Monday, December 30, 2002

Back at work. Lots of annoying paper work to take care of today. I have to fill out correction time sheets, help Lily with her current time sheet, start Lily's performance evaluation, and write the December monthly. Ug. I was happy to discover when I got in today that even though I was on vacation on Dec. 24th I still get to charge four hours to my task instead of PTO because President Bush gave the word that folks were to be let out early. He is doing the same for tomorrow so I only have to come in for half a day. That's nice. It means I get to carry over 11 hours instead of 7 hours to next year's PTO pot. I'm debating whether to sleep in tomorrow and work from 10 to 2 or work from 7:30 to 11:30 and have the whole afternoon free. Hmmmmmmm.

Like to read about stupid people? See The Darwin Awards web page. I especially like the "Rock Climbing Priorities" story.

Saw an awesome Stanford women's basketball game yesterday. Stanford was playing Arizona. Arizona was ahead the whole first half and about half of the second half until Stanford started its come back late in the game. Maples Pavilon was rocking! It was very exciting and fun that Stanford came out the winner! I also got to visit with Wen, Ki, and Kim before the game.

I didn't get bumped or anything on my plane ride home. I did get a voucher for $5.00 worth of long distance calls, $35.00 off a Northwest flight that costs more than $200.00 and is taken before June 30, 2003, and 250 addition miles for the Northwest flying club thingy. I got all this because my first flight was an hour late. This caused me absolutely no concern as my connecting flight didn't leave till 8:53 p.m. I had scads of hours to kill: so might as well kill one at the Houghton airport instead of the MSP airport. I don't think I'll be using the $35 off coupon. I don't have any great plans to fly before June 30th. Hey wait a minute, I wonder if Northwest goes to Philadelphia. Maybe I could fly out for Sarah Kate's graduation from Swarthmore in May. I'll have to look into that.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Happy Boxing day. I have been having a ball in Houghton, Michigan. We have been cross country skiing everyday. I think Wen and Ki would really like it as its been very easy cross country skiing and then you get to come home to a nice warm comfortable house, a hot shower, and have Mom and Dad Roberts take care of you :-) I have also enjoyed getting 10 hours of sleep a night for 6 days in a row. I think I can finally say definitively that I'm not tired. We took a long slow drive out on the Keneewaa peninsula and I got to see Lake Superior. There were really cool ice formations on the rocks close to shore but the water has not frozen over yet so we saw waves lapping over the rocks adding more layers of ice probably. We thought the roads would be clear of snow but they were not so we had to crawl along at 30 mph. What we thought would take an hour took about 2 hours. Oh well. We were in no rush and we saw some beautiful views of the Michigan woods with tree branches covered in snow and Lake Superior harbors.

We had a tradition turkey dinner yesterday on Christmas day. I enjoyed the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Although my favorite food of Christmas day was the chocolate chip muffins we had a breakfast! After breakfast we opened presents. I got lots of nice gifts and I enjoyed watching my folks open their presents. After lunch my Dad and I went cross country skiing. We went on an intermediate trail which my Dad said was at the top of his skill limits. I felt bad for leading him on the harder route. I thought he could handle it and he could but only just barely. Oh well. I enjoyed it. There were about 2 very steep scary hills that I enjoyed zooming down but my Father did not. Today we went back to the same ski area but did only green easy trails and Mom came with us this time. She passed on Christmas day as she was busy cooking turkey and the rest of Christmas dinner.

My Mom's Christmas present never arrived. Grrrr! I ordered her Nevada Barr's Superior Death since its set on Isle Royale and Anna Pidgeon even comes to Houhgton, MI once in the story. I got on the internet and printed out a picture of the cover of the book and told her I hoped it would come soon and to look for a book from The Book Garden. I also got my Mom some software for her Mac called Ortograf which basically is Scrabble. I still haven't got the registration for the game though so at this point she can only play the demo version which takes away 20 letters so the games are pretty short. I'm crossing my fingers that the registration info arrives soon so I can get her set up before I leave.

I leave this Saturday at 2 p.m. If all goes well I get to San Jose near midnight. Since I'm just taking a taxi home I'm rather hoping all does not go well and I can volunteer to be bumped and get a free airplane ticket. I don't have any plans for Sunday so I'll have time to recover from a late arrival before I have to go back to work on Monday. I will really miss having Mom cook for me, skiing every day, and sleeping in everyday!

Monday, December 16, 2002

I went hiking at Windy Hill yesterday with Bob. We started on top and hiked down Hamm's Gulch trail. It was all downhill on switch backs in the woods. We saw lots of debris on the trail that the huge winds of yesterday blew down. We saw a California newt. We were surprised that we didn't see any Banana slugs. We descended about 1000 feet. At the bottom of the hill we did a short flat hike to Spring Ridge trail. Then we hiked back up the 1000 feet on Spring Ridge. It was a fire road trail and was quite exposed. The higher we got the harder the wind blew and the rain came down heavily. We were both glad we brought warm cloths and rain gear. Another hiker said she saw a Coyote but we were never able to spot it. When we got to the top of Spring Ridge we took a nice short trail that wound around the hills back to the cars. The wind was blowing hard and it was cold but we knew we would be back soon so we just hiked faster instead of stopping to put on another layer.

My brother took a picture of me on the trip. Click here to take a look at it.

I skipped the GLS holiday party yesterday. I was cold and wet from the hike and sleepy from getting up at 7:00 a.m., and I didn't have anything to contribute for the potluck, so I made a last minute decision to bag it. Instead I stayed home and took a nap, watched some TV, played on my computer, and listened to the rain. I hope the party was a success. I'm afraid the stormy weather may have kept other folks from going to the party too.

I told a friend (perhaps ex-friend) I wasn't interested in having coffee with her before Christmas. She sent me an email asking me out for coffee. I just didn't want to go have coffee with her and I was tired of responding to her invites with sorry I can't make it because I'm too busy when that's not the real reason. I'm glad I was honest and listened to my own needs, but I feel like a cad for turning her down. Her response was "fine, whatever." I hope she doesn't feel too hurt. Its hard to tell from her response. From my point of view the big problem with our friendship is I felt more like a therapist to her than a friend and that wore me out. We'll see whether or not she asks me to do anything again. I will not ask her. Oh man ... I feel like such a meanie. Geez. I'll have to talk about this with my therapist at tomorrow weekly appointment.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Evolution of Cathy's understanding of the main chorus in Tori Amos's song, "A Sorta Fairy Tale"

  1. It's so definitive

  2. It's a sordid fairy tale

  3. It's a sorta fantasy

  4. It's a sorta fairy tale

FYI: I can't even figure out the rest of the song. I'll have to pull the lyrics off the internet to see what she is saying for the whole song. But the crazy thing is, I do like the song. When I sing along I tend to put in nonsense words but I like the tune and the emotion in the song. Sometimes I like going back to what I first heard ... it's so definitive. If you ever catch me asking you over and over again what you are saying its because I have something like this going on. I'm hearing one thing and can't get torn away from it enough to understand what you are really saying.

I almost finished cleaning the living room on Sunday. I got the forest of paper off of the dining room table and took all the sweatshirts and coats I had thrown willy nilly all over the living room furniture up to my room and hung them up. Now the living room is neat if not clean. Dusting and vacuuming is still left to be done.

I released three books into the wilderness last night (see For some reason I felt very furtive leaving the books in the locations I chose as if I was doing something wrong. I left one in the post office lobby, one in the Red Rock Coffee shop, and one on top of the phone at the bus stop near the Caltrain station. I tried to find some books at the Safeway but someone else must have already picked them up as I couldn't find any there. I don't know that I am going to find any books as so far the ones released near me are not ones I want to read. Just for grins I would like to find one book I want to read, read it on the airplane on the way to Houghton, MI, and then release it in Houghton! I'll have to see if anyone has released a book in Houghton yet. This is all still new and exciting to me. I wonder if I will tire of it eventually.

I had to sit through a four hour presentation for managers on how to give feedback and receive feedback this morning. It was mostly free form lecturing where you had the freedom to interupt whenever you wanted to ask questions or make comments. I enjoyed the first couple of hours but grew restless and bored the last two hours. I'm not sure if I know how to give or receive feedback any better than I did before but I do have interesting ideas percolating in my head. The lecturer talked a bunch about filters people have when they listen to you and that 80% of the time they don't really hear you the first time so you need to repeat it more than once before the feedback will sink in. The main gist of the lecture was giving feedback is hard and makes people uncomfortable in the short run but in the long run it helps people grow.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

OK, Sunday is almost over and I still haven't cleaned the living room like I thought I would this weekend. I got up at 9:30 a.m. today. I ate some breakfast and then sat down at the computer to do my Christmas shopping. Before I knew it, it was 3:30 p.m. I didn't think Christmas shopping on line would take that much time. I guess I spent a bit of time surfing for just the right present. It was easier than facing the malls. Yesterday I did my library book selecting, went to OSH and bought a extension chord rated for 1875 watts so I can move my space heater around the room when I move around the room, watched TV, and went to the Stanford Volleyball's team second round NCAA tournament match. It was a great game and Stanford won. That means I get to see more volleyball as Stanford is hosting the next two rounds. Stanford will be playing Ohio State. I'm thinking of buying a Stanford sweatshirt and wearing my OSU cap just to confuse people. Its going to be a very red night that night with Stanford cardinal (bright red) and Ohio State's scarlet and gray. With all these activities and a bit of couch potato'ing on my part I never got around to cleaning the living room. I have about 5 hours left today to get it done.

What is truly amazing about this weekend is I haven't gone hiking. That feels wierd. Both hikes I considered started too early in the morning and were not at my favorite parks. I'm still feeling really tired in the mornings and I feel better if I get tons of sleep so I chose that route this weekend. I got 10 and 9 hours of sleep. Ah! Next Saturday I have to be up early to get to Woodside park-n-ride at 8:30 a.m. to lead my GLS hike at Marin Headlands.

I swapped my Macintosh computer at work for a Compaq PC running Windows 2000 last Friday. I finally got tired of not having the proper equipment to run the software we are using in my office. I had to trot to the computer lab to use the graphics viewing program to look at my aircraft models. That was getting old. Now I can both develop software, view it, and test it all on the PC. And I'll be able to more easily use the Model Center program on the PC. I'll miss my Mac but I happen to know that it just went to an empty office and if I really miss it, I can go visit! I had fun all day getting the Compaq set up just the way I wanted. I still haven't figured out how to transfer my Eudora Mac mail to the PC. The PC doesn't seem to like the format of the Mac Eudora mailboxes. I may just not transfer the mail. I burned a CD of all my files on the Mac before it got swapped so my old mail is sitting there for me to look at if I need to. I believe I can look at it by just opening the mailbox with the Notepad program. Tomorrow I will start learning how to set up C++ programs on the computer and start transfering my linux C++ code to the PC. I feel a bit like a kid in the candy store about this new computer.

I feel a lack of knowledge about what's up with Wen. I'm still dying of curiosity as to what the complicated reasons were for cancelling the Fall Creek hike last Sunday. And I would like to hear all the nittty gritty details about the Nebraska situation.

Click here to look at two new Big Sur pictures

Monday, December 02, 2002

Got this off of my depression support list

Here are some unhelpful Microsoft error messages replaced with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules - each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Aren't these better than "your computer has performed an illegal operation?

The Web site you seek

Cannot be located,

but Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.

Reflect, repent, and reboot..

Order shall return.

Windows NT crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.

Today it is not working.

Windows is like that.

Your file was so big.

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.

Stay the patient course.

Of little worth is your ire.

The network is down.

Three things are certain

Death, taxes and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,

But the water has moved on.

This page is not here.

Out of memory.

We wish to hold the whole sky,

But we never will.

Having been erased,

The document you're seeking

Must now be retyped.

Serious error.

All shortcuts have disappeared.

Screen. Mind. Both are blank

Program Aborting.

Close all that you have worked on.

You ask far too much.

A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.

I ate your Web page.

Forgive me; it was tasty

And tart on my tongue

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Big Sur Pictures, November 25,26, 2002

Linda and I left for our backpack trip to Sykes hot springs in Big Sur on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The drive to Pfeifer Big Sur state park was very pleasant. When we got to Pfeifer we found out that we needed to pop down the road about 1/4 mile to obtain a campfire permit at Big Sur station before it closed. We got there in plenty of time and got our permit and checked out the parking lot where we would leave our car the next day and head to Sykes. Then we headed to our campsite at Pfeifer. We got a site that was near the restrooms. This was cushy camping. There were hot showers in the restroom. We got our tents set up and cooked some dinner and by the time we finished dinner it was dark and it was only 6 p.m. It was also a bit on the cold side so we turned in early to warm up and get lots of sleep. I ended up getting up 3 different times for a trip to the restroom because I had kept myself a bit too well hydrated on Sunday! On one trip to the loo, I saw a coyote trot by.

We got up at 6 a.m. and it was still dark. Ug. We had breakfast, packed up, and headed to the trail head. We got started on the trail at 8 a.m. The sky was blue and the sun was out. We had great weather the whole trip. The 10 mile trek started by winding through Pfeifer park. We got to spy on campers from up on a hill as we hiked along. Soon the trail started to climb. We switchbacked up and up until we reached Pine Ridge I assume since we were on the Pine Ridge trail. We climbed up 1220 feet in 3.9 miles. Phew! We passed Ventana Camp on our way up. After 3.9 miles we finally started some downhill. We passed a family of Mom, Dad, Daughter and Son and were envious of Mom giving Daughter a massage while she lay on a log! We did some more up and down hiking and stopped for lunch at a second creek crossing. While we were eating the family passed us. After lunch we passed Barlowe Flat campground and started another longish climb. We reached our highest elevation of 1640 feet at the top of this climb. Then we had a long downhill portion to Sykes camp and the Big Sur river. As we reached the river we saw the family wading across the river. We soon followed suit. Luckily we had brought wet shoes or sandles to wear for wading across the river. We had to wade across the river to get to the campsite. The water was very cold. Burrrrr! We put our boots back on and made our way to camp just yards away. We found a nice site that was last in a line of sites so had some privacy.

After setting up camp, we set off to find the hot springs. We hiked about 1/4 mile and discovered that we had to ford the river again. Ug. This time we had forgotten our wet shoes. We grumbled and whined our way across the river in bare feet. It was so cold and with bare feet we had to take it slower. After the crossing we hiked along and the trail got steeper and more narrow as we went along. We had to climb up steep muddy/dirty use trails and climb down a steep rock face right near the springs. It was a dicey little climb down but we made it. The hot springs were around the corner but alas our family beat us there and so did several other campers so we had to sit down and wait for a turn to soak in the hot springs. We waited about 20 minutes and then 3 folks left so we got to squeeze into the hot springs. It was very nice. There was a little water fall that filled the pool with hot water from the springs. Soaking felt very nice on the sore muscles. It was about 100 degree F which wasn't very hot but still enjoyable. We soaked for about 30 minutes till 4:35 p.m. when we reluctantly got out so we would have daylight left for the hike back to camp. Linda decided she didn't want to experience the dicey climb again so she waded across the river and made her way along the other side for a bit while I popped up the dicey climb and made my way along the use trail. We finally met up when Linda found a place to get back to the use trail. Then we had to wade the river again. More Burrrr! By the time we got back to camp it was very much dusk. By the time we cooked up our dinners it was dark. The dark and cold drove us to bed early yet again. I think we were in our tents by 6:30 p.m. It was a cold night but my winter bag worked well. I just didn't want to poke my nose out of it all night!

We were up at 7 a.m. and took an hour to eat breakfast and pack up for the trip back to the car. We had one last cold river crossing only this time we had our wet shoes with us. Linda got a great picture of me contemplating the wade across the river! That water made my feet ache so much. The trip back was beautiful and now we knew what to expect more. We stopped at Logwood Creek I believe for a snack break. Then we pretty much hiked the rest of the way back with some water stops and boot readjusting stops. By the time we reached the car we were both very sore and tired but felt good about having been able to hike 21 miles in two days: 20 of those miles with our backpacks on! At the car we sat on Linda's tail gate to get our packs off and then changed into clean cloths and started to head home. We stopped at a Bakers Square in Carmel for a late lunch. I had a delicious cheddar bacon grilled chicken sandwich and we shared a hot fudge sundae. We got back to the bay area around 5ish. The traffic wasn't too bad. It was a great trip but left both of us with sore tired muscles to nurse the next few days!

Saturday, November 23, 2002

I spent a lot of time today working on the OAW newsletter and getting ready for the backpacking trip. The newsletter is done and ready to be snail mailed. I did take a couple hours off to watch "Boys Don't Cry." It was a well done movie but so foreign to me. Its a world so far from my own in so many ways. I also rented Star Wars The Phantom Menace and a performance by Sarah Mchlaughlin. I don't have to return any of the three till next Saturday. That's cool because it would be hard to watch them all in one night!

I'm having that pre-backpacking feeling I usually get of wondering why on earth I want to walk lots of miles with 35-40 pounds on my back. I know these feelings will pass once I get going on the trip on Monday. I really do want to see Sykes Hot Springs. We leave for Pfeifer Big Sur at 1 p.m. We have a campsite there for the night so we can get an early start on the hike on Monday.

Friday, November 22, 2002

I took a walk at Shoreline last night after work. I started at 4:15 and hiked out the trail on the levy to where the Charleston Project sign is and then turned around and realized that I was going to get to watch the sun set and it was a gorgeous sky for a sunset. Nice little puffy clouds that turned a wonderful reddish golden color after the sun sank behind the mountains. The water was also very still last night and the sun sparkled on it as it sank. It was also a bit misty and the mist hid the valley view so I felt like I was somewhere less civilized. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me. I finished up the walk at 5 p.m. and headed home for a night of fooling around on the internet and then watching TV.

I made reservations at Pfeifer Big Sur campground so Linda and I can spend Sunday night there and get an early start on our backpack to Sykes Hot Springs. It looks like we are going to get decent weather for the trip. I expect we will be hiking at a snails pace on Monday due to the long uphill hike to get to the hot springs. At least its just a one nighter so the packs won't be too heavy. I hope the springs are sufficiently hot for soaking. I have heard mixed reviews about whether they are hot or luke warm. Sounds wonderful to shed your pack, set up camp, and then go have a hot soak in the middle of the woods!

The past two days at work I attended presentations all morning. The AEE team (Advanced Engineering Environment) made presentations: each member for their discipline. I lucked out and didn't have to present anything as P. presented the geometry progress and K. presented the Thermal Protection System progress. I work on both of those disciplines. I was surprised to pretty much enjoy the presentations and not get bored. I really liked the feeling of team work in the room. I get isolated all day sitting in my cube. It was good to interact with some people for once at work.

Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow. If I go hiking I'll probably head over to the Nisene Marks hike. I do want to sleep in tomorrow though and I need time to put together the OAW newsletter and pop it in the mail and email. I'll have to reread the Nisene Marks description and see how time consuming it will be.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

I had a nice weekend. I got to sleep in on Saturday. Saturday night I went to see Attack of the Clones at the San Jose IMAX theatre. The battle scenes and car chases were fun but conversations between people and intimate scenes were just a bit much on the huge screen and there were quite a lot of these scenes in the movie. My neck was really sore after the movie but I got a nice little massage from K.

Sunday I led a hike for OAW. We did a 7.8 miler at Calero County park. The weather was gorgeous: bright sun and a blue sky. Five women went on the hike (including me). It was a nice mellow hike. We had a great lunch stop at a conveniently located picnic table over looking a pond. As we ate lunch some folks on horses came up and they were interesting horses. It turns out they are an Icelandic breed of horse. They were short horses but sturdy looking and can have a big man ride on them just fine. In this case they were carrying ordinary sized women. It was odd to see the top of the women's head over the horses head. They also have a really good temperment because there are no horse predaters on Iceland. The women said they are often used to teach children how to ride because of their smallness and good mood. We also saw a lot of orienteerers at the park. There happened to be a meet at the park. We saw the flags on the courses and saw lots of folks wandering around with maps in their hands. The terrain of the hike is the kind I like. It was very roller coaster like. Up a short hill, down a short hill, up again, down again. It made for a good workout. I think everyone enjoyed the hike.

An aside ... you can (at least I can) reload the blogger page without losing what you have already written. Cool!

Lots of action on our family email list this week. My big bro started it off by posting a long letter about how he is feeling and about his struggle with wether or not he should take anti-depressants. Mom responded first with a "I need to print this out and give it a good read" answer. Younger bro, Dave, just wrote a nice reply to Bob today. I'm always tickled to hear from Dave no matter what the reason he sends an email. I'll have to pen a response myself soon.

Someone actually called little old me a "sick sick woman" today because I made a post pointing out to folks that the 69th board was about to archive. She was of course joking but it made me laugh. I have never been accused of being "dirty" so to speak before.

Gotta sign off for today to go help my staff member make some presentation slides!

Friday, November 15, 2002

I'm in an odd mood right now ... some things popping into my head

  • Blog Blog Blog, Blog Blog Blog to the tune of the spam song.
  • Are bullgirls the opposite of cowboys?
  • How did an ant make it all the way up to my glasses to crawl on the lenses?
  • Spam song is gone but now its been replaced with the "Getting to Know You" song from the King and I

  • Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

    Optimus Prime --> Vast, red and ready to turn into a lorry at the slightest provocation, you are a robot to be reckoned with. Although sickeningly noble, you just can't resist a good interplanetary war, especially when Orson Welles is involved. You have friends who can shoot tapes from their chests. Tapes that turn into panthers. And other friends who are dinosaurs. Dinosaurs who jump out of planes. Will you have my children?

  • Check out my
    ink blot test result

    Cathy, your unconscious mind is driven most by Kindness
    This means you have a deep desire to be kind and fair to others. You may even be preoccupied with finding kindness in the world around you, far more than you realize on a conscious level.

    It is possible that the underlying reason you seek kindness in the world around you, is that you fear cruelty, the opposite of kindness. That could drive you to unconsciously project kindness wherever possible into your world. Regardless of its origin, your steadfast adherence to being kind to others is felt by people you are close to.

    You are probably more susceptible than others to being overwhelmed by emotions Ñ both yours and others'. It is possible that your unusually empathic nature is a result of your natural sensitivity to others' pain, and your desire to help them avoid it. For this reason, things might affect you more than they affect your friends and family. To protect yourself from too much emotional intensity, you might want to keep an eye out so you can recognize it when it starts. That will allow you to slow things down until you feel grounded again.

    Overall, your strong orientation towards kindness gives you an optimistic nature, which translates into you seeing the best in the people around you. Because you're not one to be overly judgmental, others may seek out your company when they need a friend to talk to. People close to you likely know that you care deeply about the inner lives of others and can listen to what they have to say without imposing your views on them.

    Though your unconscious mind is driven most strongly by Kindness, there is much more to who you are at your core.

  • Figured out my rising and moon signs today. Rising is Sagittarius and Moon is Cancer.

So my mind is all over the map. It really should be thinking about how to model a fuel tank with Open Cascade. I did make some progress today but probably should have made more progress. Time to go home. YAY.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Headline in the Astrogram (NASA Ames little newspaper) "F2M Town Hall Meeting set." I can't help wondering why they are having a Female 2 Male town hall meeting?? OK ... that's not what it is. To NASA F2M means Freedom 2 Manage. It makes me giggle though whenever I see that acronym bandied about.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

My week so far: sleeping in on Monday, car trouble, ant attacks at work, and a break through at work. I had Monday off for veterans day so got to sleep in finally. On both Saturday and Sunday I was up at 8ish to go on hikes starting at 9:30 a.m. It was great to sleep in. I went to bed around midnight and slept till 10:30 a.m.

After lunch on Monday I drove my car to the auto repair specialist shop to have them try and fix my stalling, bucking problems. They kept the car over night so they could test it when the engine was cold. That's when I have the most problems with it stalling. I road my bike to work on Tuesday. The car was ready for me to pick up Tuesday after work but alas, nothing was fixed. They did readjust the clutch and accelerator and cleaned the throttle but they were not able to get the car to stall with any regularity so they could diagnose the problem. They told me to keep driving it till it stalls more regularly. It did drive a little bit better with the readjustments but this morning it almost stalled again in the grocery store parking lot. Thankfully, they felt bad about not being able to fix my car so they charged me $0.0 for the adjustments and clean throttle. There is an auto repair shop that knows how to keep their customers coming back!

There is an ant invasion in our building here at work. Luckily I am in a cube in the middle of the building not near windows so the ants don't really get back to my office. But the ants get inside the fridge in the common kitchen area. Ug. Last week I found an ant floating in my milk carton. I found a strainer in the utensil drawer and strained the milk through it to get rid of the ant. I wonder if ants are nutritious. This week they are worse and no one has taken the plunge yet to empty the fridge and clean out all the dead ants. They are wee little ants. I am bringing in air tight food for the fridge (no more milk cartons that the ants manage to crawl into) this week. I have a nice thermos container I can put my milk in with a screw on tight lid. Its amazing how many ants there are in this building. I guess the bugs are running out of food outdoors or are cold or something. They never showed up during the summer months inside the building like they are now. I know, I'll send the ants to Nebraska.

Yesterday I finally got my fuselage geometry to model correctly using Open Cascade software. Its been a long 5 months of struggle to get it to work. I celebrated by having a 20 fl. oz. bottle of Mountain Dew. I'm busy getting all the latest software checked into our control version system now so I can tell my superiors that the deliverable is finally there!! I'm also cleaning up the software and getting rid of all the debugging statements I put in while trying to solve all the problems that arose. I can't believe the number of problems I ran into and that I managed to solve most of them. I almost hope they do decide to use Open Cascade because I feel like I really am beginning to understand the package now!

Stanford basketball has started. I went to a game on Sunday and have another one to go to on Thursday night. Its another exhibition type game that doesn't count in their record. I wonder if I'll have the whole row to myself again on Thursday. On Sunday I was the only person in my row in the loge seats that came to the game.

I finally got my latest health care reimbursement to go through. Silly me ... I forgot to sign the reimbursement form and got a letter from Ceredian to that effect. I had to fill out another form, sign it, and fax it to them before they would make the reimbursement. I sent out another reimbursement form yesterday for my psychiatrist and medication bills (not too expensive since both were just Kaiser co-payments). I was careful to sign the form this time!

I voted in the Ventana GLS election. My envelope is on its way. I voted no for one person and yes for all the rest. I think folks reading this blog know who I voted no for!! Someone we tend to refer to as Nebraska these days.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Its a lazy Wednesday: no meetings at work, no Stanford volleyball or basketball games to go to tonight, its not therapy night, and I don't have to vote today. I'm looking forward to a quiet evening at home after work. I will stop at the grocery store on the way home from work since I ran out of shampoo and will soon run out of orange juice. I might peruse the paper to find out all the election results (or watch the news on TV). I think I'll do some mellow stretching too.

Well, I do have to write stuff for the contract proposal but Nancy called and said to put it aside for a while because she didn't have the resources she needed to give us so we can get started. So I have a reprieve. I was right about having to work on it at home and not during regular work hours. Sigh.

Starting tomorrow its going to be a busy week. Thursday after work I'll be going to the Stanford vs. Arizona volleyball match. Friday after work I'll be going to the Stanford vs. Arizona St. volleyball match. Saturday I'm off geocaching with Sharon (if its not raining hard). If it is raining, Linda and I might go for a wet hike somewhere. Sunday I'm hiking with Bob in the morning and then watching the first Stanford Women's basketball match of the season. Its just an exhibition but it will be fun to see the new freshman players. Monday I am driving to San Francisco to pick up Cynthia and we are going hiking in Marin county somewhere. I have Monday off for Veterans day. Phew. I think I overbooked but we'll see how it goes. Don't be surprised if I am pining for vedging time after this full schedule!

I had a great relaxing time this past Sunday soaking with Wen and Ki at Kiva. We hung out till women's hours were over. Three hours of lolling about, soaking, and chatting -- very nice! After Kiva I drove off to Long's Drug Store where Wen said I could find a UCSC banana slug sweatshirt. I bought a cute gray hooded sweatshirt with a picture of a banana slug on it for Maria. I also got her a bean bag banana slug toy just in case the sweatshirt is too small. Unfortunately my only 2 choices for sizes were adult small or kid small. There was no kid medium or large. After much debating I got the kid small as I think Maria would be swimming in the adult small size and it looked like she might fit in the kid small. She is only 6. If it doesn't fit her she can learn about charity and give it to a homeless shelter or the good will and enjoy the bean bag toy for herself.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

A broken toe or not a broken toe that is the question! Its not until someone asked me if my toe looked deformed that I realized I did not really know what my toe looked like before. I don't think its broken though because it is getting better real fast. Its not as swollen and the bruise has toned down to yellow instead of black and blue. Oh well. I'll keep watching it and if it stops getting better, I'll have a docter look at it.

Ug. I have to go to a meeting tomorrow at work about the contract proposal writing. That means I'm probably going to be stuck writing parts of the proposal. Oh fooey. I try to keep my manager part of the job as small as I can but this adds to it. And to make matters worse we can't work on the proposal within contract hours which means they expect me to work extra hours for nothing.

Today is Halloween. I'm being a Halloween scrooge today. Bah humbug. I'm going to turn out all my lights and hide upstairs in my bedroom during trick or treat hours because I don't want to get candy to give out. I only average about 4 visits each year so I hardly get rid of the candy I buy. Then I end up eating the rest of it. Since I'm trying to shed pounds right now that wouldn't be good. So I'm hiding from Halloween!

Linda stopped by yesterday and gave me her old digital camera she earned by listening to one of those time share presentations. She bought herself a fancy one. Tonight I'll play with it. I'll take my lap top upstairs where I'll be hiding. It only has a 10 picture capacity but that's OK by me since I don't like to take too many pictures. I'm curious about the quality of the pictures. I'll take a picture of my garden and see how it comes out. Aren't you lucky that I didn't get this camera on Saturday because for sure I would have taken a picture of the hurt toe to add it to my gallery of injuries on my web page (well just one picture of my big leg bruise now so not quite a gallery).

I finally figure out how to play DVDs on my lap top yesterday so now I can finally watch "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Cats and Dogs". Part of my Dell computer purchase deal was I got my choice of 3 items: DVD movies or computer software. I chose those two movies and Scrabble game software. I need to reinstall the Scrabble software because the program won't run without the CD being in the drive. Aren't computers fun?

Monday, October 28, 2002

Oooo, I would really like a second cup of coffee right now, but I'm saving cup number 2 for after lunch. I'll make do with water till then. I got some extra sleep Saturday/Sunday because of the time change. That was nice but it still didn't keep me from falling asleep on the couch in the afternoon after hiking with Bob (older brother) at Wunderlich. Poor Bob is very depressed and upset. I gave him great big hugs before and after the hike. During the hike we talked about what was bugging him and how I handled/handle my own depression struggles.

I had a good time hiking on Saturday. I went on the OAW Castle Rock 19th anniversary hike. Only five people showed up for the hike but we all had fun. I was tickled to see Sharon and Gloria. I hadn't seen either of them in a long time. Sharon brought her GPS (Global Positioning System) and information about locations of two caches in the park. There is a fairly new outdoor acitivity called geo-caching. Folks hide a tupperware or metal box in the woods and write down the coordinates of it. They then post the cache coordinates on the internet. Other folks use this info to go find the cache. When you find the cache, you open it up and exchange trinkits (like match box cars, or key chain compasses, etc.). It is sort of fun although the environmentalist in me didn't know if it was OK to bush whack through the woods. Caches are also hidden in cities (Sharon says usually in woodsy areas like parks or creek beds). At lunch Sharon and I took off to find one of the caches. We bush whacked through the woods going up and down hills. The downhills were more like leaf skiing! I saw the cache first and Sharon made her exchange and will note on the internet that she found a this cache. We saw a trail from the cache site and went down to the trail and discovered we didn't have to bushwhack back to the lunch spot. We stayed on the trails. After the OAW hike was officially over, Sharon asked if I wanted to go find another cache just across the street. I said sure. Our just across the street turned into another three miles of hiking with some significant uphill and downhill portions. We finally found the cache. Sharon spotted it this time. I was pooped when we got back to the cars. Sharon is a fast hiker and I was doing my best to keep her pace instead of my own. Phew. That hot shower when I got home felt really good.

Unfortunately I ended my weekend by jamming my toe into the frame of the patio door on the way outside to turn on my sprinkler. It really hurt. I hopped around saying ouch for a few seconds. Then I continued to turn on the water and go back to watch TV thinking I just stubbed my toe and it would be better real soon. However, it started to swell and hurt more. Ick. I got out my Kaiser health guide book and followed its advice to ice the toe (its the toe next to my little toe on my left foot) and rest it and elevate it. I also taped it to the toe next door to stabilize it. What a pain. I can still walk around OK but I don't think I should go hiking till it gets better. I'm hoping it will be better by the weekend. Fortunately this weekend my calendar is bare so I can avoid hiking and give it some more rest if need be. Tonight I'll try bike riding to see if that impacts the toe or not. I hope not as biking will keep me exercising while I can't take long walks and hikes to get exercise.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I'm feeling good this week. I think my body has adjusted to the Wellbutrin and the side effects are wearing off. I'm not as stressed as I was for a while there. My jaw soreness is getting better. I'm not as tired either. I don't know if the itchy legs is gone or not. It hasn't been around for a couple days now. Knock on wood that itchy legs have gone away.

I cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed yesterday and cleaned the kitchen floor. So folks can now drop by unannounced and I won't be embarassed by all the dust and dirt. It was good to get it done as I had been putting it off. I also caught up on recording my grocery bills in my bank book (I use the bank card to pay for groceries) and added in my latest pay check. Yesterday was oh so productive.

Yesterday at work I did a major revamp of the type of code I use in my Open Cascade program to read in data from files. I changed about 4 or 5 different routines (well really classes) . Then miracle of miracles, in one afternoon I got all the errors worked out and the program compiled and ran!! No more memory leaks. Basically I replaced the old variables I was using where I was managing memory myself with Open Cascade variables that manage their own memory so I didn't have to worry about it. So now, I'm back to trying to model the fuselage. Ug! I have yet another idea how to fix it up that I wll start working on this afternoon.

My poor big brother, Bob, is feeling really down and lonely. Cecily told me that this morning. I sent him an email and asked if he wanted to go hiking with me on Sunday morning. I also let him know how much I care about him. He is trying to get the nerve to call up and make an appointment to see a therapist. I hope he does. He is really scared to make that call.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Oh I forgot, check out Clouds Rest and Pinnacles pictures at
Cool, eh?
So I fixed the compile error in my program and then Eric swapped out the computers again and forgot to transfer the work I did to the new machine. I told him it was OK since I still remembered how I fixed the error before and it wasn't a big change (maybe three or four lines of change), but as a result I wasn't able to do the real debugging on the actual geometry design. Sigh. This program is settng my record for the program I have worked on the longest and not gotten it to work right!

I asked S. to scout a hike with me yesterday. We had a good time and boy did I get to hear a long story about her relationship with R. Then we got to talking about dating and it was very wierd to talk about it when it wasn't terribly clear if we were on a date. I thought about mentioning that but lost my nerve. It made me giggle inside though so it wasn't like I was stressing over it. I did get to know S. better though and I don't think I'll pursue her as more than a friend. She is older than I thought and a bit too fussy for me. I got the idea she was fussy from the long stories she told about R. and her. OK this may sound silly but she kept making a point of saying that there was a correct way to do laundry and you shouldn't just put your cloths in the dryer on high for 40 minutes. This was how R. did laundry. I sheepishly admitted that I did laundry that way too. Other things like that came up in the conversation where I just got the feeling she would be a bit too fussy for me about how things need to be done. Although I felt really bad for her from all she went through with R. R. sounds very unstable and self centered. I never liked R. when I met her in the first place but decided that's not something you tell someone who had a relationship with R. I probably will ask S. to scout more hikes with me as she is fun to talk to. I would like to be friends with her.

We scouted a hike at Pleasanton Ridge park near Pleasanton. Its a very long skinny park in the hills. You can see 680 from one side and nice hills on the other side. You could also see Sunol park in the distance. I'll probably lead this hike for GLS in January or February. It was about a 6 mile hike and started with a hill climb up to the ridge. Then we sort of circled around the ridge and the terrain was up and down and flat. It was a beautiful sunny day. We managed not to get lost. It wasn't too hard to follow the map as it had just about every junction labeled with a number on a post which corresponding to a number on the map. There was an excellent supply of maps at the trail head. We did get lost getting to the park though. I took the wrong exit and so the directions didn't make sense. We finally managed to see a road that the directions said we needed to be on and finally stumbled upon the 680 exit we should have used and from there got to the park easily.

Today I slept in till 10:30 a.m. Then I fell asleep on the couch at 3:00 p.m. I woke up when my watch alarm went off at 3:30 p.m. -- that's when I take the second Wellbutrin pill of the day. This tiredness is still dogging me. The Wellbutrin isn't helping much yet. At least I didn't feel tired on yesterdays hike. Although after the hike I lay in my hammock for an hour reading a book and it felt good to get rest like that. What finally drove me out of the hammock was the sun went away and it got cold!

I'm down to 165 lbs ... YAY. Only 15 more pounds to lose to reach my goal of 150 lbs.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I figured out how to fix up the compile error in my program but now I have a memory leak somewhere and it core dumps at the end of the program. The program actually runs and produces data before it barfs. I need to track down the memory error though as this program is possibly going to be linked to other programs which don't expect it to crash when its done.

I had a good time at Pinnacles on Saturday. I got to the park at 9 a.m. in plenty of time to meet up with my friends. We headed out on the Chalone creek trail heading towards the Balconies caves. It was a pleasant flat two miles or so. Then we hiked through the cave (well climbed a wee bit). I have been through the cave many times so wasn't freaked about it. Others were a little apprehensive but in the end everyone thought the cave was cool. At the end of the cave we found a place to eat lunch in the sun.
While eating lunch we saw a bizzare sight. A fellow hiked up and set his pack down and sat down. Then he pulled cramp-ons out of his pack and proceeded to put them on his boots. We were all amazed. It was 80 degrees out with no ice anywhere in sight! It was very odd. After getting the cramps-on on his boots he put on some old gloves and put on a desert like hat and tied it close around his face. Then he set off climbing up the climber's trail to go who knows where. We lost sight of him when he went around a corner. We decided he was a nut and we hoped he didn't hurt himself and got back safely from where ever he was going.

After lunch most of us headed off for the high peaks (about four turned around and hiked back to camp for a lazy afternoon at camp). We stopped at the ranger station to refill our water bottles before we headed up the Juniper trail. The Juniper was a long uphill trail full of switch backs. I had to set a pretty slow pace but happily had one other woman who also liked to go slow so we hung out in the back. It was a long hot slog. I sweated profusely but also made sure to drink profusely! We finally reached the top with marvelous views of the park. I had some more to eat and while we were up there another hiker pointed out brown smoke rising in the distance. There must have been a fire to the west somewhere. As we hiked over the high peaks ridge the smoke spread a little. We couldn't see the fire and when I got home I didn't hear any news that there was a fire. Hopefully it was a small fire easily controlled.

The last bit of the hike was the matching long downhill to the long uphill we did to get to the high peaks. I was much happier on the downhill portion. My knees held up well and I was glad to have gravity on my side this time! I took a bunch of pictures on this hike to use up the film on my camera so I can see the Clouds Rest pictures I took a couple weeks ago. I hope I got some good pictures. At the end of the hike, I drove back to camp with everyone and hung out around the fire ring (no fire though ... too hot) chatting with my friends. There is something wonderful about hanging out with your friends after a tough hike. At 5 p.m. I said my goodbyes and headed home. It was a good trip!

Sunday was couch potato day. I slept in till 10 a.m. Then I hauled myself out of bed, ate breakfast, and settled down on the couch for a hard day of napping and TV watching! I did have one interuption to this lazy day .... for some reason my lower legs started to itch like the dickens like they did when I was a teenager. I soaked them in lubriderm and that didn't help. So I got some cortison cream. That helped a bit but mostly what helped was climbing in my sleeping bag and getting my legs really really toasty. After an hour the itching finally went away. Thank goodness. It was driving me nuts. I was able to enjoy the rest of the day snoozing and watching TV.

Monday I got to sleep in again, but this time I only slept till 9 a.m. I wasn't quite so lazy on Monday. I emptied the dirt out of these old square wood boxes in my back yard that used to hold plants. The wood was pretty rotten so I threw out the boxes. Then I got my nerve up and raked up the old bee's nest. No bees in sight and I got the old ratty nest safely in a plastic trash bag inside the complex dumpster. So now I have a nice patch of dirt waiting for a plant (Hey Linda ... need more plants!). I finished by cleaning the dirt off of the patio with the hose and watering the plants. My yard looks really rather nice now except maybe for the barren spots of dirt. I also did some grocery shopping on Monday and dropped off my film to be developed. I'll scan in the pictures so folks can view them on the internet. I'll probably only scan the ones that come out nice.

My jaw is a little sore these days. I think I must be clenching my teeth at night when I dream. I have been having a lot of dreams since starting the Wellbutrin and they are often stressfull dreams. I clench my teeth when I'm really concentrating hard or under stress. I followed the advice on the Kaiser web site to get a towel wet with hot water and hold the towel on my jaw. It did feel nice. If the soreness turns to real ouchy pain, I'll talk to the docter about it, but it feels more like a soreness that will get better with time.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Only 20 minutes to my three day weekend!! Today was a bit frustrating at work because the computer I work on was upgraded and that meant the compiler I use was upgraded. My program did not compile with this new compiler. Before it gave me a warning about a line of code but now it gives me an error for that line of code. Boo Hoo. I'm not sure how to fix it yet. I made a few lack lustre attempts. Friday is a bad day to expect me to come up with brilliant solutions. My mind is firmly planted on the weekend. So I shifted to doing the more mundane task manager paper work -- a no brainer job.

I'm trying to psych myself up to go walking after work and get in some exercise. The last two days I have had to overcome the whiner in me that says "I don't wanna go walking ... I wanna lay down and watch TV." I'm still waiting for the Wellbutrin to kick in and hopefully make me less tired but so far it hasn't done much. I was real yawny on my walk last night and I still wake up in the mornings after 8 hours of sleep and feel like I need more. Maybe its not the anti-depressants or some mysterious disease but that I just have a body that needs more than 8 hours of sleep. Maybe I'll go surfing on sleep sites and see what they say about how much sleep a body needs. I hope its not that I just need more than 8 hours of sleep. That means I'll have to go to sleep at 9 p.m. which is pretty early. Either that or get up at 7 a.m. and work from 8 to 5 instead of 7 to 4. I hate working after 4 though. Argh!

Today is national coming out day but so far I haven't come out to anyone. I did post a story of a previous year's coming out on lesbian issues at iVillage. So I recognized the day in some way.

I'm down to 170 lbs now. Maybe being over weight is what made me tired. Just last month I was 179 lbs. Takes a lot of energy to haul around that weight. I want to get back down to 150 lbs and then figure out how to maintain that weight. Emotional eating was my downfall in this last weight gain -- too many pringles potato chips, candy bars, ice cream, and Mountain Dew when I was feeling down. I shouldn't talk about this .... now my mouth is watering!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Dang it. My Open Cascade program is still not working! I'm taking a break from trying to figure out for the umpteenth time why it is not working. I decided to see if I could get Open Cascade installed on my IRIX machine. It would be nice to have a computer running Open Cascade right in my office instead of having to connect remotely to the other computer when I want to work on programs. I can hear the disk rattling away on my IRIX machine as it installs all the necessary files.

My hike to Monument Peak for GLS went well. Dave and I got a nice mix of men and women. Like on the Clouds Rest hike I was the slowest going up hill yet again. I really worked hard to keep my pace fast enough so I could at least see the folks in front of me. As a result I was pretty pooped when I made it to the top. I was not last going down. Dave was last because of his bum knees. It was a hard descent on the knees. My left knee started complaining after a particularly steep section. However it has recovered fast since then and hasn't been sore. I think everyone on the hike had a good time. I got lots of thank you's at the end of the hike. I was just glad to be done with my leading duties for a while. My next lead is on November 16th or November 17th. Don't worry I'll figure out which day before November 15th!

On Friday and Saturday nights I went to watch Stanford Women's volleyball matches. Stanford is ranked 4 in the nation. USC is ranked 1 and just barely beat Stanford on Friday night. It was a long exciting match. UCLA is ranked 13 in the nation I think and they lost to Stanford on Saturday night. This game was not as exciting but it was good to see Stanford win the match. Pac 10 women's volleyball is packed with ranked teams so all the matches are very high quality and fun to watch.

Sunday I finally got a day home to myself. I slept in and in and in and in .... OK, I actually got up at 9:30 a.m. but it felt like it must be noon for the amount of times I rolled over to go back to sleep. I did my laundry. I did my computer chores. I watched some sports on TV. I actually watched football for a little bit but mostly watched a women's golf tournament. I had fun working on the design of my garden some more. I made a curved path out of the blocks that had been used under the old deck. Then I planted the two plants Linda gave me on the borders of the path. The path leads to two bigger blocks that arrive at the hammock. I thought it was cool looking and it was fun to putter around the yard and enjoy the results. I stood there and watered the flowers while admiring my work :-)

I have a mystery in my yard now. I have been keeping an eye on the bee nest (not sure if they are bumble bees or carpenter bees) that was under the shed for when the bees leave it so I can dig it up and use that space. Yesterday I peered out and it looked like the nest had been dug out by someone else. A bee nest looking structure is just sitting on top of the soil. My prime suspect for digging up the nest is Mr. Squirrel. I found lots of nuts strewn about and I see the squirrels all the time. They like my yard. But it could be a neighborhood cat or some other critter. I don't think it was someone of the human species. Now I have to get my nerve up and get that old nest into a bag and dispose of it. I just want to be sure the bees are done with it so I don't get attacked by an angry bumble bees when I pluck it up and throw it in a trash bag.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

I'm feelng good today.Ê I finally got up the nerve to talk to my supervisors at work yesterday about the fact that I didn't make the dilverables set out for me.Ê Turns out they understand why I didn't get them done and told me not to worry about it.Ê No more worry.Ê YAY.Ê I didn't really know how much I was worrying about it till the worry went away.Ê

I'm going hiking after work with Linda at Rancho San Antonio. We'll do the usual PG&E trail loop. I'm hoping we'll be back around 6:00 so I can get home and participate in a computer chat tonight for my depression support list. I'm not sure what attracts me to this chat. Often its pretty boring but I keep coming back so there must be something of value in it for me.

Monday, September 30, 2002

I got back from the annual Yosemite GLS trip yesterday. My body is thrashed but I had a fairly good time. The Clouds Rest hike was pretty tough for me this year. I really was sucking air on the uphills and slowed down to a snail's pace. I was hiking at my top pace most of the hike as I happened to get a speedy group of hikers to lead on this hike. The leader, me, was the slowest of the bunch. The altitude also got to me a little bit and I had a slight headache at the end of the hike.

The weather was fun this hike. We got some sunshine, some clouds, and were hailed upon by these little itty bitty dots, and we got some rain. It made for just awesome views on the top of Clouds Rest but it also caused us to get off the top quickly when we started to hear thunder. Being on the top of a barren piece of rock at 10,000 feet is not a good idea in a thunderstorm! However the storm never did come to Clouds Rest. We did get some awesome views of clouds swirling around Half Dome. I took a picture and I hope it comes out.

After the hike I socialized a bit with the group but by 9 p.m. I couldn't keep my eyes open so went to bed. I slept hard for a good 10 hours. I drove home shortly after I got up as I had lots of chores to get done.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

I'm feeling very blah today and a wee bit depressed. I just want to hide out at home and watch TV and read for a few days, but I don't have the time with work and the GLS Yosemite trip this weekend. I'm way behind on paper work at home and need to buckle down and get it done tonight. Yesterday I finally cleaned the kitchen and the half bath that were pretty darn dirty. I also need to get packed for the Yosemite trip tonight. That shouldn't be too difficult but it will take some time. I need to haul my bag of wood out to the car for the campfires this weekend.

I saw Dr. Shin on Tuesday morning. We talked about the fact that since I started taking prozac I seem to be more tired more often and lately it seemed to be getting worse. On the Loon Lake camping trip hike I just could not stop yawning. He said that most likely the fatigue is a side effect of the prozac medication. He has prescribed me some Wellbutrin to add to the prozac. I take the Wellbutrin twice a day. If it does the trick, he'll reduce or eliminate the prozac. Dr. Shin also ordered blood work for me just to be sure the fatigue is not due to something else. I just want to not be so tired so often.

Monday, September 23, 2002

I lucked out today! I didn't end up preparing all that well for my presentation last night. I only spent about an hour on it and then an hour from 8 to 9 this morning. I would have muddled through more than likely, but the other fellow making a presentation, Russ, went over his time for his presentation and so we had to postpone my presentation till after lunch. But after lunch only Russ was available and not the conference room. So I got to give Russ a private informal presentation in my cube. That went very well and he encouraged me to communicate with Jim from the Open Cascade class who is hard at work doing Open Cascade stuff too and might be able to help me out with the things he is discovering as he works on it. I'm relieved I didn't have to give a more formal presentation. I have that "saved by the bell" feeling!

Sunday I went hiking with my friend Linda at Sanborn County Park. We got there at 10:30 a.m. and started out a day of not very well maintained trails, badly signed trails, and heart pounding hills. We had to do lots of map reading on this trip as there were hardly any signs indicated what trail we were on. We had to look at the map to figure out what junction we ran into and where we needed to go next. On the heart pounding up hill portion, we saw lots of extra trails that folks had made by trying to cut across the switch backs. Grrr, that is not good for the park environment. You should stay on the trails as they were built. There was also lots of poison oak on the sides of the trail. I managed to avoid most of it till we started to come downhill when I brushed a branch of it. Oops ... there came a Tecnu bath for me when I got home. Tecnu is a special soap that is able to wash off the poison oak oil before your skin starts reacting to it. Knock on wood that I got it all off and won't come down with a case of it in a few days! We got a good work out on the hike as it was all uphill then all downhill and it was a hot day so we sweated lots and drank lots of water. It was fun despite the orienteering challenges,the elevation gain, and the hot weather. We had the trail to ourselves most of the way up and saw some nice Redwood groves.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Its been a fairly good day and I'm not as tired as I thought I would be. I went to Wen and Ki's house for dinner last night. Then Wen, Laura, and I popped over to Marcia's house for a hot tub after dinner. I didn't get home till 11:30 p.m. and asleep at midnight and thought for sure I would be yawning my head off today, but I haven't. I have been a little sleepy but not so much that it has been affecting my work. Work seems to be going well today. I did a lot of little cleaning up things to my code and I got the report figures finished for the TPS analysis on an aircraft today. I have to cover for Lily while she is on vacation. I feel as if I really got stuff done today even though I didn't get a whole lot done on my code.

I got the sad news today that my Uncle Ed died yesterday. Only 2 weeks ago was the first we heard that he was sick. He got cancer and it took him fast. It was pretty far advanced when they discovered it. I did not know Uncle Ed very well. I met him about 3 times in my life. He was an odd bird but I will have good memories of him. He loved to ride on trains and go to restaurants and make friends with the waitresses. He spent most of his life working in a print shop. I hope my Mom is OK. It must be hard to have a brother die.

I'm going to my first Stanford Women's Volleyball game for the 2002 season tonight. They play Cal. Sorta weird to get the rival match in right at the start of the season. I'm looking forward to checking out the new freshman players. I am hoping to squeeze in a quick bike ride and shower before the game to get some exercise for today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Woo Hoo. I am down to 174 from 178. Although I'm a bit dubious about having lost 4 pounds in 3 days -- wonder how much of that is just the ubiquitous water weight.

I had a nice weekend. My hike to Henry Cowell went really well. Four women showed up for it and we were all nicely matched in terms of pace and interests. The conversation flowed and we all enjoyed going up and down the ridge and hiking by and through the San Lorenzo river. We had a great lunch stop on Pipeline road with a marvelous view of the river and Santa Cruz in the distance.

Sunday I finally got to sleep in late in my own bed! It had seemed ages since I had done that. It was truly marvelous! Then I happily puttered around at home till it was time to go to the GLS hike leaders barbecue at John's house. The barbecue was pretty mellow. John and Tina S. greeted me with inquiries about whether I knew much about barbecuing. Neither of them had much knowledge. I played expert which I'm not really and instructed John in how many coals to put in the barbecue grill and how much lighter fluid to squirt on (I prefer to use the no lighter fluid method of starting the coals but John didn't have the contraption you need to do that). We got the coals lit OK and barbecued our food. I splurged and had a nice steak but passed on the chips and dips. We talked about past, present, and future trips mostly. We talked a bit about finding folks to serve on the board next year. I continue to resist volunteering to do it myself. Several of us took off at 5ish.

I happily managed to get lots of home stuff done over the weekend and the past two days also. I planted the plants Linda gave me in my garden. I removed the rat skeleton from the dirt exposed when I tore down the shed. I emptied the garden trash into the condo dumpster. I threw the plywood pieces I had saved from the shed floor into the dumpster since Jen said they were not good to burn. I bought two new inner tubes and tires for my bike and got them on the tire rims and then on the bike so I have a working bike again. I finally got the last of the camping gear put away. I moved my old Mac computer from my bedroom to the guest room and shifted the shelf in the guest room to my bedroom as my book collection is growing and I needed more shelf space in there. I stuffed the four inch foam pad that I use to car camp back under the bed in the guest room. Phew.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Yes ... two days in a row Cathy is blogging!

I decided to keep a fitness journal on the web at the web site, So now you can tune in here and tune in there and wonder why I'm not writing anything! OK, OK, I'll try and write more in both places. The fitness journal is to just make me pay attention to what I'm putting in my body, how I'm feeling in general, and what exercise I am doing. The site has other tools I'm using too to help me count calories and see a plot of my weight. I figure I'll weigh myself every 3 days. Day by day is too much for me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

What is this?? An actual blog?? Yes indeed it is.

I spent all last week in Cleveland, Ohio taking a Open Cascade software training course. By Friday my head was too full to accept anymore information but for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I felt I learned quite a lot. I missed being in the bay area with my liberal friends and the more liberal attitude in general here. I'm guessing a few of my classmates were staunch republics. One guy was moaning about Title 9 and how it wasn't fair and he was trying to convince me that not all slum lords are bad after I told him my brother used to work for the city of Cleveland prosecuting slum lords. Rather than argue with him, I just changed the topic to something safter like talking about baseball or football!

This week I have been busy recovering from travel. I have been doing all those pesky chores like unpacking, getting held mail, and grocery shopping. I also had to squeeze in selecting books for Rhoda on Monday. Then on Tuesday I attended the first 15 minutes of a neighborhood watch meeting before I had to run off to my usually therapy at 7:30 p.m. I feel in need of some time after work today to just putter around the house and relax. At least that is the plan!

This week I am concentrating on getting exercise everyday and on eating better and losing some weight. It was no big surprise but I have ballooned back up to nearly 180 lbs. I'm not quite there yet (178 lbs) and hope to stop the train wreck! I'm using the same methods I used before when I lost 30 lbs and got down to 147. Alas, I was hoping not to Yo Yo like this. Maybe this time I'll figure out how to maintain the weight once I lose it.

Monday, August 26, 2002

I'm back from my weekend backpack. It was a nice trip but we were a bit disappointed that the only folks to show up for the trip were the trip leaders. Two participants had to pull out two days before the trip. The third participant just never showed up at the meeting time Friday night. I sat around for 45 minutes waiting for him to show. Not a real fun way to start off a trip. Oh well. He never showed up the entire weekend.

I hit the trail at 6 p.m. and went at my fastest pace for the 3 mile trek to Slate Creek camp. It felt a little daring to be doing it solo. I love solo hiking but I don't do it that often. I got to camp at 7:05 p.m. I took site number 1. It was a nice little site. There were 5 sites at the camp ground. I put my tent up but then decided it was too nice out to be sleeping in the tent so I put my thermarest on the ground and dumped my sleeping bag on top of it. I cooked myself some dinner, cleaned up, and then got in my sleeping bag and read my novel waiting for Wen and Ki to show up. They were due to arrive around 8 or 9 p.m. They got to camp at 8:30 p.m. and were glad to see my light. They decided to skip using their tent too. Later this turned out to be fortuitous as they discovered they forgot their tent poles! After unpacking their sleeping bags we all settled in and chatted for a while and then went to sleep. Our sleep was disturbed a couple times by racoons coming into camp. We had bear cans for our food so the racoons were frustrated by us since they couldn't get at our food. We still yelled at them to scat though two times that night.

Saturday we slept in late. The plan for the day was to just hang around camp and relax all day long. I had planned on leading a hike during the day but Wen's knee was really sore and she got some nasty blisters so she stayed in camp and Ki wanted to stay in camp to keep her company. I didn't want to hike alone so I hung out with them. We had a marvelous time enjoying the redwood forest environment, reading, eating, and talking. We also got to observe day hikers pass through and watch other backpackers arrive at camp. At 1:45 p.m. a big troop of girl scouts arrived. They had a real nice leader who came over to us three times to apologize in advance for the noise the girls might make. They were not that bad and we rather enjoyed their rambunctiousness. Our friend Linda was hiking in that afternoon to hang out with us and we thought stay the night but she arrived with just a day pack as she did not plan to stay the night after all.

However, the high light of the trip was Linda brought a backcountry oven, pizza fixings, and brownie fixings and made us pizza and brownies in the oven! The pizza was great. She brought Boboli bread and lots of cool toppings and we each made put on our favorite toppings and cooked it in the oven. It took a long time for all of us to get our pizzas but we had plenty of time and it turned out just great. We joked that we had pizza delivered to us on a backpack trip! It is probably the best meal I have ever had on a backpacking trip. Linda took off at 6:30 p.m. and the rest of us cleaned up real well in the hopes that the racoons would not visit us so much this night. We crawled in our sleeping bags at 7:00 p.m. as it was getting cold. We all had warm bags and had comfortable nights and enjoyed being out in the fresh air instead of in a tent. We chatted, read a little, and slowly drifted off to sleep.

Alas we had more night time visitors that night. We watched one racoon sniff around our bear cans and leave. Then around midnight, I stirred and saw a racoon right at Ki's feet with something in its mouth. I yelled to Ki to wake up and that the racoon had something of ours. It took her a while to realize that the racoon had her trousers! The racoon started taking off with the trousers but dropped them several feet away. Poor Ki had to get up, put on her boots, and glasses and go fetch the trousers. Fortunately the racoon had not chewed up the trousers in anyway or damaged them. Ki put them under her head for the rest of the night! I believe that coon was our last visiter that night.

I woke up at 7 a.m. and just lay there till nature caused me to get up to visit the potty :-). We had a very slow mellow morning of eating breakfast and packing up. The hike back was fairly quick and uneventful. It was indeed a mellow but fun trip for the weekend. Its just too bad we couldn't have shared it with some beginners!

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Dang it all. I just wrote a nice description of the weird dream I had last night and it all disappeared when I tried to find the "Post" button in the Blogger site. So here goes again ...

I had one of those dreams last night that is going to make me think all day and ponder its meaning. I was in the house in Columbus, Ohio where I grew up. My college chums Andie and Kathy were visiting. They were sitting together on the front porch. I ran up to my room to get some pictures to show them. When I came back downstairs all jazzed to show them to Andie and Kathy either my Mom or my sister told me that they had migraine headaches and implied that I really shouldn't go out on the porch to disturb them. This upset me and I threw the pictures on the floor and flew back to my room and threw myself on the bed and fled my feeling by sleeping basically. My sister and Mother came up to my room to see if I was OK but I was not terribly responsive and just wanted to keep sleeping and not deal with them so they left.

The scene shifted then. I was still in bed trying to sleep and also feeling angry that I couldn't visit Kathy and Andie and yet at the same time understanding that migraines are awful and I should respect that and not try and hang out with them. But now I was in a huge mansion of sorts and there was a big family reunion going on with my parents as the stars of the reunion. People started coming to my room to try and get me to come out and join the reunion. Some came and just hung out but got bored of me so left. A niece of mine was sent in and she almost brought me out of my funk just by being cute and lovable. But I knew that they sent her in to get me to come out so I didn't come out right then. Finally I got tired of folks coming in to try and get me to come out of my room so I got up to escape.

I walked around the mansion. The first place I went was a huge room with pictures of my family all over the place. I saw a nice big one of Bob but never spotted one of me. Before I finished scanning the walls, I had to trot on as folks were finding me again and I wanted to be alone. I ended up in another room set out like a department store and hid in the aisles of the store. Then I decided I needed to go back to my room but I couldn't find the way back. Then the dream ended and I stirred in my sleep and realized it was a dream. Ug. It wasn't a real fun dream.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Woo Hoo ... another backpack trip to describe :-)

Caribou Wilderness Backpack

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

I got up at 4:30 a.m. and had a quick breakfast and was on the road to the Caribou Wilderness by 5:00 a.m. I had a strong cup of coffee before I left. After about two hours of driving I stopped a truck stop area for some more caffeine. I got this soda called Jolt but not the Coke Jolt but a raspberry soda version of it. It woke me up and kept me going. After passing Sacramento on I5 I found a rest stop and took a bathroom break. Then it was off to Red Bluff and a gas stop. At Red Bluff I peeled off on to route 36 to a town called Chester. Shortly after Chester I turned on a small road, road 10. From there I turned onto a dirt road that took me to the Hay Meadow trailhead of the Caribou Wilderness. The wilderness is to the east of Lassen National park. I got to the trailhead at 11:30 a.m. I was to meet W. and K. at noon. They arrived pretty much on the dot at noon. As I waited I had to swat at a few mosquitos.

We got our packs out, locked up the cars, ate some lunch, and we were off at 12:55 p.m. Our packs were heavy with all the food we needed for 5 days of backpacking. I’m guessing my pack weighed about 45 pounds at the beginning. As we started to hike we soon all pulled out our mosquito head nets and applied our insect repellent to exposed skin. The bugs did not dampen our spirits though. We were prepared for them. The trail was nice and flat and passed through Hay Meadow and then went uphill gradually to the Beauty/Long Lake junction. We headed off to Long Lake. We passed Long Lake and had to make one somewhat tricky water crossing or maybe I should say swamp crossing! The actual trail was covered with water so we had to hike a small bit along the water to a long log across it. We all very gingerly made our way across. We all assured each other that if we fell it was no big deal and we would just get a little wet. It would have been only a one foot fall into about knee high water. None of us fell though and we were much relieved. It is hard to balance over logs when you have a heavy pack on. Long Lake was beautiful but a little shallow with a reedy shoreline. After Long Lake we passed two more nameless shallow small lakes. Then we passed South and North Divide lakes. The mosquitos got really bad in this area and we were all tired. It was hitting me hard that I had gotten up at 5 a.m. , driven for 6.5 hours, and then backpacked for 5 miles. The last 3 miles of hiking were the kind where you try not to think about when you will get there and you just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and try to ignore the mosquitos. I almost missed Black Lake but W. pointed it out and said the magic words that the next lake was Turnaround Lake where we were going to set up camp for the first night.

We arrived in camp at 5 p.m. We were too tired to search for a perfect campsite so took an adequate one close by. Its biggest fault was that it was close to swampy lake land and so we had lots of mosquitos to deal with. W. and K. had brought a mesh shelter that you can hang up with rope and handy trees. It was about 5 by 4 feet and about 5 feet high. So you could crawl under it and sit three people on the ground to escape from the mosquitos. We came to call it the mesh palace. We had our dinner in it that night after it was done cooking. Its hard to eat dinner with mosquitos buzzing all around your face. After dinner we escaped to our tents and did some reading and decided that since the next day was a lay over day and we were just going to go on a day hike that we would sleep in as late as we wanted. I was using a tent I borrowed from L. It was nice and roomy with good mesh windows so I could see out but the bugs couldn’t get in! I slept well that night.

Thursday July 4, 2002

We didn’t stir till around 9 a.m. Then we took our time getting breakfast ready and packing our day packs (for all of us the top of our packs can be removed to make a butt pack) for the day hike. We hit the trail for our day hike at 11 a.m. We hiked to Jewel Lake first. It was a gorgeous clear little lake and we found a pile of rocks right at the shore that were perfect for getting into the water for a swim. We stopped and stripped and had a marvelous skinny dip. There were very few mosquitoes there and the swimming was awesome. The water was a bit cold but I grew used to it fairly quickly. K. got in by wading to her knees in the water and then diving. I got in by wading to my knees and then losing my balance and sliding down the slanted rock and plunging in. Oops. W. had brought her pink floaty tube, her name for her pink inner tube. It took her a while to blow it up. By the time she finished K. and I had gotten out to warm up. We enjoyed watching W. float around on her pink tube. Then we had some lunch and headed off to Gem Lake. However we discovered that the trail on W.’s topographic map did not exist so we changed plans and headed to Cowboy Lake. We descended down about 300 feet and saw Cowboy Lake. It wasn’t very impressive. We continued on to Emerald Lake. We had to hike back up those 300 feet to get to it but it was very worth it. Emerald lake was beautiful, better than Jewel lake. We all loved it and we took another skinny dip there. It felt so good to plunge in after that 300 foot climb! We also nicknamed Emerald lake Hypothermia lake. It was much colder than Jewel but still not so cold that it kept us from enjoying the swim. There was a nice stiff cool breeze blowing the whole time and absolutely no mosquitoes. We were just purring at how wonderful it was there. Alas we had to move on. We continued hiking our loop and finally reached Gem Lake. It was an OK lake but most of its shore was covered with reeds or logs and so wasn’t too inviting to swim in but was pretty to look at. Gem Lake was the last lake of the loop. We then continued back to Turnaround Lake. The mosquitoes were fierce again right before Turnaround. We got very accustomed to pulling our mosquito nets down and reapplying the insect repellent on this trip. We came to call reapplying the repellent to “re-deet” in honor of the ingredient in the repellent that really does the most effective job of repelling those bugs. Our day hike ended up being about 7 or 8 miles so we were pretty tired when we got back.

The bugs in camp were bad that night. We started a camp fire, lit a citronella candle, and lit a mosquito coil. The candle and coil didn’t seem to do diddly squat but the smoke from the fire provided some relief. I still escaped to the mesh palace to eat my dinner but W. and K. braved the bugs and sat around the fire and ate. I sat with them but had my mosquito head net on and my rain coat to protect myself from the bugs. I usually ate right before W. and K. because we were sharing one stove. I would get my boiling water to have my instant mashed potatoes and raman noodles. Then as I was eating they would use the stove to cook their dinner. It worked out fairly nice that way. The bugs drove us to our tents early again that night at about 8 p.m. I read my novel some (One True Thing by Anna Quindlan) and then fell asleep fairly early. My tent quickly became my comfort haven away from the mosquitoes. Oh we didn’t think too much about it being the 4th of July but we did notice a party of folks who had ridden to Jewel Lake on horses for a picnic who were dressed up in red, white, and blue cloths!

Friday, July 5

We got up a bit earlier the next day. I believe we were on the trail by 10 a.m. We were breaking camp that day and moving on to camp on Widow Lake. We hiked along the trail next to Turnaround Lake and hiked right past our junction. We realized we had been on the trail too long and should have seen our junction so we backtracked but not far enough. We looked at the topo map and determined that we were going the right way after all. But the trail just led to a steep rocky hill side so we looked at the topo again and determined that we needed to backtrack even further than we thought. We finally found the junction this time. Our hike to Twin Lakes and Triangle Lake was a sort of quiet tired hike. It was hot, the bugs were a pain, we later found out from W. that her knees were killing her and her reaction was to just be very remote and quiet. When we got to Triangle Lake though we stopped to pump some more water through our filter and go for a swim. This rest and swim stop improved our spirits greatly and the breeze blowing across Triangle seemed to keep the bugs away. Triangle Lake was colder than Emerald so we dubbed it Frostbite lake. Triangle Lake was quite big and there were many people there that day. When we skinny dipped we put on a little show for some day hikers. Of course it was me that was standing there naked trying to get the nerve to dive in when the hikers came by. Oh well. I just ignored them and finally got the nerve to dive in. The hikers were greatly amused but not offended. We were not offended either and laughed along with them. The water was too beautiful and clear to for go a swim just for modesty sake!! After a swim we ate lunch and headed off on the last 2 or 3 miles to Widow Lake.

The hike to Widow Lake was hot and dry and a wee bit stressful as we were worried about missing another junction. I led this section of the hike and mostly kept on the right path by following the foot prints of other folks. We passed by a sign telling us we were in Lassen which was good as Widow was supposed to be in Lassen. After what seemed like ages we finally hit the junction we wanted that pointed the way to Widow Lake. We were a bit glum to see the sign saying it was .9 miles away. We were surprised when five or ten minutes later we got to Widow Lake. We couldn’t figure out how it could have been .9 miles. Widow Lake was beautiful but a bit of a disappointment after Jewel and Emerald Lakes the day before. It was a murkier lake and the shoreline was grassy or muddy. No nice rocks to jump off like at Emerald and Jewel. We couldn’t find a very good camp site and ended up camping up the hill from a grassy shoreline. We put up the mesh palace and headed down to try out swimming. The water was warmer but it wasn’t much fun to have to walk through the slimy mud to get to the deep part of the lake. W. and K. were also not happy about the taste of the filtered water from the lake. We finished our swim and headed to the tents for naps as it had been a sort of cranky tiring day. During nap time I heard serious discussion from W. and K.’s tent but I didn’t really pay attention to it much. After naps we had some dinner. W. and K. proposed to me that we not stay at Widow for two nights but head to either Jewel or Emerald Lake the next day. I agreed with this idea as Widow was not very impressive and was full of bugs. I later braved the masses of mosquitos at the lake side after dinner to pump some water. As I sat there pumping there were about 10 to 15 mosquitos hovering around my mosquito head net and I would have to swat them off my hands every once in a while. Even the deet didn’t seem to repel all of them. Anyhow, we were driven to bed early again by the bugs and we decided to get up at 6 a.m. so we could do the hot dusty section of the trail back towards Triangle Lake in the cool of the morning.

Saturday July 6, 2002

We got up at 6 a.m. and I was greeted by K. with the question of had I seen or heard the bear that came to our site last night. I hadn’t. Apparently it came by around 11 p.m. and sniffed at our packs but found nothing of interest in them (we stored our food in bear proof cans and stashed the cans far away from the tents). I guess I was so tired that I slept through the entire visit. I did hear the noisy squirrel earlier in the night. We giggled about that squirrel. It was the noisiest little thing. It must have carried on for 5 minutes. It was in the tree right above my tent. I have a window in the top of my tent so I watched it race here and there and make its funny noise. Any how, we checked out our bear cans and they had not been disturbed at all. We had breakfast and packed up everything and got on the trail by 7:45 a.m.

We found the hike back to Turnaround Lake much easier this time. We knew where we were going for sure. It was cooler. We had a nice stop at Triangle Lake to pump more water and eat a snack. We reached Turnaround Lake at around 11 a.m. I think. We decided at this point that we had enough energy to go to Emerald Lake, our favorite lake! We braved the mosquito row part of the trail and reached Emerald Lake at around 12:30 p.m. We were a little disappointed that we had to share the lake with two other women and they had snagged the good campsite. We found an OK site for our tents. Then we had a delightful afternoon of resting, swimming, napping, and reading by the lake with no mosquitoes bothering us! W. was able to plunge her legs in the water and in effect ice her knees. They were very sore. It was good that she got plenty of rest that day. We said hi to the two other women. They were a Mother and daughter backpacking together. They were impressed that we were all women and had no men with us. We asked them where they had been and they said they had been at Evelyn Lake and really liked it. We cooked dinner on the rocks looking over the lake. It was so pleasant to not have to worry about bugs and be able to cook dinner and eat it without mosquito head nets and re-deeting or lighting a fire. The mosquitoes finally did come out around 8 o’clock. As usual we escaped to the tents. We decided that day that we would backpack to Evelyn Lake the next day and hope the two women were right that it was nice. That way we would have a fairly short hike out the last day of only 2 miles or so.

Sunday July 7, 2002

We were up at 6 a.m. again and on the trail by 8 a.m. Unfortunately there were tons of mosquitoes around that morning. We decided that it was the stiff breeze on the lake all afternoon and most of the evening that had kept them away before. In the morning the water was very still and you could see clouds of mosquitoes in the sun rays! Ug. Oh well. We soon got on the trail and made our way past North and South Divide Lakes and headed to Long Lake. We reached the infamous log and had to traipse over it again. This time we all just flew across. We must have gained our hiking legs over the past few days. After the log crossing we hit the junction to the Posey/Evelyn/Beauty trail. We reached Posey Lake and it was nice but again had a reedy shoreline and didn’t look like pleasant swimming. So we headed on to Evelyn hoping the two women at Emerald were right about it. It turns out they were very right. Evelyn Lake was a deep clear cold lake with a nice camp site with rocks on the shore where you dive right off the rock into about 10 feet deep water. Over on the other side of the lake from camp were more rocks and we had lunch on them while waiting for the campers from the night before to pack up and leave the camp site. We got there at 11 a.m. and the camp site was vacated by noon. We had a nice lunch and swim before we hiked over to the site and set things up. The water was very cold but not so cold that it kept us out of the lake. W. and I had two wonderful swims and K. was in there three times. My, she loved to swim. Swimming on backpacking trips in clean clear lakes is marvelous. Not only is it refreshing and fun but it cleans you up a bit too! It was good to get all that sun screen and deet washed off for just a little bit before you had to reapply it later. We all loved the swimming. The bugs were not too bad at Evelyn either. Some came out in the early evening but not so many that dinner was a pain. We didn’t bother putting up the mesh palace that night. We did head to bed around 8 p.m. We all finished the novels we had brought with us for the trip on that marvelous sunny bug free afternoon at Evelyn. I got in a nice one hour nap too. It was a great way to spend our last full day on the trails.

Monday July 8, 2002

We got up at 7 a.m. and sadly packed up our gear and said goodbye to Evelyn Lake. It was a great place. We were on the trail by 8 a.m. We hiked back to the cars and Hay Meadow Lake and a good pace. I think we were all anxious to get the long drive home started and get some relief from the mosquitoes. We reached the cars at 9:30 a.m. I changed into some clean cloths I had left in the car and we drove on the dirt road and the small paved road to the main route 36. We made a quick pit stop at a rest area to use a real bathroom! That was nice after a week of going in the woods and having to wave mosquitoes away from your butt! Then we drove to a gas station and filled up. We caravanned till just after we got in I5. I signaled for W. and K. to pull into the next rest stop and requested that we ditch the caravan as K. liked to drive at 75 mph and I preferred 70 mph. So we hugged goodbye and went our merry ways. I had a long uneventful drive home with one stop for gas. I had my air conditioning on full blast in the car as it was in the 100’s in the valley and in the 90’s in the bay area. I got home at 4:15 p.m. I had some McDonald’s for dinner. Since then I have unpacked my backpack and done laundry. I’m mostly ready now to head back to work tomorrow. All in all this trip was great. I could have done without the bugs but Jewel, Triangle, Emerald, and Evelyn Lake were so beautiful and the swimming so fun. I also enjoyed spending 5 days with W. and K. They are great friends. We had so much fun together on this trip.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

OK ... so the other meaning to CLOGS besides Cathy's LOGS is that sometimes stuff gets CLOGed in my head and never gets logged. LOL! But here is a description of the Lost Coast backpack trip I just got back from with W. and K.

Lost Coast Backpack Trip report, June 7-11, 2002


I packed up the car and met W. and K. at the park-n-ride lot in Palo Alto. We caravaned to the Lost Coast together. We got stuck in rush hour traffic just after San Francisco. It took forever to get through Marin county and Santa Rosa. After that it was pretty much clear sailing though. We saw lots of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and determined that there was some event going on where Harley owners were driving down the California coast and stopping to camp every so often. We got to our campsite at about 10:30 p.m. It was a site about 4 miles in on a bumpy dirt road. We set up camp in the dark with a howling wind for company. We hit the sack quickly and had an OK night's sleep at camp.


We got up at 8 a.m. and packed up the cars and drove down to Black Sands beach. We left W. and K.'s car there and piled into my car. Then we drove to the Ranger station to get a fire permit to use the backpack stove on the trip. Then we were off to Mattole and the end of Lighthouse road. It was a long twisty drive on back country roads. We finally got to Mattole and the trailhead at 2 p.m. We were finally on the trailhead by around 2:30 p.m. It was very windy but we were hiking with the wind thank goodness! The sun was out bright though and the ocean was beautiful. We hiked mostly on sandy beaches but with some hiking up on bluffs over the beach. We saw a baby seal hanging out in a low tide pool. That was cool. We got to what we thought was our first camp, Cooksie Creek, at 5 p.m. We set up our tents on a semi-flat spot just up the hill from a creek where we got our water. As we settled in we got out our trail description and determined that we were actually a mile and a quarter short of Cooksie Creek. But we liked our campsite well enough and decided to just make Sunday a longer day. We also examined our tide table and determined that we needed to get up at 5 a.m. and be on the trail by 7 a.m. in order to hike the trail before it got covered by high tide the next day. K. cooked us a great tofu scramble for dinner that night. We were both very proud of the rock shelter we built for the stove to keep the wind away. We saw an awesome sun set that night over the Pacific ocean and then headed to bed.


I was up at 5 a.m. and at 5:30 a.m. roused W. and K. We had a cold breakfast and packed up camp. We got on the trail by 6:40 a.m. The hiking was mixed that day. Some was on the beach, some on a nice flat section of coast on a old jeep trail, and some over these nasty boulders on the beach. We made good time though and got past the sections of trail that we needed to during the low tides. This day seemed to be the day of seeing dead things on the beach. We saw a dead sting ray and even grosser a dead sea lion. Ick! We had a nice lunch stop about when we hit the nice flat jeep trail at 10:30 a.m. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. made us ready for lunch a bit early! The weather was very nice and not so windy yet. After lunch we continued on and saw two cabins that folks come to vacation in (not sure how they get supplies to them). We got to Big Creek at noonish and that was our destination for the day. We found a great campsite. Someone had built a drift wood shelter on the beach and had made a nice fire ring and found drift wood for benches. So we had a cushy site with nice soft sand to sleep on. We spent the rest of the day napping, soaking our feet in Big Creek, and reading. It was great. We had dinner at 6 p.m. K. cooked bean burritos for herself and W. I cooked my own dinner of raman noodles that night as I didn't care for beans. I also had some instant mashed potatoes. After dinner we checked out our trail guide again and found that we were in store for another early start. High tide was at 12:42 p.m. and to get past on our route we would have to get to the end of our day by 10:42 a.m. We skipped watching the sunset that night as the wind was just howling and almost blew you over if you came out from behind the drift wood shelter. We went to bed at dusk.


We got up at 5 a.m. and managed to pack up and be on the trail by 6:15 a.m. It was lots of beach walking this day. We kept what we came to call our "tide" pace. A bit faster hiking pace so we would get to the proper places in our route at low tide. We made good time and the weather was awesome: not too cold and not too hot. We saw many sea lions off shore. We also saw some other backpackers just getting up. We came to rather like hiking early in the morning before the afternoon wind kicked up and while the beach was cooler and in the shade. We reached our last camp, Buck Creek, at 9:30 a.m.! We had another long day of kicking back and relaxing ahead of us. There was another party of backpackers in the campsite that we coveted. They said they were leaving so we took off our packs and hung out on the beach waiting for them to depart so we could swoop in on the site. The didn't end up leaving till noon. We ate our lunch and played at building rock sculptures on the beach while we waited. After they left we were a little annoyed as they did not clean up the site. They left an empty bag of cookies and had tried to burn cans and plastic in the fire ring. We put the smelly fire out and shoved the cookie bag in our trash to be carried out. With that done the camp site was nicer. We set up our tents and then spent another lovely afternoon of napping and reading, and soaking sore feet in the creek. In the morning while we were waiting for the campsite we saw a river otter swim in from the ocean and go up Buck creek. That was a great sight. We were really jazzed by that. The afternoon was delightful. It was an extremely pretty camp site and the great wind had finally died down. I had a great nap in the soft sand on the beach with a warm sun beating down on me. I had a good read in my tent too which turned into a second nap! We had dinner and determined that finally we did not have to start hiking at 0 dark hundred the next day. We did however have to get up at 7ish in order to have time for the 5 mile hike, car shuttle, and driving back to the bay area the next day.


We were woken up at 6:30 a.m. but a very surprising sound of a motorcycle driving by camp. This must have been one amazingly skilled motor bike rider and also a rebel that didn't think that the rule of no motorized vehicles on the Lost Coast past Gitchell creek applied to him or her. He or she drove in on a very rough steep down hill trail that ends at Buck Creek. Then he/she zoomed up the beach going north where he/she wasn't supposed to be with a motorized vehicle. I got up shortly there after and went to the beach to confirm that I really had heard a motorcycle. I could see the tracks in the sand. I also confirmed with W. and K. that they heard it to and actually saw it from their tent window. What a bizzare thing to be waken up by on a backpack trip. We had a nice breakfast and headed off to Black Sands beach by 8:30 a.m. This day was all sandy beach walking. It was just beautiful hiking. We managed to get close enough to the ocean to hike on the harder packed sand. We ran into a woman on our way to Black Sands and had a nice conversation with her. She was there to do some mellow backpacking and to mostly hang out and write on the beach and enjoy some solitude. She was glad to see a group of women on the beach and we reassured her not to worry that much about the rattle snakes or bears. We hadn't seen any rattle snakes and only saw bear tracks. The bears never visited our sites. We also reassured her that we hadn't seen any unstable looking icky men on the trail either unless you counted the young dudes that trashed the campsite at Buck Creek but they were heading off into the hills that day not continuing on the beach trail. It was fun to chat with her. After that we soon reached the end of our trip at Black Sands beach. K. hiked up the short hill to get the car and bring it down to where would could load our backpacks into it and not have to carry them up the hill. We stripped off our filthy cloths and put on nice clean ones we had left in the car. Then we packed the car and started off on the long drive back to the start of our trip to fetch my car. We stopped a couple times at stores for munchies. I had a nice cold can of Mountain Dew at the first stop. That tasted so good! We finally reached my car at 3:30 p.m. Then we settled in for the long ride back to the bay area. We did have a nice stop in Willits to check out a restaurant called Organic Fast Food. W. is a vegan vegetarian and this store was made for her. She got a nice fake-steak burrito and a smoothie with some protein powder mixed in. We had stopped earlier at a Subway sandwich place but W. didn't find much that she could eat there. K. and I filled up at the Subway place. After that it was pretty much a dull drive back to the bay area. I got home at 11 p.m. Poor W. and K. had another 45 minutes to go to get to their house in Santa Cruz. I took a long hot shower and then collapsed in bed. Quite a fun but exhausting trip!!