Friday, September 30, 2005

If you need to breathe, Los Angeles isn't the place to be this weekend. I haven't anything clever to say or much to stir thought... just some photos from the day. I took some yesterday of the smoke from the Topanga/Chatsworth fires, but today the Burbank fire was the one that concerned me as it includes an area that is directly south of me about three miles or so as the crow flies. It was raining ash all day and that combined with the view of the smoke made it seem much closer than it was. Still, 3 or 4 miles is too close had the wind continued. The fire area continues to grow according to the latest teaser for the 11 pm news, but it hasn't crossed the 210 freeway.

11 am in Sunland Posted by Picasa

12:23 pm Posted by Picasa

12:29 pm Posted by Picasa

Foothill Blvd. looking east 3:36 pm coming back from a meeting Posted by Picasa

Sunset Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 29, 2005

more on fire...

Franklin Avenue: The Valley! The Valley! The Valley's On Fire

pointed me in this direction: Koganuts: Chatsworth Fire: Day One, Part II

who has several pics of the fires in Chatsworth (also see his "Day 1") and westward. It is eating up thousands of acres now.

All the various aircraft are now working on this, thank goodness- the airspace is getting crowded, but the 7000 acre figure doesn't seem to be growing larger... of course, it doesn't seem to be getting smaller either which might mean they are just barely keeping up with the rapid growth. Maybe the winds will stay low enough that they can get larger containment...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fires, first day of classes

Classes started again for me tonight. I will be required to drive to campus two days a week- which is about $12.00 (U.S. of course) worth of gasoline! Plus it means that Thursdays will be 13-14 hour days with an hour or so break between clients and a late evening class meeting. It is a good thing I didn't take on more clients. I can already hear an inner voice starting to whine. But there is an ultimate goal, it is only for ten weeks and as Nietzsche said, "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger", right?

From the east, coming over the top of the last of the hills just before Sunland after class, I could see the Chatsworth fires burning in the distance. From my view it looked as if there were multiple fires burning on either side of the 118. We sure did go to extremes- from rain on Monday to humidity levels below 25% today, Santa Ana winds and the reminder that no matter that it rained twice in two weeks, we are in fire season.

This is a view in July of an area near that which appears to be burning tonight in Chatsworth. The Simi Valley (118) Freeway is in the background.

Off to vegetate a bit and sleep now- it will be a very long day on Thursday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Storm clouds

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
~Richard Bach from 'Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah'

Sky just before the first storm on Monday Posted by Picasa

I ordered several books in the last few weeks- poetry by Dahlia Ravikovitch, a collection of Leo Buscaglia lectures, Soul Collage by Seena Frost and Illusions by Richard Bach (on my mind perhaps because of the recent quotations from The Bridge Across Forever posted by Andy?).

Three books arrived today. I was thumbing through the Richard Bach book, and ran across the passage containing the quote above. I don't know that I seek problems, because I surely don't like having them, even when I am in that 'vaguely dissatisfied, but nothing is really wrong' state of mind. But despite my thinking that I don't I seek them, it is also rather clear to me that there are indeed gifts that come with problems if one just looks closely. Sometimes that requires retrospection; sometimes it doesn't.

more swirling sky Posted by Picasa

catching the first bit of rain Posted by Picasa

gifts from the storm Posted by Picasa

I couldn't stay for the rest of the sunset on Monday, because there were clients to see. But I caught a tiny glimpse of it just before I pulled into a parking lot behind tall buildings. It was achingly beautiful. A gift in between the storms.

Perhaps in general that describes this period of time- or at least I should look at it that way.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sunday pictures

Sunday pictures that didn't make it to Flickr

Posted by Picasa

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 138

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Crave:: chocolate
  2. Whole package:: strength, gentleness, intelligence, love, timing
  3. Roommates:: family
  4. 5:30:: a.m.
  5. Lesbian:: friends
  6. Poignant:: moment
  7. Hurtful:: words
  8. You and I:: Don't Speak, No Doubt.
  9. Grateful:: remember
  10. Giggle:: seldom
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Learn something new every day (singing sand)

I had no idea that sand made these kinds of sounds.

singingdunes-trees NASA photo
"Singing sand dunes" of the Gobi Desert. A royalty-free image from

There is a seven second audio in mp3, Real Audio, or for Windows Media Player along with an article about the composition of these sand dunes at Nova: Booming Sands: Recipe for Noisy Sands. The booming sands audio (the second one; first is croaking sand) and the idea that sand could make sound like musical instruments, is fascinating.

"When he heard them in the Gobi Desert, Marco Polo believed they were spirit voices. Ancient Chinese literature describes ritual celebrations of their divine power. In 1941, after crossing the Sahara, British engineer and explorer R. A. Bagnold was captivated by their spell. The "weird chorus" of sound-emitting desert sands was, he wrote, "the song of sirens who lure travelers to a waterless doom, the toiling of underground bells in sand-engulfed monasteries."

After generations of mystical interpretations, researchers are finally closing in on a scientific explanation for the acoustics of sand. They now agree that the phenomenon of noisemaking sand is made possible by the action of displacement, which produces musical instrument-like vibrations in sand grains. The exact recipe for noisy sands is ..."

The rest of the article is here along with a javascript link for the audio. The audio is way cool- wish there were a longer one to save. :-)

Photo above and NASA article on city swallowing and singing sand dunes- here.

Friday, September 23, 2005


mountain and clouds

"Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision." ~ Tony Robbins

"Dwell in possibility." ~Emily Dickinson

This balance of day and night (autumn equinox) is followed in less than two weeks by the day that marks a new year for me. I've always liked autumn (a favorite, equal to spring), but this year seems different. Perhaps I haven't made a committed decision about many things, only stuck to the obvious choices that fit the loose script I put in place five years ago. It is true my life has changed from those moments, which was the intent, but I feel as if I am stalled right now. Inspiration, joy, creativity, hope, love, even committment to choices - all seem too distant to touch. I have thought of myself as preferring possibilities over seeing negatives and reasons why not, but find I need reminding from time to time.

sky and clouds
(Tuesday view after the storm)

silk moire
after the rain
the sky

Wednesday, September 21, 2005



reflecting in concrete

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday storm clouds

Tuesday storm  Posted by Picasa
same photo on flickr

Quite a show last night apparently, though I slept through much of it. It used to be a rare event when we received lightning and thunder with a storm. This is the first rain in about four months, so the freeways are their typically oil slick and nasty. This is the kind of day for staying in, reading a book and listening to the wonderful sounds interspersed with sirens and helicopters. ;-)

Of course, I am supposed to be on the far side of the Valley a little after noon.

a little rain and a change

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." ~Kahlil Gibran

It rained a tiny little bit tonight here- elsewhere in Southern California it was a bigger storm. A rumble of thunder, flash of lightning and a few drops came down with that light 'splatter on the ground sound' that is so pleasing to the ear. It was just enough to leave a few marks on the paving stones and well formed crystal looking drops still clinging to the 'volunteer' palm.

The air is a bit sweeter, cleaner smelling and there is a nice cool breeze coming in through the screen door. My mind is clearer, quieter, calmer, happy even- though I can't pinpoint a single change within- only the weather.
Peverse reaction, maybe.. especially since the weather maps plot multiple storms in the Pacific and the Atlantic- the kind that aren't gentle.

Storms Posted by Picasa

NASA GOES-12 (East) Infrared Weather Satellite Image Viewer

Monday, September 19, 2005

glorious but lonely sunsets

18sept05 sunset

Sometimes when tears fall for one thing,
they fall for all things...
all the piled up, pushed aside, buried deep things.
It is lonely inside this cemetery,
even outside in the last of the sunlight.
Without warning,
with only the slightest provocation
I cry
for the people. for the pets.
for the latest devastation.
for you. for me.
for what is and isn't and won't, can't be.
for the unmended, the unmending...
and the unmendable.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 137

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Less filling:: everything behind the fog- shadows
  2. Glue:: love
  3. Surprise me:: no preference
  4. Model:: airplane
  5. Fee:: increase
  6. Microphone:: unused
  7. Choices:: sometimes too many
  8. To the bone:: cuts. had my share of those
  9. Run!:: escape
  10. Appeal::pleasing; sunsets, kind words, smiling faces
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, September 15, 2005

wisdom for thought

wow.. and wow... totally inadequate words for the feelings from reading this on promises and vows, from mole

Too many good parts to excerpt, but here is the opening line:
"Yesterday was our 24th wedding anniversary."
For a wonderful take on the whole, please go read "Promises, Promises".

While you are there, you might want to check out - "My Official Buddhist Sermon" - it helped me in one of those rippling, tangent producing ways, during a few days where I couldn't figure out what to do with my anger.

endings, beginnings, endings again... a day

"The law of emotional choice: Learning to be aware of feelings is an essential lifetime skill."

~ Dr. Don Merrit, summarizing "The 22 {Non-Negotiable} Laws of Wellness", a book by Greg Anderson


(just at / after sunset a few days ago, playing with settings and equipment at my fav local spot)

I am not at all sure what I am feeling right now, only that I am feeling something that is vague and slightly uneasy. It is a little like "waiting for the other shoe to drop". Uneasy, slightly melancholy, maybe a lot tired.. and the road up ahead is foggier than usual. There are choices to be made in the next day or so, important things I can't seem to weigh out- choosing one of three or four directions. Maybe it doesn't really make any difference- none are bad, all are about equal. I keep thinking one will be more satisfying than another, but this moment none of them seem satisfying enough. Everyone should be faced with making choices between directions that all seem o.k. - right?

The same Greg Anderson is reported to have said: "You can't expect to prevent negative feelings altogether. And you can't expect to experience positive feelings all the time. The Law of Emotional Choice directs us to acknowledge our feelings but also to refuse to get stuck in the negative ones."

It seems like it would be a whole lot easier not to get stuck if I knew exactly what it was that was helping create that nagging 'not quite right' feeling this moment. Perhaps it is the Katrina aftermath or that Katrina followed so closely on other events that I have not processed entirely, or the slow decline of now two of my clients (dangerous line there- forcing me to face my own mortality and manner of ending a little more closely).. or maybe it is just that bit of being tired from a schedule that switches in mid-week - or all of the above and....

Whatever it is, I am hoping that a new day without any outside commitments looks brighter- even as I am pretty sure how it looks, is up to me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


sky photo

hole in the sky
the sun
eats the clouds

or maybe like this:

hole in the sky
the sun eats

different day
different clouds
same sun..


later edit: Anyone want to add their haiku?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Eye catching home

I convinced my husband to drive and help me look for a place high up that I could take future pictures of the sunset above and over our little corner of the foothills. While wandering around the higher points in Sunland/Tujunga we came across this house. I took a few quick shots and again when we drove back down. The curves, lines and various elements were fascinating to me.

More photographs are here.

I tried looking for possible meanings of this emblem/symbol - (fuzzy moment- what word am I looking for here?), but couldn't find anything definitive... Norse and Celtic looking with elements of reference to the sun... Eight points on the outer circle.. a puzzle... Anyone have any clues?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

MSIE users- small request

Ok.. ok... Here I was giving suggestions to someone about viewing pages in Firefox a week or so ago, and turns out I haven't cleared up my own opposite problems, though I remember trying to troubleshoot them way back when I changed the template. I think I must have gotten sidetracked..

My ex hubby is correct, the page is wonky here when viewed in MSIE which is still 58% of visitors (darn it). The sidebar starts to load, then slides itself to the bottom of the page below the posts.

I'm assuming it's a problem with MSIE reading CSS- and the 75-25% (brain cramp- think I changed that in trying to solve the problem the first time) 75-20% alignment... but I can't remember how to fix it, short of inserting something that says if this browser use this and if anything else, use this... and I can't find the place that I took notes about how to do that..

Suggestions or steer me in the right direction, please?

Update: I moved a couple of things to the footer (I think the problem was the Blogs by Women blogroll) and it seems to be displaying ok now in MSIE, though I wish that hadn't been necessary. IF you are viewing with IE- please leave a comment about how it looks. Thanks.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 136

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Related:: events
  2. Soothing:: sunsets, clouds and mountains, morning and afternoon walks, holding hands, hugs .. music...
  3. Flashback:: PTSD
  4. Turmoil:: everywhere
  5. Immense:: potential
  6. Guitar:: 12 string, needs new strings and a little repair
  7. Nonsense:: political excuses
  8. Blame:: easy to place, more difficult to fix; looking in the mirror is a good place to start
  9. Childlike:: wonder
  10. Duff:: get off your...
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, September 08, 2005

highs and lows..

"It's tough trying to keep your feet on the ground, your head above the clouds, your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel, your finger on the pulse, your eye on the ball and your ear to the ground." ~?

Feathered Sky

This was the view that greeted me this morning when I was leaving to see clients... such a beautiful looking morning sky.

It was a day filled with little moments.. good ones, sad ones.. handled ones. One of my clients born in 1912 is slipping further away into her own world; others have been watching the news...
rose bud

and of course, I took some pictures during little breaks.. like this rose...

and this one as I was leaving the office in the afternoon...

Some of my clients have begun questioning the response to Katrina and though I was expecting it, they want to know who would rescue them if a disaster of that magnitude happened here in Los Angeles. They want reassurance that someone would come, that they would not be abandoned, left to fend for themselves or written off.

Assessing how much each one can understand - I tell them that that maybe the President wouldn't send anyone right away, but city/county Los Angeles and folks in their neighborhoods, as well as people like me, would check on them and help them to safety if they needed help. What I don't say is that I have some of the same concerns and I only hope our local emergency response system is still in place and was expanded to include those neighborhood councils that exist.

To clear some of the more difficult moments of the day, I watched the sunset and then moon rise. My camera has become my escape from everything, except the moment in front of me. ... a way to get my head at least in the clouds for a moment or two, even if I can't get above them.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." ~Buddha

Crescent Moon

The Moon tonight when I came home- totally took me by surprise..

There is one clear but distant shot with planets showing (Jupiter and Venus, maybe??- SpaceTramp probably knows). I was playing with settings and using various automatic modes- my impromtu lessons for the night. ;-) I took some other shots earlier in the day as I took my little break at Stoney Point Park again- this time walking down into the park area.

Unsteady Hands1

Most pics I took tonight in night mode are like this one (titled "Unsteady Hands1- new tripod is on the way, but not here yet). Though a terrible shot, I rather like some of the squiggly stuff. I occasionally like to look through and at things that distort the view. Of course, that is because I think looking through different lenses is good from time to time to gain a fresh perspective.

The truth isn't really all that slippery when it comes to certain kinds of facts. There might be different interpretations depending on perspective, but there are some rather concrete facts about the disaster in the Gulf coast.

The CYA effort that has begun by the Feds and others, is shameful. We apparently don't have any "buck stops here" folks in government any longer. I am glad the media is not ignoring the personal accounts of people who actually had to deal with (and are still dealing with) the experience on the ground before outside help arrived. There will be plenty of blame to go around when this is done. D.C. trying to avoid their share will not do.

I have cried with some of the stories I heard over the past many days and shaken my fist at a few of the talking heads and do-nothing politicians. I don't want to hear a bunch of political appointees and politicians trying to tell folks red is green and how they aren't the ones to blame - continued and expanded action and coordination, not empty words and turf wars, are needed.

This one isn't going to spin.

CNN- Katrina- Congress
CNN Special Report- Katrina
BBC : Multiple failures caused relief crisis
to sleep now.. no more Katrina coverage, no more sad or even happy stories.. I seek good dreams, with happy endings.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"small creeks"

"Like dreams, small creeks grow into mighty rivers." ~Unknown

Bits of Dancing Water

from a few sunsets ago, when I was at Tujunga Wash..

Tiny week ahead, but work starts in a couple of hours today lasting into the night and requires I get up early on Wednesday for day hours. Blogging and pictures could be sparse..

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 135

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Julie:: Newmar
  2. Emotional:: reaction
  3. Head of household:: shared
  4. Diva:: know of a few
  5. Devastation:: Gulf coast- Mississippi and Louisiana- an official charlie-foxtrot and fubar response, and a completely heartbreaking situation..
  6. Business or pleasure:: well, we all know which one Shrub chose
  7. Crown:: for a tooth
  8. Eastern:: philosophy
  9. Buzzed:: caffeinated
  10. Officer:: rank
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Days end

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
~Albert Einstein

Sunset Tujunga Wash (2Sept)
Choosing to take a break at sunset, one of my favorite times of the day, I drove about a mile or so away -and took photos at Tujunga Wash again. This time- 183 of them. I have only begun to sort and look at them closely.

Sunset Tujunga Wash (Sept. 2)

This woman and her four dogs were enjoying the sunset, too. In the larger version of this photo, I found another person a distance away that I didn't know was there. I haven't figured out how to wander too far here, as I don't feel safe alone once the sun gets past a certain point. The woman (a stranger) and I, had a brief conversation (relief on both our parts, perhaps?) which included that issue as she passed me walking towards her car. I trusted her and her dogs, but might have freaked out a bit if it had been a male.

Sunset Tujunga Wash
This was the view when I left... definitely past time to leave (about five minutes after the woman and her dogs), but it was so pretty and peaceful..

"Twilight: A time of pause when nature changes her guard. All living things would fade and die from too much light or too much dark, if twilight were not." ~Howard Thurman