Monday, May 28, 2007

70 Years Old Today!

We have all traveled it many times, even today at $5 Southbound.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Anniversary, Golden Gate Bridge. Your first traffic was in 1937.

(photo Emeko Alonso,

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

It's time for a brief moment of thought.

And thanks.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Norma Egstrom, May 26 1920 - January 21 2002

Happy Birthday, Peggy!

(Who's the guy in the specs playing the clarinet?)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Praise The Lord

That's Oakland's new Roman Catholic Cathedral under construction down by Lake Merritt. The site is a former parking lot where a veterinarian I know first learned to ride a bicycle. That was a few years ago.

The new cathedral is very feminine in form, unlike traditional Gothic or even contemporary cathedrals such as the one across the Bay in San Francisco. It promises to be an impressive edifice.

Thanks to RMW for the photo.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Emporium Dome

The Emporium opened on Market Street in San Francisco back in 1896. It suffered from, but survived, the 1906 earthquake. Closed finally in 1996, it was finally bought and refurbished and now houses Bloomingdales in the "Westfield San Francisco Centre." (The misspelling is on purpose, I suppose.) Nordstrom is in the same block. It's a neat location to spend a lot of money, if one is so moved.

The point, however, is that the original Emporium Dome has been exquisitely restored. Please gaze in wonder:

(Click to enlarge. I have turned this image into wallpaper for my laptop, and it looks really nice.)

Noe Valley

This is an unusual photo of a much-photographed city. Very residential. Very sunny.

I owe Flickr for the shot.

(Click to enlarge, as always.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Arthur Jacob Arshawsky

Born 23 May 1910 in New York, New York

God Bless. Those were incredible days, in between the troubles. Happy Birthday, Artie!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sierra Foothills

Beautiful weather there this week. Highs about 80F (that's more or less 25C)

Here is where we had miso soup last year, in a room full of the Red-Hat Ladies Club of Murphys. Ah, the memories.

This is my favorite tree on Hwy 4 between Copperopolis and Angels. Sorry about the wires in the background, but I couldn't find a spot that ignored them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ooops! This Doesn't Sound Good

LONDON (Reuters) - A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like “Web site” in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

“The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a Web site is,” he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms “Web site” and “forum.” An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: “I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.”

Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case.

Please note, that is not a portrait of Judge Openshaw. I do admire his hair, however.

Cables, Cords, and Connections


Now I appreciate even more what Rudy had to go through up in Copperopolis!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sputter, Sputter, Whoooooooooooooosh!

This is really kind of fun. Your Old Faithful at work, updated every 30 seconds, with an estimated "next eruption" prediction.

(cut and paste the URL)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Self-Portrait, May 2007

Please note; I am standing on my ankle once again.


Friday, May 11, 2007

You're Telling Me What?

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

HT to

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Even Roses Have Roses!

Now THAT'S impressive! HiltonHouse is looking like a horticultural garden.

(Click on image for larger size.)

Salad, Anyone?

Mmm, mmm, good.

Monday, May 07, 2007


This is actually a pretty big deal. Problem is, I can't get my computer to link. So, we'll have to do it by hand.

That's the news. The Brits have finally agreed with us that a million is one thousand times one thousand, and that a billion is one thousand times...whatever. You get the point.

Now, here's the history:

The short scale dates back to the 17th century, when groupings of numbers by threes (1,234,567,890,123) instead of the older sixes form (1,234567,890123) became common. However, the older long scale (10^6=million, 10^12=billion, 10^18=trillion) continued to be dominant. Milliard, originally a synonym for 10^12, was then re-appropriated by the long scalers to mean 10^9 (sames as the short scale billion)

France then, in the early 19th century, invented the metric system. They adopted the short count at the same time. The result was a harmonization between number names (every factor of a thousand got a new one), metric prefixes (every factor of a thousand got a new one), and written numeral forms (every factor of a thousand added a new group of three).

The U.S. then immediately adopted the short scale in imitation of the French, while ignoring the Metric system. The Italians followed the lead of the French. The British ignored both. The rest of Western Europe adopted the Metric system but kept the long scale, precisely opposite of the U.S. approach.
In the 20th Century, France reverted to the long scale, as did the Italians, while the British adopted the metric system, decimalized currency, and the short scale.

At the moment, the English-speaking world has largely been converted to the short scale under American influence following the British lead; the other major short scale users are Brazil and Russia. (Russia uses milliard for 10^9, but calls 10^12 a trillion, so . . .)

Aren't you glad you asked?

(I truly enjoy this stuff.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anyone For Lunch?

A simple luncheon by the sea...

in Brittany, NW France. Time to turn up the wine glasses.

(courtesy, once again, of Must be Spring Break at UW_Madison)