Thursday, August 6, 2015

Errant Balls

I enjoy the Search feature of Google Photos. I type in a word or two, and I get a selection of our photos. Memories revived, time wasted.

I was thinking about the photo Search feature today while cycling past signs warning of "errant golf balls." My brain floated off to ridiculous places: it bothered me the golf balls took the blame rather than the golfers. I resisted the temptation to post a snarky Tweet.

There was a sudden cloudburst, so I sheltered under a highway bridge. To kill time I Googled "signs" on my phone then scrolled through dozens of signs in our photo collection.

I spotted the sign at the top of this post on a cold February 2015 day in Harlem. It's difficult to be terribly offended because it's so ridiculous and undermines its own argument. Besides, I am certain the members of that church are not sticking to the letter of everything in Leviticus.

It was gratifying, though, to walk round the corner and see this:

I felt included, respected by the sign over the door declaring this church is not affiliated with the other church.

Bless the first amendment.

One reason I love hiking in England is having once been an insider, I get to see it as an outsider. To me, these signs seem excessively polite and explanatory.

On the other hand, I appreciated every detail in these signs when we did a long distance walk round the north of England:

This is the main line between London and Edinburgh. Trains flash past at 140 miles per hour, so I was concerned we would make it to the other side. The signalman inquired how many were in the party (two), then instructed us to briskly cross the tracks.

On my search I came across other signs about danger, including these tsunami warning signs:

Tsunamis seemed exotic and distant when I was growing up in England. On the days I took those photographs I found myself wondering what I would do if a tsunami occurred. In Shikoku, Japan I would probably first hear sirens, but on the remote Na Pali coast of Kauai, Hawaii, I would hear the ocean crashing towards our tent.

Finally, here's two innocuous signs: 

I felt a minor rush when I spotted the Lost and Found sign in Tokyo's Ueno Train Station. I had just finished reading Haruki Murakami's novel, Norwegian Wood: the main protagonist worked in that Ueno office. 

I was seeking a different kind of rush when I photographed the Starbucks sign. I was staying on the north shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The previous day I had noticed the intact Starbucks sign, so I walked a couple miles to get my coffee fix. Too late.


  1. The court itself, whether an artificial turf, clay, or real grass, will likely have some fencing or other type of surrounding enclosure to keep errant balls from being hit outside and damaging passing cars or buildings, or other property.

  2. When setting out to play a round of golf, what are the items to double check to make sure we have ready? Most importantly, we check that our clubs are clean and in the bag. We also make sure we have our golf shoes, a glove, a bag of tees, some cash for the beverage cart and plenty of our favorite golf balls.

  3. I appreciate the Search highlight of Google Photos. I write in a word or two, and I get a choice of our photographs. Recollections restored, time squandered.

  4. One reason I cherish trekking in England is having once been an insider, I get the chance to consider it to be an outcast. To me, these signs appear to be too much considerate and illustrative.

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