Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Monday, February 27, 2006

It finally happened

Distracted, I answered the phone, with authority: "Emergency Room." It was Judy calling; she used to work with me in the ER and still works in another. She thought she'd misdialed, and then fell out laughing when she realized what I'd done. (I quit working in the ER in July 2003.)

In my defense, I had just finished reading this text:

Bush Explains Medicare Drug Bill -- Verbatim Quote
Submitted on 2005-12-13 16:35:14
WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: " I don't really understand. How is the new plan going to fix the problem?"

Verbatim response ~ PRESIDENT BUSH:
"Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, supposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."

Is it any wonder my mind slipped?

Monday, February 20, 2006

What Ifs

What if I fell and this Bic pen stabbed me in the heart and I was the first person to die by being stabbed by an unmanned Bic pen while riding a bicycle?

That’s what I thought about while leading my weekly Velo Girls ride yesterday. It reminded me of other What If’s.

When Jill was a baby I would take her to visit her dad at the Art Institute in her stroller. The school was near Chestnut and Hyde, down a very steep hillside, and I would have this flash of stubbing my toe and letting go of the stroller as I fell and watching it run away down that street. I took to roping myself to the stroller. To this day when I see mothers and strollers going down steep streets I worry for the child.

I went to work in an emergency room where all my What Ifs eventually came true (for someone else) and, somehow, I could quit worrying about them. But once in a while, like with this pen sticking up out of my Bento Box, I come up with a new one to fret about.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Avocados out my window

It's driving me nuts that I can't pluck avocados from this tree next door! There must be hundreds of them going to waste.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The cold is back

Our early spring-like warm weather came to an abrupt end and it's pretty darn cold today. I just got back from lunch with Sue at the Mission Bay Genentech building, where she showed me the MRI project she's working on, using pyruvate for contrast.

Now I'm going to sit in my easy chair and read up on digital cameras and PhotoShop. When she was visiting last year, Elizabeth taught me how to use the rubber stamp tool and I spent this morning taking unfortunate feet out of one of my favorite Hearts in San Francisco photos. No fun.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Click on picture

By accident I just discovered if you click on a picture in this blog it will enlarge it. I wonder what else I don't know but may yet discover "by accident." (And then I discovered you need to use the back button to return to the blog, otherwise you close your browser.)

While I'm thinking about this new digital age, I must say I miss my old 35mm SLR camera, where you could set a shutter speed and aperture, then focus by adjusting the distance, while the new digital camera seems to require computer programming skills to get the same three variables to one's liking.

It more than makes up for this slow learning curve, however, with instant gratification, with being able to see what you've done right then and there.

Oh those wild parrots

I got to the Embarcadero roosting spot this afternoon to find it already out of the sun. The wild parrots were there and either playing or eating the flower buds in a tree right over my head. Every time I've watched them they've always come to whichever tree has the most people under it, as if they are watching us watching them.

They always make me smile.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The end of the tulips

Within hours of this photo the petals fell from all but two of the tulips. I'm sorry I can't make this picture larger so you could see the glow of the back-lit petals.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


My daughter, Jill, gave me tulips on my birthday Sunday. I've been trying to learn how to use my new camera to take a breathtakingly beautiful, back lit plus fill-in flash photo and haven't yet succeeded. This one was taken at night while trying to find the right vase. I like its Vermeerness and the way the Scotchlite strips on my Bike Friday pick up light in the background. (I could Photoshop them out for a better, artier picture, I suppose.)

The opening on the empty vase is only an inch wide and I don't know what sort of flower or bouquet could possibly go into it, but it is lovely, even empty.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Velo Girls ride report

This was taken last April on the Cinderella Classic ride (note tiara).
Remember life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, proclaiming, "Whew...what a ride!" -Author Unknown.

. . . .and that's a fitting beginning for this day's report on my birthday.

Twelve of us had a stuningly beautiful start---crystal clear air, sunshine, no wind---through the Presidio and up the gentle climb to the bridge. (Why is it so seemingly easy from the city side and conversely so hard from Sausalito, the bridge is the same height from sea level both ways?!) We picked up another rider, Carolyn, on the Marin side and we lost one rider, Dianna, who wanted to ride the Headlands. Then at the first pit stop, just as we were leaving we heard the dreaded shishhhhh-sound of air leaving a tire. Carol wanted to go back to the bike shop rather than fix it on the spot (sorry, Carol, I should have given a fix-the-tire-lesson, but, Hey, it's my BD) so we were down to eleven. We managed to stay in tight-enough formation until those young fast women left me to toddle on around Paradise as Sweep (my favored spot anyway).

. . . .but when I pulled into Tiburon everyone gathered round and lustily sang Happy Birthday as I watched the candle in my favorite cranberry-walnut scone. Then I made a wish.

And would you believe a fierce tail wind had us soaring up to 20 mph through the flat wetlands on our way home?

Thanks, Velo Girls, for another perfect day in Paradise.

Friday, February 03, 2006

This old photograph just appeared on my PC screen—I have my screensaver set to show random jpegs from my files—and it stopped me in my tracks. I’m remembering our moves from one house without a yard to this house, also without a yard. We always moved into a brand new house—four or five in a row—and my father had to put in a lawn and build retaining walls and fences. This was always part of a neighborhood project where, along with much beer drinking and a baseball or football game blaring loudly from a nearby radio, several men worked on each other’s landscaping.

We never lived in a “used” house. That strikes me as remarkable.

So California.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Museum day

I took Bev to the new de Young today. She likes to read each and every sign. I went through the Egyptian exhibit (the second time I've been to it), reading more than is my wont, but didn't run into her along the way. I then went back through everything looking for her and found her still in the first room! Oh my. As usual, we parted company and will talk later on the phone. I actually went through every exhibit in the museum, more slowly than usual, and my feet were hurting and my back was hurting and I had to drag myself around the outdoor sculpture garden before giving up and walking on tender feet back to my car. Bev had to take a bus home - as usual. I finally whipped out my new camera and took a few shots of old, funny and much loved sculptures that were more or less where they always were - or near enough.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I rode my bike across town in the rain today, which only took 30 minutes, but it took well over an hour to hang up all the wet stuff and clean the bike. My hand is black from the mess and my kitchen floor now has to be mopped. If it weren't for that I'd like riding in the rain.

The doves sit outside my kitchen window on the fence next door, looking no worse for the rain.