Tag Archives: California


This is the second time I’ve seen a live California Condor. The first time I barely remember – I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, and I had a fuzzy photo from the San Diego Zoo that I took myself. There were several in this part of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and this one was posin’ for the camera:

California Condor

These are amazing animals. Same level of awe as when I was a kid…

Accessing the Gluten Free Bay Area Google Map on iPhone

This post is specifically for the gluten-free community in the San Francisco Bay Area in the short term, and I expect this will become a more global effort soon.

Our goal for today is: Access the Gluten Free Bay Area Google Map on iPhone. This can now be accomplished easily using the iPhone Google Earth app.

Why is this cool you ask? Because dining out on a gluten-free diet can be a complicated and depressing experience. Most restaurants don’t get it. The few that do are often hard to find. Many of us in the Bay Area celiac community have lessened this pain by contributing to this map, pinpointing which businesses cater to gluten-free needs (i.e. might have a gluten free menu or a savvy chef or wait staff.) This has turned into a very useful database over the months and years.

But on those times when you need it most, like when you’re on the road, you might not have access to a computer to be able to look up a place for lunch. Now with Google Earth on your iPhone and in your pocket, looking up gluten-free restaurants is more convenient than ever.

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Add the Gluten Free Bay Area Google Map to your saved maps by navigating to it (a shortened URL for those that need it: http://is.gd/4YuBP ) and clicking on the link indicated:

Click the link "Save to my maps" circled in red

Step 2: Go to the App Store on your iPhone and install the Google Earth app.

Step 3: Launch Google Earth on your iPhone and tap the info icon in the lower right corner:

Tap the info icon on the lower right corner.
Tap the info icon on the lower right corner.

Step 4: Sign in and then tap on My Maps. Tap on Gluten Free Bay Area in the resulting screen. Now when you use Google Earth on iPhone, all the gluten free locations will show up on your map!

Gluten Free Bay Area map detail.
Gluten Free Bay Area map detail.

How cool is that?


It is a pretty planet on which I live:


Grabbed this shot up on Mt. Diablo today. The wildflowers were off the hook. Really gorgeous out there lately. The poppies were predominant, dotted with other spots of purple, white, and yellow blossoms here and there. The flowers ran rampant down the hillside:


And then in this perfectly bucolic scene, we have the 3 year old, making faces:

My crazy son, with poppies.


Sigh… πŸ˜‰

Historic church with beautiful acoustics

Nice article about my aunt and uncle’s efforts to preserve one of the last buildings left from Preston Ranch – it’s church:
Cloverdale site testament to religious leader, healer

The acoustics in that church are supreme for classical and folk instruments. The room is 100% seasoned wood paneling, giving it perfect resonance with the instrument. The church itself is quite cozy and very beautiful inside. The old Seth Thomas clock in the tower there has been running since I first saw it in the 1970s, and it’s an amazing piece of machinery.

The ranch mentioned in the article is a place where I spent many weekends and summers. It was there that I began studying flamenco guitar with the great Chris Carnes – although I’ve mostly let the flamenco chops slide in lieu of more classical technique lately. I should do something about that one of these days, but I have too many hobbies and responsibilities as it is…