Life Size Mouse Trap

As soon as I found out about this show, I knew we were going. Who could resist seeing a life sized version of the board game Mouse Trap? The show started with a performance by the Oakland based gothic jazz act Knees and Elbows, which Melissa thoroughly enjoyed, and I thought was a lounge act from hell. Then it was time for the main event. One member of the Mouse Trap team was running around in a pink bunny suit with an army hat on telling everyone, “It will never work!” in a German accent. There was some worry that he would be right, but the contraption worked like a charm, definitely better than the small version. This goes down with the Mystery Spot as $5 well spent.

[Click for a larger picture of the Life Sized Mouse Trap]

[Click for a larger picture of the Life Size Mouse Trap]

More pictures can be found at Laughing Squid’s flickr page and there’s a video from a previous performance at the official site. This most certainly belongs on Roadside America, but sadly it seems like there may not be any more shows.

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Yosemite National Park

Click on any image for enlargement

Back in May, Odie and I went out to Yosemite for a couple days. I had been there once before, but it was extremely hot and crowded, and we didn’t see much outside of the Valley. This was a chance to explore the park a bit futher. Odie had made up an extensive list of sites to see, so in order to get two full days in, we got out of Albany at 6:30am. A bag of Chex mix and three hours later, we entered the Park. We noted that to the east of Yosemite is Stanislaus National Forest. It’s like Yosemite is so beautiful, it needs a natural buffer from the outside world. I love it. After driving through the dense forest for 30 miles or so, the road starts down into the Valley. We stopped to take more pictures than necessary before realizing there was much more to see this day.
[Yosemite Valley from road]
The general plan was to drive to as many sites as possible on the first day and hike Half Dome on the second day. Thus, our first destination was Glacier Point, so after we got all the way down into the Valley, we crossed the Merced River, and started up the mountain on the other side. Before the Valley passed out of view, we stopped at the popular tunnel overlook. Here I am in front of the Bride Veil Falls (right middle) and Half Dome in the distance.
[Jer at tunnel overlook]

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Avenue of the Giants

[Click any of the images for an enlargement]

In our never ending quest to see America, Melissa, Odie, and I drove to the Avenue of the Giants, a 230 mile jaunt up US 101. As you can see on the map, we start at the lower center portion of NorCal and end up at the top right, pretty much in a suburb of Oregon.

Odie and Melissa had their spirits up for the trip. Thoroghly sick of driving, I offered my opinion of the prospect of sitting behind the wheel for 10 hours this day. In fact, my participation in this trip was contingent on Odie driving.
[Odie driving]
[Melissa riding]
[Jer riding]

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Seeing Americana

When plans to go to Monterey fell through, we did the next best thing. We found a bunch of weird things to see, all in the same general direction from the East Bay. The general direction we decided on was southwest. So Melissa, Odie, and I hopped in the sled and drove across the Bay Bridge.

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London Scrapbook

[Everybody at the Horse and Carriage pub]
My first experience off of the North American continent was to London in March of 2004. It’s actually a good story of how I planned this trip.

I was talking to Odie in February and he mentioned that he was going to London with Mike and Chris to visit Jack. Usually I’m invited to these sorts of events, but have to politely decline due to my (a) restricted amount of vacation and (b) restricted amount of funds. But this time, the trip was planned with no mention to me, which made me determined to go. So I rushed my passport application, and my parents gave me a very nice birthday present in the form of a plane ticket from SFO to LHR.

So I packed my things and crossed the Atlantic to hang out with my brothers from Keough Hall. You might think we’d take it easy after arriving to get our wits together, but no, the adventure began in full force on Day 1…

Incidentally, I do know that my elbow is wet in the picture above, but no I don’t know how it got that way.
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Pt. Reyes (Jan 05)

I’ve been a bit lax about adding pictures to the site in recent months. I’ll start to rectify that now.

The day started with Odie and I driving to Bolinas to go to church there. It was a neat little place with an Irish priest filling in for the regular Irish priest. Maybe 30 people were there. At the end of mass, one of the parishioners told a story he heard from his son in Iraq. A convoy of trucks and tanks was moving through an Iraqi town, but in the middle of the road sat a young girl. If she didn’t move, the convoy would have to divert its path costing valuable time. However, one of the soldiers recognized the toy the girl held as one the army had distributed to the local children. As he approached her, she smiled at him, and he prepared to ask her to move out of the way. But when he tried arrived, she revealed that she was sitting with her legs over a landmine to stop the transports from setting it off.

We left Bolinas and decided to go for a hike at Point Reyes. We opted for a trail with a wide variety of terrain. Below is where we were after about 45 minutes. Charlie is parked over the hill behind that central group of trees.
[Pt Reyes hike, t=45 min]
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