Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Elk Bridge

Portions of the Trans-Canada Highsway run through wilderness and agriculture land and were originally a single lane. In order to provide less disruption and avoid collisions between vehicles and large animals, Parks Canada has undertaken projects in areas such as Banff to twin some portions and install fences along both sides of the roadway, while creating overpasses/underpasses to allow safe passage.

The above picture is doing the e-mail circuit claiming to an elk overpass. Folks familiar with the area, however, say it is a CPR bridge.

Click here to read an article about the Banff Wildlife Crossings project!

Click here to see what snopes has to say about this pictures.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Walk Off Explained

In an earlier post, I shared a clip of some drama from a recent episode of "The Bachelor". Ellen did a hilarious parody of the fight.

All week at work we have been telling each other to walk off and making wild gestures arm waving gestures "I will NOT get stressed, I will NOT miss my deadlines".

The walk off fun returns. In this clip, Marshana from the bachelor explains to Ellen the finer details of Walking Off.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Zen Tea - Score!

In an earlier post I said a regretful good-bye to my all time favourite Zen Blend iced-tea.

This weekend - against all odds, we have had a brief re-union. During my trip up the coast I stopped by Cardiff Seaside Market. I love dropping in there after a day at the beach and picking up treats for dinner. It was one of my Zen blend suppliers - until it disappeared from their shelves a few months ago. Well, guess what I found?!? Come on, guess.

Yup, you are right, none other than three bottles of my beloved ice-tea.

Just imagine the huge smile appearing on my face!

three precious bottles of the extinct Zen Blend Ice-Tea

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bi-lingual (?!?) Sign

click picture to enlarge

After the marathon I went for a stroll along the beach. Just south of the bridge I came across this sign. It appears to be a bi-lingual warning sign. However, the message is very different depending on which language you are reading.


"Warning: there was a fatal shark attack the morning of Friday April 25th in Solona Beach. It is recommended that you refrain from any water activity until further notice. San Diego Coast Lifeguard Service."


" Warning: The bacteria count exceeds the recommended levels and contact with the water may cause illness. County of San Diego Dept. of Environmental Health."

Not exactly the same thing now is it?!?

I guess posting a bacteria instead of a shark warning is better than nothing. At least it conveys the message to stay out of the water.

LaJolla Half Marathon

I snapped this one for my "motion" photography assignment

This morning I got up nice and early and headed over to the coast to watch the LaJolla Half Marathon. It is fun waving and cheering for folks as they pass by. It is inspiring to watch - I only wish I had the energy to run the race!

The Pack Coming Over The Hill From Del Mar

The daunting Torrey Pines Hill Looms in the distance

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Day After

This morning I made my usual trek up the coast. I took my time and stopped in at the various beaches from Torrey Pines to Cardiff. It was eerie to see the beaches deserted - especially in the midst of a heat wave.

Cardiff State Beach Looking North
empty as far as the eye can see

Lifeguards patrolling Fletcher's Cove in Solana Beach
Scorching hot day and no one at the beach

Warning posted at the top of the stairs in Cardiff

A few die-hard surfers had paddled out - but otherwise the ocean was quiet. Today, there were no boogie boarders, swimmers or the usual sounds of kids playing in the water.

A few lone surfers in Cardiff

I stopped in Solana Beach at the beach at the main lifeguard area at Fletcher Cove. The parking lot full of satellite dishes and media trucks.

The local networks were squeezed over by the playground trying to eek out an interview with the fire chief while kids squealed on the swings and ran around them with soccer balls. CNN and Fox News had staked out the bluff top and grassy open area.

CNN reporting live

The park was an interesting mix of media circus, kids on the swings and a steady stream of locals who came to pay their respects and shed a tear as they looked out over the water in shock.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tonight's e-mail

I subscribe to an e-mail group for local cycling enthusiasts. The following was in my inbox tonight.

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 12:34:38 -0700
Subject: [TCSD] Brian here

Hello all,

It is with a heavy heart that I am sending out this email about Dave Martin. This morning during the group swim at Fletcher Cove, Dave Martin was the victim of a shark encounter. Fortunately he was with a group of friends living life to the fullest and while his fellow swimmers did everything they could to help, his wounds were to severe. He is survived by four adult children whom our thoughts, blessings and prayers are with!! Those who were with Dave, please know that your actions were nothing short of heroic!!! In what had to be a test many people would fail, you showed courage and the best of the human spirit for your friend. I hope your lives are filled with many blessings!!!!

Tonight the tri club will be hosting a get together at BnL, thank you Scott, from about 6:00 until..... This is an open invitation to come have a slice of pizza, take a walk to! the cove if you would like and be amongst your friends to show support for Dave's family, our community and each other.

Goodbye Dave!!! Tell Jim we all said hello and are doing well!!!!

Shark Attack

By now the story is making headlines. At a local North County beach there was a fatal shark attack this morning.

I was at work on a call with a client when one of my colleagues came by and started hovering looking worried and saying, "Don't go surfing - o.k.". I put my call on hold for a moment and looked her quizzically. She told me that just down the road in Solana Beach there had been a fatal shark attack. Helicopters were flying along the coast clearing the ocean of swimmers and surfers and trying to locate the shark.

The beaches along the North County Coast (from Torrey Pines to Carlsbad) are closed until Monday. We are heading into a heat wave - so looks like I will be spending some time at the pool this weekend.

Local News Coverage

CNN coverage

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Crash and Burn (sick and tired)

Well I have been teetering on the edge of crashing and burning for a couple of weeks. Been feeling under the weather and it turns out ignoring the situation does not make it go away.

I went to work this morning and after an hour or so I realized my heart was raising a zillion miles and hour and I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and sleep for a week. There was no way I was going to be able to last the day sitting at the computer. I hate wasting a vacation day on being sick - so I decided to compromise and try going home for a few hours to sleep it off.The Pickster was thrilled to see me. There is nothing she loves better than a mid-day nap!

Here we are after I woke up. Now back to work I go...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Soli Deo Gloria

Tonight I enjoyed an evening event that highlighted the work of Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Be the Glory - often inscribed by Bach on his compositions). SDG is a nonprofit organization that promotes the creation and performance of classical sacred music (think Bach's St. Mathew Passion, Bethoven's Missa Solemnis or Handel's Messiah).

This weekend is the World Premier of an oratorio by Daniel Kellog. The piece is called The Fiery Furnace and based on the Old Testament story from the book of Daniel. It was fun to have both the composer and maestro present to talk about the piece and the process involved from initial commission through to the world premier.

The event was organized and hosted by friends of mine. So... I tagged along and tried to pitch in and help a little. I ran around and lit candles, snapped photos and of course enthusiastically consumed the left over desserts!

The music was wonderful, the speakers engaging - but I think the sweets stole the show!

Star of the Evening - Amazing Deserts!

Backyard All Lit Up

Cheese Tray - complete with name tags and home town
Anyone know where Pointe Reyes is?

Introducing the string quarter

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lunch Box

I spent the day with my nose to the computer screen tip tapping away at the keyboard - not exactly exciting blog content!

The most exciting thing to happen so far this week was that my new lunch box arrived in the mail.

Here it is!!

Eat A Cupcake, Plant a Tree

What better way to celebrate Earth Day... than with a cupcake.

April 21- 25th all the proceeds from vanilla Sprinkles cupcakes will be given to a local environmental organization.

Beverly Hills - Tree People
Newport Beach - The Surfrider Foundation

Monday, April 21, 2008

Walk Off!

This is a great reminder of why I maintain a "NO REALITY TV" policy in my home.

P-a-h-l-e-a-s-e spare me the drama ...or perhaps I should just say Walk Off!!.

The Bachelor drama made laughable

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Take The Metro

Video ad by the Washington, D.C., transit authority encourages the faithful to ride The Metro during Pope's visit.

The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference was less than pleased and asked that the advertisement be pulled.

I think the Pope might like the 'Go Green' theme of the ad!

The Deleted DC Metro (WMATA) AD - a.k.a. The Pope Bobble-head Ad

My Quest For Fish and Chips

Every once in a while I get a craving for some good down home Fish and Chips.

Growing up, the place to go was Hutch's on the beach strip. It was a dive - still had the original 50's decor - complete with Juke box. The place had extra nostalgia for our family - my Mom grew up spending summers at Hamilton Beach. My parents ate at Hutch's 'back in the day' when they were dating. You could eat inside - but we never did. In the winter we ate in the car. In the summer we preferred to grab a picnic table outside. Sure you had to fend off the seagulls- but it was worth it to sit there and people watch! The most interesting people parade by at Van Wagner's Beach. After eating you could join the fun and walk for miles along the boardwalk.

Yup, those were the days!

I never expected to recreate the mystique of Hutch's here in San Diego - but I was pleasantly surprised to find D.B. Hackers on the 101 in Encinitas. A "Hole In The Wall" restaurant with absolutely amazing fish and chips. Whenever, I was feeling a little nostalgic or felt a craving for fish and chips -- I would be off to Encinitas. I liked to get my order to go and then head around the corner and park at the Moonlight Beach. Nothing like sitting in the car, looking out and listening to the waves roll in while I ate.

So imagine my chagrin that fateful day. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had set out in earnest on my ritual fish and chip trip When I pulled up in front of Encinitas Surfboards - I instantly knew something was wrong. Gone was my dive Fish and Chip Shop - it has been replaced by some boutiquey dining establishment. Sigh.

It has been several l-o-n-g dry years without any fish and chips. I have tried the odd place here and there - but no luck!

A few weeks ago, in desperation, I started asking everyone I knew for recommendations. I took the suggestions and did a little internet research (Yelp is my friend!). I finally decided I had a worthy candidate in Harbor Fish Cafe in Carlsbad.

Today was the day. I woke up itching for an adventure and craving fish and chips. Mid afternoon I grabbed the GPS, typed in the address, hopped in the car and was off!

I wasn't disappointed. My destination was a building that was one half surf shop, one half dive fish and chip shop. The outside seating is dilapidated wooden benches with a view of the park and the ocean. All that and amazing fish and chip to boot!

Mission Accomplished!

As ate and watched the cyclists go by - I started wishing I had thrown my bike in the back of the CRV. I have rode through Carlsbad a number of times - but I have never stopped to walk the sea wall. Today would be the day. A bright and sunny afternoon with a lovely cool breeze coming in off the ocean - Perfection.

So, there we have it. The beginning of a new Fish and Chip ritual!

Fish on the sea wall

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Grey Day

This time last week we were enjoying full on summer weather. Today it is cool, overcast and gloomy.

First thing this morning I took a bike ride over to Torrey Pines State Park. There were lots of people hiking and bike riding - taking advantage of the cooler weather.

Torrey Pine

Dead Torrey Pine on a Gloomy Day

I have had a few quiet weekends in a row. I am getting itchy to head out on an adventure.

This weekend is 'get your house in order' weekend - so I am catching up on personal paperwork, e-mail and "stuff"! While sorting through paperwork - I watched the movie August Rush. The film has an ethereal fairy tale quality to it. It is worth watching, if only to be reminded that the world around us is alive with music ... we just need to listen for it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Origin of Peace Symbol

Ever wonder about the origin of the Peace symbol? Let me share what I know...

The symbol was created by Gerald Holtom, a conscientious objector during World War II. It was created as the Nuclear Disarmament logo for the first Aldermaston March by the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War in Easter of 1958. The design was a combination of letters of the flag semaphore alphabet for "D" and "N", standing for nuclear disarmament. Over time it became a general symbol for peace.

For my info check out this webpage

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quote Of the Day

“A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”

- Jane Austin

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Year of Plenty

A friend recently e-mailed me a couple of articles about her sister's family and their recent adventures. They decided that in 2008 they would only consuming items that were made or grown locally. There story has recently attracted some local media attention in Spokane, WA. It is quite the wild journey they are on - you can share in the adventure by reading the Year of Plenty blog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Say Good-bye To Plastic Water Bottles

Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour - but only 1 in 4 is recycled.

Believe it or not, bottled water isn’t always cleaner than tap water. The production, shipment, and disposal of plastic water bottles are taking an enormous toll on the environment. The kinder, gentler approach is to filter your own water.

I love the funky and customizable SIGG bottles.

my water bottles

Some benefits of ditching plastic bottles of water and filtering your own water.

  • Save the 1.5 million tons of plastic expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year.
  • Get rid of contaminants normally found in tap water such as chlorine, cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead and pesticide runoff.
  • Save money.If you ditch just one water bottle a week, you can save close to $100/year!
  • Filters are a safer bet - up to 40% of all bottled water comes from a city water system.

stats come from here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My fascinating hand

Tonight was week two of my photography class at UCSD. This evening we were learning about panning. So we had a class of 40 people all twirling around taking photos of their moving hands. Pretty entertaining!

my hand and my twirling classmates

Class becomes a blurr ... all that remains is my hand

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Summer Is Here?

It was another hot one today. It was 90 degrees in my apartment by mid-morning ... so I decided to grab a couple of books and park myself at the beach for the afternoon. Turns out I wasn't the only one with this idea. The beach was packed!!

Hot hot hot

Whoa! Today was a scorcher. I wasn't paying attention to the weather forecast and was surprised to wake up to hot hot hot!

I didn't realize that it was going to be so hot when I planned my long bike ride. I didn't put on any sun screen and only brought one bottle of liquid to re-hydrate. Ooopsie!! I am thankful there was a good breeze blowing off the ocean. In fact, I was nearly blown off my bike when I hit the open area in Cardiff.

I went for a nice refreshing dip in the pool when I returned. If it is warm like this again tomorrow - I think I will spend the afternoon at the beach.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Snipits from
by Mary J Blidge

It’s been a long week, I put in my hardest

No time for moping around, are you kidding?
And no time for negative vibes, cause I’m winning

So I like what I see when I’m looking at me
When I’m walking past the mirror
No stress through the night, at a time in my life
Ain’t worried about if you feel it
Got my head on straight, I got my mind right
I aint gonna let you kill it

Having a really good time, I’m not complaining
And I’m a still wear a smile if it raining
I got to enjoy myself regardless
I appreciate life, I’m so glad I got mine

Click here to give a listen to Mary J. Sing Fine

Happy Birthday Peace

It’s been 50 years since Gerald Holtom – a British textiles designer – created a global phenomenon: the peace symbol. Simple. Unique. Elegant. Powerful.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Beat

Bruce Cockburn
Anything Anytime Anywhere, Singles 1979-2002 (2002)

Ancient and always
The wheel's ever whirling
Today I'm riding
Tomorrow I walk
Step through forever
into this very moment
The heart is pumping
and the heart rocks
It's my beat
In my new town

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Volunteer San Diego

Change Yourself. Change Your World. Volunteer.

I found a very cool volunteer website with opportunities here in San Diego to volunteer. They have a section called 'Flex' volunteer which lists lots of opportunities where you can volunteer an evening or a weekend whenever you have time available. No long term commitment required.

Check out Volunteer San Diego.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Life Passes You By

People often say, "Life passes you by",
but I think some of us are lucky enough to grab on and go for the ride.

Maybe the problem is we think it goes by too fast
and because of this we let our passions fall by the wayside.

I now think that life is actually kind of slow and opportunity is there for the taking.

I also realize that everything you do effects the rest of your life. So live it up!

Take the risk and do the thing that you are suppose to do.

-Hunter Weeks 10 mph

Monday, April 7, 2008

A time for mourning

Porch Time in Biloxi
Big smile, bright red top

Ever have a brief encounter with someone that touches you deeply?

I had one such experience when I was in Biloxi last fall. During the trip we worked on several homes. The one we spent the most time at was owned by a lady about my age and with my name - but life experiences are radically different. At her house I helped install kitchen cabinets for the first time, I hung cupboard doors, help build a set of stairs and create a railing. I also, sweated buckets in the oppressive Biloxi heat.

When we arrived L- and misc family members and stray folks she had taken in were living in trailers on the front lawn. By the end of the week, the house was almost ready for them to move in.

The final night, as we celebrated our time together and the work accomplished - I had an occasion to sit and have an extended conversation with L- for a bit. She shared with me that ALL her extended family lived in the immediate neighbourhood. Her home is the one they grew up in. When Katrina came - they lost everything. Every single person in her family, everything they owned, all gone. As soon as they could, the came back to see if they could salvage anything and to protect their property. There were no stores, no food and no gas. They slept in the yard on air mattresses. They cooked dinner over an open fire. Sometimes wild dogs would come and circle. They could hear them howling in the night. The dogs, like the people were hungry and abandoned. At one time her yard was full with six FEMA trailers. When we arrived in the fall of 2007 they were down to 3 trailers. Several of her siblings had finished rebuilding and were back in their homes. The first year all the kids, nieces and nephews went with one sister to Texas. Biloxi was not safe for the kids. They came back once there there was a school and grocery store and trailer to live in. Many people that came back to Biloxi died that first year. I am told many of the older people just gave up hope and died. L- was strong, her family was strong. They rebuilt and stuck together.

Sadly, on Saturday, L- was found dead in her home.

I had looked forward to returning to Biloxi and seeing L- living in her restored home. I know she is now in her eternal home - but her strong and gentle presence will be missed!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

10 mph

Last night I watched a delightfully quirky documentary.

10 mph is the story of Josh Caldwell and Hunter Weeks. Two aspiring film makers who quit their tedious software jobs and make a cross country trip. This is not your average cross country trek. They set out to journey from Seattle to Boston taking only back roads and traveling at 10 mph on a Segway scooter. The journey is filled with a an ever-changing landscape and cast of characters. The folks along the way share hospitality, stories and hard earned wisdom.

Trailer for 10 MPH

From The Intro to the Film ...

We were stuck in the muck
I felt like everyday I was walking through
the same stagnant maze of cubicles
to get to my own cube
when I got there
my day began
The same day I experienced day after day
TPS reports
The smell of burnt popcorn at lunch
circling back
a lot of meaningless meetings
Intranets that no one used
you get the picture
Josh and I both worked for a big software company
we worked on some side stuff
and would often jive about the day
we would break free to do our own thing
we heard others talk about it
we read lots of success stories in glossy magazines
and tried a few things in the past
but they never seemed to materialize
Life really wasn't all that bad
You're making good money
driving a shiney new car
drinking a latte a day
and trying out the latest varietal of urban cuisine
sounds pretty good,
until you realize
that you are missing one very important thing
You're missing the thing you are suppose to do
We had given up our passions
and agreed to sit
in a cubicle 8 hours a day
just so we could enjoy the hosh posh of urban life

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Franklin Theme

Wow, this sounds like Bruce Cockburn singing and playing guitar. I figure, since Franklin is a Candian produced show (notice the flag and content logos on the clip) ... chances are good.

What do you think? Is this Bruce?

Here comes Franklin
Coming over to play
Growing a little
Every day

Here he comes with all his friends
They've got stories got time to spend
With you

En fran├žais, l'autre langue officielle. Aucun bruce chantant dans ceci l'un

Friday, April 4, 2008

40 years and the dream still eludes us

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

- Martin Luther King

Spell Check Sux

Fun blog posting snipit taken from here. Thanks Ro!

A little poem about user interface design and the zen of life with technology!

like algebra
frustrating to learn
almost impossible 4 me
i think in pictures

there is a computer language
i dont speak it
i breathe
say thanks

spell check sux
it should fix it and put it in bold
and then when u r done
it says

like - "is this what u meant?"
cause the underlined red dots
make me want to hurt someone

peace begins inside

Thursday, April 3, 2008

How Should We Then Live?

There are lots of books that claim to have the secret to a happy life or the magic formula to personal freedom. In life there is rarely a silver bullet. There are however, little guideposts along the way that help us embrace the Joy in the Journey. Here are a few signposts I encountered recently.

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.

Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express yourself. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best.

Adapted from The Four Agreements

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tunes For Fire Relief

In the fall of 2007, fires raged in Southern California. Particularly hard hit was San Diego County - where more than 500,000 people were forced to evacuate and approximately 1,500 homes were lost.

NBC 7/39 San Diego and Sounden Recordings have come together to release a San Diego Fire Relief CD, comprised of 18 different San Diego artists and bands.

Proceeds go to The San Diego Foundation’s After-The-Fires Fund 2007 and to the Fireman’s Fund.

Click here to learn more and order your copy.