Trees and the City…

For the last few months, the branches from the trees on our block have been “kicked off” and thrown to the ground by the trees.  In July, a nice big one fell on my car and caused a little over $1800 worth of damage, I’m still waiting for my deductible to be refunded.

tree1

the branch bounced off the car, putting dents and scratches in the front and side passenger panels…

luckily this one just fell by the side, didn't touch my car.

Last week this little one fell too, luckily it just fell by the side, didn’t touch my car.

There have been other branches falling on other lawns on the block, so the city decided that it was probably time to “trim” the trees.  Upon coming home yesterday, I noticed notices nailed to every tree on the block:

tree cut sign

So knowing what the city’s tree trimmers are capable of, last year they butchered one of my neighbor’s older trees (amazingly it’s grown back) I grabbed my camera yesterday to get some shots of my block and the fall foliage, before the city came in and cut them up:

I love the colors of fall...

I love the colors of fall…

trees postcut 10.22.13

the final look…

sure opens up the view down the street…

So,

HOW YOU DOIN?

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Back to the Pond…

I haven’t watched the “goings on” at Pete’s Pond for a while, since the camera broke down for a few weeks last month, and I’ve been busy working and doing homework from (and attending) the three classes I’m taking, so I decided to check in tonight, and was happy to see some wildlife, got some good screen shots of the morning visitors around 7:30 am (Botswana time).  If you’d like to see the screen shots I’ve taken before, check out my posts from last July.

When I opened the website to the pond, I was “greeted” by a giraffe taking some sips from the water.  I hit the “print screen” button, pasted the shot in the Windows “paint” program, then buffed it up with Photoshop:

giraffe 10.12.13

he/she has good balance with those front legs spread that far apart…

he/she then started to walk away, look at that height...

he/she then started to walk away, look at that height…

I left the screen to process the two pics, and came back to find the camera had zoomed in and the giraffe was looking almost right at it...

I left the screen to process the two pics, and came back to find the camera had zoomed in and the giraffe was looking almost right at it…

I left the screen again to process the close up, came back and was treated to mixture of species: storks, impalas, zebras, and wildebeests...

I left the screen again to process the close up, came back and was treated to mixture of species: storks, impalas, along with a herd of zebras…

I left again to process this shot, came back and they had all left…

That’s about it for now, I’m tired and I need to go feed my cats and fish, so,

HOW YOU DOIN?

ps: since nobody attempted to figure out the challenges from my previous post, no answers will be provided until someone does…

How’s Your Logic…

Last week I started classes in an Associate Degree in Network Systems Administration program.  Why I agreed to take on 3 separate classes a week, I’m not sure, but I’m committed to complete the program.

This afternoon, in my Problem Solving class, our professor gave us a challenging (at least in my opinion) word problem:

Four Musicians on a Bridge

Four musicians must cross a bridge at night.  They need a flashlight to cross and they only have one.  Only two can cross at a one time.  When two of them cross at a once, they must move at the speed of the slower person.  Each person takes the following amount of time to cross the bridge:

Tuba player: 10 minutes

Drummer: 5 minutes

Violin Player: 2 minutes

Piccolo Player: 1 minute

Clearly, when two of the musicians cross at a time, one will have to go back with the flashlight. 

So, the question is:

In what order do they cross the bridge and be all across in a total of exactly 17 minutes?

Here’s another problem that tests how you think (this one’s a little easier than the one above…):

Are You Ready For The Working World?

1.  How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

2.  How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

3.  The Lion King is hosting an animal conference.  All the animals

attend except one.  Which animal does not attend?

4.  There is a river filled with crocodiles.  How do you cross it?

If you’re smart enough to solve these problems, or at least brave enough to attempt to, please post your answers in the comment section.  I will post the answers in a few days, provided there are a few comments with some answers…

sitting at a red light on y way home from class, I turned my head and noticed this building.  I wondered how can it be secret if it's advertised...

sitting at a red light on my way home from class, I turned my head and noticed this building. I wondered how can it be secret if it’s advertised…

How You Thinkin???

Bleeding Dodger Blue…

I have lived my whole life here in Los Angeles, so naturally, I am a big Dodger baseball fan.  Back in the 70’s and 80’s, every Sunday morning in March was spent in front of the TV watching the Dodgers playing exhibition games from Vero Beach, listening to Vin Scully and Ross Porter provide play by play commentary, and watching them win two World Series’s (’81, ’88) and lose two to the Yankees (’77, ’78).

I attended my first game at Dodger Stadium when I was about 6 or 7.  I remember our seats were down near Right Field, along the first base line, and my sister and her friend couldn’t stop screaming for Steve Garvey’s attention.  They lost that game, 9-3, to the Montreal Expos (who have since moved to Washington D.C. and are now the Nationals.)

Fastforward about 16+ years and I was able to take part of “Think Blue Week” and be the “Fantasy Photographer” for a game, even got my “mug” shown upon Dodgervision in Left Field:

Dad, using his old Olympus got a shot of me up on Dodger Vision during introductions

Dad, using his old Olympus got a shot of me during introductions

I took 3 rolls of film that night, and now that I have an even better camera these days, I bring it to most games I go to. 

Here’s a few shots from last weeks Wednesday, August 14’s  game that my brother-in-law and I attended:

I took this b/w picture with my cell phone's camera.  We had good seats, 2nd level, 3rd row, right at 3rd base.

I took this b/w picture with my cell phone’s camera. We had good seats, 2nd level, 3rd row, right at 3rd base.

We had a few foul balls hit our way, but none close enough for either of us to grab.  In the 8th inning or so, while my brother-in-law had left to get a refill of his Coke, one foul ball came near our seats and ricocheted off the hand of the guy sitting next to my brother-in-law’s seat.  It landed in the next section and the guy above and across from me ended up with it.

I used my cell phone again to get a panoramic view of the stadium.  The woman on the left was wondering why I was holding my phone so high and moving it from right to left...

I used my cell phone again to get a panoramic view of the stadium. The woman on the left looks like she was wondering why I was holding my phone so high and moving it from right to left…

Former Dodger 2nd baseman Davey Lopes is their current First Base coach.

I switched to my Lumix camera and got a close up of former Dodger 2nd baseman Davey Lopes, who is their current First Base coach.  I grew up watching him lead off for the Dodgers during the 70’s and 80’s…

speaking of former Dodger players, Tommy Lasorda was there as well...

speaking of former Dodger players, Tommy Lasorda was there as well…

Bottom of the 4th, I think...

Bottom of the 4th, I think…

Mark Ellis getting the out.

Adrian Gonzalez getting the out.

Yasiel Puig flipping his bat on the way back to the dugout after striking out.

Yasiel Puig flipping his bat on the way back to the dugout after striking out.

Dee Gordon heading to first after laying down a bunt.

Dee Gordon heading to first after laying down a bunt.

Davey Lopes signaling that Hanley Ramirez was safe...

Davey Lopes signaling that Hanley Ramirez was safe…

Bottom of the 9th, down 4-2, Andre Ethier came up to pinch hit with a runner on, and proceeded to knock it over the center filed fence, tying the game.  Yes, this is the home run swing...

Bottom of the 9th, down 4-2, Andre Ethier came up to pinch hit with a runner on, and proceeded to knock it over the center field wall, tying the game. Yes, this is the home run swing…

The game tied at 4-4 went into extra innings.  My brother-in-law and I stayed through the end of the 11th, but left right after the 3rd out as the clock was ticking toward 11pm, and we both had to work the next day.  As we drove out of the stadium lot, Yasiel Puig knocked in the winning run.  We didn’t see it, but we were listening to the radio broadcast.

It’s been 25 years since the Dodgers have won the World Series, they beat the Oakland As in 1988.  Watching this years team, I can see them going all the way this year, if they don’t screw it up…

How You Doin?

Still enjoying my Safari…

As my last post stated, I’ve found a Safari I can enjoy while sitting at my desk in my bedroom without ever getting up (and with no costs).  Though my current iPad and my phone allow me to move around the house along with other open wi-fi areas and watch as well.  Ustream.tv had allowed myself to view and listen to a waterhole in Botswana, as wildebeests, an assortment of birds, zebras, and a lot more types of animals drink from the pond and relax by the “beach.”  A few days ago I saw the first hyena to finally come across my screen.  I’ve also seen a bunch of owls, warthogs, and ducks, though I haven’t seen any elephants in a week or so.

Along with the Botswana and South African cameras, the ustream.tv site also has links to other live cams featuring all types of animals around the world.  Here are a few of the print screen “pictures” I have taken while watching over the last few days:

these South American and African penguins are at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americans in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Not only are they cute to watch, they're also very loud...

these South American and African penguins are at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americans in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Not only are they cute to watch, they’re also very loud…

here's a pair of storks in Poland; I watched as they "cleaned" up their nest, despite the cold winds...they were shivering.

here’s a pair of storks in Poland; I watched as they “cleaned” up their nest, despite the cold winds…they were shivering.

two puffins sunning themselves at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Main.   Listening to the waves hitting shore is soothing...

two puffins sunbathing  at Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Main. Listening to the waves hitting shore and the other puffins chirping away is very soothing…

Here are some new pics I snapped while watching the pond in Botswana:

two ducks deciding whether to make the plunge into the water; can you spot the warthog making a quick exit behind them?

two ducks deciding whether to make the plunge into the water; can you spot the warthog making a quick exit behind them?

I've heard the Hyenas cackleing, but haven't seen them until this one came by for a drink...

I’ve heard the Hyenas cackling, but haven’t seen them until this one came by for a drink…

this guy/girl was eating some of the tree's leaves...

this”little” one was eating some of the tree’s leaves before taking a sip one morning.

pretty sure this is a duck, sure as heck sounded like one. Loved the reflection in the water...

pretty sure this is a duck, sure as heck sounded like one.  Loved the reflection in the water…

The Botswana cam has been off line the last 2 days, due to the satellite company changing the IP address without telling those controlling the website.  The website masters have posted that they might have someone who can go out to the reserve and adjust the cameras so they can come back online.  In the meantime, there are plenty of other cams to watch…

HOW YOU DOIN?

Going on a Safari, online that is…

I have always loved animals, all sorts of them.  Over the years I’ve had dogs and cats as pets, along with parrots, fish, and rabbits.  I grew up watching reruns of the original Flipper and Gentle Ben, went to Sea World and Marineland and fell for dolphins and orcas.  I even swam with a dolphin in Cabo a few years ago.  I have taken pictures of dolphins and lions and tigers on my trips to Las Vegas and the Mirage Hotel  and  I would love to go on a photographic safari some day when I can afford to.

A couple of days ago, as I was searching online for 4th of July firework shows shown live online, I came upon a website:  ustream.tv that has links to live cameras around the world, categories include entertainment, news, animals, and more.  As I clicked on the “animals and wildlife,” option, I found a lot of cameras covering eagles (some bald ones), gorillas, whales, dogs, cats, etc…  One of the cameras that caught my attention shows (live) a large pond  in Botswana called “Pete’s Pond,”  While watching this area, I have seen elephants, zebras, an assortment of birds, a warthog, and much more.  Here are some of the amazing sights I have seen while watching this camera, which moves left and right, as well as zooming in, though you have no control where the camera goes, that’s left up to people who control the website.  Along with the camera, is a microphone, which allows you to listen to the sounds of the area.  I’ve hit the “printscreen” option on my keyboard to capture what I have watched, as well as taken pictures and small videos of the screen using my cell phone.

Enjoy and be amazed:

this is a small group of elephants leaving the pond before dawn

this is a small group of elephants leaving the pond before dawn…

I spotted a young elephant taking a drink the following morning...

I spotted a young elephant taking a drink the following morning…

here's a wildebeest taking a drink later in the day...

here’s a wildebeest taking a drink later in the day…at least I think it’s a wildebeest

my fiend Jeff is a Wildlife Biologist and identified this young one as a Golden Jackal.

my friend Jeff is a Wildlife Biologist and identified this little one as a Golden Jackal.

I wonder if Simba is close by???  I have heard lions roaring, along with elephants trumpeting...

I wonder if Simba or Timone are close by??? I have heard lions roaring, along with elephants trumpeting…

this zebra came around for a drink as I was beginning to write this post.  Look at the reflection in the water...

this zebra came around for a drink as I was beginning to write this post. Look at the reflection on the water…

the camera pulled back to give you a larger view of the area.

the camera pulled back to give you a larger view of the area.

As I mentioned above, I would love to go on a photographic safari if I could afford it.  I even have a few bookmarked on my internet settings that would be great to do.  But watching Pete’s Pond, has made me feel like I am already on one.  If you’d like to watch too, here is some tips to make sure you get the most out of it: make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player on your desk top and/or lap top, iPads and android network phones seem to work too.  Also, turn up your volume, it might be loud, but it’s the real thing…

I’ll have another post up in a bit with more safari pictures, along with pictures from others live cams including sea otters at the Monte Ray Aquarium, Winter the Dolphin (who was featured in the movie Dolphin Tail) in Florida, along with African Penguins in New Orleans…

So, as I head back to my safari, I ask,

HOW YOU DOIN?

Panor what????

As I’ve said in some of my earlier posts, my interest in photography started when I was in the 6th grade.  My first camera, the Kodak Disc, captured my 6th grade classmates, came with me to Disney World a year later, and even attended camp with me a few months later.  Over the years I have “graduated” to more advanced cameras, my current one (Panasonic Lumix FZ100) is powerful enough to see the craters on the moon.

got this picture off the internet, my disc is long gone...

got this picture off the internet, my disc is long gone…

Most of the pictures I take come from my handheld camera, but 6 months ago I updated my cell phone to a Galaxy S3 and now I’m using it’s camera to take pictures when I don’t have my Lumix with me.  I’m not one to read the entire instruction book cover to cover when I get new gadgets, so I mostly learn as I go, and hope I’m doing things right…

Along with the other pictures I’ve take with my phone, (see my tour of Sony Picture Studios,) I’ve recently figured out how to take Panorama pictures.  Panorama pictures are stretched out shots allowing you to widen your coverage area.  Here are a few that I’ve taken over the last week or so:

my first attempt at taking a panorama; on top of a parking lot in Santa Monica

my first attempt at taking a panorama; on top of a parking lot in Santa Monica

this is the swim gym at school, it closes up to become a basketball court.

this is the swim gym at school, it closes up to become a basketball court.

Century City; the third building on the left, was featured in the first Die Hard movie.

Century City; the third building from the left, was featured in the first Die Hard movie.

I decided to play around with Photoshop and see what I could do...

I decided to play around with Photoshop and see what I could do…

That’s it for now, I’ll be looking out for more panorama shots to take.  That, and I want to figure out how to do them with my Lumix…

HOW YOU DOIN??