Sunday, September 19, 2010


A rainy Sunday morning at The Sea Ranch. This is clearly a day for waffles and syrup, blankets, soup, sweaters and good books.It actually started in the middle of the night. I woke up to wind in the trees and sheets of rain slapping the skylights in the bedroom. It took me over an hour to get back to sleep. Rain sounds different in every house, so it's neat to get used to the various sounds of the rain in this house.

This morning I finished reading Marilyn Johnson's This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. A quick and fun read that will make you rethink libraries and librarians.

Are any of you familiar with the game Second Life? It's a 3-D virtual world where the player interact and create virtual selves and worlds. In reading Johnson's book, I learned about how librarians have avatars in the game and have actually set up libraries in the game. The provide information about the game itself, and also create themed libraries that include links to on-line resources. For example, if you go to a Lincoln themed library (in this virtual world), you might be able to click on a stack of books and get linked to documents that Lincoln wrote.

This book is also a good reminder information is power and that that the access to information should be democratic in nature. Also, the way information is accessed these days changes. Librarians are our first line of defense in making sure the information remains accessible, that we have some level of anonymity when we use it and, yes, librarians are still needed! Consider checking it out next time you go to the library.

Next up is Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I've been a fan of shows that deal with death or handling the deceased. I loved Six Feet Under and I used to watch that show Family Plots that followed a family that worked in a funeral home in Poway. The autopsy scenes in CSI (no matter how fake) are also interesting to me. Needless to say, the cover of a pair feet with a toe tag intrigued me.

Stiff by Mary Roach

Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day Trip: Point Arena Lighthouse

This weekend we explored the Point Arena Lighthouse with our friends Tom and T who were visiting from San Diego. Located about 15 miles north of us, the lighthouse is 115 feet tall and the tallest lighthouse on the west coast of the United States. A spiral staircase with 145 stairs will take you to the top of the tower.

The lighthouse has an interesting history. Since the San Andreas fault bends offshore less than 10 miles from the lighthouse, it has been subject to some shakers through the years. It was damaged in the 1906 San Francisco quake and was rebuilt the following year using a design from a concrete chimney company that specialized in building industrial chimneys.

Spiral staircase in the lighthouse.
Foggy view from the top.

More hazy view from the top of the lighthouse.
The old lightkeeper's quarters is now the museum.
Part of the first order Fresnel lens that used to be the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is actually undergoing restoration, so it's under wraps now.
While it was a fairly foggy day that we were there, it was still worth the trip to the lighthouse.

After the lighthouse we went to the nearby Stornetta Public Lands area. This is a 1,100 acres that have been set in preserve near the lighthouse. It is administered by BLM and includes over two miles of coastline, the estuary of the Garcia River and adjacent beach, and a small island accessible during low tide. We enjoyed some of the cool geologic formations and weathered rock formations.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feeling Bookish

Since today is International Literacy Day, I thought I would write a bit about libraries!

In our old neighborhood of Ocean Beach, we lived within a few miles of two branch libraries: the charm-filled OB library and the fancier Hervey Point Loma branch. Even before we moved up here, one of the first things I looked into was the location of the closest library. Well, I was pretty excited to see that there was a Bookmobile that stopped by The Sea Ranch every other Wednesday. I fondly remembered the old Napa Bookmobile that would come to the elementary school.

The Mendocino County Library Bookmobile, which is also known as the Mobile Branch of the library, still makes me as giddy and happy as when I was an elementary schooler. I am not sure if it's the novelty of a bus/motor home that has been tricked out for a new purpose (the bloodmobile is equally intriguing to me), or if it's the possibility of all those free books to read.

Bookmobile ... with a nice ocean view.
Anyway, today was Bookmobile Wednesday so I made my trek over to the rec center to see what my catch my eye. This week I checked out Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup. Dave is the Bookmobile driver and also handles the returns and check outs from two separate laptops that sit on tiny counters behind the driver's seat. The topic of the day was that the Bookmobile was broken into over the Labor Day weekend. The vandals did not touch the books, but rather, grabbed some of Dave's CDs he listens to on the long Bookmobile routes and a few other non-book related items. Bummer.

In addition to the Bookmobile, there is an honor system library at The Sea Ranch. This library is open every day and has three small rooms with all types of books for borrowing. No library cards, no librarians, you just borrow what you want and return in two weeks. It's entirely volunteer run and all the books are donated. There are also puzzles and board games that can be borrowed. Books and board games ... seriously, I may have died and gone to heaven.

The Sea Ranch Library
Finally, I am always looking for great book recommendations. What are you reading these days? I try to use the weRead (Books iRead) feature on Facebook to track what I have read and also what I want to read. It's an easy way to see what your Facebook friends are reading and vice versa. Anyway, happy International Literacy Day to you all ... now go read something!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Presenting ... The Pay 'n Take

The first Saturday of the month is a bargain shopping event called the Pay 'n Take. Community members donate items through the month and then once a month the extravaganza is held at the Gualala Community Center. It's entirely volunteer run and the money raised at the sale goes towards community activities.

The Pay 'n Take (a.k.a The Push 'n Shove) was one of the first things that Kim from the home rental company told us about. While we are renting a furnished house, there are a few little odds and ends that we have been missing. So, we keep a running list to try to find these items at the Pay 'n Take. Some of the bargains I picked up this week include:
Four puzzles, including a neat vintage round one of a golf course (.25 each).
Vintage Indian Archery set ($1)

Nice wheel thrown vase, perfect for holding our weekly CSA flowers ($2)
Extra wine glasses (.25 each)

Bridgette card game "the greatest two-hand bridge game ever conceived". Wow .. and for only a quarter!

So, if you enjoy a bargain and you are planning to come up and visit us, you might want to time your visit so it falls on the first Saturday of the month. Can't wait to see what next month will hold at the Pay 'n Take.