Just as with Brexit, ‘pounding the pound’ is a technique…😂😂😢.
Attempted the usual techniques described in converting a coin to a ring, and discovered that the Mexican peso and the British pound share some similarities with their 2 colored coins!
Decided rather late to head out to the Cuyamaca state forest and hike the second highest peak in the area.
As always we balked from paying the state park fee, but because there was no good phone reception and I couldn’t figure out an alternative hike, we bit the bullet and paid!
Alltrails app suggested we take the Cuyamaca Peak trail via the azalea￼￼ glen loop, 1600′ ascent, approx 7.7miles… The area suffered from a massive fire in 2003 and while it’s growing nicely, the stark white black and gray skeletons of trees are everywhere, including many charred scaled trunks and stumps￼￼￼
The hike itself was not strenuous, and went through some beautiful scenery with tall trees and bushes and small stream cutting across them. We hardly saw anyone, but were happy to have taken plenty of water. As we climbed higher we found ice on the shaded side of the trails, and D decided to cause trouble by picking a snowball fight, which is never a good idea… part of the reason why it’ll be called the ass kicking hike!￼￼
We were pretty tired by the time we got near the peak, but pushed on up the last tarmac road leading to the communications towers at the top. The view from there was fantastic, with multiple layers of mountains in the distance hidden and partly obscured by low cloud and mist
From the top, we plug it back down the service road, which was chewed up by the SDG&E work that’s been going on to build what looks like facilities near the top.
By the time we got back down, our feet were aching and we had covered just over 9 miles.
The beautiful weather and views definitely made it worthwhile, and we jumped back in the car, listen to the book on the way back, D had a quick nap before a client, and I jumped in the hot tub to soothe my aching feet, followed by an excellent hazy IPA by abnormal
On the 13th, before Valentines day, we were very happy to see Julie & Kyle who were passing thru to see their son Christian at UCSD LaJolla and then to family party in Riverside… They were treated to some homemade smoked salmon and marmalade – to which they made appropriate positive comments!
So, fast forward to Sun 16th, after Karins ‘4.0 Upgrade’ party – see previous post – and while D treated a patient, I headed up to Balboa Park snapping pics on a crystal blue morning to the SD Mycological Society annual Mushroom event, listening to Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (what an imagination he has!)…
I tasted a couple of the mushroom dishes, and watched a movie trailer along the lines of “How to Change your Mind” by Michael Pollan, and when D joined we took a good look at the various mushrooms, related paraphernalia, salves, tinctures, fridge magnets, t-shirts and paintings of fungis!
Then we made our way to Loma Portal and Stone Brewings ‘Love is Brewing’ wedding event…where D told them we were ‘getting mrried on the 29th’… then advised a young couple on their wedding plans while I sampled the various wedding related food and beer… Then off to the central library to a great concert by the very talented Amber Liao where I actually didnt nod-off… but dear wife did…
After, we shot off towards Gliderport, parked by the Salk and walked down to Blacks beach as the sun burned thru some afternoon cloud… I’m sure its an optical illusion or my imagination, but it feels like more sand has eroded each time i visit 🙁 The beach was beautiful as always, with more than the usual fat old naked guys playing around, so we had a good stroll before heading back up to watch a beautiful sunset, talk to some local USD students, a couple visiting from DC and a tall goth looking woman with blue hair…
We were happy to be invite to Karins 40th – felt quite odd as we haven’t been to any 40th’s for over years! The theme was White, so D was able to pull out several choices… I was not 🙁
So, on Valentines, after receiving all her beautiful new handmade earrings, D heads off to get JSJ done to her, and I head off to the local Goodwill, sorting thru hundreds of wrong sizes and colors…wishing Krishan or D were there to do the work… Eventually found a pair of light colored Lee pants that were about the right size, a few items for the kitchen including measuring cup and tea infuser, and made my way back past all the homeless folks hanging out by the metro… Dinner was delish artichokes and making the ‘Meyer-malade’ for us to share with Lynne who gave us the lemons
On Sat, I forgot there were no classes due to presidents day wkend, so we ended up trying the two types of McD chikn sandwiches then to the library talk on the origins of the french Baguette – from neolithic times to just after WWI – v interesting. D went off to treat a patient, and I hung around for the ‘Fear No Art’ show, which had some nice exhibits. Then off to try catch the last of the fish market, and was treated to the seals hanging around barking for chunks of tuna…
We got to Kouskous early so walked around block (and chatted to a nice ex-manhattan Brooks Bros guy running art store) and met Karin and early friends at the restaurant… Her ‘sistas’ from Florida had a cute baby with them, Viveca / Gordon & Faisal were there and a fun time was had by all, with a somewhat entertaining belly dance by a younger version of Arvind with tattoos, and tunes by Alina… Nice to see D get a bit of a dance lesson by one of the guys who was very good and put her thru her paces….! Then us old folks left relatively early to get to bed…!
Nice to have Nisha visit from rainy cloudy Seattle – on picking her up we took her straight to Tacos El Gordo for dinner… Next morning, following D’s “plan for the weekend” we went off-script to briefly visit the Salk institute, where a kind guard let us look around. Its a lovely building overlooking the ocean, and afterwards we had a quick stroll at the top of Blacks beach…no paragliders…
Then off to a supermarket D had heard about near Solana beach, where we got baguettes, cheese & pate, and headed off to the Encinitas Meditation Gardens, where we walked down to the beach for the first time… As they walked thru the garden, I watched the ocean and was very happy to see 2 whales blowing and diving twice – always beautiful…
The walk thru Annies canyon was great as usual, and many bird spotters were out and about, so I jogged back to grab my binocs… As we walked back down, we came across a chinese guy and his daughter using a large format Chamonix brand camera with bellows lens. Turns out he’s an artist and had stage a scene below us where he had written in chalk on various logs in different languages…’viru’, ‘el virus’ etc with an axe embedded in one log. He stripped off his top and went down to the logs, adjusted the axe and lay face down in the grass asking his daughter to take the shot!
We saw a few lovely hummingbirds and then via Torrey Pines, the Sunset Seat, Costco and Modern Times, got back home, coaxed Nisha to sit in the hot tub and had a lovely masala stuffed Branzino (black bass) dinner…
Next day it was down to Black beach for a nice stroll with the naked fat old wrinkly guys and, via gliderport and model gliders, to stinky La Jolla seals and birds… Grabbed a burger at Chicago Fire Grill and had a quick nap while they shopped the UTC mall…then to meet Lynne-with-an-e at Quigley Fine wine for a Meyer Lemon exchange, intro to her PhD friend, followed by quick visit to 3-4 different things in the city including the Cube of Silence protest in Little Italy and Mad Cat DJ back home for G&T, wine and the ladies chatted into the night with D providing lots of good aunty advice…
Sunday we had Dim Sum with Penny & Victor who hadn’t seen Nisha for 16+ years… Back home to make Meyer lemon marmalade (will use white sugar for next batch as brown sugar / maple syrup doesnt make an attractive looking product… The ladies did some Sumi-e and while I worked with Faisal they walked Balboa Park. After a quick beer tasting at Pure, we headed back for lamb-nu-saag dinner with Prashna…and ladies chatting into the night again…with lots more good advice dispensed…again….
So, oddly enough, the SD Central library has ended up being a great resource for us as we settled in… The building itself is pretty remarkable, with a huge dome, multiple different levels, lovely architectural details and spaces that accommodate different needs.
As in other places we lived, I signed up to borrow some books (they had an a Jasper Fforde book I hadn’t read, and a few others I wanted to read)… Pretty quickly, beyond databases for researching potential companies, the broad range of things to do was super-interesting: audiobooks, concerts, art shows / exhibitions, presentations etc… so we jumped right in…
One of the resources I came across was just amazing – an Innovation Lab with multiple 3D printers, milling machines, laser cutters and VR googles…! I ended up meeting with the staff, who were very helpful and the lady who oversees similar labs in the library system.
Ever since I saw the IKEA DIY garden and its open-source plans from Space10.com in 2017, I wanted to build it… Unfortunately, back then, it was hard / expensive to find a laser cutting shop that would do what i wanted… So, here was a small laser cutter…. Why don’t i just ‘scale down’ the plans? Great idea! Using Inkscape software, I resized the 12′ globe made of 4×8 plywood sheets into a 12″ globe to be made out of 1/8″ plywood. A quick trip to Home Depot to get a plywood sheet cut up, and we were ready for action!
The library folks helped me get connected to the laser cutter, adjust the parameters for cutting and reconfigured the cutter to accept the plywood sheet feed in from the front. The (very pleasant!) smell of burning wood, somewhat similar to burning books, attracted the attention of library security but, once they knew what we were up to, they were great. With the closed loop fan system on full, I figured out how to get all the 200+ pieces cut, and ferried them back to the apartment to assemble the globe…
Lot of fun – the project was super interesting and I finally got to learn how to use a laser cutter AND build something I’ve wanted to for ages…
On this palindromic date, headed to Black‘s Beach for the lovely view above the beach in the brilliant sunshine, then walked down to the beach, which was stunning as always, packed with surfers and only one naked guy…
Then back to the apt, and en route, decided to make a cheesy jalapeno dip with special ingredient evaporated milk to tide us over. D prepped her sausage rolls and two apple pies – one with honey crisp apples and one with pink ladies – to take to Steve & Lisa’s for the Superbowl that they’d kindly invited us to… Great time there with Greg & Celine and Lisa’s amazing spread… Shame about the result, but good company, a video call from our Scarsdale friends gathered at Joel’s and great food made it a fun day…
So, D remembered that this was the short time window of the year when Seville oranges were potentially available. I had wanted to make marmalade for years, but either remembered at the wrong time or could not find places that sold the oranges
So I scoured the Internet to find out where I could find Seville oranges, checking old blogs and comments and articles, and eventually found people pointing to a company called Specialty produce near the airport. We went there and found an amazing warehouse with lots of electronics and screens and amazing selection of vegetables cheese is spices and fruits. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it, including a vegetable museum. Had to sign a waiver to go in￼￼, And they also do tours. So I bought 10 Seville oranges and a couple of Meyer lemons
I decided to make the first batch with four oranges, Half a lemon from a local tree, and half of Meyer lemon cut into small triangles. Cut and used all the oranges, which were suitably sour, added juice of lemons. Cut the rind into little strips. ￼All the pit and seeds were wrapped in a Muslin cloth that boiled away with the juice￼ and 2 cups of water. After the rinds became soft ~25mins, let it cool until the muslin could be handled, then wring it and scrape off the pectin that seeps out. Decant into a container to see how much fluid there is, and measure about 7/8 volume of sugar
Boil away with the sugar and juice until it starts thickening up and begins to change color. Per the directions, I picked the set point when the drips on a plate formed ‘wrinkles’ when pushed gently… Then let it cool and spoon into jars! Truly delicious!!￼
So, after our longest time apart ever, dear D has returned from the UK looking after my dear mother, who I’m glad to say is doing well, and managed to navigate the craziness of LAX and bypass Fri eve LA traffic by taking the train part way to where I picked her up so she was able to sleep till we got back to the apartment.
We had a lovely hike the next morning to Black‘s Beach, despite the unusual cloudy weather, followed by a great dim sum at Jasmine restaurant with the dragon dancers for Chinese New Year of the Rat !
We dropped by Pure Project anniversary bash but it was too busy for us non-hipsters, and came back to the apartment, where Nathaniel and Jane came to visit and gives us some pure project beer￼ in exchange for chicken biryani!￼
Off to Black‘s Beach again The next day
Then off to the Gregorian chant at the church in North Park, which was reasonably interesting for first 15 minutes, but not like the hit record! ￼￼
Decided to check out Mission Beach today and walk along the beach. The surfers were all out and the waves looked pretty good. The giant rocks along the walkway stretched out into the ocean, and walking along them was fun.
There were some clouds, which made the scene look pretty. Walked along the beach and then back down past the big impressive looking beach houses, and caught the sunset which looked very pretty with a double layer of clouds on the horizon. Also got some nice pictures of a guy silhouetted against the setting sun.
The sky after sunset was not as impressive, But still pretty, silhouetted against the palm trees
Then checked out the California native plant society talk at El Prado where they talked about the replantation of the mission beach area and ongoing ecological work.
A quick visit to the basic bar to see the “no batteries needed” exhibition was filled with some nerds doing finger skateboard tricks!