Sunday, March 28, 2010

Better Than A Bar Code

Nanotube Electronic Ink

Researchers from Sunchon National University in Suncheon, South Korea, and Rice University in Houston have built a radio frequency identification tag that can be printed directly onto cereal boxes and potato chip bags. The tag uses ink laced with carbon nanotubes to print electronics on paper or plastic that could instantly transmit information about a cart full of groceries.

“You could run your cart by a detector and it tells you instantly what’s in the cart,” says James M. Tour of Rice University, whose research group invented the ink. “No more lines, you just walk out with your stuff.”

Read More, HERE.


Houston as seen from the international space station. (NASA)

Can you see my sisters house?

Buffalo Speedway?

The Humble building?

Closer look. See this more detailed image, HERE.

I am not sure
where to look. I haven't lived there since 1966. I am guessing that a few things may have changed.

Easter Egg

Taken from the space station, August 8, 2001.

You can see
these and more fascinating pictures of Earth from space, HERE.

The moon picture
is a little better than my pictures from Earth that I have taken with my second hand camera. I wonder how my camera would do from the space station?

Venus and Mercury

Between March 28
and April 12, Mercury will be within 5 degrees of Venus (your clenched fist held at arm's length measures approximately 10 degrees).
Look for these celestial bodies to appear in the western sky around sunset.

Full story, HERE.

Bare Body, Again

Viola is prepared for varnishing.

John took off
the strings, bridge, tail piece, chin rest, fingerboard, and pulled the pegs from the viola. Now it is time for the varnish.

Like an Alchemist, John will mix various substances to create a finish that not only brings out the color and nature of the wood, but also has the appropriate elasticity to produce beautiful music from the resonating viola.

Happy Phil

Jay took this picture at Lulu's, 3/18/10.

Every once
in a while, I see a picture of me that shows the joy that I get from music. This is one of those.

I sure enjoy playing, singing, and feeling music.

The band will be playing at the Hilltop Estates on the 8th of April. They are having a free lunch and dessert display. Five, award winning chefs who specialize in display cooking and sugar free desserts will be presenting their creations to the public at 12:30 PM, followed by entertainment from the Phil Seymour Trio. I think we might show up early to try some display food.

In My Email

I got this today, from my sister. Thank you Sue.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Papa Loves Mambo - Perry Como

Laugh A Lot

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Color?


All of a sudden, things are turning green. 3/26/10

It is natural
to spring back to life this time of the year. Yet, even knowing that it will appear, I am always delighted and surprised at how quickly the world around me turns green.

Trees that were just white with blossoms are now green.

These days
we have co-opted 'green' to mean more earth friendly. This term now seems to raise the hackles of those who are pro-corporate. Somehow being earth conscious, has become synonymous with 'radical'. It's kind of amusing, to remember that not too long ago, 'green' was the color of money.

Shasta is white, but the hills are now green.

Have you tried
Skype? I have. Well, at least the part that is free. The computer to computer voice mail, text, and video chat are free. I visit with Garie in Carmel Valley, about once a week.

Thursday, I had a visit with my brother, Jerry. He is in Iraq.

I say that I 'visit' because that's what it feels like when you can see each other while you talk. It was easy to set up and operate on the Macbook, (Windows computers take a few days of fiddling and diddling to get it working right). If you have a Windows machine, you are probably use to problematic performance, so getting started with Skype would be no harder than anything else you do on your computer.

A happy pinwheel for the green aloe plant. 3/26/10

The tail of my Easter bunny whirlygig against the blue sky.

Green Cheese

The 10x optical zoom shows craters on the green cheese.

Speaking Of Zoom Lenses

Screen shot of some Hubble site interactive features.

One of my favorite human-made imaging devices has hit the big time. I mean iMax 3-D big time. The Hubble movie is packing them in to see the story on the really big screen. They have a site where you can do some neat interactive things with the Hubble, as well as a gallery, video's, games, downloads, and other interesting features. Check it out, HERE.

I enjoy the whirlygig and the greenery from the balcony.

The festival of spring is almost upon us. "The Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." I wrote much more about Easter, HERE.

This morning
, a lady asked me, "Do you love Jesus?". I answered, "Sure...,I also love Buddha and all the others." She seemed a little uncertain as to what to say, so I added, "I am sure God is big enough to handle them all." She agreed, and with an uncertain smile on her face, wandered off, mumbling, "The Buddha and Jesus, oh my".

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Green Green - New Christy Minstrels


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Tiniest Matter, Matters

Nano Reaction

Kind of looks like celery.

Light Can Bend Matter!
Researchers assembled strings of nanoparticles, which are tiny clumps of matter on the scale of nanometers (one nanometer is one billionth of a meter). In a darkened lab, the scientists linked nanoparticles together into ribbons. At first the nano ribbons were flat, but when a light was shone on them, they curled up into spirals.

Full story, HERE.

Nothing To Sneeze At
Beauty for all, stuffy nose for some. 3/24/10

I have friends who
suffer from hay fever. They will try just about anything to counteract the symptoms, and each one has a specific regimen that they follow. I sometimes mention 'cures' that I have read, or heard from allergy sufferers. Things like;
  • Eat local honey
  • Shower and wash the pollen off of you, and your hair, before you go to bed
  • Dry your bedding inside during allergy season
  • Quit smoking
But today, I read one from Consumer Reports that really made sense to me;
  • Keep a diary to help track when and where your allergy symptoms occur
I like the 'keep a diary' concept. I expect that would work to help identify the trigger for any recurring malady.


Yep, that's Sara Palin as an Anchorage, Alaska TV sportscaster in 1988. See more, HERE.

Sounding Sweet

John tests the latest adjustments. 3/24/10

The viola is sounding beautiful, and the enhanced E-book is coming along nicely.

John played it so I could hear the changes he recently made. It is dramatic how he has enhanced the clarity and resonance. I did a video clip for the E-book.

The Phil Seymour Trio rehearsed
at the shop this afternoon, and worked up a couple more songs for a return engagement at the Hilltop Estates on April 8th.

Just Read It

I am happy with the new health care reforms.

Some people
have allowed themselves to be mislead by TV 'Journalists', and republican owned newspapers, regarding the contents of the health care reform law that is now in effect. It is easy for me to see how those in opposition managed to tap into the marginally educated persons fear of what they don't understand, and turn it into simple angry slogans that allow the misinformed to feel empowered. I talked to a few of these confused and unhappy people today.

I suggested that they do what Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, and the rest have not done; Read The Bill. It is available for anyone to read. You can find it HERE.

I explained
to one person today, that these TV and radio people just make things up as they rant, like tent revival preachers rewrite the Bible to suit their sermons while they preach. If people haven't read or comprehended the information, they are sitting ducks for those who would manipulate them.

People have been told it will be years before they will see any changes as a result of this legislation. Wrong! Many of the benefits were put in place the moment the bill was signed into law.

If you want to know more, or have a specific question, you can ask, HERE.

Ta Da!

The new LMP Trio CD is ready for shipping. 3/24/10

The 16th LMP Trio CD is finished. I got the artwork done last night. I like it. It feels like it should. Part of the credit should go the Apple iWork software that allowed me to do my design just as I envisioned. What I made on the screen is what the printer printed. I could focus on the art without distracting computer issues. I love this stuff.

I am really
fortunate to get to play music with these two talented ladies. Life is good.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Coquette by The LMP Trio

Music Is Good Medicine

Monday, March 22, 2010

Some Folks Call It

The Enhanced E-book
The viola book continues to write itself.

I found some examples of e-books made just for the iPad already out there to see. I am encouraged by seeing the innovative designs that are being developed for this new way of looking at things.

See examples of interactive magazines, HERE.

See examples from Penguin books, HERE.

Equinox Moon

I took this with the Lumix TZ1. What fun.

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie?

Georgia peaches look good enough to eat. But are they?

If your not concerned
about eating "Franken-Fruit", there are some non-organic fruits and veggies that wont be delivering too many pesticides with there juicy sweetness. An article at Mother Jones describes some possible savings at the grocery store if you don't buy organic produce. Avocados from the 5 for a dollar display only contain a small amount of pesticide when peeled. (Organics, of course, contain no pesticide, but they cost a little more.)

Here are the top 12 worst pesticide laden offenders;

1. Peaches

2. Apples

3. Sweet bell peppers

4. Celery

5. Nectarines

6. Strawberries

7. Cherries

8. Kale

9. Lettuce

10. Grapes (imported)

11. Carrots

12. Pears

For the full list of all 47 fruits and veggies, go here.

Picture Of Health

After the endoscopy. Hungry Phil. 3/22/10

All is well
with the output section of my 'food processing' equipment.

I will spare you the pictures they took, they were not my best side.

The whole process
left me a little behind on my various projects, but everything will work out in the end.

Expressive Pot

This pot tells you when your plant is happy.

I was looking at some household gadgets on HowStuffWorks , and I found the perfect pot for any plant I might be in charge of growing, (Luckily for my house plants, Sandi is in charge, and they are all thriving and happy). This pot tells when the plant needs water, or food, or just about anything. It makes faces regarding it's condition, and it even has a USB hook-up to maintain a chart of its temperature, moisture levels, amount of light, and other statistics on your computer.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Colonoscopy - Robert Klein


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Has


Spring has sprung for this Treehouse tree. 3/20/10

So Soon?
The first day of spring arrives on varying dates (from March 19-21) in different years for two reasons: Our year is not exactly an even number of days; and Earth's slightly noncircular orbit, plus the gravitational tug of the other planets, constantly changes our planet's orientation to the sun from year to year. (LiveScience)

A Young Mans Fancy?

These clean lines make a beautiful Hot Rod. 3/20/10

The 'Classic Car Show And Shine'
took place on this first day of spring at The Hilltop Estates retirement community. I went there to get some spring pictures, (leaf springs?).

Ed, the man
who maintains the property here at the Treehouse, is a part of the group that puts on this show. I went over there about 30 minutes after it was scheduled to be over. That was apparently when I was supposed to go. Parking was easy, and there were still plenty of subjects for my camera.

My favorite crowd shot of the day. 3/20/10

The kids were
a great surprise when I got home and began examining and editing the pictures I had taken.They were down in the corner of a shot I took of the car owner, and 1st place winner of the show. I like the photo story the kids tell.

The well deserved winning car. 3/20/10

In My Email

G.I. "Rocky" the squirrel. Thanks Sue. 3/20/10

I got a bunch of 'humor in the service' pictures in an email from my sister as I was writing this post. The squirrel got my attention.

Springing Back On Topic

Cars, flowers, spring is in the air. 3/20/10

Speaking of Sue...

What a great day for an equinox. What a great word to use in scrabble. I got that word once when I was visiting my sister at her 'magic' beach house, (The beach house 'vanished' September, 2008 during hurricane Ike).

Busting Out All Over

These tulips just appeared today. 3/20/10

I hope all of you are enjoying this most even of days, and nights.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Spring - Julia Fischer

Longer Days Ahead

Sounds Like


Saturn's rings as imaged by the Cassini spacecraft.

Sometimes a person might forget all the cool stuff our country is doing, what with all the hubbub from cable news and right wing radio, but we are living in magical and miraculous times. Today I filled myself with beautiful sights, sounds, fascinating information, and constructive activities. What a luxury.

NASA has released some new images and information about Saturn, HERE.

I got my 2010 census form.

I guess I am supposed to wait until April 1st to fill out some of the household information, but I think it's okay to assume that my birthday and race wont be changing between now and then. I am going to fill out most of it this weekend.

Closer To Home

Iris blooms in Dorothy's garden. 3/19/10

Dorothy's garden,
behind "A" building, has come alive with new colors.

Lovely To Gaze Upon
Tulip blooms like a fan dancer. 3/19/10

I Am Surrounded

Happy Phil 3/19/10

I love this place.

I have many fun, challenging, entertaining, inspiring, projects underway all at the same time.

I am blessed.

Mount Shasta

5 o'clock PM view of Mount, and Lake Shasta. 3/19/10

I took more pictures
at John's Violin Shop today for the iPad E-book about the viola John is making. The viola is nearly ready to be varnished.

Today, John strung it up and we got to hear it for the first time. At first it sounded like a regular viola, but John made several adjustments that brought it to another level. I took pictures and video, so one will be able to see and hear the process, and the dramatic results as John coaxes the viola to life.

"It Is Alive!"

John adjusts the sound post inside the body. 3/19/10

All the pieces of the interactive book are coming together "on pace" with the viola. I am putting the pages together using a template I designed to fit this project. I am using Apple iWork software to produce this. My thinking is that the conversion to the iPad will present little difficulty, and I get to use modern graphic design and animation features.

I can convert a page to Word, but it doesn't support the really beautiful and eye-pleasing features that are part of the Apple experience. Thankfully, I am making this for the IPad and I don't have to deal with obsolete and out of date Windows stuff, like Flash.

iWork - Pages
I use this "reflection" to let you know that this is a video, and it will begin playing when you "tap" it.

When I convert it to a Word document;
No reflection.

I like the reflection
, it's a fun bit of "eye candy" to let you know the picture is a video without junking up the page with an icon, or label.

Treehouse Eye Candy

Beauty all around me here at the Treehouse. 3/19/10

The colors and the sounds of spring filled my senses, today. As you may have noticed, all the pictures that I took, were taken Friday. It was a colorful and invigorating day for me, and I am glad I can share it with you.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

The Great Raccoon Chase

Smiling Is Fun

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We Had No Idea

Is This True?

Intrepid, investigator Phil diligently digging up facts.

After reading an article about, "spinning the WMD fiction to help sell Karl Rove's latest book", at Mother Jones, a reader posted a comment that railed against the George Bush bunch, and the invasion of Iraq. I had to investigate some of the claims and assertions to confirm their validity. Here is a paragraph I chose from those comments;

"We have polluted that entire country with tons of deadly depleted uranium (DU) microscopic dust, which will be deadly for the next four (billion) plus years. The birth defects in Iraq now are near 35%, over one out of three babies are born with very serious medical problems, no eyes, half a brain, intestines outside of their body, no arms or legs, etc. For what? Are we in America safer now, did we get even for 9-11, did we destroy the WMDs Saddam has stashed away, did we get Osama bin Laden? Oh, forgot, he was in Afganastan or Pakistan."

Well, I Googled, "depleted uranium dust in Iraq" , there were thousands of pictures, videos, and articles that graphically describe what we are doing to the countries, (and our soldiers), where we use this deadly material in bombs, missiles, and bullets. You can use Google to look this stuff up if you want to, but it is one giant wave of sadness that I don't recommend surfing. Just know that the allegations of disease and birth defects resulting from our depleted uranium ordinance, are true, and will continue to poison the people of Iraq, and Afghanistan, for centuries.

I did learn
that Kuwait made us clean up 6,700 tons of sand, after the Gulf War, by scraping it up and shipping it to a global nuclear waste disposal site in Idaho! (Potatoes that cook themselves coming soon to a supermarket near you?)

The Camera

Flowers bloom in Dorothy's garden. 3/16/10

I continue to be amazed and delighted with the second hand camera I got a couple of months ago. Dorothy's flowers are popping up and blooming for their close-ups, daily.

The Viola E-Book

Page from "Kindling to Concert" E-Book. 3/17/10

The picture
on the lower left, ( with the reflection ), is actually a short movie clip that the iPad reader can 'tap' to activate while reading the book.

The project is coming along nicely and I am close to deciding on a final layout and fonts.

The New LMP Trio CD

The cover for the newest LMP Trio CD. 3/17/10

I have been
trimming down the number of songs that will be on the new CD, and now it contains 30 enjoyable songs for our LMP Trio fans.

This is our 16th CD. We have recorded nearly 400 songs so far, and there are a lot more great tunes we haven't played yet.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Candy by The LMP Trio


Monday, March 15, 2010

What Time Is It?

Where Did The Time Go?

Flowers in Dorothy's garden. 3/15/10

It seems like
it was just last year that I turned the clocks forward and wrote about the history of daylight savings time. HERE.

I didn't expect it to affect me, one way or another, but a funny thing happened when it was time to sleep last night; Sleep was not forthcoming.

Yesterday afternoon, or evening. 3/14/10

The 'gig'
at the Hilltop Estates was a lot of fun and they asked us to come back to play again, (That's a good sign.)

The entertainment center at Hilltop Estates. 3/13/10

It was a really nice facility. We played in the entertainment area, adjacent to the 2nd floor dining room. The people really enjoyed the Phil Seymour Trio and covered us in praise and appreciation. They have a beautiful grand piano there, and I imagine they would be thrilled to hear the LMP Trio with Marian playing it, one of these days.

John Harrison's Mustang. 3/13/10

Before we played,
John and I went to a spot to take pictures at sundown of his Mustang. We will go back again to try a little different light, and zoom, to bring out more of a match between the car and Mount Shasta.

45th anniversary edition emblem on Mustang. 3/13/10

Here In Redding

Lassen Peak on a beautiful March 3rd, 2010.

The weather
is splendid. 75 degree days and cool nights are ours to enjoy for the next week or so, and enjoy it we will. I saw just about every kind of moving vehicle carrying people around in the March sunshine today when I went to the library.

I found a couple of good detective paperbacks right here in our building "A", library last Friday night, but they were such exciting, 'page turners', that today I found I had nothing left to read. The detective books were by Earl Emerson and Robert Crais, respectively. "Yellow Dog Party", features the detective - Thomas Black, and detective - Elvis Cole inhabits "L.A. Requiem".

I had a feeling
that it would take some first rate entertaining writing to satisfy my reading appetite, so I was particularly pleased to find a new Clive Cussler at the Redding Library. His characters tend to survive broken limbs, gunshot wounds, arrows, torn parachutes and at least one plunge off a waterfall before they vanquish the villains.

Blossoms by the balcony. 3/14/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Stand By Me by Phil Seymour

Love To Sing