Walking to Twin Peaks

A view worth paying for.

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Boston for a conference, and I think that I managed to muck up my spine a bit on the flight. I’ve been nursing a painful back ever since. It seems to be getting better now, but it’s made it a little difficult for me to get much exercise. So this weekend, in order to get things back on track, I did a slow and steady hike up to Twin Peaks from our house.

It was a great fitness walk; about five miles from our house to the Peaks and back, according to Gmaps Pedometer. I did make a wrong turn, zigging when I should have zagged, and ended up climbing to the top via some sort of dry wash rather than the easy-to-ascend stairs. However, once I was at the top, I could see the right way to get back down, so I didn’t make that mistake twice.

It was a great day for a hike up to Twin Peaks in that it was clear and nice, so the views were beautiful. If you remember my post about this from a while back, you’ll know that going up on day that’s not clear makes the whole thing a bit less exciting.

But of course, it was clear, and it was also hot. The Twin Peaks are pretty bare, and my route to the top was shade-free. By the time I got up to the observation point I was tired and sweaty, and in need of something cold and refreshing. I ended up buying a Gatorade from the guy with the catering truck who parks up there everyday. His hat told me he’s a McCain supporter, but I’m assuming the profits he made from my drink won’t allow the Republicans to win.



Originally uploaded by evh711.


At the Ferry Building.At the Ferry Building.

Catching up

Ellen and Kyre’s Wedding

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, I guess because this has been a really busy few weeks. In the last few weeks we’ve traveled out of town two weekend in a row, had lovely house guests, sold a scooter and bought a new one, and both of us have had changes to our jobs. There’s just been a tremendous amount of stuff going on.

But now I’m back on track and posting again. And I realize the thing I really should have posted here are that our (legal) wedding pictures are up on Flickr. Many thanks to Xande, who did a such a great job.

My Musical Debut

By request (S.L., this one’s for you!), and because I had borrowed the Flip Ultra teeny camcorder from work, I have recorded and uploaded the first video of me playing a ukulele — specifically, the banjo uke I got from my dad for my birthday.

This is quite an occasion, since I have barely even played the ukulele in front of anyone but K and family members. The video really shows how comfortable I am performing in front of a camera, I think – basically, not too comfortable at all. Click here to watch.

New wedding videos

We got some comments that the video on YouTube was kind of hard to hear, so I’ve switched to Vimeo, which has much better video and sound quality. So, now, if you want to see the wedding, you should click here.

Also, if you’re really dedicated, you can watch our secondary wedding video, in which we wander around the courthouse, fill out paperwork and have some toasts. Get to that video by clicking here.

We’ll be posting pictures soon as well.

A note for blog geeks: The problem with Vimeo is that while I can embed the player in my wordpress.com blog like I can do with YouTube, the player is huge and goes over the edge of my neat little little columns. And I can’t size it down. So, for now, all I’m adding is the links.

Me and my lawfully wedded wife

There will be pictures and perhaps more video from our wedding online soon, but this is the first bit. Yes, we’re now legally wed. And what 80s movie does this remind you of?

Wow! Yay equal rights!

Wedding is today, oysters were yesterday

K and I will be legally wed this afternoon at San Francisco City Hall. Wow. (PS: No gifts, please. If you must do something, please make a donation here.)

I borrowed a Flip Ultra video camera from the office to film the occasion, and I tested it out yesterday when we headed out with our weekend visitors from NYC to Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Unfortunately, the wind kind of screwed with the sound, and of course, I’m just wandering around with it my hand, and it doesn’t really correct for that — it’s a little like the Blair Oyster Project. Nevertheless, I think it’s a pretty good depiction of our day.

A Dallas Cowboys Fan

Mama Lucille enjoys a glass of champagne while watching a Dallas Cowboys game and wearing some of her Cowboys gear.

Many of you already know that my grandmother, Mama Lucille, passed away a week ago Friday, just a couple of months shy of her 100th birthday. She was the biggest Cowboys fan I know. The friends I’ve had over for Thanksgiving dinner will never forget her yelling “DEFENSE!” at the TV while we tried to eat our desserts. I just received this note from my father, and I decided to share:

My brother Jerry and Nancy Hobbs had an only son who was the shining star and the brightest hope of the Hobbs clan. Martin was outgoing, athletic, and full of energy. His grandmother Lucille and grandfather Wesley loved him dearly and spent many hours doing grandma/grandpa things with him and his little sister Shannon.

In 1979, when Martin was fourteen years old, he came down with leukemia and had to spend weeks in the cancer care center in Dallas. Lucille was right there with him most every day wearing the bio-protective suit so they would let her in Martin’s hospital room. Some of the Dallas Cowboys were regular visitors. Roger Staubach, Charlie Waters, and Hollywood Henderson got to be Martin’s big buddies. And that’s when Lucille got to be such a big Cowboy fan. Hollywood was the most frequent visitor! This might have been before his problems with heroin.

Martin’s cancer went into remission for two or three sunny years but the cancer came back and he did not survive the second episode. The loss of Martin deeply affected all those close to him.

Hollywood Henderson got his head on straight, won the lottery twice, and built a big sports center for kids in Austin.

Mama Lucille became a loyal Dallas Cowboy fan and tried very hard not to miss a single Cowboy game and she would watch other teams just to see how the Cowboys might be affected. She never bothered to watch any other sport except figure skating.

Mama Lucille had a stroke Thursday evening, and died Friday morning August 8, 2008, almost certainly without ever regaining consciousness. She was ninety-nine years old and it was just the way she wanted to go.

She wanted a closed-casket funeral, but some of us family peeked in and she looked great in her navy blue Dallas Cowboy tee shirt.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern. God bless you and keep you.

In A Fog

Twin Peaks Observation Platform

The picture you see here was taken a week ago Sunday, on Twin Peaks, home to some of the most beautiful views of the city … as long as there’s no fog. Last Sunday, boy howdy, there was fog. This was about lunchtime, and the fog never really did burn off that day.

As I write this, I’m sure the view from Twin Peaks is similarly obscured. On clear day, I can see Mount Sutro and Twin Peaks from out of my dining room window. Right now I can’t really see past Castro Street.

This is the weather that everybody talks about when they repeat the “coldest-winter-is-summer-in-San-Francisco” saying. And while I don’t miss the Texas heat I see all my pals complaining about on Twitter and Facebook, I can’t say I’m in love with these foggy damp days with highs in the 50s in August.

This weekend, Saturday was beautiful and clear from the first thing in the morning. It was actually hot, and I went out in a t-shirt and didn’t bring a jacket. It was awesome. But, as I’m learning, a clear hot day is a predictor that the next will be foggy. It’s all due to a tidal patterns, the Coriolis Effect and other geographical and meteorological anomalies. A bit hard to wrap one’s mind around, especially when one’s mind is wrapped up in fog.

In a way, it’s charming, yes. But I have to admit I’m looking forward to September and October, when San Francisco traditionally gets a few days of summer. In the meantime, I’ll have to just think sunny thoughts.

Of course, as I complain, I am thinking of all of you down there in the path of Edouard. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for low winds, no flooding, and no twisters.

My Birthday Weekend

Damn, if I only had a PSP!

For my birthday, K. took me to on a surprise trip to Guerneville, to a lovely new little place there called the Boon Hotel. It was really a wonderful relaxing weekend. We’ve been there before — our honeymoon was in the same area, the Russian River Valley, and the place we stayed then was a vacation rental house in the neighboring town of Monte Rio. And we’ve been back since, taking visitors, since it’s only about an hour and a half away, there’s some good restaurants and wineries on the way. Guerneville is home to Armstrong Woods State Park, which is a great place to see redwoods if you’re not interested in fighting the crowds at Muir Woods.

So, it’s a place we were familiar with, and sometimes it’s really nice to go someplace familiar where there’s less pressure to explore and you feel totally at ease just sitting by the pool. And, although not all the dining options in Guerneville are perfect, we already have some places in there we like to eat, too: Andorno’s, a pizza place that has an great seafood salad and a little French bread pizza thing called a “Garden Loaf;” and Pat’s, a diner where we can get really yummy diner-style sandwiches and soda-fountain treats like this:

Happy Birthday to me!