Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Makes Me Happy

Doesn't this photo make you feel good? As I sat outside on the patio yesterday, this view caught my eye and made me smile inside and out. I was reminded once again how simple it is to be happy. To think, a bunch of tulips was all it took to remind me of that. 
I am blessed.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Woody's Burgers are Darn Good

Like most Americans I enjoy a good burger from time to time. I don't eat a lot of burgers, so when I do it needs to be a good one. I've come to know and love a place here in Palm Springs called Woody's Burgers that fits the bill.

Locally owned, Woody's has quickly garnered a great reputation among locals for serving up some of the most delicious burgers in town. It is sort of tucked away on Indian Canyon Drive on the edge of downtown Palm Springs but offers plenty of parking in the rear, and usually has plenty of on-street parking as well. Without a doubt, it is an unassuming, casual burger joint...the front has counter service seating, but the back room has plenty of tables, periodically used for live jazz entertainment, and draws a great crowd. 
I ordered the Blue Cheese burger and a basket of fries, which were also quite delicious in their own right. I even washed it down with a couple pints of beer, which hit the spot on a nice hot sunny day. If you are in the mood for a great burger, swing on in to Woody's, its at 317 N Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. You'll be glad you did.
As a reminder, like everything on this blog, this was not a paid post in any way. I just liked the joint!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

I've long considered myself a "foodie", meaning I enjoy cooking and appreciate good fresh food, beautifully prepared from scratch. From childhood I was surrounded by people who loved to cook fresh food. We rarely ate any processed or fast food, and for the most part we ate most meals at home. These days I tend to dine out just one weekend night, and cook at home the other nights. Nearly always it involves fresh ingredients. It isn't fancy or expensive, just fresh. One night recently I decided to grill some fresh wild-caught salmon but I used cedar wood planks for flavor. 
The cedar planks soaked in water for a few hours, to avoid them burning too quickly once placed on the grill. It was a fairly simple recipe- sliced onion, fresh tarragon, minced garlic, seasoning, a dash of olive oil, and fresh squeezed lemon. I let that marinate for about an hour. I placed the salmon filets on the cedar planks, and put them on the pre-heated grill, but turned the heat down low.
I want to say they cooked on the grill for about 20-25 minutes. You can see the planks got slightly charred but not too badly, as they had soaked enough water to keep them in shape to survive the flames. The nice part is of course the wonderful cedar scent that permeates the salmon. With every bite, you could sense the mild cedar aroma. I sauteed some grape tomatoes and sliced baby bella mushrooms, a bit of minced garlic in a dash of sherry, then poured it over the grilled salmon filets. It was easy, relatively fast and a nice healthy dinner at home in Palm Springs. Try it sometime.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Today is Earth Day 2012...a day intended to get people thinking about the limited resources on our planet. I'm definitely an advocate for conservation. I do embrace the concepts of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. That is, try to reduce how much is consumed as often as possible. What items can be reused before throwing them out? You might be surprised at the number of things you can use a second or third time. My favorite example is any jars or cans from the kitchen. Once empty they can be used to store things, use for kitchen grease when cooking, etc. Recycling is much easier these days than it used to be even five years ago. Most local municipalities have regular recycle collection days. Here in Palm Springs we have a great program. Green waste (plants, trees, grass, etc) is collected on one day, and normal recycle stuff another day. 

I certainly don't claim to be the most green person on the block, but I do try to do my best. I think an important message of Earth Day is awareness of how much we consume. That small step can give one pause the next time you leave the faucet running on the sink, or leave all the lights on. Think about it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Winner's Cup Trophy Goes To....

Today is the final episode of Who Let The Dogs Out TV show, season one on Animal Planet. The season-long mission took the gang across country in search of the Most Talented Dog in America. Coast to coast, New York's Times Square to the sunny beaches of San Diego, Tillman and gang met all kinds of incredible dogs. The pups assembled at Universal Studios in Hollywood, for the final competition for the season. The dogs were competing to win the title of Most Talented Dog in America, the Winner's Cup Trophy, a $500 gift card for Petco, a four night's stay at the Pooch Hotel in Hollywood, plus a year's supply of Natural Balance pet food, and a cool stash of Tillman's Treats too. Among all the amazing contestants, one stood out as really having a lot of fun and doing great tricks too. 
It was Daisy the Golden Retriever and her dad Bernie. She had so many different tricks it was great. I loved how she could climb the ladder with such ease, reverse, moonwalk, and say her prayers on command. She is really one cool dog. It has been so much fun and a true blessing to have been involved in Who Let the Dogs Out. My small part in helping bring the show to the airwaves was very rewarding. Stay tuned, we have plenty of more surprises in store.


Can't get enough Who Let the Dogs Out or TillmanTV? Visit the show website, we have Behind the Scenes exclusive videos and Photos in the Gallery too, plus all sorts of other goodies. Http://wltdo.tv

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tomorrow's Season Finale of Who Let the Dogs Out on Animal Planet

Tomorrow is the season finale of Who Let the Dogs Out TV show on Animal Planet. I can assure you it is an explosive one--just look at this scene from the episode! The show includes a nice look back at some of the memorable parts of the entire season, which is great for people just becoming familiar with the hit TV series.
Tillman walks the Red Carpet at the Golden Collar Awards in Hollywood, and gets interviewed by John Fulton, host of TV's 'Must Love Cats' show. Tillman may be a dog of few words, but there is plenty of fun Red Carpet action, with celeb dogs and humans as they honor dog achievements in cinema.
The amazing Norman the Scooter Dog entertains a huge audience at Universal Studios CityWalk in Hollywood, as he unveils his brand new bicycle, which he rides perfectly to the delight of onlookers and other dogs too!

The heavily anticipated final competition in the search for The Most Talented Dog in America takes place in this episode. The finalists (dog and human) perform in the competition and give the judges a difficult decision. Who will be selected as the most talented dog in America? Tune in Saturday morning on Animal Planet to find out. Here is the preview clip:
 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Amid the Chaos of Life

We can never stop this crazy world from spinning around. At times it can seem as though we are surrounded by chaos, don't you agree? The Secret is-- I've learned over the years is this: "Only if you allow it". Chaos in life is one of those things that happens to busy people. Work, families, neighbors, church, soccer practice, you name it. But none of these external influences need to be bigger that you. It is a matter of what you choose. I'm grateful to have learned this lesson somewhat early in life. Be choosy with what you allow to fill your mind. Don't let things 'happen' to you...even when they do, you decided how much it will affect you inside. This applies to virtually everything. Think about it. Even amid the chaos of life, one can find peace. It is always within your grasp.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Blogger Pal on TV This Saturday

CJ and Jaz
This Saturday is the season one finale of Who Let the Dogs Out TV show on Animal Planet. Having been a part of the show all season long, I'm excited to look back on all the interesting episodes featuring amazing dogs we met throughout the past ten weeks. A major part of the show has been the search for America's Most Talented Dog. Auditions, Casting Calls and Talent Competitions nationwide narrowed down the pool to a select group of really awesome dogs. One such dog is Jasmine, the super cute Havanese many of you know as the Shopping Cart Dog from YouTube fame. She is also known from her Mom's blog "My Favorite Pup Jasmine". I met her mom CJ when we were taping the finale at Universal Studios in Hollywood.
Me and CJ with Jaz
It was fun to meet CJ and Jaz in person...versus being online pals from Twitter, Facebook and Blogger. I consider myself fortunate to have met so many great people over the years. I know CJ and Jaz had a lot of fun appearing on Who Let the Dogs Out. Be sure to watch the finale this Saturday April 21nd to see all the finalists perform again!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Are You Using Pinterest Too?

A few short weeks ago I decided to start using Pinterest, the  social media equivalent to scrap booking online. I'm hardly a trend-setter here...Pinterest has millions of people pinning and buzzing worldwide already. Mind you, I barely have time for e-mail, Blogging, Twitter and now Pinterest. However, 
there is definitely something compelling to it. As I head up  social media for our Who Let the Dogs Out TV show, I felt I really needed to use and learn more about it. Are you on Pinterest? What do you think about it? If so, let's follow each other and see what our common interests are. I'm at http://pinterest.com/rickrockhill/

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Peace and Tranquility in Palm Springs

One evening I was sitting in the south garden at home enjoying a perfect evening in our fair desert. The air was still with a pleasant sweet smell of blooming desert cactus flowers of Spring. The black night sky was punctuated by a stunningly- gorgeous full moon. A few wispy clouds streaked across the sky very high up, giving a rather interesting look. My camera doesn't capture the visual properly but this is close enough. The giant Buddha head reflected in the surface of the pool, giving me pause as I closed my eyes and smiled. Stealing away those moments for oneself in life are utterly essential, in my opinion. Alas that moment is gone forever, now just a memory. But I can now close my eyes and recall that memory--and sense of peace and tranquility with great ease. Seek happiness in life from those little moments, and  allow yourself permission to slow down and take it all in. I'm glad I did on this evening, I have some sense that the memory if it shall remain etched in my mind for many a year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Week on Who Let the Dogs Out TV Show

This Saturday on Who Let the Dogs Out TV show, Tillman and friends head to San Diego to visit the Pets Rule show at Sea World. All the pets in that show are rescue animals, so it is really neat. While at Sea World, Tillman skates for the whales and dolphins.
The crew really enjoyed the Pets Rule show...they had dogs who could jump rope, set a table, and jump over a person who was standing up. Also in the episode Tillman meets actors Omar Miller and Eva LaRue of CSI: Miami, where we get a tour of the set in Hollywood. I must admit, this entire season of Who Let the Dogs Out has been a lot of fun to work on. Next Saturday, April 21st is the season one finale, so be sure to watch tomorrow and next week too. Here is a preview clip of tomorrow's episode.
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look What I Found....

Long time readers of this blog already know how much I hate snakes. I mean really hate snakes. So imagine my surprise when I happened to notice something slithering along in the garden the other day. I'd say it was a little more than three feet long, and actually quite beautiful. Oh but wait I hate snakes, that's right. So I realized how gross it was. I watched it slither along--rather quickly I might add. Unfortunately I didn't have a parseltongue translator in the neighborhood. There is never a parselmouth around when you need one. Needless to say I set my mind to chop it's head off. However after I recorded this short video below, I ran to get a shovel, and he disappeared. (yikes) Hopefully down the street.

PS- later I looked online and discovered this snake is a Red Racer, or 'Coluber flagellum piceus' which is fairly harmless to humans. Non-venomous, eats bugs, rodents, etc. So I suppose its OK. As long as our paths don't ever cross again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Twilight in Palm Springs

Last week I went to the 'Meet the Museum' event at the Palm Springs Art Museum. It was a nice way to reintroduce people in the community to our world-class art museum, and boost its membership along the way. Aside from the obvious reason most people visit museums--to enjoy the art exhibits, the Palm Springs Art Museum has wonderful spaces to enjoy, both inside and out. Take for instance this photo above. The outdoor sculpture garden is a unique space to appreciate modern sculpture in view of the massive San Jacinto Mountains, in full open air. I snapped this photo just around twilight (although admittedly it looks a bit later). I liked the contrast in light and colors, from the glow of the museum lights against the blue desert sky and shadows of the graceful palm trees. Views of Twilight in Palm Springs are just one of the many reasons that makes living here so very special indeed.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday at Melvyn's

For about as long as I've lived in Palm Springs, one of the traditions I've maintained is to dine at Melvyn's restaurant for most major holidays. For some reason I just love the dining experience there on holidays especially. Guests seem to dress up nicely, adding to the special ambiance of this well-established desert landmark. Mind you, I consider myself a regular at Melvyn's throughout the year. It's probably the one restaurant I go to most often for a weeknight meal.
This year, Easter Sunday Brunch seems extra special at Melvyn's. They had a huge brunch menu of 14 different items, from incredible omelets, (like 'Filet Mignon omelet'), several delicious salads ('Crab & Shrimp Louis Salad'), a Lobster Benedict, to a range of fabulous entrees that made it difficult to choose just one. I went for the Veal Scallopini, which was excellent. This isn't a commercial for Melvyn's but I just can't help myself from writing about it. 
So for me, Easter Sunday was another delicious holiday spent at my favorite restaurant in Palm Springs.
I've written many posts about Melvyn's over the years, so I'll stop here. But I will say, simply look at the two photos of the exterior of Melvyn's I posted here. Those photos convey the elegance of one of Palm Spring's best treasures. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Happy Passover to! And if you are not religious at all, I'll just say Happy Spring. Maybe that should be 'Happy Palm Springs', given where I live. I've been waiting for Easter to come with great anticipation. Colored Easter eggs, refreshed the candles around the house with festive spring-like colors, and dug out the pastel linens too. You'll notice in this photo above, Owen is inspecting the Easter eggs. He is a certified do-nothing supervisor.Then of course I picked up my usual Easter candies (cream-filled eggs, chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, jelly beans, and chocolate rabbits too).
Even the poodles got into the action. Duncan and Sheldon were checking out the vase of pink tulips and other goodies. We have more than enough colored eggs and festive stuff around the house. Sheldon has been carrying his "Mother Goose" stuffed plush toy around the house wherever he goes. I have to remind him to leave it inside when he runs out to go potty. These kids today, you have to stay on them all the time :-)
The weather in Palm Springs has been stunning of late. Perfectly warm days, followed by "gently-cool" evenings. In just a few short weeks the nice warm toasty weather will arrive--which suits me fine. But for today, I shall enjoy all the blessings of life and appreciate this moment for what it is..a gift.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Today on 'Who Let the Dogs Out' TV Show

Today's episode of 'Who Let the Dogs Out' TV show on Animal Planet is really special. The gang goes to Camp Pendleton to meet marines and their incredible military working dogs. Plus, they help the family of a fallen Marine with a puppy adoption. 
They also visit Sea World, and meet Betty White too! It's a GREAT episode! Hey I'm even in it for a brief millisecond (only because there was no way to delete me from the scene I think!)
Funny huh? Glad I wore that light blue dragon vest with my tux that night, it made me stand out more! Betty White was great to talk to, she sure loves animals. This was a fun episode, I consider it an honor to have worked on this episode in particular. When you watch it you'll know just what I mean.
Check out the preview clip of this week's show:
 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter is Almost Here

My nieces with their Easter Eggs
Easter has long been my favorite holiday of the year. Even as a kid I enjoyed it more than Christmas and Thanksgiving. I'm sure it had something to do with all the fantastic Easter candy, but I'm certain it was more than that. For some inexplicable reason, the whole process of coloring Easter Eggs was very special to me. That's why watching my two nieces color their own Easter Eggs was such a thrill for me.
As youngsters they are just now developing their own traditions and creating new memories. It was great to share that experience with them both. We colored about 30 eggs this year, which is a heck of a lot of eggs. Some were hard-boiled, and some were hollowed-out. Curious which method you used in your home--feel free to weigh in on that. So here are their two baskets, with decorated eggs:

 Have you colored your Easter Eggs yet?

Disclaimers...

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.