Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomato overload

Why is it all or nothing with tomatoes? I grow mine in containers or bags of soil (or both), and this year decided just to do the small cherry tomatoes, but they all seem to have ripened at once.. and why just the day before we are going away for a long weekend?

My peppers are looking pretty good though!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another window sill visitor-

Back in my blog "My picture came to me" (March 24, 2009) I talked about the first crow that came to visit me on the window sill at work- on the 16th floor of the building I work in downtown San Jose. Since then, I've seen them several more times and finally got used to these big black birds appearing right outside my office window. Today however, I got the most unexpected visitor, and was SO glad that my iPhone was nearby. I only managed to get one picture..

Someone told me later that the Peregrine Falcons are nesting near city hall.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fire at the end of our street

This evening I was changing out one of the heads on the sprinklers in the front yard when I noticed some smoke down the end of our road. I didn't take much notice as I though it was someone's barbeque but before too long it was thick black smoke and obviously more than that. About ten minutes later the sirens started and CalFire turned up. It was a piece of ground with long grass and trees that is a hang out place for teenagers, and it was well and truly alight. Someone said that some boys had been seen running away from the area after the smoke started and they believed they were smoking and that started the fire. It is so dry out there, that it would not take much. Luckily CalFire put it out quickly. Ironically there was a hill fire off Hwy 101 tonight too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Metcalf Motorcycle Park

This morning we were up early enough to get out before it got too warm and we decided to go and play disc golf. This meant we were also close to the Metcalf Motorcycle Park, so we just had to go and see what it is like. It is a 459 acre dedicated off-road vehicle park with over 20 miles of trails. Most of the people up there had trailers with off-road bikes. This is definitely not somewhere I can ride yet, but Dick was very excited to find somewhere he can ride up to and take my bike off road.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First real motorbike ride!

This morning Dick and I went out on our motorbikes for a ride on the roads around where we live. We even went on some twisty roads up to a trail head and then stopped for a break. I followed Dick on the way there, which I like because I learn from what he does. On the way way, he watched me, to give me some advice and that worked well too. We rode about 38 miles in total. Now I can't wait to receive the new gel seat I ordered. I had a bit of a numb bum after!

DMV- again

I got my days a bit muddled up this week. On Thursday I went to a different Department Of Motor Vehicles to register my bike. I had all the documentation but not original signatures, so I have to go back again.

While I was in there I decided to take a picture for my 365 project. I do find that me taking a picture of myself does cause some questions, and this time was no exception. I caught the eye of someone looks at me inquisitively just as I pushed the button..

Friday, July 24, 2009

Riding the MST

This is my third day trying out a new way to commute to work for me. The Monterey Salinas Transit. It's another bus service, but with more comfortable buses and a WiFi connection, so I am actually typing this whilst on the bus on my laptop. It does mean that I have to bring my laptop but I can also catch up on my photos and my blog- it's a bit wobbly though!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday motorbike ride

Sunday morning Dick and I went out on our motorbikes. Not far, just around a local industrial estate which is empty at the weekends. I went in front and played with the gears and practiced stopping and starting etc, while Dick followed me and gave advice. And we both survived! After, he took my bike out to an off road trail he really wanted to explore but it was closed...

Morgan Hill Friday and Saturday

This past weekend was one of those amazingly busy Morgan Hill weekends. It all starts with the Friday night music series. Everyone sitting around with their chairs or blankets at the small outdoor amphitheater behind the Community and Cultural Center watching and/or dancing to the live band. Everything from country to R and B, Blues or Rock and Roll. I've now come to prefer this location to the old 3rd street location- it just makes so much more sense.

Saturday morning I joined the Morgan Hill Photography Club for the 2nd annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. 32,600 people took part in their own cities. We basically wandered through the downtown area taking lots of photos. It was very hot and I didn't find the perfect picture but it was fun all the same. My favorite pictures turned out to be the ones of people..

I still got to go to the market- my favorite Saturday morning "chore"...

We then spent a couple of hours pulling my new motorbike apart and making absolutely sure she runs as good as she looks- and she does :-)

That afternoon we headed over for our first Barrel tasting at one of our favorite wineries - Solis. Very nice.

Last but not least, (and it was still only Saturday) - it was the Morgan Hill movie night. This time it was "Ghostbusters" so we took out the lawn chairs and headed back to the outdoor amphitheater for a night under the stars watching the movie- not a bad day!

Big celebration

On Thursday last week we celebrated my boss's 30th service anniversary. We planned a surprise "This is your work life" party with cake. We read 30 historical details and fun memories of him and the place we work in. As each fact/story was read, we presented him with a balloon. At the end he stood there holding every balloon with a huge grin on his face. I took some good pictures of the event but they were for him. However the next morning when I went into the office, I was much amused by the ethereal migration of the balloons from his office as they lost their air pressure overnight..

His bike is his home..

I see this man regularly in downtown San Jose. Normally he is intent on a task- writing in his journals, exercising, doing his chores. Occasionally he is just riding his bike. He sure is a big collector of objects for his bike and personal comfort. I always wonder how he ended up in this kind of life and what he writes in journals.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New motorbike!

Sunday night we went to see the bike I described last week. It was a little rough around the edges but in great working order. Dick rode it for 10 minutes, and declared it perfect. He rode it home and it was in its new place in the garage before we went to bed! For the bike geeks out there, it is a 2005 Suzuki DR-Z 400.

The bottom picture is a application on my iPhone called Photo Sketch, which turns photos into sketches- I really like the effect.

Lots of updates - Sunday Friends

Oh boy, a week behind and so much to catch up on...

Firstly.. last weekend. The Sunday Friends Foundation. I spent a little over two hours at a wonderful "working alternative to charity". I have never been so impressed by a charity. "Sunday Friends provides a safe place where very low-income families come together with volunteers in a secular community setting. Children and their parents are provided opportunities to earn the things they need to promote self-reliance and a healthy, productive lifestyle. Through everyday activities, such as preparing healthy meals, writing letters to donors and making gifts for nursing home residents, they give back to their community as they develop self-sufficiency". They are everything they say they are. If you have the means to donate to any cause.. make it this one!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bike hunting

Since Thursday we've been looking on the local listings for bikes. Waiting to the weekend to go and see them, so today we started the hunt. First we saw a bike that sounded good but wasn't once we got there- it needed lots of work. We left several messages at other hopefuls later, but nothing came of them. So we started looking in some local bike shops in case they had any ads etc. At one we saw a Buell, which was one of the bikes Dick had been looking at for me, but it seemed a little small, and I wasn't impressed. Then we went to another bike accessories shop and parked outside was a dual sport bike and the bike owner let me sit on it and it felt great. Which got us thinking... and Dick excited :-) He has been lusting after a dual sport bike himself for a while, and this seems to be the perfect solution. One we can both ride and use. We then saw one listed tonight and called immediately. We go to see it tomorrow..

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Visit to the DMV for my motorbike licence.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is one of the many government agencies that is having to put up with short weeks (no Fridays or Saturdays) due to the huge budget deficit. Which means therefore that more people have to go in a shorter timeframe. It is also the school holidays, which I had conveniently forgotten.

I must admit I was still horrified when I got to the Santa Teresa office this afternoon and found it extremely busy as a result of such measures. However.. the folks who worked there were friendly and efficient. There was a long queue to get the application forms, but the man on the desk was patient and quick at the same time- even though I had to queue up twice, once to get the forms and a second time for him to make sure they were completed before he gave you a number. I sat down waiting for no more than 10 minutes, and then every step of the way was quick and easy- except for the test itself, and that was only because I took my time.

I had not realized that they were going to make me take the written drivers license test again as well as the motorbike test. Although I am very familiar with the rules of the road, they throw in some interesting curve balls: Did you know that it is illegal to smoke in the car when anyone under the age of 18 is in there with you? I had no idea, as I don't smoke, but I did guess that based on the very strict anti-smoking laws here in California that it would be the case, and I was thankfully right. The motorcycle test also had some questions I had not come across in my studies either but I guessed most of them correctly and survived the ordeal successfully passing both tests. Of course I had also not realized they were going to take a new photo etc too, so I will get an entirely new license in a couple of weeks! Hopefully it has reset the clock and I won't have to go back for another 4 years when it is time to renew once more.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Skate Park again

On July 4th, whilst waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks, I wandered over to the new Morgan Hill Skate Park, this time with my 35mm camera. I could have stayed for hours but the boys (and yes I think I only saw one girl actually skating- the rest were hangin' out with their boyfriends) stopped and asked me a couple of times why I was taking photos They relaxed when I said it was just for a photography project.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th parade

Oh where do you start after a two hour parade- everything from a fly over by four bi-planes, marching bands, dogs, horses, soldiers and Elvis?

Friday 3rd July street dance

The wonderful thing about living in Morgan Hill is all the events that happen. Last night the annual 3rd July street dance. There are food and drink booths selling their wares for charity and a band. They close off all of Monterey Road in Downtown, and thousands of people turn up to drink, dance and socialize. It is a great atmosphere!

People are very serious about holding their spot for the parade the next day, and they set their chairs out ready in their favorite spot and tie them together and leave them out overnight!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

CSA veggies pick up

Thursday is pick up night for my CSA veggies. I had to get my old bike out because it still has the panniers on it. This time I took pictures of what I see when I arrive and how it is normally packed etc

Stacked against the wall

Some people get flowers too:

Swap box:

Inside the box:

Packed and ready to go:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin