Friday, July 31, 2009

Kelp

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Need some kelp? It's scattered along the waterline by the ton. ;)



The tide's receding, so I watched miniscule baby clams bury themselves in sand whenever an outgoing wave left them exposed.



The sand here has gold glittery specks in it. I've never seen anything like it before. Very interesting.

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Wow. Philly has a flash flood warning till 8 PM, and a severe T-storm warning till 5:30 PM. I'm glad we're not traveling home in *that*.

This is our last chance to see a sunset over the ocean, and wouldn't you know it? Some clouds rolled in. Hopefully, they'll roll back out.

But still, 70-75 degrees, low humidity, and mostly-cloudy are fine by me. Add surf sounds and it's a good recipe for a nap. ;)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Calder

The Calder Jewelry exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art is outstanding!

Oh, and for those of you who recall those adjustable wire-and-bead rings I designed and used to make? I loved seeing that the great Alexander Calder used a very similar method to make a silver tiara adjustable. Just the thought that my brain worked on a similar wavelength as the mind of a legendary artist has absolutely made my day. :)

Air and Space Museum

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Hee hee! From the Air and Space Museum.



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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Concert

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The atmosphere here (people dancing at the foot of the stage) reminds me of the concerts at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing.

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Music

There are free concerts in Balboa Park every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the summer. Mark and I are here for the classic rock band Time Machine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Egret

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Snowy Egrets stand right with sea lions at the feeding station. They're BOLD and will take food right out of your hand if you're not watchful.

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The Royal Felines have had their dental procedures. Their chronic gingivitis resulted in a lot of extractions. My poor li'l guys. :( Even feeding dental-care cat food and adding special stuff to their water didn't prevent this.

The bill's going to be outrageous. But what can you do? Can't let the little guys have tooth pain 24/7.

Next up: getting their weight down. Both cats are a bit too round. (Tooth pain obviously didn't stop them from eating, lol.)

I miss the Stripe Committee.

Having a nice day @ Sea World today. :)

Orca

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One of the performers from the Shamu show gets to meet fans with a backstage pass. They fed her ice.

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Bubbles

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Need some bubbles? Here's the bubble machine at the Cirque de la Mer show @ Sea World.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Little Italy San Diego

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Little Italy, San Diego

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Hotel

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Does the Hotel Del Coronado accept Canadian dollars?

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LOL

We come all the way to San Diego/Coronado, to find a Pizzeria that serves Amoroso rolls from Philadelphia! LOL :)

Oh, and would someone tell Aunt Rita that across the street from said pizzeria is a place called Brigantine Seafood. :)

Tours

Yesterday, we did a couple of tours. We took the Old Town Trolley to Seaport Village, where we picked up the Seals amphibious ride. Unlike the Ducks in Philly, the Seals vehicles are recently built, specifically for tour rides.

The bay is a slightly bluer shade of green than my eyes are used to seeing (due to the Atlantic Ocean and the bay at Brigantine). We also saw lots of birds we don't see at home, like cormorants and brown pelicans... and sea lions by the dozen. :) The birthing season was a few weeks ago, so we saw a couple very young pups in the mix. HOW CUTE.

Long story less long: we not only had nice tours yesterday, but we got an idea of where to visit during the week.

For example, today we're wandering around Coronado. Pics and comments later.

Face

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This nose doubles as a nice seat.

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Beach

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The beach at Coronado.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Seals

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Mark and I got the first two tickets for the first Seals tour of the day.



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Friday, July 24, 2009

Need a plane?

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Need an airplane? This one is flying over the car rental office. Dang, that's a low-flying plane!

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Welcome to Chicago

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Neither Hat Trick nor I have visited Chicago before. But this is only a stopover. Our next flight starts boarding in about 20 minutes.

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Oops :)

My mistake. Mark had the tickets/boarding passes, and I just presumed we were flying into O'Hare.

Nope. We actually are at Midway airport. But not for long. Our flight should be boarding at about 11:20, Chicago time (12:20 Philly time).

Philly to Chicago

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First stage: PHL to O'Hare.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We've had great weather for the past couple of days, and I've had the chance to take advantage of it.

On Sunday, Mark and I went with Jean and Joe J, and Karla and Al, to the swimming pool at Marsh Creek State Park. I love that place. And the weather was PERFECT for being outside -- not too hot, not too humid, but sunny enough to make the pool water pretty temperate.

Yesterday, I went with my parents to visit Aunt Rita, who's now home from the rehab place and is getting home care visits. She'll start physical therapy at home, too. We took her food shopping for the first time in a long while. Then we finally got to try something we've been intending to try for a while: we got a video conference going via AIM with our relatives in Chicago. :) They had their regular computer, and I had a netbook with a webcam.

The connection was a little choppy, as I had to tether my cell phone to get a connection and the reception's a little spotty in Brigantine. But we could all see each other. I know Aunt Rita got a big kick out of that. Now I REALLY am looking forward to when her computer is replaced. (The one she had before took some damage from a power surge and is now unusable.) If she has a webcam and a wired internet connection, she'll be able to do video conference calls any time she wants.

We had something intriguing happen while we were on the way to Brigantine. It started because we ran into some incredibly bad traffic due to roadwork being performed on the AC Expressway. It took us so long to get through the bottleneck, that we decided to make a pit stop at the Expressway's rest area. But just as my dad was getting ready to pull into the left lane (where the exit to the rest area is), he hesitated to let a police car pass.

Which was good, because when I tell you that state trooper was FLYING, I'm not kidding. I've been in airplanes that have moved more slowly than that. When he pulled into the rest area that we were headed for, we joked that maybe HE'D also been stuck in the bad traffic and needed the rest room, too.

When we pulled into the parking area for the rest stop and found an empty parking space, we noticed that the car next to us had a state trooper's vehicle pulled sideways in front of it, blocking it into its parking place. The trooper was talking to the driver of the parked car. Then, just as we were getting out of our car, the OTHER state trooper's car pulled in and blocked the car next to ours from behind. I think that second state trooper was the one that went zooming past us at about 99 MPH. I thought, "Boy, they REALLY want to talk to that other car's driver!"

We went into the rest area, and when we came out, the cops and the car next to ours were all gone. So I don't know what that was all about. I don't know if the person parked next to our car was actually a Person of Interest to the state police, or whether he or his car just LOOKED like someone that the cops are trying to track down. But he, his car, and the troopers were finished conducting their business by the time we were ready to resume driving.

Tell you what, though. If I don't see another cop car trying to break the sound barrier, in an exit lane that the car I'm in is ready to pull into, that's fine with me. That was a bit unnerving. Thank God my dad is a cautious driver and pays attention to traffic before changing lanes. If, instead of our car, there'd been someone who drives like it's his road and everyone else is just travelling on it, there could have been a horrid accident. Fortunately, everyone's Guardian Angel was on duty and alert, so nothing came of it but an anecdote for our family to tell.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am still astounded by the news that Amazon actually removed legally purchased copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from people's Kindles, upon discovering a problem with the distribution rights. Click HERE for the story.

I really don't care that they refunded the purchasers' money. That's not the point. Their terms of service do not allow anything of the sort. If there is a problem with the distribution rights, by al means take the book off the list of items available for purchase, but leave the already-purchased copies alone.

I wouldn't expect a brick-and-mortar store representative to come into my house and remove print copies of books. So I would not expect an electronic version of a book that I purchased legally to be "confiscated".

So in protest, I surfed to the free, legal copies of both books from gutenberg.net.au. I read Animal Farm last night. Next up: 1984. It'd been a long time since I read either of these, so I was due for a refresher course anyway. Down with Big Brother!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My rescheduled hair appointment went off without a hitch this afternoon. The owner of the salon did my hair herself, as the person whom I normally go to is not there on Fridays. So I'm rid of the darn grays and have somewhat shorter hair in advance of our upcoming vacation (and the expected warm temperatures we'll encounter).

Speaking of vacation, I headed to the post office to fill out a "Mail Hold" form for our address, for the dates we will be away. Darn if the place wasn't out of Mail Hold cards. Instead, I provided the requisite info on the blank back of a "Carrier Misdelivery" card. They want your name, address, the dates to hold the mail, and notification as to whether you will come pick up the held mail or you would like them to deliver the held mail to you. So now the post office has all that, and regardless of what sort of card it's on, I would expect them to be able to take care of the matter.

Now we're sitting through one big T-storm, while the weather radio is announcing the approach of a second thunderstorm. Whoopee, Mother Nature is in Rain Mode again. Though from what I understand, all the rain we have had over the past few weeks is the reason why our temperatures haven't gone as high as usual so far this summer. The sun can't heat the ground as much when it's waterlogged, and it takes the ground a few days to dry out. However, since we have gotten rain on a regular basis, I'm thinking that the ground hasn't had the opportunity to dry all the way out. Which, given how temperate it's been lately, is fine by me. At least it's been cooperating enough to rain at night and let us have actual sunshine during the day. Sunshine is good. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting my Mop Chopped, Round 2. I spoke to the owner of the salon. Turns out that the person who normally does my hair switched over to coming in on Mondays a few weeks ago, but somehow my appontment fell through the cracks and I wasn't contacted to reschedule it. (She used to be Tuesdays-only, which is why my appointment was on a Tuesday.)

And yesterday, the salon had the day off. "Everyone played hookey". LOL. I can relate. It was a GORGEOUS day yesterday.

So I'm going in again, this time on Friday. Someone else will have to cut my hair, though, since the person I normally go to won't be there. Heck, at least I was able to reschedule the appointment with SOMEbody before heading out on vacation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No haircut for you!

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Well, THIS was entirely unexpected...



I showed up for my 2 PM hair appointment, to find the salon empty and the doors locked.



I, uh, guess my hair's not getting cut today. Darn, and I had really wanted that taken care of before vacation, too.



:-(

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

I just checked out the Phantoms' website (click HERE), after hearing that they've transitioned it over to a more Adirondack-centric format.

I was disappointed to discover that the pics and multimedia items from the Philly days are all gone. Phooey. There goes a decent chunk of franchise history down the drain. :(

Gee, I'm glad I downloaded those postgame interviews from a couple seasons ago and saved them. Ditto for the wallpaper I'm using at the moment on my laptop and netbook. For some reason, I didn't expect an erasure of the past to be a part of the handoff of the website to the new team.
Sigh. That dratted Law of Gravity is more trouble than it's worth, some days.

Like yesterday, when I didn't notice that the sidewalk was uneven, resulting in a turned right ankle and a hard spill onto my left knee (the one with the long medical history). OW OW bleepity OW. That's the kind of mishap that was on my short list of "things I really don't need to do".

Aftermath: the ankle's OK, thank goodness. The knee's black-and-blue, swollen, and sore, but those last two symptoms could have been a whole lot worse so I'm counting my blessings. There's a difference between getting a bit banged-up and doing real damage, and thanks to my overworked guardian angel, it appears that I've done the former this time around.

Still, I'd like to file for an exemption from the Law of Gravity for a while. This falling stuff has got to go.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Here I am, sitting in my living room and feeling sick instead of being in Stone Harbor/Avalon for Trial on the Isle. PHOOEY. Down with digestive rebellion.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Phantoms players

I took a trip up to Memory Lane, AKA my college alma mater, to drop off my Phantoms player's remaining PPPC Scrapbook Pages to the committee chair. (We already distributed scrapbooks to the guys, covering the games from preseason through the middle of March, at the Phan Club Banquet in the spring. But the rest of the pages, from mid-March through the end of the playoffs, are what I just turned over.) It was tough to part with my handiwork, as it felt like I was sundering my last concrete connection to the Phantoms' tenure in the Spectrum. It was kind of like if I hung onto the pages, the season wouldn't really be over and the team wouldn't really be leaving.

Of course, that's not true. Nothing will stop the clock on the Phantoms' departure; the preparations for their move are long since completed. But what IS true is that a lot of our young players, including the one whose scrapbook I made, will be in town this week for Prospect Camp. It's only logical to get the remaining pages to him while he's here, so he can install them in his book and have a complete season's worth of pictures and articles in his scrapbook. Hence, I took SEPTA up to the place where I worked my tail off for four years of my life, to turn the pages over to the Scrapbook Committee Chair.

Then, I couldn't resist taking a little stroll on the campus. So much has changed in the years (hint: more than two decades) since I attended classes here. The subway station, which was being remodeled for at least three of my four years here, is long since completed and boy, does it look spectacular. I only wish it had been in such great shape when I was dragging my tired rump through it day after day.

I have only walked through a few blocks' worth of campus, from the subway station to the Student Activities Center, and there are at least two buildings that have been rebuilt and/or renamed in that short distance alone. The Student Activities Center, too, has been completely redone. Chances are that a current student, on being shown old photos of the way this place used to look, wouldn't have the remotest clue what building they were looking at. Certainly, if someone had presented me with pics of what the building currently looks like, without identifying the location for me, I wouldn't have recognized the site for love or money. All I can say is WOW.

But the little stand where I used to get my morning bagel and coffee... THAT'S still there. :) :) :) Long may it reign!

Memory Lane University looks really gorgeous, or at least the part of the campus I have wandered through does. That's one thing that has always impressed me about this place: its ability to be a shining, landscaped gem with lots of plants and flowers and pretty buildings, parked right in the middle of the city. It certainly gives the lie to the presumption that when you're In The City, you are doomed to looking at a boring, scuzzy concrete jungle with littered sidewalks and beat-up-looking buildings. Long may Memory Lane University reign, too.

And now, I had better get myself limping back to the subway. There appears to be a T-Storm getting ready to break, and I don't want to get caught in a downpour.

Friday, July 03, 2009

RiverSharks win :)

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The RiverSharks win, 7-6! Time for the fireworks! :)



P.S. LOL, after a win, they play the refrain from a Jimmy Buffett song: "Fins to the left, Fins to the right and you're the only game in town". Bwahaha!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mom and Dad are still getting used to the new cell phone. But so far, they've been able to send and receive calls with it, and that's pretty much all they're going to use it for. No text messages, no picture messages, no problem. It doesn't even have a camera.

It DOES, however, have bigger and easier-to-read buttons than their previous phone. I tweaked the display screen so it's got the largest font available, and they both can read it with no difficulty.

Now all they have to do is figure out how to get into their voice mail, and they're set. I showed them how to do that yesterday, but as there were no messages in the voice mail, they couldn't actually DO anything with the knowledge.

I'm just glad they have a working phone again. I've said before, and will continue to say, that there is no reason for anyone who drives a car to be without a cell phone. There are inexpensive plans out there today, so people who only want the phone in case of emergencies can get a plan and not waste money on features they don't want. To my mind, if a person can afford to own and operate a car, they need to factor in the cost of a cell phone and chalk it up to taking the appropriate safety precautions while driving.

So if only for that reason, I'm glad to know that they have a working cell phone again, so they can use it if they get lost or have car trouble while driving.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

JOY JOY JOY JOY

Brian Boucher just signed a two-year deal with the Flyers! One of my favorite people is coming back to Philly! :)