Thursday, October 08, 2015

October 3


We went to the Michigan State Fair many times, while there still was a Michigan State Fair.

One of my favorite competition categories, in the produce section, was "warted gourds." Here are a selection of very interesting warted gourds.    Some of them have wings, as well as warts.....

I see more different kinds of pumpkins every year.  Love how they look in a varied group.....

The flat tan ones remind me of the ones being sold in slices in French farmers' markets.  The French ones had extremely orange flesh.  I wonder about these............

A closer look.  A couple of the "flat tan" ones I was talking about, in the upper right corner.

Pumpkin vines have tendrils, and will try to climb, if given the opportunity.  They may even succeed, if the have only a few small pumpkins, or the pumpkins are given extra support by helpful persons.

Love the colors...


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

October 2


Do you remember, back in August, we saw some beautiful wooden kayaks?

This flower is on the front of the kayak we can barely see, above (behind the one that's more visible).

On Oct. 2nd, I saw a pair of kayaks which were made of newer materials.

With newer decorations.

Here's something else that was visible in that first "new kayaks" image above.  There is picket fence on this side of the car, too.  It's just a straight section of fence.  But look what happens as the fence's reflection follows the contours of the car...........


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

October 1


I set out on October 1 to run some errands.  My watch battery was dead, and we need to replace the dripping (cheap, worthless, shame-on-you-IKEA) faucet in the bathroom.

We were having a run of bright blue, cool and windy days.

I was almost warm enough in shirt sleeves, with the sun out, just running into a store from the car.

I went to Batteries and Bulbs on Packard just east of Platt.  I've been there several times, and have always found that they are very helpful.  They advertise that they "will fix it" -- and so they do.

I could buy a battery for my watch.  Assuming I could get the back off, to find out what sort of battery I needed....  Once upon a time, there was someone at Target who could replace watch batteries for you.  No longer.....

Hooray for Batteries and Bulbs -- they will fix your watch up with a new battery, no problem.

The next customer who came in after me had exactly the same problem.  How nice to have a place where they will help you.

Here's what the sky was like when I came out, a few minutes after I went in.  Looking east.

Looking north.

Then I headed to Home Depot to look at BRAND NAME, and, I hope, RELIABLE faucets.  I walked by a lot of enormous faucets I thought were for kitchens, and only belatedly realized those were bathroom faucets.  I am baffled by the trend toward bedroom-sized bathrooms.  I want my bathroom to be a size that will be warmed up by my hot shower in the morning, so that when I get out of the shower I am neither freezing, nor obligated to use irreplaceable fossil fuels to heat a room that only needs to be warm for a few minutes after I get out of the shower.

And I don't need a bathroom sink I could handily use for washing cookie sheets.  A small sink is fine......

I chose a faucet.  I hope it's a good one.

I looked at paint chips.  I love looking at paint chips................

Here's what the sky looked like as I left.  Looking south.................


Monday, October 05, 2015

September 30


Walking downtown for supper and a Smell & Tell.  Excellent skies.

Looking north from West Park.

Standing around waiting for my daughter.    Looking southeast.  Sun over the post office.  See the bit of rainbow sundog, about in the center of the image?

Looking east toward the library.

Looking northeast over the library parking lot.  I like the grass.  And the mostly muted colors (except for the sky!) and that RED car.

Supper was a bit strange.  A new restaurant has taken over a space in which I have eaten many times.  They've repainted, and have a completely different menu.  It felt odd to be in such a familiar space, with a totally new vibe.

It was also strange, I thought, that having told the waitress that one of the dishes we ordered was really hotter than I prefer (and that I thought the menu should be clearer about the hotness of dishes), she let us order an even hotter dish, with no warning.  At least it was expensive.....   I'm not eager to go back.

The sky was still excellent as we headed to the library.

Another interesting Smell & Tell from Michelle Krell Kydd.

Fracas is a perfume, created by perfumer Germaine Cellier. 

There was more history and culture in this presentation than there has been in previous Smell & Tells I've attended.

As you might predict, if you thought about it, life was very difficult for women in science (Cellier was a chemist), in the first half of the 20th century, and even worse for women perfumers.

It was interesting to hear how Germaine Cellier persisted in the face of obstacles, and made large marks on the face of perfumerie.  Michelle is determined to learn everything she can about the women who have made significant contributions to the art and science of perfume, and to make sure they become better known rather than being forgotten.

We got to smell Fracas, which is based largely on tuberose, and a lot of its components, including tuberose and orange blossom.

A very interesting presentation, as always.  Michelle is enthusiastic and interesting.  Her knowledge and skill set are unique in my experience.  I always enjoy the Smell & Tells.

The next one is set for the last Wednesday in October......


Sunday, October 04, 2015

September 29


Zinnia, over the leaf litter.

I don't know what this is.  Emphatically golden-yellow.

And wet.



Saturday, October 03, 2015

September 28


The sky is pink at a time of day when it was full sunlight, not so long ago.

Lots of jet trails........

A closer look.  Tryingly fuzzy........

A fan of jet trails....


So interesting, that the trails have been blown into curvy lines.  We are pretty sure they were straight when they were made............


Friday, October 02, 2015

The Art of Science


Here's a cool art and science book, on Kickstarter.

Hooray for telling big stories in artful ways!


September 27


I like taking pictures for a lot of reasons, and one of the big ones is that the camera records the date every pic was taken.  (Assuming I've correctly told the camera what day/time it is.....)

Another thing to like about digital photography -- taking pics of things records the "when" as well as the "what."

Here's another example of random curiosity.  We recycle everything we can recycle.  Including boxboard.  The soap we use when we run out of hand-made soap comes in boxes.  Toilet-paper rolls sort of, almost, kind of fit into the soap box.

I became curious if one soap box would hold all of the toilet-paper rolls that are emptied (in the bathroom where the shower where we use the soap) during the time we'd use the soap that came in that box.  Here's the beginning of the observation.  Soap opened on Sept 26, toilet-paper roll emptied on the 27th.

I walked earlier than I usually do, because a house I've walked by MANY times is for sale and was having an open house in the early afternoon.  It's a nice little house, and I'm glad to have seen the inside.  The rooms are tiny.  Really small.  The pics they put up online are soooooo deceptive...........

I chatted a bit with the real estate person.  I lamented the lack of floor plans on real estate listings.  She said there was one for that house.  Not with the pics, but with ... other media, or something like that?  I can't remember exactly what she said, and I did look to see if I could find the floor plans, to no avail........ 

But -- fyi -- supposedly there are (or may be) floor plans with online real-estate listings, if you know where to look.........

Yet another of the beautiful days of 2015!

Walking home.  This tree is a black walnut.  Bare of leaves, as you see.  What caught my eyes were the walnuts, hanging like golden-green ornaments in the afternoon sun.  Unfortunately, they don't show up in the image.  Another example of what a difference it makes when we (unlike cameras) are paying attention to one part of a scene...........  We might find the nuts striking, in the sunlight, while the camera doesn't.

Luckily, we can zoom in and get some idea.  There were still a lot of nuts on the tree.........

Even though there were a lot of nuts on the ground!

Rats are starting to appear at the Rat House..........  Last year there were cat skeletons, which, oddly, had ears.  This year there are rat skeletons, with ears, and a strange amount of "flesh" on their tails.

A lot of houses have changed hands in our neighborhood this year.  Many of them are undergoing significant expansion/renovation.  (Plenty of houses that did not change hands are also having work done....)

Nails waiting for a nail gun to apply them.

Lots of repeating patterns..............

As I got closer to home, I discovered another open house.  This house has beautiful floors and lots of windows.  The living room was a really nice big space, and the rest of the house was smaller rooms.  The house does have three full baths, including a really big one in the basement, and a pink-tiled one on the ground floor.....

I like to look at houses....................

Maple leaves.


Thursday, October 01, 2015

September 26


Bostok, from Zingerman's Bakehouse.  If you like almond flavor, I predict you will love this. 

Running the Saturday errands.  Looking west-southwest from the sidewalk beside the Pittsfield branch of the library.

Looking south.

I put a lot of books on hold at the library.  I used to put them on hold, in olden times, when I wanted somthing that wasn't on the shelf, but I put WAY more books on hold now.

Any time I'm on the web and someone talks about an interesting book, or I'm taking a class that is full of chefs talking about what they do, and I'm intrigued.............  I click on over to the library, and reserve the book(s).  And if my library doesn't have them, because they would rather be purchasing foreign-language novels than books requested by actual tax-payers, perhaps I can get the books through the Michigan inter-library loan..............

One of Life's Little Surprises is what shows up when you put books on reserve.  You never know, for example, whether you actually want to check a book out until you've had a chance to look at it (or, at least, *I* don't....). 

And you never know how big the book is going to be. 

Look at this!  !!!  This is one of the biggest books I've ever seen!  It's enormous, and it's really heavy, too!  Definitely in the "must have car to take home" category!

The pictures are A M A Z I N G.  Sort of like the difference between seeing a movie at home on tv, or at an IMAX theater.  !!!  If you have any interest in photography, or food, see if you can lay your hands on a copy of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine.  And you might want to bring a forklift when you pick it up........

Grocery-store flowers.

On football days, locals carefully choreograph their excursions.  "Leave home shortly after the game begins...."

Many businesses and home-owners relatively near the stadium let people park on their lawns.  For a fee. This is a church with a lot of football-goers' cars.  $$$...............

Pioneer high school's property used to belong to the university.  When the U sold it to the school district, it came with the understanding that football traffic would be allowed to park there in perpetuity.  For a fee (which goes to the district).

This next image was taken from 7th, just south of Stadium.

A much closer crop of the above.  Pioneer is kitty-corner from the stadium; you can see the scoreboard in this image....