Saturday, June 27, 2009

A visit to The Gipper.

Two Fridays ago, my husband and I drove up to Simi Valley (California), about 30 or so miles from my house to pay a visit to The Gipper.* When we got there he, Ronald Reagan, was waiting for us and all visitors, at the main entrance of the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. He was standing tall with a wide grin on his face. I touched him. He was cold as all statues are.

Inscription at the foot of the statue.
Click images to enlarge.

We paid our entrance and got inside the museum. It was filled with memorabilia. There were pictures of him when he was a child; when he was in the service in World War II; when he was a young actor; when he was president of the SAG (Screen Actors Guild); and when he was governor of California. Pictures of him with his wife Nancy and their children; with world leaders; with people of note and others.

The original car, a mustang convertible, he used during his campaign as governor of California.

The limousine, a 1984 Cadillac, was state of the art built exclusively for the president.

The helicopter...The Marine One.

Young visitors come as well to visit and learn about the past president. Here they are guided around by a docent who explains everything to them. Just above this floor is...

...The Air Force One.

Visitors are allowed to take a walk through this airplane. They, however, are prohibited from taking pictures of the interior. The quarters inside the plane was somewhat cramped, it being a 707 plane. Nowadays a 747 jumbo jet is used. The plane becomes Air Force One once the president sets foot on it. If it is used by others, not the president, it is not Air Force One. (Two maybe, or three, depending on the rank of the user...maybe. LOL)

There is not enough room for me to get the whole plane in one shot. I have to splice three shots together.

Information and technical details.

The floor plan.
The seal.

In the garden, right behind the library is this piece of the Berlin Wall.

About the wall...

...and the garden with the view. It was said during the president's memorial service that he loved the view on this place; that on a clear day the Pacific Ocean is visible here.

A few steps away was his final resting place...

"I know in my heart that man is good
that what is right will always eventually triumph
and there is purpose and worth to each and every life."

February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

...and we bid goodbye to The President.

*He played the role of George "The Gipper" Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American; from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname "the Gipper.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The Octopus Dad.
Click image to enlarge.

With 8 arms, he can take care of all his 8 babies at the same time. He could be over protective of his little ones. One false move and all 8 tentacles will be on ones neck squeezing the daylights out of the unfortunate one. So beware. Don't ever make fun of his 8 little octobabies.

This octopus is at an electronics store in Burbank, California. It's probably about 10' high and placed atop all the display shelves looking angrily at everyone below him.

Pssstt...I didn't see the octowife.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer is here!

One day more and officially it's here. Though right now the sky has turned gloomy again and there's a little chill in the air. Truly our weather is unpredictable. Mother Nature is going nuts. LOL

Yesterday was the first day of my Summer art class. The sun was up and no clouds were hindering its blazing rays and everyone was dressed light. A handful of old students were gathered at the quad when I got there at 9:30 in the morning. A few new faces were sitting quietly around the concrete tables. The teacher came in a few minutes later. She apologized profusely for coming in late. Then we piled behind
her as she unlocked the door and we all stepped inside the room as we gathered our painting gears.

The sky was so clear...except for a few scattered clouds.
The view from the school atop the hill.

(click image to enlarge)

That's how hot it was yesterday afternoon - 82F deg. or 30C deg.

During the last few weeks of the Spring semester, I did not attend the class. That was a point when I could not create anything interesting to paint. I have turned away from copying other people's creative work - photos or paintings. It's cheating. I'm cheating on myself. So there I was at a standstill and could not make myself to go to the class. My teacher in my Fall class had more interesting subjects for us to paint; but she left the class to teach art in high school. She is a cheery and hip kind of person. I like the way she taught us, her students.

Now I'm back in the class.

I didn't have any materials or subject to paint, so I painted something from memory. It was a scene I've seen when I was a kid. I was six years old then, I think. And the scene keeps popping in my head. I remember it was somewhere in the north, my mom's hometown in the Ilocos Region. How I got there, I have no recollection. I was there is all I can remember, and the scene had been embedded in my head after all these years. It was a nice, tranquil scenery up in the mountain.

I painted the scene in an 8" x 10" canvas. I need to work some more on it, maybe, in a couple of days. Hopefully, it would come out as close to what I see in my mind.

Friday, June 12, 2009


These drawings were from photographs sent to me by Ann. She made a special request for me to make portraits of them in pencil. The original photos are here in her blog.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

What global warming?

Dark clouds over the canyons.

What is going on? Here we are at the threshold of summer and we are having winter-like weather. I am back to wearing my sweaters and my jackets again to keep warm. At night I put on my flannel jammies to bed. I have put them away thinking I won't wear them again till fall comes. The clouds have been gray, and at times there have been scattered showers. The sun would peek for a while then hide behind the clouds again. It's been this way for three weeks now.

Summer will officially be here on the 21st of this month. So, now we put on hold going for a dip at the pool; going to the beach for a swim; and to the park for a picnic. Those new bikinis won't be worn till it gets warm. California weather is really crazy.

I wonder if Mother Nature is refuting what some were saying about global warming. Could it be she was just having hot flashes? I want summer here and now. I am tired of cold gloomy days. It is depressing. I am tired of wearing layers of clothes. I want to wear my bikini!!!! Ha ha ha I really could.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Is that you Don Quail?

About a week ago I saw a strange looking bird meandering in my patio. It was my first time to see this kind of bird and I have wondered what it was. Then I suddenly remember to run upstairs to get my camera. I took aim and just then my battery ran out. Grrr...&@$#& I got back upstairs to get my spare battery and ran downstairs again. This time, however, the bird has wandered between the exterior wall of my house and a big pot of cactus plant. It was not a good shot. A few seconds later it took off in the backyard up the slope among the bushes.

Three days later, I heard a strange sound in the patio again. I walked to the sliding glass door to see what it was and there it is the strange looking bird. I startled it and it took off, but came back in a few minutes. I aimed carefully this time, hiding behind the wall so as not to scare it. I got a good shot of it.

It turned out that this is The California Valley Quail. It is the State Bird. More about the bird here.

The California Valley Quail
Click image to enlarge.

Here it is at the back door, looking inside. It's been lurking in the back most of the time. It is now a familiar sight in my backyard. My husband said it is our mascot. LOL

I don't have a clue as to its gender. I wonder if that thing on its head means its a male or a female. If it's a male, I'll call it Don, Don Quail. (Not to be confused with Dan Quayle. ) If it's a female I'll call it Donna. However, I prefer it to be a male.

Don has been looking inside the house for some 30 minutes or so. He could be watching me while I was watching TV. Or he could be looking at his image on the glass, thinking it's another quail. Or he could reading my blog. Yes, that's what he was doing. He's lurking, and when I'm not looking, he's reading my blog. LOL

Oh, well, I ramble and talk nonsense at times, if not all the time.