Archive for October, 2007

First Tremors

I was at a mall in Fremont when I experienced the first earthquake of my life. I was out in the open and in front of me, I saw stuff shake in a shop that was closed. Nothing fell down but it was something I have never seen before. When it started, for a few moments, I thought it was just some insensitive guy blaring music through his car stereo. A few people came out of the mall; people didn’t want to do anything really for a couple of minutes. After that, it was life as normal.

At the very same time, my wife had got into her car in Sunnyvale. She started the car and it shook vigorously. She truly believed that there was something wrong with the car. She stopped it and re-ignited after a minute. Everything was normal but there were people running out of the nearby building. She still didn’t understand what was going on. When she came home and switched on the TV, she heard the news.

Boo! Have a Fun and Safe Halloween

Boo! Have a Fun and Safe Halloween

Reminds me a bit of E.T. Remember when Drew Barrymore dressed him up in the dress and wig?
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

5.6 Earthquake

At 8:04pm an earthquake struck the South Bay. I haven’t really experienced a decent-sized earthquake since 1989, and even then I was in Modesto at the time and it was more of a wave-like experience there. Sure there’s been a few since then in Northern California, but really this one.. holy moly!

[Link to USGS]

The epicenter was in Alum Rock.
People have been calling into NBC11, KRON 4, and other stations noting “I felt it!” in locations like Union City, San Francisco and even Manteca.

No heavy damage has been reported (that I can find/or have heard on TV.) So that’s good.

I was baking cupcakes when all of a sudden you hear a rumble… then some stuff starts to hit each other and make noise.. then some shaking… then all of a sudden it felt like someone grabbed me and shook me.
While we were still rolling I grabbed my cell and called my mother out in Modesto. She felt it out there too!

So what’s your story?

SV Flickr Meet-Up!…Reflections

The flickr get-together was great. I met several flickr members, about 13-15 in all….I had a great time. The conversations delightfully drifted as we talks about cameras, equipment, great photo locations, Photoshop, Lightroom, and “secret” post processing techniques.

The Coffee Society
(at Pruneyard Shopping Center) is a great place to host an event like this. It has a great atmosphere, good lighting, FREE WiFi, and coffee, coffee, coffee! I didn’t order any cake, because my kids (twins) birthday was this week, and I’m all tapped out on cake consumption. Everyone had their cameras in tow and snap off a few shots while chatting it up, and there were 3-4 laptops scattered about our group as well. I’ll bring my laptop next time as it’s a great way to show off your work, or help trade photo processing tips. It will most likely be the only PC amongst many MacBooks but not too worry…..I can hold my own!

The Coffee Society also seems to be the best place to hang out with other tech-centric people. Every 2 out of 5 customers were online with their laptops, and socializing with each other about all things tech…..very cool!. I’m not sure when the next meet-up will be, but I’ll most definitely be in attendance.

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest


It wasn’t a stormy night; rain was not falling in torrents, even though earlier thunder had rattled the sky, while driving the wet streets of San Jose near the University, I thought of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest* – thought up by Professor Scott Rice and sponsored by the English Department.

The inspiration for the contest was the opening run-on sentence from the novel by Paul Clifford: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. — Bulwer-Lytton (1830)

See what a disaster and bathroom humor did for Jim – the $250 prize. The 2007 overall winner: “Gerald began — but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash — to pee.” –Jim Gleeson

Snoopy, the Peanuts comic strip, has pawed some of his own – It was A Dark and Stormy Night, Snoopy.

See the 2007 Results

Denise Brown to Speak in San José


According to the American Psychiatric Association: Domestic violence is control by one partner over another in a dating, marital or live-in relationship. The means of control include physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse, threats and isolation.

Denise Brown (sister of Nicole Brown Simpson) will give the keynote speech at this year’s 10th Annual Walk to End Domestic Violence. Denise has dedicated so much time and energy to bringing awareness. At the conclusion of the 1.8-mile walk participants will meet up in the Rotunda for lunch and a Resource Fair.

San José City Hall  
Friday, October 26, 2007
11:00am to 2:00pm.

Google – World Headquarters-DooF Event

Silicon Valley: A unique flower that blossomed in the pleasant climate of central California when local university graduates mixed with the fertile soil of entrepreneurship.

Google Garden

This past Saturday I was sitting among the earth boxes in the Google Garden thinking about the last two hours spent at the Doof-A-Palooza event, for DooF – A new TV Food Show For Kids. There had been garden and kitchen tours, outdoor cooking stations manned by Google chefs – nutritious foods to sample, and some offered cooking lessons for the kids. We saw baby goats, and a Beekeeper. Alan Henninger, the owner of Henninger Hill Apiary*, gave me his thoughts on why bees have been disappearing at such an alarming rate.

There were several contests, including a food-inspired spelling bee. And another contest in which a young lady, Sophia, was happy to have named a cheese correctly while blindfolded. Her dad is with Barefoot Coffee Roasters. Seems to be a good sense of smell in that family. I spoke with Derek Rupp (Google Executive Chef) about the importance of good nutrition for kids. He and his crew made a tasty, round ball version of power bars. I met Gus Walbolt, one of the team members behind the TV Series. I expressed my hope that the show would be on daily to help kids make the best food choices. — Thanks to Google, it was a good day for all.

Symphony Silicon Valley Concert – George Cleve Conducts

George CleveConductor George Cleve returns this week with a program that includes Brahms’s Third Symphony together with Schumann’s lyrical Piano Concerto, performed with world-renowned pianist Seymour Lipkin.

The concert is presented at The California; a 1,100-seat hall filled with modern amenities in a setting of meticulously restored 1920’s opulence.

Symphony Silicon Valley
The California Theatre
345 South First Street, San Jose

Thursday, October 25, 7:30pm
Saturday, October 27, 8:00pm
Sunday, October 28, 2:30pm
Tickets $37-$73

More info about George Cleve, tickets, directions and parking.

SV Flickr Meet-Up!

Flickr….the Internet darling of social-networking through the uploading and viewing photos. How many of you are flickr users either free or Pro….eh? I’ve been a Pro member since 2005 and will remain a Pro member for life (ok maybe not “life” life, just Internet life). I’m subscribed to my contacts RSS feed so I can get the latest uploads from all of my contacts 24/7…’s addicting. I’ve just recently become aware of the Silicon Valley Flickr Users meet-up. It’s held once a month and I’m going to attend for the first time…..I’m totally excited. The description over at UpComing (A community for discovering and sharing events) pitches the meet-up as “photos, coffee, conversation, and cake”….I’m soooo gonna be there! So grab you camera and plan to meet & greet me there ok? Hey! did I mention the cake?

SV Flickr Meet-Up will be Monday, Oct 29, 2007
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: Coffee Society Campbell (at Pruneyard Shopping Center)
1875 South Bascom Ave., Suite 112,
Campbell, CA, California 95008

A San José Halloween in Morgan Hill


Unfortunately trick-or-treating is not as safe as when I was young. As I remember we would rummage through the house looking for costume inspiration and the materials to make us scary. That evening the wait for dusk seemed almost unbearable as we stood, pillowcase in hand, on the porch next to the jack-o’-lantern. Finally we would be off, on our own, to collect our bounty. No parents were needed to protect us from any genuine harm. After hours of trolling the neighborhood we would return home safely on weary feet our candy-filled pillowcases slung over our shoulders.

My own daughter was allowed only to trick-or-treat at selected homes. Her dad and I never more than a watchful quick step away. The thrill of trick-or-treat night had turned from mysterious, supernatural magic into real fear. We decided to look for a safe alternative for our family. We drove south to Morgan Hill.

Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park became our family tradition. The park has many new attractions for all ages. Our daughter always enjoyed the Pumpkinville Railroad.



Tips for a Safe

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