Point Buchon Trail, Diablo Canyon Power Plant, PG&E

Diablo Canyon Power Plant has a 7-miles paved highway to its southern gate where we drive through every day to work. On the north side, it has 3 miles dirt trail to its northern gate. This trail is called Point Buchon Trail. North of its northern gate, it is the Montana de Oro State Park of California. This trail can only access from the State Park, not from the power plant itself. It is open to the public starting this year. However, access is limited to 275 hikers per day.

This morning, we drove to the Montana de Oro State Park, registered at its northern gate and walked to the end of the trail where is very close to the power itself and double back to its northern gate. It took us 5 hours to cover a total of 6 miles walk.
Picture are:
1) shows that at least 4 people have to agree in order to open the vehicle access road on its north side.
2) Mom on a beach along the trail
3) A beach along the trail
4) Mom on the bench at the end of the trail
5) Mom in a dried-out wheat field for the cattle
6) Mom in front of the map of the trail and two nuclear reactor domes can be seen behind her. Our office is a little bit farther out.
7) wild flowers
8) Mom on another beach along the trail
9) Montana de Oro State Park road leading to its northern gate
The last picture shows Mom picked one of our neighbors’ fruit tree :). In China, we ate this fruit a lot but I don’t know its English name.
Btw, along the trail, Mom found a very scenic bay area with a lot of different sea birds congregated on a big rock. Every other second they flew into the bay water and, right away, they scooped up fish. One could heard the heavy sound of its flipping wings. One could also see they flew just barely above water due to its extra heavy weight. Mom immediately figured out it was good place to fish.
On her way out, she checked with a lady guard to see whether fishing is allowed. Guess what, the entire trail is adjacent to a marine protected area. No fishing! Then Mom told the guard that we saw several boats out there fishing. Guard told us that there was a hiker had already got the phone number from her. He called the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard was on her way to catch the boats. These boaters definitively were in big trouble.
After 5 hours of hiking, we treated ourselves in a nice restaurant overlooking Shell Beach and Pismo Beach. It had a million-dollar view but the food was not as good as those of the steak house in Santa Barbara we visited the other day. But, unfortunately, it is 100 miles away.
Too bad, tomorrow we have to work to cover our 50 hours a week schedule plus a trip to Los Angeles on next Friday to see our niece’s graduation from UCLA medical school. Or otherwise, we would hike another trail nearby.


One Republican Senator said Obama has “more czars than the Romanovs,” who ruled Russia for three centuries.

I hope all confirmed and appointed Czars know what they are doing and, especially, will work in sync with each other. Above all, they will work in harmony with the existing Governmental Departments and their bureaucrats.

Bad things.

As I get older, I am more acutely aware that unlike a lot of good things (like friendships or a banana creme pie) which take a little effort and time to come to you, bad things always seem to come quickly and suddenly without warning.

A few weeks ago, shortly after Vince learned to ride his 2-wheeler, we were coming home from church and he was all excited about his new found skill. Laughing and going a little fast, he zoomed down the street. I followed about 10 feet behind on my bike cautioning him to slow down and pay attention.

The street gently slopes downward towards our house and as I watched from behind, I saw him lose his footing on the pedals and then lose control of the handlebars and then run face first into a parked van. He screamed, the van’s alarm started wailing, I abandoned the bikes and carried him home. He was shaken up, but was fine all over. He said his chin hurt, but nothing else. I didn’t even think to check his helmet since it looked like he hit his face mainly, and not his noggin.

Only yesterday I found out that his helmet probably played an important role in him being OK. Whew. Something bad averted. Now he needs a new helmet.


Yvonne is back in Germany.

Almost exactly a year after she arrived, Yvonne headed home to Germany. Her last day of work was officially the 15th of May. Her mom, Regina, her sister, Genina (sp?) and her boyfriend, Marco, (who she met here in the US) spent the last 10 days doing a whirlwind tour of the US. It seemed to be a lot of outlet mall shopping! Ha! To be a teenager again and to spend 7 hours at a shopping mall. I don’t think I’ll be doing that anytime soon… Anyways, it was a great year having her watch the kids, it made our transition into the working world very smooth and easy.


Yvonne won some goldfish at the county fair last year and Jeremy tried in vain to have one of her friends take them from our kitchen counter. But the day after she left, the fish were still here. Jeremy hates having goldfish in the house, so I had to take them to work today. Yvonne gave them some names, but I’ve forgotten them, so I’ve taken the liberty to rename them – they are now Statler and Waldorf after the 2 grumpy men in the balcony on the Muppet show.


I love Guitar Hero.

The conference was fine, it’s nice to see the familiar folks I’ve gotten to know over the past 3 years since Edda’s diagnosis. I was really hoping this year to see a video of someone using an eye-gaze system successfully, most optimistically trying to spell out words or else stringing some words together, however, I was really disappointed that this was not the case. I don’t know if I want to go next year, I’ve seen a lot of the sessions and presenters already and I get so emotional and teary-eyed at any extended period of time where I have to focus on how much Edda has lost because of Rett Syndrome. It wears me out. I know, we try and have fun around here, but sometimes it just sucks. I feel so differently at the conferences each year, the first year was overwhelming, the 2nd year was exciting and inspiring and the this one was filled mainly a sense of grief and loss.


I left the conference early Saturday morning to meet with my friend Vickey, who lives in Leesburg and she introduced me to Guitar Hero which I have to say is the most amazing video game ever. I suck at video games, I have never had the urge to play any “action” video game, but I’m not too shabby at Guitar Hero. We had the whole band – including vocals. I could have played for hours.


For about 45 mintues this weekend, I was about to go out an buy a whole Wii system and the World Tour package just so I could keep playing it at home. I even justified it by saying to myself that maybe Edda’ll love it, it’ll be like therapy, but better!


City to Avila Beach Biker & Hiker Trail

Today, Rena and I walked along the 2.5 miles trail from City to Avila Beach where the Diablo Canyon Power Plant Gate locates. So, it was a record breaking for us to walk 5 miles all together within a single day.

Picture 1 is in our duplex apartment, the rest pictures were taken along the trail. It was quite beautiful. Next week, we are heading to another trail along the ocean shore. Today, we drove to that place without actually walking, it is beautiful too.
Yesterday, we went to a local breakfast place just half block away with two of our friends. The food was good. They even lighted the propane heaters for us because it was chilling outdoor.
We will keep explore nearby places. It was really fun for us. Our work will be ended in fall or winter. But, no one can be so sure. In the meantime, we are enjoying nearby scenic places as tourists do.

Memorial day weekend.

Yes, I’m planning on going to the Rett Syndrome conference in Leesburg, VA. I’ll be in Friday night at 8ish and then I’ll be there all day Saturday and then just for the morning on Sunday. This will be my 3rd conference, I still remember being shell shocked that first conference two years ago – not nearly so much for Edda having Rett Syndrome, more because we were freshly unemployed and OMG, what the heck were we going to do to house and feed ourselves!?! While I’m gone, Jeremy and the kids will man the fort and keep the hearth lit.

Vince lost both front teeth this week. Thank goodness I managed to get a quick haircut in. I did it with office scissors 15 minutes before bedtime. Jeremy took one look at it and I could tell that he didn’t like it very much. I’m not a very good hairdresser, but at least it’s out of his eyes.


Jeremy is spending the evening watching a live web feed from the House floor. I’m actually listening to congressmen vote on a bill. He’s been waiting since 4:30pm for this vote.. Oh no, actually this isn’t the vote that Jeremy’s interested in, it’s the next vote that he’s interested in, he’ll be up forever, but I’m going to bed.