|Here are the previous journal entries from my home page|
Tons - o - fun around the houses these days. We managed a trip up to Grass Valley last weekend. Angela has wanted to see the Empire Mine State Park for years. It is the most productive gold mine in California and it was owned by the builders of Filoli. The weekend we visited they were doing a living history show. Each building on the tour had people in period costumes pretending to be someone of that time. At times it was tiring, but overall a good show. I wandered around afterwards and got some good photos of old machinery and such. Our friend Lindy from last year at the spa was nice enough to offer a room at her pole house. She lives right on the edge of the park - literally, her property shares a fence with the state park.
We hadn't seen Lindy since last NYE in Palm Springs. I was wondering if we'd get along as well as we did at the spa, and the answer is: yes! She is a wonderful host. We drank a bottle of wine out on her deck under the trees and chatted about all manner of things. She found us a fantastic dinner spot in Nevada City. I had a green chicken mole and Lindy's short ribs looked very good. The next day the hours flew by as we talked about our lives and made plans to do more together again. I'm looking forward to our next outing with Lindy and Dev.
Sean and Rick had birthdays this week. Jen arranged for a party at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Highly recommended place to unwind with a beer while listening to live music. Rick turned us on to Washington California as a place to visit. Cute old hotel in a river valley. Check it out.
Thanks to Rick's folks for hosting the college crowd in Cambria. They were out of town for the week and turned the place over to a bunch of aged rockers. Kevin brought some damn game that is like caroms but you play it by flicking these checkers with your fingers. We all had bruises the size of baseballs after a night of that. We also got out to a few wineries in Paso Robles. I had no idea there were so many. We bought a case of wine from various places, all of which will need to be consumed soon.
These days it's a long haul between updates to this site. I'm adding new recipes and miscellaneous little pages, but it gets harder to find the time to write something here. Work is going great guns, but it takes a lot of time and energy; feels good.
We just came back from Chris' wedding in Baltimore. Nice guy, nice bride, nice setting. The Gray Rock house is a nicely restored old mansion. The reception was in the ball room which has a fantastic entry platform to stand on before walking down into the room. Makes everyone feel like a deb. We met several nice people there from NIH. They introduced us to Yuengling beer. I must say, that is one good beer. Low on hops and bitters, but not sweet. A very interesting brew.
We also got to visit Loren and Dan. Their house is amazing. While Dan serves his weekdays in Virginia, Loren has single handedly redone the house. Wall paper, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodels, built in book shelves of her own design, crown molding everywhere. My God, the woman is a female Al the Toolman! Very nicely done. Loren took some chances with bold blue and red walls and it really paid off. Just fantastic to see. The also took us to a brew pub for fun and games.
Reynold and Lori were in town. We had a quick sushi lunch to chat about old times. They are looking good and seem very happy with their D.C. posting. I wish we could have visited Reynold and Lori on the Baltimore trip, but this was Angela's trip. It did make me realize that the 6 hour flight back East isn't really too bad. We need to do it more often.
For those who care to know, the Engelhorn family reunion went off smashingly. Superior Shores isn't the best run resort, but the area is certainly beautiful. We had about 45 people show up for three days of fun and games. Pete and Kim were co-organizers; it was good to see them again - they are fun to be around. We shared a condo and found that we could all laze around together pretty well. My folks brought the cards and we taught a few people to play dwindle. Had a great round where I won by just one point, in the last hand. What a great laugh we all had over that.
Nancy and Greg came out with Emily and Steven. The whole family came down to Saratoga for a feast. We used the school across the street. I was prepared to take over folding chairs and blankets. When I walked around the building on Saturday morning to check it out I found it already stocked with picnic tables and market umbrellas! I don't know why they keep this stuff out, but it makes for a good picnic area. The kids are growing fast. I gave Steven my SiPix and he quickly filled up the 100 snapshot limit. Wow. Then Lauren took it and she grabbed another 100 shots in no time. It was fun to see the pictures they took. Lots of chaff, but a few interesting ones as well.
Angela's been busy with Filoli and Edgewood Park weeding work. The California Native Plant Society works hard to protect endangered native species and she's part of the crowd. She's also now on the board of Lathrop House in Redwood City. For Victorian Days this year she whipped out a long green Victorian dress in just a few days on the sewing machine. She's a wiz at this.
Rob and Julie took us out to Shakespeare In The Park in Cupertino. A fun evening out. We sat on the grass, ate our sandwiches and drank a bottle of wine. They are good people to spend time with. We chatted about HPQ and their new ski cabin in Tahoe. I'm looking forward to a lot more good times with the. I also ran into them again at Carson Kan's retirement beer bust. He revived the old HP tradition for one last fling in the Redwood Grove on the Cupertino site. I ran into so many of the old gang there: Davalos and Borg; Jim Hawkins; Mark Linsky; people that we did so much with and haven't seen for years. The regulars were there too and it's always nice to see everyone.
I've been fascinated with the WiFi scanning software (like Netstumbler). It's great to see how many people purposely leave their WiFi networks open to share. It is a revolution in connectivity, and these WiFi owners are leading the way. I had no idea. Simply amazing. This might just change the way the world is unwired.
Janis Ian and Joan Baez were both seen at Villa Montalvo. I've loved Joan in the past, but this time the performance just didn't thrill me. Maybe I was tired. Janis, on the other hand, was just enchanting. Sad songs of course, yet between songs she told some hilarious stories. A very warm and engaging performer. I'll see her again.
Thank God, Oxford won the boat race this year. Luckily the dress was black tie "preferred" which gave yours truly the chance to get by with just a suit. The dinner was nice; the speaker soooo much more entertaining than Lady whoever of two years ago. It was also a nice opportunity to dine with the Jeffs again. We met them two years ago at our first boat race dinner. Since then we've met them a few times at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Miramar. Nice people.
They let us on to a great jazz piano performance this last Sunday. We brought along Pat and Richard. They hadn't been for a while. The afternoon was cool and the place was jumping. The sideshow was a young thing in a micro-mini skit, four-inch heels, and a see through macramé halter top. At the break she pranced around the sea wall while her date took photos. The rest of us enjoyed it too.
My 40th was a great time. At the last minute a business acquaintance called with a big problem: two extra tickets to the Paul McCartney concert in San Jose. Oh, BTW, the tickets are in a sky box. Sure, I'm always glad to help out a friend. Of course the first gaff was telling Angela to dig in to the pizza. Turned out that was ordered by others who had yet to arrive. Whoops. McCartney put on a fantastic show. For the first few songs I didn't feel he was connecting with the crowd. Then, somehow, I found myself absorbed. A few early Beatles's songs had the place screaming and yelling.
Cicely invited us to the Acterra benefit dinner at the Coyote Point Nature Museum last weekend. The food was very good. All natural, mostly vegetarian, great flavors. The crowd was interesting too. An Earthy group - some in little black dresses, others in jeans and t-shirts. Very comfortable. One organizer offered a printed manifesto for genetically modified foods. One point "all organisms have the right to naturally select their genetic makeup", or something like that.
Then there was the Boz Scaggs show at the Paul Masson Mt. Winery. Fantastic old tunes. The lighting was unbelievable. Somehow they got all these remote control lights to flash and move in a pattern that made the whole stage look like roiling water. It was as if the surf was right there on stage. The second set had an odd point when he stumbled on a power cord. The whole band stopped to catch their breath. He looked a bit stunned, recovered, waved to the crowd and then, with a down beat the music was back and blaring. We loved it. The crowd went wild.
The fun just never stops! Luckily my digital camera broke the other day. That freed me up to buy one of the newer 3.2M pixel ones. I got another Olympus and this one is tons better than the last one. Stay tuned for more pictures. I also picked up a new scanner, since that also blew out on me. This is another Visioneer but with some great new features. USB compatible makes it fast, and allows the "copy" button. It works like a copy machine to my printer! Love it. Maybe I'll get around to putting some of my old slide art onto the web site...
March has been a workaholics dream come true. So much to do and so little time. Luckily our technology continues to work as advertised and we are over the hump on this little set of projects. Maybe now I can get out to have lunch with friends again. I feel like I've been a hermit. An all too easy habit for me to fall into.
Angela hosted a reunion party for the old T.R.A.D.E. gang. It has been three years since the company pulled up stakes and moved to Florida, leaving everyone behind. It was a loud crowd. We had more than 40 people show up and there was a lot of laughing going on. You can tell that this company really bonded.
Then there was Joan Bodway's retirement party. She left HP back in August, but this was the right time for the party. Many old friends were there. Nice to see everyone again. All seem healthy. Karen took a package, so did her new husband, and they traveled the world. Now it's time to find a job again. Others who left HP talked about their companies being on the edge of extinction; glad our company is doing better than that. I hope it works out for everyone. Joan seems supremely happy to be retired and having a great time. Speaking of which, I made it to the Compaq-HP proxy vote. Interesting event; more for what it wasn't than for what it was. Here are my notes.
I made a dash to Europe a few weeks ago. London for one day, Paris for one day, one extra day to save on air fare, then home. I took the train through the chunnel. That was a treat. So much more comfortable than dealing with an airplane and two airports. Plus the train ends right in Paris. An excellent way to travel. My Saturday was in Paris. A cold but clear Paris. Too early for blooms, it had been pouring rain just the day before. I managed a trip to Sacre Cours. Great view, but a throng of tourists and street vendors that spoiled what could have been a very serene visit. I walked along the Seine and sat outside the Louvre for a bit. Then I went back to my nice hotel lobby and sat with my book and my view onto the street.
Tip o' the hat to Marty Bollman for inviting us to the La Honda Volunteer Fireman's crab cioppino night. It was great food, we met some nice people, and danced a little bit. What could be better than that.
I guess we should also note in passing that MARK URAM IS NOW 40 YEARS OLD. In case you didn't know.
Just back from a nice two-peat that should have been three. Crash n' Burn spent a great week in Telluride skiing. The first two days were great and my knee held up really well (did I mention the clean-up surgery in November?). Third day brought a snow storm with four inches of powder on much of the mountain - probably more in places I wouldn't see. On my first run of the day I was pushing so much snow around that I tweaked my knee. It didn't help that this was also the first day on new parabolic rental skis and I learned later that I was driving them wrong. That first run was the last. I left Karl and Nancy to themselves and found my way to the condo and ice pack via the gondola. I couldn't ski the rest of the week, but managed to find the Steaming Bean coffee shop and spend many good hours with my books. BTW, our white Jamaican Bobsled team won first prize in the costume contest. Might have been our use of industrial mops for dreadlocks, or maybe the name of our sled: Doobie Too Fast Man.
Interesting to see three National Guardsmen at the Gunnison airport. I was eating popcorn in the lounge. When the security woman asked me to flip my belt buckle up three pieces fell out of my sweater. Raised a great belly laugh from my CnB friends waiting in line behind me. The woman nodded to the kernels on the floor, "you can take those with you if you want." Haw, haw.
Leg two of this triathlon was the long drive from SFO to Parjaro Dunes. The regular gang had rented a townhouse on the dunes fronting the beach. My mission was to grab Margaret from her high school's celebrity fund raiser and deliver us to the beach by midnight. I lost Margaret, my fault, and then we both lost Parjaro Dunes. Eventually we made it, but only after rousing her dad from a sound sleep. Condo #20 is fantastic. 2400 square feet cut into three floors with the upper floor sporting living room and decks. What a view! We could stand on the deck and look all the way up and down the beach. 180-degree view. SciAm this month has an article on the orientation response and relaxation. I have to believe crashing waves are a constant stimulation to that brain channel because it takes me less than a minute to be captivated by the view and the sounds. I need a second home on the beach.
The three-peat was going to be this weeks' Harvey Korman / Tim Conway show at the Fox. Unfortunately, after telling everyone we were going, it turned out to be on Sunday evening, not Tuesday. No need to ask me how it went, we were sleeping in Pajaro while the yuks were being passed out. Too many things going on; I have to get the calendar under control.
I've read a couple of great books lately. Makes Me Want To Holler is a gut wrenching look at the life of a young black man growing up in middle class America. Successful in the end, his autobiography is riveting. The Way We Talk Today is a collection of short essays from NPR's All Things Considering. These observations on language and culture make for entertaining light reading.
Going back into history, the yearly Christmas bash was tons-o-fun. Mike and ... kept to the Northwest this year, avoiding post terrorist travel woes (smart idea) and the Pindars were nursing Lauren back from her surgery. I did the Honey Baked Ham again (perhaps I'm a one trick pony?) just because it is so easy and so good. We laughed and ate and played Brian's card game again. It was a roaring good time.
That's all the news from the front today. Back to work!