Archive for November, 2006


Winter arrived. Well, at least fall. The leaves still haven’t fallen off of most of the trees, but the temperature tonight is supposed to get down to 34˚ with a high of 55˚ tomorrow. Meine Schwester seems to think that it may even be warmer where she is. I’ve started wearing scarfs, gloves, and hats. I’m not necessarily wearing a snow parka, so the extra stuff helps. Stop laughing at me all you New England people! ;-)


The Prestige

Saw The Prestige tonight. It was absolutely disturbing. I loved it. I hadn’t really heard about it before going, which is probably a good thing. It makes me wonder about human nature, the need to know, and the need to deceive. It also makes me wonder about the parallels between magic and science in the same way that I thought about the parallels between science and religion while reading Asimov. Many people have a need to believe in something that goes beyond what science gives us. Magic is really just science that the people performing won’t share while religion fills the gaps we haven’t figured out using science yet. Regardless, I highly recommend it. Doesn’t hurt to have such a great cast either. ;-)

Photo Website

I spent today reworking all of my photos. I have a new main page that links all of the albums together. As always, the username is my first name, the password is my middle name, all lowercase.

I’m in the process of writing up the story of my trip. I’ve decided to write it as a short novella rather than as a blog. Hopefully you will enjoy it, but it is taking me a while. Stay tuned for that, but for now, enjoy all the photos!

A good day

Today was just a typical good day. Woke up at 0700. Walked the dog. Dressed and went to a coffee shop in downtown Sunnyvale where I caught up a little bit on my blog. You will notice that I’ve filled in some blanks. Rather than always adding to the top, I’ve post dated the articles to the days they actually happened. So if you aren’t using an RSS feeder, you will have to go look for them. Not going to tell you where they are, and I have more coming soon too.

Got home around noon and ate some leftover turkey day food. Took Perl to Fort Funston and walked on the beach for an hour. Amazing how tired my dog gets after running on sand for sixty minutes. Passed out as soon as we got in the car. Arrived at home around 1600 and took a shower. Proceeded to get into my pajamas. Watched Walk The Line. At 1900, made arrangements with some friends to meet at an Irish pub in Campbell.

Changed into some clothes and walked the dog. Went to the Irish pub where we had a few beers and I told about two too many stories. Including the ones that I will post soon about my trip. Just need a couple of hours to write it all up. Enjoyed the company (thanks J & Y for coming out!) and was glad to not be sitting at home on a Friday night. Left when all “the kids” started showing up. Came home. Wrote in my blog. Now going to sleep.

Don’t wake me. =)

Thanksgiving Wii

Spent my second Thanksgiving ever in California. I usually go home for the holidays, but since I just had a week away, my budget and pets decided I should stay home this week and catch up on everything. It is a funny thing that the most important thing about Thanksgiving is having a place to eat. I had considered reenacting my previous Cali t-day by planning a trip, failing to go on it, and eating turkey and stuffing at Boston Market. Lucky for me, the family of a coworker allowed me to have dinner with them. I did, however, drive by the same Boston Market on the way to their house.

Dinner was absolutely amazing. M—who is trained as a chef, but is a stay at home mom currently—spent the last two days preparing this meal. A turkey that had been brined and prepared for more than 24 hours was absolutely succulent paired with homemade cranberry sauce. Stuffing that was made from bread that was buttered and toasted so many times that we should have invited a heart specialist. Mashed potatoes, squash, and green beans that were solid and savory rounded out the meal. I even got a plate to-go that I will be eating again today!

We tried one of the bottles of Hungarian wine that I picked up. A red. Seemed more like a table wine as it was very clear and fairly easy to drink. It had a strong grape taste like grape juice, and was a little bit bitter, but it wasn’t horrible. I’ve definitely had better.

To top off the evening, one of their guests had brought the infamous Wii. I’ve been wondering what all the buzz on Digg has been, and now I know. I have never wanted a video game player in my life, but now I NEED the Wii! We played Wii Sports. You create your character, and of course we all attempted to make them in our own likeness. Mine ended up looking like Peppermint Patty. Then you play games against other people and swing the controller around as if you were actually playing that sport.

We played Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Baseball, and Boxing. I definitely got an aerobic workout while boxing. Sadly enough, it couldn’t quite keep up with my mad kickboxing skillz. Just like real golf, my long game was much better than my short game. I’m finally catching on to how to get the spin to work while bowling. Playing tennis made me think there is a court outside my house and I should go play. I don’t like video games because they are so inactive. I’ve always loved the ones at arcades like Dave & Busters where you actually ski, or ride motorcycles—anything that is actually active and moving. I hate thumb-workout games. I love the Wii. It is everything that has kept me from buying a console.

Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving spent with friends, video iChatting with family, and getting a workout instead of sleeping. Can’t wait to see everyone for Christmas!

Fall Colors

I was just out taking pictures of fall colors.  I know. You all don’t think we get any color here in northern California, but we do. It is just somewhat rare, and the trees all change at different rates. Some lost their leaves a month ago, others are in the process of losing their leaves now, and the hardwoods probably won’t lose their leaves until January. As you look around, you see a little splash of color here and there. I will admit that it is not even close to the fabulous views in New England. There is no beating the color there. I was disappointed to see there wasn’t a lot of color in eastern europe either. I wonder where else in the world gets color like home.

While I was taking photos, I heard a crack. I turned just in time to see this tree fall. Yes, it made a sound cause I was around, even though it wasn’t in the forest. I immediately ran over to make sure that no people or pets were lying underneath. Lucky enough, there were no cars either. Usually there are a couple of cars parked in those spots.

Met a couple of neighbors who I didn’t know exist. They came out of the woodwork when they heard the sound of the tree hitting the ground. They did kind of wonder what I was doing walking around the complex with a camera at the exact time that the tree fell. I only wish I’d thought to take pictures of it falling. One guy said that there are a bunch of these trees around the complex and they were all planted at the same time. Wonder if any others have rotted at the bottom. Guess we will find out.

Hiking in Big Sur

Only I can manage to spend two days of my week off in Big Sur with two early-twenty-somethings. Got a call on Sunday night asking about doggy daycare, which turned into an invitation to go hiking.

Drove down to Big Sur on Monday morning. Spent the afternoon hiking around Andrew Molera State Park. HIked about three miles. It was pretty flat. Went down to the beach. Saw horses and lots of sea gulls. Sun came out for a little while. I soaked my pants while trying to cross a stream. On the way back, we missed a turn and were quite close to the parking lot. It was 16:30 and the sun was going to go down in the next half hour or so. The question was—do we go on ahead and hope that we can cross the stream with the possibility that we may have to double back, or do we just quit now? No one wanted to be responsible for the decision.

I decided. I’d been thinking earlier about how I try to push myself because I instinctively want to do the safe thing. We pushed ahead. I was in luck. The stream was easy to cross, although my feet were pretty pissed about the cold water. Then I pushed them pretty hard to get back to the car before the sunlight totally disappeared. I really had no interest in navigating the woods without a flashlight . It was already hard enough to get around the horse landmines.

With a few minutes of light to spare we made it back to the car. The boys were a little slow, as I’m used to walking with Perl and we’d done about five miles the day before. And here I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them. I was definitely wrong. Guess I’m in better shape than I thought I was.

That evening, we went to the Big Sur Village Pub for dinner. It was full of characters. Dinner was standard pub fare, but the thing I love about this place is there selection of beers. Their menu describes the different kinds of beer from around the world and they have a sprinkling of everything. I couldn’t resist the raspberry lambic as that has been my favorite as of late.

Back at the motel, there are no tvs or phones in the room (although there is wireless), so they provide games in the front office. We managed to play a riveting game of Scrabble as well as making a strange little man out of Playdoh. While putting the scrabble board away, we noticed this written on the side of the box.

I have to say, it was particularly frightening at this particular place, to be out in the woods with no real contact to the outside world. Luckily, there were no stairs to be found, so all was good. It was definitely entertaining though!

The next morning we headed to Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park. We did a four and a half mile moderate hike through the hills. Came upon a fantastic view of the ocean that was soon fogged in. Took a wrong turn and found a waterfall in the redwoods. Ended with a half mile flat walk out to view a waterfall into the ocean. By the end, I was doing fine and the boys were pretty tired. Guess all that walking I do with Perl is paying off!