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#268 Featured Images

Welcome to the second installment of Featured Images from my Featured Blogs.

As much as I want to highlight the usual far figuratively successful blogs, I want to refrain from that. I want to go with 1). the ones I encourage my readership to follow and 2). the ones I didn’t cover from my the first part of this.

Six Degrees Photography was once an outstanding, eloquent writer-blogger. She is now wow-ing us with her outstanding photography.

Get photography lessons, get deep into the contexts of a city or a street, and get up close to Allan, The MOFman’s, artistic processes. Top photo blog? I think he’s one of it.

Do you follow a blog whose language you don’t know? I found the best story fit for a book from this non-English blog, A Sanctuary | Explore the beauty of Indonesia … Go to places where people don’t know your language. Do read the story here – Tradisi Menanam Beras Merah di Bali, Perjalanan Kontemplasi Hari Kedua.

Alina is the best blogger-reviewer for me. Books, TV, movies, and intelligible topics, this gal is one hellova eloquent writer.

I absolutely love Alexander Lautal’s photography blog. Follow all four seasons of loneliness and, of course, happiness through his blog.

Follow magiecrystal to Japan, Paris, Alberta and NYC, see some familiar, some obscure sites. This blog never ceases to amaze with her impressive writing and photography.

Darla Welcher is awesome when it comes to putting captions to her awesome pictures.

Going to SoCal? Let Suebee and Kat be your guide.

Follow restless Jo. She is restless as ever going to places to places.

I’m so happy to see this well-travelled blogger, Travel-Stained, continue to flourish. Be it blog-look, travel iterinaries, or blog success. She and her hubby have some of the most awesome travel destinations I’ve ever followed.

Old Woman On A Bicycle – See what this intriguing blog title is all about.

Now, Colline here is a true writer. What else do you expect from a teacher-blogger? Awesome reads all around.

I LOVE, love, love this Japanese blog. Get the best Japanese food places, see festivals and events, read some Japanese horror stories and mythologies, and get deep into the diverse culture of Japan – Milu’s Dream Traveler.

Check out his research topics and science projects. Robert M. Weiss of A Site of Discovery and Wonder aims to entertain, astound, and excite.

Just go ahead and find for yourself why this blogging machine is a successful one – Jo Bryant of Chronicles of Illusions.

If you are not following this best Italy blog, you are so wrong!

See Tvor Travel’s Favourite photos.

Last Calls…

A Gracious Life 

Cardinal Guzman


That is it, Ladies and Gents. I’ve done my due diligence in highlighting these awesome blogs. This was labor. :D I hope you follow them. Easy clicks, brothers and sisters, easy clicks. See how well you get along with them. I follow these blogs and I featured them for a reason. Also, a lot of these bloggers are great writers. I hope your blog exploration doesn’t stop with a Follow Button. ;) More power and have fun blogging.

Forthe first installment – #244 Featured Images





I knew at some point I’ll be doing a collection post for my monthly (yes, monthly) photography blogpost. If you like, you can visit or revisit all my previous entries I listed here…

STILL – Taking action shots? Here are my suggestions.
Capture the Colour – My response for the Capture the Colour contest.
Shot Into Smithereens – One Set of One Title, One Image post.
Weekly Photo Challenge 2013 – One submission image for each month in 2013.
BLAQUE – My submissions for Paula’s B&W Challenge.
The Scientist – Though underrated, it’s one of my most personal favorite posts.

Next month I’m thinking of a Zilch redo. As for this month, I was thinking my hiking images, rock formations, the ocean, birds, sea creature, any nature-related, but I decided to go with flowers. Amy of The World is a Book really was very very very pushy before that I go with the flowers. :D I really don’t want to go along with it, but she was adamant and very persuasive. She was using all kinds of persuasion techniques – manipulation, intimidation, threat, bullying, voodoo :D, etc. I kid, I kid. :lol: Amy is one of the loveliest bloggers around. Flowers. Everyone is gung ho :D about it. I didn’t like to jump into the bandwagon. It’s easy photo subject to capture. It’s liked by everybody. Especially now that’s spring time, everyone is antsy for it. But what can you do!? It’s hard to just ignore and avoid it. It speaks beauty, hope, romance and good feeling all around. It deserves the attention.

Flowers for everybody :D

Rose Valley Waterfalls

- Rose Valley Falls in Ojai -

San Buenaventura Mission

- San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura -

Cherry Blossoms in Okinawa

- Cherry Blossoms in Nago, Okinawa -


- Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia -

San Juan Capistrano

- San Juan Capistrano Mission -


- Vigan, Philippines -

 Bios Botanical Garden

- Bios Botanical Garden in Okinawa -

Carmel Mission

- Carmel Mission -

Ventura County Fair 2011

- Ventura County Fair -

Venice Canal

-  Venice Canal in California -

Be sure to check my Photography tag. :)

Last Calls …

Venice Canal

- Venice Canal in California-


- Baluarte Zoo in Vigan, Philippines -




Mel Mann Photography – It’s okay for you to forget about my blog for a moment. Go check out this photography blog - Images of the Year 2013

Retiree Diary – Not a smidgeon of question why this blog is successful and popular – CATEGORY: Weekly Photo Challenge

Santa Paula Murals

This is my dot dot dot post …

I know they’re all obvious but …

One person here is real…

Santa Paula Murals (13)

Two here are real… :D

Santa Paula Murals (10)

Ta-dah! …

Santa Paula Murals (9)

Closer …

Santa Paula Murals (12)

There is a total of 9 murals scattered around the downtown area.

The building is real …

Santa Paula Murals

But the booth and the people isn’t.

Some plants are real …

Santa Paula Murals (2)

The less greener isn’t …

Santa Paula Murals (5)

Museums in Santa Paula are California Oil Museum, Aviation Museum, Agriculture Museum, Railroad Museum, etc. All are depicted in murals…

Santa Paula Murals (4)

Zooming in …

Santa Paula Murals (8)

These murals represent the culture and aspects of the Santa Paula community. It was once the World’s Citrus Capital, circa 1880-1945…

Santa Paula Murals (7)

They host the Annual Citrus Balloon Festival.

The drive there was scenic because of the mountains and the harvest lands.

One of the mountains is not like the others …

Santa Paula Murals (11)

Memory Monday: Sushi, or Giving Chances

*All images are taken with Samsung S3 except for Last Call.

Other than recalling eating different kinds of sushi in Okinawa, Japan, I also want to talk about giving things another shot.

At first taste, I didn’t like wine. When I got to Italy, I tried some of their great tasting wine and now I love it. Same thing with dates, beets, Jagermeister ;), brocolli :D, and really a lot of things of those I tried eating for the first time. It’s not that I got weirded out eating sushi, the taste just didn’t appeal me at first. There’s a restaurant called Sakura in Mississippi that completely changed my perception of sushi. They have a bento box that includes small pieces of sushi. After that, I have gotten quite an acquired taste for sushi.

I love sushi. Though to me, it gets expensive for food that doesn’t really fill me up after eating. In Japan however, they have cheaper price for sushi. Not only I got some spare change, I also got the authenticity so I was chowing away with sushi and ramen when I was in Okinawa.

I brought this up before on my Food and Travel (Part II) post. When I first ordered sushi in Okinawa, I was expecting to get the usual traditional sushi roll. Instead, they served me this …


… A slab of raw fish on top of the rice part. It was a challenge for me to eat the whole set because it is hard for me to eat raw fish. Even given that I loathe wasting food, I still shamefully didn’t finish that plate.

Although… I enjoyed it after few more tries. :D What converted me from nigiri-sushi virgin to a nigiri-sushi lover is this sushi go-round place …


I gooooooogled it in the internet a lot of times but I really can’t figure out the name of the place. It is leading me to believe that this place really is amply and simply called “Sushi Go-round”. :D This is in American Village.

Such neat idea. They make the sushi, put it on the carousel, and customers get to see to pick what they want from their selections of sushi. Plus, it also gives you variety instead of just one type of sushi in one plate like the ones in almost all sushi places in the US.


They also have fish egg sushi. Not for me.


Most plates have two sushi of one kind. The sushi there are smaller than the first picture up top. I think I walked away the most with 9 plates. My friend loves eating sushi that I think he had 13 plates (so that’s actually 26) in one sitting.

Moving on…

Of course, I also just want to bring back my experience when I ate a blowfish in the form of sushi.


You can read my post all about the danger and “ethical dilemma” of eating blowfish here – To eat, or not to eat blowfish, that is the question.


I also love this display I brought back with me here in the US.


He bobs his head continuously and his hand also moves continually tapping the sushi. I used to place it on my office desk so when I want my mind to drift off during work, I just look at it. ;) It’s a cool display.


You see, you shouldn’t really go off of your first tries. You should give things a second or third or so on chances as long as you finally had enough attempts before setting on a conclusion. You should allow them another shot. You should give people chances. People who get discreditted are better when they seek redemption. And they get even much much the best when they did find redemption and once they recovered.

Last week, I finally talked to a dear old friend that I ignored for such a long time because of issues we had. ;)

Last Call…

Some of you may remember this sushi master from my black and white post titled Blaque.


Korean Bell of Friendship

When I went to LA …

Los Angeles Street Art

I took a stop at the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro.



The bell was presented as a gift by Republic of Korea to United States of America on the occasion of the American Bicentennial Jubilee.


There really isn’t much to it. It’s got cool designs.






The bell is struck on five occasions: New Year’s Eve, Korean American Day (January 13), Fourth of July, Korean Liberation Day (August 15), and every September in celebration of Constitution Week.




It is also rung at random times …




It was hot that day, but given that it is located in a high area, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I get to cool off from the ocean breeze and get decompressed from LA heat and the hustle and bustle of the city.





A satisfying detour. :D

Ventura, CA

Ventura, CA. This is currently where I reside. I’ve been here for about 3 years now, give and take. ;) And for a half day, I played a little tourist in my own county of residence.

First off, I had my lunch for the day at the Mugu Rock. A lot of car commercials are set here. As a matter of fact, when I was there some people are shooting a car model. Iron Man also flew over and landed here.

Then I went to Olivas Adobe.




This is Ventura County’s only remaining Monterey-style adobe home from the Rancho era. Only a few historic places here in Ventura, Olivas Adobe is a historical site in its truest sense showing how the waelthy settlers used to live way back in 1800′s.

The best time to come here is during the weekends where the docents are available to show you the ropes. I was here during the weekday but there’s a class field trip that day that I got lucky to shamelessly get in with them to learn from the guides. :D

I’ll give you one. These chairs are not just regular chairs.

They were also used as …

10151977_10152338910483578_511423687_n 1098226_10152338910458578_1082181916_n

And it’s the boys who empty them out. :D

And ow, they have a rose garden.


Enough of Olivas Adobe…

I then went to another mission, San Buenaventura Mission. I’ve been here before but didn’t take any picture. I went to town this time. :D

They have the best mini-museum showing old books and clothes. They also have a nice courtyard.



It’s a nice decent mission given it being small.


I ended the day with ….


… in Silver Strand Beach in Channel Islands.

I hope you enjoyed our half-a-day tour.

Want to know more of Ventura. Check out my Ventura tag.

Memory Monday: Okinawa’s Gusuku

Gusuku are usually located in high places or hills overlooking a city.



They are built with elongated sturdy stonewalls.



Gusuku normally has a sacred area. People visit these sacred areas as a place for worship til today. It makes most gusuku a part of Okinawa’s historical sites.



The most prominent one, because it was reconstructed after World War II, is the palace of Shuri.



Gusuku are, in simple term, castles or fortress during the Ryukyu period. Most of their walls or main foundations are that remain. During the Ryukyu period, these fortress are as simple as the stonewalls, solely to protect kingdom people to do work and trades using the high grounds for outlook and the sacred areas to pray to guardian spirits.



My most favorite Okinawa castle ruin is Katsuren.



Wikipedia listed 20 castle ruins in Okinawa. I’ve been to five of it. I’m that awesome. :D It’s hard for a commuter to go places, yah know. The first one I visited is Zamiki Castle.



We saw a couple on their kimono.



The area we went to in Cape Kyan is actually a gusuku.



Urasoe is also currently under reconstruction.



Obvious recommended places to go to in Okinawa are Churaumi Aquarium, Shuri Castle and Okinawa World. Obvious must do and see are snorkelling, any festival, and cherry blossom. If you happened to have an ample time in Okinawa, consider visiting a gusuku or two. Reimagine Okinawa as it used to be and go see Okinawa in good views.




Solvang, California

Took a half day tour to Solvang, California in Santa Barbara, coomunity of Santa Ynez Valley.

First, I drove passing along the oh-so beautiful Pacific Coast Highway.

My first stop was an early morning quick and easy hike to Nojoqui Falls. The first time I was here the waterfall was dry. But now look!


With all the talk about California suffering from drought, it’s nice to know that there’s water trinkling down this waterfall.

For those of you who are planning to come here, it is better to do so afterit rained. Also, don’t miss the exit from the highway. This place is somewhat secluded.

See it without the water – Throwback Thursday: Weather Woes

Then I headed to Solvang for a bit o’Denmark.


Solvang is one of the places where I get to get my European travel fix.

Unlike most California travel destinations, parking here if free.





It’s a”Little Denmark” in California.

I sampled me some chocolates while over here, and bought me some ice cream. There’s free ice cream tasting too but I knew what I wanted. Plenty more good food including of course their signature, duh, danish pastry.



At night, everything is illuminated! Including the trees and the houses.

Moving on, a little bit of walk and I got to Santa Ynez Mission. This is the eighth mission I visited.


Although this time, I didn’t enter the inside.

Last, driving back I stopped to a couple of vistas to see Cachuma Lake.



It’s actually an artificial lake used as water basin.

Last Call…


Returning back, I continued driving down the scenic though zig-zaggy Chumash Highway.

A fulfilling half day, I think. :D


Here’s to a blog who is outstanding in combining awesome images with very fitting and beautiful words – Darla Welcher’s Through The Lens.

Watts Tower in LA


For Simon Rodia, another man’s trash is another man’s tower. Watts Towers are handmade constructions diligently and passionately built by  Simon Rodia, a native of Ribottoli, Italy, during his time off work over the course of 33 years. The decoration materials … used and collected glasses, shells, pottery shards, bottles and tiles.



“I had in my mind I’m gonna do something, something big.”

The tower reaches a height of 99 1/2, only stopping there because of the city limit.


I like all the details of it. Such cool thing just seeing the different shards and pieces scattered all over the place. It seemed like he wanted to spread the love of this tower.

When Simon Rodia stopped construction of the towers in 1954 because of controversies after WWII, vandalism and some abuse, he called it “Nuestro Pueblo” which is Spanish for “Our Town”. Today, the city continues to preserve his works. Its community respect it highly. The Center of Watts District in LA, just few blocks from Watts Towers, feautres other Simon Rodia-inspired arts that were made from junks.



By the way, this really is not the usual art installation. It is right smack in a dead-end street.



I also saw this by their office … For my followers ….


It truly is a magnificent one of a kind LA sight especially given its location, its history, its underlying message to people, and the passion of Simon Rodia.


The Scientist

Come up to meet you.
Tell you I’m sorry.
You don’t know how lovely you are.


I had to find you.
Tell you I need you.
Tell you I set you apart.


Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions.
Oh let’s go back to the start.


Running in circles, coming up tails.
Heads on a silence apart.


Nobody said it’d be easy.
Oh It’s such a shame for us to part.


Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start



I was just guessing at numbers and figures.
Pulling the, puzzles apart.


Questions of science, science and progress.
Do not speak as loud as heart.


Tell me you love me.
Come back and haunt me.
Oh and I rush back to the start.


Running in circles, chasing our tails.
Coming back as we are.


Nobody said it was easy.
Oh it’s such a shame for us to part.


Nobody said it was easy.
No one ever said it would be this hard.


I’m going back to the start.



A song lyrics by Coldplay. All images are taken with my Samsung S3.


Featured Blog

Here is Deborah of Container Chronicles and her selections of Seven Deadly Sins soundtracks.


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