Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Looking back at the holiday weekend

Jolyce's Party

Memorial Day Postscript
Yesterday, after we returned from the bike rally, we went to Jolyce's house where she had a party. It was a lot of fun with good friends, good wine, good music and even dancing. Here is what Jolyce said of the evening:

I couldn’t have asked for more support…we had great chefs, a photographer, dancers and a guitarist, what a talented group. Best of all it was fun just to get together with everyone. I do think an accordion player and the chicken dance would have rounded out the evening of entertainment perfectly but something tells me that I should save that thrill for my Wisconsin visits!

It was quite a weekend! As you can tell from the photos I posted from the cell phone we had a great time at the bike rally as well as the holiday party. Jeff and I rode 50 miles on Saturday.

We went on the Sunday limo ride and drove back and went to the party on Monday. Nicole, Jeff and Madison also went on a ride on Friday and went to a swimming hole on Sunday when we were on our limo ride. It was a great way to begin the summer season.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

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Nicole taking the first arm full of empty wine bottles to the trash this morning.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

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We have had a very nice time at the bike rally. It was a lot colder than previous years. So we spent a lot more time doing indoor things. Madison stole the show for sheer cuteness.

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In the limo going wine tasting

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Madison sunday morning at camp.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

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In downtown Paso Robles we met Sue and Nicole and went to the car show.

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Nicole cooking in thier trailer.

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Madison in the morning.

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Carol borders talking to folks on sat morning.

Friday, May 26, 2006

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Madison at great western.

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We are in gilroy stopping to eat. We are on our way to the great western bike rally finally after susie had a migrane. She is doing much better now.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Scoble's mom passed away

Knowing the call is coming does not make it easier
Robert Scoble's mom just passed away. This was not unexpected, but it is very sad. Our thoughts and hearts go out to Bob and his family.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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Partying after the whine and dine ride.

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Little Alexander, Lynn and Brian's baby.

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Lynn and alexander.

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Great memories of a great season. Thanks jeff it was fun.

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I love working here. I can walk out of my office and here is this cool library. That is very neat!

Pizzacast: Geek Dinner Conversation on New Media Class

Planning a new media journalism class at SJSU, Pizzacast 1.0

Edupodder Podcast twentythree, 27:55 minutes, 26.5 MB MP3 - Posted May 23, 2006
First of two podcasts recorded May 23, 2006:

To listen to high quality audio, click here --> MP3 File Here

At a geek dinner in San Jose, students, faculty, staff and Gabe Rivera (of memeorandum/techmeme fame) have a conversation about a new media class, Journalism 163, planned at SJSU. Speaking are Keith Callenberg, Evan Luine, Andrew Venegas, Joshua Marx, Cynthia McCune, Ryan Sholin, Lambert Lum, Gabe Rivera and Steve Sloan.  This is the first of two conversations recorded at a San Jose Pizzeria on May 23, 2006, 27:55 min, 26.5 MB.

Links: Keith Callenberg | Evan Luine | Andrew Venegas | Joshua Marx | Cynthia McCune | Ryan Sholin | Lambert Lum | Gabe Rivera | Steve Sloan

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

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This was shot during the Geek Dinner on the evening of the 23rd.

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I am having lunch at the pita pit. They are really good. This is one of my favorite places to get a quickie meal around campus.

Geek dinner details

Geek dinner today at 6pm is a mashup!
This evening Cynthia McCune, JMC webmaster and I are having a Geek Dinner at Tony Sopranos on San Fernando Street in San Jose. This dinner is a mashup with students, faculty and staff from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University mixing with folks from other departments at SJSU and hopefully the area blogging community being invited. In other words, if you can read these words you are invited.

There is a topic for the event. We are planning to be teaching a new course, J132, in the Fall focusing on new media in journalism. By this we mean using new technologies like blogging, podcasting, videocasting to report the news. I don't want to say much more than that for fear that it will taint the conversation.

Following the meal there will be an extended conversation which we intend to record and release as a podcast. Professor McCune and I have drawn up some questions to get the conversation rolling. Here they are:

  • What is your vision of what a new media class is?
    • What would you like it to be when it grows up?
    • What are you looking and hoping for?
    • What are you hoping will be the outcomes of the class?
    • What are you hoping to get out of the class?
    • What do you think the class should not cover?
  • What specific concepts and technologies do you think the course should cover or not cover?
    • Print and/or traditional mass media
    • HTML
    • Web Design
    • Web 2.0 and Ajax
    • XML
    • RSS
    • Blogging
    • Audio and/or video podcasting
    • OPML
    • Disruptive Technology
    • Mobile devices, cell phone cameras and Moblogging
  • Who would you like to see as guest speakers in the course?

The items in the above are presented for the sake of getting the conversation started. While they certainly reflect some of the issues Professor McCune and I have been discussing, their inclusion in this list does not mean these will all be included in the curriculum. That is what this conversation is all about. Folks there will be invited to pose other questions and present ideas. This is intended to be an open conversation.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Everything is subject to change

SP MT4 at Susuin

A day at work for my dad in 1952
As I said before my dad was a railroader, not a railfan. To him this was a typical day at work! When he took his then new Argus camera to work he was just testing his camera, not trying to capture history. The photos he madde were so typical of his world and would be amazing in ours. Things we take for granted now as being routine are really so fleeting. I wonder how much of what you see in this photo still exists?

Lately some university administrators are talking about offering students E-mail for life and possibly supporting E-mail for our graduates for fifty years into the future. They take it for granted that E-mail will still exist in fifty years. Do we want to make a commitment to support it that long? Imagine if the railroads had made a commitment to support the technology of fifty years ago "for life." Actually, that would of been kinda cool. Not very efficient though.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

A day at work for my dad, in 1952

SP frieght with steam helper

A day at work for my dad in 1952
This is a photo my dad shot in about 1952. My dad was the fireman on the train. He was in the Baldwin diesel. The photo is of an SP steam engine helping a Baldwin diesel AS616. The SP retired its last steam engine about 1958.

My dad was a railroader, not a railfan. To him this was a day at work! He just took his new camera to work with him to burn up a roll of film to test the camera. He took some great pictures I treasure on that road trip.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Mackerel Scales Over SJSU

Mare's tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails

This is one of my father, Lloyd Sloan's favorite sayings. He taught me weather proverbs that reflected real world situations where fair weather day clouds can signal coming weather changes. The way he used to say it was:

"Mare's tails and mackerel scales warn tall ships to carry short sails."

A mackerel sky refers to cirrocumulus clouds, which often precede an approaching warm front, which will eventually bring veering winds (changing from northeast and east over to southwest and west) and precipitation. Tall ships were what they called the old sailing ships of a century and a half ago! Another weather proverb he often quoted was, "Red Sky at night, sailor's delight.  Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning." If you want to learn more weather proverbs here is a link.

This morning the weather was cold it rained in the afternoon.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hieros Gamos

Hieros Gamos

About the photo: This came to me then as I was walking through this cemetery with Marie Roby (then DuBois) while on a photo expedition. As I read the tombstone, the story of this couple's lives jelled down to a handful of statistics, about their child also buried there, I thought about the great depth of details all their lives must of been and what a story was buried there untold. I put a wide angle lens on the camera, put it on the ground and set the self timer and we posed behind the tombstone. It is still one of my favorite photos. It makes me think of my parents and the loved ones both here and departed from my life.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cats in a Laundry Basket

Two cats in a basket

Our kitty babies
Tupper (not shown) Shadow (front) and Pixel are Susie and my kitty babies. They are constant companions and sources of delight and worry for us. Sometimes they have such devious little minds and can be both smart and stupid at the same time. They get into trouble at the drop of a hat. Shadow is like a little squirrel and Pixel is just like a big lumbering moose. If you open a box or a bag, Pixel has to be right into it.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Cindy Chavez for Mayor of San Jose

Cindy Chavez and I

Our duties as citizens
Today the help desk closed at 5pm and I rushed out of the office to the headquarters of the South Bay Labor Council [Link]. I believe one of our responsibilities as citizens is to participate in the democratic process. That is why many times over the years I have volunteered my time to precinct walk and phone bank for candidates I believe in. Candidate for mayor of San Jose Cindy Chavez [Link] is one of those candidates. I was especially thrilled when she came by the union hall to thank those of us who were there working for her. It was a thrill too to see so many of the people, like Ron Lind of the UFCW local 428, whom I have known for so many years, there. Plus, it was also exciting to see the new faces, young people who were working their hearts out for Cindy. It was really fun, and for a good cause too. Cindy is a great person who has helped university employees and really been there for working families in the San Jose area. I think Cindy will be a fine mayor and is worthy of every effort we can make to get her elected.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day 2006

Sue and Fran at iGatti's

Celebrating Mother's Day
Yesterday, after the bike race, Susie and I took her mom Frances out to dinner at iGatti in Los Gatos [Link]. It was a nice dinner, good food and good wine. It was quite relaxing and elegant. This is one of our favorite local spots to go to dinner. It is quiet, and we had great service. It was a very pleasant evening and we had a lot of fun. The real Mother's day was a working day. I was on deadline and spent most of the day putting together the newsletter. Susie was working as she has an endless parade of work deadlines facing her. Today was not a good Mother's day for Susie. But, I made a nice dinner for her and she received several calls including one from Kenneth.

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Cats Hill 2006 Bike Race

Cat's Hill Racers

Still shooting after all these years
Yesterday I spent all day in Los Gatos at the Cat's Hill Crit Bicycle race. I took a couple hundred pictures. On of my favorite photos was this shot of pro racers hammering up the 23% grade of Cat's Hill. I shot this photo with my digital Nikon D2H, but I made it in PhotoShop. Using PhotoShop and my Wacom Tablet I created two layers with very different exposure and contrast settings. Then I masked off the high contrast layer and masked into it where the riders are. This is an image I could not have made with film, absolutely no way!

The Bike club newsletter
Today was production day of the ACTC newsletter which I publish. I made a black and white version of this image for the newsletter. This link shows how I cropped and used the image. The final version of this newsletter is here. This is how it went to the printer!

Actually that is not true, the printer receives 11x17 printer spreads. If you are curious what they look like, this is how it looks in printer spreads.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Return of Track Warrants

The recent passing of Rob Carlson has prompted me to repost all the Track Warrants editions that have been off the Internet for so very long. This is the first free E-zine that followed in the traditions of the first version of CTC Board and Flimsies Magazines.

Track Warrants was posted over ten years ago when the web was a young way to share information. It predates the great western railroad mergers and has a lot of old photos and railfan trip reports from those days. It is crude by today's standards, but I learned a lot doing it.

Track Warrants is here:

I am trying to debug these old files, so please bear with me.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Robert Scoble's Mother is Dying

Robert Scoble's mother is dying. She had a massive stroke and is not expected to live much longer. Robert is blogging [Link] about the pain and the difficult decisions that come at the end of life:

"I'm reserving my real emotions. But, let's just say that this is about the suckiest thing I could imagine. Turns out she'll be lucky to live out the week. She signed a do not rescuscitate order and told all of her friends and family to let her go if she was going to be in such a state. Thankfully that took most of the hard decisions out of our hands. But it still was tough not overriding her wishes."

These are some of the most touching posts I have ever seen. I have known Robert a long time and years ago we both had some very close conversations. Robert helped me through some very difficult times of my own involving the loss of my first wife. Robert writes about how being able to blog about this has helped him deal with the events he and his family are going through now [Link].

"Thanks to everyone for putting up with this blogging. It's helpful to me and I get phone calls from people who are touched by it (and family members)."

Life is about good times, and bad times, and being there through the best and also the worst of them. Sometimes we can laugh with those we love. Sometimes all we can do is hold their hands and be there with them. And, sometimes we have to let them go. That is sad. It hurts like a hurt you do not know until it happens to you. The most precious gift life has is it's preciousness and the most important lesson we learn is not to let things not get said or not get done. That is what Robert is writing about now and his words now are some of the most important words he has ever blogged.

I hope he keeps blogging about this and folks reading his blog think before putting off saying the important words, or doing the important things that later may not be able to be said or done. Sometimes tomorrow never comes. Few things in life suck as bad as regret.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

London Wedding Album

Chris and Radha

Pictures from Chris and Radha's Wedding
If you follow this link you will find a photo album from the wedding Sue and Fran went to in London. As you can see it was quite an event!

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Super Sunday

Vi and Annie

Sunday train ride
Yesterday we went on a very pleasant train ride with Vic, Annie, John and Janet. It was a Pacific Locomotive Association "Wildflower" excursion and was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect and the hills were nice and green. Flowers were everywhere and there was even wine tasting on the train! This is a rail line my dad used to run on. I remember him telling me about Wildflower Specials the Southern Pacific used to run on these same rails. After the ride we went to a winery and did more wine tasting. We had a great time and look forward to getting together with them again.

Madison celebrates Sharks win

Sharks beat Edmonton, Party at Jeff and Nicole's
After we got back from the train ride, Susie had to get ready for returning to work after her vacation. So, I went to Jeff and Nicole's where we watched the first of the playoff games between San Jose and Edmonton. There was quite a crowd there and it was a lot of fun. Madison really got into it, celebrating every score and the ultimate victory.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Susie, Suebee and More

Susie at Croy

Susie is back
She had a great trip to England. She arrived very, very late on Wednesday. She rested on Thursday and I took Friday off and we rested more. We went to Uvas Canyon Park and went for a hike. The waterfalls there were full of water. It was a great hike. We have had a really good weekend. Her photos from England and the wedding came out great. I am glad Susie is back.

Cameras and More, is no more
Craig Bissette and has been in the camera store business for a long time. He was associated with Discount Photo and several San Jose area camera stores. Along with Melanie, he has been in San Jose photo retail for decades. I have been doing business with them a long, long time. They have become friends. For me there has always been something special about going to their store. It has been a treat. When I look at their inventory I dream of how I can turn it into images. Conversations with them have been a source of inspiration. We shared a passion for photography. On Friday the store closed for good, the victim of the switch to digital. Melanie is pursuing a degree in international business and waitressing. Craig is going to go into the business on-line. It seems there is less call for camera stores these days. I guess that is what they call progress.

Racks on Suebee

Suebee has a set of racks!
Jeff and I put the bike racks on the Subaru. They look real cool up there. Jeff said, "it makes it look very athletic." Like a Subaru should!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More about Rob

Years ago when I started the rail news magazine called "Flimsies" I dreamed of a weekly train newsletter. Twice a month was the best I could do, and that was a stretch so I passed it on to Charlie Baden, who then passed it on to Bill Shippen. Later, I followed that up with an on-line E-zine called "Track Warrants." That project too faded away. When I saw what Rob had done with his news site, I thought, "man that guy is doing it right!" Rob was as regular as clockwork, and the interruption of that regularity was what led to folks, John Orr specifically, to go see if he was okay. Sadly, we all now know the outcome of that.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rob Carlson Found Dead

Failure to post leads to sad discovery
As you may know from reading my blogs I am a train buff, otherwise known as a railfan. Years ago I started a rail news magazine called "Flimsies" then followed that up with an on-line E-zine called "Track Warrants." Those faded away and were replaced by a daily updated web site, that predated weblogs, called the Altamont Press Rail News Line [Link]. Rob Carlson was the person who ran Altamont Press's news site and he did a great job with the site. He almost never missed a day posting the news until April 27. That was his last post. I just saw this posted on the related Bulletin Board:

I am afraid that I have to break some bad news to you all . Because I was worried like everyone else about Rob not keeping the news up to date, I went over to his apartment. I got the managers to go into his apartment. He was there. However I am afraid that he was deceased. Can only say that I am kind of in shock right now. I first got to know Rob in about 1975. We did a lot of railfanning. Anyway. I am afraid that is the story. Maybe there will a report later on the cause of all this.

John Orr

I know John Orr and knew Rob. What a shock this is.

Susie and Suebee

Suebee near the railroad tracks

Yes the Subaru has a name. Calling it "the truck" didn't seem to fit, neither did calling it a station wagon. Although, I guess it is more like a wagon than a truck. It is a small SUV, I think. I dunno, I learned long ago you can go nuts trying to label everything.

Yesterday Jeff and I put the bike racks on it. So, it already looks different than this photo. Yakima racks are amazing. Last night Jeff and I added the bike racks to it. So now we can carry bikes on the roof. I enjoyed taking it off road. I have to give it a bath this evening.

Susie comes home tomorrow night. I talked to her today. She has had a great trip and is looking forward to coming home. I am looking forward to seeing her. Being without her is like a compass loosing its north.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

I am back

BNSF train at Mojave

Tehachapi Postscript
I made it back a bit before midnight last night. I had a great trip and saw an amazing number of trains. The drivers on Interstate five were insane. Is this a LA to SF Bay Area thing? It is amazing to me the chances people casually take with their own and other people's lives. I have eight rolls of color and one roll of black and white to process. Plus, I shot about a gig's worth of digital photos. Tons of fun!

Day after tomorrow Susie comes back. Time to clean up the house!

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