Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Earthquake News

 Well it took an earthquake to get me to write something here on the blog.

The blog is where we've been keeping a record of the earthquakes here, so this is our news. At 4:18 in the afternoon on Tuesday a 4.6 quake shook us up a bit. It wasn't fierce or even scary while it was happening. Afterwards I always fear for something bigger to happen. Is this quake just letting off some steam or is it a precursor to an even bigger quake? Well, no answer to that question... yet. So far no major aftershocks. 

Other than that the weather has been mostly rainy and dreary. We're in for another week of rain according to the weather report, so there probably won't be anything to write about or share here. 

Hope all is well for you and that the weather where you are is beautiful and inviting for long walks in the sunlight. 

Thank you for stopping by. We still plan to resume blogging when something other than an earthquake inspires us. Take care, friends!

Monday, February 27, 2023


 It's been a long winter here. Not many opportunities for outdoor adventures or even walks at our favorite places. There haven't even been any atmospheric optics to run out and photograph. So, we're going to put The New Dharma Bums on hiatus for a while. We hope to return when the brightness of world calls us out there with beauty and sunlight. I'm going to keep on reading your blogs, so please keep on posting. Thank you, dear friends!

Here's a view of our neighbor's snowy yellow roses. The Yellow Rose of northern California gets a winter chill.

Take care.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Wednesday Morning

It's been cold here on the California north coast. Temps literally freezing with chill-to-the-bone winds (well at least for us cry-baby old folks... LOL). But Wednesday morning's sunrise pulled me out into the freezing temps to take a few photos of the beautiful sky. 

I ran out to photograph those crepuscular rays against the dark clouds. It looked so dramatic. I didn't even notice the beautiful hint of iridescent clouds above the darkest cloud. What a wonderful surprise that was. A short while later came an even bigger surprise.
I looked out the window and saw this... snow falling falling falling from our gray skies. I ran out into that cold air to take more photos. What a beautiful soft white flurry of soundless flakes fluttered to the ground. Nothing like the hail that had fallen just a few minutes earlier tapping crazily on the skylights and windows. 

And then the sun came out again.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Earthquakes and Sunrises

While reading about the huge and deadly earthquake in Turkey, I learned something that scared me down to my rickety old bones. The earthquake there occurred on something called a strike slip fault. So I read up on what a strike slip fault line is and found out that there is one in the United States. And not only that it's right here on the local San Andreas fault line. Uh-oh, said I. That does not sound good. I don't know why, but I always thought that all earthquakes were pretty much the same. They're not. So, now I'm a little more worried than I had been about those fault lines. The tragedy that unfolded in Turkey after the earthquake took my breath away. More than 34,000 people are dead, and there will be more. We have done our earthquake preparedness lessons and have plans, but sometimes the shake is more than we can possibly plan for. It's so interesting living on the planet Earth. 

So while I'm still here on planet Earth that's still revolving and orbiting around the sun, I run out most mornings to photograph the sunrise. It's a beauty that always calls me out even if it's literally freezing out there. So, here are a few sights of the morning light here.

February 2

February 4

February 10

February 12

What a planet we live on, what a beautiful crazy planet.

Monday, February 06, 2023

The Interview

It was only a little more than 11 years ago that this photo was taken.

That's me holding our first grand-daughter Delilah. Why am I posting this? Because that little girl is now in 5th grade and had a school assignment to interview someone about activism. She asked if she could interview me, and I said "Of course! Yes, I would be honored."

So she came by the other day with her mom and brothers. She pulled out the long paper with all the questions that the teacher had assigned to ask about activism. What an interesting journey back in time that was for me.

When did I first become politically active? It was back in 1967-68 during the Civil Rights movement. There were many marches and protests, and yes, my sibs and I got involved. We marched in the inner-city streets of Newark, NJ.

Then, of course, there was the war in Vietnam. My siblings and I protested the war and marched in many long demonstrations. The US still had a draft at the time, and we learned about draft counseling, deferments, etc. The war raged on, and we kept up with our protests and vigilance. We went to SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) meetings and my sister became the youngest member to join the local chapter. We were so committed.

In 1968 on election day we held Vote For Humphrey signs in the legal distance from the voting area. He was running against Richard Nixon and we knew how terrible that win would be for our country. Sadly, Nixon did win, and our marching and protesting went on. 

Then the worst happened the Kent State Massacre in 1970. Five days after the shootings my siblings and I drove to Washington DC to protest and joined 100,000 protesters. We marched. We chanted. We cried. Then we went home, and I never really marched again. Well, Roger and I did march at a small local rally back in 2018. I blogged about that back then. But it was nothing like the anti-war movement of the 1960s. 

It was interesting to remember these times and feel deeply honored that Delilah would ask to interview me. After she left, I thought about some of the things that really made me want to take to the streets to protest war and violence, racism and hatred. It made me remember my maternal grandmother and how she lost her mother and brothers and many family members in the hell that was Auschwitz. This is what pushed me to be an activist stand up for peace, for freedom, for acknowledgement that we humans are just one species on this earth. "Can't we all just get along?"

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

One Thing Leads To Another

After David Crosby's death one of my siblings found an interesting video that he shared with us. It was from 1969, a Dick Cavett episode right after Woodstock when the Jefferson Airplane played and then stayed for interview and David Crosby and Stephen Stills joined them. It was a wonderful trip back in time to watch it.


After watching it, it made me wonder if Grace Slick was still alive. So of course I googled around and found that she is very much still alive and is 83 years old. I read a bit more about her and found something that surprised me so much I just had to share it here. Back in the late 1960s she and Abbie Hoffman went to Washington D.C. to meet with the then President Richard Nixon. Here's what the New York Times wrote about it back then:

"WASHINGTON, April 24— Abbie Hoffman, the Yippie leader who was a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial was turned away from the White House today when he tried to attend a tea given by Tricia Nixon.

He was accompanying Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane, a rock group. Miss Slick had been invited to the event, which was given for alumnae of Finch College.

Mr. Hoffman, conserva tively dressed and without his beard, said he was Miss Slick's “bodyguard and es cort,” but a White House Policeman would not permit him to enter the grounds, saying, “This is strictly for females.

Mr. Hoffman brought out a black flag emblazoned with a multicolored marijuana leaf and hung it on the White House gate. It was quickly removed by a White House policeman. The singer and Mr. Hoffman ran across the street and were driven away by a member of the Jefferson Airplane."


The one thing that the article doesn't mention is that they supposedly had a plan to dose the President with LSD. There were several links that I did not go to, but I was so surprised to see such headlines. We'll never know if it was true, I suppose, but it doesn't really surprise me given the times back then. 

So, one more take away from making this discovery is that I added a new handshake to my collection. I now have Grace Slick and so many musicians from those days, thanks to my weekend of chauffeuring Abbie Hoffman around for the Kerouac Conference in Boulder, Colorado in 1982.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday Music: Tamalpais High

I thought I'd post some music for today in honor of David Crosby whose passing really made us sad for an era of music that is fading away.

 May he rest in peace.

In case you're interested in Mount Tamalpais, here is a link to some info.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A Rainbow of Days

We've been having beautiful blue sky weather and lovely sunrises. It's been so warm we took a nice long walk at the marsh on Monday. This has been our view of life these past few days.

Sunrise January 21

Sunrise January 22

Sunrise January 22 (a half hour later)

The bluest moment at the marsh

It's been a lovely respite from the rainy days and atmospheric river deluge. The balance of life goes on in such a lovely way.


Friday, January 20, 2023

When The President Flies Over Your House

My twin brother Michael took his usual walk in Capitola Thursday morning. He photographed the post-flooding deluge still on the beach. 

While he was out there looking around he happened to run into two Secret Service Agents with whom he spoke. They told him that the President of the United States was coming to Capitola to see the damage done by the Atmospheric River that had slammed into California last week. The President had  already declared it a National Disaster. Yes, it was. 


When Michael got home he saw the Presidential helicopters flying over his yard. He managed to click a quick pic as they flew over his backyard redwood tree on their way to the Capitola Beach.

My sister-in-law Kim clicked some photos as well. She said that she waved hello and hopes that the President saw her. I hope so too.

Probably not a moment that will be repeated, having the President fly over your yard. "Hi Joe!"

Then... later in the day the New York Times posted photos of the President's visit to Capitola. I couldn't resist taking a screenshot of one of their images. 

Oh if only the President and Governor were standing a few feet to the right, it would have been a shot of them and the family beach house. So close, so very close. Wow!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Rain and Clouds

After a week of crazy pouring rain, we're finally in a beautiful spell of blue skies. There were interesting cloud formations and sky views to photograph as the storms  of last week approached and moved on. I ran out whenever I could to photograph the sky.  So I thought I'd share a few of the cloud formations that I've seen in the past week.

I had a dentist appointment last Monday, and we did our usual stop at the ocean on the way home. It was a nice and rare blue-sky day.

Then the sky darkened. I clicked a pic from the car window of lovely rays as we drove home. 

That's life here on the California north coast.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A Surprise Photo In The News

 Imagine our surprise when we saw this photo on the front page of the New York Times.

In a news story about the overwhelming rains in California, the article chose a photo of the much-damaged Capitola beach area. When we looked at the photo we saw at the top it included the much-loved beach house that had been in the family since 1933 and was sold in 2019. On the top left, second house in with the shades drawn on all six windows. Never would we have ever guessed that the old family beach house would make the front page of New York Times. We're practically famous!

More rain is on the way for all of California. The central coast where this house is is going to be slammed pretty hard. We're not going to get quite as much, but it's going to be a a very wet and messy week. 

We'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Atmospheric River

The ocean view from Santa Cruz, CA

After California's earthquake made national news, now our weather has made national news. We are in the midst of an atmospheric river. What is an atmospheric river, you might ask? Well, this is the definition I found online:

"The intense weather is due to an “atmospheric river”—a long and narrow weather system carrying massive amounts of water vapor that are unleashed as rain and snow when they make landfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

We've had lots of rain and winds, but so far all is well here. But the system is supposed to last for several days, so we're waiting to see what comes next.  

My twin brother took a walk to the ocean on Thursday morning. The above photo is what he saw. It's pretty bleak right now. 

A friend posted this photo on Facebook. That's the broken Capitola Wharf. The wharf that Roger and I walked on nearly everyday when we lived in Capitola at the family beach house. Readers of the blog have seen this view many times here on the blog. It's going to be a while before that is repaired.

My sister who lives in southern California wrote to say that her backyard was completely flooded. 

California is not ready for these rains. We go from drought to deluge, drought to deluge all the time. We wonder what normal might be like. Maybe this is the new normal.

Wish us luck!

Hope all is well where you are.


Wednesday, January 04, 2023

The First Day of 2023

The first day of the year started out so lovely. Mid morning I was cutting veggies in the kitchen and Roger was reading on the couch. Then the house started to shake again. I shouted to Roger, "What's going on?" He shouted back, "We're having an earthquake." It's true. The year began with a 5.4 earthquake.

Not exactly the way we wanted to start the new year, but that's what we had. We did not do any of the safety procedures we had prepped for. Ah well... maybe next time. Uh-oh, I didn't just write that did I?

The first day of the year ended with a lovely sunset and beautiful crepuscular rays. Now that's how we want the year to begin... beauty, lots and lots of beauty.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Happy New Year


This is the last photo I took in 2022. It captures the ambiance of the weather here. Not much of a draw to go out for walks. Just the ongoing sound of rain as it hits the windows and roof. We're in for quite a deluge next week, so may not have much to write about here on the blog.

We begin this new year by celebrating the 34th anniversary of the night Roger and I met, New Year's Eve, and danced at midnight as the year 1989 began. We have been dancing and celebrating ever since. Rain or shine we dance.

We hope the new year is full of good news and hope, peace and tranquility, love and joy. We wish the very best for all of you as the year begins.