Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Year's Ephemera

What better time to gather a handful of ephemeral pictures from 2006 than to celebrate the New Year! I'm in no shape to mark a ritual that has long outlasted its meaning for me, but I am fascinated by these odds and ends I found in my wandering the past year. For example, somebody had a birthday. #26, apparently. Without the magic of PhotoShop, I wouldn't have been able to bring up the worn chalk marks! I hope the individual in question is enjoying his/her 26th!

Don't know the pre- or post-history of this event which had something to do with 1) California (maybe -- note the cities) and 2) Prescott College, where I found the sign early this summer. Actually, I cropped off the best part -- the castle, which extends several inches below the margin above. Hope everybody got their $5 worth!

This is the sort of ephemera that gives greens the gollywogs -- a tiny oil slick I noticed one day during the monsoon rains over at the Chase bank. So pretty, so short-lived, so like each New Year!

A Happy 2007 to Everybody!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Unwelcome Surprise

Normally, in the course of this day or that, I enjoy small surprises. They add spice ... improve the flavor of events (or non-events.) I do not like the unexpected when I place an order by mail or via the Internet. This box, which arrived this morning, said it came from Reebok...

...which meant it should have contained new walking shoes, a replacement for the scuzzy pair above. Of course, if you look carefully, you'll see that shoes in my size would never fit in that box. So what did it contain?

Apparently a set of Sponge Bob pjs, size unspecified. I'm not opening the packaging to find out since they obviously wouldn't fit me. So I now I can look forward to repackaging & returning the dang box & somehow getting those shoes that I ordered. Maybe it's just as well that I'm more or less housebound right now. Argh!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Even at the Doctor's...

...there's still something to photograph. First the quick report -- the reason I've had to cozy up to the O2 machine almost continually the past couple of weeks is that I seem to have a touch of pneumonia. So I'm on a short course of antibiotics. We'll see how it goes. However, I was able to take advantage of the visit to photograph a few of the water colors painted by the doctor's mother.

What I like about this lady's work is how she evokes a rural western past that has long since disappeared. My grandparents were a part of that world -- yet even they were gradually separating themselves from it. Town mice, not country mice (even though my California grandfather still kept a cow.) My mother and father were of the generation that made the break with the rural past complete.

Not many would put a milkweed pod front and center of a landscape!

A more recent addition to the waiting room walls is this series of old tractors. None, I note, with caterpillar treads, like my Phoenix grandfather drove along the side of Baseline road so that he wouldn't hurt the blacktop.

And, finally, an old auto, abandoned along with a way of life. Reminds me of reading William Least Heat Moon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hands Down, Heads Up

Have you explored Prescott College's Crossroads Center yet? If you haven't, you've a treat ahead. I suggest doing it in stages so that you can savor each (those gorgeous loos, for example.) Today, just a look for the surprises you'll find in the midst of the recycled broken cement terraces between the two buildings.

Hands, for instance. Especially the hand reaching out through the center of the cement block below.

It reminds me of this hand I found in the gardens of a local sculptor.

There are also two heads hiding amongst the building blocks. The little baby head (above) is almost impossible to photograph unless you are a caterpillar. Easy to miss, also.

Old concrete block is also the setting for this head. Take a closer look (below.)

I'll leave you with yet another unexpected head elsewhere, this fellow sitting low on a lichen-covered granite along Willow Street coming downhill from Coronado. Has a classic bearing, doesn't he, though he might have risen from the grave, considering how pockmarked his visage.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Link of the Day

I've surely mentioned that 1) I am a map freak, 2) I always take a window seat on an airplane, the better to see the landforms from above, and 3) I find much aerial photography to be a first cousin to fine art. Not only are aerial images beautiful, but they convey so much information! Imagine my joy when the SIL directed me to Earth as Art, a NASA site featuring Landsat 7 images from around the world. Kilamanjaro ... Kamchatka ... the fjords of northern Norway ... the Mississippi delta ... the Everglades ... an Antarctic glacier fall ... (above) the delta region of the Netherlands ... and, locally, the Pinacate volcanic field of northern Sonora. To name a few. Do take a look!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Some Assembly Required

What, you ask, did I do up in the high country over Christmas? For one, I ate magnificently, thanks to a SIL who loves to cook. Stuff like roast duck. And, secondly, I was witness to that new American Christmas ritual, the final assembly of the season's toys, once they're opened. I've been fortunate not to suffer this indignity in the past and this year I was a mere observer.

On the other side of the family, my youngest granddaughter has one very indulgent grandmother! Look at that box -- it's bigger than the little girl.

A battery-operated Barbie Jammin' Jeep. In purple and pink. Suitable for ages 3+?? That's what it says.

Whatever. It took a helluva lot of wrapping paper to keep the contents a surprise.

Once the battery was plugged in to charge (at least 16 hours), it was time for the serious instructions.

With two to interpret, the finishing process proceeded apace. Which is to say, slowly.

The new car owner watched carefully as her vehicle was assembled.

And had suggestions, while she was about it.

Not only were there assorted plastic pieces to attach to the body, there were the decals to jazz things up. Even the decals had to be applied in the right order!

Oops! A critical part was missing. Fortunately, it was in that huge box. At the bottom.

Screwing in the pink seat module. Note the seat belts.

So where does this piece go? Perhaps on the steering wheel? Nope, that would set a bad example for the younger generation.

The granddaughter finally has her vehicle, complete to clock and radio. The latter is, amazingly enough, tuned to NPR. I didn't know that Barbie was aware of NPR.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Disappearing Seeds

The past three years, I have bought a giant sunflower seedhead for the birds. Actually, for the blue jays, it turns out. This year, I was lazy and left the seedhead on my front porch. Here's how it looked on December 7.

Taken in the morning light on December 16. I've had visitors, despite the fact that my Max Cat is in and out of the house. A couple of mornings, I have heard the jays shouting; it seemed to come from the front porch.

Here is the picture from December 23, just before I went up to Flagstaff for the Christmas holiday. Note that it's from a slightly different angle. I am happy that I have customers!

Note: OmegaMom promised that I'd have a post about her adventures, with her husband, on that favorite holiday pasttime, "some assembly required." I have the pictures, but got home late and too tired to pull it all together. Real Soon Now.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas at the Door: A Card for my Readers

It's all things Christmas over at my mother's building; while some residents with balconies have hung small light displays, most evidence of the season is inside. Almost every door, for example, has some holiday decoration, which makes the hallways quite cheerful.

Mom, always a very crafty lady, made this angel and the Santa at the front of her cart. They must be at least 40 years old!

What more can I say? Stroll the hallways, enjoy the seasonal touches -- and HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'll possibly be Walking Prescott Monday night after the festivities and after I return from the high country. See you then.

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