Saturday, March 31, 2012

CCGC Championships

Another weekend, another local color guard show! I'm back at Independence HS watching the Circuit Champs.

Highlights included Logan HS World, Santa Clara Vanguard and Blue Devils Special Needs Guard.

(I came pretty late to the show, so only saw the last couple of hours.)

Great to see these guards before they travel to WGI!

I won a contest for an autographed book!

Kirkland is my middle name!

Okay, so I think this is pretty hilarious:

A package was delivered today. I hadn't ordered anything in a while, so I wasn't expecting anything.

The return address was from: Costco Connection.

...and then I realized what it may be...

A couple of months ago, as I was reading my monthly edition of The Costco Connection (Yes, Costco has their very own magazine, and it's pretty good!) I read an article about a booked titled, "A Discovery of Witches". The description of the book and an interview with the author were intriguing. On top of that, I remembered another article that I had read about the same book in Entertainment Weekly. That article paired television shows with books. This one said, "If you like "Being Human", try reading "A Discover of Witches".

So, here I had two magazines each with articles about this book that I found interesting. It was surely worth a shot, so I bought it and downloaded it on my Kindle.

In the same Costco Connection there was a contest for a book drawing. The drawing was for an autographed copy of "A Discovery of Witches". I hadn't even read the book yet, but I figured, "Well, why not?" and submitted my online entry. I think it was the first time I ever entered any Costco online contests.

So, yes. Today's package was the book, an autograph (on a sticker, which I guess I'll stick inside the cover" and a letter reading:

Dear Connection Reader,

On behalf of the staff at The Costco Connection, I would like to thank you for your participation in our book drawing.

Congratulations on winning a copy of last month's book! We hope that you enjoy the book and will continue to look for other contests featured in The Costco Connection.

So, there you go! It's always a little exciting to learn that you've won a contest!

I find it especially funny because when I was growing up, especially in my teen years, I won many contests (radio contests, contests at school, big drawings at work, BINGO, etc.). My parents used to say that they would bring me to Reno when I turned 21. (which they did!) :)

Perhaps I should have bought a lottery ticket last night. ;)

In case you're wondering, I did end up reading the book a couple of months ago, and really enjoyed it! If you like fantasy books, and characters who are witches, vampires and daemons interest you, then this book is for you!

Thanks, Costco! You know I'm always a fan!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Mole Gopher Hole, Part 2

I got a call from my gardeners (aka: My Parents) today. They had just read my blog post about the Mole Hole in my backyard, and had some suggestions.

First off, they said it was a gopher. Not a mole. Apparently, moles stay underground, and gophers are the ones who come to the surface.

Okay, so now I know that I'm dealing with Mac and Tosh the Goofy Gophers and not Mr. Mole. :)

The Culprets revealed: Mac and Tosh - the Goofy Gophers

NOT Mr. Mole

My parents suggested that I flood them out with a hose. I know - it sounds inhumane. I'm sure PETA will be after me as soon as I publish this post. My parents think that it'll just flood their tunnel to my house though, not actually drown the Misters Gopher. I'm taking their word for it.

So, I unwound my hose, put it on low, and let the water flow into each of the two gopher holes for a few minutes each.

watering the gopher holes

NOTE: The water level never overflowed, which leaves me to believe that the underground tunnels were quite large.

After I watered the holes for a few minutes, I filled them in with the piles of dirt that the gophers had dug up and sealed the holes. I was half-expecting to see a gopher kick the dirt back up within minutes, but so far, it's still plugged.

filling the holes with mud

We'll see if this works for not.

I have visions of an underground labyrinth - like you'd see in a Looney Tune cartoon, or a Wes Anderson film.

Or, a huge underground lair where all of the gophers and moles live together - like in "The Fantastic Mr. Fox".

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Clearly, I watch too many cartoons.... :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mole Hole?

Mole Holes?

A close up of the tunnel

I looked out onto my backyard this morning and saw a dark spot smack in the middle of my lawn. It looked like something had dug my lawn up a bit. I was looking out from the balcony of our house, and am able to see my neighbor's yards up there, too. I noticed that each of their yards had 2 or more of these dirt piles. I realized that some animal had a field day (literally) in at least 3 backyards last night!

I just went out to inspect closer. Initially, I thought that perhaps a raccoon had merely dug a hole in the yard, looking for food or something.

Upon closer inspection, I realized it was actually a tunnel burrowed into the ground! I think it went in one side, and out the other? Or, perhaps they are two separate tunnels?

I'm having flashbacks to those Looney Tunes cartoons with the two gophers. You know, the ones who were always so polite to each other. ("You first, my dear," or "But, no, no, no. It must be you who goes first!") I just looked the two gofers up on wikipedia - turns out their names are Mac and Tosh! Who knew?!

The Culprets?

So, what do you think? Moles? Gophers?

I've never had this happen before. Any tips? I'd prefer not to have a bunch of tunnels/holes in my lawn. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mutant Leeks!

I bought these leeks from Whole Foods today. They are HUGE!!! I'd say they are mutants, except that I just checked my receipt, and they claim to be organic.

Is it Leek Season? Do leeks grow extraordinarily large when in season?

In case you're wondering: I'm making Potato Leek Soup for dinner tonight. :)

Things I saw along my walk this morning...

Weather permitting, I usually try to do my ~2.5 mile walk around my neighborhood 3-5 times a week. If it's raining, I work out using my elliptical machine at home.

There are always interesting sights to see along the way. I start off on 24th street in Noe Valley, then walk down Dolores Street to the park and then down 19th street into the Castro.

Here are a couple of photos that I took today:

A trio of Barbies trying to make their escape from the colorful, star-studded fence! note: Anakin Skywalker behind and above them

A cluster of little dogs! I assume they were all with a dog walker, and that said walker tied them to this tree to perhaps retrieve another dog from his house?

Now, this photo isn't mine. I walked past this same scene and considered taking a photo, but stopped short when I realized how I seem to take photos of everything. However, given that I took a couple of other photos today and decided to blog, AND that when I came home, I saw that my friend, Eve, had posted this photo up on Facebook, I figured I had to include it! This was a line of at least 20 strollers on 24th street in front of the book store. 24th street is known for lots of people pushing their strollers around, but this was the most I've ever seen parked together. I peeked inside the store and gathered that there was a very important (to parents with babies) book reading/signing going on inside. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tar Heel Biscuits!

You may or may not know that Dick and I enjoy making a "Big Country Breakfast" every weekend together. He makes the grits, scrambled eggs and bacon. I am in charge of the biscuits.

It seems that I have been making the biscuits (with the star-shaped cookie cutter) for over five years now. I am a creature of habit.

Last week, while we were in North Carolina, I was shopping in a sports clothing store on Franklin Street, and bought a cute little "Tar Heel Foot" cookie cutter. I didn't tell Dick about it - thought I would surprise him when we came home.

So, this morning was the debut of the Tar Heel Biscuits! (and just in time for the NCAA Regional Finals!)

They turned out super-cute! Dick loved them. I had the notion of putting a Craisin at the Heel of the biscuit to truly make it a "Tar Heel Biscuit", but Dick didn't like the thought of anything added to his biscuits. (like I said - we are creatures of habit!)

Here are the Tar Heel Biscuits, freshly cut, before being popped into the oven:

Out of the Oven:

Big Country Breakfast - new and improved! Now with Tar Heel Biscuits!

Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Hunger Games"!!

"May the Odds be *EVER* in your Favor!"

Just came back from watching "The Hunger Games" at the Kabuki Theater! The most Marvelous Linda managed to secure several seats in the 21 and over only balcony for the 7:00pm showing today. Reserved seats, cocktails, extra wide and comfy chairs, and no screaming teenagers! It was *perfect*! (Thank you, Linda!)

Linda also surprised us by making us all our own Hunger Games badges, with individual districts! :)

A super fun time was had by all! Dick was originally going to join me tonight, but seeing as the Carolina Basketball game was overlapping with the time of the show, he decided to stay home. My Gay Boyfriend was able to attend with me, which was super fun - especially since he hasn't read the books yet, so everything in the movie was new and surprise for him.

We even had our own "Effie" sitting in the balcony with us! What a fabulous costume! :)

The movie was very satisfying. We thought it was all terrific. I'm looking forward to seeing it again!

High-Tech March Madness!!

Dick and I are watching UNC play in the NCAA tournament.

Dick and his friend, Tom, (who lives in Chapel Hill) are Skyping with each other so they can watch the game together! Fun!

It's a far cry from the days when Dick wasn't able to watch all the UNC games out here in CA. Technology has come a long way. :)

GO Heels!!

10 Years of MINI in the US

This is a neat little ad campaign.

MINI is celebrating 10 years in the US. I got my MINI in January, 2004, which is over 8 years ago, so I guess I was somewhat of an early adopter.

I received this email from MINIUSA yesterday:

I clicked on the link to see their special "thank you" and found this:

Next, I zoomed in on the image as directed, and found my name! (towards the bottom right of the full image.)

I got a message on my Facebook wall this morning from my friend, Eddie (also a MINI owner) who found the image and tagged me in it. Fun!

Like i said, it's a neat campaign. I appreciate how they made the image using the names of more than 400,000 MINI owners to make this ad so personal. :)

PS: My Mom is a proud MINI, too! (she has a little purple MINI named Picabo!)

Here's her name on the list. (I circled two names, not knowing which one she is for sure. Her middle name is Anne (or, is it Ann?) but it's unlikely that she'd use her middle name. She's probably "Barbara C" but I thought it was kind of funny that she could possibly be the Barbara Anne.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bubbles' 15 minutes of fame

I was just informed that a photo taken at my house during my glassybaby fundraiser in December is being featured on glassybaby's home page today! ( Pretty neat! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness!!!

Dick and I have made our annual pilgrimage to Chapel Hill, NC to visit his family and watch March Madness.

We've had a great trip so far - fun with family and friends, great food, and lots of basketball!

Today, we came to Durham to watch the games at Ricky and Adrianne's house. Ricky, an avid basketball fan, set up 3 televisions in two rooms. Plenty of basketball coverage to go around!

Thankfully, it was another successful North Carolina March Madness trip for me and Dick. Once again, the Tar Heels are advancing to the Sweet 16 next week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Dick is outside playing a game of catch (football) with our nephew, Peter. :)

Shamrock Shake!!

My sister and I both have fond memories of getting Shamrock Shakes from McDonalds when we were kids. They were always available for a limited time before St. Patrick's Day.

It has been years and years since I last had one. I'm guessing early to mid-90s during my color guard years. I remember getting them as we stopped at the McDonalds at the Freeway Oasis with my sister and Cristy. :)

Last week, my sister posted on Facebook that she had just introduced her boyfriend to a Shamrock Shake. I asked her how it was, and she said it was just as good as she remembered.

Being as today is St. Patrick's Day, I figured today would be my last chance this year to try one. So, with Dick's family in tow, we found the McDonalds in the Mall that we were at.

The Verdict: the presentation is fancier than it used to be (clear plastic cup, whipped cream and a cherry) but the taste was exactly as I remembered. Pretty satisfying!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guard Show night!

I'm at Independence High School in San Jose watching a local color guard show with my friends Diana, Kimber and Bonnie! I haven't made it to a local show in 2-3 years. This is the high school gym that I used to watch a bunch of local guard show at way back in the early 80s. Lots of memories here!!

Yay for Logan, and especially for Kamryn - the beautiful blond sabre diva! Really great show! That's me, sitting with her little Sis, Gabby. :)

I'm going to try to make it to CCGC Circuit Champs at the end of the month do I can see them and SCV before WGI. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Mother vs. Daughter at the Salad Bar

My Mom and I met for lunch at a Fresh Choice today. If you haven't been, it's a buffet-style restaurant with a huge salad bar at the front with additional food (soups, pizza, pasta, potatoes, fresh baked goods, and desserts) in the back. It's a fixed price for lunch and dinner. You start at the salad bar, then pay for your meal. After that, you can roam around the other food stations.

So, here's a photo of my Mom's tray, and my tray once we reached the cashier. My Mom's is on the left, and mine is on the right.

Clearly, I enjoy a big salad - lots of greens, topped off with huge amounts of fresh veggies, and a nice vinaigrette on the side.

My Mom isn't much of a salad lover (as seen here). She was saving room for the pasta, baked potato, muffins and desserts!

We both cracked up when we looked at each other's trays.

There are many, many things that I have in common with my Mom.

Eating habits at a salad bar isn't one of them. :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

1,000 Yards of Green Ribbon

Today, my friend, Kimi, gifted to me a spool of green satin ribbon.

...and not just any spool of green satin ribbon: This spool contains 1,000 Yards of ribbon!!!

Kimi had recently acquired a LOT of art supplies, which was given to her by someone who had a storage shed full. This included several dozen (?) spools of ribbon of all kinds, all colors, and sizes. And yes, many of these spools held 1,000 yards of ribbon!

Today over lunch, Kimi, her sister Tammi and I were brainstorming what kind of art project one could do with several spools containing 1,000 yards of ribbon each.

Tammi first suggested that we could become the next Christo - and wrap entire cities with this ribbon! :)
I told Kimi she could accompany me on my next 20-mile walk around San Francisco, and we'll cover it with colorful ribbons! :)

Tammi's next ingenious suggestion was to make enormous God's Eyes. Kimi had also mentioned that she had some large, smooth branches from the fig tree she just cut down in her backyard. There you go - two huge branches, and thousands of yards of color ribbon = Enormous God's Eye! :)

So, now I have this lovely spool of 1,000 yards of green ribbon. I know I'll use it regularly to wrap around gifts and packages. Maybe use it a few times in an art collage or two...

Any ideas?

If you need any lovely green satin ribbon, let me know. I have some extra! :)

Monday, March 05, 2012

A "Thank You" from a Girl Scout

I received this thoughtful Thank You note from my young friend, Sophie, yesterday.

This is Sophie's first year as a Girl Scout, and her first year selling Girl Scout Cookies.

Apparently, Girl Scouts are taught that they should be the ones doing all of the work involving selling the cookies, not their parents. This is something that I hadn't really known before, because it was never made obvious to me.

Sophie and her parents are taking that rule very seriously, and I'm so impressed with how much work Sophie is doing by herself.

First of all, I got a message from her Mom's cell phone a couple of weeks ago. I was expecting to hear Alisa's voice (Sophie's Mom) but it was Sophie - asking if I wanted to buy any Girl Scout Cookies. I was instructed to call back (and ask for Sophie) or to send an email (again, to Sophie's email address) to place my order. I left a message with Sophie with my order.

When I dropped by their house to pick up my cookies, Sophie was there, ready with my order, telling me how much my total cost was. I think I managed to challenge her a bit when I told her that I wanted to add a few boxes to my order. :)

Yesterday, when I was at their house to pick up Sophie's Mom, Sophie came down in her pajamas (cute!) and presented me with an envelope. When I opened it, I saw that it was a hand-written thank you note. (the front of the card was a design that she had drawn when she was 6!)

This girl continues to amaze me. I look forward to buying more cookies from her, and watching her grow up into an amazing young woman. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Only in my neighborhood....

...would you find an outdoor, wind-propelled, colorful, disco mirror-ball hung from the front of a house for all to enjoy.

Love it. :)