Thursday, May 27, 2010

Found keys!

My husband and I take a walk in the evening at the bike path, by the river. It is 2 miles down the hill from where we live. We drive there, park our car and walk at the pedestrian lane alongside the bike path. We go eastward for half an hour and back for another half hour.

About 2 weeks ago, on a nice warm early evening we did the same routine. On the way back to our car we saw a sign taped on the drinking fountain's post that said, "If you found keys pls. call 000-000-0000. Tks." A few yards away my husband saw the keys hanging on the latch of the gate that led to the parking lot. He took the keys and handed it to me. I pulled the sign and tried to call the owner, but I didn't get an answer.

The next morning I called the number again and an answering machine turned on and I left a message and my land line phone number. In less than 5 minutes my phone rang and it was the owner. I told him I have his keys and he can come and get it. I gave him the direction to my house.

At 9 AM my door bell rang. He was on the dot. I opened the door and saw a tall man (over 6' in height). He is about 35 - 40 years old with a few gray hair near his temples. Nicely built, kind of like a
Hugh Jackman type.

We did the usual greetings then I handed him his note and his keys. He thanked me profusely, then shook my hand; wished me a nice day and left.

Hey, come back any time! We'll have coffee, tea, or beer, you and me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the brink of death.

We left the Reserve a little before 2 PM and headed toward the city of Lancaster. Near the freeway entrance is a shopping center where we found a Mexican Market that has an eatery inside, and we had our late lunch there. After we had our meal, we did a little bit of shopping. Then before we headed out the door, my husband went back to the food area to buy some chicharon. They have big ones, some over a foot in length. They are sold by the pound.

On the drive back home I was sad. My first digital, now 6 years old, is about to go kaput. My husband said it's about time I buy a new and better one; a dslr—digital single-lens reflex. I don't need a dslr camera. A simple camera would be enough for me. I am not aiming to be a professional photographer.

Canon PowerShot S50
My first digital camera, on the brink of death. :-(

I bought my first camera when I was in high school. I don't remember what happened to it. My second one, a hand-me-down from my father; a Kodak. Another Kodak hand-me-down, was my third. Then a Petri, was my fourth. It lasted me a long time, until it stopped working. I don't know where it is now, probably in the dump somewhere. I replaced it with a Nikon, which this time I bought. It is the most sophisticated camera I ever have. It has a zoom lens of 70 to 200. Finding this camera too cumbersome to carry around, I bought a point-and-shoot—a Nikon Lite, my last film camera.

A couple of the pictures I posted on my last publication below, was taken by my husband with his ancient digital camera. His first and only camera. If I'm not mistaken he bought it over a decade ago; and cost him an arm and...perhaps a leg. He's so proud of it. It uses 3 1/2” floppy discs; and downloads the pictures in a pc with a 3 1/2” floppy drive. It does take good pictures.

Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD91
My husband's ancient digital camera.

Now before heading straight home from Lancaster, we stopped at Sam's Club to do a little grocery shopping. I went directly to their camera department to see what they have. I readily picked up a Canon PowerShot SX20IS, the least expensive of the lot; asked a few questions from the sales associate then went on with our shopping.

That night I browsed the internet to see more cameras, and their prices. My heart was dead set on the SX20IS. I like the features and 95% of the reviews were good. The price is almost the same as my first digital, a Canon PowerShot S50. Digital cameras nowadays are less expensive than the first ones, as the prices get more competitive.

Two days later I went to Best Buy to see again for myself the camera; to handle it and see all the features. I like it very much.

The next morning I worked on my camera. Blew whatever dust got stuck in it, then gingerly pushed the cover to close it. I put the battery in then slid open the cover, and the lens came out. Alleluia! It's working! It's working! I took some shots to test it and yes...yes, it's working.

The Canon PowerShot SX20IS.

But, I'm still thinking of that one above, the Canon PowerShot SX20IS. Where is my piggy bank?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The hills are alive...

...with poppy flowers. Well, rolling plains, is more like it.

To beat the crowd, hubby and I drove up to Lancaster one Friday morning to see for the first time the California poppies I've been hearing about. Lancaster is 45 miles from my place, and the California Poppy Reserve is another 15 miles from the hub of the city. After exiting freeway 14 we drove through a single lane paved road, and passed an expanse of land without any vegetation, except for a few Joshua trees, some tumbleweeds, and other desert weeds. This place is high desert; windy and extremely cold or hot. Getting closer to the Reserve one can see the wild flowers scattered along the road and beyond. The color of yellow-orange is so vivid I was tempted to stop the car and take a closer look. Some cars have parked on the shoulder to take pictures of the flowers.

This shot was taken a couple of miles before the reserve,
and while the car was running.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Since our destination was the Reserve my husband just kept driving till we reached the place. There is ample parking with fee, of course; restrooms with portable lavatories; picnic tables, and benches along the trails. As usual, it was windy and a bit cold, so I donned my spare light jacket to keep warm; and braced myself from being knocked down or blown away. :-D.

A panoramic view.

Poppies as far as the eye can see.

The California State flower, up close...

...and windblown.

The Old Glory and the California flag flying high.

I took shots of the hilly place, and close-up of the flowers. Then my camera's cover got stuck. And that was the end of my shooting spree. Oh, darn. I think, dust got in it. At any rate, above were some of the shots I took.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Destination Redondo Beach...again.

It has been only the past month that I have gone back to Redondo Beach. Three months previous to that, I was on a journey that did not allow me to venture outdoors that much. I did some short trips to grocery stores, with my husband, for our basic needs. On the last Saturday of the month of April was my second trip back there. Hubby and I always go there and we head out to make it just in time for lunch.

Spicy seafood soup.
(click image to enlarge)

Our favorite lunch place is a Korean Restaurant right on the pier. We have tried other restaurants, on the pier and on the boardwalk, but theirs have the best seafood soup. It consists of chunks of halibut, slices of tofu, slices of daikon, some pre-cooked shrimps, napa or Chinese cabbage, onions, green onions, and Korean chili powder. It is chili hot; and the first time I had it, heat seemed to come out from my nose, ears and eyes. But now I'm used to it. The order is served in the wok it was cooked in, and it comes with a bowl of rice for each person and a bowl of kim chee.

We strolled the pier and the boardwalk, after we had our fill of the soup. Fish were not biting much that day. I've seen only a few fishermen catch mackerel, which usually swim by the pier.

Something interesting would always catch our eyes, each time we are there, like this bird who was about to gulp his/her 3rd fish head left by fishermen on the cutting table.

Farther down the pier was a man feeding pigeons...

...while this pelican would rather take a rest...and then, finally, dosed off.

A fishing boat being trailed by a flock of birds waiting for hand outs from the fishermen.

A lone man paddling by himself. Paddle and board can be rented by the boat slips.

Clams on a race to the top of the rock. I wonder how long it took them to reach the top. :-D

Dried spider crabs.

Inside the fish store we found that prices of fish have gone up. Up high.


...and red snapper.

By the boat slips a family was pedaling a rental boat. They had a hard time maneuvering it as it didn't have a steering wheel. The pedals are used to steer it.

Two girls walking their bikes on the lower board walk. Bike paths are on the upper boardwalk where they can ride their bikes.

These two having fun with their converted bikes.

And on our way home, a plane with a Swiss flag at its tail was ready to land at the Los Angeles International Airport, a few miles from the freeway.

We were home in 45 minutes. What a day!