Monday, July 30, 2007

Berkeley Kite Festival

Angie and Hooch drove down for this year's Berkeley Kite Festival. I brought my new double rotor kite. It was an absolutely perfect day for kites at the Berkeley Marina.
I had a great time just zoning out and getting into the wind. Took it up to 550 ft and it performed flawlessly.

Here are a few pictures:

Berkeley Kite Festival 2007

A Note about Hooch...

After the Festival, Angie and I delivered Hooch to our good friends Bob and Brigette . He's going to live with them from now on. He couldn't ask for a better loving home and I know he'll have a good life with them.

Angie has other plans to acquire a Black German Shepherd puppy.

Hooch is a really great dog with a good heart. I'll miss him a lot but I'll see him because I have dinner with Bob and Brigitte fairly often.

Several of my friends have asked me why I allowed Hooch to go. This mystifies me since all of you guys are married too. It's not much of a challenge to love your wife when she's doing something sane, now is it guys?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Astro Boy Lives!!

Today was an abasolutely gorgeous California day in the City. I pulled myself away from work for a few hours and headed to the Civic Center to see the Osamu Tezuka exhibit at the Asian art Museum and also hear my good friend, Fred Schodt lecture on Tezuka and his greatest creation, Astro Boy (or the Mighty Atom).

Fred's a very interesting lecture and it was very entertaining. I'd really like to write a whole essay about it but I have to get back to work so here are few pictures highlighting the afternoon.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Made it through my first meeting on the Failover Project without too many scars! Weirdest thing? Getting hooked up with test servers via cousin Nick
and then being told I didn't have to set them up and configure them. Just assign it to one of the interns. Wow, that's truly some dangerous spoilage...

Next big deal? Wednesday morning I'm meeting with department heads from QA, Tech Support, and Maintenance to get feedback on how to make the project easier to support, easier to maintain, and easier to, uh, assure... I'm preparing a little audiovisual presentation this weekend for that.

I'm staying in the City this weekend to see my friend Fred's talk on Osamu Tezuka and Astro-Boy at the Asian Art Museum.

Maybe I'll see you there!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Chu's Coming

I have a good friend, Jon Chu, and here are some of the latest pictures he sent of his son Thomas now age 3. Jon and I are part of the great Bay Area Engineering Diaspora after Y2K. He and his wife Paula now live in Utah (though they're looking to come back out to the Far West). They are really good people and now are preparing to travel to China to adopt their second son this August. Tentative name? Cole Yi. Pretty nice Jon, but it doesn't quite roll off the tongue as well as, say, Court Yi, for example.

Getting bounced around a lot this week. Looking for rack-space for my high-performance solution servers and (surprise, surprise) no one wants to give up any. Not sales, not dev, not QA, nobody. I've asked about putting in my own rack but I think that's a non-starter with Dave. So, yeah, at the moment I'm getting beaten like the proverbial red-headed stepchild.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Transitioning to the New Cittio

Hung out with Hooch on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night I got a note from Dave Sakamoto at Cittio that all the engineers were requested to come in Sunday and get the new data center installed by Monday morning.

So I took off at dawn on Sunday morning and headed back to the Bay Area. Here are a few pictures of what home looks like when the early morning sun is peeking over the horizon:

I made it to the new building at about 11am. Things were still pretty raw. Lots of boxes and cables but no Cittio yet: Here's a quick encapsulation of the "before"...

...and "after"...

Lots more to be done but it's starting to look like the new and improved Cittio. No inexpensive parking though. I'll be BARTing into the office all the time now. See you on the train.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lunchwalking with Court

I had a doctor's appointment in Eureka and some tests at St. Joseph's. In the afternoon on the way home, I did today's lunchwalk underneath the memorial bridge outside Klamath. It was a gorgeous day and well worth the time.

I recommend you use the Picasa slide show feature to get a more detailed format of these pictures. The geology there is very cool too, but if you're interested in that kind of stuff, check out my science blog sometime.


The Cittio Engineering Team is moving into our new digs at 667 Mission St.

After a brief time-out to do some work at the house, I'll be back in the City tomorrow morning helping to get the new data center up and running.

One more thing. If you've ever attended any of my "Surprise Angie" parties, you probably know my friend Fred Schodt. He's an author and Japanese interpreter.

Fred has a new book out on Astro Boy and will be speaking at the Asian Art Museum this coming weekend (July 21st). Fred's a good speaker and Astro Boy is just too cool, so I hope I'll see you there.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Farewell to the Cave

It is the end of an era. This weekend the engineers moved out of "The Cave" on Tehama Street and into our new building at 3rd and Mission in the City. I had one last look at my space...

Next week, pics from the new Court-space.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Movie Night with Bob and Briggita

Last night I rolled over to Bob's for some leftover BBQ and a movie. The Bankays recently got an enormous 70" screen and surround sound. So we occasionally put it through it's paces.

I contributed the movie, Omar Naim's Final Cut with Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino, and Jim Caviezel. I think it's a very good effort from a first-time director.

Heading for home tonight. Should be a sunny weekend and I might do some test flights of the new kite before the festival on the 28th. If so, I'll post some pics here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

After 6 months away, I got to attend a "SETI Lunch" with my old friends from the Lab today. The occasion is that Kevin Douglas is going to be leaving to take a position in his native British Columbia.

We had a nice lunch at Cafe Raj in Albany.

Anyway, here are the "gangstas" of Interstellar Signal Processing:

Here's Kevin himself, in all his regal Canadian-ness:

And finally, my old friends Jeff and Matt, still alive and kicking:

It was wonderful getting to see everyone again! Best of luck to Kevin and his family. I hope we'll meet up again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Memory Lane

I don't get down to Southern California very often. I've been living in the North permanently for the past 16 years. When I went down to L.A. to see Jasmyne get her award I also spent some time at my Mom's house. I'm having it renovated starting this week. It gave me a chance to walk the old neighborhood and say hello to some of the old neighbors and meet a few of the new ones.

I also got to spend some time in Hermosa Beach. I lived there for a long, long time and my two youngest kids were born there. Surprisingly, our old house on the Pacific Coast Highway was still there unchanged. And it looked as if it could use a bit of change. It had the same paint and the same stone steps as when we left 22 years ago. It used to look great but I thought it was a bit run down. See for yourself though:

When we got the house in '79, we had an unobstructed view of the ocean as we were sitting atop a wave table overlooking the beach. About 5 years in, the land directly across the street was purchased and a building put up blocking the view and lowering property values. The new owners intended to put a drug rehab center there. There was a pretty big fight to keep that from happening. With 3 daughters under the age of 8, I wasn't a huge fan of the project either. The project was killed but the building just sat there empty and we never got our view back. Today, the building is finally occupied. It's an assisted living center:

I wandered down Pier Avenue to downtown Hermosa. The beach is blocked off to traffic now and the palm trees and the buildings (including hotels! We had a moratorium against them for about 20 years)make it look more like a set than the laid back beach community I spent my teens and 20s living in. Yeah, I guess you can't go home again.

On the positive side, my favorite restaurant of all time, The Spot, is still thriving in Hermosa. It's one of the few things I miss. I had a lot of great meals and great conversations with my buddies there. Particularly, my pals Jobie and T.T. Jobie, I hope there's as cool a place to break bread in San Diego and good company, too!

It's taken me 16 years but I finally got a little nostalgic. I miss the people more than the place. I'm far enough away to remember how special those times and those people were. Plus I was raising my daughters there. I think I have some rolls of film (honest to god movie film) in storage with the kids rolling around the living room when they were tots and some of my crew hanging out when we were shooting. That footage may make it up here someday, too.

Well, as Tony Soprano said "The lowest form of conversation is 'Remember When'" and he was probably correct in that. Mostly wanted to share these pics with some of the people who were there then and, amazingly, still talk to me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy Independence Day

On the 4th of July, Crescent City put on a huge fireworks show at Beachfront Park for an hour. I'm told it was the biggest in the state of California.

Here are a few highlights:

We also met a nice guy named Javen on the way to the show. He's pretty new in town and it was his first social event. He's from Ukiah. Welcome to the far north, Javen.