January 6th, 2007


What place has the same number of syllables as Oklahoma?

Sausalito. I didn't want to drive all the way up there, since there is no good way to get there from here. The least onerous was the route I took - 101 to 380 to 280 to the incredibly stupid non-freeway of 19th street, and over the GG bridge. Getting home I took the great circle route - to avoid the bridge toll and SF traffic: 101 to Larkspur, Sir Francis Drake to the Richmond Bridge (580) to 680 to Mission Blvd to 880 to 237 to 101. That was a long drive.

The reason for going to Sausalito was a meeting of the board of directors of the NorCal Peace Corps Assn, of which I am expecting to be named an alternate member representing the South Bay. Though the appointment doesn't become official till the next general membership meeting next month, it looked like neither of the S. Bay reps could make it, so I was asked to go. Turns out I didn't need to - one of the reps showed up after all (he had to work today, but managed to figure out a way to get free for the 2 hours).

I was on this board a LONG time ago. Long story short, I was one of a group of liberal RPCVs* who helped take over the fairly young group from some not-so-liberals way back in 19-ought-83. Collapse )

The meeting was hosted by the North Bay rep, who lives on a cabin cruiser which has been converted into a houseboat, and is floating in a houseboat marina. Very scenic, from time to time a sea lion would swim  by, and there were also pelicans and cormorants. Typical of any Peace Corps event, the meeting started late, by about 20 minutes. Part of that was the remote location. And typical of PCV events, it ran late as well. I won't bore you with the gory details, but suffice to say it was major league deja vu. Almost everything on the agenda would have been on the agenda in the late 80's, though none of the board members are the same. One major difference is the group is struggling to stay out of the red, has no source of income other than dues and a small number of (tax-exempt) donations, and membership has dropped by 1/3. Odd, because every year a new class of volunteers returns home, and more of them return to live in CA than to any other region except DC. My guesstimate its there are 15,000 RPCVs in the Bay Area. Our membership is now around 400.

Anyhow, it was good to meet new people, especially people who have shared this rare experience and choose to keep it as part of their lives.

After the meeting I walked around the docks a bit, there's a bike shop nearby and a bike path with a steady stream of people in the obligatory outfits pedaling away. One thing which surprised me, I did not see any bike racks. All of these fanatics broke their bikes down and stacked the parts in the trunks of their cars.

Across the highway there was an Outback steak house, so I headed over there for a late lunch, but they apparently had gone out of business. So had the Radio Shack and a couple of other stores. I tried to find "downtown" but ended up on 101 northbound, and as I was planning on taking the Richmond Bridge back, stopped off at Larkspur landing instead. Had Phat Thai at a little place called Thai Time. It was way too sweet, but otherwise had the right ingredients. Their Thai iced tea was so-so. The staff was very nice, though. Bilingual, they were as fluent in English as they were in Thai.

Back home, it was time to do something about the bag of frozen chicken thighs which have been taking up too much freezer space. Put them into a glass roasting pan, thawed them out in the oven, then slapped minced garlic, sliced red onion, mushrooms on top of each piece and whole water chestnuts in between, covered with aluminum foil, and baked for an hour at 375. Uncovered and baked another 15 minutes. Good timing, the Dallas-Seattle playoff game was in its last quarter by the time the food was done, and that was definitely a cliff-hanger of major proportions. All I have to say about the final score is "Poor Tony Roma".

What else? Trimmed Domino's nails, which she hates but desperately needs on account of being a polydactyl, (you can look it up here) the second thumb being non-functional and its nail not engaged when she does the scratching post thing. So the nail grows and curls around and digs into her paw pad if left untrimmed.

Tomorrow: Get together with a friend for a chat and help get her PC backup working again. Maybe watch the first episode of Torchwood on DVD. Call the parental units. Put up the hummingbird feeder.

*RPCV officially = Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
Unofficially = Recovering Peace Corps Volunteer