Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Last month during our trip to San Diego we visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano. I've visited around 2/3 of the California missions, but this one was by far the nicest I'd seen. The Mission has earned the reputation as the Loveliest of the Franciscan Ruins. We missed the mass return of the swallows by a week, but there were a few early arrivals.

The Mission site is still a functioning church, so there is a mixture of ruins and more modern facilities. In 1812, the Wrightwood Earthquake brought down the bulk of the nave, completely obliterating the bell tower, and killing 42 native worshippers. This shot shows the left side of the ruins of The Great Stone Church.

This is one of the four bells making up the four-bell campanario. The campanario was erected the year after the bell tower was toppled by the 1812 earthquake.

Back side of the bell from with in the secret garden.

A Moorish-style fountain inside the Mission's central courtyard.

Father Serra's Church.

The many fountains and ponds are populated by fish.

A sad commentary that such rules need be stated.

Monday, March 26, 2007

San Diego Photo Blogging

I went to San Diego early this month. Here are a few of the photos.

PetCo National Hamster Ball Derby

PetCo National Hamster Ball Derby

Using hamster balls as their vehicles, hamsters will race down an 8-foot track in heats of four (hopefully, but not necessarily, toward the finish line). First-place winners at each store will win their very own Hamtrac Circle Track from Super Pet, a hamster-size trophy and, of course, bragging rights. Prizes will also be awarded to second- and third-place winners. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation. Participants will need to have their own hamsters and hamster balls to participate. Registration for the race is free. Spectators are encouraged. March 31, 2 p.m. To find a participating location near you, visit

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Last night we watched a largely unknown film by Mike Judge, creator of Office Space and King of the Hill, called Idiocracy. The premise of the film is to explore a future where unintelligent people have out breed intelligent people, resulting in a uniformly stupid humanity. Into this world we place the perfectly average 20th century man. Standard fish out of water scenario.

Much to my surprise, Idiocracy turns out to be a brilliant cultural satire. Through most of it I couldn't stop laughing. The film portrays a world only slightly exaggerated from our own. A city-sized Costco that offers law-degrees. The habit of naming children after products going to a new level - calling Dr. Lexus! A pro-wrestler/ex-porn star as president. Cabinet posts granted by winning contests. And a fictional Sports drink corporation purchasing the F.D.A. and the F.C.C so that they can replace water usage with their sports drink. Its definitely worth viewing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

More Compassionate Conservatism from comedian Rush Limbaugh

There’s no question the left has been trying to destroy the family structure.
This from childless and thrice-divorced paragon of family values comedian Rush Limbaugh - source Tom Tomrrow

Back to Colorado

We spent a week in San Diego visiting family. We even got an audience with the Maximum Leader. Meanwhile, Kelly spent the week spa-ing here in Colorado. Spring has finely come to Colorado, so this comix isn't as pertinent as it would have been last month.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Political Animals

Depends on what the definition if is is!

Stay the course.

Stay the course some more.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Compassionate Conservatism from Coultergeist

Ann Coulter, one of the most vitriolic right-wing ideologues currently appearing on national television, recently made this lovely comment at the CPAC convention
I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.
Then later, as a twisted attempt at dismissal
Faggot isn't offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays, Coulter said on "Hannity and Colmes" Monday night. It's a schoolyard taunt meaning 'wuss,' and unless you're telling me that John Edwards is gay, it was not applied to a gay person.
I'm glad to see the Republic party maintains its big tent!

Other Coulter gems;
More right wing love of the troops.
Coulter was fired from MSNBC when she told a disabled Vietnam veteran, 'people like you caused us to lose that war.'
Where was the outrage?

Condi has it wrong when she compares Saddam to Hitler, she should be comparing Ann Coulter.
She was fired from the conservative National Review when she turned in a column offering a final solution to the Muslim problem: 'We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity'.

Dick has a heart to heart talk with his clot

Red State Son has a disturbingly relevant take on what might be going through Dick Cheney mind since news of his clot. Be warned that Red State is more angry than usual.

Temperature Trends

This image is a comparison of 10 different published reconstructions of mean temperature changes during the last 2000 years. The medieval warm period and little ice age are labeled at roughly the times when they are historically believed to occur. This plot demonstrates the range of reconstructions appearing in the published scientific literature.

The key to notice here is the current temperature anomaly (2004) is an abrupt and significant rise in temperature, significantly greater than the rise seen during the medieval warm period. And so far it shows no sign of leveling off.

Monday, March 05, 2007


See, Cats really are trying to destroy us!

The discovery, announced last week, that the H5N1 bird flu virus is widespread in cats in locations across Indonesia has refocused attention on the danger that the deadly virus could be mutating into a form that can infect humans far more readily.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gingrich exhibits Compassionate Conservatism

Newt Gingrich at the 34th annual conservative political action conference (CPAC) was quoted as saying;
[h]ow can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane.

Now, while there is plenty blame to go around for government incompetence, blaming the victims is just plain hateful. But then what can one expect from a guy who served his wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery and refused to pay alimony or child support.

Frestyling in Selma

As part of their electioneering, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were in Selma today for the commemoration of Selma's Bloody Sunday. On Sunday March 7, 1965, around 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by Alabama state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. The attack would ignite the civil rights movement in the south.

[the] civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Highway 80. Discrimination and intimidation had prevented Selma's black population, roughly half of the city, from registering three weeks earlier ... a trooper (Corporal James Bonard Fowler) shot Jimmie Lee Jackson as he tried to protect his mother and grandfather in a café to which they had fled while being attacked by troopers during a civil rights demonstration. Jackson died ...

In their first march ... they made it only [six blocks] ... State troopers and the Dallas County Sheriff's Department, some mounted on horseback, awaited them. In the presence of the news media, the lawmen attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy clubs, tear gas, and bull whips, driving them back into Selma.

Brutal televised images of the attack, which presented people with horrifying images of people left bloodied and severely injured, roused support for the US civil rights movement.
(source Wikipedia)

Both Obama and HR Clinton gave a speech at a local church to commemorate the day. Both were decent speeches. Barack did the better job with his. Hillary sounded like an attorney giving a summation. I came away from both thinking that the day should have focused on history and not their ambitions.