Saturday, September 26, 2009

Peace Through Music

The job of the Pasadena Human Relations Commission is to "engage in activities designed to aid in elimination of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination" and to "assist the City in achieving better inter-group understanding among residents." Among other things.

It's about all kinds of people living together harmoniously, which doesn't always happen even here in what I like to think of as my personal Utopia. Utopia's not perfect, so the Human Relations Commission's working on it.

Tonight they're presenting the annual Peace Through Music Concert. The proceeds support most of the Commission's work, much of which is with area youth. Check it out at 7PM sharp at the First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena. If you've got questions you can call Commissioner Terrie Allen at 626-796-6878 or Co-Chair Michelle Bailey at 626-644-0701.

The picture of the house has nothing to do with it. I just like this house.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Guarding the Property

When we walk Boz in the neighborhood he causes a stir. All the local sentries come out to give him what fer and the hair on Boz's butt goes up. He's a lover, not a fighter.

I imagine if we could understand what dogs say it would be all single-syllable words and their sentences would be peppered with profanity. "You no come here! This my $%@# yard! You go! You go now! Go fast! You no come back!" They're just doing their job.

On the block behind us there's an area we call The Chihuahua Corridor. Long before he gets there Boz gets a mohawk going all the way down his back. Now Boz could kill a chihuahua with one chomp of his teeth. But with dogs, size really doesn't matter. It's all about confidence. When I stay home and John walks Boz, I know exactly when the two of them enter the Chihuahua Corridor.

This little guy may not look tough, and Boz's hair stays flat when we pass this house. But this guy's always got something to say: "This my $%@# yard! You go now! Wait! You come back here, you $(&# dog! I said come back here right now! You play?"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Time in the Bank

I don't think I'm giving away any trade secrets if I tell you I write my post the night before it goes up, then program Blogger to post it at 12:01 a.m. Usually I'm all organized and prepared. But sometimes the day has worn me out and I don't have a single pithy thing to say. Such is life, daily blog or no.

(What I mean is, I got nothin'.)

These are the times when it would be great to have several posts "in the bank," so to speak. You know, something pre-written and ready to go in case I'm out of ideas. I really need to get around to banking those. One of these days, when I get some free time.

Maybe this is a good time to say thanks to everyone who checks in, and to those who follow Pasadena Daily Photo.

(Yeah, yeah, that'll work. Try that.)

I love taking the photos, posting them and writing about them, and you all make it worth it. Thank you.

(Okay, well, it sort of worked. I should still bank some, though.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apparently, Johnson Rocks

Who is Johnson? How does he rate a field?

Oh, I looked, but I did not find. Much. Besides repeated mentions of Johnson Field ("an inactive spreading basin...used for passive recreational uses"), I found nothing but this interesting LA times article from 1992. The article discusses early plans for Hahamongna Watershed Park and a disagreement about putting soccer fields there. At the end there's a brief mention of Johnson field: "a small baseball field built by city employees for a municipal soccer league." I think he meant it was originally built as a soccer field but by the time of the article it was used more as a baseball field.

The article said all parties agreed the field should be eliminated. It's still there, after a fashion, although they finally stopped watering it this year. Makes sense. Drought + rarely used field - water = savings (or at least common sense).

So I found out that much. But I still don't know who Johnson is, or how he rates a field. Or a rock, for that matter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Aztec Fire Crew 63

When I met John Belushi I said, "Nice to meet you." When I saw Brad Pitt in an empty diner, all I did was smile.

But last Wednesday, when J. and I met a bunch of firefighters fresh off the mountain, I said, "You guys are amazing! There's no way to thank you, but thank you!" Then I proceeded to take photo after photo, which they tolerated and even smiled for.

I think they liked the "you guys are amazing" part. I know they liked the "thank you" part, because when we arrived at the gates of the Cobb Estate we'd just missed them posing for photos in front of a hand-made, "Thank You Firefighters" sign hanging on the fence.

The top photo here is a little blurry but I like its haphazardness. Look how young, how tired and how tough they are. And how dirty. They've been through it.

Not to disparage Belushi or Pitt, but movie heroes are heroes of fiction. Firefighters are the real thing. They're not Batman or Spiderman or Transformers. These guys can't fly. When you contemplate the 250 square miles of mountainside that burned in the Station Fire, then think of how tiny even a brave firefighter is against voracious and towering flames, these mere humans are mighty small. But as a team their powers are great.

(Plus Brad Pitt's got nothin' on some, I must say.)
(Aw, cheer up.)
Very nice, thanks.

Smokey? Bear?

Where was I?

Ah, yes. So we met these men last Wednesday. They'd been putting out hotspots on steep terrain, just over halfway through a two-week deployment during which they were headquartered at Hansen Dam. That deployment ends today. Welcome home, guys!

Friday, when I saw pyrocumulus clouds above Altadena, I thought about "the guys." Now the firefighters had faces. I started nosing around about Aztec Fire Crew 63 online. Now I'm even more impressed than I was before. These young men have had to fight more than fires. You can read more about Aztec Fire Crews, or watch a video starring a different Aztec Crew.

I'm awed by all firefighters, and Aztec Fire Crew 63 is no exception. They're gentlemen, they were all exceedingly nice and we loved talking to them. As we left, my husband, who can lift a full-sized sofa by himself, said, "We sit at our desks and deal with ideas. These guys go into the mountains and deal with the forces of nature." I can't say it better. They are men of the elements.

Admittedly, there's plenty of hero worship going on around here. But I think the reason we're so impressed with these heroes is that they are, after all, humans.

Damn fine humans.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zen Monday: #64

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about. I look for something worth thinking about or, failing that, at least something odd.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo, I'll add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary (if I know what it is).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Enchanted Evening

One evening last spring in Altadena, I took this photo looking through a storefront window. It was the first Altadena Arts Coalition Open House on May 15th (the second one was September 5th). I took so many other pictures that night I never got around to posting this one.

Lately we've been having lovely evenings for strolling and looking in storefront windows. I think I've finally found the right time for posting this.

I'm not frilly. I rarely wear bows or fluffy things. But this graceful dress, the strange light and the night invited my girlhood imagination to awaken and think of princesses.