Archive for November, 2011

Cooks, books, and dreamers

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

We may have been dreaming, but last week our Airstream Safari landed in fair weather in the Anza-Borrego Desert just a day after San Diego got more rain in one day than it usually does for the whole month of November, and for the next five days we enjoyed sunny days with temperatures in the 70′s and cool, clear starry nights.

Just after dinner, a beautiful moon rose over a mountain to the east of our campsite.

Our favorite campsite at Agua Caliente County Park has panoramic views.  We enjoy camping there on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds.  Although the campground was nearly empty during our latest stay, we did have an adjacent neighbor with a large fifth wheel RV.

Our neighbors enjoyed evening campfires.  Unfortunately, due to the proximity of their fire ring and the direction of the wind, smoke and sparks flew over and around our trailer, requiring the closure of all vents, windows and awnings.

We enjoyed reading, relaxing, and hiking the Moonlight Canyon Trail, while keeping on eye out for Bighorn sheep that I had photographed there last January.

Larry enjoyed reviewing and highlighting recipes in a new cookbook, The Airstreamer’s Cookbook, a collection of recipes submitted by members of the Four Corners Unit of New Mexico, of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI).  The dishes included have been prepared in members’ Airstreams for happy hours and potlucks at Four Corners Unit Rallies.  The design, illustration and layout were done by Terry Rich and Greg Schmuker/TBRich Design.  Terry says, “This cookbook was designed, printed and produced completely 100% gratis by members of the Four Corners Unit of the WBCCI.”  This cookbook can be purchased by contacting www.fourcorners.wbcci.net.

Larry enjoys discovering and trying out new recipes, with the intention of preparing interesting and tasty dishes for our trips.  On this trip Larry prepared an “International Feast” menu, consisting of precooked entrées that included Cajun Pork Stew with Yukon Gold potatoes, Kalua Pork (Hawaiian pulled pork) tacos, Koresh Fesenjan (Persian chicken pomegranate stew), adas polow (Persian lentil-basmati rice pilaf), and Tortas ahogadas con guisado de pollo y costillas de cerdo en salsa de chille colorado (drowned Mexican sandwich filled and covered with a chicken and pork sparerib chili).

Evening meals were followed by watching a model plane enthusiast fly radio controlled planes (including a Discus Launch Glider), walking our dogs, and star gazing, followed by relaxing in the trailer as I continued reading out loud another chapter of the Harry Potter saga, this time from the 5th book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by author J. K. Rowling.

During afternoons, I continued reading Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson.  I am now halfway through this compelling 630-page biography.  I see interesting parallelisms of the Steve Jobs and Harry Potter characters as early as the first chapter, “Childhood – Abandoned and Chosen.”  According to Isaacson, one of Jobs’ personal heroes was Muppeteer Jim Henson, seen in the tone poem commercial, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones – Think Different.”  On Wednesday evening (November 16), we delighted in listening to the CBC Radio program Q, as Jian Ghomeshi chatted with Kermit the Frog, Henson’s most famous character.

Steve Jobs has been described as a creative entrepreneur, perfectionist, innovator, visionary, artist, and genius… he also was a dreamer.

Here’s to the Dreamers

Airstream, Apple, and the ‘OH WOW’ experience

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

We might have been crazy ones, spending a significant chunk of our retirement savings for a relatively expensive recreational vehicle, but upon seeing our custom-ordered 2007 Airstream Safari travel trailer shining in the sun as flags waved festively overhead at the dealership, I felt that ‘OH WOW’ experience.

For us, the Airstream trailer with its iconic shape, clean lines, beauty and functionality, made us feel good, and was well worth the investment.

Our decision to buy this was based on much research, and once it had been acquired, I began researching a replacement for our 9 year old PC.  For me, having a PC had been a love-hate relationship and I wanted our next computer to be enjoyable, functional, beautiful, intuitive, and relatively trouble-free.  I noticed that several people were fulltiming in their Airstream trailers (Rich L. and Rich C.) while happily blogging away on their Mac laptops.  The Mac vs PC research led me to buy an iMac and a MacBook Pro.

Needless to say, it was another ‘OH WOW’ experience and love at first sight and use, and continues to be so… the beauty of aluminum in form and function.

As I write this, I am using the MacBook Pro made by Apple. Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was its co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer.  For three hours on October 19, Apple closed all of its retail stores worldwide for “A celebration of Steve’s life.”  Earlier this week, PBS presented “Steve Jobs: One Last Thing – An inside look at the man and the major influences that helped shape his life and career.”

On October 24, 2011, Simon & Schuster released the authorized biography, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, now the top-selling book in the country.  As I read this fascinating story, which includes his faults as well as his achievements, I found it interesting that he was influenced by some of the people that influenced me when I was in college, such as Bob Dylan (“It’s Alright Ma“), Timothy Leary (“Legend of a Mind ~ Moody Blues“, The Beatles (“Two of Us“), and Joan Baez (“Forever Young“).

Earlier this week, we celebrated Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, a day of celebrating and honoring those who have gone before us.  Larry made Pan de Muerto, a sugar-topped sweet egg bread traditionally shaped into skulls or round loaves.

On October 16, a memorial service was held for Steve Jobs at Standford University’s Memorial Church, where Steve’s biological sister, Mona Simpson, delivered a moving eulogy, and revealed his last words: ‘OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.’

Here’s To The Crazy Ones

About the Author

BILL, along with partner, Larry, were first-time RV'ers when they purchased their custom-ordered 23' 2007 Airstream Safari SE. Bill (a retired RN) and Larry (a retired pediatric Occupational Therapist) enjoy bringing history alive in the area of San Diego, CA.