Saturday, March 29, 2008

Have You Ever Stubbed Your Head?

"There will be rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better; we find comfort somewhere..."

-Jane Austin

Have you ever stubbed your toe? Of course you have! Stubbing ones toe is one of those wonderful human traits that all humans share. At some point we have all stubbed a toe. I have come to believe that God gave us certain parts of our bodies for reasons only he can fathom. The appendix is a good example. It doesn't really do much of anything but sit there and wait to perforate. You don't forget THAT pain if it has ever happened to you. I remember it like it was yesterday, but in fact, it was when I was 7 years old. It hurt. Large! And I still remember it. I remember the hospital stay, and I remember all I wanted when I got home after a two week stay away, was a big plate of my mother's homemade French Fries. Ahh yes, that's the stuff. LOL.

And then there's the spleen. Now that part of our bodies does actually perform a duty, but I learned from watching soap opera's in the 1970's that if you are in a car accident, and your spleen is damaged, you can live a full, healthy life without one. LOL. Didn't it seem like a lot of soap character's seemed to loose their spleens? Every time there was a car accident on one of those fantastic flights of afternoon fantasy, I just knew the spleen would be lost yet again. LOL. I wonder if Soap Opera Digest has ever done a round up of which characters have fallen to this fate? Hmmm... I may have to send them that request.

Anyway, I am thinking about stubbed toes and spleens, because this past week, something unusual took place in our house. We all three stubbed our heads. I went first, you see, Alan and I have been making friends with our new computer, and that requires that we eventually get around to hooking up all the hardware such as the printer and the headphones and the speakers and such. All the outside things that goes with computer ownership. And that is where the hilarity begins.

I was under the desk the other day, trying to find the power strip, when Elvis came over to assist me. I didn't know Alan had let him in the house, so imagine my surprise when a giant, black, hairy, tail decided to swat my unsuspecting face. LOL. YIKES! TWACK! BANG! Yes, not once, but twice I stubbed my brain against the edge of the desk. (Insert unladylike swear word here). LOL. I had hit my head so hard, I saw bubbles. Some people see little birdies swirling about their head, not me, I see bubbles. I got over it quickly, and Alan, Elvis and I had a good giggle about it, but man did my head hurt.

Very early the next morning, Elvis decided he was hungry at the ungodly hour of 3:30 AM. I usually try reasoning with him, which sometimes work, but on this day he would have none of it. Breakfast was being demanded... now! "Alan, the baby wants breakfast," I whispered loudly, "Can you feed the baby?" YAWN. "Ok Carly, I will feed him," Alan said sleepily. Ordinarily we feed Elvis around 6 or so, and then give him his insulin within a couple hours of that, but since he was eating early today, we would have to adjust the clock so we don't miss giving him his medicine. Alan was very sweet to get up for me.

I heard Alan pour the crunchies into the bowl, and then I heard a distinct TWACK! Swear word, swear word, swear word!!! "Alan, what happened?" "I stubbed my head Carly, where did those containers come from?" Ut oh! I forgot I had stacked some freshly packed some large plastic packing containers just the day before. Poor Alan. He had hit his head on the corner of one of the containers. As he climbed back into bed, I saw that he had quite a scratch across his forehead and a tiny bit of blood was already oozing from it. :(

He and I talked for a moment or two, and then fell into laughter about how clumsy we had been in the last 24 hours. We both now had bruises and scars across our foreheads. What would people think? And as we laid there giggling at ourselves, we hear Elvis run head first into the entertainment center, as he chased his invisible mouse. But that's nothing new, he has been doing that since he was a wee baby kitty. I am surprised he can think as straight as he does. LOL. That's just us, we do everything together! Including stubbing our heads. ;)

"I See Bubbles"
Berkeley, California
March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Steven's Feline Friday: Elvis and the Roses

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff."


It's been a long time since I played a Feline Friday. I mean since Elvis and I played a Feline Friday. LOL. I have been so busy the last couple months, especially since Steven took his break. I haven't taken any new photos of Elvis since New Year's Eve! That is unusual for me, he is a very willing photographic subject, he really likes posing for me. :) He is a happy and cooperative cat, as I arrange things in an attempt to get just the perfect shot. Yesterday, however, we didn't rely on props for our photo session, in fact, it was a spontaneous opportunity that had presented itself. Elvis was a very content kitty in his daddy's arms. It was a little cold outside, so he was all ready for an afternoon cuddle. Actually, both Alan and Elvis was ready for some cuddle time. :)

Later, we all took a look at my rose garden. Elvis is none too happy with me for moving the roses this year from the little area by to the fence, to alongside the shed. He is very protective of them, and is happier when I don't move them. He is getting used to the idea though, and yesterday he went on his usual rounds to check on them with no looks of disapproval. He loves flowers so much. He is the best little garden gnome I have ever had. :)

Go see Steven to find out all the ins and outs of Feline Friday. You can find him here, and there.

"Elvis and Alan"
Berkeley, California
March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Butterfly Ballet

"Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine."

-Jefferey Glassberg

Yesterday, Alan and I went to San Francisco, to the Conservatory of Flowers, to visit the newest exhibit, The Butterfly Zone. It was nothing short of enchanting. Imagine if you will, different varieties of beautiful, delicate, graceful little butterflies, happily fluttering about, from flower to flower, and perhaps maybe even landing on your shoulder, just to make you smile. That is exactly what it was like. I have been waiting for this exhibit to make it's way back to the conservatory, since 2006. It has been a long wait, but it was very much worth it, because if possible, this year's exhibit is even more lovely then the one in 2006!

The conservatory has made a few changes for the butterflies, which I think are perfect and delightful. First of all, I noticed a much bigger variety of flowers for them to enjoy, and which also delighted this girl, because when I photograph them, I am sometimes just as fascinated by the flower the butterfly is enjoying, as I am in the details of the butterfly itself. If possible, I like to show the entire flower, as well as the butterfly. Sometimes, it is more interesting to show just the tops of the flowers, especially if the butterflies are large enough to cover the top of the blossom. When you can get both, it's twice as nice. :)

It was an amazingly beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Alan knew how much I had been looking forward to our visit there, and surprised me with the purchase of a Safari Pass. Now all our future visits are already paid for, which is nice, because I am planning on visiting as much as possible this year.

Gas prices have gotten so out of hand, that I, like most folks, have had to give up a lot of my recreation. I do what I have to do, but I can't give this up. Nope. Won't do it. If I have to do without something else in life, so be it, it's worth it to be able to see this beauty every couple weeks or so. Besides, one of the new features of the exhibit is a new nighttime safari, to see the Luna Moths after dark. I am really looking forward to that. I got my flashlight all ready, now I just need to practice up on some night photography! I want to be ready to capture their soft green glow. I am so excited about stepping up to this new challenge. Wish me luck.

Butterfly Ballet...

Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) My favorite butterfly to photograph!

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius)

Luna Moth (Actias luna)

One sad moment. I found this little moth, deceased, and missing the bottom section of it's wings. :( Made me want to cry. I noticed a lot of folks yesterday trying to capture butterflies out of the air. Touching them is strongly frowned upon. I wish visitors would try to understand that not only is it against the rules, but it is such a shame to see someone assaulting these lovely, delicate creatures. It is one thing if they land on your person, and escort you around, but touching them on purpose just isn't a good idea. By the way, that gorgeous orange butterfly you see at the top of the entry is a Julia (Drayas julia) isn't she gorgeous?! :)

Conservatory Of Flowers

Julia Dryas julia
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
March 26, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Once You Go Flat You Never Go Back

"Computers must be male. As soon as you commit to one you realize that if you had waited a little while longer, you could have obtained a better model. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on, and big power surges knock them out for the rest of the day."


If you have been wondering what my new desk-ride looks like, here it is. Meet my brand new H.P. computer, and 19 inch flat panel LCD monitor. :) The computer and I are still getting to know one another, but because we are monogamous, we aren't rushing things. We have all the time in the world to experience all those wonderful relationship firsts. You know the ones. ;) I haven't found a name for it yet, right now I simply embrace tenderly and call it "Darling" when I turn it on. I hope our relationship will be one of mutual respect, and adventure. A girl likes a little adventure after all, at least this girl does. WINK. I have admit, as wonderful as our new relationship is, I am still seeing my old computer once in a while, we are still friends, and there are all those lingering memories on it's hard drive. And I mean really, once I fall in love, it's forever. WINK.

My New Desk Ride
Mr. Hard Drive
Berkeley, California
March 25th 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

True Colors

"The greatest way to live with honor in the world, is to be what we pretend to be."


"What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts of others to your own."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I like this man. Since last week, when he assumed the office of the governor of New York, a lot of personal information has come to light regarding his behavior both while in office and prior. Among the revelations are admissions of extra marital affairs by both he and his wife, and the use of illegal drugs some 25 years ago or so. Isn't it refreshing to have that kind of "bite me" honesty? I don't know if he has any plans to run for president in the future, but based on what I have seen so far, I would definitely like to see more from him.

I was going to write a blip last week, about what I felt was a careless remark made my Barack Obama. It was disappointing to hear him give such a passionate speech about racism in America, which really did seem as if it came from the heart, only to turn around and lump "most white folks" into a rather disparaging category. Yes, I was offended. I understand what he is saying about African Americans of a certain age, not being able to let go of the hurt and the pain they have had to endure, but I also look at the wisdom of one of my favorite poets, Dr. Maya Angelou, who channeled most of her pain, both personal and social, into creativity, rather then bitterness.

If you have been reading me for any length of time, you know I am not a racist. You know how I believe that anytime, we in America, waste a chance to experience talent, I consider it a tragic loss. So, hear the assumption in Obama's statement that "most white folk" have a particular racist attitude was disheartening. Now on reflection, I know what he is referring to, but I don't think it was well said. Sigh. To be honest, I am also a little disheartened that we are still having this conversation in this country. You would have thought by now, we would have moved a little further with things. That the color of one's skin wouldn't even be a consideration. But no. I suppose that is still back in that idyllic world I keep hoping I will wake up to find.

Of course in that world, Jeb Bartlett is president. LOL. I still miss the NBC show, West Wing. I loved that show, because it gave me hope. I always hoped Bush would maybe be sitting, with a bowl of killer pretzels, flipping channels as most me do, when all of a sudden he would come across that great show, and maybe, I don't know, get a clue! LOL.Unfortunately, George Bush goes to bed at 9:00 PM and it aired at 10:00 PM. It was a little bit passed his bedtime. LOL. Speaking of Bush, wouldn't it have been nice if he had admitted his alcohol use a little sooner then he did?I think I could have respected that in him. I could have respected him for admitting any one of the colossal mistakes he has made. Why is it such a terrible thing to admit one's mistakes? It makes us refreshingly human. Doesn't it?

Hillary Clinton has apparently stuck her foot in it. Yes, I can even call it straight, when the candidate I support missteps. It appears she may have exaggerated details about her trip to Bosnia in 1996. The point that she made the trip at all seems to be somewhat lost in the details. Did she do good on that trip? Did she misrepresent America? Does it matter? The focus is now on her arrival, not so much on what she might have accomplished. I am sure Barack Obama knows what that feels like. Folks focusing on your misspoken words as opposed to what you may or may not have accomplished. I can respect that she is now admitting that she misspoke. She is admitting that her account was less then accurate. Again, what's not to respect about that?

Politics is such a dirty business, but so is honesty and so is lying. That doesn't really leave much else... does it? Overall, I think I might like to have that honesty thing I keep hearing about. At least with that, you pretty much know where you stand. The only problem, however, is having the courage to ask the question you don't necessarily want to ask, and then the backbone to be able to accept the answer you might have wished you never heard.

"If you truly want honesty, don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to."


Clinton Red-Faced Over Bosnia Trip

Barack Obama Tries To Explain That 'Good People' Still Hold Racial Stereotypes


Monday, March 24, 2008

Karen's Monday Photo Shoot: Non-Relatives

"Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending."


New Monday Photo Shoot #13: Photograph someone you're not related to, who nevertheless matters to you.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I am still in the process of transferring my files from one computer to another, and I am a bit pressed for just the right photos for most of my entries these days, but when I thought about it, you don't have to have known someone long, or even really know them at all, to have them matter to you.

Alan and I met Joe Montana on our honeymoon. He and his family just happened to be visiting the same pumpkin patch on the same day we did. That encounter, however brief it was, started a tradition for us. Almost 18 years later, Alan and I have managed to meet a celebrity, of some sort, every year we have been married. Among them, Howard Stern, Regis Philbin, Mark Parent, Elvira, Helen Hunt, Barry Bonds, Dolly Parton, and an assortment of others. And it's always just fun. They matter to me, because it has always been a real stress buster, and I have to admit, it has made me a little less timid with the camera. Sometimes the encounters have been so brief that I have had to really think on my feet, in order to get the perfect shot. You may have seen this photo of Paula Poundstone on my blog before. It was taken at the Alameda County fair in June of 2000. She made me laugh out loud that day. I really needed that. She will always mean a lot to me for that alone. Thanks again Paula. :)

Paula Poundstone
Alameda County Fair
Pleasanton, California
June, 2000
Early Evening

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

And spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of it's wintry rest.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

It's a quiet day today in our house. Alan has to work two shifts at work, so it is just me and Elvis. Alan will be home from work in an hour or so, and we will have a couple hours together before he goes to sleep for the night shift. I made him an Easter Basket, which isn't an easy feat considering he considers "Peeps" instruments of the devil. LOL. What's a girl to do? She comes up with a "Man Friendly" Easter basket. LOL. I will post more on that next week, so stay tuned.