Saturday, January 31

My First Go-Pro

We went on a bike ride around Alameda this weekend and I set up the Go-Pro to take a snap every 10 seconds.

I promised Anne & Kim that it would not be all shots of their asses.

Got much more of Jay's.

Relax, it's relatively PG.

Silky jazz stylings care of iMovie. What? Did you think I was playing as I biked around?

Wednesday, January 28


We re-visted the hike up the Phyllis Ellman Trail today. Much faster this time, and the view was still cool.

Tuesday, January 27

The Inevitable Cat

Anne is a bit of a Cat Whisperer and I'm no stranger to handing out a feline chin rub.

Anne christened this one Swish. I call her Swish-Kebab.

Today she was sat on the sill outside our kitchen window. Not weird until you realize there is a 20 ft drop to the floor below. She must have jumped from the balcony about 6 ft to the left. Amazing!

Sunday, January 25

Heading back West

We drove over to Reno this morning. Once you get past the mountains around Tahoe you hit an amazing Plain.

But I was driving so I got no photos of that.

Instead this is the view from the Richmond Bridge as you hit Marin County. So this is about 5 minutes from home.

Saturday, January 24

Do You Want Chips with That?

We headed for Lake Tahoe this weekend. Healthy hikes and Alpine winter sports were off the menu.

We gambled instead, although I did go on a run ...

Thursday, January 22

Another Day, Another Hike

I'm working East Coast time so I can usually finish work around 3pm and head out into the warm weather.

We're trying a few hikes and trails. This one was a bit of an uphill challenge but the waterfall was a real reward.

Wednesday, January 21

A rare opportunity

One of the nice little things about being in California is that I can go into Smart & Final, who have been my favorite client for 6 years.

I get to walk around and see all of my work.

However, this is a photo of something I did not do!

What's not to love about Pickled Pig Feet? And if you have an answer for that question then this 68oz/2 kg jar is probably not for you ... just go with the Pickled Eggs instead.

Sunday, January 18

Let's hit the city

After going up Mt Tam yesterday we headed for San Francisco, ate some delish Mexican food and then headed for a relatively unknown gem in the city. A mosaic staircase with great views out towards the ocean.

This was followed by a walk down on Ocean Beach to smell the beach fires (plus a few less legal smells), listen to crazy people play bongoes and generally feel miles away from the busy life back East.

Saturday, January 17

I'm on the top of the world ...

Well we went to the summit of Mt Tam today.

As much as we are trying to hike and be generally healthy, we did not start all the way at the bottom on foot. There's a road to the top and then a pathway around the summit giving you awesome views of SF, Oakland and all the way up towards Napa.

Friday, January 16

No Jazz for You

There's a cool group of stores and businesses close to where we live and a big banner advertising Friday night jazz.

But apparently when it is below 60°F they play inside ... a restaurant.

A big shame because I had my jazz hand cocked, and my goatee beard groomed.

Maybe next week.

We popped into the bookstore to grab a book of local hikes. After I made my purchase the guy pointed behind me at a rack and said, "These books are popular, the one for Marin County is in our Top 50".

Information I could have used 10 seconds earlier.

I hope he's not a consistently prize twat - we're going back on Tuesday night ... Armistead Maupin is doing a reading of his latest book.

Wednesday, January 14

1.7 miles ... uphill

So I'm trying my best to work on Eastern time so that by 3pm-ish I can finish up and head out to enjoy some California sun.

Today we decided to go for a hike.

From a list of recommended walks I chose the shortest, but as we drove up to the start point we felt the shadow of the mountain upon us!

So we had a great cardio workout as we climbed up to the summit.

All I could think was the news report after our hypothetical accident ... "No, they had no hiking gear, in fact they were in trainers and t-shirts".

Luckily we had no falls and the view from the top was incredible looking back to Larkspur, San Quentin and the Richmond Bridge.

Afterwards we took a windy (serpentine, not gusty) drive around Tiburon.

Anne commented that when I say Tiburon and Marin that I still sound like I am from Yorkshire. It's the same when I call someone a fucking twat. But not quite as poetic.

Tuesday, January 13

Call the Napa Police

We have the world's shittiest corkscrew.

Also when your only way to get to the wine is to push the cork in .. it displaces a lot of the vino.

I have what looks like blood-stains on my shirt now.

This is an image you seldom see in our house.

A half-finished bottle!

Anne will no doubt finish it tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 11

Ikea. Still hell

I have a theory that the traffic and parking before you get to Ikea is what makes me mad as I walk around the bewildering maze that is Ikea.

As you might imagine, the one in Oakland is an absolute joy.

We need a desk, and of course I didn't think about that fact that we have a small saloon car until we reached Ikea.

When did they stop trusting us to get our own shit? I had to ask the Ikea lady to call up my desk top on her computer.

The fast lane checkout was a lane, but not fast.

Amusement did arrive as we waited for our desk top to be brought to the lobby. I saw a guy mimicking this ad ... which I know is Anne's favorite.

Saturday, January 10

Flying with United

A simple story of getting from Cambridge, MA to Larkspur, CA (our home for the next 7 weeks).

There are too many flavors of Class in the flying world (and I immediately think of this article).

There were 4 lines for the Business Class luggage dump at Logan, all different mishmashes of expensive metals combined with high ranking army officials … you are Platinum Field General so go in that line … Of course I had a run in with the passive aggressive guy in the powder blue United blazer. It made me feel a bit happier.

Everyone was well pissed that there was no wi-fi on the plane. You'd think they were infecting us with polio.

Chickola next to me was reading War and Peace - long flight ahead.

At SFO we collected our 5 bags and I headed for Fox Car Rental. No I had not heard of them either, but they gave us a deal on a car for 7 weeks.

Mr Taylor, I put you in Premium Car. To quote Anne, just because it's bigger doesn't make it Premium. It's still a Buick … with a wicked shimmy.

They closed the GG Bridge for the frist time in 77 years today. Nice. We'll go around.

Just as we pulled into the parking space at our temporary home the Patriots won. So that was nice ...

Also, our apartment complex is very green, and attracts tree frogs. Also nice.

Friday, January 9

And I'm Back

Got real busy at work recently. Let's blog again.

We're heading to Larkspur, CA tomorrow for 7 weeks out of the cold.