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Sun, 29 Jan 2006
Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Last weekend I walked through San Francisco's Chinatown and ran into celebrations in preparation for Chinese New Year. Today, I went down to Bainbridge Island's (first) Chinese New Year celebration. Two of the girls are sick, so I ended up going alone. Although it was quite wet, I did manage to take some pictures.

[21:45] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 25 Dec 2005
Wed, 31 Aug 2005
BIGeeks go sailing

Yesterday Julie wrote about the tension between summertime and blogging (really all activities that can wait till winter). It's been a long summer for us, with house projects and lots of traveling to conferences and so forth. Now it seems like everyone wants to pack those last few moments of summer freedom in before they are all gone.

I do too. Yesterday I took a half day out of work to go sailing with some folks from our geek study group here on the island. One of our members spent a significant portion of his adult life building a boat, and now he is able to reap the rewards. It was very kind of him to share some of them with the rest of us. Especially the landlubbers, like me.

Rather than recount the afternoon's events, I made a photoessay in a Flickr photo set. There are a *lot* of pictures, so you might want to wait till you have time and/or a fast connection.

Here's a preview to whet your appetite:

The joy of sailing

[12:11] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Tue, 05 Jul 2005
Fourth of July photography

Every year on Bainbridge Island there is a parade on the 4th of July. The island is small enough that it's a very local affair, and you are likely to see a few somebody's that you know marching across your path. This year, I tried using the parade as a photography exercise.

Bainbridge Island Fourth of July Parade

The full Flickr set is here. I took quite a few more shots than this, but a lot of them suffered from shutter lag problems, or my waiting just a moment too long to snap the picture. It was a good experience for me because it forced me to try to think quickly about what kind of shots I wanted to take, and the feedback from the digital camera also helped me realize the shots that I wished I had taken.

Later in the day, some friends who live on the water invited us over to watch some fireworks. They also invited a bunch of other friends, many of whom showed up loaded with fireworks. Growing up on the East Coast, there were only a few times that I saw live fireworks, and those were always professional displays. There are always a few folks in our neighborhood that like to shoot off fireworks on the 4th, but the proximity to houses puts a damper on the kinds of fireworks that you can let off. The story is totally different by the water, and many of the island's beaches are the site of amateur displays.

Inspired by some articles from Lifehacker, I set out to try and capture some of what folks were doing.

Fourth of July Fireworks

I didn't use a tripod -- not that it would have helped, since the various fireworks were going off in random parts of the sky (I never would have been able to swing the camera around fast enough to capture anything). There were quite a number of exposures that I didn't get because the camera would try to autofocus and during that delay, the burst came and went. During some of the longer bursts, I also ran into this problem. I belatedly remembered that the camera does have a continuous shooting mode, but I forgot about that while I was shooting. Besides, I was also talking to people, explaining things to the girls, and so forth, so I wasn't totally focused on just photographing the displays. The other thing that I ran into was being unable to control the shutter duration. Lack of a bulb mode made it hard to capture individual bursts. I ended up setting the camera to 1 second delay for most of the shots, and that worked for a decent number.

People who saw what I was doing asked me if I was actually able to catch the fireworks on camera. I was as surprised as they were that I actually caught bursts most of the time. There were a number of scenes of blue or black sky, but I felt lucky that I did catch a decent number of bursts.

The full set of fireworks is here.

[23:41] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 3 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 01 May 2005
Bainbridge Blogger Bash

Our family had a great time hosting the first Bainbridge Blogger's Bash. Chris, Chip, Mike, and Phillipe have the full lowdown. A few people commented on my burned arm (I no longer need the gauze bandage, so it's pretty glaring). I did the good host thing and circulated around. I amost did not recognize Dave Henry due to his beard -- it's been a while since I saw him last, but I'm looking forward to some of the stuff that he's working on.

I was particularly interested in meeting Adrian Sampson, author of iChat Auto-Reply, NIce to know that there are some other open source Mac hackers on the island, even if they are "young". It was amusing when Adrian asked if I knew his friend Sarah Gould, who also happens to be young. Sarah is part of our bi-weekly Bainbridge Island "Geeks" reading group, and I definitely know her. She wasn't able to make it, but I'm looking forward to getting both of them together into a room. Adrian, Dave, and Phillipe were engaged in interesting and philosophically oriented discussion about open source, communities and so on, which I injected a comment into as I was passing by to feed Elisabeth her dinner.

Mike brought his PSP and (accidentally) induced some depression:

Img 0821

At the top is Mike's PSP. At the bottom is a Newton MessagePad 2100, which I worked on while I was at Apple. I should have thought to open the lid on the Newt so that that full depression could be displayed. The difference in size and weight should be obvious. The differences in the displays, the 802.11b, and the retail price?

On the whole, it was a totally enjoyable evening.

[23:36] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Fri, 08 Apr 2005
Lawn Boy. Not.

Tonight after dinner I hopped into our van and hauled myself off to Silverdale, the no-ferry-involved shopping mecca for Bainbridge Islanders. You see, on Wednesday I postponed dinner and went to try and cut our grass, which has grown enormously tall due to a combination of some fertilizer, some unexpectedly warm spring weather, and lots of famous Pacific Northwest rain.

Ever since we've owned a home, I have used one model or another of Black and Decker cordless electric mower. We had one in San Jose that was starting to run down just as we moved up here, and when we bought our house, I decided to give the cordless mower one more try -- I wanted to do what was good for the environment. The cordless mowers are also super convenient -- there's much less maintenance involved. They are also enormously more expensive than a comparable gas powered mower, and as they get older and the batteries wear down, they have a harder and harder time cutting the grass.

I will digress at this point and mention that we have serious lawn genes in my family. Well, at least my father and brother do. The gene seems to have skipped me altogether. When I was growing up, some friends once teased me by saying "your Dad is out there cutting his lawn with tweezers". That was a slight exaggeration, but working on the lawn and yard was my Dad's hobby, and he was pretty good at it. Consequently, we had a very fine lawn growing up. Of course, it didn't hurt that we lived next to a gardening contractor either. My brother has inherited the gene from my father, so he got all the skills for dealing with a lawn (not to mention a house, a car or any other mechanical device). What I got was a good idea of what a healthy flourishing lawn looks like. That's mostly been good for guilt, because my lawn is definitely not measuring up to the family standard.

So Wednesday evening I set out to make the grass at least a presentable height (it is a beautiful color), only to discover that the Black and Decker had weakened to the point where it barely cut 1/3 of my tall lawn before the needle visited the bottom of the battery gauge's red zone. Last year I had a few instances where lawn mowing turned into a 2 evening affair because I needed a recharge in order to finish. The prospect of 3 evenings worth of cutting, combined with a bleak rain forecast, and a *very* *full* calendar finally pushed me over the edge and over to Silverdale.

Thus I found myself at Home Depot at 8pm, buying a gas powered lawnmower. The lawnmower guy at Home Depot seemed to think that most lawnmowers were good for about 5 years, unless you moved up to the self propelled Hondas that were twice as much as the mower I was looking at, not to mention overkill for the size yard that I have. The Black and Decker is 4 years old, so I suppose that's not too bad. The salesman and I had our moment of commiseration about how they don't make things the way they used to, and then I got on with the dirty deed. I've been through two of the electric mowers now. I've paid the eco-friendly price (and time) premium. But this time around, I'm going with the gas mower. Maybe in 5 years there'll be the Prius of lawn mowers. At least I didn't buy an SUV.

[01:05] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 17 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sat, 12 Jun 2004
Ferry Wifi getting closer
According to the Seattle P-I, the Washington State Ferry system has it's first wifi enabled boat up and running. Unfortunately, it was on a route that I didn't ride last night. But maybe by the next trip things will up and running on the Bainbridge Island route.
[00:09] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Wed, 18 Feb 2004
Ferry wireless is on the way
On the way back from tonight's weblogger meetup in Seattle, I popped open the PowerBook to work on this (and other posts). I thought to myself "I can't wait until they get the wireless network working on the boat". Imagine my surprise when I was prompted to join the "RoamAlways Default Network Name". Unfortunately, it's not quite there yet, as there were no nameservers available. They're probably in the early stages of their build out. Still, it's encouraging that someday I might be able to catch my e-mail from the boat.
[23:28] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Tue, 06 Jan 2004
No snow days
There's lots of snow all over the ground, easily 5, possibly 6 inches, with more to come tonight. I haven't seen a snow like this since we left the East Coast almost 9 years ago. That's 2 snows inside of 2 weeks. The neighborhood kids were out of school, and playing around in the snow. It brought back fond memories of snow days when I was a kid.

The problem with working from home, and schooling your kids at home, is that there are no snow days...

[23:03] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Tue, 30 Dec 2003
Snow on Bainbridge Island
It doesn't happen very often here, but it's snowing tonight. Julie popped in to tell me and to look at it out the back doors of my office. This is going to make for an early morning, because once the kids find out it's snowing there'll be a small riot ;-)
[23:33] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Wed, 20 Aug 2003
Wi-Fi Ferry at last
Note: Due to pilot error, I overwrote the original version of this post, so I'm attempting to reconstruct it.

ComputerWorld and Wi-Fi Planet are reporting that the Washington State Ferries are going to trial Wi-Fi service on Bainbridge, Bremerton and Edmonds-Kingston runs.

One thing that I hope they do is extend the coverage to include the ferry terminals not just the boats themselves. Last night I missed (again) the 10:55 ferry after the post-SeaJUG beer and pizza. The next boat leaves at 12:15, so I was stuck in the Coleman Ferry Terminal with nothing to do. If they had Wi-Fi (and power jacks) in the terminal, I would have trundled my laptop along to get some work done. It would also help if the coverage extended into the waiting parking lots -- people spend a lot of time waiting for the boat.

The ComputerWorld article has some interesting details on how they plan to solve the backhaul problem.

[16:52] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Fri, 15 Aug 2003
Count me in
Oddly enough, this came up in the Technorati Breaking News. The study in the article was commissioned as part of the effort to build out the fiber optic backbone for Kitsap county. Unfortunately, for me, Bainbridge is held up by some environmental clearances that must be obtained.
[01:39] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sat, 05 Jul 2003
Eric Avenue Series
Tonight Julie and I went to see our friend Paul Ziakin's opening for the showing of his paintings at the pitcairn scott gallery in Seattle. It was really a cool time. We've had friends who were artist before (we knew a bunch of students at the Rhode Island School of Design when we were at Brown), but this is the first time an artist that we personally know has had a showing that we could physically go to.

The visual arts are not so much my strong suit - I lack the background to appreciate all the fine details, although I was definitely able to appreciate the Fibonacci sequence rendered in paint. I think I still have a bit of that grade school art class fear holding me back as well.

On the ferry ride back to the island, we sat down in a booth next to a young woman who was playing the cello. I've seen this particular woman before, and it's not unusual to have this happen on a non-commuter ferry run. I love live music (that's where my artistic side gets to express itself), so it made for a lovely ride home. I half joked to my wife that I'd happily ride the boat back and forth to Seattle a few times if someone would sit and play the cello while we rode. I grew up a violin weenie, so it wasn't until later in life that I really began to appreciate the cello. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the cello repertoire is limited, so hearing people strike up cello pieces that I haven't heard before is common and delightful. Combine the concert with the long days of summer in Seattle, and the art show, and you have a delightful evening.

[23:46] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Fri, 04 Jul 2003
I love a parade
Today my older two kids were in the annual Bainbridge Island Fourth of July Parade. They are part of the Parks and Recreation Gymnastics program, so they got invited to walk in the parade. The parade is one of the best ways to see how diverse the activities on Bainbridge Island are. We were float 170-something out of 200. Not bad for an island with 20,000 people on it. It was a bit of a bummer not getting to see most of the parade, but the experience of being in the parade made up for it. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, we always associate parade with the Mummers, which is in a totally different league. This little small town parade is one of the highlights of the year. I've never been in a parade until today, but my kids are veterans at 5, 2.5, and 10 months.
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Wed, 12 Mar 2003
Fiber to the home hits Slashdot
There's a Slashdot article pointing out DONOBi, an ISP providing internet service for fiber to the home in Mason County. DONOBi is also working with Kitsap county to do the same. When the Bainbridge Island fiber backbone goes in, it will be part of the Kitsap county backbone.

Apparently Mason, Grant, and Kitsap counties in Washington are doing fiber to the home projects. Odd to read Slashdot to find out what's going on in your backyard.

[22:59] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sat, 01 Mar 2003
Fiber to the home
I'm catching up from the week, because it's been a busy one. It seems that Bainbridge Island is going to have a fiber optic backbone strung through a sizable portion of the island. This is going to be done by the Kitsap County Public Utility District (KPUD), which means that the backbone will be owned by the public utility. That's important because it won't be owned by AT&T, Qwest, or anybody like that, allowing the possibility of competition among service providers on the backbone. Earlier this week I went to a meeting on creating Local Utility Districts (LUD)'s as a means of financing fiber drops from the backbone to homes and businesses. The basic idea is that you get a bunch of people, say a neighborhood, together and form an LUD. The KPUD will the help the LUD get fiber to the home by helping to arrange financing (the cost of the capital equipment install can be spread out over 20-30 years via a special assessment) and by providing contractors that actually string the fiber, install the switches and do all the other technical stuff that needs to happen. Once this is done, you have 2-6 fibers coming into your home or business. Services that can ride these fibers include 100Mb/sec internet, VOIP, Digital (and analog) cable TV, and probably some other stuff that hasn't been thought of yet. As my 2 year old says, "whoa".
[22:16] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Mon, 24 Feb 2003
Floating Area Networks
Ok, so it may not be of that much interest to people in other parts of the world, but today's Seattle Times article about WiFi includes a section on an effort to put WiFi access points on the Washington State Ferries. I'm not commuting on the ferry as much as I once did, but this would be great for the many folks who still are.
[14:55] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

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