Rush Limbaugh has died. He was 70. Complications of advanced lung cancer took him.

I know Rush was a polarizing figure. If you fall on the side that reviled him, please don’t vent your venom in my comments. But I’m happy to have healthy discussions there.

I worked as a DJ in AM radio in 1990, at a “full service” station that played inoffensive music with happy DJs and news on the hour. That summer, we jettisoned our midday show and put in Rush.

At the Golden EIB Microphone

AM radio was in steep decline then. Through the 1970s and 1980s, music formats increasingly moved to FM, leaving AM to flounder and lose its identity and purpose. Rush’s compelling show brought large audiences back to AM and, for a long time, showed AM radio how it could remain relevant.

What an entertaining revelation Rush’s show was! While I’m sure he believed the core principles he spoke of and advocated for on his show, it was clear that the way he did it was a shtick. He even used to say it in those days: his job was to deliver a large audience to advertisers, and he was very good at it.

I was a young skull full of mush then, as Rush would say. What he said on his show largely resonated with me, and helped shape my political views. I leaned conservative anyway; he pushed me the rest of the way over.

As the years passed, I found his show to be less fun. His shtick had not only gone stale, it had turned foul. I found myself pushed away, and eventually I quit listening.

I don’t know whether I’ve moved to the center, or the Republican Party has moved farther to the right, or both. What I do know is that a couple years ago when I sampled Rush’s show again for a while, I found myself repelled by most of what he said. I guess I’ve moved on.

But I will always respect Rush as a broadcaster. He really did save AM radio, staying its death for a couple decades at least. Thanks for the memories, Rush, and may you rest well.

Remembering Rush Limbaugh

Collecting Cameras

I’m trying an experiment today: I updated a camera review from many years ago and republished it as new today. It’s the post immediately before this one.

I’ve added a redirect on the old URL so searches come to the new review.

So many of my reviews are very old — the first one on this site, of the Kodak Retina Ia, dates to 2008. Have you ever read it? I doubt it. It might be interesting to republish it.┬áTrouble is, I don’t own that camera anymore. I have nothing more to say about it.

I do still own the Kodak Monitor Six-20, on the other hand, and have used it recently. I’ve learned more about how to make good images with it, more about its quirks, more about its shortcomings. I have something new to say about it.

Feedback welcome — is this a good idea or not?

An experiment in camera reviews


In the last few years, my road-trip posts have increasingly relied on original research done by Richard M. Simpson, which he shared on his terrific Indiana Transportation History blog.

We lost Richard on Friday. I don’t know any details, but given that he posted in his blog and in the companion Indiana Transportation History Facebook group on Friday, I am guessing that his death was unexpected.

Richard’s wife contacted me to ask if I’d continue the Facebook group as admin, and take ownership of the blog to maintain and possibly continue it. I said yes, of course.

Richard devoted an enormous amount of his time and energy to the blog and group. I’m not sure I can do the same, but I can certainly make sure the vast amount of original research he did is maintained for others to find and enjoy.

Richard and I had agreed to do a road trip together, to explore Indiana’s State Road 67 from Indianapolis to its southern terminus at Vincennes. This road has a ton of great old alignments and we looked forward to exploring them all. We thought we’d do it as soon as the pandemic passed. I’m sad that we won’t get to make that trip together now.

Remembering Richard M. Simpson

Film Photography
Verichrome Pan

Because it’s December 7th, 12/7, it’s 127 Day. That’s a day to get out our cameras for 127 film and use them! Today I’ve put that roll of film above (expired 12/1981) into the camera below. I’ll take a photo walk with it today and shoot the whole roll. It’s cold here, about freezing, and I can’t imagine this 60-year-old camera will enjoy that. I’ll keep it warm inside my coat, and work quickly when I make a photo.

Kodak Brownie Starmatic

There are two other 127 Days each year: January 27 (1/27) and July 12 (12/7 in European date notation). So if it’s too late for you this year, you can be ready for the next 127 Day!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait to see the photos from my walk today. It’s not just developing and scanning that causes the delay, but I also have all of December’s posts scheduled already. Maybe I’ll share these photos on 1/27!

It’s 127 Day