Saturday, September 20, 2008

7 Years

Dear Rachel,

We've been celebrating your birthday lately. Reasonable, as your birthday is this week. Seven whole years. I can hardly believe it's gone so fast.

Don made this cake, a Ren de Saba (Queen of Sheba), for your family dinner party tonight. You had some trouble waiting to know what was for dessert, and it probably wasn't fair of us to make you wait for the coffee to brew. Carol suggested that we could follow the French method and have coffee after dessert, which lead to much discussion of their attempts to wait out the French waiters in order to have coffee with dessert. It never worked.

You loved the cake and you got such a great expression on your face when Mommy brought it out. I love the pictures I got; they're great and captured your wonderful smile, except that I also got reflections of the candle flames that mess them up. I am going to see if I can figure out how to get rid of them. Maybe I'll ask Uncle Max to tackle it; he has the patience for that, unlike yours truly.

Tomorrow is the big party at Trapeze Arts, where I'm not sure whether you (jumping, flying, playing & learning) or I (watching & photographing) will have more fun. I know you'll have a wonderful time, and I can't wait.

I love you,

How 'bout that?

Well, they haven't taken it out (I'd have noticed that!) but after blogging about our street-tree earlier today, I noticed that they finally came by and trimmed it. Our neighbor actually saw them doing it, either Wednesday or Thursday, but I only noticed tonight. This is a new picture of it. They did a good job, and it looks a lot better. Perhaps it will perk up a bit, but most of the leaves look pretty droopy and not really the right color.

They're doing it wrong!

Why isn't the Dodgers' player Hu playing FIRST?

The Lookout

Although I want the City to take it out, I will be sorry to see our (dying) street-tree go for one reason: this hummingbird loves to hang out in it. I wish I'd gotten this shot at f/10 instead of f/6.3. I could have sacrificed a bunch of shutter speed (this is 1/320) since it was just sitting there, and then the beak would have been in focus as well. I have another from a few minutes later in much better focus...

Not quite there...

This did not come out quite the way I had in mind... Maybe the rose is more overblown than I remembered, but I really wanted the bit of purple that's right up against the bottom of the rose to be fully in focus and the other two both out of focus. Of course, I could also have used a lensbaby.

Evening Glory?

Rachel and I went on a walk around the block one evening and took this at a neighbor's house. I meant for the flower on the right to be slightly more out of focus, but the flower on the left & the droplets on it look better in this one.

Soon To Be an Ex-Tree

This is a branch of the camphor tree in front of our house. Although it is in our sidewalk strip, it technically belongs to, and is the responsibility of, the City. I have been trying to get them to remove it for a few years - the sooner they take it out, the sooner they'll put a new one in; the sooner they put a new one in, the sooner it will start adding (beauty & shade) to the neighborhood. Although the tree as a whole has more leaves than dead branches, it is not doing well and the leaves it has are not very green. As in this picture, the leaves are yellow-green or red or falling off.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Is that REALLY the best solution?

I'm on the platform at MacArthur station. They are apparently having a track problem in the City. As we arrived here, they took two SF trains out of service. It seems they think that's a good way to handle the problem, but crammed onto the platform with several hundred other people, I'm having trouble seeing it.

The next SF train has come and gone already. Of course, it didn't actually take many people - being late, it was more crowded than it would normally be. And meanwhile, more people are arriving by other means and, so far a Fremont train.

Someone near me left a message whereever she's going saying that she figured she wouldn't be in until 9:30 or 10. I said she was being optimistic. I'm not sure if she thought I meant pessimistic or was suggesting it couldn't be that bad. Another person noticed the destination sign saying the next SF train would be in 20 minutes. I said we were doing well because it said 19 a couple of minutes ago. She didn't catch the sarcasm either.

Oh, and this is even better. They've just taken another SF train out of service.