Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Catching Up: A White Christmas in Tahoe

Tom and I got another White Christmas since we flew up to spend the holiday with Sam. Tom arrived Wednesday night and I arrived the following Friday morning. On Christmas Eve afternoon, the two of us skied at Squaw, and in spite of the warm weather, had a fun time riding the slopes.
That night, we went to the River Ranch Lodge for a delicious and beautiful Christmas Eve dinner and a very enjoyable time with Sam, Jenn, and Andy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Munch Moments (sort of)

Watching the sunset from Mugu Rock looking towards Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, the sky reminded me of the sky in Edvard Munch's Scream. Nice to know that life on the beach in SoCal is much mellower than that portrayed in the painting. Our sky did have something in common with Munch's Oslo sky yesterday - particulates caused the unnatural light. Oslo that year had ash from Krakatoa's eruption; Ventura County had ash from a Santa Paula controlled burn. In spite of wanting to scream about our current leadership in the White House and all the harm it has done to our country and planet, I have to say that life in my corner of the world is much, much brighter than an existential painting will ever be!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Google's Cool Logo Today

Today being Edvard Munch's birthday, the folks at Google created this special logo for their search page. The Norwegian Expressionist was born on December 12, 1863, and it is especially fitting that the creator of The Scream, as this image of existential angst has been popularly called, is being celebrated this year. The original painting, one of four versions created by Munch, was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo on August 22,2004 and was recovered this year - two years and nine days later.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

. . . well, sort of. This is what Port Hueneme Beach looked like yesterday when I spent my lunch hour enjoying the sun. If you click on the picture and enlarge it to its real size you can see both Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. I took these other pictures after Messiah rehearsal, when Tom and I had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen near our house .
Here's shot of the decorated palm trees and the rising moon.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hope you had a pleasant and happy Thanksgiving. Dad, Jane, Bryan, Jessica, and Chelsea came up from OC and helped make Tom's and my day very nice. We missed Sam, of course, but look forward to seeing him at Christmas. Here's a little ditty created up the road in SB. Warning: I hope you enjoy it, but if you don't want to find yourself humming "gobble, gobble, gobble that turkey" all day, you might want to turn the sound off and just watch the people turkey dance.
The Gobble Song

Back to our Thanksgiving, here's Tom and Bryan playing guitar after dinner.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My New Workplace

Much has happened since the last time I posted some thoughts. On November 4th, I started working for a new employer - the City of Oxnard - as a Librarian at the South Oxnard Branch Library (SOBL). Originally scheduled to close on October 31st, the current 4,000 sq.ft. facility is in the Community Center at 200 E. Bard Rd. Construction is behind schedule, so I am working there until we close our existing facility and move next door into this state of the art building. (In the meantime, I took some vacation days and separated my employment with UCSB on November 14th. On March 8, 2007, I will retire from the University of California - on the anniversary of my 14th year with the UC!)
Take a look at this video of all the activity as the interior of the new South Oxnard branch of the Oxnard Public Library moves toward completion.

This photo shows where the Young Adult area will be; it is to the west, on the other side of the shelving.
CLA 2006 Library Cheer

Ever heard a library cheer? Here's your chance . . . GO! GO READ! . . .

Sunday, October 22, 2006

October 1: The Rainy Season Began Early

We had our first rain on the first day of October - only .15 inch, but it was real rain and it was relatively early. (It's hard to see the rain without clicking on the photos to make them bigger. Then again, this would only impress a SoCal rain geek like me!)
The really good thing about it was it helped contain the month-long Day Fire. (this photo was taken on September 26, just as the winds kicked it up again.)

Catching Up: Fall Arrived In SoCal

I took these pictures on campus on September 26, just a few days after the equinox.
Also right on time for Autumn, the Monarch butterflies arrived and the paperwhites in our yard have begun to bloom.

Friday, October 13, 2006

1987 - Betty Glover Library Workout Tape Ad

This predates all the library truck drill teams - what a hoot!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Our 35th Anniversary

(Life has been busy so I'm catching up with September happenings. Life goes on, too, as our beloved Oom Hans passed on, we celebrated Sam's 25th birthday - as well as our wedding anniversary.)

September 11 has gotten a bad rap since 2001, but it will always be a day of celebration for Tom and me and Richard and Nancy. 9/11/71 was Tom's and my wedding day in Redondo Beach and R&N's wedding day in Manning Park, Montecito. Since meeting in Isla Vista after returning from our respective honeymoons in San Francisco, we've gotten together for anniversary celebrations whenever possible.

This year, after enjoying the champagne and cheese Richard & Nancy brought to our house, we had a fabulous dinner at Herzog Wine Cellars' restaurant, Tierra Sur. We enjoyed two wonderful bottles of 2002 Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley (it was so sweet of Masio to treat us to one of them!). We enjoyed appetizers of Beef Carpaccio with marinated baby artichokes, fried capers and balsamic syrup, and Chorizo lamb sausage, and black olive piadina, flat bread with watercress and cherry tomato salad with zahtar dressing. These were followed by our beautifully presented and very delicious Wood grilled rib-eye steak with Onion gratin with almond bread crumbs and Cabernet green peppercorn sauce; Roasted baby lamb chop with kibbeh, bulghur and lamb meat balls with mint tomato sauce; Pan seared ono with lemon roasted asparagus, fried red thumb fingerling potatoes and taramasalata. Dessert? Yup, since our food was truly Kosher, it was not as heavy as it might have been and we were able to save room for equally delicious and satisfying desserts and after-dinner drinks :-)

My Uncle Hans (May 25, 1921 - September 8, 2006)

I'll have to put something better on our website later on, but until then, let this be my tribute to an incredible man with a great sense of humor.

Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on 9/17/2006:


On Friday, September 8, 2006, we lost our beloved father and husband after a brief illness. Hans Neyndorff was born on May 25, 1921 in Surabaya, Indonesia. In 1942 he was taken prisoner by the invading Japanese and put to work on the Burma-Siam Railroad. In 1948 he was appointed controller of East Java. He was appointed military prosecutor in the Royal Dutch Army in 1949. After Indonesia won its independence, he emigrated to the Netherlands with is family, where he studied law and economics at the University of Leden and graduated with a doctorate degree in 1952. From 1954 to 1957 he served as Public Relations Officer and Economic Researcher for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Sponsored by Trinity Presbyterian Church of Spring Valley, he and his family left the Netherlands and arrived in San Diego on February 19, 1957. He served on the faculty at San Diego State University from 1962 to 1983 as Research Librarian and as Professor of Economics and Western Civilization. He is survived by his wife Hertha of 60 years, sons Mark and Luke, daughter Charmaine and grandson Tim. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, September 23rd, at 1 p.m. at the La Mesa First United Methodist Church, 4690 Palm Avenue, La Mesa, California. Please sign the guest book at

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We Hope This Works

We bought this ScareCrow contraption and set it up to protect our ponds at night. It shoots out water at high-pressure whenever something moves within range of the pond. Surprisingly, we got it for much less at Green Thumb Nursery - the place that normally costs much more than any other place! Hopefully, our three new koi and the goldfish in the lower pond will be safer now.
(If you click on the pictures, you can see the fish in a bigger format.)

Raccoon Rage?

Having caught one fish, with the smaller goldfish escaping the previous assault, one or more raccoons returned the next night and tried again!It/They must have been frustrated since our poor Avocado Gargoyle (a foam rubber statue that has been sitting under our avocado tree for years) was viciously attacked!They/It even tore our other yard decoration, the papier-mache triceratops' "face" off!It was definitely time for us to do something!

Raccoons on a Rampage

One day last week, we noticed that a raccoon had been in the yard and on the driveway and we were glad that our ponds seemed to be okay.
The next night, before we went to bed, we saw these prints near the back porch.

Unfortunately, we found all our ponds ransacked and water drained from all of them the next morning.

Looks like one went on reconnaissance and brought his buddies back!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fish Eye Views (And I don't mean the special camera lens!)

Dateline: August 26, 2006 - Ventura, California.
Human Looks at World From Fishy Perspective . . .

Taking advantage a freshly cleaned and dried pond, I climbed in and got to see what fish see from the pond. No wonder they hide when someone comes to feed them - we are so BIG!

Here are some fish-eye-views of the backyard:

Disclaimer: The garbage-can-turned-pond is actually only four feet deep, buried so that one foot is above the ground. I had to crouch down to see what fish see; this is me standing up in the pond.