Point Reyes National Seashore

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Greetings from Point Reyes!

We decided to get out of town for just one night, and headed north to the expansive Point Reyes National Seashore which is a massive preserve geologically separated from it’s neighboring Marin County (source Wikipedia, including photo source).

 

We walked around Limantour Beach, then briskly hiked the Pacific Coast trail. The Bear Valley Visitor Center indicated that they’d counted 27 whale sightings yesterday and 2 today. Hopefully we’ll get to see whales and elk tomorrow. The only big wildlife we saw today were quail.

We had a nice dinner at a new restaurant called the Saltwater Oyster Depot, played Scrabble, and now we’re reading before bedtime at a B&B all in the cute town of Inverness.

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Book Reviews: 3 for the Price of 1

No, I have not stopped reading. I still read a ton, but didn’t feel the urgent need to review my last 3 books since I can’t say I wholeheartedly recommend them.

In_the_garden_of_beastsIn the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

This is the true story of William Dodd, an American Professor at the University of Chicago (shout out to my alma mater!) and chair of the history department, who becomes the ambassador to Germany during Hitler’s reign. He moves to Berlin with his wife, his grown son, and his daughter Martha in her mid-twenties who is a big time slut. Not sure how she got away with all of her affairs, being the daughter of a government official.

Larsen is a genius because he makes nonfiction read like thrilling fiction. The author scoured diaries, research papers, memoirs, letters, articles, you name it, to write his book. In fact, the last 50 pages is a list of his references and sources.

I enjoyed the beginning, then I got half-way through it and couldn’t pick it back up. I was also annoyed. The politicians knew what what was happening, but chose to ignore it. It was one big spooked society with no one brave enough to speak up.

Daughter_of_FortuneDaughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

This wasn’t bad. I liked some parts of it, other parts not so much. It’s about an orphan raised in Valparaiso Chile by a well-off family. She falls in love, gets pregnant, then boards a ship bound for San Francisco in search for her lover. Since Oprah picked this as one of her book club selections, you know there’s some kind of deeper meaning here. That deeper meaning centers around independence and female power bullshit. Call me a cynic, but I personally don’t feel you need to travel half-way across the world and put your life at risk to “find yourself” and have true meaning in life. Remaining where you are, being loyal to your family, taking care of your responsibilities (instead of putting yourself in a situation where your baby dies) sounds more like a true feminist to me!

bbornonbluedayBorn on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet

This guy is so genius that I can’t relate. Here’s an excerpt: When multiplying, I see the two numbers as distinct shapes. The image changes and a third emerges—the correct answer. The process takes a matter of seconds and happens spontaneously. It’s like doing math without having to think.

His stories just aren’t exciting and it’s one long detailed account of his life. I gave up after the first couple chapters, which I have to admit, I skimmed.

Instacart Startup: Nice Comeback

Instacart PictureThere was a technical glitch with this post, so I am reposting.

Two days ago, I posted about Instacart, a new service that does your grocery shopping (at Trader Joe’s and Safeway) for you. The service is available in SF, Palo Alto, and Mountain View, and charges a surprisingly low flat fee of $3.99 if you schedule your delivery anytime 3 hours later or $9.99 if you want your groceries within the hour.

A byproduct of the startup incubator Y Combinator, Instacart, Inc., last year raised seed funding of $2.3 million from Canaan Partners and Khosla Ventures.

I had read the San Francisco Daily Candy email for Friday January 11th which featured Instacart and I decided to give it a try this past weekend. I had a bad experience which I summarized in a post that has now been retracted.

The following day, the CEO personally emailed me which I sincerely appreciated as it showed that he’s accountable, receptive to feedback, and eager to regain my trust. That evening after work, Instacart seamlessly delivered 3 bags of Trader Joe’s groceries and followed up with several emails from the team to make sure I was taken care of.

Gotta love that. Thanks Instacart. You can count on my business going forward.

Fashion Friday: Farewell Vivian Brown

Good-bye to 1/2 of a San Francisco social icon—the always fashionable, well-dressed, identical twin Brown sisters. And huge condolences to the surviving twin Marian Brown. Vivan Brown passed away at the age of 85 in her sleep on Wednesday.

Marian and Vivian Brown, San Francisco Icons on Flickriver

Seeing the two of them out and about all over the city brought a smile to everyone!

I snapped this picture while I was walking behind them in Nob Hill, and posted to my blog over two years ago.

Money Monday: the $1,000 Blog

9 days sick and counting. Working very hard. No time-off allowed. Congested, sneezing, sexy voice. Every work day, I’ve escaped the office only once, to stand in line at the San Francisco Soup Co. for my beloved Tomato Bisque. Tasty, hearty, soothing goodness! Forget coffee or caffeine, this is a true cup of happiness. The line is 30-people deep. I feel camaraderie. I am not alone, I’m not the only one sick.

Because of the NYE and New Year’s Day posts I missed my Money Monday series, but will capture it today.

Come February, this blog will be 8 years old. I’m extremely proud of the strong, devoted readership I’ve developed, but even more proud of the fact that I’ve continued writing for all time. Yey me! I’ve had many requests over the years to advertise on my site, but until now, I haven’t felt the desire. I don’t need the money and this was always my passion and craft anyway. I do it for fun and for myself, not for commercial purposes.

But lately I’ve been thinking, why not? I deserve the monetization my blog can court. And so, this is the year I’m finally going to make money on my blog! Holla! By February 1st just in time for the 8 year anniversary, the site will be completely redesigned. I’ve loved the current design of my blog, but think that it’s finally time for a change. It’s going to be clean because that’s the aesthetic I prefer, with a font that’s easier to read. You’re going to love it.

I am brimming with excitement for the new developments my blog will take, but know that you will always have little me writing, doling out my opinion, and sharing my experiences here with you. We are on an online journey together.

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