Friday, January 31, 2014

Seen Near Sochi In Kasnodar Krai

Lake Abrau

Goryachiy Kluch Gorge

The Guamka Railway

A waterfall

White mesas

It's Now the Year of the Horse

I was born in the year of the Fire Monkey, but with the new moon last night, we began the Chinese Year of the Wooden Horse.  In China, each year is named after one of twelve animals, which repeat.  My American birth date is 9 June, but in the lunar calendar it's 30 April - makes things very intriguing when trying to figure out your horoscope - especially when you only have an approximate time of birth.  Since Dad delivered me in the back seat of the Old Grey Ghost, he and Mom could only "guess-timate" that I was born about 3 a.m.
But that really doesn't matter.  Broncos are a type of horse; this is the year of the horse; therefore the Broncos should win the Super Bowl.  What?  You find find fault with my logical steps?  So do I.  However, I would love to see the orange and blue Broncos from Denver defeat the Seattle Seahawks in New Jersey on Sunday.
  We had about 3 inches of snow fall overnight and into this morning.  The weather folks say we'll get another 2 to 3 inches this afternoon and evening. It's 21 degrees out at 11:15; the ski resorts on the western slopes have gotten 2 to 3 feet of snow in the last 48 hours....  And the seven day forecast says snow here in Boulder every day except Sunday and Wednesday; we'll see if they are correct.  Just got back from a late breakfast with Nancy, and now her cat, Bob, is over here, eating  at my place.  She just came looking for him, and we had to chase him out from under my bed, as she is leaving again, and wants him home.  I'm home for the day, period.  Nancy's tried to talk me into going out shopping with her, but I've had enough people for the day, and would rather stay at home with only my kitties for company.
  I plan on watching Blue Blood tonight, and seeing Tom Selleck.  Almost two weeks ago, Sleepy Hollow had it's season finale - and there were some twists to the story that I had not expected.  Now I'm definitely waiting to see the next spate of episodes.  The Black List is back on NBC on Monday nights, and I watched Red kill a Washington big-wig without blinking an eye in the last episode.  And - next month, on February 27, Vikings returns to the History Channel...  The "sneak peek" for this bunch of episodes ,akes it seem that Floki is killed in battle by Rollo.... I certainly hope not!  I like Floki, and even though I'm supposedly descended from Rollo, I won't be able to like him if he does kill or incapacitate my darling boat-builder!
  In the meantime, after the Super Bowl on Sunday, we have the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on television on Thursday.  That will be quite a spectacle, and I'm sincerely hoping for no violence.  So it will be sports, sports and more sports for me.  (I suppose going a-Viking can be considered "sporting," can't it?)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Silly Kitties


Clingy chipmunk

All photos are from the


Well, I slipped on the ice beside the trash dumpster last night, and I did something to my sciatic nerve - my right leg is killing me.  But I've had this problem off and on for the past 25 years, so I know that it will slowly disappear - but today I'll ache like mad.  It's cloudy, grey, and windy outside, and the weather folks say that we'll get snow tonight - between 1 and 2 feet...  Rosie has an acupuncture appointment this morning, and our usual walk has been set back an hour.  Hopefully we won't have rain or snow at that time, and I'll be certain to let Boo out for at least an hour while I'm over there, as Kathy and Jim are down in Denver with little Evie for the day.
  My kits ran out and had a good 45 minute play period this morning - they chased one another, rolled, wrestled, and leapt like they were crazed.  After they had come back inside and calmed down, I gave them both a toy (refreshed by being in the catnip jar for a week), and watched Lovey get sleepy and slow, while Nedi became an attack machine.  Both are now sleeping off the effects - Lovey in bed and Nedi on the cat tree.
  All sorts of other bits and pieces:  KUSA is giving away their "Clingy Thingys", finally, in Boulder today - at the King Soopers (3 blocks from my apartment) at 4 this afternoon.  People are so crazy about getting these vinyl window clings, that now, a person can only get one, and the employees are allotted only 1,000 per location to hand out.  I don't know if I'll try to get one, or not; it will depend on how my leg feels later.  ....  My Sports Talk radio T-shirts finally arrived - they are bright orange, and, in white, there is a silhouette of Peyton Manning getting ready to pass the ball with the words "Keep Calm and Hurry!!  Hurry!!" on them. I'll wear mine on Sunday for the game.   ....   My copies of the 2-volume book, Pass It On, a history of Vernon County, Missouri arrived last night; and I plan to start reading them today.  ....  All the local stations news stations, are, of course, carrying extra football coverage, and all of them have a news team staying in either New Jersey or New York.  Enough of the hyperbole - I'm ready for the game.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Different Photos

Three glass eels from the Hudson River

The Danube estuary, Hungary

Petroglyphs at night

Komodo village in Indonesia

- Flashback -

Wow, talking about taking me back in time.  Smoking small amounts of marijuana, or cannabis, in private, is now legal in Colorado.  I have watched the media cover this, along with the selling of sales licenses, since the new year, and never really thought much about it.  Today, I stopped inside the local bus station to get a sip of water from the fountain,and was asked something I haven't been asked in years - "Do you have a few extra rolling papers I can have?"  I told the young man that I didn't, and got my water and went back to my pick-up area.  Then I started trying to remember when I had last been approached and asked for "rolling papers"...  and had to admit that the last time I remember that happening, I was at a concert that featured Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Roger McGuinn at the University of Florida.  In trying to pinpoint the year, the closest I could come was 1976 or 1977 - I know it was before I cut my right index finger off two days before Thanksgiving in 1977...  I know who I went to the concert with, and that we traveled on his motorcycle, and I remember having a wonderful time.  Marijuana never did anything "for" me - it just made me giggle insanely at everything, so I only used it once or twice.
  My Dad was an alcoholic, and, other than trying to drink for a little while, in college, I gave that up, too.  I suffer from migraine headaches, and alcohol brings them on - even though I didn't know it at the time.  All I knew was I always had a "hang over" that lasted a week, and that I'd spend most of the 24 hours after I stopped imbibing in the bathroom - either throwing up or with diarrhea.  Neither was pleasant, so I stopped doing that, also. I have to admit that up until 6 years ago, I occasionally - once or twice a year - had a cocktail.  But I don't really like the taste, and I have an allergic reaction to gin, so I've stopped drinking.
  I never tried LSD, but I did have a good dose of psychedelic mushrooms one night; at least, I was told they were -   The next day my friends told me about all these strange mental experiences they had; while I don't remember a thing out of the ordinary happening to me, mentally or physically....  I figure either I didn't ingest enough to "get high," or that I just didn't react to it for some unknown reason.
   It's possible that I'm just a spoil-sport.  I prefer to observe the world that I live in from a mind that isn't clouded (or enhanced) by psychotropic drugs.  I'd rather see and evaluate things as they actually happen. Maybe that's why I enjoy history so much - it's already happened, so it's cut and dried, other than the perspective.  But, then, I love to read science fiction, fantasy, and fiction, as well - maybe reading is my drug of choice....   I know I'm certainly addicted to it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Scenes

Always remember:  If you are feeling the winter cold, so are they!

Seven Degrees At Seven A. M.

Our overnight low temperature was three degrees; at 7 a.m. it was 7; now, at 9:30, it's 12 degrees outside. The forecast high ranges between 26 and 35 degrees; I am, once, again, staying home.  Last night, one of my neighbors wanted me to go out with her - she stopped by the door at 7:30 last night, and asked if I could loan her $20 (to apply to her phone bill, so it wouldn't be cut off).  I told her that I had $10, and she could have that.  She said it wasn't enough to keep her phone on, and I told her it was all I had.  She ended up taking the money, to "buy kitty food and Nancy food."  Then she wanted to use the money to go out and eat supper at Burger King or McDonald's; I told her that I hadn't been outside and I wasn't going outside.  I believe she wanted me to walk by the grocery store with her, so I could withdraw more money and give it to her.  I told her that I'd be happy to take her out to lunch or supper on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday - but not before.  Then she asked if she could come over and eat at my apartment, after she shopped.  I said yes, but mentally sighed.  Luckily, she decided she was too tired after shopping, and called to say she was going to bed.  As I was in the middle of working on family genealogy, I was relieved, as it meant I could continue working.
  I feel sorry for this person - she has a lot of problems - but my therapist and psychiatrist have told me to avoid her, and I do my best.  She's an adopted child, and has had both drug and alcohol addictions.  She makes very poor choices and then blames others.  If you wanted to find a category to fit her in, the title "Drama Queen" would best suit her.  Her adoptive mother passed away seven months ago, but she reacts as if it were yesterday.  She was extremely proud, that in December, she had paid her rent (at the age of 48) without any help from anyone.  Later that week, I felt compelled to purchase cat food, kitty litter, and toilet paper for her and her kitties.  Since that time, she has "borrowed" over $50 in food, soap, and toilet paper, borrowed a 35-pound container of kitty litter, and then last night's borrow of $10...   The second week of December, she met a homeless man on her job, and "fell in love" with him.  He lived in her apartment and she fed him and clothed him until New Years.  He broke up with her on Facebook, and called her naive and stupid - this, after she arranged for him to be hired as a co-worker with her.  Last night, she informed me he had already married someone else, and she (of course) now hates going to work because she has to work with him....  She is emotionally and mentally needy, and while I can give support to her occasionally, I really can't feed into her needs.
  Folk singer Pete Seeger passed away yesterday at the age of 94.  It feels like the end of an era to me.  I'm trying to remember where I saw/heard him sing - I know that Dad took me, and I had thought it was at one of the University of Florida filmings of Hootenanny, but I just found out that Pete was banned from that show, causing a lot of other folk singers and groups to boycott it.  (That was interesting reading!)
  And, finally, today is my Mother's birthday - she would have been 93 years old today.  A lot of my friends thought that Mom didn't like them, because she was always tilting her head back and looking down her nose at them - it was to see them through the lenses of her bifocals, so she could see them well.  She never knew that a lot of my friends felt alienated by it...  But she was a good Mother - first she raised my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Howard, after their Mother passed away; and then she raised Kathy and me.  Just about anything was OK with Mom - hair, clothing, books, movies... And at least when she passed away, having Alzheimer's Disease, she had regressed to her childhood, and always re-lived good memories.  Bless you, Mom. Thanks for anything and everything that you did for me. I love you.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Old Stonework Photos

Buildings in Tibet

Crom Estate, County Fermanagh, Ireland

St. Andrew's Cathedral, Scotland

Engelsburg castle, the Czech Republic

The Great Wall, China

Steadily Falling Snow

I had to laugh as I read a "news" headline this morning - "Which did you watch, The Grammys or The Bachelor's wedding?"  First, there is no way that is a news headline.  Second, I watched the Pro Bowl and never even thought about looking at the other two programs.  And the Pro Bowl was wonderfully different last night - for the first time, the public could vote on their favorite players, regardless of their AFC or NFC affiliation.  Two ex-Pro Bowlers were chosen to "lead" each team - Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice; and then they were allowed to "draft" the players they wanted on their teams.  It was a very refreshing game - and was played right up until the final seconds.  Some of the guys who are normally teammates played against each other - and both defensive lines were awesome.  I thoroughly enjoyed the game.  The final?  Jerry Rice's team won by 1 point, 22 to 21.  Of course, the offenses were hampered by lack of time in practicing together, and there were a few flubs, where the quarterback and receiver miscommunicated - but it was the best Pro Bowl game I've seen in years.
  Yesterday, our winds began blowing early; they escalated during the afternoon, and brought in a cold front.  Saturday it was 62 degrees here, yesterday, 40 degrees; today we'll, hopefully, hit 25.  Snow started falling around 6:30 yesterday evening, and fell fitfully until midnight.  It's been coming down pretty steadily ever since - and there is about 3 inches of snow on the ground so far.  The forecast is for 3 to 5 inches by late afternoon, when the snow moves out.  With the cold and the snow, I am not walking dogs today, and let the owners know it yesterday.  On days when there is snow and ice, and the temperature doesn't get above 25, my owners prefer that their dogs stay inside, using their doggies doors as needed - but not going out and growing snow balls on their legs while we walk.  I completely agree with them.
  I have my curtains open, so the kits and I can watch the squirrels and birds visit and feed in the snowstorm. Lovey and Nedi have both been outside for a few minutes, but were ready to return back inside quickly.  I placed a low-sided bowl with mixed bird seed and dried fruit in it out on the patio for the birds, and put out walnuts and Brazil nuts for the squirrels.  We've had a flock of juncos visit, and two squirrels, but no one else so far.The kits and I have had a nice, warm breakfast, and I'm preparing for a day of genealogy research.  I hope you week is a fantastic one!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Various Photos

Walrus under Greenland ice

Storm over dry lake bed

Sunburst up the trail

Stag in Richmond Park, England

Nomads near Ban, Afghanistan

Thoughts On Violence

I dislike violence.  But I enjoy watching professional (and collegiate) American football and hockey games, and I used to get a kick out of watching professional wrestling.  These are violent sports, where injury is always possible.  Of course, I also enjoy horse back riding, both English and Western, and I have broken multiple bones and stopped counting concussions when the number got above 20...
  But I abhor the violence that seems more prevalent these days - gun and knife violence.  There have been more shootings at educational and shopping venues this past week.  Adults and children have been stabbed in their vehicles, in parks, and on the street.  I cannot sit back and keep my mouth shut...  What is happening to our society?  Why does it seem, apparently, that more and more people are using guns and knives to express and satisfy their anger and hurt?
  I'm the first to admit that I really love to read - and I read lots of mysteries, thrillers, fantasies and histories.  The mysteries and thrillers usually involve one or more deaths (and so, too, do the fantasies and histories) - but for me, these killings and deaths are at a "remove" - they are something I'm reading for entertainment, and unless the book is a history, are entirely fictional.  Someone makes up horrible crimes in their mind, and then sets a protagonist to solve the crime and deal with the evil-doer.  I enjoy them - and I'm always happy when the "bad guy" gets caught and turned over to the authorities, or, even killed by the protagonist...  But I'm very aware that this is fiction.  It is not real.  -  Reading history, on the other hand, can be sickening - reading of man's inhumanity to man over the years...  How "better" methods of torture were thought out, and more horrific ways to die were/are planned, is, to me, like stirring an old body, just to see what types of insects and creatures might appear.   On the one hand, you get to know how certain minds work; on the other hand, I always feel  - soiled - after reading how someone decides to "improve" suffering and death.
  Last night, while doing some research, I had the NBC network on...  I could glance from my PC monitor over to the television screen, and focus on what was happening there.  Last night, I enjoyed dipping in and out of an hour-long show about Shaun White, in his bid to make it to the Sochi Winter Olympics in two very different types of snowboard competition.  That program was followed by a re-run of an earlier The Blacklist, a thriller-type show about the man most-wanted by the US Government...  James Spader plays Raymond "Red" Reddington, and is excellent as a very nasty international player who helps the FBI capture people wanted on the Top Secret Blacklist.  I have always enjoyed Spader's acting prowess - and last night left me pondering...  In a scene in last night's episode, Red is trying to get a "tough guy" to give him some information.  The two are sitting at a table, and Red has secured the other man to a chair.  Red is smoking a cigar, and, as he continues to ask questions, which the other man won't answer, Red pours a flammable liquid all over the man's head, neck and chest.  Red threatens him with the glowing cigar tip, and the man finally gives Red the information he desires.  Red then shoves the lit cigar into the man's mouth - and stands there to watch the expected fireworks.  The cigar has burned down to a stub, and the man is frantically rolling his eyes and trying to keep the cigar from igniting the liquid in his moustache and beard.  Then, Red gives a light laugh, says, "Oh, the suspense is killing me," pulls a pistol from his pocket, and shoots the man with the cigar.  - I actually laughed when I saw this scene.
   During the night and this morning, I have pondered over my reaction.  My mind keeps telling me that another bad guy bit the dust.  It also says that "this is fiction!" And it also is revolted that Red can so cold-heartedly shoot the victim, who can't defend himself.  Characters die horribly throughout this series - shot, poisoned, burned to death, put into acid baths alive, beaten to death.  I watch it all, and am not appalled or sickened by the violence.   -  Is it because I am an older person, and know that such evil does exist in the world?  Or have I become immune to seeing and reading such things to such an extent that it no longer bothers me?  Is it because I know that this is fiction?
    But if I can accept these scenes of extreme violence and death as every day occurrences, why, then, am I so horrified by the fact that young people are going out and committing these crimes in real life?  Do we blames the news?  Do we blame the media?  Do we blame movies and television?  Or has our society just reached a point where we need a more restrictive "Big Brother" looking over our shoulders?  Why do the young people of today not seem to realize that the deaths of others is not an answer to their own pain?  Why do they feel that it is fine to take a gun and explosive devices and kill and hurt people they don't even know? I am just plain old puzzled  - and wish I knew the answers.
  (Please do not take this as the rant of someone who is anti-gun, or anti-knife.  Guns and knives are safe in the hands of trained individuals - it's the other folks who frighten me.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Water Wheel Mills

Inside the 14th century Lyme Regis water mill

What To Do....

There are a plethora of things to do in this area over the weekend - this is the final weekend of the Denver National Western Stock Show, and the Budweiser International Snow Sculpting Championships are taking place in Breckenridge, while Colorado Springs is having their Community Chili Cook-Off.  The Winter X Games are still happening in Aspen, there is a great participation exhibit on Antarctic Explorers Mission at the ATOMS Headquarters on Spruce Street in Boulder, and Manitou Springs is hosting the Pots By The Pound Sale, while local artisans are selling their work.  Tonight, there is a Wine and Cheese Tasting Extravaganza at the BookCliff Vineyards Tasting Room on Lee Hill Road in Boulder, featuring Haystack Mountain cheeses - this has a cost of $35 per ticket.  And at the Colorado Horse Park, in Parker, this weekend will be the first Winter Schooling Horse Show.
  Me? I'll be digging in the genealogy pile, walking dogs, and reading.  Lovey and Nedi were frantic to go outside this morning - it was 40 degrees already - and I allowed them to do so. Less than three minutes later, I heard Lovey howling and growling, so I went out and gathered her in - she was spitting at the neighbor's cat, Baby, through their patio door.  Lovey is currently sitting on the corner of my desk, with her tail wrapped around my left arm.  Nedi is sleeping in the bright sun at the top of the cat tree.  I'm wearing sweats and wool socks, and wishing for some warmth.  It's supposed to be in the 50s today and Sunday, in the 60s tomorrow - and then back to highs in the 20s on Monday and Tuesday (with more snow possible)...
  I'm being mean, here, but since I've thought it, and said it aloud, I might as well write it, too...  I found a photo of my great-great grandfather's uncle, Hazel Graham Petrie.  I made the comment that in this photograph, Uncle Hazel looks quite dessicated - I mean, the man lived from 1785 until 1869 - and, of course, the photo was taken in the 1860s, so he was quite elderly when the view was taken. I had never read of him and Aunt Sallie having any kids, so I've just thought of him as a "dried up old man."  Yesterday afternoon I discovered that Hazel and Aunt Sallie had 12 children who lived to adulthood, and, then when Aunt Sallie passed away, Hazel had 4 more children with his second wife. Of the twelve kids that I'm related to, one was a Judge in Kentucky, and one was a physician; one of their younger half-brothers was also a physician.  I was amazed.  Just goes to show that you really cannot judge a book by it's cover....
With apologies to my great-great-great-great uncle...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Widely Varied Photos

Squirrel in back yard this morning

The skin of a sea star's back

Judge Richard Daniel Mobley

Jungfrau railway in Switzerland

"The Lonely Mountain?"

Cold, With Light Snow

It started snowing, lightly, around 11 last night; depending on where you are in Boulder, so far the snow accumulations are between 3.3 and 5.1 inches around town.  There is about 4 inches in my back yard, and snow started falling again at 7 this morning.  The snow should stop before noon, but the forecast for today's high temperature is 26 degrees.  -  But then we'll have three days with temperatures in the 50s, and snow again on Monday...  Typical Colorado.
   One brave squirrel has already visited the nut stations this morning - he shoved a Brazil nut in one cheek and a pecan in the other, and took off.  I have a large plate full of small bird seed mixed with nuts and dried fruit at the edge of the patio - and we have a flock of juncos and several chickadees visiting at the moment. Lovey is perched on the foot of my bed, watching the birds and squirrel, while Nedi is crouched on the rug at the patio door.  (And it's all of 10 degrees outside now!)
  I had blueberry waffles for breakfast, and am going to start cooking a large pot of marinara sauce with meatballs for consumption at supper.  I also have a chicken breast, that I plan on baking with apricots, for lunch.  The big news at the moment are all the traffic accidents because of the ice on the roads under the snow - and the fact that the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl.  I know that we're bombarded each year with the cost of  a televised advertisement for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl - but what about the cost of a ticket to see the game?  The lucky few season ticket holders of the Broncos, who won the Super Bowl lottery drawing, were "allowed" to purchase two tickets apiece, at the cost of $850 per ticket.  One of the sports announcers said that seats on the 50-yard-line about 20 rows up, cost $15,000 apiece.  (Heck, that's more than I make - or live on - in a year!)
   At least I can do some more work on the family tree today - a cousin sent me a photo of my great-great grandfather, Judge Hazel Petrie Mobley, a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to see if I could find photos of his siblings.  I knew that the Judge had a younger brother whose initials were R.D., but that was all the information I had.  I found out that R. D. stood for Richard Daniel, that he was also a Judge, and that he was one of the founders of Grand Junction, Colorado and of Mesa County.  That was a surprise!  One of the other brothers, Claiborne Riggs, was a lawyer, who spent his final years practicing in Tampa, Florida.  That brother died from "pulmonary disease" (tuberculosis, or lung cancer?) at the age of 43.  Another brother was a Methodist minister - the Reverend William H. Mobley - who died at the age of 35 in Kentucky.  Brother Claiborne was a firm believer in slavery, but the others were not - even though Judge H. P. purchased a slave in 1850 (for $770), Bedford was given his freedom in 1858, and he stayed with the Judge as a paid man servant until his death.   -  Here's hoping I find out more interesting items about the family today!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Water Views

Hidden cove

Tower Bridge, Thames River, London

Lake Tahoe

Small house "on the water"

Sun and surf