Monday, November 23, 2009

New lens fun

Even when taking photos of disappointment, there's new lens fun to be had:

My Christmas present arrived last week. Eric jumped at the chance of getting it at a discounted price so here I am, celebrating Christmas even before Thanksgiving.

Here's another early sample, and a bit of randomness in my universe:

Last Wednesday, I was walking from New May Wah Supermarket to my bus stop and I crossed paths with a young man and woman, possibly late high school or early college-aged kids. Not sure if they were just friends since they weren't holding hands, but I sensed they were developing their togetherness as a couple, meandering down Balboa Street and in no hurry to their destination.

The young man gave me a stem of lantanas, asking if I'd like some flowers. And I happily said, "Sure," as I accepted. The young woman let out a little giggle and we continued on our paths. They used to look like this but I waited too long (2 days) to attach the new lens and shoot them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This article about a mandala being created in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral inspired this blog update. I meant to post it earlier - it's been in draft form for almost a month now...

I didn't grow up with the typical inventory of toys most children had in the '80s. Though I never had a Barbie doll, a bicycle or roller skates, I had cousins who did.

I did manage to amass plastic knick-knacks from various vending machines acquired during trips to the grocery store with my parents. I also had a few stuffed animals including a fluffy white teddy bear (a standout in my memory), a variety of Sanrio products, and a fat baby penguin with the longest eyelashes. It was about 15 inches tall, shaped like a big white gumdrop with a black head. But I digress.

So I started treasuring things most people throw away, especially things that don't take up much space, things made of paper. I have a collection of bus passes and transfers, movie stubs, souvenir programs from school plays. And tons of love letters and notes from my one-and-only. The ephemera has evolved to actual Playbills from the Symphony and various plays and musicals, concert tickets, birth announcements and wedding invitations from friends and family, along with graduation announcements from nieces and nephews, retirement invitations even some death notices and prayer cards.

In my own way, I guess I've been making a mandala. Made with paper souvenirs and ephemera. I do take inventory once in a while, even laying them out, sometimes taking photos too, to remember the people and events that have enriched my life. And someday, when I reach the good old age of __, I hope to burn it all at a great big campfire.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Scrambled thoughts. Turning into an omelette? Not quite.
I should be doing my bills and logging receipts but I am distracted. It's the end of July and I have yet to post anything this month. Perhaps another photo collage will have to do.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from a recent trip to the East Coast - Washington DC, Boston, Boothbay Harbor, in no particular order:

From top left to bottom right:
1. Steps away, 2. More sorrow, 3. Canned Heat, 4. Unknown, 5. Brick sails, 6. Stand in Opposition, 7. From the Lincoln Memorial steps, 8. With July 4th theme, 9. Silent Majority, 10. Standing Bodhisattva, 11. Library of Congress, 12. The Field of Stars, 13. In the North End, 14. Massachusetts State House, 15. Egg car?, 16. LEX

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Welcome to GM, Ed Whitacre

The Dark Tower(s) by jdurchen

A new day is dawning at GM and there's a new sheriff in town. I'm curious to see how this will play out. How will GM reinvent itself under Ed Whitacre's leadership? The article got this right: "Despite his aggressive dealmaking, he is known to be somewhat conservative when it comes to operations."
I am far from being a Mr. Whitacre fan, having experienced his conservative style towards operations during my time at PacificBell/SBC/ATT. The company was not shy about plucking the best people and best practices from its acquisitions to be successful. It was an exciting time and I was proud to be a part of something important. I often look back at that time with an honest feeling of accomplishment. The telecommunications industry was rapidly changing and instead of turning a blind eye to the revolution, SBC/ATT became an industry leader again. It helped usher in the dot com boom and survived the bust. These days, it can offer you so much more, competing with other industry leaders for your hard earned dollar.
When was the last time you could honestly say the same for a GM product? That's not a rhetorical question. I know very little about the American car industry and living and working in San Francisco doesn't exactly inspire me or my family to run out and buy GM's latest and greatest. At the same time the telecommunications revolution was happening, GM rolled out the EV1. Had they just stuck with their guns and believed that the market would eventually come around (or did more to actually market this new product), maybe there would be more GM cars quietly tooling around California with these today. "If we could turn back the hands of time," said GM R&D Chief Larry Burns, "we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier." They've got some serious catching up to do. In these times, there's nowhere else to go but up, so I predict positive things, positive as in, anything over a value of zero is positive. I can see Whitacre thriving on the challenge and being unpopular as ever amongst the rank and file he will lead.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

6 minutes and counting

I get the feeling I won't finish this post by 11:00 PM. But I'm going to try. 

Eric and I celebrated 11 years of marriage yesterday. This year, our Spring break getaway was to the Russian River Valley, with lodging at the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville. Having been away on vacation since this past Tuesday afternoon, I'm not really looking forward to being stuck in the office tomorrow. But I'll have wonderful memories of the following:

1. Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant - lovely people, great room, delicious food and so many pretty flowers. 

2. Reading a book - I don't do this enough. (No, I haven't finished it yet, but it is interesting.)

3. Spending lots of time with Eric doing nothing in particular. It seems like we do this, day in/day out, but we're always 'working' on something. 

4. Healdsburg is worth a few more visits.  

5. The wind - Soobee ran over a lot of branches and leaf debris. 

6. Scared cows in Jenner. No, not sacredscared. Eric took photos of them and they ran away promptly.

FARGE! It's 11:00PM.

7. Being disconnected - I haven't been that disconnected in quite some time and it was nice. No facebook, flickr, mindless surfing. Nada.

8. Not worrying about what's going on at work - When little thoughts started creeping in, I'd promptly remind myself to stop and be where I was. 

9. Going places, seeing things - Madrona Manor Inn (a stroll in the gardens), Rosso & Bianco (under construction but open for our impromptu picnic), Lake Sonoma (scary people, scenic overlook, earth fill dam), Hop Kiln Winery (afternoon snacks), Rochioli Vineyards (wine tasting), Fort Ross SHP (this time, with Bear), the Regency Ballroom (Paul Weller concert that was originally slated for The Warfield), the Conservatory of Flowers (we haven't been back together in a while), Davies Symphony Hall (last-minute splurge on tickets to Carmina burana). 

10. I got my wedding ring back - it was being cleaned. I missed it being on my finger. I had been wearing an old 'promise' band that Eric had given to me many years ago when we were still in college.


Okay, back to sorting and editing photos from the week. On second thought, I think I'll sleep instead. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions. I stopped doing that when I stopped giving up things for Lent and that was many years ago. It seemed lame to give something up for a short period of time and when Lent's over, re-indulge. Yeah, I know, there's a bigger point to why we sacrifice things for Lent, but average Catholics tend to give up chocolate, coffee, shopping - material things. How does that make us better people? Why not make resolutions and sacrifices continuously throughout the year? Why wait?

But a friend did throw out a question on facebook, asking for people's New Year's resolutions, if we were making them. This year, I am committing to doing more and over-thinking less. I actually started this in the middle of summer, first at work. Get tasks done and work to get ahead to make room for the crazy curve balls that get thrown in just when I least expect them. In doing more, I've added to my info bank and I hope that when stuff pops up, I am prepared. Sounds simple enough, right? Not for me. Less 'paralysis by analysis' and more deciding, doing. Less mooing and whining. Just do it.

I'm still working on how this will translate into my home routine and personal life, which for the most part, is as exciting as my list of vices. Wish me luck. And good luck to you if you are making any resolutions for 2009.