French Vanilla Ice Cream

Neat fact of the day: in the term "French Vanilla," as in French Vanilla Ice Cream, French is not an adjective that applies to vanilla. Rather, it applies to ice cream, saying that's it's made in the French style, meaning it includes eggs or egg yolks. (Ice cream usually only includes dairy products and sugar.)

I learned this after doing a tasting of Dreyer's regular vanilla versus Dreyer's French vanilla. The tasting was originally inspired because I noticed the cartons don't make it clear what the difference between them is. The difference in taste was obvious: the French vanilla was more eggy. I preferred the normal vanilla.

Golden Gate Bridge & Sausalito

On Saturday, January 26, 2008, two of us decided to do something interesting. We drove north to the opposite side of the Golden Gate Bridge, parked, walked across the entire bridge, and walked back. The weather was surprisingly pleasant, especially given the forecast of rain for the whole weekend, a forecast made more believable by the large amount of rain the previous day. As expected, the bridge had good views of the bay.

We then headed to Sausalito, a town I've visited a few times before but always for a particular destination or reason, never to explore. It's a cute, small town, reminding me much of Carmel. The businesses in Carmel, however, are inland; in Sausalito, the retailers are arrayed on a road along the waterfront. Like the bridge, Sausalito had a pretty good view of the bay.

While walking on the waterfront, we saw many birds, some with enormmous wingspans. We watched a bird dive underwater and reappear with a fish in its bill. It then gulped it down.

In town, we spotted many intriguing art galleries. Some had art I've seen before at street fairs. We went in Fingerhut's Sausalito gallery, a high class art gallery, because it had a special exhibit of Dr. Seuss artwork. How fun! We also entered Petri's Gallery. It has stunning/amazing/awesome glass art. Yes, I was awed. I have some training in glass, and I have no idea how some pieces were made (especially the paperweights). Prices are high, sometimes in the thousands, but I was so impressed I thought the prices appropriate.

Sorry, I forgot to take my camera with me.

Clement Street Dim Sum Stroll

On Monday, January 21, 2008, I strolled down Clement Street in San Francisco's inner Richmond, sampling many items from the take-out dim sum joints. Like my previous such excursion, it was overcast, alternating among raining, drizzling, and simply being humid. We smartly carried umbrellas.

I suppose I should note that, during this excursion, I sampled

  • dumplings (shark's fin, celery and shrimp (we got this by accident), and scallion and shrimp)
  • a long rolled dumpling (with very little shrimp)
  • shu mai (chicken)
  • a wonderfully warming porridge
  • a steamed pork-and-vegetable bun (eh: too bad it was pork and vegetable mashed into a meatloaf-like consistency; I should've gone straight for the bbq pork)
  • a banana cake (dessert; made of mochi; heavier than the steamed bun, yet only a quarter of the size of it)
  • some potstickers
  • a banh mi sandwich (pork; nowhere near as good as those I used to get in El Cerrito while living in Berkeley)
It was a pleasant way of doing lunch, though nothing I had this time was too exciting.


On Saturday, January 12, 2008, I drove to Carmel. It's a cute small town, easily walkable, with lovely beaches nearby.

We had a picnic on a bluff overlooking the beach. It included baguette sandwiches made with ham, cheese (various bries), basil, and tomato, accompanied by snacks of fruit.

We climbed onto the Pebble Beach Golf Course. The caddies were nice when giving us directions on how to find our way out.

We ran among the pretty houses in Carmel. Many have names! How fun.

In town, I went into an art store with many rip van wrinkle paintings, an English candy store, a cheese-and-wine shop, and a store with character that different people liked for different reasons.

I'm not going to bother to put my pictures online.

Police Beat

Some things that make the police reports, especially in safe towns, can be funny be read. Here are some excerpts from the "Police Beat" column of the San Mateo Daily News for Thursday, November 1, 2007.

  • Let's Call The Whole Thing Off: Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, a girl called [the] police from El Camino Real in Millbrae to report her ex-boyfriend keeps calling and threatening to tell her parents things, "they don't need to know." The ex-boyfriend told police she's the one who won't stop calling, and he doesn't even have her number. Both were told to stop calling each other.
  • Millbrae, Monday, Magnolia Avenue, 9:25 p.m.: Police checked on the driver of a car that had been parked in the same spot for a while. It turned out the driver was "thinking about life in general."
  • Foster City, Tuesday, Lyme Lane, 9:42 a.m.: A man called 911 asking for his daughter. It was determined to be a misdial.
  • Burlingame, Tuesday, 1100 block of Trousdale Drive, 9:39 a.m.: A resident reported his vehicle missing after leaving it parked with the keys in the ignition.
  • Burlingame, Tuesday, 1500 block of Floribunda Avenue, 10:@5 a.m.: An unknown male called a resident and told her she had won $200,000 and that he would bring it to her.
  • Burlingame, Tuesday, 1000 block of Burlingame Avenue, 3:03 p.m.: Someone reported two women behind the tennis courts possibly engaging in sexual activity. Police determined they weren't doing anything out of the ordinary.