Towse: views from the hill

August 7, 2005

Patch of blue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:57 am

Beautiful day at the Saturday Farmers’ Market at the Ferry Building.

We stopped off at Acme for a sour batard (our reason for the excursion) and an olive bread. After going out in back and tasting our way through cheese, peaches, tomatoes, dips and more, we left with a pot of garlic quark, some dry jack, some peaches, some dry-farmed organic early girl tomatoes, a large bunch of basil (with roots! I plan to harvest the basil and try to get the roots to re-grow up on the deck to replace the basil which has never taken hold), and a small jar of lavender sea salt.

Spotted James Ormsby on our way back inside, checking out cheeses and other food stuffs. What the heck was he doing at a yuppie farmers’ market, certainly not gathering the goods for his dinner trade? We finally decided he was probably there, killing time before Patricia Unterman’s 1 p.m. book signing at Book Passage for the 4th ed. of her San Francisco Food Lover’s Guide.

Our quark needed to be in the fridge. The smell of the basil was making me hungry, so we decided to skip the Unterman signing and head home.

At Levi Plaza, before crossing Sansome and heading up the Filbert Steps, I realized that the day was perfect to take a picture of our place.

Patch of blue Posted by Picasa

See the brick-colored building just beneath Coit Tower? It’s not really just beneath Coit Tower. It’s down on the east side of Montgomery, just north of the Filbert Steps. That, believe it or not, is a single family home. 10K sq ft. SEVEN CAR PARKING! Yowzaa.

Just below and to the right of the zillion dollar home is our HSH, a typical 25′ wide, lot-line to lot-line, San Francisco dwelling. The patch of blue is the east-facing wall of our deck.

The brick building in the right front of the picture is part of the Levi Strauss & Co. campus. The off-white building just visible behind it is the Pearson Addison-Wesley and Benjamin Cummings building on Filbert, just below the Steps.

Now that you’ve been given the grand tour, think you can spot the place from this angle?

Pablo Cruises

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:00 am

Pablo had been one of his nibs’ physics students back in his nibs’ academia days — back at UCSB when his nibs was node 3 on the brand spanking new ARPANET. Those days are decades ago now and Pablo’s gone on to his own career and fame (beds of nails, baseball, physics). We keep in touch, have each other over for dinner, exchange e-mail.

Pablo’s offer couldn’t be beat.

“You free Thursday? Come down to the Brisbane Marina and we’ll take the boat out for a look around the Bay and stop in at McCovey Cove for the Giants vs. Rockies game. I’ll provide the sausages and beer. You just need to be there on time.”

Of course we were late. There’s some construction going on King Street near Third and the traffic skinnies down to one lane just as it’s backing up for all the folks trying to turn left. The light cycled through again and again as the traffic merged into a single lane and inched through the traffic signal. We finally made it onto 280, took the 101 split and hightailed it down to Brisbane.

Pablo wasn’t there when we arrived, five minutes after he’d been planning to leave. Had he really left without us? I was bummed.

We walked around the edge of the Marina to see if we could see his boat out on the Bay and give him an ahoy!


So where the heck was he?

We bumped into another guy who looked like a physicist sort, who was also wandering around looking like he was looking for a lift in a boat. Turns out he was Lew, a retired physics professor at City College and he was, indeed, looking for Pablo. Seems Pablo had sent out an e-mail that morning saying he’d be leaving an hour later than originally planned.

We weren’t five minutes late, we were early!

Pablo arrived and the rest of the gang showed up. One of the gang was a guy we knew from Week 11, Stanford Sierra Camp, whom we hadn’t seen since we swapped weeks something like seven years ago. Physics nerds. Stanford. Small world.

We set off later than Pablo’d anticipated and wouldn’t’ve been able to get out on the ocean and back in time for the game so instead we took a shortened tour around Treasure Island and Yerba Buena to take an up-close look at the construction of the new Oakland span. Differences of opinions as to whether the new construction is necessary or not. I think it’s a good idea and worth the expense, if only they’d keep the costs under control. Others think the whole idea is a complete waste and a boondoggle.

We arrived and set anchor at McCovey Cove in time to hear the Star Spangled Banner. The boat was perfectly positioned. We could peek through the gates and also keep an eye on the scoreboard. We had the game playing on the radio as well. We spent the afternoon eating grilled polish sausages and drinking beer and wine and other libations as we enjoyed the game and wide-ranging talk.

The Giants came from behind in the eighth and won the game so all were happy.

After the game, we weighed anchor and set off on our game-delayed cruise around the Bay — out under the Golden Gate Bridge, back in to Sausalito, around the Belvedere/Tiburon point, over to Angel Island and Ayala Cove, then back around along the edge of the city, under the Bay Bridge and over to Brisbane.

Pictures (20% of the ~ 350 I shot. Digital. Ain’t it wonderful?)

August 6, 2005

Hip Liz … this one’s for you …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:51 pm

We saw the Giants game Thursday from a spot in McCovey Cove and miracle of miracles, the guys beat Colorado 6-4 with an amazing five run eighth inning. Some of the kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco left after the seventh inning when the score was a still-dismal 4-1 Rockies. I think, I hope, they were too young to worry about what they missed.

The guy whose boat we were on would like me to pass on this link.

Seven seats in a row. Section 317, Row 2, Seats 3-9. Up high. Right behind home plate.

Buy three, buy four, buy all seven. $30 a pop.

Paul has the alternative, you see, if he sells all seven tickets to invite six or eight or fifteen friends and just sit in the Cove and listen to the game, watch the scoreboard. Thursday there were six of us, not including Paul.

You can sorta kinda peek through the gates and see the field, but mostly it’s the game on the radio, the scoreboard, floating, eating sausage, hanging out. Sun. Water rocking. Watching the other boats. Watching the cops in their boat flush the kayakers out from under the path overhang.

We puttered around afterwards. Out through the Golden Gate. Back in around Sausalito and Angel Island before heading back.

Nice day. Pics to follow.

August 2, 2005

The Creative Muse: Stories of Creativity & Innovation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:33 am

Madhukar Shukla’s Creative Muse is an entertaining collection of descriptions of the mind spasms that resulted in rubber heels, the Band-Aid, the sewing machine and more.

August 1, 2005

100 Milestone Documents

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 2:27 am

100 Milestone Documents.

The site sez

The list begins with the Lee Resolution of June 7, 1776, a simple document resolving that the United Colonies “are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states. . .” and ends with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a statute that helped fulfill the promise of freedom inherent in the first documents on the list. The remaining milestone documents are among the thousands of public laws, Supreme Court decisions, inaugural speeches, treaties, constitutional amendments, and other documents that have influenced the course of U.S. history. They have helped shape the national character, and they reflect our diversity, our unity, and our commitment as a nation to continue our work toward forming “a more perfect union.”

Collections of information like this one, historical collections, artisitic collections, literary collections are what make the Web a wonder.


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