Human beings are amazing creatures. Throughout our existence, we've developed cures for diseases that had wiped out previous civilizations and built contraptions capable of carrying men to the moon. And also, tiny, remote-controlled airplanes. Surprisingly, those planes are quite popular in Orange County. Enthusiasts have even banded together to form a club called the Harbor Soaring Society. Meetings include dinner, a reading of the monthly club newsletter, and a whole lot of talk about remote-controlled planes and helicopters. Then it's off to gather at various parks (Costa Mesa's Fairview Park, as previously noted, is a favorite spot), where they fly unmanned aircraft while shootin' the shit on the latest in remote-controlled news. (AP) For more information, go to

There's almost nothing harder than thinking about nothing. But that's perhaps the key to relaxation and optimal mental health. Humans have been meditating for millennia; while it hasn't made them immortal, it has conferred upon them an inner peace that has helped many of them to get laid with some frequency. Where to meditate, though? Try the summit of the nearest mountain. (If this proves impossible, a remote corner in your living space or back yard will do.) But the really hard part is expunging all thoughts of imminent economic collapse, work deadlines, lusts, etc. Especially etc. You may need expert help to attain this exalted state. Costa Mesa's Visions & Dreams Bookstore (associated with San Diego's Vajrarupini Buddhist Center) offers individual meditation classes for $10. It could be your om away from home. (DS) Visions & Dreams Bookstore, 2482 Newport Blvd., Ste. 100, Costa Mesa, (949) 650-6929;

Summer isn't just for you to enjoy—it's also for your dog. And summer is the best season for treating your pooch to a few hours of off-leash fun at one of OC's many dog parks. Simple pleasures don't get much simpler than letting your dog run around till he exhausts himself while you relax on a bench under a shady tree, chatting up that fellow dog-lover who thinks your bundle of furry love is just soooo adorable. Until he tries to hump some purebred, anyway, which is always a good laugh. Dog parks are located in Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Orange, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and Seal Beach, but everyone always talks about the greatness of the Huntington Beach Dog Beach. And it is great—surf, sand, sun and drenched tails all wagging with ecstatic joy? Woof! (RK) The Huntington Beach Dog Beach, between Seapoint Street and 21st Street, Huntington Beach, (714) 841-8644;

We love us some Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball. But when certain irritants become too insurmountable to ignore—$8 parking; $3 hot dogs; way, way overpriced booze; the general ugliness of Yankees and BoSox fans; ADHD-addled idiots who insist that knocking a stupid beach ball around is somehow more entertaining than soaking up the artistry of the Summer Game—we head up the 57 to Fullerton and partake of OC's other pro baseball team, the Orange County Flyers, who began their fourth season June 10. The Flyers are part of the independent Golden Baseball League, mostly made up of young players and journeymen trying to hook up with a big-league affiliate, so you may not see any future Vlady Guerreros, but screw that—all baseball is good baseball, especially when the most expensive ticket is $12 (and a simple fiver will get you past the turnstile). You want celebs? The Flyers' manager is none other than Hall of Fame catcher (and Sunny Hills High grad) Gary Carter. And hey, how can you not love a team whose best player the past two seasons was named Peanut Williams? (RK) All Orange County Flyers home games take place at Goodwin Field on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton. For a complete schedule and more info, click up

So the romantic date isn't as affordable as it used to be. If you're looking for a creative way to make something out of not so much this summer while avoiding spending money on gas, here's your solution: a "rustic" sunset picnic with a side of flamenco. Begin your Friday or Saturday evening by making your way to ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, just around the corner from the Belmont Shore pier in Long Beach. Stash your car (or walk there), and stop by the shop for a four-pack of mini wine bottles, some snacks and a couple of small paper bags. Head down to the pier around sunset and enjoy. With your slight buzz, meander down the bike and pedestrian path on the beach toward downtown. When you get to First Place, leave the beach, walk up to Ocean Boulevard, then head a few blocks west until you hit Pine Avenue. Make a right, and settle in at Alegria, where you can catch a stunning, free live flamenco show at 7:30 or 9 p.m. Maybe splurge on a small plate of tapas and a sangria, and it'll still come in at way below the cost of the $47.50 flamenco show at Sevilla across the street. (DJA) Alegria Cocina Latina Restaurant, 115 Pine Ave., Long Beach, (562) 436-3388; ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, 3950 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 434-7407.

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