May 5th, 2003



As I was driving in to work this morning, it was lightly drizzling. There is a small pond (my sister calls it a cesspool) near my office-building, which is a sometime home to a few geese. As I rounded the corner and drove past the pond, I saw a goose standing by the side of the road. It was standing stock still, staring majestically off into the distance.

Now I know that's an odd choice of adjective, and I have not in the past thought of the goose as a nobel animal. But something in its stillness... in the straightness of its stance... in the intensity of its gaze... it caught my attention and my approval. It stared ahead and beyond my car. I smiled thoughtfully, and I turned my eyes back to the road.

Flying directly at my car was a second goose. I think it must have been as distracted as I, because it back-winged with what distinctly struck me as a startled expression. There was a great flapping of wings and wobbling as it leaned backwards and tried to get enough height to go over my car. I ducked reflexively. Through my windshield I saw the underside of a flying goose in much more detail than I ever had before. Its tail-feathers and wings were spread wide, and its feet dangled uselessly as it managed to get just enough lift to swing them over the top of my car.

I drove away from the two geese, reflecting that now I probably knew what the first goose had been watching for, its mate, and feeling relieved that all three of us came out of the experience unscathed.

(no subject)

A few quotes from the weekend that I don't want to forget....(approximate, from memory)

"You're the most beautiful woman I've had this long of a conversation with in the past...[looks at watch]...year." -RL

"Publishers assume that any book with a child as the main character is a children's book. They came to this conclusion when they saw how many whales purchased Moby Dick." -Terry Prachett

"I suppose I could do a 'full frontal nudity' comic featuring Bun Bun, standing straight up....but you know, even that is a scary thought." -Pete Abrams

San Francisco Trip Log, Part 5 of 5, Friday and Saturday

Friday, 4-18-2003
  • Friday began with an early tour of the Verisign data center (C's last work-task).  It was interesting, very Mission Impossible.
  • As we entered I walked past a bush, and I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye.  My first thought was, "What a huge bug!"  It looked like a giant dragonfly or something.  A second look, and I realized it was a hummingbird, hovering over the leaves!  I've never seen one outside of the zoo before.  Pretty cool.
  • Try not to get distracted by the surfboard's phallic nature!After the tour, we drove down the coast.  We stopped in Santa Cruz, where we found a cool sock store.  I would have bought tons of cute socks, except they were rather pricey.  I settled on just one pair with giraffe heads on them.
  • Walking along the beach there, we watched surfers and kayakers on the ocean.  We also saw a monument to surfers!  "To those who caught their last wave," I believe the inscription read.  Or maybe I saw that elsewhere...I don't remember for sure.
  • For lunch there was a local coffee, a caramel bun, and a Jack-in-the-Box burger on C's recommendation.
  • Eventually we made it to our destination: Monterey.  Our plan had been to visit the famous aquarium.  When we first arrived though, the place was full of tourists, cars, and lines, and we found ourselves losing interest in the fishies.  Instead, we went to the beach and strolled on the sand.
  • We had made a reservation for theMunras Lodge, so we went there next.  When we mentioned the aquarium, the proprietor said that he could sell us discounted tickets which would allow us to use the "group" entrance and avoid the long line.  They were also good for two days.  So we decided to visit the aquarium after all.
  • It was a fun place, so I'm glad we made it!  Their jellyfish exhibit is really amazing.  They also have some huge displays, with sea otters, giant squid, tuna fish (and not in cans!), and all kinds of weird creatures.  It was definitely a neat place.
  • Leaving the aquarium, we strolled around downtown Monterey for awhile.  Lots of cute little shops, the usual touristy stuff.  More socks.  We went to a Cajun-themed restaurant called Crawdaddies for dinner.  Now, while driving to Monterey, we had noticed many artichoke farms.  So we made sure to eat at a place that served up local steamed was wonderful! Tender, tangy, and delicious. We also had a tasty seafood cioppino, filled with shrimp, crawfish, clams, and lobster.
  • Our hotel had an in-room gas fireplace, plus a public jacuzzi.  We made good use of both, and our last night in California was peaceful and lovely.
I must confess I was drawn, I was drawn, to the ocean...

Scary but beautiful.Not that's not a real clam.  But those are the new shoes!
Saturday, 04-19-2003

  • The next morning it was, alas, time to head for the airport.  We packed up our stuff and checked out.
  • We drove up the coast at first, then took a scenic drive over the top of Mt Madonna, which was very beautiful.  We even saw some redwoods there, I think. ("I wouldn't know a redwood if it fell on me," I admitted to C...I just know they are very big. And presumably red.) Regardless, it was a very pretty road.
  • On the other side of the mountain was Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World.  Seeing how we began our vacation with garlic, it seemed a fitting way to end it.  We sampled and purchased some garlic peanut brittle.
  • We stopped just outside of Oakland in San Leandro for a delicious Korean lunch, then we caught our flight home (first buying some See's chocolate in the airport) and back to reality.  
  • (Oh, and the cool shoes I keep harping on about? I'm wearing them in the clam-picture above. Nifty, eh?)

The End.