Monday, March 26, 2007

Clapotis






Sigh. Something icky is happening to my Clapotis. At first it had some ugly striping, but I thought it would grow out of it.















But now, look!! there seems to be a bruise growing. Look, right in the middle there is a pool
of blue and purple with green on the sides. Ick.

















Here it is, iPhoto enhanced for your viewing displeasure. Sigh. Maybe it will get better soon.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Calistoga


This weekend my two fabulous friends Linda and Tina took me on a surprise getaway for my birthday. Yes, it was last month but Tina has scheduling issues so it happened this month instead. They told me we were going away and to pack for over night and that was all I was told. I figured it would be somewhere near-ish, but Tina is a flight attendant so it was possible that there was an over night far away. But that would be very complicated so I figured a car ride. Also, Linda mentioned Tina would be driving so she was going to knit. Good hint! That still didn't narrow it down much, there are a lot of places around here that we could have gone. We headed north on Friday morning and ended up going to Napa/Calistoga! It was a beautiful day, very warm and sunny. We hit two wineries on the way up, we went to Trefethen first, a pretty barn like tasting room, the photo above is from there. They had nice wines, I only bought one there, a dry Riesling for the warm summer months ahead. I've now stocked up on enough wine for the summer, this weekend and when went wine tasting in the Santa Cruz mts a few weeks ago!





Then we stopped by Chandon for some bubbly! I haven't been there before it is quite fancy! They have a huge amount of land with water fountains and large grassy areas. There is a big shop with an area to watch a movie and then upstairs is a restaurant and tasting room. Very chi-chi. I think must really over charge on their wines to have something like this. But the tasting room is amazing, there is a wall behind the bar that actually opens so that you can see the hill behind and have cool breezes blowing on your face. AND we saw a flock of quail go running by! They are pretty cute birds as birds go, no wonder they are the state bird. I picked up two bottles there, Riche with a bit of muscat in it and sparkling rose, both yummy. The mushroom pic is from outside, just past the giant sign that's there on the left. I guess they are art, but they look kinda cool.



After the tastings we headed up to Calistoga for some girl fun, lunch, spa and relaxing at THE cutest little inn. It's called Chien Blanc and it was perfect this weekend. It has a little kitchen with everything you would need, a big bedroom and a living room with a day bed/couch. It was comfy for us all to sit and knit on Friday night, and then roomy enough for Tina to sleep on. After we had our treatments we all met back at the place and had light supper of cheese, olives, pumpkin seed bread, and olive fig spread from Dean and Deluca. Maybe a bit fancy and over priced but it was a fun shop! And of course, a bottle of the champagne we picked up earlier in the day. We sat outside and knit and ate our supper and chatted. It was so nice, so relaxing, what great friends I have . The mosquito's started nibbling on us and it got dark so we headed inside for more knitting until we got tired at TEN (yeesh) and went to sleep.



After a good breakfast we headed off to the wineries. We only had two that we had to visit and then rest we just randomly hit along the way, sometimes by just saying okay the next one that we see we are going to. There were some that were good and some, maybe not so good. But we had a great time anyway.







One of the must see places was Prager Port. The first winery we stopped at on Friday mentioned that if we like port (and Linda really does) that we had to go there. What a find! We have decided that the best wines come from tasting rooms in barns, not from fancy ones.Its cute outside, you walk past the barrels on the way to a crazy looking room.
Its not a huge room so everyone had to stand around the room, no actual bar to stand by. The walls are covered with money that people have written on and there is a windowsill that has not been dusted in 25 years! But the port! Holy cow! I like port, I don't love port, but what they have, wow! Everything was really great,some really different ones like White Port and then more traditional ones as well. I was trying to get a picture of the walls, not so much the guy, but you know things happen.








So my must see place was Buena Vista, I wanted sherry! Where Linda loves port, I love sherry, and very few wineries actually make it. Sad. But Linda knew that Buena Vista has some, and its good so we made a quick jaunt to Sonoma and picked some up. We were wined out at that point, we tasted but we did not love anything. Got two bottles of sherry though! So next Settlers night my house, every one can have a glass!

Before anyone asks, yes there was a LOT of knitting in the car, maybe even drunk knitting. I had cast on for my Clapotis on Thursday boba knit so I was working on that in the car. At least its easy, and any alcohol induced mistakes won't really show up.

Re: Mittens



Apparently I did not say it loud enough the other day, but the mittens, they are DONE!!! Done like I can send them to my sister done! and they are pretty!! Maybe a smidge big but I might be able to fix that. You can gaze at all their glory if you like.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mittens!











Two important things happened yesterday- I nearly finished the Anemoi mittens that I have been knitting for what feels like the better part of my life. I am so happy and they look pretty good. Not in this photo maybe but I am tired enough from my day to really care. but you get the idea. The other great thing was that I dug out a bottle of wine I totally forgot I had and it was divine.I mean stop-what-I-was-doing-to-contemplate-the-amazing-wine good. It was one of the wineries we went to last year for the vintners festival, McHenry, and I remember liking their wines but this was better than what I remember. Of course I had been to other wineries by that point so maybe some of the finer points were lost on me then. But not last night, even though it was not the first bottle consumed, it was the best.


Today was Alcatraz. What a beautiful day it was for that trip too, no fog and sunny and warm enough. My nose is pink,even though I had on sunscreen. It was just one of those days that reminds me why I live out here, even if I avoid the touristy things like the plague. I have been to Alcatraz before, but its been a while so it was good to go again. They've changed the tour a bit but its still a great one, and the people who went made it even more fun. We walked around Fishermans Wharf (yerg do I hate it down there, too many people, but you have to go when someone visits), ate cioppino and then had coffee and a sundae at Ghirardelli. Linda and I stopped at Ikea on the way home, because its fun and we both needed candles. And I needed teeny light bulbs for my bookshelf lamps since I use them all the time. They've started charging for bags there, for the bags you need to take home your stuff I mean. I don't really mind, but I wish the bags were better, I paid my 5 cents and my bag had holes in it by the time we got to the parking lot! I know in Europe they don't just give out bags like they do here, but they are a bit more sturdy since you are paying. I got my stuff home okay though so I guess it all works out.





Cell block in Alcatraz, I think this was called Michigan avenue. Its a bit disconcerting to look at the tiny amount space in these cells and think that people live out their lives in there. I have a very small apartment and I sometimes wonder that I don't have enough space, but this makes me rethink any issues I have. What a horrible place to be imprisoned, you can see out the windows, the beautiful, sparkly bay, the amazing city that is San Francisco and yet to not be able to go there would be the worst part. I think this prison, maybe more than any other, would really mess with your mind since the out side world is right there and so amazing. In Colorado they have a lot of prisons, and some really nasty ones, but they put them in these god forsaken places that don't make you want to be outside anyway. But not Alcatraz, I think every day you would see what you long for and could never reach and that would break almost anyones spirit. Really awful.











There were tons of sail boats, and at one point a race.






















Blurry but you can still see how pretty it was out. And if you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the tequila trees!




Blogger is pissing me off, I'm done now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

President



We got a president near my work! I was excited to see one appear last week at the corner of 2nd and Brannon. Some very artistic person has put up these pictures of dead presidents (well the ones I've seen are dead anyway) in different parts of the city. There is probably some deep meaning that I am missing but until that is made clear to me I will still enjoy them. They look cool and can be in some odd spots so I like to look for them. There is a JFK on a piling under the highway, I see it everyday pulling into the train station. There is George Washington on the wall over the post office further down Brannon and Lincoln is part of the construction for the Bay Bridge on 4th. And now we have Reagan, I think. The part of town I work in is not the slums, just my picture makes it look that way. Nice. I work in what they are now calling South Beach, though I have yet to see a beach so someone is dreaming. But I guess SOMA got too much of a reputation so they are trying to change that or something.



I have been asked about my one word titles. They are hard people!! One word is sooo much easier to think of then a bunch of clever ones strung together. And, I can just pluralize them to have fresh new ones. Yay!

I am knitting tonight and maybe finally watching Dr. Strangelove as I've had it way too long. And by the way, I did not drunk knit in the car going to the wineries. With the singing and all that would be way too much multitasking for my alcohol addled brain!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wine

We went wine tasting on Saturday with the Ohio visitor Gary. It was a stunning day, just beautiful. Tina the blogless was our DD ( she is so great!) and we sang and sang in the car. The visitor Gary enjoyed the wine ( he is just learning, which is so much fun. Lots of wines to try and learn about!) but maybe not so much the singing. There is nothing like a couple of drunk women and songs from musicals! Oh yeah. There are lots of pics here so shut down all the other browsers if you need to see 'em.






So the first place we went was Cooper-Garrod, Linda had to touch the horses, I went the other way. I am not huge fan of horses. I bought two bottles, a chardonnay and a viogner (which we had later at dinner and it was GOOD!) I tend to buy whites at the wineries because I am soooo picky that I have to taste first. I can drink most red wine from the store just fine ( well not merlot, I am not a fan.), though of course I got some that too! Then we went to Savanah Chanelle, which I don't usually love but I find something. This time it was a nice zin, I really liked it, the visitor Gary did too, he bought some. Linda didn't like it which is sad since she'll be drinking it anyway.






Then David Bruce, one of my favorites. Yummy pinots and my favorite Petite Sirah. I don't care that its too big to eat with vegetarian food, I like it enough that it can drown out whatever I eat. I am such a good photographer, huh.







This is Byington. How cool is that picture! I like it. Its a nice nice winery and the wines are getting better each time we go. This time I got something I can't remember but basically a pinot rose. yum!!










We made it to Bonny Doon at like 5 till 5. Lucky we had the Ohio visitor Gary with us so he could sweet talk the girl to give us some tastes. Linda tried but failed, which may be something she should be happy about. They have a zillion and one wines so there is always something good there.





Then we were done drinking, hard to imagine I know. You can see why we were singing in the car, we went to 5 wineries! Then off to Capitola for dinner and I took some very pretty pictures.



















Yesterday was book group and I did finish it on time, whew! Good group too, we had quite a discussion!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Elizabeth

Elizabeth I that is. I have been trying to see the HBO version of Elizabeth I with Helen Mirren, its in my Netflix queue SOMEWHERE I just don't know where. Maybe its good they limit the queues to 500, I can't find anything in it, if I had more I'd never find anything ever. There are apparently a zillion movies/tv shows that are titled that and I think at this point I have seen them all except the one I want to see. I may as well stop reading the biography by Allison Weir that I've been reading since I have her WHOLE life memorized and I am still not done!! Grrrrrr......

Daylight savings has made me sluggy and my computer too so I am having a quiet day cleaning, crafting and watching movies (or documentaries that are not quite what I'm looking for). Book group is tomorrow and I am half way through the book so I guess I need to read too.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

People

I talk to people all day with my job. For the most part I like it, most people are nice and I like being able to help them. But interacting with people will always mean talking to the not so bright. Or the very distracted. And things come out of their mouths that I am sure at some point they regret. Not that the say angry things, but they say things that don't make a lot of sense or the answer is obvious. Linda thinks I should write down these things as they are funny, so I will. I may have a little section on the side of the blog for the silly thing of the day, or week; or month, when ever they occur. But I thought I'd mention it and also, sorry if you see yourself here. Its amusing to me sometimes how people think and if you do see yourself, hey you are famous!!

So I'll just say two of my favorites from the top of my head and then add the bar on the side.

At my old job I was spelling something on the phone, and the phone is not clear for a lot of letters of the alphabet. I know this since people call me Jim or Joan all the time. or Michelle. Or Joe. Not Jill though, or not until I've said it a hundred times, which is a lot so usually I'll agree to whatever they are calling me. Anyway, I was spelling something and I said ( you have to be really specific in support or people will not do the obvious, like click on a button, I just say this as a warning to the rest of this quote.) " Hit N, like November, on your keyboard." So I wait for him, total silence on his side. I ask him, did you do it? He says, " I don't have November on my keyboard."

Ha! Funny, right? That one kills me.

My current job is very similar to the last, but nicer clients on the phone. I do get some odd questions still though. I often have people ask me what open means in their stats. Now, I have not said where I work or what we do or anything, but I would think that any one could figure out what Open would mean for anything. It means open, as its defined by the dictionary. This is a tough one for me as there really is no way to explain that with out sounding like a total bitch. And I get asked that a lot.

This is one that still astounds me, and Linda too. We may get shirts. I was explaining something to a client, how to do something in their account and she got mad and asked how she was supposed to know that. So I showed her where the info was in her account, and even right at the spot she was looking at. She says to me, " Not everyone learns by reading."

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, it brings a tear of joy to my eye every time. Because really, yes they do. Except the illiterate and they wouldn't be on a website, that is way too much reading.





Gratuitous knitting picture, its a knitting blog after all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More pics with my new camera

Okay so blogging is new to me. I read them everyday, you can see them in the margins, but writing a blog, whole 'nother story. I am already finding titles hard and I have done what, 3, in a year and a half? Wow, I need to work on that.

So I took some pictures on the weekend, of course since I have my new digital camera that happens more than people want but you need to learn to deal. I went on one of my favorite hikes, Castle Rock, I do it a lot of weekends with whoever has been coerced this week. Its a bit challenging and that's what I like about it. Oddly enough I did not take many pics on the hike so I have this one.



On a clear day you can see the ocean and I love that about this hike. I get to scramble over rocks, climb up hills, lose my breath and still see the ocean over the mountains. I can't get that in Colorado.








I spent the rest of the day being a teeny bit geeky and played gameswith my friends. We had fun, and of course there was knitting! Its nice to play with women since they can appreciate the need to knit while gaming. Though not one guy has ever called me a sheepless fucker so maybe it all kind of evens out in the end.



Sunday there was a visitor from Ohio here from my friends work and I had to go along for touristy things. We went to Ocean Beach so he could see the Pacific, ate sushi and took pics of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I like this picture, lots of people I don't know playing at the beach and the sun setting on everyone. Pretty.

Then the super geeky action started. I can't even tell you how many pictures I took of the damn bridge. I was trying to get some nice ones and I thought I had but hoo boy was I wrong. They look fabulous on the window of my camera in the dark but now, not so nice. Apparently I move a lot. Or what I really think it is, the bridge was moving because I was totally staying still.



Blurry or not, it was beautiful night at the Marin headlands and I can always pretend that my lovely pictures would make Ansel Adams jealous ( instead of spin in his grave). You can see the veiw that the pro took.