Monday, May 27, 2019

The Coffee Experiment

An old post that I never published (until now).

Photo by Libby Bacher
George Sheehan, the doctor/runner/writer from Red Bank, New Jersey, used to say that everyone is "an experiment of one."

In that spirit, I started an experiment in August (of 2014). During the week, I drank no coffee. On the weekends, I went to the Companion Bakeshop here in Santa Cruz to get a coffee or my favorite latte. During the first week, I got no headaches. However, during subsequent weeks, I got a headache every Monday night.

Once September rolled around, I decided to cut out caffeine completely for a couple of weeks. No Monday-night headaches. Then I decided that maybe it was safe to have a latte once in a while. So I had a nice latte one Sunday, which supercharged me for the  day. But come Monday night, I got a bad headache once again.

So it appears that (for me at least), the caffeine wears off after about 24 hours and I get a headache from withdrawal. I'm sorry, because I love coffee and especially a nice latte. But paying the price of a headache is too dear. I suppose I could compensate by drinking coffee all the time, but I actually feel better not drinking caffeine regularly.

I may have to embarrass myself by asking baristas for decaf latte, but it beats a headache.

Garden in April

A visitor in the garden.

Santa Cruz, California
 The garden, visitor-proofed.

Santa Cruz, California

Garden in March

Prepping the garden after a rainy winter.

Santa Cruz, California

Sunday, December 9, 2018

High-five gang at Pinnacles National Park

It was a beautiful winter day at Pinnacles National Park. We did our first outdoor lead on the Regular Route on Chockstone Dome. Not a hard climb, but perfect for a first lead.

Left of the Regular Route: the Chockstone: Pinnacles National Park

The Regular Route: Pinnacles National Park

Overboard: Pinnacles National Park

 The aftermath. I need to re-sort this gear.
Santa Cruz, California

Monday, October 22, 2018

President Ozymandias: Belief vs. Evidence

Sad but true: President Ozymandias


by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Farming on the edge

I wrote about the marine terrace a couple of years ago, but just had some pictures from the second terrace, looking down toward the ocean and the first marine terrace. Here's that picture:

Back Ranch Road, Santa Cruz
Here's where your artichokes (and Brussels sprouts too) come from, on the first marine terrace:

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, California
Just a few feet behind me as I took that picture was the edge of the bluff:

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, California

Thursday, August 9, 2018


Santa Cruz, California

Carr fire smoke, August 4, 2018

Interstate 5 southbound near Weed Airport Road, Weed, California

Driving south from Oregon to Santa Cruz last Saturday, the smoke was dense from the Oregon border all the way to Sacramento. Normally, you can see Mount Shasta from I-5, but not a glimpse of it on this trip. That's Black Butte in the distance on the left.

There were two large fires: the Carr fire west of Redding, and the Mendocino Complex fire farther south. The Mendocino Complex fire became the largest fire in recorded California history later in the week.

Friday, July 20, 2018


This is a real truck, not just a pickup truck. I'm guessing this is from the 1940s.

Santa Cruz, California

Is this what ventilated brakes look like?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Buses, cafe, engineering school

I'm fascinated with vehicles, particularly trains and buses. Buenos Aires runs on a mix of public buses, subways, taxis, bicycles, and motos (scooters or light motorcycles). There are a lot of cars too, but many people get by without them, because the buses are ubiquitous.

I think that many American cities (including Santa Cruz) are overlooking the potential of public buses.

Also, Buenos Aires has cafes down.

Bar Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo

Facultad de IngenierĂ­a, University of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Latin America has some beautiful courtyards hiding behind unassuming facades. Most of them are private houses, but some of them house shops or restaurants.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Santa Cruz, California
Until the gophers figure out how to use wire cutters, they won't be able to get into my raised beds. A couple of winters ago, they ate about half my garlic crop.

More Buenos Aires buses

Buenos Aires, Argentina
The school buses in Buenos Aires are pretty fancy -- like city buses with comfortable seats. And they're orange, not yellow.

Buenos Aires
Many of the Buenos Aires buses have this weird thing attached to the wheels. It turns out it's a device that keeps the tires inflated to the optimum pressure automatically.

Sunday, January 21, 2018