Family & Home

Earthquake Preparedness Kit

in the Bay Area, we live under the constant threat of a devastating earthquake happening at any time. There is no way to know exactly what to prepare for, but we wanted to create a “rolling survival kit” – something we could pack into a trash can on wheels, to be towed to some nearby location if our house were to be leveled. There’s no way to cover every possible contingency, but this is our shot at three days worth of survival gear for a family of three.

Earthquake Kit - 1

  • Twelve gallons of clean, sealed water
  • Four days worth of Coast Guard/Homeland Security-approved emergency rations
  • Canned beans and soup
  • Leatherman multi-tool (pliers, knife, screwdriver, wire cutter, can/bottle openers)
  • First-aid kit
  • Mylar emergency blankets (10-pack)
  • Hand-crank/solar-powered radio/flashlight
  • Mini camp stove with extra fuel
  • Water filtration system
  • Lightweight cooking pot
  • Plastic cups, bowls, utensils
  • Dust masks
  • Solar-powered USB charger for phones
  • Fint-and-steel fire starter
  • Drinkable vitamin C
  • Toilet paper, maxi pads, toothpaste/toothbrush
  • Moist baby wipes
  • Cotton swabs (for fire starters, in place of tampons)
  • Prescription medication
  • Misc plastic trash bags
  • Towel
  • Duct tape

There’s always more that can be added, but this covers most of the bases, fits into the rolling trash can pictured below, and gives us a lot of peace of mind should a worst-case scenario ever come to pass.

Earthquake Kit - 2

Arts and Culture

Tour de Fat

Just back from Tour de Fat 2014 @ Golden Gate Park, SF.

Tour de Fat 2014 - 68

New Belgium (who make Fat Tire Ale) is an eco-friendly brewery that gets all their power from the wind, and who issue free commuting bicycles to all of their employees.

And they’re famous for throwing these huge annual bicycle parties all over the country. Starting with an anything-goes bike parade, followed by a full day of great food, music, stage performances, and bike stuff.

Tour de Fat 2014 - 43

Hand-painted tent wall.

Tour de Fat 2014 - 28

Me gazing out on the festivities through a steampunk periscope.

Tour de Fat - Enhancement - 1

More images in this Flickr Set


End of a (Short) Era

commits 13 months, 675 personal commits to the Yeti repo. Nearly a quarter million lines of code added or touched. It was an… interesting run, CIR. Sorry it had to draw to a close so soon (and before we had even fully launched). I’m proud of the work I accomplished there, but also frustrated, for reasons I won’t go into here.

As of tonight, I am temporarily a free agent. Another chapter begins after Labor Day, this time at the California College of Arts in Oakland and SF. Looking forward to a green fields opportunity in a new environment.

“To infinity and beyond!”

Arts and Culture, Geo

Bohemian Diary – Adventures in the Czech Republic

Cesky-Krumlov - 30

Just returned from an amazing two weeks in the Czech Republic with family – one week in and around Prague, and another to the South in the medieval village of Česky-Krumlov, tucked in against the base of the Bohemian forest. From those two rental apartments, we fanned out to neighboring areas on side trips. So many adventures packed into a short stay – different / amazing experiences packed into every day. Will try to keep my notes short, but more is told in the photos than in these words – be sure to check out the slideshow (full-screen please!).

Fresh squeezed

Ever-present Trdelník

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Nimitz Way / Conlon Trail Loop

New favorite mountain bike trek in the east bay – our usual 4-mile section from Inspiration Point to the old concrete overlooks, then beyond on dirt along “Old Nimitz Way.” Bumping on down the Belgum Trail till my wrists ached all the way down to Wildcat. Heading back, branch off on Conlon for the insane diagonal back up from 400 to 1100 feet (I admit to walking the bike through part of that one). I’m spent! And blissed.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide
Arts and Culture, Family & Home, Out there

Pale Blue Dot

This three-minute speech – Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” – was the finale to the original Cosmos series, and stands in my mind as one of the most moving short speeches I’ve ever heard. Voyager 2’s last glimpse back at the earth as it became the first human craft to exit our solar system provided the backdrop and the inspiration for Sagan’s soliloquy. Seeing it in 1980 marked a dawning of cosmic awareness for me as a young teen.

Tonight we watched the finale of Neil de Grasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” reboot. Tastefully, the series finished with Sagan’s original Pale Blue Dot audio, set to new (and far more gorgeous) visuals.

Every week for 13 weeks we’ve gotten together with another family and hung on every word, absorbed as much as we could, and tried to help our children appreciate as much as possible of these incredible perspectives on life, the universe and everything.

It is impossible to summarize the hugeness of the undertaking in producing the new Cosmos, or of the impact it has had on us. It has truly been the TV event of the decade for us, and I hope the seeds it has planted will continue to grow in Miles’ heart for the rest of his life.


Record Collector’s Dilemma

The record collector’s eternal dilemma: Is the goal of collecting to capture every memorable moment in music, to become a librarian of excellent sessions, to sweep through the entire span of recording history leaving nothing worthwhile behind, even if it means an immense collection one can never possibly hear, given the realities of allotted listening time?

Or is the goal to relentlessly cull and distill and hand-pick the very best of the best, so that the collection represents your absolute true favorites, with no fat, no waste, no extra trimmings. Just pure “I love this the most” music and nothing else? The result there is that you are forced to leave so much great much great music on the cutting room floor, but end up with a collection you can realistically wade through given a few hours of listening per day?


I have swung both ways on this one.

Out there

Maker Faire 2014

Another year at the Bay Area’s greatest assemblage of welders, hackers, crocheters and other makers – haven’t missed a Maker Faire yet! Crowds actually weren’t as bad as anticipated, though the overall danger level does seem to go down a bit year after year (or maybe our perceptions are changing?)

Loved this jet engine transformed into a musical instrument:

And the Inflatable Forest:

And the Canjos:

Biggest disappointment for us is that the Cyclecide collection seems to get smaller every year. Only one bike-powered carnival ride, and none of the usual freak bikes available for the public to ride – we look forward to those more than just about anything. They did bring back the Spanking Bike though! Here’s M enduring some self-inflicted anguish:

Still, got to witness the great El Pulpo Mecanicco, doing its Busby Berkeley meets Burning Man thing. The heat radiating off its tentacles was almost too much to be near.

Here Miles plays Ode to Joy on eight well-connected zucchinis, jacked into a Makey-Makey board, connected to laptop via USB. Scratch app process changes in electrical resistances into musical notes.

Not to mention the return of Arc Attack – 50,000 volt tesla coils jamming with a live band, as kids dance safely in Faraday cage.

Never gets old! So much creativity on display, endlessly inspiring.

Flickr set: