Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today's walk report: 103113


Short walk sort of forced upon me. I had to chop off 2 blocks at the 1/2 mark because some guy was running his lawnmower at the edge of his property but in the street! He was attempting to blow about 1/2" of dirt (mostly) and debris away from his house and into the street, onto neighbor's properties, other people's cars, etc. and was doing a pretty good job of making an airborne mess.

From that point it was a bunch of really discourteous drivers apparently in way too much of a hurry to get home for Halloween. So I decided to remove myself from the action.

I forgot the point and shoot camera. Some people have gone all out since yesterday with 3 houses creating "haunted house" type mazes in their front yards. One of them actually build a room on their driveway about 24' x 12'. There were also a lot more giant inflatable decorations and mechanical ghouls outside.

Me, I'm getting ready for the 5 or 6 kids that will come here and preparing my Halloween tradition to watch at least some of this on DVD... This is the whole show (despite copyrights) so if you want to join me here you go!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's walk report: 103013

Happy Halloween, 2013!

It's not like my old 'hood in Los Angeles but it's pretty fun, better than most of what I see around this Valley.

Bungee cord dude.
I don't know what the heck this is but it's creepy looking.

Old school decoration. This is what I remember here from childhood. The Headless Horseman's pumpkin head reminds me of Peanut's Sally for some reason.

This statue is always there. This yard is really run down and overgrown. I'm including this because it actually does creep me out.

Same house on the south end of the roof. Gargoyles, fitting for Halloween but this is mostly for my sister who recently disclosed in her blog that she's got a thing for gargoyles and dragons. I did not know this.

This is more impressive looking than the picture reveals. I would have found a better angle except the people living there were working on more decorations and I didn't really feel like pausing long enough to get into an explanation for the photography.

This house has a lot of stuff hanging up inside this tree which might look cool if they have some lights up there but I didn't notice any.

Same tree... I wonder if they left the price cards on some of these so they could try and return them after Halloween.

A flock of crows flying overhead, very nice, who arranged that? There were about 12 of them.

Lots of people had these happy ghosts.

Four of these at this house. I have to wonder where people put this stuff after the holiday. This is also the semi-famous Candy Cane Lane so there's a bunch of Christmas stuff stashed away too.

Reminds me of Russell Brand, I think it's the hair. Maybe the open mouth too.

Another friendly character-style common on the route.

The Pumpkin King.

Jack Skellington.

The door man.

Slam dunk witch.

"Twick or tweet."

Kicking back.

Another regular fixture in the neighborhood. Somehow this house got licensed as a home for the elderly.

The 1/2 way point. I decided to cut the walk short too. Although brief, stopping to snap pictures makes the walk harder for me. I tend to stiffen up. I took a picture of this inflatable Dracula before but I also wanted to point out my favorite tree. That's some type of Bauhinia (Orchid tree) I don't believe I had ever seen these before coming back to this Valley.

Looks Simpson's-like

Then some people just put a pumpkin on the front porch and forget about it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today's walk report: 102913

For too much of the walk today I was thinking about this spot. This is where I can make a final decision to shortcut my journey and knock off 1 km. If I go straight I'm committed to 8.25 km, turn left and it's 7.25 km and I tend to feel a little disappointed in myself. I went straight. Most of the time this doesn't cross my mind. Today I was struggling. I think I need to change the music on my iPod. Or something.

Obviously I didn't have anything else to say. I also forgot my pocket camera. Tomorrow or Thursday I think I'll take a DSLR. I noticed some nice Halloween decoration additions popping up so that seems in order for a walk report.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Today's walk report: 102813

Knirps for moisture...

Knirps for moisture is a line from Frank Zappa's song, Penguin in Bondage. It took me years and the Internet to find out what it meant. Knirps is a brand of umbrellas out of Germany and as far as I know weren't readily available in the United States back in 1974 when that song came to my attention. But then, I've never been very big on umbrellas. I am a fan of moisture however. The 8.25 km today was modestly moist. I enjoy walking in the rain. I hope we get more out of this front then I've seen so far. I went out of my way today to scatter 2 lb of wildflower seed and put some barricade tape up so trick or treaters and more importantly the mail person don't go shortcutting across my yard and traumatize my seedling development.

Everywhere you see brown I'm expecting wildflowers. It's the same at the end of the driveway, side of and back of house. I have a long way to go.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today's walk report: 102713

Giving you the bird...

of paradise.

There wasn't anything going on, it was amazingly quiet out. I did see the egret heading for the garden when I was up on the hill so I tried to get the camera ready as it approached me... and I didn't.  That could have been a nice shot.  It was heading in within a few minutes of yesterday's arrival. I expect this will be fairly regular for awhile--although tomorrow school's in session and I'm out for 4 days.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today's walk report: 102613

I stopped at a yard sale one of my walk friends was having to say hi and see what was up. In part I wanted to get an idea of what he was asking for on "stuff" because I really need to do one of these myself. I got distracted but it seemed as though everything was a dollar.

I also stopped briefly to chat with this old guy on the campus who I'd see regularly on my walks and haven't seen in months. I had been thinking about him recently too. It turns out he usually walks at 4:30 A.M. nowadays. I believe he drives to the campus, parks and walks.

There was an old lady, had to be in her 80s easy, that I would see in the neighborhood before the campus all the time. She'd always smile and wave. Suddenly I saw her with an escort, a guy about 40  and then with him and a woman escorting her. She was struggling. I haven't seen her in months now. It was especially comforting to see her before my mom passed away for some reason. I miss her smile.

She always dressed the same.

Meanwhile the egret was back today for more crawdads. I was under a desert willow and barely had time to get a shot off as it was flying in.

Because of my chit-chatting I was losing light and wanted to get up on the hill for sunset so I didn't hang too long at the garden. I did spy this jack rabbit doing a number on this agave plant however.

Sunset action was pushing a little too far southwest for me to really get a good capture.

But the other side of sunset was nice to walk for the journey home.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Today's walk report: 102513

Free hand.

White line, black bird.

Film students. They were waiting for me to get out of their scene. I was fucking with them that's why the fun ones were smiling. All the while the zombie dude stayed in character.

So I went to the other side and checked on mama green lynx spider #2. This time she was with her babies.

Wings up, you're under arrest!

They said they'd be gone in two minutes, looks like they hurried a little too much. Probably should fire the prop guy.

They also left behind the murder weapon.

Meanwhile, mama green lynx #1. She's just now protecting her eggs. Very dedicated I might add.

Sitting... watching...

Almost sunset, I'm heading home.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Today's walk report: 102313

It's 7:10 PM and I forgot to do something really important today...


That's right I'm just about to have my 1st meal of the day. I realized at 6:33 PM that I had not eaten and went for about a 3 km walk just to get some tension out but clearly I was starting to lose it from not consuming food all day. There were a couple of times that I thought, 'haven't eaten yet, should eat something' but I never followed through. Backtracking a little now, it appears around 2:30 this afternoon until that 6:33 PM realization struck that the concept simply had not resurfaced and that I was running on fumes.

This morning... I was doing my usual BS paperwork for the probate process which has been sucking my life energy since late March. Actually, there's a break there since it took 4 months for my petition to have its day in court. Nevertheless it was looming overhead like a thundercloud all that time and I have to admit that this sort of crap designed by lawyers for lawyers really doesn't sit well with me. I have most of what I need to do right now done except I need to call someone, my referee and ask a couple of questions. This person only works two days a week. So I went into a holding pattern.

All the while I kept thinking I'm an idiot for not buying a ticket to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform Frank Zappa's 200 Motels at the Walt Disney Hall downtown, one night only special extravaganza, tonight. The reasons I did not are pretty complicated and it's too much to share but I realized today as I saw anticipation mounting via others that I had made a horrible error in judgment. So I got on the phone and called the box office. I knew it was sold out but also figured some tickets would get released and that's what the 1st guy told me. Well, he said, "maybe." So I kept calling every 1/2 hour. Then I asked myself what would keep this obsession at bay?

My stereo receiver. I wrote about this here. As of 10 AM it had been in "the shop" for 55 days. Partly because tubes were coming from Russia and partly because I wasn't a priority. I actually asked from the beginning, "if it can save me any money to put me on a back burner, please do so." Do so they did but I don't know if that saved me anything. There was an unexpected problem or two too. It's boring. Yes, more boring that what we have here so far. Anyway, I called and lo and behold, it was ready.

Harman-Kardon, TA-260 with new power stage (quad) tubes and a bunch of other stuff.
Besides getting the thing and being really happy to have this stereo back up in the living room was another factor that made going to a concert at downtown Disney not a good idea... The repair was pretty darn pricey. Could I buy a new receiver for the same money that would perform as well? No. Could I buy a receiver on the market today which would fit vertically into the beautiful cabinet this goes into? No. Could I really afford to have this work done? Not really. Am I happy I had it done? Yes. Could it be looked upon as an investment? Yes.

So there you go. Now I've finished here and finished my sandwich. I'm going to relax to apple pie and ice cream and some orchestral Zappa on the stereo.

Oh, here, one last thing. This house is right around the corner. Basically what I did was I walked a real big circle around my neighborhood. Hand held with my pocket camera but not the point. I'm assuming this is an effort at Christmas lights. Nice, huh? It's October 23rd!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today's walk report: 102213

Some days I just want to run...

But I know better. I also want to run for all the wrong reasons. While there are times when I will run because I think my life might be threatened by an oncoming car or something, for the most part I think running (especially on pavement) is really rough on one's body. I used to be a runner, I'm not making this stuff up. It gets worse with age. If you feel like you have to run, I really suggest finding something better than city streets to run on and also find a method of running which minimizes impact. Also, I would not wear the shoes I wear if I were silly enough to run at 57 years old. I wear  a barefoot ride, Nike, Free 3.0. It's a great shoe for me walking but not for pounding the pavement running.

Today I wanted to run because my walks are based on distance, not time and I just wanted to get it over with. For the last few days walks have been really wonderful and I felt fantabulous but not today. Several times during my trek I thought of running to take care of some distance. Instead I cut the walk short. I think it works out to minus 3 km or 5.25 km total. Oh well. I think maybe I'm feeling the effects of not getting as much done today as I wanted to, not being entirely clear on some paperwork I need to do and not having a resource to assist me so I'm apprehensively going in and "winging it" and finally, having to deal with people who don't do their job, requiring me to follow up on shit I shouldn't have to follow up on. Today it was a bank--again.

All this was long before I ran into this little feline at the 1/2 mark so I'm not going to blame her. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Today's walk report: 102113

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Boo Who?
Ah, don't cry, Halloween is just around the corner!

Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." And then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn't know what to do. I'd knock on people's doors and go, "Trick or treat . . . no thank you." ~ Rita Rudner

Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. ~ Lindsay Lohan

There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin. ~ Linus Van Pelt in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today's walk report: 102013

Creepy, crawly things.

Yesterday I posted this image of a new green lynx spider I found in the garden and I mentioned her nest behind (assuming it was the female and not a stay at home dad).  Today on the way in I started thinking... you didn't really take a very good look at the nest yesterday.

Wow... This is shooting 115mm with a Canon 500D close up attachment. Those spiders are pretty tiny.

These girls were way too big to be doing this... not too old, just too big. That's a busy street too.

Sunset crew, always here.

This red-tailed too, we've seen before.

Back to creepy, crawly.