Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking for sunflowers

When the fog backed off a bit yesterday morning I drove across the hill to the Community Garden, hoping for sunflowers in bloom. There are only three planted and none are anywhere near flowering. I've made a note to go back in two weeks.

I could see the pink triangle way over on Twin Peaks, but I didn't have my long lens and decided to focus on the yellow roses instead.

After lunch I got back on my old Miyata to ride downtown to look at a couple of shows, one at the SF Camerawork gallery, the other at The Luggage Store on Market.

I took this a couple of weeks ago when Kit and I went to see the Birth of Impressionism show at the de Young. Now I have the fifer in the window from both sides.

In between these excursions I'm still poking away at my pictures from Holland and Belgium, still disappointed with most of them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On my way to the Ethnic Dance Festival

I stopped at the North Beach Festival and watched the street artists using chalk to cover oily parking slots on Union at Grant Street.

Two men were building a sand replica of Las Vegas at the same corner. One can only wonder why.

And then I met Jane for a picnic in front of the Palace of Fine Arts before going inside to the Ethnic Dance Festival. There were busloads of tourists milling about, taking pictures. We could hear the taiko drummers rehearsing. They were outstanding, as was the whole show. It always is.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Caught in the act

I went out to check on the falling apart gate this morning and discovered the reason this fake turtle had been moved around in Herc's yard. He's been like this for an hour (or more).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good ol' Hercules

My yard turtle, Hercules, was sitting on this decorative stone mat. I put it in his yard yesterday, and when he discovered it this morning he went straight to it and sat with his neck outstretched, visibly thinking: "What the . . ?" (I could see the thought-bubble over his head.) I put his food dish on it and ran for the camera. And then the neighbor's dogs joined us, which didn't bother Herc at all, though he kept his eye on all of us as he went back to his breakfast.

And then the gate into his yard fell apart. Not sure how to fix it. It's always somethin'!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goodbye dear Freds

Well, I knew before I left that the Freds were unwell, just how unwell I wasn't sure. I had them euthanized on Tuesday at the vet's, where it wasn't readily apparent what ailed them. Jill came by to help me bury them yesterday. They're underneath the big turtle stepping stone in Herc's yard.

I couldn't stop crying for them on Tuesday. I spent the day slowly taking apart the aquarium and I will sell it or give it away; there will be no more turtles in my house. (The box turtle, Hercules, is still doing great in the yard.)

I've been going to All Pets Hospital on So. Van Ness ever since Dr. Frank Miller was there in the late 60s. I still had the bill from when I took George, another pond turtle, a young slider, for pneumonia. I copied it to take in and the staff were quite amazed at the prices. Dr. Miller had a column in the Chronicle, "Wonderful World of Animals" where he answered questions. He cured George, who then grew and grew for many years.

In 1970, it cost $18.00 for exam, sedation, treatment and hospitalization. You don't want to know what that would cost now. I do not begrudge them; they practice a high standard of modern medicine these days and had I wanted to spend mega-bucks, perhaps with tons of treatment I could have saved the Freds. But they're over 20 years old and that would not be right. I would have liked to know what ailed them; too costly to find out.

The thing I like most about turtles: they are perfect just as they are.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Not quite here yet

It has been three days since I stepped off the plane from Amsterdam and by now I've had plenty of sleep, though often at all the wrong hours. I've taken the time to download and recover all my image files, and nothing stands out. Lots of snapshots that don't quite work for one reason or another, but at least I'll have reminders of the trip. This one is typical of the beauty of the places we went, especially when the sun was shining and the skies were blue, and of the way everyone rides a bicycle in Holland (often carrying two babies, one in front and one in back). And what looks like a very skinny building actually slants off to the side and is quite deep. This canal house is in Enkhuizen, North Holland.

The turtle problem is more serious than I thought: neither can swallow their food. They will both grab it from the basking rock, but once in the water it's dropped and not eaten (pond turtles can only swallow under water). I'm waiting to talk to Diego, maybe he can shed some light on what is wrong; if not, it's to the vet next week.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Who needs sleep, anyway?

It's now 02:30, and I've only had four hours of sleep in the last 30 hours. Been up since midnight here, 09:00 there. Tossed and turned and finally gave up on sleep for today.

Jill took this with her iPhone as I was leaving for Amsterdam three weeks ago and posted it on Facebook, and then she realized we shouldn't advertise my absence. All is as I left it so the bad guys didn't find out and empty my house. Pretty poor pickin's here, anyway.

Quick note about the trip: We had an unexpected eight straight sunny, warm days of cycling in North Holland, Overijssel and the Gelderland! Rarely saw the sun in Amsterdam or Belgium, but it only actually rained on us in Bruge one morning, and then was gorgeous the rest of that day. No flat tires or other mishaps of any kind, though perhaps too much wonderful and irresistible food, and our cyclist-friendly B&B stays were all uniquely amazing. I meant to make many notes each day to write in more detail, but it quickly got away from me in the hustle-bustle and map reading and planning where to go next, etc. I don't know how Footloose Fietser did it!

I haven't downloaded all my raw photo files from the Epson yet. I reformatted a full 2GB card by mistake and will need to find some recovery software for the Mac. They were all the photos from Gent and Bruge. At least this time I realized it before putting the card back in the camera and overwriting the files, which I once did in France, losing my best of Normandy.

The Fred turtles aren't acting well and I have to go find feeder goldfish to excite them. I hate doing that. Hope Hercules has been finding wild food in his yard while I was gone, snails and slugs and such. I'll go get Sibyl from birdie camp in the evening.

It's 02:36, and I'm still wide awake. Getting hungry; it's lunchtime in Holland. Guess I'll go finish off the mac & cheese I made from a box last night, in my nearly food free house. Oh yeah, groceries and laundry and all that stuff to put away. But the bike can just sit in its big suitcase until next week! Lots more bikes in this house to use.

And I expect a few trip photos and stories might show up here over the next weeks.

It's going on 04:15 and I've had my mac & cheese and now getting sleepy again, but have to get back to classes today and do all the house chores. Oh well. I can always sleep tomorrow.