Monday, January 30, 2012

California Quotidian, III

Our routine changed January 3rd, when Vicki had knee-replacement surgery at Stanford Hospital. She had been troubled by her left knee for several years (despite doing the Everest, Abel Tasman, Milford, Routeburn, Mont Blanc, and many other treks), and a variety of consultations convinced her that knee replacement was the way to go. As it turned out, only a partial replacement was needed. The operation was deemed a success, and she returned home the Saturday following her Tuesday surgery. Her recuperation and rehabilitation are going exceedingly well. She is already back to walking half a mile a day or more!

Penelope and her parents were in Florida, visiting her other grand-dad, immediately following the surgery, but soon returned to find grandma sleeping a bit more than usual and with a strange apparatus (the ice-water circulating machine) wrapped around her leg. But things have gone quite well. Both my wards are excellent, the baby and the surgery patient. Vicki was able to care for herself mostly and threw down her crutches within a few days of coming home. Penelope is a bit less self-sufficient but is amply entertaining, now nine months old, clapping, waving, feeding herself all kinds of solids, and perhaps within just a few weeks of walking. We have even been able to make her laugh, once or twice. Formerly, I thought she was perhaps humor-challenged, but I have since come to understand that she just has a very discriminating sense of humor. The same thing won't work twice, even the same day. Tough audience.
My two wards: a recuperating Vicki sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider"
to Penelope

January has been entertaining as well, watching the mean-spirited clowns who constitute the Republican presidential race and its "debates." Spend, Mitt, spend! Spend it all! And then there were the NFL play-offs. I had really hoped to see Tebow and Brady humiliated on consecutive weekends, but I guess I will have to wait. I am rooting for the Giants, again, as in the 2008 Super Bowl, despite their undeserved win against my adopted 49ers. And the weather is finally moderating. Camellias are blooming all over town.

And when not otherwise occupied, I continue digitizing the 87 gazillion 35mm slides of our earlier life. I think I have done about 30 gazillion now, but still have to get to the boxes of prints. One of the more interesting--to me--slide specimens is below. Tentatively entitled "At the edge of the abyss...".
Us in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, August, 1986; we
think this interesting pose was captured by Vicki's sister
Linda or possibly her husband Joey; Vicki had just finished
her MBA and had been accepted into the credit class at
Republic Bank in Dallas, the beginning of a promising
banking career (I so enjoyed telling people I was married to
an SMU coed); we were celebrating with a month-long
European vacation; a year later, I had been through SMU's
death penalty year, with much personal education in crisis
communications, athletics, and governance, and the hiring
of a new university president; after the months-long credit
class, Vicki went to the personal banking department; but
by this time, the S&L crisis, the real estate crisis, and
the oil crisis, were all hitting Dallas; "work-out" became the
productive part of the bank; then it bought another large
but troubled bank; and then itself failed; Vicki sat at the
same desk in the same department of three different banks
through that year; 1987 was not our best year, but it
all turned out well, for us, and certainly was memorable...

And no doubt there will be more newly digitized travel slides to share from yesteryear. Meanwhile, in California,
We abide...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year in San Francisco

We spent the New Year's weekend in San Francisco, mostly revisiting old favorites, acquiring a few new ones, eating well, viewing the harbor fireworks, and resting up.
Amazing how this place has had its ups and downs; we like
seeing the vintage clothing stores, the Goodwill, all the
tourists our age or older; the clever T-shirt aphorisms, etc.

For a small donation you can take a picture of this "vintage"

After a nice Italian dinner in Cow Hollow, we returned to the
hotel, rested up, and then embarked on our long walk along
the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building; here, the baker at
Boudin's does his thing

A seasonally-ornamented rig in the harbor
near Fisherman's Wharf

The moon nearly colliding with Coit Tower

And our goal for the evening, and the weekend, the SF harbor
fireworks, one of the best anywhere; Happy New Year, all!

Rebecca had taken us to see one of these several years ago,
when she lived in SF; it has become one of our favorites
As long as you don't mind wading into and waiting among a
boisterous but good-natured crowd of 200,000, in the harbor
chill, right at the Ferry Building (south-side quay), it's a
pretty good show; the best fireworks we have seen

And, as you can see on the Ferry Building
clock, it's all over by 12:20; unfortunately,
public transportation shuts down in the vicinity
of the fireworks, so it's a long trudge back to
the hotel

Next afternoon, after lunch at Alioto's, we walked along among
the many sights; here, a seagull adds a splash of color to the
bow of the USS Pampanito, with The Rock in the background;
we toured the Pampanito in 1990, with the girls, on our first
summer tour in the Milennium Falcon...

Alcatraz; it was a beautiful day

In the (free) amusement museum, the Musee Mecanique, on
or near Pier 44, a collection of working old amusement park/
arcade machines, scores of them, plus a history of such parks;
Vicki scored a respectable 190 on Skeeball

Ah, the good old days...

Obligatory street scene, near Lombard

Obligatory bridge scene

And, for something new, we drove out to the Presidio; here, a
part of the National Cemetery there

And finally, on the way back home, Rebecca's
old apartment building on Divisadero at
Haight; thanks for a great weekend, Rebecca
and Jeremy...