My Nevada City readers (if you're still out there) will not be impressed by the elevation gain on this ride -- I start at 60 feet -- but the winds here are tough, folks. And they come from the side so there's no relief in a round trip. 

Still, I'm pretty sure this is my first 20 mile ride since I moved to California six years ago. It's probably equal to a 4 mile ride up in the hills but I'm trying to dig out of a sedentary hole to ride a metric century, so it's a good baby step. 

Spoke Lives

Well I broke another spoke today, just a day after getting another spoke replaced. 

I guess that means I'm back on the bike at least. 

No Hope in Spokes

I decided it was time to clean up my exercise act and get back on the bicycle. I'm going to work up to the Lighthouse Century.

And, of course, I immediately broke a spoke. I'd like to think it's the fates out to get me, but most likely my weight is just too much stress on this ole bicycle.

The sea fog here is terribly hard on the bike. Everything is rusting so quickly.

Under the Boardwalk

(well, under a pier at Morro Bay)

Before and After

In spite of the dryness here, that walnut next door just seems to grow like crazy. I've cut it back once since I moved in, mostly because it was trying to puncture the roof of my shed. (Before I put a solid roof on it, it was just plastic. Take a look at the link and see how fast that walnut has been growing around the cactus.)

So, I got out there and cut it back again today. Here's the before shot:

And here's the after shot:

The gloves I wore weren't as thick as I thought. My hands have needles in them. I've never liked cactus. I'm still surprised I didn't notice them and make their removal a condition of the sale.

I don't know how you prune the cacti. I just ripped off some of the pads from the prickly pear. They're unexpectedly heavy.

Off Moonstone Beach

It took me a year and a half, but I finally got up my courage to get the kayak out into the actual ocean.

I launched from the boat ramp in Cambria, which is somewhat protected from the heavy waves and so is easy to jump into the kayak from.

Just off shore are lovely kelp beds.

I did a quick circle of this rock that is just visible from shore.

But my kayak isn't built for the ocean (it's not a sit-on-top) so when the wind and waves picked up, I headed back into shore.

Foggy Bottom

There's a big rock out there somewhere.

Here's hoping the fog isn't around for the fireworks.

Uh Oh!



You might remember that I noticed a few chairs gathering in Cayucos right before the 4th of July last year.

It's going to be a different scene this year:

I'm glad that I got to see the traditional bringing out of the chairs last year, anyway.

From Drought to Deluge

A few weeks ago I was in Dallas.

It was hot and steamy. It makes this apple look more like a tomato.

More important, it was raining. And raining hard. At 3am, I got to wake up because my phone was giving me flash flood alerts. I'm glad that it was able to know I was in a flash flood area, but telling an out-of-towner to move to high ground isn't quite enough info. First of all, I'm not sure what a Texan would consider high ground. And second, even so I wouldn't know where it was.

Still, I figured I was safe in the 3rd floor of the Hampton Inn.

And so I found it was important to find cover wherever I could.

I just wish I'd brought a tanker truck so I could bring the water back home with me.

Drought Effects at South Lake Tahoe

The lake is shockingly low. Here are a few pictures.

Some of the docks don't even make it to the water.

Worse, some of the boat ramps no longer make it to the water.

Things are not good.

South Lake Tahoe

I'm up at South Lake Tahoe for a conference.

I'm wiped out, so the only thing I can think of is 4th grader jokes.

Do you remember this one?


The most horrifying restroom ever is in a restaurant in Cambria.

Playing Chicken

I had to drive an hour south to get my car worked on, then I meandered back up to Arroyo Grande to have my tire fixed, and I took a little walk. I saw this sign:

I thought to myself, "Nobody does that, right? Abandon a poor chicken by the side of the road?"

Apparently they do. Apparently they do.

Oh, well, there you go. If it were me, I'd change the name to Hope Diamond Creek and see what people drop off then.

And I wouldn't go around decorating the restrooms with chickens.


So very much of my little slice of Cayucos is either wooden decking or gravel. 

There isn't much rain here, but when there is, it's often hard and heavy. It'll move the gravel down hill. 

So that migration, combined with my general neglect has left the place looking shabby. Weeds clumped into the back yard and then have died.

A couple weeks ago we were faced with a rare 100% chance of rain a few days ahead of the event.  It was not a big storm and it didn't do anything about our drought, but the plants around here are resilient. Many of them seem to survive just from the occasional fog. 

So that weekend I got out there and raked. After a half hour of raking in the back, it now looks like this:

I did the same to the front, a much bigger patch. After two hours of taking, I got about half the front redistributed and unweeded. Now I need to get some refresher gravel. 

Or build some more decking. 


Today's exciting lunch excursion is Giovanni's Fish Marker & Galley. 

Considering that this is an order-at-one-window-pick-up-at-another kind of place, 
it has a bit of ambience. Still, the thing to look at in Morro Bay is always the same thing: the smokestacks. 

Actually, it is nice outside on a sunny day watching real fisherman doing their jobs. 

In spite of the steaming seafood thing sitting right out front, there is enough on the sandwich menu to satisfy people like me who don't eat fish. 

I had a grilled cheese. 

So there's not much to say about the food. It's cheap. It's fine. 

Happy Easter

Morro Bay style

Slot Cheese?

Yeah, I don't know either. 

Dutchman's Seafood Restaurant

Today's new restaurant experience is brought to you by Zoltar. 

Does Zoltar predict a good meal? The future is murky. And so is the cell signal here.  Verizon 2 bars/1x. Not 3G, certainly not LTE. 

There are not many choices for a non-fishhead; especially since I'm stuck with the dinner menu. It looks like the lunch menu has more options.  (And fair enough, the sign doesn't imply anything else.)

So I got the burger. I asked for raw onions. I'm pretty sure the server read back to me, "grilled onions," so I repeated "raw onions." I think she said back to me, "yes, grilled onions.". We will see what happens. 

I should learn to speak Dutch.

The view is the same one all the restaurants along here have, except for those without a view at all. 

Which is why I drive here from Cayucos. I love Schooners Wharf, but I can't really eat there every day. 

Can I?

Ah, the burger came:

The fries are good and crisp. And the onions are raw. I think it's time to check my hearing. 

Avila Sea Caves

I was going to comment on the use of sharks for directional signage, but honestly the takeaway from my quick hike around Avila Sea Caves is that people are disgusting. There is trash everywhere here and some of the once-beautiful rocks are covered with graffiti.

And apparently the world is just an ashtray.

Painting Progress

I'm not a fast painter. I seem to be on a pace to make one a year. Last year's painting was the Cayucos Whirlpool. I think that took about six months, though I don't seem to have recorded the start here at the Abbey for some reason.

In early February, I started a new one. Every so often, I go out and work on the thing. As the weather has stabilized this month, I've gotten a few trips in over the last few weeks.

[Yes, "stabilized" is quite a word for weather where the high doesn't change more than 10 degrees over the whole year. Mostly, I'm talking about the fog and rain that we got -- little as it was. But, to be honest, there's a big jump between 60°F and 70°F when working outside.]

This is my first painting that I've tried to do any extensive drawing on.

I'm watering down the paint and trying to take a bunch of passes on each section.

I kind of like the idea that the pier is more defined to the right of the crane than to the left. I wish I'd thought of that and designed the painting around it.