Friday, April 29, 2011


Joyous and Free

"The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness."
(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826)

This tightly packed rose bud growing along the Treehouse driveway is going to be fun to watch as it blooms.

A Beautiful Redding Afternoon

I took many pictures of the many beautiful sights I encountered today in Redding.

There should be a little Flickr slide show here.

If that didn’t work, here is a LINK.

The flowers everywhere are a symphony of color and bouquet that stimulate my appreciation for this miracle we call life. But how do they taste?

This remaining Sterling Rose seems to be very tasty, if one asks these happy diners at the bud banquet.

The big Sterling Rose bloom got old and broke off in yesterdays winds, and the two buds that were beginning to bloom got swiped, nicked, stolen, burgled, spirited away Tuesday night, (or early Wednesday morning which is still Tuesday night in my bed).

One of the 2 young Sterling roses before they vanished. 4/26/11

I am very fortunate to have taken plenty of pictures of this years spectacular Sterling rose presentation. I will keep snapping pictures of the last one as it develops. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, all the drilling and sucking has on the look of the flower once it blooms.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Happy Song

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Never Give Up

Just Alter The Strategy

I have some really cool graphic design software for making this site look even better than it does now. ( If you are viewing this as an email, it’s not quite as slick as the actual blog on-line, but I do try to arrange things so they will look good in that format as well.)

I like to try new looks, and compilations of content, and I see how some of the newspapers and magazines put a lot of stuff on one page, and its not too cluttered, sometimes. So I play around with new looks in Pages and other editing software.

I could do it like this; Recent photos PDF

But what I really would like, is to actually put that PDF on this page, because it is an actual page. (Except that in it’s original form, its over 25 megabytes of data.)

I do have a resizing program that might work. Lets take a look;

Well, there it is, but does it work? Is it legible? Should it be bigger? We shall see.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

I Knew I Could

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Really, Really

Big Picture

Tycho’s supernova remnant as seen by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Scientists continue to make discoveries with the use of advanced technology, and applied historical data, at an astonishing pace.

With a computer and an Internet connection, the average Phil, can follow these exciting developments in all scientific disciplines with a tap on the touchpad. ( Did you think I would say; “With a click of the mouse”? )

There is a fascinating interactive image at The Chandra Photo Album that can help you to understand how these images led researchers to the origins of how supernovas are created.

Cherry Picked Rationalization

I recently read an article that explains how otherwise intelligent people can adamantly defend something that has been factually proven false.

"A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point." - From the theory of cognitive dissonance . ( Leon Festinger, 1957 )

The article I read, applies some of the cognitive dissonance theory as part of an explanation as to why people will defend their belief that, everything wrong in their world is the fault of, ( pick one or more ) Democrats/Republicans/corporations/poor  people/terrorists/religion/atheists/aliens/fluoride/(make up something), even if the facts refute their convictions. 4 Page Article

As if to further prove the point, the bulk of the comments submitted in regard to that article were perfect examples of people using the very denial apparatus that was described.

Sterling Rose

Yesterday brought yet another development from the blooming sterling rose.

Many of the flowers around the Treehouse are showing new growth, development, and personality, daily. I am fortunate to be able to enjoy their beauty, and share it with you.

It is another glorious day here in Redding, and if I am to see it, and take pictures in the daylight, it would be a good time to get outside and enjoy it.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Time

Hopping Down The Bunny Trail

I slept till noon-ish before rising, but I did feel refreshed, renewed, revived, and ready to enjoy another God given day of wonder and bountiful beauty.  

Nature did not disappoint on this Easter, 2011.

If you like, you can see the days worth of flowers at Easter Flowers.

A Trip To The Lake

In the evening sun, I went up to the lake to see what Shasta had to offer on this beautiful day. I am glad I brought the Lumix, (as if I would go anywhere without a camera).

Mount Shasta was awesomely magnificent in it’s snow covered majesty.

The lake and mountains looked so good, that I had no difficulty amassing a plethora of pictures. See them at Easter Shasta.

What better way to finish this feast of color and light, than dessert.

A few basic, nutritious ingredients on ice cream and whipped cream, a cup of fresh ground, fresh brewed coffee, and away we go.

What a day.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Hippity Hoppity Happy

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day

Earth Day In Redding

There were fiddlers, flowers, exhibits, enchiladas, Belgian waffles, a tee-pee, and every planet saving device, product, or proposal who’s vendor had rented a space around Redding City Hall.

My favorite attraction, as usual, were the flowers that grow around our city hall.

We had rain, occasionally, in the form of brief showers that left droplets on the flora to add to the striking colors and shapes that delighted my artistic senses.

The Earth Day event wrapped around city hall on 3 sides. The 4th side is where the Saturday farmers market sets up regularly, so there was something for everyone, everywhere.

Some of you know that many of my favorite subjects are minute, and often overlooked by the pedestrian herds. The earth day event was no exception.

Some people saw me crouching down with the Lumix TZ1 pushed up inside a bush, and came over to ask what I was taking a picture of.

Once they looked closely at where the camera was pointing they would exclaim, “Oh my, look at that pretty little flower”.

I like to think that the flowers appreciate the attention.

As usual, I took many more pretty flower pictures than will fit on here, but never fear, they will join the other flowers of April to be presented right after I write and record some appropriate music to accompany the dazzling display of blossoming beauties.

In the meantime, in case you didn’t color eggs this year...

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Easter Eggs! by JibJab


Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Good friday

Thank Mother Earth

Without this finely balanced planetary environment, there would be no Easter, no eggs, bunnies, or baskets filled with goodies. Without Mother Earth, there would be no us, or any other life as we know it.

When you look at it that way, it makes caring about earth more important than anything.

This evening when I stated that there would be no Easter without Planet Earth, there were a few gasps of denial, but an equal number of  bobbing heads saying, “Hey, that’s right”.  I was relieved, there may be hope for a future, after all.

I was out and about today, enjoying the beauty of Redding, taking a few pictures along the way. Not everyone shares my sense of Redding’s magic and beauty, but they all tend to enjoy the pictures I take. I consider that to be a measure of success and encouragement to continue.

What a gift.

The other day someone asked, while looking at some pictures I have taken, did the roses smell as nice as they looked. I explained that with some of the images, I can, and do actually smell that particular rose's aroma each time I see the picture.

I thank God by treading lightly during my brief visit on planet earth.

If more people realized that ‘this is it’, (there is no other place to live), they might be more conservative with the planets resources. The United States only imports about 20% of it’s oil from the middle east. That means that if everybody simply didn’t take one out of five trips in their cars, we could be completely independent from the oil we are fighting wars for.

Ah well, some of us do what we can, like supporting environmental protection organizations, to try to keep what natural balance we can.

Like eating food that looks like this;

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;




It was a BEE-utiful day, on Maunday Thursday, here in Redding.

If being kind to others was the order of the day, then nature was the kindest to all who were in tune.

Around the Treehouse, the flowers shown brightly, and dazzled the eye with their colorful displays.

(Photo credit - Dorothy O’Neil)

Peggy Richardson and I dazzled the diners at the Treehouse, Easter themed, potluck.

She had nearly forgotten how much joy comes from playing music. Now, once again, she has a song in her heart, thanks to her renewed interest in manipulating melodies.

Even though it was quite a busy day, there seemed to be ample time to stop and photograph the abundant beauty around me.

I hope you can find time, this Earth Day weekend, for a few special moments outdoors, (and in your heart), to appreciate the glorious bounty of life.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Thursday, April 21, 2011

That Was Easy

After About 3 Tries

I found a really nice program for modifying text that is really fun.

And it looks good, too.

It’s called Art Text 2 Lite . I spent a little time today improving the graphics on my Happy Phil website, and I am very pleased with the results.

We had more rain today, and tonight as I write this, but it just made the flowers even prettier with every drop.

Another little project I completed this evening was to put a more up to date version of the viola iBook for the iPad project up on YouTube. This is kind of tricky because I used Quicktime screen capture to make a .mov file and YouTube won’t process those.

I sent the .mov file to iTunes where it changed to .m4v , but YouTube still failed to process it. I imported the original .mov to iMovie, where I did a bit of editing to clean up a few rough spots, and it was there that I found out why YouTube had trouble.

The frame rate was 30fps, or 25fps, and needed to be converted to a frame rate that would be compatible with YouTube. Whew!

You probably wonder why I just didn’t upload to Vimeo, where it handles all frame rates and I could have been done about 4 hours earlier?

Well, I wanted my viewers, friends, and subscribers to YouTube, to see the progress on the Viola book, so I had to find a way to put it there. So...Ta Dah!

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Fiddling Around