Thursday, April 29, 2010

Laurel and Hardy -- April 29, 2010

Two comedians who were successful in both silent and sound films were Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. They have always been among my favorites.

I took the photo at the San Francisco Wax Museum on 04-August-2007.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Steam Schooner Caspar Strikes Saunders Reef and Turns Clear Over -- April 27, 2010

From the 24-October-1897 San Francisco Call. WA Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. This one shows the ill-fated steam schooner Caspar. Steam schooners carried lumber and passengers along the rough California coast.



M. MATSON, Second Mate.


JOHN KUHN, First Assistant Engineer.



A. ALDERSON. Seaman.



There are four others whose names are unknown
missing and it is thought two men were picked up by
the Alcazar, but who these two were is not known.




POINT ARENA, CAL., Oct. 23.— On the arrival of the stage from Cazadero at 10 o'clock this morning the driver reported a schooner capsized about four miles south of Point Arena, but could give no details.

Parties from Point Arena started at once for the wreck. The heavy sea had carried the hulk to within fifty feet of the high bluffs, and in a short time the tide had fallen so the wreck was reached by climbing down the steep cliff.

It was found that instead of being a schooner it was the steamer Caspar. Four black objects could be seen on what appeared to be a log or driftwood out in the kelp near the whistling buoy which marks the Saunders Reef.

Spyglasses were provided, and the black objects were discovered to be men. Word was immediately brought to Point Arena, but all the boats at this place had been broken up by the heavy sea of Wednesday night, so nothing could be done toward rescuing them from here.

The steamer Alcazar was loading at Greenwood, fifteen miles north of Point Arena, and the news of the wreck and men clinging to the log was telegraphed to W. H. White of the L. E. White Lumber Company.

He ordered the Alcazar to start at once for the wreck and rescue the men if possible. The Alcazar started from Greenwood at 1:30 and reached the wreck at 4 o'clock.

In the meantime the sea had gone down and two men, Adolph Peterson and Henry Anderson, launched a small boat, and after a hard struggle succeeded in getting through the breakers at Iversens landing, and pulled to the men outside. They found Captain Anfindsen and Seaman Chris Larson more dead than alive. They were on a few boards lashed together.

The small boat would only carry four men, so the brave rescuers returned to land, and after another hard struggle landed the two men, who had to be carried up the cliff, where they were wrapped in blankets, given brandy to revive them and then brought to Point Arena.

The Alcazar's boat picked up two men out in the kelp, but whether dead or alive could not be told from the shore, and nothing can be learned concerning them until the steamer returns to Greenwood.

In an interview this evening Captain Anfindsen said: "We were driven before a heavy gale and I was keeping close inshore to avoid the wind as much as possible. She was going along all right and I went on deck and changed the course one point, so as to be sure of clearing all reefs, but soon afterward she struck and began to fill rapidly. I ordered all the men forward and went forward myself to let go the anchor, so I could find out how badly she was damaged, as 1 did not like to risk going ahead until I knew what damage was done.

"The engine-room filled with water and the engineer, of course, could do nothing with the engine. After a short time she swung around and struck again. While we were working with the anchor the engineer was trying to get the boat ready for launching but as soon as she struck the second time we were all washed overboard. 1 struck out for shore but soon lost mv bearings and started for the ship when I heard some one call out to me telling me to come in that direction.

"I struck out in the direction of the voice and soon came up to Chris Larson, one of my sailors, who was on a raft made from some lumber tnat was used in carrying grain. He helped me upon the raft which was nothing more than a few boards hanging together. For several hours we could hear some of the others calling for help so I think they must have had something to live on or they could not have been alive so long.

"When daybreak came we could see nothing of our vessel and no sign of any of the men. We simply hung on and drifted until we were taken off by the men from Iversen's Landing."

"The men who were lost, as nearly as I can remember th?ir names were: Mate Morris Petersen, Second Mate M. Matson, Engineer George Offerman, first assistant engineer, name unknown; Firemen John Jacobson and Frank Conley, Sailors A. Anderson and N. Holverson. These are all the names I can remember. There were fifteen all told before we struck."

People living near where the wreck occurred say they heard the whistle of some steamer about midnight, but thought nothing more of it, and although there is a family living within 200 yards of where the wreck lies, they knew nothing of it until the stage-driver accidentally looked over the bluff as he was driving along and discovered the hull bottom up.

The reef where the Caspar evidently struck is known as the Saunders Reef, and is a dangerous place to northbound vessels running close inshore. There have been several vessels lost there. The Caspar is a total wreck, the machinery having dropped out through the deck, which is all broken to pieces.



Some of the Men Supposed to Have

Been Lost With the Ill-

Fated Caspar.

The Caspar was built here in 1888 and has been employed on the coast ever Since. she was 234.49 tons net burden, 132 feet 5 inches long, 33 feet broad and 11 feet deep. She was managed by the Caspar Lumber Company, but was owned by a syndicate, of whom Captain Afindsen was one. When the rush to Klondike was at its height the Caspar was chartered to go to St. Michael and $3000 of the charier money was paid on account. Deck houses were built and accommodation provided for 100 passengers, but the promoters backed out at the last minute. The Caspar made several trips up the coast with the deckhouses on, but finally when they proved to be a nuisance they were removed and the lumber is now piled up in the shipyard.

The Caspar carried a crew of fifteen all told — the captain, first and second officers, chief engineer and assistant engineer, two firemen, six sailors, a cook and cabin-boy. The names of the captain and chief engineer are the only ones kept on
the company's books, all the other records being in the possession of the master of the steamer. From the Marine Engineers' Association and the Seamen's Union of the Pacific the following names were obtained, however: Olaf Anfindsen, captain; Morris Peterson, first mate ; Andrew Anderson, second mate; George H. Offermann, chief engineer; John Kuhn, assistant engineer; Chris Larsen, sailor; N. C. Helverson, sailor. Louis Bruce, sailor. This was Kuhn's first voyage on the Caspar. The steamer left here Friday night for Usal and got caught in the gale that raged along the coast.



The Number of Ships That Have

Laid Their Bones on the Jagged


The Caspar makes the second steamer within the year lost in the immediate vicinity of Point Arena. On the night of November 20 last year the steamer San Benito went ashore just above the point; six of the crew were lost, the remainder being rescued by the steamer Point Arena and from the shore after hangiog in the rigging nearly twenty-four hours.

For the year ending June 30, 1896, two other vesaeis were wrecked in the same vicinity and for the ten years ending ihe same date the number comes up to fourteen and in nearly every case there was considerable loss of life, which might have been largely avoided had there been a properly equipped life-saving station within reach.

There are but twelve active stations on the whole Pacific Coast — five of them in California and three of these in the vicinity if the Golden Gate. Tne other two are situated at Point Reyes, some seventy five miles below Point Arena, and at Humboldt Bay about 120 nines above. For ten years past there has been on the strip of coast between these two stations an average of one vessel iost to every two miles.

Outside the Golden Gate Point Arena heads the list of fatal localities from the Straits of San Juan de Fuca to San Diego Bay, Humboldt bar coming next with ten wrecks. Point Reyes which is provided with a station, has but four in the same time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Shepherd Auction #2 -- April 25, 2010

Yesterday we attended the annual auction/dinner dance for Good Shepherd School. This year it was held at Nick's Restaurant, a Pacifica institution in Rockaway Beach. We donated a history walking tour for two families. There was a good turnout. I think they made some money.

I took the photo after we parked last night.

Before the festitivites, we went to mass at Good Shepherd church. When my wife got to work Friday, there were fire trucks parked around the church. It turned out that the baptismal font had flooded and covered the floor with water. Father Piers said that vandals had gotten into the pump room and opened the faucet to fill the font. There were fans and three big dehumidifiers set up to dry the floor. We hope they won't have to replace the hardwood. Why would someone do that to a church?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lincecum Wow #2 -- April 24, 2010

Yesterday we went to see the Giants play the Cardinals. Tim Lincecum was not himself in the second and third, but he pitched cleverly and won the game. The Giants also decided to start hitting again, so they won 4-1. It was cold. I worked from home. We drove to Fifth and Mission and took Muni Metro both ways. They ran out of the blankets they were giving away just as we arrived. Lots of people were upset.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ocean Shore Railway Schedule -- April 23, 2010

The Ocean Shore Railroad has been gone since 1921. Here is a schedule from the 22-April-1910 San Francisco Call, when it was already in receivership.
Here is a photo of Arleta Station today:
Tunitas Glen was the end of the track running south from San Francisco. Work stopped because of the 18-April-1906 earthquake and fire. Riders could climb aboard a Stanley Steamer auto stage, which bridged the gap to the north end of the track from Santa Cruz. Stops along the stage route included San Gregorio and Pescadero.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pulp #11 -- April 22, 2010

In honor of Earth Day, here is the Green Lama. I think it is safe to say that he is the only pulp magazine/comic book/radio serial hero who was a practicing Buddhist.

The image is from a wonderful site called Cover Browser:
I got a shoe shine from Larry the Shoe Shine Guy at Market and New Montgomery. He did a nice job. He was homeless a year ago and wanted to support himself, so he started shining shoes. The city just game him a tax bill for $300.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mark Twain Called by Death -- April 21, 2010

From the 22-April-1910 San Francisco Call. I believe his daughter's name should have been spelled "Jean" and his nephew was "Jervis" rather than "Jarvis."


Tragic End of Daughter Jeane Has Fatal Effect on King of Humor


Samuel Langhorn Clemens Passes Away After Long Siege of Angina Pectoris


REDDING, Conn., April 21.— Samuel Langhorn Clemens ("Mark Twain") died painlessly at 6:30 tonight of angina pectoris. He lapsed into coma at 3 o'clock this afternoon and never recovered consciousness. It was the end of a man worn out by grief and acute agony of body.

Yesterday was a bad day for the little knot of anxious watchers at the bedside. For long hours the gray, aquiline features lay molded in the inertia of death, while the pulse sank steadily, but late at night Mark Twain passed from stupor in to the first natural sleep he had known since he returned from Bermuda, and this morning he woke refreshed, even faintly cheerful, and in full possession of his faculties.

Unequal to Conversation

He recognized his daughter, Clara (Mrs. Ossip Gabrilowitsch), spoke a rational word or two and, feeling himself unequal to conversation, wrote out in pencil:

"Give me my glasses."

These were his last words. Laying them aside, he sank first into reverie and later into final unconsciousness. There was no thought at the time, however, that the end was so near. At 5 o'clock Dr. Robert Halsey, who had been continuously in attendance, said:

"Mr. Clemens is not as strong as he was at the corresponding hour yesterday, but he has wonderful vitality and he may rally again."

Albert Bigelow Paine, Mark Twain's biographer and literary executor, said to a caller who desired to inquire for Mr. Clemens:

"I think you will not have to call often again."

Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Loomis. who had come up from New York to give their love in person, left Stormfield, Mr. Clemens' house, without seeing him and only heard of his death as they were taking the train to New York again. Mrs. Loomis was Mr. Clemens' favorite niece and Loomis is vice president of the Lackawanna railroad.

Oxygen Proves Useless

Similarly, Jarvls Langdon, a nephew, who had run up for the day, left wholly uninformed.

At the deathbed were only Mrs. Gabrilowitsch (Clara Clemens), her husband, Dr. Robert Halsey. Dr. Quintard, Albert Bigelow Paine and two trained nurses. Restoratives — digitalis, strychnine and camphor — were administered, but the patient failed to respond.

A tank of oxygen still stands, uncalled for, at Redding station. Oxygen was tried yesterday and the physicians explained it was of no value, because the valvular action of the heart was so disordered. There was only an extreme and increasing debility, accompanied by labored respiration.

Angina pectoris is a paroxysmal affecting of the chest, baffling and obscure of origin, characterized by severe pain, faintness and deep depression of spirit. The pain is severe and of an oppressive, crushing or stabbing character. The attacks increase in frequency and severity with uncertain intermissions, sometimes of long duration, to a fatal termination.

Had Anticipated End

Mark Twain did not die in anguish. Sedatives soothed his pain, but in his moments of consciousness the mental depression persisted. On the way up from Bermuda he said to Albert Bigelow Paine, who had been his constant companion in illness:

"This is a bad job: we'll never pull through with it."

On shore once more and longing for the serenity of the New England hills, he took heart and said to those who noted bis enfeeblement:

"Give me a breath of Redding air once more and this will pass."

But it did not pass, and, tired of body and weary of spirit, the old warrior against shams and snobs said faintly to his nurses:

"Why do you fight to keep me alive? Two days of life are as good to me as four."

It is to be recalled that Mark Twain was for more than 50 years an inveterate smoker and the first conjecture of the layman would be that he had weakened his heart by overindulgence in tobacco. Doctor Halsey said tonight that he was unable to predicate that the angina pectoris from which Mark Twain died was in any way a sequel to nicotine poisoning. Some constitutions, he said, seem immune to the effect of tobacco. This was one of them.

Longed for a Smoke

Yet it is true that since his illness began the doctors had cut down Mark Twain's daily allowance of 20 cigars and countless pipes to four cigars a day.

No privation was a greater sorrow to him. He tried to smoke on the steamer while returning from Bermuda, and only gave it up because he was too feeble to draw on his pipe. On his deathbed, when he had passed the point of speech and it was no longer certain his ideas were lucid, he would make the motion of waving a cigar and smilingly expel the air from under the mustache still stained with smoke.

Where Mark Twain chose to spend his declining years was the first outpost of Methodism in New England and it was among the hills of Redding that General Putnam of Revolutionary fame mustered his sparse ranks. Putnam Park now incloses the memory of his camp.

Mark Twain first heard of it at the dinner given him on his seventieth birthday when a fellow guest who lived there mentioned its beauties and added that there was a vacant house adjoining his own.

"I think you may buy that old house for me," Mark Twain said.

Loved a Good Listener

Sherwood Place was the delectable name of that old house, and where it stood Mark Twain reared the white walls of the Italian villa he first named Innocents at Home, but a first experience of what a New England winter storm can be in its whitest fury quickly caused him to christen it anew Stormfieid.

In this retreat the innocent at home loved to wander in his white flannels for gossip with his neighbors. They remember him best as one who, above all things, loved a good listener, for Mark was a mighty talker, stored with fairy tales for the little maids he adored, and ruddier speech for more stalwart, masculine ears. It is a legend that he was vastly proud of his famous mop of white hair, and used to spend the pains of a court lady in getting it to just the proper stage of artistic disarray.

Died of Broken Heart

Last summer the walks began to falter; last fall they ceased for good. The death of H. H. Rogers, a close friend, was a severe blow. The death of his daughter. Jeane, who was seized with an attack of epilepsy last fall while in her bath, was another blow from which he never recovered. It was then that the stabbing pains in the heart began. Mark Twain died, as truly as it can be said of any man, of a broken heart.

The last bit of literary work he did was a chapter of his unfinished autobiography describing his daughter Jeane's death. He sought diversion in Bermuda, where he was the guest of the American vice consul, William H. Allen, whose young daughter, Helen, acted as amanuensis for what few letters he cared to dictate.

The burial will be in the family plot at Elmira, N. Y., where lie already his wife, his two daughters, Susan and Jeane, and his infant son, Langhorn. No date has yet been set, as the family is still undecided whether there shall be a public funeral in this city.

Twain on the Pacific Coast

Mark Twain's life work began on the Pacific coast, and the fact that he could write was discovered and first recognized by Joseph T. Goodman, now of Alameda, who in the early sixties was owner and editor of the Territorial Enterprise at Virginia City.

When the civil war broke out Clemens lost his job as a pilot on the Mississippi river and joined the confederate army. His military career lasted two weeks and he then came out to Nevada with his elder brother, Orion, who had been appointed secretary of the new territory of Nevada. The speedily reconstructed younger Clemens had the position of private secretary to the secretary "with nothing to do and no salary." After a few months he took to the silver mines, but had little luck.

In the latter part of 1861 he wrote his first article for the Territorial Enterprise. It was a burlesque on a lecture by Chief Justice George Turner in Carson City. Turner was a man noted for his egotism, and the burlesque by Clemens was printed in the Enterprise under the heading, "Lecture by Mr. Personal Pronoun."

In the spring of 1862 Clemens went to Esmeralda, and from that camp wrote four news letters to the Enterprise that were printed over the signature "Josh." Many a search has been made for those articles, but it is not likely that they ever will be found. There is not a file of the Enterprise of that day extant. The last one known was in the San Francisco free library and was burned four years ago.

In the fall of 1862 Goodman gave him a place as reporter on the Enterprise, and there he worked with the late Dan de Quille, the other member of the "local staff" until the summer of 1864. when he came to San Francisco and found a place as reporter on The Call. In this city he wrote a few news articles for the Enterprise and he and Goodman remained warm personal friends through all the years.

The routine work of a reporter in San Francisco was not congenial to Twain and in the fall of 1864 he left the paper. His closest friend and roommate here was Steve Gillis, a printer who had set type in the Enterprise office, and who came "down to the bay" just before Twain did. When the latter quitted The Call he went up to Jackass Hill in Tuolumne county, where Steve Gillis had two brothers, "Jim" and "Billy" Gillis, who were engaged in pocket mining. Twain lived with them and another miner named Jacob R. Stoker four months, but he could not become interested in mining. He did, however, in that short time pick up a wealth of material which he
afterward put into books, and Stoker was the original of Dick Baker in "Roughing It."

One rainy day he heard the outline of "The Jumping Frog" in a barroom at Angels Camp across the Stanislaus river, the next day he wrote the story, and that was the solid foundation of his fame and fortune.

"Jim" Gillis is dead, but Steve still lives on the summit of Jackass hill. In 1870 Mark Twain wrote from Elmira, N. Y., to "Jim" Gillis, inviting them all to his wedding, and he concluded his letter:

"I remember that old night just as well. And somewhere among my relics I have your remembrance stored away. It makes my heart ache yet to call to mind some of those days. Still, it shouldn't, for right in the depths of their poverty and their pocket hunting vagabondage lay the germ of my coming good fortune. You remember the one gleam of jollity that shot across our dismal sojourn in the rain and wind of Angels Camp. I mean that day we sat around the tavern stove and heard that chap tell about the frog and how they filled him with shot. And you remember how we quoted from the yarn and laughed over it there on the hillside while you and dear old Stoker panned and washed. I jotted the story down in my notebook that day and would have been glad to get $10 or $15 for it — I was that blind. But then, we were so hard up.

"I published that story and it became widely known in America, India, China, England; and the reputation it made for me has paid me thousands of dollars since. Four or five months ago I bought into that Express and went heavily in debt — never could have dared to do that, Jim. if we hadn't heard the jumping frog story that day. Truly your friend.


The next year Twain went to the Hawaiian islands for the Sacramento Union and from that time on his history and successes are, very well known. More has been written of him and his work than of any other contemporary American. He, evolved from a jokesmlth into one of the greatest literary figures of his. time. Such discerning critics as Andrew Lang and Ambrose Bierce have called him the foremost man of American letters. It was a long leap from "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras" to "Joan of Arc," but Mark Twain was more than humorist and wit — he was a profound philosopher with the vision of a prophet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grauman's Chinese #9 -- April 19, 2010

The Four Marx Brothers were working for Paramount when they left their hand and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 17-February-1933. The photo is a little hard to make out, but starting in the upper left corner and going clockwise, we see Groucho's footprints, then Harpo's (he appears to have been barefoot), then Chico's, then Zeppo's. Youngest brother Zeppo left the act after their next movie, Duck Soup. DSCN4143.

I took this on 18-July-2009.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fire and Earthquake Anniversary #3 -- April 18, 2010

At least this year I had an excuse to miss the celebration. I had to work most of the night. All is working now. I'm grateful for my co-workers.

Today was a warm and beautiful day.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

California State Railroad Museum #2 -- April 17, 2010

Today we took a drive up to Sacramento. Traffic was bad in several places, including the Yolo Causeway.
We visited the California State Railroad Museum. Downstairs there was a nice exhibit of toy trains. There was also an exhibit called “The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers.” It was moving.
I took the photo of Granite Rock #10 taking water by the turntable today.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hark the Herald #6 -- April 16, 2010

I like railroad heralds. This is the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramway Board logo from W-2 class tram 648. I took this photo at Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista in October, 2009.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Other 95% -- April 15, 2010

Despite all the crazy talk from tea baggers and Fox News, 95% of Americans paid less in taxes this year. I got the image from the Huffington Post (

Benjamin Hooks died. What a remarkable life -- WWII vet, attorney, ordained minister, associate of Doctor King, civil rights activist, NAACP executive director, Medal of Freedom recipient.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Time Camera! -- April 14, 2010

From our friends at the Jejune Institute ( Be sure to click on the photo to see a larger version. Spotted on Third Street on 10-March-2010.

Last night the Giants lost to the Pirates, but almost came back in the 9th inning. Today they won 6-0 in a day game. 7-2.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alley #6 -- April 13, 2010

Guy Place from First Street, up on Rincon Hill. I like the patterns in the pavement. I took the photo on 07-April-2010.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strange Weather -- April 11, 2010

The Giants lost their first game yesterday. Today they were supposed to start playing at 1pm, but it was raining. This was the Braves' last visit for the season, so it was a very long rain delay. At times it was coming down very hard. The game started while we were eating dinner. When we checked, the Giants were behind 2-1 in the sixth. Almost immediately, they went ahead 3-2. It started to rain again later, but they scored some security runs and won the game 6-3. It was raining when we drove home.

They were celebrating the tenth anniversary of the ballpark. Most of the members of the 2000 Giants came, so there were lots of people to interview during the rain delay. It was nice to see Woody and Nenn and others.

I took the photo of the Willie Mays statue on 21-September-2007.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Photographer of Celebrities -- April 10, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Among his many accomplishments was taking some of the first Daguerreotypes in the United States. PH's son Henry Van Der Weyde served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later emigrated to England, where he became a popular photographer and a pioneer in taking photographs with artificial light.

This article, from the August, 1909 Wilson's Photographic Magazine, concerns PH's grandson, William Manley Van der Weyde, who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle. The author, Sadakichi Hartmann, was an American poet and critic of German and Japanese descent. The photo is from the December, 1898 Broadway Magazine.


W. M. Van Der Weyde is the journalist photographer par excellence. He is ready to photograph any person or object of interest. He does not care very much what or who it is, as long as it has some illustrative value. One day he may be sent out to discover a picturesque bit of Long Island, the next day he may climb the tower of the new East River bridge, and at the risk of his life take a new bird's-eye view, while the following day may see him busy at Pittsburg trying to secure a pictorial delineation of the glowing furnaces, smoke, and chimney stacks of one of the big mills.

He devotes a good deal of his time to portraiture, but he has no studio, and seldom fills orders for ordinary portraiture. He is in reach of celebrities. Every man and woman of note will sooner or later pass in review before his camera. Looking over his hundreds of portraits, one begins to doubt whether it is really such a great thing to be a celebrity, even if one's self is included among these soldiers of fame.

They are all done in a reportorial manner, straightforward, slightly artistic, commonplace at times, but always to the point; they give us a journalistic impression of the person represented. He strives for good composition, but circumstances do not always allow it; he has to make his pictures whenever he has the chance, no matter how bad the light or inadequate the surroundings may be. He has to get the likeness, that is the principal thing. It is worth five dollars and at times up to two hundred and fifty, as was the case with his Chauncey Depew, which was bought for advertising purposes.

The peculiar conditions under which he is obliged to make his pictures gives his figures something angular and crudely realistic. His "Everett Hale" is not short of being a masterpiece. Others are more indifferent, pictorially speaking. But they are always to the point, and mostly excellent character delineations.

Van der Weyde is a true cosmopolitan. He is a direct descendant from the famous Dutch painter Roger van der Weyde, and was born in Uruguay. His father was one of the first professionals in this country. Young Van der Weyde started as a reporter, then suddenly, ten years ago, without serving any apprenticeship whatever, he became a photographic reporter and has made it a successful profession. He has photographed one time or another nearly every object under the sun. He does not balk at any thing, and no obstacles are too big that he could not overcome them. But he is particularly fond of two subjects, celebrities and the night.

His night photographs belong to the best pictures I have seen of the kind. He has discovered for us a new beauty in the weird glare and glamour of nocturnal illuminations of metropolitan thoroughfares, railway scenes, and panoramic city views.

Sadakichi Hartmann.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Giants Home Opener -- April 9, 2010

When I got to the BART station this morning, I saw smoke just to the south. I thought it couldn't be a fire, because I don't hear any sirens. Then I heard sirens.

At lunchtime I took a walk towards the ballpark. There were lots of people. I saw a blimp and an airplane towing a large sign.

At 1:30, we heard jets fly over.

When I left work, I checked the score on my Blackberry. It said Atlanta 4, Giants 2 in the 9th. When I got home, it was the 12th inning. The Giants won in the 13th. They are now 4-0.

The photo is an example of the Giants' current strange advertising campaign. I took the photo on 27-March-2010.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sonoma #2 -- April 8, 2010

I took the day off today and the weather was beautiful, so we went for a drive to Sonoma. The hills were all green. The creeks had a lot of water in them, but it was cloudy.

We went around the plaza, then got lunch from the cheese store and ate at a picnic table. We went over to the train station and I took some photos. Then we went on to wineries. I took this photo at Ravenswood. We bought some wine there.

I made a wrong turn going to Buena Vista and we wound up at Bartholomew Park winery, which is in a former hospital building on top of a hill. They have a nice history exhibit.

Then we went on to Buena Vista and bought some more wine.

From there we went on to the Petaluma outlets, then headed home. We made it without any delays.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Firehouse #30-- April 7, 2010

This impressive building is both the headquarters of the Coastside Fire Protection District and Station 40. It is located at the end of Main Street in Half Moon Bay, at Higgins-Peralta Road. I took the photo on 08-February-2010.

It was cold when I left the house this morning, but warm and clear later.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Train Station #21 -- April 5, 2010

The Ocean Shore Railroad has been gone since 1921. The Arleta Station in Half Moon Bay, also referred to as Artlett and Arleto, is now a home. I'd like to live in a house like that. My daughter and I stopped to inspect the station and took the photo on 08-February-2010.

The description of a trip on the Ocean Shore below is from the 1913 California Tourist Guide and Handbook by Wells and Aubrey Drury.

(b) Ocean Shore Trip

The Ocean Shore Railroad runs for 40 miles down the coast by a line of great scenic beauty. The road is an engineering wonder, many difficulties of construction having been surmounted by the builders. The trip starts from the depot at Twelfth and Mission streets, San Francisco, passes by Islais Creek and the market gardens of the city, to Daly City (7 1/2) and thence by beautiful Lake Merced (2 miles long) with its wooded shores, its numerous islets and its delightfully blue waters. It was on the shores of this lake that the famous duel was fought between Judge David S. Terry and Senator David C. Broderick, in which the latter was mortally wounded, September 11, 1859. Running through Spring Valley, the train comes out on the Pacific Ocean in a region of rugged picturesqueness, passing Mussel Rock (4), and Edgemar (1) to SALADA (1), where there is a broad bathing beach between the ocean and a natural salt water lake, Laguna Salada. (Hotel Salada, $1.50 up.) From here the route extends through Brighton (1/2) and Vallemar (1) to Rockaway Beach (1). At this place are large amusement concessions. After passing here, the route enters the fertile San Pedro Valley, reaching Tobin (1 1/2), the shipping point of the valley. Though only three miles long by half a mile wide, every foot of its highly productive soil is under cultivation. Its produce is to be found on the tables of epicures the world over. The principal delicacy that thrives in this little valley is the artichoke, of which hundreds of carloads are shipped yearly to the markets of New York, London and the Continent. Leaving Tobin, the railroad is built on great cliffs for several miles around Pedro Mountain, exhibiting many feats of engineering. Far below the breakers dash with tremendous force against the cliffs. Here is passed Point San Pedro, a great rock of many-colored strata, presenting a strange and beautiful picture. Then comes the only tunnel of the line, which is broad and has a double track bored through four hundred feet of solid rock, and after traversing for some distance the rolling foothills the train reaches MONTARA (5), a beach resort. Nestling in the hills, less than a mile from the beach, is the modern and cosy Montara Inn. From Montara is reached Farallone (1/4). The bathing beach here is excellent and there is also good fishing from the rocks. The government lighthouse and signal station is located at this point. Mussel and abalone beds of great extent are along this part of the coast.

Next in the line of travel is MOSS BEACH (1), another popular beach resort. There are to be obtained here many unique specimens of marine moss and other sea growths. Surf and still-water bathing and fishing add to the appeal of Moss Beach as a recreation ground. There is also a pretty park. From Moss Beach, the line runs through PRINCETON-BY-THE-SEA (2), on the northern shore of beautiful Half Moon Bay. Nearby is Pillar Point, sighted in 1585 by Captain Francisco de Gali, a Spanish navigator. Portola passed here on his northern march to San Francisco, Otcober 30, 1769.

After leaving Princeton the traveller reaches GRANADA (1), situated on a gently sloping hillside overlooking the bay. From Granada the line runs past Miramar (1/2), where there is a long pleasure pier extending into the ocean, to HALF MOON. (Occidental Hotel, $2.) This quaint old place was settled early in the history of the State and was long known as Spanishtown. It is now a growing residence city. From here the route continues through Arleto Park (1-2) and Fair Haven (2) to PURISIMA (2), another old settlement, located in the green canyon of Purisima Creek. This stream, where it empties into the sea, plunges down in a series of picturesque waterfalls. Beyond here is Lobitos (2), situated where the Lobitos Creek enters the ocean, and thence is reached TUNITAS GLEN (2), the present terminus of the Ocean Shore Railway. There is here a pretty little cove with a good bathing beach. Excellent trout-fishing is enjoyed in Tunitas Creek. From here connection is made by stage along the coast to the popular seaside summer resorts of San Gregorio, Pescadero and Pebble Beach, and the mountain retreats of La Honda and Belleville. The road is good for automobiles, running south to Santa Cruz.

PESCADERO is picturesquely situated near the ocean, but separated from it by low hills. Two miles south of here is Pebble Beach, a little cove in which there are millions of pretty, smooth pebbles of all kinds, including moss-agate, carnelian, opal and quartz. It has been declared that no other beach in the United States equals this in the number and beauty of its stones. A stage road leads over the Sierra Morena, via La Honda, to Redwood City. (For description of other parts of San Mateo county see Route 3.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter #3 -- April 4, 2010

I took this photo on the way to Easter Vigil at Good Shepherd last night. It was a nice service. Father Piers talked about how the church is in a state of turmoil, like Good Friday, but we know that Easter will come and it will live again.

It started to rain lightly when we left the house about 11am. We took the in-laws to the Boulevard Cafe for brunch. My wife and I both had Bananas Foster. It was very good. The wind was blowing violently when we got them back home.

We went on to my mom's house. Some time later, it began to rain heavily. Because of the wind, the rain passed the window sideways. Supper was nice. Fortunately, it stopped by the time we went home.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

TR Takes to the Air -- April 3, 2010

Former President Theodore Roosevelt takes his first ride on an airplane, on 11-October-1910. The pilot is Arch Hoxsey, a member of the Wright Brothers' exhibition team. Hoxsey died in a crash on 31-December-1910.

Photo source: © 2002 National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution (SI Neg. 93-9672).

We went out to do some shopping this afternoon and saw huge waves pounding Rockaway Beach. We stopped at Mazzetti's Bakery to get Easter goodies.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday #3 -- April 2, 2010

It was very busy at work. Every Good Friday seems to be very busy. When I went to Saint Patrick's at noon, it started to rain. It was raining harder when I left work.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cool iPad Translation App -- April 1, 2010

The latest cool iPad app: Simultaneous translation into as many as two languages at the same time. Here it is demonstrated on the Max-iPad.