Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Don't Know Scat - Saturday 7/19/2008

There have been mountain lion sightings in Acton this summer. One even took a goat from a place about a mile and a half away, as the crow flies.

We thought maybe this was mountain lion scat, but it's not. When we got home and looked it up online, we found out that real cougar scat looks like this.

Oh! We saw that all over the ridges around our neighborhood. Seriously!

Still not sure what this is. It's disturbingly large and full of juniper berries. Like bear scat, kind of. Hmm. There are bears way over on the other side of the valley, but I can't imagine one wandering all the way over here. It's very exposed.

I don't know exactly what this is, either. Maybe it had something to do with surveying the area? It looks like they mounded dirt up an poured the concrete into the bowl to make this base.

We've decided that the best place to eat is usually at our house. We went to a restaurant that was well-reviewed online yesterday and it wasn't as good as these chicken sausages and onions I cooked up for lunch.

Let's see... What goes with that?

What do I have in the fridge? Persian cucumbers. There's a ripe tomato on the patio, and basil growing on the front porch and, hmm, the plumbs I picked from the branch of the neighbor's tree that hangs into our yard.

My instincts are getting better. This was amazing together, dressed with my favorite taragon white wine vinegar and the wonderful olive oil Tomasina gave me for Christmas.

Plumbs and fresh basil. So good. I'm going to try more pairings of fruit and herbs.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Whole World In Her Hand - Friday 7/18/2008

The one on the left holds just most of my typed up writing for the past year or more.

The one on the right holds all the documents I've created at my job for the past two years.

You never really know how cold a room can feel until you try to access your USB drives only to repeatedly receive the message "Drive unformatted. Do you want to format now?"

Noooooo. No, I don't.

These little guys are really wonderful. I don't absolutely trust my hard drives. I figure it's better to save to these (infinitely losable) little darlings. I do also have an external 250 gig hard drive that I save photos and personal documents to, but it doesn't really get updated as often as it should.

As it turns out, there's something wrong with the USB ports in my desk top computer. Thank goodness I was able to move the USB drive to my laptop and send my last report of the day. (Working from home, saving gas money, tra-la!)

I would much much rather have a problem that money can solve than lose all that data.


I'll be backing up to that external drive this weekend, you betcha.

P.S. When the heck did I get shar pei wrists?!

Is this some kind of cruel instant-karmic retaliation for making fun of The Hoffmeister yesterday?

I swear to you, it's the awkward angle, standing over a table with my hand lying flat. My wrists are not always this baggy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rumors of Sundry's Low Sense of Humor - Thursday 7/17/2008

have not been exaggerated.

Yeah, I admit it, this made me laugh out loud when I saw it!

Couldn't believe my good fortune when he actually pulled from the left lane to the right, right in front of me. There's a huge bundle of t.p. under the trailer, which you can't really see from this angle.

It's a good thing I'm easily amused. I may never win ten million dollars.

P.S. Happy Birthday to the stunning KittyW! Sorry you had to share the day with this image and with David Hasselhoff. It's his birthday too.

What were he and his handlers thinking when they agreed to this?

The puppies received therapy and are reportedly living fairly well adjusted lives.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In & Out - Wednesday 7/16/2008

6:27 a.m.

The way into work is clear.

3:34 p.m.

The way out of work.

Also clear.

Although this is clearly not a high-traffic area, it's pretty hard to lurk here.

P.S. Apologies to any Southern Californians who were hoping for commentary on the fabulous In-N-Out Burger.

Fruitful Morning - Tuesday 7/15/2008

I stood here framing a couple of shots of these--I think they're maybe an uncultivated kind of date?--until a squirrel up there pitched a fit.

It suddenly began racing around up there, chirping and chattering and rustling the fronds. Then it jumped to a neighboring tree, in a huff!

The fruit, after having been run over by a car.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meanwhile, in the Yard - Monday 7/14/2008

Okay, thanks. I feel a little better now.

Back to the yard where the tomatoes kept ripening while we were gone.

And the sunflower developed a couple more heads.

Monday, July 14, 2008

In the Shadow of the Mallard - Sunday 7/13/2008

GuitarDaddy whipped us up a mighty fine breakfast!

We ate in the shadow of the mallard. I did mention that I'd had a mallard for a pet when I was in middle school.

His name was Wolfie, because when I got him from the incubator in the science lab at school he was black and gold, the school colors of Wolf Lake High School where my dad and brother went. (Before Evil Consolidation.)

A lingering look back up at our bedroom window. It was a great weekend to be at 5000+ feet, since it was about 20 degrees cooler up here.

Heidi sees us off.

Bye! Thanks!

It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend, and it was great to get to know these two terrific musicians better.

On the way back, we stopped to take photos around the ruins of the Llano del Rio commune, which opened in 1914. We walked around speculating, and I just found that link above which tells the history of the place.

Here's a photo I found online! Apparently the hotel burned down in 1920!

How much do I love the Internet? This much [holds arms as far apart as possible.]

The back of one of the big old fireplaces.

I've been wanting to stop here for a long time, but not quite enough to actually pause in our travels. Now they're in the process of widening parts of the 138 and I figured I'd better do it sooner than later.

An old cistern.

I suspect that this was the base of a water tank. You can see some other remains in the background. This place was much bigger than it looked from the road, with traces of what looked like a dozen or so dormitory style rooms in one area, and lots of less-identifiable foundations.

Looking through what was once a window. As Hydra commented, it's amazing how much of the rock wall is missing. He theorizes that what didn't burn was scavenged to build other structures elsewhere. Nicely collected rock.

And here's my theory...that this duel track of stone was once an aqueduct. It runs from up near the big lodge house to the furthest structure on the property...probably a distance of a couple of hundred feet.

Not sure if you remember, but a while back Hydra and I stopped at the Pines Cafe. It had been operating on the same site for decades and had a very good local reputation.

So glad we stopped there the two times we did! It's no longer there!

Now it's Habanero Grill.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ideal Wild - Saturday 7/12/2008

Yeah, not that wild. I admit it.

We started the day as we love to start a day, lying abed for a while reading and eventually writing.

Dodger's happy to sit on my shoulder as I read in bed. But he's not comfortable with the way I cradle a pen in my hand. Too much competition.

Also, he needed to check out that side of the bed.

The view from "our" upstairs window. Dodger likes it too!

It's really lovely to be amongst tall trees.

After a lovely breakfast of waffles and sausage whipped up by GuitarDaddy, we visited their favorite thrift shops around town.

Ooh, we found some good stuff. Like a medicine cabinet with a wonderful beveled glass mirror that I discovered leaning against a fence behind a cork board. For five dollars! It has a nice pair of geometric lines etched in it. I'm hoping to remove the mirror and frame.

We liked this giant wooden squirrel, but no one took it home. This was being sold at a restaurant that was going out of business. GD and MM had eaten there and knew the owners. We picked up some DVDs and some other good stuff here.

Sad to see someone going out of business though.

The view from downtown Idyllwild. We had lunch there and walked around a little. There were a bunch of very tame Harley riders there.

Really had a terrific day hanging out with MandolinMama and GuitarDaddy. She made a lovely dish of pasta with rolled stuffed flank steak for dinner and we talked into the night again. Never quite got to playing music, but it we were enjoying the conversation.

Into the Woods! - Friday 7/11/2008

GuitarDaddy and MandolinMama (friends from Songmakers) invited us up to their cabin in the Idyllwild area for the weekend. Isn't it adorable?

We had a nice 2 1/2 hour or so drive up here. The road up is much more gracefully curving than the way up to Big Bear & Lake Arrowhead.

Ours is the window in the peak.

Love the sheet music on the stand in the living room.

The way up to our quarters illustrates that this cabin is knotty pine heaven. Being surrounded by so much wood is truly relaxing.

But we need to go back down and join in the conversation. It's going to be good!

And there will be cake. I made this vanilla almond cake to take with us. Brought dinner of Tuscan sausage soup, salad, Asiago cheese bread and dessert to start the weekend off with.

It was good that our hosts had told us they wouldn't stress if we were delayed. We were about 45 minutes late. We didn't stress either. I seem to finally be learning that my stressing out about being late will only make the situation worse.

We're probably going to do more long weekend trips this year rather than a week or two of vacation at a stretch. I love that we have plans for the next few months!