Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saying Goodbye to President Ford

Saturday: 5:30 AM Rick Rockhill pays his last respects...
I went to pay my last respects to President Ford, who was laying in repose at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church; where he and Mrs Ford attended church weekly here in the valley. I drove to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where I proceeded through security and was cleared to board the shuttle for the 12 minute ride over to St. Margaret's. Most people riding on the shuttle were quiet and awaiting instructions from the officials who met our bus as it pulled up along the front door. It was still dark outside, but as I looked at the exterior of the church, it was glowing from the lights inside. We were led into the church narthex, single file and were permited to approach the altar and pause for a few moments. The President's flag draped casket was just a few feet from his usual front pew where he attended weekly services for many years. It was very peaceful, but the symbolism of the presidency was quite evident. There before my eyes, was history in the making. I was standing before the casket of a man who belongs to very exclusive club- one of just 43 men in the world who have served as President of the United States.

Below left: President Ford's motorcade heading to St. Margaret's church in Palm Desert on Friday. Below right: Marines carring the casket into the church.

Although I was on the last shuttle permitted for public viewings, there were quite a few people still inside. I waited about twenty minutes to pass through the church. Below is the view from inside of the church (photo from The Desert Sun):

We were handed these memorial cards (see below)

Palm Springs Does it Thing too...
On Friday afternoon, Palm Springs officials held a ceremony at President Ford's star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in downtown, directly in front of the Palm Springs Desert Museum.

- Rick Rockhill

Friday, December 29, 2006

Update from the Beach House

Dreary, winter weather at the beach house has been SUCH a bore, so we've returned to Palm Springs to enjoy some sunshine and ring in the New Year with friends. This will give Zeke, our gardener (at right) more time to spruce things up a bit while we are away. We really need to get him a new wagon for his tools...

I like to have all of the new flowers planted in January/February so by Spring the gardens are in full swing and ready for the garden parties. - Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Day

We had a very relaxed and lazy Christmas day. In the evening we went to Gary and Pete's home for cocktails and Christmas dinner. Here are a few photos...

Above left: Skip & John and above Right: John and me

Above left: Petey with his wonderful daughter and above right, Jason & Jim
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Last night we had dinner at Melvyn's, the legendary Palm Springs restaurant at The Inglesde Inn. We had a marvelous corner table in the back dining salon. It was a terrific Christmas Eve.

Before dinner we stopped by the home of our friends Bud and Doug for a pre-dinner cocktail. Here is Bud looking rather civilized in his smoking jacket and ascot!

HM Queen Elizabeth II has graciously provided a copy of her Annual Christmas message.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays from the household staff

It's time for me to introduce the domestics, without whom I just could not manage. I want to publically thank them for their service and hardwork all year. Merry Christmas to you both!
Below on the left is Mrs Danvers, our loyal housekeeper who keeps both Palm Springs and San Diego homes running smoothly...she is utterly devoted to us.
Below on the right is our faithful housemaid Mrs Smith, and her wild daughter, Shanaynay Smith who is visiting from Las Vegas for the holidays.

Amazingly, they still insist on calling me "Mr Rick Rockhill", even though I've told them they can call me just: "Mr Rockhill."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas at home...

Well I'm finally done with Christmas shopping! I've been so busy lately that I just didn't have time to decorate the house for Christmas. I made a small wreath for the front door, you can hardly see it in the photo below.
We've had such great weather lately that the lawn has finally gotten its lush green color again.
I've started counting all of the Christmas cards I've received from thoughtful people who I left of fmy list. If I didn't send you a card, its not because I don't like you. Its more because I'm a bit disorganized. (er-that's disorganised for you Brits reading this). And since I didn't send any Christmas cards to my British friends, I apologize (I mean apologise) for being such a cad.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"They're Practically My Neighbors..."

One of the interesting things about living in Palm Springs is that there are so many celebrities living in the area. Palm Springs has been the playground of movie stars, Presidents and dignitaries since the 1920's. This still holds true today, as contemporary celebrities have discovered Palm Springs again. On any given day during the winter season, over 100 nationally known figures can be seen around the Palm Springs area.

There are several celebrities who are "practically my neighbors" such as:
Cheetah the Chimp

Barry Manilow & Suzanne Somers.

Suzanne is so handy in the kitchen...

Jack Jones and Jane Wyman

Keely Smith & Jerry Vale

First Lady Betty Ford

Until recently President Ford was practically a neighbor too...
- Rick Rockhill

Monday, December 18, 2006

Random drivel...

Here's my friend Ben's wife Natalie...what creature from the sea IS she eating anyway??

Sunday we went to see "The Holiday" (Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black). Its kind of a chick flick, but it was really pretty good. No spoiler here, but basically Cameron Diaz (in LA) and Kate Winslet (in London) are two love-starved girls who decide to do a house swap for two weeks just to get away from things. If you are willing to suspend doubt about strangers swapping houses, its a great story, check it out!

So... here's a fun cartoon that always make me laugh:
- Rick Rockhill

Friend's Pets

OK, so since I work for PETCO, I thought I really should add a few more photos of pets. Here is Owen, (Persian kitty with a lion cut) and his big brother, Koshimi, aka "Shimi" our Shiba Inu.

Here is a publicity photo of Miss BabyCakes Casey-Altieri, taken for her upcoming appearance at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Below is Sandy, my brother's kitty who passed away in the fall. On the right is a rare two-headed Westie...

On the left below is Penelope, my friend Ben's dog and on the right is Stevie Nicks and one of her fans...

- Rick Rockhill

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Rick Rockhill

The beautiful San Jacinto Mountains, seen from my "Vintage Palms" residence in Palm Springs.
Hi, I'm Rick Rockhill and welcome to my lame blog about nothing. I live in Palm Springs California. The photo to the right is me with "The Whole Pet Diet" author, Andi Brown. Its a crazy photo of me, but I was having fun that night so I have a big smile on my face. I'm somewhat old-fashioned, raised to respect family, good manners, core values and a belief that pets are members of the family. At times, I am somewhat eccentric, with my collection of ascots, and Brooks Brothers wardrobe, but I am very down to earth. I'm a chocoholic and firmly believe that a day without chocolate is not a good day at all. My favorite is Since I am boring you with my favorites, I might as well mention that I enjoy full-bodied red wines (Cabs & Zins). My partner John and I enjoy visiting Sonoma and Napa Valley to explore new wines whenever possible.
The photo of me to the left is from August 18th, 2006, when I threw the "ceremonial first pitch" out at PETCO Park. I was very honored to have the opportunity and cherish the experience. It was an amazing experience.
I have a keen appreciation for things that echo the past: old architecture, traditional cultural norms, and people over 70 years old-they have a unique perspective of life. I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for our armed forces serving at home and abroad. They deserve our respect and thanks for defending our freedom.
Since John and I moved to Palm Springs , I've developed an appreciation for "modernist" or "mid-century" architecture. I love the wonderful old neighborhoods here with history and character. I'm fascinated by the Palm Springs "old Hollywood"history, when the likes of Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, Bob Hope, Lana Turner and others made the desert their playground. It was a really a cool time for our desert community. Below is a great photo of Joan Crawford, Judy Garland and Jane Wyman sharing a laugh while in Palm Springs many years ago...

I am proud to be part of a great community that has a fantastic social life, with highly philanthropic people who are generous to a fault, who dedicate their time and money to advance society and culture. Palm Springs truly is unlike anywhere else.

John and I have a great life here in the desert, with two fantastic "kids"- Koshimi (dog) and Owen (cat).
I love both my dog and cat, they bring me so much joy and happiness. Unconditional love that only a pet can bring! I like working for PETCO because we can bring out pets to work and also because most people there are passionate about pets and really "get it".
Here is a photo of my grand mother Julia, and my neice Isabella. I am so proud of both my beautiful nieces, Isabella and Elizabeth (below)who live in Rhode Island. They are so wonderful, I miss them very much. Isabella- if you read this Uncle Ricky says "hello" and "I love you very much!"

I consider myself a moderate republican; "compassionate conservative": fiscally conservative and socially moderate. And yes, I've voted republican for just about every election so far and I'm glad I did!

So here's something completely random: a scene from the new James Bond film "Casino Royale". This is 007, Daniel Craig (Bond) emerging from the water. I'm including this strictly for research purposes, in case anyone is wondering what the new James Bond looks like. Therefore, this truly is is a public service.

Now here's some boring dog food stuff:

I'm really excited about a project I've worked on at PETCO, teaming up with one of our vendors, Castor and Pollux to develop a holistic food called Natural Ultramix. Its a really an excellent natural/holistic pet food with six protein sources and raw fruits and vegetables mixed in with the kibble. Conveniently, you can buy it at any PETCO store or at

We carry several other really excellent natural pet foods such as Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix, Solid Gold, Organix, and Halo Spot's Stew.
And now, a shameless plug for Natural Ultramix: Superior Protein SourcesNatural chicken is #1 on our ingredients list with five additional highly bioavailable proteins for optimal digestibility and great taste. Provides essential amino acids and the nutrients needed to help promote your dog's wellness by supporting a healthy skin and coat, strong, lean muscle mass and vitality.
Natural Fruits & VeggiesPure, wholesome fruits and vegetables provide valuable nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants for your dog. We simply dry the carrots, bananas, papaya, apples and blueberries and then blend with the Ultramix kibble. Don't be fooled by other diets that feature fruits and veggies in the ingredients list - you can't even see them in the kibble! And because they're usually processed under high heat they retain only minimal nutritional value...not so with NATURAL ULTRAMIX!
Rich Sources of CarbohydratesPotatoes, ground whole barley and grains provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as a balanced source of sustainable energy.
Essential Vitamins & MineralsFortified with essential vitamins and minerals and balanced to meet the needs of your adult dog.
Additional BenefitsFlaxseed, Glucosamine and Chondroitin (naturally sourced from chicken cartilage), and Omega Fatty Acids. Combined to promote wellness and help maximize the time you'll spend with your best friend. Natural Ultramix is great because it has:

No By-Products
No Fillers
No Wheat
No Corn
No Growth Hormones
No Artificial Preservatives, Colors or Flavors
- Rick Rockhill


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

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