Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nero's singing lesson

video

My friend Jesse gives Nero a singing lesson, or maybe it's the other way around.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quick trip to NOLA

I was in New Orleans last weekend for only a few hours as part of my quick trip to Louisiana, but I managed to drive through my old neighborhood, the Bywater.

I snapped these pics around the folk art compound of Dr. Bob, one of the Bywater's best known characters.
Dr. Bob is most famous for his "Be Nice or Leave" signs, which can be found in countless New Orleans restaurants and bars.
This disco-ball-inspired, dollhouse-sized creole cottage was sitting in a lot across the street from Dr. Bob's studio. I presume it's one of his creations.
The bricks are what remains of an old warehouse that used to stand on the riverfront site.
I found this homage to the new president a few bocks away at the corner of Elysian Field Avenue and Rampart Street. The building served for years as the main grocery store for the Bywater, first as part of the Schwegmann chain then as a Robert Fresh Market. The store closed when Katrina hit and never reopened.


This reminder of the city's horrific murder rate was on a graffiti-covered wall near the foot of Elysian Field.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weekend hike

I joined the San Diego Trail Tramps on Saturday for the group's first hike of the year. This one took us the Mountain Palm Springs area of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

Scenes like the one above looked as though they had jumped off a plein air canvas.
The hike area was about 1.5 hours east of San Diego.
Here's Tim and some of the other guys descending to one of the five palm oases that we visited.

The ocotillos were in full greenery and almost ready to bloom thanks to the storms that saturated most of Southern California last month.

Group pic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Idyllwild

I headed with Tim last weekend to this artist colony resort high in the San Jacinto Mountains, about a two-hour drive from San Diego. We stayed at the Rainbow Inn, one of several gay-owned B&B's in town.
Here's downtown Idyllwild with Lily Rock and Tahquitz Peak looming in the distance.
Strawberry creek runs through the center of town behind the Rainbow Inn.
The town sits about one mile above sea level, and it's population is around 3,000, enough to support a local newspaper.
A closer view of Lily Rock.
Tim looked like he enjoyed the trip.
Who knew that Idyllwild was so bear-friendly?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Holiday Bowl

I went to the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl nearly a week ago at Qualcomm Stadium here in San Diego where I got to see The Big Flag for the first time. This 45,000-square-foot version of Old Glory is unfurled by 250 people at the beginning of the game each year.
Joining me were Tim, Mitch and Tom, an Oklahoma State grad who was cheering on his alma mater.

I was decked out in LSU purple and gold, of course, and prepared to get heckled by OSU fans who still resent the Tigers for stealing head coach Les Miles from them in 2005. But no one said a word. I suppose the Cowboys' successful record under current head coach Mike Gundy has helped them move own.
The OSU Cowboys marching band easily out performed the smaller ensemble from Oregon.
Too bad the football team from Stillwater didn't have the same luck with the Ducks.
The halftime show featured some cool fireworks set to rock music.
Click on any pic to view it larger.
The exploding smiley face did little to sooth the pain of a post-season loss for the Pokes.