SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Friday, April 18, 2014

BIG BLUE FASCINATION-THE WEEKENDER

AN HISTORIC EVENT
     There is no end to the fascination and enjoyment of seeing the Pacific. Living in a coastal community reminds me daily of the wonder of the big blue.
     Special thanks to our pal John, aka The Travel Answerman for giving us a heads up on an amazing National Geographic brief for your Weekend enjoyment. This is  amazing.
SPLASH
stills from Cambria's Lampton Cliff






    See you down the trail.

Monday, April 14, 2014

THE BEST OF US AND HOME GROWN

LOOKING UP
      The geometry of the color and angle simply begged to shot and shared.  The venue is the sky above the Wise Owl in Cambria, mid afternoon on a sunny day.
HOME GROWN
     Salads have come easily this spring thanks to the abundance of lettuce growing in our raised boxes up here on the ridge.  A couple of variety in their beauty here-



GUIDING PRECEPTS
     The great man was gunned down on this date 149 years ago. In his time he prevailed against malevolent forces. The hatred and insanity that moved in the action of his death exists still, here and across the globe. We do not, nor should we deify great men and women, but we can and should remember their courage, leadership and imprint it upon ours and future generations. Could another Lincoln emerge here?  Has a Lincoln arisen elsewhere?  Do we inculcate what it takes in the 21st Century?

     See you down the trail.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

HOW DO YOU SEE IT-DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

THE WEEKENDER QUIZ
HOW DO YOU SEE IT
     Have you heard the story of the beautiful garden visited by two men? 
       The garden was alive with colorful blooms and pathways lined by a rainbow of color. The first man, thrilled by the beauty, halted his walk occasionally to quickly clip a festive flower. After a brief time he had gathered a resplendent bouquet that he intended to share. Upon departing the garden he became distracted by obligations and activity and the bouquet wilted and was left as trash.
       The second man too was thrilled by what his eyes beheld.  He strolled slowly taking in the magnificence, pausing frequently to bend for a closer look and to inhale the fragrances of the many flowers. In this way he proceeded through the garden thinking how wonderful it was and he wished to share its beauty. So he departed, reflecting on the garden's magnificence and telling others about its wonderful sites and smells. Each time he recounted his visit it was as though he was there again.
       
                JUST GET OUT THERE AND DO IT
       Early spring is when those of you hammered by a long winter get a chance to get back outside. Here's a thrilling motivational piece for you sent along by old pal Moto. Don't try this at home, unless.....
                                              
DAPPLED LIGHT & SPIDERS




     See you down the trail.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

LONG VIEW and A CITIZEN'S CONGRESS


FROM THE RIDGE
     From this land of big views an idea is emerging that could/might/should change American politics. More on that after a look at spring from what is called "top of the world."

  The frame below over looks Green Valley.  You can see the 
micro climate difference in the fog that has settled below the distant peaks over Cayucos and Morro Bay.
   We are fond of the time of year when the western grazing slopes are green.


   An unusual scene in our Mediterranean climate-hail or sleet in last week's rare, but appreciated, rain.

 FOR BRUCE aka THE CATALYST
   Since my old pal loves fresh baked bread, this scene at a local Italian restaurant caught my eye.
IMPROVING AMERICAN POLITICS
   Frequent readers have heard me rail about the need to get big money out of politics.  I've been around the game long enough to see how corrosive it has been.  Years ago I used to quote HL Mencken "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods."  The current system is nothing more than big business.  Big dollars are needed to run and get elected and entirely too much effort is spent hustling the bucks and then being beholden to the contributors.  
    Terribly flawed and corrupted Supreme Court decisions have opened the path to even greater influence of money-be it from Corporations, who are only people, or people who have money like corporations.  Well, a Californian from my county is in the midst of an extraordinary effort to do something about it.  He's invited you and anyone who cares out to our far west for a congress.



See you down the trail.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE NEW BLACK? REMEMBERING A GHOST TREE

CHOOSING THE NEW COLOR
       So it seems orange is the new "in" color of the season.
What do I know about fashion and color? Trips to France sensitized me to shifting color preferences. Friends wanted to know what the new fashion season revealed as the color we'd be seeing more of so I made a point of paying attention. 
         This year I saw a lot of orange in Palm Springs and environs, among some of the lovely patrons of the Indian Wells Tennis tournament, in shops and I see it is showing up elsewhere. I certainly have no pedigree from Ralph Lauren University, so I could be entirely wrong. And as a further qualifier, my idea of good color is blue and grey.  
        Anyway, California's central coast is painted by nature. It's a seasonal switch that cranks up the swatch palette. 











A FINAL STAND
   Aside from humans and elephants, trees get my vote for favorite life form on this blue planet. Old trees get  maximum respect. They don't travel of course but they observe the years, even centuries and leave a record. Talk about zen mellow!
    Seeing a stump serves an encouragement. Old roots remain in mother earth and the space above is reserved for the memory of a sentry or watcher.

  See you down the trail.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A CHANGE WE HATE TO SEE AND A METAPHOR IN AN ICON NEIGHBORHOOD

TOUGH GOOD BYES
    Life in the village truly is idyllic. That's not just a fanciful idea. People are active, they live long lives, most of us develop our eccentricities or particularities and there are indeed many characters. Living between the Pacific and the Santa Lucia mountains on ridges, valleys, beaches, Monterey Pine and California Oak forests we often say this is not like the rest of the world. So when life, like every where else intrudes our romantic sense of delusion is shocked and saddened.
      Peter Wolff was one of the characters in this charming and curious drama of Cambria. A big deal international business executive and thinker, Wolff has been one of our leading men, not because of his professional resume, but because of his one of a kind personality.
      The first time I met Peter he said, "So I hear you were really a big deal journalist.  Everybody here has a life like that. The only thing that really matters now is how good is your serve?"
      Peter had a brilliant mind and usually gave you 3 or 4 answers to any question you asked and usually had you chuckling. Peter and his foursome played at the other end of the tennis complex, but you would always hear him. 
      Over the years I've been fortunate to study with him, share committee work with him, relax and enjoy his company. Usually he had me laughing with his dry wit, sardonic humor and insight.
      Something went wrong after a surgery and after a rough go Peter left this party Sunday. His family was with him and we are told he was being his usual feisty and funny self.
      Phil, who's history with Peter goes back a couple of decades said he never thought anything could take him. A lot of us thought that. 
      Peter played regularly with John Brannon, the colorful newspaper columnist whom we enjoyed even years before our move here.  Peter and John could be, well, feisty and not always in agreement on a play or a call and so their matches gained a degree of notoriety. Brannon just left for a new life in Southern California and now Peter is gone.
      As if to remind us that we can not control change, yesterday was the day we bid farewell to another longtime village couple.  Barbara and Paul are wonderful and joyful people who depart to be closer to a daughter who can attend to their needs. Barbara, a local gal, seemed always to smile. She had a wicked cross court shot though, even if it seemed out of character to her gentle, California girl manner.  Paul is a retired Wall Street Journal man and a fount of knowledge and a crafty tennis game. He is in every sense of the word, a true gentleman.  They are delightful people.
      As some of the crowd gathered at coffee this morning we were heavy hearted, certainly for those who are gone or departing, but also because it reminds of how fleeting it can all be, even here.
STILL A TRACE
     Remains an ancient tree devolve in front of a Warren Leopold post house. The tree likely sheltered the maverick architect as he sat in his mobile work desk or perhaps camped while designing and building the house in the last century.
    It also shaded a Dome home.
        Another tree now stands tallest on an icon corner in Cambria.
      A few blocks away, an opportune intersection and another memorable building, perhaps with aspirations.
   See you down the trail.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

JUST PLAIN FUN- MR. AT EASE, LOVELY LUNCH AND MISSING COLUMNS-THE WEEKENDER

PLEASANT
    Spring strengthens its presence on the California Central Coast and so a leisurely lunch in Harmony offered opportunities to breath deeply and enjoy the ambiance. 
    I was struck by the texture of the setting and especially with the sun light filtering through Diane's hat. Kind of Monetesque?
   Fortunate to share a Mediterranean moment discussing art and food. 
  and captivated by the sun play. Boomers, taking it easy.
THE MASTER OF TAKING IT EASY
  and finding the perfect balance of shade and sun.
WEEKENDER PUZZLE 
MATCH SHADOW WITH COLUMN
    Two shadows without an appearing matching column.
       All columns are present, but a couple of shadows are missing.
      And so it goes.
AN HONORABLE EVENING
    Lana's recent SUNRISE ON BUD BREAK received an Honorable Mention in the most recent juried show in Cambria's Allied Arts Association exhibition.
See you down the trail.