Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding What I Sought

On An Informed Guess

Among other things today, I followed the light of day as it lit the various facets of the neighboring snow capped mountains.

It was an experiment in continuously changing my point of view so as to capture the personalities in my surroundings with a sense of continuity.

I chose to focus on different views of Shasta Bally, since I was up and out in the world before 10:00 AM, and morning is the best light for Shasta Bally. One of the places I began taking pictures from, was behind what had once been a restaurant/night spot, where I played over 30 years ago. It’s an office for an insurance company now.

While finding good vantage points to photograph Shasta Bally, I would often get some nice images of Mt. Shasta and Lassen as well.

I actually collected over 100 wonderful images of the scenery in, and around Redding today. You can see my favorite 26, HERE.

I watched some of the Academy Awards show. It probably would be better if I saw the movies that were nominated, then I could root for my favorites, (assuming that I indeed had any favorites). Randy Newman was entertaining and funny when he accepted his award. Celene Dione sang nicely for the obituary montage. I didn’t know that Patricia Neil was still alive, (well, was alive until last year).

It was fun trying to get the best picture of Shasta Bally even though they all were winners with the early, (before sunset), light. I think this one above is in the top 3.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Big Beautiful Universe

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Can See It Now

In A Swirl

Yesterday, I ate the last piece of the best apple pie I have purchased since I have been shopping at the Lake Boulevard Raley’s market bakery department. You can see it peeking out from under the ice cream and whipped cream sculpture.

The pie, was not too sweet. The crust was especially flaky, and the spices were not overpowering the taste of the apples. I managed to make that pie last more than a week,  cutting even smaller slices than I normally do, just because I didn’t know when, if ever, I would find another pie that perfectly made, again.

The mail on Friday brought me a tripod that I ordered a couple of weeks ago from one of my favorite on-line, bargain basement, really inexpensive, warehouse type emporiums. It’s the same on-line store where I get little do-dads that are unavailable, (or high priced), elsewhere.

It extends to where it’s tall enough that I don’t have to set it on the roof of the car to get it up to eye level. This will come in handy if I need a tripod someplace that I cant get a parking spot for the Buick.

Like here in the stairwell. The Buick not only wouldn’t fit up on the landing, it wouldn’t have been in the picture. Mostly, I needed the elevation to provide a steady platform that would be above the foreground objects.

I like this view of the quarry over by Shasta Lake. It makes me think of a Mediterranean Abbey, or villa if the angles and the light are just right. Getting the camera high enough, and steady was tricky before I got the new tripod. Now I can focus on the composition without worrying about wiggling the camera. Ahhh, much better.

I had intended to write about some recent dreams, my analysis, and some resulting insights I have discovered about the human condition, but I think I will do another nights research to verify my conclusions.

In other words, I am going to the laboratory for a few hours, perchance to dream.

I am so lucky to have a warm bed to sleep in on this cold night.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Warm Thoughts

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

But Today,

It Might As Well Be Spring

With snow in the forecast for tomorrow, I set out to get a few images of the beautiful day, today. Bee’s buzzing, birds singing, and sunshine gave me a pallet that would make any image speak the expected thousand words.

The break from cloudy skies let me see the full beauty that the recent layers of snow had draped upon the higher elevations. Shasta Bally gleamed in the Wednesday sunlight, as did mystical Mt. Shasta.

This was the first opportunity I had to get a clear picture of Shasta Bally and Mt. Shasta from the vantage point by the Dialysis Clinic. Lassen stayed under the cloud covers today.

From the same point of view, I turned the camera toward the Treehouse Senior Apartments and got a picture of,  ‘A’ building. Once all the trees and foliage get new leaves, this picture wont be possible.

It was a good day to enjoy the sights here in Redding.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Monday, February 21, 2011


Power Outage

The electricity went off this afternoon. It was quiet for awhile. I didn’t miss the roar of my refrigerator or the pervasive low rumble of the buildings heating and air conditioning machinery.

I did miss having inter-net access, but I found the absence of the sounds of electrically powered equipment to be a pleasant respite. It was sunny on the balcony and I have books to fill my mind while I wait for the volts and amperes to play in the wires again.

The power outage was an opportunity to see how we residents can handle disruption of our routines, and I found our calm reaction to this event spoke well of our mutual strength in a crisis.

The doors to the buildings, here at the Treehouse, have electrically powered locking mechanisms that no longer allowed one access from the outside, so Brandi, (the dog), monitored the door with a couple of my neighbors so I could go out on an information gathering excursion, and still be able to get back in to give a situation report.

No one from the other building seemed to know anymore than the fact that the power was out. I continued to call the emergency electrical outage number and it continued to be busy. I tried to find information on my portable radio, but it was just the same old talk show type news that combines derogatory remarks about the president with wacky interpretations of what they think is written in the constitution. No help from the radio.

The radio news reminded me of an article I read about the new republican congress-persons, and how they have been voting to cut items from the budget even though they have yet to read any actual budget statistics, data, or reports from the designated departments that keep track of our nations finances!

I still don’t know what caused the power to be out for an hour. I have been checking all the evening news updates from the TV and up to the minute local on-line newspapers, but I think the holiday replacement news crews may have missed this important story.

After the power was restored, Jeff came over so I could share some of the digital audio mixing techniques I use to produce recorded music. He is a quick learner and improved his mixes in a matter of hours.

Thank you George Washington for helping get this country started, and happy birthday.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Wonderfully Mixed Up Music

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maybe More On The Way

Part 3 of Snow Saga

I like when some nice images appear accidentally. Like this picture taken during last Thursday’s snow event. When I took it, I imagined it would turn it into something like the following;

Here is an interesting coincidence;

I read today’s installment of my new favorite comic strip, CUL DE SAC, by Richard Thompson, and it was all about ‘Song Painting’, like my description of the song I put on yesterdays blog, and how it created a movie in my mind.

I love life’s magical mysteries.

Speaking of cartoons, and their way of getting the point across, I was reading another article about people who don’t understand science but are still adamantly denying the results of scientific studies.

The article included this 2009 cartoon from PHD Comics, that explains how science gets lost in translation.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Can See

Visions Of Wintry Wonder

There were so many pictures, portraits, snapshots and movies to take as a result of the big snow storm, that I am still sorting through them tonight along with the new images from today. What a wonderful, beautiful, picturesque world I am in.

No matter where I look, up, down, or all around, I keep seeing something worth looking at, (and maybe even photographing).

I wasn’t sure if I got the little helicopter flying by the giant clouds, until I got home and looked at the images on the computer.

It was a glorious afternoon to be out taking pictures. It was good to clear the head, and the brisk, (cold), air stimulated my senses. With clear ears and a happy heart, I did a little mixing on one of my songs that Mark added a bass part on last night.

This particular music production is starting to sound like the soundtrack for a scene from a movie, (at least it starts a movie playing in my head now each time I hear it). I am beginning to see this movie as if it has already been made, but I think it’s animated art, rather than real life. What do you think?

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;
 Lusty Track by Phil Seymour

Song Painting

Friday, February 18, 2011

Part One


Thursday morning I got a call from Sandi. She was turning around and going back home because it was snowing too hard and heavy for her windshield wipers to give her a clear view ahead.

I was just getting up to make a pot of coffee, so when she asked me if it was snowing heavily here, I had to admit that I hadn’t looked out the window, yet.

Once I checked the weather outside, I understood why she would want to stay home rather than drive up the hill to the Treehouse. There were a lot of crashes and near misses being reported in the on-line papers, and it would be foolish to be driving out on the slippery roads if one didn’t have to.

The snow gave me new subjects for the Lumix TX1, and I spent the day taking pictures and video of the snow storm. I even made a snow creature that Ed, our maintenance man, cavorted with.

The wintry weather made objects d’ art out of nearly everything in it’s path.

I shot more than enough video to warrant a music video, (as soon as I write the music). The storm was kind enough to increase and abate more than once, so there are various stages of snowfall. snow melt, and light from morning to night.

I hope you enjoyed these images from yesterday. There is so much material that I am going to make this story in more than one lump. Consider this part one of the great snowstorm saga of February 17, 2011, and stay tuned for the next installment.

Be kind to each other whenever possible.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feels Like

Chilly Wind A Blowin’

Last summer, I got a hat with a string on it so it wouldn’t blow off in the wind. It has mesh on the crown to let the heat out. I am wearing it in the above picture. It is trying to leave my head and sail away but the string under my chin wont let it.

I was over in the parking lot of the Dialysis Clinic on Northpoint Drive, to see how some of my favorite landscape subjects would appear from that point of view.

A few weeks ago I got a felt hat to keep my head warm in the winter. It keeps my head  nice and toasty, but it doesn’t have a string to keep it from blowing away.

Even though the weather hid Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen, there were still some spectacular views of the nearby hills and mountains. I took some pictures and my hat with the string tried to fly like the wind, but I soon realized nothing was there, on either hat, to keep my ears warm.

On some of the weather sites where I check to see what to expect when I venture outside, they have the actual temperature, and then they have a ‘feels like’ temperature. I quit taking pictures today when my inner weather man, (after noticing my ears were beginning to hurt from the cold), my inner weather man said; “It ‘feels like’ you ought to get out of this cold wind, go home and bake that Trader Joe’s pizza in a 425 degree hot oven.”

I took that sage advice, made the pizza, a pot of espresso, and sat down to a tasty meal accompanied by a Mary and Pamela O’Shaughnessy, Nina Riley, mystery. If you haven’t read this one, (it’s from 2005), you are missing some of their best character development ever. 

The way they describe higher mathematics as an art form is the best explanation for the uninitiated that I have ever read. I came away with the feeling that I have some grasp of the intricate dance of the prime numbers as they seem to stretch out past the point of logic and order, as we know it.

I think I am going to need a warm hat with a chin string and fuzzy ear flaps.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Icy Fingers

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Tempel 1

The New York Times described this comet as being the size of Manhattan. It is estimated to contain some of the very first matter produced by the Big Bang. Matter from which the materials that make up all life that exists in the known universe originates.

The water that is falling from the sky and being whipped against my windows by 40 mph gusts of wind, can be traced to comets that crashed into our planet earth in it’s younger years.

The water that falls on the recently repaired Buick is millions of years old comet juice. Talk about seeing the big picture!

Staying inside when it’s cold and stormy outside is nice.

Stinky Sock Lovers
The stinky smell of sweaty socks might repulse humans, but scientists now find it enthralls mosquitoes and spiders. The odor apparently helps the creatures hunt down their victims — the mosquitoes want to feed on people, while the spiders prefer to devour the mosquitoes. (Foot Notes)

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;