Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mission Hills View

Lately, my walks have taken me to this spot and this view as something of a reward. It’s one mile directly west of my house through beautiful Mission Hills. Yesterday morning was sunny and clear and the sides of the canyon were all in bloom with flowers and lush green ground cover. The view is looking west. It looks out over Highway 5 to Mission Bay and the open ocean beyond.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jim’s Birthday Bash

Last night (Friday) I attended a party at the home of Jim, the DJ at Kicker’s, and his partner, David, to celebrate Jim’s birthday. They have a lovely home in the heart of Hillcrest with an incredible back patio that had room for a dance floor. We had Sangria and lots of delicious food and danced under the stars. With me in the photo are Allen, Marc, Terry, and Christian is in front.

Driving from Home Back to Work After Lunch

I took this video towards the end of January. I tried to up load it to Blogger at the time, but that doesn't always work. I did up load it to Facebook, which worked really well and was very fast, so the folks on FB have already seen it. And they responded very positively to it, which really surprised me since it's so rough.

One day at work they asked me to take some pictures for a proposal that was going out the next day. So for lunch I drove home to get my camera. It was such a nice day and I was having such a great time driving with the top down and enjoying the sun that I decided to see if I could capture any of it on video on the way back to the office. I raised up the headrest of my passenger seat as far as it would go and jammed the camere underneath it and just turned it on.

So imagine a warm breeze in your hair and the sun on your arms as we drive from Mission Hills through Hillcrest and Bankers Hill to Downtown. Look for the Statue of Liberty at the first stoplight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quote: Shakespeare

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Shakespeare: Macbeth

I took the picture on my balcony.

The quote is one my roommate had to memorize in high school and still remembers to this day. It’s a little bit cynical, but it’s also a good reminder of everything’s relevance.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Storm Front: Book One of the Dresden Files

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
A classic PI “whodunit and I gotta find him before he does it to me” mystery with the added twist that the private investigator is a wizard and his assistant is a magical spirit that lives in a skull. A very fun, easy read. I'm looking forward to reading more in the series. The SciFi channel turned it into a really cool TV show. They made a few changes;nothing major, just polished it up a bit and tweaked it in good ways. I don't know if they're still showing, but I watched all the first season on I like a wizard that uses a drum stick for a wand and his staff is a magically charged hockey stick. Very fun.

Also on Hulu is a show called Secret Millionaire, where realy well-off people go undercover as destitute with only about $100 for a week. They go into blighted areas, learn what it's like to survive like that, and try to find folks they want to help. At the end of the week they go back and give away at least $100,000 of their own money. Finally, a reality TV show that does some good.

And also on Hulu I’m enjoying Journeyman; a guy keeps traveling back in time to help people. It’s inteligently written, showing the affect it has on his family and job.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Anza-Borrego Desert with Keith

Yesterday morning Keith and I piled into his car with snacks and water and cameras and headed out to Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert. The desert wild flowers bloom in February and March and it’s a fun day trip for some easy hiking and photo opportunities. After a few miles on the 8 we took the 79 which is all twisty 2-lane scenic roads making the 2 hour drive part of the fun.

Once there we made a quick stop at the Visitor Center to use the facilities, pick up the latest maps, and check with a guide on where flowers were blooming the most. The Visitor Center is very nice with lots of information about the area and a large area of flowers right there, but Keith had been there last year and I had seen it several years ago and we wanted to get out into the desert right away.

Back in the car we drove a couple miles east, then turned north to Desert Gardens. The last 4 miles are a very bumpy 1-lane dirt road, which is why we were in Keith’s car; mine rides too low. We were able to go past where most other people stopped and enjoyed a really nice, easy hike up into one of the canyons. After a couple hours there we drove back south, then east some more to an area covered with yellow flowers and surrounded by mountains in the distance.

Before heading home we stopped back at the Visitor Center for a last pit stop. I also bought a small book on all the different areas of the State Park. It’s huge with a lot more than can be seen on 1 trip. And I’m thinking it’d be a good one-night camping trip as well, to catch the good light around sunset and sunrise.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Kidnapped to Coronado

2 weeks ago Heriberto and Skip sent me emails about going to Tijuana for lunch, but I was unsure about what documents are now required to get back across the border into the U.S. so I suggested Julian. Several emails went back and forth, but nothing was confirmed so I figured nothing would happen that weekend and we’d get together another time. But I underestimated Skip and Heriberto.

Sunday, the 15th, I came home from church, went into my bedroom, closed the door, and laid down for a nap to make up for a poor night’s sleep. A short while later our doorbell sounded, I heard voices as my roommate let whoever it was in, and then I got a knock on my door. Going out into the living room I found Skip and Heriberto wanting to know what the plan is.

Heriberto said we’ll be like Sex and the City; four friends going out. I observed that if we’re going to be like Sex and the City, we’re going to need cuter shoes!

So I threw on a some clothes and went with Skip and Heri to Starbuck’s a block away while Keith showered and met us there shortly (former military boys clean up quick). We decided to drive downtown to the cruise ship terminal and take the ferry across the bay to Coronado and have lunch at Panera.

We piled into Heriberto’s car, which is one of those really well-designed cars that are small on the outside but have plenty of room for four big guys on the inside. Heri found great parking; we soon had our tickets and just had a short wait to board the ferry. Even though the day was cold and cloudy, it’s a fun 30 minute ride across the bay to Coronado. Skip was super hungry so as soon as we got off the boat at Coronado we boarded a bus for a faster trip to Panera.

It was a really fun excursion. Skip had a new pocket sized Canon camera, Heriberto had his big Nikon, and Keith took his new video camera so I left my camera at home. The top picture is from Skip and the other 2 are by Heriberto. You can see more of Heri's photo on his blog. Skip took more photos and also a video at the restaurant and Keith has yet to download his video, so I’ll add those as soon as I get them.

And we’re still working on the shoe thing.