Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Movie Colony Hotel: Cactus in Bloom

There is a nifty boutique hotel in Palm Springs called the Movie Colony Hotel, located in was once a neighborhood where movie stars lived. Originally designed by famed architect Albert Frey, the hotel has been featured in Architectural Digest magazine as an example of the many noteworthy Mid-Century modern properties which have become synonymous with Palm Springs style. This post however is not about the architecture or the movie stars who once frequented this hotel. Instead, it is to highlight the beautiful cactus garden. So here are a few photos, I hope you enjoy them:

above: tall & proud cactus line the walkway into the front entrance of the hotel.

above: the prickly pear cactus are thick and full, providing vibrant color contrasts of yellow, purple and green.

above: look at how beautiful these cactus are...go ahead, click on the pics to biggify them...

above: this close up really shows how beautiful the yellow cactus flowers are. It is a wonderful combination of texture and color.
Hope you have a great day today, and thanks for stopping by.
-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Tuesday Chuckle

A lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says,

'I'm on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it's today...'

The bartender says, 'Well, since it's your birthday, I'll buy you a drink. In fact, this one is on me.'

As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, 'I would like to buy you a drink, too.'

The old woman says, 'Thank you. Hey bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water.'

'Coming up,' says the bartender

The old woman says, 'Thank you. Hey bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water.'

'Coming right up,' the bartender says.

As he gives her the drink, he says, 'Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?'

The old woman replies, 'Sonny, when you're my age, you've learned how to hold your liquor. Holding your water, however, is a whole other issue.'

Happy Tuesday!
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Real Message of Susan Boyle

It's been weeks since Susan Boyle exploded on the scene from her appearance on the UK TV show "Britain's Got Talent", yet she continues to hold the fascination of people across the world. Unless you've had your head in the sand, it's not likely you don't know her story. Susan Boyle is a woman of enormous talent who has been hidden away in a remote area of Scotland for years. The amount of attention she has garnered is a testament to both her own talent and the power of today's Internet. Perhaps equally significant is the voracious appetite of the general populous for this story. For several months, people have read news of an unravelling world economy, mounting job losses, financial scandals and general uncertainty. And yet a story of a Scottish spinster in a singing contest captured the hearts of people worldwide. It reflects our need to feel good about things. We want to hear happy stories, especially when good fortune reaches the unexpected. It's not dis-similar to the periodic stories of a working mom with three kids living in a trailer who hits the lottery and wins twenty million. Everyone loves good news. And why not? It's important to feel happy. In my mind, the Susan Boyle story has underlying messages that tug heart strings on many levels. Whatever the emotion, embrace it and spread a little sunshine. Pass along some kindness, show compassion to others. Stop short of being judgemental and cruel. Build people up instead of tearing them down. And most of all, keep the faith because hope springs eternal.

above: Susan Boyle at her home in Scotland.
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Art Review: Swines in Art, aka Pig Art

With all the hype about the dreaded Swine Flu pandemic spreading like wildfire, I found myself thinking about every little cough or sniffle over the past few days. Maybe those people coughing on the flight back from Chicago had the Swine Flu. Or was it that person at work who was coughing and hacking all day. But then again I was at the store and the cashier coughed into her hands before she handed me my change. I'm sure it all must be that swine flu! yes, I can be a bit of a hypochondriac at times. But why risk it? I found all this hype about the swine flu inspiration for this week's Sunday Art Review: Swines in Art, aka Pig Art. This first painting above left is "Famous Pigs" by Kathryn Wronski.

above: Purple Pig, by Dale Wicks

above: Pinky Pig painting, by Pamela Munger

above: Shout, by Joselito Jandayan

above: When Pigs Fly, print by L Risor.

above: and finally my favorite: Pig in a Blanket, artist unknown.
All kidding about the Swine Flu aside, be careful, stay healthy and wash your hands frequently, as you would to avoid any flu. I hope you enjoyed this week's rather unusual Sunday Art Review.
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Favorite TV Detective Shows

We don't normally watch much TV, but our TiVo does work overtime to record a number of programs to keep on hand for when we do want to watch TV. Almost all of them are detective shows, well not like Sherlock Holmes, but the more modern variety. There is a whole range of them all similar to one another but I like most of them. This was the inspiration for this week's scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Favorite TV Detective Shows:

#1 Criminal Minds
#2 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
#3 CSI: Crime Scene Investigates

#4 Without A Trace

#5 Cold Case
#6 CSI: Miami

#7 Lie To Me
Do you watch any of these? If so, which is your favorite? What are your favorites?
For my readers in the UK, feel free to mention any UK detective type programmes! So go ahead, leave a comment today!
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, April 24, 2009

Philatelic Friday: James Bond 007 Stamps

The weekend is here, so its time for another edition of my weekly Philatelic Friday series. One of the things I like about philately is the seemingly endless range of subjects and themes that have made their way onto government-issued postage stamps. I specify "government-issued stamps" to differentiate from the "create your own" stamps, where people can put virtually any image on a stamp. Instead, I focus on stamps issued by government post office services. This week's theme is one of my favorite topics so far: James Bond 007 Stamps. This sheet of stamps above left was issued by the African Republic of Congo, featuring nine different 007 scenes. For some reason I was surprised this theme was from the Congo. The remaining Bond stamps are various book covers of Ian Fleming novels, all issued by Britain's Royal Mail:

above: Goldfinger

above: Dr No

above: Diamonds Are Forever

above: Casino Royale

above: From Russia With Love

above: For Your Eyes Only
Most of you know I'm a huge James Bond fan so this was a fun subject for Philatelic Friday. I hope you enjoyed it. By the way, what was your favorite or most memorable James Bond movie? Go ahead, leave a comment, it's FREE!
-Rick Rockhill

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Visit to PS Wine

Both John and I consider ourselves to be casual wine connoisseurs, which basically means that we like wine- we drink what we like, but we aren't wine snobs. I don't memorize ratings and reviews from Wine Spectator magazine, but I have been known to read it from time to time.
When it comes to wine, we have our favorites and make the pilgrimage to northern California’s wine country several times per year. But right here in Palm Springs we have a wonderful little wine shop called PS Wine, where there is a great selection of wines, a tasting bar, and some cafĂ© tables too. I stopped in with cousins Peg and Rich after seeing the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, which is a post for another day. We were heading to an early dinner at Copley’s and had some time to kill before our reservation, so we popped into PS Wine for a glass of wine. We chatted with Paulette, the proprietor who is knowledgeable and friendly. She has built a nice community of customers in the Palm Springs area who enjoy the social aspect of wine.
I enjoyed a refreshing glass of perfectly chilled Chardonnay on what was a hot afternoon in the desert. As I sipped the wine I perused Paulette’s collection of wines. Sometimes just reading labels can be fun. I have to remember to go back there more often, it’s a fun place. For those of you locals interested in visiting PS Wine, they are located at 188 S. Indian Canyon. Call Paulette at (760) 322-4411

Soon my glass was empty, signaling that it was time to head to our dinner reservation at Copley’s. I’ve written about Copley’s many times here- it’s one of our favorites here in Palm Springs. Being the foodie that I am, I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos of our entrees. (Greg- once again, another delicious meal!).

above left: Halibut with lobster tail, above right: a beef tenderloin with delicious asparagus. Are you hungry yet?
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pet Food Forum in Chicago

I've been especially busy these past few days and have had no time to update the blog. I'm attending the Pet Food Forum in Chicago, where I gave an address to the pet food industry representing my company. As you know, I avoid discussing specific work stuff on my personal blog, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about the experience these past few days. Having worked in the pet industry for over 12 years, I've accumulated a fair amount of experience and perspective on the business. The Forum is attended by manufacturers, nutritionists, marketing folks, brand managers, and various other pet industry professionals. It was a privilege and honor to address the entire industry at this highly respected annual conference. I had a presentation that ran the full hour- I'm never short on words. As you may have gathered by now, I'm not exactly a shy person when it comes to public speaking. My schedule at the forum has been full; I booked virtually all of my time with an aggressive schedule of meetings, starting at 7:30 am each day right through dinner. At the end of each day I am exhausted from talking but in general I have found it to be fulfilling and mentally stimulating.
A Few Quick Views of Chicago

Few of you know that I called Chicago home for many years, so being back in the windy city is very reassuring. However, I honestly have not had any time to go out and enjoy the city or see any old friends (which I regret). I had dinner downtown one evening and snapped these three photos. I like the angle of these three very different structures.

above: A few of the famed Water Tower Place Mall, right on Michigan Avenue. How I love this city...

above: The actual Water Tower itself...I love this architecture.
Thanks for stopping by today.
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, April 17, 2009

Philatelic Friday: Stamps About People Helping People

Welcome to another edition of Philatelic Friday. I kicked around theme options for today's post, and settled on a broad theme of People Helping People. So I started searching Google for images of stamps and came up with an interesting collection of topics. For example, finding a Jury Duty stamp was an interesting topic for a stamp. It is all about our civic duty to help others. I found myself staring at the silhouettes of the people depicted on this Jury Duty stamp...young/old, male/female, then I tried to guess the intended ethnicity, and then who these people remind me of. How easily my mind wanders. Anyway, onto more of Philatelic Friday: Stamps About People Helping People

above: A Canadian stamp raising awareness about people with Mental Health issues
above: This charming stamp is from Hungary and is literally about People Helping Others. Sweet, isn't it?

above: From France, a stamp raising awareness of tuberculosis and public health

above: Another French stamp about public health, raising awareness of the value of fresh air to life.

above: An unusual stamp from the USA about Retarded children

above: Canada's Fire fighter's stamp...very dramatic, isn't it?
Thanks for stopping by this week's edition of Philatelic Friday. Have a great weekend!
-Rick Rockhill

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some Local Palm Springs Stuff

Being the Palm Springs Savant, I like to maintain a good working personal knowledge of all things Palm Springs. In addition to attending all the fabulous social events, charitable fundraisers and mingling with celebrities, I try to go out on the town regularly exploring restaurants, local stores and attractions. The other day I popped into a store downtown called Crystal Fantasy to pick up a new deck of Tarot cards. When I handed my credit card to pay, the person said: "I thought that was you, from the Palm Springs Savant" It was Joy, who owns Crystal Fantasy. How nice that she recognized me! She has a great store conveniently located downtown across from the Hyatt and also sells some items online if you want to check it out. The store is packed with interesting things like crystals, incense, candles, jewelry, books, fairies, wind chimes, wands, prisms, and lots more.
The other neat place I visited was Jake's restaurant for dinner. It's a cute place with indoor and outdoor patio dining areas. They offer a simple menu with some items that appeared to be part of their ready to go catering menu. Both our meals were delicious, and quite reasonably priced. For those times when you want a light lunch or an inexpensive dinner, Jake's is an option consider. It was good enough for me to consider returning, so that means it passed my strict standards! (As a reminder to any readers, I never feature any paid posts- so whatever I write is my own personal opinion.) Thanks for stopping by today!
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trivia Question: Charo and Xavier Cugat...

Thought I'd have a bit of fun with a trivia question. I'll leave the comments open for 24 hours and see if anyone responds with a guess. No cheating please.
What do Charo and Xavier Cugat have in common?
Leave a comment with your guess and I'll publish all the responses at once, in 24 hours from now.

-Rick Rockhill

College of the Desert Street Fair

For locals and visitors to our desert, one of the more popular weekly attractions is the College of the Desert Street Fair. It features a broad range of items for sale, from established businesses, individuals or entrepreneurs with nifty gadgets. Cousin Peg was planning to go on Saturday so I asked to tag along. She had clearly been a number of times, and knew to get there before 8 am while it was still empty. After a quick overview of the map, we made our way through the rows and rows of tented vendors, selling their wares. I like open-air markets. The rows of tall, majestic date palm trees soared overhead, framing the street fair against the morning blue sky. I suppose its sort of a high-class swap meet. It's all new merchandise, and all the vendors have their tax licenses clearly posted. Many accept charge cards too, which makes it handy. Several of the vendors recognized cousin Peg, which indicated that either the same ones are there each weekend, or Peg sure does a lot of shopping. Probably both. (Jennifer, you'll have to weigh in on that). There is plenty of food to eat, and things to interest men, women and children alike, To tempt and tantalize you I thought I'd show a few photos to give you an idea of the type of stuff at the street fair:

above: Woven baskets, Oriental rugs & paintings

above: live musicians, harpist and pan flute. Each selling copies of their CDs.

above: Belly Dancer tops, and Bob's Belts

above: fresh produce: fruits, vegetables, and locally grown dates and strawberries too.
above: Garden water fountains and golf carts
above: Textiles (pillows, tablecloths, napkins) and garlic pressers

above: Mirrors, wall hangings and all kinds of original art.
So if you are wondering if there is stuff to do in the Palm Springs area, fear not. Take it from The Palm Springs Savant. The College of the Desert Street Fair is worth the trip. Just remember to go early before its too crowded, or too hot!
-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.

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