Saturday, June 11, 2011

Not So Hot

Is the sun ever going to come back or not? I took this photo at least a year ago and it seems like it's been that long since the sun has shone on/shown itself in Pasadena.

I admit I'm impatient, but one doesn't move to southern California from northern Illinois for the cool, cloudy weather. Or at least that didn't used to be the case. Maybe now one does.

This time I won't complain. Doesn't it seem odd, though, that southern California used to be hot and for the last couple of years it's simply not?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seed Bombs

I love new. It's good for the brain to introduce it to new. This was new to me.

Even though the concept of seed bombing came in with the concept of guerilla gardening in the 1970's, it held but a vague spot in my memory until I encountered this seed bomb gumball machine outside the Little Flower Candy Company on west Colorado Blvd. last week.

"Combat the forgotten grey spaces you encounter every day," says the slogan. They could be referring to my brain, but what they mean is vacant lots, parking medians and, in my case, my yard.

GreenAid, the company responsible for this particular dispenser, is doing some wonderful stuff. If I had a store or an office, I'd want one of these babies out front.

You can make your own seed bombs, according to this LA Times article, but I'm not the crafty type. So I bought three bombs--three, because they were 50 cents each and that's how many quarters I could borrow. They're bigger than a giant jawbreaker, so three ought to cover a good deal of space. I can always go back for more once I see what grows from them. At least it'll be something new, springing from the grey matter of my yard.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet History

Our fair city was incorporated in 1886. That means this year is Pasadena's 125th birthday. The big birthday bash is this Saturday, June 11th, at the Pasadena Museum of History.

Last year, for the 124th, we had a cake in the shape of City Hall made by the students at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. This year the students are in the process of topping themselves, creating an edible history of Pasadena in sugar and cake.

Saturday's free event at the museum goes from noon to 7pm and features "nonstop entertainment, activities, and refreshments." Certainly those refreshments will include some of that history-making cake.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boz, 13 or so

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the day John and I brought Boz home from the shelter. We think of it as his birthday. Which birthday, we're not sure. A good guess would be 12 or 13.

Like any old guy, Boz enjoys simple pleasures. He likes to warm himself on the scratchy grass in the back yard. His morning routine includes a nap in his sunny spot in the living room. In the afternoons he enjoys lounging on the front porch and keeping watch over the neighborhood. Of an evening, he derives great joy from sitting in the living room with his humans, chewing his bone and passing gas. In many ways, he's just like the rest of us.

He and John play dog/man games like "kill the squeaky" and "stalk the alpha." But nothing tops Boz's pleasure meter like running. He loves, loves, loves to run.
I have a million pictures of Boz running. I wonder what goes through his mind when he's running. Maybe nothing. After all, he's a person, but he's not a human being. He lives with our constraints because we feed him and we're his pack. But when he runs he's a dog, pure and simple. And I do mean "simple." As I write, he's blissfully licking his towel and he's been at it for about twenty minutes.

They say the larger the dog, the shorter the life span. At 70 pounds Boz is on the large side of medium, or the small side of large. Then again, all that exercise makes him healthy for his age.

They also say when you adopt a pet, it becomes a family member. We felt that truth as we adjusted to Boz, and he to us, eight years ago. Before he moved in we were a happy couple. Boz made us a happy family.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Ordinarily I wouldn't post a blurry photo, but I don't want you to miss meeting jb from Mainz Daily Photo.

Being part of the San Gabriel Valley blogging community has brought me myriad blessings. Being part of the City Daily Photo community expands those blessings around the globe. I've made virtual friendships with bloggers worldwide. Meeting them in person is the grandest blessing of all.

jb recently spent two weeks in France where he and Mrs. jb met Nathalie from Avignon in Photos. He had a couple of busy days back in Germany, then he flew to Los Angeles. A 10-hour lay-over gave him time for a drive to Pasadena. I am not amazed that he and Mrs. jb have visited the Huntington Library and Gardens and the Norton Simon Museum, or that they have a friend who works at the local J. Crew.

We had coffee at Intelligentsia (his suggestion--he knows Pasadena pretty well). Then we walked a bit in Old Town and I took the photo for yesterday's post. (jb claims to have assisted and indeed, he gave moral support.) When we parted I headed home to work. jb was off to get a meal then back to LAX and a flight to New Zealand. In a later email he said last Thursday "will be forever missing" from his autobiography.

I'd trade a day of my autobiography for world travel. But I'm getting wistful.

I feel bad about giving you a blurry photo of this smart, funny, interesting, international man. (At his blog you will find examples of his wry sense of humor.) But I believe he shines through my bad photography and you can see who he is in spite of me.

jb and I have a deal. I'm posting my photo of him today and he's posting his photo of me. He took his picture with an iPhone. I took mine with a Canon 20D. I haven't seen his photo on the computer screen yet, but I believe it'll prove good photography is more about the photographer than the camera.

Here's an Old Town photo of a superfluous detail. Not blurry. Just to redeem myself.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Zen Monday: #149

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what the photo's about.

You might want to click on this one to enlarge it. Then make a comment. Say what comes to mind.

For further Monday Zen, feel free to read and comment on my new short-short fiction, Rooms, at the Rose City Sisters Flash Fiction blog.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arroyo Kenpo

I've seen many artists working in the Arroyo Seco, but this is the first time I've seen martial artists.

When I came across Juan Serrano (that's him on the right) and his pupil Clayton practicing, um, judo? karate? tai chi?--I thought, why not? You're not going to find a more beautiful place to work.

It turns out they were practicing a mixture of things called the Casa de Kenpo Martial Arts System. The two demonstrated some of the moves Juan teaches in Glendale. You can check out Juan's youtube videos here.

What Juan and Clayton were working on alternated between fight moves and something like dance. Because nature alternates between peace and violence, the birdsong and dappled sunlight of the Arroyo seemed the perfect fit.