Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Fun Way To

Clean Up

This is fun, even if it is a commercial for glade.

I managed to get the place 30% clean in the allotted time.

I liked the music and sound effects.

You can give it a try, HERE

What A Day

Shasta 5/29/10

Lassen 5/29/10

Shasta Bally 5/29/10

I went out Saturday, to take some pictures of Redding views east, west, and north, to put in a little fun website I made earlier in the day. I have a photo page there that will just be pictures of these three mountains, taken at different times, so I can share this part of the beauty that surrounds me every day.

You can check out the website, HERE.


Shasta 5/30/10

Lassen 5/30/10

Shasta Bally 5/30/10

While At The Lake

Happy to be taking pictures at Lake Shasta. 5/30/10

There were many happy people enjoying the lake near the dam today. There are 365 miles of shoreline on Lake Shasta. The area by the dam is just a tiny part of this huge reservoir.

The dam with the water 2' from the crest. 5/30/10

A modern boat and gear. (Electronic fish finder, too.)

"Put on a hat and shirt, you're scaring the fish!"

Notice the hot tub on the top deck?

That hot tub would be nice under the stars.

I have been reading the local paper, (on line), and as usual, some people are partying themselves into jail, or worse. I know I don't have to remind any of you about driving drunk, or having people worry for hours because someone wandered off under the influence, but we might gently remind some of the people we know. (I'm not sure if good advice ever stopped me from disrupting many an occasion, but it certainly is worth a try)

Memorial Day started during the civil war.
Both the Union and the Confederacy began honoring lost soldiers before the war even ended, as war widows combed battlefields in search of their fallen relatives. Eventually, the flowers that mourners left at the graves across the nation merged with the May celebrations of freed slaves to form a national Memorial Day. The celebration of this holiday, which had gained an official designation on May 30, 1868, , began falling out of practice in the beginning of the 20th century, but then reentered popular practice during World War I. (Source)

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett


Saturday, May 29, 2010



A birthday bouquet from the Treehouse Apts. for me.

Last week, the Treehouse apartments had a Mad Hatters Tea Party, (Not to be confused with the 'Mad Haters Tea Party' that Fox news created). They gave bouquets to the people who had birthdays in May. The flowers were from the beautiful gardens here at the Treehouse. I was one of the lucky recipients of a birthday bouquet.

Playing For Change

Sign Of The Times

Memorial Day

For 142 years
, Americans have taken the last Monday in May to remember those who have died in our wars. Like all deaths honored by the state, flags fly at half-staff. However, on Memorial Day, the U.S. flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day. Complete article, HERE.

Where's My Nest?

"If a tree falls in the forest...?"

This saying
really demonstrates our human-centric view of the the world. The answer of course is, "Yes, the tree makes a sound that thousands of ears will hear, even if no human is there to hear it".

When Stuart, Sandi and I got back to their house after they treated me to birthday dinner on May 21st, they noticed that the wind had blown down a neighbors tree. I took a few pictures of the fallen tree, and while doing so, I noticed a California scrub jay sitting in the fallen branches, looking bewildered and confused. I took a couple of pictures of the bird at the time.

A few days later, I was looking at the pictures of the bird and a number of thoughts and impressions coalesced into the realization that this bird most likely had a nest in that tree. There are a pair of jays with a nest in the tree by my balcony that I have been watching for about a month so it's quite possible at this time of the year that the jay in the fallen tree, had just experienced a natural disaster and his home, (with eggs?), had been destroyed.

This got me to thinking about the other living creatures that were affected by this toppled tree. Other birds, insects, parasites, moss, molds, fungus, bacterium, and many more life forms had colonized that tree. The tree itself, was part of a vast family that were connected by their root system, mycelium, vibrations, and other means which we are not yet aware of. I hope the pair of Blue Jay's find a more secure tree next year.

The Band

Phil, John, Jeff, and Mark at the Blues Jam. 5/27/10

Sandi and Stuart
came to Lulu's on Thursday and Sandi took a few pictures of the band with Jeff, our new drummer. The pictures, and a couple of video clips of the band were just what I needed to get our new website started. You can check it out, HERE. It has a really neat calendar where I put our upcoming appearances, and a number of useful pages you can visit to see videos, pictures, band news, a guest book for you to sign, a contact page where you can email us, and even a forum where you can participate in discussions.

I think
the new site will be a lot of fun... (It does have commercials, but that is how they can offer these sites for free.)

My Bi-Annual Steak Dinner

5 Minutes Later

It was perfect. The potatoes were from Trader Joe's.

Part of my approach to nutrition is variety. I have a feeling that it's not really necessary to eat a bunch of different things each day, but instead I eat like the human species that survived for 3 million years; I eat what ever is on sale or given to me. That means that, other than organic cereal or eggs and potatoes for breakfast, I have no regular daily combination of foods. I might eat a steamed bag of chopped veggies and Nancy's yogurt for a couple of days, and maybe a prepared eggplant parmesan from Trader Joe's the next couple of days, followed by a TV dinner. In other words, a balanced meal over a week or two, interspersed with an occassional steak every 6 months.

I eat organic
food whenever possible. I no longer care much for chicken or pork, since those are most likely Monsanto Frankencorn in the shape of a chicken or pig, (I avoid corn fed beef, too).

The result
of this less regimented daily input is my feeling better healthwise than I can remember ever feeling before.

Thank you
Sandi for bringing me this grass fed, giant chunk of beef.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic


Monday, May 24, 2010

So Much More To See

Out In The World

Image -David Loh/Reuters/File

Collapse of the World’s Oceans: Scuba diver Charles Ang from Singapore approaches a school of jack fish off the Malaysian island of Layang Layang in the South China Sea April 4. One of six major global crises is the collapse of the world's fisheries. (The Greek debt crisis doesn't even qualify for the list.)

Deforestation: Over 50% of the world’s forests have already disappeared, and much of the rest is in threatened. Deforestation contributes approximately 25% of all global greenhouse gasses, nearly double the 14% that transportation and industry sectors each contribute.

Read about
the rest of the six major global crises, at The Christian Science Monitor.

Ahh Nuts

I got a bag of pistachios on sale last week, and finally opened it. I am full! I have eaten more salt in an hour, than I have ingested in months.

Good, though.

All Creatures

Sea Dragon (David Hall)

Frogfish (David Hall)

Another Frogfish (David Hall)

See these and more amazing photos HERE.

Mark Speaks Out

Mark Mlcoch at John's violin shop. 1/20/10

"Somehow, this debate over water has become characterized as a matter of “fish versus jobs.” The argument is that we can have salmon or we can have farming in the Central Valley, but we can’t have both. I think this is ridiculous. We can have both a healthy salmon fishery and a vigorous agricultural sector — we just have to allocate the water fairly and rationally. We need to change the way water is delivered, we need more habitat restoration, and we need to emphasize crops and technologies that conserve water." - No water, no fish, no jobs - Mark Mlcoch

Mark wrote
a great letter to our local paper that describes the 'battle' to save the Saramento river from the point of view of a local fishing guide. (A very savy, local fishing guide.)

I am glad
to call Mark my friend.

Day To Day

Lassen, yesterday. 5/23/10

The weather
here in Redding, has been in a state of flux on a daily basis. I love it. Sunshine, clouds, rain, dry, warm, cool conditions have been on the daily weather menu. After having the warmest winter on record, we are having a cool, late spring. It has been spectacular.

The Viola

The Viola after a light coat of varnish. 5/24/10

The viola and
the the e-book are still moving toward completion. John has been preparing the varish for the maple parts, and will apply it in the next day or two. I am experimenting with the imaginative lengths I can take the fluid graphics in the iPad format for the book about this viola.

The Bench Copy 1715 'Strad'

John carves the scroll for the bench copy. 5/24/10

While the viola book is just months from completion, I have already started the follow up book about a bench copy of a 1715 Stradivarius violin that John has been making. I may have mentioned that he received plaster casts of the Stradivarius violin, made in 1715, (the violin, not the plaster casts). I have been photographing and filming the process as he makes this copy, so that it will have documentation, and I will have material for my second e-book for the iPad. I love this stuff.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Come Rain Or Come Shine - Dinah Washington

Get Well Soon Josh

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Was Invited

Out To Dinner

Sandi and Stuart consult the menu with care. 5/21/10

I was invited out to dinner on my birthday, by Stuart and Sandi Taylor.

I chose to try
the chiles relleno's, as usual. It is my favorite taste test for a first visit to a Mexican restaurant. I ordered two of them. No beans, no rice, just relleno's, thanks.

2 chiles relleno's. They were very good.

Birthday Flan

Remembering my wish after blowing out the candle.

The staff at the restaurant were very nice, and even sang a 'traditional' Mexican birthday song.

Thank you Stuart and Sandi, it was the best 65th birthday dinner I have ever had.

Because we were in California, we didn't have to show our papers when we left the Mexican restaurant.


Image from the Cassini spacecraft. (NASA) 5/21/10

Saturn's moon Rhea looms "over" a smaller and more distant Epimetheus against a striking background of planet and rings.

The two moons aren't actually close to each other. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.6 million kilometers (994,000 miles) from Epimetheus.

See more images from the Cassini Equinox Mission, HERE.

Don't Forget Telesto

See a high resolution image HERE.

Saturn's moon Dione dwarfs the moon Telesto in this Cassini spacecraft image.

Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across) is the third largest of Saturn's moons, and it dominates this view. Tiny Telesto (25 kilometers, or 16 miles across) can be seen below and to the left of Dione.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Dione. North on Dione is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 4, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 477,000 kilometers (296,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. Scale on Dione is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.

The Band

A little demo with Jeff playing drums.

The band has started to attract some gigs. This is good timing since most of these gigs are for the 4 piece version of the band, and we just recently found a drummer that I think will be just right for what we seem to do best.

June 5th we play at a resort, overlooking Shasta Lake. The Lakeshore Inn, near the town of Lakeview.

July 3rd we can be seen a Lake Redding Park for a Shasta Blues Society event.

July 31st will find us in the French Gulch Hotel.

June 7th we return to the shores of Shasta Lake at the Lakeshore Inn.

I have been updating the various sites where information about the band is posted. I am still using as a temporary website for the band, but I have started the process of moving the band stuff to it's own domain. This includes;

I will make a philseymourband website in the next couple of weeks. There were a couple of web hosting sites that I have been interested in trying out, so I am good to go, as soon as I decide how I want to design the site. Step by step. This is a lot of fun, and it has been coming together with a life of it's own.

That reminds me
, I had better put a couple of the songs with Jeff playing, on the MySpace place.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Sly And The Family Stone

On Time

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Got A Charge Out Of This

Electrifying News

All electric Tesla Roadster. $110,000.00

In a move that may provide a spark for the electric automobile industry, Toyota, the world's largest automaker, is teaming up Tesla Motors Inc, the makers of the only highway-legal all-electric car in the United States.

The companies announced a deal yesterday in which Tesla will buy a defunct Toyota plant in California where it will produce the model S, an electric sedan slated for 2012.

Read full article, HERE.

I like news like this. Some people in California will get much needed jobs, these cars are not dependent on oil, and the model S, just might be an affordable electric car. I wonder if they will go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, like the Tesla roadster?

Lotta Oil Rigs

Map of the BP oil spill. (AP) See article, HERE.

The little red dots
, and clumps of red dots are oil rigs. There are approximately 4,000 active oil rigs, pumping 24 hours a day, in the gulf. It's easy to see how much we need electric cars.

I am amazed
to learn how many oil platforms we already have. I always imagined there were no more than a few hundred. The "Drill Baby Drill" craziness, seems rather pointlessly pathetic when you think of how small of a contribution those few oil rigs could add to what thousands of domestic wells are already producing.

Arizona's Border Battle

This image
of Nickelodeon cartoon Dora the Explorer created late last year by Debbie Groben of Sarasota, Fla., for a contest for the fake news site, brings to light just how crazy the illegal alien debate has become. Actually, debate itself is next to impossible these days with Fox news watchers shouting whatever they have seen or heard from that one 'information' source. California has threatened to boycott Arizona power purchases as a result of Arizona's new 'knee jerk' immigration law.

Power Play

Image from

PG&E has placed a proposition on the California ballot to block municipalities from forming or expanding their own power companies. It's called Prop 16. It would effectively help PG&E to monopolize California's utilities. It would pull the rug out from under our local, and less expensive, Redding Electric Utility, if enough people are dumb enough to vote for Prop 16. PG&E has spent $35,000,000.00 so far to convince people to vote yes on 16.

Lassen Yesterday

Lassen from the Treehouse parking lot. 5/20/10

W0w, in just 35 years, I will be 100! 5/21/10

Thank you all for the nice birthday wishes, I am honored, and I feel even happier as a direct result of your warm felicitations.

The day is
still young, and I think I heard someone mention a Mexican dinner, later.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Electric Slide

Fully Charged

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Short Message From

A Long Denial

Egypt doesn't want any new dams built on the Nile by Ethiopia or any other countries. The upstream countries want to be able to implement irrigation and hydro-power projects, but Egypt plans to exercise the veto power it was given by a 1929 colonial-era treaty with Britain.

When I read
about this today, in Al Jazeera, I found myself compromising with my 'save the planet' self. The new dams are sure to screw up the ecology of the river upstream, but Egypt and Sudan have been able to develop industrially, as a result of the dams that have already screwed up the river ecology downstream. So, unless Egypt wants to remove the dams it uses downstream, it only seems fair that Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and the other upstream countries should have irrigation and hydro-electric benefits, too.

Hi There, Slick

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from space. (NASA)

On the other
hand, sometimes industry can really screw up the planet's ecology, big time. I suppose that Ethiopia shouldn't be denied the opportunity to put their own blot on this once pristine paradise. The only thing that sort of nags at me, is that it's Halliburton who will be building the dams on the Nile, with money that Ethiopia will have borrowed from the World Bank. Halliburton has had some recent failures, like the big oil spill.

According to President Obama, "You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else."

I think the slogan goes like this; Halliburton, paving the road to Hell since 1919.

While I was
looking up stuff about the gulf, I ran across this little tidbit about the shrimp industry;

"90 percent of all shrimp consumed in the US comes from shrimp farms in Asia".

Here In Redding

A rainbow, here at the Treehouse apartments. 5/19/10

We had some rain the past couple of days, so there weren't the usual opportunities for me to take pictures of Lassen and Shasta, but the beauty of my surroundings simply moved in closer, where I could appreciate them more intimately.

I do appreciate the fortune, gifts, blessings, and opportunities that have been bestowed upon me.

Mr. Clean

Happy after a shower, with a cup of spring water coffee.

In an email, earlier today, to Marian, I wrote about a cup of coffee.

I have been trying to balance my budget by reducing some of my expenditures so that I can afford equipment and supplies for my endeavors. I made a pot of coffee this morning with Redding tap water. I have been using bottled spring water ever since I began research about water for my articles and personal curiosity. My research gave me the impression that my health would benefit in the long run if I didn't consume the water from the tap. So for a couple of years I have been using spring water for anything that I eat or drink. I go through about 3 gallons every 2 days, so I thought I would try to conserve by making coffee with tap water. It tasted awful.

I wrote the following to Marian;

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the worlds people could have tap water, electricity, coffee beans, an electric grinder, and a Mr. Coffee to make hot coffee, so they could complain about the taste, too?"

My cup truly runneth over, and I am thankful.

After The Rain

The view from the 2nd floor landing. 5/19/10

I went to the store,
spent the 98 cents, plus deposit, came back and made some coffee that I decided I can afford, after all.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Clip;

Wilkins Coffee - Jim Henson


Sunday, May 16, 2010


It Was Just A Matter Of Time

Hotel guests in Denmark pedal for free meal.

See video, HERE.

Once upon a time, I had a similar vision. Only in my vision, people would be paying top dollar to sweat and pedal at an island spa.

In the early 70's, I tried to generate interest in an island resort that was divided into two separate types of service. One side of the island would be an exclusive tropical fat farm, and the other, a luxury vacation paradise.

The concept was simple; All power would come from windmills, solar arrays, and the exercise equipment on the fat farm. Treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, weight machines and body toning apparatus all driving generators to feed the electrical grid. It may be time to revisit this idea.

Fun House

The Nautilus House. Naucalpan, Mexico

Living room.

Master bedroom.

This house
was designed and built for a couple with 2 children. What a treat.

You can see
more pictures and read about the Nautilus house, HERE.

Tropical Paradise?

I love this place. There are so many hidden treasures, like these apartments along Marina Drive.

Today as I was driving by, I noticed how calm the lagoon was, and how enchanting the dwellings were, reflecting through the trees from the road. I made a u-turn, (I hope it was legal), and found a place to park across the street. I walked across and found a few artistic vantage points and began capturing images.

I imagined a time when one could have fished for dinner from the balcony. Now, it might not be such a healthy treat. After doing so much research about the Sacramento river, as I have for the past couple of years, I am not tempted to eat anything that has been living in it.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
I'm Gonna Go Fishin' - Peggy Lee

The Livin' Is Easy