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1  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: April 05, 2017 08:14:54 PM
Finn got a bit of a dog's-eye view on his first stroll around the neighborhood, perched on my big dog Bella with little Fred by their side:



He played hide and seek among some of the flowers starting to proliferate thanks to all our recent rain...



...and admired a cascade of wisteria...


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2  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: April 04, 2017 12:35:44 AM
Finn arrived lickety-split, a day earlier than anticipated, bringing with him two great postcards depicting a bit of what's in store for Alby while he's up in Alaska with Wildfyre -- salmon fishing and Sitka:


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3  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: March 22, 2017 12:22:12 AM
Alby has returned home with fun souvenirs and a flamingo and pineapple bedecked album:



Among his treasures are a magnet from Busch Gardens; a sticker and magnet from the Center for Biological Diversity (that neato deer head silhouette is a piece of copper sheet -?- with a tiny, strong magnet on the back); and a pin from the opening of a ThinkGeek store (if you don't know ThinkGeek, I urge you to check it out: http://www.thinkgeek.com/):



There's a wee leather pouch necklace I'm guessing came from a Pow Wow PFD and her husband attended, and a PFD-crafted domed pendant with a fun octopus image:





PFD also sent along a Mickey Mouse sticker and another with the three Hitchhiking Haunted Mansion Ghosts, a pin from Disney World, a Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey team) magnet and a stress puck (you know, for squishing), and some seashells gathered along Florida shores.

And here are just a few pages from the album....

Each page has a different paper print background; this one is perfect for the harbor view pictures:



Alby knows I'm a fan of anything miniature and eagerly pointed out the holiday village of Disneyland-inspired buildings under PFD's tree:



He was excited to show me pictures of his tiger cousins (both real and botanical) at Busch Gardens:



Among the ephemera tucked in the album are maps of Busch Gardens and Disney World, and on the inside cover is a map of the part of Florida around which Alby traveled with phoenixfiredesigns, from Orlando in the east to Tampa in the west, with colored stars at the various places they visited and a key noting what was at each location -- what a great idea!

Thanks, phoenix, and most especially for being such a great host to Alby!

PS - The ThinkGeek pin is currently adorning the t-shirt of my official Timmy the ThinkGeek Monkey:


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4  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 25 (SU 03/16-03/29 SO 04/05 and 09/15) in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by waterbaby on: March 20, 2017 06:35:37 PM
Alby is ready for his close-up...and even more ready to be traveling again Grin



And welcome to mandykaye and the adorable McCoy from another returning LV addict!

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5  Re: Mini Quilt Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: February 09, 2017 10:29:06 PM
Little House in the Pines -- that's what I'm calling the sweet mini quilt that arrived today from pioneer9:



Hard to see in the full picture, here's a closeup of the great fabrics she used for the trees, ground, and border:



The quilting is outline stitch in the ditch around the various elements...except for a hand stitched "banner" breezing up over the house and attached on either side to the trees.  pioneer used a light blue thread so it takes a moment to realize it's there and then to read what it says, but as soon as you do it makes you smile inside and out: "home" it proclaims---



Thanks so much, pioneer9, can't wait to get this hung up and on display!
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6  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: January 22, 2017 11:11:28 PM
First, the weather report -- rain.  Lots of rain...







It's been coming down from drizzle to downpour for much of the last 10 days or so, greatly needed precipitation in this drought-stricken part of the country.  We also got some pretty good winds for a day or two which left a lot of fallen palm fronds to be cleared from my driveway:



Fortunately, we had beautiful weather for the Women's March here in Los Angeles yesterday, where the number of participants has been estimated between 500,000 and 750,000!  This is at the intersection where Giles and I met up with several people from my union at the start of the event (sorry, don't know why the upload is so small, but hopefully you can get an idea of how packed it was):



I did get some pictures of Giles with my companions which I'll include in his album, but with the mass of people and then being on the move in the middle of everything, the only other shot I got that he's in is this one, watching a musician who was playing while we waited for the actual march to begin:


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7  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: January 08, 2017 11:18:18 PM
Apologies for my absence, I've been super sick since New Year's Day, first with high fever, nausea, only enough energy to move between bed and couch, etc, then finally dragged myself to urgent care on Tuesday and was given injections and prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids, with the doctor's hope that we'd prevented bronchitis...which we didn't, and I've been in relentless coughing mode since Wednesday.  Didn't go to work all week which is an enormous deal for me (being the "I never get sick" one).

Giles did get to ring in the New Year with me at the restaurant where by brother is bartender:



And he's been a comforting companion over bowls of homemade chicken soup:


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8  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: December 29, 2016 02:13:33 AM
PFD, glad to see you're feeling better.  Also, if you ever get that full-size Tesla I hope you drive it better than people do here: for months now any time I'm behind someone who doesn't seem to know which pedal is the gas and which the brake, the car they're driving has been a Tesla.

Now for a quick check in with a few pictures of Giles's recent entertainment outings; so much more to catch up with but still need to wade through all the pictures!

We had a little run of movie going and recommend each one of them for your viewing pleasure:







We also saw the Enterprise Blues Band, a group formed by actor Vaughn Armstrong who had roles in every Star Trek series except the original one (mostly as guest aliens but he was a recurring human on Voyager).  He put together this band to entertain fans at conventions, which they've been doing for quite a while now.  (I've known Vaughn and his wife, who are friends of a friend, for several years, but this was the first time I'd seen the band.)  A lot of their songs are, of course, Trek inspired and related and most have a fair amo,unt of humor in them.



(Not a great picture, I know; the venue was small but long and narrow and we were sitting at one end, so seen here even without layers of makeup Vaughn [in the hat] is still unrecognizable....)
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9  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: December 13, 2016 12:18:00 AM
Giles helped trim the tree at my office job last week:





The next day was the office holiday party, this year a lunch held at the beautiful Yamashiro Restaurant:



Yamashiro was constructed between 1911 and 1914 by two brothers as a residence and to house their collection of Asian art and artifacts.  It sits atop a hill overlooking the heart of Hollywood, with terraced gardens below the long circular drive, as well as this gorgeous interior atrium:



It also has a large golden Buddha, and although we did see this warning sign as we approached





Meanwhile, back at the photo booth

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10  Re: Traveling Little Visitor Swap Round 24 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by waterbaby on: December 05, 2016 12:02:54 AM
Had a friend visiting for Thanksgiving and several days after, during which we had a jam-packed schedule, which Ill break up into a number of catch-up posts because SO MANY PICTURES!

I made a big small Thanksgiving dinner there were four of us (plus Giles) but a full size turkey and all the trimmings:





It ended up taking longer than I expected (mostly because I had the meat thermometer in the wrong part of the turkey thigh and didnt think the bird was done; fortunately, it didnt dry out despite the extra oven time).  My brother thought Giles was looking a little peaky and gave him some green beans to nibble on while everything was being brought out:



The next day we went to the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens (aka The Huntington) in Pasadena; we only took in the gardens, but they cover 120 acres so there was plenty to see!  With plants from all over the world, there are more than a dozen themed areas, some of which we missed altogether, others we just skirted, yet there was still more to look at than we had time for before closing.

This is called the North Vista, a long, wide lawn lined with statuary that leads to a large, elaborate fountain at the far end:





We thought this guy looked like he was boogie-ing downuntil we saw that hes missing a sword in his right handand is holding a snake-haired head in his left and realized he's Perseus having just slain the Medusa:



In the Shakespeare Garden there are plants mentioned in his plays and sonnets, or that were cultivated during his time, or whose ancestors date back to Elizabethan England; plant markers include quotes from the plays in which they were named, such as this Samphire which is noted (as "sampire") with a quote from King Lear:



This sweet Rose Garden blossom is the Julia Child:



In the Subtropical Garden Giles took a little rest on a giant leaf...



and stopped to enjoy a waterfall:



The Desert Garden provided a fun (non-prickly) photo op:



Next to the Lotus Pond Giles met Carpet, who was there with his family visiting from San Francisco:



Our last stop was at a temporary installation called the Orbit Pavilion:



A collaboration of NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a composer, and an architect, the Pavilion is a nautilus shell shaped sound space inside of which you can hear, whenever a NASA satellite is orbiting overhead, sounds created to represent the mission of that particular satellite.  Unfortunately there was a lot of chatter and a particularly loud docent talking to a group and the audio was somewhat overwhelmed.  A captivating space nonetheless.

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