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We had pretty much decided to stick close to home yesterday, but after I wrote my entry, I decided that maybe getting out would do me some good. So I talked about it with Malida, and we took off up the hill to the Auburn State Recreation Area. It was a bit rainy, but we figured that the ride itself would do us some good, so off we went.

We were hungry, so stopped in the town of Auburn for some breakfast at a place called The Edelweiss, which used to be a German restaurant, but is now owned by some people from somewhere nowhere near Germany. They specialize in big breakfasts with fresh ingredients. The place was packed, and we ended up sitting at a community table with some people who were on their way up to see the snow. We had a nice chat, and the breakfast was worth the wait.

After breakfast we headed up the road a few miles to the trailhead that leads to the Black Hole of Calcutta Falls, our destination. It had snowed a bit in the early morning, but the gentle rain took care of that. There was some sort of run/walk thing just finishing, and we saw many muddy people coming down the trail.

malida at the falls

Malida looks at the falls.

We made it to the falls in about an hour. The trail is actually an old railroad bed for a quarry railroad, which runs along the American River. It is pretty. I have tried to come up here before, but it was always too crowded. A cold rainy day in February seems to be the right time.


A bridge abutment from the old railroad. If you keep going on the trail past the waterfall, it will take you to the quarry. I might do that this summer as part of The Great Aimlessness.


The falls.

It was beautiful, and worth the walk through the rain and the mud.

I'm still feeling down, but felt better for having gone up there and walked around. I went out again today and drove along the river, and that was good. I decided that I am experiencing some depression, which is nothing new, and tends to come and go. I think I am more aware of it this time around though. I have a suspicion about why that is, but want to think about it a bit more before I explore it here.

I came home and wrote up a proposal for the sabbatical I am applying for. I sent it off to my boss and got her approval, and will see the Dean in the morning for his approval before I submit it. It was kind of a struggle to write, because I was thinking about not wanting to do anything art all. I know, though, that once this feeling passes, a sabbatical to write curriculum will sound like something fun and exciting.

And so it goes.
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It's been a strange kind of week, with a number of things that have occurred peripheral to me--to other people--but have had an effect on me. I haven't felt much like writing either, so it's been a week since I made an entry. I'm barely getting this entry writ, and spent about 5 minutes debating about whether to use effect or affect in the last sentence. I think I made the right choice, though I think I could have said "...they affected me..." and been ok too.

I'm not my usual happy self.

mercy in the rain

It has rained for a good part of the week. We can always use the rain. Malida and I had been thinking about going on a hike today, but everything is saturated, so we will wait until next week. Or maybe not. Maybe getting out and taking some pictures would be good. Part of me wants to just stay in and hibernate.

We went to see the tax guy yesterday. It was pretty much what I had anticipated. We have to pay about the same amount as last year, which is a good chunk. The new tax laws brought our tax down a bit, but they also adjusted our withholding down, so no net change, really.

As usual, I could tell that it wasn't going to be good news by the way the tax guy smiled as he ran the numbers. It's been so long since I got a refund, I can't remember what he looks like when I don't have to pay.

He suggested again that I needed to do something with my photo business, as I did make a little money off it last year. So I came home and itemized all my photo expenses for the year, including all the trips I took, and sent it off to him. Perhaps that will reduce the tax bill a bit.

Malida is planning a trip back to Thailand this summer, and I am on the fence about whether I want to go with her, or hang out here and drive around aimlessly. I'll probably go so I can see how the house is coming along. Since I am not working over the summer, other than one three-day class, I can spend the rest of it being aimless.

hello kitty

A little Hello Kitty sketch I made yesterday, for no particular reason.
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It was a pleasant and relaxing weekend here in zyzylyland. I had a board meeting for the nursing alumni association on Saturday, and, other than getting some noodles and grocery shopping, just kind of hung out on Sunday. It was nice.

piso mojado

This week started out pretty low key. I went in early to work this morning, made my list, and got almost all of it done by about 10. We had a team meeting, and I was on my way home by noon. Head down, do what needs to be done. It actually worked this time.

I stopped at Malida's work on the way home to take some pictures of her car for insurance. Someone rear-ended her the other day, and she will get a new bumper out of the deal.

We have great insurance that takes care of nearly everything. They sent me an app to take the car pictures, and the same app submits the claim, and gives approval. They had the body shop call me to make an appointment, and they are ensuring that Malida has a rental car, which will be there when we drop off the car. Our insurance is AAA. I've made a handful of claims over the years, and they have always gone out of their way to ensure that it is as low stress as possible.


We talked to the family back in Thailand. Uncle Father of the Girls is putting in the pump for the well that just got dug. I asked what Uncle's name is, and it is something like Sod, so henceforth I will call him Uncle Sod (Father of the Girls). He will start building for real in a few weeks, and we need to send some more money over.

And, of course, it is time to pay taxes. Our appointment with the tax guy is this Saturday. I am curious what my tax bill will be this year. Last year the tax guy thought we would do better this time with the new tax laws, but I am doubtful.

From the way some people talk about their refunds, I suspect there are those who think that refunds are some sort of bonus that the government gives you, rather than your own money that has been sitting in the treasury since it was collected. I almost always have to pay, because I have less taken out. I never get that special government bonus.

malida bw

Malida taking my blood pressure the other morning. It was fine. I like how she looks in this pic.
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Today is my grandma's birthday. If she were still alive, she would be 111, which would be well beyond what she had hoped for. She died at age 93, believing she had made it to 100. She was happy.

February was the month for birthdays on that side of the family. My grandpa's birthday was February 14, and my mom fell right in between on February 10. One of my students took care of a patient today who was born on February 10.


We have some confused onions that decided to sprout in a big way, and Malida decided to decorate the house with them. I think she gets bored on her days off when I am not around.




I received a couple of pieces of disconcerting news the other day. The first was that there was some sort of issue with one of our tutors, which would require some attention, and the other was that someone I care about was experiencing a scary health issue. This was on Tuesday, and when I went in to work on Wednesday, my plan was to keep my head down and get out of there as soon as I could, because I just didn't want to deal with stuff and I was fretting about my friend.

Of course that didn't work out and I ended up dealing with all sorts of stuff. We have had an issue with water pooling outside our classroom after it rains, and then freezing when it gets cold, and I have called about it a number of times, including on Tuesday, when I almost slipped. I put up a sign warning people. But no one came to do anything about it. My colleague called again while I was teaching.

It was icy on Wednesday as well, and my colleague got on the phone again to see why nothing had been done to mitigate this hazard. As she was talking to operations, someone brought one of our students in who had slipped in the ice and hit her head. Shit.

I took her over to the health center, which was not yet open, so we went over to see my boss, who sent her to the ER. She's fine, but kind of shaken up.

I was so pissed at the college operations center, which is supposed to take care of this kind of stuff, and doesn't. I complained about this same issue last year, and nothing was done. The nursing department gets treated like shit there.

I wanted to write a flaming arrow letter to the dean after it happened, but decided I better cool off first. I beat a retreat to the hospital to watch my students find patients to take care of. I came back from clinical this afternoon and all the walkways are festooned with caution tape and signs exhorting students to be careful--"May be slippery".


Anyway, being away from the campus did wonders for my mood. I'm still fretting about my friend, though. If you have some healing thoughts to spare, please direct them her way.

bw river, yosemite

Here is another shot from our trip to Yosemite last month. In black and white, which is really just infinite shades of gray, much like life.
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This wasn't a bad day, as far as Mondays go. I almost always get off by noon on Mondays, and I was done before 12:30 today. I started at 5:45, so it's not like I'm slacking.

I woke up when Malida was getting ready for work at 4, and felt well-rested and ready to get up and have some coffee, which I did. I did some reading before getting ready for work. It was raining gently. I could have easily stayed home drinking coffee and reading, but I had stuff to do.

The first thing I did when I got to work, after turning on some music and making more coffee, was to make a list of the stuff I wanted to do today. Once I finished the list, I jumped in and started checking things off. The first thing on the list that I checked off was, "Make a list of things to do today". It's good to be able to have some success right at the start.

The rest of the stuff took me right up to our team meeting at 9:30, and then a subsequent meeting at 10:30 about the stuff we need to do to get ready for our accreditation visit in mid-March. I was able to check everything off before the first meeting. Mission accomplished. I have my first lecture of the semester tomorrow, and am ready.

I am applying for a sabbatical for next spring. We can apply to take a semester off to do something meaningful, and I am proposing to write a new curriculum for the nursing program, which would result in the students graduating with a bachelors degree. I spent some time talking about it with my boss and our department chair, and they are supportive. It's something I am really interested in, and it would be great to be given the time off to do it. I like big projects.

Inexplicably, I am also thinking about taking another shot at a doctoral program. Part of me feels like it is unfinished business, and another part of me thinks it's just plain crazy. I talked about it with the department chair, and have half-convinced her to do it with me. I haven't said anything to Malida yet. To be determined.

The weather was crazy today. It was raining when I went into work, and when I peeked out a few hours later, the sun was out. Shortly thereafter it was hailing, and then it was sunny again, followed by cold and rainy. The snow level is supposed to drop to about 1000 feet tonight, which is well above where we are, but pretty low for this area.


This is the guy who is building our house in Thailand. He is married to Malida's mom's sister, which I guess would make him her uncle, but I think he is younger than her, so she just calls him "the father of the girls". The girls being Nim and her sisters Nien and Nung. Everybody gets a nickname in Thailand. I don't know anybody's real name.

I took this when we were there last year, as we were planning the house. He will be starting on it in a few weeks.
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I slept about 9 hours last night, with at least a couple hours of deep sleep, says my watch. I woke up restless, though, mostly because the cats were restless and walking all over the bed. They are now used to me getting up at 5, and when I don't, they feel it is their obligation to let me know I am not sticking to the schedule.

I'm having a bowl of soup for breakfast. I made a pot of cream of mushroom soup yesterday, just because. It was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. Something is missing. I'll probably try again one of these days. I seem to remember there is another recipe somewhere here, probably buried in the big pile of recipes in one of the cupboards.

I was prompted to make soup after reading someone musing about getting a dutch oven. After I read it, I opened the cupboard to look at my dutch oven, and it whispered, "let's make soup." I like my dutch oven, and we get along well.

I have some ribs all rubbed up and chilling out, and will cook them this afternoon with some of those mashed potato balls that seem to be everywhere now. At least they are everywhere on my Facebook page. Or were, until I looked to see how to make them and couldn't find them anywhere. Anyway, how difficult can it be?

For most of my working career, I had to work weekends, and therefore weekends were no big deal. I liked my days off during the week, and felt it was a fair tradeoff. Once I started getting weekends off, though, I missed having days off during the week, particularly Mondays. There's nothing better than having Monday off. It's like having the world to yourself.

Now that I have had weekends off for about the last 5 years, I have gotten used to them, and have come to appreciate the anticipation that starts to build on Friday afternoons. Sundays have a tinge of melancholy, though, as I think about how the weekend is almost gone. It helps that I love my job, and don't mind going to it, but still.

When I retire, I'm going to take weekends AND Mondays off. It will be the best of both worlds.

Malida is at some work meeting this morning, and has left me to do the house chores. I have already cleaned the kitchen and done a load of laundry. I also re seasoned one of my cast iron pans that was looking in need of seasoning. It's raining outside, so I feel no urge to go out into the world. Right here is just fine.

Yosemite in the late afternoon, in black and white

Yosemite in the late afternoon, in black and white.
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It was pouring rain when I woke up this morning, but now the sun is starting to peek through the clouds, at least for a while. It's supposed to rain the entire weekend, which is fine with me. I need a good rainy weekend. I'll probably go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff to cook.

I completely overlooked that the Super Bowl is tomorrow. I guess that speaks to my interest in sports. I'll probably watch the game, just so I have an excuse to make ribs or something.

I had a nice first two days in the hospital with my students. It was good to see all my former students, and they all seemed happy to see me. It seems like half the nurses in the hospital are former students. They tend to hire a lot of our graduates, so it works out well for everyone.


It is February, so time to post black and white images again. This is one I took last summer, I think. I actually like this better as a b/w than the original.

I'm thinking more about a summer photo project. I'm about ready to bust out the map and start planning. I love planning adventures.
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For some reason, when I woke up at 4:45 this morning, after a good night's sleep, that dumb red balloons song was in my head. The German "Luftballons" version. It ran through my head as I brushed my teeth, showered, shaved, and sipped my coffee. Four hours later and it's still there.

I'm at the hospital with my students. It is, for me, the second easiest day of clinical, as the students are pretty much just following a nurse around, and don't need me for much of anything. I wandered around a bit, but now I am down in the corner of the cafeteria furiously typing away. The easiest day of clinical is the last day, when my students are doing everything with the nurses, and don't need me anymore.

I got a text from one of my nieces yesterday asking if I had some time, and so we met for lunch. It's the one who moved to Arizona last year, but ended up moving back, and I haven't seen her since. I met her at a restaurant, and as soon as we sat down she burst into tears.

She has been with some loser guy, and just left him. I guess he was the reason she moved away in the first place, and also the reason she moved back. He is abusive, and she has found it difficult to escape his gravitational pull.

We talked for a good long while I offered to let her stay with us, but she is back with her parents, for the time being. The guy sounds kind of crazy, and I hope she can stay away from him. I gave her the contact information for a place in town that can offer her some counseling and assistance.

I'm still residually crabby, but keeping it in check.

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Man I was crabby today. Not for any particular reason, just a bunch of small stuff that was irritating me. I sent off one crabby email about something, and then decided I better skedaddle out of there, which I did. I went to the hospital for a while to say hi to everyone and let them know I was coming with students on Thursday, then came home.

I tried to take a nap, but my crabiness persisted, and all I did was sit there and steam about pointless stuff. I almost got up and fired off another pointless email, but thought better of it and found stuff to busy myself with.

I did find out today that I will not be teaching this summer, which contributed to the crabbiness, but on reflection, it's actually not a bad thing. After my failed nap, I thought a bit about what I might be able to do with a whole summer off.

The thing that comes to mind is some sort of photography project. Something that involves a bit of travel. That's about as far as I got with my thoughts about it, but I am going to think on it more and come up with some sort of idea.

Maybe just pick a direction and drive out to wherever and photograph whatever I come across, but farther than I normally go. Maybe travel up and down the east side of California or something. Small towns, wilderness, desert--something like that. Maybe something with trains.

Maybe take the chair with me.

I could go to Thailand, but I don't think this is the summer for that. Next year.

I saw something interesting the other day. It might have been one of those Facebook things. It said, "A different version of you exists in the mind of everyone who knows you."

I googled it a minute ago, and it is all over the place, so who knows where I saw it.

In any case, I thought about it, and remembered that I had a similar thought back when I was taking physiology, and thinking about how the brain processes information. I also had the thought that God was a neurotransmitter, and tried to explain it to the professor, but he just gave me that look that professors give. That look I know so well how to give now.

Anyway, I had to tell myself to calm down and chill out this afternoon, and now I am almost there. I'm out of the office for the rest of the week, starting our clinical rotation, so it will be a nice change of scenery.

Get back to the easy-going version of me.


Random picture.
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My friend Deborah, her husband Ky, and I went up to see our LJ friend Flying Blind (Joe) yesterday up in Chico. I have known him on LJ for probably 15 years, but we had never met before. He is both nothing at all like I expected him to be, and exactly like I expected him to be, as has been the case with everyone from LJ I have met in person.

Joe lost his house in the fire up in Paradise, and we brought him some books and stuff. It was a great visit, and good to finally meet him after all these years. I brought him a Hello Kitty too, as everyone should have a Hello Kitty, no? Yes.

It was a quiet day here in Zyzylyland. We got up and listened to Celtic music before getting ready and going out for a walk along the creek trail. It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, and the temperatures were warming up into the mid to upper 60s. There were lots of people out on the trail, as well as the usual compliment of turtles, egrets, red-winged blackbirds, dogs, cats, squirrels, etc.


A double-crested cormorant hanging out in a tree.


A whole bunch of cormorants hanging out. I think a group of cormorants is called a "motorcycle gang".

After our walk, we headed over to the Korea BBQ place, as Malida had a hankering, and I was willing. Our server, Kassandra, remembered us from multiple previous visits, and even remembered what we liked to drink (ice tea for me, raspberry ice tea for her), as well as our general preferences. She is one of our favorite servers, as she knows pretty much what we want and when we want it. We must be favorite customers, because she never charges us for our drinks.

I always want to ask the servers if they are going to college, and what are they studying, but I never do, because what if they aren't? Kind of like asking someone if they are expecting a baby.

"No, it's just my big fat tummy!" one of my coworkers used to answer with a big smile, while contentedly patting her tummy.

We came home after lunch and settled down for a very nice nap. I would probably still be sleeping if Malida hadn't started yelling at one of the cats. In any case, I am all caught up on my sleep and will start the week with a 5.7% sleep credit. Not sure what kind of interest it earns.

I made a casserole for the faculty pot luck tomorrow. We never have faculty pot lucks, but I made an offhand comment to my boss the other day, and she immediately sent out an email saying we would be having a pot luck for our faculty meeting. It's a macaroni and cheese casserole, which is my specialty.

Now is some relaxation time. I thought I would have to get up early and go in to finish paginating our report, but my boss just sent an email letting me know she did it, and has sent it off for printing. The perfectionist in me wants to keep editing it until the end of time, but the rest of me is happy to see it out of my hands.

mook and malida

Early evening in Zyzylyland, and all is well.
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We finished up our accreditation report yesterday. Everything is done except giving it page numbers. It ended up being 234 pages long with appendices, which is pretty much what they said it should be. Once we had this printed copy in hand, there was this huge sense of relief that everyone on the team felt. I would have liked to spend more time basking in that relief, but I had to go orient my students to their clinical rotation. But, yeah.


I came home completely exhausted, but wound up, so no nap. Malida was home, and had cooked some food, so I ate, and relaxed. It's Saturday now, and I have nothing pressing to do, though I am going to do something today. Something interesting!

second batch

My second batch of prints, this time from Bay Photo. I really like these, though the backing is not as substantial as the ones I got from Artmill. Those were a wood backing, and these are some sort of lightweight material. The prints themselves look great, though, and I am happy.

Mook is all excited about something, and keeps walking back and forth across the desk, growling at the front window. Chocko is sulking somewhere. Cats.
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You were right about the comet.

I was supposed to be in the skills lab with my students today, but we are still working on that accreditation report, and my two colleagues graciously released me so I could continue editing. I kind of feel disconnected from my clinical group, though that will change next week when we are at the hospital.

I was finalizing the accreditation document this morning after we put all the different sections together. It needed some formatting and some tweaking so that everything kind of sounds like the same voice. Overall it looks pretty good.

I was pretty much done, and was going over the appendices with one of the other authors. I commented to her that there was an appendix for a section that didn't seem to exist. Turns out there were about 35 pages of her content left out of the final document. Yikes!

We found the pages fairly quickly, and I spent the balance of the morning getting them to look like the rest of the document. We keep being almost there, but not quite. I'll go in early tomorrow to finish it off, and we will do a final read-through before we send it off. As I have mentioned previously, I will be happy to see this done and gone, but it has been a great experience.

When I got home, there was a box on the front porch with the photos I had sent for printing last week. They look great, and the cost is a lot less than the other place. I think I will use these guys in the future. I tried a bunch of different print types, and liked all but one.

I'm not sure it is so much the process as it is the photo itself. I think I want it to be better than it actually is. No matter how I print it, it's still not going to be how I see it in my mind. I'll hang it up in my office to remind me of that.

big sur jade

A hunk of Big Sur jade that sits on my mantel next to a couple of lesser rocks.

I've had this since 1990. I was driving down the coast highway, and stopped in Big Sur for a cup of coffee. They were having a festival, and selling raffle tickets to benefit the diver rescue guys. I bought a ticket and thought nothing more about it.

A few weeks later, a box arrived with this stone. I had won first prize! I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I put it above the fireplace. When I moved, it moved to the new mantle above the fireplace, and there it has sat. It is somewhat bigger than my hand, and weighs three pounds. I like it.

I could have done a better job with the picture--maybe a neutral background or something, but I'm kind of beat. I missed my nap.
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It was the first day of class today. All but one student showed up on time, and the one who was late came around later and apologized to each of the instructors personally. I thought that spoke well of him.

On the first day, we collect a lot of papers from the students, give them an orientation to the semester, and then jump right in to the content. I don't start lecturing for a month, so once orientation was over at 9 am, I went back to my office.

school on the first day

We are still editing our accreditation document, and we met this morning to see where we are at. We are so close to being ready to send it off. We are working on hyperlinks within the document and appendices now. I spent some time reading the compliance requirements and looking to see if we address everything. I found one area that we needed more info, found that info, and put it in.

I ended up working straight through until about 3 pm, and forgot to take lunch. I came home and had a sandwich, and when I was done eating, Malida arrived home from her first day of class. She is taking the top-level ESL reading class. The book they are using is Fahrenheit 451. Once she is done with this class, she will be done with ESL.

I put down the third volume in the Mars trilogy I have been reading (more than 1000 pages so far!) for the moment, and picked up a novel I read years ago and thought about the other day. I like going back and re-reading certain books--particularly the ones that have transported me to another place. I also have a real fondness for some of the characters in this book, so it is like revisiting old friends. The book is The Cider House Rules by John Irving.


I came back here (to my little home office) to do some work at about 5, and fell asleep in my chair until almost 7. I needed that. I woke up in time to send Malida off to bed (she gets up at 3 am), and now I am kicking back and listening to some music. Pretty soon I will pick up my book and spend some more time with old friends.
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It is a lovely rainy relaxing Sunday morning. Malida is watching Korean dramas, and I am editing pictures from our trip up the coast and listening to music. According to my watch, I slept 9 hours last night, and feel well-rested. The new semester starts up on Tuesday, so it is good to be well-rested.

We had meetings on Thursday and Friday. Normally these would be part of the big, whole-campus meetings, but we got excused from that so we could work on our accreditation report, which needs to be sent off next week to the accreditation people. All the different parts have been put together, and we are almost done. It will be a relief to not be working on it anymore.

I got the prints back from the place in Chicago. I am mostly pleased with how they turned out.


This one turned out great. I like this process--"box frame"--though I would probably opt for a 1/2 inch box rather than the full inch I got here.

I did another one with a different process--kind of an acrylic surface, which looks pretty good, but I can see some flaws and bubbles in the surface. I called the people who did the work, and they say that's normal. I won't use that process with them again.


You can't really see the flaws here, but you can see me taking the picture, reflected in the surface. Maybe I'm being too picky about it, but I am planning to make these to sell, so they have to be perfect. I sent some off to a different place the other day, so I'll see how those turn out.


In other news, I dug out my mandolin and tuned it up. I re-learned a few simple chords, and it sounds pretty good, even with 14-year old strings. I will play around with it and see if it captures my attention enough to learn something.


Here's some old colored bottles in an old window at Fort Ross, up the coast.
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We enjoyed the balance of our time in Mendocino. It rained a bit the day before we left, but we were able to go out and explore during the non-rainy times, and it turned out to be a good day.

glass beach

Out at glass beach during the high tide. Normally there are all sorts of people around, but we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I like that. After we wandered around, we went to have lunch at a place we saw the day before. Turns out it was closed, so we tried another place--a hole in the wall seafood place, that was very good.


Some randomness in the garden of the place we stayed. I had planned to photograph more randomness, but it started pouring rain, and didn't stop.


It kept pouring rain as we left to go home, and rained while we drove down the coast. It rained as we turned inland through the redwoods, and kept raining as we headed down highway 101. It kept raining as we turned east to go to Sacramento, and kept raining as we entered Sacramento. It rained while we emptied the car, and kept raining while we put everything away and started the laundry.

And so we are home, and work starts up again. whee.
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After a nice breakfast at the place we are staying, we headed out to the Point Cabrillo Light Station and environs, at the suggestion of our innkeeper, who always has good suggestions. It was somewhat overcast but no rain. Yet.

We walked down to the light station and wandered around on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. We saw a couple of sea lions lounging down on the rocks. They were attentive to our attentions, and watched everything we did. We stopped in the light station and I bought a hat. I like it.

sea lion

We hiked around for a bit and saw the same two sea lions swimming. One of them had a fish he had caught, and was playing around with it. The other one continued to watch us. There was a seagull, too, but he had his own agenda, which was to steal some of the fish.

malida on a tree

Malida on a tree.

We had lunch at one of our favorite places in the harbor, then headed back and took a nice nap with the sounds of the ocean in our ears. In the late afternoon we took a walk along the Mendocino bluffs, hoping for a nice sunset, but it was too cloudy, and eventually started raining. We ate dinner at a local place and came home to our nice room and read our books until it was time for bed.


I have only downloaded a handful of pictures from my cameras, but this was one of them. I took this out on the bluffs around Point Cabrillo. It looks to me as if I am flying over some mountains, shrouded in mist. It is a 15 second exposure of the surf hitting the rocks. I think this will be my favorite picture from the trip.
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We had a pleasant drive up the coast to Mendocino. We left at about 7:30 and drove toward Sebastopol, and had something to eat there at the farmers market. It's a nice little town. We were going to take the Bohemian Highway to Occidental, but missed the turnoff, and ended up at the far end of the highway, at the Russian River. We walked around there for a while and headed out to the coast.

We took our time, and stopped to see whatever captured our interest. We stopped at Fort Ross, which is an old Russian fort that has been restored. I remember stopping there when I was a kid. I bought a nesting doll for Malida's mom.

Malida in the window

Malida sitting in the window of one of the old buildings.

We were going to have lunch at the Sea Ranch, but the restaurant was closed for the season, so we ate in Gualala instead. We made it to Mendocino at about 3:30, and rested for a bit before walking around down on the beach below where we are staying.

me walking

Me walking on the beach. The weather was somewhat overcast, but not too cold, and there were a few people out there.


We stayed and watched the sun set. It was pretty.

After our walk on the beach, we walked down to the village and had some dinner in the Mendocino Cafe, home of the famous Thai burrito.

It was a good day.
zyzyly: (Default)
I actually wasn't thinking of oatmeal bread, but then that subject line auto-filled, and now I am. The Oroweat people used to bake an oatmeal bread back when I was a kid. They don't bake it anymore, and I miss it. I've tried making my own oatmeal bread, but it's not the same. It had a unique flavor when toasted, which was only enhanced by some butter spread over it. Dang.

I'll bet if I looked back to a year ago, when I used that subject line, I would find that I wrote pretty much the same thing.

I looked back, and I didn't write anything about oatmeal bread. It was a random subject line, unrelated to anything.

We are all packed, and the car is filled with powerful gasoline. I'm just waiting for Malida to wake up so we can go. I think we will leave about 7 or 7:30, and take our time getting out there. I would like to drive along the Bohemian Highway and maybe stop in the town of Occidental, just because. Tomorrow's subject line could then be, "Greetings from Occidental", even though I would no longer be in Occidental when I wrote it. I'm not eating oatmeal bread either, so I guess it doesn't matter. It's all random.

When I get back, it will be time for school to start up again. Everything is ready to go. My first lecture isn't for four weeks, so I get to ease into it somewhat. It's still a roller coaster ride.

I am also taking a class this semester, but it doesn't start until March, as it is a half-semester class. It is another landscape photography class, and the field trip is again on the east side of the Sierras, but further south, almost to Death Valley. It is just before the start of Spring Break, so kind of a perfect time to take some days off.


Mook in one of her favorite spots. If I am around the house, she is always close by. She is wandering around the office now, playing with things and thinking about what she can knock off the table.
zyzyly: (Default)
We headed up to the Sierras after an early breakfast. I made a bowl of Minute Rice with a bit of butter in it. A bowl of Minute Rice was one of the first things I learned to cook when I was a kid, and was one of my breakfast staples back then. Since I have lived with people who make real rice almost every day for the past 25 years or so, I haven't had the opportunity to savor some real enriched pre-cooked rice for a long time.

Minute Rice

It was delicious.

As I was saying, we headed up to the Sierras after an early breakfast to check out the snow and play around. It was pretty up there and not too cold.

silver lake

One of our places to stop any time of year is Silver Lake. We hiked around in the snow for a while and came across a couple of people who were snowshoeing back to the cabins to do some maintenance. We talked about how pretty it was, and how there were no people there, which was unusual. Malida took some pictures of the snowshoes, and we decided we wanted to have some so we can hike around in the snow better.

We drove over the Kit Carson pass, and down into Hope Valley. We were last there photographing the aspens in the late fall. There were some cross-country skiers out there. We walked around for a while and took pictures. We come up this way every winter, usually in the first part of January.

carson river

The Carson river running through the Hope Valley.

On the way back we stopped at our favorite roadside place for a hamburger.

Today we will take it easy and get our stuff ready for our trip up the coast. We were thinking about leaving this evening, but we kind of decided to leave early tomorrow instead. We'll go for a walk later, and eat pho.

It's the 50th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin's first album. wow.
zyzyly: (Default)
And the fog is a truth. Especially yesterday morning.

When I first moved to this area, we got a lot of fog. Big, thick fog that wouldn't go away. Sometimes it was so thick that you wouldn't want to walk out the door into it, for fear that you would end up someplace unknown, and never find your way back.

It wasn't like that, but it was kind of misty, and the air felt good. I like the fog.


I went in early again and dove in to the final edits for my portion of the accreditation report. My boss worked on pulling all the sections together into one document, and I created a place to put it, where we can all edit it. The readers will get it today, and we will make final edits over the next two weeks before sending it in. Boom.

Having done what I needed to do, I am now off for the next 6 days, and will relax. Malida is off too. We are going to drive up to see the snow and have a hamburger today.

Tomorrow we will head to the coast for 4 days. It might rain a bit, but that's ok. The place we are staying has a nice fireplace and some comfortable chairs, a teakettle and a coffee pot. We have our books, and I can't think of what else one might need in these circumstances.

Back at the end of 2004, I went up the coast to Mendocino for my birthday. It was my first birthday alone. I was walking around the town and it started pouring rain. I ducked into the nearest doorway, which was a music shop. The owner looked out the window and said, "Looks like you're gonna be here for a bit--might as well try out some of the instruments," which I did, and ended up buying a mandolin.

I took that mandolin with me on my long drive across Canada and the US, and fooled around with it in the evenings as I camped out. It brought me some comfort. If this were a novel, I would have learned how to play the mandolin and ended up in Portland Maine, jamming with some street musicians in front of some old building. In real life, I got home, put the mandolin in a corner, and there it sits to this day.


One of the street musicians that I didn't jam with in Portland Maine, back in 2005.

That music shop is long gone now, but I still remember where it used to be, and think of it whenever I walk past.

I don't mind the rain.


zyzyly: (Default)

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