Friday, December 28, 2007
After Davis, we took the scenic road to Napa. It was curvier and windier than I had remembered, but it still was a pretty drive. Driving past some lakes and reservoirs, you could really tell how low the water is from the drought. We stopped at the Petrified Forest in Calistoga, which isn't really a forest but a few fallen petrified trees. The few trees were impressive and just attempting to pick up a small size log, you could feel the difference in weight. I bought a nice piece of petrified wood that's from somewhere in North America. Among the petrified trees, they identified some trees and shrubs as points of interest. One is manzanita, which has a beautiful red bark.
After our brief adventure in Calistoga, we headed to our hotel, which is almost brand new and just south of Napa. After multiple wrong turns, we finally made our way there. It doesn't help that it's located within a new office park and there are no signs at all. I didn't bother with the street name because I knew its general location and I figured there would be signs pointing the way. But it was a nice resort with a vineyard, spa and wine cellar in a "cave"...meaning an artificial cave. We indulged in some much needed spa treatments the next morning. I should have just spent the day there...at least in the eucalyptus sauna or just chillaxing in the waiting room complete with tea and magazines. I now realize that my upper back and neck are just full of knots that may never go away. But after my short massage, my recent ailment in my left shoulder was feeling better. Our room rocked with double sinks, a separate toilet room with telephone of course, flat screen tv, and the best thing was that the drinks and wine in/above the mini bar were free. They refilled it the next day too. We eventually ventured back to Napa and went to V. Sattui and attempted to go to other vineyards but were stymied in one way or another. But we both really like V. Sattui so that was fine with me. Besides with all the goodies back at the hotel, why leave! I attempted to go the hotel vineyards but they had closed it...I guess from the rain.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
California is in a period of drought and it was apparent here. By this time of year, the Woods should be a dewy and wet place. Not this time. More redwoods had fallen since my last trip, but in the right spot it was dark enough you thought it was past sunset.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Even though eucalyptus trees is not truly a native Californian species, it sure is pretty.
Here's one of the views from the top of Coit Tower, which stands Telegraph Hill in San Fran. Of course, every single window is covered in glass so it's tough to get good photos. Plus it confuses the silly tourists as one unlucky girl found out when she bonked her nose hard into the glass. She thought there was no glass. That's the Golden Gate bridge in the distance and you get a vague sense of the topography of the city.
I didn't know that there were wild parrots that have returned to nature at Coit Tower. I believe the story is that a few pet parrots escaped and reproduced and now a flock is found around Telegraph Hill. They sure are noisy. My attempts to get a good shot of one was defeated by the angle of the sun and their reluctance to get close. But here's a glimpse at one at the end of the arrow.
It's real difficult to get a good photo of the hills of San Fran. But here's my attempt below Telegraph Hill. What you can't see is that the past couple blocks of sidewalks had stairs, not flat concrete.
In Washington Square Park, there's a church which I just randomly took a pic of. I think it's Church of Saint Peter and Paul, which is where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their wedding blessed. They got married at town hall.
Next post will be of my adventures in Muir Woods.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The windows are wide open and all the fresh air coming in the house. Shh...Don't mention all that pollen. And the fawns!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I know that the regulations say that "No resident shall hang garments, wash, rugs, clothes, or other items from the windows or from any of the facades, porches, patios, or balconies." But this line seems to only refer to wash or rugs. I don't see how somebody hanging a wind chime is hurting the aesthetic appeal of the 20 year old development. What I do see hurting the aesthetic appeal, is the general lack of maintainence on the facade...rotted wood in the trim and posts, holes in the trim, lighting fixtures that are not securely attached, etc. Nevermind how in the summer of 2002, a macroburst swept through my area. I lost numerous larger trees and all they have replanted is one small red maple.
So I only fathom that this crackdown is the result of the condo association attempting to raise some money through fines. As soon as I got this notice, I was reminded of the X-files episode where Mulder and Scully pretend to a married couple in a gated community.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Somebody cleared all the vines off the old gate. Must have been a lot of work.
What you can't see in the pictures are the few vultures sitting on the roof. One was sunning itself with its wings wide open. Check the stairs to get to the joint.
I know that I wish this place would be restored and opened as some sort of hotel. They sure don't build homes like this anymore. It'd be a great place for parties and weddings...just throwing out some ideas here.
Friday, November 23, 2007
"how many hores do i have to walk in my tall boots to break them in"
At first, I was total shocked...but then I realized and hoped that "hores" is really supposed to be "hours" and not what I initially thought it was. Good luck gentle inquirer in East Meadow, NY. Be sure to keep us posted with the answer to that.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It sure was fun seeing trees with leaves covered in snow. I wish I had some pics of the bright red maples.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This is the usual spot I find him...tangled in the roots of the aquatic plant. He's grown quite a bit. His shell is 1.3 inches long. I'm really hoping to keep him out of hibneration this winter so he can grow and be large enough to be free by next fall. But he has to learn how to eat live food before then.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
On Tuesday night, I had a dream about a friend's dog, who is the boxer in the pic. Now it wasn't that I had dogs, him, the owners, etc. even on my mind the night or day before. Because I hear that whatever you thought of last before you fall asleep might find itself in your dreams.
I dreamt we were in the woods and he was without a leash. We were in an area that reminded me of my parent's backyard. I was worried that if we encountered a bear he would go after the bear. Bears are recurring topics in a good chunk of my dreams. I was periodically pulling him by his collar or at least debating whether to lead him just using his collar rather than trusting him to remain with me. Then the second moment is of us trying to locate another dog (the black lab) and somehow we were heading to the lawn of my parent's backyard from the woods. I didn't think anything of this dream, but I emailed my friend to relay the dream. What do you know but the dog had run off that very night without his leash. He was found the next morning and carrying a bow tie in his mouth. It would just be too much if that bow tie came from some neighbor's decorative bear or something.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I don't know what happened. As you can see, his belly was really orange and a little wrinkly from the day I got him. Cashew's belly is smoother and less orange. The past month Peanut seemed to be constantly shedding. His limbs were always surrounded by tissue looking substance. Cashew had it too, but not as bad. I thought that he was growing and so he had to shed constantly. He was indeed growing. Should I have forced him to eat the vitamin enriched pellets sooner? He was eating them the past week. Was the water too cold? It was about 70 degrees this morning. Did the fish I put in with them last week have some negative effect? The fish were segregated from them and they seemed to live in harmony even though the turtlets should be hunting them. Or was he doomed from the start being so small and having some mysterious ailment from birth.
Peanut was full of energy, stubborn, and scrappy. I had always planned on releasing them to this pond when they were bigger and stronger. I guess Peanut just couldn't wait. So here's his final resting spot. He's free now.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The leaves have been hard to enjoy this week with all this rain. I've been outside at least part of the day most of this week. Driving in the rain during this time of year is precarious. Driving on wet leaves equals driving on a slip n slide. I slid like 20 feet down a hill on wednesday. Thankfully I stopped in time before hitting the car in front of me. The car had stopped short on a hill and it knew there wasn't enough room for me so it moved partially into oncoming traffic.
Then on the drive home in the rain on friday, I came close to a pretty serious accident on the highway. My pack and I were driving along and doing the speed limit since the weather was bad. There were four lanes. I was in the second from the right lane. A van was in the second from the left lane and slightly ahead of me, which left the far left lane open. Then all of a sudden I see this new black mustang next to me. I think it was attempting to pass the van and it started to lose control. It was between the far left and middle left lanes and it was weaving back and forth. Each weave got progressively worse and it was trying to slow down at the same time. Finally it looked like it might spin totally out but it just slammed into the median. I could see the pieces coming off the car I was so close.