While heading to the Ferry Building this morning I came across this practice session at the temporary ice rink at Justin Herman Plaza along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Fun to watch them drill! Shot with iPhone 11 Pro Max.
We enjoyed watching the last sunset of 2019 from the deck of River’s End in Jenner, California as this solo kayaker rowed slowly by.
The results of the “like” voting for my images on Instagram are in for 2019 – and the nine winning images are:
The images from top to bottom, left to right are: Columbia, SC; Hong Kong (from 2018); Provence, France (from 2006 but re-processed and posted in 2019); Apple Store Stanford; Pier 3, San Francisco; Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach, CA; Hong Kong escalator (from 2018); Paris, France; Cantor Art Center, Stanford.
Follow my photography on Instagram: @sjl
Wow that seemed quick! In a flash 2019 was over and we were on to the new 2020.
Let’s hope 2020 is indeed a new year for clarity of vision, new learnings, much joy and prosperity for all.
I was reminded last night of another Happy New Year photo that my friend Doug Kaye and I both made while walking the streets of Havana seven years ago this month. It highlights the contrast between decay and hope with the simple Happy New Year message painted in English on this decayed building on a Havana street.
For some thoughts on what this new decade might bring in terms of technology see Kara Swisher’s New York Times column: No More Phones and Other Tech Predictions for the Next Decade. I especially like this: “There will be an internet in the future that stops screaming at us.”
For another look ahead, see Fred Wilson’s post about What Will Happen in the 2020s. I like his optimism:
I am an optimist and believe in society’s ability to find the will to face our challenges and the intelligence to find solutions to them.
And don’t miss Life in 2030 by Frank Chen of Andreessen Horowitz. He should take up science fiction writing!
I also recommend Om Malik’s recommendations for A Decade of Self-Control – although my strong recommendation for a daily journaling app is Day One. I’ve been using Day One since I had a surgery back in 2012 and wanted to capture my recovery. It’s become a regular daily habit for me since then – the literal scratchpad of my life! For another recommendation for Day One see Why a Digital Diary Will Change Your Life.
Over the long holiday weekend I read a few books – especially enjoyed Mike Isaac’s SuperPumped about Uber. Quite a story and a very enjoyable read!
In other news I continue to find it somewhat amusing that the most popular article here on my blog remains the one from many years ago about my rotator cuff surgery! Somehow that article ended up high enough in search engine rankings to generate many pages views every day!
While I was in Santa Fe in July, I took the opportunity on my way back to Albuquerque to catch my flight to stop by the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History again. This was my second visit – having initially made a quick visit to the museum in July 2018.
Roughly speaking, the museum is divided into three sections – two indoor (nuclear weapons and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy) and the aircraft and missile display area outside. The weapons section is the first part you walk through at the beginning of touring the museum. It describes the history of the development of nuclear weapons – including the race America was against countries like Germany and Japan to develop this technology. It also includes discussion of the famous letter from Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt that led to the creation of the US national effort that became the Manhattan Project.
There’s an interesting exhibit that creatively recreates the scene at the Los Alamos Laboratory as this work was underway. I was particularly struck by the several old mechanical desktop calculators in the display – as the math involved in designing these weapons wasn’t perfected using computers but, rather, slide rules and these old calculators.
The rest of the weapons section includes examples a many nuclear weapons – including facsimiles of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan that led to the end of World War II with that country. As you walk through this display of weapons, it’s striking how they start out being relatively large but then shrink down in size to much smaller dimensions.
Outdoors in the aircraft and missile display area are examples of the Boeing B-29 used over Japan along with a beautifully preserved Boeing B-52 and also a Boeing B-47. There are a number of smaller aircraft as well – along with a replica to the tower used at the Trinity test site in New Mexico where the first test of an atomic weapon was conducted.
I’ve visited this museum twice and learned new things each time. On my recent visit, they were showing a film about the B-52 bomber which was quite interesting. I didn’t know that back in the 1950’s General Curtis LeMay (heading up the Strategic Air Command) had B-52’s in the air constantly that were armed with nuclear weapons and flew toward the Soviet Union only to then turn back and return. Only after a couple of nasty accidents involving aircraft crashes with nuclear weapons on-board did this practice moderate.
The other thing I learned about Albuquerque is what a nuclear city it is. Just a few miles from the museum site is one of the largest storage sites for nuclear weapons in the world – something called the Kirtland Underground Munitions Maintenance and Storage Complex (KUMMSC) where the US stores nuclear weapons – most waiting to be removed from service and disassembled.
From Om Malik:
…my blog is about technology, a little about life, some photography, some analysis, and some personal interests, which range from fashion to baseball to travel and food.
His recent post about the camera business was particularly interesting. It’s an industry undergoing fundamental shifts – as cameras have become universal, in each of our pockets included with our cell phones.
He quoted Scott McNealy:
A long time ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy quipped, “Technology has the shelf life of a banana. By the time you buy it, implement it and train people on it, it’s obsolete.” He was talking about servers, but I can’t help but think that his words are just as true for cameras.
Om recently shared some beautiful photos of Catalina Island made with his iPhone 11 Pro. Like me, he’s enjoying the camera system in this latest iPhone Pro!
When I’m looking for an hour of peace and quiet one of my favorite places to visit is Fitzgerald Marine Reserve along the shoreline of the Paciifc Ocean north of Half Moon Bay.
This morning I took a walk through my favorite part of the Reserve – a grove of old trees along a pathway that leads from Moss Beach to the ocean. I took a few photos along the way with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I’m loving the three lens/camera system in this new phone!
The entrance to a section of the California Coastal Trail is off Cypress Avenue. Just a short walk leads to this:
A few steps to the left through the tree line leads to this view:
Walking up the trail it’s worth taking a look back at that same fallen tree!
Here’s another from further along on the path:
I then headed over to the coastline trail where the ocean was alive with the waves from the storm.
And my final view before heading back up Cypress Street to my car:
A lovely hour or so away from it all! I encountered one other human along the trail. Otherwise it was a delightful morning stroll in one of my favorite spots along the Pacific coastline!
For many years I kept a personal web site at ScottsKitchen.com for various recipes I made – and other cooking related stuff. Over the last several years it has fallen into disrepair as I neglected it in favor of other things in my life.
During the last few days I’ve breathed new life back into it – moving it to a new home on WordPress, selecting a new theme design to make it look better, and updating many of the original recipes with various tweaks. I also created a new “SK” favicon for the site that will show up to identify the site in browser tabs.
I’m looking forward to getting back into sharing more of my learnings about all things cooking related on Scott’sKitchen.com – and I welcome new ideas about how to make it better!
Be sure to checkout the all-time most viewed recipe from Scott’s Kitchen (it’s from 2005!): Scott’s ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tips
A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.
Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.
Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4 PM and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimming this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.
After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.
Here’s an example taken of the main house at Filoli:
Here are a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode/
I recently took a couple of hours to explore the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport. SFO is unique in having such a great team at the museum who curates a number of great exhibitions on a rotating basis throughout the airport terminals.
I took the “easy way” to the airport – taking advantage of free BART parking at the Millbrae station on weekends and hopping a quick train just one stop north at SFO. The BART terminal at SFO opens into the departure lobby of the International terminal – it’s just steps away of the United check-in areas. The SFO Museum is down at the other end of the International terminal – making for a nice leisurely walk to get to the museum itself. But along the way there were exhibits to explore – which included the beautiful Zuber French wallpaper exhibits.
Also along the way is this wall of tiles in a lounge area on the east side of the terminal:
And just outside the Museum entrance is this classic Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial engine – just like the one that powered Charles Lindberg on his record setting flight across the Atlantic in 1927.
This was a delightful way to spend a couple of hours – without being hassled about trying to catch a flight!