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Showing posts from April, 2009

Feeling Good? Or praying for a guardian!

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For the better part of three months I have been converting to Mac. I have a new MacBook Air and, with the frequent travel that I do, I was drawn to its lightweight design. But I am not finished, and there are still a few small things I need to do before I can finally switch off my PC. I will persevere, mind you, as it was at Tandem in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s where I was first exposed to the world of Mac.

This weekend I am off to Prague to participate in the European BASE24 User Group (EBUG) conference, and I was hoping that I would be giving my presentation from the Mac. But it’s not to be. The picture I have included at the top of this post is of my Simi Valley office, littered with supporting peripherals and documents from both systems, and only after posting to the blog did I notice the jar of antacid tablets next to the PC!

My company emailed warnings to us all, a few weeks back, about the potential damage that could be unleashed come April 1st, as the much-publicized Conficker wo…

The horse isn't dead, and neither is the Viper…

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It was quite a weekend. I headed back up to San Francisco on my way back to Boulder, Colorado, to meet with GoldenGate partners and being there I took some time out to travel Highway 35 “Skyline Boulevard”. This is a highlight for many motorcycle enthusiasts who take pleasure in diving deep into the corners before whipping their bike through impossible-looking turns. And the picture above is of a famous café midway along the boulevard where refreshments can be had at Alice’s Restaurant.

And the comparison didn’t escape me – last weekend in the Southern California canyons behind Malibu with a visit to the Rock Store and this weekend along the Northern California ridgeline behind Woodside with a visit to Alice’s Restaurant. And both provided amazing scenery and an opportunity to take advantage of the open road. Of course, while stopping by Alice’s I had to get another T-shirt, as it seemed the right thing to do.

In between the meeting with GoldenGate partners I had the opportunity to fl…

And that is the point!

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This weekend I took advantage of the weather that makes Spring time in Southern California famous worldwide, drawing so many of us to its shoreline. The picture above shows the Santa Monica pier where I had lunch on Saturday. On the right day, the mix of light and scenery can be extremely intoxicating, and finding a little local seafood, and a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, makes for a very mellow day.

After driving the coast road to Santa Monica, on Sunday I opted to take a parallel course, a few miles further inland. This time I drove down the Mulholland Highway, east of where it becomes Mulholland Drive and one of the favorite addresses for the rich and famous of Hollywood. However, for me the have-to-go-to place on Mulholland Highway is the Rock Store, where everyone with an interest in sports and custom motorcycles, and high-performance cars, just has to go.

This is a favorite hangout for California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who rides to the Rock Store whenever he’s in…

When two tribes go to war ...

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Last weekend I was in the Bay area again, where I found time to return to Los Gatos. For me the area between Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos holds so many memories and I seem to gravitate back to familiar haunts each time I’m there. It was early in 1988 when I began to commute between Cupertino and Sydney, Australia, and I would catch a return flight to the Bay on a Saturday, and head to Los Gatos first thing Sunday morning – for coffee at a small café on Santa Cruz Avenue. It’s still there, and this Saturday afternoon found me sitting by the front window.

Located not too far from the café is one of my favorite car dealerships in all of California – Ferraris of Los Gatos, now called Silicon Valley Auto Group - and with each visit to Los Gatos I somehow manage to find the time to stop by, and to check out the showroom. On Saturday, there were two Bugati Veyrons on display – not too shabby at all! And the picture at the top of the page is of the view across the lot from the rear showr…

Prepared, body and soul!

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I spent a “long weekend” with the car at a racetrack – the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. This was the site of the NASCAR Auto Club 500 event held in late February and the plan was to spend three full days learning the course, as I hadn’t previously driven it. The picture on the left is of my car on a hoist, as mechanics give it a thorough track-worthiness inspection.

But this weekend didn’t go to plan. While nothing on the car failed, and there were no incidents, I never made it out onto the circuit itself. Even though the car was prepared mechanically, it turned out that I wasn’t prepared emotionally. On arrival Friday morning, instructors approached me and proposed I pursue a different schedule; to better prepare me for future participation with more advanced drivers.

This was a real surprise and a little intimidating, catching me completely off guard. Especially as only a few weeks earlier I had been informed that continuing in the program, driving the car I had, was only going …