No Privacy

Woody the cat: "The door was open, so, I figured you wanted some company!  What's that smell?  Did the dogs leave you presents?  You really need to get those dogs under control!"

Bakersfield, California 2014

Blow The House Down

Josep stuck out like a sore thumb.  There was no place for him to hide which was very unfortunate because Josep was allergic to bees.  Not bee stings, just bees in general.  If a bee flew within ten feet of Josep, he would suffer pain and swelling.  So, most of the time, Josep was in pain and swollen.  Josep learned to exhale huge amounts of carbon dioxide to blow away bees that attempted to land on his face.  Other plants called him Josep "The Lung" and he would occasionally give seminars to wolves on how to control their huffing and puffing.

(phone shot)

Bakersfield, California 2015

In Plain Sight

Smugglin' Isaac Goldgrubber is a pirate.  He's sneaky.  He does his pirate stuff at night.  So, during the day, he needs a place to stay.  He found that if he just hangs out in the open, no one even pays any attention to him.  Of course, being a pirate, he really wants to rob and plunder.  He has to have a lot of self control during the daytime.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Amusement Park, Santa Cruz, California 2012

A Different World

Johann Achromatopsia is color blind.  Always has been.  This is what he sees at sunset.  Of course, I'm just guessing because Johann wouldn't know a color if it hit him in the eye!

Santa Cruz, California 2012


Leon loved this tree.  While he was growing up, he would climb it every day to scout the area.  He was always trying to find someone who looked like him.  Eventually, Leon became too heavy to climb.  The branches started breaking off and he fell out of the tree a few times.  He was pretty sure he was different from the rest of his family.  For one thing, he never learned to howl.  He was way too slow and noisy to hunt.  One day Leon found an old discarded set of Encyclopedia Britannica and realized he was an elephant and had been raised by wolves.

Bishop Creek, Owens Valley, California 2012

Along The Path

Anne Bonny was born somewhere around 1700.  She was a fighter which helped a lot when she ran off with Jack Rackham, who was the captain of the pirate ship Revenge.  As usually happens to pirates, Rackham was captured and executed.  Anne, however, disappeared.

Turns out, she gave up the high seas and settled in the Owens Valley where she learned she had a knack for growing aspen trees and lived out her life aside Silver Lake.

(Some of the above may be true.  Probably not the aspen tree part.)

Silver Lake, Owens Valley, California 2012

High Plains Drifter (1973)

Clint Eastwood said, among other notable things, "If I'm drifting, I'm going to drift my way!"  So, he hopped into his pickup truck and drove alone through Oregon, Nevada and California looking for a film location. 300 miles from Hollywood, Eastwood had an entire town built on the shores of Mono Lake for the High Plains Drifter project. Lago was slapped together comprising fourteen houses and one two-story hotel. Complete buildings, rather than facades, were built, so that Eastwood could shoot interior scenes on the site. Additional scenes were filmed at Reno, Nevada's Winnemucca Lake and California's Inyo National Forest. Eastwood filmed High Plains Drifter in sequence. Filming was completed in only six weeks, two days ahead of schedule, and under budget.

Mono Lake, California 2012

A Wisp Of Myself

Every day, Ellen looked wistfully at this scene.  Once a year she really had an urge to scale the waterfall.  It was during that time of year that she felt the most self conscious about looking different than all the other birds in her tree.  Finally, Ellen asked Boris the eagle why she felt the way she did.  Boris laughed and explained that Ellen was a salmon and it was natural for her to feel the way she did.  Ellen didn't think to ask why she was in a tree with birds.

Bridleveil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2012

Creek To Dry

Do you have any idea how many sand bags it takes to plug a creek?  Me either.  This creek was dry without manmade intervention.

Bridalveil Creek, Yosemite National Park, California 2012

Often Overlooked

There are so many magnificent features in Yosemite National Park that sometimes folks kind of forget about the LeConte Memorial Lodge which was built by the Sierra Club in 1903-04. The unique structure honors eminent University of California geologist Joseph LeConte, an early Director of the Sierra Club who died in the Valley in 1901.

LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite National Park 2012

Pull Your Weight

This is one of the last things Ed saw before blacking out.  His mom always told him not to ride his skateboard in the street.  Ed never listened.  He felt he had as much right to the road as anyone else.  When he clipped the pickup, his foot caught in the rear bumper and he lost his skateboard.  He was developing a severe case of road rash on his back.

Los Angeles, California 2012


Zach lived off berries during the Winter.  He had enough foresight to know he wasn't going to get out of the mountains any time soon because of two broken legs.  No one was looking for him.  It wasn't unusual for him to hike for several months at a time and eat off what he found growing wild.  This Winter had been mild and there were a lot of animals out that normally wouldn't be mobile until Spring.  That's how Zach wound up getting eaten by bears.  The bears didn't want to share the berries.

Alder Creek Grove, Tulare County, California 2012

Sand Toy (B/W)

So, Bill said, "hey, I have a new sand toy I want to try out.  Meet me at the beach."

Amtrak Surfliner drive-by.

Between Dana Point and San Diego, California 2012

The Wait

There is nothing wrong with using public transportation, trains and buses, if you don't mind a little extra time between destinations, a lot of walking and lugging your bags or camera equipment.  Sometimes, it gets a little damp if it's raining or a little hot if the Sun is out.  Wear layers of clothing, a hat and lots of heavy water.  Or, just drive your own vehicle.  Up to you.

San Diego, California 2012

Exposition Remains

One of the few remaining buildings from the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.  Evidently, the Casa del Prado was the 1915 Varied Industries and Food Products Building and, later, the 1935 Food an Beverage Building.  There was a period when the building was also called the County Fair Building.  The building design was done by Architect Carleton M. Winslow and sculptural details executed by H. R. Schmohl.

Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California 2012

Little Italy

Hortance and his buddies spent one heck of an evening in Little Italy hitting a lot of the watering holes.  On the way back to the hotel, Hortance took a last look at the overhead sign and thought to himself he didn't remember it being so foggy.  It was at that exact moment, the last Between the Sheets cocktail kicked in and Hortance dropped like a rock to the pavement.  Well, everyone knows friends always carry permanent ink markers for just such occasions!  Another fun-filled evening for the boys.

San Diego, California 2012

European Sighting

When Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo shot into this harbor in 1542, his first words were, "WTF?  That damn Sebastian gave me a bum tip again!"  Needless to say, he turned his ship around and left thinking this place has already been settled!  Once the ship disappeared on the horizon, the Kumeyaay Native American inhabitants pulled down the city facade and continued their normal lives for another 200 years before they were bothered again.  However, this time, everyone forgot where they stored the city facade and the Spanish succeeded in establishing a military post in 1769.

San Diego, California 2012

A Clear Day

I blasted this view from Griffith Observatory with textures, so, don't be alarmed.  The air quality is generally not this bad.  It can be worse!  However, if you are interested in persistently poor air quality, just drive 100 miles north to Bakersfield where the northern part of the state deposits all their excess pollutants because of wind direction and the mountain bottleneck at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley.  Of course, vehicular traffic, cannabis particulates and the Delta smelt also contribute to the poor air quality.  Delta smelt excrements are so potent, they have sucked the sense out of a lot of people and the water right out of the Central Valley.  Just kidding about the cannabis!  Now, where did I put that fatty?  Speaking of sucking, do you think San Francisco will ever replace Alcatraz with a desalination plant so we can drain Hetch Hetchy?

By the way, @ellogreen, don't get your knickers in a wad because I didn't mention the oil or agricultural industries as pollutant contributors.  They are, but, nothing compared to the vehicular traffic that transports all the green products to the north and south of the state.  Besides, those industries provide income so we can purchase all the green stuff.

Disclaimer: the above did not start out as a rant, but, the old geezer came out; "Get off my lawn!".  What lawn?  We don't have any water!  WTF?  So much for the green.  There are no facts to support any of the statements.  I just made it up.

Los Angeles, California 2012


The first time Bill saw this device in 1935, he thought it was the strangest looking roulette wheel he had ever seen and he'd seen a bunch of them.  The numbers were all wrong and all the same color.  There was this great big thing on a string swinging back and forth knocking little pins down.  The wheel was stationary.  It didn't turn a bit.  And, to top it all off, nobody was placing bets!

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California 2012

The Grove

As the name implies, a grove of oranges used to occupy this piece of land in Los Angeles, California years ago.  The property owner, A.F. Gilmore, figured he could make more money leasing shops than selling oranges, so, he partnered with CBS Television City and they never looked back.  Well, they looked back once when a grove of almond trees from Kern County showed up to protest the demise of their brothers, but, that demonstration was quickly cracked by local candy confectioners.

Los Angeles, California 2012

The Collector

Lionel the leaf had a special talent.  He collected moisture.  All the snails knew this, but, it took a long time to climb the tree to reach Lionel.  So, one of the wisest snails said, "Someday, Lionel will fall and when he does, maybe his talent will continue for awhile.  I witnessed this with another leaf, I think his name was Richie."  As it turned out, the wise snail was correct.  Lionel fell and continued to attract moisture just like Richie said.  The snails were happy and chanted Lionel, Richie all night long.

Bakersfield, California 2013


Unlike the hours Lee Petersen and others have to keep to get shots of the Aurora Borealis, here in Kern County, California, we can capture our local lights during daylight.  The infamous Central San Joaquin Valley Lights, or Smogaurora Borealis, is a daily phenomena caused by high levels of smog interacting with sunlight.  The lights are limited a little bit in the Winter months, but, since we don't really have Winter, the lights can be seen almost year round.

(No truth to anything above except that Lee doesn't get much sleep shooting the Aurora Borealis.)

Bena Road, Kern County, California 2013

17th & K Streets

I know everyone was wondering what it looked like to view 17th & K Streets in Bakersfield, California.  This photo is HDR with some texture tossed in.  I set up a trampoline, bounced three times and got three bracketed shots.  I was going for five bracketed shots, but, I lost my grip on the camera and it landed on the top floor of a public parking structure.

The larger building on the left is the Haberfelde Building and the shorter building on the right houses Uricchio's Trattoria which serves some really fine Italian food and lots of wine.  On the backside of the Haberfelde Building is TL Maxwell's Restaurant & Bar which is another really fine place to chow down.

See that palm tree?  That's one of 50 million in Bakersfield.  They are all over the place and if you don't have one, just wait a year and one will start growing in your yard or a crack in the sidewalk.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Hanging On

This fella has seen some rough times.  I don't remember exactly where it was, but, it had to be around Dome Rock or Ponderosa in Tulare County.  The photos following this one are on top of Dome Rock.  I do remember it was a day my brother-in-law, Paul, and I jumped in his truck and meandered around between Camp Nelson and Walk Of A Hundred Giants.  I remember that because we missed the turn for Dome Rock and didn't realize it until we hit Hundred Giants.

Tulare County, California 2013


Lester was having a bit of an eyesight problem.  The last time he backed an engine into the parking bay, he took out a structural column.  That wasn't good.  The next thing you know, there were orange cones scattered around the bay doors designating the openings.

As an added precaution, old Lester doesn't drive engines any more.  Unfortunately, with the emphasis on the orange cones, everyone forgot to open the bay doors.  After replacing three bay doors, the fire department is considering going back to horses and wagons.

This commentary is totally untrue.  Lester is still driving engines.

Bakersfield, California 2013

Jammin' On Haight

Shari and I made our first trip to San Francisco specifically to photograph in 2013.  The trip was also during the "let's use public transportation" phase of our travels.  This was the trip that made us decide using public transportation wasn't the best scenario.  It turned out to be much more convenient and time saving to have a vehicle we were in control of.  But, at least we tried; twice in San Diego and once in San Francisco.

San Francisco, California 2013

Liquid Experience

The first thing Zgorbx wanted to do was visit the Liquid Experience store.  After all, he had always heard about liquid and had never experienced it, being from Mars and all.  Well, that was a mistake!  After sampling 357 of the 450 different liquids, he completely forgot he needed to catch a shuttle back to his ship at 1300 hours.  Looks like Zgorbx will have plenty of time to enhance his liquid experience since the next ship isn't due in Earth's orbit for another 25 years.

San Francisco, California 2013

Arthur J. Sullivan

I don't know about you, but, if I'm patronizing a business next to a funeral home, I'd rather sleep in a motel than eat at a cafe.

Photo rendered with Topaz Impression.

San Francisco, California 2013


It took a while to figure out that this rock was being used as a waiting area for Cliff House reservations.  Every once in a while we could feel a vibration and see a little red light blinking.  One or two pelicans would swoop off the rock and head for the Cliff House.  Most of the time, the pager would drop in the water.  The Cliff House must have a lot of pagers.

San Francisco, California 2013


Indian tribes used tules to make canoes, so, when Sitting Low launched his boat he was really surprised to see this big old wooden thing floating in the bay.  Upon closer inspection, he realized that not only was this big old wooden thing a lot sturdier than his canoe, but, that he had obviously been
in a coma for the last 150 years.  No wonder he didn't recognize anyone.  Suddenly, it became quite clear to him that he possessed first-hand knowledge of historical events that no one else alive knew.  He sold the story rights to the highest bidder, changed his name to Riding High and bought a big old wooden thing.

San Francisco, California 2013


It's not quite like the mountain, but, I imagine it would be fun scaling.  I don't know, maybe there are too many windows too close together to make it a challenge.  The exterior looks pretty smooth, so, that might make for an additional degree of difficulty.  Then again, maybe not.  I just know that I'm not trying it.

San Francisco, California 2013


She said, "You look familiar."  Totally blindsided, I said, "I'm world famous.  I can't take a leak without being recognized!"  Shari said, "We're Brooklyn's parents.  We saw you several times at a mutual friend's house for prom photos."  I said, "I prefer to think it's because I'm world famous!"  I don't know why everyone broke out into a uniform cackling of laughter!

San Francisco, California 2013


People who hike do a little training before hand if it is an activity that isn't done on a frequent basis.  If you are thinking of visiting San Francisco, a bit of training is in order.  Not to climb fire escapes, but, to maneuver the hilly streets!  You can't drive everywhere and if you attempt to drive everywhere, you'll miss the essence of the city!

San Francisco, California 2013


Many years ago, the tugs around the bay would occasionally pick up half fares.  To qualify for a half fare, the patron had to swim from Alcatraz and be picked up in the bay.  As far as the public is concerned, there were never any half fares, but, I would sure like to see the tug books!

San Francisco Bay, California  2013


He's a little young to be a big box store greeter, but, everyone has to start somewhere.

Salem, Massachusetts 2014

Should Have Done It Sooner

Madge, Madeline and Cleo take a walk together every evening.  They gossip about this and that and always argue about who makes the best clam chowder.  Cleo is the most vocal about her clam chowder.  Well, tonight, both Madge and Madeline had enough of Cleo's bravado and baited their lobster traps with Cleo.  It was a lot of work, but, in the long run, their evening walks will be much more pleasant.

Rockport, Massachusetts 2014


It wasn't until it started to rain that Hazel realized Samuel forgot to put a roof on the mother-in-law apartment.  Hazel really didn't care.  It wasn't her mother who would be living in it!

Fort McClary, Kittery Point, Maine 2014

The Stand

So, there are some rumors that Warner Bros. is talking to Stephen King about turning The Stand into a four-part epic.  Last month, we made one stop in Bangor, Maine.  Guess where?

Photo rendered with Topaz Impression.

Bangor, Maine 2014

Boston Mystery

On January 15, 1919, a huge storage tank full of hot molasses exploded in the North End.  Fifteen foot waves of the sticky sweetener flowed through the streets at 35 miles per hour.  Twenty-one people died, 150 were injured, houses flattened and the area was flooded with three feet of standing molasses.  The true cause of the rupture was never solved.

When Shari and I visited Boston, there was no evidence of molasses.  It was kind of sticky getting out of town during rush hours though.

Boston, Massachusetts 2014

Feeling Protected

This is kind of an odd country community at different times of the year which is good for the rocks and the tree.  The rocks and the tree get tired of talking to each other; telling the same old stories and of course, the rocks have more boring stories to tell than the tree.  In fact, the tree gets really annoyed when a story starts with "I remember when you were just an acorn...".  Generally, once a year some new ears show up like these fiddleneck and the rocks and tree are refreshed with the expectation of telling stories anew!

Rancheria Road, Kern County, California 2013

Slowly Vanishing

The hills and mountains around Kern County, California still have nice stands of oaks although, I'm sure, they are not as plentiful as they once were.  Trees with names like maul oak, canyon live oak, blue oak, Oregon oak, shin oak, Tucker's oak, California black oak and scrub oak to name a few.  I didn't know Oregon oak was a native tree.  That seems a little odd to me.  I have no idea what type of oak is in this photo.  I do know the lump of stuff to the left of the nearest tree is a rock.

Rancheria Road, Kern County, California 2013

The Ravine

It is a little known fact that Tiburcio Vasquez used to smoke cigars and drink tequila in this ravine in the 1870s while planning his first highway robbery.  He was a really poor judge of direction and roamed the foothills around Kern County after leaving Los Angeles.  He meant to find his way to the Mojave Desert and eventually he did.  He used the rock pictured here to finish off the tequila and then headed for his intended destination, a massive 4,000 foot rock in the desert that became known as Robbers Roost.

Alright, maybe that's not true, but, it makes a good story!

Rancheria Road, Kern County, California 2013

Gliding (B/W)

I admire surfers.  When I take my glasses off, the world isn't rosy, it's extremely out of focus.  I tried surfing in 1969.  No glasses and a humongous plank for a board.  I couldn't see the waves coming and I got tired of getting whacked in the head with a tree.  I stuck to body surfing.

Ocean Beach, California 2013

Lucky (B/W)

This is part of Wall Street.  There is always something interesting happening in the evenings.  While having a bite to eat at Muertos Kitchen & Lounge, I observed a guy walk out of Lucky Club Tattoo carrying half a bottle of Jack Daniels then place it in the saddlebag on his motorcycle.  I'm guessing it's part of his tattoo process or maybe the artist needed it for a template.

Wall Street, Bakersfield, California 2014


Mortimer really enjoyed his naps.  Sometimes, he would take really long ones.  The last nap he took was a 10,000 year nap.  He was really hungry when he woke up!

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico 2014


The instructions seemed easy enough.  "Follow the yellow brick road."  Dorothy was starting to have second thoughts.

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2014

William Henry McCarty

In 1872, Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Bishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese, commissioned the building of a convent chapel to be named Our Lady of Light Chapel.  The chapel was designed by French architect, Antoine Mouly.  Mouly was kind of lazy, so he modeled the chapel after the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.  Mouly died suddenly and everyone realized that no stairway had been designed to get to the choir loft.  About that time, William H. Bonney was in town and needed work.  He was tired of killing people and the staircase offered a nice diversion for him.  Well, it wasn't long before Pat Garrett found out there was some kid working on a staircase in the chapel and he went to see for himself.  Turned out, the staircase was really awesome and Garrett and the Kid spent a lot of time drinking whiskey in the choir loft.  The Kid really liked Garrett and as the whiskey flowed one night he mentioned that his real name was William Henry McCarty.  It dawned on Garrett that McCarty, Bonney and Billy the Kid were all the same person.  Garrett now knew that the kid was a person of interest.  You know the rest of the story!

(Everything below the first two sentences is fictitious)

Santa Fe, New Mexico 2014


So, a while back, like around 1911, there were a bunch of folks from Denmark that were looking for a place that was a little more temperate during the winter.  They had enough of the cold after centuries of the stuff in Denmark and the midwest of the United States.  One of the Danes knew of the Rancho San Carlos de Jonata Mexican land grant and thought the area would be ideal.  The Chumash Indians were not thrilled with further encroachment by the white devils, but, after some consideration and the promise that they could put a stork on every building, they relented.

Solvang, California 2014

Pogo (B/W)

This is an early model of the pogo stick.  You remember those?  Evidently, Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall modified one of their early designs to include a firefly repository which would allow night pogoing.  This was quite an improvement over George H. Herrington's spring stilt and, evidently, is becoming an extreme sport called Xpogo.

(the above is a fabrication excluding the inventors)

Bakersfield, California 2014

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

It was a casual meeting in the hallway.  Granted it was a hallway in the basement of the Superior Court building.  After all, it was during lunch break.  Just two acquaintances shooting the breeze as they liked to call it.

Bakersfield, California 2015

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