Sunday, June 27, 2010

Musee D'orsay Expressionism exhibit at the De Young

I am in general, not a lover of art history, although, having said that, I am or have changed.  One of my favorite museums of all time is the D'Orsay in Paris.  It's not too big, the architecture of the building is incredible and the interior layout is awesome too.  Also, I remember it for the people I visited it with.  Tai and Pegi, Kirsty and me went a bunch of years ago, on a work-based tour.  We arrived in Paris Friday, and didn't have work until Tuesday.  Our wives would join us the next day.  Tai had been to Paris, I don't know how many times, and had an idea of what he wanted to do.  I envisioned running to see as many sites as we could, a bit in line with the pace of our previous work days.

The Tuileries Palace surrounds the Louvee museum.  It's a famous place, and Tai suggested we go there to hang out.  Two things happened that day, making a huge impression on me.  I was thinking we were in for a huge day of sightseeing.  We were ready for some rest, but hey, when in Paris...

The Paris surprise
Simply, we hung out.  Had beers, croque monsieur sandwiches and just read and jotted notes and pictures in my journal.  Then we did another amazing thing.  We spent the rest of the afternoon hunting down a restaurant Tai and Pegi went to a long time prior.  I wonder if I could ever find it now.  We just walked around, turning and heading down roads by feel.  Hoping Tai would see things he remembered.  We did find it.  It's a rustic place, very small inside.  Actually bi-level inside, seating maybe 8 or 10 or so tables.  Heavy beams exposed in the ceiling, bright pastel and rustic inside.  Anyways, we made a reservation for the 4 of us for that night.  What a day.  Incredibly memorable.  Essentially, we didn't do anything, but enjoy.  No stress.  No pressure.  No rushing.  Just pure relaxation.  Okay, so the tie-in.  We did the D'Orsay the next day, in the same fashion... which made it 100% enjoyable, and memorable.

About 10 years later, Kirsty and I went again, taking our kids this time.  Still, what a treat.  So special.  Today, I knew we were doing a museum.  One of those engagements where Kirsty organized it, I knew I was going, but really didn't know exactly what I was signing up for.

De Young museum, San Francisco
The De Young is like the D'Orsay to me.  Incredibly beautiful museum, not too big, so well done.  And now they are exhibiting the Birth of Impressionism, a collection from the  D'Orsay.  A rare treat, available largely because the D'Orsay is being remodeled.  The exhibit tied together another piece of French history, both the civil war as well as the revolution going on in the art arena.  Previously, the most cherished art and artists exhibited in the 'Salon'    The impressionists started their own show in around 1872ish.  I may have those dates not exact, but regardless, the impressionists brought a whole new dimension to the art world.  I love these guys!!
One of my favorites is the 3 men resurfacing a wood floor by Cauiboulle (okay, looking up the spelling)   Caillebotte Another I really enjoyed by Claude Monet called Magpie - a snowy country farm, focused on a farm, with a tiny magpie - on a fence, that draws your attention.  Awesome colors, beautiful  Anyways, totally loved it.  The exhibit goes on until September, and then they have something else, post impressionism I think...or something like that.

I am looking for a good slideshow for my blog.  Not sure I like this one the best...  Oh Ellie, how did you sneak in there, and how did that tiramisu cupcake sneak in there?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trans Tahoe Invitational, July 17th and other stuff

I am really feeling good.

My breathing feels big and full.  My shoulders and back and chest feel strong.  My whole body.  The thing is, a week ago, I just broke a dry streak (pun intended).  I last swam regularly mid April.  Since then, I have been traveling and working a lot.  Definitely messed up my exercise balance.  After a streak like that, everything gets out of balance for me.  Eating, sleeping, just lower energy, and it takes its toll on attitude and motivation.  Everything seems like it gets priority besides my swimming.  It's hard to motivate.

All that said, I feel good today.  I swam 4 days this week.  I missed Monday and Friday, work still getting in the way, but today was the 4th day this week.  Saturday is a longer workout too, and sometimes requires extra motivation.  There's a 6am, 7:15am and an 8:30.  It's easy to skip the early ones, which is what I did, but got the last one in.  And did a bit over 2 miles.  I love this feeling.  It's like happy pills.  I've paid the 4 days of work, to get it back, and now it's like happy pills.

I dropped down a lane, just to not overstress, and get back into the swing of things without injuring myself.  I ended up leading the lane most of the workout, none-the-less.  Even still, I held back a little just so I didn't hurt myself.  And in the end, it was an awesome workout, and I feel great.  The previous weeks are now behind me, and I am looking at getting ready for Trans Tahoe.  It's coming up quick.  I am the old guy on my team, so I don't want to hold my guys back too much.  Here's some pictures from last year.

Jib Jab
World Cup
USA has some work to do.  Again, they let in a goal in the first 15 minutes.  Ugh.  They just do not look strong.  Come on guys.  They do have a history of finishing strong.  Looking forward to the second half.

Go USA!!!  Overtime!!  Tied 1-1  Doooh!

Here it is, end of June, and we barely got the garden in.  I still don't have the gardener started on my big re-do.  Hopefully I'll get that in today, and started for next week.  Having sprinkler issues... 

Kirsty made incredible soup yesterday.  We have a lot of Thai basil.  She made really good Thai basil soup - two versions.  One with shrimp and one tofu.  So delicious.  Coconut milk, lots of basil and not sure what else.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farmer's Market, Belmont, CA Sun 9-1pm

Happy Father's Day~
Sarah is very much into the farmer's market thing(okay, so am I), so we looked up what's going on today.  We didn't start till noon, so we lucked out to find Belmont is open until 1pm.  The ultimate time to shop is right at closing time, and this is really true at this market.  In San Carlos, the prices start coming down about an hour before closing, and here it's more like 5-10 minutes before closing.  All said, awesome selection here, but veggies, mushrooms (they were sold out by the time we started looking to purchase), fruit, including lots of berries.

Farmer's Market, El Camino at Ralston(ish)
Belmont, CA
Free range, organic, happy chicken eggs, really tasty cherry tomatoes, see all that bok choy?  Non-stop
raspberries and strawberries and blueberries.  All organic.  All incredibly tasty.

Go-effer cages
Okay, on a separate note, we are finally getting our garden in.  We created little gofo-ker cages.  After we made them, I went on line.  Others sell them.  Mine are stainless steel, and a tighter weave... We used the paint can to make the basic shape.  Hope it works.  Tired of sharing with the go-effers.  Pog, thanks for helping.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grand Canyon, North Rim

We drove from Denver, 12 hours, and arrived with just enough time to see the Canyon at sunset.  I have seen it a few times, and still, each time, it's completely mind transforming.  It brings a sense of awe and peace.  The world is an amazing place, and to be here, I feel so fortunate.  More to come.  It was a great hike, from rim to rim to rim.

Today is father's day.  Okay, not quite.  The day before, but I don't want to miss out, so we are starting now.  Gardening commences.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Crossing the Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim to Rim

It's getting close.  As you can see from the picture above, I've started the panic purchasing, wondering all what I will need.  One thing you don't want to do, and I am doing, is to try stuff during the event, for the first time.  A couple items in this pile will be new, including all the gel, goo packs.  Also the Hammer powder, before, during and after.  I love the marketing on it...:-)  Before is Heed, during is Perpetuem, and after is Recoverite.  What do you imagine when you hear those names??!

Actually, today is an important day.  I'm late, but I think it's still okay.  I'm shipping some of the above and clothes to the South Rim, El Tovar hotel.  We couldn't get a reservation there, but we stayed there before.  It's a totally awesome historic hotel, on the South Rim.  They said they would receive our package and keep it, and we can pick it up from the bell stand when we arrive.  We're starting from the North Rim next Friday, so I need it there by Friday and I am shipping Saturday, today.

Getting There
I'm flying in to Denver Wednesday night, and we'll drive down to the North Rim on Thursday.  It's quite a drive.  I think in the order of 10-12 hours, but most of it is incredibly beautiful scenery, and it's great catching up, and relaxing time, with my best friend.  I'm really looking forward to that.  We stay in the cabins at the North Rim, and eat at the Lodge, an amazing building, right on the edge of the Grand Canyon, so you can eat and look out at the Canyon, as the sun sets.  One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.

Photo from the National Park Service
The hike
Here's where the fun begins.  We have done this hike before.  It's a big hike.  Basically all day.  Last time we took a particularly slow pace, with a really fun break at a waterfall.  The hike took 12 hours, almost exactly.  This time I am thinking it will be closer to 9-10 hours.  I think 9 hours would be pretty quick, so 10 hours is maybe closer.  We will see.  So, the hitch this time, is we are going in summer.  We've been watching the weather, and Phantom Ranch is showing 108 degrees for the high.  Youch.

There's stuff we can do, to minimize the impact, the most interesting is to adjust our start time.  Last time we started at 5 am and finished at 5 pm.  I am thinking if we start around 3 am we will be passing Phantom ranch at breakfast time, like 8-9 am and out around 12 or 1 pm.  My guess, Phantom Ranch will still be in the 80's when we make it through.  Also, we will have a new moon.  I think that's a euphemism for no moon.  :-)  Last time we used headlights.  We maybe didn't need them, but we will this time, for sure.  Aside from that, I'll wear a hat and a soaked bandanna around my neck.  Drink lots of water, salt, potassium (as shown above...)  There's water about every 4-5 miles, so that's nice.  It'll be great.

The other trick is the return is obviously the same distance, but the North Rim is about 8,000 foot elevation, and the South is about 7,000 feet.  It's not a huge difference, but after hiking 20 some miles, adding another 1,000 feet is a bit of a doozie. 

Jib Jab
I gotta get my stuff in the mail.  More later.  Stinson Beach this weekend, Seattle Monday Tuesday, Denver Wednesday, Grand Canyon Thurs-Sun, Monday Denver to SF, Tuesday-Friday Chicago.  Busy days ahead.

Photos of the Canyon I got from here.
The park's Digital Photo Archive contains 100 public domain photographs from Grand Canyon National Park that may be selected from a thumbnail gallery - then downloaded (4x6 inches @ 300 dpi)