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  • 2017 October 19

    Waiting For a Service to Actually Become Available in docker-compose

    If you use docker-compose to run an app, more than likely you use container links in the form of "depends_on:" in your docker-compose.yml, like this: services: api: build: . depends_on: - db ports: - "8080:8080" db: ...
  • 2017 May 16

    The Window Drum Dilemma

    Ever have a deep bass sound that's stunning in the studio, but falls flat on "regular" speakers? Perhaps this post can offer a solution to fix that.
  • 2017 May 16

    Sound Making vs. Song Making

    For me, music-making has two phases -- sound-making and song-making. These are two very different disciplines. Sound-making is fun and spontaneous. Song-making can be those things too, but it also becomes extremely detailed and deliberate as the song inches closer to its final version.
  • 2016 May 24

    2016 Ohlone 50K -- Caffeine and Blisters Edition

    Well, the 2016 Ohlone 50K is in the tie-dyed goodie bag. This year was such an experience in learning, growth, and overcoming adversity. The story starts toward the end of last year when I started running with "Club Nina" -- a loosely organized group of a...
  • 2016 April 29

    Homemade Foaming Hand Wash

    I really like foaming hand soap. I love how it goes on, and how easy it is to wash off. I also love how it's really frugal -- one pump is really all you need to wash your hands. What I don't love are the pungent fragrances, even on "natural" products, or the price. So with some DIY we can do better, right? Yes!
  • 2015 December 15

    Some Kind of Dinner

    A garlic-ginger-soy hash of paneer, beets, celery, green onion, and kale over rice.
  • 2015 October 17

    Autechre @ Mezzanine in SF

    While mindlessly surfing the internet I stumbled across Autechre's website and saw they were planning a North American tour. The San Francisco date was coming right up on October 16, 2015. Well heck yes I was going to go! Anyone who has listened to music w...
  • 2015 October 11

    Last Minute Marathon

    I've run the Skyline to the Sea (SttS) 50K race for the last two years (2013 and 2014). This year I decided I'd skip it. The Ohlone 50K was moved to three weeks before Stts, and I had plans to do the Levi's Gran Fondo bike ride one week prior. But then I ...
  • 2015 September 01

    Beet Hash with Beet Greens

    Beets are a wonder food. Not only are they delicious, but the nutrition (especially in the form of nitrates) they deliver to your body can help you achieve improved athletic performance. I've never cooked beet greens, so my first instinct was to cut off the greens and toss them out. But then I thought about that and how nutritious the greens could be. After a quick google search, I found that the greens are entirely edible -- stems and all. So begins tonight's experiment.
  • 2014 August 20

    Run a Tapered Fork on a 1.5" Cannondale

    If you have bought a Cannondale mountain bike, you may be surprised at the limited number of fork options due to Cannondale's non-standard straight 1.5" headtube choice. Most bikes use a straight 1 1/8" headtube. Nicer frames use a tapered 1 1/8" to 1 1/2"...
  • 2014 June 25

    On Building Your Security Team

    Perhaps your company is at the point in its growth curve where you need a person dedicated to security issues, or perhaps you’re looking to reboot your security team because of some of the problems outlined below. What follows are over-generalizatio...
  • 2014 June 13

    Mission Peak Dark Descent

    It's been a while since I did a night run on Mission Peak. With the great weather and full moon, today was a great day to pick that up again.
  • 2014 March 28

    Mid-2010 iMac SSD Upgrade

    Upgrading from a regular hard drive to an SSD seemed complicated at first on this computer, but with the right tools and instructions it was easy.
  • 2013 September 25

    Single User Admin on OS X Mountain Lion

    It's easy to make a user an administrator on OS X using the GUI tools. But if you do not have access to an existing admin account, this is impossible. By booting into Single-User mode, you can make a non-Admin into an Admin using the command line.
  • 2013 September 10

    Studding Shimano PD-A530 Pedals

    The Shimano PD-A530 is a hybrid pedal -- clip-in on one side, and platform on the other. The platform side is not that great, so I decided to fix that with some studs from another set of pedals.
  • 2013 July 27

    Bike Upgrade Confirmation

    A report from a week with some awesome upgrades to my bike. I learned a lot about bikes, adjustments, and found some great resources in doing this project.
  • 2013 July 22

    Two Days With a New Friend

    The story of a weekend spent in and out of the garage with a hummingbird.
  • 2013 July 20

    Tri For Fun - Pleasanton 2013 Recap

    It all started in May. Actually, it all started 11 years ago when Arti and I signed up for the 15th annual Tri For Fun in Pleasanton at Shadow Cliffs park. Swimming, biking, and running were all things that I did *not* do, but we thought this would be fu...
  • 2013 May 20

    Ohlone 50K Recap

    Last October I decided to run the Ohlone Wilderness Trail 50K. After 6 months of training covering 435 miles and climbing more than 80,000 feet, the race is now in the bag.
  • 2013 May 10

    Bike to Work Day Run

    I chose to celebrate Bike to Work Day by going for a run this morning. My plan was to do the O50K climb up Mission Peak, but turn right at the top of the ridge and visit Mt. Allison before heading back over and down Mission Peak. 9.7 miles, 2750ft climb, 2h05m.
  • 2013 May 09

    Trail Running: What I've Learned So Far

    Since getting serious about running at the end of 2012 in preparation for the Ohlone Wilderness 50K, I've learned a few things about body maintenance, drinking, eating, and other things running-related.
  • 2013 May 05

    Ohlone Steep Training

    It's two weeks until O50K, and my training plan calls for shorter runs to taper to the event. Today I chose to start from Ohlone and run up and over Mission Peak then over to the bench at Mt. Allison. It was a total of 9.1 miles with a 2520 foot climb. I saw two snakes and got my favorite view of my favorite peak.
  • 2013 April 21

    Last Long Run Before O50K

    I got a pretty early start today, getting out of bed at 5:30a to do the last long training run before the big race. Hit the trail at 6:45 with a plan to do the O50K course for 13-ish miles, then turn around and retrace my steps. Stats: 27.8mi, 7300ft climb, 1800 calories food, 300oz water, 3lbs net loss bodyweight.
  • 2013 April 06

    Sunol Valley Half Pipe

    24 miles today starting from Sunol Regional Park -- 12 east, then 12 west. 5600 feet climb, 6 hours.
  • 2013 March 25

    Ed Levin to Sunol and Back

    For today's long run, I chose to go from Ed Levin County Park in Milpitas, up to Monument Peak, then north past Mt. Allison, behind Mission Peak, down to Sunol Regional Park, then turn around and run back. 22.5 miles / 5000 ft ascent / 5h20m.
  • 2013 March 10

    Sunol to Rose Peak

    I set out today to tackle Rose Peak once again. I hiked it a couple years ago, but haven't done it since I've been running. It behooves me to practice it, since it's 1/3 of the Ohlone 50K. Strava's calorie count is my favorite part! (om nom nom)
  • 2013 February 24

    All Systems are GO

    What an ideal day for getting back to the trails above the bay! 9.5mi, 2750ft climb, 2h03m. No knee pain during or after. The hardest part was starting the descent after getting to the top -- I really just wanted to keep going! ...
  • 2013 January 11

    50K Training Plan

    I put this Google Spreadsheet together to plan out how the heck I'm going to build up to 31 miles distance.
  • 2013 January 10

    Remote Speakers DIY

    This is a project I've wanted to do since we moved in. With just a few simple parts, I installed independent remote speakers into our dining room. Here's what it took...
  • 2012 November 26

    Sister Golden Hair

  • 2012 November 24

    Back in the Saddle

    With the Ohlone 50K looming in May, I've been inspired to get back out there on foot on the trails. After a few weeks away, this weekend was the time to get back into it. My initial plan was to follow the O50K course up and over Mission Peak then run d...
  • 2012 November 12

    Thunderhill 3-Day Weekend

    Just got home from three days at Thunderhill Raceway with the GGC BMWWCCA. Friday was an Instructor Training School, and Saturday/Sunday was the standard High Performance Driver Education, where I got the opportunity to teach the C Group classroom along with doing in-car instruction. A great weekend, but I'm also glad to be home!
  • 2012 November 03

    98 Mile Bike Week

    Almost cracked 100 miles on the bike this week. On Sunday, Arti and I went for a 24 mile ride with the Kohlers through Saratoga, through the hills around Quicksilver, then back to their house. Good times, and the ladies showed us up with their hill climb...
  • 2012 October 19

    Mountain View to Home

    Took the train up to Stanford today to interview some promising college Grads. Then took the train to Mountain View and talked with Pablo about a new project, then left to ride home at 4:30.
  • 2012 October 17

    Mission Peak MTB With Ptr

    Rode up Mission Peak with PeterE (<a href="">@evilops</a>) for the first time this morning. Crazy wind!
  • 2012 October 13

    Rode Home Again

    Second time riding home from work. It took 30 minutes less today, despite taking a bit longer route. This is mostly due to not taking wrong turns and having to backtrack ;-).
  • 2012 October 12

    Why I Work at Groupon

    I started at Groupon more than two years ago now. I was excited about the company then, but I'm way more excited now. This may come as a surprise to someone who only follows the market or the Silicon Valley tabloids, but for me, Groupon is the place to be. Here's why...
  • 2012 October 09

    owl / math owl

  • 2012 October 07

    Ed Levin to Mission Peak and Back

    I hit the trail at 8am today in Ed Levin County Park. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny morning ... mid-50s. It was an ideal day out there today -- warm sun and cool breeze. I covered 16 miles, 4200 ft elevation gain, in 3h40m.
  • 2012 October 05

    Groupon to Home Ride

    I decided to ride my bike home from work today. Ended up taking about 2.5 hours, and covered 27 miles, most of it on the Bay Trail and Guadalupe River Trail.
  • 2012 September 30

    Stanford Ave - MP - Calaveras Rd - MP - Stanford Ave

    18 miles / 6000 ft climb today up and over MP to Calaveras road and back. Now soaking in cold tub. Ahhhhhhhh..... Took the Ohlone 50K "way" up to the peak, then down to high-five the gate at Calaveras Road. Retraced steps FTW....
  • 2012 September 23

    Up and Over Black Mountain

    Had a nice hike/run today from Rhus Ridge, up and over Black Mountain and down the Indian Creek Trail a bit. Distance was 14 miles, 5000 feet total ascent, and took 2h50m.
  • 2012 September 16

    Mission Peak MTB

    Rode up Mission Peak today with Sean Kohler. I was expecting it to be harder than it was, but it was still a doozie. We did about 10 miles total, 2700 feet elevation gain. The first stretch up the peak was 2.8 miles and 1750 feet gain -- unrelentingly steep. From there we went around the back of the peak and up to Mt. Allison, then came back and went down the Grove Trail past the farmhouse (sweet technical section!) and rejoined the main trail. I'm really happy we did it!
  • 2012 September 15

    Ohlone Sprint

    Ohlone == 53:05 ==> MP == 33:48 ==> Ohlone. Starting to track my downhill times. A big old tarantula (6" legspan) crossed the path on the way up. First time I've seen one alive.
  • 2012 September 08

    Kennedy Trail Sunride

    Sean convinced me that waking up at 5am on Saturday to go for a ride was a good idea. Had a great time again with him going up Kennedy Trail, this time at sunrise. We started out when it was barely light enough to see. It was really gorgeous when we got up above the cloud layer...
  • 2012 September 04

    Labor Day Bike Day

    We celebrated Labor today with some bicycle-oriented garage projects, and I went for a ride with Sean Kohler, after 12 years away from a mountain bike.
  • 2012 September 03

    Dog Agility Contest

    Our friends Deanna and Nathan and their dogs compete in dog agility contests. We drove down to Prunedale today to see them do their stuff. They're getting ready to go to nationals this year in Denver. There were some impressive dogs and handlers there today!
  • 2012 August 27

    Sunol to Mission Peak

    I took my new favorite shoes out this morning (New Balance MT1010) for a run/hike in Sunol today. This was the most enjoyable running time I've ever had. This could be the start of something new...
  • 2012 August 25

    MP new PB - 53:29. It's the shoes!

    Beautiful Friday night hike/run up Mission Peak from Stanford Ave in a new pair of New Balance MT1010s.
  • 2012 July 15

    Rancho to Black Mountain Loop

    Difficult and long hike today -- 16.5 mile roundtrip from Rancho San Antonio up the PG&E Trail, Mine Trail, Black Mountain Trail, Summit, Black Mountain Trail, Chemise Trail, past Deer Hollow Farm and back to the car. Took just a bit longer than 4 hours.
  • 2012 July 05

    Coop Renovation

    We changed the coop a bit today to give Twilight and Paisley (our new larger hens) more space to enter and exit, along with better rain protection.
  • 2012 June 09

    Für Meine Sicherheit (and yours!)

    HANS-compatible clip-in Quick Fit Pro. Now I just need a trackday...
  • 2012 June 09

    Clear Day, and a new PB

    I met up with Brendon at the Stanford Ave trailhead this morning. It was a beautiful, clear day. I managed a 56:00-ish time by working in some running up the hill. My goal is to be able to run the whole way up by the end of July...
  • 2012 June 06

    Venus Transit

    Venus cruised in front of the sun today. Here is a photo of it...
  • 2012 May 29

    Dosa Graduation

    Marina tears into her first big masala dosa at Tirupathi Bhimas in Milpitas... She ate pretty much all of it!...
  • 2012 April 29

    New Shocks for Arti's Car

    I spent the bulk of yesterday replacing the shocks on Arti's car -- a 2007 328i wagon. We bought the car new, and it has about 90K miles on it now. Overall, it's been a great car and still looks and drives very nicely. I've noticed though over the past year or so that it feels a bit "wallowy" in some situations. Usually I felt that in in sweeping turns with some undulations -- the car felt like it was moving around more than it should, and felt less stable than it should. Sounds like the shocks are done!
  • 2012 April 22

    Rio Vista's Perpetual Storm

    In the weather app I use on my phone, there is a map view with configurable overlays. One of the most useful is the Doppler Radar overlay, which usually shows precipitation level on a colorful scale. One thing I've noticed on the radar overlay is that there is an area in the north bay, near Fairfield and Rio Vista that appears to always have storm-level activity over it.
  • 2012 April 21

    DIY: iPhone Macro

    It's easy to capture amazing close-up photos with your smartphone. All you need is a nerdy motivation and a little magnifier...
  • 2012 April 08

    New Hike: Black Mountain

    Today I decided to try something new, since I'm pretty sure I've gone up and down Mission Peak, Mt. Allison, and Monument Peak every possible way now. Looking at Google Earth and talking with Arti, I decided to see how to get up Black Mountain. It's a 2800 foot peak to the west of Mountain View and Los Altos. Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is the closest park, and provides a great route up.
  • 2012 March 18

    My Super Efficient Email Workflow

    Like most people, email is a big part of my workday, as well as personal life. Over the years I've worked out a very efficient way of going through the tons of email I receive, never missing an important message, and never having an oppressive number of unread messages. I've realized that email can be used effectively as a to-do list, and use it accordingly. Hopefully someone may find these tips bring more efficiency to their email lives!
  • 2012 February 18

    Winter Bounty

    The girls assembled this themselves in the backyard... ...
  • 2012 February 18

    Angry Birds

    Marina's latest clay obsession... ...
  • 2012 February 01


    Of the 30 Studebakers my Pop has bought, restored, and sold over the years, the black beauty known as "S2D" is still my favorite of all...
  • 2012 January 29

    Solar System

    It was Marina's idea to do this project ... I just helped her with the order and told her what the planets looked like.
  • 2012 January 28

    Monument Peak Panorama

    A 360 degree view from the top of Monument Peak.
  • 2011 October 05

    Nerd Alert ... or Precious Moment???

    First chess game with Marina. She did great!...
  • 2011 August 27


    I got a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes at Zombie Runner this week. Really love how they fit and feel, but I wasn't crazy about the big silver N on each shoe... So out came the seam ripper and 20 minutes later... I call this new shoe "Minimini...
  • 2011 August 19

    Nerd Alert!

    I use my phone a lot to find satellites and stars, but it's bright white light ruins my night vision. Enter red cellophane... ...
  • 2011 July 12

    Why I'm a Car Control Instructor

    Almost seven years ago I did my first BMWCCA Car Control Clinic as a student. The CCC is an all-day high performance driving school, with a focus on real-world skills. It's also a prerequisite for the club's driving schools held at local racetracks like ...
  • 2011 June 17

    ISS Flyby

    Thanks Ernest for the continuing coverage of visible ISS activity! Here's a video shot with an iPhone 4 of this evening's pass. It's interesting how visible it was considering how bright the sky still was. ...
  • 2011 May 25

    Shangri-La Toes

    Nice light at the Chinese restaurant in Pleasanton....
  • 2011 May 11

    Clipper / Caltrain Frustrations

    Below is a letter I sent to Clipper's customer service and Caltrain's Board of Directors... To whom it may concern - I have called 6 times and spent more than three hours on the phone this month with Clipper customer service trying to resolve an issue w...
  • 2011 April 15

    Protect Your Git Repo With a Test Hook

    We have a situation at work where we're using a git repository as a data source. The quality/correctness of the files checked in to this repo is critical to the operation of a larger and very important system. To help ward off mistakes, we built a series...
  • 2011 April 04

    Alternative Single Table Inheritance for Rails

    Nearly as simple to implement as Rails built-in single table inheritance pattern, but infinitely flexible.
  • 2011 February 21

    Year of the Loser

    I started 2010 with a fat realization that I was too heavy! It happened one cold December day at a playground with Marina. She was getting really good on the monkey bars -- and I thought I could show her a couple things. As soon as I grabbed the bar and...
  • 2011 January 25

    Selectively Disable Session Cookies in Rails 2.3

    In doing a project at work to more fully utilize our content delivery network (CDN) and nginx to cache static content, we ran up on a cookie problem in Rails. We didn't want any cookies returned to requestors in the case where the content would be marked ...
  • 2011 January 05

    Google Apps Authentication for Internal Company Sites

    Recently I was challenged by my company's CEO to make accessing internal sites as easy as accessing our email. He needed to get to an internal app from the road. He didn't have a computer that was blessed with a VPN configuration, and he's not the type t...
  • 2010 October 26

    Finally, No Blisters!

    I gave my Asolo TPS 520 a lot of chances to do well. Great reviews on Zappos, designed in the Italian Alps, how could they not be awesome? Well after 50 miles and sore, blistered feet I knew how. Zappos let me return them for a full refund, even though ...
  • 2010 September 11

    Ed Levin and Beyond - or - The Importance of Good Foot Underwear

    I took a walk through Ed Levin County Park today, but strayed from the trail early on and found some awesome trails outside the park. ...
  • 2010 September 03

    Mission Peak for Time

    I went up everyone's favorite east bay peak this morning to see just how quickly I could do it. Going from the Stanford Ave parking lot up the Peak Trail is just under 3 miles and the elevation gain is just over 2,000 feet. My goal was to do this in an h...
  • 2010 March 21

    Peak Trifecta

    I went for a big hike today. I've been up Mission Peak a bunch of times, and I've always been curious about the the transmission antennas on the peaks to the south. In looking at the map, I knew that the peaks had names -- Mt. Allison and Monument Peak. ...
  • 2010 February 02

    Mission Peak

    Pop and I went up Mission Peak on a beautiful January morning. We took the "normal" path up the Hidden Valley trail then cut across Hidden Valley on the Grove Trail to Horse Heaven Trail to get to the peak. That's definitely the best way up and down. http:...
  • 2010 January 20

    Is God a Democracy?

    I firmly believe people are well intentioned.  We really want to be good and do the right thing.  One thing that helps to guide us through life are our beliefs:  Who is in charge?  What does this all mean?  Why are we here? It is a faith in our own...
  • 2010 January 20

    Tip Tips

    Divide By Six This one is simple, but I'm surprised that not enough people know it.  My tip secret to divide the bill total by six. Others use shortcuts like "twice tax", but that works out to over 18% now.  Still a decent baseline to round up or dow...
  • 2009 December 07

    25 Hours of Thunderhill

    Photos available here:
  • 2009 November 30

    Thanksgiving photos

    0035-CRW_1580, originally uploaded by thenobot. Some pictures from Thanksgiving weekend 2009. ...
  • 2009 November 30

    Kite at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge

    Kite at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, originally uploaded by thenobot. No kites allowed! ...
  • 2009 June 06

    Oh it's a Bear!

    Normal: Silly: Lyrics: Going for a walk Going over the corn field Come to a cave Stretch out your hand Touch a wet nose Oh it's a bear! Open the door, Home at last... ...
  • 2009 April 20


    My folks used to live in the Santa Cruz mountains -- where it's nice and dark. They had a hot tub outside. When I'd visit, a dip in the tub at night was usually a nice thing. A couple of times, I'd luck out and spot a satellite zooming overhead. It was...
  • 2009 April 16

    Transparent Access to a Serialized Column in ActiveRecord

    I started a job a few weeks ago where we're using Ruby on Rails. I had never used it before, and am starting to learn why it has been able to grow as quickly as it has -- it's just damn cool in a lot of ways. One technique we used a lot in my previous co...
  • 2009 March 01


    Marina helped me get our vegetable garden beds ready for spring this past weekend. There were lots and lots of critters living in there, but she was really taken with this slug ("Sluggy -- she's hungry!"). So after a night of captivity, I took some photo...
  • 2009 January 26

    Naomi Toes

    Naomi likes to play with her toes.
  • 2009 January 05

    Naomi Rolls

    She's been working on this for a couple of weeks now... Naomi Rolls (5 Jan 2009) from Zack Steinkamp on Vimeo. ...
  • 2009 January 05

    Free SCCA Test Day Excitement

    Derek and I drove up to Thunderhill on Sunday morning for a free test day there.  Anyone with an SCCA racing license and a race-ready car could just show up and enjoy a full day of driving, err I mean testing.  This was also going to be the first time we...
  • 2008 December 30


    Such a lame blog title I know.  "Great, another self-absorbed hippie with a blog".  Well, maybe.  Anyhow, this is the story. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am motivated by my dreams (ref: Marina, etc) -- or at least I talk about being motivate...
  • 2008 December 26

    The Bucket Analogy for Photo Exposures

    There are three primary aspects to a photographic exposure: How sensitive is the recording material? How bright is the light contacting the recording material? How long is the recording material exposed to the light? I've found it useful to map ...
  • 2008 December 22

    One-Line Javascript Templates

    I came up with this today.  Maybe it's not original, but I think it's pretty cool. The overall concept is that there is a DOM node that holds an output template.  A template is defined as some HTML that contains some strings to be replaced.  In this ...
  • 2008 October 13

    Double Standard?

    With the election in just a few weeks, here are some interesting questions to consider...
  • 2008 June 04

    Into the 4th Dimension

    We just released a new kind of photo viewer. It will search Flickr for whatever you're interested in, wherever you're interested in it and give you a fun way to flip through photos with an interactive map alongside.
  • 2008 March 15

    Homemade Rollbar Camera Mount

    A cheap, simple, and flexible way of mounting a video camera to a rollbar inside of a car. This works better for my bullet camera than the expensive IO Port mount.
  • 2008 March 03


    Pictures - Video from the school. I'm now ruined for lapping days. This past weekend, Derek and I went up to Thunderhill for the SCCA Driver Licensing School. This is a mandatory step to being able to compete in SCCA road races for those who don't alre...
  • 2008 February 15

    Apple TV as Remote Speakers

    I didn't see any mention of this in the news stories about the new Apple TV software or on Apple's site, but I noticed it today. iTunes now lists Apple TV as a remote audio device, ala AirTunes. This is really nice, since you can now play music through...
  • 2008 February 14

    Autechre Dipity Timeline

    Here is a timeline from Dipity! var dipity_options = { width:'800', height:'500' }; Embed away!...
  • 2008 January 06

    OpenDNS on DD-WRT

    After checking out what OpenDNS provides, I was excited to give it a try on my network. I use a Linksys WRT-54GS with the excellent DD-WRT firmware. Since the original WRT-54 firmware was Linux based, Linksys had to release the source code to it, which s...
  • 2007 November 16

    Dipity v2 Released on Facebook

    We have finally come out with our big release on Facebook's Application platform. This update allows for the creation of Dipity events and will hopefully kick off viral growth!
  • 2007 May 17

    Also Usable as a BABY VAPORIZER

    "Waaah! Waaaaaaaaaaah!""BZZZZZZAP!" Found this morning in our backyard underneath where the shed used to be. The people we bought our house from lived here for 50 years....
  • 2007 April 27

    Goodbye Pinger, Hello ____!

    Springtime brings all kinds of new things.
  • 2007 January 12

    Goodbye Yahoo!, Hello Pinger!

    I start my new job this coming Monday! Pinger was started by Joe Sipher and Greg Woock, who were instrumental in the success of Palm and Handspring. They had an idea for a new mode of communication that filled the space between having a phone conversatio...
  • 2007 January 01

    Miata Blog Started

    I've started a new blog to chronicle the birth and life of a little racecar that Derek and I are building. It's called "spec.this.miata " ( We're building a Spec Miata, which is basically a Miata with a hardtop, rollcage, and i...
  • 2006 December 31

    Clean Cut

    To provide contrast to the naptime crazy hair photo... ...
  • 2006 December 28

    Checkpoint Marina

    A few snapshots from a day in the life of 15 month old Marina.
  • 2006 December 05

    25 Days of Thunderhill

    I managed to hook up with the Car and Driver / BMW of North America team that raced in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race in two 335d Diesel race cars.
  • 2006 September 03

    In-Car Camera 2.0

    The latest revision of my quest to get the best possible setup for putting a camera in/on the car.
  • 2006 August 01

    Marina in the Dishwasher

    Marina offered to help her Nani do the dishes the other day...
  • 2006 July 28

    Thunderhill with PDC

    Back from a great day at the track with a small group of junkies known as "PDC".
  • 2006 July 19

    New FCABs and RTABs or The Search for Steering Feel

    We tell the story of one man's quest to make a BMW feel like a Porsche. It's a wild ride that is sure to keep every member of the family on their edge of their seats!
  • 2006 July 01

    World Cup For Dummies

    A brief guide to the World Cup, 2006.
  • 2006 June 06

    Infineon Coastal Driving Recap

    Another great day at the track. The mysteries of Sears are slowly unlocked...
  • 2006 May 21

    Finally! Balanced Autocross Handling

    The M3 is now dialed in for good times on the autocross course. Read on to learn some things that will help your E46 M3 get around those cones!
  • 2006 May 09

    Thunderhill NCRC Recap

    This could very well have been the ideal day at the track. Great company, great cars, great weather, and lots of learning was done.
  • 2006 April 16

    Takes Two (Cores) To Tango

    Apple's new Intel-based Mac Minis are all they are cracked up to be, and then some...
  • 2006 April 16

    New Unified RSS Feeds

    The RSS feeds for stories and pictures are now rolled into a single feed. It also includes videos, so your nobot.needs are covered.
  • 2006 February 28

    Potty Time, Excellent

    Toilet train an infant? Unheard of in disposable American diaper culture, most babies around the world are potty trained by the time they are a year old. We decided we would get Marina on the track to becoming Diaper Free...
  • 2006 February 26

    Kanta's Palampur Paneer

    Arti's mom makes a delicious Paneer dish. It's made in a rich, creamy, spicy sauce with sauteed veggies. Simple to make, and really delicious. Give it a go and learn how to make real Indian food!
  • 2006 February 14

    New Tricks

    A short summary of Marina's development in the past month or so. Potty training, rolling over, grabbing things, and interest in food are her new tricks.
  • 2005 October 13

    The Story of Marina

    A recap of the events leading up to, and including the birth of our beautiful Marina.
  • 2005 August 13

    Wowsers! Ground Control Coilover Kit Rules!

    If you are thinking that your E46 M3 doesn't quite have "the handles", read on. By using a good quality suspension system, the car can be transformed from "Capable GT Car" to "OMGWTFBBQ Handling Machine".
  • 2005 February 13

    Kite Aerial Photography, Experiment I

    It all started when I saw these photos that George R. Lawrence took of San Francisco right after the 1906 earthquake. He had been working on using kites as aerial photography platforms, and had nearly perfected his technique when the quake hit. I had run...
  • 2005 February 10

    VIM -- Frustrated With Perl Comments?

    vimmers -- i've been writing LOTS of perl and CSS lately. one thing that has been frustrating for, oh, the last FIVE years, has been how VIM indents perl comments and CSS properties with 'cindent' enabled. since they look like C preprocessor directives,...
  • 2005 February 01

    Say Hello to My Little Friend

    Well, there it is sunning itself up in the upper-right corner of that kidney-shaped pool. We could see its little heart beating away. From crown to rump, it's 13mm -- half an inch. Imagine a raspberry inside your belly with organs and a brain and it m...
  • 2005 January 24

    Mac Daddy

    If my years at the Big Y! have taught me anything, it's that UNIX -- speficially FreeBSD -- rocks. It's incredibly reliable (there are busy production servers at work answering more than 50 requests/second that haven't been rebooted for three years), and ...
  • 2005 January 21

    Make Your Own Mattress

    When I was in college, my dad worked for a company that had a relationship with a mattress-maker. He was able to get products from them at a good discount, so when I "officially" grew out of my childhood twin-sized bed, he got me a Queen mattress. It was...
  • 2005 January 17

    36 Glorious Plies

    I put the finishing touches on our new bed today. It was inspired by the Leggero Bed from Design Within Reach. All in all it was a fun project, with very little monotony or frustration over the project. This is a simple platform bed. The platform is ma...
  • 2005 January 10

    End Table Finished

    After months of sitting in the living room built, but not finished, I finally did the final sanding and finishing of this table. It's a smaller companion to the coffee table I made about 4 months ago. The fun parts took about a day -- making the design (...
  • 2004 December 28


    What a trip! We returned from our Ecuador / Galapagos vacay yesterday. Pictures Here Here's a synopsis: Sunday, 12/19 :: Depart for Quito, Ecuador - We flew with Pardis and Nick from SFO to Houston, then on to Quito, lugging carry-on bags up a flight ...
  • 2004 December 18


    I'm packing up now for our trip to the Galapagos. We head out from SFO at 11am on Sunday 12/19 to Houston. A brief layover, then we head on to Quito, Ecuador. We land late at night, then go to the Swissotel in downtown Quito for a night of sleep. Monda...
  • 2004 November 10

    Nation's Poor Win Election for Nation's Rich

    (from The Onion) WASHINGTON, DC—The economically disadvantaged segment of the U.S. population provided the decisive factor in another presidential election last Tuesday, handing control of the government to the rich and powerful once again. Bush and Chene...
  • 2004 October 22

    HDTV Experiment

    So we have this big LCD TV in the living room. It has been doing a good job of being both a TV and a computer monitor for a few months now. But its untapped Hi-Def capabilities have been disrupting my sleeping patterns (see the previous article). I've b...
  • 2004 October 19

    Off-Earth / On-Moon

    Had to write this down -- it was the first dream I had that took place off Earth... Went into a metal contraption thru a door, sat down, got up, and opened the door and was "on the Moon". It was daytime on the Moon. There were 4-6ft bundles of blue/red...
  • 2004 October 11

    Work Work Work Work Work Work

    Over the course of the last nine days, we have doubled the amount of artwork we have in our display cache at home. Not only have we been blessed with a lovely three-years-late wedding gift from my lovely mom, but there has been much photography going on h...
  • 2004 October 04

    Rambles On Art and Photography

    Saturday, Arti and I drove up to SF to check out some art that some folks were showing as part of Open Studios. This is a great event, and is held in a lot of places around the country. Artists interested in showing their work register with the Open Stud...
  • 2004 September 10

    Proud to be CRT Free

    Today marks a milestone in the Nobot household. It's a red letter day around here. Yes, today marks the first day where the final CRT has been laid to rest. This process started a few years ago when I decided that it was time to replace my old 17" trini...
  • 2004 September 08

    Why it's bad to be dumb with Koni adjutable shocks

    when i was 16, i had a 1977 VW Scirocco i raced with my dad in D Street Prepared SCCA Solo II. being young and poor, i couldn't outfit the car to the maximum spec allowed all at once. so i saved and saved until i could come up with the $500 or so for a s...
  • 2004 August 01

    Hello From Singapore

    Greetings from the Singapore International Airport. Totally doesn't seem like we've been travelling for 19 hours (13 hours SFO to Hong Kong, 2.5 hour layover, 3.5 hours Hong Kong to Singapore). Our flight left San Francisco at 1:30AM, so it was lights o...
  • 2004 July 31

    The Nobot is Headed to India

    Well, today's the day we pack up our stuff for a three week trip to India. We're leaving from SFO late tonight, flying 15 hours to Hong Kong, a short layover, then a few hours to Singapore. 12 hours in Singapore (with a pint sized hotel room), then anoth...
  • 2004 July 07

    Independence Day Diary

    Went home from work friday feeling prety low. I had the achy body, the beginnings of a sore throat, and an unconquerable headache. Took a big nap and some vites, and felt quite a bit better toward the evening. That was good since Pop and I had planned t...
  • 2004 June 15

    TV Upgrade

    Got the new TV last night ... well, it's not so much a TV as a giant computer screen. It's a 37" Sharp LCD/TFT display. It will do 1280x768 resolution, and can also do a side-by-side screen from different input sources (computer, tv, dvd, etc). So far...
  • 2004 June 12

    Lightning Stories

    Here are two stories for the archives.... Sometime in 1995 when I was living on Orange Ave in Costa Mesa with Ryan and Mike, I witnessed a great lightning storm. It was around 9 or 10PM at the end of a mostly normal, warm, clear Orange County day. I ...
  • 2004 June 07

    New Coffee Table Nearing Completion

    Since we got our new furniture, including home made TV stand, our glass-and-metal coffee table is sticking out like a sore thumb. It's cold, heavy, and hard -- especially when you hit your shin on it late at night with the lights off. Also, there's no pl...
  • 2004 June 07

    Miter 1000 SE is a Great Taper Jig

    I was working on our coffee table replacement over the weekend and needed to taper some 3x3 legs I had laminated from 1x3.5 stock earlier in the day. Previously I had used a home made jig I put together around six months ago. It was flimsy and inaccurate...
  • 2004 June 07

    Thanks For A Great Party

    Thanks to all who came on Saturday to our house for our birthday get-together. It's always a great time to have the place filled up with friends -- everything just works out. Pauly and Ghizal drove up from San Diego/LA for the event. you guys are good...
  • 2004 June 02

    TV Stand Finished!

    At long last ... the TV stand is finished, installed, and operational. we were waiting until we got our new furniture to make sure the stain/finish on the tv stand matched. i put the final coat of polyurethane on last night (note to self: using a brush...
  • 2004 May 28

    Recurring Dream Locations

    This AM I had yet another dream that took place in the building I used to work in when I worked for the travel agency in Newport Beach in 1993-1996. I worked on the 8th floor in this 9 story building. A recurring theme in my dreams is to be sneaking arou...
  • 2004 May 17

    48 Hour Film Contest

    finished up the 48 hour film contest ( this weekend.derek directed, oren wrote, jefferson and ricky handled cameras, ricky did editing, i did sound recording and failed miserably at can download the trailer ...
  • 2004 May 13

    Saw the International Space Station

    watched the ISS pass over this past thursday. it was magnitude 0.0, which made it the brightest object in the sky. that thing really hauls, it was past in less than 5 minutes....