Friday, June 27, 2014

Time Well Spent

In Quiet Contemplation

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Jackie’s pumpkin custard pie

Even though there was no music on Monday, Jackie and Darlene brought treats to the diningroom for those of us who have become accustomed to spending our time together each Monday afternoon. We have some very nice people here at the Treehouse. Peggy Richardson and I look forward to resuming the Treehouse Music Jamboree this coming Monday, June 30.

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Hidden beauty in the bush

Looking back on this week it has been fairly busy and yet I managed to catch more quality meditation time than I have in months.  It is a good thing and helps to keep a balance between this crazy monkey civilization and cosmic order.

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My apple pie this week

It gets my dander up when I read about the latest rulings that the right wing supreme court justices are getting away with. It is a good thing that I can envision the ultimate power of the universe and put our earthly foibles into proper perspective.

Meditation helps me maintain balance in my heart and mind.

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Magnificent sky above Lassen Volcanic Park

I have found that many of the “Amazing Scientific Discovery” stories that flood the media, are simply advertisements and promotions for products and services. I know it has always been thus, but with the advent of so many places and platforms to present ones sales pitch, it has become a 24 hour blitz of bogus news stories.

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Rose at Kathern’s gate

Usually, the true story is revealed about ¾ of the way through an article. It is there that the “Colossal New Theory That Changes Everything” is attributed to something John Doe says in his new book/movie/TV show/exhibition this month. There generally is no scientific review or basis in reality for whatever John Doe is espousing.

Most people don’t read past the headline and very few finish the first paragraph, so people will register the headline and repeat the misinformation from an article they “read”. The next thing you know people are not vaccinating their kids or they buy all new 'diet' tennis shoes.

Backyard quail

There really are some astonishing discoveries and technological advancements that are reshaping our world, you just have to get around all the shouting to find the good stuff.

Want to see 4 years of a star erupting in a 48 sec time lapse video? Here you go. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular "light echo" in the history of astronomy.

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Just like I pictured it

I think I will return to the practice of including links to some of the more engaging and informative stories, articles, and sites I find significant. I used to do that here on this blog a few years ago and somehow shifted away from collecting links.

Watch for some new and extraordinarily game changing ways to link to astounding discoveries in future editions of Phiiiiillll’sss Plaaaaaccce (sound of rocketship engaging warp drive).

Today’s Ebru Video;

Daily Renewal

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why Organic?

What Difference Does It Make?

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Pie Filling? Just organic Granny Smith and Fuji apples

My physical being is my home, do I want to build it out of artificial low grade materials? 

No thanks.

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Looking into roseworld

Then there is the taste, texture and other pleasant qualities that are part of natural, organic foods. Try this experiment; Get 2 ripe bananas, one organic and one not.

You will notice that the non organic banana will taste bland and have an unpleasant feeling in your mouth when compared to the the flavor and texture of the organic one. (Taste the organic one first. Pesticide content in mass produced produce tends to dull ones taste buds.)

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iPhone pic of Lumix FZ35 capturing drip coffee process

Last night’s coffee experiment involved changing the filter holder from the standard flat bottom type to a Melita holder and filter. The coffee was fresh ground organic, fair trade, shade grown medium roasted beans from Honduras.

There is a distinctive difference in flavors between coffee brewed through the different shaped holders and filters. The Melita filter produced a sweet finish and a mild body. The Rival produces a toasted finish on a chocolate-like base.

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Raley’s parking lot daylilies

The more years lived eating unsalted, unsweetened real food, the richer and more exquisite the eating experience has become. This is a wonderful addition to the joys that life already gives in abundance.

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So, sow

The evening breeze rattles the frame and whips the fabric of the ragged patio umbrella.

I find that sound musically pleasant like the scratching of a wind blown tree branch or the clatter of a loose storm shutter.

We use shutters to shut out the storm. Ha ha, great word.

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Angel in the sun

Today’s Video;

Boundless Wonders

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just Plain Nutz

No Added Sugars Please

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Treehouse gardens producing food

This is the time of year that residents who have vegetable gardens begin to see the fruits of their labor. Of course I am riffing on the fruit/vegetable debate about tomatoes.

According to the Oxford Dictionary the tomato is the fruit of the tomato plant, but when used for cooking it is a vegetable.

Did you know that many nuts are also fruits?

California poppies

California’s Fresh Water Supply Solution

It is good for households to conserve water, among other things, but lets not overlook where 2/3 of California's fresh water goes; Livestock production. If we reduce our meat consumption from 3 meals a day to one, we would not only be healthier, but we could double our existing water supply.

I’ve been writing different versions of this same information in online comment sections for a few years, now. You would think that the people who write for newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, and online media would include this verifiable information in every drought related article. That seems like important data that no conscientious reporter could omit.


I have noticed that there are a growing number of food shoppers who, presumably for the same reasons as myself, buy Nature's Path Organic Flax cereal exclusively. This I buy at Trader Joe’s. (Always $2.99)

They have a whole side of an aisle filled with boxes of cereal 4 shelves high. Many of them claim to be natural and/or organic, but only one kind sells out leaving an empty spot on the shelf every few days or so.

X marks the spot

It used to be that both Nature's Path Flax Plus and Heritage Flakes would sell out, but some corporate someone thought it would be a good idea to add additional sugars to Heritage Flakes. To my taste that made them inedible and unhealthy.

Since they changed the formula, Heritage Flakes just sit on the shelf, like all the other cereals, but now the Flax sells out twice as fast.

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Reminds me of a sign, code or notation

A curiously similar buyout occurs with another favorite food item I get at Raley’s. Michael Angelo’s Vegetable Lasagna frozen dinner. It is uncannily like the cereal aisle at T.J.’s. There were only 2 frozen food dinners I eat; Vegetable Lasagna and Eggplant Parmesan by Michael Angelo’s. (The eggplant is being made with cheap ingredients lately, so it hasn’t been moving like it used to. Sort of like Heritage Flakes!)

The Vegetable Lasagna tastes like real tomatoes, vegetables, cheeses, and noodles.

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The freezers on one side of the aisle are filled 4 shelves high with popular brands of frozen entrees. Every shelf remains perpetually fully stocked. With one exception. Michael Angelo’s Vegetable Lasagna. I have seen the vegetable lasagna sell out in a matter of hours.

What does this mean? For me it means those are the only nutritious food items I can buy in a box. To my taste and digestion, everything else is crap.

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Trying to beat the heat in a shady spot

I would be tempted to conclude that the fast emptying shelf space must mean that other people are finding nutrition and satisfaction in the same couple of items as I do. I hope other manufacturers take notice and start putting some real food in their packages so people might buy them, too.

Today’s Video;

Satisfactory Sustenance

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Unexpected

Wrapped In The Present

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Much nicer than I planned

There were several subjects that I considered for tonight’s blog, so I took several sets of appropriate pictures to support the different themes.

The theme that interested me most is the one in which I am most involved presently. The odd, the fascinating, and the new stuff in my life as a result of eye surgery.

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Enchantment softly revealed

One of the entertaining manifestations I am observing is the stuck aperture of the repaired eye. I suppose that it will eventually re-establish normal iris functionality, but for now it reminds me of the cartooning trick to emphasize looney-ness in a character.

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Healing beautifully

The open aperture causes me to squint in the light, even wearing shades. “I’d better eats me some spinach”.

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Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith apple pie

Making a pie seems to be good for my recovery. I keep my face down while preparing the apples, and it takes about 10min to assemble a pie for baking.

This is good. Cooking is on the list of things one can do after retina and macula repair surgery.  Of course the organic, natural ingredients are part of a nutritious, healthy diet.

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Beauty from twisted, gnarly, stunted bush

Spending a lot of time facedown is beginning to affect my back pain management routine. One of the things I had eliminated through experiment and experience over time was sleeping on my stomach. You know, “face down”.

As luck would have it, I only have to keep aggravating my back for 2 or 3 weeks until the gas bubble disappears from view. Small price to pay for restored vision in my right eye. 

The recovery experience is becoming more interesting each day. And I thought I would be bored just laying around, slowly healing.


Hummer and Agapanthus outside office door

Yesterday, I got lucky and a hummingbird visited some agapanthus while I was focused on the flowers. I got a few nice shots, like the one I used in yesterdays blog showing how the bird’s beak fit perfectly in the agapanthus flower.

I was making a Treehouse Flowers DVD this morning to play on the TV in the mailroom and I realized there was one shot of the hummer that would print wonderfully on the disk with room and balance for text. After a bit of graphic magic, the picture was perfect.

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Lassen today, Tuesday

Not a lot of snow on Mt Lassen at this time, but one never knows. Last year we got a significant snowfall on Lassen around the end of June.

On the other hand, this looks like an El Nino summer approaching, so who knows whether rain or snow will be part of that. One thing for certain, each season, each year, has been warmer than the year before, and that will only worsen as we continue extracting, transporting, buying, selling, and burning fossil fuels. It is a crime against future life on earth.

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Sunny disposition

Each day I can see a little better and read a little longer. I feel so very fortunate to be alive here and now. What a glorious present.

Then there are all the wonderful people who have been giving their gifts of food, smiles, phone calls, and best wishes for my speedy recovery. What a good life I have been given.
Thank you.

Today’s Video;

Life - The Only Show On Earth

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thoughts Flutter By

Like a Blowing Burger Wrapper

Wild rose and brambles in lot behind ‘A’ building

I went to Office Depot the other day to get some paper and envelopes. Things have changed since they merged with Office Max.

All brambles gone from other side of the fence

As of now, packages that used to contain 100 sheets of standard 8 ½ X 11 photo paper for $9.95, only have 50 sheets for $13.95.

There used to be several weights and textures of A9 greeting card envelopes in different shaded gradients, color combinations, and no lick flaps. Now there is only one white A9 style in a flimsy box of 100 and you lick-em.

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Caught in mid-hover stroke

This is the competitive corporate approach to business; reduce inventory, reduce payroll, and keep the cost of doing business low. That process has been raising CEO salaries while bankrupting companies since 1974. (Pacific Stereo comes to mind, as does Circuit City).

Just think, we almost had one of those short sighted money chaser CEO’s as our president last election. We were lucky that people weren’t quite dumb enough to elect that greedy nincompoop.

Beak and flower made for eachother

How did congress become so stupid?  The answer can be found 25 years ago when Republicans insisted on performing, “The Big Lobotomy”.

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Dean’s red rose

Upload and download speeds on the information highway

I was thinking that AT&T had already begun throttling down the broadband for non-Uverse, customers, like me. There seemed to be a whole lot of buffering, long loading times and sticky streaming going on where that hadn’t been a problem until recently.

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Sunglasses hide eye surgery

A couple of weeks ago I saw that there was a refurbished Netgear 600mbs wireless router for sale online at a low price and with free shipping. I ordered it. It arrived yesterday.

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Treehouse patio rose

I hooked it up last night and began using it today.
Netgear N600 Dual Band Wireless Router...Vastly improved broadband performance.

That $17.95 investment was well worth it.

Today’s Beautiful Video;

Save With Solar Power

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fortune Smiles

The Eyes Have It

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Frozen In Time - Sculpted Cows

Sometimes a small macular hole will heal itself. My friend and artist George Bleich had one of those.

In most cases, surgery is required to correct this physical condition. In my case, the work was skillfully done by Dr. Rinkoff of The Retina Care Center.

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Honey Moon over Ashland June 10

The vitrectomy took place in Ashland, Oregon at Ashland Community Hospital. Nice place. Nice staff. Experienced operating room team.

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Dr. Rinkoff post surgery (photo - Sandi Taylor)

Surgery took about an hour. Afterward, Dr. Rinkoff gave me a rundown on what to do to provide the best results while healing. I would see him the following morning for a post op exam before heading back to Redding.

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Ducks at Lithia Park

After a post surgery rest, a short visit to Lithia Park was very refreshing. The Shakespeare theater season was in full swing and cheerfully dressed tourists decorated the sidewalks and cafes.

Sandi Taylor accompanied me on the trip. Her cheerful assistance and driving were a big part of what made my surgery possible. Thank you Sandi.

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Red Dragonfly at the duck pond

There was a post op exam at Dr Rinkoff’s Medford office and it was back to Redding with Sandi at the wheel. The drive was pleasant and scenic.

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Mt Shasta viewed from the north

Since I was a passenger, I was free  to take pictures. 

You may have seen a picture or two of Shasta from my first trip to Dr. Rinkoff in Medford. Margaret Miller was kind enough to drive that time. 

I am fortunate to have some very nice people in my life.

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Riding by Mt Shasta

Today’s Somewhat Relative Video;

Gas Bubble Adventure