Green California

We drove back from Milpitas/San Jose to Los Angeles today. We took the 101 down since it’s a much more pleasant and scenic drive than the straight, flat, and boring rampage down on I-5.

What was overwhelmingly obvious no matter where you looked is that the record rains this winter have turned California GREEN. Not “green” as in “spring’s here,” GREEN as in “did we take a wrong turn and end up in Ireland?”

The bad news, of course, is that sooner or later (it will be sooner) all of this verdant new growth will bake and turn brown and be tinder for a record brush fire season. Record brush fire seasons always follow record rainfall seasons, just as the spring follows the winter.


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At Consonance 2017

Too busy listening to concerts & chatting with friends I see far too rarely to write much. But (of course) there are pictures!

For Interfilk Guest Leslie Hudson’s concert there was plenty of help.

The Guest of Honor concert was the main event tonight. From left to right are Leslie Hudson, Mary Crowell, Betsy Tinney (amazing cello!), and GOHs Bill & Brenda Sutton.
For those I haven’t indoctrinated into SF true fandom, when I’m done having fun I’ll explain those terms.

For now, it’s the open filk:

With luck, we’ll be up way, way too late doing this!

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Filed under Fandom, Music, Science Fiction, Travel

Off At A Con

I’ll have to tell you more about it tomorrow or Sunday. I flew up to San Jose this evening and saw the most AMAZING sunset between two layers of clouds.


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Filed under Flying, Photography, Travel, Weather

Late Night Office

When you see those lights on late… yeah, that’s me. Audit. Taxes. Accounting department.

Close to three years of unemployment will leave a mark – it doesn’t take much to remember and know that the alternative to working late in a decent job can be much worse.

Still doesn’t mean that adulting doesn’t sometimes suck.

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Home Alone

We’ve lived in this house for over twenty-six years. There have always been kids, wives (not multiple ones at the same time, smartass!), dogs, cats, etc.

Tonight I’m home alone for what I think is only the third or fourth day in that entire span. It’s a little odd.

For one thing it’s quiet. Like, really quiet. While I’ve been watching the World Baseball Classic on television (let’s hear it for the USA!!) I’ve found it easier to watch with the sound off. Fewer annoying ads that way, and no need to keep turning the sound off and on as the ads come and go.

Then the noises started.

Okay, so I’m not entirely alone. It sounds like Rocky and/or Raquel and the brood are up on the roof. I’m used to that, although it’s surprisingly loud when I’m not hearing it over music or the television.

Once they left, I started hearing a chirping every minute or so. Today, of all days, a smoke alarm started getting low on its battery.

Once I killed that, I was startled by some fairly loud gurgling and watery sounds. I honestly didn’t know what it was and was starting to fear the worst when I got up to investigate. It turns out my short-term memory also sucks – the sounds came from the dish washer I had started a while ago.

(Which is also weird. I’m proud of my “dish washer Tetris” skills but had to start it when it was less than half full. With just me and my visiting son here for a few days, we used paper plates but ran out of silverware. I thought it better to run a half-empty dishwasher rather than going out and buying more silverware.)

Then the music started. I was in the living room but I could hear music from my office. I came in here to find some great tunes playing from my usual Sirius-XM station. The only thing is that there’s apparently no browser open, and it’s not playing a recording from an earlier broadcast, so I have no clue why it started suddenly or how it’s playing.

At least my poltergeists share my taste in music! (Or they can’t change the channel.)

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Filed under Castle Willett, Computers, Critters, Family, Music

NOT Baseball Weather!

Tonight we’re at Dodger Stadium for the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic.

USA vs Japan. It’s cold (60°F) and wet.

So far the Vuvuzela of Victory is successfully singing its sweet, sweet song. The USA is ahead 1-0 after 5 innings.

The view from a warmer, dryer time…

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New York, New York (Pictures Day 13)

In summary: New York City had a life of it’s own in my head. In early August 2016, I visited there for the first time. On the first afternoon we visited Central Park and were there for hours, despite the jet lag. Day One started with a tour of the Intrepid and the Space Shuttle Enterprise, followed by the full two and a half hour cruise around Manhattan – south down the Hudson River into the Upper Harbor, up the East River under the “BMW” bridges, past Midtown and the UN, into the Harlem River, back south into the Hudson River, underneath the George Washington Bridge, past Grant’s Tomb, and finally back into port. To finish Day Two we had a death march to find a cab, went to the Mets game, left early only to miss the best part, and inadvertently stiffed a nice cab driver.

Despite the adventures and late night of the previous day, Day Three of our New York adventure started early. We had to get down to the water again, this time to Battery Park. We had a date with a very important lady.

It was already hot, muggy, and hazy. Hey, New York City in August. What did you expect?

We had seen her for a bit on our tour around Manhattan the previous day, and even from a distance across the water she’s magnificent.

Once you get closer to Liberty Island, seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time was literally breathtaking for me.

Manhattan makes a great backdrop, don’t you think?

The new One World Trade Center tower peeking around from behind her.

Honestly, how do you take a bad photo with this material? But, and this is important and something you should never forget, even if you take a LOT of pictures, take a moment to put down the camera for a minute here and there and look.

You come into port on Liberty Island after moving around to the back of Miss Liberty.

There’s actually a pretty decent cafeteria run by the Park Service just off of the dock. If you haven’t had breakfast yet and want to let the crowd off the boat thin out a bit, take a rest and eat. Then walk around and see what’s peeking up over the trees.

Directly in back is the entrance to the base of the statue and the steps up to the top.

Here’s your #1 tip if you’re going to New York City and want to go up into the Statue of Liberty instead of just walking around the island – make your reservations EARLY. During the summer, just going up into the base to get a better view requires about two weeks advance notice. To get a ticket to climb up to the crown, you need to get one at least three months in advance.

We didn’t.

But as we’ll see, that didn’t matter much. Lady Liberty is still spectacular from the ground.

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