May 12, 2013

He Ain’t Heavy, Bees My Brother

Good morning and greetings, whale watchers. It was an exciting week along the edge of the continent, as the huge grays are making their annual migration up the coast. It’s a thrill to be walking along and seeing these giant, majestic creatures of the sea surface offshore. It serves as a reminder of how fortunate I am to have manifested my destiny to this cold water paradise, where the redwoods meet the sea of Golden State Warrior fans.

Yes, Stephen Curry and the Warriors have been the talk of the basketball world, and if you tune in your radio dial to 630 AM or 97.9 FM weekdays between 3 and 5pm, you just might catch me trying to speak as slowly as possible, so that more people than my mother can decipher what I’m going on about while dissecting the NBA playoffs.

So getting back to the somewhat frigid Pacific, the water temps here on the westside ranged last week from 51 to 53 degrees. To someone like myself, who at this stage of the game is as a delicate as a bouquet of Mother’s Day roses, that is a bit nippy. Thus, I live my life in Santa Cruz on the water, not in the water. That is, except when I do my weekend snorkeling and scuba diving at the hot tub overlooking the ocean where my parents reside.

There, I explore a world full of sharks, manta rays and exotically colored fish. Wait a minute, I’m confusing my weekend water therapy with a dream I had last night, when I went with Jacques Cousteau to Red Lobster for the endless shrimp special and unlimited Cheddar Bay biscuits. JC was in rare form, as he was downing those sweet and sour shrimps like they were M & M’s that melted in his mind, not in his hand.

After dinner and a game of darts, he looked me in the eye and summed up the reason for my life and this blog. “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” And thus, that is why I bare my soul to the the world and the foreign press each week. When the fish n’ chips of life are down, you must lift people up. It would be an act of cyber treason not to. At least that’s what my rabbi tweeted to me.

As my high school prom date once told me, there are many fish in the sea. At this moment, we are doing are best to overfish certain species. If you’re going to a restaurant and ordering endangered species like swordfish, sea bass or blue or yellow fin tuna, wake up and smell the mercury. But even with this harpooning of one of nature’s greatest resources, the fish will hopefully come back. But another key player in fulfilling our American diet is in bigger trouble.

In a story written by Seth Borenstein for the Associated Press, a new federal report blames a complex set of environmental stresses to have caused a dramatic decline among honeybee colonies. It’s a symptom called colony collapse disorder. This dramatic disappearance has baffled a select team of black bears and scientists. Factors include multiple viruses, a parasitic mite, Tom Arnold, bacteria, poor nutrition, not flossing regularly, genetics, habitat loss, last-second buzzer beaters and pesticides.

This is a very serious issues and our government is at odds as to where to point the finger. The parasitic, disease-carrying, tic- like bug, known as the varroa mite, can withstand the chemicals beekeepers use and has its own Facebook page. In Europe, they’re blaming the chemicals, as they began a two-year ban on three pesticides that have been linked with declining bee populations. The Obama administration, however, is reluctant to blame pesticides solely for the declining bee colonies, as they think it is a Republican problem.

Four out of five bee keepers who recommend sugarless pollen for their bees who chew gum say the multiple causes have made it harder to do something about their mysterious disappearance. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation’s bees to just disappear each winter since 2006. Last year, the nation’s biggest bee keeper said he lost 42% of his bee colony, but that he made up for his losses at the track.

Honeybees are needed to pollinate crops, as they are crucial to the U.S. food supply. About $30 billion a year in agriculture depends on the health of these busy, buzzing little workers. Besides making honey, honeybees pollinate more than 90 flowering crops. Among them are apples, nuts, psycho cases, soybeans, avocados, chips, asparagus, citrus fruit, cranberries, beef and broccoli. About one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination. The rest comes from multi national food conglomerates, who focus on good health and proper nutrition while bringing us Twinkies, Slurpees, Whoppers, Super Sized Fries and Cheesy Kale Chips.

So here’s the bottom line. The nation may be on the brink of not having enough bees to pollinate its crops, and modern farming practices are leaving very little land for bees and other pollinators, but plenty of room for polluters. Myself, I have always been happy with bees, although my parents pushed me to try and get A’s. The final word on this subject belongs to my old pal, Billy Shakespeare, who came up with this gem when he summed up the situation. “To bees or not to bees, that is the question.” Then he threw in this reminder, “Listen to many, blog to a few.”

For today’s photo arcade, we are heading up the North Coast to lovely Four Mile Beach. The date was April 2, and I wanted to check out the wildflower action, which I knew,like my allergies, would be in full spring bloom. The vast amount of yellow, red, orange and purple wildflowers did not disappoint me, as their vibrant colors stood out on in contrast to the gray sky. The sea gulls were just an added bonus. When we can visit a remote beach like this just five minutes driving time from your home, something is right in the world.

On to some late night humor. “Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is the guy who told his wife he was going for a hike and then went to Argentina to see his girlfriend. He was then exposed as an unethical, lying, cheating weasel. In a stunning comeback, he has been elected to Congress, where he’ll fit right in.” –Jay Leno “When asked if Hillary Clinton will run for president, Bill Clinton said, ‘She’s having a little fun being a private citizen.’ And then he added, ‘Not Bill Clinton fun, but fun nonetheless.” –Conan O’Brien

“Some experts are saying that the 2016 Democratic presidential race could come down to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Biden is calling her a worthy opponent, while Hillary is calling him ‘practice.’ “The National Park Service is launching a new campaign to attract younger visitors. It has a very creative slogan: ‘National Parks: Nobody Knows You’re Drinking in Here.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“PETA is really upset at Chris Christie for killing a spider in front of a group of school children. Governor Christie said, ‘If PETA is upset by that, they do not want to know what I had for lunch today.’” –Conan O’Brien “The NRA this week elected a new president, choosing Alabama lawyer Jim Porter who recently referred to Attorney General Eric Holder as ‘rabidly un-American’ and still calls the Civil War the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ He’s known around the NRA as ‘Reasonable Jim.’” –Seth Meyers ” On Mother’s Day, Hooters is giving away free wings to all mothers who come in. Eating lunch with your mom at Hooters — I guess some guys never get tired of their moms saying, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” -Jay Leno

So Happy Mother’s Day to all, as our lifetimes, the month of May and the NBA playoffs move on. We’ll catch you putting on an incredible first half shooting performance that had the nation buzzing about the Golden State Warriors’ backcourt. Aloha, mahalo and later, Klay Thompson 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.

April 15, 2012

You Look Like You’ve Just Seen A Coast

Good morning and greetings, April shower fans. After a winter that was drier than Steven Wright’s sense of humor, (“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance,”) a thunderstorm blew into the Bay Area Thursday night that was one for the record books, as it shattered rainfall records and CD’s for the day in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and New Jack City.

The evening’s festivities produced more lightning balls and strikes than any storm in recent years, as the National Weather Service counted 750 lightning strikes up and down the coast between 8 p.m. and midnight. It was reminiscent of Lou Christie’s 1966 smash hit, “Lightning is striking again and again and again and again.” I loved those lyrics, although the first time I heard them I thought the record was skipping.

We had some rain showers earlier in the week that brought billowing clouds and beautful light to the morning sky. It was particularly pleasant on Wednesday morning, as I was walking along West Cliff Drive thinking, “Boy, I wish I had brought my camera with me.” That’s right, even though it’s 2012, I still roll camera-free.

It was a low tide morning, and much like my silver hair, there was a lovely glitter and shine to the Pacific waters reflecting off the massive thunderclouds above. So to make up for this faux pas of not capturing the morning’s magnificence, I decided to head up to Four Mile beach, as I knew if the tide were out, there’d be mucho photo opportunities up on the North Coast.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at 9:30, all the major clouds had disappeared from the sky, so those reflection shots I was looking for were as over as Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. I guess when you compare homosexualtiy to beastiality and state that “Contraception is not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” you’re going to have a little trouble getting the mainstream behind you, for as we know, life is not a Tea Party. Or in the words of Steven Wright, “For my birthday I got a humidifier and de-humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.”

I’ve always been extremely fond of the Four Mile of beaches. It’s less than a five minute drive from my westside abode, and I’m never disappointed when I hit the path to the beach and see the gulls lined up like like bowling pins with wings. Or as Steve Wright put it, “I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.”

As I hit the sand, I immediately came upon a very rare sight, as a great blue heron was swimming upstream in the creek that leads into Billy Ocean. Much to my dismay and June, I was not able to photograph this beautiful bird, as it took off and flew away faster than my hopes and dreams of someday returning to runway modeling. Or as Steven Wright might have said, “What’s another word for Thesaurus?”

So I headed out toward the area of beach that was normally covered by the blue Pacific. The sand was strewn with brown and green sea grass and the rocks covered with barnacles along with sea stars, sea anenomes and friends. There were also a number of surreal looking jellyfish (photo #6) lounging in the sand. Throw in some linguini, clams, and a snowy egret and I was a fairly happy camper.

There were a few surfers in the water, but the rest of the beach was deserted, except for the gulls, who were considerate enough to put on a small aerial display. I will continue to journey up to the North Coast throughout the spring, as there are so many beaches to be photographed and I’m lonely. Or from Steven Wright’s perspective, “A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.

On another weather note, last Wednesday, a freak afternoon thunderstorm in Amarillo, Texas dumped one to two inches of matzo-ball-sized hail in a two-hour period that buried cars and trapped motorists and Cowboy cheerleaders in muddy drifts that were waist-to-shoulder high. It was quite an unusual event, even for the Lone Star State. It reminded me of the old George Carlin line, “There was a freak accident on the San Diego Freeway today as six freaks in a van hit two freaks in a Volkswagen.”

On to some late night humor. “Today was the annual White House Easter Egg Roll – or, as the Republicans call it, ‘President Obama’s Socialist Egg Redistribution Program.’” –Jay Leno “Over the weekend, Mitt Romney was actually spotted body-boarding in California. Romney would’ve gone surfing, but you know, he hates standing for something. Mitt Romney has spent $53 million on ads, and Rick Santorum has spent $9 million. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich drew a poster with his name on it and showed up in the background of the ‘Today’ show.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The earth’s population is now well past 7 billion people. And still, the Republicans can’t find one candidate they really like. “Rick Santorum’s campaign is now formally calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race. But you know Newt. He has vowed to stay in. And believe me, when Newt Gingrich takes a vow, he keeps it — unless, of course, you know, marriage.” –Jay Leno “Today in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum officially dropped out of the Republican race. Gettysburg was a great choice because he should’ve dropped out four score and seven years ago.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he wants airport security workers to be nicer to foreigners. Could we be any nicer? They cross our borders whenever they want, they get jobs, they get bargain college tuition, we give them driver’s licenses, we never ask them to leave. How much nicer can we be?” –Jay Leno “Florida congressman Allen West made an interesting statement yesterday. He believes there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party who are members of the Communist Party. Really? I think it’s time for someone to lay off the Tom Clancy novels.” –Jimmy Kimmel

So that’s our mid-April report. We had some more severe weather over the weekend, as violent storm cells spawned killer tornadoes that blew threw the midwest, bringing torrential rain and ping pong-ball-sized hail. Meanwhile, the extreme five-year drought continues to haunt farmers in Georgia. The weather in this country is wackier than the North Korean rocket program.

We’ll catch you playing tremendous defense and being the steal of the draft. Aloha, mahalo and later, Iman Shumpert fans.

December 11, 2011

You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — geoff @ 10:17 am

Good mornings and greetings, December fans. Well, another glorious year has gone by since I celebrated the day when I entered the world in the breach position. I can remember that moment so clearly, when my mother looked at me and uttered, “my God, he’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, but I’m still not going to breast feed him.” Fortunately for all those unconcerned, I forgave my mother for this lactating slight a few years ago, and though we are extremely close, I still tear up any time I see a glass of warm milk.

I’m not really crazy about getting older. The only silver lining to this experience is in my hair. If I feel it had any benefits, I would gladly embrace this aging process, but groaning every time I bend over, not remembering peoples names and phone numbers and walking upstairs and then forgetting why I did is not my idea of the golden, silver or bronze years.

Although it is my inalienable right to complain and finding the negative is easier than passing go, I’m not heading down that path today, as I’ve been blessed with good health and a TiVo system that I can rely on. But it is weird getting older, knowing that at least two-thirds of my life is over and I still don’t understand how in one area code, you can get an infinite amount of telephone phone numbers out of just seven digits. I guess that comes from living my life like a birthday candle in the wind.

And as I slowly age like a fine whine, my children continue to grow older. I now have two confirmed teenagers at home, and as much as I enjoy watching them blossom and establish their independence, I miss the days when my wife and I controlled everything they did. I’m just semi-kidding, and I’m happy that they are getting ready for their lives outside their bedrooms. Fortunately, I’ve been preparing for the empty nest syndrome ever since I saw their first sonograms. And they have both promised me that as long as I keep writing checks, that they will be there for me emotionally.

Once again, I’m just kidding. They never said they would be there for me emotionally.

Yes, getting older is just great. I’m still trying to think of a few benefits. Any wiser? Not really, maybe just a little softer on the inside, like a warm jelly donut. I know I’m shrinking in height, as the other day I passed an old lady living in a shoe and she invited me in. Actually, we are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening as the cartilage between our bones gets compressed by standing, sitting, sobbing and other daily activities. Thus, as the day goes on, we’re all a little shorter. However, at this stage of my life, that is not the shrinkage I’m most concerned about.

At this point, I’m trying to make the world a better place with one weekly post at a time. But after five years at the keypad, I’m
afraid that I’m never going to have the same effect as a Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela or Howie Mandel. I guess that’s just the deal, or in my case, no deal. It’s a rewarding feeling making a difference in someone’s life, and if I’ve accomplished that, then I’m a better person for it, even if it doesn’t get tallied on Google Analytics. I’m more interested in the karma scoreboard.

So birthdays are a day of celebration, a chance to look back at our lives and quietly weep. So today, on the 12th day of December, birthday wishes go out today to my old radio partner Jerry Hoffman, who turns the big 60 today. Jerry, although just a year older, has always been like a father figure to me. We did Sportstalk Radio together back in the 80′s here on Monterey Bay, and I’ve never had as much fun at work as I did when I was on the air with my 12/12 pal.

Jerry was born to be on the air, as he is blessed with a booming voice, an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and the classic look for radio. He was also quite the fashion plate, sort of the Pierre Cardin of the AM dial. So in the words of the John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “You say it’s your birthday, it’s my birthday too, yeah.” Now I’ve got 52 weeks to savor being not in my 60′s, and I really hope to live it one chocolate day at a time.

And a birthday shout out goes to my basketball playing buddy, Jim Berry, who celebrates his big day on Thursday. Jim is a rabid Denver Broncos fan, and claims he is more accurate with throws across the middle than Tim Tebow.

For today’s photo flashback, we are heading up the coast to the golden sands of Four Mile Beach. These images were shot on a spectacular morning five years ago today, and it was as great a birthday morning as I can remember. No cake, balloons or ice cream, but big waves, changing skies, circling gulls and cotton candy clouds made for a morning of photo delight. Then a rainbow appeared in the sky to the north, and I knew it was my special day. It was nature’s gift card that was just right for the occasion.

On to the late night. “Herman Cain dropped out. Our writers and I were despondent. But sometimes when God closes a door, he opens a window. And standing outside that window is a circus peanut wearing a badger. Donald Trump will moderate a Republican debate Dec. 27. Thank you, Jesus.” –Jon Stewart “Today Herman Cain again denied allegations of any sexual misconduct and thanked his supporters for their gullibility.” –Jay Leno

“Herman Cain has suspended his presidential campaign, but he has asked the Secret Service if they could continue to provide him protection, at least until his wife cools off.” –David Letterman “Everybody’s talking about the presidential election. And this is big: Two days after stepping down, there are rumors that Herman Cain is endorsing his former rival, Newt Gingrich. Not to be president, but to be his new wingman.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The day before yesterday, Herman Cain suspended his campaign. That is a shame. He touched so many people.” –Stephen Colbert “No one in the media is giving Herman Cain credit for having been faithful to the same mistress for 13 years.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Cain now says he’s consulting with his family whether to stay in the race. Really? You think that’s what he’s discussing with his wife, about staying in the race? How about staying in the house?” –Jay Leno

“I was in the supermarket today, and I saw some Occupy Wall Street protesters in the dairy department. They were protesting the 1 percent milk.” –Jay Leno “Authorities have discovered what they call the most sophisticated tunnel ever found underneath the U.S.-Mexican border, being built by a Mexican drug cartel. And Gov. Rick Perry asked the question we’re all asking: ‘Why can’t these tunnels be dug by hard-working American drug cartels?’” –Jay Leno

So that’s the end of a wacky week in the NBA, as Laker fans are still as shocked as Herman Cain’s wife. I hope some of you caught the season finale of “Sons of Anarchy.” For Jax and the boys, it’s really been quite a ride. But then again, who doesn’t like being in way over their heads? We’ll catch you creating magic on the frozen tundra. Aloha, mahalo and later, Ben Rothlisberger fans.

May 9, 2011

Harbor Sealed With A Kiss

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 5:20 am


Good morning and greetings, North Coast fans. If you like marine mammals, then Sunrise Santa Cruz has filled your viewing needs the last couple of weeks, as we’ve featured elephant seals, sea lions and a couple of San Jose Sharks.

So this week, in honor of the Navy SEALs who took out Osama Bin Laden, we are shredding up the coast to check out some harbor seals, who all agreed that living in a custom built home in Pakistan would be much better than holing up in a sea cave, especially when it came to getting TV reception for their favorite shows on Animal Planet.

So it was on a lovely morning in May that I headed up to Four Mile Beach to check out the low tide action. The wild flowers were in full bloom, and any time I journey to this spot it’s a treat, as I never know what I’ll find, much like when emptying my pockets after a rave concert.

On this day the beach was loaded with gulls, who were chatting it up on the sea grass that normally would have been covered over by water. And then to my surprise and delight, I spotted some harbor seals resting on the shelves . They eyed me very suspiciously, like I was going to ask them to sign release forms. Fortunately, a few lingered long enough for me to get a few shots, as most of their cohorts hightailed it into the Pacific and refused to come out until I left the beach, even after offering them hot chocolate and fresh scones.

Since then, I’ve never had the opportunity to shoot these adorable-looking creatures. My daughter has always been a fan, as she is quite fond of their heart-shaped noses. I’m just happy that she still thinks I’m on an extended sabbatical from Harvard.

So for some bonus nature coverage, I went back to Four Mile a couple weeks later, and as I headed down the path to the beach, I spotted a bobcat ahead of me. This was going to be my lucky day. Like a undercover lover, I tracked him down to the sand, where I nailed a couple of shots of this beautiful juvenile. I then contacted Boy’s Life, National Geographic and Guns and Ammo, and they had no record of any photos of bobcats in the sand. Up next I’m going after Bigfoot and UFO’s at sunrise.

Things got a little dicey later when I followed the bobcat up into the brush and all of a sudden he turned and started coming at me. Fortunately, thanks to a year of Algebra 1, I’m an expert at playing dead, so I convinced to leave me intact, as I’ve found that jagged puncture wounds really can spoil your morning. Coincidentally, on this same day, a crazed bobcat attacked a couple of hikers in Arizona and tragically killed one of them. Fortunately, all I came away with was some big cat memories and a case of poison oak.

On to the late night. “There’s already been some trouble for Osama bin Laden in the afterlife. There was a mix up and he was greeted by 72 vegans.” ?David Letterman “Osama bin Laden is dead, which means the No. 1 threat to America is now the KFC Double Down.” “President Obama gave the order for Navy SEALs to kill bin Laden. When President Bush heard about it, he was really upset, saying, ‘I could have used seals?’” ?Conan O’Brien

“Bin Laden was living in a house with no Internet access, which explains why there were all those bin Laden sightings at the Islamabad Kinko’s.” ?Conan O’Brien “Apparently, members of al-Qaida are online slamming the U.S. I don’t understand why they’re so upset. Everyone in al-Qaida just got a promotion. Osama bin Laden’s death has been in the news all day. Leftish stations are going, ‘President Obama saves the world.’ Stations on the right are going, ‘Obama kills fellow Muslim.’” Craig Ferguson

“I would like us to kill bin Laden every Sunday night. It makes for a much brighter start to the week. And so, Osama Bin Laden got his first bath in almost ten years. This could the best shark week ever.” ?Jimmy Kimmel “President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan. That’s right, bin Laden is dead, just like the Republicans’ chances in 2012.” ?Jimmy Fallon “Osama bin Laden was apparently shot twice in the face. It looks like Dick Cheney may have been involved.” David Letterman

For their honeymoon, the royal couple wants to go somewhere they can have complete privacy and no one in the country will give away their location. I think they’re going to Pakistan.” ?Jay Leno “Trump said that he hoped bin Laden suffered a lot. It looks like he got his wish, because the CIA said bin Laden spent his last hour watching Celebrity Apprentice.” Conan O’Brien “The CIA says Bin Laden’s last words were, ?Are you guys here about the dishwasher?” Jimmy Kimmel

“In the wake of bin Laden’s death, the NBA has announced that it will use metal detectors at all playoff games to screen for weapons. Or as the players put it, ?Uh oh.” Jimmy Fallon A 61-year-old bearded man went to the airport in New York, said his name was Osama bin Laden and he had a bomb in his bag. They knew it wasn’t real, because he wasn’t being protected by the Pakistani military.” They say Bin Laden lived this compound with nine women and 23 children. I’m surprised the guy didn’t shoot himself in the head.” Jay Leno

So another week is in the cyber books. We enjoyed some warm weather as of late, as on Wednesday, a mixture of high pressure, offshore winds and the second round of the NBA playoffs brought record breaking heat as Santa Cruz hit 86 degrees. So all in all, It was a pretty good week unless you were a Laker fan. We’ll catch you in the courtside seats. Aloha, mahalo and later, Rajon Rondo fans.

May 23, 2010

Hey Babe, Take A Walk On The Wildflower Side

Good morning and grievings, stock market fans. Well, last week was another wild one for the Dow Jones, as the market has been more volatile than my stomach after a jalapeno burger and a chocolate shake. The dow lost 387 points last Thursday, and then, like many of my long-buried childhood memories, came back a little on Friday.

But as I gaze into the crystal ball with my naked eye, I think we may be headed into a bare market. The bottom line is, ten years ago, if you had invested $10 in the stock market, it would be worth $10 today. The financial unrest overseas is putting a dent in our economic recovery. Despite my love of baklava, Greece is not the word.

My family never really invested in real estate, which was a huge mistake, like trusting that British Petroleum knew how to cap a leak. I rented a house on West Cliff Drive for 14 years, and next door was an empty lot full of weeds, ice plants and sailors on leave. Because I was so involved with my missionary work and medical studies, it never occured to me that I should purchase this oceanfront property. Where was my family when I needed that intervention?

In 1989, my landlord finally realized I was having all the fun and tossed me out of there like a frisbee. I then did a ten year stretch in Hermosa Beach, studying the effects of global warming on beach volleyball players before returning to the swim in the kelp, enhance my spiritual growth and hang with gang members.

In the meantime, my landlord tore down the beach house with no heat and built himself a large white Victorian. Looking back, it was a tad nippy in this house on the ocean, or as my brother Paul told the sellout crowd at our wedding, “when I first met Allison, I wasn’t sure if she was shy or frozen.”

So it was much to my surprise that when I strolled by the old homestead last week, a For Sale sign appeared out front. I picked up the flyer and read, “when you sit on the front porch and see the panorama of white water, ocean life, pristine Bay, you should know this is paradise. This is a Beach Jewel that can be your oasis of ocean breeze, old world charm and a welcoming retreat every morning.” Now here comes my favorite part. “Yours for $3,100,000.”

Holy down payment, Batman. I almost choked on my chai tea and protein muffin. I immediately harkened back to my renting days at $850 a month and thought about how things have changed. And then I thought, if I had only bought that lot next door, I, too, could now be gouging some lucky investor for this oceanfront prize. I wanted to kick myself like Pele in a therapy session, but like every other negative thought I’ve ever had, I just let it go so I could be at peace with the universe. I then went into a Buddhist chant, repeating over and over, Om, Om, Om my God, I can’t believe I didn’t buy that lot.”

Let’s head over to the photo department. It had been a while since I had treated myself to some North Coast beauty, so I got on my Harley and zoomed up to Four Mile Beach to check out the springtime action. The wildflowers were in bloom as I searched the trails for color along with bobcat and leprechaun tracks. It was low tide, as all the sea life normally found underwater (photo #5) was as over exposed as the pictures taken by the paparazzi at my bar mitzvah.

The beach was deserted, except for a couple of surfers, hundreds of gulls and a mariachi band who got washed away during Cinco de Mayo. As walked along the sand, humming the theme from “Baywatch,” I noticed the swallows had built their nests into the cliffs (photo #6.) This was the icing on my cupcake, as the beauty of this beach always astounds me, much like every word that comes out of Sarah Palin’s mouth.

Onto the late night. “I love this. On the news today, the CEO of British Petroleum says he believes the overall environmental impact of this oil spill will be very, very modest. Yeah. If you live in England! BP has inserted a siphon tube into the well to suck up all the oil from the spill. And they’ve had a lot of experience in this area, by the way. This is the same tube they’ve been using to suck the money out of our wallets for the past 50 years. Scientists say they have developed a car that can run on water. The only catch is, the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico.” –Jay Leno

“In Louisiana, BP claims that it’s making progress with the leaking oil in the Gulf. They’re working on a plan to heat the Gulf up to 600 degrees and use it to fry chicken.” –Jimmy Kimmel “There is so much oil now in the Gulf of Mexico, and you can thank the folks of British Petroleum for this, you can now park on it.” –David Letterman “A family values conservative Republican from Indiana, Mark Souder, has admitted to having an affair with a woman on his staff. Apparently Souder would take this woman to remote locations inside state parks and have sex with her. See, this is what Republicans mean when they talk about opening up our public lands for drilling.” –Jay Leno

“Just in time for Christmas, the queen of ‘Drill Baby Drill,’ Sarah Palin, has a new book out. It’s called, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. And for Sarah, that’s two books in two years, or as she calls it, her trilogy.” –Bill Maher “Sarah Palin coming out with a second book in November, which is pretty impressive. This book was written almost as fast as the first book she didn’t write.” –Jay Leno

“Thousands of bees swarmed the White House on Sunday morning. And President Obama doesn’t miss a trick. He is smart. Because all these bees were worker bees, he’s now counted them as 10,000 new jobs he’s created.” –Jay Leno ” We have as a guest tonight Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I’m going to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind: ‘As a bishop, do you always have to move diagonally?’” –Craig Ferguson “The Times Square bomber bungled the gig. So the Taliban got wind of this and they said, ‘That’s it.’ So they downgraded the guy. And he doesn’t get 72 virgins. Here’s what he gets: 72 vegans.” –David Letterman

“The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona to protest the new anti-immigration law. The council vote wasn’t even close. The council voted, trece to uno.” –Jay Leno “Arizona passed a bill banning public schools now from offering any courses in ethnic studies. It’s funny, you know, they never say they’re targeting Mexicans specifically, but I think we get that idea. Today they passed a bill that said beans can only be fried once.” –Bill Maher

“For the first time ever, an Arab-American woman has been named Miss U.S.A. Her name is Rima Fakih from Dearborn, Mich. She says she hopes winning this title will finally help get her name off the no-fly list.” –Jay Leno “Did you see the new Miss U.S.A. pageant over the weekend. Miss Michigan won. Congratulations to Miss Michigan. And, well, it gets better. John McCain has already selected her as his 2012 running mate.” –David Letterman

That’s our show. I threw in a little extra late night action because the days are getting longer and the nights are getting funnier. I’m not sure what to say this week about the oil spill, but I’m not going to award President Obama the Nobel Clean Up Prize on this one. This environmental catastrophe is devastating the marshes along the coastline of Lousiana. The Gulf is bleeding as there is more oil in the water than fans wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys at a Dodger game.

This horrific situation leads to lots of unanswered questions, like why did CBS cancel “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” Either way, enjoy the blue skies, blooming flowers and game four of the western conference finals between the Suns and the Lakers. We’ll catch you at the free throw stripe. Aloha, mahalo and later, Amare Stoudamire fans.

January 24, 2010

Blast From The Last

Good morning and greetings, winter storm fans. Last week, we had five straight days of driving rain, heavy winds and big surf. I don’t want to say things were a bit moist, but it rained harder than the tears coming down the cheeks of Democrats in Massachusetts. Fortunately, my writing is covered by an umbrella clause, so I remained high and dry during the blogging process.

But in honor of our inclement weather and to celebrate the moisture we so badly needed here out west, I thought I’d pass on a few rain jokes. You know, some raincoat humor. And away we flow. There’s a technical term for a sunny, warm day which follows two rainy days. It’s called Monday. “Gosh, it’s raining cats and dogs,” said Fred looking out of the kitchen window. “I know,” said his mother. “I’ve just stepped in a poodle!” There was a communist named Rudolph. One day he looked out the window and said, “It looks like a storm is coming.” “No it isn’t,” said his wife. “Besides, how would you know?” “Because,” he responded, “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

Moving along, let’s revisit the lyrical front, where in the words of the Carpenters, “Rainy days and Mondays always bring me down.” But that is not true for yours truly, as Monday is the day that I share my flowing stream of unconciousness with the ever increasing cyber world, my parents and my rabbi. The Allman Brothers told us, “They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad,” but according to Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Tuesday’s gone with the wind.” Jimi Hendrix proclaimed, “Rainy day, dream away. Let the sun take a holiday.” But our last word of precipitation today will come from the great Eric Clapton, who said, “Let it rain, let it rain, let you love rain down on me.” And that my cyber friends, is why I never carry an umbrella.

But let’s move out of the rain and into the sun. Today’s photo journey brings us back to the final day of the decade, December 31, 2009. I wanted to make sure I captured this day on the photographic front, so we start off with a lovely sunrise from Its Beach and Lighthouse Point, two locations I am as familiar with as Julianna Margulies’ character on CBS’s “The Good Wife.” It was a good start to the special day, which at this point held more promise than the violent drug war ending in Mexico anytime soon or the US convincing Afghan farmers not to grow opium. How’s that for a smooth political transition?

But wanting to make this a full day experience, much like my graduation day from driving school, I then headed up the coast to Four Mile Beach to take in the gulls and the furthering clouds expansion. The beach was deserted, except for the large flock of gulls, and they greeted me with the same warmth and understanding as did the Iraqis on our decision to continue to occupy their country. Basically, okay, you got your shots in, now get out of here and leave us alone.

For the end of the day tapestry, I returned to the coast and Its Beach. It was an extreme low tide, so I strode thru my favorite arch the same way as General Sherman did thru Atlanta in his March to the Sea back in 1864, but a tad less destructively. I was hoping for a spectacular sunset to close out the decade, but a cloud front blew in from the north, so the final shot features the last bit of pure sunlight from the decade. And because of the low tide, brilliantly colored sea anenomes and sea stars were scattered throughout the beach, all rock stars in their own right. All in all, a tremendous end to the decade, although if a few more colors had appeared in the sky, I wouldn’t have held it against the big guy, and I don’t mean Alec Baldwin.

On to Conan O’Brien’s former neighborhood. “I’ve been having a hard time explaining this whole situation to my kids, because they’re still very young. So I had a doll made of myself, and now I can show my kids exactly where NBC touched daddy. I should have known something was up when NBC sent me that 2010 calendar that only went up to January.” –Conan O’Brien “Things are crazy. I don’t know what is going on on NBC. I don’t know what going on in the ‘Tonight Show.’ Earlier today I get a call from the executives at CBS and they wanted to know if I would consider a jaw enhancement. What? Are you kidding?’” –David Letterman

‘The big CBS show here, anybody seen the ‘Medium?’ It’s about a woman who can communicate with the dead. A woman without can communicate with the dead. As a matter of fact, this Sunday, this week, Johnny Carson calls up the medium and he asks her what the hell is going on with the ‘Tonight Show.’” –David Letterman “Former presidential candidate John Edwards has finally admitted that he did father a love child with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter. He released a statement today. Edwards said, ‘It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she’ll forgive me.’ Hey, if she inherits that hair, what’s to forgive?” –Jimmy Kimmel “The heaviest snowfall in over 60 years is being reported in Beijing, China. To give you an idea of how bad it is, the army is now having to use snowplows to run over dissidents.” –Jay Leno

“You know, it’s hard to believe President Obama has now been in office for a year. Isn’t that amazing? It’s a year. And you know, it’s incredible. He took something that was in terrible, terrible shape, and he brought it back from the brink of disaster: The Republican party.” –Jay Leno “President Obama says he blames himself for the upset in the Massachusetts Senate race because he was too remote. Meanwhile, today in Arizona, John McCain couldn’t find his remote. One of Osama bin Laden’s sons has written a book. He said his father was a cruel parent. For example, he made the kid wait until he was 18 years old before he let him blow up his first car.” –David Letterman

So that’s this week’s version of “Meet the Impressed.” Rumor has it that next week will be our first guest blog of the year, and mark my words, you will be impressed or we guarantee your money back. Caught a beautiful sunrise on Sunday that made up for the missed snow on the mountain shots from last Friday, as the clouds, just like my 9th grade algebra teacher, just wouldn’t cooperate. Hope you caught the NFC Championship game yesterday, as it had all the drama of Don Draper on a good night out. So enjoy the moisture from the skies and we’ll catch you deep in the end zone. Aloha, mahalo and later, New Orlean Saint’s fans.

August 2, 2009

I Haven’t Seen You Four Mile

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 9:10 pm

Good morning and greetings, August fans. A few posts back, I wrote about the summer humidity on the east coast as compared to the summer frigidity that inhabits our central coast. This past week, on my early morning jaunts along West Cliff Drive, the ground and air were soaking wet. I hadn’t experienced that kind of moistness since I roasted a cornish game hen in honor of Anthony Randolph’s spectacular play in the Las Vegas summer league. I was thinking, here we are in the middle of fog season, while other parts of the nation are sweltering like Scotter Libby before the pardons board. Across the country, the weather has been wackier than Mark Sanford’s travel intinerary.

Meanwhile, 3,000 miles to the east, New York experienced it second coldest July on record. Fortunately, Mark Teixeira and New York Yankee bats were hot which counteracted the lack of summer sun for beachgoers and Met’s fans. Up and down the eastern seaboard it’s been cold and wet, as frustrated families ask themselves, “Where is summer?” I believe right next to thumbkin.

At the same time, last week in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle recorded the hottest temperature in its history at 103 while Portland topped out at 106, one shy of the all-time record. We are talking a major Martha and the Vandellas heat wave, my marine layer loving friends. Folks in these parts were flocking to the coast faster than Brandon Roy scorching up the floor on a Blazer fast break.

So as the moist air filled my delicate lungs, I was hit with my usual early morning revelations. I never ceased to be amazed by the 24/7 travelcade of birds as the flyways along the edge of the continent are always going full tilt. Prehistoric looking pelicans fly by in both directions, sometimes stopping to dive headfirst in search of some fish sticks, cormorants furiously flapping their wings in flight while their compatriots line the cliff walls. Throw in some screaming gulls, exotic pigeons and other various sea birds and I’ve painted your daily aerial display. It reminds me of the first time I visited Yankee Stadium. I was initially shocked by the foul language, drugs and alcohol, and those were just the security guards.

So once again, you may be thinking, what’s this bi-monthly obsession with byrds? The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. There is a reason that I come out blasting with my Canon. And a time for every purpose under heaven. It’s my honest attempt to turn, turn, turn and try and churn out the best stream of conciousness this mind has to offer. And as we know, a mime is a terrible thing to waste.

Today’s photo lineup takes us back to the north coast, as we return to the sands of Four Mile Beach. When I’m looking for large quantities of gulls draped against the background of cumulating clouds, there’s no other place in this area I’d rather be. If you were to shoot these same shots without the birds in the sky, it’s an empty landscape. These gulls just wanting to have fun give the pictures life, liberty and in my case, the pursuit of semi-happiness. Here’s the bottom line. I love shooting birds and three-pointers. Just seeing them in motion and hearing the sound of the ball swishing thru the net, to paraphrase the Doobie Brothers, “it keeps me running.”

Let’s go to the late night. “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin resigned yesterday, and during her speech, she was heckled. Apparently, it was just someone in Russia yelling, ‘Keep it down over there!’” –Conan O’Brien “Sarah Palin’s decision to resign has resulted in an 18-point drop in her approval rating among Americans and a 52-point drop among terrified moose. She says she’s going to divide her time between traveling to support conservative causes and learning to pronounce the ‘G’ at the end of words” –Jimmy Kimmel “Some people now are saying, this is true, that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wants to host her own TV show. The show is going to be called ‘Am I More Coherent Than a Fifth Grader?’” –Conan O’Brien

“This August, President Obama is renting a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s amazing. It has a basketball court, swimming pool, apple orchard and a driving range. The president says he can’t wait to shoot hoops, while Michelle looks forward to pulling apple trees out of the ground with her bare hands.” –Jimmy Fallon “President Obama held a Q & A session about healthcare reform with senior citizens over the Internet. Unfortunately, the senior citizens spent the entire hour typing questions into their microwave ovens. “President Obama is hosting a delegation of 150 Chinese officials in Washington. Among the questions the Chinese have for the U.S.: ‘What’s your military policy? What is your stance on global warming? And where’s our money?’” –Conan O’Brien

“Of course, President Obama has invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested him to the White House. Reportedly, Obama is going to serve them Budweiser. And in the spirit of racial harmony, Budweiser is changing its nickname from the ‘King of Beers’ to the ‘Martin Luther King of Beers.’” –Conan O’Brien “Now here’s the way President Obama likes to do stuff. They had this problem up there at Harvard. So President Obama says, ‘Here’s what we’ll do. Come to the White House. We’ll settle our differences. We’ll have a beer.’ And if it works for those guys he’s going to try it with Jon and Kate, and he is going it to try it with the Israelis and Hamas. “And then in the spirit of this, I thought it was nice today, Rush Limbaugh called up Professor Gates and Officer Crowley and he invited them over for some OxyContin.” –David Letterman

So that’s our first post for August 2009. I’ll be taking next week off, as the Gilbert family is heading to Sunset Beach on the fabled north shore of Oahu. In between body painting seminars and cooking with coconut classes, I’ll be studying the effects on the psyche of gentle trade winds, scented plumerias and most importantly, warm ocean water that doesn’t lead to shrinkage action. Of course, it will all be documented for those of you not making a trip to the South Pacific or the new Safeway on the westside this summer.

So enjoy the weeks before the back to school fever kicks in. And again, thanks to Aimee and Jason Gilbert for their guest blogs. Now if they would just stop asking me about royalties. We’ll catch you at Waimea Bay. Aloha, mahalo and later, Pipeline fans.

January 11, 2009

The Tears Of A Cloud

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 10:09 pm

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Good morning and greetings, NFL playoff fans. It’s been a week of chilly mornings and clear skies here on the central coast so we’ll have to journey (or is it Foreigner?) back to December of 2008 for today’s photo highlights. But before we hit the North Coast, for a little taste of politics, let’s head to our nation’s capital. “Barack Obama’s daughters started at their new school in Washington, DC. Yeah, their teachers are really impressed and said that both girls are already reading well above President Bush’s level.” And earlier this week, Obama met with all three living ex-Presidents and one current brain dead President. Thank you, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. I’m going to miss our Commander in Chief. Our as the bumper sticker says, “Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its Idiot.”

Within ten miles of my lovely abode on the upper westside lie many spectacular North Coast beaches. We’re talking Wilder Ranch, Laguna Creek, Panther Beach, Bonny Dune, Shark’s Tooth and Davenport Beach, among others. But my personal favorite is Four Mile Beach, which according to the way the Black Crowes fly, is just four miles up the coast. As I mentioned in this blog before, it’s a beautiful feeling pulling off of Highway 1 and being the only car in the lot. As Dave Mason would say, “Alone, Together.”

I then hop out of my car and sprint like Usain Bolt to the railroad tracks where I always stop to take a couple shots and perhaps score a few brussel spouts that have swan dived off the passing trucks. You can see two of the tracks of my dreams moments in today’s photo display. The cloud cover on these two mornings was thicker than the swarm of golden raisins I add to my morning oatmeal which created a pleasant backdrop to highlight the always present groups of gulls that like to party at Four Mile.

But my favorite shot from this December cloud conference would be the first photo. The reflection of the clouds in the stream the feeds into the very surfable Pacific really works for me. Back in 2004 I saw a photograph of a sunrise by the now deceased photographer Galen Rowell. The sky was on fire and it was reflected in a lake in a mountain setting. When I saw that picture I said to myself, “This is what I want to do” and since than have always been fascinated by the reflection action. I believe I nailed it in this photo. Then again, I voted for Mondale.

What would be a blog without some jokes? Once again the credits go to my favorite son Jason. Two women were arguing over whose dog was smarter. The first woman said, “My dog is so smart that every morning he waits for the paper boy to arrive, then he takes the paper from the letterbox and brings it to me.” The second woman said, “I know.” “How do you know?” asked the first woman. The second woman said, “My dog told me.”

This next one is a little long but definitely worth it. A man was passing a pet shop when he saw a talking monkey advertised for sale. He was so impressed by its vocabulary that he bought it on the spot. That evening he took it to his local bar and bet everyone ten dollars that the monkey could talk. A dozen people accepted the challenge but despite the new owner’s coaxing, the monkey refused to say a word and the man had to pay up. When he got home, the man was puzzled to hear the monkey chatting away merrily.

The next evening the man returned to the bar and bet everyone twenty dollars that the monkey could talk. Again there were plenty of takers, but to the man’s anger, the monkey remained silent. After paying up, the man took the monkey outside. “I’m taking you back to the shop, ” he screamed. “You’re a complete waste of money.” “Chill out,” said the monkey. “Think about the odds we’ll get tomorrow.”

That’s the end of our programming for today. And the dream is over for the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants as Eli Manning and the Giant offense put on a pathetic display in the Meadowlands yesterday as they lost to the Eagles. I’m not a big Philadelphia fan but I do love their cream cheese. Shot that beautiful full moon rising on Saturday night that we’ll check out in our next blog. So until then, enjoy the magic that comes from living along the edge of the contintent and able being to see, hear and experience NBA basketball. We’ll catch you in the lockeroom. Aloha and later, LeBron James lovers.

November 23, 2008

She Sells Sea Gulls By The Sea Shore

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

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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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