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Monthly Archives: August 2005

I forgot what the sun looked like

The sun decided to come out this week! Yesterday and today I woke up to the pleasure of not just patches of blue, but a completely clear blue sky over my house. And not only was there sun, but it got a lot warmer. I had to make a quick trip to Los Angeles today, and when I landed back in Oakland late this afternoon it was about 86 degrees in the Bay Area. Out at the beach it was closer to about 75, which was phenomenal! After working out at the gym I decided to take walk along the beach and found myself there right around sunset. Below are some of the pictures that I took while I was out. These were all taken very near the Cliff House. Click on each of them to view the full size version in the Gallery.

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

Same as the above photo, but over-exposed

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

The sun almost finished setting

Another view

Ocean Beach at sunset

A park at the north end of Ocean Beach called Lands End

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Patches of blue

I awoke this morning to a most pleasant surprise: I could actually see patches of blue sky outside my window. I haven’t seen the sky above my house for months now! The area where I live is so close to the ocean that during the San Francisco summer it is perpetually foggy or, at best, overcast. It seems that the San Francisco summer is finally coming to an end and moving into autumn, apparently the best season in the city. I had heard July and August were the worst months, and this seems to be proving itself as accurate.
Here in North Beach at my office, the sun is shining bright and the temperature is a pretty much perfect 70 degrees. I got to spend a few precious moments outside today as I was doing some grocery runs earlier. Hopefully the nice weather will last for the next month or two.
Also, I would like you all to join me in welcoming a new member of the LancesWorld.com family! Yesteday the site omegabane.com was born. Omegabane.com is positioning itself to be the official online home of my Geocaching adventures. While the site is still under construction, I have already started the Geocaching Blog there. So have a visit!

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8.1 miles and a muddy trail later

Greetings fellow Lance enthusiasts! Well, it’s been a week since my last post, and as you can surely imagine, I haven’t simply been resting on my laurels all week. So sit back and relax, because there is a lot to update you on.
The work week was fairly standard. A little travel coordinating, a flight down to LA, a drive up to Marin County – the usual. Of course, Wednesday night I had my usual Young Adult’s Group meeting at St. Dominic’s. This week’s topic was great – living a purposeful life. By “purposeful” it is not meant to just choose something (like a career) and live it out; rather, it means to live the life to which you specifically called. This includes aspects of community and career, and is something we discern, not something we choose. It was a great talk.
On Friday I took a 6:30 a.m. flight down to LA to take care of some business. I landed just before 8 a.m. and was back on a return flight at noon. Well, I should say I was suppoed to be on a flight at noon. Our plane was delayed due to an unexpected crew change. It was about an hour long delay, but that didn’t keep me from working. My Sidekick allows me to keep abreast with my e-mails, so work is never too far away. While I was in LA, I got to see Tami for a few minutes. Her office was right along the way back to the airport, so I made a quick stop to say “hello” before I returned my rental car. She has internet at her office, so I spent a few minutes generating some documents that I wouldn’t have been able to do on the Kick and e-mailed them out.
It was a fantastic weekend! As you probably recall from last week’s journal entry, I bought a great book about hiking trails on the Peninsula. I made good use of the book again on Saturday. I found this nice park about a 25 minute drive south of my house in Pacifica – San Pedro Valley State Park. Before arriving at the park I discovered that there were several geocaches in the area, so naturally I had to find them. The first one was a really quick grab right at the trailhead of the Old Trout Farm Trail (a trail that I didn’t hike more than the 500 feet I had to in order to reach the cache). Here a picture of me there:

After that quick find, I hiked a fantastic trail called the Montara Mountain Trail. The Montara trail meanders up for about 2.1 miles where I actually crossed into McNee Ranch State park. Here is a picture just from just across the boundry of the two parks. Actually, the trail you can see behind me is in the San Pedro Park side and I’m standing in the McNee side (at my second geocache find of the day).

Another 0.3 miles along the Montara Trail connected me up with the North Peak Trail, which eventually climbed out of McNee Ranch and took me into the San Francisco Watershed area. There, I climbed to the top of Peak Mountain (about 1,830 feet) and Middle Peak (about 1,860 feet). I didn’t quite make it all the way to North Peak (almost 1,900 feet). There were two more caches along this trail. Here are the pictures:

Bane of the Cache Potato site

Can You Hear Me Now? site
As you can see, by the time I reached “Can You Hear Me Now?” I had climbed above the fog and it was actually a beautiful day. I actually got sunburned while up above the clouds. In the extended part of this entry I have posted some pictures that I took from the top of Peak Mountain. It looked like I was standing just on the edge of a sea of clouds. Also on Peak Mountain, I thought I found a cave, but it turned out it was just a weathered out part of the mountain that looked like a cave from a distance. I finally hiked back down to the car, taking Brooks Creek Trail where it joined up with Montara, making an 8.1 mile roundtrip hike. It was long and I was tired, but I had a great time.
Today I did some geocaching near my house. I was still pretty exhausted from the long hike yesterday, I didn’t want to do anything too strenuous, so I stayed within a couple miles of my house. I ended up logging five finds today (including one that I had previously logged as a DNF – Did Not Find – back on my first weekend as a geocacher in July). I logged one DNF today and there was another that I gave up on before I had reached the cache site due to hazardous trail conditions. To be fair, the trail wouldn’t have been too bad had I been properly prepared, but I was in tennis shoes and it was a very steep, very muddy trail. I climbed part of it, fell once (caught myself before I face-planted, but my hands were FILTHY), and then when the trail got even steeper I decided it was not meant to be. But the location was really amazing. Here is a picture (more in the extended entry):

There is a full size version of that picture if you would like to see it enlarged. While the trails were too muddy for me to climb very far, I don’t think I could have come on a better day! The cool, foggy weather made for not only some beautiful pictures, but also for some amazing smells. Apparently, this is the best weather to enjoy the aromas of eucalyptus.
I have many more pictures from my caches today, but I’ve already spent over two hours writing this and getting all the pictures posted, so I’m going to wrap it up here. Not only does that mean I can go to bed, it also spares you from having to look at any more pictures! I hope you enjoyed these! Good night and God bless!

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What a weekend

Wow, depsite being substantially less social that on past weekends, this one was still action-packed. Friday I made one of my quick trips to LA, but the trip was much more stressful than usual. My flight out of Oakland was delayed and that pretty much screwed up the rest of my day. While in the taxi in Los Angeles, I was so frustrated by the delay, I was actually feeling ill. But I got all of the important things done and even managed to make it onto a slightly earlier flight back to the Bay area than I had planned, which I was happy about.
Friday night after finally getting back to San Francisco I was dead tired, but bored because my previous Fridays had all been so active. But my level of tired was enough to convince me to just stay in, watch a DVD and get some sleep.
Saturday I slept in a little. After waking up I watched Office Space, which is an amazing movie. Once the movie was over and I was finally up and running, I went down to Borders and bought a book called “Peninsula Trails” which is just full of amazing information about hiking trails on the Peninsula (basically, everything south of San Francisco down to roughly San Jose). From the book store, I headed straight to San Bruno Mountain State Park. Here is a picture of me at the entrance to the park:

Normally there is a fee to enter the park, but if you park your car in the neighborhood at the north end of the park there is one free trailhead you can take to get in. Really, the fee you pay is to park your car, not to use the park. So I like using the free trailhead. I hiked a very easy, but enjoyable trail, called the “Saddle Loop.” It runs along the northeastern edge of the park before looping down towards the main parking area at the center of the park and then returning along the Old Guadalupe Trail to the car. Here is a picture of part of the Saddle Loop trail.

While enjoying the trail, I also managed to find two Geocaches hidden along the way. I didn’t go to do the hike because of the caches, I decided that as long as I was already going to do the hike, I might as well look to see if there were any caches along it, and sure enough, there were two. So I found them. After I finished my hike, I was planning on going home, but detoured instead and stopped at the Century 20 movie theater in Daly City where I saw “Batman Begins.” I enjoyed it, though I felt that some of the visual effects were a little over the top. I went home after the movie and watched a couple more DVDs. I watched “American Wedding” and “Best in Show” as well as part of “American Pie” (the original). I am a big Eugene Levy fan. While watching the movies, I was also doing some laundry – one of those tasks that can only be avoided so long.
This morning I got myself out of bed at 8:30 a.m. Yes, I know it is early for a weekend, but I wanted to get some stuff done today. I had to stop by the office to finish some work that I hadn’t done because of my trip on Friday, but that didn’t take long. After I was done at work, I headed back to the San Bruno Mountain State Park and did the “Summit Loop” trail which took me up to an elevation of over 1200 feet. Aside from air travel, I don’t think I’ve seen an elevation like that since I was home in May. 1200 feet isn’t that much, seeing as how my house in Utah is at nealy 6000 feet, but seeing as how I’ve been living at sea level for the past year almost, it was nice to finally find a nice hill to climb. The Summit Loop hike round trip from my car was about 6 miles, and I tell you, my legs and feet sure were tired when I was done with the hike. There were two more Geocaches hidden up near the top of the trail, so I made sure to grab those while on the hike. The hike afforded some phenomenal views, though they would have been even better had it not been so foggy. Here are some pictures from my hike on the Summit Loop.

Here is a cool tree/shrub I found along the hike.

This is me in front of the cool tree/shrub.

A view of the city from the trail.

This is what the above picture looks like with me in it.

Here I am holding one of the two Geocaches I found today.

The “Three Kings” as I like to call them. The top of this trail intersects with some private property known as “Radio Road” where a series of communication and radio towers have been built. Not pictures is a spindly forest of towers farther south from there as well as a satellite telephone relay. The interference up near these towers made getting good GPS readings very hard.
When I finished my Summit Loop hike, I drove back home where I took a quick shower before heading to my church at 4 p.m. to setup for the wine & cheese party that we hosted after the 5:30 p.m. mass. We setup from 4 to just before mass, then went to mass, and then I bartended during the actual event. I had a great time, but my legs sure were tired after that hike.
Well, it is getting late and I want to get some rest before the work week kicks into high gear. I can tell you that my bed is going to feel really good tonight!

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God saw Adam and it was good

Here’s a shoutout to my good friend, Adam Fairholm. Because of my profound respect for Adam and his work, I couldn’t help but honor his request that I author a LancesWorld.com post exclusively devoted to him. And you guessed it, this is that post.
Adam and I met at Notre Dame during my senior year (his freshman year). I was working as Executive Producer of NDtv and Adam joined the show’s staff as our “Host Producer.” I recognized his talent immediately. He was the most dedicated worker on the entire show. Seeing this dedication, when we needed a new Executive Producer in the second semester of my senior year, he was my hand-picked candidate for the position. (Originally, the show had four Exec. Producers and one of them quit during the spring semester). Adam came into the role and filled it like it was made for him. Until Adam came along, I was seriously in doubt that NDtv would survive after I left Notre Dame. But, as fate would have it, Adam was there. Not only did Adam help the show to survive, he has made it grow substantially. In his first year as Executive Director (yes, a change of title, reflecting a complete revamping of the way NDtv was run), NDtv went from being a single 30-minute show produced every two weeks out of a broom closet in the basment of the dining hall, to being a campus cable station capable of broadcasting 24-hours a day with two weekly programs – “NDtv News” and “The Mike Peterson Show” – being produced in their own studio in Washington Hall in the heart of the campus. Adam has taken the dream of NDtv and helped bring it so much closer to reality than I ever imagined possible after only three years of existence at the school.
It was Adam’s extreme success at turning NDtv into a real player in the world of Notre Dame campus media that led me to recommend him for an internship on RENT. Adam came out to San Francisco to intern on the show for three weeks after school ended in May. For the first week, he stayed with me at my place. I was a mediocre host at best, I must admit. The weekend he arrived I was out of town in Utah, and the following weekend I was out of town in Los Angeles. But I did let him use my Not For Tourists Guide!
Next year, not only is Adam going to continue fostering the rapid growth of NDtv, he is also going to be drawing a daily cartoon for Notre Dame’s student newspaper, The Observer. Seeing the dedication and effort that he puts forth for the things he is passionate about, I am more than certain that Adam is going to excel at whatever career he chooses.
You can check out the NDtv website at http://www.ndtv.net/.
You can visit Adam’s personal page at http://www.nd.edu/~afairhol/.

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