Archive for February, 2010

Palo Alto streets

February 16, 2010

Comparing Palo Alto street quality with that of the surrounding communities, we can’t help but wonder whether the paving contractors have brothers in law on the city council. Or is it just that PA is known throughout the paving industry for being willing to sign off on anything and everything when it comes to street repair?

Last summer I even phoned the city to warn them of a bicycle crash hazard where the pavement was breaking up in deep holes along Channing between Newell and Center. I thought that stretch was about as bad as any allegedly paved street could get. Needless to say, I was wrong. They have been digging it up over the past few weeks, and what pass for repairs have made it, yes, even worse than before.

Maybe some critic of the powers that be lives on Channing street?

Angry voters

February 16, 2010

We hear about voters being angry with the government, especially in Washington. Unfortunately, the way we hear the story, voters are angry that the government is doing so little.

Anger at government is completely appropriate, but only because they do far too much, certainly not because they do too little. (Now, if they had a docket full of laws and regulations to be repealed, programs to be cancelled, departments to be abolished, we could wholeheartedly wish them godspeed.)

We the people

February 16, 2010

It’s an intense competition, but somewhere well up in the running for slime award of the century has to be the politician who blathers about  serving the interests of “the American people.”

Do they really think we’re that stupid, that childish?

Are they right?

Fall creek redwoods

February 7, 2010

It rained pretty enthusiastically overnight, and they predicted a rainy day, but the radar weather map looked to me like the beginnings of a nice day. So after breakfast, Anna and Jacky and I drove over the mountain – through fairly heavy rain at times – to Felton and the parking area for the Fall creek area of Henry Cowell redwoods state park.

It was misty and perhaps raining just a bit when we set off. We expect the trees to drip on us anyway, but the water standing on the trail was more of a nuisance than the drips. Jacky suggested we climb away from the creek, a good idea.

Eventually the sky turned mostly blue, and it was a wonderful day. A memorable sight, once the sun came out: raindrops falling through the sunlight, highlighted against the dark backdrop of the redwoods. Truly beautiful.

The day’s other exception came when I pulled up a large chunk of bark from a fallen tree and discovered a mouse. First time I have ever seen one in the woods. Well, we knew they had to live somewhere.

As always, the most interesting photos are of the tiny things.

Fall creek redwoods

It was mid-afternoon when we drove on to Santa Cruz, where we spent a few minutes at the mission. We had a choice then, either to wander the streets of Santa Cruz or to go back over the hill and visit Stanford. We decided on Stanford.

Good choice. We strolled around the campus, but most of our time and attention was on the Rodin sculptures, both indoors and out.

Rodins at Stanford

Dinner at Lavanda in Palo Alto, where the day’s specials included sturgeon. Unfortunately, it was raw (tough) on the inside, but Lavanda did it right: admit you messed up and fix it. Good for them.