Thursday, November 30, 2006

Roger: A film by Journalism 163 students

Roger, by group JMC163

A film by JMC 163 Students
This funny and clever film was done by students in Journalism 163, the class that Cynthia McCune and I teach. The students are: Ron Campos, Jaydee deJesus, Jessica Drnek and Andrew Venegas. I think they did a fantastic job and am very proud of the work they and their fellow JMC163 students have done this semester.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just a crisp morning at SJSU

Autumn leaves at SJSU

Cold crisp morning at SJSU
Mornings like this have their own special magic. The air is so clear and so fresh and yes, so cold. The last of the passing season's leaves hang on in their futile effort to resist the coming winter. There is a metaphor in that, I guess. But, this minute, I prefer not to think about that. I just want to enjoy the lovely morning.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ben Willmore Seminar on Photoshop

Ben Willmore clowning for camera

Photoshop CS2 for Photographers
Today I took a day of vacation and paid my own way to attend the best day of Photoshop training I have ever had. I thought I was good at Photoshop, but what Ben taught me has changed forever how I will use this tool. Ben Willmore is great. This workshop was superb. I highly recommend it to anybody who is serious about Photoshop CS2. Oh yes, Ben has a great sense of humor too.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Help Desk Holiday 2006

Help Desk Staff

Help Desk Staff Celebrates Holidays
In a tradition that started last year, we had a Thanksgiving Eve Holiday celebration. I made turkey for dinner and all the other staff also brought dishes, drinks and eating utensils. It was too much fun. After the meal we watched a movie in the Clark Hall conference room. These are great young people, all from south asia, and it is a pleasure knowing them. It is like one large family here.

Christmas Train Ride

Train at Sunol

Niles Canyon Christmas Train
Last night we went on a holiday train ride with Vic, Annie, John and Janet. It was a fun Christmas train ride up the Niles Canyon and back. This Niles Canyon Railway is owned by the Pacific Locomotive Association. The Christmas train is an annual event and is already sold out for 2006. The train was decorated inside and out and it went slowly up and down Niles Canyon, changing direction at Niles. After the train ride we all went to dinner at Bosco's in Sunol. We had some Livermore wine and had a lot of fun talking, eating and laughing.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving was fun

Sloans at Thanksgiving

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving
Sue's mom, Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Kenneth joined the cats and us in celebrating Thanksgiving. It was a fun evening.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Last BBB, for now

December BBB

My last issue of the bike club newsletter for now
Because we got our house burglarized last week and I had some of my equipment stolen this was an especially challenging issue to get this out. But, the old newspaperman in me could not miss an issue (especially my last one.) So, here it is! There was no time for corrections or edits due to my schedule. The final, finished and complete December 2006 newsletter is posted here in PDF.

This issue is done and it has been sent to the printer. This is the printer's version in PDF. This is how it has gone to the printer.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weird weekend update

My Rivendell

The Riv is back!
My Rivendell is rideable again. Saturday morning I went to a techie event in San Francisco and then went to American Cyclery also in San Francisco. I had dropped off my bike a couple of weeks ago and it was ready! It was a good day, I had seen several folks I know at Podcamp including Robert Scoble, Steve Sergeant and Eli Spector. Then, at the bike shop, I saw several of my old bike shop friends.

Podcamp West

Sunday, Recovering from the Burglary
I went on a fun ACTC bike ride on the Rivendell. I rode a lot with Pam. Then, Sue and I went to Valarie's house for soup. The rest of the day was spent gathering information for the Insurance company about our recent burglary.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Susie's Great Grandfather

Felix Melillo

This is Frances, Sue's mother's, grandfather.

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I had a pointy head

I had a pointy head

I found this old picture. I had a birthday hat on. It makes me look like I had a pointy head.

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An Act of Kindness

An act of kindness

A film by Akshay Prem Vyas
With all the bad stuff that has happened recently, especially our recent burglary and Sue's accident plus the struggle to get the safety issues in Clark Hall fixed, it was becoming easy to feel jaded and cynical. Then, a special film was brought back to my attention. Akshay is a wonderful young man from India who works at the San Jose State University Help Desk. Akshay and his friends made this movie for Campus Moviefest that reminds us that in general people have good hearts and that what goes around comes around. Thank you Akshay and friends for making this movie. It made my wife and I very happy to watch it again, it was an act of kindness.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Possible strike at SJSU?

Heidi Riggio at the Chancellor's Office

So, we marched on the Chancellor's Office
This was the first time I participated in a job action as a member of the faculty union. Faculty members, supported by students and members of the various staff unions from all over the state marched on the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach, California as the university trustee's met. The faculty union in the entire CSU system has been trying to get a fair contract and so far that has not happened. The union may go on strike! This is the university biggest job action I have ever been in in all my years as a labor leader and university employee.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Multimedia message

Finally on the picket line.

Multimedia message

Multimedia message

A broken jet.

Multimedia message

Waiting in line to figure out what is going on.

Multimedia message

Stuck on the ground by a mechanical failure.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Home Burglary Alert

Canna Lane, San Jose, CA

This information is here in case anybody has a similar incident and goes to do a Google search on the subject.

Our home was broken into today, Nov. 13, 2006, between 10 and 11:30am. Here is what we know. According to witnesses, the burglars were driving a silver/grey Jeep Cherokee. Winesses said, there were three burglars, two white males in their late teens to early twenties and a black woman about 23-26. The witnesses said the men had a green back pack and were carring a white plastic garbage bag.

According to the witnesses the woman had a tattoo on her neck. They said the men were of slight build and appeared to the witnesses to be possible gang members. If you see anybody who matches this description please call the San Jose Police Department.

This is in regards to case 06-317-0585. I had computer, camera and podcasting equipment stolen. My wife lost jewlery and other items.

Steve Sloan
(408) 605-0692

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Busy weekend

Party at Jolyce's

Whirlwind Weekend
The highlight of the weekend was the great party Saturday night at Jolyce's. On Sunday I went to Stockton with Vic to look at an idea we are considering for Winterail. Susie and I have also been working on other stuff. She had a pile of work she brought home and I was working on an issue of the bike club newsletter.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another stupid person and a train

Another stupid person and a train

Recently I talked about stupid people and trains. Well, here is more!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Will it blend?

Will it blend?

Don't try this at home!
Eric Rice says this is the best use of coporate video ever! He may be right, this is too funny and well worth the time to check it out. Eric said:

This is like an actual company’s vlog… Blendtec makes blendors. I was cracking up at other videos and was thinkin, man I got to get one of those. I googled it just for the hell of it and sure enough, the logos matched, did a WHOIS, it’s blendtec.

You gotta check out Eric's blog. Eric Rice is one of the world’s leading experts in consumer generated media, particularly in podcasting and videoblogging. He is co-founder of Hipcast (previously as well as being the founder and executive producer of Slackstreet Entertainment, a holding company for podcast and videoblog consulting and products. Eric is also the coordinator of the Silicon Valley Pocasting Meetup Group. This a great group. We met last night. Kenneth, my youngest son, and I went. Eric has turned both of us on to Second Life and has bent my mind with great ideas several times. Folks who miss out on events like this miss out on some of the great moments of being in Silicon Valley.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blocked SJSU Fire Exits Cause of Concern

Blocked Fire Exit, Clark Hall, SJSU

Camera Phone Post: The danger continues
Here is a photo taken this morning of blocked fire exits on the northwest corner of San Jose State University's Clark Hall, where the Academic Success Center is located and where I work. This is not a new problem. Before, on September 7, 2006 this situation was observed, photographed, reported and blogged. There is even a pending union grievance regarding safety matters related to Clark Hall. I would like to see the following added to that grievance:

  • The university shall place appropriate sineage that is clearly visible from a distance to anybody that blocking these fire exits is not allowed.
  • The university shall take any other actions necessary to see that these areas are kept clear.

Perhaps what they need to do is to paint on the concrete here in big bold letters Keep Clear!

In my opinion, in the event of a fire or an earthquake, the blocking of these exits could possibly lead to tragic loss of life. Safe working and learning conditions should not be something that leads to labor conflict. Having a safe campus is something we all should be on the same page about.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

SJSU students sleep on sidewalk

Students sleep out

Camera Phone Post: Students sleep out at SJSU
Students spent the night on the sidewalk not far from the statues of San Jose State student activists and 1968 Olympic Medal Winners, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. They did this to illustrate the issue of homelessness in our country. Despite all the technology and all the wealth in our society there are still folks who lack a roof over their head. Homelessness is an issue that does not go away. Housing is so very expensive and so many people are a paycheck or two from living on the street. "Over a five-year period, about 2–3 percent of the U.S. population (5–8 million people) will experience at least one night of homelessness," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Family in a flood

Tree in the sun

Sun in California and rain in Washington, from Luci:
Hello Family and Friends,
You may have heard about the flooding here. It is pretty extensive. At this time we are safe and our house is not in the river's path but, if it continues like this- who knows. Some of our friends have lost power and there have been fairly large evacuations. School is closed until further notice. There are shelters set up and Governor Christine Gregoire has declared it a state of emergency and asked the feds to call out the National guard. It is crazy. Steve is very excited because he gets to use his crank radio; ) He also feels very proud to have tons of food stores because of his canning efforts this summer. I guess it was worth it to shuck all that damn corn, LOL. Well we are trying to stay dry. It is still raining. For all the updated pictures go to (Blog Link)

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Monday, November 06, 2006

We went wine tasting and buying

Susie wine tasting

A fun weekend of wine tasting
Last weekend we went to the Russian River Valley area around Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. The reason we went this weekend is because it was pickup weekend at Williams-Selyem. Other than a strange experience at our hotel in Santa Rosa we had a great time. We tasted and bought some very fine wine. Most importantly we got to relax.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Clearing Storm over SJSU

Storm clods over tower hall

Camera Phone Post: Clearing Storm over SJSU
Storm clouds giving way to sun over tower hall. The rain is ending and it is Friday. Perfect timing!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Great visit to CSU Stanislaus

CSUS union officers

I had a great visit to "turkey tech" and spent about five hours there in a very intensive day of shooting. Frank Borrelli is a fantastic union leader. He is president of the California State University Stanislaus (CSUS) CSUEU chapter. He has a way of making being in the union not only be the right thing to do, but also a fun thing to do. It is like everybody on campus knows him, and he knows them. He remembers everybody's name and knows and remembers details about their families. He can instantly launch into conversations with members of his chapter in a way that shows he genuinely cares about them. He has charisma, charm, optimism and a never ending sense of humor. What a wonderful experience this was. I feel so very lucky to have been able to visit Stanislaus and the two other campuses I have visited so far in this project. I shot over 150 usable images yesterday. The uses for the image library this is building for CSUEU in the UE, organizing fliers, the website and of course the upcoming calendar, in my opinion, are very worthwhile. By featuring a lot of pictures of our constituents we can really show them our desire to put the you in our union.

This has been so much fun, I wish I could have done this years ago!