Saturday, June 23, 2007

I feel safer already

Two weeks ago I flew to San Francisco to undergo* training on the new Microsoft SharePoint 2007 (MOSS). I got into SFO, collected my luggage and took a shuttle to the hotel. When I opened my bag, I instantly noticed that things were amiss. And the "Items may shift during flight..." warning was not to blame.

As I slowly took things out of the suitcase I noticed more and more amiss, for instance the toiletries bag is a small internal bag that snaps into the top of the case, and it was detached and buried in the other stuff.

I wasn't worried about anything being stolen as I hadn't taken anything valuable. Though I was genuinely puzzled it occurred to me that maybe the cargo monkeys had chosen my bag to rifle in a search for valuables to steal.

But finally at the bottom of all the stuff, and apparently tossed in after the stuff had been extracted but before it was replaced, was this charming little card from My Government.

*If it seems like I'm unhappy about this Microsoft bundle of bits, it's because I am. Learning a Microsoft program is like getting brain surgery to rewire one's neurons so as to not think so logically or brilliantly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

hot summer, cool music

One reason I like living in Santa Monica is the free summer concerts on the Pier, the Twilight Dance Series. This summer we get some acts that I know and like: David Lindley, Queen Ida and Los Lobos (!). Also playing for the 10 night spread are some names I don't know, but the genres look fun. Every Thursday evening starting 7:30 PM.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thou Shalt Keep Right...

The Vatican has issued the 10 Commandments for Drivers. Personally, I think it should start:
1. Thou shalt keep right except for passing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Finally got back in the ocean yesterday after a couple of months. A colleague from the European office is here for induction training, and another mutual colleague recommended she contact me to get some surfing lessons.

No problem! It's much easier to motivate myself to go out when I'm helping someone learn to surf.

Surf was about 2-3 foot windswell, even though the CDIP shows a substantial NW swell offshore. The wind was about 5 kts. from the NW which bumped up the sea surface a bit but not too badly.

We got into the water about 5:15 PM, and there was nobody else out. This was good, as it gave me some time to teach P. some of the techniques of using a bodyboard. Within half an hour there were about 5 guys out on standup boards, but I was getting more and better rides. (The advantage of a body board in small sloppy waves...)

We'll probably go out again this afternoon, and are planning to go out again tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fast Food = Bad News

Following on Morgan Spurlock's movie "Super Size Me!", recent scientific research provides more evidence that fast food is bad for mammals. Report in Science News.

Polynesian chickens

Science News has an article reporting that recent research seems to show that chicken bones dug up in a Latin American site have the same DNA print as chicken DNA from Polynesia. This seems might be significant evidence that the Polynesians travelled to Latin America between 600 and 2,000 years ago.

There are some dissenting archaeologists, but this is pretty interesting if it is eventually confirmed.

Road Trip for SharePoint

I spent the past week (Sunday night 3 June to Friday night 8 June) in San Francisco doing a one-week training class in the new SharePoint 2007. I learned a fair amount, but I'm certainly not overwhelmed. Whelmed is more like it.

It is useful, but Microsoft has made it too complex for most people so I don't see it getting the kind of use they hope for. Furthermore, they've made significant parts of it compatible only with Windows and Internet Explorer. More specifically, they've built wiki and weblog functionality into it, but to use the formatting options you have to have Win/IE. It won't work with Firefox or Macintosh, unless one types in raw html.

I guess its MS' way of putting the world on notice that we are still expected to use only Windows and only Internet Explorer.

Back in the water

I think the last time I was in the water was about 6 weeks ago when I went in the SMC pool and swam about 350 yards. I've been down to the beach virtually every weekend day morning, but the surf has been small and sloppy windswell - typical for late spring. (Check the CDIP for SoCal.) It's currently about 1-2' from the NW with a 10sec interval; in other words it's slop.

It's hard to get out when the surf is like this, but then I don't get any workout. If I'm going to get back into diving and surfing condition for the trip to Central America though, I've got to get some serious water time.

So today it was back into the pool at SMC. I got in about 500 yards (pathetic!) before my shoulders were seriously tired and I was noticeably out of breath. No problem though, it's the first day back and tomorrow I'll do a little more.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Day at the LA Concours

I went to the LA Concours d'Elegance today with M. It was fun and entertaining for awhile, though I'm not as dedicated to the cars as I was a decade or two ago when I was trying to eke out a living as a photographer (shooting cars, amongst many other subjects).

This time I took some car pictures, but wasn't trying so hard to get really good pictures of the cars. And I didn't even attempt any detail shots. Nowadays I'm just looking to get people pictures, and I may have gotten one or two this time.

I shot a number of photos of M. as she was pretty excited getting car pictures. But I also saw one or two interesting people that I photographed. I can't add the pictures just yet though, as the camera is at home and I am 500 miles away in San Francisco, getting ready to go to SharePoint Administrator training early in the morning.

Much else happened today that I may write about tomorrow evening (if I remember). It's midnight now though, and I've got a 6 AM call.