Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Good Week In General

Union Generals That Is

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Thursday’s Moon

I was under the impression that it was SC state officials who took down the confederate flag at the capitol but I learned it was a citizen who climbed the pole and cut it down. She was arrested and the state put it up again until another citizen cut it down a second time. He was arrested, too.

They were both released on bond today.

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Thursday’s young and fresh trio

It is summer in Redding and that means that some of the Treehouse roses are here today, gone tomorrow. With water restrictions and 100+ degree weather, certain roses live fast and die young. This means one must get out and take pictures every day or miss out on some of the beauty that is all around.

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Mt Shasta on Friday afternoon

There are more than 300 wildfires burning in Alaska right now. This is unprecedented and is expected to only get worse as global temperatures continue to increase. The Pope has made our complicity in global warming very clear to most of the people in this world.  

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Beautiful white driveway rose

My dad used to tell me that when you hear 2 people arguing, the loudest one is losing.

I guess that’s why the TV news actors at Fox are always yelling and complaining at the top of their lungs.

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Friday Moon

Well, enough chit chat, it’s time to share a bit of last Sunday’s Jefferson State Blues Society Jam with you. Margaret Miller was there and took some video and stills of us playing the first set. So without further fanfare, I present…

Today’s Video;

Stay Cool Man, Cool

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

If You're Not At The Table

You’re On The Menu

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Tuesday Moon

The title of today’s blogpost comes from the text of Jim Hightower’s commentary about the TPP corporate trade deal takeover of America, (along with a few other Pacific Rim countries). Jim Hightower sums it up quite succinctly. The American people were not allowed at this bargaining table because our country is on the menu.

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Today I read an observation of Greece and the European Union economies as examples of unsustainable unregulated banking and finance lending. Austerity measures create increased debt rather than reducing it, thus making financiers richer than ever.  Interesting Read

Humming in the agapanthus

Once SC governor Nikki Haley announced she would no longer fly the confederate battle flag from the state capitol building in the aftermath of the white supremacist terrorist who shot and killed nine people in a bible study class, republican lawmakers and presidential hopefuls were just softly whistling Dixie.

Prior to Nikki Haley’s announcement they were loudly defending the right to fly that symbol of their proud southern heritage. Story at Mother Jones

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Red patio rose

So that’s today’s reports of human greed, ignorance and fear in a world that began as Paradise. Maybe I can close with an uplifting message or possibly a hope filled cat video.

How about a camera commercial?

Today’s Video;

Saving What’s Left

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Following The Moon

In The Month Of June

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Friday evening Lassen

While waiting for the moon to appear, there are plenty of interesting subjects to photograph here at the Treehouse. Lassen is particularly photogenic around sunset, and there are still plenty of flowers lighting up during the golden hour.

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Friday crescent moon

I wasn’t certain that the clouds would thin enough to see the moon last night, or provide enough image for a photograph and I had resigned myself to eating dinner.

Just as I finished my last bite of pie and ice cream, Margaret sent me a text stating that the moon was visible.

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The Jupiter, Venus, Moon trio

I went out and joined her on the moon watching platform and realized I had my tripod close by, so I set it up and started taking pictures.

The Jupiter, Venus and Moon Trio was appearing in the western sky for all to see.

Tonight they will be back for a return engagement with different arrangements, so you don’t want to miss that unique performance, either.

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Clouds added an extra dimension

So keep your eyes open before and after sunset to watch the big show appearing in the western sky.

Later, tomorrow morning, the summer solstice will occur here in Redding at 9:39am PDT

Today’s Video;

Just Whistle A Happy Tune

Friday, June 19, 2015

Every NOW

Is The Time Of Our Lives

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Driveway rose in setting sun

Thursday evening in about a 2 hour segment there were fire trucks, helicopters, airplanes, a squirrel, Zorro, and the Ramadan moon. It all began when the power went out briefly.

I put on some sandals and went out to see what I could see.

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High flying jet catches some sunlight

I stood around in the parking lot listening for sirens. My neighbor, Lance was down at the cul de sac so walked down that way. The sound of firetrucks nearby could be heard better where he was standing.

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Circling overhead

Kathern and one of her grandkids drove down the driveway and she stopped to tell us that a transformer blew over on Buckeye.

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Run run run

I noticed a squirrel beyond the dog play area and got a picture as he was running as fast as he could. A couple more fire trucks joined the rest over on Buckeye. That street is at the top of a hillside covered in very dry vegetation that the transformer sparks might have ignited and they weren't taking any chances.

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Fire fighting plane

I told Lance to keep an eye out for the Ramadan moon and headed up to my moon watching perch on the west stairs of building A to see if the crescent moon was visible, yet.

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The mark of Zorro

I stared at the western sky and took pictures until I needed a break from the warm temperature outside. It was only 88 degrees, but likely enhanced by my facing the sunset.

I could check the location of the moon with the iPhone and the SkySafari App from inside my apartment so I wouldn’t wait past moonset.

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June 18th moon

When I did go back outside, there it was, just waiting to be admired by western America observers.

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A closer look

I thought that was well worth waiting for, but it got even better when I looked at the whole view of the western sky, Venus and Jupiter appeared as well.

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Jupiter, Venus and Moon

Today’s Video;

There’s No Greater Gift Than The Present

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Let The Fun Begin

Trump Has Squeezed Into The Clown Car

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Mt Shasta on Tuesday

Except for American tabloid readers and game show watchers, most people who read this blog probably wonder what a card game term has to do with clown cars and fun.

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Sweet peas along a roadside near Mt Shasta

You see, even though there are 16 months until the next presidential election, the republican contenders for nomination have been piling into their tiny circus clown car, ready to clamber out and frolic in center ring of the republican convention circus.

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Tuesday at Lake Siskiyou

Donald Trump is the son of Fred Trump, a wealthy New York City real-estate developer. Donald makes the other loudmouth buffoons look like insecure choir boys, and unapologetically insults anyone or anything in his path. He happily paid actors $50 each to be the cheering crowd when he announced he is running for president of the United States.

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Tiny bird looks for tiny lobsters

At the moment there are more goobers, crackpots, flim flam men, crooks and clowns stuffed into the republican clown car than I can count without a scorecard, but their willful stupidity, aggressive ignorance and obvious duplicity wouldn’t fill one of Donald Trumps shoes.

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A tiny portion of Mt Shasta

So let the fun begin. I think the novelty will wear off in a matter of days, but these clowns will be cavorting around, Hillary bashing, climate denying, sowing fear and obstructionism for the next 16 months. We will see them compete to prove which ones are the most determinedly despicable (meaning electable among right wing lunatics), and I guarantee that The Donald will repeatedly school them all with unmitigated despicableness.

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Roadside wildflowers near Mt Shasta

The reason for the Mt Shasta images is because I was in Mount Shasta City to conclude the process of having my right eye operated on to close the macular hole that was causing me to go blind in that eye. It is much better now and has healed nicely.

I am so glad I am old enough to qualify for Medicare. The insurance policies I had when I was younger would have left me in insurmountable debt for the remaining balance of my life if this had happened 20 or 50 years ago.

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The top of Shastina

Mount Shasta is a cluster of volcanic activity standing tall and majestic above the surrounding terrain.

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Shastina is hiding behind the tree on the left

If you would like to see more of the images from Tuesday’s excursion I put a few up on Flickr that you might enjoy. There you can see them at full resolution.

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Bird gets a little ‘lobster

Today’s Video;

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Beautiful Weekend

Picture Perfect At Times

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Jupiter and Venus after sunset Friday

So picture perfect, that I must let the pictures do the talking tonight.

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Rose by Kathern’s patio fence

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On top of old Shasta Bally

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Baited beak attracts flying insects below Diestelhorst bridge

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West view from the bridge

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Shasta at sunset

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Shasta at sunset

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Sunset watcher

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Today’s Video;

Bioluminescence, Bioluminescence, That’s The Name
Everybody Sing It Now
Get Scientific

Friday, June 12, 2015

This Could Be Heaven

It’s Up To Me And You

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Dove digs in the dirt for dinner

Good news today. The fast track flim flam fell flat. The corporate takeover of the United States was slowed down, but they will continue undoing our democracy unless we get them out of our government business.

You may remember that it was this very same thing that ignited the Boston Tea Party; Corporations were influencing English government decisions and writing legislation that unfairly taxed the Boston merchants, while subsidising the East India Company imports.

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Pretty hot pink

I enjoy temperatures in the 100’s as long as it’s not humid. Normally the flowers here at the Treehouse bloom like crazy in the heat, but during this drought, they are losing more water than they are getting. We all want to do our part to conserve the little bit of water that we have here in California, so people have been asked to cut back on domestic water use.

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Quail dines in the dirt, too.

Domestic use accounts for less than 10% of the California fresh water supply. More than 80% of the fresh water is used for agriculture. 75% of that agricultural water is used to grow crops to feed livestock.

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Virga curtain over Shasta Bally

If industrial livestock production were relocated to a state with plenty of rain, it would reduce the demand for California fresh water by 50%. Sort of seems stupid in a drought prone state to be growing water intensive alfalfa, soybeans, and GMO corn for animal feed when people are being asked to drink treated wastewater so we can reduce water demand by possibly 2%.

Peekaboo bird

The duo, P&J, will be playing again at the Post Office Saloon and Grill this July first. John and I had a good time when we played there a couple of weeks ago and we look forward to creating another enjoyable evening of good quality music.

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Wednesday sunset

Iceland is doing just fine while other countries struggle economically. How did they keep their economy from hitting bottom like the rest of Europe and the U.S? Three charts that show Iceland’s economy recovered after it imprisoned bankers and let banks go bust - instead of bailing them out.

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Looking for something tasty

Tonight I ate eggs and potatoes for dinner. The eggs were especially delicious. They came from a family up the road who raise chickens and sell eggs. I love this place.

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Magic Tuesday sky

Today’s Video;

Good Taste Prevails