Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Go "Up The River"

The Toxic Chronicles, Part 3

Early in its history, Iron Mountain Mine was famous for being the most productive copper mine in California and one of the largest in the world. In recent years, the legacy of mining at Iron Mountain turned its fame to infamy, as the site is now known as the largest source of surface water pollution in the United States and the source of the world’s most corrosive water.

Where this says, "ME", is where I took pictures.

The Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site is an inactive iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc and pyrite mine located approximately nine miles northwest of Redding, California. Historic mining activity fractured the mountain, exposing the mine to rain, surface water and oxygen. The main problem at the Site is the discharge of acid mine drainage (AMD) from underground mines and from area wide sources impacted by mining operations.

To the left is the new storage tank/land fill where the 35o,000 tons of toxic waste will be contained. The rectangle by Iron Mountain Road is a hydroelectric power station. This station will be able to increase it's output once the toxic sludge is removed. The spot from where I took most of the pictures is where it says; "I stood here".

This is the trail/access road that I hobbled down, and barely got back up. While I was taking one of my recuperative pauses, a jogger, wearing shorts and a flimsy t-shirt, went happily trotting by with a dog on a leash. I was trying not to breath the toxic dust too deeply into my lungs, and here was some runner, unwittingly, sucking that stuff in like it was healthy air.

This treatment facility will help clean the water so it can be released into the Sacramento river.

Nothing can live on the bottom, here.

The dredging will clear 350,000 tons of sediment from the creek.
The super dredge begins work in a couple of days.

I wonder what effect
the corrosive, acidic, heavy-metal-goo might have on the dredging machinery.

Will it become uselessly clogged
and corroded with contaminated sludge?

Will it have to be abandoned
to crumble and dissolve, so that it becomes part of the toxic putrescence it was built to dredge?

"...and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the “Keswick Dredge.”
(Apologies to Edgar Allen Poe.)

Worn out photo-explorer Phil.

I took a lot of pictures
because I don't expect I will want go do that again.
Here is a link; TOXIC TREK

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

16 Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford

All That Glitters

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is That A "Real" Miracle Tortilla?

Holy Mole'

"Jesus Pan" Click here to order!

"Made from durable steel and topped with a non-stick coating, the Jesus Pan puts the image of Jesus RIGHT ON FOOD!" Now, for just $29.99, even your shamefully dull eucharistic bread can be served all logo'd up! "Take, eat, this is my one true bread... at participating churches only."

This made my Sunday morning complete. I was reading; "Top Ten Worst Bible Passages", and found this other site; "Gadgets for God". From "Jesus loves you", flip flops, to a 110 foot Jesus hot air balloon, I was amazed and entertained by this stuff.

The, Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich, (or tortillas), frying pan is perfect.

Jesus Playing "Footie"

Gooooooaaaaaallllll! Buy it HERE, really!

I love this wonderful universe
that God created, and I find it interesting, amusing, and sometimes scary.

One of the strangest mysteries to me is why there are religious wars between believers of the same basic book?

The Jews own the Bible. Islam and Christianity are just renting. Protestants are subletting from the Catholics. Why so much animosity?

Nice Weather We Are Having

Mount Lassen from the Gold Hill Golf Course. 9/26/09

Yesterday, the Phil Seymour Band played for the doctors at the 2nd Annual Drive Out Cancer, golf tournament. The doctor who did my hernia surgery was there for the dinner. The people on the golf course played in the 110 degree heat. No one had to call for a doctor. Some pictures of the course, HERE.

Today, the temperature is expected to be around 105, so we are getting a cold snap. (Actually, we are.) The weather report says that tomorrows temp will be 83, and by Tuesday it is supposed to drop to a high of 70, with rain and thunderstorms. That sounds interesting.

Beatles Videos

A-Z Beatles on YouTube, HERE.

Animal Of The Day
On my Yahoo page of
gadgets, I have a module
called Animal Of The

Today was a Costa Rican
red tailed squirrel.

This is the best picture
they could come up with.

I knew I could do better.

Google Images;
Red Tailed Squirrel

Now that's a red tailed squirrel.

Whenever possible,
I like to take my own pictures to use in my blogs, but I haven't been to Central America, and I didn't have the time to fly there today to photograph red tailed squirrels in the wild. When that happens, I can always count on Google Images. Really. I simply typed in, "red tailed squirrel", and got hundreds of images to choose from. I wonder who chooses the pictures for Animal Of The Day? That would be a fun job.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Video;

Monkey Waiters

Peace Please

Friday, September 25, 2009

Really Far Out

Far Away

The most remote inhabited place on Earth.

Tristan da Cunha

I like this internet, information highway. There are an endless supply of roadside attractions. The "Remotest Settlement on Earth" certainly got my attention with the same spark of curiosity that made me want to stop and see, "The Thing", on Route 66. (If you have a Route 66 story, feel free to add it in the comments section, below.)

This island is out in the middle of the south Atlantic ocean.

Thanks to Google Maps, Google Earth, and the Google search engine I was able to find a satisfying amount of history, pictures, maps and even an island Website filled with information about this place and the 264 people who call it home.

The main industry for the islanders is catching, processing, and selling crayfish. (Hundreds of tons of crayfish!) They also do a big postage stamp business. They are a remnant of the British empire and therefore have a hospital and health care for all who live there. They have an inn, (The Prince Philip Inn), with a pub and restaurant. Fresh water filled craters and streams fed by rain and snow melt from the top of the volcano. Potato patches are fertilized with penguin guano collected on one of the smaller islands that is home to a colony of hopping penguins.

Farther Away

Another image of the center of our galaxy. (Hubble)

This information highway
can take you anywhere in the Universe, and then some. One of my favorites, like seeing the Giant Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona, is the Hubblesite where you can view the universe as no one has seen it before in history.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song(s);
Route 66 - Nat King Cole
Theme From Route 66 - Percy Faith

Bigger Than We Can Imagine

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Don't Look Now

Morning glory on avocado plant. 9/21/09

I was up bright and early
yesterday morning to take pictures of Ginger's morning glory/avocado plant. The pictures needed a little encouragement, so the artist in me had to be summoned. I believe it's an improved image.

The Great Communicator

The rest of us got Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

Bans on smoking in public places have had a bigger impact on preventing heart attacks than ever expected, data shows.

Smoking bans cut the number of heart attacks in Europe and North America by up to a third, two studies report. STORY HERE

When I was smoking, I was convinced there was no such thing as second hand smoke related health problems.

I can be very convincing
in defense of my addictions. I am not sure which was harder; Quitting the cigarettes, or winning the inner debate over the drug induced feeling of well being that I thought trumped good health and fully oxygenated blood.

The Galactic Center

Heart of the Milky Way. (Chandra X-ray Observatory)

This is just a portion of the image you can see HERE.

In case the 104 degree
weather, here, disagrees with you, I give you a picture from the foothills of Denver.
Autumnal Equinox

Fall has fell in Colorado. (Image -, Denver)

"I Was Black Before I Became President"

Funny stuff on Letterman last night.

In case you missed the Letterman show, you can see our president answer Dave's question about race and the crazy-right-wing-nut-protesters, HERE.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;
Ball Of Confusion - The Temptations


Friday, September 18, 2009

I Love This Place

I Am Not The Only One

Butterfly Nebula

NgC 6302 image from the Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3

The Butterfly Nebula or the Bug Nebula, is about 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. The features that look like dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, blasted away from a dying star bigger than the sun.

Pillar Of Creation

The Carina Nebula, about 7,500 light-years away.

The pictures from the recently repaired and serviced Hubble space telescope are amazing.

Go to the Hubble site HERE
, and be awestruck by this wonderful universe in which we live. I could spend days just roaming through the Hubble website.

Some Assembly Required

I like this stuff.

One of my neighbors asked me if I could put together a stool with a drawer that needed to be assembled. She was getting ready to send it back because she couldn't figure out how to put it together. I said sure, and reminded her that I had assembled some sort of bathroom shelves for her. a year or so ago. Not surprisingly, she didn't remember. I live in an apartment complex for seniors. There is a lot of forgetfulness going on around here.

More fun than a jigsaw puzzle.

I am looking for the story
I wrote about assembling the bathroom shelf thing and I am astonished by the amount of material I have written and compiled for the e-book I am writing. I started out thinking in terms of the more traditional printed book, but as I delved more into the world of hyperlinks, embeded video, music, pictures and dancing molecules, I realized that there is an even better way to write than just words on a page. The weblog is the perfect means for me to express myself with a variety of communication methods.

I was wondering how I could get what I am doing right here, into a book? Have an interactive DVD or something? No problem, now that e-books are becoming popular, there will be a way to put my book together in a form that you can interactively read, click on links, listen to audio, watch video, and navigate just as you are doing with this blog post. Wow!

A lovely plant stand? Knick knack table?

Like I mentioned, I have more than enough stories, adventures, history, music, photos, philosophy, and observations in the archives, to begin creating my first web-book. I shall begin soon. Maybe next week, or next month. Definitely, after I finish the chapter on procrastination.

Don't forget to come and see the Phil Seymour Band tonight, here in Redding at Lulu's, if you have a chance.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;

Handy Man - Jimmy Jones

Divine Expression

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not Just A Guitar


Dreadnought Series Acoustic

How it looked new. Photo at

I noticed just how much my guitar has aged when I saw a picture of my F350M when it was new.

I got the guitar new in 1979. ( There is a story there that I will write one of these days.)

It sounds and plays even better with the patina of time. I know I do.

The Character Age Can Bring

Making music with a guitar nearly half my age!

I did a little rehearsing
and songwriting with John Harrison this afternoon. He was trying a different brand of strings on his vintage, Fullerton Stratocaster. I am learning why his guitar sounds so much better than other guitars of the same make and model. I am still learning the names of the 1950's master guitar makers at Fender, but when I am a bit more knowledgeable on the subject, I will write in more detail.

John Harrison and his vintage Fender guitar.

It is the sound
that these two guitars create when we play together that brought about the current band. It is a sound that is unique to those particular instruments, and the way we play them.

We were making some
last minute changes on some arrangements for the songs we will be playing this Friday as part of the Blues By The River activities. We are thinking that next year, maybe, we will perform in the main event.

We Were What We Ate

A collection of stories about food in America.

Once upon a time, our government subsidized the arts. That's right, the people of these United States, actually invested in our artists, writers, musicians, sculptors, etc. Our blessed democratic republic, paid writers to write, singers to sing, dancers to dance, and orchestras to play, from sea to shining sea.

This book is a collection of stories that writers were paid to write about what people ate in the different parts of our country. Mark Kurlansky ran across this stack of material that had been written just before 1942. It describes regional dishes from Maine to California. It's not a restaurant guide, but a variety of experiences eating what the American people actually ate for breakfast, lunch/dinner, and supper. Some recipes are part of the prose.

What caught my attention
was in the introduction. There were some statistics that really struck me, like how fast we filled up America. When I was born in 1945 the population of the United States was less than the population of the State of California is today.

It's an interesting illustration of a time when artists, writers, and musicians had full-time government jobs, creating art.

A review of this book at USA Today.

Lunch At Phil's Place

A healthy bran muffin, a la mode'.

I figured the muffin was healthy
because it had nuts and some sort of vegetable matter in it. The ice cream and whipped cream are real dairy products and not some laboratory experiment like, Cool Whip. Eating fake food is detrimental to your health and digestive system. If you are eating anything artificial, just stop it!

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Eggs and Sausage - Tom Waits

I Am Here For The Rhapsody

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Does That Mean?

Contemplating the future? (Photo - Tracy Raver)

Dick Army's Rally

A few thousand followers of right wing radio and TV.
Liar, Liar, Liar!
The Economic Collapse Was Caused By The Poor!
Death Panels To Kill Grandma!
Government Health Care Is Slavery!

10,000 year old remains of a right wing conservative.

These crazy headlines
and bogus rallies would be completely laughable, except there are people who actually believe this stuff.

I have to ask myself, "Why would large corporations invest so much money in all this anti American government propaganda?"

The conglomerates who sponsor and support the pseudo-journalists and radio/television personalities who will forward the corporate agenda.

For example, the NYT best seller list is top heavy with the paranoid ramblings of such literary geniuses as Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Dick Morris and Michelle Malkin. How can that be possible? These people have a grade school vocabulary and intellect, yet they are among the top 10 selling books in America? How can this be?

Simple; Bulk Sales.
The Corporatocracy, (I made that up), simply buys enough of these, "things", for Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, and, "poof!", it's a best seller.

Of course
95% of the people at the rally don't actually read books, but they will parrot whatever they have heard.

A Salted Peanut (Thanks to my sister, Sue.)

The pharmaceutical/insurance Juggernaut
is blocking the path to conscientious, compassionate behavior, by appealing to the fears of the confused and unhappy. The result is harmful and deadly to Americans who have lost, can't afford, and need health care.

Ignorance may be bliss,
but it's getting people killed by purpose, and by neglect. The people who promote these anti-American rallies take advantage of our citizens of lower intellect, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Ha, ha, corporations and shame?

I am reminded
of the ignorant and illiterate Christian right, and the ignorant and illiterate Muslim extremists, who blindly are at war because someone misinterpreted the Hebrew Bible. The war on health care is just as crazy. If you know someone who actually believes the weird stuff the right wing nuts are shouting, try to understand they just don't have the mental capacity to know better. Calm them down, give them a cookie, and re-teach them the golden rule.

Hanging out at the river, today. 9/12/09

I drove out to Palo Cedro
this afternoon to see the Honey Bee Festival. I sailed the Buick around the countryside for about an hour looking for Bishop Quinn High School. I finally found it. An arrow would have been helpful, but I guess everybody already knew where to go. By the time I got there it was just about over, so I came back to Redding and went down along the Sacramento river.

Lucky for all, the 29th annual Honeybee Festival continues on Sunday, and now that I can find it, I plan to go back earlier tomorrow and enjoy it.

The river was beautiful.

Cool, where the blackberries still bloom. 9/12/09

On the top
of the river banks it was 95 degrees, but a few steps down to the water and the breeze was blowing 20 degrees cooler.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Down By The Riverside - Sister Rosetta Tharpe

I Love This Place

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

While This Gets Sorted Out

I'll Just Be Over Here

Healthy, Happy Phil.

My search for a Primary Care Physician in Redding, continues.

Some of you
who have been following this story have shared the elation, deflation, aggravation, and operation phase of my progress through the twisted path, chutes and ladders of the American health care system, as it exists today.

To think that there must be
a better way seems to inspire the insurance company writers to write scores of "talking point-sound bite" copy for the Fox news talk show hosts. This, in turn, excites the ignorant viewers to oppose anything that would hurt the insurance companies profit margin, even though they are denying themselves improved health care options!

Well I cant fix stubborn
ignorance, but I can try to find ways to get medical treatment with what is available, while I wait for common sense to float down from the sky like the Rabbi Jesus in the second coming. (A lot of people around here expect The Rapture at any moment.)

I got a referral to
a doctors office today, from the lady who runs the Shasta Blues Society. She gave me the name of her doctor and I called, but they are no longer taking new patients with Medicare/MediCal. We spoke for awhile and I explained how I no longer had my Primary Care Physician in Carmel, since I live here in Redding. I did mention that Dr. Grady recently did a hernia repair, but that I am looking for a GP to be my PCP. She asked what a PCP was. I spelled it out and she gave me the number of another doctor who has some Medi/Medi patients and could possibly be my PCP. I said thanks, and called the number.

I spoke with a nice voice who identified herself as, Heather. ( I resisted jokes about how she should be working for an allergist.) She informed me that the doctor was not accepting any new patients, but there was a Nurse Practitioner in that office who is. I said that would be fine with me, (again, holding back the jokes). She said she would send me some forms to fill out and return and, if I qualify, they will set up an appointment. I gave her my contact information and she said she would mail the paperwork today. I said thank you.

This could be
an important moment in my progress toward good health and well being.

The Evolution Of God

567 pages of text, notes, appendices, etc.

Reading this is a long process.

This guy must have been paid by the word. Actually, God, is a big subject, so I guess one should expect a big book.

I think he may not
have needed to always use 20 references where a couple would have been sufficient, but I have to give him credit for being painstakingly thorough. This does help make the evidence incontrovertable, but he is not going to get any argument from people like me who are likely to agree with his findings, anyway.

I like his comparison
of a stock analyst and a Shaman. A few lucky guesses and people come to believe you can make sense of the mysterious and unpredictable. They will believe you have the power to predict the will of God, or the fickle behavior of the stock market.

I will keep reading
, "The Evolution Of God", by Robert Wright, hopefully finishing before I meet God in the next life. If he writes something unexpected, I will report it in my next post.

Lost World

A team of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago.

By clicking the links
above, you can see and read more about this amazing undiscovered land that time forgot.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;

Quiet Village - Martin Denny

Sweet Mystery

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Great Escapes

Love these space shots

Viewed from the Banana River Viewing Site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery arcs through a cloud-brushed sky, lighted by the trail of fire after launch on the STS-128 mission. Liftoff from Launch Pad 39A was on time at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 28, 2009.

Home Improvement

My new 51 cent laptop/reading table for easy chair.

I went to Home Depot to look for something that would go across the arms of my easy chair, so I could put my laptop on it or rest a book so I can read without bowing my head all the time. I figured I would find something for $5 to $7, like a shelf or something. What I found was a board in a trash can with a bunch of sticks and plastic trim. I asked a guy that worked there; "Is this trash?" He said it was and I pulled out this board that was too long for my project. I asked again; "This is trash?" "Oh, not that", he said. I said I would buy it if he could cut it to 32".

Perfect. Just like I pictured it.

You may have noticed
the book on the new table, The Doomsday Key, by James Rollins. I really enjoyed it. It was like Ludlum meets Cussler at the Norwegian seed vault. A well spun yarn with several protagonists coming together to save the world from prophesies, conspiracies, and Frankenfood. I devoured this book.

The invention was not
all that useful, or attractive, but it entertained me for a day while I tested it out. I think it was a lot of entertainment for 51 cents.

Not The Milky Way

NGC 4945 is like a twin to our Milky Way.

Just 13 million light years away, in the constellation Centaurus, is a spiral galaxy much like our own, with swirling, luminous arms and a bar-shaped central region.

Old People

What do you know about getting old? Aging Quiz

The Band

The band playing at the, (now closed), 49er club last June.

The Phil Seymour Band
is scheduled to play this month and next. I am not sure when, but I will find out this week and post the information on the various appropriate sites, (including this one), as soon as I know the time and dates.

One of the events will be at the Shasta Mall in October. The woman who asked us to play, emailed a request for promotional material, including a picture. I guess its time to think about a promotional picture. In the meantime I put a few on my Picasa Web Album site, HERE.

You may notice that the pictures are mostly of John Harrison, Mark Mlcoch, and myself. We are the basic band and the other players are interchangeable at this time.

Labor Day Fun

One of the sources of vacation fun in the 1950's.

The game of Cootie
was just one of the many interactive social pastimes during summer vacations in the 50's. Our family would descend upon other families to enjoy time together at the sea shore, lake, farm, or what ever was near the people we would visit. This was before one just parked the kid(s) in front of the TV.

Today, Cootie would not be safe from lawsuits brought by lawyers representing kids who choked while swallowing plastic bug parts.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;
Stir It Up - Bob Marley

The Best Time Is Now