Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

According To Pope Gregory XIII

I get a kick out of reading history and discovering the origins of things that we take for granted day-to-day.

For example the calendar that we in the “Western Culture” follow, was specifically designed so that the vernal equinox would fall on March 21. Thereby guaranteeing that all the churches would celebrate Easter on the same day. (The customary practice in the 3rd century was for Christians to consult their Jewish neighbors to determine when the week of Unleavened Bread would fall, and to set Easter on the Sunday that fell within that week.)

Easter is generally accepted as the Sunday following the Full Moon following the vernal equinox. (Figuring out how to fit 13 moons into a 12 month calendar, gets a bit tricky.)

What’s more, I found out how we can calculate leap year, (which is used for adjusting the calendar to reality). The way the Gregorian calendar does this is to make leap years the years that are divisible by four, (with the exception of the centuries that are divisible by 100), and for the most part that works.

Not everyone in every country welcomed this change because many of them had their own particular calendars and feel that a universal calendar is an imposition and an attack on their firmly held, though mostly incorrect, beliefs.

Denmark for example, (part of my ancestry), didn’t change their calendar immediately. In fact, in 1700, they only changed the solar calendar to the Gregorian calculations, but not the lunar calendar by which one computes the date of Easter.

This from Wikipedia;

Denmark, which then included Norway and some Protestant states of Germany, adopted the solar portion of the new calendar on Monday, 1 March 1700,[22] following Sunday, 18 February 1700, because of the influence of Ole Rømer, but did not adopt the lunar portion. Instead, they decided to calculate the date of Easter astronomically using the instant of the vernal equinox and the full moon according to Kepler's Rudolphine Tables of 1627. They finally adopted the lunar portion of the Gregorian calendar in 1776. The remaining provinces of the Dutch Republic also adopted the Gregorian calendar in July 1700 (Gelderland), December 1700 (Utrecht and Overijssel) and January 1701 (Friesland and Groningen).

For a more complete and fascinating study of the Gregorian calendar, click here.

The Big Bowl Game

Credit links - Stadium Pic  and  Poster

This is the weekend of the bowl games. I can’t begin to name all the dozens of different bowl games that have come about since the original Rose Bowl, (The Cotton bowl and Orange Bowl are the only ones that come to mind).

One of the reasons I can’t name these other bowl games as they keep changing the names what was the Cotton Bowl is now Joe’s Tire Bowl, or some such nonsense.

Luckily they haven’t changed the name of the Rose Bowl or the Rose Parade, (at least I hope not). I guess I’ll find out if I remember to turn on the TV tomorrow.

In the meantime; I wish you and I, (and everyone we know), a happy new year.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

  Rt. 66 by Phil Seymour

Happy Gregorian New Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ready With The New

Year Calendar

Calendars serve different purposes for different people. In my case I use a calendar to cover up the fuse box in the kitchen. It’s actually not a fuse box per se, but in fact a breaker box. Either way it tends to uglify the wall and the calendar is a great way to cover it up.

This all began when I considered going to Borders while I was at OfficeMax getting a light magenta cartridge for the Epson printer.

I envisioned the selection of calendars that they always have at Borders, and realized they were not likely to have the size actually need to cover up the breaker box.

It was there and then that I remembered a discussion that I had earlier in the day with Sandi about this very thing. I had remarked how easy it would be for me just to go ahead and make my own calendar. Now that I had ink to get the Epson printer up and running there was nothing stopping me from a do-it-yourself calendar.

After I finished printing a couple of pieces of sheet music for the LMP Trio, I began the calendar project.

The reason I went and got ink instead of waiting for the ink I ordered to arrive in the mail is that the mail itself would not be going out for a few days, and that would delay the sheet music by at least a week. This way, it might arrive before Marian takes off on her Phoenix trip.

So, I got another cartridge and I’m very glad I did, for the Epson printer is clearly superior to the HP that I use in a pinch, and it helped make this calendar a doable project.

I got the calendar template from the iWork community online. You just put in the year you want and it automatically works out the days of the week for each month. It’s the first time I’ve used the software called, “numbers” in the iWork programs. Now that I know how it works, I can already see how I’m going to redesign it for my particular needs.

The main thing is that I’ve got something that covers up the breaker box and I can also keep track of appointments and schedules. Life is good, and I’m happy with the results of my do-it-yourself calendar.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Soon To Be

A New Year

Soon the door will be opening on 2012. We shall see what the start of the new year, (according to the Gregorian calendar), has to bring to all of us.

Some people have decided that 2012 is the end of the Mayan long count calendar, and we should be worried. I think we should be more worried about wasting our time worrying.

The local forecast calls for rain here in Redding. It certainly was dark today when I took pictures of the flowers, but that sometimes brings out their color in ways that the sun won’t.

This one rose looked like it would taste like butterscotch it was so beautiful and edible looking. I just had to get a real close-up shot so you can see what I mean.

This sort of shows its tastiness, but I think I will put it through one of the enhancing programs and see what happens.

It’s kind of hard to decide, but I think I like it. I’ll keep both on here.

One of my favorite trees here, is one that I call the chocolate tree.

It turns from green to red to chocolate every year, and never ceases to fascinate me.

Today, it made an impressive sight against the gray sky.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Time For A New Calendar

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Revolving Window

On Nature

Along the driveway here at the Treehouse Apartments, there are a few scraggly rose bushes that I have written about and shown photographs of ever since I moved here four years ago.

This bud, above, will soon be a beautiful flower similar to the rose at the top of the page, but with it’s own distinct personality.

I find them to be wonderful indicators of the power of nature. Of all the rosebushes here, they consistently produce the most interesting and beautiful roses I have ever seen.

The variety and combination of colors, size, and shape is continuously changing, developing, dying and being reborn. I am very fortunate in that I’ve been capturing this phenomena over the years and I’m able to look here in this blog in the past and see just what they’ve been doing. I find it fascinating.

Equally fascinating to me, is looking back through this blog and seeing my own personal development.

When I first moved here I was in relatively bad physical, mental, and spiritual health. By reading older blog posts, I can follow the processes and events that have helped me to recuperate, heal, regenerate, rediscover, and reinvigorate this specimen I call me. What a terrific vehicle this journal can be for objective information gathering. Thank you Marian for suggesting that I put my writing in a journal.

I can read, see the pictures, and in other ways observe how far I’ve come to this stage of health and well-being that I am in now. Three years ago, on or about this date, I was examining a bout of depression. (HERE)

Another thing that I’ve been observing successful results from, is my choice of good food.

Every once in a while I like to eat beef. Like about every six months. I think that’s healthy.

Not just any beef, but happy beef. Organic. Living in a pasture. A cow with a name and friends, so that the nutrition I derive from eating a piece of that cow contains all the nutritional goodness possible.

I found some organic beef sirloin at Trader Joe’s that I tried tonight. It was very good and I should get two or three meals out of it.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Happy To Be Here

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Future Looks Bright

For Those Who Conserve

Vermont Sets Goal Of 90% Renewable Energy By 2050

Worlds Largest Li-ion Battery Plant Opens In Russia

The Upbeat State Of The World (CSM)

Holiday Highlights

Alyssa and Jordan sing at the Taylor Christmas dinner. (Photo - Sandi Taylor)

A Christmas apple tart from pastry chef, Linda Elliot.

Fresh Fruit

Busy Bees

The World Glacier Monitoring Service recently has said that 90% of the glaciers studied in its latest Glacier Mass Balance Bulletin are losing mass. In the Himalaya, 75% of the glaciers there are melting; the USGS fully puts the blame on this on global warming and not other factors.

It Still Gets Chilly In The Wintertime

Today I felt a chill of winter for the first time this year, (which is kind of funny since his year’s almost over), and I find myself turning up the thermostat a degree at a time to keep that chill out of my bones.

I am talking to the Dragon Express and having it write these words in my blog.  That should warm me up a bit. I have to admit that this talking out loud and having a ‘helper’ type for me is just great.

I finished reading the new Michael Moore book today and I have to say it was an eye opener. If anybody was destined to be an award winning documentary filmmaker, (that many people will actually watch), it is him. He was present at many of the events that put our country into the shape it is in today. This book should be required reading in our public schools.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Sunday, December 25, 2011



I woke up around seven o’clock and saw the most beautiful Christmas sunrise ever. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas on this beautiful day.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Happy Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011


And Other Vagabonds

66 years ago there was an intrepid group of virus molecular structures, that managed to set foot, or what would be a foot in the molecule world, on new land; the inside of my nose.

These visitors had no intention of ever leaving my mucus membrane but instead, like my ancestors that came to America, they planned to settle in and call it home.

They evidently did not take into account that there was already plenty of molecules living in my mucous membrane before they arrived. Like most situations, a war ensued. Some of the local hometown molecules were consumed or destroyed but most of the invading, (let’s call it rhino virus), were eliminated.

Those that survived were captured and reprogrammed to fit in with the local molecular entities. When future marauding bands of rhino virus would arrive on the winds, (fingertips?), of chance, they would find themselves defeated by an already educated and prepared populace with rhino virus spies ready to go to work and undermine whatever plans the invaders might have had to settle in the land of Philip's nose.

Sometimes these wars take longer than other times. Typically, according to scientific measurements, if an invading rhino virus manages to get a foothold it takes about seven days to establish a standing army. Then depending on the condition of the locals, repelling the invaders can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks or more.

So, as I write this, there seems to be a new bunch of ‘settlers’ thinking it’s their right to populate this 66-year-old land, (my nose). Currently the local inhabitants are using the tried-and-true methods of defense and copious amounts of fluids are being produced to wash away the enemy.

Since this is my Army, I expect victory soon. In the meantime I’m going out to get more Kleenex. I will also get some silver solution in case my troops need a little help putting a prompt end to this latest invasion.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Who Nose?