BIRDS, Birds, birds….

Morro Bay is on the Pacific Flyway, meaning we have an incredible amount of species of birds that stop by on their way to their winter or summer homes.  Some stay year round.  

So- what better reason to have an annual event?

The 15th Annual Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival of 2011 will be January 14-17th.  Over 200 species of birds are seen and identified during this week-end.  The festival includes events, field trips, workshops, and newly added this year- “Fun for the Family Day”- offering workshops and field trips geared toward children’s participation.  For more info on this festival week-end:

Wild Life in North County…..or is it Tuscany?

I am always awed by the scenery and natural beauty of SLO County. Spring is particularly lovely in North County but the recent rains have the splendid sights showing up early. These days I don’t leave home without my trusty little camera……just in case. While I don’t claim to be the best photographer, I took these minutes apart in the early morning fog on my way to work. Couldn’t resist posting these…..a handsome field that you might spot in Italy, some shy deer sampling the newly sprouted grass and a frisky ‘herd’ of wild turkeys. You can tour the world to see these sights but we have them right here at home……are we lucky or what!?!………Happy New Year!

Home Price Dip

Here’s an article from CNN that talks about another dip in home prices.

I really don’t think this is any surprise. I’ve been saying all along that foreclosures need to decline to stop the price decreases as banks (and the Realtors that they choose to price the REOs) are pricing below current comparables.  If you look at the statistics dashboard, you’ll see the percentage of REOs and Short Sales.  We’re pretty much at the same levels as we were in 2009. The city of SLO’s percentage of foreclosures has almost doubled this year meaning that SLO’s prices have been slow to “correct”  but now are catching up in the areas where the foreclosures are.  November was the highest level of foreclosures for SLO at 41%.

See the statistics dashboard here:

A Less Grubby Trash Can Design


I don’t know why it’s taken so long for someone to make a trash can for restaurant that didn’t require you to push a usually grubby swinging door in order to throw away your trash.  I took the above photo of the trash cans that they now use in the Food Court at the Great Mall in Milpitas (they are flapless!).   Sooooo much better!   Wonder when we’ll start seeing these showing up in Central Coast restaurants?

still need one more stocking stuffer?

How about a CO2 Detector?  What better way to show you care! 

The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 goes into effect July 1st, 2011.  This act requires a carbon monoxide detector to be in every single-family home at time of sale, similar to the way smoke detectors are currently required.
For multi-family properties, the compliance date is Jan 1, 2013.
Since the gas is odorless, tasteless and virtually undetectable with our senses- these little gadgets have saved many lives.
Happy Holidays!

Rate Update

Mortgage interest rates continued to move higher last week as generally positive economic data outweighed statements from the Fed. The Federal Open Market Committee met for the final time in 2010 and, as expected, made no change to the benchmark lending rate. They confirmed that the economic recovery is continuing, although progress has been “disappointingly slow”. Household spending is increasing, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending is rising less rapidly that earlier in the year, employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls, and the housing sector continues to be depressed. Despite this gloomy statement, both the Dow and S&P 500 are trading at their highest levels since September 2008 thanks to strong economic data. Retail Sales jumped 0.8% in November, the fifth straight monthly gain, the Consumer Price Index was up only 0.1%, Industrial Production increased 0.4%, and Initial Jobless Claims fell for the sixth straight week to the lowest level since August 2008. Many economists believe rates have gotten ahead of themselves. There is little inflation, unemployment persists, the housing market is still stumbling, and although the deficit is a huge long-term problem, the economy is not breaking any records in the short-term. Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.500% (4.634% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.750% (3.963% APR). News this week will feature New and Existing Home Sales and Durable Goods Orders.

Real Time Bus Map

You can now tell where a San Luis Obispo bus is on their route.


You can go here to see a map of all city bus routes and watch the buses travel down the streets in real time. Sort of like the lady that built Coit Tower in San Francisco to watch the firetrucks 🙂

Pretty cool. It says it’s optimized for the Firefox browser. I haven’t tried it on my IPAD yet, with Safari, but that and cell phones would seem to be the tools people will have with them when waiting for a bus.


With the new Tron movie coming out, I started thinking about the original Tron game and the video arcades of the past. When I was going to Cal Poly in the late 70’s/early 80’s, there were a few video arcades around the area. There was Martini’s (I think that was the name) on the corner of Foothill and Santa Rosa. It was a pretty good arcade and close to Poly. Machines took quarters, not tokens which was rare those days. Cheap Thrills opened their arcade around 1981 when they were located behind Korb’s, up those creaky wooden stairs! Wasn’t that big of an arcade but they had Kangaroo which is what my wife (then girlfriend) liked to play.  I think I still have some Cheap Thrill Tokens.  Is there a video arcade token collectors market?

Today, the only video arcade I can think of is at Cal Poly.

If you used to play the original Tron game, they have it online. If you want to play the original game, I know there’s one at the arcade at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. They also have the Discs of Tron one too.

Play the  Tron game online here