Sunday, 06 January 2013
Since I've had my Kindle, I've read 30% (nearly 300 pages) of Stephen King's "11/22/63". I began "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo, "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and am 11% into the free "sample" of the unreleased James Patterson novel "Private London". Took a trip to the Torrance library Saturday morning (first time in about 10 or so years) to ask if anyone in the library system had gotten any ideas for "lending" ebooks through the internet. (One of my hare brained ideas.) They're "working on it." I was told! So I'm not writing much. I'm reading again. (There's so much on my kindle that I really had to push myself to exit the library without a stack of books I wouldn't have time to read. (James T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan is the first novel I ever checked out of a library. That was back when I was in fifth or sixth grade. I found a 1941 edition in the stacks. The Kindle edition costs $18.99. I'll be back. )
I have been going on Photo Expeditions. Gas prices are down (to $3.69 a gallon, a steal here in SoCal). I ventured into Riverside County last weekend and took some great shots of planes at the March Air Field Museum, with the requisite cloudscape background. I'd planned on going to see the Orange Empire train museum in Perris, and maybe take some neat photos of the rock encrusted hillsides, perhaps even go to Perris Lake or Lake Elsinore, but a sudden rainstorm of the type which causes 41 car pileups put the kibosh on those plans. I couldn't even see the lane markers on the "91 River (freeway)" coming back into Orange county, and got off the freeway thinking I'd rather drive through surface streets with stoplights than to stop my life if I got involved in a 41 car pileup.
Yesterday I washed the car. So, of course it rained this morning. Not enough to get the car wet, which is parked in the carport. At about 9:30am, as the sky became warmer, and Mr. Sun came out from behind the rapidly receding cloudscape, I was off to Redondo Beach.
Sorry for so many ocean themed photoposts seemingly in a row. But hey, everybody has an ocean, as the Beach Boys sang, and this one is MINE. I decided to take my walk alongside the ocean. Here are the steps leading down to the beach from the end of Knob Hill Avenue.
Some surfers were catching some waves.
Being me, I climbed up on the breakwater to shoot the surfers through the rocks.
The sun glistened on the waves. I'm using my telephoto lens for this shot.
Here my footprints can be seen marking up the newly raked sand. Almost as if I were the only one there. I wasn't of course. The sun was bright and the near freezing night temperatures fully gone by the time I took my walk. I'm using the wide angle here. I'm glad I got a new charger for my Sony Cybershot. I'd been using my Olympus, but I know the settings on the Cybershot better, and like the photos it takes much better than the Olympus. (The Sony takes photos at 7.2 megapixels, and I use them all. The Olympus is an 8.0 camera)
I decided to walk all the way to the Redondo Pier. (About a mile) Haven't been there for a couple of years. Surprise Surprise. It's been getting a complete makeover. This has happened a few times in my recent memory. Once after most of it was destroyed in storms during the late 80s and once after Tony's on the Pier was burned in a fire. They rebuilt some of it (last year) to resemble the pier as it was in the late 1890s.
A wide angle view right down by where the waves crash.
Of course there are lots of birds.
The Redondo Pier is a "horseshoe pier" which circles around inside the breakfront. The blue building is "Old Tony's" a bar/restaurant which celebrated it's 60th birthday last year. That means it's about a year older than I am. I used to love to eat at "New Tony's" before it burned down, and had my "last meal" at the original Tony's with Liz before going in for my hip revision surgery in 2009. I believe that's the last time I was at the pier.
The Redondo Pier is the largest "endless pier" in California, and the current iteration is the seventh. This one is made of concrete. I shoot the Redondo Library (in the center of the shot) from underneath a thatched umbrella.
South toward the Palos Verdes peninusula. I love how the sunlight highlights the water. It's almost noon.
Not too many people are out an about this early in the year. The place is packed in summer, which begins after our two or three week Spring season in March. (USUALLY. Can't really put a finger on the weather patterns the past few "seasons". Last year I visited San Clemente in Orange County in January. Redondo Beach is a lot closer to home. In the early 80s I lived in Hermosa Beach, the town immediately north of Redondo.
I figured I'd take a stop at the Fun Factory. This is an arcade which has been around a long long time. Ho Tei welcomes us inside "The Best" place on the pier. (I just had a bit of a scare. I'm typing this up on my home computer, with it's 32" screen, otherwise in the dark. I've bragged that there have been no bugs in my home since I moved in back in 09. A very large spider dropped in front of the screen just now. Two nights ago I was bitten by a spider on the leg, possibly while I was in bed, and just tended to my wound a few moments before coming back in here to finish my post. They're probably in up in the ceiling somewhere, dropping down to get me. I'm having the heater guy coming in tomorrow. Think I'll have to call the pest guy too. Ah, the joys of home ownership.....)
Now where were we? Oh, yeah. I think this painting has been around for longer than I can remember. I used to come down to the Fun Factory in the 80s to play Galaga, Centipede, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, and Tempest!
Some of the games have been here forever.
The proprieter (as I said, not too many people around, even though it was a fantastic day) chuckled as I dropped down on my back to get this shot.
Moi. Just another clown on the pier.
Stack em! Skee ball!
Those machines in the center supposedly drop coins off a shelf, but they never did for me.
Tilt a Whirl!
I painstakingly made sure I got the tops of the pilings in this shot. This is Mr. Seagull from my title card above, flying away when I got too close for his comfort, as is his wont.
The destination sign in the courtyard of the Quality Seafood restaurant. Tokyo's only 5451 miles away.
I like to make a stop at one of the gift shops with a particularly fun window display to get some shots "behind glass."
Almost wish I had enough cash to buy some of these figurines for display in my home.
If you look closely, on the left, one of the Day of the Dead figurines looks like he's sitting on a stool in front of a food stand reflected in the window. I didn't plan this. Just a serendipitous shot as it came out of the camera.
Here is the interior of Tony's where I had lunch. Almost took a photo of the clam chowder in it's sourdough bread bowl, but ate it instead.
The view from my table.
Walking back to my car along the strand. This is the breakwater on which I was standing taking shots about an hour and a half earlier. Lots of folks walking about now.
A young surfer and mother walk in front of the lifeguard tower. The breakwater is in the center of the photo.
I climb the stairs back toward my car.
Almost did a little dance up the steps.
Lastly, palm trees and cloudscapes reflected in my shiny new hubcaps. I want to thank everyone who watched my "Dance to 2013" video and left such wonderful uplifting comments. I don't know why the entry never even made it to the top blog page at all, but it was the number one recommended entry for a couple of minutes there. I do plan to make visits, but when the day is like it was today, I just gotta get out of the house, you understand. Now it's late and time to go watch a blu ray, make tomorrow's lunch and go to bed. Hopefully I won't be sharing my bed with anymore spiders.