Richard Wiens, The Triplicate

Enjoyed a couple of unexpected treats this weekend. One came courtesy of the animal kingdom, the other of human endeavor. Both were very Del Norte.

And the best news is, they're still there for you to enjoy as well.

The constant murmur of waves and the irregular screeching of seagulls are two of the auditory rewards of living near the sea. A third is even more welcome, because it arrives on the wind.

When the breeze is right, the barking of seals a mile away seems to emanate from your own backyard. Lately they've sounded more exercised than ever, and on Saturday I peeked at them first from Point St. George and then from Pebble Beach Drive.

There they were by the dozens, staking out the stony flatlands this side of Castle Rock and cavorting in the water.

And there they stay, well-fed guests at a lush resort. Grab some binoculars and check them out. Perhaps the best viewing point is also the most accessible: the northernmost turnout on Pebble Beach Drive just before it reaches Washington Boulevard.

Hours after the seal expedition, Laura and I attended the reception for the new Coast Redwoods Art Association's Juried National Art Show.

Folks, the diverse talent currently gracing the walls of the Crescent Harbor Gallery is not to be missed. Photos of some of the winners announced Saturday night are on today's Neighbors page, but this year's big winner is the local art scene as a whole.

Regular hours at the gallery are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Oh, and that other gallery right upstairs ain't bad either.

Really the best thing?

My contention in last week's column that Neil Armstrong's first walk on the moon was the best thing that's happened in my lifetime generated some newsroom discussion.

It started out with the obligatory age joke from a 20-something reporter: What about the invention of the printing press?

Then it got more serious. What about the civil rights movement? Or the emergence of the Internet?

You certainly could make an argument for either of those, but neither constituted a singular event like the first moon landing, so I stand by my contention.

Maybe you had to be there, and by "there" I mean not the moon itself but the Earth, circa 1969, when all the world was in awe of the accomplishment.

Definitely not the best thing

It's the first day of school - do you know the name of your teacher?

The Triplicate flunked that particular test on Saturday's front page, referring for no good reason to Janet Parker as "Linda Parker."

It wasn't the fault of reporter Jessica Cejnar, who interviewed Parker about getting ready to instruct a new class designed to introduce younger children to kindergarten. The teacher's first name was correct in the story, but not in the caption beneath a photo of Parker. That was written by yours truly, who knows Parker well enough to know better.

We try to do a lot with our small staff and we're running hard to produce the best possible newspaper three times a week. Sometimes nonsensical mistakes are made in the rush. Blah blah blah. Excuses, excuses.

Let's just call it a teachable moment.