August Adventures – 365 Pictures update

We have 5 days left in August!  This year is going by rather quickly.  Here are a few more of the 365 pictures I’ve been taking:

This is the “official” picture I’m using for the 365 book but I did take a few other shots of the eclipse we had on the 21st.  Where we are in California it was only a 75% coverage but I was able to get some pretty good shots, I think.  I used both the paper protective glasses and my husband has some welding glasses which we doubled.  

This is through the protective glasses.

This is when there was enough cloud cover to take a regular shot.

This is through the welding glasses.  
#235 – A sign.  I wrote earlier about the biggest “sign” for me so far this year, when I found the word Believe on our walk in Reno.  This is the sign we see before every concert at the Mountain Winery.  Sometimes we can get a good picture, if there are not too many cars coming in behind us.  I don’t like to hold up the line.

#236 – Silver – This is one of my favorite silver rings.  It came with a bag of marbles that can be interchanged depending on my mood or to match what I am wearing.  I love the fact that I could just go into a toy store and get another bag of marbles and have more rings!    

#234 – Sour.  The kids used to love these things but just looking at the packaging makes my mouth pucker.

#237 – Pretty Weeds.  This tiny flower is growing in our front yard.

#239 – Stone.  I have this collection of stones and I am not really sure what kind they are.  I know the striped one is Tiger’s Eye but the other ones I need help with.  Anybody?

#238 – Window.  Sometimes the airplanes fly so close over our house that I could almost see in the windows.  Obviously this is blown up a bit but it was a real plane that flew over!

Okay, that brings us up to date on the pictures.  I am going to look for some prompts now so I have clues for next month.   Did you see the eclipse?  Get pictures?  Know what kind of stones I have?  Please share!

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August Adventures – Pat Benatar and Toto

This was our last concert for the season at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.

The venue is so pretty, up on top of the mountain.  

We were sitting close enough that Bill was able to sneak up to get a picture of the setlist that they usually tape to the floor in front of the stage.  This was Toto’s.
We were sitting back five rows, dead center.   

Toto was the opening act and they did not disappoint except that we wished they would have been able to play longer. 

I tried to capture the speed at which Steve Lukather was strumming this guitar.

Here is Africa.  I will say right up front that it is really hard for me to take a video without dancing so sometimes the camera gets a bit shaky.  I can live with it, can you?
They were really good and had the crowd singing along.  In addition to being right in the center, we were the last row before a dividing walkway so there was no one sitting behind us, which made it much easier for us to get up and dance to the music, not that having people sitting behind us stops us from doing that, it just meant we didn’t have to turn around and explain that we intend to do so.  
Here is Pat Benatar’s set list.  Bill almost got in trouble for doing this one since there were more people around at this point.  One of the ushers said, “You can’t do that.”  Fortunately, he had already done it, so he just said, “Okay” and came back to his seat.   

They’ve been married for quite a while (35 years) and they still look like they love each other. 

Here is Love is a Battlefield.
Unfortunately the problem at the Mountain Winery is that they have a curfew and on the weeknights it is 10:30 PM.  On Friday nights they can go to 11 PM but this was a Wednesday so both bands had to limit their songs in order to finish on time.  In fact, the last band usually walks off stage for a few minutes and then comes back out to do an encore but Pat said that they would skip that and stay on stage.  Again, there were lots of songs we would have loved to hear them sing.  The crowd was still ready to rock.
So that is the end of our concert season at the Winery for this year.  We have seen four shows there which qualifies us for Loyalty Status so next year when the line-up is announced we will have preview privileges and can get tickets before they go on sale to the general public.  That’s how I manage to get those great seats!  
What do you think?  Toto fan?  Favorite Benatar song?  Love to hear about it!

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Childproofing our homes

My kids are grown now and I have no control over what they see and hear but we tried to childproof our home as best we could when they were little. This is a great insight by a fellow blogger.

Rhythm In Life

hatching-1395741_1920When we had our little ones just like any other parent, our hearts raced towards getting our space child proofed. We wanted to make sure nothing was a danger for them around. We got those electrical plugs, baby gates, baby monitors and on as y’all may know if you have ever taken this route.

That is a good thing to do if I may say, but they will still survive with or without these gadgets.

Considering the effort we put into childproofing our homes for the little ones, we tend to forget major or perhaps what I would call true childproofing that is truly intended for the physical and mental safety of our little ones.

Let’s talk about a few areas that I consider under the rules of childproofing;

  • Our language; when we have children, it’s very important to know and be very watchful about the language we are using…

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August Adventures – The Summer of Love

Admittedly I was probably a bit young for the actual Summer of Love.  I was 12 in 1967, which is the year they are using as the 50th anniversary.  In that summer I was between 6th and 7th grade and going to a Catholic school.  Not much chance of free love or drug culture there, although I suspect some of my classmates might have been more adventurous than I.  Anyway, my husband was four years older than I and that made him a teenager at that time, not in Catholic school for sure and definitely more experimental than I was.  He was very interested in seeing some of the Summer of Love exhibits around San Francisco so we went to the DeYoung Museum to catch one of them before it ended on August 20.

In front of the museum they had street signs depicting the difference in the last 50 years:

In the entryway there were tons of button messages on the windows:

Once inside there were rooms and rooms filled with the clothes, posters and other artifacts from the Summer of Love.
Some of these clothes I would love to have.  Perhaps I am a hippie in spirit after all!
Love the fringe on the jackets

and the big bell sleeves

I can imagine this being very heavy to wear for a long period.  No wonder she is sitting!

I want this dress!

And this coat

Jerry Garcia’s Hat

Cool boots, no?

There were pictures of the rock and roll groups of the times:

Jimi Hendrix


Grace Slick and Janis Joplin

There were signs explaining different aspects of the culture and significance of sayings:

And posters, posters, posters:

These were in a black light room and were kinda cool the way they changed shapes.  

There was a whole room with posters covering every spot on the wall and ceiling.  
In fact, to be honest my husband was kind of disappointed in the exhibit.  He thought that it was too focused on the posters, clothes and photographs.  We did not pay the extra to get the audio tour and maybe that would have made some difference, although I don’t really see how.  Everything had plaques with a description of what was being shown so we could read all about it, rather than listening to someone tell us the same thing.  There was a room with bean bag chairs and music playing so you could sit down and get the feel of what it was like to experience a concert but I think if I had tried to sit on one of them I wouldn’t have been able to get up – these old bones you know?
The hippie

I dressed the part, don’t you think?
It took us about an hour or so to go through the whole thing.  When we were done we drove around the actual Haight Ashbury district and I got a few pictures of interesting sights:

The real street sign
Painted building

?Drug culture?

Not the Painted Ladies but still kinda cool houses.

Not quite sure what goes on here but I made my husband go around the block so I could snag this photo.  

He took pictures of a few of the different houses he lived in when growing up in San Francisco.  That was not one of them 🙂  All in all it was a very fun day.  

What do you think?  Were you a hippie at heart?  In San Francisco during that time period?  Love to hear about it!


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August Adventures – The Fab Four

We had two adventures this weekend!  Friday night we went to The Mountain Winery and saw the Fab Four, a Beatles Tribute band.  They were pretty darn good.  They were very accommodating and allowed pictures so I was able to get some very nice shots.

 Of course we took the “Concert Photo” that we always take at our concerts.

They were introduced by “Ed Sullivan.”  This guy was pretty funny as an impersonator.   

They really try to make you feel like you are listening to the Beatles, complete with period appropriate costumes.  

While the performers (Ron McNeil (John), Ardy Sarraf (Paul), Gavin Pring (George) and Joe Bologna (Ringo)) play all their own instruments and actually do the singing, I think that Gavin looks very close to George Harrison and Ron McNeil is a pretty close John Lennon.  Ardy Sarraf has Paul’s mannerisms down pat and at times resembles Paul.  Joe Bologna (IMHO) does not look at all like Ringo but he does a pretty good job of playing those drums and getting into the act.  
I had never seen this at the Winery before but there was a “signer” for some hearing impaired people in the audience.  She was really good at getting the energy into her signing and was almost as much fun to watch as the show itself. 

Here is “With Love from me to you.”

I tried to get some pictures of each of their costume changes.
“Ringo and John”

“Paul and George”

“Ed Sullivan” making a reference to Richard Nixon not looking so bad these days as a President.  

I think my favorite of their costume changes is the Sgt. Pepper’s Band.  The costumes are so colorful.

You can see here that “Paul” has on two pairs of pants to be able to make the quick changes.
Here’s a bit of Sgt. Pepper:
Very moving rendition of “Imagine,” complete with the lighting of the crowd’s cell phones.  Perfect message for the things going on in this world.  

“George” did a moving rendition of “Here Comes The Sun.”  Don’t you think he looks a lot like the Beatle?  My husband was disappointed he chose that song as opposed to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

If you like the Beatles and have never seen the Fab Four, I would definitely recommend the experience.  It was the perfect intro for our next adventure, a trip to San Francisco to see the Summer of Love Expo at the De Young Museum.  That post coming soon!  
How about you?  Like the Beatles?  Got a favorite song?  Share!

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August Adventures – 365 Pictures

I am finding it so easy this month to get my pictures in for the 365 project.  I am sure it’s because I have a prompt to work with every day thanks to Susannah Conway and the August Break.  I’m going to have to put my mind to it and look through past challenges and get some prompts ready for next month.  Here we go:
#226 – Vintage – I started an album of my family and then I found a lot more pictures to include.  I have to get with my mom and have her tell me who is in some of them and about what time they were taken.  I want to preserve these memories for my kids.  
#225 – I crave…A nice warm slice of blackberry pie.  Raspberry would work as well.  I may have to break down and get one otherwise I might start eating things I don’t want just to compensate.  We all deserve a treat once in a while, right?

#224 – Love note — I carry these in my wallet.  They are each well over 20 years old, the handwritten one is the oldest.  I wish I had put a date on it when I got it.  I’ve written about the Love Angel before.  I am very lucky to have such a romantic husband!   

#227 – Dragon – This program is taking away my transcription work.  I realize it is of value to people with disabilities and arthritis issues but for the doctors to do their own dictation is just not fair!  On the up side, since I am not spending all my time typing reports anymore, I have time to create and blog.  If I can start generating some income from that, life will be great!

#222 – Lavender – I love this desk caddy from Totally Tiffany.   It makes it so easy when I am in the middle of working on a project to put my things in the holders.  It keeps it easier to clean up after also since I can corral the scraps in there as well.  It will be good to use if I go away to do a crop too since space there is always limited. 

#228 – Favorite color – I like so many colors and color combinations.  Most of the time I gravitate to oranges but I loved the way these two came together on the wipe I used to clean some stamps.

And that’s it for another week.  Can’t believe it’s the middle of August already!  What do you think of my pictures?  What’s your favorite color?  Anybody need a transcriptionist? 

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August Adventures – Protect Yourself

Having a secure password is very important in this day and age.  Most times I try to pick a password that is relevant to whatever site I am on to make it easier for me to remember.  I therefore have a ton of different passwords and I have to keep them written down so I won’t forget which one goes where.

Thanks to my friend, John, at The Sound of One Hand Typing, who is a wealth of interesting tidbits of all kinds and if you are not following him you should, I was directed to a website that will generate random pass phrases.  You can read John’s post about it here.

We’ve all seen those movies where the hero starts the computer search for the password that will disarm the bomb or open the safe or whatever and it always manages to find the right code in just the nick of time.  Of course, Sherlock Holmes was always able to crack the cipher as well.

The website is called Use a passphrase and it will generate passphrases for you and you can plug your current passwords into it and it will tell you how long it could take someone/a computer to figure out your code.

I knew that phrases were better than just words and I have used the first letter of each word of a phrase sometimes but just for the heck of it I plugged in some of the passwords I use on a regular basis.

I was unhappy with the speed in which someone could crack the password I use on our bank account (608 milliseconds!) so that is one I changed right away.  The new one I picked should take 372 centuries for someone to get so I think our money is safe for a while.  Plus, even though it is a lot safer than then one I was using, it is still something that will be easy for me to remember.

I’ll be checking my other passwords as well and you might want to give it a try to see how long it could take someone to get into your business.  Thanks, John, for the tip!

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