Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'll remember April

The title of that old jazz standard sums it up -- this has been a good month.
  • We had a great trip to Arizona (see photos here).
  • Thomas and I have made strides on our documentary film.
  • I am about half-way through my one-one DJ training at KFJC.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Uncle has a byline

My Uncle Jack is a retired high school science teacher who keeps hives of bees on his farm in Pennsylvania. He sent an essay he wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to an article and they printed it! This is a big deal, the family is proud of him and glad he can bring some attention to this issue. Click here to see the article.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Moving through February into March

I am certainly hitting my pace in this "not working" thing.

  • I am doing the radio training class for KFJC at Foothill College and so far so good.

  • I have a wonderful Spanish tutor and think that I might FINALLY learn the past tense in Spanish.

  • My son and I are planning to make a documentary film.

  • I hang out with my friends and family and am not in a hurry.

I could get used to this.

Friday, February 09, 2007

And then last week..

Had a nice trip down to San Luis Obispo Monday through Wednesday to see my son Daniel. Warm weather in the low 70s. I hope they get some rain this week; the hills are still very brown down there. Also there are a lot of trees and bushes with dead brown leaves from the frost. Daniel, the native plant advocate, had some comments about the non-native plants that were slammed by the cold weather.

Went with my friend Tipu to the Stanford Theatre to see Cat People and Crossfire. A fun double bill.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Catching up..and ramblings of the day

Very briefly catching up with 1+ years since I blogged:

  • RSA announced in December 2005 that our office would close in December 2006.

  • I started looking for a job in January 2006 but changed my mind and decided I would work out the year and take a break from high tech.

  • I am happily unemployed for now. Just taking things as they come.

Interesting quote from Michael Brecker, the great jazz sax player, in Time Magazine about John Coltrane: "There seemed to be too many notes lying around. I kept listening to it, though, until one day something clicked for me, and the doors swung wide open." Michael Brecker died from leukemia earlier this month. I am not a great Brecker fan, but I am struck by how similar his experience was to mine. I sort of liked Coltrane's music for a long time. Suddenly I got it and would probably listen to nothing else if I didn't restrain myself. Coltrane was just way ahead of most of the rest of us.

In other news, there have been articles in the SF Chronicle about Jim Gray being lost while out on his sailboat. I didn't really know him but had heard him speak and had seen him around while working at Tandem where he did a lot of groundbreaking data base work. Here is the article. One of the things he wrote was this classic book on transaction processing.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Stormy Weather

On Sunday, we went back to the Stanford Theatre to see Lena Horne and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in this lavish 1943 song and dance extravaganza. It features an all black cast with Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, and many other talented musicians. The Nicholas Brothers steal the show with an amazingly athletic tap dance that got a spontaneous burst of applause from the moviegoers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Click here to read more.

Since You Went Away

Made a trip to the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto to see this 1943 tear jerker on Friday night. I barely remember seeing it on TV as a little girl, but I do remember writing a fan letter to Claudette Colbert to tell her how much I liked it. I still have the autographed photo that I got in return. Good WW2 movie about the women at home.

Click here to read more.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Doctor Atomic

I went with friends to see this new work at the San Francisco Opera. The music was beautiful and the production was first-rate -- I am not sure I have ever heard better voices. There is a big buzz about this work, written by John Adams who is considered by many to be America's best composer. Click here to read more.

Trip to Scotland

Ken and I had a fine time travelling in Scotland from October 1 to 15. Check out my trip log.

Monterey Jazz Festival 2005

We made our annual third-weekend-in September trek to Monterey for this year's jazz festival. Once again, it was a blast. High points for me were seeing Tony Bennett (talk about charisma) and the fine young bassist Christian McBride playing a hip-hop/jazz mix with DJ Logic.

High School Reunion

The second weekend of September, Ken and I went back to Pennsylvania with our son Thomas. We visited friends and relatives and attended my 40th (gulp!) high school reunion. Here's a picture of us with my friend Don's 1965 Mustang.

Trip to Vancouver

I had a short business trip to Vancouver at the beginning of September. What a wonderful city! We will return.

Catching up

I knew it had been a while since I posted to this blog, but four months!! I'll try to do better.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Photo shoot

We have a rather casual photo club at work. On Wednesday we went to Pulgas Water Temple for an outing at lunchtime.

I liked this photo of a thistle the best.

Irish Beach

We went up to the Mendocino coast for a couple of nights over the July 4 weekend. It was sunny and beautiful most of the time, but I liked this moody shot taken when it was foggy.

Getting our Vitamin B3

We saw Tony Monaco at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, a club that mostly specializes in blues. So our appreciation of the music scene in Santa Cruz is broadening. Tony is a master of the Hammond B3 jazz and blues organ -- a fine funky time!

Click here to read about when we saw him last year.

Daniel's graduation

Daniel "walked" with his class and will complete a few more credits this fall to get his Landscape Architecture degree.

We stayed nearby in Morro Bay for a couple of nights and had a fun family gathering. Ken's mom came from Chicago, Ken's brother from Palo Alto, and our immediate family was all together.

Two concerts at Kuumbwa

The first week of June, I went to Santa Cruz twice -- both times to see young jazz musicians at Kuumbwa.

On June 2, Remy and Pascal LeBoeuf came back to their hometown, on break from music school in NYC. I sure hope Jonathan doesn't mind that I stole this photo.

My friend Linda and I saw the Bad Plus on Saturday, June 4. A spectacularly talented and original trio!

Click here to read more about these bands from when we saw them in Monterey last September.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

We went to San Francisco so we could see this movie with digital projection. The film was visually rich and did a good job of bringing the story up to the first Star Wars movie made in 1977. I think they could have done with a better script and a little more humor, but it was quite good.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Ken and I went to see this movie yesterday. I had never before stopped to think of how much Douglas Adams' tale reminds me of Lewis Carroll. The film had its good parts which I enjoyed, but it didn't quite knock my socks off.
Check it out.

Control Room

I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary about Al Jazeera. It was very thought provoking concerning the role of the journalist and many other issues related to this TV news service of the Arab world.
Check it out.

Point Reyes

Ken and I went up to Point Reyes, north of San Francisco, last weekend. It is an outrageously beautiful spot, more so on this trip because of all the yellow coastal lupine growing everywhere. This photo was taken from near the lighthouse. My photos were not great, but
here they are.

Persepolis 2

Marjane Satrapi's graphic biography describes her time as a student in Europe and then her return to Iran. I liked the inside view of life in Iran. I'll have to look for Persepolis which concerns her childhood and precedes this book.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Daniel's senior project

Ken and I went down to San Luis Obispo to see Daniel's landscape architecture class display. It was fun to see his model and drawings and to hear his presentation.

I am impressed by his artistic ability.

Tiptons Saxophone Quartet

We returned last week to Kuumbwa, our favorite jazz spot in Santa Cruz, to see this marvelous all woman band. There are 4 saxophones of varying size and a fifth woman on percussion. The audience was not very big, guess they need to get the word out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Rolling Stones gathering

You know you are a baby boomer when you look at this picture and think "How can they be so old?" From the picture, they look a bit amused about it themselves. I saw them once at one of these big arena shows -- once was enough. They had a lot of energy, so they have to be taking care of themselves.

Favorite Stones song? "Paint It Black".

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Uncle Jack's wildflower photos

My uncle takes lots of nice wildflower pictures in Pennsylvania and then emails them to me. Click here to see more.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Trip to Massachusetts

I went back to the RSA home office for a business trip so I called Steven, a co-worker who is a fellow astronomy nut. He took us out to the Oak Ridge Observatory late one night. It was pleasantly creepy to be at this old facility in the middle of the woods on a dark night.

Steven's friend Joe measures star's radial velocity and is part of the search for other stars with planets. This is just a photo that I found of him on the web, but it catches the low light conditions of our visit.

Read more here.

Chick Corea Elektric Band

This was a sold out concert at Kuumbwa. I can truthfully say I had never seen anything like it. Wow!

Desert blooms

Heavy rain fell in southern California this winter so there were reports of a great wildflower year. Ken and I went down to check it out. We also went to Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona. I had never seen so many cacti in bloom, it was truly a thrill. Click here to see more photos.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham

We went to see these two characters from Scotland at Kuumbwa last month. Aly Bain plays the fiddle and Phil Cunningham plays the accordian in traditional Celtic tunes. They reel off one funny story after another and remind me of my grandfather and his brothers who were great story tellers in the same tradition.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Roy Haynes' 80th birthday

As part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, a special concert was held to honor the great drummer Roy Haynes. He looks great and plays and moves like a much younger man. I look at older folks like him and think they have definitely got it figured out. Other jazz greats were in attendance and were playing their best to honor the occassion: Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton. Wow..

Trip to Chicago

Ken and I took a quick 4-day trip to Chicago over the President's Birthday holiday in February. We spent time with his mother, sisters, and family. laughed and talked a lot, ate too much. One day we went to Ken's alma mater, Illinois Institute of Technology. In the photo, he is looking at the brick with his name that he got when he donated money to the alumni fund. In the background is the tunnel for the "el" that is part of the new student union.

Marcia Ball

In February, we went to see Marcia Ball at the Little Fox, a nice little club in Redwood City. She is a great blues singer and pianist in the style of Dr. Longhair. What a kick!

RSA Conference in San Francisco

I got to attend the RSA 2005 Conference in February. It's the big conference for software security. Lots of CEO celebrities were there like Bill Gates from Microsoft, John Chambers from Cicso, and John Thompson from Symantec. So were the crypto gurus like Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir (the R and S from RSA) and Whit Diffie. Frank Abganale (the guy Leonardo DiCaprio played in Catch Me if You Can) gave a rousing speech, more about redemption than how to catch the con man. Pictured above is Simon Singh who wrote a couple of my favorite books, including The Code Book which traces the history of codes and cryptography.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore

I have been a fan of this Japanese author for many years, I love his humor, breezy slang, and dreamy plots. I am not completely sure what this book was about, but it was a page turner -- does that make sense?

John Updike wrote the review in the New Yorker, maybe he can explain it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sui Jianguo The Sleep of Reason

I went with my friend Mary Margaret yesterday to the Asian Museum in San Francisco to see a modern Chinese sculptor's work. This exhibit was not extensive, but very satisfying and amusing. Repeated figures in Sui's work are dinosaurs and Mao jackets. This one was painted aluminum, very large.

Photography was not allowed in the most impressive gallery -- a sleeping Mao surrounded by thousands of toy dinosaurs.

Monsieur Ibrahim

We watched Monsiuer Ibrahim on DVD last night. Good story, good scenery, and I certainly enjoyed seeing Omar Sharif in such a good role. Check it out.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Most excellent blog

About 10 years ago, my friend Mike and I were looking at some open source code that had the most profane comments we had ever seen. The author was Jamie Zawinski who later went on to work on Mozilla for Netscape.

I miss my friend Mike's blog a lot and wish I could tell him about finding Look at the January 23, 2005 entry if you need a naughty liberal laugh.

Good night, Johnny

I was surprised how hard it hit me when I heard of Johnny Carson's death today. I started watching him on "Who do you trust?" after school in the early 1960's. My mother was a huge fan, I really associate watching him on the Tonight Show with her. She always said that they were the same age -- I noticed today that he was born 2 days before her birthday.

Come to think of it, my mother was always a night owl. I remember watching Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Dick Cavett with her too.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Back to the home office

I spent a week in Bedford, Massachusetts at RSA headquarters. This snowfall looked very pretty. Bedford and surrounding towns have kept their village feel -- there are still two-lane roads and lots of trees.

Point Lobos

Ken and I didn't have to work on Monday, so we drove down to Carmel. When the sun came out, we went on down to Point Lobos. The clouds were amazing and it was good to see blue sky.

It's raining. It's pouring.

It began to rain a few days before Christmas and the downpour is still going strong. Here's a picture of Thomas and his roommate moving a desk into his Santa Cruz house a few days ago.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

  • Use dental floss every day.

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Cut down on fat and sugar intake.

  • Take a good photograph every day.

Hello, 2005!

Wow, 2005 sounds like a big number.

We had our usual sushi and sauerkraut dinner yesterday. It's traditional to eat cabbage on New Year's Day in my Pennsylvania German tradition, while Ken's family has a feast of Japanese food. I think they make a good combination.

Eli, Julia, and a college friend Dan (left to right) had dinner with us. Dan is from Pittsburgh and we found out that he and I had both lived on the same block of the same street, although not at the same time. Coincidences no longer surprise me.

Book Club

I got a call 25 years ago to invite me to the neighborhood women's book club. This group has been going since the early 1950's, probably a record in longevity for such organizations. We get together once a month, everyone brings a book or more that they want to discuss. The only "rule" is that everyone gets a turn to speak. It has been a wonderful way to get to know the neighbors.

Before Christmas, we had our meeting at Marguerite's assisted living residence in Sunnyvale.