"As I mentioned a while back, I'm in Mexico now with Michelle's family.LINK.
The views are nice.
And the house is absurdly opulent.
I do have one complaint, however.
Our bedroom decorations include the following... "
"More than food-scroungers, though, [German] IKEA workers fear lazy parents. Around 150 three- to 10-year-olds are deposited daily at the Hamburg-Schnelsen store's play area -- a complimentary offer to allow mom and dad to wander in peace through the showrooms. But many people misuse the service as a free babysitting service." Link.
Fifteen months after Mount St. Helens reawakened, the volcano is continuing to release massive amounts of lava in an unusual geologic display that in some respects confounds scientists.
Roughly every three seconds, a large dump truck load's worth of lava — 10 cubic yards — oozes into the mountain's crater. And with the sticky molten rock comes a steady drumfire of small earthquakes.
The unremitting, monthslong pace is not common, said U.S. Geological Survey geologist Dave Sherrod. Experts say it is unclear what the activity signifies or how long it will continue.
A Board of Supervisors committee approved legislation Monday that would give city officials wider powers to protect large trees in San Francisco, including those on private property.Link.
After landmark status is granted for a tree, it could not be removed without a public hearing and approval from the Department of Public Works. Cutting down a landmark tree without permission could bring a fine as high as $1,000 and a requirement to pay for replacement of the tree.
But over in Oakland:
Take a stroll around the lake and you'll find red-tagged trees everywhere you look. Some of them are coming down because they are dead or dying; others are so old and heavy they've become a safety risk; still others have to go to make way for widened and improved paths and jogways. But others seem to have been condemned for entirely arbitrary reasons. And we're not mollified by the city's plan to plant more trees than it cuts down: We know the difference between a tree that's stood for sixty or more years and a sapling that will need to be held up by wooden poles for its first five years.Link.
Currently, the biggest house on Santa Clara County's tax rolls is 19,951 square feet.
``When is it enough?'' said resident Robin Robison. ``We've seen it inch up: 20, 25, 30'' thousand square feet.
More generous than several affluent towns, Los Altos Hills allows people to develop 6,000 square feet for every flat acre of land. A 12,000-square-foot home could fit on two acres, 18,000 on three acres and so on. Woodside, Los Gatos and Palo Alto generally cap main residences at 6,000 square feet no matter how large the lot.
This recipe in the November Sunset looks tasty. (I love Sunset.) It's a chorizo cornbread stuffing with butternut squash.
My honey's a vegetarian, so I'm substituting Boca vegetarian sausage for chorizo:
Here's the cornbread, a-baking:
Here's the butternut squash (cooked in hot water w/ brown sugar):
Cilantro and sage:
And my favorite part--mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion, and fennel head cooked together with butter:
And here is everything but the cornbread all mixed together:
When the cornbread finished, I broke it in to cubes and dropped them into a mixture of vegetable broth and two beaten eggs. Then I combined everything and put it in the oven to bake.
"They've met the transvestites and transsexuals, sat with them on bright drapes and cushions, and heard about sex work. They've inspected the lifesaving beauty salon, where the transvestites get reminders about condoms while flowers are woven into their hair. Now they're on their way to call on female sex workers, who will greet them with heart-breaking personal stories and an ear-breaking drum troupe. But just for the moment they are stuck in traffic. So Bill and Melinda Gates are talking about their favorite subject: the world's biggest challenge and what can be done."Link.
The researchers considered three performance measures of what constitutes a "good" parking spot: the total walking distance between the space and the mall's front door (including distance walked to the door, back to the car after the shopping trip, and to return a shopping cart), driving time in search of a space, and the amount of time to reach the front door after entering the lot.
Their comparison showed that, in their model, the "park and walk" approach takes an average of 61 seconds, from entering the lot to reaching the mall entrance, whereas the "cycling" strategy requires an average of 71 seconds. The first approach usually involves more walking, but you tend to get to your shopping faster.
So, to save time at the mall, "park and walk" works best—most of the time.
I have a small appetite for Christmas tree ornaments, but this is just pathetic.
UPDATE: Commentor "Me" at NinaCamic wrote this:
my mother wrote an article for the washington post one year about how she loved christmas trees lit by candles
a german woman looked up my mom and told her that her tree was lit by candles
we drove pretty far on a cold night
the drapes were drawn because lighting your tree with candles must be a crime of some sort
kinda felt like we were part of the underground railroad or smuggling jews in poland during world war ii
the tree was more gentle than stunning
the candles sat on little candle holders
and dimly lit the tree
That bolded part reminded me about the time I visited a friend in Anchorage, AK for Christmas. We drove out of town in the middle of the night to get a Christmas tree, pulled off the road, sawed one down, hauled it back to the car, and got locked out by the puppies who, happy to see us, jumped up and down against the door and (presumably) inadvertantly locked us out.
We had to break a window to get back in the car. After driving home in the freezing December Alaska cold, we decorated the tree and Diana insisted we use candles. It was beautiful but really not something I'd do in my own home.
The story begins like this: 1938, Hewlett and Packard, former Stanford University classmates, decided to start a company. The two-story shingle at 367 Addison Avenue had everything they needed: a bottom flat for Packard and his new bride Lucile, a shed in back for Hewlett and a garage they could convert to their workshop and laboratory.
While here, the company created the Model 200A audio oscillator, the company's first product line. An advertisement for the oscillator says to ``write Dept. A for complete information about this and other materials.'' Mancini wonders whether Dept. A was Packard's tiny apartment or Hewlett's 8-by-18 shed.
Hewlett and Packard's time at Addison Avenue was brief -- they outgrew the garage in 1940 after hiring two employees. But their stay was long enough to create, as the plaque outside reads, ``the birthplace of Silicon Valley.''
California has declared it a historic landmark (No. 976), and HP is now gunning for a federal designation.
Flock, by Michael Christian
In case you can't read that sign because my hands were cold and shaking when I took the picture:
Black Rock Arts Foundation in Partnership with Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office and the San Francisco Arts Commission is pleased to present Michael Christian’s Flock.
This sculpture is part of a series of works being brought to the City of San Francisco for temporary installation to help engender conversation, foster community involvement, and engage people with their public spaces.
For more information, visit www.blackrockarts.org
Not really art, but quite sculptural: pollarded trees just next to Flock.
The plants like the rain.
So do the succulents on the front porch.
I'm looking forward to the day the city undergrounds those cables.
More plants here.