Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Is Here (At Least For Now)

We're finally being blessed with some fall temperatures. It actually started last week - we had a couple of days that topped out in the 70s. Today the high was 80, but that feels really cool considering that yesterday it got up to 92! I think autumn is my favorite time of year because of the weather. The coolness is so refreshing after the hot summer. Between about mid September and mid October there are a good number of days here that I think could stack up with the best weather anywhere. Bright sunny skies, the summer haze chased away by the north winds, and cool enough temperatures so that you never even think about breaking a sweat.

Another indicator of fall that I love is listening to the owls in my backyard. I often hear them this time of year, and in fact I can hear one right now as I type this. I need to get on putting up a screech owl box in the big tree back there.

I watched the first part of the new Ken Burns documentary "The National Parks" last night, and I watched a little of part 2 tonight before switching to the football game (I'm recording TNP so I can watch it later). Great show. The history, anthropology, and nature nerds in me are totally geeking out over this show. The nature shots are stunning, and it's jam-packed with amazing old photographs. I'm ready to leave for Yellowstone tomorrow. Ken Burns is a dadburn genius. He could make a miniseries about paint drying interesting. If you have any interest at all in history or nature, I think you will like it. It runs through Friday on PBS. Highly recommended.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunset 09-22-09

Tuesday evening there were some really beautiful clouds that eventually turned into a beautiful sunset.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Attack of the Vine Women

My sister works at the zoo in San Diego. While I was out there visiting her, we happened upon a photo exhibition in Balboa Park that featured a photo of this woman in green makeup with vines and leaves on her head. My sister was telling me that this was some kind of dance performance that they did at the zoo, and that she thought it was really weird.

The next day I was at the zoo, and by chance found myself standing right in front of the area where these dancers were about to do their show. I thought it would be a good chance to see for myself just how "weird" this trip would be. I'm always up for weirdness.

And? It was a little weird, but it didn't creep me out like it did my sister. There were two vine-bedecked dancers with stilts on both their arms and legs. They did these dance moves and poses together before wandering off in separate directions and doing some "blending in" with the surrounding foliage. I thought some of the dance moves were rather nifty. However, there was kind of an odd sensuality about some of the moves and poses that I thought seemed a little out of place in the family-friendly environment of the zoo. And one of the dancers had quite the low-cut outfit.

I think this element of sexuality is what freaked my sister out about these dancers. As a guy, I think that didn't bother me as much, but I do understand where she's coming from.

I mean, it's hot chicks in metallic green paint and low-cut vine outfits - what's not to like?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just Like LL

I pulled an LL and went back to Cali. Really. I knew it was a possibility if I could somehow get a ticket for the rescheduled final Nine Inch Nails show, but I considered it a longshot. On Labor Day I was by my computer when I happened to see an update saying that a limited number of tickets were currently on sale. So I clicked through and to my surprise ended up with a ticket. So I decided to fly back (using frequent flyer miles) a mere three days after returning from my previous trip. You only live once, you know?

So I had a bit of a vacation redux. And in the time I was gone my sister and brother-in-law finished moving into their new (old) house. So I stayed in a completely different place than I did the previous week, which is kind of a neat trick to pull off when you're staying with the same people.

I'm still trying to get back into the flow of the real world.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Brake For Squirrels

When you go to the beach in La Jolla there is another type of wildlife besides seals that you are practically guaranteed to see. That would be the California Ground Squirrel. They look similar to the Eastern Grey or Fox squirrels that I'm more used to seeing, but they have a speckled coat on their backs. To me the way that they hug the ground looks very strange. I'm more used to seeing squirrels in trees or on fences. I don't know why, but I find them fascinating to watch.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Best Vacation Evar?!

Last week I went on vacation to California. When I heard that Nine Inch Nails was ending their farewell tour in L.A., I thought I would try to get tickets for one or more of the shows since my sister lives relatively close (she lives in San Diego). I was able to get a ticket to the first of the four final shows, so I planned a week-long trip around that. I'll blog about the concerts (yes, plural) later.

It really turned into a fun trip between all of the great music, fantastic food, tasty beer, lack of worries, and golden photographic opportunities (as attested to by the, ahem, 846(!) photos I took). At the end of the trip I just felt like I had had such a great time. And that's what a good vacation should be - a way to forget the sometimes-drudgery of regular life and just have a good time. It helps you get through the boring parts of life, you know?

This will be the first segment of my vacation recap.

One of my favorite things to do in the San Diego area is to go to La Jolla and watch the harbor seals that bask on the rocks at the children's pool in La Jolla Cove.

(click on images to view full size)

The loner of the group. A seal after my own heart.

She's chewing on her flipper! She thinks she's people!

Being a seal is hard work.

This one was doing this funny looking clapping thing with her flippers.

"Oh great, here comes Gladys."

I mean it's really hard work!

"You did WHAT?!"

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