Tag Archives: blogging

Thursday Doors: El Camino Real, Mountain View

El Camino Real is 600 miles long, linking cities up and down California. Sometimes known as the “Royal Road” or the “King’s Highway,” it has a storied history: between 1683 and 1834, Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established a series of missions from today’s Baja California and Baja California Sur into what is now the state of California. Today’s El Camino links those 21 missions.


In present-day Mountain View, however, El Camino a busy road with a lot of cars. I’ve done some Thursday doors posts about Mountain View before, highlighting it’s history as the geeky ground zero of Silicon Valley: Self-driving car, NASA Ames, HP Garage, Steve Jobs’ house, Stanford Medical Center. This post shows another side of the city.

Last weekend when I was at a friend’s house to play some string quartets, I drove my car into a curb. The tire didn’t go flat, but the rubber was damaged and it looked like there was a bite taken out of it. I could see some nylon. Another friend recommended a tire place on El Camino, and I took my car there this morning to find out that yes, the tire needed to be replaced. It would take about an hour and a half, during which I wanted to meet a group of geocachers for lunch at Panera Bread, a little over a mile away. I left my car there and walked.

“Caminar” is the Spanish verb for “to walk,” and as I walked down this camino I had a very different view of what I passed than I did when I drive every day.

First I passed this motel. Not sure I would want to stay there, but I probably would if the price was right.

Budget Motel

This looked like someone’s house. The door was set back from the street and protected by bars and a gate.

Private Home

One of several medical offices and dialysis centers.

Medical Office

An old-fashioned hardware store where you can find a lot of good stuff.

True Value Hardware

Supposedly a personal trainer works here, but the building and parking lot are empty.

Abandoned Personal Trainer office

Never been in here, or seen this before:

More Vaping

A restaurant that delivers


Buy a new vacuum cleaner or get your old one fixed!

Vacuum cleaner purchase and repair

Sit on that weird bench while waiting for your car to be done?

Foreign Car Service

Upscale apartment complex

Guest Parking Only

Even more upscale. We lived in a place similar to this one the first month we were in CA while we waited for our furniture. The balconies are either mind-numbingly or comfortingly similar.

Balcony Doors

The pool is visible from the street but no one is swimming today. Probably it’s too cold.

Pool: Keep Closed

Painting a teddy bear blue makes me think of getting my hair cut, how about you?

Kids Hair Cuts!

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by adding your post to the link over at Norm 2.0’s blog!


Review: Geocaching GPS: Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure and Connection

My blogging friend P.J. Lazos over at Green Life Blue Water, reviewed the first Geocaching GPS book on her blog yesterday. She’s not a cacher (yet), but she understands the way it can connect people:

“What I found most intriguing — in addition to the inspiring and characteristic geocaching names used to log into a find — was how story after story talked about introducing the sport to others, generally family members who either never heard of it or had poo-poo’d it and then were hooked.”

Read the full review here: Geocaching GPS: Great Personal Stories of Romance, Adventure and Connection


Curiosity and Fear

These two words follow each other on the UU Lent list.  Yesterday’s was curiosity, today’s was fear. Never one to meet daily challenges in a straightforward manner, for me it was never a question of whether I would end up combining two or more day’s words into one post, but when. Continue reading Curiosity and Fear

An Old Hope

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this week. My son is now right about the age that I was when what is now called “Episode IV: A New Hope” opened in 1977. (Back then we just called it “Star Wars” and left it at that.) I was a fan, and my younger 7-year-old brother was an even bigger one, with all the action figures and play sets. We’re still fans, even in adulthood. (Somehow Facebook knows this about me, and recently suggested that I purchase a Darth Vader Hello Kitty helmet.)


Continue reading An Old Hope

The Walmart Parking Lot

My husband is getting a bit restless to go on a bigger caching trip, but I like these small ones that help me explore our new surroundings. We went out to shop for a new bicycle for our 12-yo son. He has been biking to school, periodically but not totally enthusiastically. It didn’t help that the bike he was riding was too small and was inherited from his older sister.

We drove out to a Walmart several miles away. My husband picked this Walmart because of its proximity to some caches. If you looked up, it seemed to be on the edge of civilization.


But the first store we tried didn’t have a bike we wanted. They had mostly bikes with cheap-looking components, even the tip of the kickstand of the one we tried was falling off. So we had to drive to the other side of town. Before we left, we went to find the caches. One, down by the river:


Another, concealed in a birdhouse (no spoilers here, though).


Trips to Walmart in Boston weren’t like this.

What Fascinates Me?

Just for fun, I’m going to try to answer the question posed by the Impromptu Promptlings Sandbox Writing Challenge 11: What Fascinates You?

I am fascinated by hidden patterns and connections in things. I’m fascinated by the brain. I’m fascinated by tests that divide people up into interesting categories, like the Myers-Briggs test, or Gretchen Rubin’s 4 tendencies, even if there is no scientific basis for the results of these classifications. I’m fascinated by self-knowledge. I would like to have my genome sequenced.

I’m fascinated by theories of the origin of consciousness. I met Julian Jaynes and took a course from him in college, but I still don’t know what to make of his theory of the breakdown of the bicameral mind. I’m fascinated by the neuroscience of mindfulness.

I’m fascinated by the “Problem of Evil” and the literature of theodicy. Whenever I have what I think is an original thought on the subject, I always find that there is someone else who has written about it, in great detail, first.