Friday, June 8, 2018

World Oceans Day 2018

The Pacific Ocean laps gently at the shore here in Santa Monica.

Most days I don't visit this beautiful, life-giving sea.  I take her for granted.

But today is World Oceans Day.  I must go down to the sea again...

I always pick up any trash on the beach when I jog.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Porsche kills man in parking lot

Trash can flattened by speeding car - Photo owned by Santa Monica Mirror

Santa Monica's reputation is about beach walking and shopping, dining out, enjoying the weather or a stroll on the Promenade with views toward Malibu and Santa Catalina Island.

But on March 21 a young man driving a Porsche turned off Fourth Street into the Civic Center parking lot and accelerated through it, killing a person who had stepped out of the Court House to put more money in the meter for the lot.

The Porsche then careened out onto Main Street, hitting parked cars and being abandoned as the driver ran away.

Every few years a random killer shows up in town, taking the life of a tourist or resident.

This suspect was captured and identified as Abadi Kidane.  He had drugs in his system at the time of arrest.

Keeping Obamacare means continuing to offer psychiatric care and addiction care.

If we cancel health insurance that provides these types of care, the problems of other people may cause problems for us.

Abadi didn't avail himself of the opportunity to get help, and his choice ended a life.

A few days earlier in the same vicinity, a young woman walking on Pico Blvd. to her job at Starbucks cafe on Main Street was hit by a car and taken to UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital with serious brain injuries.  She has been in a coma.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Surfing in January

In Santa Monica there are people out there surfing at all times of the year.

We had some high surf recently when swimming was not advised, but that didn't stop the serious surfers.

When there's rain, sewage overflows into the bay and people stay out of the water a bit--but not everyone.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pelican Holiday

An amazing high tide at 8 am today of 6.7 feet above usual sea level.

Brown pelicans have had the Venice breakwater all to themselves for hours, as a series of islands.  I've never seen pelicans sitting on these rocks before.  

Note: A new documentary opening today about the hardships faced by pelicans from human changes to their habitats: Pelican Dreams by Judy Irving.

The sea is flat as a bowl of jelly because the Santa Ana winds are blowing from land toward the ocean.  No ocean-to-land breezes to start any waves.  


Sand and sky, flat sea and footprints.

Palos Verdes Peninsula just a shadow, Los Angeles just a dream.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mouth of the Fish

I discovered a star tonight: Fomalhaut... aka Fum al Hut (Arabic for "mouth of the fish").

I was at Point Dume, a volcanic intrusion, on Zuma Beach in Malibu about 6:30 pm.

Sitting at the base of the huge precipice of rock, I noticed a bright star in the thin gap between the cliff and a 30-foot boulder broken off the cliff.  

I watched the star slowly slip to my right behind the boulder as Earth turned and wondered whether it was a star or a planet.  

Later I stood up and walked to where I could see the whole southern sky.  This star was very bright--1.2 magnitude, as I later learned, and it was the only one in that part of the sky.  

With the light pollution from Los Angeles, I couldn't really see Scorpio or Sagitarrius or the Milky Way.

I saw one reddish star and thought it was Antares in Scorpio but later learned it was Mars.  Scorpio had already slipped beneath the western horizon of the sea.

I could see Cygnus the swan and Aquila, the eagle, but east of them only this one unknown star.

Once I looked at the star map at home, I learned that Fomalhaut "lies in quite a barren region of the southern sky and because of this has become known as "The Solitary One" (The Nature Company Guides: Advanced Skywatching, p.269).

It's in Pisces Austrinus, which is down in the southern sky below Aquarius.  

What a lovely time, nestled in a lap of volcanic rock, watching the stars and the waves, safe in the shadow of the mighty intrusion.