When I was growing up, we lived across the street from an undeveloped area we called "the woods." It was really just a couple hundred acres of undeveloped property bordered on three sides by a neighborhood and the forth by a major street. But it had heavy enough vegetation made up of trees, vines, brambles and poison-ivy to make any kid feel a million miles away from civilization. We would cut trails, build "forts", make treehouses that were the nightmares of OSHA and our parents. It was great. Back in there was the remains of something. I don't know if it was a one-time hunting cabin, or maybe a very small barn. It has gotten fogged up in my memories, but it was definitely a structure. Larger than a garage but smaller than a house. One story, dirt floor and falling down. It wasn't near any roads, paths or anything. It still fascinates me. Who built it. Did someone once live there? What stories did it hold. It was in too bad shape even for the youthfully stupid and adventurous like I was to try to make it into a "fort" or play-place. We cut trails by it, but never went in. When I checked back a few years ago, the "woods" were gone, replaced by the neighborhood expansion, clipped yards and imposing cookie-cutter houses. The kids living there no doubt now having their adventures in virtual worlds of X-Boxes and PS2's. Oh well.
Thus began my fascination with places and things abandoned in place. Roads, buildings, cars, sunken ships, archeology (my college minor)...it doesn't matter. Oh the stories... To be honest, we could sadly include people--especially the elderly, the poor, the homeless, the orphaned, as well as those in the third world as abandoned in place (sociology--my college major) in too many instances to be comfortable as well. Let's save that for another blog posting.
I came across an interesting website that outlines highway development in Texas. There are lots of pictures and such about abandoned roads. A new update shows the burned out bridge to East Orange-Old US90. Who drove across it? Who made the decision to leave it there and just move on with a new one in a different location?
Here are some pictures of NASA space facilities that were also abandoned. Wow. (Side note--Google now maps the moon!). In one NASA storage room, they found some abandoned space-spy suits. One was numbered 007. More abandoned places pictures. How about an abandoned asylum? Nice collection of images at the Lost Destinations website.
On a visit to Galveston, Texas as a kid, I remember seeing a strange ship in the bay. Turns out it was an abandoned concrete-ship called the S.S Selma. More pictures of the Selma. I had all kinds of wild spy headquarters possibilities for it that were no doubt fed by the James Bond movie (The Man with the Golden Gun) where they had an ops center hidden in the sunken hulk of the RMS Queen Elizabeth out in the Hong Kong bay. (It has since been salvaged.)
Just got done updating to Firefox 1.0.6. I just put 1.0.5 on this weekend. Something about some code problems with the extensions. I really like and trust Firefox. It is not perfect, but I like the fact they come out with patches pretty soon after problems are found.
Cool keyboard. This has to be totally awesome. Except for the planned MSRP. Oh well.
Beware e-mails with links to on-line greeting cards. Clicking on links in e-mails is always dangerous if you don't know the sender. Bad things can happen--virus, trojans, malware--oh my!
Passings: James Doohan, best known as the chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise passed away. Gerry Thomas--the man who brought us TV dinners has left us. The multi-talented woman who composed "I'm in the Mood for Love," Dorothy Fields also left us last week.
See you in the skies.