Saturday, January 30, 2010

Welcome Weekend

Here's a view of the tower of St. Andrews Catholic Church as reflected in the windows overlooking the parking lot behind the LA Financial Credit Union at Fair Oaks and Walnut.

No, I'm not making a statement about money and religion. I just thought it looked serene.

I have a serene weekend planned. You?

There's a new daily photo blog in town called Pasadena, 91105 and Beyond. It's just a little over a week old so if you get there quick you can read all the posts so far and not miss anything. Go say hi to Kat and enjoy this welcome addition to Pasadena's wildly robust blogging community.

Welcome, Kat!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fluorescents Be Damned

We had to duck out early on the Mayor's State of the City event last night (actually tonight, as I'm typing this) because I had (have) a migraine. There's Mayor Bogaard on the right, getting ready for his speech. He looks calm and collected, I think.

We stayed long enough to hear my voice-over for the "Charting a New Course" video. John says I sounded good. I'll have to listen again. I think there'll be a link to the video on the public access TV page of the City's website today, or soon.

I very much appreciate being included in the event and I regret the lousy timing--mine, not the Mayor's.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nature's Course

A transient river flows through Hahamongna Watershed Park, charting its own course to carry the recent rainfall from the mountains to the dam. See it while you can. We live in the desert after all.

Tonight the Mayor's State of the City event will be held at LaSalle High School. The event's theme is "Charting a New Course." Mayor Bogaard and his staff choose a different location for his speech every year. Last year--or was it the year before?--it was the Rose Bowl locker room, remember? Wish I hadn't missed that. This year I'll be sure to attend because I did the voice-over for the video presentation and I haven't heard the final edit. Could you miss that? I can't. It's a big event (free), starting at 6:30pm, and all are invited.

Another free event I plan to attend is the upcoming City Council Meeting on Monday, February 1st. The Council will discuss the "Adoption of the Initial Study and Approval of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan Addendum for the Hahamongna Annex." I've read the addendum and find it difficult to follow (and my degree is in Rhetoric). I dearly wish they'd write these things in English. But because they don't they've got some Hahamongna lovers up in arms wondering if they're trying to pull something. Are they going to put in a road across our precious mid-city wilderness? Are they going to tear out non-invasive, non-native trees using funds that might be better used elsewhere in this economy? (Actually, that part's pretty clear. They are.) And who are "they?"

Frankly, I'm not sure. But I'll go to the meeting and listen. Since I don't understand the plan I'm dependent on others to interpret it for me, and different people have different interpretations. My request of those who wrote the plan would be to please rewrite it in English and make their intentions clear.

The time of the meeting is listed as 6:30pm and the public hearing on the Hahamongna Annex issue is listed as 7:30pm. Many postings say the meeting is at 7:30. I'll try to get to the bottom of this today and let you know what time to show up so you can get a seat. Update: I just called City Hall. The meeting begins at 6:30 but it's okay to enter late. The issue will be heard at 7:30.

Time after time, nature shows us that she will out. She showed us in Haiti just over two weeks ago and undoubtedly she'll show us again and again here at home. Whatever the powers end up doing or not doing to Hahamongna in our lifetime, nature will chart her own course long after we're gone. The decisions we make now must be about how best to flow with her in our lifetime.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Too Popped to Pot

I attended an event at the Pasadena Convention Center last Sunday--a seminar called POP! Your Book, Brand, Business and Career.

On the lower level, the Los Angeles Pottery Show was happening. We had this great view coming and going from the conference room, as we crossed over the lower level on bridges set with tables and chairs.

All that colorful pottery was tempting. I thought I might check it out after the seminar was over.

Once inside the packed room I forgot about pots. The POP! seminar was absorbing before it even started, because the speakers came early to network with participants.

I was there to learn, not to blog, so I didn't take photos. I listened, scribbled notes, laughed and scribbled more notes. The organizer, business writer Karen E. Klein, did a nice write-up of the event and posted shots of speakers Sam Horn and Lilli Cloud on her blog, Financially inKleined.

The two brilliant branding/marketing experts kept us riveted for three hours. You can see by their websites that they're tops in their field. We were lucky to have them together.

When we came out, the pottery show was closing down.

Ah, well. I got what I came for. I didn't need pots. I needed to pop!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Water

The Pasadena blogging community was agog--nay, thrilled with a jealous pang--when, on January 19th, Pasadena Adjacent posted this revelatory tour (with her customary, fun-filled video) inside the workings of the Devil's Gate Dam tower. She and Mr. V. braved the rain to get a scoop and a coup. No one we knew had been inside that mysterious tower before.

When I took this photo on the 23rd, the skies were giving us a sunny reprieve and--what? Those dam workers were giving tours to moms, dads and cherubs.

I broke the news to PA. "You mean I’ve lost my V.I.P. status?" she said. "The carbon's off the lily!!!"

But she got there first, with video, photos, and a nice shot of those orange things.
Here you can see the orange things at work. (You may have another word for the orange things, but we like to use the technical term, Orange Things.) They appear to be an aid in corralling debris. "Debris" in this case is everything from uprooted trees to escaped socks.

This is the same pool of water I featured in my post on Sunday. I was standing sort of up on the left side of this picture to take that one. We were told by the dam engineers the water's 57 feet deep at it's deepest point (or it was when I took the pictures.)

I took this shot about a year ago. John is below the dam chatting with Becca, PDP's resident geologist. To give you an idea of the amount of rain we had last week, I cropped the photo below for comparison. On the right of that shot you see the cement slab beneath which John and Becca are standing in the "dry" photo. If you enlarge the "wet" photo you'll also see a cement outcropping jutting out below the dam on the left. I had crawled up next to it to take the "dry" picture above; it's on the right side of that photo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Zen Monday: #82

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about. There's no right or wrong. It means what you think it means, or what you want it to mean.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And I
stay out of the comments box for most of the day to avoid influencing the intellectual path of the (highly sophisticated) discussion.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo I add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nature, Doing Its Job

The whole world burst out of its proverbial house house yesterday and enjoyed the sun. Hahamongna Watershed Park was flooded with bikers, hikers, horses, dogs and mountain runoff.

The other day on The Sky is Big in Pasadena (not a misnomer, by the way) there was a discussion about whether or not the past week's weather was unusual. Seemed like it was, but one commenter reminded us that a winter deluge is the norm. It's just that during our years of drought we've become accustomed to winters bereft of rain. Last week's storms weren't enough to end our drought, but they helped.

The flooding at Hahamongna Watershed Park is severe enough to have permanently altered the landscape. Trails we knew are gone and will not be back. What remains in their place is as beautiful as what we'll miss.

And the infrastructure held up. The Devil's Gate Dam did its job. So, I'm told, did the Pasadena Water and Power workers who've been running the joint in 12-hour shifts. Kudos.

Inspiration for the photo: John Sandel.