February 1, 2015

We Are What We Eat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:01 am
Good morning and greetings, Super Bowl fans.  I’m posting this blog before yesterday’s big game, because I will probably be too emotionally incapacitated afterwards, as a result of avocado intake and all the other culinary delights that go along with watching a commercial-filled slug fest that takes six hours long to complete.
Now speaking of avocados, I don’t want to say that my fellow Americans are in love with this smooth, creamy fleshy fruit of the Gods, but when the nation sits down and knock backs over 100 million pounds of this spherical wonder, accompanied by 10 trillion pounds of chips, there is truly something special happening.
 We’re talking about 80 million avocados being consumed per hour during the Super Bowl, which according to my calculations, is enough to fill a football field 12 feet deep.
And best of all, a new study from the Guacamole Institute of Technology says an avocado a day can significantly lower your cholesterol. I’m down for at least one a day.  They’re full of nutrients, healthy fats, and will reduce the risk of heart disease while leaving your hair feeling silky smooth and shining soft.
We’re making this country a healthier and better place by putting away mounds of guacamole dip, one scoop at a time.  That’s American culinary ingenuity at its finest.
Moving on, the National Chicken Council estimates that Americans consumed over 1.25 billion chicken wings on Sunday, in a sea of barbecue, ranch dressing and blue cheese dipping sauces that could fill the Panama Canal.  Now if you were to line up the wings end-to-end, and who hasn’t wanted to do that in their lifetime, there would be enough to circle the Grand Canyon 120 times or to place 572 on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums.Talk about painting a picture with words.  Just don’t forget the napkins.

Now there’s a recent study from the University of Illinois that suggests that the reason our youth of America are so fat is because they are consuming too much pepperoni and cheese, the main ingredients in this wonderful flat bread we call pizza.

 

We’re talking about young children pounding down extra grams of fat, milligrams of salt along with hundreds of extra calories leading to an obesity epidemic.  Holy ham and sausage, Batman.
Now to me, pizza can do no wrong.  Growing up in New Jersey, I worshiped at the Temple of Pizza King.  I bowed down to their slices, consisting of rich tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese on a crisp, thin crust.  Each bite was a heavenly delight.
Well, yesterday, the pizza boys were going at it full throttle, as 12.5 millions pizza were delivered to homes and prisons in America.  And our armed forces were not forgotten, as 5,000 pies were flown over to Afghanistan so that every soldier could have a taste of the old country while watching the championship game.
I just hope they watched out for those snipers at halftime, although I hear the Taliban are big fans of Katy Perry.  And yes, she was fully inflated at halftime.
But here is the biggest surprise and it’s a shocker.  According to my vegan sources, the number one food ingested in America on Super Bowl Sunday was vegetables.  What?  Hey, is someone pulling my lariat?
No, it’s twue, it’s twue.  While 100 million people are watching the game and plowing through the nuclear nachos, chili fries, jalapena poppers and enough beer to fill Hoover Dam, there are 200 other million Americans not viewing the contest.  To them, it’s just another Sunday night, as they go about sitting down to their dinners and eating their brussel sprouts, green beans and zucchini sticks.
It seems vegetables dominate the landscape on Super Bowl Sunday. Or in the words of humorist Will Rogers, “An onion can make people cry, but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.”So yesterday, as football fans, we consumed our fair share of carbs, sugar and alcohol.  That’s the American way.  So damn the calories, as for one day, we came together as a nation and ignored our collective weight on the scale.
Now for some football humor.  During the Super Bowl, there was another football game of note between the big animals and the small animals. The big animals were crushing small animals and at half-time, the coach made a passionate speech to rally the little animals.

At the start of the second half the big animals had the ball. The first play, the elephant got stopped for no gain. The second play, the rhino was stopped for no gain. On third down, the hippo was thrown for a 5 yard loss.

The defense huddled around the coach and he asked excitedly, “Who stopped the elephant?”  “I did,” said the centipede. “Who stopped the rhino?”  “Uh, that was me too,” said the centipede.  “And how about the hippo? Who hit him for a 5 yard loss?”

“Well, that was me as well,” said the centipede.  “So where were you during the first half?” demanded the coach. “Well,” said the centipede, “I was having my ankles taped.”

For today’s photo parade, we are going back to the evening of January 10.  I was shooting from the cliffs along West Cliff Drive at Stockton Avenue, as the sky turned various shades of orange as the crowds looked on.  But what delighted me was the view south, as beautiful pink clouds filled the sky and cast their reflection over Monterey Bay.  Just a beautiful sight on a January night.

On to a little late night humor.  “Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon announced that this will be his final season of racing. You could tell it was time for him to retire during his last race when he had his blinker on the whole time.” – Jimmy Fallon  “The Northeast is being hit with a major snowstorm. Forecasters said they’ve haven’t seen a whiteout like this since last week’s Oscar nominations.” – Conan O’Brien”

“They’re talking’ about the blizzard-like conditions in New York City.  A big question all the New Yorkers have, and they’re talking three or four feet of snow, is: How will the Chinese food delivery get through?  More bad news for the New England Patriots. The NFL now has video of those deflated footballs alone in an elevator with Ray Rice.  In the last 48 hours King Abdullah from Saudi Arabia passed away. I have a moral dilemma. The king passed away three or four days ago. Is it too soon to hit on Queen Latifah?” – David Letterman
So birthday wishes go out on Thursday to my longtime friend and confidante, Nancy Mager, who celebrates the big 60 this year.  My former blog editor, who can make baked ziti sing, is currently residing in Nashville, but I know her heart belongs to California.
And next Sunday to my favorite mother, who is still smiling after all these year, and can remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth.   More on her next week.
We’ll catch you putting up great numbers this season and deserving of an all-star selection, but not being named to the western conference team.  Aloha, mahalo and later, Damian Lillard fans.

January 25, 2015

The Balls Never Lie

 

 Good morning and greetings, football fans, and welcome to my fully inflated Super Bowl preview.   Coming up on Sunday, the nation will be consumed with food, alcohol, TV and football, as the New England Patriots battle the Seattle Seahawks for the bragging rights to see who is the baddest of the bad, with the NFL championship trophy on the line.
Last year, Super Bowl XLVIII became the most-watched American television program in history, barely beating out the “Sons of Anarchy” season finale. So if you didn’t catch the games last weekend, you missed out on an utterly fantastic, unbelievable finish that still has the Green Bay Packer nation in a severe depression.So let me give you a little recap of the action leading up to Super Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.

Representing the American Football Conference are the New England Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, who I am often mistaken for.   He has led his team to three Super Bowl titles.  He also has a child with the most attractive assistant D.A. in America, actress Bridget Moynahan from the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”  This golden boy is married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bunchen, whom he met on a blind date.  Some guys have all the luck.

And speaking of luck, to get to the Super Bowl, the Patriots crushed quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game by a 44-7 score.  It was a total beatdown, as once again, the highway to the Super Bowl runs through the New England thruway.

There was not doubt about the outcome of this game.  But there was big hullabaloo afterwards, as it seems the Patriots used 11 footballs in the game that were deemed to be, much like my ego, deflated by the NFL’s standards.   When the balls are deflated, it makes them easier to grip when throwing a pass downfield.  This would give the Patriots a seemingly unfair advantage.
The footballs were questioned after the game and had no comments on advice of their attorneys.  When asked about the allegations of “DeflateGate,” Tom Brady called the accusations “ridiculous” and maintained his innocence. “I feel like I have always played within the rules,” Brady said. “I would never break the rules.”  Now bending them, that might be a different story.

New England Coach Bill Belichick, known in some circles as “The Hoodie” for his wearing of sweatshirts along the sidelines, says he was shocked to learn about the story and has never talked to anyone on his staff about football air pressure, the function of atmospheric conditions or his recipe for linguini with red clam sauce.

 

The Patriots say they will continue to cooperate with the investigation.  But this where the story gets interesting.

 

Back in 2007, the NFL determined that New England had violated league rules when a Patriots staff member videotaped signals by opposing coaches.  This undercover operation became known as Spygate.  The team was fined and stripped of their 2008 first-round draft pick.  The NFL then fined Belicheat, er Belichick, the maximum allowed $500,000 for this black ops affair, the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league’s 87 year history.

A report described the league office as “disappointed, giddy, angry, euphoric and distraught,” after learning of the ball alterations.   The Patriots could lose future draft picks, a couple of cheerleaders or one of Belichick’s favorite hoodies if the league confirms the balls were deflated.

 

Hey, if you don’t get caught, it’s not cheating.  And if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

Now for the Seattle Seahawks, the road to the Super Bowl was a bit tricker, as they found themselves trailing with four minutes to go,  19-7, to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game.  At this point, Packer fans, known as the cheeseheads, knew they were headed for the Super Bowl and were going wild, celebrating with swiss cheese fondue, melted brie inside puff pastry and my personal favorite, crab rangoon.  The game was in the bag.

 

But then, the greatness of sports finishes took over, as the Seahawks came back from the dead, and in a finish that you wouldn’t believe, went ahead and won in overtime, after taking the lead in final two minutes, only to have the Packers drive downfield in the final minute of regulation to tie the score.

 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call must-see TV.  The Packer nation was left in shambles, or as longtime Packer fan told me, ‘It’s the worst loss in my lifetime.”

 

The last four minutes of the game was surreal, as it was the largest comeback ever in a conference title game.  It was so unscripted.  You had to see it to believe it.  I saw it and I still didn’t believe it.

 

After the game, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who claims Jesus came to him in a dream when he was 14 years old, said,“That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special. I’ve been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs. It’s what’s led me to this day.”

Packer QB Aaron Rodgers had a slighty different take on the subject.  I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”  Amen, brother.

 

One more note on the game.  It seems the Las Vegas initially screwed up the point spread and made the Seahawks an early 3 point favorite.  Well, 80% of the bets in the first 24 hours were on the Patriots, which means the big gamblers thought the spread was wrong and put a ton of dough on New England.  So the big money is riding on New England, and if the Patriots win, Las Vegas is going to take it the shorts.  Big time.  Count on it.

 

Remember, it’s doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s whether or not you beat the spread.

 

For our Super Bowl viewing session, we are going to back to a series of photos I shot back on a Sunday night back in February 2006.  The place was Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive, and on this night the sky did not disappoint.  The cloud color went from soft tangerine to vivid orange orange before finishing up with the grand finale of a blood red.  Meanwhile, the waves were pumping and the crowds along the cliff were loving it, making it a perfect, super Sunday night.

On to some late night humor.  “Tonight President Obama gave the State of the Union address. The Obamas invited 22 guests to the speech, including a former Cuban prisoner, an astronaut, and a doctor. Either that or he was setting up the weirdest bar joke of all time.  The RNC released its first presidential debate schedule, which includes at least nine debates in different states across the country. As opposed to the Democratic debates, which will just be Hillary staring at her opponents until they burst into flames.” – JImmy Fallon
“Last night was the State of the Union address, and everyone’s excited about the huge special appearance by a guy we haven’t seen in a really long time: 2008 Barack Obama. That guy had swagger.” – Jimmy Fallon  “Last night President Obama gave the State of the Union address, and I just have to say that I don’t know what union he was describing. But I want to live there. I want to move. It sounds outstanding. There’s a middle class. They have small businesses. It sounds great.” – Seth Meyers 

“Vice President Joe Biden said he has privately met with 17 Republican senators at his home to try and connect on issues like tax reform. Biden asked what he can do to speed up negotiations, while Democrats asked, “Does this door lock from the outside?”   A new helicopter service called Gotham Air is now offering users cheap flights from Manhattan to JFK or Newark airports that start at just $99. If there’s two words I trust together in the same sentence, it’s “cheap” and “helicopter.” – Jimmy Fallon

“A new study revealed Vermont businesses could benefit financially by legalizing marijuana. And by Vermont businesses I mean specifically Ben & Jerry’s.  In Florida, a teenage boy was arrested for posing as a doctor. After hearing about it, Dr. Phil said, “Wait, it’s illegal to pose as a doctor?” – Conan O’Brien  “This fall Pope Francis will host Mass at Madison Square Garden. And unlike the New York Knicks, he will have a prayer.” – Seth Meyers
More on Super Sunday next week.  Enjoy the game and we’ll catch you putting on one of the all-time greatest shooting performances while setting an NBA record by scoring 37 points in the third quarter Friday night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.  Aloha, mahalo and later, Klay Thompson fans.

February 2, 2014

Sunday, Sunday, Can’t Trust That Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 3, 2013

Beauty Is In The Sunrise Of The Beholder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 27, 2013

For Debris The Jolly Good Fellow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 11:33 am

Good morning and greetings, Super Bowl fans. Well, we’re less than a week away from when much of the nation turns their attention towards two teams beating the living daylight savings time out of each for the right to call themselves Super Bowl champions. Or as former Oakland Raider defensive end Dan Birdwell described the action, “You just have to play this game like somebody hit your mother with a two-by-four.”

At the same time, we know there’s two good reasons why people of every race, greed and color are converging on New Orleans. To party and gamble. And as a result, after football fans consume 140,500 millions tons of chips, 80 million pounds of guacamole, 900 million pounds of chicken wings and enough pizzas to cover the entire planet, hundreds of millions of dollars will have been won or lost on the outcome while the nation’s caloric intake will surpass the $16.432 trillion federal deficit mark. Because that’s how we roll.

For myself, I’ll spend the morning in deep meditation, and then just kick back and watch the action accompanied by with my usual array of healthy snacks, including animal crackers, tofu nuggets and fava bean pate. And if I win my wager on how long it will take Alicia Keys to belt out the national anthem, I’ll treat myself to a vegan steak and lobster dinner. Gluten-free, of course.

But really, it’s just another game. Someone will win, someone will lose, and the next day we’ll all be talking about Kate Upton and the commercials. Or in the words of former Dallas running back Duane Thomas, “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?”

One place I would like to experience watching the Super Bowl is Hawaii, and that is where we are headed today. In a story by Stephanie Pappas for Yahoo News, there have been some unusual sightings on the beaches in Oahu and Kauai, and I don’t mean Charo in a bikini. No, we’re talking about refrigerators, oyster buoys and a four box set of the TV mini-series “Shogun” that have been rolling in with the tides and beaching themselves on the macadamia nut covered shores.

According to Richard Chamberlain, these items were from the giant tsunami that struck Japan back on March 11, 2011. The Japanese government has estimated that the tsunami, which was triggered by an underwater earthquake, swept about five million tons of debris out to sea. While 70 percent appears to have sunk offshore, the rest is floating like rubber ducks in the Pacific Ocean. The first item to make an appearance was a barnacled-covered seafood storage bin, which arrived last September and was last seen body surfing at Pipeline.

Hawaii is a prime gathering spot for big wave surfers and floating garbage, as the islands are exposed to ocean currents on every side. Some of this ocean litter comes from the fishing industry, while the rest is consumer garbage including soda bottles, toys, plastic goods and adult novelty items. The tsunami debris will be an ongoing problem, but it’s part of a much bigger issue, as Hawaii is inundated with plastic trash from all over the world. Or in the words of Groucho Marx, “She got her good looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.”

This island paradise in the South Pacific has as its neighbor the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a shameful site in the North Pacific Ocean where currents push masses of plastics into a suspended pyre of trash, like sections of North Hollywood. Now I only play a scientist in this blog, but I can tell you, this is no way to treat an ocean. I believe it was either David Hasselfhoff or Jacques Cousteau who once said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” And remember, no one ever drowned on ‘Baywatch.’

Henry David Thoreau said, “My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.” I say, “I love going to the beach, but not being in water over my head.” It seems in the near future, when Hawaiians go to the beach, they’ll be greeted by more than golden sands and shrimp trucks. It’s kind of like a Cracker Jacks experience, a surprise in every wave.

However, Hawaii is still the land of fragrant plumerias, golden papayas and kalua pig wraps. Wherever I go, I carry the aloha spirit with me. There’s just a special feeling in the islands that blows through my mind like a warm trade wind. When on vacations, when I check out of my hotel room, I always try to give back and tell the front desk, “He lumi maika’i keia e ku pololei ana i ke kanaka peke.” That was a wonderful room for a dwarf. Mahalo and good night.

For today’s photo gallery we are headed back to November 15, 2012, a couple of months after the death of Manti Te’o non-existent girlfriend. I was shooting from above the cliffs at Cowells Beach. The clouds were in an unusual formation, creating an interesting canvas of color in the sky. I then proceeded to catch the sun rising over the mountains of Monterey as its beams shot out over the bay. Variety is the spice of life, and these clouds added some quality thyme and a nice dash of paprika to this early morning exercise of beauty in the sky with diamonds.

On to some late night. “It was reported that President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Committee is receiving fewer donations than it did in 2009. The scaled-back event will feature fewer inaugural balls, a shorter parade, and a musical performance from the Black Eyed Pea. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey Thursday, Lance Armstrong admitted to using banned drugs and blood transfusions to get his seven Tour De France victories. Which explains why, during his last two races, he didn’t even need a bike. Firearms groups across the country have declared today the first annual Gun Appreciation Day. So don’t forget to set your clock back 100 years.” –Seth Meyers

“The NRA made an ad saying that Obama is elitist because his kids have armed guards. Yeah, that crazy Obama thinking his kids need special protection. I love the NRA accusing anyone of being paranoid. It’s like a septic tank saying, ‘You need a mint.’” –Bill Maher “The CEO of Whole Foods is criticizing Obamacare, once again calling it fascism. He did this before when he called it socialism. And he said the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money. As opposed to shopping at Whole Foods, where you eventually run out of your own money. “The post office may sue Lance Armstrong for all of the money they spent sponsoring his team. In fact, after all these lawsuits, they say that Lance Armstrong could end up as broke as the post office.” –Jay Leno

“More than a million people gathered in our nation’s capital yesterday, and tens of millions more watched from home to celebrate the first lady’s new haircut.
Most people seem to like the hair style, though some Republicans are demanding further cuts. But bangs aren’t easy to pull off. As far as I know, the only other women who have done it successfully this decade are Jessica Biel and Justin Bieber.” –Jimmy Kimmel

So that’s our pre Super Bowl report. Enjoy the game and take a moment to remember the troops, who are fighting for us so that we can live in a country where anyone can grow up and one day host a Super Bowl party.

We’ll catch you putting up all-star numbers and being the best shooter in the NBA. Aloha, mahalo and later, Stephen Curry fans.

February 5, 2012

Sunday, Bloated, Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — geoff @ 8:18 pm

Good morning and greetings, February fans. We are now in the midst the shortest month of the year, although for many, Sunday might have seemed like the longest day. Forget about the game and the final score, as for many, it was all about Madonna, her dancers and what was served up on the super menus. So on that foot-long note, let’s take a postgame look at what might have been ingested on the food front during Super Bowl Sunday.

For the NFL faithful, party lovers and die-hard Pilgrims, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving, although for me, it’s usually a fast day. What this means is that during the game the average Super Bowl watcher consumes 1,200 calories in conjunction with every first down and cheerleader cutaway shot.

The Institute of Avocado Awareness estimates that fans and Dorito lovers inhaled somewhere around 69 million pounds of avocados during the game, mostly in the form of guacamole, a dip that was first made by the Aztecs during the 1500′s to appease the Gods and drug cartels. They also believed the avocado to be an aphrodisaic, which led to the invention of the super burrito.

The most popular take-out and delivery items yesterday were pizza, chicken wings, sandwiches and any unhealthy edible item that a football fan can consume involving no preparation. Domino’s expected to sell 11 million slices of pizza and a boatload of chocolate lava crunch cake. Throw in some chicken parm and a liter of cherry Coke and I think we’ve covered all the essential food groups.

Americans ate approximately 100 million pounds of chicken and one cornish game hen, which breaks down to 1.25 billion portions or 450 million individual wings per hour. If I were a chicken, I’d make myself scarce during Super Bowl week. And if I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land.

Moving down the menu, an astonishing 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn, pretzels, nuts and bolts were eaten during the singing of the National Anthem. Salsa flowed like the River Jordan. It was the biggest winter grilling day of the year, as my wife kept on grilling me as to when the damn game would be over.

And according to the late Timothy Leary and 7-Eleven stores, there is a 20% increase in the sale of antacids on the day after the Super Bowl. We all know that Rolaids spell relief and that if you’re one of the 25 million Americans that suffer from heartburn on a daily basis, nothing works faster than TUMS. Or as I tweeted my cardiologist during halftime, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.”

I’m not even going to mention how much beer, light beer and heavy alcohol was consumed yesterday but let me put it into perspective. If we thought of this amount of consumed liquid in terms of average rainfall, we wouldn’t be talking about a severe drought in the southern United States.

That being said, Super Sunday lived up to its billing, from the 20 hour pre-game show to the endless beer commercials showing how much fun life can really be. And as we all know, at the end of the day of food and football, it doesn’t really matter who won, but who covered the point spread. And that would be the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

So on the photo front, let’s kickoff off February with a blast by going into the archives and pulling out my favorite sunset from this month. The year was 2006, as I shot this beauty from Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive. You could sense from the texture of the clouds that this night, like Mario Manningham’s catch, was going to be something special, and it did not disappoint.

The sky went from distinguished gray to outrageous orange to finally blood red, and these colors reflecting in the Pacific made for an outstanding night. Since I shot it on a Sunday, I named the final shot “Super Sunday,” which gives us all food for thought. And that leads me to the words of the great Oprah Winfrey, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down on your way to the Giant’s ticker tape parade.”

On to a little late night. “Now, Senator John McCain has gotten into the act; McCain says that the Republican debates have turned into mud wrestling. To which Herman Cain said, “I knew I got out too soon!” –Jay Leno “Newt Gingrich picked up an endorsement from Herman Cain. It’s not unlike getting Carrot Top’s endorsement for an Academy Award.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“President Obama told the nation ‘The state of our union is strong,’ while Newt Gingrich told his wife, ‘The state of our union is open.’” –Conan O’Brien “His State of the Union speech was written so 8th graders could understand it. Which explains the part where Obama said, ‘I wasted bin Laden, LMAO!’” –Conan O’Brien

“The government may be legally required to release the video of Osama bin Laden’s killing. President Obama said this would be unhelpful, inflammatory, and ‘Could you please release it two days before the election?’” –Conan O’Brien “In Florida, Mitt Romney won the Republican presidential primary election. He beat Newt Gingrich handily. Political analysts believe that elderly voters in Florida rejected Newt Gingrich because of fears that he would eventually leave them for a younger state.” –Jimmy Kimmel “It’s the first day of Black History Month. So if you’re watching me right now, it means you have completely missed the point.” –Conan O’Brien

Birthday wishes go out to the woman who gave me life and years of bottle feeding, my mother, Lee Gilbert, who celebrates her big day on Wednesday. At 86 years young, she is still going strong, as she has figured out how to turn on her computer and forward an email. Next up, how to print a document and turn the computer off.

And on the same day, my niece, the lovely Samantha Gilbert, turns sweet sixteen. Not only is she the Maria Sharapova of Marin County but also an expert on Japanese culture.

Then on Thursday, birthday greetings go out to my old grammar school classmate, Denise Cinquino, the woman who not once, but twice, turned down my invitation to go to the Woodstock Music Festival. The good news is that Denise, who hasn’t aged a day since our senior prom, has assured me that if I invite her again to three days of peace, music and mud, she’s in.

So that’s our Super Bowl report. It’s been a tremendous year for New York Giant’s fans, as this playoff run was one for the ages. We’ll catch you at the parade. Aloha, mahalo and later, Eli Manning fans.

January 29, 2012

Why Is The Sky Moody Blue?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 6:03 pm

Good morning and greetings, Super Bowl fans. That’s right, we’ve started the countdown to Super Sunday, the same day twenty-four years ago that I bought my wife a surprise engagement ring after she picked it out. I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic.

Next Sunday is also a day when the earth stops orbiting on its normal axis, as Americans will consume 200 hundred trillion chips, 400 billion slices of pizza and enough guacamole to fill Lake Erie. Throw in enough beer and alcohol to double the size of the Red Sea, more money being gambled then what we owe the Chinese and we’re talking that special day where we honor the national pastime of violence, NFL football.

So this leads to the questions that everyone will be asking next Sunday. Can Gisele Bundchen’s main squeeze, Tom Brady, obtain redemption for the Patriot’s 2008 shocking defeat in Super Bowl XLII that crushed their hopes for an undefeated dream season? Can the league’s hottest quarterback, Eli Manning and the Giant’s Big Blue defense continue to sizzle in the postseason and take home another championship trophy? And most importantly, the question fans all over the country will be asking themselves the next day around the water cooler, what was your favorite commercial?

Well, speaking of the Big Blue, I came across an article last seek written by Natalie Wolchover for Yahoo Live Science that tickled my New York Giant’s fancy. Have you ever wondered why the moon is out sometimes during the day? Why is the sky blue? Will we ever discover aliens? How much does the Earth weigh? How do airplanes stay up? And what’s the point spread on the Giants-Patriots game?

According to a new survey conducted over fish n’ chips in England, these are the five questions kids most often ask their parents. In my case, it was, “Why do I have to study algebra?,” followed by “How do the storks know where to deliver the babies?” and “Can I have a raise in my allowance?”

Of the 2,000 parents of children ages 5 to 16 who were surveyed about their kid’s questions, two-thirds said they struggled with the questions and depression. One-fifth of the parents admitted that if they didn’t know an answer, they sometimes made up an explanation, pretended that no one knows or went into a trance. And one-third of the parents said they thought the moon was made of cream cheese.

Myself, I never wondered about the moon making an appearance during the day and I believe there are aliens out there and in Hollywood. I’ve never pondered how much the earth or Oprah weighed and forget about how airplanes stay up, I’m amazed that my pants stay up without a belt.

But being a photographer and a citizen of the world, the question that really caught my interest was, why is the sky blue? Or in the words of former Chapel Hill resident Dr. Michael Schur, “If God isn’t a Tar Heel, why is the sky Carolina blue?”

So here we go. The light coming from the sun is made of many colors; light travels as a wave, and each color has a unique wavelength. Violet and blue light has shorter wavelengths, while red light has a longer wavelength, particularly in Amsterdam, and the other colors have wavelengths in between. And the cheese stands alone.

When the different colors of light pass through the atmosphere, they run into molecules, water droplets, bits of dust and friends from the old neighborhood. Because all these particles are closer in size to shorter wavelengths of light, they tend to scatter violet and blue light much more than red. They send rays of violet and blue light richocheting toward the ground and your eyes like an Eli Manning third down sideline pass to Hakeem Nicks. More violet light actually gets scattered by atmospheric particles than blue light, but your eyes are more sensitive to blue, so in accordance to K-mart shoppers, the sky appears like one big blue light special.

Sunrises and sunsets are orange-red because with the sun low on the horizon, sunlight must pass through more atmosphere to get to your eyes, and only the red light can make it all the way through. The shorter wavelengths have all been scattered toward the ground and the sky is defenseless in holding back the incredible colors that these moments bring. Or in the words of the Classic IV “Traces of love, long ago, that didn’t turn out right.”

And that leads us into today’s photo funhouse. We harken back to the morning of January 19, when at first glance the early morning sky showed more promise than the Fox Network’s much ballyhooed new series “Alcatraz.” Although I was still without my regular lens, I had my new zoom in hand, which I used to capture this morning of spectacular color and pageantry.

And I am happy to report that after a three week hiatus, Sunrise Santa Cruz is back in the digital ballgame. Now all I need is some clouds and a miracle. Actually, all I need is you, my cyber audience. At least that’s what Mike & the Mechanics told me.

On to the late night. “Rick Perry dropped out. He said while it’s sad he won’t be president, he can always run again next year. Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife went on nightline and said that he wanted to have an open marriage. This is the second wife, talking about him when he was fooling around with what became the third wife. Newt wanted apparently to have his wife and his marriage and also women on the side giving him oral sex. This way he could be nice and relaxed when he went to work and accused blacks of feeling entitled. “Meanwhile, at the debate, Mitt Romney’s got a look on his face like, ‘Three women at once? Who’s the Mormon in this race?’” –Bill Maher

“Scientists announced that they have detected a brand new subatomic particle. This particle is so tiny, it’s actually smaller than the income tax rate paid by Mitt Romney. “Mitt Romney won’t release his taxes, but on the other hand, turns out Newt Gingrich wrote off two of his marriages as a total loss.” – Jay Leno “Mitt Romney is going to release 2010 and 2011 tax returns. Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich is going to release his 1988, 1994, and 2005 wedding vows.” –Conan O’Brien

“Newt Gingrich was cheating on his second wife while he was prosecuting Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky thing. In other words, Newt puts the ‘hippo’ in ‘Hypocrite.’ “Gingrich is lining up impressive endorsements. Todd Palin, Gary Busey, and now, Chuck Norris. I’ll tell you, his endorsements could beat up Mitt Romney’s endorsements.” –Jimmy Kimmel “You’re not a Washington insider? You, the former Speaker of the House and Freddie Mac consulting millionaire, are the Washington insider. When Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles you!” –Jon Stewart, on Newt Gingrich campaigning as a Washington outsider

“Yesterday in Florida, President Obama kissed a woman on the cheek after she told him he looks good. Which explains why last night, Michelle made him sleep on Air Mattress One. President Obama aired his first campaign ad of 2012, which promotes his record on clean energy. Obama’s a big environmentalist. In fact, for the election he plans to recycle the same promises he made four years ago. “Next week Obama will visit Iowa, Arizona, Las Vegas, Denver, and Detroit. Not because he’s campaigning, just because all he could afford was a Southwest flight with a bunch of layovers.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A hiker who was lost in a blizzard said he stayed alive by digging a snow tunnel and burning dollar bills for warmth. Today he was offered a job as President Obama’s economic adviser.” –Jay Leno “People who saw Steven Tyler sing the National Anthem at the Patriots game yesterday said, ‘Nancy Regan really looks good for her age.” But Steven Tyler got some of the lyrics wrong, so now everyone thinks the song goes, ‘Flag looks like a lady.’” –Conan O’Brien

So that’s our last blast for January. Birthday wishes go out next Sunday to my longtime confidante and the First Lady of the state of Western Kentucky, Nancy Mager, who predicted years before the internet was invented that I would someday be blogging for no compensation. As they say, keep your friends close and your good friends closer.

So enjoy Super Bowl week and we’ll catch you at the trophy presentation. Aloha, mahalo and later, Victor Cruz fans.


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