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.

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.

July 10, 2011

Hope Doesn’t Float

Good morning and greetings, summer weather fans. It’s the time of year that folks jam Highway 17 to flock to the beaches here on the central coast. As for myself, due to the fact that the sun is no longer my friend and the water temperature (57 degrees) is a tad cool, you won’t find me frolicking in the waves or burying myself in the sand. And besides, with the chilliness of the water, in the words of George Constanza, we are looking at “significant shrinkage.”

So when I ran across a story written by Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury News that may affect beachgoers here on Monterey Bay, I
wanted to get the word out to the people.

Back in March, Japan was hit by an devastating earthquake and tsunami that decimated the landscape north of Tokyo. It was truly March Madness. Millions of tons of debris, including everything from couches to convertibles to chop sticks, were swept into the ocean. This conglomeration is now floating in the Pacific and heading towards the west coast. More than 200,000 buildings were washed out to sea by waves the size of Godzilla. This has created a floating concoction of rubbish never before seen on the open seas, the History Channel or at a Tea Party convention.

Like a floating flea market of assorted junk, this giant mass is moving
across hundreds of miles of the open Pacific. We’re talking cars,
boats and even fully furnished homes that are bobbing along in the Pacific, which could create real problems for ships, marine life and Somali pirates. By the way Russell Crowe flies, it is expected to say aloha to the Hawaiian Islands by next spring and hit the beaches in California, Oregon and Washington in 2013 or early 2014. It will give new meaning to the term “the coast is clear.”

This body of awful Japanese memories is moving at a rate of about 10 miles a day, or the same distance I run twice daily in preparation for the Ultra Ironman Triathlon. It is spread out over an area about 350 miles wide and 1,300 miles long, which is basically the size of California without Starbucks or In-N-Out Burgers. What makes it even trickier is that neither scientists or skim boarders know the exact density of this mess, as to what is still floating and what, like my hopes of my future being ahead of me, have sunk.

The Pacific Ocean is a rather large glass of water, as there is about 3,800 miles of wide open ocean between the land of the Rising Sun and Waimea Bay. If the debris doesn’t make it to our shores by 2014,
it will end up in the “North Pacific Garbage Patch,” a lovely little spot
1,000 miles west of California where plastic goes to die. Reports
say it is three times the size of Texas and that several dozen abandoned yachts have been spotting in this floating continent of litter. I believe it all comes down to the the scene in “The Graduate” when a Los Angeles businessman takes Dustin Hoffman aside and declares, “I just want to say one word to you — just one word — plastics. There’s a great future in plastics.”

So coming to our shores sometime in the near future, the newest
Japanese import, a gigantic floating mass of tragedy never before seen, courtesy one of the great natural disasters of our lifetime. No one knows for sure how much of an environmental mess this will result in, but either way, it will certainly be an unfortunate and inconvenient truth.

So while we’re on the subject of beaches, I thought for our photographic test flight that we would journey up to one of the hidden jewels of the north coast, Panther Beach or as others prefer, Hole-In-The-Wall Beach. The color of the sandstone cliffs here is beyond amazing, as are the number of sea stars and sea anemomes that
cling to the jagged rocks. This wind-swept spot is just south of Davenport, less than ten minutes from the westside and well-worth the trip. And here’s a little tip-the beach is only accessible at low tide, so check your charts before you head north.

Now for a little late night. “North Korea has shut down all of its
universities for 10 months so students can work in factories. Or, as they call it in North Korea, ‘spring break.’” –Conan O’Brien “We’re celebrating our independence from the British. I hope that in a
couple years, we’ll be able to celebrate our independence from the
Chinese.” –David Letterman “The Senate canceled their vacation to work on the budget. Either they really can’t agree or they’re looking for an excuse to not go on vacation with their families.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“The government is warning that terrorists may try to blow up airplanes by implanting bombs under their skin. The airlines responded by saying they’ll charge any terrorists that do this a $50 carry-on fee. “According to the New York Times, a cell phone found in Osama bin Laden’s compound had phone numbers belonging to Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. But authorities say it’s unlikely they ever spoke because apparently bin laden had AT&T. “A new study shows that home births are up 20% in the united states. More and more moms are giving birth at home. Or as in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s case, giving birth in the home they’re cleaning.” –Jay Leno

So another week is in the books. For Yankee fans, history was made on Saturday when Mariah Carey’s favorite Bronx Bomber, Derek Jeter, became the first pinstriper in history to collect 3,000 hits in a career. The Yankee shortstop embodies what is great and classy about sports, and that fact that he reached this epic mark with a home run on a 3-2 pitch, went 5-5 on the day and had the game-winning RBI made it even better.

So enjoy the warm days of “Friday Night Lights” and we’ll catch you around the batting cage. Aloha, mahalo and later, Minka Kelly 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.

April 18, 2011

Are You Catching My Drift?

Good morning and greetings, NBA playoff fans. It’s been another week of wild weather across this great land of ours. We’re talking violent killer tornadoes accompanied by pounding rain, howling winds and Halle Berry.

On Friday, one-fifth of all this year’s tornadoes descended on the south and midwest as the Weather Channel totaled 158 twisters in three days. On Saturday, 62 tornadoes hit North Carolina alone, and the death toll from this entire storm system hit 35. There’s something about 150 MPH winds swooping in and wiping out families and neighborhoods in a matter of seconds that leave me a little on edge, like when I was waiting for the results of my colonoscopy. But that worked out okay, as like Robin Williams, I’m now I’m using it as a film credit.

So in my last post I told you a little something about the history of Davenport, which lies nine miles north of Santa Cruz. Today, on the photo front, we are venturing twenty miles further up Highway 1 to the sprawling metropolis of Pescadero. Now I don’t know too much historically about this coastal enclave, besides the fact that it was a very popular stage coach stop between Santa Cruz and San Francisco and that early settlers to this area discovered that you can make wonderful bread and a delicious cream soup out of artichokes.

I should also mention that each year my son (who dunked a volleyball on Saturday) plays in a preseason basketball tournament in Pescadero. My favorite memory from these back-to-back second place finishes was the first time I spotted the t-shirt for sale that read on the front, “Pescadero”, and on the back, “Who even knew we had a high school.” Classic.

So my brother Paul, who we last heard from when he wrote about his orchidholism (although he now claims to be sober and a succulent man), decided to stop at Pescadero State Beach on a recent trip down the coast. My middle brother has always loved this beach and on this day was child, wife and dog free, so he had all the time in the world to check out the driftwood action, go cliff diving and monitor gray whale traffic.

As you can see, my tennis-playing sibling really caught some good theatre, as he combed the beach like a homicide detective looking for blood splatter and shell casings. Ironically, on my first trip to the Golden State back in 1974, after flying into SFO, my old pal Doug MacKinnon, Paul and I headed down the coast and the first beach we stopped at was Pescadero. I was impressed with the golden sand, endless dunes and magnificent cliffs, and that was just inside the snack bar.

I remember thinking, like a young Balboa, this Pacific Ocean is going to work for me, but after dipping my toes in the water, I knew I was going to have major shrinkage issues. At this point in my middle-aged existence, I need the warm, tropical water to cleanse and rejuvenate my battered body and shattered soul, and 55 degree water just ain’t gonna cut it.

So what do we know about driftwood? What do we know about Norweigian Wood? And for that matter, what really happened to Natalie Wood?

So here are a few quick facts. According to Norse mythology, the first humans before John McCain, Ask and Embla, were formed out of two pieces of driftwood, an ash and an elm, by the God Odin and his brothers, Tito and Jermaine. Most driftwood is the remains of trees or shuttered Starbucks that have been been washed into the ocean due to flooding, erosion, confusion, high winds, garage sales or misplaced Lincoln Logs. And driftwood can be used as decorative furniture, like the couch in my living room and is a very popular element in the scenery for fish and government think tanks.

Here comes the late night. “Donald Trump insists that he is going to run for president. I guess he figures if he can pull off that hairstyle, he can do anything. Maybe he should ease into this — by running for a lower office first, like President of the Hair Club for Men. Trump said he can’t run because he has the #1 show on NBC. Which is kind of like having the nicest house in Haiti.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Donald Trump has a great campaign slogan: ‘A complex world demands complex hair.’” –David Letterman

“Critics say it’s illegal for Donald Trump to run for president while hosting a TV show. It’s also illegal to run for president if your hair wasn’t born in this country. According to a CNN poll, Trump nearly doubled his support from March. Actually, he just combed his March numbers over his current ones.”–Conan O’Brien “Barack and Michelle Obama will appear on Oprah’s show soon. Not to be outdone, Donald Trump’s hair will be making an appearance on Animal Planet.”–Jay Leno

“A meeting between Justin Bieber and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been canceled. No word yet on how this will affect the meeting between Selena Gomez and Hezbollah. President Obama says he misses being anonymous. You know, back when he could blend in with the other Hawaiian Barack Hussein Obamas.” –Conan O’Brien. “Today, President Obama changed his slogan from ‘Yes, We Can’ to ‘Have It Your Way’”–Bill Maher, on the Democrats capitulating to Republican budget demands.

“The air traffic controllers are sleeping, the TSA is groping you, and the pilots are drunk. Who would have thought the most reliable workers at the airport would be the baggage handlers? A New Zealand airline is offering what they call “cuddle class.” Don’t all airlines have that? It’s called “coach.”–Jay Leno “The Pentagon announced that openly gay soldiers will begin serving this summer. When people asked why this summer, the Army said, ‘Because ‘Glee’ will be in reruns.’” –Conan O’Brien

“A new poll shows that only 19 percent of Americans strongly approve of President Obama’s performance. The other 81 percent don’t own gas stations. The price of gas in California is almost $5 a gallon. Coming into work, I passed a van packed with legal Americans. Gas has gone up 20 cents just this week. Shouldn’t we stop calling it crude oil at this point and call it obscene oil? Obama said in an interview that he really misses being anonymous. If he wanted to remain anonymous he should have run for vice president.” –Jay Leno

“Republicans are obsessed with abortion. If they really wanted to protect the weakest, most helpless people, wouldn’t they protect the Democrats? Glenn Beck retired or got fired…and a lot of people are asking who will now speak for the raving lunatics who startle you outside of a parking garage?” –Bill Maher “Because of a holiday, the deadline for taxes is April 18, so you have three extra days to dig through restaurant dumpsters for receipts.”–Jimmy Kimmel

So another post is in the books. And if you enjoyed my brother Paul’s photos, here’s some bonus photography for you. My brother Brad recently posted some incredible pictures and text from his Alaska heliskiing trip. You can check them out at http://www.glutenfreesnowboarder.com/2011/04/alaska-the-last-frontier/. If you want to enlarge the pictures just click on them. And remember, all proceeds go to the send Brad’s oldest brother to Hawaii foundation.

So enjoy the first night of Passover and first round of the NBA playoffs and we’ll catch you around the seder plate. Aloha, mahalo and later once again, Derrick Rose fans.

January 23, 2011

The Farmer In Waddell

Good morning and greetings, North Coast fans. It was a true delight walking on West Cliff last week, as the swell was big and the light outstanding. When the mornings and my mind are clear, the colors and waves are, in the word of a fellow westside traveler, “just exhilarating.” The sun’s reflection on the cliffs creates a shiny, dark-gold, turkish taffyish look. Colors like this reinforce me of how I’m lucky to be on the edge of the continent instead of in an office at eight a.m.. As the Duck and Cover boys say, “you never forget your first cubicle.”

So what shall I bless my captive audience with this week? My textile-loving friend Kristal suggested a while back that I do a culinary blog, informing my cyber guests of the vodoo that I do each week in the kitchen. I told her that I don’t think people will be all that fascinated hearing about my adventures with beef stroganoff, eggplant parmesan, or my savory and succulent chicken that falls off the bone faster than Charlie Sheen did off the wagon.

I know I’m only human, and even though I’m 99% vegan, every once in a while I succumb to the lure of a chocolate bar. I just happen to be a vegan who loves a good baby back rib. What people might be interested in is the inordinate amount of cranberry sauce I consume during the year, but that’s just for religious purposes.

Let’s just say when I buy my Ocean Spray around Thanksgiving time, I don’t purchase by the can, I haul it away by the flat, 24 Cannes at a shot. It’s a jellied film festival of cranberry delight all-year round with no sugar added. Along with Mott’s applesauce, in the words of the Doobie Brothers, when it comes to my consumption, “what were once vices are now habits.”

Now as fascinating as this is, let’s move on to today’s photo vortex. Waddell Creek Beach is 20 miles north of Santa Cruz up Highway 1. It is known worldwide for its steady, strong northwest winds and good surf. Although I don’t surf, kite surf, free dive, free bird, water ski, jet ski, skim board, boogie board or even take my jacket off, what I always love about this place is the collection of birds scattered along the beach.

This area is home to 250 species of birds. This is a spot where the pelicans stop to clean their wings in the creek and go for a spa treatment. I never know what I’m going to find when journeying up the North Coast and Waddell comes into sight. Rest assured I am rarely disappointed, which is more than I can say about being rejected at feeding time by my own mother soon after birth. In the words of the great Rodney Dangerfield, she said she just liked me as a friend.

So let me give you a little history of this glorious swatch of coastline. Charo and Spanish sea expeditions visited the Waddell Valley as early as 1543. In 1769, Antonio Banderas and the Portola expedition discovered the redwoods. They had been exploring on the coast of California, and first spotted the redwoods or “Palo Colorados” along with a Baja Express about forty miles south of Big Basin. The Spaniards declared them to be the “thickest, tallest, and straightest trees they had ever seen since Pau Gasol and his brother Marc hit the NBA.”

They camped at the mouth of the present-day Waddell Creek. Many members of the expedition were ill and dying of malnutrition when they first arrived in the valley. However, the berries, wild game and the Jamba Juice quickly restored their health, inspiring them to name it “La Canada de Salud” (The Valley of Health), which is no relation to the Valley of the Dolls.

A number of farming families and wind surfers settled in the lower part of the Valley in the early 1800s. In the mid 1860s, William Waddell conducted an extensive timber harvesting operation in the area. The lumber was used extensively in the post gold-rush building boom of Chinese restaurants and Starbucks in San Francisco.

On October 1, 1875, Waddell was hunting deer on the land above his homestead. At that time, California’s coastal mountain ranges were still home to many bears and packers, and as Waddell started up a ravine, he was attacked by a large Grizzly and severely mauled. He lived just long enough to tell the story to his closest friends and family and then died five days later. His timber operations were soon discontinued because the family’s pain was too much to bear.

So the first two shots give an overview to the beauty of this wind-swept wonderland. I photographed the next set from the same spot on my way down the coast in December. The gulls were dominating the action on this gray day. You can see the mouth of Waddell Creek flowing into the Pacific in photo #4. We finish with some reflection action on a gorgeous fall afternoon, as these gulls just wanted to have fun.

This is the spot I headed for when I took my first digital camera on a test drive back in 2005. I snapped about 75 shots in five minutes without film hesitation and thought, yeah, this will work. There was a pretty sunset that night and the rest is film free history. The beautiful thing is, little did I know then and now I know even less.

Let’s head to the late night. “We had a national tragedy this week, and the President of the United States and Sarah Palin both made speeches on the same day. Obama came out against lunatics with guns, she gave the rebuttal.” –Bill Maher “President Obama says he’ll go to the Super Bowl if the Chicago Bears are playing in it. Sarah Palin says she’ll go to the Super Bowl if actual bears are playing in it.” –Jimmy Fallon “The debate over repealing healthcare began in the House today. The Republicans have their own plan: “Don’t ask, don’t get sick.”–Jay Leno

“President Hu Jintao from China is visiting the United States. Ahead of the big state dinner, President Obama went to Hu’s hotel and slipped a menu under the door. If President Hu likes what he sees, he may put down a deposit. There was a big dinner for the President. General Tso brought his famous chicken.” –David Letterman

“Chinese President Hu Jintao made his first official state visit to the Unites States. Vice President Joe Biden has been asked not to do his “Hu’s on first” routine.”–Jimmy Kimmel “There was a really awkward moment when the Chinese president met President Obama’s daughters and asked them, “So what factories do you kids work at?”–Jay Leno “New Speaker of the House John Boehner chose not to attend the dinner for Chinese President Hu. In China, they’re calling him an orange chicken.” –Jimmy Fallon

“According to TMZ, Charlie Sheen was partying in Las Vegas again on Monday. But to be fair, everybody celebrates the legacy of Dr. King differently. Congratulations to the new Miss America, 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan. You can tell she’s still a teenager by her talent — texting while driving.”–Jay Leno ” Despite cutting half of the city’s police force, the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, says the city’s crime statistics will not be affected. When asked how that’s possible, he cited the new law that makes stabbing a misdemeanor.–Conan O’Brien

So that’s our NFL playoff report. There are many beautiful beaches north of Santa Cruz, and we’ll be doing more cyber sightseeing as the year flows along. So enjoy the clear skies, the warm January weather and we’ll catch you in the right flat. Aloha, mahalo and later, Blake Griffin 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.

April 4, 2010

No Woman Is An Island

Good morning and greetings, championship game fans. As many of you know, I’m rather fond of orchids and running in ultra marathon races. My brother Paul recently gave me an oncidium named Sherry Baby that I placed in my office, and when the spray of flowers opened, it smelled like vanilla heaven. The intoxicating scent gently wafted thru the air, emitting the same delicious smelling sensation one gets from the rain forests of Maui. Just a very intense olfactory experience, much like my freshman year at Syracuse.

I’ve fallen in love with a magazine called “The Week,” which is the best of U.S. and international media. I’m so impressed that I got my son a subscription that will run thru his final year of rabbinical school. Whether it’s the recent skirmish between the U.S. and Israel, the political turmoil in Turkey or a great recipe for walnut raisin stuffing, this publication covers it all. It’s like a combination of Time, Newsweek, National Review and Mad Magazine. I haven’t been this up to date on the world scene since Walter Cronkite called me for my recipe for matzo brei.

So on that note, I recently ran across an item that I thought was blog worthy. It was written by Associated Press writer Nirmala George (no relation to Curious) with a no-look assist from yours truly.

For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now, rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them, as much like my dreams of becoming a puppet, a poet or Somali pirate, the island’s gone.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor and wresting coach at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery, sea patrols, and judges from the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest. “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, emailing and chat rooms, has been resolved by global warming,” said Hazra.

Scientists in India have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels, the cost of shrimp cocktail and glass bottom boat rides have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal. A nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to swim the backstroke in a freestyle relay to the mainland. At least 10 other islands in the area, are also experiencing that sinking feeling, Hazra said.

Bangladesh is one of the countries most-affected by global warming. It is a low lying nation, unlike Rush Limbaugh, who is a low lying fool. Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh’s coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced by 2050 if sea levels rise continue to rise. The rich get richer, the poor get drenched.

India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which is about 2 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and as deep as an episode of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.” Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti or Someone Tell Patty This Rock Is Sinking. There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag and open up call center for Delta Airlines.

Bangladesh officials were not immediately available for comment but a spokesman later summed up the situation with these words from Simon and Garfunkle, “I am a rock, I was an island.”

So having been voted off the island and in honor of our first look of April, I thought I would blast out with some skylights of color. I know you’re probably thinking, “Wow, how unusual that Geoff would want to feature some color on this site.” Well, every once in a while I like to venture out of my comfort zone. Or as Robert Palmer once told me, “Might as well face it, you’re addicted to color.”

The first two shots are from December and a previously unseen sunrise. We then move to the cliffs north of Natural Bridges for the next photo duet. I was a little late on this night and just caught the final act of this sunset sonata, but fortunately, much like having chocolate fudge cake for dessert, it ended on a sweet note.

In our final photo segment, we move back to the sunrise mode. This is from a morning in January that blew the doors of the lovers and strangers along West Cliff Drive. I had previously featured a couple of jolts from this morning, but the sky was so amazing that it warranted more coverage. Moments of intense color like this are why I wake up the roosters.

On to the late night. “President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan this past weekend. I guess after the last 14 months in Washington, he wanted to go someplace where there was less fighting.” –Jay Leno “President Obama met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. This was an important meeting. Both presidents agreed that we have to work to wipe out terror networks, like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Fox News.” –David Letterman “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the armed forces to initiate changes to their policy of discharging homosexuals. They’ve changed from the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, to the ‘If you think he’s gay, look away’ policy.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Well, according to ‘Newsweek,’ the FBI now says Osama bin Laden is healthy and giving the orders once again for al Qaeda. Today, Republicans blamed it on the new healthcare bill.” –Jay Leno “And unemployment in Florida hit a record high of 12.2 percent. You want to know how bad it is down there? Today, the Coast Guard picked up 50 Cubans off the coast of Miami trying to swim back to Cuba.” –Jay Leno “Pamela Anderson on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. You know who else is on ‘Dancing with the Stars’? Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Pam Anderson and Buzz Aldrin. Honest to God, it looks like a Republican ticket.” –David Letterman

“Well, here’s some good news for us. Iran’s top nuclear scientist has defected to the CIA and is now here in the United States. He’s now on our side. And he had some frightening information. He said Iran was just weeks away from developing their very own Toyota Prius.” –Jay Leno “Thursday is Census deadline day. The census would like every resident of the United States to fill out their form and mail it in. If you don’t know how many people live in your house, just count the number of iPods.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Here’s a fascinating story. The Republican National Committee got together and said, ‘Let’s have a party.’ We’ll get the Republican National Committee to pay for it — money that we get from donations and contributions. And they said, ‘Well, let’s go to Los Angeles to a sex club.’ So they end up there at a bondage club in Los Angeles. And I thought that makes perfect sense because Republicans love tying things up: health care, climate control; financial reform.” –David Letterman

So that’s our Opening Day preview. Enjoy tonight’s NCAA title game, as two teams will play for the right to proclaim, in the words of the late Freddie Mercury and Queen, “We are the champions, my friend.” Next week we’ll head out to the southland and check out some desert sky action. So enjoy the final drops of March Madness and the opening of our national pastime. We’ll catch you’re running the box and one. Aloha, mahalo and later, Mike Krzyzewski fans.

Good morning and greetings, championship game fans. As many of you know, I’m rather fond of orchids and running in ultra marathon races. My brother Paul recently gave me an oncidium named Sherry Baby that I placed in my office, and when the spray of flowers opened, it smelled like vanilla heaven. The intoxicating scent gently wafted thru the air, emitting the same delicious smelling sensation one gets from the rain forests on Maui. Just a very intense olfactory experience, much like my freshman year at Syracuse.

I’ve fallen in love with a magazine called “The Week,” which is the best of U.S. and international media. I’m so impressed that I got my son a subscription that will run thru his final year of rabbinical school. Whether it’s the recent skirmish between the U.S. and Israel, the political turmoil in Turkey or a great recipe for walnut raisin stuffing, this publication covers it all. It’s like a combination of Time, Newsweek, National Review and Mad Magazine. I haven’t been this up to date on the world scene since Walter Cronkite called me for my recipe for matzo brei.

So on that note, I recently ran across an item that I thought was blog worthy. It was written by Associated Press writer Nirmala George (no relation to Curious) with a no-look assist from yours truly.

For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now, rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them, as much like my dreams of becoming a puppet, a poet or Somali pirate, the island’s gone.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor and wresting coach at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery, sea patrols, and judges from the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest. “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, emailing and chat rooms, has been resolved by global warming,” said Hazra.

Scientists in India have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels, the cost of shrimp cocktail and glass bottom boat rides have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal. A nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to swim the backstroke in a freestyle relay to the mainland. At least 10 other islands in the area, are also experiencing that sinking feeling, Hazra said.

Bangladesh is one of the countries most-affected by global warming. It is a low lying nation, unlike Rush Limbaugh, who is a low lying fool. Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh’s coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced by 2050 if sea levels rise continue to rise. The rich get richer, the poor get drenched.

India and Bangladesh both claimed the empty New Moore Island, which is about 2 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and as deep as an episode of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.” Bangladesh referred to the island as South Talpatti or Someone Tell Patty This Rock Is Sinking. There were no permanent structures on New Moore, but India sent some paramilitary soldiers to its rocky shores in 1981 to hoist its national flag and open up call center for Delta Airlines.

Bangladesh officials were not immediately available for comment but a spokesman later summed up the situation with these words from Simon and Garfunkle, “I am a rock, I was an island.”

So having been voted off the island and in honor of our first look of April, I thought I would blast out with some skylights of color. I know you’re probably thinking, “Wow, how unusual that Geoff would want to feature some color on this site.” Well, every once in a while I like to venture out of my comfort zone. Or as Robert Palmer once told me, “Might as well face it, you’re addicted to color.”

The first two shots are from December and a previously unseen sunrise. We then move to the cliffs north of Natural Bridges for the next photo duet. I was a little late on this night and just caught the final act of this sunset sonata, but fortunately, much like having chocolate fudge cake for dessert, it ended on a sweet note.

In our final photo segment, we move back to the sunrise mode. This is from a morning in January that blew the doors of the lovers and strangers along West Cliff Drive. I had previously featured a couple of jolts from this morning, but the sky was so amazing that it warranted more coverage. Moments of intense color like this are why I wake up the roosters.

On to the late night. “President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan this past weekend. I guess after the last 14 months in Washington, he wanted to go someplace where there was less fighting.” –Jay Leno “President Obama met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. This was an important meeting. Both presidents agreed that we have to work to wipe out terror networks, like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Fox News.” –David Letterman “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the armed forces to initiate changes to their policy of discharging homosexuals. They’ve changed from the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, to the ‘If you think he’s gay, look away’ policy.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Well, according to ‘Newsweek,’ the FBI now says Osama bin Laden is healthy and giving the orders once again for al Qaeda. Today, Republicans blamed it on the new healthcare bill.” –Jay Leno “And unemployment in Florida hit a record high of 12.2 percent. You want to know how bad it is down there? Today, the Coast Guard picked up 50 Cubans off the coast of Miami trying to swim back to Cuba.” –Jay Leno “Pamela Anderson on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. You know who else is on ‘Dancing with the Stars’? Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Pam Anderson and Buzz Aldrin. Honest to God, it looks like a Republican ticket.” –David Letterman

“Well, here’s some good news for us. Iran’s top nuclear scientist has defected to the CIA and is now here in the United States. He’s now on our side. And he had some frightening information. He said Iran was just weeks away from developing their very own Toyota Prius.” –Jay Leno “Thursday is Census deadline day. The census would like every resident of the United States to fill out their form and mail it in. If you don’t know how many people live in your house, just count the number of iPods.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Here’s a fascinating story. The Republican National Committee got together and said, ‘Let’s have a party.’ We’ll get the Republican National Committee to pay for it — money that we get from donations and contributions. And they said, ‘Well, let’s go to Los Angeles to a sex club.’ So they end up there at a bondage club in Los Angeles. And I thought that makes perfect sense because Republicans love tying things up: health care, climate control; financial reform.” –David Letterman

So that’s our Opening Day preview. Enjoy tonight’s NCAA title game, as two teams will play for the right to proclaim, in the words of the late Freddie Mercury and Queen, “We are the champions, my friend.” Next week we’ll head out to the southland and check out some desert sky action. So enjoy the final drops of March Madness and the opening of our national pastime. We’ll catch you’re running the box and one. Aloha, mahalo and later, Mike Krzyzewski fans.


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