senoritafish: (gardener vader)
CIMG0763

My work family (and people here do seem like a family, especially those of us who've been here a long time) not only made a donation in my dad's name to the American Heart Association, but also sent us a tree seed from Seeds of Life. It's a Canyon Live Oak, a native Californian, as he was, so it's very appropriate. They even grow around Oxnard and Moorpark, where he was born and grew up.

We planted it in its biodegradable pot a couple of weeks ago, and the acorn is sprouting! Very exciting!

I don't know if we're going to be able to plant it here at the house, once it gets big. I'm wondering if maybe the Shipley Nature Center in Central Park might let us plant it there? Then it would still be here in HB, and we'd have a nearer place to go and visit.
senoritafish: (Sparkledork!)
Well, I have a cough I believe my dear offspring or possibly my spouse passed on to me, thank you so much. Chest congestion mostly - thank goodness for no stuffy head, although head hurts when coughing. Mostly scratchy throat and lung boogers. Yuck.

Had a furlough on Monday, the kids were off school for Lincoln's B-day, and it's my brother's usual day off, so we decided to go to Knott's Berry Farm - the annual passes there are about 1/2 the cost of Dismalland - which we've been doing off n' on since Angus was two, and we thought it'd be nice to do something different for a year. Turns out they're on a calendar year, not date to date, so they're only good until the end of December, but it's early in the year, so that's fine. No blackout days either.

It's probably been twenty years since I was last there and wow, has it changed. It's been owned for the last 13 years by the same company that runs Cedar Point back in Ohio (they also own Great America up in the Bay Area), so the emphasis has really been put on the roller coasters. The quiet reflecting pond surrounded by trees that used to be between the entrance and Fiesta Village is now a concrete-lined pool with a bunch of rollercoaster pylons in it. What I really noticed all over was missing trees; the whole park used to be surrounded by large eucalyptus, which may be understandably gone. A few years ago there was a plague of lurp insects (a type of scale) that killed a lot of them all over southern CA. Eucalyptus are not native tree here anyway, but large old trees are still pleasant, and the place just felt very open. I do like roller coasters, but in places I'd rather have trees.

Most of the ghost town is still there, although the Mystery Shack is missing - I always liked that one with all the optical illusions. We stopped there to have a snack, and I looked at Avalon, whose eyes had started watering. She gradually went downhill the rest of the afternoon, and by the time we got home, she went straight to bed.

She and I both took a sick day yesterday, and lounged on my bed watching The Princess and the Frog, which I'd missed, and Mushi-Shi, which is a lovely series, but so quiet and soothing if I'm tired at all, I will doze off watching it, in spite of my being interested. I bought a Roku unit at Fry's a couple of weeks ago, and I swear, we've watched more Netflix in the time since than in the last 2-3 years! Quite handy. I do wish I could change the language and watch subtitles though.

Back at work today, and am realizing it's only the 16th but how few work days are left in the month! Ack, where does it go!
senoritafish: (Sparkledork!)
IMG_7368

The kids demanded Slurpees, so off we went to find a 7-11. While there, I remembered there was a geocache in this parking lot. Even though we didn't have the GPS with us, I thought I might know where it was, and indeed, we found it. Sackboy signed the log too. I would have taken his pic with the cache but there was too much birdshit everwhere.

At the 7-11
Huntington Beach CA
Canon EOS 1000D
23 June 2010

+2 )
senoritafish: (Isane Faye-Faye)
IMG_6907

I had no idea the park I grew up going to and that I now take my kids to - a few blocks down the street from me - had been immortalized in a Zippy the Pinhead comic strip. Ten years ago, even. I used to read Zippy all the time in college, not so much lately...

Zippy - Hunting in Huntington Beach

Found at Waymarking. The poster there refers to them as a semi-circle and a saddle, but we always thought of them as the "Swiss Cheese" and the "Tent."

Avalon and a friend from a couple of years ago... )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
PICT1073

Slightly foggy evening's walk down to the pier with the fry.

Pier
Huntington Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
27 September 2008

Blast from the past... )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
PICT9585

This weekend was the Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour; a fundraiser in memory of a local gardener/nursery owner. She started the tour herself as a way to raise money for a local women's shelter - after she passed away, others continued putting it on. It's all free; each home has a donation jar that they ask you donate to. And some of the gardens are just breathtaking. A woman in my garden club particpated in it last year, and said she spent 9 hours a day for two months in her yard getting ready for it! There were 48 homes on the tour, but we only visited six, which was plenty.

Seal Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
04 May 2008

a few more... )
senoritafish: (starry night)
PICT0350

This is a building about 10 stories tall, on the property of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. It's bigger than it looks in this photo, as it's probably a hundred yards or so behind the fence in the forground and now appears to be surrounded by naval personnel RV storage. When I was a kid, my dad worked for Rockwell International across the street, and this and several other gargantuan corrugated iron buildings nearby helped with part of the Apollo space program in the 60's/early 70's (although I can't remember now what purpose they served) for which Rockwell was a contractor. I remember going on a tour or two there when I was in grade school, when they had Open House events. Those are actually sliding doors on the front of that thing, although they haven't opened in decades and my father thinks they must have rusted shut by now.

And now Rockwell has nothing to do with space - sort of sad.

Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station
Seal Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
04 April 2008

4/22/08 - Edit : Shortly after posting this I received this email -

Hi Senoritafish.  Google News sent me a link to yesterday's blog entry about the weapons station.  FYI, the building in the picture was used to construct the second stage of the Saturn V moon rocket.  Those huge doors actually still work, and we very occasionally "exercise them" to make sure that they do.  Never know when they might come in handy!  Normally though, the doors on this building stay shut.  Cheers!

Public Affairs Officer
Seal Beach Weapons Station

senoritafish: (Ignore me!!!)
PICT0315

Whatever they did a month or two ago apparently wasn't enough; now they used this machine to dig out the entire alley two feet deep for two blocks.

Like this... )
senoritafish: (merry chris-moose!)
PICT2512

The church a block from my house puts on a Drive-Thru Nativity every year; they have since I was a kid. They set up all these little scenes in the parking lot and you drive your car from one to the next. Kind of corny, but I like how they use the parking lot plantings as part of the scenery. We're pretty agnostic, but I figure the kids should at least know the stories.

Angels, asses, and sheep. And sheep's asses... )
senoritafish: (Jet - red)
639

This is one of the older buildings downtown, a block from the beach. It still houses an antique store and some apartments; at one point the complex of connected buildings appeared to be some kind of commune. I think author James P. Blaylock had this building in mind when he wrote Winter Tides (the story is set in Huntington Beach, although I don't think it's quite as good as The Last Coin, which is set in Seal Beach, the next town up the road). There has been major reconstruction downtown, and this is one of the few, sort of historical buildings left. As a mater of fact everything else on the block has been razed and there is now a parking structure butting up against the antique store.

The Hydrangea bush is over 80 years old, although a few people in my garden club have said it's over a hundred.

close-up )
senoritafish: (Dammit!)
typical

To be fair, the middle house is on only a half size lot, but still...how would you like to have those neighbors towering over you?

the sort of new growth I do like... )
senoritafish: (Default)
sunset

My middle son got to go to Universal Studios with his grandmother as a belated birthday present, and the other two progeny wanted to go somewhere too. So we went to the beach at sunset, about a mile away from my house. This is just after the sun disappeared behind Santa Catalina Island.

7 more )
senoritafish: (multitasking (doing the dishes))
Yesterday the city council of Huntington Beach approved plans for a desalinization plant - http://www.kcrw.org/show/ww (requires real player)

Huntington Beach Approves Nation's Largest Desalination Plant During a drought in the early 1990's, Santa Barbara constructed a desalination plant. It operated for about a month before the City got on the much cheaper state water project, and it hasn't run since. Early this morning, in chambers packed with partisans on both sides, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 4 to 3 to go ahead with a desalination plant of its own, even though the Metropolitan Water District says current supplies are sufficient to meet demand for the next 25 years. The plant could mean 50 million gallons a day for Orange County, but completing won't be easy. At the moment, nobody knows who's going to buy it. Is it drought insurance or an invitation for more urban sprawl? We hear the pros and cons.


I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet (can't listen to streaming things at work, and I forget when I get home), but my friend Carole has been very concerned that the company the city is thinking of using does not have a working plant anywhere in the country. The neighborhood surrounding the designated area is very against it - the usual NIMBY stance, but if it's where I think it is, that place is a Superfund site that is going to require YEARS of cleanup first. Just the summary on the KCRW page is enough to give me pause - "drought insurance or an invitation for more urban sprawl?" I do not want an excuse for any more development here. A few parks here and there do not make up for the habitat being covered by houses and shopping malls.
senoritafish: (...to you too buddy...)
Arrgh! The dinosaurs in Cabezon have converted. And did you know there were baby dinosaurs on the ark?

This article was mentioned at lunch yesterday and VT brought it in for me today.

I've driven by here countless times but have never stopped there. It's on Highway 10, between Beaumont, where Beth used to live, and Palm Springs. Doubtful I ever will stop there, now. Makes me feel a little ill. You know, I don't follow a religion now, but even in the one I was raised in, it was the spiritual world that mattered. Not the material one. Evolution was not an issue because it was part of the material world. It also did not advocate forcing your views on everyone surrounding you, because they stopped for a coke and a potty break in the middle of the desert.

Faith is not science. They don't follow the same rules. Science does not work by just believing in something. It requires proof.

"And it's not like they're crying, 'Oh, mommy, take me out, I'm scared.' They're drawn to (dinosaurs)" Chiles said. "There's something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth."

*retch* DNA doesn't know anything. It's a molecule that's found a very good way to replicate itself. Sometimes it accidentally gets changed along the way. If the change doesn't kill the cell containing it, it replicates and forms more cells. I'm not sure why a creationist even acknowledges DNA actually exists, when it's the very vehicle evolution runs on. I suppose he thinks it makes him sound more credible - to people who are impressed by throwing scientific acronyms around. Think he even knows what the letters stand for?

Grrrr.

article )

Grrr. The cafe there was featured on the Road Food section of NPR's the Splendid Table a few years and rated very highly on their pie. I'll bet it sucks now.
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
Santa Cruz is prettier and has more character, granted, but hey, HB is my hometown!

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0720/p01s02-ussc.html

article... )
senoritafish: (Default)
http://www.calcoasthomes.com/williams.html
(About halfway down the page - look for 1811 Pine St.)

Good grief. $2.2 million. This house is on the other side of my block. I just walked past it earlier this evening. It was a shock to us when the house across the street, a plain 60's era 3 bedroom, sold for over a million in less than eight hours last year. This is crazy.

last year's house )

My parents bought where we live now in 1968 for $30,000.
senoritafish: (Default)
This was a kelp harvesting company, the only one of its kind in California, I think, although in recent years it had been bought out by larger conglomerates. A number of biologists here worked closely with them. Dale Glantz, mentioned in the article, is a co-author of book that's been sitting on my shelf for a number of years, The Amber Forest. It appears to be still in print if you'd like a book of beautiful kelp forest photos.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20050609-9999-1b9kelp.html

Goodbye to a sea giant - Kelp-harvesting firm based in San Diego for 76 years will move operations to Scotland

article )
senoritafish: (Grrrrr!)
Hi guys,
Every time I catch up on the digests in my "World Class Rock" folder I swear I'm going to keep up with this group better. And then I look again and there's a week or more piled up. Abject apologies for my late response.

The conversation about a month ago about The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach brought back some memories for me, of the building and the neighborhood anyway. I grew up and still live in downtown HB (an old high school friend likes to give me a hard time for still having the same phone number I did then), walking distance from where it used to be. One regret I have is that The Golden Bear closed before I was old enough to attend a concert there. I had been looking forward to it; I remember seeing the names of all kinds of performers I would have loved to have seen at the time. I always liked the mural of famous musicians on the side of the building - I think it was by Wyland ( the guy who does all the whales).

When they built the godawful buildings that are there now (that are supposed to look like lighthouses, but you can't even see them from the ocean) there was originally a venue in the back (under the movie theaters). I think it was even called the The New Golden Bear, but I'm not sure. The original bear sculpture and the columns that were topped with sculptures of poultry framed the doors, painted as they used to be when attached to the original building. Piss poor planning; you could hear the music during the movies upstairs and of course the neighbors in the condos next door complained about the noise. It didn't last long. Having lived in Huntington Beach most of my life, I've come to the conclusion they do stuff like this on purpose when there's some kind of a business they want to get rid of. And I agree with Shep, it was a tragedy what the city did to downtown - but the HB City Council was ever thus. They were practically drooling at the thought of a Walmart coming to town.

It was replaced by a pool hall, quieter, and the decorations were still there, but painted terra cotta to match the rest of the building.

My kids and I took a walk downtown and out to the end of the pier the other night, and on the way back, I thought I'd walk by there and snap some pics of the sculptures, just to show you guys what was left of the Golden Bear. As far as I knew they were still there. That side of the building gets very little foot traffic, and I swear any businesses situated there are cursed - they never last very long. I got out my camera, walked under the escalator, turned corner....and was horrified to see the pool hall had been replaced by what appeared to be a real estate office (probably the only kind of business the city really approves of) and Curves studio. I wonder what happened to the sculptures?

About the only original thing left down there is Perq's - I've never really been in there, not really being the bar type, but I'm glad to know it still exists. I hear interesting things coming out when I walk by, but I always seem to have kids with me, so I can't go in.

And Jeanne, yes, I think Lucky John's Two is still there, if it's the one at Beach and Yorktown. I used to work across the street at the Carl's Jr., a couple of decades ago. Three and Four are farther up Beach Bvld, or at least they used to be.

Wanted to post this last night, but my boys were hogging the computer playing Cartoon Network games. It's past Wednesday, but:

NP - WinAmp is shuffling between the last disk of Les Miserables - International Cast and Yoko Kanno/Cowboy Bebop MP3s on my flash drive

ND - a large mug of Trader Joe's Sencha Green Tea (been trying to drink more green tea lately)

NE - a Ginger PeopleTM Ginger Chew - love 'em, but since some recent dental work, man, do they stick to my teeth!

As ever, vicariously enjoying all the recent concert reviews, and you guys exposing me to new music.

-------------------------------
This is a group for listeners of a now-defunct L.A. radio station, started by a former DJ. However, they're open to new members and they discuss a wide range of music and concerts. A few members were formerly in the music or radio biz and it's neat to get their insider view on things...



Click here to join worldclassrock
Click to join worldclassrock

senoritafish: (Default)
My bit of the California Coast. This is really dated, though; the person who sent it to me said it was originally done in 1980, and there is no funding to update it. The photo of the pier in Huntington Beach is the old pier that was heavily damaged in the El Niño storms of 1983, repaired and a new two story restaurant built at the end of it, and then damaged again in 1988, so badly that it was torn down and completely rebuilt. And the bust of Duke Kanhanamoku is no longer outdoors at the foot of the pier, but up the street a few blocks at the International Surfing Museum. There's now a sculpture of him as a young man across the street (in front of a surfboard shop). The sculpture of the nude surfer was originally meant to go in front of City Hall, but apparently some prudish residents objected to the fact that he wasn't wearing any trunks. So, he was installed down by the beach - which for some reason is more appropriate. (!)

http://www.spd.usace.army.mil/explore/Explore12.pdf


This is part of a series of the entire California coast.

http://www.spd.usace.army.mil/explore/
senoritafish: (Default)
I had been wondering what was going on along Pacific Coast Highway at the south end of Bolsa Chica State Beach. The entire road bed has been shifted to the east about 25 yards, a large berm has been constructed along the beach, and cranes and pile drivers have been putting concrete piles into the sand. I was not sure what was going on; I was thinking possibly they were raising the road since the section between Seapoint and Warner floods every time it rains hard and they have to completely close the road. John had said a neighbor told him the Bolsa Chica Amigos had lost out and another housing development was going in - which seemed crazy to me because that area is tidal (I think now they were referring to the mesa). TN at work, mentioned some restoration work going on - which I knew had been proposed in the past, but I had not heard was actually in the works. Finally, some signs were erected along the road construction site with a web address:

http://www.fws.gov/pacific/bolsachica/

Wow! I had no idea - almost the entire area is set to be restored into tidal basins to mitigate wetlands loss in Long Beach and L.A. Harbor. There is going to have to a lot of clean-up, since much of the area was oil fields for so long. The small area at the front has been a state preserve for a long time, with walkways and a small interpretive center.

The downside is that the Coastal Commission approved 349 homes to be built on the mesa overlooking the wetlands, a far cry from the 1700 units originally proposed, but still, upscale homes many of which will probably commercial gardening services applying fertilizers and pesticides that will all be draining right into the wetlands in the runoff. There is still a section of field adjacent to the wetlands where another developer is proposing another tract of homes, already approved by the city council (grrrrr! they don't fool me by all being members of the Tree Society). I hope the following groups fare better at opposing the development than they did for the Mesa - I don't know why this city feels it has to cover every open acre with overpriced humongous houses.

I feel a bit silly not knowing about this - this is like two miles from my house, and my agency is on the steering committee, but in a different region and the person involved is clear down in the San Diego office.

The Amigos de Bolsa Chica

The Bolsa Chica Land Trust

The Bolsa Chica Conservancy

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