Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Disney's Alice In Wonderland" - Flying Monkey Productions

Left: Cheshire Cat (Chaney Briggs).

Below: Queen of Hearts (Josephine Longo), and Alice (Mayme O'Toole).

A wonderful show at the Veteran's Memorial Theatre in Davis. Most elements were wonderful - the costumes and scenery and dancing. Ryan Warren and company have earned many congratulations! I understand Mayme O'Toole is age 14, and will be a freshman at St. Francis High School in Sacramento this autumn.

The elements I didn't like about the show appeared to be inherent to the Disney show, like modern snarky references (e.g., Mary Ann, Ginger, and Gilligan; Tweedledum and Tweedledee's dysfunctional co-dependency issues, etc. - funny, but not Lewis Carroll). Recorded music, well-done, but which relied heavily on frantic cartoonish themes, was another weak element. So, an excellent production of a show already compromised by too much non-19th-Century stuff.

Left: Girls Of The Golden Afternoon - Alice (Mayme O'Toole), with Brittney Almendariz in the background. The Girls of the Golden afternoon are (in uncertain order) Rose (Corey Bourgeois), Bud (Jillie Kate Randle), Petunia (Alicia Wood), Lily (Emily Warren), Daisy (Elizabeth Ferris), and Violet (Kelly Flanary).

Left: Mad Hatter (Riley O'Toole), Dormouse (Aidan Ferreter), and March Hare (Jonathan Tierney).

Left: Alice (Mayme O'Toole) and Mathilda (Kristin Kelly, aka Kristin Cunningham).

Kristin was Costume Designer for this show, and what a good job she did!

Left: Dancing Flowers - Morning Glory (Debbie Williamson), Poppy (Brittney Almendariz), Tulip (Abigail Bisi), and Daffodil (Julianna Gardner).

The quality of the dancing was startlingly high, mostly due to the excellent technical skills of these four dancers. I understand Debbie Williamson attends Deane Dance Center in Sacramento, home of Sacramento's best! Brittney is great, of course. The other two girls were their match in every way, however! (Julianna Gardner did a flip!)

[Update: Check corrections, in comments]

Left: Alice (Mayme O'Toole) and Caterpillar (Simonne Sacco).

Left: Alice (Mayme O'Toole), Gryphon (Cass Olson), and Mock Turtle (Rebecca Rudy).

Left: Tea Party. Dodo (Joey Lemons), Waiter (not sure - I'm guessing Matt Iwasa), Dormouse (Aidan Ferreter), Mad Hatter (Riley O'Toole), Alice (Mayme O'Toole), and March Hare (Jonathan Tierney).

Left: White Rabbit (Kayla Wood).

Left: Dancing Flowers - Morning Glory (Debbie Williamson) and Poppy (Brittney Almendariz), plus March Hare (Jonathan Tierney) and Dormouse (Aidan Ferreter).

My primary interest in coming to the show was curiosity about how well Brittney is doing as a performer these days. Her stage presence was stellar - unreal, really - and with her skills, she is definitely someone worth watching as she progresses over the next few years!

"The Music Man" - Vallejo Music Theatre

Above: Final bows. At center, Barbara Pond as Marian Paroo and Donald Atwater as Harold Hill.

Above: Ella Pennington as Zaneeta Shinn and Kiernan Morgan as Tommy Djilas.

Above: The Davisville Junction Barbershop Quartet (Wayne Raymond, Andy Hyun, William Alterton, and Rick Price).

Opening night for "The Music Man" at the Fetterly Playhouse in Vallejo!

I liked Barbara Pond's acting abilities, at their voluble and expressive best when she was alone onstage. In Act II, she fairly glowed with newfound love. Nevertheless, her singing seemed a bit sharp to me.

Donald Atwater sang well, but his Harold Hill was more Matthew Broderick and less Robert Preston - the raffishness tended to get lost.

Ella Pennington was great as Zaneeta Shinn and Kiernan Morgan was excellent as Tommy Djilas (particularly the unexpected Irish step-dancing interlude). Certain players stood out for their fine portrayals (Michael Mautner as Charlie Cowell and John Chapin as Mayor Shinn). In addition, the teenage girl dancers seemed quite strong (Elizabeth Fernandi, Viviana Diaz, Elizabeth Fernandez, and Sabrina Fernandez).

The Davisville Junction Barbershop Quartet have such heavenly voices (but that's what they do best in Davis)!

There were some costume issues that seemed bothersome: too many bowlers and not enough boaters on the salesmen, for example. Certain elements like the leopard skin collar on Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn were out of place. The lovely paisley lavender and powder blue jackets on the barbershop quartet were less 1912 Iowa and more 1975 Tijuana: certainly nice to look at, but not period.

Recorded music was used (for me, live is preferred). Amaryllis (Bunny Nash) played a real piano, though, and that was welcome.

It was fun to see Linnea vonAhn onstage again (I enjoyed her Larry in VMT's "A Chorus Line" in 2004).

Altogether a pleasant evening of entertainment!
Looking For Clean Air

Above: Interstate 80, heading SW through Citrus Heights, just NE of Sacramento. Such a smoky sky, for days and days! I wonder if it's better towards the Bay Area?

Above: Left: Interstate 80, near Cordelia, just SW of Fairfield. Still, pretty bad.

Above: Looking west along Highway 37, on the north side of Vallejo, as seen from I-80. Looking across northern San Francisco Bay towards the hills of Marin. STILL bad! Ugh!

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's In The Fog

I've had a lot of fun the last two weeks looking at plots of temperature and pollution profiles gathered by automobile in Fairbanks, AK during an ice-fog episode on February 6th of this year. The big question, of course, is where does so much sulfate come from? (I'm predisposed to blame aqueous sulfur chemistry in the sub-freezing, yet still liquid, fog and aerosol droplets, but I don't have the data to back up that assertion). But the profiles are interesting as well for what they reveal about pollution transport within fogs.

The most interesting part is the role of turbulence at the very bottom of the ice fog, and the way it creates an accumulation layer of pollutants.

As the ice fog thickens, the effective surface for IR radiation “lifts off” the valley bottom, allowing a steep vertical temperature gradient to occur on the valley floor and permitting convection to occur there. This kind of convection is common in fogs in other places (e.g., the Central Valley, the Great Basin, etc.) but it wasn’t clear to me until now whether the ice fog was thick enough to allow it to occur in Fairbanks too. These temperature profiles show that convection can occur, at various times and places, and stop at other times and places, making for a complicated geography of pollution.

What the turbulence does is drive pollution from high emission, higher turbulence zones (on the valley floor) upwards, into more stable air (on the hillsides). So, an accumulation layer can form, almost like a bathtub ring around the valley, and pollution can move from one neighborhood into the next, and appear where one wouldn’t expect it to be found, based on expectations of emission density. Similarly, the ice fog is thin enough that the pollution pumping can stop as well, and then maybe start up again later.

I discussed all this this morning, at cartoonish length, in the morning meeting, provoking Craig and Gabe to recommend John Carpenter's 1980 horror movie "The Fog" (starring John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau & Janet Leigh).
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Tottering?

The subprime crisis was one thing, hammering the worst speculators hardest, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are another - the meat and potatoes of the economy. If they go 'tits up' (as the British like to say) then we are toast:
The well-being of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is crucial because they hold or guarantee about $5 trillion worth of mortgages — roughly half the $9.5 trillion debt of the United States. Their troubles are just the latest depressing turn in a year-old credit crisis that shows no sign of ending, disappointing some stock traders who thought just months ago that the worst was perhaps over.
Little beads of sweat are forming everywhere. The Bush Administration and its cronies have been progressively looting the economy, with the full expectation that economic collapse, damage repair, and the required tax increases would be undertaken by a successor Democratic Administration (onto which the tax-increase blame could be laid). But despite Ben Bernanke's best efforts to kick the can down the road into the next Administration, the collapse may be coming now, and the Government just doesn't have enough money to save the day without a massive, massive tax increase.

I just love this bone-headed assessment. Once everyone's friends, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now seen as tar babies:
A rescue shouldn't be an option, said Representative Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the fiscally conservative Republican Study Committee.

``The government should not be supporting the system as is,'' said Hensarling, of Texas. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are a ``government-sanctioned duopoly'' that ``no longer helps the market in the way that it once did'' while posing ``a huge systemic risk'' to the economy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weird Warnings

Amusing signs, over at the LA Times, features a constribution of mine (from Australia).
Rio Rancho Is A Monster

Like Audrey II, it just keeps growing. It's even bigger than Woodland, CA (which is around 50,000):
Eleven largest cities in New Mexico - 2007 Census Bureau estimates:

Albuquerque: 518,271
Las Cruces: 89,722
Rio Rancho: 75,978
Santa Fe: 73,199
Roswell: 45,569
Farmington: 42,425
Clovis: 33,182
Hobbs: 29,602
Carlsbad: 25,033
Gallup: 18,802
Deming: 15,277
Placer County Air Quality

Above: Skyridge Pharmacy clerk Angela Harnar demonstrates an N-95 NIOSH respirator mask Wednesday afternoon. (photo: Ben Furtado/Auburn Journal)

One benefit of knowing something about the jungle of air quality data, and knowing Bruce Warren, is getting quoted in the paper! Ha! Funny!

Nevertheless, the bad air is no joke for asthmatics, or the public in general. Friend R. told me last night he had to use his inhaler four times this week, when he is accustomed to using it only once a year. That's not funny; that's sad:
“This summer appears to be the worst in at least 11 years,” said meteorologist Marc Valdez of Sacramento, who explained that the particulate matter (PM-2.5) readings go back just 11 years, and are averaged over a 24-hour period.

Valdez researched data from the California Environmental Protection Agency and Spare the Air records in order to find the highest AQI on record for Placer and Nevada counties. His data is limited to measurements taken from sites in Roseville and Grass Valley.

The AQI, which can be found on the Web site, should not be confused with the particulate matter (PM) reading, which measures dust particles and airborne matter resulting from forest fires. AQI readings measure pollution levels resulting from ozone contamination, but now these readings add particulate matter into the mix.

“This AQI statistic is quite annoying, because it combines ozone with particulate matter,” Valdez said. “The air-quality managers wanted one number to report to the public instead of two, but now we have numbers whose meaning is rather nebulous.”
Will Durst Coming To DMTC!

This looks interesting - Comedian Will Durst will do a show at DMTC! The date is Thursday, July 24th.
Political Comedian
Will Durst
One night only! July 24, 2008-8:00pm
Purchase Tickets

"An Evening of Bi-Partisan Bashing"

Stand-up comic Will Durst, special guest blues artist Alvon Tickets: $20


Every show, Will Durst is funny. But, every four years, he's unstoppable.

And 2008 couldn't be better for the stand-up political comic following the ongoing foibles of both parties as he delivers his knockout punch lines on Thursday, July 24, at the DMTC Hoblit Performing Arts Center in Davis.

Durst's "All American Sport of Bi-Partisan Bashing" benefits the Napa County Democratic Central Committee and Democrats of Napa Valley, while his show in Benicia is a fundraiser for Reach Out Benicia, a nonprofit that helps young people with substance abuse problems.

Durst is a 5-time Emmy nominee and recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand-Up of the Year.

He is the first comic invited to perform at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the first American to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the show "Myth America." He has racked up more than 400 television appearances in 14 different countries.

Though Durst won't say who he supports for president, he said George W. Bush was prime rib for comedic carnivores. "People like the President because he seems like a guy you could have a beer with," Durst said. "But now, it's time to take away the car keys."

Opening in Benicia and Davis for Durst is blues guitarist and singer Alvon Johnson of Vallejo.

Will Durst will sell and sign his book, "The All-American Sport of Bi-Partisan Bashing" after each show.

Links: Will Durst -

Red Dragonfly Productions -
Little Shop of Horrors - Wednesday Night Rehearsal

Left: Audrey (Lauren Miller) and Seymour (Joshua Smith).

DMTC's Summer Show, "Little Shop of Horrors", will run July 18-27, 2008.

Fridays 8:15pm
Saturdays 2:15pm & 8:15pm
Sundays 2:15pm

Left: Ronette (Caitlin Humphreys), Chiffon (Sarah Duvall), Crystal (Casey Ellis), and Seymour (Joshua Smith).

Left: Mr. Mushnik (Dustin White), Orin (Darryl Strohl), Michael McElroy (Plant Voice), Scott Griffith (Plant Operator), Audrey (Lauren Miller) and Seymour (Joshua Smith).

According to Deborah, it is an old Southern tradition to welcome house guests by presenting them with a pineapple (a highly-favored fruit). If, after several days, the house guests have not departed and are in danger of overstaying their visit, you present them with a second pineapple - a subtle hint to move on.

Of course, one could simply throw pineapples at the guests, and maybe they'll get the idea....

Slightly-different context, but same general idea:
A DESPERATE German woman called emergency services to rescue her after a visiting friend talked for 30 hours straight, authorities said Tuesday.

A police spokesman in the western city of Speyer confirmed reports that the guest rambled on about personal problems and became increasingly intoxicated until the 48-year-old dialled the emergency hotline.

"After an unbelievable 30 hours and failed attempts to encourage the guest to leave last Saturday, the woman did not know what else to do but to call an ambulance," the police said.

When the paramedics refused to carry the guest out of the apartment, the woman called the police, who picked up the friend and drove her home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"The One"

I like the dancers, and the way they change their focus - a visual arpeggio that's very compatible with Kylie's song.
Alex's Vet Tech Program In-The-News

The Veterinary Allied Staff Education that Jean Henderson's husband, Alex, helps run is featured in the Bee today:
There are nine teachers with Veterinary Allied Staff Education, including Aldrete and Henderson, and classes are limited to 20 students.

"If we take any more than that, we think that we are cheating the students," Henderson said. "With their experience and with our experience we can move at a nice pace so we can complete the program."
Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Climb off that ol' hedonic treadmill!:

The world is becoming a happier place, a study published in this month's Perspectives of Psychological Science shows.

..."The belief has been that no matter what happens or what we do, basic happiness levels are stable and don't really change."

But the University of Michigan study, which was part of the ongoing World Values Surveys, appeared to disprove that theory.

...Among the 52 countries for which long-term comparative data were available, India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea showed steep upticks in happiness last year, while the happiness quotient in 14 other countries, including nine in Europe, also rose, but less sharply.

Those 14 countries are Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.

In the United States, Switzerland and Norway, happiness was stagnant, but all three countries were still in the top 20 of 97 nations, representing 90 percent of the world's population, that were ranked in order for happiness.

Denmark ranked at the top of that list and Zimbabwe at the bottom.

..."The results clearly show that the happiest societies are those that allow people the freedom to choose how to live their lives," Inglehart said, citing the tolerant social norms and democratic political systems in Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada -- all of which rank among the 10 happiest countries in the world.
Baby Animal Story Of The Day

So cuddly!:
A BUSY hotel receptionist was stunned to discover that the disturbance in her clothes was not her mobile vibrating but a bat nestled in her bra.

Abbie Hawkins, who works for Holiday Inn near Norwich International Airport near England's east coast, reached into her bra and pulled out the tiny, furry creature after mistaking it's wriggling all morning for the mobile in her jacket, Britain's MailOnline reports.

..."Once I realised it was a bat I was shocked, but then I felt quite sorry for it really.

"It looked very snug in there and I thought how mean I was for disturbing it."

Miss Hawkins said she had put on the bra from out of a drawer that morning but it had spent the previous day hanging on the washing line.

"I keep thinking how could I have not known it was there?’ Miss Hawkins said.

"I did not notice anything as I put my bra on. The night before I had had one or two drinks and I was getting ready quickly."

‘When I was driving to work I felt a slight vibration but I thought it was just my mobile phone in my jacket pocket.

"It was quite a busy morning and I did not for one minute think it was anything other than my mobile."
Identity Theft!

My sister just loves these heartwarming pictures!

(Actually, I do too).
Dead Vegas

Via Movable Buffet, a Web Site dedicated to the various high-profile projects for Las Vegas that ran into icebergs (for the Titanic, it was the City Council), and sank.

There's also other great stuff there, like what was originally planned versus what was ultimately built.
"Americans Have Got To Understand..."

Just amazing! John McCain calls the way Social Security has worked (and very well too, considering) for 75 years an "absolute disgrace".

Hard to believe he is an Arizona Senator. Tell that to the retirees in Sun City, John! I'm sure they "have got to understand" too.
Soothing The Savage Beast

What a strange reaction!:
AN activist has detailed in court how Kylie Minogue indirectly saved him from stabbing himself to death outside No. 10 Downing St in London, the official prime ministerial residence.

The protester told Southwark Crown Court he began pushing the 18cm knife through his jacket - to protest injustice in Iraq and Afghanistan - when he heard Minogue's On A Night Like This on his MP3 player.

"Thinking about it, the song was my downfall," the un-named man, 41, said.

"How can anyone be violent when they love Kylie's music? It's not possible."
There is nothing overtly political in the lyrics, but the "Showgirl Homecoming" version starts in a hushed reverential way that could have been persuasive:
Don’t, say, it’s like a fantasy
When, you, know this is how it should be
You kiss me, I’m falling
Can you hear me calling
You touch me, I want you
Feels like I’ve always known you

On a night like this
I wanna stay forever (stay forever)
On a night like this
Just wanna be together
On a night like this

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Riding The Air Quality Rollercoaster In Roseville

Left: Here are the hourly concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5, meaning particulate matter below 2.5 microns in diameter) at Roseville's PM2.5 monitor. The new national 24-hour average PM2.5 standard (35 ug/m3) is also indicated (the pre-2006 standard was 65 ug/m3).

Interestingly, there is a big, big peak of 180 ug/m3 on the evening of July 4th. What, oh what, could have been happening right at that moment that might generate smoke?

Courtesy of Bruce, here's what the Placer County air quality folks are recommending in their territory:
Air Quality Advisory for Mon., July 7, through Thurs., July 10, 2008

Placer County, CA July 7, 2008 – Widespread smoky conditions continue to affect Placer County from the valley floor to the Lake Tahoe area from fires inside and outside of the county. Average concentrations of fine particulates (PM2.5) continue to fluctuate throughout the day, with conditions ranging from hazardous to moderate.

With the continued smoke episode, Tom Christofk, Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer and Dr. Richard Burton, MD, Placer County’s Health Officer, are issuing this updated air quality advisory for July 7th through July 10th. The weather forecast for this week with the strong high pressure, very warm temperatures and little wind, combined with smoke, make for very stagnant conditions.

With cooler temperatures in the early morning, smoke tends to move down the western slope becoming more concentrated in foothill locations. In the afternoon hours and early evening, conditions appear to improve in the foothills as smoke rises into higher elevations, including the Lake Tahoe area.

The public is reminded to take common-sense precautions as Placer County will continue to be affected by very unhealthy or even hazardous air quality at times. If visibility is poor in your area, then you should strongly consider postponing outdoor activities until later in the day or when conditions improve.
Heavy Geography

Geography is destiny, apparently. I'll ponder over this with some nachos.
Taking The Edge Off Las Vegas

The rise in oil prices is a menace to the business of Las Vegas:
The onset of global slowdown, high petrol prices, and a nation-wide housing slump is spelling disaster for a town that owes every aspect of its wealth – from that gaudy replica of the Eiffel Tower to those scale models of Venetian canals and the Pyramids of Egypt – to its ability to inspire free-spending hedonism.

With Americans cutting back on luxuries, and the price of transport rocketing, the so-called "Vegas vacation" is facing the axe. This week, as the nation celebrated Independence Day, major hotels were taking stock of a fall in all-important room occupancy rates from their usually impressive 95 per cent levels to nearer 80 per cent.

More worryingly, new figures showed gambling revenue has also dropped – a further 3 per cent this month – starting a price war between worried firms anxious to lure punters back. Hotel rooms, which last year averaged $130 each, now go for less than $100 (£50).

At the vast Planet Hollywood resort, the clatter of fruit machines and poker chips was this week replaced by an uneasy – and, for Vegas, very unusual – calm. A large if slightly tatty double room could be found for less than $80.

No tourist resort can afford to lose its buzz. Yet the slump now runs so deep it's starting to hurt even the town's Elvis impersonators, wedding chapels, and sex industry. When money's tight, the prospect of stuffing another $20 bill into a lap-dancer's gyrating stocking-top somehow doesn't seem quite so enticing.

"This year already we've seen the Minx closing, the Mensa club closing, and the Crazy Horse closing," says Dolores Eliades, owner of the OG, the second biggest "adult cabaret" venue in the world. "By another 12 months from now, I expect another two or three major venues will have gone.

"We've seen a drop in custom here too: maybe 180 people coming in when before we got 200. It's a difficult business, but the girls still have to make a living. We will survive because we own our own premises, we have a good name and location, we don't buy on credit, and we've been around for a long time. But we're very lucky in that respect."

...Local bankruptcies have quadrupled. The property market, which rode the wave of a boom for most of the past decade is now below its peak by anything from a quarter to a third (depending on whose figures you believe), while Nevada now boasts, if that is the right word, the nation's highest foreclosure rate.

The number of empty homes has caused a health scare after it emerged that mosquitoes – possibly carrying the killer West Nile virus – are breeding in abandoned swimming pools. "We've had crews pumping out pools every day this week," Devin Smith, who manages the city's Neighborhood Response Division, told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "Two years ago, we may have pumped six pools in a season. Now we're probably pumping that a week."

..."With the high oil prices, people don't have much disposable income to spend on gaming and entertainment. So we are looking at a short-term slump, certainly. In the longer term, everything depends on what's going to happen to oil prices."

But the biggest threat of all is that Las Vegas might somehow be perceived to have lost its buzz. Like any tourist economy, the city's fortunes depend squarely on being seen as a "hot" destination, a tag that becomes difficult to justify if potential visitors hear reports that the place is struggling.

As a result, no major strip operators are publicly advertising their new low room rates. None would be interviewed for this article, regardless of the concerns shareholders might have for their fortunes. A spokesman for Wynn Las Vegas, for example, said "Respectfully, we must decline" the opportunity to discuss trading conditions.

...Dolores Eliades says the history of Las Vegas shows it will find a way to adapt and survive. "Historically, Las Vegas is able to withstand the problems of the rest of the country. When people face hard economic times, they come here to get away from their problems. In the US, people are escape artists, and they deal with problems a little differently from the rest of the world. I believe the history of this town proves I'm right, I really do."

Steve highly-recommends this video!

What a great law! We should have done this years ago!:
California is the latest state to require hands free use of cell phones while driving and as this comedic video clearly demonstrates we are all much safer that way.

See comedian Skyler Stone making the most of his new blue tooth while literally driving "hands free". During shooting, Skyler drove his car with no hands on the wheel around Los Angeles while Brandon Kraines, the director shot from the front seat and Michael Abbott, the producer sat in the backseat feeding dialogue from the script, and handing Skyler props.

The spot was written, shot and edited it in one day on June 30th to make a statement about the CA law on July 1 for posting.
Jonah Jumps The Shark

Comparing national service to slavery:
For those who don't remember, the 13th Amendment says: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ... shall exist within the United States."

I guess in Obama's mind it must be a crime to be born or to go to college.
Karaoke Awkwardness At The Health Club

After an unusually hot step aerobics workout yesterday, I was standing in line to put the step away in its corner, when I was overcome by a desire to sing to the musical soundtrack pumping over the speakers (Exile - I Wanna Kiss You All Over - 1978). I turned towards the prettiest woman in the room, standing in line just behind me, and sang: "'I Want To Kiss You All Over' (except maybe just not at this moment)". She said "Sweat" with flat finality. I replied "Sweat".
Australian Land Sharks

Like Andrew told me at Alexandria Beach, "If you don't put away that camera, I'll disown you!":
SURF lifesavers say they have become "morality police" and have had to evict increasing numbers of oglers from popular topless sunbathing spots.

Senior lifeguards warned of men armed with hidden cameras who were filming unsuspecting female sunbakers on Queensland beaches.

They said "dodgy types" were warned on an almost daily basis about ogling and sitting unacceptably close to topless women while some perverts even used telescopes for spying.

In Cairns, women were allowed to sunbake topless on the Esplanade but lifeguards were supposed to enforce a "no jiggle" law.

Under the five-year-old rule, women could legally take their tops off as long as they did not strut about, swim in the pool, play beach volleyball or fling a Frisbee.

Cairns talkback radio has been running hot this week with a debate between women scared off by perverts and others who said they were offended by the "festival of flesh" at the lifeguard patrolled site. Self-confessed former topless sunbaker and Cairns Mayor Val Schier laughed off the concerns, saying topless sunbaking was a rite of passage for many young visitors to the north.

"If there are pervs or oglers they'd be hurried on by the lifeguards, it is an open area, it is not as if there are dirty old men in raincoats hiding behind phone boxes," Ms Schier said.

Monday, July 07, 2008

"The Secret Garden" - Final Weekend (draft)

Left: Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven and Kaylynn Rothleder as Mary Lennox.

Left: "Come Spirit, Come Charm". Emily Jo Seminoff, Kaylynn Rothleder, Joshua Smith, Norma Jean Russell, Darryl Strohl, Andrew Lampinen, Paul Fearn, and Aaron Rothleder.

Left: Norma Jean Russell prepares the floral gate before the last scene.

Below: Joshua Smith as Dickon.

Left: Dannette Vassar as Mrs. Medlock, Anne Marie Pringle as Ayah, Bridget Maguire as Mrs. Winthrop, Jabriel Shelton as Fakir, and Kaylynn Rothleder as Mary Lennox.

Left: Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven.

Left: Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven.

Left: Bret McLaughlin as Archibald Craven, Kaylynn Rothleder as Mary Lennox, Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven, and Caitlin Kiley as Lily.

Left: Christian Salmon as Colin Craven and Kaylynn Rothleder as Mary Lennox.

Left: During intermission, Aaron Rothleder succeeds in landing his cap on his head, as Caitlin Kiley and Linnea Lampinen watch.

Left: Kaylynn Rothleder as Mary Lennox.

Left: Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven, Bridget Maguire as Mrs. Winthrop, and Dannette Vassar as Mrs. Medlock.

Left: Dannette Vassar as Mrs. Medlock. Also, Anne Marie Pringle as Ayah, Jabriel Shelton as Fakir, and Rick Eldredge as Dr. Neville Craven.

Below: Caitlin Kiley as Lily.

Fourth Of July DMTC Fundraiser (draft)

Left: Jocelyn Price, together with Julie Kulmann, set up the Steve's Pizza sign.

This year, DMTC had the exclusive pizza and beer concession at the City of Davis Fourth of July fireworks show.
Left: Lauren Miller and Michael McElroy employ a blue balloon to defeat Roxy's DADD (Dog Attention Deficit Disorder).

Left: Dannette Vassar and Michael Elfant (among others) talk to Health Inspector Guy. This fellow employed thermometers and a checklist to make everyone feel uncomfortable and inadequate.

It was probably best that they talk to Health Inspector Guy - I was surreptitiously eating a gritty (but otherwise good) slice of pizza a customer had dropped on the ground, and apart from the absence of cross-contamination, he might have had a dim view of my culinary habits.

Left: Virginia Shaw and Michael Elfant serve beer.

Left: Parachute jumpers!

Left: Four parachute jumpers!

Left: Parachute jumper with American flag.

Left: Group of Scottish guys.

Left: The Davisville Junction Barber Shop Quartet (Wayne Ryamond, Andy Hyun, Rick Price, and William Alterton) sing "Lida Rose from "The Music Man". The group is singing for Vallejo Music Theatre's "The Music Man", opening this coming weekend.

Left: The big show!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

An Honor For Lisa

Lisa Parente, a familiar DMTC Young Performers' Theatre (YPT) player, has been chosen for a distinct honor: she will sing the national anthem for the Oakland A's on Friday, July 25th. The very best for Lisa!

The Parente family once lived in Rio Rancho, located just five miles from where I grew up, in Corrales, New Mexico. I find that interesting because, in the old days, when I was her age, most people went to Rio Rancho - they did not come from there (the place was marketed as a retirement community).

After Rio Rancho became a host for the booming semiconductor giant Intel, it developed a life of its own and became more diverse. Nevertheless, I still find it surprising to know that life exists after Rio Rancho. If that makes the YPT a little slice of heaven, all the better!