Cool San Diego Sights turns five years old!

This coming Friday, Cool San Diego Sights will celebrate its five year anniversary!

Huh? Seriously? How is that possible?

Apparently I’m having fun, because time is flying!

I keep telling myself that I’m going to slow down this blogging thing, but it doesn’t seem to happen. I keep on walking like crazy, and I keep seeing more “cool” stuff. And so the trusty old camera keeps rising up to snap photographs.

I suppose as long as my legs continue to move, Cool San Diego Sights will expand!

Thanks to all who visit this blog. Some of you I know personally, thousands of you I will never meet. Thank you for coming along on my semi-random walks around San Diego.

During the past five years, too many amazing things have happened to mention. Starting this blog has allowed me to see things I would never have seen, meet people I would never have met. It has completely changed my life.

When I hit the publish button for my first modest post, Ribbon of life mural by the San Diego River, I had no idea how this thing would grow. Cool San Diego Sights now features 1784 blog posts and nearly twenty thousand photographs. It’s approaching half a million page views.

Cool San Diego Sights has also been the successful launching pad for Short Stories by Richard. Writing fiction is my true passion. I still can’t believe that my short story One Thousand Likes has been read by a bunch of tenth grade students. That’s utterly amazing. What an honor.

So, here we are, moving through time, and I have no idea where my next walk will be. Probably from Cortez Hill to a downtown trolley station as I head off to my job this morning. And then I’ll just keep pushing forward.

As of this moment, the only material waiting in my computer are photos of cool street art along El Cajon Boulevard, which I’ll post in the next few days. Beyond that, who knows? Anything is possible!

Have a great week!

Richard

How you can help USO San Diego fight hunger!

The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for a hungry neighbor, receive a five dollar coupon for the store!
The USO is collecting food at Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets around San Diego. Buy a five dollar bag of food for those who are hungry, receive a five dollar coupon from the store!

Before I post more photos of Comic-Con, let me alert my local readers to a great opportunity to help others. I just discovered an easy and essentially free way to help fight hunger in San Diego!

Walking back home from Comic-Con, I realized I needed groceries, so I swung by the downtown Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. As I stepped inside, I was greeted by two friendly volunteers from the USO. They’re working to fight hunger in San Diego!

I learned that during the month of July, shoppers who purchase a $5 bag of food from their table to help feed the hungry receive a $5 coupon from the store!

Kudos to the USO and their efforts. Kudos to Grocery Outlet Bargain Market for their generosity!

I also learned the USO collects food twice a month from a mobile food pantry in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check out the USO San Diego Facebook page for times and locations!

USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!
USO San Diego collects food twice a month in partnership with Feeding San Diego. Check the USO Facebook page for their Mobile Food Pantry locations!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Do smartphones make people more shallow?

I probably shouldn’t post this blog. I share some of the guilt. After all, I’m a producer of internet content.

During my walk through Balboa Park today, I felt creeping despair.

Balboa Park is an amazing, wonderful, special place. Lifted eyes see a world that is infinitely interesting and beautiful.

About one third of the people I observed had their eyes absolutely fixed to the tiny screens of their smartphones. They were too obsessed to notice the vast world around them. Nor other people around them.

Of these, many were grown adults searching for a virtual Pokemon, a game fit for the simple mind of a child. At least these people looked up from time to time.

Yes, I know some people were busy communicating with friends, or perhaps looking up information, or a map of the park.

I also know that our lives are complex and so is human psychology. Everyone is different. I, too, have my silly, simple pleasures. It’s hard to draw firm conclusions. Technology changes. The culture changes. People change. Fads come and go.

But it does appear that humans are powerfully drawn to stimuli on isolated screens.

And, of course, the wonderful thing about smartphones is they can make life so much easier. Eye-to-eye politeness is no longer required. The potential for vulnerability in spontaneously spoken words is thankfully avoided. Problem solving is automatic. Critical thinking is less and less necessary. Simple and self-comforting ideas flood social media. Self absorption is made as easy as pie. Narcissism is rewarded.

I often wonder, as virtual reality becomes increasingly prevalent, whether people will permanently insert their whole selves into shallow, shrinking virtual worlds. The Matrix, of our own calculated making.

If it feels good, why fight it?

Fun sights you can discover in San Diego!

How time flies! Cool San Diego Sights is almost five years old!

You might not realize it, but Cool San Diego Sights now has hundreds of unique blog posts, and thousands upon thousands of fun photos that you can explore!

One easy way to revisit old blog posts that share a particular theme or subject is to click a tag. You might be surprised by all the diverse, unexpected things you’ll discover!

Some of Cool San Diego Sight’s more interesting tags include: history, public art, nature, eventsarchitecture, Balboa Park, Gaslamp, Old Town, beaches, Comic-Con, street art and museums.

Click one that interests you!

As you explore my blog, you might notice there’s a whole universe of tags. You can find a handful of pertinent ones located at the bottom of each post. If you’re interested in a particular San Diego neighborhood, those tags exist, too!

There’s also a handy search box that you can use. Look for it in the sidebar.

Make exciting discoveries and have fun with me as I explore San Diego! I’m going somewhere fascinating this Saturday that very few people know about!

If you’d like, you can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Pinterest pins of beautiful Balboa Park!

Pinterest pins of beautiful Balboa Park!

Do you love Balboa Park?

I just added a bunch of colorful photos to my page of Pinterest pins concerning Balboa Park. You can see them here.

These represent some of my best photographs from my special blog Beautiful Balboa Park.

You might also visit some of my other San Diego Pinterest boards, which I update from time to time. I have pins of places and events, San Diego Comic-Con and street art, and all sorts of cool, surprising stuff!

Feel free to pin or repin anything you’d like! I love the way Pinterest organizes so many memories all together in one place. If I’m stuck indoors and miss walking, a jumble of wonderful visions is just a click away!

Help raise awareness for World Rare Disease Day.

World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.
World Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2018. Show you care by spreading the word.

I learned something important today. This coming Wednesday–February 28, 2018–is World Rare Disease Day.

I wouldn’t have known this had I not walked through Mission Beach’s Belmont Park and met some smiling volunteers. They are working to raise awareness about rare diseases. They had a table set up near the carousel and told me a little about this often overlooked problem.

Rare diseases are usually caused by faulty genes, and about half of the people affected by rare diseases are children. Almost a third of these children will not live to see their fifth birthday.

Sadly, about half of all rare diseases do not have a specific foundation supporting or researching the condition. As you can see, it’s critical for many kids that we spread the word and provide support for those who are sick, and fund research in the search for effective treatments.

Two websites where you can learn more and perhaps help are here and here.

Please click my photo of the information chart, and it will enlarge so you can read it. Feel free to share any of these images.

These cool volunteers at Mission Beach's Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
These cool volunteers at Mission Beach’s Belmont Park were informing the public about rare diseases.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Rare diseases are often caused by faulty genes. They impact more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Only 5 percent have an FDA approved drug treatment.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.
Help fight rare diseases by learning more and spreading the word.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

A short story about social media and isolation.

This morning I wrote a short story titled One Thousand Likes. It touches upon the human heart, the pleasure produced by facile happiness, and the dark, isolating effect of social media.

To read it, click here.