Archive for the ‘General’ Category

On blogging: how to increase hits by a factor of ten

February 18, 2014 12 comments

Apparently I stumbled across a little known secret for increasing blog traffic. What is it? It seems one just has to tag their post with Adam Lambert 🙂

My last post about Adam Lambert’s song Mad World went ballistic. Unfortunately, I only got a couple of extra comments and no follows. However, considering they were all stopping by to read what some writer guy had to say about one of their favorite artists, that makes sense.

Perhaps I should tag my next post with Stephen King? Naah. Can’t be that easy.


(Almost) winter snow

December 8, 2013 23 comments

Here in northern California, we don’t often get snow. But when we do, it sure makes everything look pretty. Here’s what it looked like yesterday.


See that window on the lower right? That’s where I spend most of my life, either working or writing.

Unfortunately, we’re a bit behind on putting up decorations. We should be caught up this week, though 🙂


On anniversaries: pieces that remain

November 30, 2013 18 comments

Pieces from a life

When someone you love passes away, nothing remains except memories and, if you’re lucky, a few sentimental pieces leftover from their life. These items, so ordinary that in other circumstance they’re nothing more than so much clutter, instead help you hold on, however tenuously, to the reality that once was but is no more. Sometimes it feels so easy to fall into that place where you find yourself wondering if it was ever real, or was it all just dream.

A year ago today, on November 30th, 2012, my father passed away. Today I reflect on the bittersweet nature of this anniversary. I’m reminded of the man that I called dad, and the love that I held for him, and the many memories I have of him over the years. Yet I’m also reminded that he is gone: no more phone calls, no more visits, no more e-mails. There is nothing left of the man I knew except a gravestone and a few items that once belonged to him.

Wooden propellers for radio-controlled airplanes, a hobby that he loved. I grew up watching him build his planes in the garage, then take them out and fly them through the sky. I was lucky enough to tag along with him on many of his flying trips, and I remember them vividly to this day.

A pair of his glasses. For as long as I knew him, he had terrible eyesight and wore glasses of some kind or another. And I remember hearing him lament his condition, mostly because he regretted that he couldn’t become a pilot in the military. Instead he had to serve in the Navy.

An old watch, scratched and beat up. I don’t think he really ever cared much about time, or its passing, at least not until toward the end of his life. Then it seemed that time became a precious commodity, and one of which he was quickly running out. I can sympathize with his feelings, as I sit here today wondering just how in the world I ended up where I am today.

Finally, a voice recorder he picked up after his diagnosis. He’d originally intended to use it to document his successful battle with cancer, and then perhaps write a book about his experience. Unfortunately, he never had the chance to use it for that purpose. But he did use it to record a couple of brief messages about how he was feeling during his treatment.

As it turns out, of these items, the recorder is the most precious one I have, because it gives me the one thing I would never have had if it didn’t exist: I can still hear his voice. After weeks and months pass by, it’s so easy for memories to fade, but with this recorder, whenever I feel the need, I can listen to him speak, if only for just a couple of minutes. It doesn’t matter what he’s talking about, it’s just hearing that voice one more time.

Love you, dad, and still missing you …


A new blog for my rambling, random thoughts

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment

For those who are interested, I’ve created a new blog. Click here to see it.

As the subject line says, it’s a blog where I plan on posting exclusively about personal stuff in my life. This allows me to concentrate more on just writing when I post here, which is a win for my writing friends and a win for family and friends who have no interest in the travails of an aspiring novelist 🙂

See you here (or there)


Inverse reactive current for use in uni-lateral phase detractors

September 22, 2011 1 comment

I work for a company that employs brilliant engineers and scientists. Frequently, these employees are allowed to give talks about their current projects or interests. I received an email about such a talk just today. Here is the description and abstract.

Description: Title: Randomized Search Algorithm

Abstract: In this talk we present a novel randomized search (RS) algorithm, which is found to be efficient in dealing with high-dimensional combinatorial, non-linear, non-convex, multi-objective optimization problems that involve various types of decision variables and many complex constraints. The algorithm does not require any problem decomposition nor identification or elimination of non-convexities.

Why is it that after I read the abstract I immediately felt like I might as well have just watched this?


Categories: General

Halloween in August

August 30, 2011 1 comment

So last year, it was Christmas in July (see my post from my old blog). This year, it’s Halloween in August. Yep, that’s right: time for the Halloween stuff to come out. I don’t mind, though, because I always enjoy the holiday season. So what if it shows up a little early 🙂


Halloween in August

Categories: General

On Blogging

July 26, 2011 2 comments

Yeah, the world has more than enough of these silly things, doesn’t it? So why one more? Well, this isn’t really a new blog as much as it’s a continuation of my old blog, which can be found here. I began writing it several years ago and, despite the sometimes sporadic posts, I enjoyed it quite a bit. For those interested in why I’m now blogging here, go and read the last entry of my old blog and it will all make sense. However, there is one other reason, but being a diehard fan of Apple products makes it difficult for me to confess it in public. But I will. After a few years of using iWeb, eventually I found it to be just a bit too restrictive in what it allowed you to do. So, given the timing and all, I thought I would just jump ship and head over here for a fresh start.

As for why I blog at all, it’s partly because I have this inner need to express myself through writing (the subject of future postings). However, it’s also driven by that part of my personality that seems to have an opinion or observation on just about everything in life and that needs to express those thoughts. Combine them together and you have the makings of a blogger. Maybe not a good blogger, but a blogger nonetheless.

So here is where I will place random things that, for whatever reason, are important to me in one way or another. Doesn’t mean anyone else will care, but then that’s the beauty of the blog world. No one has to read what you write and no one has to care. I can assume (or hope) that at least a few people find whatever I have to say interesting, or humorous, or enlightening, or maybe even thought-provoking. In the end, though, I know I can count on my family to follow me here, and I’m thankful they put up with my ramblings (both in blog form and in person :-).

For anyone else who finds themselves here, perhaps as the result of a google search or some other happenstance, I hope you choose to come along for the ride and enjoy what I have to say. Don’t be a stranger, though. Say “Hi” and Let me know you stopped by.


Categories: General