Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Fall Folly

Springs Forth

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Caldwell Park

Do I only change a few, or do I change them all?

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Mount Shasta

This question arises every spring and fall

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Happy red rose

Should we even bother? What purpose does it serve?

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View from a bridge

Do we have the nerve to leave the clocks alone?

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Apricot rose in world of green

Studies have shown, no daylight is being saved by turning clocks to and fro

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Birdseye view of Mount Lassen

This one’s too fast and that one’s too slow...just set them once and let them go

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Rose with little friend

I think I will leave some clocks unchanged so they'll be set for spring

Okay then...that takes care of everything (tonight)...Happy Halloween

Or, All Saints Day (depending on what time it is)

Today’s Video; (Timely Song)

Time To Unwind

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hunters Moon

Sort Of

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Hunters moon rising Monday

I took pix and video on Monday just in case it got cloudy for the Tuesday moonrise. It did get cloudy, but fortunately I got the pictures needed to show the Hunters Moon.

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Bee and rose

Monday was a good day for pictures, and music at the Treehouse. It was nice to have Peggy back on the piano. Playing solo is okay, but I like what Peggy and I have come up with for our Treehouse repertoire.

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Pink with blue sky

Tuesday I played and sang for the nice folks at Golden Umbrella. I do a solo act there, but the repertoire is different. More 50’s and 60’s rock and roll. That’s fun, too.

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Tiny butterfly and Lion’s Tooth

It was Wednesday before I had a chance to cobble together a presentable video of the moonrise pix and clips. I ran into 2 obstacles in the way of production.

One; The DSL service was out all over the northstate so I didn’t have the world at my fingertips to get Apps, upload video, or download video software updates.

Two; In their greedy haste to sell more computers, iPhones and other devices, Apple had managed to damage the older (better) version of iMovie and I couldn’t put Titles or Credits on the moonrise video. The program would just crash when I tried to open the Titles function.

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Just fooling around

Not having internet access meant doing the best I could with what I had. I figured out a work around and managed to produce a moon video with music. Just no titles.

The problem with the DSL internet service was repaired and this morning I updated iMovie to the latest version so I could add titles and credits.

I will do a full review of iMovie 10.1 in a future blog, but let me just say that Apple has once again let people with no production experience redesign a functional application into something that does not lend itself to efficiency, ease of use, or accurate adjustments. They have left off important controls and thoroughly ‘fouled-up’ a formerly good video editor.

I used it this morning to redo the moonrise video with titles. The lack of important functions and features resulted in a video with substandard graphic placements and childishly primitive edits but it at least it has titles. However, when uploading to YouTube, the new titled version was nowhere to be found. The earlier "title-less" version was all I could locate, and is what you will get to see below...Enjoy

Today’s Video;

Close Enough

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Observe And Report

Seems To Be My Purpose

Contrail and crow

Talking with a neighbor about an hour ago about the pre sunset golden hour for photography that gives life to flowers and grants brief moments of magic to to certain subjects during that time.

Alive with color and substance

He said that on some mornings there are impressive contrails, or chemtrails as people call them nowadays.

I replied with my usual excessive information regarding aerodynamics, combined thermal and molecular reactions at high altitudes and how that creates condensation of aircraft exhaust to produce the “contrails” that we can see.

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Mount Lassen from the Treehouse

But I couldn’t stop with just the explanation of basic physics, (Hot exhaust reacting to atmospheric temperatures producing ice crystals at high altitude).

I felt it important to point out that only a willfully ignorant person would choose to believe fanciful false information conspiracies like “chemtrails”.

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Fleshy driveway rose

However, I did suggest that should he encounter a woman who happened to believe that there are such things as chemtrails, agree with her, and he just might ‘get lucky’.

This brought levity and laughter to all who were there and we parted ways with smiles and happy hearts.

Ready to fly

In Other News

I was just getting into the habit of watching Stephen Colbert on the Late Show and then he went on vacation. That show was my excuse to turn on the TV in the bedroom. I enjoyed watching his very clever monologues and his first sketch before turning it off and reading a book or two.

Is this magenta or mauve?

When I have time, I try to watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. It is on Comedy Central and available to watch anytime day or night on the internet. He has done a first class job of replacing Jon Stewart.

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Also, mauve or magenta?

I get the latest news from at least a dozen sources around the world while sipping a couple cups of coffee each morning. I also read the email reports from news and information sources that I subscribe to.

This gives me a fairly good picture of what is going on around the world, and here in our little town of Redding.

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Driveway ballerina

Feeling partially informed, I break my fast with cereal or eggs while reading whatever books I have selected for mealtime enjoyment. Following food, it’s time to read the few more emails that arrived while I was eating. If they require action, I complete those tasks and replies.

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Start of new notecard

After sufficient sustenance for body and brain it is time to greet the new day, or afternoon depending on what time I got to sleep.

Life is good.

Today’s Relative Video;

Enjoying Life’s Mysteries

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fewer TV Debates, Please

2 Or 3 Are Plenty

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After A Shower

Here in Redding, we have been enjoying occasional rain showers, cool nights and pleasant sunny days in the 83 - 93 F range.

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Bee happy

For the past 7 years, I have been observing and reporting how lucky I am to be living here. The rest of the world, including the U.S., have been experiencing crazy weather, year round.

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Young and mature Treehouse roses

Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, floods, and extreme drought are in the news daily. Add to that, the occasional cold snap and crop failures due to rising global temperatures, and a we can see that the world is experiencing increasingly oppressive weather.

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Drying in the sun

In general, because Redding is known to be hot most of the year, we haven’t noticed that our average temperatures have been steadily rising, breaking records year after year.

We haven’t had a real winter since 2008.

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iPhone pic of my usual breakfast

Another thing we don’t experience here in Redding, is having our homes, schools, businesses, family and friends blown up by U.S. manufactured drones, bombs, military aircraft, rockets, and grenades.

There are people all around the world on the receiving end of the free enterprise system that allows American Defense Contractors to sell their weaponry to anyone in the world if they have the money.

We need to reinstate the laws and regulations that prohibit such immoral business practices.

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Tiny pumpkin-berries on the bush

With the exception of Fox news and possibly CNN, most U.S. polls are showing Hillary Clinton is expected to win the 2016 presidential election. 75% of democrats and a surprising 2/3rds of republicans think Hillary will be our next president. That is great news for our country and the world.

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Reaching for the sky

If we want to save democracy in America, we have to wrest control of our country out of the gnarled, wrinkled claws of the plutocratic billionaires who own the republicans on school boards and some members of the U.S. supreme court. They also own and control many public offices in towns, cities, counties, and states throughout America.

We need to overthrow the 1% oligarchy. They have clearly become the greatest threat to American democracy in our nation’s history. 

Vote for democrats and get the corrupted republicans out of all our government offices.

Today’s Video;

Every Democrat Must Vote  

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Or Shining?

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Rose from spring

It has been noted that some people, like Don Rumsfeld, are incapable of reflection and make no adjustments in their character by looking upon past actions.

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Good to the last drop

Reflections can be how we see color or sometimes reflection provides us with moonlight.

I enjoy having a variety of reflections in my life.

It is good to reflect on past behavior. It allows us to learn and modify present behavior accordingly, hopefully improving one’s level of awareness, enlightenment and engagement.

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Feathers reflecting red

An Economic Reality Check

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Clouds reflecting sunlight

My oldest brother, David has altered reflections. He has alzheimer's.

He and his wife Claire invited me to join them for dinner at Casa Ramos when they passed through town on Wednesday. During dinner, I'd tee up a corny joke and he would hit the punchlines like we had been doing this for years.

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Pair of driveway whites

David and I had a chance to talk while Claire was looking to buy something at That Kitchen Place. I mentioned to David that I have memory difficulties with names, numbers and dates. At one point, I remembered our old address in Northridge, California. He remembered it, too.

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The white rock covered flower bed makes good background

I even sort of remembered our phone number. He said he reached a place of unrecognizable bits and pieces of information when he tried to go any farther than the address.

I’ve seen that place, but it hasn’t happened often. In his altered normal state, jumbled, tumbling bits of unrecognizable information will follow his brief shining moments of clarity. He told me he will likely forget our dinner and visit, but the warm brotherly feelings wont be lost.

It was good to spend some time with my brother, David. We both agree it is good to be alive and can appreciate that we are very fortunate to have been given the lives we have.

Today’s Video;

It’s The Thought That Counts

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Am I Doing?

Just Fine, Thank You

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From an unenhanced RW2 image

When the light is just right and the photographer and subject are at the optimum angles, a good lens and the camera’s sensor is all one needs to capture the magic of the world we live in.

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Afternoon pink patio rose

Cameras with manual setting controls let you select whether you want images compressed and enhanced or not. RAW images are comprised of plain data collected by the sensor. TIFF images are lightly compressed and JPEG images are processed by the camera computer to produce a compressed, finished image.

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Bright sun rose against shady background

RAW images are like old film cameras and JPEG images take advantage of in camera digital processing. Both methods are invaluable and useful. Some cameras have a setting that provides both RAW and JPEG versions of each shot. I prefer just RAW, or in the case of the LUMIX FZ70, RW2 images.

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Enhanced RW2 rose

I prefer the RAW images when doing post production or enhancement. The JPEG images have a pattern and artifacts, so when they are enhanced or edited the pattern and artifacts are enhanced, too. This can make the image a bit ‘messy’. Sometimes that is good, like the rosebud below;

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Enhanced JPEG image

The image is fine and the rose looks velvety and soft, but I can tell it is a JPEG image that has been edited.

Sometimes, I like to over enhance and process an image repeatedly until it attains its potential. A hazy and weak low contrast landscape can sometimes be turned into a piece of art.


This Lassen picture was a vague shadow in low contrast haze until I used repeated layers of midrange contrast, micro structure enhancement, temp and tint adjustments and a yellow filter. Now I can see detail, features, clouds, a story and personality.

Today’s Video;

I Get The Picture

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More More More

It’s The Capitalist Mantra

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Pink patio rose

The first person who stated; “The best defense is a good offence” was most likely a weapons salesman.

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Nectar loving bee

The last time I checked, we have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth 45 times over. How absurd is it to demand that we need more? Do these people not understand that once the earth is destroyed they can’t destroy it another 44 times?

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Strange bug on beautiful rose

Oil companies have pillaged our United States petroleum resources so efficiently that they think they need to sell it to other countries. Instead, shouldn’t that mean we should stop fracking at this point?

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Ready to fly away rose

We have enough oil now to give us time to develop into a fossil fuel free nation?

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Touch of pink on tiny driveway rose

Reasonable behavior is not the way of unfettered capitalism. During last night's democratic party debate, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton stated clearly that out of control capitalism is doing harm to the American people as well as the rest of the world.

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Yellow with matching beetle

As for who won the first of 6 Democrat debates; I think the American people won. We got to see experienced, mentally balanced, competent legislators who are eminently qualified to be president.

Today’s Video;

Carry On