January 27, 2013

For Debris The Jolly Good Fellow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 11:33 am

Good morning and greetings, Super Bowl fans. Well, we’re less than a week away from when much of the nation turns their attention towards two teams beating the living daylight savings time out of each for the right to call themselves Super Bowl champions. Or as former Oakland Raider defensive end Dan Birdwell described the action, “You just have to play this game like somebody hit your mother with a two-by-four.”

At the same time, we know there’s two good reasons why people of every race, greed and color are converging on New Orleans. To party and gamble. And as a result, after football fans consume 140,500 millions tons of chips, 80 million pounds of guacamole, 900 million pounds of chicken wings and enough pizzas to cover the entire planet, hundreds of millions of dollars will have been won or lost on the outcome while the nation’s caloric intake will surpass the $16.432 trillion federal deficit mark. Because that’s how we roll.

For myself, I’ll spend the morning in deep meditation, and then just kick back and watch the action accompanied by with my usual array of healthy snacks, including animal crackers, tofu nuggets and fava bean pate. And if I win my wager on how long it will take Alicia Keys to belt out the national anthem, I’ll treat myself to a vegan steak and lobster dinner. Gluten-free, of course.

But really, it’s just another game. Someone will win, someone will lose, and the next day we’ll all be talking about Kate Upton and the commercials. Or in the words of former Dallas running back Duane Thomas, “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?”

One place I would like to experience watching the Super Bowl is Hawaii, and that is where we are headed today. In a story by Stephanie Pappas for Yahoo News, there have been some unusual sightings on the beaches in Oahu and Kauai, and I don’t mean Charo in a bikini. No, we’re talking about refrigerators, oyster buoys and a four box set of the TV mini-series “Shogun” that have been rolling in with the tides and beaching themselves on the macadamia nut covered shores.

According to Richard Chamberlain, these items were from the giant tsunami that struck Japan back on March 11, 2011. The Japanese government has estimated that the tsunami, which was triggered by an underwater earthquake, swept about five million tons of debris out to sea. While 70 percent appears to have sunk offshore, the rest is floating like rubber ducks in the Pacific Ocean. The first item to make an appearance was a barnacled-covered seafood storage bin, which arrived last September and was last seen body surfing at Pipeline.

Hawaii is a prime gathering spot for big wave surfers and floating garbage, as the islands are exposed to ocean currents on every side. Some of this ocean litter comes from the fishing industry, while the rest is consumer garbage including soda bottles, toys, plastic goods and adult novelty items. The tsunami debris will be an ongoing problem, but it’s part of a much bigger issue, as Hawaii is inundated with plastic trash from all over the world. Or in the words of Groucho Marx, “She got her good looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.”

This island paradise in the South Pacific has as its neighbor the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a shameful site in the North Pacific Ocean where currents push masses of plastics into a suspended pyre of trash, like sections of North Hollywood. Now I only play a scientist in this blog, but I can tell you, this is no way to treat an ocean. I believe it was either David Hasselfhoff or Jacques Cousteau who once said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” And remember, no one ever drowned on ‘Baywatch.’

Henry David Thoreau said, “My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.” I say, “I love going to the beach, but not being in water over my head.” It seems in the near future, when Hawaiians go to the beach, they’ll be greeted by more than golden sands and shrimp trucks. It’s kind of like a Cracker Jacks experience, a surprise in every wave.

However, Hawaii is still the land of fragrant plumerias, golden papayas and kalua pig wraps. Wherever I go, I carry the aloha spirit with me. There’s just a special feeling in the islands that blows through my mind like a warm trade wind. When on vacations, when I check out of my hotel room, I always try to give back and tell the front desk, “He lumi maika’i keia e ku pololei ana i ke kanaka peke.” That was a wonderful room for a dwarf. Mahalo and good night.

For today’s photo gallery we are headed back to November 15, 2012, a couple of months after the death of Manti Te’o non-existent girlfriend. I was shooting from above the cliffs at Cowells Beach. The clouds were in an unusual formation, creating an interesting canvas of color in the sky. I then proceeded to catch the sun rising over the mountains of Monterey as its beams shot out over the bay. Variety is the spice of life, and these clouds added some quality thyme and a nice dash of paprika to this early morning exercise of beauty in the sky with diamonds.

On to some late night. “It was reported that President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Committee is receiving fewer donations than it did in 2009. The scaled-back event will feature fewer inaugural balls, a shorter parade, and a musical performance from the Black Eyed Pea. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey Thursday, Lance Armstrong admitted to using banned drugs and blood transfusions to get his seven Tour De France victories. Which explains why, during his last two races, he didn’t even need a bike. Firearms groups across the country have declared today the first annual Gun Appreciation Day. So don’t forget to set your clock back 100 years.” –Seth Meyers

“The NRA made an ad saying that Obama is elitist because his kids have armed guards. Yeah, that crazy Obama thinking his kids need special protection. I love the NRA accusing anyone of being paranoid. It’s like a septic tank saying, ‘You need a mint.’” –Bill Maher “The CEO of Whole Foods is criticizing Obamacare, once again calling it fascism. He did this before when he called it socialism. And he said the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money. As opposed to shopping at Whole Foods, where you eventually run out of your own money. “The post office may sue Lance Armstrong for all of the money they spent sponsoring his team. In fact, after all these lawsuits, they say that Lance Armstrong could end up as broke as the post office.” –Jay Leno

“More than a million people gathered in our nation’s capital yesterday, and tens of millions more watched from home to celebrate the first lady’s new haircut.
Most people seem to like the hair style, though some Republicans are demanding further cuts. But bangs aren’t easy to pull off. As far as I know, the only other women who have done it successfully this decade are Jessica Biel and Justin Bieber.” –Jimmy Kimmel

So that’s our pre Super Bowl report. Enjoy the game and take a moment to remember the troops, who are fighting for us so that we can live in a country where anyone can grow up and one day host a Super Bowl party.

We’ll catch you putting up all-star numbers and being the best shooter in the NBA. Aloha, mahalo and later, Stephen Curry fans.

January 20, 2013

Well My Mind Is Goin’ Through Them Climate Changes

Good morning and greetings, presidential inauguration fans. Well, it finally warmed up, after a stretch of frigid weather last week that had me wondering if I was living on the central coast of California or in northern Siberia. I don’t want to say it was cold, but at one point I actually considered listening to Rush Limbaugh. That’s how desperate I was for some hot air.

So we all know that 2012 was a wacky year on the weather front in the U.S., with the severe drought in the midwest and Hurricane Sandy ranking one-two on the hit list. The weather so far in 2013 has been pretty unusual, with record highs and lows in all the wrong places. We’ve had blizzards, tornadoes, flooding and Peyton Manning once again coming up short in the postseason. Or as the Cowardly Lion said to Dorothy and the Scarecrow when they woke up and saw it was snowing in the field of poppies,”Unusual weather we’re having, ain’t it?”

Well, this strange magic is not confined to just our section of the globe. In a story by Peter Miller for National Geographic News, he reports that the weather in 2013 is going to extremes worldwide, with a snowstorm in Jerusalem, wildfires in Australia, a cold snap in China, and heat wave in Brazil. Based on my science background, ouija board and my personal psychic’s annual newsletter, it looks like 2013 is going to be as wild meteorologically as 2012.

Those worldwide weather events reminded me of the theme song from the 1961 sitcom, “Car 54, Where Are You?”, starring Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross.
“There’s a hold up in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights. There’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights. There’s a scout troop short a child, Kruschev’s due at Idlewild Car 54, Where Are You?”

That song was written by Nat Hiken, the comic genuis who also created the the “Phil Silvers Show,” starring one of my childhood heroes, Master Sergeant Earnest Bilko. Larry David, the guy who wrote the classic Emmy award winning Seinfeld script, “The Contest,” says that his all-time favorite show is “Sgt. Bilko.” I’m right there with him, along with many “Honeymooners” fans. And yes, I’m still a master of my domain.

Anyway, pardon my digression, as sometimes my mind moves quicker than members of Michael Jackson’s family did after his death, in getting to his home in search of cash. I’m soothed by the words of American literary academic Mason Cooley, who said “The more learned a writer, the more digression beckons him.” And as either Ralph Kramden or writer Ralph Caplan once said, “Nothing is more to the point than good digression.”

Now back to the nutty weather. Eight inches of snow fell in Jerusalem last week, closing roads and Chinese restaurants all across the city. It was the biggest winter storm there in 20 years and caused more havoc than when Mel Gibson tried davening at the Wailing Wall. But the storm brought fun and joy, as children celebrated the occasion by making snowballs the shape of matzo balls and potato knishes.

In Australia, a heat wave smashed records across the country, as the national weather agency added two new colors to its weather maps to handle the possibility of unprecedented temperatures: deep purple for for above 122°F and hot pink for above 125.5°F . The first eight days of the year were among the warmest on record or CD, with January 7 ranking as Australia’s hottest day ever. How hot was it? Aborigines were seen buying air conditioners while at the beach, swimmers couldn’t walk to the water without burning their feet on the sand. But don’t sweat it, because in the words of cartoonist Charles Schultz, ” Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”

Elsewhere around the global wide world of sports, the weather has been equally extreme. Residents in the eastern U.S. and northern Europe were shocked with springlike weather conditions and the early season play of the New York Knicks. Tokoyo saw three inches of snow fall last weekend, which according to the sushi chefs at Benihaba, is nearly half of its typical total for a full year.

In China, the average temperature fell to 25°F in early January, the lowest in nearly three decades. More than a thousand ships in China’s Laizhou Bay loaded with spring rolls, barbecued spare ribs and shrimp wonton soup destined for the free world have been frozen into the ice. There’s an old Cantonese saying “Anything that walks, swims, crawls or flies with its back to heaven is edible”. However, if it once barked, purred, buzzed, snarled, growled or whistled, that’s where I draw my sweet and sour line, if you catch my drift.

Finally, in northeast Brazil, a drought and heat wave prompted officials to consider rationing electricity for the first time in a decade, as the temperatures in Rio de Janeiro reached a record 109.8°F. I guess this would be a good time to mention my favorite Michael Caine movie is the romantic comedy “Blame it on Rio,” co-starring Joseph Bologna, a very young Demi Moore and the lovely Michelle Johnson. “Last night didn’t happen. I know. I was there when it didn’t happen.”

These extreme conditions are becoming the norm. In a report released last Friday, a team of U.S. scientists reported that the frequency and duration of extreme conditions are clear signs of a changing climate. 2012 ranked as the warmest year on record for the lower 48 states, as the average temperature was more than three degrees higher than the average for the 20th century. At the same time, the amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean shrank to its lowest level ever in late 2012. The great drought of 2012 could turn into a two-year drought, costing the nation tens of billions of dollars in crop loss again. But the good news is that “American Idol” is back with its dueling divas, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Others dream, Idol delivers.

The skies, for the most part last week, were clearer than my judgement, so for today’s photo arcade we are going back the final night of 2012. That would be New Year’s Eve, December 31, the final sunset of the year. I located myself at Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive, and it was the culmination that brought closure to another fabulous year of sunrises, sunsets and sunrises. When I channeled my old pal Jim Morrison about the occasion, he said, “This is the end, my only friend, the end.”

On to some late night humor. “President Obama’s inaugural parade will feature eight floats, including a Hawaii float to honor his birthplace, an Illinois float to honor the first lady’s home state, and a Kenyan float just to mess with Republicans. On Sunday the White House will hold a private swearing-in ceremony for President Obama. Not to be outdone, on Sunday Republicans will hold a private swearing-at ceremony for President Obama. Republicans and Democrats are working on a new bill to streamline the healthcare system. It will reduce the cost of mammograms and prostate exams. But don’t worry. They’ll still be free at the airport.” –Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama told Congress it must raise our debt limit because the U.S. ‘is not a deadbeat nation.” Then the president added, ‘By the way, if China calls, I’m not here.’ Yesterday Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke during a court session for the first time in seven years. He never speaks and he finally spoke. It’s already being called the best ‘that’s what she said’ joke ever. Wal-Mart made plans to hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans. Which can only mean one thing: Wal-Mart is going to invade Costco.” –Conan O’Brien

“President Obama’s half-brother is running for political office in Kenya. Donald Trump has already accused him of being born in the United States. President Obama is coming under criticism that his new administration has less diversity than his first one. Which is why this morning Obama said, ‘All right, fine, I am a Muslim.” –Conan O’Brien “President Obama recently came under fire over the lack of diversity in his cabinet. Then Obama said, ‘You guys know I’ll be there, too, right?’” –Jimmy Fallon

“The Golden Globes last night had a lot of great moments. During Jodie Foster’s emotional speech she said she was gay, 50, and friends with Mel Gibson. Afterwards, her publicist told Jodie, ‘I’m going to need a raise.’” –Conan O’Brien “Prostitutes in Brazil have started learning English so they can communicate with out-of-town clients during the World Cup. They are learning key phrases like, ‘You are very handsome’ and ‘Nice to meet you, Mr. Sheen.’” –Jimmy Fallon
“Thousands of dead fish have now washed up on shore along the coast of South Carolina. Today the NRA said that this wouldn’t have happened if those fish had guns.” –Jay Leno

So that’s news and weather. We’ll catch you showing everyone on a nightly basis why you’re the best player on the planet. Aloha, mahalo and later, LeBron James fans.

January 13, 2013

I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 10:39 am

Good morning and greetings, NFL playoff fans. Well, since the start of the new year, I’ve been busy as a beaver, building dams and shooting away with my new Canon T3i. And right now we’re in the midst of the classic sunrise and sunset season here on the central coast, which lasts about as long as this year’s NHL regular season. Or as Chris Rock noted about this form of Canadian disorderly conduct, “Black people dominate sports in the United States – 20 percent of the population and 90 percent of the Final Four. We own this sh**. Basketball, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and as soon as they make a heated hockey rink we’ll take that sh** too.” Hey, we all have to have goals.

So the the mornings have been a bit chilly, with the air cold and rice crispy, as the clouds have been lighting up on a regular basis like fans at a Snoop Dogg concert.

Last week was a particularly good one on the sunrise front, as Monday through Thursday mornings brought great color and pageantry to the skies above Monterey Bay. Friday was a clear as my sinuses. I’ll be showcasing a couple of those in later posts. I would feature all of them, but even at this advanced stage of digital servitude, I still manage to miscalculate these mornings of glory for reasons unknown to this photographer and his therapist.

But despite my whirlwind schedule, I still manage to set aside some time during the day (every half hour) to reflect upon missed photo ops that I would have shared because I’m a serial giver. And even though I’m younger today than I’ll ever be, as I wait for my ship to come in, I somehow keep missing a few of the cabin cruisers.

Right now, I know you might be thinking, “Geoff, we’ve heard this all before. Just breathe and let it go.” Hey, that’s easy for you to say. I’ve got a destiny and paragraphs to fulfill.

But that’s the beauty of life. You pick out your clothes and then wait nine months for the sunrise season, and then because you didn’t see where algebra would fit into your life, you suffer disappointments. I’ve already photographed enough spectacular sunrises to qualify for the senior tour. But there were some hot pink clouds that filled the sky last week that I would like to have added to the scrapbook. So that’s why I reflect back to what coach Kyle Chandler of “Friday Night Lights” fame told his team. “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” I heard fame knocking, but I wouldn’t let it in.

Now I realize that what I’m reflecting on is not earth shaking news, like the Berlin Wall coming down, reports of global warming or Justin Beiber’s getting a new tattoo. However, the current Mrs. Gilbert says she likes it when I write about myself, and besides the fact that I lost a half pound this week, this was the biggest news flash floating around my cranium. I just hate missing anything on the photography front, because sunrises are like fingerprints, snowflakes and the Kardashian sisters. No two are alike. And remember, we’re all individuals. Or in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, “Each one of us has something no one else has, or has ever had: your fingerprints, your brain, your heart. Be an individual. Be unique. Stand out. Make noise. Make someone notice. That’s the power of individuals.” For me, it would be my social security number.

So brace yourself, because for today’s photo appetizer, we are switching gears and not going the usual sunrise/sunset route, but instead heading up the coast to Four Mile Beach. It was late December and the post sunrise sky was filling up with with love, peace and cloudiness, so I hopped onto my Harley and rode up to an old reliable spot, where my camera and I could have some fun, fun, fun till my daddy takes me t-bird away.

Four Mile never lets me down. As I skipped down to the beach, rabbits hopped into the bushes as I saw that the sand was loaded with gulls. Bingo. This did not upset me, as the thought of hundreds of gulls lifting off into the the air with a backdrop of big waves, crashing surf and bands of gypsys always makes for great North Coast action. As you can see from the photos, the gulls were out in full force, as this is a place where they come to for peace, solitude and have their patience tested by a boy and his new camera.

When I go to a beautiful nature spot like this, I try not to leave a carbon footprint. But what I do take away are some images that capture the solitude and beauty of the North Coast. These photos are a labor of love. Or as my mother’s cardiologist once told me, “Once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints last forever.” So will these images, which are now in cyber space for eternity, or at least till “Parenthood” runs of out storylines on NBC.

On to the late night. “A political opponent is accusing Governor Chris Christie of praying for Hurricane Sandy. In response, Christie said the only weather-related thing he’s ever prayed for is a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work today and as a joke, her staff gave her a helmet. This is the second time a Clinton in government has been asked to wear protection.” –Conan O’Brien

“The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was seen partying in Mexico with Charlie Sheen. I believe that celebration is called ‘Cinco de Career-o.’” –Jay Leno “Well, Al-Jazeera has purchased Al Gore’s old TV network, Current TV. It has some fabulous programming lined up. They’ve got a new show called ‘Storage Jihad.’ They have ‘Project Burka.’ And a show called ‘Real Virgins of Fallujah.’” –David Letterman

“What do you put on a trillion dollar coin? On the tail side obviously a bald eagle breathing fire while making love to the American flag. What is on the heads? Obama? Boehner? I’ll tell what you it should be, those Charmin bears – because when you pull an idea like this out of your ass, you’re going to need something soft.” –Stephen Colbert. Jon Stewart to congressional Republicans who voted against Hurricane Sandy aid: “If you guys can’t vote for this, then we’re f**ked for the next few years. And I’m not saying you’re responsible for all the problems facing our country, but you sure are making them a lot harder to fix.”

So that’s my report. I would be remiss as a meteorologist not to mention the extreme weather we had around the nation last Friday. It was 20 degrees colder in San Diego (a chilly 35) than it was in Chicago. Utah and the Dakotas was bombarded with whiteout blizzard conditions, the Grapevine (Interstate 5) in Southern California was closed because of ice and snow for 16 hours while Louisiana had a foot of rain and tornadoes. Meanwhile, in Florida, they experienced record highs of close to 90 degrees. And I don’t want to say it was a cold here in Santa Cruz, but last week I baked a cake and then set it out to cool. Ten minutes later it was frosted.

So birthday wishes and good thoughts go out to my favorite American novelist, Natalie Serber, who celebrates her big day on Thursday. Hope you caught that Ravens-Broncos game over the weekend. It was one for the ages. We’ll catch you running wild and leading your team to a huge win in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game. Aloha, mahalo and later, Colin Kaepernick fans.

January 6, 2013

Name, Rank and Cereal Number

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 12:20 pm

Good morning and greetings, January Jones fans. Well, the first week of 2013, like my hopes of maintaining a washboard stomach over the holidays, is now history. As of this writing, my waistline is looking more like a washing machine. Or as Oprah once told me, “A waist is a terrible thing to mind.”

However, I’ve always been happy about my name. Geoffrey. Well, except during my school days, when a substitute teacher came into my classroom, picked up the seating chart and tried to pronounce my name. Then we were on our way to mispronunciation city. “Geeeoooofree. Goffrey. Goofy. Sven.”

I love the double initital action. GG. Geoffrey Gilbert. There’s just something about the aligned symmetry, like a Brigette Bardot, Mickey Mantle, Marilyn Monroe, Jesse Jackson, Summer Sanders or Kimmy Kardashian.

I first became aware of the power of names back in 1964, when I heard the song sung by Shirley Ellis called the ‘Name Game.’ It went like this. “Shirley! Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley, Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley.” Okay, so it’s no “Stairway to Heaven,” but it’s a wonderful memory of a misspent youth. And as she said, “And there isn’t any name that you can’t rhyme.” And I thought, “Surely, she must be kidding.’ And she replied. I don’t joke. And don’t call me Shirley.”

I was named Geoffrey after my grandfather Gustav, who passed away before I was born. So my parents decided to go with the first letter ‘G’ in his honor. So there were some decent choices like Glenn, Greg, Gary or Gorgeous. My mother said I got lucky, as their accountant was named George and at one point were leaning in that direction. On an odd note, their insurance guy was named Ringo and the plumber went by John. And they named my brother Paul. They said if he had been a girl, they would have gone with Mick Jagger.

Anyway, my name works for me. I am Geoffrey Gilbert. However, at some point, for some unknown reason my father starting calling me “Geppo,” which then morphed into “Peppo,” which left me feeling abysmal. I also recall him saying, “Jefferson Gilbert, I do declare,” which made me feel like I had joined the Confederacy. Or as Granny from the “Beverly Hillbillies” once described this time in history, “When the North invaded America.”

The name Geoffrey means “God’s peace,” which I gave my parents very little of as a colicky baby. However, my mother had the means within her to soothe her screaming child, but for some reason, she chose to treat me as a friend.

My mother and father had free rein in choosing my name, as they could have gone with Chase, Jackson or Brad Pitt. However, not all parents have that same right. In a story written by Anna Andersen for the Associated Press, a 15-year-old from Reykjavik, Iceland is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name (Blaer) given to her by her mother, which means “light breeze” in Icelandic. Turns out it is not on a list of names approved by the government. Who knew?

Iceland, like a handful of other countries including Germany, Denmark and the Banana Republic, has official rules about what a baby can be named. However, on the flip side, you came name your dog, moose or reindeer anything you want. Most people don’t question the Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules. State officials maintain this will protect children from embarrassing names like Road Kill, Sissy Boy or Rush Limbaugh.

Blaer’s mother said she learned the name wasn’t on the register only after the priest who baptized the child later informed her he had mistakenly allowed it. Oops. I believe it was either Larry King or Confucius who said, “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.” Hey, we all make mistakes. Or as comedian Red Skelton put it, “All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.”

Her mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, said she had no idea that ‘Blaer’ wasn’t on the list. A panel turned down her name on the grounds that the word Blaer takes a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s revered Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness. In case you find this curious, join the club.

Given names are even more significant in tiny Iceland than in many other countries as everyone is listed in the phone book by their first names. However, this does not create any confusion, as the population of this country is quite small. The phone book is known as the Yellow Page.

This is the first time someone has challenged a names committee decision in court. Choices like Caroline, Chelsea and Carmen Electra have been rejected because the letter “c” is not part of Iceland’s 32-letter alphabet. “Satania” was unacceptable because it was deemed too close to “Satan” while “Brad” was rejected because it too close to “Bra” and Jennifer Aniston.

Bjork Eidsdottir says she is prepared to take her case all the way to Diana Ross and the country’s Supreme Court if a court doesn’t overturn the commission decision on January 25.

“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Eidsdottir said. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way. And my daughter loves her name.”

So here’s my thought. If Gwyneth Paltrow can name her daughter Apple, then Blaer works fine for me. It’s really a lovely name. And if you know me, you know I’m all about the love. Or as John F. Kennedy once told White House intern Mimi Alfrod, “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.”

So to start off the new digital year with a bang, as our first photo lunch box will feature the last sunrise I shot in 2012. The date was December 30, and what started out as a pleasant morning sky blew up into a full on, wonderous delight of color accompanied by a backdrop of big waves. As a local artist described the sky to me that morning, “the clouds were doing gymnastics,” and the Russian judge scored them a 9.8.

It was a morning where the sky just got better and better, and I’d like to think that my future days will be headed in the same direction. The philosopher Voltaire once noted, “The present is pregnant with the future.” French poet Paul Valery wrote that “The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.” However, I’ll stick with the words of American journalist William Allen White who remarked, “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” Oh, I believe in yesterday.

On to a little late night humor. “Some people are concerned 2013 will be an unlucky year because of the number 13. As compared to those lucky years like 2012 and 2011.” – Jay Leno “Well, Al-Jazeera has purchased Al Gore’s old TV network, Current TV. So it’s now owned by Al-Jazeera. And listen to this: $500 million. This is a little something Al Gore has come up with called “global fleecing.” – David Letterman “I’ve got to admit, I love the show “Doomsday Preppers.” It’s about people making bunkers to survive catastrophes they know will happen. A nuclear war, viral epidemic, Fox canceling “Glee.” It’s all going to happen.” – Craig Ferguson

So that’s our first blast of 2013. Let’s hope it’s going to be a great one, as it has been so far for the Golden State Warriors, whose early season performance has shocked the NBA world. We’ll catch you having the best season of your career while putting MVP type numbers. Aloha, mahalo and later, David Lee fans.

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