New river park area aims to attract visitors, wildlife

New river park area aims to attract visitors, wildlife – Source Bakersfield.com

A train whistle sounded in the distance as Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall cut a thick blue ribbon Wednesday, signifying that the Uplands of Kern River Parkway is open to the public.

“Imagine it on a 60-degree day instead of a 110-degree day,” Hall joked to a small crowd of mostly city and county officials who stood under a canopy overlooking the Kern River.

While the Uplands park — which was funded with a $1.4 million state grant from Proposition 50, $314,000 from city Park Improvement fees and $275,000 from the city’s agricultural water fund — seemed more desolate than lush, officials were optimistic the park will come into its own….”

Some time in the beginning of June I started riding my bike to the Bakersfield bike trail.  I didn’t make it too far before heading home.  Around mid-June I took it to the next level and continued along the bike trail all the way to Manor and noticed these new seating areas.  Only one of them is different from the others, it has a telescope, none of the others have that.  They were all closed but they opened on June 22nd.

They are really nice aren’t they?  It’s too bad I can never use it.  Why you ask? Take a look at this:

No bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, in-line scooters or horses.  So, if I’m riding on the bike trail, I can’t pull over for a rest.  Or does that mean that I can’t “ride” the bike in there?  Do they have any rest stop police to make sure I don’t get to sit in there?  Uh no.  They don’t have anything saying so.

I’m not quite sure what this sign means.  Am I allowed to walk my bike along the wooden path in the dirt then prop it up on its bike stand then go sit down and rest?  Probably not because it’s apparently not intended as a rest stop but more as a bird watching area.

It says in that article from the city of Bakersfield that they want to encourage more animals to come:

“The whole purpose is that once the trees mature, it’ll draw some animals and birds to that area,” said Hoover, “birds and animals that people can watch and just observe.” She said kit foxes, beavers, egrets and blue herons, among other native species, will likely return to the area.

Is that really such a good idea to have more animals along the bike trail?  As it is there are a ton of squirrels in the parks over by Yokuts and Beach Park that run across the bike trail and get squished by bicycles.  There are tons of jack rabbits and lizards that get squished along the bike path just where these new parks are too.  I squished one lizard already (and I felt terrible, just terrible about it) and I’ve seen people who were in a group of like 10 bicycles that have squished a jack rabbit.

When you are riding your bike on the bike trail at such fast speeds, you can’t slow down or stop for an animal.  If one person starts to slow down or comes to a complete stop because of a rabbit or a fox or a beaver, the whole lot of the riders will crash and some could end up injured and in the hospital.

I don’t encourage more animals along the bike trail because that just encourages more accidents and dead animals.  If they are going to put in a fence to protect the animals then that is one thing but I don’t see that happening.  And they can’t stop people from riding their bikes on the “bike trail” because that’s what it was intended for.

What I wish they would have spent the money on is bathrooms.  There aren’t any bathrooms along the bike trail, couldn’t they have spent some of that money on porta-potties?  Or maybe perhaps building mens and women’s restrooms with those fancy new seating areas?

If you start out at Beach Park then you have a bathroom to go to.  If you ride your bike all the way down to China Grade Loop you will notice that there is not 1 bathroom.  I’m not saying I have to go to the bathroom too often but I mean seriously, I’m drinking 2 liters of water over 18 miles that I ride every day.  I haven’t had to go pee but there have been times that I had to go number 2 and it would’ve been nice if I had a bathroom to go to.  I try to go before I leave the house but it doesn’t always happen at 5:30am.

The new seating areas are nice and all but I just see them as a huge waste of money.  Also, I haven’t seen 1 person sitting in one of them.  I saw an old couple who I see walking every morning walk into one but I’m sure it was to look around and see what they have.  I can see this as being a fun thing if it weren’t so close to the bike trail.

Stepping Up My Bike Rides

bike trail water.jpg

I’ve been riding 15 miles every time I ride on the bike trail.  As soon as I get to my halfway point which is at Manor St., my legs are ready to give and I have to stop and rest.  Instead of going further I usually just head back home.  I think 15 miles is a good ride.  But I think it’s time to step things up and go the distance so I kept going today and rode for a total of 18 miles.

This picture above is what I see on the Bakersfield Bike trail on the other side of the bridge from Beach Park.  I thought it was too beautiful to not take a picture.

Herbie.jpg

And here’s Herbie hehe.  I saw this just as I was coming into Beach Park this morning.  I have seen this car driving throughout Bakersfield since at least 2000 when we moved here.  Every time I see it I want to take a picture and I never have a camera with me and it just so happens that now I have a cell phone that can take pictures lol.

I’ve already weighed myself and I have lost a couple lb’s so I think adding miles to my bike ride is going to help me lose more weight.  It doesn’t have to come off faster, just as long as it comes off, that’s all that matters.

My legs are jello right now and my back is in pain so that’s all I have for now.

51-Year-Old Green Mile Actor Marrying 16-Year-Old Beauty Pageant Winner

I am shocked and mortified to hear this story on the morning radio show this morning.  They said they posted the picture on their twitter account and Facebook but I didn’t see them so naturally I had to go find the story on the internet and I found it on the website Cele|bitchy.

Here is a quote from that article which is a quote from Popeater:

Hollywood has seen its fair share of odd couplings, but this one is so out there even the newlyweds know it’s a little weird.

Doug Hutchison, a character actor best known for roles in The Green Mile, Lost and The X-Files, married aspiring country singer Courtney Alexis Stodden on May 20 in Las Vegas.

He is 51. She is 16.

Is there something fishy about it? In an exclusive statement to E! News, the couple insists there’s not.

With Stodden, a former beauty pageant queen, trying to position herself as a potential Nashville star, you might think there’s more to the story than middle-age actor marrying pretty teenager (and that’s a lot of story, itself). However, the newlyweds tell us they’re just mad about each other.

“We’re aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial,” the couple said through their spokeswoman.

“But we’re very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless.”

I just find the whole thing mortifying.  Not just his creepiness in that picture but the huge age difference.  I mean, I really don’t have any room to talk because we have 21 years age difference.  Darrin was 44 when we met and I was 23.  I can say that love is ageless in our case because we’ve been together for 17 years so maybe it’s true for them too.  But come on, she’s still a child, beauty queen or not.

The wedding picture (above) makes him look so creepy, or maybe that’s the osteoporosis setting in early, who knows for sure.  Either way, he looks like a troll.  Where is Chris Hansen when you need him anyway?  Shouldn’t he be making a trip to Las Vegas to visit this guy and say “what are you doing here?  Do you realize she’s 16?  Would you like some sweet tea?”  Fortunately for him the legal age of consent in Nevada is 16 and you can marry with her father’s blessing.

I wonder though, does she ride her bike to school or did he get her a car for her wedding present?  Is she still in high school or does he home school her now?  I got questions here lol.

Oh and while I was still listening to the story on the radio there was a caller who said he was Christopher Walken.  He was pretty good but he went a little overboard with the impersonation though lol.

The Collection for iPad

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ringier Media for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ok I have to be honest right off the bat.  I don’t have an iPad so I can’t really say I’ve played with this or seen this first-hand but when they announced it I watched with great interest.  I’m not much of a news magazine reader, that is unless it’s about computers, but if I had this I would be really into it because of how interactive it is.

When you buy the collection from the iPad store, you are kept up to date on current events in this ever changing world we live in.  It’s important to keep up with current events so that when I make a joke you won’t give me a confused look.  Also, it’s just good to keep up with the news so you are always informed.  Especially children, because they get quizzed on current events and I remember being a kid and not being current with what was happening in the world because I was too into what was happening in my life.  So I got a lot of F’s because I didn’t read the newspaper or watch the news.  But I bet you if I could read the news interactively on an iPad, I’d be the first person to know what was going on in the world. 

The collection is so easy to navigate with just a swipe or rub of the finger.  It has many different features like text, videos, audio, pictures (panoramic and 3D) and animation which is way more than your average magazine can do.  It also has rubbings, I have no idea what that means but I’m all for it.

The current issue of the collection is about “The Global Child” which talks about surrogates.  It’s an important issue that will help people out who are considering their options when they cannot have children.  Also, you gotta see how cool the images are and you have to respond to this post and tell me how the videos and rubbings look because I am very interested.

If you have an iPad, I worship the ground you walk on and I would encourage you to buy this app like right now.  Buy it because it is just too amazing to not have in your collection of apps.

Visit Sponsor's Site

My Dry Skin

I don’t know if it’s because I live in the desert or what but my skin has got to be the driest it has ever been since we moved to Bakersfield 11 years ago.

In my entire life I’ve never had to worry about my skin being so dry that you can see where I scratched myself on my leg.  Also my feet are so dry that they are constantly cracking.  I know it’s not a beautiful image but there you go.

My hands are especially dry probably because when I do the dishes I don’t use any gloves to protect my hands.  The reason for that is they don’t make rubber gloves for men with thick fingers and big hands.  I have bought the large gloves and they are still too tight.  As a result, the skin on my fingers bubble up and then the skin dries out or gets scratched or peeled off and the remaining skin dries up and scratches me when I touch my face.

I grew up to think that body lotion was for girls, actually any lotion is for girls.  It is acceptable to put lotion on your hands when they are dry every once in a while but the way I was taught was even then you do that in private and never EVER let anyone know you used lotion.  My family sure did screw me up didn’t they?

So screw all that noise.  I am so tired of my dry skin so I went to the store I would say about a week ago and bought some Suave body wash and it came with a little bottle of Suave body lotion.  I used it all up on my hands but then started thinking about my feet and my legs.  When that was all gone I bought a big bottle of Suave Cocoa Butter w/Shea body lotion and I use it on my whole body after every shower.

I’ve used it for the last 3 or 4 days and I gotta hand it to them, my legs don’t show scratch marks anymore, my hands are nice and soft and the skin doesn’t bubble after dishes anymore and my feet are starting to look normal again.  The cracks in my toes and my heels seem to be healing.

And to top it all off I smell really good.  I know, men don’t smell like cocoa butter w/shea, only girls do right?  Screw that, who says that men can’t smell good too?  I don’t care what anyone tells me, I like it.  I like how soft my skin is and I like how I smell now.

I think it takes a real man to take care of his skin, I don’t care what people tell me.  It’s happening!

Good Reads

I was talking to my favorite e-book author Marguerite Labbe a couple of days ago on Twitter, don’t you just love how I name drop?  She told me about a website called Good Reads.

I joined the website immediately upon her tweet and started adding only the books that I have read and the book I am reading right now.  What I like especially about the Good Reads website is that my list of books can be sorted.  I have been a member of aNobii for years and their website is nice and all but you can’t sort your books.

Like, if you want to sort them alphabetically or by date read or bought or whatever.  I think that has to be my favorite feature only because I have been wanting that for such a long time.  I’m keeping aNobii which means I’ll have to keep both sites up to date whenever I buy a new book.

You can also add your books into shelves, like if you are reading a series like the Sookie Stackhouse series, you can put them in their own shelf.  I read a lot of series books like Xanth, Cique du Freak, Sookie Stackhouse etc. so that is handy.

Your friends can join you so it’s very much like Facebook, but for readers.  You can see on your home page what your friends are saying and what books they are adding to their shelves.  I think that’s a very cool feature.

There are also groups that you can join.  Think of it as a book club but with a message board and with thousands of people.  You can discuss a certain book you are reading or have read with the people in the group.  If you are a member of a book club in your town then you already have people to talk to but I am not in a book club, mainly because I don’t want to be told what book I have to read because I’ll bet you it’s never anything I want to read.  So this way I can read a book that I want to read and then talk to people about it.

It’s a great website and if you are an avid reader I encourage you to join.

Back On The Road To Being Healthy

I made a commitment to start riding my bicycle again regularly as soon as I got my new wheel for my bike last month and I didn’t start riding as regular as I had liked because I was too out of shape from not riding for a few years.  I went out with a friend a total of 3 times in the last month and it just isn’t enough so I have made that commitment again but as a solo act.

When I was riding with the friend I was riding with, I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of the experience.  First of all, she was riding so slow, which I can’t blame her because she is more out of shape than I am, but it was too slow for me.  I wasn’t even breaking a sweat.  I came home with a dry t-shirt every time.  If I don’t come home with a soaked shirt then I know I didn’t try.

Summer is coming and this week is supposed to be in the mid 90’s which means bike riding is not going to be very pleasant during the day.  If I wake up at 5:30am and leave at 6am then I can get out on the bike trail and hopefully be back by 8 or 8:30am before the city starts to heat up too much.

Last night I set the alarm on my cell phone for 5:30am and I got up just as I wanted to and got ready to go and yes, I did go.  My bicycle computer isn’t registering so I can’t say how many miles I rode or how long or calories burned or anything.  All I can say is I rode my ass off and my thighs are in pain to prove it.

When I came home and took off my camelbak then took off my t-shirt I knew I did a good job because the back of my shirt was completely soaked.  I feel like I was beyond productive and I’m very satisfied with the solo ride.  I don’t think I will be riding with anyone anymore unless they can keep up with me and go my route instead of wanting to take shortcuts.

My new schedule will be 5 days a week from 6am to 8-8:30am.  I can’t make any promises on how much weight I may or may not lose but I can promise that I will do my best.

Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride

I know I know, you don’t have to tell me, I’m very late for the conversation since this documentary came out in 2009 but I’m just now seeing it for the first time on Showtime.  We don’t get out to the movies very often and when we do we have to both agree on what we see which means we don’t get to see a lot of movies.  So… here I am in mid 2011 just now seeing this movie for the first time.

ho·mo·pho·bi·a Noun /ˌhōməˈfōbēə/

  1. An extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people

I found the definition for homophobia so that people will know the exact definition and know I am not making it up.  “An extreme and irrational aversion”…  Note the word irrational.  That is in the dictionary.  It says that your aversion to homosexuality is irrational.  You know if the dictionary says you are being irrational then it’s time to cool your jets.

When I started watching this movie tonight I didn’t know they were going to really get into all of the gory details about how other countries treat their gays.  I thought it was just them documenting their organization of the gay pride parade and festival in Canada and that it would be pride for 90 minutes.  Instead, they bring us to Moscow, Serbia, Sri Lanka US and Canada.

“There are over 80 countries across the globe that still criminalize homosexuality.  7 or 8 countries that actually uphold the death penalty.”

These are the words that are shocking to me.  I know that there were countries that criminalize people for holding hands or just for looking or acting gay.  In Sri Lanka it’s a 10 year prison sentence, yes still.  Just for being gay in public.  In India and in Africa lesbian women have to worry about corrective rape.

“‘Corrective rape’ is a criminal practice, whereby men rape lesbian women, purportedly as a means of “curing” the woman of her sexual orientation.”

This one woman told a story about how they rape lesbian women for hours, it’s pure torture to be raped like this especially since most of them are still virgins at the time of the rape.  It’s not only painful to penetrate them but it’s also very demeaning and you know, mentally painful.  It’s painful for me to even think about it.

In Moscow Russia you cannot have a gay pride, the mayor denies their applications and says that he will continue to deny them this year, next year, 5 years from now and 10 years from now.  As long as he is in office he will continue to deny their gay pride festival so they have to go to secret locations and have their quick 5 minute gay pride then pack it all up before the police show up.

In the middle east, if you are gay you are going to be pushing daisies very soon because they do not, absolutely do not want you living among them.  They will kill you and it is perfectly legal to do so.  I seem to recall the president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad being asked in a press conference in the United States a few years ago about the gay iranian people and he said “We don’t have gay people” and everyone laughed at him.  He was very serious, he wasn’t expecting to hear something so bold as being laughed at as if he had just told a joke.  They do have gays, they are all in hiding, married with children and pretending to be straight to stay alive.  That is no way to live.

People are dying and people are being held in prisons for 10 years and being raped to correct them.  This is why we have gay pride.  It’s to make people aware of intolerance and to send a message that we are here, we are queer, get used to it.  Our message is to get over it and stop killing us and treating us like we are dogs because we were all born this way just like some of us were born with red, brown and blond hair; brown, blue and green eyes; black, brown, red, yellow, pink and white skin.  We were all born this way so just get over it.

My definition, if I may be so bold to give it, is that homophobic people aren’t afraid of gay people, they just don’t understand why we are all so happy and “gay” about being ourselves when they have to live the way their parents told them they have to live.  You see, I believe that all of those anti-gay people are only anti-gay because they cannot be gay themselves, they are jealous because we are living the lives they feel they should have led so they are taking out their aggression on gay people because they are too coward to be openly gay.

Other homophobic people are that way because they are so ignorant because they were told by their pastor that because it says in the bible that being gay is a sin.  Well, so is being fat and so is being lazy and so is judging other people because that isn’t for them to do, that is for “God” to do.  You don’t have to talk to gay people if you don’t like them but by acting out against them you yourself are sinning and will go to this mythical place called Hell in our stead.  So enjoy.

You know, before I watched this documentary, I have to admit that I didn’t know all of this information.  I know to some degree but not every thing they were talking about.  So I come from this a little more educated and enlightened.  I’m going to watch it again the next time I see it on Showtime so I can be sure to pay close attention so the information stays with me.

My uncle was so bold to ask me one year, my visit just so happened to be around gay pride month where it was all over the news.  He asked me plain and simple.  “Why do gay people need to have their ‘Gay pride parade’?  The mexican’s don’t have a parade to be proud to be mexican, the blacks don’t have a parade to be proud to be black, so why do gay people do it?”

See, this movie is a great way to explain to them what I cannot explain from memory.  First of all I didn’t answer him.  I knew that it would be detrimental if I responded with an ignorant point of view because all it takes is one idiot (me) telling people the wrong thing and they tell a friend and they tell a friend and so on.  So I reserved my answer for a later time when I was more educated on the subject.  Here we are about 9 years later and I may just be ready to answer that question.

I won’t bring it up unless asked again though because when it comes to this type of conversation with my family, I get interrupted a lot and am constantly told I’m wrong and I’m not going to put myself in that situation so screw em.  And that’s another issue, they ask but they really don’t want to know the real answer.  They don’t want to know the full details so they tell you to edit yourself because they are so afraid I’m going to start talking about anal sex.  It’s not all about sex people.  It’s about freedom and about not being killed by your government or put in prison for simply being alive.

Wow this is longer than I thought it would be.  Ok so to wrap this up, it’s a very good documentary which helps explain a ton about not just the gay pride itself but also give you some historical and statistical facts.  Just watch it.  Here is the trailer.

In Your Face!

You know how some people are homophobic but they don’t throw it in your face but you know they are because they give you a disapproving glare or they make snarky comments when referring to your sexuality?  Well, I have one particular family member who is sort of like that.  The whole gay issue is never brought up, like it’s so shameful that we just don’t talk about it out of fear that it will tear our relationship apart because of differing opinions or something.

I was talking with said family member on the phone today who was the only family member by the way who ever calls me on my birthday and she was 6 days late calling me.  But the subject of Chips deceased cousins relationship came up and she asked how long they were together and I said 27 years.  “Wow, how long have you guys been together” she asks which I respond 17 years. “WOW!”

I get no gratification for throwing it in her face that I am in a long-term relationship but when you tell a person like her who is against gay relationships that you have been together for 17 years and they have a “WOW” response, it makes you feel good.  Like “IN YOUR FACE” or something.  Not a mean in your face but you know.

I would say that I am the black sheep to half of my family because of my sexuality which if you think about it is such a stupid reason to be the black sheep.  I mean, I was born this way, you don’t make me a black sheep because I was born with hazel eyes and brown hair do you?  Of course not because that is absurd.  So why make me the black sheep because of my sexuality which I have no control over just like I have no control over the fact that I have male pattern baldness.

You know what I say to society, I’m here, I’m queer, get effing used to it biatches!  I’m in a committed long-term monogamous relationship with a person with whom I love and nothing anyone says about it is going to change that.  Get over your insecurities about gay people and realize we aren’t going to change.  We do have loving normal relationships just like all of you straight people.  The only difference is that we can’t get each other pregnant, which if you think about it is more of a blessing cause who wants that?  Not me!

I am so sick of people judging me so yeah, I get a little excited when someone who doesn’t approve has a moment when they are impressed by it.  As if I was ever seeking approval, I’m not but you know what I mean.

No matter what the circumstances are, she is my family and I respect her even though she may not respect me for being gay but goddamnit, it’s my life.  Be grateful I’m happy and I’m not miserable in a relationship with a woman who I am not sexually attracted to with children who probably hate me for taking out my aggression on them for having to be stuck in that marriage just to please your homophobic ass.

That’s all I have to say. *Steps off of my soap box*

Cycling Again

Last month I bought a new back wheel for my bicycle so that I could start getting exercise again.  The same exact day, Chips deceased cousins girlfriend bought a vintage 10-speed road bike because I told her I was getting my new wheel and that if she had a bike we could go bike riding together.  We rode exactly 2 times together last month.  I didn’t ride on my own though.

This month we rode once, yesterday and I told her that if this is going to work we are going to have to do this more often, like every day at least.  Since we are both out of shape then perhaps every other day until our leg muscles are more used to it.

I spent a long time figuring out the perfect route for bike riding and unfortunately she doesn’t like my route because it’s the same thing every time and she likes to take short cuts, which defeats the purpose of the ride.  My route has no heavy traffic to cross, all neighborhoods and when we are on the busy roads they have bike lanes.  I pride myself on my organization skills whether anyone likes it or not, typically nobody likes it but me.

My cell phone hasn’t worked in years and I really need to keep a cell phone with me at all times when I’m out on the bike trail so I bought a refurbished Samsung T401G from Net10 which is the same exact phone Darrin has, only I paid $25 for mine since it was refurbished and it comes with a $25 phone card.  Basically I got the phone for free hehe.  But it’s a very nice phone compared to what I would have gotten had I gotten the cheaper phone if I had gone to Sears to buy it today.

Even though we are going to ride every other day, I am going to ride every day if I can (as soon as my new phone arrives) because I have more weight to lose than she does and I am determined to lose it.

I will be suggesting an alternate route for her which is her car.  We were crossing such heavy traffic yesterday and it really freaked me out so if she wants to do this she can drive her bike there and I can meet her on the trail.  I think that is a good plan.  I get more exercise and she gets the amount of exercise she is satisfied with, it’s a win win for everyone involved.