Sunday, March 29, 2015

Warm Sunday Afternoon

High 80’s

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Sunday at the Sundial Bridge

I have been experimenting in regards to the placement of the balcony thermometer so as to get a true reading rather than the results of sunshine reflecting off the sliding glass door into the balcony heat trap. There was an article about how highrise apartment balconies were trapping heat and making condo A/C units work overtime wasting energy and money.

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Amazing singing iris

A grated 4 inch space between the building and the cement balconies on highrise condos could save the residents a considerable amount of money and reduce energy demands. It seems that the architects and builders know this, but it would cost more to build cooler condo balconies, so cutting construction cost trumps efficiency and residents savings.


I tend to get a lot of email asking for money to support progressive candidates and movements to reign in out of control billionaires and overturn ideologically authored laws that erode American civil rights.

These are good causes, but I have begun unsubscribing with the accompanying message;

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Giant red rose

“It doesn’t make sense to throw money at billionaires. Use your brains and talent to persuade people to get out and vote instead of asking for money”

Recently the President pointed out how if we all voted, money would not have the power to control elections. As I recall, the republicans tried to make encouraging everyone to vote sound like a bad thing.

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Enchanted bumble bee in Dean’s lavender patch

The southern parts of California have been having record heat waves while we’ve been enjoying a very pleasant spring in Redding this year. This brings me back to the balcony thermometer placement. I noticed that the spot I most recently chose to locate it was giving me readings of 97 while the Wunderground weather station on Lake Blvd was reporting 87 this afternoon.

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Tiny butterfly

The extra 10°was the result of heat reflecting off the glass and toasting the thermometer. I have relocated it to a more protected spot under the railing. We shall know if It works well, tomorrow. It is a pleasant evening and with the windows open my apartment is quite comfortable. Life is good in the here and now.

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Small pink rose

I had an idea today that would have a bigger impact on reducing our CO2 emissions than requiring better mileage. I think California should immediately ban the sale of any new vehicle that burns petrol. It would speed up the sales and development of electric cars and trucks as well as set the CO2 reduction standard for the rest of the country.

Flock of moon-gulls

While we are at it, we should send the industrial scale beef factories to a state that doesn’t have droughts. These corporate owned state subsidised mega-facilities use nearly 50% of California’s fresh water from growing alfalfa through processing bloated unhealthy cattle.

We have plenty of our own California ranchers to provide healthy pastured beef for those who crave the taste of domesticated herbivorous animals. And, there is the added bonus of doubling our fresh water supply.

Today’s Video;

Pleasant Promulgations

Friday, March 27, 2015

More Happiness

Less Greed

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Bright beautiful colors

The slogan about happiness being more important than greed appeared on the Times Square Nasdaq sign in stock market ticker tape style. It was part of an advertising campaign to promote a bank that will invest your portfolio with companies that are doing business in planet friendly sustainable ways.

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Cactus babies rising

There are many people who would be appalled to know that their investment portfolio was supporting wars, deforestation, strip mining and toxic messes all over the world. For some of us an investment portfolio is a hypothetical problem, but that is where the dirty industries get their money in addition to what they swindle from our treasury in tax breaks and subsidies.

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Mount Shasta in the I-5 smog

The people who represent war, destruction, and fossil fuels would like people to believe that their enormous obscene profits mean super performing stocks, but that is not necessarily true.

According to the financial wizards who keep track of where the money goes, solar industries are outperforming the fossil fuel companies. 20 new solar jobs to every 1 new job that fossil fuels have generated in the last 5 years. Organic farmed crops make a 20% profit compared to big commercial agriculture’s paltry 1.3% profits on Roundup saturated GMO monocrops.

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Then there is the biggest industry of all; War. What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin’ - say it again; Good God!

We haven’t been on the winning side of any of the endless wars our military geniuses have created since WW2. The only people profiting from these acts of murder and death are our ever expanding military operations and the industries that supply them.

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The colors of spring at the Treehouse

Investing in a mass murder industry is immoral and does not lead to a sustainable future.

Today I read about a savvy investment bank that has found more profitable ventures for you and your money. There is a good chance that will lead to a peaceful night’s sleep and a happy life, too.

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Today’s honeybee

Smart investors are putting their money in businesses that have long term sustainability and there is a bank that is,..well.., banking on it.

And now, after that exchange, I present
Today’s Video;

Happiness Is Priceless

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's Like The 60's Again

For Me At Least

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Tuesday daisy

We didn’t trust people over 30.

We protested against the military industrial complex that was drafting cannon fodder from our generation of friends and families to go fight and die to protect commercial interests in Southeast Asia.

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A butterfly’s life sucks

I walked, ran, and drove away from the soulless conservative life of entitlement into which I was born. I preferred to expand and develop my art and music by exploring the counterculture of the times.

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Lizard in the sun

I chose to live a life that for the most part did not revolve around the security of a steady job or a fixed place of residence. I did have the advantages of artistic and musical talent, so I didn’t have to sit on the sidewalk, rattling a cup of coins at strangers to get money.

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Orange flower in a clay pot

My 2 bands at the time, (I guess I have always had a band, or two, since I was 13), provided me with an expressive outlet, an interesting love-life and an adequate income for my experimental minimalist lifestyle.

I designed menus for restaurant owners in exchange for places to eat when I was hungry. I even entertained myself by staking out Hollywood intersections with an oversized pad of paper, sketching pictures for tourists.


I did several forgettable recordings that summer of 1967 in studios big and small. My ‘hippie’ band played at protests and love-ins, and my R&B band played the clubs.

Monsanto was busy poisoning our farmland and industrial toxic waste was making our rivers flammable, but that was nothing compared to the damage our military was doing to the people and countries of Vietnam and Cambodia.

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Red rose in the sunlight

Sound familiar? It should because the murderous march of the military industrial complex continues to circle the globe upending civilizations and leaving toxic messes in it’s wake.

We don’t have the time or freedom to protest the chaos elsewhere on the planet, we are too busy trying to protect America from the fracking polluting habitat destroying civil unrest and globalization our corporate leaders are doing to us here in the good ol’ USA..

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Treehouse patio colors

Now that I am older and collecting social security, I have a place I call home and I don’t need to sketch pictures for tourists anymore. As usual, I have 2 bands to play in and devote a lot of my time to artistic pursuits.

I show up for protests when possible, and compose letters and email to various elected leaders and organizations expressing my interest in the things they are doing, or plan to do.

The problems are much the same as they were 50 years ago, but the stakes have gotten higher. The future of human civilization depends on reigning in the industries that are profiting from the destruction of our forests, oceans, fresh water and air. Don’t give up hope. Give up fossil fuels.

Today’s Video;

Paradise Is Not Indestructible

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Got To Find Some Peace

In These Troublesome Times

Butterflies hatched earlier this week

Tuesday morning there were butterflies everywhere there was a blooming bush for them to sip nectar. They had to get busy because they only get a couple of days to mate and lay eggs before they die.

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Proboscis probing for nectar

I took a ride down to Turtle Bay after I exchanged read for unread books at the library today. It was beautiful along the river as I walked the trail near the Sundial Bridge.

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Looking upstream at the Sundial Bridge

I observed some elusive mythological creatures as I walked on the edge of the pathway.


It was very exciting once I opened my eyes to the enchanted parts of the Turtle Bay experience. Bigfoot was hiding in plain sight pretending to be a piece of driftwood.

Not far from bigfoot, swimming quietly in a sandbar protected pool, was the Loch Ness Monster. I was lucky I had a camera with me. I seem to have taken the world's only clearly focused pictures of these elusive beasts.

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The best was yet to come. For some reason I was compelled to look down in the grass on the other side of the path and there it was… A wood pixie.

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Wings on its back as it walked in the grasses

What a day. What a great place to live. A world of wonders surrounds us with beauty and mystery. It is up to us to see and appreciate the magic of life on earth.

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Shasta dances with undulating veils of clouds

It’s a complex beautiful colorful world. What a gift.

Today’s Video;

All A Flutter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fun On pi Day

And Unexpected Pieces Of pi Knowledge

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Dark red bud

pi day is Albert Einstein's birthday (March 14)

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In a pot by building A front door

It was Einstein who discovered the relationship between pi and rivers. The straight line distance from a river’s source to the sea divided into the actual curvy course distance is 3.14159.

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Pretty peach rose

I found the Einstein and pi reference while meandering through the book, “Zoom; How Everything Moves” by Bob Berman. It is one of the more interesting collections of information that I have encountered. This book is chock full of interesting facts blended with a pleasant narrative that moves the reader along at a good clip.

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Red in bush revealed by the flash

I didn’t know we had new roses along the Treehouse parking lot sidewalk, until I was taking a bag of apple peels to the dumpster on pi evening. Margaret had mentioned seeing color in those bushes from a distance the previous day, but I hadn’t noticed.

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Yellow roses, too

Yes, I did bake a pie for good measure for pi day and number of other things that added up to divide my time into happy segments.

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pi Day has come and gone along with the pie I baked that day. I got diverted from completing this post and can’t remember where this was going. I must go on and wrap this up some how having used up all three tenses of, “go”.

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This rose has grown large and orange since this was taken

Don Sheely came to the Treehouse this morning and tuned the piano. This is good because last Monday I brought my keyboard to the musicfest for Peggy to play and we were reminded that she sounds so much better on a real piano.

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Don Sheely tunes the Treehouse piano

When I showed him the notes that were most out of tune he was delighted that I could hear such slight variances from pitch in notes as well as in harmonics. I was glad that he was conversant in musical terminology. He has a good ear, too.

He told me that his father was a church organist and piano tuner so he learned from an early age what to listen for and what to do to make a piano sound good. Thank you Don Sheely, I am so glad I called you.

Today’s Video;

Sound Principals

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Few Ideas

And Discoveries

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Wouldn’t it be convenient when encountering an automated phone menu if there were a number you could press to get a callback from the next available assistant?

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Fortnight lily on day 15

“If you would like a callback instead of wasting your time on hold, press star 9.”

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Pinkish white rose along the driveway

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones first number one record on American charts. The song was a reworking of a Staples Singers recording called “This May Be The Last Time”. More on the Rolling Stones story

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Blue Dicks

Really! I dropped the above picture of the blue flowers into Google image search and after scrolling through a couple hundred images of similar looking wildflowers, I found it. These cute flowers on 18 - 30 inch long stems are named; “Blue Dicks”.

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Baby “circus” rose

That name would have created a lot of snickering when I was in eighth grade. I imagine describing the blue wildflowers on a hike with some “adults” we know today would cause a similar outbreak of uncontrolled giggling. Try it next time you lead a hike. Let me know. Send a video and I will post it here for the rest of us to enjoy.

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Adult circus rose

I think I have mentioned in previous posts that I sometimes don’t use the ‘real’ names of flowers like calling this version of a Joseph’s Coat rose, a circus rose. (That is not the case with the blue dicks. It is their actual name.)

There is a Joseph’s Coat rose by the Treehouse patio that seems to invoke that image more than this particular bush, so since the driveway variety reminds me of a colorful circus I differentiate with a different name.

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Purple and gold center flower

Can you see the center of this daisy? It is made of purple columns topped with gold flowers.

Here is a closeup;

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Closeup of center

Today’s Video;

Be Kind

Thursday, March 12, 2015

As I Understand Them

Things Become Less Confusing

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Robin in the sunny spot

The U. S. Postal Service makes a profit of $1.2 billion dollars each year just on the sales of stamps and postage. In 2006, the republican representatives of private postal interests  introduced and passed a bill forcing the post office to create a reserve fund to cover retirements for the next 75 years.

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Treehouse oak getting new leaves

The USPS is expected to come up with an extra $5 billion dollars a year for 10 years to meet this punitive financial burden or be privatized by the people who wrote this legislation. There are no such requirements for any other American business. This is why the republicans keep shouting that the post office is broke.

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Bee visits Dean’s lavender

Jim Hightower explains what is going on with the post office, and what we can do about it, in the Hightower Lowdown. His newsletters are much more entertaining and detailed than my own and it’s fun to follow the antics of what he calls, “Congress Critters”.

The thing

Last weekend, I got some nice blue porcelain canisters for $3 at a garage sale. The man asked if I noticed the free bonus prize added to the set and I replied, “No”. So he showed me a porcelain doodad that was a puzzle. No one seemed to know what it was, or what it was used for.

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When Sandi arrived on Monday morning, I asked her if she knew what it was and she replied, “No”. I told her I was thinking of taking it to Monday music and asking the residents who come to hear Peggy and me play.

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Rose seen while going to garage sales

Then I remembered I could take a picture of the thing, drop it into Google image search and probably find out what it is. Sure enough, the image combined with the right query, got results. It is a salt saver for cooking. If you need salt, you stick your spoon in and get some. It is also called a Salt Pig.

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Blooming bush behind B building

After this past week of doubling down on crazy, traitorial, treasonist activities in the House and Senate by the delusional bigoted billionaire owned republicans, I can’t imagine anyone could ever be stupid enough to re-elect a republican to any position that requires a responsible, qualified person with a working brain.

Today’s Video;

The Fog Of Obfuscation Can Be Lifted