Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Day with Leftovers

Tickled by Pickles

"Sweets" Gerkin...Pickle Brothers Gang
Redding Local News Story...

The Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement’s North State Marijuana Investigation Team arrested Bryon Pickle, 67, and Thomas Pickle, 62, on Tuesday after serving search warrants on properties on Coon Creek Road in Hawkins Bar and on Hennessey Road in Burnt Ranch.

Authorities were still searching for James Earl Pickle, 34. All three men are expected to face charges of unauthorized cultivation, harvesting and processing of marijuana.

Just reading that brought dozens of jokes to mind. You know, like maybe the door was ajar.

As Time Goes By

I woke up this morning with more grist, (Characters, constructs, and future history), for the mill, (Space Station 1).

A few generations down the line, we find that when crew members die, they are not thrown out into space to drift endlessly in the void, but are incorporated into the station itself. Their bodies are disassembled to a molecular level and used as a valuable resource to make replacement parts, or radishes.

The people who have died, become their own, "living", monument. After a few centuries, this becomes the literal truth when the Space Station, built, in part, from the molecules of former occupants, awakens.

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
- Johnny Carson
The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children.
- Clarence Darrow
Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.
- Slovenian Proverb

I found a library of print tobacco advertisements.

You can go HERE to see 1,000's more.

Thanksgiving has come and gone,
But the Turkey Goes On.

Stu Taylor unveils his turkey baked in a bag 11/27/08

Stu and Sandi shared their thanksgiving with me. The food was good, we all got full, and I came home with leftovers to last until Christmas.
Stu cooked the turkey in a paper bag. It was delicious.

Black Friday has come and gone.
But I still have turkey for a sandwich.

The Bayou Classic.

Grambling vs. Southern in halftime battle of the bands.
Thanksgiving day has the traditional Dallas Cowboys Game, but my favorite annual football game is the Bayou Classic in Louisiana. First the football is great. Lots of circus catches and dazzling plays from the teams make for the kind of non stop excitement that is missing from professional games. But, my favorite part of the Bayou Classic is the battle of the bands.

I played in the marching band in high school and college, but these bands are out of this world. Of course you have to have a good imagination to know what they sound like. The sound guys that work for the networks haven't changed since the 1950's, so the sound is still awful, but the routines and enthusiasm of the musicians outshines the poor sound quality.

Oh Well, Here's a link to some video of battle of the bands.

From My Balcony

Sunset November 27, 2008

Through the lattice 11/27/08

Through the lattice 11/28/08

I went to the library today and picked up a few books. I was happy to see that someone wrote a new book about Charles Fort. It is accurately sub-titled, "The Man Who Invented The Supernatural". So true. I look forward to reading it.

Here is a picture from the Buick, at Market and Lake, on my way back from the library.

Waiting at the light can be quite pleasant. 11/29/o8

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
I Can See Clearly

Be Kind

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Outer Space

Are The Stars Out Tonight?

From the Hubble telescope

The Long View
The stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, at the bottom of the image, are located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. At the top of the image, a peculiar nebula with the shape of a "defiant" finger points towards WR25 and Tr16-244.

These 3 stars were thought to be just one big star, 7,500 light years from earth, but the Hubble telescope was able to see the three separate bodies of intense burning hydrogen. The Trumpler 16 cluster has some of the hottest, fast burning stars in the known universe.
You Can Go Your Own Way

They can meow at the same time. Harmony, maybe?

And this from
Tool Bag In The Sky

ISS TOOLBAG: When Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag during a spacewalk on Nov. 18th and it floated away, mission controllers probably thought they'd seen the last of it. Think again. Amateur astronomers have been monitoring the backpack-sized toolbag as it circles Earth not very far from the International Space Station. (continued below)

Above: NASA TV footage of the runaway toolbag.

After sunset on Nov. 22nd, Edward Light saw the bag using 10x50 binoculars as it sailed over his backyard in Lakewood, New Jersey. "It was quite a favorable 70-deg pass in clear skies," he says. "The visual magnitude of the bag was about +6.4 plus or minus half a magnitude." On the same night, Keven Fetter of Brockville, Ontario, video-recorded the bag zipping past the 4th-magnitude star eta Pisces: 900 kB movie. "It was easily 8th magnitude or brighter," says Fetter.

This week the toolbag is making a series of passes over Europe; late next week it will return to the evening skies of North America. Using binoculars, look for it flying a few minutes ahead of the ISS. Spaceweather's satellite tracker is monitoring both the space station and the tool bag; click here for predictions.

Speaking of the Space Station

The International Space Station

In 1984, I read a theory suggesting a global atmospheric fire might occur as a result of 2 or 3 simultaneous nuclear detonations or meltdowns. All the air on Earth would burn away in brief but devastating fireball engulfing the planet.

We were in the process of building a space station, back then, and I imagined the people in the space station watching the Earth burn away below and realizing they were marooned. I wrote a song about it.

Over the years, I sometimes sing that song and some people that have heard it, actually request it.

As some of you know, I have been songwriting and recording with a fellow musician who lives in Glasgow. I write a bit, record it and e-mail an mp3 to Paul. He adds to the song and sends it back to me. This works both ways. He sends me a song he has written, I add to it, and so on.

Just for fun, I recorded my old Space Station One song and sent it to him. He liked it, added some parts, and started writing additional songs from the space station. To say that it was inspiring would be an understatement. Songs from the different people and sections of the ship have been pouring out of me as fast as I can do them. The same thing is happening to Paul, over in Scotland. We are amassing more than enough material to make an album with this theme.

It doesn't stop there. As I write, the characters are becoming defined in my imagination. At first, they are all overwhelmed by the probability that they will soon run out of food and air and the future looks short and deadly. But the songs have almost been writing themselves, and some of the newer peoples songs have faith and hope.

It seems that the more I write this, it is also becoming a libretto for an opera or musical. At least it was yesterday, but I woke up tonight and began writing a letter from one of the women to her husband back on Earth! She has discovered that she is pregnant, and if they can find ways to survive long enough, it will be the first baby born in space.

Here's the deal; Because of my recent interest in fullerene research, I can imagine a couple of the science officers devising a way to separate and collect the carbon molecules from the carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen back into the air in the space station, and using the caged carbon molecules to construct whatever equipment they may need. Like a food synthesizer. They could combine molecules from waste with fullerenes to manufacture food.

Now that I have these guys living indefinitely, it's time they figure out how to capture and use other objects in orbit as more living quarters or what ever the satellites have to offer. On and on it goes. Now it's a novel and a TV series, and a movie.

Meanwhile, the songs seem to keep on writing themselves.

Listen to what we have so far;
Papa Paul Thomas
Happy Phil Seymour

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Turkey Song

Thank You

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gazing at the Heavens

Life is Looking Up

Just after sunset, Dec, 1st we will see this in the western sky
I have always been a night owl, so I get to see the stars and planets, a lot. I still don't know most of the names of the things I am looking at. What I do know, started with the moon when I was a child. I had trouble seeing the man in the moon because I was looking for a man, not a face.

I think if someone had said; "Look, there's the face on the moon.", I might have figured it out sooner.

The rabbit, man, and lady in the moon

I guess the next celestial object I learned to identify was the "Big Dipper".

Big Dipper, (below), and, Little Dipper, (above).
Finding the Big Dipper was pretty easy, and locating the North Star from the side of the cup was a snap. I still don't see a bear, (Ursa Major). It's just now, with this graphic, that I realize the tip of the Little Dipper's handle is the North Star, (Polaris).

Orion is the easiest constellation for me to recognize and this picture from Hawaii is one of the best I have seen as an example. The three stars in the middle are called Orions belt. The red "star" in his sword is actually the Orion nebulae, where our Sun was born. You can see Orion all winter long, crossing the night sky.

I first learned about Orion when I was attending Alpine High School in Texas. It was 1960 and I was out one night at the local, "make-out", spot. (The golf course.) The girl I was with, pointed out Orion, and it became a significant stellar object in my life.

Later I found out that it was also significant to the ancient Egyptians. They built the pyramids to correspond with the arrangement of the stars in Orion.

Orions belt and the Pyramids at Giza from satellite photo.

The Egyptians called Orion, Osiris, and 12,000 years ago it was like this...

Osiris, Sirius, Taurus, and the Milky Way 12,500 BC
Back then the River Nile and the Milky Way were mirror images.

Here in Redding

Reflecting by the Sacramento 11/22/08

It must have been a mystical experience to see the Milky Way reflecting on the Nile.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
"See the Pyramids along the Nile..."
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167 ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Charity, With Love

New Day, New Happiness

Today I realized that I am living my life with
Faith, Hope, and Charity.

From the Greek; Πίστις, Ἐλπίς καὶ Ἀγάπη.

Faith, Hope and Charity broach... circa 1880, UK

If Charity feels like Love, it's because that was the word originally used in Corinthians.
The King James version changes Love to Charity.
Like this...
English Standard Version; 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
King James; 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

To add a little romance and venerability to these virtues, there are two separate tales of Faith, Hope and Charity, along with their mother, Sophia, (Wisdom), being martyred saints.

Okay, now I can include wisdom in how my life feels to me, and whether I see through the glass Dimly, or Darkly, makes no difference. The man I see, is the man I am.

Through the Glass
11 Million light-years Away

Picture of galaxy 11,000,000 light-years away, taken by the Hubble
This galaxy produces 100 times more stars than the Milky Way.
What an awesome universe we get to live in.

A new look for my Gmail Page

My new Gmail page.
One of the things I enjoy about using Google, is that it is a Beta program that is constantly evolving. Yesterday they introduced 36 new themes for the Gmail page. I like this one called, Planets. Perfect.

Here in Redding

Fountain at Cypress, Pine, and Market intersection. 11/19/08
I had my camera handy while I was stopped, waiting for the light to change and thought I might be able to capture one of the nice touches in Redding. There are many small delights like this fountain, in and around Redding. Put there, no doubt, by people who knew that they might lift a spirit or two.

Looking up at my balcony 11/19/08
I am glad I took this picture a couple of days ago. Those beautiful leaves are falling fast and soon the sun will shine through to warm my apartment this winter. The Treehouse Senior Apartments were thoughtfully designed.

Looking out from my apartment.
What a cheerful gift of color I got to enjoy out my window.

Back to Corinthians
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
The Way Of The World -Earth, Wind, and Fire

You will find peace of mind
If you look way down in your heart and soul

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beauty Is All Around


India's Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft released a lunar probe that fell to the surface of the moon on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. He started India's space program when he was prime minister in 1962.

Picture of lunar surface as probe approaches 11/14/08
The moon impact probe sent this picture minutes before it smashed on the surface. What I enjoyed was the way the crash was described in the story from Science Digest, "Finally, the probe had a hard landing on the lunar surface that terminated its functioning." Nicely put.

Spectacular Fall in Redding

Tree next to my balcony

Tree a little closer


Tree on western side of my balcony at sunset 11/15/08
All this beauty is at my doorstep, literally. There are some colorful tableau's just about everywhere I go, in and around town. I am thankful that I get to share the beauty that embraces me, with you, in this blog.

If you would like to see more pictures I have taken, you need only click on the picture of, "Happy Phil", at the upper right of this blog.

Happy Phil Picture Link on blog page

This will take you to my picasa photo albums where you can view the pictures as slide shows, enlarged views, and there is a magnifying feature that lets you examine tiny objects with clarity. You can even download pictures you may deem suitable for framing.

Another way to find stuff in this blog, is to use the, "search", feature. Just type in a name, a place, a subject, or a date and the page, or pages will load right in front of you.

Search box upper left
Type in your query

Click on search

Presto, you have a page with a prussian blue cat story.

Another, "Phil's Place", blog tip;
Sometimes headlines are just one of those things that happen to be a song title, so I cant help myself, I just have to make those words link to a video. Sometimes it's magic. Sometimes it might be a link to my songs that I am working on. One of my latest projects is a collaboration with another songwriter in Glascow, Papa Paul Thomas.

Keep those cards and letters coming, your input means the world to me.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Autum Leaves -Eva Cassidy (Guitar and vocal)
Accept Goodness

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Answer in Plain Sight

Happy To Be Me

These have been interesting times for me. So many new things are being discovered every day. It is helpful to have the internet and all its people around the world exchanging information. I find it intellectually stimulating. Here are a few things I have seen.

The Hubble "sees" a planet circling Fomalhaut b.
For the first time, we have a visual image of a planet orbiting another star. There has been a lot of speculation regarding possible planet formation in the dust ring around Formalhaut b, 25 light years distant, but now the Hubble telescope got a picture to prove it.

Sunset, November, 12th.

Cell phone cam sunset 11/12/08
It was 3 years ago on November 12, that Chrissy died. She believed that life is a gift, and she lived and loved hers with enthusiasm. I was blessed to share 16 magical years with her, here on earth, together. She shares my spirit now, and I believe she continues to enjoy life on earth through me.

I know she would have entered the worlds best bottom contest, if we had known there was such a thing.

Worlds best bottoms contest winners 2008
I think Chrissy could have been a contender, 10 or 15 years ago.
I, on the other hand have no butt to speak of. Maybe there's an, "old guy", no bottom contest. Don't worry, if there is, I wont be showing that picture.
In other scientific research;

She Blinded Me With Science

Working in the lab
I recently read an article about the germ killing power of bleach. It seems that bleach contains Hypochlorus Acid. This affects the proteins in bacteria and causes them to clump up like in a boiled egg, and the bacteria dies. High temperatures cause the same result.

What makes this interesting to me, is that our immune systems use both heat and Hypochlorus Acid to fight infections. This certainly deserves further study.

$ Up The Chimney

Carbon emissions spewing into the atmosphere
While I was in a free flowing thought process, I put some of the information I had been storing, together with the new stuff I have been reading. Putting things together in different ways, I realized we are wasting carbon! Carbon is the basis of everything on earth. Everything from molecules to monkeys, diamonds to dinner tables, is made, in someway, out of carbon compounds. There must be a way to reclaim, recycle and re-constitute this valuable resource, instead of just watching it go up in smoke!

Carbon composite materials are lightweight and strong. Car bodies, bicycle frames, golf clubs and other items are already produced using carbon composite materials. Imagine buildings, bridges and furniture made from reclaimed carbon. I will do a little more investigating and see what research, if any, is being done to tap this enormous resource.

Reflecting By The River

Beautiful, 80° day by the river. 11/14/08
I went to the river to think and write for awhile, and came back with a plan. I began an internet search for recombining carbon molecules with other substances, and quickly found that a lot of research is being done with Fullerenes, or "Bucky Balls". These are recently discovered carbon molecular constructs that have a geodesic shape, similar to Buckminster Fuller's designs for domes.

Carbon cage molecule
I read some of the research papers and realized that they haven't looked at the big picture, yet. (Or else no one is willing to share all their information, because this concept is worth billions of dollars). You see, these fullerenes can be found in soot! We just spew tons of this stuff out of smokestacks, instead of using the carbon in it!

The structure of these carbon balls is such that they can be combined with most anything to create composits that can be used to make everything from microcircuits to railroad ties. I have begun e-mailing fullerene researchers to encourage them to explore the possibility of collecting Bucky Balls from polluting industries. This is exciting stuff.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Think good thoughts, anything is possible.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In my own backyard, (sort of).

Fall has Fell

Tree 11/13/08
Today, as the sun was getting lower in the west, I noticed how vibrant the colors were on the trees. I got my camera and began snapping pictures. I followed the colors from my apartment to the river.
I will let the pictures tell the story.

Blazing color on my balcony

The front of the building where I live

Under the bridge with Lassen in the distance

On the bridge looking toward the setting sun

Looking toward Lassen

What a glorious day 11/13/08
I had so many things to write about, but they can wait for my next post. What an amazing gift it is to live here on earth.
Heaven and Nature Sing