jon_chaisson: (Default)
Oh, it's Monday again?  Our weekend kind of flew by, considering the two of us went on a road trip up north sort of as our little anniversary vacation (it's our 12th as of the 28th).  We drove up to the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area and had a lovely time.  It's a LOOOOONG drive -- 230 some odd miles round trip, per our odometer.  It was also stupidly hot at some of our destinations, which we're no longer used to.  Still...lots of picture taking, lots of drinks, lots of tasty food eaten.  And even a few good local radio stations found!

In other news, it's kind of sad yet amusing when an online troll ends the argument with a version of 'you make no sense you're stupid whatever bye have a nice life'.  It usually means I've not only won the argument, but I've also cut off all their avenues for clever comebacks.  FTW!

In other other news...during this weekend I also read what I have of Meet the Lidwells as well as the Secret Next Project outtakes and I'm glad to say I think both are coming along quite nicely.  Both need a bit of correction and revision work, but for the most part I'm really happy with what I've got so far.  I'm really looking forward to getting these out into the world.  MtL is (hopefully) going to drop in September or October, and Secret Next Project will most likely be released next summer the latest.  Suffice it to say, I am so not used to quick turnarounds like this (given that my last project took two decades...!!), but it looks like I can handle this speed and output without too much stress, which also makes me happy. :)

OKAY.  Time to get back to the boring ol' Day Job.  Woohoo. :p

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Whew! Been a whirlwind of all sorts of things lately. Last week I had to head into the Concord office twice in one week -- Monday to deal with the audit team wanting to go over the specifics of my job (well, not my position per se, but the fact that I'm an SME for OFAC sanctions scanning) and Thursday for our 'quarterly celebration of success' (it's about as corny as it sounds). Added to the fact that Emm had to wake up at 5am for a stupidly early meeting on Tuesday, my Friday the both of us were feeling a bit overtired and loopy. Suffice it to say my editing/writing was minimal.

Add to that, on Saturday we chose to drive down to Watsonville to hang out a little bit at Gizdich Ranch, where they sell all kinds of tasty apples. It was hella hot and dusty there, so soon after we found an excellent ice cream drive-in near the shore in Aptos (the strip it was on definitely reminded me of Wells Beach up on Maine), and then headed back via CA 17--the road that crosses over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once at the crest we took CA 35 the rest of the way. This was definitely one of those "lovely drive, but what was I thinking??" roads, where the southern half of it is squeezed down to about 1.5 lanes due to it having so many switchbacks. It's essentially a well-paved cowpath for about 4 miles. Found some great overlooks, though! There's a few wonderful vistas where you can see the entire stretch of Silicon Valley below, with Mount Tam and SF waaaay off in the northern distance. Got some great pix out of it!

Sunday morning was spent at our local zoo, where we got to see all three red pandas! Nearly all the animals were either in their pens, or passed out in the shade. It was too hot for everyone! The giraffes and zebras at the savannah area seemed to like it, though! The rest of the day we hid inside, watched football and ate pie. All in all, a busy weekend!

So yeah...any writing done in the interim? Sadly, not that much. I did get a few lines of editing/revision done last night, but not enough to make a significant dent. I'll need to kick it up a notch in the next few days to get back into the swing of things.

Which brings me to the 'tapping a foot on the ground'. Due to being ridiculously busy, I've kind of felt like I'm flailing in mid-air over the last few weeks, so it feels good to be able to extend my limbs and touch the ground now and again to remind myself it's there. It gives me something to aim for, a solid base to come down to within the next few days. My work priorities have finally returned to normal, so I can focus more on the creative ones again. Ah, the price I pay for having a day job!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been quite the long week here in JoncWorld, busy all around. Work has been relatively calm-ish, not that many clients going off the rails, so I can't complain there. Nothing much to report, really.

We made it a point to get back to heading to the YMCA on a nearly daily basis, as I tend to sit on my duff here in Spare Oom for way too long. The first four days were well taken care of, and by Friday we were twitchy from work issues and decided a walk around the neighborhood was in order instead. We headed up California, cut over around 10th Avenue and walked around Mountain Lake before heading back. They've done a really good job at cleaning up the lake this past year--it was drained, dredged, decluttered, had goats eating the overgrowth (no lie--there's a company out this way that rents out goats for all your de-brushing and de-brambling needs!), and had a lot of the invasive species of plant, animal and fish taken away. Not to mention some serious filtration work, as it's right up against the stretch of Veterans Boulevard as it cuts through the Presidio, and the lake has seen its share of litter and toxic runoff through the years. It's nearly done, but they've done a beautiful job.

Today was a roadtrip up to Santa Rosa, which is always one of my favorite places to go here in the Bay Area. It's a large small city, so to speak, population around 160k, but it's spread out quite a bit. Downtown SR is a neat place as it has a large number of restaurants and shops. On Fourth Street there's Treehorn Books, a veritable Narnia of used tomes (it's good for "oh, I wasn't even looking for this, but I want this!" shopping) and up the street there's a really cool Barnes & Noble that's in a large building straight out of the 1920s, complete with a Jazz-Age style front. And just about a mile or two up the road is Copperfield's, a small local chain that saps our wallets every time we go into one of them. So yes, today was a mini-book crawl. :)

Tomorrow? We're not exactly sure. We may head to Q for brunch or we may go to Japantown, depending on what we're in the mood for. The problem with going to Q is the temptation to stop at Green Apple and buy EVEN MORE BOOKS.

There was, of course, a bit of a kerfuffle online about WorldCon this past week, but as I said on Twitter, I really have no horse in that race, so I'm choosing to not get publicly involved. I do of course have some thoughts about it, but I felt it was probably for the best not to add to everything that went on.

As for writing...? I'm happy in that I managed to get four out of seven days' worth of 750 Words done, considering. The "Townies" idea is expanding in unexpected and interesting directions, turning into some kind of pre- (very pre-) Bridgetown Trilogy story. I figured it would head in that direction eventually, but I wanted to let it expand organically rather than forcing it into a specific shape. That's why I let the 750 lag for a short while, so I could let the ideas simmer a bit. This may or may not expand into the next major project, but we'll see.

Chapter 5 of The Process of Belief was a big pain in the ass and most likely needs another go-through, but I finally got it done early in the week, and jumped in on Chapter 6. That too needed some tough love, but less in the prose and more in the editing department. There's still a lot of stage direction to get rid of, but not nearly as much as the previous chapter, and much easier to clean up. Book 3 kind of feels weird to revise, as it's pretty much Act III in a very long story arc. While it ties in with Books 1 and 2, the overall feeling of this one seems different. There's a hell of a lot more ongoing tension, and I think that's what I'm feeling with it. In a good way, of course.

I also FINALLY finished off the Blogging the Beatles series over at Walk in Silence! Yay! I admit I lapsed a bit on it, but I like how it ended, and that leaves me free to add new posts. Starting this week I'll be working on some new Walk in Silence stuff for your reading enjoyment. I should also be starting up on the Welcome to Bridgetown stuff as well, as I have a few ideas to work on there.

Which brings us to a few other web-related things:
--Will I ever update my Dreamwidth site again? Probably not; I'm thinking I'll copy the poetry posts to a document file and then shut it down, as I just don't use it anymore.
--Will I stay here at LJ? Of course--I have a permanent account. I still check it on a daily basis, maybe comment now and again, though I'm pretty much just at the weekend updates at this point. It'll remain the personal blog. I do have the other one, Scribble Diem, which I haven't updated since May of 2012, so that one I'll most likely close down at some point, as I just don't use it anymore. Maybe create one of those LJ Books and then ditch it.
--Tumblr. Yeah, I haven't posted there in some time, have I? I need to rectify that. Thing is, I haven't taken any pictures worth posting lately. Maybe that'll give me reason to start rescanning my stuff (and maybe photographing some of the larger or more colorful things) and posting those. One of my aims this year is to reignite my love for art, so why not?
--In cleaning up the Joncblogs, that'll mean that Walk in Silence and Welcome to Bridgetown will become my main go-to websites. I will endeavor to post links here and elsewhere so others are aware, of course. I have both connected to Twitter and Tumblr so they'll show up both places.

So yes...busy week. Busy, but productive! And that's what counts. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So today [ profile] emmalyon and I are heading down to East Palo Alto to the IKEA to pick up a new bookshelf. This one's going to replace one of the shorter two-shelf bookcases in Spare Oom, so we can finally give in and actually have more space for some of our books. [This would explain the subject line, if you know IKEA's odd Swedengish naming devices for their furniture. Why they call these bookcases "Billy" I have no idea.]

There's also the chance that I may pick up a new desk as well. My current one (also bought at IKEA, back in 2005 in New Jersey) is in decent shape, if a bit dinged here and there. Since I've been working at home, I've been thinking of getting one more like Emm's that has a few drawers up top but the underneath is totally open. The reason for this is to move my PC underneath there, so I can free up desk space--this is so my work-at-home stuff won't be crowded up and squished into a small area. I may have to buy one or two more storage boxes for the errant stuff I have in my drawers, but that shouldn't be a problem, they're pretty cheap there.

That said...this will ultimately mean that I need to get rid of the old desk, which I think I'm probably going to do on Craigslist. I'm totally fine with giving it away at this point, it's served me well. If no one wants it, I can definitely call our local Goodwill and see if they can pick it up.

Oh! And there's a Best Buy across the street from the we can go over there and see if they have one of these little jobbies. We have one already for Spare Oom, and I'm thinking of getting another for Spare Oom so I can use one for the home PC and the other for work, without having to switch back and forth. They work wonders, actually. :)

So yeah, that's our exciting Saturday. What's up with y'all?
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Ah, the long weekend finally approaches. It's been a hell of a week and I've been waiting for the holiday weekend to arrive.

So! What's on tap for the weekend, then?

--Today we're driving down to the Pescadero/Half Moon Bay area, which we haven't gone to in some time. We'll be lunching at Duarte's Tavern (we haven't gone there in ages), and yes I WILL HAVE MY OLALLIEBERRY PIE. We'll head back by stopping at the roadside farmstand (if it's open) and the awesome Ink Spell Books in HMB. I don't believe we had any other plans for shopping, but we'll see.

--The usual errands of cleaning and perhaps a bit of food shopping...nothing too exciting there. Although I really should make a conscious effort to continue straightening up Spare Oom. There are some books we can donate to the library and clothes (and things) we can donate to Goodwill, pictures we should hang, and bins to sort through.

--Downloading. I promised [ profile] emmalyon I'd download some new albums she's been looking for, so I'll either use eMusic or Amazon for that.

--Writing, of course. Nothing new to report at the moment, but I may have an update at the other writing LJ soon.

Other than that, I plan on sleeping late, doing some walking around the neighborhood, and attempting to relax. Hope everyone has a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
So yes! Yesterday we drove down to San Mateo for the Bay Area Maker Faire and had quite a fun time. Many strange and silly (and nerdy and intellectual) things were to be seen. So without further ado, pictures from the geekfest below the cut!

Warning: Science (and Other Weird Things) Ahead )

So yes...quite a lot of things seen and done, played with or eaten (yes, we had funnel cake!), and it was a hell of a lot of fun. So much so that I was dead tired by the time we got home! It was well worth it, though...lots of silly, geeky fun.
jon_chaisson: (Peanuts Linus fainting)
Just got home from the Maker Faire down in San Mateo (not a bad drive,'s just south of SFO at the corner of Routes 101 and 92). All sorts of fun was had, many pictures were taken, bad (and good!) food was eaten, and stuff bought. I'd say it was like going to a science fiction con at a state fair. :)

Pix coming tomorrow when I upload them! :)

(PS For the record, I believe we were driving up the Great Highway heading home when the dreaded 6pm rolled around. I'm still here, so I guess all those "I'm going to hell for this" comments of mine really did work against me...O_o )
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Whew--went up to Santa Rosa with [ profile] emmalyon and my inlaws today. I'm tired and I wasn't even the one driving this time! I think it was due to the warm sun and hanging out on the terrace of the Schulz Museum that was making me sleepy...

I posted a few pictures at my Tumblr site, but thought I'd post a few here as well...

A small collection of paperback collections of Peanuts strips. I grew up on these things--I actually recognized the covers of many of these--and would read them constantly.

A bee hanging out with the cherry blossoms at the museum.

Close-up azalea at the museum.

A Famous Bridge peeking over the hills, with San Francisco in the background.

I can, in fact, see my apartment from here! Taken from a lookout in the Marin Hills across the way, which I can see from Spare Oom. From foreground to background: Baker Beach, Richmond District, Golden Gate Park, Sunset District.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Okay, so we finally got back around 3:30ish after heading south to Watsonville for apples at Gizdich Ranch. It seems we were a few weeks too late for self-service apple picking, but their store had a good and tasty supply that we bought, along with some raspberries and some apple juice. On the way back we stopped in Gilroy at the outlet store universe they have down there for other things (and where I happened to hear the doofiest version of "La Vie En Rose" ever at the kitchen supply store), and a sidetrip into Morgan Hill for lunch. We got back just in time for the Blue Angels to start today's show, so it was kind of fun sitting in traffic on Great Highway and hearing the WOOOOOOOSHT of fighter planes zooming past overhead. After a sidetrip for grocery shopping at our seaside Safeway, we're back home, tired, dusty, and relaxed. I will upload and may post some of the many pictures we shot today a little later on. :)

And now we have the USC/Stanford game to watch! Should be fun! :)

Also on tap this weekend: more Love Like Blood revision, possible research for Walk in Silence, a lot of football, and perhaps some walking around the neighborhood if this gorgeous weather keeps up!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
She had the day off from the market, I was off work by noon,
So we had time to get the hell out of town for awhile
(if only for a little while),
Smoke some, talk some, laugh some, maybe even drink some.
We drove up Wheeler Avenue, past the ponds and the farms,
listening to Radiohead and Spacehog, talking about our idea,
our crazy idea of moving out to Ohio (oh my, Ohio!).
I bummed another Newport off her and rolled down the window,
exhaling the smoke, trying to make the best of a situation.
Who knew where the hell we'd get the money,
when neither of us made more than the other, and I had less than her.

After all these years we'd met up again,
Under the same circumstances of having nowhere interesting to go.
I'd been defeated and was taking my time making a comeback,
And she'd been drifting aimlessly for a few years.
And as we hit North Orange, rolling to a stop at the intersection
with one single car up the way, a rustbucket made its way down the hill.
Both of us wanted to pull out and turn left towards Warwick,
but instead we decided to just sit there for those few long minutes,
waiting for that car to go by.

And eventually we pulled right instead, heading towards Royalston,
back down to Tully Road, and back home.
A short road trip, if anything, barely longer than an album side,
one, maybe two cigarettes' worth of a drive.
We'd be heading down to Amherst that weekend,
Going to see Ben Folds Five at Pearl Street in Noho.
We didn't need to go far today. Just enough to exhale.
Just enough to make the best of our situation.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
Granted, we just drove about 200 miles (to Sacramento and back, via the North Bay instead of East Bay), ate all kinds of bad food and washed it all down with a late lunch/early dinner at Sonic in Napa, and there's at least thirty degrees' difference between there and here. So I will share with you just a few pictures of our trip to the State Fair:

Yes, FOG, even in the late afternoon. The top of the tower's there somewhere...

From the County Gallery: Just in case you were wondering what there is to do up in Humboldt County, way up north.

Bacon. Chocolate. Need I say more?

More pix later...

Oh, and can I say it was rather weird to finish off a sausage link made of an animal I saw about five minutes later at one of the petting zoos? O_O
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
And I didn't have to drive this time! :)

Emm's parents were in again this weekend for another visit before heading out at the crack of dawn this morning, so they treated us to a nice drive. We met up at the farmer's market at the Ferry Building, where I was bullied by the nice people at the Alfieri Farms stall into buying some Aspen Mint powdered-sugar-coated, chocolate-covered almonds (OMG YUM). Highly suggested you buy stuff from them. :) was a gorgeous sunny day and from there we drove over GGB to points Marin. We stopped Muir Beach Overlook again where Emm and I went last year.

Pix below cut )

By the time we got back it was just in time for dinner so after a good fifteen minutes or so of circling the neighborhood for a parking spot, we stopped around the corner at India Clay Oven for dinner, and saw Emm's parents off afterwards.

So yes, busy but fun day! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch Autumn)
It's nearing halfway through September (already!) and the Bay Area has finally received one of its signs of upcoming season change: the thunderstorm. It's a rarity in these parts, and waking up to a loud rumble of thunder at four in the morning was actually a welcome change for me. Amusingly enough my first reaction was not of surprise, but that of tradition--someone in my family getting up during an overnight storm to close all the windows. I half expected to hear my mom coming into the living room to shut the two windows and pop into the bedroom to wake us up and make sure we did the same. I sat there yesterday morning, using [ profile] emmalyon's ticking watch to count the seconds between flashes and rumbles, amused and comforted by nature's meteorological unrest.

Autumn around these parts is subtle, as we don't necessarily get the foliage here. There's a gradual lowering of temperature, the fog stays inland a little longer, the days get shorter (Emm and I will eventually head out to the train stop when it's still dark), and, if it's a wet season, we start getting rain more frequently. Visually it looks the same, only grayer.

And of course, there's the influx of students. There's a middle school up the street from our apartment, and I can hear their bells ringing every now and again when I'm working from home. And when I'm heading home from work, whether taking the underground up to the foot of Market Street or taking the 47 bus, the modes of transportation are filled with young kids heading home or over to the mall to hang out. There's also the changing of the apartments--the moving out of other tenants and moving in of others, mostly students going to the art school down the block.

Tourism? Well, it's starting to die down a bit. We'll still get the occasional influx of people on the weekend brandishing maps on my street corner, trying to figure out how to get to Chinatown without climbing up the hill, but it's nowhere near as busy as it was a month ago, when we couldn't head to our Safeway down the block without bumping into them. Eventually we'll talk ourselves into walking over to Pier 39 again for food and other things, knowing our patience won't be tried as much when we try to navigate the sidewalks.

Then there's the football season. Yes, as a matter of fact I am happy it's here! After years upon years of not really getting into it, I gradually grew to enjoy it, and though I'm out here in California, I'm still a dedicated Patriots fan. I don't necessarily watch all the games--most of the time Emm and I have it on while we're doing other things like writing or knitting or reading or what have you--but it's great background and it's yet another part of why I love this season so much.

We do take roadtrips at this time of the year, of said, we don't really get the foliage, so there's not much to see visually in that respect. However, there's something to be said about apple picking in the quiet valley down in Watsonville, strolling down the cool sidewalks of downtown Santa Rosa, enjoying the views and wines of Napa and Sonoma. The streets are quieter and the highways emptier, but there's still plenty to do and see. Things don't so much close up for the winter here as much as they merely change a bit to suit the season.

To me, the change of season still retains everything I remember about as a kid, as a teen, and as an adult. It's a different kind of enjoyment of life, different from the Frostian New England autumn but retaining that end-of-year winding down. A time to get a bit more serious about future endeavors, hunker down on projects one may currently be working on, become a bit more patient about things. And a time to appreciate life a little more than usual.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
First, for your enjoyment:

Yes, as a matter of fact I can see my apartment from here. Sort of. :p

Now that I got your attention... :p

[ profile] emmalyon and I woke up insanely early this morning (read: around 6am, about a half hour later than we normal do on a weekday) and drove up to Muir Woods, which I totally forgot is a REALLY quick drive over the bridge and up a bit past Sausalito on some extremely twisty roads. Spent a couple of hours walking through the woods on various paths (up to one on end on the main paved path, and on the way back via a hillside path) and taking pictures of the flora, fauna and the OMGBIG trees. :p

Trees, Creepy Crawlies, Bunkers and a Famous Bridge under the cut! )
jon_chaisson: (Default)

Taken at the aquarium section of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. They just recently reopened it after doing some major refurbishing (read: tearing down and completely rebuilding it), and it's pretty impressive...and a lot bigger and more fun than I expected! (BTW, I joined in early and bought a membership, so A)we went in the "member door" and didn't have to wait in a long line, and B)we don't have to pay the nearly $25 per-adult price!)

So what did we do after that?

We drove down to Pescadero for sandwiches!! :p Well, we originally wanted to go to Duarte's, but there was a 30 minute wait I didn't feel like sitting through, so we went to the pizza/sammich shop up the street instead. So yeah, lots of driving today. We're tired now. :p
jon_chaisson: (Peanuts Linus fainting)

That, my friends, is a Deep Fried White Castle Cheeseburger, courtesy of Chicken Charlie's. It was eaten with gusto at the California State Fair. Not for the faint of stomach.

We woke up early this morning (well, early for a weekend) and drove the eighty some-odd miles up to Sacramento to the State Fair. Much weird food was ogled at, some even eaten, a LOT of walking done, and lots of livestock and other animals (including a few cats and kittens!) were watched, lots of pictures taken and lots of fun was had. Now our feet are crying out in pain, I'm on the verge of napping, and I believe we're not going to go out and spend money any time soon.

Some more pictures, though, underneath the cut. )

More pictures later, perhaps from [ profile] emmalyon as well. For now I'm going to relax, as I am TIRED. *YAWN*


May. 31st, 2008 05:12 pm
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
Meanwhile, in the "Can't Get Any More West Than This" Department...

(Taken at the intersection of Pescadero Road and Rt 1.)
jon_chaisson: (Peanuts Linus fainting)

It's 82 degrees here. EIGHTY-TWO. San Francisco almost NEVER has weather this warm. I can only wonder how hot it is in the East Bay, where it's normally ten to fifteen degrees warmer...

Our roadtrip was fun, something to do on a really nice day. I didn't take any pictures, though I was tempted to take the one I always forget to take: At the intersection of Route 1 (Cabrillo Highway, aka the PCH) and Pescadero Creek Road--you can see it on Google Maps here--there's a street sign across the stree saying "END" with the Pacific Ocean just beyond it. My first thought: well, one would HOPE so... :p

Tomorrow we drive into the Richmond section of town (not to be confused with the city of Richmond across the Bay), to geek out at a book store and possibly other things there. We shall see...
jon_chaisson: (Default)
A) Confidential to [ profile] lynxreign: Hardy har har. And thanks for doubling my outerwear wardrobe! :p

B) Is anyone else having a problem with LJ taking its own sweet time coming up on the screen? It comes up okay, it just takes a bit for it to actually react to things like scrolling and clicking on links. Mind you, this is when the screen first comes up...once it's fully refreshed, it's okay. Then again, it might be just be my friends page (okay, which one of you out there is fiddling with code?!?? :p ). And again, it might just be me.

NOTE: OH MY GOD is it GORGEOUS outside today. The temp is supposed to be 78, which is actually a little higher than usual for this city. This is total vacation weather, so there's a good chance the neighborhood is going to be swimming with people today. Going to head out with Emm today and do some shopping down in Daly City, and perhaps scoot down to Pescadero for lunch. Might also stop at the farmer's market on the PCH if it's open. Shall take the camera with me for pix. :) Also, will dispense with all pronouns at beginnings of sentences. :)
jon_chaisson: (Gendo from Evangelion)

The Year in Review Meme

Copy and paste the first few sentences of the first entry in each month from 2007. (No memes, quizzes, or dumb junk like that.)

January which I hit the ground--er, computer, running )

February which I get new hardware )

March which there's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on )

April which we have a busy Sunday )

May which I wonder why I hadn't played hooky for religious reasons )

June which I go asquee about Beatles news )

July which I cheat the meme to celebrate a milestone )

August which I kvetch--again--about my job )

September which Emm and I go on a roadtrip )

October which I weigh the pros and cons of redoing a roof )

November which I explain why I can never do NaNoWriMo )

December which my monitor goes all weird on me )


Well. A year that could have been a bit better, but all in all wasn't that bad. Every downside this year had an interesting, unexpected upside, and it all evened out in the end (at least as of 12/20/07 at 7:25pm PST, anyway).

Here's to hoping 2008 is an improvement! :)


jon_chaisson: (Default)

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