2014/09/08

TJH: Inspire – Mother & Daughter Art Collaboration

Da Goddess @ 04:15

I know Pam will like this, but I’m betting there are others who will enjoy this as well: mother of toddler uses her daughter’s drawings as the foundation for paintings.

I now wish I had thought of this. What a beautiful way to look at the world, to be inspired, to encourage your child’s imagination and love of art! Well done, Ruth Oosterman!

2014/08/27

Shagged by a Rare Parrot

Da Goddess @ 21:09

I love watching docos on television. One series I really love (though I hate that it exists for obvious reasons) is Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry from the BBC.

We shouldn’t have to have shows about this being our last chance to see anything! In this day and age, with such awareness of how interconnected all life forms are, we shouldn’t have to witness extinction of so many species. On the other hand, thank goodness we have shows like this so we have a better understanding of what we risk losing if we continue to behave so carelessly toward the animal world. Hell, we do the same to one another. The point is, what I’m really trying to say is this: we’ve spent the last 100 years being very poor stewards of the wild and we’re paying for it dearly. We’re losing so many natural treasures, but we do have people willing to trek ’round the world to document efforts to preserve as much of each dwindling species as possible.

Stephen Fry is an absolute delight. He’s both informative and curious, thoughtful and pragmatic; he’s also very funny. In other words, he’s the perfect host for the show.

One of the best segments from the Last Chance to See: Kakapo episode was the following.

I’d just been reading about the kakapo this past weekend. It’s a funny little bird, looking part parrot, part owl. Endearing in every way.

I have more thoughts. Many more. But, I’ll get to those soon enough. For now, enjoy the video.

2014/08/18

I Want a New Camera!

Da Goddess @ 13:25

There’s nothing wrong with my camera. No. Not really. But I would give my left hip for higher resolution, full frame sensor, and a greater ISO range.

So, since the Canon 5D Mark III is waaaaay out of my price range (everything is, but this really, really is), I figured, why the hell not get more entries for the giveaway?!

Best Local Wedding Photographers

Go ahead. Click on the link. Because, why not?

2014/07/15

Finally, the Hummingbirds

Da Goddess @ 02:44

Yes, I did promise long ago to post these photos after the birds had gone (thereby ensuring I wasn’t jinxing their ability to do so). As you know, one baby hummer didn’t make it. The other, though, did. The nest has been empty for a couple weeks. Mom is gone, too. I’m sure she’s around somewhere, it’s just not…here.

Anyhow, without further ado, the nest.

We’ll start with the first fuzzy shot because it’s mom and the babies and it’s feeding time. It sucks, but it serves a purpose.

The fuzzy one

Of course, we have to see where the nest is. It’s on the leg of the carport. It’s about 6 feet up, which is hard to see from the ground (and why I missed it the first time), but was at the perfect height for us to spy on from the den window.

Just an idea of where the nest is

And now we see (with some clarity) what all the fuss is about.

more baby hummingbirds in their nest

Birds in nest

yes this would be another shot of baby hummingbirds in their nest

baby hummingbirds in their comfy nest

Birds. Because that’s what this is all about. That and my not-so-excellent spy skills. Seriously, shooting through the blinds is hard, y’all.

doing my best to act like a spy and shoot through the blinds

Birdies in the nest

mom is protecting the nest

baby hummers with notes

baby hummingbirds with their mom

The babies are getting bigger

And here is the shot from just below the nest. I actually went outside to get this one and got yelled at by the neighbor. She was afraid I was going to disrupt the birds’ lives with my big ol’ camera, my big ol’ lens, and my big ol’ self. First, the birds didn’t see me, I don’t think. Second, mom wasn’t around. Third, it wasn’t like I was trying to touch them (I wasn’t; I wouldn’t). Fourth, the “glare” the neighbor was (supposedly) worried about was non-existent (from the lens, but in full stink-eye mode from BEHIND the camera). Fifth, she made more noise and was more intrusive with her yammering than I was with my camera and my quiet self. Some people just have to be in charge of everything, I guess. Too bad she wasn’t around to save the one bird from its “help, I’m being eaten by a stray cat” fate.

Hummingbird babies in nest

While I had intended to include a photo of the lone survivor, I decided against it. It makes me too sad to look at that shot and see just the one, all alone in the nest. Yes, I understand that nature has its own rules and part of letting nature take its course means sometimes bad things happen and I shouldn’t get all upset about it. BUT I CAN’T HELP IT! So, it turns out one of my own weird rules is to go with my gut and not post an image that makes me sad and blah blah blah.

Was it worth your wait? Probably not. But, really, it kind of was just to see a nest of baby hummingbirds, right?

2014/07/03

Ah, Yes. The Detective

Da Goddess @ 17:24

I dunno about you, but I love detective shows. Always have, always will. The quirkier, the better. The only way detective shows can be even more awesome is if they star an older version of who we’d like ourselves to be. Or who could be someone we know. Like Quincy. Or Matlock. Or even better: Jessica Fletcher.

The best TV detectives are humble, have a sense of humor, are ethically sound (and still somehow occasionally struggle with those ethics when the evidence is at odds with their gut and/or their heart), smart, sometimes cranky, and loveable because they always want what’s best for us.

There are any number of shows I could point to, but Murder She Wrote occupies a special place in my heart because she was a woman and a great role model. Like Miss Marple before her (also once portrayed by Angela Lansbury), she was sharp and focused, but also deeply keen to understand the why behind the crime. She paid great attention to those around her, listening carefully, extracting information from the tiniest of clues because that was the only way to solve the mystery. In short, both gave weight to human nature and the study of their fellow man. They each proved there were advantages to being female: the greatest of which is people are often more willing to talk with you. There’s nothing wrong with appearing gentler, kinder, a bit softer. Those are the very traits that often unarm the ne’er-do-wells of the story. What more could a young girl want from a role model?

For me, it was a lovely moment to realize that being a girl meant I could do more and be more than just serve as a secondary character in a story. Jessica Fletcher gave voice to my longing to be the hero, to be if not the smartest in the room to know when to rely on the input of others and save the day. Finding other people who worship at the altar of JB Fletcher? Icing on the cake.

2014/06/27

We All Thought the World of Him – Tony Gwynn

Da Goddess @ 03:00

When I heard the news the other morning that Tony Gwynn had died, it felt like a little piece of all the goodness in the world was lost. Tony was truly one of the Good Guys. He was a talented ball player, that much everyone knows. But what they may not know is his amazing attitude wasn’t just for show; the man was simply a good-hearted man on and off the field. Instead of ending up in the newspaper embroiled in some scandal or for bad behavior, stories about him usually involved his kindness and generosity within his community.

At one point in my life, I lived practically around the corner and down the street from him. His home wasn’t surrounded by ten-foot-tall privacy walls or guarded by beefy security guys. No, he and his family were just another family in the neighborhood. My mom’s best friend at the time actually was one of his neighbors and she often remarked what a nice guy he was. No pretense. No “please don’t come over here, I’m famous…and therefore too busy to deal with you.” He’d wave. He’d offer to help you take your trash cans up your drive.

While other teammates were getting all sorts of press for refusing autographs unless you paid them or for swearing up a storm or throwing a temper tantrum (on field, off field, at nightclubs, at stores) or getting arrested for domestic violence, disturbing the peace, drunk driving, or drugs, Tony was smiling and laughing and doing things that made the world a better place. He remembered names; always took time to acknowledge friends, neighbors, fans, strangers; spent time helping a kid throw a ball properly; leading by example to teach others about the rewards of hard work and loyalty.

One of the best pieces I’ve read about Tony Gwynn was over on Deadspin by David Johnson. If you need a feel-good story for your day, this is the one. It also serves as a great reminder to each and every single one of us that being a decent human being isn’t just a concept, it’s something we should all endeavor to achieve.

Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. Hope you got a comfy seat in the dugout!

2014/06/20

Crime Fighting, Cuteness, and Working Cats!

Da Goddess @ 23:01

Well, at least they try to fight crime. It’s a pretty hard job, you know.

One police station in Kyoto has a cat named lemon on the job.

In Seoul, South Korea, Mango and Mango Kobun handle various duties around the station, including keeping morale high.

At Kishi Station, Tama serves as the Super Station Master. Not exactly police work, but still an official job of authority! And her presence there helped save the station from closing. That’s pretty damn cool.

By now, the whole world has pretty much heard the story about the cat who saved a California child from a dog attack. Tara, the brave kitty, is now your basic international superstar!

Then there’s Quirky, the blind kitten. Super powers: a little echolocation used to get around; has a seeing eye dog, should super powers fail; and, finally, ULTRA CUTENESS! So, not necessarily a crime fighter or a working cat, but Quirky is a heartbreaker of the finest kind.

And if you’re tired of cats for a while, here’s a palatte cleanser: exceedingly amazing work made of paper.

2014/06/17

Deadliest Catch – Season 10 – Opis & Josh Harris & the Cornelia Marie & the Kitchen Sink

Da Goddess @ 22:16

Yes, we’re a couple months into the Deadliest Catch season, but it’s not been until last week that we saw the Cornelia Marie back in the water. Thanks to Josh Harris, the CM is back where she belongs, doing what she was meant to do. Only one of the Harris boys is in the captain’s chair and that would be Josh. ‘

(Jake, keep up the good work! Stay sober, stay safe, stay focused! One day at a time. Even half a day at a time works. Just do the hard work so you can come back to the hard physical work that will help keep you on track. We’re rootin’ for ya!)

Josh has worked hard to get the boat back out on the water and he’s doing it the smart way: he’s bringing along another captain with more experience so he has someone he trusts with the boat, the crew, and he has someone who will teach him to run that boat the way Phil would have wanted it run.

It makes all of us proud, in a bittersweet way, to see the CM out there. We miss Phil, sure. But what we really miss is Phil with Jake and Josh. So for now, we feel the presence of one of our favorite Harris men through the eyes and actions of his eldest son, Josh. I think Papa Harris would be deeply proud of all that Josh is doing. Keep up the good work, guy!

The other boats are back, too. Northwestern is driving Sig nuts with mechanical/electrical problems that only Edgar can fix. It’s go time for the Hansen family! And Jake Anderson! He takes the wheel while the rest of the guys try to get shit done down in the engine room.

The Wizard has Capt Keith sitting up at the Russian border, hoping to drop pots on a big ol’ untouched biomass!

Andy’s at the helm on the Time Bandit since brother John is out trying to get healthy and avoid the sort of tragedy that took Phil from this world far too soon.

Wild Bill is out with his son and they’re crew on the Cape Caution.

Elliot Neese is out of rehab and back on his boat. Edgar’s stopped by to encourage him to get through each day and count every day as a success.

And Scott “Junior” Campbell remains on the injured list after his spinal surgery. Having been down that road myself, it’s not an easy recovery and I wish him all the best and a very speedy recovery!

This opi season looks to be a rough one, so pull on your big boy pants, gentlemen, and do the best you can. Oh, and Mandy? If you make it out onto the boat, eyes open, head up/down/up/down — up for safety, down for putting the nose to the ol’ grindstone. We’re cheering you on!

Here’s to Season 10 Opies being a great season for all!

2014/06/16

Behind the Scenes Look at Underwater Photo Shoot

Da Goddess @ 00:27

The results are stunning, but even better than that is seeing how it all came to be.

2014/06/12

Mumblin’ (the) Word, Hummin’ (the) Tune

Da Goddess @ 22:16

After a full week of feeling like shit that started with sinus crud, moved into glandular crap, and consistently headachey, I’m finally starting to feel a little better. Still fatigued. Still headachey, still congested, and still a bit enlarged in the glands, but definitely moving in a more healthful direction. Lots of sleep this week. Lots of pain that refused to go away. Lots of watching movies I’d likely never watch otherwise. Lots of tv shows to catch up on. Lots of trying out of new shows (the best thus far are Jennifer Falls on TVLand and Gang Related on Foxx. Also, really love Murder in the First on TNT. We’ve also been watching Penny Dreadful on, I think, Showtime. It’s weird, but good. Sadly, we only have one more episode of the season for Game of Thrones, which I’ve come to love beyond all reason. About a month ago, we watched from the very first episode of the series through to the current season and I am so very much into the stories and the characters. I may even need to buy the books.

Gotta have something to do while my voice recovers, right? And you know me, I’ll take books any day.

Also, I’ve spent the past couple days watching a hummingbird nest. YES! Baby hummingbirds! Mama was there one day feeding the two little ones and now I check on them at least three times a day, just to see how they’re doing. I get my camera and my 70-300mm lens out, zoom in as far as I can and take photos. I’ll post some later. It’s really amazing to see baby hummers! They’re adorable. I knew there were somewhere in the vicinity when I had a mama come after me whie I was cleaning the litterbox. I just couldn’t find the nest. Probably because it wasn’t where I expected it to be. But I know where it is now. And I study them throughout the day (between naps, cups of steaming hot tea or soup). I can’t wait to see them finally emerge and test their little wings. I wish I had video mode on my camera for that!

Now, it’s time to go back to sleeping. Gotta heal up. Life won’t wait for me. Gotta get back to my Rear Window activities asap.

2014/05/16

Terpsichorean

Da Goddess @ 23:45

I threw that word out to King Arthur earlier this evening as we were gazing up at the clouds in the sky. There was one in particular that was wispy and evoked movement, like that of dance. In other words, it was terpsichorean in nature.

Why does this word — or any word, for that matter — stick in one’s brain? I’m not sure. All I know is that it was there and it was deployed. It was our word of the day.

I do so enjoy pulling out a word from my databank and applying it aptly to whatever the moment calls for. I do so enjoy sitting on the front porch, watching the clouds — alone or with KA. I love when nature gifts us with the glory God has infused in it. To me, that’s about as close as you can get to heaven while still alive on this earth. That and using the talents God gave us to identify those moments and the scenes around us.

As a bit of a non-footnote:

terpsichorean terp·si·cho·re·an

/ˌtərpsikəˈrēən,-ˈkôrēən/
___________________________

adjective
formal / humorous

adjective: terpsichorean

1. of or relating to dancing.

noun
formal / humorous

noun: terpsichorean; plural noun: terpsichoreans
1. a dancer.

Again, there you have it: your word for the day. Er, rather, your word for the weekend.

2014/05/02

The Long Weekend, Part II

Da Goddess @ 01:24

Well, we’re in the last moments of prep for the second weekend of faire. I just finished folding the last of the clothes. I’ll pack in 5 minutes in the morning. And then we’ll head down to SD for the weekend. It’ll be hotter than last weekend, which I don’t like. But otherwise, we’ll be back amongst friends and making new friends along the way.

Have a friend coming over to feed the cats on Saturday. We’d fed them their wet food early last Friday, left lots of dry food and water for the entire weekend, and then fed them again once we were home Sunday evening. While that part went okay, the stress on Celia was obvious: she lost the fur on her ears. Fletch gave me the cold shoulder when we walked in, but got over it quickly enough. In order to avoid more hair loss, our friend will be here Saturday to feed them the wet food and play with them a bit. Fingers crossed!

In the future, we’ll either have to board them while we’re gone, take them with us, or have someone come spend the entire time with them while we’re not home.

Off to bed now to get the rest I need before craziness sets in.

2014/04/20

Christos Anesti!

Da Goddess @ 00:00

Christos Anesti! He is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Before the dawn, Mary and the women came and found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They heard the angelic voice: “Why do you seek among the dead as a man the One who is everlasting light? Behold the clothes in the grave! Go and proclaim to the world: The Lord is risen! He has slain death, as He is the Son of God, saving the race of men.”

Thou didst decend into the tomb, O Immortal, Thou didst destory the power of death! In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming “Rejoice” to the myrrhbearing women, granting peace to Thy apostles, and bestowing resurrection to the fallen.

The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all you people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exalt now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

Happy Easter, my friends!

2014/03/27

20 Minutes: Wounded Warrior Project

Da Goddess @ 17:38

I love the Wounded Warrior Project and all it does to help our injured military personnel adapt to life and take charge of their world. Here’s a video that’s worth every second of your time.

2014/03/11

TJH: Inspire – Balboa Park

Da Goddess @ 02:33

After court a few weeks ago, King Arthur and I went to Balboa Park to see the pirate exhibit at the Natural History Museum. It’s there until September, so get your hiney out to San Diego and see it. It’s impressive! (They didn’t allow photography of the exhibit, so no photos of any of it.) We took a short break at one point and had snickerdoodles. KA did his best Cookie Monster impression, as depicted below.

King Arthur as Cookie Monster

Then there’s the obligatory shot of the California Tower in Balboa Park. From any angle, it’s an impressive structure. I just had to capture it.

California Tower in Balboa Park

And finally, as I was sitting on a park bench, I was faced with a serious, philosophical question:

Philosophical question in the park

My answer: I don’t know. But, I keep going. That’s what I do. I move on. I move forward. I move. I just keep swimming because that’s what Dory told us to do.

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