Rivenrock Gardens Cactus Blog

Casting for feature film

   I am registered with Magic Casting  in Buellton California for notification of film work in the area that they are contracted to provide  casting services for. They are nice people… and they sent me a casting notice and let me know I could pass it on to others. They are needing some background actors…. so if anyone would like to be in a feature film filming in the Santa Barbara County area, you can follow the links and register yourself as someone who is interested.

   Working background is a good way to have a ‘first-hand’ look at how films are made.

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 As you know, we are working on a Feature Film, Son of an Afghan Farmer.
There is approx 6 weeks of shooting and we will be using many extras. Below
is the need for the first week of filming. Please forward to anyone who
lives in North SB County who you think fits. Also, we will have Santa
Barbara scenes using “college students” as well as “business people” and
“average people” in late Jan. and early Feb. You may email to let me know
your availability or use our website form.
Thanks!

This is a feature film shooting scenes in Cuyama Jan. 12-16th. These scenes
are creating Afghan farm fields and we need extras.

Talent needed are:
1. “Middle Eastern looking” farm hands, beards are most desirable but not
absolutely necessary; ethnicity could be hispanic or other.
2. “Middle Eastern looking” Thugs, w/ suits, dress clothes; prefer middle
eastern but could be other ethnicity that appears ME.
This is a wonderful production crew that will treat all talent well. Filming
will continue throughout SB County for the month if you don’t fit these
current roles, you may still contact us.

MAGIC CASTING-Website is www.magiccasting.mysite.com, please click on
“Afghan Farmer” tab and you can fill out an availability form. There is no
registration fee for this, and no commissions are taken by Magic Casting
from talent.

Chinese-Chicken Hazards

    Food safety is a very important issue. And where the foods come from matters more than almost anything.
    The US Govt has some very strict standards for food safety, even though we hear often enough of ‘breaks in the system’ that allow contaminated foods to enter the food distribution system.  This is why food traceability is so very important. Being able to find the point of origin of all of your foods is a handy thing. That is why I am growing with a food traceability company called www.toptenproduce.com  that will enable even small growers to afford the usually very expensive labels and registration codes for the bar codes.  In fact, we were the first Charter Grower in the Nation to join the Top 10 Brand.

 

   Most ‘underdeveloped’ countries have a much looser system of food regulations, if they have any at all. It is in my travels through some ‘Third-World’ countries that I ceased eating meat for some time…. I saw how the animals were treated in the small villages, the terrible transport the live animals had to endure stacked five feet high on top of one-another trussed-up in the back of donkey-carts for the travels through the towns.  The live animals would be tossed across the streets to land with a thud and a bleat on the stoop of a butcher shop…. hours later I would see the fresh meat hung on hooks hanging outside the shop to entice shoppers to buy. Of course the meat would be buzzing with flies.  Even though such countries still have produce-sanitation issues from planting to distribution of plant materials…. often due to the use of untreated sewage (called ‘night soil’ by the folks describing such methods as ‘quaint’) and also to lax controls over packing operations… the risk of illness from plant material is probably much lower in general than the risk from improperly handled meat.

  Continue reading Chinese-Chicken Hazards

Clowns and Cactus

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    I got this photo years ago from someone…

   The story goes that a teacher decided it would make a great lesson in arts and biology to have the kids paint their own little ceramic clown…
   Then they each added some purchased cactus potting mix, and planted one cactus seed that someone had donated from a little packet they had picked up in the southwest on vacation.
    The little plants grew, and for the entire school year they cared for the young seedlings…  
    Until someone decided they weren’t growing the way they wanted them to….
    So they were removed from the classroom.  The administrators purchased little ivy sprigs to substitute for the cactus, and the kids got to take their project home with them at the end of the year.

This is too much

   I was reading an article on the environmental consequences of livestock production in the Brazilian rain forest….

‘To preserve the Amazon, we need to stop eating meat’

    The comments section was even more interesting…. there were folks on both sides of the ‘meat divide’ making their own (sometimes) reasoned, and usually passionate arguments for and against the basic premise of the article…. One particular comment I found was made by ‘presidio’ who brings up the fact that almost any occurrence or danger can be manipulated by anyone to gain control or compliance from others who they wish to force into their manner of action….

 

This is too much.

The Marxists are using Climate Change to promote a Proletariat agricultural revolution

The Maoists are using Climate Change to get us back to year zero

The Corporates are using Climate Change to promote carbon trading

The Govts are using Climate Change to tax us until the pips squeak

The Vegans are using Climate Change to promote vegetarianism

The One Worlders are using Climate Change to promote one govt with a single point of tax and control

The West is using Climate Change to dump pollution on the Third World

The Eugenicist/Malthusians are using Climate Change to cull the population.

The Greens are being used by all of the above, and they don’t realise it.

 

 

   I suppose anyone with a more-extreme concept can seize onto almost any concept to show it has to be implemented ‘this way and that way’ to prevent catastrophe… otherwise we are all doomed. Usually it is the more extreme portion of population that will do this. In this way… the demand by Nazis for ‘living space’ can be used to gain approval from the masses for foreign conquest… in the same way the ‘domino-theory’ gained approval for troops in Vietnam…. and the outright rejection of violence will enable easy conquest by oppressors. Of course this all depends on with whom you are dealing. Gandhi was able to use non-violent means to defeat the British in India…. they are a cultured civilized people… the same would not work with the Nazis… laying before panzers would just enable an easy takeover….

   Like many things that are important…. the fringes attract the radicals… the middle of the road is full of the masses…. understanding and caring little about the matter… yet in order to enable real action, it is the masses that you need behind you…. so the radical fringe will cry havoc and try to instill a sense of fear-and-doom onto the masses to be given approval and ability (legislation, money and manpower) to enforce their vision upon the masses.  The opposite can also occur…. absolute denials of potential problems is sometimes the easiest course for the public to follow.  When a fortress city has defended itself for generations, the people crying that an invading army has been seen approaching may not merit the demands the structure be fortified further… “it’s been fine this long, it’ll be fine” is the declaration from those needed to stack the stones.  Surveillance might be cherry-picked to support either side of argument. Those demanding the building of structure will show the data that this army has new siege machinery, so the old fortifications need upgrading to meet new demands. The ones not wishing the outlay of expenditures and the disruption to their lives will look at the data that showed some of the machines mired in mud en route… “those machines are too complex, and won’t ever make it here.”

   Sometimes a matter is a high threat, the public will see it as such and respond with full approval and their ‘hearts-and-minds’ to enable the full effect of effort to be made…. this happened in WWII when the US population, not wanting to get embroiled in “their fight” steadfastly refused the appeals (through the political process) from Britain for involvement, and our own President’s entreaties and arm wrangling to join forces with the Allied Powers and defeat the Axis Powers. It took a sneak attack along with a delayed declaration of war from Japan to gain the enmity of the US populace allowing the politicians to marshal forces. 

   It is often said “The only thing you find in the ‘middle of the road’ is road-kill”.  But it is the masses that any movement needs to gain momentum. And any fact that is found can be twisted around to suit your own needs…. an image can be manipulated with other images around it to appear deceiving…. but the facts remain the same….it just requires a skilled tongue to turn black into white if you open your eyes to only the facts as they are laid out. Deep reasoning and suspicion of the motives of others might be seen as distrust… but the world is so full of manipulations that it is unwise to not look at the facts as given by both sides…. and on the far fringes the facts are loosely interpreted, and data left out if not conducive to the goal… which is control of the people.

  The people are the real driving force behind the world economies and politics.  We usually don’t think about that, because we are in the middle of the road…. it’s easier going… you don’t have to worry as much about threats implied or real….. the cars whizz on by at speed… but you’re straddling the line…. no hard bushes and spiny plants to push through… not like those folks on the edges that desperatly meander through the brush, concealed while they gaze across the expanse of road… looking at the masses in their endless line… following one another….. unknowing of the dangers that lurk in these bushes…. they just need to reach them…. what a power that would be!

  

Chica and Tony

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Here’s Chica and tony in Oct 2009.
They are so close, he follows her around even though he is now much larger than her.
I think she would try to defend him if she thought he was in danger.This has been a very interesting thing, watching the development of the relationship between these animals. When we got Tony six months ago he was a tiny dehydrated little kitten with eyes barely open, and sunken into his skull. We had to force-feed him with a dropper…. a drop at a time.

Chica surprised us by offering herself to them, she’d lay down and let the kittens snuggle to her warm belly. She licked them and kept them clean…. as they learned to walk they tottered around after her. Now they are larger than her…. it’ll be interesting to see what the next six months brings.

Gott Sei Danke

Family is the only thing that goes with you beyond…
everything in this world can be taken in an instant….
but when you yourself leave…
you know you will see loved ones,
and will see the ones you leave behind again…
that’s the stuff that really matters.
Love is the thread that ties these worlds together…
love pulls you along from this to the next…
the net of God is loosely woven…
it covers all creation…
it passes easily everywhere without snagging….
like the tide it rushes in and out and nothing can escape its weave….
and He pulls in all He chooses… when He wishes….

Gott Sei Danke

Brokeback Boulder

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    I was going to visit a neighbor and was a bit startled when I saw this most excellently cut metal sign that says “Broke Back Boulder”.   I wondered for a second about the significance of this statement, and then I recalled that a neighbor had run into a boulder and down into the creek recently and broke his back. It turns out that his friends and family put the sign up to ‘rib’ him afterwards.

 

 

    The accident and his good recovery are a testament to our medical system and his own good health, prayers and positive thinking. Thanks also goes to the cowboys up at The Bull Riding School run by Gary Leffew. Turns out the man’s horn became stuck on after his body impacted the steering wheel, the fellows at Leffew’s place heard the horn blaring, and came to investigate. They summoned proper medical care and the man is off to a good (miraculous some say) recovery.

 

  From my posting in Jan 2008…. and the man who broke his back is reportedly very well healed….

Gott Sei Danke

A socially-Conscious Holiday Greeting

I saw this posted somewhere and did not find out who came up with it, but thought it is so clever that I’d go ahead and post it here. I mean no copyright infringement if it is applicable. If this is your writing, and you wish it removed or accredited, let me know.

 

 

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

 

    I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

 

    By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated.

 

    This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Tribes, Assimilations and Horror

   This world of man is made of tribes. We tend to hold into our little enclaves, among the people we know. We stick to the groups with which we have an affiliation through culture. It is comfort to roam among ‘your own people’.  Even criminals and killers tend to stick to their own kind… perhaps this is because they have familiarity with the actions their victims will take… what weapons they might have to defend themselves… will they fight or flee?

    An exception to this is when one tribe invades another…. when this happens we call it ‘war’. War has many faces…. and as in any other aspect of life, every action will have several choices proffered. When your tribe is invaded you can resist and risk death… or you can give up, and hope the invaders are decent enough to not kill non-combatants.

    Tribal groups have been expanding for thousands of years… as our own tribal sphere of influence expands, the assimilated tribes become fellow tribesmen… the strength of the tribe is increased.  Sometimes these assimilations happen without bloodshed, more often it is done with the conquest and total political capitulation of the conquered. You cannot ‘half-way’ conquer any people…. until assimilation occurs, you still have the potential for an uprising among the conquered people. This is the situation the Germans and French found themselves in during WWII.

   During the invasion of France by Germany, the seemingly fast French capitulation allowed the Germans easy entry into the country, without the heavy bloodshed and loss of life one would have expected.  The French assisted the German military in rounding up anyone the Germans wanted…. political people, Jews, Gypsies and more groups were rounded up by the French and handed over to the Germans. This all changed however in 1944 with the successful invasion of France from England. Once hope proffered itself, many French turned from the Germans, and tried to join the resistance… and that is the history we try to look to, for hope and encouragement on the rights of Man, the will of Man to resist tyranny and despotism…

   But when it comes to the interactions between individuals during war… everything becomes murky.   And like the thick dark liquids of a swamp…. the deeper that it is, the darker the shadows, yet there is more deeper down.  You can feel around in the dark depths… knowing there is something there you must find….

   And it is family…. invading armies always leave little children in the wake of their passage. Sometimes this is done in a deliberate attempt to destroy the social structure of the invaded people, such as we find happening constantly in some parts of Africa.  If the occupation is long…. there will be women hoping to gain food and security for their family by aligning themselves with the invaders. And people being people, sometimes it is the intrigue of the invader, the stranger, that exotic appeal, and the power of the conqueror.

    France was occupied for four years…. that is plenty of time for many thousands of relationships to develop in France among French women and German men. After the withdrawal of German forces, many thousands of ‘collaborators’ were executed by locals…. women who were associated with German men were paraded through the streets, their heads shaved publicly as a mark to display wherever they went. And the progeny of these relationships were shunned as if they themselves had been invaders.

   Now that almost all of the people who were adults in those days are deceased… people can look at the times with a bit less passion, we are the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the Second World War.   We know that the children born of such unions are innocent of the transgressions their parents commited. And now even France is starting to open up…. Germany has offered dual citizenship to the children of German soldiers born to French women.

   I suppose it is natural that it takes a long time for such wounds to heal.  When you have a bad cut, you must keep it covered for a long time…. and the children running through France were like a scratching at the cut Germany had made into France. They tried to cover it up…. thick padding so no one could see it. Deny, hide, obfuscate… but once the wound starts to itch, it needs to be opened to the healing power of the sun…. it needs to be aired out…. and touched tenderly…. happily, the wound is now starting to heal…. sadly, it is when all the children concerned are passed-on that the raw scar will be no more.  It is at that time that people will be able to be dispassionate about it.

   But we are people, humans…. failed, fallen….

   But remember… we are healed by the Power of the Son.

Paper Wasp

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This is the inside of a paper-wasp nest
These wasps are very aggravating…. and scary-looking
they fly with long legs hanging down….we refer to them as ‘knuckle-draggers’ 
they remind me of some kind of war-helicopter
they eat meat. And any bit of meat left out will quickly be covered
they scrape wood fibers from trees and buildings,
and consolidate it with their spit into these beautifully geometric patterns.There’s a reason that the honeycomb pattern is built into aircraft
structures. It is very solid and durable yet lightweight.
It is the maximum qualities of both needs intersecting on a grid.

 

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This particular wasp nest has been abandoned for a few years high in a tree.
It got knocked down during the storm last week.
This is the first I got a good look into it.
And I was a bit surprised to see little crawling creatures inside of it.
Some kind of larvae that must be living on detritus left from the wasps,
or perhaps some material that is growing on the paper.