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Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Feline Friday – #76 – vacuum cleaner attachment

frankie shark

I recently bought a Shark vacuum cleaner. When I laid all the pieces out on the floor there was an extra attachment that wasn’t listed in the manual. It didn’t seem to fit anywhere.

frankie shark

After I finished assembling the vacuum cleaner, this mysterious attachment was left over. And worse yet, it seemed to have an attitude! When I tried to collect all the packaging to put in the recycling bin it actually growled at me.

Even though I am love with the vacuum cleaner itself, I’m going to have to contact Shark and complain about this extra attachment. I mean really, they should have a better quality inspection system!

frankie-bathroom

As the day progressed, things got worse. I had scrubbed the bathroom and washed the bathroom rugs. Next thing I knew, the unidentified attachment had scrunched up my nice clean rug to take a nap!

Surely this was the end of the havoc. But no!!

frankie stairsBelieve it or not, the worst was yet to come. I went to bed early as I was tired, I woke up at 11:00pm and remembered I had not turned off the computer upstairs in my office. Coming back downstairs I was groggy and made the bad decision not to turn on the light in the stairwell. The last thing I remember is feeling something furry and squishy under my feet.

drinking fountain

I took a nose dive down the stairs and ended up sprawled in the cats’ drinking fountain at the bottom of the stairs! I didn’t hit my head but I was in shock feeling the water sloshing around me, hearing the pump working and wondering in my daze if I would be electrocuted!

Fortunately, I am still here to tell the story. All I can say is, when you buy a vacuum cleaner with fancy attachments, make sure you check out the box very thoroughly and if anything doesn’t look right, be very careful.

frankie and freddie

Of course, Frankie thought this was all very funny and here he is having a good laugh. And my gentle giant, Freddie, just taking it all in his usual laid-back style.

But I do want to thank Frankie for being a good sport about his participation in this post and, of course, to Freddie for being his usual patient self with all of Frankie’s hijinks.

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My day in DTLA

carole garland

I’m not ashamed to admit I love downtown Los Angeles. So when I heard that Carole Garland was showing her paintings of downtown at the TAG Gallery on Wilshire Blvd (near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) I had to go. I took the Culver CityBus line #1 to the Metro line #217.

TAG gallery

This was my first visit to TAG since the gallery moved from Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

I really like the space. It gives the artists a chance to spread out. There’s also a second level.

The photo above is all Carole’s DTLA show.

Carole Garland

Los Angeles Union Station

It was difficult for me to pick her three best paintings. I just had to be arbitrary or I would have ended up showing you all of them!

Carole Garland

Bridge spanning the LA River

BTW, all Carole’s images are shown with her permission.

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The heart of downtown with new Wilshire Grand building in foreground as it was being constructed.

After this I jumped on the Metro #720 bus thinking it would take me along Wilshire Blvd all the way downtown. Surprise, it was only going to Vermont. Fortunately, the bus turned the corner and dropped us all off at the Wilshire/Vermont Red and Purple Line Station.

angel's flight

Looking upwards to the station at the top of the hill

That actually worked out better as I was able to take the Purple Line all the way to Pershing Square for my next adventure. Angels Flight, the world’s shortest railway, had reopened recently (this was September 20, 2017) and I wanted a ride. I won’t go into the whole history here. It’s been pretty rocky. You’ll have to Google it.

The price is one whole dollar for the ride. As I have a TAP card it only cost me 50 cents each way.

angels flight

I’ve ridden this little railway a million times over the years. I never get tired of it.

One Bunker Hill

Having gotten my jollies on Angels Flight (up and down), it was time for coffee. I had read an article in the LA Times (I subscribe to the digital version) that a coffee bar had opened in the lobby of one of my favorite buildings, One Bunker Hill. Don’t have to ask me twice!

One Bunker Hill

My coffee and the view from where I was sitting.

One Bunker Hill

The building was originally called the Southern California Edison Building when it opened around 1930. It was on the very first architectural tour I took with the Los Angeles Conservancy in 1988 and when I saw the interior I decided I had to become an architectural docent. So I took the training and led LAC walking tours for sixteen years.

One Bunker Hill

I think my little Canon point & shoot camera doesn’t do too bad of a job, does it?

One Bunker Hill

I love the subdued light that comes in through the pastel-colored window panes.

One Bunker Hill

This is the most elegant coffee bar I have ever had the pleasure of spending my time in.

One Bunker HillThe very friendly and personable barista.

When I was doing the tours I seem to remember there were something like 30 different kinds of marble used in the building. This was just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which hit the West Coast around 1930 as the building was opening.

One Bunker Hill

Travertine, a porous rock formed in surface waters. If you ever go to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone, you will be walking on it as it is forming. A fabulous experience.

cabbage patch

So now it was lunchtime. I had read a review about Cabbage Patch so I decided to try it out. Mmmmm. I ordered two sides, mashed potatoes and cole slaw. Both were heavenly.

downtown la

I was so happy, sitting at my window table watching the world walk by. What a lovely day. I was so grateful for my life.

pershing squareI walked back over to Pershing Square to discover it was farmers market day. We have these pop-up markets all over the LA area on different days. I go to the Culver City farmers market on Tuesday afternoons to buy all my veggies and fruit.

downtown la

Biltmore Hotel, Library Tower,  Gas Company, California Plaza

And it was time to go home. Downtown is an endless source of enjoyment for me. This was a super day.


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Feline Friday – #75 – calling all hummers

freddie

About four months ago I bought a hummingbird feeder.

We get so many hummers flitting through the Melaluca trees outside the front balcony looking for insects for their protein, I thought it would be nice to supply them with a little dessert for their hard work.

Of course, this has turned into cat TV. Here is Freddie patiently waiting for a hummingbird to stop by. I didn’t have the heart to tell him all the time he sat out there no hummers were about to take a chance on the feeder!

freddie

But after a while Freddie was getting very frustrated. So if the hummingbirds weren’t coming to him, he would go to the hummers! “Come on little feathered friends, where are you? Come on over!”

Sorry, Freddie, this is going from bad to worse!

Finally Freddie gave up and came inside to watch from the other side of the window where the hummingbirds aren’t afraid of him.


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Photos I’m showing at the Culver City Art Group Show

The first five photos are in the main show:

Lion at the Los Angeles Zoo

 

Tree at White Sands

 

White Sands Landscape

 

Canoes for rent at Avalon, Catalina Island

 

culver city art show

William Jefferson Clinton Pedestrian Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas

 

Entry for the Members’ Theme: Let there be light

White Sands

My self-portrait at White Sands, New Mexico

These will be on view Saturday, November 11 at Playa Vista.


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Feline Friday – #73 – guarding the suitcase

frankie

I was out of town for over a week visiting southern New Mexico. I’ll be posting photos when I have more time. When I attempted to put my bags away I saw they were being guarded very closely by Frankie. He figured I couldn’t leave again without getting past him first… and he wasn’t budging!

As soon as I got out of the taxi in the driveway I heard raucous squealing. That was Freddie up on the roof welcoming me home. By the time I opened the front door he was there to greet me… along with Frankie. As always, it was great to be home!

I have a lot of things going right now so it’s going to take me a while to get back to my blog… and checking out yours… but I will be back as soon as I get caught up.


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Feline Friday – #71 – cooling, composing and being contrary

Frankie and Freddie cooling off in the breeze.

We’ve had some heat lately. I don’t use the a/c because my place is built like a barn with high ceilings and an open loft, so fans and open windows to catch the breeze are a better idea. But when you are wearing a year-round fur coat, things can get a little warm.

So when the temps soar upwards Frankie and Freddie stay away from soft surfaces and choose glass and tile instead. One of their favorite spots is the glass top, “former” dining table next to the front balcony. I gave up using the table to eat on when F and F took it over years ago. I don’t mind, there are plenty of other places for me (and my human guests) to eat.

We live about five miles from the Pacific Ocean, so the air flows in through the sliding glass door and circulates out through the other windows and doors.

Freddie in his basket keeping an eye on things.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for some items to put together for a still life composition. I didn’t have to look far. I looked up and there was Freddie resting in one of his favorite places… the top of the tall armoire in the living room where I keep my art supplies. He can often be found inside the cabinet too as he gets his paw around the lower door and opens it easily.

This is a great cat place to take a nap as it affords a sweeping view of the living and dining area. And he can keep an eye on me as I sit in the loft too! The best part is Frankie is not a good jumper so he can’t follow Freddie up there when he is chasing him.

frankie freddie

Frankie taking ownership of the carrier I bought for Freddie.

Last week I took both Frankie and Freddie separately to the groomer to get their claws clipped. I bought this nice new carrier for Freddie but he refused to get in it. This is the medium size carrier but Freddie weighs 16 lbs (7.2 kg) so I admit it was a tad snug for him. I gave it a trial run before the day.

After forcing one leg in and then the other and then the first leg came out and then another leg in and then the tail and butt in and then another leg out and the tail out and the head in and the front legs out and the butt back in and then the tail and the back legs out and the front legs in…. and then the whole cat screeching across the floor… I gave up!

As soon as Freddie left the area, Frankie jumped in, curled up and took a snooze in there for the rest of the afternoon! One cat’s nightmare is another feline’s dream.

I had better luck with the older carrier. Although it’s the same length it’s a couple of inches higher so I had an easier time stuffing Freddie in it!

Usually Freddie is my Gentle Giant and makes no fuss over anything. Frankie is the more aggressive, less cooperative cat. But the roles were reversed. I was able to transport Frankie to the groomer without a peep out of him. Freddie howled the entire journey to the groomer and all the way home. He would not speak to me for the rest of the day!

Cats are contrary animals to say the least!


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Artsy friends at art show

art forum art show

Yesterday I took the Metro #733 rapid bus to Ocean Park (south Santa Monica) to attend the Venice Art Forum Group Show artist talk at the invitation of my friend Barbara Golbin.

I took several art classes with Linda Jacobson, the founder of the forum, centuries ago at UCLA when after years of doing no art I felt the need to get started again. She was instrumental in getting my creative juices flowing and I haven’t stopped since.

When I met Barbara the day of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and discovered she was an artist in hiding, I introduced her to the art forum. I dropped out but Barbara kept going.

I really love her artwork and I don’t say that lightly. She has her own definitive style and is not afraid to try new things.

art forum

Each artist was given the opportunity to talk about their art and what inspired them.

I love art and I never cease to be amazed by how each artist expresses themselves so uniquely.

Barbara likes flowers. How she interprets them is her own vision. I can spot one of her paintings a mile away in a crowd of thousands!

Below is the video I made of Barbara’s section of the talk:

I made this video with my point and shoot Canon G16 and at times I forgot I was shooting a video, therefore a few erratic moves!

art forum

Another artist I greatly admire is Carole Garland. She said not everybody enjoys realistic painting. I had to comment that her paintings are not realistic. They are HER impressions of a scene. I happen to love the Santa Monica Pier myself, which is depicted in these paintings.

She also has a series of paintings of downtown Los Angeles at the TAG Gallery which I plan to visit this coming Thursday.

So much art to see, so little time!

 


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Feline Friday -#70 – LA’s famous mountain lion P-22

P22

P-22

This is not P-22, obviously, but a similar mountain lion.

While I was at the Natural History Museum the other day to visit the Extreme Mammals exhibit, I saw the new display about P-22, the mountain lion who lives in Griffith Park.

From the Natural History Museum website:

In the hills of Griffith Park, a mountain lion roams. His name is P-22.

Born in the western Santa Monica Mountains, P-22 crossed both the 405 and 101 freeways, eventually reaching Griffith Park. He lives alone in this small territory by the Hollywood sign, surrounded and confined by the city of L.A. P-22 was first spotted by now NHMLA Citizen Science Coordinator Miguel Ordeñana in 2012 as part of the Griffith Park Connectivity Study, a joint effort of Cooper Ecological and the U.S. Geological Survey. 

P22

P-22, and other big cats like him, are often blamed for encroaching on people’s homes. The truth is, people are the one’s encroaching on the home of the mountain lions.

P22

This is a map of the LA area and the city these lions have to deal with. The dark red splodge at lower right shows P-22’s habitat. Basically he is caged in by the freeways all around him. Many cats have lost their lives trying to cross them.

P22

A closer look at P-22’s area. He lives in Griffith Park all by himself.

P-41 is also hemmed in by freeways all around.

P22

The inability to move around to other territories is the cause of inbreeding, as with P-19, who, having no choice, mated with her father. This doesn’t bode well for the survival of the species.

P-22

Wildlife crossings over the freeways have been proposed for years but so far nothing has been done. It isn’t just the big cats that suffer from being penned in, it’s all the species of animals, insects, plants that are stuck in small habitats. My answer is, let’s keep people trapped in their own neighborhoods and let the animals roam freely!

Just as important is the habitat of insects like the Delhi Sands fly. If just one small part of the eco-system is endangered it causes a domino effect for all of us.

One fly, one species… and then the human species. We live in dangerous times!

 


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Last day of Extreme Mammals

natural history museum

It’s been a while since I posted anything on WordPress. Several reasons, which I won’t go into! Let’s just say I needed a rest.

So many things have happened since my last post that I decided to work backwards with the latest happenings first, for the most part.

I seem to have a habit of leaving things to the last minute. This includes museum exhibits. Often I attend exhibits on the last day even though I know about them months in advance. So, my visit to Extreme Mammals at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM for short) was on September 10, the last day.

I didn’t know for sure I was really going up until about an hour before I left for the train. But as I’m a member I hate to miss any exhibits that are part of my membership. So I went on my own (except for the company of my Inner Child, of course).

From the website:  For over 200 million years, mammals have inhabited the Earth. In this epic evolutionary journey, mammals lived with—and even ate—dinosaurs, swam in the ocean, flew in the air, and became the fastest land animals of all time!

natural history museum

The photo at the top of the page is of an Indricotherium, the largest mammal to ever walk the earth. It weighed up to 20 tons and lived about 23 million years ago. However, a larger mammal lives today: the Blue Whale, ten to twenty times the size of the Indricotheriume . It can grow that large due to the buoyancy of water. The Blue Whale is the largest animal, mammal or otherwise, ever known!

natural history museum

Batodonoides was the smallest mammal, living about 50 million years ago. It could climb up your pencil (if you were around 50 million years ago and there were pencils) and was as light as a dollar bill.

As the sign states, there are more than 5,400 species of mammals alive today.

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This sign board  explains a lot!

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This Synthetocerus tricornatus doesn’t look terribly cuddly. In all instances, horns evolved in animals whose ancestors had no headgear at all.

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For millions of years plant-eating glyptodonts the size of cars roamed North and South America. Their closest living relatives are armadillos.

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This Macrauchenia was known for being very nosy… sorry…

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Yes, a walking whale!

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Mammoths living on the islands off the coast of Ventura (just north of Los Angeles) were half the size of mammoths on the mainland due to their isolation, lack of big predators and limited food resources.

 

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Jaws of a Columbian Mammoth and a Pygmy Mammoth.

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Ellsmere Island, a mere 600 miles from the North Pole, 50 million years ago. A great stopping place for a cruise.

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Beautifully preserved Scarrittia lived in Argentina 29 to 24 million years ago.

extreme-mammals-091017-043-C-500px

Paleontologists have unearthed more than three million fossils at La Brea Tar Pits (next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, shells, and plants.

extreme-mammals-091017-045-C-500px

Ninety-nine percent of all mammals and other species that have ever lived on Earth are extinct.

Pretty soon it’s going to be 100% including you and me! Maybe not quite 100%… the cockroaches will survive…

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Feline Friday – #69 – manicure, pedicure, pawicure… or a nap?

Frankie

I bought a corrugated cardboard scratcher pad for the felines last week. As soon as I put it down on the floor there was a flurry of fur scrambling for initiation rights. Frankie, being the Bully, claimed it as his before I could blink.

FreddieFreddie the Gentle Giant politely waited for the all-clear from Frankie before hopping aboard for his turn.

Frankie

But Frankie would have none of it and immediately scooted over to once again take possession of it for himself.

Frankie and Freddie

Now they seem to have settled into an amicable sharing arrangement. While they do use it to give their claws a manicure, or is it a pedicure… or maybe a pawicure, one or the other is often found napping on it. No worries, next week I’ll buy a second scratcher so no sharing necessary!

At top left you can see a flattened out packing box that Frankie appropriated to make his own scratcher.

Why didn’t I buy the corrugated cardboard before, you might well ask. I did have several around the house but about a year ago when Pharoah got sick and started to lose it, he preferred the scratch boxes instead of the litter boxes. I’ll say no more! Now that Pharoah has passed it is safe to introduce the scratchers again…. okay, you had to ask!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!