Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who Said That?

Quotes From Who?

The other day I got an email that contained what was purported to be a quote from Cicero. It seemed suspect because it contained a line about welfare moochers bringing down the nation.

I looked it up, and guess what I found? There are no recorded quotes from Cicero, or just about anybody around 55 BC. The quote used was lifted from the book, ‘A Pillar of Iron ‘,(1965), Taylor Caldwell's fictionalized account of the life of the senator, then rewritten to promote the notion that social programs are destroying the land of the free.

This morning I was reading and article in the New York Times that addresses the issue of misattributed quotations,  Falser Words Were Never Spoken by Brian Morton. In the article, he examines the authenticity on quotes on coffee cups, bumper stickers, and other places that are used to make a statement or promote an idea.

Stax Music Academy

Stax lives on in young Memphis musicians.

I read this in the Wall Street Journal and it brought back a lot of memories.

It mentioned in the article that one of the differences between Stax and Motown was that Stax had black and white musicians working together to make their soul music hits.

I never thought of it that way during my experience with Stax. For me it was all about the music. I produced and co-wrote an album with Joe Shamwell, at a studio in Jackson, Mississippi that Fred Mitchell and I conceived of and built to record some Mississippi musicians using the latest high tech 12 track Scully recording equipment.

Joe and I met as a result of our late night radio shows and a love for music. He was the “Soul Ranger” at the black music station, and I did my thing on Mississippi’s first FM Rock station. (See WJDX-FM). He had some ideas for songs that we developed and recorded as a contemporary album we called, “Natural Blackness”, ( It made perfect sense in 1968 ).

Joe had written some songs with David Porter for Stax artists, and after a phone call, we were invited to come to Memphis, bring the album, and stay at the original Holiday Inn on the river while we were in town. Issac Hayes had just got his own record label and wanted our album to be one of the first ones signed to it.

While we were there, I had a great time hanging out with some of my favorite musicians, sharing songwriting, recording, and performing experiences. Joe and I were chauffeured  around Memphis with Issac Hayes as our tour guide, which included his favorite soul food restaurant and local music hot spots.

Joe and Issac are both gone now and the Natural Blackness album is all but forgotten, but reading the article in WSJ, brought those times back to life for me and how the folks at Stax made me feel like I was a part of that wonderful musical family.

Some Flowers Hanging On

Though the sun has baked away the bodacious bounty of beautiful blossoms and budding booms, there are still a few robust roses scattered around the Treehouse grounds.

The days are getting shorter. Tomorrow will be 2 minutes and 33 seconds shorter than today, and tonight at 8:55pm the temperature has already dropped to a chilly 83.1 degrees. Tomorrows forecast high temp is only 90. The next thing you know, I will have to wear socks with my sandals.

Whatever will this bug do when there are no more roses to hang out on?

Luckily for me there are multitudes of fascinating objects to photograph around here, no matter what time of year it is. Living here is nourishing to my soul in many uplifting ways. I feel very fortunate to be who and where I am.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

I Will Do Something

Monday, August 29, 2011

Truth Seeking

In The Light Of Day

What a joyful and industrious weekend I have had. I was able to conceive of, and produce a DVD that represents the appreciation that the Treehouse residents and staff have for the organization that built this, (and other), housing for low income seniors.

Story Board To Finish In 3 Days

The residents who allowed themselves to be filmed were so sincere and articulate that they made the interview segments come alive on the DVD with genuine, heartwarming  character. They are the story.

Tattered Butterfly

I am so thankful that living here at the Treehouse has given me the time, and environment, to develop video production techniques that illustrate the story without distractions like fuzzy focus, muddy sound, too much panning and zooming, spontaneity killing retakes, and many more rookie mistakes I have made, (and mostly corrected), over the last three years.

On The Bus

“If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again.”
Ken Kesey

I guess I am of an age where Beat Poetry was one of my philosophical guideposts. This made it easy for me to understand Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and the other educated voices that spoke from behind the psychedelic curtain.

“Wherever you go, there you are”

The catchphrases of the times were trying to explain spiritual awareness in terms that the culture of the day might understand.

The quest for enlightenment and further knowledge is a lifelong calling to which I occasionally have turned a deaf ear. My move to Redding is one of the steps  that has helped me to get back on the bus.

Baby Burrs

I consider this DVD to be a benchmark in my development as a person, as well as technician, designer, director, producer, grip, editor, and artist. I shall give myself a hearty pat on the back, ( Ouch, my arm! ).

My profound thanks to the residents who gave this video so much heart.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Video;

I’ve Got A Place

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


At The Lake

Yesterday was a spectacular evening at the Shasta Dam overlook. Mount Shasta was catching the last of the sunlight on it’s partially snowy slopes. The sunlight was above the 7,000 foot elevation, leaving everything below in twilight.

I took many pictures in the fading light and when I got them home on the computer, I saw an opportunity to play with the images. I had some fun...

Then, just to see how it looked, I took the image to another dimension.

Earlier in the day, yesterday, I was checking the volcano from various view points close to home, to see if it was a good enough picture day to justify the gallon of gas it would take to go to the lake and back.

From Hilltop and I-5

There was flowering ground cover on the dirt at my feet when I took the picture through the trees. Luckily, I noticed just before I stepped on one. It must have been screaming at me in ‘plant language’ so that somehow I heard it and looked down.

Even from the 2nd floor stairwell, it looked like I should drive up and get some pictures of Shasta in the setting sun.

Playing around with effects is fun and it makes for interesting pictures, but the images I got of Shasta in the last of the sunlight yesterday evening, spoke volumes even without enhancement.

So, for your enjoyment, I put together a little something.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


Monday, August 22, 2011

This Colorful World

Is Ours To Enjoy

Just having colorful fruit to see and eat is a precious gift that I get to enjoy.

Here I am in a bountiful world of miracles that amaze and humble me.

Nature shares some of her beautiful secrets if I wish to look around me.

Distance and scale dazzle the eye and, pique the mathematical imagination.

My neighbor paints her garden with cheerful colors from natures pallet.

Lassen Peak defines the Eastern horizon from where I live.

A landscaper, thoughtfully planted Fortnight Lilies outside the library for patrons like me to enjoy and appreciate.

A praying mantis enjoying the shade outside the door.

A rhododendron greets me these summer days as I go to and from my apartment.

The dahlias that Dottie planted have been blooming in stunning colors.

I am glad that I’ve got a place to live in this amazing world.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Looking Around

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Super Dooper

Beyond The Muddled

You probably have noticed that I am fascinated by nature, and take a lot of pictures of flowers, ( wild and cultivated ), and that I have many pictures of day lilies. Here are a couple to illustrate this next tidbit of informative daylily-ness.

I was reading an article in the Christian Science Monitor that referenced names for the many different daylilies. There are over 70,000 different Hemerocallis, (which means “beauty for a day” in Greek), and an additional 1,000 are registered each year.

Here is a bit of the article about daylily names;

By Karan Davis Cutler
The possibilities not only challenge my imagination but tickle my funny bone.
What about a daylily love-in? ‘Big Honking French Kisses’ alongside ‘Gaudy Kisses’, ‘Kiss My Buds’, ‘Kissy Face’, ‘Auntie’s Lipstick Kisses’, ‘Bullfrog Kisses’, ‘Vampire’s Kiss’, and ‘Kissiepoo.’
I could plant a daylily library of American classics, beginning with ‘Little Women’, ‘Look Homeward Angel,’ ‘Moby Dick’, ‘Tobacco Road’, and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Movie titles also are popular: ‘Star Wars’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘Lion King’, ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘Wizard of Oz’, even ‘Silence of the Lambs’.

In addition to their beauty, you can eat them; Good Enough To Eat.

Change Of Diet


Photo credit - Huffington Post

President Bill Clinton has changed his ways, and is enjoying the benefits of healthy eating, after two heart surgeries to repair the damages from poor dietary choices.

Today’s politicians have a lot to learn from Mr. Clinton, like how he balanced our federal budget.

Here are two stories about his new veggie awareness.

Los Angeles Times

Huffington Post

Fibanocci Inspired Solar Array

13 year old Alden Dwyer and his experiment

Here are two sources for the story;



Star Topped Celery Seed Things

I’m pretty sure that’s the scientific description of these parts of the flower structure, shared by the large sunflower, (left), and the little flower , (right), growing down at the west end of Dorothy’s garden. I tried to show this in a previous post, but today I got a better picture of the sunflower-like apparatus in the little flower. They must be related.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Fiddling Around

Friday, August 19, 2011

Carbon Dioxide

Emission Wars

Geese in the shade by the cool water.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of oil, coal and natural gas accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. overall greenhouse gas output according to the United States Energy Information Administration.

Is it any wonder that the fossil fuel industry has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into anti environmental propaganda.

Koch Industries would rather render this world unlivable than reduce their CO2 emissions to meet EPA standards. That is insane.

Old bridge reflected on the Sacramento river.

Martian Sand Pit

This was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in July 2011. See the hole in the bottom? You can tell from the lighting that this is an underground opening to a cavern — a skylight.
Read the whole story HERE.

Amazing Flowers Further Examined

At different times of the day, the sunlight and shadow will create these different moods from the same flower. I find it fascinating and magical.

It is so nice to be able to photograph the world around me and observe the changes.

Along The River

The first two images on this page were taken from near where I parked the Buick in the shade. It was 104 degrees at the time, ( around 5:30pm ). The first image is that of geese by the shore. The second image is the reflection of an old bridge on the Sacramento as the water flowed past me on it’s way to the San Francisco bay, or Fresno, or even San Diego.

The driveway rose bush keeps making more new buds.

So far, no one seems to want a free parakeet. My seed eating house guest stays another day.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

Rolling Along