Friday, January 29, 2016

More Rain Last Night

On The GOP Parade

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Baby craven didn’t care

There is a new baby in the raven/crow family that stops by the Treehouse around this time of year. It is the one you hear going “Glukaglukaglukglukglukgluk” when it wants mom to bring some food.

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Mount Shasta from the dam parking lot

Wednesday was sunny and warm. It was the perfect day to learn a bit more about the Nikon camera. I took the Lumix for backup shots in case I wasn’t seeing the viewfinder or live view clearly. (Wearing backup glasses while the good ones were being fixed)

Helicopter flies to Shasta Dam

A helicopter flew around and down to the base of the dam, and right over my head when I was taking pictures from the Shasta dam overlook. I could see the excited ear to ear smile on a passenger's face as they came swooping up the hillside from below.

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Thrilling helicopter ride - (Lumix FZ70)

I had to grab the Lumix from the car to get the above picture. The action was too fast with the Nikon on a tripod and not setup for following flying objects. It was set up to do a remake of the classic dam, lake, volcano shot and that turned out well…

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3 Shastas

A short drive uphill from the dam overlook and just over the hill, there is a nice wide turnoff on the dam road where one can view Lassen National Park across the valley. Good pictures there.

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Lassen from the dam road

Lakes, dams, rivers, mountains and volcanoes are just a few of the inspiring visual and visceral experiences that are part of life, here in Redding, California.

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View from the Treehouse patio

Having passed through this town, stopping only for gas, food, or gigs since 1956, I never gave Redding a second thought until I came here to live in 2007. Now I find myself acting like some kind of spokesperson.

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Moon, Jupiter, Jupiter moons, lens flare, clouds and more

When I took this moon picture on Wednesday night, it looked like I was getting the moon in detail, but instead I got more night sky objects than I expected.

I got my good glasses back Thursday, so I should be able to see the display a bit better. I know it is a lot easier to write today’s blogpost, now that I can comfortably focus on the laptop screen.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot; There was another republican Fox news orchestrated pre-primary debate last night. The poser in chief didn’t show, leaving a few egotistic toadies to duke it out on their own. I applaud the few reporters, bloggers and journalists watched it so I could read their reports this morning.

Today’s Video;

Enjoy Life

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekend Roundup

Of Poisonous Substances

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Mushroom crab = sounds like a menu item

My dad invented things for Monsanto, Firestone, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Navy, Dupont, and others. He created many of the plastics and other polymer based ingredients in products that you use everyday.

He was conservative. He was a scientist and avid mediocre golfer.

I thought of him this morning as I was reading about the antics of uncivilized, unqualified crackpots and cretins that the conservative parties have been placing in city, state and national public office.

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Treehouse sidewalk rose

Dad never liked it much when non professional, inexperienced or uneducated people were put in positions of power.

It’s a good thing that he’s not alive today. It would kill him.

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Prickly crowd

One of my favorite political cartoonists is Clay Jones. This Sunday his cartoon deals with the National Review opinions about Trump. It is sort of like unburnt carbon emissions calling the kettle black, (you can see why I am not a clever political cartoonist).

In his blog, Clay Jones explains how Trump and the rest of the right wing crazies are a product of the conservatives themselves;

“The conservative movement has always been kinda racist. You can go back very deep into history but just look toward the 1970’s Nixon strategy, to Reagan’s strategy, to Bush’s strategy. They won elections by telling the white man the black man is taking what belongs to him…so they better make sure the black man never has anything. Now the fear mongering is targeted toward Muslims, Gays, Hispanics, etc. You can’t win elections with that anymore.

After Obama was elected conservatives turned their racism up to a Spinal Tap amp of eleven. They refuse to work with him. They clearly stated their only legislative agenda was to make him a one-term president. They question where he’s born. They question his religion. They call him a communist. Then they say he’s the one being divisive.” - Clay Jones

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Treehouse trees against the western winter sky

Today’s images are from yesterday when we had a bit of a break between storms. They were taken with the Nikon D3300. So far, I think I will keep it. It will compliment the Lumix FZ70 and add an extra dimension to my photo expressions more as I get to know it better.

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Winter leaves

Another nice thing about a new camera is using it to retake all the basic photos that allow me to examine the different qualities of cameras and lenses.

That’s some of my weekend from here at the Treehouse. It looks like there will be 2 or three days of camera friendly sunshine this week.

Today’s Video;

Love Life - It’s A Gift

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bernie Is A Good Senator

He Keeps The Senate Balanced

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American as apple pie - (pie by Jackie L)

I believe in government of, by, and for the people. I see democracy as being inclusive. We the people. Not just the rich or the poor, middle class or left or right. We the people.

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A rose speaking

An American president cannot just ignore the people on the other side of an issue, but must find some common ground, make compromises and allowances if there is to be any mutual agreement.

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A local Redding view

Bernie Sanders has made statements like;Any Supreme Court nominee of mine will make overturning Citizens United one of their first decisions”. But that is not how the supreme court works.

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Tiny sidewalk rose

The only person in the current presidential race who actually knows what it takes to be an effective American president is Hillary Clinton. She has proven her ability to work with both sides of the aisle to protect women, children and veterans.

Here are some of her accomplishments as told by people who have actually worked with her.

How about the legislation she introduced when she was a United States Senator - the Congressional Record.

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Treehouse lake and barn

The right wing media and some Bernie supporters insist that we look at Hillary’s campaign donors. Okay, I took a look. I saw individual donors from women’s groups, charities, banks, unions, wall street and people from every walk of life; rich, poor, young, old, left or right.

Today’s Video;

Keeping It Real

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What A Great Week

Sunshine, Rain, and Music

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Storm survivor rose

We had a rather impressive rain storm Monday night. On Tuesday the skies cleared a bit and I had an opportunity to look for photo subjects. Sure enough, there were a couple of roses that hung on through the deluge.

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Treehouse lake Tuesday

The turnaround at the end of the Treehouse driveway just past the dumpster holding pen, becomes our own little lake when it rains enough to overwhelm the drain. In 2012 I did a little video of a rubber duck tugboat being blown and tossed by the wind and waves.

Peggy and I sure do that song differently since then. What fun we have.

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Storm ravaged rose

Tattered and torn by the storm. I will have to see how this rose is doing tomorrow. Pictures, for sure. Happy to share the latest. My heart is warmed by the determination of these flowers and the resulting stunning beauty when they manage to open for pollination.

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“With the moon bright and shiny”

I couldn’t resist the visual for Slow Boat to China. I took some pictures of tonight’s moon with the Lumix FZ70 and the first one was this bright shiny image. I took a series of pictures, then on the very last one, I got the following image;

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Can you see the lunar rover?

I made a pie on Monday during the rainstorm. It turned out pretty good. I took some video and maybe by the next post I will have made some sense out of the various clips and pics and have finished a video about rain and pie or something.

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Monday’s pie still warm from the oven

How am I going to vote in the upcoming elections?

The republican party wants to eliminate my social security income, take away my HUD subsidised apartment and put an end to my Medicare/MediCal health care. However, they do want to make it easier for me to buy a gun.

I have always suspected they were crazy. Now I am certain.

Vote Democrat in 2016

Today’s Video;

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Today We Can Celebrate

Religious Freedom Day

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Shasta on Friday from Northpoint Drive - Lumix FZ70

You may want to read the post that I got some of today’s information from, so I have provided a link; The Christian Right Does Not Want You To Know About This Day - updated

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New Pie - Nikon D3300

I thought it important to share the intent of the Founding Fathers of our country when it comes to freedom from religious persecution by including some of what Thomas Jefferson actually had to say about Religious Freedom;

Poinsettia in kitchen - Nikon D3300

“Jefferson was well aware that many ... did not like the Constitution and the First Amendment, both of which sought to expand the rights of citizens and deflect claims of churches seeking special consideration.

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Rosemary - Nikon D3300

So before his death, Jefferson sought to get the last word on what it meant. The Statute, he wrote, contained “within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohametan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

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Northpoint Drive - Nikon D3300

That is a powerful and clear statement. Jefferson, almost 200 years ago, refuted the contemporary claims of Christian Right leaders, many of whom not only insist that America was founded as a Christian nation, but that the framers really meant their particular interpretation of Christianity.”

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Nikon D3300

The Update - “The web site, which comes up first in a Google search for Religious Freedom Day is not what it seems.  The group behind it is a small California evangelical Christian Right agency called Gateways to Better Education, headed by longtime activist, Eric Buehrer. This group is part of a wider movement with a long history of efforts to hijack, or compromise, public schools in order to promote its religious views and to evangelize children.”

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Lumix FZ70

While researching Religious Freedom Day I have been appalled by how the evangelistic Christian right is bombarding the media with misinformation. Preventing one religious group from  claiming America belongs to them is the whole purpose of the first amendment and Religious Freedom as described in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Evangelical Christian right civic interference is treasonous and anti-Democratic.

Today’s Video;

Well Stated

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Almost Caught Up

To Four Days Ago

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Whiskeytown Lake on Sunday

Last Sunday, January 10, was a great day for photography. Fresh snow on the mountaintops, blue skies and a cheerful disposition were a perfect combination. The Lumix FZ70 was part of the glorious images you see here today (most any day for the last year - unless otherwise noted).

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Brandy Creek snack bar and boat launch

I could just barely see Brandy Creek beach and recreation area on the shoreline across the lake from where I stood taking the first image of the lake and Shasta Bolly you see at the top of the page. So, with the optical zoom I got a little closer to demonstrate why I really like using the FZ70.

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Further on up the road

If you continue on the highway past Oak Bottom and past the Carr powerhouse turn off, you will come to a lightly marked left turn to Mill Creek. There is a parking area with a bathroom and a nice set of trails that include footbridges over Mill Creek and Willow Creek. The Camden House is among the sights you will see.

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This picturesque barn is there, too

After crossing Willow Creek on the footbridge, you get a treat for photographers and sightseers. There sits the perfect barn with Shasta Bolly in the background. The wind, clouds and blowing snow made me appreciate the technicians and caretakers who live and work on top of the mountain.

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This gives you a good idea of the conditions on top

The antennas for radio, TV, phones and other things are caked with frozen ice and snow. You can see some of the buildings for transmitter equipment, maintenance and living quarters. I have been told that the view is extraordinary.

Several people who have 4wd vehicles have offered to drive up some sunny summer day for a photography expedition. Maybe this year will be the year.

Today’s Video;

Not Forgotten

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Falling Behing

Or Getting A Leg Up?

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Kathern’s roses still blooming

I have pictures from last Friday, that were/are prepared about the same time for blogging. I also have some from Sunday that are ready to grace this space.

My feeling is, I better get busy with a bit of catch up before I drop the ball.

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Friday Lassen

The ravens are back from wherever they summer each year. The baby is about 5 years old and still calls to mama to bring food. Occasionally, one can hear mom in the distance yelling back; “Get moving and get your own food ya big baby.”

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Baby raven

Sometimes the baby won't stop calling for food until the mom flies over, picks up a wood chip or something and drops it in the baby’s eager open beak. This gesture seems to satisfy the baby and all is well in their world once more.

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Shasta Friday

John got a Masterbuilt 1961 Fender strat on Friday. It plays really well and sounds perfect for the music we are playing. I think he may keep it.

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John Harrison tests Wildwood masterbuilt stratocaster

There you have it as of Friday, last week.

Today’s Video;

Aptly Stated