rowanf: (Georging otter)
I went off with my Georging/Geocaching friend Karin to the Ram's Head Inn where the Where's George dinner was supposed to be. It turned out that Pat Benatar was playing at their Ram's Head Live venue and lots of people had decided to have dinner there. Plus it was a totally smoking restaurant. We ran into CMgeorger and volunteered to scout out the many other restaurants in the "market square". They ran the gamut from the "Have a Nice Day Cafe" complete with giant neon smiley face to a Ruth Chris Steak House. *laugh*

We were looking for a relatively quiet place to be able to talk so we wound up at the Blue Sea Grill, a classic seafood restaurant with lots of fresh seafood and it was all labelled as to source. Oh yay. Seafood without guilt. Their menu says, "The natural pristine qualities of seafood are what we promote here. Our commitment to quality, delicious fresh fish and fine wines blend harmoniously with great design and service to give you the ultimate dining experience." So, did they live up to their hype? I had an "Imperial Flounder", stuffed with crab meat, broiled and served in a lemon beurre blanc with a side dish of lobster mac & cheese. The flounder was mouthgasmingly good. The "mac" was large pasta shells with a classic creamy cheddar sauce with occasional bits of rather overcooked lobster. I love the idea but the execution wasn't great. So... not quite up to the hype but still really yummy.

The company was another matter. Karin and I and CMgeorger were all overwhelmed in conversation by a fellow who just wouldn't shut up and whose hobby horse was the wonderfulness of fascism in pre-Franco Spain. He kept going on and on about "true freedom" with examples like being supported by the police in harrassing women. Oh, save me from true freedom. I told him it sounded horrible but he just kept on ranting. Karin and I ditched the dinner as soon as we could. I felt bad for not getting to visit with CMgeorger but I just couldn't take Sam's rants anymore.

Karin and I hung out and talked tarot for about an hour and it was 11pm by the time I got to bed. My body is starting to adjust to East Coast time and thus wants to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Oh well. The end of my being able to stay up with the grown-ups, my morning person nature is winning.

Today I have a last SLA session and then off to get my rental car, do some caching and then head to [livejournal.com profile] auntiematter's house for a few days. Yay! OTOH, I don't know what the connectivity will be like. We shall see.
rowanf: (navigatrix)
Saturday morning I awoke to torrential rain. It hadn't slept at all well... it took me until 1am to figure out I should unplug the refrigerator in my room. And hotel was between two very busy highways. So I packed and got ready to head off to the breakfast. By the time I actually left the hotel it was down to a sprinkle. I was the fourth to arrive at the Veranda Cafe in Tres Pinos which turned out to have a wonderful bakery. I had an omelet and a cranberry scone for breakfast whilst meeting all sorts of South County cachers (and seeing a few I know from up my way), about 25 people in all. The day looked like it might clear but the paths were going to be incredibly muddy and I decided to give the hike a miss and just do some San Benito County caches. A fellow called FlyDog said that was his plan and I suggested we team up. I got fourteen caches and he got twelve (having been that way before) and we had a great time. I dropped him back at the Veranda about 12:30 and saw they had their smoker going and went in and had a tri tip BBQ sandwich and bought some cookies to take home. Yum!

I wended my way back home via three more caches in Gilroy and go home about 4pm. Erika and Russell arrived soon after and we all took a nap and then went to [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and [livejournal.com profile] saffronrose's place for a gourmet dinner prepared by [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt. It is to yum! Russell and Erika took off for a party and I hung out in the hot tub with K&M and Margaret and Erich who came by around 8pm. About 10pm I headed home and keeled over.

Sunday Russell and Erika and I headed to Rakkasah. We watched some dancing, ate some mediterranean food and shopped. I got a burgundy and green Gypsy skirt and Erika bought some beautiful transluscent purple Isis wings. We couldn't stay late because Erika had to drive back to Santa Barbara and they wanted to go caching with me. We hit two caches on the waterfront dedicated to those who worked in the shipyards in WWII. The day had turned sunny and beautiful and the Bay views were lovely. We got Erika home and on the road not too long thereafter. Petra was setting up for her 4:30 yoga class and I went out and bent my body along with the rest. Ow. It is been a few months since our last class and it shows. Chris & Petra came in after class so she could nurse Sophie and we sat around and visited. Russell and I had sausages and corn for dinner and I really should have gone out to shop for Tuesday dinner but I was just too tired and keeled over again. I almost have my energy back from being sick, but not quite. *sigh*

Monday at lunch Kurt & I did the dinner shopping and went by a park to get my 300th cache! I ordered myself a milestone coin. I am such a geek. But I'm really jazzed at having 300 finds in the 176 days since October 2, 2005. And Coin Quest II has started and I'm madly figuring out caches that meet the requirements for this quest. Bwahaha! I shall find the Mad Hermit's treasure! Oh, and speaking of milestones - I got a Where's George hit in Wyoming meaning I only need Delaware and Kentucky for 50 state bingo! Go me.

At dancing we worked on our leading/following and on the choreography for the songs we're doing with Fontaine on the 13th. She is doing a benefit for Code Pink. It should be fun.
rowanf: (Georging otter)
Sunday morning I had a really hard time getting going, so I didn't manage to make the sausage pie I'd meant to make for [livejournal.com profile] spidernette's South Bay NROOGD brunch. A quick trip to Casa Vicky's for tamales turned out to be just the thing though as the guest of honour, [livejournal.com profile] gwebbyhead was jonesing for tamales. Go me. It was soooo nice to see her again after her exile in Dallas. I had the Northern California Where's? George gather at 1pm so we had to leave earlier than I'd've liked. I stole [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and [livejournal.com profile] galileopan to grab the two caches closest to Nette's house before taking off. It really is amazing how enlivening a treasure hunt can be. One of the hides was quite wicked. I am continually amazed with the camoflage people come up with!

The NCWG?A gathering was at the Tied House a mile from my house. About 40 Georgers were there, including three from OR and three from TX along with the usual crew of NorCal folks, including quite a few folks whose names I've seen in the forums but who were first time attendees at a Gather. Much money was swapped (it is fun to see how other people write/stamp) For those who find that idea opaque - you get someone else's bills, add them to your "favorites" so that you get notification when they are hit, then you spend them just like you would your own. It is fun (and sometimes frustrating) to see the hits thus generated. An example of the frustrating part - I took about $30 worth of other peoples georges to DC and they have gotten quite a few hits... and I haven't despite probably spending another $100 of my own money. *laugh* I've gotten more hits in TX from the DC trip with money I georged for my parents that mostly got spent once they got home to Austin.

I got home and had just finished bookkeeping (logging caches, adding bills to favorites) when Russell got home and we headed off downtown to see Chronicles of Narnia. Boy, the traffic is awful these days with all the folks going to the holiday fun. Full garages almost made us miss the show we'd intended to attend. But we managed. I thought they did a really good job with the film. I did like the Lucy in the BBC version better and I don't think Jadis should be a blonde. Other than that I really don't have any complaints. The critter animation was amazing, I *loved* the centaurs and griffins. After the movie we walked over to the Chavez Park and enjoyed the holiday trees created by many organizations, including lots of Red Hat Society groups which I don't think I'd seen before this year. The main tree had quite a specatular light show and so we went and sat outside at the Grill on the Alley and sipped martinis and watched the lights and the passers by. That was fun but made it the third late night in a row. *yawn* I've gotta watch that!

The top 10 weirdest USB drives ever
rowanf: (Default)
Life flies along at its usual breakneck pace.

Saturday I went to Concord for the Umbanda House At Home to help plan House Anniversary later this month. Had an interesting chat with Bruce about the Tinker Ogum he has been talking to. His is a Pygmy, mine may well be a Gypsy. I had had a flash of that and Herself came through and said as much whilst we were talking about it. I said I had been looking for an African path. She just glared at me and said I never listen to her except through the cards. I've been listening! I haven't heard a thing. Well, except the usual murmer of commentary on my life and what I'm up to and "why don't I buy that for her?". *laugh*

After that I headed over to Berkeley and had dinner with Don & Anna at a Bistro they like up in the gourmet ghetto. We've been there once before but I forget the name. We didn't spend the whole time talking business. I mentioned my plan to start an interfaith podcast and Don had ideas about local folks I could network with. This whole podcast thing is spiraling... I think the universe approves. In telling Don & Anna, I remembered I had meant to mention an interview with Elana Rozenman of Jeruselum (who is one of the URI folks we know) on a podcast on women making a difference to the rest of the URI. So I mentioned on the uri-contacts list Monday that I have been researching podcasting...and so now I'm signed up to talk about podcasting at the NAIN-URI conference this weekend.

And speaking of being signed up for things! I got home last night and found out Don & I are planning the opening ritual for this meeting. It had been designated for the Native Americans and Earth Religionists and none of the NA's showed up! Luckily we were taking the Waters of the World anyway and we will have Rachael and [livejournal.com profile] witchabroad and one local Pagan woman for help.

Okay, back to my narrative of my weekend! Sunday Gremlin had arranged a Where's George mini-gather in Santa Cruz for Pam from Corvalis who was visiting the area with her two daughters. I went down and joined them and one other Georger in lunch at Kianti Pizza & Pasta Restaurant, shopping at Logos followed by ice cream at Marianne's. A quintessential Santa Cruz experience. *laugh* I came back over the hill (bearing ice cream) and had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and family by the pool. This summer has reallly been hot enough to appreciate a pool! (Though I'm a wimp and prefer the hot tub.)

Monday was the usual busy day at work followed by a nice bellydance session with Petra & Stacey. We danced to songs from Fontain's MUSE as Petra wants us to do troupe stuff with them esp. as her pregnancy advances. She isn't sure what her energy level will be like when she gets close to term.

Tuesday we had a patent meeting at work which is always a nice culmination of the work I do. Tuesday night I hung out for hours whilst the movers figured out (very slowly) how to take the wardrobe apart. It is gone and over at Kurt & Marina's now. The mover was nice, someone Marina found on Craig's list. He does fine furniture moving and also demolition clean up. I think I'll save his card.

And now I need to go off and do a fasting blood draw for my annual physical. Oh joy. Sometimes I wish I had nice tough, easily pierced veins. But no, I have slippery, invisible veins in my arms and they have to use the backs of my hands. And there are a *lot* of tests on this lab sheet. I bet the phlebotomist won't be happy to see me.

the memes have been piling up )
rowanf: (Default)
Last week I took a road trip down to LA. I had a great time driving my Prius and hanging out with my friends. Erika & Reaps kindly put me up on Santa Barbara so that I only had to do about 5 hours of driving a day. On the way down I stopped in San Juan Batista and got 3 George hits at the San Juan Bakery. (Yay! San Benito Co. is hard and I only had one hit there before.) Wednesday we did some sightseeing in SB and Reaps grilled steak and fed me a wonderful dinner.

Thursday we drove down to Encino, picked up my friend Linda, and headed to the exhibit...

Okay. The badness of the "King Tut" exhibit. Back in 1922 Howard Carter took over 5,000 objects from the tomb. This exhibit has maybe 50 and they are mostly Ushabtis and other really common grave goods. The advertising uses the "funerary mask" picture of Tut... but one could argue it is really a picture of the canopic jar which held his liver which is the image of the sarcophagus. It is about 10 inches tall. Beautiful, but not very impressive. The only really large piece was a sarcaphagus of his possible grandmother (if they have guessed right about his parentage). If they had said "Exhibit of Several 18th Dynasty Pharoahs and their Relations" I wouldn't have such a bad taste in my mouth. And I admit, I probably wouldn't have taken a road trip to see them.

And the set-up! I had misgivings about the commercial aspects of a for-profit group organizing the tour and such contracting with museums as venues. The entrance was in a tent with lines between cords for each hourly entrance time. Our line for 1pm on Thursday was about 1/2 full and the exhibit was too crowded to see anything. I shudder to think what it might be like on weekends! We shuffled along and were shown a short movie about finding the tomb and then on into a labyrinth of display cases. The artefacts were at about waist height (ADA compliant no doubt) and thus invisible if you were not at the front of the about 8-person deep queue. They had the write-ups at the top of the cases and well as next to the items. So one could shuffle along reading about things you couldn't see or you could stand in place and gradually work your way forward and see the little tiny whatever. The audio tour (beautifully voiced by Omar Sharif) covered perhaps 25 of the 130 items displayed.

My favorite exhibits were:
A chair belonging to one of Ahktenaten's daughters that had these wonderful dancing satyr-like figures (probably related actually to the God Bes but *very* satyr-like) Erika thought they looked like something from Where the Wild Things Are.
A gold crown worn by Tut was really beautiful.
A display showing successive levels of his wrappings showing where various artefacts were found.

We got through it in about 2 hours. As you can see, I felt very unsatisfied. This is a very bad sequel to the 1978 exhibition!
the rest of the weekend )

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