Jack’s Walk


Pretty in Pink ©voyager, all rights reserved

Reach for the sky, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? I’m having difficulty figuring it out from my plant guide. It looks and smells a bit like hydrangea, but I’ve never seen a hydrangea tree. Whatever it is, I think it’s beautiful. It’s been in bloom for several weeks and the flowers move from a deep rose colour to the palest of pinks. It has a small, sweet scent and it attracts butterflies. I waited around for a bit hoping one would turn up to add to the photo, but Jack was restless and no doubt keeping them away.

Please let me know in the comments if you can give me any information about this tree. I think I might like one for my own garden. In the meantime, happy Saturday. I hope everyone has a good weekend.


Sunny Spider

As I was walking around the sunflower yesterday evening, making some pictures before the sun sets, I noticed a strangely positioned bee. When I looked closer, I realized that it is strangely positioned because it is dead and being held by a bright yellow crab spider. You can see it in the yesterday picture, if you look close enough.

So of course I had to go for a macro lens (the one I have built) and make a few close-up pictures. I tried my hand even at filming the fellow and it did not turn out all that bad considering that I do not have monopod (but I should buy one).

I have no idea what those little flies are doing there. Maybe they are insect equivalents of vultures? That spider must be strong and have quick venom to subdue a bee twice its size quick enough to keep a hold on it.

Video is bellow the fold.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

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Barcelona: The City 2: La Plaza Catalunya

The centre of Barcelona is the Plaza Catalunya. Lined on one side by the traditional Corte Inglés shopping centre and start of the Rambla, the main boulevard, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell you’ll miss it. Most tourist buses start and stop there (our shuttle bus from the camp site dropped us off there and picked us up, and so did most others), the hop on- hop off buses stop there, the metro lines do, the regional train station is under it.

Above it are the pigeons.

Water fountain by night, brightly lit.

The fountain by night.
©Giliell, all rights reserved


Water fountain in daylight.

The fountain by day.
©Giliell, all rights reserved

Pigeon bathing in a water fountain.

Did I say fountain? What I meant was “pigeon bath”.
©Giliell, all rights reserved

Pigeons in a tree.

How many pigeons can you count?
©Giliell, all rights reserved

Lunar Eclipse 2018

These are my pictures of the event. Unfortunately half the time I did not know what I was doing, half the time I knew that what I am doing is wrong, and half the time I could not even see what I am doing. That gives you one and half of a clueless dork. It was exciting nevertheless and I am happy I could see such a thing. I wanted to witness lunar eclipse ever since I was reading about them in books as a little boy.

I think a few pictures are worth sharing. Here is the first one, taken just after the sky finally cleared and I found the dim moon in the sky. Rest is bellow the fold. The pictures are in chronological order, also the last ones show the Moon emerging from the Earth’s shadow.

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Jack’s Walk

Naughty boy, ©voyager, all rights reserved

So, I’m trying to focus my camera when I see this. … Jack, no, stop, don’t pee on plants! Naughty boy!

I wish I could show you the grin he gave me when he turned around, but I was kerfuffled in the moment. It’s his way of telling me that I’m taking too long with my camera. Well, message received, Jack. Lets go home.

A Sunflower Constelation

Nobody told our sunflower it is supposed to follow the sun with its main flower, and then stop facing east. It did not follow the sun at all and chose to face its main flower north the whole time instead.

And now it has developed a whole head of little suns facing in all possible directions.

There will be some pictures of its inhabitants in due course. That is, if I do not forget. There is a very interesting inhabitant in this picture too.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


Barcelona: the City 1

Barcelona is home to 1.65 million people, the travel destination of 7 million people a year and one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, second only to Paris. I’ll start my series on the city as such with a few panoramic shots to give you an idea. They were either shot from the Parc Güell or the Tibidabo, both which will get their own posts in the future.

Panoramic view of Barcelona

The city in full
© Giliell, all rights reserved.

Panoramic view of Barcelona

Shot from the ferris wheel in the Tibidabo.
© Giliell, all rights reserved.

Panoramic view of Barcelona

You can see the big parallel boulevards running down to the harbour. © Giliell, all rights reserved.

Panoramic view of the zoo.

The Zoo, one of the few green spaces. ©Giliell, all rights reserved

Panoramic view, with the Sagrada Familia in the centre.

Panoramic view, with the torre de Agbar and the Sagrada Familia in the centre.
© Giliell, all rights reserved.

In the middle you can see the Torre Agbar or Torre Glóries. I never gave much of the interpretation that all towers are phallic symbols, but this one takes the cake.

Panoramic view of the Torre Agbar.

A PG 18 rated tower…
©Giliell, all rights reserved

The Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. The Catalan architect is all over Barcelona and we will visit one of his works, Parc Güell, later. Be advised to book your tickets in advance if you want to visit the place.

Panoramic view of the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia
©Giliell, all rights reserved


Jack’s Walk

Happy Jack, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack was complaining this morning that I haven’t posted a picture of him for awhile, so here is the boy being all Happy Jack in his natural environment. When Jack was just 7 weeks old we took him to the lake for the first time and he ran down to the water and dove in with total abandon. There he was, this tiny little puppy in the water for the first time and swimming out way too far. So far in fact, that we sent our older dog out to bring him in. Swimming came as naturally to Jack as walking did and if there’s water around, even puddles, you can be sure that Jack’s in it.

Tummy Thursday: Hello and enjoy your meal

Welcome to a new installation here, which is Tummy Thursday (after the addition of Tree Tuesday the Thursday felt neglected).

Tummy Thursday is about food, and food is everything. It’s one of the most basic necessities like breathing, but it can also be a luxury item (I still don’t understand caviar). It is something mundane, consumed while walking to the bus stop (or writing blog posts) and it’s a celebrated art form. It is public and it is private. It is political. It tells stories about race, colonialism, migration, poverty and richness. It is also damn delicious.

The idea of Tummy Thursday is to show those sides and also to share recipes and our love of food. Submissions are more than welcome. We’re such a diverse group of people here, so tell me your stories, show me your recipes, send me your pics. I can be reached at nym(86-7) Ät the google thingy DOT Com.

One more thing before we come to our first recipe: the don’t be an asshole rule applies double here, since food is such a sensitive topic. There’s nothing against saying “not my taste” or some light hearted jokes about peas being a weapon invented by the horse devils, but absolutely no food shaming. Oh, and it cuts both ways. You wouldn’t be the first person that told me that eggplants are actually delicious and the reason I don’t like them is that I haven’t tried recipe X. You won’t trick me into eating cardboard again.

Giliell’s vegan chickpea curry

Nanny Ogg’s famous cookbook features a recipe for Mrs. Colon’s Genyoom Klatcbian Curry, which is introduced like this:

Few recipes in these pages have caused so much debate as this one. Anyone over the age of forty knows how the classic recipe goes, because it has been invented and reinvented thousands of times by ladies who have heard about foreign parts but have no wish to bite into them. Its mere existence is a telling argument for a liberal immigration policy. Like real curry, it includes any ingredients that are to hand. The resemblance stops there, however. It must use bright green peas, lumps of swede and, for the connoisseur of gastronomic history, watery slivers of turnip. For wateriness is the key to this curry; its ‘sauce’ should be very thin and of an unpleasant if familiar colour. And it must use a very small amount of ‘curry powder’, a substance totally unknown in those areas where curry grows naturally, as it were; sometimes it’s enough just to take the unopened tin out of the pantry and wave it vaguely over the pan. Oh, and remember that the sultanas must be yellow and swollen. And soggy. And sort of gritty, too (ah, you remember . . .)
Not only does it show again Pratchett’s genius in bringing roundworld issues such as appropriation of food and racism to a light hearted cookbook, it also is apparently still tasty, though I haven’t tried it myself. While I keep telling myself that my curry would at least be recognisable to people who actually cook curries for a living, the recipe has absolutely no claim to authenticity whatsoever.
Veggies of choice, preferably some that become somewhat mushy. The exact combinations vary, but for me carrots are usually a must and potatoes for creaminess. Pictured below are carrots, a red bell pepper, half a Hokaido squash and potatoes. Not pictures are onions and garlic.
Bowl with diced vegetables.

Just looking at it counts as a serving of veggies. ©Giliell, all rights reserved

I lightly fry everything in coconut oil, then cover it with vegetable broth and let it simmer. Depending on whether you remembered to soak the chickpeas the night before or open a can, you add them now so they can cook, or later.

A covered casserole with veggies

©Giliell, all rights reserved

My seasoning varies as well, this time I used fresh ginger, allspice, black caraway seed, cumin and  chilli. After about 20 minutes the potatoes start to fall apart and I add some coconut milk and the chickpeas and leave it for a few more minutes on low heat. You can serve it with naan bread or rice and it keeps well in the fridge.

Enjoy your meal.

A casserole with chickpea curry

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Demonic Virtual Reality.

Janet Mefferd and Tim Dailey got together to have a chat about the Bigfoot Question. Yep. I had no idea there was a question at all, and certainly not one about bigfoot. Apparently, it’s important for christians to know how to interpret reported bigfoot sightings, and how this all ties into the paranormal conspiracy, which is orchestrated by Satan, of course.

Dailey said it was telling that “many, many reliable observers” have reported spotting Bigfoot but yet there is a “virtual absence” of tangible proof that would convince the skeptical public that such claims were credible.

“It’s real. It’s a projection. It’s a demonic virtual reality, but it’s not nuts-and-bolts, in this case, flesh-and-blood creatures,” Dailey said.

Well, that’s one way to have your cake and eat it too. “It’s real, but it’s not real real.” Generally speaking, Mr. Dailey, a reliable observer would have something or other to give their claim credibility. As that virtual absence of evidence continues, that would mean there have been no reliable observers.  There is projection going on, I’ll grant you that much, but it’s not coming from a devil or any other imaginary being.

Mefferd went on to ask Dailey why nobody ever takes a picture of Bigfoot “at noon,” when someone could take a well-lit photograph. Dailey said that the devil designs Bigfoot sightings to happen when it is too dark to take clear photographs.

“The vast majority happen in the dead of night and you wonder, ‘Why is this?’ And then if you remember the biblical verse about the powers of darkness that love darkness rather than light,” Dailey told Mefferd.

Y’know, camera equipment has advanced a great deal, and there is no excuse for such incredibly bad shots outside of doing it that way deliberately. Why would anyone do that on purpose? Ah, what else, money. Many a hoax has been perpetrated, and many hoaxes put a fair amount of money in pockets before exposure of the racket. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with ‘powers of darkness’.

“That’s right. That’s important,” Mefferd replied. She went on to ask Dailey, “What could possibly be the reason the devil might be motivated to make an appearance, even if it’s a UFO or an alien that somebody sees, why would the devil do this?”

“It’s part of the devil’s modus operandi. He has always used this kind of phenomena to, once again destabilize, to engender fear, to open us up to the possibilities of other realities and other beings and then we begin getting involved with demonic spirits. So yeah, all through history there have been many, many different varieties of beings that are primarily spiritual beings that have terrorized civilizations and peoples and non-Christian cultures are very aware of this,” Dailey said.

Sigh. Engender fear? Really? Bigfoot doesn’t scare me, because bigfoot doesn’t fucking exist. UFO sightings don’t scare me either, because again, non-existent. The amount of people who buy into nonsense like bigfoot and UFOs are not a large percentage, so if this is Satan’s way of engendering fear, it’s a damn stupid one, and I certainly don’t see any of this nonsense “terrorizing civilizations”.  I think the last time I heard someone bringing up bigfoot was waaaaaay back in the 1970s. Even then, there wasn’t any terror attached to it all.

As for “non-Christian cultures are very aware of this”, ummm, would you be implying that christian cultures are on the stupid side? I suppose what’s meant there is that all those non-christian types* are in league with the devil, but it can certainly be read in a few different ways.

*Which of course includes many a flavour of other christians, such as catholics and mormons, etc.

RWW has the story.

Youtube Video: I Smoke Armour

Metatron is not my favourite YouTuber, for some reason he rubs me the wrong way and on occasion he made me cringe when he opened his mouth about feminism (but to be clear, there was no obvious malice there, just cluelessness). But some of his videos are relatively good and I consider this to be one of them. Partly because my sister in law and her family are all heavy smokers who nevertheless looked at me in the past with derision for “wasting” money on books and time on bonsai trees.