Visitors on the Central Coast

Last weekend I had visitors from the East Coast. My brother and sister-in-law made the trek west. While I was stuck at work Jon and Karrie explored beaches, hiking trails, wineries, and San Luis Obispo. When I got off work we checked out the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Thursday, grilled salmon on Friday,  hiked at Montana de Oro on Saturday. and went to GraceSLO on Sunday. It was great to catch up and show off the Central Coast (and Pam).

A shot from Montana de Oro, with Morro Rock in the distance.

A shot from Montana de Oro, with Morro Rock in the distance.

Surveying the tidal pools, searching for crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, sea anemones, and other cool things.

Surveying the tidal pools, searching for crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, sea anemones, and other cool things.

A friendly crustacean.

A friendly crustacean.

The time flew by. All too soon we were back at the airport saying goodbyes.

A final photo at the airport (photo credit to Pam).

A final photo at the airport (photo credit to Pam).

Good times.

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Opening Day 2014

I love MLB Opening Day. My love for Opening Day makes me despise some of the things that detract from it. I wish it started with an afternoon game in Cincinnati. I think the international opening series that preceded it is sad. I don’t like Opening Night (which occurs the night before Opening Day). And  I think interleague play is terrible–and even worse on Opening Day. But I love baseball.

The Phillies won their opener in Texas today. I continued my Opening Day tradition of High Life and hot dogs.

The 14-10 win featured offensive fireworks. The Phillies line-up had been shut out in three consecutive Spring Training games to end the exhibition season.  Any reasonable Phillies fan feels some concern about the offense this year. To see the team click and score runs was a delight. In addition to scoring a bunch of runs, the Phillies did many small things well today. They ran the bases with intelligence. They threw to the right bases. They fielded balls cleanly. It was good to see.

Cliff Lee’s start was the most alarming part of the day. His command did not seem sharp. Hopefully it’s a fluke and better things are to come. The fact that he picked up a win for his efforts shows just how meaningless the win statistic is.

Last season involved dreaming about getting back to .500 and looking at the games back column of the standings too often. It’s good to be at the top, even if it’s a brief stay.

As a closing note, I thought Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs did a good job as commentators today. I’m sure they’ll get better. I really like the consistency in the booth during a game, it is better than the commentator shuffle the Phillies have had on television broadcasts the past several years.

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Working and Hiking

This is Spring Break week at Cal Poly, but I’ve been working. The PLANET trip last week left me scrambling to keep up. I’m almost ready for the Spring Quarter. Last year I noticed that I started the Spring Quarter tired, and I’m beginning to think that is par for the course.

Today I took a quick hike after work. I shot this panorama of SLO.

A panorama of San Luis Obispo.I’m looking forward to this spring. So far 2014 is turning into a very good year.

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PLANET SCD 2014 – Fort Collins, Colorado

This past week the 38th annual Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days (SCD) event took place in Fort Collins, Colorado. It happened to coincide with final exam week here at Cal Poly SLO.  I am a coach for the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team, so this quarter I’ve been arranging travel details and preparing for the event. Things went relatively smoothly.

On the flight to Colorado I really enjoyed the view of the Rocky Mountains.

The Rocky Mountains viewed from above.

The Rocky Mountains viewed from above.

We arrived in Denver and drove to Fort Collins. The weather was warm and sunny, but the air was brisk (which felt wonderful to me). During our preparation days things were sunny and clear. On Saturday, the day in which most of the competition took place, we awoke to falling snow. Some of the team had never seen snow fall before. It made for a memorable day. It felt fitting to me, since I think of light snow when I think of Colorado in March.

Irrigation assembly in the snow.

Irrigation assembly in the snow.

Landscape maintenance operations in the snow.

Landscape maintenance operations in the snow.

Arboriculture techniques above the snow.

Arboriculture techniques above the snow.

Compact track loader operation (don't spill the water!).

Compact track loader operation (don’t spill the water!).

A team photo in front of a Colorado blue spruce.

A team photo in front of a Colorado blue spruce.

We had a great time in Colorado. I was happy that we got there, competed, and returned safely. Another year of PLANET is in the books.

Link to a flickr set with more pictures from the event

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Grading and Surfing at Pismo Beach

On Saturday I did some grading at Pismo Beach while Pam surfed with friends. I brought my camera with me and took a few pictures.

Headed out to catch some waves.

Headed out to catch some waves.

My favorite surfer in action.

My favorite surfer in action.

I was sitting on a chair far from the water, shooting with my 300 mm lens. Occasionally people would walk between me and the surfer I was targeting. Sometimes they appear as out of focus blurs in the foreground. Other times they captured the autofocus and took over the photo. Here is one such picture:

Strolling through my photograph.

Strolling through my photograph.

It was a lovely Saturday morning at the beach, followed by Old West cinnamon rolls. A rather good day, I must say.

I’ve been looking at wet suits. I just might join Pam in the water one of these days. . .

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