Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sorta Like Sisyphus

But Not Eternally

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Moonset tonight

Sisyphus was a king in ancient Greek tales, who because of his deceitful and greedy acts was sentenced to the eternal task of rolling a giant boulder up a hill. The boulder was enchanted and should Sisyphus manage to get near the summit, the boulder would roll away from him and end up at the bottom of the hill again and again. More about Sisyphus

My umbrella - image, iPhone (PowerCam App)

Today I got a 20” fan at Big Lots. It was under $20. My plan is to use a fan to move air around in my apartment. There is always a breeze, however small, blowing outside. Our apartments here at the Treehouse have no cross ventilation so unless the wind is blowing directly toward the windows, it is not moving the air inside.

I have a small fan, but it is much too loud to use continuously. I figured the bigger fan would be spinning more slowly on the low setting thereby reducing the jet turbine/vaccuum cleaner noise that fans often emit.

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My umbrella - image, iPhone ( ProCam2 App )

When I got the fan home and turned it on it was effective at moving air and not too disruptively loud. It did however shake and vibrate from being unbalanced. That was annoying and the floor amplified the sound into a throbbing throughout this apartment and no doubt raining unwanted noise upon my downstairs neighbor.

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New $43 umbrella from Lowes - image, iPhone ( ProCam2 App )

Going back to Big Lots was not how I had planned to spend my day, but I figured I would get it overwith as quickly as possible. The first trip was filled with the usual obstacle course, dodging and trying to anticipate the boneheaded actions of indecisive motorists with an added risk level of road improvements that seem to be going on all over Redding.

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Nice umbrella

I wasn’t thrilled about another round of hyper awareness on the roads just to exchange the fan for another, but there I was again. I got back with the new fan and it was even more wobbly and out of alignment than the first one. I fortified myself with a piece of pie ala mode and went back into the fray.

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A task that I enjoy repeating is organic apple pie

I was coming home for the 3rd time, there was an absence of traffic on Hilltop and it was as I was enjoying the feeling of driving the well designed Buick LeSabre, that I thought of commuting as being very Sisyphean. I am very happy that I no longer commute to work. No matter how nice a car you have, commuting is not driving. It is an endless task that repeats day after day, just like pushing bumper to bumper boulders uphill eternally.   

We really must develop more convenient forms of mass transit so that cars aren’t these Sisyphean boulders that we push to and from work daily.

Today’s Video;

See The USA

Authors Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all images for Phil’s Place are captured with a Panasonic Lumix FZ 35

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eye See

The Eye Doc

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Bright colored driveway rose

To be more precise, I saw the eye doctor.

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Golden in the light

Now, it is just a matter of the scheduling person calling me to set up a date for cataract surgery.

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Another stage of agapanthus development

The doctor asked if my parents had had cataracts. I told him that my dad mostly owned Fords. I couldn’t help myself. It was really early in the morning and I wasn’t fully functioning. After I rattled off a few more ‘groaners’, spinning “eye”, “cataracts”, “surgery”, and “glasses” into somewhat ‘punny’ one liners, I apologized.

He very likely had heard the same material hundreds of times before.

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New yellow plate works well for food pix

Some Treehouse internet connections have been intermittent this week. I am not sure of the cause.

At first, it seemed that it could have been the road repair and paving on Lake Blvd. It is not uncommon for jobs like that to knock out the phones or break fiber optic cables, but the problem was day or night and the phone never stopped working.

Then there were AT&T service guys hooking up some new customers this week. They could have inadvertently disturbed the connections.

Or it could be sunspots, solar flares or a squirrel.

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Colorful Naked Ladies (Amaryllis Belladonna)

I finally called the AT&T support number and they checked the lines for dropped signals and other anomalies. The nice service rep said they would monitor my DSL for 48 hours to see what they could find. By the way, "Would you like to change to the U-Verse service?" “After all”, she pointed out, “AT&T will be discontinuing DSL service soon anyway”.

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Nice red rose composition

I said, “No thanks”.

They haven’t received approval from the state of California to discontinue the low cost DSL service that many seniors and low income people depend on for internet access. If and when they do, they are to provide the service for 3 more years after the date of approval. That’s when I will consider other options.

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Smoke in the western sky

Today’s Video;

Mountains Are Built To Scale

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Time Of My Life

Is Always Now

Just as it is for everyone

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One Pink Lady - Tuesday

There are several sayings about The Now.

Now is the time when things get done is one of my favorites.

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Sunset Wednesday

I am glad to have the circumstances that allow me time and equipment to pursue those things that interest me and satisfy my need for vast amounts of information.

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On Wednesday there are two

I also enjoy creating music and art. The information I collect and the equipment I have at my disposal, make that very satisfying time spent. And, I can share these creations with you.

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New driveway red

It seems to me that there is a different energy that comes to projects that have a deadline than felt on projects that are the result of an overwhelming desire. Both are driving forces that cause dedication to hasten the completion before the passion cools, but the motivation is less artistic and colder when money is involved.

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A beetle enjoys the fresh pink lady

It is all part of the wonderful artistic gifts that were dropped in my lap. I didn’t earn them.

I have spent most of my life compulsively developing the stuff that came in the package called, me. It wasn’t dedication or good study habits that got me to practice the arts and to investigate the sciences, it was and still is, the need for the joy that comes from knowledge, productivity, creating and performing.

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White driveway rose

Whatever I have been specifically given is just a shiny ribbon on the greatest gift of all: Life.

I share the gift of life with birds, beetles, beech trees, and badgers. All things in the universe are gifts of creation. Animal, mineral, or vegetable are all equally important creations. Life is powerful.

Today’s Video;

Art For Art’s Sake

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Listening To Music

Just For The Fun Of It


When it comes to music, I am usually playing, singing, writing, rehearsing, recording, performing, or editing tracks for videos and CD’s.


If for some reason I am listening to music played or recorded by someone else, it probably has something to do with a project of some sort. Rarely do I listen to music just for the the heck of it.

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Videos featuring Treehouse flora and fauna in the mailroom

Tonight I took some time out from writing and recording the new song, (now titled “Colorful World”), to listen to some 1950’s Jazz with various musicians who were being accompanied by Ray Charles on piano. That was fun. I had some of those records in the 1950’s and would play them over and over until my mother would tell me to turn it off.

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Deep in the bush

Getting the music bug at an early age was such a definitive feature in my life. The greatest gift of all was being given a voice to express the music that is as much a part of me as breathing. I just opened my mouth and my heart would sing.

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Last week’s pie was one of the best

It took a long time for me to see how the structure of music could be of any value. It seemed like unnecessary busy work that just didn’t interest me. It wasn’t until the 8th grade when two things happened to make me understand the link.

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No FX required

John Bradley and I formed a singing duo with him on guitar and me on bongos. We sang and played at parties and school events. The other awakening occurred in music appreciation class when I played the bass fiddle. It really spoke to me with deep tones that vibrated my body like my voice. Soon I was writing songs and playing every instrument I got my hands on. Later I was a music major in college.

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Still making beautiful roses in August

I seem to have used this blog for it’s intended purpose tonight. As a journal to jot down thoughts and musings that might be handy when writing that book about my life people have suggested I do. I suppose one of these days I will include a few scandalous and extraordinary adventures to spice up a chapter or two.

The ones that made the news were not as dramatic as reported. But they might make some chapters extra scintillating. I will have to think about that for a few more years.

Today’s Video;

Reflection Is Human

Friday, August 15, 2014

How Does The World Look

An illustrative Blend Of View

Some say the world is black and white

Some see shades of grey

I’m seeing so much color

They chased my fears away

Bad guys don’t think they're wrong

Good guys aren’t always right

There is something good in everyone

Share it and you can end the fight

There is so much more to see with color

That isn’t there in black and white

Sent from my iPhone

That’s how a song begins, sometimes.

John Harrison and I began writing the music a week ago, and today it began taking shape.
The, “black and white, shades of grey, color is a better way” words came along with the music.

I’ve been mulling over the words and decided to write some down.
The words you see above, are rearranging themselves each time I look at them.
This is good. That usually happens when a good set of lyrics is trying to get my attention.

Somehow they will tie to the music and form a spectrum of words and melodies that can fill my mind, (and yours), with colorful thoughts and images. I love this stuff.

Today’s Video;


Spectrum Analysis

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One Book Is Not Enough

One Point Of View Is Not Enough

Tonight I have been watching TV news. Many people will have watched their news tonight on just one station. One version of news is not enough. They will not be getting the whole story.

Monday afternoon surveillance aerial acrobatics

Just to put that statement to the test, I watched and read news from Russia, Iran, Italy, England, Qatar, and the U.S. on the internet. All the sources had at least one report regarding the same topics or subjects as the others. Iraq, Ukraine, Missouri police shooting of unarmed teen, fracking expansion and the Palestine - Israel conflict.

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Fungus or bad baked Alaska?

International news reports showed a variety of viewpoints and it was good to digest them. I find extensive information a lot more satisfying than simplistic headlines and talking points.

Treehouse figs

CNN and other U.S. news reports seemed fixated on trying to blame Obama for anything and everything. One expert blamed the middle eastern upheavals on Obama for not being a strong enough leader. He blatantly ignored history and created a fantasy world in which national and international troubles all began with President Obama. No one on that show spoke up to say it was implausible unsubstantial nonsense.

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Sunset Sunday

Fear, intolerance and belligerence that once was only broadcast on cable news and talk radio can now be seen and heard on CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS, too. Nearly all the media news programs seem like propaganda designed to divide people into opposing camps.

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Something special here

I don’t need to live like that. There are tools to broaden one’s horizons. I can meditate, take a walk in the park, or just sit by the water and sort things out before taking unmitigated action.

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Eastern sky on Monday evening

Instead of taking sides it would be better for me to take time to find commonalities that foster understanding and fellowship.( Perhaps learning a more inclusive term than fellowship would be a good start.)

Today’s Video;

Cultivate Kindness

Monday, August 11, 2014

Does This Perigee Make Me Look Fat?

And Other Perceptions Examined

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Saturday moon rising

If you missed the 2 supermoons so far this year, you won't have to wait very long for the next one. September 9 will give you another opportunity to decide if the supermoon looks bigger than those svelte, regular full moons.

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The tomato fairy baked these for me

Last week I got a chocolate bar, like I do every 2 years. This time I got a dark chocolate bar from Columbia at Trader Joe’s. I broke off a tiny piece. It tasted good, but seemed more like bakers chocolate. I asked my neighbor Jackie if she would like to make cookies with it.

She made chocolate chip cookies and brought me some. I am glad. They are really tasty. I ate one and froze the rest for special occasions. Thank you Jackie.

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Some roses continue to bloom

Wildfires burning in the North State.

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Screen shot from Wundermap

The smoke and clouds from these fires combined with partly cloudy skies to obscure the view of the supermoon and the Perseid meteor showers. It is a good thing I got pictures last night when it was a pretty much super moon.

This is one of the moon pictures I got a bit artistic with;

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Saturday moonrise enhanced

A funny thing happened while I was out taking pictures this Sunday afternoon. There was something laying in the middle of the Treehouse driveway.

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Mystery object on driveway

Whatever it was, and from a distance it was hard to tell, it would likely get run over and squashed sitting out in the road. I walked up closer to see if it was a little animal or a leather pouch or what?

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It was a shoe

I looked all around to see where this shoe may have come from. I even looked up, in case it had been dropped there by a one legged born again end-times rapture person, but there was no one around.

I put the shoe on the curb so it wouldn’t get run over. Just incase the owner suddenly realised they were only wearing one shoe and came back to find it.

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This rose makes me smile

I hope you find magic and beauty in everyday moments whenever possible. It can make life ‘super’.

Today’s Super Video;

Simple Playful Reflections