Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SF- Claremont Canyone plus Goats!

This hike is right behind my parents house.  It was my brother-in-law in his constant need to run and run and run who found it.  He was looking for the famous fire trail, which was cut into the hill following the big fire in the Berkeley and Oakland hills and is now a great, nearly flat place to run on.  The one big problem with this hike was that I couldn't figure out how to make a loop of it and ended up having to walk for about 20 minutes on Grizzly Peak boulevard, which has no sidewalk and lots of blind corners, so not very pleasant.  Checking on the map, it kind of looks like it's not really possible.  Oh well.  Among all the other beautiful moments of the outdoors of Northern California, the big highlight was that the goats were out.  I guess the parks department hires them from time to time to come and graze and the bottom part of this trail goes right by their hangout.  They were pretty awesome to see, but boy they didn't look like they had much to graze upon.  I threw them some greener stuff and they chomped it down quickly.  Goats are awesome.

You can see them here, dotting the steep hillside.

I forgot to say that the highlight of this hike is a spectacular view of the entire bay.

Same view from a slightly different angle coming back down.

A little memorial for peoples dogs that have died.  There are dog tags attached to it.

Okay, that's enough goats for one day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

SF - Wave warning!

This should appeal to those in Quebec protesting the new Hydro-Quebec wireless meters!

SF - another trike!

What is the deal?  Should I be getting one of these?

SF - Portrero Recreation Center

Check out this awesome old gymnasium I found walking around upper Portrero Hill:

And this is the building that houses it.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

SF - Ashby BART station

Creatives been at work around here!

SF- Murals of the Mission, plus Pancho Villa's Mexican restaurant

Just some things everybody sees up and down 16th Street near Mission and Valencia.

SF - Bars of the Mission

San Francisco (and the Bay Area) has so many bars.  And so many of them have cool signs, cool interiors and cheap and plentiful liquor.  This is what America does right and Canada does oh so wrong.  Here are a couple in the Mission District.

SF - Wikipedia Man

Hmm, I wonder what company this guy works for?

SF - Bars: Thieves Tavern

I watched the end of game 6 of the Boston - Philly series here.  They were offering free grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches and I had one.  Quite a nice little pit stop.

SF - burnt house on Valencia

It's hard to see, but there is a burnt mannequin in the lower corner window.

This guy was blasting the rock n' roll.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SF - The Roxie Theatre

I've already seen 3 movies at this tiny little art/rep theatre in the Mission District!

Astute readers may notice The Beetle parked in front!

Monday, May 21, 2012

SF- solar eclipse

Here in the Bay Area, we got about 90% of the eclipse.  You had to go a few hours north to get the whole thing, but it was still a really cool effect here and turned into a fun little social event.  We went up to the track where there is a good view to the west.  It was not all that exciting at first, beyond the initial neatness of seeing the sun reflected on a piece of paper with a crescent eaten out of it.  You really wanted to look right at the sun and see it, but we all know that is not a good idea.  There were not that many people there at first, but as we got closer to the peak moment, more and more people showed up.  One guy had built a really nice viewer out of two shpping tubes and a box.  He leaned it up against the bleachers and you could see the sun almost an inch high reflected on the cardboard box at its base.

But the show really amped up when everybody realized how it was making crescents out of everywhere where the light was filtered by a shadow, especially in the dappled shadows of leaves.  At its peak, it made the edges of one's own shadow slightly warped and curvy and that coupled with the strange dim light gave the whole evening a magical air.  People were dancing to their shadows and playing with the reflections on their clothes.  After a while, if you stared at the crescents in the shadow of the tree, they started to have a 3-D effect and pop out, like little hillsides on a map or a crowd of ghostly hooded figures.  It was pretty cool.  When we were leaving, we ran into a guy who had a piece of welder's glass and we were able to look directly at the sun through it and see the eclipse directly, which ended the whole event perfectly.

There are some higher-res photos of the ghostly crescents at the bottom of the page that I took with my phone that may give a better sense of it.

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