Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bacon/Townshend separation research leads to Paul Rudd and Craig Wedren

We're gonna finish the year off here with a couple of interesting* videos that we came across while looking for something else entirely.  Hope you enjoy them and Happy New Years!

Link to the 360-degree video:  Craig Wedren's "We Are"

*well, one is kind of ridiculous really, but the other one is definitely interesting, IOHO.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Goin' The Druid Route on Baby J's B-Day

Dendroid, dendroid, I love you so.

Henry Cowell Redwoods SP 12/25/11
Sunshiny but chilly; a beautiful 48-degree day in the SC Mts.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Here by the Sea And Sand (Inn, that is)

Greetings and Happy Holidays from Santa Cruz!

Since we don't have to be at work until 4 tomorrow, we decided to go for a micro-mini getaway to what might be described as the Brighton of the west coast. Santa Cruz doesn't have Palace Pier or Mods and Rockers skirmishing on the beach, but it often has some tasty waves and, for sure, some cool buzz.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Train and an Erector Set: what more could any kid want?

Spotted from the back porch of the small (but pretty neat) Moffett Field Museum

Note: Hangar One was saved from the bulldozers, but the budget and scope of hazardous waste abatement proved way too much for the local volunteer group to handle. Now the Google guys are the only ones with deep enough pockets to keep the restoration project going.  The volunteers we talked to weren't all that happy about corporate America getting it's hooks into "their" hangar, but they acknowledged that it's the only way to save it.

TSG was lucky enough to experience the inside of the famous hangar at one of the last air shows at Moffett. They were giving hot air balloon rides inside the hangar. They had 4 balloons going at the same time; quite an impressive sight.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Has TSG posted this before? Ah, what the heck, can you ever get enough Gridiron Yetis this time of year?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Townshend Tales: Goings-on at the La Valencia Hotel

Pete talks about his stay at La Jolla's venerable "Pink Lady", former workplace of Eddie Vedder. Special bonus trivia: TSG was born just a kilometer down the street from the hotel. For best(?)viewing experience, watch full-screen version on youtube.

Friday, November 25, 2011

On Black Friday, TSG got up at 0530 for this:

Hey, if they want to pay us to sit around, catch up with some reading, listen to I Heart Radio and (maybe later) watch old episodes of The West Wing, we guess that's okay. 
At least we're in no danger of getting pepper sprayed or robbed at gunpoint. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Swingin' Singles (and no, I don't know why the video isn't centered correctly)

Maybe if I add some extra text it will display the way I want it to? Nope, that's not it, either. Hell, I dunno. Here's the youtube link if you want to watch it the other way:

Oh, wait, maybe that worked...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Woman in Birthday Suit @ Tennesee Cove

Lazy post this week.
But we have to say, a great title--
It says it all, yet leaves so much to the imagination!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2 Miles High (ok, 10,599 ft, but who's counting?)

View from Mono Pass: Sardine Lake and Mono Lake in the distance.  The penultimate October day, a beautiful afternoon in the mid-50s with a very slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky. Our guess is that it won't be like this again for many months. Good to make it out there on a day like that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meet Ed's Meat Head

We suppose "Zombie Face Meatloaf" would be more accurate, but what the heck--the white rice maggots are a nice touch, don't you think?

TSG had planned to post our annual slideshow of neighborhood Halloween decorations, but there isn't enough new blood out there (so to speak). Too many cookie-cutter collections of same-o store-bought crap --maybe next year we'll expand our Halloween horizons and check out some new neighborhoods.

Lucky for us, The Bro emailed us this pic of his entry to the Academy Archives "Secret Gore-met" contest.  No word on what the competition was like or how his entry fared (or tasted).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creepy, but not really crawly...maybe more kind of oozy?

Ever see a land planarian? Well, neither had we until a couple of days ago. According the the University of Florida's website, "The land planarian Bipalium kewense Moseley was first described from a greenhouse at Kew Botanical Gardens near London, England, in 1878. This species is believed to be native to Indo-China, and has been found commonly in American greenhouses since 1901."

TSG was somewhat intimidated by the thing (was it a leech of some kind?), so we kept our appendages at a discreet distance. Turns out we were never in danger, but the damn thing still squicked the hell out of us.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FOW @ Scaggs' Place--Great Show!

Trio on the right: special guest percussionists for "Hey Julie"

Man, TSG needed a dose of rock and roll, and the guys delivered tonight. Big time.There are advantages to being a fan of a "minor" band in venues like Slim's--it's fairly easy to get a spot up front if you get there early.

And on a hot night with a hot band and a hot crowd...well, that's just what the doctor ordered. One of the best shows we've seen in a long time.  Mike Viola opened the show as he did a couple of years ago at the Cafe du Nord.  He and his band The Candy Butchers are local favorites.  He's a listen-worthy singer-songwriter with Wayne-esque lyrical tendencies. 

Hilite o' the nite: the Radiation Vibe/Do You Feel Like We Do/Twilight Zone/Breakup Song/Mad World/Carry On/Jet medley. Possible video clip to follow.

And here it is:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Portraits of Terror (or, something to do on a sick day)

TSG ruined our long-running record of perfect attendance today (far and away the best in the office and completely unacknowledged*). Woke up feeling kinda crummy with a slight eye problem--we just couldn't see coming in. 
Oh well, that's the way it goes.

 *In ye olden days, PacBell used to reward a year
of perfect attendance with a day off w/out pay--
which was somewhat counterintuitive, considering
that employees were usually paid for 3 sick days/yr.
But hey, at least they noticed. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pigs (Four Different Ones)

Thanks to Ed Carter for sending us pix of the Capitol Records Publicity Pig--
--which inspired this evening's post. 
Long live Pink Floyd!

non-Carter images from The Independent 
and Hipgnosis

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eye ❤ Maui Jims (or, TSG's Typhoons--A Tale of Tragedy and Truimph)

Anyone who has ever worn glasses knows the feeling--the feeling of sitting on them. After the crunch and initial utterance of "Oh, shit!", what are we left with? Something like this...

Handy repair tip: rubber cement does not work on sunglass frames!

And this wasn't just a pair of glasses.  No, this was TSG's trusty pair of Typhoons, a long-time fixture on our head, as friends and acquaintances can confirm.  (shown here in a more intact version).

Typhoons have been TSG's shades of choice for more than 15 years, ever since RayBan's Suncloud line went the way of the Dodo*.  Maui Jim's rose-colored lenses may not actually improve our outlook on life, but they're the best sunglasses we've ever owned. They're great on the road and on the trail, and fit like a glove.  Pricey as hell, but worth it, as the repair policy has been generous beyond belief and customer service is second to none. TSG has sent our Typhoons for frame repair and lens replacement several times over the years, and has received several BRAND NEW pairs (with really nice hardshell cases) in return.  Lately the repair prices have gone up, but we figure that over the years we got a total of 3 pairs for basically just the cost of shipping ($8.95, later raised to $10, and eventually up to $60-plus, but still worth it).

Below: artist's rendition of Typhoons in their native land**

This time, though, there was a slight complication.  When we called in to inquire about the chances of getting our sat-upon Typhoons repaired, the nice customer service person*** informed us that the Typhoon line had been discontinued.

Oh no, say it ain't so!  Still, she said to go ahead and send them in and they'd see what they could do.

Maui Jim Sunglass Cases, 1995-2011

Imagine our delight to hear from the repair department a few days later--they were unable to repair the glasses, but they found a pair in the warehouse.  Even better, since the model had been discontinued, they cut the price for the new frames and lenses in half.  So, in the grand scheme of things, TSG has enjoyed multiple pairs of these terrific glasses over the years at substantially less than cost.

So, Maui Jim, here's to you...and we promise to take good care of what are probably...The Last Typhoons. 

*The line was resurrected recently, but TSG can assure you, it is in name only
**Not really--they're made in Peoria
*** (They always say "Aloha!" when they answer the phone and close their emails with "Mahalo!" )

Friday, September 23, 2011

TSG announces new streaming video

With Netflix in the news this week, TSG decided to jump on the stream(ing) video bandwagon. With both feet.  Except in this case it's more like creek video.  The creek being whomped in this particular clip is Kings Creek, a tributary of the North fork of the Feather River.

(and yes, that water was pretty damn cold)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Is Bugging TSG

We are striking out in our quest to ID several of these insectoid-type-guys(/gals?) They were encountered along the trail near the wonderful Drakesbad Guest Ranch in the Warner Valley and Manzanita Lake areas of LVNP.

We know we have a pair of Humping California Sisters, a Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar, and a bristletail. The others have yet to be classified: one looks like a rolly polly on steroids, one is clearly some kind of beetle, and the other might just be a grub. If there are any entomologists out there, TSG welcomes your input!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Only one kid beat me to the top...

...of the Cinder Cone trail, found in the remote eastern edge of Lassen National Park. In the photo above, you can see the ant-sized hikers on their way to the summit from our vantage point on the rim

TSG was rather surprised to encounter a huge contingent of grade schoolers from Merced, CA out on a early-session field trip (only a small group shown here).  They were a motley bunch, and only one of them was able to surpass TSG's scorching pace up the cone's face.   (Truth be told, we weren't in the race for the glory, but only for a chance to have the rim to ourselves for just a minute or two...)

Anywho, TSG was quite happy to share the top o' the cone with the kids
as they ended up being quite well behaved.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't Tread On Me

A long time ago on this blog, TSG featured a photo of a "creepy crawly" that we encountered on the Monument Peak Trail in Ed Levin County Park. This week's offering could be considered a sequel of sorts, as these images were taken less than 500 feet from where we photographed the eight-legged freak several years ago.  Had you, dear reader, been there this last Sunday morning, you might have overheard a conversation something like this...

Crotalus viridis: "BZZZZZZZTTT!!!!!  Hey! You! Stay the fuck away from me!"

Shouting Grasshopper: "Yes, yes, but can I please take your picture?"

Reptile paparazzi--yep, that's what we do for kicks. Thank god for telephoto lenses, even if they are only 3X! Oh, and please excuse the slightly (?) out-of-focus nature of these shots; there might have been a bit of camera shake involved.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dude, where is everybody?

The view from the terraza at Saratoga's Mountain Winery. An empty patio scene, the twinkling lights of Santa Clara in the background. Pretty damn grainy, but it goes with the high ASA territory.  Not a soul in sight. Crickets chirping away, providing a bucolic soundrack to a warm summer evening...

Meanwhile, just a few feet away, we have the answer to this week's question:

Everybody was at the Jeff Bridges show!
Along with an appreciative (and mostly non-talking!) audience, TSG enjoyed a laid-back evening hosted by Lloyd and Dorothy's son.  Backed by a crackerjack band, Jeff played a too-short set of songs from the new album, "Crazy Heart", and his 2000 effort "Be Here Soon" (She Lay Her Whip Down from that CD being a highlight). He closed the show with The Man in Me, a nice treat for TBL fans in the audience.  (Strangely enough, we talked to several folks who were totally unaware of his work in the Coen Brother's 1998 film.)

Jeff's joy in being up there was obvious--which seems to be the point of his latest "career move". He won't be the next country super star, but he sings and plays well enough...and having charisma coming out of his ears doesn't hurt.  His funniest observation of the evening came when someone shouted out "FLYNN!!!".  Jeff paused for a moment and said, "Whenever I think of Tron, the first thing that comes to mind is sitting around in that damn dancing belt.  You know what that is?  It's like a g-string for men, a harness for special effects work. I had to stand around for hours wearing one of those things--so thanks for reminding me!"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not Your Father's Flea Market...

...or maybe it is. Anything sold at the APAF has to be over 20 years old. Maybe that makes it your older brother's flea market. If you had one, that is.

Trash or treasure? You make the call.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FCA!A* (or, Winterland Reunion: Class of 6/14/75)

Yes, TSG and PF go way back...we were big fans of his even before that fateful night, still one of the greatest concerts we've ever experienced.  The show at Wente Bros Winery Tuesday night could of course never compare, but it was nice to spend the evening with Peter and the rest of the band (including fellow Winterland alumnus and bassist Stanley Sheldon--but we kind of missed John Regan).

What we could have done without was the constant yammering of the yahoos in the audience.  Do people go to concerts to LISTEN to the performance anymore?  Not in Livermore they don't.  If we had a lawn, those loudmouthed, smart(?) phone-poking hipsters would certainly not be welcome on it.

Oh, if only TSG hadn't fallen asleep at the wheel and missed getting tickets to the Warfield show. It still wouldn't have been the same, but we would've gotten to see another once-in-a-lifetime event.  Turned out that a fan from far, far away made a rather remarkable guest appearance:

*Again--this tour celebrates the 35th anniversary
of the-then biggest selling live album of all time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pee Wee Was Here

Inside Mr. Rex's mouth--Cabazon, Ca.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gift Guide For The Camper Who Has Everything

Seen on the shelves of the Camp Mather Store, July 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Photos of the week
















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Note: Please excuse the lazy photomerge work on "Main St Underpass".