Saturday, April 30, 2011

Helen Parrish

She was a "friend of the family." We knew her through our friend Ruth: Helen was Ruth's niece. Her husband George's hobby was model railroads, incredibly fascinating to me. Even more interesting, though, was Helen's job as an animator at MGM. This was in the 50's, when all the top animation jobs were held by men, so Helen was relegated to a lower-status position. Still, how exciting! I've had the artwork shown above for quite a few years now, consisting of a semi-pastoral background painted on cardboard with a cel overlay containing the forest creatures. (The sign on the building reads "Little Red Schoolhouse." The word "red" is crossed out, however.)

In 1953 Helen and George traveled to Europe; I recently came across a yellowing mimeographed report of the trip that she wrote, complete with her graphical depiction of their route. Little caricatures of the travelers adorn the page; at the end of the journey Helen and George stand forlornly with empty pockets and purse.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Loma Alta Rock

I hiked up again to take more pix of the rock outcropping near the top. For alternate photos, see my earlier post.

Photos: Rock (Loma Alta)─Marin County, 2011; Rock, Self-Portrait─Marin County, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hike Up Loma Alta

Second one this year.

Photos: Fence (Loma Alta)─Marin County, 2011; Grass (Sunrise)─Marin County, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tennessee Valley #2

Eventully the view opened up to reveal the ocean and a small beach area with surf crashing through.

Photos: Ocean View─Marin County, 2011; Surf─Marin County, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tennessee Valley #1

. . . in Marin County, that is. Hali and Mike hiked down to the ocean from the trailhead located near Sausalito.

Photos: Tennessee Valley View─Marin County, 2011; Tennessee Valley Sign─Marin County, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Puppy Blogging

"Give Love for Family and Pretty Puppy."

Photo: Puppy House─Los Angeles, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter!

Photo: Duck and Lilies─Marin County, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Parking Meters

Don't follow leaders.

Photos: Parking Meters #1─San Rafael, 2011; Parking Meters #2─San Rafael, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ranch Buildings #5

Earth Day!

Photos: Building from Above─Point Reyes, 2011; Fence and Buildings─Point Reyes, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ranch Buildings #4

When the fog came in at a certain angle, the landscape seemed drained of color.

Photos: Buildings and Ridges─Point Reyes, 2011; Building and Road─Point Reyes, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ranch Buildings #3

Same subject, far and near.

Photos: Building, Fence, Grass─Point Reyes, 2011; Fence and White Building─Point Reyes, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Rain

Spring Rain 2011 from Mike Mundy on Vimeo.

. . . and wind. Tree down on the bridge in back of our house.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Hermit Thrush Blogging

In the swamp, in secluded recesses,  

A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.    
Solitary, the thrush,
The hermit, withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,           
Sings by himself a song.

From Walt Whitman's When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd.

This thrush, however, was not withdrawn to himself at all, standing firmly athwart the gate, refusing me entry. By chance I had my Nikon D90 hanging around my neck, so I was able to slowly put down my grocery bags, bring up the Nikon and take several shots, gradually inching forward until the little bird got bored with the standoff.

Photo: Hermit Thrush─Marin County, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Walking Down Front Street

Drop off the car/truck at Japan Auto, then walk to the gym via Front Street.

Two iPhone pix.

Photos: Bicyclist─San Rafael, 2011; Building─San Rafael, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011


In heavy rain.

Photos: Pizza Car (Side)─San Rafael, 2011; Pizza Car (Back)─San Rafael, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Green Door

Rare color iPhone photo.

Photo: Green Door (Self-Portrait)─San Rafael, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Around San Francisco

Walking around with the Canon G12.

Photos: Candy, Chicks─San Francisco, 2011; Medicine Buddha─San Francisco, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Mike and Hali spent a Saturday evening having dinner at Benu in San Francisco. This is one of the restaurants that the New York Times recently deemed worthy of buying an airplane ticket to visit.

Benu is also one of the practitioners of the "small plate" culinary theory: many courses consisting of only a few bites each and each offering meant to create a different and unique sensory experience. Grant Achatz, of Alinea Restaurant in Chicago set forth the small plate rationale on a recent edition of NPR's Fresh Air: the taste of any individual dish is subject to the law of diminishing returns, by the third or fourth bite one's appreciation of any particular food item has gone substantially downhill.

So, we see the menu above.

Mike's theory: in order to truly appreciate this kind of cuisine one needs to have some talented taste buds. To be honest, most of the plates went by in a blur and cannot be recalled. As Michael Bauer said in the Chronicle: "As at the French Laundry, portions are small, and if you get absorbed in conversation the intricacies of what's on the plate will pass you by." Luckily Mike kept the menu.

Mike had two very nice glasses of wine: a sparkling wine from Roederer (Evening Land) and a Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills in Oregon.

And as for Benu itself? Very good! But, both Hali and Mike found the atmosphere slightly austere. Both preferred last year's experience at Cyrus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

San Francisco Evening

Diaphanous clouds swirled high in the chill late-winter San Francisco air. As Hali & Mike walked down Bryant Street south of Market facing into the wind, the slanting light from the sun highlighted enigmatic buildings off to the side. 

They finally reached their destination: the taco truck parked next to Best Buy.

The tacos were good!

Photos: Clouds─San Francisco, 2011; Building─San Francisco, 2011; Taco Truck─San Francisco, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Horse Blogging

On Market Street, waiting for the St. Patrick's Day Parade to start. One of the horses was just a little bit antsy.

Photo: Horses─San Francisco, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Redwoods in the Rain

Note to self: next time bring something to wipe the rain drops off the UV filter.

Photo: Redwoods (Rain)─Marin County, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

. . . was last month.

But, Mike & Hali happened to be in San Francisco last month during the St Patrick's Day Parade down Market Street. It took forever to get started, and when it finally did the view was intermittently blocked by fire engines. But all in all, an exciting event!

Sightems: A stiltwalker with the appropriate costuming, the San Francisco Rose of Tralee, and, of course, a vendor selling green cotton candy.

Photos: Stilts─San Francisco, 2011; Rose of Tralee─San Francisco, 2011; Cotton Candy─San Francisco, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011


Standing at a corner during the St. Patrick's Day parade I noticed these ladies with very shiny helmets crossing the street towards us. As they passed by I was able to get a self-portrait of Hali and myself in one of the helmets.

Photos: Helmets─San Francisco, 2011; Helmet, Self-Portrait─San Francisco, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

McClure's Beach

A short drive down from Pierce Point Ranch and an easy hike to the beach.

Very scenic.

Photos: Stream, McClure's Beach─Point Reyes, 2011; Ocean & Clouds, McClure's Beach─Point Reyes, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ranch Buildings #2

Nice light. Some credit, of course, must go to the Nikon D90.

And, to Photoshop for its perspective correction tool (Filter > Distort > Lens Correction).

Photos: Ranch Building No 1─Point Reyes, 2011; Ranch Building No 2─Point Reyes, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ranch Buildings #1

Kind of reminds me (a little) of Bodie, with the desert sun being replaced with the ocean fog swirling around the unused ranch buildings.

Photos: Fence & Ranch Building─Point Reyes, 2011; Cypress and Building─Point Reyes, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Bobcat Blogging

Standing in the Pierce Point Ranch parking lot Mike was on the phone leaving a message for Hali when a shadowy form crossed the road in front of him. Tossing the phone aside Mike grabbed his Nikon D90 and was able to get off one shot before the creature vanished in the undergrowth.

At first he thought that it might be a coyote, but obviously, no. A cat, then. But what kind of cat: mountain lion or bobcat? The lack of a tail points pretty solidly to a bobcat. Interesting, though, that the photo image was needed for the identification.

Earlier bobcat photo here.

Photo: Bobcat─Point Reyes, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pierce Point Road

The Pierce Point Road in Point Reyes takes one high above Tomales Bay, eventually to a view amongst the elk overlooking the old ranch down below.

Photos: Tomales Bay─Point Reyes, 2011; Pierce Point Ranch─Point Reyes, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fire Alarm

. . . seen in San Francisco.

Don't know why it has a towel wrapped around it attached with electrical tape.

Photo: Fire Alarm─San Francisco, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Povi Masima

Povi Masima, and a self-portrait.

Povi Masima─San Francisco, 2011