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Lifeguards and Donuts

Christmas may be dominating the news, the mail, the calendar, the living room, and, well, everything, but as a Public Service Announcement I’d like to remind you that we’re now only thirteen days away from the 28th annual Penguin Plunge at Del Mar.

Mmmm…donuts.  Mmmm…lifeguards.

We’re planning to make this year our eighth start for a new year with a “refreshed mind and a slightly numb body,” to quote the stylish certificate that comes with the donuts and coffee.

Photos from previous years are posted under the tag ‘Penguin Plunge‘, and a video we made from the 2013 event is hosted at YouTube.

Chuck posted this on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at  8:17 am.   No comments yet. Be the first. 

Swimming Sad Face

Unfortunate to see the swim news this morning that the Belmont Plaza swim complex in Long Beach is being closed as seismically unsafe.  I cheered for Cal at the Pac-10 swimming championships back in 2005, and thought it was a very impressive site.  I know the economy is still rough, especially for large capital projects, but I really hope someone can step up and put something comparable here in Southern Cal.

Chuck posted this on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at  10:27 am.   Make the second comment. 

On The New Toys

Been spending a lot of time lately with two new toys: a GoPro Hero 2 camera and an HP laptop computer running Windows 8.  Love them both, but the key words for the last month have been “learning curve.”

For the last few years I’ve usually taken photos with a Canon S5 IS, which I still have and love.  It’s problem is that it’s a bit large and I’m a bit paranoid having it around water.  Enter the GoPro.  Tiny, and safe around water.  Getting it tiny though required that all the switches and dials and screens be gone.  It has only two buttons, and a small LCD indicator.  No view finder, no image preview, just point and shoot in one of the different modes.  Once it’s set up it’s great to use, and I’m having a lot of fun with it, both for video and still photography, but it’s certainly taking some time to learn what it can do with it.

The same for the new laptop.  It’s faster and has more memory, and well, it’s a laptop with a docking station for when I need a full-size keyboard and mouse (like processing photos) which my previous workstation was a big clunky tower about four years old.  It’s also running Windows 8, which I think has gotten a bad rap.  Similar to the switch from the Canon to the GoPro, there was a learning curve when I first encountered Windows 8.  It was steep, with new commands and new options.  After a month though, I don’t miss the Start button, and wonder if I could ever go back to not having the live tiles keeping me up to date.  It could certainly use a few improvements, and I look forward to having more software completely integrated into the start page rather than having to switch to the desktop environment, but especially when I’m at my desk with a couple of monitors running it’s a vast improvement, and I’m very happy I made the leap.

Chuck posted this on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at  3:49 pm.   Comments Off 

Making Light

Randy’s away, the house elves will rip out fixtures. Isn’t that how the old saying goes? Oh well, let’s make it the new saying.

One of the eyesores at Casa has been the kitchen lighting. Big old-school flourescent tubes. Either the ballast or the transformers were going bad in the fixtures, but they were so ugly it wasn’t worth diagnosing their issues. Much better just to let them ride out to the recycling center in the sky.

So gone it is.

(more…)

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at  9:13 am.   Comments Off 

Spring Planning

The annual Crew Classic in Mission Bay is in a little over a week.

In previous years I would’ve been all excited by now.  Cute rowers and alumni fanboy stuff, all with great snacks.  Now the finals are in the morning instead of after lunch, and the demon alcohol is banished to special areas by Nanny Diego.  Last year I missed the finals while waiting for Randy to fly home from a judging gig, and this year I’m just kinda feeling ‘meh’ about the whole thing.  I’ll probably go, but having trouble getting excited about it, and probably open to other offers (hint, hint).

Chuck posted this on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at  3:32 pm.   Make the second comment. 

Darth Gets Out and About

With two weeks to go until Christmas we went up to Disneyland Sunday for a little shopping and a chance to for our little Sith Bobblelord Darth Santa to check out the decor.  The results were great, and are all in their very own little gallery.  Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun with a little plastic toy in years, and the response from other guests and cast members at the park were fabulous.

Chuck posted this on Monday, December 12, 2011 at  11:52 am.   Comments Off 

When Time Flies

Racing at San Clemente Ocean Festival

Decompressing after a very busy couple of weeks.  Geekery on both ends, starting with the midnight opening of Harry Potter and ending with our last Coaster ride north from Comic-Con on Sunday.  In between though, in case you missed it was the San Clemente Ocean Festival.  Pancake breakfast for charity, and lots of fun in the sun.  Had a great time and took lots of pictures on the Saturday.

Chuck posted this on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at  4:52 pm.   Comments Off 

Dressing Up

Akbar and Jeff do the Con
After many years of Comic-Con, we finally went in costume.  We weren’t insane about it.  Even in San Diego, head to toe neoprene is just way too much for me.  And while it might hurt to admit it, I just don’t have the abs of a Spartan warrior/Roman gladiator.  But it certainly brought the experience to a new level: it was a conversation starter and a point of reference.  We were asked to pose for photos and brought smiles to a lot of over-30 faces as they remembered their first Akbar and Jeff moments and we had some nice chats with the folks at the Bongo Comics booth.  Randy even got to meet the Creator, Matt Groening, himself.  While I think returning as Akbar and Jeff next year would get stale, I think we both agree we need to keep going in costume when we return to Comic-Con – the experience is not just different, but seriously better.

Chuck posted this on Monday, July 25, 2011 at  7:15 am.   Make the second comment. 

The Future

Gazing into my crystal ball, I do foresee that:

Chuck posted this on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at  8:55 am.   2 comments have been made. Join them. 

Attitude

Compare:

The shot of the Grizzly is from today at the zoo. The photo of Diego was taken last year.  But they both seem to be giving me that same stare.  That ‘don’t you have anything better to do with that camera‘ stare.  Didn’t really think about it until the shots showed up next to each other as random picks at the photo gallery, but now I’m just kinda freaked out about it.

Chuck posted this on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at  8:21 pm.   Comments Off 

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Sunday morning (II), August 23, 2009: Competition ride in one of Sunday morning's semi-final heats at the World Bodysurfing Championships in Oceanside.

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