Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Where did it go?  And when did it leave? 
Years ago a commentator, I think it was
Harry Reasoner, said Labor Day is like
the first New Years day.  Summer
is over.  School starts again. It's time
to get serious and busy, before the holidays
start and we loose momentum until
the next New Years day, January 1.
So, enjoy these last couple of days
of "good old summer time" before 
it gets serious and busy again.
A personal confession here.
  The end of August means
the weather on the Central California Coast
should get even better and since I'm no longer
in school, nor expected in the office
everyday, the end of summer
is almost a non event.
Though we do have the local Pinedorado parade 
weekend party.
Comedian Lewis Black, in San Luis Obispo last week
said, "Those of you who live out here in Xanadu,
don't know what weather is." 
But we remember, those of us who
are from elsewhere. 
September is when you also 
start thinking about falling leaves and what follows- gray skies, cold rain, sleet, snow, ice storms, stuffy
offices, heavy coats, boots, shoveling, dangerous roads.
OK, enough already!  Enjoy these last few days of 
Be laid back. This really is Xanadu.
See you down the trail.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One afternoon as a group of us gathered, a friend
looked at our back hill steps and said-
"Where do those steps go?  No where?"
It may be a fair question.

 They do appear to lead to nothing in particular,
with the exception of this small set
that leads to the bee hive-
remember those golden Italian bees from Glenn?
Actually, the steps have helped the contour of a
steep slope, provide planting spaces and they lead to views of the Santa Lucia range.

 They also provide an interesting view
 of a conversation space.
In fact it was here, the friend asked about the steps.
So, "no where" is not the right answer. And
keeping them swept, gives me exercise and great views.
While on steps-
I liked the light and shadow play on another set of steps.
You may recall that I have been posting notes
from my friend and former radio partner-Bob Foster.
Bob is preparing for a Bone Marrow Transplant.
Here is his latest note.
My Dear Friends, 

For some reason, one which I have yet to understand, God is connecting me with people who had near death experiences. I have met them at Mayo and the Gift of Life Transplant House. Neither of them are currently patients. One of them is a staff member. When Jim was 6-years-old, he was run over by a school bus. He still has an indentation in his forehead from the bus's bumper. He had me feel it, so I would believe him. Jim was in a coma for several days. When he regained consciousness, Jim's mother was at his bedside. She told him what had happened. As she began to talk about the ride in the ambulance, little "Jimmy" interrupted her, "I know. You were wearing your blue dress and holding my hand."  His mother insisted he was unconscious. Jimmy then described seeing his mother, seated next to him in the ambulance, from an upper corner of the inside of the ambulance. It was like a diagonal ceiling shot from a movie. His spirit had left his body and was hovering above.  

Today was a rough day for me. I got little sleep last night. The medication induced dreams were so vivid. I am afraid to take sleep medication every night for fear of addiction. I awoke at 1:45 with chills which morphed into a fever. This has been happening a lot lately. My doctor ordered extensive blood cultures. Infection, with my immune system about 10% of a normal person, would not be a good thing.I do not know the name of the tech who drew my blood. I started to tell her why we were doing this and she said, "I will pray for you." That opened the door to talk about faith. We were going to be there for awhile, about 8 ounces worth. She dropped a bomb, "I died in this department. My heart simply stopped. They brought me back. I now have a pacemaker. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant. My baby died. But I saw the light. I didn't hear angels singing, but I definitely saw the light. The next thing I knew, the doctors had brought me back to life. Some people think I should be angry at God for losing my baby. I know my son is in heaven and I will see him someday. I have a 12 year old daughter and I love her very much.""Have you read the book 'Heaven is For Real," I asked.  (The story of a 4-year-old's visit to Heaven.)"Yes! I'm reading it now.  I can hardly put it down."In the book, Colton Burpo spends three minutes in Heaven. Over the next two years, he relates his scripturally accurate experience, much to his parent's amazement. One chapter has Colton telling of a rainbow beyond human description. Friends, last night, in one of my dreams, I saw Colton's rainbow. It was beyond description. I don't know if God is preparing me for witness, mission, a rougher road ahead or my own death. Only He knows. But He is doing something. Why else would I meet a man from Janesville, WI, or get this particular lab tech, out of dozens, this morning? We'll get the blood culture results sometime Tuesday. Two more chemo treatments remain. Bone marrow biopsy 9/6. Doctor with report on 9/12. Foster.  

See you down the trail

Monday, August 29, 2011


Today's post is all about food
with a little humor and scenery on the side.
I've been telling friends the scenes of the English countryside
are worth the price of admission alone.  But then you
add the charm of the English Inns, cinemagraphically 
luscious. Then Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are terrific as not so compatible traveling companions who conduct
a running duel as to who does the best Michael Caine
or Sean Connery impression. And of course there is 
food.  The creative cuisine of the country inns becomes an uncredited star of the movie. 
It is an enjoyable ride, with plenty of laughs, breathtaking beauty and a love affair with food that will probably
have you leaving the theatre, looking for a great 
restaurant or speeding home so you can get to
work creating a dish, fit for the movies.
THE TRIP is worth taking.
Over the last year, a Cambria group has gathered
11 times for what we call a Moveable Feast.
A gathering of friends, preparing food.
Each evening features a different nationality
or food.
Here's a record of most recent delicious evening.
BTW, those were Taco Works chips, 
from San Luis Obispo.
Mexican Gazpacho

Home style hominy topped with chorizo sausage
 Mole Poblano-Chicken
Fish Veracruz
Chiles En Nogada
(a rare dish)

Mexican Wedding Cakes
Pineapple rum pudding with fresh whipped cream
the evening's libation- margarita
It was a great festive evening
with friends.
See you down the trail.
I've got a few calories to burn.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


IT'S A, NO IT'S A....
Today THE WEEKENDER :) provides a 
couple of fascinating videos of 
One provides a great visual text of hummingbirds
and interaction. It is promotional video, but it is
very enjoyable.
Now, you'll need to look closely to see
an extraordinary flight.
An unmanned glider flies over the Pacific Ocean
at 20 times the speed of sound.
The video was released by DARPA, the Defense
Advanced Research Agency.  It features
the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2. It was
launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, atop
a Minotaur 4 rocket.  It is hard to see, but it is a 
glimpse of something traveling faster than Mach 5.
Keep looking up.
See you down the trail.

Friday, August 26, 2011


It is fascinating to watch how rapidly a Pacific
fog can move over coastal land and mountain ranges.
A variety of weather conditions can prompt the rapid
move from blue sky to fog. Here is a series of
frames that captures such a play along Turri Road, behind 
Mount Hollister north of San Luis Obispo and south of Morro Bay.
Notice the disappearing blue
and increasing gray scale.

And just as quickly, an ocean breeze can blow it away.
See you down the trail.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


      Please excuse the indulgence. If you are not a cat lover you may wish to move on. Frequent readers of Light Breezes may recall that we recently lost Ziggy, a member of the family for 16 years.  Her mother, Nesta has been mourning her loss.  So we have adopted a couple of new generation cats and since we are "proud parents" here are a few snap shots.

 As kittens are supposed to be, they are curious, playful
always in motion and difficult to capture in a shot.

The names are in evolution.  They came from the shelter
as Luke and Emily.  They are now known variously as
Luke, Lukie, Lukie Jake and Em, Emmie and Emmie Jazz.
Stay tuned.  
See you down the trail.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


      They are not shy about bringing the whole family to dinner, on your lawn, garden, flowers, or even deck.
       Dare to step into their dinner party and you get a 
"Who invited you?" look.
     They are hedonists, practicing the time honored tradition
of "Eat, lay and play."
      "Hey, you talkin' to me?  You talkin' to me?"
      "OK.  He's got the camera again.  Time to move on.  Thanks buddy.  We'll be back, when the roses are blooming."
       See you down the trail.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


             A couple of things are clamoring around in my
        mind, looking for a vent.
             Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel wrote
         a piece that, sadly, most of us can relate to.  A 
         loud, foul mouthed, obscenity spewing person, in
         this case a woman, got on a crowded elevator and
         continued to abuse her son for several floors liberally
         using  mother F......   I've always been conflicted
         about how to respond to such boorish behavior. 
         My strongest response was to a group of young men
         in a restaurant when I said "please, watch your 
         language or hold it down.  There are children here."
         That drew a derisive sneer, which I was happy didn't
         escalate to more.
               The other item was about the shooting and beating
          of football fans at the 49er-Raiders game in San
          Francisco.  San Francisco?!!!  No "flowers in your 
 in there" vibe.  San Francisco?!!!
          Cosmopolitan, sophisticated, center of West Coast
               I've spoken to groups about the divide between
          the educated and the entertained.  Now I wonder
          about the growing gulf between the civilized and
          the modern American barbarian.
      Lana has been baking bread for longer than she'd care for me to say.  Friends and family appreciate this special, but only one of many, skill.
      When we came back from lunch the other day she noticed the dough had risen more than it usually does.
       Ever ready for an adventure, I thought I'd follow it through the process.
       Shaped, braided and put in pans to rise a bit more.
       Risen enough, it now almost ready for the oven.

        In it goes.  The final step on the road to delicious.
 And now, it is time for me to get in on the act! The appreciative consumer!
See you down the trail.