Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Alcatraz pictures

These are pictures from my buddy, Brian. I think they are great, yet I need to say, he warned me they aren't his usual standard. I think they were from his phone. Some of them are pretty hilarious. It reminds me of the awesome pictures he took on our teenage trip to Europe... Those were the days...

Tell me what you think of the slideshow!

Which is your favorite picture??!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We made it!  This is Paul, Bill and me after swimming from Alcatraz.  It was a great day, a tiny bit overcast, but calm, the water a balmy 61 degrees. That's Ghirardelli Square in the background.  We just finished in the famous Aquatic Park in the San Francisco Bay.

 This is another friend of mine, from the good ole days.  Thanks for coming out to cheer us on!

More fans, Hi Kathy and Kirsty!

Jib Jab
That week I went mountain biking with Paul and Matt, two guys I used to wrestle with, back in 7-8th grade.  As it turns out, Brian wrestled with us too.  To add to the coincidence, another one of my best buddies, Ray just called today.  He is coming out to visit in a couple weeks, and he too used to wrestle with us, way back in middle school.  Could we have ever known we would all meet again in California?

Click for more Alcatraz photos(thanks Brian!)

Thanks for the encouragement to get a new post out!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

CU Buffs Football or Welcome to the Big 10

So many titles went through my mind for this post.  Suffice it to say, it was a tough day for us CU fans.

  This trailer was just out front the stadium gate.  There really were a huge number of fans wearing CU gear.  I really am not up on the Buffs prospects this year, and since I hadn't heard much, I figured they weren't high.  My hopes were not high, but yes, I did have some hope.  The more CU fans I saw, the more I started thinking, hmm, well, you never know!

Until the game started.  Buffs defense was like a sieve.  And when they showed some strength, we would self-destruct with penalties, on offense and defense.  We just never settled down.  Never got into a groove.  Basically, on our heels the whole first half.  I can only speak for the first half, because we left at halftime, and the score was 31-0.  Ouch.

Jib Jab
How to salvage a gorgeous day in Berkeley, when your team is getting crushed.  We went to a sports bar.  Actually, it was a fun Berkeley-style casual, outdoor patio place.  Tons of students and alumni.  Actually, it seemed like 1/3 were CU fans.  The place was a hamburger joint on Telegraph called Raleigh's.  Lots of beer choices.  We had chicken wings and chips and guacamole.  Pretty good, real good beer, and very nice atmosphere.  We came thinking we could follow the Giants, and alas, they lost too.  Similarly, the defeat was a let down.  The Giants just moved into a tie for 1st place in our division.  Very exciting.  They lost 1-0.  Buffs lost 52-7.  At least they scored.  I don't want to know how.  In the first half, they brought the ball all the way down to the 3 yardline.  For sure, I thought at least we would score.  Instead, about 25 yards in penalties later, we missed a 37 yard field goal.  We turned over the ball again, and the Bears promptly scored again.  We got the ball back with about a minute in the half, and quickly gave up an interception for a touchdown in the last 16 seconds.  Ouch.  31-0 at half.

On a positive note
Actually, there were several:
1)  Kirsty and I got out with her bro and his wife
2)  The day was beautiful, and the stadium, really nice to see
3)  We met at Kirsty's parents after for dinner, and to see the Kenya trip photos
 (and nephews and, well, family!)
This is an odd photo, but I liked it for a few reasons.
- what's up?  all the boys all on the same side of the table!
- although odd, it's also steeped in tradition - beautiful table setting, Pops at the head of the table with a glass of wine.  if the view wasn't washed out, you could see San Fran out the windows.

Here's the girls side of the table.  Makes me happy just thinking about it.

Here's everyone all together.  That's nan getting ready to sit at our end of the table.  We always have so much to talk about.  If it isn't cooking, or gardening, it's something else like photography or some other project she has engineered.  A totally inspirational person.  As is Kirsty's dad.  Without much fanfare, we open the Saturday Chronicle and there he is, in a huge picture on the front page of the cultural section.  My father-in-law!! 

So, words of wisdom from this day of sporting defeats?  You just have to go for it.  If you always win, the wins wouldn't mean anything!  And the bottom line, I have plenty to be thankful for.  Holy smoke, let it go.  :-)

Just because!! This picture makes me happy.  It's us watching the slides on Kirsty's brother and family's trip to Kenya.  The center of the story is around the Daraja Academy in Kenya.  Very cool and an inspirational story in itself.

Here's an obstructed view of my backyard project.  you can see the roller, a bunch of rubble in the foreground, and behind, the ground is all layed out ready for sod.  The project is a little on hold while we finalize the patio plans.  Shooting for a Connecticut blue flagstone that will flow straight out into the grass.  From a conservation point of view, at least we cut our grass area down by about 30-40%.
More later..

Also, next Saturday is the Alcatraz swim!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Going Big with my Garden

We needed some more dirt, so Rigo got some more dirt from a neighbor who was excavating.  This is such a small amount of the fill we used.  Seeing it in scope of the truck was impressive though.

The guys, in action.  You can see the beautiful topsoil pile in front.  I think we had 8 or 9 guys out there, on my little back yard.  See all the dust on the table?  I think that's Rigo, my superstar backyard guy.  He's created three big retaining walls, added fill below, then topsoil on top.  Created a whole new garden for me below the black fence you see.  This hill is super steep.  Didn't think I could gain more garden.  He did it.  I am so happy with him, we are planning to use him to replace the deck, but....

Patio, instead.
So, I have been dreaming about having a gorgeous stone patio, but never thought it was feasible in my backyard.  Well, all that has changed.  Just to give you a hint...see below.
That's Rigo and some of his guys.  Bye Bye deck, hello stone patio.  I am planning on having a nice landing by the sliding glass doors (which you can imagine, behind Rigo, the deck stairs.) With about 3-4 stairs down to a patio that flows right into the grass.  A couple features I am trying to plan in:
- a fire pit
- built-in barbecue, and maybe a whole kitchen thing
- little planter areas for herbs, and maybe flowers or something
More to come.

Seriously, my favorite farmer's market is now Redwood City, behind Sequoia Station.  Sat 9-1pm or about that.