Saturday, February 09, 2008
Yeah, I was on my way to bed and realized I hadn't taken a photograph yet.
This is a detail from Marsh Birds by our friend, the artist Kate Hewett. If you live in an earthquake zone you'll understand the appeal of having a nice soft piece of artwork to hang over your bed. You can have one of your own. (Check out that link.)
Did I ever tell you about the Northridge Earthquake of '94? Well, the pertinent part of our story is that we had a full-sized poster from Casablanca hanging not over the bed, but over a desk next to the bed.
Like this one, only in a heavy frame and behind glass. A junk store find that came with us from Indiana, I think.
Anyway, when the quake hit our apartment building in Sherman Oaks, it hit hard. We both jumped out of our bed (mattress on the floor) and headed for the two doorways at the end of the bedroom. I fell down and scraped my knees pretty badly on the way. I had no sense of falling whatsoever. In the dark, I had an image of a trapdoor in the floor coming up and hitting me.
It was a good thing we both darted for safety... the big picture frame came off the wall, bounced on the desk and shattered right where our heads would have been. Gulp.
We got all the birds (Bogie, Ridley and Dodger--who wasn't even a year old yet) out into the hall and the most surreal thing happened. Things were still rocking and rolling when my mom called from vacationing with my aunt and uncle in South Carolina! They'd turned on the news as they were getting ready to go out for breakfast (7:30 or so there) and called to see if we were okay. Another big temblor hit while I was talking to them in the dark.
Well, there's a lot more to tell about that day and the days and weeks afterward, but my point was that if you live in an earthquake zone, you might want to seriously consider some cushy art if you want to hang anything over your bed!
I really must get another little camera. I didn't want to carry my Nikon D80 with me because I don't want to bang it around too much and I took the train in yesterday. It was a workday and we had our taxes done afterward, and then drove home via the Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways. Missed getting a shot of the tallest buildings of downtown L.A. drowning in pastel pinks and blues.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
I've been wanting to drive up Carson Mesa Road for a long time just to see what it's like up there. Nice view of the mountains over toward Gorman (I think.) I'd given myself the assignment to have a small personal adventure today.
That body of water is the Palmdale Reservoir, which you pass on the 14 if you, like I, drive in and out of Palmdale. Before it was a reservoir, it was Lake Howard...which was technically a sag pond on the San Andreas Fault. Click here for a cool Landsat photograph that shows the fault more prominently.
Psst. They're building the massive Ritter Ranch housing development further up the fault line. There's a really lovely video interview with Ralph Ritter, telling the story of the beautiful land that is going to be bulldozed flat. It gives me a little knot in my stomach to think about it.
Way up Carson Mesa, it's all black and white, just like Kansas.
Even the ravens.
Wow, I've been spending a lot of time alone during this partial lay off. It's good for me to go into town and find a table at Barnes & Noble or Panera and interact with people (and ravens) a little.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Today is Pancake Day in the UK, Canada and Australia. I found this out when I visited 43Things this morning. I rose to the occasion and made some pancakes. Everything must be shared with the parrot, except for chocolate, coffee and avocados, which are not good for him.
Just as I poured hot syrup over my steaming 'cakes, the phone rang. It was OneL, seeking a discussion of the rather confusing ballot measure 93. I foresook the pancakes and looked at the materials again. I think we both understand it a little better, but I'm not sure how much it matters.
I am not terribly happy about term limits in general. Why shouldn't we be able to keep a person in office if we choose to? And if we stop liking them, there's always another election.
Shortly, I will rise to the other occasion and saunter down to the clubhouse in my neighborhood to vote. I am excited that I will be able to wear my "I Voted" button all day today. Usually I vote after work.
Today I'm not working, but I'm going to take over Mags's class at Taking the Reins while she's out of town today. So I'll show off my sticker to the kids. I'm looking forward to it with a little trepidation, and am happy to have a chance to get my feet wet teaching before I have a class of my own.
"Why must you invade even my most intimate moments?"
Sunday, February 03, 2008
This is what it looks like when it snows in the mountains. They get covered up with clouds. This is in Acton.
We were headed back to an antiques place around Littlerock, CA to see if we could find something we thought we saw a few weeks ago. Then went on toward Wrightwood.
Really nice to see people getting out into the snow. There were a few dozen cars parked along the way and kids and adults climbing up and sliding down. This is probably around 5000 feet up in the Angeles National Forest. We're down at 3000.
It started raining. The temperature was around 34 degrees and the road was increasingly slushy and we were still 6 miles from Wrightwood when we turned around. Just didn't want to get stuck up there if it turned to snow.
Snowplow! So exciting! At least one of my brothers used to drive one of these for the county back in Indiana...maybe both of them.
Look at that! A rainbow over the Antelope Valley. There were also dust storms going on off the dry lakebeds, but I didn't get a great shot of that.
Time to head home to our cozy house and our flock! Brrr!
Blum Ranch is a working orchard. Cuz-M and Cuz-P came up for the day and we went over and got them another quarter cord of peach limb firewood. (We bought 1/4 of that this time.)
Inside the barn, they sell fruit (peaches, pears, apples) here in their seasons, and bags of nuts and jars of home made peach preserves at this time of year.
We stood and talked with Elizabeth and Ray for a while, mostly about the fires of '04, which came very close to them. This machine made concrete water pipes that are a part of their irrigation system.