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A professional writer's private thoughts

Archive for November, 2010

Three hour tour

Some shots from blustery bicycle ride around the Santa Ynez Valley this Sunday.

Started from mom and dad's, went down Calzada and waved to Will, Andy and Snick as they went back to LA.

First hour, went out to the base of Figueroa Mountain Road in a headwind, it was cold.

Turned around at the cattle guard and went flying back down to Los Olivos, 6 miles in 18 minutes.

Second hour, went down Ballard Canyon to Solvang. Saw a few other riders.

Rusack Winery has an especially nice Aspen tree.

Cruised down Copenhagen in town. There was an empty parking space in front of the baby store.

Went up Alamo Pintado, across on Baseline, and finally got the Watusi close enough to the fence on Calzada for a good shot.

This house in Santa Ynez always looks more like it should be in Ferndale.

Across the highway, back to Baseline, out past Jacobsen Dairy. Love this sign.

Total ride time: 3 hours, 7 minutes. Miles: about 35. Expletives shouted at drivers who tried to run me off the road: 2, both on Edison. Average temperature: about 47 degrees with wind chill.

P.S. Happy birthday today to my fabulous brother Will, newly employed at Surfline, lead guitarist for the Deadly Syndrome, and surfer, photographer, writer, traveler, dog-father (I just made myself laugh), brother, son, grandson extraordinaire. You are awesome Will! He is 28.

The turkey test

Now that Thanksgiving is over and I’ve passed my first turkey test, I’d like to offer up a toast to all the women and men out there who make the turkey for their family each year.

You are underappreciated.

This turkey thing is serious business. Hard work. No holiday at all. My turkey process took 48 hours from brine to leftovers and at the end, I was exhausted.

But it sure tasted great.

(Read the rest of this column tomorrow at http://www.edhat.com)

Snickers and Andy in sweaters

Yesterday my brother Will re purposed an old scarf and ski mask into urban chic sweaters for his dogs Snickers and Andy. They proceeded to model them around the house. (The dogs are tiny and actually cold most of the time when they come to Santa Ynez in the winter, so this is filling a need for them rather than exploiting their adorableness.)

Snickers stretched out in front of the fire.

Andy rocks the peasant-look.

Sweater + blanket = warm

William and Andy

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? My wonderful family and friends, living in a beautiful place, being healthy, fit and active, having interesting professional work, and a future full of possibilities and potential. Have a wonderful holiday.

Legendary Ugly Sweaterfest

The fantastic Deadly Syndrome will play their annual Ugly Sweater Festival for 2010 on Dec. 11. It’s at the Echoplex.

Link with all the juicy hipster details:


(It’s binary code for the > symbol.. 1,900 points if you knew that.)

And if you don’t click, here’s what you’re missing: “It’s kind of like a Carnival Cruise to Mexico, with more booze, less Spam, and just as much marital tension!”

(Past year’s poster.)

Highlight of the week so far

Feeding a giraffe at the zoo during my tour on Monday. Thanks Julia for taking the photo.

Comprehensive wine column

If you’re planning a trip to wine country, be sure to check out this weekend’s Tourist Attraction on Edhat – an insider’s guide to Los Olivos.

Link: http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=42862

Barrel table outside Stolpman tasting room.

Back to the kitchen

The Edhat cooking column is back! Here’s a link to this weekend’s post: http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=42860

Strawberry-raspberry scones

Los Olivos

Had to go out to Los Olivos for work today and it was really nice because there was just about nobody there. A few fun shots.

Mural on the Grange.

This is Lily. She is 13 and lives at Carina Cellars.

Street cat curls up on a cold day at Coqueclicot.

Believe it or not, I remember when this was still a functioning gas station.

Longoria's tasting patio.