What's New? 2002-07-01

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What's New? 2002-07-01

 Wed 31 July 2002
  Damn, I love reading The New Yorker magazine. Where else could I read engrossing articles about both the Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan and the Quaker woman with whom Lee Harvey Oswald's wife lived during the months before President John F. Kennedy's asassination? I even read a great article about the Worlds Cup. (Those of you who know me well know that I don't give a hoot about sports.)
 Mon 29 July 2002
  A quiet day. Did a minute amount of tidying, had friends come over for an Arabic lunch (mmmmm, lebne and zatar), sent off some things I've sold on eBay, and had a in-law family dinner with Eli's family. A very quiet day. But I'm so tired.
 Sun 28 July 2002
  Finally got a chance to see Adam playing with Funky Little Shack. They're good!

Adam is the one with the 'fro. They were playing at the Haslett Warehouse, next to the Cannery, near to Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. You might remember our last visit to the area, during the St. Patrick's Day warehouse fire.

 Sat 27 July 2002
  Moved Felicia, Adam, and Ziggy Moe to their new digs on the very interesting island of Alameda. Then dropped off my family at the in-laws' place and returned home to break down the guest-room from Omi's visit and restore it to a play-room (and to return our bedroom to an somewhat more orderly sanctum). In the process I bought two skinny bookcases from Ikea to store the kids' books (and my laptops. Moved the whole DSL rig into the closet, making the room much tidier. Ahhhhh.


Isaac: [seeing four pairs of motorcycles in front of us on the highway] The road is overflowing with motorcycles.

 Fri 26 July 2002
  Isaac: [having been given a strand of spaghetti from the pot to evaluate] It's not ready; it's still like little sticks.
 Mon 22 July 2002
  We take Omi Marga to the airport, see her off to the East Coast, and then stay for some good espresso and sushi. Thank goodness SFO's international terminal doesn't suffer the same fate as the rude food we've experienced in Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago-O'Hare.
 Wed 17 July 2002
  Isaac really, really, really wanted to take Omi on BART, and has been asking us to do it for the last two days. Today we did it. We took Muni from Castro to Embarcadero, where we switched to BART. Isaac loves making the "boop-boop (pause) boop" sound just as the incoming train does it.

Omi had no idea what we were going to do? Just drive on a train? Then she saw BART, the ethnic melting pot, and how mcuh fun Isaac and Lila were having (she's really dragging us around, having us help her walk). Oh, and a sister-in-law joined the goings-on.

We went to the end of the line, and enjoyed the contrast between the cool city and the hot and dusty Pittsburg-Bay Point station. Then we headed back inbound, for lunch.

It was only two stops in another direction, but even so, with another change of trains and one wrong move (mea culpa) it was 15:00 before we arrived at Viceroy's for a scrumptious Indian meal. It's at 48 Shattuck Square (just three blocks north of the Berkeley BART station.

 Tue 16 July 2002
  Isaac: I'm a plant. I don't drink milk, I drink water.


Today I've planned to drive Omi around the periphery of San Francisco. We've done a number of neighborhoods, but today we'll see what the other tours don't.

We started off with a hearty breakfast at The Fiddler's Green, by Aquatic Park. I just love their coffee, with whipped heavy cream and brown sugar. And that full Irish breakfast (eggs well, bangers instead of black-and-white pudding, if you please) - wow!

All tanked up, we headed out. From the Ghirardelli Square / Aquatic Park / Fisherman's Wharf area we started down Cristoforo Colombo Avenue, through North Beach, through the ever-crowded downtown, around Moscone Center, back to the Embarcadero, under the Bay Bridge (with the sunroof open), and towards Pac Bell park. It took me a few moments to realize that it was a baseball game in progress tying up traffic.

We headed south to The Ramp, a restaurant we occasionally frequent for the views of the Bay and the sounds and sights of the boat yard next door (and the boat-loading ramp between the two of them). Too full to eat, we toured the grounds, strolling through the marina, gazing at the boats, walking by the restaurant, and heading across the street to the cement works (for Isaac's sake).

Isaac, however, was taken by the wildflowers being cultivated on the corner. The gardner was a cheerful sort.

Then we headed through the neighborhoods of Dogpatch, Bayview - Hunter's Point, down to the Cow Palace, west on Geneva past City College, through Ingléside Terrace, under Stonestown Mall and around Lake Merced, to the ocean and past the zoo, east on Sloat past Stern Grove to West Portal, and back home by Twin Peaks.

We were all used up. And from a load of nothing but driving and eating. Sigh. And what are the names of those twin peaks anyway?

 Mon 15 July 2002
  Wow, the weather has changed! From the baking heat of yesterday to cool breezes today, it's clear that not only are we back home but San Francisco isn't going to pretend to be Colorado. If the weather is like the Netherlands', we might as well do things which remind me of my childhood. We take everyone to Golden Gate Park to visit the Queen Wilhelmina garden and the north windmill.

Isaac is especially fond of the frequently-changed flowerbeds, and he runs around them at full speed. This panorama shows him in three places. The exercise so wore him out that he fell asleep in the car.

But he was completely awake an hour later, during our visit to Yum Yum Fish on Irving Street (at 25th Avenue). Mmmm, tasty sushi. Omi had never seen such a non-traditional sushiya. Hamachi kamakaze, spicy kaibashira, and ikura for Isaac. Mmmm again!

Then it was time to visit sister Felicia in the new digs in Alameda. By this time it was late afternoon, and everyone was hungry again. Since she and Omi (oh, yes, she'd come by the house earlier and taken Omi with her) had just eaten at a new Burmese place (where the Park Street Café & Eatery used to be) we did the same. The mango prawns were good, but the tomato sauce that Mom had been simmering for 4 hours was a winner.

Before we re-joined the family festivities we tried Tucker's Ice Cream, a few doors down. Very good. Not Mitchells, but very good none-the-less.

And that was a full day of sight-seeing, tour-giving, and catching up on what had happened here in our absence.

 Wed 10 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  Today was our return travel day, as we hopped through DEN, LAX, to SFO. It was a full day of travel and delay, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary or horribly uncomfortable. This is the departure terminal at LAX.

Our family time isn't yet over. We may have shed Emil & Oma for the moment (they're coming out to SF next month), but Omi Marga will be with us for almost two weeks. The guest room is ready, and we're pretty excited. And tired.

 Tue 9 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  We start the day with a visit to a meandering creek under a cooling canopy of trees. Perhaps the perfect moment of this trip.

We continue upstream to the Helen Hunt Jackson Falls.

We end the day with another twilight drive through the Garden of the Gods on the way to our dining destination for the evening: the Castaways steakhouse.

Then we have a last vacation chat at Mom's cabin.

Tomorrow we are to be woken at 06:30, turn the car-key at 07:30, and take off at 11:50. Too damn early.

 Mon 8 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  Today's the day we plan on visiting the Seven Falls area of Colorado Springs. (Actually we plan on visiting it twice: once in the daytime and again at night to see the multi-colored illumination.) We wake up early in the morning, 0830, so we can pack the car and head over for breakfast.

A hearty breakfast it is. I've cooked up some Masala Tea (something akin to chai) and we've got eggs, salmon a la Adam, bread, cheeses, jams, juices, and more. Oh, and bagels, cream cheese, coffee, cereals. I'm stuffed.

We head out to Seven Falls. This is the view from the bottom of the falls. Omi is in the center, the visitor's center is to the right, and the trout area is to the right of that. Isaac dropped a few quarters into the fishfood dispenser, but the trout were so stuffed they ignored the offerings.

Here we are at the top of the falls. Mom, Emil, and Adam wanted to walk up, but the stairway was closed (halfway up, so they had to turn around and re-join us at the bottom). There's a very cold tunnel leading to the elevator. On a hot day like today the tunnel alone is worth the cost of admission. It's a moist cold, from the rocks, and it's very soothing.

After the falls it's lunchtime, and we're all hungry. We drive around and around, eventually leading to the Broadmoor Hotel. Here we are in their English-style tavern. The food is okay, but only okay. They could do so much better.

This is the grounds of the Broadmoor. In the distance is the Cheyenne Mountain North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) facility.

Here's another view of the Broadmoor, this time from the second-story balcony overlooking the entry. Isaac and Lila loved running around here, and playing in the oversized stuffed chairs inside.

After the Broadmoor we headed back to the Timber Lodge, where we split up. The rest of the family made a bar-b-que near the pool, but we had plans to visit Phil Dubois at his nearby home. How nearby, though, we didn't realize. It was right next to Seven Falls!

I met Dubois at a Cypherpunks meeting, where he and Phil Zimmermann spoke about a case being threatened against PRZ. (Having two Phils in the same sentence, repeatedly, is why Dubois is called Dubois :-) And so I joined the Zimmermann Legal Defense Fund. Dubois and I have kept in touch via email since.

And now I was going to visit his home. It turns out to be a beautiful home, and he a gracious host. His family was pretty amazing too. His wife was as gracious as he, and the kids made this stop the best one of all for Isaac. Lila liked being licked by one of the dogs.

 Sun 7 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado

In every trip I've taken there's always that rest day. This was ours. An underwhelming breakfast at the Mountain Shadow in Colorado Springs' "old city" (in which there's little old but much that is crass and commercial and new), another visit to the Garden of the Gods, an afternoon swim in the pool, a wonderful (albeit amazingly expensive) meal at the Craftwood Inn, a twilight visit to the Garden of the Gods, and a very early morning write-up of the day's events.

 Sat 6 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  Today we head south to the Royal Gorge, seen here from the upper parking lot. After about an hour in the car we were happy to stretch our legs and look around. Not much to see?

The irony of San Franciscians travelling so far by plane and car to walk across a suspension bridge wasn't lost on us. But it was well worth it. It was a joy, strolling across the wooden planks, looking down into a gorge travelled by rail, boat, airplane, and helicopter.

We still don't understand the motor vehicles policy, though. At first we thought it was just the elderly and the lame, but as SUV and motorcycles joined us on the bridge, we suspected the policy included the vain and the stupid. After being forced out of the way by station wagons we amended that to include the clueless.

All that dodging of chrome and rubber made us hungry, so luckily the restaurant at the edge of the gorge was nearby. Not exactly the Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe, the food was much better than other tourist concessionares at which we've had the unpleasant misfortune to dine. We, um, gorged.

We ended our visit by taking the Incline Railway - a combination of a San Francisco cable car and a funicular - down 1500 feet (in five minutes) into the gorge. Cool and pleasant, and a refreshing perspective on the day's events.

 Fri 5 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  We start off the day with a breakfast at cabin no. 1, the temporary digs of Adam, Felicia, and Ziggy Mo.

We visit the Garden of the Gods, get caught in a thunderstorm, and eat good Indian food.

 Thu 4 July 2002, Independence Day - On vacation in Colorado
  We start our Independence Day celebrations with a very satisfying breakfast at Adam's Restaurant, in Manitou Springs.

In the afternoon we head out to the Cave of the Winds, where we go deep underground.

The surrounding scenery is arid, weathered, and well worth the travel time.

Of course I have more details for you.

 Wed 3 July 2002 - On vacation in Colorado
  Our trip begins: two jet flights, a series of delays caused by thunderstorms, a convertible rental car, a drive in the night, and arrival at the Timber Lodge, in-between the towns of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
 Mon 1 July 2002
  Welcome to July.

The Dyke March is over, the miserable cold and flu season is over, the violet lobelia and petunias are planted, and we're getting ready to go on our Colorado family get-together vacation. It's been long in coming, with the excitement of forest fires placing the trip in doubt. But now we've heard that things have gotten better, and we're doing laundry, packing, and setting up great-grandmother's guest room.

But the excitement isn't over. Today, at 100 F, was the hottest day in Denver since last July 1 when the thermometer hit 101 degrees. Before that it was 102 F, in 1990. So we're getting ready for the extremes; baking hot during the days and chilly at night. I've packed my hiking boots and mountaineering child carrier. You'll see pictures as the travelogue unfolds, I'm sure.

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