Good morning and greetings, August fans. A few posts back, I wrote about the summer humidity on the east coast as compared to the summer frigidity that inhabits our central coast. This past week, on my early morning jaunts along West Cliff Drive, the ground and air were soaking wet. I hadn’t experienced that kind of moistness since I roasted a cornish game hen in honor of Anthony Randolph’s spectacular play in the Las Vegas summer league. I was thinking, here we are in the middle of fog season, while other parts of the nation are sweltering like Scotter Libby before the pardons board. Across the country, the weather has been wackier than Mark Sanford’s travel intinerary.
Meanwhile, 3,000 miles to the east, New York experienced it second coldest July on record. Fortunately, Mark Teixeira and New York Yankee bats were hot which counteracted the lack of summer sun for beachgoers and Met’s fans. Up and down the eastern seaboard it’s been cold and wet, as frustrated families ask themselves, “Where is summer?” I believe right next to thumbkin.
At the same time, last week in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle recorded the hottest temperature in its history at 103 while Portland topped out at 106, one shy of the all-time record. We are talking a major Martha and the Vandellas heat wave, my marine layer loving friends. Folks in these parts were flocking to the coast faster than Brandon Roy scorching up the floor on a Blazer fast break.
So as the moist air filled my delicate lungs, I was hit with my usual early morning revelations. I never ceased to be amazed by the 24/7 travelcade of birds as the flyways along the edge of the continent are always going full tilt. Prehistoric looking pelicans fly by in both directions, sometimes stopping to dive headfirst in search of some fish sticks, cormorants furiously flapping their wings in flight while their compatriots line the cliff walls. Throw in some screaming gulls, exotic pigeons and other various sea birds and I’ve painted your daily aerial display. It reminds me of the first time I visited Yankee Stadium. I was initially shocked by the foul language, drugs and alcohol, and those were just the security guards.
So once again, you may be thinking, what’s this bi-monthly obsession with byrds? The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. There is a reason that I come out blasting with my Canon. And a time for every purpose under heaven. It’s my honest attempt to turn, turn, turn and try and churn out the best stream of conciousness this mind has to offer. And as we know, a mime is a terrible thing to waste.
Today’s photo lineup takes us back to the north coast, as we return to the sands of Four Mile Beach. When I’m looking for large quantities of gulls draped against the background of cumulating clouds, there’s no other place in this area I’d rather be. If you were to shoot these same shots without the birds in the sky, it’s an empty landscape. These gulls just wanting to have fun give the pictures life, liberty and in my case, the pursuit of semi-happiness. Here’s the bottom line. I love shooting birds and three-pointers. Just seeing them in motion and hearing the sound of the ball swishing thru the net, to paraphrase the Doobie Brothers, “it keeps me running.”
Let’s go to the late night. “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin resigned yesterday, and during her speech, she was heckled. Apparently, it was just someone in Russia yelling, ‘Keep it down over there!’” –Conan O’Brien “Sarah Palin’s decision to resign has resulted in an 18-point drop in her approval rating among Americans and a 52-point drop among terrified moose. She says she’s going to divide her time between traveling to support conservative causes and learning to pronounce the ‘G’ at the end of words” –Jimmy Kimmel “Some people now are saying, this is true, that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wants to host her own TV show. The show is going to be called ‘Am I More Coherent Than a Fifth Grader?’” –Conan O’Brien
“This August, President Obama is renting a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s amazing. It has a basketball court, swimming pool, apple orchard and a driving range. The president says he can’t wait to shoot hoops, while Michelle looks forward to pulling apple trees out of the ground with her bare hands.” –Jimmy Fallon “President Obama held a Q & A session about healthcare reform with senior citizens over the Internet. Unfortunately, the senior citizens spent the entire hour typing questions into their microwave ovens. “President Obama is hosting a delegation of 150 Chinese officials in Washington. Among the questions the Chinese have for the U.S.: ‘What’s your military policy? What is your stance on global warming? And where’s our money?’” –Conan O’Brien
“Of course, President Obama has invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him to the White House. Reportedly, Obama is going to serve them Budweiser. And in the spirit of racial harmony, Budweiser is changing its nickname from the ‘King of Beers’ to the ‘Martin Luther King of Beers.’” –Conan O’Brien “Now here’s the way President Obama likes to do stuff. They had this problem up there at Harvard. So President Obama says, ‘Here’s what we’ll do. Come to the White House. We’ll settle our differences. We’ll have a beer.’ And if it works for those guys he’s going to try it with Jon and Kate, and he is going it to try it with the Israelis and Hamas. “And then in the spirit of this, I thought it was nice today, Rush Limbaugh called up Professor Gates and Officer Crowley and he invited them over for some OxyContin.” –David Letterman
So that’s our first post for August 2009. I’ll be taking next week off, as the Gilbert family is heading to Sunset Beach on the fabled north shore of Oahu. In between body painting seminars and cooking with coconut classes, I’ll be studying the effects on the psyche of gentle trade winds, scented plumerias and most importantly, warm ocean water that doesn’t lead to shrinkage action. Of course, it will all be documented for those of you not making a trip to the South Pacific or the new Safeway on the westside this summer.
So enjoy the weeks before the back to school fever kicks in. And again, thanks to Aimee and Jason Gilbert for their guest blogs. Now if they would just stop asking me about royalties. We’ll catch you at Waimea Bay. Aloha, mahalo and later, Pipeline fans.