Thursday, July 31, 2008


All summer I have noticed a noisy seagull on our roof -- seemingly guarding the area. If the Pickster and I hand out in the front Mr. Seagull will squawck like crazy. My furry friend will lay down and roll around pretending she doesn't hear a thing. Swallows have made a nest in the peak of our roof. It is fun to sit on the balcony and listen to the babies chirp. However, what I didn't realize is that Sentry Seagull as on guard because there was a nest with momma and three babies on the chimney of my neighbours place.

As I arrived home tonight Mrs. Neighbour and sus nietos were a buzz with stories of the three fledglings. It seems all week Mr. and Mrs. Seagull have been teaching their young ones to fly. They started with a flight between Mrs. Neighbour's roof and mine. Then two of the graduated to flying across the street. The runt of the flock fell from the roof and part of the afternoon on the ground while his siblings called to him from the roof. It was very fun learning about the adventures of the week. Makes me wish I was home earlier in the day to enjoy the goings on. Later this evening my neighbour came to call when she saw one of the 'kids' out for a fly. Alas, by the time I came out I had missed them.

Perhaps tomorrow...

The Last Lecture

Friday July 25th, 2008 Randy died of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Artists Wanted

There have not been any new additions to the push pin wall for quite some time. So .... today I posted an Artists Wanted sign!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Shortly before lunch today the whole office started to shake and rattle. I had my headphones off and was in the zone - but my monitor and desk started jumping about definitely caught my attention. I think this is the third or fourth quake that has occurred during the work day. This one was fairly short ( 10 or 15 seconds) but I think it was the strongest one to date.

The current CNN headline is Earthquake serves as warning for L.A.

Uh, no thanks! We have had more than enough fun with the fires. Let's take a pass on the Big One earthquake.

5.4 -"moderate," can cause slight damage to buildings and others structures.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM (PDT)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 18:42:15 (UTC)
Distance from
Chino Hills, CA - 4 km (3 miles) WSW (240 degrees)
Diamond Bar, CA - 7 km (5 miles) SE (135 degrees)
Yorba Linda, CA - 8 km (5 miles) NNE (16 degrees)
Pomona, CA - 12 km (7 miles) S (184 degrees)
Los Angeles Civic Center, CA - 46 km (28 miles) ESE (104 degrees)

From Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An earthquake struck just east of Los Angeles on Tuesday, rocking tall buildings and rattling nerves across Southern California, but causing no serious injuries or major structural damage.

The quake hit at 11:42 a.m. local time (7: 42 p.m. BST) about 30 miles (48 km) east of Los Angeles in suburban Chino Hills and registered magnitude 5.4 -- making it the strongest seismic event centred near America's second-largest city since the 6.7-magnitude Northridge quake in 1994.

It was followed in the next few hours by more than 50 aftershocks, the largest measuring 3.6, and geologists said there is a chance it could be a foreshock to a larger earthquake.

Earthquake report - click here .
Local newspaper coverage of the quake - click here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Snack Time

Soy & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips may sound odd. But, trust me, they are good!

Trader Joe's Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips with Papaya Mango Salsa

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Night at The Beach

Life Guard Stand 32 at LaJolla Shores

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

The life of an unemployed hippie takes an unexpected turn when he starts feeding a flock of wild parrots. This film follows Mark as his life begins to intertwine with the birds he observes. The film includes portraits of Connor, Mingus, Olive, Pushkin, Picasso, Sophie, and Tupelo with incredible close-ups, and rare in-depth glimpses into the unique and often amusing habits and activities of these birds.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Record Crowds

More than 200,000 people gather at a park in Berlin to listen to Obama.

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press L.A. Times coverage

Friday, July 25, 2008

Line Rider

Have you played Line Rider?

Boy grabs sled. Boy rides sled. A simple concept!

Draws your own landscape with a simple pencil tool creating as ramps, hills, and jumps - you name it. Let your imagination run wild. Then they send the virtual sledder careening down the course you built. Each landed jump is pure yellow.

Line Rider in Action

Click here to watch another cool line rider run set to funky music.

Click here to play!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

View From The Path

Flowering cactus along the path of my commute...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gone Surfin'

I took a late lunch today so I could scoot up to Encinitas and run an errand. I left a note on my desk, "back around 2" - just in case someone came looking for me.

When I returned I found my note had been swapped out with the following ...

Have you seen the surf today?
I'd be crazy to miss an epic day like today.
I'll be back ... maybe

Ah, skippin' school to go surfin'. The stuff that dreams are made of!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

War Games On The Bike Path

Came home to this rather interesting e-mail thread... I am glad that my route to work is canyons and beach ... no war zones!

From: Brandy
Date: July 22, 2008 2:28:37 PM PDT
To: Brett
Subject: as Pulgas bike lane closed until the 29th

I just spoke to Bob James, the bicycle coordinator for Cal Trans. If anyone has any questions, please call him at 619-688-6678.

As of tomorrow morning, you may ride the normally restricted to cyclists section of the 5 freeway from Basilone Road going south to Las Pulgas and from Las Pulgas north to Basilone. The signs on this section stating that bicycles are prohibited, will be taped over and CHP has been notified that they are not to cite cyclists on this section of the 5 freeway until the war games are over on the 29th.

From: Bret
Date: July 22, 2008 1:28:37 PM PDT
Subject: Pulgas bike lane closed until the 29th
For those of you planning rides south from Orange County or north from San Diego County, the Marines are having exercises which will not allow use of the bike lane between the Las Pulgas offramp and just south of San Onofre State Beach.

During the past month or so there has been a steady buildup of equipment on the base just east of the I-5. Sign on the two ends of the bike lane have cautioned riders about the possibility of military vehicles in the area.

When I rode south from O.C. this morning there was a HUGE buildup of equipment. The sentry informed me that the bike lane will be closed until the 29th.

I have not checked with Caltrans regarding alternate routes. For me, riding on the I-5freeway for 30 miles is NOT going to happen!

Please feel free to pass this information along to other cyclists. As of 7:30 this morning there were no signs posted anywhere indicating this closure.

Ride safely!

Curling -eh?

This Saturday Pete and I stopped by the rink up in Escondido to enjoy some pick up curling. The folks at Curl San Diego were amazing. They went out of their way to show us the ropes and were very patient as we slipped and slid all over the ice. They didn't even laugh when I lost grip of my broom and it went hurtling down the ice beside the rock I had just thrown ... I am stiff and sore from the adventure but looking forward to getting out on the ice again!

Tippie S-W-E-E-E-E-P-s

Pete 'the blurr' sweeping down the ice

Tippie on The Campaign Trail

Time for some campaigning...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quote Of The Day

We cannot kill or capture our way to victory.

- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (The Washington Post)

My Kid Could Paint That

"The whole story really is about grown ups. She is just a little girl, painting in her house".

-from the Documentary My Kid Could Paint That

This weekend's movie choice was a interesting documentary that explores our culture's fascination with child prodigies and how easily it can spin out of control.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Together Again

Everywhere I go
Every smile I see
I know you are there
Smilin' back at me
Dancin' in moonlight
I know you are free

There are times
When I look above
And beyond
There are times when I feel your love
Around me
I'll never forget
(I'll never forget you)

Lyrics by Janet Jackson

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It Came!

Proud Owner of a Richard Simmon's Key Chain

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hot Air

From tonight's bike ride home....

Blowing up a hot air balloon on the side of the road

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bike Path

Riding under the freeway on my way to work...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Sandbox

A little bit of the beach at work!

If you look real close you can see my co-workers have started writing me messages in the sand.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spanish Word of The Day

Today's Spanish Word of The Day e-mail.

Spanish word: agobiado
English translation: overwhelmed
Part of speech: adjective

Example sentence
Spanish: Isabel está agobiada con todo el trabajo.
English: Elizabeth is overwhelmed by all of her work.

Prophetic? I hope not.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A wordle of Micah 6:8.

Directions Please....

On an average evening walk - it is expected that there will be an encounter with overly enthusiastic Mormon missionary. Once of the hazard's of living beside the temple.

On a typical weekend bike ride I will get flagged down by a lost tourist looking for the beach.

But, today I broke my human GPS record. Between my place and UCSD I was flagged down four times. Yup, count 'em four times. My favourite was the fellow that didn't want to pull over but wanted me to converse and provide directions through an open window while they continue to drive. My final encounter was from a fellow bicyclist. A young man from Illinois that stopped to ask me where I was heading. A simple question with no simple answer ... uh, no where in particular... I am just out for a bike ride. After finding out he was lost and really wanted to go hiking at Torrey Pines - I decided that was a good a destination as any and off we went.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dolphin Spotting

Tonight, I stopped at the beach on my way home from work. As usual I put one toe hesitantly into the water, shivered, pondered, and before I could retreat I was knocked over by a wave and then I was hooked - the next hour was spent bobbing around in the water and boogie boarding. While we were bobbing around out past the break, my friend kept insisting she saw dorsal fins in the distance. I scanned the horizon, but all I could see was kelp floating in the water. When we finally called it a night and were drying off on the beach -- the show began -- two dolphins swimming south and playing in the surf. The two of us stood mesmerized for quite a while enjoying our own private dolphin show!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From 55 mph to 10 mph

The whole world looks different when you slow things down. I am starting to enjoy some of the benefits of trading my car for a bike. Surprisingly, lengthening my commute from 15 minutes to an hour has had some wonderful bonuses -- better productivity, lower stress, more energy as well as the obvious ... less trips to the gas station! But, what I am enjoying most is how different everything looks, sounds and feels when you are on a bike. There are so many you miss at 55 mph. Sites you never see, sounds you miss and smells that never reach the interior of your car. One day this week it was the invasion of the wild bunnies, the next day an older couple practicing Tai Chi on the path. Today I came barrelling over a hill in the canyon when I had to swerve to miss these beautiful flowers blooming in the middle of the path.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thought For The Day

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

- Charles Bukowski

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gotta Get Me One

Richard Simmons Key Chain

Click here to order yours!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sun, Sand and a Good Book

Today was my last day of holidays. Tomorrow it is back to work.

My plan was to get up early and head to my favourite surf spot for the day. Ah, the best laid plans. I slept in and got a slow start to the day. The ocean water was frigid and the skies overcast. Turned out to be the perfect day plant myself on the beach and enjoy a good book. There are few things more peaceful than reading a book to the sound of the crashing waves.

Today's read was the lyrical and poetic book Undiscovered by Debra Winger. This is her memoir and reflections from an authentic journey through life. Here are a few memorable selections that are floating about in my head - giving me pause for thought.

Why does it take so long to uncover what seems so essential once it is revealed? I take turns in my life all the time. I feel an unshakable need to search, to dig deeper, to reveal, to yield.

Occasionally, there is a feeling that the whole of your life has brought you to a certain moment. As if it were a series of vehicles that you transferred between, and all at once, you were dropped off at a certain place, and the car sped away and left you staring into the void.

Ultimately, these experiences that become infinite in nature also belong to the finite world. They live as a memory of the possibility of transformation; transformation through blunt, quizzical, and an emotionally honest look at the life around us, at ourselves- our lot. The possibility exists for all of us, at any age, to imbue our days with a breath fully taken, the thought fully formed, and the emotion wholeheartedly felt. How often do we?

Authenticity is not a goal for the faint-hearted. I have started on this journey, and I want to continue with grace.

The term "aging gracefully" has always given me pause. It sounds as if one is lingering on each landing of a descending staircase, waving elegantly. The descent is what I do not like. Aging, I feel, is more of an accession. It denotes a process that is alive and happening, growing up and getting closer, moving toward the essential: What was there in the beginning and will be there in the end.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Huntington

I am celebrating the long weekend with a little road trip. The advantage of an 'alone' road trip is I can totally geek out during the drive. For this trip I listened for hours and hours to Grammar Girl Podcasts! I doubt this little geekfest will yield any fruit in my grammar or writing style - but it sure was fun!

Speaking of podcasts. I just found out that Grammar Girl has a cousin -- Make it Green Girl. I just added green girl to my ever growing and neglected podcast list. I'll let you know if she is as fun as Grammar Girl.

The main destination for this trip was The Huntington, which is a mix of Library, Art Gallery, Museum and Botanical Gardens. When I did my pre-trip research, the two things that drew me to make the trip were the current Photography exhibit and the Water Lilly ponds.

The theme of the current photography exhibit - This Side of Paradise - Body and Landscape in L.A. Photographs

Over the past 150 years, potent relationships between glamour and catastrophe, sunshine and noir, have fascinated photographers trying to explain an elusive Los Angeles.

The description and web page for the exhibit convinced me it was worth giving up a day at the beach to make the trip.

The exhibit was an eclectic mix of images. They ranged from black and white photos of the early landscape (pre-development) of the area, to pictures of the Watts Riots, the LA Riots, a day in the life photos and colourful modern day glamour shots. There were a number of amazing Herb Ritts photos in the exhibit.

In addition to the gallery photos, there were displays out side all along the path to the gallery.

Normally, I would be all about the gardens and walking the grounds. However, Saturday was an unbelievably hot day! With the oppressive humidity, the air conditioning of the galleries was a welcome relief. I enjoyed the stained glass and it was exciting to see the original Gainsborough painting The Blue Boy.

It was tempting to stay inside where it was cool and just enjoy the galleries. But, I really wanted to see the Lilly Ponds. Sooo, I decided to brave the heat and humidity and go exploring. It was well worth the effort!

Lilly Pad with Pink Flowers

Bench Among Bamboo

It was pretty quite in the outer reaches of the gardens out by the Lilly Ponds. By far, the most popular garden location was the sprinklers over in the Children's Garden!

I spent Saturday evening strolling around Old Pasadena. There were lots of fun shops to meander through. My favourite was The Paper Source. Online they have some fun online craft videos. I like their motto - 'do something creative every day'.

Click here for Photo Stream from the Trip to The Huntington.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I Love A Clean San Diego

Morning After Mess Cleanup
Saturday, July 5, 2008, 8 - 11 AM
Mission Beach, Belmont Park

I Love A Clean San Diego and the Surfrider Foundation are hosting a Morning After Mess Cleanup. The 4th of July is the most popular day at the beach, but when the party is over, trash litters the shoreline. Join the clean up crew at at Belmont Park to help restore Mission Beach back to its natural state and prevent trash from washing into the ocean with the tide. Supplies will be provided, but volunteers are asked to wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring extra water as we will be out in the sun. All volunteers must sign a waiver in order to participate.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Bella. Quite a few people have raved to me about this movie. I decided to see what the fuss was about and plunked it in my Netflix queue.

Almost the entire movie takes place in one day, interwoven with flash backs. What most struck me in the movie was the reminder of the imprint tragedy leaves on our lives - a single incident or encounter can radically change the journey we are on.

I enjoy movies with a sense of mystery that slowly unfold - and I enjoyed this one. However, the friend I watched it with had trouble saying awake. à chacun son goût

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrating At The Beach

Today we were let out of work at 3 pm!! A friend and I headed straight to the beach for a little post Canada Day, pre 4th of July Celebration.

Canada Day Cup-Cake At The Beach

The ocean temperature has really dropped - but once you start playing around in the waves you forget the water is cool and just have fun. The surf was big and and choppy. I managed to be put through the rinse cycle twice.

Canada Day Meets The 4th of July

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bike Parking Lot

There is an upside to the cut-backs and attrition at work.

My bike gets its' own office!

Canada Day Card?!

Uh ...thanks Aaron!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Me and Mr. Coyote

This morning riding through the canyon I had an "encounter" with Mr. Coyote. I was barreling down the hill on my bike and as the path swerved around a bush -- there he was... about 100 feet in front of me... Mr. Coyote. I jammed on the brakes and came skidding to a stop. Mr. Coyote looked over his shoulder with suspicion and kept walking. I stood their frozen, trying to remember what canyon dwelling animal attacks people and which mostly preys on pets and small animals. Where is google when you need it! All the while the coyote would take a couple of steps and then stop and look back and glare at me. He finally got to another bend in the path and after he passed the bush he was out of sight. Decisions, decisions. I was half an hour into the one hour commute to work. I could head back home and drive to work - but that would be a drag. I finally decided - bobcats bad (attack humans), coyotes good (well kind of good .. they will eat your pet but not you) . So off I went. I will admit it ... I was a bit nervous as I passed the bushes wondering if Mr. Coyote was waiting for me ...

Phew, the only animals I saw the rest of my ride was wild rabbits.

Now that I am home safe and sound I am doing a little bit of reading about my canyon friends. Here is what I learned ... click here for the full article.

Coyote attacks on humans are uncommon and rarely cause serious injuries, due to the relatively small size of the coyote. However, coyote attacks on humans have increased since 1998 in the state of California. The majority of these incidents occurred in Southern California near the suburban-wildland interface.

Due to an absence of harassment by residents, urban coyotes lose their natural fear of humans, which is further worsened by people intentionally feeding coyotes. In such situations, some coyotes begin to act aggressively toward humans, chasing joggers and bicyclists, confronting people walking their dogs, and stalking small children.
There is currently only one recorded fatal attack on a human. In 1981 in Glendale, California, a coyote attacked a toddler, who despite being rescued by her father, died in surgery due to blood loss and a broken neck.

Happy Canada Day!