Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Anyone for Tee?

My friends, as we wait for the rains to cease, and the fairways to dry out a bit, we consider the Birds of Golf. Behold:
Anyone for Tee? - The Golfer's Feathered Friends

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas 2005 To One & All!

Ho! Ho! Ho! (click image to enlarge (I think))

What I Really Want For Christmas

This is the F22, newest manned fighter for the USAF. I love these things, but fear that they will soon be outmoded by electronic wizardry that just keeps getting more capable and less expensive. We shall see.

Guess Who's Coming Tonight?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter solstice

Today, finally, is the shortest daylight of the year, and the first day of Winter. It only gets better from here, at about 1 or 2 minutes each day. Until 21 June. Congratulations to us all.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Today's word of choice is "sibilate." Took me a while to find it, starting from Chris Matthews' TV delivery being described as "sibilatious." Whew!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Election Day Again

Well, it's almost 0730 here on the right edge of the Pacific, which means it's about 1830 over in Iraq ( World Clock - Time Zones ) and, so far, so good with the election. Let's hope that the ambiance stays nonexplosive and that the turnout stays high.

I'm just wondering what the minimum legal voting age is in Iraq :-)

Monday, December 12, 2005

News from Down Under

Interesting stuff on the beaches of Sydney, Australia. I found current information from a talk station down there that sounds like an English postal code. Try and "Listen Live." Fascinating thing, this internet is.

YARGB=Yet Another Really Great Blog

For your holiday online shopping, you could do worse than clicking on the permalink: YARGB - Flares into Darkness: 'Tis the Season... The article says it all.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December 7, 1941

I was taking an afternoon nap upstairs on Midway Lane in Bethesda. The New York Philharmonic was on the radio. Then, the music was interrupted with a news bulletin. The announcer couldn't pronounce the word "Oahu" but the message was clear.

I am very thankful on many, many levels that so much has changed in the past sixty-four years.

See for a whole lot of useful and interesting links.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mount Sellery

Well, this is cool. Mount Sellery is named after my Uncle Harry, who worked for the USGS for many years, was a ham radio fan, and bought a very heavy organ which now resides with Betty, Elizabeth, and Rudy.

This is a nice pic of a different mountain, Mt. Cook in New Zealand. It is, I fear, much more dramatic than Mt. Sellery, but, what the hey:

Friday, November 25, 2005

Norman Rockwell

Further to the Thanksgiving post below, Rich Galen has assembled all four of the "Freedom" covers that Norman Rockwell painted for the "Saturday Evening Post" in 1943. Pretty neat and, for me, a bit nostalgic.

From the top, "Freedom to Worship", "Freedom from Want", "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom from Fear."

Those were simpler times, although in the middle of World War II.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

I am certain that at least fifteen other people besides me in the entire English-speaking world know about the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Gateshead, UK, but I just became aware of it.

Built to celebrate the Millennium in 2000, it was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Gifford & Partners Engineers, for the City of Gateshead, which is located across the River Tyne from the much-better-known City of Newcastle (kind of like Oakland sitting across the Bay from San Francisco.) All this in northeast England.

The supporting structural arch appears to be inclined about 30 degrees from the vertical, and the pedestrian-bicycle bridgeway curves horizontally away from straight across, carried by tension strands from the overhead arch. Quite an engineering feat, and definitely striking in appearance. But, wait!

To permit passage for river boat traffic, several times a day the whole darned thing pivots on its end points to form a double-arched gateway over the river. It is truly an aesthetic and engineering marvel!

I am so impressed that I may make a special trip to Gateshead on my next English vacation.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

A distinctly American holiday. Thanks for many things about our country, and for the food that commemorates the interaction between the native inhabitants and the new arrivals. Much to think about.

Anyway, Norman Rockwell painted the quintessential image way back in 1943. "Freedom from Want." Behold...

(That just might be Norman himself in the lower right corner.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005


CAL 27 - stanford 3

Weekend Mileage

Last weekend we took Beatrice, our (almost) new BonnyandClydeMobile Chrysler - 300 on a trip with friends to Copperopolis and Saddle Creek for a little golf and sightseeing.

Yesterday I finally refilled the tank, after 382 miles, with 15.578 gallons of regular. That's 24.5 mpg.

Not bad for a big car with a big whumping 3.5 liter 6 cylinder engine.

Thanks, Beatrice!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thanksgiving is acoming

Enough of truffles! How about some sunny Walnut Creek roses in mid-November...


First, I just found the following adding to the truffle discussion below: chez pim: The Truffle Don Please read it, if you have the opportunity.

Second, I was reminded of the following:

"Bad spellers of the world, untie!"

That's good.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mary Katherine Ham

Mary Katherine Ham, guest blogging on the Hugh Hewitt blog site,offers the following in a brief resume of her young career:

"Some folks ask me what the transition was like from NASCAR reporter to
political reporter. It's easy. In one, you try to explain to your readers the
significance of grown-ups getting paid exorbitant amounts of money to go around
in circles indefinitely, always turning left. In the other, you get to
interview racecar drivers."

I think that's funny. But, that's just me.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Truffles" by Robert Klein

Oliveto Restaurant and Cafe: "Truffles" by Robert Klein

Hunting the White Truffle

Hunting the White Truffle by Maureen Barry | Travel Reviews from Travel Intelligence
We're having a bit of fun here, celebrating the October-November season for hunting truffles in Central and Northern Italy.
I haven't figured out how to put two links into one posting of the blog. Sorribouthat.
Enjoy your Tartufo anyway!

This year's price is only US$120/oz.

Longevity! - Welcome to the World of Friskies Living
Just opened a bag of Purina "Friskies-Dental Diet", which Morris, our cat, dearly loves. I happened to notice the admonition printed thereon:


You just have to wonder what they put in that stuff.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Santa Ynez Wine Country

We spent two nights this past week in the Santa Ynez Valley just North of the city of Santa Barbara, and the short trip was definitely an eye opener.

I had known that the Central Coast of California grew a lot of grapes but I had thought them to be mostly for bulk wine and the like. No such thing!

We based ourselves at the Ballard Inn ( ) in Ballard CA and started with a wine tasting at the Inn featuring local Syrah and Pinot Noir wines. Dinner followed at the Hitching Post 2 in Buellton, a restaurant/bar made famous in the movie "Sideways." Below is the Ballard dining room with the "ladies is red scarves" on display:

We got smart and used a driver on Wednesday to visit a very few of the many wineries in the neighborhood. These included Cottonwood Canyon (, Bridalwood (, Firestone (, Firestone's neighbor, Curtis ( (the Curtis daughter married into the Firestone family, quite some time ago) and Bedford/Thompson ( Below is a bit of the Bridlewood Winery.

A superb dinner at the Ballard Inn followed. Their chef is famous and the food was really special. Please see their web site for the dining room menu.

And we closed with a picnic lunch under the oaks on the lawn of Fess Parker's sumptuous winery on Zaca Mesa Road.

All this is not merely to drop names and demonstrate that I'm learning (slowly) how to make Blogger work for me.

It's much more to say that winery watching in California these days is much more than a tour of the Napa Valley. Now there's the Sonoma Valley, the Gold Country, and Santa Ynez!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cool Dancing

Sort of reminds me of ballroom dancing class at the Orinda Community Center. Thanks to

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Greve is the center of Chianti Country

The symbol for true Chianti Wine is the black rooster. There is a statue of the rooster in the village of Greve, just northeast of Siena, if you're into maps. Behold the statue!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal

He writes today on "Best of the Web" as follows:

An item yesterday on Unicef's Smurf snuff film stated that Belgians speak Belch. While this is the language of the French-speaking parts of Belgium, large parts of the country speak a variant of Dutch known as Phlegm. We regret the omission.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lunch at Fattoria Montagliari

Nothing more need be said, except that the tartufo, although out of season, was magnificent.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Royal Worcester

Flowers in September, inside the tourist side of the factory.

Italian Sunshine

Just a simple vision of a lovely lady gazing down to the patio in full Tuscan sun. Nice, no?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Blurry, Schlmurry

This is for Hanako, clear as a bell:

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Friday, September 02, 2005

Just Clearing Out The Attic

First, a utilitarian device:

And then, just because of nostalgia:

Okay, you caught me. I really do like to collect nice images. Both of the above are from Thanks to that service.

(Update. This thing composed well with text, pic, text, pic, text, but it doesn't publish that way. If only I knew someone at Blogger or Google. Sigh.)(Oh, well.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Off We Go . . .

Really nice photo of the RAF

Friday, August 19, 2005

Wall Street Journal

The Journal this morning, in discussing Google's plan to raise about US$4 billion, discloses that Google's filing with the S.E.C. announces its decision to sell 14,159,265 shares of treasury stock. The value of Pi in geometry is 3.14159265.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Now Please Meet Beatrice

She's spirited, needs a bit of training, but a beauty to behold. Our (newer) Canadian-built 4-door sedan, just like the other one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

After A Long Day. . .

Whew, what a day. Now it's time to take the bus home.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Just Totally Bummed

My favorite Dell Inspiron 8200 is very, very sick. Hooking on to the Web only with difficulty, and refusing to post pictures to the blog.
I am not happy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Still Toasty

So, after Golf Lessons we headed North across the Benicia Bridge and into downtown Benicia, on the water at the foot of 1st Street. Cool weather, lots of pleasant wind rushing off the Bay and up the Delta, and the seagulls loved it.

The food wasn't bad either!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's Rather Warm

Like about 40.5 C* outside today, and we're watching the Nut Crickers who seem to enjoy it all. Therefore, so shall we!

*That's 105 F for those of us who still have proper thermometers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Lots of Room for Growth

As seen from 8000 feet (on a clear day!)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Saturday, July 16, 2005

No Caption Needed

On the other hand, in this business, some days are just more pleasant than others.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Caption Needed. . .

I don't think I can add anything at all to Mr. Koizumi's facial expression.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What is July 9 ???

Happy Birthday Hanako!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Birthday, America!

Hey. It's that time of the year. Can you think of any other country that has a birthday?