Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 243 - San Francisco

The Giant Dog fared better, but I'll reserve judgement until I can have a Chicago Dog at Wrigley (hint, hint, Dave.)

Day 242 - San Francisco

On the recommendation of a friend and colleague from the Bay Area, I had to have the nachos on last week's visit to AT&T Park to see two of the Giants' games against the first place Reds.

And despite their photogenic nature (thanks, natural sunlight!) these nachos were nothing special.

Day 241 - Anacapa

I saw this Calico Bass (Paralabrax Clathratus) resting on a rock; I snuck up around his blind side and went all paparazzi on him.

Day 240 - Anacapa

The current was strong; this Island Kelpfish (Alloclinus Holderi) was hunkered down in the rocks.

Day 239 - Anacapa

This is a Clown Dorid (Triopha Catalina), a nudibranch we hadn't seen before.

Day 238 - Anacapa

At maybe a half-inch long, I have no idea how Chris spotted this juvenile nudibranch.

Day 237 - Anacapa

For some reason, there weren't very many tube anemones this trip . . . don't know why.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 236 - Anacapa

I've gone diving in Channel Islands National Park each of the three years I've been back in California; Anacapa is the smallest island in the chain, but has some of the best diving.

This sheep crab covers its shell, legs, and claws with barnacles as a means of camouflage.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Tease

I took some much needed time off this week and got two whole days EACH of baseball and diving . . . here's a tease from today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 235 - Cambria Moonrise / Sunset

Day 234 - People I Dig

Really, it wasn't that cold on the boardwalk, but the 805 Girl was an excellent host and tour guide. And Bailey was one of the best-behaved dogs I've ever seen, especially with all the deer and fat little field mice running about.

Day 233 - Cambria

I hadn't been to Cambria in nearly 30 years; Hearst Castle is a mile up the road - I went there and then on up to Alcatraz for my 10th birthday.

It's a lovely little seaside town, something that was lost on me as a child, and the boardwalks that flank the cliffs over the pounding surf provide amazing views.

Day 232 - Garden Ants

In a so-simple-why-didn't-I-think-of-that design concept, these stone and iron ants were some of the most creative garden ornaments I've ever seen.

Day 231 - Olive Oil

Tasting olive oil is nothing like tasting wine, but there can be as many flavor layers and complexities with olives as there are with grapes.

Day 230 - Ice Cream

I've become pretty adept at making ice creams . . . the more I dig for new and unique recipes and flavor combinations, the more I see olive oil ice cream popping up. And in all honesty, I've never been too excited about it.

But when I saw We Olive's booth giving away samples, I had to give it a try, if only to determine once and for all if it was for me. And lordy, is it ever good. The richness of the olive oil blends subtly with the butterfat, with just a hint of the fruity tang from the olives themselves. And add a splash of balsamic vinegar to it? While it looks like chocolate syrup, that's a flavor combination like no other . . .

Day 229 - Pepper Jelly

The straight jalapeno jelly was delicious, at least to me, and would've paired well with lamb. Tasted a little like the hot-and-sour soup I like so much at Chinese restaurants.

Day 228 - Pepper Jelly

These jars of pepper jelly looked like colorful snow globes.

Day 227 - Olives

The primary reason for heading to Paso Robles this weekend was the 7th Annual Olive Festival.

Day 226 - Roadrunner

The 805 Girl dislikes the native roadrunners eating all the lizards in her yard, as the lizards eat the insects on her garden plants.

Day 225 - Yucca

These fibers can be peeled off yucca leaves and woven like cloth threads.

Day 224 - Bluebird

Larger than most of the ones I've seen.

Day 223 - Prickly Pear

It's an intimidating look, but nothing a good pair of gloves can't handle.

Day 222 - Prickly Pears

Mashed into a pulp & strained, these make a mean margarita.

Day 221 - Prickly Pear

A new "paddle" growing on a prickly pear cactus.

Day 220 - Peppercorns

Since the 805 Girl no longer lives in the 805, I can't link to her website. But her new home in Paso Robles has these amazing red pepper trees lining the driveway.

Day 219 - Cambria Hamburger

I went up north this weekend and had to try a burger . . . this came from a great little grill in Cambria.

Day 218 - Bad Month

My sincerest apologies to Aunty Lou, Chicago Dave, and all those readers and followers out there in the interwebs. I haven't had much time to shoot photos, or take any interesting pictures the last month or so, and this picture of my broken cheese slicer pretty much sums things up. I have to wonder, though, since I was SLICING CHEESE (Colby, if you're interested) how an item could break doing specifically what it was designed to do.

Anyhow, this week will be chock full of photo opportunities, and I'll take full advantage to catch up.

And thanks for sticking with me . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 217 - Archives

Meet Margie and Dave, two of my most favorite people on the whole planet, way back when before I moved to L.A. and they moved to Chicago. We'd go to baseball games together, listen to bands, drink beer, and generally laugh ourselves silly. When they got married in Toledo, I made a weekend out of it, and packaged their wedding around two baseball games and an amusement park. Oh yeah.

Day 216 - Archives

One of the things I miss about Maryland is the abundance of accessible minor league baseball. There were no less than SIX teams at Double-A or lower all within an hour's drive. The orange jerseys were the Baltimore Orioles' High-A team in the Carolina League, the Frederick Keys.

Day 215 - Archives

The last eight years I was in Maryland, I lived in a house on eight acres of land that backed up to a large reservoir. These little frogs would come out every year and mistake the pool in the backyard for the reservoir. And man, were they noisy . . .

Day 214 - Archives

Since I haven't had much time to go out shooting new things, I'm reaching back into the way-back machine for images I shot when I was still living in Maryland.

This is "Rabbit," or "Bunny," my parents' house-trained dwarf rabbit.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 213 - Grapes

Black seedless grapes, ice cold out of the fridge, make a great nighttime snack.

Homemade Pizza

I had a craving this weekend for pizza.

Oh sure, I could have called Papa John's or Domino's, and had a pizza within a half hour or so. But since I'm getting more and more comfortable with my bread maker, I figured it wouldn't be too hard to make pizza dough from scratch. And since I needed to go grocery shopping anyway, I just picked up the ingredients to make the sauce from scratch as well. And it's a good thing the sauce freezes, 'cause my recipe wound up making a half gallon . . .

While the dough worked away in the bread maker, the sauce simmered; including the double-proofing, both finished at about the same time. I divided the dough into thirds, wrapped two up for the fridge, and worked one out onto my pizza screen. If there's anything I remember from making English muffin pizzas as a kid, it's go easy on the sauce - the last thing you want is a soggy pizza. So I spread a thin layer out with a ladle.

I had read on Serious Eats about crisping pastrami to top a hamburger, so I did the same for the first pizza topping, chopping the pastrami up into bite-size bits.

Never been a fan of shredded cheese on pizza; always liked the thickness of sliced cheese. Did mostly mozzarella with a little sharp cheddar for flavor.

Added sliced pepperoni and crumbled bacon to finish it off. Yeah, I know, no vegetables. My pizza, my rules.

15 minutes at 425 degrees (10 minutes on the screen, five minutes directly on the rack) and man-oh-man, did the kitchen ever smell good.

The crust is what I was most proud of, since it had the perfect balance of crisp and chew . . . didn't even need to dip it in ranch dressing. And I still have all the ingredients left to make more . . .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 212 - Collections

These are all original, at least 30 years old.

Day 211 - Collections

Bookshelf three.

Day 210 - Collections

Bookshelf two.

Day 209 - Collections

Bookshelf one.

Day 208 - Collections

The third shelf . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010