March 28, 2010

Boardwalk Softly, But Carry A Big Lens

Good morning and greetings, preexisting conditions fans. It’s gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside to see the country unite together as one in support of health care reform. I don’t want to say this bill has divided our nation, but I’ve seen more love at a Hatfield/McCoy family picnic. But despite the threats of Armageddon, the calls to reload and repeal and for armed revolt, spring is in the air and that means it’s time for warm sand, cool surf and hot rides, which sounds an awful lot like my bar mitzvah party.

So we’re going to close out March with a look at a local landmark that is known as the “world’s best seaside amusement park.” Since today marks the opening of weekday ride action, I thought it was only appropriate that we take a look at a place that is a reminder of a bygone era in amusement. And as someone who doesn’t hold a grudge beyond two decades, I’ve always said, let bygones be bygones. So, with an assist from Kelli Anderson and Via Magazine, away we go.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was founded in 1904 by local businessman Fred Swanton, who wanted to create a Coney Island on the west coast. Holy Nathan Hot Dogs, Batman, what a concept. An amusement park of fun and games along a mile long spectacular stretch of the Pacfic Coast. This was a man of many visions or in the words of Foreigner, “Oh, when it gets through to me, it’s always new to me, my double vison gets the best of me.” And just in case you were wondering, the world “coney” is derived from the latin word for rabbit, cuniculus.

So Fred Swanton built a carmelized onion-domed casino on the beach northwest of the San Lorenzo River in 1904. Despite being told to, “never, never play with matches,” the uninsured building burned down two years later. But this Santa Cruz-based visionary convinced his investors to go for the gold, as they built a new casino, ballroom, boardwalk, pleasure pier and a Panda Express. The grand opening of the new boardwalk inspired an inaugural ball, with one band being directed by John Philip Sousa, who I believe also scored the soundtrack for the movie “Superfly.” There was also a congratulatory message from President Theodore Roosevelt and a twitter from Sarah Palin who claimed she could see Russia from the bumper car ride.

The Boardwalk’s top attraction, besides free admission, is the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster built in 1924, or around the second-to-last time the Golden State Warriors were in the playoffs. Giant Dipper creator Arthur Looff once said the ride’s design was intended to evoke a “combination earthquake, balloon ascension, aeroplane drop and dinner at Dick Cheney’s house.” Now, I don’t want to say this experience isn’t my cup of herbal tea, but let’s just say prefer the tiny dipper. That is, when I’m not sky-diving or running in front of trains. Hi, I’m Geoff and I’m a coasterholic.

The Giant Dip was built in just 47 days at the cost of $50,000, or what I would spend in therapy per year trying to erase the nightmares of riding this American landmark. And I kid thee not, as the The Dipper and the Looff Carousel, which still contains its original 342-pipe organ built in 1894, are both on the United States National Register of Historic Places along with the Burger King on Mission Street. The carousel, built in 1911, contains two chariots, which were included for modestly-minded Victorian ladies, 73 carved and bejeweled horses, and a shetland pony for those junior jockeys who want to start early with the whip. The park itself is a California State Historic Landmark, as is Oakland Raider owner Al Davis.

Let’s move on to the photo fireworks. As many of you know, I love the ponies and dry weather. Or in the words of America, “I’ve been to the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to be out of the rain.” So a few weeks back, as I rode my triathlon racing bike up the hill by the Main Beach and saw gulls having fun, I knew a photo opportunity awaited me.

I took the first two shots by the San Lorenzo River mouth, and you can see it was a gorgeous afternoon. As the words of the Allman Brothers band buzzed through my head, “You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day,” I shot the gulls as they relaxed while making their bracket selections for the NCAA tournament. Then much like my mood the last time I was questioned by a TSA employee brandishing a wand, the sky started to change as the clouds blew in from the north by northwest.

So before you could say “Nancy Pelosi,” the sky went from beautiful blue to thunderhead city, which was as interesting to witness as Johnny McCain’s reaction to the national health care bill. The gulls continued to swirl in the cumulus-filled sky, as I snapped away like paparazzi shooting that Oscar homewrecker “Bombshell McGee.” As I exited the beach, I was greeted by a rainbow over the Giant Dipper. All this dip action left my emotionally exhausted, and all I wanted to do was go home and curl up in front of a fire with a big bag of chips.

On to the late night point of view. “Well, today, President Obama signed the landmark health care reform bill into law, or as President Obama refers to it, ‘The Rush Limbaugh Deportation Act. I’ll tell you how excited the president is. Today, he changed his slogan from ‘Yes, we can,’ to ‘Yes, we finally did something.’ Of course, the White House is now denying it made any side deals with members of Congress to pass this bill. See, I don’t know if that’s true. Did you see Mount Rushmore today? They’re adding Dennis Kucinich’s face to it.” –Jay Leno

“Sarah Palin spoke out this week against the health care reform bill, saying, ‘Elections have consequences.’ Well, of course, elections have consequences. That’s why right now, instead of being vice president of the United States, she’s trying to get a reality show on the Animal Planet. You know, not a single Republican voted for the health care bill. They claim the U.S. government isn’t qualified to be in the health care business. Hey, kept Dick Cheney alive the last 30 years. It’s got to be worth something. Do you know who’s going to be in charge of health care? The IRS No, this is true. The IRS will be in charge of enforcing the new health care laws. You thought you hated getting audited by the government? Wait until they’re in charge of your prostate exam.” –Jay Leno

“Yesterday in Washington, D.C., history was made. Congress actually worked on a Sunday.” –David Letterman “People on the inside, you know with the inside information, say it does look good for the Democrats. Because, they have this little inside stuff. They found out Nancy Pelosi called her plastic surgeon to ask if her smile would be ready for Sunday.” –Bill Maher “And of course, a lot of right wingers are very upset about this because they believe this health care bill will cost a lot of money. You know what I think? Just pretend it’s another unnecessary war. You’ll feel better about it already.” -Jay

According to Men’s Health magazine, 21 percent of men surveyed would rather have a sexier nurse than a more competent doctor when they’re in the hospital. I say, why not have both? The government’s paying for it now. Who cares? Bernard Madoff was assaulted back in November in a prison dispute over money. The authorities are investigating the attack and have narrowed the suspects down to ‘everybody.’” –Jay Leno

So that’s our final post for March, 2010. I don’t know about you, but time seems to be flying by faster than state’s Attorney Generals filing to challenge the new federal health care law. So I hope you enjoyed the Elite Eight (not to be confused with the “Magnificent Seven”) NCAA tournament action as we’re now down to four teams, including a cinderella named Butler. Enjoy the Boardwalk beauty and we’ll catch you at Park Place. Aloha, mahalo and later, Final Four fans.

March 21, 2010

Forward, March

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoff @ 8:34 pm

Good morning and greetings, spring equinox fans. As you know, I like to bring the important news stories of the day to the pages of this blog. If you peruse a daily newspaper, you’re bound to come across enough interesting and wacky stories each week that will make your head spin like Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, (the original Black Jesus) used to in the open court. This next story, written by Stephanie Reitz of the Associated Press, is one that I felt should be shared with my cyber audience, just in case health care, Afghanistan, Iraq or travails of Oscar winner Sandy Bullock weren’t doing it for you.

In a Hollywood-style heist, thieves cut a hole in the roof of a warehouse, rappelled inside and scored one of the biggest hauls of its kind — not diamonds, gold bullion, Old World art or Taylor Swift concert tickets, but about $75 million in antidepressants and other prescription drugs.

The pills — stolen from the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. in quantities big enough to fill a tractor-trailer — are believed to be destined for the black market, perhaps overseas, which ironically, will probably end up being consumed by white people.

“This is like the Brink’s pill heist,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who studies the health care industry and the history of tongue depressors. “This one will enter the folklore.”

The thieves apparently scaled the brick exterior of the warehouse in an industrial park in Enfield, Mass., during a blustery rainstorm before daybreak last Sunday. After lowering themselves to the floor, they disabled the alarms and spent at least an hour discussing feelings of isolation and loneliness before loading pallets of drugs into a vehicle at the loading dock.

A spokesman for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, put the wholesale value of the drugs at $75 million and said they included the antidepressants Prozac and Cymbalta, the anti-psychotic Zyprexa, some fresh antipasto, two sticks of antiperspirant and a crate of anti-lock brakes.

The thieves could easily net $20 million to $25 million and probably already had a buyer lined up, possibly an online pharmacy or someone in South America, Asia or Queens, New York, where regulations on drugs and drug cartels are lax.

Zyprexa and Cymbalta were Eli Lilly’s two best-selling drugs last year. Prozac was Lilly’s first billion-dollar drug and the company’s top seller before it lost patent protection and mojo several years ago. But not to worry for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia or being an Oakland Raider or Golden State Warrior fan, as the thefts will not cause any national shortages of the products.

This story conjures up the New York Times slogan, “All the news without having to squint.” Now let’s move from manic depression to this week’s photo impressions. There hasn’t been much action on the sunset front in 2010. As a matter of fact, except for a few brief highlights back in early January, there has been nothing on the color front at day’s end. I’m talking zero, zippo, nothing-there’s been more color at Republican Party cookouts. I went back into the archives and was shocked by the lack of color at the twilight hour. And much like followers of NBC’s Brian Williams, I’m watching every night, waiting at the dusk desk for some digital action.

So I was delighted when this sunset seemingly appeared out of nowhere last Monday night. When I hit the cliff, I could see there was open sky at the horizon, but I did not know it would translate into this kind of March magic, something Kansas Jayhawk fans will not experience this year.

With the waves breaking below me at Stockton Avenue and Canadian geese flying overhead, the sky kept changing colors, which was a reality I could live with. If you like glowing skies, this was a good night to huddle along the coast. I was as happy as Nancy Pelosi hearing Dennis Kucinich saying he would hold his nose but still vote yes on health care.

There was also an unusual aspect to this March surprise. If you look closely at photos #3-6, you’ll see two yellow spheres appearing in the sky. I have no idea what they were. Remember, this was after the sun set into the horizon. In the words of David Crosby, “What are their names and on what streets do they live?” If anyone out there has an aerodynamic answer, please feel free to contact me and clue me in. And also let me know how Ohio University beat Georgetown.

On to the humor from the late of night. “You know, I was thinking about this health care problem. If you took all the money the Republicans have spent to stop health care and all the money Democrats have spent trying to get health care, we could afford health care. PepsiCo announced it will voluntarily remove all high-calorie sweetened drinks from schools — no more sugary drinks in schools. This is part of their new program, ‘Leave No Child With a Bigger Behind.’” –Jay Leno “Everybody changed their clocks last weekend for daylight savings. So you move it ahead. And even the Taliban move their clocks ahead. They moved it up to the 11th century.” –David Letterman

“Well here’s something interesting. And I guess this goes with the job. President Obama announced over the weekend that he gets 20,000 letters a day calling him an idiot. But in all fairness, a lot of those letters come from Dick Cheney.” –David Letterman “President Obama talked about health care reform at a senior center in Strongsville, Ohio, today. The most common question he got: ‘When’s bingo? In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama called for an overhaul of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ law. It will now be called ‘The World Needs Janitors, Too.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“This is pretty cool. One of President Obama’s childhood friends just found a photo of Obama as a schoolboy, taken more than 40 years ago. It’s just him and some kids playing little Barack’s favorite school game, ‘give the speech. Obama was a great ballplayer when he was a kid, but naturally, the other team never let him pass anything.” –Jimmy Fallon “According to a survey, 67 percent of pet owners say they can understand what their pets say when they bark or meow. It doesn’t sound impressive until you realize that only 5 percent of Californians can understand Gov. Schwarzenegger.” –Jay Leno

So that our first report from spring break. I hope you’ve been enjoying the March Madness as it’s been wall to wall NCAA basketball. I’ve never seen my wife or daughter so excited about their brackets. Next week we’ll take a look at an local institution that makes Santa Cruz a must-see place to visit. So enjoy the springtime breezes and we’ll catch in the low box. Aloha, mahalo and later, John Wall fans.

March 14, 2010

Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Good morning and greetings, March madness fans. That’s right, it’s the time of year when college basketball takes center stage. We’re talking about the NCAA tournament, where even the casual fan will go for a dip in the office pool. For a devoted NBA lover like myself, March madness brings the excitement of buzzer beaters, fantastic finishes, teary-eyed cheerleaders and more end to end action than at your local Toyota recall center.

But there’s more to this month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb shank. March to me always means rainbows. So to start off today’s photo coalition, I have enlisted shots of my favorite rainbow (photos #1 & 2) from the archives of Sunrise Santa Cruz.

For this colorful arc of triumph, we journey back to March of 2006 and the cliffs above Cowell’s Beach. This rainbow appeared on and off throughout the afternoon, and when I finally tracked it down, it was exhausted and allowed me photograph it’s essence. I tried stitching these two shots together to show the full double arc, but was as successful as President Obama has been trying to quit the nicotine habit. Which brings to mind one of my favorite lines from “The Honeymooners.” Norton says to Ralph, “Mind if I smoke?” An exasperated Ralph replies, “I don’t care if you burn.”

We then fast forward ahead to last Monday, when rain and hail graced the central coast. In the late afternoon, the little pebbles of ice were once again bouncing off my car’s windshield, but this time with the sun was shining merrily in the background. Both Dorothy, Auntie Em and I knew what was coming up next. But before I could get down to West Cliff, a rainbow (photo # 3) appeared in the sky, so I snapped it way up high, before it could hit the fade mode.

I then looked to the west as the sun was starting to french dip into the clouds. I drove to the coast like Marco Polo and came upon this fantastic light (photos #4-6) at Stockton Avenue. It was a spectacular sight that lasted just a few minutes before the sun disappeared behind the holy coast of clouds. That’s the beauty of capturing the moment-you’ve got to be there to experience it. I remember the words of one my early spiritual coaches, Bobby Ram Dass, who said, “Be here now.” What he forgot to mention was “and make sure you bring your camera.”

Since we’re in kind of a sunset mode, here’s a story I think you’ll enjoy from Desmond Butler of the Associated Press. A woman was admiring the sunset on a tourist webcam in northern Germany when she spotted a man who was lost on the frozen North Sea. The man had climbed over pack ice off the coast to photograph a sunset near the town of St. Peter-Ording, then became disoriented on the ice and starting dancing.

Unable to locate the beach or a dance partner, the man began using his camera to flash for help. That got the attention of the woman who was hundreds of miles away in southern Germany, who was watching the sunset over the sea on her computer while cooking wienerschnitzel.

The woman contacted the police, who located the man’s signals and guided him into shore by flashing their car lights. Officers then lectured him on the dangers of trekking out on the frozen ice and eating too much bratwurst.

Locals are well aware of the risk of disorientation as darkness falls and the beach becomes hard to identify, but vivid sunsets over frozen landscapes, much like fresh schnitzengruben, often draw people away from the shore. At the time the man lost his bearings, the air temperature was below freezing. He could have frozen to death, fallen through the ice or worse yet, have to sit through a season of “Hogan’s Heroes” reruns.

St. Peter-Ording is popular tourist destination known for its beaches, sailing, and sauerkraut. The local tourism board runs a Web site with a webcam. The board, however, said images from the webcam, much like my TiVoed episodes of “Southland” are routinely erased, so the dramatic flashes from the man’s camera were not saved before the story came to light. So here’s a tip for you amateur shutterbugs-if the surface you’re shooting on can melt, spring for a postcard.

On to the late night follies. “Record ratings for the Oscars last night. Kathryn Bigelow won best director for her film about the Iraq war. But in her speech, she forgot to thank the two people without whom this film could never have been made — Bush and Cheney.” –Jay Leno “Barbie’s birthday. Did you know that? And if you don’t know Barbie let me just tell you. She is the pretty, plastic doll who didn’t run with John McCain.” –David Letterman

“Hey, how about this? President Obama had a meeting at the White House with Jay-Z and Beyoncé. And, in fact, they hit it off so well, Jay-Z gave the president his own rap name, ‘Biggie Deficit.’ Earlier today, the president of Haiti was at the White House to meet with President Obama. He said the people of his country need jobs, they need places to live, and they need health care. And then the president of Haiti spoke.” –Jay Leno” “Yesterday, President Obama hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide football team at the White House. At one point, the quarterback threw a football to Obama, which was the first time during his presidency that anything’s gotten passed.” –Jimmy Fallon

“George W. Bush is writing a book about his eight years in the White House. I can’t wait. I’m going to take it with me to the beach this summer. And it will be good to hold down the blankets. I’m telling you, if there’s one thing you want to do, is get a nice fire going and curl up with a big book and relive the Bush administration. And it’s green. It’s entirely made out of old Al Gore ballots. Friends have been saying ‘Jeez, congratulations, Mr. President, we didn’t know you had a book deal, we didn’t know you were going to write a book.’ And they said ‘Are you using a ghostwriter?’ And the former president said ‘No, the guy’s still alive.’” –David Letterman

“Former President Bush announced today he is writing a book on how he made decisions while in the White House. The book will be divided into the two chapters, ‘Heads’ and ‘Tails.’” –Jay Leno “Here’s a big story out of Washington. The Senate voted against a plan to send a $250 check to 57 million elderly people. In the end, senators decided not give the elderly money, because you know, they’re just going to spend it on drugs.” –Jimmy Fallon “On ‘The Early Show’ tomorrow morning, Harry Smith will receive the first live TV colonoscopy. CBS is very excited; they’re already planning the spinoff show, ‘How I Met Your Rectum.’” –Craig Ferguson

So that’s our pretournament report from somewhere bluebirds fly. Just the other day, President Obama was heard singing, “Birds fly over the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I get a health care bill passed?” And Notre Dame fans, enjoy St. Paddy’s day and the classic holiday meal of corn beef and cabbage. I won’t be wearing it but I’ll be thinking green, because that’s the way I roll.

Shot a gorgeous sunset on Sunday night that surprised everyone along the coast. So have fun with the brackets, spring forward and we’ll catch you making a backdoor cut. Aloha, mahalo and later, Evan Turner fans.

March 7, 2010

It’s More Than I Can Bear

Good morning and greetings, Arctic Circle fans. I have always been fascinated by animals, nature and quantum physics. In our home growing up, we had a menagerie of critters, including frogs, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, snakes, lawyers and a drug-sniffing golden retriever. So when we speak of wildlife photography, we’re now talking about catching these exotic creatures of the wild in action, whether it’s kung-fu fighting, candlelight dining, first-class flying or just watching Letterman’s stupid pet tricks.

So today, sports fans, we are once again going to the guest mode, as we are featuring the work of photographer Judy Bingham, who I met at a local art show and has been stalking me ever since. Judy, who taught for 35 years at Los Gatos High School, yet never graded a paper, started shooting wildlife back in 1996, as her passion over the years has taken her to Africa, Antarctica and South America. In 2007, she spent five days in the Dominican Republic snorkeling and photographing humpback whales and their calves while planning a small military coup.

Since January, my newest best digital friend has photo safaried to Yellowstone Park to shoot bisons, wolves, coyotes and big horn sheep, Montreal to shoot snowy owls and Yosemite to shoot the sunset at Horsetail Falls. This is in comparison to yours truly, who’s been to Safeway, CVS and Bank of America, and that was just to shoot the breeze.

So here are the bear facts. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for 24 years and have yet to record a bear sighting. I had a friend who was a Chicago Bear’s fan, and you should have seen his face light up when we served poached salmon. Anyway, last February, Judy traveled to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, to photograph polar bears and their cubs leaving their dens and coming out of hibernation. They should not be confused with the Chicago Cubs, who barely came out of hibernation all of last season.

On this trip to northern Canada, Judy, who much like myself, only travels first-class, stayed in a tundra buggy, which is a lodge on wheels. They hook a series of these buggys together to form a train that features a dining car, lounge, two bunk houses and a spa with aromatherapy and yogurt face masks. From here, they journey out to shoot the bears and collect frostbite.

Now all this photog action takes place in Wapufk National Park. The mother bears come off the melting ice in July and head south onto the land and their denning area in Churchill. Here they mate before going into hibernation. The mothers give birth in December and then dig out of their caves. Much like my Uncle Al, the cubs have no fur when they are born. From the time when they leave the the ice through the birthing process, the mothers eat nothing except for Slim Fast and some snow cones.

The cubs emerge in February and now the family must travel north to Hudson Bay to feed on seals and shrimp cocktail. It’s a sixty-mile trek, as Judy photographed the cubs while at rest stops along the way. As she says, “Seeing the bears in the wild is so incredible. And what would we do if we had to go without food from June thru November?” First, I would buy a new belt. And if I were a bear, I’d find a good take-out place that delivers near the Arctic Circle.

Judy photographed a mother and her three triplets, which are featured in photos #1-3. The look on the mother’s face as she is nursing in photo #2 is just classic. And the bonding we see in photo #3 bears watching. As Judy says, “When you stand out in the snow and ice in minus 38 degree weather and you focus on one den, it’s exciting when they emerge.” It’s the same excitement I would sense when some feeling and circulation returned to my fingers and toes.

We then move the puck from gold medal winning Canada to the silver medal winning USA. For our next three shots, Judy journeyed to Alaska and Katmai National Park, which is southwest of Anchorage and a place from where Sarah Palin can see Russia. The brown bears are there from July thru August, as they hang out and dine as long as the salmon are running. The salmon are on their way to spawn, which I’ve found along with a Swedish massage is always a relaxing way end a journey.

Much like my Hawaiian ancestors, these Alaskan brown bears spend the summer catching fish, and then try and gain back the weight they lost during hibernation. They sometimes lose up to 30%, which once happened to me during a Yom Kippur fast. As for Judy, the excitement is “just being there with them seeing them in the raw. Can you imagine opening your cabin door and seeing a Mom and two cubs?” Sure, if they were bringing me breakfast with a copy of the New York Times.

These pictures are just fantastic, as we view six bears hanging by the falls and then some open mouth fishing before seeing the cub stealing the surprised salmon from the adults. Or as Rodney Dangerfield said to Ted Knight’s wife in Caddyshack, “The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.” Judy shot these from a platform alongside the falls, that also doubles as a information kiosk and tanning booth.

Now Judy had sent me shots of otters, owls and politicians, but the bears stole the show. Due to Judy’s pleading and as a special bonus, I have included a shot of two polar bears ice dancing and a bald eagle swooping down for a macadamia nut crusted salmon dinner.

This final shot was taken in Haines, Alaska. When the last of the chinook salmon lay their eggs and finish spawning, they die. More than 1,000 eagles, not including Joe Walsh, Don Henley or Glen Frey, gathered there last November for this steak and filet feast.

Eagles are majestic scavengers, who much like the upper echelon teams in the NBA, like to dine on the dead. According to Judy, the excitement is “the interaction among the eagles. They’re fighting over dead carcasses. And just seeing so many of them, to be able to look them right in the eye and see how intense they are, it’s incredible.” Sounds like my last visit to the Oakland Raiderette tryouts.

On to some humor from the late night. “President Obama met with the Republicans for seven hours. “Being politicians you know, they all got to sharing their personal stories. Obama talked about his mother’s battle with cancer. And Harry Reid talked about a kid with a cleft palate. And John McCain’s told how he once carried a brain dead woman through an entire campaign.” –Bill Maher “And over the weekend, President Bush said that he is writing a book about how he made decisions while he was president. We have an advanced copy of it here. It’s called ‘What Would Dick Cheney Do?’” –Jay Leno “President Obama had his annual physical checkup. The physical went well, until a couple of uninvited guests showed up for the colonoscopy.” –David Letterman

“The weather in L.A. is unbelievable. Today I had to dig my car out from under 18 inches of sunshine. The whole East Coast is covered in snow right now. Millions of people are unable to get to where they used to work. The Winter Olympics ended on Sunday and even our weather is beating Canada. We’re completely out-snowing them.” –Jimmy Kimmel “I love the biathlon. That’s the sport that involves skiing and shooting the rifle. Or as Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, call it, ‘date night.’” –Jay Leno “Weren’t the Winter Olympics fantastic? The U.S. won a gold medal in downhill economy.” –David Letterman

“Hey, did you hear about this story today? This is pretty wild. The FAA is investigating why a child was allowed to direct air traffic at John F. Kennedy airport. Authorities say they got suspicious when five of the planes landed at a Toys ‘R’ Us parking lot.” –Jay Leno “Did you hear that Rush Limbaugh’s Manhattan penthouse is on the market for $14 million? It’s an amazing property. Over 4,000 square feet. And that’s just the medicine cabinet.” –Craig Ferguson “It’s a bad day for General Motors. They’re shutting down the Hummer. The Chinese were going to buy it, but after careful consideration, the Chinese decided they don’t want it. You know you’re in pretty bad shape when you can’t even give away a Hummer.” –Craig Ferguson

So I hoped you enjoyed our guest photographer’s photos. As you can see, Judy is as passionate as a baby harp seal about her work. To view more of her work, check out her blog at or her photos at I’ve got a feeling we’ll be seeing more of Judy’s work on this site, particularly if she comes up with the big bucks she promised me for this first appearance.

So that’s our bear market report. Coming up next week we’ll return to the skies of Monterey Bay. So enjoy the calm before the college basketball storm and we’ll catch you in the low box. Aloha, mahalo and later, Tyreke Evans fans.

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