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.

January 19, 2014

The Resolution Will Not Be Televised

Good morning and greetings, warm weather lovers. At the time of year when we’re supposed to be battening down the hatches and bonding with our umbrellas, summer has broken out in the Bay Area. Last Wednesday was the hottest January day ever recorded at the San Francisco Airport, as the runways hit 73 degrees. Santa Cruz had record breaking high temperatures, as the thermometer on my rain gauge hit a comfortable 82 degrees. Yes, it was hot. How hot was it? When the temperature dropped back down to 75 I felt a bit chilly.

I’m not saying that I mind Indian summer in January. Last week, as I was lounging around in my swimwear while bodysurfing the web, I ran across an article written by Nicholas St. Fleur for the Mercury News. This story was right in my wheelhouse. According to four out of five scientists, because of the lack of wind and rain, the skies along the west coast have been putting on tremendous aerial displays at sunrise and sunset. And the key to it all is the increased pollution particles in the sky. Kansas was right. All we are is dust in the wind.

Now as you know, I’m a sunrise and sunset chaser and a part time hand model. I’ve taken an solemn oath to try and record all the early morning and twilight action along West Cliff Drive and serve it up on a cyber platter. Last Saturday and Sunday I photographed two gorgeous back-to-sunrises down at Lighthouse Point, but since then the skies have gone dry and I’ve not shot a look, nod or glance since. So for me the lack of rain is a two-sided coin, as no clouds equals no breathtaking, mind-blowing, thank God I’m alive moments. All clear and no clouds makes Geoff a dull boy.

But let’s get back to why it happens, why at dawn and dusk the sky puts on a celebration for the middle-aged. These particles of pollution create a collusion of colors which are responsible for the confusion that scatters the light, which then brings on the fireworks we observe in the sky. Yes, pollution is the solution.

Without any weather patterns in the region, tiny particles of soot, dust and rust from cars, rickshaws, fireplaces, sweat lodges, construction sites and men’s gentlemen clubs hang around in the atmosphere much longer. These articles of particles bring us the exotic skylight canvases that have the smartphone phone boys and girls clicking away at dusk like it’s candy. Or as young poet Mattie Stepanek once wrote. “Sunset is my favorite color, and rainbow is second.”

Weather forecasters say that there is no rain on the horizon because of a high-pressure ridge that has been double parked off the West Coast for more than a year. This prevents Pacific weather storms from moving through and screws with my HBO reception. This giant zone of high pressure in the atmosphere is huge, even by Orson Welles standards, at nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long. Try finding a pair of sweat pants to put around that.

We are also experiencing offshore flows, which are not the usual wind patterns that blow clean air inland from over the Pacific Ocean. If you add the atmospheric inversion that occurs at night, when a level of warm air rises above the cold air and remains trapped like rats near the ground, then the pollution has no place to go, which creates more fun with contaminants.

These three factors come together with sunlight to create a trilogy which results in the sunrises and sunsets, with God, Chris Christie and the Port Authority of New York cast in the supporting roles. It’s a fabulous show. I’m just hoping I make it into the credits.

So after that explanation of why the skies have been so deliciously inviting, I feel it only right that I take you to a recent photofest along West Cliff Drive. The day was January 6, which started off in spectacular fashion, as the sunrise was NBA fantastic. There were tremendous clouds in the sky all day, as sunset watchers were licking their lips in anticipation of the evening festivities.

But when the witching hour came around the clouds suddenly stifled the sun, and what once looked like an all-star Saturday petered out. I was surprised and momentarily disappointed-how could I have misread the signs? It was turning into anticlimatic city. Why would a loving God allow this to happen?

But patience has its virtue, and as I waited, all of a sudden the sky started to light up, with brilliantly vivid colors filling the horizon. It was unexpected, even though I should know to expect the unexpected. It was a wonderful culmination to a full day of light and anticipation. Or as novelist Pamela Hansford Johnson might have described it, “The sky broke like an egg into a full sunset and the water caught on fire.” I couldn’t have said it any better.

On to some late night humor. “We’re learning more about this George Washington Bridge scandal. During the traffic jam, a two-block commute that would normally take five minutes took 45 minutes to an hour. As we call that in L.A., ‘making pretty good time.’” –Jay Leno “Christie apologized and promised the bridge will stay open for cars, trucks, and the buses he’s throwing his staff under. New Jersey Chris Christie is still digging himself out of this Bridgegate scandal. In fact, some experts are now saying he could be impeached. When he heard that Christie said, ‘Mmmm, peach.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A new report found that more than half of the people who have signed up for Obamacare are older than 45. Which is no big deal until you find out they were 25 when they first tried to log onto the website.” –Jimmy Fallon “Police are searching Justin Bieber’s home for evidence in an egg-throwing vandalism scandal. You know you’re a real gangster when the police raid your home looking for something from the dairy aisle. Justin Bieber reportedly caused $20,000 in damage to his neighbor’s home by egging it. It’s being called the most pointless use of an egg since the fertilization of Justin Bieber.” – Conan O’Brien

“The White House announced that President Obama will visit Pope Francis in the near future. Pope Francis thinks Obamacare can be a success. Sure, he’s the Pope. He has to believe in miracles. They say that most airline seats on planes today are meant for 170-pound passengers. The last time the average American weighed 170 pounds, the Wright Brothers were flying the plane. Health officials are now warning that pot smoking can cause apathy. In fact, a recent poll shows that most pot smokers couldn’t care less.” – Jay Leno

So that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. We’ll catch you scoring a new career high of 54 points last week while showing NBA fans why you’re the second best player on the planet. Aloha, mahalo and late, Kevin Durant fans.

January 5, 2014

In One Year And Out The Other

Good morning and greetings, New Year’s fans. Someone asked me last week if I had made any resolutions for the upcoming year. Up until that point, the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind, as New Year’s resolutions for me have always gone in one year and out the other. Or as Jay Leno once said, “New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.”

But I thought I would give it the old junior college try, as I usually look forward to the new year to get a fresh start on old habits. I wanted to do something significant to really challenge myself and prove that even at this advanced age, there were still some frontiers I could conquer besides walking more and watching less.

I was thinking about for some self improvement, and if that wasn’t possible, just doing something nice for people. There were so many directions I could go in, like eating healthier, exercising more or stop biting other people’s nails.

I could attempt to be a more positive person, to laugh more often at the news, to just enjoy life a little bit more. I could work on my career, or perform better at my job. But that would entail getting a job, and thus lied the problem. That would putting the cart light years ahead of the horse.

I could try to improve my inner and outer self by becoming more organized, as at this stage of my life, 98% of my time is spent looking for something I had in my hands just moments before. That might help reduce some stress. It’s not like I’m in a hurry, or as Mohandas K. Gandhi once tweeted, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Personally, I’ve always ascribed to the Chinese proverb, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Chow fun is where you want to be.”

I could volunteer to help others, try new foods or stop procrastinating, but I think I’ll start on that one next month. None of these resolutions felt right. So I decided to just go with what felt natural and stop eating chocolate for a hour each day. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but over a year’s time the numbers add up. That’s a two week, all-expense saved vacation from chocolate.

I’m just following the theory that chocolate slows down the aging process. It may not be true, but who am I to argue with science? Or as French actress Brigette Bardot once remarked, “It’s sad to grow old, but it’s nice to ripen.’ I’m just worried about being left on the vine too long.

So the holiday season has come and gone, and it will be missed. I got to see two movies, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ which I reviewed last week, and ‘American Hustle,’ which took us inside the world of a brilliant con man, a Congressional sting operation and Amy Adam’s cleavage. As she said, “You’re not nothing to me until you’re everything.” Everybody hustles to survive. I enjoyed this flick, although I was hoping for a little better.

So this being the first blog of the new year, I wanted to start it off in star spangled banner style. So we are heading back to the evening of December 17, when fire was burning in Big Sur and skies were torched with color. The previous evening’s sunset (which I posted back on December 22) was off the charts in beauty, or as my friend Bill Babcock described it, “the best sunset I can recall on the coast.”

So we were coming off a spectacular night, and this was to be the second half of a back-to-back, off the wall, plastic fantastic experience. For me as a sunset chaser, the only back-to-back evenings to surpass this experience came in January of 2008, when there were two nights of explosive color and light that set the bar. It was two nights of magical brilliance that I will never forget. But these December nights came awfully close to challenging for the gold.

I was shooting from Stockon Avenue along West Cliff Drive, and you can see early on that something big was underway. This night was a 360 degree viewing experience, as the entire sky was filled with glowing clouds. To the east it was pink city, to the west golden orange and ridiculous red. I was spinning like the Four Tops taking in this marvelous show.

If you look up world-class sunsets in the dictionary, you might see photos from this night. Moments like this is why I got into this business, being I’m a sunrise/sunset guy. It’s nice putting your arm around a memory.

So my resolution to my cyber audience is to bring you the best of what I see on land and in the skies above Monterey Bay, along with a little something to make you laugh and think. And not necessarily in that order.

Enjoy the NFL playoffs. We’ll catch you showing the basketball world why the Warriors are in a roll and you were an NBA all-star last season. Aloha, mahalo and later, David Lee fans.

December 22, 2013

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Sunsets On Fire

Good morning and greetings, winter solstice fans. On Saturday, in the spirit of French painter Toulouse-Lautrec, we enjoyed the shortest day of the year, as fall turned into winter. December had already provided us with some wacky moments in the weather department, as we experienced both extreme high and low temperatures within a one week period. At one point I was wearing my bathing suit under my snow pants.

Back on December 10th, the air was a tad chilly. Okay, it was fall frigid. How cold was it? I didn’t make my bed that day, I just defrosted it. It seemed that a pre Christmas mass of cold air from the Arctic sent temperatures plunging, as we tied an all-time record low for the day at 27 degrees. How cold was it? I actually considered listening to Rush Limbaugh. That’s how desperate I was for some hot air.

But then last Monday, the thermometer hit 74 degrees, which matched the record high for the day. How hot was it? Hillary Clinton was spotted downtown wearing a pants suit without the pants. I had take off my shorts off with a spatula.

Yes, the weather has been wild and crazy, in a very meteor illogical way. And then last Sunday brought smoke from a fire in Big Sur, which put a whole new face on the skies above us.

Now we’re not supposed to be in wildfire season, which nature usually reserves for July or August. Be that as it may or June, last week’s fire burned in the dense forest and steep terrain of Big Sur. The blaze had some help from some offshore winds, which was burning the dry brush in the Los Padres National Forest, which lies 30 miles south of Monterey by the way Sheryl Crow flies.

This rare December fire, in one of the world’s loveliest places, came at a time when the earth was at its thirstiest, as this is the driest calendar year on record around these parts. During non-drought years, Big Sur averages 45 inches of rain, but has gotten only 7 inches so far this year, and just a half inch since July. Throw in some dry vegetation, warm winds and temperatures and boom, you’ve got yourself a burn baby burn, disco inferno.

So with this as the backdrop, I awoke to a dry mouth and a beautiful sunrise last Monday morning. The horizon was sailor red, with swirling clouds exotically placed in an colorful backdrop. But the highlight of the morning session were the huge waves blasting the coast. Seems a west by northwest swell dropped in on the bay, bringing the surf community out in full force. Or as my rabbi likes to say, “Live slow, surf fast.”

But the best was yet to come, as big waves continued to pound the cliffs throughout the day. As the sun started to dip in the sky, West Cliff Drive was filled with an early arriving crowd, as there was going to be a party at dusk and all were invited.

The smoke added an ominous presence, as there was an unusual ribbon of clouds reaching across the sky. This provided a nice cover for the sun as it made its descent to the horizon. Throw in the usual haze, humidity and pounding surf and this was the kind of show that brings the fans out of their seats. The sky was going through different phases of color. My personal favorite was the final act, which I can only describe as fifty shades of orange.

In the end, I was left with the memory and images of a classic late fall sunset. But here’s the best part. The following night the sky put on an even better performance that left this longtime observer filled with digital glee. Stay tuned.

On to a little late night humor. “Fox News host Megyn Kelly now says she was just kidding when she said Santa Claus is white. However, she’s standing by her statement that the Grinch who stole Christmas, definitely Jewish. Yesterday Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly told viewers that Santa Claus is white. Then she said Santa’s elves are Mexican and they are stealing jobs from American elves.” –Conan O’Brien

“In an interview Oprah Winfrey said she has no regrets about not having children. Oprah said, “I feel bad enough about bringing Dr. Phil into the world.” – Conan O’Brien “Here’s what I know about the moon. It’s pale and white and on some nights I stare at it for hours and hours at a time. Oh, no, wait, I’m thinking of Anderson Cooper.” – Craig Ferguson

“In a speech, Russian president Vladimir Putin slammed the U.S. for being ‘genderless and infertile.’ My question is: How did Vladimir Putin get his hands on my Match.com profile?” .” –Conan O’Brien “Somebody actually did a study that found that because of his hard-drinking lifestyle, the character James Bond would live to be only 56 years old. When men heard that they were like, “Yeah, I’d take that deal.” – Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our first winter report. We’ll catch you showing NBA fans why you’re the top scorer in the last five minutes of tightly contested games this year. Aloha, mahalo and later, Damian Lillard fans.

December 8, 2013

Something Cold, Something New

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

Good morning and greetings, December fans. Well, there was a bit of a change in the weather last week, as the temperature dropped below freezing. How cold was it? I spent most of last week walking around with a toaster in my shorts.

Now I don’t want to say that it’s cold in my house, but I actually go outside to warm up. It’s an igloo with central heating. The furnace barely makes a dent in heating the frozen tundra which is our downstairs. It was so cold last week that I had to salt the hallway. I shouldn’t be able to hear my breath.

The fun continued. When I turned on the shower I got hail. My daughter’s new rabbit tried to hop in bed with me. I had to put on skates to go to the bathroom at night. I tried to take the garbage out but it didn’t want to go.

When I came downstairs Thursday morning, I looked at the thermometer and it read “ouch.” If that thermometer had been an inch longer I might have frozen to death. I turned on my computer to check the local temperature and it was 26 degrees. That’s a bit cool for a Mediterranean climate. I looked outside and saw Smoky the Bear grab a box of matches and run shivering into the woods. The mailman came by, I told him to watch out for polar bears.

I got in my car and started it by yelling “mush.” I would have been better off driving a zamboni. It was so cold I chipped my tooth on some soup. So I headed over to Starbucks where they wear serving coffee on a stick. The line was too long, so I drove over to Costco, where kids were fighting for turns on the rotisserie.

There was a politician standing out in front of the store who actually had his hand in his own pocket. The store was crowded and pickpockets were sticking their hands in stranger’s pockets just to keep warm. After I left the store I saw a hitchhiker holding a picture of his thumb and a sign that read, “Anywhere above 40 degrees.” Yes, the morning was a bit chilly.

So how cold was it last Wednesday? Well, icy air sweeping down from the arctic helped Oakland set a new record low of 33 degrees. San Jose and San Francisco tied their low record marks for the day at 29 and 40 degrees. It was 16 degrees in Morgan Hill and inside our home high school basketball star Morgan Green was writing in a flannel notebook. The National Weather Service said there was a chance of snow flurries in my kitchen.

On the national weather front, it was 15 degrees below zero at the Denver Airport on Thursday morning. The jet stream was pulling air into Colorado from Siberia, making it nice and toasty for Denver Bronco fans. Maybe they should weatherstrip the Canadian border. And if you’re keeping a weather map at home, the record low temperature for the Rocky Mountain state is −61 °F, set back in 1985 in northwestern Colorado. I believe Snapple and Peyton Manning freezes at that temperature.

My morning walks along West Cliff were exhilarating, as the skies were clear, the air cold and crisp and my epidermis frozen. With the skies being absent of clouds and drones, I spent time analyzing the early season play of the Warriors’ Steph Curry and his backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, not be to confused with Nucky Thompson, who seemed at odds with himself in the excellent season four finale of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

So for today’s photo ensemble, we are heading back to warmer times and November 26. This day started out in spectacular fashion, with a world class sunrise that I featured in last week’s post. As the day moved along glorious clouds remained in the sky, so it appeared there would be some commotion down along the ocean.

The sky turned beautiful colors at sunset, but the most amazing part was the pelican action. As I stood on the cliffs along West Cliff Drive at Stockton Avenue, thousands and thousands of pelicans were in transit heading north. As I turned and looked south, I could see them coming in endless waves against the gray sky. Glory, glory, hallelujah.

But as they passed and I looked north, their formations blended into the multi-colored sky, which was turning various shades of exotica. This was a magical time, as the pelican migration was in full force while the sky was blowing up. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday evening.

On to some late night humor. “The president said despite the initial problems, it’s working better now and going to continue to improve. A million people visited on Monday, mostly to see if they were covered from injuries suffered at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Amazon announced plans for an amazing service called Amazon Prime Air. When you order something from Amazon that weighs five pounds or less, a robot will drop your package on your doorstep. It’s all part of Amazon’s pledge to drive your dog insane.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“You know in some countries seeing an unmanned drone means your village is about to be destroyed. In America it means you ordered Mad Men on Blu-ray.” –Jimmy Kimmel “A new miniseries premiered tonight called “Mob City.” It’s about the 1940s when gangsters came from the east to L.A. In those days L.A. was overrun by gangsters — swarthy animals who stopped at nothing to shake people down for a few bucks. Today that role is filled by Kardashians.” – Craig Ferguson

According to a new report, America’s teenagers are 30th in the world in math. Luckily, America’s teenagers will never understand the report because they’re 85th in reading.” –Conan O’Brien “A new study found that the state where people cursed the most, where they used the most profanity, is Ohio. Most of those curse words are directly followed by the word “LeBron.” – Jimmy Kimmel

So it’s my birthday on Thursday and I plan on celebrating it the usual way, with a 24 hour fast, silent meditation and some Chinese take out. We’ll catch you showing NBA fans in the early season why you might be the next up and coming superstar. Aloha, mahalo and later, Paul George fans.

November 24, 2013

Why Do Birds Fly North?

Good morning and greetings, college basketball fans. If you’re someone like me who thinks the NBA season is too short (eight months,) then you can always double your hoops pleasure and double your fun by tuning in to the college game. This year’s crop of incoming freshmen are an exceptional group, as NBA general managers are salivating at the thought of adding a piece of this young talent to their squads. In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, “One person can make a difference.” I think Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan’s agent would back him up on that.

Now normally, I’m too busy to take in the college game, as being a life long learner and a gold card member of the NBA League Pass Club doesn’t leave me much time to watch these collegians toil away in the college ranks before being allowed to apply for NBA membership. And if I’ve learned anything from the folks at American Express, it’s that membership has its privileges.

So these highly-sought-after prospects attend universities of higher learning for a year and then before you can say, “one and done,” they’re are out the door and on their way to million dollar paydays. Not all are ready to go, but when you’re offered the opportunity to earn more money than you can spend in a thousand lifetimes, it’s tough to say no.

But they’re not all happy endings. Some of these players should have stayed in school, as an education might have been more helpful than being planted at the end of the bench or playing in the NBA’s Developmental League. In the words of NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, “I’m not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court.” And he should know, because the Kareem always rises to the top.

Speaking of the NBA D-League, the 2013-14 season opened up on Friday night at the downtown Kaiser Permanente Arena, and the Santa Cruz came away with a 121-102 win. The building was sold out and the crowd was rocking, as the Warriors have an exciting young team that is well worth the price of admissions for fans who don’t want to make the drive to Oakland but want to see NBA caliber basketball. As the saying goes in the D-League, “The dream starts here,” which is the same thing that happens every night when my head hits the pillow.

For my preview of the upcoming Santa Cruz Warrior season, go to http://www.santacruz.com/news/2013/11/19/previewing_the_santa_cruz_warriors_season or check last week’s edition of the Santa Cruz Weekly.

So my morning strolls along West Cliff were once again wonderful last week, as the rush hour traffic of gulls, cormorants and pelicans was bumper to bumper. Now I realize that I’ve been writing about this aviary activity for months, but the action is still hot and heavy. Each morning, I see thousands of birds in flight, and the same thoughts always come to mind. Where are they going, how do they decide on who is the leader, and are they having trouble signing up for Obamacare?

During the morning commute, most of these frequent fliers are headed south towards Macy’s and the Capitola Mall. The number of cormorants flying by last week was off the charts, as these sleek sea birds flap their wings at a furious pace and always seem to be in a hurry. But I have no idea where they’re headed, and I always get the feeling that they’re late for an appointment, as they never have time to chat or share a scone. I just stand along the coast and stare in amazement, as people pass by and wonder, “Doesn’t he ever wear long pants?”

So for today’s photo society, we are harkening back to the evening of November 2. There was a pleasant gathering of clouds in the western sky, and I knew there was action heading in my direction. But the bonus on this night was the unending chains of pelicans flying north. We’re talking about thousands of birds flying by in single file, in flocks that were longer than the lines on Thanksgiving Day that are going to form outside Walmart, Kmart and Get Smart. Sorry about that, chief. Missed it by that much.

I was lucky enough to capture a group of silhouetted pelicans as the passed by the sun on the horizon. After the sun set, this harmonic convergence of flight continued as the sky turned into a magical array of colors. Then as darkness came, they kept on coming, cradling little flashlights in their beaks. It was ever so lovely. It brought to mind an old Chinese proverb, “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” And the glow from that night is still alive, warming my heart and a few other organs.

On to some late night humor. “Here we go again. Freshman Congressman Trey Radel of Florida has been arrested for possession of cocaine in Washington, D.C. He admitted he is an alcoholic and pled guilty to possession of cocaine. The judge sentenced him to four years as mayor of Toronto.” –Jay Leno “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he’s not going anywhere, even after his recent crack scandal. He said he hopes to run for prime minister of Canada one day. When asked what party he’d choose, he said, ‘Why choose one? I usually hit, like, five parties a night.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“Former President George W. Bush is on the show tonight. We’re very excited about that. As you know, his nickname is 43 because he was the 43rd president. President Obama is nicknamed 44 because that’s how many people have signed up for Obamacare.” –Jay Leno “Obama and other Democrats have even stopped using the term ‘Obamacare,’ when referring to the new healthcare law. Yeah, now they’re calling it ‘The Affordable Care Act.’ Americans were like, ‘Just let us know when you can call it ‘fixed.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“The New York Times is calling this Obama’s Katrina. Which of course is great for George Bush. He loves this. He called up Obama today and said, ‘You’re doing a heck of a job, brownie.’” –Bill Maher “So far, only 106,000 people have signed up for Obamacare. Even more disappointing is that it turned out to be one man who accidentally signed up 106,000 times.” –David Letterman

“Obama is wrestling with the healthcare rollout debacle. He urged Americans not to be put off by the Obamacare website and offered alternative ways to enroll, such as using the mail. Then the president got on his horse and rode off to spread the news to the next town.” –Conan O’Brien “A growing number of women are joining the CIA. The CIA is now 46 percent women. Which explains that new method of torture: the silent treatment.” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our pre holiday report. Enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family, and remember, the best attitude is gratitude. With lots of stuffing.

We’ll catch you setting a Santa Cruz single game scoring record with 36 points in your first game of D-League action. Aloha, mahalo and later, Seth Curry fans.

November 10, 2013

Four Hundred, But Who’s Counting?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 10:24 am

Good morning and greetings, Veteran’s Day fans. Well, I have arrived at another benchmark along the long and winding cyber road. According to the folks at WordPress, where I purchase all my slacks, today’s posting is my 400th. Yes, the cryogenically frozen Ted Williams, the last man to hit over .400 in the major leagues, would be very proud. Or in his words, “God gets you to the plate, but once you’re there you’re on your own.”

So how did it all begin, this journey of over 400,000 words that has left me with a sense of peace, resentment and a thirst for more episodes of ‘Homeland?’ I’ve fallen in love with this show and now draw my inspiration from Clare Danes, as bi-polar CIA agent Carrie Matheson. In her words of the events of 9/11 ” I missed something once before. I won’t… I can’t let that happen again.” That’s the same way I feel about shooting sunrises.

Or as my wife said to me on the morning of our 25th wedding anniversary, ” You’re a disgrace to your nation, Sargeant Nicholas Brody. You’re a traitor and a terrorist, and now it’s time you pay for that.” Hey, I would have been happy with just a card.

I’ve always liked to write. I believed I may have penned my first sonnet on the walls of my mother’s womb. It started out, “There was a boy from Nantucket.” I had discovered my inner voice. However, after I exited my mother’s tomb, my voice was then labeled as colicky, which led to writer’s block as I suffered from postpartum depression.

I started my official writing career in junior high, when I had a poem published in the 7th/8th grade school magazine. I was a shy child who was interested in nature, and I believe it it was reflected in my literary prose. Here’s the third and final stanza from a poem very appropriately titled ‘Spring.’

“In the city the buses are clattering. In the forest the animals are chattering. The hustle and bustle is too much for me. I like to watch spring show up quietly.” Now I know why my teachers referred to me as Robert Frost Jr.

I continued to write in high school and had a couple of humorous pieces published in our high school literary magazine. Back then I had great ambitions, as I either wanted to be a investigative reporter, a marine biologist or a Playboy photographer. But writing was in my blood. And besides, it beat saying everything out loud.

After graduation from college, most of my writing over the next few decades was NBA basketball, top ten lists and checks. My first official blog was posted back in June of 2007, and after that, there was no turning back. I was on a mission, as I could finally do something creative with those voices playing in my head. The problem was, lots of time they were speaking in Hebrew, and I had no idea what they were talking about.

I created Sunrise Santa Cruz as a place to showcase the beauty of our cold water paradise, with the emphasis on the skies above it. But as I’ve learned over the years, being beautiful isn’t enough, and that’s why I added the text because what is better than laughter? I mean besides living in a world where everything is chocolate.

I’ve tried to amuse and confuse your hearts and minds with jokes from the best late night writers on the planet. Now throw in over 2,400 digital photo images and you’ve got over six years extracted from my mind’s eye that I’ll never get back. I’m just looking to make you laugh and think. After all, in the words of Will Rogers, “An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.” Unless you consider a cucumber funny.

So for today’s landmark photo lineup, we are returning to one of my favorite spots along West Cliff Drive, the cliffs above Stockton Avenue. For fourteen wonderous years, I lived 100 yards from this location, and rarely did I miss a sunset or a game involving Michael Jordan. This spot, like Ted’s Bakery on the North Shore of Oahu, is sacred, as I’ve always felt so powerful standing there overlooking the Pacific, thinking about the chicken katsu lunch plate.

On this evening, I didn’t need Phil Collins to tell me something was coming in the air that night. When I hit the cliff, the sky was glowing in a wonderful and magical way, and it proceeded to get better and better. The sky kept changing to different shades of red, while the reflection turned the ocean into something looking like cherry punch. These photos say it all. October fantastic.

On to some late night. “The new mayor of New York City is a progressive Democrat with an African-American wife who used to be a lesbian. Or as Fox News reported, the apocalypse is upon us. The new mayor is married to a woman who used to be a lesbian. His campaign slogan: ‘If I turned her around, imagine what I can do for New York City!’” –Conan O’Brien

“Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky, keeps getting into trouble. They say he actually plagiarized an entire section of his 2012 book, ‘Government Bullies.’ When asked for comment, Paul said, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’” –Jimmy Fallon “Forbes magazine has named evil Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most powerful person in the world. People magazine also named him the sexiest dictator alive.” –David Letterman

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is hoping to win re-election tomorrow, and polls show that he’s winning by a 19-point margin. Christie has really worked hard on the campaign. I heard he spent all weekend shaking hands and kissing bagels.” –Jimmy Fallon “Chris Christie won by such a wide margin that pundits say this will give him the impetus he needs to run for president. And he’s got a new slogan: ‘Put the oval in the Oval Office.’” –Jay Leno

So 400 posts are in the book. That’s lots of words, verbs and hor d’oeuvres. We’ll catch you putting up numbers no other player has ever posted through the first five games of the NBA season. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kevin Love fans.

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