🤠 Rodeo Roundup 2019 /April

🤠 Rodeo Roundup 2019 /April

📷 New camera

I upgraded from a Canon EOS M3 to a Canon EOS M6. A lot has changed in the 2 years since the introduction of the EOS M3. The M6 has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

New camera: a Canon EOS M6.

I can continue to use my current Canon lenses with the M6. Primarily the fantastic L series lenses with a EF -EOS M adapter. Plus the superb EF-M 22mm 1:2 STM lens from my EOS M3. To make the M6 a better travel camera, I bought a used EF-M 18-55 lens on MPB. Sadly, MPB shipped the wrong lens, an EF-S 18-55. A zoom lens of the same range but with a different mount. MPB acknowledged their mistake but wouldn't ship a the correct lens until they had received the incorrect lens. It took weeks to resolve the matter. Quite frustrating!

💮 Google Blossoms

The flowers on the Google campus reached full bloom, making walks around campus a real pleasure.

🥬 Craigslist Greenhouse

Tatyana picked another greenhouse up on Craigslist. As before this greenhouse needs some TLC too. The plastic cover has holes and rips in need of repair.

Small greenhouse from Craigslist. Needs some work.

💈Haircut

Got the fresh, short, haircut I so deperately needed. Thanks T!

🛶 Start of canoe practice

Casper and I will canoe down the Sacramento river with Troop 633 in June. In 5 days we'll cover almost 80 miles on the river. To make sure we're well prepared we practice our skills and stamina on Schwan Lagoon each week.

Casper has an account with the troop to pay for Scout outings and the like. The troop raises money each year by puting on an auction and pancake breakfast in May. The scouts sell tickets to the pancake breakfast where the auction takes place. Proceeds of the auction go to the general troop funds while ticket sales go into the account of the scout who sold the ticket.

Casper started selling tickets in front of Wholefoods with a handfull of fellow Scouts. He was excited by the prospect of earning some money. The did quite well, each added ~$40 to their Scout account.

📸 How To Stay Zen On Social Media

Trey Ratcliff came to Google to speak about "How To Stay Zen On Social Media".

Watch Trey's talk at Google on Youtube.

Bradley Horowitz interviewed Trey about Trey's book Under the Influence.

Sidenote: I know Bradley from our time at Yahoo! where Bradley started the Yahoo! Hack days.
Bradley Horowitz interviewing Trey Ratcliff about How To Stay Zen On Social Media.

📵 Casper's phone stolen/lost

Casper stepped off the bus when he got to the bus stop at school listening to an audiobook. To his horror he realized that his phone was still in the bus when his Bluetooth headphones lost connection to the phone as the bus pulled away from the bus stop.

Casper called distraught from school that his prized brand new phone was still on the bus. I immediately tracked his  phone using Google's Find My Phone and could confirm that the phone was still on the bus as it made its way to he Watsonville bus depot.

Frustratingly, Santa Cruz METRO's information number wouldn't connect me to the bus driver or relay a message. The phone was still on the bus as it started its route back to Santa Cruz. Tatyanna sprang into action and picked Casper up from school to intercept the bus on its return trip. But when they did shortly after it passed Caspers school they could not find the phone.

Meanwhile, I had put the phone in "Lost" mode with a message explaining the phone belonged to a kid and to please call my number.

None of the passengers on board had seen the phone either, or so they claimed. For soon after the phone's location no longer followed route 71. The phone headed to a CVS in Aptos half a mile from a bus stop on the  route.

Casper and Tatyanna, tried to find the phone based on the reported location. At first it wasn't clear whether the phone was in the CVS or an adjacent building. I joined them later in the day in an attempt to narrow down the exact location with Casper's Bluetooth headphones. We would have confirmation of the phone's location when the headphones connected to the phone. Unfortunately, they never did.

Tatyanna even had a deputy from the sheriff's office come out. Sadly, even his presence wasn't enough to scare the thief into returning the phone. The phone stayed at CVS until the evening when it traveled back to Watsonville. To my surprise I received a call from Casper's phone at 9:20 PM while the phone was en route to Watsonville. Nothing but silence on the other end and the call didn't last for more than a minute. Soon after the phone stopped moving at 124 6th St in Watsonville and we lost connection. We've never seen it since.

We're pretty conviced that a worker at CVS found the phone on the bus when Casper and Tatyanna boarded to search for it. Rather than handing it over she kept it for herself and stored it in the back office of the CVS she worked at, not knowing what to do with it. After her shift she took it home (or a friend's place) to wipe the phone. Which made it impossible for us to track the phone any longer and made the phone hers.

Needless to say, Casper was heartbroken. The only saving grace was that he could fall back on his old phone. So sad, how short his super upgrade lasted.

🔨 Retaining wall nearly finished

I'm practically done with the retaining wall. The last rows are in place. All that's left is to glue the cap stones on and burry the rest of the drainage pipe.

🐝 Inspecting bee hives

Spring time and thus time to take stock of our bee hives to see how our colonies survived the winter (or not). We usually lose one or two but als tend to gain a couple. This year we lost a colony to mites. They leave quite a mess.

Beehive inspection Spring 2019

🥚 Easter brunch with the Riggs

As is tradition, we enjoyed a lovely Easter bruch with the Riggs family up the road. The kids had fun egg hunting and we all basked in the sun while admiring the view.

Casper & Kadin having a great time at the Riggs' Easter brunch.

🌲Homeless on N Rodeo Gulch Rd

Homeless people have made their way back to the undeveloped property half a mile up our road. They camp out hidden from view by redwoods in tents across the creek.

They have carved out steps from the road to make the steep descent to the creek easier. As before they are leaving a lot of trash in the bushes and the creek. So sad they have to live like this. Such as shame that homelessness is so wide spread and systemic in Santa Cruz.

Homeless encampment on N Rodeo Gulch Rd

🐍 Gopher snake

Came across this sizeable gopher snake when I pulled a tarp away. She showed her annoyance by hissing at me. She wasn't aggressive at all, nor did she posture to be a rattle snake. I wished her well and asked if should could kill many gophers for us. We need her help as the gophers are out of control this year.

This gopher snake hissed at me after I pulled away the tarp she was hiding under.

⛰️ Visiting Yosemite with Marijn's Family

My good friend Marijn was touring California. His family made their way up from LA to SF and stopped by for a day at our house. Their tight itinerary didn't allow for a longer stay, but we could come visit them in Yosemite a few days later.

Visiting Yosemite with Marijn's family

Marijn's family had a hotel booked outside the park but we were fortunate to snag a last minute campsite in the valley. This was our home base for the weekend. The kids played in the river and Casper introduced Lucas and Sophie to roasting smores over a campfire. We explored the valley on foot and bicycles. The rivers ran high and the waterfalls were magnigicent thanks to the record snow year.

Marijn and I hiked up to the Mist Trail to Vernall Falls with the kids. We were rewarded for taking the long way back with a glimpse of a black bear.

☾ Last but not least

Casper started in the 4x4 soccer spring league. It is at Depot Park in downtown Santa Cruz near the boardwalk. A bit of a drive, but also a great excuse to explore this part of town during practice.

After practice one time we met up with Jeff Gurrola and his sons at Saturn Cafe to catch up. Jeff and I met patroling Pinecrest's sidecountry with the Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol. Together with a few other controllers we completed the Sierra High Route Traverse in 2005 after a failed attempt the year prior.

Jeff Gurrola on the High Sierra Route, skiing across the Bighorn Plateau towards the Kaweah's.
Jeff Gurrola on the High Sierra Route, skiing across the Bighorn Plateau towards the Kaweah's.

Taxes filed on time!