Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let's Get Archaeological

Archaeology asks
Who built it?
What does it teach us about them? About ourselves?
Should we preserve it?
Can we?

Can you think of other questions archaeology asks, and answers?

Today is the first ever National Archaeology Day, a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. The closest event to us is in Pacific Palisades, but you can participate in an online scavenger hunt or just snoop around the website of the Archaeological Institute of America and see what you think.

If you don't think there's archaeology in Pasadena, all you have to do is get off the beaten path in the Arroyo. You'll find old stone walls, hidden stairways and even the remains of an amphitheater. Forget snooping around the virtual world. You can snoop around the real one.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I'm lying on the dirt in the back yard, looking up at our clementine tree. The branches hang low to the ground, heavy with fruit.

This year we had a lot of rain, plus I fertilized. There will be more fruit than ever.

The "cuties" at the store have been genetically altered so they don't have seeds. They taste like cardboard compared to our clementines. I know. I've eaten cardboard.

I'm getting cocky about this tree. I hope nobody smites me for it. I suppose if that happens I'll end up lying on the ground under a tree. I hope it's this one.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oral Weather Report

Those who say southern California has no seasons are merely immune to their subtlety. There was a teeny, tiny nip in the air today, so tiny we'll have to call it a niplet, but we know fall is coming on.

This is a confusing time. On our walk today, Boz and I saw one sleeveless neighbor, one in long sleeves and another in a sweatshirt (I am of the sweatshirt variety). We'll figure it out as the niplet advances to become an actual nip.

We'll know winter, once again, by subtleties. Most everyone will be in sweatshirts and sweaters by then (I'll be in my wool coat). The light will be less gold, more white. And our nip will have a bite to it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Stopping Any Time

This is how I feel today--actually, I usually feel this way--a bit foggy with no place to stop, but if I can just get this thing weeded I'll be able to see the forest, not to mention the trees.

Any pointers?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Allendale Branch Library

Ha! Library!

Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Allendale Branch library was a surprise to me. It's across the street from the Blair school complex, which is imposing enough that I drove around the block twice before I found the library hiding in plain sight.

If you're in need of a fiction fix and you're on the almost-South-Pasadena side of town, you might want to check out Allendale's collection, which includes many Young Adult titles (appropriately, considering its proximity to Blair High School).

I love this architectural/historical note on the website: "The remodeled Allendale Branch building, created as an isolation hospital in the twenties, opened for library business in 1951. Allendale Branch Library is a unique and exemplary neighborhood center, combining school, library, park and recreational resources."

Isolation hospital! Wouldn't you love to know some of that history?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Zen Monday: #167

Because the Zen pupil learns from experience rather than from lectures or books, 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. Please enlighten us with your comment.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sure, Fine, Just Not Here

Is this a

dog in a puddle?

dog in an airplane?

dog in quicksand?

dog in a soccer field?

dog in a cake?

If you chose "dog in a soccer field," you are correct. Boz is standing on the planned location of "Sycamore Athletic Field" at Hahamongna Watershed Park.

Last July the citizens of Pasadena made it clear to the City Council that we do not want soccer fields in Hahamongna. (Not one citizen spoke in favor of the fields.) At the time, two fields were planned. We had half a victory. The the soccer field planned for the above location is still planned. The one for the location below was scrapped.
...If Boz were in the picture, we'd call it "dog in a lake." But Boz isn't much of a swimmer.

I hope the City Council will scrap Sycamore Field, too, not just because it's in a flood plain but because it's in the watershed. Pasadena gets 35% of its water from groundwater sources, the watershed being one of those. And despite these photos, evidence continues to mount that water is becoming more scarce in southern California. Where we live, water shortage is now a permanent condition.

Officials all over southern California are scrambling to buy water. Our own Water Conservation Manager, Nancy Long of Pasadena Water and Power, says "future droughts are inevitable. With Southern California's water supply uncertain, we can't afford to waste it." (current newsletter, page 7)

Those who built the Rose Bowl and the Devil's Gate Dam can be forgiven for building in a watershed. They were ignorant of the the conditions under which we'd live today. We know better.

Come to the Pasadena City Council meeting tomorrow (Monday, 10/17) and have your say. The Council meets at City Hall, 100 North Garfield Avenue, Room S249 at 6:30pm. Hahamongna is the first thing on the agenda so we shouldn't have to stay all night to be heard.

Our city continues to demand that its citizens save water. We're happy to do it. We expect our City to do the same.