July 4, 2010

Beauty Is In The July Of The Beholder

Good morning and greetings, fireworks fans. I know many of you are enjoying the holiday but perhaps wondering, how come most of us are not working today? So as part of my patriotic duty and for the fact that I love singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” with the help of Wikipedia, answers.com and my unending stream of semi-conciousness, here’s a quick refresher course on why kids blowing off their fingers and firecrackers on the Fourth of July has become part of the American landscape.

In the United States, Alaska and Hawaii , Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which declared our independence from the Great Britain, which except for their language, wasn’t really all that great. The Fourth of July is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fist fights, carnivals, fairs, picnics, drunken driving arrests, concerts, baseball games, domestic violence and political speeches that help celebrate one of America’s great three-day weekends.

The trial separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence along with an internship for Monica Lewinsky. Congress then turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five and the Five Stairsteps, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams texted to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America, and not just because most Americans will be home from work. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival and blowout mattress sale day. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty and Major League Baseball. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more, or at least until we restore our economy, exit Iraq and Afghanistan, and clean up that damn oil spill.”

Adams’ prediction and my birth were off by two days. In a remarkable coincidence, both Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to later become president, died within hours of each other on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States’ 50th anniversary, and the same day of birth as my high school homecoming queen, Vicki Grimsland, the Michelle Pfeiffer of Fort Lee High. Happy birthday, Vicki, and will you please sign my yearbook.

The Declaration of Independence declared. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men (with the exception of Michael Jordan) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Coincedentally, this is the same oath I had take from Direct TV when I ordered by NBA League Pass.

With these memorable words, Thomas Jefferson, at the age of 33, laid the cornerstone for the United States of America and later his late wife’s half sister, Sally Hemings. The Declaration of Independence invokes the principle of natural rights and lefts. These are the basic rights of which each individual is possessed, and of which he cannot be stripped by society or government except during the George W. Bush administration.

The adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the opening of the first Circuit City took place against the backdrop of ongoing Revolutionary War hostilities. When the signers affixed their John Hancocks and signatures upon the document they were, in the words of the group Triumph, “laying it on the line,” since there was a bounty on the revolutionaries’ heads. Who knew this kind of trouble could come from absorbent paper towels that clean up the smallest spills and biggest messes.

When Benjamin Franklin said, upon signing the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately,” it was no less than the literal truth. Just ask Saddam Hussein. Fifty-six men and a notary public signed the first copy of the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock, as president of Congress, was first, and he famously wrote his name front, center and large, right before cutting the ribbon on opening of his first insurance company. Remember, for all your financial needs, we have the solution. We’re John Hancock.

Let’s move on to this week’s photo sunspots. Traditionally, July is not a big month for sunrises or the cleanup of the biggest environmental disaster in world history. Looking back into the archives, I have only photographed one July morning sky blowing up over Monterey Bay in the past five years. This is due to coastal fog, lack of clouds and the fact that my contract with National Geographic allows me to sleep in past 5:30 am in the summer.

This central coast beauty graced our skies in July of 2006. It was a warm summer morning, a day that Michelle Obama probably went sleeveless. I woke up from my usual dream of not having studied for my test after not being able to find my car keys while being buck naked. So with that fine start to the day, I grabbed my Miley Cyrus mug, filled it with Red Bull and headed down to the coast.

As you know, when it comes to sunrises, I don’t stray far from Lighthouse Point. But at this time of the year, the sun rises further to the east, so I headed to Cowell’s Beach for the low tide equinox. Surfers were out in full force, as the offshore winds had me swaying as gently as a dancer at a Taliban bachelor party. As you can see, it was a fantastic start to the day, as the clouds, the reflection on the sand and the voices in my head all came together for this convergence of morning light.

On to the late night. “Sunday is July 4, when America combines our two favorite pastimes: alcohol and explosives. The fireworks are beautiful to look at, but more importantly, they drown out the gunfire.” –David Letterman “July 4 is my favorite holiday. No presents, no church, just a lighter and a trunk full of explosives.
Here’s a fireworks safety tip. Don’t get drunk and leave bottle rockets on the grill unless you want to see your hot dogs fly, which is fun too. For the second day, there were no World Cup games. I missed the sound of vuvuzelas so much that I taped a beehive to my head.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“BP’s company newsletter has an article that says most gulf residents aren’t upset with BP because their cleanup crews have boosted the local economy. BP taking credit for boosting the economy in the gulf is like al Qaeda taking credit for creating jobs in airport security.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Here’s something great. Russian spy ring here in New York City. They were busted in New York City. Once again, they were spotted by an alert T-shirt vendor. The Russian spies tried to blend in. They were acting like Americans. As a matter of fact, for two weeks, they were pretending they loved soccer.” –David Letterman

So that’s our first blast for July 2010. Yesterday, I drove by a cemetery, where hundreds of American flags were blowing in the wind. And then it hit me like a ton of emotional bricks, this is what this holiday is all about. For all our faults, God Bless America, home of the brave, land of the free. Or as they say in the NBA, “my country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of free agency.” LeBron James, of thee I sing.

Anyway, take a moment to remember how fortunate you are to be an American. Or a National Leaguer. We’ll catch you in the bullpen. Aloha, mahalo and later, Larry King fans.

June 6, 2010

The Oily Bird Catches The Worm

Good morning and greetings, Gulf Coast fans. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop thinking about all that oil gushing out into the ocean. Well, that and chocolate air. Just think, how many gallons flowed into the Gulf in the time that it took you to read that last sentence? So when I ran across this next story, written by Holbrook Mohr for the Associated Press, I had to share it with my cyber peeps, proving that sometimes co-dependence can be a wonderful thing.

The Gulf of Mexico is a superhighway for hurricanes that form over pools of hot water, then move north or west toward the coast. The site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded on April 20 is along the general path of some of the worst storms ever recorded, including Hurricane Camille, which wiped out the Mississippi coast in 1969, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane George in 2000, which ravaged our military and nation’s economy.

My daughter’s softball practices and the hurricane season officially started last Tuesday, and while scientists and the Klu Klux Klan seem to agree that the sprawling slick isn’t likely to affect the formation of a storm, the real worry is that a hurricane might turn the millions of gallons of floating crude into a crashing black surf.

Some fear a horrific combination of damaging winds, large waves and BP accountants pushing the oil deeper into estuaries and wetlands and coating miles of debris-littered coastline in a pungent, sticky mess, which happens every time I attempt to make chop suey.

And the worst effects of an oil-soaked storm and my Asian cooking might not be felt for years: If oil is pushed deep into coastal marshes that act as a natural speed bump for storm surges, areas including New Orleans, the Florida panhandle and the frontcourt of the Miami Heat could be more vulnerable to bad storms for a long time.

Experts say there are few, if any, studies on such a scenario. In this “untreaded water … it’s tough to theorize about what would happen,” said Joe Bastardi, chief long-range hurricane forecaster and high hurdler with AccuWeather.com. My family goes way back with Joe, as I grew up with his cousin, that Rat Bastardi, back in Jersey. Sometimes it seems like these lines write themselves.

The lone precedent, experts agree, is the summer of 1979, when Hurricane Henri hampered efforts to contain a spill from a Mexican rig that eventually dumped 140 million gallons off the Yucatan Peninsula. This environmental disaster ruined my summer vacation, as we had to cancel all our deep-sea fishing excursions and instead spent the entire trip indoors sipping margaritas, eating quesadillas and bustin’ up pinatas at Senor Frogs. But on the plus side, my batting stroke improved tremendously for wiffle ball.

Still, while oil from that spill coated miles of beaches in Texas and Mexico, tropical storms, unseasonable cold fronts and guacamole, chips and salsa helped reverse offshore currents earlier than normal and drive oil away from the coast. “That’s what I think would happen this time,” he says. “I’m sure a hurricane would do a great deal of diluting the oil, spreading it out where the concentrations would be much less damaging. Of course, if I’m wrong, we’re all screwed”

Experts are predicting a busy hurricane season with powerful storms. Bastardi predicts seven named storms, two or three major hurricanes and overweight windbag named Rush Limbaugh will have an effect on land this year. Hurricane season began June 1 and runs through November. Early season storms, much like responses when I send out my resume, are uncommon. The busy part of the season is August through October as stronger storms typically form during this time, as the start of the NFL and new TV season approaches.

A hurricane like Katrina or having eight more years of the oil companies being in bed with the Bush family “would be a worst-case scenario” with oil pushed far ashore, says National Wildlife Federation scientist and pole vaulter Doug Inkley.

“It would suffocate the vegetation. You’d get oiled birds and other animals. It’s virtually impossible to clean up oil. It would be worse than the pajama parties the Bushes were having with the Saudi Royal family.”

By August 1, even under the best case scenario offered by federal scientists, there could be some 51 million gallons of oil that is spilled into the Gulf-five times the size of the Exxon Valdex disaster off Alaska’s coast in 1989. If all that oil were put into gallon milk jugs, the jugs could be lined up and span a round-trip between Salt Lake City and New York City. If you are including cookies to along with them, then think Las Vegas.

Here’s the bottom line, sports fans. This oil is going to continue to flow into the Gulf until at least August. It will have environmental repercussions for my children’s children and their pets. Because of our insatiable thirst for this bubbling crude, we’ve gone through all the readily accessible oil and are now searching for new fuel in places that only Flipper, Jacques Cousteau’s family and the cast from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” should be visiting.

So if you want to be outraged, listen to this. According to Mary Kate Cary in USNews.com, “Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, the Obama Administration has granted at least 19 environmental waivers of gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits for deep water projects.” I’m screaming right now, Mr. President, can you hear me?

Here’s one more tidbit for you. Many people are wondering, will this disaster affect the price of oil this summer? Well, according to Brian Williams of NBC News, “the sad truth is, if you added up all the millions and millions of gallons of oil that has spilled out into the gulf, it equals only about an hour’s worth of our nation’s energy consumption.” In the words of the Ides of March, “I’m your vehicle, baby, I’ll take you anywhere you want to go.”

Due to the Bush administration’s atmosphere of non-regulation and the corrupt federal Mineral Management Service, who enjoyed a much too cozy relationship with BP, we find ourselves playing catchup in the Gulf. Two months ago, President Obama was promoting offshore drilling, and his administration and BP were about as ready to handle a spill like this as I was for my math SAT.

My son asked me the other night, “Dad, why are we killing the earth? It seems like we go from one disaster to the next. Why is this happening and can I please have my allowance?”

These are difficult questions to answer but a believe the “g” word plays a big part. No, not gee, I don’t know, but greed. The final word today, my fellow Americans, comes from Robert Palmer, who says, “might as well face it, we’re addicted to oil.” There’s so much more I’d like to rant about on this subject, but the solar panels of my wind turbines are dusty so I’ve got to gas up my electric car because I’m down to my last liter of vegetable oil.

So in honor of our oceans, I’d thought we’d take a look at a few marine animals that inhabit the waters of our central coast. I headed down to the wharf on Friday to check out the action, and was greeted by the fog enshrouding the Boardwalk (photo #6). I then walked over to a boat landing on the wharf and was welcomed by this gang of sea lions (photos #4-5,) who were relaxing in the sun while discussing the adjustments the Celtics needed to make in game two of the NBA Finals.

I shot this seal in the sand (photo #3) last week at Natural Bridges. However, the first two images of the pelicans are probably the most meaningful. I photographed them on Thursday, right after seeing pictures of the brown pelicans drenched in oil in Louisiana. The sad thing is, even after they capture and clean off the birds, it takes ten days to rebuild their feather’s natural waterproofing and file insurance claims.

But here’s the big problem. Even when the birds are released in Florida where the oil hasn’t hit yet, because of their ability to follow their internal homing device, their compass brings them right back to Louisana. It’s no Mardi Gras in these marshlands. It’s migratory madness for millions of birds who don’t read the newspaper, watch the news and have never heard of anyone named Katrina.

Here’s a little late night action. “Today, President Obama flew to Louisiana to see the gulf cleanup effort firsthand. And it was just like President Bush’s trip to Louisiana, except Obama actually landed. A new poll found that 43 percent of Americans think President Obama is doing a good job at handling the BP oil spill. Of course, the same poll found that 43 percent of Americans hate pelicans.” -Jimmy Fallon

“In fact, President Obama fired the head of the Mineral Management Services, because of lack of oversight of offshore oil rigs. It’s got to be tough finding another job after that. It’s like, ‘I see you were head of the department in charge of preventing oil spills? And this was during the huge oil spill?’ ‘Yeah, that’s right.’ ‘You may not be Wendy’s material.’” This is a crazy story. An American adventurist strapped himself to a bunch of helium balloons and floated from England to France. Immediately afterward, people in Mexico asked, ‘Exactly how many balloons?’” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our environmental update. It’s been a tough time for wildlife fans and the families of the oil rig workers that were killed in the blast. But besides our oceans being poisoned, thus creating oxygen depletion zones where nothing thrives and BP’s use of 700,000 gallons of Corexit, a chemical oil dispersant that’s toxic to army, navy and marine life, it was a pretty good week, as I helped rescue a gopher snake, spotted a coyote in Pogonip and heard reports of porpoises in the kelp beds in the bay. So enjoy the warm June days , the NBA Finals and we’ll catch you at midcourt. Aloha, mahalo and later, Ray Allen fans.

February 14, 2010

The Few, The Clouds, The Marines

Good morning and greetings, winter weather fans. Last week, the Atlantic seaboard was bombarded with two blizzards that led to record snowfall, so much so that it completely shut down Washington D.C. for three days, but not the lips of Sarah Palin. Her criticism of President Obama was somewhat puzzling for a woman who admits to not reading a newspaper. But give the former Lens Crafter model and governor of Alaska credit, she was able to read the crib notes written in her palm so that she wouldn’t forget what planet she was on.

Now perhaps I’m being a bit harsh towards the former Vice-Presidential candidate, and if that’s the case, I don’t apologize. How she is being touted as a presidential candidate for 2012 is more mind-blowing than the Warrior’s Monta Ellis not being selected to the western conference’s all-star team. But for now, let’s leave her politics back east and get back to the weather, which was as wild on the central coast this past Tuesday as the snow drifts around the George Jefferson Memorial.

Storm clouds were lined up across the sky and the air was chilly as I headed out onto West Cliff, but fortunately I had come prepared and put on a warmer pair of shorts. The sun was darting in and out from behind the clouds as the light was changing quicker than Peyton Manning’s status from Super Bowl hero to goat. A flock of 35 pelicans (yes, I counted them) flew by in a v-formation, and then all of a sudden turned around in mid-flight faster than you could say “Happy Valentine’s Day” and started heading north. Now, I’ve seen hundreds of squadrons of these prehistoric birds in action, but I had never seen this about-face manuever. There was some strange magic in the air as I really wanted to be pelican briefed.

As I continued my sentimental journey down the cliff, I was joined by an artist friend of mine, who brought up the poet Mary Oliver. Her work focuses on her intense observations of nature from her walks through the wetlands near her home in Massachusetts. She has been called a visionary as “her poetry combines dark interpretation with joyous release.” That would be in contrast to yours truly, who combines dark meat chicken with jellied cranberry sauce.
As the skies starten to darken, I told my friend that I knew where Ms. Oliver was coming from, as when patrolling the coastline, I am always looking for images to capture for my digital sonnets. Mary Oliver says that the self is only strengthened through an immersion with nature. Well, that and NBA basketball.

We continued skipping down the cliff when a rain squall hit while the sun peeked thru the clouds. This meant it was rainbow time. And sure enough, before I could click my feet, grab little Toto and head back to Kansas, a spectrum of light with beautiful colors appeared in the sky. Now, I should mention I wasn’t carrying my camera on this expedition, so I just had to take in the moment for what it was. And in the words of Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, “you know it don’t come easy”

It reminded me of a rainbow I saw early in the morning on the cliff some thirty years ago. I lived on West Cliff Drive from 1975-89 and it was the only rainbow I remember appearing in the western sky. All the others made appearances from the east or the south. And in case NASA, the weather channel or classmates.com is monitoring this report, yes, I do have photos of that multicolored beauty. Oh, and I also have pictures of the rainbow.

It was actually the second rainbow I had seen that morning, so I was already feeling my lucky charms. And as we all know, they’re magically delicious. My son had a basketball game in Monterey in the afternoon, so we headed south down Highway 1. The clouds were performing a matinee show and you could see the rain falling over the mountains in the distance. I then glanced into the rear view mirror and saw a rainbow as big as bus and brighter than Albert Einstein. My son asked me if he should make a wish and I replied, “No, just hit a few three-pointers and I’ll be happy.”

When we arrived at the gymnasium, all the talk from the parents was, “Did you see that rainbow? And did anyone bring water?” It was one of the all-time brightest, shining bows. Jason and I had seen one like that a few weeks earlier as we exited the Oracle Arena after an afternoon contest on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. It was beaming so intently into the Oakland hills that at the time I thought, these colors are just unbelievable. Actually, what was even more unbelievable was that fact the Warriors won that day.

So, you’re probably wondering, where are those rainbow shots and how the hell did they Warriors win? Due to election coverage, there were no photos that day. But to make up for the lack of images from Tuesday’s refracted, reflected and neglected light show, we’re going to dig into the 2010 archives and unearth another recent winter olympic classic.

The date was January 22, and it was late afternoon as I perused the thundercloud-filled sky. I started off by shooting the clouds over the wharf and Boardwalk, before heading down West Cliff and stopping at Woodrow Avenue to take in the sun hiding below the clouds. I then took in the clouds streaming from the north as the sets rolled in at Stockton Avenue. The last shot is from Natural Bridges, looking south back towards Lighthouse Point. All in all, a lot of drama in the sky on this rainbow-less night. Oh, and in case you missed the box score, Jason’s team won going away and clinched it’s first league title.

On to the Conan O’Brien-less late night humor. “Well, tomorrow in Nashville, Sarah Palin will speak at the Tea Party Convention. Tickets are $550 apiece. But Sarah Palin said she will not benefit from the speech. See, that way she’ll have something in common with the people in the audience.” –Jay Leno “I’ll tell you, you woke up this morning, and New York, a tremendous sight. I mean, it was whiter than a Tea Party rally. People are still talking about the Super Bowl. It was the most watched TV program of all time. The second most-watched event was the episode of ‘Dallas’ where J.R. gets shot in the face by Dick Cheney. This President Obama, I mean, give the guy credit. He keeps working and working and working. He’s going to invite a bunch of Republicans to have a televised debate on healthcare. It’s going to be a big, big event. As a matter of fact, at halftime The Who will be there doing a special song about Lipitor.” –David Letterman

“Sarah Palin’s also getting criticized because last week she demanded that Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, step down because he used the word retarded. But then, Rush Limbaugh did the same thing on his radio show and that, she said, was O.K. Unfortunately, she’s been unable to respond to the criticism because she’s wearing mittens. The federal government was shut down today, and they estimate it cost about $100 million in lost productivity. The House is literally stuck in the House, and they can’t do anything. I have to admit, it is nice to see lawmakers shoveling something else for a change, isn’t it?” –Jimmy Kimmel “Hey, be glad you’re not back East. Huge snowstorms. I don’t think Washington has seen a snow job like this since that last stimulus package.” –Jay Leno

“And with all this snow, President Obama told all nonessential White House employees they didn’t have to come in. Well, actually, just Joe Biden. It was so cold, Nancy Pelosi had to sit in her driveway for 10 minutes defrosting her eyeballs.
It was so cold, Sarah Palin had to cancel a speech because she didn’t want to take her gloves off to read.” –Jay Leno “Did everybody watch the Super Bowl? Everybody’s happy for New Orleans. In fact, FEMA announced plans to congratulate them in about two weeks.” –Jimmy Fallon “Osama bin Laden is very ecologically minded. Like, last year, it was documented by the C.I.A. that he switched to a hybrid camel.” –David Letterman

That’s our update from the winter games. Someone asked me last week if I learned anything from shooting clouds. In the words of Joni Mitchell, “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.” Coming up next week will be our first guest blog of the year. This is one you’ll need your snow shoes for. Hope you caught some footage of the epic waves from Saturday’s Mavericks surf contest in Half Moon Bay which was described “as the best day ever.” So enjoy the skies and keep your eye on the NBA trading deadline. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kelly Slater fans.

December 21, 2008

On Your Mark, Get Set, Snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — geoff @ 10:02 pm


Good morning and greetings, winter solstice fans. Yesterday, December 21 was the Martin shortest day of the year. I haven’t seen it get dark that early since my parents shipped me off to summer camp right outside the Arctic Circle. Who knew penguins had feelings? I love the Johnny winter sky but I prefer the longer days of Donna summer.

The weather has been wet and wild here on the central coast. Across the midwest and eastern seaboard it’s been pouring snow and colder than a Elliot Spitzer holiday party. How cold has it been? In Chicago, Governor Blagojevich was trying to sell Senate seat warmers-Jay Leno. On Tuesday we had the white stuff come down in the Santa Cruz mountains. Not your Rocky Mountain blizzard or the New Jersey snowstorm where you go to sleep and you wake up and everything is Betty white. But it’s always unusual to see the powder along the central coast as I can remember one snowfall at the beach. That was back in 1976 and unfortunately I didn’t record the momentous occasion as was too busy concentrating on building the perfect snowwoman.

The first shot is the snow-dusted mountains above the wharf and the boardwalk. I then moved over to Lighthouse Point to show the storm clouds to the Oliver north. As the sky turned blue the clouds became more exotic so I returned to West Cliff in the afternoon and shot the cotton candy over Steamer Lane. For fans of the south side of the bay I included a photo of the snow in the mountains above Monterey before finishing off with a sunset shot that night from Stockton Avenue. All in all, a wild day on the cliff but as they say, there’s no business like snow business.

I couldn’t let the Bush shoe throwing incident go by without a few jokes from the late nite boys. Here are my favorites. The first three are courtesy of Jay Leno. As you know, yesterday in Iraq, President Bush was attacked by a ‘shoe-icide’ bomber. You see what he did to keep from being hit? Something he’s never done before. Lean to the left.” “Well, looks like we finally found something President Bush is good at. Dodgeball!” And “It’s not just President Bush, today somebody threw a pair of shoes at Sarah Palin. And she was very upset. She said, ‘Do you have these in black?’ and threw them back.”

These next three are from David Letterman. “You’ve got to give Bush credit. I mean, the guy moved pretty quickly. Too bad he didn’t react that way with Bin Laden, the mortgage crisis or Lehman Brothers.” “I don’t think Bush really has dodged anything like that, well, since the Vietnam War.” And “I’ve got to give President Bush credit for this, because he’s taking it all pretty well. He says that he’s actually happy about the shoe-throwing episode, because he says it proves finally that Iraq does, in fact, possess foot wear of mass destruction.”

And finally, this from Conan O’Brien. “The man who threw his shoes at President Bush is being hailed as a hero in Iraq. In fact, when he dies, he’ll be greeted in heaven by 72 podiatrists.”

Since we’re in the holiday spirit here are a few more, courtesy of Jay Leno. “President Bush, looking back on his terms in office, says he didn’t strive to be popular. So to use his own words, ‘Mission Accomplished.’” “He also made a surprise visit to Detroit today. I don’t want to say the people in Detroit are upset with him, but I understand auto workers threw brake shoes at him.” And finally, “An Arkansas woman has given birth to her 18th child. Pretty amazing. Today her husband announced they will stop homeschooling their kids due to classroom overcrowding.”

That’s the end of our regularly scheduled program. Birthday wishes go out to my old New Jersey pal Steve Margolin, who I have known for close to 50 years. We go so far back I actually pitched against him in a minor league championship game. I don’t want to say who won but you never get tired of being carried off the field on your teammate’s shoulders. And congratulations to the New York Giants, who secured home field advantage in the NFL playoffs last night with an overtime win over Carolina. That’s what I call a sweet Hanukah gift. So stay dry, enjoy the clouds and we’ll catch you in the open field. Aloha and later, Derrick Ward fans.

November 23, 2008

She Sells Sea Gulls By The Sea Shore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 9:44 pm


Good morning and greetings, transition team fans. The skies of late have been clearer than the broth in my wife’s matzoh ball soup, so instead of a sunrise or sunset experience we are going to the aviary card. The first shot of the gulls along the Main Beach at the Boardwalk was taken in October of 2005. The rest of the gulls just wanting to have fun were taken in the month of November. Thus, this is a pre-Thanksgiving salute to our eleventh month-you might say the calm before the cranberry sauce storm.

Shots two and three were taken along the Main Beach in mid-afternoon. The sand was loaded with gulls with provided me with lots of birdshot. When I came back the next day to check out the scene there were just a couple of dozen birds playing bridge. It’s just another example of capturing the moment-I wish they all could be California gulls.

When I see potential in the morning sky I head down to Lighthouse Point to experience the grandeur, pagentry and fresh baked pastries . When the clouds are really exotic I then hop in the car and follow the Yellow Brick road to Four Mile Beach and gull city. That’s where the next three photos were taken. If you look at the last shot you’ll see hundreds of birds in the sky. Many people believe that birds are good luck and I was feeling quite fortunate in the moment.

My Zrii loving, Marin County-based sibling Paul was here this weekend and I asked him to join in selecting the subject title for today’s blog. Here are his top three selections. “Jethro Gull on Tour,” “Way to Gullible” and my personal favorite, “The Gulls of Ipanema.” It’s always good to see him because he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

On to our humor selection from the small screen. This week’s comments come from one of my favorite vocalists of the day, Bill “I’m Hussein in the Membrane” Maher, who appeared on the Tonight Show last week. He’s got a program, “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO and is not afraid to take an occassional shot at the administration. Here’s a few zingers. Of the election of Barack Obama he said, “It’s a new chapter in America. Unfortunately, it’s Chapter 11.” Of John McCain calling Obama a “celebrity” who could fill stadiums, “Well, the Republicans can fill stadiums-like the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. And finally, of Sarah Palin, he said it was the men of the Republican Party that loved her-they thought she was a MILF. And she was a MIFL-a Moron Who I’d Like to Forget.”

That’s our show for today. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday and we’ll catch you after the turkey, stuffing and sweet potato along with hours of NFL football with some NBA basketball thrown in for desert. Enjoy your families and this special time of togetherness with the ones you love or can barely tolerate. And lest we not forget, the New York Giants fans. 10-1. After last year’s Super Bowl shocker, this year is all gravy. Which is also the key to the Thanksgiving dinner. Aloha, sports fans and we’ll catch you next week on the goal line.

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