Monday, October 27, 2008


Bonnie and I had a great time in Amsterdam last weekend. I was there for work and had to stay over the weekend so Bonnie popped over to meet me.

While we were there Bonnie got to catch up with a couple of the students who had attended her program in San Diego.

And I got to see my baby sister who lives in Brussels!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All About Gustave

Hi all, things are fine with Bonnie and I. I will post interesting things soon.

Meanwhile - if you are interested in a first hand accound of what it is like to live through a hurricane, check out my fathers blog.

There is an interesting account as told through a series of emails my dad sent out to the family (read them from the bottom up!).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Big Bear

Last weekend Bonnie and I went up to Big Bear Lake and stayed at an amazing house in the mountains.

The house belongs to our friends Chris & Van; who are, by the way, the consummate host. The first night there we were treated to lovely dinner with several of their friends; (thanks goodness Van got the steak rub, it made the meal!).

The next day we took a boat out on the lake with several of the same folks, lots of sun and fun and swimming. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Bonnie actually got into the water and went swimming in a lake!

The next day, the four of us (me, Bonnie, Chris and Van) took a chair lift up one of the ski lifts (beautiful in the summertime), for a nice BBQ lunch on the top of the hill.

What a great weekend and just what the doctor ordered after a crazy few weeks at work for Bonnie and me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Over The Line In San Diego

This past weekend I discovered a uniquely Californian pastime; a game called Over The Line (OTL).

OTL is so popular that the Old Mission Beach Athletic club (OMBAC) , host a major tournament every year.

The tournament takes place over two weekends and occurs in an area apply named Fiesta Island, and during the tourney more than 2,500 games will be played.

For those who are not familiar (I was not), OTL is played in the sand is a bit like softball, but there are a lot of differences:
- The field layout is completely different (see diagram)
- The pitcher and the batter are on the same team
- Each team only has three players

Here’s how it works, the pitcher kneels beside the batter and tosses a rubberized ball, just smaller than a softball up into the air for the batter to hit. The batter goal is to hit the ball over the line at the end of the diamond (about 55 feet). The ball must remain in bounds and must not be caught by the opposing team. Four successful hits over the line without being caught is a run. Two foul balls, or a ball that gets caught, are an out. 3 outs per side per inning, four innings in total.

There is of course no running, that would make it to much like a sport.......

The OTL tourney is simply a good excuse to get together in as little clothing as possible (it is warm on Fiesta Island) and drink beer and have a GIANT party. About 55,000 people attend the tourney every year, and there is lots of music, and fun. No one under 18 is allowed on the island during the tourney.

One of the objectives is to find the most outrageous names possible for your team so that it sounds funny when they announce your name over the PA to start your next game. Nothing gets banned!! The tourney was so popular that ESPN was going to televise it, but they insisted that the names of the teams had to be toned down. The folks at OMBAC said No Way (well actually had another two word response F*#K You!). So the tournament never did make it onto ESPN.

Here’s a photo of one of my favorite teams.

Needless to say, I am now a devoted fan, and I will be fielding my own team next year. Anybody got any good ideas for team names??

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've Been Everywhere Man, I've Been Everywhere...

Wow, what a ride!

On Friday night I came home from a three week road trip all across Europe. I started out in San Diego California and then went to Madrid Spain by way of Houston Texas. From there I hit: Athens Greece, Munich Germany and Berne Switzerland.

Luckily that was the end of the first week, so I got to go to Brussels Belgium to spend the weekend with my baby sister.

On Monday it was off to Bristol England by way of Frankfurt Germany. After England I headed for Dusseldorf Germany and then Budapest Hungary, and Sofia Bulgaria.

After four meetings in Vienna Austria, I spent the second weekend wandering around the town.

The next week took me to Copenhagen Denmark, Aalborg Denmark, Stockholm Sweden, Prague Czech Republic and finally Dublin Ireland.

I left Dublin to come back to San Diego by way of Newark New Jersey.

After three weeks abroad I can tell you Europe is nice but, I LOVE AMERICA!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Alert System

Today, at long last, the FCC has announced a plan under which mobile telephone users will be able to receive emergency alerts via point to multi-point text message.

Any of you who know me well may know that emergency alerts, via the wireless mobile phone networks, are something I feel very strongly about.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) in use today has remained virtually unchanged since 1963. That was 45 years ago; I know because it was the year I was born!

The fact that so many lives have been lost due to lack of adequate warning is simply shameful.

It will take another two years to get the whole system put together, but today was a big first step.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ciao Bella!

This week (and next week) I find myself in Rome Italy. One of my workmates (Paul Rigatti) and I are here in town lining up a house (villa) to use for demonstrations of my company's in-building cellular coverage product. I hate being away from home without Bonnie, but I guess if I have to be out, Italy is not a bad spot.....

The idea is to find a nice looking house that has some serious cellular coverage issues, put our system in the house and then invite local wireless operators in to see what an amazing difference it makes on voice coverage and data throughput. We have done this before, you can read about our testing and demos in England in Ireland in previous post.

We have covered a lot of ground this trip. There are not may highways in the countryside north of Rome, so Paul an I, in our trusty rental car (a ford fiesta) have crossed fields, forded streams, slid up and down slopes and bounced along many dirt roads.

We did find one beautiful stone house in the country, the owner, who's name is Guido, was very inviting. Unfortunately, the house had NO cellular coverage and it is is hard to improve on nothing. The house it self was so nice that I would like to find a way to take advantage of it's seven bedrooms for personal use at some point in the future.

Eventually we found another house on the shores of a large lake that provides most of the fresh water to this section of the country. This is large, atrractive and has areas with OK wireless coverage and other areas with no service at all. Just perfect for us to demo our product.

Bonnie was not at all happy with me spending two weeks in Italy without her. When I told her about my upcoming trip, she lovingly told me "you suck!". She reminded me of this several times as I was preparing to travel. However as soon as I get home, we are going to sneak away for a three day weekend together!

One other woman in my life, is my trusted travel agent Muriel. This long suffering lady constanlty puts up with me calling at the last minute and asking for impossible international arrangements at the lowest possible rates. She was very vocal about me wandering all over Italy drinking excellent red wine. I told her I thought I would be working almost the all the time, but that I would try and find an opportunity to lift a glass in her honer. So Cheers to you Muriel and all the rest of my family and Friends!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On The Road Again

Willie Nelson has nothing on me (Ok, Ok, except that he can sing and play guitar much better than I can)

Once again I find myself on in a foreign country without Bonnie. This time it is in Spain, and I am here to attend the mother of all trade shows; “The 3GSM World Congress”. I am writing this update from a tiny little hotel in the historic district of Barcelona, which I consider myself lucky to find. Each about this time, the population of Spain takes a significant increase for the days of this show.

The show used to be in Cannes France, and since at that time Bonnie was a lady of leisure, she used to go with me. This year however, she is busy making arrangements for the 30 lucky students that have been chosen to receive scholarships for the 3 week summer conference on Conflict resolution that she now coordinates. How things change. If you are not familiar with the program, you can find out more here.

So being away from Bonnie is no fun, but what is fun I getting to run into folks that I have worked with over the years as we traveled the globe during telecom start ups. This year is also kind of fun because I get to go out an tell people all about the new products that we are building to improve indoor coverage for cellular systems. OK, maybe not that exciting unless you either;
  • are involved in a startup that makes these products like I am;
  • or you have terrible cell coverage in your house!

More as it happens!

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Little Piece of California

With each passing day, Bonnie and I settle a little more into our life as Californians. Today for instance, we closed on the purchase of a cute little house in University Heights.

It took us almost a year to get over the sticker shock and begin to look seriously at homes. We had thought that we would start looking in earnest somewhere around February, but we started visiting the open houses in our neighborhood of choice.

As luck would have it, we found a home we both loved a couple of months ago and we will move in tomorrow.

The house is what locals refer to as a craftsman style. It was built in somewhere around 1916 to 1920. The good news is that it was completely refurbished by a couple of guys with a real eye for details. We are very pleased.

The moving truck shows up at our old apartment at 8:00 in the morning. Time to get to work!