Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Darn birds.

My hens aren't laying. Granted, I did put a tarp over their pen and they were upset. And they did get really soggy last week with the rain.


I suspect it's the base feed. Ever since I switched them 100% to oats, they LOVE it, but they don't lay well.

DRAT. I was loving the stuff being $8 for 50lbs.

So, the experiment is beginning tomorrow... when I go out and buy chicken feed, and straw to clean out the coop, and hay to lay out in their now-dry chicken pen and a light to hang up in their coop and a cover for my electrical outlet so I don't fry.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The trip.

Our trip to and from the SF Bay Area! Many photos, beware, but it was a fun trip.

So, with all that said, let the photos begin.

Um. It was early. We were tired. And a little goofy.
Mount Shasta. It looks hazy, but gosh, it was quite pretty.

And huge, looming over the road.

As you're passing by Shasta, of course you enter the humorously-named town of "Weed." It's the first semi-large city upon entering California. Somewhat appropriate, given the current movement to legalize.

One of the best shots of the trip. A huge biker gang was gathering, and then this dude with high, white, golf socks and shorts walks up with three floofy dogs. The dichotomy was hilarious. I really wanted to get a better photo, but I didn't want the biker folks beating me up for snapping unpermited shots of them. So, this was taken on the sly (thus the angle).

Blurry shot of Lake Shasta.

Finally, we were in the Bay Area (7 hours after leaving Medford). Berkeley! I lived here for 5 years-- 4 years in school, and 1 year working in SF.

View from UC Berkeley campus. To think I saw this daily for five years. How did I get used to this? Then again, I see beauty every day nowadays, and I don't appreciate it as I should.

Downtown San Francisco and the Oakland Bay Bridge.

Overall bay shot from the hill.

Memorial Stadium! Home of the California Golden Bears! They're doing a huge renovation of the stadium, so, after this season, the Bears are moving to ATT Park next year and then will be back (hopefully) in a renovated stadium for 2012.

One of the reasons for the renovation: Hayward Fault. Yes, as in EARTHQUAKE fault. The stadium has a pretty huge crack where the fault line runs through the middle (map further down below).

Better shot of the stadium crack.

Cannon platform. No, it does not shoot real cannons, but the Rally Committee (which I used to be on) shoots off explosives from a real cannon when Cal touchdowns are made at home games.

View from the field. Memories!!

The "C" on the seats of the student section on the stadium.

Old home: Dorm! I lived on the Clark Kerr Campus, about a 10-15 minute walk to campus. My room was on the second story, third window over. 20x20', but shared with two other girls.
Second balcony from the right: my home for one year post-school.
And finally, this ugly building: My home from 2001-2004. It was a back unit, soooo no photos.

The Axe! Given to the winner of the annual Cal/Stanfurd football game.

One of my old haunts: I worked in California Hall from 2002-2004 for the University Chancellor and legal counsel.
The building was often the site of protests, so there were protocols to follow. And they were followed, several times.

University library. We tried to get in here, but they had reduced hours, so it was locked. The north reading room is GORGEOUS, and was one of my favorite places to study.

The Campanille, the University clocktower. The carillon was playing when we were walking around. SO pretty. My first year here, somehow, someone spiked a gigantic pumpkin on top. It's still not completely known how.

Sad bears. WWI memorial bench.

The Campanille Esplanade. A good friend of mine married another friend of mine here in 2006.

And I married this man (not here) in 2009!

I love this shot. The signs up the road all read the same: "Reserved for NL." NL= Nobel Laureate.

Hearst Mining Building. Under renovations for a significant portion of my stay at Berkeley, it opened my last semester for me to take a course. GORGEOUS brickwork throughout and windows.

And, what's pretty impressive is that the whole building was renovated to be on springs. They put huge donut balloons under the building and lifted it and then put the springs in. The building will withstand an earthquake much better (hopefully). Here's a photo of the raising:

And here's why! The Hayward fault (which runs through the middle of the stadium, as mentioned above), is quite a threat and very near Hearst Mining.

The final end product of Hearst Mining: Restored to original beauty.
Skylight and light.

In the Haas Business School, we saw "Les Bears", aka the "Bookend Bears."

Senior Hall, home to the Order of the Golden Bear.

I have always loved the lanterns in the Faculty Club.

South Hall. Supposedly, Walt Disney used this building as inspiration for the set of Mary Poppins. Oldest building on campus (1873), and the only standing building from the original campus. North Hall burned down.

Wheeler Hall. I had SO many classes and lectures in here.

Sather Gate!!! I have touched the top, courtesy of the Rally Committee and a scissor lift (we hung lights on it for Big Game Week).

Telegraph Avenue. Yes, the infamous Telegraph Avenue.

On Saturday mid-day, we quickly hopped over to the Cheeseboard. The Cheeseboard is a cheese coop, owned and run by employees.

They sell pizza by the slice-- one type of pizza, vegetarian, but made with amazing ingredients. Saturday's pizza featured yukon potatoes and gruyere.

Though we didn't buy any cheese (tear!- there were possible refrigeration issues with getting it home, and we had a wedding to get to), here's what their cheese selection board looks like. AMAZING.

The reception was a FAR distance from the ceremony, so B and I decided to take the opportunity to take the little bit longer (but not much) route of going over the Golden Gate Bridge and then the San Rafael Bridge. We weren't the last to arrive at the reception, and everyone was still taking photos, so no harm done.

The size of the Golden Gate is always pretty astounding.

On Sunday morning, we quickly headed over to the Berkeley Bowl. It's a HUGE grocery store. What most places have in total size, the Bowl has in JUST their produce department.

Here's a picture in one direction (and note, the section continues on either side past the edges of this shot)...
And turning around to the other direction....

I should add their prices are stellar too!

But, I went to the Bowl for this section: EXOTIC FRUITS. I walked away with a sack of guavas, a bag of rambutans, three passion fruits, and one monstera deliciousa. I had hoped to find mangosteens and leechis, but nope. SIGH. My quest for a mangosteen is ongoing.

Finally, we head up the I-5 to home. It was a long, 9.5-hour drive, but we did stop in Redding, home to the furthest-north In-N-Out. B got a plain cheeseburger, but I got mine animal-style (sauce and sauteed onions). OH MY GOSH. SO fresh. So delicious. Everything is freshly cut, freshly made, and freshly grilled. There is no comparison. B commented that it was the simplest restaurant menu. Burgers. Shakes. Sodas. Fries. That's it. Of course, there are secret ordering codes, so you can have your burger or shake or fries done a certain way. I often also order a neopolitan shake, but not this time.
But, I did order my fries animal style too for the first time. QUITE delicious.

On the way home, we drove by Black Butte, a plug dome created the same time as Shasta. If not for Shasta, Black Butte would have been much more dramatic. As it is though, it kind of looks like your stereotypical cartoon volcano, unerupted.

On the way home, we saw some pretty virga that resulted in a small rainbow. It's almost in the middle of the picture, just above the hills.

And finally, we were in Oregon. But, sadly, another 3.5-4 hours to go.

It was a great trip, but FAST. Still, it was nice to get away. We hadn't done that for a long while.

Thanks to a bunch of people, but particularly Natalie and Bill for letting us stay with them on Friday night. That bar was a total hoot, and maybe I'll sing next time!