Friday, May 29, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Water

Finally! Thank-You for your patience, and you really won't be sorry - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the water - always have, always will. As Aunt Sandy says, I have sand in my shoes. I had a very difficult time picking just a few images. Some are here at home, some are not, but each has a story to it.
I recommend going to look at everyone's home towns. You can find us all in the comments of Patty or Reggie Girl's Blogs, or in the sidebar from Gordon or GingerV. Please to enjoy!

Water takes many forms and serves many purposes in our lives.
It entertains us and causes us to pause and reflect as shown at this fountain/kinetic sculpture located at Dublin Civic Center.We can ride on water like this surfer at Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz:We can shoot it at our friends at local parks:We can use it to cool down and exact revenge on our brother: Or to just sail away from the Berkeley Marina: Water also takes many forms - It will shoot our of the ground at Old Faithful in Yellowstone: Or fall off of a cliff: Or bubble up in geothermal pools: It also is quite beautiful in a frozen state near Tahoe:It comes rolling in on little cat feet toward the windmill in Golden Gate Park:And without it, my backyard view wouldn't have rainbows:It sustains sea lions in Santa Cruz:Freshwater turtles in San Francisco:And nothing beats a sunset like this one in Half Moon Bay:

But now for the entire reason this post is so late. Water is the inspiration for work like this Historical Landmark - The Sunol Water Temple. I remember my dad bringing us here when I was a kid, and how impressed I was by his knowledge of the waterways that intersect at this temple. I was utterly amazed at the sheer beauty of this monument to water! I went to the temple today to photograph it specifically for this theme. I have been waiting for a time to go and to have a reason, but I shouldn't wait for these opportunities. I hope the Water District sees fit to restore the picnic grounds out here, as I would love to bring my boys - and they would love it as much as I do! In researching the history of the temple, I found out that it was designed by Willis Polkand inspired by the Vesta of Tivoli. It was originally completed in 1910, and restoration was completed in 2000.The inscription around the exterior and mirrored on the interior reads:
I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry lands springs of water.
The streams whereof shall make glad the city.
The first line is from Isaiah 41:18b
The second line is from Psalm 46:4
S.V.W.C. is for Spring Valley Water Company
MCMX is Roman Numeral 1910

Three Fish for Gordon:The detail at the tops of the columns is impressive!The ceiling, restored to it's incomplete completeness is inspiring!When I was a kid, this was all rushing water. Because the main water artery is now underground, this has been reduced to a trickle, but it's still really cool.I cannot stress enough how amazing and beautiful and serene a place this is!Not just any pool of water!And the final image of today, reflecting my homage to water in all its forms and uses, without it we would be a desert of raisins for sure!Happy Weekend all!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hypocrisy - Seriously NSFW

Warning - may not be safe for work:

I've read some of the feedback on this PSA and much of what is being missed is the intent to highlight the hypocrisy of using the bible as a justification for discrimination. Biblical scholars have pointed out that the bible contradicts itself, and it is the interpretation of scripture that causes much hand wringing, not to even mention the translations that have been wrong, and the MANY books intentionally left out of the bible - but that is a soapbox for another person, and another day.

Another Video by the same group, which will likely upset many people:

Again pointing to the hypocrisy of it all. The other criticism I've read is that these videos will only reach the people who already believe in civil rights for all. That may be true, but still worth addressing.

My issue is that this can be seen as less of an invitation to intelligent discussion, and more divisiveness among humans. I understand why there is anger behind each side, and would LOVE to see something bringing the sides together.

This one won't do that either, but I still like this singer, even if she is a train wreck.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Monday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Friday started normally enough, with the possibility that my 2 Projects would be descoped for February, leaving me plenty of time to do what I prefer - PROCESS IMPROVEMENT!!! Yeah! I know, I know, I'm sick that way. Worked in the kids' classroom in the afternoon, and since 2/3 of the cooking teachers and 1/2 of the art teachers weren't there, I dropped art and helped my good friends with cooking. Art time was with 2/3 grades and they were finishing their animal reports and are pretty self sufficient, so that was no biggie. The issue was K/1s and cooking for the 4th week in a row. The recipe was zuchini fritters, which included chopping and grating, nothing you would want to leave a kindy to do unsupervised... We only had 4 go down. 2 grated their knuckles (both on my watch), One rubbed peppery fingers in his eyes, and one barfed all over a table in the classroom. Sent the last 2 to the nurse, and the substitute nurse sent the barfy kid back to class with an ice pack instead of calling his mom. He was supposed to come over and play after school, so I called his mom. He went home instead. Happy Hour Play Date was at my house and consisted of margaritas and cucumber lemon pepper appetizers. It was mellow and good. The kids played and had fun, and I had a nice visit with a couple of friends. The Youngest had a baseball game which he was late or due to the massive melt down he had about leaving the play date. I dropped him, after receiving a couple of pissed off calls from my mom about the field they were playing on. She continued when I got to tht game about leaving the playdate and not kicking my friends out of the house. My friends left when I returned about 10 minutes later, and I took The Oldest to watch the rest of the game. The Dude had his Bio final, which he thinks he aced! Then he stayed out until almost midnight. I waited up to see how he did, and was a little pissed that he hadn't called to tell me what was going on.

Saturday was laundry and garden day. Pulled weeds and did all the laundry. The Dude did let me sleep in to 11:00, so I felt awesome all day. The Boys spent the overcast morning watching cartoons, setting up Hot Wheels tracks, and playing Mousetrap. In the afternoon, we walked around the school field and they played in the back yard. No slip n' Slide as it was not even 60 degrees out.

Sunday was more of the same. Actually kind of bored because we weren't out doing anything - no money to pay for anything. I was missing our travel trailer because if we still had it, we'd be out camping this weekend. Oh well. The Boys spent the day begging to go to the movies, a fast food place, Chuck E. Cheese (basically anywhere that costs money). I let The Dude sleep in, AND take a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. It was also Opa's birthday and we stopped by to say hi.

Monday I was tired of doing nothing so I repaired some stuff around the house and The Boys and I washed my car, including vacuuming, beating the dust out of the floor mats, and armorall on all the surfaces that require it. Now it looks nice, and smells better than it did. Wanted to go shoot pics, but just kind of down in the dumps to do it. The neihbor kids from across the street came over to play in the afternoon and the boys had fun. Really don't feel like going to work tomorrow, and need to lose weight. Need to get out of the house though. Tried to find a lol cat to cheer me up, or a video on you tube to sum up my mood, or to cheer me up, to no avail. So you get this:

I did manage to find this one, which didn't entirely cheer me up, but did make me smile...

Sunday Stills - Yellow

This week's Challenge is Yellow. Follow the link for more participants.
I couldn't decide between these 3 images, so you get the lot.

Happy Sunday and Memorial Day all!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Paint the town RED

Because I haven't really shot anything at all this week, and also because there are no rules, you are being treated to some images I've used already for other things as well as from the archives:

This was shot at my neighborhood park. The Boys love playing there!
A Poinsettia growing wild on a hike:
A boat at Adventure Playground, quite literally painted red:
A rose from Mothers Day at the park:
A plant that I STILL do not know the name of!
A Pomegranate split open on the walk to school:
Last but not least, my Grandmother resplendent in red, while painting the town red! This was taken many years ago, and not by me, but I like the photo and wanted to include a bit of everything here.Happy weekend all!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Visually Cool and Pleasantly Numb

This song has been going through my head this afternoon. After missing this week's local Jimmy Buffett concert, I'm feeling a bit left out. Couldn't afford the tickets - not even lawn seats, so it's better I feed my kids than escape for a change in latitude for an evening! So Jim Morris has been playing today. Here's a vid from you tube of one of my favorite Jim Morris songs:

That led me on a search for some Great Big Sea, who always cheer me up, and I love this song of theirs:

Was pissed off about American Idol last night, and yelled at the TV. This morning was thinking that Adam losing was a backlash for the Carrie Prejean crap. And now I think it's probably better that he not be forced to release pop schlock in the winner's contract. I'm looking forward to buying his first CD, as long as it isn't all screaming, and got Steve Martin's (which I thought released last fall and couldn't understand why I couldn't find it until last night when I saw him on Idol and found out it only released this week).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tableau Tuesday 5/19/08

Here we are again, and I find that I didn't take a ton of shots this week.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

On a different note, I'm in a pretty good mood today and am continuing to choose a positive outlook on life. This morning, my Great Grandmother came to mind while reflecting on politics. Gigi was a staunch Democrat, who liked to play the dollar slots. Every time she put a dollar in the machine, she would put it in with Eisenhower's head upside down, and say, "Damn Republican!" Of course I was WAY too young in the 70's to have witnessed this, but I delight at the story none the less. This got me to thinking about the Dixiecrats, Strom Thurmond, and Arlen Specter, and what people do to stay in power. I read in my newspaper some select quotes from Obama's Speech at Notre Dame, and the onle that got me thinking about all of this, and come to some conclusions. The quote?
From the AP - Obama acknowledged that "no matter how much we want to fudge it ... the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." But he still implored the University of Notre Dame's graduating class and all in the U.S. to stop "reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It's a way of life that always has been the Notre Dame tradition."
He was talking about abortion debate, but this really applies to any of the hot button issues of our time. I see the real problem at the root of all of the devisiveness is a lack of respect and a tendency to vilify anyone in oppostion to their own views.
Also from the AP - The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, introduced Obama and praised the president for not being "someone who stops talking to those who disagree with him." Jenkins said too little attention has been paid to Obama's decision to speak at an institution that opposes his abortion policy.
That got me to thinking. I disagree with lots of people on lots of issues, including members of my family. I still talk with all of them, even about the hot button issues. I love my family, and would not abandon them over an issue and a disagreement. Likewise, I am going to try to be much more respectful of entire groups of people who disagree with my views. I would only ask the same in return. It's easy to dismiss the views of those who disagree, but we are all one human family, and I think opening up intelligent dialogue on all of these issues is important for moving forward as a United Humanity.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was mostly good with sucky circumstances.

Friday, we resumed the Happy Hour Play Dates! We drank Jack and Limoncello, which tasted way too good, and went down too fast. Had to break them up with water in between, or I'd end up under the table. Also had watermelon and popcorn and hot links and cheeseburgers and chips and salsa. I didn't eat any of the meaty things, and mostly stayed away from the chips, so I thought I'd done pretty well. The Youngest didn't have baseball practice, so we stayed a while.

Saturday, The Youngest had a Baseball game, and then the boys and I were supposed to go to Brannan Island to meet some friends, hang out and have dinner. I made potato salad in the morning, before it got hot. Friday, The Dude was saying he didn't think he would be going because his allergies have been really bad lately, and he needs to study for his final next week. That's fine, we weren't going to spend the night or anything. Then on Saturday, he thought the ball game was at 1:30 and was saying we shouldn't go because we wouldn't have alot of time. In actuality, the game was at 11:30, and we would have a nice afternoon and evening. Then The Dude was saying it would be too hot, so we shouldn't go. I was undeterred. I told him that I understood he doesn't like us going places without him, but if he didn't want to go, I was. Otherwise, if I sit at home with him, then resent having to do that just because he doesn't want to go. The truth of the matter is he didn't want any of us to go, and has decided that because he isn't allowed to drink anymore, he doesn't like hanging with that particular crowd because they do still drink. So after the game, he busts out with, well we don't have any money and if you don't have enough gas to get there and back, and enough cash for park entrance, you won't be able to go. I didn't have enough gas, nor enough cash for entrance fee AND gas, so I stayed home, resenting that he got us into this financial mess. This is after telling The Boys that we would not be going to where I said we would. I told them the truth, that we didn't have enough money to do it. The Oldest talked to The Dude, and then The Dude was pissed off at me for telling the kids the truth. Too fucking bad. They deserve nothing less than the truth. They need to know that while their needs are going to always be met, (house, food, clothes) the extras are not at the top of the list, and sometimes that is disappointing to all of us. Did some laundry and busted out the Slip n' Slide for The Boys.Spent hours out back watching them play. Later in the afternoon, The Dude, knowing I was already angry, suggested I raid a kid piggy bank for cash and just go. That is something I WILL NOT DO unless we are at such a low point that it's either the piggy bank, or no food to eat. And I mean NO FOOD. I'm pretty resourceful on that front, using tortillas instead of bread for PB&J when needed.

Sunday was more of the same, the weather was HOT, and I moved the Slip n' Slide to a different part of the lawn after the muddy ruts in the lawn from Saturday only started to recover.I also started teaching The Oldest how to do laundry after he went through 4 pairs of shorts on Saturday. I did some sudoku puzzles, drank ice water and photographed the sliding. I also tried some macro shots of the classroom pet we have at the house this weekend. Can you guess what these voracious things are?
If you guessed Silkworms feasting on Mulberry leaves, you would be correct! They went through a grocery bag full of leaves in just 2 days and three nights!
Oh, and on Sunday at 4:30 The Dude comes out back to tell me that we'd been invited to a friend's house, 30 minutes away for a BBQ dinner. I told him it was not a good idea. The Boys were already well past their enjoying time in the sun and water for the day, and it was way too late, on a school night to go that far away for dinner. Mostly because we'd get there, eat, then stay and visit for hours. Not to mention the fact that I didn't have enough gas to get there and back, and no one was paid since yesterday when I had the same circumstances. Guess what? All of a sudden he has money to buy gas, and he's worse than the kids with the "c'mon, let's just go, the kids will be fine, it's a free dinner (I guess so, but that's kind of a distance to go for a free dinner), c'mon, but (the kid back from Naval Academy Prep) called and invited us, and I really want to see him." I told him that I was perfectly fine with him going alone, but the boys and I were not going. Then he pulls the, "but then you will have to deal with the kids whining when they find out where I've gone." I wasn't going to tell them, I guess he was planning on doing that. He didn't. He pestered me some more, to the point I finally said, "Fine. you are worse than the boys, for crissake, let's just go." To which he replied, "No. Just forget it. Your just being a bitch about it." He then called the friends while standing next to me to tell them that I was being a weenie about it. I got up and went in the house to find the silkworms trying to escape their enclosure for lack of fresh food. Fed them and sat to watch them for a while, which calmed me down. The Youngest started vomiting and having diarrhea (which was clearly due to being in the heat too long), so I'm glad that wasn't going on while in the car!

The Dude then decided to pull out the George Forman grill and grill up some steaks from the freezer. Ate more of the potato salad and some cole slaw for dinner. The Dude was in a better mood, but I wasn't. I was fried from being in the sun for 2 days in a row. The boys had fun, and we may have had a breakthrough with The Youngest (who is always cold) agreeing to try out the top bunk where The Oldest (who is always hot) currently sleeps, and with the summer fast approaching it would be a great change for them both.

Sunday Stills - Eyes

Today's Challenge is Eyes.

This is my oldest you get up his nose as a bonus:
This is my youngest, with a look he often gives us:I adore my boys! Happy Sunday all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Public Transit

ScienceGirl came up with this week's shoot out, and I couldn't be happier that I'd already shot some of this. As you may have noticed, this week has been exceptionally rough, though in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse, and I am grateful that I have what I do, my family, and my friends. Everything else is just stuff, and not worth the worry.
I recommend going to look at everyone's home towns. You can find us all in the comments of Patty or Reggie Girl's Blogs, or in the sidebar from Gordon or GingerV.
As I've written about before, the San Francisco Bay Area has BART.
We also have Wheels (our bus system). Also there is the Iron Horse Trail, named for the railroad tracks that were previously here, and now a paved trail for bikes, pedestrians, and horses.
I also included a shot of my bike - panniers, coffee cup holder and all - hanging on the rack in my garage.
I hope you all have a great weekend!