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Archive for July, 2008

The SDG&E crane barge sits at anchor off State Beach in San Clemente.

The SDG&E crane barge sits at anchor off State Beach in San Clemente.

 

 

 

 

The rougher side of sea, water and seamanship is just off our beach now and will be there until October or so.  SDG&E is in the middle of placing 100,000 tons of quarry stone from Catalina Island, in about 30 to 45 feet of water between San Mateo Point(Cotton’s) and the Pier in San Clemente.  The idea is that giant kelp will attach itself to the manmade reef and create a home for multiple species of marine life.

 

This is a project that has been in the works now for a couple of years and is being done in order to displace the enviromental impact that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has made.  The stone is brought over on large barges, pulled by an ocean going tug, and then a large crane barge places a large tractor onto the barge so that the rocks can be easily pushed over the side.  They began at Cotton’s and have steadily moved north.  There was a “plan” or “chart” that illustrated the reef placement in the paper and so they are placing the stone according to that plan.

 

There is a Marine Biologist on hand that moniters all this and according to his studies, they have created “avenues” so that watercraft and currents can move throught the kelp paddies.  He also says that surfing conditions chould not change but will actually became smoother, with less chop, on windy days.  Also there will be great fishing and a robust food chain for all kinds of sea life. 

The SDG&E ocean going tug rests in the waters off State Beach in San Clemente after a long day.

The SDG&E ocean going tug rests in the waters off State Beach in San Clemente after a long day.

 

I really hope this works out and I think everyone has had the best intentions, but then, not everything goes well when man gets in the middle of things.  We’ll see…

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Bandit, the biker dog at cook's corner.

Bandit, the biker dog at cook's corner.

 

 

Bandit will steal your heart.  He is a 6 year old Boston Terrier and as calm and in his place as you could imagine.  Mark Shaffer is his driver and manages all of his appearences; he is as mesmerized by it all as anyone.  I met him at Cook’s Corner on Sunday, while on a shoot for an event called “Ladies That Ride” and is meant to support Breast Cancer programs. 

 

Since last week when I shot the Orange County Sheriff responding to the “Moon The Amtrak” event, I have had several “Biker” shoots and its strange that they have all come in a row like this.

 

 Last Saturday, I shot the annual “Christmas In July/Poker Fun Run”, organized by the Capistrano Eagles Motorcycle Club.  They collect can goods and cash for those that need it and is administered through the Mission San Juan Capistrano.  The program is actually called “Father Serra’s Pantry” and from what I have heard it is their largest fundraiser each year.  The Capistrano Eagles run the event from the Swallows Inn; it starts and ends there and if there was anything to say about it, the first thing would be that they are serious about helping out.

 

"Christmas in July", for Father Serra's Pantry, is run by The Capistrano Eagles Motorcycle Club; it features a "Poker Fun Run" where participants go from location to location, riding for the best and worst hand.

"Christmas in July", for Father Serra's Pantry, is run by The Capistrano Eagles Motorcycle Club; it features a "Poker Fun Run" where participants go from location to location, riding for the best and worst hand.

 

 

The idea is that riders will pay a registration fee(Donated) and collect a playing card at all of five stops they must make to get an entire “hand”.  The best hand and the worst hand get prizes as well as anyone attending or just going to the bar, must bring a canned food donation.  I shot for the paper various participants picking out their cards and trying for the best hand.   Along with poker, they also had a raffle with things like leather vests and boots and smaller things like key chains and bandanas.  Everyone was having a good time and really I saw a big heart in it all for helping those that are less fortunate.

 

 

It was explained to me that they had decided to do it based on the fact that what the Mission can do for the homeless and the needy in the middle of the year is a little lean.  Christmas is great for giving but then July, as folks go on vacation or are generaly not around, doesn’t see too much in the way of giving.  The “Christmas in July” program has become Father Serra’s Pantry biggest event in the year.

Walking the line at Cook's Corner.

Walking the line at Cook's Corner.

 

 

Its interesting to see, what can sometimes be, this rougher set of guys and gals getting out and doing all this and with a great attitude and more than a willingness to help.  To me it isn’t a surprise really as I learned a big lesson when I was a sophmore in High School about bikers.

 

At that age I rode my bicycle to school and everyday past Ole Hanson Elementery.  There on the corner was a “biker” house.  In fact it was right next to the school and it always had bikes parked on the lawn.  There were always people out front, either talking, standing around or working on a bike.  The doors and windows were left open all time and the music that came across the grass to the street was strong.  I wasn’t scared but they were certainly imposing with their long hair, tatoos and swagger.  I remember more than a few times they had several sofas out front and collapsed on them were as many as ten or twelve people just hanging out.

Winners of the Tatoo contest at Cook's Corner.

Winners of the Tatoo contest at Cook's Corner.

 

I don’t think I was worried about them as I felt to some degree we were the same although, we didn’t dress or look alike; together we were different than most, misunderstood and had a different approach on life.  No one gets to be too old before they realize that society in general does not like “different” and what isn’t the same as the majority.

 

My suspicions were confirmed one day when I came out after to class to find that someone had “potatoe-chipped” the rear wheel on my bike.  This is where you lean over the wheel and hitting it just right on the ground, while applying pressure to side, at the top and bottom, the wheel will bend agaisnt the pressure.   The mis-alignd spokes try to comprehend the torque but cannot; the wheel is left looking like a big potatoe chip.The wheel will not roll through the frame and so cannot be ridden.  The 80 or so bikes lined up and mine was the only one; someone was trying to make a point.  I had a special admirer and had because of minor vandalism on my bike every few days I became accostumed to moving it around in order to avoid it.  But now, they had found me.

 

 

 

Out with the fam on Sunday at Cook's.

Out with the fam on Sunday at Cook's.

 

 

 

I rolled my bike down the sidewalk and along the way I would normaly ride it; this took a long time as I had to half carry it and pull it along.  I was not off the campus before the school was silent.  Everyone was almost home by now.  This was going to be a long day as I lived about four miles from school.  I wasn’t surprised that no one stopped to help; it’s just the way it is.

 

 

The biker house is about a half mile from the school and as I came up to it, I could see they were all out in the yard.  I was scared as I would have to pass right by, just inches from them, and wondered if they would add to my troubles.  I had no reason to feel this way and although I didn’t expect it after carrying my bike that far I was not in a good mood.

Serious fun on a sweet ride.

Serious fun on a sweet ride.

 

This was towards the end of the year, a Friday, and the sun was out. They had two sofas, a couple chairs and several bikes all around.  The music was loud and they were enjoying the sun and drinking beer out of the bottle.  Twenty feet, ten feet, five feet…passing the corner…they hadn’t noticed…keep going I thought and then…

“Hey…Hey kid…what are you doin?…Hey kid….” His gruff, scratchy voice called out, not really asking, but demanding.

 

The music got louder and quieter all at the same time.  I was on the surface of the sun.  I was taught to always address adults politely and so I turned to him and answered.

“…going home…” I said.

 

He stood there looking down at me from only a few feet away.  He was tan with long hair and had a big necklace of seashells around his neck and a few other plain leather ones.  He wore no shirt and only jeans with “The Boots”.  This was 1979 and I saw it all in oversaturated kodak color, surrounded by a glossy white border.  The rest of the group looked on mildly but not really paying attention.

“…what happened to your bike?…” he asked.

“…someone bent the wheel…”I replied.

“…that’s fff’ed up…”he said, pointing his beer at the bent wheel.

 

He didn’t say anything else and bent over the wheel and with what I imagined would have been the same manouver that caused it, bent it back.  He stood again and twirled the wheel.  He stopped it a few times and in the more troublesome spots, “adjsuted it” with hands that were obviously used to fixing things.  He finished and leaned the bike my way and I took it.

“…what’s your name?” he asked.

“…David …”I replied simply.

“…No charge, David…see ya’ round…” he said with a nod and hadn’t finished his sentence before he was walking back to the house.

“..Thanks…”I said with a relieved smile and hit the road.  I wasn’t too far off before I heard several voices call out after me.

“…See ya’, David…”

 

I didn’t stop there again but I saw my new friends everyday and we always said hello; they knew my name and they never missed saying it.

“…hey David…see ya’ around…”

Biker Sled.

Biker Sled.

 

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/breast-cancer-mckee-2099486-money-ride

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An upset in the fianl dory leg of the IronMan competition.

An upset in the fianl dory leg of the IronMan competition.

I got down to the San Clemente Ocean Festival a little later in the day but in time to see the final of the IronMan Competition.  Its a combination of swim, run and dory boat on an individual basis.  I think Mitch Kahn gets this every year and this year he did not disappoint.
There are other events that went on through out the day and will finish up tomorrow late in the day.  I shot some crowds and people on the beach; it is always fun to see people enjoying themselves.
Crowds did not seem to be to big this year as it was somewhat overcast.  I saw a lot of people lined up at the train depot heading back home.  Hopefully tomorrow the sun will come out and more people will go.  I am sure from a competitor point of view the hazy overcast is just fine.
A girls surfing competitor gets a "cheater five" out for the judges.

A girls surfing competitor gets a "cheater five" out for the judges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A boys surfing competitor gets a solid ride during his heat

A boys surfing competitor gets a solid ride during his heat

 

 

A girl competitor walks down the beach for the begining of her heat.

A girl competitor walks down the beach for the begining of her heat.

 
An IronMan participant approaches an official for his "place".

An IronMan participant approaches an official for his "place".

Family and friends watch the boys surfing heat.

Family and friends watch the boys surfing heat.

The girls are in the water and ready to go for their heat, late on Saturday afternoon.

The girls are in the water and ready to go for their heat, late on Saturday afternoon.

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Tio Beto Vignette///

Tio Beto.

Tio Beto.

 

 

The first Vignette is up…so check it out…

FiveBlocks.

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Hittn' the road and on to the next one.  Her big smile tells us she doesn't seem to mind

Hittn' the road and on to the next one. Her big smile tells us she doesn't seem to mind

 

 

 

 

Saturday, I was in Laguna Niguel early and saw that the “Annual Moon The Amtrak” event was going to be big.  It was only 9 am and there were already a lot of people.  I went off and did some errands and came back through around 1:30.  I got there just in time to see the Orange County Sheriff Helicopter come in over the tracks and announce that the crowd would have to disperse and leave the area as it was an un-lawful assembly.

A huge “ahhhh…” went up from the crowd at the same time and shortly after a black undercover type sedan went through on Camino Capistrano and announced the same thing.  I was on the other side of the tracks and where I was there was no one.  I thought for a moment and called the photo desk at The Orange County Register to see if they wanted the shots.  They shot it last year for the mooning part, but this was different.

 
 

 
I talked to Thomas and he explained that they already had a photographer down there and then hesitated.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

If you want to shoot it on your own go ahead and we’ll see what you get…so send it to me if you get anything good and I’ll look at it…we’ll just see…”

 

OC Sheriff deputies moniter the crowd as they leave southbound on Camino Capistrano.

OC Sheriff deputies moniter the crowd as they leave southbound on Camino Capistrano.

 

 

 

I carry a change of clothes in my van and so quickly changed from my shorts, got my equipment together and made my way over.  By now, there was a definite movement to comply with the order.  The Sheriffs were lined up on the bridge that is there just south of “Mugs A-Way” saloon.  They had their squad cars lined up and stood beside them in groups.  A single file line of cars, motorcycles, bicycles, skateboarders, scooters and  walkers made their way in the single open southbound lane under the watchful eye of the Deputy Sheriffs.

I really expected this to erupt into something and so was trying to keep my eyes open to be safe and get a good shot of it all.  I think mostly the event has been very innocent and a way for adults to let off some steam and be a part of the quirky history in Orange County.  I have shot enough events to know that a few drunks can ruin a regular event and this looked like something that would ignite but I was relieved as soon as I got there and started shooting on the bridge.

 
 

OC Sheriff Deputies and Security from Mugs Away Saloon consider the options together.

OC Sheriff Deputies and Security from Mugs Away Saloon consider the options together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Orange County Sheriff Department was out to disperse the crowd with no issues and that is exactly what they did.  I thought their approach and demeanor was excellent.  They just wanted to get everyone out with out incident and I cannot say enough for their efforts in getting this done.  I personally saw where deputies observed more than one  ambulatory drunk stumbling around and just let them keep moving on their way out; no doubt that if anyone wasn’t moving out they would have intervened.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

A few “discussions” occurred between participants and deputies and as well, although heated, the deputies gave everyone a way out while remaining firm.  I think this humbled more than a few folks that should have gone to jail and they realized the break they were getting and cautiously did as the deputies asked. 

 

 

Cool Couple on a Cool bike.

Cool Couple on a Cool bike.

In general, I followed the deputies, while hanging back, so as not to encourage anyone form trying to make the news.  The deputies were calm and conversed normally with anyone that approached then.  I saw several times deputies and attendees laughing together as if they were at a Jaycee softball game.  There was an obvious method on their part as they moved through the crowd and gave everyone plenty of time to get handled anything illegal and in the open.  I saw one sheriff sergeant speaking for awhile with an apparently upset woman and then was speaking with someone, using her cell phone.  I got a shot of it and it was especially interesting to see a helmeted sheriff using her cell phone with a fluffy ball dangling form it.  He must have solved the problem as she walked away much calmer than when she came up to him.

 

 

 

 

 

On the crowd’s part, they were generally upset that as there had been no incident, why was it getting shut down?  I was asked several times if I knew what had happened as they believed in general that something must have occurred.  I had asked a deputy if he knew early on and he responded that he didn’t know and that he just got the word to go down and here he was.  This is standard as information is always handled through a public information officer.  There still could have been something but didn’t seem like it.        

 

     

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

OC Sherrifs shoot the breeze with an attendee on Saturday.

OC Sherrifs shoot the breeze with an attendee on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crowd behaved well in general except for a few drunks but they were wise enough to lay low; everyone seemed to know that they were getting a pass so even in a stupor they maintained order.  I heard a few people in cars drive by and make random rude comments about the deputies and un-doubtedly it was heard; they just ignored it and kept a watchful eye.  Then again, I heard plenty of event goers compliment the sheriff deputies on their calmness, “nice job”, “…you guys are doing great…” or  “Thanks for coming out…”

 

Peace out.

Peace out.

 

 

I tink this couple pretty much have a good time where ever they go.

I tink this couple pretty much have a good time where ever they go.

I heard someone say that it had started with a medical aid and the emergency personnel had a difficult time making it down.  I don’t know if that was true.  This was really a good crowd actually and I think the only impediment to emergency response would be by someone drunk getting in the way on accident, getting run over or becoming belligerent because of a uniform.  I don’t remember seeing any bathroom facilities and that could be an issue.  Everyone was minding their own business and the crowd was gentle.  I have seen much more controlled, sanctioned events with a similar theme, and the feeling for me has always been that something could easily happen.  Once I was there, I was wary of course, but this crowd just didn’t have that vibe. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Ultimately, I will reason that some over the top and repeated nudity shattered the day for the “Moon The Amtrak” event.  Its true that anyone down there would have to expect this type of stuff going on to a certain degree and as well, it’s not like they were around any homes where innocents would have happened upon them.  If you were down there then you were there for the party. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its always a few jerks that ruin it but a good job must be recognized on the part of The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and especially because they obviously meant for it to be that way.  Maybe our new Sheriff has already had an impact; I would really like to think so.  The crowd deserves credit as well.  They definitely didn’t agree with the order and yet peaceably did as they were asked and without incident.

 

An OC deputy Sheriff helps out an event participant using her cell phone

An OC deputy Sheriff helps out an event participant using her cell phone

 

 

 

I don’t look forward to the day that things don’t turn out they way they did today but then we’d be like any other country where things go wrong and get worse by the minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artcle in The Orange County Register:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/crowds-boyne-year-2092361-police-event

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Dogs go in the front door at Three Dog Bakery in San Clemente.

Dogs go in the front door at Three Dog Bakery in San Clemente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was almost a year ago Matt and Claire Mardesich decided to leave Corporate America for the dogs and opened a canine bakery in San Clemente.  A year earlier theMardesichs had been on vacation in Northern California with their five huskies and came across a store they couldn’t live without…Three Dog Bakery.  It wasn’t long and they were the new owners of a franchise of their very own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a week at the Kansas City Headquarters learning the ins and outs of doggy pastries, cakes and cookies, the Maradesichs opened the doors to a 1900 square foot store in downtown San Clemente in April of 2007.  Filled with every imaginable canine product available and all of it top quality, they have to have the best; their customers are tough on everything and their owners appreciate the quality too.

 

 

 

 “Dogs come into the store like they own it…”

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Karl checks out the goods in the cold case.

Karl checks out the goods in the cold case.

 

 
The proud owners both agree that having a store open seven days a week is the most grueling part of the new routine but their four legged clients make up for it.  They both admit that they never forget a dog’s name and the mug that goes with it but have a tougher time with their owners. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Dogs come into the store like they own it and all of them remember Matt and Claire; everything starts at the counter for a free treat before the shopping begins.  Three Dog Bakery specializes in treats with human quality ingredients and it shows as the top five selling items are Boxer Brownies, Peanut Mutter Cookies, Dottie Spots, Fiesta Fido treats and Collie Canoli. 

 

Pampering your pet isn’t an overused cliché in Orange County; it’s a serious reality and no where else can you see it better than with all the other products available at Three Dog Bakery.  An average sale at the store is twenty dollars as a specialized custom made doggie cake for any occasion starts at $15.95.  Add some collar and leash bling, a bed, a stainless steel water dish, a shirt or a sweater with fido’s favorite NFL team and you can find the bill north of a couple hundred dollars.  The bark is worse than the bite as everything is great quality and it’s really a one stop shop where anything you need or want is available.

 

Jean Lista and Bonnie Toth, neighbors in San Clemente both have dogs and there isn’t a holiday that goes by that Lista’s Maltese rescue dog, Buster, doesn’t get a doggie basket full of toys and treats from Toth’s terrier mix; all culled from the carefully ample shelves at Three Dog Bakery. 

 

Nose to Nose.

Nose to Nose.

A photo montage of clients and their owners overflows five times the original corkboard meant to hold only a few.  Every breed is represented in every pose with all types of props.  There is barely a pause in from one group leaving the store and there is another group of paws looking to sample the snacks…this is dog heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 “…They both admit that they never forget a dog’s name and the mug that goes with it…”
 
 

 

 

 

Encouraged by the big dog welcome in San Clemente, not only from the business side of things, but also the community response and involvement, the Mardesichs, began to organize events in and outside of the store.  Every three weeks or so the store stays open late and hosts a “Yappy Hour” where they provide wine, beer and snacks, including pizza from the New York style Pizzeria next door. 

 

Everyone is invited and every shape and size dog and dog owner pass through sampling and mingling everything from hats and costumes to three layer cakes and cookies, all for pets.  Dogs push and pull on collars and leashes, straining to say hello to each other, explore a basket with squishy toys, chomp on a cookie or make it over for a pat from an admirer. 

 

Jack is always a ham.

Jack is always a ham.

 

 

Attending a “Yappy Hour”, you will notice, it’s the dogs that play host and introduce their owners to each other.  There seems to be some kind of dating scheme working at these events and Claire confirms it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t know if there have been any doggie romances but I think we have a two legged romance blossoming…”

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