May 30, 2010

I’m Still Wasted And This Garbage Can’t Find Its Way Home

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 8:17 pm

Good morning and greetings, Memorial Day fans. In honor of this national holiday, I want to confess to a little secret. No, it’s not that I shook Richard Nixon’s hand back in 1969, or that I once cheated on a prostate exam or that I am of zero help to my children with their math homework. It’s the fact that I fantasize about Hawaii on a daily basis.

As much as I love being Sunrise Santa Cruz boy and blogging from this cold water paradise, I would love to be residing in the islands. But because of my family and certain restrictions regarding the Witness Protection Program, I’m living the central coast experience. But whenever Hawaii is in the news, my mind flashes back to my hula dancing days. Your life is never the same after performing on a breezy day in a loin cloth.

Today’s story comes to us from writer Michael Cooper and the New York Times. Sitting neatly stacked in an industrial park in Kapolei are more than 20,000 tons of shrink-wrapped garbage waiting to be exported to the mainland. The bales have been neatly stacked and trimmed like Tom Selleck’s mustache, and are ready to ship the 2,300 miles across the Pacific.

But much like the growth spurt that was supposed to put me over 6 feet, this “opala’s”,(the Hawaiian name for garbage) passage has been delayed again and again since it first began piling up in the tropical heat last September. Now, when the trade winds blow, it offers a sweet and pungent reminder of how Oahu’s latest plan to dispose of some of its trash has gone awry.

For this 44-mile-long volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the options for getting rid of garbage and overripe pineapple are limited. That is how officials and producers from “Hawaii Five-O” hit upon the idea of shipping some of their garbage to the mainland. But what was supposed to be a quick fix has turned into a long-running problem after the company that was hired to ship the trash failed to get necessary permits from the federal government and the Jack Lord fan club. In the words of Detective Steve McGarrett, “Book em’, Dano.”

Some environmental groups, including the Citizens for Better Teriyaki, were leery of the idea from the start. “It’s not exactly the type of aloha we want to be giving,” says Robert D. Harris, the director of the Hawaii chapter of the Sierra Club. “We’d prefer sending boxes of Kona Coffee glazed macadamia nuts. You know, for a taste of the tropics.”

So here’s the deal. A private company, Hawaiian Waste Systems, said it could ship trash to a landfill in Washington by Kayak and canoe for $99.89 a ton — roughly half of what the other bidders said it would cost. The company was granted the contract, even though it lacked a crucial approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, which must ensure that no pests, jugglers, insects, boogie boarders or plant diseases are exported with the garbage.

Thinking the approval was imminent, the company began collecting garbage and stamps in September and shrink-wrapping it in plastic. For a time they stored the garbage at the docks and with some nurses, drawing complaints about gnats from neighboring businesses and young spellers. This month the State Department of Health fined the company $40,400 for storing the waste for too long and overcooking the kalua pig at their company’s luau.

Hawaiian officials, in an attempt to educate residents, offer the “Tour de Trash,” a popular educational tour to show Hawaiians where their garbage goes. But the tour proved to be unpopular with tourists, who preferred to visit the Sunset Beach, Pearl Harbor and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory on the Big Island.

The island and natives with a strong sense of smell will hopefully get a solution to its garbage-bale problem soon. But officials say they will always need to use a landfill to dispose of at least some of Oahu’s waste. “What do we do with expired meats, canned goods, milk and chocolate hula pies? What about when a whale or a loan shark turns up on the beach?” asks Tim Steinberger, the director of the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services. “There are just certain things that you can’t turn into energy or recycle, that you can’t ship off island.”

I am in agreement, although I believe it was Gandhi or Steve Martin who once said that one man’s garbage is another man’s gold. This sanitation problem is everywhere, as New York City now ships some of its garbage by rail as far away as Virginia, South Carolina and the old Yankee Stadium. It’s in the NBA, when a game has already been decided and starters are on the bench, we’re talking garbage time. But in this situation regarding garbage in paradise, the final word will come from Horace Greely, who in his reverse doctrine of manifest destiny said, “go east, young rubbish, go east.”

Let’s move to our Memorial Day photo montage. May has been a rather moist month, so one afternoon after the drops stopped falling, I headed up to the Aboretum at UCSC. This wonderland of color features plant life from exotic locations from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand and New Jersey. The space age looking flowers in photos # 3-5 are proteas, also known as sugarbushes, which are as wild-looking as pictures of myself from my long-haired days of the 70′s.

The variety, shape and colors of the proteas are amazing. As you walk the grounds, you see rabbits scurrying into the brush, hummingbirds flapping their wings and lion cubs grazing in the tall grass. For the camera, it is an oasis of nature’s magnificence, a treat for both the young and old, and most importantly, parking is free.

Let’s move on to the late night comedy. “Hey, today is National Tap Dancing Day. Yes, this is the day we honor BP executives trying to explain the gulf oil disaster. One of the big gambling Web sites published odds on what species would be the first to become extinct from the oil spill. Unbelievable. You know the odds-on favorite? Democrat. Sarah Palin has now weighed in on the gulf oil spill. Finally, the voice of reason. Well, folks, it seems that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, much worse than British Petroleum first reported. You know how bad it is? Yesterday, I checked the oil in my car, had seawater on it.” –Jay Leno

“John McCain is angry with British Petroleum. But in all fairness, he’s had a grudge against the British since the Revolutionary War.” –David Letterman “And because of the ocean currents, experts say oil from the Gulf could easily spread up the East Coast all the way to the Carolinas. In fact, today, people in North Carolina said they hadn’t seen anything this slick and slimy since the John Edwards campaign. And a Montana man has admitted that he killed a bald eagle, but his alibi is he thought it was a porcupine. How blind do you have to be to mistake a bald eagle for a porcupine? Anyway, the guy pleaded guilty so he could get back to his regular job inspecting oil rigs.” –Jay Leno

“Well, Memorial Day weekend is ahead. I know it’s only Wednesday, but you want to get a jump on being stuck at the airport for 24 hours. Memorial Day is the day we honor military heroes with a mattress blowout sale at Sleepy’s.” –David Letterman “And last week, Mexican President Felipe Calderóne spoke at the White House. He called for a ban on assault weapons, and he also wanted to know why do we keep calling Taco Bell Mexican food?” –Jay Leno

So that’s our last post for the month of May. NBC News and I friend of mine named Katrina reported on Thursday that somewhere between 19 and 39 million gallons of oil have been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. We’re 41 days in and this catastrophe is still growing.

On May 30th, the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will pass $1 trillion. I guess that’s why our libraries are closed on Fridays. But on the plus side, NBA playoff fans got their money’s worth during the western conference finals between the Suns and Lakers. The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, showed once again why he’s mentioned in the same sentence as Michael Jordan and Jack Bauer. He’s an assassin in sneakers.

So have a relaxing Memorial Day and perhaps take a moment to reflect on what this holiday is all about. Well, either that or just savor the special feeling one gets from the three day weekend experience.

And finally, here’s some good news, as a new remake of “Hawaii Five-O” is coming back to CBS this fall. So although I may not be living the aloha lifestyle, I can proudly proclaim, “Lucky I TiVo Hawaii.”

On that Polynesian note, congratulations to all those people in the cap and gown mode. You and your families have a lot to be proud of. So get ready for the Celtics and the Lakers and we’ll catch you behind the three point line. Aloha, mahalo and later, Steve Nash fans.

May 23, 2010

Hey Babe, Take A Walk On The Wildflower Side

Good morning and grievings, stock market fans. Well, last week was another wild one for the Dow Jones, as the market has been more volatile than my stomach after a jalapeno burger and a chocolate shake. The dow lost 387 points last Thursday, and then, like many of my long-buried childhood memories, came back a little on Friday.

But as I gaze into the crystal ball with my naked eye, I think we may be headed into a bare market. The bottom line is, ten years ago, if you had invested $10 in the stock market, it would be worth $10 today. The financial unrest overseas is putting a dent in our economic recovery. Despite my love of baklava, Greece is not the word.

My family never really invested in real estate, which was a huge mistake, like trusting that British Petroleum knew how to cap a leak. I rented a house on West Cliff Drive for 14 years, and next door was an empty lot full of weeds, ice plants and sailors on leave. Because I was so involved with my missionary work and medical studies, it never occured to me that I should purchase this oceanfront property. Where was my family when I needed that intervention?

In 1989, my landlord finally realized I was having all the fun and tossed me out of there like a frisbee. I then did a ten year stretch in Hermosa Beach, studying the effects of global warming on beach volleyball players before returning to the swim in the kelp, enhance my spiritual growth and hang with gang members.

In the meantime, my landlord tore down the beach house with no heat and built himself a large white Victorian. Looking back, it was a tad nippy in this house on the ocean, or as my brother Paul told the sellout crowd at our wedding, “when I first met Allison, I wasn’t sure if she was shy or frozen.”

So it was much to my surprise that when I strolled by the old homestead last week, a For Sale sign appeared out front. I picked up the flyer and read, “when you sit on the front porch and see the panorama of white water, ocean life, pristine Bay, you should know this is paradise. This is a Beach Jewel that can be your oasis of ocean breeze, old world charm and a welcoming retreat every morning.” Now here comes my favorite part. “Yours for $3,100,000.”

Holy down payment, Batman. I almost choked on my chai tea and protein muffin. I immediately harkened back to my renting days at $850 a month and thought about how things have changed. And then I thought, if I had only bought that lot next door, I, too, could now be gouging some lucky investor for this oceanfront prize. I wanted to kick myself like Pele in a therapy session, but like every other negative thought I’ve ever had, I just let it go so I could be at peace with the universe. I then went into a Buddhist chant, repeating over and over, Om, Om, Om my God, I can’t believe I didn’t buy that lot.”

Let’s head over to the photo department. It had been a while since I had treated myself to some North Coast beauty, so I got on my Harley and zoomed up to Four Mile Beach to check out the springtime action. The wildflowers were in bloom as I searched the trails for color along with bobcat and leprechaun tracks. It was low tide, as all the sea life normally found underwater (photo #5) was as over exposed as the pictures taken by the paparazzi at my bar mitzvah.

The beach was deserted, except for a couple of surfers, hundreds of gulls and a mariachi band who got washed away during Cinco de Mayo. As walked along the sand, humming the theme from “Baywatch,” I noticed the swallows had built their nests into the cliffs (photo #6.) This was the icing on my cupcake, as the beauty of this beach always astounds me, much like every word that comes out of Sarah Palin’s mouth.

Onto the late night. “I love this. On the news today, the CEO of British Petroleum says he believes the overall environmental impact of this oil spill will be very, very modest. Yeah. If you live in England! BP has inserted a siphon tube into the well to suck up all the oil from the spill. And they’ve had a lot of experience in this area, by the way. This is the same tube they’ve been using to suck the money out of our wallets for the past 50 years. Scientists say they have developed a car that can run on water. The only catch is, the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico.” –Jay Leno

“In Louisiana, BP claims that it’s making progress with the leaking oil in the Gulf. They’re working on a plan to heat the Gulf up to 600 degrees and use it to fry chicken.” –Jimmy Kimmel “There is so much oil now in the Gulf of Mexico, and you can thank the folks of British Petroleum for this, you can now park on it.” –David Letterman “A family values conservative Republican from Indiana, Mark Souder, has admitted to having an affair with a woman on his staff. Apparently Souder would take this woman to remote locations inside state parks and have sex with her. See, this is what Republicans mean when they talk about opening up our public lands for drilling.” –Jay Leno

“Just in time for Christmas, the queen of ‘Drill Baby Drill,’ Sarah Palin, has a new book out. It’s called, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. And for Sarah, that’s two books in two years, or as she calls it, her trilogy.” –Bill Maher “Sarah Palin coming out with a second book in November, which is pretty impressive. This book was written almost as fast as the first book she didn’t write.” –Jay Leno

“Thousands of bees swarmed the White House on Sunday morning. And President Obama doesn’t miss a trick. He is smart. Because all these bees were worker bees, he’s now counted them as 10,000 new jobs he’s created.” –Jay Leno ” We have as a guest tonight Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I’m going to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind: ‘As a bishop, do you always have to move diagonally?’” –Craig Ferguson “The Times Square bomber bungled the gig. So the Taliban got wind of this and they said, ‘That’s it.’ So they downgraded the guy. And he doesn’t get 72 virgins. Here’s what he gets: 72 vegans.” –David Letterman

“The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona to protest the new anti-immigration law. The council vote wasn’t even close. The council voted, trece to uno.” –Jay Leno “Arizona passed a bill banning public schools now from offering any courses in ethnic studies. It’s funny, you know, they never say they’re targeting Mexicans specifically, but I think we get that idea. Today they passed a bill that said beans can only be fried once.” –Bill Maher

“For the first time ever, an Arab-American woman has been named Miss U.S.A. Her name is Rima Fakih from Dearborn, Mich. She says she hopes winning this title will finally help get her name off the no-fly list.” –Jay Leno “Did you see the new Miss U.S.A. pageant over the weekend. Miss Michigan won. Congratulations to Miss Michigan. And, well, it gets better. John McCain has already selected her as his 2012 running mate.” –David Letterman

That’s our show. I threw in a little extra late night action because the days are getting longer and the nights are getting funnier. I’m not sure what to say this week about the oil spill, but I’m not going to award President Obama the Nobel Clean Up Prize on this one. This environmental catastrophe is devastating the marshes along the coastline of Lousiana. The Gulf is bleeding as there is more oil in the water than fans wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys at a Dodger game.

This horrific situation leads to lots of unanswered questions, like why did CBS cancel “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” Either way, enjoy the blue skies, blooming flowers and game four of the western conference finals between the Suns and the Lakers. We’ll catch you at the free throw stripe. Aloha, mahalo and later, Amare Stoudamire fans.

May 16, 2010

It’s Not Completely Dry, It’s Still Silhouette

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 8:52 pm

Good morning and greetings, lipid and protein fans. As I mentioned last week, I was going in for a blood test to see if I was ending my life long love affair with sugar. Well, the test results are back and, according to the Surgeon General, I’m as healthy as a horse, or at least a young shetland pony.

The concern was my cholesterol, which is the soft, fat-like, waxy substance found in the bloodstream, cells and rain gutters. It was a tad high, so about a year ago, I starting downing Omega-3 fish oil pills like they were Good & Plenty. And then, in the words of Gomer Pyle, “surprise, surprise,” my cholesterol went up.

My doctor, astrologer and caddie were somewhat bewildered by this turn of events, being that the 4,000 milligrams a day of this supplement was supposed to lower my cholesterol by 30%, along with improving my mood, the health of my heart and my golf swing. Not only did I not get the desired results, but I was somewhat depressed and frequently had the urge to to swim upstream.

My doctor then informed me that even if I had the perfect grain and fiber diet, exercised like a maniac and brushed after every Hershey’s with almonds bar, it was possible, because of the genetics that were passed down to me by my mother who didn’t breast feed me, that my cholesteol would still be too high.

Now, I realize that people reading this without cholesterol problems might not be mesmerized by my health issues, but the lack of NBA playoff games last week combined with LeBron James’ bizarre disappearing act took an awful toll on me. The second round of the playoffs were as disappointing as the Haromonic Convergence.

Let me take you back to 1987, when I ventured out onto the point at Steamer Lane. It was on the instructions from my guru, Baba Haagan Daaz, that I gathered at this power center in search of some spiritual energy. This day of planetary alignment was supposed to be a global awakening to love, unity and sports through divine transformation. Instead, all I witnessed was a Norweigan rat scurrying by that almost knocked over my table of crystals.

Anyway, after my previous blood test, my doctor said that except for the mild hallucinations, I was okay for now, but that someday I would have to go on statins. Well, the only statin I’m interested in being on is the Staten Island ferry. I’ve never been on any prescribed medication and really have no interest in joining the Lipitor family. I prefer to have liver problems the natural way, like too much Manischewitz.

Since the Omega-3 pills didn’t do the trick, I had one last card to play. We’re talking Red Yeast Rice, a supplement which has been in the traditional Chinese diet for centuries, dating back to the early days of mu shu pork. It’s also a natural statin. Recently, I discovered that it only works in one of every three people, so I had to ask myself the question posed by Clint Eastwood to the killer in “Dirty Harry.” “Do I feel lucky. Well, do you, punk?”

So here’s the good part. After taking my newest Chinese friend for seven months, my cholesterol dropped 30 points, along with my triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and golf scores. And this was at a time when I didn’t lose any weight, didn’t stick with my vegan diet and got as much exercise as a veal chop.

So I’m grateful for this supplement and a clean bill of health. I am now free do the things I’ve always wanted, like explore the Amazon, climb Mount Everest and tape the IronMan Triathalon. Well, either that or watch “Weeds” on DVD, consume the mounds of pad see ew (the Thai version of chow fun) while contemplating the question that scholars have been asking themselves for centuries, “why does TiVo keep erasing shows that I haven’t watched yet?”

Let’s move to our photo showcase. A couple of Fridays back, I spent the afternoon in lovely Pebble Beach, then returned home just in time to capture some color on the horizon. Spring sunsets are different here on the central coast, as we don’t get the outrageous clouds and intense hues that we get in the wintertime. Still, nothing says goodbye to the day quite like an Oscar-winning performance by the gathering clouds at dusk. Well, either that or an episode of “Seinfeld” that I’ve seen a dozen times.

Let’s head to the late night action. “Hey, here’s some good news. The price of oil has dropped by $12 a barrel. I mean, why buy it when you can just scoop it out of the water?” –Jay Leno “This oil spill in the Gulf is affecting everybody. In fact, when I went to lunch this weekend and ordered the sea bass, they asked if I wanted it regular or unleaded. But these British Petroleum executives are trying to spin this a little bit. I heard one guy say today that it’s a good thing, actually, because now when you open a clam, the hinge doesn’t squeak.” –David Letterman

“Prison inmates in Louisiana are now pitching in to clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill. At this point, the solutions have been dump chemicals in the ocean, shoot a bunch of garbage under water and release prisoners. If none of that works, they’re going to have Al Qaeda come take a look at it.” –Jimmy Fallon “The Obama administration has revealed the size of America’s nuclear arsenal. The U.S. has 5,113 warheads, approximately 1,000 of them aimed at China, 1,000 aimed at Russia, and the rest aimed at Fox News. Well, in China, the one child limit may be on its way out because Chinese experts say there aren’t enough babies in the country anymore. To give you an idea how bad it’s getting, some factories over there are now being forced to hire adults.” –Jay Leno

“The stock market took a dive today. It was so bad, Goldman Sachs had to lay off three congressmen. “And to protest Arizona’s tough new immigration law, a lot of people now boycotting products made in that state. This could cripple the bolo tie industry.” –Jay Leno “Britain’s current prime minister, Gordon Brown, announced that he is stepping down and his replacement might be the education secretary, a gentleman named Ed Balls. I would like to make a plea on behalf of late night talk show hosts and bad comedians everywhere — I implore the voters of Britain to make sure that happens. ” –Craig Ferguson

So that’s our medical report for the week. Good news for TV fans as “Friday Night Lights” has returned to NBC. That’s right, Coach Taylor and his wife Tami, played by the lovely Connie Britton are back, and I am semi-ecstatic. No TV show, with the exception of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” gets me going emotionally like this one about high school football in Texas. Of course, it’s not just about football, but the guys who write the show, unlike the execs running TransOcean, BP Or Halliburton, really know what they’re doing. Magnificent, fabulous TV that never disappoints.

So as I write this, the volcano is once again pluming ash in the air over Europe, black oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and the red shirts are rioting in streets of downtown Bangkok. Let’s just hope, for the sake of Saint’s fans, they can stop that leak. So be grateful we don’t have tornadoes here in California and we’ll catch you at the postgame podium. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kyle Chandler fans.

May 9, 2010

Are You Through Cormoranting And Raving?

Good morning and greetings, Dwight Shrute fans. That’s right, my son Jason’s favorite TV show, “The Office,” is starting to grow on me, and the beet farming Mr. Schrute is quite the character. Throw in Jim, the insane Michael Scott and the rest of the gang, and this show is the “Seinfeld” for the texting generation. Because of my hand modeling career and my undercover work for NASA, I don’t get to watch it as often as I like, but when I do it rarely disappoints, unlike the road to Hana, last season’s New York Giants or my senior prom.

Last Thursday was an interesting day, as I like my stress served medium rare. The Dow Jones plummeted 1,000 points in 15 minutes, due to either a high speed trading glitch, the Greek credit crisis or the Raider’s cutting ties with quarterback JaMarcus Russell. This free falling of the market cost investors and Bernie Madoff’s son’s billions. But it’s only money, and in the words of billionaire Paul McCartney, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.” Yes, that may be true, but it really does buy everything else. Well, except for peace of mind, which, American Express says, is ‘priceless.”

But some good things happened on Thursday. As I headed out onto my walk along West Cliff Drive, I noticed the cormorants had returned to the shelf along the cliff (photo #1) just outside of Natural Bridges. They had been gone for close to a year, or about the last time I shaved. They’re here to build nests (photo #2,) talk sports and go on Facebook.

They had been nesting in this spot last summer, until one day when they just vanished. They had seemingly destroyed their nests and hightailed it out of there faster than you could say, “Steve Carell.” I soon learned that there wasn’t enough food in the area and they were starving, so they flew the coop and rented condos in Tahoe for the summer. It missed seeing the eggs hatch and the babies being born, but fortunately, the “Sons of Anarchy” returned to FX that week, and nothing nourishes and replenishes the soul like the adventures of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

So I shot away like Annie Liebowitz in bankruptcy court on this beautiful spring day along the Pacific coast. A gull joined the action and squawked away (photo #4,) making a sound I hadn’t heard since my wedding night.

Two years ago, when I was shooting the cormorants in this same spot, gulls starting attacking me as I waded in along the ice plants. I thought to myself, wow, how interesting, here’s one species of birds protecting another. Somebody get me National Geographic on the phone. Well, it turns out my theory of birds of a feather sticking together was incorrect, as I was walking too close to the sea gulls nests and they felt threatened. I hadn’t seen that kind of aviary anger since Larry Bird choked Dr. J in the eastern conference finals back in the 80′s.

While I was snapping away, another group of birds flew into the picture. At first, I thought they were cornish game hens and immediately starting boiling some wild rice. Then I realized these grayish winged objects were pigeons as one landed on a stool nearby. Many of us think of pigeons as dirty little birds that don’t do much good for society, like the Republican party. But this little squab, who landed on the fence nearby and I named Walter, seemed different and conjured up my thoughts on KFP, who proudly proclaim, “we do pigeon right.”

The final shot was taken as I was walking down near the lighthouse and came upon this pelican, who was just a few feet off the path. Since he allowed me to get within a few feet of him, I immediately thought that he was either sick or a fan of the blog . He was an absolutely beautiful bird and his feathers gleamed in the sun, much like my hair does after using my daughter’s tropical coconut shampoo.

Pelicans along the west coast have had health problems in the recent past and this fella looked hungry, so I put a $20 bill in his bill and pointed him in the direction of the Crow’s Nest. There he ordered an ice tea, the calamari appetizer and a fish taco, and then flew out of there without leaving a tip. So now we know he must have been sick, because in the bird world, pelicans are known as very good tippers.

Let’s move on to the late night, “Something very suspicious happened over the weekend. A car parked at, like, 45th and Broadway, very suspicious. And I’ll tell you the most suspicious thing about the whole episode was that the guy found a parking place. Thank God the car bombing was thwarted by an alert carjacker.” –David Letterman “The bomber’s name is Faisal Shahzad. What, is Snoop Dogg naming terrorists now? They’re still looking for his brother, Fo Shizzle. They don’t know where he is.” –Jay Leno

“Anyway, police raided this guy’s house. I guess it’s in Bridgeport, Conn. Some of the neighbors say the suspect told them he worked on Wall Street, so they were relieved to find out he was just a terrorist.” –Jay Leno “Authorities say Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bombing suspect, went to terrorist camp in Pakistan. Honestly, who are these parents that are sending their kids to terrorist camp?” –Jimmy Kimmel “Yeah, they plucked a guy off a plane. They say he was a moody loner. Last year, he vacationed in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Well, no red flags there.” –David Letterman

“Speaking of terrorism, two new videos from the Pakistani Taliban seem to show that their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, is alive, even though the U.S. thought he was killed. So, either our intelligence is wrong or they’re just shooting the new movie, ‘Weekend at Hakimullah’s.’” –Jimmy Fallon “The Iranian dictator, Ahmadinejad, is in town. He has got a busy schedule. Today it is the U.N. And then tomorrow, he’s going to be on ‘The Rachael Ray Show,’ filleting a camel.” –David Letterman “It’s Cinco de Mayo, or as they call it in Arizona: May 5th.” –Jimmy Fallon

“On Monday, British Petroleum promised to pay all necessary cleanup costs for this oil spill. And they said they will do it, no matter how much they have to raise gas prices.” –Jay Leno “British petroleum, these boobs running this operation, they said: ‘O.K., now wait a minute. It’s just going to be a P.R. nightmare. What can we do? We’ll give everybody a free tank of gas. All you have to do is drive your car right down next to the Gulf of Mexico.’ They say the oil spill has the potential to kill more wildlife than a Sarah Palin hunting trip.” –David Letterman “Well, scientists are predicting that the oil from the BP spill will eventually reach the shores of Florida. So if you hated visiting your grandparents before, wait until you’re hosing down their oily bodies after a long day at the beach.” –Jimmy Fallon

One more environmental note. There’s bad news for Crimson Tide fans, as thick blobs of tar have begun washing up on the shores of sweet home Alabama. These BP boys were about as prepared for this spill as I was for changing for my first diaper.

I spent Friday afternoon at a track meet in lovely Pebble Beach, and then triple jumped home and shot a cute sunset that evening. So with my camera as healthy as LeBron James’ elbow, we’ll continue to photograph life as we know here in this cold water paradise. I hope Sunday was a good day for all you mothers out there. We’ll catch you at the free throw line. Aloha, mahalo and later, Rajon Rondo fans.

May 2, 2010

You’re So Rain, I Bet You Think This Blog Is About You

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — geoff @ 8:49 pm

Good morning and greetings, offshore drilling fans. It’s not a pretty scene off the coast of Lousiana, as millions of gallons of bubbling crude, black gold, Texas tea are spilling out into the ocean water off the coast of Louisiana. In the words of Bill Maher, “the Gulf of Mexico is now the Gulf of Texaco.”

It would be nice if we could send those Goldman Sachs boys down there to clean up the mess, but they only seem to be interested in profiting from other people’s misfortune while denying any wrongdoing. Watching Senator Carl Levin and his gang grill those executives was truly stunning political theatre. I haven’t seen that kind of anger from our elected officials since they upped the prices of smoothies at the Senate Snack Shack. As Olivia Newton John once told me about Wall Street, “greed is the word.”

As many of you know from my CB handle, I like to think of myself as “Mr. Positive.” When I look at my sippy cup, it is always half full. With this in mind, the other day my wife sent me an email describing the 89,000 ways sugar is bad for you. This was followed by a report on NBC News on the evils of added sugar and its relation to heart disease. A few days later came another NBC report on our over intake of salt. My first thought was, I’ve got to stop watching so much news. But then it hit me like a Muhammad Ali left hook-when did everything besides TV become bad for us?

Now, I don’t mean there aren’t still good things in life, like the smell of a rose, the laughter of a child or TiVo, but I’m referring to our more basic needs. Without going into any depressing details about our air, food, water or Chinese food, it seems as though the basic things we ingest all contain materials that are not good for us. Even the sun is harmful. My question is, what happened? In the words of the group Ambrosia, “how long has this been going on? Why is McDonald’s not a happy meal?

So as of late, I’ve been watching my added sugar intake like my golden retriever watches the Judge Judy. They say women can handle 100 grams a day and men 150 grams. The report said a can of soda had 170 grams of sugar with no nutritional value. In that case Mountain Dew, I say, Mountain Don’t. They also said one scoop of vanilla ice cream contained 92 grams of added sugar. Since that day, I’ve stuck with chocolate. And you know, dark chocolate is good for you. Yeah, the Easter Bunny told me that.

The bottom line is, I LOVE SUGAR. I love sweet and sour sauce or when someone says I’ll keep it short and sweet. Chocolate, cookies, chocolate, anything sweet works for me. But one of my daughter’s vocabulary words last week was moderation and that’s my new key. I’m going to have my blood tested today to check my cholesterol levels and then I’m seeing my doctor next week. So it could be goodbye, my old friend sugar, it was nice knowing you. But do me a favor, please leave me your forwarding address.

On to this week’s photo regalia. Last Tuesday brought us one last day of April showers. Since I didn’t have anything in mind for this week’s lineup, I laced up my hiking boots and headed into my front yard to shoot some flowers in the rain. And then to make it into a cardio workout, I walked around the block to complete the neighborhood watch package. You can see that a little precipitation performs wonders on the photographic front. Or as Lili Von Shtupp would say about photo #4, “a wed wose. How womantic.”

Let’s head to the late night action. “Last week, President Obama gave a speech in New York City about his plan to reform these rules on Wall Street. And one embarrassing moment. When the head of Goldman Sachs was going through security, he was asked to empty his pockets and five Republican senators fell out. During the economic meltdown, employees at the SEC were using government computers to watch pornography. Ironically, while they were watching porn, the other employees were watching Goldman Sachs screw the entire country. One good thing came out of this volcano in Iceland. Economists say consumers can expect a huge drop in the price of lava lamps.” –Jay Leno

“Former President George W. Bush is working on his memoirs. The title is ‘Decision Points.” It narrowly edged out his original title, which was ‘My Bad.’ Crown Publishing has given a November release date for what they’re saying is an incredibly honest account of key decision in the President’s life. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to smooth vs. crunchy.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Former President Bush is writing his autobiography about his eight years in the White House. He’s not done with it yet, but he’s already put up the mission accomplished banner.” –David Letterman ”

David Letterman’s Top Ten Thoughts That Went Through George W. Bush’s Mind As He Wrote His Memoirs
9. ‘Is 36 pages enough?’ 6. ‘How cool is it that I was president? Come on, up high!’ 4. ‘Chapter Eight: The day I went 5-for-5 in White House T-ball. And no gimmies. All ropes!’ “1,000 signed, cloth-bound copies will be sold for $350 each. Each one will say: ‘Thanks for reading about my decisions. Sincerely, Dick Cheney.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“You know what happened today down in Washington, D.C.? The world champion New York Yankees visited the White House. It was a beautiful day. President Obama charged them $25 for a hot dog and a warm beer. It was quite a change for the New York Yankees, going from ‘The House That Ruth Built’ to ‘The House That Bush Wrecked.’ Here’s a nice story. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, took the weekend off. They went hiking in North Carolina. Had a great time. And so he wouldn’t get lost, Obama left behind a trail of cigarette butts.” –David Letterman

“Arizona’s Governor had been stalling on signing the immigration bill. She said it did not reflect any ambivalence. She just wanted to make sure her pool was clean and her lawn was mowed before she signed.” –Bill Maher “The movie ‘Avatar’ is out on DVD today. James Cameron wanted it to be released on Earth Day because nothing says ‘save the planet’ like millions of plastic DVD cases.” –Craig Ferguson “President Obama is now considering giving approval for the development of a hyper-supersonic missile that can reach anywhere in the world in an hour. It’s a joint venture between the U.S. military and Domino’s Pizza.” –Jay Leno

So that’s the first blast of fun and color for the new month. For NBA playoff watchers, April was fairly fantastic. Let’s just say I’m not unexcited about May. And let’s hope that they can put a cap of that oil well or this newest spill will make the Exxon Valdex incident look like a plate of Baked Alaska. We’ll catch you along the baseline. Aloha, mahalo and later, Deron Williams fans.

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