Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

I don't know about you, but I have no desire to watch the new movie "Straight Outta Compton". I grew up in North Long Beach, which borders Compton, and remember well the turmoil and racial strife, that for me began with the Watts Riots in the summer of 1965. Until that summer, Compton was where we did a lot of shopping. The closest Sears was located there, and even though I was 10, I had no concerns or worries about being in Compton. After the summer of 1965, that all changed. To this day, I can still recall seeing the smoke from the fires that were set during the riots and the news images on TV.
In 1966, I got my first horse, and boarded her at Coles Stables, which was just on the other side of the LA River from Compton. That river served as a type of "buffer" from what was going on so close by. I remember one time in the late spring of 1969, I was riding in the riverbed with  my sister and her girlfriend, when a group of young boys on bicycles appeared and demanded that we let them ride our horses. When we said "No", they became aggressive and one of them actually threw his bike at us. Fortunately, they were on the "Compton" side of the water and we were on the "Long Beach" side, which deterred them from being able to physically get to us. We got out of there as fast as our horses could go. That was the last time I rode on the bottom of the LA River unless it was West of Alondra Boulevard.
My best friend in junior high and high school lived in Compton. To escape the turmoil, she got an inter-city transfer in 1968 so she could go to North Long Beach schools. The funny thing is, Long Beach had its own issues with racial strife, and in 1971 decided to begin "bussing" students from Poly High School (you may have heard of Poly High, as this is where Snoop Dogg went to school). Not long after, I remember hearing of knife fights and other atrocities occurring on school grounds. My idyllic southern California lifestyle radically changed in just a few years.
By the time I was ready to graduate high school in 1972, Compton was the last place I would intentionally visit. It was just too risky to be there. Personally, I find this to be really sad. As a young person, I didn't understand why people would be treated differently because of the color of their skin. I went to school with kids from Indonesia, Mexico, Japan, and many other diverse and ethnic lands. It never crossed my mind to treat them any differently. We were classmates and friends, why would I be mean to them just because they had a different color skin?
I have no idea what Compton is like today, but I certainly can do without the reminder by watching a movie. Hopefully, the youth of today will not try to replicate what they see. As Rodney King once said "Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" If I knew the answer to that, I would be rich.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Welsh Tap Dancing Seagull - Puttin' on the Ritz!!

OMG! I laughed so hard when I first saw this that I cried. I love the little pitter patter of his tiny feet!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What will Amazon do? Or, Drones -- a bad idea waiting to happen

I am not a fan of Amazon's proposal to use drones to deliver packages. I think this is one of the worst ideas EVER! People are going to use them as shooting practice, planes will collide with them, and what happens if one fails and ends up falling on someone and killing them?
Case in point:

Of course, this didn't happen in the US, but we have eagles, too! And, this was no "collision". That eagle probably felt threatened by that drone and intentionally took it out.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In Memory of Chiquita (2000-2015)

What a special little dog you were, Chiquita. You will be missed.

Friday, January 2, 2015


One thing for sure, the Phoenix-metro area of Arizona is a land of extremes. According to the weather app on my phone, it got down to 28 degrees last night in Gilbert, proof of which is the frozen hummingbird feeder I found on my patio this morning.
Chilly breakfast for my hummers

Saturday, December 6, 2014

San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Located approximately 15 miles from my home is San Tan Mountain Regional Park. 10,000 acres of gorgeous Sonoran Desert, just waiting to be explored. On this cool and overcast morning, my daughter and I enjoyed a nice loop hike through the southern end of the park. We decided to trail blaze and headed to a beautiful red rock outcropping.
San Tan Mountains as viewed near my home
Our destination -- Rock Peak
Majestic Saguaro Cactus at the base of Rock Peak
Spectacular view of the San Tan Valley
View of the valley looking through a Chain Fruit Cholla cactus
Cholla Cactus Skeleton
I am so very fortunate to live near such a beautiful place.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Happy 5th Swim Anniversay

Five years ago in November of 2009, I made the life-changing decision to join United States Masters Swimming. Within a short time, I had amassed quite a few "mementos" and just as I had done as a teenager, I started a collection board. My "Swim Board" commemorates milestones, friendships, and many of the things that I have enjoyed through Masters swimming thus far.
My Swim Board
Here's to the first 5 years, with the hopes of many more to come!