tidbits


Indeedy, I’ve been a bit removed from the blog these last several days — not for lack of stuff to write about so much as just being occupied doing other things. That, and not really wanting to. For once.

For the past four years, I’ve pretty much made blogging a regular thing. Of course, there were those occasionally skips or dips in my enthusiasm for the endeavor, but for the most part I could count on myself to spill something either real or imagined out of my head and onto the screen on a daily basis.

It’s not that I see that changing. It’s just that these past days have marked the first in a looooong stretch that I’ve dropped the proverbial ball. And I’m OK with that.

But instead of letting another day go by without posting I figured I’d just check in and say I’m still here. Just busy. Finished up a rewrite of a travel piece that the LA Times may want, and rewarded myself tonight with a 26-mile bike ride among a group of folks from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. We went from the Arts District to Bunker Hill to El Pueblo des Los Angeles to Chinatown to Solano Canyon to Chavez Ravine (where we watched the Cinco de Mayo fireworks from nearby Dodger Stadium) to Echo Park to Historic Filipinotown to Mid-Wilshire to Koreatown and back downtown.

On Vermont a couple blocks south of Wilshire we stopped at a taco truck and I couldn’t resist getting a jump on today’s calories with two carne asada tacos. Oh man they were good.

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This one of the taco truck is the only usable shot I got the entire ride. My little point-and-shoot just refuses to function in such low light. My buddy Stephen was on the ride too, working with an interesting new camera mount that utilized a section of one of those spring-tensioned desk lamps. I’ll link to his shots once he gets them online.

UPDATED: Stephen Roullier’s pix of the ride “>are here.

It is but a brief span when the morning sun is such in the spring sky as to spill its stuff sharply through the north-facing window of the livingroom into one of my favorite nooks of this glorious house:

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I previously tried to paint a word picture of the view from the brick patio I built last week. Here’s some actual pixels taken during a stogie break this afternoon:

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[click here to see the bigger version]

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Sitting at my desk just a few moments ago I looked up to see what you see in the picture above: the banking of the morning sun’s rays off the wall of the apartment building across the street in through the library window to be projected onto the wall above my desk. Then, at that very moment and as if on queue something floated into that light and just hung there.

It took me a heartbeat to realize I was being mezmerized by the silhouette of a hovering hummingbird, its profile beautifully backlighted in perfect silhouette. I could clearly make out its delicate beak and the fullness of its chest tapering back to the point of its tail. The wings moved at a speed too fast to be turned into shadow.

It took me another 10 heartbeats to grab my camera and turn it on and aim it at the miraculous little silent movie unspooling before me. Unfortunately I was one heartbeat too slow. The little creature zipped out of frame and was gone the moment before I released the shutter, leaving me only with what you see above. That, and a sense of righteous and thankful awe at being gifted with such an ephemeral moment of beauty.

The “Vons Debacle” not withstanding, I had a pretty errand-filled day and while I didn’t get new shocks on my truck (not for lack of trying; my mechanic was short personnel today and told me to come back Monday) and left the long-overdue vacuuming to tomorrow (when Susan’s at the salon and the cat’s are galavanting around on their outdoors day), I was able to pick up Susan’s birthday present (and hide it)… which I hadn’t been expecting to do until next week.

The list of stuff is as follows:

  • Three-mile walk with dog (some pictures from it are here)
  • Grocery shopping
  • Truck to mechanic for shocks and an oil/filter change*
  • Post office
  • Bank
  • Barbershop
  • Wash dishes
  • Take out trash
  • Sweep/rake front and back yards
  • Laundry
  • Vacuum/dust*

*Postponed

Got a load on my mind so I’m not feeling very blogversant today. Instead I’ll just leave you with this photo:

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Just a church front Shadow and I have had occasion to pas when our walks take us all the way over to Hoover. Larger version of the photo is here.

Southern California got a good soaking yesterday, and I guess I’m over my sickness of the rain (brought on by last year’s near-record number of drops) because I wish this display of waterworks could’ve stayed a bit longer than it did. Alas, it’s a day of clouds and bue sky and breezes as the storm system moves on out of the area.

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My favorite place to be during a downpour is reclining in the livingroom window seat listening to the deluge descend upon the broad wings of the giant birds of paradise growing against the fence on the property next door. It’s a hypnotically relaxing sound.

Oh well, maybe next storm.

P.S. Don’t even tell me you don’t see the dog’s head in the cloud at the bottom of the frame between the two middle palms.

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