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.