Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Getting Past It

I feel the need to get past the horrors of this week and write about my day, even before I'm done with it.

First thing this morning my sin-police bird - she only attacks my corkscrew & wine bottle, coffee cup & coffeepot - hopped onto the kitchen table while I was doing dishes at the sink and managed to again tip over my favorite mug. (see Parrot vs. Coffee Cup). This parrot weighs 180 grams; my cup weighs 360 grams.

I then rode out into a sunny day on my old bike to get my hair cut, after which I rode up and over Market Street, circling around to the park where the sprinklers were busy watering, especially me and the road. I stopped at the dahlia garden, which is in full bloom. I was in too-bright light and besides pictures with nothing but blooms are boring.

Heading over to Clement Street to get a pork bun I came upon this fire. With sirens getting louder and louder, the fire trucks got there just seconds after me and then it was quiet as they set up their hoses and went about the business of putting the fire out.

I watched for awhile.
They appeared to have it under control without breaking a sweat.

I decided against the pork bun but went on to the Mission for my favorite super vegetarian taco instead.

No one tried to run me down all day.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Orchid Man

I don't know if that's actually an orchid, but it's definitely a little man.

Random Acts of Violence

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About a week ago at Ft. Funston, at a beautiful cliff along the coast at the southern border between San Francisco and DalyCity, a man with two guns began shooting people and then himself; he and one other died. The man he killed was a well-known hang glider who survived many a dangerous accident, most spectacularly seen in this video. I often walk along this cliff.

Yesterday a man used a car to kill as many people as he could. Before being stopped he'd killed one person outside the city and then injured 18-19 others here. One of his victims was on a bicycle, the others either in crosswalks or on the sidewalk. He was finally stopped on the corner I was at just the day before.

When my mother worried about me in a big city I would say, "It's a numbers game. When your number's up, it's your time wherever you are." Or, "There's safety in numbers. I'm just one of a million." But items like these really do make you shake your head in disbelief. And it's why I try not to accidentally, randomly, kill any living thing: it's too unfair, just like this is terribly unfair.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Points of View

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O.K., I went riding and had lots of little adventures, some good, some not so good. (A car ran into me, trying to suddenly turn into a parking lot - and she'd just gone by me! I was able to unclip and catch myself before I went completely down, but not before whacking my left calf a bit on some part of my bike. I picked up and carried on after throwing her a dirty look. She had a horrified look on her face. Duh!)

I first ran into a Giant's game in progress, stopped to watch from the free gallery, then took pictures of Juan Marichal's statue: what a difference the point of view makes, eh?

I next rode along The Embarcadero until orange reflections from large dock bumpers caught my eye on this ship. (Hmmm. You really have to enlarge this one to see what I mean.)

I circled around when I saw the fog bank moving in and headed back to the sunny side via No. Beach (and those famous buildings, one 6 stories tall, the other with too many stories to count). There was a block party happening with red, green & white balloons: the Italians having a good time again.

After looking for roosting wild parrots back near The Embarcadero (I was too early), I rode up Market St., into the wind, and ran into a movie being filmed. They had this big blue ball on top of an open manhole in the street. Liquid nitrogen was pumped in to create smoke. The arrow blinked on and off. I have no idea what it was about; no movie stars in sight.

I've only been home an hour so these are rough. I didn't want to forget all I'd seen and done. This just touches some highlights. Every time I ride around my town I have a feast, as Hemingway would say, a moveable feast, but I hope I never have to take it anywhere else. I get homesick just imagining having to leave.

Too late today?

Sibyl's tail feather

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Another day got away from me and it's now a bit after 14:00, too late for a ride unless I want to run into my dinner-time---actually, that's not a bad idea. The wind isn't too bad out there. So, yeah, maybe I'll take my camera and catch the roosting wild parrots, who knows what else.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nothing Much

There's nothing on t.v. and I've read enough for one day, so I'll write about nothing much. Like today my camera kept telling me to Change the Batteries. Sure enough, I'm still using the old ones I bought in January. I don't know how many times you can recharge them, but they've probably recharged enough (. . . reminds me of an X-Ray tech I once worked with at the railroad hospital where too many really old men with hypertrophied prostates were seen over and over again and this tech would turn to me, look over his glasses and solemnly whisper, "He's pee'd enough.")

I had a dull week. The only two social engagements were canceled because I felt sick that same night and day and thought I'd be coming down with something worse. Whatever it was went away after sleeping all of Wednesday.

Yesterday I rode my old touring bike around a bit and today I took the Bike Friday out for a spin. I'm starting to miss riding with the Velo Girls and may start setting the alarm again. I haven't joined any other club rides because they usually ride in the east bay where it's still too hot for me.

After circling the headlands and stopping for a bowl of soup I ended up in Golden Gate Park where I watched the Lindy dancers for awhile, stopped in the Rose Garden, and then checked out the restored Merry-Go-Round in the Childrens' Playground. It was dark and gloomy under a thick layer of fog until I got back to my side of town.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Angel Island ride

Theresa and I ride on Fridays when we're both in town. Today we rode from her house in Larkspur to catch the Tiburon Ferry to Angel Island. Neither of us had been there in many years, but we both have lots of memories - most of mine have to do with sailing in and anchoring off-shore for the night.

I'd remembered it as flatter, but we did a fair amount of climbing and all too soon we'd done the entire periphery.

We stopped in at the Visitor Center where I took this photo of a small Fresnel lens, bought lunch at the cafe and then basked in the warm sun, sheltered from a rather strong, cold wind.

Nice day.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Ride to Palo Alto

I didn't get up early enough to join the Velo Girls this morning but I wanted to go on a long ride so I threw the Bike Friday into the car and drove to Burlingame. I rode up the hill to Skyline, joining le Tour de Peninsula for awhile. I stopped briefly in Woodside to eat a banana and then wandered around the Stanford campus (once again dismayed at how flat it is; you can't see landmarks and can only use shadows to get bearings) until I ran into the Stanford family's tomb (as in photo) sitting all by itself in an otherwise abandoned and lonely area. It's awfully big for three people and I wonder how it's furnished inside.

I kept riding south for awhile, finally turning around and heading back to Burlingame after stopping briefly at Kit's to return a book and pick up another.

The fun today was both riding hard and wandering aimlessly, getting somewhat lost and finding new roads. I finally found a way through Bay Meadows race track and never had to use El Camino Real at all.

Then, in San Mateo, I saw an ice cream store and, in spite of looking more and more like a stuffed sausage in my Spandex tights, I indulged. 80.5 kilometers. I think I earned it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Salvaging the day

As much as I try to ignore it, I really do hate it when my shoes make tacky sucking sounds as I walk in my kitchen, so today was the day to once again deal with it.

First I had to clean the stovetop of its months of greasy buildup caused solely by my near-nightly fix of oil-popped popcorn. I'll spare you any more details of how I also bleached out the mildewed front door curtain (thanks to Jill's bringing it to my attention) and washed windows and mirrors (never, ever lean over a mirror in bright light unless you're under thirty!).

When it was all done and everything put back, Sibyl and I took a shower. Wet birds are so pathetic, don't you think?

So, it's done for the time being and now I'll get ready for a night at the theatre, where my friend, Jane, has a part in the production. Leah and I will take her out for a drink afterwards.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Around town

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Yesterday, on the way to the SF Bicycle Coalition's office to do some data entry, I saw this "resting" sculpture on Third Street, next door to SFMOMA. I've probably passed by it dozens of times without seeing it. Surprises like this are everywhere, one has only to look.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Car Karma

The long-gone blue VW camper van got a parking ticket on 65th Ave. in Oakland, the day before it was sold. I've never been on 65th Ave. in Oakland and, upon closer scrutiny of the $48.00 citation, it was issued to a white 4-door Dodge.

Oh, the aggravation!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Plus the bike

My Petite Pocket Crusoe Bike Friday.

It easily packs into a standard-sized suitcase.

It's light weight, still under 20 lbs. with front and back racks, and rides like a dream come true.

That's us in Portugal.

It's never too soon to pack

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Skip this if you're not a touring cyclist with a keen interest in what to take for several weeks on the road!

No matter how many times I get ready for a self-supported cycling vacation I still have to reweigh and reconfigure my gear weeks before leaving; today was the day to see what I'll take to France.

First, the clothes for actual riding, then clothes for after riding, then tools and cameras and spare parts and maps and-you-get-the-idea. The first photo shows everything that will go on the bike in front panniers, handlebar bag and back rack trunk. All together it weighs less than 20 lbs. The second photo shows the rip-stop nylon bag that all the other bags can go into for carrying on and off a train, when they can't stay on the bike.

Then all that has to go in a duffel on the plane, plus whatever else I want to have in Paris for ten days. My helmet will go on the plane with me in a backpack, shoes into the Samsonite suitcase with the bike.

I'm ready to go!