YEAH for the MUTE button

Pet Peeves:

(1) Billy Mays

As soon as I hear that "Billy Mays here ...", I grab for the remote and hit the MUTE button.
How did this overbearing, bellicose pitchman get so much air time on TV?

(2) E.D. ... I'm so fed up of hearing about men's 'PROBLEMS' ... I didn't know there were so many in need of help! Can't they put these ads on late in the evening or just put them on 'guy shows' ... they even had the nerve to air them in the middle of a Star Trek I was watching ... !!! Now that's sacrilegious!

(3) Moment of Truth? ... It never ceases to amaze me what people will admit to, for money! .... And what viewers will watch! (me included) BUT, this show has the most commercials of any show on TV. So now, I tape the show, then pick it up about 25 minutes into the airing and fast forward through the commercials and end up about the same time the show does! I don't usually do this but I'm sick of all the breaks .. Notice how they come back and replay the last minute or so of the show ... if they ran it straight through, it would probably take up about 35 minutes of air time, out of an hour!


STUPID ... the story continues!

This morning while sitting in my living room, I heard the metal lid on the squirrel feeder 'clank' ... when squirrels feed, they raise the lid to get the food, then let it close .. hence the 'clank'. Today was different ... it clanked, and clanked and clanked .. incessantly. Finally I got up to see who was making all the noise .. and it was STUPID!

After all these months, he's finally realized that in order to access the food, one has to raise the lid .. but he was standing on the deck railing and nudging the lid with his nose ... as I watched, he jumped on top of the lid (as he's done so very many times before) and was then flummoxed because he could no longer raise to the lid!

Here's his mug shot ... I tried to get a sideways-on photo to see if there actually is something between his two ears but I had to settle for this one ... He must have a brain the size of one of these dots ...
At best, he's getting closer to accessing the spoils ... at worst, he's an entertaining diversion!



At the dentist's office, on their day off, Eric and his wife, Alanna, were working on my teeth, and their adorable 3 1/2 year old daughter (we have to mention the 1/2) Shaylee, was keeping herself busy in the front office. The phone rang a couple of times, then we heard "HELLO ... MY DADDY'S OFFICE" .... at which point Alanna dashed to the front and took the call ... amid our laughter.
After that, little Shaylee was instructed not to answer the phone if it rang again. After a few minutes, we heard it ring and Alanna called out to remind Shaylee "don't answer the phone". Then we heard "hello" ... and Alanna asked "Did you answer the phone?" ... "No, I'm just holding it."



I took a trip up to Lake Almanor on May 7th for a 'getaway' and a dental appointment. 95% of the snow had melted but there were still patches of snow in areas where the sun doesn't reach .... just enough to remind us that winter once had a firm grip on this place.

Mt. Lassen is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range .. part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc that stretches from northern California to southwestern British Columbia. Lassen rises 2,000 feet above the surrounding terrain and has a volume of half a cubic mile, making it one of the largest lava domes on Earth. It was created on the destroyed northeastern flank of now gone Mount Tehama. Mt. Lassen has the distinction of being the only other volcano in the Cascades, besides Mount St. Helens, to erupt during the 20th century. You can drive almost anywhere from Lake Almanor and see the snow-capped peak of Mt. Lassen looming large.

Spring is my favorite time of year .. the renewal of Mother Earth. I drove past this field which was covered in small yellow flowers ... not dandelions and not buttercups ... just not known to me!

This is a view taken from the top deck of the house. The lower deck is at the top of the stairs which take you down to the lake and to the floating docks which are there in the summer months.

I was there alone and even though I didn't think I'd like being there by myself ... I did! It was peaceful and quiet and the weather was near-perfect. My dental appointment went well and I return at the end of May to finalize Stage Two of the work.


KONA, HIAWAII trip ... 4/25 - 5/2/08

Four days after our return from Kentucky, the three of us flew to Kona, HI for a week. We shared a rental house right on the ocean, with a couple of friends who flew there from their home in AZ.
The whole time we were there we barely saw the sun .. the volcano was very active and we were socked in by "VOG" ... volcanic fog. It was like a light fog or haze, and didn't keep the temperatures down or lower the humidity at all.

This was looking left off our deck. There's very little beach in Kona .. sandy beach, that is .. but lots of black lava rock which is very striking at times.

The flora and fauna there are absolutely magnificent ... here's a photo I took from the car on one of our jaunts.

Here's another view from the deck ... I bought myself an island-style muumuu so I could wear something more 'formal' for a birthday dinner for one of our friends. Everyone wears shorts and tops there .. it's a very casual place. And of course, it's in the 80°s most of the time which is way too warm for long pants and shirts.

We visited a SeaHorse breeding farm and this photo shows a cluster of them in one of the tanks. They interlink their tails and 'socialize' .. The Japanese boats, over-fish the seahorses in the ocean ... then kill, dry, and crush them and this powder is supposed to help with men's virility. (expletive) This group raises them .. some for release into the wild and some which are raised for pet stores ... to prevent people from taking the wild stock. They're very difficult to care for because they only eat a certain kind of live food ... so people buy them, put them in a tank and feed them food they will not eat, and when they die, they buy more and the process repeats itself. The ones that are raised for the pet trade are raised on dead food so they'll have a much better chance of surviving in a tank at home.

At the end of the tour, we get to 'hold' one of the seahorses. They're so light you can't really feel them but you have to spread your fingers apart and touch your hands together, to simulate coral, then the tour guide puts one of the little guys in your hands, and he hooks his tail around your fingers.

Everywhere you go in Kona, you run across little blue-eyed geckos. One evening when we were leaving the dinner restaurant, we noticed this little fellow who was warming himself inside one of the lights on the stairway.

We had regular visits from these lovely little birds on our deck. We put bread and crackers out for them every day. They are a little larger than house sparrows and are Yellow-Billed Cardinals .. native to South America but are also found only on the Kona coast of the big island of Hawaii. Their heads are scarlet, with charcoal colored back, pale grey undersides and black on the upper chest. I've never seen them before but I won't soon forget them either.

LEXINGTON, KY trip .. April 2008

My sister, brother-in-law and I flew to Kentucky for a few days to look at some property and check out the area. We had an absolutely awesome time .. we all loved Lexington .. very clean, nice buildings, glorious houses .. the area surrounding the city is filled with horse farms with rolling green hills.

There are quite a few fountains in Lexington, making the city center a very attractive place.

Almost all the buildings and houses are built of red brick .. I just love them .. of course, that wouldn't fly in California .. too many tremors ..

And most have the white pillars out front .... giving them that "TARA" look ...

We went to the races at Keenland race track and sat in a box right on the finish line. I was concerned that by not having binoculars, I wouldn't be able to follow the race but there was a humongous video screen across from us so everyone could watch the race with no problem. I didn't win until the last race and I have a photo of that horse going away at the end ...

One afternoon we took a tour of some of the horse ranches in the area ... they seemed to range from 2,500 acres to well over 5,000 .. and most go for $25,000/acre.
We pulled off the road and I took this photo from the entrance way to one of the ranches. You can see the large house in the background ... but couldn't take the photo without including the flowers and the tree.

We got to meet, up close and personal, Street Sense the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner ... we also met Bernardini, a Preakness winner .. both stand for $100,000. Hard Spun was a 2nd in the Derby and Breeders Cup, and 3rd in the Preakness and Belmont .. he stands for $50,000. We met five other stallions with various pedigrees.

This is Street Sense ... isn't he magnificent?

We visited the replica of Fort Boonesborough which Daniel Boone settled .. the replica is next to where the original was built and is true to that period. This photo is the inside of a larger cabin with a loft. There are people there in costume performing tasks that would have be done in Boone's time .. making candles, soap, tanning hide, etc.
There's an introductory video explaining how Fort Boonesborough came about .. and there's only one photo of Daniel Boone (and he looked like a typical Englishman of the time)! And no, he never wore a coonskin cap .. he didn't believe in having animal hide on his skin.