April 20--How millennials think

The conference is going well. My boss was the first speaker yesterday, and even though I had heard her talk before, I still enjoyed it. She spoke about how to use academic electronic medical record systems to teach documentation to students. It was her doctoral project, and she is passionate about it.

I learned from another speaker that Baby Boomers like to watch TV (television), while Gen Z'er's are "compassionate, thoughtful, determined, and responsible". I will file that away for future reference. The third speaker was the CEO of the company that we are seeking accreditation from, and it was good to hear what she had to say, even though we have heard it before.

For $200 extra, you could get the meal package, which was hotel buffet breakfast lunch and dinner for two days, but we opted out of that and had delicious burgers in the restaurant. Someone later told us the hotel buffet food wasn't very good. No!

We decided not to attend the last session and took a walk instead. It was supposed to snow a bit yesterday, but it turned out to be only a few flakes, and didn't interfere with our walk. It was kind of chilly--about 40 degrees, but brisk, and felt good after a day inside.

Carel and Lynn

Carel and Lynn, my awesome boss and my awesome coworker. We walked past where we went yesterday and found a waterfall in the midst of the destruction.


We talked about all sorts of things on the walk, most of which had nothing to do with work. We told stories of our lives, and nursing stories, and stories about how we became who we are. After the walk we rested, and then met Carel's husband for dinner down in the other restaurant and continued our conversation. All four of us have been to Tahiti at one time or another.

I talked to Malida on the videophone. She was excited about having been introduced to the photo studio in class yesterday. I'm kind of sorry I got rid of my studio lights a few years ago. I'm sure she would have loved to play around with them. It was good to see her smiling face.

We have another half-day of conference this morning, then it is time to go home. I think we will drive through Yosemite Valley on the way home, provided the roads are ok. Maybe I'll take some pictures. :)
  • Current Music
    Jackson Browne--The Road& the Sky

April 19--Fish Camp

I'm up at a place called Fish Camp, which is kind of the southern end of Yosemite. It's not the area of Yosemite you think of when I say "Yosemite", but it is a nice spot. We are about an hour south of Yosemite Valley, which is what you think of when I say "Yosemite". I'll be here until Friday for a nursing program conference. It's the first nursing program conference I have attended since becoming an academic type, so I am looking forward to seeing what it is about. There are four of us here--my awesome boss and two teachers from the other semesters.

I was planning to come up way early yesterday and wander around before the start of the conference, but one of my colleagues suggested we could drive together, and she had to teach until 10, so we left at 10:30. That worked out great, as it gave me some free time in the morning. I am still kind of tired from my trip to Point Reyes, and it was good to sleep in until 6:30.

My driving colleague and I spent pretty much the entire drive talking about all sorts of stuff. We have both had interesting and varied lives. She drove part of the way, which gave me the chance to enjoy the scenery. We arrived about 3:30. Our awesome boss was sitting in the lobby of the resort with her husband, so we all talked for a while, then took our stuff up to our rooms.

We went out walking before we all met up for dinner. There was a big fire up this way a year or two ago, and we were surprised to see that the fire came right up to the grounds of the hotel.

fire trees

There were a lot of burned trees going all the way up the mountain to the south of us. There were also quite a few dead trees that weren't burned, which is something that I have seen all over the Sierras, due to both the drought and some sort of pestilence that has affected them.

My driving colleague is knowledgeable about California native plants, and pointed out all sorts of things I would have never noticed. Once I figure out the birds, I can move on to the plants. Always something new to learn and experience.

mossy rock

After our walk we all met up and had dinner in the restaurant. There was an option to attend a buffet dinner for the conference, but it cost around $60 per person, which was way too much, and well in excess of our community college-level meal allowances. I had a big salad in the restaurant, which was delicious.

I went back to my room and read for a while. I finished the spider book last week, and have now started on The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry, which I have never read. I conked out at about 8:30 and got a good night's sleep.

The conference starts at 7 with the vendor booths, and the classes start at 8. We will be in all day today and a half day tomorrow. On our way home, we will probably drive north through Yosemite Valley, since we are in the neighborhood.
  • Current Music
    David Crosby--Cowboy Movie

April 18--Velvet, Ahhh Heaven

I guess it has been a week since my last entry. I went for my photo trip and was out shooting from before dawn until well after sunset most days. It was a lot of fun, but I came home completely exhausted. I had to go back to work Monday, and today I am off to Yosemite for a two-day conference. I was going to leave at about 5 am, but one of my colleagues suggested I leave at 10:30 instead, so she could ride with me. That sounded good, so I have a few hours of relaxation before I have to leave.

I think there were about 20 of us on this photo trip, but I only saw a handful of people while I was there. We were all pretty spread out. I ran into people randomly and we would greet each other with, "are you in Paul's class?"

McClure's sunset

Sunset at McClure's Beach. I took about 5000 images in total, and have looked through about half of them so far. Whenever I take that many pictures, I am generally unhappy with them, probably because there are so many crappy ones to sort through to find the good ones. All I need is 8 for the class, so I'm sure I have that many.

baby seal

A baby seal just after sunrise. I hiked around a lot.--aybe about 25,000 steps worth each day. Even though I have been going to Point Reyes my whole life, I discovered a bunch of spots I had never seen before. It was cool to spend so much time there and be able to explore.

tamales sunrise

Sunrise at Tomales Bay. On the last day my alarm went off at 5 am and I didn't want to get up. I thought about sleeping in and driving home, but got up anyway and was out by 5:30 photographing the sunrise across the street from where I was staying. Once I was out I went all over the place and ended up hiking out to a remote beach.

My favorite picture so far. This was fairly early in the morning, just after sunrise. I stopped to look at the cows, and this one came over to look at me. I moved down the fence a bit, and she followed me. It's a beautiful place to be a cow. Rolling hills and pastoral fields looking out on the ocean in the distance.
  • Current Music
    Traffic--Roll Right Stones

April 11--In service to Her Majesty

I had a dream yesterday that I was going to be interviewed to be the personal assistant to Queen Elizabeth. I was waiting in a pub to be picked up to be taken to the castle. The car came--it was a Rolls Royce with a tan leather interior. We headed up the hill towards the castle, and my alarm went off. I was kind of disappointed because I was sure I would have nailed the interview.

I spent most of my work day yesterday working on the project the dean had cornered me on the other day. It's one of those things I put off, but once I got going on it, I found it quite interesting. I am developing an entry-level curriculum for people who want to enter a health profession, but are not quite sure what they want to do. Kind of a generic health care worker with some office training. I found all sorts of resources that I didn't know existed, and spent a good amount of time nosing around in different courses. I submitted my draft, and will wait to see what the next steps are.

I came home and did laundry, and started packing. I will leave for the Bay Area this morning, and get to Point Reyes about noon, just in time for lunch. It is supposed to be raining this morning, but will clear in the afternoon, so I will do some walking around.

After I got all my camera stuff together, I decided to take a picture of it. It's been at least a few years since I have prepared for a photo shoot like this. It's kind of fun, and takes me back to when I went to Cambodia on my first photo tour.

photo stuff

My new camera is to the left, and the old one to the right. You can see how much smaller the new one is. It weighs a lot less as well. All those packets to the right are my various filters. I don't know how I ended up with so many, but I'm bringing them all. Just in case.
  • Current Music
    Shelby Lynne--Wall in Your Heart

April 10--Avoid llamas

Let's see, I was all set to make this entry early this morning, then got distracted by something and walked around the campus for a half-hour. After that it was time for office hours, and I had two students come in to talk about test scores, and life lessons, etc. Then it was time for lecture, so I never made the entry. I had stuff to say that I have now forgotten about. Let the history books reflect the gap.

I participated in interview panels for our open faculty position yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. I can't say anything substantial about it other than they provided us with good coffee and delicious scones. After the interviews I had some lunch, then went over to the hospital to meet with a preceptor and student. all is well there.

I stopped by a park on the way home and had a bit of a walk. It wasn't a visually interesting park so I didn't take any pictures, but it did have a bunch of level 8 ingress portals, so I farmed as I walked, something I haven't done for months.

I came home and started laying out all my camera gear for my trip. One of our pre-trip homework assignments was to make a checklist of all the stuff we are bringing, which was actually kind of helpful. I was missing one battery and one of my lens caps, and looked all over for them. I finally found them in my backpack, along with the external hard drive I hadn't even started looking for yet.

The sensor on my old camera was kind of dirty. The newer cameras have built-in sensor cleaning functions, but this one is too old for that. In the past I have taken it to the camera shop and they cleaned it for a nominal fee, which has since gone up quite a bit. So I decided to do it myself.

I got some sensor cleaning fluid and the little cloth-covered spatulas that you clean with. I whooshed it off a few times with my air rocket thing, then used the spatula. It worked really well. I only missed one spot, which is ok. Skill points increased.

Now I have everything pretty much ready to go. I have to pack clothes and stuff, but I can do that tomorrow. I also need to contact the Airbnb guy to see how to get into his place. I sent him an email yesterday but haven't heard back. I have his number and will call him and ask why he hasn't contacted me. Grrr.


A picture from my campus walk this morning. It's super grainy, but I like the clouds.

I was looking at someone's powerpoint yesterday and I thought one of the bullet points said "avoid llamas", but it actually said "avoid trauma," whatever that means.
  • Current Music
    Sia--Breathe Me

April 9--Not Peacocks

I am reminded by Facebook that on this day a year ago, I was at The City of 10,000 Buddhas up in Ukiah. There are peacocks there, and they were all over the place. We always stop in Ukiah on our way out to Mendocino. I am guessing it was spring break, as that would be the only time I would have some days off in April.


A picture from last year. In living color!

I'm not at The City of 10,000 Buddhas now--I'm sitting in my office waiting for the day to begin. We have interviews most of the day for our new faculty position. Somehow they have stretched out the process so that we will need to be here from 8:30 to 5:30. I'm kind of all caught up on the things I need to be caught up on at the moment, so no big deal. I do need to start thinking about the kidney lectures though--they come up in about 2 weeks.

We had a nice relaxing day yesterday. We went out to the farmers market in the morning and bought what we needed for the week. I bought an extra pound of nuts so I could take some to Point Reyes for hiking snacks.


Leftovers at the farmers market.

After we came home I had to go back out to the hospital to meet with a couple of students and preceptors. Some would complain about having to go in to work on a Sunday, but I use it as justification for taking Thursday and Friday off this week for my photo trip. It all works out.

We walked along the creek in the late afternoon. We could only go so far because the trail was flooded where it crosses over at one point. The rains this past week really filled it up. We saw a juvenile egret with her mom. The juvenile seemed curious about us and moved closer than they normally do. Mom eventually flew over and put the kibosh on that, but I did get a few good pictures.


After it got dark, Malida practiced "painting with light" for her photo class. "Where's my tripod?" she asks. The answer is that she doesn't actually have a tripod, but has somehow appropriated mine as her own. I had to give her that sad news that I will be taking both tripods with me on my trip. Anyway, we had fun doing some painting with light shots.

Sitting in front of me on my desk is a coffee mug from some medical supply company with a bunch of pens in it. I noticed that I also have three pairs of scissors in there. I have an abundance of scissors. A veritable plethora of scissors.
  • Current Music
    Calexico--Bridge to Nowhere

April 8--Just like an old-time telegraph man

I got up pretty early for a Saturday. Malida left for work at 4, and I never really went back to sleep and was up by 5, starting the laundry and working on some homework for my photo class. The rain stopped at some point, and never really started up again the rest of the day. In spite of getting up so early, I forgot that I had to leave for class at a certain point, and was almost late.

Since we are going on our field trip next weekend, there wasn't much to talk about in class other than the weather. Paul pulled up the weather reports and talked about the possibilities. It won't rain the whole time, and there will be one clear day. I am already figuring out things to photograph if it is rainy and cloudy. I can imagine a shot in the woods, with water dripping off the moss-covered branches.

paul teaching

Paul and his weather report.

Class got out early, so I wandered around for a while taking pictures of things. The sun wasn't quite out, but it wasn't pouring rain either. I have some new neutral density filters, and played around with them for a while.


The dogwoods are in bloom.

I had some lunch and took a nap. I forgot I was supposed to go to some event in the early afternoon, and by the time I remembered, it was late enough that I could legitimately blow it off. No big deal. I went over to have dinner with some friends, and Malida joined us after she got off work.

I read more of my spider novel before bed. I am about 75-80% done, and am really curious about how it will end. It's not a book I would have ever picked up on my own, but a really interesting read, so am glad of the recommendation.
  • Current Music
    Jimmy LaFave--Simple Twist of Fate

April 7--42 years

It is raining pretty hard right now, and has been for most of the night. I left the window open so I could hear it falling. No better sound to sleep to. The weather people say we will get enough rain this weekend to fill our April averages. Normally I'd say we need it, but the reservoirs are full, so we really don't, other than what it might add to the snow pack. I like rain, though, so I'm not complaining.

It might rain next week during my photo trip to Point Reyes, though. I would rather it not rain then, but if it does, I will make the best of it and get some rain pictures. I'll have to figure out how to be creative with that. I am already thinking about one spot in the trees that might look cool.

I had some time between meetings yesterday and went over to REI and got a rain poncho (not a Sears poncho). I have a rain cover for my camera that has sat in my camera bag unused for at least 10 years. I'll bring some big plastic trash bags as well. This should ensure that it doesn't actually rain.

rainy day

I had kind of a full day yesterday. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 to meet with a preceptor and student. They were late getting off, so I had breakfast and worked on a planning grid for the next semester. Once they were done I spent some time talking with them about the preceptorship, though I could see that it was going well by the way the floor staff interacted with my student. Whenever I see the staff treating one of my students as part of the team, I know things are good.

I came back to campus and worked on stuff for a while before meeting with the guy who raises money for the college. My work with the alumni association has put me in the position to have to think of these type of things. Not something I really ever wanted to be involved with, but it's a chance to see how this kind of stuff works.

I was going to go out to Arlina's grave on the way to my next off-campus meeting, but it was raining too hard. It would have been her 61st birthday. I have a hard time imagining her at 61. Sometimes it's as if I knew her in another lifetime.

Yesterday was also the 42nd anniversary of the day I went into the military. I hadn't been thinking about it, but a friend on Facebook posted that it was her 42nd anniversary the day before, and that reminded me. She and I enlisted at the same time (though not in the same place) and met in corpsman school in Texas. We vied for being at the top of the class. After school I got shipped off to Germany and she went somewhere else.

Toward the end of my rotation in Germany, she was transferred to our base, and I assisted in the delivery of her baby. We reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, as well as some of the other people we worked with. I know Facebook is having issues, but reconnecting people is one thing it has going for it.

fish ladder sculpture fountain

A fish ladder sculpture fountain that has no water. I think they turned off the water during the drought, and no one has ever thought to restore it. I'm going to look into it.

I have my photo class this morning, and then I am going out to practice taking pictures in the rain.
  • Current Music
    Gordon Lightfoot--Morning Glory

April 5--The password is Kumquat

My electronic devices are conspiring against me, keeping me from showing you the crappy cellphone pictures I have gathered for your viewing pleasure. For some reason, every avenue available to me to transfer pics from my phone to my laptop has failed. I have tried emailing, sending in a message, airdrop, etc, and they all fail. I tried grabbing it off iCloud via the laptop, and that failed too. What's up with that?

We had our third exam yesterday. Most of the students did well. A few didn't. So it goes. We have two more exams before the final. It's six weeks until the end of the semester. Yay! I am envisioning adventuring through hot sunny days in t-shirts and shorts.

Next week is my photography field trip. I bought some more neutral density filters. One can never have enough neutral density filters. I had planned to buy a second camera body, but our tax bill pretty much put the kibosh on that. I'll use my old camera as my backup.

The week after is my work conference in Yosemite. I'm looking forward to that as well. The downside is that I still have all sorts of work to do for the balance of the semester, and lots of preceptor visits. I will try an knock a bunch of them out this week and over the weekend.

My boss just came in and asked if I want to go to Portland for a meeting in June. Yes! I love Portland! I forget what the meeting is about, but it's in Portland!


The long walk to the other end of the campus.
  • Current Music
    Echo & The Bunnymen--Lips Like Sugar

April 3--The sun goes down and the stars go dancing

Yesterday started out positive, but slowly deteriorated to crappy by the time I went home. Not really any one thing, but a collection of small things that made me progressively crabby. By the time I got home, it was too late to take a nap and reset, so I stewed about stuff until it was time for bed. I read about my sentient spiders for a while, and went to sleep, waking up to a new day this morning.

My students are now on preceptorship, and I went out to see a few of them at the hospital yesterday. One of them wasn't there--she changed her schedule, but didn't let me know. The other had experienced an issue resulting from a lapse in judgment, and didn't tell me about it until I asked why something was off. Neither are a big deal in the big scheme of things, but do tell me they need to work on their critical thinking skills, which is what we will be talking about later when they come in and see me.

I started to set up the exam for tomorrow. There were ten questions missing from one of my colleagues, who explained that she didn't know she needed ten questions for her course content that needed to be tested!!! Grrrr, I said. So I had to put off getting the exam ready until this morning.

Once the exam was set up, I took it, to make sure everything worked ok and that there were no funky questions. I got a score of 58.5 out of 60, which would give me an "A" if I were a student. Pats self on the back.

I have to teach a class for the 3rd semester this afternoon. It will be my first look at the group who will be our students in the fall. This will be the last semester I teach these course as we are finally hiring another instructor for this semester. That's ok with me because I will have all sorts of new responsibilities next semester. More on that later.


No photos from yesterday, so this is one from last week when I was up at Empire Mine, from an old office. I love stuff like this.
  • Current Music