Here is a pic I took in the Flagstaff, AZ area in November 2016 of Aspen trees. I grew up in this area and remember huge groves of these tress were very beautiful.
On the 16th – 18th of September, the second annual KAABOO festival was held at the fair grounds in Del Mar, California. I did photography for the festival. Click here or the image below to see the photos and videos I took.
Here is the video:
Here is a story about a first date I had this Memorial Day. At the end of this you might wonder why one would even use online dating. Well, I wonder that to myself all the time.
I first started corresponding with Melodya around April 30th on Match.com. Close to Memorial Day she said yes to my question if she wanted to meet. So we made plans to meet the evening before Memorial Day. Before I continue, I should mention that during the communication we had either on Match or via text messages, her answers were very short… sometimes only one word. She never asked anything about me. Both of these are red flags, but I try not to count someone out when I’ve never meet them.
About 10 minutes before I left to go meet her at a restaurant that she chose, she texted me to say that she couldn’t make it and if we could meet the next day. She gave me an excuse about visiting with a girlfriend too long. Between this and the red flags that were already going off, I decided not to pursue meeting her.
So, mid-afternoon on Memorial Day, she texted asking if we are going to meet. I wasn’t doing anything so I said sure. This time we meet at a restaurant near where I live. After she arrived (late), I started asking the normal first date “interview” questions such as how long she has been on Match and how many has she meet. She answered about two months and she has meet two men.
I then asked how the dates went and she said not good. I asked why and she told me she meet a policeman and she didn’t like him because he was “fat” (his pictures weren’t recent). I asked her, besides him being “fat”, what else was wrong and all she said was it was because he was fat. First off, using the word “fat” it a bit harsh… I would have used overweight. This created the biggest red flag with me which is she is shallow. With her having a brand new, very large breast job, just feed more into this red flag. I won’t date anyone who is shallow.
Our conversation went on mostly consisting of me asking questions and talking. She talked very little and when she did she did not say much. As the date went on I could tell that she wasn’t interested. At one point I almost asked her if we should go our separate ways. She grabbed her purse so I thought she was going to ask me the same thing.
Soon after that she rummaged through her purse and said she forgot her phone in her car. When she left to go get her phone, I knew she wasn’t coming back… and she didn’t. About five minutes later I got a text stating she had to leave because of a family emergency, which is complete bullshit.
That is just not cool! If I don’t think there is a romantic relationship, I figure I might meet a new friend so I always complete the dinner, coffee or whatever because I think that is the right thing to do. I guess not everyone thinks the same because this is the second time it’s happened to me. The first time, right after I greeted my date at a restaurant, she said she had to go to the bathroom and I never saw her again! Not right at all! Just remember Karma’s a bitch!
So, if you meet someone named Melodya on an online dating site, around 41 years old with breasts too large for her frame… RUNAWAY!
Recently I was driving down highway 5 in San Diego county around 4pm in the afternoon and the traffic was stop and go almost the entire way back to my home. Like most of the time when I’m stuck in traffic like this and in the far left lane, there were motorcyclists were flying down the space in-between my lane and the lane next to me. Unfortunately, California passed a law in 2015 making lane-splitting legal: “Assembly Bill 51, permitting motorcyclist to split lanes so long as they do so at speeds no faster than 50 mph and no faster than 15 mph than traffic in adjacent lanes is moving”. I think they forgot a statement about “…if it’s safe!”
Before I continue, I should point out that I use to be a motorcyclist and never did lane splitting. I have always believed that motorcyclists should obey the same rules of the road as other drivers. Actually, they should be safer drivers than other drivers since riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous. I don’t ride anymore due to California drivers and how poorly they watch out for motorcycles and how some purposely try to hurt motorcyclists. I’ve had a few friends seriously injured due to this.
So before I get hate mail for this blog post, I’m writing it to the 90+ percent or more of motorcyclists that don’t seem to follow any traffic laws. They speed, pop wheelies, weave in and out of traffic for no apparent reason other than they can and have an entitlement attitude.
On my way home that day I had two very dangerous encounters. I decided to write the following to the California Highway Patrol:
“I am writing because last Thursday while driving back from my doctor, the traffic was really slow. I was in the far left lane and when a motorcyclist came in-between my car and the car in the next lane, he hit my car with his hand on the right front side. I am assuming he did this because the car next to me and my car were close together and he had trouble getting pass. I was unaware of this since I was paying attention to the traffic in front of me since it was stop and go.
Four minutes later another motorcyclist had the same issue and decided to go down the emergency lane next to me and he almost hit my car too.
I have both of these incidents on video from my dash cam and I have a picture of the first driver’s hand print on my car. I can provide the videos and photos to you if needed. Is there anything can be done about these two incidents, especially the first driver since he hit my car?”
As I’m writing this post, I did get a reply from the CHP asking for the license plate numbers of the motorcyclists which I have provided. So far there hasn’t been a resolution. I will update this post if I find out more information from the CHP.
So motorcyclists, the next time you complain about drivers, maybe you should look at how you drive that speeding bullet because I’m sure it’s why we hate you! My dash cam will be pointed at you recording your illegal driving!
Here is a gluten free variation of a brownie recipe I found on the internet featuring Ghirardelli chocolate.
- 3/4 cup Ghirardelli premium baking coca
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter – melted
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/3 cups gluten free flower
- 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 8oz shelled walnuts
- 12 ounces Ghirardelli premium baking chips – semisweet
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend in butter until smooth.
- Add boiling water; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, eggs and cinnamon.
- Add flower, vanilla and salt. Stir in 3/4 of the walnuts (broken into pieces, as small or big as you like) and backing chips.
- Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the rest of the walnuts on top (as shown in picture). Bake 36 – 42 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of the pan. Cool 30 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen brownies (depending how big you cut them). Enjoy!
Recently I went on my first international business trip to Lviv, Ukraine. This is the first time I have been outside of North America since my early 20’s. If anything could go wrong on this trip, it did, and I learned the hard way how to make my travel next time much better.
I must preface my tips below with I never missed a flight and have never had a bag lost, until this trip.
- Don’t count on Wi-Fi working in planes at all overseas. The foreign airline I took (Austrian airlines) does not seem to provide this on any flight. We’ve gotten use to this in the past few years in the US.
- I thought using Wi-Fi while traveling in the US sucked until I went to Europe!
- Exchange money in the country of origin to the place you are traveling! I got to Vienna and they won’t exchange Ukrainian money to Euros!!!
- Get to the airport 2+ hours early before an international flight even if the first leg is to a city in the US.
- Learn to speak common phrases in the language of the country you are going to before you leave. You cannot rely on software translations apps, especially if your cell does not work in the country. People in that country will greatly appreciate it.
- The US allows two carry-ons, but Europe does not! They only allow one, the rest you might have to pay for up to 75 Euros ($83 US dollars) or more for one bag! Even though I could do two carry-ons all the way to my final destination in the Ukraine, I could not do it on the way back. I actually wish the US did the same thing since many abuse this privilege and it makes boarding the plane MUCH longer.
- If your hotel provides a shuttle, call at least one day ahead before. They might not schedule it when you land.
- Count on your checked luggage getting lost or delayed in customs. Always carry at least one day of clothes, meds or anything else you need. Even more days if you can.
- If you use a debit card, make sure you have more than plenty of money on it before you leave the US. ATM machines in other countries do not provide the ability to transfer money. Only dispense cash or transfer money to your phone (not even sure what the latter is). At some ATM’s your card might not even work at all, so it’s better to have a credit card or lots of cash with you! Also, if you use a debit card, you might get socked with big fees!
- Find another cell provider than AT&T. My entire trip I could not use cellular on my phone. I tweeted them about this and all they did was send useless links.
- Make sure to purchase a power converter for charging batteries, running laptops etc. If you forget, airports should have them.
- If you or your company can afford business class on long flights overseas… do it! It’s well worth it… not like first class in the US which pales in comparison. Actually if any company in a foreign country wants me to come work or speak for them, I’m going to insist on it for the following reasons…
- There is plenty of leg room! The seats even go almost flat so you can sleep. They provide pillows, sheets and even a blanket. Your seat even will massage you!
- You get a personal chef that will make anything you like off of a menu. The first flight I had filet minion. On the way back I had a four course dinner that included so much food I couldn’t even eat it all. They will even wake you up for breakfast which was awesome too!
- The bathrooms are about three times bigger than any airplane bathroom I’ve ever seen. In the bathroom they have deodorant spray, shavers, combs, toothbrush and toothpaste.
- They provide noise canceling headphones.
- You get a very large HD TV screen. All movies etc. are FREE!
- There are USB charging ports available.
- You are allowed two carry on items. Everyone else only gets one.
- If you expect to use a cloud service like OneDrive to backup all of your photos while you are overseas… forget it! I had my Surface Pro 3 (Windows 10) trying to do this for the better part of three days for 4.6GB of picture/ video files and it did a very small fraction. I know part of this issue was the hotel Wi-Fi. Lesson learned… still carry enough memory cards for your camera or video camera that you will need. I will mention that backing up all the pictures on my iPhone to OneDrive worked great.
If you have any travel tips, please let me know by leaving a comment.
Before I get a lot of hate mail, this post is aimed towards “some” bicyclists that seem to be not very smart… not all bicyclists. Every so often I take Manchester Ave between El Camino Real and Encinitas Blvd in Encinitas, California. As a driver, I never look forward to this stretch of road since there are many blind turns (see below) and barely enough room for two cars. I worry about a car not taking a turn well and hitting my car in the process. There is also absolutely no shoulder on this road either.
Every time I’m on this road, usually during the weekend, I see many bicyclists on it too. Yes, I know bicyclists have just as much right to be on this road as I do, but there is absolutely no room for both a car and a bicyclist! As you can see from this picture, there is no bike lane either.
When I see a bicyclist on this road I wonder if they have a death wish. If someone hasn’t died on this road it will happen sooner or later. There have been many injuries and I’m sure there will be many more.
There are other roads to take to and from the ocean in this area, sure it will take longer to cycle, but isn’t exercise the point? So the next time you, a bicyclist, wants to take this road, I hope you think again. It’s not worth your life!
I know everyone wants a day off, a reason to party, wants so save a few bucks on a product they most likely don’t need, but please try to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. It’s about the men and women who have died while serving in the military.
I served in the military for 6 1/2 years and am very proud that I did. I know our country has issues and could be better but we still live in the greatest country in the world. I feel its everyone duty to give back to make it even better.
It angers me when people do things like burn the flag! If you don’t like it here then I will be more than happy to pay for a plane ticket to send you to a different country! I’ve been to many countries that made me appreciate the United States a lot more. People in many countries don’t have anywhere near the freedoms that we do or the ability to get out of poverty by going to school etc. In the Philippines I meet women that were prostitutes just so they could earn money to send family members to school. I’m not talking about sending them to college, they have to pay just to attend high school.
It also angers me when people do everything they can to get out of their civic duty like being on jury duty. I’ve been on seven juries and take it very seriously. I do this because if there is ever a day when I am a defendant in court, I hope that there are twelve people there that take it as seriously as I do.
Every American should make it a priority to give back to their community every month. There are endless opportunities. I just ended twenty years of founding and running a non-profit group that provided education to help people in their careers to improve their and their families lives better.
So get off the couch and start giving back to make the United States better. If you don’t, you have nothing to complain about!
I created a heavy, rocking CD for someone I knew who was an Army Ranger (Tyler Holtz). Before I could burn it for him he was shot and killed in Afghanistan in September 2012. Sorry Tyler, I hope you have iTunes up there. Here is the list:
Confrontation – Otep
Die Hard The Hunter – Def Leppard
Gods Of War – Def Leppard
If I Were King – Queensrÿche
Indestructible – Disturbed
Sliver – Queensrÿche
Soldiers of Misfortune – Filter
Taliman – Uncle Junkie
These Colours Don’t Run – Iron Maiden
War (The Process) – The Cult
War Machine -AC/DC
War Pigs – Black Sabbath
Warheads – Extreme
Warrior – Kid Rock
Thanks for the great music Otep, Def Leppard, Queensrÿche & Queensryche, Disturbed, Filter, Uncle Junkie, Iron Maiden, The Cult, Black Sabbath, Extreme – The Band and Kid Rock!
Women, before you get upset with me, this applies to males too! So if you are wondering if you are a cat lady, answer the questions below on how you post profile text and/or pictures on online dating sites:
- Do you post pictures of you and animal?
- Do you post pictures of your animal (you are not in the picture)?
- Is your animal your best friend?
- Does your headline/ tag line say “Must Love Dogs”, “Must Love My Dog” or something similar?
- Can you not sleep at night without your animal or your animal can’t sleep without you?
- Do you have to rush home every x number of hours to feed, see or take your animal out for a piss?
If you answered even YES to ONE of these questions… YOU ARE A CAT LADY. Give it up and take your profile down from all online dating sites. You are too far gone and there is no recovery.