Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The grind

Very important picture today - this is the view I have for a few hours every day. I usually sit at this station when I am scheduled at the front desk, which usually ends up about 6 hours a day. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wolf Run

Tried to go and hit some golf balls at the driving range of Wolf Run Golf Club this morning before work - Wolf Run is the University's course, and it's down at the south end of town pretty close to my library. Played it for the first time last year, and I think it's now my favorite course - walking friendly, and really interesting without being gimmicky. Might try to join the men's club there this summer and get my handicap set up. I didn't realize it, but their driving range is torn up, being rebuilt, so that was out. I just putted for a little while...


For lack of anything better to photograph yesterday, here's a pic of Sofia being silly and playing dress-up. She's wearing a napkin for a hat, a tablecloth for an apron, and some kind of fuzzy gloves - no idea where those came from. Silly girl.

Monday, January 29, 2007

You Suck

Managed to finish a book on our trip, too - in the car, I read while Mich drove, as is our tradition. Read Christopher Moore's latest, You Suck - the sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends. Basically kooky vampire humor (though not all of his stuff is vampire-related.) I don't get to recommend Christopher Moore too often; it takes a certain type of twisted humor to enjoy him. Over the weekend, I was talking to my friend Karl about recent books read, and thought he might enjoy Moore's stuff. It's hard to find a good place to start with his stuff - If you're looking for one to try first, I would start with Bloodsucking Fiends, then read A Dirty Job, then this one. Most of his others are pretty good, too, some better than others. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is excellent, although a bit different than his other books. Fluke was good, and Karl, you might enjoy The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and The Stupidest Angel, as they both take place in a sleepy northern California beach town. Anyway, read at your own risk - they're addictive, silly, irreverent, profane and fun.

Book 7

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Drive home

And here's a pretty nondescript scenery picture from the drive home. Really hard to do this kind of thing justice with my little camera. This is between the coast and Redding, pretty near to Weaverville, I think. A lot windier than it looked out there.

At any rate, now we're home. Made some homemade pizza and salad tonight, hung out with the kids and Grandma Gail. Ready to get back into the swing of normal life tomorrow. Yippee.

Trinidad to Clam Beach Run

So Saturday morning we got up, found some breakfast, and hooked up with our friends Karl and Brandi at the race registration location. Went with them to our other friend Ashley's mom's house, which seems to serve as home base for this whole crew each year. From there we all trooped back to Trinidad, where we took a bus to the start line - about 45 minutes early. Waited around in the cold, and eventually started the race. I did the 8 3/4 mile run, Mich, Brandi and Karl (who recently had surgery) did the 3 mile walk. Karl looked like he wanted to do the run, but it wasn't a good idea... I had a good run - it's always kind of weird when you don't know the course at all, but I gave myself a goal of 1:10 and finished in 1:08. Fun course, winding up and down through big trees for the first 5 or so miles, then a river crossing and a couple miles on the beach to finish. Really, a river crossing - about 50 feet across, and just above my knees. Some people took shoes off and ran barefoot, some put them back on, some just slogged on with wet shoes. On the advice of Karl, I put mine back on, and it seemed to work for me. I got to the finish line about 10 minutes before Karl, Brandi and Mich, came to see the rest of us finish. Big bonfire there, and some crazy marching band from Humboldt State that decided to march out into the ocean. Crazy. Spent the afternoon in and out of the hot tub at Ashley's mom's house, eating thousands of calories of wonderful lasagna and goodies and emptying numerous bottles of champagne. Then Karl and Brandi led us to Karl's parents house, where we had some excellent crab the had just purchased from the boats that afternoon. Yum. I think I ate about 10,000 calories. Fell asleep about 9:15, probably needed to digest. VERY nice day.


So this is the picture of the day for Friday, 1/26. I picked up my mom at the airport in the morning, and then Mich and I headed out of town for Trinidad, CA. (My mom picked up Julien and Sofia from school and stayed with them for the whole weekend - much appreciated, Mom.) Had a good drive - Mich got to exercise much driving technique in the mountains between Susanville, Redding, and the coast. Made it into Trinidad about 3PM, took a quick drive around to get our bearings, and found our motel for a quick nap. This is the view out the back of our room, through some pretty big trees. Not very exciting, I know, and we had some great scenery to photograph on the drive over, but we were making such good time, we couldn't stop. Anyway, we eventually found a place to have dinner, headed back to the hotel, and got a good night's sleep.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pretty dress!

Sofia's been pretty excited any day that I pull out a dress for her to wear, saying "Pretty dress? Pretty dress?" Yesterday she took off the shoes I had picked out for her and insisted on wearing the pink cowboy boots...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

First ride

Been kinda cold so far this year; today was the first day I rode the bike to work. My general rule is: if the high is over 50, it's okay to ride. Any below that and it's just too cold in the morning and evening when I ride to and from work. I didn't go in until 1 today (meeting in the morning and then took my car into the dealership before lunch) so it was a pretty nice ride in to work. Bit chilly on the way home at 6:15, though - hands got pretty cold even through my winter riding gloves. Warmed up quick with some great broccoli soup that Mich had made, though. Yum. Anyway, this is where I park - like my "Washoe County Vehicle?"

First Aid

Boy, these photos just get better and better, don't they? Makes me realize just how much of my life revolves around getting the kids fed and to school, then work, then home, dinner and a few chores before bed. I'll have to make a point of being more creative. This is our first aid station at work, if it's not obvious. At least this weekend's pictures should be better - Mich and I are going to Northern California to meet some friends for the Trinidad to Clam Beach Run. Should be a good time.

(Actually, about the boring photo: I was just trying to come up with a post that Amber couldn't ask a bunch of questions about. I got taken to task yesterday for not answering them...)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pirate Bunny

Julien came out of the living room (where the costume box is) last night dressed like a pirate bunny. Had to be the picture of the day.

Monday, January 22, 2007


OK, so what I really wanted to post a picture of yesterday was one of us playing the new Nintendo Wii. For any of you who haven't heard of it, it's Nintendo's new game system that uses a motion-sensor activated controller - how you move your hands and body affect what happens on the screen. To hit a baseball, you swing like you would a bat; to box, you hold the controllers in front of you and punch. A sword - yup, swing the controller like a sword. We played the game that comes with it; Wii Sports (tennis, golf, baseball, bowling and boxing) and got a start on the new Zelda, Twilight Princess. The Sports game is kinda corny; really just a "get to know the way this new thing works" kind of game. The Zelda game has MUCH nicer graphics than the earlier ones I've played (but of course not as good as the newest offerings on the XBOX or PS3.) Kinda looking forward to puzzling it out...


Kind of a copout on the picture of the day for today - I had a plan for another one, but it didn't pan out. This I took because I had to have something in the camera to figure out camera wizard settings on the new laptop. I also was going to use it to fool around with some image editing programs, but haven't had time to delve too deeply into that yet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Science of Discworld

OK, these are going to take a little explanation. There have been a few books out in the last few years with titles like "The Physics of Star Trek" or "The Science of Star Wars." These books generally explain why some of the wild sci-fi happenings (wormholes, warp drive, phasers, etc.) either are or are not realistic, and try to teach some science along the way. I had thought that's what these books would be like, but I was a little mistaken.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld, stop reading right now and follow that link. In a nutshell, it's a fantasy parody of our own world, which allows Pratchett to make all sorts of humorous analogies on everything from politics and religion to business and relationships. Very funny stuff; I am an unabashed fan and own pretty much the whole collection. So, when I saw these "Science of Discworld" books, I had to read them. Unfortunately, they were published in the UK only, so it took a while to collect them through Amazon's used bookseller program. When I finally started reading them, I found they weren't quite what I thought.

Each book is laid out in alternating chapters: first a chapter of actual narrative involving the characters of Discworld (specifically the Wizards of Unseen University), then a chapter discussing those events scientifically. The narrative revolves around the wizards having accidentally created another universe, containing a planet that they come to call "Roundworld" - which of course works differently than they are used to. It's in their discovering the rules at work on Roundworld that the science comes in.

These are extremely well done, on both sides - the Discworld stories must have had help from Pratchett, The sense of humor is unmistakable. And the science is up-to-date, well explained, and not without a touch of humor itself. I'm not sure I can actually recommend these to anyone I know - you'd have to be a Pratchett fan as well as kind of a science nerd/nonfiction reader to enjoy them. But I sure did.

I'm counting these three books as one; I really only read the most recent one this year.

(Book 6)

United States of Arugula

OK, finished another one: The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation. This one was pretty interesting - it traces how we got to the current state of fine dining in America. Didn't get really good until the second half - the first parts dealt with history of restaurants in Europe, the French chefs who came over to the US in the forties, Julia child's influence - I've read a bunch of that already. I started enjoying it when we got to the more modern sections - the rise of local ingredients, California cuisine, Chez Panisse and Alice Waters.

(Book 5)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Mich decided to make some homemade pasta sauce tonight, and doubled the recipe so we'd have a little extra. LOT EXTRA! Ended up with like 12 cups of bolognese sauce. Gonna be eating a lot of pasta; glad I have to carbo load for a race this weekend...


Had dinner last night at a fairly new restaurant in town, Sezmu. Very nice place, fine dining. We shared a "beet study" - beet tartare, a goat-cheese beet sandwich, and roasted beets. I had an awesome salad with Port Salut cheese, pear, dates, and almonds. Mich had a spring roll with tuna that came presented like a sushi roll - really yummy. For the main course, Mich had monkfish with a wild mushroom packet wrapped in swiss chard, and I had snapper with "forbidden black rice" - apparently it was originally only served to royalty. Had a sweet tinge to it - pretty nice. For dessert we shared the fudge cake, which came kind of deconstructed - a little cylindrical cake, a small scoop in coconut ice cream, and a caramel brittle-y thing. Nice coffee, too. I was trying to be stealthy with the photo, and it came out dark - didn't use flash. You can see in the foreground the gigantic pour of cognac they gave Mich.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ask The Pilot

Wow, I've got like three books that I'm within 15 pages of finishing. Expect some book posts upcoming.

This one is called Ask The Pilot by Patrick Smith. It's a collection (or distillation) of essays about flying, from the point of view of a pilot. Now, I tend to think of myself as a pretty level-headed flier. I don't freak out unnecessarily, and I figure that pilots and flight crews know what they're doing 95% of the time (can't say the same for security screeners.) This book is well written for me, as well as for someone who is freaked out about flying. Basically: Airlines in the US are extremely regulated; if you sense anything wrong on a flight, you are over-reacting. There are enough buffers built in to the system to take care of things. Pilots are blue-collar professionals, not pampered primadonnas. In fact, there is precious little romance left in the industry, more's the pity. Good non-fiction, very informative.

(Book 4)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Got our first look at my co-worker, Chris's new baby Hannah today. Precious little girl, very sweet but with a good set of lungs when she has something to say. Another co-worker, Mary, grabbed her and wouldn't let me get a picture of dad holding her.

Oh yeah - babies, plural. In other baby news, our branch manager, Tammy, is soon to be a grandmother - she was at the hospital most of today with her son and daughter-in-law. Still awaiting news on that...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sushi attacker

Hmmm. Somehow I got a day behind on the picture-of-the-day thing. So, bonus picture day! Two photos of our littlest sushi eater! Sofia is turning into a total sushi addict. She loves miso soup, straight ginger, and just about all kinds of sushi that she's tried - California rolls and Crystal Shrimp to start with, but she also sneaks some yellowtail or a Rainbow roll now and again. And inari (sweet fried tofu pockets) were a hit with both her and Julien tonight.

Digital Camera Presentation

I did a "Beginning Digital Cameras" presentation at the library last night - it was about 30 minutes, plus 10 or so for questions. About 20 people showed up, and most of them brought their cameras (some still in the boxes.) Went through my powerpoint presentation, which covered basic photo taking, file formats, storage, editing, etc. It was basically the same program I had done 3 years ago, slightly updated to reflect higher pixel counts, new websites like flickr, but really, not much has changed. I wish I could do a more in-depth program - how to edit and manipulate your photos, for example. That would be hard, though - there are so many different programs, I don't know how I would pick one to focus on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow line

Originally uploaded by turi_b.
The front of our house. You can tell what part of our yard gets winter sun from the snow line - our driveway gets pretty much zero sun. That's week and a half old snow there.

Incidentally, this is the first blog entry posted from our new laptop, sitting at our kitchen table, using our wireless connection. Also first image edited using the GIMP, which I have a lot to learn about...

Monday, January 15, 2007


And this one came out a little blurry, but it was the best I could do. We set up soem Hot Wheels track last night, and Sofia was totally entranced. She ran cars up and down it for probably 45 minutes last night. Mumbled to herself the whole time: "Cars! Fast!" I think she's been driving with Mich too much...


Had some of Mich's coworkers over for a little birthday party for one of them on Saturday night. Turns out Byron, the birthday boy, could play a little piano. Impromptu jam session ensued. If you can call Fur Elise jamming...

(This is the photo of the day for Saturday, 1/13. Gonna have to come up with a labeling system to keep track of this...)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hangin' with Gus

Hangin' with Gus
Originally uploaded by turi_b.
Nathan, Sarah and the kids came over last night for dinner - cool to have family so close, and it just makes for a fun pile of kids. This one doesn't get to be part of the pile yet, but he'll get there...

Hey, there's my "To Do" list from last weekend. There's something to put on the "To Do" list: Take old "To Do" list down.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Cold, cold day. Gonna get colder tomorrow. Snapped this of a Sofia-related personalized plate on the way to work. Nice window.

Dream Golf

Finally finished another book - Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes by Stephen Goodwin. It is about the concept behind, and building of three courses on the southern Oregon coast at Bandon which have pretty much unprecedentedly become some of the best in the country. I was working in golf up in Oregon (at Sunriver Resort) while they were being built, but have never had the opportunity to get down there and have a look. Two of the courses nestle up to the beach, and are as true links-style courses as it's possible to make here. I'm fascinated by the links courses of the British isles, although I've never had the opportunity to play them (and although I would imagine my game is not well-suited to them.) Reading about these courses in Oregon, only 4 or 5 hours away, gave me goosebumps. I'll have to get there to play someday - donations graciously accepted for Turi's golf outing. (High-season greens fees are $250 per course, a little less if you're staying at the on-site lodge or cabins.) Well written book; the story of Mike Keiser (co-founder of a greeting card company) who decided he wanted to build an enduring, classic golf course, and did it the right way. It was wonderful to read about someone who cares more about his dream and doing it right than the bottom line. Sorry to ramble; golf has that effect on me sometimes.

(Book 3)


Couple things going on here. First, we're pretty lucky to live and work in such a beautiful place - Sure, it's windy sometimes, but that sure makes for some majestic cloud formations. This is the view off the back side of the library that we had yesterday. Second, I included both pictures to show what a little photo editing can do - the first is obviously the raw picture I took, but all I did on the second was a quick crop and the "Auto fix" button (I use Microsoft Digital Image Pro 9.) Took all of 12 seconds to do. Sometimes the auto fix overdoes it a little - the yellows are kinda bright here, but it sure makes a striking contrast with the blues in the sky...

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Science experiment

Pretty cool photo of the day: The end product of Amber's science program on density (at the library.) Honey, oil and water, seperated into levels, with a grape, a hazelnut, a lego, and a nut on different levels. Wish Julien could have been there for the program!

Monday, January 8, 2007

1st day

1st day of preschool
Originally uploaded by turi_b.
Sofia had her 1st day of preschool today - she was SO excited about her new lunchbox. Used her spare outfit already; apparently her brother got her muddy on the playground. Go figure.

Semi-word freaks

Played Scrabble with Mich last night for the first time in years. I didn't do nearly as terribly as I had feared. (She beat me by about 100 points, but I broke 200 - she's just scary good.) Kinda had a headache when it was done, though - my brain doesn't do the boggle/scrabble word unscramble/rearrange thing well. I'm more suited to the crossword type of challenge, puzzling things out from clues and a few letters. The interest in playing Scrabble came from watching Wordplay, a film about crossword competitions, which in turn reminded me of Word Freak, a great book on competitive Scrabble players. Both the film and movie highly recommended.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Reading kids

One of Juliens favorite books of a few years ago was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Just had him read it to Sofia. She was interested for a few pages, then was off to other things.

Couldn't pick one good photo from Mich and the kids' Chico trip; take a look at them here.

A little skiing

Got out kind of early to do some backcountry skiing this morning. Actually, snowboarding - funny how it seems natural to use those terms interchangably. The few people that I saw out on the hill (A couple snowboarders, maybe 6 skiers & telemarkers) all asked how the snow was, wished me a nice day - seems like people don't care what you're sliding on anymore, as long as you're out doing it. Probably backcountry folk are a little more accepting than the average resort-goer, too...

Anyway, a beautiful day, dazzling blue sky, and only a little flutter of wind, even at the summit where I rested. (For non-Nevadans reading this: No Wind = RARE.) Tahoe was beautiful, low clouds covering about half the lake. Wish I'd had the camera along - Mich has it with her to take pics of the new babies in Chico. Probably get a few of those up later today.

Here's the general area I was in - parking off the road at the lower right, hiking up toward the ridge on the upper left.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


Just got back from a coldish run, my 7th-McCarran-Keystone loop. Saw two separate accidents while I was out! In the parking lot of Raleys (our local grocery store), I saw an Explorer give a parked 4Runner a pretty good bump to the side, then back up and drive off. (I reported the plate # and descriptions to the store manager.) Continued my run, and near the top of 7th Street I saw a little fender-bender. A lady that had pulled kinda far out from a side street to turn left saw me and decided to back up out of my way. Yup, backed right into the car behind her. Didn't look too bad, though, and both drivers were there, so I didn't stop for that one. I was hoping things wouldn't come in threes - made it through the rest of my run without incident, though.

To do

Mich and the kids are going out of town for the weekend, and I'm hanging around to do some cleaning and some errands. Here's part of my To Do list, organized by room of the house...

Friday, January 5, 2007

New Snow @ Your Library

Nice little snowstorm in Reno last night - of course a little snowstorm here means total chaos on the roads, accidents everywhere, and twice as long a commute home. Fun trying out the AWD in the RAV4 last night; worked great in the snow and ice. And things sure were pretty at the library this morning. Here are a couple shots looking up toward Mt. Rose from our front windows. Wish I'd been skiing today...

New word

Made up a new word today, and it's so cool, I think the world needs to know. I have a coworker (Amber the anonymous commenter...) who has a habit of whistling at weird times during the day. Thing is, her whistle never sounds like it's coming from where she is - everyone looks around to try to figure out where the sound is coming from. So today I called her a ventriloquistler. Try to say it - cool, huh? No results from a google search, so I'm pretty sure that I coined it.

Thursday, January 4, 2007


I think anyone who's seen our house would agree that we've done some interesting things with paint in a few places. Today's photo is a detail looking from our yellow kitchen into our triple-green family room. Keeps things bright and cheery...

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

My First Crush

Another Oregon wine book. My First Crush: Misadventures in Wine Country by Linda Kaplan. This one comes from the point of view of a couple who moved from Iowa to McMinnville in the early 90's to run Panther Creek winery. Specifically, her point of view - she was pretty unschooled in the wine world at the time. That's what makes this such a fun read: it's very unpretentious. She allows us to learn along with her mistakes, while providing sidebars that explain things that she's learned over the years. Very light and enjoyable, with great Willamette Valley flavors.

(Book 2)


So, in honor of the place where I spend an average of slightly under 40 hours a week (less, lately, with the holidays), here is a picture of the South Valleys Library, as it looks when I drive in in the morning. The yellow gets less comments now than it did when we first opened; either people are getting used to it or the color has mellowed over almost 4 years. Probably both.

Press coverage

OK, everyone prepare for the Turi media blitz! I am featured in this month's Reno Magazine in an article about the whole duct tape wallet thing. Boy, I had long hair - that picture was taken like 6 months ago, and they kept pushing the article back. Those shots were all taken in the "Teen Zone" of the library I work at.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Crazy kids

crazy kids
Originally uploaded by turi_b.
Wow, I hoped my picture-a-day goal wouldn't have to fall back so soon on stock photos of the kids. This, however, is a good view of the craziness that awaited me when I got home from work. (Tuesday is my late night, and things can get out of hand before I get home at 7.) Who knows what kind of rain dance Sofia thinks she's doing - hopefully a snow dance!

The End of Mr. Y

Well, I read most of this book in 2006, but I'm going to count it as my first book of '07 because I finished it on New Years Day. This was The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas, whose previous novel, PopCo I enjoyed quite a bit. PopCo explained a lot of amateur codebreaking and puzzling through a fun, mysterious fictional framework of the large toy company that the main character worked at. The End of Mr. Y does a similar thing for some of the philosophy that Thomas is interested in - logic, language, I 'm not sure of the exact terms for it. She packs quite a bit in the book, and it's really kind of a mind twister. Some might enjoy that - It all ended up a little much for me. Wouldn't recommend this one near as much as PopCo.

(Book 1)

Monday, January 1, 2007

Fresh baby

Julien and Sofia have another cousin! As yet unnamed baby, born to Nathan and Sarah at about 5 this morning (New Years Day.) 9 lbs 11 oz. At home. Mind boggling. Sarah is incredible. Anyway, we visited this afternoon and everyone seemed in good spirits, if a little tired. What a great shot to start my year of pictures with.