Towse: views from the hill

July 31, 2005

Alcatraz … visit if you can

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:58 pm

We’ve taken visitors over the years. Spring the extra $4.50 for the audio tour accompaniment to the tour. Audio tours come in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. $16 gets you a trip out plus the audio tour … and a trip back, too.

Book early. All too often this time of the year, we see disappointed tourists who realize on Sunday that the next seat available is for a boat time on Wednesday, and they will be heading back to ChickPea on Tuesday.

Our behind the scenes tour this spring, put on for Parks huggers by the Parks Conservancy people was a terrific experience. These photos are from a trip in June with visiting family members.

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The Alcatraz lighthouse Posted by Picasa

The gull chicks were finding their sea legs. Posted by Picasa

View from inside the former prison. Posted by Picasa

and from outside Posted by Picasa

Beautiful place. Posted by Picasa

Desolate place Posted by Picasa

Go thee hither.

[28 Jun 2005]

Someone tells me …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:33 pm

“It’s all happening at the Zoo.” — Paul Simon Posted by Picasa

[27 Jun 2005]

July 29, 2005

Cold War over? Guess so!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 8:05 pm

The Pallada sails in the Parade of Sail celebrating Sail San Francisco yesterday. Posted by Picasa

… followed closely behind by the Jeremiah O’Brien Posted by Picasa

July 26, 2005

Tuesday blog pick

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:11 pm

Edward Champion’s Return of the Reluctant

’nuff said. Take a look-see.

How’d I find EdRants? Well … in a roundabout way because of something he wrote here … somewhere

Ayelet Waldman redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:52 pm

I think , sez Ayelet Waldman, that I am an exhibitionist.

… but then aren’t all writers who are or hope to be published?

Katherine Seligman wrote Ayelet, Unfiltered for this past Sunday’s Chronicle magazine.

Loads of people are telling Waldman that they don’t approve of what she says and writes these days. Waldman was part of the Book Passage Mystery Writers’ Conference that I attended a couple years back. Bright lady. The more I read about her and the more of her I read, the more she strikes me as someone with more guts than I have, saying things I’d say if I had more guts.

Seligman’s article wraps up with a Waldman quote:

I went to my 10th high school reunion, with a law degree, just engaged, thin, and I was still a big goober. If I go to my 50th reunion, it will be the same thing.

Read on.

July 23, 2005

Chinese Symbols Clip-Art Collection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 11:59 pm

This collection of Chinese Symbols is worth a wander. Check out the translation of the symbol pair given for “alcoholic.”

July 21, 2005

Green cheese and other delights.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:14 pm

Those wacky guys at Google are at it again.

Thanks, mule.

July 20, 2005

Hey! Hey! Auntie K! (Comcast update)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 11:05 pm

1 p.m. Thursday. The supe promises to be out with two techs and they’ll see what they can see.

The door buzzed at 1 p.m. and his nibs went down to see who it was.

“Maybe it’s the Comcast guy who was supposed to show up tomorrow, showing up a day early,” I said helpfully.

“I don’t think so,” he replied.

But, by golly …

The Comcast supe was at our doorstep. A tech was finding a place for the van to park and joined him just minutes later.

The supe and the tech checked out this and that and followed cables that went nowhere. Checked under the stairs. Checked up on the roof. They finally found a “good” cable and the supe left, knowing that another tech was showing up, leaving the tech who was already there to connect my cable modem and the new tech to connect the TV.

After much spittering and sputtering, things began to gel.

Tech #2 left for another installation — well, actually, a disconnect for non-payment — and Tech #1 continued trying to get me connected. Amidst some confusion, including a work order that called for “platinum” cable TV service when we’d ordered “basic” (and had the earlier work order to prove it), we finally got settled.

I have my high-speed internet connection, and his nibs has the contact phone number for the supe. “Call if you have any problems, so you won’t have to go through the 800 #.”

Yay, hooray!

Next time Auntie K comes to visit, she’ll have her high speed connection and when the younger younger guy arrives later this week, he’ll at least have a basic TV connection.

July 19, 2005

I will GLADLY pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:49 pm

New deal is that the buyers have until Monday 4P to come up with the agreed-on price. If the $$ aren’t at the escrow office by then and they haven’t agreed to a changed contract (higher price in exchange for two extra weeks to rummage up the dough), the house goes back on the market Tuesday and I’m back doing yardwork and planting pretty flowers and getting our stager team to re-stage without the stuff we pulled out on Wednesday.

OK, fine, their agent said they said. We’ll pay the higher price. We still want the house, but we need time to get the money together and we didn’t like the bit where you said you’d charge us an extra thousand a day for every day past 29 July that we don’t close escrow, they said, according to their agent.

Well, we told Chuck. We don’t want an open-ended pay-us-when-you-can agreement. We want the dough. Last Friday. We have plans for it and had to rearrange our family finances to cover for the fact the money didn’t arrive on Friday as promised.

Yeah, yeah, Chuck said. You don’t want this to drag on forever, but maybe you could give them three weeks. That should be more than enough. Well, okay, we said. But you need to be aware that we may be headed to England at the end of August and we don’t want this nonsense with escrow happening all over again while we’re gone.

Chuck talked with the other agent and said, I think we can come to an agreement here, but what we need is a signed amended agreement to the escrow that was supposed to close last Friday and we need to give poor ol’ Sal and his nibs the deposit money that is sitting in escrow.

Oh, Great! Terrific! Wonderful! said their agent, and I would love to get you that signed agreement pronto but um. they’re uh. in a plane in mid-flight as we speak and I can’t get hold of them or I certainly would get you that signed amended agreement pronto. I’ll try to get hold of them as soon as I can.

Chuck is not amused. We’ll see what can be worked out.

Yesterday – after our meeting with the Comcast supe – we headed down to the southland to shift some more things out of the storage whose lease ends at the end of the month. While we were there, I watered the yard at the house in limbo and pulled up banks of vetch that had died while we were elsewhere and letting someone else tend the yard. Had he not watered enough? Was the vetch just ready to turn brown and die? Didn’t matter. The end result was ugly looking, so I pulled out the dead flowers and filled the garden recycle to the brim, then put both the garden recycle and the garbage can full of trash out for pickup this morning.

Today his nibs is at work in the southland. I’ll be heading down there soon enough to get some work done at the storage and haul in the garbage can and recycle bin.

Mayhap there will be more papers to sign and we’ll have another deadline for the escrow folks to work with.

Or the house may go back on the market and I’ll be tending yards and stagers again.

Thursday, Thursday … Comcast redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:25 pm

We rushed back [Thursday] because we had a meeting scheduled with the Comcast supervisor, who was to appear some time between 12 and 4 to discuss the wiring issues with our Comcast cable hookup.

He never appeared. No one called.

His nibs called Comcast on Friday and never got a call back.

On Sunday the Comcast supervisor returned the call. The supe said he didn’t understand what his nibs was on about. The supervisor said he’d sent someone out who had checked out the situation and talked with his nibs. (Um. No. his nibs said. Didn’t talk to me. I was home all afternoon waiting …) The supe said the someone had called the supe from our place and said there was no way they could pull cable from the pole and he was standing there with the customer (that would be his nibs) and had told him the same. (Um. No. his nibs said. Didn’t talk to me. I was home all afternoon waiting …)

After much hemming and Um. No. Didn’t talk to me. repetitions, the supe made a date to be here at 11 a.m. Monday to check out the situation himself.

Phone rings at 11 a.m. Monday. The supe’s at the top of the steps and wonders how to find his way here. His nibs offers to walk out and lead him in.

Supe turns out to be another personable Comcast sort. No mention made of the errant employee who allegedly visited last Thursday. We told the supe that the neighbor said the cable had never worked right and how the neighbor was pulling cable through for a satellite connection. We told the supe the cable was put in when the building was put up twenty years ago. We reiterated our request for a new cable. (A fat one, please. Our daughter who’s married to a Comcast supe in Naperville sez fat cable is the way to go.) He checked out the pole. Checked out the possibilities. Said the pole would be Plan B because it would take two guys a couple hours to pull the cable from the pole. Plan A is to try again with the existing setup using a different tech.


1 p.m. Thursday. The supe promises to be out with two techs and they’ll see what they can see.

I want my high speed Internet.

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