June 2005

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Went on Vacation

I went on vacation and took 964 photos.


  • Arrived.
  • Looked at Morro Bay, walked the bluffs of Montana de Oro.
  • Saw a quail.
  • Watched the sun set.
  • Had Chinese delivered.
  • Started reading Candy Freak by Steve Almond.


  • Back to Montana de Oro for more bluff walking and cove-combing.
  • Kayaked across the upper part of Morro Bay.
  • Landed on the sand spit ... twice. Thwarted from crossing by the skittish snowy plover.
  • Had a fabulous dinner.


  • Walked the beach on Morro Bay near the house to watch the birds.
  • Went to San Simeon and saw elephant seals and even a far off sea otter.
  • Ate lunch/dinner in Cambria and experienced a small earthquake.


  • Wine tasting (well, I didn’t taste any of it) in Paso Robles.
  • Back to Montana de Oro to take the stupidest hike imagineable over a 400 foot sand dune (straight up, straight down) to a lovely and deserted beach.
  • Dinner in town.


  • Packed up and hit Nipomo Dunes and Oso Flaco Lake.
  • Drove to Los Angeles to enjoy traffic.

I’ll post later when I’ve gone through my photos. Unless you’d like to see all of them?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:56 pm    

Thursday, June 23, 2005

If You Never Cared About Local Politics

This is one of the scariest rulings I’ve seen come out of the Supreme Court in my lifetime. The Supreme Court ruled that local governments may seize people’s homes and businesses—even against their will—for private economic development.

Total control over these seizures is handled by the city. So, if you’ve never paid attention to your city council, now’s the time to. You’d better make damn sure they have your best interests at heart and not some developers under the guise that it’s fo the “tax base.”

Of course the other option is to never own property in anyplace desireable.

The justices in the majority on this were Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer. I’m totally baffled by who voted on which side. Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her dissent, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.”

The other dissenting votes were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, as well as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

UPDATE: As I’ve read more I have further thoughts. In that article it addresses one of the questions I had, just what the public good has to do with tax bases? Is a government obligated to create a tax base? Is a strong tax base actually part of the common good? Is a government’s obligation to make money so it can spend it on the public? In the case in New London, the community was not blighted, what they were replacing it with had no more “community” value than the homes that were there, but the fact that they were putting in businesses that might help the depressed economy were what swung it in the developer’s favor.

I just see this whole thing as being a huge temptation for corruption, especially in smaller communities.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:12 am    

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What Do Your Photos Say?

Having worked on a large photo scanning and restoration project, I can tell you that there is lots of info in old photos.

Here’s an interesting gallery at Houseplant Picture Studios, it’s of a photo album they found at the swap meet of an unknown family who probably owned a liquor store.

This photo says to me that they really wanted to get the light fixture in the shot, even if it meant that the people weren’t really featured.

The photo gallery features fashions, a liquor store (with candy at the counter!), vacation adventures, poker games and people sitting on couches or standing in front of drapes.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:55 am    

Monday, June 20, 2005


I’m really flabbergasted.

Candy Blog is doing well. Better than I ever expected. At the moment I’m getting about 50 hits a day according to my NedStats. I’ve also logged that there are at least four subscribers to the feed via bloglines, and another bunch via other aggregators. My webalizer stats say that I’m getting about 96 hits average this month per day, so I have no idea how to measure such things or if it’s even possible these days. Fast Fiction, by comparison on nedstats gets about 15 hits a day and it’s been around for nearly four years now.

The thing is, I’ve done very little to promote the site. I use it as my URL when commenting around the web, and made a few references on la.foodblogging.com to reviews. About 40% are coming to the site via search strings (usually a candy name). Another 20% seem to be via links from other people who have found me and are recommending the site. The other 40% seem to be coming without any link from anywhere ... that means bookmarks!

The thing that really sends my head reeling is that I’ve been writing for a long time (pretty much as a career choice since I was 18) and I’ve been trying to connect with audiences all that time through a variety of themes and formats (plays, blogs, short stories, essays, novels, etc.) and here comes a modicum of success via something that reaches so many people already, CANDY.

I know that the stats aren’t fantastic, but I figure with a little more promotion and a more robust site with more content it can succeed.

It brings me to ask myself, is this something I could devote my life to?

And the answer is an unequivocal YEAH!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:30 pm    

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What Will SciFi Writers Do?

I saw an article in the New Scientist about time travel. Apparently the universe has some very strict laws and one of them prevents time travel paradoxes.

It turns out that the latest understand of quantum physics explains that the universe might allow time travel, but not the ability to exact any changes in the past. Which might make me wonder if we can make any changes in the present either. Of course we’re not quantum objects. At least not by the current definition.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:15 pm    

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Tortilla Trees

Earlier this week I was sitting in the back yard and saw a scrub jay flying up to the top of a nearby utility pole with a whole tortilla chip.

He sat up there and pecked at the chip until it broke into several pieces. He flew back down to my yard and set about scratching a little spot in the mulch under the orchid tree and covered up his piece of tortilla.

He flew back to his pole and repeated this, until he’d secreted away three pieces of his tortilla chip.

I went over to where he’d been doing this and could find no trace of his chips. I’ll keep an eye on the spot, lest we get those pesky tortilla trees sprouting up. Once they get established, watch out, you’ve got a yard full of them.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:10 pm    

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


So, the Candy Blog is going well. But I’m getting growing pains and I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed.

The feature I miss most on Candy Blog is category tagging.

But then I have to remind myself that’s a feature I’m missing. I have no clue if any of my readers give a rat’s ass.

I get the sense that RSS is the wave of the future and categories would be pretty much irrelevant.

I guess my issue is that if I’m gonna do something about it, I should do it now, before people start actually linking to me.

Anybody else have any thoughts? I’ve looked at Word Press, Moveable Type and Expression Engine. They’re all great, but of course I have to install stuff on my servers and maintain them with updates and stuff. One of the reasons I like Blogger is that they do stuff to keep it running. Of course they’re not innovating as quickly as some others. I could go round and round like this.

Should I stay or should I go?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:46 pm    

Friday, June 10, 2005

Off in New Directions

You know me and my transient obsessions.

At the moment I’m obsessed with two different things:

My candy blog is going along swimmingly. More than 50 reviews so far and I haven’t even gained any weight. In fact, I’ve not done a damn thing to promote it and it’s already come to the attention of Good Food on KCRW and I’m set to be interviewed for a segment later this month! Holy Cow! Anyone have any tips on what I should do, talk about, what to wear for radio (no noisy taffeta, right?), bring?

I’m ordering some new candy for review. Some more Wilbur chocolate (really just my “summer supply”) and I placed an order with a Japanese place for some cool new things that I haven’t seen in the American stores in Little Tokyo. I also want to redesign the blog and perhaps migrate to a different blogging platform. One with categories because this manually indexing is a pain in the arse.

I’m also on a kick about photography since I was confronted on Wednesday night in Hollywood about taking photographs in a public place by some private security people. I haven’t really blogged some of the other details and I don’t plan to, because I think they’re largely irrelevant to the issue of private security people being uninformed about the public’s rights. My plan is to go back to the same location next week and try again to get the photos I want and see if the same thing happens again. If it does, I’m takin’ names!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm    

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Now That’s a Blog!

Okay, I can retract my earlier statement about the Huffington Post.

It’s a blog now. Not all blog, but mostly blog. Many of the contributors have some cajones and are opening their posts to comments. And based on what I read on Harry Shearer’s latest, I think the comments might end up being more fun that the post themselves. These are really well informed, strongly opinionated folks. That’s what blogs are made for!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:29 pm    

Career Guidance

Poor Evangaline Lilly. She made a bad decision somewhere along the way. Or at least that’s what I’m guessing. Now she’s a big star on the ABC series Lost.

I know that it happens to actors all the time. They’re struggling, thinking that the big break is never gonna come along and then an opportunity comes along for something, either softcore porn or some sort of infomercial/advertising.

I suspect that’s how Evangaline is now the spokesperson for something called LiveLinks. Or maybe she has been for quite a while and I never noticed. What a coup for LiveLinks (which seems to have Single Life as a registered trademark!).

I was watching Kids in the Hall last night on Comedy Central and there was a commercial with her in it, sandwiched in between some sort of advert for a DVD for Girls Gone Wild Olympics and the David Chappelle show. Sure enough, the website for the chat line has her heavily featured.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:53 pm    













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.