What's New? 2001-02-01

  Locations of visitors to this page
be notified of website changes? subscribe

What's New? 2001-02-01

  Hawai'i The daily entries of our February/March trip to Kaua'i and O'ahu, Hawai'i, have been bound together into a travelogue (which should be much less confusing than reading the entries in a most-recent-item-first order). I hope you have as much fun reading it as we had experiencing the ono kaukau (good food), fine weather, and abundant aloha of the inhabitants of the islands. I'm already looking forward to our next trip.
 Sunday 18 February 2001
  I've been thinking about taking the family on a short trip before starting work at Bianca. But where to? Someplace tried and true, like visiting Oma on the Canary Islands or perhaps a return to Kaua'i, Hawai'i? Well, the cost for a trip to the former is staggeringly expensive for a last-minute trip, and Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays' web site can't process anything closer than a week (I think you're missing the point of the web...) and their weekend phone hours stink. For shame. At the end of the day I still don't know what we'll do, if anything.


I mention this news item because someday it'll be hard to imagine a time when everyone wasn't wired (figuratively now, literally later): A random telephone survey has found that more than half of all adults in the United States have access to the Internet as more women, minorities, and lower-income families came online in the second half of 2000. The greatest gains were among groups that have been historically under-represented on the Internet -- women, African Americans, Hispanics, and households making between $30,000 and $50,000 per year. The online population more closely resembles the U.S. population as a whole than in the first half of last year, the Pew Internet and American Life Project random telephone survey of 3,498 Americans found.

 Saturday 17 February 2001
baby food "Isaac's big burp is like a trombone," says Isaac. He's right. He's been learning musical instruments from a clock at Bubbie's house. I guess we're at the simile stage of verbal development. "Isaac sit up, eat cabana bananna, lie down choking hazard, no no no, sitting up to eat cabana bananna," is another string of sentences fragments to which we were treated this day. (Cabana Bananna is the name of a particular brand of baby food which Isaac has glommed onto after weaning.)
 Friday 16 February 2001
  This photograph was taken during the inauguration of George W. ("Dubya") Bush, last month. These are the volunteer logistics and communications coördinators; the Amateur (Ham) Radio folks who pop up to lend a hand during wilderness search and rescue operations or the aftermath of earthquakes. Why am I showing you this? Well, visible (if you click on the thumbnail) in the backpack of the blue-jacketed volunteer is the Burning Man symbol - this is probably the Black Rock Ranger pocket manual. As Jay Schneider said in a web travelogue of Burning Man, "[Rangers] do their best to stay unobtrusive. They are always there when needed but remarkably hard to find if you just want to point at one."
 Thursday 15 February 2001
  Just around the corner from Bianca is the new home of the Suginami Aikikai, the Aikido dojo where I last practiced. Yeah!
 Wednesday 14 February 2001, Valentine's Day
  Bianca's I know I've recently mentioned the severe slowdown in the economy that we in the computing field are feeling. Companies are standing still. Hiring freezes and project postponements are shaking the foundations of the geek workforce, many of whom have never seen a cycle of boom and bust. (Well, they are now. The ones who didn't save six months salary are in a bit of trouble, those deeply in debt are drowning.)

I've had several job interviews - for both contract and full-time work - since our trip to Rome. They've been uniformly depressing. Either the work is terrible mind-numbing work on uninteresting projects (like getting more marketing to the masses) or for the digital equivalent of a sweatshop (terrible hours, little vacation time, micromanagement by those with no real understanding of the technology to be used). I've been fantasying about finding work with a small group of techno-saavy folks who are more interested in getting software written in an elegant manner than with where I'm sitting, what I'm wearing, or how often I play golf.

Bianca's Well, I'm incredibly pleased to announce that I believe I've been able to do just that. Today I've accepted a senior architect / technical position with Bianca, a tiny web-based company which has been on the web almost as long as I. Known as Bianca's Smut Shack in the good old days (circa 1994), nowadays it's just Bianca's (due to a maturation of its brand, not because of the Radio Shack vs. Bianca's Smut Shack brouhaha of years past).

Details to follow, of course.

 Monday 12 February 2001
  An old friend writes:

What a relief to find your site in the haystack. I was beginning to believe that the 'net had become so ephemeral that its own history was vanishing before our virtual eyes.

I was meandering down memory lane while preparing for teaching my intro to mass media college course, thinking of the "old days" of CU-SeeMe, whizzy new Mosaic, etc. and I got to wondering about how you go about finding the "old days" on the 'net. Major revelation - there is essentially no real history to the net, except for a little bit here and there. Panicked, I tried the Cornell CU-SeeMe site. Gone. No forwarding address. Searches on CU-SeeMe and freeware turn up odd junk and broken links. Finally had a brain wave, and typed in Michael 'Mickey' Sattler, and three or four blind alleys later found your site, a lot of the history, and felt a little better. The technology does encourage entropy, though, so I'm afraid it will all be gone one day, and the kids will just think we're a bunch of old soft-headed liars (I suspect this may be the case already), talking about the freewheeling wide-open spaces of a commercial free 'net, trading e-mails with Dick Cogger, Tim Dorcy, & Co., squeezing the last bit of speed out of our old '040 Macs, laughing at people waiting for a *Windows* port of the software (what a concept!), etc.

When I tell them about how radical the Nowhere Band was, and how I was probably the first saxophone player live on the 'net (even tho' I was "fired" onstage in my first appearance, while Danny Fortune and others got to stay & play), they just roll their eyes, and whisper to one another about Napster and RealPlayer.

Anyway, nice to see your site. Thanks for the memories. Things sure have changed in a very short time indeed.

It's always a pleasure to once again hear the (e-)voices from my past. And he's right about the history of the 'net drying up and blowing away as quickly as last week's press releases :-) One of the philosophies of my site has been to add, rather than to replace. That's why the copyright notice at the bottom of each web page starts with 1993 - that's when the core of this site was dropped onto the web. Those pages are still here. My favorite creation? Well, perhaps the Philip Zimmermann Travel Agency or Bloatzilla (both of which I created as April Fools Day japes).

 Friday 9 February 2001
  weather radar It's raining. Really raining. We saw lightning last evening, as we drove home, heard rain hitting the skylight during the night, and awoke to sheets of water hitting our rear window, making our garden look like an undersea kelp forest. But it's not a warm rain, it's a very cold rain, so going outside will require each of us to don the bright yellow GoreTex mountaineering jackets I picked up at the post-Christmas North Face outlet sale (when good gear can be had for a song and a dance).

While I suspect that we look to drivers (and the few pedestrians who venture out in such inclement weather) like yellow, waddling penguins, at least we can be seen. And if living well truly is the best revenge, there's nothing like being warm and dry while everything around you is soaking wet.

Mom has always complained that GoreTex doesn't keep her dry while skiing, I keep telling her to eschew designer skiwear (which happens to use GoreTex) in favor of mountaineer gear (which uses multiple layers, tapes seams, etc.). I've taken my North Face gear to the Alps many times, and sat in snow and water and never been the slightest bit wet. Of course, when I go tumbling and snow sneaks into my neck....

 Thursday 8 February 2001
  Another job interview. What with the severe chill in the stock market in the fourth quarter of 2000 and the shivering its engendered in the job market, the last few years of finding a new contract in 36 hours seem a distant memory. Things are slow, slow, slow.

After the interview we went to the Center For The Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens to enjoy their free day (see below) but they were setting up for a new exhibition which, unfortunately, will use all the space (so there was nothing for us to see). So we high-tailed it over to the carousel in the Moscone Center, enjoyed several rides, and continued on to the other municipial attraction so beloved by Isaac: the trolley. Life is just too much fun on the iron rails.

 Wednesday 7 February 2001
  After spending the morning at a playgroup, Isaac and I enjoyed an afternoon at the San Francisco Zoo (free today, see below). The zoo is still a bit depressing, but better than it was a decade ago. Isaac enjoyed the elephants, giraffes, zebras, and the flocks of common birds flying around the grounds. I would have taken a camera with me, but I'm still fighting off this intestinal flu and I was just a bit short of energy.

It was cold today, highs in the 60s, with less wind than yesterday. (With more wind they'd have to tie down the animals.) I had Isaac bundled up, in several very warm layers. It was easy to survive the rigors of eight circuits of the zoo train, the Puffer.


In San Francisco we enjoy a great variety of regularly-scheduled free admissions to our museums.

Free on the first Tuesday of every month: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Free on the first Wednesday of every month: the San Francisco Zoo, the California Academy of Sciences (including the Morrison Planetarium, the Natural History Museum, and the Steinhart Aquarium), the Exploratorium, and the Fort Mason museums (the African-American Museum, the Mexican Museum, and the Ital-Americano Museo), the Cartoon Art Museum, and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Asian Art Museum (now closed due to museum rebuilding).

Free on the first Thursday of every month: the Center For The Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Free on the second Wednesday of every month: the California Palace of The Legion of Honor.

Free all the time: Fort Point (below the Golden Gate Bridge), the San Francisco Cable Car Museum, the Chinese Culture Center, the Chinese Historical Society, the San Francisco Fire Department Museum, the Fort Mason Center, the National Maritime Museum, the North Beach Museum, the Wells Fargo Museum, the Mission Dolores, the Strybing Arboretum, and the World of Oil.

Then there's the tour of the Anchor Brewing Company on Potrero Hill...

 Tuesday 6 February 2001
  Discussions of weather are boring. So I apologize in advance. The weather yesterday was 75 F, warmer than it's been in thirty-seven years, since 1963. It's been warm lately, so it's not been too shocking. But today it was 54 F, and we had high winds. That's shocking.
 Monday 5 February 2001
  Three or four weeks ago I came down with a high fever and a hacking cough. It took me two weeks to get over it, at which point Isaac got it. For two nights he slept sitting up, in a reclining position, against some pillows. A few days ago he got some intestinal flu; no fever, but diarrhea. I've changed more diapers in the last 48 hours than in the past week or two. Wow. Then I got the same flu. This has been a winter of bodily discontent. I hope this is over quickly.

The flu shot was in short supply this year, given to high-risk persons first. I wonder if it would have prevented me from enjoying any of these cold / flu adventures.

 Sunday 4 February 2001
  I've been busy for the last four days, being a single full-time parent as we're finishing up the task of weaning Isaac. I didn't think it was possible, but we've become even closer than we were. And while it's exhausting, it's fun! Now if I could only win some lottery (without playing) or come up with the plates used to print those nifty $200 Dubya bills...
 Friday 2 February 2001
  I'm sorry, but this is a story so incredible it must be told (and remembered): Someone in Danville, Kentucky, succeeded in paying for a $2 order at a Dairy Queen with a $200 bill featuring a likeness of new President George W. ("Dubya") Bush on the front and the White House on the back. $200 $200 The Treasury Seal bears the slogan "The right to bear arms", the White House's yard is shown with an oil well, a derrick pumping oil, and lawn signs saying "We like broccoli", "No more scandals", and "U.S. deserves a tax cut". (Former President George H. W. Bush disliked broccoli.) But the story gets better and better: the cashier gave back the correct change. (Technical note: because there is no $200 bill the creator can't be charged with counterfitting but rather with theft by deception.)
 Thursday 1 February 2001
Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose

On this day in 1997, four years ago, I met my wife in a sushiya in San Francisco. It was the most life-transforming meal of my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this was the woman with whom I'd travel all over, buy a house, and have a son. Thank you, Rose, for absolutely everything.

previous   next

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

What's New?  •  Search this Site  •  Website Map
Travel  •  Burning Man  •  San Francisco
Kilts! Kilts! Kilts!  •  Macintosh  •  Technology  •  CU-SeeMe
This page is copyrighted 1993-2009 by Lila, Isaac, Rose, and Mickey Sattler. All rights reserved.