November 30, 2008

Tuesday’s Gone With The Wind


Good morning and greetings, post-holiday fans. As the captain of this photographic ship of fools, I continue to search for truth, justice and the American way along with magnificent color in the morning and evening sky. In a trend that continued throughout our eleventh month, the dawn experiences as of late have been weak, listless and dull, much like my performance on my high school math achievement test.

Each morning I awake with fresh and renewed hope that, along with getting dial tone, the day will bring the colors that my mind, body and digital soul so yearn for. Instead, it has been fog city with a marine layer sitting on the coast that prevents the red, orange and yellow light show extravaganza that the month of November has so often brought.

The one exception to this party cloudly, fog party was last Tuesday morning. Like a reptile smuggler going thru customs I hurried down to West Cliff and positioned myself like an Eagle Scout along Bird Rock. As you can see from the first three shots the sky put on a pretty good pre-sunrise performance as the Russian judge scored it as a 9.5. I would normally have driven over to Steamer Lane to shoot the clouds and the inspiring reflection over the wharf and Boardwalk but it was getting late and I heard my children’s french toast calling me.

The next three photos are from Monday night’s sunset on a day where we saw very little sun until it dropped thru the clouds in late afternoon. There has been some color in the evening sky but nothing to really text message the Weather Channel about. At this point in my first lifetime I am seeking only the spectacular, when the sky is just exploding with color and you just want to savor the moment and think, “Yeah, there is no other place I’d rather be.” Except Hawaii. This low tide sunset, much like a trip to the Hindquarter for the best burger in town, had it’s moments. Thus we are going with the sunrise, sunset, theme as tribute to “Fiddler on the Roof.” If only I were a rich man.

On to our comedy section of the show. Here’s the best thing I heard coming out of the late night monologues last week, courtesy of Jay Leno. “Looks like the government is going to bailout CitiGroup but they don’t want to bailout the auto companies. See, I don’t think this is fair for blue collar workers who make our cars, they don’t get the bailout but the white collar guys who work on Wall Street, they get the bailout. You know what I think they should do? I think they should work together. I think the guys in Detroit should keep making the cars and the guys on Wall Street should make the license plates.”

We continue with some bonus Thanksgivng humor. I used this joke last year but I thought it was amusing enough of bring back for a return engagement. A turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey. His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there were never enough legs for everyone. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store. “Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!” They all asked the farmer how it tasted. “I don’t know” said the farmer. “I never could catch the darn thing!”

That’s it for another week of what’s in the skies above Monterey Bay. I hope it was a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday for all of you out there in cyberspace or New Jersey. With the tragic news out of Mumbai it’s just another reason to be grateful for all we are blessed with. This includes the defending Super Bowl champion New York football Giants, who are now 11-1 on the season. Unbelievable. So as we bid farewell to November, let’s bring on December, which will hopefully be filled with peace and prosperity. We could use a good month to end this year. Aloha, mahalo and we’ll catch you on the end around. Later, LeBron James fans.

November 23, 2008

She Sells Sea Gulls By The Sea Shore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 9:44 pm


Good morning and greetings, transition team fans. The skies of late have been clearer than the broth in my wife’s matzoh ball soup, so instead of a sunrise or sunset experience we are going to the aviary card. The first shot of the gulls along the Main Beach at the Boardwalk was taken in October of 2005. The rest of the gulls just wanting to have fun were taken in the month of November. Thus, this is a pre-Thanksgiving salute to our eleventh month-you might say the calm before the cranberry sauce storm.

Shots two and three were taken along the Main Beach in mid-afternoon. The sand was loaded with gulls with provided me with lots of birdshot. When I came back the next day to check out the scene there were just a couple of dozen birds playing bridge. It’s just another example of capturing the moment-I wish they all could be California gulls.

When I see potential in the morning sky I head down to Lighthouse Point to experience the grandeur, pagentry and fresh baked pastries . When the clouds are really exotic I then hop in the car and follow the Yellow Brick road to Four Mile Beach and gull city. That’s where the next three photos were taken. If you look at the last shot you’ll see hundreds of birds in the sky. Many people believe that birds are good luck and I was feeling quite fortunate in the moment.

My Zrii loving, Marin County-based sibling Paul was here this weekend and I asked him to join in selecting the subject title for today’s blog. Here are his top three selections. “Jethro Gull on Tour,” “Way to Gullible” and my personal favorite, “The Gulls of Ipanema.” It’s always good to see him because he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

On to our humor selection from the small screen. This week’s comments come from one of my favorite vocalists of the day, Bill “I’m Hussein in the Membrane” Maher, who appeared on the Tonight Show last week. He’s got a program, “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO and is not afraid to take an occassional shot at the administration. Here’s a few zingers. Of the election of Barack Obama he said, “It’s a new chapter in America. Unfortunately, it’s Chapter 11.” Of John McCain calling Obama a “celebrity” who could fill stadiums, “Well, the Republicans can fill stadiums-like the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. And finally, of Sarah Palin, he said it was the men of the Republican Party that loved her-they thought she was a MILF. And she was a MIFL-a Moron Who I’d Like to Forget.”

That’s our show for today. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday and we’ll catch you after the turkey, stuffing and sweet potato along with hours of NFL football with some NBA basketball thrown in for desert. Enjoy your families and this special time of togetherness with the ones you love or can barely tolerate. And lest we not forget, the New York Giants fans. 10-1. After last year’s Super Bowl shocker, this year is all gravy. Which is also the key to the Thanksgiving dinner. Aloha, sports fans and we’ll catch you next week on the goal line.

November 16, 2008

The Moon, The Sun And The Holy Coast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 9:39 pm


Good morning and greetings, NFL fans. We’ve had a beautiful week of weather here on the central coast, with clear skies and unseasonably warm weather. The thermometer hit 86 on Saturday and that was followed by a Super Sunday. Not bad for a mid-November weekend. We’re talking Donna Summer weather in the late fall. George Carlin, in his weatherman days as Al Sleet, would have said “these conditions were due to a Canadian low, which is not to be confused with a Mexican high.” In fact, it was so hot on Saturday that I saw a dog chasing a cat-and they were walking.

This week also featured a full slate of lunar action here on the coast. Ideally, when the full moon is rising, or there’s a bad moon on the rise, I like to head down to Steamer Lane to experience the lunar moment. Today’s blue moon is from this past Wednesday. I was driving along Delaware Avenue when I saw the moon shrouded by the red clouds. Nothing like shooting a full moon rising between the telephone lines. And then a cow pole vaulted over the moon.

The sunset is from the previous Wednesday along West Cliff Drive. There haven’t been many clouds in the sky to bring on the necessary drama for the dusk delights but Saturday night’s sunset was just gorgeous. It was low tide and there was a exotic red glow in the sky as the sun dipped into the Pacific. I hadn’t seen that kind of glow in the sky since my first Grateful Dead concert and I was indoors at the time. Sunshine, daydream.

Another incredible week for the world’s crashing economy. I just can’t seem to catch a break. While I waiting for a package from DHL, I received a gift card from Circuit City and American Express offered to extend my line of credit. It’s such an incredibly stressful time for so many people. But at least those bailout packages are working.

On the subject of our faltering economy, courtesy of Jay Leno, here’s how bad the economy is. China had to cut back on the amount of lead they’re putting in our kid’s toys. Exxon-Mobil had to lay off 25 congressman. And parents in Beverly Hills are being forced to raise their own kids. And speaking of kids, Jewish children are asking their parents about Hanukah. The parents told them, “Ask Santa.”

That’s it for the Monday experience. As I write this Southern California is on fire as hurricane force Santa Ana winds over the weekend drove these blazes wild, destroying people’s homes and the sacred memories that go along with them. Just a devastating scene for all those Laker fans in SoCal. So try to be grateful for the little things, like Eli Manning and the New York Giants having a record of 9-1 through week 10 of the NFL season. So enjoy the warm skies, the autumn breeze and we’ll catch you across the middle. Aloha and later, Brian Williams fans.

November 11, 2008

What, You Don’t November Me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 10:33 pm


Good morning, sunrise fans. There has been a lot of excitement in the air but not much has been much going on in the central coast skies. As a former hand model and stunt man for Brad Pitt, I am looking to photograph the spectacular when it comes to sunrises, sunsets and Sunday brunches. Tuesday night’s sunset had its moments but for this blog I am thinking only the best. That’s why we are going back in the time tunnel to the year 2006 when Barack Obama was just a twinkle in the Illinois galaxy. This was my favorite sunrise from our eleventh month that year. I am very much into capturing the magnificent colors in the morning sky and I believe this photo sequence conveys that thought.

People often say to me, “Geoff, what is this thing you’ve got with sunrises?” I always reply, “I don’t know and don’t call me Geoff.” The sunrise thing has been happening for a few years now or as the Doobie Brothers put it, “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.” Under oath before a grand jury I would have to admit that I enjoy shooting the sunrise. I guess a website named SunriseSantaCruz would be somewhat of a dead giveaway. Like the dawn delight that I am showcasing today, what started out as a dark canvas exploded into colors that only Walt Disney, Timothy Leary or my Ultimate Fighting instructer could dream of.

This harmonic convergence of morning colors took place between 6-6:30 am. Most people awoke this day to see a few white clouds lounging on the horizon. That’s one of the things I love about this early a.m. experience-colors fill the sky for a few intensely beautiful minutes and then they’re gone. I love capturing those moments and sharing them with American League fans. Santa Cruz is known for its “world class sunsets.” Without being too presumptuous, I think we could include “sunrises” in that mix.

Some of you may know that I occasionally watch a little TV. No, it is not true that a start my day saying the Pledge of Allegiance to my TiVo box but in the words of former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, “It’s the greatest invention since beer.” So here are my three favorite TiVo moments from Tuesday morning, the first courtesy of David Letterman. “The big transition began today at the White House as the President-elect met with the President-inept. But there was a little confusion a the White House. When President Bush was told Obama was coming he said, “Oh, you mean we caught him?” Thanks, Dave.

We then move on to the king of monologues, Jay Leno. “President-elect Barack Obama promised his daughters a puppy if they moved to the White House and he’s already getting advice on what breed of dog to get. For example, President Clinton told him the Oval Office would be a great place for a husky female. And according to a new post election survey, people want Sarah Palin to run for President in 2012. They say she’s been getting thousands of calls from people pleading with her to run-all Democrats.

There’s a little late night humor for you. Or in the words of Mr. Stairway to Heaven himself, Robert Plant, “Doesn’t anyone remember laughter?” For the next couple of weeks we’ll be strolling down memory lane with some November highlights that don’t include turkey, stuffing or Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce. So enjoy the November sky and be ready for the onside kick. Later, New York Giants fans.

November 6, 2008

Barack Of Ages


Good morning and greetings, electorial college fans. Well, Tuesday’s gone with the wind and we are still buzzing about the history made by Barack Obama. That was a day like no other. While we were in the process of electing the first black President since the first season of Jack Bauer and “24,” I thought I would showcase what this historic morning looked like on the westside of Santa Cruz. The place was Natural Bridges State Beach, and the time was for change.

It was a beautiful morning as the sky was filled with interesting clouds, pelicans lined the both sides of the rock and the beach was a gathering place for local gulls. Add to the mix the great blue heron reflecting in the pond and it was great to be there just Joe Biden my time. At one point the heron took off and flew up into the iceplants. That’s where I took my final shot but my foot was on the line so it wasn’t a three-pointer.

To quote the late Buddy Miles, who was the drummer in Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, “Well, my mind is going thru them changes.” It’s hard to believe we are finally done with this moron in the White House who has done a tremendous job of dividing this country while getting the rest of the world to depise us. Those days are over. The fact that Bush feels he has done the country no wrong and that history will prove him right on Iraq is somewhat galling, but with any luck Karl Rove, Condy Rice or his dog Barney will explain to him that the Obama landslide victory was a huge statement against everything he stands for.

A couple thoughts on Johnny McCain. I thought his gracious concession stand speech was the best thing he’d done in the campaign. If he had spoken like that more often instead of espousing “Joe the Plumber” or Obama as an “elitist” or “socialist” who parties with terrorists, he might be on his way to the White House instead of the early bird special. His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate still blows what’s left of my mind. That he would actually believe that she was his best choice is just stupefying. As I’ve written before, I think she was a huge insult to the intelligence of the American voter and Americans spoke in huge volumes to this point at the ballot box on Tuesday. Goodbye Sarah, and don’t come back real soon.

So things are looking up. The country is in a mess but unlike the Oakland Raiders, at least we’re headed in the right direction. It’s a new dawn and there’s finally hope but it will not be easy. If we could backtrack for just a moment, here’s my favorite pre-election line of the week courtesy of David Letterman. “Today Barack Obama was compaigning in Florida and Virginia. And McCain campaigned in two states-panic and desperation.” On that note, enjoy the fall weather, the sights at the beach and have a fabulous sports weekend. We’ll catch you somewhere near the sideline marker. Later, Michelle Obama fans.

November 2, 2008

A Sunrise We Can Believe In


Good morning and greetings, central coast fans. We’re back with our first photo blog for the month of November. As some of you know, I like to start off the new month with something colorful for the cornea and eye sockets and today is no exception. This dawn masterpiece painted the skies last Thursday morning, the day before the tsunami of candy that created the flood of chocolate.

As usual, I woke up in my Batman pajamas, looked out my bedroom window and saw clouds of interest. I dressed quickly, threw on my Hillary Clinton in 2016 sweatshirt, grabbed my Canon Digital Rebel and headed down to Lighthouse Point. When I got down to West Cliff Drive I was pleased with what I saw in the eastern sky. This was to be the first sunrise of the season with some character, like George Clooney in his role in “Michael Clayton.” I had to exit stage left before the sun rose but I had a feeling there would more to this late October experience.

A few minutes later while driving my son to school I saw a purplish hue in the sky as the sun rose over Monterey Bay. When I got down to the cliff that phase had ended but I was still able to capture the light shining across the bay. Now here’s where the story gets good. I was thinking to myself, this was a good morning, you definitely captured the magnificence of the Thursday sky. At that moment a couple walked by and said, “We were just saying, we wish we had a camera. Did you see those dolphins jumping in the light?” Sadly, as the winds were leaving my sails I said I hadn’t. The woman then twisted the knife in my digital heart and added, “It was chilling.” I suggested she put on a sweater. Dolphins jumping in the morning light. Well, at least they weren’t orcas doing backflips off of Seal Rock.

So tomorrow is election day. I say vote early and vote often. Hopefully, the insanity of the last eight years is over. As the bumper sticker says, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” I’ve been paying way much too attention. I’d like to go back to a gentler, simpler time when we weren’t involved in two wars, the economy wasn’t crashing and the Warriors had a decent point guard. A time when people weren’t so worried about foreclosures and their life savings and the government wasn’t bailing out the bad guys. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a change.

That’s enough of my sermonette. Enjoy the morning sky, the time change and the upcoming change at the top. Embrace the new month and we’ll catch you somewhere in the end zone. Aloha, New York Giant fans.

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