Category Archives: Out & About

Out & About—All auto clinics are not created equal

Out & About San Diego

Ocean Beach is a quaint little neighborhood of San Diego. They believe in themselves, so much so that they want to remain stuck in the twentieth century, and the earlier the better.

The homes along Sunset Cliffs are beautiful ocean-view homes, and many of the businesses at ground level on one side are at the top of the sandstone beach bluffs on the other side. Occasionally, when Mother & Father Nature are fighting, the waves will crash against the bluffs and cause large sections to fall to the beach. Such was the case a few months ago, so I went out to see if I could get some pictures. Nope. The only way the bluffs there were accessible is by boat, and I didn’t have a boat. So I wandered around taking pictures of businesses.

That’s when I found Cliffside Auto Clinic. You might think, “Auto repair shop. Meh.”, but look what’s sitting in front of Cliffiside Auto Clinic:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

One might think, “Gosh, it takes them six decades to repair a car. The owners are probably dead by now!”


Cliffside Auto Clinic specializes in restoring cars. How cool!

The “Horseless Carriage” really got my attention because it was in such bad shape:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I think the owner, whom I talked to that morning, said the Horseless Carriage was a 1909 Ford Model T but I’m not 100% sure.

There were other historic car-related items, too:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I also found two early Fidget Spinner prototypes:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

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Out & About—Ocean Beach veterans memorial

Out & About San Diego

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I had two favorite beaches that I tended to hang out at: Blacks Beach and Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach ranks #1 because Blacks Beach is extraordinarily difficult to get to, being at the bottom of 400′ sandstone cliffs and isolated from parking lots a couple of miles to the north and a couple of miles to the south. It’s a long walk. Especially on sand. Even though parking is pretty bad in Ocean Beach, at least you can drive there and park, and if you have to walk a few blocks, they have concrete sidewalks. Whomever invented concrete, well, I hope s/he’s in Heaven….

I used to make a daily trip to Ocean Beach, but now, 24 years later, it has dropped off to a monthly trip. Not because I don’t like it as much but because it’s now 25 miles away from me.

When I was there last weekend, I got there early. So there was plenty of parking. The beach crowds were not out yet so I was able to walk around and get pictures of things that I normally can’t get pictures of without hundreds of people being in my picture. Imagine my surprise when I found a veterans momument smack dab on the beach at Ocean Beach. Looks like this:

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Sadly, with Twitler occupying the White House and trying to destroy everything that has ever made America great, I’m not real sure that there will be any honor and integrity left when he’s finally indicted for treason, collusion, money laundering, perjury, violation of the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution……….. just a few of the things I think he’s guilty of.

The reason why I had never seen the veterans memorial before is because that’s exactly where hundreds of people gather each day and set up their spot at the beach. Just feet away to the left is the sand, the water, the pier, the surfers…. everything you need when you go to the beach.

Surrounding the memorial are memorials stamped in the concrete.

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Obviously one is not going to see those when people are setting up beach towels and day camps on them.

Here’s a couple close-ups:

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

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Out & About: Liquid Blue’s “Hippie House” in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Out & About San Diego

This past weekend I went to Ocean Beach because it’s one of the best places to see the tidepools and it was predicted to be one of the lowest of the low tides for 2018. As usual, it was spectacular, and I wasn’t the only one there at dawn.

Ocean Beach is not known for its plethora of parking, so when it gets busy, parking can be several miles away. I was lucky in that I only had to park a few blocks from where I wanted to go.

As I was walking down the street looking for things to take pictures of, I came across “The Music House.” Looks like this:

Music house in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I would tell you to click on the image for a bigger picture but that feature is not working on my posts for the past six months or so. Since I knew that when I was taking the picture, I zoomed in on some of the exterior wall decorations just for you, my wonderful readers:

Music house in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Music house in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Music house in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Music house in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Long-time readers might know of my fascination with everything Beatles, and those words are from The Beatles’ #1 hit, “All You Need Is Love.” So, of course, that just elevated my interest in the house.

A Google search on “music house ocean beach san diego” was of no help. Maybe I should have used initial caps…. However, since I had the address, I went to Google Maps where one can go to Street View and explore the neighborhood. Street View often also provides phone numbers, web site URL’s, and hours of operation if a location is a business.


This house is a business. Quite an interesting location in Ocean Beach for a business as it’s waaaaaaaaaaay off the beaten path.

The business is Liquid Blue. According to their web site, Liquid Blue is a party band based in San Diego. The band has performed sold-out shows in over 500 cities in more than 100 countries.

With numerous albums and even a single which made the Billboard Dance Top 10 and Hot 100 Singles Sales Charts (Earth Passport), Liquid Blue calls themselves the ultimate cover band, and specializes in private events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate galas, and fundrasiers.

Numerous awards include “America’s Best Dance Band” at the National Music Awards, “Best Cover Band” at the San Diego Music Awards, “Pop Album of the Year” at the Los Angeles Music Awards, and a Guinness World Record for “The World’s Most Traveled Band.”

Since I’m an editor at Wikipedia, I had to see if they had a Wikipedia page. They do! That’s where I found out that their “colorful center of operations” in Ocean Beach is known locally as “the hippie house.” The three core band members (Scott Stephens, Michael Vangerov, and Nikki Green) live and work at the house. Along with a musically themed mural on the surrounding fence/retaining wall, there is a California native “peace garden” and a peace pole. The house and studio is a San Diego County-certified “Green Business.”

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Out & About San Diego—The Lifeguard, Ocean Beach

Out & About San Diego

It’s amazing how many times I can go someplace and still find something new.

Recently I was in Ocean Beach, a place where I hung out every day for many years, and a place that I still visit on a weekly basis. I found two monuments that I had never seen before. One is called “The Lifeguard.” Looks like this:

The Lifeguard, Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

The Lifeguard, Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

The Lifeguard, Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

There’s a lot of text on that plaque. Here’s what it says:


On Sunday, May 5, 1918, 13 lives were lost here, including
11 soldiers and sailors stationed at Camp Kearny North Island and Point Loma. The rip currents were caused by unusual conditions of tides near the entrance to Mission Bay.
Police Lifeguard Louis Chauvaurd made several unheeded warnings to the soldiers and effected rescues before he fell exhausted. Police Lifeguards Glen Fresca, Frank Gilroy and Frank Merritt all made several rescues. Citizens and soldiers were called upon to make rescues including Henry Hanson who valiantly saved the lives of 5 swimmers before losing his own. Over 60 lives were saved. As a result of this tragedy the

City of San Diego provided additional lifeguard staffing
and equipment leading to the development of the
Lifeguard Services today.

This memorial was placed here in 2013 by the
San Diego Lifesaving Association and the citizens of San Diego
in honor of San Diego Lifeguards
and to memorialize the men who lost their lives.

Ralph Braby • Hugh E. Burr • Emerson Donaldson
Henry P. Hanson • Herman Haube

L. H. Killingsworth • Frank Mitten
Charles Monroe Humphrey • Chalmer L. Pollitt

Marcus Regil • Fred W. Sanborn • Jesus Satoyo • Granville Taylor

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Robert Baxley (1934-2005), a former Ocean Beach lifeguard,
respected waterman, author and judge, provided the vision for the establishment of this bronze.
In 2010 a task force was created led by

Neil Moyer, Jim ‘Mouse’ Robb, Julie Klein, Richard Arnold,
Lt. Greg Buchanan and former Councilmember Byron Wear
to organize the community effort.

In appreciation for major gifts to the
Captain Charles W. Hardy Memorial Fund
[And then it lists all the contributors to the Fund.
I can’t read them, and I could find no online source
that lists them, but I’d like to thank them, too!]

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Out & About—Early prototype fidget spinners

Out & About San Diego

Music for your reading pleasure:

Found a cute little gas station near Ocean Beach that had all sorts of historical artifacts everywhere.

Ocean Beach

I could identify everything except these two things which I believe are early prototype fidget spinners.

Early prototype fidget spinners

They were spinning right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round round round.

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Out & About—Santa Cruz, California (part 1)

Out & About The World

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Santa Cruz, California. My specific goal was to get a good picture of a Banana Slug. Sadly, winter is not Banana Slug season. Thus, I had to be content to visiting the University of California at Santa Cruz Arboretum, the campus, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk & beach, the Santa Cruz Wharf, and the very active sea lion colony at the Wharf. Although I had been to Santa Cruz twice previously, this was the first visit where I had as much time to do as much as I wanted to do. So I did everything, and experiencing everything has made Santa Cruz my new BFF #1 city.

The Wharf, at 2,475 feet long, is the longest pier on the West Coast. It’s the only pier I have been on that has public vehicle access. All the other piers requires the public to walk while providing vehicle access to emergency and service vehicles only. I walked all the way to the end and took eight pictures of the beach and Boardwalk. Stitched together in Photoshop, they created a beautiful panorama:

Santa Cruz Boardwalk and beach

Following is a teaser picture of the Santa Cruz Wharf, which, at 2,475 feet in length, is the longest pier on the West Coast. I’ll have much more about the Wharf in future blogs, including a couple of great videos of the very active sea lion colony.

Santa Cruz Wharf

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Would you like to be on Facebook?

Out & About

My wise old grandmother told me that it’s alright to talk to myself, but when I start to ask myself questions, and then answer those questions, I might have problems. So I learned to talk to the animals, although not quite Dr. Dolittle style.

I usually either tell them “I’ll put you on Facebook” or ask them “Do you want to be on Facebook?” Here are some of the responses:

Nope. Big Brother is watching.Do you want to be on Facebook?

Sure! I hear you get lots of LIKEs!

Facebook? Hmmmm. Not sure about that.Lizard

Yeah, whatever.

These four decided to take their toys and go home.




Sure! Hold on and let me show you my good side.

This guy decided to show off for the Facebook crowd.

Facebook? Please, please, please. Thank you!

Nope. We’re outta here.

Sure! Facebook likes good-looking birds!

There are always a couple who want what others don’t.

Are you one of those bird molesters?
Great Blue Heron

You’re that Russel guy. I don’t trust you. I’m leaving.
Great Blue Heron

Checking Facebook…
Man at the beach

In some languages “Facebook” means “water.”
Seagull wanting a drink

Will I be the first roach on Facebook?
Will I get lots of likes?


Mr. Chairman?
I move that we let Russel put us on Facebook.


What is Facebook?
Black bird

Sure. Let me get dressed first.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post