April 08, 2007

Local Parks

The weather has been really spectacular here so S convinced me to actually get out of the house and explore a bit. Yesterday we checked out the Chitactac Adams Heritage County Park which has petroglyphs and other things from the Ohlone Indians. There's a self-guided interpretive walk.

Today we went to Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch so we could sit by the lake for a while and read our books. It was so nice we decided to go for the annual parking pass so we can go back often and try out the other County Parks in the system (about 29 of them, many of them just a few minutes from home).

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Posted by Emily at 07:24 PM | Comments (3139)

April 06, 2007

Kay's Show

Kay Keeshen has a wonderful exhibit of her watercolors and pastels at the Community and Cultural Center. We went to the "Meet the Artist Reception" Friday night.
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Posted by Emily at 10:32 PM | Comments (238)

April 02, 2007

Dictionary Day

Today was Dictionary Day here in San Jose, where volunteers hand out dictionaries to all the 3rd graders in the local schools and play fun dictionary games with the kids. 19 of us from our company volunteered (7 from our team) and, like last year, had a great time. It's part of the California Dictionary Project. Our class was a bit crazy (it was right after lunch and recess) but the kids were excited to look up words for us and all wanted lots of attention.

The Merc has a quick piece: San Jose third-graders receive free dictionaries and Karen's classroom was taped for one of the local TV stations so maybe they'll be more coverage locally tomorrow.

Posted by Emily at 09:32 PM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2007

Wildflower Run

This morning was the local AAUW chapter's annual Wildflower Run, their big fundraiser of the year. I was a course volunteer and stood for a couple of hours on the corner of Cochrane and Peet cheering people on and pointing them to turn right onto Peet. It was a gorgeous morning and tons of people of all ages were out participating.

Posted by Emily at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2007

Roosters!

While I was away last week, a rooster came to live over our back fence. It crows pretty much all the time, driving all of us crazy (two neighbors so far have stopped by to ask if it bothers us too). The cats seemed intrigued by it for a while, but now pretty much ignore it.

I was catching up on the pile of newspapers that accumulated, and apparently this is a town-wide epidemic!

Why Did the Rooster Cross the Road?

MHPD Animal Control officer Daniel Pina said the Scrambl'z rooster is not the only one homeless in Morgan Hill. "There are a lot of roosters popping up in the city," he said. "We've had two at Creekside Village, one of them may be the one at Scrambl'z, it's the same general area. There's a third one now in the Venetian Way/Tahoe Way area, it's up on a two-story building, so I haven't been able to get it."

Shachar even called and spoke to Officer Pina a few days ago to add his voice to the list of complaining neighbors, but apparently they haven't been able to catch our rooster yet. It was hard for me to even capture a photo of the guy the other day!

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Posted by Emily at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2007

Front page coverage!

Puzzle Day makes up about 1/2 of today's front page of the Morgan Hill Times including two large photos there and a third where the story continues on A8. (The story itself requires login, but I'll link to it once they run it in the Dispatch which doesn't, but if you visit their site you can see one of the photos and our tip top placement).

Interestingly, the things the author picks up on were mostly the extra games that I bought (like Sudoku2 or made, like my giant Sudoku board with the foam numbers or the brain teasers I sprinkled throughout the room) which makes the hours I spent on that side of things feel very worthwhile.

Posted by Emily at 06:13 AM | Comments (2)

February 24, 2007

Solved!

Our big puzzle day event is done and I think by all accounts it was a great success. We'll see what the feedback forms say and what press coverage we get tomorrow (both the MH Times and the Merc sent reporters and photographers), but I think people had fun and people did very well on the tournament puzzles. Here are a couple of photos, many more will be up later on the Puzzle Day web site (I'll also post the tournament puzzles there later if you want to see how you would have done).

Here's me with Byron Walden, who not only wrote our final puzzle and talked to the group over lunch about the puzzle he has published in today's NY Times, but he even spent the whole afternoon helping out with the tournament scoring!
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Our Sudoku and crossword champions (they each had to solve the final puzzle against two other finalists on dry erase boards in front of the whole room)
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Our "marketplace" with vendors selling books, games, etc.
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Shachar was the official "go out and pick up things we forgot" go-to guy who ended up running errands to get the t-shirts, hotdogs, more copies, books and games I forgot at home, and various other things. Not to mention LOTS of help in the weeks of prep as we figured out how to make the giant puzzle boards, stock up on food to sell and various other things (plus generally putting up with me spending so many hours on this event)
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We had 22 people compete in the Sudoku tournaments (3 rounds and the final) and 28 or so in the crossword (4 rounds and the final). We also had a series of workshops running all day and all sorts of other things going on, including a huge troupe of high school volunteers running around proctoring the puzzles and selling food and other things. Not surprisingly, I'm utterly exhausted from all that and am going to crash.

Oh, and we got a great article in the San Jose Mercury News: "Puzzle junkies compete at library fundraiser" by Julie Patel

If Morgan Hill's Puzzle Day was any indication, the East Coast better watch out.

``We're going to show them there's a strong crossword community on the West Coast too,'' Emily Reich Shem-Tov, an event volunteer, told a library full of puzzle fans.

Word.


Posted by Emily at 07:24 PM | Comments (11)

February 23, 2007

Puzzles Tomorrow!

Ok, one last reminder. Silicon Valley Puzzle Day is TOMORROW, Feb 24. If you're at all local, please try to come -- its going to be a lot of fun and a chance to meet other puzzle-people (as well as to support our new library). If you don't want to compete, I'd be happy to put you to work as a volunteer, or just come by, check out the workshops and games, shop in our marketplace and hang out.

We're even listed in the Merc as one of the three things to do tomorrow!

Posted by Emily at 08:03 AM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2007

Marty's Column

Marty (who we call Steve at our house since for months he called me Stacy), has a column in the local papers this week about Puzzle Day. He even got to interview Will Shortz about it (and includes some quotes of me gushing about how cool Will is)

A Blatant PR Push, but Well Worth the Chagrin

and Lisa sent along some photos from us posing yesterday in front of the new library (construction site) with our giant Silicon Valley-themed crossword puzzle:
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Mom sent me her black-and-white crossword jacket to wear.

Posted by Emily at 07:41 AM | Comments (1)

February 09, 2007

MH Times Front Page Coverage

Puzzle Day is featured in a front page story in today's Morgan Hill Times! The article by Tony Burchyns is titled "Puzzle Day is First on West Coast: Feb. 24 event will raise funds of the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library's Beyond Books campaign" and has photos of Clara and Carol putting up the letters on the Granada marquee announcing the event.

Its not up on their web site yet (as of 7:12 am), but will hopefully be added soon.

Yay!

Posted by Emily at 07:13 AM | Comments (1621)

February 06, 2007

Newspaper Ad

Our 1/4 page ad for Puzzle Day appears in today's Morgan Hill Times! p.C5 (under a column by our vet about National Pet Dental Month and next to a public notice of the call for bids for the new outdoor sports center). I hope people see it and sign up to puzzle with us!!

Posted by Emily at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2007

Puzzle Venue and OpEd

Kathy, Lisa and I checked out the venue for our upcoming Puzzle Day event yesterday. It was the first time I had been over there and the space is even better than I had imagined and I think it will be a fantastic place to have the event!

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And Lisa has a great column in today's MH Times about the event (this link requires a subscription, but when it is cross posted to the Gilroy paper, which doesn't, I'll add that link in too).

Crossword Puzzle Lovers to Aid Library Public Art Efforts

Update: Here's the open link from the Gilroy Dispatch.

Posted by Emily at 07:22 AM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2007

Puzzle Day in MH Times

Our first bit of PR for puzzle day appeared in today's Extra Credit section of the Morgan Hill Times!

Puzzle Day at Sobrato High School

SOBRATO HIGH SCHOOL, 401 Burnett Ave., will be the center stage for Silicon Valley Puzzle Day 10am-4pm, Feb. 24. There will be crossword and Sudoku tournaments for all levels, a giant Silicon Valley themed community crossword, workshops and wordgames. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for students, with a $2 discount for members of the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library's "Beyond Books Campaign." A "marketplace" with food, puzzle books and other items will be available.


For a schedule, registration, directions and other information, visit www.svpuzzle.org.

Posted by Emily at 07:06 AM | Comments (48)

January 02, 2007

My OpEd

Oh, and the op-ed I wrote for the Morgan Hill Times (complete with my photo!) appeared in the Dec 27th issue:

A Call for Contributions From All Morgan Hill Artists (of course the title makes it sound like we want art from them, not to answer a survey, but at least it got published). There's also a typo in the first paragraph (but I don't think I submitted it with one, oh well). But I did manage to get a quick plug in for the crossword/sudoku puzzle day!

Posted by Emily at 11:46 PM | Comments (28)

December 17, 2006

Congrats to Carol!

Its now official that Morgan Hill's Woman of the Year 2007 is CAROL O'HARE! Among other thigns, she is the President of the Friends of the Library, former co-President of AAUW, plus all sorts of other things -- and just a great person and wonderful to work with! Yay! Congrats!
 

Posted by Emily at 07:42 PM | Comments (949)

December 13, 2006

New Trader Joe's

Our town has major Trader Joe's mania going on -- the new store opened a couple of days ago and made the front page of the paper. We finally got over there tonight and stocked up on some of the yummy goodies. Its definitely going to be nice having one on the way home from work!

I remember when we got one in Falls Church, VA where I used to work about 10 years ago. There were two women in the office from California who knew what we were getting and practically camped out at the store to be one of the first people in, then went back for lunch and pretty much every day afterwards for a while, taking us newbies along at times to show us the ropes. Now, of course, the stores are everywhere, but they're no less appealing and the local community was just as excited as Valerie and Jess were all those years ago (even though there are some in not-that-far-away San Jose).

Posted by Emily at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

December 03, 2006

Views of Morgan Hill Exhibit

We stopped by Gallery Morgan Hill at the Granary this afternoon for the reception for their new exhibit, Views of Morgan Hill (celebrating the 100th year of our city). We bought some raffle tickets (drawing is 12/21) and dropped off some paper versions of my local artist survey (so we can publicize that paper versions are available there for people who don't want to take it online).

The Gallery is a cooperative organization with services provided by exhibiting artists and volunteers. Exhibits are changed every eight weeks.  Unfortunately the road it is on has been under construction for a while, so they're not getting the traffic they need. But its a cute little space and showcases a lot of interesting local art. We particularly always love the robots and things (particularly the dogs) by Paul Loughridge (which we have been tempted by many times).

Posted by Emily at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

The Armenian Gourmet

Our team went out to lunch to celebrate everyone's unbirthday (one we missed in July, two were last week, and mine's in December). We went up to The Armenian Gourmet in Sunnyvale and had a delicious lunch. I would definitely go back -- but learned that if you're not there early, there will definitely be a wait (we just beat the rush, when we left there was a line out the door).

Yum.

Posted by Emily at 07:37 PM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2006

MH Centennial Recreation Center

Today is the grand opening of the City of Morgan Hill’s new Centennial Recreation Center. We went to a bit of the opening event and took a tour of the really nice facilities which include an excercise center, gym, gorgeous pool, teen center and senior center (all in one building!). Here are a few photos:

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Posted by Emily at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2006

Sharks 1, Wild 4

Karen (from work) took me to my first Sharks game, and they lost 4-1 (which may mean that I'm not allowed to go to any more games). It was a ton of fun though and so convenient to be able to park at work and walk to the arena.

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Posted by Emily at 11:46 PM | Comments (2)

October 15, 2006

Renaissance Faire

It took us until the very last day, but we finally made it to this year's Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta. It was truly amazing how many people in the crowds came in full costume (or rented them there I suppose, though most seem to come in from the parking lot completely in character.) We stayed for a joust and one of the comedy performances, walked around, bought some local organic spices, and tried out the faire food. Not great, but fun, and I can see how people totally get into this as a hobby.... not my cup of tea however...
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Posted by Emily at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2006

Taste of Morgan Hill

If you're local and looking for something to do today, come on down to Morgan Hill for the annual Taste of Morgan Hill event, 10-6. There's a classic car show, a quilt show, and booths from local restaurants and organizations up and down the main street.

I'll be at the Friends of the Library booth from 10-12 if you want to stop by and say hello....

Update: a few photos
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Posted by Emily at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2006

RDA

Our City Council is considering a potential amendment to the City's Redevelopment Plan. There was a Town Hall Meeting tonight where the City Manager and Redevelopment consultant presented the proposed amendment and received public input. It was a fascinating meeting -- I learned that I have a latent desire to be a commercial real estate developer (hmmm, must be there in my blood), I'm a big fan of redevelopment projects, and that people in town can totally surprise you with their questions and comments in an open forum (goodness - nothing like the idea of eminent domain to get a room excited!).

I've always loved the idea of city planning. Brian and I used to design whole cities (I didn't play house, I played newspaper or city.. we had a great set of toys called Majoland or something that had all the pieces for a town (I think we got it when we were in France for the summer, probably c.1984), plus the awesome Fabuland lego set that I adored (my town had extensive mail service to all the buildings). We even used to rewrite the rules of Life when we played so that the town could assess taxes (did I mention we were strange)?

Anyway, its not surprising that I'm drawn to a meeting like tonight's town hall forum. It really is fascinating stuff.

Posted by Emily at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2006

NY Times on ZeroOne

Nice full-page piece on the upcoming ZeroOne San Jose art festival kicking off here tomorrow:

At ZeroOne, Paintings Are So Last Century

Unfortunately we have plans this afternoon so I am going to miss the volunteer orientation (oops), but I'll be there being a docent Tuesday and Thursday nights (though I'm not sure yet on which of the exhibitions). I'm hoping to go to SpecFlic on Wednesday night since its about the library of the future, but am not sure that I can do that many late nights downtown in a row during a work week (its 9:30PM - midnight at the main SJ library)

Related is this press release announcing a new vision for downtown San
Jose that transforms it into Silicon Valley's City Center -- where art,
culture and technology intersect to create a world class urban experience. More at 1st Act Silicon Valley.

and completely unrelated ... I have to say I love the look of the new muppet on the article on the other side of the page in the Times this morning. Abby Cadabby is adorable!

Posted by Emily at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2006

Centennial Day Community BBQ

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Morgan Hill, there are events planned all year. Today was the Centennial Day Community Bar-B-Q and Birthday Party, held at the community & cultural center. We volunteered and were assigned to the ticket book from 4-6, where it was super busy with people buying tickets for BBQ, wine and beer (as well as commemorative wine glasses). The highlight was a 2pm when they had everyone line up on chalk lines spelling out 100 and we were photographed by a helicoptor. Of course the helicoptor was running late, so there were about 15 minutes of time-killing exercises led by the woman on stilts, including the chicken-dance and YMCA.

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Posted by Emily at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2006

Power Outage

Power was out here yesterday from about 2:30pm until around 6:30, not so much fun during a heat wave.

From the Mercury News, Heat records set as misery rises:

Temperatures topped 100 degrees throughout the Bay Area, and farther inland, the mercury climbed over 110. The heat and heavy power demands blasted out some of Pacific Gas & Electric's transmission equipment, blacking out 18,000 customers, mostly in South San Jose. A few thousand customers were affected in Morgan Hill and a few hundred in Milpitas, PG&E representative Jana Schuering said.
...
The hottest temperature in the Bay Area was 109 in Gilroy, toppling the previous record of 106, set in 1996, the National Weather Service said. Normally cool San Rafael broke a 1954 record of 95 when temperatures reached 108. Commercial weather sources recorded even higher temperatures in some places, including 114 in Morgan Hill and Antioch.

Posted by Emily at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2006

Angles 6, A's 4

S's colleague John from work organized a gang of people to go up to the baseball game in Oakland, so 9 of us were there to see the Angles (John's home team) face the A's. It was a gorgeous night to be out at the game, I got my cookie icecream sandwich (a new baseball tradition of mine since my Iowa trip with Carrie), and the A's had a great 4 pt rally in the 8th that kept the fans on their toes until the last pitch.


Update: Photo from Wonsook
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Posted by Emily at 10:34 PM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2006

Fruit Tasting and Orchard Walk

We went to Andy's Orchard this morning for their fruit tasting and orchard walk. I had read about it somewhere and marked the next event on my calendar so I wouldn't forget to go. We tasted apricots, cherries and peaches and then got a tour of the orchard where we were able to taste more fruit off the trees and pick some to take home. I'm enough of a city kid to still be amazed at the idea of eating fruit straight off the tree... and it definitely does taste its best that way.

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The tasting (there was a guy there from Williams '97 so I said hello and that I was Amhert '97 and he said "I'm sorry"), peaches, picking cherries, Andy and S talk about pesticides or something, apricots, "Black Republican" cherries, the store.

Posted by Emily at 05:41 PM | Comments (564)

June 28, 2006

Commissioner!

I'm super excited to have been appointed this evening to the Library, Culture and Arts Commission in my town! So I'll be stepping down as an extra help librarian (to avoid any conflict of interest) and will attend my first meeting on July 10th!

I applied a couple of weeks ago and was interviewed tonight by the city council at their meeting (in front of the whole audience of people waiting for the council meeting). It was actually quite a lot of fun to do, and I am very excited about this opportunity to be more involved in my town on issues I care so much about.

Posted by Emily at 09:08 PM | Comments (3)

June 24, 2006

Mini Golf!

Ben and Trish came up and we went to dinner at Viand and played mini-golf at the local course. We all spent a lot of time fishing the balls out of the water hazards (there are convenient nets at each one and luckily the balls float), but it was a lot of fun and a beautiful night to be out. Ben and I even managed to each get a hole-in-one on hole #17 (which unfortunately didn't make up for the "6"'s I got on a few others...)

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Posted by Emily at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

Hot

It is definitely officially summer!

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(and Friday they're predicting 106!)

and it definitely makes me appreciate working in high-tech where it is always well air conditioned!!

Posted by Emily at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2006

Open Studios

Julia has always raved about the Open Studios events, so I'm going to try to go to the South County ones on May 14th if I have time. Here's a map and a reminder to myself to try to remember to go to some. It looks like a whole bunch will be exhibiting at the community center (not as much fun as seeing their studios, but certainly more convenient to home)

Site 82
Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center 17000 S. Monterey Rd Morgan Hill 95037
Anne Rosenzweig
Sheri Chakamian
Marge Regan
Marie-Christine Briot-Connolly
Jerri Kuehn
Dixie Lee Howe
Laurie Kruger
Satu Viitanen
Carole Belliveau

Posted by Emily at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2006

Uvas Canyon County Park

After napping through my previously scheduled Sunday activity (oops), I pulled myself together and S and I went exploring a bit of the area. While working on the map question yesterday on the reference desk, I noticed a huge park nearby to us so we mapped it out and visited.

Uvas Canyon County Park is only about 1/2 hour from our house and is absolutely gorgeous. We'll definitely be going back -- and to the even closer reservoir that we passed on the way.

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There are tons of lovely parks in the county -- I'd love to go explore more of them! Driving around I was struck again about how really beautiful this area is -- you forget some times while stuck in traffic, but just a few minutes off the highway is some gorgeous countryside.

Posted by Emily at 07:30 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2006

Birdhouse Stroll

strollinvite.jpgMom, Betty, Lisa and I went downtown to check out the birdhouses that will be auctioned off next week for the Project Return fundraiser. One of our favorites was this one by our very own Aunt Susan!
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Then we met up with Bill and Eduard for dinner at V and then (after a quick stop over in Barnes and Noble) we came home and settled in for a long night of cutting and gluing placecards...
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Posted by Emily at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2006

More snow!

It is actually snowing in downtown San Jose. I hope some of my photos come out (I'll try to post them when I get home) There's a thin layer of snow on the downtown palm trees. Crazy.

We even had a snow advisory.

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and when I got home from work there was snow on the hill behind our house:
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Posted by Emily at 12:00 PM | Comments (1)

Dictionary Day!

dictionaryday.gifToday is Dictionary Day for us, a project of the California Dictionary Project to donate and distribute dictionaries annually to third-graders in California public schools. 16 of us here at work have volunteered to go into classrooms, hand out dictionaries and play some word games with the kids to show them how to use their new resource. I'm heading to Graystone school in San Jose this afternoon and am really looking forward to seeing how the kids react...


Posted by Emily at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2006

Amgen Tour of California

There's a big bike race going through SJ today (which to me means the roads around my office are all closed off again). Its the Amgen Tour of California and its supposed to be good for local economic development and "build on San Jose's growing reputation as a great city for staging outstanding sporting events." The tour features 128 cyclists from 16 international teams -- eight of which compete in elite races like the Tour de France -- and can be seen by the public free of charge; there are no tickets to view the event.

The web site has good online race coverage ("Using a combination of Adobe® Creative Suite 2, Studio 8, Production Studio, Flex and Flash® Media Server applications, visitors will be able to watch live video of the race, along with hourly updated photography, a live Google map of the course, real time text commentary and a profile map.") if you want to see where the group is currently.

Posted by Emily at 07:26 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2006

Snow here!

Ok, nothing like the three feet my family got in CT, but one of my colleagues just pointed out that the hills outside our office windows are covered with a coating of snow! And I of course forgot to bring my new snazzy camera to capture the moment... I bet the people who escaped to Tahoe for the three day weekend are enjoying their snow... it didn't even occur to me that there would be snow out the window -- last week it was in the 70s here.

Posted by Emily at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

Palm Trees

Its quite sad that they're planning to cut down some of our lovely downtown palm trees to make way for the Grand Prix. "Sixteen of San Jose's signature palm trees will be moved off the Park Avenue medians closest to Plaza de Cesar Chavez because organizers of this summer's San Jose Grand Prix are widening that segment of their course through downtown streets."

Posted by Emily at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2006

2 Points

A bunch of us went out to lunch (to that same Pita place S and I tried out a couple of weeks ago) and I ran into 2 people I knew! Ok, its different when you live in a small town and know everyone -- I never know anyone here (I also rarely go outside my office and walk around downtown). At the restaurant, Liz from the MH library was there with some friends (probably from SJSU) and then on the way back we ran into Bob L. from The Tech (less surprising I suppose since the Tech is right there and I do sometimes run into Tech people walking around -- especially since the volunteers park in the garage for my office...) But I was very very pleased with myself for knowing people, and award myself 2 points for the day (especially because points count more if you see people you know while you're with other people who don't know them, because then you can really feel connected and all that...)

Tonight I'm off to the volunteer appreciation dinner for KTEH where I'll see a few more people that I know (though you don't get points when you go to an event where you're supposed to know the people).

(and yes the governor was at The Tech today but we didn't stop in to say hullo)

Posted by Emily at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

The Tent

I just noticed that I can see the Cirque du Soleil tent from the window by the office printer! I am SO excited to see the new show (I think I bought my tickets last June!)

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Posted by Emily at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2005

Jelly Belly

It was time for our traditional take-the-out-of-town-guest-to-the Jelly Belly factory tour! Then we went over to Old Sacramento.

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Posted by Emily at 10:40 PM | Comments (591)

November 18, 2005

Downtown Ice

The downtown San Jose ice rink opens today (just a couple of blocks from my office) ... I wonder where I put my skates...

Posted by Emily at 11:21 AM | Comments (61)

October 24, 2005

Painting 'Possum

Opossum makes an artistic imprint
By Leigh Weimers
Mercury News

Koko the gorilla paints. So do elephants in Thailand. And to the list of famous animal artists, now add Morgan Hill's Blossom the opossum.

Blossom lives at the Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center (she can't be released back to the wild because of an injury) and serves as an education animal there. But dip her feet in non-toxic finger paints, put her on a flat piece of canvas and she walks about doing her artistic thing (if properly tempted by bits of cheese or turkey).

Blossom will have an exhibition from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Holiday Inn Express in Morgan Hill, if you want to see what she produces first-hand. It also will feature framed 5-by-7-inch prints by Pogo, a smaller, younger opossum passing through the center. And there'll more Blossom on eBay.

More info and a photo of the painting sold on ebay can be found here:

Now, in addition to her work as an animal ambassador, Blossom has embarked on a second career as an artist, which due to her age, makes her the Grandma Moses of marsupials. At one-and-a half years old, Blossom is a veritable senior citizen in the animal kingdom, since the average lifespan of an opossum is only two years. Though technically she would be able to hold a brush with her prehensile tail or with her opposable thumbs, Blossom’s preferred method of painting is to apply brilliant rainbow-colored paints to her hands and feet and walk around on paper, sometimes just for the joy of it and sometimes requiring the enticement of a slice of cheese.
Posted by Emily at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2005

The Piece Process

After the play, S and I attended "The Piece Process: Closing Reception and Plans for Future Collaboration" at the invitation of one of S's colleagues. In conjunction with an art exhibit, Piece Process 3, this was a seven-week dialogue series that explored shared and divergent perspectives and hopes among Muslims, Jews, and othes in our community. We didn't know about the series or probably would have tried to go (though I do tend to work most Sunday afternoons) The event today included a Ramadan Iftar, the breaking of the fast and prayers. There was a good crowd (probably about 75 people stayed for dinner) and lots of really interesting people, most of whom had stuck through the whole series of events and clearly were really moved by their experience. We had a nice chat with the Rabbi of the local congregation and met some colleagues of S's boss.

Posted by Emily at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2005

Civil Unions in CT

Westport Now reports on two civil union licenses that were issued in town on Saturday, the first day a new Connecticut law authorizing them went into effect. Connecticut is now the second state in the country, after Vermont, to allow same-sex civil unions. Way to go CT. And way to go Mom, in her role as Justice of the Peace, who officiated at the first civil union in town!

Update: Mom sent some photos of the 2nd Civil Union she performed.
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Posted by Emily at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005

2005 Fairfield County Concours D'Elegance

It's here! After a year of planning (and fretting about the weather), today is the 2005 Fairfield County Concours D'Elegance. Congrats to Bill on what I'm sure will be another fantastic event.

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We're going over in a bit to help, and then I'll post some photos when we get back to California.

Posted by Emily at 04:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2005

Spoon sundae

Mom's here visiting (yay!) and we went downtown in MH to a restaurant for dinner and they had these adorable desserts that was one spoonful of sundae (afterall, we only wanted one bite...)

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Posted by Emily at 09:27 PM | Comments (2456)

August 06, 2005

Strawberry Festival

strawberryfest.jpgWe headed down to Watsonville today for their Strawberry Festival. We pulled up seconds too late for the shuttle bus so had to wait around quite a while at the start, but got there and immediately had some strawberry shortcake (the sign said "Build Your Own Strawberry Shortcake" but really you just went along with your bowl and they put in pound cake, strawberries and whip cream so you didn't really do any building) The only other highlight was winning a t-shirt in Spanish from 5-a-day.

On the way down we stopped at the paint store and bought supplies to repaint our dining room chairs. I'm so excited to get to paint something!

Posted by Emily at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

Great supermarket

I'm delighted to report that the Safeway up the street (1.3 miles away) is a _really_ good one -- it's probably the best Safeway I've ever been in and probably rivals any other supermarket I've been to as well. It's open 24 hours, there's a Starbucks inside, the carts have cup holders for your coffee, there's a huge natural foods section (including my favorite cereal that I usually get at Whole Foods), there is an amazing range of choices for pretty much everything, and it has big wide aisles and fantastic merchandising displays. Ahh... I do appreciate a good supermarket.

Posted by Emily at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2005

Los Altos Arts & Wine Fest

If you're looking for something to do today or tomorrow, Los Altos is having their Arts and Wine Festival downtown July 10th and 11th. I popped in briefly before work and may swing through again when I'm done here because it looked like a really good festival. Parking's a bit zooey, but worth it.

Update: here we are at the fair. CareerBuilder.com was taking digital photos of people that you could later pick up on their web site if you registered (a brilliant promotional scheme) They were also giving out yummy banana candies.
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Posted by Emily at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2005

10th Largest

According to the US Census Bureau, San Jose has passed Detroit to become the tenth largest city in America, with a population now estimated at 904,522. Founded in 1777, San Jose is the oldest city in California and is the third largest in the state after Los Angeles and San Diego.

more

New York, with a population of 8,104,079, still tops the list of the 10 largest cities in the United States, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio, Dallas and San Jose.

Posted by Emily at 06:13 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2005

Healthiest City

Study: San Jose Is Healthiest City

According to a new study from Bert Sperling's BestPlaces and vitamin-maker Centrum, the top five healthiest cities in the country are San Jose, California; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; the Seattle metro area; and Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. The five cities at the bottom are Orlando, Florida; the Cleveland metro area; Cincinnati; San Antonio and New Orleans. Full List.

The study considered five criteria in ranking the top 50 cities: mental wellness, lifestyle pursuits, physical activity, health status and diet.

Posted by Emily at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Nope, didn't feel it

There was an impressive sounding 7.0 earthquake tonight around 7:50pm off the coast of CA, but we didn't feel it at all at the library. Someone did call one of the other librarians about it so we quickly checked the web site and learned about the dramatic tsunami warning (issued for coastal areas from the California-Mexico border to the northern tip of Vancouver in Canada! but called off about an hour after the quake hit) Thanks Dad & Jane for calling to check on me :)

Posted by Emily at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2005

Out and About

For the nice Memorial day weekend, S and I went down to Pinnacles National Monument on Sunday for a morning hike and to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur this morning for a much flatter walk (plus a nice brunch at the Ripplewood Cafe in Big Sur and a very successful stop at their library's book and bake sale -- probably the only place where I've ever seen used books and deviled eggs sold together... and what was strange was that two different women had brought deviled eggs as their bake sale contribution. Funny, I think I would have made rice krispie treats or chocolate chip cookies myself...)

Pinnacles:
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Big Sur:
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Posted by Emily at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

Bad Roads

San Jose's roads are judged second worst in the entire country. In all, five California metropolitan areas rank in the worst 10 in The Road Information Program (TRIP)'s report.

And it turns out we're paying more for car maintenance because of it: "Studies also show that driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration, increasing the frequency of needed maintenance and increasing fuel consumption. The metro areas (500,000 people or more) where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of substandard roads are: San Jose - $689 ($689.38)"

The Gov was even here fixing potholes or something...

Posted by Emily at 06:42 AM | Comments (10)

May 22, 2005

Botanical Gardens

S and I visited the really impressive Botanical Gardens at UC Berkeley today. I had met some docents from there at a conference a few months back, but had never been up to visit. Its really a gorgeous place with an incredible range of plants. The most spectacular was probably the Puya berteroniana which is only supposed to bloom every 16 years or so. Its located way up on the top of Berkeley's campus and there's a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the rose garden part.

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Posted by Emily at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

Community Involvement

May is community involvement month at work and today we had a very nice volunteer fair with local groups and then a bunch of us spent the afternoon at RAFT putting together kits for teachers to use with their class (all month there are different volunteer opportunities, each one includes the participation of one of the executive team which is a cool way to encourage participation.)

The booths at the volunteer fair were very cool and, for those of you local who are looking for ways to get involved, here are some opportunities that sounded really interesting:

San Jose Family Shelter
Homework enrichment program, M-F, 6-8:30pm
Tutoring, doing arts and crafts, supervising the computer lab and babysitting

Community Solutions
Does a summer school supply drive (and wouldn't the library be a great drop-off point for that?)

Montalvo
(which is right up the street from me)
They have an amazing Literary Arts program with interesting writers and they need volunteer hosts, greeters, etc.

Save the Bay
June 11: Summer Restoration in Palo Alto
June 18: Bair Island Paddle and Restoration

The Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center in Mountain View (I went to one lecture there a few months back with Trish) has a ton of interesting volunteer opportunities in Development, Marketing, Visual Arts, Music in Local Schools, etc.

and lots of other interesting places...

Posted by Emily at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2005

Kids in Common

Spent the day at the Early Literacy Conference, helping out at the booth for Kids in Common a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood that gives out books to clinics and doctors offices for kids to take home.

More on this group later...

Posted by Emily at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

Public Transit!

Looks like Los Gatos is going to get a shuttle to the new Campbell light rail station! There's an article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. It will definitely be an improvement from taking the bus to the Blossom Hill Light Rail (which made it over an hour trip to get to downtown SJ) And its very cool that the Campbell Light Rail station is opening in July -- that's been under construction for as long as I can remember and will definitely be a boost to cute little downtown Campbell (now we just need to get the library reopened Sundays and Mondays...)

Posted by Emily at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

Can we have class outside?

On a day this nice in college we would have all begged to have class outside. Walking from work downtown to class, the sign on the Rep said it was 82 degrees out. Little kids were running around in the fountains. I sat down on a bench to read and fell asleep for a bit in the wonderful sunshine. This is March? Makes it hard to get much work done...
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Posted by Emily at 07:08 PM | Comments (1)

March 04, 2005

At the mall

So I dragged Emy to the mall -- well, first I dragged her to help Ellen and I hand write thank you notes to people who had contributed to the library campaign. I was hoping to observe teens for class but also desperately needed to bring my poor sick powerbook in for some tlc. We spent a very long time at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store with Patrick, today's resident genius, and it seems like it was all software issues that could be repaired. Apparently the grey screen of death with the multi-language warnings that I had been getting anytime I moved the laptop was a "kernel panic" message, possibly caused by doing video editing which is hard on one's hard drive (note: it is recommended to do store the video files on an external hard drive to avoid this, who knew?) There were also a ton of permission errors (figures, with the unix underbelly) and a bad shell name or something. Hopefully it will now feel a bit better.

We did walk around and try to observe teens, and then had some very yummy fish and chips in the food court. There were lots of teens getting their make up done, walking around in small groups, going in and out of the infinite seeming Abercrombe storefronts, wearing a lot of sweat shirts and flip flops, and generally hanging out. I'm hoping there are some teen volunteers at KTEH tonight so I can talk to them instead, since my observing wasn't as fruitful as I had hoped.


Posted by Emily at 06:46 PM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2005

Fremont Peak

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Shachar and I drove up to Fremont Peak State Park but it was cold and I was tired so we just looked at the view and didn't hike around. It was beautiful up there though.

Anyone have any idea what kind of plant this is?
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Posted by Emily at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2005

Whale Watch

whalewatch1.jpgShachar and I went on a whale watch today from Montery on the "Sur Randy".

Apparently, each winter, gray whales migrate south from Alaska to their calving grounds off Baja California. In spring, they return with their calves to their feeding grounds off Alaska. Since we're in early spring, there were a few slow-pokes going South and a few early ones already heading back North. January's probably the ideal time, but we spotted at least one pod of two or three whales (and either saw some other ones or those same ones a couple of times) They're great fun to spot because you really do see the spurt of water and then have time to all rush to that side of the boat in time to see the whale's back and then the very cool tail flip by.

Posted by Emily at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2004

Point Lobos

pointlobos.jpgI thought I was signed up to work today, but since I wasn't on the schedule I got to enjoy a nice day out and about. Shachar and I headed over to Point Lobos State Reserve, in Monterey County three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. We saw seals, monarch butterflies and deer, but missed out on the sea otters and whales that you can often see there.

In addition to walking around the trails, we stopped into the museum, chatted with the docent and watched part of a very nice video documentary about the region. According to the web site, "While Point Lobos is justifiably famous for its scenic beauty and remarkable diversity of plants and wildlife, it is also a place rich in human history. Over the past 150 years, this area has played host to a virtual parade of human activity. At one time or another, Point Lobos had been home to Native Americans, Chinese fishermen, Japanese abalone harvesters, and Portuguese whalers. It has been the site of an abalone cannery, coal mining business, granite quarry, military base, and numerous film productions."

All sorts of movies have been filmed there over the years, including 1959's  A Summer Place with Troy Donahue & Sandra Dee!


Posted by Emily at 08:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 05, 2004

Ice Skating

downtownice2.jpgThere's ice skating in downtown San Jose! And Greg had never been ice skating before (despite receiving a pair of skates in 2nd grade.) So of course we had to go and try it out! He turned out to be a complete natural at it (and I crashed and burned repeatedly) but it was a fantastic location to skate -- surrounded by palm trees.

Then we sat and had hot chocolate on the steps of the art museum and walked around Christmas in the Park (and bought reindeer ears and raffle tickets -- because Greg has amazing raffle luck) before heading over to The Tech to see Polar Express on the IMAX.
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December 04, 2004

Fantasy of Lights

vasonalights2.jpgIf you have been driving at night down Highway 17 between Campbell and Los Gatos, you may have noticed a large number of holiday lights as you drove by Vasona Park. vasonalights1.jpgTurns out its the annual Vasona Lake County Park's Fantasy of Lights, "an evening drive-through tour of 37 holiday light displays" which is "one of the most popular family holiday traditions in the South Bay." You drive through the park listening to Christmas music and seeing some very impressive light displays. Here are two of our favorites -- the ship shoots cannon balls out of it and Santa is shooting hoops into the basket -- its much better in person and moving.

One note, it would help to be in a car where the headlights aren't automatic (you should drive through with just your parking lights to not disturb the car in front of you). But there were many cars who couldn't turn them off, and they advised us just to leave extra room after the car you were following.

Posted by Emily at 09:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Natural Bridges State Beach

notdeadleaves.jpgContinuing the tour, today we headed down to Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz to check out the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve. From mid-October through the end of February, the Monarchs winter there in the nice Santa Cruz weather. In the spring and summer, the butterflies live in the valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains where milkweed, the only plant a Monarch caterpillar eats, is plentiful. It was too cold for the butterflies to be moving around much, but we went on the docent led tour which was fantastic. We had a great guide and learned a tremendous amount about the lifecycle and habits of monarch butterflies. They also have a demonstration milkweed patch where we got a chance to see Monarch eggs, caterpillars and chrysalides. In the picture here, those clusters that look like dead leaves are actually about 10,000 monarch butterflies. The underside of their wings are dark to camouflage them. There's a great video here about what it would be like to see them on a warm October day!

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The beach is absolutely gorgeous as well, the natural bridge (one of only three that still stand in that spot since the others washed away) very impressive, and the surfers a lot of fun to watch.

Posted by Emily at 06:12 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Everyone loves a parade!

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This morning was the annual Los Gatos holiday parade! I've never actually been before but have seen the people walking home from it in previous years. This morning Greg and I headed down to see a bit of it -- and were very impressed! There were 238 parade entries (though we only stayed until about #77) -- our favorite was probably theItalian Gardeners' Association Cucuzza Squash Drill Team. People were lining all of downtown, many with chairs and blankets like they knew what they were doing.
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I got three points for actually knowing someone in the parade -- Barbara Nesbit was riding on the Monte Sereno float and said hello to me as she rowed by.


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Silicon Valley Reads Fundraiser this weekend

I'm fascinated by the everyone-in-the-city-reads-the-same-book initatives around the country. So I wanted to mention for those of you that are local here in Santa Clara County that the 2005 "Silicon Valley Reads: One Book, One Community" program is having a book fair fundraiser this weekend!

"Purchases made at any Barnes & Noble store in Santa Clara County on Saturday and Sunday will benefit the project, which encourages everyone in Silicon Valley to read and participate in discussions of a particular book."

This year's selected book is David Mas Masumoto's "Epitaph for a Peach". Throughout February, Silicon Valley Reads will hold public discussions and events, including a Feb. 1 conversation with the author at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose.

For weekend book purchases to count toward the fundraiser, you must use a voucher. Download one at www.siliconvalleyreads.org (here's the pdf)

Gee, guess we'll have to go bookshopping this weekend! How awful! :)

Posted by Emily at 09:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2004

Jelly Belly, a Geyser & some Port

oldfaithful.jpgContinuing the very eclectic tour of the area, Greg and I headed to the ever-wonderful Jelly Belly factory tour this afternoon He even had a jelly belly shaped hamburger in the cafe! I loaded up on the requisite Belly Flops (the factory seconds where they're misshaped but still wonderful) and some of the new JBz (chocolate candies coated with jelly belly shells).

Then we continued up through Napa and visited Calistoga's Old Faithful Geyser (shown here) which turns out to possibly be able to maybe predict earthquakes (but they're not really sure). We were the only people there, but it was quite cool to see.

We headed back to Napa and stopped at a holiday port tasting and learned a lot about different port wines and what to pair them with (the combination of the syrah with the chocolate truffles was divine, but it may just have been because of the truffles). Greg continued to wear his spiffy Jelly Belly tour paper hat during the gathering, which actually turned out to be a very interesting conversation piece.

Posted by Emily at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

Redwoods and Romanian Food

redwoodsgreg.jpgGreg wanted redwoods, so we zipped down to Big Basin park just before the sun went down and managed to see a few amazing trees before it got too dark. Then, just to be different, we had dinner at the Transilvania Romanian Restaurant in Los Gatos.

Posted by Emily at 10:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

Rough Cut

sanjosemovie.jpgSo Amytha and I put together a quick video yesterday for the "The 3rd Okayama International Sightseeing Video Contest". I still need to tweak it a bit, but here's the rough cut. Let's see if I can get this to work...
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Watch our movie!

If you need to, you can Download RealPlayer (there's a free version) here. Then in the address box, type the following: rtsp://real.gjhost.com/emily/SanJose.rm

(and yes, we were trying to make it cheesy)


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November 15, 2004

Video Contest

via a google alert (since there's a mention of The Tech later in the article):

Depict S.J. in video for sister city contest
By Leigh Weimers, Mercury News
If you had to sum up San Jose in a three-minute video, what would you show? That's what one of our sister cities -- Okayama, Japan -- wants to know. It's conducting a video competition, with the winning entries to be shown on its municipal Web site. And yes, there's money involved: prizes of $454, $181 and $90 (odd figures, but that's what happens converting yen into dollars). Contest details are available at www.sjeconomy.com. (pdf with details)

I just thought that sounded like so much fun! I wonder what people will include? Unfortunately entries are due 11/30 or I'd try to rope Amytha into putting something together with me (since her background is in film and we had all those plans to go visit the really wacky & tacky San Jose sites) Anyway...

Posted by Emily at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2004

Chagall Mural

Helped out this morning on the mural at To Life: A Jewish Cultural Street Festival. Here are the before and (almost) done photos. Tons of kids (of all ages) came and helped paint different areas of the mural -- sort of a giant paint-by-number.

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Posted by Emily at 05:05 PM | Comments (1153) | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Salinas, Monterey & Carmel

Once in a while I remember that part of the point of living in California is that you can head to the water! Spent some time this weekend in Monterey, had lunch in Carmel, drove along Rt 1, saw some seals, etc.
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And I learned a lot about lettuce and other crops down in Salinas and tried some crazy new fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of before (pummelo?, cherimoya?). It really is amazing to see all our food actually being grown (yes, I'm really really not a country mouse).
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Posted by Emily at 08:24 PM | Comments (1)

October 09, 2004

Steinbeck Center

On Wendy's recommendation, we stopped by the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas today. John Steinbeck was born in Salinas and many of his stories feature the region. From their web site:

Visit the National Steinbeck Center to experience a journey through John Steinbeck's world, where literature jumps off the printed page and into your imagination. Discover Steinbeck's works and philosophy through interactive, multisensory exhibits for all ages and backgrounds, priceless artifacts, entertaining displays, educational programs and research archives. Seven themed theaters showcase East of Eden, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and much more.

It was a gorgeous museum with very well thought-out interactive displays and a great gift shop (I was very tempted by the "I guess there are never enough books" t-shirts but settled on one of his books instead.) Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

Posted by Emily at 07:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2004

Didn't feel it...

928earthquake.gifThis one was quite south of here, but people felt it all the way up to San Fran. It really is quite BIG looking on the map though (it was a 6.0)

Its really interesting since they've been predicting an earthquake there for years, so they had great equipment ready to measure and learn from it. According to a Knight Ridder article, "The effects of Tuesday's quake will be felt by geologists the world over who have been waiting for nearly two decades for an earthquake to hit this stretch of open rangeland."

Tuesday's quake hit the infamous San Andreas fault in a sparsely populated area seven miles south of Parkfield at 10:15 a.m., rupturing an estimated 20 to 30 miles of the fault. It was followed by a string of aftershocks, including a magnitude 5.0 jolt just four minutes later.

An hour after the earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey warned of a 50 percent chance of a magnitude 5.0 or greater aftershock and as many as 70 magnitude 3.0 or greater shocks over the next seven days.

According to the geological survey, there is also a 5 to 10 percent chance another 6.0 or greater quake could hit the same area, or the fault section immediately to the south, in the next week.

There are some great quotes reacting to the quake in the Merc, and a piece from CNET about places to find earthquake info online.

Posted by Emily at 09:33 PM | Comments (2)

September 12, 2004

Figs

Had my first picked-fresh-off-a-tree fig tonight! Mmmm.... :)
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Posted by Emily at 11:56 PM | Comments (4)

September 09, 2004

Earthquake

So at 3:32 am last night, I was sitting up in bed thinking to myself "I'm having a dream about an earthquake... I'll have to remember to check in the morning if we're really having one." And then I completely forgot about it and assumed it had been a dream. Luckily I was feeling very calm about it all.

But it turns out we did have a small, 3.4 magnitude quake last night:

A minor earthquake occurred at 3:32:29 AM (PDT) on Thursday, September 9, 2004. The magnitude 3.4 event occurred 2 km (1 miles) E of Saratoga, CA. The hypocentral depth is 4 km ( 2 miles).

which means it was centered RIGHT here (since I'm about 1 mile from Saratoga I think)

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(click for full size map, its the big square to the south west of San Jose)

Posted by Emily at 04:31 PM | Comments (88) | TrackBack

August 28, 2004

Hiking

hiking1.jpgNo, you're not on the wrong blog, I actually went hiking this morning! Shachar and I went to the Henry Coe State Park in Morgan Hill and did a very nice loop (plus a bit extra when I took us on the wrong trail). We even stopped for a small picnic (have I mentioned how much I love picnics?) and he made turkish coffee with cardamon which was quite good -- and very amusing. hiking2.jpg Its a beautiful park with tons of trails and the one we went on had a booklet with information about the different trees and things we saw. We saw a couple of lizards and a very cool line of wild turkeys walking along. I love these red Madrone trees where the bark peels off in little curls and the underlying wood is a really smooth, lovely red.

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On the way home, we stopped by the Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos and did a tasting and took a tour of the facility. I bought a bottle of wine to bring to Dad next time I see him, since the place is named for Red Heads.


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August 25, 2004

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Thank you Margaret and Alan for taking me to Shakespeare Santa Cruz's excellent production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? tonight.

I'll post more about it tomorrow - I'm beat.

Posted by Emily at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

History San Jose

historysanjosetemple.jpgAfter months of meaning to go, Amytha and I finally made it to History San Jose today, a park filled with 27 original and replica homes, businesses and landmarks, which highlights periods of Santa Clara Valley's past. Only three of the buildings were open, and the place had a bit of a ghost town feel, but it was definitely interesting and I'd like to go back on a day with more people.

Amytha actually spent the summer archiving the collection of documents from the organization that raised the money to restore the Temple shown here, so she knew all about the history of the place.



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August 06, 2004

Photos from the Fair

The Republicans had a better booth location, so one of our gutsy volunteers went over and stood next to their booth with a sign showing people where to find our side.
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But we had a nice corner booth which allowed us to talk to people on both sides
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The highlight was probably this goat that someone dressed up like a chicken - he doesn't look happy though.
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The pigs were cute too!
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Posted by Emily at 07:08 PM | Comments (1)

County Fair

thefair.jpgI'll be doing voter registration at the Santa Clara County Fair today from 4-6 if anyone wants to stop by.

We'll be in booth 46 in the commercial pavillion. Its free admission and "Elvis the Stilt Walker" should be roaming around (according to the entertainment schedule).

I love fairs and festivals and things like this!

For the fair with the best domain name (http://www.thefair.org/), the web site sure doesn't give you a lot of information you can use!

Posted by Emily at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2004

So sad

notmystore.jpgI stopped by knitting group after the ALASC meeting to say hi to folks and noticed that the building I had falled in love with for my imaginary store was for rent again! I've been admiring it for months, and when it was for rent a few weeks back I even called and left a message to find out about it, but they never called back and then the "for rent" sign went away, so I gave up on the idea. But then I walked by today (its right next to the coffee shop where we meet to knit) and the sign was back! So after telling everyone at knitting group my dream about what I had planned to do in the store, I dragged a couple of the girls over to check it out and I called the guy again.

Sadly, its not acceptable for retail because it is not currently handicap-accessible -- and to make it accessible would cost thousands of dollars (according to the guy) because not only would you need a ramp, but would have to pave the gravel driveway and redo the bathroom. So he's probably going to rent it out to people who want to use it as office space and not have customers coming and going. Oh well, it was fun to dream about it. Isn't it cute? And its an apartment upstairs and at least 4 big rooms downstairs... sigh.

Posted by Emily at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

Nara Opening

nara.gifAfter grabbing a quick dinner with Amytha, I met up with Rika at the SJ Museum of Art for the opening of their new exhibit, Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens. The exhibit is great and I'll definitely want to go back when there aren't so many people, but it was fun to see the energy of a big opening night party. Lots of young, very hip folks, and great food!

My favorite piece was an installation of a work by Walter Robinson that was a wall covered with giant versions of those cool animal crackers that are frosted in pink and white with the sprinkles? You kind of have to see it to believe it...

There's also a cool new room filled with The Art of Zines, and I definitely want to take some time to sit and read some of them next time.


Posted by Emily at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2004

West Nile

Hmmm... maybe I should go for a long sleeve t-shirt since they're reporting a case of West Nile here in San Jose...

Posted by Emily at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2004

SF Adventure!

frenchtoastsf.jpgCarrie would be SO proud of me! Amytha and I drove into SF and spent the whole day driving around and visiting super cool stores. I had to parallel park at least 4 times and drive up and down crazy hills and navigate one-way streets! Luckily Amytha had gone to school in SF and was an awesome navigator.

First stop was General Bead (637 minna st) (which turns out to be right down the street from CIIS, one of my Group Jazz clients). Just an amazing assortment of beads and fixin's -- and even an entire room dedicated to sequins. Crazy!

Then we went to a very cool Japanese stationary store, filled with all those great stickers and papers and characters. Then we stopped into The Paper Source, which many of you will remember as being the super-cool paper store across the street from the hotel we all stayed in when Brian and Karen got married. (That's where I am in the picture here)

We stopped for a late lunch at a place which served breakfast all day and had the most divine french toast (see photo) covered with yogurt and fruit and granola and syrup.

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We cruised around the Haight Ashbury area for a LONG time looking for parking and finally found some and visited fun stores like Cheap Thrills (1324 Haight Street) and Amoeba Records (where I bought some records to melt into bowls - I'll let you know if it works). It was funny because I heard about Amoeba for the first time in an NPR piece yesterday.

I think we stopped at some other places as well, but it all kinda blurred together by the end. It was a great adventure though and we were totally inspired by all sorts of things we saw and now want to make all sorts of new things!

Posted by Emily at 08:46 PM | Comments (3)

July 08, 2004

Touch My Books... Please

losgatosmuseum.jpgJulia brought me a clipping from Saturday's SJ Merc about an exhibit called Touch My Books... Please by the Bay Area Book Artists at the Los Gatos Art Museum (which is right around the corner from my apartment). So today, after we did some work on recruiting volunteers for the ASTC Conference, we popped over to see the exhibit.

It was great! Most of you know by now that I adore book-arts, and this was a great collection of altered books, hand made books, and all sorts of book-creations. Very inspiring -- my favorite was a wall hanging of a book made with found paper and machine sewed (another argument for getting a sewing machine) and one made of computer chips and beads. There was even a great one made out of a cereal box and the pages were glued-together coco-pops! With almost all of them, you got to open them up and read through them.

Apparently they're also doing "Walk & Talks" at the gallery at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday for members of the public interested in learning more about artists' books: July 3, 10, 17, and 24. Though somehow my next few Saturdays seem awfully full already :(

Thanks Julia for finding out about the exhibit and giving me an excuse to finally go to the museum! And I'm happy to go back if any one else wants to come see the exhibit!

Posted by Emily at 02:15 PM | Comments (98)

July 05, 2004

Israeli Folk Dancing

My friend Frank, a fellow Wednesday-Tech volunteer, has been trying to get me to try out the local Israeli folk dancing group for over a year now. I keep meaning to go, and then keep not going.

Well tonight's online class was optional because of the holiday, and since I had already done the alternative assignment you could do instead of participating (and since I hate online chats anyway), I finally got up and went dancing!

It was SOOO much fun! I've always loved Israeli folk dancing at weddings and things, but never really knew what you're supposed to do. I clearly have A LOT to learn, but the teacher was great, the music is fantastic, and Frank was there to lead in the couple dances (and there's nothing like a guy who can actually lead!)

It quickly got way too hard (beginner stuff is 7:30-8 and then it quickly gets complicated) but I danced and danced and then watched and they're still at it there until late into the night.

I think I may try the Thursday group instead (since I do have to go to the rest of my Monday classes) -- anyone want to try it with me?

(Frank, by the way, is at least in his 70s I think, and I have no idea how he goes out dancing so many nights a week - I'm definitely worn out!)

Posted by Emily at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Silicon Valley, v 2.0?

On the front page of today's NY Times there's an article about Silicon Valley (Version 2.0) Has Hopes Up by Gary Rivlin which tries to figure out if our region is on the way back up. Some interesting quotes:

Indeed, conditions do look relatively good because things have been so bleak for so long. The area lost nearly a fifth of its jobs after the end of the bubble in 2000, said Mark Zandi, the chief economist at the consulting firm Economy.com. Looking strictly at job losses, he said, the San Jose metropolitan area, which includes much of Silicon Valley, suffered the worst collapse of any metropolitan area in the United States since the Great Depression, surpassing Detroit, which lost 13 percent of its jobs in the early 1980's.

Since 2000, the region has added one new job for every 15 jobs lost, according to data provided by Mr. Levy, and added roughly 13,000 jobs over the last four months. "At that rate a jobs recovery is going to take a long, long time," he said, maybe through the end of the decade. Silicon Valley's unemployment rate of 5.9 percent does not sound extremely high, but as Mr. Levy points out, tens of thousands of workers left the area after the collapse.

Office vacancy rates in the region were below 4 percent during the boom, but reached 18 percent in the second half of 2003, according to BT Commercial Real Estate/NAI. That figure now stands at 17.6 percent, even though office rental rates are at their lowest level in more than seven years, according to that firm's Silicon Valley Office Report. (Home prices in the area, however, are at record highs, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate data firm based in San Diego.)

In 2000, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, 55 percent of the region's major freeway miles were snarled in traffic during commuting hours, compared to less than 40 percent in 2002, the latest year with data available. The traffic was far worse for those commuting to and from the area, whether over bridges or via a route like State Highway 17, which runs southwest from Los Gatos, Calif., through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Traffic on more than 8 in 10 miles on that highway slowed to a crawl at rush hour in 2000, compared with 3 in 10 miles in 2002.
[I live off of Highway 17]

Someone at knitting group on Sunday, who was working on her umpteenth baby blanket for friends and colleagues, made an interesting observation that everyone was having babies because their careers weren't going anywhere. She found that since they're careers were stuck anyway, they might as well have a good excuse for it and step off the track and have a baby.

I continue to hear about people who have lost their jobs but no one has come in reporting landing a cool new job... so I wouldn't say things are looking all that optimistic for most people yet.

Posted by Emily at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

Arcadia

Arcadia.jpgTina and I went to a superb production of Arcadia, one of my favorite plays of all time, tonight at Theater Works in Mountain View. Wow. Its just so amazing its hard to explain... Its about chaos theory and math and love and time and gardens and hermits and an amazing amount of stuff squished into funny and very smart dialog. You get Fermat's Last Theorem, Lord Byron, the Picturesque and the Sublime, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and learn to waltz. Even though I had seen it before and had even read the play, there was so much I didn't remember and the staging still gave me goose bumps when the characters in early nineteenth century and the modern day occupy the stage together and look over the same documents. And of course when I put the ending clues back together as they unfolded I almost cried!

Some quotes:


If you could stop every atom in its position and direction, and if your mind could comprehend all the actions thus suspended, then if you were really, really good at algebra you could write a formula for all the future: and although nobody can be so cleaver to do it, the formula must exist just if one could ( Thomasina to Septimus )

"We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it."
(Septimus to Thomasina)

Posted by Emily at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2004

Hidden Villa

Almost a whole year after meeting Trish in class last summer and hearing about this fantastic place called Hidden Villa where she lives and works as the caretaker of the house, I FINALLY made it up to Los Altos Hills to visit (and return an overdue stack of museum interpreter resources that I had borrowed from her to use in my Reference paper).

It truly is an amazing place -- 1600 acres of farm & wilderness preserve, over 70 animals, a beautiful house and amazing programs for kids. We had coffee with milk right from a cow (well, cow -> bucket -> coffee cup), admired the gorgeous chickens, talked to a pig at length, hiked a gorgeous trail and found some very wise looking rocks. The place is inspiring in so many ways, and Trish and I brainstormed all sorts of fun ideas (yes, my favorite thing to do is brainstorm exciting new ideas of things to do... and yes, I have too many things going on right now, sigh).

I'm hoping to go back up when the new piglets are born! (the pig we were talking to is the dad) And next time I'll have to bring my camera along on our walk! (and I have to remember that there is no cellphone service there at all so I can't be there when I'm supposed to be on conference calls... oops, sorry Lisa!)

Hi Trish! Thanks for having me up there!

Posted by Emily at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2004

Baseball Scouting Trip

In order to get ready for our ALASC trip to the baseball game on June 13th (RSVP today!), I went and scouted the SJ Giant's today.

I learned that we should meet outside the (one and only) gate, perhaps under the big schedule. Our table in the BBQ area will have a sign reserving it for us, so we'll be able to round everyone up there. It gets quite hot at the stadium, so everyone should be sure to bring hats and sunscreen!

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Posted by Emily at 02:47 PM | Comments (1383)

May 22, 2004

Filoli

filoli2.jpgAfter planning to go for months, Tina and I finally went to Filoli today and I totally fell in love with the place and want to go back again and again! Even on a pretty grey morning, it was just a magical place. My friend Stan who I volunteer with at The Tech is a guide there and has been saying how wonderful it is for years, but I never made it up there (its only about 1/2 hour away). It is a 654-acre estate containing a historic house and sixteen acres of formal gardens. Here are a few of the photos I took.
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and the library
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Posted by Emily at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2004

Candy Store

After Mom and I took a quick trip to the Art Museum (to show her the Liza Lou kitchen, of course... plus it was 20% off everything in the gift shop for members and they were having a really nice jewelry show in the cafe), we drove up to The Candy Store Classic Car Club in Burlingame and met Bill, John and JR there. It was a fantastic space, with great cars, a cool club room and tons of old car-memorabilia.

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Posted by Emily at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2004

Surprise Free Parking

I was surprised to leave my art class this morning and find that my parking had been free! Turns out the garage is free on major holidays.

[Blank stares from my East Coast readers... um... major holiday?]

Yes, today is Cesar Chavez day, a major California holiday. The libraries and other official things are all closed.

Posted by Emily at 12:40 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2004

Birdhouse Auction

Tonight was the huge fundraising birdhouse auction in Westport, and I just found out that Mom and Bill were the winning bid on this fabulous Westport Country Playhouse birdhouse! Cool!

Posted by Emily at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2004

Wireless in the Park!

inthepark.jpgSince it was such a lovely day and since I can't seem to get my PC to connect to my airport network, I thought I'd walk down to the park to see if I could connect from here. My virtual reference assignment this week will only run on a pc (grumble) so I had to find a way to connect one way or another. I do seem to be the only one logged in here and am getting very strange looks from a nearby dog... and the signal keeps fading in and out which may be a problem.


Posted by Emily at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2004

There are people living in the toaster

Dmsc_LizaKitchen_large.jpgOur art class today took a tour of the SJ Museum of Art's new Domestic Odyssey exhibit. The highlight was an amazing three-dimensional, 168-square-foot replica of a typical 1950s American kitchen that the artist Liza Lou has covered with over 20 million brightly-colored beads. It includes a colorful tile counter and dish-filled sink, a cherry pie cooling on an over rack, and even dust balls under the refrigerator. I had seen her back yard picnic installation once (at the museum in Grand Central Station maybe?) but this was even better and really just utterly amazing.

My other favorites was a whole miniature dining room and kitchen inside a toaster oven by Helen Cohen, a wall hanging and tower made out of brightly colored sponges by An Te Liu, and a gigantic red couch eating all the other living room furniture, by the artist who did the fun Defenestration building in SF.

Posted by Emily at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2004

Eegads, more snow

summer.jpgNot to rub it in, but it was another record warm day here in the mid-80s, and seems to be snowing in CT right now... Isn't Eduard lucky to be coming out here tomorrow? :)


Posted by Emily at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2004

Raft

BobbiLynn and I took a fieldtrip to R.A.F.T. (Resource Area For Teachers) this morning to try to find supplies for her to make kaleidoscopes with her Gifted and Talented science kids. What a cool place! We're definitely going to have to go back! There are some tremendously odd things there -- I'm so amazed at the way people find to use them with their classes!

Posted by Emily at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2004

Dr. Brown's

The highlight of the day was finding out that my supermarket now stocks Dr. Brown's Diet Black Cherry Soda.

The 85 degree sunny weather didn't hurt either.

Yes, California's not so bad...

Posted by Emily at 11:20 PM | Comments (1)

February 29, 2004

Mousetrap

mousetrap.jpgTina and I went to see the Mousetrap presented by the Northside Theater Company at the Olinder Theater in San Jose (848 E. William Street). It played to a sold-out house (of 80 seats) and was quite a decent production. I had seen it years ago in London, but had forgotten enough of the twists to still be surprised a bit by some of the revelations.


Posted by Emily at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004

3.6 at 6:11

Just had a little 3.6 earthquake, about half way between here and Gilroy (a route I'll know well soon). Didn't feel it (3.6, that's nothing!) but heard about it immediately afterwards on the news.

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Great earthquake info at: http://quake.usgs.gov/

Posted by Emily at 06:21 PM | Comments (1)

December 13, 2003

Christmas in the Park

Walked around downtown after the Tech and checked out San Jose's Christmas in the Park. My favorite tree was this Alice in Wonderland one, and it was nice to see one menorrah there as well.
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Posted by Emily at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2003

A golden goal in overtime

Alan took me to the Earthquakes game tonight! They beat the Kansas City Wiz 3-2 in double overtime. Great game! Thanks Alan!!

Posted by Emily at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2003

Sad Day to be from California

vote.jpgLooks like its Governor Schwarzenegger for us! Yikes!

People keep calling and emailing me to suggest I move back East (or North). Looks like the Bay Area voted the right way at least -- perhaps we could secede and keep our governor (not that he was such a gem really).

Posted by Emily at 09:33 PM | Comments (24)

September 27, 2003

Fall Rubberama

After a less than inspiring day of class, I was able to catch the last 45 minutes of the San Jose Fall Rubberama (the big rubber stamp show) at Parkside Hall. I bought a few new stamps (including some cute candy corn stamps), an embossing kit, and a little surprise for BobbiLynn's birthday...

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A sample piece from Yvonne the embossing lady with a dragon fly charm

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(the candy corn stamps)

Plus a little mouse I got from Inky Antics

Posted by Emily at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2003

Alone on the bus

busseat.jpgHere's the empty bus -- I'm the only person on board - even though its rush hour (6pm). Hopefully there will be a few more people on tomorrow morning's...

Posted by Emily at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2003

Los Gatos Art Cats

I walked over to Oak Medow Park for the Los Gatos Art Cats Auction. I bid on this one - the "petriotic puddy" - but someone outbid me at the last second. gotaway.jpg
The one that got away

Tails of the Art Cats
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cats cats cats

The new bandstand in Oak Medow Park where - I kid you not - they were having a cat calling contest.
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The carousel in the park
carousel carousel

Posted by Emily at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2003

VTA

lightrail.jpgTook most of the day to get to the Tech and back. The light rail is quite nice... it's just the 40 minute bus ride to get there that's a pain. It didn't help that on the way back the bus driver randomly stopped at 7-11 to buy himself something to drink and left us all on the bus waiting...


At least it was a beautiful sunny day to be out and about. Here's a picture of the light rail pulling up to the Convention Center stop next to the Tech.


Posted by Emily at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2003

Bus to EEG

Look! The #60 bus goes right to the Los Gatos Community Hospital so I could go right there to have an EEG.

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Posted by Emily at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Farmer's Market

jam3.jpg At the farmer's market today I bought fresh white corn, strawberries, figs, basil, radishes, and a bag of kettle korn. Here's a picture of me at last week's farmer's market where Jane and I bought tons of strawberries to make freezer jam.


There's a farmers market downtown in Los Gatos every Sunday.

Posted by Emily at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)
Emily's Musings: Local