Alta Laguna Hike

Today we went on a hike in Laguna. The Noble party yesterday was rough on me, so I was reluctant, but it was a good decision to get moving and sweat it out today. I’ve been to Alta Laguna Park in the past, but I hadn’t dropped off the ridge top to get down into the bottom. It’s one of the coolest spots I’ve been in a while. With the rain that Southern California has been getting lately, a lot of dry places have been greening up nicely.

The only downside was that there are quite a bit of mountain bikers, but I also love to mountain bike, so is not really a downside. Just a revelation that I wanna rip through someday. In all seriousness though, when you’re riding and you come up on some hikers, you should yell “rider!” or at least “get the f out of the way!” We shouldn’t have to dive out of the way like Ricky Henderson stealing second.

I also bought a new hat today. It’s seriously sheer coincidence that it pretty much matches Callie’s hat exactly haha.

093
081 089 083 080

Noble Ale 4th Anniversary Party

I went into the day not really knowing what to expect. I’ve been to Noble a few times. It’s an awesome staging point for Angels games, but it’s in an industrial area and difficult to find if you haven’t been there before. If you haven’t been there before, you’ll feel like you’re lost the first time you go. But it’s worth it. Big time. Their beers are legit and it totally has that small business vibe that I definitely like.

072

I don’t know if the owner had these parties in mind when he chose the spot, but it would totally make sense if that was the case. The party spot is a parking lot that is fenced naturally on two sides by the buildings, so there actually only needs to be fencing on two sides.

076

One of the really cool things they did had to do with the music. They had a house band, but every half hour or so, they would change the focal point of the show. The lead singers were all well established brewers, but happened to be pretty damn good at playing music as well. The picture below and the video are of the owner of Noble. This guy rocked. He’s my age, maybe a year or two older, but he’s clearly talented if he can make Noble to the quality brand that it is, and randomly (to me) sing some sweet jams on the side.

078

We had a great time and will likely keep going to this party as long as we live in Southern California.

Cigarette Daydreams

I was listening to Patty Griffin today at work. I love her older stuff. “Makin Pies” is probably my favorite song by her. I love “Rain” though too, and after a few times of listening to the track, I decided I wanted to learn it today. I started going after it and there was just too much B minor for my liking, so I switched to a song I was messing with a couple weeks ago by Cage the Elephant called “Cigarette Daydreams.” Totally switching gears, but hey, I’ve been drinking wine too so there’s that.

I had the idea that I wanted to upload music to the site (this site is still pretty new to me so I was a little excited), but WordPress made me upgrade in order to do it (go figure). But F that, I’m pushing forward anyway.

I was trying to record in the dining room of our apartment, but the filter of the fish tank was too loud and overall there was just too much ambient noise. I tried hooking up my old recording equipment, but there are cables missing, the program sucks, etc, so I decided that if I really wanted to make this happen, I had to figure it out.

Our apartment has a strange section in the middle “the hallway” where you can close the doors to all the connecting rooms, leaving a 3 foot wide by 9 foot long space that creates an echo effect. I had to leave the bathroom door open so I could play the guitar normal style rather than play like an upright bass.

“Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant

Hallway

Here’s another song I like quite a bit. Admittedly, I haven’t played it in a while. I started to forget the words and rather than stop playing, I improvised by using the f bomb to fill the space haha. This song isn’t that long, but on some longer songs, it’s extremely frustrating when you get near the end and either forget the words, hit a wrong note, or the neighbor upstairs decides to start tap dancing on the tile floor with her wooden clogs.

“Salesman at the Day of the Parade” by Rogue Wave

Safari Park

Yesterday we headed out to the Safari Park in Escondido. The traffic getting there from Huntington Beach wasn’t bad, but pretty much sucked on the way back. Going through Oceanside and San Clemente is always maddening.

The park was a lot of fun. There wasn’t as much people as the last time we went (October), so it was a little less stressful for me in particular. Here’s a couple highlight photos.

IMG_0114

IMG_0116

After the zoo, we decided to have dinner at Shabu on Fire in downtown Huntington Beach. The hands on cooking experience is always a good time.

IMG_0124

IMG_0126

Kayaking Huntington Harbor

The last few times we’ve been kayaking in Southern California we’ve put in at Newport Acquatic Center (NAC) which is pretty legit. I like that spot quite a bit because you can either head toward the big boats and mansions, or you can head the other way further into the bay and away from the houses.

Today we decided to try out Huntington Harbor. We’re green horns and we haven’t had the time to explore the entire thing, but just from our first visit the vibe is pretty in line with our style. We were able to get Groupons for OEX at $15 a piece for 4 hours. Less red tape, less worries, just get out and go.

Skiing Big Bear

Sadly, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to go skiing. Growing up, all I wanted to do was ski. Almost every weekend since I was 9 years old. Living in Southern California has created quite a major void in my life. Sure, there are lots of other activities to do, but it’s not quite the same.

It’s strange really. It’s a sense of freedom and a total escape from thought. When you’re skiing a technical line you don’t have much room for wondering about how the slow leak in your left rear tire of your truck is going to get repaired. You don’t have much room for really any other thoughts, and if you try to squeeze some of those thoughts in there you’re toast. It’s yardsale time.

Big Bear isn’t exactly what I grew up skiing, but it was great to get out and slide down the hill. Lots of sunshine and lots of smiles.

GoPro Waterproof Testing

One of my Christmas presents this year was a GoPro 4. So far it’s pretty awesome, and I’m excited to go on some adventures to keep testing.

Holding on

If you go to the gym at all, you probably notice there are a number of people on the treadmills who crank up the incline to the max setting and increase the pace to somewhere around 4 or 5 mph. At the same time, what I’ve noticed is that they all hold on to the treadmill. Why? Because they couldn’t reasonably last with those ridiculous settings without holding on.

Maybe the answer isn’t to set everything to the max settings. If you simply let go of the treadmill, you’d be able to get a much higher quality of workout and the settings can be much lower.

There are a couple of things that happen when you hold on:

  1. The idea of the incline is to add gravity to the mix. If you are stepping up instead of stepping purely out in front of you, you have the added resistance of gravity. By holding on, you’re negating that element of gravity.
  2. If you have the speed cranked up, you can move your legs slower and still achieve the same pace. Why? Because you’re holding on! If you’ve ever been hiking, or even walking down the sidewalk on a steep decline, you probably notice that you can go much faster without moving your legs as fast. That’s gravity again. You’re doing the same thing on the treadmill when you hang on. The ground (or treadmill in this case) is moving much faster below your feet with a reduced amount of effort.

Holding onAs you’ve probably figured out by now, holding on is a metaphor for cheating. People can hold on in work settings and relationships too. Why take the short cut when you know that you can do a better job. Whether you are cheating your work product or the treadmill, let go of the damn thing and do the work that you showed up to do in the first place. If you’re not willing to do that, might as well stay home.

Huntington Beach Sunset in 34 Seconds

We took a trip down to the fire pits on Saturday night to roast some marshmallows and catch the sunset. My mom and sister were in town visiting, so I was glad that we were able to do something like this while they were in town. Good times.

Morro Bay (Saturday)

What a day it has been been, I’m so glad that we are here. Morro Bay is an incredible place and I’m glad that I’ve been lucky enough to experience it. I’m thinking that we’ll probably do all of this again some time soon.

Tomorrow we’ll probably leave here reasonably early so we can spend a little bit of time in Pismo Beach, but we’re not set on that yet because we might rent some kayaks (again) and see the sweet side of Morro.

Morro Bay
Morro Bay
Callie and I at Morro Bay
Callie and I at Morro Bay
Kayaking Morro Bay
Kayaking Morro Bay
Me and the boats on the sandbar
Me and the boats on the sandbar
Callie on the other side of Morro Bay
Callie on the other side of Morro Bay

 

We found a path from where we pulled the kayaks on shore that led us to the other side of the sandbar and open ocean.
We found a path from where we pulled the kayaks on shore that led us to the other side of the sandbar and open ocean.

It’s been a damn good day. Here’s what we did: we rented kayaks and paddled our selves upstream(?) (left). The tide will dictate how long it takes you, but anyways we found a sweet spot to dock to the kayaks and walked to the other side of the sand bar to see the real ocean.

Not a single person on the beach, there were sand dollars literally everywhere and the water was very clean. The world is beautiful. Never fails, always is.

Morro Bay (Friday)

Callie and I are here just for the weekend to check out the sights. Her birthday was on the 10th, so we’re in celebration mode. I have to say, the concept of leaving your comfortable home with all of your favorite things, restaurants, shops, etc. to go to a place you’ve never been is a bit strange. I love it, but when you think about it, it’s strange.

"Ocean view" so says the hotel. Very murky on the first day here.
“Ocean view” so says the hotel. Very murky on the first day here.

The weather is completely different here than it is in Huntington Beach. We packed shorts, tshirts, flip flops, but need pants, shoes, long sleeved shirts.. so now we get to go shopping.

I have to say that I love the fact that we got here last night. Now we have all of Saturday and a bit of Sunday before we have to get back to feed our miniature ponies (cats).

Feedblitz Integration

This is sort of a test post, as I’m now using Feedblitz to help me distribute my blog posts to people who wish to subscribe. There’s a link towards the top of the side bar if you’re interested.

I’m a bit blown away that WordPress and Feedblitz don’t play nice together in an “out of the box” option. On a number of other websites, you can embed a string of code on the page that gives the end user the ability to simply enter their email address directly into a field, subscribe and be done with the process.

For security reasons, WordPress doesn’t like the code and rejects it. Maybe I need to read into it a bit more, but it seems to me that if the blog owner decides to put that string of code on their own site, then so be it. If the site crashes, then it’s their own fault. No need to play big brother on a simple string of code that is accepted in the form of a plug in on the .org side.