The adventures of Phil and Mike

Phil and I have lunch out in town once a week or so. We decided that talking about good lunches we have experienced was almost as enjoyable as the lunches themselves.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Black Abalone in Pacific Grove

I was surprised to find a group of 8 black abalone in Pacific Grove in July.  They are endangered and it is reported that only 1% of all black abalone survived a naturally occurring wasting disease.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter vacation Dec-Jan      Tamales bay and Bodega bay

I  found 2 nice places in Bodega bay:

Harbor Cutie
Cottage at Schoolhouse Beach

1 Kayaking in Tamales bay.
2 Clam digging in Bodega harbor, there is lots of critters in these sulferous mud flats, clams, worms, octopi, etc.  followed by a long cleanup.  Then check out UC Davis marine station
3 Chill-out beach and tide pool day at the various sites.

I count 3 days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A dear friend of mine, Professor Joe Eitel of Folsom Lake College, has been branded with the scarlet R and dragged to the scaffolds for public flogging with a news media.

Professor Joe is the kindest and gentlest man one could ever meet, a mentor to the less fortunate and a benefactor to the arts. Professor Joe is a man who abandoned a lucrative Silicon Valley career to teach mathematics in the California junior college system. The only complaints to be heard are that Professor Joe is not a pushover. Some students go into a tiff when they cannot bully their way to a passing grade, because … well often they can get away with it. Joe however sets the standard, and toes that line. Recently an Afghani interpreter imported into the US enrolled in one of Joe’s math courses. Unhappy with his failing grade, the student proceeded to make lots of fuss, and when he could not bully Professor Joe, the student threatened to douse himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze. This being California and what not, Joe did the right thing and report the threat to his supervisor.

Now we have an upright citizen, who is not a pushover but instead holds to an academic standard, and for his crimes, he has been labeled a heinous and evil critter, flogged and hanged outside the city gates for the ravens to pick over.

Has anyone considered the Pandora’s box we have opened? For what reason do we resume witch hunts and inquisitions? We must have forgotten our sordid past, we must not realize that words have meaning, and accusations doubly so. With what scarlet label shall we pin onto the breast of such an inconsiderate society? Perhaps a “B” for BLIND, because we have blinded ourselves to the hurt we cause when we chip at one of the pillars of our society, or is it a “C” because we have devolved into a pack of CONCEITED brats selfishly feeding on the kindness of our betters. I think we deserve a “U” for UNWORTHY, because we are unworthy of the time and attention of a great man like Joe. We are unworthy of the love we have received from such a perfect soul.

I try to build the image in my mind that we are a beautiful society. But I never get half-way completed before my vision is shattered as once again our pet inquisitors have stabbed an honest person through the heart.

Have we no restraint? Have we no love for the kind, the gentle, the good amongst us? Can we slam the door on our inquisitions and witch hunts? Today it is fashionable to denigrate the Taliban, when in our past we possess many periods when our own Talibans terrorize our own lands. The Talibans in our past carry the guilt of heinous crimes against humanity. The Talibans in our past are guilty of tortures, beheadings and even more horrendous endings too gruesome to be named.

Every common scoundrel is immune to the most vicious of labels, because scoundrels do not love our society, scoundrels don’t have hearts to break. We owe a great apology to Professor Joe. A millennium of penance cannot repair the broken heart of a kind and gentle man. We remain unworthy of his love and dedication, unworthy of the gifts he has bestowed upon us. For this I am truly ashamed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our team is being dissolved, and you all need to go find a job

OH $#!%... OH $#!# OH $#!%... followed by several seconds of deep heavy breathing... OK, OK, OK, we can handle this... We've been here before... Think, THINK, think... ok, control the breathing, we've been here before, we know what to do... ... ... Call every one we know [check], no promising leads. In-house job board, seven good hits, apply for all seven, even some that don't really match...

Ahhh... One good hit, leads to a great job, ask around about the manager, good reports from those working for him, interview goes great... Job is super, a step up to the next pay grade, pretty relaxed working environment, fun job, no really great geek job - Hacking the LINUX kernel at the motherboard level. I can do that, I got the skills, hardware, bus architectures, host front-side-bus experience, UNIX sysadmin, I can master this...

Slow down there cowboy, where are we headed? 30+ years in electronics, every two or three years it's the same story, kind of like ground hog day... Group or job goes south, gotta find a new job, every time its the same thing, we get lucky and get a step up, a nice position... One day your luck will run out, then you'll be what, fifty something, on the street looking for a job? You're 47 now, you're gonna be working until what? 65? 70? Yep, 70 is more like it... 23 more years... In an industry that constantly goes up and down... Time to leave... well, 25 years ago was really the time to leave, but there's no time like the present, when you still have a good job.

Where to go??? Geology, I took one class, did great, subject clicked... Outside, I've loved outside ever since I was a kid. I never though an outside job would pay well, so I chose electronics. But Geology looks great... Broad field, you can be a: Land Surveyor; water well driller; septic tank installer; hydrology (underground water flow); environmental cleanup; archeologist; building site surveys; then there is the mining side: gravel; clay; gold; uranium... Petrology... Much broader than where electronics went. When I started in electronics, we were fixing everything. I like to fix things... Electronic toys cost a lot back then, When I started in electronics in the 70s while in high school, running parts for a TV shop, a TV cost about as much as a minimum wage worker earned in about three months, they were not very reliable, and needed to be repaired somewhat often. I never thought they would be disposable.
Well Geology looks good to me... So I saw a counselor to see what I need. Lots. Well then it's best to begin with the beginning, Chem 1A - done, got a B, now I'm half way through chem 1B.

I got about eight more years, I'll be 55, but I'll have a new career.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

You skanky whore, get away from my husband

That is not a phraise I wanted 18 sleeping Boy Scouts to hear. Especially at 4 AM in an Oregon campground. But that is the exact phraise which woke me up. Along with six outta the other seven Scouters with me (Scouters are adult leaders in a Boy Scout Troop). Scout Master Ed who sleeps with ear plugs in, (he can't handle the noise of the seven Scouters snoring) even woke to that phraise. Apparently Mr Dirtbag was camping out with Ms Sleaze, when Mrs Dirtbag dropped in for a morning visit. Thankfully Ms Sleaze made a quick departure before shot-gun pellets started flying. Lots of great comedy was uttered that morning...

My personal favorite was Scouter Dennis' "What I want to know, is who is minding the still".

Another good one, was Mrs Dirtbags response to a Shaddup from another camper"Can't you see we are having a marital crisis here?" Lady, that is not a marital crisis, that is the parting shot.

Another Scouter "Well, the boys just might learn what happens in a bad marriage".

Howling, Screeching, and banging of car doors, and the motor home door continued until a phone call brought, "Oregon's Finest". An anxious peace followed until the Rangers evicted Mr and Mrs Dirtbag, along with their sizable bottle collection.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The long sandwich

Yes this is a funny name for a sandwich shop. I visited this shop with my friend Helen. The sandwiches are well not real fancy. This is more of a Asian style drink shop. I had a lemon yogurt thing with tapioca blobs. I'm fond of tapioca pudding, and had no idea what "Yes please" to the tapioca question really meant. Well I found out that tapioca meant a bunch of chocolate colored half inch tapioca blobs, and a half inch diamater straw to accomodate the blobs. I don't know if I'll order the tapioca blobs in the future, but the drink was good.

The lunch was the beginning of a company sponsored "team building event" to the local water park. Helen and I rode about three big slides in the two hours we were inside the park. After I had guided her under the flow from a 12 inch water pipe the second time, she decided I was not to be trusted.

Tomorrow me'n the missus, and kids are invited to a "white trash BBQ". Which I'm told means that a front yard BBQ is a white trash thing. At our house, all BBQ is in the front yard, seeing as the back yard is too steep. We are in a very remote area, and are set back 200 feet from the road. So where one sets up the BBQ may matter in an area where houses are 20 feet from the sidewalk. I suppose that if there are deer on the front lawn, a front yard BBQ probably still means you are WT.

Mike -n- Mike back from camp

Yes, I just arrived home from "Boy Scout Camp". There is nothing more invigoration than spending a week with someone elses kids. Actually I enjoy spending time with other peoples kids. We live in a remote location, and my son spends very little time with other boys his own age These are pretty good boys, as boys go. In our troop, adult attendence at scouting functions is about 50%. At this function, we were a little low at 35%, with 8 adults, and 23 boys. In two weeks, we will have a camp with 8/17. In our troop adults form a social club of their own, basically it's a sober "Man-Camp". And we are serious about our troop being boy-led. We are only there as guidance. This time around we camped at "Camp Lassen" which is an "in counsel camp", meaning the camp was in our Scouting counsel "Golden Empire Counsel". Next week, we are camping "out of counsel" at "Camp Meriweather", which is a "Gateway Counsel" camp.

Camp Lassen for all it's good points, our troop has not been happy with the "First Class Trail" portion. Which is a series of classes to advance the boys along the basic scouting skills. So we ran our own "First Class Trail". We only got one boy to first class, but we did get a lot of "tenderfoot" scouts to "second class". Somewhere around 40 merit badges were earned too. The food at camp was better than last year, I for one did not lose any weight this year. Although that would have been a good thing, as I tend to run 25 pounds over. But being 6'7", 25 pounds extra gets spread pretty thin over my frame.

My favorite part of Scout Camp, is the "Polar Bear Swim". Which means getting up at 6:30, and hiking (one mile for us) to the lake, where we jump in. Now June in California the weather is usually pretty warm, but the water was not, at 54F. Most swimming activity centered around jumping in the lake for a few minutes, then standing around on the dock warming back up. This year, three of our boys did complete the one mile swim in this water.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Things are getting better

I was able to re-assemble the truck, and drove to work on Monday. I smelled gasoline when I got home. Opening the hood, I discovered the Edlebrock 1603 carburator had a plug fall out. This opened a 1/2 inch hole next to the fuel filter. Basically gasoline was flowing down the front of the engine as fast as the fuel pump could pump it out. Fortunately I have the original Rochester carb, which I rebuilt when I switched to the Edlebrock. Unfortunately, I mis-adjusted the float, and the darn thing pumped fuel out the top vent. I re-adjusted the float to 3/8" as specified. But I did not install it, as the insulator to the intake manifold was trashed.

That of course required another wife chauffered trip to work. Which may sound easy, but she leaves at 5:30 AM, and I usually wander out sometime after 7 AM. While at work, I called Daddy, and borrowed his pickup. This is because I want a more reliable truck to take my Boy Scouts to Camp Lassen this weekend. Camp Lassen is about three hours away, in of course Lassen County. Dad came to get me, and took me to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants Al Forno Classico, in Gold River. Dad ordered a cup of soup, that was larger than a bowl of soup in most restaurants. That was his appetizer. He ordered eggplant parmisan, of which I tried a bite, and loved it. I had portabello mushroom ravioli, which was OK, but not as great as dad's eggplant.

On the way home from work, I stopped at my favorite car parts store, "Cameron Park Auto Parts". I bought a new insulator, air cleaner gasket, and fuel filter while I was there. Back at the ranch, I installed the now properly adjusted Rochester, and it fired right up. The idle was even pretty close. So now, I at least have one vehicle running.

I pulled the engine from "Clayton", my 1970 beetle. I found the clutch forks broken. This car has been trashing clutch components on a regular basis, two clutch forks, and three pressure plates in two years. Call me dense, but I've finally come to the realization, that there is some other problem.