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Saturday, November 30, 2013


St.Louis meets San Francisco at Candlestick

The game that got me hooked on football was back in 1984 when the Raiders battled the Redskins for a Superbowl win. It wasn't much of a battle really, final score 38-9 Raiders. After that I was hooked and fell in love with the San Francisco team the following year.

In 1985 49ers met the Dolphins in the Superbowl with a 38-16 victory, Montana was named MVP. Their Superbowl victories didn't start or stop there. In 1982 they had beat the Bengals with a 26-21 victory, Montana's first Superbowl MVP. Fast forwarding past 85' in 1989 they met Bengals again with a 16-20 win and a new MVP Jerry Rice. In 1990 for a back to back Superbowl they met Denver for a slaughter, 55-10, not much nail biting suspense in that game although Montana received his 3rd Superbowl MVP. History was made as San Fran had broken five records, if my memory serves me correctly. The winning continued and in 1995 49ers met San Diego for yet another victory with a final score of 26-49 and a new MVP Steve Young. The legacy halted there as the team struggled to rebuild and become a power house again. In 2013 49ers were back on top but were unable to get another Superbowl win against Ravens, final score 34-31. As a fan I would have liked to see another victory but was happy enough that the team managed to get there after 18 years of waiting.

During San Francisco's dry years they did have sporadic playoff appearances but were always met with defeat. They also went through many coaching trials and tribulations. I certainly can't remember the string of names but a couple names stand out, Mariucci and Singletary, that could be because they held the position longer than most or because they accomplished more than the others.

The dark years seem to be a thing of the past as present coach Harbaugh is doing an excellent job and the team has really come together. This Sunday Crabtree will be back. With all their weapons in place St. Louis doesn't stand a chance.

Final score 23-13. I saw Vernon Davis make his 50th TD, an interception from the 9ers, a 49er hurdle a Ram, and enjoy the game surrounded by an ocean of red. One of the reason's I love the team so much is the fans. They are fun loving and faithful. Yesterday's game was one of Candlesticks last. It's sad as the park has seen many great players and has been home to the most awesome NFL team. Love Candlestick and love the 49ers.

Did I mention the weather was perfect?

I cross checked my own memory with nfl.com

Pictures from Pier 39

Taken from my phone

Never Boring

Pier 39

My day started with breakfast at IHOP, pancakes and eggs, delicious. After I ventured to Pier 39 where being different is normal and it's never boring.

My first order of business was to do a little shopping, until much later did I realize it's black Friday. The pier was packed with shoppers and visitors. For the first time in over a decade I shopped during my most hated shopping day of the year. I did manage to find ideal gifts to bring home. I also got some great pictures of the pier, the sea lions and the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, and Lombard St.

Something I've always wanted to do was to ride the cable car and so today I did; from Embarcadero to Market St. and back to Embarcadero.  During my excursion 
I saw a man dressed in drag, red painted nails, pink cell phone, womens clothing and shoes with a full beard and mustache. During the Market St. turn around I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to see a man sunning himself in a chair beside the road. A man sat in front of me with the largest afro I've ever witnessed in person. I estimate it was at least a full three inches around the circumference of his head. All this awesome entertainment for two dollars! I love this city, people are who they are and that is what I find most fascinating.I went the entire length of the F car and got off at Jones, took a short walk to Buena  Vista but it was wall to wall packed so I left.

I backtracked and found a cool bar named Jacks and met other 49er fans, duh I'm in S.F. right, but like me they were from out of town. They were way cool and bought me a couple birthday drinks. I tried a local beer called Anchor Beer and I was pleasantly surprised, not a beer drinker this was a big step for me. Anchor's Brown Breckels (not sure about the spelling) was dark, sweet, and almost fruity.

I walked back to the pier after and had a delicious sourdough sandwich, pesto roast beef, at Boudin's. San Francisco is famous for it's delicious sourdough and it can be found anywhere in the city, really it's a must for visitors.

While waiting for the van to pick me up I saw one more crazy sight. A caravan of bikers ( as in bicycle) rode past the pier on Embarcadero; some in full nude ( ( like not a stitch of clothing) escorted by motorcycle police.

All in all a fantasticly normal, exciting day in the world's, or at least North America's, most captivating little city. San Francisco has a style all it's own.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Travel: Coast to Coast Ramblings

On this wonderful yet chilly Thanksgiving day I am sitting at JIA waiting to embark on my journey from Jacksonville, FL to San Francisco, CA.

My family no doubt is gathered at my sister and brother-law's house partaking in delicious food activities.

Others including my closest friends are gathered in front of their TV's watching the Green Bay/ Detroit game. I am rooting for GB as one of my closest friends is a die hard fan. Hours later...Green Bay was slaughtered.

Pulling into Dulles Airport I spotted a silver car pulled over on the freeway, I thought "Really, I hope he did something really bad to get ticketed on Thanksgiving."

I have to send huge praises for Android Kindle App it even works in airplane mode.

As I exited the mini plane, three seats to a row with the aisle in between I was amused when we exited to the ground. In an effort not too sound naive; I have flown my entire life, before I was even old enough to develop memories, and I have never exited ground level with the exception of Hawaii.

My flight to SFO was more pleasant. I had my own movie screen and free headphones. I remember the days when they showed one movie on a long flight but you had to pay for the headphones. Guess that's a thing of the past. I was also lucky enough that the seat next to me was empty, so I took advantage.

I missed all the games and my family but hear Thanksgiving went well. To all Americans, my friends, my parents, my sisters, my children, and grandchildren love you all! Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Troubled Oyster: NaNoWriMo

The Troubled Oyster: NaNoWriMo: Today I'm going to talk about my experience with NaNoWriMo. I've read blogs where its been talked up and down by writers. It seems ...


Today I'm going to talk about my experience with NaNoWriMo. I've read blogs where its been talked up and down by writers. It seems writers either love it or hate it. I can't speak for others but to me it has been a wonderful experience. It's like running a race only it's a mental race not a physical one and you cross the finish line when you hit 50,000. I finished my story with just over 51,000 words. I have loved every minute that I was able to eek out on my story. It is a scenario that rough drafted in my mind many years ago and now I have had the reckless abandon to write it. When my brain sketched it out eight years ago it was about a young woman whose psyche made her run from a horrible murder scene. She continues to see a young woman, a shadow of herself. Twists and turns unfold and force her into the realization that she is straight jacketed in a rubber room; hence the title eye of the storm. The storm is brewing inside her as her subconscious wills it forward. When I began writing that was the intention but it has become so much more and no she is not in a rubber room in fact she is quite sane. 

Is my story perfect, definitely not. I finished my novel about a week ago and haven't looked at it since with the exception of NaNoWriMo's Night of Writing Dangerously where a bunch of local NaNo participants met and we wrote and talked and wrote some more. That night I managed to edit through my first chapter. I have decided to let it ferment for a few months before I go back to it. For over three weeks I carried my flash drive everywhere and plugged it in and typed every opportunity I received and I'm not ready yet to read or edit it.

This is my first year and from the beginning I wondered what are the prizes and how is it decided who wins. I found out today when I validated my final word count. I received a cool winner's certificate and an awesome winner's T-shirt which I purchased. So no fantastic amazing prizes but sponsor prizes will be given away beginning in December. In retrospect my winner's prize is the joy within myself that I completed my story willing myself to keep writing. I added more descriptions, details and dialog than I may have without the 50,000 word count hanging over my head.

Eye of the storm has become more than a one time story. It's something that I will build on next November. I already have the sequel cooking in my brain. It won't be about Eilida instead it will be about Evan; from his point of view. I have twelve months, notice I wrote out twelve I can thank Nano for that, to research. So is Evan a deranged killer because of the horrific scene he witnessed as a child or is he a victim of a deranged killer? Time will tell and Eye of the storm will divulge no secrets. At least not the story that I have been publishing through smashwords.com unless you are that clever and you may be but it is impossible for anyone else than me to know because I haven't decided yet.By the time I publish the Eye of the storm, edited and ready for print I will have decided and an excerpt will go into the end leading to the sequel but you'll have to read them both to know. 

I am pleased that my unedited recklessly written story has had so many hits. I can't wait myself to actually read it and begin the editing process. 

Whether you like NaNoWriMo or not it's been more than a wonderful experience to me. I could advise other authors on the pleasure of simply writing but we all have our own style and OCD when it comes to the process. To all writers everywhere keep on writing. I'm out.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amazing Natural Phenomena

I have been known to be a science nerd. There is nothing more bizarre than what can be found in nature. November third I woke up at 6:30 a.m., yes a.m. I reiterate that because I hate mornings especially on weekends although that morning was special. There was a rare hybrid (total plus annular) solar eclipse happening.According to http://www.universetoday.com/106045/ this won't happen again until the year 2172. 

Solar eclipses can only happen during a new moon when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun. The moon blocks out the light from the sun. Now one may think that happens every month.A new moon does happen monthly but we don't have a total solar eclipse monthly because of the moons orbit around us is tilted. See http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/why2.html for a detailed explanation including diagrams. A solar eclipse only blacks out a small spot upon the Earth's surface because the moon is much smaller in comparison than Earth and we are looking at it's shadow. This doesn't allow for a large viewing area as is available with lunar eclipses. 

November third's eclipse could be viewed over North America and I was awake to see it although I was only able to view the partial due to the sun coming over the horizon. When viewing a solar eclipse you should never look directly into it as it could damage the retina of your eyes. I had made a viewing box which I inadvertently left at home in my rush to the out the door. Next we had to decide where to view it and chose a friend's house along the St.John's river in Florida. 

We walked along his dock I had my phone in hand with the camera going and was able to see the eclipse when I played back the video. The eclipse can't be seen directly when watching the sun but rather a red bubble within the picture that contains a reflection of the sun, again way cool science phenomena. The image is inverted my guess is because the focal point inducing what is known as a real image. In my pajamas and slippers I stood watching one of astronomy's most amazing events and have the footage to prove it.

The picture is the inverted eclipse. Below that is my you tube video.