Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Something to do if you're bored during the holidays

This screen grab comes from an Internet game found at aksaler.com. My sister, Michele, found the link and forwarded it to me.

If you play, you'll quickly learn that the Iraqi TV reporter who tossed his shoes at Bush recently was facing a pretty nimble target. The best I could do was one hit in the 25 seconds allotted for each game.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Tim and I were among the thousands of San Diegans who headed an hour east of the city Saturday to frolic in the two-plus feet of snow that fell in the mountains a few days earlier.

Luckily, we arrived at Mount Laguna a few hours before the California Highway Patrol halted traffic to the peak because too many motorists were on the mountain's single road.
The scenes were breathtaking. I was in heaven because I'm a snow freak and it was my first time to see more than a few inches of the white stuff. Another plus was getting to wear my spiffy new snow boots. Where have these been all of my life. They really work!
As usual, click on any pic to view it full size.
Tim and I got a good cardio workout hiking up and down hills through deep, powdery drifts.

The snow was equally deep at Lake Cuyamaca where Tim and I camped just a few weeks ago.We ended the day in Julian where we had pie (apple pumpkin and strawberry rhubarb) and coffee.

Frosty was having no luck hitching a ride back to the beach.
Weather forecasters are predicting more snow on Monday and Wednesday. That probably mean I'll feel compelled to drive to the mountains again on Thursday to make it an official white Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My national radio debut

I somehow made it on "A Way With Words," a nationally syndicated program on public radio stations that happens to be produced here in San Diego.

My question for the hosts was about the origin of the Cajun phrase "get down," as in: "Mais, now 'dat I've driven to 'da boudin and cracklin' store, it's time to get down and make some groceries, cha."

Turns out my hunch was correct.

You can listen to my segment of the Dec. 6 show by going to this Web site and forwarding to the 23rd minute of the digital recording.

It was a bit deflating to learn that the show isn't nearly as spontaneous as it seems. Each segment is recorded months in advance then stitched together into a single episode. And the hosts spend several weeks researching each question in advance.

Turns out I was completely wrong with my presumption that the hosts of "A Way With Words" spend large amounts of time researching questions. Grant Barrett, one of the show's hosts, cleared things up for me in a comment to this posting. He says they only spend a short amount of time researching just before they conduct interviews with questioners, making their effort even more impressive.

I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions without knowing all of the facts. I certainly wasn't trying to be critical.

My apologies go out to Grant and co-host Martha Barnette.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Ladies" behaving badly in my home town

This video apparently was taken in the lobby of the parish courthouse in Jennings, La., the town where I spent the first 18 years of my life. Makes me miss home in a twisted John Waters sort of way.

And you thought all of that crazy stuff on Jerry Springer's show was staged.

Big thanks to Greg B. (also a native south Louisianian) for directing me to this clip.

Monday, December 01, 2008

California camping

I spent Thanksgiving weekend with Tim at Lake Cuyamaca, located in the mountains about 40 miles east of San Diego. We hiked to the top of Stonewall Peak, which was located across the road from our campground.
The weather was perfect during the day, but at night temperatures dipped to the upper 30s. It probably was a mistake to drink ice-cold beer on our first night around the camp fire, but we didn't figure that out until it was too late. We drank hot tea on the second night.
Here's the view looking north from the peak of Stonewall. The last few feet reminded me of climbing to Angel's Landing in Zion Canyon in southwestern Utah, only this climb was a lot safer and easier to reach.
That's Lake Cuyamaca behind Tim.
Our campground was surrounded by dead trees. Most of the area around the lake burned during the 2003 wildfires that swept across San Diego County.
Even five years later, the scars of the fires are visible everywhere.

We took these photos with my iPhone using a new app called Night Camera. It does a great job tackling a fundamental problem with the phone - the camera takes great shots when the lighting is good, but it stinks in low light.

Night Camera uses the iPhone's accelerometer to detect exactly when the camera is being held still and grabs the image in that fleeting moment.

Both of these pics pretty much recorded exactly what was visible to the eye when they were taken. The only light came from a fluorescent lantern that was hanging from a tree limb above us.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gay marriage protests in the Bayou State

While most people in Baton Rouge spent Saturday afternoon tailgating before the LSU football game, about 60 staged a pro-gay marriage rally in front of City Hall.
My sister, Michele, was there with this great sign.
My brother-in-law, Eric, was there too (on the right). Thanks for going Michele and Eric. It really meant a lot to me.

In the northwestern corner of the state, Adrienne Critcher (left) was helping lead the protest in Shreveport.

Adrienne is the faculty sponsor of the LSU Shreveport Gay-Straight Alliance and the mother of a 25-year-old gay son. She also is a regular reader of Rex's blog, which from time to time mentions something about me, The Cajun.

Knowing Rex's ties to the Bayou State, she sent him these cool pictures from the rally that was held in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

Thanks for sharing Adrienne.
She said about 150 people took part in the protest - an amazing number for a pro-gay rights event in über-Baptist northern Louisiana.Now, if this little guy gets it, then why can't everyone else get it?

Painted Gorge hike

I spent the afternoon hiking through Painted Gorge, a rugged area in the desert about an hour and a half east of San Diego. As you can tell from this photo, the name comes from the striking colors that run through the layers of exposed rock.
I did the hike with the San Diego Trail Tramps, a group of guys that gets together for an outing usually on the third Sunday of each month. Today's hike covered a 7-mile loop and took about 3 1/2 hours to complete.

Click on any pic to view it larger.
We saw a lot of cool rock formations like this one . . .
. . . and this one.
Me with my friend Tom.
And here's the rest of the group.

The next Trail Tramps hike is set for Saturday, Dec. 14, and it will take us to the snowy summit of Mt. Jacinto overlooking Palm Springs. You know how much I love snow!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Marching for gay marriage in SD

About 25,000 people took part in San Diego's portion of Stonewall 2.0 today, according to police, making it the largest of the dozens of similar protests staged around the country.
This scene stretched for more than 10 city blocks.The march started on the edge of Hillcrest (A), San Diego's main gayborhood, followed the west side of Balboa Park and ended three miles later at the county administration building (D) in downtown.
Go here to see the San Diego Union-Tribune's coverage of the march.

Some of my favorite signs. Click on them to view them larger.

Self portrait.
This was the scene at the rally at the end of the march outside the San Diego County administration building in downtown San Diego.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stonewall 2.0

Big Bear Lake
Colton Costa Mesa
Huntington Beach
Lake Tahoe
Long Beach
Los Angeles
Moreno Valley
Mountain View
Palm Springs
Rancho Cucamonga
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
San Luis Obispo
San Rafael
Santa Barbara
Santa Clarita
Santa Cruz
Santa Rosa
Walnut Creek
Yucca Valley

Credit for the title of this post, "Stonewall 2.0," goes to Rex, who apparently coined the phrase in reference to the upcoming national day of marches in this post last Tuesday.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Palm Springs pride celebration

Star Trek star and newlywed George Takei rode with his husband Brad Altman through downtown Palm Springs during the city's annual Pride Parade Sunday morning. Things kicked off at a horrifyingly early hour of 10 a.m. Isn't it against the law to wake gays before 11 a.m. on Sunday in most cities?
Fellow gay Louisiana native and novelist Christopher Rice did his best impression of an optometry patient while greeting the crowd along Palm Springs' main drag. Rice's famous mom was no where to be seen.
By the time I realized who this was, Lorna Luft (the daughter of Judy Garland) had already past my spot on the parade route.
Only a handful of homo-haters showed up to spew their nonsense.
Me and my buddy Tim spent the rest of the day at the festival, which was held inside a baseball park. The crowd was fairly large, the feel was a bit small-townish and the weather was perfect.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From the bayous to Bangalore

Barack Obama is the hottest thing on the music video circuit. Don't believe me? Watch these.

Next stop . . . Playboy?

Usually when my home state makes national headlines, it isn't flattering. That's the case this time with Lindsey Evans, who had been the reigning Miss Teen Louisiana until she and three friends walked out of a restaurant without paying the $46 bill.

Unfortunately, Lindsey left behind her purse which contained her drivers license and a couple of grams of pot, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Pageant sponsors stripped the blond beauty of her crown as soon as they learned of her arrest.

Doesn't this remind you of another pageant girl who also seems to expect others to pay her way?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My crown of thorns

This was the result of a little bet with my buddy Troy who lives in Tampa. Let's hope things go better for Tiger Nation this weekend.