Yay Monterey Bay!

Although a long drive south, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is really something else. While large, it's not the size that makes the aquarium so interesting. In nearly every exhibit, the presentation was fantastic, affecting the viewer with the sense you'd get had you gone to see these creatures in the wild.

A kelp forest, found here in the Monterey Bay, was recreated complete with waves to move the kelp around, providing the necessary churn for life. The key was that you got to see it full-size, wrapping around you. You got a sense of really being suspended right off shore.

The exhibit showcasing the crashing cacophony of tidal pools didn't just tell you about what it's like in a storm, they tossed crashing waves over your head!
The jellies exhibit was yet another great example of fantastic setting. In essence jellies are almost otherwordly creatures, floating around in the deep. If you were the first explorer to stumble across a giant school of them floating by, I'm sure the experience must have been completely surreal. The lighting and layout of this exhibit was almost science-fiction in nature. It fit wonderfully.
The deep holding tank was far and away my favourite, however. The sense of a vast ocean full of life right in front of you was beautifully recreated. I stood in front of it and was a child again -- curious and full of wonder at all the world's possibilities.

Laura Visits, We Learn How to Host

Laura came by for a long weekend, and we tried out this whole hosting thing. Like parents with their first child, we got some things right and some things wrong. At the heart of the issue is that we're still kinda new here and don't entirely know all the good places to go yet.

We like to show people San Francisco, but there's still loads of things about the city that we're learning ourselves. 
  • Fisherman's Wharf is kitschy tourist-trap. 
  • Golden Gate Park is really big and open with a few neat attractions, but perhaps it's better if you're going with a large group using the open spaces. 
  • Museum tickets to popular exhibitions should be purchased well in advance, otherwise you head in to downtown San Francisco and end up with just a short tour.
Before anyone gets worried that visiting us is a terrible idea, keep in mind that the weekend as a whole was in fact a great time. I've got proof.


I got in to work this morning and noticed that google had changed it's logo to celebrate the first day of fall. I quickly realized that the warm, sunny bike ride in to work today didn't feel the slightest bit like fall weather.

If the current weather forecast for San Mateo is "fall" weather, then I could get used to living here.

More Meltdowns

Like many failures in a market economy, poor decisions come from the mis-alignment of motivations.

There is one major problem on Wall Street, that until solved, will result in meltown after meltdown in future years. I can't say if the meltdown monkey will hit every 2,3, 5 or 10 years. But I can say with certainty that it will happen again. Why ? 

Because Risk and Reward have been decoupled for CEOs on Wall Street

I Suppose it Was Inevitable

Sarah Palin and John McCain certainly make an interesting ticket for the Republicans. After the American voter gave them a failing grade with the 06 congressional elections a ticket that is supposedly a conservative brand of change is a clever strategy.

The RNC needs to convince people that they can reform themselves. After watching some of the Republican Convention's speeches I noticed they were railing against the usual Straw Men: Librul Judges, Librul Media, Arugala Eaters, People That Will Force You to be Gay,  and so on. John McCain and Sarah Palin would reform these Librul Pussies. This is all pretty laughable, from a purely rational standpoint, but we all know that elections rarely operate on rationality.

My fear is that this works. That it will convince people who don't look at what is being used to back up the titles of "Reformer" or "Maverick" (read: nothing since 2000) that John McCain and Sarah Palin will indeed bring change to the country.

The Obama campaign is trying to shed some light: (cnn article)

Shut Up and Multiply

Altruism isn't the warm fuzzy feeling you get from being altruistic. If you're doing it for the spiritual benefit, that is nothing but selfishness. The primary thing is to help others, whatever the means. So shut up and multiply!

It's Full of Stars

I slipped under the surface, in to a world of pure ideas with music that let my inner abstraction astronaut launch outside the gravity well of reality's obligations. I played with numbers and logic -- universes of my own creation.
Every now and then I really love my job.