Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tooth pull

Last week, Mom and I went to the dentist. Seems normal, right? Turns out that an incoming tooth was going to mess up my front teeth, as a baby tooth was pushing it away. What seemed like a regular dentist appointment soon was complicated by a tooth pull.  Man, does Novocaine painkiller do weird things to your upper lip! We went to the store afterwards to get ice cream, and ended up getting strawberries. I knew they were fresh and ripe and had a really strong scent, but the painkiller made it so that my left nostril was so numb I couldn't sniff them!

Later, I drew the following picture, starring some characters I made up:


Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 lb 2.7 oz

Tacks on the road in three separate corners of Old Santa Cruz Highway this morning.  How rude.  I avoided them, but saw several other cyclists who did not, so I felt compelled to pick them all up on my way back down the hill.

All told,  5 lb 2.7 oz of tacks.  That's almost as much as the kiddo when she was born.  I may have missed a couple, so call it a baby's worth.

Or 2346 grams, with an average weight of 1.4 grams each.  1676 tacks.  Almost as many tacks as feet of elevation gain on this relatively modest 20 mile ride.

1676 tacks.  20-30 minutes of tack picking-up.  About a tack a second.

Very full pockets.  More than 5 lb of tacks.

Clearly, I need to melt them all down and make dinosaurs (also seen on ride).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Yesterday's weather

At the top of Mt. Hamilton

I rode up both the front and back sides (didn't suffer enough on the front for a proper close-to-birthday ride!) for a total of almost 7000 feet. 

Gloves were very salty afterward.

This is 25 degrees higher than last week, when I had to content myself with stalking newts in the rain...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

3 degrees of separation

On a ride last Saturday, I glimpsed a bike glove lying at the side of the road. It could easily have come from one of the folks in our group, most of whom were up ahead of me, so I snagged it. It proved to be too small for any of us, though, and I wondered how to go about getting the glove reunited with whomever lost it.

Well, I thought, the local cycling community has a pretty high percentage of techies and industry folks, and an awful lot of both groups are on social media of one sort or another. Given that I found the glove up a road that "casual" cyclists aren't too likely to frequent, the odds of matching up glove to owner probably go up a notch. So I figured I'd try an experiment, and see how long it took the social networks to do the job.

My starting point was Twitter - partly because there seems to be a pretty good network of cyclists on Twitter, and I knew a couple people with large numbers of followers who would likely spread the word. With one tweet, I launched the campaign!

I was actually shocked at just how fast the experiment produced results. @cyclelicious asked his followers, and boom! the owner of the lost glove was identified.

The next step was to effect the return of the glove. Again, the network effect to the rescue: the owner lives (literally and figuratively) over the hill; but @cyclelicious lives over there and works pretty close to me. We coordinated a lunchtime hand-off of the glove, midway between our offices, out on a scenic local bike trail.

And so, to those who question the utility of social networks: here's a nice example of just how useful they can be, when put to good purposes.

Big chapeau to @cyclelicious for his continuing efforts as part of the glue that binds the local cycling community together!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

A self-portrait of Nim to brighten your day:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Grandparents in the Fog

Last weekend, while Bill and Faith were here, we planned a hike up to the top of Black Mountain.  Since the normal trails were on the long-ish side, I cleverly planned ahead and got a permit to park at the top of Montebello Road, making it an easy climb of 500 ft over two miles on a dirt road that is in good enough shape that I sometimes ride my road bike on it.

I couldn't, however, cleverly plan the weather.  It was gorgeous the week previous, and it's back to 70F and sunny this week, but we got fog over the weekend, making it hard to see the normal views of the Bay in one direction and the ocean in the other.

Can you tell Faith is near the summit?

It was interesting photogenic fog that changed every couple of minutes, at least.

Despite being a bit tired, Nim was still cute

and goofy! I declined to piggyback her all the way down (95lb is TOO MUCH for that)

One hopes that grandparents had a good time.  It looks like they did.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year

To celebrate New Years' Day, we headed out on a family bike ride on the levees in the edge of the bay near Alviso.

Nimue is now big enough to have stolen/inherited my mountain bike.  I think that means I get a new one at some point.  As it is, I can ride my commute bike on much of the terrain I would mountain bike on locally.

Nim actually smiled while riding with Chad.  That is, before she got tired...

We also inadvertently investigated Drawbridge, the Bay Area's only ghost town.  A few buildings on stilts can still be seen in the marsh near where Coyote Creek enters the bay --  all that is left of a collection of 90 buildings that comprised a thriving railroad town back in the day.

(I've seen this before, but there was a new interpretive plaque, so now we know why there are weird old buildings out in the mud.)

A good start to the New Year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What have we been up to?

Between rearranging the photo set-up on the computer (Chad) and then forgetting what the new scheme was (me), and just plain being busy this fall, we are behind in posting stuff.  Here are just a few of the things we've been up to lately:

Chad and Anna's anniversary weekend in Berkeley.  We climbed Mt. Diablo twice, as well as doing some other riding, and enjoyed a lovely meal at Chez Panisse.  Nimue and Linda had a fun weekend back in Sunnyvale.  (Photo taken by weird guy in a Superman shirt.

Too many concerts.  Here are a few selections from The Choir Who Shall Not Be Named (unnamed due to these being bootleg recordings that I made despite their clueless requests that people not record their own kids for out-of-town grandparents).

I forgot the recorder for Nim's band concert -- you get a reprieve this year :)

Nights out.  We were lucky enough to get the last three tickets at the SFJazz center when Eddie Palmieri was there at the end of November.  Most excellent.  While we were killing time between dinner and the concert, we wandered around the Civic Center area and found a nice little pedestrian area with lit up sculptures, coffee shops, and the like.

Another lit tree sculpture.  This one, named Aurora, was a burning man project that is now installed in downtown Palo Alto.  It's entertaining because you can control the color and blinking with your phone. We played with it after a California Bach Society concert we went to last weekend.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Turning off the inner Grinch

This year, getting ready for the holidays has been making me grumpy.  I'm just tired of the excessive worship at the alter of the Gods of Retail.  I'm tired of holiday decorations that started going up in stores in August.  I'm tired of crazed driver maniacs running amok in parking lots.

I'm tired listening to the g$%^%*&*#$%^@$ Christmas muzak in the grocery store while I try to navigate around someone staring slackjawed at the multi-processed non-food on the shelf, unaware of the fact that they parked a cart in such a manner as to make it impossible to pass.  I Won't be Home for Christmas if I can't make it up to the checkout line with my milk.

Or maybe I'm just tired from the complications of trying to fit dinner for everyone around the many rehearsals and concerts.

You're a Mean One, Mommy Grinch.

This morning, however, the gray storm clouds of Grinchdom have let up somehow.

Maybe it was getting the tree up and enjoying the living room by candlelight last night.

Maybe it was the nice walk in the sunshine after dropping Nimue off early for a concert yesterday, followed by peaceful half hour to ready with a yummy piece of cake and a cappuccino.

Maybe it was the fact that said concert turned out to be festive, not out-of-control, and no one nagged for money donations for the already-privileged kids of the area.

Maybe it was finally having a moment to make the year-end donations that I wanted to make.

And maybe it was finding a very cool Christmas gift for Nim on the side of the road next to someone's recycling bin.  Most satisfying.