Thursday, February 26, 2015

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Into The Business World

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Flowers in Dorothy’s garden

For the time being, the best colorful subjects at hand for photos are right here at the Treehouse. It is a transformational time of year and the riotous display of spring flora is still a few weeks away. In the meantime one can find a few early and late bloomers here and there.

Yellow example of the Fibonacci sequence

Today I managed to reach someone at iBooks to find out why I can’t seem to find my book that iConnect assured me was published in 2012.

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Johnny jump-ups I presume

In 2011, I spent an enjoyable year documenting the creation of a John Harrison viola and another couple of months developing an iBook for the iPad with interactive pages, text, images, video, queries and John’s explanations during the process of turning wood into an instrument that gets played by 3 different viola players.

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Some sort of cherry blossoms

I had a wonderful time putting the book together. It stimulated creative energy in myself and all who were involved in the process. What a thrill. Until I began the publishing process. No wonder my dad let the publishers of his books do that part. It is nearly all anti-creative activity.

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Dorothy’s daffodils

I spent 2 gruelling weeks trying to fit art into arbitrarily configured parameters to satisfy the constraints of the iBooks software and publishing details. Numbers, licenses, bank accounts, dollars and foreign currency equivalents had to be exact and triplicated. Fonts I had used were no longer supported, pictures were 2 pixels too big or small. Gaaaahhh!

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Josie’s geraniums

Then to make the process even more interesting, there were operating system and iBooks upgrades and updates happening during the time I was wrestling with numbers and restrictions. This meant I had to make changes in the layout and redo some of the actions the reader could touch.

Finally I got the publishing part to accept the book. At least I thought it did.

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Stylish in stripes

The person I contacted today informed me that the type of video I had used was no longer supported in 2012 at the time I sent in my book, but the publishing entity failed to notify me. He advised me to get the latest versions of iBooks Author and iPublisher then submit the book again using those Apps.

Hahahah hahahahahah So, I got the new stuff and began falling down the rabbit hole into artist hell this evening. I emailed the error reports back after 3 hours of futile folly, and commented, “I’m a musician Jim, not a computer technician”. More on this story as it happens.

Today’s Video;

50 Fox News Lies in 6 Seconds

Net Neutrality Won Today

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Healing Power

And Magic Of Monday Music

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Earth seen in flowerpot

There are times when frustrations and exasperation invade my tranquility and I turn to this journal to vent and rant.

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Casting a colorful shadow

I was reading a story about a Republican lawmaker who asked a doctor if a woman could swallow a camera to get a gynecological exam.

That is troublesome in so many ways that I began railing about the resurgence of abject stupidity in America.

Eventually, choosing the perfect words and phrases engaged my intellect and before long I was writing uplifting thoughts that I am happy to be broadcasting into the universe.

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The case of the solar powered floorshow

Erma, (former assistant manager here at the Treehouse), donated a glass case to display the dancing flower collection that is part of the Monday music fest jamboree.

5 years ago when Peggy and I began playing Monday’s we had just one hula girl and a couple of dancing flowers. Now we have a few dozen dancing characters that Monday music lovers have contributed to our collection.

Thank you Erma, that was so thoughtful.

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White daffodil

Something very special transpires each Monday at 4:00 pm. Peggy and I tap into the magic that can happen when the right musicians are combined with the right songs.

It is an occasion that some of the residents treasure as much as we do. Each week we are transported to the pleasant dimension that comes with music’s magic.

We live for that feeling. It feeds our hearts and fosters happiness and wellbeing.

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Tonight’s waxing moon

A couple of neighbors don’t quite get it, but they still want to be part of whatever is going on. They have to be told to be quiet because they are disturbing those who are there for the music.

I hope one day they too can experience the magical power of music and that it leaves them speechless.

Today’s Video;

Sometimes Musicians Become Magicians

Monday, February 23, 2015

Unreported Or Misconstrued

Warmest Recorded January Ever

Seen near Churn Creek Road in Redding, CA

Did someone forget to tell the corporate media that this January was the worlds warmest January since records have been kept? Oh, that’s right, they have been promoting the fake story that climate change and global warming is caused by the sun.

It turns out that the ‘expert’ quoted and referenced by all the denier media is a paid employee of the oil and coal industry. A chilling report that will get you hot under the collar.

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Low growing dandylion

I expect cable news to lie. They have an agenda that is often at odds with the truth and will misconstrue, omit, and mislead if reality does not agree with their owners ideology.

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Blossoms in shadow and sun

If that is news to you, and you watch Fox News faithfully, I understand. You see, Fox News never bothered to tell their viewers that Fox News is mostly entertainment and opinion programming with an occasional dash of verifiable news stories.

Mainstream news becomes complicit in deceiving the public when they repeat and embellish the fake stories without fact checking the made up Fox News reports.

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Mount Shasta on this sunny Sunday afternoon

But lets explore some real news and put some healthy facts in our brains. I have a few stories that I enjoyed reading today that I hope you will find enlightening.

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The red ones

First a story about how modern money chasing businessmen have forgotten that our very life depends on the health of the soil that gives life to the food we eat. In India, soil is a sacred part of farming culture. This is the story

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Flowers bloom in Dottie’s garden

I also was reading today about China. I didn’t know that China has the most robust economy in the world and it is growing at a steady 7% rate. There were many things that I didn’t know about China because the news will only report that China is smoggy. Here is the bigger picture.

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More color in Dottie’s garden

If you were alive in the United States for the last decade, you have read, heard, and watched local, state, and federal officials denigrate and disrespect our president as part of their daily agenda. You might have come to believe that our president is a tyrannical, ineffectual, Muslim, nazi, African, Hitler, space alien, and whatever else the right wing racist GOP can invent to try and demean the elected leader of our nation.

In case you think I am making this up, here is the timeline and cast of creeps besmirching the character of our President Obama.

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Sunday Lassen

Now for something refreshingly pleasant...

Today’s Video;

Singing Is Fun

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Moon Mars and Venus

In The Crepuscule

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Mars is between Venus and Moon

I used the word crepuscule to announce the song Twilight Time last Monday at the Treehouse Jamboree/Fun Music Fest. It had people bewildered and once again muttering, “What the heck is he talking about now?”

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15 minutes earlier, looking East

I first saw that word in 1963 on a Thelonious Monk album. It was part of the song title, “Crepuscule with Nellie”. (Nellie was his wife's name)

Crepuscule is Middle English derived from the Latin word crepusculum. So now you know, if you didn’t already, crepuscule means, “Twilight”.

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Mars is more visible as darkness falls

While I was taking the Moon Mars Venus pictures, a fire truck and ambulance came to assist one of my neighbors. I had my tripod set up next to my Buick in our parking lot.

The fire truck backed around (beep beep beep beep beep beep beep, ad infinitum) and the ambulance parked about 10 feet from where I was standing. The attendants went on to B building leaving their diesel engine idling (ratta tatta clatter clatter, etc)

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Photobombed by helicopter

About this time a police helicopter began circling overhead, shining a spotlight down toward some scofflaw who must have done something drastic enough to warrant a $15,000 dollar helicopter chase.

So now, we have the helicopter circling, “Fudda-futta-futta puppa=puppa fap fap fappa”.

The ambulance fumigating the parking lot with idling diesel exhaust, “ratta tatta clatter clatter, etc”, and I am thinking that this cannot be soothing to the distraught patient.

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Reflections in calm water

At this time when we are asked to tighten our belts while the ill advised leaders of our nation continue to squander trillions of dollars on unnecessary and unwinnable wars to protect oil company assets in other countries, one has to wonder if using helicopters to chase petty criminals is a smart use of our meager monetary resources.

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Along the Treehouse driveway

All electric powered ambulances would save a bundle of money, and wouldn’t traumatize accident victims or patients with the raucous rattling of an idling diesel engine.

Solar panels at the ambulance company and solar powered charging stations around town would greatly reduce operating expenses and any excess power could go into the grid when the chargers are full.

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Top of Shasta from A building

I hope you received some positive energy out of today’s blogpost.

Today’s Video;

Life Is A Learning Experience

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some Simple Images

I Would Like To Share

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February solitary rosebud

On Tuesday afternoon, I inspected the Treehouse rose bushes and discovered one bud.

It seemed to be standing up to the tallest oak, so I saved the moment for posterity.

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Shamrock flowers

The shamrock plant that Connie’s daughter gave me is beginning to show signs of new growth and fresh flowers. That’s a good thing.

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Leila’s flowers

Bits of color are beginning to appear as if it is springtime. I wonder if we will get a winter this year? The last winter we had was 4 or 5 years ago, I think.

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Buick windshield filtered Mount Shasta

On the way home last Sunday after playing and singing at the Jefferson State Blues Society Sunday jam there was a nice view from the top of North Market Street as I waited for the light to change at the Lake Boulevard intersection. I took a picture of Mount Shasta using the windshield as an effect.

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Enchanted garden

Dottie has been tending her garden behind ‘A’ building and planting some colorful flowers among the volunteers and early bloomers. It is nice to look out back an see all the pretty colors in her flower beds.

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Purple pansy

I hope you enjoyed these few images in this New Years edition of Phil’s Place.
“Guo Nian” Happy Year of the Goat.

Today’s Video;

Now Is A Gift

Saturday, February 14, 2015

99¢ Grey Wool Slacks

Where’s My iPhone?

Well, how dumb can I be? I got so excited over getting a pair of grey wool slacks for 99¢ that I walked out of the Thrift Store on Marina Drive, leaving my camera case by the mens sport coats, (Oh yeah, I got a 99¢ blue blazer, too)

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The green dot at the thrift store

So, here I am standing by my Buick in front of the thrift store at 9:55 AM waiting for the door to open at 10.

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Thrift Store where iPhone spent the night

The guy who works there drove up and I explained that my camera bag was in the store by the mens sport coats. He said he hoped it was still there. I followed him into the store while letting him know my iPhone is in the camera bag and I have been watching it not move on Find My iPhone, so it got locked up for the night and is likely sitting right where I left it.

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View from Sundial Bridge

It was. He told me I was a smart man, explaining that everyone else who said they lost their iPhone didn’t know to look for it with Find My iPhone. I thanked him and went on my way.

Bridge over morning water

My way home took me near the Sundial Bridge so I stopped and took a few pictures with my now recovered Lumix FZ35. It was a busy Valentine’s Day morning at the bridge.

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Valentine flower

I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day. When I say, “Happy Valentine’s Day”, out loud to my loved ones wherever they may be, I can feel love glowing in my heart. Nice.

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Valentine blossoms

It’s a good day, today.

Today’s Ultra-Sweet Video;

Everlasting Love

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Misguided Progressives?

Bankster Chicanery?

I get at least a half dozen emails daily requesting my signature on petitions to persuade Elizabeth Warren to run for president. Either these people know nothing about Elizabeth Warren and the work that she is doing or these petitions are a blatant attempt to derail her effective campaign to reinstate regulations that protect the American people from unscrupulous politics, predatory lenders, and unfair business practices.

Senator Warren has made it very clear that she has no intention of running for president when there is so much more work to be done from the office she presently holds. As president, she would be cut off from the committees, associations, consumer action groups, and would not be able to speak up for the American people against unfair banking and business practices.

She has stated many times that she feels she can do more for America at this time as a Senator than as president. So, I get the feeling that this Run Warren Run activity is bankrolled by the banks who would like to get her off their back.

To the people and organizations who are promoting the Run Warren Run campaign, I ask you to stop it. Put your energy into electing progressive Democrats to every political position on ballots from Maine to California.

Read Senator Warren’s book and learn about her ongoing battle to reign in the banks, corporations and Wall Street. There is so very much to be done that she can do as a Senator and wasting time and energy focusing on a presidential campaign will not help her do her job.

(If you are reading this, Senator Warren, I hope you don’t mind my speaking out for you, but something must be done to stop this Run Warren Run diversion. Your successful efforts on behalf of Americans are desperately needed and I feel these petitions might be intentionally disrupting. - Sincerely, Phil Seymour)

Today’s Video;

Thank You