January 31, 2010

Beauty And The East

Good morning and greetings, State of the Union fans. Let's start off today's festivities with a quick no-look pass at the national scene. President Obama just celebrated his first year anniversary in the White House with cake and ice feelings. A year ago, he took the oath of office, promising to be, according to Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer "a transformational president who would cure our ills and cleanse our politics." Today, only 39% of people said they would vote for him again and over 70% put the blame for his failures on his being lefthanded.
As Obama himself has conceded, the country "has the right to be deflated," writes Sean Wilenz in the New York Daily News. My jump shot is in better shape than the President's health-care reform, the economy is unemployed, and Iraq and Afghanistann are a bigger mess than my garage. A year ago, Americans were talking about electing "another Lincoln." Adds Wilenz, today Obama looks "less like a political messiah and more like a victim of unrealistic expectations." Which sound hauntily familiar to my first year of coaching basketball at the Boys & Girls club.

On the other hand, the economy, unlike my archilles tendon eight years ago, didn't collapse (actually , I was kicked,) and unlike when I started losing my basketball quickness, the country didn't suffer through a depression. For those Americans who were looking for instant results or instant karma, there's been a lot of frustration, much like the feeling of missing a wide-open layup.

Overall, it's been a trying year for our Commander-in-Chief, who walked into a situation that was trickier than the questions in the math section of my SAT's. The question is, are we better off now than we were a year ago? Remember, Jim Rome wasn't built in a day, but for many Americans, these are very stressful times, particularly if you're a Golden State Warrior fan.

Moving right along, in the Declaration of Independence, which ranks right up there with the Gettysburg Address and John Belushi's "Animal House" rantings, "Over? Did you say 'over?' Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the German's bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!," provides us with "life, liberty and the pursuit to view sunrises. Which leads me into today's point of interest. I ran across an article written by Abby Goodnough in the New York Times from January 5th. In it she wrote, in a new setback for a controversial wind farm proposed off of Cape Cod, which is not to be confused with a wind bag like Rush Limbaugh, the National Park Service announced that Nantucket Sound was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, guaranteeing further delays for the project.

Known as Cape Wind, the project is the nation’s first planned offshore wind farm and would cover 24 square miles in the sound, an area roughly the size of Manhattan, which we got from the Indians for $24 and a signed Derek Jeter baseball card. The park service decision came in response to a request from two Massachusetts Indian tribes, who said the 130 proposed wind turbines would thwart their spiritual ritual of greeting the sunrise, which requires unobstructed views across the sound, disturb ancestral burial grounds and change the television reception they receive for Red Sox home games.

In seeking the historical designation, the Wampanoag tribes — whose name translates to “people of the first light” — said their view to the east across Nantucket Sound was integral to their identity and cultural traditions. “Here is where we still arrive to greet the new day, watch for celestial observations in the night sky, follow the migration of the sun and stars in change with the season and watch Celtic games,” wrote Bettina Washington, historic preservation officer for the Aquinnah Wampanoag, in a letter to federal officials.

So this is where I pick up the story. What these two Indian tribes are asking for is the right to view an unobstructed sunrise, something they have done for a bit longer than I've been posting Sunrise Santa Cruz. They, more than anyone else, know that there is something spirtually cleansing to viewing the magnificence and beauty that daybreak brings to the dawning table. And I can relate to the "people of the first light," as at this stage of my life, I need some kind of light to read anything. The eyes may be the window to the soul, but I need those cheater glasses to see it. In conclusion, if it's important to Abby Goodnough, well, then that's good enough for me.

So for our photo journey, I have selected a montage of two shots of three different sunrises from the first eleven days of the new year. I could have gone with one more photo, but that would have been 7 from the first Eleven and that's just too much slurping for me.

Anyway, the first series is from January 2, just a wild display of some orange-tangerine wonder in the eastern sky above Lighthouse Point. We then move to the following day, where I was able to add my favorite arch to our photo ensemble. But my favorite sunrise of the year came eight days later on January 11, when I was shooting from Fair Avenue along West Cliff Drive and the sky just blew up with color. I shot from this spot to get a good overall view of the skies above Monterey Bay and it was just plastic fantastic. The windows of the houses along the cliff were glowing like my mind when people tell me that they were thinking about me while experiencing a beautiful sunrise. Reggie Jackson was known as "Mr. October." I'm thinking of myself as Mr. November, December and January.

Because of reruns, late night was a little light this week but here we go. "John McCain's wife and her daughter, Meghan, have posed for pictures endorsing gay marriage here in California, although Senator McCain — well, he's still very traditional. He believes marriage should be between an older man and a really hot-looking younger woman.
"Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. They're going to the Super Bowl. The Saints beat the Vikings. Former President George Bush Sr., he was at the game. Now, his son George W. was invited. But you know him, when it comes to New Orleans, he's always, like, two weeks late." - Jay Leno

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California can save money by no longer incarcerating illegal immigrants and just sending them to Mexico instead. Well, actually, today, the immigrants had three words for Schwarzenegger - 'I'll be back.'" "Wal-Mart announced it's cutting over 11,000 jobs. "That's an amazing amount of people: The problem is they made the announcement in English, so everybody kept showing up for work." –Jay Leno "It's Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff's birthday today and he celebrated, spent the entire day waving to Sarah Palin." –David Letterman

So that's our first blast from the month of February. Last week I mentioned rumors of a guest blog, but much like Brett Favre going to Miami, it just didn't happen. But it shall and there are also major snow drifts on the horizon. And don't worry, I've got lots more sunrises waiting on the cyber runway. And just to keep the presidential record straight, President Obama would like to see the Saints win it all next Sunday. Michelle, on the other hand, is excited about checking out Peter Townsend and the Who at halftime. Or as she put it to her hubby the other day, "Barack, can you hear me"? That's it Tommy fans, enjoy Super Bowl Sunday and we'll catch you on the winner's podium. Aloha, mahalo and later, Archie Manning fans.

Beauty And The East

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoff @ 10:08 am

January 24, 2010

Blast From The Last

Good morning and greetings, winter storm fans. Last week, we had five straight days of driving rain, heavy winds and big surf. I don’t want to say things were a bit moist, but it rained harder than the tears coming down the cheeks of Democrats in Massachusetts. Fortunately, my writing is covered by an umbrella clause, so I remained high and dry during the blogging process.

But in honor of our inclement weather and to celebrate the moisture we so badly needed here out west, I thought I’d pass on a few rain jokes. You know, some raincoat humor. And away we flow. There’s a technical term for a sunny, warm day which follows two rainy days. It’s called Monday. “Gosh, it’s raining cats and dogs,” said Fred looking out of the kitchen window. “I know,” said his mother. “I’ve just stepped in a poodle!” There was a communist named Rudolph. One day he looked out the window and said, “It looks like a storm is coming.” “No it isn’t,” said his wife. “Besides, how would you know?” “Because,” he responded, “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

Moving along, let’s revisit the lyrical front, where in the words of the Carpenters, “Rainy days and Mondays always bring me down.” But that is not true for yours truly, as Monday is the day that I share my flowing stream of unconciousness with the ever increasing cyber world, my parents and my rabbi. The Allman Brothers told us, “They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad,” but according to Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Tuesday’s gone with the wind.” Jimi Hendrix proclaimed, “Rainy day, dream away. Let the sun take a holiday.” But our last word of precipitation today will come from the great Eric Clapton, who said, “Let it rain, let it rain, let you love rain down on me.” And that my cyber friends, is why I never carry an umbrella.

But let’s move out of the rain and into the sun. Today’s photo journey brings us back to the final day of the decade, December 31, 2009. I wanted to make sure I captured this day on the photographic front, so we start off with a lovely sunrise from Its Beach and Lighthouse Point, two locations I am as familiar with as Julianna Margulies’ character on CBS’s “The Good Wife.” It was a good start to the special day, which at this point held more promise than the violent drug war ending in Mexico anytime soon or the US convincing Afghan farmers not to grow opium. How’s that for a smooth political transition?

But wanting to make this a full day experience, much like my graduation day from driving school, I then headed up the coast to Four Mile Beach to take in the gulls and the furthering clouds expansion. The beach was deserted, except for the large flock of gulls, and they greeted me with the same warmth and understanding as did the Iraqis on our decision to continue to occupy their country. Basically, okay, you got your shots in, now get out of here and leave us alone.

For the end of the day tapestry, I returned to the coast and Its Beach. It was an extreme low tide, so I strode thru my favorite arch the same way as General Sherman did thru Atlanta in his March to the Sea back in 1864, but a tad less destructively. I was hoping for a spectacular sunset to close out the decade, but a cloud front blew in from the north, so the final shot features the last bit of pure sunlight from the decade. And because of the low tide, brilliantly colored sea anenomes and sea stars were scattered throughout the beach, all rock stars in their own right. All in all, a tremendous end to the decade, although if a few more colors had appeared in the sky, I wouldn’t have held it against the big guy, and I don’t mean Alec Baldwin.

On to Conan O’Brien’s former neighborhood. “I’ve been having a hard time explaining this whole situation to my kids, because they’re still very young. So I had a doll made of myself, and now I can show my kids exactly where NBC touched daddy. I should have known something was up when NBC sent me that 2010 calendar that only went up to January.” –Conan O’Brien “Things are crazy. I don’t know what is going on on NBC. I don’t know what going on in the ‘Tonight Show.’ Earlier today I get a call from the executives at CBS and they wanted to know if I would consider a jaw enhancement. What? Are you kidding?’” –David Letterman

‘The big CBS show here, anybody seen the ‘Medium?’ It’s about a woman who can communicate with the dead. A woman without can communicate with the dead. As a matter of fact, this Sunday, this week, Johnny Carson calls up the medium and he asks her what the hell is going on with the ‘Tonight Show.’” –David Letterman “Former presidential candidate John Edwards has finally admitted that he did father a love child with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter. He released a statement today. Edwards said, ‘It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she’ll forgive me.’ Hey, if she inherits that hair, what’s to forgive?” –Jimmy Kimmel “The heaviest snowfall in over 60 years is being reported in Beijing, China. To give you an idea of how bad it is, the army is now having to use snowplows to run over dissidents.” –Jay Leno

“You know, it’s hard to believe President Obama has now been in office for a year. Isn’t that amazing? It’s a year. And you know, it’s incredible. He took something that was in terrible, terrible shape, and he brought it back from the brink of disaster: The Republican party.” –Jay Leno “President Obama says he blames himself for the upset in the Massachusetts Senate race because he was too remote. Meanwhile, today in Arizona, John McCain couldn’t find his remote. One of Osama bin Laden’s sons has written a book. He said his father was a cruel parent. For example, he made the kid wait until he was 18 years old before he let him blow up his first car.” –David Letterman

So that’s this week’s version of “Meet the Impressed.” Rumor has it that next week will be our first guest blog of the year, and mark my words, you will be impressed or we guarantee your money back. Caught a beautiful sunrise on Sunday that made up for the missed snow on the mountain shots from last Friday, as the clouds, just like my 9th grade algebra teacher, just wouldn’t cooperate. Hope you caught the NFC Championship game yesterday, as it had all the drama of Don Draper on a good night out. So enjoy the moisture from the skies and we’ll catch you deep in the end zone. Aloha, mahalo and later, New Orlean Saint’s fans.

January 17, 2010

Gee, Isn’t That Swell

Good morning and greetings, Dr. Martin Luther King fans. Last Monday, while most of you were having a dream, early morning risers were treated to a spectacularly colorful Monterey Bay sunrise. I had originally thought that this would be today’s lead story. But after having been to the mountain top, if you were anywhere along the coast this week, you were treated to a Olympic silver, if not gold medal performance of big waves battering the shoreline. This barrage of white water lasted a good part of the week, which was the inspiration behind today’s photo lineup. When asked for a comment about this week’s wave pictorial, one of the Righteous Brothers responded, “Your pictures are my soul and my heart’s inspiration.”

Unfortunately, we did not receive the giant swell that was expected to deliver waves up to 20 feet and higher. The swell was coming from the Gulf of Alaska and was slowed down by heavy winds blowing from the south and hot air blowing out of Rush Limbaugh. Despite the cancellation of this “high surf warning,” and epic swell, what impressed the judges most was the action down at the “blow hole,” which is located along West Cliff Drive, just south of the entrance to Natural Bridges State Beach.

This hole along the cliffs was left over from a wave powered water pump that used to force water up to a seventy-foot high tower to a 5,000 gallon tank. This was back in the olden days, when people used a horse and buggy to cruise for waves. The ocean water was then used to water down the road, much like I did the drinks at my last Super Bowl party. According to author Frank Perry, this watering down process was used for “dust control,” a problem not faced by local residents today. But then again, in the words of Kansas, “All we are is dust in the wind.”

Anyway, it was high tide and green grass forever, as the force of the waves, having traveled thousands of miles to get to this destination, were causing the spray to cascade up a good 80-90 feet in the air. Throw in the sonic “boom” of the waves hitting the cliff and the Nike “whoosh” sound as they thrust upward and it was a truly spectacular showing, much like New York Jet’s defense yesterday against San Diego.

So for those of you who didn’t make it to the edge, here is a variety pack of shots taken along West Cliff Drive. The final shot was taken on the same day from my perch at sunset along Stockton Avenue. Bottom line, Maverick’s fans, if you like big waves, this week was a good one to be alive on the planet. As my Ukranian-born grandfather’s t-shirt used to say, “if it swells, ride it.”

Let’s switch tracks for a moment. Why is there so much “hate” directed towards Haiti? The western hemisphere’s poorest nation was hit by powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, which flattened much of the nation’s capital of Port-Au-Prince, home to 2 million people. In the words of NBC’s news anchor Brian Williams, this is a place “that’s desperate on a good day.” Food and clean water were already in short supply before this catastrophic quake hit and now life there is a nightmare for the survivors. There is no water and no food. I point this out to say, please be grateful for what you have and try to not to sweat the small stuff. Like Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” being cancelled on NBC or taking what Pat Robertson says seriously on Fox.

On to our late night humor segment. “I’m sure you know. NBC announced they’re pulling the plug on our show February 12th. Here’s the amazing part. That is the exact date the Mayan calendar predicted we would go off the air.” –Jay Leno “My name is Conan O’Brien, and I may soon be available for children’s parties.” According to a new TV Guide poll, 83 percent of voters — 83 percent — want me to stay at 11:35. And here’s the interesting part. When he heard this poll number, President Obama asked, ‘How can I get NBC to screw me over?’” –Conan O’Brien

“And now, according to The New York Times, Al Qaeda is claiming responsibility for the wreckage at NBC.” –David Letterman The White House said they’re working even harder now to try and find Osama bin Laden. In fact, they have now put his picture on the side of cartons of goat’s milk.” –Jay Leno
“It’s been reported that an 8-year-old boy from New Jersey is on the government’s airport watch list because he has the same name as a possible terrorist. So, it’s been a really bad week for little Skippy bin Laden.” –Conan O’Brien

David Letterman’s Top Ten Highlights of Sarah Palin’s First Day At FOX News
10. Ruined office floor by drilling for oil.
9. Detached a retina from winking at the camera.
8. Got confused — thought she signed with QVC.
7. Pistol-whipped three guys who called her “Tina.”
5. At lunchtime, Todd picked her up driving snowmobile through lobby.

So that’s our mid-January report. And if we can stay political for a moment, Congress was informed last week that the Christmas Day underwear bomber boarded his flight to frigid Detroit with no coat! This was after his father alerted the U.S. Embassy that his son had become an Islamic radical, he paid for his ticket in cash ($2,831) and he had no luggage. Unbelievable! Plus, he somehow obtained a coupon for a free headset and a second bag of mini-pretzels. Some guys have all the luck. And just when Janet Napolitano was becoming one of my favorite flavors.

Anyway, enjoy the rain this week and we’ll catch you throwing the flea flicker. And remember the words of Dr. King, when he said, “Free at last, free at last. I thank God I’m free at last.” I felt the same way when the New York Giants were eliminated from the NFL playoffs. Aloha, mahalo and later, Drew Brees fans.

January 10, 2010

The West And The Brightest

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoff @ 8:14 pm

Good morning and greetings, Alabama fans. That’s right, the Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to the BCS National Championship on Thursday night, beating Texas like a Buddy Rich snare drum by a score of 37-21. So now you may be wondering, who gives a rat’s, er, behind about this game and why he is talking about college football? And what’s this Tommy James and the Shondells “Crimson and Clover?” For the answer I went to Kid Rock, but he was “singing sweet home Alabama all summer long” and never returned my text message.

But I’m still an NFL guy, despite the fact that my New York Giants lay down like whimpering dogs this season. In the words of the Byrds, “To everything there is a season. And a time for every purpose under heaven.” If I’m not mistaken, I believe what Roger McGuinn, David Crobsy and the boys were talking about were the NFL playoffs. At least that’s what the tambourine man told me after watching that epic Green Bay-Arizona game yesterday.

But I’m straying off my original subject like a group of lost hikers near the Iranian border. The reason I’m going with the crimson theme is because of today’s featured sunset. As readers of this blog know, what I like do is post the best of what I see during the week onto this site. It was going to be a series of rogue waves crashing along the coastal cliffs but then this Wednesday night special came along and Darryl Hannah and her splashes were history.

The meteorological gods have been cooperative and we’ve had some good cloud action lately here on the central coast. So we were due for some fun in the sky, which is not to be confused with chow fun, my favorite Chinese noodle dish. Tuesday looked promising, but it petered out like Red Sox in this year’s playoffs. Then Wednesday came along and you could tell all afternoon that something was brewing, or in the words of Phil Collins. “I can feel in coming in the air tonight, oh Lord.” This was my children’s favorite song in their early years as I used to have them bang out the drum portion in their car seats as we cruised the coast in Hermosa Beach. I was also a big fan of Phil’s “She’s An Easy Lover” but that was at lot trickier to explain to the kids.

So I caught the sunset on Wednesday night and I was a fairly happy camper. Now comes the part where I started to kick myself like Pele at a soccer clinic at Copacabana Beach. The following night, I was down at Natural Bridges waiting for the clouds to perform their western magic but much like the Warriors making the playoffs this season, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. When I came back down the hill ten minutes later, the sky was glowing like my memories of Sly and the Family Stone at Woodstock. In the words of my Capitola-based field scout, Bill Babcock, the sky was “black on top, gray in the middle with brilliant colors on the horizon.” Winter majesty in the January sky and I missed it.

I had once again underestimated the laws of nature and failed to wait the extra five or ten minutes to let the clouds fulfill their destiny at dusk. Now I know there are worse things that could happen, as I live a blessed life that I am thankful for on a daily basis, but having waited on this sky all day and then Usain bolting out of there 600 seconds before this magnificence in the sky occured was a tad frustrating at best. To quote the great Woody Allen from “Take the Money and Run,” “How did I misread those signs?” Well, you know what they say, live and burn.

So with no regrets, let’s move on to some late night humor. “And former President Bush says he’s been following the situation in Yemen very carefully. But, you know, we love President Bush, but I don’t think he really understands the situation. Like today, said, ‘When life gives you Yemens, you make Yemenade.’ The government investigated yet another terrorist threat today. Luckily it was just McDonald’s announcing they’re bringing back the McRib sandwich.” –Jay Leno “Do you folks know anything about the Skull And Bones society? It’s like a fraternal organization, at Yale University. Well, they’re auctioning off a human skull. And I was thinking about this. I believe this is the first empty skull to come out of Yale, well, I think since George W. Bush, actually.” –David Letterman

“You know, it is good to be back. We were off for Christmas, and apparently so was the Department of Homeland Security. He tried to detonate the bomb in his underwear. Fortunately, it didn’t go off and his underpants just caught fire. Al Qaeda calls that ‘a wardrobe malfunction. –Jay Leno “Guy was not too bright. He said that the reason he became a suicide bomber was to work his way up in the al Qaeda organization. They took the guy to court and the guy said he was charged with having weapons of mass destruction in his pants. And he told the job, ‘Well, I get no complaints from the ladies.’” –David Letterman

“After it was announced that Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry may go to Iran, the mullahs denied him an entry visa. See, that’s how international travel works. If your name is Senator John Kerry and you’re a former candidate for President of the United States, your travel is limited. If your name is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, you stow a bomb in your underpants, you pay cash for a one-way ticket after your father called the embassy and said, ‘My kid is an idiot,’ ooh, you can go anywhere you want.” –Jay Leno President Obama took his daughters to see the 3-D version of ‘Avatar.’ There was an awkward moment when one of Obama’s daughters leaned over to him and whispered, ‘Now, that’s how you spend half a billion dollars.’” –Conan O’Brien “Has everybody here seen ‘Avatar?’ Great movie, wasn’t it? Even President Obama took his family to see it at a private screening in Hawaii. After the movie, Obama was like, ‘So that’s what it’s like when something lives up to its hype.’” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our show for today. Coming up in the future will be some fabulous guest blogs that I know you will enjoy. And remember football fans, it is always better to give than receive. So enjoy the NFL playoffs and we’ll catch you around midfield. Aloha, mahalo and later, Mark Sanchez fans.

January 3, 2010

Would You Like To See The Desert Menu?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — geoff @ 8:14 pm

Good morning and greetings, January Jones fans. Yes, the first decade of the new millenium, much like my quick first step on the basketball floor, is now history. And like the season finale of “Sons of Anarchy,” I wanted our first sacrificial offering for 2010 something special. And I believe if you click on this week’s photos, in the words of my personal choice for man of the decade, George W. Bush, “Mission Accomplished.”

A few years ago, when I started to devote my early morning/late afternoon life to this sunrise/sunset obsession, an idea floated thru my mind like a Karch Kiraly set at match point. After seeing a book displaying a year’s worth of sunsets shot from the Oakland hills starring the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought to myself, what about a book featuring sunrises from all 50 states? How stars and stripish would that be?

Then I thought to myself, that’s too much territory to cover, and besides, I’m exhausted just going to the bank and CVS, so like a garter snake, I scaled the project back and thought, why don’t I just do the western states? Sunrises from Albuquerque, Boulder and Tucson, kind of a Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High” theme. But then I thought, I need to take a nap after trekking thru the gigantic new Safeway on the westside, so out went New Mexico, Hannah Montana and sweet home Arizona. Kind of the less is more school of thought.

So, in moving ahead with this mental menagerie of early morning imagery, I settled on the idea of dawnbusters from just the Golden State. Yeah, that’s the ticket, sunrises from up and down the coast of California. And maybe we’ll throw in a little Death Valley, Squaw Valley and in keeping with my new totally organic vegan lifestyle, a couple of Nature Valley granola bars.

But then I thought, it’s an awfully large state, and for sunrise workers the day ends absurdly early, so I thought, forget the whole state, we’ll stick with northern California. But then I thought of all the wear and tear of driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, so I got down to the Pigeon Point and thought, let’s just focus on sunrises and sunsets from Santa Cruz County. But then I thought, can I really handle the pressure of driving to the eastside or Capitola in the morning? Why don’t I just stick with my eminent domain and photograph sunrises from Lighthouse Point and West Cliff Drive.

And that, boys and squirrels, is where we find ourselves today. Somebody call Maria, it’s a Westside Story. My ambition runneth over.

That brings us to today’s photographic extravanganza. To start off the new year we are jetting from the coast to one of Moses’ favorite locations, Palm Desert, where there was no burning bush but where I burned everytime I heard the name George Bush. My digital mission was to part my own reddish Sea while bringing down ten commandments, or at least six photographs that were worthy of this cyber jury.

During my holiday tour of duty, where I ate like a ravenous shetland pony, I witnessed droves of exotic desert clouds, two spectacular sunrises, one fabulous sunset, one surprise rainbow, two turtle doves and a Partridge Family in a pear tree. Today’s entree, which comes with your choice of soup or salad, is a sunrise from the final week of December. I shot it on the back nine of the golf course at the lovely Palm Valley Country Club, where I spent ten rigorous days of hot tubbing, movie watching, pleasure reading and snacking like Orson Welles on Jenny Craig. There was no smoke on the water, but there was definitely fire in the sky.

Palm Desert is east of Palm Springs, about an two hour drive from the City of Angels, which for you Dodger fans is Los Angeles. It’s located in the Coachella Valley, which is surrounded by the San Jacinto mountains, which change color throughout the day, depending on cloud cover and the daily special at Sherman’s Deli, with two convenient locations for you fresh rye bread, hot corn beef and stuffed cabbage fans. I believe the group America summed up the desert experience best back in 1972 with the words, “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to get out of the rain.”

So let’s catch up on the late night action. “There are a lot of holiday parties coming up at the White House. Obama is getting ready to host the Administration’s first Hanukkah party tomorrow. Kind of an embarrassing moment, though. Today, after they lit the menorah, Biden blew it out and made a wish.” –Jimmy Fallon “During an interview last night, Oprah Winfrey asked President Obama what grade he would give himself for his first year in office and he said a ‘B-plus.’ Then, Oprah shook her head and said, ‘I didn’t pay for a B-plus.’” –Conan O’Brien “Big day for President Obama. He accepted his Nobel Prize today and then got right back to the business of running two wars.” –David Letterman President Obama’s daughter Sasha says that she already bought her dad’s gift. She won’t say what it is but she did say, ‘It’s something he likes.’ Which begs the question: How did an 8-year-old get her hands on a carton of Marlboro Lights?” –Conan O’Brien

“Computer technicians in Washington say they have found 22 million missing emails from President George W. Bush’s Administration. And you can tell the emails are from the Bush Administration because they all begin, ‘Dear Santa. According to a new poll that just came out, 44 percent of Americans wish President Bush were back in office. However it’s only 20 percent if you exclude comedy writers. Former President Bush is writing his memoirs and he says they will focus on 12 major decisions he made in his life. The weird thing is, 11 of them were made by Dick Cheney. Former President Bush is currently working on his memoirs and he said he’s completed about 85 percent. His exact quote was, ‘I’m halfway done.’” –Conan O’Brien

“A man in Minnesota was arrested on Monday for trying to throw tomatoes at Sarah Palin during a book signing. Luckily, Palin was able to shoot them out of the air” –Seth Meyers
“It sure is cold. So cold that Osama bin Laden was seen hiding in the border region between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.” –David Letterman “The wife of Al Qaeda’s second in command is now calling on women to become suicide bombers. To qualify, they must be able to push a car loaded with explosives, because, as you know, women aren’t allowed to drive over there.” –Jay Leno “In China, an animal trainer taught his monkeys Kung fu — and then they attacked him using his best kung fu moves. Luckily, they were no match for the parrot he’d taught to fire a gun.” –Conan O’Brien

So, resolution fans, that’s our first blast of the New Year. I hope everyone had a somewhat relaxing and enjoyable holiday, as this was a difficult time for many families throughout our nation. As for myself, I’ve been shooting away like Annie Leibowitz in bankrupcty court and the six pics photo features are now lined up in my computer like jets sitting on the runway at LAX. So much like Kobe Bryant fans and LeBron James lovers, we have a lot to look forward to this year. So get ready for the NFL playoffs and we’ll catch you in running the deep post pattern. Aloha, mahalo and later, Philip Rivers fans.

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