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.
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).
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 anexpert 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. 😉
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.) 😉 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.
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.
If this year so far had a theme, it would probably be “meh”. And the reason is: last December I somehow injured my shoulder, so I haven’t been able to do very much activity. First, I did the useless physical therapy. When that didn’t do anything, I got the MRI (note to self: always keep the credit cards far away from the machine to prevent de-magnetization.)
When my regular doctor saw these pictures back in January he said “Huh, I don’t think the bone is supposed to be in that position.” This was not exactly a comforting statement.
So I was scheduled for surgery at the end of February, just before the big annual orthopedic convention. But, I got some sort of bug the day before surgery was scheduled, so it was a no go. My doctor did not learn any new painless techniques at convention, so I got the standard treatment recently.
This is what my shoulder will look like on the inside, except that mine has a new screw in the bone, and the loose bit has been sewed down to this anchor. So in mere six weeks or more I will be as good as new (or as good as Dr. Frankenstein can make me).
I think that my love of dinosaurs must have started before I could even read. My big brother discovered the topic first, and I always tried to do everything that he did. He made little books about his favorites (or perhaps it was just the ones that he read about. I’m sure he liked them all). I suspect that all children are fascinated by dinosaurs (at least before Barney came along and ruined it for the others), because they were gigantic and now they are all gone, disappeared off the face of the earth. 🙁
Leaping lizards! I even signed the petition to keep Dippy the diplodocus in place at the Natural History Museum, but it did no good (he’s gone on tour for now and was replaced by a whale, a mammal of all things). The age of dinosaurs is over, I guess. However, they still have a bit of things to entertain dinosaur lovers like myself.
Of course artists renditions of dino life are de rigeur, because we can only infer what they looked like and what they were up to.
And the newest thing to make dinos come to life are animatronic dinosaurs, like T-Rex here. He was quite popular and scads of people took selfies with him (including me!).
These animatronic Deinonochus, a species made popular in the Jurassic Park movies, are simultaneously adorable and quite scary.
All of this makes a skeleton seem rather ordinary. It’s hard to appreciate the time and love required to find the bones in the first place, pry the bones from solid rock in the lab, replace the missing bones with what was probably there, and assemble it together again.
Then there is this newspaper, which was delivered to my house courtesy of a local church.
While I can’t agree with a single one of their conclusions (being largely fact free), it did have some rather nice pictures of my favorite creatures. 😉
I love walking along the street and looking at the goods on display in shop windows. What are they using to make one say “I must stop in and buy something”.
Hardware stores are the best places to browse. Full of enigmatic and useful things, a shop like this that is crammed to the gills with stuff can never fail to inspire one. Whatever one might need, perhaps a fresh coat of paint, repairing that thing that one has been ignoring, or just handling the various specialised tools; it leads to thoughts of what might be. (So get on with it!)
This window had these lovely antique, hand cranked sewing machines as a backdrop to the standard sort of trendy clothing that the shop sells. I have been sewing for years (lots and lots of years) and yet I have no idea how to sew a straight line using just one hand while furiously cranking with the other. So bravo to those who originally used these machines. This display was the most interesting part of this shop.
Then there are the Christmas displays meant to fill one with the Christmas spirit (or at least the urge to spend money on one’s family and friends, if that is the same thing?). When I was a child, I remember making special trips to the shopping district just to see the windows. This store chose to use cartoon figures of Italian designers rather than the more traditional elves to flog their wares. If it wasn’t for the tinsel and party dresses I might not have known this was a Christmas display.
And of course what says Christmas more than rockets and little green men ( a very traditional look for aliens).
In travel adverts we see beautiful stylishly dressed people walking along deserted white sand beaches. On travel shows, the host chats with friendly locals who are delighted to serve him/her the fabulous local specialty. That is the fantasy, the reality of most travel starts with an airport, much like this one.
Here’s your friendly neighborhood bar, although don’t get over-served or they will not let you on the plane (unless that is the captain on the next bar stool.)
How about a little overpriced food? It’s your last chance for sustenance before you reach your final destination.
And if you are traveling on an overseas flight, there is the duty-free shop. Who doesn’t need another pocketbook or some booze for the long flight ahead?
Ever wonder what the smartly dressed cattle would wear on vacation?
Here be a dragon that guards the snacks. I am old enough to remember when airlines served food (typically sort of bad food, but it was food) instead of tiny packages of pretzels.
And what airport worth it’s salt doesn’t have an enigmatic bit of art. I’m not sure what it represents, except perhaps the experience of travelling.
We’ve had a run of bad weather, first it was ice and snow, then it was gale force winds. And what does one need to get through a stretch of bad weather? Some people rush to the stores to get bread, milk and eggs, but I need to to have a lovely pile of books to set by my bed. So this is what I have been reading.
I haven’t gotten too far in Ancient Worlds, but The Invention of Murder is quite interesting. One of the many points she makes is about the number of murders that take place in the novels of Charles Dickens. She cites the original source material Dickens used, and it makes me wonder why Dickens is still popular (sort of, it’s considered literature, and good for one) while his other contemporaries have fallen out of favor.
Rain Dogs is a mystery (my favorite genre) set in Ireland (which is almost as good as an English mystery). Of course I love Terry Pratchett, this is one of his witches novels. I did see a list recently in The Guardian where people talked about their favorite laugh out loud novels and I was surprised that his work was not included. Go figure.
There was not too much to read in this book, but it had some great inspiration to it.
The quilting book also had some inspiring art, perhaps I will give this a go again sometime (I do have a rather large pile of unfinished quilts). And the last book pictured is about French culture, it could be handy if I ever go back to France (in real life, not just in my imagination). These were enough to get me through some rough weather, and now there is more possibly on the way. I’m ready for that too.