Monday, December 31, 2007

She won the million!!

Fw: She won the million

A the NYE party, one of our friends brought in a "Deal or No Deal" handheld game.

Our other friend Deb started to play and hand an interesting run.

She was between $400 and $1,000,000 and the banker's offer was $600k. We all told her to take the offer, but she decided to go for it.

She won the million!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas -- Part Deux..

Christmas Part 2

Clayton came back from Oklahoma today, so we had the second part of Christmas (the part where he opened his gifts under the tree).

Friday, December 28, 2007

That was one tough test...

Aw Crap

Well, I can't always put down the stuff I'm proud of. Sometimes I just have to document what actually happens.

In this case, I was all of 10 points shy of passing (I needed 825 out of 1000, I got 815). Had I passed, I would have earned my Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Alas, now I have to study harder, pay another $150, and take the test again.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Artisanal chocolates

Artisan Chocolates

Caryn's step-mom, a woman of exquisite taste, sent us a box of these chocolates. These aren't your basic "Russell Stovers" -- the flavors include things like "Rosemary Caramel", "Passion Fruit", and "Persian Spiced Marzipan". A quick view of the website for the chocolateer,, will give you an idea.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Most Unique Present ...

The Wand

The Scroll

My brother is an incredibly talented and creative craftsman. I have often said that he could take two pieces of wood and put them together with pegs and glue and make them balance the checkbook and wash the dishes. He's that talented.

His gift to me this year was this wand.

No, he's not a Harry Potter freak. In fact, as a strongly spiritual Christian, I suspect that he may not be the biggest Harry Potter fan out there.

But the wand is a study in making wood beautiful. The scroll (printed on paper which was also hand made, along with the box it was packaged in, all of the labels, etc) explains the intricate manufacture of this piece (you may have to look at it at the largest resolution to be able to read it all).

I love the last line (of the big print) ...

"I hope you enjoy this wand as much as anyone can enjoy a stick."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Caryn's Cookie Platters

Cookie platter

Caryn worked for several days creating these cookie platters as gifts for our friends.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Foggy Christmas Eve Eve


It was a nice, pretty, clear day all day today, but about 9:00, the fog moved in.

It got to be 11:00, and I didn't have a picture, so I took out the tripod and went out to catch the interplay of streetlights in the fog.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Caryn cuttin' loose...


Some very good friends of ours (The Discourser and his fabulous family) threw their annual holiday fĂȘte. A fine time was had by all, including my darling wife.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Private Reserve

wine label

Regular readers of this blog will remember that LOVE out dog sitter. Every year she presents her clients with a gift, including her "private reserve" wine for that year. Each bottle is personalized (dog- alized?) for the dog

Two years ago, it was "Pawno Grrrigio". Last year it was "Zinfan-tail". I love this year's "Pinot more" (get it, "pee no more"?)

Thanks Shura -- you are the BEST!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Doin' it wrong ... Doin' it right...

Tis the season for businesses all over the map to send out holiday gifts and cards. This blog entry is designed to give examples of what is right and what is wrong in this practice...

Doin' it wrong...

Doin it wrong

The CEO of one of our software vendors is a follower of a certain school of thought authored by a certain science fiction author. This CEO "schools" his employees in the teachings of this late prophet.

Now, I'm all for folks believing in what ever they want. I'm even OK with sending out holiday cards with demonstrating thier beliefs. On the other hand ... Seriously!?!?!? Didn't the German government kick Microsoft's butt over your technology being imbedded in Windows? Have you considered that, well, frankly, you might want to examine who your audience is before you send out a card like this?!?!?

Doin' it right...

Doin it right

Here we have the example of cheer done exceptionally well. The very kind gentleman who presented me with this lovely bottle of BV Pinot Noir (Carneros Valley) understands that I enjoy a good Pinot (he gave my boss a different bottle, by the way, because we have different tastes, and this most excellent vendor understands that).

There's no proselytizing, no controversial "immortal spirits from another galaxy inhabiting our bodies" -- just some superior grape juice, lovingly crafted by our friends from the north (Napa).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our driver...

Cable Car Driver

From a recent trip on the Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf Cable Car, this was our driver.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What happens when a truck backs into a fire hydrant

A truck driver backed into a fire hydrant right next to my office's window.

Hydrant close

Now, that's a yellow hydrant, which according to this website represents a flow rate of at least 500 gallons per minute. It took almost 20 minutes to get the flow cut off, which means at least 10,000 gallons washed our parking lot and flowed to the bay.

Full height of spray

The wall next to the spray is approximately 15 feet tall.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Cookies Time...

Bags o' Cookies

Caryn has been baking a lot over the last week or so -- putting together platters to go to all of our friends. Today it was my turn. I made Oatmeal and Toll-House cookies (Caryn made the Snickerdoodles in the middle).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Interior shot from the Paramount Theater - Oakland


Caryn and I went to the Dave Koz and Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas show tonight. The Paramount is beautiful, but it was crowded and I didn't get many shots.

Friday, December 14, 2007



This shop is in Ghirardelli Square, down by the wharf. There is also a location, I think, at the Ferry Building.

The cupcakes are quite good, if a tad pricey. The "Salt Chocolate" is surprisingly tasty, though I don't think they make a bad one.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

The "U" Picture

The U picture

Driving home in the dark, needed a picture.

Pointed the camera out the window with the flash turned off, and voila, the "U" picture.

Friday, December 7, 2007

South San Francisco Light Tree

Tree on the hill

Here in South San Francisco, every year at Holiday time, the city puts a huge "strand of lights style" Christmas tree at the top of "Sign Hill".

Given its location, the tree can be seen from just about anywhere in South City and most of the environs south past the airport.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

South San Francisco Dilapidated Pier

South San Francisco Delapidated Pier

South San Francisco used to be a huge shipbuilding center.

This pier is all that is left of that massive endeavor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

64MB of Ram!!

State of the art?!?

I got a frantic call from one of our labs at work at 5:30 tonight. One of the critical lab instruments was locked, and noone had any idea of how to unlock it.

I arrived in the lab to find a nearly 10 year old computer, running NT 4.0, not connected to the network, just the instrument. As you can see, the orignal tech who installed this system, between discovering fire and dodging T-Rex, installed a whopping 64 MB of RAM.

Anywho -- thanks to my patron Saint, Petter Norhdal-Hagans (see my 500 day blog post about him) and his WONDERFUL freeware utility, I was able to get back up and running.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A very crooked (but not the crookedest) street

Crooked Street

This is Lombard Street. Lombard is often referred to as the crookedest street in the world, when, in fact, it isn't even the crookedest in San Francisco (that would be Vermont, between 19th and 21st street).

It is beautiful though

Saturday, December 1, 2007

December Theme Day -- Bridges


I'm not a member of the "City Daily Photo Blogs" yet, but I've applied. These guys do a theme picture on the first day of each month, and for December, it's "Bridges".

Here's mine.

That's BOB (Big Orange Bridge, or, as most people know it, the Golden Gate Bridge) in the background.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snow in Southern California

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It snows 3 times a night a Disneyland during the Christmas season. This one was right after the fireworks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day and Night

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Disneyland. They've really stepped up the holiday decorations this year. The snow on the castle is awesome.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The ornament


This ornament was put on our tree just yesterday. It's lit only by the little lights on the tree.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pecan Pie -- Up Close...

Pie Closeup

It looks really good, but it works out to something like 15 points for 1/12 of the pie. Since that ain't happenin' for fat-boy here, it's strictly for the boys.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Twilight and cars

cars and twilight

I liked the juxtaposition of the mesh of cars riding below the obliquely lit sky.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

T (as in Thanksgiving) minus 2

T minus 2

I think we have everything we need for the big T-Day dinner. I tried to lay it all out, but I'm sure I missed some things.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Old Blue Eyes...

Old Blue Eyes

I think Ziggy is the reincarnation of Frank Sinatra. Just look at those eyes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Painted Ladies

Painted Ladies

The last of the shots from the trip around SF with Sylvia and Bill.

This is the famous "Painted Ladies" -- a set of Victorians next to Alamo Square Park.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The best sunset picture I've ever taken...

Sunset trees

While Sylvia and Bill were in town, we got some really great sunset pictures, including this one.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Installed the Leopard today...


I wiped my mac and installed Leopard today.

The pictures and music are transferring over from the backup drive as I write this.

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