a funny thing…

2.5 weeks ago I was able to watch as the ER doctor pushed my bone back into my hand, washed the bloody wound with saline solution and stitched up the big gash across my hand.

Today I almost fainted as I watched the nurse pull out the stitches. There wasn’t even any blood.

Adrenaline is a funny thing…

Also, I heard some awesome news today.

“Starting tomorrow you can get your hand wet.”

It’s really a funny thing how the most mundane piece of news can be extraordinarily great news in the right context. In the context of my healing it means my wound has finally closed. It means there’s no longer any worry of infection. It means I can finally take a shower without a bag taped over my arm. It means that I’m on the mend and I’ll be back to my usual self pretty soon, though perhaps slightly more ambidextrous than I used to be.

the weeds

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. (And it’s been even longer since I’ve written a post that had any real depth of thought.) My excuse is that I’ve been without internet at home for a while (I’ll explain why later), but mainly I haven’t posted because I’ve been waist deep in the weeds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiterally speaking, I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. A lot of my spare time in the past few weeks has been spent pulling weeds, in an attempt to make the outside of my house look somewhat presentable. I started out with a yard full of weeds, waist high, grasping and pulling at them for what seemed like an eternity. Lately the remaining weeds have been somewhere between ankle and knee high. I’ve resorted to nuking the stubborn weeds that are left with concentrated weed killer, and letting it seep in and die, before resuming the never ending grunt work of grasping and pulling. It’s been tough, but at the same time it’s given me a lot of time to think.

A lot of those thoughts have been about weeds. Some of them have been practical thoughts– thoughts about how to best get rid of those weeds with the least amount of work, thoughts about how to prevent weeds from coming back, thoughts about how at least these particular weeds will soon no longer be my problem. But a lot of these thoughts have been about weeds in the greater context of life.

Literally speaking, I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. But perhaps in an even more real sense, metaphorically speaking I’ve been waist deep in the weeds. There are many ways that you can be in the weeds metaphorically. It could be in relationships, it could be in your career, it could be physically (how the hell did I let myself get so out of shape?!), it could be spiritually, it could be in anything really. It’s very easy to find yourself in the weeds. Those weeds are constantly growing, but to find yourself waist deep in them you have to ignore them for some time. And that’s surprisingly easy to do. What it really comes down to is complacency. Being waist deep in the weeds literally has made me realize that I’ve been complacent in so many ways.

To get out of the weeds takes a lot of work. And to stay out of the weeds takes a lot of discipline. In a literal, physical sense I’ve been doing the work lately. In a metaphorical sense, I guess I’m starting to do the work too.

I mentioned earlier about the lack of internet at my house. It’s basically because I’ve pretty much moved out of my house and had my internet service transferred to where I’m temporarily staying. The house that I’m temporarily staying at apparently has never had DSL internet, so they have to pull new lines, which has been delayed several times. I’ve moved out, transferred my internet, and have been pulling weeds because recently I decided to sell my house. I’ll be moving to somewhere with different grounds, a different separate of weeds. I’m hoping that in starting over on new ground this time I’ll have the discipline to keep out of the weeds, both literally and metaphorically.

family camping

For those who read this blog on a regular basis (all two of you), it’s probably pretty obvious that I don’t post very often about my family. I think the last post about family was from Christmas, when I went hiking with my parents. On that day I had resolved to go on a trip with my family, and this week it finally came to pass.

the vehicles

We decided to go camping at Convict Lake. My parents recently bought an RV, so this would be a good chance to use it.

devils postpile

We decided to take a trip out to Devil’s Postpile.


Devil’s Postpile is pretty amazing–when you hike to the top of the rock formation you can see that the rocks are all hexagon shaped. It’s almost like hiking on a tile floor.

family pic. first one in like a dozen years

We hiked around the park a bit and took our first family camping picture in at least a dozen years.

rainbow falls from the base

We also went hiking to Rainbow falls.


My mom really wanted to go to Death Valley, so we took a side trip to Death Valley. It was quite hot there– 112 degrees when we arrived, and it hit 116 during the hottest part of the day.

photo 2

My brother and I spent a good amount of time fishing, but we didn’t catch anything. We could see the fish and dropped our bait right near their mouths, but still couldn’t get a bite. Apparently we suck at fishing.

photo 4

Part of the reason why my family went camping here specifically was to visit the hot springs nearby. My parents are huge hot spring fans, and they really liked these Eastern Sierra natural hot springs. In fact, the main reason why my family got into camping in the first place is because of hot springs– we would take family trips to Grover Hot Springs park when my bro and I were kids. Nowadays my parents still go to Grover Hot Springs, though they usually stay in a hotel in Reno or Carson City. But actually now that they know about these natural hot springs, they might be spending more time near Bridgeport instead now.


The great thing about camping with my parents is that they do all the cooking. Typically when I go camping with friends I get stuck on grill duty (though in truth I actually kinda enjoy it anyways…) But it’s nice just stuffing food in my face without getting smoke in my eyes.

convict lake

One last family picture at the lake before leaving.

It was nice spending time with my family. I honestly don’t spend much time with them nowadays, so it was nice to spend half a week with them relaxing in the great outdoors. I think now that they have the RV we might end up doing it more often.

on the road to nashville

I honestly thought I was done with these sorts of road trips.

I think for real this time though, this will be the last one.

Of course I said that last time when I helped Ray move to Colorado. And actually before that, when I helped Sam move back from New Jersey, I thought that was the last one.

But here I am again driving across country helping a friend move. This time it’s Jiro moving to Tennessee. Ironically it’s almost the route is almost the same as when I drove it with Sam, only in reverse. Also ironic is that our first stop was to visit Sam in San Diego, along with Paul, who’s also in San Diego, and Stanley, who lives in Irvine.


One of the stops in San Diego was to a sea cave in La Jolla. It was recommended by Mr Paul Liu, and it didn’t disappoint. I think next time I’m out here I’d wanna rent a kayak to go explore these caves from the ocean side.

sd1Also in La Jolla is the Torrey Pines Gliderport. This is something I probably wouldn’t try– I’m too afraid of heights to jump off a cliff, but it’s cool to watch other people do it.


There’s a trail from the glider port down to the beach below. The beach, we found out, is a nude beach. We walked around there from the nude part to the more family friendly part of the beach.


San Diego’s always awesome, but more than the touristy stuff it was awesome to see old friends again.


From San Diego we headed east out of California, across Arizona and into New Mexico. We stopped a night in New Mexico and visited Carlsbad Caverns in the morning. The size of this cave is amazing– there’s a trail that starts as switchbacks outside the mouth of the cave and then goes in a mile and down 750 feet.


There’s all sorts of interesting rock formations in the cave, mostly vaguely phallic shaped, but there’s also one that looks strangely like a boob.


At the bottom of the trail is the big room, a huge open area with many interesting cave formations. There is a little souvenir area there where you can take the elevators back to the top.

From New Mexico we drove through Texas, stopping one night in a small German town called Fredericksburg, and one night in Austin. Then we spent one night in New Orleans and a night in Memphis, before arriving in our destination of Nashville.


The cool thing about all of these towns is they all have very lively music scenes. Austin has Sixth Street, where the highlight for me was Pete’s Dueling Piano bar. Unfortunately my phone ran out of battery so I didn’t get a picture there. New Orleans has Bourbon street, where there are some cool places to sit and listen to jazz. Memphis has Beale street, which is famous for rock and roll and the blues. Nashville has Broadway, for country and rock. It was a cool experience, probably something I wouldn’t have experienced if I weren’t doing a cross country drive with a friend.

Photos1Another thing to experience during a drive through the South is the food. I’m especially a big fan of the food in New Orleans, which is probably obvious because half of these food shots are from that city. The New Orleans food shots include Po Boys, smoked oysters, a Sazerac cocktail (which was apparently invented in New Orleans), coffee and beignets from Cafe Du Monde, and gumbo. In Memphis we hit up a barbecue joint, where I had a rib and fish combo, and also chicken and waffles from Miss Polly’s. At Nashville we had hot chicken from Hattie’s hot chicken, and my last meal of the trip was a pulled pork platter at the airport.

I think this is my last cross country roadtrip to help a friend move. For real this time. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, I do, and probably would do one again if the opportunity came up. It’s that I am close to running out of friends that are doing these cross country moves.

Anyways, best of luck to Jiro at Vanderbilt. It’s been fun, and thanks for the great (and fattening) experience driving cross country.

davis to san francisco

One of my biking buddies, Jiro, will be leaving Davis soon. We’ve done quite a lot of biking together over the few years that I’ve known him– probably more than a dozen century rides and even a few overnight bike trips. As sort of a bucket list item, he wanted to bike from Davis to San Francisco before he leaves, so I decided to ride along with him. The timing worked out well since it’s Mother’s day this weekend, and I wanted to be in SF for lunch with my family anyways.

Warning: This is a very picture heavy post– even more so than usual…


Mile zero for me, my weed filled front yard. From here I rode to Jiro’s house in West Davis.


First stop, Winters, for breakfast at Steady Eddy’s coffee shop. We’ve stopped here for fuel on so many rides over the past few years…


The first major climb of our trip was up Cardiac. Cardiac would actually be four climbs for us on this trip, the first of which climbs to the top of Monticello Dam.


Past Monticello Dam we rode along Lake Berryessa for a bit.


There’s a reason why I don’t climb Cardiac often– the shoulders are narrow and there’s a fair amount of fast moving traffic on this road (which is actually highway 128.)


At the juction of highway 128 and 121 is a little area called Moskowite corner.


We stopped here for a short rest. It’s a pretty well known stop for all sorts of bikers.


There used to be a small restaurant and general store at Moskowite corner, unfortunately it went out of business. I had stopped here once a few years ago when I last rode from Davis to SF. Back then Paul and I were unprepared for how difficult the ride would be, and the little general store basically saved our asses. So it’s sad that the store is closed, but this time around at least I’m a bit better prepared for the ride.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot too long after Moskowite corner is the final climb of Cardiac. There’s a small winery at the top. From here we would descend down into the Napa Valley.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpring riding in Napa is quite awesome. The roads are quite bike friendly too, with nice wide shoulders.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur route took us over Oakville Grade. The Eagle Cycling club in Napa maintains a web page that lists the toughest climbs in Napa. Oakville Grade is number one. I had done numbers ten and fifteen on their list as part of the tour of Napa. I thought those were pretty significant climbs– but they’re not even close to the same league as Oakville Grade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe climb up Oakville Grade was pretty freaking ridiculous. It was steep. Steeeeeeeeep. We ended up walking a good portion of it. Bicycling.com mentions Oakville Grade as one of a trio of Napa hills that will “turn sinewy steel bands of muscle into tapioca.” That made me feel better about walking. 


The descent from the top of Oakville Grade into Sonoma County was pretty scary. It’s hard to see from the picture, but the sign says 12% grade over two miles. So yeah, it’s a steep descent. On top of that, the pavement wasn’t very good, and there were some sharp corners. I had to stop at a driveway in the middle to cool my brakes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur destination for the night was Petaluma. By the time we had ridden into town I had ridden a bit less than one hundred miles, with about 50 miles left to ride the next morning.


Petaluma is famous for its rolling green hills. The Windows XP ‘Bliss’ background was photographed nearby. It actually might even have been this hill.


The next morning we rode from Sonoma county south into Marin County. I didn’t take many pictures of this part of the ride. But suffice to say it was nice riding through the bike friendly communities of Fairfax, San Anselmo and Larkspur. From there we hit the Marin County bike network and followed the signs towards the Golden Gate Bridge.


The end is in sight. From the shore of Sausalito you can see our destination across the bay.


The Golden Gate bridge. The home stretch.


It was such a beautiful day to ride across the bridge. Despite having grown up in San Francisco, I’ve crossed the bridge by bike or by foot less than a dozen times. I really should do it more often because it really is quite awesome.


After crossing the Golden Gate bridge we rode through Crissy field into Aquatic park. I had my brother pick me up here (I still hate riding through SF), while Jiro took the train back home to Davis.

Aquatic park is basically where I learned to bike. My dad used to work at the SF Fire Department’s pumping station here, and during summer he’d often bring my bro and me to his work, where we’d spend our vacation days biking and wandering around the piers. It’s a fittingly nostalgic place to end, right where it all started.

Chrome Legacy Window 6172014 13612 PM

Here’s the route for day one.

Chrome Legacy Window 6172014 13504 PMThe second day’s route.