Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gone Buggy


I had never seen how frogs stuff their mouth with whatever is stuck on their tongue. Pretty efficient design, especially when there is a bug stuck on that tongue.

There are more high speed camera slow motion videos HERE.

Frog Food?

This spider was on the handrail in the 'B' building stairwell. 9/28/10

If only that frog in the video had been in the stairwell it could have caught this spider instead of air.

I was headed out to deliver a flier I made for the club membership drive, when I noticed this spider on the stairwell handrail. I had my camera with me, so I took a few snaps. It stayed so still I thought it might be dead, but when I touched it, it quickly moved around to the other side of the railing.

Stairwell handrail spider from another angle. 9/28/10

What's For Dinner?

Decisions, decisions. 9/28/10

Frozen vegetable lasagna, or bag o' veggies? I chose the lasagna.

Nice View To The West

It had cooled off to about 95 when I took this picture. 9/28/10

It's nice and warm this week with temperatures around 105. Night time temps are in the 70's. I like this kind of weather. It's one of many things I love about Redding.

I am so glad that I was called to this place.

Here is a song
from last Saturday's gig at the French Gulch Hotel. Bartender/waitress Eileen became a backup singer with the band for this song.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
  I'll Take You There by Phil Seymour
Cherish All Life

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Falling Together

Saturday's Compilation

Colorful September rose. 9/24/10

I had a feeling
that this yellow rose was going to turn out special. I almost missed it but it lit up in the corner of my vision as I was walking along the sidewalk and I had to stop to investigate. The rose was in the late afternoon shadows, but the muted light seemed to enhance the soft vibrancy of it's yellowness.

Cheerful Dinner Entree

Cheese tortellini from a steam pouch. 9/24/10

The tortellini
was okay.  You may recall my less than glowing review of the steam bag shrimp scampi last week where I wrote that I would not be getting that again. Well, the tortellini was surprisingly tasty, (it certainly looks bright and cheerful). I will probably get another steam bag of this.

Wind Power In Sight

Turbines on the ridge. 9/24/10

It was a
clear day, so I took another few pictures of Hatchet Ridge. One of these months I will have to take a ride out to see the turbines up a little closer, and at the same time get some pictures of Burney falls.

Return To French Gulch

The band at the French Gulch Hotel. (photo - Dana Brooks) 9/25/10

We had
a great time playing at the French Gulch Hotel. It is always a treat when we use our own equipment. The sound is just the way we like it.

Jeff's wife
took some pictures and video, and I did some recording with the computer. We will see how it all turns out. For now, here are a couple of pictures and a short video clip.

John and I playing something in the key of A. (photo - Dana Brooks) 9/25/10

For more
of the pictures from this night, and other recent events you can go HERE.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

So Strange - The Phil Seymour Band
Life Is Great

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Begins

Still Mooning

Looking east from Lulu's before Thursday's Blues Jam. 9/23/10

It looks like I will have to wait until next month to get more detailed moon pictures with the Lumix TZ1. It does best when the sky is still light and the moon is visible. Once the sky gets dark, the intensity of the moon's reflected sunlight is not good for details of the craters and mountains. I am thrilled with this months great images of the moonrise each evening leading up to the full moon. Life is good in my photo department.

Lassen in the afternoon sun. 9/24/10

Today I spent some time updating my website, (www.happyphil.com). This was the result of my interaction with someone who needed help designing their website on a Mac. I suggested they just use the web design application, iWeb, that comes with a Mac. I suggested a visit to my website that I produce with iWeb as an example of what can be done.

Coincidentally, I was updating some of the information, videos, and pictures on that site as a result of having paid up next years rental space for my domain on the internet. I use a lower cost hosting company than the one that is offered by Apple. If I could afford it, I would use all Apple products and services, but I have to cut corners where possible, to do all the wonderful things I can do with my computers.

Shasta still has snow left from last Saturday's storm. 9/24/10

I went to town this afternoon to take care of a few things, and on the way back I stopped to take some pictures on and under the bridges that span the Sacramento river at Lake Redding. I spotted this flowering bush from where I parked and took some pictures of it, too.

I don't know what this is, but it is interesting. 9/24/10

These bridges are always good for eye catching images. 9/24/10

I think I need a haircut!

The late sun illuminates the volcano. 9/24/10
Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Blue Danube Waltz
Are yard eggs laid by hens with three feet?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Equinox Continued

Harvest Moon


From Jeff's garage, after the band rehearsal, when I was driving to an appointment, I had the opportunity to stop and take a couple of pictures from atop the waterfall/fountain at Pine and Cypress. The western sky was hazy and washed out, but I managed to get enough of an image to play with.


Using some of the simple editing tools in iPhoto and Preview, it was possible to use abstracts and color to bring out the hidden qualities of these images.


The image
of the moon after dark, (above), was the result of trying various settings on the Lumix TZ1 to try and get a detailed shot of the moon. The moon was just too bright of an object against the dark sky for the settings I was using. I tried shooting through sunglasses and although I didn't get details of craters, I did get some color flare that I was able to enhance to develop this color rich image.

Is It Still Breakfast?

If it's the first meal of the day, then I am technically breaking the fast even though it may be noonish.

I am enjoying
the delicious organic strawberries that are currently available. I tried some of the regular commercial strawberries last week and they had the taste and consistency of an unripe peach. I was not surprised.

A couple of years ago, while I was
staying with friends in Moss Landing, the farmer across the street from my friends house decided he wanted to plant a crop of commercial strawberries. That endeavor entails poisoning the soil until it is sterile and lifeless. I joined my friends and their neighbors in an attempt to prevent the spraying and fumigation that would certainly affect every living thing nearby.

In spite of our presenting evidence of possible harm to children, and reports of female reproductive system damage from exposure to these chemicals, a judge ruled in favor of corporate agriculture, and deadly chemicals were permitted to be injected, sprayed and fumigated throughout the future strawberry plot.

A few days later
, farm workers in space suits removed the plastic that had covered the ground. The wind came up and blew dessicated insect bodies, poisoned dust, and microbe corpses onto cars, lawns, gardens, pets and people who lived in the neighborhood. We were assured by the chemical company that even though the farmworkers were wearing hazmat suits, the poison was not harmful to our health. That sure set my mind at ease.

The next step
in commercial strawberry production is to put some kind of industrial nutrient solution into the dead dirt. Then, while the plants are growing, they are sprayed with various fungicides, insecticides, and anything else they can sell to the farmers.

Is it any wonder that the strawberry looking things that are the result of this process don't taste very good?

A Flower Caught My Eye

That is the flower I was photographing from where I am standing. 9/22/10

In The Wind

The Hatchet Ridge wind turbines from 'B' building. 9/20/10

When I was
looking east north east from the 2nd floor outside stairwell landing on Monday, it was clear enough that I could just barely make out something on the ridge of the distant hills. I took some pictures with the Lumix TZ1, and when I brought them up on the computer, I could see that it was the new windmills they have been installing on Hatchet Ridge. One small step toward catching up with the rest of the world.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

West Winds

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Harvest Moon

Nearly Full

From my balcony. Monday, 9/20/10 7:15p

Each of
the past few evenings have been an entertaining celestial exposition no matter which of the cardinal points one chooses to face. The moonrise has been from behind Mount Lassen, so that makes for some spectacular imagery. Jupiter has been accompanying the moon and, if you use binoculars, Uranus can be seen next to Jupiter.


From my balcony. Monday 9/20/10 7:05p

Tonight, Tuesday, was cloudy over Lassen, but the moon, once above the clouds, is strikingly sharp and clear to the naked eye. It is really covered in detail when I look through binoculars. It sure is showing up clear and cratered in the images from the camera.

The big show, the Autumnal Equinox, is on Wednesday, and our forecast here in Redding is clear skies. I will be rehearsing with the band when the moon and Jupiter are rising over Lassen at sunset, but maybe I can interest them in seeking out a good vantage point to watch the show on the western horizon for 15 or 20 minutes.


From the Treehouse parking lot. Tuesday 9/21/10 7:03p
I have been getting some great images of this September moon. The details and moods are readily captured by the Lumix TZ1, and I am delighted each time I examine the latest batch of images with the iPhoto application on this Macbook.


This squirrel lives here too. 9/21/10

Natural Food

My 4 pm snack. 9/21/10

There is something that has been happening to me around 4 pm, the last few months. I get weak, shaky, feverish, and faint. Like clockwork.

I have made attempts to determine the cause. It could be because I forget to eat, or the tramadol is wearing off, or lack of sleep, or too much sleep, too much sun, or none of the above.

I do know that if I eat something soothing like yogurt or ice cream and fruit, I return to my normal state of being within a few minutes. It keeps things interesting, and I do enjoy the snacks, so maybe it's just a 'Pavlovian' type trigger designed to lead me to the refrigerator.

Tuesday West

The view to the west is terrific too. 9/21/10

Here I am at the start, (relatively speaking), of another beautiful day. It's ten past one and my day has begun.

I would have
posted this installment last night, but the high speed internet slowed to a stop just before midnight, and when it came up again around 1 am it was slower than dial up. I have been looking for the reason, or even a tweet about this, but haven't found out why, yet.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Two Cats Talking

Creature Comforts

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Treasure This

September In The Snow

Mount Shasta picked up a new coat of snow this weekend. 9/20/10

What a nice surprise. I was taking pictures of Mount Lassen from the parking lot this afternoon, and as I was at the top of the stairs on the west side of 'A' building, I happened to see that Mount Shasta was covered in snow!

What a picturesque mountain. 9/20/10

I grabbed my camera and drove up to Lake Shasta, near the dam.

It was a spectacular sight to see and photograph.

On the dam road with Lassen on the horizon. 9/20/10

I drove around the dam road to the other side where one can see Mount Lassen.

It looked really good, and with the Lumix TZ1 I was able to get some nice pictures.

Lassen from the dam road. 9/20/10

I was a little early for the moonrise while up on the dam road, so I headed back to the Treehouse.

Lassen and moonrise from the Treehouse parking lot. 9/20/10

I was so fortunate to be back home at the perfect time to get a picture of the moon rising above Mount Lassen.

Moonrise over Lassen. 9/20/10

I am so blessed.

I love this place that called to me.

Life is good.

Now, I get
to watch the 49er's on Monday night football.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

George Carlin - Baseball vs Football
Wow, what a nice day

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes One Has To

Speak Up

I have friends who have fallen for this Tea Party stuff.

I tell them
that it is not what it seems to be.

I try to explain, in terms they might understand, how the love of money drives the corporate giants to commit horrific acts upon the earth and all that live here. And, how we help them profit from the destruction of lives and limbs.

We are responsible
for the clear cutting of virgin forests to make toilet paper because we like to have something soft to wipe our backsides. If we didn't buy the ultra soft butt wipe, millions of acres of old growth forest would still be home to thousands of plant and animal species. So we are to blame for encouraging the ongoing destruction of habitat and carbon sinks, just so we can wipe our bottoms with something softer than the recycled stuff.

If we stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated into buying stuff we don't need and fighting pointless wars, then the industrial-military complex would have no reason to continue their rampage of destruction.

Our problems are not the governments fault, not Wall Street's fault, not the Pentagon's fault, our problems are our own fault for buying what they are selling.

We behave like spoiled children, and the Tea Party is there to cash in on our greed and selfishness. The flim flam Tea Party is a product of the corporations, for the corporations, and by the corporations.

The Tea Party is not part of the solution.

Looks Like Frosting

These are real roses from the Rainbow Rose company.

They inject natural rose pigments into the stem as the rose is forming.

I think I like the ones made of frosting better.

This One Is Real

I took this picture earlier today. 9/18/10

I was outside, looking to take some pictures of Lassen when I saw this beautiful color of pink along the sidewalk. I wondered if my camera could do it justice. I think it did.

Shrimp Scampi

I saw this
new steam pack frozen food at Raley's. It was on sale, so I figured I'd give it a try. The woman at the checkout stand remarked that it looked good. I told her I would let her know once I have tried it. (I hope my purchase didn't contribute to habitat destruction or the demise of an indigenous tribe in the Amazon basin.)

The bag itself
is an engineering marvel that would impress James Watt.

Dinner was served
in less than 10 minutes. It was okay. I probably won't get any more shrimp scampi, (sorry Asian shrimp farmers), but I still have another Lean steam bag of Cuisine to try and maybe it will have me clamoring for more Cheese Tortellini in a microwaveable steam bag.
Do Mega Pixels Matter?

The 10mpxl Sanyo T1060 vs. the 5mpxl Lumix TZ1. 9/19/10

As you can see
, the 10 mega pixel sensor in the Sanyo is no match for the 5 mega pixel sensor in the Lumix TZ1. Why? Primarily it's the lens. The Sanyo has a tiny lens to accommodate it's compact size. The Panasonic Lumix TZ1 has a larger Leica lens that brings in more information to the sensor.

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;

Life Is Good

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pictures All Around

Hurricane Karl

It is absolutely amazing what we can do in this day and age. Gone are the days when we just looked at the sky, sniffed the air, wet our finger and raised it up to locate the direction the wind was coming from, then guessed whether a storm was coming. We all can watch, follow, and analyze storms around the globe, right from our laptops and home computers. For better picture-ization click HERE.

Pre-Blues Extravaganza

Mark, Jeff, John, and me. (Photo - Kim Rapin)

I got these pictures of the band from the Shasta Blues Society, and Phil Rapin's Facebook pages. I had noticed Kim taking pictures, but until they appeared in my email, I didn't realize that she was putting them on the Blues Society Facebook page.

Sandi, her sister, and Dana took pictures and videos while we played. You can see some more pictures, HERE.

Jeff's drumstick is on the floor.

Moon Watching

Moon from the space station. Credit: Roscosmos

The world is invited to celebrate the first annual International Observe the Moon Night. And all you have to do to take part is look up.

Complete Article, HERE, and HERE.

On Saturday night, the moon will be 11 days old.  That is, it will be 11 days past new phase, four days past first quarter and 85 percent illuminated; an excellent phase and position for evening study. In binoculars or a telescope, about halfway from the center of the lunar disk to the terminator, you'll readily see the crater Copernicus, christened the "Monarch of the Moon," by English lunar mapmaker Thomas Gwyn Elger.

The weather forecast would have rain falling on the lenses of my binoculars and cameras, but sometimes the forecast can be different than the actual moment. I will at least look to see if the moon appears between the clouds.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Moonlight Sonata - Beethoven

Some People Are Looking Up

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometimes My World Looks

Like This

Once again, the moon marches across my view from the balcony. It seems to look like this every 29 and a half days. On the 23rd, when it gets full, it will be the "Full Corn Moon". In addition, that marks the the Autumnal Equinox.

I am reading The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke. I have read his books before and for some reason, when his characters go out to eat Cajun food in Louisiana, I can actually smell the spices of the restaurants where I have enjoyed the unique flavors of the region. I have had Cajun food in other places across the country, but there is an unforgettable olfactory atmosphere that accompanies the food along the swamps, canals, rivers, and bayou's, that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. What a treat to have that memory visit my senses while reading this story set in the steamy south.

I have been staying close to home for the past few days, but there is no shortage of subjects that grab my photographic attention.

Every which way I look, there is something of interest that begs to be drawn into the Lumix TZ1.

The band plays tomorrow, Thursday, at 8p, for a Shasta Blues Society event. We rehearsed the show earlier this evening and I think everyone should have an enjoyable time during our performance. I will try to get some pictures, video, and maybe even audio to share with you.

This little plant with the fuzzballs was really tiny. I used the macro setting and got very close for this image.

This morning glory looked so colorful against the shadows and rocks. I am glad it turned out like it looked at the time.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song is the one in your own heart when you listen to yourself breathe to the rhythms of the natural world.
Life Is Good