Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Doodle - Wednesday 9/5/2007

Why is the mug empty?

Why is the page blank?

Why does she doodle on the inner flap of the teabag wrapper?

These are the riveting questions we pose for ourselves as we pursue literary excellence.

The North Fire Still Burns - Tuesday 9/4/2007

See the fire line at the peak in the distance to the left? This was taken from where Escondido Canyon crosses the freeway. This is about 6 miles from my house and heading away from us.

Heads Up! - Monday 9/2/2007

So I was messing around on line Sunday afternoon, when Liz emailed to ask if we were okay. She'd heard there was a fire in Acton. Huh? Oh, yeah, not to worry.

But look at the view from the driveway! The fire's down along Soledad Canyon, but it looks like it's right over the hill we climbed this morning.

The sun was an eerie red ball.

Ravens pass the smoky sun.

Some one took a time lapse video.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hot Hike - Monday 9/3/2007

It all started out pretty idyllically around 7:30 this morning. It was fairly cool in the shade of our yard.

I liked this pair of shoes on a neighbor's front porch. Looks like they've been out and about too.

We decided to hike up my mountain, on the other side of the neighborhood from our house. A new fire road was bulldozed during a recent fire. Wow, it heated up fast once we were exposed to the sun. As you can see, there was no cover. It became very steep. The first 1/2 hour of the hike was all uphill, all in the sun.

See the little snippet of green at the base of this burnt shrub? Recovery is already beginning here and there.

Downtown Acton, CA. Still a nice place to live.

Especially if you have air conditioning. It was 90 degrees in the shade by the time we returned to our yard around 8:30 a.m.

The Whole Sugar Debate - Sunday 9/2/2007

There is no way I am going to live without sweet in my life. A cup of good black tea from China or India, dosed with a little milk and sugar is like a touchstone for me. It's something I've enjoyed since I was a kid. It provides a pick-up in the morning, a break in the afternoon.

I almost always brew tea before I start writing. The time it takes separates me from the rest of my routine and the smell and taste works like one of Pavlov's bells.

I've just decided to stop with the Splenda. I don't know. What's worse, some sort of mystery chemical or actual sugar? I usually drink 3-5 cups of tea a day, with a teaspoon of sugar in each. This seems like a lot, but I guess it's about a quarter of what a person gets in a Coke Classic.

So...I'm going back to sugar. Turbinado sugar, just to give myself some feeling that I'm at least trying. Used to be I'd use real sugar only in the premium teas I brew from loose leaf mostly on weekends, and Splenda in the restaurant service tea I get at diners.

Raining, Pouring - Saturday 9/1/2007

Welcome, September. Wow, did we have an electrical storm up our way! We were at Circuit City, taking advantage of a sale, and the power went off and on several times. The first time thunder struck, some one screamed.

This shot was taken from the back door. I just opened it and snapped the shot quickly because big fat drops were beginning to come down.

There is nothing, nothing like the smell of the earth when it begins to rain after a long dry spell. It's like everything is opening up, even the soil.

There's No Rush in This Hour - Friday 8/31/2007

Trust me, no one's life was endangered in the creation of this photograph. It was stop and stop and go on the 5 at the 118 around 4 o'clock Friday afternoon.

Amazingly, once I made it to the 14, everything was pretty much free and clear. Made it in about an hour and a half, which is good for a holiday weekend Friday. Plus I was able to talk to Mom on the cell phone (handsfree, yes) most of the way, which does an amazing job of keeping me calm.

Bootmobile - Thursday 8/30/2007

I see this vehicle a few times a month, but usually there's too much traffic for me to veer off the side of the road and get a shot of it. I went to Harry's in Burbank for breakfast and made a point to turn on Verdugo to see if this big boot was still parked there.

I love that someone went to all the time and effort to make this thing!

Too Darned Hot - Wednesday 8/29/2007

How the humidity plays with the sky, from my driveway.

What's wrong with this picture?

It's 3:30 in the afternoon and there is nobody sitting outside Priscilla's. Temperatures have been right up around 100 degrees with more humidity than is typical for the L.A. area, and it's just no fun to be outside.

I spend my days shamefacedly scuttling from air conditioned home to air conditioned vehicle to air conditioned workplace and back again.

The Truth About Bob Hope Park - Tuesday 8/28/2007

The truth is, I could take a photograph that would edit out the huge power towers that stomp through Bob Hope Park. And I could neglect to mention that in addition to the menacing pop and crackle of the electric lines overhead is almost drowned out by the sound of cars rushing past on the 134.

But the truth is also that green space is better than gray space. And the truth is also that kids come here to play, and adults come here to run, or picnic, or rest. And if you go there between work and your writing group, you can spread out a blanket and fall asleep pretending that the traffic is water rushing through the funky little stream bed.