Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike...and some other things...

First of all, I'll post this:

That's the paper where I work. I will tell you that newspapers VERY rarely print a title in all caps. But it has been a big thing here because we have gotten a lot of "escapees" from the coast. In my little neighborhood of about 45 homes, I've seen a lot of additional cars in front of some homes and non-familiar people sitting in the front lawns. And I've heard that the hotels are full. It was a HOT and muggy day here today and the sun was shining all day. Now my son told me that it's raining, so I had to go out and check. Now it's REALLY muggy...I guess we are finally getting the residual effects from Ike. Everyone thought it would be worse, but I guess we were blessed. My sympathies go to the people on the coast.

Here is a link to some excellent photographs of Ike in some of the coastal towns of Texas...and Houston. This guy got some really great shots:

So now on to my post. Between working two jobs and starting a new one, I just haven't had much interest in posting lately. Maybe I'm getting used to my routine now, though, because I felt like taking pictures today. Not only that, I felt like walking. About 3-1/2 years ago, I starting walking four miles a day at a local park. I go through phases, where I don't do it for awhile, then I get back into it...etc. Since I got laid off last May, I kind of went into a funk where I pretty much didn't feel like doing anything. Then I got my new job and went through the phase of the "new job syndrome." I think it's like WAY up there on that psychological list of most difficult things to go through in your life.

Hopefully past all that, I headed for the park and decided to stop at an apartment/loft complex which was completed within the last year. It was an abandoned power plant renovated into loft apartments with garden apartments added close to the park. Kind of curious as to what they did to it, I decided to check it out.

As you can see from the sign, it used to be the Comal (pronounced "ko-MAL") Power Plant.

I went inside and this is the "Atrium."

A view up from the Atrium.

In their renovations, they kept with the old so that you can still see the fixtures of the original plant which I thought was pretty neat.

They maintained the original cement floor and just gave it a protective coating. This is kind of a dining/social gathering room on the second floor.

A living area on the first floor.

Another view of the dining area.

Okay, so I'm walking through this place, and I'm thinking... "this reminds me of something." And then it came to me. So I went home and downloaded my photos and asked two of my sons to take a look. I asked them if the pictures reminded them of anything and both of them named it within seconds. "The Shining," with Jack Nicholson. Especially when I showed them the following pictures they had hanging on the walls.

Kind of eerie. Especially this last photo of the people. Almost none of them are smiling and it's just not a pleasant kind of picture. I guess it had to do with the times.

So on to my four-mile walk at the park. Landa Park is a pretty park and it covers about a square mile. I walked it three times, then got my camera and took some pictures on my last lap. The Comal River runs through it which is a spring-fed river.

They have some crazy trees which must have been around for MANY years.

This one needs a little helping staying up.

There are plenty of critters running around.

Including the dog-walking variety. I'm thinking the guy on the right is giving a "talking-to" to his dog, while the couple on the left could care less about each other.

The swimming hole.

Picnics and playgrounds.


Landa Falls.

Landa Park's Finest.

And the little train that runs through the park. That's conductor Dave in the driver's seat ringing the bell to warn me to get out of the middle of the track! (I don't think they've had any fatalities on the Landa Park Railroad to date.)

So, as I'm walking around the park, I hear accordian music. I look to my right and see this guy in his yard playing the accordian. This is a long-distance shot across the street which I had to get because I'm sure he's gearing up for the New Braunfels Wurstfest! This is funny because my son and I were on the back patio the other day and heard bagpipe music. We looked across the field from our house and could faintly see a guy playing bagpipes. My son said, "His wife musn't let him play in the house." So when I saw the accordian-playing guy in the yard, the same thought came to my mind.

Yep, the Wurstfest is a BIG thing in New Braunfels. It's where you want to be if you like German music, polka dancing, bratwurst and sauerkraut...and the chicken dance. I come from a German background, but not THAT German. It might be worth a blog post, though. We'll see.


Jamqueen said...

great to see you posting.. they are always interesting! Can't wait for photos from Wurstfest! There has to be great people watching at that!

Scott Bulger Photography said...

This is a great post, and those are some ugly ducks.

Isla Deb said...

Ann - Yes, I've decided I would go to Wurstfest this year...if only for a blog report!

Scott - for the ducks, there are even some uglier ones there that have these growth-like things on the upper part of their beaks. I'll have to get a shot of them one of these days.

Islaholic Trixie said...

Love your shot of the two different dog owners. And the park is so beautiful. What a nice place to walk.
Being the German Girl that I am, I will be waiting for the Worstfest blog also.
My prayers to all the people, even as far as Illinois and Ohio, whom have felt the tragic blows from Hurricane Ike.

islagringo said...

I'm adding my 2 cents that you get on over to that festival! We want pictures! We want to know what you ate! These things are just ripe with blogging material! Can't wait.

carl/debbie said...

About the ducks. Those ducks are white, with redish growth things just above their beaks, correct? Thay are called Muscovie's(sp). Ita just natural to the specific breed. Just thought your readers might like to know, in case they are ever on a game show, and that question is asked:-))

Paul said...

nice park pics. The worst wurst was wurst I had at a wurstfest.