22 November 2009

A Year Ago Today

I was going to say something about Freda's passing which took place on this day November last but I think I'll just post what Suzy had to bark earlier today.

Today is the one year anniversarys of Freda's crossing the Rainbow Bridge. I always wonders why I adopted the peeps I did. I may have found a clue.



sD likes to drinks black and tans and after looking at the above photos, maybe it was fates.

Freda had a long distant relationship with an Aussie named Charlie.

Charlie. Freda always barked him "Charles".

I hear that Charlie and Freda were quite an items. They were very close being so far aways from each other. They each even enjoyed smelling red hot pokers in their respective yards. Unfortunately, Charlie too crossed the bridge last August. It is nice to knows that they are now rompings together on the other sides of the Rainbow Bridge.

Everys day we walk to the same place where this film was shot. I can see why it was one of Freda's favorite places. I love it too.

I know there is a hole in sD's hearts but he tells me that I am doing a greats job of filling it. I think that is why he loves me so much and I loves him.


19 October 2009

The Verizon Big Coal Alliance

Hope #Verizon customers are speaking out to their phone company about its environmental misdeeds >> http://tr.im/BGbt. This is an old story but has Verizon changed? This needs to be continually voiced until Verizon ceases their support of mountain top removal by the coal companies and their friends stop destorying mountains >> http://tr.im/CmMT.

Verizon sponsors climate-change-denying mountaintop-removal rally? | Grist

NRDC: No More Mountaintop Removal


19 September 2009

Arrow-headed Flatworm

An arrow-headed flatworm/planaria found by Suzy and I in a nearby park yesterday.

Spanish 25 escudos coin for scale.

It certainly is not as long as this one Freda and I found in the same park two years ago.

About ten inches in length.

An interesting animal.


31 August 2009

New Twitter Avatar

Now for something completely different. This photo is the closest thing I have to a high school senior picture.

Check out the suit and tie. That's how one traveled in those days.

Our family moved to Kano, Nigeria the summer before my senior year. I completed my last year in high school through correspondence studies while living in Kano. It was a blast. I may have missed all the senior year activities but I would not trade it for the time I spent in Kano. What could be better than to spend a year in a totally foreign culture at such an impressionable age.

Given Nigeria was a former British colony, still with close ties to the mother country, and The Beatles were in the middle of their career, it was a teenager's paradise. We, there were six kids about the same age, would listen to "Pick of the Pops" on the Beeb (BBC) and get the latest news about music in England. Each week we would go into town and check out the latest British record releases at the Kingsway department store. At Christmas, the English kids came home from school in England and brought with them the brand new "Beatles For Sale" LP. Did I mention heaven?

The photo was taken on a Seine River cruise in Paris. I was on my way back to the States to attend university. I have the fondest memories of that year. One of the most wonderful years of my life.


26 August 2009

Bloomin' Rebloomers

We are excited. Two of our rebloomer iris are reblooming, even if Suzy sat on one and broke the stalk. The growers said they have yet to have this happen on their farm for this variety. Not the dog sitting part.

A reblooming "Midnight Caller".

Will be getting ready to plant our newly arrived iris in several weeks.


21 August 2009

"Paul Robeson" Heirloom

We enjoyed our first "Paul Robeson" heirloom tomato today. It was very yummy.

Heirloom, the only way to go.


21 July 2009

LibriVox Podcasts

Recently I have listened to #podcasts from LibriVox on my #iPodTouch... "Princess of Mars"-Edgar Rice Burroughs, "Gulliver's Travels"-Jonathan Swift, "An Antarctic Adventure"-Jules Verne, "Captains Courageous"- Rudyard Kipling, "Captain Blood"-Rafael Sabatini, "Murders of the Rue Morgue"-Edgar Allan Poe, "The Daffodil Murder" by Edgar Wallace. Just began "Allen Quartermain"-H. Rider Haggard. Try it. You can follow #Librivox at @librivox on Twitter.


12 July 2009

Not That Common

Clouds in July. A strange site in this neck of the woods.

Something on the way.


06 July 2009

Books of June

June was a busy month for reading. I finished four books: "Friends in High Places" and "Fatal Remedies", by Donna Leon, "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton and Frederick Forsyth's "The Afghan". Donna Leon's books follow Commissario Guido Brunetti as he fights crime and the customs of Venice. "State of Fear" concerns itself with the opposing forces of global warming/climate change as Crichton challenges us to question who we can believe. The workings of al Qaeda are explored in Forsyth's "The Afghan". June was an interesting and educational month thanks to these very enjoyable and readable titles.


Mink and Otters

Until the other day, we had not seen any signs of mammal activity at the Watson Hollow pond. One morning we observed what looked like a mink swim out of the cattails and across the pond. That was exciting.

Mink running along the bank of the Watson Hollow pond. 2008

We have not seen any otters at Watson Hollow going on two summers. Watson Hollow was dredged about 18 months ago and that may have something to do with the change in wildlife activity here.

Approximately nine otters enjoying the waters of a Watson
Hollow pond one week after a fire blackened an adjoining field.
Interestingly, the otters' toilet area was not burned. 16 Aug 2007

Nature is not static and changes will always occur but it seems we tend to get upset when those changes happen during our lifetime.


29 June 2009

Grass Fire

We had a grass fire about 3/4 of a mile from us this afternoon. We just happened to have turned on the television to check the weather when we heard the report of the fire. Like moths to the flame we drove over to see what was going on. By the time we got there the fire crews were in a mop up operation.

The video shows that several homes here in Trilogy at Rio Vista were in some danger. The golf course grounds crew turned on the irrigation system to help quell the flames before more damage was done.

Thanks to several city and volunteer fire departments for a job well done. They included the Rio Vista Fire Department, the Montezuma Fire District and the Isleton Fire Department.

Let's keep the summer fire free.


Changes in Our Local Bird Life

This year our spring rainfall was near normal. That's been good for the human urban dwellers and particularly the farmers but we've noticed a change in the activity of local bird life. This year there have been more robins and robin fledglings than normal. Over the past several weeks, we have seen the adults searching for food in the grass, returning to the nest to feed the young. The adult robins have become quite courageous, coming to within 15 feet of us. The chicks have fledged and have been following their parents on their food forays. Many of the young birds are now on their own.

Things appear to be different for the killdeer. The two previous springs were very dry, and by this time of year we would have seen two or three clutches of killdeer chicks. This year we have seen signs of killdeer nesting, egg laying and parent protective behavior but no chicks. I first thought it might be the wet spring causing the lack of chicks but that should not disrupt the nesting success of these plovers entirely. Then a possible answer occurred to me. We have noticed an increase in the number of feral cats in the area. This can prove very detrimental to the success of any ground nesting bird. I hope our community can tackle this situation soon and painlessly.

Clutch of four eggs found by Suzy and myself.

Last year, due to a bridge replacement, the cliff swallows lost their long time nesting location and relocated to the eaves of nearby homes. Please see 2 May posting for video. This year the majority of the birds have returned to the new bridge. Below they can be seen collecting mud for their nests on the sixth fairway during the spring of last year.

Swallows collecting mud 23 Apr 2008.

Also, we have seen fewer egrets and green herons at Watson Hollow this spring. Hopefully the wet fields have attracted these birds with a larger concentration of insects and small vertebrates than years past.


09 June 2009

Killdeer Discovery

On a very blustery day, Suzy and I discovered a killdeer nest while walking behind the fourth green on the golf course.

The sound of the strong Delta breeze.

Not too close Suzy.

Such pretty eggs.

Let's hope they survive the grounds keepers and golfers.


09 May 2009

Relax - New Chairs

Bought some new Adirondack lawn chairs, made of recycled plastics, to relax with Suzy in the front yard.

Helping the economy and environment.

Suzy loves to lie in the shade all afternoon and explain to me what she wants to bark about on her blog. One reason we don't get much done. :-)


03 May 2009


The race is on at Watson Hollow Gastropod Course. Call your own race.


02 May 2009

The Swallows Of Watson Hollow

Due to the replacement of an old bridge where these swallows nested, the birds have begun to build nests under the eaves of nearby homes. This was filmed 27 Mar 2008. Home owners have resorted to nest destruction and hanging strips Mylar under the eaves. The swallows have returned again this year.


13 April 2009

Suzy, Our New Family Matron

Over the past several weeks we have winnowed through hundreds of online profiles of needy dogs in California, even Nevada. After reading many appeals from shelters and foster agencies, we decided to apply for adoption by a senior dog. Many times they are not given the second chance they deserve. Many humans want a puppy or young dog. Yes, they are cute and may be a family member for a longer time. But a senior usually is housebroken, knows the basic commands and is ready to settle down and enjoy life with their new family.

Sort of a fluffy Freda Mini-Me

Suzy was taking care of her former guardian until they passed away last January. With no one to care for, she ended up in a shelter. Shortly thereafter she joined a wonderful foster family about an hour away from us. She has taken very good care of them. We filled out our human quality papers and emailed them to Suzy and her foster family. After several days of worrying if we were dog worthy we received an invitation to visit Suzy.

We found her online profile last week.

This weekend we meet the wonderful little lady and extended a request to be her new family. She thought that we could be her final forever family but that she needed to have a physical before she could make the commitment.

Suzy passed her vet check today
and we are finally a member of her family.

You lookin' at me?

Suzy weighs 31 pounds, a little heavy, and is about 16 inches at the shoulders. Her pedigree has been stated as 'Sheltie mix', 'Australian Shepherd mix' and 'Spaniel mix'. Suzy is working on her genealogy and would appreciate at least a general consensus as to what her family background might be. She would give many licks and snuggles. (Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you.)


10 April 2009

Where the Heck....?

...have I been? I have been floating rudderless the last several months. The loss of Freda in November really knocked the wind out of my sails. Then came the holidays. Then during January and February we planned a two week whirl wind trip to Europe and London during March.

Everyone has a video of tour Eiffel right way round.

Upon our return we spent two weeks recovering from colds and jet lag. Oh what fun.

And we had a great visit from the kids and sweet Tule...

Beautiful Tule...

After all that excitement, we began a search for a new family member. We found Graeme, aka Frank, alas, it was not to be. Two days after he adopted us it was found that he had a very serious illness and we had to return him to the shelter. We did get him meds for his kennel cough but his prognosis turned out to be very discouraging.

He is a wonderful friend.

He is now in rescue getting the daily if not several times a day care and treatment we could not give him. We feel he is getting much better care than we could have given him but I feel we failed him miserably. He is so handsome and gentle. Another hard decision to be made. Don't how the Decider did it.

Mañana we will visit another pup who wants to check us out for adoption. She is a senior lady of Sheltie ancestry. We are hoping that she will like us enough to accept us into her family.

P.S. More photos and videos of our trip will appear in later posts, if anyone would like to see them.


02 March 2009

Bridge Video Twit

During the past two weeks, one of my videos and two of my Twitpic photos have been selected for 'presentation' on two web sites.

Vimeo's Bridge Group (Bridges on Vimeo) selected one of my bridge videos for inclusion in their site. It shows the Rio Vista Bridge (aka Helen Madere Memorial Bridge) over the Sacramento River rising to let a small sailboat pass down river. The bridge is said to be raised and lowered even when there is no boat traffic to keep the cables and pulleys lubricated.

I think I can. I think I can.

TwitSaver captured two of my recent TwitPic photos to use as screen savers on Windows based PCs.

Back cover, sleeve and record of the Bee Gees' 'Cucumber Castle'. (1970)

Blooming Tulip Tree in nearby park

Thank you Vimeo Bridge Group, TwitPic and TwitSaver for all your support. I also want to thank..... (Cue music...)

Fleeting web fame. Guess one should take it when one can.


28 February 2009

Freda and Skeeter

Freda playing with her friend Skeeter. 2 Apr 2007


16 January 2009


A photo of our GPS map shows Trilogy' gold course at Rio Vista looks like a butterfly. Trilogy's logo is a butterfly. Serendipity or smart marketing?


15 January 2009


Political cartoonist Nate Beeler was spot on with his cartoon on 13 January 2009 in The Examiner. An apt monument to the Presidency of W. You can click on Nate Beeler Toons and scroll down to 'The Bush Legacy' to view the great cartoon.


09 January 2009


Can't believe my beloved Iva cookies are gone. Originally made by my great-grand mother, mother and now my wife.

The very last one until next December...

They taste so good. ALL GONE!!


07 January 2009

Send Our Respects to W

I think it would be a grand gesture if we all sent W a pair of shoes to show our respect and appreciation for his work the past eight years. Maybe even send shoes to those in his administration who helped him along the way.

After the shoes arrive, the government can donate them to the homeless and various shelters. So with one action we can achieve two results. Sounds good to me.


If Only It Would Happen...

If you missed NPR's Terry Gross on Fresh Air today I recommend a listen. Philippe Sands discusses his new book and the repercussions of the Bush torture legacy. Philippe Sands Considers A Legacy Of 'Torture' : NPR

The Bush Administration has to own up to it's actions. If they won't, someone else may push the point.


05 January 2009

STOP!! No, Don't Stop!!

Like many others, we received lots of goodies for the holidays.

Ashley and John sent us wonderful toffee...

Vern's Toffee House

Jeanne and Marshall sent us chocolate covered pretzels...

Romero's Gourmet Chocolate
Apparently coated pretzels and coffee are favs in Philly.

Frona and Hank sent us peanuts...

Aunt Ruby's Peanuts

And Judy and David gave us a great cake of fudge...

And I want to lose two more pounds.