Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welcome to the Club!

Just wanted to welcome my Las Vegas daughters to the snow club!

Since you're now as frozen as we are in the Pacific Northwest, no reason not to drop up for a visit anymore, eh?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Holiday Season

I've been spending a lot of time at home which is great. I bought a house here because I really like being here and I'm happiest when I'm home. Though it has meant trading my role as Mr. Systems-Fixit for Mr. House-Fixit. It seems like every room in the house needed something to be done to it, not to mention the gutters, the greenhouse, the back yard, etc. Doing some work in the master bedroom and fixing kitchen cabinets this week.

I've been doing a lot of hanging out with Angie and the Dude. Doing a fair amount of cooking in the evenings which I find very therapeutic.

Still getting work done. Completed a big rack consolidation project and got the number of racks in my lab down to 2 from a total of 5. Also put in rugs, the big whiteboard, and the big LCD monitor for video editing of presentations I'm doing.

Thanksgiving was quiet with just the three of us. But I did talk to the girls. Jasmyne went to Jorjanna's in Las Vegas so all my girls were together. Here are some of the pictures she sent.

Last Saturday, Angie turned 49 years old. We had a cake and saw a Bette Davis film (her favorite actress), Storm Center, that's pretty hard to come by.

Later we walked downtown for the annual Christmas Light Parade. The Dude had a pretty good time. He loves seeing people and they love his royal Dudeliness. He should have had his own float!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Burlwood Artistry

I get to see a lot of burlwood sculpture but I always find this particular sculptor's work more arresting. Here are some examples:




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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Neal Hefti

The great composer-arranger Neal Hefti passed on this week.  

Neal and his work had a profound effect on me and I really appreciated him.  Even though he hadn't really written much during the last couple of decades, it seems like it will be a different world without him in it.

My first exposure to Neal was at age 6 when my parents took me to see the Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella which included an extensive musical sequence with Lewis pantomiming to Hefti's tune for Count Basie "Cute".  (Basie also showed up in the film, but that's another story)

I remember being utterly enthralled by that sequence and the music and kept playing it over and over in my head.  

Then, maybe a year later, my parents took us to dinner at Dad's favorite cousin's, Henrietta.  During the evening she gave me a present.  A record album.  Basie Plays Hefti.  It was the Count Basie Orchestra (New Testament version) playing all Neal Hefti pieces including "Cute".

I had only been playing music for a couple of years at that point.  But, looking back on it, oddly I didn't want to be one of the musicians playing that wonderful music.  I wanted to be the arranger.  I didn't understand concepts like voicing, timbre, and structure yet.  I just wanted to be the guy that wrote that stuff.

In the ensuing years I spent a fair amount of time playing big band music and a lot of Neal Hefti tunes.  Also, as my love for film music grew, I learned a lot of Neal's scores: Sex & the Single Girl, Lord Love a Duck, Duel at Diablo, Batman, Barefoot in the Park, and of course the Odd Couple.

When I first heard the Odd Couple there was just something about the way he voiced the mid and low brass that was so touchinh and sentimental I thought I was going to weep.  It's always been a favorite of mine.

Eventually, I joined Local 47 and got my union card.  They used to give you a thick phone book with all the members' contact info.  Well, they shouldn't have given a teenager one of those. Among the many composers and arrangers I bugged was Neal Hefti who was gracious and willing to answer my technical questions about how to get those sounds out of the trombones and trumpets.  He was very kind to take the time with me.

I wrote a lot for brass bands before I got into the 70's and discovered synthesizers and computers.  

But the influence persists in everything I hear in my head to this very day.

Thanks, Neal, for all the charts and beautiful voicings.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Alive!!!

Just a quick note.  Got a call from my former boss at Cittio.  They've sold the Failover (Cittio High Availability) so it's being released.  My code lives on.  Nice to hear.  

It's not like the immortality you get from writing a book.  Your code will live to be 3-5 years old if you're lucky and it gets cast off without ceremony for the next cool thing.  

But it's nice to have your moment in the sun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home -- The Short Form

Just a quick link to a "Sampler" of photos from the last few years to give some new friends a bit of the flavor of my home area.

All you old-timers who have seen this stuff already, go do something productive.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Adventures in ObjectLand...

The marathon to completing ComputeSpace is getting more interesting.  Last night we agreed on what to show as a proof-of-principle demonstration and the deadline for that is the end of December.

So I'll be pretty deeply immersed in ObjectLand for 3 days a week through the end of the year.  ComputeSpace is 100% object-oriented.  Pure Java code and an object-oriented database.

I'm gonna be busy creating well-behaved planetary objects for a while.

One more thing...

It's a strange world at work at out there...

One the one hand, I don't much want to dwell on either the current value of my house or the stocks in my 401K.  I probably would not have a smiley face on.

Then again, today a company (which shall remain nameless) attempted to recruit me to come on board as a programmer.  They offered $147,000 to start and 3 CATERED MEALS DELIVERED TO MY DESK DAILY!  Now of course we don't do what we do just for money (do we?) . More frightening is the implication that I'd be AT MY DESK morning, noon, and night to get those meals!

Not going for the job and not very excited about doing even more coding at this stage of my life.  In my next career move I'm planning on becoming either a time traveller or a Blade Runner...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Moving Week

Lots of moving going on this week.

I moved over to a charming area called Redwood Shores to be near the office this week. Now I can walk to work, walk to the grocery store, walk to the gym, etc. Very pleasant. The only real driving I'll be doing is driving up to the house to hang out with Angie and the Dude on the weekends.

Also, our team of engineers is vacating our 3rd floor digs to swap space with the sales call center on the first floor. The bad news, no view of the Lagoon. Upside? We get our own kitchen. I just got moved in to my new desk at the beginning of the week. I don't even have any pictures up yet. (BTW, everybody send me a picture and I'll put you upon the rogue's gallery.)

Angie took the Dude out for a swim at the beach this afternoon. They had a good time and did a lot of swimming. When they got back home the Dude barfed 3 times though. Maybe he swallowed something. He's doing better now. We'll go out for a run this weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Return to Running

Once upon a time I was a runner. I used to put in at least 15 miles a day in my 30's. Most of my friends know that Angie and I met through running Ocean Beach.

It's been a long time and I spend way too much time sitting at a desk in front of a hot computer these days.

I'm slowly taking it back up. It doesn't feel good yet, but it starting to feel less bad :-)

Right now I'm doing a 5 mile circuit from the office to 24-hour Fitness and back.

No big plans. Just want to have fun running again. Though I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a pair of 30-year old knees. These 54-year old ones I have are doing quite a bit of complaining!

Here's my path:

View Larger Map

Another Birthday Party!

My buddy Talia's family threw a 95th birthday party for her grandmom (affectionately known as Dot Dot).

I first met Dot Dot when Tal and I were working together in Los Angeles back in the 80's.  We threw a surprise 23rd birthday party for Tal and Dot Dot provided the New Orleans touch.  Gumbo for everybody!

Sorry I couldn't be there, but a very happy birthday to you, Dot Dot!

Thanks for the pics, Tal.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where are Angie and Ostaajje Today?

Submitted by Jennifer Henion

Show off your dog at the first-ever Coastal Canine Olympics, brought to you by the Humane Society of Del Norte on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.

Win fabulous items for your dog and for you with a raffle!

Olympic medals will go to all first-place winners; ribbons for second and third; and gourmet biscuits to all participants. (All events subject to change according to show committee's whims!)

Lunch includes grilled hot dogs, Polish dogs, chips and soda for under 5 bucks, plus treats and water for the poochy!

Entries will be accepted from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $10 per dog and one human (only one dog per human); $5 per spectator; and $2 for kids under 12. All proceeds go to the HSDN spay/neuter fund.

Nice dogs only are allowed! All dogs will be screened for health and friendliness at the door. Humans must wear family friendly attire.

Sponsors include Parkway Feed, Crescent Hay & Feed, PetSmart and Woof's Bakery

At the judges table will be Rene Shanle-Hutsel, Mitzi Travis, Tami Wakefield and Carolyn Westbrook.

Judged events:

• Puppy dash: 11 yards, no leash, ages 3 to 6 months

• Agility course: Amateurs welcome

• Best Trick: Show off your dog's skills

• Meatball relay: You, your dog on a leash, a plastic spoon filled with meat handed off relay-style

• Costume contest: Does your dog wear outfits?

• Best Photo of your dog: Bring only one!

• Bobbing for dogs: Big water pail, 10 Vienna sausages

• Most Unusual Mutt: Is your dog funny-looking?

• Best Howler: Howling on command

• Best Tail Wag: Judges use sweet talk to get tail going

• Parade of Champions: Event winners line up first, followed by all other participants

Good Luck, Dude!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One More Revolution

Well, as of 5am this morning I seem to have completed 54 trips around the solar system intact.

All in all, grateful for the opportunity. I've encountered a lot of great souls and I can honestly say "Never a Dull Moment!".

Special thanks to Mom, Angie, Canadian Kevin, and John for giving me a very pleasant morning with my tea.

And now it's time for me to go make the world's networks a safe place for work and play! ;-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Werner's a Grandfather!

My buddy, Werner, joined the elite group known as Grandpas at 11:02am today. Here's his first grandson, Robert. Congrats, big guy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lunchwalking with Court

Today shows a short lunchwalk around the  offices where I work in Redwood Shores.  It's pretty pleasant.  More to come.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Been Busy

It's been a while since I updated this blog. Apologies to all. I've been busy coordinating quite a few changes in my situation lately.

  • First, I need to send out a formal farewell to my friends at Cittio. We've parted ways and I'm doing something else now. The divorce was amicable and, in fact, they've been nice enough to donate some equipment for the ComputeSpace Project.

  • I spent most of August vacationing at home on the Redwood Coast, hanging out with Angie and The Dude, running along the beach for a couple of hours every morning. Finally got around to putting my weight bench back together (It's been packed up since we bought the house!) and pumping a little iron, too.

  • Negotiations just completed with a company on the peninsula (which shall remain nameless for now) and I'll be starting engineering work for them right after the Memorial Day Weekend.

  • Started work on a book about storage architecture for scientific environments in conjunction with getting my SCSNE professional certification (That's a Storage Networking Expert certification) and the plan is to complete both by next March.

  • Established a relationship with one of the charter schools here in Crescent City. They'll be the test platform for the ComputeSpace software. More to come about that.

While I was home my sister-in-law, Dawn, came for a visit and we spent a day at the County Fair. Here are a few pictures:

Finally, Welcome back to America, Bob and Brigitte!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Bit of Independence Day Revisited

Our buddy Roberto shot a little video footage during his visit on 4th of July weekend. Here's the unedited footage if you want to take a peek.

At some point, I'll cut it together with the other tons of footage I have lying around and make my enduring masterpiece.

But for now:

and next...

and next...

and next...

and next...

And that, as we say, is that!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old School

Had a meeting down in San Jose this morning that got postponed until the afternoon. I used the time to visit my friends at USWired where I was a UNIX Systems Engineer way back at the turn of the century.

It was nice to see their new digs and chat a bit with Aaron (the Chief Technology Officer) who, since I left, has become both a married man and a dad.

Here's Aaron (left) and his "new Court" (actually named Matt, I believe) saying "Hi, Angie!"

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jorjanna!

My "baby" daughter turned 28 years old on July 6th. Congratulations on another year on the planet as well as your new place!

Love, Dad
Independence Day Weekend, 2008

For the holiday, our buddy Roberto drove up and spent the weekend with us. It was really nice to have him. He hadn't seen Angie or the Dude since the beginning of the year when the Dude was just a couple of months old.

Here are a few highlights from the trip:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coming for a Visit?

Some friends and relatives are coming to visit us in Crescent City this summer. They know we left the BIG CITY and live in a small town not far from the border with Oregon.

How small? Depends on who you ask. The following article will help you understand our own confusion on this:

Census Story

As a math guy, the most interesting component of the story is that, having annexed the prison, we've basically doubled the population. Now, they're not really in Crescent City and there's only been one escape I believe, but that does mean that there's at least one killer/rapist/gangster/drug lord/Hannibal Lechter at the prison up the road for every man, woman, and child in town.

Don't get me wrong. I don't know anyone that worries about that in my town. Still, I can't help but be reminded of the pre-Civil war towns in the South that wound up with greater slave populations than free populations and the concerns that gave rise to.

None of this is supposed to keep all our friends and relatives away. Come on up and see us. The Dude is wagging his tail in anticipation. These are just the musings of a former academic with a computer and a blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Video Poems

My friend Jobie has a new video on YouTube. It's somewhat of a tribute to "Out of the Box" thinking. There's certainly no dirth of that in her family.

Ironically, you'll need to have a "box" to get her out-of-the-box-ness. If you do, here it is:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lunchwalking with Court

It was great day in San Francisco for a lunchwalk. I started out at Cittio's downtown office and walked over to Metreon.
Went upstairs to the comic store where I got Roberto's "300" book was gone! Closed, deceased, no more. Nothing new has been put in the space yet. Just closed up.

Next step in the journey was leaving Metreon and walking over to the

Samovar Tea Room.
Thought about having lunch there but wasn't ready yet.

So I wandered back down to Market Street and then to the Cable Car line at Powell. I walked up Powell and thought I'd try lunch at Betty Boop's. I haven't eaten there in a while. Got there and...Betty Boop's is gone, deceased, and no more! (Maybe I'm not getting out enough!) Now it's Herbert's Mexican Grill. Ole, Herbert!

Walked on to Union Square, where I listened to Miko Marks and her band do a couple of tunes from her latest CD, browsed an outdoor art exhibition, and then I headed back down Geary.

I wound up at Crocker Galleria
where I visited Chili Up (which, strangely, was still there) and had a bowl of the World-Famous Hoofless Mushroom chili.

Chatted with a nice lady about the pros and cons of the Jawbine Bluetooth earpiece ( I am pro-Jawbone) since she saw me wearing mine.

Finally, rolled back into the office for round 2, the Wednesday edition of Court: The Cittio Years.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More Family Showing Up!

Jasmyne got an email from the wife of my youngest nephew, Kelby. We hadn't seem him since he was a little boy.

Now he's married and a dad, living in Atlanta and running his own magazine.

It's great to have him back amongst the Cannicks!

Hope they'll get out to California soon for a visit.

Farewell, Jeri and Suresh!!

Today I attended a luncheon to say good-bye to Jeri and Suresh at the legendary Henry's Hunan Restaurant.

I'm all choked up so here are a few pictures from the occasion:

Live long, and prosper, y'all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers' Day Requiem

Happy Fathers' Day to all my friends who are dads. It remains, to me, the toughest job you'll ever love.

This is an especially poignant Father's Day as about a half-dozen friends who mentored me as father figures over the years passed on this year. It's been a sad time. I miss them all

My friend Jon became a dad for a second time when he and his wife Paula adopted their second son, Cole. My friend Ross also became a father for the second time, the old-fashioned way.

3 for 3 on Fathers' Day chats with my girls. Thanks, ladies!

Fathers' Day at Pebble Beach. Angie and I spent the morning down on the beach playing a little frisbee with the Dude!

The Dude poses with his Frisbee.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lunch with the Freddie-Bear!

The highlight of Wednesday was having lunch at Bistro Burger with my old friend Fred Schodt. We hadn't seen each other in several months so it was great catching up with Fred and the things he's up to. Fred is a Japanese interpreter, author, lecturer, and all-around good guy.

Among other things, we discussed Ed Chmura's Japundit blog and Japan Talk podcast.

My goal is for Ed to meet Fred and Fred to meet Ed. Enough said!

More later...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Dude Graduates!

The Dude will be 7 months old next weekend. Today he graduated obedience school! I was there, of course, to see the Dude in his milieu.

Turns out the Dude is the only boy in the class. He's quite popular!

For graduation, each of the dogs and her owner got to show off what they had learned. I must admit that the Dude did an excellent job (though I freely acknowledge any percieved bias).

As a big proponent of higher education, I should note that Ostaajje will be taking an advanced training class this August.

For the Dude's take on all of this, here's the link.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Best News of the Week

Here is something that I think is really, really nice and I hope you'll think so, too!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Bit of the Local Art

While I was home this week I had lunch in Orick, which is about 40 miles South of where we live. I took advantage of the trip to take some pictures of the burlwood artistry that can be found up in our neck of the woods...

Also, it was a beautiful day for a drive along the coast. Here's the proof:

Lunchwalking with Court

At long last, a return to Lunchwalking! Today, I walked through Chinatown in San Francisco and returned to downtown via the North Beach route along Columbus. It was a fun walk. I only wish I'd had more time to stop and take pictures of everything to give you even more of the flavor of San Francisco.

Here is a link to the map view

Monday, March 03, 2008

I've been under-the-weather lately so I've been working from home since Thursday. Planning on getting back to the Bay Area on Tuesday.

So I got to come home and see Angie and the Dude. The Dude is getting huge, of course. He's still a big baby and just wants to play. He's only 4 months old.

Angie seemed pretty happy I decided to drop in for a visit. We had a nice weekend just hanging out together and walking around town with the Dude.

The house is starting to need a fair amount of work since I'm not home very often. I may consider taking some time off after the Failover is released this month so I can take care of responsibilities around here.

Anyway, we're getting our first Starbuck's in just walking distance up Cooper Street from us. There are those who might say Crescent City has finally "arrived". Since I have a certain daughter who wouldn't set foot in a place that had no Starbucks, rest assured dear.

I haven't been to the beach at all while I've been home but I hope to get over there tomorrow before I leave.

I've been revamping the Lunchwalk so next week, expect a new and improved Lunchwalk feature.

That's about all for now. Gotta put the wolfy Dude in his kennel and get some shuteye myself.

Hope you're having fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Parenting Moment

Just got back from L.A. I went down to see the premier of Jasmyne's short documentary "...Sistas of the Canyon". She's produced a few things in the past but this was her first time as a director-writer-editor.

If you're expecting a blow-by-blow deconstruction of the film from me, forget about it. She'll be posting parts of the film on the Web. I entreaty you to see it yourself and come to your own conclusion.

Nope, this post is about what a wonderful moment it was for me to be able to share that evening with her. It's very hard to make a film, even a short one. Everyone thinks they can make one. I repeat, thinks they can make one. But only a few people actually can. Good film, bad film, or indifferent film. If I gave everyone reading this a camera and a moviola I guarantee that 99 percent of you would come back without a film. It's the hardest work I've ever done. Much harder than designing a datacenter or differential equations.

So I'm proud of her because she did it and got it on the screen at a major film festival in the land of the movies. She's definitely earned my respect and I can't tell you how cool that was.

We chatted a bit this morning while I was on the highway back to the Bay Area. She thanked me for coming and said it really meant a lot to her I was there. I can't imagine where else I would want to be. And it took me back to my own relationship with my dad.

I was performing as a musician by my early teens and my dad would,noticeably, never come to see me play. He was always locked into his business and I would look out in the audience and just see my mom sitting out there. I began to resent Dad not being there and I let it really get under my skin. By the time I was 15 or 16 I decided to let it go. To not care at all and bury that disappointment somewhere.

And yet one of my most cherished memories comes from the year I played Beethoven's Egmont Overture at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. That year, I wound up being the best tympanist in the L.A. School District and won the slot. Lukas Foss was conducting and it was like a dream come true, like I had arrived.

And Dad was there. I don't know if he enjoyed Beethoven, but he was there. He came dressed to the nines and drove the Jag that evening. And afterwards, he congratulated me and we went out for dinner.

My siblings often complain that, as the baby of the family, Dad never spent enough time with me. Maybe so, but that night, in that small act of parenting, whatever might have been awry between us seemed miraculously fixed. And I've never forgotten it.

It's not that we never argued or disagreed or just bugged each other over the course of the next 30 years, but at the end of his life it all washed away as if nothing at all, because I suppose those transient things were nothing at all. But that night and all the other nights when he took one or two moments to be my dad, stay with me and I suppose they will until I'm gone as well.

So when Dad passed away and Angie and I came home for the service, we showed up driving a Jaguar as a little nod to that moment.

I guess I should have rented a Jag to take to Jasmyne's premier. Didn't think of it until I started this introspection. But I hope, if I've done anything right, Jasmyne and her sisters will console themselves after my memorial with dinner on the town in her rented Jaguar.

Love you B-Girl. Now get out there and change the world...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hectic times. Finalizing my work on the Failover before release and starting on a new project called Scale-Out. Also writing a gravity mapping application for ComputeSpace.

I came home for a few days and hung out with Angie and the Dude who is getting to be quite a big boy. He's twice the size he was when I brought him home. And he's quite rambunctious!

On Sunday we all went down to the beach at low tide and let His Wolfiness explore the tide pools:

It's been raining for about 3 weeks and the storms have definitely taken there toll on our place. A lot of fixing ahead but I got called back to San Francisco for a meeting this week, so it may be another week or more before I have any time to get things fixed.

Here are some pictures of the damage:

A dead sperm whale washed up on the beach and had to be buried. The town will dig up the bones in about a year. I can provide a few pictures but they're nothing without the smell, trust me:

The Dude started obedience classes (or should I say, we did?). He had a big day and it tuckered him out:

I wish I could write more and wax poetic about winters on the Redwood Coast or something about the work getting done but, frankly, I'm pretty exhausted. At some point I'll get to that. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

BTW, for the Dude's take on things, check out his latest blog entry here!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mi Buen Amigo, Werner

My good friend, Werner Cruz, is having surgery this morning and will be laid up for about a month. My best wishes go out to him. I hope to chat with you back online soon, buddy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Here is a Picture of My Grand-daughter, Erica

She's 9 years old. Her aunt, Jorjanna is in the background reflection taking the picture. Many thanks to Jorjanna for taking the picture and Jasmyne for sending it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Deep Underground

Finally getting to the end of the Failover development tunnel. But I will be deep underground for a while, trying to get the last features implemented. I'm scheduled to turn the brainchild over to QA to beat upon mercilessly starting next week.

Until then, I'll be incommunicado. Locked in a room with just me and a hot computer.

Apologies in advance if I'm not getting my phone or answering email to:

Dave, Shirley, Jon, Joyce, Jasmyne, Jorjanna, Mom, Pat, Bob, Tal, Barack, Hillary, Mitt, and Pope Benedict.

I will get back to you!

Next week, the long-awaited return of Lunchwalking!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Catching Up on Some Things

Here are a few slide shows of stuff I did over the holidays.

Angie, the Dude, and I went down to my mom's house in L.A. for New Years with the kids. Jasmyne, Jorjanna, and her beau Sebastian came in, too. We had a great time. It was great being with my girls.

While we were there, we attended a taping Jasmyne did at NPR West for News & Notes. That was fun.

Apologies to Dave and Greta, Jean, Carole, Michele, Shirley, and Bob and Brigitte for not making it by during the holidays. We were squeezed for time with the girls this time.

My buddy Roberto and I took a few hours off from our respective programming projects to visit the Hiller Aviation Museum for Open Cockpit Day. Here's a randomized sampling of our morning.

New stuff this year:

Angie has her own blog:
I've started a philosophical blog:
and The Dude has started his own blog, too:

Some audio and video pieces will be coming online over the next couple of months as well.

...And get ready for the extravaganza when Jorjanna and Sebastian GET MARRIED!

Happy 2008 Everybody!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Soggy Homecoming

First time home since bringing Ostaajje (more on the wolfling's status later). It's been storming pretty badly in Northern California and I was lucky to be able to get here. Earlier in the day a redwood fell across the Redwood Highway (appropriately enough) about 8 miles outside of town and blocked traffic for hours. I waited for Caltrans' all-clear before I set out.

Getting across the bridge into Marin was surprisingly easy due the low traffic. Lots of people were still off work and school for the holidays. Monday will, no doubt, be a mess out there.

Tried to make the drive as quickly as possible. I only stopped off in Garberville for a bathroom break and to check in with Angie.

Severe and close lightning strikes while driving through the forest. That was a bit scary. In a couple of places the hail was so heavy I couldn't see anything ahead and the road was frozen.

Proof that best-laid plans go astray came in the form of running low on fuel just past Orrick. Normally, a full tank takes me all the way home with a good safety margin. Not so this time. I had a reasonable amount of concern since it's pretty much nothing but forest for the rest of the trip and you can't get a cell signal there. No problem though. I could make Klamath pretty easily and fuel up at the reservation gas station there. They stay open late on Fridays.

So I got myself to Klamath, on reserve, pulled into the station and ... the pumps were all down due to power problems. The place was locked up with storm doors on the front which, oddly enough, had 2 big "OPEN" signs stapled to them.

Now the dilemma. I can get about 25 miles on reserve in Black Betty. I had just driven about 20 to get to Klamath from Orrick. It's another 16 miles to Crescent City where the next 24-hour gas stations are. I could run out of gas deep in the forest, in the middle of a storm, with no cell phone and at least a 3-hour walk to get out. I considered going through the reservation and looking for the Casino. I've seen it in the distance before. There might be another gas station there and, even if there isn't, I could ride out the storm until things lighten up. But I figured it was too easy to get lost on a night like this and on an unplanned journey. Best bet was to slog through to Crescent City.

Fired Betty up and took it slow to conserve fuel all the way through. Fortunately, the last mile or so is a downhill twisting route that dumps you into town. I rolled up to the first all-night station along the highway and...the power was out! There were three power company trucks parked near the pumps with crews working. But next door the Chevron station was alive, alive, ALIVE! Tanked up and made it home safely.

This is another "working weekend" and I'm doing some remote Failover testing from home. Hoping the power will stay on and the network will stay up. A few months ago I took my local servers down to the San Francisco data center. It's expensive to run servers here. So I'm very network-dependent these days.