Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jenetta's Party

Thanks so much to all of you who made the party for Jenetta such a fun evening! We had a great time and we really enjoyed the time visiting with so many of our friends.

Note to anyone wanting to surprise Jenetta - never use her name on the internet!
She knew about it immediately thanks to google alerts.

But she was a good sport and played along.

So many of you were so very instrumental in making this happen for us. I could not have pulled this off without all of your help. Thank you so much!

I only got a few photos. I was so busy all night! There were so many people there, I guess I should have gotten a professional photographer to cover it! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Greg and Tanya

It has been really great to have my cousin Greg and his wife Tanya here with us this weekend. They were able to make us part of their special vacation together.

Today Greg and I surfed in Del Mar. He got up a few times and made a good effort of it.

I caught probably the best wave I've gotten this year. It was a shoulder-high and glassy frontside that somehow I ended up in the perfect position to catch. That was so awesome! I caught it really far outside on the reef, so it was a good long ride!

Another highlight was sharing the last ride in together. It's fun to surf side-by-side with someone you know!

We've enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them better and hope to be able to spend time with them again soon. (Thanks, Tanya for the photos!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Soapbox

Please allow me the opportunity to rant for a bit…

One of the things that makes me the most turned off about our political system is the way we seem pigeonholed into the us vs. them mentality. If the other guy disagrees with me, then he is an idiot and I can say whatever horrible thing I want to about him, his family, his background, and his ideas. These horrible things are designed to make others see that my guy is the best choice. I’m not exaggerating here. I have met people that have said outrageous, gossipy, and hurtful things about a candidate because he or she was on the other side. These were things that in some cases were completely unsubstantiated. They may be true or they may be false. That doesn’t seem to matter. It was heard on _____ (whatever cable news channel supports their ideology) and will be gossiped and clucked about disapprovingly.

I don’t think you can pin this on just one side, either. The followers of both parties routinely engage in this kind of behavior. It makes me sick. It makes me not want to vote at all.

So I am confused. There are things I like about both candidates and things I dislike about both of them. I want to study their ideas and their plans and make an informed choice. I have been approached by supporters of both candidates who were incredulous over the thought that I could even CONSIDER the other candidate because of _____.

I think it is time for some positive, thoughtful, and respectful discussion in this country. Our problems are too great just to yell epithets at each other.

Here is one subject that I would love to see studied in depth. Under most economic conditions, which ideology has proven to be the most effective?

My understanding of the basic philosophical differences between Republican and Democratic economic strategy goes something like this:

Democratic – We need to tax higher-earning individuals and corporations at a higher rate so the middle and lower classes can get more programs and opportunities. They earn so much more than the rest of us; they need to give back to the country that allows them to create their wealth. This will level the playing field more and make the nation prosper on the whole. There is a lot of injustice in the world and a lot of corporate greed and excess. It is time someone did something about it.

Republican – We should give additional tax breaks to higher-earning individuals and corporations because they invest in our country and hire the rest of us. Higher taxes for them means they work harder to find loopholes (they can afford tax attorneys) and move their funds out of the country, so the Treasury gets less anyway. When rich guy “A” buys a yacht, all the yacht workers get work.

Which is the better approach? And how do varying economic conditions affect each strategy? It would be really great to read some in-depth studies on the subject.

I read something in our paper this morning. In the business section, they talk about the Mexican Immigrant population declining in San Diego County. There are not enough jobs in the construction industry, and Latino workers have the highest unemployment rate in our area. Here is a link to the article. It made me very sad because everyday I see the guys standing outside at the Home Depot hoping that someone will need handyman help of some kind. (It makes me very grateful for the temp job I was able to get.)

At least in this case, this would provide some evidence to support the Republican strategy. Although, it is not really tax-related, so maybe it is an unfair conclusion to draw. But it seems clear that one part of the population is spending a lot less and that directly impacts the economic opportunity of another segment of our population. It would be interesting to see this studied further by sociologists and economists.

See? Thoughtful, respectful, and productive discussion. Was that so hard?

Or do you just think I am an idiot because of my beliefs?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Photos of Taking Photos

When Jenetta shoots photo sessions down in the city or at the beach, I often accompany her to assist with holding stuff and shading the clients or lighting them. Toward the end of the session yesterday, the backdrop inspired me, so I clicked off a few photos on my phone.

We were at the Ferry Terminal in Coronado. I've probably been on Coronado 100 times since we've lived here, but I had never been to this end of the island. It has such a great view of the bay and the skyline!

So here are some photos of Jenetta hard at work last night: Check out her blog in a few days to see the results of her work. I was looking at some of the shots last night, and they should be really, really good!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Halloween 2008

A friend sent me this cartoon today. So true...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sigur Ros

Jenetta and I went with our friends David and Courtney to see Sigur Ros in concert last night at the Copley Symphony Hall downtown. Despite warnings that no photography of any kind would be allowed, there were a number of people there with SLRs and even a guy with long lenses! I will never, ever, ever, not bring a good camera to a concert again! If they tell me I can't bring it in, I will just return it to the car. All night I was wishing I had some decent equipment because these cell phone photos just do not do it justice.

It was an amazing concert. They toured without the string section, and the songs that use a lot of orchestration were either skipped or simplified. I kind of missed the horns on some of their songs, but it was amazing how full a sound they generate with just four members. They had a really great balance between old and new songs.

Sigur Ros is the unquestioned master of dynamics! No one can play soft, use pauses, or gradually build the way they do. The build and build and build and build and build to complete sonic overload on Track 8 from the ( ) album is the perfect exclamation point - an awesome way to end the show. They leave EVERYTHING on the field (to borrow a sports cliche).

After the show, David said that he wanted to go to LA to see them again tonight. I know exactly how he feels!

I've also included a video clip of Hoppipolla. It is of poor quality and I debated whether or not to put it up at all. It sounds a little better when you turn the sound down lower. Sadly, cell phone video recorders are just not designed to handle the audio level of a concert.

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