Tag Archives: San Diego

Critical Mass Bikers Riding Through Fashion Valley Food Court

After riding about 14 miles throughout San Diego we arrived at the Fashion Valley Mall. As we rode our bikes through the parking garage I thought this would be end point. Instead all 400+ Critical Mass riders made their way through the food court, down the ramps and finally everyone got stuck as the escalators.

After reaching the mall Aaron and I decided to head back home. We took a shortcut from Mission Valley up to Hillcrest which was fairly steep. After the hill Aaron and I parted and I headed home. All in all it was a great time, extremely entertaining.

Damien

Our new apartment

Melody and I moved apartments about 2 weeks ago and after a lot of hard work we’ve finally got the place looking good. It was very hard combining two apartments into one but I suppose we able to get rid of some unnecessary stuff. We also bought some new furniture and we have a spare bedroom for visitors.

The new apartment is huge, almost 1300 square feet and we have a balcony with a gorgeous view.  We have a small glimpse of the ocean and San Diego Bay, a nice view of Cabrillo State park and Point Loma.  Also we’re not disturbed by the planes, trains and fire sirens anymore.

We have ran into one problem, the lady below us is old and cranky.  Before we moved in the landlord installed all new hardwood floors throughout the place and I suppose our neighbor below doesn’t like the sound of us walking around.  I personally believe the hardwood floors are worth it!

Here are some of the pictures I took this past weekend:

Map of my move

Thanks

Damien
@DamienH

Places I traveled to in 2008

About a week ago I wrote a post called “A San Diego winter day” which talked about a sailing trip to Mission Bay.  I started the blog post of with thoughts about San Diego and how I absolutely love living here.  I also added some pictures from my sailing trip that day which showed just how beautiful it was.  Over the weekend I received a comment on my San Diego blog post questioning how I could enjoy living in San Diego so much if I have never traveled.  On my walk to work today I was thinking about whether I have traveled enough to offer such and adoring opinion of this city and as a result I’ve decided to compose a list of places I traveled to in 2008.

  • United States
    • California
      • San Diego
      • Los Angeles
      • Hermosa Beach
      • Manhattan Beach
      • Hollywood
      • San Juan Capistrano
      • San Francisco
      • San Jose
      • Julian
      • Santa Clara
      • Sunnyvale
      • Mammoth Mountain
      • Yosemite National Park
    • Illinois
      • Chicago
      • Hinsdale
    • Ohio
      • Oxford
    • Texas
      • Houston
      • Austin
    • Oregon
      • Portland
    • Nevada
      • Las Vegas
  • Canada
    • Toronto
  • Mexico
    • Tijuana
    • Rosorito
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Mazatlan
    • Puerto Vallerta
  • France
    • Paris

I only listed the destinations that I stayed overnight or longer and I’m sure that I’ll think of more.  That’s not a bad list for one year and I think that means that I have actually traveled enough to confidently say I like San Diego the most.  I’ve also circled around the US twice in my car and lived in 5 major cites (Cleveland, Cincinatti, Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego).  Oh and I’ve rafted the Mississipi (not all of it) in a man made wooden raft and I saw quite a lot there too.

Damien
@DamienH

A San Diego winter day

I love the fact that I live in San Diego and although I regret to say this I do a pretty damn good job of rubbing it in everyone else’s face.  I really only do it because I want them to live here to and enjoy this beautiful city.  Anyway, today was March 1st and whereas most people across the country are putting on their hats and gloves my friends and I headed to Mission Bay for a day of sailing.  It was absolutely beautiful weather and the wind was quite good.  Roy, Melody and I rented a 16′ sailboat and headed out to sail bay where we met up with Max and his group.

The wind was just perfect and because it was my first time sailing the 16′ (I’ve rented the 18′ and 22′ many times before) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  Because of the strong winds we had no problem leaning the boat and at some points even took on water.  I captained the sailboat for the first 2 hours and then I gave it to Roy and Melody to take care of the rest.  When I was free I took the opportunity to take some photos  with my new camera which I was quite happy with.

As you can see it really was a beautiful day out.  I also took my point and shoot digital camera for video but I left the memory card at home.  I can’t wait to take video next time.

Damien
@DamienH

My new Olympus Evolt

As usual Melody spent way too much on my for Valentines day, she bought me an Olympus Evolt 520 Digital SLR camera.  Even though she spent more than me I have to say that I would prefer my camera to the jewelery that I got her.  To each is own I suppose.  Anyway after ordering the other required pieces from Amazon (compact flash card and a carrying bag)  I went out this morning with Roy and took a ton of pictures.  We went to Seaport Village which is right on San Diego Bay and is quite nice.  With the combination of the beautiful weather and the scenery/atmosphere I got some nice shots.  

All in all I was very happy with the 100 or so photos I took.  It was my first time using a digital SLR so I have a lot to learn.  

One of the more troubling issues was converting the images from .orf (olympus raw format) to .jpeg so I could upload them to flickr.  After much research and a couple failded downloads I found a .orf to .dng (digital negative) converter and once I had them in .dng (lossless quality conversion) I could open them with Adobe Browser.  From there I selected the .dng photograhps and right clicked on them to open them in Adobe Camera Raw.  Adobe Camera Raw then allowed me to modify the lights/darks etc and then batch save them as .jpg.   

Apparantly this situation can be remedied by upgrading to Adobe Photoshop CS3+ which supports the new Adobe Camera Raw 5.7 (CS2 only supports up to ACR 3.7 which doesn’t support .orf). 

Damien
@DamienH

San Diego homeless man pays it forward

It’s funny how we all value things so differently throughout our life. I feel like I have good values but sometime I question whether my perception of value is appropriate.

In June I will be running the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon for the second year in a row. I am part of a great organization called Team In Training. As a member of Team In Training I get access to professional coaches who train and prepare us for the 26.2 mile endeavor. We also get to be part of a team with mentors and teammates who support and motivate us. In return we agree to raise a certain amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Last year I raised $1700 for the Sand Diego Rock N Roll marathon and $1100 for the Nike Womens Marathon.

Yesterday was my first day of training. I wasn’t very motivated to be honest. I live downtown so I first ran towards the convention center. I ran the length of the convention center and looped around the back of it to run by the marina. As I got to the marina I saw a homeless man in the distance holding a sign. I thought to myself “well I obviously don’t have any money because I’m working out.” I guess he thought the same so all he said was “look at the dedication! way to go. keep up the good work.” For some reason, maybe because I was trying to avoid conversation, I yelled back “thanks, I’m raising money for Leukemia”. I didn’t really slow down for the conversation so I was already past him when he responded “really. wow. good job.”

I didn’t really think much of it and why should I, I was able to make a typically uncomfortable conversation sort of positive. Anyway I kept running. I went past the Marriott and the Hyatt. I passed seaport village and also past the USS Midway. I turned around at the Star of India and headed back. By this point I had already forgotten about the homeless man who had cheered me on.

About 20 minuets passed and once again I saw the same homeless man off in the distance. As I got closer he looked, stood up and started walking towards me. I wasn’t really worried because I remembered my last interaction with him. As he got closer he said “are you the guy running for Leukemia?”. I told him I was and this it what he said in return:

“When you ran past me earlier and told me that you were running for Leukemia I was very moved. I cried while I thought about my life and how I wish I could help others. I don’t have much. It doesn’t get too busy back here. I only have $1 and I want you to have it. I want you to donate it to the Leukemia fund.”

I quickly responded by saying “Sir, I can’t accept your dollar. I just can’t.”

He replied with “No. I do a lot better than most of the homeless.” I said ok as long as I could give him credit and I asked his name. He said “anonymous” which I agreed to. He then said “I only want the best for everyone. Here’s my sign.” The sign said “Hi, my name is —–. I will always do my best. I will always pay it forward.” We talked for about another 15 seconds. I told him that he was a good man and that Karma was on his side. I said “God bless you” and went on my way.

As I ran away I didn’t know what to think. I was sad but also inspired. This man had given away all his money. I know it wasn’t a lot but that could have been his next meal.

I was very moved by the generosity of this homeless man who had nothing. He really impressed me. Furthermore he was the very first donation to my Leukemia and Lymphoma fund. I am definitely going to donate his dollar to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I’m also going to match it 100x ($100.00).

You can find my Team In Training donation information at:

http://www.active.com/donate/tntsdh/tntsdhDHowley