Word and Image

Archive for April, 2017

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Dave. He’s been to California and the Oregon coast as well. Crater Lake? Snow shoe. It’s not a bad life to get around to such nice places. All the best.




Haight Ashbury

Home of the hippies. Hey! This was my generation. To look at the neighborhood, it still is – hippie. There are concessions. You can play the accordion while texting. Be serious. And the tie dye is very expensive. But it’s authentic. …so they say. Funk. You can look cool, be cool, or are cool. It was hard to tell the difference. “Imitation?” is the sincerest form of flattery.

The Castle – it was/is a ranch/camp


It’s not a castle; it was a ranch. It’s a castle. Mr. Hearst took 28 years to build it using the same architect, a woman named Ms. Morgan. He got carried away against the wishes of his mother.

The lands surrounding the castle are still in use as a working ranch and preserved as a California park. The grounds are opulent. It was informal. You wore a suit and tie to dinner instead of a tuxedo with tails. Oh?! It sits high on a hill with a commanding view of the Pacific. Look above the church to see the castle on the hill.

It’s a roadside attraction!

(They do) Nothing. They are like bumps on a log. Actually, they look more like the log. At first glance you might even think the image is black and white. But… we got to see them up close. Not too close. But we were way close enough to get as many pictures of a drab brown log as you please. Hey! They were not active because they were resting. These are juveniles and mothers. Birth has come and gone. They are born at 70 pounds and drink mother’s milk eventually weighing as much as 280 pounds. Then they are on their own. No activity today. Just sleep, rest, and conserve energy. There will be plenty of time for mating again later. It was hard to photograph any action at all. Oh well…y’all come back soon…


IMG_9108Whine or wine? I still don’t drink alcohol. Yet, I am gracious. Oh brother, gracious? Perhaps, “dragged” to breweries and wineries. Oh well, it’s nice to cater to someone else’s temptations.

I need to be careful lest my posts become photo essays. I did not know that central California, San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles, is a prominent wine area. Everyone knows Napa. But… We wanted to explore the wine caves… alas man made. The best news was meeting the owner. He sat at the entrance enjoying the fruits of his labors. Yes, there is a happy ending to some stories. Meeting the owner for a chat was indeed special.

Line Up – Barbecue


The look on her face says a lot!

But…I’m from New York. There are lines everywhere. I try to avoid them. I don’t go to restaurants that require an excessive wait. I’m averse to reservations. Too many choices… I was blown away by the lines for the barbecue. Was it that good? I’m talkin’ lines down the block. People waited patiently at multiple booths. It must all be good. We cheated. We ate in a local brew restaurant; we sat, we drank, we ate; we had clean fingers when we were done.

The line up behind that first woman in line stretched to the end of the block… and it was a long block.


… and San Luis Obispo advertises a phenomenal street fair every Thursday. It’s a combination farmer’s market and food fest. They close off a downtown street and crowds come to shop and eat. It was so nice to see ripe red strawberries. Corn, anyone?



Carrizo Plain Monument – Go now. Do not stop. It won’t be this way for too long.

The California drought had a silver lining. After years of drought the recent rains brought a super bloom of wildflowers. And it was in the news just as we visited California. We got tipped off by Jules. The fields of yellow for as far as the eye could see were complemented by the hills covered in the same. It was quite a sight. There was a small problem. We were pretty far from civilization and the gas was running low. It was about to be a very long walk out from the park. And the first gas station outside the park, they got me; $3.49 a gallon as compared to $3.03 nearer to civilization. Tank up before you go.

Oh no!


Remarkably bad service, it can happen anywhere. Carmel? It’s ritzy rich. Tourists and casual shoppers are everywhere.

Call me whiny. We arrived in Jimmy’s Wok in Carmel via the back door through the kitchen. Yeah, it was a legitimate door. We probably should have just walked out the front door but we were in a hurry and wanted a quick lunch. Mistake! Service was horrible. Food was good, hot, and tasty. The chef was yelling in a high pitched sing song voice in Chinese most of the time we were there. And the service was terrible. Did I already say that? Oh my! I’m old and deaf now. I didn’t hear myself. How bad was the service? Let’s say that the trio who sat just before us were gone before we got our soup. (They got service.) Oh, it was not too bad, just slow. Wok cooking is fast! How long does it take to ladle soup from a pot? And we were on a mission and wanted to move on and see what we could of Carmel before we headed on down the coast. You know the drill…



I find that invariably I press the shutter a moment too soon or too late to capture a good shot of a breaking wave. I have some good shots. And then there are lots of close but no cigar shots. You make the call. I’m happy I got something that was worthy to comment upon.