Archive for July 2010

Balboa Park   Leave a comment

We spent a fair amount of time at Balboa Park. They have the largest outdoor organ there.

Organ Ampitheater

Largest Outdoor Organ

They had lots of museums, and nice grounds.
Playing Frisbee

They had a great botanical museum.
Botanical Garden

Inside the Botanical Garden

Family Gazebo Pic

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Posted 2010-07-29 by Mr. Guilt in San Diego Trip 2010

On the Desktop…   Leave a comment

We take a brief pause from vacation posts to bring you this comic…

Arlo & Janis

Posted 2010-07-23 by Mr. Guilt in amusing, computers, Geeky

Balboa Park Aircraft   3 comments

While we opted not to go in, there were two aircraft on display in front of the San Diego Areospace Museum. One of them was a prototype of the Sea Dart, the only sea plane to break the sound barrier.
Sea Dart

The second was the A-12 OXCART. This was the “big brother” in the Blackbird family, my second favorite vehicle made of titanium.
Oxcart Belly

The A-12 was built for the CIA, and preceded the SR-71. I don’t believe it ever flew for the Air Force itself, in spite of these markings.
Oxcart Side

The A-12/SR-71/M-21/YF-12 were made of titanium, making them my second favorite vehicle made in that material.

Posted 2010-07-18 by Mr. Guilt in Aircraft, San Diego Trip 2010

San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Part   4 comments

As I mentioned in my last post, we went to the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. Once “Cheetah Tales” show was complete. We checked out the rest of the park.

The centerpiece was the Africa section. There was a tram tour around the main enclosures that was over two miles long. They said that the main zoo could fit in this area alone. Walking up to this section, I was astonished. Where I’m sued to seeing at most three or four of some animals, there were many, walking across a field. From one section, view was as though I was on the African plains (give or take a palm tree).
The Jurassic Park View

Rhinos and Gazelles

Some lions were hanging around.
Lyin' About

Taking a nap is Nola, one of their two Northern White Rhinoceroses.

Not impressed?

She’s one of eight that remain in the world.
Dozing Nola
Quite sad.

Some giraffes were hanging about.
Mob of Giraffes

They had an okampi…
Okampi

…a secretary bird…
Secratary Bird

….and something that was off exhibit.
Animals Off Exhibit
(The skeleton was part of the enclosure–normally, there were buzzards in there.)

Another area had the most elephants I’ve seen at one time–at least eight, including several babies.
Elephants Hanging by the Pool

Awkward Baby Elephant

The Wild Animal Park has distinct conservation mission. One of the species they assisted in making a comeback is the California Condor.
California Condor

Nearby, this burrowing owl was chatting up a storm.
Loud Owl

A roadrunner watched us with suspicion.
Peeking Roadrunner

Another area allowed some birds to fly among the visitors, though I think this one was confused. This one landed on a railing, and looked down as if to say, “so, where are these exotic birds I keep hearing about?”
So, You Say there are Exotic Birds Here?

My daughter was taken with the dik diks this day.
Dik Dik

There were some ducklings there. My daughter got to feed them.
Swimming Ducklings

Caitlin Feeds the Ducklings

All in all, we had a great time at an amazing zoo!

Posted 2010-07-15 by Mr. Guilt in animals, San Diego Trip 2010

Cheetah Tales Show   Leave a comment

Cheetah Tales Sign
A few days after going to the San Diego Zoo, we went to the Wild Animal Park. This is another campus about thirty miles north of the main zoo. Here, they have larger enclosures. There will be another post about that in a bit. However, as soon as we walked in, we discovered we had just enough time to make the Cheetah Tales show. As we are all big cheetah fans, my family made haste to get there.

The star was a one-and-a-half year old cheetah names Amara.
Amara and Trainer

Her favorite thing to do was chase a plush snake.
Get the Snake!

The Snake is Getting Away!!!!!>

I Has a Snake!

It was hot work.
Thirsty Girl

Her trainers made sure she got a “bloodcycle,” a frozen combination of water and cow’s blood. Sounds gross, but I’m not a cat. Amara seemed to really like it. I’ve read about this at other cat rescue centers.
Summertime Treat

Like many cheetah cat ambassadors, Amara was partnered with a dog, specifically an anatolian shepherd. The dog acts as a “security blanket” for a cat who’s instincts make her skittish around potential predators (the audience).

Anatolian shepherds in particular are used as part of cheetah conservation programs. The dogs are provided to shepherds. The dog barks, scaring cheetahs away from their flock, and removing a reason the shepherds might go after the cats.
Amara Won't Share her Snake

Amara was a great ambassador, obeying her trainers…most of the time.
Passive Resistance #1

Passive Resistance #2: The Belly Rub Edition

It was a great show. They presented a lot of knowledge about these great cats.
"O HAI!" says Amara Cheetah

Posted 2010-07-11 by Mr. Guilt in cats, cheetahs, San Diego Trip 2010

San Diego Zoo   1 comment

One of the things I was particularly keen on seeing was the San Diego Zoo. They are said to have one of the better zoos in the country.
Family at San Diego Zoo

One of the first animals we got to see was flamingos–even with flamingo chicks!
Flamingo and Chick

I always like to see fishing cats. They had one who was quite active, walking around and surveying his domain.
San Diego Fishing Cat in the Bushes

A Fishing Cat Surveys his Domain

My wife’s favorite animal was the koala bears, something we don’t have in Cincinnati. There were about eight sleeping among the trees.
Rebecca and the Koala

Koala Bear and Her Joey

They had two panda bears, both were sleeping. Believe it or not, these weren’t the rarest animals we saw this week.
Sleepy Panda

At one enclosure, they were commenting that they just put a housecat in the zoo. This was an Arabian Wildcat, Felis silvestris gordoni. In a way, they were right. A modern taxonomy of the house cat has it as Felis silvestris catus, simply a different subspecies of wildcat. Makes me look at my cats a little differently.

The particularly odd thing was that, where others were let down by the “housecat in the zoo,” I was impressed. As my wife said, I did my research.
Arabian Wildcat

Speaking of scientific names, my favorite is neofelis nebulosa, the clouded leopard.
Clouded Leopard

At some enclosures, there were warning signs.
Caution Sign

There were several other animals.
Giraffe Head

Stretch!

Dozing Dik Dik

Do you suppose the camel knows perl?
Camel

They had two jaguars. One had fairly typical coloring….
Sleeping Jaguar

The other was black on a rich chocolate color. Quite stunning.
Dark Jaguar

The leopard was a bit shy.
Leopard Tail

They had a seval that was sleeping in a basket.
Servals Like Baskets

He got up, and tried to knock down some branches.
Standing Serval

One way to view the park is via a Skyfari.
Skyfari

However, we really weren’t able to see any animals. We did, however, get a good look at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park.
Skyfari--Museum of Man

This was the first of two campuses the San Diego Zoo had…the second one came later in the week….

San Diego Trip   Leave a comment

San Diego Skyline

We just got back from a vacation in San Diego, California. We had a great time, even if it was gray the whole time we were in the city itself.

Expect to see several posts over the next several days. I took 1,241 photos, so it will take a bit of sorting. Howver, I wanted to at least put something by way of introduction.

Posted 2010-07-11 by Mr. Guilt in San Diego Trip 2010

Eddy and Maggie Had a Good Time   Leave a comment

The usual scene on the stairs after a few days with the catsitter.

Posted 2010-07-10 by Mr. Guilt in San Diego Trip 2010

Family at Balboa Park   Leave a comment

Vacationing in San Diego, California

Sent from my iPad

Posted 2010-07-06 by Mr. Guilt in San Diego Trip 2010

Where Conference Calls Should Take Place   Leave a comment

70ish degrees, grass field, as a break on a bike ride

Posted 2010-07-01 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, Route Tracking

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