Basketball, Visit with My Nephew, Drought

We bought a basketball earlier this week at Sports Authority and shot some baskets at Balboa Park (not to be confused with the park of the same name in San Diego) a couple days later. Charlie couldn’t bounce the ball despite my demonstrations, explanation, and hand-over-hand help. Then twice when I passed him the ball, he jammed his fingers. The whole experience was quite frustrating, but I guess we just need to keep trying it to improve Charlie’s coordination. My basketball abilities seem to have improved dramatically since I played in fifth grade. I made a lot of baskets this time. Woohoo! Laurel improved a lot just in the hour we were at the park.
Saturday we took Caltrain south to Mountain View where we ate lunch at a Thai restaurant with my nephew Dillon (older son of my oldest sister Maureen and her husband Frank) and his wife Alex who live in nearby San Jose. On the 23rd, Dillon is going to give the kids and me a tour of Google where he works. We’ll also tour the nearby Computer History Museum that day.
When we were riding Caltrain, Laurel pointed out a sign to me that advertised a travel show on January 25 at the Santa Clara Convention Center at which Samantha Brown will be speaking. Charlie has been watching Samantha Brown travel videos (downloaded from iTunes) for a couple years and loves her. Whenever we’re sightseeing, Charlie makes some comment that I know he must have heard her say, such as, “I love being in the thick of things.” “It’s fun watching city energy in action.” “This park is for strollers, ponderers, and croissant eaters only.” “This gives me an opportunity to rejuvenate.” So, of course, we’re going to the show. I really hope we can meet her and get her picture with Charlie.
Laurel had fun spending the night at her friend Erica’s house in Montara Saturday night. Erica is one of the girls we met up with in Berkeley recently and with whom Laurel has been communicating through the NaNoWriMo website for a couple years. Heading back north from Mountain View on Caltrain yesterday, we got off in Milbrae and got on a BART train. We took that to Daly City where Erica and her mother, Michelle, came to pick up Laurel and drive her to their family’s home on the Pacific coast. Then Charlie and I got back on BART and came back to San Francisco where we took a bus home. Laurel took BART to San Francisco from Daly City today and walked the rest of the way home. I thought I was pretty organized before we moved, but now I realize what a necessity it is when we have to rely on multiple forms of mass transit for a single trip.
Today Kevin (who lives upstairs) and I talked about the wonderful weather we’ve been having in San Francisco. It’s great for the kids and me so we can do all our sightseeing, but it’s indicative of the record-setting drought San Francisco has been experiencing for over a year. Kevin said they normally have 20-25 inches of annual rainfall in San Francisco with more in Oakland and other parts of the bay area. This past year they had three inches of rain. He said there’s a town near here (I forgot which one.) that has 90 days of water left. Kevin said San Francisco gets its water from Yosemite and is in a somewhat better position. When I Googled news on the drought and water supply, I read on that Lake Tahoe is so dry that there’s little skiing to be done; and many visitors to the area are biking and sunbathing in January. Here’s an excerpt from that January 2, 2014 article:

The state’s frozen water supply, as snow is known to water-resources officials, is 19 percent of normal for this time of year, according to electronic measurements taken across the Sierra. This is the water that is going to be used to irrigate millions of acres of farmland and quench the thirst of many of California’s 38 million people when it melts in the spring.

I haven’t read anything about this on the national news websites.


These are densely populated hills.

These are densely populated hills.

Alex & Dillon

Alex & Dillon

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