Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Beats Go On

And We Dance

Naked Ladies

I am told that the pink flowers are called naked ladies. I have never checked the reputable floral journals to be certain.

Hope beams on the horizon

I do read a few reputable journals, now and then. The Smithsonian has been a reputable source of information for many years, and for the most part, still presents fascinating views of history.

Screen shot of interactive map

This weekend, among their other features, they have an interactive map of San Francisco. Go try it out at the Smithsonian. You can use the magic viewer on a present day map to see what that area was like in the 1800’s, or visa-versa.

Sundial Bridge

It is a picture perfect holiday weekend, here in Redding. While I was out this afternoon, I stopped by the river, and the Sundial Bridge to take a few snapshots with the Lumix FZ35.

Drift boat fishing on the Sacramento river

It was only 98 today and tomorrow should barely break 100. Not bad. I like to get outside and enjoy these pleasant temperatures while we still have them.

This place will get hotter and hotter as time goes on. For how long, and just how hot, depends on how quickly people stop burning fossil fuels for energy.

Treehouse rose and bud

I am using this Labor Day weekend to learn some new/old tunes. It is a lot of fun for me to sing a variety of songs. The physical, mental, and spiritual experience of singing feels great.

It is also nice to be able to play the guitar and feel the vibrations from it joining with the vibrations throughout my body while I am singing. It is mystical and transcendent. It really feels good.

CHP Helicopter

There was a helicopter circling the neighborhood the other day. It was fairly close, so I figured I could get a good picture. I did.

There is a photo opportunity just before dawn on Sunday morning. We will be able to see a crescent Moon, sandwiched between Mars and Jupiter. Details

Reflections of this photographer

When the opportunity for the picture of the predawn sky happens, I hope to be getting some sleep. However, that’s about the time that the security guy tries to tear the upstairs door off it’s hinges and helps me attain full awakeness. So, who knows, maybe I will get up and take that picture.

Today’s Video;

Peace Please

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Hit The Big Time

My Blog Got Trolled

Driveway crepe myrtle

Somewhere, a computer, programmed to spit out a carefully crafted non relevant comment when alerted that the words republic, democracy, and Fox news, were found in a blogpost, found Phil’s Place.

A light dusting of snow on Shasta

What is a troll? In this case it’s not the cute dolls made by Thomas Dam, but a program, or person that posts disruptive comments with the intent of disrupting a thread. They sometimes get paid by the word, if they can generate responses and lead the topic away from an intelligent exchanges of ideas.

In the garden of Zin

In my case, the troll will get no remuneration from the RNC, or responses of any sort, because my readers prefer communicating by sending me an email, if they wish to share their thoughts on something I may have written, or linked.

However, it is nice to know that I was one of possibly hundreds of internet postings that got that same ambiguous comment from a trolling computer program.

California Poppy

Remember to honor labor on Labor Day. I think I have written about Labor Day history a few times on this blog. Let’s see. I will type, labor day, in the blog search box and,’s something I wrote on September 1, 2008;

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

Yellow Rose of Treehouse

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Today, thanks to our corporately controlled government, there are very few unions or jobs to support them, but the holiday lives on.

One of Steve’s roses
The latest rumor amongst the Redding local musicians, has the Shasta Blues Society ending the Thursday night blues jam at Lulu’s. The jam is currently suspended while renovations are being done to the banquet room. Word has it that Sammi Barber doesn’t plan to resume having the jams there when the renovations are completed. I shall keep you posted.

Meanwhile At The Treehouse Jamboree

Photo credit-Margaret Miller

I wish you a good weekend of rest, recreation, or regular activities. I will be enjoying the air conditioned respite from our new normal summer temperatures, here in Redding.

Today’s Video;

Don’t Feed The Troll

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Keeping My Cool

And Other Hot Topics

Whiskeytown Lake

Finding a dark place to take pictures of the Milky Way, is pretty easy here in Redding. Just a few miles out of town, are National Forests, Parks, Recreation, and Wilderness areas that are far enough away from the city lights where one can set up a tripod for night sky photography.

This position might work

My neighbor, Margaret, joined me on a search for the perfect ‘Milky Way Photo’ location. I think we found it on the shore of Whiskeytown Lake. The angle seems right to show the colorful band of the Milky Way, rising into the sky above the water.

From the same spot, I could get some good pictures of the transmitter stations and antennas atop Shasta Bolly, (Some folks call it Shasta Bally). It was a bit hazy, what with the smoke from wildfires in the Trinity Alps, and other California and Oregon locations.

Cropped image close up

Now that I have found the place to put the cameras for the night sky photos, it is just a matter of taking the pictures on the night of a new moon, provided the sky is clear of clouds and smoke. I am sure we all would like the skies to be free of smoke, for that would mean the land would be free of fires, as well.

Opening soon

What a life I get to live. Yesterday I enjoyed time at one of the local lakes where breeze made the sailboats fly, and the warm temperature refreshingly pleasant.

Today, was in the comfortable mid-eighties with cooling breezes in the shade. It was also, Sunday. Always a treat to read the Sunday funnies at It is also the day of the Jefferson State Blues Society, Sunday jam.

Treehouse roses

Sometimes the core members of The Phil Seymour Band show up early and get to play the warm up set. I like that because I get to sing some songs that have arrangements, and more than 3 chords. Tonight, that was the case and we even played the newest song that John and I are writing. I think, after the way it went tonight, it is going to be another signature song for the band and me.

Powerfully deep reds

Lately there have been a number of people repeating the erroneous and misleading RNC talking point that emphatically claims the United States is a republic. They, and Bill O'Reilly, or whichever right wing mouthpiece they heard it from, are mistaken.

The old Soviet Union was a Republic. China is a Republic. The United States is both a Republic and a Democracy. Here is a good explanation by William P. Meyers.

Today’s Colorful Video;

Makes The World Go Round

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Weekend Approaches

The Moon Wanes

Blue Moon of the 20th

The blue moon shone brightly after the skies cleared on August 20. It was the 3rd of 4 full moons in the season of Summer.

According to Pope Gregory XIII, there were to be 3 full moons in each of the 4 seasons, and 12 months, so as to make his calendar design balance with the day of Ascension. The moon did not cooperate.

No longer Blue Moon on the 21st

On the other side of earth, their timezone had the Blue Moon on the 21st, but at the same time it was our 20th. Now that we are one big global community, we some of us are more aware of conditions on other parts of the planet.

Hanging in there

When I woke up this Thursday morning, I took a moment to appreciate the greatest gift we are given; Another day of existence on planet earth. I thought about how I would use this precious day, and to appreciate the abundance of joyful moments that lay before me.

I should greet every day with a great big thank you, and plan to use the present to savor and share the essence of life, but that is not always the case. The world awaits my participation and appreciation every day, but sometimes I use this amazing brain to worry about things that won't be moved by worrying. Luckily that negative approach will soon annoy me, and I will drop it like a sack of rocks and move forward in a lighter mood.

Margaret’s Happy Veggie Platter

There are 11 wildfires burning in California at the time of this writing. There are 7 burning in Oregon. All the western states have wildfires today. These are the new ‘normal’ conditions that will get worse as the planet heats up from the greenhouse effect of millions of tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere daily by burning coal, oil, and natural gas for our energy needs. We must do something.

Tiny white flower reaches up to a spot of sunlight

Every incandescent light bulb that we replace with a CFL, or LED bulb, means a few less watts of fossil fuel fired power plant electricity are required. Better yet, many of us can put solar panels on our roofs and provide the power for most of our household needs, thus even further reducing CO2 emissions produced by outdated utilities.

When I think of the many ways in which we can stop adding to the already accelerating climate change, I feel good about the future. We can stop making things worse. That is a priceless gift we all have been given.

Steve Ragan’s porch flowers

Steve Ragan, adds a lot to our Treehouse community. He bakes cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and puts them on the kitchen counter in the dining room for the delight of his neighbors. His gardens, allow him to share his vegetables with his neighbors, as well.

His porch usually has some sort of colorful flowers to please the eye of passers by. Sometimes there is a wall of tomato plants providing shade for his patio. He has a smile, kind words, and cheerful greetings for anyone he see’s.

His porch planters are particularly striking this week, (above image).

Thank you Steve.

Rambling rose

I got a ‘thank you’ email from Tom Brown, a teenager in the late 1960’s when I was on radio and TV in Jackson, Mississippi. He wrote to say how much he and his friends enjoyed the FM rock music and recalled the day I “said the word” (on the TV show), and the FM station began broadcasting in 200,000 watts of stereo rock music. ( WJDX-FM Story )

In Tom’s email he went on to say that he “became the Chief Engineer for WJDX/WZZQ during the later part of the 70s”.

That emailed letter certainly brightened my day, yesterday.

Thank you Tom.

Verdant fecundity

I can see that it’s not just the roses that are rambling. Time to wind this up.

I hope we all wake up tomorrow and feel the excitement of having been given the gift of another day, together, on planet earth.

Today’s Video, (sent to me by Marian Sauer);

Cool Man Cool

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How I Know Why

And Other Revelations;

As I write this, the other MacBook is rendering a video that I just finished putting together. If I didn’t have 2 MacBooks, I would have to put writing this post on hold until the video is finished, and uploaded. That is sometimes a 4 hour process. Now you too know why I have two.

The Moon On Saturday, (and night)

When I read something that causes me to doubt its veracity, I turn to the internet to find and read the source material to be certain I am not absorbing propaganda. After a few years, I have source checked some publications and media and consistently found that they are nothing but propaganda, (Like the Wall Street Journal, Talk radio, or Fox news).

Behind B Building

You probably have friends and relatives who listen and watch Fox news, religiously. You can tell how much they have been watching when you hear them say things like, “Obama is a Socialist Muslim Alien Nazi”, without thinking that statement is bizarre, outrageous, or insane. You would be correct in thinking they have been thoroughly brainwashed by the right wing propaganda machine.

What a beautiful place

Just the other day, a friend handed me a letter from the NRA that certainly read like some new California state legislation regarding firearms would be the end of all your rights to own a gun. He gave me the letter so I could look up the legislation that was described as ‘banning all guns’, ‘keeping your guns locked up so you can’t use them when you need them’, ‘forcing you to buy expensive non-lead ammunition’ ‘Attacking your freedom’, and so on.

Sacramento river fly fishing

So, I went to the state legislature website and read, S.B. 108, S.B. 374, AB 711, S.B. 53, S.B. 293, and SB 396. Guess what? Not one of them stated what the NRA letter claimed they did. There was not one bit of truth behind their hyperbolic, hysterical, patriotic call to arms. They didn’t even come close to the actual wording or contents any of the bills.

Getting ready for a rafting adventure

Sadly, most of the people who got the letter, will take the NRA’s word, and believing it to be true, will be up in arms defending their rights vociferously as they demand an end to this war on God fearing, upstanding, patriotic defenders of the 2nd amendment.

The NRA doesn’t even have to waste time reading the actual legislation about firearms, they can just make stuff up because they know none of their loyal membership will bother checking to see if it’s true, (Just like the people who watch Fox News and listen to Talk radio will never question the load of baloney they gobble up daily).

Protecting the youngster

Well, I think the video is done uploading, so enough of this revealing expose of the crazy world once envisioned by the John Birch Society. Let’s get on with the show...

Today’s Home Video;

Rising With The Tide