Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Yoga Place Downtown San Jose

I have had chronic back problems resulting from a work injury years ago. I love bicycling. Bicycling has helped my fitness but cycling has not helped my back. In fact, sometimes spending long hours in the same kind of position on a bicycle seems to aggravate my back.

My doctor recommended Yoga, but that was not easy because there was not a convenient Yoga location near SJSU. I was only able to go once a week, but not every week to a place near our home. That has changed, there's a new kid in town.

Downtown Yoga Shala just opened a couple of weeks ago. Veronica Cruz is the owner. The facilities are great! They have a lot of different kinds of Yoga, including Yoga for athletes. You should check their Web site out!

Where I work I run a help desk serving 40,000 people. It is my job to make customer's problems my problem. It gets stressful. Not only has going to Yoga helped my back it has made a big difference in my stress level. I have joined and have gone four times this week, so far!

Here is more information:

Phone: 1-408-885-1000
Address: 450 S. 1st St.
San Jose CA 95113

If you are at all interested I urge you to check them out. They are running a great promotion that ends this month!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Passenger Train Through Alviso

C&NW painted engine on passenger train

Union Pacific Business Train in Alviso
Today the UP ran a special passenger business train they called the SLBOA1-27 up the old Southern Pacific coast line. The train went through Alviso, CA at 3:56 p.m. headed north. Power for the train was the Union Pacific locomotive 1995 that was painted in a special paint scheme to commemorate the Chicago and Northwestern a railroad that was assimilated by the Union Pacific.

Where is Alviso?
  • GPS Latitude: 37 deg 25' 56.99" N
  • GPS Longitude: 121 deg 58' 40.61" W

[Click here to see more pictures]

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wonderful Help Desk Party

Amarpreet at Help Desk Party

On Saturday March 21 we had a help desk party at Saby Thai in San Jose. Ruchi Binjola and others at the help desk put together an excellent party for help desk and former help desk staff. We celebrated the recent marriages of several of our help desk couples. It was a great party!

[Click here to see more photos]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy birthday Cazden

Cazden boarding the train

Happy birthday Cazden!
Today grandson Cazden turned nine. He is a fine young man. I really enjoyed the time I spent with him last August when we rode the train to meet his parents in San Francisco. He is smart, happy and very pleasant.

Spring comes to SJSU

Trees at SJSU with blossoms

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Using my dad's old Speed Graphic

Colorful downtown cyclist

Pictures with my dad's Speed Graphic

Two years ago our house was burglarized and I lost all the cameras my dad had left me except for one, my dad's old Speed Graphic. It is a lovely camera with a sharp old Kodak (made in USA) Color Ektar lens. I have not used this old press camera in decades, but I remember it being as sharp as a tack. Lately I have started doing business with a local camera repair store, Kamera Korner, and the owner is an old camera repairman named Bob. Repair of old film cameras is becoming a dying art, literally. So I decided to get this camera made usable again. It took awhile, I heard stories from the other people in the shop about the work Bob was putting into the camera. After a month or so, it was ready.

This photo is from the first roll with this camera.

Speed graphic camera

I have found an added bonus with using this camera. It is so unique, so retro looking, people love talking about it. That leads to conversations which leads to photo opportunitiess. When I look through the viewfinder, when I click the shutter, I am looking through the same viewfinder, clicking the same shutter my dad did fifty years ago. I think that is pretty cool! Plus it takes amazing photos. The picture here does not do it justice, it is so sharp, so true to color. It's amazing, we are talking around 60 megapixels in digital equivalent, I have been told. It is knock your socks off sharp. Sometimes; older is better

Monday, March 16, 2009

New kinds of spam

Skype Spam

New kinds of Spam
Beware, Spam is not just for e-mail anymore! Here is a super obvious example. I recently recieved this Skype message saying my PC was infected and needed immediate attention. What I had to do to fix my Windows PC, the message said, was to click on the link. What was the first clue that this was Spam? Simple, I use a Mac!

Train Daze

BNSF train in Stockton

Really into trains
This was a great weekend! Our show was a huge success. My brain is fried. Winterail is a lot of work, but it is great to see so many people having such a good time. Saturday night after the show, after we tore the set down, we went to Dave Stanley's house and had a party. Sunday morning we went to breakfast. We stopped by the tracks on the way home. Then, after getting home, I finished the bike club newsletter. When the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, it was wicked hard to get up!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

April 2009, ACTC Newsletter

April 2009, B&BB Newsletter

Here is the April 2009 issue of the Black and Blue Bottom, the Almaden Cycle Touring Club (my bike club) newsletter. The April 2009 edition is my last edition as Publisher of our bike club newsletter. The time to leave has come.

I would like to thank all the brave ACTCers who have stepped up to distribute, solicit ads and contribute stories and reports to the Black & Blue Bottom. I especially would like to thank Naomi for all of her hard work and dedication to the newsletter. She has been great help and a good friend. Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive over the years!

These are in PDF format:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Today is Winterail 2009

Winterail 2007

Winterail 2009
The Bill Darrough Show we did in 2007 was very well received. This year we are putting on the sequel. I won't be able to post to the blog today, but will be twittering the event. Please follow the twitter stream here:

Ryan Martin shot this photo of the crowd in 2007 and it was on the big screen the day of the show, shortly after it was shot. I think that was very cool.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Photojournalism Ends

"Photojournalism Ends" sign on book shelf

Thinking of Brian Baer Brian Baer, the best photographer I know, was just laid off from the Sacramento Bee today. This photo has been sticking in my head for awhile. When I heard of this amazingly talented photojournalist loosing his job as the Bee's political photographer, I thought of this image.

Brian is not a good photojournalist, he is a great one. He has got an eye for an image that literally changed my life and how I saw my own work. Even when he was a student at SJSU, he was that good. He still is, that good.

I remember when Sue and I walked through the Green Apple bookstore on New Year's Eve late last year, I loved perusing their collection of new and used photojournalism books. Then I came to this sign on the shelf and thought, "man ain't that the truth."

I had my old Nikon FE2 with me with a fast lens and fast film but it was low light so I steadied myself and made this photo. This image has stuck with me until now. Perhaps it is trite, after all it is merely sign art. But, when I heard of the Bee letting Brian go I thought of this photo and I thought, "man ain't that the truth."

When the industry gets so bad it spits out its best, where else is there to go? What else is there to think?