Saturday, July 13, 2013

Round Robin Challenge: Get Wet!

"Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards."

~Vladimir Nabokov

RRC: Get Wet!

For this Round Robin challenge, Karen wants to see things getting wet! Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, you see, California has been ridiculously dry this year. Seriously dry. And I haven't made it out to the beach yet, although it is on my list for this summer. Heck, I haven't even made it to Lake Anza and that's right in Berkeley! But I do have some photos from the archives, most of them are new to the blog, some are simply favorites that I love. I hope you like them...

San Francisco In The Rain, December 22nd, 2012

Floating In Autumn

Okay, that's my post for this challenge. Now go see what the other Robins have posted. To see the list of participants, and get all the information you need to join in the fun, click here to be redirected to the official Round Robin Challenge blog!

"Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain, or dance like waves along the wind which touches it's surface."

~Santosh Kalwar

~Me :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Art About Town: San Francisco... Stop And Enjoy The Fillmore

"Relish, Too" By J. Seward Johnson
Fillmore District, San Francisco California. July 10th, 2013

"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

~Vincent van Gogh

Stop And Enjoy The Fillmore (Part One)

It's time to move on from the worries of the world methinks. It's time for some new public art, and I found a fantastic new public art walk in San Francisco that can't help but brighten one's day! It consists of 12 different life sized sculptures depicting different human moments. Each is incredibly lifelike and touch the soul in a different way. Some poignant, some humorous, some bring about feelings of warmth and love. I didn't photograph all the sculptures this week, I want to return to the Fillmore throughout the summer to complete the set. There are times when I just need a break from the heavy news and frustrating moments of life, and nothing makes me feel better than to spend time getting lost in art. Especially public art! Not only do you get the feelings each sculpture evokes, but you get the exercise, the awesome weather, and you get to explore the neighborhoods you maybe haven't visited before! That's what I love about public art in San Francisco, all the extra experiences that go along with it!

"Celebrating The Familiar"
By J. Seward Johnson

"Relish, Too"

"Los Mariachis"

"No Mommy, That One!"

"Coming Home"

I am really excited to see, and photograph more of the sculptures! It's simply the best way to spend a mid summer day! I highly reccommend it!

:) "Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable."
~George Bernard Shaw

To learn more about this public art installation, here is the Fillmore Sculpture Walk PDF.

Mood: Relaxed

~Me :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Have You Seen Today?

(Asiana Flight 214 with 3 Denbeste Water Solutions Tanks In The Forefront)

"No matter how many plans you make or how much in control you are, life is always winging it."

~Carroll Bryant

Alan and I went back to BayFront Park, in Milbrea yesterday, to take one last look at the wreckage, still sitting on the runway of Asiana Flight 214. On my first trip, last Saturday afternoon, just hours after the crash took place, I could barely make out the tail portion of the aircraft that had come to rest on the back of the runway. It was late afternoon, and the lighting was very bright, but today I could get a better look at it. It is still a surreal sight to see the tail so far behind where the plane eventually came to rest!

I feel so sorry that all those people had to go through that horrific event. My heart goes out to the flight attendants. Those brave young women preformed miraculously under the depth of pressure that most of us will never, if we are very lucky, experience. Honestly, I am not so much how I would be under those circumstances, but I will never forget how much better the whole situation turned out due to their diligence and response under extreme pressure!

They are absolutely the truest, most elegant examples of heroism!

Here are my photographs from today...

(The Tail Section From Asiana Flight 214 Still Resting On Runway 28L)

(A United Airlines Flight Taxiing Past The Wreckage Of Flight 214)

(The Surreal Sight Of Two Planes So Near Flight 214)

The San Mateo Bridge As Seen From BayFront Park, Milbrea Ca.

Yesterday was my last chance to visit BayFront park, and document for myself the events of last Saturday. Late last night the NTSB allowed airport maintenance to begin removing debris and begin repairing the runway so it can reopen as soon as possible. It's a good thing. It's time to move forward I suppose. It will certainly be much more difficult for some than others. I will always remember this event, and my heart will always sink a little as I drive past the airport. It's simply not something that is easily filed away in my conscience. You know what I mean?

It didn't happen to me. I didn't know anyone in the crash. But in a way it drove home to me just how fragile everything is. I keep thinking about what a gorgeous day last Saturday was. It was one of those days like 9/11 when before I answered Alan's call, telling me the dreadful news, I had a moment to admire the late summer, nearly autumn sunshine, and cool gentle breeze moving my curtains so very gently. When I heard his voice say, "Carly... are you okay?" it made me laugh, because the first thing I thought of was, how could I possibly be otherwise? Have you seen today?

It's going to be a while, maybe years, before we learn what the cause, or causes of the crash of flight 214. I am trying to not make up my mind early, because you just never know what may have gone wrong. I think instead I am going to follow along as information is made available, thank GOD a little more for those I love, and thank GOD once again that there are special people like those flight attendants who keep their wits about them in the face of tragety! We are all better off because of them!

"Courage Is Not The Absence Of Fear, But Rather The Judgement That Something Else Is More Important Than Fear."

~Meg Cabot

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

See Spot. See Spot Glow. Glow Spot Glow.

"Assumptions are the termites of relationships"

~Henry Winkler

I seem to be dwelling on all of my favorite Bay Area bridges lately. LOL. Which is probably better than dwelling under my favorite bridges. Right? Anyway, I took this photo last week, on our way back from a day in San Francisco, to show the effect of the BART strike on Bay Area traffic. But it seemed as though the traffic, at least on the San Mateo Bridge, was fairly normal. The word about the strike had reached everyone in the appropriate amount of time for everyone to make other arrangements. Both sides are continuing negotiations, so there could be another walkout situation I suppose, but at least folks seem to be acting with understanding and restraint in light of a frustrating situation.

Now, with the absence of nightmarish traffic, I had plenty of other sights catching my eye as we crossed the bridge from west to east. The cormorants that like to roost on the high power towers, the flow of the bay, the gorgeous view of Mt. Diablo, the way the marine layer drifts across the bay. There is a lot to see, but what grabbed and held my interest the most was that tiny dot on the state owned message board. There it was, just a dot, or a period, or 1/3 of a proper ellipsis, just sitting there, brightly illuminated, trying to tell me something methinks, but what? What? It was a mystery. Alan told me he has seen it for several months, in the day, at night, at twilight, at dawn... just the dot... all alone.

 Just a ( . ).


End of discussion.

Of course I shouldn't assume anything. It might hold a very special meaning for someone, somewhere. It might mean "I love You" or maybe a message like when Carol Burnett would tug on her ear at the end of her variety show each week. Hmmm. I wonder if I called 511 they would know the answer? Nah... probably not. Hmmm. (Insert Tiled Head Here).

Any thoughts?

Mood: Silly

!me :)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It's Those Darn Bolts Again!

"I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

~Woody Allen

Isn't that a pretty picture? What you see there is the old cantilever section in the back, and the spiffy new, still being assembled, eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Both are attractive in their own ways, both have been designed to take folks from the East Bay to San Francisco. Safely. Hopefully. Most of the time I don't think about it as we cross the Bay Bridge. Why would I? When I cross the Bay Bridge it is usually Alan driving, and we are off on some sort of adventure. Maybe we are off to the museum or to see a comedy show. We might be planning to spend the day tracking down public art or perhaps we have decided to grab a beverage and watch people. Whatever inspires us to cross the bay is usually what I spend my time thinking about as we cross the bridge. Makes sense... right?

Well, all that has changed a bit. Do you see that spiffy new gorgeous section being constructed? Well, it has had some problems. Safety problems. BIG SCARY SAFETY PROBLEMS. Construction on the new spiffy eastern span began back in 2002, with a target date for opening eventually set for this coming Labor Day. There was to be much fanfare. Lots of celebrating of a long project finally reaching it's completion. Everything was all set... until... one day... someone discovered that there was a problem. A BIG ONE. It seems there were these bolts... there go the bolts again... that were... lets just say... SUPER SUBSTANDARD! I don't know about you, but I really put a lot of thought into bolts, which is ironic considering my father's feelings about the subject, but having the right bolt is an important thing. In fact... it's vital. And if said bolt is in good shape, and not substandard it's even better!

When testing on the ultra important bolts took place in March of 2013, it was discovered that 30 of the first 96 bolts failed. YIKES! Okay, so testing continued, and putting it simply, stuff had to be redone. First we heard was that the grand opening could probably move forward for Labor Day, but then we heard that there was a strong possibility it wouldn't, but then we heard it was all a go, but now we know for sure... nope... it might happen later this year, possibly December. Which I know is a bummer for some, but it's more important Caltrans and their contractors take their time. Intellectually speaking I have confidence that when it does open, it will be safe. The problem is, I don't know if I fully, 100% believe it deep deep down.  I have a bit, well, a lot of jitters about crossing the new Bay Bridge once it opens.

I love Yerba Buena Island, and the only way to get there is to either go from here on the eastern side of the bay, which means crossing on the new section, or go into San Francisco by way of one of the other bridges and cross from the western side of the Bay Bridge. Which isn't that bad, but it's that feeling of letting my jitters dictate my life the hurts. Sigh. There are a lot of things we take on faith. Faith that when we sit down on a couch it will hold us up. Faith that when we go to sleep, we will wake up the next day. Faith that when we hear that we will be safe crossing a bridge, because the government entity building it says so. And most of the time its all true and correct, but it's that the substandard bolts got through in anyway. And I know I should just be glad they found the problems, but somehow it's just not making me feel better. At this point, with all the going back and forward on when, and if, the opening day will be has left me... well... leery.  I don't know when, or if, that feeling will change. I just don't know how to feel about ever crossing the new span.

I guess I will just have to cross that bridge when I get there.

Eastern Span Replacement Of The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

TBPOC Announces New Bay Bridge East Span Will Not Open Labor Day, Releases Comprehensive Report. (The Wall Street Journal)

Bay Bridge History Timeline

Mood: Reflective

~Me :)

Monday, July 08, 2013


"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

~Albert Einstein


On Saturday, after I finished photographing the wreckage of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214, I decided to chill out for a few minutes before leaving BayFront Park. I was a bit tired, and it was an eerie feeling of seeing the reminents of what had been a pretty large aircraft just sitting still on the runway, with large, gaping holes and clear signs of having been on fire just a few hours earlier. I don't know that I was exactly ready for the sight in front of me, but I took the shots I wanted, and then recognizing the growing anxiety welling up, I stopped and sat in the grass for a bit, to just rest and decide how I wanted to approach yesterday's post.

Across the small body of water that seperates the airport from the park, were some cute little birds, Sandpipers I think, doing some fishing, completely oblivious to human tradgety not too far away. It was a nice sight. I took these two pictures, and immediately felt better, as so often happens when I have my camera with me. I kinda tease myself sometimes, that my camera is actually fused to my hand, but seriously, my cameras have always brought me so much comfort, that really and they really are a part of my body at this point. The best part of my body... lol... I have been told I have pretty eyes, but they aren't my best feature, my camera is! LOL. As we begin another Monday, I will be starting the day a little quiet, and happy for the real miracles that happen every day! Oh... and for my cameras!

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."

~Dr. Suess

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Sunday, July 07, 2013

On A Clear San Francisco Day... The Crash Of Asiana Flight 214

San Francisco International Airport October 30th, 2012

"How strange is this combination of proximity and seperation. That ground... seconds away...thousands of miles away."

~Charles A. Lindbergh

Yesterday, the San Francisco Bay Area was experiencing a beautiful, mild, summer day. There was a cool slight breeze, which was a very welcome relief from the searing temperatures of the previous 6 days. The heatwave had finally ended! It was beautiful out my office window, I couldn't stop looking at how the sun made the roses in my garden almost glow. Then it happened. The little bell on my cell phone alerted me that I had an ABC News Breaking News report... "An Asiana Plane Has Crashed At SFO." Oh my... how could that be true? On a day like this? I glanced out my window, and sure enough visibility across the bay was amazing. Clear blue sky, little to no wind. Perfect, except for a dark plume of smoke. How do things like this, happen on days like this?

I turned on the news and saw the horrific pictures from the crash site, but this time there were also pictures of folks not only walking away, but one person had her carry on bag, and her handbag with her! The next few hours consisted mostly of following along with the reports on CNN, ABC and Twitter. Just seeing the shape the plane looked so bad, it was hard to believe anyone could have survived, let alone literally walk away from the crash. As the day wore on we learned that the injured had been transported to hospitals throughout the Bay Area, and nearly half as many lost their luggage, but escaped the crash uninjured! Uninjured?! A true miracle! Well, except for 2 sixteen year old girls who were thrown from the back of the plane upon impact.

So sad.

While watching the coverage I couldn't help but think about last October, when Alan and I were fortunate enough to be able to fly directly over SFO when we took an aerial tour of the San Francisco skyline and bay for our anniversary. Our pilot, Captain Dan, told us that it was highly unusual to be able to fly directly over the airport, but on this day there was very little sky traffic due to Hurricane Sandy. It had not occurred to me that a storm on the east coast would effect flights at SFO so profoundly. I learned a lot from Captain Dan that day, I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I have had a lifelong fear of flying, but for whatever reason I was intrigued about flying in the single engine Cessna, and jumped at the opportunity. I wasn't even a little bit scared, indeed it will remain one of my favorite adventures shared with Alan.

I thought about that adventure while watching the news, and just knew I had to go see the crash for myself.  When Alan got home, he and I made the trek across the bay to Bayfront Park in Milbrea. The park sits just south of the airport and directly across the small inlet of water, from runway 28 L (Left) where the crash occurred.

Here is what I saw...

Asiana Flight 214 SFO July 6th, 2013

The Tower At SFO



The Press

And Finally A Lufthansa Flight Waiting On The Runway To Depart. It Was A Moment Of Normal, As The Airport Had Been Closed To All Traffic Since The Crash Occurred.

Finally, Here Are Some Google Maps Images To Give You An Idea Of The Runaway Where The Crash Happened...


"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane, and the pessimist the parachute."

~Orson Welles

I have shared with you before that my father was an aircraft mechanic, and he was also someone who refused to fly... period. When I was a little girl I asked him why he hated the thought of flying, when he worked on planes every single day? My dad, being the straightforward honest man that he was, simply smiled and said... "Because I know which bolt has to fall off the plane to bring the whole thing down." LOL. It was a sound argument that gave me chills for years, and possibly could have fed my fear of air travel. But by the time I was 20 I had been in 3 car accidents, one of which the car rolled and ejected my brother through the windshield. His wisdom rang true, but so did the statistics that air travel is still the safest way to get from here... to... there.

Don't worry, I wasn't the driver of the car in any of the accidents, but I did decide one day, not all that long ago, that I wanted to take the fear by the horns and lose that unnecessary baggage from my being. Last October, there I was, up in the air, flying along in a small single engine plane, having the time of my life! And even after this disaster, I would like to do that again one day, only maybe on a day with a little more wind so I can feel what less than perfect conditions are like. It's the only way to take the fear out of the fear. Experience it! But the thing I can't seem to get past tonight is the fact that those two young ladies who were killed today, who were so young, made it safely through a 10 1/2 hour flight, only to perish in the last 10 seconds before they touched down.

It's so sad. And something I won't forget. Especially when I remember that conversation with dad.


Mood: Quiet