Saturday, May 31, 2014

Odds And Ends

And Some Sage Advice

Fun with Mt Shasta

I was just thinking that in the land of milk and honey you have to have bees and you have to have cows, and you have got to have pastures. What a concept.

Red Twin Lilies.jpg
Day Lily Twins

Today is a nice warm day here in Redding. Of course we get a lot of these warm days here in Redding. We are somewhat notorious for our blazing summers.

Quality Meal.jpg
Perfect dinner

I'm writing this text with my iPhone. I talk at the iPhone and it writes in Google Docs. Amazing and convenient.

Looking at the  picture of broccoli and rice makes me think I'll have that for dinner.

Glad and Pitcher.jpg
Glad in Dottie’s garden

I saw Dottie working in her garden today. She was feeding the new plants oatmeal, along with  dirt and stuff, to keep the moisture in and feed them too.

Really  Shasta.jpg
Another Look At MT Shasta

i'm glad I took these pictures of Mount Shasta yesterday (and the day before). It's too hazy today.

Half Unfurled.jpg
Almost unfurled

Today's video is one of the best productions I've ever seen on stage.It features Playing for Change. They include players in other parts of the world. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s Video;

Radiating Compassion

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Apple Product Review

Apple Guy Since 1986

image - blogmidia8

This, (above), was my first Mac computer experience. It was my 3rd marriage. Vicki and her business partner were doing graphic design the old fashioned way with big layouts, typesetters, paste ups, halftones, line photography, and a whole lot of paper. A 20 page newsletter would take 3 weeks to produce that way.

One of the clients insisted that their newsletter be produced on a computer. Vicki had a client that was a computer company, but they had DOS computers. They were crap to use, especially for anything artistic. So that was no solution when they offered one.

Then the planets aligned. The cosmos burped and jostled Steve Jobs. He introduced his new Apple Mac computer with a graphic user interface and Adobe Page Maker software. It was perfect for graphic design. You, or at this point in the story, Vicki, could see the image of the newsletter right there on the screen while you worked on it just as it would look when printed.

Her learning process on the Mac was as long as it took to see the cursor move when she wiggled the mouse. Easy falls short as a description for her first Mac experience. It was more like friendly magic.

Vicki produced an 18 page newsletter in 3 days using the new Mac+. It was astounding. When the Mac SE was introduced with built in 20mb hard drive, we got 2. Vicki and I went our separate ways, but Apple computers and I are still together.

Mac SE - Google images

When I found true love at last with Chris Sauer, she wanted a computer for email and letters. 

We got a Sears PC from our neighbor. She was not impressed. Chrissy’s mother got a windows computer from her son and sent it. It was too technically involved for Chris to enjoy, so it gathered dust and took up space. 

The cosmos cleared its throat. Steve Jobs came back to Apple and introduced the iMac.

iMac G3 - Google images

Chrissy’s mother, (Marian), got Chris an iMac for her birthday. She was smiling as she learned emailing, letter writing and instant messaging within a day or two of plugging it in. I still have our iMac, (souped up with 1GB of RAM, woohoo), and working as good as ever.

I have added a few more modern Apple products in the last 6 years. A Late 2008 Aluminum MacBook, a 4th gen iPod Touch, a 3rd gen Apple TV unit, a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro, and an iPhone 5c.

iPhone photo of MacBook Pro while I write this

All the Apple products, including the 2000 iMac, are in use today. There are audio projects, video projects, research projects, photography and design projects, print, CD, and DVD projects, blogs. websites, beta testing, and more creative projects going on at all times than just one computer can handle. Which brings us to some reviews based on my experiences;

All of the hardware is still functioning like new, no matter how many years I have been using it daily. Each uses the last operating system upgrade that worked on that hardware, with one exception: The MacBook Pro.

It was sure to happen after Steve Jobs died. There would be someone that thought he knew a better way of computing than that silly magical user experience that made Apple the successful company it is. Gone now is the enchantment, the smooth cursor motion, the friendly graphics, and the tools that creative professionals in all fields have been using to design new sophisticated ideas in disciplines from music to mathematics, from games to gamma ray detectors. All eliminated with the introduction of an industrial piece of crap called Mavericks.

They even took away the endearing qualities of the iPod/iPad/iPhone interface and gave it generic looking icons and hard to see controls with the ‘new and improved’ iOS 7. This is not as devastating as Mavericks is to full scale computing, but if iOS 8 goes any farther toward chicken scratches for controls and ugly icons, I won’t be putting it on my iPhone.

I did install Mavericks on my MacBook Pro just to give it a try. It slowed my computer to a crawl. The cursor movement was too jerky for painting, drawing, shading or carefully moving objects, (definitely a bummer for artists and architects). When I would mix and convert music, it would take way too long to complete processes that had been instant with the previous operating system.

If my MacBook Pro was to be efficient and fun to use, I had to get that Mavericks junk off the hard drive. The best way, to be sure there were no bits and pieces of that garbage stuck to anything, would be to replace it with a new hard drive. I got OS-X Mountain Lion from the App store and installed it onto the new MacBook Pro hard drive.

Pre-Mavericks Apple Apps, like Pages and GarageBand were easily reinstalled and the magic was back on the MacBook Pro. It is once more the efficient and pleasing experience that I associate with Apple products. Another benefit is not needing expensive new computers.

So there you have it. In my experience there is no better computer, tablet, pod or phone product than Apple. There are dozens of imitations, but none that have the quality, durability, or balanced user friendly design of Apple.

If elegance, sophistication, and a friendly interface makes using a computer fun and exciting, then get a Mac, Macbook, iPad, iPod, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. They all do different things well, and they can share information, images, music, art, controls, email, and when they are wirelessly together it becomes a new experience.

Just make sure you install OS-X 10.8.5, add Pages 4.3, GarageBand 6.0.5, plus the other iLife pre- Mavericks Apps on your Mac, MacBook or MacBook Pro if you want the Steve Jobs magic user interface experience.

Plus you won't be bothered with endless updates interrupting you in the middle of projects.

Well now, that didn’t take too long.

( I should mention that through the years, I have built, serviced, sold, and provided tech support for computers using DOS, Windows, and Unix based operating systems.)

Today’s Video;

No Step 3

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Modern Age Has Arrived

And I'm Glad

Lilies A Poppin’

This post will be my first attempt at writing the blog from my iPhone

Rose In The Sun.jpg
Sun Lights Rose

I may even learn how to add pictures right from the phone. But for now I’ll just do the text by speaking into my iPhone and, (unless otherwise noted), use the Panasonic Lumix FZ 35 for the blog photos.

Mornin Lily.jpg
Morning Lily

I have a pie in the oven which should be done in about two minutes. This time I'm using real Granny Smith organic apples. Last time I used golden delicious and they don't make as good of a pie. We shall see if this is better.

Young Harrison Magic Violin.jpg
New Harrison violin corpus

I was reminded of a couple of things while I was out today. What a treat it is to see and photograph a master violin maker creating classical style violins in his shop. Thank you John.


Another thing has to do with how some drivers wait until they are executing a turn before using the turn signals. Somehow the meaning of the word ‘signal’ is not being fully comprehended. However, I do appreciate their effort to be courteous.

Fence Lily.jpg
Fence Lily

While out taking pictures in the 89° afternoon, I noticed that it was pleasant when the wind was blowing and I was in the shade. My natural evaporative cooling system was getting a boost from the breeze. Life is amazing. We all get a front row seat in the greatest show on earth.

Today’s pie ( iPhone Pic )

The pie turned out to be delicious. All is well.

I want to wish Marian and her son Alan a safe and scenic trip to Arizona. There are so many fascinating sights and memorable landmarks throughout the southwest that add extra enjoyment to desert traveling.

Today’s Video;

Imagine Burma Shave Signs Along The Highway

Memorial Day


Purple Green and Gold.jpg
Watching the agapanthus grow

The right wing conservative organization that calls itself the U. S. Chamber Of Commerce, (not affiliated with the United States of America), helped write and submit the bill that changed national holidays to Mondays. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into law on June 28, 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1971.

The Uniform Holiday Act of 1968 passed the House, 212-83, and the Senate by voice vote, without debate. “This is the greatest thing that has happened to the travel industry since the invention of the automobile,” rejoiced the president of the National Association of Travel Organizations. Front Porch Republic

Pink Cluster.jpg
Pink rose cluster

The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day”.

Open Agapanth.jpg
One of them is open!

It really irked me when reading republican congressman Doug La Malfa’s newsletter in which he claimed he supported our veterans. He, like every republican, has voted against legislation that would have improved the lives of American Vets in any manner, since 2007.  

Of course there is the possibility that he didn’t read what was written in his newsletter for this (or any other) month. Really.

If you take the time to find newsletters from republican congressmen, they all read the same, word for word. They are written by the Republican propaganda machine and not by the congressmen themselves. It is infuriating.

Card Roses.jpg
A beautiful Treehouse rose family

In other, less aggravating news;

The Phil Seymour Band made a change in drummers. Our drummer, E.J. is moving to Sacramento, so we tried out a new drummer on Sunday. He is really good, and adds a lot to our sound and tight rhythmic structure.

The Drummer, Mel and our bass player Mark, have been playing together in various bands over the past 30 years. He fits right in with our style and energy. Welcome to the band Mel.

Hat trick (Photo credit - Margaret Miller)

The duo P&P, Peggy Richardson and Phil, played Monday music for the Treehouse residents on this Monday Memorial Day. We had a rousing good time playing a lot of good songs, as usual.

Margaret took some fun photos and video. The image above was taken about 15 seconds into a 20 second long note at the end of “It’s Now Or Never”.

Today’s Video;

Part Of The Solution

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The World Keeps Spinning

Beautiful Days Keep Appearing

Cloud Shadow.jpg
Cloud shadow on Lassen

Today was cloudy, hot and humid. It reminded me of midwest and east coast Memorial day weekends at a lake or town swimming pool. In 1950’s Iowa, during thunderstorms we would have to get out of the city swimming pool. They didn’t want anyone getting struck by lightning while doing the backstroke, I guess.

If it turned out to be a tornado, we would get in a storm cellar and wait until it was gone. Then they would open the pool again and our yelling and splashing would resume.

Very Rich.jpg
Rich Red Rose

I made a few new note cards this evening. I enjoy creating and printing these suitable for framing cards. If you haven’t visited the new card site, you can see it HERE.

Worn Looking Glass.jpg
Retrospective Looking Glass Rose

I do enjoy the whole process from taking pictures to adding a bit of magic to the images, the design of the layout, writing something clever on the back, and getting the right color match and paper to make the pictures come alive in print. It is fun.

Heavenly Pie.jpg
Apple pie using new glass pie dish

Sandi and Stuart gave me a new glass pie dish on my birthday for my pie making experiments. I put it to the test and I like how much better the crust gets cooked when baking with a glass dish. Thank you to the Taylors.

Mighty Tasty.jpg
iPhone image of the glass dish pie

The iPhone camera works just fine for some types of pictures, like close ups and snapshots. I am happily surprised at the quality.

Most all the images for this blog, and various other art, photography, video and graphic design projects are done with my favorite camera, the Panasonic Lumix FZ35.

Little Prkng Lot Bird.jpg
Little bird in Orchard Foods parking lot

You may recall that the Mutual of Omaha aha moment traveling studio stopped in Redding and they videoed me describing my aha moment.

They sent an email today to let me know they had posted my aha moment on their site and on YouTube. So naturally it is ….

Today’s Video;

Fortune Smiles With Happiness

Friday, May 23, 2014

I have Traveled

Approximately 40,434,000,000 Miles

B Day Phil.jpg
Smilin’ 69 year old

So has everyone on their 69th. We travel 585,000,000 miles each year that we orbit the sun. Think of how many miles redwood trees traveled before we chopped them down to make decks, fences and picnic tables out of them.

Birthday Breakfast.jpg
Birthday breakfast

I had a wonderful birthday day. I really appreciate the unparalleled value of living another year in this wonderland of conscious existence.

B Day Shasta.jpg
Shasta on my birthday

Friends, neighbors and family from far and near wrapped me in warm wishes and good tidings. I am a lucky man.

B Day Lassen.jpg
Lassen on May 21

I got a call from my brother Jerry in Houston. It was just about sunset here and I was enjoying the view from the Treehouse patio as we spoke.

Patio View When Jerry Called.jpg
My view as we spoke (iPhone photo)

Jerry was sitting on his patio admiring the fountain he is constructing in his Texas backyard. We took pictures with our iPhones. What a world!

Jerry’s iPhone photo

It was a nice day. I played music, visited friends and neighbors, and enjoyed every moment.

Birthday Dinner.jpg
B-Day vegetable lasagna dinner

I stopped in Raley’s and picked up my free birthday half dozen cupcakes. Kept one and put the rest on the counter in the Treehouse dining room. The frosting was chocolate mousse. One cupcake was plenty for me.

Today’s Video;

Thankful For The Present

Monday, May 19, 2014

What A Terrific Time

For Appreciating What We Have

Chasing A Dragons Tale.jpg
Dog Running

We have access to more information about more stuff than ever imagined. Never in the most intricate and far reaching science fiction stories did anyone dream of the level of involvement that is readily available to those of us with a computer, or smartphone.

Fence And Fern.jpg
Fencepost and flowering fern

It used to take weeks to get a letter from a family member about whether the new job they set out to get in the big city worked out. Now, they can instantly send a selfie of their first day at work, and they will get your reply “Congratulations dear” as fast as you can type and click send.

Bird Play 4.jpg
Birds at play

In this day and age I am able to video two birds playing their favorite game of dive bomber and dogfight. I can watch the video, see a good part, pause on a frame, take a picture of the computer screen, then crop and insert that picture for you to see in this post.

Shady Lady.jpg
Shady Lady

I love to see an interesting news item and do my own investigating to see if it is being truthfully reported. It is really easy to see through the baloney when you have computer access to more than one source for a story.

After a few years you can recognize who is just making stuff up to support their ideology, (Fox News, talk radio, Wall Street Journal, etc ), and those sources that use verifiable information, (Fair TV, Democracy Now, Al Jazeera America, Think Progress, etc )

Country Cousin.jpg
Face to the sun

Just the other day, Marian asked if I had seen the 60 minutes show about people over 90. I said I would find it on my computer and watch it sometime soon. That sometime was earlier this evening after I Googled “people over 90 on 60 minutes”. I clicked on the link to the show, watched part 1 and will watch part 2 sometime soon.

It is about a follow up on the comprehensive study of thousands seniors living at Leisure World in 1981. 600 of them are still alive so they compared their data with the data of those who are not. The results contain a few surprises, and at the same time support much of what we already know is good for us. Thanks for the tip Marian.

So Blue.jpg
Lela’s hydrangea

I made a list the other day of stuff that I should attend to. On that list were items like more RAM for the MacBook Pro, patio umbrella recovering, and batteries for various electronics.

The batteries were a tricky business in addition to being an extra expense. The iPod Touch, after 4 years, could do with a new battery. That would cost about $90. But even with a new battery I would still have an 8GB 4th gen iPod. So I planned on trading it in on a 32GB new iPod Touch $285 at Best Buy. In addition, my cell phone battery needed replacing, too. I thought I might upgrade that while I was at it.

Then a solution appeared just hours after I made the list.

Sun On Yellow Rose.jpg
A yellow rose amid the greenery

I got an email Friday evening from Verizon that offered me a 32GB iPhone 5c for free, if I would sign a 2 year contract. I have been using Verizon for 8 years and I figure I will likely use them for at least another 2, so I called the company to find out how this would affect my bill, and I liked what they said. I went to the Verizon store and came out with the solution in hand.

Lone Purple.jpg
iPhone 5c photo of purple flower in Dottie’s garden

Now instead of carrying around both cell phone and iPod Touch with old batteries, I have just one new iPhone that does it all, and then some. I can still use the iPod Touch in tandem with the iPhone in various ways when needed.

What a timely solution to what was looking like pricey battery replacements.

I am very impressed with the iPhone 5c. A review is coming in a future post.

Today’s Video;

Life At The Speed Of You