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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Movie Night!

Er, I mean film… with music …uh score performed live by the San Francisco Symphony! I’m not sure who gets to decide what is shown or how they decide – since I found out about this series last year and started looking at going, the offerings have seemed fairly eclectic. Anyway, between the calendar and ticket availability we ended up going to West Side Story, which, it turns out, was one of the events celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. <insert It’s the End of the World as We Know It here. you’re welcome.>

By the time we got tickets there wasn’t much selection – either very close or very far. We went with very close, which, in retrospect, maybe wasn’t the way to go. It was cool being so near the musicians and be reminded of the physicality of making music, but the big screen was almost TOO big. Reminded me of my parents’ story of sitting in the front row to see Lawrence of Arabia and getting sand in their eyes.

I know I’ve seen a stage production of West Side Story, maybe even more than one, but pretty sure I’d never seen the movie before. After seeing it I was curious how it came off in its original release era. Some things that might not have raised an eyebrow in 1961 seemed quaint at best here in 2018. Amazing how topical the subject of immigration is though. And the music and dancing were enjoyable as ever.

There was an intermission, I wondered if there had been when the movie was in theatres originally – looking it up in “only” clocks in at 2 hours 33 minutes, which is maybe a tad long by current standards, but I don’t know what movie length was back in the day. The story certainly kept moving though, and I didn’t feel my attention wandering. Fun concept, and of course the live music was very well done. A most entertaining evening!

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IONTW – February 11, 2018

Don’t get me started on how many ways of horrible the “holiday” is, but the card (above) was cute, and Liz Climo has some fun ones you can download.

Literary maps! Exhibit at Harvard’s Houghton Library, through April 14, 2018. Giant map from 1857!

Have a favorite mug? You’re not the only one. Wow! Nerikomi pottery!

Food as part of what makes home.

Colors!

Funny, I was just wondering if the Library keeps track of what I’ve checked out – I wanted to see if I’d read something. Well, I suppose just because I’d checked it out doesn’t necessarily mean I’d read it, but whatever. Anyway, someone else had wondered the same thing – if there were records, not whether I’d read a particular book – but the FAQs said that no, for patron privacy no record is kept for books that are returned and have no unpaid fine on them. But, some libraries do/did keep a record, and at least if you’re famous, people are interested in what you borrowed.

Finally took the SMART train on Friday afternoon, from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. Much nicer than sitting in traffic, and you get to see some wetlands and different scenery from the 101 corridor. With bikes we were able to bridge the gap from the Larkspur Ferry to the San Rafael station, and it was nice to get on at the first stop and have a place to put the bikes and sit down. BYOB is not allowed, but they do have a snack bar that sells beer. The car we were in got pretty full along the way, and it seemed like there were folks who are regular riders, which was nice to see.

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New (Bike) Paint Day!

Well, not today, I actually picked it up from Color Wheel on January 1, which, now that I think about it, was a darn good way to start off the year! Thinking further back, it was around the same time of year that I first got the bike. Volagi had a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2012, but pick up was either the very end of the year or maybe the start of 2013. Anyway, the company was in Cotati at the time, so I got to go by and see the color schemes in person and try out a couple different sizes. I’d been thinking I’d go with the red and black, but after seeing them I chose the cream and black, which I think ended up being the most popular.

Although the Viaje was billed as an Adventure/Gravel bike, and I’d gotten it with an eye for mixed terrain events, I ended up riding it on all my road rides too. So there had been a fair number of miles put on it, and not all of them nice ones. The frame had picked up a few wear spots in the paint, and some gunk that I wasn’t able to clean off. Not that I’m that much into appearances, but there was also kicking around in my head that I’d heard somewhere it isn’t a bad idea to fully disassemble, clean, lubricate and reassemble your bicycle every now and again.

Then Color Wheel popped up on my radar, and one of the things they do is paint and rebuild, and plate-o-shrimp! Omar, one of the owners, had been mechanic at Volagi when I got my Viaje. The Universe Had Spoken!!! I checked out the paint colors online, and pretty much decided on the yellow, but he suggested stopping by their shop to see in person. I was briefly distracted by a couple different oranges, but, in the end, went with the original choice of yellow.

Which is so. good! It still sorta surprises me sometimes – HEY WHOA MY BIKE IS YELLOW!!! – in a good way! Also, something being a single color, rather than the two-tone, seems to make it look like a different bike, maybe it makes the curves more obvious, I’m not quite sure. I did lose the branding, but I’m fine with being stealth. Although someone did say bright yellow isn’t really stealth. Anyway, I’m super pleased with the result. It looks great and runs like new! WOOHOO!!!

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IONTW – February 4, 2018

well, now that we’re in to February with that New Year thing, how about some goals? (artistic – that you can set AND achieve!) As I’m ongoingly (pretending to) deal with allthepiles, Number 5 really hit a spot for me. I’m also thinking of it in terms of the stacks of yet-to-be-read books I have – maybe work on reading some of those before (OK, in addition to) getting more, even if it’s getting (borrowing) from the library.

and speaking of FeBREWary, come check out allthebeers in Santa Rosa!

BUBBLES!!!

Another use for cookies, er, biscuits. I’m doing research! Really!!!

How things are made always fascinates me. Would have loved to go along with David on his visit to the All-Clad Factory!

Last year I couldn’t resist some prints from Myrna Keliher at Expedition Press. She sent a nice New Year’s/Thank You postcard (below), a thoughtful gesture I don’t think I’ve ever gotten before. (Note to self) It didn’t seem like I’d bought much so it was an aww… wow, cool! moment and of course did get me to click over and check out her website again the next time I was on the computer.

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Milkbomb Ice Cream

I would have called it Sugarbomb, but then that’s probably why I don’t get paid to name things… so anyway, I didn’t see anything about where the name came from, and didn’t think to ask – I was more focused on getting some ice cream – big surprise there! There were lots of yummy sounding flavors, both traditional and no so much, and then a myriad of toppings and syrups, and then the Thing of the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich. I’m not really a Donut Person, but who can argue with “warm on the outside, cold on the inside, delicious all over” ?! The only choices left for the donut were glazed or sugar – I went with the sugar, and ginger ice cream, which I had tasted – super yummy – with forreals chunks of ginger. Eric went with the glazed, and espresso chip ice cream, plus gilding the lily with Lucky Charms and salted honey. I hadn’t thought of it, but – DUH! – coffee and donut – that was a really good combination. They were over the top, but how does that saying go – nothing succeeds like excess. The counter person was offering wet wipes, which we at first declined, but after eating realized he knew what he was talking about and went back in and got some.

Although I do have the pictures, it still seems a little hard to believe such a thing exists. And that I have partaken of it. Not sure that I need to do it again, but the ice cream was solid, and if I was in the neighborhood and had a hankering for something sweet and cold, I would go back. It will be interesting to see how long they last – Twirl and Dip was there for a while – it seems like a somewhat challenging location, not directly on the street. The Donut Ice Cream Sandwich seems more like something for Fisherman’s Wharf or somewhere with more foot traffic of people in the “why the hell not” mode – but they might be able to get a neighborhood clientele just with the ice cream. Anyway, if you’re in the mood for some sugar with your sugar, go check it out! 1717 17th Street Suite 105, San Francisco, CA

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IONTW – January 28, 2018

There’s reusing your teabag, and then there’s reusing your teabag

Neat idea from UPPERCASE to give her trade press books to bookbinders for their interpretations: Feed Sacks, and Stitch•illo – Creative Expressions through Thread and Fiber.

Looking through liquid and glass for new views of ordinary objects.

Different training results in different approaches.

How to use your library!

Next Saturday, February 3:
The 7th Annual Valentine Broadside Printing Event in the San Francisco History Center on the 6th Floor of the San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, 2-4 p.m.

Finale Four at North Bay Letterpress Arts. Last but not least of the Four Presses, Four People series, 2-4 p.m. in Sebastopol.

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2017 SFR Fall 1000k – Day 0

If memory serves me – which it doesn’t always – the Shasta 1000k was the first officially sanctioned Larsenneurring (brevet by Eric Larsen, known for beautiful, remote and challenging routes – the kind that always sound super awesome but then when it gets down to it I’m not always quite up for.) He followed that up with the California Coastal Mountain Climber in 2016, which I forewent except for the virtual ride-along with Max, and then two(!) in 2017 – a Tahoe loop and an Oregon and California Coast point-to-point. I was more interested in the Tahoe loop, and actually signed up for it, but then the weather forecast started including the chance of snow and I bailed out. Turned out the weather was not as horrible as predicted, but oh well, I was able to enjoy it vicariously by way of Juliayan’s lovely report and photos – in three parts! One, two, three. EricW also skipped the Tahoe ride, so EricL encouraged us to do the coastal route – from Eugene to Petaluma, AKA EP1K.

Eric (W, from here on, unless otherwise specified) had figured out the latest BART train we could take to catch our Amtrak train to Eugene, OR. It seemed awfully late – I was a little worried about missing the train, or at least I would rather have more time than be rushing. Eric was OK with taking an earlier BART, but then had the idea of taking the ferry. Yay boat! And we stopped and picked up burritos, so double Yay!

There was a beautiful almost full moon, and the reflections on the water seemed like a good omen for the adventure ahead. The trip across the Bay was uneventful, although someone almost missed their stop at Alameda. The crew was kind enough to redeploy the exit ramp and open the gate for them though. Actually most of the passengers got off in Alameda, which surprised me a bit – isn’t it a little island? Where do all those people go? – but that would be a pretty sweet commute, just across the Bay on the boat.

It was a short roll from the ferry terminal to the train station. We passed a Ben and Jerry’s (gasp) – yes, passed – it was a little chilly and I wasn’t feeling ice creamy – who am I and what have I done with myself?! – but there was a super cute puppy whose people were getting ice cream so we stopped for some schnoogles. I thought I saw a sign for BevMo, which seemed like would be a good place to hit for some supplies for the train, but when we back-tracked around the block there was no sign of it. What?! We haven’t even gotten to the start and I’m hallucinating. That didn’t seem so good.

We checked in and got hang tags for our bikes. OK, we *really don’t* have to box them. Eric had made the reservations, and set us up for that, but I admit I was a little skeptical – another reason I wanted some extra time, to make sure they didn’t change the story on us when we showed up at the station. Well, I guess being early wouldn’t help with a different story, but it would have given us time to box. Anyway, apparently there are a limited number of non-box bike spots. Jon arrived at the station shortly after we did, and had not gotten one, so he had to box his bike. He (fake?) grumbled at us for taking all the spots.

The train was a little late, or should I say “Amtrak on-time.” As we found our seats Brian Koss came by and said hello – he had gotten on in San Jose – as asked if we’d seen EricL, they were sharing a sleeper car. By the time the train was rolling it was quiet time for the night, so Jon, EricW and I went to the cafe car to have a beer and chat a bit. We watched the lights of the East Bay fade into the Delta.

As part of quiet time they turned the overhead lights off, except by the stairs, and our seats were by the stairs. Sad trombone. I had almost packed the sleep mask, but instead made do with a jacket over my eyes. And there were some folks with a loose grasp on the “quiet time” concept, but then I remembered I had earplugs! Woohoo! The seats were wide and reclined most of the way, so I was able to get bits of finding a position I could catch some sleep in. Not like being fully horizontal in a bed, but some approximation of a night of sleep.

When I woke the next morning – well, woke when it was light out again and decided to stay awake we were in far Northern California, rolling past Mount Shasta. And there were more randos – Michael and kt! When did that… oh yeah, there were more stops in the East Bay but we were in the cafe car.

We rolled in to Oregon and had a longer than usual stop in Klamath Falls. I wasn’t super excited about the delay, but we weren’t going to miss the start of the ride or anything, and it was nice to get outside and walk around a bit, although it was rather chillier than I was expecting from looking out the window. And, the stop was almost worth it as we found the super yummy Green Blade Bakery, and a roadside apple tree full of tasty apples on the way back to the station!

The rest of the train trip was uneventful, although there were a few other extended pauses. One of these was near Oakridge, which I’d visited on my Pacific Northwest Road Trip in 2012 and goes to insert link and oh. never finished writing that up. Oh well. Short story – fun mountain biking, yummy bakery and good pub. What more do you need?

It was super sweet when we arrived in Eugene to be able to get our unboxed bikes from the baggage car and ride off right away, no assembly required! Although I did wish I’d been able to be more minimalist in my packing. Well, I wasn’t going to be carrying it for the whole 1000k at least.

We had some errands to run, so go to see the bit of Eugene required to hit an office supply store, post office (no naps), and grocery store. Details attended to, there was hotel check in. And ice cream. Not necessarily in that order. It actually turned out the Prince Pückler’s was right on the way to the hotel! The universe had spoken!!! Part of the route was also on a nice bike path, and there was a skate park along the way. Eric hit it, but with my big back pack I wasn’t feeling it.

Jon met us for ice cream, and from earlier experience knew the more direct way to get to the hotel. We checked in and set about the final arrangements of gear and supplies. An e-mail came from EricL about getting together for dinner, we were going to ride over but then it sounded like the bike parking was outside and none of us had locks. Sad trombone. Actually it was kind of nice to walk – there would be plenty of time on the bike in the next few days. And we got to see some of the University of Oregon campus.

Good food and fun to hear about other folks travel to the start and chat about the impending adventure, but I could hear my pillow calling me. That alarm clock would be going off before we knew it. In the interests of getting back to the hotel quicker Eric tried to get a cab, but it was going to be a 45 minute wait so we walked back. As we were passing back through campus WHOA!!! the full moon was just up and so beautiful big and round! My WHOA! got someone walking the other way to turn around and check out the moon too. Nice moment.

Although I’d felt like I was pretty much ready, there was still a bit of last-minute staging – laying out the next day’s outfit, making sure all the bits and bobs were in the right bags, etc. etc. And eventually it was done and I got to bed.

more pictures

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