Friday, October 31, 2008

Time Change Blues

Time Change Blues

Geese on the Sacramento River 10/29/08
I was down by the river the other day, thinking about the changing of the clocks. The geese don't care, the river doesn't care, the trees don't care, so I wondered,"Why do we change the clocks?"

I guess the first question should be; "Why do we all set our clocks the same?"
The answer was over my head.

Why we have standard time.
Bigger Hint...

To keep trains on schedule,(and from running into each other), Standard time was established in London, 1840. When the whole country got their clocks together, it was 1847, and they called it Greenwich Mean Time. ( I suppose I would be mean too, if I were a green witch!).
Back on the Track

Tracks just before they go under Lake Blvd.
While I followed time, I followed the tracks that take the trains I hear from my apartment. On a warm summer evening, I can hear the trains from downtown Redding, and can follow their course across the river and through the gully, under Lake Blvd, to Oasis road and beyond to Lake Shasta.

Looking toward Lake Blvd from Oasis Rd.

Looking toward Lake Shasta from Oasis Rd.
You may wonder what sitting on my patio on a warm summers night, listening to the train, has to do with Daylight savings time... Well, it all began in 1784 with an idea that Ben Franklin had for an, "economical project", or it could also be attributed to William Willit, as he was riding one English morning in 1907, and noticed peoples houses still had their shutters closed. He thought that was wasted daylight that would be better used in the summer evenings.

A rose by any other name.... 10/29/08
It was the Germans and Austrians that implemented the first national "Daylight Savings Time", in 1916, to conserve fuel for electric power.
In America we called it, "War Time", during the 1940's.

Someone thought it would be good to change the days we start and end daylight savings in America this century, so we go back on the 1st Sunday in November. The thought was to have more daylight on voting day. Right! Then they thought it would be good for trick or treaters, but they forgot that kids don't go out until it's dark.
I sure hope Obama wins, and we get some smarter people in government positions.

Mushrooms by the stairwell 10/29/31

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Perfect Timing

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunset, Bat Baby, Lake Shasta and the Volcano Song

Nice Sunset Yesterday

Sunset from my Balcony 10/27/08
Sometimes the sunsets here are breathtaking.

It's A Gas, Gas, Gas...
The Rolling Stones

Price of gas on Monday, before I cleaned the windshield

Cell phone pic this evening 10/28/08
Well, whadda ya know, the price went down 4 more cents!
Impatience made me get gas yesterday, but then I was on empty. Maybe the price will be even lower next week when I will have enough money to fill it up.

The Adventures of Bat Baby

Thanks to Jo Anna for the picture
I haven't heard from Bat Girl for a few days, but the last I heard, she was on the San Juan islands. Maybe they don't have cell phone service in that part of Washington state.
This bat baby will do just fine for today's blog.

Here in Redding;

Leaves and fruit, (berries?), by my balcony. 10/27/08
Fall is falling all around me. I had planned a trip east toward Burney to photograph the fall colors, but it was not to be, at this time. The forest service has been doing a controlled burn by Mount Lassen, that has that side of the valley pretty much smoked out. It might produce an interesting effect to my photos, but then there is the matter of fuel for the car. It will, like anything else that requires money, just have to wait until next week.

On the other hand, I am just down the road from Shasta Dam, so I took a ride up there today.

Transportation provided by; Marian Sauer
It was a beautiful day for a ride in the Buick.
It looks and feels like it was made for a fall day drive up to the lake.

Driver and photographer, Happy Phil
The lake is down to early 90's level and one can see a portion of the tower that was part of the dam construction, rising as the water level falls.

Shasta dam and lake 10/28/08

If you look close, you can see a car crossing the dam.
From this vantage point, you can see some of the damage from the wildfires we had in July.
The lake is still over 300 feet deep at the dam. There was an article about the legend of the giant fish that dwell in the depths of Shasta lake. There are some sturgeon that were in this part of the river before the dam was built, so 300+ pound sturgeons, could very likely make their home in the lake.

The boat ramp is a long way down. 10/28/08

Boat ramp from another viewpoint 10/28/08

Mount Shasta looms in the distance 10/28/08
All in all, it has been another wonderful day, here in Redding.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Volcano -Jimmy Buffet

Enjoy God's Beautiful Earth

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grass fire, weinies, wisdom and Woody

Woodpecker Starts Fire

Firebug bird
From the Redding Record Searchlight;

For the second time this month a tiny wild creature is taking the blame for sparking a grass fire in Redding.

Last time it was a squirrel. This time it was a woodpecker.

"It's a conspiracy," joked Redding Assistant Fire Marshal Ed Jestes just before firefighters contained a 2-acre grass fire near Lake Boulevard. "The animals are revolting."

The woodpecker's body was found beneath a power line and Jestes said it was clear that an electrical current had passed through the bird. A pile of acorns was stacked nearby at the base of a power pole.

I don't know what's going on with the animals on the south side of the hill, but the pile of acorns may be a clue.
The Weinermobile Comes to Town

Weinermobile 10/24/08
When I read that the weinermobile was in town, I just had to go see it. I needed a break from my regular happy life and here was my chance to do something totally frivolous.

Amanda the weinergirl 10/24/08
I sang the Oscar Meyer song with Amanda and a few spectators and we received free whistles.

A boy examines his Weiniewhistle 10/24/08

My Free, "Glows in the Dark", whistle. 10/24/08
When I got my free whistle home, I looked for a good place to photograph it. I chose one of my speaker cabinets as a backdrop.
I just love the way my furniture shows a deep luster and rich colors. I am so happy that Sandi is helping me keep my apartment clean and shiny.

Back to the Whistle

Testing my Glow in the Dark Weiniewhistle 10/24/08
Sometimes I forget to let go. The small stuff doesn't bother me like it used to, but I can still fall victim to my own selfishness. It's not going to help anything if I am in a hurry to get what I want. There are a few things that I think would make my life better that when I think about them too much, I get impatient. The weinermobile helped me to re-focus my energy.

I watched examples of impatience and selfishness during my Oscar Meyer experience. A lady pushing people out of her way so she could get into the weinermobile almost knocked me over on her way out. I was taking pictures of people singing the Oscar Meyer song, and...

Look out Amanda pushy lady gonna elbow you
I snapped this just as the pushy person was barreling out of the weinermobile. I have to give Amanda credit. She brushed it off and gave me the great smiling picture you saw earlier.

Another example of impatience and selfishness almost resulted in a wreck. A guy, I guess a really hungry guy, would have smashed into the Buick if I hadn't been paying attention. He was making a beeline for the drive-up to a fast food place. I noticed him weaving through the parked cars at high speed and I stopped to see what was chasing him, and, to stay out of his way. He raced across, inches in front of me, and came to a screeching halt behind the other cars in line for fast food. Had I been an average driver, or worse, had I been impatient and selfish as I was pulling out of the parking lot, it would not have been a happy situation. I wonder just how good a fast food sandwich can be to make it worth risking a bad situation?

Thinking too much in the future or the past leaves us witless in the present. I can't help everybody, but I don't have to harm anybody, especially me. I am thankful for my rich and abundant life. It is childish and unproductive to get upset about anything. Just because life isn't going the way I want it to, used to be reason enough for me to behave badly. I would still be crying over spilled milk, or acting on impulse if I hadn't reconnected with my spiritual self. God is here within me and all around me, always. Sometimes I forget and I too become impatient and selfish.

Putting how I feel about God into words is really good for me. It would be easy to copy and paste something from a great book or philosopher, but for me it would just be a coat of paint on my spirituality. I would rather arrange my electrons with direct help from God at this time. I am happy being me.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Woody Woodpecker

To thine own self be true

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Beat Goes On and a Tap Dance Too

The Beat Goes On

First a picture of part of the Pegasus region of space as seen from a telescope on Earth.

Distant Galaxies

I like pictures
of the vastness of space.
It helps me keep things in perspective.

Fruit on the tree by my balcony. 10/22/08
Closer to Earth
It's the time of the year for changes in foliage. I am told the colors are happening up by Burney and Alturas. I will try to put a trip together to get some pictures to show you what I find.

Sometimes my neighbor, Jo Anna, sends e-mail with great pictures. I thought this one was particularly noteworthy.

Child and cat

I found a nice story about Obama on the ABC News website. I kept checking the URL to be sure it was ABC news. There was nothing nasty or negative in the whole 4 pages about Obama and his grandmother. All the previous stories on ABC news have been anti Obama and pro republican. I wonder what happenend?
I looked at a slide show they had of campaign photos and found this...

At the end of the last debate...really.
I think he was relieved that the debate was over.
I was so surprised to find this picture at ABC news that I joined their comment group.

Papa Paul Thomas and I continue to write and develop songs for our Global Music Project.

I can hear the train winding it's way down to Redding from up here on the hill. I couldn't have picked a better spot to live.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Chattanooga Choo Choo
A man of courage is also full of faith.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fireworks and the Fool on the Hill

October 4th of July
What a great time for the 4th of July.
The weather was a little bit chilly for me, but my shivering made for some intriguing photos.
My friend, A.J. lives down by the river, and we set out lawn chairs in an open field next to his place right across the river from where they were setting of the fireworks. I took 67 pictures with my Olympus 540.
Here are 8 of them for your pleasure.


The Unflappable Spin Doctors
Before the last presidential debate, at a rally for Obama, there was a questioner, planted by the republicans, who told Obama that his tax plan wouldn't help him because he was going to buy the plumbing business he worked for. He said his $250,000 income would be taxed. Obama's answer was cut from the sound bite, and the news media played the clip over and over before the debate.

John McCain was told to use the story of, "Joe, the plummer", during the debate. He did. A lot. "Joe would be in the poorhouse and small businesses would fail all over America if Obama were elected", etc.

A journalist looked into the facts, and discovered that "Joe the plummer" was a fraud. He actually makes $40,000, hasn't got a plummers license, and he owes the IRS for unpaid taxes. You would think the republicans would say,"Oops, we're sorry", but that's not their style.
Spin doctors to the rescue.
Make it the democrats fault.

The story now is about the democrats ruining the life of a private citizen who spoke out against Obama. Amazing!

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
The Fool On The Hill
The Beatles

Next to God we are nothing.
To God we are Everything.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Good Day Over The River

"Take It To The Bridge"
(What I yell to the band at the Blues Jam to let them know the song is changing.)

Sundial Bridge Today

Phil on the bridge. (Cell Phone Cam) 10/16/08

Beautiful day at the Sundial Bridge. 10/16/08

Looking west at Whiskey Town controlled burn.

Geese fly over bridge suspension cable 10/16/08

View from the bridge 10/16/08

Digital depth measuring device 10/16/08
Scientists are taking measurements of the Sacramento river from this, and other bridges as part of a global project to enable a satellite survey of the surface depths of the worlds water sources.

Fishermen wade in the Sacramento by the bridge.

Justin guards the fireworks for Saturdays display.
Part of Turtle Bay and the area around the Sundial Bridge is fenced off to protect the public from the pryotecnics that will be used on Saturday for our 4th of July celebration. The fireworks were rescheduled because of the wildfires that were raging here back in July.
The Adventures of Bat Girl

Bat Girl reflects on the beauty of Yellowstone
"That's a snow capped mountain in the distance."

"Stay tuned for my next exciting installment."

As the Sun Sets

Controlled burn sunset from my stairwell 10/16/08

This has been a good day for me.
I have helped people and people have helped me.
I hope you had a good day too.
Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Some Assembly Required