The sweet scent of progress

If you have a mobile phone, you have a camera. We live in an age of documented life — from the surreal to the sublime, everything is captured and preserved. Trivial events, regrettable moments, irreplaceable memories, we record it all.

I’ve been doing that for 40 years, long before there were cell phones.

Beginning in the early ’80s, I carried a camera everywhere I went. For a while it was a small 35mm rangefinder (film, of course), followed by an Olympus XA2 (one of my all-time favorite cameras) and then an Olympus Infinity Stylus.

I grabbed thousands upon thousands of shots on the street and at the grocery, in restaurants and bars, around the house and out in the yard. It was during this time that I began chronicling my life, aiming to please no one but me. If someone else found the images appealing, fine (and I did sell a few), but it really didn’t matter.

That’s still the way I approach life as well as photography.

What you see on Ubi Libertas Blog, which itself is documentary, are images I captured only for me. I simply choose to share them with you.


This evening I ran across a friend’s social-media post about the regime’s student-loan “forgiveness” ploy. A self-described conservative, he seemed to be saying that in the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. He scolded those who vocally oppose it.

Essentially his position is,

“If you’ve ever accepted State money, from stimulus to SNAP, then shut the fuck up.”

Outside faculty lounges and away from brass rails, that’s an entirely indefensible point of view — intellectually and morally it’s unsound. It represents a zero-sum mentality that one can’t engage in resistance or opposition from within a system.

And it’s bullshit. Don’t rise to that kind of simplistic bait.


Deb and I rolled slowly past the homesite on our way up The Mountain this morning, craning our necks to see what changed with a day-and-a-half of work. Encouraged and excited by the brief glimpse, we continued on to the shed, pulled out the Ranger, loaded it with chairs and a cooler and returned to where excavation had been underway since Thursday.

What struck us first was the strong smell of cedar and freshly turned dirt — the air was delicious, full of evidence that the earth had moved and the site was beginning to resemble what we’d envisioned. Debris had been pushed to the outside edges of the space. The boundaries of the clearing (save the pad for the shed, which will happen next week) at last were defined.

For the first time since we waded into the dense woods and walked the property last November, the spot where our house will be was revealed.

We stopped the Ranger on what will be a parking pad next to the south wall of the house and unloaded our gear. On a relatively level spot nearby — essentially our “back porch” — we lunched on deli food we’d picked up at Harps (I had fresh broccoli slaw) and absorbed the scene.

After a couple of hours of gazing and dreaming we decided it was time to leave. Honestly we weren’t handling the heat well today, even though it wasn’t all that hot (90°F, 52% relative humidity). It got to us anyway.

But we couldn’t be more thrilled. We’ll come back early next week.


One year ago today Haggard.


Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon