An Afternoon at the Cheech–1


Some of you may remember the comedy duo Cheech and Chong way back in the day. Cheech has spent his life collecting Chicano and Chicana art. This year he gave a lot of his art collection to open a new museum in Riverside, California. Earlier this week my grandson, his girlfriend and I went to visit the museum. Photos and videos are allowed without flash. The following is the first set of photos I took. Please note that you need to see this art for yourself. Photos do not do it justice. Much of it is multidimensional and looks very different depending on where the viewer stands.

This is what you see when you enter the door; it is two stories high and multidimensional. Look how different the next photo of it looks from this one.

Walk farther to the side and it looks totally different again.

This speaks for itself. Right now where I live the air is clean enough that unless it is foggy, I can see all the way to downtown LA 30 plus miles away.

All the art at this museum has a message; much of it illustrates the ills of society.

The influence of indigenous art, e.g. Aztec, Mayan, can be seem in much of the art and the statements the art makes.

The woman above and the woman below hang next to each other.

The Riverside Art Museum


On January 2, my grandson, D’mitri, his girlfriend, Landri, and I went to The Riverside Art Museum and the Cheech in Riverside, California. This post includes what we saw at this museum. Later I will share photos of the art at the Cheech.

All the art seen in these first photos is by this Turkish-Mexican American artist. Here she explains how and why she interweaves the various parts of her heritage.

The next gallery room contained hundreds of photos from the 1970s in LA and surrounding areas. Although LA certainly is not the perfect place, improvements since that time are evident in the photographs. Here is a photo about that exhibit.

The next gallery contained art of the Joshua trees. The paper used was made of Joshua trees.

The following photos were taken in a hallway above the patio garden and in a smaller adjoining gallery.

The title of this one is The Future.

The galleries are all arranged around this patio.

Reading Octavia Butler-1


In a recent post I mentioned walking in her footsteps. This is the rainy season so we have not been able to go on that walk yet.. However, this morning I finished reading the last novel of hers that I had not read–Parable of the Talents. It is the sequel to Parable of the Sower. Now I have read all of them. She is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, CA, Eagles View Lot 4517. The inscription on her gravestone is the theme of both the books above:

All that you touch You Change.

All that you Change Changes you.

The only lasting truth is Change.

God

Is Change.

Strolling in Bonelli Regional Park


Instead of walking around the neighborhood, today my neighbor and I took a long walk along one of the paths in Bonelli Regional Park ten minutes from where we live. There are over 30 miles of hiking and bike trails in the park. We took the easy paved walk overlooking the lake.

In summer people swim and boat here. Now it is mostly hiking, dog walking, biking, and fishing.

On this side of the lake many houses, some very large, overlook the lake. A few have vineyards or orchards on the slope near the houses.

Mt Baldy rises in the background. Several of the mountains remain snowcapped.

Several species of ducks, but mostly mallards, and a few geese reside here. In this area we saw a man fishing.

Octavia Butler’s Pasadena–Part One


As part of a bookclub I co-host, we read Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred, a science fiction story which takes places in California and in the Old South. Since many of the bookclub members live in or near Pasadena, we decided we would do “Experience Butler’s Pasadena on Foot”, a walking loop of about 2.5 miles. We had planned to take the walk earlier in December but were rained out. We will reschedule early next year. I decided to do a dry run in November and took these photos along one of the streets where she often walked.

Butler lived most of her life in Pasadena but never owned a car. She either walked or took public transportation.

For those unfamiliar with her, she became famous as the first African American to win multiple Hugo and other science fiction awards. Born in 1947, she died in 2006, and is buried in a cemetery in Altadena, CA, just north of Pasadena. Many of her manuscripts are on display at The Huntington Library.

The last Octavia Butler book I read is the one illustrated in this photo taken at The Huntington Library. I am currently reading the sequel, Parable of the Talents. When I finish that one, I will have read all of her novels. She is one of my favorite authors.

Taking Photos on My Walk


Most days I take a walk around my neighborhood. Usually, I do not take my phone so no photos. However, earlier this week after seeing some lovely flowers and sights, I decided to take the phone so I could take some photos. Here is what I found along the way.

This is the back of the Taiwanese Buddhist Center near my house.

Poppies growing wild near the sidewalk.

Flowers near the poppies.

Southern California is bougainvillea heaven.

A lot of these colorful trees everywhere–a type of tree I always associated with way farther east not here.

Succulents and agaves do well here.

So many kinds of trees grow here including all types of eucalyptus which many consider invasive and also a potential fire hazard.

Referred to as freeway daisies because all colors can be found everywhere and all times of year.

This is also rosemary heaven and everywhere the rosemary is in full bloom.

An Afternoon at The Getty Center


Yesterday my daughter and I drove to The Getty Center to wander around, look at the art, eat at the restaurant, enjoy the views which are quite spectacular.

Two views of the Pacific Ocean from different vantage points. The Getty Center is on top of a hill with spectacular views in almost every direction.

Looking in the opposite direction is a view of a lot of Los Angeles.

In the distance loom the snow capped mountains close to where I live in the San Gabriel Valley.

Across the 405 freeway are large houses and vineyards.

Currently, one entire section of The Getty Center features a Mayan codex, a few pages of one of the oldest ever found.

The view from where I took several photos back through an open area. The Getty Center is huge, made mostly out of limestone.

Much of the art currently on view is about the Virgin of Guadalupe and religious paintings related to the birth of Jesus.

Is Your Toilet Paper Killing the Planet?


Much of the toilet paper used in the US comes from the boreal forest in Canada. It is the tree to toilet pipeline as one environmental organization calls it. The Canadian boreal forest is home to many indigenous people as well as numerous wildlife species. Additionally, it is the world’s most carbon-dense forest. Below are some photos from the Internet.

Major companies clear-cut a million acres of this forest yearly for disposable paper products, much of it toilet paper. The leading culprits include such brands as Angel Soft, Cottonelle, and Charmin. Some brands are better choices if you care about our planet. Below is a chart provided by the NRDC to help you choose your toilet paper wisely and contribute to saving the planet.

Roasted Root Vegetables


This is super easy and perfect for the colder weather. It is also good left over warmed up. You can adjust the amount for the number of people you plan to feed.

1 beet sliced about 1/8 inch thick

2 medium parsnips sliced same thickness

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and sliced same thickness

1/4 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped

Garlic powder

Olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour enough olive oil in a heavy oven appropriate pot to cover the bottom. Layer the vegetables with the chopped onion and a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle garlic power over the top. Place lid on the pot. Bake until the vegetables are tender.

You can use any root vegetables. I used some of my favorites. I never bother to peel beets or parsnips. If you buy large parsnips, you may have to remove the core because it can sometimes be rather hard and bitter.