Monday, August 30, 2010

I wasn't expecting this

I've been dying to shoot wide angle for the longest time and so I finally bit the bullet. And it arrived today and even though I was feeling poorly (damn three day migraine headaches) I thought I could at least handle a drive to Palos Verdes and walking to the edge of the road to get a bit of fresh air and get use to the new lens.

Little did I know I was going to experience something I've wanted to see pretty much all my life...

whale spouts 6

I'd heard one could see a few whales off of PV now and again. But at least 50 of them?

dolphins and whale spouts 2

Upper left is a dissipating whale spout, lower right is a couple of many dolphins. From what I have found out they are Blue Whales off our coast right now.

dolphins and whale spouts

We watched for a couple hours. At one point dolphins came in very close. Overall we saw at least five distinct groups of whales, each probably had at least ten whales in them. The one directly west of us we counted the spouts and could tell there were around ten whales. Some were smaller. The larger ones would spout and surface first and last. Amazing to see their tails breech. I wish I could have taken a photo of that.

whale spouts

Whale spouts right off of Point Vicente.

Local article about the blue whales here http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_15944168

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just trying to be zen

chill

Given all that I've experienced in life, most of the time it's best to just find a way to chill.

Rancho Palos Verdes 8/12/10.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Take that Barbie!

Hello Kitty wine

Barbie doesn't have everything. Yeah there may be Barbie sized wine bottles but they don't have the real stuff in them. However Miss Hello Kitty has no such quandary. She knows who pays the bills and is willing to pander to us.

No I didn't get a bottle at those prices but it's actually DOC certified wine from Italy. I just might be tempted to pick-up a bottle of the Pinot Noir. Sadly someone lifted the charm from the Sparkling Rose otherwise might have broken my will power. Or since it's Miss Hello Kitty, is that a Sparkly Rose?

Spotted and photo taken today at a local market.

Edited to add that I did actually try these wines and most were not bad. I don't think I tried the Sparkly Rose though. Too much pink.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pasta with Cauliflower, Anchovies and Fried Croutons

Been dealing with life throwing too many things at me and these photos remind me of that. I actually made this back in May but then my computer got a virus and so many things happened after that... Anyway, I want to post this before I forget again.

Occasionally I submit a pasta photo to Presto Pasta Nights. I like seeing the blog posts, so many creative uses of pasta that are inspiring. Well this dish I actually got the recipe information from the blog. I thought the ingredients sounded interesting and I want to cook more authentic Italian food. The actual recipe is from Bon Appetite which you can find here. It calls for Orecchiette pasta but that was pretty expensive so I went with a less expensive shell pasta which I can not remember the name of.

califlower

One of the first things was to prepare the cauliflower. It was pretty tasty just like this. I also had fresh anchovy instead of canned so I cooked that in the oven. Figured it would be less salt and fat that way.

c7

I pretty much followed the recipe except I used one of Trader Joe's cheese blends because it's easier. I use that for so many dishes!

anchovy califlower crouton pasta

So this is how it turned out. It was really good and I was rather impressed that it turned out so well! I'm not use to making a dish like this. Now hoping the next time I make something like this I won't have all the problems that kept me from posting it sooner!

And just to add, here is the link for the Presto Pasta Nights post for this week. Lots of good food there! Now I'm hungry.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So what does one do at an Obon Festival?

Gardena Obon 2009 5

Actually there was a lot of things to do. Many games such as this colorful fish catching game.

Gardena Obon 2009 6

There were several exhibits of different Japanese art including pottery, flower arranging, and sword pieces. My favorite part was being able to sit in a Japanese Tea Ceremony. A bit different from the one I experienced in Japan but still just as reverent.

Gardena Obon 2009 7

And of course there was food.

Gardena Obon 2009f

We had some really nice fresh bento.

Gardena Obon 2009e

But best was....

Gardena Obon 2009g

The dango!