Friday, August 29, 2003

Its been a nice week for the most part. CCC and I have been hanging out almost everyday. Wednesday we cooked our left over camp food for dinner and then last night we ate the last of the left over food. We had cheese tortellini with pesto sauce on it, corn on the cob, fruit salad, and mixed vegetables {with no evil mushy beans which I dislike ;-) }. We meant to have ice cream for dessert but we left it at CCC's house and we were eating at my house. Ah, but tonight we're eating at CCC's place and so will get that ice cream I imagine. After dinner we are going to go for a walk. I'm going to suggest we walk all the way to the dam at the Charleston Slough and back to burn off some of the much fat we ate the last two nights. We watched the video Songcatcher last night. I really enjoyed it. It even had a little lesbian content. I enjoyed the singing of the mountain people in Appalachia. This is a good movie to rent if you're looking for one.

I gave in to my desire to buy a DVD player to hook up to my TV. I bought it on the internet. It should arrive around Sept. 3. I was getting tired of watching DVD's on my little laptop screen and was too lazy to figure out how to hook up my lap top to the TV.

My kitchen sink drain is partly plugged. The water drains very slowly. If I leave the water on, its flow is faster than the drain flow so the water would overflow the sink. Fortunately I haven't done that! Its annoying so I expect soon I'll get a plumber to come in and fix it.

For once I'm staying home for a labor day weekend. I'm hoping to catch up on sleep. I may be able to sleep in tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday. That would be marvelous. Although I'm willing to get up a little earlier if CCC and I decide to go hiking or make a day trip somewhere. The U.S. Open tennis tournament is on TV this weekend. I might tune in to watch some of it.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I took a day off on Friday and CCC and I rented a red Mustang convertible and drove it through the Sierra's to Buckeye campground near Bridgeport, CA. It was a beautiful drive (after we got through the Sacramento valley part). We got there at 4 p.m. and spent some time trying to find where W. got a campsite. Turns out we were the first to arrive so we picked out a couple sites and left a note on the camp bulletin board as to where the campsites were. W. found us at 5 p.m. and let us know that it would be only 6 of us on the campout and that the remaining 3 were going to be arriving late that night.

We cooked our dinner and enjoyed chatting with W. and admiring the stars. We saw Mars. We went to bed at 9ish. While we were sleeping the other 3 arrived. We all slept in on Saturday. We ate breakfast and then headed to the Buckeye hot springs a mile down the road. We hung out at the hot springs for several hours. K1 and K2 left to go take a look at Mono Lake and do some shopping. CCC and I decided to walk back to the campground. W and K3 stayed at the hot springs for some one on one time. CCC and I had a nice walk back and then napped in our tent for an hour or so. We were being baked in our tent and decided to get up and walk down the hill to the Buckeye creek. While I soaked my feet in the cold water, CCC wandered around exploring the creek near where I plopped down. I had wacked my toe against a rock getting into one of the natural hot spring tubs ... ouch ... it was all swollen so I figured giving it a good soak in cold water would be helpful. We stayed about an hour and then headed back to camp to get our contribution to the evenings pot luck ready.

We supplied crackers and cheese (Brie and Blue Cheese), a bottle of wine, and a bowl of Strawberries. The other contributions were an excellent squash soup and a tossed salad. After cleaning up after dinner, K2 started a fire. W and K3 got out their drums and did some drumming for us. Then everyone got in a silly mood and started belting out all sorts of tunes. It was very fun. W then played her big drum and just kept going with a single beat. It made us all very sleepy so we put the fire out and headed to our tents.

Sunday morning we got up around 8:30 a.m. for a pancake breakfast. K3 brought buttermilk pancake mix and made pancakes for us that morning. I love pancakes and I had about 5 of them. Yummy. After cleaning up breakfast most folks started in on packing up camp and getting ready for the long drive home. CCC wanted to clean off in the creek so she went off with towel in hand. Meanwhile I packed most of our stuff into the Mustang. When I was ready to go I yelled at CCC to come up. She had missed saying goodbye to the others so I gave her a hug for each person she missed.

We finished packing the car and were on the road around noon. We had the top down and enjoyed the views and the sun shine as we drove home. We stopped at Pinecrest at the Steam Donkey restaurant for a late lunch at 3:30 p.m. We both had the chicken club sandwich. After lunch we pretty much drove right home except for a couple of gas stops or restroom stops. We got home at 7:30 p.m. It didn't take long to unpack the car. Then CCC and I parted company and went to our separate abodes to take showers and get some sleep! It was a long tiring drive.

It felt good to sleep in a soft bed last night. I didn't want to get up at 6 a.m. this morning. Tonight CCC and I are going to go walking probably at Shoreline park.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I'm taking a spam shower today. My Yahoo account is being peppered with those darn virus email messages. My delete key finger is getting tired. I'll be glad when this virus dies out. Ames Research Center has done a great job of filtering the messages so I'm not getting any on my work account.

I went to a Giants baseball game last night with CCC and my brother's family. The Giants beat the Braves 2-1. We had seats way up high in the nose bleed section. There was a great view of the bay bridge from our seats and we also had a nice view of the harbor right next to the stadium. CCC made a sketch of the bridge while sitting in her seat at the game. We got some of those yummy garlic fries to munch on later in the game because someone had bought them but didn't want them. CCC and I scarfed up most of them. We were game to play scavenger!

After the game as we walked back to the car I stepped on dog poop. When we got in the car, A. noticed right away the bad smell and that led me to discover the poop on my shoes. I did my best to wipe it all off with some toilet paper but it still made the car smell bad on the drive home. When we got to my brother's house, I left my shoes outside and went in to wash my hands. Then I went outside and borrowed a brush and the hose to clean off my shoes some more. I got most of the poop off this time. Although this a.m. I could still smell poop on them and discovered some stubborn poop in the small grooves of my sole. I believe I got all of it out this morning. I decided to wear different shoes to work today to be on the safe side.

This past Saturday CCC and I showed up for the GLS hike I was leading to Portola State Park (Peters Creek Loop). We were the only ones to show up but we did the hike anyways. It was a beautiful day. We saw very cool spider webs, two snakes, a lizard, and lots of poison oak on this hike. After the hike we decided to drive to Pescardero to have dinner at Duartes. I had some fish and chips and a cheese cake for dessert. CCC had some salmon and a olallie-berry pie for dessert. I tried her pie and found I didn't care for it. After dinner we drove back to my place and CCC offered to give me a shoulder massage. My shoulders had been aching on the hike from the heavy pack I was carrying (I was carrying extra water). The massage was wonderful and extended beyond my shoulders :-) It was a nice way to end a day with CCC.

Sunday CCC and I went to the GLS picnic at Sanborn. There was a fair turn out of people. The food was typical barbecue fare. The cool part of the picnic was the chocolate tasting. A baker gave a talk on the chocolate he makes (scharfenberger chocolate) and gave us three different samples to taste. It was delicious. After the picnic ended around 4 p.m., CCC and I went to my place and parted to eat dinner (I think) and then got back together to rent a video and watch it that night. We watched Go Fish. It was my second viewing and I had the same reaction that it was a good story but there was too much jumping around to different locales and scenes for me. After the movie CCC headed home and I went off to bed.

Monday we couldn't resist it and CCC and I got together again. We took a long walk to and in Shoreline park. We saw lots of Pelicans near the bay. We walked the last bit of the walk in the dark. We took quite a long walk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Well ... geez ... two therapy cancellations in a row which means four weeks without therapy. Instead I had hardware therapy. I popped over to the Orchard Supply Hardware from my therapist's deserted office and wandered about looking at all the cool gadgets. I ended up buying a foot stool for my kitchen, a rubber mat to put my little fridge on in the upstairs bedroom (if only the fridge would walk up the stairs for me), and this cool free standing thermometer/rain gauge. The thermometer and rain gauge are attached to a black metal pole with a point on one end. You pound the pointy part of the pole into the dirt till its solid and you have the height you want. I put it next to the cement patio corner in my backyard. Its big enough that I can read the temperature from inside the house.

Brain fart -- Hmmm ... another alternate therapy: hot tub therapy at Watercourse Way in Palo Alto. Maybe next time.

Monday, August 11, 2003

My weekend was fun. Friday night CCC and I walked to downtown Mountain View and had dinner at an Italian restaurant. I like walking to a restaurant -- you get to burn off a small percentage of the food you eat at the restaurant on the walk home.

Saturday I went geocaching with OAW. The usual crowd that has been showing up for geocaching was there. CCC and I got lost twice on the way to Briones park. The first oopsy was taking 580 East instead of 580 west to Oakland. I had to stop by P.'s house in Oakland to give her back her boots that she left in my car way back in early June. I realized I was heading the wrong direction when I saw signs for 680. So I got off the freeway and on it again in the opposite direction. The boots were safely deposited at P.'s home then we headed to 24 to get to Briones. We looked for the Happy Valley exit but it never appeared and what do you know, we ran into 680 again. We did another turn around and on the way back saw an Upper Happy Valley exit and took it. We finally got to the park at 10:50 about 50 minutes late. However the gang was still waiting for us as it turned out that almost everyone but our intrepid leader, S., was late.

The geocaching was fun. The second cache we found was hilarious. We spent ages wandering around looking for it. Finally CCC spotted an unusual looking cow pie which she thought might be the disguised cache, but she didn't want to pick it up to find out. So yours truly braved picking up a real cow pie to see if it was fake. It was fake. It was a very good plastic replica of a cow pie glued on top of a gallon container that was buried in the ground. I also got a vast amount of burrs in my socks and shoe laces while looking for this cache:

The rest of the caches were more typical. At one cache we left CCC behind to finish her sketching and when she came to find us she took a wrong turn and hiked quite a ways on the wrong trail. We got back to the trail and I was really worried when I couldn't find her. I ran up the hill to see if she walked up it and to get a view of the trails. No sign of her when I got to the top, but on the way down she popped around the corner much to my relief. We found one last cache and then headed back to the cars. We stopped at a group camp to drink some water. We were all quite thirsty especially SL's dog and SH's dog. It was good to find this camp and refill on water.

We went out to dinner in Orinda after the geocaching. We ate at a Greek restaurant. I had a gyro and Greek fries and a coke. It was an excellent gyro. The fries were only Greek in that some kind of Greek spice was sprinkled on them. Otherwise they seemed incredibly like French Fries or should I say Freedom Fries. For desert we walked down the street to an ice cream store. I had a single scoop cone of Almond Mocha Fudge ice cream. It was very yummy and a nice way to end the geocaching trip.

Sunday I got to sleep in. I went to bed at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night and got up at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Hurray ... 12 hours of sleep in my comfy bed. I had breakfast for lunch and then headed to CCC's house. We drove over to Stanford to look at the New Guinea Sculpture Garden. It was a very relaxing afternoon and I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. I sometimes get bored looking at art but with CCC, an artist, along it seemed more interesting. We also had fun making funny comments about the sculptures.

Sunday night I spent by myself cleaning house and watching TV. It was good to get my place cleaned up a bit. The floor was still strewn with backpacking equipment from last weekend.

Friday, August 08, 2003

I did laundry last night. One of the items to be washed was the underwear I dried out over the camp fire on the backpack trip. My oh my did it stink of smoke as did my nice fleece jacket. The wash cured the jacket of the smell but the smoke smell still lingered on the underwear. At least it was much less strong than before. Hopefully one more wash will banish the smokey smell all together.

Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy! Need coffee. Need coffee. Need coffee. Need coffee. Need coffee!

CCC and I are going to do something tonight but we are not sure what. Tomorrow we're going to S.'s OAW geocaching hike.

If anyone needs an acronym guide, let me know. I'm almost as bad as NASA is with acronyms.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Caribou Pictures in Caribou2003 album

The Lassen National Forest Caribou Wilderness backpack trip was fun despite one full day of rain. The trip turned into a base camp backpack. We hiked 2.5 miles or so to Emerald Lake on Friday. We set up camp with a blue sky and sun. We had a swim in the lake, ate dinner, and headed to bed around 9ish. CCC and I planned to sleep outside rather than in our tent but after 20 minutes it started to sprinkle on us so we moved into our tent. Soon the rain was coming down hard. It rained steadily all night. We woke up to a steady rain and a puddle under our tent and the decision from our leader W that we would not backpack to Triangle lake today because of all the rain.

First thing that morning we spent a good two hours or so putting up tarps to give us shelter from the rain for cooking etc. Three women on the trip decided to hike back to the cars that day and bail on the rest of the trip. 8 of us stayed. CCC and I took a walk in the rain while the 3 women were being hiked back to the cars. It was a gentle rain on the walk. We headed towards Rim Lake but never got there. We turned around before we found the lake to head back to camp. The rain finally started to let up a bit by dinner time. We had a nice dinner under the tarps. K. managed to get a fire lit that night with the few bits of dry wood we were able to scrounge up from the woods. That was one of the best camp fires I have ever stood around. We were all a bit chilled and it was so warm to sit around that fire. When we headed to bed that night it wasn't too rainy.

When we woke up the next day the sun was out and the skies were mostly clear. CCC, K., and I took a morning skinny dip in the lake before breakfast. If the weather was nice our leader, W., said we were going to backpack to Triangle lake, but W.'s plan was voted down with the alternate plan of staying at Emerald Lake a third night and doing a day hike to Triangle Lake that day. We had a marvelous day hike. Big puffy white clouds rolled in and out all day long. We got sprinkled on a tiny bit at lunch. We swam at Triangle lake at lunch. It was cold but fun. On the way back to camp we lost the trail and had to bush wack part of the way to Cowboy lake until we found the trail again. We climbed over lots of downed trees. We finally got back to Emerald Lake at 6:30 p.m. Most of us went for a dip in the lake again. We had another roaring campfire that night.

The next day we were hiking back to the cars. The day dawned to another day of big puffy clouds sprinkled in the sunny blue sky. We were all done with morning dips, breakfast, and packing up by 11 a.m. and had a very mellow backpack to the cars. In all we only backpacked about 5 miles but we day hiked about 12 miles and endured the day of relentless rain. It was a fun trip despite the rainy day. The drive home was nice. We didn't run into any traffic at all -- just zoomed right back to the bay area with no problems.