Kate's Bellybutton Lint Collection

I used to think blogs were self-indulgent navel gazing, but now I'm not so sure. From a practical standpoint, they're great for keeping up with friends, especially when you're awful about keeping in touch (like me). I know most people could probably care less what I think or do in a given week. For everyone else, this blog's for you! Enjoy my collection of hand-picked navel lint!

April 27, 2009

A day at the races

I had quite a unique experience this weekend watching motorcycle races at Sears Point, just a short drive north of the city. I went up with Mickey who has been racing for several years. We went up on Saturday to set up a tent and drop off the bike, and then Sunday was race day. There were probably about a hundred or more similar tents set up outside the track area with people working on their own bikes or just hanging out and having fun. The first race on Sunday got off to an ominous start - two riders were somehow knocked off of their bikes in the massive rush to accelerate out of the start zone. One lay limp on the pavement screaming, while the other one didn't look alive at all. Yikes! They were both helicoptered out and treated for what I hear were very serious but treatable injuries. In any case the rest of the day's races proceeded as scheduled.

I found myself holding my breath at the start of each race, waiting for another senseless accident, but once everyone took off and started battling for the lead it became much more exciting. These guys travel on the straightaways at something like 150 mph, and during the turns the bikes and riders tip over almost 90 degrees. The tilt is so extreme that the riders end up dragging their knees on the ground. It was a lot of fun and I learned a good bit of racing jargon. For some excellent action shots and a full account of the day visit Mickey's blog.

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Cherry Blossom Festival

Thought I'd post a couple of pictures from the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in SF, which is a celebration of Japanese culture. The festival was much larger than I expected and included many vendors, demos, food stands (spam on a stick made an appearance), plus a parade. You could catch lessons on how to make bonsai trees, origami, and (yum) sushi! George Takei (um, I mean Captain Sulu!) made an appearance during the parade. My picture of him turned out blurry so I won't post it here - drat! Near the end of the parade was a group of boys pulling this giant red one-eyed monster head (see below). Any guesses as to what it could possibly represent?

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April 14, 2009

Steep Ravine Cabins Trip

I spent last weekend at Steep Ravine Cabins in Marin with a group of friends. The cabins are situated on the water at the base of a cliff in the remote area between San Francisco and Stinson beach. Each cabin is equipped with a small wood stove and that's about it, so it's a step up from pitching a tent. The first night we chopped wood for the stoves and sat around talking and enjoying a few drinks in the dark. The next day we split up into small groups to go hiking. I went with Mark, Lisa, Jesse, and Liz on the "hardcore hike", which took us all the way to the top of Mt. Tam. Our elevation gain was about 2500 ft and the hike was over 14 miles round trip. Jesse posted a map on his blog and it was so cool I had to shamelessly copy it below.

It was so much fun catching and eating wild abalone the year before last that I decided to try my hand at harvesting wild mussels on this trip. Jesse and I bought fishing licenses and spent Saturday morning scrambling about the rocks near the water. The animals send down rootlike fibers that allow them to cling to the rocks, so all we had to do was yank them up like tough weeds. After about an hour of work and two rogue waves we returned to camp drenched and bearing at least 10 lbs. of mussels between us. Later that evening we steamed them in some of butter, garlic, and white wine. Yummmmm.

More pictures from the trip can be found here, here, and here.

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