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February 26, 2011

Snow and Blackhawk

Blusteringly cold today here in the flatlands. Snow and more snow at low elevations. We drove by Mt. Diablo on President's Day and saw a smattering of white stuff at the summit. But nothing has materialized here in the valley, although there my be some falling tonight.

Snow, snow, go away.
Don't come again, I hope and pray.
These aching bones are getting old
And absolutely hate the cold.

We met up with Don and Janet for lunch at Dean's Cafe in Pleasanton, then drove to Danville's Blackhawk Museum, a car-filled taste of eye candy for affectionados. Had a wonderful visit and browse (yes, it's a noun, too, folks) of rare, vintage vehicles. More proof of a God who granted creativity to those made in His image.

February 13, 2011

Barkleyville Barkers

It was our first visit to one of the local dog parks. Barkleyville Dog Park is about an acre in size, and there is room for about 15 cars to park on a narrow strip of asphalt. No room for us, though. Three or four vehicles were illegally parked in the lot, making it difficult to turn around and leave. So we drove over the bridge to the north and walked back to visit with Liz, Angel and Thomas, who had been there over an hour already.

Thomas had his three dogs with him. They added to the 30+ that were already tearing up the place with their running and retrieving. There were three fenced areas: one for small dogs and one for large, with a play/agility course in between them. Both a fun-for-all and free-for-all experience combined!

The sun hid behind the storm front clouds coming in, so not a lot of color going on in the pictures. Except for the slobbering German shepherd that ran up to me (while I was kneeling for a shot) and planted a kiss on my face and gave me an unexpected glasses cleaning, I enjoyed myself.

I'll continue to prize my non-slobbering kitty cat, Jackson. Sorry, canines everywhere.

February 12, 2011

Wasn't Christmas Two Months Ago?

In an effort to preserve the palm tree's prominence in Stockton, CA, and extend the Christmas lighting season throughout the year, three malls have donned blue lights on their palm trees.

Thankfully, this wasn't paid for with tax dollars!

February 6, 2011

Garage Art

Barb and I bought a Barska spotting scope this afternoon and drove out Woodbridge Road to test it. Great little scope and it will get lots of use here in bird country. We only saw three sandhill cranes, a few ducks and a few flocks of geese. Starting to warm up here in the delta and the birds are heading north.

Then we meandered into Lodi for an A&W rootbeer - a tall, frosty glass of classic sweetness that burns your throat on the way down. The place will soon be closed for remodeling. The restaurant in Lodi showcases vintage A&W artifacts since the rootbeer dynasty started here in this little whistle stop.

In back of the parking lot, across the alley is an old garage that has hosted its share of graffiti and clean-up paint. I like old wood patterns, especially if there's rusty metal here and there. When I started working this photo (which was taken while I was holding my camera above my head, resting it on a chain link fence), I didn't notice the fairer sex in the picture. Can you see her?

Sometimes, the last thing we expect appears right there where we didn't see it at first. We're blind to the obvious sometimes, too. Especially when it comes to spiritual things: "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God . . . the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 1:18 and 2:14.

God opened my mind and heart to receive His truth in the Bible, not my deciding one day to believe. I was spiritually dead (Ephesians 2), a card-carrying atheist, and running away from God. Like Saul on Damascus road (Acts 9), it would take a miraculous application of God calling me personally, convicting me of my sin and stupidity, and freely forgiving my sins through the substitutionary death of His sinless son, Jesus.

I was blind, but now I see.