I just got back from my latest excursion
into the northern hinterlands.

It is about 10 minutes to 9 p.m.

I am pretty thoroughly thrashed,
although everything went well;
very productive and useful.

The coast was ridiculously beautiful.

I got to spend some quality time
with several hundreds
of my very dear animal friends.

We all had an extra good time.

Even the crows,
which are extremely untame,
in the wild,
have finally taken a liking to me.

They let me take close-up flight photos of them,
which is, in my 25 years of experience
at this location unusual in the extreme.

I always love to tell the story
of how hard it is to photograph these birds
because they apparently have some kind of ESP.

That is to say,
they know when I am about to hit the shutter release.

Oftentimes even a few milliseconds before I know I am about to.

I tested this theory numerous ways over the years,
never having been able to get a good flight photo of these birds
(i.e. clear, in focus, and tack sharp).

It is hard to even get them framed
when they are taking off,
but even much less so
when they are purposely avoiding you.

There are many vacationers on the road
during the past 4 to 6 weeks,
following a nice quiet lull of several months.

Mostly Asiatics (Chinese and Japanese)
and northern whites (Scandinavians?). 
Some Germans,
who seem to be here every year,
no matter what economy,
at least most years.

A number of Middle Easterners,
and yes,
you guessed it,
even a couple of Italianos.

An interesting mix.

Saw more dolphins and migrating whales.

Speaking of which I forgot to tell
that I saw about four orcas
and several whales about 1/2 mile offshore,
at Solimar,
this last week.

The dolphins are moving northward.

One pod had at least ten members,
and several of them quite large.

A magnificent sight
as they jump up high into the air.

I think they are pairing off,
or recently have.

Saw several whales with barnacles
all up and down their bodies
as they breached
and jumped up into the air
and came splashing down mightily.

As I watched for awhile
I suddenly saw that I was no longer looking
at barnacle covered whales,
but a huge shiny black body
with a gigantic dorsal fin
flapping through the air
as the Orcas also began to breach
as those huge black glistening bodies
unnaturally hurled over the water.

What a sight!

I always consider myself to be so privileged
to get to see such things.

Not quite the same as when they came up into the waves last year.

But, good, nevertheless.

Well, that is just a little bit of psycho-babble,
hopefully to keep you entertained.

It's good to be back in town.

Hope all is as well as it can be for
all of you for whom we care so much.

w/abiding and abounding love,


8:54 p.m.
Ventura, California, USA


I almost forgot.

Thursday is the day for the
International Association of Skateboard Companies
convention in Anaheim 

(Disneyland right outside my window 
for $20 extra, the hotel informed me;
I told them I would pay an extra $20
to NOT have that in my face; 
they seemed to like that)

at which my cousin,
Woody Woodward,
also known as one of the fathers of skateboarding,
will be inducted into the hall of fame
for being one of the most innnovative and influential
competitive skateboarders
during the formative years of the 1960's.

While he is happy to be acknowledged,
he is getting more and more nervous
and harder to handle by the hour.

It's my job to see to it that he gets to Anaheim
and to the awards.

I have had this and similar jobs
several times in the past.

Things always go well,
but not without bumps enough
to keep you in a continuous state of craziness
(that's why I ALWAYS get chosen for the job).

I will probably be the only one
at the convention dressed in a suit and tie.

At least you will be able to guess
one of the jobs I do for a living.

Maybe I had better bring
a spare "Hawaiian" shirt, or two.

Am looking forward to this,
but with trepidation.

So many things to go wrong.

Oh, what to do ---

what to do ---

At any rate,
I may be even more scarce than usual
until this week is done.

We shall see.

Shan't we?

Here's hoping for the best.

Now give me another big hug, PLEEEAAAASE!

I just so need it, ALWAYS!

w/ more love than you would ever even know what to do with

signing off, once again,

9:27 p.m.