2013 Family Calendar

| December 15, 2012 11:49 am

It has become a tradition for me to create a family calendar each year, using some of the photos provide by my children of them and the grandkids, along with the photos I have taken. I am not a user of iPhoto, except for this annual production. I first collected all the photos using Dropbox and then brought them into iPhoto, where I use their calendar project to create the calendar. I usually use one of Sara’s photos for the cover.

2013 Calendar_Page_01

For each month I use photos of the family members whose birthday is on that month. For March, that means only myself.

2013 Calendar_Page_06

For the calendar it is just a matter of including the US holidays and the birthday for each family member. I like to use iPhoto because I can then have Apple print the calendar. It makes thew whole process very easy. I have used other services in the past, but that means using a web interfacet to create the calendar and I find iPhoto much easier and I like the quality and size of the Apple Calendar.

 

Handmade Christmas Cards

| December 12, 2012 6:01 pm

For the past few years I have used Shutterfly to make our Christmas cards.  It is rather easy, just upload some photos, decide on a layout and drag the photos there, click the buy button and spend a bunch of money.  Being a bit late and not sure we would get them before we left for Utah, I decided to go back to my old method and hand design and print our cards.  I used Adobe InDesign Software to do the layout.  I found these large blank cards, essentially a 8.5×11 inch sheet of cardstock, that folds over, along with the envelopes.  Makes kind of a large greeting card.  I used these and printed on both sides.

For the front I used four photos, each done in Photoshop with an action to make them look like the edges are lifting off paper.  One photo of us and the others of the grandkids.  The Front looks like this, with the design grid lines showing in this screen shot.

When you open the card it shows a photo of us biking at the top of Mt. Tam, on the top.  On the bottom I put a short update where everyone is now days.   I finally have finished printed about 60 of the cards.  It took some time, needing to print on both sides.  Cost was not much cheaper than using Shutterfly and took a lot more time, but everyone is using a place like Shutterfly now so maybe this is a bit different.

Christmas Card

| November 28, 2011 4:41 pm

We ordered our Christmas cards today from Shutterfly.  They had 40% off, free shipping and another 20% off for Cyber Monday.

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sierra to the Sea 2011

| June 27, 2011 10:05 pm
Sierra to the Sea 2011

Franz and Anne just completed a 425 mile bicycle tour, called Sierra to the Sea.  This tour starts high in the Sierra mountains and transverses much of California, ending in San Francisco.  Being on the staff of the tour, we have done in a few times before but this was the first time for Anne to ride it on her single bike.  See individual entries for each day where you will see some photos.

 

 

Combining the GPS files from each day into one file, shows some interesting information.

  • Total Miles: 425
  • Total Climbing: 22,000 feet
  • Average Moving Speed: 14 mph
  • Total Biking Time: 30.5 hours

This is what the overall map and elevation profile looks like.

 

Sierra to the Sea Day 7 – The Finish Line

| 1:34 pm

Day 7

The final day of Sierra to the Sea is the shortest route, but with some significant climbing.  From Olema we headed down the coast on Highway 1 to Stinson Beach, where we made a stop for some hot chocolate.  That tasted good because the air was crisp that early in the morning.  Then we had our final major climb, up to the Panoramic Highway.  At the beginning of the climb they stopped us to warn us to be careful, because a couple of cyclists had been hit by a car.  While stopping at Stinson Beach we saw a large group of Ferarri car club owners driving their gas wasting vehicles by us so we supposed it might of been one of them, trying to drive up the windy climb at too fast of speed, especially considering the large number of cyclists, not only from our tour but local cyclists.  Also on this day was the Double Dipsea, a 15 mile cross country run. So not only were there runners on the road but also cyclists.

After riding along the Panoramic Highway, we descending down to Sausalito.  From there we made our way up to the Golden Gate Bridge.  This proved to be the most difficult part of the ride because the one side that is traditionally only open to cyclists was closed for maintenance.  So all the cyclists and pedestrians walking along the bridge were together.  The pedestrians were not too bad, but those tourists and the rental bikes were the real hazard.  We were glad we made it over the bridge without hitting anyone, but we did have some close calls.

From there it was riding through San Francisco to Golden Gate Park. We finished our journey, with 425 total miles and 22,000 feet of climbing.  It was a great adventure and despite the wide swings in the temperature, we had a wonderful time.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 6 – Along the Coast

| 1:24 pm

It was cool in the morning when we got up, before 6 am.  The fog had rolled in and the temperature was now in the mid 40’s, a huge change from only a few days ago when it was very warm even early in the morning.  Franz dressed light because he knew the ride to Occidental would be a little climb and also more inland.  Anne decided to wear tights, like most of the other riders were wearing.

We made the 9 mile ride to Occidental and sure enough it was now sunny and getting warmer, so Anne shed some clothes before the climb up over Coleman Valley, a beautiful route, but with some significant climbing and a few very steep pitches.  It is mostly flat on the summit for awhile, which probably is why they call it Coleman Valley.

After we finished the ride over Coleman Valley, we ended up on Highway 1, right on the coast.   Then the route took us down Highway 1 to Olema, where we were camping. We did stop at Tony’s Sea Food place to have lunch. Clam Chowder, fish and chips and a coke… Really hit the spot. Many of riders had stopped there to eat and the place was packed.

Although the temperature was similar to what we had experienced when arriving at Casini Ranch, we did not have the strong wind so it felt much nicer.  Ken Kennedy had arrived just before we did, so we made a jersey switch so we could get a picture of the 3 of us wearing Caletti jerseys.

After a nice afternoon in the sun, and a great dinner, we entered our tent for our last night of camping, something Anne was happy had finally arrived.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 5 – To the Coast

| 11:38 am

We finally had to say goodbye to Calistoga, one of our favorite spots on the tour.  Usually the ride out of there in the morning is foggy and cool, but today the sun was shinning and it was beautiful as we made our way along a place where Franz finally found himself.

After finishing the climb over Franz Valley School Road, we made a fast pace dash along miles of vineyards.

The first rest stop was 30 miles into the ride so we made the traditional stop at mile 20 at the Jimstown store, and enjoyed a big cookie and a drink.  The first rest stop was a new location, another wonderful place.

This rest stop had a nice garden Anne explored.

From there we rode on one of Anne’s favorite parts of the entire tour, twisting on a country lane through vineyards.  Franz saw some roses and decided to stop and smell them.

After passing through Guernville, near the end of the route, we stopped at out usual spot, the Garden Cafe, to get our favorite Tri-Tip Sandwich and Parmesan Fries for lunch.

It was then only a few miles to the Casini Ranch were we were camping for the night.  The temperatures were very pleasant now, being only a few miles from the coast.  But when we arrived it was very windy and putting up the tent was an interesting adventure.  We could tell it was going to cool off even more so after our shower we dressed in long pants and put on our jackets.

That evening there was a wine and cheese party.  It was getting cool but the location for dinner was protected from the wind so it felt very comfortable.  Before dark we decided to go to our tent where we watched a TV program on our iPad, and then went to sleep as it was just getting dark.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 4 – Cool Down in Calistoga

| 9:58 am

Day 4

It was not until the middle of the night, camping at Lake Solano that it finally started to cool down.  After the heat we had experienced the last two days we decided to get yet another early start.  Up at 5 am to pack the tent and haul out bags over to the truck, we were ready to ride as we made our way down to Breakfast before they opened the line at 6:30 am.  By 6:45 we were on the road, headed toward Calistoga.

It was not long before we started to climb up Cardiac Hill, not real steep but still a long climb.  After 20 miles we made a stop at the rest stop, then headed to Lower Chilles road, up Pope Valley.

We have a new rest stop this time, at a winery before Ink Grade.  It was one of the nicest rest stops of the tour.  We enjoyed a few moments relaxing and playing with our new friend who insisted that we throw sticks for him to catch.

Within a mile of the rest stop we started the long 4 mile climb up Ink Grade.  Not particularly steep and thankfully much of it in the shade.  We were also thankful that the heat wave seemed to be waning and it was not nearly as hot as the prior day.

From the top of Ink Grade it is a wonderful descent down to the Silverado Trail, then flat into Calistoga.  This time we had a nice motel room with air conditioning, but the temperatures were not nearly as hot as the prior day.  We enjoyed a great staff dinner in town and really enjoyed a nice nights sleep.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 3 – The Heat is On

| 9:18 am

Day 3

After spending a too warm night trying to sleep, we were anxious to get started early for the ride to Lake Solano.  We were all checked out and the bags delivered to the truck before the breakfast line opened.  By 7 am we were on our bikes.  The weather was fine at this time of day.  The normal route includes taking a couple of ferries, but one of those was not operating, so we had to take a much less enjoyable  alternate route.  We were glad when we finally made it to Rio Vista.  We usually stop there but kept moving today up through the wind farms.

 

Usually this area has strong head winds but with the hot weather, there we not much wind today.  We arrived at the first rest stop, which is at a neat church.

We then headed through what is the least enjoyable part of the 7 day route, on Highway 12 and along the outskirts of Vacaville.  It was turning very warm by the time we reached the second rest stop.  We decided to go from there, off route, to a sandwich shop we knew about in Vacaville, where we not only enjoyed a sandwich, but also air conditioning.

It was now only 11 miles to Lake Solano park, where we would be camping.  Normally that distance would be no issue, but it was now about 95 degrees and Anne was really feeling the effects of the heat.  Franz kept splashing her with water as we road along the country road to our destination.

We were glad when we finally arrived and setup our camp.

We headed down to the river to cool off, but we could only get up to our ankles in this fridged cold water.  A few brave people would go all the way into the water but we had already had enough pain for the day.

After taking a shower in what is the worst facilities of any of the camping sites on this tour, everyone was kind of just sitting around camp, checking the temperature as it continued to rise above 100 degrees.

Finally we headed over to a mini market, about 1/4 mile walk, across a bridge that spans the river.

We saw one of the many peacocks in the area.

There was no way to keep cool, except go into the air conditioned mini market. Dinner at this location is usually one of the best on the tour and this proved no exception.

After dinner we walked around, enjoying the river.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 2 – Ticket to Ryde

| 8:52 am

Day 2

Day 2 for this bicycle tour is a ride to Ryde.  Ryde is not really a town, more like an old hotel near Walnut Grove, California.  It is the longest ride of the tour, at 75 miles, but the climbing is much less than the first day.  The heat wave was starting to hit the central valley of California so we keep moving along trying to beat the heat.  Although there were two rest stops, we added some additional stops near the end to keep cool and get some lunch.  We arrived at the Ryde hotel before most of the cyclists and setup the rooms the tour rented for the campers to use to take a shower.  We were staying in the hotel that night but it might have been better to camp.  It was really turning warm by evening and this is an old hotel with no air conditioning.  We slept all night with fans blowing on us.  Our plan was to get an early start the next day to beat the heat.

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