VOTE HERE – for the 2017-18 One-Liner Wednesday Badge

Sorry for the second post in one day, but several people asked me to share voting instructions when available – here they are. My actual post for today should be here somewhere. Thanks for reading/voting.

Linda G. Hill

It’s after midnight and all the entries for this year’s One-Liner Wednesday badge contest are in. We have some great badges to choose from this year–I have a feeling it’s going to be a close race.

Be sure to check out all the badges before you vote. Please note the descriptions I’ve given them: they’ll be what you vote for on the poll. Here they are:

Yellow Badge by Matt

Birds Flying by JoAnna

Prompt Tree by Lisa

Black and White by Allan

Birds on a Wire by Dan

I’m Up Here! by Maggie

I encourage the contestants and all their supporters to share their choices for best badge far and wide. Get all your friends to vote!

The poll will be available until Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at noon EST (GMT-5), so get your vote in while you can! The results will be posted Tuesday afternoon.

Best of luck…

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Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

I Could Have Been Newsworthy

“Careful – You can put an eye out!”

I was going to reblog Dan’s post today – the other Dan – the Dan that ran with a fast crowd of kids who lived close to the edge out there in the canyons of southern California in the time when ships were wood and men were steel. That Dan.

Anyway, Dan was talking about things that “could put an eye out” and, well that was just about anything when we were kids. A few comments were exchanged and then he asked a question that I’ve answered before. So, easy-peasy for me, I’m repackaging an older post. Ironically, Dan had already read it. Dan and I have been connected for a long time.

This post started a few years ago when a news story came on about a kid getting shot with a BB gun, Me and a guy at the bar both said:

I was shot with a BB gun,

followed simultaneously by:

I wasn’t on the news!

When we were growing up, being shot with a BB gun wasn’t newsworthy. In fact, it wasn’t parent-worthy. If you told your parents you had been shot with a BB gun, you would have been punished for playing with BB guns or for playing with kids who played with BB guns. Our parents were big into the whole guilt-by-association thing.

The BB that hit me in the leg did not break the skin. It left a welt that my dad would have recognized, but that was easily covered by jeans for a few days. The other guy’s BB had penetrated and was subsequently dug out by his dad. That probably involved a needle, “sterilized” over the flame of a match or a lighter. Given enough time, splinters, thorns, the remnants of bees could all be dug out with a needle. The gaping wound that remained after the digging was treated with Iodine or Mercurochrome, both nasty topical antiseptics alleged to prevent infection but which were essentially parts of the punishment for playing with the wrong things or the wrong kids.

One of the wrong kids in our neighborhood was my friend Mark. Neither he nor I had a BB gun, but we had knives we could throw.

I remember when I was given the first knife I could throw. You can’t throw pocket knives. Those are heavy multi-blade things that land body-first if thrown. Knives that can be thrown are single-blade items – dagger style. I was told which knives could be thrown. Tossing a good knife into the dirt is not a good idea. The instructions usually came with the “…I’ll take the knife away from you” warning.

In addition to trying to stick your knife in the ground or into a tree, there were two popular knife games: Split and Chicken. Split involved sticking your knife as far away from your opponent’s foot as possible. He would then have to stretch out until his foot touched your knife. If he remained standing, he would stick his knife and you would stretch. This continued until someone fell over. Chicken took the opposite approach. You tried to stick your knife closer and closer to your opponent’s foot. If he moved his foot he lost. When my father gave me a knife I could throw, he said:

You can play Split but don’t let me catch you playing Chicken.”

Later that summer, Mark’s family went on vacation. When they returned, I ran to his house. He came to the door all excited about a new knife his dad had bought him. He yelled “watch how easy it is to stick this thing” and he threw the knife and stuck it in my foot. He threw it hard. The knife went through my sneaker and deep into my foot.

We didn’t know what to do. This was one of those times when an adult was required, but certainly not one of our parents. Our parents wouldn’t believe the truth. We went to the woman who lived between our houses. She took my shoe off and washed my foot in her bathtub. She said “this should probably have stitches” – “nooooooooo!” Stitches would require parents. A deal was made. She bandaged my foot (after a liberal application of Iodine) and I agreed to return later. If my foot was still bleeding when I returned, parents would be told. I can only imagine how a similar event would be handled today. I bet we could have all been on the news.

In the news around our yard: Snoopy has hatched her babies:

I can’t think of southern California canyons without thinking of Joni Mitchell

Posted in Family, Friends, Humor, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , , | 72 Comments

Vote for Me!

Or not. It’s not like I’m running to be the next guy to attempt to sink the ship of state. No, I’m just submitting an entry in Linda G. Hill’s kinda-sorta-annual One-Liner Wednesday Badge Contest.

I entered last year, too. I didn’t win. I didn’t win the popular vote or the Electoral College vote. I got a few votes, the winner didn’t win by a landslide wide margin bigly amount. But, he won, and I liked his badge.

I have a ton of pictures of birds on this particular intersection of wires. Maddie and I pass them almost every Saturday, and they’re up there yammering up a storm. I’m not sure what birds talk about. Maybe good places to eat, good trees to nest in, that crazy red dog approaching, that guy with the camera, who knows. Anyway, I gathered a few of my favorites and I asked my daughter, Faith to pick one.

In true Antion family fashion, she picked three and gave honorable mention to two more.

We both liked the photo of the two birds with the fuzzy moon, but it didn’t work with “one line, many voices” which I wanted to include. Two can’t be ‘many’ and “one line, a couple of voices” wouldn’t do justice to Linda’s weekly prompt.

So, I stepped up, made the big decision, decided what to trim, where to crop, what font to use, and pushed save. Feel free to look in the gallery and tell me how bad a choice I made, but Linda only allows one entry per person, and I’ve made mine. May the best badge win.

Regardless of whose badge you like, please vote and consider supporting One-Liner Wednesday. Linda brings us this super-fun way to share an interesting bit of conversation, a few words, song lyrics, all manner of stuff, each Wednesday. I enjoy the prompt, the challenge and I love reading the things the others come up with. Oh, and don’t be discouraged by the “one-line” thing. I’ve heard that some people exceed that limit…bigly.

Posted in Blogging, One Line Wed, Prompt | Tagged , , | 58 Comments

All Things

Foggy start

Nothing would please me more than to tell Linda that “I got nothing” for this prompt. Unfortunately, May has been an all-out crazy month. I was going to explain some of this in a quick update on Monday, but since Linda offered this prompt, and the prospect of bonus points, I figured now was as good a time as any:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “all or nothing.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start and end your post with one (or each) of them. Enjoy!

Some of you know some of the things in this update. Some of you have guessed about some things, and several of you have asked questions. There’s no escaping the community that is WordPress, and that’s a good thing.

I’ll start with some bad news. My mom passed away a couple of weeks ago. Although her passing wasn’t entirely unexpected, the timing was a bit of a surprise. I’m not going to go into the details, other than to say she lived a long (92 years) and good life, and she passed away while in the care of loving family members. Her funeral was this past weekend in Pittsburgh.

For those of you in the Maddie Fan Club – a group that might be larger than those who appreciate my wit and skill as a writer – Maddie is doing better. We aren’t quite sure what happened to Maddie, she either fell or pulled a muscle while jumping out of the chair she shouldn’t have been using to look out of a window when I came home. The incident caused what can only be described as a panic attack, resulting in noises we hope never to hear again. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but she’s still moving slower and more conservatively, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In addition to these things, I’ve been dealing with sudden hearing loss in my right ear since late April. I haven’t heard (get it?) the end of that story, but I’ll give you an update on my condition and the condition of healthcare in America when I do. Actually, I’m sure most of you are aware of the condition of healthcare in America, and none of us know when we’ll hear the end of that story.

In case you haven’t noticed, blog posts have been shorter in recent weeks. I’ve also been late responding to comments and I’ve skipped a bunch of posts in my inbox. I am starting to catch up. I have a slew of posts in my drafts folder, a pile of pictures in Lightroom and I’ve copied a couple of your URLs that might just inspire a post from me.

There are some interesting things I’d like to share about my mom, but this isn’t the time and I might come to realize that they are only interesting to me. Maddie will be back dragging me around the park in a week or so. Activity at No Facilities will get back to normal, which means posts will return to their usual length – sorry. Also, we haven’t been to the bar recently, but we will be heading back soon.

That is all.

Posted in Family, SoCS | Tagged , , , , | 93 Comments

Thursday Doors – St. Augustine Lighthouse

Welcome to St. Augustine Lighthouse!

As I mentioned yesterday, a brief meeting in St. Augustine, bracketed by flights in and out of Daytona Beach, FL left me with little time for sightseeing. I did manage to collect a bunch of photos that I will share at some point, but the highlight of my travel was touring the lighthouse in St. Augustine. I love lighthouses and this one is beautiful, well preserved and maintained, and includes a Light Keeper’s House and museum. It just doesn’t get any better.

Since I have way too many photos to share in any one blog post, I culled out the photos with doors in them to share in Thursday Doors.


Thursday Doors is a weekly gathering of the fleet of door aficionados from all over the world. Light Keeper, Norm Frampton lights the lamp Thursday morning and keeps it burning until noon Saturday. If you have a door to share, or just want to see some amazing doors, set sail for the official Thursday Doors lighthouse in Montreal. Once that’s in sight, look at Norm’s doors, then look for the blue frog. Click that tadpole to be guided safely into the harbor.

I’m going to quote some of the information from the Lighthouse history page. They’ve done a better job researching and writing than I could. I urge you to visit the page, as their history is more complete and I would absolutely urge you to visit the lighthouse if you’re ever in the area. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. It offers a rich collection of historic buildings, and a remarkable fort – you might need more than one day. According to the website:

“A Spanish watchtower, built in the late 1500’s was the predecessor of the present St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augustine is the site of the oldest, permanent aid to navigation in North America.”

The lighthouse is built with Alabama brick and, as you might have seen yesterday, iron stairs, railings and landings that were made in Philadelphia. The light is topped with a hand-blown, nine-foot-tall, Fresnel lens, that was constructed in Paris, France, and remains one of only a few such operating lenses in the United States.

“The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by visitors. At the top, the original, first order Fresnel lens still serves the beacon, but today is lit by a 1000 watt bulb, and maintained by the museum and volunteers. The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter… The Lighthouse is St. Augustine’s oldest surviving brick structure, and today the site is restored to colors and materials used in the year 1888.”

“In 1876, a brick light keeper’s house was added to the property, a triplex that held two families and a young, single, 2nd assistant keeper. Light keepers’ and their assistants lived and worked at the Light Station until the tower was automated in 1955.”

Standing guard over a coastline that is regularly subjected to high winds and punishing rain, the lighthouse had to be strong. That required strong doors and windows. As I stopped to catch my breath let others pass on my way up, I enjoyed a stiff cool breeze entering those windows. It occurred to me that, it wasn’t all that windy a day. But, the higher I climbed, the more the wind made its presence known.

The light keepers home was a wonderful tour in and of itself. I will put together a post about that later, but I’m including the door photos here. I’ll stop yammering now, and offer the gallery of photos. Click on any one to begin a slide show. I have added captions to further explain some of the cool things that I saw on the tour.

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 81 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday – Exercise

St. Augustine Lighthouse

I once worked with a man who was a self-proclaimed exercise guru. He worked out regularly at a gym, and discussed his workout routine, if you were interested. I’d heard the stories and I was well-aware of the machines he used, including, the Stair Master.

One day, we were coming into the office together. I didn’t realize that he had split off from me, as I was on my way to the staircase, so that he could take the elevator. When we met again on the 3rd floor, I asked him why he didn’t take the stairs. He said:

Real stairs don’t count!

The timing of that comment helped it to live on in our family. At the time, I was adding a second floor to our house. I was routinely schlepping stuff up and down a ladder, working off a ladder and working off staging that required climbing a ladder for access. When my wife would see me trudging back up, she would often say: “Too bad that isn’t exercise.” We share that comment back and forth to this day.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to St. Augustine from Daytona Beach. Cheryl, yes, the real Cheryl, the one who moonlights in my bar on certain Saturdays, had suggested I take the coast highway instead of the Interstate. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I had enough to swing by and tour the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I’m not going to share much information about the lighthouse today, and I’m not sharing all the photos – because it has doors, hint, hint – but I will mention that is has 219 steps and I climbed them all. To which my wife said:

Too bad they don’t count!

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants.

Posted in One Line Wed, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 65 Comments

Mystery Blogger Award

Huh? Dan doesn’t do awards. Well, truth be told, Dan almost always does plans to thinks about doing wishes he had done – Oh, who am I kidding, Dan doesn’t do awards. So, why on earth is the first and likely only award I’m ever going to deal with, is one where I was nominated by a young woman, Emily Susanne, whose tag line is:

“Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion”

I mean the God part works for me, but the rest is a bit off the mark.

Emily writes “Fearfully Wonderfully Me.” I think I met Emily when I was hosting Just-Jot-January for Linda G. Hill, and I think I was attracted to her blog by the title. Since the format of this award is similar to others, I thought I could satisfy a bunch of them in one post. I’ll put all the rules and junk at the bottom, or, better yet, go read Emily’s blog. She has all that stuff listed. See, this is why I don’t do awards, I stink at following directions.

Anyway, I’m supposed to tell you three things about myself. Well, these won’t surprise anyone, but here we go:

1) I am married. I have a lovely/loving wife, a beautiful daughter who is on her own, and my wife and I share our house with two Tuxedo cats and one dopey Irish Setter.

2) I enjoy photography, woodworking, cranes, trains and planes and I like riding my bike (the pedal kind).

3) I was born, raised, educated in and permanently aligned with the sports teams of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Let’s Go Pens!

Now, I have to answer Emily’s five questions:

1. Would you rather skydive or bungee jump (if you had to choose)?

I’m going to go with neither. I like stable platforms on which to stand and in which to travel. I guess, if I was in a plane that was going to crash, I’d try a parachute. How’s that?

2. Name a pet peeve of yours.

“A pet peeve?” I guess that means one. OK, I’m going to go with “when people are mean.” That covers a lot of ground, but if you’re being mean, to people, animals, the earth, God or yourself, I’m not happy with you.

3. What do you like to do to relax?

Of all the things I like to do, writing is the thing that helps me relax. People often comment that I’m organized and dedicated to this writing stuff – me, organized? – but it’s a selfish pursuit.

4. What is something you’ve learned over this past year?

The plural of dilemma is dilemmata. Seriously, I have a draft blog post of the stuff I’ve learned this year, and that one of them. I learned that from Marian Allen. You can learn a bunch of stuff from her.

5. What’s your favorite summertime treat?

Ice cream. Specifically, a Flurry from The Dairy Cream in Windsor Locks, made with chocolate soft-serve and chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Here’s where I’m supposed to nominate 10 – 20 of you. I know that a lot of you don’t do awards, so I’ll offer five questions as a writing prompt. Do the award, do the questions – your choice. As Linda would say, “have fun!” Before I get to that, I want to thank Emily. I like her blog, I sometimes skip the fashion tips, although I do need to learn how to accessorize better. OK, here are your five questions:

1) If you’re no longer living where you were born, would you like to return? If you are living there, have you ever thought about moving?

2) Coke or Pepsi?

3) Continuing Emily’s theme a bit, what’s one thing you hope to learn in 2017?

4) How much money would I have to offer to get you to do an Algebra word problem in front of a live audience?

5) What was the last natural disaster that you were affected by? (None is an acceptable answer, and you’ve lived a magical life).

Comments are enabled today, but I will be very late in responding. As always, thanks so much for stopping by No Facilities. By the way, the Gallery might be a bit of a mystery – I’ll explain at some point.

Posted in Awards, Blogging, Prompt | Tagged , , , , | 52 Comments