Monday, August 31, 2020

Moon Shots


I ran out Friday evening after sunset and saw the moon with this wild orange hue. It looked pretty beautiful although I suspected it came from the bits of smoke drifting up here from the fires burning east and south of us. 

On Saturday I went out around the same time to take a look. Ah yes, that's the moon I'm familiar with. The skies are clear and fine now. 

I did a screen grab from my photo downloads on the computer that lined up perfectly for the comparison photos. 

Hope all is well for you, friends. 


Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday Music: In Another's Eyes

Many, many years ago when Roger and I were still working and living in Santa Cruz we found this music by a local band. City Folk was quite popular back then and even toured the country for a while. We liked their music so much we actually went to see them perform in Santa Cruz back in the day. Here is one their songs. Good for these times.

I found this review of their music: The subtext of their music is a healthy and whole community. Passion, integrity, respect and gratitude and a “hands and voices-on” approach to making this world a healthier, happier and better place for all its inhabitants. City Folk is a positive experience and a positively uplifting one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Life These Days

I took a screen-grab of this image from the San Francisco Chronicle. California has over 625 fires burning, more than a million acres. The thing that really caught my eye on this map tracking system was the "Select A Fire" drop down menu. These are the times we are living in, a menu of fires. We're lucky, all is okay here. We didn't get the thunder and dry lightning storm that was predicted for us and the rest of northern California on Sunday, and that made us very relieved and happy. We're waiting to see what happens next.

The fires have replaced the Coronavirus headlines. The cases are still surging here. The local university has let some students come to campus for in-classroom courses. So far after one week, five students have tested positive. Not sure what the impact will be on our community, but it does make us that much more vigilant about hand-washing and mask-wearing.

I'm sure you know we are not watching the Republican Convention. There's no way we could let those words and intentions enter our already challenged psyches. We are very worried about the future of our country. It keeps getting worse and worse, and it's hard not to be totally bummed out about all of it.

We've been walking three miles a day, but there hasn't been much opportunity for photos. The skies have been pretty overcast as the summer begins to fade into fall.

That's life these days. Fires, virus, political insanity, and gray skies. As one article called it When Crises Collide.

PS-- As if this all wasn't already too much, I created this post in the new Blogger format. It's interesting to figure this stuff out, but I think it looks pretty much the same. Could we just get back to something normal soon? Wouldn't that be lovely? 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday Music and Smoky Skies

If you've been seeing the news of California you know the dire straits a very large part of our state is in. Roger and I are fine here. The air is clear and the temps fairly mild. Family, friends, and former students of mine from my advising days at the university have been sending photos of the skies in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. It's a nightmare. The first and oldest state park of California, Big Basin Redwood State Park, is on fire. It's where Roger first went camping when he was young so many years ago. Friends have lost their homes. The evacuation area is huge. So, here are some photos and a song for our times. Take care and stay safe, friends.
My sister-in-law sent this, the sky at 4:00 in the afternoon

Patrick sent this of the skies over Oakland

Ricardo sent this of the sky over the ocean in Santa Cruz

Ricardo sent this of a Santa Cruz city street

Peter sent this of two separate fires burning in Sonoma County
Abigail sent this of the Carmel Fire south of Santa Cruz

Monday, August 17, 2020

Then There Were Clouds

The good kind, the ones that make me run outside with the camera. It's been a foggy summer with hardly any opportunities for sky watching. Then the heatwave struck California and the hot summer sun baked us for a couple of days. We stayed indoors with the shades drawn for what seemed like forever. And of course, we're still dealing with the ever-present threat of Covid-19.
While in our sheltering in place mode, I started thinking about a blog post that I planned to title "What Were We Thinking?" In it I was going to explain how those spam comments which kept coming finally had me follow fellow blogger Patti's advice (which she left in a comment on my post about spam) about turning off comments on older posts. So, I spent quite a bit of time looking at 250 blog posts (which only got me back to 2017) to turn the comments off, one blog post at a time. That's when I wanted to question, after having to look at each one of those posts, "What were we thinking, starting a blog on this crazy public internet and filling it with the details of our very personal lives?" We were so naive back in 2005 when we began blogging. This beautiful place to share our stories reminded me of my early days of having pen pals when I was young. Connecting with people all around our beautiful planet. I loved it. What had it become?
The spammers made me question our very innocent perspective. But since I turned off comments leaving only the five most recent posts open for comments, guess what... no more horrible horrible spam. So I intend to keep going to all nearly 2000 blog posts to turn them all off. I want to be reminded of kindness and beauty. We can't let the jerks win.

And then there were clouds, beautiful beautiful clouds. Yes.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Friday Music: Echo of Delphi Valley

This song comes with a story from more than a decade ago. Here is a link to a blog post we did in 2009 that tells how we first discovered the music of Peppino D'Agostino. We hope you enjoy both, the story and the song. If you do follow the link you'll notice there are no comments on that post. Back in the day we used Haloscan for comments. They discontinued their service, and we lost all the comments from the first five years of blogging.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday

We've had some beautiful blue skies and sunny weather.
So one day we went to the beach. 
 Trinidad Head had a bit of low fog in the distance.
A few days later we walked the Moo Cow Loop and saw summer flowers and grasses where the winter season creek flows.
And the clay soil dried in the summer sun looked like paving stones, reminding us why we have to amend the soil here as much as we do to make a garden grow.

And that's all we've got for now.
Take care and stay well friends.

PS-- I put this post together before Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his VP running mate. We are so happy with his choice. Now, time to fight hard and win in November!

Friday, August 07, 2020

Friday Music: Dangerous Night

I've been thinking about posting this song for a while. We are living in such interesting times. Between the pandemic and the politics these days, it all feels like too much. Really, it's more than a dangerous night, it's dangerous all the time here in America.

Now some small parts seem right scattered here and there
One smiling face in a crowd that's angry and scared
Can't seem to see where it doesn't get worse
It's like one good thought getting lost in an angry verse

I try to write Buddha and it comes out guns
I vote for peace and the blood still runs
I want to believe I can pass happy to my child
But the truth gets lost and the system runs wild

Send me someone who has doubts about it
Who has conquered their own fear and lived to tell about it
Someone who won't give up in the frozen rain
Who'll walk right next to me through the orchards and the grain

I wake up from a dream of a baby and a blast
Scenes from the television in the blue light it cast
Seek peace in your own heart sounds true, sounds right
I'm a troubled soul searching for peace in the night

Send me someone who has doubts about it
Who has conquered their own fear and lived to tell about it
Someone who won't give up in the frozen rain
Who'll walk right next to me through the orchards and the grain

Trying to figure out how it all fits together
Humans and sun and oceans and weather
And even if I dream alone on such a dangerous night
Tryin' to make all these pieces fit right

Send me someone who has doubts about it
Who has conquered their own fear and lived to tell about it
Someone who won't give up in the frozen rain
Who'll walk right next to me through the orchards and the grain

Even if I dream alone on such a dangerous night
Somehow I know I'm going to dream again tonight

Monday, August 03, 2020

If A Blogger Screams On The Internet...

... can you hear it? If you could, you would hear me screaming wildly. Something wicked this way has come, a strange barrage of comments, literally hundreds of them from "nwonknu" (I spelled the name in reverse because I didn't want to actually put the fake name here on the post) who has all sorts of creepy horrible things to say, overtly sexual and mean. Most of the comments end up in the junk mail, but some show up in the inbox. Ugh. I have googled and googled around to see how to make it stop, but there doesn't seem to be a way. I already have comment moderation on, and I thought about limiting comments to people who have gmail accounts, but I have seen discussions saying that that hasn't worked. I've thought about starting a new blog. It's that creepy. Are you getting comments like these?

I'm also finding that sometimes blogger logs me out so that I can't leave comments on other blogs. It even logs me out of my own blog. I don't think it's a hacker/virus problem, but I do think it's a google blogspot problem.

What started out as a fun way to connect with people around our beautiful planet is getting to be a little bit troubling and less fun than it once was. I want to keep posting pretty pictures, if in fact we ever get out of our sheltering in place mode and walk somewhere besides our little neighborhood, but who knows when that's going to happen. I love the blogging community. You have shown me the most beautiful sights and shared insights and life stories that have enriched my life. I don't want to give this up.

What should I do?
And here's a photo for you. We had to drive into the big town of Eureka the other day. As we were zooming along at 55 mph I clicked this pic out the car window. I thought it looked so much like the ocean in the distance, the horizon and the cloud above. It's not; it's all cloud above the trees there.  A fun illusion on our short drive.

Today is Roger's 78th trip around the sun. He was going to post something here, but got sidetracked by fence repair work and harvesting potatoes. He's quite the energetic old man, and I'm so happy to have been on more than 32 of those trips around the sun with him. Happy birthday, Roger!