Saturday, July 26, 2008

Salivating Army - Saturday 7/26/2008

It took a considerable force of will--or no, maybe that was just a sense of impending guilt--for me to get up Saturday morning and get these bags loaded up with clothing and linens and put them on the curb.

I wasn't thinking when I received a call on Thursday saying the Salvation Army would be picking up in our neighborhood and would I like to contribute. They were driving all the way from Bakersfield, so I said yes. They were looking mostly for clothes.

Of course, they said they'd arrive between 8am and 4pm and they showed around 2:45 pm.

In the meantime, we put together a bunch of other stuff to give to our favorite local charity, Valley Oasis Thrift Shop in Palmdale. They provide safe haven for battered women and children.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday in L.A. - Friday 7/25/2008

I looove the Internet. I do, I do!

Needed to meet Braveheart in Hollywood. I got off work at 3:30 and didn't need to meet her till 7-ish. So I Googled the area where she was doing some counseling (she's going to be an amazing therapist, without a doubt) and searched for coffee in the area, and found Caffe, etc.

Quiet and unassuming coffee house with a big rack of magazines and newspapers to peruse. I read from Details and Esquire, a couple of mags I don't usually spend time with. Wrote about all the people I saw heading home or meeting people after work. Sipped an iced coffee. Aaah.

I parked my car a few blocks away and left it there when Braveheart picked me up and whisked me off to...

...the Hollywood Bowl!

You have to relax at The Bowl. People meet to picnic ahead of time at the tables or, like us, bring sandwiches and wine to their seats. You get to sit and watch the sun go down and feel the air cool, and check out people scaling the concrete steps.

And then, if you're lucky, you get to see Diana Ross! Great concert, really. She had us all singing along (as if you could have stopped some of us) and at a couple of points, she shielded her eyes and said, "I can't see you!"

So they upped the house lights and we all waved, and stood, and swayed. She did lots of Supremes hits, and a little something from Majogany and from The Wiz and from Lady Sings the Blues.

Fun night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Seeeee Into Your Future - Thursday 7/24/2008

And if you live in Los Angeles, it includes using your own reusable shopping bags by summer 2010!


This week the Los Angeles City Council passed a ban on plastic bags (if the state doesn't make good on its threat to require a 25 cent charge for each plastic bag.) This is really great news.

Those flimsy plastic bags are a nightmare. They're manufactured using petroleum products, they don't decompose, they get caught in fences and on bushes. They pile up in my pantry because I feel guilty about just throwing them away.

Today I sent emails to each of the 15 L.A. City Council members thanking them for passing the ban. It's wonderful that they are taking the lead in changing the way we do things, and it'l hopefully support the state in passing its own legislation.

All those tote bags you've gotten as gifts or as rewards for joining book clubs? Dig 'em out and use 'em!

Here's the L.A. City Council's homepage, in case you want to write and thank them too. I just wrote up a little form letter and cut and pasted it, changing the name of the councilmember.

The automatic replies I received from each were really interesting too. A different tone and a different amount of information in each.

I just went and read a few of the bills regarding plastic bags and recycling of various plastic products that are in the California Senate and Assembly right now. What's disturbing about the one that I think the Los Angeles ban would defer to(AB 2058) is that it bans only non-reusable bags. It actually says that heavier plastic bags are okay to provide because they're meant to be reused. Aren't those also harder to break down in landfills!?

If you want to see the various bills in play right now, click here and do a keyword search on plastic and/or recycling.

To find your California State Assembly and Senate representatives by zip code, click here.

To find your state legislature in whatever state you're in, go to the National Conference of State Legislatures, highlight your state in one box and legislature in the other, and click on Get Legislature Links.

You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Odd Job Seeker - Wednesday 7/23/2008

Because our little town goes through growth spurts every so often, you see a lot of these group mailboxes around. It saves the post office sending someone around to each and every house in our 154-house complex.

People post notices on the mailboxes. Usually advertisements for the Homeowners' Association meetings or for Bingo night at the club house. (Yes, I'm serious.)

The middle one, hoping for the return of a darling lost cat has been there the longest. I hope they find her. Odds are not good out here in coyote country.

The top one gave me a laugh because I misread it as "Lost Bed" when I first saw it. I'm thinking how the heck do you lose a bed!? bed. I see!

This one showed up yesterday. It made me smile for so many reasons.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sneaking Out - Tuesday 7/22/2008

Stone steps outside Braveheart's house.

There is so much unexpected beauty in the world.

Sometimes it just stops me in my tracks.

The stone dove checks me out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Made Me Look - Monday 7/21/2007

Okay, they got me.

I snapped this while waiting in traffic on southbound Highland in Hollywood. It seems just tasteless enough to be real.

In fact, it's a viral marketing campaign for a new HBO vampire-centric television series called TruBlood. It's not quite as good as the amazing video that every one was forwarding when Dexter was gearing up, but it's pretty good.

Viral marketing? The goal is to create something so interesting that we will do the ad company's evil bidding and spread the word for them.

Yes, that makes me a dupe.

If you're curious, click here to see for yourself.

Yet Another Hike! - Sunday 7/20/2008

Our goal, should we choose to accept it, is to scale Sundry's Mountain. We started off earlier today and it was curiously overcast and cool throughout our entire hour and forty-five minute hike.

If you click on the photo and make it bigger, you may be able to see the moon above the mountain and a little to the right of center.

We can only assume that Hydra is doing his Rocky routine at the top of Sundry's Mountain.

Hey, somebody has to lag behind and document events like this. Not everybody who flew up there got to walk on the moon, you know.

But I did eventually make it to the top of my own mountain.

The diffused light was really wonderful. Made these dried out flower bases just glow.

HydraSquatch offers up the pod of friendship.

I took a cactus pine out of his paw once, and he's been bringing me stuff like this ever since.

(That's a yucca flower pod...pretty neat!)

This shows most of our little development. See all that stuff on the other side of Hydra's Mountain? 99.5% of it wasn't there when we arrived.

The yucca rises from the ashes. This area burned in March 2007.

Long time readers will recall that this was our personal brush with that powerful and famous California icon, the wildfire.

Looking back at Sundry's Mountain from atop Hydra's Mountain.

I know, I know. Another weekend hike...yada yada!

Just to spice it up, here's a not very good video of some finches eating the seeds out of the Indian Blanket flowers in our front yard. This was shot with my Canon point and shoot digital camera, not even a real videocam.