Saturday, July 07, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #173: Share A Joke

"Nothing is better than the unintended humor of reality."

-Steve Allen

Weekend Assignment #173: Share a joke. Make it funny. Also, since I'll want to link back to them, and I am, after all, but a cog in the great AOL machine, keep it reasonably clean and free of ethnic/sexual put-downs. You know.

Put the joke up on your blog or journal and then come back and leave a link in the comment thread (if you don't have a journal/blog, you can leave the joke in the comment thread. But remember, if you have a journal/blog, the point is to let the massive attendance of this blog push people to your online home, with fame and fortune to follow!)

Extra Credit: So, ever been to Kansas City? Because that's where I'm going.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Every once in a while John Scalzi chooses this subject for one of his Weekend Assignments. I rather like this subject, and posting jokes, because humor is... well... fun. Life gets way too serious at times, so thank you Blogfather, for the fun assignment for this week! I thought and thought about what kind of joke I wanted to tell, and what might be an unusual and creative way to present it, and then it hit me like a bolt of lightning... how about posting a joke by way of a YouTube video? So, I grabbed my cat Elvis, and recruited him as my audience, and then I was all set.

The problem was, Elvis wasn't in the best of moods. He had to pay a visit to Dr. "B" and have some more blood drawn to see where his blood sugar levels are. We are still working on getting him back to his old self. I will have a full update on him, later this weekend. He is a little less animated then usual, and he and I have a lot of work to go with our video making, but for it being our very first try I think we did ok. :) The video runs for 30 seconds, which isn't very long, so if you just have a little patience while it loads, you will get to meet my cat Elvis. :)

Here is an additional joke to make you laugh. Enjoy!

Einstein Dies And Goes To Heaven

Einstein dies and goes to Heaven. At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter tells him,

"You look like Einstein, but you have NO idea the lengths that some people will go to to sneak into Heaven. Can you prove who you really are?"

Einstein ponders for a few seconds and asks, "Could I have a blackboard and some chalk?"

Saint Peter snaps his fingers and a blackboard and chalk instantly appear. Einstein proceeds to describe with arcane mathematics and symbols his theory of relativity.

Saint Peter is suitably impressed. "You really ARE Einstein!" he says. "Welcome to Heaven."

The next to arrive is Picasso. Once again, Saint Peter asks for credentials. Picasso asks, "Mind if I use that blackboard and chalk?"

Saint Peter says, "Go ahead." Picasso erases Einstein's equations and sketches a truly stunning mural with just a few strokes of chalk.

Saint Peter claps. "Surely you are the great artist you claim to be!" he says. "Come on in!" The Saint Peter looks up and sees George W. Bush. Saint Peter scratches his head and says, Einstein and Picasso both managed to prove their identity. How can you prove yours?"

George W. Bush looks bewildered and says, "Who are Einstein and Picasso?"

Saint Peter sighs, and says, "Come on in, George."

Extra Credit: Nope, never been to Kansas City. Nope. Never. Not even once. Don't think I have ever flown over it in an airplane. Nope. :) Maybe someday I will. I would like to take a long road trip sometime. :)

YouTube Video
Elvis And The Bush Administration Light Bulb Joke

Friday, July 06, 2007

Let's Go Down To The Kwik-E-Mart

"Owww look at me Marge, I'm making people happy! I'm the magical man, from Happy Land, who lives in a gumdrop house on Lolly Pop Lane! By the way, I am being sarcastic."

-Homer Simpson

How cool is this? As a promotion for the new 20th Century Fox film, The Simpsons Movie, eleven 7-11 stores in the U.S. and one in Canada, have been temporarily made over as Quik-E-Marts, just like the one Bart Simpson gets his nachos, Krusty O's and Buzz Cola at. Here in the Bay Area, Mountain View to be exact, was a 7-11 lucky enough to be chosen as one of those special 11 stores. :) A few days ago, Alan and I took the long ride down the peninsula, to see what the hubbub was all about. It was a very cool experience, if not a little on the surreal side. As we pulled up there were about 20 or so people, with cameras of all kinds, taking a ton of photos of the outside of the building, which had been completely transformed. Smiles all around.

I had a great time taking photos of the novelty displays, but watching the crowd was just as enjoyable. One thing happened that was unexpected, while I was waiting in line to pay for my Slushie... I mean Slurpee... I mean Slushie, a very nice looking man, who bore an extreme resemblance to David Duchovny, tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Excuse me, do you know why everyone is taking pictures of the sandwich and cola displays?" My first instinct, before I looked up was to say, "Hey buddy... where you been?" But when I looked at him, and saw the face of the almost exact Davide look-a-like I kind of froze. Eventually I got the words out to explain it was a movie promotion, but it was all very surreal... and lots of fun! The YouTube clip above, is a movie trailer for The Simpson's Movie, which comes out on July 27th. I am kind of looking forward to it. How about you, do you plan to go see it?

By the way, Karen, over at Outpost Mavarin had her own encounter with The Simpsons this past week. Go see her entry here.

"The Simpsons At The Kwik-E-Mart"
Pear Avenue
Mountain View, California
July 3, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Moments From Last Night

"Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment... this very moment... to stay."

-Sam Abell

I needed a break this year from my usual holiday routine of finding the perfect vantage point along the bay, setting up the tripod, and working toward the perfect shot of the 4th of July fireworks that San Francisco displays each year. One downside to photography, is that I usually miss the show, while focusing and working hard to achieve something special with the camera. My shoulder is still giving me a great deal of trouble, so I decided this year to be a spectator, instead of photographer. :) When I set out to get that "perfect shot" I take things very seriously, which means it doesn't leave a lot of time to "oooh" and "Ahhh" at the wonderful shapes and colors of the fireworks.

When I am being serious with the camera, I work really hard. I set things up, and I use what I have learned in meditation to completely drown out all distractions. I can get a little too serious at times. With my shoulder in pain, it was time for a break. So this year, while I was not in photographer mode, I still had the urge to try my best at finding that one special moment, so I would be able to keep it forever. I guess photography is in my soul at this point, pain or no pain :) Anyway, here are a couple moments from last evening, as we drove along the Embarcadero, listening to Norah Jones on the car stereo, watching the fireworks as they rose above the city lights. Oooh, Ahhhh! :)

San Francisco, California
July 4th, 2007
9:30 PM

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day 2007

"Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong."

-James Bryce

I wish you a safe, happy and relaxing Independence Day! :)

Declaration Of Independence

U.S. Constitution

Flag Etiquette

San Francisco, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Life In The Bay Area

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."

-Kahil Gibran

Sometimes, the nicest part about life in the Bay Area, is the rich availability of natural beauty. I am minutes from the beach, and the mountains, and both provide all the things which soothe my soul, and inspire my creativity. Soft sand beneath my toes, and a cool ocean breeze, or the soft petals of an amazing summer rose, grown right in my own yard. I am at home. I love it here. :)

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and the music in it's roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more.

-Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Pacifica, California
June 27, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007


"I respect the verdict. But I have concluded the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive, therefore I am commuting the portion that required Mr. Libby to spend thirty months in prison."

-George W. Bush, July 2, 2007

In the above YouTube clip, Katie Couric, of CBS News, says that "even people in power with friends in high places, are not above the law." Kaite, I was watching you that night... and I was hoping you were right. As it turns out, George Bush, running true to his selfish form, commuted the sentence of I. Scooter Libby today, because he felt that 30 months in prison for lying to a Grand Jury, obstructing justice and committing what amounts to an act of treason, by leaking to the press the name an active CIA agent, was "excessive." Is this what justice in America has come to? Where is the justice for Valerie Wilson? The timing for this is remarkable, it's only 2 days before Independence Day. How sad for America. George Bush needs to be IMPEACHED! Dick Cheney, needs to be IMPEACHED! NOW!


Libby Sentenced To 30 Months

Libby Sentence Commuted

7/2/07 3:38 PM

An Early Summer's Day Life Fantasy...

"Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking... a small glimpse of what they hold inside. Little secrets, regrets, joys... every line has it's own meaning."

-Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

I have decided to experiment with displaying my photos with frames. I used to use frames from time to time, but I came to think of the frame as a distraction. Lately though, mostly with my florals, my photographs seem a little too stark, so I took a look inside my photo editing program for frames that would enhance my photos, without drawing the eyes away from the subject. I like this frame, because I think it looks a lot like a window frame. It kind of provokes a daydream in me.

A Season Ago...

As I let my imagination go, I can see myself looking at these flowers blooming outside my bedroom window. I breathe in deeply, and as I exhale, I allow my mind to drift to wherever, and whoever it wants. I can almost hear the sound of wind chimes in the far off distance, or is it a clock tower in a far off village square, playing a summer song, as it's hands strike the hour? Is he thinking of me too? Do days like this remind him of me? Or am I now less than a memory? I smile as I close my eyes and wonder...

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

-Edgar Allen Poe

"A Season Ago"
Berkeley, California
June 29th, 2007
11:00 AM

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Strawberry Full Moon

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night."

-J.M. Barrie

I love photographing the moon! I haven't taken many photographs of it this year however, so I decided a little earlier this this evening, to step out into my garden and see what the moon and the stars were up to. June's full moon is nicknamed the "Strawberry Moon." The larger photo above, is as it appeared over my garden gate a little while ago, with a nice bit of fog adding some color to the photo, as it was making it's way across the sky. Isn't the color magnificent? I couldn't get the details of the moon as clear as I wanted, without losing some of the details of the trees and the edge of the gate, so I switched to B/W mode, and set it to F 3.5 with x 4.0 on the zoom.

Yesterday, I read an interesting article about an optical illusion that occurs with the moon this weekend. I would like to try for that shot, and my best chance might be tomorrow evening. The conditions are supposed to be very clear. I am also going to try to capture the alignment of Venus and Saturn. It's weatherman says it will be extremely warm and clear here in the Bay Area by mid-week next week, so it should be perfect conditions for doing some evening photography. :) Stay tuned!

*Be sure to click on the top photo, to see it in a larger version. You will be able to see some stars in the photo, in the upper right corner.

Full Moon Names (Farmer's Almanac)

Full Moon Offers Mind An Illusion

"June's Strawberry Moon"
Berkeley, California
June 30th, 2007
1o:04 PM