Monday, April 30, 2007

SP4449 Heads North, 1984

SP4449 heads north

SP4449 Heads North, June 1984
I just recently had some super8 movies I shot during the 1980's converted to digital video. This short movie clip was made of the World's Fair Daylight returning to Portland in 1984. My then very young sons and I chased the train north. This video is unpublished and features a full daylight train with McCloud steam, SP, Amtrak and even some BCR Alco action. Since the film was silent, some music from the band Everyday Jones was dubbed in to give it a bit of a Winterail flavor.

Ventana Wilderness 2

The Gorge

One more from the hike
This is a spectacular region. It was a great place for a day hike and I am really looking forward to going back.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

George Slough Sr.

On the passing of George Slough Sr.
I hardly knew George Sr., but I have appreciated his craft. He built a lot of wheels that are on my bikes.

The wheels he built for me are the best wheels any wheel builder ever built for me. They have held their true better than anyone else's and still hold the tension he put on them.

I used to see him at the shop occasionally and will think of him often, like when I am riding and look at and feel his wheels spinning under me. His touch on my wheels has made my rides better. Every time I am riding on the road on the wheels he built I will be feeling the road through spokes he patiently tightened with his own fingers. His wheels ride true.

He is a part of every ride for me. His craftsmanship lives on.

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Ventana Wilderness Escape

Ventana Wilderness Hike

A hike in the Gorge
This weekend our bicycle club had a campout at Arroyo Seco called the Lupin Loop. The Ventana wilderness, which is also called the "Gorge" starts here. On Saturday we went for a hike in the Gorge.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Three on a bike at SJSU

Three on a bike

Three on a bike on campus
I photographed this on my way to work. I have seen them several times and I wish I knew the story behind it.

The no help desk

Poor service video

Fighting back against bad service
This is how customers can fight back against poor customer service! Record the call (they do) and put it on the Internet. This is the power of global reach. I love the way "Mark" left the case number in just so the vendor knows who they made angry enough to put this video together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Funnies

Your Eyes

Tuesday Funnies
Friday funnies came late. I am planning to use this video today when we talk about Fair Use.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spell Check

Camera Phone Post: It's "its"
Sign in front of Academic Success Center April 23, 2007.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Bill Darrough Story

The Bill Darrough Story

The Bill Darrough Story
As shown at Winterail 2007

The photos in this show were taken by Bill Darrough and/or are from the collection of Bill and Jack Darrough. This is an amazing collection of photographs. In a conversation with Bill Darrough's brother Jack in August of 1988 Jack said, "Bill died in 1942, he was 22 years-old. He suffered from severe teenage acne and they had treated it with massive doses of radiation, which at the time was thought harmless. The radiation cleared his acne but Bill died of cancer." According to Jack, he and Bill came from a railroad family. The members of a railroaders family were then given passes and could travel free on the nation's passenger trains. The period that Bill lived in was near the climax of the era of steam railroading in this country. Jack said Bill would pack two suitcases, one with film and the other with sandwiches and the young man would go on trips alone photographing trains. In my opinion had he lived he would have been one of the greatest railroad photographers of the twentieth century. It is an amazing story and so my son Ken and I are trying to tell it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stacks and Steel at Bealville

Stacks and Steel and Bealville

Stacks and Steel at Bealville
Bealville East 01, April 29, 2006

This 11.5 minute Quicktime Seven video shows a steel and a stack train climbing east out of Bealville, CA last Spring. Hard working BNSF action is captured in this video.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Multimedia message

Camera Phone Post: A thousand steps to printing in the ASC
For most of us printing from our computer involves a few steps. We select print from the file menu and send the job to a printer. But, students in the Academic Success Center have to pay to get their print jobs done using a system called Pharos. Trick is there is no place to pay in Clark Hall. The place students have to go to get to a machine to pay to be able to print a page in the Academic Success Center is five hundred paces away in the King Library. Then they have a five hundred pace walk back to Clark Hall to finish their job.

Multimedia message

Camera Phone Post
Behold, my future.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Press are everywhere

Camera Phone Post: I have never seen anything like it
The news media is everywhere. I was interviewed by Channel seven. This is Karina Rusk, the person who interviewed me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia on my mind

Students killed

My Opinion: We need to do what we can to reduce stress and tension
I don't think we do enough to reduce stress at SJSU and tension is often unnecessarily high on our campus. A campus does not have to be as tense as ours is. With a little effort we could make it much more pleasant and less stressful for students to get an education at SJSU. It seems to me that reducing student frustration, stress and anxiety is not a high enough priority on our campus.

For example:

  • I believe the hassles students have to go through to get enrolled at SJSU are incredible and inexcusable.
  • When students at SJSU have problems it is not clear to students where to go to get their problems resolved. Getting solutions at our campus can be like navigating a maze of disconnected groups that do not talk to each other. For example, today students at SJSU had to pay fees. Many of them created tickets in our "Help Desk" ticketing system asking to get their fee paying issues resolved. Since the university does not have one ticketing system for the entire campus the only resolution we could give our students was to point them in the direction of another help desk who we thought could help them.
  • In our computer lab in Clark Hall there is a print station. You have to pay for prints when you use the computers with a card that you have to add value to. But, there is no place in the lab to add money to the card. Try telling that to a student who is in a rush to print a paper before a class.

At the time I am writing this I do not know what set this guy off in Virginia
But, in my heart, I think there is a lot we could be doing to reduce stress at SJSU. It may cost a little bit to fix these stress points. But, it is worth the cost. Life is so short, and so precious.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mojave West

Mojave West 01

Mojave West 01, April 30, 2006
This short video shows several trains in and around Mojave, CA last Spring. Both UP and BNSF action is captured in this video.

What to do if you can't view this video?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Jeff comments on Santa Fe train

Jeff comments on train

Jeff comments on 1983 train
Jeff Sloan, then five, comments on the train in the previous post. Like the previous post this Video is in Quick Time 7 format, download free viewer.

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Santa Fe Train 1983

Santa Fe 1983

Santa Fe, Near Collier, CA, 1983
In the summer of 1983 I borrowed a VHS tape deck and a camera and went out and shot some video. It was the first video I ever shot and the beginning of the end of my film making for about 20 years. After sitting around about 24 years this early tape is in pretty bad shape. But, here is one clip that is barely salvaged. This is the face of railroading not so long ago.

What to do if you can't view this video?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Funnies: I think we're a clone now

I think were a clone

The era of Mac clones
From early 1995 through mid-97, it was possible to buy PowerPC-based clone computers running Mac OS, from companies like Power Computing. They frequently offered better performance at a lower price than true Macs. When Steve Jobs returned to power at Apple one of the first things to happen was the discontinuance of this program. This funny and entertaining music video (complete with Dogcow) was made at the start of that period.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Video for my class

Best Moment Of Your Life

Vlog: The Best Moment of Your Entire Life
When I assigned this to my class I told them I would also do the assignment. So, here is my video. It was actually not an easy assignment and I put a lot of thought into it.

UPDATE - If the video shown above does not play for you!
This movie is posted in other places that may work better for you:

Family holiday gathering

Madison Sloan

Madison on Easter
Yesterday we had a fun family gathering to celebrate the holiday. Little granddaughter Madison stole the show. It was a very pleasant day.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saying goodbye to a friend

Colin leaving SJSU

Good party on a sad day
Yesterday was a sad day at the help desk as we said goodbye to Colin. Colin has worked for the university about seven years, mostly at the library. The last six months he worked at the help desk. We lost a really good one! We had a huge party for him Friday night.

Jiffy Lube Complaint

Camera Phone Post: Jiffy Lube Botches Job
Jiffy lube did a lousy job on an oil change for me. Use at your own risk! I had to wait an hour today just for them to look at my car. In my opinion, they could have caused my car to catch fire. There was oil dripping on my exhaust and that was causing a lot of smoke. Where there is smoke, their could have been fire.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Funnies: Supermarket 2.0

Supermarket 2.0

Supermarket 2.0
This video plays on the concepts of Web 2.0 and puts them in the context of grocery shopping.

Quiet Campus

Quiet Times SJSU

Quiet Times
The campus can be a place of extremes. One day you have a mad rush of students and faculty, the next day the only folks on campus are the staff and the people who wander in from the community. Both the bustle and the quiet are good, I am glad we have both. Too much of one or the other would be too much.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Whine and Dine Season

April Flowers

Whine and dine season is here!
It is April and that means the 2007 Whine and Dine rides have started. Yesterday's ride was great fun. A lot of old friends showed up for the ride as well as some new friends. There is a blog for the rides. Everyone is invited. These are great bicycle rides.

Whine and Dine 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Strike Averted

Faculty Strike Averted - Bee Says
According to the Sacramento Bee, Administrators and faculty at California State University announced a tentative contract agreement Tuesday, eliminating the prospect of faculty strikes scheduled to start next week.

The agreement marks the beginning of the end for a negotiation process that stretched nearly two years. The deal, if ratified, would raise the average salary of a tenure-track faculty member from $74,000 to $90,749 over four years, CSU officials said. The average salary for a full-time, full professor with tenure will go from $86,000 to $105,465.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Multimedia message

Students at night using computers outside.

Vlogging Presentation

Video Blogging presentation at CATS2007

Presentation at CATS 2007
At the recent Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) conference in Fullerton I did a presentation on video blogging (aka vlogging.) I recorded the presentation and a copy of that is here in MP3 format. Sadly a problematic mic caused a lot of hiss in the recording and I did my best to filter that out. (Note to self: never trust untested equipment.)

The PowerPoint from the session is here. I had a lot of videos in the PowerPoint. I have removed those from this web version of the PowerPoint and replaced them with hyperlinks to the vlog posts. I will be presenting this presentation at this evenings Journalism 163 class. I am including direct links below for reference.

List of video blog posts from presentation:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday in Mojave

UP train in Mojave

BNSF Train approaching Mojave

BNSF train closer

Just over a week ago in the desert
Here are a few of the photos I took with a film camera recently in Mojave. Mojave is where the mountains end and the great Mojave desert starts. A lot of trains roll through Mojave. Morning is the best light and the looming mountains make for an impressive backdrop for eastbounds.