Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunglasses, Elections, and Ukulele's

New Day

New sunglasses on a sunshiny day 7/30/08
I didn't actually get these sunglasses today. I got them last week, but it seemed like a good caption. I got the sunglasses while standing in line at the 99¢ store. It was a perfect example of the advice I give to those people who get upset and impatient while standing in long lines.

I suggest that when stuck in a line at the DMV, grocery, or just about any line you may be standing in, that it helps to strike up a conversation with another person standing in line with you. Rather than killing time, this can be time well spent.

There I was, in a very long line and next to me was a rack of sunglasses. I was looking through them and tried on a pair. I couldn't find a mirror so I asked the lady behind me how they looked. She said there must be a mirror and found one on top of the rack. I told her it didn't really matter because I cant see me when I am wearing them and asked her what she thought of them. She said they were ok and asked if I would try a different pair. Sure, says I, and she proceeded to have me try on several pair until she found the ones in the picture. The next thing I knew, it was my turn at the check out stand.

Check out line from Google images
The more times I smile and say hello to other people, the better I feel. Try it sometime when you are standing in a long line, it can be a pleasant experience for all.

My friend, Garie Lebow, e-mailed this ball and string toy to me. Try it, it's fun.

I have been reading some of the comments that followed a thoughtful article about Obama,
Paul Jenkins report
and I am reminded that even though we finally have an intelligent and charismatic candidate for leader of the free world, the election will be decided by votes from people who think, "Wheel of Fortune", and "American Idol", are mentally challenging.

I know that reasonably intelligent voters will choose Obama, but most voters are neither reasonable nor intelligent. We shall see in November.

Happiness is weightless.

Today I just realized what the words should be to a song I wrote in 1995. It is about giving away freely, the good that is given to us, but the words weren't clear or expressive enough. Now they are. I think I will record a couple of tracks tomorrow and send it to Paul in Scotland and see where that leads to. The song is called, "Do You Get It?". I will put it over on My Space when it begins to take form.

Negativity is a heavy burden.

I have been watching Sunset Boulevard during this day. I love the way you can pause a DVD and hours later pick up right where you left off.
It's quite a movie. There are 4 copies of this collectors edition in the library. The story and acting are good, but I can't help enjoying seeing how some of the actors looked back then. I had forgotten that a very young Jack Webb was in this movie.

When I was 17, I had a job as a camp counselor at a rich kids day camp in the San Fernando valley. The kids of Hollywood producers, directors, actors, sports stars, recording artists and just plain rich people were left to my care. Among those kids was Julie London and Jack Webb's daughter. Open house, "parents day", was a lot of fun. Julie London looked spectacular, and when she spoke to me, I think I probably drooled on her.

It was at this camp that I met a couple of Hawaiian brothers who had brought their ukuleles. (That means jumping flea.) I asked them to show me a Hawaiian song on ukulele, and I showed them rock and roll on my guitar. They were Keola and Kapono Beamer. They went on to be popular performers in Hawaii.


I was actually a proficient ukulele player by the time I met the Beamer brothers. When I was 13 I was performing in a duo that covered Kingston trio songs. John Bradley played guitar and I played bongos. John suggested that I learn to play the guitar so we could expand our sound. He showed me a few chords and I felt I could do it so I asked my dad to buy me a guitar. He didn't think I would stick with it and suggested I ask again in a year or so. I was not discouraged. I went to the toy section of Save On drugs, and bought a ukulele for a dollar. (This was a real commitment because, at the time, a dollar would buy a whole bag of green plastic army men.)
The ukulele came with a little song booklet with such popular tunes as Oh Susanna and Home On The Range. I proceeded to play these songs day after day, hours on end, until my dad broke down and bought me a $16 Sears Silvertone guitar.

Sears Silvertone Guitar
I was ready to rock and roll. Within a week I had sanded off the paint, put my name on it, and varnished it. It was now blond and personalized. My future was as bright as the nuclear bomb tests in the eastern night sky.
What a wonderful life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Chinese/Italian Renaissance

Today, July 29, 2008

Train trestle over Sacramento river 7/29/08
The sky was gray with smoke again today. Down by the river it was 89°.

Checking out the blackberries 7/29/08
There was a nice breeze blowing by the river, and as I got close to the bank, I noticed that the blackberries were beginning to ripen.
A few people were out roller blading, bicycling, and strolling along the river trail. It was a quiet day at Caldwell park, probably because of the advisory about the air quality.
This is from the Redding Record Searchlight, newspaper;

On Monday, air quality was listed as good, but Brenda Belongie, a forecaster for the Redding Fire Weather Center, said smoke should roll in again on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, doctors advise those sensitive to bad air to follow what's become a mantra in the local press since the fires erupted:

Stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.

I decided to go back home and check the news on the computer. There was an earthquake in SoCal, no big deal.

Earthquake today

Earthquake video

While I was reading the news from Reuters, there was a story about the W.T.O. talks falling apart. Included in the agreements that fell through was this about Ecuador;

GENEVA (Reuters) - A deal to settle a historic row over trade in bananas between Latin American exporters and the European Union is off after the failure of broader world trade talks on Tuesday, European trade officials said.

The world's top banana exporter, Ecuador, reacted angrily and demanded that the EU stick to the agreement to slash its import tariffs on bananas. Europe is Ecuador's biggest market for banana exports.

I wonder if this will affect the cost of bananas at the 99¢ store? At the moment I can buy a bunch of bananas for, (You guessed it!), 99¢.

I also found this next story while looking at news on the net. Just when you begin to think you know your history, you find that the renaissance was actually started by the Chinese!

Gavin Menzies sparked headlines across the globe in 2002 with the claim that Chinese sailors reached America 70 years before Christopher Columbus.

Now he says a Chinese fleet brought encyclopedias of technology undiscovered by the West to Italy in 1434, laying the foundation for the engineering marvels such as flying machines later drawn by Italian polymath Leonardo.

"Everything known to the Chinese by the year 1430 was brought to Venice," said Menzies, a retired Royal Navy submarine commander, in an interview at his north London home.

From Venice, a Chinese ambassador went to Florence and presented the material to Pope Eugenius IV, Menzies says.

"I argue in the book that this was the spark that really ignited the renaissance and that Leonardo and (Italian astronomer) Galileo built on what was brought to them by the Chinese.

"Leonardo basically redrew everything in three dimensions, which made a vast improvement."

If accepted, the claim would force an "agonizing reappraisal of the Eurocentric view of history", Menzies says in his book "1434: The Year A Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed To Italy and Ignited The Renaissance".

Whew, that calls for a moment to pause and reflect.

Sacramento river 7/29/08
Since I am indoors now, I can take a deep breath and move to a different story.
I like to read stuff like the following;
Published: July 29, 2008

It is well known that panes of stained glass in old European churches are thicker at the bottom because glass is a slow-moving liquid that flows downward over centuries.

Well known, but wrong. Medieval stained glass makers were simply unable to make perfectly flat panes, and the windows were just as unevenly thick when new.

The tale contains a grain of truth about glass resembling a liquid, however. The arrangement of atoms and molecules in glass is indistinguishable from that of a liquid. But how can a liquid be as strikingly hard as glass?

Glass, Up Close

Molecules, panes and a glob.
There was much more on the properties of glass and the variation of molecular structure in glass that is cooled down quickly vs. slowly, but you can read Kenneth Chang at your leisure in the New York Times.

I found the following good news while reading the technical sites;

The NFL and NBC are teaming up to stream 17 regular season games with additional content, and it won’t cost you a penny.

I like this because I don't use cable or satellite to get TV. I watch regular broadcast signals that I pick up with rabbit ears. I have to say that the new digital broadcasting is terrific. The picture is perfect and the sound is Dolby 5.1 digital sound. I use the coaxial output from the TV into my stereo and the sound is outstanding. (To my ear, the speakers on television sets are woefully limited.) But I stray from the topic of football.

I really enjoy watching NFL football, and if I can watch extra games on my computer, (With the sound going through the stereo.), this season should be a lot of fun.

Life is good here in Redding.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunshine and a Global Music Project

Good Day Today.

90° in the shade by the river. 7/28 4:30PM

The sky was blue for awhile today. You could see that we have mountains. The air was safe to breathe. Yesterday I took the following picture around sunset.

Mount Lassen 7/27/08
The smoke lifted to reveal this, "Kodak moment", even if I do use an Olympus.

It was the first time in a month that I could see Lassen from the parking lot. It was beautiful, I am glad I can share it.
The day before provided this view of the evening sun...

That evenin' sun goin' down. 7/26/08
The day before this, the smoke was so thick, you couldn't see the sun at all.

You may recall from a blog I wrote last month, that I envision joining with musicians around the world to create music by sending MP3's back and forth and adding parts,(words/music), to songs that we write and record, and hear if the results make us happy. Well, today I recorded part of a song and sent it to a fellow musician/songwriter in the U.K. He sees this as a fun idea too. Stay tuned, it may take a few songs before we figure out the best way to do this, but it's a start.

The control room.

Ready to roll in, "Studio A".
This was not possible until recently. When people would add parts to recordings by people in different cities, it was an expensive proposition. Even though some of us had home recording capability, we all had equipment with different compatibility. Even the big time recording studios had compatibility issues with the size tape and number of tracks their equipment used.

Now we can use anything we have, to record on, and be able to send this music back and forth around the world. We simply convert our recording to an MP3 file and e-mail it! The person receiving the MP3, can then import it into whatever kind of recorder they have, add a part, and send it on to the next musician or back to the first person, or both. I use the word, "person", because I know there are talented men, and women, out there who would enjoy doing this.

I'm not suggesting that we use the low grade type of MP3 that is used for iPods, but the kind that is pretty close to keeping enough information to hear harmonic overtones and the color and timbre of the instruments. There are different grades of MP3's based on the size of the file. The quick, space saving downloads only reproduce 15% of the original information. Our brains fill in the blanks, and over time, who knows what we are actually hearing? Like thinking a big Mac is actually food.

Home Studio and control room. 7/28/08

Writing by the river 7/28/08
It was, "So nice to be outside". Even if I don't plan to use the lyrics I am writing in this picture, I really enjoyed a wildfire smoke free day, today.
My life is blessed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Seeing Through the Smoky Atmosphere

Things I've Seen Lately

It's a little hard to see things outside in Redding today. It's very smoky. I took this picture of downtown Redding from behind the dollar store on Lake Blvd.

View of downtown Redding 7/25/08

Normally. you can see the city from this spot.

Same view in May.
With that in mind, I am doing my sightseeing on the internet.
I watch science news videos from Scientific American .
I find this one especially informative and entertaining.

I sometimes watch the news on TV, but I can only laugh at the weatherman for so long. Channel 7 news, here in Redding, has the weather guy on for every segment. The news anchors are squeezed behind a small desk with a backdrop of the station logo. The weather guy has a great big Starship Command Center, with lots of flat screen monitors flashing videos in the background of hurricanes, charts, graphs, satellite overlays, and rocket launches. He also has a blue screen area where he gesticulates with arm sweeps, spins, pointing and bowing, all the while talking about high pressure, low pressure, inversion layers, high altitude air flow, temperature and humidity, and the expected highs and lows for each and every town in northern California.

The yearly forecast for Redding and vicinity can be summed up in one sentence.
Hot in summer, cold in winter, and relatively mild for a week or two in between.

With the advent of the wildfires, they have added air quality visual aids. There is a graph, (Color coded, of course.), that shows smoke colored pillars at various heights next to the color gradient. On the top of the smoke pillars rides a number to indicate the health risk of breathing the air in each of the towns listed at the bottom of the pillar. The highest danger is colored red and is titled hazardous. It's sort of like that color coded terrorist threat nonsense. Someone wrote the TV station and asked what the numbers meant and after explaining particulates per cubic inch, the weather guy admitted that they didn't represent anything, but that they were just for reference. Never the less, this chart is shown at least 3 times during the newscast.

I remember when the weather was covered in the last 30 seconds of the news. My favorite weather presenters would be on just before the Steve Allen show. One year it was a Jane Mansfield type in a skimpy dress, who would stand in front of a big bulletin board with hard to reach numbers that she would point to, or stretch up to change. The next year they had a guy in a clown suit. Today we have meteorologists who, with the appropriate amount of gravitas, seem to think that what they say or do will have some effect on the weather.
Bring back the gushing starlet, and send in the clown.

Meanwhile, on the internet.

UCLA space scientists and colleagues have identified the mechanism that triggers substorms in space; wreaks havoc on satellites, power grids and communications systems; and leads to the explosive release of energy that causes the spectacular brightening of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. See this story at Sciencedaily .

From Chandra X-ray Observatory 2006

In 1619 A.D., Galileo Galilei coined the term "aurora borealis" after Aurora, the Roman goddess of morning. He had the misconception that the auroras he saw were due to sunlight reflecting from the atmosphere.

Am I the only one who noticed that there were very few, if any, protests against Obama on his recent trip? The world loves him, too bad some racist Americans are having trouble voting for a black man. Happy Obama video.

And now, presenting the Phoenix Mars Lander .

I hope you have enjoyed sightseeing with me on and off the earth.

Time Traveling

I've Heard of Dark Days, But...

I woke up and thought all my clocks must be wrong.

Who turned off the sun? 8:45
I stepped out on the balcony and saw a dark, and smoke filled, morning.

The morning dark.
We have had a lot of smoke in the last month because of the wildfires, but this morning is highly unusual.
I had better check outside again.
It's even darker and there doesn't seem to be anyone out and about.
I had better check the news on my computer.
And that's when the mystery was solved.
I looked at the computer clock and it read, 9:16 PM!
I woke up having experienced a nights worth of dreams and figured it was morning.
I had only been asleep for an hour.
It's still last night!

This presents some magical perceptions on my part. To my mind and body, I am time traveling in the past. So now, looking back on this time, I can change the future. "Bwaa, ha ha,ha...the world is mine. I have broken the time barrier."

I have the night of July 24th to live all over again.
I think I will make some food.

Frying Bacon.
Cooking is a pleasure, except for my hernia. I have the computer set on Pandora Free Radio and I am listening to Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, The modern Jazz Quartet, and other music of the same ilk while I alternate between the stove and my comfortable, back and hernia soothing, chair. You can set Pandora to play whatever kind of music you might enjoy, and it will play just what you want for hours on end without commercials or announcers, click on the link above, and create your own radio stations.

Bacon, veggies, taters and eggs.
I am enjoying this time traveling to the night before.
When I passed up a meal before going to bed, I sort of wished I had eaten. With this chance to change the past, I must say that it was really good to eat.

Now that I have my wits about me, I think I will put this picture...

Red Oak w/LMP Trio, and Chrissy on board.

...into the Cd art work for the latest recordings of the LMP Trio. You can listen to a song from this CD at Leona, Marian and I play music from the 20's to the 60's, and help raise money for the restoration of the Red Oak Victory. You can Google Red Oak Victory to learn more about this historical ship.

Good News

California utilities lead the nation in solar power.

New solar plant in southern California.
It's good to know that we are making progress in non-petroleum energy production.
I am glad I had this chance to go back in time. It has been well worth the trip.
Grace is heavenly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life in the Milky Way

A Broader Perspective

Pinwheel Galaxy

Today there was an article in the on line version of the local paper, about the condition of the forests after the wildfires that have been burning for a month. The article stated that for the most part, these fires were good for the forest. This set off a series of comments from on line readers that left me wondering about the perspectives of the writers. One poster in particular got my attention when he referred to the forest as, "OUR", forest. There were a lot of suggestions about how we should manage, our, forests.

First of all, they are not our forests, and secondly, they have been doing just fine with or without our management. How presumptuous to claim Gods creations as our own. This attitude that somehow we are separate from the rest of life, is delusional. We are no more important in the order of life on this planet than a bug or a blade of grass. We don't own anything. We just made up that concept. In the big picture, our conceit is laughable. The universe goes on with or without us.

We hear a lot of talk about Global Warming, Nuclear Disaster, Destruction of Rain Forests, and other earth threatening calamities caused by human activity, but those things are not going to end the earth. They will probably be the end of us, but not the planet. If earth were to run into a giant space rock, that just might put an end to the planet.

Illustration of Asteroid Tracker Satellite
Canada, plans to orbit a satellite in 2010 that will locate and track space rocks, to warn us of doomsday collisions.
Our flagrant disregard of history, and the customs of those who have gone before us, only causes us problems. The Vikings started a colony on Greenland. Did they adopt the ways of the people who had been living there for hundreds of years? Of course not. They built houses, planted crops and wore the clothes they wore in Europe. They were freezing their asses off, so they ended up chopping down all the trees to stay warm. Without the protection of the trees, the crops failed, the animals died and they went back home cursing that, "God forsaken place."

People lived in northern California for thousands of years before we came here and took over. I don't recall any of the original inhabitants building permanent structures in the forest. No, it took great thinkers like us to build on flood plains, beaches, and on the sides of volcanoes. How many of our attempts to alter nature, to suit our purposes, have ultimately failed?

Our way of life is artificial and extremely vulnerable to collapse. I am happy to have the comforts of our civilization, but I also know that all this stuff is no more than a fly speck on the great scheme of things.
We, are all part of all creation.

We are made of the same stuff that comprises the known universe. When I feel that I am part of all things, I am comforted, empowered, and spiritually aware.
I feel that connection and I am happy.
I am cosmic dust with comprehension.
I am blessed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Biscuits, Monsanto, and Blue Skies

Biscuits for Dinner

I have been having some annoying after effects from standing and preparing the kind of meals I truly enjoy. In addition to my deteriorating disks and the damage to my sciatic nerve, my hernia is telling me to get surgery soon. It's getting more difficult to keep my intestine stuffed inside like it's supposed to be. I have to find a surgeon who does these operations with a good success rate that will take my case before my case ends up in the emergency room. At any rate, preparing a nutritious gourmet meal isn't happening until I get the hernia fixed, so I have been making parts of meals, like salad or grilled vegetables.

Tonight I didn't have fresh veggies in the fridge, but I found a cylinder of biscuits. Alright, easy...

Cylinder of biscuits and pizza pan/cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven for 400° and bake for 15 minutes. This is the 2nd time I have used the oven since I moved here last December. Now that I think about it, I made biscuits then as well. Back in December, I went out to get a baking pan to cook biscuits and figured one day I might make pizza, so why not get a pizza pan for cookies and biscuits too? I have yet to make a pizza.

" Mmm, feels like beef tallow."

If you are squeamish, don't read the ingredients on the cylinder. In addition to highly processed, genetically modified corn, wheat, and soy products, it contains 15% of things like beef tallow and potassium chloride, but no buttermilk.

"Buttermilk", biscuits.

Still alive after eating easy to prepare, fake food.

I could spend years reading all the reports, legislation, articles and dangers of Monsanto's GM, roundup ready seeds and the damage these crops are doing to life on earth, but I would be dead of the diseases caused by eating this stuff before I could read half of the scientific data that suggests that it's bad for us. Here is a brief synopsis of what I have found so far;

Monsanto has been using our government to promote the use of GMO's, ( They hold over 1,000,000 patents for genetic modification.). The U.N and the World Trade Organization are coercing countries around the world to buy and use these products. There is no seed saving, these are one crop seeds. Farmers must buy more GM seeds and Roundup each year. It is illegal for farmers in Iraq to plant any crop other than Monsanto GM roundup ready seeds. To plant real crops would result in a loss of property, fines and imprisonment. Operation Iraqi freedom?

More than 70% of the food in our grocery stores has Genetically Modified food products in it!
Bee keepers in the U.S. are refusing to let their bees pollinate GM crops because the pollen is toxic to the bees.
Studies are showing an increase in allergies, intestinal lesions, reproductive disorders, and liver disease in rats that are fed GM foods.
Roundup is a form of Agent Orange.
New forms of roundup resistant weeds are beginning to appear.
Some of the GM crops are beginning to fail as organisms adapt to the pesticides genetically introduced to the plants DNA.
The pollen from these crops is polluting natural crops that grow nearby.
GM plants kill the larvae of the Monarch Butterfly.

Happier News...

"Campfire smoke" moon. 12:00 am 7/20/08

Morning moon 6:00 am 7/20/08
Most of the wildfires are pretty much out, or under control. The smoke has been dissipating daily and soon the air will be ok to breathe again.

Blue skies and tiny cumulus clouds 4:00 pm

There were tiny, white clouds, like floating polka dots, in the blue sky.

On my balcony 7/20/08 4:00 pm

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fun With Audacity

What Fun

Today I tested out my new strings with a recording of, " Good Day."
What fun. I enjoyed playing and singing and I learned a lot about Audacity.
First, the studio...

What I use to record.

I am using an iMac 600MHz power PC G3, Audacity recording/editing software, my 30 year old Takamine, a Behringer XENYX 802 mixer, and a matched set of Beyerdynamic microphones. The only thing I had to buy new was the mixer. I have had a cool recording music workstation all this time and didn't even know it! I always thought I would have to get pro tools and some sort of digital mixer that uses firewire or USB to record with this computer.

I am so thankful that I am somehow given the skills, equipment and knowledge, at the time when I am ready to use them.

Tonights moon and what appears to be Saturn.
Looking back I can see how God, put me in exactly the right place and time for pretty much everything in my life. I am thankful for my blessings.

Back to the music...

Sing and play the song on two tracks.

First I sang and played the song using 2 tracks, (stereo.) I set the mics so that they would, "hear", what I hear, I had the vocal mic next to my right ear, pointing down toward the guitar to try and capture what I hear while singing and playing. I placed the guitar mic about 18" away and pointing at an angle toward the body of the guitar. The most common method of microphone placement is pointed at the sound hole. I chose to try and get more of the sound that is developed by the body and soundboard. The holes in the face of stringed instruments are there for the sound to go in so that it is developed, colored and shaped by the wood of the body. I can hear the difference.

The angle and distance of the microphones allowed the vocal to bleed into the guitar mic, and some of the guitar bled into the vocal mic. I think this spices up the molecular soup on each track.

Next add second guitar.

Having listened to the recorded tracks and being satisfied that it was a heartfelt rendition with no glaring mistakes, I chose to add a second guitar as a complimentary portion of additional music to enhance the listening experience. I used two mic's on the guitar for this.

More fun...

Using Audacity noise reduction.

One of the drawbacks to recording at home, in a small apartment, is background noise. The new self-defrosting refrigerators are an enthusiastic concert of growls and grumbles, hums and rumbles, punctuated with the sound of bubbles popping. In the past I have been known to unplug refrigerators for recording sessions, and forget to plug them back in. This creates a different set of growls and grumbles.

Then there is the A/C. It's a cataclysmic combination of car wash, freight train and someone dragging a trash can down an alley. Here in Redding it is absolutely essential that the apartment stay air conditioned. The refrigerator and the A/C cycle on and off as needed to maintain a constant temperature.

Thanks to Audacity, I can record with them turning on and off and not worry about that noise on my recordings. Included among the many effects is one called, " Noise Reduction." You give it a second or two of the offensive buzz, hiss, hum or rumble and it creates a, " Profile ", of the components of that sound and removes it from the tracks without affecting the sound of the music. It really works great!
I did some editing to remove a few distractions and converted the 3 tracks to an MP3. Then something serendipitous happened. My plan was to import the stereo mix and trim the excess space at the beginning, but I discovered that I had inadvertently added the mix as two extra tracks along with the three original tracks. This created a doubling, or tight delay effect that enhanced the over all feel of the song.
Listen for yourself. Good Day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Intuition and Instinct

Intuition is knowing. ( Me )
Sometimes referred to as a sixth sense or second sight.
Intuition is the act by which the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas. When using only intuition, the truth of the proposition is immediately known right then, the moment it is presented. This is without the intervention of other ideas or deductive reasoning. ( Wikipedia )

Full Buck Moon and Jupiter 7/18/08
This evening as I was starting to write about instinct and intuition, I went out on my balcony to meditate and collect my thoughts. When I saw the moon, I knew if I took a picture, I would be glad later. At the same time, I knew the picture I was seeing in my mind would not be taken until 4:00 in the morning. My intuition told me I would wake up around 4 and go out on the balcony to take a moon picture. Could it have been instinct that woke me at the right time?

Full Buck Moon 7/18/08

During a sunset in May, I looked to the east and saw Mt. Lassen glowing in the last rays of the suns direct light and took this picture by holding the binocular eyepiece against the lens on my camera. It was hard to keep the image in the viewfinder because the tiniest shake would put the lenses out of alignment.

Mount Lassen through one side of binoculars

I am still looking for a good way to attach my binoculars to the camera. A piece of rubber tubing would work, but so far all I have found was expensive radiator hose. One day I will see just what I need and I will intuitively know it will be perfect.

Instinct is doing without knowing. ( Me )
Sometimes referred to as a natural tendency or compulsion.
Instinct is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. Instinctual actions have no learning curve, they are hard-wired and ready to use without learning. Instincts are inherited fixed action responses or reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. ( Wikipedia )

Sometimes people will say, "Trust your instincts", when in fact they are referring to your intuition. To trust requires the use of a higher brain function and instinct operates without thought. So you would actually be trusting your intuition to know that the stimuli for an instinctive behavior is imminent and the result will be benificial.

Intuition is more of a perception than a behavioral action. Instinct is more like automatic behavior, but not necessarily a reflex. A reflex would be sneezing or other involuntary acts.

Intuition tells me I should explain the Buck Moon, for those who haven't read some of my earlier posts. The Algonquins and other tribes had names for the moon related to events that would annually occur during a particular month. In July, a buck's antlers would begin to show as they pushed out from the deers forehead. This moon is also called the Thunder Moon for the many thunderstorms that would occur each July. It is sometimes called the Hay Moon. Instinct is me wanting to lie down and sleep now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hay Moon and Air Force One

Hay Moon and Air Force 1

Hay Moon, Jupiter and very tiny Saturn

Last night sitting on my balcony, I could see that the Hay/Buck/Thunder Moon was nearly full. The Redding night sky was still smoky from the wildfires, but the moon and Jupiter shown through with a red-orange light. Saturn was visible, but it doesn't seem to be showing in this tiny picture.

It never ceases
to amaze me,
to know that
what we see
is sunlight
back to us
from these

The Moon and Jupiter 7/16/08


This is from the comments section of a story in the Redding Record Searchlight after I read many discouraging words from contentious, politically polarized readers.

Posted by HappyPhil on July 17, 2008 at 10:40 a.m.

I am happy to have been born in this beautiful country, live in this beautiful area, and am glad that our United States have banded together to assist us with our wildfires.
The president, good or bad, has come to town to view the damages as the representative of this compassionate nation. I will go to see that.

AF1 on approach 7/17/08

AF1 flies over me 7/17/08

AF1 7/17/08

AF1 nears touchdown 7/17/08
George Bush came to town today. He and Arnold, the "Governater," are flying around in a helicopter looking at fires as I write this. I think I'll go up to the dam and maybe get a picture of them flying by.
30 minutes later:
I am back with pictures, but not of helicopter.

Shasta Dam 7/17/08

When I got there, I asked a guy if Marine 1 had flown by yet. He said they had just flown across the dam from the lake and off to the west,"about 5 minutes ago."

Looking West 7/17/08

I talked with him for awhile, took these pictures, and came back home to eat some ice cream. I guess I'll make a banana, blueberry sundae and watch the 5 o'clock news when it comes on. Tonight is the blues jam and I'm looking forward to hearing how my new strings will sound.