Make Art – August 16th

That moment when you try to do something that should be trivially easy in Photoshop just to have something different to post and you time after time after time get it demonstrated to you just how far down the toilet your Photoship skill set has gone.

Charlie Gordon world, here I come!

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Texture – August 15th

Have you paid attention to your breathing lately?

Is your gut tight? Can’t remember the last time you took a deep, full breath? Try one, maybe two. Deeper. Doesn’t that feel good?

That nagging headache? What can we do about that? Maybe take that fancy smart watch and set an hourly alarm (and actually pay attention to it!) then take sixty seconds to breathe.

Not breathe and work on that spreadsheet. Not breathe and read those emails. Not breathe and scan through Twitter.


If it helps, there are apps out there. Free ones, paid ones, simple ones, fancy ones. Whatever.

Do that for a day or to. Be fanatical about it. See if it makes a difference.

And yes, I am talking to myself, reminding myself of what I know but don’t do. You can join the conversation and do it too.

Let me know if it helps. I think it will.


Filed under Health, Photography

I’ll Take It!

If anyone wins the Lottery and wants to buy something really cool for me, I’ll take one of these!

But it *HAS* to be in this iridescent, contantly changing paint scheme. That’s really cool!

I would also settle for one of the top of the line Model 3s – in that paint scheme.

I’m flexible!

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A sunset picture of a slightly different nature.

Looking due south, with the sun setting off to our right, a number of houses on the hillsides of Woodland Hills and Calabasas will catch the setting sun just right. The glint and reflections can be quite bright.

The hills between here and Malibu, centered around Saddle Peak with the array of microwave towers on top of it, are also quite lovely. Especially when they’re not on fire.

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Filed under Los Angeles, Photography, Sunsets

The Owl Returns

I mentioned a few days ago that I realized that I hadn’t heard the owls in a while.

Last night, at least one of them was back, loud and proud, right across the street.

I’ve taken out the 18 to 20 seconds of traffic noises, sirens, and low flying aircraft in between each hoot, turning about 120 seconds real time into 26 seconds of hooting.

I’m glad they’re back – I hope more follow. I love it when three or four of them get hooting across the canyons.

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Filed under Audio, Birds

Final 2022 Supermoon

Well, at least until they start pushing a normal, average moon as a “supermoon” just for clickbait.

What it absolutely is is a full moon, about two hours past full. So, a 99.9% full moon.

Remember, the Moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly round, so sometimes when it’s at full moon, directly opposite the Earth from the Sun, sometimes it that instant it’s a bit closer, sometimes a bit further away. Most of the time it’s about average. On those handful of times per year when it’s closer than average, the clickbait mainstream media trumpets it as a “SUPERMOON!!!

If the clickbait mainstream media wasn’t doing that, the odds of you noticing the difference would be tiny. Miniscule. Extremely unlikely.

Astronomically small. (Sorry, not sorry.)

What tonight’s supermoon is also doing is wiping out our ability to see about 90% of the Perseid meteor shower. You need a nice, dark sky to see the most meteors. The full moon is thousands of time brighter, so you can only still see the very brightest of the meteors.

Enjoy the beautiful moon! Good luck with the brightest meteors!



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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

Thriving Out Of Spite

With the five-year drought now putting SoCal (and pretty much everything west of the Rockies) on severe water restrictions, the front yard is looking dodgy and brown.

And yet…

Our hero abides. It doesn’t bloom all the time, but every week or two it will pop off another flower just to either:

  1. Flip off the human race for completely screwing up the planet
  2. Give the human race (at least, this member) a shot of inspiration
  3. Both of the above

Hang in there little white weed flower. I might be needing you there more than you can imagine, and that’s only going to get more true by the day I suspect.


Filed under Climate Change, Flowers, Photography

When The Conditions Are Right Again

It’s been a while since we had a decent sunset here. There have been clouds now and then (see the “Skyscapes” posts of the last month or three), days when it’s totally clouded over (but no rain AT ALL, at least not here), and lots of days when it’s “clear and a million.”

Down along the shore there have been some nice sunset pictures from San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, and on up the coast.

But here, in “The Valley” – not much.

Until tonight.

Not the best ever, but not bad.

Not the same as getting the finest of wines, but to someone parched and panting, a cold glass of water can be exquisite!


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Filed under Photography, Sunsets, Weather

Random Old Photos – August 8th

It’s been quite the day. I think I may have blown a brain circuit or two.

Let’s keep this simple. What was I doing fifteen years ago?

Traveling to a NASFIC in the Saint Louis region with the family apparently. (Side note, while I was also working full time plus and also going to Pepperdine to get my MBA and starting my flying lessons, I apparently also took six trips around the country, went to three airshows, two science fiction conventions, and three or four baseball games. Where did I get the time and/or energy?!) But rather than going with the stock photo of the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse in downtown Saint Louis, I like this one of that same area broken up and fractured in the reflections of an office building.



Filed under Photography, Travel

Fine Feathered Friends – August 07th

Last Monday I heard the resident front yard mockingbirds making quite a racket. They make very good guards. A racket generally means something’s up, predator wise.

I recognized this guy immediately. I’ve seen him from a distance and knew he was in the neighborhood.

Usually it’s down in the canyon below the house, sitting on top of a power pole. I’m pretty sure its nest is in the top of a pine tree right next to the pole.

Its call is very distinctive (the first one here), and the Cornell Lap Merlin Bird ID app confirmed the pictures – it’s a Cooper’s Hawk.

The two mockingbirds were on the wire above it, sounding the alarm constantly, and occasionally swooping down to take a pass at the hawk, trying to frighten it off. I was amazed that it stuck around for over five minutes, giving me a chance to walk around and take some pictures.

When it finally did take off, the second it was in the air there was a flood of mockingbirds that scrambled out of nowhere to mob it. While there were two on the wire, when the hawk got in the air there were suddenly 20+, dive bombing it, taking shots at hitting it in the air. With very little effect that I could see.

What a beautiful bird! I hope I see it back up here at the top of the hill again soon, whether the mockingbirds like it or not!

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Filed under Birds