No Tri-Tip Sandwiches

Today I hooked up with rosminah and someone she calls ‘the youngin.’ rosminah had promised to take us to go try some tri-tip sandwiches at the Cold Spring Tavern (est. 1876), an old stagecoach stop up in the mountains above Santa Barbara. Unfortunately due to the poor weather in the morning, they hadn’t been able to startup the outdoor grill, and so no tri-tip today. 🙁 Instead we had to make due with huge chili dogs made with the Tavern’s wonderful chili.

For dinner my dad and I went to Piatti’s. Since I had a late lunch, I ended up not being able to finish.

And for today’s archive scan, here’s a scan of an original invitation to Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration ball on March 4, 1865:

(Click on it for a 600dpi version.)

Here’s a Library of Congress copy of the invitation.

Old Pictures

I’ve got a bunch of old pictures, slides and negatives sitting around that I’ve wanted to scan for a while. I was thinking of bringing the new scanner I bought over to the US, but I noticed that between a sale price and rebate and a promo coupon I had, I could get the same scanner for $50, so I bought another one. This also has the advantage that I get the whole set of English software and manuals for it.

I decided to try it out first with some pictures from our 1978 trip to the Soviet Union. These are all on 35mm slides, so I got my first experience using the ‘LightLid’ transparency adapter. While it can take a whole strip of negatives at once, it only has one slot for a slide, so each slide needs to be done individually which of course takes a while. Still, once I got the right settings, things have proceeded fairly smoothly. While not all of the slides have turned out great, I’m still getting a lot of really nice scans, especially considering that these have been sitting around for 27 years.

More to come, but here’s me and my sister on the back side of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square, August or September 1978:

And a closeup of the young tourists:

Please note that no amount of tweaking with the color correction could make our clothing look less hideous. I fear that they actually really looked like that.


OK, so I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Busy. Sorry.

For those who asked, the upstairs remodeling was done just when my dad came to visit at the beginning of the month. I have pictures but they will have to wait until I’m back in Taipei. While my dad was in town we went to Wulai to a hot spring resort, and also on a bus day trip to southern Taipei county mountain areas. At dinner there was a mostly full leftover bottle of 12-Year Canadian Club Whiskey that I got to take home. My dad brought back the Winnie The Pooh doll Emily left at his house and a bunch of Disney DVDs. Emily is really into Snow White now. My dad also got me a set of Pimsleur CDs and Maggie some Kiehls lotions.

I’ve still got a runny nose from my cold but most other effects are gone. I always seem to keep a runny nose for a long time after my colds are over. I’ve been trying the ‘new’ phenylephrine decongestants now that you practically need a background check to buy pseudoephedrine. It seems to work OK, but they don’t have a time-release version yet.

On Sunday for lunch Rick and Anna invited me to go to their Red Egg party for their daughter Erin at Todai in Pleasanton. That night I went to go see Pom and his family and they took me to Red Robin.

On Monday I drove out to El Dorado Hills near Sacramento to visit Chris and Jen and see their new son Duncan, and we had some pizza for lunch. Then I drove out to Sparks, a suburb of Reno to visit with Michael for a few days, and who is building a new post-production facility there. By the way, Reno is COLD in the winter. It’s a desert, so I was expecting something else. Oh, and the Black Bear Diner is really nice.

On Wednesday I drove back to El Dorado Hills to spend a night at Chris and Jen’s house. The drive back through the mountains was gorgeous with lots of snow covering the mountains. (It was after dark when I drove there on the way.) Chris brought out a couple of wonderful bottles of wine from his extensive collection which we enjoyed with a nice dinner. They also sent me home with a couple of bottles as well.

The next morning I left after breakfast to drive to Santa Barbara. Going down 5, things were pretty hazy, though despite ‘CAUTION HEAVY FOG’ warnings on the electronic signs, it never got less than 1 mile visibility. I got in just in time to go to Ken’s holiday party. There was a gift exchange for which I brought a gift basket of three wines picked from my wine collection. Gift baskets were a popular choice, though all the others were pre-packaged ones. I got a audio book on CD collection “Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” in exchange.

Friday for dinner we went to Downey’s, a restaurant I hadn’t heard of before until it was ranked #1 in SB by Zagat. I had a watercress, spinach and endive salad which also contained hazelnuts and raspberries, then boneless beef shortribs in balsamic sauce. For dessert I had something with a fancy French name that I forgot but had a bunch of cream and raspberries between two layers of pastry. The raspberries in the salad were quite good, so I had no choice but to get the dessert with raspberries in it. Mmm, raspberries.

This morning I had breakfast with Ken and George at Jeanines, a bakery on State Street near Ontare. I had a swiss cheese bagel and hot chocolate. Then I went shopping for some odds and ends at Smart and Final, Longs, and Wallgreens and then went out to Freebird’s to get lunch. I had my usual meal: Plain Cheese Quesadilla, and a Regular Chicken Burrito, no rice, black beans, sour cream and BBQ sauce.

Go see Narnia

It’s a pretty amazingly well done film. I only vaguely remember the story from reading the books ages ago, but edpark says they were quite faithful to it. Anyways, it’s a really well done film, and the effects work was great. All the creatures, and especially Aslan looked amazingly real.


Yesterday I had lunch at Thai Garden with scrungew00t and edpark. Ah, it’s always very satisfying having a couple of bowls of Tom Yum Poa Tak after an absence of a few months. This was one of those times where I didn’t get to order. The waiter listed off my favorite dishes and I just had to nod my head and say “OK!”

The bad news is that I seem to have picked up a cold from someone on the plane. I’m always very prone to coming down with a cold right after a plane ride. The cold dry air on board really does a number on my nose. I dug around my medicine stash here and was finding one medicine after another with dextromethorphan in it. I get a really bad reaction with that in combination with the Wellbutrin SR I take twice daily.

I think I mentioned this on my blog before, but I get really loopy, sometimes to the point of hallucinating and then it knocks me out to sleep for hours. Both medications are metabolized via CYP2D6, so in combination they have interesting effects. The patient information doesn’t say anything about this, though there’s some info on the web about these kinds of interactions.

Anyways, I finally found one box of pseudoephedrine hcl in the stash and have been taking that as a decongestant.

Santa Clara

Trip went pretty well. It’s always amazingly easy to travel the first time after the family trip. There’s so many fewer things to worry about. Timed getting to the boarding area just right. They called my section to board just as I got to the line. Turns out the seat next to me was empty, so I got a bit more room than expected. Since I’m going home right before christmas, I expect that flight will be completely full though. Taking the overnight flight made it much easier to sleep and got at least a few hours of sleep, though of course sleep on a plane is never completely restful. We arrived a bit early, and immigration and customs both went quickly, which meant that waiting at baggage claim was the bottleneck. When I went to pick up the rental car, there was a free wifi code in the car. It’s nice to see wifi popping up in lots of places now, but since I never spend anytime waiting around the rental car facility, I’m not sure what the point of wifi access is here. And despite getting some sleep on the plane, I was still able to get to bed around 10pm and sleep past 6am, which was nice. Today I’m looking forward to going to Thai Garden for lunch with edpark today.

Pain Tolerance

For some reason I have a very high tolerance for pain. Yesterday we were walking from Toys ‘R Us to the Formosa Hotel for dinner when I noticed that there was blood running down my fingers of my right hand. Turns out I’d somehow got a cut on my middle finger next to the fingernail, but had no idea how I managed to do that, and hadn’t felt it hurt much at all. It wasn’t even clear where the cut was until Maggie was able to wipe off all the other blood and find out where it was coming from. This doesn’t happen a whole lot, but it’s not unusual for me to find a scrape or cut well after the injury actually occurred, and sometimes with no clue how it happened.