Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The governator

I covered Gov. Schwarzenneger for the first time this week. He was pitching his new health care insurance reform proposal to business leaders.

Note the crutch under his left arm. He's still hobbling around because of the broken leg he suffered in late December while skiing in Idaho.

I snapped this pic with my cell phone camera.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hi-tech photo booth

Rex and I took these pics while goofing off in front of a MacBook that was on display at the Apple store at Chula Vista's new Otay Ranch Town Center, a mall designed to look like a city's Main Street.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More Ruthie

Yet another Unarius video. There's not much to this one but it's worth watching through the end for the money shot.

I can't tell if Ruthie is drunk or just overacting.

When doves fly

Footage from a recent Unarius Interplanetary Conclave of Light. (See "Out of this world" posting below.)

Look for a report from us on the 2007 dove release in October.

I think I'm hearing voices . . .

For all of you who can't get enough of Unarius, I give you this: the Unarius Choir singing the possibly prophetic "Starship Earth."

So is this supposed to attract the UFOs or scare them away?

LSU Tigers picked No. 2 in pre-season poll

Click here to see Fox Sport's college football rankings for 2007.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The gospel according to Ruthie

Unarius matriarch Ruth Norman - also known as the archangel Uriel - explains her mission in this 1980 video. (See "Out of this world" posting below.)

Out of this world

We paid a visit to the Unarius Academy of Science in El Cajon, run by a group of followers who await the arrival of spaceships from the planet Myton. The landing will signal Earth's entry into the Interplanetary Confederation, a fellowship of planets in our Milky Way galaxy that are populated by advanced beings.

Needless to say, the landing will usher in an era of peace and tranquility on Earth and spark the rise of super-high-tech crystal cities fueled by unlimited sources of energy and filled with gardens of unimaginable beauty.

Don't believe me? Here's a photo of a mural -- on a wall of the academy's parking lot -- that gives us a hint of what this idyllic world might look like.

Unarian's believe in telepathy, UFOs, reincarnation, past-life regression, subterrestrian Martians and the existence of Atlantis, and they are obsessed with late 19th Century physicist, inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla and his ideas about electromagnetism.

The group was founded in the 1950s by Ruth Norman and her husband Ernest. The El Cajon center is filled with pictures and paintings of Ruth decked out in costume jewelry and iridescent robes. Ruth (offering her best Endora immitation above) died -- or, as the Unarians say, transitted to higher planes of the light worlds -- in 1993.

For more on the group's history and beliefs, check out Wikipedia's article on Unarius.

The center is a collection of 1980s suburban America kitsch: Grecian statues, plastic flower arrangements, plaster columns, gaudy chandeliers. There's also a miniature model of the crystal city that is expected to be built after the spacecraft landing.

No one at the center seemed bothered by the fact that the landing didn't occur as expected in 2001.

The Unarians are perhaps best-known for their Interplanetary Conclave of Lights which occurs every year on the second weekend of October. The weekend culminates with the release of 33 doves (representing the members of the Interplanetary Confederation) from a miniature flying saucer strapped to the top of an early 1970s Cadillac.

Last year's conclave included a past-life therapy workshop and a presentation on "overcoming global warming with Tesla technology."

Ruth, also known as the archangel Uriel, laid claim to a long line of past lives as some of history's most important figures including Socrates, Peter the Great, Queen Elizabeth I and Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut.

In one of the 80 books attributed to her, she tells how she was able to bring peace to some of her followers who had lived in the past as Spanish conquistadors and priests by channeling her own past life as Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, during a series of therapy sessions.

In his book, "Apacolypse Pretty Soon: Travels in End-Time America," author Alex Heard described Ruth as "a true American original who combined the couture sensibilities of a drag queen with the joi de vivre of a Frisbee-chasing Irish setter."

It's too bad Ruthie didn't land in New Orleans. She would have felt right at home with all the other weirdos, eccentrics and malcontents who flock to the city, and she would have loved Mardi Gras.

For more pictures from our trip to the Unarius academy check out Rex's blog.

Correction: Saban shows true colors

It appears that the quotes I posted here from new Alabama football coach (and former LSU head coach) Nick Saban might have been an Internet hoax. Because they do not appear in the current Web version of the Tuscaloosa News article from which they were said to have come, I have removed them from this posting.

Music video about Katrina and New Orleans

David Rovics is a social poet and folk singer in the tradition of Phil Ochs.
He wrote this song about New Orleans in the days after Katrina while in Beirut, Lebanon.

Friday, January 12, 2007

What does a room full of gay journalists look like?

Well, it looks like this. We hosted a meeting of a few of the members of the San Diego chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Unfortunately, our fearless leader, Rachel, was sitting outside the view of my camera for this pic (that's her Converse sneakers on the left side of the photo). My other two attempts at flashless photography in the apartment were badly out of focus.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Richard was right

In the fall of 2004 I attended a Michigan State-Notre Dame football game with my buddy Richard, an MSU alum.

As I walked around the campus in East Lansing, covered from head to toe in purple and gold, I was still puffy from LSU's national championship win less than a year earlier. Back in Louisiana, Tiger head coach Nick Saban was still floating among the gods. In East Lansing, however, people remembered him as Nick Satan.

Like most Spartan fans, Richard was still reeling from Saban's departure from MSU a few years earlier to become the coach of the Tigers following his repeated expressions of loyalty toward MSU.

Richard warned me that afternoon that Saban would screw LSU in much the same way. I didn't believe him.

When Saban left LSU later that year for the Miami Dolphins, I wasn't bitter.

And when news outlets started reporting several weeks ago that Saban was a prime candidate for the head coaching job at Alabama - LSU's archrival and fellow Southeastern Conference Western Division member - I gave Saban the benefit of the doubt when he said he would never take the job.

I could hear my friend's words ringing through my head last week as I watched Saban accept the Bama job - along with a ridiculous $3.5 million a year salary - during a news conference in Tuscaloosa.

Boy, was I a fool.

Sorry Richard. I'll never doubt you again.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Katrina . . . LSU Tigers . . . Louisiana

Special video about the role of LSU in the first Sugar Bowl held in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

The game was moved temporarily to Atlanta in 2006 because the Superdome and New Orleans were still wrecked.

The Golden Band from Tigerland

2007 Sugar Bowl Pregame - 1

2007 Sugar Bowl Pregame - 2

2007 Sugar Bowl Pregame - 3


LSU Tigers take the field in the Louisiana Superdome for the start of the 2007 Sugar Bowl.

The Tigers crushed Notre Dame 41-14.

Santa makes a wrong turn?

I just retrieved this photo from my cell phone. I took it a couple of days before Christmas while crossing an interstate overpass on my way to work.

The cop seemed relaxed. Santa appeared nervous.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Deadly dessert

Here's proof that New Orleans doesn't have a lock on shocking crime.

A homeless construction worker is the main suspect in the murder of one man and the shooting of a second while they were dining with their wives at Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego earlier this week.

The suspect was escorted out of the restaurant after the men complained he was mumbling and aggressively staring at them. But he returned minutes later with a gun and shot the two men at their table.

The attack didn't seem to affect business at Heaven Sent, a dessert restaurant in my North Park neighborhood. We ate there Friday night and the place was hopping.

I used my cell phone camera to take these photos of Heaven Sent's offerings.

I had one of these chocolate and lingonberry tarts below.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More sightseeing with Jeffery

I spent another day showing my friend Jeffery the sights of my new hometown. We started at Balboa Park and took a stroll through the botanical garden. (As usual, click on a pic to make it bigger)

Next stop was La Jolla, the city's foofy neighborhood to the north. We stopped at La Jolla Cove just in time to see the seals sleeping under the rising moon.

Jeffery liked the seals and the moon.

Another sunset over the ocean to end the day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Welcome to paradise

I played tour guide today for my buddy Jeffery from New Orleans who is paying his first visit to San Diego this week.

We started at Point Loma's Cabrillo National Monument, which provides a sweeping view of the city, the bay and the ocean.

Then it was off to the famous Hotel Del in Coronado. Jeffery seemed to like starting the new year with a walk on the beach.

In a display of winter decadence perhaps only possible in a place like SoCal, a couple dozen people skated around an ice rink erected along the beach next to the hotel.

One of Jeffery's friends in New Orleans told him last week to take in a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Mission accomplished!