Friday, May 04, 2007

Tell David Duchovny...

"Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming."


Time for a mini-blogging break. My Fibromyalgia and I have a little agreement, it tells me what to do... and I do it or else! LOL. Ok, so I am a little more than tired, and my brain likes to substitute strange words, rather then the ones I am actually trying to say... or type. That just makes me kinda quirky... right? Sure it does. So, for the next few days or so, while I get my office in order and ready for the new Earthlink/DSL installation next week, I am going to take a little break from updating Ellipsis every day. I have only so much energy to deal with, and for the time being, I need to focus on some serious computer maintenance, and digital photo filing. Hopefully, I will finally be able to locate a file I have been trying to find for a friend of mine. But my health has to come first.

Jeepers, I was supposed to send a group of photos to Mr. November five months ago... I can't find them anywhere! So a little time off from things, might re-start my brain and I will finally be able to locate them. Anyway, I will be checking in on Ellipsis, and I will probably do an update to my previous entry, which is this week's "Weekend Assignment." So, if David Duchovny just happens to Google himself, and finds me, please tell him... "Don't move David, she'll be right back after this brief break." :) See you soon.


John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #163: Weather With You

"Weather is a great metaphor for life... sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it, but carry an umbrella."

-Pepper Giardino

Weekend Assignment #163: Take a picture of your local weather. This is an easy Weekend Assignment, proposed by Rap4143.

-John Scalzi
(By The Way)

Weather in the San Francisco Bay Area, can change in a matter of a few moments, from warm and sunny, to chilly and rainy. Sometimes it is a simple matter of what neighborhood you are in, especially in the city of San Francisco itself. If you are along the coast, like near Cliff House on the Great Highway, it can be cold, and rainy, but if you are downtown, there might be periods of sunshine and a warm breeze. On the same day, across the bay, here in Berkeley, we might get a mixture of clouds and light rain... but have to endure lots of wind, while the Concord/Walnut Creek area will be completely dry. That's just life in the Bay Area. Yesterday, Thursday, I happened to be out, running errands, when the clouds and blue sky caught my eye. I thought the reflection in the windows of this building, presented a pretty accurate representation of what the weather was like yesterday. Now, as I watch the late news, the weatherman is saying it will be a nice mixture of conditions this weekend for the weather where I live. Here is what is being predicted for this weekend...

Friday H-70 L- 60
Saturday H-85 L- 70
Sunday Hi- 90 L- 70

ABC 7 Extended Weather 7 Day Forecast

Since we don't have an official "Extra Credit" assignment this time around, I think I will give myself one, and photograph the weather each day of the weekend so you can also enjoy the Bay Area Weather Experience! So, if you like, check back here each day to see a weather update. :)


Friday: Overcast, but no rain. :)

Saturday: Clear and warm, but very windy. 36 MPH. :)

"Approaching Weather"
Castro Valley, California
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

John Edwards... Our Best Hope For America

"Congress needs to stand firm and strong. Congress should answer the president's veto, by sending him another bill with a timetable for withdrawal."

-John Edwards
May 2nd 2007

It came as no big surprise that President Bush vetoed the war budget sent to him by congress on Tuesday. He said he planned to veto it, after all, it didn't give him his way. He wants to continue on in Iraq, with the current flow of business as usual, despite the terrible toll it is taking on America, both here on our own soil and in Iraq to our overworked and drained military. Honestly, it is depressing to know that our own president is so selfish, that he would surround himself with yes people on all sides, to enable his deep denial over the situation in Iraq. Something must be done to put a stop to this national tragedy, but I don't think it will come by way of our new democratic house and senate. I don't think they will hold up under the pressure. There are already rumblings that they will cave, and consider putting in non-binding resolutions for setting benchmarks for the Iraqi's to meet. Not good enough! Not good enough by any stretch of the imagination. The Iraqi's care so little about the state of affairs in their war-torn nation, that they are considering a two month vacation over this next summer. Does that sound like a country who has any intention of stepping up to the plate, to take control of their own fate?

It is a depressing thought that congress would cave, and allow the opportunity to end this war to slip away. They are in a tough place when it comes down to what to do. If they cut off funding to the soldiers, they will be blamed for the consequences of their actions, when in fact, those consequences should be resting on the shoulder of the president.That pin works both ways. He can't say that he has no choice but to veto... sure he does, he just won't consider other options. He is too busy with photo op's on American Idol, and thanking the American people for their generosity. The fact of the matter is, we have to be generous, because we can't count on our own government to take care of us. Ask the people of the Gulf Coast, if the Bush Administration has come through for them.

The white house is still looking for a "War Czar" which is yet another made up office, designed to shield Bush from taking responsibility for his decisions as Commander-in-Chief. Amazing.And can you believe that the official White House website, still has the press release announcing "Major Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended," you know, the speech he made under the banner, "Mission Accomplished," still available? "Major Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended." Last month, was one of the deadliest months in Iraq, since he made that famous speech in 2003, over 100 military members were killed in April. Over 100!

So, if we can't count on our new congress and senate to hold up under the pressure, what are we to do? I think it is going to fall on all of us, the over 60% of Americans who want a swift end brought to this war. The democrats needed a 2/3 vote to override President Bush's veto, and it wasn't achieved mostly due to the Republican vote. Ok, you can be a republican and still not support the war. I know there are some of you out there... the poll numbers indicate you are there, so here is what I think should be done. Right now. It doesn't matter what political party you belong to, if you think we need to be out of Iraq, send your senators and congressmen an email before the next proposal is sent to Bush's desk. DEMAND that congress sticks to it's first inclination for setting a timetable for withdrawal. Change must come from you and I.

Let the politicians know, that come the 2008 national election, we will be casting a vote based as a direct result from their actions right now. We have that power. Dick Cheney recently told singer Sheryl Crow, that he doesn't work for her, he works for the American people. I am still trying to figure that one out, considering she is an American citizen. Sigh. Perhaps he meant he only works for those HE considers Americans, in other words, those who follow him with near idol worship. Those who follow him with blind faith. Considering his poll numbers... I don't think it's a terribly big group, but the point is, if he is going to be serving as VP, than he has an obligation to all Americans. I wish he would remember that. Sigh.

I have been listening to John Edwards over the last couple days, and I am gaining more and more respect for him. He said exactly what I have been thinking over the last week or so. "Congress needs to stand firm. Congress should answer the president's veto by sending him another bill with a timetable for withdrawal." I appreciated that. I am impressed with the choices we are being given on both sides of the campaign. The 08 election process will be exciting to watch unfold over the next year. Based on information on the candidates to date... John Edwards impresses me the most, as someone who will lead America to a surer, safer future. He doesn't have to do it with fear tactics or bullying, he will be doing it with common sense and courage. Hillary Clinton is a good bet as a candidate, as is Joe Biden, but right now, barring anything unforeseen, I think I will be supporting John Edwards. Now go, be Americans, and email or snail mail your representatives. Make your voice heard loud and clear, before the next round of negotiations with the president take place.


Sign an online petition at the Edwards campaign site, to end the war in Iraq

Bush To Congress: Stay Out Of My Way
(ABC News)

John Edwards Comes Full Circle On Iraq

Edwards Statement On Bush Veto Of Iraq Funding Bill

Major Combat Operations In Iraq Have Ended

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: "Friendship"

"Friendship isn't a big thing, it's a lot of little things."


Our Round Robin topic for this edition comes to us by way of Teena, author of the blog, "It's all about me!" She has chosen, "Friendship," as our topic. For as long as I can remember, Alan has been my friend. Well, actually, we became friends in the early 1980's, but we have known each other since 1977. We met on Memorial day of that year, and it wasn't exactly love at first sight, or even friendship at first sight, but with some maturity came compromise, and respect, friendship, and then love. A natural progression I suppose. :) He has always understood me, when most people didn't or couldn't. He is a man of enormous patience and kindness, and for some strange reason, he thinks I am nifty. Strange man. LOL.

I was just telling him earlier this evening, that he could have done much better than me in the wife lottery. He just smiles, and reminds me he how much he likes, as well as, loves me... faults and all. Marriages have to have more than love and lust, they have to have friendship as well. We do. Look at Alan helping me fly a kite! He laughed at my choice, a cow, I think he will be picking out a different one next time. LOL. He knew it would be good for me to get out of the house last week, and have a little fun. He and I laughed and laughed that day, at that silly cow. He knows my Fibromyalgia has been difficult and painful recently, and he knows just how to encourage me. We are friends now, because we were friends first. :)

I have other friends, my Internet friends, my pal H.P., and some friends who have moved to the east coast, but with whom I am still close. Those friendships have passed the test of time and distance. While H.P. and I don't speak as often as we like, I know he will be there on Christmas Eve... and we will gab the night away as I wrap those final packages, and wait for Santa Claus. Alan has to work almost every Christmas Day, so he is happy that H.P. and I can touch base and keep each other company. I don't have many friends, I have cut myself off a good bit, but the friendships I do have are strong ones. Thanks H.P.!

The Round Robin Photo Challenges are open to everyone, if you have a blog or website to post your original photo to, you are invited to play. You can find out all the rules and information by paying a visit to the official Round Robin blog. Be sure to pay a visit to the other participating Robins, by following the links below. Thank you Teena... this was an awesome challenge!


Linking List

Teena... It's all about me!


Carly... Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly

Marie... Photographs And Memories Too (AOL)

Karen... Outpost Mavarin

Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

Kerrin... A New Day

Cosette... Pandora's Bazaar

Suzanne... New Suzanne R's Life

Renee... Ode to the Muse

Gina... Gina's Space

Renee... Ode to the Muse

Tammie Jean... Long Drives To Nowhere

Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Wave Hello!

"The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye."

-Jimi Hendrix

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Wave hello! It could be you, or some of your family, or a group of friends, or complete strangers. I just want to see those hands waving."

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I thought about posting all the photos I have of the various celebrities I have had a chance to meet in person over the years, but I also thought it might be nice to just post one or two of them, waving hello. Sometimes simpler is better. :) As you probably know, one of the things I look forward to every year, is the free concerts on the beach in Santa Cruz. In 2005 I went to see Micky Dolenz, a crush of mine since I was 4 years old! :) The series begins again this June, and I am already planning to be there with my camera in hand. I have chosen to see Herman's Hermits, featuring Peter Noone. They will be there Friday, June 29th, which just happens to be my birthday. :) A day at the beach, with a free concert afterwards, and then a late dinner in town. I think that will be a good way to turn 45!

Here is Greg Kihn waving hello, from his concert on June 23rd, 2006!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Calendar of Events

Micky Dolenz 8/19/05
Greg Kihn 6/23/06

Monday, April 30, 2007

And The Fun Just Keeps On Coming...

"When stress is at it's highest, just know it can only go down."

-Tom Rataj

At 3:45 AM...

WOW! What a mess! If you haven't already heard, the east bay had a bit of drama early Sunday morning, when a tanker, carrying approximately 8,500 gallons of gasoline, hit a pillar on I880, in Oakland, burst into flames, melted the ramp it was on, causing it to collapse onto the I580 connector ramp below, that eventually merges onto the Bay Bridge. YIKES! The fire was pretty spectacular, the glow could be seen up here in the hills. Jeepers. Tankers on 880 scare the crap out of me, which is why I am willing to drive out of my way to avoid them if I can. One reason I am so afraid of the Caldecott Tunnel, is because of a tanker explosion in the tunnel, in 1982, which ended up taking a couple cars along with it. You can read the about that crash here. Tankers, which carry flammable material are no longer allowed in the tunnel, but I have never been able to shake the eerie feeling it left me with. Fire is my biggest fear. It is so great, that I haven't been able to conquer it. I never forgot that house fire when I was a child. Sigh. In last night's crash, only the tanker driver was injured, but he is expected to recover. If it had been at any other time of day, it would have been a much different story. The CHP believes that speed was the factor, he was going too fast for the turns required on the ramp.

It will probably be months before the commute from San Francisco to the East Bay is back to normal. Fortunately, the governor has been prompt in declaring the situation a State of Emergency, which will allow for funding to come through with very little red tape involved. I was impressed with how all the agencies have seemed to get their respective acts together, and get right on things. The commute for Monday night will probably be stressful for those who work in San Francisco, but who live in the East Bay. For Monday at least, the governor has authorized free BART, Ferry Service and Bus transit. So far it's just for the one day, so really Tuesday might be the worst day for traffic in the East Bay. We'll see. We are all expecting that inevitable BIG quake to hit, so some emergency response planning has already gone into some of this I am sure. We who live in earthquake country, don't sit around waiting for it, but it is something that is never far from your mind. I guess you would have just had to be here for the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It was a 7.0. You don't forget that, you just live your life, and hope for the best. If you haven't seen the amazing amateur video of the fire and the ramp collapse, be sure to go take a look. It's simply amazing.

Yikes! Grab The Cat And Run... Wait... Where's My Pants?

Ok, so it's not all that scary now, but at the time! LOL. Ok, so Elvis and I spent the day alone together, Alan had to work a double shift, so with it just being the cat and myself, we had a nice, peaceful day of playing with his new toys and then dining on a big bowl of soup. Soup... a true source of serenity. :) Alan called about 10 minutes before he got off work, and asked if I would like to split a pizza with him. "Oh yes, that would be good. I will call and order it Alan, and all you have to do it pick it up." He agreed to the plan, and even let me choose the kind of pizza we got. Round Table, Large Hawaiian, with extra cheese, and extra sauce. YUM. :)
So, with the pizza ordered, Elvis tucked in, I decided to go into the bathroom, and uhemmmm... freshen up. You know... make myself all pretty and stuff. Tee Hee. Then it happened! All HELL broke loose...

BANGBBBBBAAAAAAANNNNNNNNG! GRIND GRINNNNNND! BANG, BANG, BANG... GRINNNNNNNNNND! CHURRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNINNNNN! All I did was flush! Suddenly, it sounded like I was being I know...bombed...but really, it sounded like the pipes were going to explode! The whole house had this ungodly sound. The floor was vibrating. Sheesh! All I did was pee! LOL. I was shaking, my heart was pounding! What to do? I know, I will call ALAN! YES... ALAN! Ring, ring, ring, "Hello Alan, where are you?" I said in a slight state of extreme panic. "I am about 5 blocks from home," he said. "Well come home now" OMG... I didn't tell him why. Ring, ring, ring, "Hello?" "Oh Alan, it's everywhere, all I did was pee, and flush, and now it's everywhere!" Click. LOL. Seems, I had left out the detail about the sound in the pipes being everywhere... not the pee! "Come home...NOW!" Click. The sound at this point was getting louder, and I was sure something was going to explode. Crap. "I know," I thought to myself, "I will grab Elvis and go out to the car, I will just sit in my car until Alan gets home, and pretend I don't hear any noise at all." I think I was panicking at that point, because I opened the front door, and began to walk to my car wearing nothing but a pair of black tights... not pulled all the way up...and a t-shirt that says "Sassy" across the chest.

Half way to the car, I noticed I wasn't really dressed, and I had forgot the cat, so I bravely made my way back to the house, and went in. I couldn't find my pants. Sigh. See, when it is just Elvis and I at home, I usually just wear tights or leggings, and a sweatshirt. My very favorite sweatshirt, is a deep blue one with a hood, and has the word, "Berkeley," on the front of it. I couldn't find it. With no other real choice in front of me, I bravely picked up Elvis, and tossed him out the back door... thusly... saving his life. LOL. Suddenly... the noise stopped. It was very, very quiet. No sound at all. Was I dead? No, my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I had fallen down... so no, I was apparently alive. What the crap was that sound, and why is it quiet now?

I still had my cell phone in my hand, so I called Alan one last time, to tell him, he didn't need to hurry home. He was already in the drive-way. I heard his phone ring, just as he opened the door. As I looked him in the eye, I said into the phone, "Alan... the noise stopped you don't have to hurry." I couldn't believe it, the noise stopped just as he opened the door. Isn't that always the way? LOL. He was so relieved to find out the sewer wasn't spraying yuckiness into the living room and kitchen. "It was a noise?" He asked. "Yes. A BIG one," I said as I held my now aching shoulder. After a few moments, Alan inspected the toilet, and found that there was some kind of air bubble in the pipes. How that happened I don't know, but he is going to fix it later today. And all will be well. We had a good laugh, and I had a good cry. Then he went out and picked up the pizza, and we laughed some more. He understands what a girly-girl I am sometimes. YIKES. It was just an air bubble in the pipe! I have to say however, as air bubble noises go, that was the worst bubble noise I have ever heard in a bathroom. LOL. It was major WIND. So, in effect, I guess you could say, my bathroom had the farts! Like I said, our life together is an adventure!

Note: To give you an idea of where Berkeley is, in relation to San Francisco, it is in the main photo above, just above the HWY 24 marker. The University and Ashby exits are just above.

Top 2 photos by Google Earth

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: Happy Birthday Elvis!

"Inside every older person, is a younger person wondering what happened."

- Jennifer Yane

Elvis's 10th birthday party... finally! :) A day late, but that's okay. We had such a good time with our little boy! He knew the day was for him, and he was a sweetie. On his best behavior, and snuggly. It was just the three of us, his pal Sebastiani couldn't make it, seems he was in a little tiff with the new neighbor cat, but we had a good time. We played with a laser light, and we opened presents. A new brown bear, a new fork and spoon set, and a jar of baby food. Beef in Beef Gravy by Gerber. After the presents, came the pie, and then we played a little more, before releasing the "wish balloons" for their flight up in the sky to the moon. Legend goes, it they actually reach the moon, or if they are found by a friend, the wish you make on them comes true. :) One balloon for Elvis, one balloon for Alan, one for me, and one for our family. I have had more than one wish made on a wish balloon come true. :) I'm a believer!

YUM! Lemon Supreme Pie!

New Bear, Yummy Pie, and SpongeBob Balloon

Alan, Carly and Elvis... spending lots of time in the garden. :)

Sending the wish balloon off to the moon! Silly... but it's our tradition. We have made a million or so wishes over the years. :) Sometimes they come true in the best of ways!

If you have a kitty in your life that you want to share, pop over to my friend Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog, to get all the details. :)

"Happy 10th Birthday Elvis"
Berkeley, California
April 28th, 2007
Early Evening