Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quantum Music

New Stars

Image of prolific star-forming region RCW 49 (Spitzer)

You can visit
the Spitzer site, HERE.

The Center of The Milky Way

See the detailed image, HERE.

I was listening
to some college radio stations on the internet today, and it reminded me of the end of my college days when I first moved to Houston.

Houston, 1964

Beautiful Houston, 1964.

I arrived in Houston with my brother Jerry, and my friend, Mike Bustillos. Mike had been playing guitar in my west Texas band, and wanted to come to Houston to try his luck.

I found this street view in Google Maps. Our street.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I was there because I was 19 and my parents moved there because the University of Houston wanted dad to be part of their chemistry department. I had been going to Sul Ross State College, and I figured I would continue at the University of Houston.

Mike found an ad
for a band needing a guitar player and wanted to check it out. I said I would drive him. While we were there, they asked me to play and sing a couple of songs. Mike didn’t get the gig, but I did. The band was to audition at a night club, and so I said sure.

Lovely Houston, 1964.

We played the audition and the lady in charge told me I was hired, but the band was not. She asked if I could put a band together to be her, “house band”, and I said, “Sure”. I didn’t how to do that, but I was 19 and just did stuff, so I put an ad in the paper for a drummer, bass, sax, and a Hammond B-3 player. The first to call was a drummer named, Bob Raines. He was amazed that I had simply put an ad in the paper for band members, but he was interested and he knew some musicians if the ad didn’t get me what I was looking for.

The band fell together with ease and the lady who ran the club had my name advertised as playing at her club, on busses, taxis, and newspapers all over Houston.

Just like that, I was a star.

In Houston.

Note the Isetta 300. Houston trench traffic jam, 1964.

Mike Bustillos went back
to Barstow, Texas, and the band he auditioned for, never spoke to me again. I signed up for a couple of college classes, but who needs college when you’ve got your own rhythm and blues band and all the benefits that come with it?

The Earth, Monday.

GOES - 14 satellite full-disk image of Earth. 7/27/09

From approximately 35,786 km (22,236 miles) in space, NOAA's newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite -- GOES-14 -- took its first full-disk visible image of the earth on July 27, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

That concludes
today's space/time travel.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Time In A Bottle - Muppets

Life Is Good

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Early Morning

Farmers Market

Local Shasta Honey Bee honey. 7/25/09

I got up early today to go to the Farmers Market by City Hall. I have lived here for almost 2 years, and I figured it was about time I checked out this regular Saturday morning event. There were lots of people there buying fruits and vegetables.

Colorful stuff at the Farmers Market. 7/25/09

More colorful stuff.

I bought honey and meat. Honey, collected this week, right here in Redding. I don't have allergies, but if I did, this honey would alleviate my symptoms.

The meat is from Johansen's Quality Meats. Grass fed, happy cow. No weird stockyard damaged, sick animal meat for me. They knew this cow from birth to butchering and it ate the kind of stuff that cattle are designed to eat. This means a product with balanced CLA that I can metabolize. I looked up the company on the internet. They wrote;

"CLA – remember this new acronym!
It’s going to change the way America eats for the better! It’s amazing what a difference diet really makes, for cattle and for us. When cattle eat right, beef is incredibly good for you!"

"Thompson Valley animals enjoy a completely natural diet of fresh grass and legumes that are rich in healthy compounds that are stored, in the meat, by the animal in the form of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, beta carotene and conjugated linoleic acid or CLA."

I am feeling healthier just knowing that steak is in the refrigerator.

Healthy, Happy Phil. 7/25/09

Sculpture Or Blue Plastic Tarp?

The sculpture in front of the library. 7/25/09

I dropped off a book and a DVD at the library after the market and once again thought that there was a blue plastic tarp covering something by the front door, until I got close enough to see that it was the metal sculpture they recently installed. Maybe if it was silver or aluminum colored it wouldn't look like a plastic tarp.

Let The Fun Begin

I found some interesting images while surfing the web today.

The Railroad Park Resort

Castle Crags loom in the background. 7/19/09

Sleep in a caboose. It sounds like fun. 7/19/09

I meant to write more
about my trip to Mt. Shasta, last Sunday, especially about the Railroad Park Resort. When I first stopped there in 1970 something, I met an, "old guy", that had collected a couple of railroad cars and a dream. Now it's a fully developed resort. www.rrpark.com

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Long Black Train - Lonnie Johnson, 1930

Everlasting Love

Monday, July 20, 2009

At One Time, The Cool Accessory

Used To Be The Zippo

When I was younger, one of the ways to look cool was to show ones prowess with a Zippo lighter. A mans sophistication was measured by his skill at whipping out, snapping open, lighting, and closing his lighter. This action was accompanied by an attitude of self satisfaction and, "coolness".

Now It's Cell Phones

The other day
I observed the same, "Zippo Cool", behavior in a friends grandson, only he was texting on a cell phone. The snap open, the nonchalant quick text, close and holstering, was so familiar, but I didn't make the connection until this morning. The cell phone gives new meaning to, "Smooth Operator".

Everything Cell Phone VIDEO

Mt. Shasta

From the little town of Mt. Shasta. 7/19/09

I set out today to take a few pictures and to find someplace cooler than Redding. I let the spirit direct me north and just enjoyed the wind of the air conditioner on my face.

It was 107 when I left town and the cool slopes of Mt. Shasta beckoned me.

Village Books. 7/19/09

I took a lot of pictures on the way and stopped in a little book store/internet cafe to load them into the Macbook. Since I am on line, I thought I might add a few words to today's blog. I have had a couple cups of coffee and its time to go up the mountain a ways.

"Top Of The World, Ma"

Up on Mt. Shasta 7/19/09 (photo-by another tourist)

End of road where tourist took my picture at 7,900 ft.

After taking many
pictures and some video, I came down the mountain and went west to Lake Siskiyou. The last time I was there was in 1978. There were very few people there back then compared to now, but it is still quite beautiful and provided some nice views of Mount Shasta.

From Lake Siskiyou

Picture from the boat launch and marina. 7/19/09

Picture from the road behind Lake Siskiyou. 7/19/09

Flowers along W A Barr road near Lake Siskiyou.

It was a pleasure to be able to go to Mount Shasta, yesterday. I took over 250 pictures, many of which were of the flowers ,(I welcome any help with the names of flowers).

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

The Happy Wanderer - The Muppets

God's Green Earth

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Think I Prefer

Old And Dependable

I have reached the age where experience has shown the words, "New And Improved", are the end of a reliable product. Whether the example is Coca Cola when they decided HFCS was cheaper than sugar, or when Peter Paul tried to foist synthetic chocolate on Almond Joy customers, the New and Improved version of any reliable product only means disappointment.

Enjoying 70 degrees at 7:00 AM on the balcony.

I have to say
I am not thrilled with Apple and the strategies they are using to woo PC people to the Macintosh computer. Each new update adds a bunch of features to make Macs and PC's more compatible, and diminishes the satisfying reliability of my computer. The Mac is supposed to do it's magic in the background while I do my music, photography, videos, and artwork without having to do computer repair and maintenance. Instead, every other day there is some new security update, or software improvement just as if I was running Windows. I didn't sign on for that crap.

Luckily, for me, my iMac is still running an older reliable version of OS-X, and this Macbook has been backed up with Time Machine. I can always go back in time to an older, reliable, version of OS-X if I get too frustrated with all these so called, "Improvements".

Fresh Outlook

After a clean and refreshing shower.

Okay, I have washed the taint of Microsoft out of my hair, and I can once again enjoy some of the things I have learned that make me happy.

Soap That Lasts

Long lasting Lever 2000.

Just before I moved up here to Redding in 2007, my friend, Garie Lebow, gave me some wash cloths and a bar of soap for my new place. I have been using the bar of soap at my bathroom sink since I got here. I finally had to replace it. I used it primarily for shaving, and it has lasted all this time.

Shaving Tip

Shave during, or just after a shower. Your beard is softer then, and the shaving is easy.

Gazing at the neon moon.

Just For Fun

Today' Relatively Appropriate Song;
Lost Mind - Silvia Fernandez

Resolution and Peace

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's So Simple

Serenity and Serendipity

Photo with ViviCam 8025. 7/14/09

I stopped by Stu and Sandi's to read the user manual for the new Vivitar camera. It was on a CD with the drivers and stuff to use the camera with Windows. I don't keep any word processing or Office programs on my Mac because I do documents and such, on-line with Google Docs. This made reading the instructions complicated, so I took the disk to Stu and Sandi's, Windows machine.

Stu and Sandi were nice enough to let me use their PC with Windows, and after about 20 or 30 minutes we got the user manual on screen where I could read it. I found how to turn off the date stamp and put the ISO back to default, I think.

Since I was close to a photogenic spot
on the river, I went on down to the Bonnyview bridge to take some pictures with my main camera, the Sanyo VPC T1060. The timing was perfect. There was a romantic river cruise boat leaving from the boat launch just as I arrived.

River Romance

Romance cruise boat on the Sacramento river. 7/14/09

It was cool and breezy by the river. 7/14/09

On the bank of the river in the shade. 7/14/09

After cooling off by the river, I went to Trader Joe's to get some blueberries and yogurt. They didn't have blueberries, but when I got bananas, I had a chance to show the nice produce lady what I had learned on the internet about opening a banana, (See blog post). She was impressed. Really.

At the checkout stand, the nice, checkout lady asked me what I did today, so I told her about taking a picture of a guy dressed up like a gondolier, standing and rowing a boat with a man and woman seated under a canopy. She said, "River Romance Cruises. I know that guy. We used to work together at Costco. His name is Todd."
I said, "Thanks, I'll look it up, on line, and put it in my blog.
River Romance Cruises

Things Change

Screen shot of word processing/rich text editor, Bean.

Yesterday, I drove over to Stu and Sandi's to use their PC so I could read a .doc file with the instructions for a camera. That worked, but later in the day I was reading an article and there was mention of a free word processing program for Mac's called, "Bean". I checked it out and downloaded it. It is simple and it works like a Mac program, (No weird, unnecessarily complicated, Microsoft stuff).

I can create documents,
"off-line", now, with Bean on my Macbook. (I use Apple Works on the iMac.)

Space Shuttle Launches

Still screen shot of shuttle from You Tube video.

The Endeavor lifted off today
from the same launch pad as Apollo 11.

Fred Mitchell and I watched the Apollo 11 launch from across the river in Titusville, Florida. It was loud, even from that distance. The sound pressure caused waves to radiate toward us on the suface of the water. We were so far away, the rocket looked about the size of a cardboard match.

By the time they got to the moon, our band was in New Orleans and we watched the walk on the moon from our room overlooking Jackson square.

Elmo and Fred in New Orleans 7/20/1969

Me on the balcony in New Orleans 7/20/1969

Old Millhouse Deli

Inviting picture of the entrance to Old Millhouse Deli.

John called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go to the Old Millhouse and play some music on Wednesday evening. I said sure, and the band played a few tunes. There were other musicians there to jam, and a nice warm time was had by all.

Outside on the lawn at the Old Millhouse. 7/15/09

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Jammin' - Bob Marley

Sing A Song

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Picture This

New Camera

New back up camera to replace the broken Olympus 540.

The other day I was at the Sundial bridge and the conditions were just right for some pictures. I pulled out the trusty Sanyo camera only to discover the battery was dead. I ended up taking some pictures with my cell phone, and although they were nice, the circumstance begged for better color and detail. I needed a new back up camera. The Olympus got damp during our last rainstorm and never fully recovered.

Today, when I was
at Walmart getting an extra, external hard drive, I saw an 8.1 Mega-pixel camera in a bubble pack, on a rack. It was affordable, and I figured if it was too cheesy, I could probably take it back. It's a Vivitar ViviCam 8025.
First Picture

From the second floor landing at the Treehouse.

I took a bunch of different shots to check for color, detail, focus, and to find out what it can do best.
(It's a fixed focus with a switch on the side for macro/infinity)
I put the photos in the Mac, and here are a few.

Oops! It has a calendar feature. Gotta fix that.

Nice colors. Actual date 7/13/09

Good color and detail.
This is rich.

If you would like to see these in full screen, plus a few more pictures from the new camera click HERE .



Traditionally, Native American tribes flavored popcorn with dried herbs and spices, possibly even chili.
They also made popcorn into soup and beer and made popcorn headdresses and corsages.
From HowStuffWorks

Manam Volcano

This is what a really good camera can do.

Manam Volcano, just off the coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, released a faint plume on June 28, 2009. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) onboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this photo-like image of the volcano the same day.

You can see this picture better, HERE.

Here's Looking At You

Looking into new camera. 7/13/09

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Peg - Steely Dan