September 7, 2014

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Good morning and greetings, NFL fans. Well, the 2014 football season is underway, and already my hopes for the New York Giants going to the Super Bowl have been dashed, by a preseason performance best labeled as “dismal.”

Although the Giants did go unbeaten in the preseason, this perfect record will not mean anything after tonight, when they face the Detroit Lions on opening night of Monday Night Football. In the words of renowned sportscaster Al Michaels, “Those three words resonate like no other.”

At this point, there is a little hope for optimism. Quarterback Eli Manning, the guy who runs the show and has two Super Bowl rings, is coming off a terrible 2013 season, where he threw 27 interceptions and was a complete mess. New York started out 0-6, and although they finished the year at 7-9, I had completely given up on the season after their first three possessions on opening night. Seriously.

I kid you not. There I was, happily looking forward to a semi-successful season of Big Blue football, but in their opening game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Giant’s first three possessions resulted in a fumble and two Manning interceptions. At this point I was horrified, mortified and needed to be anesthetized.

I couldn’t believe how upset I was over their abominable play. It was at this point, not ten minutes into the freaking 2013-14 season, that I cut the emotional chord for the team that I had rooted for my entire lifetime.

Now even though the Giants played well in the second half and had a chance to win the game, I had given up. I had no forgiveness in my heart for Eli Manning. I realized this was just a football game and it’s a long season, but I was too discouraged to root on. I had lost my Giant’s mojo.

So the past is hopefully not my future, and I’m all set to go with my sixteenth year of the NFL Season Ticket package, which will enable me to watch all 16 regular season New York Giant games from the comfort of my living room. Some years have been pure ecstacy, while others have had my questioning my existence on the planet.

As all New York Giant fans know, we’ve had lots of memorable wins and incredible moments over the past couple of decades, but with it also comes a lot of pain and emotional suffering. I can honestly say that many of the greatest days of pure orgasmic joy have come from watching the Giants squash the opposition, whether it be Joe Montana and the 49ers, Tom Brady and the Patriots or Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

I remember the Conference Championships back in 2000, when the underdog Giants took on the Minnesota Vikings and destroyed them, 41-0. Up until this point, this was happiest day of my life. The Giants kept scoring touchdown after touchdown, and my andrenaline was running super high. I remember thinking, why can’t I feel like this every day? And if birds fly over the rainbow, why then, why can’t I?

I recall back in 1986, watching the Giants take apart the 49ers by a 49-3 score. My brother Brad called me during the game, and after he hung up, I thought to myself, that’s the happiest that I ever heard him sound. And I’m sure at that moment my father, my brother Paul and the rest of the Giant football nation were partying like it was 1999.

So once again this season, I have the RedZone Network that shows you the highlights of every scoring play of every game. Just when you thought your TV entertainment experience couldn’t get any better, DIRECTV takes it to a whole new level.

So that horror show on opening day is now a season of the past, and a fresh slate of games is upon us. We’ll see what happens tonight, as Eli Manning still looks out of sync and has a lot to prove. The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, not to be confused with Jean Paul Belmondo, said that, “In the football match, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.” And that’s why they paid Jean Paul the big bucks.

So I guess I’m still a believer. I know things could be worse. Just ask my son Jason. He’s a Raider’s fan.

So for today’s photo display, we are heading back to the skies above Monterey Bay. There have been a few outstanding sunsets that have made headlines this summer, and if you were lucky enough to see the sky last Friday, you were treated to a spectacular sight.

I could see from the late afternoon clouds that something special was in the air, but I decided to have dinner with my wife and just shoot the closing act. So just before desert I drove over to a park nearby and caught the colors peaking over the Santa Cruz mountains. It was fantastic.

They don’t make them much better than that. It was world class, Santa Cruz.

On to some late night humor. “The NFL season kicked off officially tonight. It’s that magical time of the year when millions of Americans transition from checking Facebook all day at work to checking their fantasy football lineups all day at work.” – Jimmy Kimmel ” Football’s back. Surprisingly, only two teams played tonight, but the Oakland Raiders have already been eliminated from the playoffs.” – Craig Ferguson

“A spokesperson for Jennifer Lawrence, one of the people who had nude photos leaked, is calling her nude leaked photos a violation of privacy. Meanwhile Kim Kardashian is calling her nude leaked photos “stuff I was going to release next week. Five geckos sent into space as part of an experiment have all died. On the bright side, they were able to save 15 percent on their car insurance.” – Conan O’Brien

“The NFL season kicks off tomorrow night. And then Friday is the start of the Super Bowl pregame show. What an awful day today. It’s 90 and insufferable. No, wait a minute. That’s me. Here’s how hot it is. I got on the subway this morning and I saw a rat eating a Dove Bar. – David Letterman

“The drug store CVS announced that the corporation is changing itself to CVS Health, and they’re no longer selling cigarettes. The CEO estimates the company will lose about $2 billion this year because they’re not selling cigarettes. It is part of their customer health focus. Competitors of CVS, like Walgreens and Rite-Aid, have no plans to follow suit. As much as they understand the consequences of smoking they also understand the wonderful consequences of making $2 billion a year.” – Jimmy Kimmel

So that’s our football report. We’ll catch you and the gang wreaking havoc on fellow outlaw motorcycle clubs tomorrow night on your final season opener on FX. Aloha, mahalo and later, Jax Teller and “Sons of Anarchy” fans.

July 27, 2014

Sweet Home Santa Cruz

Good morning and greetings, large mammal fans. Well, the town was buzzing last week, as the humpbacks put on a show all around Monterey Bay. As the gulls were screeching, the humpbacks were breaching, along with tens of thousands of sooty shearwaters playing follow the leader on the upper level of the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

I feel a certain sort of kinship to the humpbacks as all the activity brought back memories of my entrance to this planet. I was breeching at my birth, as I came into the world butt first.

Yet, I have never been a fan of anchovies, as I’ve never been a fan of this oily, little baitfish, much less swallowed a mouthful of thousands in a single gulp.

But their presence brought the humpbacks to our lovely bay. The whales were first spotted over by Cowells Beach, as Tuesday’s lunch special on the wharf included a choice of soup or caesar salad and 80,000 pound mammals leaping out of the water for dessert. Or you could have substituted gelato.

According to my field scouts, the whales were entertaining the westside crowds at Lighthouse Point, Mitchell’s Cove, Natural Bridges and the CVS on Mission Street. I saw a few gliding by on my morning walks, but I supplemented that by lunge feeding while visiting the Facebook photo pages of Santa Cruz Waves.

Their photos of the humpbacks in breach moments have been fantastic. I haven’t taken any whale watching trips as of late, as I prefer paddle boarding around my bathtub.

So last’s week weather bordered on near perfection, as the days were warm and the coast and my mind were fog free. The air and warm water temperatures brought back memories of my youth, when an all-day trip to the beach was the summer highlight.

Despite the fact that we had to travel over the George Washington Bridge, then get onto the Cross Bronx Expressway, then over the Triboro Bridge before entering onto the Southern State Parkway, then the Meadowbrook Parkway and finally through the Khyber Pass before we finally reached our destination, it was always worth the drive.

I would arise at the crack of the dawn, hitting the bakery when they opened for our fresh sandwiches rolls. We always built up an appetite on a ride, so I made sure we had about eighty sandwiches for my brothers and friends.

We hit the parking lot at Jones Beach at 8am, and then had to wait for the umbrella stand to open so we could then drag it down the sand and park ourselves right at the water’s edge.

We then settled in and it was amazing, sitting oceanfront, while jumping the waves and choosing from a selection of steak, meatloaf, pot roast and vegan cream cheese and jelly sandwiches every fifteen minutes. It was a smorgasboard of delights, with enough fruit, cookies, chips and beverages to feed the Seal Team Six.

But my favorite part of the the day was when everyone left the beach and the sun started to sink in the sky. The golden hour was magnificent, and when we were kids my parents would take us over to another beach park to load up on hamburgers, fries and chocolate milk before setting off on the ride home. I couldn’t wait to get back and play with my sunburn.

So these thoughts leave me with a very good feeling about Santa Cruz, the place I call my home and try to avoid jury duty. I have lived in this cold water paradise for almost thirty years, and I’m still amazed at how beautiful it is.

My wife and I had dined twice in a gazebo last week, which has the fantastic view of the white water break at Natural Bridges Beach. Looking out, the mountains of Monterey were as clear as a bell and the ocean water an exotic blend of aqua blue. Allison peered out over the water and said, “It looks like Hawaii.” There is no greater a compliment.

So I am proud to call this cold water paradise where the redwoods meet the humpbacks my home. As I’ve always said, home is where your house is.

Which leads me to this. I received an email last week from a blog reader, who was hoping I could help getting some info out to others who would like to experience this central coast lifestyle and relocate to Santa Cruz. You can check it out at: http://www.propertyinsantacruz.com/relocating-to-santa-cruz/

Anything for my readers.

So for today’s photo funpack, we are going back to the evening of February 13. I was shooting from Stockton Avenue as a full moon was rising to the east. The clouds on this night were fantastic.

The photos really don’t do justice to the immense size and colors of these masses of frozen water crystals, but you get the picture. The sky was awash with 360 degrees of various shades of pink, as sunset watchers gathered in droves all along West Cliff Drive to take in the action.

Seinfeld’s George Costanza might have described the enormous clouds as having a “pinkish hue.” To me they were real and spectacular.

On to some late night humor. “NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is back in the news. He says the military at the NSA often shared nude photos that Americans had emailed to one another. So if your girlfriend won’t send you naked pictures, just tell her, do it for the troops. “You can tell this drought is getting really bad. Today at lunch, my waiter asked if I wanted a glass of water or a future for my children. I took the water.” –Conan O’Brien

“President Kennedy said let’s put a man on the moon, and by God, 10 years later we put a man on the moon. Yesterday was the 45th anniversary. Nowadays a big deal for us is we combined the croissant and the doughnut to get a cronut.” –David Letterman ” According to a new poll, two-thirds of people in Colorado think it should be illegal to smoke marijuana in public, while the other one-third are still laughing at the word ‘poll.’” –Seth Meyers

The summer is flying by. We’ll catch you playing the role of Ray Donovan,a professional “fixer” for the rich and famous in LA, who can make anyone’s problems disappear except those created by his own family. Aloha, mahalo and later, Liev Schreiber fans.

June 29, 2014

I Haven’t Got Time For The Rain

Good morning and greetings, change of season fans. Well, the weather was simply delightful for the first week of summer, with temperatures in the high 70′s and the fog at a minimum. Unfortunately, there is no precipitation in the forseeable horizon, as we are in the midst of a severe drought, with 2103 being the driest year in California history.

Now contrast this historic lack of precipitation to what happened in Minnesota last week, in the land of Kevin Love and a 1,000 Laker fans. Folks in the twin cities experienced severe weather with record rainfall, as the rivers were raging while people were being flash flooded out of the better homes and gardens. In the words of writer Jarod Kintz, “I love it when the streets near my house get flooded, because it’s the only time I can go out and walk my fish.
”

Meanwhile, here on the Central Coast, we’re as dry as my mother-in law’s brisket, while throughout the midwest people are doing the backstroke in their living rooms, as they are dealing with the worst flooding in decades.

It’s not that I would mind boaters canoeing through my bedroom. Hey, I’d like fly fishing from my dining room table, but these extreme summer storms are no joke.

The Mississippi River was at its highest level in 15 years, totally bloated by the torrential amounts of rainfall, as Minnesotans are experiencing their wettest summer on record.

Fortunately, late in the week, the river crested, according to four out of five dentists who recommend Crest for their patients in the Twin Cities area.

Now on to the nuttiest meteorlogical story of the week. Sean O’Connor is one lucky man. Last week, the Georgia resident was about to rake up some leaves in his driveway when a bolt of lightning struck him in his right leg’s steel-toed boot.

A few minutes later he picked himself up off the ground. He had a taste of blood in his mouth and he realized his leg hair was singed. Or as the Bowery Boys’ Slip Mahoney might have put it, “Sometimes bread cast out over the water comes back as burnt toast.

Sean then looked across the driveway and saw that his boots were no longer on his feet and that one of them was smoldering. He then realized he’d been hit by lightning and had taken up smoking.

He quickly headed over to the emergency room, where doctors didn’t initially buy his story. “At first they didn’t believe me, but when I showed them the singed hair on my legs and the boots they all wanted to shake my hand,” said O’Connor. “They said they’d never met someone who lived after being struck by lightning.” The doctors then pooled their money and had Sean go buy them lottery tickets.

An electrocardiogram scan later revealed that O’Connor had an irregular heart rate, a condition associated with lightning strikes. About 71% of all people struck by lightning survive, but often suffer from severe burns, personality changes, insomnia, impaired hearing, constant pain and a craving for rocky road ice cream.

Bottom line, Sean says he’s okay but from now on he’s going to stick to wearing sandals.

According to the National Weather Service, the chances of being struck by lightning or getting an Anthem Blue Cross representative on the phone are one in a million.

Florida is the deadliest spot, as there are twice as many lightning casualties than in any other state. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur during the summer months, when people are involved with activities like boating, swimming, bullfighting, bicycling, golfing, knife juggling, jogging, walking, cliff diving, hiking, camping, and trolling for great white sharks.

So take heed, as the Fourth of July is historically one of the most deadly times of the year for lightning strikes. I’ll close with the thoughts of Dirty Harry, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood, who once remarked, ““They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.” When it comes to lightning, you’ve gotta ask yourself this question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

Last week in our photo department I featured two sunrises. Well, this week I am once again featuring the buy one get one free photo experience, but from the sunset files.

Both sunsets were shot from the cliffs above Stockton Avenue. The first displayed some unusual cloud formations, as the zoom lens captured different shades of the yellow and rust colored clouds.

The second sunset highlighted the sun filtering through the clouds and shining through onto the Pacific waters. Two nights, two different experiences along the edge of the continent.

On to some late night humor. “The World Cup has an official song. The official anthem is ‘We Will Find a Way.’ It narrowly beat out the other contender, ‘I Feel Someone’s Teeth in My Shoulder.’ At the World Cup, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit a player from Italy’s team. It’s the third time he’s done it. The last time he bit a Chinese player and then claimed he was hungry an hour later.” –Conan O’Brien

“The next opponent for the U.S. will be Belgium. The Belgians are favored over the U.S. But so far, the Belgians have been cagey about saying if they think they’ll win. That’s right, the Belgians are waffling. A big movie opened today. “Jersey Boys.” I It’s about the hot musical group all the kids love — Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. To be honest, I don’t know how well “Jersey Boys” is going to do. People in Los Angeles can’t relate to a movie about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Because people here have no idea what a season is.” – Craig Ferguson

So June is just about history. You may have noticed a new blog format last week. Credit goes to my webmaster and recent UCSC college graduate Kevin Deutsch, who majored in mathematics and received a masters degree in teaching me how to post my blog.

We’ll catch you turning in 40 in your final year and storied career with the Bronx Bombers. Aloha, mahalo and later, Derek Jeter fans.

June 15, 2014

I’m Walking On Sunshine

Good morning and greetings, college graduation fans. We are less than one week away from the summer solstice on June 21, which coincides with the end of another glorious NBA season. I’ve always been of the opinion that the NBA season is too short, as in an ideal world, wheat would not be the enemy and the the playoffs would go for twelve months a year.

The solstice is a special day on my J.Lo calendar, as we see more sunlight than on any other day of the year. Although with the Santa Cruz’s June gloom in the room, you might want to sleep in. Just don’t let the sun catch you crying.

This plethora of sunshine is due to the earth axis performing a major tilt towards the sun. I believe it was my insurance agent or the great Buddha who once said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.” How about my glasses or keys? Obviously, this great Hindu Prince has never vacationed in Santa Cruz in June.

It’s not that I mind the dull, colorless, morning sky. The massive star comprised of hydrogen and helium is not my best friend anymore, as I have paid the price of not having sun blocked during my childhood beach days at Jones Beach or during my Wonder Years living on West Cliff Drive. The sun was frequently shining on the front deck, and those UV rays were a constant guest on my skin.

The King of rock and roll and one of the great hound dogs of our time, Elvis Presley once said, “The truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.” So the June gloom will pass as the sun broke through early on a couple of days last week. I was walking on sunshine, and wooah, it made me feel good.

These dreary morning condition were not just limited to the central coast, as the May gray turned to June gloom from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara and beyond.

And speaking of the Gaucho state, my son Jason returned home on Friday after finishing up his second year of studies at UC Santa Barbara. As I mentioned in previous posts, he knew three of the students killed during the shootings in Isla Vista last month. So friends have been asking me, ‘How is he doing?”

I don’t really know, because after a one day off for a memorial service for the fallen, it was back to classes and his life resumed, but things couldn’t have been totally normal. Jason then went into studying for finals mode, as the exams for biology and organic chemistry involve more memorization than my brain could ever have held.

All I know is that my head would have exploded if I had to take in the volume of work. And that’s why I carry my sociology degree in my wallet. Never leave home without it.

Jason is around for only a week before he goes back down south to attend summer school and work on his beach volleyball game. I’m going to miss him, but what is even sadder is that while he’s home, I’m wondering when the next school shooting will be. I know that school’s out but the guns have not been safely locked away.

There have been 74 shootings at schools and campuses since the Sandy Hook massacre back in 2012 in Connecticut. Two weeks after Isle Vista, there was a shooting death at Seattle Pacific University. Then last Tuesday, a 15 year old brought an assault rifle with him on the school bus to high school in Oregon and killed another student.

A longtime family friend told the press that the 15 year old killer,” was very quiet, I never saw him angry, he was extremely even-tempered, he was always at the best possible behavior.” Boy, lucky he didn’t have a temper.

In the aftermath of all the recent shootings, President Obama expressed his frustration on our inability to enact even modest gun control legislation. “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this. We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens.”

He went on to say that as a nation we have to do some soul searching, as these school massacres have become the norm. There is no end in sight. I guess the best we can do is duck and cover.

For today’s photo display we are going back to the sun, as we watch it drop into the horizon at sunset back on January 24. The location was Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive, and while the pelicans floated by, the sky and clouds turned from a nice shade of creamsicle orange to candy apple red. Or fire engine red for you “Rescue Me” fans.

On to the late night humor. “The campaign manager who helped unseat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last night is a 23-year-old man who interviewed for a job at Panera Bread last month. Said Cantor, “Is that position still available?” – Seth Meyers “Kim and Kanye are honeymooning in Mexico. Republicans and Democrats agree that if there’s ever a time to seal the border, this is it.” – Craig Ferguson

“A Whole Foods store in New York will start offering customers cocktails while they shop. It’s part of Whole Foods’ new slogan, “You’d have to be drunk to pay these prices.” One of the top people in a Mexican drug cartel is a woman who apparently looks exactly like Kim Kardashian. The only difference is the head of the drug cartel has a job and is less of a threat to America.” – Conan O’Brien

“President Obama surprised tourists by walking to a Starbucks near the White House. Even more surprising, he traded five Taliban members for a grande soy latte.” – Seth Meyers “President Obama faced some criticism for chewing gum during a D-Day ceremony. He said, “Sorry, but if I don’t get my Nicorette, there’s going to be another war on this beach.” -Jimmy Fallon

Last night was Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. The air conditioning stopped working during the game, which made it feel like 90 degrees inside. Or as football players, baseball players, tennis players, soccer players, and runners put it, “Must be rough.” That’s right, LeBron James sat on the bench for the final four minutes of the game. And what’s crazy is his teammates still kept passing him the ball. I can’t believe how hot it got during that game. It was so hot that even the LOSING team dumped Gatorade on its coach.” – Conan O’Brien

So here’s a salute to all you fathers out there. We’ll catch you at 22 years of age playing like an all-pro at both ends of the court in the NBA Finals. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kawhi Leonard fans.

June 1, 2014

The Daze Of May

Good morning and greetings, sports fans. April showers and May flowers, like my once perfect eyesight, are now history. I can still remember the day I realized I needed some cheater glasses. I blame it on the lemon chicken.

I was sitting inside a darkened room at O’mei, a restaurant on the westside of Santa Cruz that has been serving Chinese provincial cuisine with an understated elegance since 1979. For people in the know, it’s the best Chinese food in town. The only problem was that every time I walked out of the place, I was left wanting more.

But why point fingers? As my favorite Swami Tejomayananda once said, “If your heart is full, you don’t feel that hungry.”

Now I could have ordered more food and come away with a fuller belly, but at the time, my digestive tract was more suited for the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, where I rarely left not totally satiated.

Back in the 80′s, these noon time feasts were always a Friday tradition, as we would roll out to the Mandarin Palace on a search and destroy mission, intent on devouring anything and everything that came down the pike. Egg rolls, pot stickers, fried rice, Condoleezza rice, beef and broccoli, cashew chicken, shrimp toast, french toast, chow fun, spare ribs, mu shu and grits, along with enough sweet and sour sauce to fill Lake Tahoe.

Back in those crab rangoon days, I was counting cream cheese filled won tons rather than carbs. The cooks would come out and fill the display trays. We would immediately empty them and eagerly anticipate the next round. It was the circle of life.

Or as the old Chinese proverb goes, “A peasant must stand a long time on a hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.”

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, I was trying to read the menu but I couldn’t tell if it was beef with baby corn or corn beef. One of the gentlemen at the table pulled out of pair of cheater glasses and before you could say, “red chili dumplings,” it all became clear. I had seen the light. Help was on the way.

Anyway, April started out in fine fashion, as the first round of the NBA playoffs got underway and were beyond fantastic. Everybody talks about the greatness of March Madness and college hoops, but this was full blown April insanity.

The opening round were all best-of-7 series, which means you have to win four times to advance. That leaves lots of time to sit around recapping the action and anticipating the what happens next.

The first round matchups featured San Antonio-Dallas, Oklahoma City-Memphis, LA Clippers-Golden State and Houston-Portland. Eight solid, exciting NBA teams. All wanted to move on in their quest for an NBA championship.

Turned out, three of the four series went the full seven games, while the fourth went six. Every night there was a game going down to the wire, and better yet, eight overtime contests, which is just a hoop dream. This was a two week stretch of wall-to-wall excitement, with fantastic finishes as the excitement kept building as the series moved along.

It was basketball heaven, as the first weekend in May brought us to the deciding game seven action. Then it was on to the semi-finals and then the conference finals. Now we are back to a rematch of last year’s finalists, which features the Miami Heat, led by the best player on the planet, LeBron James, who are gunning for their third straight championship and the San Antonio Spurs, who are seeking redemption for a title they had within their grasp last season but let slip away.

But as May brought joy, it also drew pain, as tragedy struck when a crazed madman slaughtered six students in a rampage in Isle Vista, which borders the UC Santa Barbara campus. The six killed were all UCSB students. None needed to die.

My son, a sophomore at UCSB, was there that night in the area where the shootings took place. For not some sort of fate, he could easily have been out on the street when the bullets were flying and never would have known what hit him.

Turns out, he knew three of the students who were slain, which is three more than needed in anyone’s lifetime. Jason has seen other friends and classmates die. It seems strange, as when I was growing up, I can’t remember anyone dying, except my dreams of playing in the NBA.

The shootings hit a little too close to home. When I saw the video of Richard Martinez, the father of Chris Martinez, who was shot and killed as he walked into a deli, his pain, grief and anger was heartbreaking. If Jason had decided to go out for some dessert, that easily could have been me being the new poster Dad for our latest national tragedy.

So this Memorial Day weekend was memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Jason’s life is now back to semi-normal, as as he is studying like a maniac for finals. The Isle Vista shooting are fading out of the national news cyle, replaced by other disasters around the globe.

But will this insanity ever end? We have gun and mental health issues that are out of control. Parents should not have to bury their children.

On today’s photo front, we are returning to Lighthouse Point on the evening of January 21. There was a lovely sunrise that morning, so this was a day that I took a double dip on the digital frontier. As you can see, the swell was up, as the waves had been pumping since dawn’s first light. They continued to roll in at Its Beach as the sun set, which delighted everyone who had gathered along the edge to take in the evening’s hazy festivities.

No late night humor this week so I’ll go with a couple of jokes.

A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named ‘Amal.’ The other goes to a family in Spain, they name him Juan’. Years later; Juan sends a picture of himself to his mum. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, ”But they are twins. If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

A turtle was walking down a street in New York and suddenly got mugged by few snails. A policeman arrives to investigate the matter and asks the turtle, “Could you please explain to us about the incident.” The turtle not knowing what to say, replies, “I don’t remember. It happened so fast.”

So that’s our first blast for June. We’ll catch you coming up big down the stretch and leading your team in the quest of another championship. Aloha, mahalo and later, Tim Duncan fans.

May 11, 2014

What A Bay For A Daydream

Good morning and greetings, warm-blooded mammal fans. A few months back, I wrote that more whales had been spotted people watching in the bay than had ever been recorded. Last Tuesday, I spotted four whales on my morning walk, as I saw a calf, her mother, a close friend, and perhaps the father or a body guard heading up the coast.

Well, our favorite bay is once again teeming with exotic marine life. In a recent article posted on sfgate.com, outdoor writer Tom Stienstra wrote, “In the past year, Monterey Bay has become the richest marine region on the Pacific Coast. In the past three weeks, it has reached a new peak with unbelievable hordes of anchovies, along with other baitfish, and with it, the highest numbers of salmon, marine birds, sea lions, gray whales, humpback whales and orcas anywhere.”

So with billions of tons of baitfish roaming the bay, the action has once again been spectacular in our front yard. I only wish I could make these whale watching trips a regular event, but I get sea sick watching Jacques Cousteau specials.

Which reminds me of a joke. A doctor, a dentist and an attorney were in a boat together when a wave came along and washed them all overboard. Unable to get back into the boat, they decided two would hold on to the boat and the third would swim to shore for help.

They noticed that there were hundreds of sharks between them and land. Without a word the lawyer took off! As he swam the sharks move aside. The dentist yelled, “it’s a miracle!”

“No”, said the doctor, “That’s professional courtesy!”

So what do we know about Monterey Bay? Back in 1602, or around the last time the Cubs won the World Series, Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizciano discovered Monterey Bay while searching for a good location for the Capitola Mall. He was seeking a port along the California coast that would be a safe harbor for Spanish ships. He named the bay in honor of the Viceroy, the Conde de Monterey, which is I believe is the sandwich I ordered for lunch last week at Chili’s.

Vizciano reported that the bay was a safe harbor and sheltered from all winds, which didn’t turn out to be true. He also said that he didn’t think an aquarium would be succcesful in Monterey or the Warriors would make it into the playoffs two years in a row. But he did think Mark Jackson would be fired.

Actually, Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of California back in 1542, but he sailed right by the entrance of Monterey Bay, as he was concerned with the high cost of living in the area. And that is why they only named a junior college after him, instead of a four year university.

But it was not until 1769, around the golden age of television, that an outpost was established on Monterey Bay. It was called Del Taco and was open 24 hours a day with a drive thru for horses and covererd wagons.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1992, in an effort to preserve the ocean environment that’s currently being enjoyed and polluted by the population surrounding it. It includes the Pacific waters along the central California coast from Cambria to north of San Francisco, and extends out to sea an average of 30 miles, or the same distance I walk every two weeks to stay slim and trim as I ease into my summer wardrobe.

Monterey Bay actually comprises less than 1/15th of the entire sanctuary, which is all open water, as no land is included. It is the largest marine sanctuary in the U.S. and the second largest in the world after the Hawaiian Islands. Monterey Bay’s underwater canyon is larger than the Grand Canyon, and considered to be the Yankee Stadium of the Pacific.

The bay is a Camp Pendleton of marine life, with approximately 345 species of fish, 450 plus species of plants, 94 species of seabirds, 30 species of marine mammals, 4 species of turtles, two turtle doves and the Patridge family in a pear tree. It’s Atlantis gone wild.

From 1854 to the early 1900s, the Monterey Bay harbor was a major cargo and whaling port. Its sandy beaches were white with whalebone, which was also the name of my band in high school.

Grey whales make their biannual visits during migrations between Alaska and their breeding grounds in Baja California. Blue whales appear from late spring to late autumn, along with Minke whales, Fin whales, Humpback whales, the Prince of Wales, Pacific Right whales, Sperm whales, Howard Wales along with pods of Orcas, whose favorite item on their spring menu is young gray whales.

So a man in a movie theatre notices what looks like a whale sitting next to him. “Are you a whale?” asked the man, surprised. “Yes.” “What are you doing at the movies?” The whale replied, “Well, I liked the book.”

So throw in the frequent sightings of dolphins, porpoises and sea lions and there’s always action on the bay. There have also been 1,276 reported shipwrecks, which does not include the last twenty years of Oakland Raider football.

Giant kelp forests are underwater inhabitants of the bay. With the exception of the marijuana industry, it is the fastest growing plant on earth, growing up to 14 inches a day. Which does not explain why 90% of the brussel sprouts grown in the United States are from Santa Cruz County.

So what else to say about this playground of natural wonders? I believe former Beatle Ringo Starr summed it up best when he said, “I’d like to be, under the sea, in an octopus’s garden in the shade.” Life is good when you can sit by the dock of the bay watching time roll away.

Moving along to the photo department, back in January and February, the sunrises and sunsets were coming fast and furious. Today’s spread is from the evening of January 9. It wasn’t anything to tweet home about as the sky turned different shades of tangerine, but when I loaded up the zoom lens, I came up with a pretty good shot of some gulls amidst an orange sherbert sundae. Not a bad dessert.

On to a little late night humor. “Richard Branson has announced plans to develop a new type of plane that could fly from New York to Tokyo in one hour. Apparently the engines are powered by human screams.” – Seth Meyers “A new study found that a growing number of dog owners are giving their pets anti-anxiety medication as a way to calm them down and reduce unwanted stress in their lives. Then dogs said, “Or, you could just sell the vacuum cleaner.” – Jimmy Fallon

“For the second time in three days, the White House has gone into lockdown after someone threw an object over the fence. Finally today, President Obama took away Joe Biden’s Frisbee. Sony has invented a new kind of cassette tape that could store 47 million songs. They estimate that they’ll be ready to demonstrate the new cassette for the public sometime in the year 2267 when it finishes rewinding.” – Seth Meyers

So we’ll catch you being one of the top point guards in the league while leading your team to an amazing come-from-behind win on Mother’s Day. Aloha, mahalo and later, Chris Paul fans.

April 20, 2014

So Let’s Root, Root, Root For The Home Teeth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 2:06 pm

Good morning and greetings, NBA playoff fans. Last week, I was searching high and low for a subject to entertain my cyber readers. Being in the holiday spirit, I was looking for something upbeat, like an Easter bunny winning the lottery and setting all his friends and family in cages free.

Well, after a trip to the dentist office last Thursday, I had found my story. But it’s not all warm and fuzzy. I have to face it. For me, there’s no escaping the dental reaper.

But before I get into my newest dilemma, let me update you on my brother Brad. He had total knee reconstruction surgery last Tuesday and it went very well, or at least as well as it could go when severe pain is involved. He emailed in the middle of the night last Thursday morning, in the midst of the most continuous pain he had experienced in all his 55 years as a New York Giants fan.

At that point he had enough drugs in his system to open a pharmacy, but it still wasn’t enough, as the pain was beyond excruciating.

But he is starting to come around slowly, although he’ll be off the grid for a while as he recovers. He’s already had surgery on this knee once before, so he knows all about how the physical therapy game is played.

But he’s experiencing pain at a level he’s never encountered before. It’s beyond brutal. I’m just hoping it’s gets tolerable real soon. I feel for him, as he’s like a brother to me and doesn’t deserve all the anguish and suffering.

They say fear and courage are brothers. If that’s the case, I don’t want to meet their sisters.

Now back to me. My teeth have always been a problem, a true achilles heel. I am quite familiar with the drill, fill and bill syndrome, as my childhood was filled with cavities. This led to a lifetime bonus of nightmares involving my teeth.

I know I didn’t have the greatest childhood dentist, as he never took any x-rays. He just held me up to the light. I remember him attempting to take out two of my wisdom teeth without putting me under. In retrospect, if I had had any wisdom, I would never have opened my mouth.

So last Thursday, I was greeting by a dental hygienist that I had never met. Not a good sign, as change is not good. She told me she only worked there two days a month. I replied, “This must be my lucky day.”

Having been blessed with soft teeth, the conglomeration of mercury in my mouth and the continuation through my 20′s and 30′s led me to becoming royalty, as I started getting crowns in my 40′s. Yeah, there’s nothing like biting down and cracking a tooth. Your tongue then automatically goes to the spot where the tooth once was and the party begins.

I now have approximately 65 gold crowns in my mouth while my dentist has a flourishing vineyard in Napa. Maybe that’s why I’m not crazy about the smell of my enamel burning.

Now back in 2001, I experienced rapid bone loss in my jaw and had to have a incisor tooth extracted. This led to a new game called ring around the implant. But I thought, well, that bone loss was just a fluke, and went on with with the rest of my so-called life.

But then in 2010, just to even the playing field, I cracked the upper incisor on the other side, which required another implant. I didn’t get it taken care of right away, as immediate attention wasn’t required and I wanted to savor the oral surgery experience.

Then in 2012, I was introduced to a new friend called root resorption. This little party trick involves my own living body cells attacking the root of my front teeth, leading to their destruction and subsequent extractions.

And here’s the bonus when it comes to root or tooth absorption. The greatest minds in science and medicine don’t know what causes the cells to unite and turn on me. It could have been my childhood orthodontic work (that’s what I’m guessing,) as my orthodontist left midway through my treatment and my case was taken over by some hack who took my braces off too soon.

Or there could have some trauma in the area, but a relatively large proportion of root resorption is of unknown cause, or “idiopathic,” leaving me feeling like the idiot.

So this led to getting two implants with some bone grafting for dessert. The upper implant was easy, but the lower one was very tricky. I remember waking up and hearing the words, “We couldn’t get the implant in.” Well, that led to more oral surgery fun, as the implant must grow in the jaw bone for six months before the crown is attached. And that forced me to wear plastic flippers to cover the empty spots in my mouth, as the only fashion work I was getting before that was modeling hockey jerseys.

But in early 2013, we finished up the work, and my mouth was as good as semi-new. I once again had a half a million dollar smile. But I was constantly haunted by the words of oral surgeon, who warned me that once you experience rapid root absorption, it’s not going away. It’s like I have Al Quaida plotting in my mouth.

And that bring us back to last Thursday. The x-rays showed that the cells have attacked my other bottom front tooth. My dentist said the tooth is “terminal.” Kaput.

I’ve gone through this before and know the drill. I may have a little bit of time, but I know the process that lies ahead. My dentist said my last implant was the most complicated procedure he’s seen in his 40 years. To quote the poet Ogden Nash, “Some tortures are physical. And some are mental. But the one that is both is dental.”

But I’m not complaining, as other people have it a lot worse. Like Brad. I’m just left wondering why.

But I’ll deal with it, however unpleasant as it may be. Because that’s the hand, er mouth, that I’ve been dealt.

But if I ever meet my orthodontist on the road, I will kill him.

So last week I showcased a beautiful sunrise from January 3, that lit up the morning sky with beauty and elegance. Today’s photos are the sunset from the same day. It was not nearly as spectacular as the morning colors, but it was about as much as I could absorb that night.
So just to show in light of the circumstances that I still have a sense of humor, here’s my favorite joke about dentists.

A couple of old guys were golfing one day, when one of the men said that he was going to go to Dr. Lookner for a new set of dentures in the morning.

His elderly friend remarked that he, too, had gone to the same dentist a few years before. “Is that so?” the first old gentleman asked. “Did he do a good job?”

The second gent replied, “Well, I was on the course yesterday when the fellow on the ninth hole hooked a shot. The ball must have been going at least 200 mph when it hit me right in the testicles.”

The first old guy was confused and asked, “What does that have to do with your dentures?” The second man answered, “That was the first time in two years that my teeth didn’t hurt.”

And one late night joke. “Today is the 50th anniversary of the first Rolling Stones album. The band is still going strong. Thanks, drugs.” – Craig Ferguson

So on to the NBA playoffs. We’ll catch you being MVP of the regular season as you go seek your first NBA championship. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kevin Durant fans.

March 30, 2014

What Kind Of Fool Am I?

Good morning and greetings, Final Four fans. Well, according to my Olsen Twins calendar, today is the final day of March, meaning the madness is soon coming to an end. We are now heading toward that one shining moment, when the NCAA champion is crowned, as every other team in the field of 64 will have ended the season on a losing note.

Finishing off a year in this fashion is always painful, for some more than others. Or in the words of former basketball coach Bill Musselman, “Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat.”

This year’s NCAA basketball tournament certainly has lived up to the hype. Last Sunday’s heavyweight battle between undefeated Wichita State, riding a 33-game winning streak, and the much ballyhooed freshman of Kentucky was an all-time classic, one of the best ever. The Wildcats emerged as the victors as the Shockers got screwed in the bracket matchups.

But my favorite game was an opening round tilt between Mahattan College and the defending champion Louisville Cardinals. It pitted an emotional coaching confrontation between the teacher, Rick Pittino and his former student and assistant coach, Steve Masiello.

The 13th-seeded Jaspars almost pulled off the upset, as they had the lead with a few minutes to go, but a couple of mistakes proved to be their undoing as the Cardinals prevailed. This led to Friday night’s epic battle of the Blue Grass State between Kentucky and Louisville, with the young Wildcats prevailing as the champions were dethroned.

To read a tremendous story about the behind-the-scenes drama coming into the Manhattan game, click on http://grantland.com/features/ncaa-tournament-manhattan-college-louisville-cardinals-steve-masiello-rick-pitino/

For basketball fans and endodontists, this is must read material.

So with March leaving the arena, April takes center stage tomorrow at the midcourt stripe.

And if it’s April 1, we are talking April Fools’ day. Which brings to mind an old Chinese proverb, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, get a free order of egg rolls.

Or as English writer Charles Lamb once observed, “Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.” Love the optimistic take.

Now no one, besides perhaps Carnac the Magnificent, knows how this day actually came about. Word has it that back in 1582, around the birth of John McCain’s great, great, great grandparents, King Charles IX of France put out the word that the New Year, which was then celebrated from March 25 to April 1, be moved to January 1, so that the peasants could get a bigger bang for their bucks on calendars.

Now this was during a time in history when internet access was limited and there was no television or radio, so word spread slower than I make changes. So people who forgot about the change or didn’t accept the new date system were goofed upon, as they were given funny gifts, invitations to nonexistent parties or a trip the guillotine. When asked for a comment, Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat sponge cake.”

Or as Mark Twain later wrote, “Let us be thankful for fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

Now some say it was actually Pope Gregory in 1562 who introduced the new calendar to the Christian world, but his website has been removed and his people did not return my calls.

As for myself, I don’t really participate in any April Fools’ pranks or jokes, as I prefer to fool or tell people white lies throughout the rest of the year. Over the first trimester of my nine year courtship, my future bride’s favorite question would always be, “Really?” And as I used to say, if you have to ask me that question, you already know the answer, a remark she always found quite endearing.

As to why I would mislead or run the misdirection play, who knows, it’s just in my DNA. I’ve always loved fooling people, of course, not maliciously, or as my wife likes to say, “He’s kidding.” Or as the great Winston Churchill once put it, “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”

So April 1 is a day for hoaxes, pranks, bloopers, blunders and practical jokes. Like putting ‘kick me’ signs on people’s butts. Humorist Will Rogers once remarked, “The trouble with practical jokes is that they very often get elected.

So courtesy of abs-cbnnews.com and wierdfacts.com, here are some of the more amusing April 1 jokes and pranks played over the years.

In 1957, the BBC television program Panorama ran a famous hoax, showing the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. Millions were duped by the report, with many of them asking how they can grow their own spaghetti trees. Still even more called in asking if they knew of any trees that grew sauce.

In 1996, Taco Bell pulled the wool over Americans’ eyes when they took out full-page ads in major newspapers, claiming they had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. Now that’s thinking outside the bun.

In 1998, Burger King introduced the “Left-Handed Whopper.” This juicy burger supposedly included the usual condiments in original Whopper sandwich, but these were “rotated 180 degrees” to suit left-handed customers. And that’s why God gave us two hands to hold a Whopper.

In 2010, Google “officially” changing its name to “Topeka”, then in 2011 released a new product called “Gmail Motion” that supposedly let users send and receive e-mails using gestures. Last year, Google announced the shutdown of its popular video-sharing site YouTube, which drove young social media users into the panic over the possibility of having to read a book.

And finally, back in 1969, Dutch TV reported that the government had introduced a new way to detect hidden televisions by simply driving through the streets with a new detector. At that time, all households had to pay for a television license. The only way to avoid your television from being detected, was to pack the television in aluminum foil. Within a few hours all aluminum foil was sold out throughout the country.

So let that be a reminder to you ladies out there. Sometimes a knight in shining armor turns out to be a loser in aluminum foil.

So what’s a fool to do? For my money, I’ll go with the Beatles. “The fool on the hill sees the sun going down. And the eyes in his head see the world spinning round.” And then he blogs about it. Enough said.

Which leads us into today’s photos, a collection of shots featuring birds in flight, accompanied by the sun dropping into the Pacific. This past fall was a fantastic time for pelican viewing at dusk, and these photos reflect some of the magic moments along with a few gulls that came along for the ride.

On to some late night humor. “Intelligence officials say they had a hard time predicting Russia’s invasion because Vladimir Putin doesn’t own a cellphone or use the Internet due to fear of being tracked. You can tell Putin doesn’t spend much time online. When he says “LOL,” he means “Look out, Latvia.” They’re considering a new 10-cent fee on grocery bags here in New York. My mom said, “Who’s laughing at the eight-thousand bags under the sink NOW?” – Jimmy Fallon

“First lady Michelle Obama is in China right now. Today she was busy doing some official business. She placed a wreath on the grave of General Tso, the creator of spicy chicken.” – David Letterman “There’s a new website that helps you write elaborate works of personalized fiction. It’s called Match.com.” – Conan O’Brien

“The NFL made a big announcement yesterday that will greatly impact how players celebrate in the end zone. The league has banned players from dunking over the goal post. If I want to watch a sport without dunking, I’ll watch the WNBA. Toronto held the first mayoral debate of 2014 tonight. Rob Ford faced four challengers. None of the other candidates specifically mentioned drugs. They let Mayor Ford say over and over again that he’s the only candidate with a proven track record. He’s also the only candidate with a proven crack record.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Americans have been given another month to sign up for Obamacare as long as they check a box on the website saying they tried to sign up before the original deadline. It’s expected to be answered as truthfully as boxes that say “Yes, I am 18.” In an interview with “Meet the Press,” former President Jimmy Carter said he won’t send emails because he believes the NSA is reading them. And also because he can’t find the “send” button on his typewriter. Google announced last night that it will launch a new security feature to make it harder for situations like the NSA spying program to happen in the future. Then they went back to driving around and taking pictures of the street you live on.” – Seth Meyers

So if you’re keeping scorecard at home, this is my 420th post. We’ll catch you being the best shooter in the NBA while wowing the crowds and willing your team to victory at crunch time. Aloha, mahalo and later, Stephen Curry fans.

March 2, 2014

The Wheat Shall Perish

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — geoff @ 9:46 am

Good morning and greetings, cereal grain lovers. Today we are talking wheat, which is grown throughout the world, as it’s delightfully nutritious and a highly useful grain. It’s a staple food used to make flour for bread, cookies, cake, pad see ew, cereal, chips, donuts, green onion pancakes, pasta, pizza, bagels, soup, fried chicken, chocolate bars and chow fun noodles.

So basically, we are talking about everything that I’ve eaten on a daily basis for the last sixty years, except when I’m atoning on Yom Kippur, when I get by on my good looks and a hot bowl of steam.

According to the folks at Wikipedia, where I shop for my kosher meat, wheat is grown on more land area than any other commercial food. It is one of the three most produced crops in the world. Wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food, having a higher protein content than the other major cereals, which includes corn, rice, Coco Crispies and Count Chocula.

Wheat has been cultivated for over 10,000 years, or around the birth of John McCain’s great grandparents. It is one of the first cereals, along with Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, known to have been domesticated. Archaeological records suggests that this domestication first occurred in a small region of southeastern Turkey, by the Isle of Cranberry Sauce. Wheat’s ability to self-pollinate has been the envy of the other cereals, as it has facilitated the selection of many distinct domesticated varieties, including Apple Jacks, Cap’n Crunch and Sugar Smacks.

Now why am I talking wheat? Well, back in December, my primary care physician threatened to put me on a statin, as my cholesterol was higher than she liked. It’s always been on the high side, but I had been taking red rice yeast, a supplement that been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for poor circulation, indigestion and to remove rust from cars. It’s also good for lowering cholesterol, which it did for me a few years back.

But since then my cholesterol has gone back up, and the Dr. Adkins Haagen-Daz diet didn’t seem to be working. So my doctor gave me two months to get my numbers turned around, or be flogged in a public square.

At around this time my wife gave me a book entitled, ‘Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health.’ Written by cardiologist Dr. William Davis, this lunatic, er physician, wrote that it you cut out the wheat, the weight will melt away.

Now I was a bit skeptical but a somewhat desperate, as I did not want to go on any medication, for my body is a sacred place of non-perscription devotion.

So I decided to give it a try and cut out as much wheat as I could for two months. This meant no bread at any meals, no sandwiches, pasta, rice, chips, cakes, or cookies. What I could eat was meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, avocados, cheese and nuts. Fruit was out because of the sugar, but I ignored that because I had to eat something. I’m not a big salad guy, although I am starting to come around to the ruffage revolution in my sixth decade.

So basically I was living in low carb city. Well, the first few weeks were rough, as I was hungry like Virginia Wolf all the time. But I knew it was for a worthy cause and continued sucking down chicken and broccoli like it was milk and cookies.

Over the past month I have eaten more roasted broccoli than I have in my entire life, and I’ve fallen in love with this deep-green stalked vegetable whose large flower head is full of large clusters of tight buds.

And beyond joining the cabbage club, I started walking at least an hour every morning. And then Holy Lipitor, Batman, after a few weeks, my weight started dropping like the Dow Jones. Every morning I would get on the scale and see a lower number, which gave me a sense of accomplishment, which would inspire me to go around hungry all day. I truly thought that I would never, ever lose this weight without doing something drastic, like going on a program or swearing off cream cheese. Never, ever, ever.

So last Thursday morning I hit a new low on the scale, and then skipped off to get my blood tested. I will be disappointed if my cholesterol levels haven’t gone down, but will react calmly before launching a class-action lawsuit against Dr. Davis for loss of glutin and chocolate.

So now I’m waiting and hoping. I believe it was Albert Brooks or Albert Einstein who once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Which reminded of the proverb, “He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” And that’s what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Moving on, today’s photo follies feature a sunset shot back on November 26. I had already posted some images of it back in December, but there were so many good shots of pelicans on the move at dusk that I had break them out for an encore.

The rust and orange colors on the horizon were exceptional this night, and as we HBO viewers know, Rust Cohle never sleeps. It was a night of pure tangerine joy as the pelicans just kept coming while the sky quietly blew up.

On to some late night humor. “The Arizona legislature passed a bill that would allow business owners asserting their religious beliefs to deny service to gay customers. Some businesses have already put up signs that read: ‘Nice shirt, nice shoes, no service.’” –Seth Meyers “CNN is canceling Piers Morgan’s talk show. Yes, it’s been 238 years since the Declaration of Independence, but it still feels good telling the British guy to get out.” –Craig Ferguson

“Yesterday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about the slow pace of his weight loss and said, quote, ‘Rome was not un-built in a day.’ In fact, Christie and Rome have a lot in common: one was built by Julius Caesar, and the other was built by LITTLE Caesar.’ It’s rumored that Sandra Bullock will end up making $70 million from the movie “Gravity.” “That’s great!” said the real astronauts making $59,000 a year. -Jimmy Fallon

“A former Target employee is accusing the store of hiring only attractive people as managers. Apparently he’s talking about a Target store I’ve never been in. In California the owner of a Christian medical marijuana dispensary says God told him to sell pot. The dispensary owner said it’s right there in the book of Dude-eronomy.” Conan O’Brien

“In a new interview, the Dalai Lama says watching TV is a waste of time. What we should do is make more shows that appeal to the Dalai Lama. How about shows like “Two and a Half Monks,” “The Big Buddha Theory” and “CSI: Tibet”? Or what about “Parks and Reincarnation”? A married couple in California were walking through their backyard and they found a treasure trove of rare gold coins. It’s the biggest discovery of valuable coins since Stedman cleaned out Oprah’s couch.” – Craig Ferguson

So that’s the show. We’ll catch you finally staying healthy and putting up numbers like one of the top young power forwards in the NBA. Aloha, mahalo and later, Anthony Davis fans.

February 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidents

Good morning and greetings, three-day weekend fans. According to my Selena Gomez calendar, today is Presidents’ Day, an American holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday in February, although it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government and survivors of the Battle of Saratoga.

President George Washington’s actual date of birth is February 22, but the holiday was moved in 1971 in an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers and get Abraham Lincoln in on the action. Presidents’ Day is now viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present, with the exception of George Bush.

President’s Day may just be one holiday in February, but in a great American tradition, retailers and dispensaries use it as an excuse for sales all month. It’s the first major sales day of the year by the retail industry, and you can save on big ticket items like cars, computers and vaporizers to enhance your medicinal experience.

But l say forget the memory foam mattress and get into the intended spirit of the occasion by honoring our presidents. So today we’ll take a look at some wild and wacky things you may not have known about a couple of these icons, courtesy of the staff at the National Constitution and Manali Oakat at buzzle.com.

Let’s start with our first Commander-in-Chief. George Washington was a farmer, and was way ahead of his time as he grew marijuana and promoted it’s growth. However, the crop was grown mainly for its usage as industrial value as hemp, soil stabilization and enhancing Saturday morning cartoons. He is also credited with introducing the mule to American farms, which comes as a real kick in the ass.

G.W. never wore a powdered wig, as was the custom for men at the time, preferring a Yankee baseball hat. He adored Derek Jeter. Washington never shook hands with people, preferring the high five, low five or chest bump.

He was homeschooled by his father and brother and never took the SAT’s or went to college. He frequently got confused with spellings having letters ‘i’ and ‘e’. He loved ice cream, with his favorite being Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia. He was the only president who never lived in Washingon D. C. preferring to commute by boat from his home in Mount Vernon to the Oval Office.

Fox hunting and fishing were his favorite sports, as he loved anything with a hook in its mouth. He bred hound dogs that he treated like members of the family. He gave them the names like True Love, Sweet Lips and Ben Franklin. He had six white horses in his stable and had their teeth brushed and flossed everyday. He was a big fan of Betsy Ross and the Supremes.

Washington’s image is a National symbol for the United States. His picture is on the dollar bill and was the first President to be on a postage stamp. His bust has been carved on Mount Rushmore. The state of Washington is the only state to be named after an American, with the exception of Esther Rolle who played Florida on ‘Good Times.’

George Washington used to snore loudly. This was the first reported case of sleep apnea. He suffered from toothaches throughout his life. At the time of his inauguration, Washington had only one tooth as all his teeth were pulled by the time he was the President. At times he wore dentures and was a spokesman for Polident.

He never told a lie as he admitted to once chopping down his father’s cherry tree, Before he died, he told his doctor, “I die hard, but I am not afraid to go. His final words were.”Tis well and I just don’t know where the next season of Homeland is headed. ”

On to our 16th president. Abraham Lincoln was born in a small one room cabin and given no middle name by his parents. As a child he had an averson to killing animals and never hunted or fished. People thought he was lazy, as during those times frontier families depended on fish and game to survive. Often a young Abe could be seen shooting the breeze with baby squirrels and chipmunks.

Lincoln only had 18 months of formal education, including summer school. He loved reading, education and taking Berlitz classes. He practiced law without a degree and was very disorganized. He carried important papers in his stovepipe hat so he wouldn’t misplace them, along with his driver’s license and a pack of chiclets.

Lincoln and his wife would have four sons, but only one of whom would survive past the age of 18. Robert Lincoln, the only son who would live to raise a family of his own was almost killed at a train station in New Jersey near the start of the Civil War. He slipped from a platform and would have fallen in front of the train had he not been grabbed by the collar and pulled to safety by Edwin Booth. Later Edwin’s brother, John Wilkes, would shoot and kill Lincoln, becoming the first president to be assassinated.

Lincoln was the only president to ever obtain a U.S. patent for the invention of the Lincoln Logs. He was the first major leader to feel that women should be allowed the right to vote. He was in the forefront of American Politics for just six short years, but in that time he became the most hated and the most loved president in the history of the United States. He was credited with tearing the country apart and bringing it back together. And for all he did, they only put him on the penny.

He never belonged to an organized church but read the Bible and the New York Post daily. He was a simple man who didn’t drink, smoke or chew tobacco. He hated being called Abe, as he preferred being called by his last name or the “‘White Mambo.” He established Thanksgiving as a national holiday. His cat ate at the White House dinner table and loved Little Friskies.

He was the first president with a beard. His Gettysburg Address, made at the end of the Civil War that ended slavery, is one of the most oft repeated speeches throughout history. It started out “Four score and seven years,” which ironically, is how I started out my first blog post.

If Honest Abe had been asked about today’s Tea Party, he would have responded “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Had he had the opportunity to read my writing, this would have been his response. “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” So I continue on.

For today’s photo lineup, we are returning to the evening of November 14. The place was Natural Bridges State Beach. Expectations were low on this night but then things went surprisingly well, with the sky turning different shades of red and pink, which was certainly preferable to the lighter shade of pale

February has been a great month for shooting sunrises and sunsets, and they are starting to stack up on my computer like 747′s on the runway at JFK International. So check for times and dates at a theatre near you.

On to some late night humor. “Norway currently leads the medal count with 12, followed by the Netherland and Canada, followed then by white-sylvania and albino-stan. The Winter Games are really the only games that to do well, you have to look exactly like the surface you’re competing on.” –Jon Stewart “Bob Costas had to take a break from hosting the Olympics coverage due to an eye infection. In fact, his eyes are so bloodshot, he’s been made an honorary member of the U.S. snowboarding team.” – Conan O’Brien

“They are very upfront about the fact that you should have no expectations of privacy if you go there to Sochi. The phones immediately are hacked, your computers are hacked, the rooms are bugged; one hotel – their slogan is ‘we’ll leave the mic on for you.’” –Bill Maher “It’s Fashion Week in New York City. I was walking to work today and I thought oh, my God, there’s a giant icicle. But it was a frozen supermodel.” – David Letterman

“Yep, tonight is the 969th and final episode of “Late Night.” Or as my dad put it, “Couldn’t make it to a thousand, huh? Quitter.” We’ve done over 10,000 monologue jokes over the last five years. And in case you missed any of them, the best way I could summarize those jokes is that Joe Biden needed Obamacare after Anthony Weiner texted Justin Bieber a picture of Chris Christie dating a Kardashian on the Jersey Shore — with Rob Ford. – Jimmy Fallon

So not only is February 22 the birthday of George Washington and Dr. J, Julius Erving, but it is also the day my brother Paul came flying out the chute, so birthday wishes go out to him while he still in his 50′s.

We’ll catch you turning 60 after gaining worldwide fame by appearing on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues back in the late 70′s and early 80′s. Aloha, mahalo and later, Christie Brinkley fans.

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