Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lost & found

This afternoon I was driving on Cesar Chavez, taking my new rims to Larry in Noe Valley to be rebuilt for my Bike Friday, and I looked over to where this mural should be as I always do, and it was gone! There's a stark, pure white wall where Che and Cesar and Emiliano used to be.

Really, it was so well painted, why would it be there for just a year or so and then be gone?

I forgot to take Larry the new spokes so I have to go back in the morning and I'll double check that it's really gone. I don't believe it. (Friday: Yep. It's definitely gone.)

And then tonight, before the City Arts event with Gwen Ifill, Calvin Trillin and Adam Gopnik at the Herbst, we stopped to look at the books on sale. I picked this one up and said to Theresa, "That's David's photo! I wonder if they got it legitimately." I turned it over and they did indeed give him credit. I have a large print of the same scene, but with different people walking, waiting to be framed. It lives under my couch. It is not green, nor is it b&w, there is some very subtle rainy-day color in it. Here's a link to it on DB's web site. Theresa bought the book---I'd already read it before going to Paris and that copy has a different cover---but I brought it home to scan the new cover to send to David. He rarely knows how his stock photos are used when they're bought so he'll be pleased to see this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...where you, UPS man?

I've been home all day waiting for my new rims to come and online it says they've been on the truck "Out for Delivery" since 04.34! It's now 7:19, it's dark outside, they quit at 7:00. I hate it when I spend an entire day messing around with things I don't like to do, like bookkeeping and getting tax stuff together, waiting and waiting and waiting for the prize.

The neighbor's dog was just barking and I thought maybe he was coming after all. I even walked out to meet him. No UPS man.

I've been doing a lot of heavy-lifting dreaming lately, so much so that I seem to be rewriting my whole life. I was going to write a long windy tale when I got up this morning and now it's too late, I don't remember it anymore. Yeah, just as well.

I need to put up another picture or two if for no other reason than to get ObamiconMe to drift down below eye level. 24 hours is long enough to see that one.

This, of DB, was taken just about a year ago when we drove from Paris to Normandy to visit his friends. He's back in Seattle now and has a new Web site, which I've put in my links. Check it out, it's a knockout, though just has Paris and Italy up so far. Stunning work.

8:05 P.M. and there's a knock on my door, the rims are here. Whoo hoo! Now to find out if they're the right ones. . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


That was fun.
You need to register at Obamicon.me and download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, and then you can take any photo you want (no porn) and convert it into a poster. Took me about two minutes once I found a photo of me I could use.

Yep. It's all about me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A week gone by

Hmmm. Either too much happened this week to take time to write about it, or nothing much happened - and who needs to hear about nothing much?

Last Sunday I took my Bike Friday on a solo ride from Burlingame, meaning to circle over to the San Andreas Reservoir and down to Menlo Park to visit my friend Kit. I took my tinny tiny radio with its one-ear speaker to listen to the Lincoln Memorial concert. Somewhere along Canada Rd., just past Edgewood, I realized I was pedaling harder and not going faster and looked down to see if my back tire was going flat. Nope. BANG! The back tire exploded. O.K., so I get to fix a flat, I say to myself. No big deal.

But then I see the rim split into two pieces. Uh oh, can't fix that. Kit drove over to rescue me.

The Velo Girls Endurance Team got together later that day in Burlingame to set our schedule for progressive training rides, and it looks like I'll be busy one day every weekend for many months. I'm looking forward to it.

On Monday, Judy and I rode the Woodacre-Olema-Pt. Reyes Stn.-Nicasio loop, me on my Cannondale this time. Sure glad I have lots of bikes to ride.

You know all about Tuesday. I keep hoping things will get better now, but knowing they'll have to get worse before they get better depresses me. When masses of people lose their jobs it hurts.

Wednesday I did laundry.

Thursday I rode my old Miyata to school in a light rain. It always impresses them when I ride in the rain.

Today I compiled receipts and stuff to do my taxes. Now I'm going to put my feet up in front of my TV for the night, even though there is nothing worth watching.

Maybe tomorrow I will ride my Brompton. It's good to ride all four in one week, makes me smile.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Opening the vents

Ah, no smell. The dead rat dried up fast in our weird January heat wave. Or maybe the two boxes of baking soda, poured into old nylon socks and hung in the ducts did the trick. Either way, I removed the plastic-bag taped-on vent covers, turned on the furnace (while it's warm enough to open up all the windows and doors if the stench was still bad), and other than a slightly salty taste (baking soda in the air will do that), all is well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Riding clockwise

This morning I rode around the city by first going south and then west, covering the City College/SF State route to Lake Merced and Ocean Beach. It was downright balmy - spring without the wind.

The sky was achingly blue and I knew I could finally get SFMOMA the way I want it. My earlier version, which I still like better, is a cropped file and can't be used for enlargements. But do click on this one to see the surprising number of people, four on two floors, in it.

And then I noticed the reclining figure atop the W Hotel, and the Keith Haring sculpture across the street, and the very strange futuristic light standards nearby. The corner of 3rd and Howard is deep with art. Now I have to go back and find the sculptor's name. (Monday: I went into the W Hotel and asked the concierge and she said, "Nomad Dreamer." I said, "No, the sculptor's name." And she said that's the name. Oh. But when I Google the name all I get is my own, this blog entry!)

All of these were taken without moving more than a short distance with my bike. When I was done shooting I rode down 4th Street, across the bridge and back home. Only 25 miles, but I didn't stop riding for the first 20, or more, so it was a good workout. Tomorrow it's back to school and the ride up hill to USF three days a week.


Two weeks ago, when Judy and I were hiking on the cliffs below Ft. Funston we came upon a dead pelican. Its eye was still clear and it hadn't been dead very long. I photographed it but couldn't figure out a good way to show it here, especially since it was around New Years and too fraught with symbolic reference to use. This week it's been all over the news that pelicans have been dying up and down the coast and they don't yet know why.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday, already?

The furnace cleaner finally came today, but my house is too far from the street and he gave me the name of another company that has portable machines.

He also suggested I put a box of baking soda by the cold air return and wait a few days before opening my registers, that the cold air would pull in the soda and help with the odor. I filled a nylon sock with the box of soda and dropped it inside the cold air return on a string. We'll see what that does. Also, he said, if the rat really is in the duct it would most likely be adhered/stuck and the vacuum wouldn't remove it anyway.

The more I look at that furnace the less I think a rat could get up in a duct. It's more likely in my wall, in which case I'll just keep using the little electric heater this winter.

I've been through worse things in this ancient cottage and "this too shall pass!"

I'll be at the symphony tonight. The sun is shining and it's warm enough right now. I think I'll get out for a good ride tomorrow, maybe ride down the coast or something - or maybe on Sunday. I haven't felt like taking any new photos and I haven't felt like redoing old files; it would appear I suffer a touch of burnout, waiting for what comes next. This happens every winter and it doesn't bother me to be doing other things for awhile. I finished the Darwin biography, ready for school next week.

Paris would be a lot colder, I bet.

Monday, January 05, 2009

On the mend

A year ago I was on my way to live in Paris for a month. Seems like only a few months ago.

The banged up knee works again, the swelling is mostly gone and, even though the bruising is extensive and very ugly, this too shall pass. It was sunny yesterday morning and I rode my Bike Friday around the waterfront, through the Presidio into Cow Hollow, over Russian Hill to North Beach, and home via the financial district - and it was terrific! Back in the saddle again, tra la, tra la. But the old damaged touring bike has to go to the shop and might need a new front brake.

The furnace man comes in the morning and he will either pull a putrid stinking rat corpse out of a duct, or not. If not I don't know what I can do but wait until it dries up and quits stinking.

I'm sitting in the living room, using my 7-year old laptop. I was hoping to watch Photoshop tutorials with my leg up last week but the wireless PC card wasn't working. I drove to Fry's in Palo Alto today where they replaced the 3-year old card with a new one, just weeks before the Instant Replacement contract ran out. I don't usually buy those contracts, but was glad I did this once. And so, I'm writing this and watching a bit of TV, paying very little attention to either.

Friday, January 02, 2009

There's a body in my basement

This is no way to start a new year.

Working here in this little back room yesterday I kept getting a whiff of something bad. It was faint at first and I kept trying to figure out where it was coming from, but it wasn't until bedtime that I finally localized it to the furnace vent. Just the one vent, which seemed odd.

There was nothing I could do about it in the dark last night. Eeeuw. No way I'd go down in my basement alone, the only light my little bicycle headlamp.

It had better be a rat.

When I woke up this morning I could smell the dead-thing from my bedroom and the smell is much stronger in this back room now. Perhaps it's died up inside my big furnace and I won't even be able to reach it.

While I drink my morning coffee I'm working out a strategy: I'll wear old sweats, a mask, rubber gloves; take some tongs, and a newspaper to wrap it up quickly and a heavy plastic bag to seal it up in. There's an old can of RAID in the basement, maybe I'll spray the body first and maybe that'll keep its tropical rat mites on its body so they won't get to me.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Later: No smell in the basement. No dead rat to dispose of. This is bad news: it's either inside the furnace ducts or my wall, neither of which is reachable. We get to stink until it mummifies, better get used to it.

I've sealed off the furnace vents to this wall and the stench in my house is nearly gone. The vents in my bedroom/living room have no odor. I'm fairly sure now that the corpse is in the wall, not the furnace. I'll just leave the furnace off and use the electric heater for the duration. I wonder how long it will take to mummify. At least it should keep the ants busy, shouldn't it?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 just has to be better

While I personally had a good year, I'm very glad we will turn a new page within the month, and even though it's quite likely that many things will get worse before they get better, we now have genuine hope, the most important ingredient for making good things happen.

I won't be riding for a while: on Tuesday, I ran my old touring bike into the back of a truck illegally parked in the bike lane in front of Mission Rock, tried to turn, hit both the bike and my bolted/bone-grafted right knee so hard, broadside, as to cause damage to both. I have no idea if I hurt the truck (hope so). After some hours of exquisite pain, my knee is better and other than a serious contusion, I can bear weight and should be as good as new soon. My bike will take more work to fix the front brake, which is shoved into the rim so hard the wheel can't turn or be removed, and the back derailleur is also jammed. A nice man saw me in trouble and gave me and my old bike a ride home in his pickup truck. I'm walking on it, but not sure when I'll get back on a bike. Moral: Always look where you're going! Duh.

I went to sleep as the year turned, the fog muffling the celebratory clamor.

O.K., I'll say it: Happy New Year!