Just One Of Those Days...

Sunday, September 30, 2007


It was just one of those days, you know, one of those ho hum days.
I felt like doing something exciting, new, different, maybe a new restaurant?
Or there is that new antiques shop down town I have yet to explore, I bet there are some great things in there!
But today somehow none of these things seem to be quite it.
Then it struck me, yes, yes, yes THAT'S exactly what I need!
I want to see something that my 40 something eyes have NEVER before seen, feel so thrilled I might just burst!
But no chemicals here, no, nothing artificial, a natural high that's what I need!
And so the only answer was to take a GIANT LEAP!
Straight out the door of a plane!


And then to FLOAT,gently, quietly, softly back to earth.

Refreshed, renewed, invigorated.

Truly ready to take on what ever comes my way.

What can I say, I guess I just have an adventureous spirit!?

Foot Note: It really puts things into perspective and you don't sweat the little things anymore!
I highly recommend it!

Poetry Cafe


Meanwhile back at the Conservatory.....
Disclaimer: I've been debating whether or not to share my poems with you. I must admit, it leaves me feeling a bit like a peeled grape, but as there can be no fear in creativity; I must push through it, and now I should like to perform for you, (with visual accompaniment)

Deep in the garden of glass flowers
where the sharp flowers grow,

heavy frozen dew drops glisten
along every coiling vine.

Beware, be careful, upon what ground you tread
for these ruthless little beauties can prick a

delicate finger at only the slightest brush.

Their fragile beauty is but only to be admired.
These blossoms shall not be harshly cut and
plunked into a vase.

Adored only too briefly, by only so few, then
carelessly tossed away.
Oh no, instead will grow twisted and tall in the
gleaming of the sun
and ever so wildly bloom,

sending fertile bits
of glitter to find its fate upon the winds.

Live, to enjoy visits from lacey winged ones,

who would share in their beauty,

not shamelessly, selfishly steal it away.
Then when said duty is done, will quietly go,
willingly so, to collapse onto the ground,

mingle tenderly with earth.
Await it's turn to commence again, deep in
the garden of glass flowers where the sharp
flowers grow.

Koi Sparky!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Hey Pals,
Remember last weekend when Mama & Papa worked on the smaller pond? Well they found about 12 young koi in there & a few goldfish. The eggs would have been from the larger pond, gone up the drain pipe, through the water pump blades, through the waterfall & into the smaller pond and then hatched. Wow, that's a wild ride for tiny eggs. Mama gave 3 koi to Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Janice for their pond and then kept the rest. There are 3 koi that Mama will keep for sure. Of those 3, Mama has only named one so far. So here it is:

Mama named it Sparky cause it's all sparkly!! It's coloring is heavy metallic yellow.
Tomorrow Mama & Papa will be working on the large pond. We've had the pump draining water out for 2 days now. Mama knows of 6 young koi she is going to name for sure that are in there. So total she has 8 to name yet. Then who knows what other koi they will find when the water is very low. We probably won't have pictures or the names attached for a few days. It will take Mama & Papa the whole weekend to trim up the water plants, divide some of them, clean out the sticks & things from the pond & sort fish. Snickers & I will be very busy doing fish guard duty all weekend. When the water is so low the fish are really in danger if some vermin or monster birds come along. We forgot to tell you that Koi Huskee Boy & Koi Asta NY were attacked earlier this week by the mini-monster bird! Huskee Boy has a small hole in the top of his head & Asta NY has a long scrape on the top of her head. They will both heal ok, but this really made Mama mad. Mother Nature sure can be cruel sometimes. Why don't those mean monster birds just stick to the fish that are in the river?? The river is right at the end of our road, not very far away. Hope every doggie, GG & Moosie has a good weekend!
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers



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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a SILLY local service announcement!

Thank you for you co-operation!


Thursday, September 27, 2007


Property inspectors can perform the most critical service in a transaction. Their findings and reporting can cinch a purchase or derail an escrow. It isn't simply about structural analysis, and honest reporting, it's about providing a context, sometimes demystification, and a standard appropriate perspective.

Some inspectors are deal killers, pure and simple. Afraid of liability, they assail the smallest shortcomings, and while the information they dispense may be credible, even accurate, it often exaggerates risk or lacks a real market perspective that less experienced, or unprepared agents can neither temper nor support. They may even think their role is to provide the buyer's agent with additional negotiation buckshot.

Oh yeah and some inspectors are just plain ol' wrong. One, noting the steep peak of a finished attic ceiling, decried the lack of a specific structural member. Fortunately, the seller was able to produce photos of the space whilst unfinished, its framing, and the plainly visible, structural element (in this case, collar ties).

I've seen all types of inspectors on the old house trail: soft ball artists who wouldn't note dry rot if they stepped through a hole in the floor, suburban goofballs who've never seen a clawfoot tub and run from masonry like a centerfielder after a shallow pop fly, the editorialists who pepper in nasty asides about the neighborhood and its family unworthiness. Some impose a new home standard on 100 year old product, foster an innate hostility towards the old, and a false hierarchy that champions the new. Old systems, for example, are often taken to task, but seldom is dense, old-growth, full dimension framing celebrated--though it should be.

Some brokerages discourage their agents from recommending inspectors, preferring the client pick their own (another liability stopper). Most buyers have neither the tools, nor the experience to differentiate or vet inspectors properly, often asking for random referrals or making blind selections from an on-line database.

Some buyers mistakenly tab contractors, salespeople who shamelessly hawk their product or service, often at usurious rates. A foundation contractor once sought to manipulate a buyer with a haggard Clint Eastwood line, "Do you feel lucky?" Often when cornered, or challenged, they'll offer discountingly, "it's only my opinion." Naturally, but to an besieged buyer it's frequently received as scripture.

Regarding modus operandi, I prefer those who generate a hard copy report on-site, rather than the delayed, everyone on pins and needles, e-mailers who take days to respond. I also prefer inspectors who provide a verbal summation, working through the printed report, fielding questions, even those unrelated. This is especially valuable because many inspectors are not particularly good writers, organize material awkwardly, or distinguish built states without criterion.

There's plenty of capable inspectors of course, to deliver determinations good and bad. I've a few regulars and I often share resources and recommendations with other area specialists. Mostly, I try to help clients identify condition issues before the offer writing phase, so the physical inspection is less about startling revelation and more about helpful direction.



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
--Rudyard Kipling
One of the most inspiring pieces of poetry ever written. The occasion then was the Boer War of the 1890s. Have read lots about this poem a lot recently. So decided to post Kipling's words on my blog.

Living History Tour

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Sunday, September 29th, the West Adams Heritage Association presents the 17th annual Living History Tour at Angelus Rosedale Cemetary (1831 W. Washington Boulevard).

The Angelus Rosedale Cemetary, one of the city's oldest, was founded in 1884. The Living History tour features graveside actor portrayals of famous L.A. personages. This year's luminaries include: John Marcellus Stewart, an early California gold miner; silent film era actress Louise Glaum; "The American Apostle of Termperance", Francis Murphy; radio personality Bubbles Whitman, film director Marshall Neilan; and, Eliza Griffin Johnson, an artist and wife of a Confederate General.

Tickets are available in advance only, for $30 per person (children under 10 free). Checks may be sent to:
WAHA Cemetary Tour
2209 Virginia Road
Los Angeles, CA 90016

For more information, or to confirm reservations, please call the WAHA reservations hotline (323-732-4223), e-mail, or visit

I took most of the photos involved in the promotion of this year's tour, including director Marshall Neilan's star (located outside the Pantages Theatre). A large star-shaped cut-out will be used to mark Marshall's headstone-less site. I'll likely be milling around, perhaps acting as the chapel greeter, maybe just parking cars.

Our First Day With Our Hoomans!


Hey Pals,
Princess Snowball tagged us to share our first day home with our hoomans. Since I Butchy was rescued, I'll let Snickers goes first because Mama & Papa bought her as a wee little pup.

I Snickers was purchased in Indianola, Iowa. My wirey parents were Stormy & Snicker's. I had 4 little brodders & NO sistas. Mama & Papa drove a long way to come look at me to see if they wanted to buy me & take me home. ( Mama told me that she wanted me without even seeing me, hehehe. ) Mama & Papa were surprised to see that my wirey parents were on the larger size, but they were so very cute. Since Mama & Papa couldn't come to see me til in the evening, by the time we got to my new home it was very very late at night. So we just went to sleep, no pictures.

The next day they got some pictures of me. Here I am with Papa holding me:

Then they took me over to Papa's Aunt Janice & Uncle Ronnie's house which is only 2 houses down from us. Here Aunt Janice is holding me:
I have an itchie:
What's over there?? I see fishies in a pond.
After all of the hugs & kissies we went home so I could take a nappy poo. So that was my pictures for the first actual day home. Now it's Butchy's turn.

I Butchy was 3 1/2 years old when Mama & Papa rescued me so they don't have any of my little puppy pictures. I did live in St. Loulis, MO so my previous owners met Mama & Papa half way in between St. Loulis & Janesville, IA. We met at a big park so Snickers & I could romp & play and get to know each other. Then we had a long ride back home. It was late when we arrived home so no pictures, and Mama didn't even get pictures the next day. She finally took pictures the day after that. So here they are:

Oh boy, I get to be on the furniture:

My previous owners were very nice & made Mama & Papa a scrapbook with some of my puppy pictures so they could have some. So here are a few of my puppy pictures. Mama isn't sure how old I was in the photos:
I learned where to find food at a very early age:
Now we're going to tag 3 of our pals to show their first day home pictures. We tag Cousin Koobus, Lorenza, Gussie.

Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Cut Outs Part 1

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Decorative cut-outs were very popular in turn-of-the-century home building and furniture making.

Homes both modest and grand exhibit these details. On exteriors, cut-outs were most often featured on bargeboards (see image left), or gable vents. (In interiors, the ballusters were the hotess with the mostess).

Card suites, like these clubs, were a very hep motif, hearts the most common.

This amazing balconet in Western Heights is riddled with diamonds. A balconet, incidentally, is not a small balcony, but rather a false balcony. Dig the zig-zag brackets. A planter box? Nah, I don't think so.

Where to start, aside from the whole, tie beam, collar beam, king post, open gable thing? Yeah, the swallows. Fantastic, eh?

Oh, Sing to me!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Circa 1857

Oh, Sing to me!
My heart is filled tonight
with memories flitting fleetly;
Shadows - but oh! so bright;
Mournful - but oh! so sweetly;
Oh! Sing to me tonight!

One morning, as she was gathering flowers in the conservatory, then ever so artfully arranging them,
she hardly took notice as Jerome Elliot entered.

He was tall, deep chested and powerful in frame; with quite a distinguished air; the ideal
of an accomplished gentleman. He stood, for some time, then taking a rose up to her cheek and at
last said, " Do you know, Lillian,
that I think you are quite lovely?! "

Lillian looked at him with a frank, clear gaze, then said, simply, " I
have thought, ever since I can remember, that I should like to be beautiful and admired." And with
that turned, and rustled across the vast room,

then began to run through the great castle halls, careful not
to lose a slipper.

To be continued.......
Oh! Sing to me tonight!
Twere doubly sweet tonight!
Sing - sing, but not of sorrow!
Low - lest my heart grow light
Too soon and that were tomorrow;
Oh! Sing to me tonight!

This piece is titled PIGALLE, which is an area of Paris, a sort of red light district, where Toulouse-
Latrec's studio once was as well as Picasso and Vangogh, named after Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
There are three tiny dancers frolicking

neath a glowing pink crystal chandelier and tucked under
her skirt Prince Jerome Charming

awaits transformation through a single magic kiss!

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