Thursday, March 19, 2009

My latest trip

My favorite part of the trip...visiting with my aunt and uncle in Santa Maria. I spent one night there and am so glad I did. :-)
Pictures from Vista Point

This bird and I were very friendly.

Cambrian Squirrel

Natasha Richardson (1963-2009)

In lieu of repeating an already well-written article, please see below for Adam's tribute to a truly gifted woman. May she rest in peace.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Snowing!!!

Swiss Alps

On the road again...

Doesn't it seem like I just returned from a trip? Three weeks ago I flew home from Europe, and Monday I embark on a three day road trip to Central California. I'm beginning to have that 'living out of a suitcase' feeling! Okay, okay, it's only three days!!! Anyway, I'm going on a another business trip and plan to interview four people who were stationed at MCAS El Toro. Although I threw everything together a bit last minute, I am excited because I'm going to spend Monday night with my aunt and uncle. I've also never been to Cambria, and though I'm going by myself, hopefully I can find something fun to do while I'm there. My itinerary is as follows:

Monday: Drive to Santa Barbara

Interview at 11:00

Drive to Santa Maria and stay the night

Tuesday: Interview x2 in Arroyo Grande

Drive to Cambria for the night

Wednesday: Interview in Cambria

Drive home (& pray for good traffic!! I get to drive through LA during rush hour...again)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"To those who say people wouldn't look..."

Fifty-one years ago, veteran reporter Edward R. Murrow gave his infamous speech on the current state of television at the Radio and Television News Directors Association meeting. I admit I have read the text several times and each time am reminded just how appropriate Murrow's words are for today. I recently stumbled across the speech yet again and felt compelled to highlight excerpts. I suppose this American's dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs will come across loud and clear. And to quote Murrow, "This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference." The question I ask myself is: what can I do to change this?

And if you ever find yourself bored with nothing to do I highly recommend reading the text in its entirety. :-)

Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. I invite your attention to the television schedules of all networks between the hours of 8 and 11 p.m., Eastern Time. Here you will find only fleeting and spasmodic reference to the fact that this nation is in mortal danger. There are, it is true, occasional informative programs presented in that intellectual ghetto on Sunday afternoons. But during the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: LOOK NOW, PAY LATER.

I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and more mature than most of our industry's program planners believe. [What, you mean we don't have to program news to a 4th grade level?!! No!]

I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge, and retribution will not limp in catching up with us. We are to a large extent an imitative society. If one or two or three corporations would undertake to devote just a small traction of their advertising appropriation along the lines that I have suggested, the procedure would grow by contagion; the economic burden would be bearable, and there might ensue a most exciting adventure--exposure to ideas and the bringing of reality into the homes of the nation.

To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.

This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful. Stonewall Jackson, who knew something about the use of weapons, is reported to have said, "When war comes, you must draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." The trouble with television is that it is rusting in the scabbard during a battle for survival.

Monday, March 9, 2009


The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Souza Quote


I took this video toward the end of our gondola ride coming into the Grand Canal. Obviously, we were at the mercy of the water, so please excuse the constand bobbing up and down. I do hope no one gets sea sick watching it! Also, my apologize for including close ups of family members heads (namely my parents!), but gondola's aren't known for their spacious interiors! Regardless of it's imperfections, this is on my of favorite videos because it brings back fond memories of my favorite stop: Venezia!

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

- William Shakespeare
English Poet and Playwright

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Clearly, it is going to take me longer than I thought to post about my trip. Too bad good intentions do not equal actually accomplishing something. So, until I get back to sharing some of my adventures, see below for a link to my Picasa web album. I took over 1100 pictures and narrowed them down to 87. No small feat, let me assure you!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sparkling Lights: Eiffel Tower at night

Christina, this one is for you since you haven't seen the Eiffel Tower at night. Now, I am a novice at videos and can't figure out how to adjust the orientation. If you tilt your head to the left you should be able to see it just fine!

Lake Varese

Both of these photos were taken at Lake Varese in the Italian Lake District. I took the first one from our balcony. This was one of the most beautiful places we visited. Talk about a view!