Ken's Photo Blog

Previous entries: [Links] [Days of Feb. 5-28, 2007] [Days of Jan. 1-12, 2007] [Jan. 16 Vertigo] [Jan. 20 Mtn Bike]

Feb. 4, 2007

Colts win Super Bowl!

Papai photo of Colts win! - from the TV, FEB. 4, 2007

The Colts beat the Bears 29-17 and win Super Bowl XLI. It's a huge win for the city of Indianapolis, Peyton Manning, Coach Dungy, and certainly the entire team. It made me pretty extra happy and this further cements Manning's slam dunk for the NFL Hall of Fame when he retires (in 5-6 years?). This could be the first of two or three more Super Bowls for the Colts now that they know how to win. The psychological barrier is shattered.
This was the first Super Bowl played in inclement weather -- it rained in Miami throughout. Many previous games have been played in domes but considering how many have been played outside in 41 years, this is the first time in the rain.

Feb. 3, 2007

Napa Valley

Papai photo - FEB. 2007 - Nickel & Nickel Winery open house Our plan is the Nickel & Nickel open house for today. Their parent winery, Far Niente, is also having an open house. Papai photo - from FEB. 3, 2007 - Nickel & Nickel Winery These are "big cab" wineries focusing on single vineyards and some of the highest quality control there is in wine making. N & N were tasting seven Cabernets, all single vineyard wines, arranged on three tables.
Of the seven cabernets we tasted, two or three of them were clearly our favorites: Branding Iron, Vogt, and Rock Cairn. The Match was pretty good and so was Tench and Sullenger. The 2001 Stelling we liked the least.
There was plenty of food -- meat and cheese along with crackers, bread, and excellent olives.After N & N we went to Napa Wine Company -- a collective that allows access to their wine making facilties to 80 (eighty!) small, micro wineries. Napa Wine Co. is across the street from the famous Oakville Grocery. Cindy & I had a late lunch at Brix restaurant, which is just down the highway, very close to Mustard's Grill. Papai photo N&N - from FEB. 3, 2007 - Nickel & Nickel Winery Papai photo BRIX - from FEB. 3, 2007

Papai photo - from FEB. 2007 - Nickel & Nickel Winery

Feb. 2, 2007

Super Sunday on the Horizon

For some companies, like a certain beer distributorship in Indianapolis (AKA "Nap Town", "Circle City", and the defunct "India-No-place"), this coming Monday will be a paid holiday. Had lunch with David today at Henry's Hunan (in an alley off of 2nd St. in S.F.), then stopped in for a few minutes to browse at Adolph Gasser's camera shop on 2nd. I am anticipating Canon's product announcements near the end of this month.

Feb. 1, 2007

One Full Month

I just started this simple blog on the New Years '07 and it's still ticking--will wonders never cease?
There's a lot of selfish things I want to accomplish this year such as be a passenger in small plane and photograph the Bay Area from 2,000 feet. I haven't done that since 1997. And then, only barely (pre-digital) with some cool flyovers of the Golden Gate Bridge, Point Reyes Lighthouse, and SFO airport. Sausalito has an airplane (a seaplane) which you can hire for short flyover tours -- Seaplane Webpage here.
Papai photo - from 1992 - at Montomery Redwoods
I also want to get up to the Lost Coast area again soon -- north and south of Eureka -- and visit the redwoods there; especially Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods state park. Other excellent, first rate big tree places include Montgomery Woods state reserve in Mendocino County and Rockefeller Forest/Bull Creek (inside Humboldt Redwoods state park).

--Click each image for a large, full screen version--
Papai photo - from 1992 - at Montomery Redwoods
Redwoods state preserve (1992)
Papai photo - from 1992 - at Hendy Redwoods
Redwoods state park (1992)

January 31, 2007

Free Credit Reports

Every year you are entitled to your personal Credit Report for free, from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Start here: - I ran mine on two of the three agencies (Experian and TransUnion) and they both came up with the exact same score and supporting data, so that felt pretty good.

We're planning on going to the Nickel & Nickel open house on Saturday; they're across the highway from Robert Mondavi. We last visited there with cousins way back in July 2005 and tasted their single vineyard cabs in a nice environment after a short tour (thanks gain to master sommelier Larry Stone for getting us that date!). There's an allergy pill commercial on TV right now and the interior is from the Nickel & Nickel winery -- you can see all of the oak barrels. A couple photos I shot then are posted just below.

Papai photo - Nickel and Nickel winery old red barn - July 2005
Nickel & Nickel winery photos
Papai photo - Nickel and Nickel winery barrel room - July 2005
8164 Highway 29, Oakville, Calif.

Papai photo - Nickel and Nickel wine tasting room - July 2005
Nickel & Nickel tasting room

January 28, 2007

Weekend Notes

Papai photo batty charger Jan. 2007 Movie - The Queen. We saw this film Friday night after a couple beers and food at Moylan's brewpub. We've now seen three of the five Best Picture nominees for the Academy Awards next month. Of the two not seen I'll wait for "Babel" to go to DVD and maybe luck out and see "Letters from Iwo Jima" in the theater soon.

Battery Power by Maha (photo at right) and Powerex. Thomas Distributing sells these and I bought my first one in 2000 and just recently this one and a new set of 2700 mAh batteries.

First Person - Mtn Biking. Picked up the new bar ends (back ordered) at Mike's Bike's, had them install them (Ergon race grips) and hit the trails. Went out Locust Street from Dominican University and did the Gold Hill Grade climb (all middle ring) and to the 4-20 single track trail head. I stacked it pretty good at the end of the 4-20 trail -- it's hyper sketching and technical at trail's end and I bruised my left thigh pretty good. Probably be very sore for a week. Watched some fearless kids of about 13 years-old doing some short, mega-steep drop-offs at the Nike Missile pads at the summit then I made my way down the Chain Breaker trail (first half is a mad roller coaster thrill ride) and back home after climbing the definitely not-loved Professional Center Parkway entrance, guarding our neighborhood. My mountain bike sports an array of components from Specialized, SRAM, and Shimano. It has SRAM Avid Juicy Five hydraulic disc brakes, SRAM X-9 rear derailleur, SRAM X-7 front trigger shifters, and Shimano Deore LX front chain ring derailleur along with Fox front and rear shocks.
Today I did a ride in the Terra Linda ridgeline out to Loma Alta and back. Didn't make it to the L.A. summit (not really today's goal) as that is a mega ride from home and back. Returning there's one SUPER steep before the saddle gate. You sweat like Niagara Falls climbing that one! ;) Maybe that truly qualifies as a personal Peak Experience in this one specific realm.

Women's Figure Skating - a combination of skill, beauty, make-up, fashion, facial expressions/acting, youth, brains, genetics, and athleticism. The USA Champs just took place in Spokane "Cowboy Country" Washington and Kimmie Meissner (no surprise) won the women's. This can't be a sport since so much subjectivity is in play -- the girls' costumes, make-up, hair, and facial expressions (acting, as in portraying false emotion)! What real sport anywhere has these as very important attributes? Who cares though, right?

Australian Open - Serena Williams confounds all and wins it. Roger Federer confounds no one except his opponents and obviously wins again. Ratings for the Australian are pretty low -- what time is it and what day is it again in Oz?

Upcoming Super Bowl - my prediction is Colts 31, Bears 10. Tony Dungy will not run up the score on his best friend Lovie Smith. This is the first time a black head coach is in the Super Bowl, not to mention two black head coaches of Chicago and Indianapolis. Between Peyton Manning and Rex Grossman it's almost unfair the advantage Manning has. As far as the Bears' defense, no worries, the Colts have just recently faced two top defenses of Baltimore and New England and handled them just fine.

Tiger Woods, Buick Open - Tiger's poised as of this morning to win this one again. These courses at Torrey Pines/La Jolla are pretty much his Home Turf. Tiger does wind up winning this tourney and extends his PGA win streak to seven!
Bonus: Top Hikes in Redwoods for coastal California.

Previous Entries: [Days of Feb. 5-28, 2007] [Days of Jan. 1-12, 2007] [Days of Jan. 13-25, 2007]

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