Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leaving caution behind

Halfway to campus, something got stuck.

Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."
Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."

Finally, the train rolled out of Palo Alto station, with the auto voice still chanting.

Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."
Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."

All the way to San Jose.

A conductor rushed to the intersection between the two front cars, where the auto voice was on overload. He tinkered. He poked. No change.

Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."
Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."

Another conductor arrived. More tinkering. Some banging. No change.

Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."
Bong, bong. "Caution, the doors are about to close."

Finally, they gave up.

As we rolled into San Jose Diridon Station, I think we were all ready to leave "caution" behind. Maybe even throw caution to the wind.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BlogHer pics

Here are some of my favorite photos from the BlogHer closing event at Macy's.

SueBob of Red Stapler blog snuggles up to a mannequin in Macy's lingerie department...Diane Brown of oak-in-the-seed blog and a frriend from Land 'O Lakes...a beautiful plate of savories...J.D. Bauchery's bluebird tattoo.

BlogHer Photo Walk

After spending most of the day in BlogHer sessions, I took a break Saturday afternoon and joined the Shutter Sisters for their first annual BlogHer Photo Walk.

We started out in Union Square, across the street from the hotel, where a crowd had gathered to watch a local fashion show. I got engrossed in grabbing some shots to add to my hair series (coming soon to my Flickr site) and soon lost track of the rest of the group. Oh well.

Some folks were selling things in the square, and I couldn't help browsing. I found a fabulous bead bracelet at the Corinthia Peoples Designs booth, and brought it from Marinda (at right). She has great hair and agreed to let me photograph her.

I also had fun taking pics of Angel's Trumpet (a.k.a. brugmansia) in flower beds on one side of the Square, and of pedestrians passing in front of a large billboard.

Then, as I was heading back to the hotel to catch the Boomers "Birds of a Feather" session at 4 p.m., I caught sight of a guy toting a really big fashion show poster on his head.

"Wait a minute!" I said. "I need a picture!"

John Bibayan, a UC-Berkeley student who's interning at 944 magazine, obliged, and I got this pic...which I just love. Thanks John!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Graveyard humor

Earlier this summer, I visited Sydney, Nova Scotia, and toured St. Patrick's Church Museum. Built in 1828, this small stone church is the oldest Roman Catholic Church still standing on Cape Breton Island.

As I stood in the center of the church, docent John A. told me church about its founder, the Reverend Henry McKeagney. When he died, John said, the Reverend was buried in a small graveyard right behind the church. But when a small church addition was built, his grave had to be moved.

Where to, I inquired?

You're standing on him, John replied.


John just smiled. We walked over to the small side annex. Turning, he pointed to a large square of new floorboards in the center of the church. That's how they got into the basement when they needed to install
a furnace, he said.

But they found a surprise down there...
several more graves that had to be relocated.

"Where?" I asked, right on cue.

John smiled at me and said, "
You're standing on them."

Yeah, he got me again.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Travelogue, Part 2

I loved Quebec City: People speaking French. Narrow cobblestone streets, lined with tall brick buildings, winding up a steep hill crowned by the Hotel Frontenac. Lots of stairs, a funicular...and did I mention lots of people speaking French?

The first thing I did was buy a French-English dictionary and try to remember some of my high school French. But it turns out it wasn't necessary. Everyone I talked to was fairly bilingual.

In between shopping bouts (QC has some great boutiques!), I heard a clamor. I saw people gathering at the edge of the street; there was a buzz of anticipation. What's up? Bicycle race!

Here are the leaders, rounding a turn on the uphill climb.

Next stop, Charlottetown, PEI, where my hubby and I rode a horse-drawn conveyance (park benches screwed onto a flatbed) around town and toured historic Beaconsfield House. The horses are Belgians; the one on the right is a former show horse embarking on a new career in tourism.