Golden Gate Park, July 12, 2009

 

Today Susan took us to the Tutankhamun exhibit which just opened at the de Young Museum. They didn't allow photos, but fortunately Martha had her cellphone open just as two Tut lookalikes strolled by. Though quite shy, they identified themselves as Christinkhamun (left) and Susankhamun (right).

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After the exhibit, we hungrily rushed to the Japanese Tea Garden next door.  Jesse and Christina (left) and Daniel and Susan (right) are enjoying tea and crackers.

Here's Martha and (from Jesse's iPhone) Susan, me, and Jesse.

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The fortune in my fortune cookie predicted I'd soon be taking a long trip–a surprise, since I leave for Europe on Friday, and Daniel's rewarded him with the promise of a long life. Jesse's fortune made some comment about her wife, though, and it was pretty much downhill from there.

Clearly it was time to give up the fortunes and tea leaves, and so we got up and took in the garden.

Our last destination was dinner at the Cliff House at Ocean Beach, at the western edge of the park. Here's everyone proceeding up the incline to the Cliff House.

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and checking for sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants–with many sightings of all.

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Before dinner, we stopped for a look at pictures of the ocean taken by a huge working camera obscura, which is based on optical principles understood by early Chinese and Greek philosophers (including Aristotle), and whose name is owed to Kepler, the seventeenth century physicist. It was so impressive I didn't dare take out my puny digital camera to photograph it. But here's a photo of the camera's outside from Wikipedia. If the outside looks like it's intended to look like something Kodak made, that's intentional, authentic SF kitsch. When you enter the camera-building you see a constantly moving image–extraordinarily, vividly lifelike and at least five feet in diameter.

We ended the day with sumptuous dinner, Martha's treat, in the sumptuous dining room of the Cliff House, so called because it's built into the side of a near-vertical cliff hanging over the ocean. The dinner was probably the most photogenic meal I'd ever witnessed, but by the time the food arrived, the fans had had enough of my picture-taking, and so the story ends with a couple of shots of our group looking over the menu.

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