Tuesday, August 29, 2006

God At Work

Yesterday, I wondered how I would be used to minister to my partner who lost his daughter in the Comair plane crash. And yesterday, I was given at least one answer. When another partner who is much closer to him returned from their home, he mentioned to me that they would like to set up a private foundation in her name, to support some kind of equestrian education or competitive activities for children. Charitable tax planning is one of my specialities and so I was asked to coordinate this effort. I talked to an attorney who agreed to set up the corporation pro-bono and then I began the paperwork to get a tax ID# and apply for tax-exempt status and open up a bank account. Today, they have a private foundation set up and it is ready to receive tax-deductible memorial donations, and I feel good about being able to help in this small way.

Tonight is a community celebration at her high school (I had her age wrong...her brother is the one starting college; she was only 16 and just beginning her Jr year of high school). This will be very difficult, I'm sure, but I hope it offers light for her friends and family. The funeral arrangements have not yet been made as they continue to process and identify all of the remains. Difficult as all of this is, it is always encouraging to see our Maker at work, providing courage and strength and compassion to those who face tragedy.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Comair Flight 5191

I just got word that one of the partners on my team, with whom I work very closely, lost his daughter in today's tragic plane crash in Lexington, KY. She was only 18 and just beginning her college education. I last saw her at her grandfather's funeral (the funeral with the accordion player). She was beautiful and charming. I cannot imagine the tragic loss that her family and friends must now be experiencing. I pray that she might rest in peace and that her family, and the families of all of the other victims, might find some comfort in the midst of their grief...

Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: Deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Update: This gives me the shivers. I just learned that her mother was also scheduled to return home on the same flight but the flight was overbooked so she stayed behind to catch the next flight. They were in KY with her horse trainer to buy a horse. Her trainer was also on the plane. What a tragic story, but how much more tragic it could have been for this family. I know my partner is counting his blessings that he did not lose both his wife and daughter, however tragic the loss of his daughter.


Friday, August 25, 2006

The Art Crawl

Last night, I went on an "art crawl." This consisted of meeting up with a bunch of snooty art collectors at an old folk's home (actually, the tagline for the art crawl was "more artsy, less fartsy" so really, how snooty could they be?), boarding a trolley, loading up with food and beverages (we each received an airline sized bottle of wine to drink straight out of the bottle...nothing says refined snooty art collector quite like drinking wine out of the bottle and 40 open containers in a motor vehicle), and taking a 30 minute ride from the suburbs down into the jungle that is downtown, aka The Crossroads, aka The Arts District, fka blight.

It's been awhile since I've posted any pictures, so in keeping with the theme of posting pictures of the back of people's heads (seen here and here), how about a picture of us boarded up on the trolley and "rearing" to go:

Our destination? The Review studios, home of a wonderful art magazine publishing company and several large artist studios. Our tour was mostly hot and sweaty, in an old industrial warehouse (no air conditioning) that has served as a dairy and fire extinguisher manufacturing plant, but not at the same time. All of my energy was spent trying to cool off and refrain from passing out until I was safely back on the trolley. Once back on the trolley, we got air conditioning and a collector's review of what we had seen at The Review. I was surprised when the collector said that, of all the "up and coming artists" we had seen, this one was his favorite (click on the photo to enlarge and appreciate this work in all its glory), and the only one he would consider collecting. This piece sells for $6,000. No joke. I nearly used the "art" to wipe the sweat off my brow...yes, those are towels. I had a hard time relating to this woman's artwork although she was the most technical, the most intellectual and the most impressive of all the artists we visited. I guess I'm just missing the point (which she said had to do with texture and precision and texture and...that's all I remember).

My favorite was a small watercolor portrait of a black woman sitting in front of a window, painted by Lonnie Powell, a talented figure painter. I had seen his work before and knew he was more than just an "up and coming artist." Just out of curiosity, I asked how much he would sell it for. $2,500! *choke* Alrighty then. I guess I don't need it that badly.

Overall, it was an interesting evening, but really, the most memorable part of the evening was the extreme heat and compassion for the artists who have to work under such extreme conditions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

19 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity

You all may have seen this already, but Foo's reference to the list of ways to annoy your coworker reminded me of this, which I still think is hysterical. From the e-mail box:

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With
Sunglasses on and point your Hair Dryer At Passing
Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise
Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask
If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once
Everyone has Gotten over Their Caffeine Addictions,
Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For
Smuggling Diamonds."

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With
The Prophecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. With a serious face, order a diet water whenever
you go out to eat.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems
Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And
Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't
Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling
Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!,
I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The
Parking lot, yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The
Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. If there were 20 ways, the post title would have been "20 Ways ..."

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Words To Live By?

Today, all 5,000 or so employees of my company received a little book of inspiration in each of our mailboxes, celebrating "10 Years" (I thought we began in 1998, but that's just when the firm I was with sold out to my current employer). Anyway, the book is replete with hearty advice for "exciting professional and personal growth in the years ahead." It's times like these that I wonder...maybe I better stop there.

Make of this what you will...here you have some of my "favorites:"

"If you know you want it, have it." Sounds very Osteenian, doesn't it?

"I think I can break the odds." Sounds like something said at a Gambler's Anonymous meeting

"Go and wake up your luck." Yeah, sure, good luck! ;-)

"If you're looking for a big opportunity, seek out a big problem." This is the story of my life. I'm still waiting for the big opportunity.

"Inspriration follows aspiration" I assume they're not talking about the taking of a foreign matter into the lungs.

And my favorite, coming to us from yours truly, Friedrich Nietzsche (the guy who said God is Dead), "He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." So then, after I learn all that other stuff, I should be able to fly? Ah, but if only I could learn to dance. *sigh*

The Nature Hike

The youngster and I went on a "nature hike" yesterday. This would be the same youngster who loves snakes. On the other hand, crickets and grasshoppers give her the shivers. According to the signs, we were going to see all kinds of birds, butterflies, insects, marshes, glens (?), prairie grasses, wildflowers, creeks, ponds and dead trees. We might, if we were lucky, see mammals...prairie dogs, deer, baby squirrels, and bobcats! Oh yes, and snakes. Possibly.

We could also see these things in our yard if we actually went outside of our house and walked around the yard (our dog was once bitten by a muskrat and we've killed many a rat snake with the lawnmower, so we know there is nature out there; oh, and we once held captive a shrew, which eventually died given that we didn't know how to properly care for ferrel shrews). But our yard does not have signs to tell us what we are seeing; in fact, we had to take the muskrat specimen (at least our dog won that battle) into the vet's office for identification.

To spot a bobcat is, of course, a rare thing. Youngster leapt (leaped?) onto the trail in excitement, eager to catch her first bobcat (because what good is a nature hike if you're not going to capture stuff, even if the signs expressly prohibit this?).

10 yards into our nature hike, we let out our first screams. Shrieks actually. Followed by giggles. She had just been attacked by...um...butterflies! Butterflies were chasing her and landing on her like crazy. We decided it must be the papaya shampoo. And one in particular took a real liking. After walking a ways, she noticed it was missing part of its wing and must be using her to get to the next field of wildflowers. Oh, where is my camera when I need it? So much for heading off bravely into the woods in search of bobcats. Heh.

The worst part? Grasshoppers! She let out the biggest scream (accompanied by an attempt at jumping into my arms) when a grasshopper bit her finger. Bit? I dunno. I'm just reporting what she told me. I quizzed her on why grasshoppers creeped her out so much while butterflies did not (once the initial shock of being attacked wore off), not to mention snakes. Afterall, when grasshoppers are in flight, they look just like butterflies. She explained it something like this...grasshoppers are to butterflies as chickens are to canaries. Chickens don't really fly, they just jump around and flap their wings. So does this mean you are afraid of chickens, I asked? No, she said, don't be silly. Never try reasoning with a 16-year-old.

Our nature hike was a short one. We saw a few wildflowers, lots of grass and some butterflies. And many varieties of birds flocking around the nature center where they had birdfeeders set up. No mammals. No snakes.

We were sweaty and hot and decided to head over to the International Festival and meet up with MBH to sample food from around the world...dolmas, curried goat, baklava, apple streudel, crepes, shave ice, povitica, bratwurst, hibiscus juice, kabobs and fry bread. Lots of mammals there. And corn on the cob. :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Parenting 101

Do not take your kids to see Snakes On A Plane. No matter how old they are. 30 is too young.

I cannot believe I went to see this movie. Snakes scare me. I hate most horror flicks. My ticket stub said The Devil Wears Prada. I was with my 16-year old who did not want to see it. So what happened?

What happened after that can only be explained as a moment of weakness or stupidity. As my 16-year-old and I sat alone in the theatre awaiting TDWP, I decided that we should see SOAP on the widescreen while we had a chance and save TDWP for dvd. My daughter fought back. With much coercion, she eventually gave in and we navigated our way over to the other screen. I have only myself to blame for this bad, bad choice. Of course, the 16-year old loved it ("that was fly!" were her exact words). She is also the one responsible for the loose snake in our house. She is deathly afraid of crickets and mice (the food needed to sustain her pet snake) but not at all intimidated by snakes, not even poisonous ones (though I did witness her cringing numerous times in this movie). She's also a product of too much MTV so her opinion cannot be trusted.

I am no movie critic, but the only way to get through this movie is to dissociate yourself from your body somehow. It's just that bad. I expected the creepy factor. I even expected slinkies to rattle their way down the theatre stairs. What I did not expect was vulgarity. Yeah, I know, it's rated R, but still, this one goes over the top in that respect. I nearly walked out after the first snake bite, back down the hall to see TDWP, or Material Girls, anything but this! This is "B" or "C" movie material all the way. I'm very disappointed in Samuel. He knew better than to do this picture (I almost said "film;" this is not a "film"). There were some good lines at the end and I did genuinely laugh, but this is not a comedy (unless like me, you consider all horror flicks to be in the comedy genre by definition; even so, this was somewhere in limbo land as far as the horror-as-unintentional-comedy genre goes). It was utter chaos without any redeeming qualities whatsoever, imho. There were a few decent one-liners throughout, but they were just too obvious, too disconnected, given the otherwise nondescript script. I wasn't even impressed with the videography or the special effects. Unimpressed! Did you hear me?!

This movie was simply too vulgar, too extreme, too violent, too unbelievable, too shallow to be any good at all. The only thing going for it is the title, which is just stupid enough to give you some hope. I hope this one gets bitten by a snake.

Update: Eric has a more articulate review on this flick. Glad to know I'm not alone in being embarassed to have seen it. ;-) I also appreciate one of the comments from a reader about expecting a farce of a movie. Yes! I think that's exactly what was wrong. This wasn't quite a farce, but it was far too farcical to be taken seriously. I don't even think it will stand the test of time as a classic "B Movie."

Friday, August 18, 2006

Exhibit B

Accounting = Fun?

Today's work was...hmmm...uninspiring.

I am digging deep for another example of how fun the "art" of accounting can be and coming up empty handed.

Rumor has it that accountants are detail-oriented, fastidious and in a word, perfectionists. We usually win the blue ribbon in a "control freaks" competition. I already proved this by taking the test. Oh, that's another thing. We love tests. We love right and wrong answers. So here's a joke for you to ponder, while I think up ways to convince you that accounting is fun:

Q: How do you drive an accountant completely insane?

A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold up a road map the wrong way.

Yes, it's true. Just ask my husband. I cannot stand watching someone fold the road map the wrong way.

I think it's time to change my hypothesis.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Are "Fun" and "Accounting" Mutually Exclusive?

anToday, over at the Fire Ant Gazette (which is desperately in need of a tagline, by the way), it was suggested that "fun" and "accounting" are mutually exclusive. Imagine the flames that came shooting out of my head when I heard this! This was in the context of discussing the pros and cons of using a "comptometer" to perform various high level math functions such as calculating square roots. Well, right there, you can see why such an audacious suggestion was made.

So I'm going to dispel the myth. I'm going to prove, in Foo-esque fashion (i.e. by showing my work) that Accounting = Fun!

I will have to do this in small bits, because that is just how my brain works (how else could I make the above claim, afterall?).

As Exhibit A, we have today's project which involves interpreting French documents. Who knew that those years and years of French would ever pay off? These are not like French legal documents or anything. Just your basic financial statements and detailed trial balances, all tres exciting documents, and all in French. In order to consolidate these and report them on our English-language tax forms, they must be reduced to English (I use the word "reduced" intentionally, for our French brethren's benefit). And you know how ultra helpful the French are...they refuse to give us an English version. The staff that is supposed to be working on this just keeps whining, "but they're all in French!" So I said, "just gimme that, I'll do it" (accompanied by a little eye rolling). Hence, today's refresher course in all of those accounting terms I never learned in high school French class.

Parles vous Francais? Anyone?

I'm currently stumped by the words "Impot Future" Here's what I got when I tried using freetranslation.com: "Impot Future" translates into "Future Impot." Very helpful. Anyone know what an "Impot" is? Webster is not helping either. *Sigh.*

Okay, I realize this is going to be a painful process of convincing you all that my hypothesis is true, but bear with me. ;-)


Monday, August 14, 2006

Like Butter on a Bald Monkey

What Veggie Tales character are you?

Take this quiz

I knew it! I just had to find the right quiz to prove it. ;-)

My apologies for all the times I've called Larry a PICKLE! 8-}

I Inspire!

Who Should Paint You: Alfred Gockel

All American yet funky, you inspire an artist's imagination

And while not everyone will understand your portrait, you will!

What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?

Who the heck is Alfred Gockel?

Via the Daliesque Jim


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dance of the Cucumber

Enough with the MTV already! This morning, me and the girls watched Veggie Tales. The girls are 16 and 17. They would much rather watch MTV. But today, we are watching Larry and friends. Here's my favorite...

Narrator: "Larry will be performing the traditional Argentinian ballad, 'The Dance of the Cucumber,' in it's original Spanish. Bob the Tomato will translate."

Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Watch the cucumber"

Larry: "miren como se mueve"
Bob: "see how he moves"

Larry: "como un leon"
Bob: "like a lion"

Larry: "tras un raton."
Bob: "chasing a mouse."

Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Watch the cucumber"

Larry: "que suaves movimientos"
Bob: "Oh, how smooth his motion"

Larry: "tal como mantequilla"
Bob: "like butter"

Larry: "en un chango pelon."
Bob: "on a ... bald monkey."

Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Look at the cucumber"

Larry: "los vegetables"
Bob: "all the vegetables"

Larry: "envidian a su amigo"
Bob: "envy their friend"

Larry: "como el quieren bailar"
Bob: "wishing to dance as he"

Larry: "Pepino bailarin, pepino bailarin, pepino bailarin"
Bob: "Dancing cucumber, dancing cucumber, dancing cucumber"

Larry: "Baila, baila, ya!"
Bob: "Dance, dance, yeah!"

Larry: "Miren al tomate"
Bob: "Look at the tomato"

Larry: "¿no es triste?"
Bob: "Isn't it sad?"

Larry: "El no puede bailar."
Bob: "He can't dance."

Larry: "¡Pobre tomate!"
Bob: "Poor tomato!"

Larry: "El desería poder bailar"
Bob: "He wishes he could dance"

Larry: "Como el pepino"
Bob: "like the cucumber"

Larry: "libre y suavemente."
Bob: "free and smooth."

Larry: "Pero el no puede danzar."
Bob: "But he can't ... Okay! Stop the music! What do ya mean I can't dance? I can dance! What about Uncle Louie's polka party? Didn't you see me dancing at Uncle Louie's polka party?"

Larry: "No comprendo."

Bob: "No comprendo? I'll show you 'No comprendo'!"

Heh. I love Veggie Tales. :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"Jump On The Blog Wagon"

I'm a tad late getting around to reading my June issue of Journal of Accountancy. I'm sure you've all read it already, but let me recite for you the "key principles to ensure that your blog becomes an asset, not a liability" from the above referenced article. Please note that I am not making this up. This is the real deal. Copyright laws being what they are, I can only give you the highlights.

Rule #1 - Make your goals clear (I did this at the outset of my blog...if you weren't around then, read post #1, or don't. Really makes no difference to me. Goals? We don't need no stinkin' goals!)

Rule #2 - Determine metrics for success (I've said from the beginning that I would not count anything...metrics already rule my professional life; why would I use metrics here???)

Rule #3 - Make sure you can deliver on the client expectations you set (I think first we need to agree on who is the client here, you or me?)

Rule #4 - Consider the byline; in whose voice does it speak? (um, if you all are hearing voices other than my own, please inform the authorities)

Rule #5 - Establish editorial limits (no cussing, that's all I ask)

Rule #6 - Make sure the writer has the necessary knowledge to make your blog compelling (ahem! I'll be sure and have a talk with said "writer" ;-)

Rule #7 - Keep a watchful eye (check!)

Rule #8 - Monitor external participation and usage (what you all do outside of my blog is your business; I assure you there will be no monitoring going on)

There you have it. Rules to blog by. There's a good reason why I don't read the Journal the minute it lands in my mailbox. Next up...FASB Stmt #156, Accounting for Servicing of Financial Assets!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Da Bling

Okay, call me old fashioned. Call me the biggest nerd in all of America (my teenagers do), but I have managed to live on this planet for several years now without knowing anything about the latest in hip hop dental bling fashion. No clue. None. Nada. Zip.

When I was young, those who couldn't afford porcelain colored crowns lived with the embarrassment of gold or silver teeth. Nowadays, those who can afford it are spending thousands of dollars to look like Hannibal Lechter. Can anyone enlighten me? I really, really, really don't understand the attraction here. Blech!

I find this humorous though...dental bling has been banned from several Texas schools. Go Texas!

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'll just crawl back into my hole. Life was better without cable teevee. Really.

Another Book Meme

I'm deep in the thick of work these days. So while I remain postless, consider trying this meme on for size.

Here is how it goes:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

6. Tag five people.

Here's mine...from The 2006 U.S. Master Tax Guide, pg. 123:

"If Mr. Parker provides more than one-half of the support for Mrs. Parker's uncle, the exemption may be claimed on their joint return, even though the uncle does not live with them. If Mr. and Mrs. Parker file separate returns, Mr. Parker may claim the exemption for the uncle only if the uncle is a member of Mr. Parker's household and lives with him for the entire tax year. In a community property state, if a child's support is derived from community income, some or all of the exemptions may, by agreement, be taken by either the husband or wife on a separate return. "

To be continued...

Return next week for the rest of the story about Mr. and Mrs. Parker and the uncle who may or may not be living with one or both of them. ;-)

Via one of Susiebadoozie's commenters. Badoozer also has some interesting posts up re: the apparent differences between our nation's South and Pacific Northwest, following her recent journey to visit fellow bloggers. Go take a look.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

The City of Murals

Lompoc, CA. I mentioned in my last post that this was the site of my first (and last) motorcycle accident. Ever been there? It's a blip on the map of Central Coastal CA. Take a look at the link and tell me what you think the #1 topic of political debate is in the city of Lompoc. I'll wait.

Okay, enough already. Sounds like an exciting town, no? Despite its serious lack of water and its wastewater issues resulting from a serious lack of water, Lompoc has some very positive attributes.

There's Vandenberg Air Force Base, home of the Flying Tigers and the 30th Space Wing (the "best overall space wing in Air Force Space Command"). Can anyone tell me what is a "Space Wing?" Sounds impressive though.

There's La Purisima Mission, a beautiful and serene place to visit, if not a little haunting when you see the cemetery where all the Indians are buried, the ones who died of the diseases brought to them by the Franciscan monks.

There's a lot of agriculture in this soil-rich valley...flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Apparently, it is the "Most Successful Mural Community in California," whatever that means. I never saw any murals when I was there, so these must be relatively new, or else, by "successful," they mean there are none.

There are some amazing beaches, isolated from the world, only accessible by way of miles and miles (or so it seems) of hiking, but the views are amazing. These are not what you think of when you think of Southern California beaches. There are not throngs of scantily clad people on them. It is a grueling hike back up to the road. My advice? Take lots and lots of water!

And finally then, there are the winding back roads in and out of Lompoc, great for motorcycling. Let this be a public service announcement for motorcycling.

Don't Do It!!!!!


I am anti-motorcycle. My ex-husband is pro-motorcycle. This proved to be a bad thing in our relationship. Here's just the tip of the iceberg:

Him: Here's the key. Would you mind getting the motorcycle warmed up? I'll be out in just a minute.

Me: Sure. [I'd had one or two lessons in not only starting the motorcycle but also riding it on straight stretches of driveway; I was no novice to this sport of starting the motorcycle]

Him [upon arriving in the parking lot where I was supposed to be getting us underway]: What in the @#*% did you do?!

Me: Well, I was standing on the pedals just like you told me and when I pushed down on the kick starter, it just kind of fell over. There was nothing I could do to stop it. And it's too heavy for me to lift back up. It's a good thing I wasn't injured.

Him: That's the last time I ever trust you with the keys! Look what you did to my bike!

Me: Hrmph!

And so began the infamous last motorcycle ride of my lifetime.

Long story short is, when you see a sign that says "Pavement Ends 50 Feet" and you're on a motorcycle, do yourself a favor and slow down. If you choose to continue driving at the speed of oh, say, about 50 mph, be prepared to lay it down when the pavement does in fact end at the crest of the hill and you are now on a dirt road full of grooves the depth of the Suez canal.

I'm not sure there is a proper way to lay a bike down when faced with this predicament, but I will give my ex credit for doing so in a manner that preserved both of our lives. By choosing to do so rather than waiting to be forced to do so, I think he kept us from flipping end-over-end when the front tire hit its first gulley. Instead, I flew over his head and slid about 25 feet down the dirt road while he stayed with the bike, also sliding. Fortunately, we were both wearing helmets and covered head-to-toe in jeans, boots, etc. such that we sustained far fewer injuries than we might have otherwise. No broken bones, only some serious bruising and a couple of scrapes (now scars) to the wrists and knees. One of my knees was bad for over a year, but it wasn't broken and is now fine. The hardest part was righting the bike (for the second time that day), getting back on it and riding home. The blessed part is that we were able to do so.

And that is the city of Lompoc.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A LAZY Blogroll Addition

I had a recent visitor that struck a chord with me when I went to look at his site. I expected to see a post related to the Homes Tour (who doesn't enjoy peeking in other people's homes?) but found instead someone who appeared to be stalking me (or me him).

One of his most recent posts happened to be of Morro Bay, CA which is where I went to high school! It's a very small town on the central coast of CA that most people have never heard of, but it is quaint and the high school is right on the beach and what can I say? Take a look for yourself. It is a beautiful place!

And then another of San Simeon State Park, north of Morro Bay, which is a beach I return to every year to hunt for moonstones, because it is just a few miles up the road from my Mom's house. Hardly anyone knows about this quiet stretch of beach on the central coast.

And then, a post on Lompoc, CA which is where I had my first (and last) motorcycle accident.

And then another of Table Rock Lake in NW Arkansas, where we spent the 4th of July.

And then, I received an email response to my comments on his blog and found out that he was just in Chicago, and he wondered if I had just recently been there as well, accusing me of stalking him (I'm sure he thought that was a rhetorical question, but why YES, I have). He responded with his own photo of Millenium Park.

Plus, PLUS, he lists Keb Mo, Etta James, Eric Clapton, Santana and Ray Charles, as favorite musicians, all of whom are on my Top 10 list (he needs to add Rory Block and take off Jimmy Buffett and the Doobie Brothers before we can be what I would call "good" friends though).

LZ is what I would call an artistic traveler. He has captured some beautiful places beautifully, if you'll pardon my overuse of the word beautiful. Nearly all of his photos are of God's creations, not man made stuff. Go check out his blog and see if he's stalking you as well (Eric, I see he's been to San Angelo...just up/down the road from you...beware!).

Oh yeah, his name is LAZY Blogger (and the "LAZY" part is in all caps intentionally, per LZ himself). He calls himself a "recovering Californian" who now lives in the Midwest. This could also describe me, but enough about me, go visit LZ.

Now go!