Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lego Homage to Sharknado

Decided to merge two of my favorite things - Legos and Sharknado. 

Happy day at Lego Beach - surfing, dining, playing frisbee, dog training.

Oh NO! Sharknado!

Park side view

Water side view
Fin Shepherd, our hero, with his trusty chain saw. Nova in foreground with rifle.
Horrified, and soon to be eaten, life guard
Heroics and terror
Closeup of Sharknado

Closeup of Sharknado

Interior of Sharknado

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fine! Go ahead.

Bogie is on medication for Valley Fever that seems to be affecting his appetite. 

This morning: 

Dog food bowls five feet apart as usual.  

 Angel finishes before Bogie. Not usual.  

 Bogie eats some. Takes a drink. Eats some. 

Walks around the room. Eats some. 

Steps 3 feet away and just stands there. 

Angel approaches the remaining food. 

Bogie looks at her. She stops dead in her tracks. Then backs up. 

He goes over to the food. Looks at it. Gets a drink of water. 

Then he goes 4 feet away, and lays on the floor with his back to his bowl as if to say, "Fine, you can have it." 

Angel cleans up his bowl.

Angel and Bogie

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What's done can't be undone

Beautiful canopy before the trimming

I was looking at the poor Palo Brea behind my gate. It breaks my heart. Technically not my tree since it is on community property, but I hate how the tree trimmers butchered it.

When the HOA Manager and I walked the basin with the landscaper, I told him not to bother with the Palo Brea, that I would take care of trimming it away from the wall.

He said they would trim it enough to lift the branches off the wall. Sure I said.

Worst decision I could have made.

No “lifting” was done. Instead the trimmers lopped off all of the north branches to distance it from the wall, putting the tree into shock.

And, as any physics student could have told you, because the counterweight from the north branches was gone, the tree started leaning southward down the slope. The only reason it is somewhat upright is that they left the south branches as is. Those are holding the tree up.

I didn’t bother to say anything because what was done can’t be undone.

But that’s the second time I’ve been screwed over by a tree trimmer. A landscaper who was removing a storm-damaged tree offered to trim frost damage off my jacaranda.

 The trimmer proceeded to remove the multiple trunks, which I had specifically chosen the tree for.

And left it looking unbalanced since the remaining trunk leaned east.

Again, what’s done can’t be undone.  In both cases, I've wondered what the trimmers could possibly be thinking? How could they think these were good ideas?

I will never trust a tree trimmer again. Ever. Ever. Every time I think about either tree, I get sad - and angry. 

After trimming

Saturday, July 16, 2016

An early morning walk

One leg of this morning's walk with Bogie:

We got scolded by a cactus wren for walking too close to its cactus.

We heard a bird that sounded like a cellphone, a dove coo and a gilded woodpecker chirp.

We saw a scrawny little chipmunk scamper into its hole

We saw one bunny stay sitting, knowing it was safe behind an iron fence (not shown)

A second bunny ran right in front of Bogie and he gave chase. (But stopped when I called him.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Territorial dispute

While out working in the yard, I saw hawks circling above my yard and the retention basin*, wafting on the air currents.  There were at least 5 of them.

Three dropped down behind the wall.  I hurried over to the east steps to see.  My view of the landing area was blocked, but one large bird was sitting on the ground in plain view. That’s when I realized it wasn’t one of the Harris hawks that nest behind me.  It was a turkey vulture.

I went to get the binoculars and got a close-up of the turkey vulture tearing apart a rabbit.  A hawk watched from a dead tree.  The sitting hawk screeched and launched itself at the turkey vulture.  The vulture flew away.  

But didn’t stay away. It landed again and started picking at the rabbit.  The hawk attacked again.  This happened twice more before they landed where I couldn’t see. 

A little later, the hawk landed on my block wall, looked right at me, and shrieked. I can only assume it was complaining about the interlopers.

*a retention basin is a large depression of dirt or concrete designed to hold the run-off from fast, hard monsoon rains. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why option a story and then change it?

If you are watching Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, or reading the books, there are spoilers ahead.  Although we're talking something that was new a year ago, so spoilers should be expected.

Netflix recommended Australia's Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries to me and I loved all three seasons of the series.  Smart, clever characters, great stories.  I was bereft when I ran out of episodes.

And would still love to see a season four, but it's been over a year, so I think that's not likely at this point.

Based on the series, I decided to read the books by Kerry Greenwood.  Equally smart, detailed characters and clever stories.

But very different from the TV series.

In the series there is a whole subplot about Phryne's murdered younger sister.  Didn't happen in the book.  There is also a subplot involving Phryne's ne'er do well father showing up on her doorstep.  Also, didn't happen in the book.

I understand there were 20 books and 34 TV episodes so some stories had to be created.  But why change a fundamental part of a book series that you obviously felt was worthy of being filmed?

I can understand the change of Detective Jack Robinson from compatriot to potential love interest from a production standpoint.  Keep that "will they won't they" tension building.

The loss of one servant (Mrs. Butler) and one adopted daughter (Ruth) can be explained by casting costs.  And maybe the expansion of the roles of Bert and Ces, Dr. Mac, and Hugh lessened the need for supplemental characters.

I still don't know why Aunt Prudence was added.  She is given only a passing mention in the books. Although she was a delightful character in her episodes.

Often the cause and the murderer differed drastically from book to series.

Why keep the title of the books and completely change the story?  I mean, the only thing they kept from Dead Man's Chest was the location and the rumor of pirate treasure.

In the book, the house was a rental and was empty when Phryne, her TWO daughters, and Dot arrived.  The servants were later to be discovered hiding from rum runners. It was a story about intimidation, aspiration, and courage.

In the episode, the servants were murdered. Phryne, Jane, Dot, and Aunt Prudence were to be guests at the home of a woman who, it was discovered, had a serious drinking problem. This one was a story about addiction, obsession, and desperation.

Both worthy stories, but why give the episode the same name as the book?  The culprits were different, the entire book subplot of the movie was abandoned as was Phryne's fake treasure hunt used to lure the villains.

Make new stories with the characters.  Don't remake the existing ones.