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Posts Labeled with ‘san diego’

Dixieland? Really? For Ice Cream?

Walking down the street today, I heard the ice cream truck driving around my very white, very suburban, California neighborhood. The song that the little ice cream truck was playing was Dixie. The Southern anthem. Bizarre… really, really bizarre.

Many people are mildly aware of one version of the song which goes: “I wish I was in the land of cotton. Old times there are not forgotten. Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland.” But historians (which is my training) and radical Southerners (not me) are also aware of the Southern secessionist anthem version: Dixie To Arms! I found a version on YouTube, in case you’ve never heard it. Here’s the link:

So I have lots of questions. Can ice cream truck drivers put together their own playlists? Is the ice cream truck driver a radical Southerner? Does the ice cream truck driver even recognize the song? How does this song go over in the south? Is this really a good song for selling ice cream in San Diego? Just wondering.

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Long Tail vs Simplicity: Choices for Life

There seems to be a ceaseless, exponential proliferation of premium, “artisan”, and odd-combination products available to me today. Just in the past week, in San Diego county, I have been exposed to the following while not even really shopping for any of them:

  • Organic Cow, Cave-Aged cheese with herbs and spices
  • Basil infused Panna Cotta (a dessert)
  • Blueberry mojito (a cocktail with muddled blueberries, mint, lime, and vanilla rum)
  • Magnums of 100pt wine
  • Mint-melon chewing gum

In case you are wondering, I didn’t actually purchase or consume any of these products. But I just don’t recall this kind of unusual stuff being so ubiquitous in my youth. I am convinced that this exponential availability of choice is driven by a large population of novelty-addicted customers and negligible distribution costs, resulting in some Long Tail-inspired retail practices.

In contrast, recently I seem to be drawn to the simple, fundamental tastes. Here’s a sampling of what I actually did consume/purchase in the past week:

  • Fresh, organic strawberries from the local Farmer’s Market
  • A hard-boiled egg (no salt or pepper)
  • Plain Corn Flakes with milk
  • Fresh snow peas sauteed with a little garlic and a dash of soy sauce – note: this was a main entree

Perhaps I am a bad consumer. But I also think that there is something to be said for not going too far out on that Long Tail. I don’t want to get so addicted to novelty that I can no longer appreciate the fundamentals.

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And the party continues

As mentioned, I went out of town last week. When I came back to San Diego late at night on Thursday, I noticed a funny smell in my apartment. I thought: I’ll deal with it tomorrow. So I went to bed. Upon waking, with a slightly sore throat, I started to investigate the source of the smell.

Turns out, the source of the smell was black mold in the office closet, lots of mildew on the baseboards, drywall, and crown moulding, and green mold growing out of my carpet. Uh oh!

I called the Property Management company. They are working with the building HOA to have the mildew remediated. But this “remediation” effort won’t be easy, painless, or fast. It will probably take a month, result in the loss of use of my office, and mean that all the furniture and stuff that was stored in that closet will need to be smushed into the rest of the apartment.

And, of course, there are all the workers that will need to get into and out of my apartment. I get the pleasure of coordinating that while I sit around the apartment sucking air from a loud hepa-filter.

I am currently waiting to hear from the management company to determine what sort of rent-reduction plan they offer. I have my own ideas about this situation & what they need to do to make me comfortable. Can we say free rent?

Really, now… you must admit that my string of unfortunate events is rather humorous when taken as a whole batch. But I’m keeping my chin up!

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Sea Foam between my toes

I went to Powerhouse beach in Del Mar for sunset today. It was fantastic: high 70s, with a light breeze, a huge golden sun, and a few wispy white clouds.

As I walked along the beach, I felt the cool water beneath my feet, and and sea foam between my toes as the waves receded. It is one of the simple pleasures in life that brings me joy.


Cars over 75K are undependable

Tonight my car died. Won’t start. Battery seems to be working. I don’t know what the issue is. Lucky for me, it died at home. So it’s not as if I was stranded on the side of a busy San Diego highway.

Remember a few month’s back when I wanted to get a new car? One of the reasons that I cited is that I’ve always maintained that cars over 75K are undependable. I got a few responses from men who fundamentally disagreed; they said that modern cars are so much better and are designed to live far past 100K without any significant problems. Maybe that’s true, I am strictly going off of anecdotal experience here. And, as a woman, I don’t want to have an undependable car because I don’t want to get into any unsafe situations.

So, we’ll see what transpires. I’m not super-interested in spending the money to get a new car right now, so I’ll probably just get Mini Lee fixed up and hope for the best.

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Very Successful Party

Last night, I had a housewarming party at the new apartment in San Diego. It was a big hit: maybe 30 people, lots of coffee martinis and food were consumed. The folks were all sociable and had fun. I also received some very thoughtful housewarming gifts, 3 bouquets of flowers, and more wine than I can possibly drink anytime soon.

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Swainson’s Hawks in Anza Borrego

I went to Anza Borrego over the weekend. Had a wonderful picnic, which included a rare bird sighting: Swainson’s hawks migrate to/from Argentina. They ride the thermals really high in the sky. All I saw was two white UFOs. The white on the underside of the wing. Their flight pattern of this pair of hawks was beautiful, they seemed to be playing in the thermals. It was awesome.

We had every intention of going on a full-on hike, but really we just ended up walking around a little bit.

Here’s a link to a closeup photo of a Swainson Hawk, taken by Vic Murayama.

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Want Free Magazines? Move to my zipcode

I am getting a lot of free magazines in this zip code: 92014. Wired, Women’s Health, Fitness, etc. My understanding is that the magazine companies target certain zip codes and give free magazines in the hopes that people will:

  • Buy the products advertised in the magazine
  • Get hooked on the magazine and buy a subscription

I’m going to ride the Wired Magazine wave as long as it will take me. I love that magazine, but don’t feel the need to get a subscription again as long as they’re giving it to me for free.


Sunset in Del Mar

Here’s a sunset photo from a few days back in Del Mar.
Sunset Del Mar


I met a Chargers Player after the Playoff Game

San Diego is football crazy right now. In case you are living under a rock, the Chargers won the playoff game last night in overtime.

I went to Stingaree after the game. This is, apparently, the favorite party place for the players after a winning game. And I can see why. Stingaree plays the “San Diego Super Chargers” song, and has their go-go-girl/waitresses dance around the football players with sparklers and bottles of champagne. No kidding. It’s all very over-the-top, but fun.

Anyway, through some luck or oversight, I ended up in the VIP area upstairs… standing next to Vincent Jackson and a female friend whose waist was about as small as my hand. I briefly said “congratulations, great game,” then didn’t bother him. I then witnessed him receiving sycophantic accolades from a lot of drunk men… which he did with an amazing amount of patience and grace.

Chargers Vincent Jackson

I don’t want to give the impression that I was “hanging out” with the football players. It was a completely strange and happy coincidence. And a good night.

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Celebrity Sighting: Scott Clifton of GH

So, tonight I was out in Encinitas, CA (North county San Diego.) I was standing in an interminable line for The Daley Double Saloon, which is entirely too popular for no apparent reason.

Anyway, I was behind Scott Clifton and his girlfriend Nikki. Scott played Dillon Quartermaine on General Hospital.

Here’s the photo I took on the iPhone. (Sorry Scott, I didn’t want to disturb your intense conversation to ask for a photo.)

GH Star sighting Scott Clifton

Anyway, I really didn’t want to be an eavesdropper, but I was stuck in this line and the both of them were a bit tipsy and a smidge loud. Clearly, they had their own little soap opera going on. Despite being an adorable girl, she must have been feeling threatened and jealous because the conversation went something like this:

Scott: Oh my God, I would totally tell you everything. You know that. I think you’re fantastic.

Nikki: I know, but what happened with [the ex.]?

Scott proceeds to tell this rambling story about email drama with an ex girlfriend.

Nikki: But you’ve never told me any of this before! Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this?!?

More drama ensues, followed by making up and lots of kissing and hugging in line.

Eventually I got into the bar… not a moment too soon. Soap-opera-like drama is better on the screen than it is on the street.

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Nothin’ Like A Spending Frenzy

I’m trying to outfit the new apartment for move-in. So today, I paid for *a lot* of stuff. It will be nice, eventually…when I am settled in and set up. In the meantime, there’s a lot to do… and I want to fit so much in before going to Houston and San Fran during the next two weekends!


Jazz Sax at the Resort

Last night was great. I went to see my friend and colleague Brad Rambur play jazz saxophone with his band at the Blue Fire Grill of La Costa Resort. His keyboardist played with Ike Turner, and the bassist was a session musician with the Beach Boys.

Brad playing Sax at La Costa

They were really, really good. And the venue was spectacularly gorgeous.

Their contract has them playing Friday and Sat night until the end of the year, so I plan to go back often.


Boldly Going

I saw an apartment today that I really like… I hope it works out. Literally, it is steps from Encinitas’ Moonlight beach and it is very modern: travertine floors and granite countertops. It’s basically the guest house off of a main house… a little Fonzi quarters beside one of the many San Diego McMansions.

The landlord (and McMansion owner) was showing the place from 10 – 11 AM. I knew that I needed to be prompt given the address, so I was on time to view the place. I literally took one step inside and said to the landlord: “OK, I’ve seen enough, I’ll take it. Who do I make the check out to?” The other people viewing (at the same time) the apartment stammered… “uh, yeah, we want it also.”

I hope that my certainty and boldness pays off in this scenario. My good credit score may come in handy too!


4 Dollar Gas Clears CA Congestion

The San Diego freeways are noticably less crowded than a year ago. Since I’ve been back, I have driven at different times of the day (during rush hours, during lunch) and on different freeways (5, 15, 52, 56, 78) and haven’t run into congestion anywhere.

At first, I thought that I just may be getting lucky. Then I thought that maybe I just hadn’t remembered traffic patterns correctly. But now I’m convinced that high gas prices have forced different driving habits among the lower class and much of the middle class.

That said, the evidence I use to support my claim is purely anecdotal, not scientific. So maybe I’m wrong, but I also assess that there are mostly high-end (more expensive) cars on the road. Could it be that only the wealthy people can afford to drive in SoCal with +4 dollars-a-gallon gas?

Regardless, I’m ok with it. MiniLee got 32mpg at 75mph average all the way down from Seattle. Those results aren’t as good as a TDI or hybrid, but it’s not too shabby either!

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San Diego Update

I am now in San Diego. Ahhhh….. happiness returns.


Goodbye Cruel Seattle!

I’ve left Seattle and am publishing this post from Boise, Idaho.

I’m glad to be gone… not to belabor the point, but the weather was killing me. Even the last couple of days in Seattle (Aug 1 – 8) were chilly… I was wearing a jacket almost every day. In August folks, August in the Northern hemisphere is supposed to be hot.

Look, I know that everyone is getting sick of me complaining about the weather, so I promise not to do that soon. I probably won’t even notice the weather in San Diego after a month or so of blissing-out about the difference between SD and SEA.

One more thing about my moving away from Seattle: I was surprised about how many friends I made, and how quickly. Most were nascent friendships, but I plan to keep in touch with a few people. They’re great people… maybe we can visit each other sometime. Or maybe I can be the cruise director for San Diego (Kelli was mine for SEA) and get them to relocate.

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Last week in Seattle, Opportunities in SD

This is my last week in Seattle. I had some fun this past weekend… tying up some loose ends and whatnot.

I am also in conversations about my new life in San Diego. Although I am working with my current employer for the next two months, it is a transition and will come to an end. Consequently, I am in conversations about new jobs and I am excited about one opportunity in particular. More information will come later, if it all turns out.

There’s so much going on right now that I can hardly put it all into coherent thoughts, let alone logical sentences on a blog.

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Homeless in Seattle

I am officially homeless. I just turned in my keys to the (former) apartment at 12224 NE 8th St, #205.

My boss is letting me stay on the boat for a week, then I’ll be headed down to San Diego (perhaps by way of Boise (to visit Ralph) and Vegas (for DefCon’s White Ball).

I’ve been asked why I would attend DefCon… people say something like: “Really? I didn’t know you were into hacking.” My answer is… that, while I’m not a hacker, my current job role/title (Director of Application Security) has made me marginally competent to carry on relevant security-related conversations with hackers. A few months back, I managed to fall in with a whole big group of Seattle security guys and hackers. And yes, they are almost entirely guys. There are only a few girls in the group and, as far as I can tell, I’m the only one that isn’t dating any of the guys. They are good guys though. All of ‘em are super smart and very kind. And they aren’t evil identity thieves either. While some of them may have done some black-hat stuff in the past; I’m pretty sure everyone in this group is on the right side of the law currently.

Anyway… back to my upcoming plans. By Monday Aug 10, I should arrive in San Diego. I have a warm and generous offer from Carl to use his guest room until I find a place in San Diego. Hopefully, I can get that situation figured out quickly since fish and houseguests stink after just a few days.

When I do figure out a place to live, I will have my Door-to-Door storage container delivered. It has all my stuff in it and it is packed to the gills! I got rid of a lot, but I still have a lot of stuff.

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Where to Live in San Diego?

I am thinking Bird Rock, Solana Beach, DelMar, or UTC/Torrey Pines.


My Days Measured on the Wing

While living in Escondido, my daily commute to/from the house along San Pasqual Road almost always included a hawk sighting. I’d look up and see the birds flying free and high. In one sense, seeing the birds was a wonderful respite a part of my routine that was pleasant and life-affirming. In another sense, it is a reminder of my dull and predicable life. In many ways, I am prisoner of my routine.

Despite the move to Seattle, life isn’t much different. The birds have changed: I see gulls or bald eagles every day. The route has changed too: now I see the birds when crossing the 520 floating bridge. The birds seem to play in the wind currents, and occasionally I see them dive for fish that must rise to the surface in the choppy waters.

But it struck me today, as I saw 2 bald eagles soaring just beyond my front windshield: I can measure my days in bird sightings.

Bald Eagle in Seattle (Seattle PI image)

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Rainman is OK

Rainman survived the Harris wildfire of 2007 in Jamul. Apparently, he was quite a successful mouse hunter during the fires. Allyn arrived back at the ranch to find her house in tact, but with a distinct smell of smoke and dead mice. Rainman meowed at her and chatted her up for a long time, she said that he meowed so much that he must have been relaying some interesting stories.

We’re very pleased to hear that Allyn’s house is still standing, though there was fire damage on her property. Wishing her & Rainman well.



San Diego Wildfires & good news so far

It seems that my personal connections to the San Diego wildfires all seem to be reporting in good news and health so far.

  • Allyn’s house {Honey Springs Rd in the path of the Harris fire) is still standing, and Rainman (although still missing) is expected to be OK.
  • My old house in Rancho San Pasqual / Triana 3377 Holly Oak Ln 92027 and all homes on the street are supposedly still standing, though there was fire in the canyon between Holly Oak and Wild Oak — and some RSP landscaping was lost. The Wild Animal Park (nearby) also had fires inside the park, but things are safe there too.
  • My former colleagues and friends are reporting in OK.
  • Aji San Diego folks are reporting in safe and unaffected, so far.
  • Labels:

    The Raging San Diego Fires

    Michael and I no longer live in San Diego, but we’re very worried about all of our friends and our family cat still residing in the evacuation zones. Although I’m in Seattle today, I’m listening to San Diego AM radio broadcasts, which has a lot more specific information.

    I railed about this in 2003: the names of the fires are meaningless when the fire is moving so rapidly. What we all want to know is the GPS coordinates of the fire line & put those coordinates on a map. At least there are some bloggers and Google mapp-ers who are broadcasting some excellent maps that allow us to follow the fires better than we were able to do in 2003.



    One Key

    I’m down to one key. Think about it; there are very few times in your life when you are down to one key. I have no apartment or house key, no mailbox key, no grocery store mini key fobs, etc. The only thing that I have is my car key. That’s because I’m temporarily homeless.

    We’re caravaning from San Diego to Seattle over the next couple of days. The first leg of the trip was San Diego to Stockton. Then Stockton to Medford. Medford to Portland and finally Portland to Kirkland. We’ll get to move into our new place in Bellevue on Aug 1.

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    Going Away Party

    I hosted our going away party on Saturday. If we had waited for someone else to host a party, there may not have been one. This is not because we’re terminally un-cool… it is because there are very few people who seem to enjoy hosting others. But I love it; I find it exhilarating and invigorating. I enjoy bringing people together.

    Looking back, I think that we’ve had very successful, and very interesting parties in San Diego. This is undoubtedly due to the very interesting people with whom we came in contact during our tenure here. In fact, our parties are known for being the meeting place of the an eclectic group of people.

    This party was no different. There are older people, younger people, people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints, there was also an early shift and a late shift. And there’s very little overlap from party to party. I can count on one hand the overlap folks who have attended multiple, and/or successive parties. It is both their loss and my gain — since we get the benefit of new blood at each party, and that enriches our conversations and experiences.

    I wonder how long it will be before I have enough friends and acquaintances in Seattle to throw a party in the new apartment! I am looking forward to the possibilities.

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    Carlsbad Flower Fields – Revisited

    Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. We went to the Carlsbad Flower Fields (and Armstrong garden center.) This is the location where Armstrong grows rununculus plants/flowers for seeds. There are blooms for as far as the eye can see.

    Carlsbad Flower Fields

    Lura at the Carlsbad Flower fields

    This new photo gallery officially replaces the old one.


    Balboa Rose Garden – 1 and 2

    MAS and I went to the Rose Garden in Balboa Park the other day. I snapped a few photos, posted the new ones in a photo gallery. I am also re-releasing the original photos from the Easter 2002 photo gallery, now on smugmug.

    Balboa Park Rose Garden


    Giant VJ Day Kiss Sculpture

    MAS and I went walking today in Downtown San Diego. Near the Midway floating museum, there is a giant sculpture of a famous moment: the VJ Day kiss.

    Giant VJ Day Kiss San Diego  
    Giant VJ Day Kiss 2 San Diego

    Here’s the wikipedia page on VJ day, which includes a bit on the story of the famous Life magazine photograph of Edith Cullen Shain and George Mendonça.



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