Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cat in Cold Weather

Mia somehow maneuvered herself UNDER my sweater, set down on the bed; only a tiny sliver of black fur was visible.

Sent from iPod Touch

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

AUTUMN is here

Today is the first of autumn (or fall, as we Murricans call it, to the occasional confusion of other speakers of English).  Leaves haven't turned color here, but all they usually do in this part of California anyway is go from green to a sort of green-gold.

(And Indian Summer has yet to happen, when daytime temps will be close to 90.)

-- Rachel

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Nearly Naked Guys!

Outside the ballpark near my office was a group of five guys in shoes and skivvies. (Luckily it was a warm evening.)  Turns out they are promoting a men's clothing drive for jobseekers -- click the link and search for National Suit Drive, which runs all through September.
-- Rachel 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Wouldn't you think, looking at the signboard shown, that you could get an ice cream cone for 79 cents? 

NOT A CHANCE.  This is just the surcharge for the fancy cone.  Baskin Robbins does offer a cheap cone of soft-serve ice cream (not the good stuff they're known for), but it's really CHEAP, in a cheesy kind of cone -- frankly, I'd rather have a small dish.  -- Rachel

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Adventure

The old AC Transit terminal is about to be torn down; today they're offering tours of the building, including sections locked shut for decades.  I'm going to bring a 35mm camera loaded with black and white film (and my digital, of course); I'll post some of the photos once they're processed. -- Rachel Holmen

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Mice are EXHAUSTED after Fiscal-Year-End frenzy

The mice haven't visited in a while. Here they are, completely wiped out after weeks of buildup to the end of TechSoup's fiscal year.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I finally got to the de Young's Amish Quilt exhibition

I finally got to the de Young's Amish Quilt exhibition and spent hours studying the quilts, taking notes, viewing them with a small magnifier, comparing their colors to a set of color cards I'd brought with me.  I want to construct some Amish-style quilts, so I wanted to know how they actually made theirs.  When they put on a border, what did it look like?  What colors did they use for the hand quilting?  I was lucky enough to visit with Stephen Brown, the owner of these quilts, and we talked about how important it is to preserve the colors by displaying the quilts in low light.  Once a quilt fades, he pointed out, there's no way to reverse the process and get the original colors back.

[June 15: the exhibit has ended, and the de Young has removed the link, so I've edited this post. -- reh]

Another page about the Amish quilt exhibition (the page may look blank, but scroll down for text and illos)

A site that displays many of the Browns' collected quilts

-- Rachel Holmen

Friday, May 14, 2010

BIKE SAFETY: blinky lights, lights at knee level

As a driver, I try to notice bikes, but some riders seem to INTEND invisibility. Others mount lights on their arms, their shoulders, their helmets. If you can only use one light, it should be at approximately the same height from the ground as a car headlight. That's where drivers are scanning the street ahead of them.

I found this light yesterday, thanks to the Rock the Bike folks' participation in Bike to Work Day: Rock the Bike dot com. I particularly like the Down Low Glow -- a set of fluorescent lights that attach to your bike frame.

-- Rachel

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bike to Work today - May 13, 2010

Join the Velorution!!! www.sfbike.org

I can't bike this year, because my bike was stolen and I'm waiting to drive to LA and pick up my dad's recumbent (he's not riding any more). But at least I take public transit and use casual carpool.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

An invention for weaving

I invented something before breakfast!  (A new kind of reed for use in rigid heddle looms.)  The invention was prompted by an article in WeaveZine by Syne Mitchell (who once sold me stories when I worked as editor for a fiction magazine).

Of course, once I started trying to record the original idea, seven variations popped into my head, so breakfast was very late indeed as the ideas took precedence, clamoring to be recorded and illustrated. -- Rachel Holmen

Monday, April 19, 2010

George Scithers, Rest in Peace


A sweet, gentle man who loved science fiction and trains, and knew an enormous amount about both.  There's a nice article about him, with an oldish photo (though as I remember, he ALWAYS wore that jacket), at http://2001.worldcon.org/gscithers.html.

-- Rachel Holmen

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lost Bus Pass

During a precarious, busy week, worried about finances, lost ALL my bus passes.  And discovered, by checking my TransLink use online, that somebody else has been using them.  *&)*(&)&#&*#&*).  Turned off the Translink.  The BART pass, however, and the monthly Muni pass, are lost causes.  I have approximately $2.83 to my name; this will get me home tonight, but not back to work tomorrow.  My mailing address is ON the Translink card; clearly the thief didn't care.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I finished listening to WICKED

Was a bit disappointed by the ending; the author seemed determined to jumble into the last few pages of the book all the things that were needed to match the Baum telling of the story, without having it make a lot of sense.  Yes, officially most loose ends were tied up, but why did Elphaba suddenly become so UNsympathetic?

Not sure what I'll listen to next. -- Rachel

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New-to-me Cat Settling In

I've taken a friend's cat, and the first two nights she just hid. Tonight, coaxed out from under the bed with a dancing bit of junkmail on a string, she was much more social, curled up on my bed, and then went off to eat some of her dry food. After that, she actually came back onto the bed. 

She has her own blog (yes, I know, it's rather precious of me to pretend to know what a cat might think), acatmia dot blogspot dot com.

-- Rachel

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I'm currently listening to WICKED, the audiobook. Some of it is very amusing, but the current section is quite serious. I am impressed by the author's creation of names for his characters, and his universe-building skill.

The book is based on the Wizard of Oz story, but tells it from a different point of view, with some interesting parallels to pre-World War II Germany. There's a long wikipedia article, but I'm not reading it until I have finished the whole book. And there are two sequels.
-- Rachel Holmen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

(And how about donating some $ to KSCM, the San Mateo jazz radio station, which played FABULOUS Mardi Gras music during drivetime this morning? -- Rachel Holmen

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aloo Gobi recipe to watch

I just watched BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and then watched some of the add-on features. The one that cracked me up was "How to Cook Aloo Gobi", where the director, an Indian woman raised in Britain, shows us how to cook this dish -- with added advice and grumbling by her aunt and her mother. Worth checking the DVD out of the library just to watch this 5-minute episode.

(Yes, I'm very behind the times in my film-watching; I checked this one out of the San Francisco Library, which has a branch near my office. And I probably haven't had my TV on in, oh, eight or nine months. Another fab film I got from this branch was CHILDREN OF PARADISE, a French film made during World War II.)

-- Rachel Holmen