Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wintertime in Southern California

 My mother has been visiting me for a week.  Sunday we went whale watching.

Harbor Seals.
Here we have an offshore oil rig in its natural habitat.  We did not want to get to close and risk spooking it.

 Anacapa Island one of the five islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park.  The park itself extends one mile into the water around each of the five islands.

 Seabirds, there are examples of California Brown Pelican, Cormorant, and Blue Footed Booby.

 The birds in the middle are Blue Footed Booby.

California Brown Pelican.

Sea Lion.

A whole bunch of sea lions.

Two gray whales.  They where about 45 feet long.

The boat we where on.

 Me with Giant Coreopsis a plant that is all over the Channel Islands (photo credit: my mother).

Me with a fake elephant seal, they can grow to almost twice the size of this one (photo credit: my mother).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lather, rinse, repeat?

The manufacturers of this soap felt the need to include these helpful directions:
In case you can't see the picture, it says:
Use to wash hands as you would use any hand soap
I honestly do not understand this at all. Who in the world are these instructions written for? Do they really think there is someone out there, who, upon purchasing the soap, realizes "Wow, I've never used this particular brand of soap before. I wonder if there are any special instructions for using this particular soap?" And, if someone really is looking for written instructions on how to use a hand soap, this won't even help!

But this made me curious: Is this the standard instruction on all hand soaps? Readers, let me know in the comments what your soap says.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How to lift a mattress up to a balcony

From deep within the lanseybrothers blog draft archives; dated March 2012:

Here is a quick schematic for how to lift a mattress up to a second story balcony if you have three-four people to help and two ropes. The rope that goes under needs to be pretty strong, the rope that goes over does not need to be very strong. None of the people need to be that strong - but the people on the bottom need to be strong enough to lift the mattress about a foot at at time. Numbered instructions below:

  1. Set the people and ropes up as shown in the diagram (strong rope tied to balcony at right).
  2. Have everyone below give a short heave, and let the strong rope person take up the slack.
  3. The upper person in the middle is just there to keep the mattress balanced on the strong rope, and should not need to pull up very strongly.
  4. Do this several times until you can just tip the mattress over into the balcony.
Note 1: make sure that the person pulling the strong rope is standing to the side of where the rope is tied (or you will not the get the top of the mattress above the banister.

Note 2: This is a true story.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Botanical Gardens in January

This past Sunday I decided to go check out some botanical gardens in the LA area.  Thanks to the New York Botanical Gardens Reciprocal Program I can explore multiple gardens without having to worry about admission fees.  Some of you might say isn't this the wrong season for a trip to a botanical garden, to this I will respond "It was in the mid 70s to 80 Sunday (now I am sticking my tongue out at you midwest/east coast)."  To be fair not a lot of flowers blooming, but the gardens I went to where lovely.  The first garden I went to was the Descanso Gardens.

 While wondering around on one of the off the path paths (dirt paths off the paved ways), I came across this little guy.

On another off the beaten path I came across these flowers (and yes it does appear that the plant has some kind of fungal infection).

A flower caught in a little waterfall.

Because there was not a lot blooming the trip to the garden was more like a really long walking trail through a nice area.  So I was able to go through the whole garden rather quickly, so I decide to check out another garden.  The Japanese Gardens/Tillmann Water Treatment Plant and yes its a water reclamation plant with a Japanese garden right next to it.

 This is a closeup of the egret that is in the previous picture.

Thursday, January 02, 2014