Monday, March 19, 2018


Window panes

When I travel, I like to take pictures of abandoned buildings. Often, the window panes can take on a look of abstract art. In this case, the building here in Downey's industrial district isn't really abandoned. But the effect is still there.

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."
~ Pablo Picasso

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Celebrate the luck of the Irish


Music, dancing and a whole lot of green...that and more will be happening tonight at Joseph's Grill in downtown Downey. I spoke with one of the managers this afternoon and he listed off an amazing number of performances and events going on in celebration of Saint Paddy's Day this evening.



“Yeah, it's St. Paddy's Day. Everyone's Irish tonight."
~ quote from the Boondock Saints

Friday, March 16, 2018

Look at me!

Sunset at Furman Park

Sometimes the day ends quietly. And sometimes it ends with a loud "look at me!" that you just can't ignore. This end-of-day from a couple of weeks ago was one of those. I had to stop what I was doing to marvel at the colors and beauty.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Humans of Downey/New Orleans - Michael

Michael with Chase and Cody

"I am the same as everyone else because I want to get along with everyone else. I see everyone as people and I want them to see me as people.

"I'm unique in that I have always been a hard worker. It started with how my parents raised me. I never missed a day of work. When I played sports in school, I played my best or I didn't play. When I graduated and went out into the world to work, I did my best or I didn't do it.

"My mom was a hard worker. I grew up on a farm and my mom was always working until the job was done. If the weather was harsh or she had an ache or two, she still finished the job. She taught me to give it my all."

~ Michael

(Posted by Pam on Steve's behalf.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Two cool

Chase and Cody

I'm on vacation this week traveling across the United States on Hwy 10. We are going all the way to Florida, but we have stopped in New Orleans to see some sights. We came across these two classy-looking dogs in a square in front of the St. Louis Cathedral.

Their names are Chase and Cody. Chase is 9 months and Cody is 9 years. They are owned by Michael and Sue from Iowa. They spend the winter in New Orleans each year. Cody is a registered therapy dog. Michael takes him to the local Children's Hospital to be with the children.

(Posted by Pam on Steve's behalf.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

After the storm


The rain had stopped for a short time, so I headed out for a walk. The sky was dramatic with storm clouds still off in the distance, but some bright sunlight was starting to break through the clouds above. All in all, it made for a beautiful, dramatic morning walk.

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
~ E. B. White

Monday, March 12, 2018

Your time will come

Furman Park exercise

I've shown these scenes many times before, but the difference today is that it's the first weeknight this year with the extra hour of daylight after work. Everyone, kids and adults alike, were enjoying the extra daylight.

Furman Park kidsI love the transition to daylight saving time, and I used to assume that everyone else did too. Sure, for the short term, you give up an hour of sleep, but the extra hour in the evening is worth it to me.

But it turns out there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Florida has recently proposed extending daylight saving time year round. Hawaii and Arizona opt out. Massachusetts is considering moving out of the Eastern time zone and into the Atlantic time zone. Of course, neither Florida nor Massachusetts have the authority to make those changes, since our time zones are controlled by the federal government. Pretty confusing!

"There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing."
~ Brian Tracy

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hot dog


On a rainy Saturday night, I was not the only one who wanted a quick dinner from Pete's Burgers. I didn't anticipate the long line of cars I would have to wait behind. However, I decided a chili dog was the perfect comfort food for a chilly evening. Kind of a perfect way to end our week-long focus on dogs!


Friday, March 9, 2018

What the dog sells

Stonewood kid's rideStonewood gelato

Who can resist a cute doggy face? Whether it's Goofy on top of the gelato at Stonewood Center, or just a kid's ride with a goofy blue dog, images of dogs help sell products. (Remember Subaru's "Dog tested. Dog approved." marketing campaign from a few years ago?)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Humans of Downey - Shannon


"I am the same as everyone else in that community is very important to me. I'm involved in school. I'm involved in sports. I play catcher on our school's softball team. I'm the same as all my teammates. We bond as a team not only in practices but by having social times together away from the field.

"I'm different from others because I'm not a follower. Two of my friends and I were supposed to go to the mall but one of them said she was going to the park and smoke weed. I told my other friend that if she wanted to go with her that was her choice but I was going to the mall like we said. My convictions are important to me and if I have to be alone while standing for those convictions then so be it.

"My uncle had a dog, Emma, she's a pit bull. When I was younger, she was very protective. I lived at my grandma's and if any of the kids would yell at me she would bark at them and protect me."

~ Shannon

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Humans of Downey - Joshua


Continuing with the theme of "dogs," I visited the Lazy Dog restaurant in Downey. It has a welcoming policy to dogs and their owners. They both can eat out on the patio. There I met Joshua, Shannon, and Bullet. Shannon will be my post for tomorrow.

"I'm still in high school and I'm just like everybody else there. I'm just doing what I need to do to graduate and then get a job. I'm trying to make these school days the best they can be. I show up and I study enough to get by.

"When I was about 15, my grandpa passed away. He was my best friend and it was hard getting through not having him around any more. I have this tattoo that says Grandpa Jim on my arm. To get through my grief, I was doing a few things I shouldn't have been doing. Then I met Shannon. She helped me focus on what I need to do in life to get back on track. That sets me apart from others. Not everyone has someone come alongside them to help them stay focused.

"Recently, I wanted a dog and in particular I wanted a pit bull. It didn't work out though, so Shannon surprised me with this German Shepherd/Boxer mix puppy. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him. We call him Bullet."

~ Joshua

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As sick as a dog...doggy sick choose!


I'm not sure what this dog was doing in the gutter, but he did not look good. I came across him on a walk recently and it was such an odd sight, I had to take his picture. There are a lot of dog phrases that could relate to this image and I had a tough time deciding which to use, so I kind of used them all. I guess I could end this with "Let sleeping dogs lie..." He is definitely not a lucky dog.

Okay, I'm going to stop now.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Dogs of Downey - Bailey and Nala

Bailey and Nala at the dog parkBailey and Nala at the dog park

This week at Downey Daily, we're going to the dogs. I stopped by the dog park at Rio San Gabriel Park this evening and was rewarded with the sight of my favorite breed, a couple of Siberian Huskies.

Bailey, a 7-year-old black-and-white, and her daughter Nala belong to Lorenzo, who lives nearby. Both dogs were having a blast playing with the other dogs at the park.

Bailey and Nala at the dog park

Bailey and Nala at the dog park

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Puddles in the park


This morning there were numerous puddles in the park from the rain we had yesterday and last night. It made for some fun reflections.


"Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life."
~ John Updike

Friday, March 2, 2018

Surface runoff

Rain runoff

Speaking of water...we're in the midst of a rainstorm here in southern California.

Rain runoffRain in the city means a lot of surface runoff, which occurs when rain comes down faster than the soil can absorb it. This occurs more often in cities because of all the roofs and pavement that funnel the water where it can't be absorbed. In fact, surface runoff in the city is a primary cause of flooding.

So where does all this water go? Except for specially designed soak areas like I showed last week, most of it just flows down the drain and back into the ocean instead of back into our groundwater supply.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Jump in, the water's fine


This is a small portion of the pool at Downey High School Aquatic Center on Brookshire Blvd. It is home to the Downey High School swim team and water polo team and the Downey Dolphins swim club. It is also the pool that the city uses for summer swim time that is open to the public.


They just happened to be having a swim meet at the same time I came by to take a shot of the pool.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Water for sale


This is a store that sells, among other things, reverse osmosis filtered water. Customers bring in bottles of all sizes to get filled at $0.25/gallon. While I was there, a lady came with seven 1-gallon plastic bottles and one 5-gallon bottle. There are multiple stores like this in Downey.


There's even a neon sign to advertise how pure the water is.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fountain entrance


The water fountain at the front of the Embassy Suites in Downey sets the scene for a romantic entrance. It has a European feel to it and the soft sound of the water spilling over the fountain sets the scene.

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
 ~ Wallace Stevens

Monday, February 26, 2018

Peas sink

Ducks at Wilderness Park

This week's theme is water. There is a lot of water at Wilderness Park, with two separate lakes. And where there is water, there are a lot of ducks and other birds that are beyond my ability to identify without a lot of googling.

I wrote last year about The care and feeding of birds, and how bread is like junk food to them. So when I knew I'd be at the park with a couple of small boys, I came prepared with one of the recommended food items—a bag of frozen peas.

Well, it seemed like a good idea. But there were several problems. First, peas sink. If you throw them into the water to the ducks, most of them sink out of sight before the ducks reach them. And if you scatter the peas on the sidewalk, the ducks won't get out of the water to get them.

But those other nameless birds will. So, we fed the birds—not the ducks—at the park. They ate the whole bag.

Except for the peas at the bottom of the lake.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Wall flower


I like plants and flowers. However, cactus have not generally been a plant I could appreciate. But this one drew my eye as I drove by this house. It wouldn't be my choice for my house, but I did think it looked interesting and I liked the odd way the flowers just pop out on the tops of each spiky branch.

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 23, 2018

The meadow in the heart of town

Warren High Harris Meadow and Pond

It's been quite a few years since I've stopped by the Harris Meadow and Pond at Warren High School. For what is really just a glorified drainage ditch (restoring rain water to the water supply instead of letting it drain to the ocean), the area is really quite a pleasant place to walk or sit, especially at the end of the day when the light turns golden.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Humans of Downey - Diego


"I would consider myself just like everyone else because I have a positive attitude. I try to contribute to the community here in Downey as best as I can. I work here at Goodwill where we take things that people don't want and then we find others that might want those same things. I believe that is a service to the city and to the community, but specifically to the people who are down on their luck. Some of our customers may not have the resources that we might have. That's how I contribute to the community.

"I had an incident recently that happened here at work. We are seeing a larger number of homeless people in our community. With the temperatures dropping to just above freezing, it concerns me. A gentleman came to the Donation Center and asked for a blanket. With all my heart I wished I could have given him something, but unfortunately these items don't belong to me. I'm not in the position to give anybody anything that has been dropped off. So, I had to tell him no. I prayed for him."

~ Diego

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Goodwill to others


We recently cleaned out a few closets and took the items that we haven't used in some time over to the Downey Goodwill store. It's a central place to help others. Items you donate help others by providing needed job training and inexpensive clothing and household items. You can see the whole Goodwill story here.


This is just a part of what I saw when I entered the donation area. They had another wall of donations just as tall. The workers have to sift through these donations to separate them into categories.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A walk in the park


I have never been a jogger, but I am a walker. I like to walk and appreciate that we have local parks in Downey that make walking easy and appealing.

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." 
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, February 19, 2018

Going for the gold

Bob's Big Boy

Many people go to a crowded sports bar to watch their favorite sport on TV. My daughter and I, on the other hand, enjoyed the quiet and calm atmosphere at Bob's Big Boy Restaurant, where we could watch one of the Olympic figure skating competitions while we had dinner.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Misty morning


Not exactly in Downey, but not too far away...just off the freeway as I was on my way to Garden Grove for work. The fog or mist was quite magical looking.

“May the light of the morning sun shine upon you. May the deepest and sweetest love always find you.”
~ Debasish Mridha

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hold that space

Mi Cielo valet parking

Downtown Downey is bustling late on a Friday night. All the restaurants are filled with couples dining and dancing, and the streets are filled with their cars. There's not a free parking space within blocks. All of wich has the valet parking attendant at the Mi Cielo restaurant keeping a watchful eye out.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Light and shadow


Just like yesterday, this picture is from one of our many hikes through Yosemite Valley. It shows two of the most important features of photography: light and shadow. The eye is first drawn to the lighted areas of a picture and then begins to examine the shaded areas. What do you see in my picture? Where did your eye first go?

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."
~ George Eastman

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Light broken down

Yosemite falls rainbow

A little over 300 miles north of Downey, just off the California 99, is Yosemite National Park. We took some time off and stayed there this past weekend. This is Lower Yosemite Falls. Above this, out of view, is Upper Yosemite Falls and the middle cascades. The entire falls is 2,425 feet tall.

I was lucky enough to be there when the sun was hitting it so that a rainbow was produced from the mist. A rainbow is white light separated into its wavelength parts. In this picture I think I can see the red, yellow, blue, and violet colors. Somewhere in there is also orange, green, and indigo.

"A rainbow is the product of physics working for your appreciation of beauty."
~ Kyle Hill

Tuesday, February 13, 2018



Last weekend I was in Yosemite. I know it is a long way from Downey, but it is an incredibly beautiful place. We had one perfect sunset while we were there. Here you can see Half Dome lit amazingly by the setting sun. It is almost as if the granite were on fire. As you see, we were not the only ones enjoying it.

"Appreciate small moments of happiness for they are so important."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Great ball of fire

Sunset from Downey parking structure

Looking almost directly west at the end of a day, one looks into the setting sun. The Banc of California sits in front of me. The buildings on the horizon to the left are the Leach Grain & Milling buildings. If I were a few stories higher, instead of on the top of the 4-level parking structure, I might be able to see the green water tower that sits behind Los Amigos golf course.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Twinkle twinkle, little stars


This past week I went for a walk at Furman Park and encountered the glow of some new lights.

I thought the lights looked familiar. They are some of the light poles that used to be on Lakewood Blvd, repainted and repurposed in both Furman and Apollo Parks. I think it was an awesome call. Now the walking path feels bright when walking after dark.

See Mario Guerra's Instagram explanation of the installation of the light poles.

"There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast."
 ~ Charles Dickens

Friday, February 9, 2018

The challenges of light

Half Done YosemiteHalf Done Yosemite

Light can be a challenge to a photographer. Our eyes and brain can take in the details of both the brightest sunlit objects and those in shadow, at the same time. The typical camera doesn't do that, resulting in those disappointing pictures you get where you think, "That's not how I remember it." Fortunately, we can adjust those pictures (in the old days in the dark room and now on the computer), bringing out the details until the finished image, in this case Half Dome in Yosemite, matches the image that we remember.

We've been in Yosemite this long weekend, where we've had some pretty spotty internet access. Thanks for waiting for us, while we catch up now that we're back home again.