Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Swim A Mile for Women with Cancer 2018

Last Saturday, October 6, 2018, I did my 21st Swim A Mile for Women with Cancer, a fund-raising swim to benefit the Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) in Berkeley, California.

The Swim took place at the beautiful pool at Mills College in Oakland, California.

This year, our team of 4, “Janet’s Angels” (Allison,Amy, Harriet, and me), swam in memory of our dear friend and Harriet’s daughter, Janet, who passed away from metastatic breast cancer last year, at the age of 42.  And, I personally swam in honor of 48 of your and my friends and family members who are surviving their cancers and in memory of 43 who have died of cancer.  

My personal sponsors generously donated nearly $5000 to the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. 

The Swim A Mile is an inclusive event that welcomes women, men and children to swim, or even walk, a mile in the water. We swimmers are put in lanes with others who swim at similar speeds and it all works out very well. It's a two-day well-organized annual event that the WCRC staff and its many many volunteers make work seamlessly.

There is always a lot of very good food to eat, music and cheering going on, and overall joy.  

This picture was taken early in the morning as breakfast food were being set out. 

WCRC's Board President, Penni Hudis, came to thank us for our participation. 

Here, Allison's son watches as Amy and Allison wait for their lane assignments.  

and, the rest of us join them to line up for lane assignments. 

At the far end you'll see Harriet and I getting ready to get into the water.

Harriet comes into a turn and I head on out.

Here are  “Janet’s Angels” after the swim; we’re wet, smiling, and showing off our achievement medals.

Most teams go into a huddle before their events.  But, not Janet's Angels; we rejoiced the completion of our swim with a huddle and some private congratulatory words!!!

Amy's kids congratulate her after the swim.

And, we did our interpretations of Wonder Women with WCRC's photographer.

More than 437 swimmers participated in this year’s Swim A Mile. $328,000 of WCRC’s fundraising goal of $400,000 has been raised. Donations towards this goal will be happily accepted through November 30, 2018; if you donate now, be sure to specify the name of the swimmer you are sponsoring.

The Swim-A-Mile for women with cancer is a special event for me and I feel honored to be able to raise funds for WCRC. 

Looking forward to swimming again in 2019!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Salesforce Park

A few weeks ago I spent half a day at the newly-opened Salesforce Park in San Francisco.

The Park, on the rooftop of San Francisco's new Transbay Terminal Center, covers 5.4 acres and extends between Beale and Second Streets.

Little did I know that, as I write this post, both the Park and the Terminal are closed, as is Fremont Street near the Terminal. What happened? On September 25, 2018 (six weeks after the Terminal started full bus service), workers discovered a cracked steel support beam in the ceiling of the Terminal, a beam which supports the rooftop Park.  Further investigation revealed a second cracked beam.

As of today, October 5, 2018, both the Park and the Terminal are closed while supports are being installed in the middle of Fremont Street to support the cracked beams.  Work is ongoing to determine what went wrong and how to fix it.

Meanwhile, the buses coming and going from San Francisco are being redirected to the nearby temporary bus terminal that was built while the Terminal was being built.  Salesforce Park is closed to the public, for the time being.

So, while we wait for the Park to open again, here are a few photos of what it's all about.  If you've visited the High Line in New York City, Salesforce Park is a sort of mini version of the High Line...lots of plants, pathways, open spaces, bigger community spaces, many benches on which to rest and contemplate. It's a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.

You can get up to the Park from sidewalk level  by elevator and stairs and a gondola.  A few weeks ago the gondola was not working properly, thus the crew busily working on it.


Signs describe the more-than 200 plant species that fill the Park.

Sit in a quite space.

Or, enjoy a larger seating area where there might be a free lunchtime fitness class going on.

At the Art Cart, children, and even adults, can use the Park's art supplies to create their own works of art.

Borrow a book from the "Reading Room" to read while you relax in the Park.

The day I was here, local artist Lindsey Millikan was working on her painting "Rising Waters."

A special bus ramp allows buses to bypass the crowded streets below and enter and exit the Bus Terminal directly.  This vertical structure senses the buses and triggers a series of water jets in the Park's 1,000-foot fountain that runs the length of the north side of the Park.

From sidewalk level, it is nearly impossible to take a picture of the full height of Salesforce Tower.  From the Park, here it is.

Salesforce Tower is on the left and the Millennium Tower, most recently known for its cracked window on the 36th floor, is on the right...great views of both from the Park.

A great view of 141 Fremont Street, one of the condominium buildings in San Francisco.

Several large companies occupy buildings that overlook the Park.

And, there is even a place to look down into the Terminal building.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Tesla 3 is in Showrooms

This morning I got an email from my local Tesla store to announce that they had the Model 3 in their showroom, starting this morning at 10 a.m.

I didn't get over there until about 3 p.m., which turned out to be a good time to arrive, because the morning and lunch hour rush had subsided.

First step was to check in.  

Second step was to get in line.

Helpful sales people "worked" the line, describing the features of the car we would soon get to sit in for 2 MINUTES!!! They also patiently explained charging options for our homes and how the ordering process would work, once each of us was notified that we can configure our car.

After taking my picture in this lovely red Tesla 3, the car salesperson monitoring the "testing time" set a timer for my 2 minutes of bliss and exploration.  A salesperson in the back seat pointed out some of the car's features, including explaining to me how to open the door the get out of the car, once my 2 minutes were up. 

 Will I buy one?  Only time will tell, but that time for me could be in the next three months or so.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wonderful Asian Restaurant "Find" in Oakland

Last Spring, when Jim and I were on Local Food Adventures food walking tour of the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, our tour guide pointed out Osmanthus, an Asian Fusion restaurant. Our guide told us that the owner of Local Food Adventures had recently treated her guides to an exceptional dinner here. I made note to try it soon.

Today, I had lunch at Osmanthus with my longtime friend and amazing blogger (No More Commas Period), Mary Ann.

The food was truly wonderful...fresh, creative, tasty, and reasonably priced.  My only regret is that more people weren't with us so we could have tried more dishes.

But, we did our best with our three dishes, all in servings so generous that we both had leftovers to take home.  We will be back, for sure.

We started with the Green Tea Leaf salad from the Cool Dishes section of the menu.  Burmese Tea Leaf salads have become popular in many Asian restaurants.  Osmanthus's is one of the tastiest ones I've had.   This salad is a tribute to the Burmese restaurant that occupied this location previously.  It's a mix of fermented green tea leaves, Little Gem lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and several different kinds of nuts.  The salad is presented deconstructed, so diners can see each of the ingredients.  Our server tossed the salad at our table.

Our choice from the Warm Dishes section of the menu was the Dry-fried Chicken Wings with Sichuan Peppercorns.  The Chicken Wings were very meaty and covered with a crispy un-greasy batter.

From the Noodles and Rice section of the menu we had the Dan Dan Noodles with Ground Pork and Peanuts.  This is another dish that is presented with each of the ingredients assembled but not mixed together.  Again, our server did the tossing. My photo doesn't show the noodles underneath; they are long thick round ones.

There are so many tempting items on Osmanthus's one-page menu that I will have to return frequently.  Some that I debated over today include the Salmon Curry with Purple Yams, the Brussels Sprouts with Salt Pork and Honey-Sriracha Sauce, the Smoked Trout Fried Rice, the Prawns with Coconut Milk and Mint Leaves, and the Garlic Noodles.

For beverage choices, Osmanthus serves Cocktails, Wine, Beer, and an eclectic selection of nearly a dozen teas.

Note: The Osmanthus web site doesn't seem to open, but reservations can be made online on Open Table
Here's their direct contact information:

6048 College Ave., Oakland, CA
Open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday
Reservations are advised

Osmanthus is three blocks from the Rockridge BART station; street parking is available on and off College Avenue.