A Wall Of Green

While putting up Christmas lights on Saturday I had the most odd visual experience. In order to run an extension cord from the garage roof across a sidewalk and over to the tall, thin, Italian cypress trees that line the yard, I was right up against the trees, reaching in for the extension cord that I was threading down through the branches.

I looked up…

…and my perspective switched 90º, gravity be damned. I would have sworn that I was floating or hovering two inches above a horizontal bed of kelp or some sort of sea grass, looking off above it into the ocean – not looking straight up, vertically, at the sky above the wall of tree branches.

Even just looking at this picture my brain snaps back to that other viewpoint, like one of those optical illusions where you can either see an old woman with a huge nose or a young girl with a scarf.

Maybe I’m just having a nervous breakdown. It would explain so much…


Filed under Christmas Lights, Paul, Photography

Fine Feathered Friends – November 27th

If you’ve hung out here any length of time you’ve seen the house finches and black-eyed juncos and mockingbirds and mourning doves and all of the other birds that get fed in the back yard on a regular basis.

Friday morning when I went out into the front yard to start working on the Christmas light installation, I saw a whole flock of mourning doves waiting for breakfast to be served. It had a bit of an Alfred Hitchcock vibe to it.

Am I anthropomorphizing? No. As soon as the door to the back yard slid open, they all took off over the house to land and start eating, confirming my theory.

We’re just the local avian version of Waffle House!

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Christmas Lights 2022 – Second Light

Another busy day with the lights – probably at about 80% to 90% of what I would like to do at this point.

I’ve got three places where I would like to get a set of lights up, and another two or three spots where I can add another set to fill in, if I can find working sets of lights.

We’ll see. At this point part of the problem is that a lot of the light sets I have are years and years old and they’re starting to fail, with 1/3 or 2/3 or 1/4 of the sets being out. I won’t put those up, but I can’t quite figure out how to repair them, either.

There are little gizmos out there that are supposed to help you identify where in a light set it’s broken so that you can repair that part – I’ve never been able to get them to work. For now, if I can get a couple of sets, great. If not, well, at a certain point, good enough is good enough. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. It’s already better than I did last year, so a couple more quick sets and I’ll be fine if that’s all we get done this year.


Then we have the inside decorations and the tree.

And the cards.

I do love the holiday traditions!

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Christmas Lights 2022 – First Light

The Younger Daughter was nice enough to come over today, as she is wont to do on the Friday after Thanksgiving, to help with the first round of Christmas lights and we got a lot done.

We got probably half of them up – still need the lights over the garage, the icicle lights along the gutters, the lights along the driveway and in the rose bushes, the lights at the end of the house in the hibiscus bushes.

But, as always, a lot of the first day is also spent running extension cords and setting up timers, so all in all it was an excellent day.

And, as always, it was way too much lifting, twisting, carrying, climbing of ladders, and so on, so my stumpy, slightly chubby, desk-ridden, sendentary body is twitching and cramping tonight. Ah, the things we do for our art!

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Filed under Christmas Lights, Photography

Thanksgiving 2022

It’s Thanksgiving Day 2022. We had the pleasure of celebrating the day with family where a wonderful day with, as is the tradition, way too much food. Tomorrow the Christmas lights and decorations start going up and there will be leftovers a go-go!

I hope your Thanksgiving (if you’re in the US) was just as wonderful. If you’re not in the US, I hope you had a great Thursday and your upcoming weekend is filled with fun.

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Across The Sky

Cooler temps, a cold front, icy clouds up high, and ideal conditions for contrails.

Someone was headed almost due west, past the sun and off over the Pacific. Dallas to Honolulu? Who knows. Something like that.

Upon closer examination, there’s a bit of iridescence in the high clouds of ice, a bit of rainbow coloring just above the center of the photo.

And just to the right of the tree, no doubt headed into BUR Rwy 8, is a Southwest 737.

That’s a really sweet shade of blue, isn’t it?

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Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather


As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that there are more and more routines, daily or regularly scheduled activities that define the days and get done the things that need to get done, while also sucking up time and smothering the creativity and joy in life.

It’s a conundrum, a balance that is leaving me both confused and comforted. Lots of yin and yang, opposites that define each other.

Some are fairly important. Medications, for instance. As you get old and start falling apart (ask me how I know!) there are more and more meds that get taken in the morning, or at meals, or in the evening. They’re important (and in some cases critical) for controlling or preventing some serious conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, cholesterol, and so on.

Some are less important. Yeah, buying groceries every Sunday morning is routine (adverb) and a routine (noun) but will the world end if it gets put off until Monday, or even later, or pushed to Saturday if the Chiefs are playing the early game on Sunday. Hardly.

One of the things I find a bit exhausting is finding the balance every day with the routines vs. spontenaity. The big joker in the deck is “work,” a routine which can really harsh spontenaity’s mellow big time. But let’s not forget how even “fun” stuff can get to be a routine.

For example, this weekend, right after Thanksgiving, is when the Christmas lights go up. And with so, so many other things on the calendar, that time really, REALLY needs to be used for that if we want to put up lights. There just aren’t a lot of other times. And I *DO* want to get the lights up for the season!

But then there’s the humongous Christmas card list. Last year things piled up and we actually didn’t send out cards for the first time in almost 20 years. And I’ve felt bad about it all year.

So this year getting the cards out, while an annual routine, will be a priority. Which is a long, roundabout way of saying, if you’ve gotten cards in the past and you’ve moved in the last two years, let me know ASAP. And if you haven’t gotten cards but want to get on the humongous list and get one, ditto, let me know ASAP.

It’s all coming at us like a freight train. It does that every year.

It’s routine.

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Random Old Photos – November 21st

This would be fun! Why am I not doing this instead of all of the other things I’m doing which are less fun? Why am I not maximizing my fun to the maximum amount?

According to the N-number this is a Fleet 7B, built in 1936. (If you blow the picture up and squint, that seems to be what the logo on the tail and the lettering under it confirm as well.)

I’ve flown in open air cockpit aircraft, but I’ve never flowin in a biplane, and I’ve never piloted a tail-dragger or an open cockpit aircraft. But those shortfalls in my experience and licensing could be rectified with a few lessons.

This would be fun!


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Filed under Flying, Photography

Still Photos From Our Elton John Concert

Last night. Dodger Stadium. The penultimate Elton John concert in North America.

Care to guess what songs were playing given the video display behind the band?

The concert was incredible, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, SO glad that we went!

Finding Hissy in that massive parking lot and then fighting the traffic to get out? Not my favorite experience, but the price you pay. In the end, we didn’t get home until way, way after midnight and I didn’t get to bed and sleep until after 2:00 AM. Then we were up “early for a Sunday,” about 07:45, for the first World Cup game and to get rolling to go down to the South Bay area to meet friends for brunch. Then, of course, my beloved Chiefs had a big game tonight against the Chargers (I was so tempted to be unbelievably spontaneous, grab tickets off an online site, and go to the game in person since we were driving just a couple miles away coming home from brunch) and it was a real barn burner with the Chiefs winning in the last few seconds…

I’m so freakin’ exhausted right now! It’s a good thing! An amazing concert, brunch with friends, a great football game… But I could really use 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. That’s not going to happen, of course, but I could really use it!

Look out, Monday! I’m coming in hot!

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Filed under Music, Photography

Sir Elton’s Penultimate Concert

Elton John’s Penultimate concert – Dodger Stadium, along with what I expect to be about 50,000+ of my closest friends!

Danny Elfman three weeks ago, Elton John tonight, who knows who’s next. (March at SoFi Stadium is who??)

Lots of folks in glitter and odd eyewear – I’m an olde phart, so I went with comfort. But The Long-Suffering Wife went wild with a streak of purple!

Let the tunes begin!!


Filed under Music, Photography