Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Awakening Too

A New Day

A bug visits a pretty flower in Dorothy's garden. 7/26/10

I was noticing
the descriptive part of the Phil's Place title that refers to this blog as a Time Machine. I sometimes forget just what a powerful and time bending gift we were given with advent of words.

Good Morning

A guy from the fence company cuts pipe in the cool morning. 7/27/10

I wasn't
really planning on an early, (for me), start to this Tuesday, but everyone who had a machine that makes noise was using them bright and early. And who could blame them? This morning was the first cool, (70 degrees), morning we have had in weeks. So I am up and slowly moving about the apartment. I had a chance to open the windows and let in some replacement air. (That's the new name for fresh air that the HVAC industry has coined.)

The fresh, cool air felt good, flowing in through the open windows and sliding glass door, but the noise and fumes from the vehicles and equipment caused me to choose to close the portals in the interests of peace of mind, and respiratory well being.

Back To Yesterday

The hat that wont blow off. 7/26/10

There have
been some windy conditions around here, even when the temperatures exceed 100. I got this hat a few weeks ago, just for these windy occasions. It works. I didn't have to 'hold on to my hat', or chase it down the mountainside. The top is ventilated to help me keep a cool head in the hot sun.

Rose against the thunderhead. 7/26/10

The night before last, I wrote myself a note to remind myself of an illuminating discourse I was having with my ego and my id. The note simply reads; Acceptable Behavior.

I think it was referring to an observation of someone picking through the sand filled butt buckets, looking for something to smoke. The effect of cigarettes was so appealing, that they thought that picking up peoples discarded butts, and smoking them, was acceptable behavior.

I saw a kid all buffed up and tattooed in preparation for a future as a convict. Acceptable behavior for those who lack self esteem, education, and imagination.


Some of the majestic clouds that have been forming each afternoon. 7/26/10

The Phil Seymour Band
will be playing twice this week. I really hope to get some pictures and video.

Thursday, you can find us at The Vintage Wine Bar from 8 to 10 pm. We hope to make this a regular, once a month event.

we will be out at the French Gulch Hotel. We look forward to a fun time at the historic hotel. We start at 7:30. I have heard the food there is great. I  hope to give you a first hand review of the restaurant next week.

Frozen Dinner Review

Looks just like the picture on the box...ha ha. 7/26/10

Trader Joe's Stacked Eggplant Parmesan.

I liked it. I found that the flavors and ingredients reminded me more of lasagna, but it's a very tasty, easy to microwave, light meal.

As it is with most of Trader Joe's products, the ingredients are real, natural food items. The ricotta cheese was a nice touch, and the reason this dish reminded me of lasagna, (if instead of noodles you used slices of eggplant). For $3.29, I thought it was a bargain price for real food.

I have seen
, (and tasted), similarly named frozen items elsewhere, that cost less, but they were chemical compounds made to look like food. (In most mass produced highly processed frozen dinners, about the only thing close to being nutritious, and possibly digestible, by humans, would be the genetically modified, Monsanto copyrighted, vegetable looking stuff.)

It is comforting
to know that Trader Joe's food is mostly organic, and nearly always natural. I like it.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
It Is What It Is

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Things Are Looking Up

Fullerenes In Space

Illustration from the Discover article.

What a treat to find this article at DiscoverMagazine.

"Looking at a planetary nebula 6,500 light years away, scientists recognized an old friend: the buckyball. The large, soccer ball-shaped molecule–made from bonding 60 carbon atoms together–was first seen in a lab in 1985. In a paper published today in Science, scientists confirm the first known extraterrestrial existence of the rare carbon balls."

Some of you regular readers are already quite familiar with my attraction and interest in all things nano, but for the benefit of new readers, and a refresher for the rest of us, I have been researching and reporting on nanotubes, buckyballs, and fullerenes for sometime now. I think they are one of the solutions to reducing CO2 emissions at factories and power plants. Just type fullerenes in the blog search box and it will dig up a bunch of posts where fullerenes, nanotubes, and buckyballs have been examined.

Photogenic Day

The fountain at Cypress and Market. 7/24/10

On my way to the library, I noticed how nice the fountain at the Market, Pine, and Cypress intersection looked. I stopped to take a few pictures on my way back from the library. It was after I had taken a few shots that I realized there was a bird at the fountain having a drink of water. I tried to get a closeup of the bird, but I hadn't eaten for a few hours and I was too shaky to get the camera to focus when I zoomed in on the bird. I must have taken 20 or 30 pictures of the bird and not one of the closeups were usable.

The bird is on top of the waterfall stretching it's neck in this shot. 7/24/10

The bird
was a real ham and made itself into a variety of sizes and shapes while I snapped picture after out of focus picture. I decided that in the future, I would try to remember to eat more often, and to start bringing a tripod.

Crepe myrtles growing next to the fountain. 7/24/10

What Is It?

The mystery bug has been identified.
Scutigera coleoptrata

I found a bunch of sites through a Google search that are very helpful when it comes to identifying bugs. It seems that the bug in question is the House Centipede, and I probably could have left it to roam the house in search of spiders and other pests instead of putting it outside where it likely became bird food.

To The Lake

At one of the turn offs where I photograph Shasta. 7/24/10

I took a tripod
and went up to lake Shasta to see if it would light up through the haze during the sunset.

Ski boats and fisherman share the cool water of the lake. 7/24/10

From the Shasta dam view point. 7/24/10

I read between shots of the sunset on the mountain. 7/23/10

Getting just the right picture of Shasta in the setting sun can take some time. I find it handy to have a book to read between shots. In this case it was 'Proof" by Dick Francis. I take a few pictures, sit and read for a few minutes, then take some more pictures. (Repeat and rinse.)

Once the ligh
t became too dim for the capabilities of the camera, I returned to my previous place above the lake and the sun and mountain combined to give me the image I came for.

The image that I came to capture. 7/24/10

I Follow The Moon Home

Tonights moon as seen from the Treehouse parking lot. 7/24/10

That was my day, and I hope you enjoy the pictures in the new template for my blog. For those of you who receive the email version, the difference isn't very dramatic, because the design and format gets skewed so it can work as email. (You can go to the real site, HERE, to ooh and ah at the new look.)

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Steady Now

Changing Size Requires

Custom Fitting

Crepe Myrtle by the managers apartment at the Treehouse. 7/24/1o

The mystery blossom was correctly identified by Marian Sauer, who wrote;

"The pink one looks like crepe myrtle, the kind I had planted in memory of Chrissie at Rippling River.  That one is supposed to be purple, but so far it hasn't bloomed.  It probably needs a little fertilizer.  They come in many colors."

Marian also wondered
if I had identified the bug I found on the floor and 'imaged' with the macro setting on the Panasonic Lumix TZ1. The digital camera that found me through craigslist.
The answer is; Not yet.

In today's post
, I am trying out some of the New features in the Blogger editor. The template that I have been using for the past 2 years limited the width of images, (photo's and such), causing me to crop the pictures into a square, boxy shape. It altered the original compositions, but it provided a larger screen image. This new editor and template purports to provide a wider area of the page for images. We shall see. It will be nice if it does.

Width Experiment

Also we can see just where the text reaches, and that should help determine the width.

My estimates say this will work.

The other change
I am making with the appearance of this blog, is the font, ('typeface', for some of us old timers). I have resisted the san serif styles primarily because in a large body of text they slow down reading speed and interfere with meter and flow. I use a san serif typeface, (font), in the blog over at www.happyphil.com, (Example HERE).

I have been waiting
for Google Doc's or Blogger to offer Helvetica as a font choice, but they use the Microsoft imitation of Helvetica called Arial. If I were a graphic design purist, I would be offended by the very existence of this disproportionate ugly attempt to circumvent paying royalties for the use of Helvetica, but I am not a purist, and like CD's and MP3's have caused me to reassess how recorded music should sound, the constant barrage of printed material using Arial, has beaten my artistic senses into acceptance of this proportionately unbalanced copy of Helvetica.

In other words, I can make this blog look a bit more modern by using the available san serif font.

The other thing
is, I don't present pages and pages of text where a san serif font would cause eye fatigue.

'Arial' Replacing  'Georgia'

The new lily takes over. 7/24/10

For the sake
of continuity, I have given the lily's in this image, names; Georgia, (the old font), and Arial, (the new font).

Now to find out
just what this new blogger editor will do.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Change Is Inevitable

Friday, July 23, 2010


Day Or Night

This terrestrial globe is one in the series of Willem Jansz Blaeu's undated models, which often lack dedications as well. The difficulty of dating them is complicated by the fact that Joan Blaeu continued to reprint his father's globes. This specimen, which carries the date 1629 on the Australian coasts, was probably issued after 1645. California is still depicted as an island. A long text recounts the multiple attempts by Dutch travelers to discover the North-East passage. The globe is in excellent condition and richly adorned. The large letters are gilt and some scenes are painted.

1710 Pocket Watch

Octagonal horizontal dial with gnomon and magnetic compass for orientation. Complete with case lined in red velvet. The instrument is signed by Nicolas Bion.

What About Nighttime?

This small astrolabe carries four tympanums for latitudes 24°/30°, 31°/35°, and 32°/36° (corresponding to Persia), and for latitude 0° (i.e., the circle of the equator). There is an alidade and a rete. The instrument is dated 496 of the Hegira (1102-1103 of the Christian era) and is signed by its maker, Muhammad 'Ibn Abi'l Qasim 'Ibn Bakran. Donated to the Museo di Storia della Scienza by the Florentine Prince Tommaso Corsini.

I found
these, and hundreds more items to explore at the Museo Galileo.

Here In Redding

A hummingbird visits an Agapanthus africanus. 7/23/10

Just One More Thing

The Buick waits for me at Rocha's Auto Service. 7/23/10

With the newly rebuilt transmission, I was ready for a few more years of trouble free motoring pleasure in the Le Sabre. Evidently there was just one more thing that needed replacing, before that chapter could begin. I was notified last Wednesday morning when the engine decided it would no longer idle. I even opened the hood and stared at the unfamiliar modern assemblage that occupies the space between the front wheels of modern cars. There really is nothing there that I recognize, but I figure it's worth looking in case there is an obvious wire dangling, or part hanging. No luck.

I had some fresh produce is the car, so I enlisted the help of my friend, Steve, and he helped me get the food home. I made a few phone calls and asked John if he could stop by the car on our way to rehearsal. I thought that maybe having let it sit for a couple of hours would encourage it to run long enough for me to drive it to Jeffs where we could open the hood and the whole band could stare at the engineering marvel within. No such luck.

The next morning, Sandi took me to the car and I called for it to be towed to Hartnell transmission where they said they would give it a look to see what was wrong. They were the nice bunch who rebuilt the transmission the week before and it was possible it was a related problem.

This morning, (Thursday), Mark, from Hartnell Transmission, called to let me know that his diagnostic machine indicated a couple of codes related to fuel delivery. He asked if I would like him to get it to a reputable auto repair shop for further investigation. I told him that after the fine job he, and his company did with the transmission, I would trust his judgment.

He called back to tell me where he took it; Rocha's Auto Service. Mark told me that Julio, the owner of Rocha's, would be giving me a call to tell me what he found.

Good Day For A/C

The afternoon temp was 104 when I got the Buick home.

The problem
was a faulty mass airflow sensor, and once it was replaced, the engine ran like a top with no other diagnostic fault codes. Hooray.

Fellow musician and audiophile, Michael, gave me a ride to pick up the Buick at Rocha's Auto Service, and I drove it back to the Treehouse Apartments.

Now, I can be relatively confident that I have reliable, comfortable, and respectable transportation for a few more years.

Thanks to all who have helped me over the last couple of weeks of car repair.

Very special
thanks to Marian, (the 'M' in LMP Trio), for loaning me the money so I could pay for these repairs.

Happy Phil

Is that dirt or worn areas on the steering wheel? 7/23/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Rise Up - Playing For Change

Make A Joyful Noise

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Circular Thoughts

In A Loop

Lily of the Nile next to 'B' building. 7/20/10

There are
days during which I can't help but notice the bright colors and interesting shapes in what would otherwise be just the normal background of my daily life. I think it's really great that I carry a camera with me always, so that I can savor those special images at a later time, and share them with you.

What Is This?

Wonderful color and shapes. 7/20/10

In The Shadows

Lily's in the shadows by the fence. 7/21/10

I am still finding flowers around the Treehouse that have, up until now, escaped my attention and camera. The time and circumstances must be aligned with some cosmic schedule, or so it seems. Mostly, the best pictures for me are off the beaten path, or from an uncommon perspective. Sometimes I try to 'arrange' the spontaneous situation with the result being short of the image I had hoped to create. It is best to let the moments come to me when they are "supposed" to.

Out and about around the Treehouse Apartments. 7/21/10

Yesterday, while I was imaging flowers outside in the warm sunshine, I picked up a hitch hiker and brought her/him into the apartment. I didn't see it at first, but I had taken off my sandals and was getting ready to load the new batch of pictures into the computer when I noticed a piece of fuzz on the carpet. I wasn't sure if it was flora or fauna, but it sort of looked like a burr or something off of a plant.

It wasn't moving
, but I got to thinking it might be a fuzzy bug rather than a sticker. I got the magnifying glass and it looked like a couple of false eyelashes stuck together.

Closeup of "false eyelash" bug. 7/21/10

I figured this would be a good project for the macro abilities of the Lumix TZ1 and I got the camera. I positioned the camera within a couple of inches of the possibly dead bug on the carpet. I snapped the picture and moved to get a side view. This was too much for the bug and it took off running for it's life. I herded it onto the kitchen floor where the change in surface color and texture caused it to stop and analyze it's surroundings.

Many legged bug on kitchen floor. 7/21/10

This gave me
another photo opportunity before the bug resumed running for it's life. I used a piece of paper towel to gently pick it up and put it outside on the balcony where it made a bee line for a shady spot. I figure it most likely became bird food from there.

Another beautiful flower in the garden. 7/21/10

Some things have changed so much with modern technology, that we have changed their names. I am working on a few of those name changes.

With the advent of digital photography, we no longer photograph things, we image them.

I used to tape record music and sounds, now I no longer use tape, and the only thing moving is electrons.

I still say I am filming, but I no longer use film.

Spinning disks like CD's, DVD's, and BluRay are going the way of the phonograph record or the cassette tape. They are being replaced by WiFi and solid state storage devices.

So many new developments. Such rapid scientific advancement. What a great time to be alive.

In Other News
Lion's mane jellyfish.

From Live Science;
Reported Wednesday at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye, N.H., between 50 and 100 beachgoers were treated for jellyfish stings likely from a lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata). Though officials can't be certain one jellyfish stung all the people, it seems likely as that's the only giant they spotted nearby.

I have been reading reports that jellyfish that are replacing the fish we rely upon as a food source. Pollution and climate change are triggering increased levels of acidity that prevent the proper balance of life forms that allow the fish we eat to survive.

Future generations will be eating jellyfish, instead of tuna.

Peanut butter
and jellyfish sandwich anyone?

Today's Relatively Appropriate Video;

Food Forethought

Monday, July 19, 2010



Mount Shasta in the late afternoon sun. 7/18/10

One of my favorite places to take Mount Shasta pictures is up by Lake Shasta. I have hundreds of images that I have taken of the volcano from that vantage point. For me, its inspirational to see the different moods of the mountain, and to capture that with a camera. Pictures of Shasta from the lake are the main reason I looked for, (and found), just the right camera that can describe what I see and feel when I am there gazing upon this magnificent sight.

While I was there, I happened to look up in the opposite direction and saw that the moon was also there to add to the scenery. I turned the camera that way, and one of the large, gliding birds was nice enough to fly into the frame of the moon picture. I love this stuff.

Eagle or buzzard, it makes a great image. 7/18/10

Nice Socks

Overlooking Redding from Shasta Dam Road. 7/18/10

Just a short
drive, further up and over the hill from the Shasta Dam/Mount Shasta viewpoint, there are places one can pull off the road and see Redding. From this vantage point, I just point the camera east, aross the valley, and I can photograph Mount Lassen.

Mount Lassen from Shasta Dam Road. 7/18/10

Less Exposure

A lower exposure setting brings out color. 7/18/10

The sun was lighting up some of the flowers to where they were white, washed out shapes on the end of a stem. A quick change of the exposure setting brought out the color and detail. It also helped the composition by darkening the background.


Do you remember the lucky picture I got of a lily just opening? Well it opened, and when I took its picture Sunday, it was limp and thirsty. I filled a jug with water and gave it, and a few close friends some water. This morning it had perked up, and was ready for pollinating.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Lightning strikes three of the tallest buildings in Chicago at the same time! from Craig Shimala on Vimeo.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Imagery

Best Of Moon

Taken with the Panasonic Lumix TZ1 7/17/10

I was out in back, taking twilight photos of the latest lily's, when I happened to look up and see the moon just above the big oak tree. For fun, I pointed the camera skyward and zoomed, (10x optical), in on the moon. I had no idea how good the pictures were until I put them on the Macbook and looked closely. Wowie-zowie, I like this camera.

It Comes Out At Night

Mutant lily begins to emerge as night begins. 7/17/10

I have been having many days of fun and entertainment, watching the randy behavior of the lily's, (are you waving a pistol, or are you just glad to see me?), as they soak up water, bake in the sun, and exchange pollen. I thought I would see what they were up to just as darkness fell tonight.

This raggedy bad boy/girl is still in the game. 7/17/10

I am beginning
to see how active they have been, by the amount of pollen left on the stamens. When they first bloom, the stamen have bushy brooms of pollen that diminish during the fertilization process. The next picture shows stamen that are just about to be released from inside the pod.

A look inside a lily as it is opening. 7/17/10

You can see these
, and the best of other flowers I have photographed so far this month, HERE.

The mutant lily coming out at night. 7/17/10

Cup Of Joe

I had to draw an image for this piece. 7/17/10

Josephus Daniels (18 May 1862-15 January 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy were inaugurating the practice of making 100 Sailors from the Fleet eligible for entrance into the Naval Academy, the introduction of women into the service, and the abolishment of the officers' wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe". (Source)

When I read about the cup of Joe, I thought that Marian and Leona would find the information interesting since they are now using this as a 'legal' Scrabble word.

I also had
to draw the cup of Joe, because I didn't make a pot this evening. I know I have old pictures of me with a cup of coffee, but what would be current about that? Besides, it's fun to draw and use one of my Mac toys, (Photo Booth), to turn it into a graphic for the topic.

Cool Inside

Just in from the 107 degree day outside. 7/17/10

I keep it 80 degrees in this apartment. I find that for the Redding summers, that is just right for me, (in winter I keep it 68-70).

Lately I have noticed that I am starting to sweat when the temperature gets over 100. This is new for me, but maybe it's just one of those things that come along when one is 65. When I get home after a couple of hours out in the heat, I find that my clothes are all wet. This is making for extra laundry because I am not about to continue wearing those clothes. This is also making for extra laundry because I am not going to put on clean clothes without first taking a shower, and I need to use a clean towel and washcloth.

What a luxury
it is to be able to stay clean. I am so glad that I now have all these wonderful conveniences.

We go from here.

Life is good.

Just remember to drink plenty of water. (Preferably spring water.)

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Don't Sweat It