Rabies Shots!

Rabies Vaccine for Humans
Maybe this is why rabies vaccine for humans gets a bad name: the nurse comes and dumps an armload of needles on the tray. Sorry for the blurring photo but i think my hands were shaking.

It turns out to be not as bad as the urban legend. Seven shots yes, but not long needles in the stomach. It seems they want to inject into muscle tissue and, I’m sad to report, there is little of that in my abdomen area. So two sticks in each thigh, one in each arm, and one more in the butt for good measure. I have 3 more follow-up visits and it’s done!

This whole thing came about because this little guy zoomed into my RV up at a campground in Tahoe.
Rabid Bat
I didn’t know it at first. I thought the silent dark glider that went in the open window was a moth. Other people said it was a bird. I left the windows open a good time, didn’t see anything when i looked around, and forgot about it.
Next day the poor sick bat was lamely trying to get out the “kitchen window”. I left quietly, shutting the camper door behind me. Left my phone inside though. D’oh!

Many thanks to the animal control office who caught the bat and brought it in for testing. Unfortunately, it came back positive for rabies.

Since we both spent the night in the bat cave, the health department recommended vaccine for me. Here is the bat cave above the cab:
bat cave
And my rented “batmobile”:
RV
Before the health department caught up to me, I had researched the bat as my Native American totem. Various web pages said the bat was viewed as a source of intuition and a symbol of rebirth.

In a shamanic culture, my brush with the bat might be regarded as good fortune and an opportunity to see more of the world beyond this one. So what if it ended in madness and death. We all die anyway.

Being of this culture, and not at all ready to step through the doorway to the next world, I took the shots and (I hope) shut down the possibility of any altered bat states.

Right now, I’m just hoping my superpower will be immunity to rabies.

Life-Changing Book: Mindset

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck is one of those books that can change one’s life in a short read. I’m so psyched about this book that I am re-posting my Amazon review here:

The idea of the book is that people who adopt a Growth mindset – believing they can learn to do better – achieve much more than people who think they only have whatever talents they came with.
I like to learn and started the book thinking it would affirm all my growth mindset goodness. From the detailed examples, I could see areas where I really was limiting myself with a fixed mindset.
Now I’ve tried to take more of a growth approach, and am learning more. Best of all, things that were previously drudgery for me are a little easier as I see them in a new light of building skills.
Also useful in the book are tips for parents / teachers / coaches on how to set children on the growth mindset early.
Good stuff! I highly recommend reading this book!

Alcatraz

Toured Alcatraz on a summer evening. The buildings are crumbling, but the birds don’t seem to care. Gulls Of Alcatraz 1

Even though the audio tour inside the jail “wowed” me, I’d rather show you the pics I took outside. Like this lineup of gulls:
Gulls Of Alcatraz 2

Or the giant mutant succulents (and gull):

Nice views of the city and Bay Bridge, even with a little fog. And this was a SUMMER eve.
Summer Eve Oakland Bay Bridge

Of course, getting to and fro is half the fun. The ferry boat was comfy warm after the chilling ocean air. And for the trek back to the parking garage, I’d highly recommend a rickshaw:

South Tahoe Burn Hike

Spent an active afternoon hiking around Van Sickle Bi-State park in the South Lake Tahoe area. If you’re wondering what a Van Sickle is, its the generous family that donated the land for this park.

This park is unusual because its right on the border between California and Nevada — the only bi-state park in the country!

We hiked up the burn area. Some fool threw a cigarette from the Heavenly ski gondola and it burned hundreds of acres.

Fabulous views of the lake!

Eventually, the time came to declare victory and head down the mountain.

Tahoe Summer Concert Series

I can’t believe how the Doobie Brothers still rock! They sound terrific — tight and spot on!

Chicago, missing the original lead singer, unfortunately sounds more like a tribute band than their old selves. Still the original horn section is still game.

But what the heck, its 30 years since their comeback tour!

Repentant Elton John Delivers

Had a delightful treat of an Elton John concert while in Las Vegas to present at the MoneyShow. He and his band rocked!Elton John in concert

Elton’s fingers still fly with an amazing reach to play his signature chords and get down with a little rock and roll boogie woogie piano.
Elton John on piano

Got an extra half-hour with Elton John engaging the audience between every song and often stepping out from behind the piano to chat us up. Evidently the show two days before was cut short when Elton John threw a tantrum and left the stage after 35 minutes. Now he seemed eager to make it up.
Elton John Engages Audience

As you can see, the chameleon piano morphs its skin to match the nifty visuals on the background screen.
Elton John's Chameleon Piano

With three percussionists, the band made itself felt. When they reached a crescendo, my clothes would literally vibrate.
Elton John concert crescendo

Good vibes indeed!

San Antonio Valley Ranch

I just like the feel of gravel under my feet.
Gravel Under My Feet
In this case, the gravel is at San Antonio Valley Ranch.

This Nature Conservancy property is on the way to becoming an ecological preserve. It is home to a herd of elk — no photos sorry. But elk! Just over the hill to the east of silicon valley!

Here is the fun and scenic route we took that day. The hybrid was so quiet, we surprised a bobcat on the road. No photos of that either. She ran the other way in an instant.

Back at the ranch, the newly planted trees are fenced to protect the new kids on the block from browsing animals.

If you appreciate the Nature Conservancy’s work, or just want to do a Good Thing, please visit my personal fund-raising page and consider a donation.

View of Google from the Weeds

On a recent hike around Shoreline, caught a view of Google HQ from the weeds:

View Of Google from the WeedsOf course the Google-plex has its share of parking lots, but maybe more interesting is the alternate transportation.  Over the hill lounge the shuttle buses, waiting to take the Googlers home.

google bus playgroundFurther down the bay are the NASA blimp hangers, in process of restoration by Google execs in exchange for parking spots for their personal jets.

blimp hangers

 

 

Horses R CurioUs

Maybe not as curious as cats, but still the horses wonder about their new house guest…
Maybe wondering if the new human is a feeder…

Plenty of grass to go around, even early in the season

Horse EatingA day off from dressage for this self-assured athlete:

What can I say about this beast that hasn’t already been said by the dog?

Horse and DogHere’s what the horse thinks of that!

In the end, I made a new friend

horse friend

C’mon Up to Castle Rock

Castle Rock Park ViewCastle Rock is a park on the edge in two respects:

  1. It sits right up at the top of Skyline and drops steeply to the southwest, giving expansive views of the redwood forest out to Monterey Bay
  2. Its on and off and on the closure list of state parks, which means you might want to check out those views while you still can.

On Feb 26, I acted as the sweep for a Sempervirens Fund hike around the Saratoga Gap and Ridge Trails.   Hike leader Scott Peden snapped excellent photos, including a panel of wildflowers.  He also got a great shot of the woodpecker we saw.

Here’s Scott pointing out all the land across the San Lorenzo watershed — half of which is scheduled for closure in July if it can’t find funding.

Scott Peden Guides Castle Rock
Along the trail…my role as caboose gives a nice vantage point.
Castle Rock Park TrailNobody can resist touching the Madrone “refrigerator trees”.  Madrone treesOld growth redwoods live in Castle Rock, too.

old growth redwoodsWhen you visit Castle Rock State Park, I just have one request:  Please pony up for parking or buy a parks pass.  Your dollars count towards keeping the parks open and maintained.