Friday, June 29, 2007

The Joys of Summer

Yesterday after work I hit the local lake for some sailing on the Hunky Dory. Hunky is my 16' wood dory that was built by a local high school shop class and then passed down to me after several owners. It was a little gusty out there so I needed to be careful to trim the sails so I don't tip over. Anyway got out on the lake and sailed around to the quiet side for an anchor in a little cove. The water was nice and warm so I did a little swimming while the Hunk rested. Glorious day. Then the wind really picked up and I did some very fast tacks across the lake as the BART trains flew by on the hill. Later the wind calmed down and I was able to lock the tiller and enjoy some of the finest sailing I have ever had on the boat ( I have owned her for almost 9 years). It was one sweet 3 hour cruise. The weather here has been on the cool side with lots of wind so far this summer. Yesterday in the south bay/Fremont area we hit a high of 74. Not too shabby with the bright sun and fog at the coast. Speaking of summer, they are still sailing on the ice in Finland. Check out this cool vid of the joys of another kind of summer fun, Finland style.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Windy Days

I have been out sailing the bay the last two days and it has been cranking out there! On Tuesday we saw winds gusting to 35 as we came accross the slot. Yesterday it was even bigger winds and waves. I don't double reef much on our 30' Newport but I did two days in a row and it was the correct call. I had a hanky on the furler jib. The boat handled it fine and we saw lots of 8's and 8.5 knots on the meter. We have not seen that number in a while! It was a great two days of sailing with some long time friends!

Monday, June 25, 2007

31 Years of Apple

I have been using Macs since 1983. I had a girlfriend who worked for Apple and she let me use her IIe computer. Since then I have run my own company on Macs since 1992. Not knowing anything about computers when I first started, I have come a long way. Once the internet came along and file sharing, it has shaped my life in many ways. We currently have 2 Macbooks, and 3 desktops (G4, G5 and a Mac Mini) in the house and home office. The two biggest reasons to buy a Mac are ease of use and no viruses. In all my years, I have not had a single virus. That's pretty awesome. Here is a cool pic of the evolution of Apple products. Be sure to click the pic for a full view.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Very First Music Festival- 40 Years Ago

I have been a concert goer for the last 30 years. My first show was at the Spectrum in Philadelphia that featured Ted Nugent and Areosmith. It was a great show and I was hooked! A few years later I was traveling out to college in Vegas and stopped into Red Rocks outside Denver and caught the Grateful Dead. That was a show and the people we met were wonderful. Just this week I took several friends to see Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) perform "Darkside of the Moon" note for note in Oakland. That was one excellent show!! Before my time there was a music festaval that started it all, called the Monterey Pop Festival. Many of the top acts from San Francisco (the Dead, Janis, Quicksilver and the Jefferson Airplane) were there along with The Who, Jimi Hendrix and the Mamas and the Papas to name but a few. The cost of the show was $1 and all the profits went to charity. The bands even played for free. It was an amazing time and place where it all came together with music, people and freedom of expression. If you get a chance, VH1 is running a show on the festival that has some great footage and interviews with several of the artists and concert attendees. There is also a movie out there about the festival. On July 28th there will be a 40 year anniversay party in Monterey to celebrate this seminal event with some of those performers coming back to do it all over again. Read a story of a gal from London who came to SF to experience the Summer of Love and ended up at the show. Take a trip here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Steve Jobs: Will the iPhone be Another Home Run for Apple?

He saunters out onstage, and the first thing you think is, man, Steve Jobs looks old. The second thing you think is, no, not old: He finally looks his age. Well into his forties, Jobs appeared to have pulled off some kind of unholy Dorian Gray maneuver. But now, at 52, his hair is seriously thinning, his frame frail-seeming, his gait halting and labored. His striking facial features—the aquiline nose, the razor-gash dimples—are speckled with ash-gray stubble. A caricaturist would draw him as a hybrid of Andre Agassi and Salman Rushdie. The senescence on display is jarring, but it’s also fitting. After three decades as Silicon Valley’s regnant enfant terrible, Jobs has suddenly, improbably, morphed into its presiding √©minence grise.

The stage in question is at the Four Seasons in Carlsbad, California, where Jobs has come this afternoon in May for The Wall Street Journal conference “D: All Things Digital.” Dressed in his customary uniform—black mock turtleneck, faded 501s, running shoes—Jobs sits across from Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg, who commences with a simple question: Having recently changed its named from Apple Computer to Apple Inc., exactly what business is the company in?

“We’ll very shortly be in three businesses and a hobby,” Jobs replies, projecting the mildest affect he can muster—yet still the crowd is goggle-eyed, as if Bono were in the house.

The clich√© of Jobs as rock star is, of course, hoary to the point of enfeeblement. From the start of his career—which is to say, for his entire adult life—he has radiated a mesmeric presence, his “reality-distortion field.” But as Jobs makes clear today, Apple’s reality is no longer in need of much distortion. On the back of the first two businesses he names, the Mac and the iPod-iTunes tandem, Apple racked up $21.6 billion in sales in the last twelve months, and $2.8 billion in profits. Its stock price has doubled in the past year; last month, AAPL was named to the S&P 100, making it a bona fide blue chip. With what Jobs dubs a “hobby,” Apple TV, the company has invaded the sanctum sanctorum of living-room entertainment. Then there’s that third, impending business, which revolves around a gorgeous sliver of palmtop gee-whizzery that you may have heard about: the iPhone.

Read on.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Choosing the Perfect Boat

Back in 2000 when I started looking for a boat, I had a few criteria that were important to me. I wanted a 30 foot sailboat that would accommodate a few friends for day sails as well as be easy to singlehand, had to have 6'5" head clearence down below, diesel engine, be able to sleep 4 folks for future trips to the delta and be turnkey. I got very lucky and after looking at two boats I found the perfect boat on the third try. We have now owned our Newport 30 for seven years and she has done everything we have asked of her and much more. While our search was pretty easy, some folks have a much longer list of criteria and it can take them many months or years to find their perfect boat. Read about one man's pursuit here.

Watch Whatever, Whenever

There a new TV Show/Movie site in town that really has it going on. You can watch or even download many of your favorite shows right in your browser. If you have a Mac and do not have Flip4mac yet I would highly recommend it for viewing videos. Get some popcorn and a drink and start watching.

Bonehead Move

Friday, June 08, 2007

BOC Round the World Race

A small hubbub of horns and shouting went up along the breakwater at Punta del Este, Uruguay, last March as Australian Aalan Nebauer limped his rudderless 50-foot racing sloop over the sunny horizon toward the mouth of the harbor. Punta, a resort town of beautiful palms and pines, usually sits empty this late in the South American calendar, abandoned by the summer hordes that fill the shoreline high-rises, expensive hotels, and garish all-night discos from December through February. This year, however, the buzz around Punta's docks had run into autumn as a fleet of battered and broken open-ocean yachts began arriving in late February after thousands of grueling miles at sea in the single-handed around-the-world race called the BOC Challenge.

Nebauer was late. Only a week remained before the April 1 start of the fourth and final race leg as he came into sight on a light sea breeze. He stood alone in his cockpit, waving to the half-dozen shore launches that had come out to meet him and grinding the winches to adjust the sails that, for ten sleepless days and nights, had been his only way to steer.

He raised both his arms and said something to the sky as his boat, Newcastle Australia, slid across the finish line, as the launches towed him to the docks, and as his wife climbed aboard and took him in a long embrace that put a warm ending on the 56 horrific days it had taken him to sail the 7,000 miles from Sydney, Australia, to Punta.

"It was a very bad day for a very long time," was the way Nebauer put it later that morning before a gathering of reporters, race officials, and the skippers who had preceded him into this last pit stop on the 27,000-mile voyage they had begun the September before. The race had taken them from Charleston, South Carolina, across the Atlantic in hurricane season to Cape Town, South Africa; from Cape Town through the storming rages of the Indian Ocean to Sydney; and from Sydney into the icy Southern Ocean, the only place on the planet where the sea rushes around the earth uninterrupted by land, until it delivers sailors into the most feared patch of water on the globe, the narrow strait between Cape Horn and Antarctica.

Nebauer had been forced to round the Horn under jury rig after a massive wave struck his boat and carried away the mast. He'd hung sail from an A-frame improvised of spinnaker poles and shambled into the Falkland Islands, where he replaced his mast and sailed off for what he expected to be an easy 1,000-mile push north to Punta. Three days later, something--he didn't know what--tore off his rudder.

"Physically, emotionally, mentally, it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," he said. "A nightmare. I read my Bible all the time to keep myself going."

Continue reading here.

Save Me!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - Unlimited Music for Free!

There is a new free music service in town. Lala lets you preview full albums from the Warner label, upload your music library and allows you to trade your old music CD's for $1. You can also listen to tons of radio stations on the site. One feature they mention is listening to the others uploaded libraries, but I have not figured that one out yet. Go to the site and sign up. Then download their music player which sits on my menu bar (on a mac). The service will launch thru your browser and begin uploading your music to it's server. You can now access you music on any computer and sync it with your ipod as well. That's prety cool. Oh yea, you can buy the music DRM free and rock out! Check it out here.
Click on the pic for a larger view of the "back" catalog of Pink Floyd album covers.