Computer Science and a boom box at UCSD!

Father of the Computer, Charles Babbage, 1791-1871.
Father of the Computer, Charles Babbage, 1791-1871.

There are two electrical boxes near the UCSD Gilman Transit Center that caught my eye last weekend. One features tributes to three early pioneers of computer science. The other is painted to appear like a gigantic boom box. Technology and music are central to the life of many students at UC San Diego.

I always love revisiting the campus of UC San Diego. It’s a very beautiful place, bustling with energy. The university is rated one of the finest in the world. When I see the inventors of tomorrow, walking with smiles in the La Jolla sunshine, I feel hopeful.

Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852.
Enchantress of Numbers, Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852.
Father of Computer Science, Alan Turing, 1912-1954.
Father of Computer Science, Alan Turing, 1912-1954.
An electrical box painted like a huge boom box near UCSD's Gilman Transit Center.
An electrical box painted like a huge boom box near UCSD’s Gilman Transit Center.
Musical notes stream from an enormous boom box at UC San Diego!
Musical notes stream from an enormous boom box at UC San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Exciting debut of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego's new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez, San Diego’s new Civic Organist, raises his arms in greeting.

I’m still in a state of elation after experiencing the exciting debut this afternoon of San Diego’s new Civic Organist!

The first appearance of Raúl Prieto Ramírez as official organist for the city of San Diego was nothing less than phenomenal. He performed in Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where the public will now enjoy his free performances every Sunday at two o’clock.

His great love of music, his energy, his vivaciousness and his extraordinary skill were apparent from the start. An enormous audience filled the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and welcomed him warmly. At the conclusion of the exciting concert, he received a well-deserved standing ovation.

San Diego is so fortunate. The shoes of previous Civic Organist, Dr. Carol Williams, would be difficult for anyone to fill, but Raúl Prieto Ramírez seems definitely up to the task. His playing is crisp, nimble, precise, and full of expression. His smile is enormous. His mission in life, he told the audience, was to bring to the world great music. That makes him happy.

Raúl Prieto Ramírez comes to San Diego from Barcelona, Spain. He is internationally acclaimed, the founder of the Barcelona-Mataró International Organ Festival. Now he will perform his magic in Balboa Park as Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society. I can tell you right now the future of the 103-year-old Spreckels Organ is incredibly bright.

My photos of today’s concert captures a true artist’s unbounded passion. That passion translates into musical gold.

Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world's largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
Jack Lasher, President of the Spreckels Organ Society, welcomes new San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez to the world’s largest outdoor organ in Balboa Park.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A sparkling debut concert is about to begin.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
A tradition for the Sunday organ concerts in Balboa Park, Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays America to get things started.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
The San Diego audience loved our new Civic Organist from the word go.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about coming to San Diego, before his brilliant performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
Playing the Spreckels Organ with style and passion.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
There were many smiles throughout the large audience at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every bench was full.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
Finishing a difficult Classical piece with a triumphant flourish.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
With theatrical flair, Raúl Prieto Ramírez talks about the next piece, Danse Macabre.
Concentration.
Concentration.
Feeling.
Feeling.
Intensity.
Intensity.
More smiles.
More smiles.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society's Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
After a great organ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Spreckels Organ Society’s Executive Director Ross Porter announces kids are needed for the next number.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Kids from the audience take the stage right next to the Spreckels Organ console.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Here comes a fifth kid.
Instructions are secretly given.
Instructions are secretly given.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short sentence that introduces each part of the music.
While Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays Batalla Famosa, the kids read a short dramatic sentence that introduces each part of the music.
Too much fun!
Too much fun!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!
Meet the new San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramírez!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mormon Battalion Commemoration coming in January!

The annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day is coming to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on January 27, 2018.

Anyone interested in the long march of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego and their important contributions to our city’s early history should put the event on their calendar!

I’ve been informed by the commemoration day organizer that entertainment will include a Native American dance group featuring drums and singers, some colorful ballet folklorico dancers, and an old time fiddler’s group!

To get a taste of the many interesting things you might see, view photos of past Mormon Battalion Commemoration Days here and here!

I recently finished writing a short story about generosity and the true spirit of Christmas. To read it, click here!

Street musician plays flamethrower bagpipes!

A street musician on San Diego's always dynamic Embarcadero plays bagpipes that shoot flames!
A street musician on San Diego’s always dynamic Embarcadero plays bagpipes that shoot flames!

How crazy is this?

During my afternoon walk near the USS Midway Museum I spotted a street musician playing some bagpipes. But these weren’t ordinary bagpipes. These shot flames!

I meant to ask the performer how his unique flamethrower bagpipes work, but he kept playing and playing, and receiving a steady stream of donations, and I didn’t want to interrupt his performance. I’ll have to ask him a few questions should I see him again!

Very cool!

These flamethrowing bagpipes drew a lot of attention at the base of Navy Pier!
These flamethrower bagpipes drew a lot of attention at the foot of Navy Pier!
An unexpected cool sight during another walk in San Diego!
An unexpected cool sight during another walk in San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

A friendly hello at the 2017 San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!
A friendly hello at the 2017 San Diego Brazilian Day Festival!

My walking adventure today included a stop at the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival in Mission Beach. Lots of people were arriving late in the morning, and banners were being raised, and parade floats were being prepared for later in the afternoon, and a band had begun playing Latin beats, and dancers were dancing, and people were joining in with smiles and uninhibited energy.

And so I took some photos!

People hang a banner as the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival gets started late in the morning.
People hang a banner as the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival gets started late Sunday morning.
Nearby, on the Mission Beach boardwalk, people are walking, biking and skating by the beautiful blue ocean.
Nearby, on the Mission Beach boardwalk, people are walking, biking and skating by the beautiful blue ocean.
Brazilian culture was celebrated today, so naturally some vendors were selling crispy pastel.
Brazilian culture was celebrated today, so naturally some vendors were selling crispy pastel.
The music was playing as soon as the festival got started. The Brazilian Institute for Arts and Culture was bringing the spirit of Brazil to San Diego!
The music was playing as soon as the festival got started. The Brazilian Institute for Arts and Culture was bringing the spirit of Brazil to San Diego!
Lots of Brazilian flags at this t-shirt booth.
Lots of Brazilian flags at this t-shirt booth.
Later in the afternoon there would be a carnival-like parade around Belmont Park, and some people were decorating a colorful float.
Later in the afternoon there would be a carnival-like parade around Belmont Park, and some people were decorating a colorful float.
A group promoting Latin American and Latino art had this cool vehicle with word magnets. Visitors were creating poems. There will be a thousand LATIN rainbows.
A group promoting Latin American and Latino art had a cool truck plastered with word magnets. Visitors were creating poems. There will be a thousand LATIN rainbows…
There will also be lots of cool hats!
There will also be stacks of cool hats!
It didn't take long before festival visitors were dancing in front of the main stage.
It didn’t take long before festival visitors were dancing in front of the main stage.
More people join in, and they're really kicking it up!
More people join in, and now they’re really kicking it up!
Smiling ladies commenced an energetic dance routine on the stage to the delight of the growing crowd.
Smiling ladies commenced an energetic dance routine on the stage to the delight of the growing crowd.
A funny photo of two people in the crowd. Can you spot them?
A funny photo of two people in the crowd. Can you spot them?
Brazilian culture was celebrated today in San Diego's sunny Mission Beach!
Brazilian culture was celebrated today in San Diego’s sunny Mission Beach!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool photos of the Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

Anyone could add their own creative touch to this cool Imperial Street Festival spray paint mural!
Anyone could add their own creative touch to this cool Imperial Street Festival spray paint mural!

This afternoon I checked out a cool neighborhood event. I headed into Logan Heights to experience the Third Annual Imperial Avenue Street Festival!

I had never been to this festival before. What did I discover? Lots of culture, live music, tasty food, dance, art . . . and smiles!

Here are some photos!

Lots of live music could be enjoyed at multiple stages.
Live music could be enjoyed at multiple stages.
Cool graffiti art at the Logan Heights neighborhood festival by Dehvzer Artworks.
Cool graffiti art at the Logan Heights neighborhood festival by Dehvzer Artworks.
A fun dance to the music by folks from the Logan Heights community VivaLife Health Hub!
The VivaLife Health Hub had energetic dancers and upbeat music!

The VivaLife Health Hub at 2754 Imperial Avenue is a project of BAME Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that strengthens the residents and businesses in Greater Logan Heights.

BAME puts on this awesome festival. And they are looking for neighborhood volunteers! Click the above link to learn more!

Here are two of many smiles that I saw!
Here are two of many smiles that I saw!
Guys eating at Dulceria Coty on Imperial Avenue have good seats to watch the event.
Guys eating at Dulceria Coty on Imperial Avenue had good seats to watch the event.
Now that looks yummy.
Now that looks yummy.
Calamity!
Calamity!
Lots of vendors and some prize wheels.
Lots of vendors and some prize wheels.
Poster shows student achievers from the local King-Chavez Primary Academy sports and athletics programs!
Poster shows student achievers from the local King-Chavez Primary Academy sports and athletics programs!
The local Turf Klub had some custom cars out for the public to admire.
The local Turf Klub had some custom cars out for the public to admire.
At the East Stage a San Diego youth band called the Main Stage Maniacs rocked the house!
At the East Stage a San Diego youth band called the Main Stage Maniacs rocked the house!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Sailboats, sunshine, and the Commodores!

The Commodores do a sound check before their evening performance at Bayside Summer Nights.
The Commodores do a sound check before their evening performance at Bayside Summer Nights.

Adventures all over today, including walks in La Mesa and Logan Heights.

The best came near the end. I just happened to arrive at Embarcadero Marina Park South as the legendary Motown group Commodores began their sound check for this evening’s Bayside Summer Nights concert. It was like a free “concert” for myself and a few lucky others.

The Commodores have provided so many good moments and memories in my life. Their stirring music has such strong rhythm and heart. Soul, defined. When you listen, you smile, then you start singing too.

Night Shift. Lady (You Bring Me Up). Easy.

I heard bits and pieces of them all.

And in the near distance, sailboats and sunshine on San Diego Bay.

Yes, life is good.

Getting the chairs ready for an outdoor concert on San Diego Bay.
Getting the chairs ready for an outdoor concert on San Diego Bay.
A sailboat tacks. I could hear the sails flapping.
A sailboat tacks. I could hear the sails flapping.
The Commodores on stage produce their legendary magic.
The Commodores on stage produce their legendary magic.
Beauty nearby.
Sunshine and sails. Easy like Saturday afternoon.
Life is good.
Life is good.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!