Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shane in Pasadena

Here's a video of last night in Pasadena. That's me hanging out with Natalie and Chris during my short business trip. You can see my room at the Athenaeum, Wockano, and a li'l bit of Old Town Pasadena.

And if you want to try something really cool, check out the McGurk effect. Watch the video and tell me what the guy is saying. Then close your eyes and tell me what he's saying. This is an example of more than one of your senses 'interfering' to contribute to an overall mental impression.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

What happened to my fireflies?

It is so sad. One of my favorite things about B-burg is (are?) the fireflies. It seems like there aren't that many anymore. I wonder if all the rains that happened last week drowned them? I've seen a few here and there, but not the masses that I fell in love with. So sad.

Well my gardens are doing alright. The zucchini plants got some weird fungus that has thrashed the leaves, so now the plants don't look so happy and healthy. The zucchinis are not affected- they are still growing all big and stuff. But at some point I expect the plant will just shrivel up and die. That is what the one in the containers appears to be doing.

The tomato plants have lots and lots of little tomatoes. Unfortunately, they aren't ripe yet. I am afraid they will all be ripe at the same time and it will be too hard to eat them all up. Kinda like the zucchinis and cucumbers. Even thought my friend and I split the harvest- we can't seem to consume them fast enough! So, I kinda fear the coming cherry tomato explosion. My jalapenos are doing well. I still have not had my first harvest yet. I am waiting for them to grow a little more. Although, they look so appetizing already!

My cilantro grew up already. It is flowering so for now I am just letting it be a pretty plant. I planted more cilantro, so I expect to enjoy some soon. The basil, it is doing better at the garden patch than it is doing in the containers. I think the shade from the tomato plants stunted its growth. The ones at the patch are very lush and bushy. Nice. So, I don't mind so much about the ones in the containers. What I need is a good pesto recipe. By good, I mean "easy."

So that was the latest on the gardens. I would post some pictures but Shane took the camera with him on his "business" trip. I miss him. All I have is the little Chispita and my plants to keep me company. Okay, not really. I have hung out with some friends. One in particular has been around everyday. Her husband, also a professor, left on a biz trip on Sunday. She is the same person that I garden with.

On Saturday and every night since then we've gone on evening walks. Last night, after our walk, we enjoyed some fresh pineapple and tea at my house. Tonight, I went to her place and she served me some homemade yogurt with cucumber (from our garden). It was yummy and refreshing. I really enjoy her company. I am so glad for it.

Well, I guess that is enough for tonight. Good night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We've had pretty good weather the last five days. Prior to that it had been really hot in the 90's. Although we've had rain in the weeks past but it always was just passing through and , much to Chispita's dismay, there'd be lots of thunder. Well now we've really got a good soaking. So happy for my gardens.

Anyhow, so we've tried to keep up with going outdoors on the weekends. Two weeks ago we went out to see Barney's Wall. It was a short hike that lead to a cliff with really interesting view. We then proceeded hiking to a waterfall. Unfortunately we forgot to pack our camera, so there aren't any pictures. It was really neat though. There were hundreds and hundreds of butterflies everywhere. They fluttered and landed on you left and right. Then there was a section of the hike that was like walking through some kind of camillia forest. It reminded me of Descanso Gardens. There were white flowers everywhere and the petals on the ground reminded me of a wedding where petals are scattered all over.

Then a week later we went inner tubing down the New River. Again no pictures. This time it was because we didn't want to get the camera wet. The whole thing was fun. The first mile we gingerly floated down the river. It was relaxing. The river is wide and on both sides you see lots of trees and occasionally a train passed by. There were other tubers in groups (pro'bly, college kids) that were floating their ice coolers and they were drinking and joking around. There was a couple with two little dogs that had little life vests on. It was the funniest sight to see. I might get one for Chispita!

The river was a little low so sometimes we'd get stuck on some rocks so we'd have to either push off with our feet or get up and move on. We looked like we were walking on water. Other times there'd be these scary looking butt dusters reaching up from underwater that grossed me out every now and again. They were long strands of plant life, kinda like seaweed but more stringy and gross. I guess it's moss or algae?

The best part was getting to the end of the line where there were some rapids. When you come to that point you can either get out or go through them. I unintentionally went through them because I lost control of my tube! I am glad I accidently went through, because I had been unsure about doing it. This way, I went and had no choice. It was fun. Then we just kept getting out of the river and getting back in at the rapids point. Pretty cool.

Last Friday night we went to a local outdoor concert. It was reggae and tropical music. It was a really nice evening to be out on a lawn. This weekend we didn't go outdoor adventuring, instead we went to the farmer's market in Roanoke. Then we went "window shopping" for a gps unit for future geocaching adventures.

Well, tomorrow marks a year since we arrived and I can honestly say that it's been a great year. A year of adventure getting to know the area, meeting new people, having new experiences... It has been very interesting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 15th, 2006

A super hot day in Pasadena for an outdoor farewell party.

It is hard to believe that 8 days from now it will have been a year that we arrived in B-burg.
Unbelievable. Last week I overheard the man at the farmer's market talking to some town newbies. He was telling them about the farmer's market schedule and different locations. I had to smile to myself as that was me and Shane when we first arrived.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My "baby"'-sized zucchini...




Check out this spoof on Harry Potter vs. Waldemart.

To be honest, since we got here I have shopped there more than ever. I seldom did when I was in CA. But around here it is quite convenient sometimes to get just about everything in one place. But since Harry Potter is fighting against it, I will once again keep myself out of Walmart. It is not my main shopping place, so it won't be too hard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Purty cool...

We've been to two of the new seven wonders of the world...

Chichen Itza
- summer in 2003.

The Roman Colosseum
- summer 2005

* finalists*

The Eiffel Tower
- summer 2005
The Statue of Liberty- Jan 2007

Of the "wonders" and finalists I'd like to visit someday:

The Great Wall

Machu Picchu

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Easter Island Moais

Angkor Wat

And just for the sound of it-


Saturday, July 07, 2007

My bebes (bay-behs)...

Cucumber bud


Jalapeno bud, hard to see... it is growing in the part where the flower petals used to be (in the middle of the pictureC.

Cherry tomatos,... same as the jalapenos..look at the top part of the picture. They are itty bitty and yellow/green.

Zucchini bud. There are two flowers, one just has a stem the other a zucchini. The stemmed flower is the male and the zucchini flower the female. Apparently zucchini plants have 2 sexes. They rely on bees to do the pollination. Since I haven't seen too many bees, around my balcony, I went ahead and took the male flowers and spread their pollen around the female buds. Actually it's hard to tell when they're itty bitty, so I just rubbed all the flower buds with the pollen. It is interesting to play mother nature, eh?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Great weekend...

Since Shane didn't work yesterday, it feels like the weekend was last week, and yesterday was Saturday. Well, it was quite eventful.

Friday night we went out for pizza with Shane's coworker. He is also new to the department. We had a really a nice time. We sat outside in the covered patio area and even though it started to rain we were quite comfortable.

Saturday we went to the Salem Fair.
That was quite the experience. We saw small circus attractions, petting zoo, camel, elephant and monster truck rides, a pig race, the world's smallest horse and everything else you'd see at a fair. We bought kettle corn, funnel cake, and candy.

Sunday, we went on a 12 mile bike ride on the New River bike trail. It is rather long, but we only covered 6 miles of it. It was really neat. We rode near the river and across a bridge that went over it. It was a very scenic ride. As we were heading back there was a deer on the trail and we waited for it to pass.

Yesterday, we went to the Smithfield Plantation museum , a parade, and a fireworks show. It was a really fun day.

Here are some pics... of the bike ride, parade and my garden.





Monday, July 02, 2007

Wow! I want some tacos... from "the flying taco" man!

My brother has started a small sidebiz selling "tacos al pastor." Check out his website www.theflyingtaco.com.

Those tacos look good! You won't find those around here, that's for sure!

On his site he says they plan to be at a bike rally in Grants, NM on July 20, 21, and 22. It's supposed to be a big gig. I hope it goes well for them.