It's not JUST about what I had for breakfast...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Gmaps Pedometer map of yesterday's trek, for your amusement and edification.

At work I have a screen saver on one of the Macs showing various images of motorcycles I lust in my heart for. Four of the guys who are doing computer/Promethean board installs in the classrooms came in to look at their materials, which are being stored in the library. They noticed the screensaver going and they stood there for several minutes talking motorcycles. A totally guy moment.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Morning In Oak Canyon

I got to the equistrian staging area around 6:30 and headed west. Saw a couple of deer before I passed under the big bridge over Spring Canyon.

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Yes, that is one of the deer in question there. It was dark!

I headed up towards the ridge on the west.

The sun was starting to come up, and the moon was in the western sky.

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Or maybe the moon was in the south-western sky...

The sun kept rising, as it will, and I saw my shadow across the canyon.

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This was much more impressive in person!

I left this little penguin button-badge at this geocache.

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I saw another deer--or maybe it was the same one, in Oak Canyon.

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I found all the geocaches I was looking for, plus two I had looked for before, EXCEPT this one.

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The sign says Federal Property, No Trespassing.

I found THIS geocache rather easily, however!

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There was a note from the Military Police inside warning that the military property line was near, and not to cross it. This cache was a few hundred feet north of that sign.

I saw zillions of caterpillars on the move today. This is one!

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I wonder what they turn into?

I left this horsie from a bottle of tequila (My boss gave it (the horsie, not the tequila!) to me, I don't drink that stuff? My strength is the strength of ten because my heart is pure.

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I liked that star geocache a lot, but this was my favorite geocache of the day!

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I took a toy soldier Travel Bug that had been sitting in it for six months. The T.B. was started by a little boy back east who wanted soldiers to take their picture with it, and pass it on. He wants it to visit Mexico, then to come home to him. The T.B. is in the plastic bag next to the cup, FYI. I'll have to find a more active cache to drop it in.

There have been several fires that went through Oak Canyon, including the Cedar Fire of 2003. I noticed this burnt-out tree trunk had rocks inside. I wonder if the tree originally grew over the rocks?

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As I labored up the washed-out "road" out of Oak Canyon I stopped at a few more caches. I left a Jeep at one, so whoever found it could ease their labors...

As I headed down the ridge road, backtracking my route, I came upon many fellow walkers (and bicyclists, did I mention all the cyclists I saw today?).

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I talked to this family as I passed them. They had come from Mission Trails via Oak Canyon and were now heading back.

I found an SDI Pencil Knife, whatever that is. I haven't a clue what it is for. Sharpening pencils? What is this, 1850?

As I was leaving MTRP I observed a tyke on a bike crossing a small stream at full speed. Trevor, it turned out was his name. I complemented him on his technique.

Did I mention how windy it was? Here is a movie...

Whoops, I see a typo! I am NOT fixing it. Just deal with it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sat. Morn.

Snuck off to look for geocaches in the 'hood this morning. Found all of them (three), even the one I've visited three times in the last two days. And one of those times was on the trek out this morning. I find one can be much less conspicuous when one is not on the bike. I forgot to take the camera, so you do not get to see the Morris Minor nor the Opel GT I saw. Perhaps another time.

Finished reading There's A Boy In The Girls' Bathroom!, by Louis Sachar. It was recommended by a student who said it was not what she expected, but was very good. I teared up a bit at the end. Sachar wrote Holes, if you recall the movie or the book.

I want to publicly thank the good folks who left their "stamps for pans" at Albertsons. I was a few short of the required number for a small pan, but the cashier said customers had left ones that they were not able to use with her, saying to give them to someone that needs them. So, I got a free pan!

Last night I waded through the morass of the FCC website and renewed my license. Actually, once I got my password reset it was extremely painless. Now, if I could only figure out how to do my taxes online!

Speaking of, I talked to several people who PAY someone to do their taxes for them, just so they can get the refund early. If you have simple taxes, it seems fiscally foolish to pay what one person said was around three hundred bucks. I don't know, do the tax refund people REALLY charge that much for a simple return? I advised them to do it themselves, as a backup, and see if they come up with the same numbers. I remember I missed a twenty dollar refund one year that a professional would have caught, but it didn't seem worth the hassle to file a amended return. I am exceedingly lazy!

And, speaking of, at least in California, how do people not know they have to pay "sales tax" on internet purchases? I know some (most) people blow it off, but really, how do you not know? It's right on the form. Do the professional preparers not ask them about their online purchases? You really should know what you are signing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Power Strip Blues

Today I took apart another power strip that was giving me some annoyance. Turned out to be yet another bad solder connection. I don't know if it overheated and melted, or what. I tried soldering it, but it did not look too good. It looks the wire isn't even copper. Maybe I should replace the wire with piece of #12 copper.

Firstly, remember to turn on Macro when taking closeup photos...

2011January19 power strip 002

Now, with macro on, we can almost see the bad connection. This is before soldering, remember. I could pull the wire right through the hole.

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It was so warm and clear yesterday, but today the clouds and fog came in early. You can see a bit of blue to the right of Cowles Mountain, but it was totally gone by the time I rode home. I even turned on the strobe when going under a bridge, a bridge with a diminishing bike lane.

2011January19 Cowles Moutain fog 004

I tell a lie. I just remembered I took that photo after work. Forget I said anything!

I was going to take a photo of the ENORMOUSLY LONG (a foot, two??) curly hair that was stuck in the library front door panic bar when I came in Tuesday, but the custodians seem to have disposed of it. Too bad!

I got email notice that three nearby geocaches went active this morning, but I was at work. So sad! I did a ride-by on two of them. I think I spotted the one in the Mario's parking lot, but there were two many folks around. Maybe I'll check it out tomorrow. The other, I didn't see it. I note the second cacher to log DNFed it.

I found the cat in the garage when I got home. C. says she didn't go in there, and the cat went out around three. Maybe the neighbors (we share a garage) let him in.

I got an email from a purportedly Russian chick:
Hi dear! I am for a decent man.

As for me, I am a young Russian girl
Do you like Russian women?

They are not just beautiful and smart, but very tolerant too.
Russian women value family and try to be with their husbands as much as possible.

It's time to get to know each other!
See you on marriage agency. Cheerio!
Do I like Russian women? I don't know any, right off hand, but I do love the accent! Sounds like they beat the heck out of Chinese Girlfriends who think they are Superior! But what's with the "Cheerio"? Is that a Russian expression? извините!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today & The Other Day

As far as the other day, I was "working" on the computer (either reading reddit or playing DTD) and I kept getting distracted by a rustling from the other room. It was very annoying. I thought that either C. was rummaging around in the closet, or we had mice.

I finally got up to look. This is what I found.

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A rather despondent-looking cat!

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I figured he did not want to deliver Avon products, so after making him wait while I took numerous photos, trying to get him to look up (strike a pose!), I finally took the bag off. Unfortunately, all the photos (except these) had the flash reflection, making him look rather demonic.

Last night I finished reading If You're Reading This, It's Too Late, by Pseudonymous Bosch.

As for today, I went geocaching this morning (big surprise) in Allied Gardens, Cowles Mountain, El Cajon/Santee (my canyon, as it were), and Hillside Park just off of Fletcher Parkway.

One of the caches I found on Cowles Moutain was this one. Can you spot it?

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It's behind the fake green leaf, under the smaller rock, next to the larger rock!

The view is nice from up there, too. From the right perspective you can't even SEE the Santee sprawl!

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Hey, I've been on that ridge over there!

I talked to a lot of people today, for a change. In an Allied Gardens canyon I talked to a fellow walking his dog about the trails there.

On Cowles Mountain there were a ton of people going up and down the trail from Big Rock Road. Up near the top end of the trail I helped some bicyclists find the correct trail to Mesa Drive. on the way back down I was queried by an Asian-looking woman as to whether I had seen a group of Asian people. I replied in the negative. I encountered a group of people with a group of dogs. One of the dogs was a Basenji, the first I've ever seen in real life, as opposed to television (and the movies--Good-Bye, My Lady, a title I always misremember as Weep No More, My Lady, which I find is the title of the short story that the book, and thence the movie, is based on.). I told her it was my dream dog. Too bad I didn't think to take a picture! Near the bottom of the trail I passed three chubby South Pacific-looking (give or take a few thousand miles) men going the other way, one of whom said "How's you doing, boss", which I thought was rather exotic.

In the interest of journalistic integrity I must clarify that I did not hike the Big Rock Trail all the way to the dirt road that goes up Cowles Mountain, much less to the peak. I went as fair as the Mesa Road trail, then down that trail for four hundred feet. Then I retraced my steps back to the vehicle.

All clear now?

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Friday!

My bathroom reading at work is The Return Of Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Excellent vintage stuff.

It is passing strange how much my Happiness Quotient depends on my bowel movements. I'm sure you will be fascinated to learn that I have had a much higher Quotient this week, compared to last week. Last week was...difficult.

Overheard in the library today:
An eighth grade girl to to a sixth grade boy -- "You are a noisy little thing, aren't you?"
I arrived home from work to find the kitchen sink plugged up. BOTH sides. Insert ragetoon here.

On the other hand, I find I have Monday off. Happy surprise! I thought it was NEXT weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Of Pipes & Glass

Took a picture of the glass from the break in.

2011January13 glass

I was thinking of collecting it and creating an artistic pile of glass crumbles with a bit of epoxy. Or maybe not.

Sunday last I went geocaching in that canyon off of Waring Road. There was an impressive mass of cactus up the hill from one of the 101 Dalmations caches. I'm glad I didn't have to go up there!

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One of the caches I revisited turned out to be so beautifully camouflaged that I ALMOST didn't find it again! I must have spent an hour (total) on this one! Can you see it in there?

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For the last cache I was chagrined to find that I had forgotten to load or print the coordinates. All I had was the none-too-detailed aerial image. And I remembered there was something about some pipes. I found the pipes.

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Didn't find the cache. Found a camo hat hanging in a bush. Left it there.

Actually, there are four pipes. Big ones!

2011January09 geocaching 009

Turns out the cache is not really all that near to the pipes. Maybe next time!

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