The high-paying, white-collar jobs in our region are killing our backs.
(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in June, 2016.)
Most of us pay little attention to the topic of back pain. That is, until inevitably joining the unhappy eight out of 10 Americans who will suffer from some sort of back episode during their lives. Ask any of the millions of sufferers and the picture is grim, with spinal trouble turning everyday activities like sitting, standing, moving or sleeping into agonizing or impossible acts. Even just bending over to brush your teeth can become a painful challenge. Continue reading
It’s hard to beat the beauty and solitude of Yosemite National Park during the winter, where sights and activities await.
(Published on January 25, 2015, by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates.)
Opaque mist freezes instantly, forming massive snowcones below Yosemite Falls. A trick of the setting sun turns Horsetail Falls into a glowing ribbon of fire, illuminating the granite walls. And clumps of frazil ice flow across creeks, transforming them into giant moving slurpees.
Some four million people visit majestic Yosemite National Park every year, but only a few hundred thousand will ever see such scenes, behold the pristine magic and the cushioned silence of the season. The vast majority visit in the summer, when the valley floor resembles freeway rush hour. But the winter season is Yosemite’s best-kept secret, a season of serenity, grandeur and utter peace. Continue reading
One of the last, biggest open space areas in the region, San Bruno Mountain is home to many endangered species that are being aided by a local volunteer program.
(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on January 17, 2015.)
Few of the drivers zipping along Highway 101 just south of San Francisco probably notice a large, hilly expanse west of the freeway, although it’s notable for what it doesn’t contain — buildings, cars and concrete.
As urbanization has destroyed most of the Franciscan bioregion — the unique area including San Francisco and the land directly south of it — San Bruno Mountain’s 3,400 acres are the largest, richest remaining open space and indigenous habitat for many endangered species. Continue reading
The alcoholic beverages of today can contain outstanding ingredients and be as complex and delicious as the best of our cuisine.
(Published by South Bay Accent in December, 2014.)
Old standbys like Jack, Jim and Johnny aren’t very prevalent in trendy South Bay cocktail lounges, circa 2014. Instead of relying on Jim (Beam), Jack (Daniels) and Johnny (Walker), today’s “mixologists” (aka, bartenders) might have barrel-aged their own cocktail concoctions on the premises or whipped up their own drink recipes featuring hand-made ingredients or sought out libations among the burgeoning supply of small-batch craft spirits. Say, a sultry rum made in Alameda from California-grown sugarcane, or a domestic gin distilled with juniper, elderberries, citrus, cinnamon and hibiscus, or a myriad of US-produced vodkas flavored with just about anything you can think of. Continue reading
Art lovers might consider their home as an immediate, enjoyable place to display art and sculpture so they can see it every day.
(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on October 18, 2014.)
“Art” in many homes means a framed $30 poster, which makes Cathy Kimball sadly shake her head. “When you think that you could be buying a unique work of art by an artist in this community rather than supporting Pottery Barn,” sniffs the petite blonde.
Given the fact that Kimball is the longtime director of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), her view is understandable. But she insists that putting real art on your wall doesn’t require a last name of Sobrato or Ellison. “Sometimes the price differential isn’t that big,” she says, between a work of art and a mass-produced something-or-other that was purchased to match the upholstery. Continue reading
The hottest sport around these days is stand-up paddleboarding, which can be done all over the Bay Area in the ocean, bay, lakes and rivers.
(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on August 17, 2014.)
When the surf is down, and the winds are slight, it’s time to walk on water — or so say an increasing number of Bay Area residents reveling in one of today’s hottest sports, stand-up paddleboarding. Continue reading
Whether it’s enjoyed by the family or the family dogs, today’s artificial turf is an attractive, realistic-looking option as well as a water-wise replacement for thirsty lawns.
(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on August 2, 2014.)
It’s long been considered the bad toupee of the landscaping world by people recalling the atrocious-looking fake grass of earlier years or remembering football players who got the equivalent of rug burns when tackled on the stuff. Continue reading