Thursday, May 20, 2010

Layoff Negotiations Continue at SJSU

Union activists and other university employees march on campus on May 19, 2010 to oppose layoffs. Click on photo to enlarge.

Negotiations are continuing today to try to mitigate the layoff of 73 university employees and save as many staff jobs as possible at San Jose State University. I am on the union negotiating team. It has been exhausting, heart breaking and gut wrenching to talk to employees both about the impact on them of loosing their jobs and the impact on students and faculty of their jobs not being done anymore. Not only will they suffer, the students and faculty will suffer and the state will suffer for decades as students are not served, are turned away and programs terminated that support our state’s economy. These are some of the hardest days I have ever had as a union leader. I am taking this all very seriously. I woke up with insomnia last night and we have another hard day today.

I am covering this in detail over on my union blog, which is here.

[More Pictures Here]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Anti Layoff Rally

We are getting ready for negotiations with management over layoffs. I am on the union's negotiation team. Before the negotiation we held a lunch time rally. We are starting bargaining now.

Getting ready for bargaining

At noon today there where be a rally starting at tower hall to support our union's effort to save staff jobs at SJSU. We are in negotiations today and tomorrow! Please come to support our union. It is important that we show solidarity at this time!

Monday, May 17, 2010

At the Photoshop training

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I am in South San Francisco at the Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers tour workshop. These are great tours and I missed the training for CS4. I am looking forward to this. The instructor is Ben Willmore, this is his first CS5 session ever! He is an excellent trainer. But, this training was not as good as previous sessions of his I have attended.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shadow on the kitty scale

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Our little kitty Shadow has some recurring health problems. We weigh him often on a baby scale to stay on top of his problems. Today we weighed him and he has gained two pounds since his last episode. He is a sweet cat!

Pixel helping move furniture

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We are moving furniture to clear the floor for some new flooring to be installed. We are getting lots of help from our Burmese cat Pixel who wants to be part of the fun!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SJSU Bike To Work Station

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It is great to have the aid station in front of the King Library and to see SJSU's Alternative Transportation have a presence there. However, it would be nice to see them do more than attend a one-day-a-year event and actually do something to enable bicycling as an alternative transportation solution for real commuters. For years I have been asking them to approach the university about getting access for employees to shower facilities, that already exist for students.

Not having access to shower facilities is a real barrier to bicycle commuters.

Flatted on bike to work day

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It is kinda, but not quite, like rain on your wedding day. I got a flat on my way to work on bike to work day. I was riding with this guy named Kieth who works for Sandisk, who I met on the ride.

One of my favorite things about cycling is meeting and riding with strangers. I noticed I was working harder, I looked down and saw my emerging flat.

So, I said, "have a good ride!" to Kieth. And, I stopped. Cyclists kept riding by. I am totally capable of changing a flat. In fact, I often have fixed flats for others stuck on the side of the road. However, I was curious how many folks would offer to help. None did until I was almost done. Then, a guy stopped and offered aid.

My faith in my fellow cyclists was somewhat restored.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Still recovering from dental work

When I was 12 (or there abouts) I got a ten speed bike. It was the first bicycle I had that had a front derailure. I was so enamored with watching the chain go from one ring to another that I was watching the chain move as I was riding, and not the road in front of me. To make a long story short, I ran into the back of a parked car. Most of my two front teeth were left on the trunk of that car.

Needless to say I was not very happy. The dentist ended up replacing my two front teeth. We are talking around 1967 here.

I was supposed to get those caps replaced when I was around 21. I waited until Monday to replace them. Silly me, I thought it would be like replacing a sock. In fact it ended up being more like demolishing a kitchen counter. I spent over two hours in the dentists chair. Had I known what the procedure entailed I still would have those old caps. The dentist decided the old teeth needed improving and reshaping. That was an under statement. I am having many problems and will have to go back and get them fixed. I am dreading that visit!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Sno white in May

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I am at the Sno-White Drive In on Yosemite Ave in Modesto waiting for lunch. This place is a real throw back to the 70's and looks like a wonderful little place. Eat healthy! Not.

Ghost of the Westside Line

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I am just south of Vernalis and there is no sign of life on the Westside line. I am heading to Modest then to shoot the MandET. it is neat to see this old SP crossing sign. All I need is a train. I used to shoot beet trains here. That was then...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Great day in San Jose

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Today is one of those days that is the reason Spring is my favorite time of the year. I am in Philz coffee enjoying a break and writing on an iPad. The day is young and full of fun possibilities.

It's Star Wars Day
May the Fourth be with you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

A year ago my oldest friend died

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A year ago my oldest and one of my closest friends, Marie Roby, died.

Marie was a keystone in many lives. You could tell her something and know it would never get retold. She accepted and loved people for who they were, as they were. She was a friend you could depend on. She was a safe harbor in a storm. She was selfless, loving and kind. She was stoic and strong but soft and tender hearted. She had an inner beauty that radiated. I have never known anybody who did not like Marie. She was the kind of person people would call and talk to for hours about the troubles in their lives. I know I did. Yet, she seldom would complain about troubles in her life.

In December 2005 Marie's sister Martha died in a freak auto accident. It was one of the worst times in her life. It was terrible. It was not her first sudden loss. Marie was a good friend of my first wife and was the first person I called when my first wife was killed in a car accident.

Marie was a cancer survivor. Her strength got her through this and other awful times in her life.

She was an inspiration. Marie's husband Kirk is a gentle loving man and they celebrated 25 years together.

Marie was 55-years-old when she died. Far too young to die. If you believe there is a God, this was a time of reunion for Marie; reunion with old friends and family. It was a time of grieving and loss for us and a cause of hope for me. I already miss her terribly and I hope somewhere, somehow, to see her again. Until then, she lives on in many, many hearts.

More images and a movie about Marie are here:

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Paso Robles Wine Tasting

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After we left Bakersfield we went over to Paso Robles and went wine tasting. That was a lot of fun!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Kathryn and the kittens

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Kathryn has these month old kittens she has been raising from almost birth they are part of a litter of 7. One of her daughters has most of the rest. They are so cute Susie and I fell in love with them. They are being bottle fed and Susie and I fed one then it fell asleep in my hands.

Susie at Dewars

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Dewar's is this great ice cream parlor in Bakersfield that I never knew existed. Ken Wong told me about it on Facebook. Sue and I went there and met Kathryn there. Ken was right, the place is fantastic!

The green green grass of Bealville

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The wind is blowing through the grass at Bealville, which is amazingly green for the first of May. We are between trains right now and Susie is taking a nap. We're sitting under our tree at Bealville. We have not been here for over a decade. Later we are going to get ice cream at Dewar's in Bakersfield, then get together with Kathryn. Tonight we see Sugarland. We have been listening to her music as we drive, getting pumped up for the concert. The iPad is working great, I am writing this on it right now while trackside at Bealville.

Don't you dare!

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Susie does not like her picture taken before her morning coffee. She held the menu in front of her face and said, don't you dare! We are about 38 miles from Bakersfield in Lost Hills and having a relaxing trip.