer destruction, and has no sense of moral obligation to do anything other than serve himself. And my Christian contemporaries telling me this idiot has been sent by a God? Give me a break. I’m embarrassed for them.

One saving grace in all this is at my age I figure the country might outlast me by a decade. Tops. I know the world will go on; I’m doubtful the U.S.A. will endure in its present form beyond the next 50 years. There’s too much thirst for blood in too many of its citizens. Too many Americans revel in and profit from their fellow citizens suffering. Some hick in Mississippi, in his 10×50 mobile home from 1972, feels he is just fine because Trump made those “forty-oneks” do great things on Wall Street. His investments have never been better.

You can’t escape the outrage. You can’t even escape the discussion. That dried up Cheetolini, with all his litigation and tantrums and just plain, repulsive buffoonery is everywhere. He makes for great ratings and great ad revenues and millions of clicks and feeds the corporate cogs of American capitalism. Do not be fooled by anyone with a furrowed eyebrow, an eyeroll, are words of concern, they’re all loving this and will milk every single outrage until the very bitter end.

I hope this end arrives, very, very soon.