Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Bad Sex Might be a Punishable Offense

A 50-year-old woman in Palmetto, Florida was taken into custody a few days ago for beating her male lover, aged 32, with a stick.  She also threatened to continue the punishment with a pipe wrench.  Fortunately for the man, Jiiberto Deleon, a witness to the beating called the sheriff’s department and officers were dispatched to the scene to rescue him.
Mr. Deleon apparently enraged the woman by leaving her sexually unsatisfied after a tryst of sorts.  While this kind of thing might normally result in a bruised ego, Mr. Deleon’s performance was apparently unremarkable enough to warrant corporal punishment.  Unfortunately for Jennie Scott, the woman who administered the beating, the laws in Florida have no statutes related to bad sex and she was seen as the wrongdoer.
An opportunity for a new law, perhaps?  
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Noah’s Ark Found!

Noah’s Ark has been found.  In fact it has been found on many occasions and in a variety of locations.  Most excitingly, Robert Ballard—the famed undersea explorer who tirelessly sought and eventually discovered the wreckage of the Titanic—is scheduled to discover the Ark again at the bottom of the Black Sea sometime within the next year or so.  At least that is what many hopeful observers are claiming.

To date, here are a few of the places where the Ark has been discovered: Mount Ararat (Turkey), Mount Suleiman (Iran), Mount Judi (Turkey), Sabalan Peak (Iran), an undisclosed location in Iran’s Elburz mountain range, and so on.
Here are a few pictures of the ark that may surface if you search the internet:

Robert Ballard, along with a host of other folks, is convinced that a catastrophic flood occurred sometime near 5000 BCE.   This particular flood crashed through the land mass separating the Black Sea (then a freshwater lake) from the Mediterranean Ocean.  In this scenario, the Black Sea became part of the ocean and a land mass something near 58,000 square miles in size (the equivalent of Illinois) flooded in a sweeping catastrophic event.  Clearly, from the perspective of the people living there at that time, this would have been seen as the whole earth flooding. This seems to match the time frame in which a host of cultures developed the story of a world-engulfing flood.  The same story expressed in the Biblical account of Noah.
The flooding in this scenario would have been triggered by rising seas as a result of the end of the last ice age which saw glaciers receding about 12,000 years ago.  The flood itself would have occurred 7,000 years ago.  Some geologists see evidence that the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea did at some point join together, though there is no clear consensus on the abruptness of the event.  Interestingly, Robert Ballard never really says that he is looking for Noah’s Ark as he now explores the depths of the Black Sea for evidence.  He says only that he is looking for evidence that a flood occurred.  Generally, the media types interviewing Mr. Ballard are the ones suggesting that he is looking for the ark.
Ballard has, in fact, found artifacts dating back 7000 years at the depths of the Black Sea. 
Stories about an ancient and catastrophic deluge persist in most cultures.  There seems some evidence of such flooding in various places around the world.  My house, in fact, sits atop a diluvial plain formed by a 10,000 year-old flood that saw lovely stones, gold, and sapphires washed down from the mountains all around me.  Additionally, some 12,000 years ago, much of western Montana lay beneath water nearly 2,000 feet deep—Glacial Lake Missoula—formed at the close of the last ice age when ice dammed the Clark Fork River just as it entered what is now Idaho.  The dam reached a height of over 2,000 feet and eventually ruptured to create a flood that changed the landscapes downstream and carried some boulders as big as cars (caught in ice rafts) 500 miles before depositing them in otherwise open places.        
The Ark?
That is another single beast yet to be saved from a flood of speculation.     
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Aspen Trees Rake Clouds from the Sky

In the early years of this century people in the Rocky Mountains of Arizona, Colorado, and Utah began to notice that aspen trees were dying-off wholesale.  Surveys in some lower elevation forests revealed a loss of 90% of the aspen trees between the years of 2000 and 2007.  Alarmed by the loss of the trees—some of which have formed huge groups or “clones” of genetically identical trees—foresters began to investigate what is now called SAD (sudden aspen decline).  SAD has afflicted clones that cover many dozens of acres and have thrived for thousands of years.  These clones are considered the largest organisms on the planet.
Following intensive research, foresters determined that SAD is the result of hydraulic failure.  Essentially, the aspen are developing embolisms (the quaking aspen equivalent of a blood clot) in the internal vessels that carry water up from the roots to the branches and whispering leaves.  The hydraulic failure is the result of stress attributed to the severe drought which afflicted the American West at the same time that people began to notice aspen decline.  If the predictive weather and moisture models for the West hold true, severe drought may become the new normal.  Aspens will die.
Climate change?
Maybe so.
Yesterday, Ariel Murphy and I drove up into the snowbound Alice Creek drainage to visit her favorite aspen grove.  The trees are very much alive, though wintering.  We stood amid bluish snow drifts and watched them rake clouds from the sky for a while.  Before we left, I stepped into the clone and took a picture of a patch of blue sky islanded in the flow of clouds above.
--Mitchell Hegman 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Liberal versus Conservative

Item or Precept
Donald Duck
Should be allowed to remove his shirt since he is not wearing any pants or underwear now
Needs to speak English not Duck
Eat nuts
Are nuts
Immigration policy
Provides vital diversity and Pierce Brosnan is super nice
Immigration gave us Piers Morgan and we need to send him back to Britain
Daffy Duck
A naked duck is better than no duck
What kind of a duck is a black duck?
Global warming
Please call it climate change
Is an opportunity to sell more ice cream and tank-tops
Equal opportunity
For job-seekers
Did you know that some male ducks grow genitalia as long as their bodies?
After you shoot

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Computers Crashing (into Poetry)

Charles Babbage, a 19th Century British genius,  is credited with inspiring, if not inventing a blueprint for the modern-day computer with his work on what he called a ”difference engine.”  The difference engine was, essentially, the first attempt at a mechanical calculator—this one powered by cranking a handle.  Similar to many men of genius, Babbage was keenly interested in a wide range of scientific endeavor, including the study of cryptanalysis.  He enjoyed working through ciphers and code-breaking problems.  Challenged in 1854 to break a cipher invented by one of his contemporaries, he did so with startling ease, discovering the document presented to him to be a poem entitled The Vision of Sin, by Alfred Tennyson, yet another contemporary.
Babbage, in his typical eccentric fashion, not only broke the code (cipher)—he also took issue with the logic of the poem.  As a statistician and compiler of mortality tables, Babbage winced at the last lines:
 Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment one is born.

Babbage wrote a letter in reply in which he offered a correction for the great poet:
“It must be manifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill…I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem you have it read—‘Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1-1/16 is born.’ …The actual figure is so long I cannot get it onto a line, but I believe the figure 1-1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.”
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas from the NRA and Merry Christmas from Mitch

Santa photo thanks to  All other Photos and graphics by Mitch
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yet another List

Here are two cryptic lists I just found while sorting through some old paperwork.  I am unsure who penned the lists.  When I first read them I was struck by their poetic leanings.  All of the colors are flavors.  The seeds drift from common names to abstraction:   
caramel cream

weird white things
bulbs to dig

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Reason Andy was Incarcerated that Night

Andy’s buddy pumped a single bullet into his own face—the end result of a hard life filled with booze and drugs and everyone walking away.  A passerby found his lifeless form sprawled alongside the road at the very edge of the Elkhorn Mountains south of East Helena.
Andy, though he really did not wish to, attended the funeral services.  He did not like the weird music.  Mostly, he did not like the veil laid over the dead man’s face.  Though he knew better, Andy lifted that veil to see his dear friend. 
Some of us do not go quietly.   Some of us dance off the edge, some leap, some claw the whole way down.  And when Andy peeked under the cloth, he did not see his friend.  He saw chaos.  He saw sea ships firing shells onto burning lands.  He saw a single, rider-less horse, galloping across a smoky plain.
Andy went out drinking after that.  He went to one of those bars we direct most people away from—the sort of bar where you might make a fast deal on illegal drugs, where you can buy and hawk stolen goods openly.  He drank a lot.  He pushed people from their barstools and then swung the stools around.  He made threats to strangers.  He hugged and kissed his friends.  Hugged and kissed men.
I imagine Andy thinking his face was burning the whole time, burning hot as desert sand under the high sun; his fists burning, his mind finally grasping how life is sometimes the art of just barely hanging on.
One day, years later, Andy jumped from the cliff.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, December 22, 2012

End of the World

I forgot that the world ended yesterday and woke up today anyhow.  I am not sure how I managed to get so busy that I allowed the end of the world to pass me by.  Somehow, we even managed to squeeze in a Third Element (new business venture) Christmas party last night.
Interestingly, this particular end-of-the-world panic found basis in the Mayan calendar.  The Mayans—a fairly advanced pyramid-building civilization—thrived in Mesoamerica from 2,600 BCE to something near 900 AD.  The Mayans thought the numbers 13 and 20 to be sacred.  They also produced accurate calendars that listed solar system events such as the alignment of planets rather than the birthdays of Presidents and National Potato Day.
Some thought that the Mayan calendar predicted the world end on December 21, 2012—the shortest day of the year. 
That’s right: yesterday.
Apparently, some people dug shelters underground in preparation for the day.  Others formed support groups and stocked dry goods away.  I few months ago, during a moment of weakness, I purchased a few hundred extra zip-close sandwich bags. 
Well—we made it past another in a long line of end-of-the-world days.  I am not sure if another has been scheduled yet by any notable group.  The last really interesting end-of-the-world prediction and movement of any import was fashioned by the Church Universal and Triumphant right here in Montana.  The Church Universal built a system of fallout shelters on a ranch near Yellowstone Park and prepared for an end by means of nuclear war on the date of April 23, 1990.  A few famous folks threw in on that, including a member of the Australian rock band Men at Work.
I don’t recall what I did on the day the world ended in 1990.  Maybe I should track that sort of thing a bit more diligently.  Below is a photo of the Mayan calendar.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hoar Frost

Two photographs I snapped last week on one of my drives into Helena.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rum and Coke

In this crazy dream, I found myself toasting the president of the United States of America, who just so happened to be an alligator named Bob.  The vice president was a fish of some kind.  I thanked the president for pushing Congress to pass a law that would make it illegal to write any more country songs with lyrics including any reference to “my daddy.”   While this seemed a fairly restrictive law, perhaps, verging on the fringe of unconstitutionality, I raised my glass and drank down my rum and Coke, pondering what might happen if someone assassinated our alligator and forced our fish into the presidency.  At some point, I awakened to a cat walking across my chest.  Somewhat startled from leaping from one perception to another in an instant, I thought: “Dear God, the absurdity…to even imagine me drinking rum and Coke!”
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Right to Work

I recall shopping for paint with my wife many years ago.  “I like white,” I informed her at the outset.  She agreed that we could choose white so long as it had—as she termed it—a little color.  After arriving at the paint section of a hardware store, I began to look through the white sample chips. Not two or three varieties of white—I saw dozens.  I stopped looking when I found one named “Distant Thunder.”
“Found it!” I called to my wife.  “Distant Thunder!  That’s exactly what I want.”
We bought a few gallons of Distant Thunder.
Though the paint seemed as white as the chips nearby, I like the name and mostly purchased on that basis.
“Right-to-work” laws are of the same ilk as Distant Thunder.  The name is really the only selling point.  When you hear something about right to work you think “Geez, everybody deserves the right to work.”  But behind the name is just plain old white paint, if not something less that.
Right-to-work laws are outgrowths of the Taft-Hartley Act, passed by Congress overtop a Harry S. Truman veto.  Taft-Hartley essentially provided means to dismantle “closed shops” where membership in a union was required as a requisite term of employment. Prior to the passage of right-to-work laws, you always had the right to work for whoever would hire you, but if the shop you wanted to work for was unionized you needed to become a member of the union.  Following the passage of right-to-work legislation, you could go to work for a union shop without paying dues and becoming a member of the union. 
Honestly, that is about the thrust of right-to-work.  You will still be required to abide by all the laws and restrictions laid down by employer.  Such laws are of no help in providing “rights’ in that regard.  So far as the unions are concerned, right-to-work forces freeloaders onto them.  Even if an employee is not a dues-paying member by choice, the union is still obligated to bargain for his wages and benefits and represent him in any grievance brought against them by the employer.
Why would someone wish to freeload in a union shop?  That’s pretty easy.  Generally—thanks to the efforts of the union—wages, benefits, and conditions are better than in similar non-organized shops.  As a final note, nobody, not even proponents of right-to-work, disputes that wages are lower in states operating under right-to-work legislation. 
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dreams of Danger

There is a kind of dream that is perpetually the same.   The details and the setting might vary, but the whole dream, the nightmare, pivots on fear.  Something is after you!  Whether chased by a lion and leaping headlong into water, careening around a curve in a car while pursued by men with guns, or bursting through a door while a swarm of yellow jackets churn around you—you awaken with a gasping lurch. 
Late last night I awakened with such a lurch, braced for catastrophe.  Oddly, I could not vividly recall what horror propelled me to my fearful, awakened state.  The nearest panicky experience that might compare to this to in my waking world is one that occurs on occasion while I am working.  The dangers of my work as an electrician are certainly real.  Though fall accidents and receiving an electric shock are obvious dangers, the most lethal accidents are arc blast incidents.  These often do not involve electric shock at all.
Arc blast (commonly called arc flash) incidents occur at the points in electrical circuits where ground faults or short circuits appear.   The explosive forces are determined by the available fault-current amperage for any certain point on an electrical system and escalate in an exponential fashion the nearer they get to the point of electrical service from the power provider.  If, as an illustration, we thought of the available current flow at a wall receptacle as an equivalent of the flow of water from an open garden hose, the flow available at the service panel would then compare to a fully opened fire hydrant.  The fault currents available at the nearest office building service might be a waterfall.
But this is not cool water pouring out from our electrical circuits.  The temperatures reached at the point of fault are hotter than those reached on the surface of the sun.  Metal vaporizes and spews forth.  Sparks and smaller parts eject from the faulted equipment like stray bullets.  Magnetic forces and sound waves ripple outward.   People sometimes perish at these points without ever having received an electric shock.
On a few occasions, while punching holes for conduits in the top of live electrical service equipment enclosures, I have inadvertently created instants like those when I wake from my nearly-caught dreams.  On those occasions, my drill has suddenly twisted through the metal and dragged me nearly inside, and then, just as I brace to stop, the metal bit releases from the drill and falls free inside the live equipment.
Stop here.                                                             
Inside the equipment 70,000 amps crouch, waiting to release should the bit fall across live bussing or exposed lugs.  Consider: a fraction of a single amp is enough to kill by contact.  20,000 amps can launch me into orbit.  My drill bit might trigger an explosive fault.
For an instant, I freeze.  In less than a second, I will either be surrounded by silence or sprawled across sizzling ruins.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, December 17, 2012

Space for UFOs

The question is not whether UFOs exist.  The question is this:  If UFOs do exist; will they require special parking spaces once they start landing here—and, if so, how many? 
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Standing at my bay window in the warming and full winter sun feels like a kiss from head to toe.

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, December 15, 2012


A photograph I captured yesterday of a spider web that had collected frost during the cold of our winter’s night.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, December 14, 2012

Parallel Universes

If any parallel universes exist where all sorts of laws of nature and behavioral patterns are reversed, do you suppose we might chance up one where the children are scurrying all over the place with pictures of missing milk cartons printed on their clothing?
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, December 13, 2012


One man shouting out his litany of objections in the wilderness is not a political movement, but it is certainly annoying if you are out there trying to sleep.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


So long as your intent is noble, there is no such thing as wasted effort.  Even in failing to accomplish a noble gesture—say, turning around your automobile to help someone changing a tire alongside the road only to find that someone else has stopped to do the same—will at least have the result of uplifting you.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skiffs Gather

A recent cold snap refroze Lake Helena and then delivered a scattering of fairy-dust snow.  As I drove alongside Lake Helena on my way home last night, the patterns of skiffs gathered on the ice of the east shore caught my attention.  Posted below are two photographs I snapped of the skiffs.

--Mitchell Hegman 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Open Lakes Eat the Falling Snow; Mountains Eat the Falling Sun

I sit here with my 40 pounds of housecat and nary a thought worth having.
Not much to report.
Only this: Open lakes eat the falling snow; mountains eat the falling Sun.
-Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Keys and Wine Bottles

As a young boy, I spent a fair amount of time rooting around the weediest yards of my neighborhood.  Typically, I was looking for interesting bugs or just about anything shiny that I might carry away in my pocket.  Immediately beyond our neighborhood, back in a mostly undeveloped place that we called “the grove,” Grover Jones lived in squalor.  I liked his yard best of all.
Cottonwood suckers and current bushes had volunteered right next to Grover’s paint-peel home.  Horseradish and rhubarb grew unchecked.  Best of all, for probably the last thirty years of his life, Grover Jones stopped hauling his garbage to the local dump.  Instead, he flung everything he discarded out the front and side door.  I used to go there mostly to collect the “keys” from discarded sardine cans.  Grover Jones ate an inordinate amount of sardines.  The keys were used to peel the cans open in the days before the invention of flip-top cans.   I collected all manner of keys, including those.
 Photo thanks to: You’ll Eat & Like It
As I dug through the heaps of garbage that Grover had thrown from his home, I was most stuck by the number of wine bottles.  Grover Jones drank a lot of wine.  I could not fathom all of that as I waded through the bottles.
Yesterday, as I looked at my old face in the mirror, I thought about how heavy with beer and wine bottles my trash liner was when I pulled it from the can under my sink in the morning.  The clinking of the bottles reminded me of those days outside Grover’s house.  And for the first time in my life I felt I understood Grover Jones.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mostly Illegible Notes on a Scrap of Cardboard

For some reason, while roughly half-way through his third Red Stripe beer last night, Kevin thought we might be well served to document on paper anything of interest that came up during our conversation.  Seemed reasonable to me.  Unable to readily locate a decent-sized piece of paper, I grabbed a chunk of cardboard and a pen.  We drank.  We talked.  We wrote.
I woke late this morning to fresh snow outside, Kevin sprawled across my sofa (fully clothed, thank you), my 40 pounds of cat sniveling, and the scrap of cardboard on my kitchen countertop.
Here are a few selections from our writings—all standing as written:
·         Who is keeping score on the other side?
·         Mitchal His a punctu (illegible scribbles)
·         No, we are not watching porn, we are listening to porn.  (porn = music?)
·         Watch out for that trout.
·         (Illegible) song (illegible) powerful.
In the light of a new day, our idea of jotting down our thoughts seems a bit less brilliant than we first suspected.   Here is a photo of the cardboard:
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jennifer Aniston Nude—Click here!

This has been a test of your perversion response.  On a scale graduated from 1 to 10, where 10 is the maximum, you have achieved a 9.  Your rating of 9 resulted from your willingness to be enticed to click on a lead without suggestive photographs included.   To score a perfect 10, you would need to be the talk show host Howard Stern.
And, by the way:
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Line

I believe that yesterday morning I crossed one of those lines you always hear about.  You know, when someone says, “Whoa, dude, I think you just crossed the line!”
Okay, here is the deal.  Straight up.  No frills.
Yesterday morning, I took my laptop computer into the bathroom with me so that I might continue emailing and catching up on news as I...well…I shall spare you most details, other than to say that Steve Jobs having a conversation with Bill Gates on YouTube might play better in the living room or den while you are not under any form of duress.
Dude, I think I crossed the line.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Today I am posting another abstract photograph of the lightplay on the curtains in the spare bedroom of my house.  I have taken dozens upon dozens of photographs of the curtains over the years.  The curtains have become one of my favorite subjects.

--Mitchell Hegman

One Thing

In the battle squaring the environment against bank accounts, only one thing is certain—banks offer quarterly interest.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Have 68 Friends

According to Facebook, I have precisely 68 friends.  Actually, I am not sure that is accurate, either.  Should I count my girlfriend?  What about family?
If girlfriends can be counted when they are hot-looking, way intelligent and obsessed with dancing…then I shall count mine.  Family is in as well—just because I want to.   So far as I am concerned, everyone counts.
My count remains at 68.
I have had three people unfriend me.  I think one of them thought I was somebody else—Mel Gibson, perhaps.  Another was a “friend collector.”  Friend collectors send out zillions of friend requests and have races with other friend collectors to see who gets the most friends by a certain date.  I didn’t mind about that.  If I remember correctly, she was my tenth friend.  Sometimes, just being there is good enough.
The third person to unfriend me got mad for some reason.  I am sorry about that one.
Some people I know have, literally, thousands of friends.   Not me.  I am content with my 68 good friends.      
—Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Digital Clock

I wake to blue-black darkness and glance at the digital clock beside my bed.  The clock reads eleven-eighty-one.
I blink, rub my eyes, and look at the clock a second time.
I always knew that my life would someday come to this.
---Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Small Business

Working for a small, well-organized business has its advantages, although working for a small, well-organized business is not one of them.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, November 30, 2012

Good Example

I think that never allowing yourself to die might set a pretty good example.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Predawn, November 28, 2012

For the last two days, I have driven to work in total blue under a full moon.  Sky, lakes, land—everything bathed in blue until sunlight finally appeared as a tiara on the Spokane Bench and spilled more colors across the valley floor.
Yesterday I stopped on my drive into town and captured the pictures I have posted today.
--Mitchell Hegman 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I have conceivably asked Dan thousands of questions over the last twenty-five or so years.  Dan might suggest that I have asked hundreds in a single day.  Dan, you see, works at Crescent Electric, an electrical supply house that I have frequented for most of my career as an electrician.  And he is a dear friend.   Let me give you an example of a typical phone conversation we might have had:
ME:  Danno!  Hey. Got some questions.
DAN:  Oh, boy…
ME:   Do you guys have any 3-sided, 8-phase, 6-throw, brown or black micro-widgets?
DAN:  What voltage?
ME:  Oh, yeah, forgot that part.  I need 120 volts.
DAN (working from memory):  That is a QW-3776.  None here.  Two in Kalispell.  One in Tallahassee, Florida.  145 of them in Mombasa.
ME:  Where is Mombasa?
DAN:  Second largest city in Kenya.  We opened a branch there four months ago.  They are big on industrial supplies. Flies are driving them crazy this year. 
ME:  Really?
DAN:  Yep.  And, don’t forget, the 82300 multi-zinger you ordered came in the other day.
ME:  Oh, yeah.  Why did I order that?
DAN:  For the bank job.
ME:  Right.  Got it.  Well, geez, I need one of them QB…QS…Q-whatevers right away!  What else can I do?
DAN:  An RT-5667 FISCO will work if you flip the orange and purple leads and then hit the reset button after you energize it the first time.
ME:  I’m not sure…  Sounds complicated.  What do you think?
DAN:  I can walk you through it over the phone.
ME:  Sweet, order three of them for me.  You ready for the rest of my order?
DAN:  Nope.  Not ever.
That might be pretty typical of a conversation between us.
So, yesterday, I walked into Crescent Electric to (wait for it…wait for it…wait for it) ask some questions, but Dan beats me to the quick.
“Hey,” he asks, “when are we gonna be in your blog?”
A good question.
--Mitchell Hegman