Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eye Opening

Wider Perspectives

Portion of a megapixel panorama image of Paris. Big Paris Picture.

I was checking
out some of the stories at Our Amazing Planet and I ran across some terrific panoramic megapixel pictures. You may have seen these type of images before, but in case you haven't, here are a few famous places that you can zoom in to reveal extreme detail. Bigger Is Better.

Safe In The Temperate Zone

Hatchet Ridge wind turbines in the snow. 11/28/10

One of the reasons that the Koch brothers have been able to get away with their anti-global climate change propaganda blitz, is because the continental United States is in a temperate zone. Other parts of the world are already experiencing the consequences of our unregulated industrial greenhouse gas emissions, but the effects on us are less dramatic, for now.

The rest of the world
is taking serious action to try to slow the collapse of societies and food supplies.

As part of the ICSU Earth-System Visioning, the international scientific community has identified five Grand Challenges to enable global sustainability. The full details of the Grand Challenges for Earth-system science have just been published in a report.

Excerpt from the Report;

It is increasingly likely that human interference will trigger highly nonlinear changes in the global environment. Such changes may be abrupt or slow, but in all cases they tend to alter the very character of the life-support system in question and to be largely irreversible on human time-scales. Examples are major shifts in regional climate, rapid collapse of ice sheets, methane release associated with thawing permafrost and warming oceans, and discontinuous transitions in the structure and functioning of biological systems. In turn, disruptive changes in social systems can result from such events, as well as from more gradual environmental changes such when reduced precipitation or degrading soil fertility eventually leads to the creation of environmental refugees. Moreover, an increasingly interconnected world generates linked trends and shocks in seemingly disparate sectors such as energy, finance, food, health, water and security. Public policies and social and economic institutions are rarely designed with such human-induced disproportional changes and regime shifts in mind.

I Love This Place

Colorful foliage behind 'A' building at the Treehouse Senior Apts. 11/28/10

The weather here seems to be the way we expect it to be; Beautiful.

Shasta Bally

Yesterday's snowfall glows atop the mountain to the west. 11/28/10

Today the storm had passed and the temperature warmed up to 50 degrees here in Redding. The mountains above 2,500 feet, remained snowcovered and cold.


Snow remains on the foothills leading up to the volcano. 11/28/10

I hope to share some of this beauty with Marian and Leona when they come here to play in December.

LMP Trio Coming To Reading

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Autumn Leaves

Wonderful World Of Color

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Are You Thankful For?

Thankful For Trader Joe's

Pizza Margarita in 10 minutes. With fresh cut basil leaves. 11/24/10

The only downside to these fresh refrigerated pizzas from Trader Joe's, is that I eat the whole thing in one sitting. Unlike many people, I don't care for leftover pizza. And, since I only have 2 pieces left when I reach the point where I am sated, I go ahead and eat them rather than waste food. The alternative is to put the leftovers in the fridge and observe them as a science project until I am certain that they need to go into the garbage.

New Planet?
Harrat Khaybar in Saudi Arabia.  Image - NASA

Photographed from the International Space Station in 2008, this part of Saudi Arabia is not only large expanses of sand and gravel, but also extensive lava fields. More on this Volcanic Field.

Red Baron Where Are You?

Snoopy in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. 11/25/10

I want to thank CBS for re-running the Macy's parade at a reasonable hour on the west coast. When I got up early this Thanksgiving, (10:00AM!), I was prepared to have missed the parade, but resigned myself to the luxury of watching internet versions and You Tube videos on my computer. But, after awhile, I turned on the TV to see what was on; Lots of commercials as usual. I turned the sound off and looked up from the laptop every so often. Whaddaya know, there was the parade starting all over again. Thanks CBS.

Temporary Pet Lizard

Tiny lizard climbs on the sunblock window screen. 11/25/10

The south facing windows here in A building, have an extra screen on the outside that helps reduce the extreme effects of the summer sun on the interior of the apartments. This little guy seemed to have got himself in between the two screens. He was a lot of fun to watch as he scampered around for awhile and then left to do other lizard activities.

Thanksgiving Shasta

Shasta from vacant lot at Lake Blvd and North Market. 11/25/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Casteller from Mike Randolph on Vimeo.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hot And Cold

Large And Small

These three images, all from the same picture, remain sharp and clear.

Zoom 'em yourself, ultra-high resolution images that are astonishing.

See them for yourself, HERE.

Snow Capped

Shasta Bally 11/23/10

Shasta 11/23/10

Hatchet ridge wind turbines. 11/23/10

Lassen National Forest. 11/23/10

New Brewer


The Final Test
Not bad.

Who could resist the $6.00, 12 cup, on sale, coffee maker? Obviously, not me.  The old coffee maker looks on as I brew the first test pot, (after running a couple pots of plain water).

The fresh poured coffee
is not as hot as the old maker so I don't have to wait for it to cool down before taking a sip. I like that. I think. I will try it for a couple of weeks before I wrap up the old one as a Christmas gift for someone. Oops, I gave away the surprise!

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Eye Opener

Sunday, November 21, 2010

True Blue

Blue Moon?

The blue cast appeared on it's own w/o touch up. 11/21/10

I went outside tonight around 9:30 in the hopes that the clouds would part to allow me to photograph the 'blue moon'. This picture turned out even better. The glow of the moon through the clouds showed up as blue in the long exposures. Great stuff. Now, about that 'blue moon'---

Wrong Definition; 2nd full moon in a month.

Correct Definition;
4th full moon in a season.

Partial explanation;

Occasionally, however, there will come a year when there are 13 full moons during a year, not the usual 12. The almanac explanation continued:
"This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number."
And with that extra full moon, it also meant that one of the four seasons would contain four full moons instead of the usual three. 

More story HERE.

Leaves Of Fall

Bright colors and cooler temperatures here at the Treehouse Apts. 11/21/10

Geometric Reassembling

Woodstock poster jigsaw puzzle. 11/21/10

Teresa gave me this Woodstock puzzle a couple of months ago. She thought the puzzle ladies of building A, would enjoy it. They started this puzzle 2 weeks ago, or so, and they tell me it's a tough one. Apparently the pieces are all very much alike, except for the tiniest of differences. Nevertheless they seem to be making headway.

Still Blooming
Roses still bud and bloom around the Treehouse Senior Apts. 11/21/10

Cold On The Mountain

Snow clings to the top of Shasta Bally. 11/21/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

  Long Cold Winter by Phil Seymour

 Warm Heart

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Who Knows?

Credit: Amir Ezer

Story of attractive owl traits, HERE.

I love coincidences. Especially complex coincidences.

At first I thought it was all about publicity for the new Harry Potter movie.

In India, Harry Potter parties are a threat to owl populations, (STORY).

Harry Potter movie makes 24 million dollars in midnight opening showings.

There's More

A library book called "An Owl Too Many", finds me. 11/18/10

About a week ago
, an owl came to the trees, here at the Treehouse Senior Apartments. I knew this because I heard the wonderful who, who, who-ing of a great horned owl as I was reading in bed one night. I listened to that owl for three consecutive evenings as he, or she was announcing location, and possible availability. I listened closely for an answer to the call, but the nights went by without a reply. The owl was definitely sounding spooky, quavering sad by the third night.

If I could hear another owl answer, I would be able to tell whether this owl was male or female. The female owls have a lower pitch call. The duo, sing a perfect third if they are going to mate. ( I have heard this when I lived along the Carmel River. The call and response as the distant owl comes closer, the space between hoots is reduced until they sing in harmony.)
Object Of Affection?

Gopher scaring owl in Dorothy's garden. 11/19/10

A couple of days ago, I noticed that there was an owl statue in Dorothy's garden. She must have put it there to scare off the gophers, but it got me to thinking; "What if the visiting owl saw the fake owl, and was trying to court it?" That might explain why there was no answering call and why, after 5 days, the owl gave up and moved on to find a more productive relationship. Or not.

I am pretty sure
that the flurry of owl stories in the news were planted by the publicity department for the Harry Potter movie opening, and someone at the library figured because of the movie, it might be a good idea to display books with owls on the cover, but the visiting owl probably didn't read about the Harry Potter movie, so I believe that probably was a coincidence. The gophers in the garden might have been hired by the Potter movie publicists to make Dorothy put the fake owl in the garden so it could attract the real owl, who hooted and subliminally gave more weight to the suggestion to see the movie, caused by the flurry of planted news stories regarding owls that appeared prior to the theatrical release of Deathly Hallows. Or not.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Who indeed

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Together

Me Too

Enjoying a pizza from Trader Joe's and a book from the library. 11/16/10

What an interesting time to be alive. Scientists are making extraordinary advances around the world and beyond, in every field of study, while the villagers are gathered outside the houses of knowledge with torches and pitchforks chanting; "You Lie!"

Metaphorically Speaking

We can easily be manipulated by metaphors used in relation to a subject because parts of our brain, (the insula and anterior cingulate), handle both metaphors and reality information storage. The right metaphors will cause us to like, or dislike something, though we may know nothing about it. Read more HERE.

More Water

These village women from Pakistan's southern Sindh province embark on a water search, carrying traditional earthenware pots in addition to their small children.

In developing countries, people (usually women and children) often must walk long distances to find water.

Read more: HERE

Clean Water From Carbon Credits
How to get free clean water in struggling areas of the world.

Santa Penguin

South Korean children enjoy penguins at an amusement park.

Re-enacting A Bible Story

Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Adha
It's not fun to be a ram as Muslim families around the world are killing and cooking them in a re-enactment of the story of Abraham and Ishmael.

Here is another study that substantiates the old saying; "Gain the world and lose your soul". ( Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36, Bob Marley )

To Read Others' Emotions, It Helps to be Poor

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Christopher Baker - Copper River, Alaska
Christopher Baker - Alaska, for Martha Stewart Living Digital (Director's Cut) from BERNSTEIN & ANDRIULLI on Vimeo.


Monday, November 15, 2010

See More Upon


When I
finally discovered that I was one of the inconsiderate, selfish, myopic masses, I had to ask myself; Were these sociopath-like tendencies part of my heritage? "You bet your home team jersey and logo-ed ball cap they are", says I.

So what changed
me, and how much have I really shed that behavior pattern? I can pinpoint one of the events that precipitated my conversion to the matter of water conservation. It was the result of a time when I depended on a "seep well" for water. If I used up the available water, I would have to wait a day or two until there was any more water. I think I experienced first hand what I would be doing to the next person if I wasted resources, and as a result, I must have awakened a bunch more "mirror-neurons" in my brain.

The next thing you know, I am concerned that I am denying future generations their fair share of the earths bounty. What a leap of enlightenment!

So that is one of the reasons I question the ethics of using every last resource until there is none left for anyone, anymore, anywhere.

Still Falling

Autumn leaves at the Treehouse Senior Apartments. 11/14/10

Fall At The Lake

Mount Shasta behind Lake Shasta. 11/15/10

Boys In Blue

John, Mark and Jeff at the French Gulch Hotel. 11/13/10

Mark felt
we should dress in blue denim work shirts for Saturdays night at French Gulch. I think we will stick with the nicer performance outfits after seeing these pictures.

Dinner Choices

John and Mark get burgers at the French Gulch Hotel. 11/13/10
The stuff with the spoon next to it is my dessert. I ate about half and shared the rest with the band. It was a chocolate fudge brownie ice cream special.

On the ride home I saw a spectacular, slow moving meteor that reminded me that the Leonid meteor showers are appearing all this week, (try the veal).
Just after we finished playing the song, "Hey Baby", someone asked; "Who did that song?"

I couldn't remember at the time, so I just looked it up and I can now say that it was recorded in 1961 by Bruce Channel, with Delbert McClinton playing the catchy harmonica riff. Other people have since made their own recordings of Hey Baby, but I only remember the original, since that was when I started singing it.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Some Things Change

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some Things Stay The Same

More Or Less

"Before the dawn
of the Oil Age, farm workers burned one calorie to produce 10 calories of food energy. Today, five to 10 calories of nonrenewable hydrocarbon yield only one calorie of food."--Julene Bair.

"If we didn't waste so much, we wouldn't cause as much disruption to the natural world that sustains us. The consumer economy that we live in produces money, but we can't eat, drink, or breathe money, so regulation is of paramount importance to future life on earth. We could use less and pollute less, and maybe have time to figure out how to mitigate the damage we are doing to all that comes after us."--Phil Seymour

American Muscle Cars Big In Iran
Iranian Mullah blesses car before the big race.

In the 60's, Persian students in the U.S. bought high performance, American muscle cars and had them shipped home where gas was 15 cents a gallon. When things got tough, and Iran was in turmoil, the car owners stored the cars until better times. Those good times are now, and these practically new cars are appearing on race tracks and drag strips all across Iran.


Afghan teens skateboard through the war torn rubble.

Afghan girl finds freedom while skateboarding.

Here In Redding

From the Treehouse senior apartments parking lot. 11/13/10 4:15p

Lassen is in the clouds on the left hand side of the picture.

There on Lassen
From the visitor center web cam. 4:11p

Time to go play music at the French Gulch Hotel.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Built In 6 Days

Grateful To Be Part Of This World

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This Miracle Called Life

Consciousness is such a fantastic gift we have been given. We have the opportunity to experience this life on earth with an awareness of our senses in such a way that we are able to reflect upon our experiences, and share those observations with others.

Sometimes we forget how fragile and dear life really is, and we think it is important to behave badly.

Throughout our history there have always been a few crazy men who convince those around them to war against the people on the other side of the hill. Their insanity is infectious, and soon there is an army of people who's intentions are to take God's gifts away from the people on the other side. The other people rally to repel the invaders, and the destruction of God's miraculous creations begins.

Some of us get drawn into the insanity of wars, and on this day in particular, we honor those who did. 

Remember the veterans of all nations.

They all fought for what they believed was right.

Does This Look Like Paul Newman?

I wonder if they let these guys out after they put the head on?

Looks like the model for the statue to me.

The worlds largest
statue of Jesus is completed in Poland. I saw some of the pictures, and I thought it looked just like Paul Newman.

France Helps Saudi Military
Saudi Airforce jets over the Persian Gulf. (image - Saudi Defense Ministry)

France helped the Saudi's win a border war in 2009

At first, thousands of desert-trained Saudis backed by heavy artillery was outmatched by the guerrilla tactics of the Huthis, who are more familiar with the craggy peaks and pocket valleys along the border.

Saudi officials asked Washington for satellite images to strike the rebels while minimizing civilian casualties, but US officials refused, fearing it could violate the rules of war by getting involved in a border dispute.

France, fearing mass casualties from inaccurate bombing, agreed to help.  Source, HERE.

New CD From PSB

The CD of songs from last Saturday is finished. 11/11/10

The recordings took a little bit of extra technology to compensate for over modulation, but it was an opportunity to find some more gizmos and features in GarageBand ,( the recording program that comes with a Mac). I also used the method I found on the last recording we made, to split the stereo track into two separate mono tracks using Audacity.

it's time to prepare for Saturday night at the French Gulch Hotel and B&B.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
From Live At The Vintage CD
  Stagger Lee V by Phil Seymour