Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Apr03

Vox Clamantis in Deserto

More and more I think there should be an entrance exam for anyone visiting California, either for tourism or for permanent residence. And that exam would be all about understanding the ecology of The West — possibly with several volumes of John Muir and Wallace Stegner as texts. Because while both those great environmentalists advocated living lightly on the land, they understood, perhaps more than anyone not from a Western...

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Becoming a Runner
Mar27

Becoming a Runner

I was a runner once. In high school I was on the cross-country team. It wasn’t before Title IX, but it wasn’t too many years afterwards and nothing much had changed yet. Instead of wearing sleek uniforms, getting letter jackets and running in front of cheering crowds, we made our own uniforms, I don’t think we were even eligible for letter jackets and we had to shame the cheerleaders into coming over to rah-rah at...

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Hello Dalai!
Feb24

Hello Dalai!

So the Dalai Lama came to Silicon Valley and I don’t think it all turned out the way we expected it to. But then again, maybe we should have expected it to turn out this way. First of all, let me say the Dalai Lama is the hardest working man in the spiritual business. In a whirlwind Bay Area tour, he’d already spoken in San Francisco and Berkeley the day before, and had addressed Santa Clara University students earlier...

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The Wheels of Justice
Jan09

The Wheels of Justice

Many of you know that I’ve been serving on jury duty for a week now. And unlike every other time I’ve been called — which is just about every year or year and a half for most of the 25 years I’ve lived in San Francisco — this time I was placed on a jury. Here’s the thing: you can watch all the Law & Order you want, you don’t really get how the most fundamental piece of our democratic...

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Hip-Hopping into Five

The World’s Most Beautiful Pre-Schooler is now five years old. It seems only yesterday that she was The World’s Most Beautiful Toddler or The World’s Most Beautiful Baby. But time marches on and my Goddaughter Amelia May is five. Luckily (at least for my spinning brain), some things remain the same. Amelia May is still a dancer, as she has been since she first got up off the floor. But now she’s into Hip Hop...

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Random African Thoughts
Dec17

Random African Thoughts

As we wend our way home through multiple airports, two 8 hour plus flights and a seven hour layover in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport, I’ve got lots of time to sit and blog. Forthwith, here is a compendium of random thoughts and observation on Africa and the trip — in no particular order, comprised of pure opinion with very little corroborating fact, and probably influenced by Traveler’s Affective Disorder....

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Hi-Tech, Low-Tech
Nov16

Hi-Tech, Low-Tech

One of our favorite social events of the year is The Tech Awards, sponsored by San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation. The black tie event is one of the main fundraisers for the program which sources innovative social entrepreneurs, largely in Third World countries, and awards them recognition and grants to fund their on-going work for the social good. We got involved because Andy is on the advisory board for a program run by...

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My Dad the Vet
Nov11

My Dad the Vet

Veteran’s Day is always a difficult one for me. I know most people mean well, but I have a hard time with all the platitudes in a time when veterans benefits seem to be first on the chopping block, the GI Bill is being gutted, a horrifying number of Vets are disabled, homeless, seeing their families need foodstamps to put food on the table even while on active duty, and falling through an increasingly frayed safety net. So, may...

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About Those Giant Squashes
Nov08

About Those Giant Squashes

Yes, these. I told you about them yesterday and how they have reached out and strangled my whole garden like something out of Little Shop of Horrors. They are apparently another example of the old Seed Bait and Switch that I fall victim to every summer. The scam usually happens when I attend one of the various seed festivals around Sonoma — especially this one. I buy into the romance of getting seeds from some little Mom and Pop...

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Aging Out of Apple
Nov04

Aging Out of Apple

I’m among the Apple Faithful. Really, really faithful. I’ve used an Apple computer since about 1985 when the first Macintosh rolled off the line. I still have it on a shelf in the garage. It’s such an original Mac, it even has the engraved signatures of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and the rest of the development team on the inside of the case. I can’t count how many Apple computers I’ve had since then...

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