February 2, 2014

Sunday, Sunday, Can’t Trust That Day

Good morning and greetings, NFL fans. Well, Super Bowl XLVIII is now a thing of the past, as yesterday America came together to consume more alcohol in a 24 hour period than on any other day of the year, with every other day, besides New Year’s Eve, coming in second. American, love it or drink it.

Being a non-consumer of the spirits, I only participate in the consumption of the 800 million pounds of guacamole along with 145,000 tons of chips consumed on this day. Of course, I always down a half dozen Hansens Natural Sodas made with real cane sugar to keep myself hydrated.

But this year, I hadn’t had time for the cane, as my doctor said if I don’t get my cholesterol down I’m facing possible castration. So no sugary liquids made it into my bloodstream. Face it, my body is a temple. Anyway, I don’t handle alcohol well. I’m more from the Woody Allen school of drinking, or as he once said, “The last time I had a drink I tried taking my pants off over my head.”

But that’s no reason for the rest of the nation not to party like it’s 1999. Yesterday, during the commercial-free battle between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, there was major consumption of food and drink. Because after all, this is America, and it was be the most super of Sundays.

It’s the way sports fans and raging alcoholics celebrate. Or as Frank Sinatra once chimed in, “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” Well, Frank, I guess I’ll just have to continue doing it “My Way.”

But there was much pregame excitement leading up to the build up to the big game. Super Bowl fans spent more money on food, snacks and recreational activities than on a year’s worth of the national Obamacare bill.

Actually, at this point, between Covered California and Anthem Blue Cross, I’d be better off if I had signed up for Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don’t Care.

Back to the game. On the food front, we’re talking about the intake of enough slices of two topping pizzas and cheesy breadsticks to blanket the continental U.S. from the eastern seaboard to to pepperoni coast. If you line up the chicken wings and throw on some honey barbecue sauce, we could stretch that to Marshall Islands before halftime.

As for myself, I went low key on the snack front, as I’m trying to lower my hopes and triglycerides. I had some buffalo tofu fries, vegan snickerdoodles and a gallon sized chocolate milk shake, so I was good for three quarters. The fourth quarter was just lots of lemon water to satisfy my sugar cravings and a big plate of low fat double cheesy nachos.

So I hope you gathered with friends, family or your probation officer and enjoyed the game, which was a great matchup on paper. It was the legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, with the league’s best offense versus the mild-mannered Richard Sherman and the Seahawk defense.

We all know what happened, as there was jubilation in the Emerald City as the Seahawks completely demolished the Broncos. And there was a lot of interest in who won or lost, as over $99 zillion dollars were wagered yesterday on all different aspects of the game.

We all know that you can bet on who scored the first touchdown, who led at halftime or if Madonna was wearing any underwear in 2012. But let’s go back to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and check out some of the prop bets you could have made. And as Pete Rose says, “please gamble responsibly.”

So here we go, courtesy yours truly and Bovada at www.Bovada.lv. Will it snow during the game? What will the temperature be a kickoff and the lowest temperature during the game? Will the power go out in the stadium? Will there be an earthquake, typhoon, or a one-sided, total blowout eclipse of the sun?

Lots of pregame action. How long will it take opera star Renee Fleming, and one of my favorite Sopranos, to sing the national anthem? Will she forget or omit at least one official word? Will she be wearing gloves when she starts singing, and if so, what color will they be? Will she showing any bare midriff? And will Denver running back Knowshon Moreno cry during the singing of the anthem, and if so, how many tears?

On to the Manning boys. How many times will Peyton Manning yell “Omaha” or “Help” during the game? Will Peyton throw a pick six? Will he throw a touchdown pass or interception first? How many times will his father, Archie, brother, Eli Manning, or Peyton’s first girlfriend be shown? And if she’s shown, did he get to first base on his first date?

On to the halftime celebration. What song will Hawaiian-born and raised Bruno Mars perform first? Will he and the Red Hot Chili Peppers play a song on stage at the same time? Will any member of the Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance.? Will any go without pants? And will the halftime show break the record for most watched, set by Madonna in 2012, when she threw two touchdowns and ran for another in Indianapolis?

Will any player receive a penalty for excessive celebration? Who will Barack Obama pick to win the game? What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach? What will happen to the Dow Jones on Monday? And finally, will announcers Joe Buck or Troy Aikman say the word “Marijuana” during the game? How about ganga or Mary Jane?

Well, since it was Super Sunday, for Super Monday, I am featuring a sunrise I shot on a Super Saturday. I’m referring to last Saturday, January 25, and the location was Lighthouse Point. This was a sunrise that did not disappoint. When the sky was peaking and blowing up red, it was just awesome, and the fact that it comes and goes so quickly is not lost on me.

However, this morning continued to evolve, as the sun came up and the clouds stuck around, creating a fantastic collage on the big screen of life. Throw in the soundtrack of big waves crashing along the cliffs and shoreline and it made for me my favorite sunrise so far this season. It was a sight to behold. In the words of the boss, Bruce Springstein,”Glory days, glory days.”

On to some late night humor “A petition to have Justin Bieber deported got over 100,000 signatures, which means the White House now has to legally rule on it. So finally a chance for Obama to issue an executive order that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on.” – Jay Leno “There’s more trouble for Justin Bieber. Last night he was arrested in Toronto for assaulting a limo driver. First a DUI, now an assault charge. If Bieber keeps this up he’s never going to get into a good college.” – Jimmy Fallon

“A petition on the WhiteHouse.gov website asks the U.S. to deport Justin Bieber. If they get 100,000 signatures, the White House has to respond. They already have 87,000. The Canadian military is scrambling jets and mobilizing troops along the border to make sure this doesn’t happen.” – Jimmy Kimmel “Here’s some advice for Justin Bieber. Be nice and don’t beat up limo drivers, Justin, because one day you could be one.” – David Letterman

“Once again, President Obama will grant an interview to a journalist from the network broadcasting the Super Bowl. The game is on Fox this year, so Bill O’Reilly will do the interview. I’m taking O’Reilly with the points.” – Jimmy Kimmel “Joe Biden said that Hillary Clinton’s decision to run for president won’t affect his decision to launch a campaign. While Hillary says Biden’s decision to run for president won’t affect her becoming president.” – Jimmy Fallon

“You heard about the snowstorm in Georgia. A snowstorm in Atlanta resulted in a 10-hour traffic jam. To which people in Los Angeles responded, “You guys need snow for that?” – Conan O’Brien “Iran says they want to encourage more tourism from the United States. They might want to change that “Death to America” slogan. A lot of families are not comfortable with that.” – Jay Leno

“Subway has announced a major new campaign to get people to eat healthier. I’m no health expert, but maybe the first thing to do is not sell people piles of meat and bread by the foot. The mayor of Sochi, Russia, said that his city has no gay people. Yeah. Then his son said, “Dad, we need to talk.” – Conan O’Brien

So that’s it for January 2014 as February is now at the plate. We’ll catch you retiring from thirty years of running pro basketball and making the NBA a must-see international product. Aloha, mahalo and later, David Stern.

December 29, 2013

The Wolf Of West Cliff

Good morning and greetings, 2013 fans. Well, we’ve come to the end of the year, and what a year it’s been. We survived the idiocy of the debt crisis, hopped on the love train called Obamacare, and saw Kim Kardashian have a baby with Jerry West. And God willing, by the end of 2014 or the time my children are grandparents, we won’t have any more troops dying in Afghanistan.

Of course, I could drone on about other major news stories, like the Jonas Brothers’ feud, Justin Beiber’s monkey retiring or Miley Cyrus getting more ink than Michelle Obama, but that’s just the way of the world these days. It seems the more skin you show, the more the media pays attention. I can relate. I’m naked under my clothes every day.

So the Christmas holiday has come and gone, and this year my family celebrated it in the traditional way. Being Jewish, we don’t have a Christmas tree, but to get into the holiday spirit I always hang a sprig of mistletoe from my rear view mirror.

So on Christmas Eve, with my in-laws in town, we followed in the foot steps of our ancestors and went out to dine on some Chinese cuisine. We cruised over to Golden City, where we enjoyed some beef chow fun, chicken and eggplant in garlic sauce, and Mao’s personal favorite, sweet and sour chicken. The place was packed, and rest assured we had more than enough for a minyan.

The food was delicious, made even better as we played Pat Sajack by spinning the Lazy Susan that rotated the garlic chicken chow mein and the chicken fried rice. When the check was brought out, it was accompanied by fortune cookies and fried sesame balls. I quietly remarked to my daughter, “I wish we had some almond cookies,” as I’m trying to lower my cholesterol.

Well, before I could say, “Are there any more egg rolls?,” the restaurant’s owner walked over and handed me a container of Bakery Street Gourmet Almond Cookies wrapped in a red bow. I was momentarily taken back and canceled the order of pot stickers to go. I knew at that moment that it was going to be a White Christmas, as it was going to take lots of milk to down these little cakes of almond joy.

I bowed and thanked her, as we were amazed by the synchronicity of the moment. We paid the bill and left with 49 take out boxes of food. The only down moment came when I opened my fortune cookie and it read, “The fortune you seek is in another cookie.” Slightly dismayed, I cracked open another cookie that read, “That wasn’t chicken.” Still wanting to leave on a positive note, I went for a third try. “Confuscious say, if you think we’re going to sum up your whole life on this little piece of paper, you’re crazy.” I almost spit up the crab rangoon.

Then it was on to Christmas Day, or should I say NBA Wednesday. The league had scheduled five highly anticipated matchups, but due to player injuries and the Dow Jones hitting a new high, I was not prepared to sit inside on a gorgeous winter day and watch 13 straight hours of basketball. So instead, I taped the first two games and decided to go to the movies. I had no idea what an emotional commitment I was in for.

My son wanted to see “The Wolf of Wall Street,” so with my father-in-law in tow we headed downtown. Now, I hadn’t heard much about the movie, but it came highly recommended, a “must see” by Grantland’s Bill Simmons. Well, let me say this. This three hour spectacle of the rise and fall of Leonardo DiCaprio is still seared in my mind like a filet of ahi tuna
.
I hadn’t seen that many naked women since I accidentally wandered into a Rainbow Family’s tea party at Woodstock. There were more hookers than you’d find in the lobby at happy hour at the Hotel Del Ray in San Jose, Costa Rica. The movie made Sharon Stone and “Basic Instinct” seem like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

And I don’t want to say that the drug use by Leonardo and this buddies was over the top, but there hadn’t been that much snow blown since the blizzard of Buffalo back in 1977. They also took quaalude use to a new high or new low. And let’s just say we saw a lot more of Australian actress Margot Robbie then we had ever bargained for. I think we saw the first and second Noel, if you catch my drift.

We then returned home and finished up the day with three good NBA games, with the Warrior win in the finale being the best of all. Now that’s what I call a merry Christmas. God bless the Father, the Son and the Holy DVR.

Moving along, last week I posted a beautiful, smoke enhanced sunset from back on December 16. For today’s photo follies we’re are going back to the early morning hours of this same day, when the waves were munching and crunching the shore along West Cliff Drive.

The sky lit up early and red was the color. The volume of the morning was turned up high as the wave action at Lighthouse Point and Steamer Lane was going at full tilt. Surfers were rushing like lemmings to the sea. It was a fabulous morning. I say that any time I can capture a gorgeous sunrise and a spectacular sunset on same day, my work is done.

A guy tells his psychiatrist: ‘It was terrible. I was away on business, and I emailed my wife that I’d be back a day early. I rushed home from the airport and found her in bed with my best friend. I don’t get it. How could she do this to me?” “Well,” says the psychiatrist. “Maybe she didn’t see the email.”

So that’s our last post for 2013. We’ll catch you in the new year showing NBA fans that you’re more than a prime time dunker. Aloha, mahalo and later, Blake Griffin fans.

August 11, 2013

A Walk Is Better Than A Hit

Good morning and greetings, summer vacation fans. About ten years ago, my personal physician suggested that I should get more exercise. Now up until until my mid- forties, I had been playing full court basketball five a days and week and playing half court on Saturday, as it was my people’s Sabbath. I was in fairly good shape and was considering a career as a personal fitness trainer and hand model.

But then reality came calling, and it was a bitter pill to swallow. Work. I remember walking during this time and spotting a youngster dribbling a basketball, as he headed over to the park to play hoops. My heart sank like an open jumper, as the realization set in that I was no longer footloose and fancy free and that my life had changed.

But I was determined to make the best of it. It was not an easy task. Looking back on it today, those five days of work were longest days of my life.

So I discussed with my physician the exercise options that were open to me. Swimming was out, as I may have drowned in a past lifetime. I could go bike riding, but I never really built up a sweat riding my beach cruiser along West Cliff. And riding a stationary bike is just not that scenic, although it saves a lot of wear and tear on the tires.

Bowling, badminton and cliff diving just weren’t vigorous enough, so it came down to running. I had run track in high school, but those were the short sprints. I was never really excited about running long distances as my shoulders hurt from this activity. It was probably because I’m highly sensitive to the feelings of everyone around me and that I had the body fat of a young veal.

So I decided to start running around my neighborhood to work up a sweat, so that my heart knew I was still alive. I started strong, as I used to be able to run a good mile and a half before the heart palpitations set in.

And then something nutty happened. Instead of getting stronger so I could leap tall bushes in a single bounce, I found the more I ran, the weaker I got. This was not a case of what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. I had to face a harsh reality. My Olympic dream was over.

But out of this darkness came shining light, as my failings led me to my weekday strolls along West Cliff Drive. I still needed to get some exercise, and what better place to take in the sights while kick starting my heart and soul.

So the weather last week was not unusual here on the central coast. It’s nothing like what I experienced in the summertime back east, when it was hazy, hot, and most consistently, humid. I’m not saying it was like that all the time, as there were pleasant summer days, but the unbearable humidity dominated the headlines. It was hot when I awoke and the air conditioners would still be humming when I drifted off to sleep.

This is in contrast to last Wednesday morning, when I woke up to a light mist or what the locals calls rain. I remember putting the heat on in my car as I headed down to the cliff thinking, I can’t believe they refer to this as summer weather. Still, there was a certain charm to walking through the dreary fog and precipitation, as the pelicans, cormorants and gulls weren’t giving it a second thought.

Then came Thursday, and the sun was peeking through the clouds as I exited my westside abode. When I got to the parking lot at Natural Bridges, there were the faint signs of a fading rainbow alongside the remaining arch. I took this as a good sign. The ground was wet but the air was warm. We’re talking short sleeve weather, a rarity on summer mornings. I’m always somewhat shocked to see the sun or my under eye circles in the early part of the coastal day.

I was more than pleasantly surprised at this rapid turn of events, but I shouldn’t have been, as I had been down this road before. As I strolled along with my faithful golden companion, the sun was gleaming across the water, and a gorgeous cloud bank painted the eastern sky above Lighthouse Point.

As I headed south, a seal popped its head out of the water at Stockton Avenue, while further out, a great egret was hanging out in the kelp beds. The air was a glorious temperature, and despite the fact that I had woken up at 4:40 am and couldn’t get back to sleep no matter how many sheep I counted, life was good at that moment.

However, by the time I returned home, the clouds had come in and and erased all this morning majesty. I got lucky on this day, so I guess timing is still everything. Just a great day to take a walk on the mild side in this cold water paradise.

For today’s photo conclave, I am featuring moments from three sunrises for the price of one. The first and third were taken from the end of my street along the upper westside. The skies above Monterey Bay conveniently lit up on these two January mornings, which made the silhouette of the tree of life that much more vivacious.

The middle rise was shot during the same month from the cliffs above Cowell’s Beach, looking across to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. For you folks keeping a scorecard at home, last January was a fabulous month for sunrises. Just goes to show that they do make sunrises like they used to.

On to the late night humor. “U.S. embassies are closed all around the Middle East this week due to a terrorist threat. What happened was the U.S. intercepted a conference call of 20 al-Qaida operatives. Twenty on one conference call! Who is their carrier? I go under a bridge and my cellphone drops the call, but they can get 20 people in one call from a cave? I guess you all heard about this terrorist threat the president warned us about. One of the reasons al-Qaida is upset with the United States is because we are giving aid to Yemen. We didn’t have a choice. When life hands you Yemen, you give them Yemen aid. This story just gets crazier: Two more women have come forward to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual misconduct. That brings the total to 13 — or as Filner calls it, a groper’s dozen.” -Jay Leno

“As our studio audience knows, the security today for President Obama was incredible. In fact, first lady Michelle Obama already had the Secret Service sweep the president’s dressing room for chips, pizza, ice cream. This weekend President Obama celebrated his 52nd birthday. For his birthday, Michelle Obama jumped out of a cake and told him he’s not allowed to have any. Happy birthday to President Obama! He will be 52 years old on Sunday. If you’d like to get the president a gift, you can’t go wrong with Edward Snowden. He would love that. You can see that the President is getting a little grayer. In fact, they are starting to call him “The Silver Fox.” That’s because most of the silver in his hair was caused by Fox.” – Jay Leno

“Alex Rodriguez was suspended from baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs, but then he appealed, so technically he can still play. Last night he played his first game since the suspension and hit a bloop single. And then he said, “Imagine how far that would have gone if I was still on steroids!” Baseball suspended 13 players for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, most notably baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. A-Rod is suspended for 211 games. That is an odd number, but .211 is what they calculated his batting average would have been without the drug.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Fifty years ago today was “the great train robbery.” Robbers got away with $63 million in cash from a postal train in Britain. My father worked for the post office at that time. He was supposed to be working on the night that it was robbed, but he had the flu. He called in sick. Coincidence? All I know is right after the great train robbery, we ate well around my house. Yes, that is the night we got a brand new potato. I like heist movies. “Oceans 11″ was a good one. Then there was “Oceans 12″ where they robbed the people who went to see the movie.” – Craig Ferguson

“The Boston Globe newspaper has been sold for $70 million, even though 20 years ago it went for $1.1 billion. I couldn’t believe that story when I saw it for free on the Internet. LeBron James of the Miami Heat had to report for jury duty today. Of course there will be 11 other jurors to help decide the case, but you know he’ll wind up doing it all by himself. The NFL is about to get its first full-time female referee. Good for them. It will be a little different though. When a player asks her what he did wrong, she’ll say “Oh, you know what you did.” – Jimmy Fallon

So let’s it for August. I’m taking some time off and heading to the Garden Isle in South Pacific to study the mating habits of the chocolate covered macadamia nut. I shall return on September 2nd.

We’ll catch you showing the world the Australians can produce great TV crime dramas. Aloha, mahalo and later, “Underbelly” fans.

June 23, 2013

Once LeBron A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 24, 2013

If At First You Do Succeed, Blog, Blog Again

Good morning and greetings, late February fans. Well, time continues to fly by. Days, months, years, TV seasons just seem to go by faster and faster as I get older. Having children really gives you a sense of how quickly time goes. One day you’re pushing them on a swing, and then the next they’re pushing their lawyer to file emancipation papers. As writer Oscar Wilde noted, “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.” It’s statements like that which harken me back to my son’s first question, “Daddy, what’s a beneficiary?”

The reason I bring up the subject of time is that this post is my 365th. What this means is that once a day, over a period of time it takes for Oprah to orbit the sun, I have sat down on my computer, clicked the publish key, and voila, six photos and approximately 1,500 words have appeared on the screen due to my compliance. And I admit, when I first view the new post, it’s still a thrill, like striking out the last batter, hitting a game-winning jumper or figuring out how to add an attachment to my email.

So you might ask, Geoff, why do you continue to do it, why spend your precious time writing a somewhat humorous blog when you could be spending life’s precious moments on something more important, like trying to figure out how you ended up with all this free time in the first place. Well, that is something I don’t want to delve into, an underworld of thoughts that best remains buried as deep as the Oakland Raiders were in the final standings this year. Suffice to say that maybe God put me on his good green earth to spread a little cheer in a time of when we could certainly use a laugh, chuckle or a big tax return.

I can say with complete conviction that these words have brought joy to some, or one, as I had my mother write down her praise and had the document notarized. There’s an old Jewish proverb that says, “God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.” I thought that’s why he created TV. Or as the fabulous Phyllis Diller once said, “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. And then I want to move in with them.”

So now you might be wondering, (that is, if you’re still reading,) have I learned anything from these five plus years of posting a photo blog into cyber space, allowing the free world to experience the river of thoughts that circulate through my mind? Yes, I have. For one thing, the Pulitzer Prize committee is very picky. Two, it’s not that easy to bribe a Pulitzer judge. I guess that’s just the difference between me and four-time winner Robert Frost. As he said, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” I did the same thing and just got lost.

I have also learned that I still love to write, and more specifically, rewrite. It always thrills me when I can make a joke just a little bit better, because let’s face it, writing this much for a Red Cross salary has to have some conjugal payback on the spiritual level. As a young man growing up, I loved the humor of Woody Allen. He was the man and that was my comic sensibility. Now, I’ve never considered marrying one of Mia Farrow’s adopted children, but in my earlier years people sometimes said I reminded them of the Woodman and that was the ultimate compliment. However, I quickly came back down to earth when one day I ran into former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen and the told me, “I know Woody Allen, and you’re no Woody Allen.”

So I continue to plug away at my arts and craft, with the hope that the beauty and humor from these pages makes the world a little better place. At the same time, and for purely for sociological purposes, I continue to extensively monitor the world of television in attempt to stay in shape by being well-rounded and tropical, which includes watching enough NBA basketball to bring down a herd of small elephants. And if you haven’t checked out the new show on FX, “The Americans,” about a KGB sleeper cell in America, you might want to take a gander. Or in the words of that Soviet party animal Nikita Khrushchev, “We will bury you,” a quote that I read on the wall inside the FBI building in Washington, D.C., when I visited there as a young diplomat. I’ll never forgot those words, which were accompanied by a hammer, sickle and shovel.

So I can’t say how long I will continue to bring you the best of what I see in the earth and sky, but I can guarantee this. As long as I have clear eyes, a full heart, my readers can’t lose. Sunrise Santa Cruz forever. Or at least through spring break.

So for today’s photo snack bar, we are heading back to the morning of December 28 at Lighthouse Point. Mornings like this is why I’m a sunrise photographer, when the sky just blows up with color and and I can stand along the edge of the continent and capture the incredible reflection on the Pacific Ocean. This fascination (some might say obsession) of capturing the morning magnificence started back in 2003, when I saw a photo from the late photographer Galen Rowell of a beautiful sunrise on a pond in northern California, with the reflection captured perfectly in the still water. I said to myself, “This is what I want to do,” and I’ve been doing it ever since. To paraphrase the Doobie Brothers, “What was once a vice is now a habit.”

On to some late night humor. “Former Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. pled guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds for personal use, including buying a $43,000 Rolex watch. How ironic is that? All that money on a watch, and now he’s going to wind up doing time. You knew this was going to happen. Dozens and dozens of lawsuits have already been filed against Carnival Cruise Lines. Well, if you thought the ship was filthy, slimy, and disgusting, wait until these lawyers get involved. Over the weekend, President Obama played golf with Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods gave the president some very valuable tips. The most valuable one? Erase all of your text messages.” – Jay Leno

“I’ve got the latest Oscar buzz. Many Pakistanis are saying that Zero Dark Thirty contains factual errors. Then someone explained to the Pakistanis that being directed by a woman does not qualify as a factual error. A top food manufacturer is reporting that some of their pasta meals contain horse meat. So if I were you, I’d stay away from the ‘Rigatoni, My Little Pony.’” – Conan O’Brien “Lent officially began yesterday. Do you know what the Lakers are giving up for Lent? The playoffs.” – Jay Leno

“They’re going to miss Pope Benedict. He’s very underrated. This is the guy who wanted to replace Communion wafers with unlimited bread sticks. Pope Benedict is deaf in one ear. He’s deaf in one ear and also a little bit blind, but boy, he sure could play a mean pinball. It’s day five of that Carnival Cruise trip. You know you’re on a bad cruise if you wake up on day two, you look out your little porthole, and you see the captain and the crew in a lifeboat.” – David Letterman

“It’s a great day for the city of Los Angeles. We’ve become the first city to synchronize all of our traffic lights. This will make it easier to get downtown and watch the Lakers lose. It’s a great day for a bunch of thieves in Belgium. They got away with more than $50 million worth of pure, uncut diamonds. This diamond heist is the biggest robbery ever pulled off at an airport if you don’t count them charging $25 to check a bag. Most stores are open on Presidents Day. What better way to celebrate our presidents than by offering a sale on tires? Yes, four score and 20 years ago, our forefathers got two-for-one on steel-belted radials.” – Craig Ferguson

So that’s our last blast for February. Birthday wishes go out on Wednesday to my old Ivy League pal, Amy Zimmerman, who I believe is the only woman in America to watch “Silver Linings Playbook” three times in the same day.

We’ll catch you showing everyone that even in your mid-thirties, you’re as dangerous a scorer as you’ve ever been. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kobe Bryant fans.

February 3, 2013

Beauty Is In The Sunrise Of The Beholder

Good morning and greetings, February fans. Well, last week brought violent weather to parts of the nation, as wild temperature extremes set off deadly thunderstorms and tornadoes, causing major damage and severe power outages. At the same time, Floridians were enjoying picture perfect weather, but it was not rosy for all in the Sunshine State, as Miami’s Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino admitted on his 28th wedding anniversary that he had fathered a secret love child and paid millions to keep it quiet. And all this time I thought not winning a Super Bowl was his biggest problem.

It brought to mind the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “I’ll tell ya, I’m alright now but last week I was in rough shape. I mean, last week I looked up my family tree – I found out I’m the sap. My wife said she was afraid of the dark. Then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light. She made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.”

So all the talk last week was of Super Sunday, as I was peppered with questions like Lindsay Lohan at her latest bail hearing. Where are you going to watch the game? Are you rooting for the 49ers or will you be rooting against them because you’re still bitter from the Giants blowing a three-game lead and not making the playoffs? Do I care if Joe Montana’s hair is going to be straight or curly? What color Gatorade will be dumped on Beyonce? And most importantly, what will the Dow Jones and my stomach be doing the next day?

With all this football talk filling the atmosphere, that according to Al Gore, “We put an extra 90 million tons of heat-trapping pollution into every day, as if it’s an open sewer,” the sun still managed to rise and set. Last Monday and Tuesday were a digital pleasure, as on both days I went for the photo daily double, shooting both the sunrise and sunset. Monday’s sunrise was beautiful and the sunset was pleasingly pleasant, but then on Tuesday morning all bells and sirens went off because as soon as I woke up, I was on red alert. I’ll get back to discussing Al Gore’s views on why the oceans are warming, the Arctic caps are melting, along with his sale of his television network to some guy named Al Jazerra as soon as Tipper tweets me back.

I had slept a little later than usual on Tuesday, as I had to finish off another disconcerting dream of being in school but not having gone to class with exams coming up. But it was still a solid week on the dream front, as in one of the more interesting ones, I was a cop and my partner was Rob Lowe. Over the years I’ve had conversations and adventures during my subconcious atoning with Howard Stern, Mel Brooks, David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Lola Falana and a cast of thousands, along with half my high school class.

But that’s another story for another time, but suffice to say that I’m doing a lot more partying on my subconcious time card than during my waking hours. But I always dress impeccably for bedtime, for as my wardrobe consultant once told me, “Be careful what you wear to bed at night, because you never know who you’ll meet in your dreams.”

I believe it was either Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Jason Gilbert who said they were always out there practicing because they knew there was someone else out there working just as hard to be the best. I’m putting in the time when I’m asleep. If just wish I had a DVD to record these middle of the night cranial wanderings because I’d be up for an subconcious Emmy.

Anyway, back to Super Tuesday. I woke to a red sky over Monterey Bay, so I put on my Kool and the Gang poncho and headed for the coast. I wanted to capture the crimson reflection on the sand at Its Beach, but time wouldn’t let me, so I stopped at Fair Avenue to photograph the initial colors of the morning’s brilliance on the bay.

Next I went into silhouette mode, as I shot my favorite cypress tree with the sky blowing up behind it. Then, as the sky moved into a mandarin orange mode, I cruised down to Lighthouse Point to take in the full on magnificence of the morning experience. At the same time, the moon was setting as the sky cast about a pink carnation of color along the sand at Its Beach.

I then completed my photographic journey with a shot taken at Steamers Lane just before the sun made an appearance. It was a spectacular, world-class sunrise over the Pacific that I was thrilled to be a part of. And as a bonus, that night the sky caught on fire at sunset, which made my dinner of vegan veal parmesan and honey cake that much more festive.

On to the late night. “Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino has admitted he fathered a child while having an extramarital affair with a CBS production assistant. And today Manti Te’o said, “See, that’s why you have imaginary girlfriends.” Zimbabwe’s finance minister revealed yesterday that his country has only $217 left in the government Treasury. Today President Obama said, “Stop bragging!” – Jay Leno “A new show premiered tonight on the FX network called “The Americans.” It’s about Russian spies embedded in Washington, D.C., during the Cold War.The first episode was great. Their mission was to fake a drivers license for a young socialist Kenyan boy living in Hawaii.” – Craig Ferguson

“Former NFL quarterback Dan Marino has admitted to fathering a secret child back in 2005. I don’t know why people are surprised — the Dolphins never gave him good protection. A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a plan that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Or as immigrants call that, “a tunnel.” An employee of the U.S. Postal Service is retiring after 44 years without using any of her sick days. Friends describe her as “dedicated,” while co-workers describe her as “that lady who gave me the flu.” Last week Iran launched a monkey into space, and it actually returned to Earth alive. It was great news for the space program and terrible news for the monkey who thought he’d finally gotten out of Iran. – Jimmy Fallon

“The Boy Scouts of America is now considering an end to its longstanding policy of banning gay scouts. How about that? And the girl scouts have a new policy during cookie season. It’s called “Don’t ask, just sell.” In a big meeting of the Republican National Committee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal told the GOP to “stop being the stupid party.” Then Texas Governor Rick Perry gave the rebuttal. Women can now serve on the front lines in combat. I believe up until now, the only woman who had ever seen action under a general was Paula Broadwell.” –Jay Leno “Women serving in the United States military will now be serving in combat. Finally there will be somebody in the tank who will stop and ask for directions.” – David Letterman

So that’s our first blast for the shortest month of the year. We’ll catch you showing NFL fans how you led your team to a stunning Super Bowl win. Aloha, mahao and later, Joe Flacco fans.

December 9, 2012

Zero To Sixty In Ten Paragraphs Or Less

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 2:23 pm

Good morning and greetings, potato latke fans. Well, coming up this week, I’m hitting another milestone along the long and winding road of my life. No, it’s not the 500th sunrise or the 1,000th sunset I’ve shot or my viewing of the season finale of the family friendly “Sons of Anarchy.” No, it’s something even scarier than the every day activities of a Northern California outlaw motorcycle gang involved with the IRA, CIA and Mexican drug cartels. So I’m just going to lay it out there. I’m turning 60.

There, I said it. Six tee. The big six oh. I’ve been trying to avoid this day for a decade, ever since I turned the big five oh. But like turning into your parents, there’s no avoiding it. Even though the number 60 flows out of my mouth as smoothly as cashew butter on a fresh croissant, it’s a painful realization that I’m not getting any younger. Let’s face it, in dog years, I’m dead.

There was little joy in telling people over this past year that I was 59, because that was way too close to the six decades mark. I remember the words of author Hervey Allen, who once said, “The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams, the old servants of regret.” Ironically, Hervey died while taking a shower at age 60. And that is why from now on I’m only going to take bubble baths.

Years ago, Anglo-Irish priest Jonathan Swift lamented, “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” I’m not sure what that says about me, as I wouldn’t mind knocking thirty years off my life resume. And it was either Daniel Day Lewis or Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed, “In the end, it’s not the years that count. It’s the life in your years.” I’m all for living life to the fullest, and that’s why my new HD DVR recorder is able now able to store over two hundred thousand hours of programming. As they say, “Don’t just watch TV, Direct TV.”

The actor George Clooney, who I can’t count the number of times I’ve been mistaken for, once remarked “I’m kind of comfortable with getting older because it’s better than the other option, which is being dead.” On this point I’m in full agreement. They say age is just a number. If I had a choice, I would keep mine unlisted.

Pablo Picasso once tweeted to his friends that “One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.” Hopefully, with my boyish good looks and silver locks, I’ve bucked that trend. He also once said “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” Yes, happiness is all about the simple pleasures. If so, I’d like to live as a Hawaiian man with lots of warm breezes.

Mark Twain wrote that “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” What an interesting thought. Sounds like a TV series on FX. I know that I’m getting older, as I’m no longer the chiseled Adonis I was back in grammar school. I believe it was my rabbi’s wife who said, “You’re aren’t really turning 60. Just 21 with 39 years experience.” That sounds great. If only I didn’t groan like Don Rickles every time I bend down to pick something up. Or in the words of the great Yankee centerfielder Mickey Mantle, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”

But it’s all good, because I have no choice in this aging matter. Or as journalist John P. Grier offered, “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime.” Or as baseball’s Chili Davis put it, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Myself, I’m not really thinking 60, more like $59.95 plus tax.

The ageless baseball player Leroy “Satchel” Paige once quipped, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” So I’m going to take his advice and look at this birthday event as another marker along the freeway of life. After all, sixty is just a number, which at this stage of my life, sounds a whole lot better than seventy, eighty or ninety. So to quote the great philosopher and socialite Paris Hilton, “The way I see it, you should live everyday like it’s your birthday.” That’s sound advice coming from a woman who said it while making a video in her birthday suit.

So here’s the bottom line. I’ll be sixty years old on Wednesday. I’m healthy. I can still hit the open three. Loving family and friends abound. I’ve got a a golden retriever who worships me. So life is good and I am more than blessed. And my accountant says I’ll be able to live off the karmic residuals from writing this blog for decades to come.

For today’s photo entertainment I’m going back to my blonde roots. The first two photos are my favorite sunrise moments taken at Lighthouse Point. Portraying the early morning beauty in the skies above Santa Cruz is one of the reasons I started this blog. The other is that I’m very lonely. Then to mark this milestone occasion we move on to a couple of photos of yours truly in the South Pacific and shrouded in color on the central coast. We then close out the birthday montage with two shots of me and my golden retriever Summer. She’d been hounding me for weeks to include her in this holiday package.

On to a little late night humor. “Today in Washington, President Obama met with leaders of the American Indian tribes and they honored the president by giving him his own Indian name: ‘Running Deficit.’ The CEO of The Cheesecake Factory is now warning that Obamacare will be very costly. Hey, The Cheesecake Factory is one of the reasons we need Obamacare in the first place. Mitt Romney is going back to work. Romney is joining the board of directors at Marriott hotels. See, who says President Obama can’t create jobs? There’s one right there. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s taking steps to run for president in 2016. In fact, this week he’s meeting with donors. He better hope they’re brain donors.” –Jay Leno

“A new book coming out reveals that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was born a Catholic, became a Mormon, then returned to the Catholic church, then became a Baptist, then again returned to the Catholic church. And I think he’s at it again because he’s now asking people to call him Marco Rubinstein. The Obamas have decorated the White House with 54 Christmas trees. It’s all part of their ‘For the last time, we’re not Muslim’ campaign.” –Conan O’Brien

“A lot of dissension among conservatives. One of the leaders of the Tea Party has resigned after a major split in the movement. The Tea Party is now divided between angry whites and even angrier whites.” –Conan O’Brien “A new survey found that ‘Sophia’ and ‘Aiden’ were the most popular baby names this year. The least popular baby name was Kim Jong Sandusky. “McDonald’s just announced that it’s bringing back the McRib later this month. Or, as the Mayans put it, ‘Hey, we tried to warn you.’” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s the birthday report. Birthday wishes also go out to my old radio partner turned boxing promoter Jerry Hoffman, who celebrates the trip down the birth canal on the same day, 12/12/12. I don’t want to say Jerry is excited about this date, but he has been planning a surprise party for me with cake, ice cream, pony rides and ring card girls ever since the first day we met.

So enjoy the festival of lights that is Hanukah and the parade of latkes, apple sauce and sour cream. We’ll catch you getting off to a great start and surprising everyone with your team’s early season success. Aloha, mahalo and later, New York Knick fans.

November 25, 2012

Open the Window, It’s A Little Stuffing In Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — geoff @ 10:13 am

Good morning and greetings, post holiday fans. Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone as the turkey, along with mounds of stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce is just a happy caloric memory. It’s a holiday I always look forward to as it involves food, family and football, and not necessarily in that order. Or in the words of the late Johnny Carson, “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday, People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. Hiyo.

It’s a November gathering that brings families together to kick back, enjoy a fabulous meal and reminisce. No pressure, no presents, no Pilgrims, just being around people who we are closest to and the baggage they bring with them. It’s a simple way to celebrate a day that fills the memory books. Jon Stewart remembers this holiday well. “I celebrated in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”

For the home team, a good part of the day is spent in the kitchen, preparing for a feast while many around the world go hungry. As Mother Theresa once told me at a Bon Jovi concert, “If you can’t feed one hundred people, feed one.” For a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner, much needs to be done in preparation. But this work can be rewarding. As the queen of macadamia nuts Roseanne Barr once crooned, ‘Here I am at five o’clock in the morning stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird’s butt.”

It’s a long day in the kitchen, but then again, this holiday occurs only once a year, giving you 365 days of rest in-between. Myself, I don’t mind the work, as the TV is on and football makes a pleasant backdrop for this late November surge. Columnist Erma Bombeck was an interested observer of the all-consuming pigskin experience. As she once wrote, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Halftimes take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence.” Or as my rabbi once noted, “On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down at the same time-halftime.”

It’s a fun day, as we reunite with family we sometimes see just a few times throughout the year. For the simple man or a big-time celebrity like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s a special day on the culinary front. In the words of the Terminator, “I love the Thanksgiving turkey…it’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.” And as David Letterman once chimed in, “Thanksgiving is the day when you turn to another family member and say,’ How long has Mom been drinking like this?’ My mom, after six Bloody Marys looks at the turkey and says, Here kitty, kitty.”

And we know that Dave Letterman is a big fan of Oprah. Oprah is a saint, a woman with a huge heart that overflows with love and generosity. She changes people’s lives on a daily basis, and if you want to admire someone in life, you might want to start with the Big O. This is her thought on the day. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough. Or in the words of inspirational writer William A. Ward, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”

Well, damn it, I have, and I’m thankful for all I’m blessed with including family, friends, health and a new 51″ HD Plasma TV to watch the Food Channel on. But to put the holiday in proper perspective, I’ll let the final words flow from the pale face of comedian Jim Gaffigan, an expert on bacon who came up with this riff. “Thanksgiving. It’s like we didn’t even try to come up with a tradition. The tradition is, we overeat. ‘Hey, how about at Thanksgiving we just eat a lot?’ ‘But we do that every day!’ ‘Oh. What if we eat a lot with people that annoy the hell out of us?’” Thank you and good night.

For today’s photo entree we are featuring the first half of the November 14th double dip, when both the sunrise and sunset shined from sea to sea. In my last post we featured the dusk experience, where the texture of the clouds seemed unreal. For this sunrise, I misjudged where the prime action was and set up way down at the end of Its Beach (photo #1) to try and capture the red reflection on the water. But the real deal were the clouds above Steamers Lane, which I caught in photo #2 when they had turned mandarin orange, creating a citrus sunrise effect.

Then the heavy clouds rolled in and I moved along to take in some silhouette action from Lighthouse Field. All in all, it was a day of double delights, with folks along the central coast getting two spectacular sights for the price of one. For me, it was just another chapter in the life of a photo blogger with his trusty digital camera and a golden retriever that will never leave him.

On to the late night. “Facebook just launched a new app. They teamed up with the Department of Labor to create what they call the social jobs app. You can browse through 2 million job listings. You know it’s bad when even Facebook thinks it’s time for you to get a job.” –Jimmy Kimmel “During his final speech on the House floor yesterday, Congressman Ron Paul said the Constitution has failed. Which must be a bummer because he’s actually one of the guys who signed it.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A decorated war hero has an affair with his own sexy biographer, who thinks the spy master is stepping out on her with a second girlfriend. So she sends an email from a secret account saying ‘step off or I will cut a bi-atch.’ And the second hottie freaks out and contacts her friends, FBI agents, who launch an investigation, but gets pulled off the case because he sexed her a shirtless photo. The spy master protege, also a general, has sent thousands of e-mails to the second woman. This isn’t just a love triangle, folks. It’s a love pentagon.” -Stephen Colbert

“It was announced today that former General Petraeus has agreed to testify before Congress. I guess he figured, ‘Why not?’ Those questions can’t be any tougher than the ones he’s getting at home right now. See, when a general tells his wife, ‘I was pitching a tent in Afghanistan,” technically he’s not lying.” –Jay Leno

So that’s our last blast for November 2012. We’ll catch you showing NFL fans that despite suffering a devastating knee injury last year, you’ve amazingly come back better than ever this season while leading the league in rushing yards. Aloha, mahalo and later, Adrian Peterson fans.

June 10, 2012

Swing Low Tide, Sweet Chariot

Good morning and greetings, French Open fans. The weather on the central coast recently, much like LeBron James 45 point outburst against the Celtics in game six, has been NBA fantastic. If you like thunder and lightning up the scoreboard, it’s a great time to be an NBA fan.

Last week on my morning strolls along West Cliff Drive, I noticed the tide was lower than my expectations of the Warriors making a good lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Low tide is always a treat, as it uncovers a plethora of the coastline’s hidden treasures. So last Tuesday, before you could say, “Sofia Vergara,” I headed down to Lighthouse Point to take in the green grass and low tide action. Forever.

As you can see in photo #1, the tide down at Its Beach was lower than my score on my math SAT’s. I was hoping to be able to walk through my favorite arch to photograph this classic structure from both sides, but I hadn’t brought along my snorkeling gear, so Samuel Gompers and I had to settle for the lovely view looking west. But if I had been able to Dwyane wade through, the view would have looked very much like photo #2.

I then headed back up the steps to catch the marine mammeled flavor of Seal Rock (photo #3.) There were a couple of pods of sea lions lounging in the water nearby, but my zoom wasn’t more powerful than a locomotive or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, so I wasn’t able to get a good shot.

But the swell was up and Steamer Lane was full of surfers trying to catch some wave action. Some nice sets were rolling in (photo #4) and at that moment, I reflected back on the words of The Rascals, “It’s a beautiful mornin’. I think I’ll go outside for a while. An jus’ smile. Just take in some clean fresh air boy. Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside. If the weather’s fine an’ you got the time.” And boys and squirrels, luckily, one thing I do have, besides an almost clean driving record, is time.

By the way, not to date myself, but I saw The Rascals in concert iin New Jersey at Palisades Amusement Park in back in the mid 1960′s. I don’t want to say I’m getting old, but at the breakfast table I hear snap, crackle and pop, and I’m not eating cereal.

Anyway, today’s six pack of photos was brought on by the advent of low tide. And as we know, Tide gets out the stains that others leave behind. Dirt can’t hide from Tide.

So now you’re probably thinking to yourselves, I wonder what causes the tides to change? I thought you’d never ask. And remember, if it’s got to be clean, it’s got to be Tide.

According to Jeff Spicoli and surfingsantacruz.com, tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. These are known as lunar tides. The moon tries to pull at anything (except Rush Limbaugh) on the Earth to bring it closer. But, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water and sometimes Oprah.

Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it The moon is pulling upwards on the water while the earth is pulling downward. Slight advantage to the moon and thus we have tides. And as we know, tides go to the runner.

Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides, or about the same amount of time it will take me to catch up on the episodes I missed of the first three seaons of “Justified.”

When the sun and moon are aligned, there are exceptionally strong gravitational forces, causing very high and very low tides which are called spring tides, though they have nothing to do with the season. The gravitational force of the moon is one ten-millionth that of earth, or the same odds that I will one day be paid for writing this blog. But when you combine other forces such as the earth’s centrifugal force created by its spin, you get tides. Or as the Spin Doctor say, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”

The sun’s gravitational force on the earth is only 46 percent that of the moon. This makes the the moon the single most important factor for the creation of tides. And Tide knows fabric best. Since the moon moves around the Earth, it is not always in the same place at the same time each day. So, each day, the times for high and low tides change by 50 minutes. I believe it was either George Carlin or author Robert C. Gallagher who said, “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”

So to then complete my tidal wonderings, I kayaked over to the wharf to photograph some sea lions up on one of the boat landings. But Instead, much to my delight, there was a pod of around 60 lions lounging right off the pier. Rumor has it that earlier in the morning the crowd numbered 300, but I was happy to catch this group of rafting revelers.

So being that it was low tide city in the morning all of last week, after Tuesday’s outing I headed up to Four Mile Beach on Wednesday and Natural Bridges on Thursday. Both trips, much like the NBA conference finals, had their magic moments, and I’ll blast out these photos along with my thoughts on Larry Bird in the upcoming weeks.

On to some late night. “According to a new book coming out by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, apparently when he was in high school, President Obama smoked large amounts of marijuana. You know what that means? He could be our first green president. Unemployment is still looking pretty bad. In fact, the White House has a new slogan on job creation: ‘Hope and change the subject.’ The unemployment numbers are higher than President Obama was in high school.” –Jay Leno

“On Friday, President Obama spent the night at his home in Chicago for the first time in over a year. It was nice – he even went down to the basement and dusted off some old campaign promises. Mitt Romney has been giving his volunteers a free sweatshirt for making phone calls on his behalf. The sweatshirts are just like Romney, 100 percent reversible.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A new survey found that Mitt Romney is ahead of Obama among those who make $36,000-$90,000. Or as Romney put it, ‘And they said I can’t
connect with the poor.’ Obama gave Bon Jovi a ride to New York City on Air Force One. Makes sense – Bon Jovi’s living on a prayer, while Obama’s campaigning on one.” –Jimmy Fallon “There’s a rumor that President Obama will stop by today’s L.A. Kings hockey game. He doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. He just wants to blend in with all the other black, Hawaiian hockey fans.” –Conan O’Brien

So that’s all I’m giving of myself this week. Try and take a moment to be grateful for all you have. We’ll catch you blowing the minds of NBA fans and reminding people why you’re the king. Aloha, mahalo and later, LeBron James fans

February 26, 2012

This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Hilarious

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 7:42 pm

Good morning and greetings, daybreak fans. I wanted to showcase a beautiful sunrise this week, which meant coming up with a clever title to satisfy the headline writer in me. Since I’ve exhausted the word ‘sunrise’ over the past five years, I went to the ‘dawn’ card and came up with today’s candidate. Which got me to thinking about the thought of Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway to Heaven, “Does anyone remember laughter?”

Fortunately, the folks from www.humor-laughter.com and www.drstandley.com do. So turn up the laugh track as here we go. Studies have shown that there are 18 different kinds of smiles, three grins and one smirk. The most common is the smile of enjoyment, like when your team is left for dead and then goes on to win the Super Bowl or anything involving the thought of Chinese food, pizza, or NBA playoff tripleheaders.

Laughologists claim that 13 muscles are used to smile, 47 are needed for frowning, while scowling comes in at 59. I believe it was my orthodontist who told me that “A smile is a frown turned upside down.” Joan Rivers insists that you have to smile nearly a quarter of a million times to make a wrinkle, so I’m trying to pace myself.

Laughter and watching “Modern Family” lowers the levels of cortisol and epinephrine in the body. Both suppress the immune system and the air time of Sophia Veraga. Lowering these levels enhances the work of the immune system, may prevent disease and does wonders for ABC’s Neilson ratings.

Studies have shown that laughter causes endorphins to be released into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise, similar to the ‘high’ joggers get when jogging or attending a Grateful Dead concert. Laughter causes positive changes in brain chemistry when the endorphins are released back into the wild.

You can stimulate your heart, lungs and spleen, elevate your blood pressure and vertical leap and improve breathing capacity by laughing. In terms of exercise, you can get the same benefits from laughing 100 times a day as you can from 10 minutes of rowing or five minutes of being chased by a pack of wolves. 15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of two hours sleep, and even more if you’re giggling while wearing slippers and pajamas.

Oprah claims that one good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories, while laughing for 15 seconds adds two days to your life span. We’re talking about a daily dose of chuckling that can burn up to five pounds of fat over a year. So you might want to sit up and pay attention during those Republican Presidential debates.

The Chinese laugh and serve more moo goo gui pan than any other culture in the world. According to a study in Germany, back in the 50′s, people used to laugh an average of 18 minutes a day. Today, that’s down to 4-6 minutes. Boy, I wonder if that has anything to do with Facebook, Twitter, Blackberries, blueberries or the Kardashian sisters?

Higher levels of an antibody that fights infectious organisms entering the respiratory tract were found in the saliva of people who watched humorous videos, experienced good moods or didn’t read newspapers or watch the nightly news. Researchers found after watching an hour-long video of slapstick comedy without commercials that the “natural killer cells,” which seek out and destroy malignant cells, more actively attacked tumor cells in test tubes, which is great news for fans of The Three Stooges. In the words of Moe Howard, “Remind me to murder you later.”

A University of Chicago study showed that a great sense of humor can add eight years to your life, unless you get run over by a bus. I believe it was Milton Berle or Mahatma Ghandi who said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.” And then there was Christie Brinkley’s ex, Billy Joel, who said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners then cry with the New Orleans Saints.” Bottom line, everyone smiles in the same language.

I know I need to laugh more. Nothing feels better than a good laugh or knocking down the open jumper. Mark Twain once said that “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” Alan Alda added, “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” And North Carolina State basketball coach, Jim Valvano, had this to say before he passed away, “I urge all of you to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you’re emotions going.” I couldn’t have said it better.

For today’s photo extravaganza we are returning to a warm sunrise down at Lighthouse Point on the morning of February 17. It was a quick and easy photographic adventure, and I marveled at the beauty of this morning. Just like anything pertaining to chocolate, I never tire shooting the dawning experience from this location.

On to the late night. “There are 8 million dead people who are still registered to vote. As a matter of fact, they’re the group that’s most passionate about Mitt Romney.” –Conan O’Brien “The band Megadeth has endorsed Rick Santorum. I think I’m going to wait and see who Metallica likes. Kim Jong Il would have been 70 years old today if he hadn’t died a couple of months ago. But don’t worry. Osama bin Laden threw him a surprise party in hell.” –David Letterman

“President Obama’s approval rating is up to 50 percent. Only half the country dislikes him. Apparently his strategy of not being any of the Republican candidates is paying off. Here’s how he stacks up against others. Obama is at 50 percent positive. Mitt Romney is at 42 percent positive. Ice cream is ahead of both of them at 97 percent.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“A group of Democratic fundraisers is offering a dinner with the president for $35,000. Unfortunately, the only person in America who can afford it is Mitt Romney. “Yesterday Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney all said that if elected president they would eliminate porn. In a related story, President Obama has already been re-elected.” –Conan O’Brien

“Rick Santorum says that if he’s elected, he’s going to leave the interns alone and just screw the American people directly. This guy is really conservative. In fact, Rick Santorum is so conservative he won’t even go down on an escalator. Santorum is so conservative he won’t even let the UPS guy handle his package. Rick Santorum is so conservative that when he goes to KFC, he only orders the right wings. “This guy is so anti-gay, he won’t even eat a Hershey bar if it has nuts.” –Jay Leno

So that’s our last blast for February. Birthday wishes today go out to the Dutchess of Westchester, Amy Zimmerman, who says that despite the success of Jeremy Lin, she still has no regrets about leaving the snowbanks of Syracuse back in the early 70′s. We’ll catch you draining threes and swooping to the hoop. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kevin Durant fans.

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