More Blooming Cactus and ...

Well, the 11th Ave front "yard" continues to explode. I'll just post the pics, you can enjoy (click on pic to get larger image).



Vulvas, er... Vuvuzelas

Been watching some of the World Cup and hearing this strange drone all the way through the games. I guess it's some sort of plastic horn named, or based on, what's called a vuvuzela. Lots of discussion about banning them as too much interference, and some audio pros are calling out their favorite DAW plugins to filter out the sound. But I like the vuvuzelas much better than those damn boomsticks at baseball parks. Somehow the vuvuzela drone sound actually relaxes me, sort of like Indian sitar music (can't remember the drone instrument used with the tabla and sitar). Anyway, my son's friend came up with a concerto for vuvuzela... a very appropirate arrangement.... click on the graphic for a full blown display.


Blooming Cactus

The cactus at my 11th Ave house are now in bloom. A wet spring and finally some hot, sunny weather seem to encourage the blooms. Here's some examples:

I kinda like the way the poppies a growing up within the datura. The datura itself usually starts blooming later in July.

And this guy is going to do something any day now...

I sure love the desert in the city. Wonder plants, low water requirements, yet blossoms the equal or better than all those flowers everyone plants.


Kilby Jazz Festival

Dave Chisholm has organized a rather unique jazz festival for later this month. He's enlisted a number of groups playing innovative jazz (rather than the standards based jazz that pervades most jazz festivals). Looks like a great evening for jazz down at Kilby Court. Click on the poster for a larger image and more detail info on the event. See you there!


11th Ave.

The latest update on the front yard of my house on 11th Ave. The California poppies are in full bloom, with a zillion buds on the cactus (one blossom so far). Pretty spectular... Stay tuned...
(Click on pics for larger image)


The Big Hole

Well, I got kinda lucky... didn't have to dig as deep or broad as I thought (although the plumber hasn't arrived, so I may not be done yet). Background: last Fall, when shutting the valve to the sprinkler system, I knew it needed replacement. Luckily I got the valve shut off, after busting more than one gut! Also, the standpipe continued to have significant water in it all Winter. So, with hot weather finally arriving this Spring (now nearly Summer), I found I couldn't turn the valve at all.

So it was hire the digging out or do it myself. My plumber didn't have the resources for excavation, my gardener's crew was too busy, and I didn't know any illegals, so it was up to me. In a major effort of masculine macho, I attacked the dirty task. After the first hour, I felt I was having some success (the top 6 inches was all bark), and the valve seemed closer to the surface than expected. I quit for the day, and only needed a half bottle of Advil to recover!.

The second day found big rocks, one I barely removed, but, again, things went decently well although I was in tight quarters. The worst part was the water, the valve was leaking. I decided if I cleared out enough soil, deep and wide enough, the water would drain faster. Sure enough, it worked, and soon the valve itself was exposed.

I managed to remove enough soil and rock to get a good view of things. Hopefully it's all I need to do for the plumber. And hopefully he can get over here soon, since temps hit the 90's soon and the grass is beginning to hate it.

A big job, but I got lucky that it wasn't worse. Still, I deserve a beer... heading to the fridge right now!


The Ranch, Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend meant another campout up at the Ranch. And another chance for adults to behave badly. The weather was dubious, but Sunday morning brought a chance to do "services" blessing the mountains, the forests, and the hungover.

Lots of people showed up, as the following pics embarrass... (click on pics for larger image)

And yet more kids this year... probably to care for drunken adults...

After a few beers, things got weird... faces became misshapen, women got frisky, and trolls were abused... and the inevitable morning after...

Thankfully, there was music to tame the savage beasts... Actually some really great music... Thanks to all who showed up to play... Zombie Jamboree, indeed...

And always a fire for those cold nights and chilly mornings...

Hopefully we can do it again soon...