Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."

30.3.08

San Francisco Travelog

We're spending the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area. Posterity of Oz (who too-quickly adapted to Pacific Daylight Time, which will make returning to school on Tuesday morning quite problematic) enjoyed visiting the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39. The photo above is in one of the "tubes" beneath a school of anchovies, and at right they are petting a skate.

We also paid a visit to the USS HORNET (CV-12) Museum at Alameda Point (the former Naval Air Station), but were deterred by their preparations for a conference of more than 3,000 machinists in the hangar deck. On our way off post, we saw the French maxi-catamaran GITANA 13 -- the sailboat that is shattering records around the globe. The crew of 11 had just set a new record for the Route de l'Or (New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn), breaking the old record by more than 14 days. (Yes, *days*.) They should embark for Japan later this week, where they hope to add the trans-Pacific sailing record to their growing list of accolades.

No visit to the Bay Area is complete without a stop by the alma mater -- and, this time, a trek up Strawberry Canyon to the Lawrence Hall of Science. Their special exhibit this month is "SPEED", with throttle-driven drag racers that risk stalling due to slipping wheels, a side-by-side ski slalom simulator, and a build-it-yourself Lego derby track.

But the main purpose of this weekend was to honor (and thoroughly roast) my mom, who retired last Friday after more than 32 years of service to the Alameda County Health Services Agency. More than 140 colleagues, friends and family came to honor her, while I had the privilege of co-MC'ing -- and laying the blame for the soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security Trust Fund squarely on her shoulders for leaving the workforce. Truly an enjoyable trip.



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