Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Ice Forest at my Feet

Nature tends to use the same building blocks and patterns over and over again.  The splay of rivers and streams over a broad plain looks identical to the splay of veins on a broad leaf plucked from any tree.  Some sea anemone might easily be mistaken for a carnation flower but for their location.    The crystalline structures of metals and stone are not so different from the crystals formed by water as it freezes.
The order of crystals that transforms water into the ice we see begins at the atomic level.  In turn these small atomic structures assemble themselves into bigger symmetrical structures.  Those structures then stack into yet larger orderly forms.  Looking back down inside ice and frost is rather like opening a set of wooden Russian Matryoshka dolls where a smaller doll is found inside the bigger doll.  Inside that doll is yet another.  And inside the second doll is a third—on down to the very tiniest doll inside that seeded the climb to the biggest, spectacular one.
The ice crystals, bent and shaped by the elements around us as they steadily gather, in addition to making snow, may assemble into windows, castles and all manner of  intricate arrangements of frost.
Moreover, the larger forms assembled by communities of living cells and assemblages of lifeless minerals and compounds quite often paint the very same picture—though one is alive and the other is not.   As a perfect illustration, I am posting photographs I snapped of ice formations I found on my concrete driveway early yesterday morning. 
Is that not a bunch of grasses?  Is that not a forest of gracefully bowed trees?
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Unfortunate Reasons for Becoming Famous

Yesterday, I listed a few reasons for becoming famous that I would rather enjoy.  Here is a partial list of things for which I would not want to become famous (more likely infamous):
— becoming famous for developing duck flavored ice cream.
— becoming famous because your girlfriend declined your proposal for marriage during a live halftime presentation at the Super Bowl.
— becoming famous for anything having to do with mayonnaise or your affiliation with the Communist Party.
— becoming famous for being famous.
— becoming famous for being the first human carrier of a disease that can only be contracted by having sex with a dog a monkey and a goldfish at the same time.
— becoming famous for lowering anyone’s wages.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Valid Reasons for Becoming Famous

After watching other people become famous for everything from saving the life of another person by beating-up a charging shark to becoming famous for eating light bulbs and carpentry nails, I decided to compile a list of reasons for which I might happily become famous.  Here is a partial list of reasons for which I might enjoy achieving fame:
— becoming famous for finding a way to prepare duck so it tastes like edible food.
— becoming famous for dating George Clooney’s ex-girlfriend—after stealing her from Tom Cruise.
— becoming famous for being the very first successful brain transplant recipient.
— becoming famous for training house cats to accurately prepare federal tax documents.  NOTE: my cats are not terribly accurate but I am trying.
— becoming famous for creating a television advertising blitz more annoying than the old Ginsu knife commercials.
— becoming famous for any kind of generosity.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Random Thought

Whatever happened to that skinny, overly-loud man from New Zealand who rode an old pipe-frame boy’s bike twelve miles down from the mountains to work in town and studied holistic medicine here in what he referred to as “the States?”   I rather miss talking with him and having him repeat everything twice due to his funny accent.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, October 26, 2013

An Audience of One

I posted my very first blog entry on January 3, 2010.  I am not really sure why I started the blog—at least at this late point I no longer recall.  Likely, the whole thing is an outgrowth of my natural stupidity.   I am now somewhat addicted to writing blog entries.  I often find myself approaching panic mode if have no blog to post in the morning. 
When I first started the blog I did not have what you might call a readership.  I primarily had an audience of one: my wife.  I typically forced her to go read my blog postings so that they did not languish there—never once seeing the circuits of another machine and they eyes of another person.  I began with weekly postings.  Somewhere following the passing of my wife I began to post daily.
Thanks to all of you that take a moment from your day to see what grows in my garden.  Thanks to all loved ones and friends.
Today, I thought I would post one of my lonely blogs, a blog that, according to my dashboard, has had only two hits after floating around out there in blue space for over two years.  Here is the blog:
A Simple Fact
I cannot move on by placing one foot behind the other…though surely I have been trying.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, October 25, 2013


Just one question: Do we really require a brand sticker on every banana in the bunch?
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The History of Forgetting

The history of forgetting is long and filled with…with…uhhh…something-or-other.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Though Liztomania sounds like a country that may be placed squarely between Romania and Serbia, the word is really a precursor to Beatlemania or perhaps Justin Biebermania (if such a thing exists).  The name was given to the fervor associated with the famous Hungarian pianist (later turned composer) Franz Liszt. 
Back in the day, Franz pretty much tore it up.
The day—even if you are not enquiring—would have been in the 1840s.  Liszt was then a pianist in the prime of his life.  I bring all of this to light on the occasion that yesterday happened to be the 202nd birthday of Franz Liszt.
Here is the thing (my apologies to any Lisztomanics yet out there), Franz Liszt has a (here it comes) liszt of contributions that he brought to the performance arts.
Franz Liszt was, literally, the world’s first music superstar.  At the peak of Lisztomania, women fought to garner his gloves or any other personal articles.  Some reports have women throwing their own articles of clothing onto the stage while he performed.   Liszt made so much money touring throughout Europe during his prime he gave away much of his income in later years to various charities.  He is even credited with inventing the term “recital.”
Franz Liszt, in a spark of brilliant showmanship, turned his piano to sit on profile with respect to the audience so that they could see his face and hands as he played.  He was the first person to regularly play music from memory rather than from scores.  While performing, he swayed and fluttered his hands in drama.  Franz tossed his shoulder-length hair back and forth.  He was the first performer to stride out and take his place on the stage at the beginning of a concert and once there, the audience soon fell into what seemed a spell—a spell created by the power of his total commitment to the performance.  Some consider him the best pianist that ever lived. 
And then, while in his 30s, Franz Liszt walked away from the spotlight and the fame to concentrate on composition and conducting.
--Mitchell Hegman    

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Underneath the Love

Underneath the love and all the moonlight we are merely bones dancing through the night.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wing Beats and Heart Beats

In the calm and quiet of yesterday morning I could hear every wingbeat of chickadees as they twirled overtop me while I soaked in my hot tub.  The lake below lay still and smooth as water inside a closed bottle.  The sky so vividly blue a trout might mistake it for another kind of river.
I woke very early in the morning, rising from a dream of lying beside my wife.  For some reason I have been dreaming about her for the last week.  Dreams of her coal black hair caught in the sun.  Dreams of her smile as she walked toward me.  Dreams of us simply stretched alongside each other, talking.  Dreams of being young again. 
I have not really had such dreams since she passed over two years ago.   More importantly, the dreams have been decidedly pleasant.   I woke yesterday with a grin.  As Lord Byron said: “The heart will break, but broken live on.”
The heavy and solid sorrow has mostly gone from me now—replaced by quick knifes that stab deep and then fall away as the scent of lavender.
Healing?  I suppose that is so.
I have the birds to keep me now.  I have the Russian sage to press in my fingers and perfume the air.  I have my big girl in New York City.  I have my unbroken string heart beats.
--Mitchell Hegman  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Life (Altered View)

I was born a hollow sphere and lived my first full year in a cardboard box lined with soft cotton towels.  My parents once gave me a small dog.  I named the dog Automobile and fed him erasers so that he could not bark. 
I tied to fail at gravity so that I could float, but I never managed to fail.   
Much later, I purposely tapped together two live wires and invented my future in a shower of purple sparks.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Star Spangled Banner

I love music.  I particularly enjoy when an artist (or group) performs a song in a shockingly different way that connects with me.  Such is the case with the version of the National Anthem I am posting today.
I am not convinced that everyone will be pleased with this version, but for some reason I really like the intensity of this version. 
--Mitchell Hegman

Please click on this link if the video here does not launch:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fog Lifting From the Missouri River

Posted today is a photograph of the Missouri River and the bottoms where the river skirts the Big Belt Range.  I took the photograph while on a drive between Helena and Great Falls a few days ago.  Though not a particularly great photograph, I think the image adequately captures the drama of the autumn morning.  Most interesting is how the mist was not rising from the river where the valley opened in the Big Belt Mountains.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cynical Daily Affirmation #4

I have based my life and most important decisions upon my experience with and witness of those people around me.  You are someone who influenced me greatly.  You are the reason I opted not to have children.   
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cynical Daily Affirmation #3

I have always found your family interesting—that’s why I make a point to stop in and see them on visitation days at the prison.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cynical Daily Affirmation #2

From a distance you could be mistaken for someone good-looking.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cynical Daily Affirmation #1

We are all cut from the same cloth…it’s just that someone should have practiced a bit more with scissors before they started on you.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Singing Penis

Yesterday, I wrote about how a water boatman smacked into my face and then fell into the water as I sat soaking in my hot tub.  Once in the water, the bug quickly made a dive toward my private parts.  Though not overly interested in the thought of having sex with the bug, I wondered if I was having an encounter with a boy boatman or a girl boatman.  At the time, that seemed important to know.
After only a little research, I discovered there is a way to identify the males.  They make music with their penis.  More to the point, they are pound for micropound the loudest critters on the planet when they perform.
The male Micronecta scholtzi (Lesser Water Boatman) is capable of producing 99 decibels while rubbing his penis against his belly.  Just so that you understand how impressive that is, consider that a passing train whistle (at distance 500 feet) reaches only 90 decibels.  A chainsaw reaches about 90 decibels.  A full-blown rock concert, at 110 decibels, is only slightly louder.  All of this from a bug roughly the size of the nail on your pinky finger.  The sound itself is produced from an embarrassingly small penis that would be crushed by a grain of salt.
We don’t notice the song of the water boatman because the song is produced deep in the water of ponds and lakes.  Something near ninety-nine percent of the sound is lost in the water.  The chirping sound that eventually reaches our ears might be mistaken for any other variety of insect.  
  --Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Water Boatman in my Hot Tub

While soaking in my hot tub one pleasant evening this last week, a water boatman smacked into my face and fell into the water just below my chin.  Before I could react and scoop the creature out of my tub, the boatman swam down near my favorite body parts and began swirling about somewhat suggestively.  A couple of thoughts came to my mind immediately.
Can you pick which two of the following considerations occurred to me as I watched the boatman? 

A.      We don’t take your kind around these parts, well, especially around those parts.

B.     You may have met your match there.

C.     I wonder how you tell a girl boatman from a boy boatman?

D.    Well, you are pretty cute for a bug…

E.     I appreciate your ambition, but you are really not my type.

F.     I hope you are not thinking what I think you are thinking.

G.    I hope you are not thinking what I am thinking.

Just for your information, you can tell a boy boatman from a girl boatman by the way they sing. Male water boatmen are, as a point of fact, the loudest creature presently living on Earth.  They produce their great noise by rubbing their penis briskly.  I will reveal more about that in an upcoming blog.  Until then, if you picked “A” and “C” for my thoughts, you are correct.
Finally, I did manage to scoop the bug from my tub.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Right Person

Maybe you have met the right person for you when they are good-looking and give you a bunch of money.  I am guessing, though.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Twiddling My Thumbs Meets Andy Warhol

Here is what happens to perfectly innocent photo while I am watching The Voice on television.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Loneliness, Part IV

A single dandelion parasol lifts from a puff in the dry grasses of a meadow and floats away into a cloudless sky.  The solitary parasol continues lifting skyward, unnoticed by the songbirds that acrobat along the nearby fences or the hawks spiraling upward in late morning thermals.  At the very place where the hawks veer away to scour the landscapes below, the parasol dissolves against the sun without a whisper.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Awash in Colors

Yesterday morning brought forth another spectacular sunrise.  Though I was unable to capture a very interesting foreground, the sky was well worth collecting in digital form.  Today, I am positing a couple of my photographs.

--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Man Crushed to Death by Grapes

During one of perhaps three (relatively short-lived) sober bounces during his adult life, my father expressed to me his dismay that some people suggested he might be an alcoholic.  “How can I be an alcoholic?” He asked somewhat incredulously.  “I only drink beer.”
Obviously, he did not want me to answer that.  In my father’s mind, alcoholics drank whiskey directly from up-righted bottles.  Real drunks smashed wine bottles against alleyway bricks.  They were not successful contractors.  They did not live alongside beautiful rivers in Western Montana.
I thought about that conversation with my father as I read a Huffington Post article about a man in central Spain crushed to death by grapes last week during the annual harvest in the wine producing region of Castilla-La Mancha.  The man apparently fell into a grape reception bay at a winery just as a truck unloaded over five tons of grapes in the same receptor.
A weird and somewhat horrific end for that poor man.
Thing is, my father was similarly crushed by grapes—at least by beer hops—but one at a time.  The beer killed my father little by little—drunken tantrum by drunken tantrum.  Like a frog in water slowly coming to a boil, he did not recognize his own demise. 
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fog and Other Things

I woke to frost again this morning.  For the last few weeks the lake has been releasing fog in the early mornings.  Yesterday afternoon, as I drove along empty fields, many now cleared of their last cutting of alpha and Timothy, I encountered huge flocks of starlings shoaling back and forth across the highway and dropping like pepper onto the attending power lines.  Snow in the high mountains.
The season has turned and I am not opposed to that.
Posted today is a photograph I captured of the lake just this morning.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Inside my mind I roam freely with neither border nor station to stop me.  Inside my body I am snared to a post.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, October 4, 2013

Electrical Nightmare at Midnight

In my bad, electrified dream I was drilling a hole in the metal enclosure of the main section of 2,500 ampere, 480 volt switchgear.  Just as the drill pulled through the metal side, the entire enclosure liquefied and the drill pulled me right inside the live gear.  I could hear the 60-cycle hum as the drill dragged me into the exposed maze of copper bussing.
“This is the end!” I thought when the drill reached the first live electrical bus.
The explosion started sweet and white as a new carnation at the tip of my drill.  The carnation expanded into a giant and incredibly hot red rose fringed black at the edge of the petals.  The rose engulfed me with fury and heat and the clashing roar of a freight train passing by an arms-length away.   
I awakened with a start to almost total blackness and my cats leaping away from our shared bed.
--Mitchell Hegman

Here is a video clip of an arc-flash incident.  Pleas click on the link below if the video will not play here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Obamacare versus the Affordable Care Act

A survey has been taken.  The results are in.  Below, I have created a table with some of the results as revealed in a recent poll of a cross-section of Americans regarding their support of Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Tossing aside the government shutdown, all of the anger, the hurt feelings, the political posturing, the positive views and the negative views, the whatever—I am fascinated by the results of this poll.
Please refer to the table below:

Obamacare versus the Affordable Care Act
Question or Issue
Affordable Care Act
Number of those surveyed who did know enough about the act to have an opinion
12 percent
30 percent
Support the program
29 percent
22 percent
Oppose the program
46 percent
37 percent

The results are fascinating when you consider that Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act are the exact same thing.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dot and Dashes

Here is an acoustic version of Dots and Dashes by the Silversun Pickups.   

If the video here does not play, please use the following link: 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rainbows Stab the Mountains

Yesterday, I woke to a lovely calm.  As is my usual habit, I stepped outside to test the temperature.  I discovered a warm morning scented of pine trees and damp earth.  Deep blue sky and soft white cotton fringes of light lay across the Big Belt range.
Nodding my agreement, I stepped back inside and went about my normal morning rituals.   
Not more than an hour later, an enormous black and cobalt stormfront heaved over the Rocky Mountains and inked darkness over the valley again.  At once, a hard wind pushed from the east, forcing all the trees in my yard to tremble and lean away.  The storm was sucking away all of the good air as it boiled up over the Great Divide.  Darkness soon reached around my house like hands clasping a cube.
I drifted from window to window and watched as dusky curtains of rain swept back and forth across the prairie in front of my house.  Out back, the unsettled lake sloshed back and forth.  Weird patches of yellow light roved across the face of the nearby hills and across the open valley where breaks in the clouds allowed a little sunshine through.  Then, as the air calmed again, an array of rainbow ends began to stab the mountains immediately behind my house where a single patch of light fell across the mountain there.
Storm or not, I ran outside with my camera.  I have posted a couple of the photos.
--Mitchell Hegman