... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These aren't exactly magnets, but they were off of a wonderful wall at my friend diane's house in England...and there are a bazillion of them.

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* Discussion *

Talk about it here.


Finished Sarum
by Edward Rutherfurd

Finished Shattered
by Dick Francis

I WILL eventually start reading a new book; just have been too busy to start!


Will & Grace
Just Shoot Me


Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page

and three more are posted at Beechbrook Cottage

Pictures from our The England and Orkney trip are on my own Club Photo page.

Not to be missed:  Steve has uploaded some of his new songs to the web.  Check 'em out

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That's it for today!



12 October 2001

I can't make up my mind about zoos. I know the logic. Zoos help preserve endangered species, make us aware of the need for conservation measures, protect animals who have been injured, etc., etc.

But there are zoos and there are zoos. The San Diego zoo, and especially the Wild Animal park, don't make me feel guilty. The animals have lots of room, and don't look particularly miserable.

But I remember one awful day many years ago at the Oakland zoo where I saw a polar bear who had barely enough room to walk...just pacing up and down...up and down. I felt so sorry for the poor thing. Contrast it with the huge enclosure in San Diego, where the bears have a pool in which to swim (with window for gawkers to watch them).

I have stood by a gorilla enclosure more than once, with an excited toddler in tow, and wanted to apologize to the gorilla for intruding on his/her privacy.

But zoos appear here to stay, and with that as a given, I do enjoy visiting a good zoo--one which really seems to have the interest of the animals foremost, where the enclosures have toys to play with, room to move about, things to climb, and places to go when they are tired of little boys trying to get a reaction out of them.

The San Francisco zoo isn't on a par with San Diego--few are--but in its own way, it's not a bad zoo, as zoos go. It was the perfect place to take a couple of young kids on Columbus day and so the mother of said two kids suggested we meet there to spend the day. Our group consisted of Tricia, the mom; Austin and Alana, the kids; and Pat, who had come up from Los Angeles for her daughter's wedding.

I have spent a lot of time at the San Francisco zoo, since I remember many trips during my growing-up years. We also took the kids there off and on when we were living in Oakland (since I much preferred it to the pathetic Oakland zoo). It has changed a lot in the many years since I was last there. For one thing, there is now a hefty admission fee ($10). The ticket booth sits smack dab in the middle of what used to be the playground where I felt very brave and daring when I got up the nerve to go down the slide with two bumps in it, rather than the straight slide (I always was a playground wuss).

The San Francisco zoo is undergoing extensive restoration, and so everywhere we went was a detour from some phase of construction, but they've done the best they could to accommodate visitors during the rennovation.

The lion house, where I used to love to watch the lions attack their meat during feeding time, is looking a little sad on the outside, but it's always fun to be able to see the lions and tigers up close and personal. They are in cages a couple of arms' length from the railing which keeps viewers from getting too close. But it's a real "in your face" experience. When suppertime is over, they can leave the cage to go to the outside play area, romp in the grass, or doze in the sun.

The "monkey island" that I remember from my childhood is gone, and in its place seems to be a penguin "condo." It's breeding time for the penguins and we had to chuckle when we found a separate enclosure a distance away from the main penguin group with only 3 penguins in it. On the enclosure was this sign--

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There were some firsts on this trip. I'd never heard a flamingo make a noise, for example. Nor a penguin. And certainly not a lemur, whose shrieks so shook the zoo that we thought there was an elephant stampede. Whoda thunk so much noise could come out of one small body?

The most fun part of the day came at the end when we visited the lorikeets. I first encountered lorikeets in San Diego. Peggy and I each had little cups of nectar and when we walked into the enclosure we were surrounded by birds, all eager to drink out of the cup. It was so much fun!

Now the San Francisco zoo has a lorikeet enclosure and the kids were thrilled to be able to feed the birds, while their mother and I snapped photos.

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At the end of the day, I left the kids behind and headed across the bridge. It really was a good day. I'll have to try to get to the zoo more often. It's nice to get out and talk to the animals once and awhile.

One Year Ago:
Keeping Up with Steve

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 10/10/01 by Bev Sykes