2014 Jan 26 | LABV, shipwreck hike, Reaper

That's an attention-grabbing sign.

17, 19, 15, 13. Who designed that?

Dumb ordered flowers are so expensive. Even with a gift card and a discount code. Next time I'm going to one of the tons of local flower shops in the flower district.

A bunch of gardens in Santa Monica.

I wonder how much they cost to rent?

I normally hate salads, but this one from Marie Callendar's was great. The nuts and berries made it.

The blimp is usually over downtown, but tonight it was over Santa Monica.

My laptop battery fell out somewhere. I wonder how that happened? Thankfully I found it in the couch cushion.

Walter with a jumping bump.

George going up to hit it over the net.

Crystal with great form.

Diving for it.

Going up.

Looks like he's climbing stairs.

Don't think I'm gonna get to this one.

Eyes on the ball.

Diving and swinging.

A few hits.

Nancy with a diving hit.

And another.

And another.


I hate when the ball is in the way of the person's face. This one just barely came out OK.

Diving again.

We went for a hike Sunday night. This was the easy route, and it was still pretty steep.

Long ways down. I'm also comparing pictures with my new cell phone and my DSLR. The cell phone is on the left. The DSLR tends to under-saturate pictures so they don't look as colorful, but clarity-wise, they're really close.

I don't think you can get down from there.

The start of the shipwreck.

A bulldozer, I think.

Same shot with the cell phone. Again, more saturated, but oversaturated, I think. The color looks fake.

Some palm trees way up at the top.

The main ship.

The front, some hull, and the bulldozer.

Wait, there are stairs here? Why couldn't we just take those?

Ah, they're private, and the owner put this retractable section in so you have to lower it to use it. Heck, I'd have a little call box and let people use the stairs for $5.

A cove.

I think this is a closer way down but it looks much steeper.

There were some surfers here and a little shelter.

Also a kayaker.

Some anemones in the tide pools.

A shell.

The surfers were getting some decent waves. I read an article that the locals here don't like other people coming, though.

Cool rock formation.

A fat palm tree.

Most of the hike is across rocks of various sizes, so the few areas that have paths on dirt were really nice. In fact, the websites on the hike warn you better wear good shoes or you're likely to twist your ankle. I wore light running shoes and actually bruised my toes a bit.

Another view of the cove with the lighthouse across the way.

Back to the shipwreck.

This was a big piece spread out a bit.

Most of the metal was spread in this direction. You had to be careful to not cut yourself.

A dolphin swimming by.

Sun starting to go down.

Panoramic sunset picture with the shipwreck.

Now we had to hike back across the rocks before it got too dark. I brought some headlamps, but it didn't get dark enough to need them. Some more pretty views on the way back.

Resting on a log near the end before the big hike up.

Much prettier without the flash.

My new phone, the Google Nexus 5, is a bit bigger than my old one.

It's a little too big to comfortably type on it with one hand, but it's much faster.

At one office we have coloring pages and a bunch of crayons, so kids can color while they're waiting.

Testing out different dilating drops. We checked how blurry they made it up close...

... and how they affected pupil constriction to light.

This one is working much better; it keeps her pupil open.

The results.

That's a pretty picture. I've never seen the light poles all different colors like that; I wonder if it's fake.

The restaurant at LAX, now shut down.

Hmm... there's an accident this way.

And two the other way. Guess I'll take 405 instead.

I went to a videogame party up in North Hollywood.

It was outside, so it was a little cool, but it was a lot of fun. He had a bunch of systems and TVs set up. There were mostly fighting games, from old ones like Street Fighter 2 and MvC to the new ones like Street Fighter 4. At the end of the night we played 4-player Street Fighter vs Tekken, which nobody was a great time.

When I hook my iPod up to the car, the number of playlists make it so I have to hit up twice on the navigation to get to "y - Car Talk." So I added two spacer playlists with some random song in them each. That pushes down "y - Car Talk" so I only have to hit up once instead.

The picture they show behind the couch looks like 3'x4'. The pictures you can get are 8"x12". That's a bit deceptive.

Ogii's dad arrived and brought lots of gifts for everyone, including a dress for Ogii.

I got some cashmere sweaters.

And a chess set, which we played. He was really good; it was a super-close game, but I got a bit lucky in the end and won. He almost had me checkmated but I found a sneaky way out.

This weather app on my phone says its 61 out.

And this one says 57. Not a huge difference, but a bit. Maybe one's more location-based since or updates faster?

Aw, I lost all my progress in Jetpack Joyride when I changed phones. I had all the jetpacks. You can get an app to download your saved files on the old phone and transfer them to the new phone, but I think I'll just get a new game instead.

I saw a guy on the plane next to me playing this game, Reaper, so I figured I'd try it out. It's pretty good; you go around killing monsters and can use the gold you collect to buy better items.

When you level up, you can select a card to improve your stats.

There are a few special moves as well, like this spinning one. The special moves use skulls which you gain by hitting monsters with normal moves.

The enemies are pretty cute. Here is a bee, wolf, and bear.

Another set of enemies look like gladiators. Here's a bonus guy; he doesn't attack, and when you kill him, a bunch of gold pops out of his bag.

A third type of enemy: technological ones.

Kristi almost had a straight flush.

Sometimes AA doesn't hold up.

And sometimes it does.

Flush on the board.

Usually the same hand chops the pot, but every once in a while someone will make a flush instead.

I was way ahead preflop, then he caught an A, then he caught another one, and then I got lucky on the river. Exciting hand. Although only because we were both all-in preflop; I would have folded once the A and K came on the flop if we still had money to play.

Why an A with a low kicker is bad to play: if you hit the A, someone else might have a better kicker. If you hit your low kicker, someone else might have a higher pair.

Looking pretty good for J3 on the turn, three of a kind, but it also gave AK a flush draw, which he hit.

Doing pretty good in the big (200+ players) Sunday evening tournament: third place right now.

Well, at least I didn't lose.

I was way ahead with three of a kind. He needed a 7 on the river for a straight and got it. I could have used a club for a flush but I didn't get that. This is where the luck comes in.

Lots of A and Q everywhere. The QQ had us both dominated until the A came, then the QQ and I were in big trouble, and I got super-lucky and hit one of the three 8s left in the deck to win. This time luck was in my favor.

The site is always improving. Now they have levels you progress as you win in tournaments.

They also made it easier to multi-table. Now you can see all the tables on one screen instead of having to click back and forth between tabs.

Four people in a hand, three people all-in, and a flush, a straight, and two top pairs. Crazy.

Full house vs full house.

When there's a pair on the board and you have the third card, it's always possible someone else has the fourth one. Unlikely, but possible, and in this case his kicker destroyed mine, A vs 5.

If I'm gonna lose, it might as well be to four of a kind.

That was about the best flop I could get. However, it's horrible to actually make any money on because an opponent is very unlikely to call any bet I make. So I had to check it and hope he caught a card on the turn. Which he did, and it hit him perfectly for me. To make a lot of money, you need a huge hand vs another huge hand; a huge hand on its own is almost worthless.

It's getting harder and harder to get samples from various vendors nowadays. When you order trials online from Cooper, they keep a count of how many more you're eligible for.