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Back to blogging.
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Ridiculously gorgeous yesterday

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I did it again:
- working full time
- teaching two classes
- on a technical conference committee
- taking an online class
- training for a 60 mile bike ride in April

The silver lining:
- the classes I am teaching are only 16 weeks and the money will help fix up my house.
- the online class is ten weeks and very enjoyable
- the committee work doesn't kick into overdrive until classes are over
- the bike riding may keep me sane

Still - d'oh.
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Felix now roams the Elysian Fields.
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)

For almost 25 years I have been looking for a small secretary desk. Yesterday we stopped off at CostPlus World Market and the desk was found! (I was seeking a small and simple desk and most are ornate.)

First run since Canada today; I was worried that my sloth had set me back but it wasn't too bad:

According to RunKeeper 2.7mi at 12:38 a mile.

I ran a bit further using MapMyRide and it read 2.86mi at 12:04 a mile.

Let's just say 2.78 at 12:21. Silly software.
Later today a brunch.

It was mid afternoon gathering followed by dinner with a friend and her family. Her parents must be in their late 70s or early 80s and were lovely. Someone must have tipped the group off and no one mentioned Father's Day in my presence.

I did miss my father a few times and teared up but was able to compose myself.

The hostess and her family live on 1.5 acres (in the Bay Area!) and have a half acre of wine and a half acre of fruit trees/vegetable beds.

I was sent home with this:

True story!

Nov. 4th, 2013 03:27 pm
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My TSA experience (also shared on book of face)

Stef: hands TSA agent passport.
TSA agent: come on, you're actually 35.
Stef: That is brilliant customer service. You are my new favorite person.
TSA agent. :: wink :: security lane 7 is open and no one is in line.
Stef: :-O

Holy crap. I burned all my travel karma in 10 seconds. Lane 7 had a simple X-Ray and not mm-wave system.


Oct. 14th, 2013 10:27 am
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Was there last week. Details to follow.

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Several of you have a few of these on Facebook but others have not. Pictures from a visit to Goat Rock State (?) Beach in Sonoma County, California, USA.

This is about a twenty minute drive from the shack. Shocked by how close it is (roughly 13 miles.)

Read more... )


Jul. 3rd, 2013 03:04 pm
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
This year, in addition to growing tomatoes, we've planted: Japanese and lemon cucumbers, carrots, pasilla peppers, a ton of herbs, potatoes, various lettuces.

Learned so far:
- Lettuces and peppers are easy.
- Carrots take much longer to grow than I expected. Sensitive to the soil conditions as well.
- Cucumbers get comically large if once ignores the garden.
- Home grown heirloom tomatoes >>> any store bought tomato, ever.
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
On Saturday, GF and I hiked at Harvey Bear Ranch near Gilroy, California.

The set is at Flickr:

(I had put some pic in from Flickr but they aren't loading. Boo. Will be back later to fix.)
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So foul that I am stopping off at the gym instead of working out at home. Not find of the gym on a weekday evening in January but want to burn off this yuck before seeing someone I love.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
Roughly 15 years ago, I held a baby in my arms for hours while visiting my former partner's family in New Jersey for Christmas. A few days before Christmas, a lovely 15 year old young man accompanied me to the Cantor Art Museum at Stanford University ( The child I held in my arm for hours is nearly an adult. He's thoughtful, talented, and kind.

He's grown into a thoughtful young man. At age 10 he lost his father. His mother is a force of nature but the absence is felt.

May I invite you on our visit?

We began with the permanent installations:
- African art
- Rodin drawings and sculptures (we wandered outside to see the Gates of Hell)

Then a brief detour to a multi media presentation (imagine 4 screens of YouTube videos)

Back to some of the permanent installations - Asia and the Americas

Then to the a few exhibits.

The Sino-Japanese wars. Japanese paintings on one wall, Chinese paintings on the opposite wall.
Ink performances. Calligraphy and an artist applying his paint with boxing gloves.

Continue shortly...
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
Several storms went through Northern California. The usual sink holes, land slides, floods occurred along with THE WEATHER NEWS STORIES!! (OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!) My favorite segments included locals along the Russian River that said, "Yeah, it floods almost every year. We're prepared."

Friday was a long day at work followed by a lovely dinner and walking though an outdoor mall as GF searched for shoes (resulting in another "Stef in the husband chair" picture on FB; the previous one was taken at Neiman Marcus in the Armani area.)

Saturday rained steadily as we did chores. Once the skies cleared yesterday, GF and I took Earl and Felix for a walk around Stevens Canyon Reservoir. There were signs of rock slide (and some land slide) on the Tony Look trail with a few narrow places. I reminded GF to not let the dogs pull her down if they slip - with 4 legs they could climb up much more easily than the silly bipeds. Fortunately no footing was lost. There was wild thyme on the trail - with the rain it smelled wonderful. German cuisine for dinner.

Early Sunday morning brought the heaviest rain. Morning coffee and chores were followed by a fun house-warming. A dear friend just bought her first house and it's simply lovely. She's a fellow minimalist so her home feels like a familiar refuge. Add in a homemade brunch and our bellies were as warm as our hearts as we departed. We did some grocery shopping and I snagged five (5!) pairs of dress slacks for work (Jones NY and Calvin Klein) for under 130.00 at Ross. (A friend's dad calls it "Ross CrossDress for Last" which always makes me snicker.)

Tonight, it is the mountain of laundry that calls for folding. Dexter, GF's 16 year old kitty, is in the animal hospital. Keeping fingers crossed that his infection/dehydration are treatable.

Heck, let's add the "husband chair images"
bored me )


Nov. 30th, 2012 09:26 am
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
Yesterday GF and I braved the rain (and resulting bay area traffic) to attend Tosca by the SF Opera. Patricia Racette played Tosca and a young lyric tenor, Brian Jagde, played Cavaradossi.

Here they are from a preview:
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Yesterday I hiked from the fog to an area if sun. This morning I drove from the sunny South Bay to a wall of fog on the Peninsula.

The sun is finally breaking through as I wait for lunch. Sitting in the window to get a bit of radiant heat and mood enhancing photons.

Traffic was very heavy - had to take a known congested route due to an early morning doctor's visit. Turned on the radio and watched the world around me. People frowning on the way to work, the haze from car exhausts mixing with the wispy fog as I drove north.

The metaphor of moving from clear to indistinct seems timely. Post Mrs. E's passing it feels like we now have space to think of what is next. AM is thinking long and hard about career (which took a back seat during her mother's long illness.)

My work is interesting though the bureaucracy is tremendous - easily the bulk of my time. I feel the call of greener pastures but that is habit energy more than anything else. An inner voice tells me to shelter in place an direct my efforts to health. Another voice whispers "practice" and there is the chorus of projects singing for priority in my brain - a plasma textbook, developing a hiking app, a consulting gig.

Seems like busy work. What to do with these days, these hours, these years, one lifetime?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Edited to add: Here's a photo of the commute (in sunshine) click here for urban madness )
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A few snapshots from today's hike. Trying the iPhone app.

Read more...(a cut to not photobomb your page) )

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There were a few more interesting details from my trip to present at a technical conference than my nose injury. I'll fill this in more detail later (or in subsequent posts) but wanted to capture a few bullets.

- GoGo Inflight, the WiFi service used by Virgin American (VX), used to be very reliable. Not at all on both legs of the flight.

- Had dinner with Julie and Reggie at Dave and Busters, sans children. We played games, I was the recipient of a wonderful bear in an orange hoodie, and the three of us managed not to understand the new-fangled photo booth which resulted in a series of images of the three of us staring blandly at the camera.

- Finished my presentation less than twenty-four hours before it was given. Good attendance at the session and several contacts made. Mission accomplished.

- The Westin Providence is lovely and staff very good.

- Rental car was a Ford Fusion. Other than the fact that the previous driver had ruined the alignment (the car pulled strongly to the left) and it smelled like old gym socks, it drove very nicely. Who in the world did the dash design? Ugly, ugly speedometer/tachometer in lovely colors from 1984 and the worst designed radio/satellite/environmental controls I've seen in years.

- The conference was challenging because most of my time was spent with vendors and customers. I am moderately extroverted and it was exhausting.

An example of why - clueless vendor asks repeated questions about my personal life then is offended when I share something personal:

At dinner vendor asks repeated questions about my husband and children. I mention I have a partner. Later, he asks me why I did not join the military despite being heavily recruited in graduate school. I said, "I would not lie and check off the box 'I am not a homosexual.'" He stopped learning forward, sat up stiffly and said, "Why did you feel the need to share that with me." My response - "Why wouldn't I? It's just a part of who I am." He expressed shock and I said, "Oh come on, look at my footwear." He looks confused. Discussion ensues. Tiring.

I recounted this story to my gf who told me "This is why people think Terri Gross on NPR is gay. Those are NPR shoes, not lesbian shoes." HAH!!!! She's so fabulous.

- Flew home a day early. Interesting tidbit - while Logan is hell, VX has its own security at the gate (as do many of the airlines in terminal two.) Saves a good deal of time. Missed an opportunity for another dinner with Julie. This means another East Coast trip is in order soon.
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Cutting and pasting from the Book of Face (ironically)

[stef_tm] is the klutziest person in all of California. I broke my nose SLEEPING ON THE PLANE from BOS to SFO.

What happened: I passed out and slept with my face against my laptop on the tray table. No, I was not drunk.

in a later comment to my friend Jim I said "the sad part is I slept for a half hour. My head would have sheared in half had I slept all 6.5 hours!"

graphic details; warning for the squeamish )

I have a (second) phone appointment with Kaiser at 5:50. I expect to be told to ice and use ibuprofen (which is what they say for everything, save massive bleeding.)
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)
I make Powerpoint presentations.

I haven't been able to post about the content of my work much but since we've now gone public, here is a Q&A I did with an industry magazine. The reporter didn't quite follow what I was saying but journalists can't be expected to know all fields.
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (reboot)
Sunday: Rancho San Antonio. 4.5 mi, elevation gain equivalent to 59 flights of stairs.
Today: Niscene Marks state park, 3 mi, elevation gain equivalent to 47 flights of stairs.

Hamstrings are a bit tight.

For a fun fall project, I have decided to do Project 333 - 33 items of clothing for any 3 month interval. Here is a link:

I fear I may be below this number already, but this will help continue the minimalism. Will be donating the last of my books next week.


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