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.


  1. While the writing is good as always it’s the pictures that really impress this morning particularly shots 5 & 6. Haven’t seen that much color in the sky since the late 70′s. It’s nice of the public to pin America’s problems on Obama – I’m sure we would be in much better shape with McCain/Palin running the show. I’d prefer a Super Bowl with Eli Manning calling the shots but I guess we’ll have to take what we can get…

    Comment by Darren Sharper — February 1, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  2. Our Bausch and Lomb shades are off to those east coast Wampanoag first lights inspirations. We have sunrisesantacruz.com to celebrate February’s first lights and the current news giggles.

    Comment by Babs — February 1, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

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