Thursday, August 30, 2007

One down; 13 to go

More than 50 LSU faithful packed the back room at Kristy's MVP sports bar in San Diego late this afternoon to watch the Tigers pick apart Mississippi State in the opening game of a season full of high expectations.

The Tigers' 45-0 whipping of the Bulldogs was a great warm-up for the big game against Virginia Tech next weekend. I'm guessing the place will be bursting with purple and gold for that one.

If you're in San Diego this fall on Saturday and bleed purple and gold, Kristy's is the place to be. There's beer, pizza, fried cheese and plenty of familiar Louisiana accents. What more could you want?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mike VI unveiled

Here are some early pics of Roscoe, the two-year-old Bengal-Siberian tiger that should become the new LSU mascot in less than two weeks.
He's a handsome animal with striking features that surely will make him an instant sensation in Louisiana.
Thanks go out to Robert in Baton Rouge for sending these pics to me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mike VI is a monster

Roscoe, a two-year-0ld Bengal-Siberian mix tiger, should officially become Mike VI on Sept. 8 when LSU plays a huge football game with Virginia Tech in Baton Rouge, according to reports today out of Baton Rouge.

Roscoe already weighs 300 pounds, nearly as much as Mike V weighed as an adult. When fully grown, the new mascot could reach 700 pounds, easily making him the largest tiger ever to serve as the school's mascot.

His handlers at the LSU Vet school say he's adjusting well to his move from an animal rescue facility in Indiana, and they specifically noted his striking and unusual markings. They plan to keep him inside his air-conditioned house out of public view until the football team's opening home game.

He probably won't make his first pre-game trip around the football field inside Tiger Stadium until later in the season. Apparently, facing a roaring crowd of 93,000 adoring, inebriated, raucous Tiger fans takes some getting used to.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rex turns half a century old

We celebrated Rex's 50th birthday this weekend with a party in Ocean Beach.
Jess made a delicious carrot cake for the occasion.
Here's Fergal who took most of these pics. I stole . . . uh . . . borrowed them from his blog because my shots sucked.
Here's Amber, Matt, Andrés (who traveled from New York to be with us) and Dan
Cheryl gives Rex a big hug while Stephen waits for his turn.
Chris, Jennifer and the birthday boy. Jennifer hosted the party at her house . . .
Along with her husband Michael and their adorable son Jack.Madonna (Penni) and child.

How does this happen?

Some of the children are clearly being left behind.

Random Stan visit shots: L.A., Venice Beach, Huntington Beach

While in L.A., we stayed at a beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills that is owned by Rex's friend David.
This was our morning coffee view from the deck off the kitchen. Click on the pic to make it larger.
The same view at night -- the tall buildings on the left are downtown.
Venice Beach was crowded, chaotic, diverse and a bit intimidating.There's a reason it's called Muscle Beach.

We ended our L.A. trip with a sunset stop at Huntington Beach.
If it weren't for the sailboat, you might think this was the Gulf of Mexico.

Random Stan visit shots: San Diego and Julian

I've fallen WAY behind on my blogging but I'm determined to catch up.

These first pictures are from an afternoon spent roaming downtown S.D. with our friend Stan while he was visiting a couple of weeks ago.

The rest of these were taken a few days later in Julian, a picturesque mountain town east of S.D. We went to a kitschy Western-themed restaurant for some famous Julian pie.

On our drive back, we passed through an area that still shows the scars of wildfires that burned large swaths of the region in 2003.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Band geeks gather in L.A.

Rex, Stan and I were among the thousands of current and former marching band members who attended today's Drum Corps International championship at the Rose Bowl.

All three of us were high school band geeks. I played snare drum and was drum major. Rex played clarinet and saxophone. Stan, who is an accomplished pianist, played base drum and saxophone.
Drum Corps are marching bands that are formed each summer from the most talented members of high school and college marching bands across the country. I've followed drum corps for years and always dreamed of going to the championship.

The Cavaliers of Rosemont, Ill., were among my favorites (partly because of an amazing color guard), finishing in third place just behind the first-place Blue Devils of Concord, Calif. (the home state crowd favorites) and the second-place Cadets of Allentown, Pa., who put on a spectacular show but created a stir by incorporating annoying on-field narration.
My long-time favorite corps, Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Ill., finished fourth with a beautiful show titled "On Air," which featured a mix of old and new symphonic selections including Stravinsky's "Firebird."
I also liked sixth-place finisher Carolina Crown's horse racing-themed show, which was one of the most beautiful in terms of music.
All of the 12 corps in the finals gathered on the field after their performances to hear the judging results.
The drum majors gathered on the edge of the field.
Members of the Blue Devils held hands while waiting for the inevitable. There was no element of suspense as the California corps easily won its 12th championship since 1976, and first since 2003.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday with Stan

Once again, I had Stan tour-guide duties while Rex stayed home and caught up on work.
We started at the lovely campus of the University of California San Diego -- specifically the Eleanor Roosevelt College. I really like the serenity of the modern architecture.
Then we headed to La Jolla Cove where we explored one of these water-level caves. You get to it by paying $4 to a girl sitting at a table in front of the cave entrance inside a tourist shop.
Many steps later we emerged into a fairly compact space that opened to the water.
We saw lots of squawking baby pigeons.
Outside of the cave, we found seals.
Then we headed to Pacific Beach for a taste of quintessential California beach life.
We took this missive literally.

Remember Stan's plush koala from our trip to the zoo a few days ago?
Well, he seemed to pop up everywhere we went. Here, Koala gave us his best porn magazine pose in the bushes.
Here, he poses for a future public service announcement.
I don't know how this happened.
Stan was out of control.
Apparently, Stan needs to eat at least one slice of pizza every day.