Towse: views from the hill

November 29, 2009

Sliding toward the end of the year …

Filed under: life,restaurants — Towse @ 12:37 am

Sliding into the end of the year.

Halloween’s been and gone. The clocks rolled back an hour. Day of the Dead. Guy Fawkes. Siblings’ November shared-birthday, although the older sibling of the two skipped the family gathering and Thanksgiving to go off gallivanting in France and Italy. In another week December comes and with it Dad’s (RIP) and Dan’s shared bday, my sister-in-law’s bday, my oldest brother’s (RIP) bday, his nibs’ bday that he shares with my uncle. Christmas. And then, around the corner, is the New Year, awaiting discovery.

And the sound of hoofbeats creeping up behind. …

Instead of Black Friday, yesterday, his nibs and I met up at the California Academy of Sciences, where he had two shifts of docent duty, and went to the Moss Room for dinner. The Moss Room isn’t, anymore. The living wall of mosses never gained traction and has been replaced by a living wall of ferns and other such flora.

Will they rename the restaurant the Fern Room? I doubt it.

We shared a delicious turnip soup with cream, a splash of this and a bit of pork belly. We shared a Lon and Bailey Farms Pork Belly with spiced pumpkin puree, sweet onions, pheasant egg, balsamic — eggs and bacon by any other name. He had opah. I had guinea fowl on a pool of green curry, greens, fingerling potatoes. We shared a side of gratin cauliflower.

So what’s on the table tonight? Leftover Thanksgiving fixings, courtesy of my talented brother (brined turkey, mashed, two kinds of dressing, corn casserole) and courtesy of my talented son-in-law with able assist from our son (salad, rolls), and my contributions (sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, pumpkin pie).

And then the November holidays will be gone and we’ll be skidding into December and what?

Where has this year gone? Anything accomplished? Happier now than last year this time? Who is gone? Who has arrived? Books read? Words written?

Flowers planted and picked and enjoyed, then tossed into the compost bin.

The days grow short when you reach the end of November.

Time to make plans.

Time to re-commit to and internalize the final panel of Calvin and Hobbes.

November 21, 2009

Waxing crescent. On Nov 18th.

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , — Towse @ 8:19 am


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We were walking down to dinner and spotted the moon. Of the four shots I took, this was the least fuzzy.

November 20, 2009

Rain coming in soon. …

Filed under: photographs,weather — Tags: , , — Towse @ 5:25 pm

The wind is kicking in from the south. White caps on the Bay. Planes landing from the north at SFO.

Rain soon! (x’d fingers)


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Update: Rain was fast and furious for a bit, but now the wind and the rain are barely there. x’d fingers for more wet.

November 19, 2009

View of Alcatraz

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 5:25 am


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Today from the 52d floor of 555 California.

November 17, 2009

Sunrise. Yesterday.

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 10:11 pm

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We’ve been having amazing weather, but, please, may it rain, really rain, soon?

Parrots susurrating and lovey-doveing in the tree

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , — Towse @ 8:47 pm

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[Cherry-headed conures, actually, but hey!]

November 16, 2009

Red-tailed hawk. Circling. Circling.

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , — Towse @ 3:05 am

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November 11, 2009

bellies-full of plastic

Filed under: environmentalism,photographs,science — Towse @ 11:32 pm

via @NYRblog
Chris Jordan’s latest photography set.

These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on idway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

November 5, 2009

Night shots 04Nov2009

Filed under: photographs — Tags: , , , , — Towse @ 7:16 am


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Waning gibbous moon …


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Giulio Verne tucked in for the night …

Let me introduce The Giulio Verne

Filed under: photographs,politics — Tags: , , — Towse @ 1:20 am


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We’ve been watching the Giulio Verne for the last few days as it slowly moves along the waterfront toward Potrero Point.

The TransBay Cable (a 53-mile long, 400 MW high voltage DC transmission line connecting the PG&E substation in Pittsburg with one down at Potrero Point in San Francisco) is becoming a reality.

Soon the spewing Unit#3 at Potrero Point will shut down. Unit#3 has the honor of being San Francisco’s #1 source of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Take a bow, Unit#3.

When the cable is functioning, next spring, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) will allow San Francisco to close down Unit#3. The three peaker plants at Potrero Point must remain available, however, until such time as San Francisco has replacement alternative power generation in place.

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