Later That Evening… Dinner With Dona Tomas

Dinner tonight was with handsome Jack and vivacious Tres at Dona Tomas. You simply can not go wrong at this excellent restaurant. The food is first-rate, as are the delicious margaritas. I recommend the carnitas – a house specialty – and if you’re still hungry for dessert, the mint ice cream is wicked cool.

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Thanks, Jack and Tres for another wonderful evening!

I love this shot of Kelly and Tres. Do they look great, or what!?! (Shot with Kelly’s Canon G3.)

(By the way, I have tried many times to get a good shot of Jack. He has this uncanny ability to get his eyes closed before the light from my flash has traveled from my camera to his face! I can’t explain it. It’s amazing. Well, actually, there is this one shot…)

There’s More to Life Than Photography

jlda_design.jpgI can’t believe I just said that! Anyway, just so you know that I’m not getting lazy…

I’ve been working on a proposal to add some color to our building’s hallways. I have to make a good presentation if I am to get any agreement between all the members of our association. I’ve also been doing a bit of design work for a new neighborhood organization. (If this artwork looks familiar, it’s because its based on one of my first digital images.) I like this new design much more than the old one. What do you think?

We’re also in the process of changing our living space a bit. When it’s complete, we’ll post a picture or two.

Tubin’ the Delta and Pasta on the Rocks

Yesterday’s trip to the delta was a blast. We took ten year old Olive, one of our most favorite neighbors along for the ride. We met Jeff and Wendy, Henry and Mary, Hillary and Michelle at their campsite, and headed out to the delta. The girls hit the water with gusto. Of course, that game was to see how fast our driver Jeff could turn their bravado into total tubing terror. Turn out that a few quick turns of the boat is all it takes. (See Olive and Hillary – exhibits A and B below.)

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The high point of my day was watching my fabulous, totally buffed wife ski. She moved so gracefully and so powerfully through the water… Wow! By the look of those muscles, I’d say all of those early-morning workouts have paid off, Honey! You look awesome!

Later, we dined on Wendy’s very special “spaghetti on the rocks”.

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(A note to my photographically inclined readers.)

I never thought I’d get much use out of my Sigma 80-400mm lens. Before I bought this magnificent lens, I was always reaching for my super-wide lens. That has changed. Despite the thremendous size, weight and slowness of the lens, I’m hooked on it. Partly because it’s just so darn sharp, but also becuase of the way it forces me to see images in a completely new way. For me, it’s a new medium, and I love it!

A Walk in the Wild

One of our favorite events of the year is Oakland Zoo’s wonderful Walk in the Wild. Their anual fundraiser features food, wine and beer from dozens of local merchants – and get this, because they serve alcohol – children are not allowed. Woo-hoo! What a perfect way to see the zoo and get some practice shooting with my long lens under less than ideal conditions. Hey, it’s not easy to shoot with a wine glass and food tray balanced in one hand and a camera with a huge lens in the other!

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(Sorry, but Kelly says we never can have too many meerkat photos.)

Haircut and Dinner

Kelly shows off her cute new haircut during our trip to the city on the always enjoyable Oakland-San Francisco Ferry. Destination – One Market.

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My lamb dish was fabulous, as were all of the appetizers and the desserts. Everyone liked the unique chick pea fries with garlic aioli, too. The restaurant offers a $29 prix fixe dinner special this month, but plan to spend much more if you deviate from the limited selections or if you like wine as much as we do.

The Grape One in Da Hood

Our friend Greg stopped by tonight. He gave us the scoop on the wine business in the central valley and joined us for salty prawns at Le Cheval. Nice to see you, Oh Grape One. We especially love the suit, Baby! (I’ve got news for you – you’re not fooling anyone.

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Got Crabs?

crab_dinner.jpgMy favorite coworker and most excellent friend Ali does have crabs – of the Dungeness kind – and lots of them. And lucky for us, she wants to share. You see, I created a little web site and a one-page flyer for her parents to help them sell their house. They did sell – and for more than the asking price. For my part, I got a crab dinner prepared for Kelly and me in our own home.

Thanks Ali, for a splendid dinner and a lovely evening. :-)

Vodka Tasting in a Hangar

It tuns out that Hangar 1 Vodka really is distilled in a hangar – hangar number 22 on the abandoned Alameda Naval Base, to be exact. The distillery is situated in the hangar with the best possible view of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge through their huge windows. They pour 12 different spirits for 10 bucks, the cool glass is yours to take home. What a great find! I’m looking forward to going back and checking out the gorgeous copper still. (You can get a glimpse of it on the left side of the shot of Kelly below.)

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Now, 12 sips of vodka may not seem like a lot, but I’m sure glad we split them three ways!

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Later we checked out the USS Hornet – the ship that pulled Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11 out of the ocean after the first moon walk. It turns out that they have a party on the deck of the old aircraft carrier on July 4th. The ship is perfectly located for viewing of 4 or 5 of the bay area’s most excellent fireworks displays. We’re there!

What a Shame

The owners of Andrew and Barbara’s loft will be painting over this awesome example of Andrew’s skill as a muralist. Andrew has a better understanding of perspective and of how to fool the eye than anyone I’ve ever known. His work is amazing. You can’t see it here, but Andrew even took the time to dab a bit of luminous paint on each of the bridge lights and on the city in the distance as well as on the moon in the upper left. The mural glows in the dark. It’s way cool.

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I guess the sellers think the new owners are likely to be imaginitve types who would prefer off-white or eggshell or ivory. Whatever. Bleah…