December 30th

This Thanksgiving I went to Portland to visit Annabel and Scott, where I met up with Steve and Michelle.    It was a fine long weekend!

And as usual, I went back to Minnesota over Christmas to spend time with family and friends.  I didn't take many pictures that trip, but did get the annual Christmas Eve portraits.  

Thanksgiving and Xmas pictures here.

September  6th

Had a really nice Barolo 2001 tasting at Easy Street.  

The seven wines.  The warmup was a 2002 Damilano Barolo, which was a nice enough wine but definitely very little classic Barolo characteristic.  Group favorites, by an amazing concensus, were the Boroli ($39) the Damilano Cannubi ($60) and the Rivetto Guilin ($36).  

September 4th

Dear Mtn. View Code Enforcement,

For several weeks I have been attempting to encourage your office to enforce local sign posting regulations in regards to the directional signs posted each weekend by Bedford Square Homes, located on Ferguson Avenue. 

Thus far I have been disappointed in the response.  Either your office is ignoring my requests, or has been impotent in enforcing this code effectively to stop this practice.  Since I do not receive any replies I do not know what the issue is.  I did speak with Kelly Casale two weeks ago about this problem.  She told me at the time that she would speak with the Bedford management.  I do not know if this was ever done.  Her predecessor in the office, Mr. Gunderson, was able to halt a similar series of incidents with Latham Homes earlier this year, so I suspect that it is at least possible to obtain the desired results.

This past weekend on Sunday, September 2nd, I drove through town and documented several instances of clear code violations, posting advertisements on public byways and often directly affixed to City road signs.  Enclosed in this email are a sample of the photographs I took.

If it is the case that the interests in business opportunities resulting from real estate sales in Mountain View supescede our own city codes, then please be so kind as to inform me of this undocumented exception and I will desist in my efforts to keep Mountain View clean from unwanted advertising trash such as this.

Thank you, and sincerely,
Richard LaReau
Mountain View, CA

July 29th

Steve and Michelle hosted a Winos reunion BBQ potluck at their place in Moss Beach.  It was a great afternoon!  Doug brought stuffed mushrooms, Seth brought pineapple and turkey burgers, and I brought curry cole slaw.  Dave and Zoe brought Drake's Bay oysters, which they say are now available at the Califonria Street farmer's market in Palo Alto (Sundays.)  Since I think these are about the best oysters I've ever had, I'll be picking those up on a regular basis.

Another big hit was Greg's Rhone which he said got panned at his last family gathering.  I think all the Winos who got to try it really enjoyed it.  I wish I remembered the name.

A big hello from us all on Steve and Michelle's back deck!

July 7th

I heard something about the luckiest day in centuries-- I'm down and out with a killer flu.  Good time to update my photos.

Last weekend I went on a camping trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park with Tony and Jane and their friends.  It was one of the nicest campsites I've ever been to.  One day we hiked around the lake, and another day we hiked to the top of the local mountain, which was topped by a fire station.

Lassen pics here.

June 21st

Some random pics from my backyard.

June 14th

Last January we got a new housemate at Easy Street.  Doug,  a lawyer at Google moved here from New Jersey ahead of his wife and family.  Several people have noticed his uncanny resemblence to Steve.  When they sat together at Steve's hosted rose Winos tasting  I wanted to get a picture to prove they were not the same person.

May 29th

Just back from a trip to Colorado to attend Red Rocks and Purple Mountains annual square dance convention.  It was great!  We stayed at the downtown Hyatt, which was brand-new, I think I was the first person to stay in that room.  Unfortunately, they did not have a pool, which sucked.  But they did have big mountains nearby.

Denver also has my grandparents (my mother's father and his second wife) Kenneth and MaeBel Powell.  While in town I also visited the cemetary in Golden where my grandma Frances and her parents are buried.

Pictures of the trip here.

May 15th

Went for a hike today at Upper Stevens Creek with Teressa and her friends.  We did a one-way hike with a two-car drop-off to start at the steep ridge going down, and then a long gentle slope back up the valley.  It was great!  Hiking pics here.

March 10th

A while ago I made a video of my friend Seth and his cat Nimi, who he would take out for a walk at Stanford University almost every day.  Yesterday I took some clips and made a music video out of it-- posted on YouTube!

 Walking Nimi at Stanford.

February 17th.

Speaking of dining, when Eric moved out in January he took his dining-room table. I thought it would be easy to find a new one that I liked, but the ones I like are really expensive, and the rest seemed too cheaply made to bother with.

I found this set at a local second-hand shop that specializes in second-hand furniture "used by Japanese buisinessmen in their coporate apartments for their short stays in the US."  Solid oak, nice light color.  Since it was so inexpensive I thought it would just make a good place-holder until I found something I really liked.  But now that I got it home I think it will stay for a while.


"...certified for the distinctive quality of many parameters."

The promised details on the back did list interesting facts about the pasta's gluten index and particle size, but it was hard to imagine trying to compare those parameters while standing in a grocery isle.

Saturday, February 10th.

The winter months are crab season in California, and every six weeks the Portugese society in Half-Moon Bay hosts an all-you-can-eat crab cioppino dinner.  This is my fifth time going.  That's our group waving, and me with Warren (who gets me the coveted tickets) on the right.
(The Malbec I'm holding was leftover from my tasting hosted on the 8th.  It was delicious, another great deal from Bev-Mo!)

Thursday, January 11th.

Christine hosted this week's Winos tasting, Chardonnay.  Looks here like she found one she likes! In attendance were Lee, Richard, Greg, Teresa, and me.  One interesting topic was the identity of the wine dongle on Richard's third glass.  We got iron and hat... but what's that last one?