Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hercules the Strong

Photo taken by Corey - see Cinderella's nose?

His namesake has nothing on him. I saw it for myself: Hercules was nose-to-nose with my neighbor's husky, seemingly trying to get at the dog---even going underneath the gate to stick his head up on the other side so the dog could touch him.

I kept hearing about this, but today I heard Corey talking to Cinderella (the husky), looked out my window and watched the encounter. I wanted to get my camera but was afraid to leave and miss the sight.

Cindy was called away and I went down in the yard to make sure the gate wouldn't open. Cindy returned, Hercules returned, and they were again nose to nose. It was very weird.

He keeps making a circuit around his little yard, not eating, just stomping around. He's getting ready to go underground for the winter. I brought him into the house to cool off and settle down after his husky encounter. I let him wander around inside the house for awhile, but found him upside down in the bathroom when he tried to climb the wall. He doesn't understand walls.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All about the pets

Photographer at Pacifica

I got back from a hard but great ride down the coast late yesterday and still had time to drive across the Bay Bridge to get Sibyl from birdie camp. She did not lay another egg while there.

I spent today cleaning and getting food for me and washing a lot of lycra. The box turtle, Hercules, was out stomping around his yard, looking for his dinner. The western painted turtles in the kitchen, the Freds, were no worse for going five days without food. I fed them twice and cleaned the filter.

But the winner is: my pet spider in the bathroom window. He gets an ant or two on his own, waiting patiently, but on three occasions I have lifted an ant from the floor and dropped it on his web. It takes him about three seconds to come out from the crevice where he hides and then I leave the room. I can't bear watching.

Sibyl took a long shower with me this afternoon and after preening every feather, is napping.

Monday, September 07, 2009

06:24 Monday morning

I'm drinking my coffee, thinking about the road ahead and all the times I've ridden Highway 1 from San Francisco south. Probably twenty times by now. I can go on auto-pilot. I can tell you every tree I've used for a pit stop, every turn in the road.

With saddle and pedals my bike weighs 22 lbs. (Before the heavier wheel set it was 18.5.). Now, fully loaded, with front and back racks, full water bottles and the long-shackle U-lock, it's 53 lbs., and so I'm hauling 31 lbs. I've done this trip with a lot less---just one set of bike clothes, no camera---and a lot more---a tent and camping gear and food, over 40 lbs., but still light. I could drop another pound or two today, but I won't. I'm taking a slim book (8 oz.) and my iPod/radio and at least a pound of gorp and Clif bars (I could buy that on the road).

It's 56 miles from my house to the lighthouse at Pigeon Point. In an hour or so, I'll ride across the Mission to City College, through SF State, skirting Lake Merced to Skyline in Daly City---where I'll meet Judy---up the hill and through the ticky-tacky houses into Pacifica, over Devil's Slide and down the coast, stopping for lunch in Half Moon Bay, detouring later into Pescadero for artichoke soup at Duarte's and for a bag of food to have at Pigeon Pt., and, finally, getting to the hostel by the time they open to grab a lower bunk. We'll sign up for the hot tub overlooking the sea, where we'll watch pelicans and seals. Will we go first thing, or at sunset?

I always keep notes on my long rides. I'll have to wait until I get home to add them, though.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rarin' to go

This was taken in Portugal, five years ago*. I've replaced the wheels on my Bike Friday, Petite Pocket Crusoe with a sturdier, heavier pair, so it weighs a bit more. I also have a heavy camera and gear in a new, somewhat more compact trunk bag, and for a trip down the coast I'm not taking rain gear (hear that?), but whether I'm going for one or for many weeks, I take about the same stuff.

I'm all packed and wonder if I should take the whole kit 'n caboodle out for a spin tomorrow.

* this photo is on page 4 of the new Bike Friday catalog.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

One tough egg, one fast mouse

That's yesterday's egg. On Sunday, the first egg for this cycle was very thin and so I not only started adding calcium, but I doubled the amount I sprinkle on her wet food. Three days later she quietly dropped another egg into her basket (it is usually dropped from a high perch and it usually breaks). It was cold when I found it and solid. Perhaps too solid. I can see the excess calcium on its surface. Finding the right amount to supplement will be my next task.

I caught the field mouse in the act today, eating my box turtle Hercules' left-overs. I did see Herc eating earlier, so he got his share first.

The mouse looked up at me with his great big ears and then, lickity-split, off he went.

Hercules has to be quick to get his food before this guy gets wind of it.


I packed my panniers to ride down the coast next week. 4.5 lbs. each. Not bad.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Waiting for the sun to shine

East Beach on a foggy day

It's nearly 10:00 in the morning and I'm waiting for some sun. I'm also waiting for Sibyl to drop an egg. Eggnant parrots are broody and quiet. I need to drive her to birdie camp this evening and would rather she not be post-egg and tired. She usually naps for a day after producing her egg. I might wait until tomorrow evening to take her; after that the Bay Bridge will be closed and I'll have to drive 50 miles to go what is usually only ten.