Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Road Trip photos & video: June 23 – La Jolla Cove

I pretty well covered our visit to La Jolla Cove when I wrote about it that afternoon back in June, but I’ve finally collected that day’s photos.

This was our first time touching the Pacific Ocean, and seeing seals and sea lions just out on the rocks and swimming in the surf, and even now, more than four months later, I get a little goosebumpy remembering that feeling of excitement and being far from home, surrounded by the unfamiliar and the breathtaking, and even the ordinary things feeling new and adventuresome.

I shot some video on the Flip, too (Though mine’s an older model, I still love its convenience and ease of use.), including this bit of the seals sunning and barking.

I had also all but forgotten this clip I shot of some tiny crabs in the tide pools – the photos I took didn’t come out too well (I hadn’t yet realized my Droid’s camera had a ‘macro’ setting), and while the picture on the video isn’t the greatest, either, what I was really after with the Flip was this creepycool clicking noise they were making down there in the crevices:

(That “snapkracklepop” Rice Krispies sort of sound? That’s it.)

November 5, 2010 Posted by | geek, photos, Science, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A visit to La Jolla Cove

Jenn & Kelsey & Mom & Jeff & I made the short drive up to La Jolla Cove today and were so pleasantly surprised at what a neat and fun place it was.

(Funny thing: Using the spoken input option to start the GPS navigation, I had to pronounce our destination as “La Jaw-la,” although once we were getting close, the system pronounced it correctly itself while giving the directions.)

We found a parking spot right at the top of the cliffs and were immediately treated to our first close-up view of the Pacific shoreline and the sight of a massive rock formation just offshore packed with sunning sea lions and harbor seals.

This sign was at the top of the wooden stairs which we followed down to a small beach where we waded a little and climbed on the sandstone cliff.

Further along, an expanse of flat rock outcropping held some little tide pools where kids were trying to catch these little crabs:

They came in a couple striking color combinations – green and black and blue and purple – and ranged in size from about the size of the Lincoln monument on a penny to about 2 or 3 inches across. I shot a video clip of a couple of the bigger ones crawling around a crack and making these little clicking noises, but it’ll wait for upload until I’m home.

Of course, just around the corner from this spot was an even closer-to-shore sea lion lounge:

Lots of activity around and on this rock: sea lions barking and crawling around and swimming in the waves. Fun to watch.

Oh, and there were these little spotted ground squirrels, too:

Our timing couldn’t have been better: We got there just before 11 a.m., and left about 1 p.m., and on our way out, the highway running into La Jolla was bumper-to-bumper standstill.

We were only there for a couple hours, but I was unprepared for the thrill of exploring this fantastic little corner of California and finding so much to see and hear and remember.

June 24, 2010 Posted by | geek, Travel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

And now for something completely different: Star Wars. And baby birds.

The new “Collect All 21!” front and back covers have finally replaced the outdated versions that were hanging around on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, despite the fact that they’ve been shipping the revised edition for almost a couple months now. It took a little prodding – and a couple frustrating days where there were no cover images at all except the customer-submitted pics I posted out of desperation – but it’s fixed now, and that makes me happy. (Not as happy as say, if a few dozen orders were to be placed tomorrow – but happy nonetheless.)

And don’t forget: I’ll be at the Akron-Canton Comic Con this weekend with a nice supply of books on-hand, and they’ll be cheaper than ordering online!

Speaking of Star Wars, I got a nice surprise in the mail today: My friend Samantha who works at  Positively Cleveland sent me a Fanboys DVD. I finally saw the movie earlier this month since it never made it to a Northeast Ohio theatre (funny, of course, since, oh, it’s about a bunch of guys from Ohio and, oh, the writer is from Ohio and grew up here, and oh, the town’s name, “Shandal,” is a none-too-subtle anagram of Ashland, which is all of an hour from here). I enjoyed the movie more than I was prepared to: It really never reached its full potential for either greatness or suckitude, but being a first-generation fan, I was probably a little more forgiving of its flaws, and I’m looking forward to watching the extras and listening to the commentary track.

Finally, here’s your daily baby robin update – and looking at their development, I fully expect to find the nest empty any day now:

Quit touching me! Mom, Theodores pinching! Im tellllllling!!!!

"Quit touching me!" "Mom, Theodore's pinching!" "I'm tellllllling!!!!"

June 25, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeeed Meeeeeeeee!

Today’s photo was apparently taken near dinnertime:

Click here for even more awwwww!

Click here for even more "awwwww!"

Hard to believe it’s only been a week since these little creatures were all tiny and pink and squirmy.

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strange Daze.

Today’s had an odd sort of wandering air to it. I suddenly find it’s 5:18 p.m. and I’ve been in this chair most of the day, except for the 3.64-mile run with my brother this morning. (We did it in 28 minutes flat, which works out to about 7:42 per mile, which is good for me. It’s close to my old two-mile race average and slower than the 8:12 I ran in my first five-miler last summer. And it felt really good, actually.)

I have a nice assignment to work on this week, so I made some progress on that in the late morning, but after lunch, things kind of fell into a meandering: nitpicky installation of software required to work on that assignment; ironing out the final wrinkles of a project turned in last week and wrestling with government website data in the process. But damn, I feel like I really should have gotten a lot more done today.

At any rate, here’s today’s Baby Robin Update, which I shot from a slightly different angle just because:

Bigger McBiggen photo here for the clicking.

Bigger McBiggen photo here for the clicking.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Robin Press: Your Source for Hatchling Updates.

Click to embiggen. Caution: The Cute! It Burns!

Click to embiggen. Caution: The Cute! It Burns!

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seventeen Saturdays: Episode II

We spent the weekend camping at Salt Fork State Park, so I did the second of my 17 long-run Saturdays on unfamiliar roads. As usual, I plotted my course on Gmaps Pedometer, figuring in a little cushion and surpassing this week’s seven-mile requirement by about three-quarters of a mile.

What I didn’t do was take a look at the elevation chart for the run, engaged by a subtle toggle over on the left hand side of the Pedometer page. I rarely do anyway, and I doubt it would have actually changed my planning, since I know Salt Fork’s roads wind and roll, and I don’t mind climbing too much.

Of course, when I got home and re-checked the route for accuracy, this time turning on the elevation chart, I was surprised at what I’d managed to inadvertently achieve:


So not only is there a fair climb in there, but it’s right at the heart of the route: The lowest point, by pure chance, happened to be almost exactly at my turnaround spot. None of the climbs were steep, but I think they may have been the longest hills I’ve ever run.

This was actually a really good run for me – I’d even almost call it ‘fun,’ except that just sounds crazy. I didn’t time myself, but I also never fell below a jog or found myself in danger of grinding to a halt, and that’s something, considering the last time I ran seven miles was eight months ago. (That shocked me a little bit just now when I flipped through my journal to look it up.) It was October 26th, when I did eight miles with my brother Adam on the last long run of his first marathon training program – his Seventeenth Saturday.

I started my Salt Fork run after sunup –- around 6:15, I think – and it was breezy enough to keep the sky constantly changing, though it never got gusty on the ground. Things shifted from sunny to overcast to “Dammit-I’m-going-to-get-caught-in-the-rain” (which never materialized) to sunny again.

Along the way, I saw:

  • Two deer standing at the roadside, about a half-mile or so into the run. They let me get within about 150 feet of them before heading off into the woods. When I got to the spot where they’d been, I looked into the trees and had to search hard to see them again.
  • The rising, yellow sun sending shafts of light into a hollow below the roadside, the air thick and wet and still. The previous night’s rains had left things damp and slightly humid, and the sunbeams were sharply defined against the dark leaves and trees.
  • A vulture in the middle of the road, head bowed. When I spotted it, my first thought was, “Uh-oh. Something dead. Something nasty.” It flew off, and it turned out to have been drinking from a puddle in a pothole.
  • A pocket of haze or smoke clinging to a wooded hillside across the lake.
  • Fingernail-sized snails crossing the road.
  • A sky-spanning cloud formation that moved swiftly and took on the shape and motion of ripples spreading on a pond. (On a similar note: Nearing the peak of the run, far beyond the crest of the incline I was climbing, the distant surrounding hills rose into view, hazy and purplish. It took me a minute to realize they were actually a far-off cloudbank on the horizon.)

A lot went through my mind on this run including some ideas I can hopefully turn into realities and writing projects. This is another reason I prefer running without the distraction of headphones, although it can be tough sometimes to keep track of everything that I want to write down when I finish the run. When I got back to our campsite on Saturday, I immediately grabbed a cup of water and my notebook and pen so I could scribble notes before they faded.

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, running, Sports, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Father’s Day/Summer Solstice

Happy Father’s Day: There’s still a fair amount of daylight left.

We went camping this weekend, so I missed a day documenting my semi-adopted trio‘s development. Because we were in a rush Friday morning (June 19), I managed only this lousy picture, forgetting to switch the camera to close-up mode:

Dont bother clicking. It wont help.

Don't bother clicking. It won't help.

I’m including it here for the sake of completeness and because even as blurry as it is, you can still definitely see more of the dark areas where the wing feathers are developing and along their little backbones too. They almost look like, you know, birds.

So we got back today and their mom is clearly sitting higher up in the nest, and I remembered to set the camera in the correct mode, and I got this shot, which is easily my favorite so far:

Youre missing out if you dont click to look at the bigger version. Seriously.

You're missing out if you don't click to look at the bigger version. Seriously.

I was ecstatic at how well this one came out, and honestly, even the largest Flickr version is far smaller than the original and doesn’t quite reveal the level of detail. Here’s a cropped close-up:

Get even closer by clicking on the image.

Get even closer by clicking on the image.

The little toe peeking out there; the developing feather tips just emerging – honestly, this is just amazing to me. Less than a week ago, this bird was curled up in a space about the size of the tip joint of my index finger.

It’s now 8:35 p.m. EST on June 21, 2009 and I can still see the sun just over the top of the neighbors’ garage. it will be light for awhile yet, and though I’ve seen a lot of summers pass on this street, right this second, the air smells like grass and lightning bugs and suspended time.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Current Affairs, geek, Ohio, photos | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby robin update

Baby robins. 3 or four days old, we think. (click for close-up)

Baby robins. 3 or four days old, we think. (click for close-up)

Here’s what they looked like yesterday. (And just a few days before that.)

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Arrivals

Remember these?

Now they’re these:

(click for a bigger version)

(click for a bigger version)

I’m figuring two or three days old, at most. They’re not even making any noise yet, so I didn’t know they’d hatched. I just figured I’d check in with the camera this afternoon.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, Science | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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