Ceremony for bike ride fundraiser

My dad passed away earlier this year, and he was chosen to be one of the people named on the jerseys for the fundraiser for cancer research for firefighters.

The bikers will ride down California, stopping at various fire houses along the way.

The riders all had to raise money for the honor of riding with the group. The check will be presented when they finish the ride.

The family was presented with the jersey, framed with dad’s name on it.

One rider was patient while we took photos of the names.

It was a nice ceremony. I am glad we were able to be a part of it.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Earlier this year, I went to see Hamilton. I got emails with advertisements for upcoming plays. One caught my eye as it was described as “Monty Python meets Sherlock Holmes.” My cousin agreed to go with me. My mom did, too.

Mom and I went early and got drinks at Equator coffee and tea. I got an oolong tea and mom got a latte. We met my cousin there. He had a sour cherry soda.

After we finished our drinks, we walked to the theater and settled into our seats. The play started right on time, with the lights on. We were laughing from the first moment. I loved the whole thing, but the ending had so much slapstick, I had a hard time figuring out whodunit. It really didn’t matter, though, since the comedy was the important part.

As I went to stand up, a friend poked her head into our section to say hi. I didn’t know she was going to see the same play. It was nice to see her.

After the play, we went to one of my favorite places, Koja, for a late lunch. I also got a Thai iced tea at the vegan place. All was delicious.

We talked for a long time after, before heading home. The train was late, so we caught a train to bring us closer to home, and called uber. My daughter beat the uber driver there, so I have a cancellation on my uber account. So much for my 5.0 star rating.

We napped before dinner. I hadn’t realized how exhausting laughing that much could be. It was such a fun day.

First day of school

My kids are older, but they are still in school. I didn’t bother with first day of school photos, but the early morning chaos in the house is back.

The dogs got used to the summer schedule. They were not awake enough to figure out that it was time to out at the crack of dawn. They moved very slowly and quietly out the door to the backyard. When they were called back in, Doris seemed to have fallen asleep in the doorway. She just stood there and didn’t want to come back in. Molly was very happy to go back upstairs to go back to sleep, though. Doris eventually followed and didn’t even attempt to harass the cats.

The cats were confused because so many people were awake and not feeding them yet. Once I fed them, they went back to sleep, requesting that the lights be turned off.

I wandered off to work in the wagon, intending to get a package delivered to a friend before work, and putting back the camping gear, and a few other errands after work.

I got everything but a trip to the library done after work. It can wait until tomorrow.

The coolest things to do in the Bay Area

the coolest things to do in each bay area city

The above linked article talks about each Bay Area city and fun things to do in each of them.  I have seen many of them, but there are still many that I haven’t seen.  There are also things that don’t show up on this list.  I’ll always have things to do.

Get your pinball wizard on at the Pacific Pinball Museum
Tiptoe in the tulips (with some caffeine) at Flowerland


Try to commune with the ghost of Black Diamond Mines Regional Park


Marvel at the beauty of Ralston Hall 


Discover Benicia’s military history — and camels


Debate the merits of Pez candy at the Pez Museum 


Explore the endless possibilities at UC Berkeley


Get away from the rat-race at Round Valley Regional Preserve 


Get a donut (or a dozen) from Psycho Donuts


Get vintage at the drive-in movies


Find a bargain at the flea market


Get in the Christmas spirit at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair 


Get everything you need for the drive to Tahoe at Pedrick Produce


Step back into the Wild West at Dublin Heritage Park


Reminisce about bygone decades at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach


Gawk from afar at the creative hub of Pixar


Stock up on summer fruits and veggies at Larry’s Produce


Experience silent film history at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum


Cool off at Gilroy Gardens 


Marvel at the world’s best surfers at Mavericks


Birdwatch at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center


Dine on authentic Filipino food at Cabalen Filipino Cuisine


Get your preferred type of exercise at Lafayette Reservoir 


Enjoy the unique and beautiful Shiva Vishnu Temple


Get back to nature at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve 


See one of the state’s oldest wineries at Testarossa


Learn about John Muir and his work at his stunning mansion 


See the epicenter of social media at Facebook 


See a piece of history — and glimpse the future — at Moffett Field


Watch the planes land at SFO from Bayfront Park 


Get in on the secret and hike to the Tourist Club


Get an amazing view of the bay from Ed Levin Park 


Go fishing at Anderson Lake 


Go wine-tasting, obviously


Splish-splash at the Silliman Family Aquatic Center


Hang out with astronauts at the Space Station Museum


See a Warriors game at Oracle Arena


Rediscover your inner child at Tilden Park


Bring your camera to Mori Point


Uncover the secrets and legends of Stanford University


Embrace your Bay Area beer drinker stereotype at Lagunitas


Rediscover the joy of see-saws at Piedmont Park


Trade $5 toast for classic pastries at BearClaw Bakery and Cafe


Visit the area’s most unexpected theme park 


Picnic by the fountains at City Hill 


Have a fancy high tea at the English Rose Tea Room


Dress up for a show at the Fox Theatre


Fulfill your childhood dream of having a model railroad at the Golden State Model Railroad 


Pack a picnic for the lawn seats at Green Music Center 


Honor great Americans at Golden Gate National Cemetery


Geek out over vintage aircraft at the Hiller Aviation Museum 


Get lost at the Winchester Mystery House 
Relax with a beer at Drake’s Brewing Company


Find your inner peace at the Japanese Garden


Have Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead read stories to your kids


Take a twirl around the rink at Golden Skate


Roam the landscaped grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asis 




Battle the Red Baron with Snoopy at the Charles M. Schulz Museum 


Catch a show at the Mountain Winery 


Step inside Jack London’s world at Jack London State Historic Park 


Hike the iconic Sign Hill


Try some mead at Rabbit’s Food Meadery 


Roam the hills with the cows of Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park 


Introduce a new generation to the Nut Tree 


Feel like you’re on a movie set at Mare Island 


See a play at the Lesher Center for the Arts 


Load up on snacks at Cowgirl Creamery and Toby’s Feed Barn before hitting the beach


Best laid plans

I decided that today would be the day that I finally got to deal with the flat tire on my second car. I am supposed to be driving it weekly, but I didn’t have the money to fix the flat right away, so I let it sit for a while. This morning, I declared it time!

I worked and did a lot of my errands. Then I came home and called AAA at 3:20pm to have them put the donut on the car, so I could take it to be repaired. My daughter was going to follow me in her car, so we could get errands run while the car was being fixed.

The service truck came within 10 minutes. They started to change the tire, but couldn’t find the wheel lock. They called for a tow truck. It would be an hour. Fine. Ten minutes later, AAA dispatch called and told me that they had to move my request to another towing company, and it would arrive within the hour. Fine. I got an automated call telling me that it would be arriving within the hour. Fine.

I looked online and found that the tow truck was due to arrive at 5:12pm. Ok. Great. The tire place closes at 6. Barely time, but ok. Suddenly the website tells me that the tow truck had arrived, at 5:00. I went outside. No tow truck. I called again, and finally got a person to talk to me. She could see my call, but it wasn’t making sense to her. She put me on hold and checked with dispatch. My call had been forwarded to 6 different towing companies, and no one had a flatbed tow truck available! I explained to her about the tire place closing shortly, and that we weren’t going to make it. I wasn’t going to do a key drop off. She told me to call back tomorrow, and gave me a case number so that it wouldn’t count as a call, because I didn’t get service.

I was a giant stress ball by this point. My daughter and her friend tossed me in the car and we did our errands. We ended up at the mall. My daughter told me “Go play with the turtles, Mom.” I didn’t, but I stopped to take a photo of them.

The next morning, I was venting about all of this to a friend who asked why I didn’t just throw fix a flat in it and drive it to the tire place. Well, duh. I ran to the auto part store and while I was there, I asked about the wheel locks. They had them!

I went off to work, and came home and got the car going. I drove it to the tire place and they took one look. Wrong wheel locks. Sigh. Good news, though – one of the mechanics had the right tool to get them off. He showed it to me, and I took a photo and got the measurement. I could pick up the tool at the auto parts store, in theory.

I left the car there and walked the mall and got lunch while I waited. It wasn’t quite ready when I arrived. I only had to wait a few minutes until it was done. Great!

Since I had the car out, I stopped to put gas into it, and washed the windshield. I went back to the auto part store and returned the stuff I didn’t need. I asked about the tool. Nope. I’d have to go to a store that actually carries tools. No biggie. I can do that, but not urgently.

I got home and found a parking spot on the right side of the street for street cleaning. It was a better day than the day before. Always an adventure with me, though.

The return of the little free library

Many months ago, the little free library I used to use regularly just disappeared! Well, it got blown over in a storm. It was also in the front yard of a house that was recently sold. The new owner didn’t seem to want it there. Oh well.

Today, on my drive from the gym to work, I saw that there is a new one, a block away. I told my co-worker about it and she told me where another one is. I’ll have to find that one later.

I stopped at the one I’d seen on the way to work. I grabbed two books from the giveaway bag of books that’s been in my backseat for months. I put them in the library and checked to see what was there. All children’s books. Well, I hope that changes soon.

I hope that the other one isn’t just children’s. I hope that the one on the way home from work eventually has more books for the older crowd, too.

New podcast

When I don’t have an audiobook going in the car, I’ll go for a podcast. I had a new one fall into my lap last week. Its host is a woman who lost 100 pounds twelve years ago, making small changes.

Her main advice is to not start anything that you aren’t prepared to keep up for your entire life. And next is to not do anything big that is a quick fix.

My first week, I was away, so I wasn’t fully ready to start anything. I decided to go for 64 ounces of water a day. I actually managed it and more. I got through the running to the bathroom to pee all day while I was on vacation and it didn’t really matter if I wandered off. I kept it up. I am no longer running off as frequently, since my body seems to have adjusted.

Sunday night, I packed all my stuff for an early morning swim, followed by work. I got my lunch ready to bring with me.

I weighed myself this morning. I will be continuing that on Mondays.

Today, I got up early. I put on my swimsuit and cover-up, grabbed my bag and headed to the gym. I got in the pool and told myself to not do the full distance. When I got halfway through, I told myself to just do a little more. Then, suddenly, I had just one lap to go! I did it! I went into the hot tub after the swim. I had to get out when the guy in his tidy whities got in. Nope. Didn’t want to see that getting out of the water.

I showered, dressed, and went to work, drinking my water along the way. I found that they moved the little free library a block away! I chose a healthier breakfast than I normally would. I got my coffee and settled into a work schedule.

Close to lunch time, I realized I left my lunch at home in the fridge. Thankfully, we were off early and I wouldn’t starve on the way home.

I went to drop some of the books from my car into the little free library, went to the post office and ATM. I picked up a hold from the library and went home to eat my lunch. I napped and then went to the grocery store.

When I got home, I took out the garbage cans. I had forgotten that I was going to take a kid to get snacks at the grocery store, so I sent them back to the store with my debit card.

I got my stuff ready for a trip to the pool again tomorrow. Is this something I can keep up for the rest of my life? I sure hope so.