Mt. Hood Trip – Part 1 of my 50th Birthday

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Family GatheringFamily Gatheringmt-hood-trip-3720140202Mt. Hood Cultural MuseumMt. Hood Cultural MuseumMt. Hood Cultural Museum

Mt. Hood Trip, a set on Flickr.

Just got back from the Mt. Hood area on a trip to celebrate my 50th birthday.. we had a great time, watching the Superbowl on Sunday  and just hanging out with family

Some places to check out in Government Camp:

1. Huckleberry Inn — wonderful lodge style rooms and bunk house. Includes a 24-hour restaurant with giant donuts and huge portions.

2. Charlie’s – locals and visitors mix it up here with great drinks and meals featuring yummy cooked meat – hamburgers, chicken, ribs and the like.  My family always does well with taking money from the Oregon Lottery video game machines there – I won 180 and between all the family we made over $1000.

3. Ratskeller — marvelous pizza and good drinks.  The service is good here and they have a giant tv room for sports watching.

4. Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum — this is a cute little museum that is free and has some cool stuff from the history of the area and the development of skiing.

Video

Monterey Diving Day – January 11, 2014

Went diving on Saturday and the conditions weren’t that great but had a good time with friends on the Sanctuary in Monterey. We had to stay within Monterey Bay because of the swell and the weather was overcast. The first dive at Hopkins Reef had ok vis about 10-15 feet and we saw many crabs on the dive. We tried another location for the second dive but the viability was zero so we moved over to the Monterey Aquarium where it turned out to be a nice short dive. Had a nice encounter with a sea lion which I got on video. This was my second time using my GoPro. This was my first diving of the new year. Here is some video I got of that dive.

Starfish Disease

Starfish Disease by Ed Bierman
Starfish Disease, a photo by Ed Bierman on Flickr.

I posted this photo to Flickr — it was taken on my last dive in Monterey earlier this month.

I was shocked to see first hand the horrible starfish disease that is killing off major populations along the western coastline. The starfish waste away and you see all these single legs on the rocks. It isn’t killing off all starfish but a good majority of them.

No one seems to know the cause or how to stop it. This leg is to a scarlet red blood star, Henricia leviuscula, one of my favorites. I saw no sunflower stars on my last dive and that is unusual.

Here are some stories about it.

http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Mystery-ailment-is-wiping-out-coast-s-starfish-5046911.php

“A mysterious pathogen is wiping out starfish along the Pacific coast, a potential catastrophe that has flummoxed marine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=clues-sought-for-sea-star-die-off

Great Diving Day

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Unseen Hermissenda crassicornis5Crab and consortStarfish DiseaseAnemones55 with rockfishDive 2 - butterfly house,  82 ft 36 min with 30 ft visDive site one -  half dome #carmel #scuba
Time to go #scuba divingChristmas Dug #redwoodcityMy #christmas treeTime for my staff holiday movie day,  yeahYumLooks goof
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Had a great diving day on Sunday in the Carmel area. Was on my favorite dive boat, the Sanctuary. The vis was great at over 40 feet on the first dive and 20-30 on the second. Both dives were deep — first was at Half Dome, outside of Point Lobos, 108 feet for 26 minutes. The second dive was at Butterfly House – 82 feet for 36 minutes.

It was the first time that I used my GoPro camera which worked really well. I don’t know if it works well to both take photos and video… looks odd that I’m always using my camera on the video.

I also had some technical issues — my SmartCom went into error mode. Luckily friends on the boat had something I could use.

Louisiana State Museum – The Cabildo

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Davidson Family at Poydras Plantation, William Rumpler, 1858Louisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The Cabildo
Louisiana State Museum - The CabildoBaroness de Pontalba, 1835The Children of Comte Louis Amedee and Marie Victoire, Francois Fleschbein, 1839Louisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The CabildoLouisiana State Museum - The Cabildo
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The Louisiana State Museum (LSM), founded in New Orleans in 1906 and still headquartered there, is a statewide system of National Historic Landmarks and modern structures across Louisiana, housing thousands of artifacts and works of art reflecting Louisiana’s legacy of historic events and cultural diversity. It is located next to the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The images here are of the The Cabildo – Spain’s old City Hall, or “Casa Capitular”, built in 1799. Site of the two Louisiana Territory transfers of 1803. Housed various government offices, including the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Cabildo displays 3 floors of exhibits concerning Louisiana’s history, with additional changing exhibits in the adjoining Arsenal building.

2013 Folsom Street Fair

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2013 Folsom Street Fair, a set on Flickr.

The Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair held on the last Sunday in September and caps San Francisco’s “Leather Pride Week”. The Folsom Street Fair, sometimes simply referred to as “Folsom”, takes place on Folsom Street between 7th and 12th Streets, in San Francisco’s South of Market district.

The event started in 1984 and is California’s third largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world’s largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture.

It has grown as a non-profit charity, and local and national non-profits benefit with all donations at the gates going to charity groups as well as numerous fundraising schemes within the festival including games, beverage booths and even spanking for donations to capitalize on the adult-themed exhibitionism.

Kiss rebreather demo @wallinsdive #scuba – interested in diving without bubbles, getting closer to the fish

This week I tried the Kiss rebreather system in a pool in San Mateo. It was very cool and I can see how freeing it would be to dive without bubbles. It would also be so much better for photography of fish and other “moving” marine life.

I was really sold on the idea but not ready to put down my money yet. It would be a real financial commitment of nearly $6000 for lessons and the equipment. Also, I don’t know if I’m quite there for the add risk of doing it because there is more to go wrong than recreational open circuit scuba.

It was very interesting and a little bit scary when at times I reached some sort of balance between my own longs and the counter lung of the the rebreather. Then it became very difficult to breath and I had to blow out my nose or go to open circuit for a moment to “unbalance” the two so that I could breath in and out.

I’m sure you figure it all out in the 5 days of intensive training. One day I will take the plunge. Now I’m off to dive in the Channel Islands, photos to come next week.

Redwood City 4th of July Celebration

Redwood City Parade Participants - 2013Redwood City Parade Participants - 2013Huey Helicopter starts things off flying over headOur American Heritage - Start of ParadeRedwood City Parade Participants - 2013Redwood City Parade Participants - 2013
Miss PCAMiss CaliforniaMiss CaliforniaLocal Military Marching BandRedwood City Parade Participants - 2013Senator Jerry Hill
Redwood City CouncilLocal FirefightersLocal FirefightersLocal FirefightersMuseum of San CarlosRedwood City Police - Special Weapons
Redwood City Marine PatrolRedwood City Parade Participants - 2013Redwood City Parade Participants - 2013Redwood City Parade Participants - 2013Redwood City Marine PatrolQueen of the Festival

Here is a collection of my images from the 4th of July. The parade was a bit of a let down — seemed to be thinner than last year and didn’t find as many interesting subjects to take photos of during it.

We had fun afterwards at the tequila bar with friends and then a big bbq later that afternoon. It was a nice day overall.

Monterey Diving Day – June 2013

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Beaded AnemoneLingcodPart of the intake pipe for Monterey AquariumBlue Rockfishmonterey-dving-8920130615Hermissenda Crassicornis
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Went diving on June 15th and it was a really nice day.   On board the Beach Hopper II, a great boat, were members of the Northern California Rainbow Divers, which I’m a member of and a great group.

The weather was overcast but the conditions were nice for this time of year – fairly green but with 15-20 of visibility. Because of the swell, we couldn’t get down to Carmel and had to stay in Monterey Bay. We did our first dive at Chase Reef – I had a 45 minute dive, 54 feet. The rock formations here are interesting and saw several nice invertebrates.

The second dive was at the intake pipe at Monterey Aquarium. If was the first time I’ve ever been there. Most of my best photos of the day came from this dive with several nice nudibranchs and fish images. The pipes are interesting — they are in about 50 feet of water and the ends are sticking up from the bottom with a giant net cage over them so they they don’t suck in sea life or stupid divers.  The water is taken from here and used in the aquarium – the only museum in the world to use ocean water taken directly from the sea.

Redwood City Concerts Start, Yeah! Video

So happy that Friday night concerts – Redwood City Music on the Square have started again. For the first week they had Bon Jovi Tribute Steel Horse tribute band. I thought they started off slow by playing several lesser known Bon Jovi songs – it took a while for the crowd to get into it.  But by they finished at 8, the crowd was really rocking. It is good to be out there and seeing the community show up.