Baja Christian Living San Diego Living

A Foot on Each Side

My life is in San Diego. We live here. I’m as involved locally as I’ve ever been. My work is here. My friends are here. My home is here. My bills are here. Everything is here.

I live here in Rolando.

My life is also in Tijuana and Ensenada, two cities in Baja California, Mexico. There’s simply no denying that.

San Diego Living

Building Up California’s Urban Core

A new report from the State of California’s Department of Finance came out this month showing that the population of California is in trouble. According to the report, “The reasons for the decline during this decade were, by order of magnitude, higher domestic out-migration, lower immigration to California, and fewer births.”

San Diego Living

In San Diego it’s now a crime to be poor

Somehow I missed The Jungle in high school.

When I read Upton Sinclair’s classic as a young adult it changed things. While most readers recall the horrifying details of Chicago’s turn-of-the-century meatpacking industry I saw myself in┬áJurgis┬áRudkus.

San Diego Living

San Diego via Timelapse

Oh baby, this captures so much of what makes San Diego a beautiful place to live.

I can’t wait for my little rail kit rail & dolly kit to arrive so I can start learning how to shoot these kinds of time-lapse shots.

Garden technology

Adding shade in the garden

The front door of our house faces east towards the Pacific Ocean. (A mere 10 miles west!) Our backyard garden sit on the top of an exposed his with full eastern sun.

For three seasons that really isn’t a big deal. In fact, because we can get full sun for about 75% of the garden it means that the other three seasons are great. But right now, in the height of summer sun, with June Gloom giving way to coastal San Diego’s July Fry, our plants are suffering.

In both our tomato patch and where we currently have our melons, the plants obvious grow towards the north fence and away from the full glare of all day sun. Leaves on our cucumbers always look wilted. Once something gets established and can effectively shade itself we are totally fine. But often small plants never thrive.

Today we made a small investment in a fix by adding some shade for the melon patch & the tomatoes.

Here’s my supply list: (All from Home Depot)

  • Tan sun screen (6’x20′ = $31)
  • Garden stakes (9 x 4 feet each = $8.97)
  • Grommets ($7.96)
  • Zip ties (laying around the garage)
  • 2 hooks (also in the garage)

The melon patch is 7 feet wide. I measured 24 inches from the fence and drove the 3 stakes down so 36 inches was out of the soil. I cut the sun shade to length and put 4 grommets across the top, 2 in the middle and 2 on the bottom. Next, I used a level to attach the 4 grommets to the fence securely. I draped the shade from the fence and over the stakes, making a little tent over the top.

It’s a very simple design aimed at just keeping the sun off of them in the heat of the day. While I could stake down the bottom I don’t have it staked right now so I can easily flip the ends up and weed underneath.

For the tomato patch I made it even simpler. I attached it to the fence on the north end draped it over the various bamboo stakes and then attached it to the fence on the other side.

Zip ties were my friend. They made the whole process simple and entirely portable.

The hope is that this solution helps lessen the direct sunlight and helps both the melons and tomatoes beat the heat to a better yield.

We should know in a couple weeks.

San Diego Living

Paul’s Fishing Trip

Kristen and I decided that we’d give each of the big kids an experience as part of their Christmas. So Megan is going whale watching with mom and I took Paul fishing out on the open ocean.

After a lot of research online I booked our day on the Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing. (Yelp review) It was pretty reasonably priced and the reviews were good, especially for those with kids.

We weren’t disappointed! We both had a great time, made a lot of memories, caught some fish, and had plenty of stories to tell.

(click on the images to see them full-sized, sorry about the upside down ones!)


McLane Creative

Learn from me on December 3rd

If you live in Southern California (or are willing to come visit) I am hosting 2 classes on December 3rd through a brand new website, Skillshare.

Growing your business with Mailchimp

How to get started with Mailchimp, set-up and grow your lists, and grow your business

Mailchimp is an amazingly powerful tool. Whether you are a small start-up, a restaurant, a band, or a non-profit– Mailchimp can help you grow your business. In this 2-hour class we’ll quickly cover the basics of the service and quickly dive into unleashing the power of this amazing email marketing webapp. We’ll talk about lists & groups, templates, integrations with tools like Eventbrite, Facebook, and Salesforce, and email marketing strategy.

Cost – $25 Register here

Blogging 101

Learn how to start a blog from scratch, build an audience, and have fun while doing it!

This class will be laid back but full of experience, practical application, and practice. As a full-time blogger and blog coach I’ve helped countless bloggers get going for their own blogs and even launch small businesses.

Topics covered: (But not limited to)

  • Getting started for free
  • Choosing the right platform
  • Customizing your blog
  • What to write about
  • How to write for response
  • How to build a tribe
  • Intro to analytics and other measurement tools
  • Principles of social media interaction

The class will be two hours. But the format is loose and I won’t leave until I’ve answered all of your questions. My goal is that you walk away with a firm understanding of what to do AND ready to get started. In true McLane Creative form, after class the teacher is buying the first round next door at the Mission Brewery.

Cost – $25 Register here

Local Weather San Diego Living

San Diego blackout live blog

4:00ish – they power went out, first we thought it was just a breaker. Ten a neighbor banged on our door.

4:05 – saw on twitter lots of activity. Hearing it’s out all over San Diego. Crazy!

4:08 – trolleys are down, people are leaving work. Beer thirty came early! Thankful I didn’t go back downtown after my meeting at Journey.

4:21 – kids got bored, playing dominos. (lofi fun!)

4:32 – kids bored again. Goodbye dominos.

4:44 – hearing sirens on El Cajon Blvd. Eerily quiet out there.

4:47 – taking bets on when the power comes back on. Paul says dinner, Megan says tomorrow. When do you think? Also seeing on Twitter that parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Baja are out

4:55 – filled up a couple jugs with water, just in case.

4:59 – cell service is completely slammed. I’m not getting anything through now.

5:04 – just heard that SDGE is reporting power will be out into the night, maybe as late a tomorrow.

5:09 – off to find ice

5:15 – Vons is closed, strike 1.


5:21 – you can always trust a liquor store to be open. Unfortunately, my favorite one is sold out of ice. (avoided buying booze, tempting)

5:29 – Paul (age 8) is telling me he thinks this was caused by a solar flare.

5:37 – everywhere is either closed or out of ice. The upside is that everyone is calm and courteous on the roads. There will be a massive party tonight, you can feel that coming.

5:46 – good news, no problems with water (yet) watering the garden. It’s cooling off rapidly out there.

5:52 – looks like the gas is out, too. Thankful that our roast was already done for dinner. Weird that the gas is out.


6:04 – lots of sirens in the distance, no bueno.

6:10 – bad news on the roast, we have to eat it all.

6:21 – Filling up more stuff, the water pressure is noticeably lower. We are also sitting in the back yard now. Going to be a night of community!

6:33 – sitting outside and playing, “I survived the blackout and all I needed was an Apple, baboon, cotton candy, deer, ear plugs…

6:39 – the world may end… We have no cell service.


6:55 – going to take a walk, might as well be neighborly

7:15 – rolando community BBQ tonight, awesome. Everyone is out walking and talking. Best night ever!

7:38 – back from our walk, digging out candles. SDGE is saying maybe no power back until tomorrow. Some area have a water emergency, so far not ours. Have I mentioned how quiet it is? No planes or anything.

7:48 – darkness is arriving, the kids are pacing in a dark house. They have no idea what to do. How many hours until the sun rises?

7:56 – with darkness settling in, all I hear is chatter of neighbors, crickets, and a helicopter over City Heights. I hope the helicopter pilot got epic shots of a dark city. Crazy.

8:01 – on our walk a gas meter looking thing was running, sounded like a generator. Anyone know what that is?

8:10 – saw on twitter that school was already cancelled for tomorrow. Summer vacations revenge! Thankful our area not under water restrictions yet. Am I obsessing about water or is it just hot?

8:25 – brought the kids outside to look at the stars. The moon is almost obnoxiously bright.


8:29 – forced the children to eat all of the ice cream, also informed them that school closed tomorrow. Best day ever!

8:48 – listening to am 600. Heard they are restoring power to OC, Tijuana.

8:58 – KPBS is reporting that the power is back on at SDSU. I guess the giant toga party is ending…

9:09 – spoke to an AP reporter covering the blackout.

10:25 – we see lights on far out to the east on the hills. We secretly hate those people.

10:34 – power is on in La Mesa, just like 2 miles from here. Now I’m just wanting this over.

10:35 – if the power isn’t on by morning, filet mignon and eggs for breakfast.

10:48 – power on at SDSU & La Mesa, but Rolando? Nothing. I’m calling Jesse Jackson in the morning.

Blog Highlight Church Leadership Good News

Being Good News

Today’s video post is a synopsis of about 10 conversations I’ve had in the last 60 days. All of them get to the question, “Adam, something has changed inside of you. I like it sometimes and I don’t like it sometimes, what is it?

One thing I’ve learned to get comfortable with in the last 10 years of ministry is people asking me hard questions, diving into my motivations, and even offering critical responses. I can handle it. I am not intimidated by it. In fact, questions like this actually encourage me.

San Diego Living

Rules for Public Transportation

We are a one car household. Fortunately for us, we live in a city where you can get away with having just one car because we have a decent public transportation system.

Our transportation system, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, also has a policy that permits bikes. This allows me the daily privilege of riding my bike to the trolley station, than taking my bike on the trolley with me, than riding the rest of the way to work.

But riding public transportation definitely has some rules. Social norms that make the experience much more pleasant.

  1. Always wear headphones. Even if your headphones don’t connect to anything but your pocket, always wear headphones.
  2. Don’t stare. Look at your phone, look out the window, or stare at the floor. Just don’t look at anyone unless you want to talk. Making eye contact is an invitation to conversation.
  3. Don’t eat. It may seem like an efficient thing to do. But you never know when you’ll see something gross, smell something really gross, or have the awkward opportunity to eat in front of someone who clearly hasn’t eaten recently. Just don’t eat.
  4. Help people who are obviously lost. This is the joy of living in a tourist town. I never mind helping someone who is genuinely lost. They all have “the lost look.” example: My home station is San Diego State University. The funny part about helping people from there is that they have to really listen to understand why I am telling them to go a certain way. If they are going downtown it might make sense to go two stops further away downtown and transfer to a different trolley line. When you look on the map it looks further and the wrong direction. (It is) But it is actually significantly faster because the other line goes directly where they want to go with fewer transfers. Riding the trolley isn’t like driving. You want the fastest route, not the shortest.
  5. Be aware of what is going on. I’ve taken public transportation both in San Diego and Chicago frequently enough to know that there are sometimes dangers to be avoided. The general rule of thumb is, “If it feels bad, it probably is bad.” The good news in San Diego is that they have closed circuit cameras everywhere. If something did happen (I’ve never seen anything truly bad happen) there is a good chance it got caught on camera.
  6. Discretely take pictures or video to giggle at later. Oh, I know this is probably a social faux pax to mention. But I have seen it all on the trolley and sometimes people don’t believe me.
  7. If you ride regularly get to know your riding partners. The funny thing about this is that you “know” people but you might not know their names. But you know that one person gets on at this stop and reads a book every day. And another gets on and always sits near you. Or one lady is always in a hurry but is claustrophobic so won’t ride the first elevator because it is too full. You may not “know” these people, but regular riding partners will make you feel more secure.
  8. Know your schedule. If you ride for a while you get a sixth sense about when your bus or trolley runs. I know if I leave my house at 7:58 I have a good chance of catching an earlier trolley. Or if I don’t leave right at 5:00 PM from work, I might as well hang out another 10 minutes.
  9. Keep smiling. Sometimes the trolley drives me nuts. But any time I’m a little delayed or stressed out by a minor inconvenience (like a person dying on the trolley and delaying it 2 hours) I just remember that I don’t have the expense of a second car and I’m not sitting in traffic thinking about my next oil change. Taking public transportation has limited stress in my life– and for that, it’s awesome!