Showing posts from March, 2007

How To Letterbox with a Camera Crew

. .. Stamping & the camera crew Originally uploaded by often111 . A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a producer from a local television show ( Bay Area Backroads ). They were planning a segment on letterboxing , and were wondering if I would be willing to help them out. There has been a lot of discussion in the letterboxing community regarding the effect that media exposure has on our hobby, so it took some serious thought before I agreed to participate. Ultimately, my decision came down to two factors. First, I had taken an instant liking to the show's producer. And secondly, I realized that since this show was going to happen whether letterboxers liked it or not, I might as well tag along and try to be as good an ambassador for letterboxing as possible. Bay Area Backroads is a locally produced show that features the great favorites and undiscovered treasures of this vibrant, fun part of the country. I think that the show's producers have got one of the Coolest Jo

It's been 25 years

More to follow but the news is... I passed the driving test yesterday! The test itself was a pleasant drive around a nice neighborhood, a commercial street, and one exit on the freeway. After I parked the car, the examiner handed me the score sheet. It had fields of coded ratings with "x" marks and checks and numbers. In the "Comments" field, written in perfect cursive writing, was a test result I haven't seen since Mrs. Smith's class at Bay Avenue Elementary. It said, "Very Good." Apparently, they were all out of gold stars. Do I have my driver's license back yet? Of course not. That becomes the responsibility of the Safety Office. (the folks who took eleven and a half weeks to schedule my road test!)

On the Road, Again...

... Today -- finally -- Robb takes his driving test with the adaptive gear in our car. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us. We had been joking that this entire process moved so slowly that Robb would be ready to drive a car without any adaptive gear by the time he gets his special driving license. Goodness only knows what the process of regaining his regular driving license will entail. Once he is re-licensed, we have to figure out what Robb's reasonable range is, given his energy levels, and the length of time he is able to sit in one place. I have to admit to feeling like the parent of a sixteen year old: I'm weirdly nervous about having Robb behind the wheel. Strange for a non-parent, who only learned to drive after she turned thirty!

Fun in the Sun

... Yesterday was another day in the sun, riding our bikes on the Bay Trail. But it was more than that, too. About the time Lisa and I began pondering this recumbent trike idea, I had in mind a particular ride I wanted to take. It's a section of the Bay Trail north of Berkeley which continues along the shoreline for five or six miles. We'd never traveled the path that far north before so it seemed like good "first" to go for. Secretly, I have to admit, I really didn't think I could do it. All through the process of wishing, planning and actually getting the trike, I harbored the fear that once I got it I would be incapable of pedaling for more than a few minutes. Such was the success I had whenever I tried to use exercise bikes in the gym. But an amazing thing happens when I get into that reclining seat and clip my shoes into those pedals (OK... when Lisa gets off her bike and comes over to clip my shoes onto the pedals for me). I can go and go and go. Ten


... Spring is the season for new beginnings. Last spring, Robb was just getting out of the hospital, and now we are cycling around the Bay Area. What we don't really understand is this: Robb is having a particularly difficult time lately. He can barely walk across the room. But he can cycle easily and comfortably. We are so thankful to have the trike, so that Robb can get outdoors and exercise with the wind on his face. Of course, there is more than just exercise. Every decent bike ride involves treats. In our case, we stopped at a little cafe along the Bay (and to be honest, right next to the freeway) and had a sandwich and coffee. The local birdies were busily mooching food off the tables. A good time was had by all.

So, how was that trip? Lisa's point of view

Of the hotels where we stayed, the Olympic Club Hotel, was by far the nicest. We loved the marriage of funky decorating style, and history-based murals. When we heard these places described, I thought, "What is this? Disneyland for adults?" I was dubious at first. I thought the whole place was going to be some gigantic Bennigans's or TGI Fridays, full of hokey fake decor. But the place really won me over. What can I say? Even the bathrooms charmed me. (All of those taps work, but not all at once.) It was delightful to meet our Imaginary Online Friends in person. It was a bit weird, too. Because of this blog, many people already knew us ... knew us on sight, and knew a lot about our lives. It was strange, making the transition from that sort of thing to actually hanging out in person. Odd at first, but very nice, indeed! All of the letterboxing events were a blast! For some reason, I failed to take may People Pictures. I think I was too busy gabbing.... Anyway, h

The Trip

Lisa and I were looking at our recent trip to Washington and Oregon as a kind of a test. Neither of us had traveled farther than San Jose (about an hour away) since my injury. It had been over a year since we had slept in a bed other than our own and this a record for both of us. I think we were itching for a change of scenery. As I said it was a test but not the pass/fail kind. It was more of a learning opportunity. And, oh, boy, did we learn a lot! For instance, we learned that we chose the absolutely right bed for our bedroom. Hotel room beds taught us that. We learned about the special attention you receive when you go to the airport with an expired driver's license. (Thank you, TSA!) We learned that traveling will be very, very difficult for me until I can get through a day without needing to lie down. Most surprising, we learned just how fragile I can still be. Still, the trip was a great success in other ways. We had a fun time at the Spring Flinger event and ha

Why you might not wish to be Robb

Yesterday (the morning after our exhausting trip) Robb got up at 5:30 to take a cab to Stanford University to see his urologist. He had a battery of tests that lasted for almost two hours, and which left him terribly uncomfortable. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that the tests were as bad as you could imagine. However, the doctor and Robb discussed some interesting treatment options to calm Robb's freaky nerves, and allow his body to return to normal. (Botox, anyone?) I'm just hoping that the internal spasms caused by these procedures have subsided by the time Robb wakes up this morning. Yesterday was not a particularly pleasant day.

Found Art

Robb and I were driving to a letterboxing event, when I shouted out something along the lines of, "What the heck is that!?!?!" and pulled off the road. Right in the middle of Centralia, Washington is what has to be the most amazing folk art installation I've ever seen. Robb wasn't feeling especially well, and said that he was going to lay down in the car. I nervously introduced myself to the artist, and asked if I might look around. I thought that if I were lucky, he might allow me to take a few pictures, and then send me on my way. Actually, he grabbed me by the elbow, and took me on a whirl-wind tour of his sculpture garden, all the while talking a mile a minute. The place is huge, and the artist, Richard Tracy, had a lot to say. And unfortunately, Robb had not taken the car keys from me, so was stranded in the front yard, while I was being hauled around the back. Not good. The artist uses found material -- primarily styrofoam -- which he paints black and whi

We gather no moss....

Oregon is beautiful! The weather is glorious, and the place is mossy! Not surprisingly for a famously rainy state, moss grows everywhere. (It is so rainy* that the visitor center at the one of the waterfalls we visited had a rack-full of loaner umbrellas for unprepared tourists) The waterfalls grow moss. The trees fill with water, and they grow moss. (Love that M.C. Escher reflection!) The trees' moss grows ferns. The fence posts grow moss. The bridges grow moss. If you scratch a drawing of a rose on a rock, the drawing will grow moss. The moss grows moss. The muppet-like forest monsters grow moss. We were responsible hikers, and did not gather any of this moss, or anything else. We just took our time, and enjoyed every single minute of the waterfalls. And the spring wildflowers. And what about the imaginary letterboxing friends that we hung out tonight? We were too busy socializing to shoot off any pictures. Hopefully tomorrow we will remedy this? * If you hung around with my