Monday, March 30, 2015


Keystone XL pipeline was bad enough. Big oil downplays disasters as though leaking pipes, and lack of safety inspections are rare isolated incidents.  Big oil does not want you to remember  the huge  leak that closed a whole community in Arkansas in 2013, nor train that derailed and exploded in West Virginia in 2015, nor the mountain of toxic Coke waste piling up in East Chicago at the terminal off the great lakes, 6000 tons of it every day. They don’t want you to think about super-tankers carrying up to two million barrels of oil over sensitive ocean. Canada stands to benefit big time while we carry the risk. Don’t let it happen.
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All that crude coming from the Alberta Tar Sands is so profitable that Big Oil wants to triple production and send as much as 6 Million barrels a day on these newly planned routes into the us, by pipeline, and tankers all around the east coast, Florida,The Gulf and California Coast. It seems to me investing in clean energy makes so much better sense. You can double click on the picture to get a better read on the proposed routes. Oil on trains, river barges, and lake barges, and ocean tankers does not spell safety to me. The Natural Resources Defense Council has made this public. It puts San Franciso Bay, Puget Sound, the Great Lakes, the Hudson river, and more at risk.
It means mile long trains of tank cars traveling through highly populated areas like Los Angeles, Seattle and Albany New York.
Tankers imperiling fragile sea life in the New England, the Great Lakes and the gulf of Mexico where those refineries are located and recovery from a spill is still not paid for, nor the gulf repaired to it’s “pre-leak” condition.
If you believe in government for the people and not corporations, whenever you see someone in your neck of the woods proposing pipeline legislation for tar sands. Make your voice heard. From me Governor Brown will hear, NO, NO and NO. Also my representative. Luckily we can make our voices heard, but even that freedom is under attack.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


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The way Jim and I have traveled in the past, I’m rarely home for daffodils or my spring flowers. The special varieties like these, bloom later than the old standard golden yellows.
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I waited so long to take a picture of this variety, it is almost eaten up by bugs.
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The goldens are now gone but I did manage to catch a couple.
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A golden hybrid with an orange colored center.
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Also gone are the forsythia blooms, that come out on bare wood. The green leaves have replaced the flowers.
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The grape hyacinths are lost now in tall grasses.
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Pink cherry and wild Indian peach blossoms also bloom on bare wood.
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They’ve been replaced by pink apple blossoms that bloom after leaf out.
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For weeks, now, the air is fragrant with lilacs. They are just beginning to fade, but when warmed by the sun, they still send up that marvelous fragrance.
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I took these photos over a period of time and have really enjoyed my yard. Yesterday I pulled weeds for an hour and found out how out of practice I am. The muscles said, “we don’t do this any more.”  I used to spend hours pulling foxtails and needle grass, and other undesirables.
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This rhododendron is woody and barely blooms because it belongs in a rainforest and here it gets no water except rain, a decision made two years ago. It is still hanging on.
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Bulbs don’t mind the drought.
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Red Valerian is hardy in a barrel.
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My plan for the drought is to replace everything that dies with lavender,  rosemary and sages.  They are hardy and require little water. Lavender attracts bees as well and they were busy on this plant. What’s not to like?
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My housemate loves petunias and she somehow gets two years out of them.
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It makes sense to have flowers in containers that don’t require so much water to keep them alive.
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Well established plants close to the house will get minimum water. It is a big investment in landscaping, but my choices were not good for a long drought. I’m working on getting my well up and running. Hopefully it still has water. I’m looking into a rainwater catchment system, too. I just read the bad news about melting ice shelfs and the Solomon Islands that are barely above the water and losing ground rapidly to sea levels.we have  rough years ahead.
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We have to make do with less. I noticed that figs survive on rain. My orchard now has four trees instead of twelve. The almonds and stone fruits are long  gone.  If I get the well up an running, I’ll try for figs and hazelnuts as orchard food crops. Maybe strawberries in a mini green house along with my chicken eggs. My survivalist mentality.
I am enjoying my yard and my new browser, a relative of Mozilla Firefox that was so contaminated i was afraid to download it a third time. It is called SeaMonkey. I feel like my computer is a friend, again.

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Monday, March 23, 2015


Adware is so ominous, it boggles the brain. After a couple of free hours on my computer, the ads were back, taking over, interfering with everything I tried to do on my computer. The company I paid, put in another half day. It gave me an evening of productive use of my computer. Then, back it came. Frustration is just a word. I wanted to pitch this computer in the garbage and I could feel steam coming out of my ears. A hell week.
It was no better this morning, as I left for an appointment with my tax man. I chose flooring at Lowes for the new house before returning home.  I changed default browsers just now and I’m finally putting words on this page. Temporarily, anyway.
Not that I have anything of great import to convey, but it has been a trusty habit to communicate via these pages, and sort of journal what happens around me.
Sometimes it is misfortune that gathers families together. My cousin Bob Moore was in town with his inlaws who live in Murphys, after we had met two days earlier at a funeral for his nephew, my kid’s cousin, Barry Moore, only 48 years young.
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Brother Bill and cousin, Bob Moore at the end of the table on a beautiful sunny, Sunday morning.  His Mother-in-law Marilyn, daughter Leslie, and across from them,  my grandson Stewart and daughter-in-law Laurie. We like to meet for brunch at the Magnolia Cafe.
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This is my breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, beans, tomatos and turkey chorizo.
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At the other end of the gathering, Leslie’s brother Brian and my son Ken. As we age we think it unfortunate that the only time we get family together is funerals and weddings.
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Magnolia is a local hangout on the hiway, but I discovered this particular Sunday that the tourists have discovered it too. They tend to stay downtown, but I saw New York license plates and plenty of cars with skis on top. I complain but I shouldn’t. I know what it is like to try and make a go of a business in  a small town like Murphys.
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Then, on March 21st, I went downtown to check out Murphys Irish Day. They have a parade and all types of food and drink from both locals and out-of-towners who bring their wares to tempt us all.
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Irish Day is now sponsored by the Community Club. They have permission from Cal-Trans to paint a couple of huge four leaf clovers on he street. It wasn’t always so. Jim Riggs, a local businessman and his buddy Bob Bliss,g four-leaf clover, and then have a whoop-de-do at his place of business with corned beef and whatever anyone wanted to share. One year, the Highway Patrol lay in wait and he was  arrested, but Judge Airola dismissed the case and let  him out with orders: “Do not paint the street again-this year.” After drinking a good bit of beer, the line was often pretty crooked, but we did have fun. Now, it’s a big shindig, pretty tidy and raises money for local causes.
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My favorite part of Irish Days used to be the parade.
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And having assisted in several of them in the past, I especially appreciate the horses. It was a struggle at times to afford the insurance to have horses in the parades, especially since some of the old cowhands, half tanked up, used to gallop at the end of the parade and then nose through the swinging doors of he Murphys Hotel and order a drink from their horse. Another arrest put a stop to that practice.
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The wild has gone out of the west in some respects but we do appreciate the tidy pooper-scooper who follows the horses and puts things right again.
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Now my favorite part of Irish Days is the food choices. Oh, my. Where else are you going o find Asian fusion barbecue chicken on a stick and bacon wrapped bratwurst in the same booth?
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And, Dogz On The Run. (Gotta feed the kids, too.)
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And, chocolate dipped goodies. Hey, why not. Ever since some guy decided to deep fry a twinkie dipped and fried treats abound.
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Now, let me tell you, I like ‘em all. But, poor me, I’m having a bit of stomach trouble and couldn’t eat or drink anything at the street fair. I was bummed about that.
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No Ethnic group was left out.
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I couldn’t manage a green beer, but green lemonade?  It’s okay. But I passed.
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I did some people watching…
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A lot of people really get into the spirit of the day, and dress the part.
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This guy told me his wife did his tattoo. Neat, with cool  green shoes. St. Paddy woulda been proud if he was sober.
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I might go back for that free beer. I need a sign like that.
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Now this is something every good beer drinker needs for his kegger party. Yeah!
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The green wig reminded me of the purple one I bought for Mardi Gras, still in the Motor Home. I should have chosen green, then it would be good for two festivals.
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I looked into every booth. There were over 200 of them. These crystal pieces caught my eye because I have a friend who beads. They were quite nice, but I have enough jewelry that I already don’t wear.
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I liked this multi-media painting from the Bonsack Gallery because that is how I used to swing as a kid. High enough to turn upside down. Check out the band-aid on her knee.
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She and her husband are both locals. They have two galleries, one locally in Arnold. Her paintings tend to go right off the canvas.
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Well, I had a lot of fun. Saw a lot of fun costumes, people and some good music.
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For me, there is always something that triggers a past memory. I once had a friend, Lila Suiter, a Commander in the Navy who used to say, especially when she had one too many cocktails, “When I retire, I’m going to raise Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys.”  This miniature pony reminded me of Lila. Salud! Old friend.

Monday, March 16, 2015


I started this blog on March 14th, but could never finish it because of a massive infection in my computer. It was so bad, it would block me from my on-line banking, I couldn't do my blog, my machine was useless. I had email only on a second computer, but could not access anything from my main computer. I guess when ads totally take over your computer, that IS a virus. But, I didn't understand how bad it could be. And, how can companies think you'll buy from them when they are crippling and annoying beyond belief.

The fix yesterday, giving remote control to a company that specializes in ad ware and trojans, etc. took from 7:21 am to 3:46 p.m. I couldn't believe how much work the guy had to devote to my mess after I handed over my money. It was cheap, considering.

Neglecting my computer, and on-line friends, and so many things on-line made me realize how much I depend on this machine and how much of my life is on this machine. In a way, it is scary.

That said, the house building project is humming along, but it involves days of decision making, choices, delays, and dealing with contractors via Doug. Distance makes it harder and things come up unexpectedly.

So, there you have it. This week is already full of commitments, some ordinary, like Doctor and Dentist and some to do with the house. My time is not my own and blogging will continue to be sporadic.

One of these days, I'll catch up!

Monday, March 2, 2015


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One cloud black and brooding, maybe hiding thunder and lightening along my road, as I drove to the dump. We rarely see a building cumulus, those rare beauties of the sky.
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Gotthold called  them chariots of the sky. I turned around to take the picture before they disappeared.
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By the time I reached the highway, they were bigger, bolder. Again I stopped and thought what beauty, and how much better they would look without the interference of signs and telephone poles and wires. So, I decided to look up a poem about clouds. I couldn't find any that weren't ominous. Though I own 34 books of poetry. I was stunned when I counted them. I didn't take the time to look in every book, but each time I pick up a tome, I'll be chasing clouds.