Monday, March 9, 2009

A Religious Experience

No, not THAT kind of religious experience; those of you who are acquainted with me and my Freethinkerism know better than that. But I did attend a religious service at which Ken was a paid choir member. Not unpleasant; I always love to sing the old hymns, and the choir was pretty good.

But the technology! The words to the hymns and the responsive reading were projected by PowerPoint successively on the front wall of the church. But the biggest surprise was during the sermon, when the pastor asked us to watch a brief video that was shown on this space as well. What a boon to sermonizers!

The point of the video was to show us that we see what we're looking for, and little else. It was a basketball game, and we were asked to count how many times one team passed the ball. Afterwards he asked if we'd seen the gorilla, and nobody had. When he ran the video again, there it was: a gorilla joining in the game. Good lesson.

Along the Coast

The drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco was as delightful as I remember it. The beautiful sunny weather helped, of course, but the scenery is magical. Much of the time on Route 1 the Pacific Ocean is in view, and I determined that the whitest white I have ever seen is the color of the foam as waves break against a rock. Fields of yellow wildflowers, grasses and craggy Monterey pines dotted the roadside, with rocky ledges overlooking the sea.

The day after I arrived, my host Ken Malucelli and I walked out on Mori Point. It was quite a hike up from Pacific Beach, but well worth the climb, which was mostly on steps that have been built into the hillside. The typical pastel homes of this area marched up and down the hills, and we could see Mt. Tamalpias north of San Francisco and as far south as Half Moon Bay. Beyond the Farallone Islands (about five miles off the coast) I think I even saw a little bit of Tokyo as well.