Friday, December 31, 2004

And Home Again

So my home stay didn't last long, as I made another trip back to Ohio last weekend. And although it was bitterly cold there, I am wondering if their weather isn't better than ours -- It has rained almost non-stop here for three days and further up the foothills into Tahoe they have gotten 6+ feet of snow. They closed down I-50 (the highway that leads from El Dorado Hills to Lake Tahoe) for a good part of yesterday. Here is some more coverage: The new year will come storming in -

Monday, December 20, 2004

Home And Back

Home And Back

I caught an early Xmas at my mother's house in Ohio this year. I usually fly "home" on Christmas day, but the flights were exhorbinantly priced this year(probably due to the holiday falling on a Saturday). Either way, it was nice getting back - even if today is only 5F.

Brian and I got some time to reconstruct his rig with a new 200GB hard drive and sample the newest coffeehouses. His Cup O' Joe isn't half bad.

The unfortunate thing about these trips is the flight:stay ratio - I fly about 16 hours for a 48 hour visit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Feedburner Redux

So after talking to Brian, it seems that my post about my enhanced RSS feed was less than clear (see Wander: More With Fun RSS). Feedburner enhances your common RSS feed with a number of doodads that are quite handy.

SmartFeed™ converts your RSS feed between the myriad of formats available for syndication (RSS 0.94, 1, 2 or Atom) on the fly so that anyone who asks for it, gets it in the version they need. It also offers a ton of other enhancements like statistics and brnading (putting logo in feed). However, the coolest features (and the ones that drew me to it) was feed splicing. Feed splicing inserts other content into your RSS feed. Think of it as merging your RSS feed with other RSS feeds. For example, I am "link splicing" my Bloglines RSS stream (from my Bloglines clipping blog) into my RSS feed - all my postings there just show up in my feedburner feed intermingled with my blogger posts. I am doing the same thing with Flickr -- my photos just show up in the feed as I post them. Basically, everything I am posting these days shows up in this RSS feed.

They also give you this cool flash animated headline button: Wander

Subscribe to my Feedburner RSS here.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Blue Rock Shoot

I had a quick turn-around after getting back from New York on Tuesday and headed down to the Bay Area. Since I had a few meetings at HQ over the week, I decided to stay down in my old home town, Los Gatos. Los Gatos hasn't changed much, but seems to have gotten a little bit pricier. My old house that I used to rent was still there and actually available to be rented (I'll have to look it up online to see how much they are gauging the new tenants).

Blue Rock Shoot

As nothing was that new in LG, I decided to take my coffee in Saratoga this morning. After checking to make sure that my favorite dot com era restaurant (The Basin) was still in business, I settled into my favorite coffee shop in the world. Blue Rock Shoot is just about everything that you would want in a coffee shop: An abundance of wild wood tables, free wireless internet, good coffee, small mountain town atmostphere and most importantly stiff drinks (Starbucks really should serve alcohol). I settle down and enjoyed my Americano with the locals before I had to scoot into Menlo Park for a meeting.

Monday, December 06, 2004



I'm in rainy, drizzly, freezing cold New York City today, helping out some clients. Luckily, I got to stay right here in midtown, next to Grand Central Station. My office is only 2 blocks away and my client is across the street. This photo is from my client's office on Park Avenue around the 40th floor.

We didn't get a chance to go out to any good bars (or watch MNF), but we did have a good dinner at a place called Tuscan.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


As my location sidebar says, I'm visiting Boulder, Colorado this week to attend a few meetings. I've always really liked coming to Boulder since it's so close to the Front Range of the Rockies -- Even though they are 20 miles away. This picture was taken on the way south to our office in Broomfield, near the University of Colorado campus.

In less pleasant news, it is friggin' cold here. Even the locals are saying that 15F is cold for this time of year.

More With Fun RSS

So I have been experimenting with ways to improve my blog lately (i.e. switching from Hello! to Flickr for my photo syndication) but I am stuck with the vast amount of time that it takes to sit down to actually use the web (surf, collate, blog, discard spam, etc.) and the paucity of free time in my life. I had hoped that I could simply manufacture more idle time by using my mobile phone more fully (I post most of my blog entries via email from my Treo 600 while I am in transit), but it doesn't really help me read to keep up with whats really out there.

So I've been thinking that it would be nice to be able to tag all the articles I read that I find salacious interesting (that I usually repost here), have Flickr autopost all my new pictures and occassionally blog (like I am doing here).

And that's when I saw the feed splicer that Feedburner is doing with Flickr and Bloglines. This is cool.

You can check out my feedburner splice here:

You can just click on it and it will render in your browser. Or you can add it to the RSS reader feeds.

I'm still working out the bugs, but this seems cool.

Monday, November 29, 2004

DirecTV Prepares Tivo Clone

Techdirt turned me onto a story about DirecTV launching their own Tivo replacement from CNN: Challenger takes on TiVo, video on demand.

While this is bad news, this still won't kill Tivo. People love Tivo, not the service. In fact, few people know what a PVR is -- even people that own a Tivo. It's that ubiquitous. It also has a UI that defines the industry. Assuming that Tivo can come through on their NetFlix arrangement (for broadband movie distribution), I think they will be around for a while . . .

Sunday, November 28, 2004

D-League Basketball

Shelley got some free tickets to the Kings NBA game tonight so Kelly, Shelley and I wandered down to Arco Arena to see the Minnesota Timberwolves. Having never been to Arco, I was surprised at how small it was. The last NBA game (and only) was in Chicago and Sacramento's stadium seemed smaller than my University's. However, it was packed with locals and they do love their Kings in a midwestern, minor league kinda way.

D-League Basketball

The Kings folded to Kevin Garnett's Twolves 121 - 110 late in the fourth quarter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Blogging with Blogger and Flickr

So a few people have asked about the infrastructure that supports Wander, my blog here at It's actually pretty simple:
  • The blog itself is hosted by Blogger
  • The photos are stored at Flickr
  • The photos and text are posted via email from my Treo 600
To replicate this setup, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Blogger: Create your Blog Now and sign up for their free blogging service. They have you enter your some personal details, create a name for your blog and choose a template that defines how it looks.
  2. Go to Flickr and signup for an account there. They'll want to know a little about you also. Flickr allows you to upload and store photos free (with restrictions).
  3. Once you have both accounts active, you need to configure Flickr to post to your Blogger account. Go to your Flickr account page, a choose the link "Your Blogs" under the Blogging header. Click "Set up a new blog" and follow the prompts (hint: you are setting up a blogger blog). After this is completed, you can upload a picture to Flickr and then post it to your blog.
  4. Finally, go back to your Flickr account page and choose the "Upload by email" option directly under the "Your Blogs". It allows you to set a style for the blog postings and gives you a email address to send them to.
Once you have all that completed, snap some pictures on your handy camera phone and email them with some snarky dialog to the email address that Flickr gave you. Instant blogger goodness.

Monday, November 22, 2004

God Hates Shrimp

Now that many of the "red" states have officially outlawed freedom of choice and the persuit of happiness (just after surrendering the home of the brave moniker with their fear-induced presidential vote), some enterprising people have found a new cause to put their biogotry behind: God Hates Shrimp.

Thankfully, we here in California still believe in freedom of crusteceans.



So Kelly and I spend every Monday night watching football (and my fantasy team win again) at our local Folsom bar, The Powerhouse Pub. And every week it just gets cheesier. The picture tells the story here (think unattractive scantily clad ladies).

Having said all this, the pub also has a 103" HDTV setup. I think we'll
endure the cheesiness for a few more weeks.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Shelley's finally got her wish and was able to trade in her VW Beetle for a Toyota Prius. As you can see from the photo, it's silver and kinda funky.

Happy to say that the gas mileage is incredible. I averaged 51 MPG on my trip to the Bay Area yesterday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

TiVo to add banner ads

A lots of talk today about Tivo's plans to add banner ads during fast forwarding. I don't think that this is really that big of a deal AS LONG AS this is implemented unintrusively.

I still think that I need to expand my PVR rig to HiDef. Check out EFF's Guide To HD PVR for some interesting details. HD capture cards are trending down to ~$250.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Fall (when the llamas return)

It's a beautiful fall day, unlike last week when Brian was visiting. And with beautiful falls days, come llamas.

This llama lives on our back fence line. He's been gone lately (not sure where llamas go - perhaps on the llama show circuit ?), but has reappeared now that the weather has gotten nice.

Konfabulator Ports To Windows

Konfabulator! the die-hard, mega-cool desktop beautification widget program has been ported to Windows XP. Once the exclusive treat for Mac OS X fans, Konfabulator was completely screwed by Apple and decided to open new markets to survive.

Maybe they will wise up and port this to Linux.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Lockdown Brewing Company

Kelly and I got a chance to meet our local brewer tonight at the pub. Lockdown Brewing Company Powerhouse Ale, currently only brewed in kegs, is served in several of my favorite pubs and brewed in Folsom. Lockdown has ambitious plans to offer several other brews in the coming months.

Supposedly, the brewery will open their own brewpub in downtown Folsom in December 2005.

Live PSP Under Glass

Gizmodo has a quick link that Sony has actual working PlayStation Portables installed in Tokyo's Shinjuku train station (which I used to have to travel through every day to get to my office in Akasaka).

Read more at Gizmodo : PSP Under Glass. Even better pictures over at Engadget.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

New Photo Blogging Service

It looks like Flickr has a new competitor, Zoto.

I haven't done any comparisons yet, but it looks like Flickr is a little further along in terms of market presence and technical development. Still competition is good and the sign of a growing market.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Moving to Canada, Eh ?

Slate has a really good article on the ex-patriot movement stemming from last week's fiasco election.

However, what's really funny about the article is the link to the "new" map.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Salmon Season

Salmon Season

Brian and I hit the American River Bike Trail this morning to see the annual salmon run. Although you may not be able to see it in the picture, there are just tons of fisherman waiting for the salmon to release downstream.

Dear TiVo...

This is incredibly cool: Permalinks to specific show episodes for your Tivos. Create a link to a specific show that you can then schedule on your Tivo via their remote scheduling feature.

Although I don't watch much TV thse days, you will see some of these on Wander soon.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Hidden Door Company

I want these installed in my next house: The Hidden Door Company - Gallery of Products Page.

From our friends at Boing Boing.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Zeke Bone

I want this new Tivo remote. Not only is it a cool purple color, it has a rubberized coating.

Zeke would love this. Unfortunately, you can't buy it -- Tivo is giving them away for referrals.


After a day or two of discussions with friends about where we should spend our next four years in exile expat paradise, this (the Boing Boing: My Modest Proposal: The U.S.A.R.?) amused me.

Perhaps I can spend my expatriot years here in California.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004



Well, Louie and I did our moral civic duty and voted today.

No fancy electronic voting here in EDH. Just strange punch cards and weird California initiatives.

Although Louie is a lifelong Liberterian, I have a sneaky suspicion that he voted for Nader.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Photo Migration to Flickr

I've decided to abandon Hello as my photo sharing / publishing platform in favor of Flickr. While Hello had a cool paradigm (a peer 2 peer network that could also post to Blogger), the need for a proprietary Windows client just wasn't working for me. On the other hand, Flickr has a traditional upload and view architecture but is client agnostic and supports all the cool new technologies. Some of Flickr's cool features are:
  • Upload / Blog via email (so I can photo blog from my Treo)
  • RSS / Atom feeds for my photos
  • Photo badges (to display on your website)
  • Flickr API for development
  • It's free
You can browse my photos at

Sony PSP Price !

Shiny Plastic has a blurb from CNet about the Sony PSP Playstation Portable Price and Release Date (CNet article here).

To make a long story short, these bad boys may be released in March 2005 for only $150. Most analysts were expecting it to ship next Christmas for $350. At the $150 price, this really starts to make sense and will probably push Tapwave's Zodiac out of business.

I am already rethinking my resistance to this gadget.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Sun, the Phantom Gamer

This is quite an interesting article:

The co-creator of Microsoft's Xbox is ramping up to launch a new online subscription gaming platform with the help of Sun Microsystems, the companies said.

Java gaming really looks to be catching momentum.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

XM vs iPod Photo

So Kelly just bought a Serius Satellite Radio receiver and he got me thinking. Is it better to outsource my music selection to some on demand service or keep on managing my catalog with iTune / iPod myself.

This was doubly triggered by the dual announcements of the new Delphi XM MyFi and iPod Photo. The MyFi is a portable XM satellite radio receiver that allows you to record up to five hours of broadcast to listen to at your leisure. The new iPod adds a color screen and photo sharing abilities (by connecting it to a TV).

I haven't come to any conclusion here, it just got me thinking. I am pretty sure I am not going to junk my third generation iPod until I see something that provides video on demand.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Piedmont Back

Brian's Defensive Belligerence blog is back online.

Treo 650 is Official!

My favorite toy (camera, mobile, blogging device, etc) has a new verison out: Treo 650 is official!. Thanks to the folks at Engadget for the cool pics and words.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dog day @ Atlanta office

Dog day @ Atlanta office

This reminded me of how my company used to be: dog days on Thursday. This older dog was quite happy to hang outside her keepers office. Friday used to be dog day in Silicon Valley.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Porch Finished

This is the final version of the porch. This was taken at the begining of the month, just after the concrete had set. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 22, 2004

BBQ & The South

So after a short sleep (see yesterday's entry), I trudged through my work day (evaluating a new company's technology). Finishing up around 7 pm, two of my colleagues and myself decided to get some BBQ (being in the South and all). Acquiring the prerequesite local knowledge (Dreamland was the place), we headed out.

Good lord, I ate a lot of BBQ at Dreamland. I have never seen such a large slab of ribs. I could only eat 3/4 of the slab. I had enough left over for two normal people's meals.

Overall, the BBQ was quite good (I liked the Brunswick soup). Certainly different from Kansas City style (more vinegar, less heat) and Memphis dry rub, but still better than anything we would get here in Cali.

The best part of the night was as we were leaving. We basically closed the place (watching BoSox game), but a woman came in just as the staff was letting us out. She had rushed over after work to grab some BBQ before heading home. "Sorry, were closed" was the wait staff response. So, my colleague offers her his doggie bag / half slab. Without batting an eye, she accepts and drives away. No questioning who we are, no asking what was in the bag, nothing just "Y'all so kind. Thanks for the BBQ".

I believe stories like this only happen in the South.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Bad Start

My southern trip didn't get off to an impressive start yesterday. America West, the airline with by far the worst on-time arrivals in the business, ended up screwing me by delaying my Sacramento departure which caused me to miss my Phoenix connection. Luckily, Arizona-native Spencer was "free" and sprung me from the PHX airport for a few hours. We went and hung out in Tempe at The Library until my flight left. The bad news on this was that I didn't get to Atlanta until 12:45 AM, so I didn't get to my hotel in Alpharetta (40 miles away) until around 3 AM. Posted by Hello


I forgot to post something about my backyard progress from earlier this month. I finally got a "concrete guy" to come by and pour us a porch. This is a picture from the early stages when they were just forming the foundation. I'll post something soon with the final pictures. It's amazing how much concrete costs. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 18, 2004

Deep South

It appears that my extended respite from air travel is over. I'm off to Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow morning to check out a company that I may be doing some work with. Strange as it might sound, I've never actually done any business travel in the South. I had a brief two day trip to Tampa once, but other than that it's really midwest and west coast. It should be interesting.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

PSP Movie

Here is a little movie of someone inserting and removing the cool UML data disks that will be standard on the Playstation Portable (PSP).

Actually, the PSP isn't looking that big :>

Monday, October 11, 2004

New Bike Woes

If it's not one thing (pinch flats), it's another (broken chain). I broke my chain climbing a hill last week. A bicycle chain breaking makes a terrifying sound, but not as terrifying as my screaming as I endo, my bike lands on top of me (as I was still clipped in) and we both fall down the hill again. The one bright spot out of this was I got a new set of cranks -- Shimano Deore -- that are a lot better than my old ones. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Pinch Flats Revisited

So my bike got another bad case of the pinch flats this weekend and I decided to bring out the big guns. On the my trip to the Bay Area this week, I wandered down to the new SuperGo superstore in Mountain View and picked up some new "self-healing" tubes (basically stronger inner tubes that have been slimed). I'm going out riding my thorniest trails today to see how they fare. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Segway GT transporter for golf?

Oh, I am defintely going to need one of these.
If I can only figure out how to fit the dog on this somehow.

From our friends at Engadget.

Monday, September 27, 2004

PlayStation Portable In Action

Back on my old blog, I had a lengthy article about buying one of the next generation mobile gaming platform (Tapwave Zodiac, Gameboy Duo, etc.). I had eventually decided on the PlayStation Portable (PSP), but after seeing this series of photos, I am rethinking it. Damn, that thing is really, really big.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Hail Storm

An intense rain storm whipped through EDH today. We got rain (first since May), lightning, thunder and even hail (see picture below). I bet this is going to leave quite a snow accumulation up the Sierras from us. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cal Brewer's Fest

Kelly, Shelley and I went to the California Brewer's Festival yesterday. It was a weird event, held under the freeway in Old Sacramento, that featured about 100 brewers. While the strangest beer was the Grant's Manadarin Wheat (pictured below), I think the best beer was Drop-Top Ale. Posted by Hello

USB Xmas Trees

I saw these doodads on Mac News Network. They're USB powered christmas trees for your desk. The recent cold front here in EDH made me think of them. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Canadian Doofus Sighting

Yet another Segway doofus sighting. Now the Las Vegas sighting could be easily explained away, as it was his job and 110F there, but this fool in Calgary, Canada has some serious explaining to do. Not only was it raining and 40F, he had rode his dork-mobile into the lobby of the Westin Hotel five minutes earlier . . . Posted by Hello

BMX Park

Though it doesn't look like much, this is EDH's BMX park. It's right next to the skatepark about 1 mile from my house. It's a nice little track with a few jumps and such. The really cool part of it is that is has lights. I bet night riding is pretty cool. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I turns out that they put a really cool skatepark about 1 mile away from my house. Although this is pretty sweet, I'm probably a little to old for it. What is far cooler is the BMX park that is right next to it. I'll post some pictures of it tomorrow. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Equal Time

As an equalizer for the excessive number of Louie pictures gracing my blog over the last few days, here is a up close picture of Zeke. Posted by Hello

Downtown Calgary

This isn't a great picture, but these are some giant sculptures in downtown Calgary. Calgary is one of those towns where its so cold that they have to link all the buildings with elevated walkways (which you can see in the far background). That's a good thing too, since it's only been about 50F most days. These sculptures are in a nice little cafe district near my hotel. Posted by Hello

Louie II

For the curious, here is a better picture of Louie (pictured with his favorite toy, Mr. Elephant). Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Canada Bound

I'm off to Calgary this morning. I got the first flight out of Sacto (6:50 AM) and am paying for it here at SFO. And just to add insult to injury, it appears that the powers that be here in San Francisco have decided to change food / coffee concessionaires. Gone are the dozens of Starbucks and Breakfast shops; In their place are small Peet's Coffee carts and closed food stands. Needless to say, it's bedlam: Half awake travelers arguing with hopelessly overworked coffeeristas about the meaning of "iced soy americano with space".

Hopefully, my trip will start looking up when I find a good old fashion Tim Horton north of the border. I'l post some pictures from downtown Calgary this week.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Louie Dog

I got a new friend today. Louie is a 2 year old yellow lab and weighs in at about 70 pounds. We got him from the Grass Valley lab rescue people, which is about one hour up in the Sierras from where we live. So far, Louie and Zeke have hit things off well. Posted by Hello