Saturday, October 4, 2008

Round Robin Photo Challenge - End of Summer

This is my first time posting a Round Robin challenge here.
I had been posting them before on the other, non-inactive blog.

The topic this time is End of Summer.
What says end of summer to you.

I decided to do this challenge at the last moment.
So, pressed for time, I looked on my way to work
Friday for school buses and dying sunflowers.

Seeing none of those, I continued on to work.

Then as I was leaving work, it occurred to me that the
biggest sign of summer's end for me is that the sun
no longer shines when I leave work.

So dark. So sad.

I think it is also what has put me in a bit
of a funk the past few days.
So I decided to take some photos on the way
home, of my now-dark commute.

51 minutes into the drive. Normally it takes about
40 minutes. Tonight I hit some traffic.
You can see that the time is 8:20 p.m.
and it is 69 degrees outside.

This is Pacific Coast Highway through Harbor City.
No worries. Pictures were taken while I was stopped at red lights.

The view from my side-view mirror.

This time I stopped the car and walked back to
the intersection to get the pictures.
That is a view of Crenshaw Boulevard.

Heading into my neighborhood. I never realized how dark
and kind of creepy it can look at just past 8 p.m.
It gets dark early once summer ends.

Friday, October 3, 2008

You say potato, once again, I say ...OK!

Tom-ay-toes, po-tay-toes.
Tom-ah-toes, po-tah-toes.

Yep, a couple of the perfect foods for me. However you say it.

Here is the promised recipe for the mini potato pancakes I made last weekend.
These were the fancy-schmancy take on a potato pancake.

They were best fresh, but the leftovers also were not half bad reheated.

You say tomato, I say... OK!

I love, love, love me some tomaters.

Here is a little how-to on how I like to make roasted roma tomatoes that can be used in a variety of ways.

It's easy and really brings out an intense, concentrated flavor in the tomatoes.


P.S. I know. I still owe you stuffed pork chops and mini potato pancakes.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A little blog housecleaning

I have been meaning to do a little work on the stuff over there on the left for a while.
I had blogs in the blog roll that had not been updated in quite a while.
So I removed them.
If your blog was in there and you update it, let me know. I want to read it. And I will put you back in there.

But for now, I want to keep things more current.

The other thing I added was a feed from
I am not sure how long I will maintain that. But for now it is something I want to learn more about, so there it is.

Some of the new blogs on the blog roll:

Blog it Like You Mean it - Angela in Idaho, whom I have never met but found on the blogosphere. We seem to share a similar sensibility and if I am ever in Boise, I want to meet her.

Girl of Words - Jacque Jo, formerly of West Virginia, now in the Washington, D.C., area. Same type of thing as with Angela.

If I Were Allowed to Speak - Rachel Shell of Washington state. She is a fabulous photographer who inspires me to take better photos.

Louisiana Lowdown - Beth in Baton Rouge. I started reading Beth's blog here and there about a year ago on a friend's recommendation. I read it more regularly since we had a chance to meet in April at the copy editors' conference in Denver.

Nerdy Words - Another Beth. This is Beth in Florida. She is another copy editor. We first met at the conference in Miami in 2007 and then again in Denver in April. She's a red-haired spitfire with a knack for grammar.

Palos Verdes Daily Photo - I found this site quite by accident. But it was a happy accident. I like to see someone else's take on things and places that are so familiar to me.

Psycho Solo Diver - Psycho, for short. He dives. A lot. Mostly around the South Bay. And he makes some wicked Korean ribs on a charcoal grill in a parking lot.

Watch Yer Language - Craig Lancaster, an editor and blogger at the Billings Gazette in Montana. I have to make sure I keep on my toes here now or he just might call me on it.

Round Robin Photo Challenge - This is something I started a while back, posting entries on another blog. They give you an assignment twice a month and you go take some pictures. Then you post them on your blog and they link to you. It's a fun way to see how different people see the world around them. I got out of the habit of this for a couple months. But I am planning to get back in starting with this weekend's topic.

And finally...

Letting Crazy Take a Spin - What started out as a super-secret blog that became not-so-secret somehow. I have stopped blogging there in an effort to consolidate things a bit. It was too much trying to keep three blogs.
And I have deleted some of the posts that were there. I mean, hey, my mom reads this blog!
But there is still some stuff there, including previous entries to the Round Robin challenges.

So, that is all for now. Just a light fall cleaning.

Change of scenery

Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.
Sept. 28, 2008
Logged dive: No. 15
In with: 2600 psi
Out with: 700 psi
Max depth: 18 feet
Bottomtime: 50 minutes, I think (I need to get a watch or computer.)

OK, so I am going to try something new and possibly obnoxious.

I have discovered, after seven months of having this laptop, that there is a program on here to make video slideshows.

So I experimented. For some reason the music is not coming through.

And after looking at this I would simplify things like the transitions.

But since it is the first one I have done, I was trying a lot of the effects on there.

I promise, I will get better.

Now, about the dive...

After several trips to walk the stairs at Vet's Park, Manfriend and I decided to give Malaga Cove a try.

Malaga Cove involves walking down a paved trail, then a dirt trail. The entry options are to go in off the rocks right as you get to the bottom of the hill or to walk around to the beach and go in there.

Since it was my first time here, we decided to try the beach.

The walk was not bad, even with the 60-plus pounds of scuba gear.

We got to the beach, discussed the dive plan, then waded in.

The plan was to get in, swim back toward where we had reached the bottom of the hill near the swim club, then submerge, check out the reef and decide on our exit once we saw conditions in that area.

The water here stays shallow and sandy for quite a while.

Once we got out past the small surf zone - it was very calm water - we got our fins on and started paddling toward the swim club.

It was a longer swim than I am used to, but we were in no hurry, so we just laid back and kicked our way out until we were parallel with the club.

We dropped down. The water was very shallow and I could feel my fin tips breaching the water when I was kicking.

The first little while was very surgey and all there was to see under the water was sea grass that was swishing and swaying with the current. It was a little dizzying, but soon we got past that and started to see reef.

This was a much more interesting dive than Vet's Park. There was so much more to see!

MF got some pictures of the garibaldis and lobsters. Most of the lobsters were smaller, hiding away under rocks and in crevices. There were quite a few of the bright orange garibaldi.

Unfortunately, the camera batteries went dead about halfway into the dive, so there are not too many pictures from the actual dive.

I also saw a big, ugly but interesting rock fish.

The kelp also is pretty just by itself, as is the reef. Beats the hell out of the sand we usually get to see in Redondo!

Once my air gauge dipped just under 1,000 we peaked to see where we were and decide on our exit plan.

We decided that we would brave the rocks. MF said the conditions did not get much better for a rock exit.

A short swim later and we were scrambling onto rocks. The waves were small, but they were still slapping a bit. I crawled my way over the rocks and got my fins, vest and weights off.

MF was also taking his gear off to make it easier to get up off the rocks. We dragged our gear up to the trail then put it all back on to walk back up the hill.

The walk up the hill was not fun, but we only stopped twice. Which I thought was pretty good.

After we got all cleaned up, I walked back down to the beach. MF had left his hat there because originally we thought we would go in and come out at the beach.

So I got to walk the hill twice, once with gear and once without. Great workout!

When I got up Monday I was a little sore. I figured I would go do that hill again as a way to work out the kinks.

It also gave me a chance to take pictures of the area and the trail out to the beach and then back in from the rocks on the far side of the swim club where we came back onshore.

There is a gazebo at the top of the hill. It is a good place to check the water below and get an idea of conditions.

It also is a good place to get married. When I got there Monday morning there was a couple doing just that. I also was the "flower girl" in a wedding here some years back.

It is a beautiful setting and totally free and open to the public. Anyone can get married there pretty much anytime with no need to get a city permit. The only caveat is that public access cannot be restricted. Which means I could have walked right into that gazebo and into the middle of the nuptials.

Of course I didn't. And by the time I got back up the hill the wedding was over and there was just a guy watching the water.

The hike was a good plan. Until I woke up Tuesday and felt like I had rocks in my calf muscles.
But it was all totally worth it. I look forward to my next trip to Malaga Cove. I'm not sure I look forward to attempting that rock entry though.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A long weekend

A beautiful view of a beautiful day from the beach with
the not-so-beautiful name, Rat Beach. No, there were not
rats there. R-A-T stands for Right After Torrance.
I will talk more about this in my next post,
which will deal with Sunday's dive.

It was really only the same two days I usually get for my weekend. But it feels like a lot happened in those two days.

And my body is feeling it this morning.

My weekend started Saturday night with Thai takeout and TV. No problems there.

Sunday was diving. New place, longer hike to get to the water. I will post on that. I have lots of photos.

I visited my sister for a bit that afternoon then went home and turned into a pile of mush.

Dinner was an assortment of Trader Joe's goodies from the freezer: dumplings, samosas, etc.

Monday I got up feeling pretty good. A few twinges in the calves from the scuba adventure.

To help ward that off, I went back to the same place and did the same walk to the water, minus the scuba gear.

After that, home to plan a dinner menu. Then shopping, cooking, cooking and more cooking.

I will post some recipes for a couple things once I get the photos sorted and get more than five minutes to do it.

So (note to self) I need to post:

Sunday's dive
Stuffed pork chop recipe
Mini-potato pancake recipe
How-to on easy roasted tomatoes

If I neglect to have all those things up in the next three days, feel free to give me a virtual slap up side the head.