Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Chicken Was Killed

Cajun Style

Another refrigerated/fresh prepared Trader Joe's treat. 11/28/10

"Detectives report the victim was killed 'southern style', smothered in gravy".

That would be a departure from the usual, 'execution style'.

Not Bad

Before I knew it, I ate the whole plate full of stuff. 12/18/10

I can think of many more healthy things to eat, but the simple act of preparation is one of the things that aggravates my structural damage to the point where I am immobilized. The nutritional benefits of cooking fresh food, would be offset by not being able to ambulate. So, I do the next best thing and try to find the healthiest/tasty store-bought fare I can afford. I don't eat at restaurants because I can't afford to go to the kind of place that might actually be nutritious. There was one place in Redding that I had planned to go try, but they went out of business before I could budget the $50 or so it would have cost me.

Health Food

Two small slices of blueberry pie with real ice cream and real whipped cream.

Wednesday Clearing And Cold

Shasta Bally got a nice coat of snow from the last storm. 12/29/10

Today the temperature is not expected to rise beyond 45 degrees with snow showers expected tonight. That will be interesting.

Birds Enjoying The Clear Day

An eagle, a hawk, and two buzzards see something below on the river. 12/29/10

I got a partial answer to the question of how to explain things to close minded people in a way they might understand. You may recall that I set aside some time to meditate on this situation created by the Koch brothers that has developed into uncontrollable anguish in those who might have a limited point of view to begin with.

It came to me
as I read a comment about the loss of salmon in the Sacramento river. This person always has the same comment that points the finger at the eco-nazis who passed a law against shooting seals. He seems to have heard somewhere, that if we were to kill all those salmon eating seals, our salmon troubles would be solved.

Sounds crazy
doesn't it? But to him it makes perfect sense. How do we introduce him and the many others like him to a way of thinking that would include some other possibilities? The old jigsaw puzzle explanation;

A guy finds one piece of a 500 piece puzzle. That piece shows a seal eating a fish. Without seeing at least a few of the other 499 pieces, it would seem illogical to assume that every other piece shows a seal eating a fish, so why would someone, after hearing a story about seals eating salmon,  jump to the conclusion that that is the main reason the salmon population is diminishing?

Birds Fishing On A Postcard Day

A beautiful day between the storms in Redding, California. 12/29/10
Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Life Is Good

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey Look, It's A Giant

Storm On Saturn

Enhanced color image from Guillermo Abramson

We are expecting
stormy weather here in Redding, too. Cooler temperatures are expected to bring the snow level down to the 1000 foot level.

There are already some under-educated TV and radio 'personalities' that point to the winter weather and disdainfully say that global warming is a hoax.

East Coast Storm

Look, you can see the great lakes. Hey, there's my old house in Pennsylvania.

Believe it or not
, some people still don't realize there is a difference between weather statistics and climate statistics. This has been exacerbated by the misinformation campaign that the Koch brothers began when they, (rightly), feared they would lose profits if they had to reduce their coal and oil industry pollution. Once they got their radio and TV spokespersons vehemently stating that global warming is a sinister plot to enslave the masses as part of the socialist agenda put forth by the elitist scientists and their fancy pants big words, the stupidity became viral. It seems some of us have to spend a great deal of time and energy trying to undo the harmful effects of propaganda dispensing tools like Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh, rather than using all of our energy to secure a livable future for those who will be here after us.

Now, to figure out how to spin up verify-ably true sound bites that will counteract the 24 hour a day barrage of negative nonsense. I will meditate on this and await a Heavenly inspired solution.

Lake Redding

The Sacramento river is a part of this Redding family's experience. 12/27/10

I had
pictures left over from yesterday at the river that I wanted you to see.

These Two Pictures...

Plenty of colors looking this way. 12/27/10

...Were Taken From The Same Spot.
Looking the other way is light and shadow. 12/27/10

Looking one way
with the camera produced a color filled image. I swiveled the camera about 45 degrees on the tripod, and got an image that seems devoid of color. The color is there, it's just very, very dark looking that way.

Looking Up

Part of a V formation that was flying up the river. 11/27/10

Photographic evidence
that proves; "It's all how you look at it."
Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Happy To Be Me

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Bright Side Of Life

Looking Good
One of the reasons I go to the Sunset Marketplace. 12/26/10

I do enjoy the occasional cream puff, and the Sunset Marketplace out on Eureka Way makes some very tasty ones. I usually get a couple of mini-cream puffs, but this time they were in the process of assembling some full sized ones while I was standing there at the bakery counter, so I couldn't resist.

The other item
I get while there, is coffee beans. They have some organic beans from Mexico and Guatemala that make really tasty coffee, and I wanted to try some in the new coffee maker.

The organic Mexican coffee gets a shakedown brewing. 12/26/10

The coffee was good, and the cream puff was huge.

Mr. Fixit

I finally started doing some neglected projects today. 12/27/10

When I was at Harbor Freight, last week, getting a soldering iron, I also picked up an adjustable headlamp. I must have read my future because that headlamp is really helpful for me to see close up work. I don't know how I have been doing detailed repairs without it. Prescience? Perhaps so.

Nice Day Here In Redding

At Lake Redding/Caldwell Park, next to the boat ramp. 12/27/10

Fly fishermen on the Sacramento River. 12/27/10

There were people fishing from boats, and wading in the water today when I stopped at the park. It was a nice day between storms and some people were out taking advantage of this pleasant afternoon.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wishing You

Merry Christmas

California Christmas ornament. 12/24/10

On the 24th, I was at the Taylors for prime rib and presents. Their grandkids illustrated the joy of opening and playing with presents.

At The Taylor's


Back At My Place

The replacement battery for the Macbook arrived Christmas eve. 12/24/10

Now, that's my kind
of present. The battery in this Macbook was not as powerful and efficient as it was 2 years ago, so I ordered a new one from an on line source. There were several companies that sold batteries for the Apple notebook, and there were a lot of customer reviews to read before making my choice. According to what I was reading, the highest price didn't deliver the most satisfactory battery. I found one that was about half the cost of ordering directly from Apple, and it got better reviews.

The A1080 battery arrived in the mail on Christmas eve. I installed it, and have been using the Macbook without wires today to test the usable battery life under normal conditions. The old battery would only give me a few minutes of the simplest tasks before expiring. With the new battery, I can record "in the field" once again.

12/25/10 Christmas Day;

I didn't take any pictures today.

I did go visit with friends and had a nice dinner there.

12/26/10 Handy Cleaning Tip;

Never use chemical cleaners on a self-cleaning oven. Just a little soap and hot water if you need to do a quick once-over, said Chris Hall, president of, a Web site that sells appliance parts and gives repair advice. (NYT)


I had better just post this before it wanders into the new year. I think what I have been attempting here, in this post, is a snapshot of how Christmas was for me, this year. There were moments of joy with a heavy undertow of feelings that warned me to not venture too far into the surf. I am still able to see the world in a positive way, and I will be glad when this years extended solstice is over and the length of the days increase.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

I Think

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Winter, And

Still Growing

This driveway rose gets prettier every day. 12/23/10

The sunshiny day that was forecast didn't quite come to fruition, but there was enough light and air to bring out the best in all living things.

A passing fly stops to enjoy a warm yellow rose. 12/23/10

Yet Another Coffee Maker

This one is a ProctorSilex. I like it. 12/23/10

This morning I put the rinsed out and empty carafe on the Rival coffee maker and forgot to turn it off. I sat down to read some email and heard 'plink' from somewhere in the kitchen. I thought maybe the silverware had shifted in the drainer, but my eyes soon focused on the empty carafe sitting on the hot plate with the 'on light' lit. I picked up the container and sure enough, there was a crack in the glass on the bottom.

I went to Shopko to get a replacement and discovered that it is cheaper to buy a complete new coffee maker. I went with the flow of less dough and got the ProctorSilex.

It seems to make
better tasting, and hotter coffee than the other one, so all is well.

UPDATE: 12/24/10

The new coffee maker does indeed make better tasting coffee than the previous one. I am having my second cup of freshly ground, freshly brewed, Columbian on this Christmas Eve, and I can say with whatever authority I am invested with, that this is delightfully better than the Rival maker was making. (Now, back to the post that I didn't finish yesterday...)

One Of A Kind

This was a wonderful surprise. This deep colored rose just appeared. 12/23/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

The embed code didn't seem to work, so to see the blue Martian sunset, try;

Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Still Beginning
Photo of lunar eclipse in the Arctic circle. Credit - Francis Anderson

This image
was on the Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy blog. Now on Discovermagazine.

The Sun Stands Still
(solstice literally means "Sun stops/stands still")
These squirrels were in the background of today's rose pictures. 12/22/10

Winter began officially at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday, when the sun shone directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Northern Hemisphere days will get longer from now on — but not right away, thanks to Earth’s elliptical orbit. Daylight hours in Redding won’t change until Monday, which will be one minute longer than Sunday. (from Scott Mobley )

Then And Now

I look healthier and happier than I did three years ago. 12/21/07 and 12/22/10

I found a picture
taken when I first moved into the Treehouse Senior Apartments 3 years ago. I couldn't resist taking one today to see if all this happy, healthy living shows. I suppose I could have used a flash and worn the same clothes, but I didn't. Maybe next year.

Glistening In A Muted Sunbeam
The clouds began parting today. 12/22/10

It seemed that there were things that needed doing inside, whenever I noticed the sun peeking through the clouds outside, today. I did get out for a couple of minutes, just before the bug guy showed up to spritz in the apartment, and got two nice rose pictures. The rest of the day was busy with worthwhile endeavors, and I like that. Tomorrow I will get up early and see what the morning brings to the lens of the Lumix TZ1.

Tightly Wrapped Survivor

The roses along the driveway are tough beauties. 12/22/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

The Joy Of Song

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Once Again

Winter Begins

Lunar eclipse from Manassas, Virginia.   (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Rain and clouds
obscured the event for me, here at the Treehouse, but I found this great image on the internet. As much as I enjoy the Lumix TZ1, I couldn't have produced such beautifully detailed images of the moon. Besides, we can use the rain and snow.

I am reading
that the bulk of the storm that was expected in Redding, moved to the south and is drenching southern California. I am glad we managed to miss the flooding and storm damage. Believe it or not, there are some people complaining and demanding  that the local weather personalities be fired because we didn't get hammered by the storm system.

3 Years Ago

Home sweet home on my first night at the Treehouse Apartments. 12/21/07

On December 21, 2007, I drove the Buick LeSabre up the driveway to my new home in the Treehouse Senior Apartments. I had packed only what would fit in the car to begin a new life in Redding. I had a camping chair, an air mattress, an iMac G3, a goose neck desk lamp, my guitar, and a heart full of gratitude that I had a place to live.

Art Is Essential

The George Bleich collection went up before furniture went in. 12/21/07

Since that day three years ago, I accumulated more furnishings, met some remarkable people, and have become active in matters affecting the community. My heart is grateful and my spirit sings with joy and happiness each and every day that I am here, in Redding. Life is good. I am very fortunate.

City Lights

Redding lights from Hilltop Drive across from Hilltop Estates. 12/21/10

I stopped by
the Hilltop Estates to take a few pictures for CD art that I might use to make a CD of the Phil Seymour Trio from last Saturday's performance. I wanted to get some festive images to mix with the handful of pictures I have from us playing there over the past year, to illustrate the CD cover. Most of the packages that were around the Christmas tree were already gone and the diorama looks a bit sparse, but that might give me more space to arrange images.

Hilltop Estates Decor

Last Saturday this area was full of Christmas packages.  Not anymore. 12/21/10

Looking Toward Lassen Today

Lassen received some sunshine this afternoon. 12/21/10

So there you have it.
Some things have changed, and some remain the same in the three years I have been happily living here in Redding.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song:


Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Alignment With

The Season

A little image composite to illustrate this lovely December day. 12/19/10

One nice thing about the recent stormy weather, is the dynamics. We have had heavy downpours, light drizzle, blustery breezes, thunder, blue skies, snow on the hills, and sun on the flowers in varying amounts for the last week. The forecast suggests that this will continue for a few more days.

I am hoping that if I am awake around midnight, Monday night, that the clouds will part long enough for me to see the total eclipse of the moon. It's a stellar extravaganza, featuring the winter solstice, a full moon, and a meteor shower. Times To Watch.


More flowers blooming around the Treehouse Senior Apartments. 12/19/10

I took the Lumix
out for a stroll around the grounds today during a break in the storms. There were many beautiful subjects to photograph, and it was pleasurable time spent.

Everywhere I Looked

Looking west from the second floor stairway landing on building 'A'. 12/19/10

It was blustery when I went to town around one in the afternoon. Leaves were swirling across the streets and flags were flapping. I got some stamps while I was out. If I get my remaining Christmas cards in the mail tonight, there is a good chance they will arrive at their destinations before Christmas.
The Phil Seymour Trio played last night at the Hilltop Estates. I think I got a pretty good recording of our show. Once I get some good mixes, I will share a tune or two with you, here at Phil's Place.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Light Entertainment

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beautiful Redding Day

Big Storm A-Comin'

Lassen on this beautiful blue sky day. 12/16/10

I took a look outside
, after a cup or two of coffee, and found a refreshing, clear, and wonderful December day. I took a few pictures around the Treehouse Senior Apartments, to share the mid day sights. What a pretty day. Another storm is forecast for the next few days.

Fall colors are still around to delight the retinal receptors. 12/16/10

After breakfast,
I plan to go out and visit some of my favorite photogenic places to take advantage of this beautiful break in the storms.

100 % Plastic Recycling

Prof. Jan Baeyens loads the fluidized bed reactor (Photo: University of Warwick)

Scientists at the University of Warwick
have developed a way to recycle 100% of plastic waste.

The Warwick system is based around a unit that utilizes pyrolysis within a fluidized bed reactor. Pyrolysis is the use of heat in the absence of oxygen for the decomposition of materials, while fluidized bed reactors pass a gas or liquid through solid granular material at high velocity, causing it to behave like a liquid.
The result can then be reduced to it's original elemental constituents.

The researchers shoveled a wide variety of mixed plastics into the reactor, which were then broken down into useful elements that could be retrieved (in some cases) through distillation. Those elements included wax, which could be used a lubricant; original monomers such as styrene, that could be used to make new polystyrene; terephthalic acid, which could be repurposed in PET plastic products; methylmetacrylate, that could be used to produce acrylic sheets; and carbon, which could be used as Carbon Black in paint pigments and tires. The char left over at the end of the process could reportedly also be sold as activated carbon.

'Real' Good News
There isn't a war on Christmas in North America
An accurate examination of the origins and development of the American Christmas holiday season, by Tim Muldoon.

Jon Bon Jovi On White House Council
Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi
has been appointed to the 25-member White House Council for Community Solutions.

The White House said the council will be tasked with three key functions: "enlisting leaders in the non-profit, private, and philanthropic sectors to make progress on key policy goals; providing strategic input and recommendations to help the federal government promote greater innovation and cross-sector collaboration; and honoring and highlighting those making a significant impact in their own communities."

Bon Jovi has worked
closely with former President Bill Clinton, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to spearhead  efforts to reduce homelessness and improve lives affected by poverty.

I first read about this appointment in the Washington Post, (yes I read the right wing papers, too). Their slant on Jon Bon Jovi's new position was clearly one of negativity; "He's not remotely qualified. Typical act of the socialist administration. So what if he has his own foundation to help house the homeless," (and so on).

I wondered if
I could find a news story that had some actual information, so I tried a Google search. In the first 50 reports by newspapers, magazines, and cable news, there was only one report that was not just a copy of the Washington Post story. Those so called news outlets didn't even bother to change the headline! ( Obama Taps Bon Jovi For ... ).

In spite of the right wing hate and anger machine, it is good to see the Obama administration is dealing with 21st century America and the people who can produce solutions.

On The Dam Road

Today on the dam road where you can see Lassen. 12/16/10

It was a spectacular day here in Redding. I took many pictures where I could take advantage of the clear blue sky and fall weather. I didn't see anyone water skiing on Lake Shasta, but there were people fishing.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Imagine from PlayingForChangeFoundation on Vimeo.

Goodwill Toward Men, (Women,Too)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Could Be

Out Of Step?

Angelic dove in Kathmandu. (credit - API)

"Knowledge truly is power and zero learning takes place by swallowing a pill."
John R. Polito

For The Birds

Screen shot of webcam video.

You too
, can enjoy some webcams from the rain forests. BIRDS

Brazil is one of three countries that have surpassed the United States in commerce, investment, and innovation. (Blame it on the Bossa Nova.)

Pain In The Neck

A hunter returns with his prize. 12/13/10

The Pillow Chronicles Continue

In my last report about pillows, (PILLOWS), I wrote about changing pillows every 6 months to avoid a face full of bugs, bacteria, and mold. I would like to add another reason for changing pillows; They wear out.

It began a few weeks ago. I was waking up with a stiff neck, (insert your own adolescent humorous word play), and I began switching pillows, thinking that the one I was using had lost it's loft. The principal was solid, but the experiment failed because I substituted previously rejected pillows from the shelf in my closet. There is also the five dollar, on sale, pillow quality to factor into the results of my experiment.

I went to Shopko on Monday and bought a new replacement. After carefully squishing through the vast selection of pillows, I got one on sale for around $10. After 2 nights of using the new pillow, my pain in the neck is gone. Wonderful.

Christmas Cheer

Playing around with seasonal images.

Christmas Shopping In 2010

A new coat of paint for the sign at the dollar store.

I have selected some wonderful gifts for all my friends, and as soon as those great gifts appear on the shelves of a dollar store, I will be able to afford to participate in the traditional act of buying your Christmas presents.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

'Tis The Season