Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Birds That Will Make You Smile

Late last night I was surfing the web and came across a story about a psychic bird and was quite amused. I ended up digging up all sorts of fun things on the Internet about birds which became a source of entertainment for the remainder of the night. This was the inspiration for another scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Birds That Will Make You Smile. #1 "N'kisi" the Congo African Gray Parrot. The parrot's owner claims the bird is demonstrates psychic abilities. N'kisi has a vocabulary of about 950 words and can use them in coherent sentences to communicate with people. She is thought to be the most advanced users of the English language in the animal kingdom! I only wish I could find video of her.
#2 "Mr Yosuke Nakamura, the African Grey Parrot. He had been missing for two weeks after flying off a roof top at his home near Tokyo. The local police found him, but the bird didn't speak, so they transferred him to a veterinary clinic, where he opened up and started to talk again. Here is the amazing part: the bird introduced himself as "Mr Yosuke Nakamura, sang a few songs and then proceeded to tell the vet where he lived. He even included the address and street number. When the police checked the family name living at that address, it was the same last name he introduced himself as, so he was reunited with him family. Can you imagine?
#3 Willie the Parrot: He helped save the life of a toddler girl who was choking on pop tarts. Willie the parrot saw the little girl choking and started screaming and flapping his wings.Then Willie started shouting 'mama baby' over and over and over again which attracted the attention of the baby sitter. The sitter saw the young child choking and was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save the little girl. I just love stories like that.

#4 Yankee Doodle Dandy" singing bird

#5 "You Are My Sunshine" singing bird"

#6 The National Anthem singing bird (well sort of)

#7 Amazing Bird Tricks

I hope at least one of these seven birds made you smile. Happy Saturday!
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, January 30, 2009


I don't know about you, but all week long I've been hearing people talk about the super bowl. A combination of overhearing predictions, friendly-bets, stories of prior super bowls were etched into my subconscious. In fact, last night I actually had a super bowl dream. Well, sort of. The dream took place in the Palm Springs Art Museum. In my dream, they had an exhibit called "Super Bowls" which featured enormous bowls in all shapes and materials. This may have something to do with the fact that I'm scheduled to attend a gala event at the Palm Springs Art Museum this Saturday. So my mind ran away (as dreams often do) and came up with a sort of Alice in Wonderland type visit to an exhibit on huge bowls. So just for fun, and in honor of my silly dream, here I present my own SUPER BOWL POST....
above: Metal Super Bowl
above: Bamboo Super Bowl
above: Plastic Super Bowl
Well that's my Super Bowl Post...hope you enjoyed it. Oh my prediction for the real super bowl is Steelers will win. I could care less by how much. (sorry Donna).
-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Escape with the Palm Springs Aerial Tram

One of the most popular attractions here in our Coachella Valley is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Originally completed in 1963, it boasts the world's largest rotating tram cars in the world and ascends 2.5 miles up to a station on Mount San Jacinto at 8,516 feet high. Since it first opened, over 13 million people have traveled the 10-minute ride. In addition to breathtaking views of the valley, the temperature differential between the valley floor and the top of the Tram is usually about 30 degrees. During the Winter and Spring months, we usually have snow at the top of the tram; Mount San Jacinto actually rises 10,834 feet high, so the highest peaks above the Tram are heavily covered in snow. It's a real treat for desert residents to take a short ride and see snow. In the summer heat, the Tram offers a refreshingly cool respite from the 100+ degree temperatures. So just for the fun of it, here are two photos of the Tram to give you an idea of what it's like.

above: this image was taken fairly high up- you can see the top of the lower peaks below. Tram cars pass each other, one riding up, and another back down.

In the photo above you can see the snow that is at the higher elevations of Mount San Jacinto.
I hope you enjoyed these photos today. Have a great Tuesday!
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Bob Hope Classic Golf Tournament

Even if you aren't a golf fan, chances are you may have heard of The Bob Hope Classic Golf Tournament. It's been going on since 1960 and is known for attracting major golf pros and celebrities who participate to help in the fundraising effort. The organizing body, Desert Classic Charities is "dedicated to serving human needs in the Coachella Valley with funds generated by operating the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic". It is one of the premier celebrity pro and amateur golf tournaments in the world. Each year the Classic distributes its net proceeds to deserving charities in the Coachella Valley who apply for grants. Since it's inception in 1960, they have donated over $45 million, all of which stays within the Coachella Valley to benefit the greater Palm Springs desert community.

Ever since it began, the Classic was known for attracting major celebrities, such as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Phil Harris, Desi Arnaz, Ray Bolger, Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Andy Williams, Lawrence Welk, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Barbara Eden, Gloria Loring, Linda Carter, Lexie Brockway and Terry Ann Browning just to name a few.

The tradition of including non-golf sports stars began with the early greats such as Willie Mays, Joe Louis, Johnny Bench, Merlin Olsen, John McKay, Maury Wills and Bear Bryant. Over the years major sports figures from Basketball, Football and Baseball continue to participate each year. The Classic has featured several US Presidents including Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald R. Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton & George W Bush. So as you can imagine, this is one major golf tournament in our area. Comedian Bob Hope was a fixture in Palm Springs as far back as the 1960's. His mountain side mid-century modern "mushroom shaped" home is still a popular attraction. He loaned his name to the tournament and worked tirelessly for many years to attract big names to make the event a success each year. To this day, the Classic retains his name in honor of Bob Hope. I thought I'd include a series of photos from the event. All photos are from our newspaper, The Desert Sun:

above: pristine yet challenging pro golf courses

above: the majesty of the mountains and palm trees make this a highly desirable destination for golfers worldwide.

above: The Bob Hope Classic Girls are always a hit....

Celebrity Golfers Galore
above: actor Chris O'Donnell and actor William Devane

above: comedian Kevin Nealon and actor Kurt Russell

above: Singer Huey Lewis and rock legend Alice Cooper

above: singer Michael Bolton and actor Oliver Hudson
Pro Golfers Too
above: Bubba Watson and classic host Arnold Palmer

above: Steve Stricker and Pat Perez
above: Fred Couples
It has been another fantastic year for the Bob Hope Classic...I hope you enjoyed these photos!
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Art Review: Mid-Century Modern Work of "Shag"

Living in Palm Springs I have developed an appreciation for mid-century modern style, in everything from architecture, fashion and art. It refers to the pre- and post- second world war developments in modern design from roughly 1933 to 1965. This was very much the early heyday period for Palm Springs, when desert glamour first hit the scene and took the Hollywood set by storm. One current artist whose work captures the essence of this era is Josh Agle, better known as "Shag". (His namesake is a contraction of the last two letters of his first name and the first to letters of his last name.) I thought his work would make an excellent subject for this week's Sunday Art Review: MidCentury Modern Work of 'Shag"

above: "Palm Springs Weekend"
above: "The Best Party"

above: "Liberace's Hands"

above: "Prometheus Brings Fire"

above: "Desert Polynesia"

above: "Hipsters"

above: "Calypso Party"

above: "Baron Von Vodkalov"
above: "Three Minutes Late"
I hope you enjoyed the fun and fabulous works of "Shag". Which one(s) did you like best? Go ahead, leave a comment, its absolutely FREE!
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Ways to Change Your Mood at Home

Do you ever find yourself in a mood that you don't like? Agitated? Sad? Angry? Frustrated? You try to "snap out of it" but sometimes can't even recongize what you are really feeling. Back in the 60's and 70's Mood Rings were all the rage. All you had to do was slip on a Mood Ring and it would change color. Luckily those handy reference charts interpreted the color to indicate your mood. I remember dreading it being "blue" or "black" for some reason. Anyway I digress. Of course you hardly need a silly Mood Ring to really tell you how you are feeling, although sometimes we don't always know why we feel the way we do. Regardless of how or why, sometimes we just feel the need to change your mood. This was the inspiration for this week's scintillating installment of The Saturday Seven: Ways to Change Your Mood At Home. You'll notice that this list does not include stuff you can do outside of home, that is another day's post altogether....
above: #1 Music: Playing music is probably my top way of changing my mood. It can cheer me up, slow me down, put me in the mood for whatever...I love music and it always affects my mood.

above: #2 A Kitty on Your Lap: Either pet will do I suppose. But there is something about having your cat snuggle up on your lap that grounds me and puts me in a good mood.

above: #3 The Fireplace: I love to sit in front of the fireplace. I find it mesmerizing and has a definite calming affect.

above: #4 Soft Lighting: I'll take a low wat soft light lamp over bright ceiling lights- or God forbid-fluorescent lights (gasp!). Good lighting has such an impact on my mood.
above: #5 Candles: Similar to the fireplace, candles create intimacy and make the room feel smaller. They tend to make me reflective and melancholy for some reason.
above: #6 Incense: Or even a potpourri or oil lamp. A smouldering scent filling the room alters my mind and puts me in a happy place. When I really need a brisk attitude adjustment, I break out the incense.
above: #7 Home Baked Apple Pie: A traditional favorite, everyone knows that the smell of a home baked apple pie is a subliminal stimulus of sorts. It brings back memories of childhood, being at home with Mom or Grandma as she baked pies. Mmmmm it makes me feel good just thinking about it!
What do YOU do at home to change your mood? Go ahead, leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adventures of Sheldon: Opposites Attract

Our young Sheldon has developed into a fine young boy, living the life of a prince-complete with the best quality natural food, organic treats, and a faux mink fur dog bed, of course! Among all of his other spoils, Sheldon has really bonded with his older brother Owen. They have really bonded and spend loads of time together- from chasing each other around the house, to "grooming" each other, to snuggling up for a nice long snooze. I managed to catch some video of them together the other day and thought it would be a fun way to end the week. Usually people think dogs and cats fight and just can't get along, claiming they are opposites. I have a different opinion. I say, "Opposites Attract" so check out this video as the "Adventures of Sheldon" continue...

(to watch the video, click the little arrow in the lower left corner of the box above. FYI- the sound is a little loud, I forgot to lower the song volume when I edited it.)
If it doesn't play, click here to watch it on You Tube
I hope you enjoyed that little video of the Adventures of Sheldon. They sure are cute, aren't they? Here is a great photo of Owen one morning when he woke up- he likes to sleep under the covers sometimes, although I can't say I blame him!
Oh, tomorrow I'm having lunch with one of my super famous friends, and by super famous I mean someone on TV. If I can write about it, you'll be the first to know, but you know how protective I am of those stay tuned!
-Rick Rockhill

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Thoughts...

A friend of mine who runs a pub in London sent me this...I thought it might be fun to share here...Enjoy!

* How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America ?

* Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

* I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!

* When I was young we used to go 'skinny dipping,' now I just 'chunky dunk.'

* Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

* Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over? AMEN, AMEN !!

* Wouldn't you know it....Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.

And remember: Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Message from Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

A Message to the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

"In light of your declining failure to handle your economy and govern yourselves, We hereby give notice of the revocation of your Independence, effective immediately.(if necessary,look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will now resume monarchical duties over all states, Commonwealths, and territories (except Utah, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, the same one who is our Prime Minister, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. To aid in the return of your country to the status of a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:"

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will now spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (if necessary, look up 'vocabulary' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

2. There is no such thing as U.S. English. English is the language we speak. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
3. July 4th will be celebrated as a holiday in order to acknowledge the end of your unsuccessful 250 year experiment in independence.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready yet to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or spending hours with a therapist,then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side of the road with immediate effect. Using roundabouts while you learn to drive on the left may help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. At the same time, all your forms of measurement will go metric with immediate effect. We had to do it 20 years ago and we discovered that it works better than the old imperial system anyway. However because your monetary system is already metric (you got that bit right) you will be permitted to maintain the dollar as your form of currency. We may however decide to brighten up those dull old green and black notes were some exciting new spring colours.

8. Speaking of money however you will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been mistakenly calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable, as (based on their rather small population) they are the greatest sporting nation on earth and this can only be due to something they put in their beer. They are also still a part of the British Commonwealth - see what it has done for them. American beer-type drinks will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that they can be sold without risk of further confusion until you get used to drinking proper beer.

10. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having One's Royal ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing that game that you call American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you (mistakenly) call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to hold an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13. You must tell us who killed JR. It's been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed with vinegar not with tomato sauce (which you mistakenly call catsup) .

16. Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. Daily with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits ( which you mistakenly refer to as cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

-Elizabeth R


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.

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