Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nice ride

In spite of having to get up before the sun, the day was spectacular and I'm glad I went.

I set the alarm for 04:45, possibly a first, and I had dreams of how my getting up would be - to the point where I just repeated what I did in my dream, but then had this terrible case of deja vu, over and over again. (Now, put on sunscreen...but I already put on sunscreen in my dream....)

The 64-mile Cinderella ride today was beautiful and easy. I quickly lost my fellow Velo Girls and rode mostly alone - which I like to do, and usually end up doing no matter what: I'm not fast enough for the hammerheads and...I don't know where everyone else went...I just saw the same few familiar faces all day, it seemed.

I did get off the bike from time to time when there was something more interesting to me than more and more gals on bikes -how many of us were there?! - though the one above of cyclists on the road (barely visible in this low-res version) pleases me because it sums up the beauty of the day.

Annette, in this photo, came on her first Mellow Velo ride with me some months ago, along with her friend, Janet, and they are now both seriously training for the AIDS Life Cycle in June ( her blog is chickbike).

Time for bed...

Friday, March 30, 2007

What a day

Instead of putting my act together to be getting up at 05:00 (or earlier) tomorrow to ride the Cinderella Classic in the east bay, I'm processing a few photos from my incredible bike ride in the city today.

I started along the Embarcadero, as usual, and suddenly rediscovered the cement balls. What is it with cement balls?!

But it just felt so good to be once again pedaling along my waterfront, to my Golden Gate Bridge, through my Presidio and into my Golden Gate Park, stopping at my windmill to see the tulips - O what a glorious day to be alive!

I find tulips incredibly boring, as photos, but the people at the windmill today were very interesting, with lots of photographers being serious about them.

And then, in the Haight, a freshly painted Victorian (fresh to me, anyway - I'm usually hanging my head by the time I get to the Haight).

Of the 99 shots from today, I don't really have time to do anything but a quick edit and resizing, but am wondering if any of these are worth going back with the SLR camera - those cement balls, wherever I find them, intrigue me, as does the garish Victorian. And by Monday, the tulips will be opening; by Friday they'll probably be gone.

I didn't lock up my bike anywhere so none were done with much concentration (that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it).

I was so happy all day. I hadn't been out in the city for a month and it was so exciting.

I grin ear-to-ear constantly; I'm such a sap.

(Click photos to enlarge - back arrow to return)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Getting boring, again

Just now, while washing up after a great stir-fry dinner, I thought how boring my blog has become, especially to me. I can't really write all the good stuff that enters my head; it's much too fleeting. (And probably equally boring.)

Today I messed around with my images for awhile, answered e-mails, had lunch at Beverly's and put some images on her new computer for a screen-saver, went to Serramonte and ordered new, expensive, frameless glasses that will turn dark in the sun so I can better work with a camera (but never with paints) en plein air.

These dragonfly lights are in Bev's window.

I took Jill the funny magnetized two-part bird that I got in Tombstone (half the bird is outside the window, the other half inside, tres amusing). We'll see if Sarah, her cat, notices.

I'm letting my New Yorker magazines pile up, unread, and will take them on my next trip (and right there is an example of the really, really good stuff I don't write about here. I'm going to Paris to join David on a long road trip - maybe all the way to Greece - a great adventure, me thinks, even if we never leave Paris! but we'll go somewhere interesting, I'm pretty sure, and take lots of photos, me for fun, he for a living - that's him at work in front of Notre Dame).

I'm reading Melville again, and Poe and Hawthorne, all for an upcoming class. I'm not getting much technical reading done during the school break, but it'll keep.

I'm letting my hair grow longer and it's hard to manage. This photo is from over a month ago. I've been getting photos of me from other people on my Arizona ride, when the daily showers in ultra-soft water left it lank and stringy looking, making me wonder if it isn't time for a brown paper bag over the head, at least until it's long enough to put into a mean little old-lady bun on the back of my old-lady neck. Maybe I just need the right Product.

Nora Ephron has a new book out titled, "I Feel Bad About My Neck." She must have turned fifty.

And I'm in the middle of a bookkeeping job, which I guess I'll get back to now.

Yes, pretty boring.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More balls

Leaving Patagonia, Arizona, I came across this ranch with its abundance of cement balls.

They're about the same size as the balls in Palm Springs and even those here in Golden Gate Park.

I wonder who makes them. How would you find one for your very own yard?

They're beginning to haunt me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Stable for Secretariat

The Sonoita Inn was originally built as a barn to house Secretariat and has been made into a very elegant hotel, which I was lucky enough to stay in on my bike trip in Arizona. Others in my group went to local B&Bs, where they also stayed in stables, but theirs, I was told, still had horses "across the hall."

Above is the view from the large window at the top of the stairs. Below is the view from my room.
(click to enlarge, watch the moire pattern change - back arrow to return)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why ain't I tired?

I've ridden lots of hard miles in the past two days, getting up at 05:45 to make the starts, and today's ride was really, really hard for me because there were no slow riders and I had to practically sprint to keep the group in sight, even up very steep Mt. Eden (well, I didn't sprint up the 15-20% grades, but it felt like it) and what a pathetic co-leader, sweeping only myself (I would have helped with a flat tire had anyone had one).

After the ride I drove back up the mountain and took this photo of a charming winery, but missed the turn to the summit. Not sure if I didn't see the wineries the first time around because my head was hanging, or if I was on another road. (Actually, both photos were taken on the same corner! - now that I look closely I can see it's the same fence and vineyard.)

It was very beautiful around Los Gatos and, fortunately, today it wasn't hot, otherwise I'd have hated it. Hard, O.K., keeping up, O.K., hot, hard and keeping up, no way.

I'm probably still running on all the adrenalin I needed all day just to catch up with those fast women in pink!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Google for the mind

I'm reading The New Yorker article about the choreographer, Matthew Bourne, and I can't remember if I've gone to see "Swan Lake" or if I'm imagining it. I really think I did. And it would have been within the year. But did I? If I did, it was with Jane. Jane, are you there?

I could probably Google when it has been performed in San Francisco and solve this mystery, but having that just-out-0f-reach memory is more fun. I finally did Google it - and, yes, it was at the Orpheum a year ago and, yes, I did go to see it with Jane. It was amazing.

Don't you just love the way you can solve any memory glitch on the Internet?

My swan lives in the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Didn't miss this

I was away nearly 3 weeks and didn't miss babbling to myself on this blog, but now that I'm back there's no stopping me.

I don't know when I'll go back to the desert photos; they just don't interest me much.

I brake for beauty - wild mustard glows!

Today I took the Canondale to Orinda and rode the 3 Bears plus Moraga, for 20+ sumptuous miles and 20+ not-so-sumptuous suburban-street miles, but I did learn the route for Saturday's Velo Girl's training ride. I don't know which Bear is which, but the last long downhill was the mother of all downhills and seemed to go on for miles. Glad I went clockwise; I'm sure it was easier.

Not many riders out, but then not too many folks get paid not to work, like me.

Rub-it-in, rub-it-in....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Idiot: Me

When I got home yesterday I cleaned my turtle tank filter, using new supplies. The old charcoal needed drying out so I stuck it on a shelf in my oven. It's about a cup's worth, held inside a small nylon bag that fits into the filter.

I thought I should probably stick a note on my oven, reminding me it was there.

I didn't.

Tonight I cooked some artichokes to go with my broiled New Zealand lamb chops.

So, I'm in my office, waiting for everything to finish cooking and I hear popping noises. I assume it's the lamb chops too close to the flame and go to check.

It's the charcoal. Popping. It's popping all over my oven and down into the broiler - though - Whew! - not onto the lamb chops that I can see.

But they're only half cooked and I have to wait now for the oven to cool enough to remove this HUGE mess.

I wonder: Can I salvage this charcoal and still use it in my filter? Will I ever get dinner tonight?

This hangman's noose hangs in Tombstone, Arizona.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Leaving Yucca Valley

I left my cousin Jean's in Yucca Valley early this morning, heading home after driving too much and riding a lot in the high desert - clear down to the Mexican border in Douglas, starting from Tucson. The weather finally broke after an unusually hot March and it rained nearly my entire drive up I-5. I took this as I left. Not sure when I'll get to the other pictures from the trip, too much else to do first.
(Click to enlarge - back arrow to return)

It's good to be back home, even if I have to spend all day tomorrow doing laundry and getting groceries. I hope it rains some more and then quits on Thursday so I can get out and ride the rest of the week.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Surprise! Arizona

Wouldn't you know, the heat arrived along with me. It was freezing here just last week. I'm indoors, hooked into the internet via an unsecured wireless connection (whatever that means), visiting with my relatives off and on. But, before it gets too hot I think I'll take a spin around the neighborhood on my Bike Friday. No new photos processed yet. In fact, I forgot to update my laptop software and can't download RAW images to it. Oh well. Here's an old photo from my files.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On the road (again)

Monday 3/5/07: I got as far as Los Osos Valley Rd. in San Luis Obispo, checked in to a cheap Motel 6, put on my cycling duds and took off intoa head wind toward Morro Bay. It was hazy and gloomy, but it felt good to be pushing on some pedals after a week without much riding.

Rode about 35 kms, stopping at the supermarket on the way back for take-out dinner. I've finished showering, eating, and am now (not) watching "Friends" on TV. I may go into town after my ha
ir dries - or not. I have plenty of reading. The only thing I would have photographed had I brought a camera along was wild mustard. I do like the intense yellow of mustard bloom.

Wednesday 3/7/06: Jean had to be in Palm Springs early this morning so I put my Bike Friday in the back of her big SUV and rode to the top of the Tram road, "just a gentle, steady grade," she said. Ha! People who drive SUVs have no concept of grades. It's true that here and there it was gentle, but here and there it was clearly over 18%.

When I started the sun was intense, though still early morning, and I stopped several times and got in the shade of a big rock until my head quit pounding, wishing I'd brought more than one bottle of water.

It wasn't long before a steady stream of traffic, including many tour buses began to pass me, and then high clouds shut off the sun as I climbed the last, steeper, mile.

The down hill was actually more difficult because the 20" rims got very hot,
very fast, and I stopped several times, afraid they might explode my tires. I could then tell how steep the climb had actually been, and where it finally got more "gentle" I was able to let up on the constant braking for a while and really enjoy it.
What is it about cement balls? And windmill farms?

I'm off to Surprise, AZ in the morning, taking blue highways from Joshua Tree. I've had enough of super highways to last a while.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Old friends

I've been putting one foot in front of the other, going from one thing to another - stem cell lecture, "Hedda Gabler," and John Adams' opera - culminating today in the get-together of old friends at Ellen's. Some of us have nearly 30 years of history together and we have lots of stories to tell, but we always circle back to one or two that we know and love best (like when Micke fell over backwards off a ladder, landing flat on her back and how Len stepped over her, saying, "You O.K.?" in passing, on his way to treat a patient; I think she broke her back with that fall). (We forgot to retell "King Tut" today, my personal favorite.) It was good to see everyone again and catch up on the news.

Dottie, me, Barb, Theresa, Cassie, Donna, Ellen & Kaethe
(missing: Mary Ellen, Judy, Rhonda & Micke)

Of them all, today's party and the stem cell lecture were the most engaging. I didn't like the play and the opera grew on me, but it wasn't transporting like, say, Puccini. Opera should be transporting.

Sibyl is off to birdie camp tomorrow and I'm off to visit my cousins, one in Yucca Valley and another in Surprise, Arizona, and then on to Tucson to meet a group of cyclists for a 6-day tour of historic hotels (Tombstone, Bisbee and the like). Not sure how often I'll post anything here, but hope to take some nice shots in the desert.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Again, all better

I'm really amazed that I can use my injured knee easily today. The blunt trauma across the patella was severe enough that I worried it had cracked, but I woke up this morning feeling no pain and have very little stiffness; I could ride all day if I had time, which I don't.

Falls happen.

This photo was from the cyclocross race in Golden Gate Park last November. (Click to enlarge - note beer bottle hanging out of the spectator's back pocket?)