Did You Miss Me?

Our out-of-town guests are, once again, out-of-town, so that means our hosting and tour guide duties are over. We had a pleasant time exploring the Bay Area with our guests. It was Fleet Week last week and this past weekend, which meant the Blue Angels precision flight teams were loudly streaking across the San Francisco skies.Blue AngelsWe spent time on the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek), drove down to Half Moon Bay for a delightful lunch by the ocean, hung out at Ocean Beach, walked around Golden Gate Park, and took a cruise to Alcatraz Island.Alcatraz We also took advantage of the great cuisine San Francisco has to offer. And we even threw in a minor California earthquake while they were here. All in all, it was a fun, albeit exhausting, week.

As to blogging, I was able to schedule my daily FOWC With Fandango prompts in advance and to publish a few other random posts during the week our guests were here. I tried to read and respond to your comments, but, for all intents and purposes, I ignored my Reader, which meant I didn’t read most of your posts over the past six days. No doubt, I missed some great ones. I will try, once again, to get back into reading everything that shows up in my Reader from those of you I follow.

My stats did take a bit of a hit during my week as a tour guide, but that’s to be expected, I suppose, as I wasn’t nearly as prolific during the period as I usually am.Hit to statsBut I guess that’s to be expected. Fewer daily posts equals fewer daily views.

Anyway, I had a great time with our houseguests, but I really did miss you guys.

SoCS — Outside Lands

06B71C58-6BFE-41DD-8342-6BF9F7B8E09A“Where is that music coming from?” Larry asked. Larry is an old college buddy of mine who lives in Chicago. He and his wife are our houseguests while visiting San Francisco for a week. Larry agreed to walk with me while last night while I took our dog out for her final walk of the day. It was about 9:15 p.m.

“That’s the Outside Lands Music Festival,” I said. “It’s an annual outdoor summer event at Golden Gate Park. It runs through Sunday night.”

“Wow,” Larry said. “And you can hear the music from there all the way over here?”

“We only live three blocks from Golden Gate Park, Larry,” I said, “so of course we can hear it from here.”

“Do you ever go and watch the performers?” Larry asked.

“We have gone a few times, but it’s kind of a zoo and the three-day pass is expensive,” I said, “so we’ll pick one night, and head over to the park with some folding chairs and a cooler and set up just outside the perimeter of the festival and listen to the performances. It’s almost as good as being near the performers, but it’s free. If you and Judy are up for it, we can do that tomorrow night.”

“Definitely,” Larry said.FF601F4E-3FEC-433E-9377-839108740C34

Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our challenge today is to “Start your post with the word ‘where’ and write whatever comes to you.”

Butt-Ugly Beautiful

fa54ceb6-2378-49c3-a736-91c5382d2414As they rounded the corner of the far entrance of the Music Concourse at Golden Gate Park, Craig said, “Look at those trees. They have to be the ugliest trees I’ve ever seen.” Then he whipped out his iPhone and took a picture of the nearest tree.

“What are you doing?” Allison asked.

“I’m taking a picture of this butt-ugly tree and I’m going to post it on Instagram so all of our friends from back east can see it.”

“These trees may be different looking, but that doesn’t make them ugly,” Allison said. “They’re examples of the beautiful balance of nature that God has created. I actually find these trees strangely inviting.”

“Oh come on, Allison,” Craig said. “You’re just goading me into a big discussion about God, aren’t you?”

“Not at all. But unlike you, I do see beauty in that tree. And I am also a fan of Joyce Kilmer.”

“Who’s Joyce Kilmer?”

“He was was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for his short poem titled ‘Trees,’” Allison said.

“I’ve never hear of him or that poem,” Craig said.

Allison started reciting the poem by Kilmer.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (entrance), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (tree), Ragtag Daily Prompt (balance), Word of the Day Challenge (create), and Your Daily Word Prompt (inviting).

SoCS Badge Contest

Linda G. Hill is the host of the very popular Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Every year she holds a contest for bloggers to submit a new badge design for her weekly prompt. See the details and rules here.

I have decided to give it a shot this year, since I love this intriguing challenge and participate just about every week. And so, here’s my kind of unusual (in that there is no stream involved at all) entry.SoCS Logo 18I took this picture in Golden Gate Park earlier this year and the wispy clouds reminded me of what an airborne stream of consciousness might look like.

I don’t expect my badge to be selected, but you never know, right. As they say, you miss 100% of your shots not taken. Besides, my blogging buddy Jim Adams, at A Unique Title for Me,  entered the contest and I’d never forgive myself if he ran unopposed and won!

Coyote Ugly

Today is the final day of serving as the tour guide for our out-of-town visitors. When we headed out to Golden Gate Park to walk our dog and to show off one of the nation’s greatest city parks, they got a little freaked out when we passed this sign.15EE0CF2-5E91-47AF-B322-9DAA9A7DA5BC“There are coyotes in this park?” One of our visitors asked. “Have you ever seen one?”

“Many times,” I answered. “But they typically keep to themselves, so it’s not an issue. We just have to keep our dog on the leash so she won’t go running after them. That would not be good.”

I could tell that our guests were a little uncomfortable at the possibility of coming across wild coyotes. Every time they spotted a German Shepherd one of them would point at it and ask if it was a coyote. So I decided that perhaps it was time to take them to a “safer” tourist destination and we headed over to Alcatraz Island. FD7D8C31-2978-47C1-96BF-8F57E6C577A4I’ve yet to see a coyote at Alcatraz.