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OCTOBER 3, 2008   

R & R

I slept until almost 9:30 today, enjoying a comfortable bed and a complete lack of scheduled things to do. When I finally dragged my butt out of bed, Mary had thoughtfully started the coffee pot and made sweet potato pancakes for breakfast. I read the LA Times report on yesterday's Vice-Presidential debates while I ate. After breakfast I worked on the website and threw a load of dirty clothes into the washer. By the time I finished it was close to one p.m., so we shared a big heirloom tomato for our lunchtime sandwiches. Nest stop was a nearby Starbucks for internet access to upload the site updates. I've been keeping up with email via the iPhone—very cool—but needed to get online with laptop.

Man with dog, bikers and walkers on Huntington Beach boardwalkI haven't done any running since leaving Cleveland, so decided to follow the advice of the local newspaper and try the Huntington Bearch boardwalk. This being California and all, I expected it to be teeming with bizarre bikers, bladers, and bouncing beach bunnies, but...bummer...

It looked a lot like Edgewater Park, with palm trees, more surf, and fewer minorities.

Still, the cool breeze off the ocean made for a pleasant run. I enjoyed it so much I probably did a bit more than my usual 4-5 miles. At least I hope so, since I was out for nearly an hour.

Far stranger than anything on the boardwalk was what I saw when I parked my rented Ford Focus just a block from the beach.

Oil wells. Quite a few of them. And while I'd seen some in fields near the highway, these were right in the middle of a nice residential area, surrounded by houses.

Apparently Huntington Beach already has adopted a "Drill, baby, drill" policy.

Huntington Beach pier with bright sun at horizonThe beach itself was more what I'd been expecting. Here, after a cloudy afternoon the sun broke through for a few minutes before losing the race to a lowering bank of dark clouds.

Fat-tired beach cruiser bike with surfboard rack on sideNot many bikes at Edgewater Park have surfboard racks on the side, but they're pretty common around here.

Huge black Hummer limo and black GMC Yukon parked near beachOne of those quintessential California sights that makes us Midwesterners shake our heads in disgust: a huge Hummer limo pulled up and about a dozen pre-teens piled out, probably part of someone's birthday party. A minute or two later the black Yukon arrived, carrying one of the parents.

Only in America.

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