Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Tree

We are now with Christmas Tree, and the decorating has begun.  And there's the little maple tree outside, whose still in full fall colors.

Christmas time.

I'm trying out a new camera.  This is out the kitchen window.  My pear tree in the foreground, the lavender below that, and see the Meyer lemon behind that.  We get this foggy misty morning more often during winter.  It's regularly pretty dramatic.  Do you like the pendant lights floating in front of the pine?

Here's another photo with the new camera.  I was going for short depth of field.  I really wanted that blurry background but giving it color.  I like the red contrast of the berries against the green.

Trying the zoom here.  Even here is beautiful color.  Anyway, there you have it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crossing Colorado

We crossed the Colorado border last night as the sun was setting.  Wow.  It's so beautful!  We came in from the northeast on I 80 from Nebraska, then cutting across I 76 to Denver.  Yes, Nebraska gets pretty remote, but still lots of huge farms.  Once you cut into Colorado, it really does become wild.  Unchanged, and natural.  Really, the first time I felt that across the whole country.  Sure, we saw nature and lots of it.  This is different though.  Nature was surrounded by nature.  Lacking the aquarium feel.  No fences or buildings and so on.

This is where I grew up.  Speaking of unchanged.... :-)  It's starting to look like it doesn't fit in the neighborhood anymore, well, except to me.

Along the way, love the landscape.

Lots of driving.  Beautiful open road.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Museum of Fine Art, Boston

That`s Sarah next to the Chihuly exhibit at the Fine Arts Museum in Boston.  It`s 40 feet tall and made of like 2,200 individual pieces in lime green, totaling several tons.  Beautiful and impressive.  We also saw Mario Testino, the famous Vogue photographer.  Sarah was turned off by his use of native "primative" women mixed with "modern" "1st world models".  I see her point.  His work elicits a big wow.  It`s the message we had trouble with.  After that, we kinda ran outta time.  Discouraging.  Note to self;  give Boston FAM 4 hours, and note the early close time.

Edward Gorey House

Edward Gorey house. What is exciting place.  Remember the PBS Mystery Theater?  That was Edward Gorey who did the illustrations.  Sarah has been working at EGH this summer and just finished her assignment.  She fell in love with Rick and the museum.  So did I.  Such an incredibly comfortable, energizing, well, vibe.  I slept in Edward Gorey's room!  A doubtful guest!  It's a must see on the cape, in Yarmouth Port.

Cape Cod

I just arrived in Cape Cod and just in time for Sarah to take me down the Cape to Provincetown.  we had a beautiful sunset. it was a gorgeous call me evening.  we were nearly the only ones on the beach.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Golfing for Dad's 80th Birthday

Happy birthday Dad!  That's Dan, and me behind the lens of course.  This is a course John shared with us.  Unfortunately, he couldn't join us.   It was a beautiful day and virtually no one on the course out in Aurora.  Dad loves golf.  Dan and I play about once a year with Dad, and enjoy it, but somehow never get to more than the one time a year.  Dad's a great teacher and still hits the ball real well.  I hope I'm doing as well at 80.  The irony is my older brother, John loves golf.

 I throw this photo in to show you how picturesque the course is, and yet, virtually unused on a 75 degree Saturday afternoon.
 There's me staring down a long put.  I had a great day, aside from my golf.
 Dan, on the other hand, had a stellar day.  The last hole was this big water obstacle, and Danny lofts a perfect arch, landing it up perfectly on the green.  Maybe his best shot of the day and at the best time to do it.  Dad had a great day too, including a different hole, putting his tee shot about 8 inches off the pin.  Wow!! 
 Me, on the other hand, spent way too much time off in the weeds.  So to speak.  :-)
 This is Dan on the last hole.  I told you, pretty nice lie.  Darn it, he still 3 putted, but it doesn't take away from a great tee shot.  We'll remember that for years to come.
We rented shopping carts for our bags as shown.  The blue bag was our rental.  Dad has been dealing with blood clots in his legs, which cause him pain.  It has to do with how fast he walks, and he said golfing pace works just fine for him, and it did.  We did not wait for Dad one bit.

Jib Jab with Tim
This was a great day.  So many wouldn't agree, if I described it on the surface, which is part of why I loved it.  We walked over to the course, and the starter came out to greet us and invite us on the course.  We ended up chatting with her for about 20 minutes.  My brother John was totally enjoying her, which in and of itself was super nice.  The last group she started was on about hole 4, and the only other person on the course was ahead of them, so no pressure whatsoever.  Low cost, high on beautiful day.  Happy birthday, Dad!

One note, the photos are low res, somehow I hit the wrong setting on my camera.  I was so disappointed!  Well, life goes on.  The course is a par 3.  Centre Hills, Aurora, CO.

My bro, John is a photographer, and now a blogger.  He just started his today.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summitting the Grand Teton

We broke up into two teams, and this is who I summitted with.  Mark, in the middle is Paul's brother-in-law, who I know from another Grand event, and Bryan, to the right is my new friend.  He's 17, same as Pog.  His dad says the family has been coming to Grand Teton National Park forever.  Brian has a passion for climbing since he was little.  His dream was to climb the Grand Tetons, so his parents turned him loose, and we happened to be at the right place, right time to share the adventure with him.

It's a little hazy from the huge forest fires in Idaho.  What a great trip.  More to come.  We used Exum guides, Josh Beckner was our premiere guide, not shown here.

I'll sort through more of Mike's photos, and mine soon.  In the meantime, take a look and comment.
Me at 3:00am preparing for climb.  A little sleepy, disoriented, and yeah.  Six hours later, we were on top, at 9:00am.  We started at about 4:30am in the dark, with headlamps and ropes.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Swimming Aquatic Park, San Francisco

I couldn't help but stop for this bumper sticker.  I've been struggling with the ups and downs of life lately, and knew it would be hard to get back in the water, and knew I needed to.  Here I am, just before 8 am Sunday morning with a couple of my swim gang headed over to the South End Rowing Club for a splash in Aquatic Park.  Where's that?  It's directly in front of Ghiradelli Square, looking towards Alcatraz.  It's just on the end of Fisherman's Wharf, at Hyde St Pier, down the block from the famous Buena Vista bar, where you can get the most famous irish coffee in the world.

Here's Aquatic Park, and just behind the tall ship, you can see Alcatraz.  What you can't see to the left is some low concrete bleachers and to the right, in front of the tall ship is the South End Rowing Club next to Hyde St Pier.
Here's my gang today.  A special bunch of guys.  Bunk, in the middle is one of our mid-western boys, about 75, and for the life of me, I can not catch him in the water.  That's my coach, Mike, to the right, and Fernando to the left.  Mike is an amazing fount of coincidences.  He knows everybody.  He remembers everyone.  He connects people.  It seems like he hardly talks, but is so easy to approach and chat with.  Simply, he enriches lives.  Lots of them.  Almost secretly helping us get closer to the people we want to be.  That's Fernando on the left.  A happy young man, who took up swimming and has lost I don't know.  I'll say 50 pounds?  That's our white van.  Mike makes coffee.  We meet at PCC in Redwood City at 7am.  Jump in, and away we go.  No muss, no fuss.

There's history for ya.  Oozing out of every corner of the SERC est 1873.  Imagine San Fran in 1873.  A couple decades after the gold rush.  A couple decades before the great earthquake of '06.  And here we are.  Using the same frigging club those early San Franciscans did.  Obviously, a lot of rowing goes on, as well as boat building, and quite a bit of swimming.  That glow in the back is looking out the back to Aquatic Park.
That's the locker room upstairs.  It's pure history.  You can almost feel the bodies from a century ago, meandering around telling jokes, and getting ready for a swim in the bay.
Post swim.  On the pier in front of SERC.  The blue and white building is the Dolphin Club.  I've never been in there.  It looks like it's got similar history.  These are the two I swam with.  Karen and Bunk, both swam my a*@ off.  At least Karen waited for me!  It was a great day.  Water temp was the warmest I've ever run into in the Bay at 63 degrees, totally flat, with a pretty strong flood current.  We did the big loop, inside the park, I would say about a mile.  I should have added to it, but Karen got out, and so did I, and I just couldn't quite get myself back in.

Jib Jab with Tim

I'll point out a couple things in this picture.  You can see a zodiac out there watching swimmers come in.  Between the dock and the Zodiac, you can see a neon orange swim cap of a swimmer in there.  In the middle of the picture is a new friend, I just met after the swim, sort of by accident.  I'd heard a terrible story about a local swimmer who did this amazing 9 mile swim from island to island in Hawaii. There was an organized relay event to swim across, and this guy swam the whole thing himself.  The horrible part of the story happened after 6 hours plus of swimming, he's about 200 yards from the shore, now able to see the sand on the bottom of the ocean, and some guy wasn't paying attention and had his boat in the finish area.  After much prompting to move, the boater finally gassed his engine, and John got pulled in by the prop, taking off his right arm and half his left hand.

Karen (on his left) knows him from Half Moon Bay.  She started telling me who he was, as I was asking him to take the picture above this one(see his coat sleeve bottom left?).  I saw his thumb bandaged, but didn't think my instant camera would be a problem, and less than a second later, as I reached out with my camera, I realized he didn't have a right hand and not much of an arm.  Before I could feel completely uncomfortable, he says, in the most positive way; I think I can do this, but if not, you can try someone else.  He's got two fingers that work on his non-dominant remaining hand.  His 'thumb' is actually built from a chunk of bone from his hip, that's still healing.  He takes a second picture because he notices he has his sleeve in the picture.  Boom.   Done.  Perfect pic.  So, instantly, the uncomfortable is gone.  He's talking like we're old friends, and all the tragedy he's lived through, that's changed his life dramatically, and so many others, is, well, just a part of life.  He's talking about his bone is infected.  He's working on getting some really cool prosthetics, if he can work with the insurance company.  All like it's just a part of life.  Wow.  I'm in awe of his spirit.  Feeling blessed to be standing next to him, and having a conversation.  He's inspiring.  

It wasn't 4 sentences in until he got to talking about how it all works swimming.  He's back in the pool. He says he doesn't have any catch with his hand, and he's talking about fixing his hand so he can swim.  I'm thinking, and trying to stay in the conversation, wait, what?  You swim?  You've got no arms, dude.  That does not compute!

And then I'm reminded of the bumper sticker above.

He calls it life after 615.  The 615 is 6hours 15 minutes, which is how long he swam before he hit the boat, and changed his life forever.  Everyone says he was an awesome guy before.  I didn't know him then, but I wonder if he's even more awesome now.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yay Summer!

It's hard to not get excited when mother nature does her thing.  In the foreground is my latest harvest, (and one of my first of the season) zucchini and green beans, a few strawberries, and in the background, from the farmer's market, some un-godly number of pounds of cherries.  We caught the tail end of the Redwood City Saturday market.  It goes 8:00am -12 noon, and we show up at 12:30pm.  Most stands were taken down, and even this one was near down.  He had a huge box of cherries.  I think he said 18 pounds?  So, we got em for $19.  We're washing and pitting, and Kirsty is making a pie.  The pie is all about the crust, well, as long as you have fresh fruit.  Which, we do.

Here's Sarah's scones, using part of the 1/2 flat of strawberries from the farmer's market the week before.  We looked into selling prepared food at the farmer's market.  There's a bit to it, beyond just showing up with your wares.  You have to get a license from the county.  You have to prepare your food in a certified kitchen.  And then, you need to get a permit to get a spot at the farmer's market.  All said, it could easily be a couple thousand even before you start talking about ingredients let alone equipment.  A few shortcuts came to mind, like using the kitchen of a certified restaurant, which all of them are.  And selling in a booth with someone else.  Still, there are a few hurdles, even if you are just experimenting.

Another big bit of the berries went into Sarah's strawberry pie.  Doesn't that look delicious?  It's a juxtaposition of a photo because we started eating it before I thought of snapping a picture.  See the heart-shaped vent?  It's what I would call a Sarah signature.

Jib Jab with Tim
Thanks for the encouragement to get back into the writing.  I really enjoy it, especially when I hear from you.  I've been working on family stuff which has taken all my energy lately, and it's been hard to think about anything but.  So, anyway, I'm trying to get back in the saddle.  Thanks for your patience and prodding!

This is a bouquet of roses comes from our garden.  We planted a rose bush for each of our kids.  They've been moved unceremoniously.  Trimmed irregularly, watered sometimes, yet, they keep coming back, as beautiful as ever.  Lately, our focus has been on the yellow one.  I think he's coming back.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Portland, Oregon

A snapshot of my collection of memorabilia from our Portland adventures, starting with Easter, Powell's books, Stumptown Coffee Downtown(see more pics here), Mother's Bistro and Bar,where we had the famous french toast encrusted in corn flakes.  Oh so good. Habibi Lebonese food for lunch.  We went here while shopping, and had a tremendously delicious meal, very inexpensive, and particularly good.  Turn's out their second location was a block from our hotel, Doc Martens, such a Portland natural.  Random Order Coffeehouse and bakery makes incredible and award winning pies.  It's a coffee house in the true sense of the word.  Vintage clothes shopping, my favorite is Lulu's.  A couple other fun places, with an interesting twist:  Lulu's- upscale vintage clothing, super nice and informed staff(owners) and Kirsty's nickname, Lulu and SaySay- trendy clothing boutique and Sarah's nickname, also a fun shop, with the owner as sales staff.

Stumptown is Portland.  It's so Portland.  Awesome coffee, sassy atmosphere, stripped down, but elegant.  Fancy, yet not pretentious.  Dependable and yet sassy.  That's our hotel across the street.  Everywhere in town sells Stumptown coffee.  It's delicious and a mainstay for grey days.

As much as these are unique bikes, they are typical in Portland.  Utilitarian, yet customized.  Definitely a free spirited and energized vibe.

Crazy.  Not sure what this one is designed for.  Just because?  Note the poster on the ground.  I think it was celebrating the 100th year of the Titanic.
 Really enjoyed the bikes in town.  Here's another special one.  Be line pdx is a zero carbon emission delivery service and advertising all based on these tricycles.  Awesome!  That battery is for a little assist if needed.  What a blast to work for this company.  They've partnered with big and small companies like Whole Foods and Office Max, as well as local bakers and others.  Another fascinating area they are addressing is delivering donated perishable food to food banks and shelters.  Wow.  Talk about making a difference.  It's pretty exciting, and seems like such a natural in Portland.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pizza Orgasmica, San Rafael, CA (and Stinson Beach, CA)

We had a nice hike up the beach today.  That's Bolinas on the other side of the lagoon.  It's a beautiful place here, at Stinson Beach.  We're on the edge of town, at the end of the spit.  So tranquil, yet beautifully exciting.  There are so few people over here, which makes you just want to smile and appreciate how good life is.    How small is it, you ask?  Last night, we walked into town for dinner a little after  8:00pm, to the Sand Dollar restaurant and they had to make a decision whether to stay open for us.  They said yes, happily, and we knew they would.  :-)

I'm trying to learn to use depth of field to get focus at a point and out of focus everywhere else by using a high or large Fstop value.  It's not working.  Apparently, it's easier if there is less light.  Anyways, I'll keep trying.  See any shells in there?
Here's another one where it would have been fun to have these little guys in focus, going to blurry in the ocean.
This is a glimpse of the stunning beauty here, the Bolinas/Stinson lagoon in the foreground, mr pelican overhead, and the marin headlands in the background. 
You might be recognizing Bolinas in the background, and this (guessing) native purple beauty in front.
Purple flowers up close.  Such a vibrant color against the backdrop of the beach colors.  Isn't nature grand?
Here's another bit of mother nature doing her thing.  This is a huge tree, half of it hanging over the lagoon, with roots 'looking' everywhere for a place to dig in.  It does not phase the tree one bit.  He's huge!  And growing straight and strong and tall.  Cool.
All I can say is, the circle of life.  This is what's left of a spotted shark on the beach. Nice looking, even at this point in it's decomposition.  He's about 2 feet long I would say.
Here's the essence of the Stinson artist community.  I love the colors and textures of this sculpture made of found pieces of nature and man's refuse.  In the nest were, I am guessing contributions from the unknown artist and those who wanted to add-on, including rocks that looked like eggs, crab shells and other items.
Kirsty and her dog, Ellie.  Both in their sweet pot, loving life.  Such a happy place.  We are so lucky.

Jib Jab
We're learning. 

We went up to the beach this time, with no food.  No drinks.  No extra clothes.  We did bring sheets and pillows, but that's it, for a three day visit.  Turns out there was a nice bottle of Moet Chandon on ice in the fridge (who left that? we're going to replace it, and thank you, what a great idea and treat).  It was nice to finish it in the morning.  There was also coffee, whew.  It makes everything better.  Less time to get there.  Less time to clean.  Less decisions.  Less is better.

Pizza Orgasmica and Brewing Company in San Rafael, CA
Okay, I would be remiss, not providing details of a super fun lunch I had in San Rafael, in one of my favorite places on the planet (Marin), Pizza Orgaasmica is on Fourth and Lincoln.  Like any good pizza place, but so so so much better.  Yes, they make their own beer.  Yes, they make really nice pizza from great ingredients.  Yes, it's fun inside, couches, brew equipment, and sports on tv, but yes, soccer, and Marin style sports.    Anyways, I had a great spinach, feta, and dried tomato, and a delicious IPA. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rome, Italy

We arrived in Rome getting on pretty late.  Still Luca picked us up at the airport, (in the airport no less) and brought us to our hotel, then to this little plaza area for dinner.  Finding it and a parking spot were a significant part of the adventure, but Luca seemed un-phased the entire time, and determined to get us to this place.  It was rustic and the buildings and surroundings seemed a little tired, but many people were streaming in, and having a good time, which is contagious. 
What seemed like in the middle of the street and plaza were a number of these nice little ristorantes.

We ended up at Elettra, with traditional Italian cuisine.  The food, including my fish was delicious, and the salad with crispy onions, also delicious.  The pictures don't capture the fun-ness of the place.  Casual, yet elegant.  Not too expensive, yet so tasty.  Great waiter (I think), Luca talked with him in Italian.  Anyway, I felt a bit local here.  Really liked it.  Luca, thanks for such warm hospitality.