Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidents Day Weekend

This weekend saw another very welcome bank holiday weekend - Presidents Day. The origins of the holiday dates back to the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill of 1968, which became effective in 1971 and celebrates both George Washingtons (February 22nd; 1st US president 1789 - 1797) and Abraham Lincolns (February 12th; 16th US president 1861 - 1865) Birthdays. Although my impression is that the day celebrates all the US presidents.

This weekend the weather was absolutely spectacular considering its February - there isn't really much of a winter in the bay area - and I promised myself that I would not do any long road trips or work the whole weekend. So early on Saturday I went with Vince, a friend from the Christmas Joshua Tree trip, to the Consumnes River Gorge to climb. The climbing here was in a spectacular setting (photo 1 - me at the start of the second pitch) with the longest routes beginning on boulders in the river and heading up a 500 foot face (photo 2 - view down from the summit). It turned into something of an 3 pitch epic requiring 6 rappels to descend (photos 3 and 4 - Vince on the penultimate and final rappels) due to the wide spacing of the fixed rappel bolts meant we had to move diagonally between two sets of fixed bolts on the face - we have been nice to have know we needed double ropes, ah well, you live and learn!

The Amgen Tour of California bike race began on Sunday with a time trial race in San Fransisco. The first of the 7 stages starting today at Sausalito and traversed ~100 miles through Marin County finishing at Santa Rosa. Myself and Tim, a friend from UC Berkeley, rode out through Marin and intersected the race about 10 miles in at the top of the hill sprint. In the shade it was pretty chilly except on the hill climbs so soaking up the sun at the top of the hill sprint turned out to be a perfect break, shame that my camera battery was dead as there were so great views both out over the Pacific Ocean and down onto the Golden Gate Bridge and San Fransisco.



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DA IRY - Granter of the Wonder Tonic!

I want to share the amusing TV adverts of the Californian Milk Board, which I realise does not sound very exciting BUT they are very good!

The website is and you need to navigate to TV transmissions - there are 5 episodes.