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Saturday, February 12, 2011


Blossoms, blossoms, everywhere

It is "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" time 


Some mornings still show frost on the roof tops, and cold enough to require sweaters. But walks through neighborhood streets and forest preserves show clear signs that Spring is not far. Sunny days, blue skies and blossoms everywhere.  How lucky we are to live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Most of the photographs were taken at Parrott Drive and Tournament Drive in San Mateo.

Magnolia blooming, Parrott Drive 

© Musafir

© Musafir

Distant view of Crystal Spring Reservoir and Hwy 280 Overpass from Parrott Drive 
© Musafir

Cherry Blossoms
© Musafir

Apple Blossoms
 © Musafir

© Musafir

Bottle Brush (Calistemon) 

© Musafir

Trumpet Vine (Bignonia Capriolata)
© Musafir
Pyracantha Berries

© Musafir

Flowering Cherries and distant view of downtown San Francisco

© Musafir
Another view of San Francisco from Tournament Drive

© Musafir

A runner going downhill on Tournament Drive
© Musafir
California Tortoise Shell Butterfly alongside Cañada Road, Woodside, CA.
© Musafir

White Trillium at Purisima Creek

© Musafir
"And do not change.  Do not divert your love from visible things.  But go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary: animals and things and flowers, and keep the balance true."
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Egypt, Mubarak, and the United States


Another of our Favorite Goons Facing Loss of Power

The popular uprising against Hosni Mubarak of Egypt gaining momentum by the hour. Reports on the Internet indicate that time is running out for him. The Israelis are worried, and they certainly have their ears on the ground. Mubarak's Egypt was their ally, propped up by American aid. The Israelis fear that the stage is past when their friend Omar Suleiman, former chief of intelligence and recently named by Mubarak as vice president, would have a meaningful role.  Mubarak's son, Gamal, is not going to be the successor.  As Bob Dylan's song goes "The times they are a changing".  And America is between the proverbial "a rock and a hard place", quietly trying to extricate itself.
It's incredible, really. The president of the United States can't bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like "freedom" and "tolerance" and "non-violent" and especially "reform," but he can't say the one word that really matters: democracy.
ElBaradei could have a role. If hard-liner Islamists don't dominate the government after Mubarak relinquishes power then Egypt would be a better country for its people.

Justine, first volume of the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell, contains a translation of The City by C.P. Cavafy. The center of the protest against Mubarak is,of course, Cairo. But in Alexandria,too, thousands have gathered to demand end of Mubarak's rule.

The City

You tell yourself I'll be gone
To some other land, some other sea,
to a city lovelier far than this
Could ever have been or hoped to be--
Where every step now tightens the noose:
A heart in a body buried and out of use;
How long, how long must I be here
Confined among these dreary purlieus
Of the common mind? Wherever now I look
Black ruins of my life rise into view.
So many years have I been here
Spending and squandering and nothing gained.
There's no new land, my friend, no
New sea; for the city will follow you,
In the same streets you'll wander endlessly,
The same mental suburbs slip from youth to age,
In the same house go white at last--
The city is a cage.
No other places, always this
Your earthly landfall, and no ship exists.

C.P. Cavafy --translated by Lawrence Durrell


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