Thursday Afternoon Trail Run

An automobile carrier (roll-on/roll-off) ship passes Point Benicia in the Carquinez Straight on its way to the AMPORTS dock 25 July 2013.

The base of an ancient bay tree has become ten or so trunks along the arroyo.

Looking up in a grove of old bay trees

About 500 feet higher than the spot where the picture of the boat was taken, we're looking northwest along the fire trail that locals call "the wall" -- that last quarter mile has most of the elevation gain!

And here we stand at the top of the ridge, looking southeast toward Mount Wanda John Muir hiked these very hills more than a hundred years ago!


PURE DETROIT! (Pure Michigan Parody)

Blue State Political Model

Doncha just feel that deeply blue-state, public-union-run, functionally-single-party California -- is just Detroit (with a view) waiting to happen?


Eschatologically speaking

A sad commentary on our times, it is.  It occurs to me that for most people, thinking about the Final Things means Wills and Trusts, not Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven. 


test test test

This either proves or disproves the possibility of inserting a home grown (sorta) video into the blogspotty thing. 

Video by Tetradamallian .

Speaking of Wave Audio...

(Today's XKCD cartoon.)



I see pictures of pounding surf.  Contrast improved, color enhanced, image averaged.No matter how good they look, and even if they were 3-D and animated, there would still be  something missing:  the sound. 

The seashore is a place of constant noise. 

There is the whumff! of the breaker compressing a pocket of air as tons of water drop suddenly onto the beach.  There is the subsequent falling-rain sound of droplets touching down.  There is a sound to the movement of the gravel or sand itself.  Then there is my favorite, the hiss of breath as the wave retreats and air re-enters the interstices of the beach.  Not to mention the sounds of sea birds, the slapping of a halyard against a distant mast, the buffeting of wind in your ears.  Some days there may be the sound of a barking dog or of children playing wildly.  Another day there may be a fog horn.

I see the pictures of the sea.  The sound plays from memories in my head.

And then there is the smell of the salt air and all the aromas involved... 


That time I set a hummingbird free

One afternoon thirty years ago or so, at my previous place of employment, I heard a strange sound out in the warehouse.  A kind of buzzing noise seemed to be coming from the ceiling.  As I walked out and looked up, I expected to see some kind of electrical short-circuit.  What I saw was not what I expected!

Up in one of the skylights, I saw a hummingbird -- caught in spider webs!

The little thing was completely bound in silky webs.  It must have flown in through one of the roll-up doors, and gotten confused about the exit by the light coming in through the overhead. 

I managed to get a ladder that extended high enough that I could snag bird and mass of web with the end of a broom. 

I got down and carefully unwound the sticky spiderweb coating that had gotten wound around the bird. 

The hummingbird seemed to weigh precisely nothing.  As gently as possible I held it and walked outside.  Its tiny heartbeat felt like a vibration against my hands.  Out at the curb, I lifted and opened my hands.  The little creature stood for one second, then flew up and away into the sky. 


Writer's bottleneck

Some people talk about writer's block.  The idea is that you have a clean slate and can't seem to form any thought about what to put down onto it. 

For me, writer's block is more like what happens when you try to pour mayonnaise down a small funnel.  Or pour potato chips out of a bag with too small an opening at the top.  There is plenty of material in the queue, but it won't get in line and go with the flow. 

I started to write a post about grief a few weeks ago.  The words poured out at first.  I had all these things to say...  then I didn't. 

Have you ever mixed paint colors?  There is more technique than theory involved.  The result you get depends on the brand of paint, etc.  Last time I tried getting a creative palette with acrylics, everything ended up looking like mud.  Same thing with writing, I'm afraid: I poured a bunch of thoughts out into the open, and it did anything but clarify. 


So maybe some day I will go back to those thoughts.  When I have thought funnel with a bigger nozzle.