Monday, March 27, 2006

Yellow submarine clock

I saw this clock in a memorabilia store in Ventura Beach. Of course I had to have it for my studio!

Not surprisingly the colours are the same as some of my favourite colours I always use...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

More furry logic

The moment you have forgive your parents EVERYTHING.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Furry Logic

Patty and Terry introduced me to this delightful little book with with sayings and drawings by Jane Seabrook. She has another one out at well called "Laugh at Life"....both available at Bolen's.

If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished.

If at first you don't succeed, swallow all evidence that you tried.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Itty Bitty Book Review - "This Timeless Moment"

After meeting Laura Huxley I was interested to read some of her writings. This is a memoir she published about her life with Aldous. Of course I knew from Jim's research that Huxley had a broad range of interests and was knowlegable on just about everything, but what comes through in this memoir is his exceptional kindness and natural ability as a teacher. Laura recounts how he would teach her things by gently "reminding" her about them, knowing that she didn't know anything about the subject at all. What a wonderful teaching technique!

Also, his interest in everyone was very touching. He sincerely felt he could learn something from anyone and would just as happily talk to a seriously mentally ill person as the highest in society. And I think what I love the most are his comments close to the end of his life when he was asked what conclusions he had made after all his learning and knowledge and he simply said:

"The best thing I can offer is for people to be kinder to each other."

So simple and yet so wise.

Friday, March 17, 2006

So quoth the hypocrite

I really liked an article by Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald called "So Quoth the Hypocrite"...cut it out when we were travelling and came across it unpacking. It was in response to a high school teacher making a point in class that homosexulaity was unacceptable in the eyesight of God because God ordered humanity to multiply which gay couples cannot do. A student wrote to the journalist wondering how a gay student could ever feel assured of fair treatment in his class.

This is a partial quote of what Pitts replied to the student:

"Put simply, I've had it up to here with the moral hypocrisy and intellectual constipation of Bible literalists...never mind that the Bible also says it is "disgraceful for a woman to speak out in church (1 Corinthians 12:34-36) and that if she has any questions, she should wait till she gets home and ask her husband. Never mind that the bible says the penalty for going to work on the Sabbath is death (Exodus 35:1-3). Never mind that the Bible says the man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and marry her."

I'm sure there are lots more examples in this vein in the bible.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The U.S. Army Recruiting Brochure

I picked this up at one of the universities we were at recently in the US. Pretty tempting terms for students who are heavily in debt:

"If you've already attended college and need help paying back your Perkins, Stafford or other federally insured student loans, the U.S. Army can help. The Army Loan Repayment program can pay back up to $65,000 of your student loans. You may also qualify for the up to $20,000 enlistment bonus. Ask your Recruiter about the latest active Army, U.S. Army Reserve and ROTC incentives and college programs."

Itty Bitty Book Review - "Saturday"

Didn't read much on our recent holiday besides "On Mexican Time" which I've mentioned and McEwan's latest "Saturday". Amazing writing as always with McEwan but I did have a little trouble with him stealing the "art can tame wild beasts" idea from "Bel Canto" by Patchett. I know he worked it up very differently and I still think Saturday is a fine novel...yet. Interesting now to be reading "The Ice Age" by Drabble which was written in 1977 and explores some of the same issues as I remember. I read it long ago and it's rather dim in my memory.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

VFX (Translation: Visual Special Effects)

Gee, a week ago I didn't even know what this acronym meant!

Looks like Richard is getting into the visual special effects field at a good time. An article in the TC today (D4) notes that it is a field that is booming. He's really thrilled about the opportunity to work in this area of programming since he'll be learning cutting edge stuff. And as he puts it,
"It's mainly open-source technologies, no Windows crap, so it's very transferrable too."

Monday, March 13, 2006


Amazingly we caught the 2pm ferry. Very quick drive from Portland and no hold ups in Seattle or the border.
Will be in touch soon.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Almost home!

We're in Portland tonight and then home to sleep in our own bed tomorrow. Always a great feeling. It was sunny and clear through the mountain passes yesterday and today. We really enjoyed being in Ashland again and seeing a play albeit "The Winter's Tale" isn't great especially the first half but the theatre company here is so excellent anything is enjoyable.

We stopped off at the U. of Oregon in Eugene for old times sake and had lunch in the pub by the university where Jim learned he was going to become a father...then he ordered a double!!! (not really...) and visited our favourite bookstore.

Read in the paper that Palm Springs hit 50 F the other day....brrr...cold all over I guess. I think they're back to decent weather now. We've been lucky. Had good weather on the coast and left just as it was getting poor. I think we crossed paths with the storm and seemed to miss it.

See everyone soon!

W.H. Smith Bookstore in Eugene

Our favourite bookstore in Eugene.

University of Oregon



Ashland Springs Hotel

A neat old historic hotel that used to be called the Mark Anthony. They're renovating...hope they make the rooms a little more soundproof than when we stayed there.

Entrance to Old Sacramento

Getting dark when we arrived in Sacramento so not much in the way of photos.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Congratulations, Richard!

We just found out the news that Richard got a promotion at Technicolor to the VFX (Visual Effects) department. He's really thrilled about more of those horrible night shifts, he gets to learn a number of new computer languages...and eventually get his name in the credits for films he's worked on.

Way to go, Richard, you always manage to pull thesw things off!

Funny we should be in Sacramento now, a place where Richard worked in the computer industry for a while and made some very good friends. We're off to Ashland today and have tickets for "A Winter's Tale"...might be very appropriate as it's rather cold around here. Looking forward to seeing Ashland again and seeing a's been close to 20 years since we've done that.

Wind blew in our last night in Santa Barbara so had dinner on the pier by a window and did some storm watching while quaffing clam chowder and steak and lobster. A good way to end our stay on the coast.

As much as we enjoyed seeing these CA costal areas again I think we have become desert rats. It's really just not warm enough on the coast at this time and it's very busy and expensive even though it's off season. We'll spend all our time down here in the desert next time.

P.S. BTW, those funny little birds are called Sanderlings

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Helmets in Ventura

We really liked Ventura...very real place...lots of neat bookstores and stuff.

Mission in Ventura

Our hotel in Santa Barbara

We just loved our hotel in SB. It was the historic Hotel Virginia. Really neat tiles and in the old Spanish colonial style.

Santa Barbara coast and the Channel Islands

Santa Barbara...the popcorn man memorial

Sterne Pier

Future engineers

Now I just used my fingers to make my initials in the sand...this kid has big ideas!


Santa Barbara Mission

Friar cell at Santa Barbara Mission

Fig tree at Santa Barbara Mission

I'm loving these Eucalyptus trees

View from our hotel in Ventura Beach

Very windy day on the beach!

Learned these wonderful trees are Eucalyptus

This fellow seemed very friendly

Funny little birds

We were fascinated watching these birds run like the devil for 50 feet to peck away for a few seconds before the surf hit then run like the devil back. We thought they were surfing at first but I guess they were finding something to eat. Seemed like one heck of a lot of energy to expend for not much food.

Ventura Pier

Sunset in Ventura Beach

Sunset in Ventura Beach

Great entertainment from our hotel room.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nike Saint Phalle Sculpture

It was a real thrill to see her work here. I love all the ones on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Guess it's supposed to be a funny little sea animal or something like that.

In the garden of Museum of Cont Art

Birch Aquarium

Salk Institute

Glider Port

Coronado Bridge

San diego Harbour

Went on a Harbour Tour of San Diego...always very interesting. Amazing military stuff.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

And Constables

and the famous "Blueboy"

The famous "Pinkie"

Some great Turners

Huntington Art

Huntington Art

The gardens and art galleries at the Huntington in Pasedena are just tremendous. Amazing research library for Jim. He's not doing Renaisance research here but they have a world class collection. In their exhibition library they have the Ellemere Canterbury Tales, various first folios and quartros of Shakespeare, Gutenburg bible, the "double elephant" Audobon of prints, first editions of Spencer, Milton...everybody really and the first edition of Ulysses (the Paris, Sylvia Beach edition)...very cool!

The Saga Hotel in Pasedena

Famous landmark hotel on Route 66

Annette and Larry recommended this to us while we were in Pasedena. Great idea...thanks! They sometimes stay here when they're in Pasedena visiting their son, Paul, who is at Cal Tech.

Fun place to stay in Pasedena

The Getty Center

On the architecture tour we learned about all the mathematical calculations, how everything is squares, etc. Contrasted with how the Mexican stonemasons (in the book I was reading called On Mexican Time) made a stairway without any calculations and it came out perfectly to the last stone in place!