Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kill Mo' Mockingbird

Have you seen Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

Have you read the original book by Harper Lee since high school?

If not, then go, and watch and read.

They are excellent.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


So I'm reading These Are the Voyages, and I'm learning some things about making television shows.

One of the things that I've learned is that the bit of a show before the title sequence is called the teaser.  Apparently, the point of them is to grab the watcher's attention, and prevent them from switching channels.

So I'm streaming "Young Justice" on Netflix, and I'm seeing the same thing being done.  And I have to say how annoying it is.  They're little cliffhanger endings for the beginning of the show.

I don't know if that sort of thing has ever caught me and kept me from changing channels, especially now that we use DVR.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Stuff

One of the things that fascinates me most about volcanoes and lava flows is that the exposed material is the newest/youngest material on the surface of the earth.  Yes, the elements are ancient, but the solids that form, the mineral crystals and associated rocks are brand new.

That's why this video is that much cooler.


Riding in to work today was an experience.

West side of the Oakland Hills: chilly, but not exceptional.

East side of the Hills: thick fog.

And this isn't like the fog a couple weeks ago that was thick and surreal.  One that made trtaffic lights look like multicolored spotlights.  Today's fog was thick and wet.  I coudl feel the tiny drops hitting my face as I rode in.

Then when I took my over gloves off I noticed they had caught a little moisture.

It's blurry because I was still in the hallway, but I wanted to get a picture before the water evaporated or soaked into the glove.

Then after I parked my bike, I saw how much water had accumulated on it.

I fully expected my beard to be soaked, but it wasn't.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

With but One Comment

This is from Mauricio Abril.

If you watch through to the disclaimers at the end, I have to wonder... Where does Obama come into this?

And then because this other one is just as good, and I like "Knights of Cydonia":

Friday, January 09, 2015

Work Slow Down

So, things had apparently been progressing too well this week at work.  I came in this morning and could not connect to our network drives.

Now this is probably only the second time in three years that this has happened at my current company.  Things are much better than they used to be at Kleinfelder.

Kleinfelder had the absolute worst network I've ever experienced.

The way I was told things were set up was that even though the server was in the closet in Pleasanton, the file requests had to travel all the way to HQ down in southern California and then back up to the server.  And then the file traveled back that path to my computer.  It wasn't too bad when opening a file, but when it autosaved (and you wanted this to happen regularly) the computer would freeze for a few seconds.  And then when the network inevitably went down (at least once every couple of weeks), work would essentially stop because you were not to keep any documents on your computer.

Work is progressing to fix our problem today, but I've got flashbacks.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Temperature Revisited

So this morning I have set up my mini-desk-fan, and then I thought about the two vents that are in the ceiling.

So here's the temperature stats:

Window behind bookcase: 58 F

Floor:  67 F

Ceiling: 77 F

Register in ceiling: 102 F

Duct opening in ceiling:  84 F

No we'll just see how the circulation works and feels.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Temperature Precision

So, for Christmas this year, one of the gifts I got from my list from my in-laws was a non-contact infrared thermometer.  This one right here at Amazon.

The Sunday after Christmas, we did a Skype present opening, and I was excited to begin playing with it.  They of course asked me why in the world I wanted such a thing.  I said because I wanted to check the temperature of things.  As an example I gave checking the temperature of the oven, but that's proving tricky to find the right spot to measure.  I'm learning though.

The real reason I got interested in the thermometer?  This Gizmodo article.

And so now, I've gathered lots of fun data (all numbers are in degrees Fahrenheit):

For drinking, I prefer my tea to cool down to 125.

I've also checked the temperature of my hands and feet at different levels of perceived coolness.  Feet at 75 degrees are surprisingly cold.

The sun shining on our book case makes the wood 10 degrees warmer than the shaded wood.

The hottest part of my laptop  (on the outside) is 140 degrees.

Today, I brought the thermometer to work...

Outside it was about 38 degrees, and the metal window sill in my office is around 60 degrees (55 in the pocket between the window and the bookcase.

The floor is 62 and the ceiling is 73.  After dad telling me about his experience with warming his house up my circulating the layers of air, I'm thinking I'm going to bring in a little desk fan and see if that helps.

I also found out that the water dispenser at the office come out at 175.  This is perfect for green tea, so I'm all set for my David's Tea Perfect Mug which I can't pitch enough for how great it is.

Books I Read in 2014

Below is the list of books I read last year.  Some of them are just ones that I tried to read.  But still, a fulfilling year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Today has been mostly mundane.

Until just a few minutes ago, right outside my window.

The turkeys of Walnut Creek.

En Route

Yesterday morning was normal.  Cold, but normal.

Then around midday the winds started.  They were 20 to 30 mph with gusts 40 to 50 mph.  I could see the trees outside my office blowing and hear all of the debris hitting the building.  After a phone call, I was convinced it would be better if I walked rather than rode my bike home.

As I got to Walnut Creek BART, there were people everywhere outside the station.  Apparently, broken tree branches had blocked the tracks on the yellow line (Pittsburg/Baypoint <=> Daly City) between Concord and Pleasant Hill and somewhere south of San Francisco.  So they were only running trains that were between the two cut-offs.  But we had to wait.  Then they announced a train was on its way from Lafayette.  It arrived but on the opposite platform.  I and a few others ran and got on the nearly empty train, and then waited while it waited for everyone else on the opposite platform to come over.  At least I got a seat.  By the time I made it home it had taken closet to two hours.

Then this morning I had to take Emery-Go-Round back to BART, and that turned out to be a mess because since today is an almost holiday, they started the buses an hour later than usual.

I'll be working through lunch to catch up on my time today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Advent: Day 22

So, Sunday when I was coming home from visiting mom in the hospital, there was a series of crunches from my right bike pedal.  I looked it over, and found the bearings had given out or fallen out.  Fortunately, the pedal still worked, and was just a little loose.

So, last night when I got home (I rode my other bike to work), Jennifer and I rode to Blue Heron Bikes in Berkeley.  We had found them while riding on the Ohlone Greenway under the Richmond BART line.  Not only did they trade out the pedals, but they also traded out my toe cages at no extra cost.  I was impressed with the guy who worked on my bike, because I had tried to unscrew the pedal and just had no success.  They have some beautiful bikes there too.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Advent: Day 21

Sunday, I spent with mom and dad at Kaiser.  Mom had a rough Friday and Saturday, and spent them in the hospital.  She's still there today (Monday), but we're hoping that she'll get to go home today.  She was tired, and dad and I took turns feeding her.  It wasn't that she was that weak, she just only had one good hand to use, because her left was covered in monitors and tubes.  But news was looking better for her, and when I left, dad was still asleep on the couch int he room, and mom was getting vitamins and probably going back to napping.

When I got home, Jennifer had gone domestic on me again, and was in the midst of baking bread, and preparing sausages and mashed potatoes for our Winter Solstice dinner.  Half of which I have leftover for lunch today.

Advent: Day 20

Saturday was a good day overall.  Jennifer and I went into the city to look at Christmas trees, and experience the season with people.  If you have not yet been to the AstroTurf covered Winter Walk, then I highly recommend it.  And be sure to be there in both the day and the night, because the free form benches light up at night and add a pretty note to the walk.

And since you'll be nearby, go to the Sutter Pub.  Boddington's, as well as others, on tap, and some really great food.

Advent: Day 19

Friday.  A day to look forward to the weekend.  And also one to see that Christmas is closing in just that fast.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Advent: Day 18

Let's just say that my review went very well, and I'm looking forward to the new year and growing opportunities at my company.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent: Day 17

Yesterday was an interesting day.  We had a low grade version of what at ETIC we used to call a "client fire drill".

Basically, a client PM had a presentation coming up today, and she needed us to fill in the facts on her presentation.  We had a quick conference call, and hashed out who as doing what.  An then we got it back to her in a couple hours, all set to go.

It was so much easier than some of the rush work we would have at ETIC.  At least this one had an understandable purpose.  The ETIC client work always seemed like arbitrary budget re-analysis.

But now, all is well, and I can relax and look forward to my annual review later today.