Monday, September 29, 2008

The San Gabriel River and Bike Riding

One of my favorite thing to do is ride my bike. I love getting out and seeing the world from the seat of my bike. Tonight I took a ride along the San Gabriel River to get some much needed exercise and to relax. I just love taking along our little point and shoot camera and grabbing some shots. Tonight I only stopped a few times, but those times were worth it. Maybe not to everyone else, but to me.

I got to see flocks of cormorants, pelican and even a few sea lions swimming. It was very cool. Perfect weather and it is truly beautiful. I can ride from my house to the beach and back in less than an hour. How great is that? I used to have to dig out of 4 feet of snow just to make it to my car!

Anyway, here are three of my favorite shots from tonight. I love how I can see the water, airplanes, nature and just enjoy peace and quiet a few miles from my busy life.

2008 Wag 'n Walk for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center

Wow, it's been almost a month since I last blogged! I have been involved in a big fundraiser, the Wag 'n Walk, for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. We put about 3-4 months of planning and brainstorming in effect to get this rolling. Kymberli and I have only been involved in it for two years, but man it is SO worth it.

Last year we raised $15,000+ for the shelter. It was fantastic. This year we want to bury that number and go much higher. I wanted us to break the $20,000 mark. You may wonder how we get there. Let me tell you.

First, we go for our sponsors. This year we had PetSmart and Dogswell as our big sponsors. Then we get donations for our silent auction and raffle and get vendors to reserve a space on the day of the event. We had a great fundraising team this year. We all put in a lot of time and effort and we were able to collect more than 50 raffle items, 9 silent auction items and we had a HUGE super opportunity drawing for an LCD TV, a $500 gift certificate to one of our local malls, a weekend getaway at Tahiti Village in Vegas and a $200 gift certificate to a local restaurant. These were some great prizes!!

The day started off soggy. The morning fog was lingering and the ground was saturated with ocean mist and dampness. In 10 minutes my sneakers were soaked, but I soon forgot about it as there was so much to do. Our team got right to work and it went about as smoothly as it can. It was great!

Long story short, we had a beautiful day. There we over 30 vendors (a big increase from last year), many more people showed to participate in our contests, raffles and auction. We saw all different breeds of dog and best of all, our adoptable animal dog show was a bit hit. Our dogs are so amazing. It's bittersweet sometimes. You fall in love with some of these animals and when they get adopted it's sad for you but so awesome for the dog or cat.

Drumroll please... at the time of this blog we have raised $22,699!!! That's more than $7,000 more than last year and we are still counting! Congrats to the shelter for getting some much needed funds to care for the animals and for our wonderful, dedicated team of volunteers who put this event on. It had it's stressful moments, but I don't think it would be as great as it is without them. We all handled it well (ok, maybe I got testy from time to time) and made this year the best yet!

Here are some of the 'snapshots' I snagged in between selling raffle tickets. It'll give you a little taste of everything that was going on. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mammoth - Third Round of Images

You all read my story from the other day, or at least I hope you did. Here are the images from Bodie and Yosemite.

This is one of my favorite shots from Bodie.

The wooden planks had so much character.

The town was huge. This is only a small section of it.

This gives a bit of perspective on how intense the view was.

When we left Mammoth, we encountered some Tule Elk. I was in awe as the two herds merged into one as they ran off. The bulls were 700 lbs. and bugling. It was so cool to hear!!

Mammoth - Second Round of Images

I love vacations. This one was particularly special to me because it will be one of the last ones Kymberli and I take as a family of two. I am sure Baby Q will love our future vacations, as will I, but I really wanted Kymberli and I to go and have fun. Take as many photos as we wanted and get to do things we normally don't get to do.

I'll be showcasing many photos, but I need to give some details on the trip. We did a lot and we experienced a lot. Kymberli talks about the best coffee shop we went to. This place was great. We sat outside to listen to the band and everyone was drinking beer or wine. We must have stuck out like a sore thumb because we were actually drinking coffee! It was truly a sight. When I say beer, I mean that every outside had a 12 pack on their table and when another person showed up, they also had a 12 pack. I couldn't believe it. There were dogs everywhere, too. Big, little, colorful, plain and they had so much energy. I think THEY were the ones drinking the coffee!

The Hot Creek Fish Hatchery and Hot Springs were pretty cool. <-- Gotta love my goofiness, right? Color. Vastness. Absolut Beauty.

We went to view Devils Postpile and it was fantastic. I had read some about how it was formed, but it actually see it and see the size of the columns of basalt was incredible. I have to admit that after experiencing an earthquake a few weeks ago and then standing in front of the rockpile made me a bit nervous.

We also made a trek into Bodie. Ever hear of it? No? Well, Bodie is a ghost town. It's an old settlement where a little gold was discovered (ok, a lot) and it turned into a little city of sorts. They had over 10,000 people living there in its heyday. Pretty cool stuff.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite photos and memories from our trip. It was an incredible three days of fun with my wife.

One of the things that had us cracking up on the trip was this billboard... you can see why.

The rainbow trout were hungry!

This guy was big and very cute.

Devils Postpile

This Jay was squawking up a storm. I kept telling him I wasn't feeding him, but he wouldn't take no for an answer.

These guys were spotted by my wife in Yosemite. We got within 30 feet of them.

There you go. Round three will be coming tomorrow. I didn't want to bog down anyone's internet connection tonight. I hope you enjoy them If you do, please leave me a comment. If you have constructive criticism, please leave that as well. I can always use some improvement and would love to hear what you all have to say.