Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just a Couple More - Saturday 9/13/2008

This is it for today, I promise! I just loved these flowers, which came up of their own accord next to the Sanchez Produce Stand on Sierra Highway.

I had a great chat with the daughter of the family who runs it.

Hydra pulled over so I could take this shot of the nearly full moon rising over the Sierra Pelona range. This is right across Acton Valley from where we live. We were on our way to a hoot! Singing!

Sierra Highway Revisited Part 2 - Halfway House Cafe - Saturday 9/13/2008

The Halfway House Cafe from the front porch. This place shows up in movies and TV all the time. It was the setting for the 2007 feature film, Waitress.

The first time I ever saw this place was (probably) on an old episode of Starsky and Hutch, which I had a weird fixation on in my youth.

Pricey prices, but the chicken noodle soup was homemade and delicious.

Okay, I know it's weird to take photos of toilets.

But then again, it's pretty weird to find yourself in a modern two holer!

One of the front windows.

Hydra's been pointing this curiosity out to me for a few months. It's between the shrine and the Halfway House. Possibly an old mine shaft that was closed up with stone? It's on the left side if you're heading south.

Sierra Highway Revisited Part 1: Roadside Shrine - Saturday 9/13/2008

I headed down Sierra Highway Saturday morning to interview the good folks at my favorite produce stand for an article I want to pitch. Stopped at what I thought was a roadside memorial back in January (click for a comparison shot.) As it turns out, someone saw an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the blackened tree.

One of Hydra's coworkers told us that it had since been painted, so there could be no doubt about the miracle.

People carve their names here, and ask the Virgin to watch over their families, from what I can gather.

In spite of being right off the two-lane highway, it is a contemplative place.

Friday, September 12, 2008

lllicit Hiking - Friday 9/12/2008

This is the road cut we hiked to last weekend from over the hills to the right side of the freeway from here. (This was taken from northbound Sierra Highway.) You can really see how this little mountain was carved up to allow passage of the freeway.

If you click to enlarge you'll see a big pipe on the middle tier. The pipe's about 3 feet in diameter. I want to go back to get photos of the erosion around the concrete the pipe was set in.

We walked out from the left side of that tier but there was a landslide of sharp iron rich rock, so we went back and crossed over the pipe. It was pretty amazing being up there above the traffic.

Getting back through the barbed wire fence wasn't as easy as getting through where we first crossed. I lay on my back and scootched under and got a shirt full of stickers.

Fair enough.

p.s. I wasn't on any Metrolink train on Friday afternoon when the horrible crash happened. I was working from home again. Even if I had been, I don't take that line.

Metrolink ridership has been up in the past months because of gas prices. It's really awful that this happened on a Friday of all days. From personal experience, Fridays always seemed busier than other days. People avoiding weekend traffic, people going to visit in outlying areas.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Means You - Thursday 9/11/2008

I am working at home today. Which gives Dodger a chance to work on his own projects, like remodeling the interior of this wine box.

He was actually taking a break from his work when I found the house quiet...too quiet. I looked around the kitchen for him. Nowhere to be seen.

So I lifted the box lid to see if he was inside. Oops! Imagine a porcupine with the head of a bear and the eyes of an eagle who's just been awakened from a nap. That's my boy.

My trespass couldn't go unremarked!

Step away from the box! This means you!

Cool Thing: Check out political ads of yesteryear from The Museum of the Moving Image's The Living Room Candidate collection. I think the featured ads change from day to day, so I'm going to embed a couple of my favorites.

Wow, I think this is the one Bill Murray's character emulates in Scrooged! Apparently, it was only shown once as a paid ad, and then the news shows picked it up as a story. Yipes.

I'm not sure upon which planet this ad was originally shown. A fascinating species...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mango Tangle - Wednesday 9/10/2008

A perfectly ripe mango is one of the great pleasures in life. Sweet, tart, and exotic to those of us raised on apples and peaches.

When I peel fruit, I always try to cut the peel off in one continuous strip. It's something I learned in my Grandma W's kitchen. Probably a way to challenge herself as she worked her way through and endless series of breakfasts, dinners and suppers. (Yeah, that's how we called them in Indiana.)

I'm pretty good at it. I love the spirals that naturally result from this technique. My mind slides down them, back to Grandma's kitchen. When I was very little, there was a hand pump in the sink. There were blue gas flames in a little grate near the linoleumed floor. There was a Formica table with a cracker jar in the middle of it.

I doubt that my Grandma W, who died in 1979, ever tasted a mango. I think she would have liked it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Take a Hint! - Tuesday 9/9/2008

I was minding my own business, reading the copy of The Orchid Thief that Tomasina gave me (and loving it) when whoosh! This bookmark inserted itself between the pages.

Dodger fixed me with a knowing gaze from his perch atop my bent knee. He'd been grooming himself and it was time for this feather to depart his wing, making room for a new one.

"It's also time to close the book and pet the parrot," he seemed to say.

And so I did.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New Kid In Town - Monday 9/8/2008

The little guy on the left is the offspring of Hoover and his darling female companion, Eureka. I couldn't get a shot of the three of them together because Eureka kept darting back under the deck.

Yeah, you guessed it.

We're calling the little one Dyson.

Oh, and check out the newest addition to my blogroll : The Awesome News Source. Good news every day!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Once More Into the Breach - Sunday 9/7/2008

Okay, not really into the breach. Up the mountain. This is Sundry's Mountain, so-called by locales.

Okay, really just by Sundry and Hydra. And a few of our more attentive friends.

My foot amongst the rocks on the interesting hilltop. There are little egg-like bits of quartz up here amongst high-iron content volcanic looking rock.

I know just enough about geology to wish that I really understood this stuff.

Usually my left foot is in the photos alone. Clearly my right foot has had enough of this folderol.

As soon as I stop being tired all the time (except during and directly after exercising) I'm going to ask an acquaintance who's in the know to do a geologic diagnosis of our area via photos.

I think this is maybe a volcanic plug at the top of one of our hills.