Saturday, September 4, 2010

Garages, 1

I'm interested in garages. Maybe I'll do a series. You know, like my door series, of which I've posted--I think one, so far.

Let's begin with a comparison--the quirky vs. the new. I favor the quirky for its charm, but the new has advantages. In this case you can put an actual car in the new garage. The quirky looks like it's been converted for other uses. (Love that superfluous detail.)

I find a lot of interesting garages around town, both industrial and domestic. I saw an effusive purple one the other day. I love the old ones that look like barns. The domestic ones are tricky, though. Tell you what: I'll do a garage series if folks cooperate by hiding their garbage cans and parking their cars somewhere else. This might require changing a local law or two, but we can work together on it.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've heard derogatory terms for office workers: "office drones," "Dilberts," "cubicle jockeys." But working in an office can be a cushy job. There's always a place to sit, it's air-conditioned and you get free coffee. Maybe it's my upbringing in the world of academe; I've always been comfortable in offices.

When I worked in an office I used my breaks and lunch hours to write. During one job I wrote a screenplay and a couple of TV scripts on the office computer. My boss was fine with it as long as it wasn't on company time. (I admit she wasn't the usual boss.)

I prefer the freelance life, but it's no coincidence that I've created an office for myself in my home. Besides writing and photography projects I keep our books and files. I've always enjoyed managing details, probably because I'm good at organizing. Who doesn't like doing things they're good at?

I especially like offices in older buildings, preferring seasoned wood to sleek chrome. If one must work in an office outside one's home, I say let it be in Old Town.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fall Color

We had fall for about two days. Now it's summer again. Today we expect triple digit temperatures.

I like it hot.

Yesterday I dug a hole in the back yard because I intend to plant a tree. I'm no fool; I like it hot but I wouldn't dig a hole today. I wouldn't plant a tree today, either. I want to give the poor thing a chance.

I don't know what kind of tree it'll be. It should be no more than about 25 feet tall because of electrical wires it must avoid as well as hide. And it should be a good shade tree that doesn't need to be watered too much once it's established. It could be a fruit tree. It could be deciduous. It should be an interesting tree. I don't ask much.

None of this has anything to do with the photo. What can you say about a couple of garage doors?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Theme Day: Open Air Markets

In the San Gabriel Valley there's an open-air Farmers' Market almost every day of the week. (You're going to thank me for this link to Hometown Pasadena's listing of all of them. You might want to bookmark it. I know I keep needing it.)

I've taken many other photos of Farmers' Markets, but this one is timely for today's City Daily Photo theme day because we've been under a Fruit Fly Quarantine. Sellers have been required to cover their produce with netting to keep the flies out. Official inspectors roamed the market recently, making sure the rules were followed. Everyone seemed happy to comply; no one wants to carry that fly out of the quarantine area and back to his farm. And that measly old fly didn't slow business down one bit.

Pasadena has famous open air markets of a different sort, too. Maybe next time.

Check out the other blogs that are participating in today's theme around the world.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Day, August 2010

It's the last day of Last Day. We've visited this spot at Hahamongna Watershed Park overlooking Johnson Field twelve times now, on the last day of each month, for a year.

I stole the idea from Marley of Cheltenham Daily Photo, though I know other photographers have done such studies of the seasons. (We do have seasons here, albeit subtle ones.) To view the other photos in the series, click the Last Day Project label below.

The end of August is early for autumn to arrive in Pasadena and it may change: just two days ago it was blazing summer. But yesterday as we walked the trails at Hahamongna, John and I remarked that the late day cool had a tinge of fall in it.

This photo suits me for the end of the Last Day project. The dry, mowed field looks ready for the crunch of autumn boots. The mountains' graded shadows say end of day, end of season, end of cycle. Yet fall has always felt to me like a beginning--a new school, a new plan, a new chance. The cooler air brings a whiff of change.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zen Monday: #110

Oh boy, it's Zen Monday, the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And unless I absolutely must say something I stay out of the comments box to avoid influencing the discussion. 

There's no right or wrong. We're here to have fun. But I admit to some trepidation--surely I'm unleashing something awful with this one.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Woodpecker holes
a necklace of damage
orderly as beads.

Though they look like a row of bullet holes shot across a wall by one of Capone's gangsters, they're more decorative than detrimental. The tree doesn't notice. I almost didn't notice, either. That's how they get away with it.

We have at least five woodpecker gangs in southern California: the Downy Woodpeckers, Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, the Northern Flickers, the Acorn Woodpeckers and the Red-breasted Sapsuckers.

I couldn't pick this job's culprit out of a lineup but I'm going to take a chance and lay my money on the Acorn Woodpecker, a southern California native. I've seen those guys around and I wouldn't put it past 'em. They know where all the bugs are and this is their turf.

I stay out of their way. You've gotta be a tough little guy to make so many perfect little holes with your face.