Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patch Job

I was laid up for most of the weekend due to an operation to repair an inguinal hernia. My surgeon used laparascopy so there is very little scarring.
I had the surgery Scripps Encinitas. The staff and facilities were first rate. Should be back at work on Monday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

History Books

Picked up a couple of history books from the Encinitas library.

  • "Faces of San Diego" by Colleen O'Connor. A nice little photo book from different periods of San Diego compiled by the sister of a former mayor.

  • "San Diego: California's Cornerstone", by Iris Engstrand. This general narrative covers the history of San Diego from pre-Spanish times through 2004. It is broad but shallow, except for Spanish exploration period which digresses too far into the situation in Europe at the time. One interesting aspect of the author is her view that the Spanish treatment of the native populations was out of compassion and although maybe misguided at times, was meant for the betterment of the Indians.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Old Town

On Saturday afternoon, we all went down to Old Town to see the sites and visit some of the museums.

* First, we went through the McCoy House Interpretive Center. This is a very nice museum with each room representing a different period of Old Town's history. Unfortunately, the docent said this house is the first to be cut when the money gets tights so is closed often.
 * In the Robinson-Rose House, we saw the wonderful model of Old Town from 1872.

* We did the tour through the Estudillo House. I enjoy the period costumes that the park employees and volunteers wear.

* The kids dipped candles at the candle and soap shop.

* We ate dinner at The Alamo Mexican Food, which is the only fast food Mexican food we could find within walking distance.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flotation Devices

Proof positive that your airline seat back cushions actually do float.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Airline Hero

There are still people in the airline industry concerned with customer service. Keeping them alive it seems. USAir will probably try to dock this guy's pay for the plane then ask for a government bailout.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Palm Is Back

As a long-time Palm user, I am glad to see that they are making a comeback. When my cell phone contract is up this summer, I will take a long look at the their Pre phone. I always loved the Palm organizer apps as they where much better than the Microsoft equivalents.

Weekend Activities

* Guides trip to Agua Caliente County Park. The weather was perfect and made for a great time at the mud caves and on the Moonlight Trail. Bengt's pinewood racer was the 3rd fastest in the tribe and he made the nation finals where he got the second round. The ranger was a bit persnickety and made us douse the campfires way too early.

* Walked dog at San Elijo Lagoon.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Track Bailed Out Companies

Now you can follow the performance of companies that have received government bail out money.  It is probably best that these companies stay healthy for taxpayers to have any chance of getting anything back from our "investement."  Although I imagine by the time the warrants and other payback schemes are coming due, the companies (aided with plenty of graft) will find a way to weasel themselves out of it.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Got Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds from the library. It is pretty much what the title says it is: presentation zen. It is filled with advice on how to make better and prettier presentations. It had some good suggestions but it geared for public speeches.


  • Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History - a great introduction to monetary policy. A bit dense and hard to follow (it is not 'Monetary Policy for Dummies'). Read this if want to learn about how today's economies work and how the government manipulates it.

  • The Heretic's Apprentice - The weakest Cadfael episode I have read so far but still good.

  • Did Lincoln Own Slaves? - A wonderful Q&A style biography of Abraham Lincoln by Gerald Prokopowicz (the host of Civil War Talk Radio). If you are interesting in Lincoln but don't want an epic bio, this is the perfect book for you. By the way, the answer is no, Lincoln did not own slaves (but the read page 156 to find out the entire story).

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Weekend Activities

* Yet another Sophie walk at San Elijo Lagoon. Can't wait for the nature center to open.
* Planning meeting for next weekend's Agua Caliente camping trip

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Israel Warns Of Pending Attacks

One of the most interesting stories to come out of the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza is that the IDF have been informing targets that they are targets. They have been calling or texting the occupants of buildings that are about to be flattened in the hopes that civilians will be get out. Note that this is necessary mostly because Hamas uses civilian building for military purposes. Israel is deliberately trying to avoid civilian causalities while Hamas purposely targets them.

Life with Windows Mobile 6

* Lots of dropped calls. This might force me to try and downgrade back to Mobile 5.
* Less battery life. I used to get 3-4 days on a charge, but now get only 2-3.

* Faster.
* All the organizer apps (Task List, Calendar, etc.) are much better.
* On a related note, the new Google Maps Mobile has a new feature where it determines your location based on cell tower presence. Since my phone does not have GPS, this is very nice.