Friday, April 28, 2006

Rising Damp

Before Christmas last year darling husband and I met daughter little bird and my step-mother Mary in Port Charlotte Florida where my sister and her husband live.

Little Bird had to fly home to her husband and work but the rest of us went to Babcock Ranch in Punta Gorda to take the Swamp Buggy tour. The tour was great though the "museum" at the ranch was a little lacking. We saw swamp wildlife, which included a number of alligators, and flora that I'd never experienced. I especially like the cypress knees that stick up out of the water.

We picniced on the grounds when we returned from the tour and had a memorable day. The Sean Connery movie, Just Cause was filmed on the ranch and part of the set was still there. It intrigued us so we visited the video store on the way home and rented it. Creepy thriller of a movie but worth the rental. Check my Shutterfly for more photos of the ranch plus some of the Thomas Edison winter residence and workshop.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Do they make band-aids for tubs?

We took a four month hiatus from the remodel because we were just tired of all the dust and such but now we are back at it. Dan demolished the guest bathroom and he and Mr. Heckendorf, our contractor and a friend, were working feverishly getting the new tub, walls, and vanity in. They were almost finished when a rather unfortunate accident happened; Mr. Heckendorf knocked over his four foot level and it chipped the enamel on the side of the tub. You can just see it on the edge of the tub in the photo on the left.

I called the tub company and they are sending a "patch kit." Mr. Heckendorf bought a new tub and wants to pull everything out. I'm for waiting until we try the patch. I'll be the only one who knows it's there but he's being stubborn.

What would you do?
More bathroom photos

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bottoms up Exxon-Mobil

This morning I've received a few e-mails from totally unrelated friends telling me to boycott Exxon-Mobil; hopefully bringing down the price of gas. I agree grassroots involvement is so important and much under rated in our society and we sure could use lower gas prices but hurting Exxon, not as much as you'd wish. Yes, they might notice an excess of supply but they'd just sell it to someone else. Costco and these little independent stations don't refine their own gas and Exxon would just market it elsewhere.

If you'd like to stab these bastards in the ass, reduce the amount of gas you use. Does that mean you have to drastically cut consumption, no because if enough of us reduce, just a bit, it will send that all important message to their bottoms, ah bottom line, that is.

So, make a few less extra trips this week, drive with a co-worker, or get out there and walk. Don't wait for the other guy to do this, you do this now and tell your friends. Ask them to commit to just one less trip a week or walk to lunch instead of driving. Reduce our need for oil and it will help everyone, well maybe not those oil company execs.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Grandma what big paws you have

The better to eat you with my dear.

Yikes, we saw these mountain lion tracks on our hike to Mt McCoy this morning. As reference they are about five inches long. Our naturalist said it was a big cat because of the depth of the claw prints. Bobcats don't walk with their claws extended. This was less than 100 yards from a housing tract and only a few feet from the trailhead. "Oh honey, have you seen the dog lately the dog?"

The weather was cloudy but there was still quite a view from Mt McCoy 500-600 feet above Simi Valley. From the ridge you can see the Reagan Library and, I'm sure, on a clearer day the Pacific ocean. We took our terrier Buddy and even though it was less than three miles round trip he was pooped out by the end and ready for a nap.

The naturalist, Mike was great. He called himself a greyhound which I took to mean we were in for a quick trip to the top but not at all; he stops at every bush. We saw so many wild flowers but this is just the start of the season so I'm looking forward to next weekend. If you want check out my Shutterfly there are a few more pix from the trip including Dan and Buddy at the top. Of course I was there, who'd ya think took the picture!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Clenchers--we are not alone

Blogger supplies a list of blogs they find interesting. I have to say sometimes I wonder if they just throw a dart but I've found some good ones in the past so I do check all the new ones. There is one up there now, The Google Doctor and I poked my nose into this site not knowing it was an actual Dr. This site is worth sharing if only for the links. Dr Razavi has enough interesting links to keep any hypochondriac busy.

About twenty years ago I broke my tail bone in an unfortunate rollerskating accident and now I know what causes the occasional pain in my rump, I'm a clencher. If you belong to this club, tension headaches, carpal tunnel, neck pain, then read this short informative post that is, if you can release your grip on the mouse. Dr. Razavi's Good to Know Info: Avoid the Clenching Syndrome

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Hike

Since we don't actually celebrate Easter darling husband suggested we take a drive. I've been itching to try out a digital camera that my son-in-law loaned me. Dog, husband, me and the camera headed to a local park for a hike. The trails are easy and since I'm just starting to feel better and the weather was so nice we decided to hike a bit. The dog loves to be out with us and after the rain the hills are wonderful. I've put a few photos on Shutterfly so feel free to have a peek. I'm always open to any criticism.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

He performs the Pastorale in the pasture

While patching this morning I ran across this site, Pastoral, and felt it needed a share. I've got it bookmarked so I can switch from the ugly news to these quite calming landscapes. Good job, Dave Levison.

Friday, April 14, 2006

You're doing a hellova job-- insert name

I truly didn't want to post something negative, I've been a bit punky lately and wanted to keep things light but you can't seem to avoid these monkeys in Washington. The American people know Rumsfeld, et al, have bungled the war, now generals are speaking up, when will they give this guy the boot?

Not soon enough I'm afraid because the President seems to think Rumsfeld deserves his support. Who looks out for the interests of us Americans?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Where's a camera when you need it

Yesterday, while riding on public transportation, I noticed the young man standing next to me had the hairiest knuckles I've ever seen and he'd shaved his head. Wait. What makes someone lather up the skull and ignore the bushy growth on the hands? Maybe it's a question of where to stop or maybe time because, as women know, once you shave those legs you're a slave to the razor from that point on. I was just thankful it wasn't tank-top weather.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Need a laugh, call Trunk Monkey

I know, this is a waste of time but oh so funny. Trunk Monkey

Sunday, April 09, 2006

This old house

Our house tends to creak and groan on occasion. It's a 1964 wood-framed house which isn't old but it sometimes seems to be, well, cranky. Tonight has been one of the noisier in the past months. Could be the change in weather, cold and wet to a long awaited spring. It could also be the earth moving, what we Californios call, "get the hell out of bed, we're having a 'quake."

Being awake and hearing more than one of these grunts I decided to check my favorite site the USGS map of recent earthquakes, I've got it bookmarked. While poking around I found this link and if you select your state there is enough "geeky" information to keep reading for hours, or in my case, keep you awake for hours because now I'm too jumpy to go back to sleep, sheesh.

Oh, in case you were planning to sleep tonight, try reading this little tidbit. It's about Mammoth Mountain and you can find out how many trees have been killed near the lake from toxic carbon dioxide levels. Don't worry, just the trees are dying.

Don't live in California? Try your state, I'm sure you can find something to keep you awake.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Unconditional love in a furry package

My husband and I were lucky enough to be entrusted with our daughter and son-in-law's dogs while they were out of the country. We'd watched these two fluffy white little Maltese before so it was no problem to add them to the kennel.

They were finicky eaters and barked at the drop of a leaf but they never once piddled on the carpet or refused to cuddle in bed. After walks, napping seems to be what they enjoyed best and since I was feeling poorly they were my best friends.

Multi, on the left, is about three times Max's size and if he'd hold still, Max would fit in one hand. I've cooked bigger chickens. Max's problem is he doesn't know he's pint-sized, he thinks like a pitbull. I wish I had his confidence. He established himself as the alpha dog early on and no one has told him different. I love his bravado; he even walks with a swagger.

Our darling Buddy, a wire-haired terrorist in his own right, acquiesced to the little dog immediately. Not that he couldn't have grabbed him by the neck and shook him to death, Buddy was a patient host and only asserted his alpha-dogness on walks. Hey, one can only be so polite.

Poor Multi usually gets the brunt of Max's mischievousness but he does fight back when he's had enough but more than once Max would sneak up on Multi and pounce on him like the attack animal he is. Multi is content to let Max run amok while he finds a human to lay upon.

Sometimes, when I have to find someone to stay with Buddy while we vacation I think about not having the responsibility of a dog and then I think of all the doggy friends we've had over the years. I can't ever imagine not having an animal around; they ask so little and give so much.

The Bark Brothers were here an-all-to-quick twelve days and we miss them now they are back home. Dogs are a lot of work, worry, and responsibility but they are so worth it when they lick your nose. I mean that IS unconditional love, would you lick someone's nose?

Things that make you laugh

Got the blues? Check my sister Weed's post. The little bird has a funny on her blog, as well. Where do they come up with this stuff?

I've also stumbled onto Craig Ferguson on CBS' Late, Lateshow. This guy is hilarious. I was experiencing a bit of insomnia when I first watched his show and we all know--latenight TV with all the infomercials will make anything seem funny--but after TiVo-ing him, and watching in the light of day, his humor stood up. Sometimes he has the odd wanky guest but most are interesting and he actually interviews them something Leno and Letterman rarely don't do. He does let them plug whatever they are plugging at the time but I'm sure that's the only reason they'd appear.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

There's always tomorrow, Scarlett

My heart goes out to the Bruins; both team and fans. Because of this symbiotic relationship it is difficult to have one without the other and though they got beat it wasn't for not trying. That big kid would have been a challenge for anyone.

Now, because there IS always a tomorrow, a light at the end of a tunnel, and a silver lining in most clouds, Republican Rep. Tom Delay called it quits.

Made my morning just got a little brighter.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

UCLA Wins: no April fools in Westwood

While UCLA stopped LSU cold for their chance to win 12th national title all I could think of was will this be the last one John Wooden sees? I know, a little morbid, but the coach is 95. Of the twelve national titles, ten belong to him and the '64-'76 Bruins. For seven years in a row they were the dominant force in Men's basketball; seven in a row, amazing.

So how does the present Coach Ben Howland feel about it? When asked during a recent press conference if he'd had much interaction with Coach Wooden, this was just a small part of his answer. "... This is always and always will be John R. Wooden's UCLA basketball program that really he started. I am at this point in time the torch bearer and carrying the flag forward." What a gracious man. Read the text from the March 31 press conference.

I hope they go all the way and get to hang a 12th banner in Pauley Pavilion for themselves, for their fans, and I think Coach Wooden would take some pride in that as well.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

LSU, ask Gorgonzola's Morrison if big baby's cry

The only thing between the UCLA Bruins and the chance to play for the Championship on Monday is LSU and their behemoth, Glen Davis, known to all as Big Baby. I think the Bruins have a chance even though it might be easier for the team to jump over Davis than walk around him. Even though this guy is big and LSU isn't know to be a soft team--don't discount the Bruins--Coach Howland will have them well prepared for this event.

Go Bruins!

Who knew there was such beauty in oil

When you are in Southern California, and you know you all want to come, do plan to visit either the Getty Center in Los Angeles or the newly opened Getty Villa in Malibu. You'll need reservations, can be found online, for the latter but plan ahead.

If you can't get Villa reservations, do visit the Getty Center. It sits in the Santa Monica Mountains above Brentwood/Belair and on a clear day, has a fantastic view of Los Angeles. My favorite view is at night when the lights make the city sparkle like the jewel it is. The collection, Middle Ages through the present, is small enough to enjoy in a day, if you don't dawdle, but big enough to satisfy. No reservations required, just a parking charge of $7. Who can beat that? Our European visitors are always amazed we don't charge to enter the museum.

Don't care for museums? Just the garden, the architecture, and the views are enough, plus there is a four-star restaurant, needs reservations, and a great cafe at the Center. The Villa, though smaller gardens than the Center, houses the antiquities from Mr. Getty's collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art. Due to limited parking at the Villa, reservations are a must, no one emitted without a ticket. Check for available tickets. They are booked through July of '06 but ever so often they let more tickets go. I'd suggest signing up for their e-Getty Newsletter as you will be notified when more tickets are available.

I've volunteered at the Getty Center as a docent since 2000 except for the two-year hiatus in Bakersfield, but I try not to think of that. It is a wonderful place and I smile thinking of how lucky I am to be there. Do plan to come and if you're there on a Wednesday you might just see me, I'm the one with the big smile.