Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Late Afternoon at the Beach

At the end of day, nothing beats finding a bunch if shells in a cache. It doesn't matter at all if they are common shells... Nope, these are precious!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Technobabble (a portmanteau of technology and babble) is a form of prose using jargon, buzzwords and highly esoteric language to give an impression of plausibility through mystification, misdirection, and obfuscation. This is not to be confused with jargon itself, but rather technobabble is a conscious attempt to deliver jargon to outsiders, without insight or comprehensive explanation, to make unsound or unprovable arguments appear to have merit. (Wikipedia)
I recently ran across an excellent example of this, but more importantly, the comments are "priceless"...

... this new umbrella methodology also includes the Rational Unified Process for our Software Development Lifecycle. However, keep in mind RUP is a software process a, not a methodology, and the other part of the equation that Blueprinting methodology entails is Business Visualization which is a Business Engineering Process. RUP for instance focuses more on the scoping of a project from the perspective of what is the most technology complex business problem or event. Our Business Visualization Engineering Process focuses on cross-boundary value chain workflow of related business activities (components) and includes for instance measurement and simulation. ...

Commenter 1: I've reread this twice and still can't get it.....

Commenter 2: It’s code. Extract every nth character to form the secret message. N depends on a complex lifecycle method of complex unified workflow umbrellas from the perspective of technology visualization of rational business scoping. Get it now?

Commenter 3: Here is a classic message of yesteryear. Whenever I need a smile I always go back to this one. (posted almost 2 years after the original message)

Commenter 2: Cross-boundary value chain workflow? Huh?

Commenter 3: My cross country value pack of workflow volume measurement, regarding relative performance when compared to the business visualization engineering process until unified in measurement and simulation reality…is just fine. And you?

Commenter 1: from the essence of quantum physics the value chain of oxygen interfering with carbon dioxide has now required a new visualization of the underlying semantics required by the earth's warming interior as engineered by the "goriest" warming of the physical exterior related to relativity as bespoke by Einstein.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bottled or Tap?

Around our house, we use tap water almost exclusively, but interestingly - there are lots of people who simply don't believe this is safe. Our own situation is a little tricky, in that we have our own well, and we do our own R.O. filtration for the main tap where we usually drink from. But this "lots of people" quote comes from a recent article on Skepticality regarding this very topic.

I encourage you to click this link, or the link above, for a read (listen) of this fine work from Derek and Swoopy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gawd - Politics

Other than religious horse-pucky that occasionally comes across my desk, the current administration ability to shovel it just amazes me ...

Read this NYTimes article and tell me if you are not incensed by this. Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations...

would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues.
This is from the last Surgeon General.

... discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because ... (of) ties to a prominent family (The Kennedy's) ...

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

Hopefully, we can avoid going back into the middle ages under this administration.

Oh, you want a different opinion? How about this?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

At the annual fireworks display

Julia wearing her "light rings".

Remember what this country stands for. Stand up and make a difference.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Web today

I came home yesterday and my son had they TV on. Paris... He said it's been all that's been on for the last week.

This made me realize that since I'm connected to the news via other means: web, podcast, etc. I get to have a richer experience regarding what's going on around me. Without the web I would probably have to settle for Paris, and that's a sad commentary.

Instead, I know what stem cell research is going on (think growing your own vertebra for surgury on your own back), that a 1957 Plymouth buried then, in Tulsa, to celebrate Oklahoma's then 50 years of statehood is being dug up (and it doesn't look good), what archeologic finds have just been discovered, about a town being wired for phones via wifi, that Gene Roddenberry is being inducted into the SF Hall of Fame (did you know that before all that Star Trek stuff, he flew B17's and also flew for PanAm?) and on and on...

But network news has Paris for us instead... Pllllleeeeeaaaasssseeeee.!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Interstate 405

I was looking for some other piece of information, but stumbled, instead, upon this gem of a film from 7 years ago.

This film, produced in 2000, was 3 minutes long, took 4 months to make, before the kinds of film making tools that are available today. Still, this work, rivaled what the major motion picture studios could produce.

Link here or here

It is also very funny.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bees again

Almost a month later, and I'm still working on the bees (that originally showed up in a tree more than a year ago).

As the humane approach, I've avoided any kind of insecticide, after all there are a lot of bee deaths out here in California as humans encroach upon their habitat. And we really need them to pollinate the plants, like all of that fruit that grows in the valleys to the south of us... Got a nation to feed, after all.

What I have done is stuff plastic bags into the holes at the base of the olive tree. A few years ago, I had tried the expanding foam thing, you know, the kind of stuff you can buy at the hardware store to "seal" up the cracks around your door moldings, etc. To keep energy costs in check... Bees just love this stuff, after it drys and hardens, they just eat right through it, sort of like ants and their tunnels.

So this year, I've tried the plastic bag trick, but I have to do this in the early a.m., when I can see by daylight, and the bees are still cold and not moving around. Evening, well... let's just say, I'm too tired to do much after about 8pm...

My results are mixed, in that the bags have a natural sort of expanding mechanism that on their own must be tied to some kind of mechanical property of the plastic itself, you know, sort of like those "memory" metals that remember their shape. I'm not saying that the bag wants to be a "bag" again, only that it doesn't want to be a "hole plugger". Anyway, give the bees an inch, in that the bag expands out a little, and those little industrious bees, they push like heck until they find a little opening, and BAMM! they are Free!

I'll keep you posted.

**** Update: I really jammed the plastic in the hole, it's staying. That's the good news... The bad news- they have found a crack higher in the tree trunk for ingress/egress...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where do those socks go?

check out this great story at

of course there is always this story

Monday, May 21, 2007

Towel Day is this Friday

Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams.

More information can be found at wikipedia.

The event was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams' death on May 11, and since then annually. On this day, fans carry a towel with them throughout the day. The towel is a reference to his popular science fiction comedy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Domestic Violence Awareness

Earlier this year, one of the people that works in a call center for a wireless carrier in Rancho Cordova, CA lost her life to domestic violence. This employer is/has been committed to remember her and to take further action to promote domestic violence awareness, they have:

  • Awarded a grant to a Sacramento-based domestic violence prevention agency, in her memory. The funds will be used to develop and offer domestic violence awareness training at local businesses.
  • They have Offered workshops on campus, including both grief and awareness sessions.
  • Posted the EAP and National Domestic Violence Hotline numbers in break rooms.
  • Provided an easy way for employees to make matching grants to the same agency, in her honor.
Violence at the hands of a loved one, or former loved one, remains a part of the lives of too many.

You too can make a difference:

  • Be observant. Offer your support and concern if a coworker exhibits possible signs of domestic violence and any EAP program, which usually offers confidential assistance.
  • Urge anyone who confides in you to call #HOPE from a Verizon Wireless phone. It’s a free call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can also call from any phone to 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Encourage the coworker to also speak to his/her supervisor. They can help if they are made aware.
  • Recycle your old phone through HopeLine to help support efforts to end domestic violence.

Monday, May 14, 2007


You are probably going to laugh at this one...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comes in 3's

Today when I came home from work
  1. The bees in the tree in the far corner of my property took up residence in the base of a tree right next to the garage.
  2. I started to flood them out with water, delivered by garden hose, but noticed that the water pump was running start-stop; a clear sign that my new air-volume control is not keeping enough air as a cushion/spring in the water tank. The easy way to resolve this is to turn off the water and allow the tank to drain to about half-way.
  3. I told my wife I was "adding air to the water tank" and it would be about 30 minutes... About 10 min later she tells me that she didn't make the connection between my statement and the literal fact that the water would be off, as she was brushing her teeth and couldn't rinse her toothbrush off.

Later, water back on, flooding recommences, bees are mad again; I'm keeping my distance.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I helped the wife deliver a cake to a baby shower today. She is making cakes for the experience, she puts a picture of each of them into her "portfolio" which she takes with her on her job interviews.

She has other photos from school HERE
my personal favorite

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Overheard while standing in line

Boy: Hey, what do you have on your iPod?

(wait for it)



Girl: Songs.

(is this something girls have to train for?)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Free E-Book

Here is a free ebook, from a new author, since 9-11 making his name in the pod-o-sphere. It is horror, so you may not like that genre, but if you do, right click this link and download and save to your computer.

This book goes on sale on on April 1, for $20 (correction, $13.57) and as the author says, this "free" distribution "... will tick off the suits at the big publishing companies." From his website, Scott Sigler writes:

"En route to a rousing final episode, Ancestor was the #1 literary podcast on iTunes and every other podcast index, including Morpheus, FeedBurner, and Podcast Alley. The book's popularity caught the attention of the broadcast world, and was the first audiobook broadcast on Sirius Satellite to the company's 4.3 million subscribers.


On a remote island in Lake Superior, scientists struggle to solve the problem of xenotransplantation -- using animal tissue to replace failing human organs. Funded by the biotech firm Genada, Dr. Claus Rhumkorrf seeks to recreate the ancestor of all mammals.

By getting back to the root of our creation, Rhumkorrf hopes to create an animal with human internal organs. Rhumkorrf discovers the ancestor, but it is not the small, harmless creature he envisions. His genius gives birth to a fast-growing evil that nature eradicated 250 million years ago -- an evil now on the loose, and very, very hungry.

You can also download or capture the podcasts, for free, and listen to the book as an audio book. So if you have a commute and are looking for a horror novel to keep from falling asleep while you drive, this is it!

You can do this from the podiobook website via this link.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Astrophysics is simple

Checkout this video from the Daily Show

and avoid Black Holes

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Downtown SF

Google Maps is, of course, putting a mosaic of pictures of the earth together for the final product we use. Sometimes you get an interesting result. (Look Ma! I can jump across Market Street)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Spend our way to a better economy?

There are some interesting points being made here

This podcast via Ron Kaufman deserves a listen.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spam Vegetable Strudel

This does not even sound interesting to eat... Link here

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Visit from Japan and some Karate-do history

Shihan Shinichi Nagayama (left) visited Renshi Mike McGowan's family for the holidays this year. Renshi Mike asked and subsequently we jointly trained together with Shihan Nagayama at Shihan John Choi's dojo in Walnut Creek. It was great to train together. Shihan Nagayama is from Japan where he trains in Hanshi Eishu Takahashi's style, Yoshinkan.

Our two styles have their origins in the same master, Kanken Toyama (b.1888, d.1966), who had opened his first dojo in 1930 in Japan. The dojo was called Shudokan (The hall for the study of the Way). It is believed that Toyama did not name his style of karatedo, rather referring to it simply as Okinawa Seito Karatedo. Some have written that he believed that all of karate was one. Because of the name of the place of training, eventually Shudokan became used to refer to the name for Toyama's training. But it is said that Toyama considered Shudokan to be more of a place for training than any one particular style. The Shudokan Dojo was a major training center for senior students of Karate-do from all over Japan and Okinawa.

In 1966 Toyama died without naming a successor. Many of his senior students have since established their own styles; a partial list:
  • Toshi Hanaue maintained the original Shudokan;
  • Eizo Onishi established the Koeikan in 1952;
  • Michio Koyasu founded the Soryu in 1967;
  • Isao Ichikawa founded the Doshinkan (The Heart of the Way style) in 1969 and
  • Eishu Takahashi started the Yoshinkan Dojo in Tochigi, Japan in 1974.
These last two students, the late Hanshi Ichikawa and Hanshi Takahashi, have maintained the values of "traditional" martial arts by not introducing competitions or tournaments. They have preserved the spirit and traditions of Budo in their dojos, as did their teacher before them and the Shihan, Renshi, and Sensei who follow them. Doshinkan today is lead by the late Hanshi's brother, Hanshi Nobuo Ichikawa.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

All the best to you and your family