"There are other such stories: the collector who risked his life going into a guerrilla-held area in Colombia to get a cycad; the collector who flew cross-country to buy a single plant; the collectors who spend every weekend on plant-buying excursions, forsaking all else, including wives and kids. There are stories of extreme collectors, men who go after the ''world list'' of known cycad species. For the die-hard enthusiast, the tame hobby of plant collecting has become an obsession. For some, it is almost an addiction -- ''the green needle,'' as one collector has called it. And, like other addictions, it fuels crime. The rare cycads that these collectors so badly want cannot be legally obtained." Link


Parisian sourdough bread bakery closes.

"French bread with cracked crab produced a meal that, when washed down with California Chardonnay, was said to be the quintessential San Francisco dish." Link.

My grandmother liked Parisian, but I don't know anyone who buys it now.

Still, it's a little sad.


More Grandpa stuff

What's this?


It's a surgery pack.


From 1917!


He wasn't born until a year later, so maybe he picked it up from the discard pile at some hospital he worked at.

Must be an orhopaedic surgery pack. Look at that saw!

detail one

Lots of clamps and cutting tools.

detail two



And some vintage silk ligature for sutures.


Previous Grandpa stuff.

More grandma stuff.

A thank you gift my grandmother got when she opened an account at the local Savings and Loan.

S&L thank you gift

I found it her bathroom cabinet where she put it, what, 40 years ago? According to the boxtop, the phone number for her branch was "Emerson 8-2953".

What's inside?

S&L thank you gift--what's inside?
All the fog and low clouds are bringing me down. Soggy Augusts don't usually bother me, but I'm afraid we're going to slide into winter this year without an Indian summer reprieve.


That won't happen, right?

"San Francisco is ground zero for the summer fog, which some people think is worse this year than ever. On Wednesday, San Francisco was colder than Anchorage, Alaska. San Francisco had a low of 52 at sunrise, three degrees colder than the Alaskan city.

What residents know for sure is that the San Francisco Bay Area has three seasons: winter, summer and fog. And summer is just around the corner. On the coast, summer comes in the fall."


16-year-old cancer survivor crawls out from under bed, contemplates a break for the roof garden.

kitty at the window


"Sex and death: two things that come once in a lifetime. But at least after death you're not nauseous." Link.

View from 16 feet up

At the end of Phase I.

view from deck of phase one

This is how I spent two weekends in July. Doing all that in my backyard. I wish I took a picture before I started, but it looked so boring, the idea didn't occur to me. Imagine a soggy lawn & you've got it. The lawn grew from sod and removing it was a horror show. That green plastic support the sod grows in takes hours to get up. And under it all...tons of garbage. Broken glass, boards, rusty unidentified metal, fiberglass, plastic sheets. Too gross.

Onward and upward. Phase II comes next. That includes putting in a Princess Plant in a sawed-off barrel and a swing chair on a gravel bed there at the end of the cobblestone path. I see five phases before I'm done. It's a small yard, but I have a lot in mind.

That red hanging plant in the lower left is a rhipsalis I ordered from Tropical Gardens of Maui Dot Com. I ordered it Sunday night and it was on my desk in California Tuesday morning. Very nice.


Towing cars in California

Vital information for car owners in urban California.

Power to the people!
I showed this picture to a friend at work and she got excited by the gnome.


Here's where I got it.