Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bummed knee

I rode the little Brompton to get my refurbished old car and because Caesar Chavez seemed too dangerous I went up on the sidewalk.

Ha! A dark tree trunk did a low loop over the path, I didn't see it until too late to move my hands from the bar-ends to the brakes, made a fast turn and fell between two parked cars. As I went off the curb the bike collapsed under me (the back automatically turns under and becomes a stand), but at least I didn't run out into the busy street.

Total flail.

I lost control from the get-go on this odd little bike with its 16" wheels that can flip around completely. I don't ride this bike more than 2-3 times a year so my hands don't know where to go in a pinch. Note to self: skip the bar-ends, stay in control.

And, Oh, did my whammed kneecap hurt, and, Oh, it will be so hard to bend that knee for some days, I bet.

I'm sacrificing my frozen corn for an ice pack as I sit here.

I will probably never ride a sidewalk again, way too dangerous!

This old photo came up on my screensaver and if you click to enlarge it maybe you'll see why I like it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All better

View from 5th floor at CPMC

Yesterday's stuffy nose was just that, a fleeting allergic thing. I'm going to ride the Brompton to classes today and then pick my car up afterwards. The sky is clear this morning but rain is predicted. We'll see.

...later. My car isn't ready and needs lots of work before my road trip to Tucson, our Last Hurrah, road-trip wise. I ended up riding the Brompton home in lots of rain, which was actually fine, if a tad cold. There was a big hail storm while I was in class, so I missed the fun of hail-on-helmet; the hills in the east bay had a lot of snow. This photo was on the front page of www.sfgate.com.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Rainy Monday

View from my window
(the poinsettia has died back)

Nothing much to write about. My nose suddenly got stuffy and now I'm thinking that just when I have so many wonderful things planned (Wednesday, a lecture on stem cells; Thursday, ACT's "Hedda Gabler"; Friday, a new John Adams symphony; Saturday, reunion with old friends) I will catch cold.

I know, I'll make a hot toddy: lemon, brandy and honey, right? I can't even remember the last cold I had.

I had my teeth cleaned this morning and then went shopping; and then took my car for service, riding the Brompton home in between the heavy rain showers. The Brompton always attracts comment and I get to show off its quick-fold trick to the amazement and envy of all.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Another interesting Saturday

I've solved several technical computer/Internet problems over the last couple of days (others await) and am now downloading music to my new gadget. This devise will let me download up to 40 GBs of media, including my camera RAW files, which I can then review on a 4" LCD. But mostly, it frees up my camera memory. Pretty neat for under 2 lbs. - just what I need for the kind of bicycle travel I do.

My new Team Velo Girls kit came today via Anna, who drove clear down to Mountain View to get it. I immediately took photos. I hesitate to publish any here because it is so discouraging to see what I look like, but not too bad for an old broad.

I'm really very proud to be on this team of amazing, fast women. (I'm part of the endurance team, helping train riders for centuries; we don't all race.)

When I go into our sponsor's sho
p, Mike's Bikes, and introduce myself I always add, "the oldest living (or riding) Velo Girl, because I know what they're thinking. . .

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Yesterday, feeling needy, I bought a new top made with a Japanese-type fabric, and then at TJ's, I not only bought 3 bars of their dark chocolate, but small boxes of Panda licorice and Jelly Belly sour jelly beans.

I can actually resist more than one tiny piece of chocolate, but not the licorice or sours. BAD, bad, bad, oh so bad.

My tongue gets weird from so much sugar, we won't discuss the hips.

(Click to enlarge - back arrow to return)

Gratuitous photo of purple flower in my yard, whose name I should, but don't know. I've finally gotten around to using the manual focus on my camera. It works ever so much better than the auto-focus for items like this.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


My system isn't up to the new monitor, though it may be a case of my getting used to everything being just that much bigger and maybe it's actually fine. I can't utilize its potential - par for the course in this household!

If it weren't so time-consuming I'd get a new system, but that entails making too many important decisions - Apple versus PC being the big roadblock for me. I really hate the thought of changing everything I do.

These are real flowers. They were at the Cliff House on my birthday a few weeks ago.

Which reminds me that I have tons of unprocessed images, some are of blue hydrangeas in the Conservatory of Flowers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Disturbing my ecology

UPS has 21 minutes left to deliver the package they said would come today and which I had to be home to receive. I didn't go to Sausalito to watch the start of the Amgen Tour of California, but instead actually did the heavy house cleaning I've been threatening to do for weeks (and Oh how it needed doing).

Jill brought me her old computer to get ready to pass on to Beverly. She kept her old, better monitor and gave me the 17" HP that came with her new system; I'm giving Bev my Hitachi 15". Unfortunately, I don't seem to have adequate memory, or I can't seem to get the settings just right, and while it's very bright, text isn't as sharp as I'd like, but the images are much better and that's what counts most. Updating the drivers on-line helped a bit. Where is my IT person?

. . .UPS got here with 15 minutes on their workday to spare. I'm glad he didn't come until dinnertime, that way I was forced to mop and wax floors and sort out piles of accumulated junk.

Yesterday, Sunday, was the 4th Velo Girls Cinderella training ride, 50+ miles out of Burlingame. We had a great time.

That's Lesley demonstrating how to fix a torn tire with a boot.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday's adventures

First I got some food for the house (and now I have to cook it) and then thought about doing some heavy-duty cleaning, but no way! It was in the windless 70s, I'd even say high-70s today and cleaning can wait (and wait, and wait). I took the Bike Friday, my camera and some lunch for my usual Saturday leisure-ride around the waterfront.

Right away I came across a film crew in Dogpatch and judging by the lack of support I'd guess they were students.

Next, I wound my way through the Farmers' Market crowd along the Embarcadero and stopped in Aquatic Park to eat and watch the swimmers and rowers and tourists. Another film crew, this time the BBC, was working on a broadcast, waiting to go live. I never ask what these people are working on, it's all just part of my magical-realism life, why worry about labels. My fantasy is that they were doing a global warming story - the AAAS is having a conference here - and talking about how we here in The City will be under water in x-years.

I did like the amended sign: "Impeach Now."

I met Dianna by Fort Mason just as Mark and Judy rode by, so we quickly caught up with them and rode together to Fort Point, catching up on all our news. Dianna and I then rode back to the Embarcadero, hoping to run across some of the Amgen bike race hoopla, but they were just starting to set up for the prologue tomorrow, so we bought lemonade and relaxed, enjoying the warm - did I mention windless? - afternoon.

I decided to put my new Kenda tires on the Cannondale before taking a shower, but I was so hot and sweaty that I ended up doing the work in the buff and then took my shower.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm going to be so stiff

I'm going to be so stiff tomorrow after spending hours and hours weeding this yard today. I did all of it by just bending over and I kept thinking I was finally really stretching my hamstrings, ha ha, and getting ready for my next hard bike ride. Now to stretch the rest.

Hercules, my box turtle, is still underground even though this has been the mildest winter I can remember. It doesn't actually ever get cold enough here for a true reptile hibernation, but when the days get short Herc disappears for several months. Then, usually the first time I weed this 9-foot square yard, he reappears, his shell covered in mud and ready to eat - but perhaps I've jumped the gun by a few weeks this year. I only ran into one long, skinny earthworm, no slugs, no snails. Slim pickin's.

I didn't see him today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Jacquie picked me up and then we picked Kit up and the three of us went to Stanford's Cantor Arts Center to see the Richard Avedon show. As expected, the exhibit of huge portraits of working people in the American west in the mid-1980s was fascinating and disturbing and beautiful.
As long as we were there we went upstairs to the regular collection and I said hello to my old friends. I particularly love this painting by Nathan Oliviera (I love anything by Nathan). The "workman" is actually a sculpture so lifelike that we found ourselves whispering near him, not wanting to be overheard.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ha ha ha ha

I sent this e-mail valentine to just about everyone I know and then saw my typo.

I meant well.

Every year I think, yes, I should work up a really wonderful creative card to send everyone and every year at this time I feel uncreative and unwonderful. I do like to stay in touch with more than a Happy Whatever, and it seems important to uphold at least one social convention, but being thoughtful on the calendar's dictates is very hard for me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bad Bird

I spent a lot of time getting my new helmet to fit just right, and then I put it away on one of the shelves here in my office where I've always kept my cycling gloves and helmets.

The shelf above my cycling gear is Sibyl's play shelf. I have gone to great lengths to keep her confined to the one space, but the grass must appear greener, above or below.

She's found a way around every temporary barrier I've so far devised.

Since these photos were taken I've put clear plastic completely over both ends and enclosed the back edges, top and bottom, too.

. . . and yet, she found a way to somehow get to the lower shelf and "eat" my helmet.

I never even got to wear it.

(Click to enlarge and see the damage; it's a total loss.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gorgeous day out there

Click photos to enlarge - back arrow to return

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Driving & Riding in the Rain

When I got out of bed the wind was howling and rain was slamming against my cottage - "Oh boy," I said to Myself, "I bet I get to ride with Me, Myself & I again." The three of us do have a great time, but if I drive 20+ miles for a ride, I'd just as soon have more company.

I decided to take my old touring bike because it's equipped with fenders and good tread for riding in the rain, but I use it around town and have a sign, "Bicycling, a quiet statement Against Oil Wars," which, after getting the bike on my car rack, I realized was going to look pretty funny, not to mention hypocritical.

As it turned out, I did have company, though one rider was at our turn-around stop so I did the route twice - twice is nice. It was all wonderful. I enjoyed every minute. Some rain, mostly mist. No mechanicals and everyone was smiling at their finish. Lots of lycra on the road in big pelotons; bullfrogs croaking; an egret; and one crow, or maybe it was a raven.

But on the way home I turned the bike the other way.

Too embarrassing.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today's mystery

I was stopped by a motorcycle policeman at Polk and McAllister this morning and waited while a dozen or more motorcycle police drove by, spaced about half a block apart, lights flashing, alarming at the intersections, traveling at normal speed; until, finally, a Lincoln Town Car with dark back windows rolled through, followed by several big, dark, unmarked SUVs. I meant to watch the local news to find out what I was seeing but I forgot, watching The News Hours with Jim Lehrer, instead.

(Click to enlarge - see the other TV in dark living room?)

Watching TV? No, not really. I have an ancient thrift-store B&W television on top of my microwave (in itself a nod to modernity in this primitive cottage - note curtain instead of a door) and a color television in the living room, which I can't hear from the kitchen. While I'm cooking I keep them both on, running into the LR if something good is on and I want to see it in color - like the QM2 story. But I don't really watch either, and, in fact, usually read while I eat. Right now I'm memorizing How to Survive in the Desert, getting ready for my road trip to Tucson next month. (I jest. I don't memorize, or even remember, 99% of what I read.)

Anyway, I may or may not ever find out what it was I saw this morning. Add it to the list.

Beach Chalet murals

(click to enlarge - back arrow to return)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

55 Pionus tail feathers

Don't try to count them, they're not all showing here.

Actually, I did my housework like a good girl, cleaned the turtles' filter, played with Sibyl, did some bookkeeping and, finally, got to photograph my collection of feathers. I haven't figured out how to duplicate the sudden flashes of neon iridescence as seen in the photo of her preening below, but will let that go for now.

Parrots are funny critters. For one thing, they don't miss anything with those keen eyes (I believe they also read minds) and are very determined about getting what they want. Sibyl is completely detached from her molted feathers, ha ha, pun intended, but if I try to touch any container with her food in it she attacks me. Otherwise, we're good buddies.

Same feathers from the other side.

I know, this is about as exciting as the chia turtle.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is nuts!

I have so many new images to work on - I'm foolishly in love with too many - and it's really quite nuts. I had a wonderful birthday yesterday with my daughter, Jill, and my best friend, Judy, and along the way I made photos at the Cliff House and the Beach Chalet and then at a lake in Golden Gate Park. I don't know what to do with them all except to reduce and post them here. But it takes time and I haven't enough time to do them justice; maybe later. I keep taking new images, though, and rarely go back.

Oh, and I'm working on my parrot's molted tail feathers, which are extraordinarily, incredibly beautiful. One side is a pattern of red, white, green and blue. When the light hits them just so they are iridescent, an almost unbelievable neon display of cobalts and turquoises, reds and greens. So far I've only laid them on the scanner, and just now took a photo of their back sides, which are a muted red, white and green, and which I'll process tomorrow. This project will keep me busy all day tomorrow when I should be doing housework. (Whenever I see "should," I cringe and immediately rebel.) The scanned print of Sibyl preening her tail feathers is very old, but I still like it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Nothing much

I'm having trouble focusing on any one project. Now that I don't have a job to define my time I have to find other ways to set goals for myself instead of just bopping from one unfinished thing to another. No, maybe that's making boundaries where none need be.

Maybe it's just another birthday rearing its ugly head to remind me time is a-wasting and I should be doing more than I am with every day I have left to me, as if any of us knew how many days we have left.

I wandered around on my old bike today, stopped in at the new Book Bay, realized it was Friday and that I'd forgotten about the figure drawing session I could have gone to in Ft. Mason. I guess that's what I mean about not having my time scheduled: I just plain forget things I wanted to do. Don't remind me that old folks have memory problems; I always had memory problems. Time to make lists again. This is what I do now. And now. And then.