Archive for the Photography Category

Return to Mother Goose Land

Posted in Bike, Exercise, Memories, Photography on 12 July 2009 by jason

Ok…last post, I talked about finding the ruins of Mother Goose Land in Canton, Ohio. However, without any sort of context, that story is really pretty meaningless.

Honestly, most of my memories of the place come from pictures. If you ask me about the park, I remember seeing the whale, and I remember falling off of a firetruck they had on display, and that’s about it. However, when I hear other people talk about it, or when I look at the pictures, memories come flooding back. Here is what I remember about the park:

outside gooseland
This is right outside the park. I’m the one in the green shirt. This wall is not there anymore.

We’re not in Canton anymore…

inside gooseland
Here’s a pic of Willie the Whale in all his glory…

And here are my brother and I visiting Willie!

So, the other day, I went back to visit the park and get some decent shots. Here’s what I saw…

Karaoke June19 and bike 020
Under the bridge that leads there. Ominous.

Karaoke June19 and bike 018
The gate is locked. Luckily, the bike path runs around the gate. No trespassing? Try to stop me!

Karaoke June19 and bike 015

Karaoke June19 and bike 016
On the other side, some of the buildings still stand. I heard that this side of the park became an armory for a while after the park closed.

Karaoke June19 and bike 017
More buildings.

It’s weird going back there and seeing the entire park gutted. Still, I’m glad they left the whale and a few buildings as a monument to what used to be…

Just like riding a bicycle!

Posted in Bike, Exercise, Photography on 21 June 2009 by jason

Yesterday, in a fit of confidence and DIYedness, I decided to fix my bike. You see, the otter bought me an almost-new bike; it had only been ridden once or twice, and looked brand new. The problem was that the brakes were way misaligned, to the point of being dangerous.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not at all mechanically inclined, so I thought I would have to take it to the shop to have it fixed. However, as I said, yesterday I decided to get on the internet, look up instructions, and fix the brakes myself.

After fixing them, I rode for about 12 miles: I rode to Target to look for a helmet mirror (which I didn’t buy), I rode to the Strip to get a giftcard from the movie theater for my dad (for Father’s Day), and I just generally rode around.

I stopped back home to get my camera before exploring the new bike trail right down the street from me…

Me and my bike (or, alternately, my bike and I)
Here I am starting on the trail…

The trail
The trail itself…

The Creek
A river runs through it. Well..OK, a creek runs through it.

The train
A train runs through it, too!

Anyway, I haven’t really ridden a bike in 15 years (I USED to ride about 10 miles a day!), so making it 12 miles yesterday without killing myself or collapsing with exhaustion is a pretty big deal for me! Plus, I’m not even sore this morning! I guess I’m in better shape than I thought!

Adventures in Pittsburgh!

Posted in and other fun, Books and Literature, Music, otter, Photography, Television on 2 June 2009 by jason

I meant to post this on Sunday, but I was waiting until I could Photoshop these pictures down to a manageable size. Anyway, the otter and I took a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend to visit our friend Kurt. We spent too much money, but we had a great time.

We got to Pittsburgh on Friday night. Surprisingly, the trip there only takes about 2 hours from North Canton, so even though we didn’t leave until almost 8 PM, we still got there in time to have fun that night. We met Kurt at his apartment, then went to The Squirrel Hill Cafe, or the Squirrel Cage, as the locals call it. There, we had expensive beer and listened to some good music from their juke box.
Kurt and Jaynova at "the Cage"

At the Cage, we met up with a few of Kurt’s friends and made out way to a diner, the name of which escapes me right now, but I’m sure Kurt or the Otter will chime in in the comments section to remind me! The food was pretty good and very cheap; I had a grilled cheese sandwich and stuffed olive leaves, and my bill was less than $5.

The next day, we met Kurt’s friends at the Phipps Conservatory. This was really cool; they had all sorts of plants, from coffee plants to bananna trees to orchids. There was also a room with butterflies flying freely, and there were glass sculptures everywhere.

Otter vs. Ostrich: Who Will Survive?

Otter vs. Ostrich: Who Will Survive?

After the conservatory, we got a bite to eat at an awesome little restaurant which, again, I can not remember the of. We then parted ways with Kurt’s friends and took a tour of the Carnegie Mellon University campus, where Kurt goes to scool and works. It’s a beautiful campus.

Next, we went the Caliban Book Shoppe, mainly to look for used books (I bought Orlando by Virginia Woolf and The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski), but the most awesome thing was that I found The Mountain Goats’ The Coroner’s Gambit, Babylon Springs, Sweden, and Nine Black Poppies! My Mountain Goat CD collection is even closer to complete! BOOYA!

Um…but I digress. We also hit a few other little stores before making our way to Paul’s CDs where…I found The Mountain Goats’ Beautiful Rat Sunset and All Hail West Texas, as well as Neutral Milk Hotel’s Everything is! If I ever find tMG’s Full Force Galesburg, I’ll have all the major CD releases!!!


Afterwards, we went out for coffee, then went to Kurt’s friend’s house for a night of Apples to Apples, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, and lots of alcohol. Good times.

Before we left on Sunday, we went to Church (for Kelly…I’m unaffiliated.) and for lunch at a local pizza shop (Damn! I can’t remember any of these places’ names!) and then headed out for pur exactly 2-hour trip home! It was good to be back, but we’ll definately go visit again soon!

The otter, my hat, and Pittsburgh.

The otter, my hat, and Pittsburgh.

Scenes from a Mountain Goats Concert, pt 2

Posted in Music, otter, Photography on 3 April 2009 by jason

Here is the next installment of my very own Mountain Goats adventure! There will be one more because I have video that won’t upload today,so I’ll try to get it on here by Sunday.

Anyway, these are pictures that Kelly took of John Vanderslice and John Darnielle, as well as a couple of me!

This is me eating at the cafeteria. But that’s not what Kelly was looking at. She was looking at…

John Vanderslice buying some food in this jaynova EXCLUSIVE picture!!! That’s some TMZ shit for you, yo!

Here’s me with the golden ticket! As you might be able to read, out of the 300? tickets sold, I had #1. Because that’s how I roll.

Here’s John Vanderslice! He sounds EXACTLY like he does on the albums. Nice guy, too!

The man himself, John Darnielle. Word.

Me, looking like an idiot and pointing to John Darnielle’s guitar. I was close enough to touch it during JV’s set, but I contained myself.

BOOM! Worlds collide! I look bored in this pic, but I was trying not to shake too much. If I ever get the chance to meet John Darnielle again, I might ask him a few questions, but I was just too excited this time.

And that was the concert, as seen by Kelly’s camera. Hopefully on Sunday, I’ll have some video for you!

Meet the otter!

Posted in Art, otter, Photography on 12 September 2007 by jason


This is my favorite picture of the otter, which I took a while ago, while she was still just my coworker. It’s obviously the one I used for the Belle and Sebastian cover. Isn’t she a cutie?

A larger version of this is my desktop wallpaper at home.

Image copyright (c) 2005 J. Robert Novak

Something I Put Together

Posted in Art, Music, otter, Photography on 11 September 2007 by jason

A while ago (last year, in fact!), I put something together for the otter. See, we (actually, I…we haven’t really taken the step of having communal property, yet) bought the 3 Belle and Sebastian EPs from the Dear Catastrpophe Waitress album. The bad thing about about the EPs is that they are EPs. Their brevity makes them inconvenient to take along on trips…one has to carry 3 CDs for the length of 1 full-length CD.

That’s where the I-Tunes program comes in. I just burned them onto one CD, which I called In This Land of Grammar Schools and Gala Days. “So what?” you may ask. Everyone knows how to burn a CD. “Well,” I answer, “I also made jacket art for it on Photoshop.”

Grammar Schools

Grammar Schools back

The model on the cover is the otter herself. The back cover is the door to the writing center where I work.

Um…artwork copyright 2006 J. Robert Novak. Because I’m such a big shot.

The art is more impressive if you’ve seen any Belle and Sebastian albums, especially If You’re Feeling Sinister.