It’s Only A Little Rain


Friday as seen from my deskThe family ventured out this morning as we normally do each Saturday and for the most part our Saturdays are uneventful.

But today? Hmm.

Our first stop was PetSmart where we had to pick up some bags of vittles for the cats and one smelly dog. Not a whole lot going on there. We also made a few random stops at the same shopping center and again, nothing of note.

Then we made the mistake of going to Michaels. Ann’s a crafty one and needed some yarn to make us all warm and fuzzy hats to wear on our next snow trip – yes, snow! The weather has been rather wet lately (see photo above) and it’s been dumping feet of fresh snow in the local mountains.

We walked into the place after almost being run over GTA V-style in the parking lot by several impatient drivers. It seemed people were running around as if their hair was on fire and they were in need of finding a place to soak their head.

The line of people checking out was way beyond the capacity of the holding area. I mean, really. This is Michaels. The lines aren’t this long even during Christmas or if they are having a big sale. It was ridiculous so we walked back to the car, dodging even more bad drivers along the way.

Our next stop was Kmart where we ended up finding more than we thought we would: Christmas merchandise was 90% off so we stocked up on rolls of wrapping paper and cards. We then made our way to the cashier.

The lines here were just about the same as they were at Michaels. What the hell was going on?

We eventually got through that mess after listening to the person in front of us haggle the prices of everything she had – and ended up leaving half of it. Some people.

On the way home we passed by Ralphs or, as I used to call it when I worked there, The Place Where Dreams Go to Die. Guess what? The parking lot was at near capacity.

It took us a moment to figure out exactly why everyplace was so freaking busy today.

hurricane

Remember that I had said it’s been a little rainy here lately. It really has been, so much so that it’s made a huge dent on our drought conditions and turned the local mountains nearly pure white. Absolutely beautiful. And on the day I took the picture shown at the beginning of this post, I sat at my desk and watched a barricade being blown into the street by strong winds and saw palm branches fall from on high. They could knock someone out cold if they hit them.

We’ve been hit by a series of storms with today giving us a break, and that’s exactly why the stores were busy.

See, most Californians don’t handle the rain very well. We get spoiled by our 72-degree average temperature so when things start to dip below that or – Jeebus forbid – a storm is approaching, most of them lose their freaking minds.

And the storm approaching tonight/tomorrow morning is supposed to be one that will last all day Sunday and into Monday. Again, rain. Not snow, not a hurricane, not a tornado. Just rain.

But our weathermen with goofy names like Dallas Raines and Johnny Mountain have made the next one sound like it’s gonna wipe us off the map, and the wiping is scheduled to commence at 2:15 am according to local reports.

That’s the exact reason why people were our in force and acting so nuts today: because it’s going to rain tomorrow. The masses were stocking up on corn nog and wadded beef in preparation for the onslaught of wet stuff falling from the sky, then will be hunkering down in their homes to wait out the storm for the next few days.

It’s no wonder the rest of the country makes fun of us.

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A Summer That Won’t Suck, Outing 2


Happy Friday!

It was most definitely a happy one for me since I used one of my paid Summer Days to extend my Father’s Day/anniversary weekend by one day. And yes, it was worth it.

Today’s adventure took us someplace we had been just a month prior but because Ann wanted a pair of sandals she didn’t get then, we had to make another trip. Fortunately, traffic was extremely light on the way down to San Clemente – it’s about 40 miles from home – and we made incredible time. I was pretty shocked, actually.

Our first stop: the Rainbow Sandals outlet.

Photo Jun 17, 10 18 23 AM

Just look at that fancy, unintentional, not-made-with-an-app lens flare! And that gigantic flip-flop outside the store! In preparation for summer, we all got a new pair – even me, who has enough pairs to last the rest of my life. Plus I got a new wallet. I guess I have a problem.

Once our shopping here was done, we meandered our way up to the top of the hill to the outlet stores where we ate lunch. Granted, there aren’t many stores there but it’s still a nice place to walk around and waste the day. This would explain why we only left with one bag of stuff, all of it purchased at the Nike store. You know. I needed a new pair of running shoes. Or something.

I also checked out the Vans store and came across these that were, unfortunately, a size too big.

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And at $20, they were a freaking steal. Too bad they didn’t fit. I really wanted them.

Just as we decided there was nothing more we wanted to shop for, we made a stop for some frozen yogurt and pretzels. Anthony wanted the yogurt and while I would have gotten some, I was driving and already had my share of dairy product for the day with the pizza we ate for lunch. Lactose intolerance is a lovely thing.

As I was paying for our pretzel nuggets, I spotted a $1 bill on the ground near the register and asked the cashier if they had a tip jar. She said they didn’t so I stuck it in my pocket. I wasn’t going to argue and decided long ago that money found is worth keeping.

With that, we left the outlet from which you can see the ocean. It’s quite lovely.

And it’s where I was driving to next, unbeknownst to the family.

So with the help of Google Maps, we found our way down to Capistrano Beach (yes, it’s close to Mission San Juan Capistrano, also a beautiful place). We had never been there before and thought it would be nice to just have a stroll along the ocean.

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And that $1 bill? It paid for one hour of parking. Perfect! It was long enough for us to enjoy the sound of the crashing waves and take some pictures.

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Selfie stick? Nope. My long arms have been doing the trick since the late ‘90s. And yes, I need to shave.

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It’s scenes like this that make me hesitant to ever leave California, despite its faults. No earthquake puns intended, naturally. But I’ll take my chances with them over any other natural disaster – any day of the week – to call this my backyard.

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Going to the beach was also a great way to break in those sandals.

And yes, I will gather rocks when I go to the beach. I could take home buckets of them if I could since they are all different and appeal to me for different reasons. Today’s trip included these:

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This picture just does not to them justice. The colors are much more vibrant, even more so when glimmering in the sand after being washed over by the tide. You’re just going to have to take my word that they are pretty amazing and will look great on my desk at work.

Anthony swears the light one is quartz. It’s really milky and white, nothing like it looks here. I don’t care whether it is or it isn’t. It’s just cool and I’m okay with that.

After the beach, we stopped by and visited my high school buddy who owns a restaurant in the area. You know, the one I delivered pizza for on occasion? It’s always good to see him and we still have much to talk about even after leaving high school almost 30 years ago.

And that wraps up our Friday.

As for Saturday? It’s not as far but you’ll know when we get there. It’s someplace I haven’t been in years and a real hotspot for tourists. I usually avoid places like that but with this being A Summer That Won’t Suck, I’m pulling out all the stops.

Curious? Follow my Instagram feed and see for yourself. We’ll be there in the morning!

EXCLUSIVE: UFO Seen Over Southern California?


cdef2LOS ANGELES, CA – After six straight days of precipitation that ranged from a light drizzle to a torrential downpour, southern California residents were left with one more thing to worry about besides flooded streets and potential mudslides: a possible UFO.

A bright, orb-shaped object appeared between a break in the thick, dark clouds on Wednesday and was seen all over the southland, prompting many residents to ponder its significance. While some were quick to dismiss the object as swamp gas, others were of the opinion that it could be something more sinister—or a sign from the heavens.

After briefly filling the sky with its radiant light, it quickly disappeared and the rain continued to douse the area. Residents we talked to described what they saw.

“I was, like, wow,” said a local high school student who stopped texting long enough to tell us her account. “I tried to take a picture of it but by the time I had my camera ready, it was gone. It was a total UFO. Wow.”

At Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Catholic Church in Redlands, parishioners gathered, prayed and discussed what they had seen. Many are already preparing for the worst.

“I think it’s a sign from God,” said Alicia Hernandez, a worshiper at the church for over 40 years. “Who knows what it means. With Christmas a few days away, I definitely think it’s a sign.”

“Big and bright” is how Hernandez and many other residents described the orb. Based on those descriptions, here is an artist’s sketch of how it may have looked:

orb

Local scientist Stuart Sellers could not confirm or deny that the object was foreign in nature but concluded that “we haven’t seen something like this in a while.” Concerned for the public’s safety, Sellers along with other scientists have devised a list of things you shouldn’t do if the mysterious orb returns to the sky:

  • DO NOT stare into it. While unsure of its composition, scientists worry that staring at the orb could lead to blindness.
  • DO NOT take photos of the orb. It’s just too bright and will melt your iPhone from the inside out.
  • WEAR protective eyewear when you see it next.
  • DO NOT try to shoot the object. The distance cannot be determined and bullets eventually return to earth.
  • DO NOT TAUNT the orb. It could get mad.

“We just want to make sure everybody is prepared and knows what to do,” said Sellers.

“And may God help us all…”

Stay tuned for updates.

Doing for Others


 

Long Beach, California at night

Image via Wikipedia

 

Let’s face it: things have been pretty crappy on the job front for a long time now.

And aside from doing the acting thing now and then, something I chose to do just to put a smile on my face (and the extra money helps) , there’s been little else to celebrate. It’s just been that kind of year.

So rather than sit and sulk about it even more, I’ve decided that if employers don’t want to do anything for me in order to help me out, I’m going to do something in October that will help bring a smile to the faces of others.

Riding my bike in the Long Beach Marathon was something I had planned on doing a long time ago but like my attempt to run the Disneyland 5k, it never came to fruition. The reason for not running was simple: unlike the treadmill and despite losing 100 pounds, concrete does not play well with my knees. It’s a lethal combination.

That leaves the Marathon which I have decided I will definitely participate in this time. I’ll be 26.2 miles riding around the street of Long Beach starting at 6 am and while I’m definitely ready for it, here’s what’ll be different. Continue reading

Rain and Flooding: Phone Cam Evidence


This was my trip home after picking up Anthony from school. By the time I left the truck, picked him up and returned, we were both drenched to the bone. I’m not saying it was bad but we’ve had several advisories: tornado, high surf, etc.

It was so bad that all the manhole covers were being popped and thrown in the middle of the streets (see middle of picture):

I also saw quite a few trash cans floating down the street:

I ended up calling the police and they dispatched help immediately:

And here’s the flood channel behind Ann’s office:

Yes, it’s almost to the top.

And this street was completely flooded:

Despite all this, keep in mind that the worst is yet to come. Yeah, so it’s not snow or anything but it’s bad enough. Either way, I still love the rain.