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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mars Rover Testing Grounds?

The rain returned this evening, but we had a sunny reprieve today so I took Boz for a run at Hahamongna Watershed Park. We shared the trails with other stir-crazy Pasadenans in need of a dose of sun (double-click on the photo to see a couple of bikers on the left). NASA's (or is it Cal Tech's?) Jet Propulsion Lab positively glistened. Snow topped the highest peaks of the San Gabriels.

I've heard the JPL guys tested the Mars Rover here. Maybe on this very terrain, maybe not. I haven't verified the story. This is one of the catch-basins that occasionally floods when we have rain. Today the water flowed further west (toward the left of this photo), in a river running fast toward the Devil's Gate Dam.

There will be no water at Hahamongna this summer. Nor will there be green. We enjoy it while we can.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sparkle House

I wonder if there's a rule in the etiquette books about how long one is allowed to display one's holiday decorations. Not that it matters.

This sparkly house was a beacon of charm in yesterday's rain. The peacock munching bugs at the curb added to the pleasing eccentricity of the place.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Storm Clouds Over the Pacific Asia Museum

The Pacific Asia Museum was closed today, as were the LA County Museum of Art and other area art institutions. The New York Times said these museums (major ones) were raided by Federal agents looking for Southeast Asian antiquities thought to have been obtained illegally (i.e., looted) and smuggled into the U.S. in an alleged donation scheme that involved defrauding the IRS.

It was noon when I got to the museum. A few agents stood shivering outside. They were friendly, but didn't say much except the museum was closed for the investigation.

"Western" looting of "eastern" artifacts isn't new. Think of LA's Getty Musem and New York's Metropolitan Museum, both of which have recently been caught with the goods and forced to return them. Hell, think of the Elgin Marbles (which won't likely be returning to Greece any time soon). What's new is the crackdown.

A looted item loses its historical and archaeological context. For months now, I've been following a discussion about the importance of of provenance in Archaeology Magazine, which puts it in layman's terms I can appreciate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bad Stunt Weather

I wish I could say I took this photo, but alas, I did not. It was taken by David Thomson of Sun Valley, who emailed it to me today along with this message:

"Attached telephoto I took of a movie crew working on top of the Colorado Street bridge yesterday, so the bridge was closed. I think they've been there for several days now. They removed sections of the fence to set up their shot. The fellow in the yellow jacket may be an actor or stunt man being photographed by the camera suspended overhead by 2 cranes - one on the bridge and the other below. All the harnesses etc. that have him strapped "safely" in place could be removed in "CGI" - post production digital work - if they want him in the shot. They were making lots of takes with just the camera being lowered into the Arroyo and back again...I assumed the camera was supposed to be seeing the point of view of someone jumping off the bridge."

David's an award-winning photographer and a member of the Cinematographer's Guild. He knows what he's talking about. Honestly, when I drove by I thought it was just construction.

David went on to say that a woman he spoke to said she thought the shot was for a Jim Carrey movie. In the Lower Arroyo Park today I spoke to a security guard protecting the film equipment. Indeed, the stunt (which the guard said isn't finished yet because of rain) is for Carrey's upcoming film, "Yes Man."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mmm...Cupcakes

It was cold and rainy again today. The mountains looked like big, brown cupcakes, frosted with puffy clouds.

Mmm....cupcakes.

The other day, I passed right by Mrs. Beasley's on Fair Oaks Avenue and didn't go in. I resisted temptation. I was nowhere near Fair Oaks Avenue today, and I wistfully regretted that decision.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Storm Light

It was cold today! Well...I'm an acclimated Midwesterner. It wasn't that cold. But wind, drizzle and clouds with temperatures in the low 40's is a blustery day for Pasadena. Good thing this weather skipped yesterday's parade.

The sun decided to show up just before it went down. How the light managed to find this telephone pole and leave out everything around it is beyond me. But thanks to Caltech and JPL this town's full of scientists (including meteorologists), and I'll bet they know all about it.

(Double-click on the photo to enlarge it.)

I received this lovely award from two (count 'em, two!) sources: Jim of Terrell, Texas, and Kim of Celine, Texas (apparently I'm okay in the Lone Star State). You're supposed to pass it on to ten bloggers who make your day, and they pass it on to ten more, and so on.

I'm grateful for this award! But it has taken me three days to get to posting it, and I suspect some other bloggers might feel the pressure as much as I do. So first I'm going to thank Jim and Kim, because I'm new at this and they've been so generous. Then I'm going to bend/break the rules a little. Kind of like breaking a chain letter. (I'm the worst person to send one to, I guarantee I'll break it.)

Lots of blogs would take up my entire day if only I had that much time to surf the web! So check out these wonderful photo blogs and see the world! These bloggers make my day. I hope they make yours.

Eric at Paris Daily Photo
Monoblog at Izmir Daily Photoblog
Lynn at Cheltenham Daily Photo
Jules at Vietnam, Same But Different
Vlada and Igor at Belgrade Daily Photo (Jena Fotka Na Dan)
Gerald at Hyde Daily Photo
Dina at Daily Photo Niger
Jilly at Menton Daily Photo
and of course Kim at Celina Daily Photo
and the ever-lovin' Jim at Terrell Texas in Pictures
and many, many more. Use the City Daily Photo search at the left side of this page to find a city.

Many thanks to Kim and Jim for their extra encouragement.

And I'll be watching for Tehran Daily Photo by Farnoosh! Hope it happens soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gettin' Our Doo Dahs Out

Hmmm, what to post, what to post? A photo of the Sperm Donors of South Pasadena as they squirt free "samples"? Maybe the Men of Leisure Drill Team, napping in the middle of Colorado Blvd. The picture of the L.A. French Quarter Synchronized Baguette Brigade routine came out blurry. Very-close-to-naked ladies carrying a mattress on their heads? Nah, everybody's going to post that one.

Today the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade made its merry way down Colorado Blvd. Or maybe up. Tourists camp out over night in the cold for the "other parade." But this one's for us locals--well, for some of us--so we brought our lawn chairs about an hour before the parade to get a good spot in the sun.

I had a hard time deciding what to post. I wanted to capture the parade's silliness as well as its exuberance. Exuberance won out.