Thar She Blows


Helaine and I went whale watching this afternoon. We’d been before, in Alaska. A trip in shirtsleeves under sunny skies sounded very appealing.

IMG_3184_5769We headed out Newport Bay and into the open Pacific. Seas were light. Santa Catalina and San Nicholas Island were both visible in light haze.

Finding whales is part instinct, part deduction and part luck. Our ship was aimed where whales were seen headed a few hours ago.

IMG_3237_5822It didn’t take long. No one shouted, “Thar she blows,” but that’s what happened. A quarter mile off the bow a cloud of mist was thrown up from the sea.

From the bridge the captain started talking about the whale, but she was still invisible to me. All I could see was that blow!

She began to rise. A blue whale, she was around 100 feet long. The whale leveled off with a few inches of her back above the water line, then began to dive.

IMG_3274_5859_1This is the money shot! As the whale goes down she arches her back and her tail comes out of the sea. Water pours off while her body straightens then disappears from sight.

The whale stayed submerged 13 minutes then blew again well in front of the boat. I knew it was the same whale because of a distinctive ‘beauty mark’ on her tail.

IMG_3381_5965Next up were dolphins, dozens of them swimming near and often in front of our boat. We stayed far from the whales, but that’s not possible with dolphins. They sought us out.

What a great trip. One more thing to do to keep out-of-town guests entertained… and us too.

I Guess This Really Makes Us Californians


I have thought about entering political life. Yeah, that thought passed.

Politics as a spectator sport is interesting to watch from afar and now interesting to watch up close. My Cousin Melissa, a brilliant attorney and community leader, is running for Irvine City Council. She and my Cousin Michael are very active politically.

Just running is a full time job!

Irvine has around a quarter million people. The two seats up-for-grabs are both elected at-large. There’s little local media. Shaking hands and personally making contact work best.

She asked if we’d host a small get-together at our house. That was tonight.

Helaine catered. I love when she bakes. For the next few days–leftovers.

After a while everyone came out on the patio and Melissa spoke about her plans. I like a lot of Melissa’s ideas. She’s especially on target with development, a continuing feature of Irvine. She loves this city and we do too.

I guess this really makes us Californians.

Our Neighborhood Rabbit

Helaine spotted tonight’s rabbit from the upstairs bathroom window. Would he stay long enough for me to get my camera? Would he let me approach? Would he have a white cotton tail?

This is rabbit season. They’re all over the place. Unfortunately for them the coyotes have dinner plans.





To My Brand New Grand Niece

baby x eyes oopen

baby x first kiss

jessie and child x

Hi brand new grand niece. You don’t even have a name. You’re Baby X! I thought I’d write and say hello.

I’m Uncle Geoff. I’d like to be thought of as the funny or even silly uncle. If you consider me young for my chronological age, that’s good too.

“He used to be on TV,” your parents will say.

“What’s TV?”

Things were a little hectic this morning. You came out of a perfectly comfortable womb into a room full of people, monitors, noise… overwhelming. Things will calm down. It’s all good.

I already have three photos of you. You were born alert, eyes open. You are very pretty.

Your life will be archived and immortalized. We’ve finally figured out how to make taking and storing video easy.

I don’t remember what it was like to be an infant. You will have many more reminders. Good? Bad? I don’t know.

Your parents are cool. I knew them before they were married, your mom since birth.

Alas, they view the world from a different perspective. You are breakable. They will be conservative. It will take a very long time before you understand that.

You are their trophy baby. Get used to it.

I know they love you and sight unseen did everything in their power to get you here. You will be well cared for.

You are very lucky to have grandparents and even great grandparents nearby. Cousins too! Don’t feel obliged to kiss back yet. Keep it in your arsenal.

The California Foxes are very excited and want to see you as soon as we can. Could you drive over?

Sultry Summer Nights

WunderMap®   Interactive Weather Map and Radar   Weather Underground

You’ve heard of people who can sight read music? I can sight read weather observations.

Currently in New Haven it’s 73° with a dew point of 70°. Relative humidity calculates out to 90%. I instinctively understand how that feels.

Bridgeport is 73/70, New London 70/68, Chester, Meriden and Brainard are all 72/70. Sticky.

The map above shows dew point and relative humidity at 11:00 PM EDT. I remember nights like tonight. Like living in a warm wet towel.

It’s not raining everywhere in Connecticut, but again, I remember nights like this. Even where there’s no rain falling it’s moist.

Visibility is down. Not fog as much as clouds and mist.

I liked sultry summer nights. Another thing to miss.

America’s Last Bastion Of Co-Ed Shopping: Costco

I’d hate to think people watched me on an 80″ TV. Too much Geoff. I was built for the small screen.

Where were we?

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OMG — It Rained!

We just got our first sprinkle since April 26. That’s 79 days since it last rained! These photos are my documentary proof because it’s likely we’re not getting the minimum to be counted–a hundredth of an inch! The cause for this teenie spritz is the monsoonal flow which appears this time every year. A monsoon […]

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I Hate This Part

I am set up for my least favorite job, logging. I’ve done everything possible to put this off… even this blog entry. “You’re like Steffie in high school,” Helaine remarked as I walked by her for the fiftieth time. Oh, Stef. If you’ve inherited this from me, I apologize. After interviews are complete and before […]

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Who’s An Expert On Highway Lines?

Helaine and I were driving north of the 405. Two occupants. HOV lane. As we approached our exit I realized I might not make it over in time. I didn’t want to cross the double yellow line. But, wait. There’s another line, a white line, adjacent to my lane. Not every section of the HOV […]

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Beautiful Sunset Even Without Seeing The Sun

From my office window I can see south and west. What I can’t see is where the Sun sets! It’s behind another home. It didn’t make any difference tonight. As the Sun went down the few clouds above lit up. Usually it only happens in the western sky. Not tonight. Tonight every cloud was brilliantly […]

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