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For various reasons I have not been enjoying my life here in Monterey California. Not because it isn’t beautiful and people come from hundreds of miles away to spend a weekend here.  I have lived here for several years and have grown very blase about it, so I’m going to try and change things up. I’ve started a Monterey Living Daily picture on Facebook.

I think I might try something similar here. Probably not daily, but often, I will post a random picture I’ve taken here in the Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel area.

Today’s picture comes from my ride in this morning. It’s the boats out in the bay between the Coast Guard Pier (Breakwater Cove), and Old Fisherman’s Warf. This is from about 7:30 this morning.  You can see Seaside/Sand City across the bay. Not a bad view on my commute to work.

Boats near Old Fisherman's Warf

Boats near Old Fisherman’s Warf



I’m back to trying to get into shape again. Over the last year I’ve dropped 25 pounds. I went from 215 to 190. It’s amazing what going through a divorce can do. Just a wee bit of stress. 🙂

Anyhow, I’ve gained a few of those lost pounds back. I’m up to 194. So, it’s time to get my lazy butt working out. I’m still doing Yoga a few times a week, and doing a 2.5 mile walk most nights, but I decided that since I’m going to stay in the Monterey area for the near future, (I turned down a position at Lawrence Livermore National Labs two weeks ago), I might as well try and enjoy what brings all the tourists to the area.


One of my co-workers had a bike for sale, so I picked it up. Here is my new spiffy ride to work.

New Mountain Bike

New Mountain Bike

I must admit I ended up getting a gel seat and bicycle shorts. You wouldn’t believe how hard that seat is after a couple of 6 mile rides. And no, I did NOT get the clown looking spandex bicycle shorts. The ones I picked up look like normal shorts but have the clown spandex on the inside so they don’t show. I’m to darn old to be looking like that.

Here’s the route I normally take too and from work.

My daily ride to work

My daily ride to work

I start from home, go down through the Pacific Grove Golf Course, wander down Ocean Avenue to Lovers Point, get onto the bike trail and follow it past Cannery Row, past Fisherman’s Warf, along the beach and into the Eucalyptus trees in front of the Naval Postgraduate School, turn up the hill past Bi-Rite, with some of the best sandwiches in Monterey, past the Monterey Fairgrounds and to work.

A few of the views I see along the way.

The beach near PG Golf Course

The beach near PG Golf Course

Riding along the Golf Course

Riding along the Golf Course

Lovers Point Park

Lovers Point Park

Lovers Point

Lovers Point

Fisherman's Warf

Fisherman’s Warf


As most people know, I’m a Metric/Sports Bike kind of guy. I currently ride around on a fun little Yamaha YZF-R6 that I’ve put 15k+ miles on in the last 2 1/2 years.



One thing I’ve discovered with riding a Metric is that most of the other Metric riders are into racing around and not doing much as a group, other than riding around. One of the reasons that I joined the American Legion Riders out of Post 31. I met some of those guys doing Patriot Guard Rides and they convinced me to join a post all the way over in Salinas CA. I’ve been with them 3 months now and have participated in 2 poker runs, the Warrior Run (raising money to fight soldier suicide), looking to do a parade on Veterans day, etc etc etc.

The only down side is that almost without exception, every one of the other riders at Post 31 rides a Harley Davidson of some sort.  Except Ken, who rides a freaking MONSTER Triumph Rocket 3.

Now, I’m not much of a Harley Davidson kind of guy, well, I guess I am in that I like to do the things the other Harley Davidson riders like to do, with the exception of I like to do it on my sporty little R6.

During the Warrior Run the other day I did see a Harley that I liked and could actually see myself riding.

Nice Harley Davidson

There is just something about the color matched with the leather saddle bags. It was a really nice Harley.  Just don’t tell my cousin Paul. I’ll never hear the end of “When are you going to buy a Harley??” 🙂





Just a picture of where I live. Sometimes it’s nice to just try and remember how beautiful it can be here some times.


This is fisherman’s Warf down in Monterey near sunset. I went down there one night to just walk around and took this picture.


Well, now that a large portion of the tourists have gone home I’ve started riding my motorcycle along the beach to work in the mornings. This adds about 3-5 minutes a day to my commute. The thing is, is that we live in a very beautiful area and very seldom do we stop long enough to look around.

From Monterey Living

This is one of the views I’m talking about. This is literally right down the road from us. 5 minutes walk.

Today I left for work at a bit after 8am. It’s roughly a 9 mile drive to work and it takes about 20 minutes. I dropped down past the lighthouse, which is only 2 blocks from home,

past the deer munching away in the El Carmelo cemetery, through the PG golf course down to the beach.  This is a picture looking to the left as I go through the golf course (taking a few years ago).

I then follow the beach along past Lovers Point and over towards Cannery Row where I’ll pop up to lighthouse avenue and bring that past the Defense Language Institute, under Portola Plaza and Fisherman’s wharf, through the eucalyptus grove in front of the Naval Postgraduate School and then up to a small residential community where our compound is.
So, this is where we live. It’s also where we hide. In the last 6 months I have taken the beach route, get ready for it, twice. Yep, twice. I don’t do it on the way home because of the frustration of dealing with moronic tourists, and I just don’t think about it on the way to work in the mornings. I really need to get in the habit of going along the beach.
This morning I didn’t see any whales, but I saw fishing boats, kayakers, runners, walkers, seagulls, egrets, deer, and a sea otter down by lovers point. It’s a tad better than looking at nothing but the bumper of the car in front of you in stop and go traffic. I must admit, I do not miss that.

Well, it seems the City of Monterey is going to change out roughly 2000 street lights for more energy efficient LED lights, replacing the sodium vapor lights currently used. They are doing this to ” allow Monterey to comply with a state law requiring the reduction of municipal greenhouse gas emissions“.

Article in the Monterey Herald.

So, a few items of note that I find interesting.

The total cost of this is going to be $934,000 for just over 1900 LED lights, or roughly $490 per light. The city is using a 10 year low interest loan to pay for this and will pay the loan back with the money they are “saving” in lower energy bills.  Hmmm…

$490 per light vs $50 (total guess) or so for a High Pressure Sodium Bulb.

FYI. From what I can figure out the Mean Time Between Failures of a LED light like this is quoted at roughly 50,000 hours.  Now that sounds like a lot, but remember there are 1900 LED lights with that average. So,

50,000 hours / 1900 lights / 8 hours on a day(rough average over the year) = 3.28 days between average failures.

This means the City of Monterey will be replacing one of these $490 LED lights every 3 1/4 days, or 2 per week.

$490 x 2 per week x 52 weeks per year = $50,960 per year in replacement costs. Let’s be nice and say the replacement cost is 1/2 that of initial installation (I’m being nice). So this makes it $25,000 or so in just bulb replacement cost over the course of an average year.  Or another way to look at it $250,000 in replacement costs on top of the $934,000 in initial installation costs plus interest over the course of the loan.

I’m hoping that I really screwed something up here. Otherwise this whole California attitude of “save us from Global Warming” by bankrupting us idea just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. At least the article isn’t claiming they are doing this to save money. It actually looks like a money loser even when you figure the savings of more energy efficient LED’s.

If anyone has better figures for LED replacement cost vs Sodium Vapor (I don’t know the cost of the bulbs for comparison), and/or the difference in MTBF for both I’d be interested to hear. On the surface this whole project looks like more “Green” bullshit to spend money that doesn’t do anything but let politicians pat themselves on the back say what a wonderful job they are doing saving the world.



The first Sunday of the month we now have a  loosely Celtic Jam Session at the Ol’ Factory Cafe in Sand City. Starts at 3 and lasts until 6pm or so.

On Sunday May 3rd, 2009 there were 4 Fiddlers, a Bassist, 3 Guitarists, a Mandolin player, and a Penny Whistler joining in.

I arrived a few minutes late and left a bit early, but here is a session list from while I was there. It’s not complete, I ended up chatting off to the side at one point. But here is a listing of a good portion of the tunes.

  • Star of the County Down (Traditional Irish Air)
  • Martin O’Conners
  • Riding on a Load of Hay
  • Rakes of Mallow (Polka)
  • Hommage a Edmond Parizeau (Canadian?)
  • Reel Ti-me (Canadian?)
  • Road to Lisdoonvarna (Jig)
  • Kesh Jig (Jig)
  • Morrisons (Jig)
  • The Musical Priest (Reel)
  • Cooley’s (Reel)
  • The Banshee (Reel)
  • Money in Both Pockets
  • The Mountain Road
  • Merry Blacksmith
  • Smash the Windows
  • The Rights of Man
  • Innishere (Traditional Irish Air)
  • O’Carolines Concierto
  • Sour Grass and Granite
  • Angeline the Baker
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Out on the Ocean (Portland Collection)
  • Kitty McGee (Portland Collection)
  • Bill Sullivans (Polka)
  • Dennis Murphy’s (Polka)
  • John Ryan’s (Polka)
  • Off to California
  • St. Anne’s Reel

I need to verify that all of these are the correct versions. But here are a pdf of the sheet  music and an abc file of the same.

May 3rd Celtic Session Tunes PDF

May 3rd Celtic Session Tunes abc file

MP3’s of the tunes can be found in this directory.

They aren’t the best mp3’s. I basically took the abc’s and turned them into midi files with abc2midi and then converted those to mp3’s so I could play them on my ipod.  But, they are better than nothing. (-;

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