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chiefwirehead
29 March 2015 @ 01:33 pm
Evidently LJ thinks that I no longer have a friends feed - at least on my iPhone. And Chrome on my Mac.
Apparently, after years of not doing it, I need to log in. Weird. Odd. OK, fixed now.

Anyway, my life is changing.
We have two cats, Terrapin and Darkstar (Terra and Star for short). Terrapin is a tortoiseshell, and Darkstar is Black.
They're half-sisters, 6 months apart in age. And they've only thrown up on the rug once (each). We have perfectly fine hardwood floors for them to do that, of course. We get get to let them out after their booster shots in a couple of weeks.

I am now the chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Microprocessors and Microcomputers (again), which oversees a bunch of conferences in the U.S., Japan, and now France. It was a bruising election where my "opponent" was very vocal that everyoneshould vote for me.
It mostly worked.

And I appear to be slightly unretired. A startup has come calling with the right story, so I will be spending some time working on that (and with another startup - they know about each other and they won't be competing).
 
 
chiefwirehead
06 April 2014 @ 06:38 pm
I like Japanese Woodblock prints. I'm on some estate sale mailing lists, and we've been going to their for-the-mailing-list-only days when the email says they have prints. This sale had lots of prints, but one Japanese Woodblock prints., I wasn't really sure that it was a woodblock print instead of just a lithograph or something the colors defied examination through the frame- but I liked the way it looked, and bought it. I couldn't read the signature block (I found one character I could identify) but just typing a short description of the scene with "Japanese Woodblock Print" brought it up almost instantly:
Yoshimune Arai - A Fishing Boat Beneath Ohashi Bridge from the series "Night Scenes" by Nishinomiya Publishing. The series of 21 prints (by different artists was originally printed in the early 1900s, but this one is from somewhere between 1938 andthe early '60s (and I'm guess later, based on its condition).Not only that, after taking it out of the frame, I found it wasn't even glued down (which happens a lot and ultimately results in nasty discoloration).
I'm happy.
Yoshimuni- Fishing Boat Beneath Ohashi Bridge
 
 
chiefwirehead
20 August 2012 @ 08:30 pm
I went to a party at a high school friend's house this weekend. We only see each other maybe once a year (usually the Hardly-Strictly Bluegrass festival), haven't kept in touch much, and I didn't really expect to know any else there - maybe some other high school friends.

There weren't any, but a couple of minutes after we arrived, another friend of ours (wife of a co-worker from 30 years ago) showed up. The connection with my friend is the Aikido community, which his wife is invloved in.

A few minutes later he was talking to someone who looked vaguely familiar. I thought I might know who he was, so prodded a bit, and sure enough - he's the guy who did our kitchen cabinets nearly 20 years ago *AND* I'd just called and set up an appointment for tomorrow to get an estimate on some custom bookcases. The connection was he lived nearby & had a studio where my friend drummed with him.

Finally, just before we left, I was introduced to someone who said: "oh, you're Woz's friend." Huh? It turns out he's the co-author of a book ("Fire in the Valley", an excellent book) that I was interviewed for probably 30 years ago. The connection was that his wife was a housemate many, many years ago.

We are everywhere.
 
 
chiefwirehead

It's been a busy beginning of August.

We attended a long anticipated family wedding in Park City, UT. Most of my cousins were there, from both east and west coast. Perry (father of the bride) fronted the wedding reception band (his brother Marc sat in on one number), and everybody danced under the stars – including 85 year old grandmother of the bride, Bonnie.  Whew. It was great seeing the closeness between bride&sister, groom&brother, and bride’s cousins – it bodes well. We finally got to meet the worlds happiest 1 year old, first-cousin-twice-removed Aria Grace.
Bride-groom-sibs   band-bridemaids  aria
bride&groom surrounded by sibs      cousin Perry on Lead w/bridesmaids     Aria Grace being happy

Then it was off to the canyons & rocks of eastern Utah: Fiery Canyon, Dinosaur Nat’l Monument, 9 Mile Canyon, Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, and a bunch of museums. Its amazing to see the rainbow of colors in Utah rocks – purple, red, orange, yellow, green, white, and gray. We drove briefly into Wyoming and Colorado to see it all, at one point hiking to a point where we could see the Green river a few thousand feet below both our left and right – and very green, too

  green river   Mckonie Petroglyphs - Donya4    .   
   (way) above the Green River                  Intrepid Donya w/petroglyph         

The rest of the time was spent driving around various native American petroglyph sites, inside Dinosaur Nat’l Monument, nearby McKonkie ranch, and 9 mile canyon. There is obviously a lot more all over the southwest, most very hard to get to.

 
 
chiefwirehead
25 July 2012 @ 12:17 pm
This seems to be the week of freebies. We walked or drove past 3 yard sales that were giving stuff away that we actually need (yea, you're right to read that with a note of skepticism) - and the secret neighborhood plum orchard has ripened, so we picked two bags of plums. Yum!
 plums
.
 
 
 
chiefwirehead
15 July 2012 @ 01:12 pm
I've seen two articles in two days about similar, but opposite products that seem to have a lot of potential.
One is a programmable USB LED - you plug it into a USB slot on your PC/laptop, and it lights up when something interesting happens. Of course, you can program the color, blinkpattern, and rate - but even better is you can program what events cause it to blink: e.g. incoming email or twitter message, appointment alarm, anytime a specific (or any) friend logs onto Facebook/Skype, whenever the weather report changes, when your bittorrent has completed, or your download speed has flatlined.
I'm sure you can think of something even more useful for it that I can't. Its a kickstarter called Blink(1).

Almost entirely the opposite is an input device - a programmable tag. This is a NFC (NearFieldCommunication) tag that you can stick on anything, and when you tap it with your (NFC-equipped) phone it will do... something.  Put on incoming groceries, and you can program it to tell you when you bought it, or when it will expire, or jump to a recipe page that tells you what you can make with it, or who has it on sale. Again, I'm sure you can think of something even more useful for it that I can't.

Currently, the model is that they're sold with built in applications, but I think that will expand as they get more popular. Tagstand is one company that sells them.
 
 
chiefwirehead
09 July 2012 @ 10:53 pm
Spent the weekend moving everything off the carpets so we could get our carpet thoroughly cleaned for the first time since, um, a long time.
We took the opportunity to reconfigure the guest room partially, a we;re now thinking that we really don't want to unpack/dismantle/modify/move/reconstruct/repack several bookcases around - we'd rather have some custom bookcases built.

Can anyone recommend someone local (to us) who does that sort of thing?
 
 
chiefwirehead
05 July 2012 @ 10:56 pm
I'm sure I've said this about lots of National Parks I've viisted, but I keep coming back to this spot on the south fork of the Lyall river in Tuolumne meadows as the most gorgeous spot that I've ever seen:
Lyall Fork
(also conveniently located .6 mi from our tent cabin at the Tuolomne Meadows "lodge".
Lots of smooth granite shelves to doze off and get a good sunburn tan.
Nice Swimming on this section of you can handle snowmelt.

But we day-hiked to the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, and I think I changed my mind:
Glen Aulin cascade
Spectacular landscapes could be found all along the 5 mile hike . Tuolumne Meadows is amazing.
We spent 4 days hiking around, filling up SD cards, going to sleep to the sound of Miller Cascades just a few yards from our tent cabin. We thought we were ambitious doing a 12mi (round trip) hike, until we talked to a woman at breakfast who dragged her daughter 22 miles to see where she used to camp out when she was a kid. Or our dinner table mates who where having a 10th anniversary celebration of completing their 2600 mile trek along the Pacific Coast Trail.
I am such a wimp.
 
 
chiefwirehead
19 April 2012 @ 11:16 pm
While "New York, the city that never sleeps" is a good motto (and true), 
"New York, City of Scaffolding" might be a bit more accurate.
We had a lovely time, saw herds (what's the collective noun for collective nouns?) of:
relatives, friends, museums, restaurants, subway stops, and botanical gardens.

And chocolate.
This a photo of "The Meadow", the shop literally around the corner from our friend Zain's West Village apartment, showing less than half of their chocolate display.



W
e're going to stay there again sometime....
 
 
chiefwirehead
10 April 2012 @ 07:30 pm
NYC  

The DVDs I made of family photos were a really big hit with my cousins and their kids, e.g. "Wow, grandpa looks just like his father, and dad looks just like grandad when he was 15!".

We're staying with friend Zain in the West Village. I had no idea how trendy and lively it was: restaurants on every corner, and a few usually in between, still serving at 2am.

Time Out had a recommendation for a dimsum/fusion restaurant. We thought we would check it out, and it turns out to be roughly behind their apartment. Two doors down from that is a shop that claims to have the largest collection of chocolate bars in Manhattan (does that mean in the world? Maybe...) I do shop for chocolate, and I believe them. They also sell salt of every color and country. Naturally our hosts had never been to either.

We found an interesting artifact at Housing Works (local charitable thrift chain here). It looks like a cutting board, but has legs on just one end, a depression on the other, and slots across it with metal wires that hinge into them (sort or like an egg slicer, except each one is separate). It's painted black for about an inch on each end of the slots. The staff had no clue why it was, but as we were packing it up, and older volunteer with a British accent said "that's a Shove Ha'penny board". We've been in pubs but had never seen or heard of one before, but all knowledge can be found on the web, including rules and strategy.

It's very cool, solid (heavy) mahogany, and (ahem) doesn't fit in our luggage. Oops.

Donya also found a cookbook she's been looking for for years at the cookbook bookstore, labelled "scarce": "Tasty Dishes from Waste Items", published in India in the early 70s, while I found a cookbook shaped tin, which is now full of books.

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