January 31, 2007

Benny got a haircut!

The kennel (7 Bends) where we left our dogs is associated with a pet grooming salon in the same building. Our cocker spaniel does not behave with groomers but I asked them to give him a try while we were away. As you can see, they succeeded and he looks handsome (although slightly chubby).

He was somewhat traumatized though, and did not want anyone to pet him for a couple of days. He also whimpered quite a bit, which is unusual for him. Now he seems to be okay though.

The trip home

Our flight home from California was uneventful. Security did not hassle me about my little cans of tuna and salmon, probably because I cooperatively placed them in a zip-lock bag and left them out for inspection. My husband did not fare so well. He had placed some tiny bottles of toiletries in his carry-on bag instead of his checked luggage, and they were confiscated because he failed to put them in a zip-lock bag. Ah, the joys of flying...

I do recommend flying Jetblue into Long Beach when you go to LA. The price was good and Long Beach Airport is small so you don't have to walk far. It was built around 1929 and it feels historic.

The flight had satellite TV and I wound up watching La Bamba, the Richie Valens film. Perhaps it wasn't the wisest choice for inflight entertainment - it begins and ends with a plane crash! But you don't see the one at the end, you see his brother's shocked reaction to the news on the radio.

I thought the actors who played Richie's brother and mother gave strong performances. Unfortunately the headphones that the airline provides are pretty awful so the music was pretty much ruined. Still, it was a diversion for a long flight.

Max shares his sofa

Thanks, Max.

January 29, 2007

Two more Pt. Vicente Photos

Along the cliffs in Palos Verdes you see these signs:
Dangerous Condition
Do Not Climb On
Or Over Railing
Don't Even Think About It!

I took this lighthouse picture at sunset but the colors weren't quite like this. For some reason the colors shifted in my digital camera. Special effects is the photographic term for such errors, right?

January 28, 2007

Point Vicente Lighthouse

The Point Vicente Lighthouse is near Wayfarer's Chapel in Palos Verdes. The lighthouse itself is fenced off but the nearby visitors' center is open.

You can see why a lighthouse was needed to keep ships from wrecking on the rocks. The light still operates.

Frank decided to stay until sunset so we had time to take a lot of pictures. The lighthouse is very photogenic and I've had trouble deciding which pictures to show or not show. Please excuse the multiple views... better still, let me know your favorite.

The sound of the surf...

...and what's that other sound?

I've signed up for YouTube so I can post little videos like Susan and Doug do. Frank's camera shoots short videos (sometimes when you don't mean to; you just press the wrong button).

This shows the waves coming in belong the cliffs at Point Vicente. It's nothing without the sound though.

To start, just press the triangle/arrow.

January 27, 2007

Where's Whalo?

We went to Point Vicente to see the lighthouse and ocean view and were fortunate in that grey whales happened to be migrating past there. We saw two whales and I had the camera ready for the second one but by the time the lens clicked, all it caught was the waterspout. Can you find it?

The spout is right in the center of the photograph. As you can see, the sun caused a streak of flare on the lens and it seems to be pointing at the whale.

Lunada Bay

Much of the coastline near Palos Verdes looks like this, with cliffs and rocks. And behind the cliffs, hundreds of suburban houses.

Southern California is crowded along the coast. The traffic is as bad as Northern Virginia's but the drivers seemed worse, if that's possible. There's a lower percentage of trucks though.

Although temperatures were not particularly warm for our visit, the sun shone every day.

January 26, 2007

Wayfarer's Chapel

One of Frank's favorite places is Wayfarer's Chapel. It has a sanctuary built primarily of glass.

On a scenic site overlooking the Pacific, Wayfarer's was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright.

My husband took the picture below.

January 25, 2007

Max of California

What's that behind the curtain? It's Max the California Wonder Dog.

He belongs to Frank's sister. He's a very lucky fellow - she treats him like royalty. Ten years ago he was a stray and she adopted him. Now he gets hour-long walks in the sunshine.

Max is about the size of my dog Guppy. He is very friendly except with cats. This cat sits on the walkway outside Max's apartment. He is afraid of the cat so his owner has to pick him up and carry him until they are safely past.

A Day at the Getty Villa

We made reservations to see the Getty Villa right after we made plane reservations to California. The Villa is a museum complex near Malibu within sight of the Pacific Ocean. We visited the new Getty Museum in LA in 2001. At that time, the Villa was closed for renovation.

J. Paul Getty had the Villa built to house his collection of ancient art. Unfortunately he did not live to see it completed. It was designed to basically replicate the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house in Herculaneum that was buried when Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.

For me, the building itself was more interesting than most of the artifacts. It gives you a feel for how wealthy Romans lived 2000 years ago. They enjoyed a high level of comfort, although at the expense of their slaves.

Adjacent to the Villa is a visitors' center and plaza with high walls that show stratigraphy. This feature along with some other elements were designed to suggest an archaeological dig such as that which took place at the Villa dei Papiri when it was unearthed.

January 24, 2007

Huntington Library and Gardens Photos

We visited the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens near Pasadena. It's a huge complex so we didn't see everything, but what we did see was worthwhile.

I learned that Henry Huntington's wealth came from railroads and utilities. His uncle was one of the owners of the Central Pacific RR, and after this uncle died, Henry married his widow! Together they collected art and historical manuscripts.

Henry and Arabella are buried in a stately mausoleum which was designed by John Russell Pope who later designed the Jefferson Memorial in Washington -- looks similar, doesn't it?

The two photos above were taken in the new Chinese Garden, which is under construction but temporarily open to the public.

The left-hand photograph shows the conservatory. Near there is a children's garden which adults will enjoy as well.

January 23, 2007

The Birds of Redondo Beach

We are back from our trip and I again have access to a dependable computer. Frank's old laptop has serious problems so I gave up trying to post while we were in California.

Here are some pictures I took on the Redondo Beach Pier.

FaceTweet it!

January 21, 2007

Trying to carry food

JetBlue offers no first class, no meals, but a good price. Since our flight was long, I brought along small cans of tuna and salmon plus some other gluten-free non-dairy snacks.

Getting through security is always rather demeaning. We had to remove our jackets and shoes, for instance. Our carry-on bag set off some kind of alert, and I thought it might be from the metal cans. The security guy found the cans all right, but he said the problem was that they contain liquid. "I'm going to let you keep them though."

Good thing! I would have gotten pretty hungry not having protein for the long flight, and I'm not pleasant when my blood sugar drops.

January 16, 2007

A few web updates

  1. I'm close to completing the updates for MCS Resources and Referral. See their page on Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Reported by Edgar Allen Poe.

  2. I updated Linda's Links. The old link to Bobby has been replaced by WebXACT that still lets you test web pages for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues.

  3. Dr. Plumlee sent me a list of new CSDA meetings scheduled in the Baltimore area.

Found this in a craft shop

I bought a little address book on sale at a craft shop in Harrisonburg. It was shopworn but the cover has a photo of the Tiffany lamp that great-aunt Emarel designed.

Pretty, isn't it?

Jambo! The dik-dik is online! (Partly)

Marie points out that Google books has a preview of her book about her travels in Africa online.

January 15, 2007

Going out west

We are planning a trip to visit Frank's sister. Here are some pictures from our visit there in January 2001.

First touch of the Pacific Ocean

January 14, 2007

Blogspot Notes

I've upgraded to the improved version of Blogger but I haven't taken advantage of the new features yet.

Meanwhile, my sister posted her yearly holiday letter at PegsAdventures.blogspot.com.

I've been posting this blog since June 2005. You can find old posts by searching for a term or by clicking on a month in the archives. If you click on December 2006, you'll see Christmas pictures, farm scenes, a Mosby monument, deer and squirrels, Austin and Justin, an old desk from Michigan, and some gluten-free information.

I won't illustrate with photos from last month since it was so recent. Instead here's a few from December 2005.  

Graceful deer

So I was walking our cocker spaniel in the woods behind our house and I saw a herd of deer. I counted seven of them, running along in a line, more like gliding. They made a soft rustling noise, less than a single squirrel makes. They leapt over a log one after the other, reminding me of bathers at the beach who jump up as a wave comes in, making a rippling line as they move up and down.

Benny never saw the deer.

January 12, 2007

Listening in the car

Right now I've got Bob Dylan's Modern Times in the CD drive and an audiobook called Citizen Washington in the cassette deck. The latter is a fictionalized biography of George Washington by William Martin. He uses the device of a news reporter getting interviews from various people who knew our first president. It is really quite entertaining.

I'm also enjoying Dylan's CD. His voice sounds better than it used to. Some of the songs are a bit repetitious, but that's not a bad thing in music. It rocks.

Photo Art: Cardinal

red bird

January 11, 2007

Bunnies Performing Movie Classics

Have you seen the 30-Second Bunnies Theatre? You can see them at AngryAlien.com. Or go straight to Rocky or Raiders of the Lost Ark as performed by cartoon rabbits!

January 10, 2007

Snow flurries

north mountain
We had snow flurries last night and they were thick and cold! This morning a dusting of snow outlined the trees on Great North Mountain.

The chalet on the left is covered with snow but not from the flurries. It is close to the ski runs, and the snow-making equipment blows snow, and winds carry it onto the nearby roads and houses - not as far as our house though.

I'm certain that Bryce Resort is glad to see the snow flurries and cold weather. Last weekend's rain left bare spots on the ski slopes, but cold weather since then has allowed the snow-makers to do their thing.

January 9, 2007

Is wheat making your dog sick?

Both of my dogs seem to do well on hypoallergenic dog chow. Little Ben is a cocker spaniel, which I learned is an allergy-prone breed. Cheap dog foods made him very itchy, and he licked his paws constantly. So I upgraded their food. Now they eat either lamb & rice nuggets or venison & rice nuggets seasoned with a little quality canned food.

I give them small amounts of meat from the table, but not much because Ben gets digestive problems from many foods, even dog biscuits.

Here's an article on Canine Food Intolerance to Gluten, Casein, Soy, and Corn. The writer says that the Irish setter is the only breed that had been definitively diagnosed as gluten intolerant. He says he researched its typical medical conditions. Bingo- a match for the problems that celiac humans suffer from. BUT, the interesting thing was that they matched those of the Labrador, Golden retriever, German shepherd, Cocker, Rottie, and other breeds that are having big trouble medically.

Apparently he is a vet. He says I immediately began taking all of my patients off of wheat and barley, the two main gluten grains in pet foods. As I learned that casein (from cow's milk), soy, and corn could all do the same harm to the intestinal villi that gluten did, I started taking all patients off of those food ingredients as well. Wow! The miracles started happening.

Both dogs and cats improved on the diet. I've noticed that the special dog foods are increasingly popular. I used to have to go to the pet store for them but now I can find them in Kroger and Wal-Mart.

January 8, 2007

On the roof again

Here's Frank on Saturday up on the roof. And posing pretty much like last time. This time he went up to paint the trim on our new windows. They were installed last week to replace windows that had gotten fogged.

He got the primer on promptly because rain was forecast, and indeed we did get a downpour yesterday, so I'm glad the new trim was protected.

January 7, 2007

Squirrel on the Rail

I hope you're not getting totally bored with my photos of our local squirrels. This guy is pretty nimble.

Now that they have discovered the bird feeders on our deck, we are having to endure the pitter-patter of their little feet as they run across our roof. The deck is high off the ground so they climb a tree, jump on the roof, and scamper over to a place where they can jump down to the rail. There are at least two squirrels competing for these feeders and they posture to intimidate each other.
eastern gray squirrel