Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Yesterday I was feeling really pushed out of shape about doing three loads of laundry at the laundromat, getting groceries at Trader Joe's and Safeway, which meant I had tons of stuff to deal with, including putting fresh sheets back on my bed and chopping vegetables, browning stew meat, making dumplings and a salad, and then I thought about Lauren: sure enough, on her blog entry for Sunday she talks about laundry at her house. I only have me; she has a big family, she works, she trains. I will never whine again without first picturing Lauren's pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded. (Is that a baby lost in the pile?)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Photo safari

I took off mid-morning on still wet pavement and only got as far as the Giant's ballpark when I had a flat front tire. I changed the tube, and patched the puncture in case of a second flat later when it would no doubt be raining and more trouble to fix. But it never did rain the rest of the day, the pavement dried and I didn't pick up any more glass.

(Click photos to enlarge - back arrow to return)

I had a great day riding my Bike Friday in my dorky new outfit (bought on sale yesterday, along with my superior new hiking boots). The wrap-around skirt is good for cycle touring. More civilized. I left the photo uncropped to show the molding around the door. My cottage was built, or so I've been told, from prefabed parts brought around the Horn.

I came across this man walking his iguana, Striper. Striper decided it was warm enough right there to bask for awhile.

No ride around the waterfront would be complete without another view of the bridge. Over the years I've seen this chain-link barrier rust out and be replaced many times; the links are very large. Two surfers were busy catching waves right off Ft. Point.

After getting a hamburger at Bill's Place on Clement I rode into the park where I found the cement balls in good use by the Lindy dancing crowd. (I wonder what the circles mean. I wonder if the bandaids and the circles are to tell maintenance crews where to repair them.)

I don't know why I persist in photographing flowers when it's so already done, but there you are. I think this is a tulip tree blossom. Anyway, I have more photos from the day but no time to process them.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Freds, Vitamins, Boots, Movies

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Today was a day to clean the turtle-tank filter and the bird cage. I sorted some junk that's been accumulating on my kitchen table, but only because I wanted to use the surface to work my camera. I took numerous pix - though this is the first shot and I need to reprocess the table color - of my vitamins in an apothocary bottle brought to me from a French flea market. I like that bottle. And then I turned the camera on my two western painted turtles, Fred-1 and Fred-2.

I needed new hiking boots to replace my Aunt Nonie-boots which are now 17 years old. (My Aunt Nonie gave me the money for my birthday that year and I bought them at the North Face factory outlet. I only wear them in the winter so they've lasted a long time.) After finishing my housework I went up to Jill's to pick up some DVDs and then went shopping for new boots. I ended up getting a serious bargain when I found an orphan pair of $140.00 Montrail boots for $25.00 at the Sports Basement. They were one-of-a-kind left-overs and in my size. Such a deal.

It's time to watch either "The Queen" or "Little Miss Sunshine." I hope to get back on a bike in the morning, rain or shine.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dull Day

Well, even though I know each and every day should be a grand adventure today just isn't. First, it's been dark and gloomy and when I went out for my mail I discovered it's raining. I wasn't ready for rain. Sometimes it's good, an excuse to curl up with a book, but when it's unexpected it's just a downer. I spent the morning moving one mess from this place to that and another mess from here to there while my parrot tore up newspaper and moved her toys from one place to another, and then another. We're quite a pair. She wants to make a nest and lay eggs; I want to be passionately engrossed in one of my projects and mostly I am. But not today.

I shouldn't complain. Last night I met Jane who had free tickets to see "Legally Blonde, the Musical," which was infectiously upbeat and great fun. I'd never been in the Golden Gate Theatre before, tucked among the homeless encampments along Market Street. At least it's a lively neighborhood and the play was well worth the bus ride at night.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Balmy January

It's so nice - warm, no wind, no fog - that I have to keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for the bad news. My biggest stressor today was deciding which bike to ride and where to ride it.

By 10:00 this morning I stood in front of my house, straddling my Bike Friday, trying to decide whether to go north or south. Because I live on an 18+% grade I always start down hill, which is southeast, so I can postpone the decision for a while.

After crossing the Mission (mural detail: school on Precita), I ended up overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the top of the hill outside Daly City, still undecided. I kid you not, it felt like spring, but without the wind. No wind means I can easily head northwest. And so I ambled up the Great Highway, noticing Java Beach for the first time and stopped for some food. Sat in the sun, suffering a lousy spinach and feta Peasant Pie. This spot is nearly always fogged in whenever it's nice enough to ride. Freaky.

After eating, I continued riding north until I came to Golden Gate Park. I took an obscure bike path through the center of the park, finally joining the path I know behind the Polo Fields (yes, they really did play polo in the park and I miss watching them) and stopped to take a picture of a cement ball with a bandaid on it. Actually, more than one bandaid. Hmmm.

Nice day. Just sorry no one I know could enjoy it with me.

(Click to enlarge photos - back arrow to return)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ride Report

Yet another view of the bridge, which is always an adventure by bicycle.

Yesterday began with a scare. As I backed my car out and turned up hill, I heard a strange metallic scraping noise and clatter. I looked in the rearview mirror to see my bicycle's front wheel in the street; I'd forgotten to put it in the car. I've often had visions of chasing a wheel down my very steep street, so I always put it on the up-side of the car where it disappears from sight. No harm done, this time. Note to self: put wheel inside car before the bike next time.

The ride to Fairfax with the Velo Girls couldn't have been better. We rode into an unusually strong north wind, but it was surprisingly warm and once we turned inland it was downright balmy. Going through the marsh we were treated to the sight of many kinds of shorebirds and even a snowy egret right by the path. The break at the Coffee Roastery in Fairfax was perfect plus: this week a seasoned jazz combo with keyboard, bass, drums & flute entertained us, plus, there were a zillion cute velo guys hanging out (some even my age).

The north wind was still blowing as we made our way back, actually lifting us up the climb out of Sausalito. Mighty fine. We could see two sailing regattas, the nearer group moving fast with their spinnakers set, beating us back to the city. There were surprisingly few rental-bike hazards on the bridge this week, but in their place was a posse-sized bunch of police and sheriffs on horseback, maybe 10-15, stopping to look up at the bridge from its west approach. (Running into a horse, for Pete's sake, would really do some damage, but I've been practicing my Emergency Stops, Lorri).

But, while pedaling, I suddenly remembered an annoyingly cute fish movie,"Finding Nemo," that I was forced to watch on a flight from somewhere, ruining the fish out of water image for me. I've removed it from my Desktop.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I'm tired of sitting after a day installing and working with new software, and all the aggravation of how it actually works versus what its documentation says it will do, and translating the geek-speak and then just saying the hell-with-it, I'll fool around until it works the way I want it to (and it never does, of course). Some days I don't figure I learn anything more than I ever knew, no matter how much effort I put into it; this is one of those days.

I did, however, put my fish out of water image on my Desktop, the first change in years. What I find most interesting about this series of images is that when I was taking the photos I didn't know I'd like them so much. Often, I take a picture thinking I've really nailed something amazingly beautiful and, even if it's well done, it isn't interesting to me.

And I made a big pot of onion soup. Played with Sibyl a bit, rubbing that tiny bird skull the way she likes, preening pin feathers, taking both hands to do it so I can't work at the same time.

But, boy am I cranky after a day of this. Glad to be back on the bike tomorrow for the Northern Exposure ride to Fairfax. I've ridden all four bikes this week, some twice.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I've been tagged. In the Blogosphere this is apparently equivalent to a chain letter, though where the rules are written is a mystery, and there's no pay-off at the end, or penalty, so I guess it isn't really like a chain letter. I always broke all chains that came my way. Hey! maybe that explains every bit of bad luck in my life.

I'm supposed to write five things that no one knows about me (I can make them up, ha ha ha). Then I need to tag other bloggers, but no one I know blogs, except the Velo Girls who are already part of this go-round.

Do I still have to do this if I can't tag anyone to follow me?

1. I like to take things apart, living or dead, and don't care if they go back together again.

2. I want to live in a Tupper Ware tub with a drain on one end so I can periodically hose it out.

3. I'm capable of forgetting important things when I do creative work and could burn the house down or let a pet starve. (This is serious.)

4. I can't throw a ball and will duck if one comes my way.

5. I still think I'm 25 years old and avoid mirrors. (You probably knew that one.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Day Off

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Off the bike, that is. No school. It was a day to catch up here at home, get groceries, go to the laundromat, talk to friends on the phone, chat on Skype, answer e-mails (often simultaneously; the way we live now), check news stories and watch videos on-line, clean the turtles' filter, stop Sibyl from eating my entire bike helmet (she ruined it), cook and clean and put groceries and laundry away and, finally, take some photos. (Fish out of water is with +4 close-up lens.)

(note fish reflected in t.v. and window)

All in all, a good day off - and now I can put my feet up and watch "The Wire" on my Netflix DVD. Three hours worth. But first, dinner. Artichokes and lamb chops and salad. O yes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Nearly Bit the Apple

In the USF bookstore today they'd set up an Apple Store and were offering last year's Mac Book Pro for $1,000 less than retail and about $600 less than this year's model at student price (1GB RAM vs 2GB RAM). Oh, I was so tempted, even though I really hate the whole Apple culture.

But, I don't have time for all the aggravations of switching systems. I was thinking I would just use it for Photoshop and keep the PC going for everything else. Then I realized that's nuts: I don't need all the bells and whistles of the professional version of Photoshop for what I do. I don't intend to do high-volume commercial work, or print images, so the latest version of Elements will be enough for this year. I want to be taking photos, and this tech stuff just takes too much time away from that.

So, I can let that go for now. At the end of the school year they'll sell this session's models for less; there's always a bargain out there waiting.

That bad Apple nearly bit me today but I lived to tell the tale.

(Yes, I know this old drawing of Alice has nothing to do with the story, except she fell down a rabbit hole as I recall, and I nearly did something like that today, too.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Legs o'Lead

The last three days have been mostly on a bike and I won't write much more about that, except to say, Yes! Yes! Yes! Really, there is nothing as wonderful as moving through my life on top of a bicycle. I did, however, get wasted on Saturday, trying to keep a pace too fast for me, at least it was too fast on my Bike Friday. Not sure why it's harder on that bike to go fast, but it is. The Cannondale, like a good race horse, just likes to speed up - until we hit a hill, anyway.

The day was clear, sunny and still cold, though not as cold as yesterday when I was shivering and in danger of hypothermia.

The Chinese Pavillion looked like this - if you click to enlarge the photo you'll see a turtle swimming in front of the reflection, on the right. Lots of people were out enjoying the holiday.

After riding with Judy in the Presidio, along Ocean Beach and into GG Park this afternoon, I bought new tights and rainpants, ready for the next bout of bad weather. Coming out of the Sports Basement who should ride by but Lorri, Daniel and Lesley, back from Nicasio.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Getting Ready to RIDE

The photo is of me at 18 months - note the smile! And to see my Team Velo Girls photo, click here. (I've just discovered all the links that go into greater depth about each discipline - all have my B&W photo efforts from that kick-off party last month. Look pretty good, if a bit fuzzy - hey, fuzzy is good at my age!)

I'll be riding, socializing and generally having a great time all weekend. I just got through putting air in all the bikes I'll be using, getting gear organized and ready to pedal. (There's also the symphony and a reunion with my old friends to squeeze in.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to School

I finished a post about returning to school today and about all the reading I need to be doing and about all the bike and bird stuff going on and Google decided this was the time I had to create an account with them in order to continue with Blogspot, which I guess they now own. Grrrrr. I don't even know if when I finish ranting this will actually get published.

Fukurokuju, the netsuke replica above, is my first foray into RAW and my first use of a close-up lens. His other side looks like a turtle, which is why Ellen gave him to me years ago.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

More touristing

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Today I ran errands using my Bike Friday, stopping at Kaethe's on the way to West Portal, where I had an enchillada for lunch. I bought a UV filter and some close-up lenses for my new camera and then rode up Twin Peaks, just for the ride. The camera store is more of a museum and fun to visit, if only to look at all the old cameras. I really do try to shop locally, rather than on-line, keep these guys in business.

After watching this woman take her own picture I offered to take it for her with her camera; she is visiting from France.

When I got home my books from Amazon were on my doorstep. (Some bargains are just irresistible and, besides, my local bookstore doesn't stock these, though, of course, they could order them.)

The Tourists and I

. . . do love our views.

Yesterday I rode around the waterfront and then over the bridge on the east side with all the other tourists (the west side is closed except during commute hours on weekdays), stopped for water and then tackled the Headlands. I was on my heavy Miyata touring bike so the fast guys passed me, which made me go slower and slower. There's something about being left behind that makes me feel bad. Anyway, after going to the top I turned around and started stopping to take pictures, trying out my borrowed zoom telephoto lens, and since it was such a gorgeously clear and sunny day I thought, hey, I could check out that one tree I've been amused by all these years - and so I walked out to the bridge overlook and finally saw that it's an old eucaplyptus, a non-native planting.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Riding the Bull

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Today I took my laptop to Beverly's so that she could check her e-mail. Vic was home, sick with a cold. Bev is still rehabing from her trip to Italy where she had an unfortunate encounter with a dog and fell, breaking her hip (and which wasn't diagnosed until weeks later when she was back home - they'd put a cast on her arm, which wasn't fractured).

There are so many wonderful things at Bev's that it isn't hard to catch an image I like. The ceramic above, a man riding a bull, I've chosen to see as a painting by Nathan Oliveira, or a Manuel Neri sculpture. I like it a lot.

Beverly gave me permission to leave her poem on my blog (yesterday's entry), as did her publisher, so we're cool.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What are the odds

. . .that you would be remembering a poem (and you never remember poems) and someone would then read that poem in a totally unexpected forum?


It is a gesture I do
that grew
out of my mother
in me.

I am trying to remember
what she
was afraid to say
all those

years, fingers folded
against her mouth,
head turned away.

Beverly Dahlen,
Out of the Third, 1974

Stephen Vincent, an old friend of Beverly's, will be teaching a writing seminar this semester at the Fromm and he read her poem at the open house this morning. Wonderful. Amazing.

Because Tillie Olsen died yesterday, I went to my bookshelf looking for Tell Me a Riddle; it wasn't there, but Beverly's Out of the Third was, and "Gesture" is the first, and my favorite, poem; though now that I reread it, the more I like the others too.

I was thinking all day yesterday about the reemergence of feminism in the 60s and 70s, about how we all were then.

I made the etching of Beverly, of the gesture, before I knew the poem - I think - but maybe not. (It, in turn, was taken from a photograph I took of her in her cliff-top garden on Carolina Street.)

We were so intense then - at least, I was. We would talk for hours and hours, smoking way too many cigarettes while we sorted out who we were and what we were up to. I sometimes feel that way again these days, passionate about new projects. Not smoking.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007, already?

(Click to enlarge images - back arrow to return)

I know probably everyone who reads this has already seen this poinsettia and I should work on another, but I'm out of steam.

There's nothing like a whole day spent going through old photos to put one in a bad mood; I'm trying to build Web albums in pbase and very little of what I have pleases me. I need to leave cameras and images for a few weeks and do something else - classes at the Fromm start again next week, in the nick of time.

Reminds me of when I had lots of drawings and prints to go through and would tear them up in just this sort of mood. I think I would do that with digital images, too, by deleting files, but it's really too much trouble.

I'm adding the reduced, otherwise original photo of the one tree behind the bridge as it actually appeared; Photoshop brought out the invisible detail seen in the image I posted earlier. No wonder I got depressed after coming home to work on these images. It really was a gloomy day!