Category Archives: Living

Memories of My Early Days at IBM

IBM System 360 Model 30 - Computer History Museum - 2014

Yesterday we taught a Bitcoin payments workshop at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. It was fun talking about the future of payments and virtual currencies in such a setting – with rooms full of vintage hardware on the floor below! It also reminded me that we need to be thinking about creating a “Payments History Museum” someplace on the planet!

The new Revolution exhibit at the Computer History Museum is stunning – beautifully laid out and thematically organized. One of the areas is devoted to “Mainframes” – and, as I came into that area, this IBM System/360 Model 30 was on display.

I have many fond memories of the Model 30 – I probably logged more hands-on datacenter time on the Model 30 than any other mainframe. While it was primarily a DOS machine, I’d also put together a trimmed down version of OS/360 which I could also run in the limited memory of the Model 30.

Seeing this “beauty” brought back lots of memories!…

Both of these images were quickly grabbed with a Fujifilm X-T1.

Think - Computer History Museum - 2014

Her – Love in the Modern World

Her - San Francisco - 2014

Over the weekend I saw the movie “her” – about love in the modern world. Or perhaps about love 10+ years into our future. A future we can sense is coming – and one that we wonder how we’ll deal with it as we watch the movie unfold.

On a recent photo walk in San Francisco with my photo buddy Doug Kaye, we came up to one of our favorite venues – the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. I found a unique spot where I could look up at the edge of the hotel – with this one woman – ‘her’ – outside on her deck talking on her cell phone.

What else could I caption this shot? It’s ‘her’!

Go see the movie – and think about our future.

A Celebration of Life in The Cathedral of Christ the Light

The Cathedral of Christ the Light - Oakland - 2014

Even though I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a long time, I’d not heard of this cathedral in Oakland. Last week, my friend Doug Kaye forwarded me an email – a group of his friends from the Marin Photo Club were heading over to shoot in this cathedral on Saturday and would I like to join?

Shooting a venue with a group of photographers can be a lot of fun – and a great learning experience – so I said “Sure! I’m in.” Somehow I’d completely missed the construction of this beautiful cathedral. A check of images from others helped educate me to its striking architecture. Pretty amazing work!

When we arrived on Saturday, a memorial service was underway in the sanctuary – celebrating the life of Dr. Frank Staggers. We headed downstairs to the mausoleum area and photographed there. I drifted back upstairs and listened to the last twenty minutes of the Staggers’ memorial. Such a celebration of a wonderful life!

I shared this with a friend: “A random encounter with the memories of a such great man!” – she replied: “I like the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time.”

Indeed. It was a beautiful Saturday in so many ways. Go when you can!


Eclipse - Hyatt Regency Embarcadero - 2014

Just finished up a phone call with an old friend of mine. He ended by asking “Is there anything I can do to help you?”

What a delight! It’s the perfect question, isn’t it?!

This image is of the Eclipse sculpture in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco – a favorite spot of me and my photo buddy Doug Kaye. This version was captured using my Fujifilm X-E2 – a simply wonderful “mirrorless” camera that take beautiful images.

Happy New Year 2014!

Coastal Light - Pigeon Point - 2012

Today is my father’s birthday – he was born December 31, 1921 and would have been 92 years old today.

His father, my grandfather, was born on December 24, 1879.

Two Carl’s – one born on Christmas Eve, the other on New Year’s Eve. On this New Year’s Eve, I remember them both. Wonderful fathers indeed.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a great 2014!

The Crosses of Lafayette

Crosses - Lafayette - 2013

On the hillside across from the Lafayette, California BART station is a remarkable memorial to the US soldiers killed in the Iraq war.

Here’s one view – shot with the 14mm lens on my Fujifilm X-E2. It’s a stunning memorial up close. So many crosses, and crescents, and stars all the way up the hill. Up close, it makes one pause. So many crosses, so many lives.

This time of year our thoughts return to peace – this is a memorial that reminds us to refocus on that goal. Peace be with you – indeed.

A Look Back to Bryggen in Bergen, Norway


In June 2002 – some 11-1/2 years ago – we made a family pilgrimage to my Dad’s family’s home country of Norway. At the time, he was 81 years old – and this trip turned out to be such a delight for him – and for all of us!

We were in Norway that year at mid-summer (late June) when the days are long. I had a new Kodak DC290 Digital Camera along to take pictures. Looking back at my Lightroom photo master library, my earliest digital images (made in March 2000) were made with this camera. This camera – a true ugly duckling to look at – had a whopping 2 megapixel sensor – but I was able to capture some wonderful images with it.

I’m not sure what caused me to go back looking for this image tonight. I remember having such a lovely time in Bergen where we had an overnight before heading to the family homestead way up the Sognefjord across from Sogndal. This shot was taken of the Hanseatic buildings in Bryggen as we were departing Bergen on a high speed catamaran ferry that took us up the fjord. I’ve post-processed it in Photoshop CC to remove some camera shake, simplify the waves in the water, and add a touch of painterly effect to the buildings themselves.

Brings back such good memories – I can almost smell the salty air!

A Happy 12th Birthday for SJL.US!

On the Wall - New York City - 2013

On Monday, November 25, 2013, we’ll celebrate the 12th birthday of this personal blog of mine.

It’s gone through many difference phases over those years – beginning initially as a simply weblog linking to stories I found interesting (a very common use of Twitter these days is doing exactly that), starting what evolved separately into, and then a transition to more of my photography passion as that interest grew in importance over the last few years.

Here’s to many more years of writing and sharing!