I left San Diego as a permanent residence about 20 years ago. Since then I've lived all over the West Coast, in big cities, small cities, small towns, suburbs and urban centers. Then I moved to the East Coast and right into suburban D.C. Needless to say, nowhere has ever had that "hometown" feel that San Diego had, and still has, for me.
Over the last few years, I've only had the occasion to drive to Richmond, VA a few times. This last week, however, I had to come down for work and I arrived an hour or so early. Walking around the downtown area and driving around some neighborhoods near downtown, I get this really cool feeling that living in Richmond would be really, really excellent. There's enough of a "city" that it wouldn't feel isolating, but it's small enough that you might actually get to know some people with some local knowledge and some roots. On this grey day, the bricks and the clouds made for some nice contrast. This place has some history too. Really neat town.
This is precisely why I carry my camera with me everywhere I go. As I was walking out of a parking garage at my work, I glanced across the street and saw what I thought was a brown grocery bag stuck on a street sign. It only took me a second to realize it was a very big bird, and a few more seconds after that to run and grab my camera from the trunk of my car.
This bird was so nonchalant about his perch (about 6 feet off the ground near a busy street and a sidewalk) that he let me take pictures from less than 10 feet away. It wasn't until I stepped up on the curb, and got within 5 feet, that he looked at me and flew right over my head to a tree branch a few feet higher off the ground.
"Poverty doesn't create our social problems. Our social problems create our poverty." - Marco Rubio
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow
"How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." Ayn Rand
"No weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." Ronald Reagan
"Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn in no other." Ben Franklin
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan
"Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” James Madison
"I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves." Ronald Reagan
Often behind a false moderation there lurks genuine cowardice. - Gonzague de Reynold (quoted in the introduction to Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America
"The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide, so we will not do this." Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, 1922
"One man with courage makes a majority." Andrew Jackson