Saturday, December 28, 2013

If We Are Here Today

Tomorrow Is Possible

Christmas Day at Shasta dam

There is a study by Jordi Quoidbach and Daniel Gilbert that was published January, 2013, titled, “The End of History Illusion”, and how wrong we can be about predicting our own future.

Mount Shasta on Christmas 2013

Where were you 10 years ago and where do you think you will you be 10 years from now?

That was the question. The answers showed that people didn’t imagine they would change much in their next 10 years, even though they described how different they were since the previous decade.

Behind Shasta dam (Water level 936.63 ft) (1,067 ft at crest)

There are some people who are becoming concerned about how much longer and severe the current drought in California will turn out to be. Fresh water supplies may fall below demand unless we do something about how we use the water we have.

The action that the state historically falls back on is rationing. This is as practical as curing hunger by cutting food stamps and school lunches. That is to say that it is a hardship and ineffective. It is not a solution.

Sunset lights Mount Lassen, December 25

More water, (bigger dams, pipelines, desalination plants. etc.), is not a solution either. That will only encourage more wasteful uses of our resources, (just as more oil wells won’t curb our gluttonous use of petroleum products).

Flicker in front of A building

There are some solutions that require minimal changes in our lifestyles. Just a small action on our parts, could double the existing water supply and help restore our rivers, fisheries, watersheds, and wetlands. Interested?

Apple pie #9 (It turned out to be the best, yet)

Of all the fresh water in California, ⅔ is used for livestock production, (some studies estimate ¾ when including packaging, shipping, cooking and washing up after eating)

Most people eat meat 3 times a day. In addition to being part of an unhealthy diet, choosing this menu item consumes most of our freshwater supply.

Another look at Mt Shasta on Christmas Day

Am I suggesting that we all become vegetarians? No, that would be like cutting Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment relief because the Department Of Defense budget is 5 times bigger than needed. I am not suggesting something so crazy as that.

But, we don’t have to eat meat at every meal, seven days a week. We can reduce our meat consumption by half and benefit by better health and an increased water supply at no extra cost or disruption to the environment or our standard of living.

Instead of all 39,000,000 residents of California facing further water use restrictions, only one industry will have to significantly restructure the way it does business. Livestock production. How could they not be happy to reduce production, (and profits), by ½, in order to preserve California’s freshwater for generations to come?

Today’s Video;


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Looking Up

It’s Positively Spectacular

This 360° true color panorama of the night sky is the perfect antidote for petty selfishness. When one can zoom in and look all around at the sheer magnitude of space and the hundreds of billions of stars with planets, (and very likely, life of some sort), it helps me regain my perspective.

Christmas tree 2013

Sunday was the JSBS Sunday Blues Jam. Monday was the Treehouse Jamboree. Wednesday is Christmas. Wow! What a glorious week this is.

Mount Shasta Sunday

There seems to be enough snow on the top of Shasta to reflect nicely in the Sunday sun. Redding will be basking in a warm, dry, Christmas this year. Other parts of the country, and the world, are experiencing much harsher weather conditions during this season to be jolly.

Christmas Eve Shasta

As you can see, the snow is mostly on top of old Shasta, (reminds me of a song). Wait. I think I’ve got it; “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World”. No, but closer. It will come to me sooner, or later.

Piece of Pie #8

Delicious. I think I will leave a piece of pie and a glass of milk out for Santa.

Smiling Venus

I took this picture of Venus from the Raley’s parking lot this evening when I stopped to get some spring water. Kevin, Mt Shasta spring water delivery man, is scheduled for the 26th, so I got a couple of gallon jugs to tide me over.

Drinking spring water, especially the water that comes out of magical Mount Shasta, is one of the choices that I believe have contributed to my greatly improved health. When I arrived here at the Treehouse on December 21, 2007, I was in very poor shape.

One of many neighborhood robins

Before coming to Redding, I spent 2 years couch surfing, and living out of my car. Fast food restaurants, canned food, top ramen, tap water, well water, and occasional meals at friends homes, were my source of sustenance. Poor nutrition, and a physical disability is not a good recipe for a happy healthy life. I am so glad to be here where I can appreciate, and embrace the healing energy and joy of living at the Treehouse senior apartments.

Surrounded by the magnificent northern California landscape, I feel spiritually fit, intellectually enlightened, and personally involved with my community. I have a lifestyle that doesn’t aggravate my physical damage, and have developed many ways and means through which to share my happiness.

And so my good friends, old and new, I wish you a very merry Christmas.

Peace and Goodwill Toward All

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Innovations That Matter

Cool and Fun, Too

The better LED light bulb from Philips

Flat shape still delivers 360° light

“The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates, among other things, efficiency improvements for light bulbs; 25% greater efficiency to be phased in from 2012 through 2014, and 200% greater efficiency by 2020.”

I include that bit of information from the article as a fact check as to which president signed the energy independence act in 2007.

Lemon drop poinsettia

I didn’t know there were yellow poinsettias. It seems that they come in many colors.

“Poinsettia is the most popular holiday flowering plant. The plant’s common name comes from Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the U.S. in 1825.” (from Poinsettias)

Sill a few leaves left

Tonight is the longest night of the year. I am glad to have artificial light to allow additional time to read, write, eat, shower, and many other activities that are enhanced by light.

Sitting goose on the Sacramento river

This month, some of us will celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace. Others will celebrate a variety significant events, birthdays, and the winter solstice. It’s the most wonderful time of the year according to Andy Williams.

Pie #7

Last Sunday, while my brother was here, we ate the last 2 pieces of pie #6. I didn’t have time, or energy, to make another, so we went to Trader Joe’s and got one of their apple pies to accompany the French vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I used to like TJ’s apple pie a lot, but after 6 of my simple homemade pies, the pie I once thought was good, wasn’t, (in comparison). The TJ’s pie, minus the 2 pieces that Jerry and I ate, is still sitting in the refrigerator. I think I will donate it to the snacks assotment at tomorrows bingo games in the Treehouse dining room.

Sea Gull “watches the birdie”

Pie #7 is as good as it looks. Lucky me.

Another beautiful Redding sunset

And, to power those LED lightbulbs,

Today’s Bright Future Video;

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jovial Jovian Neighbor

And Moon Shine

Jupiter and the Moon - Wednesday night

A picture perfect, stellar treat wrapped up a beautiful day in Redding, this Wednesday. Colorful clouds complimented the collection of the largest planet in the solar system, the constellation Gemini, and our cratered satellite.

The moon has a visitor from China. Jade Rabbit is roaming around in the Bay of Rainbows.

Wednesday’s colorful sunset

I spent most of the afternoon developing some new songs that John Harrison and I have been writing this week. We are expanding our reach to include combinations of musical influences woven into each song. The sounds are fun to hear as we play them.

The sun breaks through the clouds at sunset

Today’s music at the shop was recorded with a 2 microphone, 2 channel setup that I think works well in John’s shop. The easiest way to record our sessions there is to use the iPod Touch with a field recording App, and that is what I usually do. However, I would like to have studio quality tracks with clean separation on those special occasions when our music reaches the place where magic happens.

It will be nice to have a quality recording of stellar moments to share with you, so I will set up the good stuff whenever possible.

One of the visiting robins

November was the hottest it has been in 134 years.

California is experiencing the driest year on record. (Story)

Still hanging on

Today, temperatures rose into the 60’s, but Monday it was 89 on my balcony. There hasn’t been much coverage of the drought, or the rising temperatures in the mass media. That is by design. Mainstream media has significant financial ties to the fossil fuel industry and they don’t want people to be aware of the destructive effects of a fossil fuel based civilization.

Little blue flower

We can each do some simple things to reduce our dependency on oil, gas, and coal. Drive less, replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient ones, turn down the heat and A/C a notch, eat less meat, turn off the lights and TV when you leave the room. Simple, basic conservation behavior that some of us were taught when we were growing up can help save the world, now.

Today’s Dance Video;

Dancing To The Music

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Family Matters

Oh Brother

Jerry on the Sacramento river

My brother Jerry came to Redding for a visit on Sunday. It was nice to see him. I think the last time I saw any of my siblings, was nearly 30 years ago.

He showed me photos of his house and yard, complete with deer that hang out there. His place is north of Houston. Very picturesque.

2 honeybees

It was 89° on my balcony today. I raised the umbrella. Meanwhile, pollinators were flying around looking for any flowers that survived the snow we got last weekend.

Bumble Bee

There were enough of the blue daisy-like flowers still making nectar to attract a small assortment of bees. That provided some good opportunities for close up bee photos.

Mt Lassen

Lassen still has remnants of the December 7 snowfall. There is something inspiring and comforting about looking across the valley and gazing upon Lassen Volcanic Park. Some other members of our Treehouse family have said they feel the same way when they step outside and see the majestic and mystical mountains around us.

At the Treehouse Monday Jamboree (photo - Margaret Miller)

After the music, and while some of us were enjoying the cake and ice cream that Jackie served, Dean told me to look outside and see the moonrise. I did. Took some pictures, too.

Moonrise from the Treehouse patio

I had some fun with the picture of the moon from the patio. Later, I took a more detailed, accurate representation of the moon, with which I can try to see the Jade Rabbit, (Chinese Lunar Rover), that China successfully landed and deployed not too far from an old Soviet lander and rover from the 1970’s.

Long Nights Moon

I appreciate the poetic imagery given to this mission by the Chinese space program. The Jade Rabbit is part of Chinese mythology. And, with mortar and pestle, he pounds out the elixir of life for the moon goddess, Chang’e

The Jade Rabbit lunar rover, is cruising around in the Bay of Rainbows. Perfect.

Today’s Video;

Cosmic Cadences