Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Extended Month

Or So It Seems

Here I am enjoying a bouquet of flowers and birthday cake, 10 days after my birthday. What a nice treat. It seems that I forgot that the monthly residents meeting had been changed to today to be part of the Mad Hatter party, which also didn’t stick in my mind, (even though someone reminded me last night). So one of my neighbors kindly brought a nice bouquet, a piece of cake, and a couple of cookies. Thank you, neighbor.

Looking at my birthday bouquet, I recognize the flowers from pictures I took yesterday. I even see that one of the bugs I photographed is still attached. Talk about fresh cut flowers! My living room smells like a rose garden. How delightful.

It has been a rainy last day of May, with one moment of sun and a few hours of lightning and thunder to punctuate the continuous rain and downpours.

At some point, I went out to take pictures and get the mail. I got a nice letter from my sister. Her letters are a treat for me. She chronicles her day to day life in multi page correspondence in a wonderfully wordy stream of consciousness that I find heartwarming and informative.

Yesterday, (Memorial Day), I took some, (350), pictures for a song/slide show that I put together for yesterdays song of the day. I didn’t get it up and running on Vimeo, until it was past my writing time so instead, it will be today’s song.

Not all 350 pictures of flowers made it to the video. Not because they weren’t pretty enough, but simply because they wouldn’t all fit. I put a couple on here, (above), that had to be left out of the show/video, but still deserved to be admired.

It was particularly windy, so to take some of the pictures, I had to hold the waving, dancing subjects in place.

For me, the theme of my Sunday reflections was illustrated by the Pete Seeger song about flowers and soldiers, and how the dead ones are recycled into another soldier, or flower, to fight or bloom once more. So I offer this song and slide show as;

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Compassion Feels Really Good

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Mom Was Right

After dad died from a series of cancers, mom was convinced that it was the result of him working on the Manhattan Project.

I always figured this was probably an embellishment, as many people would assure me that there was no use for plastic in the development and creation of the atomic bomb.

I finally found an answer in Scientific American. They published an excerpt form the book Plastic: A Toxic Love Story  by Susan Freinkel  that explained how they might have needed dad’s polymer science expertise in the handling and containment of atomic bomb components; “Plastics were even essential to the building of the atomic bomb: Manhattan Project scientists relied on Teflon's supreme resistance to corrosion to make containers for the volatile gases they used.”

What an interesting world I was brought into. Another mystery has been solved, and I can add the secret project to build an atomic bomb to the family lore.

(Some more of dad’s accomplishments)

From the Los Angeles Times By: Scott Harrison

Photojournalist on the Job. Part of an occasional series.

When Los Angeles Times staff photographer Bill Murphy retired in 1988, he left this photo in the Times archive. On a caption sheet dated June 15, 1988, Murphy wrote about this image:

Waiting at the Lincoln Heights jail at night circa 1948. Bill Murphy is second from the left on the bench.

When the elevator brought the suspect down from the cells above us, we would be on our feet. There were no Miranda rights. A deputy would simply push the person we were waiting for out the elevator door — and bang, the flashbulbs popped.

Out And About

I drove over to Trader Joe’s to get some more organic blueberries and strawberries to put on organic, (real grains - no GMO’s for me, thanks.), cereal for breakfast, and noticed some nice looking flowers in the parking lot dividers.

What appeared from a distance to be small flowers on shrubs turned out to be clusters of even smaller flowers. I just love having images like these so I can get closer to the big universe that can be seen in minutiae.

There were roses no bigger than a fingertip growing in concrete dividers way out on the farthest reaches of the parking lot where they would rarely be admired.

This lily was all by itself, as far from T.J.’s as it was from Kohl's.

Back home at the Treehouse, I wandered out behind ‘A’ building, and snapped a picture or two in the pleasant afternoon sunshine.

So far, this Memorial Day Weekend has been one of dynamically contrasting weather. Warm, cool, rainy, sunny, calm, and windy.

It seems only right in this region where we have dynamic contrasts in just about everything from politics and geography, to economics and education.

We don’t just have variety, we have the extremes. I love this place.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Life Is Good

Civil Musings

Memorial Day Weekend

Today, Saturday, I took time to remember those gallant young men and boys who were victims of the dispute over whether the United States should condone slavery or not.

As if to provide sound effects for my visions of civil war battles, up popped a thunderstorm. I quickly set up a couple of microphones to capture the afternoon rain, wind and thunder in the Garageband recording application.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.

It began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, but by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.[3]z

A Diversion

I feel very fortunate that fate, kismet, the road of enlightenment, has led me to this most beautiful place where I am blessed with the opportunity for further spiritual growth and healing. I thank God with every breath I take.

There were moments of sunlight between the clouds and rain, during which the flowers today and in the last couple of days, shown with all their glory. I put a little slide show of today’s, and yesterdays blossoming beauties together with music, (today’s thunderstorm included), that I think qualifies as;

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


And Roses

At first, my intention was to find a magical rainbow, waiting for me to take it’s picture, when I finally went out to observe the result of clearing skies and low angle sunlight.

Although I did find a nice piece of a rainbow in the great big, beautiful Redding skies, the little raindrops on the roses stole the show. The colors were stunning.

The roses were alive with dripping rainwater and visiting creatures.

I put 82 full size, high resolution images of these wet flowers on my Picasaweb photo page for your viewing pleasure. (HERE)  You might want to try the magnifying glass feature to truly appreciate the rich texture and clarity of detail in these images. The slide show ain’t bad either.

A stray shaft of sunlight lit this iris in Dorothy’s garden.

I had a long, activity filled day today and the sunbeams and raindrop coated flora were the perfect refresher to remind me of the bigger picture. What a wonderful world we are part of.

And to think I was going to write about the problems I thought were so important earlier, you know, before I was, once again, shown the light of this big, beautiful experience called life. We can all be thankful.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Life Is Good

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Trip

Around The Sun

I returned from Richmond today, one year older on paper. I did complete my 66th ellipse of the sun on the 21st, so I am a year older cosmologically, as well, I suppose.

Leona, Marian, Phil, and Jim Rampoldi at lasagna feast. 5/21/11

Food and music were in abundance during my birthday stay at Marian’s home in Richmond. Friend and neighbor, Jim Rampoldi, joined us for dinner and he and I learned how to play ‘Spite and Malice’ after strawberry shortcake.

Marian showed me a picture in a publication for the Rosie The Riveter Museum of us playing for a function on board the Red Oak, about 10 years ago. Leona and Marian have the same color hair today as they do in this picture.

The bug rose, (above), was the one that had the bug story blog post when it was a bud. It has gone through some dramatic color and shape changes as it matures.

This rose was just a bud when I left here on Friday. It is one of the rose ‘bushes’ along the driveway here at the Treehouse Senior Apartments.

Marian sounds the call to play some music together.

It was nice to be in Richmond. It’s nice to be back in Redding. Life is good.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Fibonacci or Pingala

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Noteworthy Road

Leads To Richmond

The dark tinted, air conditioned, comfortable, quiet, leather interior of the Buick is a nice place to be for the 200 mile cruise down to Marian’s house, in Richmond.

I re-learnedThree Little Birds”, by playing and singing the latest version from Playing For Change, with the band I have in my head. In the new version, Baaba Maal sings some of the tag lines using the Middle Eastern 14 note scale, adding even more global flavor to this song played by musicians around the world.

After singing the song in my head for about 50 miles, I think I now have a pretty good idea how I will perform it.  “Every little thing, is gonna be alright”.

From Vacaville to Pinole, I sang, ‘You Don’t Know Me’, (out-loud to the band in my head), until I felt I had milked the sound of the words to where each one was infused with the plight of the character in the story. I know the song was done by some country singer, but the only version that plays in my heart is the soulful one from Ray Charles.

Well, with all that great music going on, I arrived at Marian’s house in what felt like just minutes of smooth journeying. By the time we all re-established contact and I brought in my stuff, we were gathered together for a delicious meal, topped off with bread pudding.

After dinner, we played and recorded music for an hour or so. It took a few tunes to get the feeling, and once I re-adjusted to reading the music and chords, we started sounding like the LMP Trio we all know and enjoy.

Did I mention we had Marian’s famous home made bread pudding with half and half for dessert? Well, we did and it was good.

Tomorrow/today is Marians’ son Alan’s birthday. Happy birthday Alan. May 21st is my birthday as well. Happy birthday, me.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clearing Skies

In The Neighborhood

Blue skies with disappearing clouds was the theme of Wednesday’s weather.

Roses of brilliant colors were drip drying in the blue sky sunlight.

In the midst of these dazzling displays,  the happy sound of music could be heard spilling out from the Treehouse dining room.

An extra keyboard and several voices joined Peggy Richardson and myself to sing and play songs that everybody knew and enjoyed.

We all had a lot of fun on a sunny Redding afternoon. I sang and played songs I didn’t know that I knew, and we had a host of singers as well as Peggy, and Margaret Miller on the keyboards. Linda Elliot was kind enough to take lots of pictures in between moving to the beat and singing along

Peggy Richardson, myself, Jan Falcone, and Margaret Miller.

Meanwhile the clouds continued to dissipate over Hatchet Ridge, and the flowers were smiling in the sunshine.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

A Good Day

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rainy Dazed

Still Productive

This fascinating world in which we live is beautiful, rain or shine. Though it was rather rainy today, here at the Treehouse, there were many philosophical and productive things for me be doing. I even managed to do a few of them.

Sorting through the photographs that reside on the Macbook was once again necessary so that I could transfer the ones I don’t need to be carrying around, onto backup drives, DVD’s, and on-line galleries.  I put 343 of the best April/May flower images HERE if you would like to see them.

Last Endeavor Launch
Enhancement of  Stephanie Gordon photo.

It was quite a picturesque launch that produced some outstanding photographs. The most famous, (viral), image seen around the world was taken from an airplane with an iPhone, by Stephanie Gordon, who tweeted the image to her friends and it ended up on TV and all over the Internet.

Before posting it here, I thought I would clean it up a bit. I just wanted to get rid of the smudge reflections on the airplane window and sharpen some details while pumping up the color, so it would look it’s best here on my blog. But I ended up doing something a bit more artistic, (I hope she wont mind).

I wondered if I would be able to see the shuttle approach the space station, but two things stood between me and that view in the sky; Rain, and the fact that I was nowhere near the southern tip of South America. Follow the ISS

I did get to see a shuttle and the space station coming together some years ago when I was living in Carmel Valley and it was quite a sight to see as they sparkled and flew across the western horizon.

Between the rainclouds, yesterday, while I was taking pictures of the various vegetable gardens that residents have planted this year, there were opportunities to watch the birds frolicking in the wild flowers. There were some entertaining mating dances going on in the grass and in the sky.

Love was in the air, and the rain didn’t seem to dampen the fire in the hearts of feathered Romeo’s and Juliet’s around the Treehouse Senior Apartments.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;