Good morning and greetings, NBA Final fans. Well, the tide has turned, as two weeks ago it was low tide city in the morning, and as a result, I saw more things exposed than while wandering around the various campsites at Woodstock.
In last week’s post, I wrote of how the tides are created, why they shift and what it’s like to be up at the plate with the score tied with two out in the ninth. So to stay in harmony with Mother Earth and make sure everything is even Steven, our photo emphasis today will be on high tides and greenhouse grass forever, with some big wave action thrown in as an appetizer.
These shots were taken along West Cliff Drive on two consecutive big swell days, when the surf community’s adrenaline was pumping like my heart during my daily weight training program. It’s always a treat, like seeing Marty Short banter in the late night, to see the waves smashing up against the cliffs, creating spectacular shows of spray that would make any fireman or firewoman jealous.
So what do these tides have in common? They both feature my favorite ocean, the Pacific, and that is what our non-government sanctioned, fun fact-finding tour today is all about.
I may have grown up frolicking in the Atlantic, but now the bacteria from the Pacific is in my heart, lungs and bloodstream. For the past 38 years and eleven hours, I have viewed this amazing body of water almost every day. Some days, when I’m feeling brave, I actually go in up to my knees. This is because when the water temperature is in the low 50′s, my body goes into cyrongenic shock mode. My shaman says I’m too old for this. I don’t want to say that I’m aging, but in the words of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, “The other day I was walking by a cemetary and two guys came running after me with shovels.”
So let’s look into a few specifics of the Pacific. It is the largest, deepest, oldest and wisest of the five oceans on Earth. The Pacific covers about 46% of the Earth’s water surface. The water temperature ranges from freezing in the pole areas to about a delightful 86 degrees near the equator. Its depth is more than the height of Mount Everest. There are more than 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, including one I’ll be visiting next month in the Hawaiian chain. As the natives say, Kauai not?
The Pacific was the last ocean uncovered by Europeans and the Discovery Channel. The first European to take a peek was the Spanish explorer Vasca Nunez de Rocky Balboa, who in 1513, climbed a peak in Panama and stared out over the water. He then took possession of the ocean in the name of King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz of Spain.
This would be a high point for our friend, Balboa, as when he returned to his mother country, his jealous enemies accused him of treason. He was later arrested, convicted and beheaded. I think in gratitude, he would have preferred a simple thank you. With enemies like this, who needs friends?
The Pacfic Ocean was named by Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first navigator to sail around the globe. Back in 1519, Magellan and his motley crew sailed into a body of water he described as a “beautiful, peaceful ocean.” Thus, it was named the Pacific, meaning beautiful. He found its winds and climate more gentle than those of other oceans, and he loved dining outside along the beach in Malibu.
The highlight of this trip was when Magellan and his crew, who were the first Europeans ever to sail across the Pacific, underestimated the vastness of this body of water. They went for 98 days without seeing any land and had to eat rats, sawdust, tofu, kale and boiled leather to avoid starvation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found boiled leather to be a little chewy, even when served medium rare. Maybe it’s just me, but a little bit of scurvy always throws off my game.
On to some late night. “A new book claims President Obama smoked a lot of marijuana while in college. And in a related story to boost his street cred, Mitt Romney admitted he was once hooked on phonics.” –Jay Leno “Somebody has been leaking classified information. John McCain is outraged. He wants to get to the bottom of who is leaking the classified information and also he wants to find out who keeps messing with his thermostat.” –David Letterman
“Mitt Romney is going on a six-state bus tour. Mitt is very excited because he’s never been on a bus. “Last month Mitt Romney raised $76 million. He found it in an old sport-coat pocket.” –David Letterman
“It’s great to be back in Chicago. Illinois Rep. Derek Smith has been accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe. If he’s found guilty, he could serve up to four years as the state’s governor. “The last time I did a late-night show in Chicago, my guest was an up-and-coming senator called Barack Obama. And now just six short years later, he’s gone on to become a socialist Muslim from Kenya.” –Conan O’Brien
“This weekend President Obama’s daughter, Sasha, will turn 11 years old. Sasha didn’t ask Obama for a present — you know, because she’s still waiting for him to deliver the gifts he promised three birthdays ago.” –Jimmy Fallon “In Greece, the unemployment rate has risen to 22%. The solution to the problem was to raise taxes on the rich, according to the Greek president Barack Obama-opolis.” –Jay Leno
“Mayor Bloomberg has outlawed giant cans of soda. When you outlaw stuff it creates crime. I saw a guy today walking down the street and a cop is arresting him because he’s got a huge can of soda, and he said ‘No, no, this is medicinal Mountain Dew.’ “Now Mayor Bloomberg wants to make something else illegal. He wants to remove the third layer from a club sandwich.” –David Letterman
So that’s our last blast for the spring of 2012, as next week we move into Donna Summer mode. We’ll catch you throwing the 22nd perfect game in major league history. Aloha, mahalo and later, Matt Cain fans.