Friday, July 31, 2009

Night


At the end of the day, the front door closes with a tiny beacon of light. We are.here inside. Taking stock, gathering strength for the morn to come.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shifting Views

Our sky at 7::05 PM.


Shifted the camera to the right, just a little bit, at 7:28 PM.


See more Skies around the World on this link: Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Long Beach Navy Memorial


The Long Beach Navy Memorial at the entrance of Shoreline park, remind visitors once the US Navy called the city home for eight decades before its eventual departure.
It is nostalgic to some, more so with friends and relatives of families and men etched on this memorial leading them to walk through that old memory lane again.
Click the image to enlarge and read here:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marking Time


Today, Wordscoop is a month’s old, and counting.
The family also celebrates our daughter’s birthday even as I preempted posting this note last week on the 23rd, about my wife’s. Yes, these flowers were hers for that special occasion.
We really have a lot of marking times on July, my son had his on the 5th.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Personal Theme Day: Green Gladiola


Late week of April, I planted the perennial gladiola corms from last year's plants and now am looking forward for some bright flowers to pop out. I remember there were blooms of yellow, pink, red, and some with mixed colors, but for this first flower spike, I just guess it could be more reddish than the other colors. Have to wait for few more days before it would burst into full bloom so I can check out what really is the real color. Nature has a way of keeping us guessing, though.
Since this post had been preempted for weeks, so no more guessing now, but enjoy the flowers, instead.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Final Words on Wasps


Only one good frame after many takes. There were many and different colors, too, but wasps didn’t stay long enough for my camera, just hovering the flowers.
This definitely closes the week's spotlight on bees and wasps.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Boy and his Kite

A little boy waiting for that gentle breeze to swift his kite to flight at the Shoreline Park.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bees and Wasps

Could it be the swarm of flying insects feeding on flowers I encountered the other day and gave me time to take a lot of takes were bees feeding from the flowers and not  wasps?

Wasps and then One

Passed by the busy wasps hovering on the flowers I got busy, too, taking “stolen” shots of their activity(ies). But there is one intruder. Can you see it? I can't name the flower though.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where Are The Boys?

Where are the boys?
On weekends, neighborhood boys play soccer on this field to hone skills. And they’re fun to watch. On this particular early Saturday morn not a raucous sound nearby, maybe they would arrive later and I was too early. I left the area but not after taking this shot on a porch nearby.
See more Skies around the World on this link: Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pigeons, Pigeons

Pigeons are not rare over the downtown-shoreline area of Long Beach. Maybe ‘cause tourists and locals keep feeding them the birds flock and thrive on this side of the city more than anywhere else in the area. I just know I’m at Broadway street and this flock is my first encounter of the day. Unmindul of passersby, they finished off the last crumbs on the pavement. Maybe, I’ll encounter some more of their feathery kins somewhere around the area.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Messing my Desktop

Good to have my HP Pavilion media center TV PC again after a lull of more than one week. Actually I messed up the computer by merely opening the case and taking out dust within. Should have used that compressed air canister. I was prompted at opening the desktop due to the noise emanating from the inside which noticeably vanished when dust was removed. But I may have moved something, next time I booted the computer, a smoke and burnt odor came out from the inside. Then it just conked out; it would not power up.
I referred to the knowledge base of HP (using the Sony Viao PC), which routed me to an online tech-help, an operator halfway across the globe, in a call center in India. After zeroing on the cause of the malfunction (which I very well know), I ordered a new power supply. An “HP” supervisor called to finally confirm the order and assured it would be processed within three to four days, which stretched to over a week.
This afternoon, arriving home from work, I found a package by the doorstep. My new power supply!
I went to work immediately and replaced the burnt part. Such a difficult task for a non-tech person. It took me some time figuring out how to unplug and attach the right cables with the very tight architecture of the motherboard. This experience will not stop me from tinkering the desktop, though. And I saved some bucks had I called a geek team that charges an hourly rate (Note: Power supply part is that piece with a yellow sticker).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Personal Theme Day: Potted Green Lima Beans

Green lima beans for its leaves and pod, but the beans inside the pod should come out white, though.
At the onset of spring, I test planted two lima bean seeds, the packet says “Beans, Lima- Fordhook Bush #22,” on a pottted soil. Now I have these not so green-leafedf lima, but was really expecting that it was a “climber.” Plant growth is quite slow and stunted, somehow unhealthy looking, was expecting the leaves should be more green than yellowish, anyhow, the flowers start coming out with some pods now with a promise of a limited, if not dainty harvest. I should have mixed ground soil on the potting soil to make the mix better. Texture of the potting soil alone if left unwatered for a day looks dry and barren. Could it be the cause of the plants’ stunted growth plus the fact the roots can not spread and cover enough space underneath? Yesterday, I transferred the plants on the ground.
Anyhow, I planted more seeds of what was left of the packet on the ground to check if it is better planting lima on the ground than potted. I checked today and the plants have sprouted, the cotyledons are now reaching out for the sun's rays. Will post an update later.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

LB Convention & Entertainment Center

A hurried shot taken of the building that houses the LB Convention & Entertainment Center. This huge complex by the S. Pine Avenue are interconnected buildings of the Convention Center, Exhibition Halls, Terrace Theater, Center Theater and the Long Beach Arena. Definitely, will be back sometime to really appreciate and explore the facilities open to the public and have more photos, then. Next March 2010, the US West Coast Toy manufacturers/representatives will hold a one week exhibition on this venue. See you there.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a Eucalyptus, or is It?


Dropped by at a local branch of Long Beach public library and solicited the aid of the always helpful librarian for any ref book on trees. We browsed through the book and showed me the page on  eucalyptus  which should have a lot of variations. These shrubs/trees are planted throughout the city streets and on the banks of freeway exits and entrances. A stone’s throw from where we stood were eucalyptus trees on the street center island, or is it?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Metro Transit Mall

The always busy Metro Transit Mall Station for the Blue Line trains, on the 1st Street corner of Pine Avenue, serves thousands of commuters daily and on time to and from Long Beach to the 7th Street Metro Station of Los Angeles.
But beware for motorists, this short strip is a no driver’s lane for the pride of Long Beach will be on hand to write tickets. Only the LB transit share the strip with the trains.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Skywatch Thru The Gum Tree

For lack of puffy clouds and drab sky color, the foreground tree’s branches and the not so distant brown-reddish edge of sloping pavement compensated for some details. Photo taken about 7:33PM DST.

See more Skies around the World on this link: Skywatch Friday

The LBTransit & Visitor Information Center

The lady at the counter of the Long Beach Transit & Visitor Information Center peeked through the grilled window and pointed to us the rack which contain handy guides and maps about the area. I thanked her and took one each of the brochures. The center is convenently located at 130 E. 1st Street, Southeast corner of 1st Street & Pine Avenue.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Inside a Long Beach Transit Bus

Last Saturday, I took the Long Beach Transit towards downtown, instead of driving a car, saving me two ways- gas and parking money. Parking space in downtown is expensive. Besides, the ride was comfy, too, with a friendly bus operator. The LBT has fielded fuel efficient buses, in fact, majority of the fleet now are hybrid considerably reducing its carbon emission footprint. Thanks to the vision of the management.
Photo in here is an interior of the bus which pretty much represents the general atmosphere obtained in every LBT buses.
Starting last June 2, and still on-going, the public utility bus system offers express bus service to a variety of local museums which all depart from the Transit Info Center on the Long Beach Transit Mall.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Camera, Action!


The rush to open the box and test the product before reading the accompanying brochure-instruction is always my pitfall. I did it again on the flash memory videocam, see previous discussion on this link on Plants on a Tire/ Digital Media dated July 5, 2009. That was the offshoot of my comment about figuring out how to extract the pictures without installing the Picture Motion Browser.
So I calmed myself, the adrenalin and rush to test first the capabilities of the camera suppressed, I spent some minutes reading twice the slim handbook that came with the product which completely wiped out unanswered personal queries. That was easy after all. Before the purchase I browsed extensively the Sony website for info and comparison of the same and related products just to get a better perspective.


The Sony HDR-CX100 features a max still photo resolution up to 4MP megapixels with a dimension of 2304 x 1729, already huge in size and disk usage that starts at 1.52MB per shot, I eventually set it to 1.9MP after a series of tests. This setting alone with a dimension of 2016 by 1134 consumes a minimum of 803 kbytes and up, depending on the elements and artifacts captured in the photo. With a zoom capability of 10x optical and 120x digital, it was good buy for me. In comparison, digicams now are out which starts in the 10 megapixel range. I cautioned myself for web purposes, a respectable photo is one in which you can see details without sacrificing bandwidth. Besides I'm not printing poster sized pics.
For video purposes, I set the default recording to the internal 8 gb flash memory while the stills are saved on the removable 8 gig memory stick pro duo. Capturing HD action while taking still shots at the same time was a breeze.
The unit has an
Exmor CMOS sensor imaging device using Carl Zeiss® Vario- Tessar® optic lens.

Here are edited sample pics , as always I prevail myself on posting large files that are overwhelmingly huge, in terms of storage and image viewable width-length dimensions. These are shots using the auto setting taken at a distance of about 30 paces. Good enough, I had a close-up of the boughs!
Oh, yes, I did not install the Picture Motion Browser, as I was able to make a work –around in the transfer of videos and photos to my media center PC, much safer though than endangering the camera unit by connecting it to the computer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Personal Theme Day: Potted Green Onions

I did some recycling here, actually it was more of re-growing thing. Each time a bundle of green onion comes fresh from the market everything is consumed of the tuber from tip of the leaf to the small bulb that comes with the stem. So I just cut off the leaves, kept it in the crisper for future use and the remaining short lower portion of the tuber devoid of roots I stick on a prepared pot of ground soil mixed with potting soil from a local outlet. So far, every time we need some of the onion leaves, we’ll just head off to the backyard and harvest some without plucking the plant off the soil. We’ve been doing that close to a year now. Few months ago, the plants had their first spring, some green and white flowers burst from a few of them only to find out that tiny seeds developed and start a new generation of tiny onions.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More on Garden Walk


Just a few steps from the sitting statues, sheets of water fall from the walls the sound of which has some therapeutic calming effect on the passersby, nay shoppers, who may have roamed around, up and about, on shops and food outlets, etc., the Anaheim Garden Walk mall. It is not rare to find siting tables and benches around the area, too.
And if one tarries far longer into the night, the mall comes into the open masked with lights and shadows. The place has made a mark as it rivals equally popular and other service and entertainment venues; the address is a regular stop-over for those catching up the late night movies or simply entertain and meet friends on some cozy well appointed restaurants.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Waiting for Shoppers

Thursday evening was a short drive to the Anaheim Garden Walk, our first in the place now frequented by shoppers this side of Orange county. The huge complex is host to shops, restaurants, health spa, fitness center, etc. It has an Imax theater along with regular cinemas; and the place is still in expansion mood. On the second level, two movie screens mounted overhead, outside by the promenade, continuously show previews of current and upcoming attractions.
In one of the sitting corners, we spotted these figures that attract attention from enthusiasts. Had to wait for some time before we can get a private moment for a photo shoot, albeit in a rush. Was not able to identify the master artist of the sitting figures, and next time I will take note of that, if there is one.
By 9:25PM the music pervading about the mall was joined by the sound of the Phantasmic fireworks, obviously at the Rivers of America, yes, where the Mark Twain steamboat rolls off nearby Disneyland.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Sun Recedes

The summer sun slowly receding from the horizon that night might envelope the city as tired limbs call it a day and rejuvenates for yet the next morn’s challenge. Sweet dreams.

Visit this site for more: Sky Watch Friday

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Books Inside the Garage

Spring has come and gone and still am saddled with a lot of stuff now “parked” inside the garage which seems more disorganized than ever.
There are books, most especially pocket books of different genre, as well as references, which either have to go to a donation center so others might enjoy the stories and knowledge within, or have to go someplace else.
Yesterday afternoon, I checked out some and found in the heap Death Be Not Proud, A Memoir by John Gunther so that I burned some eyebrow by my lampshade and started on the first part of the two part memoir. The second book in waiting, is Jill Robinson’s Past Forgetting – My Memory Lost and Found. Seems like I’ll be dealing with memoirs for some nights
But definitely books that will stay include Respectfully Quoted- A dictionary of Quotations as edited by Suzy Platt, Websters New Explorer Dictionary of Quotations, A World of Poetry, a selection by Michael Rosen and, A Little Book of Cherished Poems- Beautiful Poetry to Treasure as compiled by Kay Anne Carson. Also, Tom Ang's Digital Photographer's Handbook, a very good resource on photo editing will no doubt remain with us.
So the books in the garage will have to wait for the weekend even as I was assured by family members they'll lend a hand in the project. After all I've got a lesser number compared to theirs. Perhaps, an inventory listing is a good idea. Maybe it will give us opportunity to weigh for the last time what of the bunch will have to go and the few that should remain.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are We Good?

Just asking myself loud and clear more often than not each time we eat out, like last Saturday for my Viktor’s birthday via lunch and dinner.
Am referring to the usually inviting and friendly bistro/ trendy restaurant atmosphere that treat patrons almost family in their offerings like, but not limited to, drinks, food, soup, salad, cakes, pizza, etc., sometimes referred to as “bottomless.”


Come to think of it, colas remain popular for people of every age. Offer it as bottomless and one can get so much non-natural ingredient(s) and flavouring(s) unnecessarily in one sitting. Am not saying it’s not good, but too much of anything will border to abuse and over indulgence, and eventually bad for health. Pardon me for mentioning this if ever I sound offensive I never meant to be combative, but better read it from here, for I am not the first that may have written or ever mentioned in passing these observation; this is a friendly reminder, though.
Oh, we'll compensate on eating the greens then, but wait, what about the dressing that made the salad enticing you crave for more!
Normally a salad dressing like Caesars' may contain soybean oil, water, distilled vinegar, Romano cheese, pasteurized whole milk, culture salt, enzymes, egg yolk, buttermilk powder, salt, sugar, garlic, Parmessan cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt), onion, Worcestershire sauce (distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, anchovy, tamarind, natural flavor), lemon juice concentrate, xanthan gum, spices, potassium sorbate (as preservative), soy, milk and fish ingredients.
Wow, that's a lot.


Ok, let me try the Thousand Island dressing then which has soybean oil, tomato puree (water, tomato paste concetrate), water, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, salt, red bell peppers, xanthan gum, alum, sodium benzoate,(preservative), calcium chloride, spices, natural flavors, polysorbate 80), egg yolk, salt, contains less than 2% of modified corn starch, dehydrated onion, xanthan gum, artificial color, spice, mustard flour, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (preservatives), calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), propylene glycol, alginate, and egg.
Perhaps the Chinese chicken salad dressing will taste good with high fructose, corn syrup, soybean oil, water, corn syrup, soy saucen(water, wheat, soybeans, salt, sodium benzoate as preservative) distilled vinegar, ginger puree (ginger, water, salt, citirc acid) brown sugar, contains less than 2% of sesame oil, salt, sesame seed, xanthan gum, lemon juice concentrte, garlic caramel, color, sodium benzoate (a preservative)), oinion, guar gum, natural flavor, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate dehydrated. Plus soybean wheat.
Enough words, if not "technical," gourmet terms just for a scoop of salad.
Now, the chocolate cake, please!
(I'm sorry if you have to check out for these ingredients in Wikipedia again. This calls for a second discussion, maybe.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Personal Theme Day: Green


Thought I would have a Personal Theme every Monday: Today, it’s Green, for big green bell peppers. What’s on your food?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Plants on a Tire

Some catchy title, but no, just placed the potted plants inside the tire “hole” after having watered the backyard. I was testing the photo capability of my phone sans no aid of focus and good light. Past pics here, including this one, unless stated otherwise, were taken using a Palm Centro only.
I used to have a Canon powershot S400 until it got dropped on the floor, would not record on the memory card anymore. (Can I get it repaired? Is the cost of repair worth it?) The replacement was a Canon digital Elph 750, borrowed by my daughter right now on vacation overseas. Still have to test a new unopened Nikon coolpix S220, a birthday gift (this July 28) for another daughter.
Was thinking of a "cheapest” SLR but the thought of using one, kind of intimidate me, I’m not into serious photography so I settled for a new Sony handycam HDR-CX100 capable of HD video and a 4-megapixel still photo, which is for me, quite a good trade off.
Yesterday, took some stills but currently figuring out how to transfer the images that resides on the hardware’s internal flash memory into the removable eight gig memory stick pro duo without the necessity of installing the accompanying program Picture Motion Browser into my computer. Already I have one that takes charge of converting all photos and home videos into either a slide show or home movie in somewhat professional presentation DVD format. (Will discuss this on a forthcoming blog.) Also, I don’t want to cram programs any more than is necessary into my main multi media computer.
The HD cam is a replacement of an old reliable, heavy weight, but am still using, digital 8 Sony DCR- TRV330, my second. The first was a JVC.
I have no idea on the plant specie(s)/ name, got any? Will check it out later. By the way, the one with flowers I just stick the stem my wife brought home from office one afternoon and let it grow that way up to now. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

We go unconventional this time, as we felicitate this July fourth, I say, “let a thousand flowers bloom,” in hills and valleys, in dales and fields, by the city sidewalks and park lots, near window panes and front and back yards. Here, Mums, of the Genus Chrysanthemum, are silent fireworks basking in the summer sun.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fourth of July


How can we forget it was on the (Tuesday) 2nd of July 1776 when the 13 colonies seceded from the clutch of then British empire by way of the Declaration of Independence. The deed was made public on the 4rth of July, as such we have the 233rd celebration with a holiday tomorrow.
To many this is a good conversation piece. As for an ordinary guy like me, it was history and will just let it rest that way and spare no moment ever just to argue the merits or otherwise.
What matters now is to appreciate the freedom(s) gained out of that independence.
God Bless America and Everyone else on Planet Earth.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Just Above Our Place

Still have to join the "Sky Watch" group but this will not constrain our showing the sky above our place.

LA River Wall


The Los Angeles river which parallels the I-710 in most of its last few miles within the city used to soak the county from its source in San Fernando valley, San Gabriel mountains and Santa Susana mountains, about fifty one miles down its mouth in Long Beach.
It used to inundate surrounding areas because of its changing course until some portion of its route was fixed by concrete channels. In the early days, its water has been supplying the communities in and around the county. The river now suffers from agricultural and commercial pollution. In some portions the riverbed is exposed and dry; on others, shrubs and grass occupy the once healthy flowing water of the river.
Shown above is the portion at the Wardlow street bridge. The pavement is a boon to joggers and bikers for the unobstructed space on their routine.

Tribute: Remembering MJ

No doubt, he left behind his body of work- his music as legacy to appreciate, draw lesson, and look up to for a long time.