Good morning and greetings, gravy and stuffing fans. Like storm clouds on the horizon, the holiday season is rapidly approaching, and there’s a certain magical feeling in the air as families get ready to gather together for the Thanksgiving Day feast of food and football. For me, this means hitting the stores every six hours in preparation for the most enjoyably dysfunctional day of turkey and family. But unlike the first Pilgrims who ventured into white and dark meat valley of tryptophan, our meal will include the ingredient of sugar, which was not available to these early bird diners, who instead had to learn from the native Americans how to hunt for little packets of Sweet N’ Low and Diet Snapple.
I’m excited about the holiday, as my parents, both my brothers, their families and my in-laws will be making an appearance around the table. These kinds of events, with so many key participants, are too few and far between, like uplifting stories on the news or in the newspaper. For those of you under 18, the latter is printed material that the early pioneers used to hold in their hands and read while eating or watching sports.
I would love to be joined on this most blessed occasion of cranberry
sauce by friends from all around the country, including Kentucky, but since that’s about as likely to happen as Sarah Palin receiving the Republican nomination for President, I’ll savor whoever is around or under the table.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge what a difficult day this is for so many people. Death, divorce, depression, disease, worry and loneliness take no holiday, and my heart goes out to any family with a son or daughter in the military. This is not a day you want to be away from home, so if there’s ever going to be time to feel grateful for what you have, you might want to put a circle around Thursday. And if you’re an NBA owner or player, you really might want to take a step back and think about what this what stoppage means to the loyal and dedicated fans who were looking forward to the increased ticket prices and cheerleader’s new dance routines.
So according to Google Analytics and my Chinese lunar calendar, today’s blog post is my 300th. Yes, the big 300. And the critics said I’d never get I’d past 299. What this means is that 300 times I have sat down in front of this computer screen and wondered, what thoughts can I gently pluck from my swiftly flowing stream of unconsciousness that will interest and amuse the endless dozens of readers to this site. Unlike examining my life and trying to understand why I am the way I am, writing and rewriting this blog has proved to be an unexpected joy, like putting on a pair of shorts and finding a $10 bill in the pocket. I never saw myself being a jogger or a blogger, but somehow, through evolution I’ve evolved over the years, and I was able to rise out of the sea of non-cyber world participation and like Louie, er, Neil Armstrong, have my words walk in space. It was one small step for my website, and one giant leap for my Google traffic.
I started this blog back in 2007, to create a place where people could go to view images of incredible beauty of the central coast. And along the way they might learn a little something that they weren’t aware of. But most importantly, what I really wanted people to experience with these pages was the joy of laughter. Much the same way Robert Plant, in Stairway to Heaven, asks the famous question, “Does anybody remember laughter?” Well, I do, and although I’m not laughing nearly as much as I should these days, I do remember it, and that is why I sit in front of this computer and transpose these words onto the screen. Well, that and I’m very lonely.
I was going to do my annual list of things I’m thankful for, but I’m going take a pass on that and just mention a few. I’m incredibly thankful for my sight and relative good health and that I’m here to write this 300th post because as we all know too well, not everyone can say this. I’m thankful the networks haven’t locked out the TV writers, because then my wife and I would never be able to experience the time we spend together hiking, kayaking and camping in the land of TiVo. And I am very grateful that my son is still a senior in high school, as I get to keep his stats and live through him totally vicariously for a couple of more sports seasons before he sets off for college. Then I guess I’ll teach my basketball-playing daughter that killer crossover move. I know she can break hearts, I want to see her break ankles.
So in honor of my 300th post, I thought I would return to my blonde roots and feature six classic, fantastic sunrise moments from the month of November. Much like hitting a game-winning jumper, each of these spectacular mornings was a joy to shoot. The first photo is my second favorite sunrise of all-time, and no matter how many times I look at it I am always amazed at its extreme beauty. It was a modeling shoot of the sky, and I never had to say smile as the clouds did it for me. For me, these sunrises are what it’s all about. And as I hope they say about me some day, to quote Emerson, Lake and especially Palmer, “Ooooh, what a lucky man he was.”
On to the late night humor. “They had a midnight raid and they cleaned out Zucotti Park where the Occupy Wall Streeters were camped out for about two months. So if you’re keeping score, here’s what the score is now: Eighty down in Zucotti Park; Wall Street executives arrested: Zero.” –David Letterman “Over the weekend in New York, two Occupy Wall Street protesters got married at the protest. They are registered at Bed, Bath, and Seriously, You Need to Take a Bath.” –Conan O’Brien “Some have criticized pepper spraying a pregnant woman, but don’t forget, the cops were spraying for two.” –Stephen Colbert
“Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman accused his Republican opponents of coming up with easy sound bites just to get applause. In response, Mitt Romney was like, ‘That is ridiculous. Clap if you like bacon!’” –Jimmy Fallon “Herman Cain flubbed a question on Libya yesterday and then tried to cover by saying, ‘Oh, I thought you meant Libya Newton-John.’” –Jimmy Kimmel “I am addicted to all the Republican Presidential candidates. They are all like crack, in that they will devastate black communities.” –Stephen Colbert
“Most analysts agree the big debate winner last night was Mitt Romney, who stuck closely to his strategy of not being any of the other candidates.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Someone told Rick Perry today that Obama, as he did, laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And Rick Perry said ‘See, he blanks on names too.’” –Bill Maher “Someone shot a bullet at the White House. The Secret Service ruled out Jon Huntsman because that guy has no shot at the White House.” –Conan O’Brien
“As if Herman Cain’s troubles couldn’t get worse, today, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused Herman Cain of skimping on the pepperoni.” –David Letterman “Herman Cain said he would beat Obama by ‘beating him with a Cain.’ Obama said, ‘I’m just glad I’m not running against Anthony Weiner.’” –Jimmy Fallon “President Obama attended the first college basketball game ever played on an aircraft carrier. Don’t confuse that with the NBA. That’s a bunch of guys not playing basketball on a sinking ship.” –Jay Leno
“As you know by now, a fourth woman has come forward and accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. This woman gave the details, pretty graphic. She said that Herman Cain tried to put his hand up her. So now when Cain says he is reaching out to the American people, you know what he’s reaching for.” –Jay Leno “Earlier today Herman Cain rejected calls that he should withdraw from the race. He said, ‘It ain’t gonna happen!’ That’s what he said. Ironically, that’s what women say to him when he’d put his hand up their skirt.” –Jay Leno
So that’s our pre Thanksgiving report. Enjoy the holiday week and remember to give thanks for something besides first downs and sweet potatoes. We’ll catch you in playing at the top of your game. Aloha, mahalo and later, Aaron Rogers fans.