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Archive for June, 2004

Manta Shark Fishing Research

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Dead Blue Sharks, Manta, Ecuador

I went to photograph dead sharks in Ecuador last week. It was pretty amazing to see sharks, tuna, and billfish being pulled from the boats one after another… [see trip report]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 17 comments » | Jun 28, 2004 21:58:03

A few days in San Francisco

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cindy, obsessive

Crazy reef girl Cindy picked me up from the airport on Saturday and hosted me until the next day. As usual, we ate, chatted, and stared at her beautiful reef tank. I’m totally grateful for her hospitality. And… her guest bed is very comfortable. :)

I spent much of my four days here in the Bay Area rehearsing with the piano trio I’ll be playing with next week at the SLSQ Summer Chamber Music Workshop. It has been SO GREAT to play music for a few hours each day, and I can’t wait to start the week of intensive chamber music coachings. I almost feel like I’m back at Stanford again. see some photos]

But before that, I have to go to Ecuador again to photograph dead sharks for the Shark Research Institute. It will be a difficult thing to see, but I think that the outreach possibilities that come from the project will make it well worth the effort.

And more computer anomalies:

1) Work with Elliot to install a Promise Fastrak TX2000 RAID card into a Dell Dimension 4500 (goal: mirror two identical 120GB drives). No luck. Trust me. We tried everything.

2) Having given up by this point, I restored a drive image I had made with Acronis TrueImage (the best imaging program ever), expanding the partition size at the same time to fill the existing drive’s available space (8GB used/22GB unused -> 30GB used).

3) On a whim, Elliot plugs the card in again — and this time, it works.

I hate computers.

Hasta lunes!

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Jun 23, 2004 01:53:04

Lots o’ bits missing

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Scary! I currently store most of my content on a Promise Connectstor II NAS box with two striped 200GB drives in it. I have another external 250GB drive that keeps (roughly) a mirror of the content on the NAS box, although obviously it is not a complete mirror since it’s not the same sized volume. Well, today I returned to my place in SF and smelled that … “electrical fire” smell coming from the closet in the study. I opened the closet door warily and detected … utter silence. If you’ve seen the Connectstor box, you know that it sounds roughly like a small jet; silence is definitely a bad sign. I’ve just yanked the power supply and am trying to source it somewhere for replacement. Hopefully, it’s just the power supply that is dead on the unit. I’d probably be freaking out if I didn’t keep the mirror updated all the time.

Anyway, I’m in the process of assembling a pair of redundant file servers hooked up to a gigabit switch (in the form of two rsync’ed 1.5TB RAID 5 boxes), and this failure has given me a big kick in the ass to get it done more quickly. Knowing that most of my data is alive on only one drive at the moment makes me nervous.

And for all of you out there who don’t back up your data: you’re askin’ for it. One of these days, drive failure will ruin your day…

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 15 comments » | Jun 21, 2004 01:33:54

A few days in Austin

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dan and me in austin

I just spent a few days in Austin with Dan Peters, four dogs, and a cat. I only get to see Dan once or twice a year, so it was really nice to get to hang out. I also finally got to spent some time with Craig Jones, and also drove over to see Andy Biggs for the few hours that we overlapped in Austin.

Other highlights of the weekend: barbecued brisket, eating (again) at Castle Hill Cafe, playing games using Craig’s home theater system, driving around Dan’s Lancer Evo, and driving around another friend’s Ferrari 360 Modena, which has the nicest sound of any car I’ve ever been in. It was pretty funny to drive that sort of car to the movie theaters to see Harry Potter. :) [see some photos]

Santa Clara, CA | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Jun 20, 2004 00:35:54

Car Stuff

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Some random questions for those of you out there who might be knowledgeable about cars:

1. Anyone know where I can get a front headlight assembly for a 1992 Volvo 960 Wagon? The left headlight and blinker assembly was stolen off of mine while parked at Stanford. That’s TWICE this has happened, and I’m not going in to the dealer again. And once I’ve obtained the new headlight, where should I get it installed, close to San Francisco? I can probably do it myself, but I haven’t actually seen the car yet. Hopefully all the wiring is intact.

2. Can someone recommended a good window tinting place in the Bay Area? I like tinted windows. Don’t worry: I will not follow tinting with neon nor a huge wing.

Thank you. :)

Austin, TX | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Jun 18, 2004 10:40:38

Brain Dump

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Argh. This internet thing is annoying me.

Well, that’s not exactly true. For me, it is all of the following: a fantastic medium for me to share my life, a great communication method for non-urgent discussions, a way for way too many people to contact me, and something that stresses me out often.

I am seeking simplification of my life. My mom tells me all the time that my life is too complicated. I spend most of my time at “home” (whatever that means) catching up on the things that have piled up while I was away. I’d love for things not to be complicated.

My thoughts these days often involve the idea of a nice girl to share life with, but I actively suppress those urges because I know that meeting someone right now would cause a great deal of stress while my travel schedule is so crazy. People I meet dream about being off travelling all the time (“tough life,” they say sarcastically), but I think about having routine meals, routine exercise, and someone resting her head on my shoulder while watching a DVD. All of that might get old at some point, but it sounds pretty refreshing right now.

I’m trying not to plan anything for the first half of next year, but I doubt I’ll be able to make it without leaving the country. We’ll see. :)

Austin, TX | link | trackb | 13 comments » | Jun 17, 2004 01:46:05

Caroline & SeaSpace

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me, with caroline

I met Caroline two weekends ago in Houston while I was there giving a workshop at SeaSpace. She is trained in acupuncture and acupressure, and after we returned from having dinner with James and Sarah at a local Mexican joint, she stuck a bunch of needles in my legs and hand, and then applied acupressure to my back. It was very relaxing — so relaxing, in fact, that she managed to snap a bunch of photos without me even noticing. :) Thank you, Caroline!

Oh, and there are a bunch of photos from SeaSpace here as well. I’d also like to thanks James Wiseman for his generosity in hosting me and driving me around in Houstin. :) [see some photos]

Austin, TX | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 15, 2004 21:35:10

Galapagos Deep Blue, June 2004

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Whale Shark at Darwin Island, Galapagos [see trip report]

I’m back! I love the Galapagos. I’ve been off of the boat for more than 24 hours now, and the world is still rocking back and forth.

As usual, I’m sitting here catching up on the e-mail I received while gone. Will this never cease? I was so happy with no internet connection out there on the open sea … ;)

Austin, TX | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 15, 2004 14:18:10

SoBeGraphics.com – Bad Business Practices

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This is really annoying. I recently printed 5000 6×9″ flyers through SoBeGraphics.com, and they did a couple of things that seemed really shady. I found SoBeGraphics in the back of Photoshop User magazine.

First, I was promised delivery by a certain date, which would not have happened had it not been for a circumstantial call verifying the shipping address. So I had to upgrade my shipping, costing me $40 extra (they refused to pay for it, despite the fact that it was their broken promise).

Second, they stamp each flyer they make with a blurb that says “SoBeGraphics.com – 1.877.ASK.SOBE”. Upon later perusal of their website, I discovered this fact in the fine print on a page that you would never read when placing the order. This sort of thing is fine if they make it explicit that it is their policy, but I’ll bet that most people are thorougly surprised after receiving the product (as I was). I would gladly have paid the $50 extra to remove their stamp from my flyer, anyway — had I known.

On the other hand, the quality of the work is good. So my summary after working with them for the first time: good product, broken promises, and the shady practice of getting you to inadvertently market their business for free. I will never use them again.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Jun 4, 2004 16:48:17

Traditional Indonesian Music

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Watching Spinal Tap

The band came over tonight to watch Spinal Tap (first time, for both Miss Vienna Teng and me!), which was hilarious. I tried to convince Alan to slip a “traditional Indonesian” tri-tone into the next show they play together, but I doubt he will do it because Vienna would surely not be able to keep a straight face.

Most of today was spent packing for my upcoming trip and working on slides for the workshop James and I are giving at Seaspace on Sunday. I also received so many calls that I nearly chucked the phone off of the huge hill that Emile lives on. Despite the elevated blood pressure, it was nice to catch up with the people who called.

Saw Luke today for the first time in a long, long time. He walked into Emile’s place randomly, which was rather… random.

And I had a nice time hanging out with Tammy on Memorial Day, although I had a hard time finding the restaurant I wanted to take her to — and then the place was CLOSED. Sorry, Tammy. :) [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Jun 4, 2004 02:43:05

Lonesome George

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I’m pretty excited because I had two photos published in the current issue of Nature. Look for “Tortoise conservation: One of a kind 498″ :) (Large images are in the PDF).

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Jun 3, 2004 23:46:37

Mild Stress

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I forgot to mention that the restaurant yesterday had “Uteri” on the menu, but none of us were brave enough to eat it.

Speaking of internal body parts, my heart and stomach are tingling with mild stress. There’s also a compressor pulsing periodically across the street, which isn’t helping, and the people working on the house seem to think that the middle of the street is the perfect place stand around and yell. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 2, 2004 16:39:43

Vienna Teng @ Montgomery Theater, San Jose

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Vienna Teng’s Set List @ Montgomery Theater

Last night was the third time I had the fortune to perform with Vienna Teng. The first was at Cowell Theater in San Francisco for a Warm Strangers release party, and the second was a Joe’s Pub in New York City. As usual, I had a great time. I really do feel much honor to even have the opportunity to get up on stage with a musician of Vienna’s caliber, and her persistence in offering me such opportunities is helping me (with a boot at my butt) to expand the breadth of my musical comfort zone.

Jim Batcho, Alan Lin, and Jessie Ivry were great to play with as well. Because it was a “themed” event, I didn’t recognize as many people in the audience this time around. But some friends did come out in support: Oliver Miao, Mel Yao, Beverly Yang (and friends), and Heidi Hau (and after the show, Adam Tow, and Cindy and Chris Emura. As usual, VT fans Erik and Michele were there as well. :) I also saw Jason, whom I had met previously at the Border’s show in Palo Alto.

Did you notice that Vienna tactfully neglected to mention the name of track 11 in Warm Strangers? I thought she handled that very nicely. :) She also (for the first time I’ve heard) actually came out and described explicitly the story of Shasta (the hypothetical story, that is). Previously, I had only heard her give suggestions about its meaning (even though all her fans know, anyway).

There are some nice reviews and genuine thoughts about the show and all things Vienna on her public forums, and if you look around carefully, you might even find a nasty remark or two about me by a user named “Alderon,” who is now my new best friend. [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Jun 2, 2004 12:21:49

Bonehead Moves

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I’d like to describe my bonehead moment of the day, which is yet another gentle reminder of my progressive mental decay: I locked myself out of my running car — at the SFO arrivals curb. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Jun 1, 2004 01:22:27

Vienna Teng Rehearsal for Montgomery Theater

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Vienna Teng Rehearsal

Alan Lin, Jim Batcho, Cellist Jesse, Vienna and I harrassed Mandy and Elliot over in Noe Valley tonight while we rehearsed for tomorrow’s show at Montgomery Theater in San Jose [schedule]. Jim didn’t have his drum kit with him, but he played a green stool have, instead. Those drummers — so versatile. :)

Anyway, I’m excited to play! Too bad I can’t lug my cello and a group of musicians with me when I travel for photography. Otherwise, life would be nearly perfect. :)

I still can’t sleep at night. Elliot suggested that a shot of whiskey might do the trick, which I may go try later on this evening. Photos by Jim Batcho –> [see some photos]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Jun 1, 2004 00:10:46
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