Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Month Of Sundays

See You In September

Looking west from B building just before sunset. 8/31/10

This evening I read a 10 page story in the New Yorker about the Koch brothers. It made me resolve to focus more of my energy on promoting happiness and kindness.

I appreciate this wonderful gift of life on planet earth. Sharing my appreciation of what is bestowed upon all of us, is the most worthwhile use of my time that I have ever known. The love that I give, radiates back to brighten my day.

There are a few people who's love of money has driven them to create huge cancerous corporations that foul the earth, air and water all around the planet.

If a few people can do such monumental harm, then certainly a few people like me can do an equal amount of good.

There are so many wonderful advances in science, art, and literature that come to my attention every day, I hardly have time to explore and share them with you.

But I'll try.

Check out this 800,000 year old volcano in Kamchatca.

Gorely Volcano In Russia

"For two weeks this summer, a group of scientists is hiking to two remote Russian volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula, to collect rocks and carry them back to laboratories for testing. The researchers are hoping to pinpoint the dates of the massive volcanic explosions that have brought down the Gorely and Mutnovsky volcanoes several times over the course of hundreds of thousands of years." (More, HERE.)

Local Volcanoes

Lassen catches the last of the late afternoon sunshine. 8/31/10

I didn't have to go too far today to see volcanoes. The view from the Treehouse apartments includes a couple of prominent peaks.

Mount Shasta

Shasta from B building looking north. 8/31/10

I spent part of my day recording some basic tracks for a new/old song project. It is something that I have been putting off until the 'right' time.

So far, I like what I hear. The idea is to dust off my studio recording chops. I enjoy the studio approach of crafting a recording by layering different tracks into a composite musical object d'art.

I am a little rusty, and I have some new equipment to incorporate into my process, but I am having fun figuring it out.

Looking To The West

Forgot my shades.

The Phil Seymour Band begins rehearsing tomorrow for an upcoming Shasta Blues Society event on September 16th.

Shasta Bally

The antennas are visible again when they are back lit. 8/31/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Handel Sonata VI (adagio) - Olga Goija on Viola

Love Is Powerful

Monday, August 30, 2010

Passing Observations

The Past, Passed On
Site of 12,000 year old feast near Galilee.

Hilazon Tachtit Cave, Israel. Credit: Naftali Hilger.

In a cave above a creek in the Galilee region of northern Israel, scientists discovered the body of a petite, elderly, disabled woman, most probably a shaman, in 2005. As they continued to excavate, they found the woman apparently was intentionally laid to rest in a specially crafted hollow between the remains of at least 71 Mediterranean tortoises, as well as with seashells, beads, stone tools and bone tools. In a separate pit nearby, they also found bones of at least three wild, extinct cattle known as aurochs.

Sources, HERE, and HERE.

Busy Bee

This bee was in a lot of my flower pictures today. 8/30/10

Shasta Bally

I took this picture in the morning for a change. 8/30/10

I rarely get up early enough to take morning pictures of Shasta Bally, but today was an exception. Normally it's back lit and the silhouettes of the radio and TV towers are prominent on the ridge line, but they seem to have vanished in the sunlight. When I zoomed in for a closer look, I couldn't see them, but I could see the transmitter buildings on the ridge. Must be a trick of the morning light.

Bye Bye Comet
Michael Paine and Comet at Mike's mom's house.

Mike Paine called me last week to let me know that Comet died. Comet was Chris and my dog. We got her when she was just a puppy, I think it was 1991.

Comet spent the last two or three years at Freida Paine's place, high on a hill overlooking Big Sur, the Pacific ocean, and Rainbow Bridge. She really liked it there, where she was loved and cared for by Freida, Bruce, and Mike. She had 2 Paine family dogs to play with there on the coastal range. Not a bad place to spend the last of her life. 

Stealth Pollenator

Looks like a stealth aircraft bug. 8/30/10

I Love This Place

Enjoying life, here at the Treehouse in Redding.  8/30/10

Usually there are flying birds in at least one of my my landscape pictures, but lately there are dragonflies, (above). I like them, too.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
(This guy sure could sing.)

Spirited Rendition

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Can I Explain?

Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

Sometimes I see
some incredibly descriptive images while I am scanning the world with my laptop.

Photo by Jon Nazca (Reuters) 
Pedro Muriel, decked out in a silver and purple bullfighters suit, was still able to walk to the infirmary after the bull insulted his manliness.

What's In A Word?
The following is from a NYT article, (HERE), that examines how language shapes our view of the world.

"In recent years, various experiments have shown that grammatical genders can shape the feelings and associations of speakers toward objects around them. In the 1990s, for example, psychologists compared associations between speakers of German and Spanish. There are many inanimate nouns whose genders in the two languages are reversed. A German bridge is feminine (die Brücke), for instance, but el puente is masculine in Spanish; and the same goes for clocks, apartments, forks, newspapers, pockets, shoulders, stamps, tickets, violins, the sun, the world and love. On the other hand, an apple is masculine for Germans but feminine in Spanish, and so are chairs, brooms, butterflies, keys, mountains, stars, tables, wars, rain and garbage. When speakers were asked to grade various objects on a range of characteristics, Spanish speakers deemed bridges, clocks and violins to have more “manly properties” like strength, but Germans tended to think of them as more slender or elegant. With objects like mountains or chairs, which are “he” in German but “she” in Spanish, the effect was reversed."

Gli amanti azzurri by Marc Chagall

"As strange
as it may sound, our experience of a Chagall painting actually depends to some extent on whether our language has a word for blue."- Guy Deutscher


Today's breakfast fuels my verbosity. 8/29/10

I tried a new cereal this morning. (It is hiding under the mountain of organic fruit.) I picked up a box of Trader Joe's Organic Golden Flax Cereal, (Does that name require a comma, or two?), when I went to the store yesterday.

The cereal
sort of reminded me of the way that, "Total", flakes used to taste and feel when chewed; Like toasted cardboard. The experience was actually nostalgic and not totally unpleasant, plus there were clusters of something else that were also part of the boxed breakfast selection. I liked it, or to be more specific, it went well with a mountain of organic fruit and milk.

"Rollicking Journalist"
G.K. Chesterton (another site)

"In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything." --G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1909

Dormant Volcano Erupts

Villagers ride a motorcycle while covering their mouths at the district of Tanah Karo outside the city of Medan, North Sumatra, as the Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke in the background on August 28, 2010. (Reuters)

Save the organic coffee growers! 8/29/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Looking Out The Window

Hey, It's Raining!

Enough rain to wet the pavement fell this morning. 8/28/10

This morning brought a little rain, and cooler temperatures to Redding. It's nice to have a little variety. This treat, at least the cooler temperature, is supposed to continue until Monday, when we return to our regularly scheduled weather program.

Decisions, Decisions

Aloes and a struggling spider plant on the balcony. 8/28/10

I thought about lowering the umbrella during the rain so the plants on the patio could enjoy the sprinkle, but then I would get wet while I was out enjoying the thick, moisture laden atmosphere. By the time I was about to decide, most of the rain was over and done so there was no decision required.

The umbrella
is primarily there to keep the sun off the patio area, and to protect the plants from incinerating in direct exposure to our blazing Redding summer sunshine.


Cartoon by - Robert and Donna Trussell

That guy, Glenn Beck, has his wacky show on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial today.

They are probably
broadcasting it on Fox News, but I think I will pass. I don't have cable, or satellite TV, but this trainwreck is available on the internet. 

I have watched the guy a couple of times. It's embarrassing for me, and demeaning to him to observe his descent into madness. His separation from reality, and puffed up Messianic sense of self may be the result of his years of drug and alcohol abuse, or he could just be loony. Whatever the reason for his disconnect with rational thought and the resulting manic behavior, it is uncomfortable for me to watch.

Old Map

Map from the Reagan era...or Bush, or today's right wing.

I Love This Place

Another trip
to the library, and more books to read. I do enjoy books. I am very lucky to have been born into a family where books were important. There were bookcases full of books in practically every room of the house. My dad's study had floor to ceiling book cases on every wall. There were bookcases in the hallways. In 1954 we had a TV set, downstairs in the lounge. We rarely watched it.

The Redding library is light and airy, with rows of computers with internet access, that patrons can use for an hour at a time. One must reserve a time and a computer. They are very popular. There are chairs and tables along the windowed second floor, outside walls where one can use your own laptops connected by free wireless access. There are comfortable reading chairs and couches next to the periodicals, where one can sit and read the latest magazines and newspapers.

Best of all, there are books. Lots of books.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Close As Pages In A Book - Jimmy Knepper

Life Is Good

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will It Work?

Bake A Cookie?

Trader Joe's frozen cookies ready to go in the trunk. 8/24/10

It was fairly warm
Wednesday, (108), so I thought I would do a "fry eggs on the sidewalk" type of experiment I call; Baking cookies in the trunk.

I placed 2 frozen cookies to bake in the trunk on a 108 degree day.

Ummm, yummy. Hot, greasy, soft, cookies.

The experiment was less than tasty. An hour in the hot trunk produced warm lumps of dough in puddles of grease. I may never eat a baked, frozen cookie again.

A Rosy Outlook

Roses are still blooming, here at the Treehouse apartments. 8/26/10

A letter writer to the New York Times makes a good point;
"Tomatoes, Peanut Butter, Spinach, Eggs,The Gulf Oil Spill, Toyota, AIG, Goldman Sachs,Lehman Bros., Savings and Loans, Enron, World Com.,Upper Big Branch Mine, Chinese-made Drywall and Dog Food, Tylenol... Why would anyone think we need government regulations when the magic of the market is doing so well?"

The Little Things

Tiny flower in the grass behind building 'B'. 8/26/10

People with cable TV, only watch a half dozen channels on a regular basis.

The U.S. military
is the worlds number one oil consumer.

Most republican
voters believe Obama signed the T.A.R.P. legislation, (It was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008).

One out of five Americans think the sun revolves around the earth.

New Phone Feature In Gmail

Google now has phone service built into Gmail. One can call any phone in the U.S. at no cost. Calling other countries just costs a few cents.

I tried it out, and it worked really well. I found out that I was just one of millions of people who are already using this new service on Gmail.

Garie called my cell phone from her computer and that worked well too.

Neat stuff.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Be Kind

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Roadside Attractions

Traffic Jam Noodles

Enterprizing people along the jammed road sell food and drink.

Vendors In The Jam

Gridlock spanning 60 miles has been stuck in place for 10 days in China, with traffic stemming from construction in Beijing moving only about a half-mile per day, and vendors setting up shop to profit off the captive audience. Some drivers have been stuck in the jam for five days, China Central Television reported Tuesday, and an official said he wasn't sure when the situation along the Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway would return to normal.

Here In Redding

The only jam for me in this picture, is the music in my head. 8/23/10

After I picked up some new books at the library, yesterday, I decided that conditions were right for some early evening shots of Shasta Bally from Whiskeytown Lake. I turned south on South Market and drove down to Buenaventura where I cut across to Eureka Way. No traffic jams, although there was one slow car that I followed for about a mile.

Along the road by Whiskeytown lake. 8/23/10

The late afternoon/early evening sun combined with the summer haze to give the lake and mountains a soft, magical feeling.

A pair of sailboaters spend some leisure time on the water. 8/23/10

During the time I was taking pictures, I saw two sailboats, one 2-person kayak, one motorboat, and a person swimming in a secluded cove. I am so fortunate to have been born into the life that I have.

Shasta Bally

The snow is gone, but Shasta Bally has transformed beautifully. 8/23/10

Close Up

The top of Shasta Bally in the 7:00p shadows. 8/23/10

15 Year Old Buick

The Buick looks as well designed as the day it was built. 8/23/10

Sometimes the world can seem topsy turvy
, (from tops (plural of 1top) + obsolete English terve to turn upside down). Take for example the word conservative. It stems from the word conserve which means to prevent the wasteful or harmful overuse of resources.

Circumstances favored me
with the Buick LeSabre that I drive. It is second hand, and was carefully maintained, (conserved), by it's first owners. I received the Buick in 2007, and have continued to keep it maintained and in good repair. This, by definition, makes me conservative.

This car has lasted about 125,000 miles, and with good maintainence and repair, it should continue looking nice and running smoothly for at least another 125,000 miles.

the Buick even got to the showroom in 1995, it had already produced significant amounts of damage to air, water and land ecosystems with 26.5 tons of waste and 32,482 cubic feet of polluted air just from the extraction of raw materials to make it. By keeping this car in good repair, I am saving immense amounts of planetary resources that would be required if I were to replace it.
I believe in protecting the environment from the damages of industrialization. This, by definition, makes me conservative.

I think you may know already where I am going with this train of intellectual raw material, so I will conserve some words by pointing out that today's corporately controlled media has been defining a conservative person like me, as a tree hugger, eco-nazi, progressive, and whatever the latest catchphrase may be.

Sometimes the world can seem topsy turvy.

Conservative Cream Puffs

Mini cream puffs from Sunset Marketplace Bakery. 8/23/10

When I drive
out to Whiskeytown Lake, I use the trip as an opportunity to stop at the Sunset Marketplace to get organic coffee beans and a couple of mini cream puffs. This way I conserve fuel and calories, by limiting my bakery trips to those times when I go to the lake, and choosing the "mini" cream puffs so as not to engage in gluttony.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Damn This Traffic Jam
Drive On

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I See How It Looks

Close Up

Mount Shasta pokes through the morning clouds. 8/22/10

Today I drove
up to Lake Siskiyou with a couple of friends. It was a great day to test the Lumix TZ1 with a closer perspective of Mount Shasta. I was not disappointed.

By early afternoon the clouds are moving off the mountain. 8/22/10

I zoom the Lumix TZ1 a little closer. 8/22/10

The 14,179 foot peak is still shrouded by the clouds it is making. 8/22/10

Shastina is the name of the smaller volcano part of Mount Shasta. 8/22/10

What a spectacular mountain. 8/22/10

A last look before getting on the highway home. 8/22/10

Back from the close up volcano photo adventure. 8/22/10

I had an opportunity
to see what the Lumix TZ1 would do closer to Mount Shasta, today. I was amazed at the range of expression that was available with the Leica 10x optical zoom lens. I did other things, and took other pictures, but for today's post, I just wanted to share some pictures of magical Mount Shasta. I hope you enjoy them.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
  Good Day by Phil Seymour

Life Is Good

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Average Observations Averaged

One Out Of Five

I chose this picture of dessert from 5 different shots.

I took 5 different shots of this flower to get this one.

I recorded 5 different takes of narration for the E-book video.

Here are some other significant "one out of five" observations;

One out of five Americans believe that the president is a Muslim.

One out of five Americans are illiterate.

One out of five Americans live away from cities and suburbs.

4:30 PM 8/21/10

One out of five Americans are Catholic.

One out of five Tea Party members have an advanced education.

One out of five people pee in pools.

One out of five people on Earth are Muslim.

7:30 PM 8/21/10

One out of five iPad applications are games.

One out of five oxygen molecules are produced by the Amazon Rainforest.

One out of five homeless Americans are Veterans.

8:30 PM 8/21/10

One out of five Americans have a passport.

One out of five high school graduates are functionally illiterate.

Another delicious tomato was here for dinner. 8/21/10
Life is good.

I am so very thankful.

I love this place.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

I'm Gonna Move - The Phil Seymour Band
  I'm Gonna Move by Phil Seymour