Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bridge Contest 08

I won first place in the 9th annual bridge contest today at Cal High.

The bridge was .35 oz and held 25.5 lbs. The contest was based on strength-to-weight, not sheer strength, so they divided the weight the bridges could hold by the weight of the bridge. so mine was 25.5 / .35 = 72.857. (The strongest bridge held about 54 lbs.)

I now have a plaque, certificate, and a drafting desk, chair, and light.

I was really surprised to have won the contest, as Timothy's was only 3rd his year, with 30-some lbs. The contest used to be based only on the weight the bridges could hold, and I knew that mine couldn't hold very much since it was so light.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It's raining again today a little bit but I got ,2 " yesterday the 21st. Also got a spectacular rainbow in the afternoon. We seldom get these in California so do enjoy them when we do.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My niece's art

My niece Christina Olsen Burtner creates art. Her blog has some examples of her art.

Friday, January 11, 2008

There are these blasted parrots that live in our neighborhood. Rather, they habituate the area.


Cute, but at times ear-piercingly vociferous, the parrots greet me when I leave the house before eight in the a.m. and occasionally awaken me before the sun has ventured a peek.


A few months ago, the Whittier Daily News reported that they came from Mexico but ha

Monday, January 07, 2008



I did ask Rob to help and now I think there will be some success. I had 2.5" rain Saturday 1/5/08, ,44" Sunday, 1..1" Monday the 7th. This makes 4,04" for the 3 cells that just passed through. And 10.41" for this season. Normal for this time of year is 6.37". It makes me feel good to see this much rain even though I know we are way low from years past.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Doris' rain update

I had 2.5" rain overnight to Saturday. I went out around midnight and the cup was a little tilted because of the wind but I don't think I missed much. At that time it was at 1/2 "

So glad to be able to track it as I can.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Big Day in Current Events

Today is a big day. The four late night hosts returned to the TV after 8 weeks off due to the Writer's Strike and the contraversial storm that brewed, the much promoted and highly acclaimed Iowa Caucus, and not one - not two - but three storms coming our way. Auntie Em! Auntie Em! Someone grab Toto and head to the cellar.

We watched part of Letterman and we flipped channels back and forth with Leno. They were clever and I appreciated hearing what they both had to say about the Writers' Strike -- an interesting situation that mildly impacts my life. Although my insight is limited and my full understanding of the negotiations is lacking, I'm siding with the writers and hurting for the people out of work while they wait. Ten writers from a variety of programs were on Letterman to do the "Top Ten" list last night -- several from The Daily Show with John Stewart and from The Colbert Report.

Then there is the Iowa Caucus! I've been to eastern Iowa several times through connections with college friends. Good for that quiet state! Stirring the political pot. The commentators are all a flutter over the impact. I haven't selected my favorites yet. It is just too early for me, though our primary is February 5. So much can change. I do have some meaningful, deep guidelines, though. I'll not vote for anyone with a really young wife, for one thing. Who's the vice presidential running mate? That's the other piece I'm waiting for. Now, I am enjoying being invited to dance -- being the election sweetheart. As a registered Independent voter, I hold one of those votes that can swing red or blue and claim all the power that entitles me, too. I expect to have the phone ringing off the hook with campaign sweet talk once we get closer to voting. Oh, joy.

Three storms?! Oh, my. I can smell that wet dog smell now. I'm excited because I love rain and have no big drives in my schedule the next few days. Let it rain! Keep those totals reporting in, Doris! Of course, destruction caused by the rain is tragic, so I hope people and property endure and stay sensible (evacuate if asked, avoid river washes or whatever they are called, drive sanely, etc.) Hope we get something worth building a cozy fire for!
Yesterday, my friend Aregnaz and I skipped out to the Calico Ghost Town, which lies just past Barstow on I-15. Last October I went to Bodie, which is a long drive from anywhere civilized. I read an article on NPRs Web site that described a rivalry between the two ghost towns, so I was eager to compare the two myself.


I found Calico to have some charms, but immediately, I felt an overwhelming phoniness about it (Especially compared to the preserved, desolate Bodie). Where Bodie features eerie silence, an antique enthusiast's paradise and hollowed, original buildings, Calico oozes with a modern kitsch.


There were fake cowboys who performed a gun show in the street...


...the cemetary felt unoriginal, and had graves from 2005...


...and much of the "town" was restored, and turned into a business-minded consumer attraction.


Bodie takes a three dollar donation at the entrance that goes toward the park's preservation, while Calico costs six dollars per person and features many businesses that take Visa.


I found out that Walter Knott (famous for Knott's Berry Farm and "inventing" the boysenberry) bought and restored the Calico mine back in the 1970s. This should make sense to Southern California residents or anyone who's been on the Calico train ride at Knott's. Around 90 percent of the town has been restored, or rebuilt, which takes away from the "ghost town" experience.


Calico feels distinctly Southern Californian, especially because you can buy fast food in the town and you don't have to look hard from inside to see the interstate.

Some of the surrounding scenery was pretty though.


But if you ask me, the Bodie vs. Calico feud is no contest.

Bodie, CA

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Happy anniversary of ICP/IP. I am sure you all remember January 1, 1983 like it was yesterday. Kind of a "I remember what I was doing then" moment.

[UPDATE] I don't really get this one either. But it was the happy new year 2008 message on the Google icon. I think someone else can explain what icp/ip actually is. I just know that if it doesn't configure correctly, then my computer does not access the internet. Click on the link above for more exciting reading.