Monday, January 02, 2012

Pescadero, CA

Too far South for the San Francisco crowd who will make it to Pacifica or perhaps to Half Moon Bay. Too far North for the San Jose crowd making the drive over Highway 17 to Santa Cruz. A little south of Half Moon Bay, in the middle between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, you find San Gregorio and Pescadero. It does take a little more than an hour via a highly windy Highway 84 and La Honda to reach Pescadero.

While officially Pescadero is a few miles in-land, the Pescadero Beach State Park is California coast at its best: not a lot of people, rugged coastline and beatiful rolling hills. It is also a great place to find treasures on the beach with the kids. The landscape is overall not unlike the landscape near Point Reyes, perhaps with steeper coastal hills.

Lunch stop in Pescadero has to include Norm's market. This little supermarket serves excellent warm artichoke bread with homemade garlic butter to be devouwered in 10 minutes at the picnic tables in the back.

Before heading to the beach, check out the goat farm on North street. Excellent goat cheese and a fun detour for the kids.

There are several state parks nearby. Pescadero State Beach was a big hit, for its combination of sandy beach, rocks and tide pools.

On the way back, warming up near the wood fire within the San Gregorio General Store is a nice place to have a drink before heading back over the mountains towards Woodside and the Bay Area.

On outliners

I've been on the look out for a powerful outliner tool for a while. At work I use primarily the outline mode of Microsoft Word, and it does it decent job. Although it lacks search and tagging capability. OneNote appears to be great, but is only available on Windows only systems (I use a Mac). For my to-do list I build a system around I'll try to document this in another post. As for outliners, every so often I return to Evernote to check if they added a true outliner feature, but I walk away disappointed that it is more about the images and videos, than about providing the true outliner capability. I've been experimenting recently with as an outliner tool.  So far, I've been impressed about its snappiness, and copy/paste functionality. I started to keep track of a list of items I like in a good outliner:

(note: the copy/paste feature from Workflowy ain't perfect yet)

  • Outline are not the same as lists or a to-do list. Trying to do both results in a liger.
    • Outliners allow you to take organized notes, including larger text blocks, drawings or pictures.
    • To-do lists have more context
      • Priority
      • Location
        • e.g., @work, @home, @web
        • GPS: e.g., @TraderJoes, @Lowes
      • Items belong to Projects
      • You can organize items using tags, resulting in Smartlists
      • State: nextAction; waiting (following the GTD workflow)
      • Notifications/Alerts
        • Mobile device
        • Instant Message
        • Calendar integration
  • Outliners support many levels of Indentation
    • Supporting Folding (a must)
  • Notes should be easily converted to email
    • Send from the outliner
    • Or support easy Copy/Paste
  • Outliners allow for easy importing notes
    • From Microsoft Word documents
    • From email (forward email to a specific email address)
    • Copy/past text as note details.
  • Outliners shall support exporting notes
    • Microsoft Word (Outline mode)
  • Provide support for Online/Offline access
  • Organization of notes
    • Folders
    • Tags == context
      • SmartLists
  • Search
    • by date
    • by tag
    • by topic or keyword
  • Collaboration and access control
  • Formatting
    • bold/italic
    • color
Created with

Safari West

One of the differences between Belgium and California is that nature can get pretty wild here. You rarely hear about a family making a wrong turn in Belgium and ending up stranded for days in the wilderness, sometimes even with deadly consequences. Belgium is on the bottom of the list of most dangerous animals in the world. Though I wouldn't want to cross paths with a the wild boar (video) unless I was accompanied by Obelix. From bobcats, mountain lions, rattle snakes and tarantulas, to some of the animals in our backyard, you often enough get reminded that California's wild isn't very far away.

Last week, we made a trip to an even wilder part of nature: Safari West. This is a park near Santa Rosa and Calistoga, where you can experience an African Safari. Although not cheap, the visit was definitely worth it.

Standing eye to eye, without a fence, with a Cape Buffalo (photo), one of the most dangerous animals in the world, is an incredible and scary feeling.