Tuesday, January 27, 2015


So, today was the first time I'd driven since the second of the month.  And the first drive longer than 15 minutes since... November?  Maybe?

So today, I drove to Lodi for the post-remediation sampling work.  We're signalling soil gas wells, and so I'm on the road at 6:00 Am heading for Lodi.  And the thing that bothered me most about the drive was my seat-belt.

There are no seat-belts on BART.

The closest I come to a seat-belt on my bike is my Chrome bag which goes from left shoulder to right belly, and has a seal-belt style buckle.

Not that I would ever not wear my seat-belt.  It's too ingrained to wear one.

But man, do they pull on your neck when you're to used to wearing one.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Anniversary

So, seventeen years ago, Jennifer and I had our first date.  This weekend we celebrated.

On our first date, I had taken her all around San Francisco giving her various views of the city.  We had a picnic in Golden Gate park, ate clam chowder on Fisherman's Wharf, and just had a great time.

This weekend, we celebrated us.

Friday night, I made me new personal specialty, chicken pad see ew.

Saturday, we went for a long ride.  Possibly our longest ride together.

We started off with breakfast at Starbucks, but then rode south.  We raced an Amtrak train from Emeryville to Jack London, and ended up beating it.

We continued on and crossed onto Alameda.  We followed the road around the south end of the island, and came back up to Shore Line Drive.  And there we discovered that they are in the process of installing a two-way bike lane along the water side of the road.  It was great having our own lane that allowed us to mostly ignore car traffic and not have to dodge foot traffic.  There are little concrete islands that have been installed, and they had barricades with an electrician's name stamped on them.  I'm guessing that the islands will have some sort of light.  Based on the plans on the web, these may just be street lights.  Still, we were very excited.

After stopping for lunch at Sushi House. we rode on north, and made it to St. George Spirits.  Unfortunately the new vodka isn't ready yet so we didn't taste.  We did go next door to Faction Brewing for some beer.  It was okay beer.  They poured either full pints, or 5-ounce glasses for tasting.  We chose 8 and sipped our way through them.  As you can guess from the logo, they're into hops.  We're really not, so we doubt if we'll be going back.

On our way off the old navy base, we came across some pyracantha bushes that were thickly covered in berries, and the berries on the individual bushes were different shades of red and orange.  We stopped, and Jennifer took some pictures.

After that, we were pretty much ready to head home.  Until we came across a Foster's Freeze.

Then we rode home.

At the end of the day, we had gone about 32.5 miles.

Sunday, I took Jennifer to Cooperage in Lafayette.  We had a wonderful brunch, and then walked a bit through downtown Lafayette.

We had talked about watching movies later that day, but we weren't sure which ones we wanted to see.  When we got home, "Inherit the Wind" was on TMC, and that was immediately followed by "Forbidden Planet".  With a little pause for homemade chicken nachos as dinner, that completed the night and the weekend.

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.

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