Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just treats please

San Diegans are now putting their lives back together after the devastating wildfires this past week. We are thankful for the firefighters, volunteers, community members and leaders that worked so hard during this terrible time. A special thank you goes to Alexandra and her sister for sharing their photos this week.
...Many of us are ready to celebrate a "normal" Halloween.
Check out this "scary" cat that I laughed at every time I drove by.
...and this spider infested home. Spooky! Hope y'all have a great Halloween with lots of treats.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

That's not snow - its ash!

The clean-up for those all over the county has begun. Everyone is dealing with ash, thick as snow. We San Diegans are finally getting a taste of what it's like to have to dig our vehicles out! To add to this, the ash is very acidic, so we've got to be careful to not damage things like the paint jobs on our buried items.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Abandoned Vehicle

I wonder what the story is here - this was taken a couple of days after the fire had gone through. This was one of the main roads evacuees took to get out of Ramona - how did the driver get stuck and have to leave his vehicle behind? What did he do with his horses? What happened here?!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flight of the Birds

Birds escape the smoke in this photo, taken in Ramona this past week. Facing a future of arduous work for many San Diegans, birds flying lift us to a higher plain and help us see that things can still be great.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I counted over 50 evacuation centers. They included our football stadium, the racetrack and fairgrounds, a casino, schools, recreation centers, and churches that opened their doors to evacuees (some are still open). As of this morning the latest tally for homes destroyed by the fires is 1042 and the numbers continue to grow. The 4 fires in the county are still burning:
The Harris Fire is 85,800 acres and 50% contained.
The Witch Fire is 197,990 acres and 60% contained.
The Rice Fire is 9,000 acres and 80% contained.
The Poomacha Fire is 43,000 acres and 45% contained.
Thanks to all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers as our community begins to recover. Click here for recovery resources.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sifting Through the Ashes

These people are sifting through the ashes of what was once the man wearing blue's home. His wife couldn't bear coming up to do this, but they wanted to make sure to come up as soon as possible so that they could get anything that might have survived the fire. They didn't find much - a plate or two, and an angel figurine.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Witch Creek Survivors

Here's some donkeys that survived the fire in the San Diego back country, when their owners had to escape the flames from the Witch Creek fire Sunday night. Here are a couple more photos, here and here where you can see some of the blackened landscape around them. My sister went up to check on the donkeys and give them water and food, at the request of the owner, who is a friend. They were devastated to find the house totally destroyed--nothing but ash. The donkeys are fine, though, but very skittish. If only they could tell their tale!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fires still burning

Many of us here are glued to the TV, radio, and internet searching for news and wondering if our homes are safe. Since I haven't left the house in 48 hours I thought the best I could do is to show you some of the images we are seeing on TV. The air quality is so bad from smoke in some parts of the county that street lights come on automatically because it is dark in the daytime and cars need their headlights to get through smoky areas.
Thanks to everyone who has been keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Hopefully the fires will be contained soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where there's smoke...

I'm no roving reporter, but I did walk to the end of my street to take this photo last night. This is the Harris Fire viewed from near where the 125 & 8 freeways meet. It looks very close, but I was standing about 30 miles away. The fires have spread quite a bit since last night. Getting accurate information and news about the fires has been challenging because there are multiple fires and as the winds change the direction of the fire changes as well. I thought I'd post a few resources that I have found helpful:

Detailed map from Google
KPBS - local public radio and TV
Craigslist local forum
Donations, volunteer and general information at the American Red Cross

Again, I hope that you, your friends and family are safe.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Thousands of people have been evacuating their homes here due to several spreading wildfires. Most schools are closed and our football stadium is being used as an evacuation center. It is particularly distressing because four years ago we experienced a similarly devastating fire. For now, I can still see a bit of blue sky from my house (I live near La Mesa) but I can see the haze of gray brown smoky sky coming closer. It is going to be an anxiety filled day for San Diegans and a sleepless night for most. I hope that you and your family are safe!
PS: This is a peacock jumping from a rooftop at the zoo.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This is KPBS-FM

The inside story on our local public radio and TV station from Expat:
Well, not all of it. This is the 'Kelts Interview Studio' (named for a donor) -- one of two main state-of-the-art digital studios in our local PBS member station. The chat shows usually come from here -- 'These Days', 'A Way With Words' (until it was brutally canceled 2 months ago) and 'Editors Round Table' (no matter what you may think about Gloria Penner's voice). Most of the fundraising which drives us crazy comes from this studio, too. The other studio is better equipped for music, and spot news is read from a booth adjacent to the control room.

So how come I get the run of the place, you may ask? Well, although I have actually been a guest on KPBS shows on a few occasions, more relevant is the fact that I'm one of many volunteers of the RADIO READING SERVICE, which offers voiced versions of newspapers, magazines and books (we even read the discount coupons!) every day to blind and otherwise disabled listeners.

The deets:

Saturday, October 20, 2007


My neighbor built this bird house and after a year or more we are still waiting for a family to move in. It is not raining today, but Brent commented that he wanted to see rain photos and this may be the one rain photo for the year! On another note, I got tagged by Jenny of Sharon, Connecticut! I never participate in these things and don't forward emails that tell me if I don't forward to 10 people I'll have bad luck BUT, in the spirit of this community I thought I shouldn't be a party pooper AND I've learned some interesting things about other people that have posted 8 things about themselves, so here goes...

Eight things you probably didn't know about me:
1. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 13 years before I moved here.
2. While doing research for an upcoming trip to the Dordogne region in France, I came across Paris Daily Photo and decided to start this blog.
Probably because of #1, I didn't like San Diego very much until I started this blog.
4. I love yoga. It helps me to remember to relax my shoulders and to breathe!
5. I think I'm an "old soul".
6. I played lacrosse in college.
7. My friend and I did a bike/camping tour from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (approximately 1,000 miles). We rode our bikes about off and on for 500 miles and took the bus through the desert.
8. I have a full sized Ms. Pac Man arcade game in my living room.

Here's the rules that I'm going to break a little bit:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List 8 random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 8 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blog.

I'm going to tag Eric of Paris, Eliane of New York, and Antonia of Sofia. As much of a pain as these things are, they can be fun, right?

Friday, October 19, 2007

North Park Pub Food

Expat takes us along for a bite with this yummy photo & description.
his is what you get when you order pub-style fish 'n' chips at Jayne's Gastropub (30th & Adams). Three perfect strips of fresh sea bass, skinny french fries, two sauces and very interesting garlicky snap peas.
Not forgetting the obligatory pint of ale -- advertised as "draft" but, as you see, actually fresh from the can!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mr. Ugly

This little guy lives at Victoria's Garden, which is a little farm stand most of the year at the base of Wild Cat Canyon - a road that goes up to Ramona. He and a few of his friends, live in the petting zoo there.

During the fall Victoria's Garden turns into a fun area for kids, where they can pick a pumpkin, ride a pony, go through a maze, play on a big inflated slide, and and do all sorts of other farm activities. No fall is complete without visiting one of these harvest fun places!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

View from USD

If you ever visit the University of San Diego campus, check out this view from the Shiley Center for Science and Technology. There is a small balcony that overlooks Mission Valley and to the west you can see the ocean. PS: It is rainy again here today, let me know if you'd like to see drizzly drippy wet San Diego because it may not last for long!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

THE Trainman

If you are looking for anything to do with model trains, Frank the Trainman at Park Blvd & Normal Street is the place for you. On one side of the building is this groovy mural and the other side facing the street is a nondescript gray office-y looking facade. Choo choo!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paris Hilton seen in PB!

Just kidding. Hey, here's one way to get girls to talk to you! I'm not sure what these kids were doing, but the Pacific Beach boardwalk is the perfect scene to act like a movie star. What's your best pick-up line?
PS: I took this photo a week ago and today it is cold and rainy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Amphibian tours

Here's some more cool transportation. There is a 90 minute tour called San Diego Seals that motors around San Diego Bay as a boat and also travels around downtown on wheels. These photos were taken on different days. And sorry that the land photo has a street sign smack in the middle, but I chased this bus down the street and this is what I got. What is the craziest thing you've done for a photo?

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I've been trying to get a photo of this bus for awhile now. It shows a picture of a station wagon called a Woodie that was popular with surfers in the 1960s. Cute ad campaign, don't you think?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lobster tacos

Where is the lobster you say? It's in there, but when I was eating them I found myself thinking that there is never, never, never enough lobster in lobster tacos. These ones were from the Shore Club, "Where Grand meets the sand" in the old TD Hays restaurant in Pacific Beach.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beach in October

One of the awesome things about living in San Diego is that we still have beach days in October.

This photo was taken on Coronado (if you squint you can see the Hotel Del in the background).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Beach brew-haha

Banning alcohol at the beach has been a hot topic here since Labor Day when there was an alcohol-related riot in Pacific Beach (shown above). The next day a city councilman proposed an alcohol ban at all city beaches. This isn't the first time the issue has come up and it probably won't be the last. What do you think about allowing alcohol at the beach?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


You can imagine how unwieldy it can be to bike and carry your surfboard, so this smart guy got a surfboard rack for his bike. I've seen others on their way to the beach with boogie boards or beach chairs (or cell phones) in one hand and steering the bike with the other.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Catch the wave!

Some of the neighborhoods here have a sign indicating the community. They range from fanciful creations like this one, to neon signs (here's one), to simple wooden signs. Locals call it "PB" and it is a popular destination for locals, tourists, and swingin' singles.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

High school mascots

This photo is for the all the Mission Bay Buccaneers out there, especially my friend Jill whose birthday is today. Happy Birthday Jill!!! Here are San Diego's high schools and their mascots (where do they come up with this stuff?): Clairemont - Chieftains, Crawford - Colts, Henry - Patriots, Hoover - Cardinals, Kearny - Komets, La Jolla - Vikings, Lincoln - Hornets, Madison - Warhawks, Mira Mesa - Maurauders, Morse - Tigers, Point Loma - Pointers, San Diego - Cavers, Scripps Ranch - Falcons, Serra - Conquistadors, University City - Centurions

Saturday, October 06, 2007

RB Mercado

I don't travel to the North County much, but when I saw this shopping center called the Mercado in Rancho Bernardo (RB) I thought it would make a nice photo. It shows the heavy influence of Spanish architecture in San Diego - even some of our shopping centers have fountains and tiled roofs! This plaza has 30 or more stores including a grocery store, video/DVD rental place, a bank, and several small eateries.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hot diggity dog!

Wienerschnitzel is a California fast-food chain that focuses on hot dogs - beef, turkey, chili, corn, regular, kraut, pastrami, and chili cheese dogs. This is a funny chain - from its incorrect name, to the architecture, to their slogans (America's Most Wanted Hot Dog or Everybody loves a wiener or The world's largest wieners!), to their sponsorship of a national dachshund race called the Wiener Nationals. The finals for the hot dog race take place at the Holiday Bowl right here in San Diego.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Grave Site - Old Town

There is a grave yard in Old Town - many people know that. But what is far less known is that just outside the grave yard, under the sidewalk are a few more graves. At one point the ground was x-rayed and they placed these small markers on the pavement above those layed to rest.

It isn't known who they were or when it happened that the grave yard's walls were moved.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Check out those go-go boots!

This is part of a display in the Air & Space Museum of an airline called Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) that was headquartered in San Diego from around 1950 - 1988. Back then, they were known for their short flight attendant uniforms and for the smiles they painted on the nose of their planes.
Sadly, one of the things they are most remembered for is the crash in 1978 of PSA Flight 182 where a plane collided with a Cessna and crashed into the North Park neighborhood. It is the worst aircraft disaster in California to date. Do you remember the crash or the uniforms?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Air & Space Museum

We kind of took you to the seas last week, so today & tomorrow I'm taking you to the skies. It is also Fleet Week, which goes on for about a month, in celebration and recognition of San Diego's military.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum features historic aircraft, modern combat planes, and replicas of the Spirit of St Louis, and the Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo spacecraft. I even saw a miniature hot air balloon and miniature zeppelin. They have such a large collection that there is also an annex at Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon where many of the restoration and replicas are made.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cemetery / Tombstones - theme day

This summer Alexandra posted a photo of a park in Mission Hills next to Grant Elementary School that used to be a cemetery and it sparked my interest for this theme day.
In 1970 Calvary Cemetery was converted to Pioneer Park by where many of the gravestones and monuments were removed and dumped into a ravine near another San Diego cemetery. The bodies were left in their places and later some of the markers were retrieved and put back in the park as a memorial (shown above). Pretty unsacred, don't you think? Read more here. Want to see more cemeteries and grave markers? Click on a city below:
St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Anderson (SC), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Zurich, Switzerland - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Grenoble, France - Zurich, Switzerland - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada