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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Shadow Series Begun

The images of The Shadow, the part of ourselves we deny and ignore, are just beginning to form into a series of drawings. These first two came to me clearly. There are five total, and they are beginning to coalesce in my mind.

Picasa Rediscovered ...

I took these sailing shots ... well, who knows when, but a while back, in Salazar's Seaside Village. I really love the colors. I only rediscovered them when I put a blogging app on my phone. It asked me what photo source I chose, and I chose Picasa, not realizing I had some photos there already (I know, sometimes I am duncey). There these lovely shots were. I tried to blog them remotely but could not get them here from there.

Sing It, Harry!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seven Years of Second Life!

Seven years ago today, I washed ashore in Second Life. I was unconscious and unaware that I had reached land once again, but I was nursed back to health by good companionship. 

It has been quite an adventure and very challenging to live in this virtual world. Unlike some I have visited, a couple for months at a stretch, the residents create the "content", that is, buildings, trees and plants, clothing, mechanisms, and each person brings their own vision to the world. It changes every day, and there are always new places to visit, as well as new projects to work on.

I have found this a very satisfying world. If you are looking for a game, you can find some in SL, but of itself it is not a game. There are no levels or mini rewards ... just the satisfaction, amusement and amazement of creating your own "second" life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Find This Intriguing

NOAA Studies Atmospheric ‘Rivers’ Using Unmanned Aircraft

February 10, 2011

NASA’s Global Hawk soars aloft from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on a functional check flight of the aircraft payload system and science instruments.
Download here. (Credit: With permission from NASA)
NOAA scientists will use unmanned aircraft to study “rivers in the sky” during the Winter Storms and Pacific Atmospheric Rivers, or WISPAR, field campaign slated to begin Feb. 11. The focus of the research is to improve our understanding of how atmospheric rivers form and behave, and to evaluate the operational use of unmanned aircraft for investigating these phenomena.
Atmospheric rivers, or ARs, are narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport large amounts of water vapor across the Pacific and other regions. In one day, an average AR transports an amount of water vapor equivalent to a foot of liquid water covering 10 million acres — an area roughly the size of Maryland. This is about seven times the average daily flow of water from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. Only a portion of the water vapor transported by an AR is transformed into rain or snow; for example, about 20-40 percent in one AR crossing northern California makes it to the surface.
The importance of ARs was recently highlighted in a major emergency preparedness scenario led by the U.S. Geological Survey that focused on the possibility of a series of strong ARs striking California. That scenario showed that resulting flooding, wind and even mudslides could exceed damages brought on by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Results from WISPAR will include demonstration of new technology, contributions to the science of ARs, and, through collaborations with NOAA’s Winter Storms Reconnaissance Program — started by the National Weather Service in 1999 to collect observations to improve winter storm forecasts — the potential of offshore monitoring of ARs to aid in weather predictions.

Holey Tree Trunk!

This is just one unusual hobby from The Society of the Happily Unusual.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Da Boyz

It's fun until you are on your back and you roll on a sharp stick or something.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Bo and Bear

Bo is in front, Bear in back, in our kitchen. Bo is about a year old, poodle. He is a skinny teenager, and Bear is a cranky middle-aged man, letting his young friend know his shenanigans are not always welcome!

Yes, I had my way. We got a Standard Poodle! We went out to Houston Poodle Rescue and after we spent time with some miniature poodles that left us cold, we asked to see a standard and found Bo (aka Dandy at that time) was compatible with The Bear, so we brought him home. Walking them in tandem is quite exciting. Walking Bo is like walking a wild horse.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Puzzler Struck In the Dead of Night!
Puzzling Morning

We woke to a brighter day. It is above freezing finally, and moving rapidly toward mild, sunny weather. We went to our dining room where the puzzle is in progress, and lo and behold, someone had found puzzle pieces and chewed on them in an exploratory manner, in case they were tasty. They were not, so the perpetrator left them masticated but not swallowed. The name of the perp is being withheld pending investigation.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Spiritual Journey ...

I hesitated before deciding to see this opera. I knew the grim story would affect me. It was a rewarding and enriching experience. The music is haunting, and yes, reminiscent of Gershwin at times; the English libretto flowed well, which is not always the case, as English is not a terribly lyrical language; all the characters suffered in their individual ways, and the music carries us along to understanding all the varied points of view in a gentle, deep manner.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Candlemas / Imbolc!

It is 23F here, and we are having rolling blackouts because the power demand is too high for the supply. 

I am blogging while the power is on!

Meanwhile, our community association does not allow solar panels on the houses in the area (??!?).

Groundhog Day, or Imbolc, or Candlemas, whatever you choose to call it, is a Cross-Quarter Day on the ancient European Calendar of the Seasons. It is halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Thus the saying about six weeks more of winter if the groundhog ... which way was that?

From the Old Farmer's Almanac:

February 2, Candlemas

Candlemas acquired its English name from the candles lit that day in churches to celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple of Jerusalem, but originally it was called Imbolc (lambs' milk) because the lambing season began. It was also called Brigantia for the Celtic female deity of light, calling attention to the Sun's being halfway on its advance from the winter solstice to the spring equinox.
  • It was not held as a good omen if the day itself was bright and sunny, for that betokened snow and frost to continue to the hiring of the laborers 6 weeks later on Lady Day.
  • If it was cloudy and dark, warmth and rain would thaw out the fields and have them ready for planting. Our Groundhog Day is a remote survivor of that belief.
Read more about it at School of the Seasons, if you like!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ZOMG Earth Bag Houses ... WHO KNEW?

Thanks to Osprey Therian for alerting me to this building form, posted on her blog. I am utterly charmed by these houses, featured at Earthbag Building Blog. They are made of poly bags filled with earth, which are used as building blocks to form the foundation and walls of a house. According to the blog, the final cost came out to $11.50/square foot. Most stick-built houses are $100/sq. ft. You can learn to build your own roundhouse at