Monday, December 27, 2010


No explosions around here for 3 whole weeks! 
Peace in our time?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jean!

Happy Birthday, Jean!
Hope I'll run into you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse 2010

Last night I was out in the field (also in a field) Astronomizin'!  Last full lunar eclipse in North America until I'm 60, I believe. 

I miss the observatory and I miss the Space Sciences Lab. 

But I am working on something that I hope will turn out to be pretty cool.

In case you missed it...
From Eclipse

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Public Service Announcement...

Angie has worked for Mike Bern for a few years now.  Recently, Mike's wife Patti was diagnosed with leukemia.  She's been flown down from Crescent City to UCSF for care.

Mike's company is putting on a spaghetti dinner to help raise money to help out with expenses.  One of the things I loved about living in a small rural town has always been the sense of volunteerism and how everyone helps each other.

So, if you've found my blog entertaining from time to time, why not chip in and buy a ticket to the spaghetti dinner?  I'd like to show that, every once in a while, the great big world, can still be a small town.

It's only $8 and, if you give, I will personally send you a virtual plate of spaghetti suitable for display in your browser...(with cheese, too!).

Angie bought a ticket, and I bought a ticket.  Even the Dude bought a ticket and you know how hard he works for his money!

So don't let a Dude without pockets outdo you.

I have lots of good friends and family who follow this blog.

To all my friends in Hawaii and Hermosa, paddle into the beach for a minute and drop $8 for a good cause.

To my friends and family in Vegas, before you roll those dice, take a chip off the stack and toss it Mike and Patti's way.

To my friends in Northern California, before you light up that...well, just give some.

To my friends who read the blog in Scandanavia, Kaste i ├ątte dollar, og viser alle hvor kul du er sosialister!

Below is a note I received from Mike's company:



DATE: 12/7/10


As many of you have heard; Mike Bern’s wife Patti is in the hospital battling Leukemia. There is going to be a Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction to help raise money for them.
Full Spectrum Services, Inc.; along with Sun Seekers and many other Community Members are going to be involved. Here at FSSI, we will be collecting items to be auctioned off at the silent auction. This memo is to let everyone know that we will be collecting items starting December 8, 2010 through December 31, 2010.
If you have new or barely used items you want to donate, please bring the items to the Full Spectrum Services, Inc. office (425 L Street Suite E) before the office closing time on December 31, 2010.
The Spaghetti Feed / Silent Auction will take place on January 8, 2010. Tickets go on sale effective December 10, 2010. The cost for dinner is $8.00 per person or $25.00 for a family (up to 5 individuals – two adults and up to three children). The tickets have all the pertinent information listed on them such as the time and location of the event. Tickets can be purchased at Full Spectrum Services, Inc. or Sun Seekers.
You may also notice that there are jars in various business locations for donations. Feel free to add anything denomination of funds you wish to these jars. Every penny counts! Money donations can also be made at Coast Central Credit Union in Crescent City, under Mike and Patti Bern’s name.
If any questions; please contact Jackie Ross or Jamie Hayden.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


It's on the downlow, but the Bomb Squad is merging with another firm providing the Engineering staff with lots of new explosive ordinance to detonate in their faces!

I, for one, can hardly wait!
As a veteran of a few corporate mergers, I hope for the best and plan for less than the best...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Werner is Off...

Bob, Werner and I had a terrific meeting with the people from McObject tonight.  We're looking for the right database technology to embed in ComputeSpace and Steve Graves over at McObject gave us a very nice presentation followed by a Q&A.

Now, Werner will be off for minor surgery starting tomorrow.  No chatting for 2-3 weeks.

Take care, Werner!

From 2010-11-16

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tough Times for Jerry

Jerry has been going through some tough challenges of late. Let's hope he gets better real soon!

From 2007-06-10

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Angie!

Today, Angela has a birthday!  Congratulations!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Bob and Brigitte's dog, Jerry, is under the weather right now.  Jerry lived with Angie and me for a while. Here are some pictures of him.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Having the rare weekend that I could devote exclusively to ComputeSpace and making the most of it. Locked away working 18 hours a day on it.

Figured I'd check in on the day job late Sunday afternoon just to keep my fingers on what's going on.

Today was the end of my week of on-call rotation and not a peep after-hours so it was good.

Then I got a call from Werner, "Dude, check your email. There's an emergency and the answering service says they couldn't reach you!"  I was incredulous.  My on-call phone was sitting right next to me in a backpack on a chair.

I logged in.  There was indeed a lot of panic going on and the client was a big fish.

I reached down and checked my on-call phone. It hadn't rung or beeped since I got a wrong number on Friday.  When I unlocked the keyboard I was greeted with:

System Error!

You have received a multimedia message yesterday at 2:35pm.

Title: "This is What I'm Doing Right Now!"

Okay.  Since the company assigned me the phone I've gotten a few calls for the previous owner of the number, a fellow named David.  Comedy clubs, ticket agencies, etc.

I'll leave it to your imagination as to the content of "This is What I'm Doing Right Now!" but, for me, the only issue was the video was so big it crashed my phone!  I deleted it and instantly received a prompt that I had missed 7 messages...

Fortunately, there is a backup on-call engineer who came in for the save, but was pretty unhappy with my lack of response.  So I had 'splainin' to do.

So, you're never really off.  And in that way, I guess it's a bit like war and General Sherman said, "War is Hell".  Of course, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote "Hell is Other People"...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Back for a limited time only! Today's abbreviated lunchwalk came during a very pleasant snow day here in the Colo.  I had to limit it to walking across the street to get a loaf of bread for sandwiches because I was working and if you take too much time off...

(See Bomb Squad)

But I took my trusty DSLR with me and snapped a few images of what it's like here.

First Snowfall in the Colo

Started snowing here last night.  I'll be dealing with flaky, white stuff in one form or another through next May. 

Time to bring the bike off the road for a while.

Chatted with Angie yesterday. Sounds like my Dude is being an especially good boy.  Must be all that 3-year old maturity.  I miss that guy but I'll see him soon.

And a respectful Happy Veteran's Day to Angie, Shirl, Bob McKelvy, and any other of my fiends who have served.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Bomb Squad

One of my reasons for being in Colorado is to make certain that we're able to keep ComputeSpace fairly independent and on track.  That's been pretty difficult over the past couple of years.

I'm doing some work for a company which shall remain nameless.  We call it the Bomb Squad because it seems as if every other minute there's a technical problem with a client that's about to blow up in your face.  If not, there's always at least one engineer who's had the pin pulled and is about to explode.

Did a mammoth amount of work last week and actually had a pleasant weekend off from the Bomb Squad.  Got my blast suit back on around 1am and logged in to look at the landscape.  Been working ever since.

A couple of delicate issues management wants handled as if they had mercury switches...

Next stop for ComputeSpace: We ought to be meeting with the McObject guys to talk embedded databases on Friday.  And we have something going online for Teacher's Day!  Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Belated Birthday!

My Dude finally got his belated birthday box today.  Angie snapped a few pictures on her phone as he wasted no time diving in!

 Go easy on those treats, ya Dude!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Congratulations, Dawn!

My sister-in-law, Dawn has just completed the move from long-time home, Baker City, OR to Coeur d'Alene, ID. Everybody get your ski racks mounted! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ostaajje!

Today my big, black Dude turns 3 years old!  He's all grown up.  This is his first birthday without me being home.  So have a happy birthday, Dude, and go have your birthday swim!

Will post pictures when Angie sends them.

A traumatized Dude being comforted by his Angie on his first day in his new home.

The Dude is all grown up!  A very cool guy!

Happy Birthday, ya Dude!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Housemates!

Some of you have asked me about where I'm staying in Colorado.  As I updated in my profile, I'm sharing a house on the edge of Fort Collins with Mr. Kitty (who's obviously in charge), Rusty and Gideon, and  Jackie.

Here they are:
Mr. Kitty is the Boss
Gideon and Rusty
Ms. Jackie

After 7 Whole Weeks...

After 7 weeks off, we're officially back to work on ComputeSpace.  First up, secure login architecture for me, ExtremeDB testing for Bob and Werner. 

During that time off I got relocated to Northern Colorado and brought in some new financing sources so we can sprint to the finish line (We spent most of 2010 limping a bit).

So far, the people here have been exceedingly nice.  I'm in Fort Collins which is a college town so lots of restaurants and bike lanes and coffee shops and bookstores.  And I've spent A LOT more time in the Denver airport than you'll ever want to. 

Gotta run.  More later...

R.I.P. Benoit Mandelbrot 1924-2010

A mathematician of extraordinary insight, Benoit Mandelbrot's revelations in fractal geometry had a profound effect on my studies. 

And, for my friends who think they need no nothing about math but adore movies such as Lord of the Rings or Avatar, give thanks to Mandelbrot.  Those images wouldn't exist without his work. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

...And Now for Something Completely Different...

For the last week and a half I've been in Fort Collins, Colorado working with Werner.  It's been a real whirwind.  I spent the first week staying at Werner's place in Loveland.  There was a heat wave for the first 4 days I was here: 95 degrees day and night.  That, plus the altitude, took some getting accustomed to.
From 2010-09-02
This past week I got my own place and started getting down to business.
From 2010-09-02
For now, Angie and the Dude are staying in Crescent City.  I miss them, and the ladies, and Buddy, and Mister Horse a lot.

It's a different world out here.

I'll be putting up posts to show you the town as time goes on.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Last Nail...

It was a tough decision, but we've decided to cut OpenSolaris loose and are porting ComputeSpace over to Fedora Linux. 

There's been an awful lot of instability out there ever since Oracle devoured Sun and, having everything we do based on that technology was getting uncomfortable.

But the final nails in the coffin were the Gartner report noting that 50% of Sun users have migrated or are planning to migrate away from Sun since the Oracle acquisition (clearly, they don't trust Oracle), and the OpenSolaris community's complaint that Oracle has refused to engage with them in any way including providing a liaison.

If the handwriting isn't on the wall, someone's looking for a pen!  So we decided to cut the risk and go to Linux.  There's a lot of Linux expertise in the group so it's not a real uphill climb.

I'll miss the cool things in Solaris: DTrace, crossbow, etc.  But at this age, I miss lots of things and still have to keep walking forward.

The port is already underway and we hope there won't be any substantive delays to the upcoming previews.  The Sun has set and we';re donning our Fedoras...


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rocky Returns!

Posted by Picasa
I was having breakfast and happened to look through the kitchen window when I spied the ever-so-sneaky Rocky the Raccoon stealthily making his way into our neighbor Bob's cabin. Hadn't seen Rocky for a quite a while. He often drops by Bob's to get a little cat food left in front of the door during the day.

He hung out at the front porch for a while, seemingly either admiring the flowers or making sure the coast was clear. I grabbed my camera and clicked off a few shots through the window at about 30 yards.

Actually, Rocky never did go into Bob's. After a while he turned tail, headed into the forest back down to the lake.

Perhaps he felt like some fish?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tough Times in Guatemala

My friend and ComputeSpace partner, Werner Cruz, has been in Guatemala for duration of the disaster going on down there.  He had flown down for a class reunion and, as it turns out, his was one of the last planes they allowed to land as the volcano, Volcan de Pacaya, had begun erupting.

a couple of days in, Tropical Storm Agatha arrived. 

He wrote sporadically that it was a mess.  He saw a house collapse that killed 4 kids.  Most of the bridges washed out and isolated many people including members of his own family.

After a couple of days of silence, I heard from him this morning.  He and his family are safe and they're now picking up the pieces. 

Werner says the big question is whether the airport will be reponened by Sunday when he's supposed to fly back to the U.S.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Never Underestimate the Compassion of Women

From Mr. Horse
This is a follow-up to a post I made a while back during the winter when Mr. Horse was having a tough day on the farm.  He's an elder statesman around these parts (34 years old) and some days he has the common elderly complaint " I've fallen down and I can't get up", except he doesn't wear a Life-Alert pendant and he'd need a pretty big ambulance.  Mostly, during the last few months, he's been doing fine and the Dude and I see him regularly out in the fields snacking on the Spring grass when we go out for our neighborhood strolls.

This morning we went by the pasture on our way to a walk down Skycrest (an immaculate little enclave nestled away from the highway) and we saw Mister Horse lying in the field trying to get up as best he could and failing time and time again.  And along each side of him was one of the ladies and they seemed to be urging him on and supporting him.  They would lean down and lick him on each side respectively and seemed to be saying "Get up, Horse.  You can do it!"

We went on our way and had a nice adventure exploring Skycrest and meeting the dogs who live there who all came to their respective fences to check out the new Dude on the block, no doubt.

By the time we passed the field on the way back, Horse was lying on his side hardly moving.  I wondered at first if he was still with us, but he blinked and moved his legs a bit.  And flanking him on each side were the ladies.  They seeemd to be guarding him, each facing in the opposite direction, lying adjacent to him.

And all the rest of the herd was lying down nearby, seemingly, because they were there.  At the moment an alternative definition for the term family farm came to mind.

So you say, "Okay court, enough with all the anthropomorphizing.  They're just animals."  Or maybe you specify they're just dumb animals.  Or some of you specify they're soulless dumb animals.

I have no idea.  And I'm not anthropomorphizing, but I am going to metaphorize a bit.

I watched the ladies look after Mister Horse as if he was one of their own calves.  It seemed like feminine compassion.  A subject I'm both familiar with and often a recipient of.  And, as the latter, I'm grateful for it's presence in what is otherwise a tough, brutal, and --dare I say it-- animalistic world.

I've got a mom, a wife, a sister, 3 daughters, and several close friends who, while occasional driving me nuts with estrogen-fueled illogic, also make life worth living through the kindnesses and emotional support they've never failed to give.

James Brown was right.  It is a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothin' without a woman or a little girl.  At least I'm of that opinion this week.

And I think even Mister Horse knows he's in good hands.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lunchwalking with Court

Yesterday, I did some lunchwalking in Leggett at the One-Log House.  They have lots of bears on display (and, as my kids will attest, bears have a special meaning to me).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tal!

From tal birthday

Long-time friend and partner, Talia Houston is celebrating a birthday today along with her twin sister Celia.

Have a great one, ladies!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy 31st, Joeigh!

My middle daughter, Joeigh, turns 31 years old today. I remember barely getting her mom to the hospital in time and I remember getting our place in Hermosa Beach all ready for her arrival. She was a painfully shy, skinny little girl who looked very much like one of my mom's family.

She was the only one of my kids who could really hold a tune! And she seemed to have inherited my math gene. At times it seemed like the only subject she liked in school.

Well, now she's all grown up and a mom herself. It's been a long time since I've sat watching her napping beneath the window on a sunny day or walked the few blocks up the hill to pick her up from school and strolled back down to Pacific Coast Highway hand in hand, or flown kites in the park, catching the updraft from the beach below.

Now I spend my days doing productive (but non-Dad) things everyday and am probably the poorer for it.

Well, have a happy 31st in Vegas, Joeigh. I think you're just getting to the fun part where Erica starts turning your hair gray! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did! ;-)



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Werner Heads for Colorado

Good friend and partner, Werner Cruz, is relocating to Fort Collins, CO.

He'll continue to be Principal Technical Manager for ComputeSpace so no worries there.

Best of luck in your new adventure, Werner!

And Happy Birthday!

View Larger Map

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Jasmyne's New film

Just in from Jasmyne:

Dear Family,

On Friday, March 26, 2010, “41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers” will be featured in a limited engagement at the Culver Plaza Theatres in Los Angeles through April 1.  I am one of the producers on this project!!!

This engagement comes on the heels of the critically acclaimed film winning the 2010 Audience Favorite Award at the 18th Annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival wherein over 1,000 people came out to see this unprecedented documentary. (
41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers” is the first part in a documentary series that follows the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense from its glorious Black Power beginnings through to its tragic demise and is the most in-depth study ever of L.A. Chapter founder Alprentice “Bunchy Carter” and features first hand accounts of the Party’s formation as told by the original surviving members.  This film gives the viewer an eyewitness account of Bunchy and John Huggins’ murders at U.C.L.A. in 1968 and includes exclusive interviews with Black Panther Party leaders Geronimo Ji Jagga, Kathleen Cleaver, and Elaine Brown.  Also featured are former Black Panther members Ericka Huggins, Roland & Ronald Freeman, Wayne Pharr, Jeffrey Everett, Long John Washington, Muhammad Mubarak, former L.A.P.D. Chief Bernard Parks, US Organization member Wesley Kabaila, U.C.L.A. Professor Scot Brown, and many others.

We believe that this film can used as both an educational tool and a tool to help heal the wounds that for many African-Americans are still open as it relates to the L.A.P.D. and what happened now over forty years ago.
While history has unfairly characterized the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense as one of most violent Black political groups in the United States, this is the same organization that in April of 1969 developed and initiated what would later become a national program utilized by the United States government, the “Free Breakfast for Children” program which provided meals to children in the community each morning before school.  In addition, on December 27, 1969, the Party opened the Bunchy Carter Free Health Clinic, a free medical clinic program that included Sickle Cell testing for people in the Los Angeles community.

As one of the producers of this film, I’d like to invite you to attend the premiere of the film on March 26, 2010 at 9 p.m. at the Culver Plaza Theatres. 
The details for this event are as follows:

            Friday, March 26, 2010
            Red Carpet at 
8 p.m.

            Event Starts at 
9 p.m.
            Culver Plaza Theatres 9919 
Washington Boulevard Los Angeles

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Got All Crabby

Just a quick follow-up to the great big CrabFest last weekend.  It was a hit!  According to the Trip, 600-800 people showed up which was twice the expected attendance.

I was there pretty briefly right from the start, but apparently about 500 pounds of crab got up and walked out of the place and they ran out of everything else by 6:45.

Congratulations, Bill, pretty successful!

Some pics, mostly from the Trip:
The Chart Room's crab bisque won the award for crabbiest dish  (While I don't do the crabby-thing myself, they have been a favorite venue of ours since we arrived).

Most importantly, the proceeds all went to North Coast Marine Mammal Center (where Angie volunteers), Del Norte County Animal Shelter and F.A.T. Cat Haven.

And there's your taste of the Redwood Coast for now.