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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Roberto!

A Good Buddy for A Dozen Years...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Nice Day on the Redwood Coast

Got away from Flex programming just long enough to have a really nice afternoon walk Not a true lunchwalk but here are some reminders that it's beautiful here.

...and the Dude taking his Angie for a walk.

William E. Gordon -- 1918-2010

Since SETI@Home and Astropulse get all their data from the Arecibo Telescope, it's a particularly sad day in the radio astronomy community...

from Space Daily

The Father Of Arecibo Observatory Dies At 92

The Arecibo Observatory.
by Lauren Gold
Ithaca NY (SPX) Feb 22, 2010
William E. Gordon, founder of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, died Feb. 16 at his home in Ithaca. He was 92. Gordon was the Walter R. Reed Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cornell in 1958 when he began designing the radio telescope to study the Earth's upper atmosphere and nearby space.
Built in the limestone hills of northwest Puerto Rico and funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the 305-meter (1,000-foot)-wide telescope is the most powerful radio telescope in the world; and a central tool for research in astronomy, atmospheric science, planetary science and engineering.

Gordon will be remembered as "one of the world's great radio telescope designers," said Cornell President Emeritus Dale Corson, who was dean of the College of Engineering in 1959, when the telescope was being designed.

"Gordon's concept of using a natural earth form to support a 1,000-foot-diameter reflector to focus radio waves was ingenious and challenging," Corson said. "A spherical reflector does not focus the radio waves at a point but along a line, and he had to devise a way to collect those waves, which he and his staff did in brilliant fashion."

Gordon served as the observatory's director until 1965. Using the radar signals reflected by electrons, he studied the temperature, density, chemical composition and other properties of the ionosphere, which he called "both the gateway to space and our first line of defense against the deadly radiation streaming toward us from the sun and other stars."

That research continues to have practical applications in communications, air travel, space exploration, weather and climate; and it offers insight into the evolution and dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere.

Gordon designed the observatory, now operated by Cornell through the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center for the National Science Foundation. Four decades, two major upgrades and dozens of historic discoveries later, it remains a unique and vital scientific tool.

Since 1963, researchers at Arecibo have established the rate of rotation of Mercury; discovered the first pulsar in a binary system (leading to the Nobel Prize); produced radar maps of the geologic surface of Venus; discovered the first planets outside the solar system; probed the composition of the most distant galaxies; and observed near earth objects with unparalleled precision.

Born Jan. 8, 1918, in Paterson, N.J., Gordon earned his bachelor's degree from New Jersey State Teacher's College, a master's from New York University and Ph.D. from Cornell.

During World War II, Gordon served in the Air Force as captain and electronics engineer, and worked with the National Defense Research Committee on the effects of weather on radar range. He came to Cornell as a research associate in1948, and in 1950 published (with Henry G. Booker) the theory of radio wave scattering in the troposphere. He rose quickly through the faculty ranks, and had received the Reed professorship by 1958.

In 1966 Gordon moved to Rice University, where he served as a professor, dean, provost and vice president before retiring in 1986.

Gordon was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering; a foreign associate of the Engineering Academy of Japan; and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

At the 40th anniversary celebration of the telescope's inauguration in 2003, Gordon recalled the skeptics who didn't believe it could be built. "We were young enough that we didn't know we couldn't do it," he said. "We had no rules or precedents." He added: "If you dream, have big dreams. And have talented supporters to help you."

Gordon is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two children from his first marriage. His first wife, Elva, died in 2001.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Get The Flava

Want a taste of what it's like living here on the Redwood Coast? Here's a sample:

From the Daily Triplicate (our local paper)

The Crescent City Crab, Wine & Cheese Festival will be held Saturday at the Cultural Center, featuring live music and plenty of food.

The festival from 4 to 9 p.m. will feature a food court and competition among area restaurants for the “crabbiest dish,” best seafood chowder and best clam chowder, said Bill Renfroe, executive director of the Tri-Agency Economic Development Authority.

There also will be a crab race, although a different one than those held during the 42 years that Crescent City hosted the World Championship Crab Races and Festival each February. That event was discontinued in 2008.

At Saturday’s event, sponsored crabs will be placed in an inner circle on the ground, and the first three crabs to reach an outer circle will be the winners, Renfroe said.

He said there would be no prodding involved, as with the original races, when crabs were put on a inclined plank and racers would strike the plank, causing the crustacean to rattle its way down the board.

Racing crab sponsors (organizations or individuals) can “detail their crab and put their company logo on it,” said Renfroe.

In addition, children can enjoy radio-controlled “crab” races, he said.

Alber Seafood will provide crabs for sale ($2 for a half-crab), Rumiano Cheese will have its products available, and other items will be available at a food court. Plans also call for a “wall of wine” sponsored by the Business Improvement District.

The bands scheduled to perform at the free-admission event include the Wafler Effect, from Crescent City; the Stage Light Band from Brookings; and the Joe Vasquez Band, from Crescent City.

For more information, call Renfroe at 707-464-3500 or city planner Michele Rambo at 707-464-9506.

YeeHawww!!! Giant sea bugs with brie and a good merlot!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 26, 2010

2 Hands, All Black, All White
Gallery of Art and Culture
5-8 P.M.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

They Call Me MISTER Horse

This post is about a neighbor and good friend of the Dude. He's just called Mr. Horse but he's been a fixture around here for a long time. The Dude loves him and when he goes for a walk they come to the fence and bump noses.

For the last couple of days, Mr. Horse has been under the weather. He's been lying down in the field and is having a hard time getting up. Horse is getting on in years. He's now 34! That's a lot of time to gallop by even if you're not a horse.

I wanted to take some pictures to commemorate him, especially if his time is coming to an end. Mr. Horse has been a pretty good guy. Never stole money or consorted with prostitutes.

He's been a good buddy to the Dude and been a credit to the family that owns him. What more can you ask of a horse?

So here's Mr. Horse:

Mr. Horse

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Sweetheart Got Married

My youngest daughter Jorjanna and her fiance Sebastian got married this evening in Las Vegas.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Next Phase

For those interested in any projects at Sun Microsystems now orphaned by the Oracle purchase, here is a site I'm involved with that gives these groups a place to convene and share information.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


The Kids Are Alright!

Jasmyne is currently doing some reporting from Beijing and sent back pictures. I want to publicly thank her for not getting married and changing her name so people can continue to erroneously think I had anything to do with her talent and success. Have fun, and try those scorpions on a stick! Yummy!

I'm also proud to announce that youngest daughter, Jorjanna and her long-time beau Sebastian are getting married on February the 12th in Las Vegas.

Sebastian hails from Germany. Ironically, so do some of my mom's ancestors (Caughman/Kauffman).

Getting a pretty nice son-in-law.

She will be changing her name, just in time to escape my infamy when ComputeSpace comes out!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Oracle Means Business

A bit is a bit is a bit, right? Maybe in the laboratory, but not so much out in the world where market forces come into play. And, now that Oracle has swallowed Sun, some of the fallout from the event will be the change in strategy, philosophy, and product development over in Redwood Shores.

Technical Bits vs Business Bits
Sun started out in the technical and scientific computing environments and the output over the years was deeply influenced by having those strands in its DNA. As Oracle will happily tell you, Oracle Means Business.

So anything and everything that doesn't fit the picture of being monetized for business clients quickly, is gonna be shorn on the lathe of heaven. As Scott McNealy stated in his goodbye letter to Sun, "Larry Ellison is the greatest capitalist I've ever met".

Last night, I was notified through the Sun Immersion Group that Oracle has cut all funding for the Wonderland 3D immersion project. Biz don't need no 3D.

Wonderland is at the heart of our 3D environment on ComputeSpace. The group is scrambling to see if they can spin themselves off into their own organization, either non-profit or commercial.

Thus far, I've only been smart enough to use Wonderland. I wasn't smart enough to invent it. But, if I have to, I'll learn all of the thousands of lines of code I need to keep it alive for ComputeSpace.

In business class, for starting a company, they used the analogy of jumping off a cliff and building the plane on the way down. I'm certainly in free-fall and some of the parts seem to be getting away from me. Troubling.

Do I have faith? Loads of it. An it's unshakable. It's not inflatable though, and I'm assured that, if we don't get some lift under these wings, we will do a considerable dead cat bounce when we hit the ground.

But today we're installing our first server at Sutter. Catching the updraft and getting some altitude.

Next week we finish our consolidation project. That'll help, too.

And then the debut of the "full front-end demo". The demo with the 3D immersive environment, JavaFX, and drag-and-drop enabled. Can't say more without shooting you afterwards.

Our project isn't for business. It's for schools. We didn't build ComputeSpace because they had a lot of money that we wanted to liberate. We built it because they don't have a lot of money and we could help them with that.

I am not afraid of the market. Sun put its fate in the market's hands and a decision was made. We put our fate in our market's hands and a decision will also be made. But taking the parts away before the plane gets built? Hmmm, troubling...

Maybe, because of their markets, we can't depend on Sun or SGI or Cray or Dell or Cisco or AMD as passive partners in this enterprise anymore. Maybe when we lept from the precipice we should have carried the parts for our own machine shop and foundry, too!

We'll find out soon enough. A bit at a time.