Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Our cool, wet, lengthy spring showed signs of coming to an end. Time to get the winter turnouts cleaned for summer storage and put the fly mask and fly spray at the ready.

Phantom's fly mask had served him well for two summers but it was getting pretty ratty, so last year I bought a new one as a backup. It was never put into service, so I whipped it out earlier this month, labeled it with Phantom's name in bold letters, and put it on the front of his stall. Shortly thereafter, the weather turned for the worse (like that was a surprise) and I tucked away the fly mask until last week -- when I replaced it on the front of the stall for the next warm day.

Within a couple of days the brand new fly mask with its sticky (no hair or hay stuck in the loops) double-Velcro closure was gone. Not on the front of the stall, not on Phantom, and not visible amid six-acres of grass.


After maybe wearing it 3-4 times?


I also noticed a few minor scrapes on Phantom's hide. Hmmm? Pasture fisticuffs? He's not ratting on his pasture mates or giving any hints as to what happened to the fly mask. I go to the tack store for another fly mask. I hope this one hangs around longer...our summer may actually begin this weekend.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Stills: Black and White, or Sepia

So I took the camera along on Indy's morning walk, wondering what subject would suit this week's challenge. I got as far as the driveway where I saw this:

It is actually a color photo of shadows on our white car with black trim.

Near the end of our morning jaunt I stopped to take a couple of snaps of the following picket fence from two angles:

Visit Sunday Stills to see what inspired the rest of the gang.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Club: "The Lincoln Lawyer"

We had a full turnout for our monthly book club meeting last week, but once again only two of us had completed the novel. Although one member had just seen the movie and the others were mid-book. Since two of our members had just returned from once-in-lifetime trips (Israel, Italy) and another was experiencing house-selling woes, it was no wonder the book took a back seat this month.

This is the first in Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller series about a defense attorney who represents less than admirable citizens. Located in Los Angeles, Haller uses a Lincoln Town Car driven by a prior client as his office. He conducts much of his paperwork in the car while traveling the California freeways from one court venue to the next. Haller has two ex-wives and a daughter from his first marriage, plus a list of clients that make one's skin crawl.

Haller never asks his clients if they are innocent -- it's not relevant to him. The law, according to Haller, isn't about the truth. It isn't always fair. But it does require a defense for everyone who arrives in court. Thus, he does what he can to work within the gray area of the law to the advantage of his clients. His first wife is a prosecutor and ultimately can't comprehend his defense of drug dealers and gang members. The police have no use for Haller, who they see as undermining their hard work to bring in the bad guys.

Haller is eking out a living -- and then comes the money-maker case. The son of an influential and rich family hires Haller to defend him in a murder case. But the dollar signs lose their glitter as Haller and his associates dig into the case. Soon they are revisiting an old case that ended with Haller's client in jail. When they get too close to the truth of the current situation their own lives are in danger.

We primarily approached the book as an engaging mystery with a flawed yet approachable protagonist and chilling twist to the story. But I was also intrigued by Haller's belief that the law isn't about the truth.

Any more, it seems court cases are a judgement of police procedures, not the innocence or guilt of the person charged with the crime. Having worked with statues and rules in my previous life, I know that laws can be so generic that they don't address real life situations. And even the best of intentions can result in a badly written law that has unexpected results. These are the gray areas where Connelly's character works.

Haller feared that, after so many years of defending criminals, he would not recognize a truly innocent person. Did he allow the courts to sentence an innocent man to jail? If so, how can he ever make up for it? His attempt to verify the truth and rectify the error provide the secondary story to the primary mystery.

We also got a chuckle when considering perspective. Haller is held in low esteem by prosecuting attorneys, judges, the police, and even his first wife for his defense of criminal elements. Yet Perry Mason and Ben Matlock, heroic literary and television figures, were also defense attorneys. Of course, Mason and Matlock managed to take on innocent clients only. ;-)

Is our court system about justice? Or manipulating the gray areas in plea agreements? Is The Lincoln Lawyer more than a thrilling mystery?

Our next club selection is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I'm halfway through Connie Willis' Blackout, but one of our members has started it and says we're in for a good one.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday Stills: Yellow

So I read the challenge for this week and gazed across the room to ponder where I might go in search of something yellow...and there was the yellow highlighter.

I've already taken photos of the yellow striping on a country road, a yellow fire hydrant, yellow street signs, and Scotch broom in bloom.

So the highlighter it was.

See where others found their yellow subject matter at Sunday Stills.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fine Art Available for Purchase

Believe me, the following photograph is mesmerizing in person and it would make a stunning addition to anyone's home decor.

Here is another view of the photo:

It was a favorite of gallery visitors who couldn't pull themselves away from the photo or who were drawn back for another look.

This fantastic piece and other photos from Emily's Senior Project are available from Blue Box Art at Etsy.

This is one of my favorites from Emily's senior showing.

The feather almost appears three dimensional in person.

Also from her "Water Water Everywhere" exhibit, this work activates the viewer's imagination.

Proceeds from the sale of these fine art photographs benefit Charity Water. This is an opportunity to invest in gorgeous art as well as support a worthy nonprofit.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunday Stills: Potluck

No specific subject matter this week. Just whatever caught our fancy.

Lousy weather didn't let up here until Friday. I nabbed these just an hour or so before posting.

To see where others took their cameras this week, visit Sunday Stills.