Monday, November 26, 2012

Mountain Park: Impressions

A Visit to Mountain Park, GA

Ever since I learned Pine Lake had a more-or-less sister city in North Fulton County, I've been wanting to visit Mountain Park.

A month or so ago I sent out a query on the Pine Lake announcement mail list and got a reply from Elisabeth Shields; she was curious too and wanted to go.

Since Elisabeth's husband George punked out at the last minute, and since Janet Hill decided shopping at Macy's was the higher imperative (You Go, Girl!) and there would be just the two of us, I picked Elisabeth up in my Miata with the top down. Although it was chilly, she was kind enough not to allow me to leave it down. We roared away to begin our adventure.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Visit to the American Museum of Natural History: Diomaras

On Monday Heather and I caught the bus into New York City to visit the American Museum of Natural History.

I've been telling her the bus is more convenient than the train (the train requires a transfer), so don't you know it, we had an hour delay because of a wreck on the way in, and heavy traffic on the way back.

From the Port Authority Bus Terminal we caught the C subway four stops and didn't even have to go to the street to enter the museum.

One of my favorite museums is the natural history museum at the Smithsonian, so I had high hopes. I wasn't exactly disappointed, but I found the AMNH poorly lit and the displays poorly designed. In general, there was too much stuff and not enough explanation. Still, I had a good time-- until it was time to eat.

Both the salad and hot bars were priced by the quarter pound-- $2.99 for four ounces! I knew prices would be high, but that was just out of line. The man in front of us paid $68 for a light lunch for himself and his son.

So anyway, even though it was dark and I wasn't allowed to use flash, I got pictures.

My favorite is the photo of the elephants, above. The African Mammals diorama room was dark, but by bracing my camera on the railing on the balcony I was able to get an in-focus shot.

Here are some shots I got of the various dioramas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Motorcyclepedia Museum V: Motorcycles as Art

I'm a big fan of machinery. It can be elegant and strangely beautiful. Here are some details from the museum.

I love the art deco Indian horn cover, above.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Motorcyclepedia Museum IV: A Brief History of Motorcycles: Part 2

This 1923 Henderson Looks Like a Motorcycle
By 1930 or so motorcycles looked like motorcycles. All the major components were there-- and motorcycles wouldn't look very much different until the 1960s.

Motorcyclepedia Museum III: A Brief History of Motorcycles: Part I

Exact Replica of 1885 Daimler, the World's First True Motorcycle
The first motorcycles appeared in the late 1880s. Here's an 1895 Pennington--unlike the Daimler above, not a replica:

The first production motorcycles were bicycles with attached motors-- motor bicycles. The earliest manufacturers offered kits to convert bikes to motor power as well as bicycles with motors already attached.

Here's an example-- a 1902 Columbia by Pope:

 Note the bicycle elements-- the suspensionless frame, the thin tires, the swept-back handlebars, the seat, and the pedals. Motorcycles wouldn't lose their pedals until about 1910.

Motorcyclepedia Museum II: The Collection, Bottom Floor

At least half of the bottom floor was dedicated to very early motorcycles--pre 1910, and some pre-1900! That's an Indian Standard above. Note the twin-cylinder engine and the bicycle-type handlebars. The           headlight is electric; some models had oil headlamps like the Pope pictured below.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Motorcyclepedia Museum I: The Collection, Top Floor

Last week my Sweetie and I drove 30 miles from her home to Newburgh, New York, where we visited the Motorcyclepedia Museum. It was not her idea, but she was kind enough to oblige me.

I'd never been to a vehicle museum before. I'm not sure just what I was expecting, but whatever I was expecting, I got more. It was amazing.