Monday, March 29, 2010

A Visit to San Francisco (Day 2)

Did I mention that we stayed at the Wharf Inn in San Francisco? lol Yeah, I know I mentioned it in the other post. The photos for this post are from the second day and I figured I'm mention how comfy the rooms were at this motel. Even my trucker friend liked his room and he's a picky kind of guy. We went back over to Fisherman's Wharf to have breakfast at the Boudin Bakery as well as to buy some yummy sourdough bread to take home with us. Breakfast was fast and yummy. Even the coffee was good! After buying a few assorted loaves of sourdough bread, we headed back over to the motel to check out.

Next stop; Golden Gate Park. This time, though we didn't completely rely on the GPS for our directions to the part of the park we wanted to visit. I spent a little time on Google maps and wrote down some general directions so we'd be able to tell if the GPS decided to go nutty again. We went up some of the steepest hills in San Francisco and cruised past Lombard Street just for "effect". I mean, if you're taking a visitor from another country around San Francisco, you have to do that, right? lol

My trucker friend really wanted to visit the Japanese Tea Gardens and to sit down for a "traditional Japanese tea". So we headed straight (Or sort of straight) for the area of the park where the Tea Gardens are. We ended up parking in the underground parking that's under the California Academy of Sciences and then walking across the Music Concourse near the Spreckels Temple of Music.


We walked around behind the building to find the restrooms and came across a couple of San Francisco's "finest". The three of us told the two cops that they had the best jobs in town and both of them agreed. The lady cop told us that she'd been trying to get the mounted assignment for years and she'd just gotten the "promotion" to mounted a few months before. She said that there are no rookie cops riding horseback. She was on the list for almost 27 years. The fellow agreed with her. And with us, about their jobs being the best in the city.


The entrance gate to the Tea Gardens:


And here are a few photos of some of the beautiful sights you see when you wander around in the gardens.







I even climbed the drum bridge! It's a lot bigger than it looks in the pictures! lol


And I asked for permission to post a photo of my trucker friend and his fiance... The actual tea house is in the back ground behind him and the gift shop is above her shoulder behind the glorious azaleas.


Speaking of the azaleas, how's this for color:


After we left the Tea Gardens, we drove the length of the park over to the coast. We stopped at a lovely restaurant called the Beach Chalet, right across the Great Highway from the beach. We had a window table with a beautiful view and we had a very delicious lunch. After lunch, we headed for the Golden Gate Bridge and drove across to the vista point on the North side of the bridge. Of course we had to stop and enjoy the view.


A little bit of color on the hillside below the vista point;


And that's the trip to San Francisco. I hope you've enjoyed the pictures!

A visit to San Francisco (Day 1)

I promised some photos in yesterday's post and I'm a bit late in getting this put together. I got sidetracked yesterday afternoon and didn't sit down to go through the photos. So, I'm working on it this morning. As I mentioned yesterday, I went to San Francisco with my trucker friend and his fiance, who was here visiting from England. I went along to do the driving. My trucker friend was in an accident last fall and is still having trouble walking, plus sitting still in the drivers seat is a problem since the foot that controls the throttle is connected to the leg that doesn't want to work right. So, I got a free trip to San Francisco!

When we got to San Francisco, we discovered that the GPS unit that we had with us didn't work very well up in the financial district with all the tall buildings. We'd programmed it to go to the motel near the Wharf that we'd planned on staying in and the thing kept trying to send us in circles around the skyscrapers.. I finally picked a direction that looked as though it would lead us down towards Fisherman's Wharf and kept going while ignoring all the extra turns that the GPS wanted us to do. Once we got away from the tall buildings, the GPS finally "found" us and gave us the proper directions to get to the motel.

The motel we'd chosen, The Wharf Inn, is about a half a block from Fisherman's Wharf, so we just left the car in the motel lot and walked everywhere. Our first destination was Pier 39. We made a few stops on the block long walk just to enjoy the views and also enjoy the spring day. Thats when I took the photo of the tulips that I posted yesterday. And here's another shot of the beautiful flowers!

Alcatraz Island

Here's a view of Alcatraz from the end of one of the piers. When visiting Fisherman's Wharf, it's "required" that you take a picture of Alcatraz! LOL.. Nah, not really, but I know I saw quite a few other tourists on the wharf pointing their cameras towards the island.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

This is the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, which is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty Ships from World War II that's docked at Fisherman's Wharf. If you're adventurous and able bodied, I recommend taking one of the tours through the ship. It's fascinating. We didn't take the tour this time, but I'd gone on it when I was in San Francisco on a previous visit.

We had a lovely lunch out on the end of Pier 39 at Bubba Gumps and then window shopped in quite a few of the shops that are all along the pier. By mid-afternoon, my trucker friend was really struggling with all the walking, so we went back over to the motel to get settled in to our rooms and give him a chance to rest before going out again in the evening. We actually had decent views of both the bay and in the other direction, we could see Coit Tower. (Nope, I didn't even think of taking pictures from the room! Some photographer I am, huh? LOL)

DSC02234a That evening, we walked another block or so to find the Rainforest Cafe. The ground floor of the place is mostly the gift shop with a bar (which is where this elephant was!) in the back near the stairs leading up to the restaurant. The whole place has a jungle theme with lots of animals that move and make noise. Plus you get a thunderstorm every 30 minutes! It was fun to watch the animals and listen to the music and then to hear and see their version of a thunder storm.


The restaurant also has a lot of very large salt water aquariums all over the place. The entrance to the bar is framed by two of these large tube shaped tanks with a "bridge" over the top of the walkway. The fish were able to swim from one tube, up over the top and into the other tube. Watching the fish and everything made the time pass pretty quick while we were waiting for a table upstairs. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that the food was good too! I especially liked the coconut shrimp!

More later... I really need to do a few chores................

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello there! I'm alive!

I know it's been quite a while since I've written a post here on my blog. I'm not going to give excuses or anything like that. I'm just going to post today... Who knows about tomorrow or the day after.

I will be posting some travel stuff later.. That's for the next post. Plus, this summer I'll try to post some travel stuff too. I'll be driving my Mom and Stepdad to Branson, Missouri. We'll be taking some side trips on the way back there and on the way home, so there will be lots of photos to share.

So, here's my "rant" for today.. lol

How not to "win friends and influence people.
The thing that brought me to the blog today was a confrontation with a "new" poster on the InSessions message boards. Well, maybe "confrontation" isn't the best description of what happened. Here's the background: Back on March 10th an appeal was filed for the Phil Spector case. Phil is still sitting in prison, serving his sentence and hoping the appeal will set him "free".

So, on March 10th, a thread was opened on the InSessions message boards with a link to a pdf of the appeal document. The discussions began and the problems in the thread began early. A lawyer (allegedly) came in and began lecturing the rest of the folks in the thread. Another poster got banned, (a temporary ban, I believe.) and this "lawyer" started posting about how the message boards were (His posts are gone now as he managed to completely piss most everyone off and someone reported him to the moderators, which resulted in him being banned.) The thread has been limping along ever since then, with several attempts to discuss the appeal. A few folks have jumped on the appeal, declaring it to be a success and predicting it will be successful. Others, me included, are waiting for the State's response before jumping down off the fence. I kind of like to hear both sides of an "argument" before I decide which side I'm going to favor.

Anyway, yesterday a "new" poster appeared in the thread. He posted an "introduction" in his first post:
As a preamble, I'm not a lawyer yet but a 3rd year law student. I sit on the law review @ my school and concentrate on evidence. I was appointed to this position after receiving an A in evidence. I also intern under a judge in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Ok, I'm good with that. If what the guy says is true, I suppose he's got a right to brag a bit about his accomplishments. The part of his first post that got me is where he stated that the appeal has a "reasonably good chance of having the case remanded for a retrial". He then goes on to state that he fully agrees with the poster (the lawyer who liked to lecture folks) who had been banned a couple days before. Uhm. If this poster is so "new", how'd he manage to read the other guy's posts? They were all removed when he received his "permanent ban"! Ok, so maybe this "new" guy lurked for a few days before typing.... So I'll let that little thing "pass". Now, the part I had trouble with is that this "law student" is predicting the outcome of the appeal before the State even has a chance to file their response. So, I posted back:
This is probably going to come off as a rather snide answer to your post. But... Here goes.

Based on your experience and knowledge of law (Somewhere OTHER than in California.) the appeal will be successful, huh? Are you saying that you don't even need to see or read the state's reply in order to make a judgment like that? I'm sorry, but even I know that you need BOTH sides of an argument before making a decision. And an appeal is essentially an argument over how fair a trial was, right?

As I said in a previous post. We have the defense's filing with their "argument" and now we await the state's response. We have one hand clapping. And right now it's the defense clapping and whining because things didn't go the way they wanted during the trial. I'll wait until the state's response is filed.
Then, this "law student" comes back with a post that "lectures" me about how the Federal Rules of law apply and so on and so on... Hmm.. Sounded very much like that previous poster who got banned. It was kind of comical, but also pretty rude. A few other folks agreed that predicting a successful appeal was a bit premature and they also stated that they would be interested to read the State's response. This "law student" then jumped on one of the other posts and posted this:
You know what this post looks like? Some middle aged insecure man pissed off @ the world because all he could sum up with his brilliant life experience is that he is just a small fish in a big pond. Clearly you feel motivated to lash out verbally against anyone that has substantial education, is young and has either a) surpassed your mediocre life or b) will surpass your mediocre life.
If you read my first post, I directly introduced myself as a law student and NOT a lawyer to indicate that I lack 100% experience in the field. I then briefly explained some credentials so I would not have to cite or tediously prove every little piece of information I presented.
After that post I immediately received a reply from someone who indicated from the get go their response was snide. Why be snide? I introduced myself and who I was and then stated an opinion like everyone else. But for some reason the mere introduction of anyone who is actually educated and/or young resulted in hostile replies. Then this wash-up decides to post again acting like I was the one who was "snide"... or wait, "rude"... Ooooo.. you're pathetic..
Then I made a comment to someone who for no reason ridiculed something I merely mentioned as a credential. So what? I'm proud I nailed an A in that class. It was damn hard. But then again, you wouldn't know hard work or you would have pursued your interest of law instead of typing about it on a forum.
To answer another questions as to why I'm at this forum and not a "law student" forum is this - I "googled" (yes, another grasshopper term - threatening isn't it wash-ups?) the words "phil spector appeal discussion" and this site popped up. That's it. I enjoy music, especially from your era (one admirable quality from your era) and I enjoy law. Phil Spector is a natural interest. I especially enjoy the album he did with Leonard Cohen.
Excuse me, but I have a paper to continue.
Then about 20 minutes later the "law student" comes back with a reply to one of the other folks on the board with this as the opening line:
hopefully all the insecure wash-ups have resided to their life-long slumber and we can continue this PS appeal discussion. Thanks to some ppl for actually reading my 1st post and defending my reaction to a bunch of well-rounded & obvious life-experienced posters
So. All the folks who disagree with this know-it-all "law student" are now "insecure wash-ups" who are "pissed off at the world". Amazing, isn't it? And hilarious. I'm "pathetic" now because I called the guy "rude"! Ooo! (It sure didn't take the guy long to do his "paper". LOL)

I have to wonder how long this one will last on the message board. He seems pretty good at slinging insults, which doesn't usually go over very well with the moderators on InSessions. I'll sit back and wait for the State's response to the appeal, and then, perhaps, I'll get in the discussion on the merits of both documents.

Other Cases

The Casey Anthony case continues with much drama. Cindy and George "neglected" to pay their house payment for 9 or 10 months and the bank filed foreclosure papers on them. Cindy and George claim that they had no idea that the foreclosure was filed until a reporter asked them about it. Uhm.. Yeah, right. Not very likely. I supposed they had a lot of fun on the cruise and the shopping trips and the visits to tattoo parlors instead of paying all those pesky house payments.

News came out that George had an affair with a younger woman who could be a physical match to the description of "Zanny the nanny" that he and Cindy spouted off about from the get-go. From what's been reported, there are photos and text messages between George and the young woman that proves the affair.

Then we have reports of letters, lots of letters, between Casey and another inmate at the Orange County Jail. None of the letters have been released to the public yet, and the reports are that Casey doesn't actually admit to killing her daughter in them. It will be interesting to see the letters when they are released, if nothing else, just to get a glimpse into the mind of a mother who can kill her child and then lie to everyone around her about where that child is for 31 days.

And now we wait for the next piece of "drama" in the case. And with the Anthony circus, the drama is sure to happen.

The Sandra Cantu case was in the news yesterday as well. It was one year ago today when a happy, skipping Sandra Cantu was captured on surveillance video, just minutes before she disappeared from a Tracy, California mobile home park. What a sad anniversary. Melissa Huckaby remains in jail in connection with Sandra's rape and murder, but it still could be awhile before the case makes it to trial. There is still a gag order on the case, so very little information makes it into the news.

Drew Peterson is also still sitting in jail awaiting his trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and who is also a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacey. Drew's lawyer, Joel Brodsky, is a busy guy apparently. He's hitting the news in the Chicago area with a case between a divorced couple where they are arguing about which religion their child should be exposed to. I feel sorry for the child.

I'm still watching a number of other cases, but nothing much has hit the media about them.. Yet.

I don't know if you can really call this "travel", but I went over to San Francisco last week with my trucker friend and his lovely fiance who was here from England for a visit. We had a lot of fun and we took lots of photos... I'll post one here and then later today, maybe I'll add some more to a new post.............. Enjoy the flowers! These beautiful flowers were in one of the many planters on Fisherman's Wharf.