Probing

Sometimes, it is nice to know the players.  Like this sign indicates, a lot of shorebirds have long bills used for probing or picking.  Kind of like our governmental representatives.

Kern National Wildlife Refuse, California 2009

Beneath

If you stand here without extraneous ambient noise, you will hear shuffling as hundreds of ghosts wander aimlessly under the street.  You may remember the DeWhite Yuckum and Buckle Odens song, Under The Streets of Bakersfield?  There are passageways under the city where various enterprises took place like gambling, bootlegging and ladies of the night.  With so many ghosts wandering, I'm not sure any of the passageways are used any more.  Ghosts can be grumpy after years in the dark.

The story above is fictitious.  There are no ghosts under the streets of Bakersfield.  Zombies, yes.

Bakersfield, California 2013

You Are Next, Bud!

This is Woody the Cat's  "I can take this guy" look when he thought it was time for his toy to play.

Bakersfield, California 2005

Trade Secrets

I tried to persuade Herman to tell me which hair conditioner he uses.  My mane will eventually be at least as long as Herman's and I'll need something to manage it.  Anyway, Herman said I'd have to find my own.  He had to.

Twin Oaks, California 2005

It Will Never Pass

At first, Naomi thought there was a fire on the horizon.  But, it didn't smell like smoke.  Then, Naomi realized what it was.  The stench of politics!

Kern County, California 2007

Thirds Blow

Ricco was still recovering from the massive honey bee smothering that took place yesterday.  The bees pretty much massaged every part of his body and his vision is a little blurry today.

Kern County, California 2007

Tanked

The oldtimer bulls at the Bena Corral like to scare the youngsters by telling them if they don't give them their carrots, they will be sent to the slaughterhouse.  The slaughterhouse was really a fertilizer plant that closed down in the 1940s, but, the old boys get a lot of carrots with the story.

Bena Road, Kern County, California 2007

Progress

Terrance is really tired.  He can't remember how long he's been flying, but, he knows he's really hungry and thirsty.  He thought it wouldn't be any problem flying to the other side of the photo, but, he just doesn't seem to be making any progress.  It kind of made him think he was fighting against the government, not air.

Kern National Wildlife Refuge, California 2009

Melinda Was Mine

Heel Hymen warbled some pretty interesting stuff in his day.  In fact, he has had some real success with his tunes.  Lots of other birds whistled his stuff also.  Sometimes, other birds released Heel's stuff before Heel did.

Wind Wolves Preserve, Kern County California 2010

Delivery

Xavier had a brilliant idea.  He'd employ pelicans to deliver fish to the local restaurants!  He just needs to remember to feed them before they make deliveries.

San Luis Obispo County, California 2010

The Hunger Game

Giovanni's was having a special on their fish and chips.  News spreads fast.

San Luis Obispo County, California 2010

No Wax

Ikitearus always dreamed of soaring even as a young kite.  When he matured, Ikitearus had the opportunity to sail as much as he wanted and he really enjoyed it.  The next step in his fantasy is to get rid of the dead weight that is always holding him down; the man that keeps him tethered to the ground!  One of these days, Ikitearus will be truly free to soar.

San Luis Obispo County, California 2010

Slow To Grasp

The last thing Horace saw while tooling down the freeway with his oversized load was the 14'-11" clearance sign.  He didn't even have time to realize his 15'-3" height was a little high.

Hollywood, California 2010

Rivalry

It's the same old story of sibling rivalry.  Squeak and Pip are both interested in the leading role of the play, Silence of the Ewes.  They haven't talked to each other in a week.  Things were exacerbated when Pip blurted out, "there's no way we had the same Dad!"

Bakersfield, California 2011

Simple

Sometimes it's the simple things that give the most satisfaction.

Ducor, California 2011

Non Performance

Rorschach was a feisty dude.  Always picking fights with other cranes over fishing rights.  The funny thing is that Rorschach never caught anything.  The fish could spot him a mile away.  If it wasn't for Rorschach's mom, he would have starved to death.  His mom gave him a gift certificate for a year's supply of Mickey D Filet-of-fish.

Fillmore, California 2011

Missed Opportunity

Wouldn't you know it.  While Lester fiddled with his camera settings, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Alan Wilson, Slim Harpo, Alan Wilson and Baby Huey jammed on stage for the first time since 1970.  Sometimes, you just have to pay more attention to your surroundings.

The above story is hog wash.  Baby Huey didn't make it because he was tied up at the Kern River Brewing Company tasting fest.

Kernville, California 2011

Disregard

Another example of the total disregard of nature.  Someone relocated and defaced this perfectly beautiful boulder.  When will people come to their senses?  It was probably a prank committed by drunken college students!

Bakersfield, California 2011

Free

It was the oddest thing.  Scott was standing on the street when he noticed what appeared to be balloons.  But, instead of getting smaller as they ascended, they were getting bigger which could only mean two things.  The balloons were descending or the Earth was accelerating toward the balloons.

Now, Scott remembered enough from high school physics to know that the balloons had to be weighted internally or externally with something that was heavier than air to descend and he was pretty sure the Earth wasn't accelerating toward the balloons.  Or, the other possibility was that there was no longer any air.  With that thought, Scott dropped over dead due to the lack of oxygen.

The above story is fictitious.  Of course there is still oxygen.  You wouldn't be reading this if there wasn't.  Scott died from a heart attack.  The black and orange balloons reminded him of the San Francisco Giants and Scott was a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan.  Scott did die hard.

Bakersfield, California 2011

Access

Humphrey McGee is an extreme railroad freight train hopper.  Some riders grab a ride while the train is  sitting in the yard or stationary along a siding.  Not Humphrey!  Part of the thrill of riding a freight train for Humphrey is the initial contact.  Humphrey likes to jump from this pedestrian crossover and land on a train.  Then he lays low until the train gets out of the yard.  Once the train gets up to motoring speed, Humphrey starts looking for open cars.  You would be surprised how many cars are actually unlocked.

The above story is fictitious.  The railroad always locks their cars and Humphrey is really a train engineer, but, he does jump off this overcrossing to access the engine.  The act adds some excitement to his normally pretty mundane job.

Bakersfield, California 2011

Pinned

Woody the Cat was very touchy-feely.  Nothing made him happier than preventing Dad from doing anything except being a comforter.

Phone shot rendered in Topaz Impression.

Bakersfield, California 2012

Misunderstanding

I didn't think it was a big deal.  Just a small communications issue.  I told them I'd take care of it.  Everything would work out fine.  I told them I knew sign language so it wouldn't really matter.  They didn't listen.  At least they let me keep it.  I have it in a jar by the side of my bed.  Really, the only drawback is that I can't taste my whiskey anymore.

Linda Vista Hospital, Los Angeles, California 2012

The Bulb

I had no idea one little light bulb could cause so much damage!  I need to remember not to throw light bulbs.

Linda Vista Hospital, Los Angeles, California 2012

Rapture

Vel O. Ciraptor loved this vantage point.  It was a great place to decide what to have for dinner.  Such variety.

Santa Cruz, California 2012

Wasted

Lex Boomler sat here all day enjoying the ocean view.  He was amazed how the waves seem to undulate in different colors for hours on end.  By evening, Lex realized he should research his wild mushroom choices a little better for his salads.

Santa Cruz, California 2012

A Fecal Matter

Copro P. Hilia realized most folks thought he had a problem.  He could live with that.  After all, if he catered to other people's opinions, he'd never be happy.  Copro was ecstatic when he found he fit perfectly in the holding tanks of this restroom.  He has spent many happy years in this location.    So, if you are visiting and think you hear sighs of happiness, you are probably correct!

The above story is hog wash.  Copro lasted two weeks before Sean's Super Sucker cleaned the tanks and poor Copro was sucked out of his home.  Fortunately, Copro was deposited in an area where he could be happy.

Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, California 2012

Found

Almost 97 years later, Captain Boullion Beefheart remembered where he parked his boat.  This was an extraordinary revelation considering Boullion was now 127 years old and hadn't had a coherent thought in over 50 years.  The Captain's great great great granddaughter is convinced this new information was a result of the shock treatments she started administering a week ago.

Aptos, California 2012

Unusual Day

The pizza was hot and the beer was cold.  Maybe a little too much beer was consumed.  No one noticed the fish swimming through the air on Pacific Avenue.

Santa Cruz, California 2012

Clock Two

Ringing N. Myears lived in this clock tower for three years.  It was a mutually beneficial arrangement with the City.  Ringing maintained the clockworks and had a place to live.

The above story is fictitious.  Ringing didn't maintain the clockworks and was evicted after two months for vagrancy.

Santa Cruz, California 2012

Life Is A Beach

Old Boris was quite a web weaver.  In fact, he was so good, he had a contract with the City to weave volleyball nets.  In return, Boris had his own beach chair and all the insects he could eat free of charge.  Things were great until Phylis Flatbottom sat in Boris' chair.  The City is looking for a new web weaver.

Santa Cruz, California 2012

Zap

Boris and Natasha sunk all their money into a multiple zip line business.  According to surviving riders, it was an electrifying experience.

Bena Road, Kern County, California 2013

Basement

Brad is a local undertaker.  He made quite a bit of money stealing jewelry off the fingers of his clients.  Eventually, Brad needed to invest his loot in something and he decided he wanted his own building.  One stipulation for the building was that the basement had to be dirt so Brad could bury any future loot.  When it came time to name Brad's building, well, Bradbury seemed to fit.

Los Angeles, California 2013

Excitable

Tuer des Vikings lived on the top floor of this building.  He was a binge TV watcher.  He's been watching The Vikings and got rather excited when Paris was attacked by the Vikings.  The residents below him didn't take too kindly to having oil and flaming arrows ignite their patios!

Los Angeles, California 2013

Look In The Right Place

Every time Bill saw Ben, Ben complained about illegal aliens living in this building.  Well, Bill eventually called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and they sent out a couple of guys.  By that time, Ben wasn't around so the ICE agents talked to Bill.  Bill couldn't tell them anything because Ben had never identified anyone.  The next time Ben and Bill talked, Ben pointed to the building and commented that the aliens were still on the building.

Los Angeles, California 2013

Harassment

Cecil the raven loves to annoy seagulls and the best place to do that is at the county dump.  He flies around with an empty bag like he has some potato chips or something.  The seagulls go crazy trying to catch him.  Then Cecil drops the bag and watches the seagulls fight over it.  About the time the seagulls figure out there is nothing in the bag, Cecil flies by with another empty bag and starts the fun all over again.  Seagulls are a little slow on the uptake.

Evidently, there is quite a market for viewing Cecil's shenanigans in the country of Serbia.  BLIC, a Serbian internet news portal and daily tabloid, installed a webcam to capture all the fun.

The above story is hogwash.  BLIC has four webcams located at the landfill and generates huge amounts of revenue from sparrows.

Bena Landfill, Kern County, California 2013

Wrong Meaning

It was a glorious day for bees.  Intelligence revealed a train full of flowers and the bees were determined to take advantage of it.  It wasn't too hard to stop the train.  The engineer had a window open and the bees swarmed.  The engineer stopped the train quickly and ran.  The bees got busy looking for the flowers.  Turns out, the train was carrying flour, not flowers.  That was the last time bees relied on oral communication versus written!  The lead bee intelligence officer was fired.

Bena Road, Kern County, California 2013

Tales Passed Down

Rafferty didn't understand what the big deal was.  The path was solid, mostly straight and pretty smooth.  The elders told all the kids not to take the path.  Those who did never returned.  Rafferty felt a little vibration and then blackness as the train passed.  Another snail tale.

Bena Road, Kern County, California 2013

Got Mule?

Felix was torn between attending the Lion King or rocking out to Gov't Mule.  Mule was doing half the show with Robby Krieger and Doors music.  Felix had a tough decision to make.  No, he didn't.

Los Angeles, California 2013

Worth It?

Allen doesn't own a motorized vehicle.  Well, other than his quad copter.  Allen rides his bicycle everywhere.  What Allen has found is that pedaling is almost more dangerous than driving a petrol-burning contraption.  No one pays attention.  It's way worse than riding a motorcycle.  He's been run off the road numerous times, rear-ended six times, had his bike stolen four times (twice by clowns), had his bike frame spot welded to a bicycle parking stand two times and he can never remember where he parked his bike.  Allen spends a lot of time walking around town looking for his bike.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Small Fry

It was quite awkward.  A fish out of water ambulating among the crowd.  Unexpectedly, the fish opened his mouth and ate a bystander.  How do you explain that?  What do you say to the survivors.  Let's have a fish fry?

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California 2013

One Toke Over The Line

The Devil was looking forward to a nice, relaxing afternoon.  No decisions, no recruitment, just kick back and enjoy.  The only thing he'd have to worry about is finding something to quench his munchies.

Hollywood, California 2013

Improbable Solutions

Rose was extremely thankful she had her camera.  She would be able to show her friends what she had seen today.   Her verbal communications skills were limited to moans and grunts since Rose's mouth had been permanently sewed shut by her mother, Bella, because of Rose's tourette syndrome.  It was a rather extreme solution, but, Bella had already endured a lifetime of rapid blinking, shoulder-shrugging, throat-clearing and swearing while growing up with her now politically active fifth cousin, Donald.  Rose still swore, but, the episodes were not nearly as embarrassing as during her childhood since most people couldn't understand what she was saying.  Rose learned to sign, but, she kept flipping off people during her conversations, so, she settled on photography to communicate.

If I have to explain that the above story is hog wash, have another cup of coffee!

Hollywood, California 2013

The Time Is?

Clint had an easy job.  All he had to do was keep three clocks synchronized.  Unfortunately, the clocks were pretty prominent, so, he was always hearing about it when the time didn't jive on all three clocks.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Privacy

The last thing Arthur wanted anyone to know is that he prefers to treat his hemorrhoids with apple cider vinegar.  Just a little dab on the affected area three or four times a day brings him relief.  Unfortunately, Arthur's online searches for information on  hemorrhoids and apple cider resulted in targeted ads which allowed all of Camelot to put two and two together.  Now, even Lancelot rubs his butt every time Arthur walks by.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Miscalculations

Rexland Spring got his adrenaline rushes by building hopping.  He leaped from one building to another.  From this angle, Rexland figured a leap from the parking structure on the right to the hotel would be a piece of cake.  He had leaped two lane roads a lot.  Unfortunately, Rexland didn't count on a four lane road and the fact that the hotel was quite a bit taller than the parking structure.  Rexland's remains on the sidewalk below the hotel kind of look like a mural, but, messier.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Misconception

Well, Breeze was really surprised when he realized he had signed up for three years as chief bottle washer at a Zen temple instead of getting a free carwash.  At that moment, Breeze decided maybe his investment in the language course, Rosetta Stoned, was a waste of money!

Sand Canyon, Kern County, California 2013

Community Outreach

Akron Stiffner lives here in a small one room apartment.  The apartment is conveniently located in central downtown which makes it easy for Akron to get around.  He invites street people to spend the night.  It gives the unfortunate a break in their otherwise miserable existence.  Akron likes tickling their feet, but, really enjoys cocking their heads to one side and then watching the head return to the original position because rigor has set in.  Those who spend the night at Akron's never return to the street again.

The above story is hog wash.  Akron's street people do return to the street again.  In pieces deposited in multiple dumpsters.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Essy's Honor

It was on this spot in 1892 that Cletus and Philbot dueled for the hand of Esmerelda.  The choice of weapons was chalk.  They had a draw off.  Esmerelda stood there totally flabbergasted.  She came to the sudden realization that neither of these fools would defend her honor in a manly manner against public accusations of lewd needlepoint creations.  Esmerelda opted to marry Rick "Bad Boy" Darktower!

Bakersfield, California 2013

Ale Inated

Goma wasn't very happy with the local brewmaster.  They gave him a choice of mango, grapefruit, orange, malted wheat, malted barley and roasted barley.  Goma preferred the fruit and a touch of malted wheat.  The brewmaster added a dash of malted wheat which Goma definitely did not like.  To top it off, the brewmaster called it Great Ape Ale instead of Goma Ale and Goma really didn't like that.

Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara, California 2015

Innocent

Unison Bovine exclamation:  "What?  You are accusing us of eating wildflowers?  We would never, ever, eat wildflowers!"

Breckenridge Road, Kern County, California 2016

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