Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Place in the Sun

Sitting at the cafe table in the kitchen looking out the window at the back yard and watching Ranger play with her ball, I noticed Jiggy on the roof of the neighbor's shed next door. This old shed is as dilapidated as they get, rusty nails poking out of the shingle layers, cracked and pealing paint, it's beautiful. Jiggy likes to hang there and catch some rays. Like so...
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Falmingo and The Arches

Four Arches 1973
Calder Sculpture at the Bank of America Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

Heading downtown to see a movie on Christmas Day (after taking my super spiff new bike out for a ride along the L. A. River) I said to my sweetie that I'd like to see the Alexander Calder public sculpture (above, bathed in beautiful late afternoon light) known as the Four Arches.

Before seeing the one in Chicago this past November (below, bathed in beautiful late afternoon light) known as the Flamingo, I didn't know Los Angeles had one.

Flamingo 1973
Calder Sculpture at the Federal Plaza, Chicago, IL

Christmas photos on Flickr

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chronicles of Ranger To Date

While catching up on the chronicles of a Wyoming woman (and her tomcat) who took in a baby coyote, we were looking at one of the photos of a very young Charlie and his growth from one week to the next. It happens so fast when they are young. They are plump and rolly-poly, then they get all gangly-spindly, then they are magnificent.

So into the photo archives I went to see Ranger's growth spurts. Remembering our road trip from July 2006 as we made the journey through Monument Valley, UT, and finding these four pups that had been tossed out on the side of the highway next to a puddle of mud and a box in the shrubs in 100 degree temps. There was no decision to make, they were coming with us.
July 11,2006 (The day we found them)

July 28, 2006 (Ranger's new home)
She's the sweetest dog, so playful and smart. She fit right in with our other animals making us a family of four cats, two dogs and a tortoise. We found her siblings good homes and still keep tabs on Indy who has a great life with Lisa.

August 16, 2006

November 12, 2006

February 23, 2007

July 11, 2007 (One Year Later)

November 11, 2007

December 23, 2007

She loves her peeps and we love her.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pretty Dog and a Pine Tree

Who's a pretty dog.
After picking up a couple of items to stow under the Christmas tree for my sweetie I drove through Atwater Village where I came upon this nice pine tree decked out with some very simple jumbo ornaments and backed by some pretty awesome clouds sitting on the Verdugo's.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Will Only Take a Minute

The weekend is spent. Another work-week is near. I think about it sometimes. The deadlines. The day to day challenges of the job I do. It never lets up, and it takes its toll. I feel like the time I have to take care of my personal needs, my relationship's needs, my animal's needs, is compartmentalized and sectionalized.

Oh I have five minutes to throw the ball Ranger, and I have to get ready for work. I have five minutes to talk to Will about our holiday plans, and the clothes are ready to be taken out of the dryer. While he vacuums I dust, and the dogs just drag in more dirt. But that's life right. We do plenty of interesting things, enjoyable things, relaxing things, amazing things. And even with five minutes here, five minutes there, a lifetime's worth of wonderful moments is assembled into something pretty fantastic, my life.

The flower was taken in Georgetown, SC, during our trip to Mom's for Thanksgiving this year. It was so good to see you Mom. I'm glad you and Lorne are doing so well and that you settled in such a pretty place. I look forward to my retirement with Will and the places we will see and the things we will do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We're back from our Thanksgiving trip to South Carolina. Mom's dinner was wonderful. They have a really nice place in Murrells Inlet, SC. Very pretty there. I think they're really happy there too.

We had decided to take a side trip to Charleston this year, and stopped at Georgetown on the way, then the Magnolia Plantation on the way out. Beautiful area with boatloads of history.

Photo collection on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

South Carolina Here We Come

Packed, check.
Boarding passes printed, check.
All animals in and accounted for, check.

Just waiting for the animal/house sitter to arrive. Then we're off to LAX to board the 10:45 to Charlotte NC where we'll have time for an early breakfast before catching the short connecting flight to Myrtle Beach, SC.
Mom's got her menu posted (and it sounds wonderful). We're alomost there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dunes in the Afternoon

Late afternoon sun on the Eureka Dunes. More to come when I can get caught up next weekend. It was a spectacular trip. Perfectly remote and all to ourselves, we had only each other, a couple of doggies and beautiful wide open space. Will's recap here.

Update: Photos on Flickr

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Back From Chicago

Had to travel to Chicago for a conference. I saw as much as I could in the time available. Lot's to see and do. Lovely city, perfectly clear and cool weather. More to come, but I worked late, busy now unpacking from Chicago and getting ready for the trip to Death Valley with the doggies this weekend.

Until I can go through the hundreds of photos I took here's one or two for now.

Flickr photos are up (I can't believe there are 400)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spookish Celebrations

Me and sweetie put our skeleton faces on and made the trip to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the annual Dia De Los Muertos festivities, followed by a unique marriage celebration for a very unusual couple. Congratulations Cathy and Mike.

Photos added to Flickr.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Should I Call Somebody?

Seen on the 110 yesterday after we hit Stats in Pasadena for some graveyard decor. Picked us up a bag o' bones and some skeletal ghoulies and gravestones to build on the graveyard scene we've installed the last couple of years.

Then we headed down to Olvera Street to do some Day of the Dead shopping and get a bite to eat. It was a lovely evening there with strolling mariachis as we sat at a table for two on the veranda at La Golondrina.

I've started a photo set here that I'll add to as things progress through Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebration.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Snap Shot of Troy, MT

Sent to Mom by my Uncle Jim, a snap shot of Troy, Montana through the fall foliage. (Grandma's house is there somewhere in the distance.)Nestled up near Glacier National Park, and hugging the Kootenai River, if the winters weren't so hard I'd have half a notion to want to live there myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Halloween Waiting in the Wings

As will and I walked through the neighborhood streets of Los Feliz yesterday on our way to contribute to the cost of health care for the ill Lucy, Skylight Bookstore's resident cat, we were greeted with signs of Halloween's approach.
Time to go down to the basement and get out the tombstones and spiders as well. Now that we have that great old farm bench in the front I'm sure it'll make a good spot for a zombie to sit and wait for the little trick o' treaters to come.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Weekend Collection

It's been in the 80's so I thought I better water the garden. I caught my potted Mums in the late afternoon sunlight. Chrysanthemums are my favorite fall blooming flower, daisies and the old fashioned hydrangea are my favorite summer bloomers.

Yesterday we went to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Westside Pavilion, which was just awesome. One of my all time favorites and it was great to see it on the big screen. Afterwards we went into the Barnes and Noble and picked up a few books before crossing the street to eat at the Apple Pan, Est. 1947. It's really a quaint little diner, counter seating only. I loved the root beer served in paper cups in a silver holder.Today I had some errands to run, one of which took me to Glendale where I walked around the shops and passed a frog fountain that seems to be a big hit with the kids, and snapped a shot just as a boy darted towards the water spitting frog on the right.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ranger and the Rosemary Shrub

Earlier this week when I mentioned to Ranger that her ball was getting gunky, Will overheard and went to the basement to grab a new tube of tennis balls, her favorite. So this morning we retired the old gunky ball and gave her a new one; bright lime green with that new fuzzy rubber smell. She promptly rolled it in the dirt around the Jasmin then took it to the Rosemary shrub, dove in, and rolled it around in there for a good long time. The ball came our dirty and she came out smelling like Rosemary. Just about the best smell in the world.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Take a Seat

We ventured to the mid-city this morning and claimed a sweet bench that my sweetie spotted curbside during his work-week commute. Back home he got Jiggy and Pumpkin in the picture while I later surrounded it with Chrysanthemums. More photos of our score here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Turf Tussle

Trimming and tidying up in the garden this morning where I came across this critter, Ranger had a little tussle with the neighbor's dog from across the street when the sweet old collie came trotting into the side yard trailing her leash. She was friendly enough, but Ranger apparently felt her turf had been encroached upon and that her mama was in danger so she went into full protection mode, hackles up and aggressive barking. I felt bad because she was off leash and the other dog wasn't being aggressive at all, but we were in our own yard. Everything was fine and Ralph came and got his dog and I got ahold of Ranger. Just a lot of barking from Ranger as she protected her mama. Then all was back to normal and I took some more photos of the grasshopper topping the hydrangea. Now Ranger is on full alert checking the perimeter and looking out the library window where she has the best vantage point from which to see intruders.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pink Martini at The Hollywood Bowl

Given an opportunity to go to the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night, Will had a tough decision to make. He had to choose between Midnight Ridazz and me. Fortunately for everyone he chose me.

Pink Martini are one of my favorite groups. If I were to see anyone live these days it would be them, and probably (still) Chris Isaak. So with a basket full o' goodies, (pizza margarita, penne pesto, calamari salad and a bottle of Chilean wine) we drove to the Zoo and caught the $3 round trip shuttle bus to the Bowl.

For this special three night series the bowl was transformed into the Cocoanut Grove. Pink Martini played with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra backing them up conducted by the very engaging Thomas Wilkins. Special guests on stage for a couple of numbers were the famous 90 year old
singer Henri Salvador (born in French Guiana and influential in the formulation of the Brazilian Bossa Nova style, I'm going to have to get some of his recordings) and the timeless and absolutely wonderful Carol Channing, plus the MarchForth Marching Band on stage for some added punch.

The entire show capped off with fireworks and other pyrotechnics onstage and on the rim of the bowl, it was quite a night. What a great night.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Heritage Square Museum

In the full on, blazing, heat of the day we stepped out and took a little drive back in time to Heritage Square off of Avenue 42. Bee-lining it to the ice cream stand for some Mint Chocolate Chip, followed by Cherry Snow Cones, and plenty of ice water.What a great place. I wish more of the buildings were restored and furnished, but even the cracked plaster and peeling wall paper of these old homes is wonderful. Plenty more on Flickr.

Friday, August 31, 2007

In His Own Words

I came across this when I clicked on a commenter's link to one of Will’s post. I couldn’t resist the cat meme and gave Bink a try. Here's what he had to say.

1. Your age?
I remember when I was a kitten and my mama came to pick me up, Achy Breaky Heart was playing on the radio. But I believe it was already a couple of years old or so at the time and the little girl that was singing along had a mullet. Gosh, I could be anywhere from about 10 to 13.

2. Your age when came to live with your people?
Yep, I was definitely a kitten, probably 8 weeks? Before my mama came to pick me up I lived in a cage and I had fleas.

3. What color is the collar you’re wearing right now?
I’ve tried them, but I usually lose them in poker.

4. Who is your favorite person other than the people you live with?
I like Tiffany. She’s sweet. I’ll come out from under the bed when she’s here.

5. How much do you weigh?
Well, before I got sick this year I was about the size of a good Thanksgiving Turkey. Now I’m a healthy weight.

6. Most expensive thing you’ve ever clawed?
I’ve clawed my share of sofa arms. I never went in for the drapes though.

7. Do you like other cats?
Not so much. Since my people added three more I let it be known loud and clear that my personal space is not to be breached.

8. Who is your best non-human friend?
Minnie was a good ol’ girl. She left us a long time ago, but we keep her picture on the side of the refrigerator.

9. Cat Nip Toys or Fake Mice?
Not much interest in toys and such. But toss a little catnip stuffed mouse at me and I’ll give it a real good roll.

10. Do you like to be brushed?
I like it. I like it a lot. I like it so much that sometimes it makes me roll over, belly up. I also like to be rubbed under my armpits.

11. Tuna or Milk?
Fancy Feast for me please.

12. Do your people cut your toenails?
Yeah. I’m pretty good with mama pocking and prodding and clipping and brushing, to a point, then watch out, man, ‘cause I’ll get ya.

13. Any formal education?
What does that mean? I know everything I need to know.

14. Couch potato or Energizer Bunny?
I like a good stroll outside and a roll in the dirt, but other than that I’m a real lay-down, loungey cat.

15. What are some nicknames your people call you?
My proper name is Stingo. But I mostly go by Bink. Also Binky, Binkamus, or “Hey Buddy”.

16. What is your best trick?
Unlike Jiggy who can leap tall building, I can roll over for a belly rub, when I want to.

17. Do you like doggies?
There are a couple of those in our home too. They’re not so bad, but I don’t really like them, no.

18. What did you have for breakfast?
A little Fancy Feast in juice and some kitty kibble.

19. Can you hunt (aka have you ever killed anything living)?
I used to be a big hunter in my youth. I especially enjoyed separating lizards from their tails. I’ll still eat mice if the opportunity presents itself, and I throw up their hands and entrails on the bedroom rug to show my people how awesome I am and how much I love them.

20. When & why was the last time you went to the V.E.T.?
Oh man. The last time I went to the vet man, I was really sick. I would have died if my people didn’t take such good care of me. It was this past March and I wasn’t eating and I lost so much weight and I was really wobbly and weak. The doctor did some blood work and took x-rays. Found an enlarged liver and a BB lodged in my thigh (which had nothing to do with my illness, but still). I was ready to give up, but my people wouldn’t let me, especially the tall one. It took me until the end of May before I started eating on my own. Then I gained back some weight and got my strength back. I don’t know what it was that made me so sick, but I’m back and rolling in the dirt.

21. Where do you sleep at night?
Duh, in the bed. I like to share my mama’s pillow or wedge myself against the tall one’s back. She says I'm "cuddly", he says I'm "cuddly like brick". But he likes it when I head-butt him, or walk on his head.

22. Do you like to swim?
What does that mean? I’m no fish.

23. Can you make kitties?
Nope. Never had the opportunity to do that.

24. Your favorite place to visit?
I like the club chair in the library. Before all the other animals came to live here I used to like the scratchy wool kilim rug in the dining room.

25. Do you purr?
I purr lots and lots. I’ve got a pretty good motor and I’m not afraid to turn it on.

Consider yourself tagged if you have an animal and are reading this!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Morning Sky & Dog Days

It's the dog days. Beautiful sky this morning though. But it's nearly 8:00 pm now and still in the 80s. Supposed to be scorching in 90s this long weekend too. We had "rain" last weekend. It evaporated before it even hit the ground. And I have a nice view of the thunder clouds topping the mountain range from my office window at work. It sure would be nice to have a downpour.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to Frogtown

Learning of the Frogtown Art Walk this weekend, Will and I went back to check out the art, the river, and the living spaces of this industrial/artist pocket of Elysian Valley.

We decided to bike over and I managed all of the grades well, except the steepest one leading up to the dog park at the Silver Lake reservoir where I had to hop off and walk the bike up. Other than that I was able to shift down to the "little" gears and pedal my way up the slopes in the road.
We arrived in time to take the guided River Walk tour with Joe Linton, author of Down by the Los Angeles River.Then we met up with Stephen and Alice and walked through the artist's cool studio spaces and interesting and creative artwork.There was some really creative stuff as well as a monster "swing" that Will got some great footage of. Man how I wanted to take a swing at that contraption. But somehow my better sense prevailed, and I remained grounded. Next year perhaps?

Alice suggested we stop at Gingergrass for dinner. So heading through the quiet streets of Frog Town after dark we made our way to the restaurant. Being in our biking clothes and somewhat sweaty from the efforts of riding, the restaurant was very comfortable and casually low-key, and very busy. All of the dishes that passed our table looked really good. I settled on the special of Walnut Chicken that was just wonderful and Will had the yummy Shaking Beef.

With dinner done we hopped in the saddle and rolled over and around Silver Lake reservoir and home.

More on my Flicker and Will's.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Picture of Health

While having our coffee this monring in our kitchen cafe, Bink came out of the bedroom, gave us both a head butt, and sauntered outside where he hopped up onto a patio chair and made himself comfortable for a while. Long enough for me to grab the camera, stir the breakfast potatoes, and get his picture.
And a perfect picture of health he is. I've added him to my Animal Farm set on Flckr.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Frogtown River Ride

Will and I went on a bike ride through an area known as Frogtown along the Los Angeles River. More cool photos here and my Sweetie's here.

Larchmont Grill

Last night we let Larchmont Grill do the grillin'. My mission was to scope it out for this year's company holiday party. Sean greeted us as we entered the restaurant, which was a craftsman home once upon a time. The staff was very friendly, attentive and efficient. Makes a difference. It kind of does feel like you're a guest at someone's home for a dinner party. I had the recommended Chardonnay from Tom & Joes Very Fine Wines and Will a Red Stripe beer. Larchmont Grill has a nice American menu with dishes like Grilled Chicken, Flat Iron Steak and Baked Trout.

I started with the Endive Salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, apples and vinaigrette. I don't usually care too much for the smelly cheeses, but this blue was really creamy and mild and the endive crisp and fresh. Excellent salad. Will had the fried calamari, a dish that is so easy to over cook and until it's rubbery, it was perfectly battered and really really tender. I eeny-meeny-miny-moe'd between the Baked Trout and the Pork Chop, and got the Pork Chop, which came with a fig sauce, scalloped potatoes and Swiss chard. The potatoes were super thinly sliced and tender while the Swiss chard was just a little underdone for me. Larchmont Grill certainly doesn't over-season its dishes and I could taste the freshness of the ingredients. It was crisp when it sould be, creamy where it was supposed to be, tender as it could get.

We ended the meal with a shared Lemon Meringue Cake and coffee. Then Sean showed us the upstairs room that can seat 35-40 people with a private balcony. Nice space, nice food, nice people. Looks like a good candidate for our holiday party this year.

Now we're off for a bike ride along the Los Angeles River.