Fire Recovery

The fires that ravaged Sonoma County have been contained, but there is a long road of rebuilding ahead. Here is a list of organizations and institutions whose funds will be used in the local community. Links range from RCU’s general fund to several more specific funds in my fields of interest or otherwise close to my heart. Particularly as we get into the giving season ahead, please consider making a donation to one or more of these funds. Thank you.

Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund

Redwood Empire Food Bank

I attended both the JC and SSU and had great experiences at both. Many current students, professors and other employees have been affected by the fires.
Santa Rosa Junior College
Sonoma State University

Sonoma County is home to many undocumented immigrants, a good number of them no doubt contributing the physical labor for the “Wine Country.” Anyway, due to their status they are ineligible for some forms of assistance, and possibly reluctant to engage the system for other forms they may qualify for. UndocuFund is raising money for this population.

For the creative community
Creative Sonoma

Trail rebuilding

And spend local!
Here is a list a friend compiled of restaurants whose owners have lost their homes.
Buns & Burgers, Larkfield
China Bowl Bistro, Piner Road
El Patio, 4th St. downtown
Fandees, Sebastopol
Gio’s Pizza, Yulupa Ave (near Kirin I think)
Goji Kitchen, Mendocino Ave
Homerun Pizza, Larkfield
Jeffrey’s Hillside, 4th St. (Near the Flamingo)
KC’s American Kitchen, Windsor
Kin, Windsor
La Texanita, Sebastopol Rd
Lala’s Creamery, Petaluma
Lee’s Noodle House, Hopper Ave
Lupe’s Diner, Windsor
Mai Vietnamese, Cotati
Mel’s Fish & Chips
Pamposh, Mission Circle
Royal China, Santa Rosa
Simply Vietnam, Cleveland Ave
Sushi Hana, Sebastopol
T4 and Poke, Mendocino Ave
Tex Wasabi, Santa Rosa
The Publican, Windsor
Tipsy Taco, Santa Rosa
Toyo Sushi, Marlow Rd

Gratitude Page

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Almare Gelato Italiano

Italians? In Berkeley?! OK yeah, I know. It’s just so easy though! Although I suppose I should give it a rest, as I didn’t actually go to the one in Berkeley, but the satellite branch in Pleasanton.

It was a cute brick store front with an awning and patio seating area. I managed to not be distracted by the tasty looking selection of chocolates, cookies and other treats in the front of the shop – remember the primary objective – ICE CREAM! Er, gelato. I’m still not exactly sure what the difference is.

Anyway, there was a nice selection of about a dozen flavors, for the most part pretty standard. The one thing that seemed a little unusual was the Toasted Almond with Caramelized Figs – according to the website it’s famous, so maybe a signature flavor? but for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it. I went with coffee. Good solid flavor and nice and creamy.

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IONTW – July 15, 2018

File under cuter faster overload: Hello Kitty Shinkansen

and another one of those seems so obvious after you see what someone else has done… super clever 3-dimensional doodles

Setting aside the debate of whether you are OK with writing in books or not – Atlas Obscura is collecting examples if you’ve come across any good ones.

Beautiful multi-colored corn

This coming Saturday, July 21st from 11 AM – 3 PM is the monthly (3rd Saturday) Pick and Sip Saturday at Shone Farm in Sonoma County! Strawberry and raspberry U-Pick, taste and purchase SRJC wines, also vegetables, frozen grass-fed beef, and bulk olive oil (bring your own jar to fill) for sale at the farm stand.

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Meadowlark Dairy

Dairy? In Pleasanton?! (With apologies to Berkeley Farms) but yeah, milk has to come from somewhere, right? Although, as far as I could tell the only cows at Meadowlark Dairy were the ones painted on the wall.

Anyway, I think they do sell milk, and other dairy and even some non-dairy groceries, but, like me, everyone I saw was there for the soft serve. There was a drive through – which I did not utilize – and a walk-up line, which I did. There were posts and cables for a waiting-for-a-ride-at-Disneyland line maze, but fortunately it was not necessary. There were a few people in a just straight-up line, and the high school kids working there kept things moving pretty well, both for us and for the folks is their combustotrons. (Although, and must be a Health Department thing – there seemed to be (at least) two trips per customer – one to take order and come back with it, and a second to take care of payment. Anyway, I had soft serve to eat while she was going to get my change so I wasn’t going to complain.)

There were five flavors on the menu, and when I asked how many you could get on a single cone, the server said, “All!” which was surprising and somewhat tempting, but I did not test that. I was thinking that the orange and vanilla would be like a 50-50 bar, which sounded good, but then pineapple seemed like the special/limited time flavor – or at least it’s one I don’t see too often, so I went with pineapple and vanilla. Which must have been in different machines, as it came out as alternating blops. They were smooth and tasty, not like Tahitian vanilla and fresh pineapple, but you could definitely tell what they were supposed to be. Nothing fancy, but solid, straight up soft serve – a nice cold treat on a hot day for a not fancy price. And yes, I did go back (not the same day, what do you think I am?!) for the orange and vanilla, which came out as swirl, and yes, was like a 50-50!

I wouldn’t say worth a special trip, or waiting in a long line – although I got the feeling there might be regulars who would disagree with me on that – and it does have a low-key nostalgia vibe, not so yupscale as much of the rest of downtown has become, and is a local, single location place, which is nice to support – so yeah, if you happen to be there and are in the mood for a sweet frozen treat, and don’t have to wait long, I’d say get a cone!

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IONTW – July 8, 2018

TODAY!!! Sunday, July 8, 2018 – 10:30 am – 4:30 PM Sebastopol Center for the Arts Street Printing Festival!

Book covers meet back up with the real world.

Ever wondered why ice cream has a parlor?

Everybody dance now!

Born To Drum – Women’s Drum Camp coming up July 19 – 22, 2018, in Oakland, CA.

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2018 Colombia – Day 3

< previous day

Another leisurely morning after a decadent full night of sleep! We moseyed down to the hotel’s restaurant, trying to not get too distracted by allthethings to see in the compound.

After we sat down, the waitress brought fruit juice – no menus – and said what seemed like a long list of things – at least it went by very fast. I latched on to huevos. Sure, I know what that means. Huevos! There was a pause. Oh – some of that list must have been asking how we wanted them cooked. Through some pantomime and hearing it again – right – revueltas! The revolutionary eggs! Or is that revolting? … I know, I know, scrambled. Revueltas is way more fun to say though. Oh yes and cafe. Con leche. Not exactly the Spanish Machine but I wasn’t going to go hungry!

After breakfast we went for a walk out of town – I’d read in the guidebook that there was a trail nearby going up the mountains behind town. Oh, haha the bus drop off wasn’t that far from our hotel! We went along a main road that had nice sidewalks for a ways and then not so much. There was not too much traffic though, so even the little way we walked without sidewalk was not bad.

We passed the Museo Palentological and were tempted to go in, but I felt like there wasn’t much time so we decided to come back another day. (Which, spoiler alert, turned out to be the wrong decision. At least in the sense that it was not open when we went back.) Alongside the museum was also a botanical garden, which we could see some of from the road.

I had thought the trailhead would be more obvious, but we hadn’t encountered it, so we decided to go up the hill on a side road to get off the main road. It sorta seemed like a driveway but after we passed a few even more driveway like lanes that went off to different structures and no one yelled as us to go back I figured it was a more public road. We got to a t-intersection and decided to try to loop back to town.

We had kinda wondered if it would be possible since we’d seen cars coming down the street we went up, but then we saw other people walking up from the direction we were heading, which seemed to suggest it wasn’t a dead-end on foot. Shortly afterward we encountered construction, which a car couldn’t get around, but pedestrians could.

Besides homes – one with a splendid garden of food and flowers – we also passed a resort-y sort of looking place, some shops, an adobe brick yard – and an incongruous military base. There was a guard tower draped in camo netting, and a barricade gate, which looked rather serious, but then behind the wall it sorta looked like a miniature golf park. Oh wait, those are guys in fatigues. Alrighty then.

It turned out to be a nice loop – well, lollipop – even though we never found the trail. We then had some time to relax, clean up and get changed for the wedding.

We got to see some of the town again going over to Casa Terra, where Angela and Jon (and some others) were staying and where the wedding was. Of course we took the 1:00 be there time literally, but I think that was really to accommodate the group gathering lag factor. Anyway, there were a few other literalists, and it was nice to chat with folks about how we all had spent the morning. Also, it was a beautiful venue, and it was nice to walk around and see the facilities, and all the tables set up for the meal and whatnot.

A light drizzle moved us under the arbor for a bit, and then under a tree, but, as is apparently typical for this area, the weather soon changed. The precipitation moved off for the rest of the afternoon, and there were even a few spells of bright sunlight, which were quite warm.

Once the weather cleared we were encouraged to disperse from under shelter and go to the back lawn area. There was an amazing spread of fruits, some of which I’d not heard of before, and now I can’t remember, but that was fun. There were waiters circulating with Colombian breads and other hors d’oeuvre and drinks. It was a challenge to pace oneself!

The ceremony was simple and sweet. Angela’s friend since childhood, Olga, shared stories about Angela and Jon, in English and in Spanish. Then the two of them had written notes for each other. They had also hand written notes to each and every guest, which they had us all open and read. At various points there were laughs and tears. It was a very personal and touching celebration.

After the rings were on, there were toasts from Jon’s brother, then a friend of Angela’s – both in English, and then Angela’s sister gave one in Spanish. One of Jon’s nephews had his first taste of champagne, which he was super excited about, and proclaimed to be, “DELICIOUS!”

A sumptuous feast followed, with The. Most. Spectacular. Desserts. EVER! made by another childhood friend of Angela’s. Apparently you go all the way through school with the same people, so close groups form and Angela and her friends have stayed in touch.

Next was the entertainment, starting with a folk music group. Then there was recorded dance music. We spent some time in the introverts’ corner – there was space at the venue to find a quiet area. After dark we went back to our hotel for more of a breather, but then returned for the mariachi finale, which was wonderful! There was a singer, brass and full strings. It was great seeing the Colombians singing along, and the final song was a special request for a song from Angela’s childhood. The singer had to look up the words on his smart phone – ah technology – but you never would have known.

The party moved down to the central plaza, and BFK and Laura played a few numbers! After a bit we drifted away and back to our hotel, basking in the glow of the day. I haven’t been to many weddings, but this was very possibly the Best. Ever! A most excellent celebration of two wonderful people. And so Angela and Jon – or at least Jon – in the “we’re having an awesome party.” “Oh yeah, and getting married.” Which obviously the wedding was the reason for the party – but it didn’t feel like the having the wedding to have a Wedding, if that makes any sense – sometimes it seems like it gets to be more about the event than the reason for the event. This was about love, and family, and friends, and community. A very special day, and it was splendid to be included.

more photos

June 10, 2018

 

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2018 Colombia – Day 2

< previous day

After a relaxed start to the day – and yay! the threat of headache seemed to have abated – we eventually found our way downstairs for the hotel breakfast buffet. OK, not super adventurous, but it was nice to be able to just see things and take them or not without having to know what they were called and convey that information to someone else. Most of it was pretty recognizable, although there were some I think Colombian items, and then things like ham and cheese slices and a fried rice that don’t usually show up at American breffast. And bonus! a pot of warm milk with the coffee.

I had spaced out and had only had $50 in my wallet, so that was all I’d been able to exchange at the airport, which I probably could have got on pretty well with for quite a while, but, for the second part of the trip we were joining in on the excursion to the Amazon, which we needed to be have a chunk of cash on hand for, and there were daily limits on ATM withdrawals, so I figured I’d better start with that. So I had a brief excursion over to a bank and HEYWOW – miracles of modern technology – withdrawal in local currency from my bank account back home. Plus super HEYWOW! The illusion of being muy rico – the balance report had eight figures!!!

We packed up and checked out and waited in the lobby. It was fun to see friends from the Bay Area in a totally different place. There were others I didn’t know, but seemed pretty likely to be with the wedding party. I actually chatted with a couple of folks, although of course that was eased by the obvious topics of “How do you know Angela and Jon?” (riding bikes mildly inappropriate distances) and “Where are you from?” (California Bay Area) and “Have you been to Colombia/South America before?” (nope). I had the brief thought that we should have name tags, but quickly shook it.

There were actually two busses, everyone loaded up luggage and found seats. Angela came on the bus we were on and took roll to make sure all were accounted for. It was like being at summer camp or going on a field trip! A third bus was collecting people directly from the airport later. It was a 3-day weekend and Angela was hoping our leaving earlier might miss some of that traffic. “It’s actually the third (3-day weekend) in a row. There’s always some saint.” It was interesting to see more of the city. My first impressions included it being pretty clean for a large city – in fact I’d seen two workers sweeping the sidewalk and street gutter outside the hotel that morning. But we did pass through some areas that were maybe not so touristy that perhaps did not get the same attention, and there were some indications of homelessness.

The countryside we travelled out into was very green. I did see quite a number of recreational cyclists along the way, with a higher percentage then in the US riding flat bar bikes. There were also people walking along the highway, and in common crossing places paths were worn in the medians perpendicular to the road. In a few spots I saw train tracks, but couldn’t tell if they were actually in use – it didn’t really look like it.

We passed an amusement park with a fun looking assortment of jumpy houses and slides, and a rope course. A bit further on was a pretty boss looking motocross course. Part of the way was a toll road, and at the toll booths there were toll takers not just in the booths, but also in the road way before hand, so if your line was stopped you could pay before you got to the booth. I guess there was some way they designated you as paid so then you could roll through at the booth. I’m wondering now if the extra toll takers are always there or they just have them at times when they are expecting more traffic.

And speaking of field trips! We made a stop at the Puente de Boyacá, the site of the battle where Colombia won its independence from Spain in August of 1819. There are several monuments, and hiking up the short hill to the Monumento a Bolivar reminded me that we were still at elevation. <Insert shortness of breath here.>

Back on the bus, we continued our journey. I’d been noticing the retornos – U-turn lanes, but hadn’t quite put the pieces together until we took one a bit down the road, and came back to take an exit on the opposite side from the Puente de Boyacá. It made me realize I hadn’t seen any under or overpasses. And no straight across intersections. So if your exit was on the other side you had to go past and come back to it. Huh. Not sure how that would fly in the US.

Off the main highway the agriculture was more noticeable. I saw fields of potatoes, and later onions. At another point there were many large greenhouses, but I’m not sure what was growing in those. I noticed cows, sheep, horses, a couple of pigs, and what seemed like very large chickens. The houses had plastic tank water cisterns on the roofs or otherwise elevated, I wondered how they were filled. Another thing we noticed was buildings where the rebar would stick up above whatever was the top finished story – I guess leaving open the option of adding on.

There was another stop for snacks. I know, right?! Super deluxe. Arepas for the win!!! A Colombian staple, arepas are corn meal patties? pockets? Hmn… Neither of those sound quite right, or as tasty as arepas are. They aren’t tortillas – thicker than that, and they aren’t bread – well, at least not a leavened bread. But they can be filled with things, kinda like a sandwich. These first ones we had had cheese. Yums!

As we descended towards our destination of Villa de Leyva there was more apparent geology – some very cool rock formations. There were also some dinosaur crossing signs! The region was under water in the Cretaceous and Mesozoic eras, and is rife with fossils.

The town itself is ridiculously picturesque – a colonial village with stone streets (the guidebooks say cobblestone, but in my mind that implies a certain regularity which yeah not so much) and whitewashed buildings. And along with that no busses. So our herd o’ gringos was disgorged at the outskirts. Which, in the end turned out to be very close to where we were staying, but we had a bit of a detour helping Angela and Jon with the bonus luggage they had for a family member, I think it was. It was neat to see some more of the town, and we also ran into some of the folks who had come directly from the airport.

We looped back to our hotel – saw a rainbow on the way! – and got checked in at La Mesopotamia. Therese was also staying there, she said she’d liked how it looked. I hadn’t looked at any of the recommendations so didn’t know what to expect. Turns out it was a flour mill, built in 1568! We were staying in history!

After relaxing a bit we went out to the tejo shenanigans. The national sport. It’s like cornhole with explosions. What could possibly go wrong?! Well, as they say, all fun and games until someone gets a bottle cap in the eye. Eric’s skills at opening beer without an opener – in this case using the edge of the table – had gone a bit awry. Fortunately it was the smooth side, but it was the cue to call it a night, at least with the tejo.

Back at the hotel we sat on porch, listened to the water flow in the old mill race, and watching the lightning in the storm in the distance. After a while we went back out for a little walk around town. There was some sort of movie being shown in the park near our hotel, and various musicians busking here and there on the streets. I’d been excited to see a sign for Helados when we’d first gotten off the bus, but it turned out there were lots of ice cream places. Does it get any better?!

more photos

June 9, 2018

next day >

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IONTW – June 24, 2018

Super Special Exhibit of Pat Reagh’s printing work at NBLA in Sebastopol, CA this coming weekend, June 30 and July 1, both days noon to 5:30 pm. Also, Pat will be giving a talk on Friday, June 29 at 7 pm.

Book cannibalism?

Alisa Golden’s new web page.

If you’re in London from June 28 to July 16 – very cool sounding exhibit at the Type Archive – lettering prints by designer, handwriting guru and occasional publisher, Gunnlaugur SE Briem.

For the SoCal folks – Book Arts Patch Day for Girls (you shouldn’t have to be a Boy Scout) at the International Printing Museum. July 21 or November 17.

and there’s probably some non-book and/or printing related things going on, but for some reason they didn’t make it in here this week. Imagine that.

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