Wednesday, October 11, 2017

East Kentucky Trip

I know it has little to do with typewriters, but it has everything to do with my poetry collection I am working on.  I lived in Lynch in Harlan County, Kentucky for a summer and it was life changing.  I worked underground coal. These are the signs welcoming you into Kentucky as you cross the state line from Virginia, right over the highest point in Kentucky.  Check out the large caliber bullet holes. 
The mountains out there are large, close together, and gorgeous.  I took this photo of Cumberland from Kingdom Come State Park. You can see smoke, a few buildings in Cumberland were on fire.  The large clear spot in the back between the hills is a giant slag heap near the coal cleaning plant I worked briefly in.


This is just on the Virginia side of Black Mountain, and is what a coal seam looks like.  When you go further into a mine how deep you are has less to do with how much up or down you are going than it does how much taller the mountain above you gets. 
At one time the largest coal tipple in the country, this is typical of the fascinating ruins in Lynch and Benham.


Speaking of ruins, this old school was the company offices when I worked in the mines.  That was in 2009, and it was still being used when I visited in 2011.  It looks pretty rough for just 6 years of vacancy! 
The mountains are so tall each morning the fog just hangs in them.  This is a mine I worked at, filled in and grown over, all the buildings broken down and removed.  You can see a very obvious contour in the land though. Some other mines I worked in are still active.


An old continuous miner, something rarely seen above ground, and not so different than the ones we used.  The drum with the teeth on it rotates, scraping the coal which is scooped up that ramp in the front and fed out a conveyor on the back into shuttle cars which transport it to the conveyor belt which brings the coal out of the mine. 
Old strip mine maybe, or logging, or both.  Not as ugly as it can be sometimes.


Corn nuggets are harder to find back home than in East Kentucky.  These are the far superior cousin of the hush puppy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Interesting Bits from the Beach

The nerd in me really appreciates the thought that went into this sand art we stumbled upon. 
A poetic tribute to the very cool and bold people who move to the Outer Banks to live there just because they like it and it makes them happy.  We met a lot of cool people working the local businesses and tours.


I need to endorse the Pilot Varsity fountain pens, because I put one through the wash at the house we were staying at and all the ink stayed in the cap and my clothes were fine.  After a bit of clean up the pen even still worked.  These pens are amazing. 
We went on an airplane tour where I did not take any pictures.  My old roommate who is terrified of airplanes got to sit up front and handle the controls and now he wants to take lessons!  The plane above is not one we flew, but one owned by the husband of the awesome lady who flew us.  I had seen this plane on Youtube before in this AWESOME video clip.  It was super cool to meet someone I had previously admired from Youtube.


The plane we did fly was a Cessna 172 which looks like the one I drew on the envelope of the "thank you for being awesome tour-guides" letter I sent after getting home. 
The beach is a strange plane to find coal...  Perhaps this was from a coal powered ship which sunk, or spilled from a freighter.  Its corners are rounded like most things coming from the sea.  Maybe it was just a reminder to work on and publish my coal poetry collection.  When I spotted it I thought it was volcanic basalt, but it was pretty light.  I took it back to the house and rinsed it off and was surprised to see that coal had followed me even to the beaches of east Carolina.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Favorite Spot

There is a nice bench, not quite a "normal" overlook as such there are a few accouterments.

This is the view from my favorite spot.  Hiked a typewriter up there the other day... maybe I will bring another in a backpack but I don't think I will ever carry another! 


Yours truly, the view from the bench looking outwards.
I won't tell you where it is; I don't want it becoming a place of heavy foot traffic!  But here is a hint that will narrow it down to a few thousand miles.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Technology Consuming Us

Also check out this awesome Rhett and Link video called "Get Off The Phone Song"

I drew this after watching a guy at a cafe for several minutes.  His posture was striking so I began with the sketch in the center.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Artsy Masculine Letter Writing Ideas

Firstly, there is a lot of cool stuff online if you google ideas for creative looking letters.  However, most of it is pretty feminine.  And that is not me.  You can argue it's the 21st century and my ideas of gender are old fashioned.  Ok.  Call me old fashioned though, and I might have to hit you with my typewriter :)
Seriously there is a lot of cool stuff you can do though... let me show you some things which I do.

Collect paper.  Thrift shops are a good place.   So are old office supply stores.  So is poking through other people's stuff if they let you.  Any paper that looks or feels unique or old or different will make an impression.  Don't go to the stationary store or craft store, most of the stuff is floral and feminine.  You might find a few good things, but get creative about your hunt and you will find much more.
Most antique hunters must be throwing out old stationary or ignoring it, but if you look, sometimes you find it.  How bad ass is this envelope?  I found a bunch of them and have been using them sparingly.  I think they are awesome.  I hope I find more stuff like this.
An old-fashioned letterhead looks way cool.  Design your own, and if it's not good enough maybe you will get lucky like me and a friend will make you an ever better one based off of the old Smith Premier letterhead.



Embossers are way cool, and can be customized and the embossing elements swapped.  Many places sell paper embossers. 
I considered my address, then decided this was way cooler.  "Typed by Mark Petersen /so keep this forever / because you never know" ...totally gonna make it big one day.  Future collector item- any paper with this on it!


Rubber stamps for your return address are cool, and cheaper than an embosser and easier to replace if you move.  A PO box allows you to give your address out to strangers without putting yourself in danger.  And it is fun to get your mail using a key from an antique bronze box. 
Lastly, envelope art is super cool.  You don't have to be great at art, just use lots of color or lots of lines.  Experiment.  I take photos of mundane landscapes and sky which interest me so I can try to draw it later.  It adds a personal touch and makes your mail more exciting for someone else to open.
Lastly, change it up.  I don't do all of these things at once.  I do one or a few each time I send a letter, and I send letters of different sizes in different envelopes to keep it interesting for myself.  And yes, I did blatantly offer my PO box, which is already posted elsewhere on this blog page, so go ahead and write me if you like.  I have enjoyed the letters from those of you who have!
Thanks for reading and happy typing!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Poetry Collection Coming Soon...ish!


My scanner has gone stupid like electronics often do, so look forward to more inconsistently dark slightly distorted photos taken with a camera of the text I post here!!!
Did some work on poems at Pop's Ice Cream and Soda Bar today with a highly under-rated Remington All New.