August 31, 2009

Don't Dive in Rivers

My brother dived off an 8-foot high pillar two Saturdays ago into the American River. The same bridge he'd been diving off his whole life. He was there with friends and their families -- many children were diving as well. A few times, like those before him (including those from much higher heights), he thought it was fun.

Then, he hit a sand bar with his head.

He broke the spinal process of C2, burst-fractured C6 with retropulsion and fractured C7.

He is currently paralyzed from the chest down and doesn't have fine motor control in his hands.

He recently kicked his first fight with pneumonia, which is likely to be one of many given the lack of enervation in his abdominal muscles (which you may recall, are sore from coughing, when you or I are sick).

He was *very* *very *very* lucky not to drown, and remembers thinking it was all over. But, he was lucky. Several of his friends dived in to fish him out and swim him to the bank when he couldn't move. On-site coast guard and army medic friends directed the log-rolling and neck-stabilization. Another friend stood on the top of his truck to get cell service to call 911. 15 guys who helped climb and pass him up the hill when the life-flight arrived and realized there was no trail to carry the backboard up the hill.

So, if you will excuse my silence, I'm busy dealing with family stuff, work stuff, and balance. You know, life stuff.

But I'll be back when I can.

I have two requests:

1. Please enjoy life when you can. Fully.

2. Please send whatever good thoughts, wishes, prayers, meditations, or whatever else you can spare.

With love and thanks,

August 19, 2009

Losing my Anonymity

So, I'm considering joining the kids.

You know, the open, non-private, freakishly free kids.

And, I'm thinking of creating a non-fake account on facebook, where I admit who I am.

And, I'm thinking of linking to this blog. So, I'm scouring the last 7 years, to make sure I'm okay with this.


Anyways -- it turns out, all I'm really doing in cleaning up my old posts is tagging old posts with labels, because I'm actually okay with everything I've posted in the months I've encountered (so far).

But one of the more interesting things I've encountered is how much my current self agrees with my past self (duh!).

And I'm pleased that my 2003 self correctly predicted that the SCO lawsuit would still be going when I graduated (and 3 years later).

August 17, 2009


If you are looking to read something interesting on information overload -- this May Article from New York Magazine is fascinating:

“You can’t be happy all the time,” Gallagher tells me, “but you can pretty much focus all the time. That’s about as good as it gets.”


Where you allow your attention to go ultimately says more about you as a human being than anything that you put in your mission statement,” he continues. “It’s an indisputable receipt for your existence. And if you allow that to be squandered by other people who are as bored as you are, it’s gonna say a lot about who you are as a person.

Interesting stuff.

August 16, 2009

Summer = Tomatoes

For me, Summer is tomatoes. Tomatoes are summer. And that's pretty much it.

So last week's harvest made me very happy, and confirmed that it was Summer, my favorite season:


And E making his mother's slow-roasted tomatoes made me even more jubilant, and reminded me that it was still Summer, still my favorite season (mmm... if only you could slow roast without the oven in the Summer...):


Gazpacho? Yet more proof of the awesomeness of Summer, and why it's my favorite season:


And Caprese? Is there anything more indicative of Summer? Seriously? Italian anything and tomatoes? That's just the essence of Summer:


And camping, this weekend? Yeah, that's Summer. But even moreso is returning to this harvest:


And, from the harvest, I was inspired to make a Summer soup. The only ingredients not from our garden? Salt, olive oil, and a red bell pepper.

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup

First, slice tomatoes into 1 cm steaks, and layer in a baking pan. Then, top with sliced peppers from the garden (Pimiento D'espellette and jalapenos) and garlic from the dried harvest. If you are lucky, some random genetic mutation may have happened in your garlic harvest, and you can just use *one* clove (i.e. not a head of cloves, just one). The largest clove you've ever seen:


After the garlic, add strips of a red bell pepper and sprinkle with salt and olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes at 350:


Turn and mix the tomatoes, and allow to bake for another 20-30 minutes. Puree in a blender. Serve into bowls and top with minced basil. Enjoy!


August 11, 2009

And You Thought You Had Money Problems

The allegations about the final financial shenanigans at now-defunct Heller Ehrman (a local law firm that had been around since the late 1890s) are shocking.

Many of the partners have moved on to other firms since its spectacular unraveling, but if the Bankruptcy Committee gets its way, they may be required to pay back some $106 Million in distributions made to them or on their behalf.

In terms of scale, this is nothing compared to the big banks failing. But, what's amazing to me is that partners, who ostensibly are the owners in control of (and personally liable for) a legal business, could be receiving checks in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions without any insight into the accounting of the money they are receiving.

Apparently, one of the last distributions was put on the books as a "Shareholder Loan" but when the accountants tried to notify the shareholders (partners), they were requested not to do so.

So, basically, there are probably over 100 ex-heller partners who thought they were receiving their profit share, but actually received a "loan."


August 9, 2009

Food and Garden Update

The plants are growing like mad -- every weekend there's work to be done to catch up -- harvesting, pruning, spraying, weeding, pulling up old plants. Our butternut squash is taking over the fence:


We've had two more great harvests since the last one:


(Chrysanthemum greens, a gift plant from Cynthia, are a tasty addition to tomato salads).


(The lame-looking cucumber is just a little dirty on a white spot -- he tasted great. The troubled tiny squash, however, yeah, he went straight to the compost.)

And, from these harvests we've made many delicious meals -- BBQ pizzas are a regular treat (no dishes!), plus tomato salads galore.

Also, C introduced us to the awesomeness that is quark by showing up with lemon quark and garlic quark.

We took the leftovers and made a delicious garlic quark squash risotto:


And here are some sliced Romano Squash to be baked with red onions on top that were marinated in olive oil and herbs:


Eventually, they were joined with baked tomatoes and a mini pizza for each of us topped with harvested goodness:


Have I mentioned how much I love the summer garden?

August 8, 2009

Random Odds and Ends

-Did anyone else notice that it rained one random morning this week? Weird.

-Apparently, El Niño is coming this year.

-E and I were out and about in the East Bay 'til 12:30 PM AM tonight/this morning -- that's got to be pushing it for the year. We stay up late. But we are never up late *away* from home. We're much too violently uncool for *that*.

-I ran intervals on the treadmill at a sub-7-minute-mile pace for the first time in at least a year this week. Woo hoo!

-I get to work quite a bit this weekend. It would appear that I am, in fact, despite the economy's best efforts, an overworked lawyer.

August 4, 2009

Some Beautiful Goals

I haven't trained for a race in a long time. My runs have ranged between 12 - 30 miles per week, and I ran a leisurely, not really trained half in April, but really, the last race I *trained* for was the San Francisco Marathon, over a year ago. [Update: I actually forgot about the Forest of Nicene Marks Half I ran with E2 in June, but I think that makes my point about how seriously I've been training...]

So, to counteract that, I've registered for two local, gorgeous fall races with the hopes of actually getting back into training:

My favorite local fall half marathon (that I haven't missed in well over 4 or 5 years now)


The Big Sur Half -- which has been on my todo list for quite some time.

Here's to hoping that the long term goals will help me find some short term focus (something that has been lacking...)

And, if I'm doing really well, I just may dig deep and find it within myself to register for the Atlanta Marathon (and if not, definitely the half).