Good morning and greetings, rock and roll fans. It’s been a wild week on the news front, with my favorite story coming out of Pyongyang, where fun-loving North Korea is talking about obliterating the good ol’ US of A. Standing smack in their crosshairs is Hawaii, which is being threatened with a nuclear tipped missle, topped off with a side order of short ribs. Think what you want about that little dictator, Kim Jong-il, but this pint-sized maniac, who gets a kick out of starving his people and locking up a couple of our journalists, is now threatening to devastate the Aloha state .
I am heading over to the islands in August for a warm water meditation retreat. Before the threat from this “proud nuclear power,” my biggest concerns were sunburn, overipe pineapples or a wandering school of jellyfish, not radiation poisoning. Over in Oahu, they still remember the horror of Pearl Harbor the same way I continually dream about not being ready tests in school. But I’ve always shared a special kinship with Korea, ever since my basketball coach had us playing a demilitarized zone on defense back in high shcool.
And then there was the tragic passing of the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, who died last week at the age of 50. I believe ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel summed it up best when he said, “What’s especially sad is that most people of a certain generation only know Michael Jackson as a crazy guy who had a lot of plastic surgery — whereas the truth is, he was not only an unbelievably talented, groundbreaking performer, he also helped break down the racial prejudice in this country. He was an extremely powerful symbol — a black performer who whites could relate to and then later in life, a white performer who blacks could relate to.” I loved the Jackson Five, especially Reggie, when he played rightfield for the Yankees.
Of course, there are the crazy goings on in Iran, the continuing and escalating violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wandering governor from South Carolina and the death of Farrah Fawcett. We’ll cover some of those topics in our late night comedy segment but let’s move on to our photo finish.
Today’s colorful theme takes us back to my favorite place to shoot the sunrise on the central coast. We’ll be seeing lots of Lighthouse Point and Its Beach throughout the summer as I blaze my own Appalachian trail through my photo archives. There has been very little color in the June skies due to fog, the marine layer and the breakup of Jon and Kate. So today we are journeying back to 2007, to a time when Phil Spector was still a free man, John Ensign was still faithful to his wife and Bernie Madoff sons still spoke to him.
The first three shots are from a sunrise in early March that came before a huge storm, where the rain was coming down harder than PETA did on President Obama for swatting that fly. This magnificent moment of Disney color came and went very quickly before the skies turned gray and the deluge began, much the way the greedy bankers bought into the bad mortgages and we, the taxpayers, were forced to bail them out. These bailouts still have many people, including yours truly, scratching their heads, much like suffering the heartbreak of psoriasis.
Our second dawn pleaser came a few weeks earlier. As a landscape photograher and part-time hand model, I am most attracted to the vibrant colors in the sky. These two sunrises reflect the kind of the moments I like to capture and the reason I get up before dawn even cracks. So you can look forward to a cyber summer of sunrises and sunsets as we bring the best of the central coast skies to the pages of Sunrise Santa Cruz.
On to the late night experience. Hey, you know what is going on over in Iran with the election? Have you been following that? Oh, it’s crazy. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who makes a great chicken salad,) has declared himself a winner. Had a victory party. And he came out at the victory party and he thanked the 148% of the people who voted for him. This Ahmadinejad guy, during all those protests, keeping a very low profile in Iran. His staff said he was hiking. And President Obama, this guy takes everything seriously. He’s very upset about what’s going on in Iran. As a matter of fact, today he announced that he’s going to stop smoking Camels.” –David Letterman
“Today, President Obama signed a bill that prevents tobacco companies from using misleading labels like ‘low tar’ and ‘light.’ The tobacco companies said from now on they’ll label their low tar cigarettes as ‘less cancerific. A British furniture company was caught trying to slip advertisements into Twitter by linking them to the Iranian election crisis. Isn’t that the lowest? Yeah, probably the most shameless had to be, ‘Tired of all the unrest? Try our Serta Perfect Sleeper. Today the governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, who’s the head of the Republican Governors Association, held a press conference to reveal he had an affair with a woman from Argentina. People were shocked because Republicans traditionally don’t do well with Hispanic women.” –Conan O’Brien
“You guys remember Dick Cheney? Vice President for eight years? Listen to this. He’s written a memoir about his life. Not just a memoir, a thousand pages! It’s a great book. You can actually use it to stand on to reach a better book. This guy doesn’t say anything for eight years, and now he’s got a thousand-page book? Talk about torture. There’s your torture right there. John McCain is being more outspoken about President Obama’s foreign policy and his Iranian strategy. And today, McCain got so loud and so angry, and he was screaming, that they asked him to leave Denny’s.” –David Letterman
That’s news, weather and sports. On the travel front, my two favorite children are leaving today on a fact finding mission to Costa Rica, which is being led by my brother Brad, as part of his Media Services Without Borders group. Which means that another guest blog will be coming down the pike from Aimee. And if we’re really lucky we might squeeze one out of Jason, but it will probably be in Spanish.
So congratulations go out to the Golden State Warriors, who last week lucked out and selected sharpshooting guard Stephon Curry in the NBA draft. This was a coup for the Warriors, who in the past have taken front office incompetence to a new level. I haven’t been this excited about something in Oakland since they opened up Raiderette tryouts to the public. So enjoy the day and we’ll catch you somewhere between the Carribean Queen and the Atlantic. Aloha, mahalo and later, Costco Rica fans.