Tag Archives: Mendocino



It is interesting how we use phrases as part of our vernacular without knowing where they came from or how they came into being.  I, for one, find the origins of such things interesting.

Take today’s picture.  It’s of an old wagon festooned with flower pots, flowers, buckets, wash tubs, planter boxes, etc., a veritable “hodge-podge” of items.  But what is a “hodge-podge” anyway?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked!

Hodgepodge and its older form hotchpotch are part of a group of words that rhyme all by themselves. Hobnob and willy-nilly are others. In the case of hodgepodge and hotchpotch,the rhyme is not an accident. These words came to English from early French in the form hochepot.The spelling was changed to make the second half of the word rhyme with the first. In French hochepot was a stew of many foods cooked together in a pot. Perhaps the pot was shaken instead of stirred since hochepot was formed from hochier, meaning “to shake,” and pot, which had the same meaning in early French as it does in English now. Before long hotchpotch and hodgepodgewere used not just for a mixture of foods cooking in a pot but for any mixture of different things.

So, I guess in the strictest sense of the word, this isn’t a hodge-podge because you wouldn’t eat it (unless you were a termite, perhaps), but we use the term today to describe any odd collection of things.  Kinda like the way my mind works, I guess…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1870, a drunken brawl turned deadly when “Wild Bill” Hickok shot two soldiers in self-defense, mortally wounding one of them.

William Hickok had earned his reputation as a gunslinger a decade earlier after shooting three men in a gunfight in Nebraska. He parlayed his standing as a sure-shooting gunman into a haphazard career in law enforcement. In 1869, he was elected interim sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. Hays City, the county seat, was a rough-and-tumble frontier town, and the citizens hoped Hickok could bring order to the chaos. Unfortunately, after Hickok had killed two men in the line of duty after just five weeks, they concluded that he was too wild for their tastes and they elected his deputy to replace him in November.

Unemployed, Hickok passed his time gambling, drinking, and occasionally working as a hunting guide. He quickly became bored and was considering taking work at the nearby Fort Hays as an army scout. On this day in 1870, Hickok had been drinking hard at Drum’s Saloon in Hays City. Five soldiers from the 7th Cavalry stationed at Fort Hays were also at the bar. They were drunk and began to exchange words with the notoriously prickly “Wild Bill.” A brawl broke out, and the soldiers threw Hickok to the floor. One trooper tried to shoot Hickok, but the gun misfired. Hickok quickly pulled his own pistols and opened fire. He wounded one private in the knee and wrist, and another in the torso. The three remaining soldiers backed off, and Hickok exited the saloon and immediately left town

A clear case of self-defense, Hickok was cleared of any wrongdoing. Yet, one of the soldiers, Private John Kile, later died of his wound and Hickok’s chances of becoming an army scout evaporated. He spent the next six years working in law enforcement, gambling, and appearing in Wild West shows. He was murdered in a Deadwood, South Dakota, saloon in 1876.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Why is someone who is feeling great ‘on cloud nine’?  Here’s why: types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Just Kickin’ It on Father’s Day

I don’t know about you, but I had a delightful Father’s Day.  The only thing missing was my father, who passed on in 1998.  How I wish I could have called him or gone to see him today and just sat and talked.  Life, however, moves on and he’s no longer here.  I was fortunate.  My dad was the finest man I’ve known.  Was he perfect?  No.  But they just don’t make dads any better than the one I had who raised me.  So, even though you’re not here today, dad, this one is for you: Happy Father’s Day!

It was a relaxing day overall.  In the afternoon, our firstborn, our oldest son, arrived with his family and we ate BBQ and hung out for several hours.  It is such a delight to see your sons grow up to be the best father’s you know.  And my son-in-law is the finest “dad” to our oldest granddaughter that there could possibly be.  I am so blessed by my kids and their spouses.  Every single one of them a true, priceless gem!

Along the northern California seacoast there are many gems, but one of the best is the area around Mendocino.  I’ve shared many pictures from there before and today I’m sharing another one just because it is hot here today and this photo reminds me of the coolness of Mendocino.  I’ll bet it was a truly spectacular day there today!  When I see this photo, I can almost feel the breeze sweeping up and over the headlands, wrapping itself around me with the freshness and revitalizing me.  What a lovely way to finish a weekend!

MendoFlowersON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: it was in 1858 in a speech in Springfield, IL, Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said that the issue of slavery had to be resolved, saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in one year’s time, bees gather 80,000 tons of pollen in the United States.

I Think!

Hey, there’s a lake!  Hey, there’s a mountain!  Hey, there’s a dog!  Get me talking about animals and I’m all ears and tuned in.  I love animals…all sorts, sizes and colors (well, except for snakes, tarantulas, spiders, malaria-carrying mosquitos and maybe lizardy-things).  Even though I don’t like some of those animals I just mentioned, they constitute by far a minority of the animals kingdom.

But if you start talking about plants, I quickly shut down my antennae and go to sleep.  There is only one exception to that: if I see a flower/plant that for some reason catches my photographic antennae, I will tune in and shoot it.

On a not-too-long ago trip to Mendocino on the northern California coast, we ran across these flowers.  Since they are plants, I’m not sure, but I think that they may be daisies?  Help, anyone?

They looked like an appropriate way to slide into the weekend with this photo blog.  Go do something beautiful, see something beautiful this weekend.  Don’t forget to look to the left, the right, down and up…and you are sure to find something you would have otherwise missed.  You’ll be glad you made the effort to be more aware and attentive to what surrounds you!

DaisyON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  1789 – English Admiral Captain Bligh and 18 others, cast adrift from HMS Bounty, eventually reached Timor in the East Indies after a voyage of nearly 4,000 miles in an open boat.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Chips Ahoy! cookies are baked in ovens which are as long as a football field. Over 4,000 cookies exit the oven each minute.


I’m Mister Lonely

Bobby Vinton recorded a song in 1962 by the name of Mr. Lonely.  It was about a lonely soldier who was sent overseas and whose loneliness was compounded because he never heard from those back home.  It was released as the Vietnam War was starting to heat up which may have contributed to its success.  The lyrics went like this:

“Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody for my own
I am so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
Wish I had someone to call on the phone

“Now I’m a soldier, a lonely soldier
Away from home through no wish of my own
That’s why I’m lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I wish that I could go back home

“Letters, never a letter
I get no letters in the mail
I’ve been forgotten, yes, forgotten
Oh how I wonder, how is it I failed

“Now I’m a soldier, a lonely soldier
Away from home through no wish of my own
That’s why I’m lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I wish that I could go back home.”

I thought that the lyrics to this song went well with my photo for today, which I took recently in Mendocino, CA.  Of course, we might need to change the lyrics for the last line of the first verse to “Wish I had someone to bring me a bone.”  What do you think?

_MG_2381ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1783, Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted and continued to spew lava for eight more months.  One of the most violent volcanic eruptions ever, Laki’s eruption killed 9,350 persons and caused a famine that lasted for seven years.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: bulls don’t charge at a matador because they see red or a red cape.  They charge because of the movement of the cape.


Getting a Hand Out

It was a bright sunny day in the village by the northern California coast.  I was in search of strange sights when I encountered a heavily flowered yard behind a weather-beaten home.  The boards of the house had seem a great deal of abuse from the onslaught of the salt air and ocean breezes.  They, like the creases in an old man’s face, testified to their hard life.

But the yard was full of beautiful flowers and strange oddities.  Plastic skeletons of alligators, frogs, images of Egyptian cats, aliens looking out through windows, tiny plaster bison, a towering totem-pole topped with reindeer horns and a plaster frog!

Today’s picture is of one such oddity.  I couldn’t help but wonder who was in the jar…all I could see was one hand.

Maybe this is what is meant by “getting a hand out”!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1997, the rock group U2 performed for 45,000 Muslims, Croats, Serbs and NATO peace force troops.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Early Lloyd was the first African-American to ever play in the NBA when he too the floor for the Washington Capitols on October 31, 1950 in Rochester, New York.


Reflective Musings

Are you into reflecting?  Pondering?  Musing?  I find myself fascinated by reflecting on certain things that especially interest me.  I love things having to do with space.  I love to ponder some of the mysteries of the world and creation.

In photography, nearly every picture is made with a reflection of some kind.  After all, everything we see is the result of light reflecting off of different surfaces at different wavelengths, with the resulting variation of color.

It is interesting to take pictures of reflective things.  Sometimes it is the surface of a body of water, or a water puddle reflecting a building or plant or person.  Sometimes, as in today’s picture, it can be a mirror.

This mirror was on the wall at Sandpiper in Mendocino.  I rather liked this mirror and others they had hanging on the wall, and I liked the resulting pictures, too.

It is interesting to me that we can be “lost in reflection” yet also “found in reflection.”

Lost in reflection…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant all of its women the right to vote.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the US was waging war with Mexico when gold was discovered in California.  In fact, California still belonged to Mexico at the time!


The Egyptian god, Horus (“The One Far Above”) was known as the god of the sky.  Perhaps that’s why he is shown partly in the form of a bird (the head of a hawk, to be precise). He is probably most well-known as the protector of the ruler of Egypt.  The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the ‘living Horus’.

Sorry I couldn’t post yesterday, but my Internet was down nearly all day!!!!  (It’s amazing how dependent we’ve become on that technology!!!!)

The ancient Egyptians had many different beliefs about the god Horus. One of the most common beliefs was that Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris.  After Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, Horus fought with Seth for the throne of Egypt.

In this battle, Horus lost one of his eyes. The eye was restored to him and it became a symbol of protection for the ancient Egyptians. After this battle, Horus was chosen to be the ruler of the world of the living.

On of the best preserved temples in Egypt to this day was dedicated to Horus.

This photo, like the one of Anubis a couple of days ago, was taken at the Sandpiper jewelry store in Mendocino, CA.

Horus, Egyptian god of the sky and protector of Pharaoh

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (YESTERDAY)!: September 17, 1862 was the Civil War battle of Antietam.  It ranks as the single bloodiest day in the nation’s long and storied history, as 23,000 men were killed or wounded in a single day.  Over 4000 died and 19,000 were wounded in a relatively short, 12-hour battle.  It is said that a soldier fell every 2 seconds for that 12-hour period.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in Ontario, Canada, specially trained German Shepherd dogs were brought in to try to find underground gas leaks that equipment couldn’t located.  In sub-freezing temperatures, the dogs covered over 100 miles, sniffing out over 150 gas leaks.

Flyin’ High

I always wanted to learn to fly.  I thought about it numerous times, but never had the time/money combination to do it.  I have several friends who have their pilots license – some were even professional pilots.  That’s cool.

Like everyone else, I’ve dreamed many times that I could fly. Usually, in my dreams, I don’t have to do anything to make it happen except think about it.  Then, presto-change-o, I simply lift up off the ground and I can float around wherever I want to!  Pretty cool, eh?  I wonder about your flying dreams…do you have to do anything, like moving your arms, to fly?

Today is another picture from Mendocino.  It was an action shot as the bumble-bee what just lifting off from the flower in the picture.  I had my telephoto lens on, so it was a tough shot to get and that explains why part of it is a bit blurry – I didn’t have a very deep depth-of-field (aperture).  Still…if you double-click on this puppy, you’ll be able to see the antennae of the bee as he heads away from the camera.

Makes me wonder a bit: do you think bees and birds have to think about flying?

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1898, celluloid photographic film was patented by Rev. Hannibal Williston Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey.  It’s the stuff movies are made of!!!

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: without using precision instruments, Eratosthenes measured the radius of the Earth in the 3rd century BC, and came up with a measurement that was within 1% of the value determined by today’s technology.  Pretty smart dude, eh?

Splendor Of the Grass

Some time ago there was a movie by the title of Splendor In the Grass.  I never saw it, and doubt that I shall.  In fact, I know nothing about it.  I’m not that much into old movies, with one notable exception: the original The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Gotta love that movie!

Anyway, when we were in Mendocino, my wife was window/store shopping and I was outside searching out targets for my camera.  Between the buildings was some grass…at least I think it belongs to the grass family.  I’ve shot pictures of this kind of plant before and they turned out interesting and pretty, so I fired away.

Maybe someone can tell me if this is indeed a grass, or a succulent, or something else, and the name of this plant.  I love the range of pastel colors it presents.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a button sending a signal to Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) to start up the first hydroelectric generator in Nevada.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: 52% of Internet users have cut back on their television to spend more time online.  Twelve percent have stopped seeing as many people in person.


A Strange Place, A Strange Face

Mendocino, California, is a different sort of town.  It’s located right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and the Mendocino headlands are a great place to walk around and watch the ocean.  We love it.  It was nice to see it recently after not having seen the ocean at all for over 10 months.

My wife has some favorite shops in Mendocino, but her favorite is the Sandpiper jewelery store.  She could probably spend an hour or two in there, even though the shop is pretty small.  They have Holly Yashi jewelery, which is Laurel’s favorite.  Watching her look at that jewelery is a lot like watching a Newfoundland dog looking at a steak.

While she’s in that store, I’m usually wandering around outside with my camera.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the subject of today’s picture.  I mean, I knew that Mendocino was another kind of place, but I didn’t realize how alien it truly was/is.  Today’s photo should set the record to rest….

There are strange things in Mendocino, CA

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1955, the most popular Western in television history, Gunsmoke, debuted with James Arness starring as Marshal Matt Dillion.   I loved that show!

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  when a piece of glass cracks, the cracks spread at more than 3000 miles per hour.