Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bumper Sticker

This is not my design. I saw it on CafePress.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Because They Care

This works for emergents AND Obama supporters.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Feel Safer Now

At the Saddleback "forum," Barack Obama was asked by Rick Warren: "...Who are the three wisest people you know in your life? And who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?" Obama's answer (in a nutsell): "My wife, Michelle. My grandmother. I don't think I'd restrict myself to three people...Sam Nunn...Dick Lugar...Ted Kennedy...Tom Coburn."

So, it's late at night, the "Red" phone rings and we hear: "Honey, can you get grandma on the other line and come in hear a minute. Iran's getting to launch an attack and I need to now if I should press the button?! Where'e that drunk, Ted Kennedy when you need him?"

Yep. I feel a whole lot safer now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Abortion Solution

I was reading a blog this morning about the McCain/Obama thingy at Saddleaback this weekend. The blogger noted re: the topic of abortion: "...Barack Obama wants to tackle the causes that place women in the position of having to make that most serious of choices."

This seems like a pretty simple thing to me. KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!

There, I fixed it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Northern California Trip - Pt 4

NCA_68_ShelterCoveSunrises in Shelter Cove are just as awesome as the sunsets. We opened the window facing the beach and listend to the ocean all night long. What a way to fall asleep!

I don't know why, but I just can't "sleep in" like Dana does. Every day of our trip--except for Tuesday--I was up, wide awake by 6:00-6:30 AM. I normally get up around 5:30 AM, so I guess that's sorta like sleeping in. Anyway, this morning, I made coffee, sat out on the balcony, read my book (vacation is about the only time I have to read just for enjoyment. This trip I took David Baldacci's The Whole Truth) and watched the sun rise while several pelicans flew back and forth over the cove.

We had picked up some donuts and granola bars the day before, so after a quick breakfast, we packed the car and began the drive out of Shelter Cove. As I mentioned in the previous post, the descent was pretty steep, which meant the "climb out" would be equally as precarious and SLOW. On our way out, we stopped to watch several deer and their fawns as they calmly grazed right next to the road. Forty-five minutes later, we were back on Highway 101, heading toward our day's destination--"The Avenue of the Giants."

NCA_81_AveGiantsNorthern California, just above Trinidad, boasts the Redwood National Forest, but southern Humboldt county is home to the "Avenue of the Giants" (AOTG), a stretch of highway that parallels Highway 101. The 31-mile road is lined with over 51,000 acres of giant redwoods, actually cutting through Humbolt Redwoods State Park. There are several small towns along the way, as well as various turn-outs and picnic/camping areas. There are also more than enough "souvenir" stops featuring anything you can imagine made of redwood (or not made of redwood) with "California" or "Redwoods" stamped or screen-printed on it.

NCA_85_AveGiantsWe picked up several brochures about the AOTG that suggested certain stops, but we decided we would just drive and stop whenever something caught our attention. The first thing that hits you as you drive among the giant redwoods is just how GIANT they are! It's amazing to think that some of the trees are hundreds, if not over 1000 years old and standing more than 300 feet tall! The Dyerville Giant, located in Founders Grove, is no longer standing, but when measured in 1972, stood 362 feet with a circumference of 52 feet. The tree fell in March of 1991. The picture at the left is Dana standing at the base of the Dyerville Giant.

NCA_74_AveGiantsWe took our time driving through "The Avenue;" sometimes our speed was 35 mph or less. When you're driving through the redwoods, you just want to take your time and take in the magnificence of the forest. We stopped in Miranda at Korbly Woodworks. Bernie Korbly has been in the same location for over 30 years, designing and crafting all kinds of furniture, carvings, etc. from redwood. Being an amatuer woodworker myself, I couldn't resist the opportunity to just stop breathe in the aroma of this old woodshop.

We also stopped in Myers Flat and drove through the "Shrine Drive Thru Tree." Just north of there, we got out of the car and walked one of the trails along the highway. It was amazing how quiet and peaceful it was. As we walked through the dense forest, I was reminded of Psalm 46:10--"Be still and know that I am God..." In the stillness and beauty of the redwoods, we were awestruck by the wonderfully fascinating creation God has made for us to enjoy. I asked Dana: "If we think THIS is beautiful, can you even begin to imagine what the "new earth" (Rev 21:1) will look like?!" At the end of the AOTG, we stopped and ate lunch under the redwoods. I don't think we've ever had a picnic in such beautiful surroundings.

Cemetary-Ferndale, CAFrom the AOTG, we made our way to Ferndale, CA. Ferndale is a old victorian town, featuring plenty of bed and breakfast inns and specialty shops. One particular "feature" of the town is the cemetary which is built on the side of a wooded hill. We spent a couple of hours window shopping and admiring the victorian architecture, then made our way to Eureka up the road.

NCA_94_TrinidadEureka is similar to Ferndale in regard to the victorian influence, but bigger. "Old Town" Eureka sits on the edge of Humboldt Bay and provides plenty of shopping and eating opportunities. We still had quite a bit of daylight left, so we checked into our motel (first night we didn't spend on the coast) and decided to hit downtown Eureka the next day, opting instead for a quick trip up the highway to Trinidad and Trinidad Bay--home of the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. The Memorial Lighthouse is a replica of the lighthouse located on Trindad Head; The Trinidad Head lighthouse is still active, but not open to the public. The Memorial Lighthouse sits above the beach, which the best I could tell, was several hundred yards DOWN a steep path that had been fashioned from 8" x 8" timbers, about 4 feet wide. I walked down about a third of the way, then began thinking about he trip BACK UP...I gave up opting to admire the view from the top of the memorial.

NCA_99_EurekaReturning to Eureka, we decided it was time to eat. We headed across Humbolt Bay to Woodley Island and Cafe' Marina. Since we had arrived a little earlier in the evening, we were able to be seated right away. We opted for an inside table looking out over the marina. Dana had fish and chips; I had a "fried platter" with prawns, scallops, and oysters. Good stuff! After dinner, we walked along the edge of the marina, looking at the boats. It had been a long day, so we headed back to the motel. Tomorrow: downtown Eureka and then start heading back toward Sacramento.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Murderers and Words *UPDATED*

Another One Bites the Dust
Jose Ernesto Medellin, the convicted murderer and rapist of two teenage girls, Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman, was executed late August 5th by lethal injection in the death chamber at Huntsville State Prison in Texas.

Texas Governor, Rick Perry was quoted as saying: "It's not my job to judge, it is not my job to forgive." He said, "That's the Lord's job. The Lord can forgive and the Lord can judge." My job as the governor of Texas is to arrange the meeting between Medellin and Jesus." Well said Governor Perry...and well done Texas!!!

I've come to understand that the two most overused/misused words in the English language are: "Always" and "Never." No one is ALWAYS right and no one is NEVER wrong.

Update: A correct use of the word "never": That scumbag Medellin will NEVER hurt another person.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama's New Plan

In order to help American's with the high cost of fuel, Obama says he would tax the profits of the mean ol' oil companies to provide $1000 rebates to folks struggling with high energy costs. (Source) Boy, I just hope those blood-suckin' oil companies don't try to pass that tax on to the consumers!...oops, I may have just let the cat out of the bag.

(psstttt...I used to just think that Obama was stupid. Now he's gone and opened his mouth and proved me right.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Northern California Trip - Pt 3/Friday Photo

Friday Photo


Woodley Island Marina in Eureka, CA.

Continuing Up Highway One
The morning of our third day in Northern California, we were still in Fort Bragg. Once a booming logging town, Fort Bragg is the largest town between San Francisco and Eureka California, so besides "Capt'n Flint's," we figured there must other things to see and/or do there. As we were finishing breakfast that morning at Denny's, we asked our waitress if there was anything "unique" in Fort Bragg (other than the Skunk Train) we should see before leaving town. "Have you been to 'Glass Beach'?," she asked. "No," I answered, "How do we get there?" She gave us directions (turned out we were actually sitting at the main road to the beach) and told us were the best area was "that hadn't been picked over." I wasn't sure what she meant, but we thanked her, paid our bill and headed out.

NCA_54_GlassBeachWe knew very little about "Glass Beach," before going there, but had heard that it was quite unique in that rather than a sand beach, this beach was made up of glass pebbles (click the picture for a better view). We drove to the end of a road and parked our car. Walking down a dirth path about 100 yards, we came to a fork. "Take the path to the left," our waitress had told us. We did and very quickly we were standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the beach. From where we were standing, we could tell this was no ordinary beach. Emerald, ocher, amber, and ruby colors sparkled in the morning sun. We climbed/walked a precarious path about 30 to 40 feet down to the beach and found ourselves standing on--exactly as the name implies--a beach of GLASS! It was amazing! The whole beach is covered with small "rocks" of glass that have been smoothed over by the ocean tide. "How and why is this stuff here?," we wondered.

According to one source:

Early in the 20th century, residents of Fort Bragg pitched their household waste -- glass, kitchen appliances, and sometimes whole cars -- over these cliffs, then owned by Union Lumber Company and known locally as "The Dumps." Wilbur Lawson, 83, of the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society, remembers poking around the junkyard as a kid during the 1930s. "There was always a fire lit in order to reduce the trash pile," he says, which might explain how that chinaware melded into a slab of solid rock. "This was a playground for us," he recalls...

Fort Bragg's leaders wised up in 1967 and closed the area. The pounding surf began to heal the shore over the next several decades, grinding the castoffs into the glittering treasure that now covers the beach. Since then, the place has become a beachcombers' paradise and a living science lesson in one. Curious visitors and occasional school groups sift through sandy crevices, filling buckets, pockets, and purses with colorful finds...

According to Wilbur, automobile companies started making car taillights out of plastic instead of glass after World War II. Consequently, red sea glass is a rarity.

There were other people on the beach; one gentleman said he had been coming to Glass Beach for years. He explained the different colors: "The green glass is probably 7-Up or Mountain Dew bottles, amber is probably beer or root beer bottles, and the blue glass is most likely the old 'milk of magnesia' or 'Geritol' bottles. The clear or white glass--who knows." We spent about an hour and a half scouring the beach for some of the rarer colors of glass and found some. When you think about it, it's kinda funny--and gross--that we spent that much time, walking on and picking through other people's GARBAGE! Glass Beach is pretty in a strange sort of way, but sad in that it's existence is due to the human race's indifference to the effects of massive litter. I'm not a "tree-hugger," but I think we can come up with better ways to deal with our waste/trash.

Leaving Fort Bragg, we continued north on Highway One, gradually vearing toward the east and merging into Hwy 101 around Legget, CA. At Garberville (about 475 feet elevation), we turned back to the west and begin our decent down to Shelter Cove and our lodging for the evening, The Tides Inn. The 20-mile descent equals about 45 minutes on some of the steepest, narrowest road we had seen to date. There are switchbacks along the way that definitely define the term "hairpin curve!" I would NOT want to drive that road at night. We arrived safely--brakes stinking to high heaven.

NCA_71_ShelterCoveThe view from The Tides Inn at Shelter Cove is breath-taking! Julie, our hostess, had assigned us a room on the second floor, with a balcony that overlooked the ocean. I'm pretty sure all of the rooms at The Tides had an ocean view. As with our rooms in Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, there was no AC, but you just didn't need it. The ocean breeze was more than enough to keep the room quite comfortable.

NCA_58_ShelterCoveWe put our things away and set out to see the sites, specifically the BEACH and the Mendocino Lighthouse which was relocated to the Cove in 1999. As we walked along the beach, we saw seagulls, starfish, crabs, pelicans and sea lions. We sat and watched the sea lions playing in the water and sunning themselves on a group of rocks about 25 yards from the shore. We also saw several deer and fawns as we walked and drove around the area.

NCA_66_ShelterCoveShelter Cove is an interesting community and one of the last places you can actually buy a lot on the ocean. The homes range from tents to multi-million dollar sea-side retreats. According to some literature we picked up, lots range from $80k and up. One brochure stated it was "difficult to find a home under $300k." Along with the B&B's or ocean front lodges, there are three restaurants and one deli; only ONE--Costa Cocina Pizza--was open the day we were there. The Cove has a private air strip, a nine-hole golf course and a campground (that's were the tents are). The main attractions of Shelter Cove?: the seclusion and the unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. Cell phones don't work well there either...which really wasn't a big deal to us--we were on VACATION!

This was our view of the sunset from our balcony.