Showing posts from May, 2005

LA Dining: African but not Ethiopian Cuisine

My latest post is up over at LA Foodblogging where I highlight Ngoma Restaurant.

Yosemite Trip Report

We stayed at a rental home in the Yosemite Four Seasons development in West Yosemite. Highly recommended as the people running the place are helpful and friendly. Also, it is economical, as our group was 12 people which made dividing up costs for lodging and food a nice benefit.

For hiking excursions, be sure to check out this list.

On Thursday, we visited Bridalveil Fall. The fall was so thunderous that you can't actually get to the usual vista point without getting drenched!

We visited the Lower Yosemite Fall. At the lookout point at the base, it is wet though not like Bridalveil. We then took a hike to the first lookout point of Upper Yosemite Fall. There is some elevation gain in this hike but it isn't too far. Columbia Rock is about 1 mile where you get a great view of the Yosemite Valley. Another 1/2 mile, you get to a vista point to see Upper Yosemite Fall.

On Friday, we walked to Mirror Lake. The web page says it is a 5 mile round trip. It is fairly level so we to…

LA Dining: Korean foodblogging

My latest post is up over at LA.foodblogging. I briefly describe dining at a Korean restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. Enjoy!

More Photos from Yosemite

We went up the Mist Trail to get to Nevada Falls.

Here is a view of the famed Half Dome while on the trail to the Upper Yosemite Falls.

Dear Readers:

Know much about scanners?

Any advice on how to color correct these images?

They seem a bit off compared to the original transparencies?


Strengthen the Good: Susan Tom & The Tom Family Education Trust

The premise of the Strengthen the Good network of bloggers is: raising awareness for small charities around the world. Every so often this space highlights a new “micro-charity”—a small, inspiring charity, one with a real face and where $1 makes a difference—and the bloggers in the network link to that post, sending traffic, and awareness, the charity’s way.

The latest to be profiled is the story of Susan Tom. Be sure to check it out and pass the link along to anyone you feel would be inspired and encouraged.

Some photos from Yosemite

The mist trail along side Vernal Falls was more like the thunderstorm trail!

So pack a change of clothes in the pack to switch to and let your wet ones dry out while sunbathing on top of Vernal Falls which is behind me in the photo below.

I made it to the top of Nevada Falls! Photos of the famed Nevada Falls hopefully to come in a future blog post. I didn't take any with the digital camera. I've dropped off my films at Chrome and "R" and Fotek.

At the top of the falls you see the sign that says 4.5 miles to Half Dome. Perhaps a future holiday trip.

Here is one of the critters I saw as I rested on the John Muir trail on the way back down from Nevada Falls.

One last look at the Vernal Falls as dusk arrives.

Fishblogging at La.foodblogging

Ambling off to holiday ...

Hope to see this in person ...

Image source:

Hope to blog back with photos next week ...

LA Scene: LA Taste of the Nation, June 5, 2005

My latest post is up over at It is about the upcoming event to raise funds for anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs here and around the world.

LA Times Festival of Books: Science Book Blogging

Larry Mantle was the moderator for the 2pm session on science themed books.

The panelists were:

Charles Wohlforth who won an LA Times Book Prize for The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change,

Alan Tennant, author of On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon,

George Johnson talked about his books, A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer and his soon to be released Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe

Brian Fagan described his just finished book Chaco Canyon.

Mantle allowed each author a few minutes to plug their respective books.

Fagan: Am an anthropology professor at UCSB and have written a lot about archeology. Chaco Canyon is in New Mexico and has been studied for over 100 years by scientists. The book is an overview of the work done there. It is a study of how a group of people had to abandon a locale due to climate change.

Johnson: My book "Sh…

LA Scene: 168 Hour Project Film Festival, May 13-14, 2005

The 168 Hour Project is in its third year. The concept is to produce short subject films of about 10 minutes working under three constraints: (1) the film is to be based on a passage of the Bible drawn at random (2) pre-production is limited to one-week and (3) production-post-production is limited to one-week. One week is 168 hours long.

The Film Festival has grown each year and this year it was even featured in a KNBC-4 news story and drew a team of film makers from Canada and Italy as well as over fifty others.

All finished films were shown at the festival all day Friday and Saturday. I opted to attend the final evening screening of the top 10 films which was followed by an awards ceremony.

What follows are my observations about the 10 films. I'll comment on my reactions to the film as storytelling and then briefly on how I felt it illustrated the Bible verse it is based on.

"Man of the Hour" Matthew 7:13-14

Synopsis: Man receives his US citizenship and attends a p…

Atlanta 5 Dodgers 2: Three Words

Three Words ... LEFT ON BASE.

Went to my fourth game of the season. The loss was due to the failure to get base runners home as the Dodgers left 10 on base. I mentioned in an earlier post that this 13-game stretch will tell us where this team is. Indeed, at the half-way mark, the Dodgers have gone 2-5. Three games against Florida and three against the Angels remain. We shall see if the Dodgers can turn it around. Of the two problems, pitching giving up the home run and the big inning or failure to get the timely hit, I think pitching is the bigger problem.

@ the Movies: Kicking and Screaming

Will Ferrell has a gift for falling down, making faces and talking in strange ways. In this film to showcase his comedic gifts, he is teamed up with Robert Duvall who plays Ferrell's character's father and Mike Ditka as Mike Ditka. Stir in a cast of cute kids ...

... and a story about father's and son's and an underdog team and you have yourself a comedy with a good heart.

The premise of the film has Duvall and Ferrell as the gruff athletic father and the goofy non-athletic son. Duvall coaches the soccer team of his son from a second marriage while Ferrell coaches his son on another team. Ferrell gets it into his head to try to beat his father and enlists Ditka for help and comedy ensues.

The film is often over the top with exaggerated action and dialog but that is the whole fun of it as it pokes fun at sport movie cliche moments, suburban family life and a running gag on the perils of coffee drinking.

Critics may raise their noses at the film and sniff, "It is f…

LA Dining: The Hunt for Red Mole

Mole is a sauce used in some Mexican dishes. To read more about it, see my latest over at

How good are the Dodgers?

Four big series coming up. 4 against St. Louis at St. Louis then back to Dodger's stadium for 3 against Atlanta, 3 against Florida and 3 against the Angels.

If the Dodgers can split these 13 games then I think they are right on track.

Middle relief has been a bit shaky of late. That situation should improve when Gagne returns in a couple of weeks. Penny looks to be the #1 starter fans were hoping for. Lowe finally a bad outing but otherwise has been solid. Weaver and Perez are good when they are good and get pounded when they are bad. Erickson the fifth starter hasn't done much but then again, you don't expect too much from that spot in the rotation.

Jason Philips, the late acquisition at catcher has been a great pick up.

A lot more offense on this year's team. Having Penny and Lowe anchor the rotation could make DePodesta look like a genius. Go Dodgers!

LA Scene: Revlon 5K

Probably the biggest running event in Los Angeles is the Revlon 5K.

It draws 50,000+ walkers, joggers, runners and stroller pushers all to raise money to fight and to raise awareness of women's cancers.

I participated in support of the Gilda Radner Cancer Detection Program.

Here is the LA Coliseum before the race.

During the run, it is so overwhelming to see so many women in purple hats which signify they have survived cancer. Many of the runners had the names of loved ones on their t-shirts who are battling cancer. However, most heart wrenching was seeing so many where the name of the person is written down with the year of their birth and death.

I would say there are more women participants than men. And many of the runners, men and women, are in groups.

However, most sobering are the male solo runners who have these words written on the tags on the back of their shirts: I run in memory of my wife, name surname, 19XX - 19YY. I see them run silently and alone with their memorie…

LA Dining: Porterhouse Bistro

I've joined the collaborative foodbloggers over at LA Foodblogging and my first post there is to report on Porterhouse Bistro.

It is a great steakhouse!

At the movies: Kingdom of Heaven

In brief: 2.5 stars out of 4, thumbs up with reservations.

At greater length:

Scott knows how to do battle scenes. I have seen Gladiator and Blackhawk Down and the action sequences in those films had me wanting to bob and weave to avoid the dangers and that was so in Kingdom of Heaven. The R rating was well deserved for violence.

Orlando Bloom fans should be happy as he gets to be the main man here. He still looks a bit young for such a big role but I felt he did reasonably well. It was nice to see him get the "Aragorn" role and give the rousing speeches to rally the troops.

Eva Green is alluring but the romance wasn't compelling to me. The romance seemed obligatory and didn't add much.

The Neeson-Bloom father-son relationship worked for me. There wasn't a lot of screen time to build that relationship but it was effective. Give Neeson lots of credit for a super performance here.

Post movie discussions will touch on the history of the Crusades. One wonders how …

Kids say the darnest things!

In youth group recently the subject was relationships.

Some of the guys put it this way in highly logical fashion:

love of money = evil
time = money
girls = time + money
evil = love of girls

Suffice to say guys and gals had a good laugh over that one!

Our two youth leaders closed out our discussion time by taking us to the Bible all the way back to Genesis.

In brief, we find out that God created us, God has a mission for us and God provides companionship. Unfortunately, what happens is that people (us) make finding companionship the mission in life and that is off point and leads to all sorts of grief. Our relationship with God must be primary and all other relationships flow from that priority.

Dodgers 2 Rockies 1

Went to my third game of the season. It was very close with a dramatic ninth inning finish.

Briefly, the Dodgers won 2-1.

However, the Dodgers sure made it exciting by leaving the bases loaded on two occasions after only cashing in one run on each time. In the end, the box score says the Dodgers left 10 on base!

Anyway, the Dodgers got to the top of the ninth and Brazoban came in to get the save. He promptly walked the first batter, Atkins!

Then Gonzalez came up as a pinch hitter. In a bizarre series of events, he lost the grip of the bat and it flew toward the mound not once, not twice but three times! On the third, he struck out while Atkins went for the steal of second base. The umpire ruled Gonzalez out on strikes and Atkins out due to interference. The crowd was buzzing and I could see some extra security guys go onto the field and some players were jawing at each other.

Mohr came up and was immediately hit by the first pitch and again the crowd roared and there was some yappin…