Petaluma Foodie Festival–2014

This annual “foodie” event is produced by the Petaluma Host Lions Club with the proceeds benefiting the local high schools..

I think of it as an indoor street festival presenting an epicurean vision of local dining, restaurants, caterers, and food vendors offering their best for your consideration. Oh, and you can also eat and sample as much as you wish.

To add to the experience, several high school jazz bands provided entertainment throughout the event

Meow 2014!…Once Again (Cat Fanciers Santa Rosa Show)

The Santa Rosa Cat Fanciers Association  All Breed Show at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds earlier this month was a must attend event for cat lovers—who braved one of rare rainy weekends this season to attend.

Of course, there were many vendors of cat accessories…

Cat Toy DSCF1642

And attendees had a chance to adopt “Forgotten Felines”…

Cats Forgotten Felines DSCF1619

We “braved” the rain to make our annual pilgrimage to the event and I have create a few galleries to give you a sense of the day.

Note that all photos were taken without flash so as not to disturb the feline stars and judges.

Photo Galleries

(Click on any photo in the individual gallery to open the collage for full sized photos. To return to the page from the open gallery, slick on the X in the upper left hand corner)

Attendees (Feline & People)



California Water…or the lack thereof

Late fall and winter is “normally” our wet season when rain and snow deposits fill our reservoirs for future use.

In the California coastal areas, the landscape is normally quite verdant at this time of the year as shown in the first two photos in the collage.

The last two photos are the best evidence of  the present situation…Drought

Photo Collage

(Click on any photo to open the collage to see full sized photos)

READER NOTE:  For a related “Water” post—related only in that it includes “Water” in the title—check out They’re Flipping Out on Water Street!

History At Your Feet Part II…Petaluma’s Carnegie Free Public Library

My recent perambulations downtown searching for thresholds and entryways created by artisans from another time led me to what is now known as the Petaluma Museum.

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

Of course, like many buildings in the historic district, it has a long history.  While I thought that I had thoroughly “covered” this building during past visits, I was persuaded by Katherine Rinehart to take another look. She advised it had a significant tile and marble entryway installed by Petaluma’s E.W.M. Evans in 1906. I thought I knew this building, but it was proof again that one can always discover something new, even in old territory.

For those not familiar with Petaluma, suffice it to say that the building in question is one of the many hundreds of free public libraries built by grants from Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries…

  • It’s purpose, set in stone, if you will, on the front of the building.
The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

  • And just as Katherine noted, a marble and tile threshold message… set by Petaluma’s E.W.M. Evans in 1906.
The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum (Originally a Carnegie Library)


History At Your Feet Part I…Petaluma’s Downtown

The buildings on Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. are home to an active business and retail district but they also represent and reflect Petaluma’s past…

Kentucky & E. Washington

Kentucky & E. Washington

From my perspective, this area is also a terrific location for photography and I concentrated my efforts there from February to July in 2012.  See Downtown…Photo Grid

I thought I had thoroughly “absorbed” the area during my photo grid project. However, on a recent visit, I happened to look down.



Granted I had noticed (but did not note) this marble and tile work from my past walks but I now wondered about the thresholds and entry ways of other buildings. So I decided to attempt a photo survey of sorts. I mainly confined my efforts to Kentucky St. and Petaluma Blvd. bordered by East Washington and Western Avenue…


  • Not every building has a marble, granite, or tile threshold or entryway.  Many are simply standard sidewalk concrete presentations.
  • On the other hand, I did find many intricate mosaic tile displays, some mixed with marble or granite.  Some contain the street address or the names of previous businesses from the distant past. For example, Daunt’s, Nielsen’s, S & G, L & M Drug Co.
  • Other locations did have tiled entrances but they were, shall we say, in various stages of deterioration.
  • Some locations reflect modern tile work which is quite colorful.

According to local historian, Katherine J Rinehart, much of the older work was by  E.W.M. Evans: “Evans and his sons are responsible for much of the tile and marble work you see in downtown building entrances. He died in 1942 and according to one obituary, ‘…he took pride in the work of installing monuments, vaults and granite curbing. He also installed many store fronts, tiled floorings and marble work.’”

Over time, more and more of the tile and marble work may disappear as remodeling takes place. In fact, I observed tile being removed and replaced with concrete last week in one location. 

My goal for this project was to try and document some of  what remains. 

For example, this elaborate mosaic tile apron on Kentucky & Western…

Kentucky DSCF1168RAW

…and the scenes in this gallery.

Click on any photo to open the collage to see full sized photos.

  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

In Part II I will take you to the doorway of a famous Petaluma building>> (CLICK HERE)

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.


Photo Gallery for 2013 Now Available!

I have finally assembled, edited, processed, and posted a random selection of photos on the 2013 Gallery Page…a photo collection, if you will, documenting scenes I’ve encountered this year in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa Counties.

This year the Gallery Page is in three parts–a main gallery, plus two slideshows.

  • “Sights & Scenes…Marin Napa & Sonoma” (Main Gallery)
  • “Walking the…Dog…Horse…Cat” (Slideshow)
  • “Signs” (Slideshow)

To view all three, go to Sights & Scenes Gallery 2013

On the other hand, you can simply click on the tab at the top of the page!

As a tease, I offer these…

Need A New Mattress? Come to Petaluma!

Recently navigating the snail paced traffic across town in pursuit of personal errands…


…I noted the number of Petaluma mattress stores–all within slightly more than a mile of each other!

Mattress Collage Web

Clearly Petalumans do not have to go far to purchase a new mattress!

Perhaps some of the traffic is due to out of town customers?

If needs be, perhaps one can put their new mattress to immediate use by plopping it down on the sidewalk and taking a nap until the traffic clears!

Red Sunflowers–From Massachusetts To California

Several years ago friends from Cape Cod, Massachusetts sent us seeds from red sunflower plants that sprouted as volunteers on their beach.  We planted them to see if we could also grow them here in California.  The population has changed over the years, producing several varieties in color and providing a home for visiting insects and bees!

The sunflowers in this year’s crop were recently described by a passerby as sentinels…standing tall.

Sunflower Sentinels

Sunflower Sentinels

As the plants advance into fall, the blooms fade and the pods become a seed banquet table for the birds.

The first gallery below contains photos from summer and the second gallery is…shall we say…just for the birdsEmoji


As you will see in the summer gallery, the “reds” have expanded their color horizons while maintaining a home for visiting insects and bees!

  • Click on any photo below to start a gallery
  • The gallery may take a minute to load, depending upon your connection speed!
  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.



Motorcycle Lane Splitting…Riding On the Edge

One of the common features of traffic on California roads is motorcycle lane splitting…

Very Tight Fit

Very Tight Fit

Lane Splitting is a practice that I always found a bit odd, not to mention risky, based upon my over 100,000 miles of motorcycle riding when we lived in Illinois and traveled throughout the American West, Canada, and other locales following the literary trails of Robert Pirsig’s  Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I have ignored it for the most part but recently the practice has become more noticeable due to the construction on 101 and the additional traffic congestion. In addition, I have recently noted the practice on Petaluma streets after a motorcyclist grazed our car mirror while splitting the lanes on North McDowell. Needless to day, that event caused me to reflect on and to research the subject!

I was taught to always ride in one of the tire lanes or paths and to avoid center lines or lane lines as much as possible because of the hazards to bike stability presented by the painted/raised lines or embedded lane markers, not to mention road debris such as nails, glass, etc.  In one instance in Oregon, this practice clearly saved our lives.  But these precautions do not apply to motorcycle lane splitting to get around stalled or slow moving car traffic.  It is tricky business at best and requires a lot of counter steering (biker term) to pull it off…


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Lane splitting is not illegal in California according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

On the other hand, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Motorcycle Handbook clearly states on Page 16:  “Vehicles and motorcycles each need a full lane to operate safely.  Lane sharing is not safe. Riding between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane can leave you vulnerable.”

The CHP web site contains a detailed set of guidelines for those who engage in lane sharing or splitting and these are set forth at the end of the article.  To my mind the CHP guidelines almost read as an extended version of Proceed At Your Own Risk.

Consider the “tight fit” of this particular lane splitting maneuver…


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California Highway Patrol Lane Splitting Guidelines–Short Form Guide

Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California.  The term  lane splitting, sometimes known as lane sharing, filtering or white-lining, refers to the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic or moving between lanes to the front of traffic stopped at a traffic light.

Motorcyclists who are competent enough riders to lane split, should follow these general  guidelines if choosing to lane split:

  1)   Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.
  2)   It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.
  3)   Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.
  4)   Consider the total environment in which you are splitting, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions.
  5)   Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.

The Four R’s or “Be-Attitudes” of Lane Splitting: Be Reasonable, be Responsible, be Respectful, be aware of all Roadway and traffic conditions.

Note:These general guidelines are not guaranteed to keep you safe.  Lane splitting should not be performed by            inexperienced riders.  These guidelines assume a high level of riding competency and experience.  Every rider has ultimate responsibility for his or her own decision making and safety.  Riders must be conscious of reducing crash risk at all times.

 Messages for Other Vehicle Drivers      

  1. Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner.
  2. Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
  3. Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).
  4. Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).

To view a fuller explanation of the CHP Guidelines, go to CHP Lane Splitting Guidelines