Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Post – 2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 320 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 34kb.

The busiest day of the year was August 6th with 66 views. The most popular post that day was The Post – Extra! News on Preparing the Fiddler Crab Nursery.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, google.com, search.aol.com, student-loan-consilidation.com, and mariaozawa2u.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for pregnant crab, pregnant fiddler crab, fiddler crab babies, faith is believing when common sense tells you not to, and pregnant crabs.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Post – Extra! News on Preparing the Fiddler Crab Nursery February 2008
4 comments

2

The Post – Pregnant Scarlett O’Hara and the Proud Father February 2008
2 comments

3

The Post – Faith is Believing in Something When Common Sense Tells You Not To June 2008

4

The Post – How Long Do Fiddler Crabs Stay Pregnant? February 2008
1 comment

5

The Gift – A Fiddler Crab Extra!! Meet the Babies! March 2008
1 comment

The Post – Photos of Toto’s Grave Location?

November 17, 2008

My husband is a geek dude extraordinaire, a 21st century hunter in cyberspace with no peer. I always loved Will Robinson on the 1960s show, Lost in Space, and in my life, my husband is my Will Robinson.

As I’ve previously blogged, he and I started our quest for Toto’s grave, last Thanksgiving. With the recent information graciously provided by one of my readers, we’ve been able to learn about the California Gold show that talked about Toto’s grave, along with the graves of other TV pets, such as Arnold the Pig.

Well, my husband was able to take that information and track down what we believe are pictures of the apartment complex where Toto is buried. He then emailed me the results of his search

Since I see that my blog stats are running high for interest in what happened to Toto, I expect there’s at least a few of you out there who will enjoy this “cyber-journey.” So without further delay, I turn this over to my husband, the cyber-guide to pet grave pictures!! Here is his email describing what he found. Enjoy!  🙂

From Ed:

Here’s how I came to find an aerial photo of Toto’s final resting
place:

o I first read your post from 9-November where a reader says (in part):

“The property where Toto is buried lies behind an apartment complex
next to the Ventura freeway and the Los Angeles river. The
apartment complex is called Diplomat Park Apartments in North
Hollywood.”

o Ah — easy, I thought, and did a Google search for “diplomat park
apartments”. This gave me a number of hits. Here’s the first one:

http://www.thatrentalsite.com/Diplomat-Park-Apartments-in-North-Hollywood.html

From that page, I got this street address:

12360 Riverside Dr # 111
North Hollywood, CA 91607

o Hmmm — According to the Google Maps embedded in the first hit,
that’s close by the Ventura Freeway, but the reader said something
about a river… No water close by…

o Ah — Deb’s got another post, where she talks about a TV show called
“California’s Gold” that mentioned the Toto’s location. There’s a
link:

http://www.calgold.com/calgold/Default.asp?Series=9000

o Skimming that page for the word “toto” brought me to the entry for
“California’s Gold #9008 – PET CEMETERY”, which — sure enough —
mentions Toto. Hmmm — and, an interesting URL for “Steve Goldstein
– our guide”:

http://www.beneathlosangeles.com/

o Poking around the “Beneath Los Angeles” site, I finally found Toto:

http://www.beneathlosangeles.com/cgi/grave.cgi?crypt=1010

There’s a ground-level picture of Toto’s approximate resting place on
the page. But how to correlate this with Google Maps?

o Back to Google, looking through more hits on “diplomat park
apartments”… Oh look — here’s one for a “Diplomat Park
Apartments” with a different address:

http://www.apartmentsandrenters.com/detail.php?contact=687431

The address:

12360 Riverside Dr # 111
Valley Village, CA 91607

o Bringing that address up on Google Maps results in a large building
(Google Maps’ StreetView feature shows that the building looks like
it could be an apartment complex (and the swimming pool tends to
corroborate that):

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=12360+Riverside+Dr,+Valley+Village,+CA+91607&sll=34.151679,-118.367622&sspn=0.012182,0.019312&ie=UTF8&ll=34.156922,-118.403212&spn=0.001523,0.002414&t=h&z=19

o Wait a minute — there’s supposed to be a river of some sort
there… Oh — if I click on the “Map” button in Google maps, that
thing that looks like a recessed concrete roadway going behind the
building and under the freeway reveals itself to be some sort of
drainage system. So this might just be the place.

o But does it correlate with the photo from Beneath Los Angeles? Let’s
see:

– The photo has some parking spaces, then a fence, then more
parking spaces.

– The fence has some dumpsters in front of it.

– The freeway (which we know is elevated, because the drainage
system obviously goes under it) can be seen beyond some
greenery.

– There’s a short palm tree with two trunks right by the fence.

– The photo’s caption mentions Toto’s resting place as being in the
general vicinity of the tall palm tree growing out of some other
greenery in the center of the photo.

o Ok, let’s look at the aerial shot on Google Maps, using the red “A”
marker behind the center of the back part of the complex as a
reference point:

– The angled entrance to the left of the building coming in from
Riverside Drive has parking spaces, and (if you look closely) a
fence (the pavement changes color at the fence line), then more
parking spaces.

– The fence has some boxy-shaped object to the left of it —
dumpsters, perhaps?

– The freeway is directly behind the apartment complex (and the
parking lot to the complex’s rear).

– Near the bottom end of the fence line, there’s a round green
blob — the double-trunked palm tree.

– A bit further to the right from the first green blob (and to the
right of a smaller green blob (which can be seen in the Beneath
Los Angeles photo to be a shrub of some sort) is a larger green
blob. If you look closely at it, you’ll see that a small round
part of it is above the rest (there’s a shadow there). That’s
the palm tree in the center of the Beneath Los Angeles photo.

o So… Toto’s grave is behind that palm tree; probably in the bare bit
of ground behind it.

____________________

As an addendum to Ed’s findings, I looked into the “Los Angeles River.” Apparently long stretches of it are actually concrete channels through the city. So I would guess that the concrete “drainage channel” he mentions above, is actually the Los Angeles river.

If you are interested in learning more about that river, go to Google and type in: Los Angeles river. You’ll get a long list of hits covering everything from images, to history, maps, to revitalization plans. For that list, just click here.

The Gift

October 1, 2008

“I have all the qualities I need to live a happy life and successful life.”

Jessica Callahan, Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind: The Book of Devotion

The Gift

September 21, 2008

I’ve been remiss in my gifts, a casualty of just exhaustion, illness, and recovery. I’m preparing a teaching on the mind training slogans of Atisha, an 11th century Buddhist master, for my meditation group. The slogans are also known as Lojong, and teach emptiness and compassion, and reinfornce the ideal of sending and taking – you send what you’d prefer to cling to….your compassion, love and equanimity, and you take what you’d rather reject….the things that scare you. In this way, you share your humanity with all mankind.

Pema Chodron works heavily in this area. In searching for things to add to my own teachings I came across this quote of hers on another blog, My Inner Edge, and it is my gift to all today. Namaste.

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.

– PEMA CHODRON –

The Post – Geese Angels

July 30, 2008

I know a lot of people hate Canada geese. I don’t disagree about the mess. But the geese themselves, they are such gentle gifts from the Universe, at least to me.

Several years ago at Christmas time we were waiting to hear if my husband would still have a job. It was agony, sitting and waiting , wondering what would happen, would we lose our house ….and all you could do was sit…and wait. So many times in those few weeks, I’d go outside in the cold and just stand there looking out toward the pond, praying. Asking for God to bring a quick answer to end the agony, for strength to hold on until He did. And…it was Christmas time.

In answer to my prayers, no, I didn’t get an answer to ‘would we be destitute?’ I got ….Canada geese. Almost as soon as the crisis had started, they had arrived.  Whenever I went outside to pray, to let the cold sift through me and try to quell my fear, the geese would walk up the hill, silent, slow, peaceful, and stand by me. They never made a sound. Never hissed at me or poked at me for food. They just walked up to me, gathered around me, and stood there, keeping vigil in the cold with me. Every time. Though they didn’t solve what we were going through, I felt strangely safe…comforted…protected. I wasn’t alone. So I found myself going out there more, to be with what I called our geese angels.

Just before Christmas we finally got word that my husband’s job was safe and no we wouldn’t be out on the street. I went outside, and this time stood together with my geese angels in silent celebration and prayer. The next day, they were gone. It was as if they had come in answer to my prayer for strength, and they remained, silent guardians until the crisis was over. Then I guess they moved on, no doubt to comfort the next person who needed them.

Today I was working in the garage and had my back to the open doors. I heard a sound behind me and turned. Slowly walking into my garage, step by silent step, almost like slow motion, three geese approached. They were part of the two families on the pond, one family with three kids and one with five.

The rest of the families followed these three, all of them moving into the garage without hesitation or fear.  They looked a little odd standing where you’d expect car parts to be, and they certainly are bigger in appearance in the enclosed space of the garage versus in the wide open back yard. But still, they moved with grace and majesty and serenity. Of course, the “kids” who by now look almost like adults, still made their quiet “gosling peeps,” but those were almost inaudible and something I find a joy to listen to.

I said hi and they stepped forward again, watching me, bobbing their heads. They wanted food. It is the strangest thing to see such large creatures, and so many of them, walk right up to you in your garage, as if geese do that all the time. They stood there and watched me, totally calm. When I told them I’d bring food, they didn’t even jump back as I stood up. They just stepped back a foot or so and waited for me to get the little bucket of corn. Then we strolled to the backyard together, where they waited for me to load the ground feeder.

Their presence today reminded me of that time several years ago. Standing next to me, unafraid, serenely quiet company, I felt loved, protected, graced by the presence of the Universe. I deeply appreciated it.

Like I said, I know people can sometimes dislike geese and I know their mess can be a nuisance. But I really have to say that I love them, and willingly hose down the driveway when they come up to visit, because they give me a gift, a sense of God’s love when they stand there in my garage, watching me with their beautiful dark eyes. So to me, they are Guardian angels.

The Gift

July 15, 2008

“Become the one you dream you can be.”

Unknown….but appropo.

The Post – Vacation Comment

July 15, 2008

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but have taken a few weeks off. A much needed break to recover health, do a couple jobs, take a break from writing projects to explore some art possibilities, and also, time to consider where to go now with this blog, what things to focus on, etc. A sabbatical of sorts. I have some ideas that I will be sharing soon.

There will be a return to Under the Pier book posts. That needed a break so my editor’s eye could emerge enough to start on book revisions. However I have been at work on Under the Pier, in the art department. I have started some pen and ink drawings of the creatures in the story, to form an artists glossary of characters for the readers. I just did an experiment, doing the same scene with little goby fish on the sea bottom twice, one in oil paints and once in pen & ink with watercolor wash. I like both for different reasons and am now trying to decide which medium to proceed with. I have pics of both pieces that I’ll post the end of this week.

Also, on the “nature friend” front – there are thousands of little tadpoles hatched in the shallow waters of the pond – got pics of those coming too! And the front porch bird house DOES have a resident. Now if I could just get some night vision goggles to sit out all night with and see who is leaving large hoof marks in my gravel….

Anyway, no one is forgotten, just needed a rest and some time to think. 🙂

The Post – Backyard Animal Update: “It’s a Vicious Bunny!! Look at the Bones!!”

June 20, 2008

Well I started off yesterday to write about the animals I love watching in my yard and ended up down a totally different path. So today, backyard animal update, with a shade of Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s vicious bunny even!! At least to a squirrel.

My husband looked out the window the other morning and watched this scene unfold between a cute little brown bunny and a fairly young squirrel:

“The bunny came down the driveway and hopped over to the front bird feeder. While he poked around under the feeder looking for stray seeds, an fairly young squirrel came along. The squirrel stopped at the sight of the animal. It was clear the squirrel was confused by the rabbit. His facial expression was one of ‘what kind of a squirrel is that?’ The young squirrel hopped closer, stopped, and looked. Still confused he moved closer and closer, always stopping to stare at the strange squirrel under the feeder. Finally the squirrel was almost next to the rabbit.

The rabbit, meanwhile, observed the approaching squirrel, none too pleased. The rabbit inched away, then inched away, then glared at the squirrel as if to say ‘Dude. You’re in my space.’

The squirrel, still confused, inched toward the rabbit one last time. The vicious bunny suddenly leaped into the air, landing square on the squirrel and stomping him flat. Then the cute little bunny leaped back and resumed eating seeds as if nothing had happened. The young squirrel, slightly dazed, staggered back and resumed eating seeds a few feet away this time.”

So while these two usually furry, snuggly supposedly unvicious creatures duked it out in the front yard, the backyard had the two brutes best avoided, snapping turtles, sound asleep on logs in the pond. These guys can have a shell up to 20 inches in size and average about 40 lbs. though some can go up to 75 lbs. They have thick necks and a large hooked mouth with jaws that can crush:

“The snapping turtle is an exceedingly voracious brute, and is not particular as to its dinner. Young waterfowl are stalked from beneath the surface, seized by a dart of the jaws and pulled below to drown and be quickly torn to pieces. The turtle is carnivorous. It never feeds unless underwater, but it will sometimes seize prey on the bank of a stream and then retreat to the water to dine.” (From the entry on snapping turtles on the website Critter Zone; great pictures too)

Yet…these two brutes are sound asleep almost side by side, while the bunny brute in the front yard tromps the defenseless juvenile squirrel….

Standing on the front porch waiting for my son to let me in the house (forgot those house keys!), I turned toward the small House Wren feeder hanging on one of the porch posts and thought I saw something in it. I though it was an abundance of nest material some bird had stuffed in there and abandoned, and was about to reach for it to take it down to clean it, when I noticed the nest material looked like a bird head. My son confirmed my thoughts and after we went inside, we saw the “pile of nest material” move. So we have house wrens nesting on the front porch…or at least in a nest box. House wrens have been known to create a few “false nests” so you can’t find their actual nest….but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the “for real one” as I don’t think the mom stays in the “fake nests.”

The 9 goslings are as big as ducks now, but still make the child-like squeak sounds. I was sitting on the patio last night and they, knowing me as the “Corn God” as I sometimes will put out a cup or two of corn for them in the back ground feeder, quietly gathered around me as I read on the patio. Even the babies came up to me and just stood there, making their baby chirps, staring at me like “where’s the food???”

Inside the house, Admiral Byrd decided to try hanging out on top of the water filter. He finally got up there. Usually it’s the domain of the ladies when they’re pregnant. Since I doubt that’s his issue, and since they were hiding in caves, not sure why he was up there. I have some pictures of him up there I’ll share in a day or two.

And yesterday, Admiral Byrd and one of the ladies was keeping company in his bachelor pad. So….all kinds of goings on in the animal kingdoms inside and outside of our house.

The Gift – Menopause…Yes, You Heard Me.Gift

June 19, 2008

Yes, you heard me…menopause….midlife as a gift. Stop rolling your eyes. It’s the truth.

Some exceprts from a Time magazine article I liked in the May 16, 2005 issue: “Midlife Crisis? Bring It On! How women of this generation are seizing that stressful, pivotal moment in their lives to reinvent themselves,” by Nancy Gibbs:

“…the very word crisis, while suitably dramatic, seems somehow wrong for this generation’s experience. Unlike their mothers…this cohort of women is creating a new model for what midlife might look like….Women get to wrestle their hormones through a Change of Life; but however disruptive menopause may be for some women, the changes that matter most are often more psychic and spiritual than physical…They may first turn inward, ask the cosmic questions or retrieve some passion they set aside to make room for a career and family. Take a trip. Write a novel. Go back to school. Learn to kiteboard. But then, having done something to help themselves, they have a powerful urge to help others. Best of all is when they can do both at once…When women find a key to solving their own midlife mysteries, they often want nothing more than to help other women do the same.

The psychoanalyst Carl Jung explained how in middle age people tend to drop the roles they were playing, outgrow their pretenses. Some women become more willing to take risks as they grow less concerned about what others think.

….We come to the place where we say, ‘It’s my turn.’ If women get there, they get there with fervor.”

The Gift

June 17, 2008

“Gingko:

In the wake of the atom bomb dropped in 1945 on Hiroshima in Japan, every living thing around the epicentre of the blast was destroyed. An exception was provided by four remarkable ginkgo trees that survived, and which by the following spring had even started to blossom again. The closest, at Hosen-Ji, was only 0.7 miles (1,130m) from the epicentre of the explosion. All four trees are still thriving today. Ever since, in Japan the ginkgo has been regarded as the “bearer of hope.” Today there are plaques near some of these trees bearing prayers for world peace.”

Symbolism: Primeval life – force

Divine Association – Oneness”

From the book: The Meaning of Trees: Botany, History, Healing, Lore by Fred Hagenneder