Archive for April 2007

Bring on July!!

Monday, 30th April 2007. Filed in Random foliage1 Comment »

Are you excited? I’m so excited!
(Check out the trailer and all the fun stuff on the Order of the Phoenix website.)
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLud6yM47u8]

Sometimes I CAN see the age difference…

Monday, 30th April 2007. Filed in Random foliageNo Comments »

“I love you, even though you don’t know what Flickr is.”

“I love you, even though you DO know what Flickr is.”

The chicks have hatched!

Saturday, 28th April 2007. Filed in Random foliage3 Comments »

Two downy peregrine babies are fed regurgitated pigeon meat in their roost at San Jose City Hall. The mother* shields her young protectively. When I first checked the Falcon Cam (a very cool tool presented by the City of San Jose and the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group) this evening, I couldn’t tell right away whether they had hatched because she held them under her wings, close to her breast. But, she seemed much more alert, vocal and animated today than she was last night. So I stuck with the camera for a bit. She soon shifted her stance enough that I could make out the white fluff of her hatchlings.

An hour or so later, the camera pans out and shows Jose keeping watch outside the nest box. He stands, turns and goes inside to the mother and young. Beak snapping, he appears to coax one of the hatchlings out from under mom. The white figure of fluff comes out for a turn, beak crying wide. It’s almost as if these birds know the camera is there and the world is watching.

*I’m only assuming it is Clara, and not Jose, doing this. I admit, I don’t know how to tell the difference in peregrines. Wherever I assign a particular action or role to one, it could actually be the other doing it.

For some, a shakey start to the morning

Saturday, 28th April 2007. Filed in Random foliage1 Comment »

You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl. As I walked up the hill after mailing some packages yesterday, I noticed how weird the weather felt. That, had it been a little warmer, I might have taken it for earthquake weather. Yes, I know scientifically there’s not a connection between when an earthquake is going to happen and the weather, but sure enough, the people of Kent experienced an earthquake this morning. I came downstairs after my shower and the breaking news on BBC breakfast TV was the “tremor in Kent”. I ran upstairs to see if Crunchy husband had felt it (I didn’t), and he said he thought he felt something a bit earlier.

It was interesting to see the difference between media coverage here after an earthquake and that after one in California. The newscasters appeared confused, a little befuddled that this could’ve happened here. I know it was not even an hour after it happened, but I found it interesting that their coverage was based solely on people calling in to describe what they experienced, that there wasn’t a scientific component to their broadcast. (Maybe seismologists are hard to come by in England at 8:45 on a Saturday morning.) They didn’t even have a magnitude to report. This made it difficult for me to tell whether it was as bad as people made it sound or if, since they had never experienced an earthquake, they were just a little shaken. (“I thought the house was coming down and I ran out in the garden!” Um, no. Not really what you should do. “All the neighbors are gathered in the street in their dressing gowns.” Duck and cover isn’t a part of the elementary school curriculum here.) The broadcast finally showed a seismogram that an amateur seismologist sent in. It was apparent the newsreaders weren’t prepared to explain it because all they did was show it. It was small, so not really all that useful to those of us at home without super grande plasma tvs. (That’s when I checked the USGS website. They listed it at 4.7.)

The coverage amused me, but it’s not really the broadcasters’ fault. You could tell they just weren’t prepared to cover something like this happening locally. It is not unheard of, but it doesn’t happen very often. Tonight, they seem to be a bit back on par: reporters standing next to piles of brick and a line of chimney stacks removed from damaged houses, filming inside where plaster dust and soot covered floors and furniture, reporting from Folkestone which seemed to bear the brunt of it.

Nature takes back the city

Friday, 27th April 2007. Filed in Random foliageNo Comments »

My mother just brought it to my attention that two peregrine falcons (Jose Fernando and Clara) are nesting at San Jose City Hall. They have a falcon cam on the nest, monitoring the progress. More on this later…

Yum, bugs.

Wednesday, 25th April 2007. Filed in 'Nana in training, Running1 Comment »

Today, I hit my 150th running mile of the year. According to my online running log, which nicely does all the math for me, I’ve spent 1 day, 9 minutes and 52 seconds (plus a few snoozers on the treadmill) doing this. When I think that means I’ve run the same distance as is between my parents’ house in San Jose and the Golden Gate Bridge (via I-280) 2.6 times, I get a bit tired.

It has become clear to me that spring is out in full force. (Yippeee!!!) I am wearing shorts, I am congested and I ate more kamikaze bugs on my run today than I have in the past year. (Not that eating bugs is a habit of mine.) The bees keep flying into my house through the back doors. I don’t know what they are looking for in here (the nectar’s outside, girls), but at the moment, they seem to like the lavender-colored, sweat-smelly yoga mat on the floor. (Apparently, I should have asked for a red one, if they’d been available in that color.) Perhaps they are looking for a short cut through the house to the Iris plants in the front. Too bad I’m keeping the connector doors closed. No assisted flower reproduction today. But, I am diggin’ the ‘landing pads’ and nectar guides. Plants are so smart!

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Monday Mixtape: Fresh stuff

Monday, 23rd April 2007. Filed in Monday mixtape2 Comments »

New(ish) music I really (and really, really) like

[For Moose, who spends way too much of her paltry salary catapulting cookies through space, but cookies that are very much appreciated and gobbled down all the same!]

1. After Party- Ozomatli
2. Salala- Angélique Kidjo
3. Bibou- Daby Touré
4. La Temperatura- Ozomatli
5. Dancing Shoes- Arctic Monkeys & Buena Vista Social Club
6. Raise the Roof- Tracey Thorn
7. Dirty Little Secret (Thievery Corporation Mix)- Sarah McLachlan
8. Collarbone- Fujiya & Miyagi
9. See You on the Moon!- Great Lake Swimmers
10. Bouncing Off Clouds- Tori Amos

Help for the peeling impaired

Friday, 20th April 2007. Filed in Random foliage2 Comments »

It takes a highly discerning ear to know when to panic in my house.

This morning I sat on the couch performing my cereal, email and Google reader routine. (If you thought email was an easy way to lose an hour to the Internet time-suck, just add a couple blogs onto your reader.) I heard my father chopping something in the kitchen. Chop. Chop. Chop. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

“*^&%$$#!”

Silence.

“Are you all right?” I sit alert, waiting for a reply. I picture a slice off the tip of my Dad’s finger laying neatly severed on the chopping board. I feel the sting. Today’s the day we find out if Kaiser will pay out for a trip to an emergency room in England. What are you supposed to do with severed limbs? Put them in milk? Or is that just teeth? Actually, I’m not sure I am ready for the answer to my question. To witness the so far hypothetical pain.

“I dropped a strawberry.”

Breathe in, quiet alarms bells, back to the news and blogs. I should have known there was no need for concern. I am my father’s daughter. I do this too. A lot. Always while chopping or peeling. A few nights ago it was the stupid carrots. Last week it was the dumb potatoes. That takes the cake. I’m peeling a potato and it slips out of my grip, past the point of rescue, into the raw chicken packaging in the garbage can. As far as I’m concerned, it’s found its new home at the salmonella hotel. But, it annoys me to see the waste. It happens way too much. Please someone tell me, is there a gadget that will hold my potato while I peel it? I don’t even care if it’s got a Pampered Chef or Williams Sonoma price tag. It might calm the cooking rage I feel all too often.

Don’t worry mom, I’ll send Dad home to you on Monday in one piece.

The big question: Will Fever Pitch make the cut?

Wednesday, 18th April 2007. Filed in Random foliageNo Comments »

There is some crazy stuff happening in this world. I won’t blog about Virginia Tech. Not because I don’t care, but because I am sure the media will cover it way too much anyway and I’d like to think all involved will get some privacy to deal with this horrible tragedy away from the world’s curious eyes.

But, there is weird stuff happening in my house right now. Good crazy in this case, but odd all the same. My father read a whole book in less than two days. If you know my father, you need not read on to realize we must have entered the twilight zone. The fact that he read a book at all is amazing; he hates reading. But that he finished it, dare I say quicker than I did, is really a feat. But, hold on to your hats! This morning, he came into the office, sniffing around our bookshelf for another one. Yes, Mom, it’s true!

Unfortunately, he picked the wrong shelf to peruse. On Writing Well ? he questioned, eyebrows raised. No wait, how about The Complete Book of Triathlons ? I think he left empty-handed. I didn’t have the courage to point him to the piles on the floor (the big, cheap bookshelf has finally collapsed under the weight of words) containing works by Toni Morrison, Shakespeare, E.M. Forster, and Jane Austen for starters. I don’t push my luck. But maybe Nick Hornby can entertain…

This can only mean one thing. I am a crappy host. Or maybe we just don’t get enough channels with our Freeview.

Ozomatli rocks the house

Monday, 16th April 2007. Filed in Crunchy grooves2 Comments »

Ya se flippin’ fue, baby!

From LA via Australia, the boys from SoCal made it to Shepherd’s Bush Empire for an action-packed, sold-out show on Friday night. Despite serious sound issues, the group’s energy carried through to the crowd and we were all bouncing. I was there on the floor, standing three rows back, holding my own between two REALLY tall guys, one of which was not there before me, thank you very much. I knew what he was up to. He kept trying to get an edge on me. To shimmy his way in straight in front of me. I felt like Monica in the Friends episode where she’s taken Rachel and Phoebe to the bargain barn for her wedding dress (minus the whistles, unfortunately!). When you find the dress, hold on to it and don’t give it up for your life! That’s kind of how I felt about my spot. We dance sparred for our prime location for a few songs until my annoyance level hit near breaking point. The night could have progressed in two ways: me kneeing the guy in the groin, or me giving up front center gracefully.

He’s probably still in the hospital, and his chances for progeny are slim.

Kidding, kidding! I’m not about violence, Ozomatli aren’t about violence, and I wondered how it would look getting thrown out of the venue for starting a fight, wearing my “people are still for peace” T-shirt. We moved it back a bit and two things happened. The sound improved and I had more room to dance. We also ended up in good position to join the Ozo conga line at the end of the show. Ha, ha. I win!

I must give props to Crunchy husband for his patience with my excitement for this evening. Though, I think he ended up enjoying the show as much as I did. He keeps chanting Ozomatli shop at Safeway. He thinks he’s so funny.

Check out my snaps from the show:

Ozomatli