Friday, May 31, 2013

Goodbye May

See You In June

Sly Fox Family

I think the foxes have moved to quieter diggs. They haven’t been out playing for the last  three days, and the kits seemed ready for another stage of development. It was nice to get pictures and video of mom vixen and her kits this year.

Orange Daylily

The flowers are still blooming, when watered, and the birds are still singing. There are a few new mockingbirds that have moved in to replace the lucky ones that have flown off to raise this years families.

New bird in town

Some of the little things that make me happy with my artwork, can be time consuming. Like choosing fonts for various projects. There are several online sources for free fonts that I download from, and a couple of good quality typeface/font paysites that I also download from. Visiting a fonts website to find a particular look and feel typeface, is like going to a museum, or the Library of Congress to see one exhibit or book.

Looks like a dahlia to me

It is impossible to find exactly what I am looking for, unless I have looked at all the fonts in the style I think I need. I don’t mind taking the time to find the right font for the words I am using and the message I want them to project. I may look through thousands of fonts, picturing how the words will look, and what colors, shadows, double strikes, and cases to use. I think that is fun.

Eats like a bird

With this new MacBook Pro, I am loading it’s font book with some basics that I also have in the older MacBook, plus some new ones that will keep the work I do here differentiated from the archives on that laptop. I try to keep the font book lean, so I only have a few hundred different fonts on the hard drive that I know I will use.

Agapanthus in progress

If there is a font that I think I can use, that isn’t in my font book, I know where to find it, and on which font website it is likely to be located. This comes from previous perusal(ing?).

Even if I know what I want, and where to look, I am compelled to browse and download other fonts for which I feel I might have a use for, one day.

Beautiful red color against the sun dappled green

I mention this font business only because this evening I was looking for something Hawaiian, and ended up browsing for an hour or two. I also found a couple dozen more fonts that I downloaded for other projects. These computer things are great.

Today’s Video Extraction;

We Can Do Better

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Still Afloat

On The River Of Time

Agapanthus in the rain

The ‘computer age’ has opened the doors to the world for anyone with a high speed internet connection and a device that can use it.

I say ‘device’ because we no longer are confined to a desk with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor hooked up to a box full of hardware components.

Protected Rose

I have a ‘device’ that’s not much bigger than a credit card, yet it can outperform my state of the art iMac from the year 2000. I can be in touch with all things connected anywhere at anytime wherever there is a Wi-fi signal. 

Bowl of cereal with fruit

If I had an iPhone, I wouldn’t even need Wi-fi, but the monthly expense doesn’t seem justified with my present circumstances. My iPod Touch is as full featured as an iPhone, but there is no monthly cell phone plan to pay. I sometimes use it in places like the library where there is Wi-fi.

I do have an Android ‘smartphone’ but I found it was unpleasant to use, so it stays in a box in the cupboard. One day, I will probably get an iPhone, but I digress.

Tiny backyard butterfly

The world is truly at our fingertips. I can look at a live view of nearly every city and famous place around the globe, 24 hours a day. I can Skype, or Facetime, to see and talk with  people no matter where they are on the planet.

Bee fly

No one needs to limit themselves to one source of information, or view of important events locally, or anyplace on earth. If I want to know what is going on in Syria, I can get the news from the countries involved, instead of just the approved version written for the American broadcast, and cable news channels. It can be a real eye opener when you see how the story differs between Al Jazeera and Fox news.

Pink rose in the rain

Yes, if one wants to learn, communicate, or simply recreate, there is nothing to compare to the virtually limitless cyber universe. What a time to be alive.

Today’s Articulate Video;

Finely Tuned Senses

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Corporate Style

Cute Kits

May 30th is set aside as the national day to remember those who died fighting for their country. The last Monday in May is set aside to provide a 3 day weekend of barbeques, recreation, and other corporate revenue generating activities.

Painted Lady

I suppose people are still eating hotdogs at picnics in spite of knowing they are made of offal, salt and sawdust. Or, maybe they aren’t sure of what they are reading when they look at the label. Or, maybe they are just kids and are just eating what is popular.

Turtle Sunny Spot

Speaking of labels, I recently signed a letter to help stop a measure being considered that would allow aspartame, and other non dairy ingredients, to be in milk without saying so on the carton or label. I imagine some market research shows that corporation profits might not be as large if people know what is in their food. So, the big dairy corporate lobby is trying to undo the law that makes them tell us what else they might put into a container labeled, “milk”.

Lassen at 7:30pm

We had a little earthquake on Thursday evening. 5.7, near Greenville, California. I thought it was interesting that it was 0.0 km deep according to the USGS. It made me think of the shallow 5.7 magnitude quakes in the midwest that have been caused by fracking.

Most quakes are at least 5.0 km deep, with some in the hundreds of km deep, but the ones caused by the fracking process are close to the surface. (Note that I am trying to catch up to the rest of the world by learning to write in kilometers rather than miles)

I recently signed another petition for a moratorium on fracking in California. We can’t afford to poison our water table. This state needs every drop of fresh water we have and polluting it to extract oil, (that will be sold on the world market), is unacceptable, reckless behavior that must be stopped.

Mom and the kits

The waxing moon has been looking good this month. I have a few pictures, and even some video I hope to edit and show you. Maybe tomorrow, or Monday. There was a miniscule eclipse of the moon, Friday night.

I had to squint really hard to spot the irregularity in the spherical images I took, and even then I can’t be sure. Only an edge of the earth’s shadow, about the width of a Wheatie flake, affected the roundness of the moon.

Painted Lady on the inside of the butterfly tent

Our little town of Redding has some terrific attractions. Some natural, some well conceived. Turtle Bay Museum, river trails, Arboretum, Sundial bridge, and other associated historical and recreational points of interest are certainly among my favorite photo adventure activities.

I get to accompany my neighbor, Margaret, to enjoy and photograph the Turtle Bay Museum attractions, as her guest whenever possible. Thank you, Margaret.

The butterfly tent opened for the season this past week, and will be adding new varieties periodically. A third viewing of the wild animal show this coming week should provide the additional stills and video clips I think I need to complete a short video of that energetically performed, well written and informative program.

Treehouse rose(s)

I hope everyone has fun picnics, campouts, boating, and music this long weekend, and don’t forget to remember soldiers on the 30th.

Today’s Mind Twisting Video;


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Start Of

My New Year

Mount Lassen

In a very real way, our birthdays are the beginning of a new year. The calendar new year varies depending on one’s culture or location, but that moment when we greet the world for the first time, is the start of our ‘day one’.

Goin’ fishin’

These first two images,(above), taken on my birthday, seemed to ask for one of the painting Apps to help them express their mood and story. I am glad I listened to them.

Some of our new flowers are just bursting at the seams.

Anxious Agapanthus

For those of you who read my Previous Post, you will no doubt recall the saga of the talkative security guy, and how refreshingly quiet it became after I asked him to, ‘Keep it down out there’. Well, within minutes of my posting the new blog about the quiet night, it was shattered by car alarms in the parking lot just after the security guy drove off.

Evidently I am not the only one who knows where the security guy is, and can hear him talking when he is here. A thief has been stealing items from some cars here lately and was waiting for the security guy to leave that night. He was likely interrupted when he set off a car alarm. One of the residents who looked to see what the noise was about, said she saw someone on a bicycle riding away.

Did I mention the new shingles we are getting on the roofs of the Treehouse buildings?

Roofing equipment

I really like the managements attention to keeping our facility in the best of shape. The grounds and buildings are kept neat, maintained, and are upgraded when needed. A roofing team is here this week and next to replace the old shingles with longer lasting, higher grade ones.

This is good. In Redding, with our warm weather, if you are going to be roofing, it is best to get started as early as possible, before the roofs become solar frying pans.

I got an early start on my new year’s day, Tuesday. It was Shasta Spring Water delivery day, which happens around 8:20 in the morning, so with the help of the roofers, I was already up and waiting when Bruce brought fresh jugs of water.

Mount Lassen this Wednesday evening

I got some nice color and detail in the evening shots of Mount Lassen, tonight.

While I was out to get volcano pictures, I spotted our Treehouse vixen and her 2 new kits. What a treat.

Foxy Mama

If we travel approximately 585,000,000 miles around the sun each year, then 2 days into my new year I have already traveled 3,205,479 miles.

Whew, no wonder I feel like I need some rest tonight. Even while I am sleeping I will be going 66,781 mph.

That doesn’t include the speed at which we are racing around the earth, or the solar systems orbital speed around the black hole in the Milky Way galaxy. Then there is the speed at which we are racing away from the point where our universe began. Amazing.

Today’s Cosmic Video;


Happy My New Year Everybody

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More Points Of Interest

With An Open Mind

My other breakfast

Five days a week, I eat a breakfast of fresh organic fruit on cereal. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have seen the pictures here of the blueberries, strawberries, banana, and raisins, splashed with organic milk, while balanced atop some organic, heritage flakes from Nature’s Path.

Mimosa beginning to bloom

To maintain balance and variety, I have eggs and potatoes two mornings a week. I like that kind of breakfast, too. The potatoes are Trader Joe’s version of tater tots. They are made mostly of potatoes, with less salt, no strange tasting additives, or cheap oil, like the Ore-Ida kind.

Colorful spring bird

Look closely at the color in this guy’s feathers.

What seems to be the image of a small brown bird, becomes a dapper male, wearing his finest color coordinated spring feathers, when examined on the computer.

Until I began taking pictures of the bird residents of the Treehouse, many of them just seemed to be anonymous brown birds. Now that my eyes have been opened, I have discovered that beautiful hues of plumage, and individual character exists with nearly every bird I look at carefully.

A local honeybee at work

New discoveries are such a treat, and perpetually abundant, when one’s mind is open.

The west side of the Treehouse western mockingbird

This mockingbird, pictured above, will sometimes try to sleep in the tree outside my bedroom window. When the security patrol guy drives in, springs squeaking over the speedbumps, slamming the truck door after getting out to clomp around the grounds and rattle doors, it disturbs the wary avian.

Once awakened, the mockingbird squawks and begins to sing. If it’s too noisy to sleep in the tree outside my window, he will take off, chattering his angst while flying around from tree to tree to find a quiet place to sleep.

Peggy plays, and I sing each Monday from 4 to 5

I had to stop writing and step out on the balcony to tell the security guy to be quiet, just now.

The guy talks loudly to himself, (or possibly a very patient person on the other end of a phone), as he clomps around during the night. I guess that helps him stay awake. The problem with that is it keeps me awake, too.

He did quiet down when I asked him to, so we will see if that works. It would be nice to have relatively quiet nights here once again.

I hope I have given myself, (and the mockingbird), a birthday present of a peaceful night at the Treehouse.

Today’s Purrfect Video;

Happy Birthday