Saturday, June 09, 2007

In A Blatent Attempt To Ignore The News...

"The proliferation of icons really happened about the time of television in the 50's. They're an important part of pop culture and really reflect our social and cultural history."

-Ileen Gallagher

I read the news today... oh boy. Bush is determined to veto any stem cell research bill, because of his deep regard for life. Paris Hilton is being used in a political war between a judge and a sheriff. We passed the milestone of over 3500 soldiers killed in Iraq. There were reports of bad ground beef... again. A small child accidentally killed himself today in Oakland, after someone left a loaded gun within his reach. A preacher's wife, was sentenced in the slaying death of her husband, to 3 years, she could be out in just 2 months for time served and "good behavior."

My whole life I have heard, "If you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all."


Excuse me while I escape into a moment of classic TV. {{{Weep}}}


Friday, June 08, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment#169: Photocreativity

"I have no fear of photography as long as it cannot be used in heaven and in hell."

-Edvard Munch

Weekend Assignment#169: Do something creative with a photo to make it look different and unusual. For those of you with Photoshop or some other photo editor, you can use filters and other techniques to do this. If you don't have a photo editing program, you might look at some of these online photo editors out there, some of which allow you to fiddle quite a bit with your photos. If you can also post the original, unaltered photo so people can compare and contrast.

Extra Credit: How old were you when you got your first camera?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

How fun! It's been a while since I have posted a photo with special effects added to it. :) I should really do this more often. I have a wonderful photo editing program, Photo Explosion Deluxe with Photo Impact Pro. It offers different lighting styles, special character stamps, artistic styles such as watercolor or impressionism. It's a fun little program. For the main photo in this entry, I decided to make a puzzle of a favorite autumn scene from 2005. Here are some other examples of fun with photo editing...

Extra Credit: I was a little girl of about 7 or 8 I think. I remember it was a GAF c-110 pocket camera. LOL. I still remember Henry Fonda doing the commercials for them. Good camera for a little girl to learn on. :)

"Autumn Puzzle"
Yuba Gap, California
Autumn 2005
Late Afternoon

Thursday, June 07, 2007

On A Wednesday

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all."

-Emily Dickenson

It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday. After my appointment with Sarah, I took a drive in the hills to enjoy the view. It was extremely clear, so looking across the bay into San Francisco, was an enjoyable experience. No smog. No overcast skies, and while the sun was really bright, the air up here was still and had just enough of a chill to be really comfortable. I should have grabbed a burger, and a lemonade downtown, and brought it up here on my drive. Car picnics are fun. Alan and I have some gardening chores on the "to do" list for the next couple days, but maybe next week I will do some more photography in the hills near home. Yesterday was a perfect June day, one of those days when hope is everywhere, and I am sure there will be more days like this to come. :)

It's A Beautiful Morning
By The Rascals

It's a beautiful morning ahh
I think I'll go outside for a while
And just smile
Just take in some clean fresh air
Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
If the weathers fine and you got the time
It's your chance to wake up and plan another day
Brand new day
Either way

It's a beautiful morning
Each bird keeps singin' his own song
So long
I've got to be on my way now
Ain't no fun just hangin' around
I've got to cover ground couldn't keep me down
It just ain't no good if the sun shines
When you're still inside
Shouldn't hide still inside, shouldn't hid
Ahhh oh shouldn't hide ah ah ah oh

There will be children with robins and flowers
Sunshine caresses each new breaking hour
Seems to me that the people keep seeing
More and more each day, gotta say, lead the way
It's okay Wednesday, Thursday it's ok
Ahhh Monday, Wednesday, Friday weekday ah ah ah ohhh

"The View From Here"
Berkeley Hills looking toward San Francisco
June 6th, 2007
Early Afternoon

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Guilty? Or Just Misunderstood?

"Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man."

-Dick Cheney (Following the sentencing of I. Scooter Libby)
June 5th, 2007

Do you believe, like I do, that President Bush will pardon Scooter Libby? If he does, it wouldn't by far be the biggest surprise. This administration, and all it's players, have put themselves and their own sometimes illegal agendas above the law since they took office. Dick Cheney apparently has plenty to hide, if not about this case, then certainly about who has been visiting his residence. Can you say Jack Abramoff?
So what's one more sleazy exercise in executive privilege? But I will save that rant for a different entry. Let's just focus for right now on Scooter Libby, shall we? Do you think President Bush will cave to pressure, and pardon Scooter Libby? If so, when do you think it will happen? Will Scooter Libby serve even one day, of his 2 1/2 year sentence for his part in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame?

You know what is truly sad and shocking to me about this whole case? No one... NO ONE... has even attempted to apologize to either Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson for this whole mess. You would think Bush would have at least said that he was sorry that something had gone so very wrong from within his administration. Instead, he said today, while in Germany for the G8 summit, that he "felt terrible for the family - the wife and kids" as well as for Libby. Not one word about Plame. Not one word. Someone outed her CIA identity, putting her life and the lives of those she had contact with in danger.Did the decision to do so come from Cheney? Rove? Bush? Outing a CIA agent is a treasonable offense, and no one is being prosecuted for that offense. 2 1/2 years? Why isn't he being sentenced to life in prison?

Libby said he didn't lie, he just had a faulty memory. What do you think? Is Scooter Libby guilty? Is he taking a fall for the Bush administration? Do you think the outing of Valerie Plame was an orchestrated attack on Joseph Wilson? Leave me your thoughts.

Libby Sentenced To 2/12 Years In CIA Leak Case (ABC News)


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Orange

"Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life."

-John Lubbock

Consider Orange. It's a fine color, but of all the colors in our cultural spectrum, it's the one that seems to get the least respect - sure, you wear it for a safety vest, but you're not especially likely to wear it to fancy ball (especially if you're a guy). So this week's Photo Shoot is about giving up a little respect for the color:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Picture something in orange. As a challenge, don't take pictures of actual oranges (the fruit), and picturing actual pumpkins seems a little too easy too. Other than that, go for it.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I like the color orange very much. As you know I am an autumn girl, so I have lots of photos of pumpkins and different types of orange flowers in my files, but I have also managed to capture the color for this week's shoot in sunsets, and butterflies. And yes, I kinda did post a picture of a pumpkin, but darn it, doesn't my guy Elvis look cute in his orange pumpkin costume from Halloween 2001? :)
Like Frank Sinatra once said, "Orange is the happiest color."

Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006

Monday, June 04, 2007

Time Passages

"We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like."

-Alfred Hitchcock

I think this is a great story. A young man in Michigan found a time capsule buried in his grandmother's garden. Among the items inside were, a Chrysler emblem, a tea light candle, and some newspapers, dating back to 1952. Cole Ordway found the box of treasures over this last Memorial Day weekend, and it's even more of a mystery because the time capsule wasn't buried by his grandmother, who has only lived in the house for a couple years, but by one of the houses previous tenants. Someone left behind some memories, and a piece of who they are. I consider it quite a gift as I sit here typing this, because I get to let my imagination run wild with possibilities. Was it a man or a woman? Was that emblem off the car that drove her to the church on her wedding day? Was the tea light candle, the only light she had during times when she couldn't pay the utility bill? Or was it from a romantic night spent with a lover?

Also found in the box were a jackknife, a pair of pliers, and a carabiner. That tells me that a man placed some of the items in the box, so maybe it was a couple. Maybe it was a fun little thing they did on their wedding night, as a gift to share with their children sometime in the future, and then they simply forgot about the whimsy. Or maybe all the items belonged to one person, who was lost forever to someone who loved them so much, that they preserved some sentimental memories forever in time. They knew that one day someone would find the box, and it would inspire hopeless romantics like me to come up with the story behind the items.

I was thinking, as I read the article, what would I place in a time capsule if I were to make one? If it is a simple case of wanting to live on through some sort of earthly immortality, well, I would like to think Ellipsis accomplishes that for me. After all, I share all about me here. My likes and dislikes. My hopes, my good times and things that have broken my heart. I can show you everything about myself, at least everything I would hope would be remembered, right here on my blog, as if it were an old fashioned time capsule. I think in some ways, it is a much more thorough time capsule, in that I can share my memories in my own words as opposed to merely showing you symbols of my life. Still, there are some specifics I wouldn't share here, because some things should be kept secret in the heart. Right?

Just for the sake of fun, lets pretend Ellipsis is a time capsule. Let's say I am going to pick a past date, and hide the items in a long ago entry to be found at some later date. How many items should be placed inside the time capsule? 6? 10? Would I have to provide photos of the items, or could I merely describe them? Nah, with the subscription services, and the feeds, telling you when I update an entry, it would be too easy to track the time capsule down. But what a fun thought. Who knows, maybe I will put some thought into it, and try to come up with a way to do it. :) Can you name three items I should put in it right off? Here are the first three I thought of to get started...

1. The most recent CD I have purchased - Katherine McPhee

2. A small Boyd's Bears teddy bear. I have been collecting them for years.

3. An unprocessed roll of 35mm film.

So tell me, have you ever created a time capsule? If you made one today, how many items would you put in it? Would you leave instructions on how to find it, in case you passed away... or leave it as a surprise for some future generation to ponder? Tell me what you think. Leave me your comments and ideas. :)

Well, I'm not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things that you lean on are things that don't last
Well, it's just now and then, my line gets cast
Into these time passages
There's something back there that you left behind
Oh, time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.

"Time Passages" by Al Stewart

NOTE: The link to the story has been fixed. :)

"Best Friends"
San Francisco, California
May 30, 2007

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

"There are some people who want to throw their arms around you just because it's Christmas, and there are other people who want to strangle you just because it it's Christmas."

-Robert Lynd

Tee Hee. I was all set to sleep in yesterday, and then get up around 1:30 or so and make myself all pretty and girly before Alan got home. We had a date to have a nice turkey dinner, rent a Godzilla movie, pop some popcorn and just laugh ourselves silly. It was not to be. Sigh. He called me early in the afternoon and told me that he had to work a double shift, it seems they couldn't get by without him. LOL. Sigh. So, what to do? What to do? A Godzilla movie all by myself didn't seem like it would be much fun, but the weather outside was perfect for putting something spooky on to watch. Here it was June 2nd, and the temperature last evening was only 52 degrees! It felt downright December-ish. LOL. So, what would be my plan "B?"

I decided to do some early Christmas shopping online, and curl up with Elvis. I looked at advent calendars, and gourmet food. He and I have been discussing making this coming Christmas one our extravaganzas. Maybe get some new Christmas ornaments, and maybe order something yummy for dinner from Omaha Steaks. I have always wanted to order a cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli, in New York. Their cheesecakes look fabulous. Of course while I am there, I might as well order some yummy pastrami as well. :) Maybe make some special double-decker sandwiches for dinner on Christmas Eve. We always have great Christmas Eves. Usually we go out and make one last dash for stocking stuffers, then meet for lunch, this year we might go a different route. :) Time to start some new traditions I think.

I spent nearly the entire afternoon Christmas shopping, and by the time I was done, I was in the mood to make cookies. So that's what I did. I put Elvis on his favorite stool, put on the Peanuts Christmas album, and made Chocolate Chip Caramel, and Chocolate Chip Toffee cookies. We even wore out Christmas hats. It was a nice time of bonding with Elvis. He is getting better every day, but it has been a long road for him. I have been so pleased with him the last couple days, because he has actually eaten all of his meals without too much drama or coaxing. :) He is a fun cat around the holidays, he has never attacked the Christmas tree, and he gets excited like a little kid about opening his presents. I still have to do a bit of hemming on his pajamas, that Santa brought him last year. LOL. They are yellow with teddy bears on them. :)

So I guess we will have our turkey dinner later this evening. LOL. It's pretty wacky having 50 degree weather in June, but I am not complaining. It's comfy, the house smells like cookies, and Elvis is at my feet snoring away, wearing his Santa hat. What could be wrong with that? Besides, pretty soon it will officially be summer, and Christmas will be the last thing on my mind. So tell me, is there a holiday coming up that you are especially looking forward to this year?

"Early Christmas Cookies"
Berkeley, California
June 2, 2007