Friday, September 14, 2012

Wake Up Mr. President!!!

Someone needs to roust the president from whatever fundraiser event he is at tonight and let him know that there is a crisis underway. Tonight as I write this piece the black flag of Islam is flying over the United States Embassy in Tunisia after the compound was overrun and trashed by Muslim extremist in that Middle Eastern nation. Police pushed the intruders back and were left to do the best they could to protect the embassy against an extremely large group violent protesters. Tunisia isn't the only country where anti American violence is going on. American Embassies in twenty different countries are under siege tonight with no sign of let up in sight. Our president's lack of real leadership in this crisis is telling. There has been very little other than apologies and campaign appearances from Barrack Obama. If that isn't enough, the Marine Corp Fast response team sent to Cairo to protect The American Embassy ran into their own set of problems. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch.

 As of tonight our ambassador to Libya and three others have been murdered in that countries. Multiple other deaths have been reported in other countries consumed by these latest attacks against America. Today we learn that President Obama called the Libyan president to thank him for his support. Really??? Support??? We have a dead ambassador and three other Americans who were killed in that country and he is thanking their president??? This nation is at a turning point. Over the last three years, there have been a lot questions about this man we elected president. The questions continue to come at a rapid fire pace, especially this week. Unfortunately, based on his behavior and the behavior of his administration we are getting a glimpse of what the future holds for us if Barrack Obama is re-elected. He has made it clear what his priorities are and with every day that passes, it is becoming clear that America's best interest and his priorites are not one in the same.

 In the meantime, Americans are in harms way, our military has had its hands tied, and now the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued an alert to first responders in which they said the violence wwe've seen in the Middle East could spread to American soil. This whole thing is spinning out of control. Mr President, What are you going to do? Are you a real american or are you going to sell us out to the enemy? Sadly I think I know the answer. Fortunately we have an election coming and that's a problem we can correct.I know who I am voting for. Do you?

Til Next Time...............

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Month, New Look, and New Commitment

First off, if you're a new visitor to the SandBox, Thank you! If you are a returning visitor, you may be noticing a few changes and a bit of a different look. Well, as we start a new month off, there are many changes for many of us on the horizon. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give the SandBox a facelift and renew my comittment to writing on a more frequent basis. Politics, life, entertainment, pop culture, and the little oddities of daily life will still be the main focus. But as we experience these changes ahead of us and as we strive to understand those changes, you will be seeing more of my perspective on those changes and how they will affect the world around us. As many of you may know, one of my true passions is the ocean. There will be more time here devoted to that as well. So, as the SandBox is reborn, I hope you will continue the journey with us and visit as often as you can. Feel free to drop us a line too. We'd love to meet as many of you as possible, so don't be shy! Til Next Time.............

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The View From Waaaaay Up There!

If you are the sort of person who likes the window seat on airplanes and to watch the world go by as you fly, you're going to love this.  From the International Space Station, the sights are spectacular.  As you watch the video, we have one suggestion, turn your speakers up just a bit and watch it in full-screen mode at 720p(HD) mode. We promise, you won't be disappointed.

As Virgin Galactic gets closer to becoming a viable alternative......who knows, maybe we'll get to see these kind of sights for ourselves sometime in the not so distant future.

Til Next time............

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Well, Yeah.....We Got That!

In recent years, I have found myself having to answer that same tiresome question over and over again: "Why do you stay in California? What is so special about a place that has endured more than it's fair share of natural disasters and lunatic politicians that seem bent on turning The Golden State into the next socialist frontier? And why do you want to stay in a place that always seem to make headlines for all the wrong reasons?"  Yes, it's true that California has a unique set of problems that other parts of country, in some cases, don't have to deal with or at least not as regularly as those of us in California do.

Wildfires, earthquakes, drought, and floods?  Yep! We got that!

Celebrities who are arrogant enough to think that world really is sitting on the edge of it's collective seat just waiting for their next big cause or political rant?  Well, yeah.....of course we have that!

Illegal immigration, arguably the worst unemployment in the nation, and politicans who have taken the state from the seventh largest economy in the world right up to the edge of an abyss that would take decades to recover from?  Yes! Yes! Yes! We have all of that!  Truth be told, there's all that and probably a few other things that would certainly make any member of the state tourism board or local chamber of commerce cringe at the mere thought of.

But you know what.......

Those things pale in comparison to the enormity of the positives that can be found in every part of the Golden State.

Big Bear -- During the winter, Big Bear is one of the world's premiere ski resorts with something for every visitor! At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, many of the animals live cage free, for the most part, inside a large secure compound. Millions of people have visited in amazement and enjoyed the wonders of a park that is second to none in the world. Palomar Mountain in Southern California boasts the world famous Palomar Observatory where the night time views are spectacular and the self guided  daytime tours are free for everyone. Julian, California is one of  if not the world's coolest small town. Famous for their apple orchards and homemade pies. The hospitality here is amazing and unless your own mother has made it, you haven't had a real apple pie until you visit Julian

   California also boasts over 800 miles of accessible coastline with warm sandy beaches to the south, steep rocky shoreline to the north and  everything in between.  Near Monterey, within mere minutes of      each other are of the homes of world class golf at Pebble Beach, the storybook village of Carmel where Clint Eastwood was once mayor, and Cannery Row....the adopted home of literary genius John Steinbeck. The history, culture, and beauty of this part of California is beyond belief. Beyond that and a couple of  hours to the north, is the city of San Francisco and a whole new world of treasures to explore. Then there's Lake Tahoe, which is amazing not just for it's winter skiing, but it's summer lifestyle as well. If  you love the water but can't be near the ocean....Lake Tahoe is the perfect alternative. Let's not forget Yosemite National Park either.  The farther north you go, the more you realize California isn't just about beaches, freeways, and the touristy stuff.  Northern California is an outdoor sportsman's very own heaven.  Whether you're in the valley or the mountains of Northern California, you'll find hundreds of miles of waterways for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Across the Golden State, you'll also find some of America's most famous streets and roads too including the scenic north-south coastal drive on CA 1, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Cannery Row on the central coast and the world famous Route 66 through the deserts of Southern California.

   And as if all that weren't enough,  The state of California is also the home of both the highest and lowest elevation points in the lower 48 states.  Mt. Whitney, at 14,505 feet, is the highest point in the 48 contiguous United States, and Death Valley, at 282 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in the United States. And the crazy part? They lie only 85 miles apart and less than two hours from each other by car. 

    Finally the people.  While it's true that the state itself is governed by what many refer to sarcastically as a  group of gypsies, tramps, and thieves, the people of California, for the most part, are some of the most
normal, down to earth people you would ever want to meet. Yes we have the politicians, the Hollywood
elite, and all the 60's hippie type Berkley throwaways that love to "Occupy" everything that they can, but they by no means represent what California is as a whole or what it has to offer it's citizens and guests.  Yes, things could always be better. Just name me one place where that isn't true. Despite the negatives you and read about in the press, California (especially Southern California) is still a great place to work, play, and call home.

   At the end of the day.....When I tell people of my love for California, this is how I usually describe it:  There's not another place in the world where you can get up in the morning, eat breakfast, then go play comfortably at the beach. Come home for lunch and change clothes. Then head out for an afternoon in the snow and still make it home in time for dinner. All in the month of January. A pretty decent life you ask?

Well, Yeah! We Got That!!!

...............til next time

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bad Things Happening to Good People

Today was one of those days where you wish you could turn back the clock and find a way to prevent the days events from occurring.
As many of you have probably already heard, Dick Clark, America's oldest teenager passed away after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 82.  Most remembered for his role as the iconic host of the country's favorite music and dance program American Bandstand, Clark embodied everything that was cool about music throughout the second half of the 20th century. That said, Dick Clark was much more than the host of a long running tv show. During a career than spanned the 50's through 2012, he was also a game show host and the owner of a production company that was responsible for dozens upon dozens of television specials, including "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve, that entertained people around the world for many years.  Last, but not least, Clark was the inspiration for many of today superstars in the entertainment world and helped launch the careers of many more.
So tonight, as we pause to reflect on the passing of a true American treasure, lets travel back with a few memories of Dick Clark over the years.

American Bandstand "Rate a Record" (late 50's/early 60's)

American Bandstand "Abba Interview) (70's)

$25,000 Pyramid Bloopers (80's)

EmmyTvLegends.Org interview ecerpt on the origins of Rockin New Years Eve (1999)

Then there is Pat Head Summitt, head coach of the Lady Vols basketball team from the University of Tennessee. Today she announced her resignation/retirement as Lady Vols head coach due to ongoing health problems.  Last year she announced to the world that she had been diagnosed with the initial stages of dementia. Determined to fight the illness as long as she could, she remained as head coach despite the shocking revelation. During the 2011/2012 season she took the Lady Vols deep into the NCAA women's tournament before losing to Baylor in an Elite Eight match up. Throughout her career she led by example. With hard work, class, sportsmanship and a balanced sense of priorities, she led her teams to eight national championships, 18 final fours, and 31 consecutive tournament  appearances over her 33 year Tennessee career. She also is the winingest coach in NCAA basketball (including men's) history with a 1098-208 record. In her lifetime coaching career, she never had a losing season. The only NCAA record she didn't break was one held by UCLA's legendary John Wooden of  10 national championships. She has eight. But her proudest accomplishments has nothing to do with wins, losses or championship trophies. Summitt's top priority has always been the well being and education of her athletes. Summitt, through her career, always maintained high standards without compromise which resulted in one of the highest graduation rates in NCAA history.  As we watch Coach Summitt leave UT as an active coach, we wish her the best and offer our prayers as she embarks on the fight of her life....and some would the fight for her life.  God speed Pat! You will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

Pat Head Summitt the Heroine (2009) Natchez, MS Blog
Reaction to Pat Summitt stepping down as head coach -- WBIR TV Knoxville, Tennessee

NCAA Video Honoring Pat Head Summitt

Til Next Time.........................

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Monday!!!

Well, we're back at it after the weekend. However, as with most Mondays, our minds keep drifting back to places we've been, places we want to go, and places we are inextricably tied to and can never seem to get enough of. In my case, that could be the ocean.......John F. Kennedy once said, "We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch -- We are going back from whence we came."
On this particular topic, I believe he is 100% correct.  So make the most of your Monday and enjoy the view until you can get there for yourself!

Til Next Time............

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Food To Soothe The Soul

Photo credit: Jennifer Davick

For most of us, there are places you love and foods you just can't get enough of. For me, it's the beach/ocean and seafood. Lots of seafood. For many those places and foods at just the right time can almost be like a religious experience. For me, it's a frame of mind. It always has been. An out of the way beach side seafood shack at sunset with a bottle of wine and good company to share it with is about as close to heaven as one could get and not actually be there. In lieu of a beach side treat, I'll at least take the seafood whenever I can get it and as often as I can.
Today, i was browsing one of my favorite magazines online, Coastal Living, and came across some cool shrimp recipes I thought I would share with other seafood lovers. Some of them look pretty incredible. But then, how could they not. After all, we're talking about seafood.....right?
Click the logo below and check out the recipes. Maybe you'll find a new favorite and some food to soothe the soul!

Til Next Time..........

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bizzare Start To 2012 NASCAR Season

It was indeed a bizarre start to the 2012 season for the nation premiere oval track racing group. Over 30 hours in delays due to weather then the "Big One" on the track. This time the big one was not the typical multi-car crash we've become used to seeing. Instead, it was just one car driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and a support vehicle that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bizarre....not much more you can say than that. Watch the video and see for yourself!

Phoenix next week.....and hopefully a little less dramatic!

.....Til Next Time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Laugh of the Week: Boyle's Law and Hell


The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid-term, and an actual answer turned in by a student. The answer by this student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic(absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safelyassume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's lookat the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct... ....leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being; which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'


Until Next Time.................

Sunday, February 19, 2012

View of the Day!

The Dolphins and the birds have the right idea! The beaches near Del Mar and Encinitas where these pictures were taken are the absolute best! Now we head off into another work week! Happy Day Dreaming!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kevin Costner Speaks At Whitney Houston's Funeral

Today, one of America's true talents was laid to rest after a tumultuous,difficult, and premature conclusion to her life. The church in Newark,New Jersey was packed and the services were broadcast around the world. From Stevie Wonder and Jesse Jackson to friends and family members, many spoke, remembered, and celebrated the life and wonderful human being we've all come to know as Whitney. One of those invited to speak during today's services was her "Bodyguard" co-star Kevin Costner. His words came from the heart filled the church with grace, respect, and admiration and were delivered in a way that only that Kevin Costner could. During his remarks he recalls how the movie drastically changed for the better with her in it. Below, listen to excerpts from Costner's remarks from today's services.

NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

Costner #1

Costner #2

Costner #3

God Bless you Whitney....Rest in Peace

Til Next Time.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Fallen Star

Saturday, the music world lost another of it's icons. And much like Michael Jackson, the last high profile music superstar to pass on, many believe that drugs may have directly or indirectly played a role in her passing. As of Sunday night, the autopsy has been completed but put on hold pending results of toxicology test which could take up to eight weeks. In the meantime Jennifer Hudson will perform a beautiful and emotional tribute to Houston during Sunday night's Grammy Award telecast. In the days ahead, record sales will skyrocket as Sony Records plans how to move ahead previously planned efforts to market and re-release her entire catalog. That catalog includes 9 albums, compilations, and soundtrack recordings and is expected to be re-released ahead of the pre-planned release of the low budget film "Sparkle" that starred Houston.

Wall Street Journal music critic remembers Houston and talks about how Whitney came along at a time when the R&B genere wasn't getting a whole lot of attention.

As many others have documented over the last 36 hours, Whitney's stardom and influence spread well past music. In addition to the upcoming low budget "Sparkle" release, She starred in two other incredible Hollywood movies including Waiting to Exhale with Angela Bassett and the Bodyguard alongside Kevin Costner.

The final scene from TheBodyguard........

And as the final scenes in Whitney's life plays out in the court of public opinion much as they did with Michael Jackson, she will be remembered as a wonderful but tormented soul whose life came to tragic end much to soon leaving too many songs unsung.

Rest in Peace Whitney and remember
We Will Always Love You

......til next time