June 30, 2013

The Jet Stream of Consciousness

Good morning and greetings, super moon fans. Well, the weather last week was nuttier than a holiday fruitcake, as it went from two days of rain to picture perfect weather a couple of days later. One day I was strolling through the fog and early morning drizzle, feeling for vacationers who had hoped for a couple of beach days along our kelp-lined shores. But then, before I could say, “Where’s Eddie Snowden?,” the temperature was warmer than my feelings for actress Thandie Newton, the star of DirectTV’s Audience Network drama “Rogue.”

And my admiration for this morally compromised undercover detective continues to grow like the morning glory surrounding my home since I’ve learned the series has been picked up for a second season. I believe the late Andy Warhol was on to something when he said, “When I got my first televison set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships.” Tune in, turn on, drop out with no commercials.

Yes, I have many friends from the TV world. And I’ve learned so much from watching. Just like Groucho Marx. “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

And I’m excited about my summer reading list, as I’ve got a couple of books lined up that I am chomping at the bit to read. But I’ve learned that man cannot live by TV alone, although God knows I’ve tried. Or as comedian George Gobal once said, ‘If it weren’t for electricity we’d be watching television by candlelight.”

Let’s get back to the weather. In a story written by Seth Borenstein for the Associated Press, scientists say the jet stream, that river of air high above Earth that dictates much of the weather and reality television programming for the Northern Hemisphere, has been, like this post, unusually erratic over the past few years. The polar jet stream dips down from Alaska, goes across the United States or Canada, and then across the Atlantic and over Europe, It is fiscally responsible for most everything we experience on the weather front and on “The Housewives of Tahrir Square.”

Two weeks ago, the jet stream was responsible for record downpours that led to historic flooding in Canada and the Chicago Blackhawks winning the NHL Stanley Cup. Then there was the record-breaking heat in Alaska, where temperatures fluctuated between 94 and 15 degrees in a three week period and led to this joke.

An Eskimo was tapping on some ice looking for some fish when a voice said, “You won’t find any fish under there.” The Eskimo just ignored it and carried on tapping. Again, the voice echoed saying, ‘You won’t find any fish under there.” The Eskimo shouted, “Who are you, God?” and the voice replied. ‘No, the ice rink manager.”

The jet stream usually rushes rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight direction. But lately it’s been wobbling and weaving like Mel Gibson behind the wheel, wreaking havoc as it goes. The more the jet stream moves north and south, the more changeable and extreme the weather, thus giving Weather Channel personnel a reason to grow and smile.

The extreme weather continued in May, as early California wildfires fueled by the Miami Heat contrasted with more than a foot of snow in Minnesota. One day Seattle was the hottest spot in the country, while Maine and Edmonton, Canada, were warmer than Miami and Phoenix. This is what we refer to in the business to as thermometers gone wild. And speaking of which, if you were in Death Valley over the weekend, where temperatures hovered around 130, give me a call.

The fun and games continue as the winter of 2011-12 produced little snow while 2012-13 was chocolate blizzard city. A French dip in the jet stream and high pressure caused Superstorm Sandy to left turn and smack into New Jersey, a maneuver so rare and unusual as that happens once every 714 years, depending on traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

But when it comes to weather extremes, tornadoes take the cake and the ice cream. Over a recent 12-month period, the nation experienced a record 1,050 tornadoes. That was followed by a 12 month period where there was a record low for these killer twisters. But there’s no need to panic. It’s just the jet stream playing mind games. Or in the words of Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.”

Moving along, last Sunday the biggest moon of the year rose over Monterey Bay. But unless you were a pilot or wearing infrared night googles, you wouldn’t have been able to see this supermoon from the westside because of cloud cover. So today I’m showcasing my favorite harvest moon rising. This blessed event took place back in January of 2009. I was shooting from the cliffs at Cowells Beach across from the Municipal Wharf. Surfers were out in force as the late sun was lighting up the water. When that glowing orange sphere peaked up over the mountain, it was quite a rush. Just another fantastic night on Monterey Bay.

I’ll end our lunar discussion with this. Two guys were walking home from a bar. One says to the other, “What a beautiful night, look at the moon.” The other replied, “You’re wrong, that’s not the moon, that’s the sun.” They start arguing until they come upon a drunk walking in the other direction. They stop him and said, “Sir, could you please settle an argument? Tell us what that is up in the sky that’s shining, is it the moon or the sun?” The drunk look at the sky and then looked at them at said, ‘Sorry, I don’t live around here.”

On to some late night humor. “NSA leaker Edward Snowden somehow managed to get out of the U.S. with all their information. Now where is he? He’s in Russia now, going to be in Ecuador or wherever. He remains at large. Now what are the odds out of 350 million Americans, the only one the government wasn’t watching was him? In the middle of all these scandals, President Obama got some good news today. The IRS ruled that he can write off the first half of his second term as a total loss.

“President Obama gave a big speech on climate change. He believes global warming is getting worse because apparently he’s sweating a lot more during his second term. Yesterday, the Supreme Court opened the door for same-sex marriage to resume in California. Apparently, the judges were really swayed by that Liberace movie. Tourism officials in Paris have launched a campaign to make Paris friendlier to tourists. First step? Kick out the French.” – Jay Leno

“You folks know anything about climate change? I used to know a little bit about it but I don’t care anymore. There’s nothing we can do about it. But on the bright side, I’ve got a closet full of short-sleeved shirts I don’t otherwise get to wear.” – David Letterman “Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have named their newborn girl North West. The baby was named after the direction in which it will try to escape.” -Conan O’Brien “It was just announced that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have named their daughter North West. Or as Southwest Airlines put it, “Please don’t have a second child.” – Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our final blast for June 2013. Time continues to go by faster than I can change channels. We’ll catch you showing basketball fans what good TV theatre was all about on the night of NBA draft. Aloha, mahalo and later, David Stern fans.

June 23, 2013

Once LeBron A Time

Good morning and greetings, change of season fans. Last Friday in North America, where I like to do most of my shopping, the summer solstice began at 10:04 am, as we moved from spring to the late Donna Summer. At that exact moment, Miami Heat fans were still dancing in the streets of South Beach, as LeBron James and company captured their second straight NBA title. It was the end of a glorious Estefan season, as this roller coaster ride of a series had incredible drama, with end to end non-stop action, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and that was just during the TV timeouts.

They say champions are made, not born or bought. And that it is better to give than to receive. How true this was in this series, as without some very timely help from the San Antonio Spurs, there would have been no joy in little Havana. As Mother Theresa once said, “If you can’t feed one hundred people, feed just one.” And that would also describe the play of the Miami Heat in the crucial fourth quarter of game seven, with the one being fed, Finals MVP LeBron James.

In an act of incredible generosity that would have buckled Mother Theresa knees, the Spurs gave game six of this best of seven series away to the Heat on a silver platter. This was with less than a minute to go in the final quarter, with the MVP ballots counted and the championship trophy literally waiting courtside to be handed to the Spurs. But they somehow let this golden opportunity get away, as the victory that would have annointed them as a dynasty slipped away because of a couple of missed free throws and rebounds.

Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Well, after the Spurs tanked a couple of crucial free throws and didn’t grab a couple of rebounds, legacies from both franchises were changed forever, as history was changed in an instant. It was so amazing that I could barely believe it was happening, as the Heat overcame a five point deficit to tie the game in regulation before going on to win in overtime.

After watching thousand off games, I had never witnessed a turnaround like this, in one of the most crucial games in NBA history, and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see it coming. And that is the beauty of sports. It is totally unscripted, and if you watch long enough, you’ll be an insider to an experience that fans will be talking about for decades. And this was one of these nights, one of those crazy, crazy old nights.

Unfortunately, a segment of the hometown crowd in Miami missed out on this experience as they left the arena in the final minute, thinking that they were at a Dodger game. Seems wanted to beat the traffic back to Fort Lauderdale. When they heard the announcement of the comeback from speakers outside American Airlines Arena, they tried to reenter the arena, only to be turned back at the doors. And what an overtime period they missed, as the defending NBA champions turned on the after burners and forced a final and deciding game seven of this epic championship series.

Fans were in a state of shock back in Texas, as this stunning turn of events made the Alamo almost looked like a win. The great Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” And the Spurs climbed to the top of the Unfortunate 500 Club charts as they gave away a championship. It was a shocking turn of events in a game that will go down as one of the best in NBA history.

Tim Duncan and the Spurs will be haunted by this untimely event for years to come. It was the championship that got away, and was so close they could have more than tasted it.

The following day, with my voice sounding like a young Demi Moore because of my incessant ranting and raging during this unbelievable overtime contest, I was able to recount the highs and lows, the twists and turns, the incredible ups and downs on the radio as the “NBA Insider,” which is what my mother used to call me when I was still camped out in her womb. She claims I was collicky as a fetus, but I was just preparing for life on the outside. I believe it was either Karl Marx or Carl Jung who said, “He who looks outside dreams. He who looks inside awakes.” I prefer the former, as I’m not a big fan of fracking for natural gas or deep understanding of myself.

And here’s the most amazing thing. Game seven ended over 72 hours ago, and I’m still buzzing with excitement from the events that unfolded that night and over the last two months. NBA action, it really is fantastic.

So the NBA season and spring 2013, like trying to figure out what’s happening with Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is now history. But summer is in the air, and the weather last week, like LeBron James’ performance in game 7, was outstanding. The mornings were warm, as I’m always surprised when I don’t need to be wearing my full metal jacket when parading down West Cliff.

The nature highlight of the week came last Tuesday, as my wife and I were strolling along the coast when a long chain of pelicans appeared off shore. I stopped in my tracks to count their number, as my wife was regaling me with a story about the Kabbalah and the late Tony Soprano. The count was over 80 birds, and their flight was truly one of those Animal Planet moments. It’s the magic at the edge.

But I know that despite this teasing of warm summer days and nights, the fog was hovering somewhere off the coast, waiting to invade and spoil the weekend plans of visitors from the inland empire. We on the central coast are so lucky to be living in this Mediterranean climate, where the temperature is never too hot or cold and the ocean water is chillier than my reception back in 1970 at the Selective Service office. America, change it or lose it.

So last Friday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. On this morning, thousands gather around the world to greet the sunrise and pay their utility bills. And that leads us into our photo segment of today’s program, a lovely sunrise from the morning of January 19. The sky did its usual winter dance at Lighthouse Point and on the sand at Its Beach, and I was lucky enough to be invited to the recital. Seeing the sunrise over Monterey Bay is never a bad way to start the day.

On to some late night humor. “President Obama is in Ireland for the big G-8 summit. Security for the overseas presidential trip is unbelievable. He has 14 limousines, trucks loaded with sheets of bullet proof glass to cover the hotel windows, and fighter jets flying in shifts. That’s to protect the president. Joe Biden gets a pair of running shoes and a can of pepper spray. The Taliban is now recruiting women to become suicide bombers. And it’s not easy to qualify. The women must be able to push a car loaded with explosives because, as you know, they’re not allowed to drive over there.” –Jay Leno

“Germany is mad at the United States for the NSA eavesdropping. This, ladies and gentlemen, from the country that gave us the Gestapo. This story comes up about twice a year. They think they have located the body of Jimmy Hoffa, the former Teamsters union leader, after 40 years of being dead. Nothing on the NSA whistle-blower, but we think we know where Jimmy Hoffa is.” –David Letterman

“NASA is challenging Americans to help them figure out a better way to find threatening asteroids. Americans said, ‘What do we get if you pick our idea?’ And NASA said, ‘To live.’ “The Senate’s new immigration bill is apparently more than a thousand pages long and weighs 24 pounds. That doesn’t sound like an immigration bill. That sounds like a menu at The Cheesecake Factory.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Obama decided we’re going to arm the rebels in Syria. Yes! This is why I voted for Obama in the first place, so he could carry out McCain’s bad ideas.
The great news about getting into another war in the Middle East is that the next one’s free. Syrian President Assad crossed a red line. He used chemicals weapons. Using harmful chemicals to hurt your own people – who does he think he is, Monsanto?” –Bill Maher

Now for a joke. A couple is lying in bed, on their 20th wedding anniversary. The woman suddenly feels her husband touching her in ways that he hadn’t done in years. He started at her neck, and slowly traced a line downward, past the small of her back. He caressed one shoulder, then the other, and continued down across her breasts, stopping just below her navel. Next, he placed his hand on her left inner arm, and caressed down her side, stopping at her hip. He started over again on her right side, then brushed gently across her buttocks, and down her leg. As his hand was making its way up the inside of her left leg, he abruptly stopped and rolled over. She had become very aroused by all of this attention, and asked in a loving voice, “That was amazing, darling. Why did you stop?” He cleared his throat, looked at her and said “Found the remote.”

So that’s our NBA report. We’ll catch you showing the world why, despite just falling short of a championship this season, you’re a class act and one of the greatest power forwards of all times. Aloha, mahalo and later, Tim Duncan fans.

June 16, 2013

The Old And The Beautiful

Good morning and greetings, late spring fans. Another week has flown by and become a pleasant, yet quickly fading memory. Last week, both my children experienced some closure, as my son returned home from his freshman year at college and my daughter finished her sophomore year in high school. I have no memory of how I felt at those two junctures in my life, or for that matter, my thoughts at a good number of semi-momentus occasions from my past. No matter which way I slice it or dice it, my cranium is ripening like a golden papaya. As Mark Twain said, “What is human life? The first third is a good time, the rest remembering about it.”

I then must ask the question, is it really important to remember what I was thinking or feeling when these events occurred? I believe it was either Justin Beiber’s barber or the Dali Lama’s second cousin who had this thought. “One day at a time-this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone, and do not be troubled by the future, for it is yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it is worth remembering.” As a photographer, I capture the present, then share the past in the future. I believe that was a Kodak moment.

I’ve got to admit, I’m a little concerned about my legacy, because at this point, no one will ever accuse me of being a workaholic. The words “I wish I had spent more time at the office,” will never be uttered from my lips. That’s why I got a little nervous when I ran into this quote from Theodore Roosevelt. “There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering?” Well, in the words of Charles Barkley or Charles Dickens, “Never say never.” And never, never, never look away.

These days I try to focus ahead, because all the stuff that happened in the past doesn’t really seem quite as important. I don’t plan on living forever, although my father is going somewhat strong at age 96, so I figure I’ve got a few more Chinese birthday dinners in me. Sometimes it’s just about the cream cheese filled wontons. That’s crab rangoon if you’re keeping score at home.

Bottom line, the only things we’ll never know is how much time we have on this earth and when that jury duty summons is coming. But it seems through advances in medicine and energy drinks that people are living longer and longer. Just my luck, I’m finally getting my head together and my body is falling apart.

I know my hearing isn’t what it used to be. I’ve turned the response of “What?” into an art form. It doesn’t surprise me, as neither of my parents have heard a word since the Carter Administration. It’s like the old joke. A guy is talking to his neighbor telling him about the new hearing aid he just got. “It costs a fortune, but it was worth it. It works perfectly.” “Really,” said the neighbor. “What kind is it?” “Ten thirty.”

Speaking of aging, last week in Japan, the world’s oldest person besides Johh McCain, and the oldest man to have ever lived died of natural causes at age 116. Jiroemon Kimura, who was born in 1897, died last Wednesday morning from old age. Kimura was was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person in December 2012, after a woman from the United States died at the age of 115 after a surfing accident.

That month he also broke another record when he was verified as the oldest man ever to have lived, after reaching the age of 115 years and 253 days. And this was without ever commenting on the weather, asking what time it was or changing his TV channel. He was but a simple man.

Although he was the only the third man in history to reach 115 years of age, he was well off the all-time record set by French woman Jeanne Calment, who surrendered in 1997 at the age of 122, when she was run over by a squirrel gathering acorns, making her the longest living person in history to be done in by a small rodent.

Kimura worked at a post office for about 40 years. Friends say that’s what killed him. After retiring he took up farming, which he continued to do until the age of 90, when he got a computer and spent all this free time cruising dating sites. He did not smoke and only ate until he was 80 percent full. But neighbors say he drank like a fish. Kimura’s motto in life was “to eat light and live long,” means I may have to back off the chocolate cake in the morning.

“Jiroemon Kimura was an exceptional person,” said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records. “As the only man to have ever lived for 116 years, he has a truly special place in world history.” The new oldest living man is James McCoubrey, an American who was born in Canada on Sept. 13, 1901. He’s 111 years old, which makes him the 32nd-oldest living person in the world. And all those who are older are women.

I think I know why women live longer. They are born with stronger immune system, which gives them the inner strength to deal with the opposite sex. They come with a better set of instruments, which leads to greater understanding and insight. They know they’re going to be around longer, so they can kick back and go with the flow. So that’s why my wife lets me hold the remote control when we watch TV. Because she knows time, time, time, is on her side, yes it is.

For today’s photo galaxy we are heading to Natural Bridges State Beach on the night of February 2. The orange and red tone of the clouds and the reflection on the sand was a sight to behold. I took it as a good sign for the days to come from our shortest month. I never tire of photographing the last remaining arch, as once their was three and now there is one. And in the words of Three Dog Night “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do. Two can be as bad as one, its the loneliest number since the number one.” Joy to the world.

On to some late night humor. ” The NSA has been listening in on phone calls. It’s people with cellphones. You know your phone is being tapped when you’re having a conversation and you hear the attorney general breathing. Happy birthday to the president’s daughter Sasha, who is 12 years old. For her birthday, her father gave her Justin Bieber’s phone records.” –David Letterman “There’s talk that boy band One Direction is trying to win over Justin Bieber’s fans who aren’t happy with Bieber’s recent behavior. Those guys from One Direction better be careful, or this could result in the world’s most adorable fistfight.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Hillary Clinton finally joined Twitter yesterday and racked up more than 200,000 followers in only five hours. Yeah, they were like, “Hillary in 2016!” and “Washington needs Hillary!” and “Hillary for the White House!” That’s not her followers. Those were her tweets. As part of a senior prank, students at a high school in Washington spray-painted all over their school, but they actually misspelled the word “senior” twice. That probably explains why they didn’t get into “collage.” – Jimmy Fallon

“There are reports that female terrorists are being fitted with exploding breast implants. How many guys are going to use this as an excuse? “Honey, I’m not looking at her breasts. I’m working for Homeland Security.” The guy who blew the whistle on the NSA scandal is a former security worker named Edward Snowden. He is a high school dropout. He was making $122,000 a year. He lived in Hawaii. He was engaged to a beautiful former ballerina. And he gave it all up. So not only is he a whistleblower. He’s also a moron. – Jay Leno

“House Speaker John Boehner called NSA’s Edward Snowden a traitor. But only because he leaked the name of his tanning bed. McDonald’s has started introducing breakfast items at night for what it calls an after-midnight menu. It’s all part of McDonald’s’ new slogan, “Welcome alcoholics.” – Conan O’Brien

So enjoy the NBA Finals. We’ll catch you showing NBA fans why, despite painful knee problems, that you can still light it up any night. Aloha, mahalo and later, Dwyane Wade fans.

June 9, 2013

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Good morning and greetings, NBA Finals fans. We are in the midst of the NBA Championship series between the the San Antonio Spurs, led by Eva Longoria’s ex-husband Tony Parker, and the Miami Heat, who are fronted by the greatest player in the free world, LeBron James, who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a fetus and dubbed “The Chosen One.” Who even knew he was Jewish?

I know many of you don’t give a rat’s behind about basketball, but when you watch a player like King James, you are witnessing history. This spectacular individual, who hails from Akron, Ohio, has been a fixture on the national scene since high school, where much like myself, he fought a lot of battles. His were with demons and power forwards while mine was the French Club, but you get the picture. As Kurt Vonnegut once noted, “True terror is to wake up one morning and realize your high school class is running the country.”

Lebron didn’t have things easy growing up, until a family took him in and gave him the love and guidance that put him on the right path. He is a physical specimen with immense talent, who is at the top of his game. He finally reached the mountaintop last year, when he won an NBA championship, and now he and his teammates are hoping to repeat, which in the NBA is slightly easier than getting the toothpaste back in the tube tops of the Miami Heat Dancers.

So with the season ending I’ll soon have free time to explore my other interests, like bull fighting, storm chasing and listening to classical music. I’ll be free to explore things on my to do list, like hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mark Sanford, starting up a men’s groups for the Guadalajara and Sinaloa drug cartels and climbing Mount Everest without any pants or oxygen tanks.

And from what I hear, there’s as much traffic heading up Everest these days as the 405 freeway at rush hour, although less frozen bodies in the diamond lane. But take a map and a scorecard, as over 200 bodies and counting are buried in the snow at 26,000 feet up, a place not affectionately known as the “Death Zone.”

I don’t really get the whole extreme mountain climbing deal. Personally, I have no interest in slipping through an ice crevice and plunging to a frozen grave. That’s what my dreams are for. We’re talking life and death here. I’m sure the view is great, so buy a post card. Is this challenge really worth risking your life for? It seems extremely selfish, especially if you have a family. If you really want to be challenged, try changing a dirty diaper in the middle of the night.

Here’s a mountain worth climbing, one that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took a shot at. “I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go the mountain. And I’ve looked over and seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.” Amen, brother.

So being a pacifist aggressive, I choose to sit back and watch the National Geographic Channel, not live it. I prefer to be living indoors, not “Locked Up Abroad,” a program on the NGC that I am totally fascinated with. I’ll probably never tunnel out from a Mexican jail or escape from a prison in Ecuador, but now I know how, thanks to my friends from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love out of Laguna Beach. Love is our law and perfection is our destiny. Or to paraphrase the late John Denver, “Orange sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy.”

Let’s move on to a lighter and as colorful subject. It’s been three months since I’ve shot a sunrise or a glance at my physique. In that time, I’ve taken a few photos, mostly of flowers and ice plants. Spring flowers are beautiful and fun to photograph, but shooting them is not really an adventure, like answering questions over the phone about qualifying for long care health insurance. Really glad I was on top of my game that day and remembered my name and where I was born, but the interviewer almost stumped me when she asked me to name the actress who plays the emotionally-conflicted undercover detective on “Rogue,” my new favorite show on DirecTV’s Audience Network.

So today I am featuring the last sunrise shot of the 2012-13 season that I shot from various points along West Cliff Drive. The colors in the sky were mixtures of yellow, gold, tangerine, magenta, cherry and avocado. The glow of the clouds on the water was nothing Martin Short of magnificent. It was a outstanding going away party open to all, with no invitations required. Rest assured, the early bird catches more than worms.

On to a little late night humor. “In Pakistan, the Taliban’s No. 2 man has been killed by an American drone. In a related story, today the Taliban’s No. 3 man said he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family. Convicted killer Joran van der Sloot is engaged and will get married in a prison in Peru. I’ve got a better idea. Cancel that wedding. Let’s fix him up with Jodi Arias, have them go on a date, and let nature take its course.” – Jay Leno

“Starbucks is now banning smoking within 25 feet of its stores. It will get even worse for smokers once they realize every Starbucks is about 25 feet from another Starbucks. A new study found that drinking soda is just as bad for your teeth as using meth. However, soda is still less likely to make you live under a bridge with a guy named Snake.” – Jimmy Fallon

And now, a joke. A rich millionaire decides to throw a massive party for his 50th birthday, so during this party he grabs the microphone and he announces to his guests that down in the garden of his mansion he has a swimming pool with two great white sharks in it. ‘I will give anything they desire of mine, to the man who swims across that pool.’ So the party continues with no events in the pool, until suddenly, there is a great splash and all the guests of the party run to the pool to see what has happened. In the pool is a man and he is swimming as hard as he can, and the fins come out of the water and the jaws are snapping and this guy just keeps on going and the sharks are gaining on him and this guy reaches the end and he gets out of the pool, tired and soaked. The millionaire grabs the microphone and says, ‘I am a man of my word, anything of mine I will give, my Ferraris, my house, absolutely anything, for you are the bravest man I have ever seen. So sir what will it be?’ the millionaire asks. The guy grabs the microphone and says, ‘Why don’t we start with the name of the bastard that pushed me in!’

So that’s our early NBA Finals report. We’ll catch you showing NBA fans that you can divorce a woman like Eva Longoria and still come out smelling like a Derrick Rose. Aloha, mahalo and later, Tony Parker fans.

June 2, 2013

A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

Good morning and greetings, rock and roll fans. Music is my mistress, as many days I walk around with a certain song playing over and over in my head, drowning out the voices that I normally hear and cherish. And cherish is a word I use to describe all the feelings that I have for you cyber readers inside.

Speaking of cherish, not to be confused with cherries, which are bursting with flavor and sweetness this time of the year, it was the first song played when my wife and I hit the dance floor at our wedding. It was either going to be that or the Guess Who’s’ American Woman,’ but “American woman, stay away from me,” really didn’t set the tone for what is an ongoing, twenty-four year journey of love, trust and Tivo, and definitely not in that order.

My wife and I have become inseparable, like two snow peas in a pod. She makes sure I’m balanced and rotated, like a good set of Michelin tires. I’m not sure she feels the same way, as the other day she quoted feminist Gloria Steinem, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” She then followed with this doozy from the former undercover Playboy Bunny, “The surest way to be alone is to get married.” I broke down and I cried. Hallmark couldn’t have said it any better.

After dropping off our daughter at school in the morning, we walk together on beautiful West Cliff Drive. It’s a magnificent way to start the day. She tells me about her hopes, dreams and aspirations, while my mind wonders about what I’ll be making for dinner that night. But through my nodding and inane comments she knows that I’m listening, a trait that is not easy for me, as my mind races faster than the earth rotates around Oprah. As she once told David Letterman, “When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.” And that’s why I wear sunglasses, because I’m finally getting the feeling that at this belated date, my future is ahead of me.

But stop the presses. Five minutes after I wrote the line about my brightening future, I had to remove my shades, as I received a phone call from a long time compatriot that put a damper on my previous statement. I found it somewhat ironic that less than 300 seconds after I had written the most optimistic sentence in my blogging career, I was suddenly no longer in that moment of joy and excitement. I was in a place that I had visited way too often in my life, where I didn’t need to make an appointment as it seemed they were expecting me. The future just ain’t what it used to be.

The situation brought to mind a scene from Woody Allen’s “Play I Again, Sam,” where he’s in a museum, attempting to pick up a woman who’s looking at a painting. Woody: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it? Woman: Yes, it is. Woody: What does it say to you? Woman: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror, and degradation, forming a useless, bleak straitjacket in a black, absurd cosmos. Woody: What are you doing Saturday night? Woman: Committing suicide. Woody: What about Friday night?

Life is so strange, but with all the good and bad, it’s really just how you perceive it between your two ears. It seems like every day I’m getting older. Pablo Picasso said it takes a long time to grow young. I don’t want to say I’m getting old, but the most exercise I get is looking for my glasses. I’ve already lived the lives of five golden retrievers. And yet I still want to chase that tennis ball.

However, for a young man in his 60′s, I’m great shape. Despite waking up to go to the bathroom 13,000 times a night, I’m always fresh and raring to go in the morning. I know I don’t get enough sleep, and perhaps that’s why I spend a good part of the day opening my mouth involuntarily while taking a long, deep breath of air. I believe the medical term is called yawning and is a result of stress, tiredness and extreme virility. Throw in the fact that I snore like a banchee and next to Lou Gehrig, my wife might be the luckiest man alive.

The most important thing for me is keeping my mind active and making sure my DVR is plugged in. That’s why week after week I pound away at this key board, like Mozart with a jump shot, trying to put together some words and sentences together that don’t violate the Volstead Act. And who knows what the future holds? I could be sitting on a gold mine. So stay tuned.

For today’s photo appetizer, I’m finishing what I started two weeks, ago, when I featured a gorgeous late January sunrise shot at Steamers Lane. The mid afternoon cloud action over the bay was incredible. Today’s photos are the second half of the daily double, which was the fabulous sunset I shot that same night.

I started out my photographic adventure at Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive, and then like Lewis and Clark without the services of Sacagawea, made my way up to Natural Bridges for the grand finale. Just a beautiful night from the winter of 2013 on Monterey Bay. Days like this is why God invented the sky.

No late night humor this week so I’m going with a few jokes. A guy is sitting at home when he hears a knock at the door. He opens the door and sees a snail on the porch. He picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can. Three years later, there’s a knock on the door. He opens it and sees the same snail. The snail says “What the hell was that all about?”

A guy enters a bar carrying an alligator. Says to the patrons, “Here’s a deal. I’ll open this alligator’s mouth and place my genitals inside. The gator will close his mouth for one minute, then open it, and I’ll remove my unit unscathed. If it works, everyone buys me drinks.” The crowd agrees. The guy drops his pants and puts his privates in the gator’s mouth. Gator closes mouth. After a minute, the guy grabs a beer bottle and bangs the gator on the top of its head. The gator opens wide, and he removes his genitals unscathed. Everyone buys him drinks. Then he says: “I’ll pay anyone $100 who’s willing to give it a try.” After a while, a hand goes up in the back of the bar. It’s a woman. “I’ll give it a try,” she says, “but you have to promise not to hit me on the head with the beer bottle.”

A newlywed couple moves into their new house. One day the husband comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, you know, in the upstairs bathroom one of the pipes is leaking, could you fix it?” The husband says, “What do I look like, Mr. Plumber?” A few days go by, and he comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, the car won’t start. I think it needs a new battery. Could you change it for me?” He says: “What do I look like, Mr. Goodwrench?” Another few days go by, and it’s raining pretty hard. The wife finds a leak in the roof. She says, “Honey, there’s a leak on the roof! Can you please fix it?” He says, “What do I look like, Bob Vila?” The next day the husband comes home, and the roof is fixed. So is the plumbing. So is the car. He asks his wife what happened. “Oh, I had a handyman come in and fix them,” she says. “Great! How much is that going to cost me?” he snarls. Wife says: “Nothing. He said he’d do it for free if I either baked him a cake or slept with him.” “Uh, well, what kind of cake did you make?” asks the husband. “What do I look like,” she says, “Betty Crocker?”

So that’s our first blast for June. We’ll catch you stepping up in the playoffs and showing NBA fans why you’re the best young center in the eastern conference. Aloha, mahalo and later, Roy Hibbert fans.

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