Blogs/Weblogs Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health Lily Living Menlo Park

Some Musings on 2009

Looking back at my late December 2008 blog posts, I made a wish about simple and beautiful HDR photography becoming super simple – unfortunately, it hasn’t yet. I’ll restate what I said last year: “But it still feels like we’re living in a 1995 world when it comes to HDR photography.”

On the other hand, on this day last year I wrote about Walking with ChrisChris Gulker to be precise. In mid-2008, Chris, Lily and I began a twice weekly 1.5 mile walking regimen every Tuesday and Thursday morning when our mutual schedules permitted.

We had a great time continuing our twice-weekly walks throughout 2009 – solving the world’s primary technology and political problems along the way – and very much look forward to resuming them next week – on the first Tuesday in 2010!

Blogs/Weblogs Food and Drink Living

Over Ten Years of Blogging

I was recently reading one of Anil Dash’s blog posts and noticed he was about to celebrate ten years of blogging.

That caused me to go back to the Internet Archive and see if I could find any history of when I first started blogging. It looks like I put up a basic home page sometime in late 1998 and then started a basic blog in June of 1999 – just over 10 years ago. It looks like we started our Scott’s Kitchen blog in November 2005 – just about four years ago.

Hard to believe it’s been that long. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Blogs/Weblogs TypePad Web/Tech Weblogs WordPress

WordCampSF 2009 – The WordPress Community

I attended WordCampSF 2009, the WordPress community gathering, in San Francisco today – and had a great time (pictures)! Held at the Rutter Conference Center at the new UCSF Mission Bay campus, this was a most impressive turnout of the WordPress community for an all-day session of talks about blogging, having fun and, yes, about all things WordPress. Eventually, the videos from today’s talks are to be available on

wcsf-smallbutton.pngI’ve been a long-time TypePad blogger and fan. This blog, my personal website, started out originally in FrontPage back in the 1998 timeframe then moved through Manila and Radio Userland to Typepad when it launched in 2003. Recently, at work, we launched a new blog – – and decided to try using WordPress for the first time. Bringing up PaymentsViews was a great experience – thus my newfound interest in all things WordPress and in wanting to attend today’s conference! The $25 all-in conference price made it a no brainer to attend!

Blogs/Weblogs Photography Weblogs

Added Slimbox2 to This Blog for Better Image Presentation

While sitting out on the back deck this gloriously beautiful Spring afternoon, I started looking at a new Mac backup utility named Persistance.  I noticed that its screen images had that nice feature where when you clicked on them a new window would open showing a larger image against a black background.  This effect has been around for some time – but seeing it again motivated me to add it to this blog – so I did.

I chose Slimbox2 by Christophe Beyls – the latest optimized version of the original Lightbox2 Javascript package by Lokesh Dhakar.<p>Installation consists of creating two new directories (css and js) and uploading a total of six files.  You then need to modify the head portion of your templates to include the Javascript and CSS files along with Jquery.  

Once those additions have been made to your templates, you can then start using Slimbox2 on your images – by including rel=”lightbox” in the reference tag.  You can see the effect in action by clicking on any of the three images included in this post from my photo/painting outing with Don Neff.

Donald Neff painting at Stanford University

Here’s another example – using a thumbnail of Don which, when clicked on, opens up to the larger image. Pretty cool!

There – now I’ve documented the change so when I try to remember how to use it again I can find this post easily!

Blogs/Weblogs iPhone 3G Web/Tech Weblogs

Creating an iPhone-friendly Home Page for a TypePad Blog


Over on our Payments News blog, I’ve created an iPhone (and iPod touch) friendly version of our home page. The URL to view the iPhone version is Here’s more about how I did it.

Basically, the process involved building on a basic template that the Six Apart folks have provided in one of their support items titled Tip: Creating a Mobile Friendly Weblog. We use TypePad’s Advanced Templates for Payments News so the process involved creating a new index template just for the iPhone page. The article contains the basic version of the index template that I started with.

Blogs/Weblogs Mac Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Work

Yours Truly Cranking Away at My MacBook Pro

Carol Coye Benson, one of my partners who manages our Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp program, hired a local professional photographer (Damon Tarver) to come into our session two weeks ago in Santa Clara. Tonight, she sent along the photos – wow, Damon did a wonderful job!

One of his pictures captured me in a very typical pose – cranking away on my MacBook Pro, probably updating either Payments News or this blog in real-time! This particular photo came from his EOS-1D Mark II shot at f/2.8, 165mm focal length at 1/100 shutter speed.


As an aside, he was a Canon shooter like me – with Canon EOS 1’s – both an EOS-1D Mark II and an EOS-1D Mark III. I had fun talking to him at our wine and cheese reception (we do this at the end of the first day of the Boot Camp to unwind and let everyone get to know each other).

The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens that he used to shoot me is truly an amazing lens – see my Rick Steves’ Iran photos for more examples.

Turns out we are both sort of lusting after the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom to round out our lens kits!

Blogs/Weblogs Business

Learning about Startups

Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, startups are part of the day to day evolution of business. In my consulting practice, we’re fortunate to meet with entrepreneurs regularly as they test out their ideas on grey beards like me (beware of my “tyranny of the experts” rant!)

Two good friends of mine are in the midst of pursuing new startups – one (Paul Rosenfeld) as an entrepreneur building a mobile marketing company called FanMinder. The other (Marty Zwilling) is building a consultancy called Startup Professionals that works with entrepreneurs and helps them move more quickly to success.

I first met Paul several years ago while he was at Intuit. Marty and I worked together many years ago at IBM and, more recently, at First Data. Both Paul and Marty are now actively blogging about their startup experiences – and it’s been fun for me to read and learn from their writings.

Blogs/Weblogs Health Living Menlo Park

The Morning Constitutional Walk

As I mentioned over the holidays, Chris Gulker, Lily and I have been walking a 1.5 mile loop (Chris G’mapped it) around west Menlo Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning – before we sit down for a good cup of Peet’s coffee and discuss the solutions to the world’s problems. It’s sort of like The Capital Gang minus 1. Too bad more folks don’t agree with our solutions!

Seriously, though, it does seem like we always do learn something in the process!

Blogs/Weblogs Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health Lily Living Menlo Park

Walking with Chris

At this time of year, even minor milestones seem especially relevant.

For the last six months or so when work schedules cooperate, Chris Gulker and I (and Lily too!) have been doing a twice a week, early morning, 1.5 mile walk (Tuesday and Thursday mornings) around Menlo Park – and really enjoying ourselves!

Blogs/Weblogs Photography

New Header Graphic – Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge

I updated the header graphic today on my blog – it should serve us well for 2009 (if you like blue like I do)!

Our last header graphic update was exactly 1 year ago today – of the Parker Cottage on the Kona Coast of Hawaii. We were on a family vacation in Hawaii at the time – and I was musing on the signal vs. noise problem in life. This year, we’ll be at home as the old year passes – waving 2008 good bye (good riddens?!) and welcoming in 2009!