santa cruz wharf

30 April 2009

Thursday Thirteen ~ 30th of April

313 – Roman emperor Licinius unifies the entire
Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.

1492 – Spain gives Christopher Columbus his
commission of exploration.

1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in
New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office
to become the first elected President of the United States.

1803 – Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases
the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more
than doubling the size of the young nation.

1900 – Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States

1909 - Scandinavia creates holiday celebrating arrival of Spring.

1925 – Automaker Dodge Brothers, Inc is sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50 million for charity.

1927 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become
the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

1947 – In Nevada, the Boulder Dam is renamed
Hoover Dam a second time.

1933 – Willie Nelson, American musical icon was born.

1957 - Elvis recorded "Jailhouse Rock."

1993 – CERN announces World Wide Web
protocols will be free.

and…in 1959… a day that will live in history….

The Teamster was born.
Happy Five-O.

26 April 2009

Remembering Papa

My Grandfather would have been 94.  We are celebrating his birthday for the first time without him.  He had a long life…well lived…and well loved.

24 April 2009

photo hunting ~ protection

ph protection

tnchick has brought us the Saturday meme,
“Photo Hunters” for as long as the weblog world can remember. For this week’s theme of “Protection” I chose the F-18 Hornet.

I am honored and thankful they protect me.

photo hunter

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ pole twirling (7)


I admit this is probably not what Tish had in mind for her meme…I might be stretching the concept just a bit…but you DO have to look at the sky to see this….smile

The following aerobatic performance took place in Tulum, Quintana Roo,  Mexico last December.  We were there to see the spectacular ruins and had stopped for lunch and a little Christmas shopping.

After a rather aggressive collection of donations from spectators these five men climb to the top of this pole.

a 2008.12.16 479 post

Some young and some old, their traditional costumes have heavy brocade made of ribbons and intricate bead work.

b 2008.12.16 498 post

Suddenly four of the men pitch themselves backwards off their perches.  They are wearing the rope around their waist and knotted at the crotch

c 2008.12.16 501 post

They each spin independently as the group twirls around the pole…slowly unraveling the rope and dropping towards the earth.

d 2008.12.16 485 postThe one guy on top apparently ensures nothing gets tangled up.

e 2008.12.16 488 post
It didn’t look comfortable….or OSHA approved…but I doubt they are Union.
 f 2008.12.16 518 post h 2008.12.16 490 postJust before their heads scrape the ground, they do a little flip.

i 2008.12.16 519 postBack on Earth, and back on their feet, they walk away as if they hadn’t been upside down, swinging, twisting and twirling.
It was a great show.

2008.12.16 491 postThe fifth man winds back up the four ropes.  If I was part of the group…I would take very good care of this guy.

i 2008.12.16 492 post

23 April 2009

Thursday Thirteen ~ heard while photographing

1) Why are you bringing your camera?

2) Enough already…we are going to be late.

3) We are going to hike ahead. 
I’ll come back for you in a couple hours.

4) Can I use MY camera now ?

5) You can’t get every shot.

6) I’m gonna nap in the car til you’re done.

7) No one ever sees all of these pictures.

8) Where did you put the lens cap?

9) What is my brother talking about? 
A birthday video of me on FaceBook?

10) You only took two hundred and twelve shots…what’s wrong?

11) Put the damn camera away, you are NOT taking a picture of that !!

12) How many times to I have to ask you to put the lens cap back on?

13) This had better NOT show up on your blog.

I’d almost forgotten about Thursday Thirteen…
Miz Starr is hallucinating up a storm with britt boys today…and reminded me. Pay special attention to #10.  Although…I do like boys who sparkle….

TT batton has been passed to new sponsorship….
I may have to start playing’ again.

20 April 2009

Virtual Spring Cleaning

Voicemail box is full.
Text message limit is maxed out.
Guess I need to go through them.

At this time in my life, for the most part only four people text me; SugarCookie, Little Missy, The Cub, and The Teamster.  I have saved texts of the odd sentimental message from each one ….a few of which are from two or three years ago.

I can no longer keep up with my Reader.
If I don’t “read” for a few days there will be hundreds of posts awaiting some sort of action. 

I have accumulated 298 subscriptions in my Reader, which I have divided into twelve categorized folders. 

Granted, two thirds or more are of a “news and information” type nature.  I reject the pabulum most people rely on.  I read the left, the right, and the in between cause I want to know more than the twenty second sound bite which main stream media has deemed sufficient for our consumption.

Since June of 2007. I have “starred” 174 posts to save in said Reader.  I have emailed myself an additional 202 posts to save in my own email folders.

Forty-nine percent of these saved and starred posts contain some sort of information I assume I will want to reference or access at a later date. Seventeen percent are political, religious, or sociological  rants or raves. Eleven percent are from the
Faeries…go figure. The remaining twenty-two percent are a mishmash of posts, most of which I don’t remember why I saved them.

And then there is my personal email.
420 contacts in my gmail address book
More than half I do not recognize.
Google saves everyone for me.
I wish they wouldn’t do that.

Google sets aside a significant allotment of storage space for each of its users.  Below your Inbox they provide you with how much of this space you are using.  As of this very minute, mine says:

You are currently using 396 MB (5%) of your 7318 MB.

Cool.  I am only using 5%.  Pat my little self on the back.  Makes me feel as if I have kept on top of the email thing.  I KNOW that I delete dozens and dozens of messages daily.

But still…on closer inspection.
1999 sent email messages saved.
533 in the Inbox.
154 “starred” for action or review.
59 folders sorting out my email.

I have kept…as in not deleted…a total of 5,852 gmail messages dating back to 24 August 2006. (Oddly enough 888 of those are “chats”. ) The scary part is that gmail combines replies and forwards into one string of messages and counts it has a single message. For you math-geeks out there…that means I have saved (on average) just over five emails each day for the past 967 days.

Time to wear out the delete key.

18 April 2009

photo hunting ~ purple

post 2009.04.18

photo hunter

Wisteria has a very special place in my heart.  It only blooms for a few weeks each year. In the winter it seems to go dormant and the endlessly entwined branches are nature’s art at it’s finest.

For other purple participants… visit the
Tennessee Chick

17 April 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ sixth

day's end…The Crow’s Nest, Santa Cruz Harbor
(could that be

latsf 2009.04.17( Enjoy other “Sky” players with Tisha)


16 April 2009

my morning cup…and Joe.

Those who have to spend time with me….by choice or by circumstance, tend to make sure that I have my coffee in the morning. 

The Teamster, who never touches the stuff, monitors my intake out of self preservation.  He has achieved expert status in the fine art and operation of the French Press.  He has the chemistry of grounds to water with sugar and coffeemate perfectly formulated.  Fortunately for me, years ago one of his ex-wives had already required he map out all available
Peet’s locations.

Back in the day when we worked together, my dear friend
Erika was known to interrupt midday meetings to deliver an additional cup o’ Peet’s with an add shot or two when she knew I had come into work early that day.  She certainly did not want to deal with a caffeine deprived katherine…or have to run interference for others who might have crossed my path in that state.

My home brew is typically extra strong Peet’s
Sumatra. I don’t grind my own beans.  They are ground fresh when I buy them and a pound usually lasts me about nine days.  Besides…to get the true benefit of fresh, I would have to grind the beans in the morning….and that just ain’t gonna happen.

c coffee 
In the past, I have used this terrific Cuisinart coffeemaker with it’s special timer.  I’d get it all ready at night and set the timer for about five minutes before I woke up.  I like this coffeemaker so much I gave one to my folks. (they have never used the timer feature however….)

For a couple months, I had to share my morning cup with Joe.  My step dad, Joe. He is an Italian/Croatian curmudgeon who upon occasion is mistaken for Scotty (as in “Beam me up Scotty” ….which is rather convenient while waiting to be seated at a popular, crowded restaurant in The City…trust me.)

old joeold jim 

At the very least, Joe and I have one thing in common.  We both love my Mama very much. The rest of the time we just sorta nod at each other over the rim of a cocktail and have learned to get along pretty well.  The one thing that threatened the peace of the house was the making of coffee. 

Joe drinks this light brown water you could read the newspaper through.  He buys whatever brand of coffee is on sale. To my way of thinking…coffee is one of those “you get what you pay for” kind of deals.  And for me…taste matters. 

If Joe woke up first and made the coffee…I would have had to drink literally liters to consume enough…but since it tasted positively putrid I couldn’t even get a full cup down. I’d pour his into a carafe and make another batch…which of course…only I would drink.  This was deemed wasteful.  Sigh.

If I woke up first I’d make
Sumatra you could stand a spoon up in. He would drink about half a cup and leave the house.  He started complaining about it destroying his stomach lining….and whatever else occurred to him in the heat of the moment. I pretty much ignored him.

I thought about putting the two coffeemakers side by side on the kitchen counter…and actually dug through the boxes to find mine.  I even considered setting mine up out in the garage.

One weekend after hearing the coffee debate for the umpteenth time, The Teamster lo
k coffeeoked at the two of us with an expression of:  “Just Shut up already”…

Out loud all he said was, 
“Ya know….I can solve this” 
And…he did. (sigh…my hero)

I now whip up my break of day nectar in my very own
Peet’s French Press.  Sure, I have to boil water…and it isn’t waiting for me when I awaken. But hey… as long as I get decent, strong java…I am willing to compromise….a little….

Whew!  Peace in our time.

13 April 2009

JB ~ who’s your fave?

interesting to me
these heroes three
all with names of  “J” and “B”

do we have any of these guys in real life ??

bourne                                     Jason Bourne 


                           Jack Bauer

Fashion Bond Style 
                                    James Bond

(all three of these photos I swiped  from online public domain websites…no infringement.)

12 April 2009


Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

In the words of Mr Charles Wesley….
wishing you and yours a joyful Easter

goose eggs with gma great 
SugarCookie…Coloring goose eggs with her gramma-great.

10 April 2009

hey you…with the clippers

Imagine along with me…

You wake up in the morning and have no internet access.  No big deal…glitches happen.  Ten minutes later you try to text and realize you have no cell phone service…okay….so you pick up the land line…nothing.

You flip on the television and wait through fifteen minutes of fluffy GMA until the local news comes on. At this point you just want to find out what the sam hill is going on.  The familiar morning anchor out of San Francisco has it as his lead story. 

Fiber optic cables have been cut.

Four of ‘em.  Two in San Carlos….two in San Jose.   Beneath manhole covers weighing hundreds of pounds.  Down a couple of ten foot shafts.  In up to four feet of water amid poisonous gases.  Only those four cables were damaged. Nothing else. Someone knew exactly what they were doing. 

Parts of San Jose, all of Santa Cruz county and San Benito counties are without cell and land lines for fourteen to sixteen HOURS.

This is what transpired yesterday.  I am cognizant your initial reaction includes smug acknowledgment of how we have become far too dependent on our cell phones and internet access.  Those who know me got a little laugh imagining me without connectivity.  But there is far more to this story.

What was the result of no cell phone, no land line phone, and no internet service?

Stores, restaurants, gas stations, et cetera could not take credit or debit cards.  Which of course sent people out to withdraw cash…however…

No ATMs were working. (picture 40+ people in line for the teller) Hospitals without their medical records access, pharmacies unable to fill patient prescriptions.

And the kicker….  no 911 service.

All law enforcement and fire service personnel were called in.  Manning every available vehicle they drove around the city….through neighborhoods…up and down streets. People were suppose go outside to flag them down in case of emergency for cryin’ out loud.

So you….with the clippers….what is your deal?
Obviously you KNEW what you were doing.  Two o’clock in the morning. You knew how to gain access…you had right tools.  You chose two specific cables in locations two hours apart from one another.  You did not take down Silicon Valley or San Francisco which would have made national, if not international headlines, immediately.  You cut the cables that are 60-100 miles away from the affected area.  This was not a random act of vandalism.  This was targeted.

I heard the media speculation you are a member of the CWA…the communication UNION…with a not so subtle threat.  I get you all have been working without a contract for over a week.  My step dad tells stories of lines being cut back in the day during negotiations.  But really? Taking out banks and hospitals and 911?  You think the surfers and bohemian artist population of aging hippies in Santa Cruz won’t raise an uproar because we will be sympathetic to your labor union cause?

Was it a test?  Are you part of some nefarious terrorist cell testing what would happen if a couple wires were cut?  Making notes on how long it would take to identify and splice?  Were you monitoring how law enforcement responds to being cut off from the populace?

This little part of the world is pretty small.  Considered rather unimportant in the grand scheme of things. We have very few headquarters of industry.  But being just over the hill from the computing capital of the world provides us with a state of the art infrastructure. 

You hit a day before the spring break tourist crowd arrives. So the panic of visiting extraterrestrials not being able to phone home was avoided.  

You basically took away our ability to communicate out or operate business for the better part of a business day. 

This is where my conspiracy theory imagination kicks in.  I cut my espionage teeth on the likes of Ludlum and Clancy.

Why does this not make the national news?
Four cables strategically cut. No banking, no ability to contact law enforcement or emergency services. No communication out.  We have radio and television getting the message in…but no way to communicate out.  Think about it.

Not to mention the fact our ability to access to our own recourses to acquire goods and services was just about completely severed.

In a related story:
After the initial report by the Wall Street Journal, there hasn’t been much information on the infiltration of our nation’s power grid applications by foreign entities… potentially from China and Russia.  The electrical grid for the entire nation. Not just electricity either….the grid which includes the running of all our water and sewage systems.

Where is the media coverage on these events?

While the death of Natasha Richardson was a tragedy and Farrah Fawcett’s illness is very sad,  does the American public really need to hear about it day after day??  (Travis points out the inappropriate absurdity.)  We heard over a week of posturing from Congress and the Senate and the White House over AIG bonuses.  (Which by the way were paid…as were the ones to Fannie and Freddie and the automakers…) 

Where is all the outrage and demand for investigation over serious threats to our daily existence?  Why is the national main stream media not reporting on the vulnerability? 

I am reminded of a couple posts I read lately from Hammer and Gene about stocking up on supplies and keeping a transistor radio.   

Hostile foreign entities plugging into our electrical grid…communication lines being severed. Maybe I ought to establish a family meeting place if need be. I consider reinstating my gun permit, learning how to operate a ham radio…and burying a bundle of cash in the backyard.  At what point does making contingency plans  start to sound whacko….like Ruby Ridge and Waco?

I dunno. 
But I’m starting to pay close attention.

05 April 2009

Forget Raymond….Everybody Loves Maggie

           Today is my Mama’s Birthday !

000 birthday girl 
Lightening will strike if I mention which one.  She has always been the type to politely refuse to disclose her age. On the side chair sits her embroidered pillow which reads:

”Age is only a number….and mine is unlisted”

(the irony is for the past ten months, every time she sees a doctor, has a test or procedure performed, or even picks up a prescription the medical professional confirms her birthday.  Out loud.  So everyone can hear.  She gets oh-so-ticked-off.  And then she glares at me chuckling)

All my life my Mama has been surrounded by people who love her.  Family.  Friends.  Neighbors. Co-workers. Churchmates. Not so unusual until you take a look at the range of individuals.

PTA moms. Soccer Moms. Corporate Moms. Women who would never have a child of their own. There are pious believers…and those who refuse God.  Neighbors who can’t get along with anyone else but her. The preacher…and the members of the choir.  Drunks. Murderers. The Judge.  Sorority girls and Fraternity boys. Old. Young. Holy Rollers and Whores.  Blue collar, white collar, and the guy with pink lace on his panties. Red necks and no necks. Hillbillys. Captains of Industry, Rocket Scientists, and the guy who lives under the bridge with a blanket.

Everybody Loves Maggie.

016 a           (the summer of sweet sixteen) 

While we have many things in common, and I have a wide range of friends…I do not take after my Mama so much. It has been said that I am my Father’s daughter. My temperament is not of mother born. (smile) There was a time that bothered me a great deal.  A time when I wanted to be the woman she is. But alas…heavy sigh…I am not. I am a smartass….and she is not.

I have been known to explain “I try to always be a good person. I may not always be a nice person…but I always try to be a good person” Mama and I learned to accept this a long time ago. (although there are a few dozen people who ardently wish I would be more like her.) 

001 a022 (maggie as a first born…and with her first born)

021 b

043  (as the bride….and the mother of the bride.
Yes, it is the same dress…the first time she was married was on her 21st birthday….)

(I am the only woman I know who was able to be the Best Man at her own mother’s wedding) 

(Maggie and Shirley…BFF at 16 and 60)

There was a time a few months back, I wasn’t sure we’d get to this 5th of April with my Mama here on Earth.  And I wouldn’t be so foolish has to be certain of the next.  But today…I praise God for being able to celebrate this day with her.

023 (evidence that I have been a klutz my entire life)

This little one minute ditty is my first attempt at making a .wav file from photos.  No music or special effects.  This could get fun.

      Happy Birthday Mama….I love you….

04 April 2009

photo hunting ~ stripes

stripes post

photo hunter(Don’t miss Tennessee Chick leader of the Photo Hunters.)

This is part of a piece in the lobby of the San Francisco Museum of Metropolitan Art. (SFMOMA)
I shot it last summer when The Teamster took me to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit…which was excellent!

02 April 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ fifth

Thank goodness Tisha launched this Friday meme….it sorta reminds me to post and not just read…surf over to see the other players.


I think I could call this one:

“riding off into the sunset…my perspective”

latsof play