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.