Friday, January 31, 2003

I can't get over how quiet Silicon Valley is. Traffic is light, buildings standing empty.

...but when i go to Fry's the parking lot is packed full, and people are buying televisions, computers, and whatever else Fry's sells. Local restaurants are packed at lunch times. And yet, the whole place feels somewhat like being on a college campus on a week end.

Film noir series starts tonight at the Stanford Theater. Films from the late forties and early fifties.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Lunch today with a Korean friend. She took us to a traditional Korean restaurant.

A waitress brings stone bowls filled with boiling soup. Each bowl rests on a wooden platter. Next she brings a small stainless steel bowl of eggs to the table. Everyone grabs an egg, cracks the shell and drops the egg white and yolk into the boiling soup. We pitch the shells back in the stainless steel bowl and stir the soup briskly with chopsticks. The egg cooks immediately.

Surprisingly good, but don't ask for 'spicy' kim-chi. I had mild, and it brought tears to my eyes.

One of the benefits of working in Silicon Valley.

Today I learned that the country with the most hot-air balloonists per capita in the world is England!

England has everything that makes hot-air ballooning either impossible or difficult:
rain, fog, storms blowing in off the Atlantic Ocean, and tiny landing spaces.

Obviously the English would embrace this sport.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

What strikes me most about the Smedley Butler comments is the relative lack of rhetoric and catch phrases. Today it seems justification for war, though still secret, is founded less on ideas and more on overused phrases.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Nice goat day. Dianna is sick.
What the anti-war movement looked like in 1936
O.K., so I'm not into football. Still, the last two days have been fun in Tampa. Lots of revelry and smiles and buccaneers flags. Nice counterpoint to Blix, Bush and gang and imminent war. Yesterday, we had two TVs here at work. I was actually cheering Tampa on with everyone else. GO BUCS! :-)

Sunday, January 26, 2003

gray and warm, the hills are green (still no frost this year). the trees and bushes are starting to bud.

the second mouse gets the cheese. interesting, but just a little too clever.

Dataquest reports; in the last 6 months there have been $4 billion of house refinances in Sonoma County.
Since March of 2000 the market price of homes in Sonoma County has risen more that 70% (the value of a NASDAQ index tracer would have fallen about 70%).

Friday, January 24, 2003

January 24

1.00 Euro = 1.08120 United States Dollars

1.00 United States Dollars = 0.924896 Euro

Dr. King argued that poverty was the enemy of human rights. That in the end, if the struggle for survival is eliminated it is easier to see our common interest.

"True compassion, is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
Martin Luther King

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I really like the Abraham Lincoln quote.

Martin Luther King day last monday.

That day i worked in a Silicon Valley company.

Among my co-workers are hindus, jainists, christians, buddhists, jews, and muslims. People of American, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Pakastani, Israeli, Irish, English, German, African, Mexican, and French origin or nationality. During staff meetings we teleconference with offices on three continents. We regularly share projects between work teams on three continents.

What we have in common--everyone speaks English and is highly educated in some technical discipline. Everyone understands the 'technical' culture that arguably began in Silicon Valley.

This is not unusual in Silicon Valley. And no one mentions it, or even notices it.

I think Dr. King would have been pleased.

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
- Abraham Lincoln

A president without speechwriters.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

1.00 Euro = 1.07108 United States Dollars

1 United States Dollar = 0.933636 Euro

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

light rain all day, warm.
mist moving though the valley behind the house.
slow day of reading and napping.
back to work tomorrow.

Learning how to use jBuilder to write, compile, edit java code.

Learning how to use Dreamweaver to edit, and interpret JSP pages and XML pages.

Learning how to go from java code-->JSP page-->XML page in a large web application environment.


Sunday, January 19, 2003

Tampa's small anti-war rally drew about 2000 people. A lot more showed up
at MacDill today than were there the last rally.

It felt so good to see all of the people. And a great diversity too. The
Society of Friends and other religious groups are very active in the peace
movement here along with groups like Women in Black and the Florida
Coalition for Peace and Justice.

The speakers reminded us that half of the world's population is without
adequate food, homes and the other necessities of life.

CNN, the giant corporate media conglomerate is actually reporting on the
anti-war protests. Guess they just can't ignore it anymore.

Maybe there is some hope after all.

End of the second week of a 20 week writing job in Silicon Valley. 10% done!

I'd forgotten just how much time it takes to work a 40 hour week. The reality is that a full time job can easily absorb every hour in one's life. By the end of the day I'm physically exhausted. The pace is brutal. Faster, harder, and with much less margin for error than i remember, even two years ago.

Even so, I find the work surprisingly enjoyable. There's a deep pleasure in the act of learning something new and difficult.

Home for the weekend, and it's another beautiful, beautiful, Lake County day. The cool January air is so clear and sharp that the oak trees and newly green hillsides have a luminous 'etched' quality.

Friday, January 17, 2003

No cat .... No cradle
Only an abstract pattern.
"The issue of facing death in a peaceful manner is a very difficult one. According to common sense, there seem to be two ways of dealing with the problem and the suffering. The first is to simply to try to avoid the problem, to put it out of your mind, even though the reality of that problem is still there and it is not minimized. Another way of dealing with this issue is to look directly at the problem and analyse it, make it familiar to you and make it clear that it is a part of all our lives."

The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Ha...very good...long cat! Clever guy that Einstein. Just a little different than a long pig though!
Please urge the cat not to sit on the wireless! Wireless should be nocat!

Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied:
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."


Here are my comments on the following UK newspaper Editorial:
The United States of America has gone mad
In regards to January 15, 2003

"The United States of America has gone mad"
by John le Carré

Dear Times Online Editors,

I too am afraid that our freedoms are almost a mere figment of our fore fathers ideas.

I don't want to believe that most Americans want war. I believe that a majority of Americans are just working their daily grinding life, trying to make ends meet, raising their children the best they can and are getting totally depressed with the events effecting social security, corporations, politics, local school and government politics and The American society in general.

I envy the European society and especially admire the tenacity of French Society. They gather at the drop of a hat, take to the streets and really show their government what they want in a government. We tend to hunker down, take the punches and raise the white flag allot. very sad.

I wish Americans gathered more as a people to talk over kitchen tables with their neighbors.
I wish the American spirit would wake up to the fact that guns do kill and people do die.
I wish Americans could hold their head up high instead of burying them in the sand waiting till its all over.
I wish we could really believe in the freedoms that the Statue of Liberty (a gift from the French nation) tries to remind us of, but I'm afraid we may be lost.

I love my country and I love its people. But how can we go on like this with corrupt Heads of Government, with corporate interests running a corrupt corporate government and little interest in the good in its people. We are being locked up for mere ideas for years on end. Left without good air to breath. Left without medical care and medicines to keep us healthy. Left without good paying jobs. Left without help in believing that we can be better people as a whole. We have a sick society.

Dianna Brooks
The cat is setting on the wireless access point, the room is warmed by server power supplies and all is right with the world.
Went to lunch today with a colleague who had been fired from a major hardware company a few months ago. After three months out of work he got another job at a major software company. He has a family and a $500,000 mortgage to support.

I asked him how he was doing. He said he was doing fine and Glad For A New Start. His face was pale, and lined. His eyes were haunted.

I'm at Kinkos tonight, doing some perparatory work for my next writing gig. On the way over here from my hotel, I drove past Intel. Power radiates from the building. I think people in the future will look back on Intel as one of the wonders of the world. Something like the Pyramids, or the great library at Alexandria. The intellectual effort and accomplishment in developing something like the P4 chip is unprecedented in the history of the world. I marveled at the intellectual ingenuity, drive, and organization that built it, and keeps it going.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

160 miles away, swimming in a different culture. Silicon valley high tech world. Surprises me how easily i fell back into it. Like i hadn't been away for more than a day.

When I was back in Lake County this weekend, we went to the gym. You can see the lake from the front door of the gym. A still silver mirror beneath an overcast sky. In the barren branches of a willow 24 crows sit. A silent black outline of birds and branches against the heavy gray clouds.

Rain all the way down to the Bay Area sunday night.

In the San Jose Mercury yesterday I read an article about global overproduction of everything from planes to computers. As factories restart from the recession, work is moving to southeast asia. Describing this, the article says "People have become commodities." Like computers, DVD players, and VCR's, people have become cheap commodities.

Monday, January 13, 2003

3000 miles away here in Tampa, FL. I miss Lake County dreadfully and glad to have the Lake Musings blog. It makes me feel connected to my community and family. Just came home from work (night shift 4pm-1am) and have settled in front of the computer with a cup of hot milk. I love this time of day. It's very peaceful and quiet. My partner and animals are sleeping and one of the cats has settled on my lap. It's a good time to communicate, contemplate and relax.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Testing New Formats
Wet, and overcast today in Lake County. Driving back from the library, near twilight, under a heavy gray sky I saw 8 large buzzards sitting in a Valley Oak. Have never seen these large birds congregate before. An omen?

Long commute home from San Francisco Bay Area last night. Rain in San Jose, 101 stacked up with cars, 8 miles an hour. Switched over to 280 and got home in a total of four hours.

Working in San Jose all week makes me appreciate Lake County. Clean air, oak trees, deer wandering across the hillsides.

Now, my question is, what the fuck is the use of this blog? And when can i post pictures... like the buzzards.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Take a look at Herb Gura's new blog
Law Show - KPFZ
This is the first entry in the blog.

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