Category Archives: Life

Cars

I love cars, I love car shows. Cars are a part of everyday life here in this spread out city, despite the city planners best efforts to force people to use bicycles and buses (like by limiting the roads and parking in the central area where they are encouraging people to go).

Anyway, there was a tiny car show at one of the oldest houses in town, and as I had never visited it in all these years, I decided to take a peek.

This is a lovingly restored example from the 20’s. It was probably expensive when new (even though it is a Chevrolet) and that it certainly true now, this is a rich person’s toy (probably a man. Like one of guys there who said he had 30 cars in his collection). But it is glorious to look at, all shiny paint and chrome. It shows both the lineage of carriage building, but also the adaptations necessary to this modern form of transportation.

This one looks to be “barn fresh”, it’s a find from somewhere, just waiting for the infusion of cash to turn it into a show car. It’s probably no more than 10 years later than the previous car, but it shows how the styling embraces a streamlined modernity. (And it probably already at least has a working engine as it is parked on the street).

This car from the late 40’s or early 50’s and it’s in the generic car style of post-war period, but it still features a lovely chrome bumper to give it a bit of class. (It’s too bad that chrome is so toxic to the environment.)

Modern cars don’t vary much in their styling (sedan, SUV, pickup truck) and it’s often hard to tell one brand from another. But this red convertible manages to stand out, in spite of not having any chrome, by virtue of the driver.

I certainly hope to spot this again someday as I am driving around town (I will probably not be biking or using the bus).

A Day in the Life

So my day started out because of a bit of nagging about an event from M and I was duty-bound to attend. It was a sunny day, but there was that hint in the air that fall is coming. And of course I was getting a later start than I had calculated, oh well, that’s typical. As I prepared to pop onto the freeway to drive across town, this is what I saw.

Why are there Star Wars cosplay persons standing on the street corner? Are they waiting to cross the busy road for some unknown event? Did someone call for a meeting to take place on this street corner? Just what is the evil empire up to now? I have no idea, but I was intrigued as I snapped their picture while I waited for the streetlight to change.

Yes, my actual destination was another pow-wow, and I had brought my summer dance shawl in case the spirit moved me (it wasn’t moving me much that day). This guy was part of a drum group, and he was waiting for his bunch to be called on to sing.

Some young woman was selected to get a title (perhaps for this pow wow, I really was not paying that much attention). And this was a dance in her honor, so I put on my shawl, shook her hand and took a turn around the dance circle. But it is still summer sort of, and it was quite hot, so then I buggered off to go home, when I notice this.

It was a nice breezy day, so the witch had no trouble flying. Thank goodness the residents had boarded up the windows to prevent the skeletons from breaking in (note to self: remember to do this as well).

Also, beware of giant evil pumpkin heads roaming about.

Because the town backs up onto the mountains, there is quite a bit of wildlife that comes into town. It is not uncommon for bears, bobcats and mountain lions to be spotted, but this is the first time that I saw a werewolf in broad daylight (note to self: procure some silver bullets).

So all in all, it was a pretty typical day for me.

Street Art

It was time for my participation in the annual juried art show, so I found myself in the town to the south. After delivering the piece I was driving around and admiring the ambience of the city. It’s a much more working class sort of place, and this reminds me of the place I grew up in.

I love the outside of this local bar, but I wonder, what sort of beer might they serve? My friend who lived in town assures me that they make a fabulous green chile covered hamburgers, and perhaps someday I shall stop and try this.

This brick wall is dedicated to the delights of chile (yes spellcheck, this is in fact how it is spelled!). I must admit this is my favorite vegetable, and I can eat it in all three meals a day.

There are a lot of untouched and shabby old buildings in town, so it’s perfect to spiff the walls up with murals, art one doesn’t have to get out of the car to appreciate.

I always pop ’round to a fabric shop while I’m there, and this has just been added on one side of the block. This courtyard is for the overflow from a bar for young persons (not the kind of people that drink Coors).

Hidden (sort of, it is newly painted in bright colors) in an alley nearby is this mural that celebrates the logos of various schools in town.

Here’s more of the same theme, your school rules (or not). And why is it important that this art can be admired from the air-conditioned comfort of ones car? This town is at a lower elevation and is always much hotter than my town (great in Winter, not so much in the Summer).

Anthropomorphics

It started with this guy, the King Trumpet mushroom. (I assume he is male, because he is a king).

I had used the mushrooms in my dinner, when I noticed the bag these came in. I decided that King mushroom was a rather snazzy figure, and started to wonder who made the choice to have an anthropomorphic design to explain and sell this product. (Sadly, there were only ordinary mushrooms in the packet). So I decided to look around to see what other anthropomorphic designs I might find.

I was lucky to find that I had saved this container to use for storage, because Mr. Peanut was killed off by his company! Yes, some genius decided that a peanut with a monocle, gloves, cane and a top hat (spats are not pictured here) was not the proper salesman to flog their product, so they declared him dead (although as an inanimate cartoon figure I am not sure if this is even possible). Oh well, he lives on in my heart (and pantry).

I am happy to see that the Kool-Aid man, a staple of my childhood, still lives on (and cherry remains my favorite flavor).

I took this picture at the grocery store, because the sweet cereal that I do eat uses a cartoon character, instead of this friendly fellow. Because the last thing one wants when sitting down to breakfast, is a bowl of grumpy cereal.

But the winner of this contest of mascots has to be the King Trumpet mushrooms. Because they don’t just have one smiling figure, there are also all of his friends. Perhaps they are on the way to a party, or are running a race, whatever. They are happy to see one, and I expect I shall purchase them again (and not the ones that come in a plain package.)

Fall

The equinox is here, even though it hardly seems like there was a proper summer. It’s the official birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins (and others), so a Happy Hobbit Day to you all. And here are the first signs of fall.

The first of the scrub oak leaves are turning, next, those traitors will exit the trees and fall in the driveway, just waiting for me to tidy up (it might be a long wait).

There are Virginia creeper vines by the front sidewalk. And they live up to their name by their gradual attempt to take over everything. These ones by the rocks have turned yellow, a sure harbinger of what’s to come.

This bit of creeper has climbed up into the pine where it makes a nice contrast to the green (I did mention that this stuff is unstoppable).

The trees across the street are losing their leaves and soon the wind will bring them to my driveway also. I suppose that it is comforting that the season is changing, perhaps this year will be over before we know it. And we can move on to the uncertainty of next year.

Cat friends

Although I am acquainted with many, many dogs (I do love them so), I also have a number of cat friends.

This is Freya, who came from the Humane Society as a kitten (not actually in that box). That thing on her neck is a cat locator. Should she by chance escape into the great outdoors, it helps to find her. One just points this radar gun sort of thing in different directions until one hears a beep. Then one follows the beeps until one sees the cat. It’s really quite handy.

This is her brother Thor, a purebred Maine Coon cat. He was still a kitten when I took this photo, now he weighs almost 15 pounds (he’s a big boy).

This is Cupcake (and she is no sweet treat), who is a bit of a devil-girl. She enjoys being petted until that fateful moment when she has had enough. Then she whips her head around and bites you (or me). But she is pretty and her owner loves her, so she does her job.

This is Nico, a sort of Siamese-ish cat. He’s quite friendly with beautiful blue eyes. He normally wears a collar to prevent him from leaving his yard, but he had broken this and was waiting on a replacement (he is a bit of a naughty boy).

This time around I didn’t get to actually see this cat, but I have seen him before. It’s Tuna, the amazing acro-cat. He has been trained to use his paw to bong away on a cowbell, among other things (Yeah, I know if he was a dog it would be no big deal, even rather mundane. But training a cat to do anything on command is truly amazing).

More Fate

Combining patriotism and strength, this machine is more about divining one’s personality rather than telling the future. But I suppose that one’s personality type leads to a certain sort of implied future (after all, no one wants to be a weakling!).

One of the oldest forms of fortune telling is the horoscope, that somehow one is subjected to astrological influences based on the date of one’s birth. Of course, just like going to an expert a palm reader, for a really special prediction, one must consult an astrologer and have a chart drawn up. Based on the minute of one’s birth, as well as the date this is said to be much more accurate. But how can we trust the factual basis of this prediction (plus it costs more than a quarter).

Then there is the Magic 8 Ball, allegedly a child’s toy, that will give one an answer to any question. Was this the right question?

One can also get a prediction for the future from a fortune cookie. The cookie one gets is a truly random choice, as this fate is hidden inside a cookie. Perhaps the universe is telling us something? I guess I am looking for a sign.

And here it was, displayed on an official street department signboard. Well with a sign like that, the answer is clear. Turn around and go back to bed, it’s the safest prediction, at least for the immediate future. ūüėČ

Dog friends

Even before I got my new temporary dog friend Ace, I had lots of other dog friends. And as Ace consumes most all of my spare time now, I’m making just a quick post to celebrate some of my other dog friends.

This soulful face belongs to Pete, a Pyrenees. His hobby is barking at anything that moves.

Rigby is a Lab, crossed with some breed that has very short legs (you never know what your dogs will get up to, when one is not looking.)

He also enjoys keeping his home safe by barking at everyone on his street. (Fortunately he lives on a quiet street).

Tucker, a chow-golden retriever mix was photographed in a pile of destruction that he and his sister caused. He enjoys making boxes and toys into small bits.

Tucker’s sister Peaches, looking innocent of destructive tendencies. She is part chow and part something else, obviously her mother got around.

Jake, a pit bull came to visit with his owner, who is one of my oldest friends. (That means we have known each other for a very long time, not that he is old, although if we have known each other for 50 years that does say something about us.) ūüėČ Jake’s only hobby is going to doggy daycare to romp about.

This is a particularly goofy shot of Winchester, a Lab mix. (He is much more handsome in real life). No known hobbies.

This is Winchester’s cousin Luna, a sort of Lab mix. She was looking askance at Winchester’s antics and thinking about teaching him a lesson.

Mickey is a poodle-ish dog, rescued from the streets. When he was found his hair had not been cut in a very long time. His fur was overgrown and matted. But he now lives in the lap of luxury with M’s cousin and is treated like a prince. His hobby is turning up his nose at home cooked meals.

This is a not very good photo of my great-nephew, Gary Francis S. He loves to chase tennis balls, and will run his short Corgi legs off to retrieve them, if one will only throw them. His hobby is to enthusiastically greet visitors so that they will never want to leave.

Dog friends are often the best sort of friends to have, they are always glad to see one and are easily amused, which is not usually the case with human friends.

Oh deer

We are currently in the season for outdoor decorations, and one of the more popular choices for decorating is deer.¬† ¬†Technically, I suppose that people are thinking ‘reindeer’, with sort of North Pole connotations.¬† ¬†But it’s easier to go with generic deer as a sign of the season.

If you are wanting to have outdoor lights anyway, why not a lighted deer?

This family of log deer are certainly cute and crafty, as well as being environmentally friendly.

Hey, wait a minute.¬† ¬†That’s not even a deer, it’s just a dog with an antler tied to his head (if you want to be a Grinch about it).

Well now we’re getting completely ridiculous, besides being rather abstract.¬† ¬†Nothing says festive like Rudolph the red-nosed car.¬† ¬†Really?

This is more like it, the real thing (although you can tell from the state of his antlers that I took this picture in the spring).   After spending the summer wherever they disappear off to, the local deer are back in the neighborhood.   And making a festive statement just by being themselves.