Monday, January 30, 2012


Today was a special day!

I met my other friend named Mary Ann for tea at Samovar Tea Lounge in Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.

This Mary Ann and I go back further in years of friendship than the Mary Ann about whom I blog regularly. Unfortunately, our work and life schedules keep us from seeing one another regularly.

It is this Mary Ann who was my blog "mentor" who coached me to start my blog. Before I got started I was, and still am, an ardent fan of her blog, No More Commas Period, to which she posts a fascinating tidbit every single day! Check it out, you might just see something about our tea today!

Tea at two in the afternoon today was the perfect get together for the two of us.

We both ordered the Cherry Oat Scone with Devonshire Cream & Jam.

Mary Ann had a steaming cup of Masala Chai.

My tea choice was a pot of Bai Mudan white tea.

We sipped, we ate, we gossiped, we caught up.

Samovar is a bit on the expensive side but, for its fresh and beautifully served wide selection of teas, its tasty food (they also serve Tea meals, Sandwiches, Salads, Brunch and more) and relaxing setting, it's hard to beat. It's easy to get here on public transit or to walk from much of downtown San Francisco.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MacManiacs Reunion

For many years I had my own little computer group. We all met at Diablo Valley MacIntosh User Group (DVMUG), a user group of which I am still a member. What happened was that some of us stopped being Apple computer users and were no longer members of the user group. Since we all liked one another enough to want to still get together once a month, I became "president for life" of what we called the MacManiacs.

So, we started meeting at a restaurant once a month. Each month, one of us would choose the restaurant and pay for lunch. Our lunchtime talk ranged from technology to health to family to any subject that caught our fancy. We always had a good time and it kept our friendship alive.

Over time one member died, one left the club, another moved a bit further away. And so, the MacManiacs stopped meeting.

This December, when I got Werner's humorous newsy Christmas letter, I shared it with the other former club members and Mary Ann suggested that we all meet near Werner's home.

The last of the MacManiacs met today for lunch at Terra Mia in Livermore.

Terra Mia is a Southern Italian family-run restaurant in a strip mall about half way between downtown Livermore and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. It's a bit more elegant than many of the restaurants in the area and was the perfect place for a leisurely lunch.

The pasta and desserts are made in house from scratch. Many of the ingredients are either home grown or from local suppliers. We caught up and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Jim and Mary Ann both ordered one of the day's specials, spinach pasta pouches filled with ricotta and chicken and garnished with Mortadella and a creamy sauce.

Mary Ann started her meal with a cup of Broccoli Soup. Jim had a Green Salad to start.

Werner ordered his "usual," the Capellini alla Napoletana (angel hair pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil).

My choice was the Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich (chicken breast with roasted eggplant, melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce)

For dessert we shared a made-to-order Chocolate Soufflé.

At lunchtime, Terra Mia is not too busy, most likely because, with each dish prepared to order, it can take a few hours to have lunch here...not the typical quick lunch hour of those who work in nearby businesses. Werner says they are very busy at dinner time; reservations are advised.

At any rate, it was fun to be back together, to gossip, catch up, and even talk about bit about iPads, the cloud, and other techie subjects.

Until the next MacManiacs meeting.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lobster for the price of the year

It's that time of year again at the Walnut Creek Yacht Club: For the entire month of January, the Yacht Club is offering a Lobster entree: Pound and a Half Lobster, boiled or grilled, with coleslaw and French Fries...for the price of this year. There are no substitutions, but for $20.12, who can complain?

Walnut Creek Yacht Club serves the freshest and tastiest seafood that I can find in most of the Bay Area.

For those who want lobster, you must order your lobster at least a day ahead. The Yacht Club does not have a lobster tank and needs to arrange with its supplier to deliver what they need each day.

And, if some in your party do not want lobster in January, the entire menu is being served as well.

The menu changes daily depending of what fresh fish arrives that day.

Five of us dined on lobster at the Yacht Club this weekend.

All but Mary Ann decided to have our lobsters grilled. None of us had ever had grilled lobster's a bit drier and has a smokey flavor. I enjoyed mine but was frustrated that the little tentacles that have tiny morsels of meat in them were too burned to leave any meat. Those who don't dig out every drop of lobster meat actually preferred the grilled lobster.

The Yacht Club is open every day except Sunday for lunch and dinner...remember, January is half over and after that, you will be paying market price for your lobster dinner (still worth it but, this is a very special deal).

A Note on the Photos: Much as I love my iPhone, its camera does not give as good results as my "real" digital camera, particularly for photos in low light. But, that's all I had with me the other evening. My apologies for the grainyness and the greenish hue.