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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gate, 1

I keep passing this gate on my walks with Boz and finally I caught it in the right light. I love that wisteria. I'm not crazy about the security company sign, but I guess when you have an entryway this pretty you have to protect it from people who just can't resist inviting themselves in.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Piece of My Mind

Blah.

Blah, blah, blah. Blahbeddy-blahbeddy. Biddle iddle oops, et cetera.

But mainly just blah.

I've thought about it, and I mean it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Water Rules

Don't freak out, but Pasadena's outdoor watering rules are about to change for the remainder of March.

I know, I know, it gets complicated. But Pasadena's Public Information Office (PIO Ann Erdman, Assistant PIO Linda Centell and Graphic Designer Zack Stromberg) has me on a mailing list so I've got the poop.

Beginning tomorrow (Friday, March 11th) you can water your lawn any day you want to, as much as you want to, for a week--because for ten days after that, from March 18th-27th, you are not allowed to water your lawn at all.

It's only ten days, and it's only March, so like I said, don't freak out. I haven't watered my back yard for over a year and I still haven't been able to kill it.

On February 28th, the Pasadena City Council declared a Level 4 Water Shortage Emergency during the temporary shutdown of a major regional water pipeline from March 18th-27th. "The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which supplies about 60 percent of Pasadena’s water, is planning a seismic retrofit of the F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in LaVerne and will stop all water deliveries to Pasadena and neighboring cities through its upper feeder pipeline during the project. For those 10 days, Pasadena must rely solely on its groundwater and reserves."

Those reserves (about 150 million gallons) are sufficient if everyone does their part. Outdoor watering is Pasadena's largest use of water. Under normal circumstances we use about 250 million gallons under normal circumstances. It shouldn't be too hard to cut that back. Established plants can go a good ten days or more without water (especially now, when it's not too hot), but horticulturalists recommend waiting to plant anything new until after the watering ban.

More information here, including tips about pre-watering, storing water ahead of time for hand-watering and how the ban will be enforced.

I hope this won't be a problem for you. It doesn't change a thing for me. I'll water the front yard once or twice this coming week, and I've got a couple of jugs of water set aside for the potted plants. The back yard will thrive, even if I take a flame thrower to it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Perry's Joint

I have sought hot dog heaven, and I have found it.

The first time I went to Perry's Joint at 2051 Lincoln Avenue (just south of Woodbury), I had the Chicago dog and a chocolate shake. For the next two weeks I didn't stop thinking about the dog or the shake, so I went back and ordered the same thing. I loved it just as much the second time.

I'm sure the other things on the menu are good but I may never try them. For my money, Perry's Chicago dog is the best hot dog in Pasadena.

Here's Perry, scooping up the chocolate ice cream for my shake (ice cream and milk are the only ingredients). You can get a better look at Perry in this Youtube video by John Muir students.

To give you an idea of the kind of guy Perry is, last time I was there he was donating 65% of the day's proceeds--sixty-five percent--to a local girl who needs an operation. I asked if she was a relative. "No, she just needs the operation," he said.

Perry and Melanie Bennett have been running Perry's Joint for six years, regularly getting raves at online review sites. The place is bright and comfortable, the music smooth, and the service so friendly you'd come back even if you didn't like the food.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talk About the Walkabout

You'd think that, after all my talk about the Hahamongna Walkabout last Saturday, I'd be showing you pictures of the park. But I've posted many, many, many pictures of Hahamongna Watershed Park and for me, the Walkabout turned out to be about the people.

I led a group of at least 900 wonderful people (okay, maybe 35, but still wonderful) through the old Oak Grove Park area and across the Devil's Gate Dam. We made stops to learn from experts about the park, its history and the critters who live there. The presenters were fascinating and so well-informed we could have spent our whole morning with each of them.

Tim Martinez (above) charmed the crowd with his talk about the different habitats at Hahamongna. Tequila does not grow there (I knew that), but sage does, and when you soak sage in tequila you get a soothing ointment for sore muscles. Tim knew a lot of other cool stuff, but for some reason the tequila sticks in my mind.

Laura Garrett of the Pasadena Audubon Society had 'em riveted as well. She knew everything about the Hahamongna birds and spoke knowledgeably of species after species, playing their calls on the stuffed animals you see in the center of the photo (not dead--plush). How many species of birds live at Hahamongna? A lot! You can see photos of some of them taken by local treasure Denis Callet at his pbase site.

Other presenters included Tim Brick of the Arroyo Seco Foundation (sponsor of the event) on the scope of the Arroyo Seco, Michele Zack on history and how the Tongva people lived in the Arroyo, Brad Boman from Pasadena Water and Power on water (he took my group under the dam to see the devil!), and our very own Barbara Ellis speaking about the wildlife that thrives at Hahamongna. I was so busy listening to Bellis that I forgot to take her picture! Luckily, Debbi Swanson Patrick of Altadena Above It All was in my group and she got plenty of great shots. She got a good one of Bellis. If you were on my tour, she probably got a good one of you, too.

For a detailed run-down of the day's activities, check out Laura Monteros's informative article on Altadena Patch.

Big thanks to Wilson Lau and Tim Brick of the Arroyo Seco Foundation for putting it all together. It was a great day.

Okay. I'm not going to talk about Hahamongna now for at least a week, maybe more, at which time I'll remind you about the meeting of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee on March 22nd at 6pm. You can wait 'til then or you can mark your calendars now.

Update: thanks to countrynmore, here are videos of some of the presenters, posted on Seeds of Change, the blog of the PCC club.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Zen Monday: #136


On Zen Monday, I ask you to experience the photo and tell us, in the comments, what you've learned.

(Your first Zen Monday? Tell us what the photo makes you think of. There's no right or wrong, no hidden secret, no prizes. Just have fun.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jackson Pollock's Back Yard

Hmm. There must be a reason to post this photo:

because I'm having trouble concentrating;

because I only have 15,649 other photos and this is the best one of the bunch;

because I like it;

because I lost an earring in there....

...what else?