April, 2006

Apr 06


Just watched the 4th episode of Thief on FX. It’s on a 6 episode arc for this first season, and this episode was great. Andre Braugher at the top of his game. Makes me want to start watching Homicide reruns again…

Apr 06


Just did Sam’s 9 month checkup — other than a cold that he’s had (and given me and I’ve given Kathy), everything is AOK. He’s 30″ tall now, which is about 95th percentile in height, and a little under 21 pounds, which puts him at 50th percentile in weight, and his noggin size is still humongo, off the charts (but fine). So that makes him tall, skinny, and top heavy. Like the opposite of a WeebleWobble.

Apr 06

concerns of man

here’s a quote from gilgamesh that prefaces a new book i’m reading (it’s christopher moore’s new book, so not nearly as momentous or weighty as gilgamesh but the quote is neat.) just thought it was a nice thought for the day:

What you seek, you shall never find.

For when the Gods made man,

They kept immortality for themselves.

Fill your belly.

Dan and night make merry,

Let Days be full of joy.

Love the child that holds your hand.

Let your wife delight in your embrace.

For these alone are the concerns of man.

Apr 06


This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a few weeks now, but just haven’t had the time. Here’s the thing: since July, I’ve been on the Board of Trustees of the Sunnyvale Public Library — a 5 member board appointed by the City Council of Sunnyvale to overlapping 4 year terms — with the responsibility for advising the City Council on library-related issues acting as advocates for Sunnyvale citizens. There are other boards which are probably more active & politically exciting — but I care more about reading and literacy than I do about maybe anything else. So the Library Board was a good fit for me.

It’s been a very interesting thing to do. Not always exciting — we’ve got monthly board meetings which are open to the public — they’re generally pretty formulaic and not super-exciting. We get reports from the Library Director, Deborah Barrow (who I like quite a lot), and talk about library policies from time to time. One of the interesting things we’re talking about is the Library of the Future — no doubt a topic which most every public library in the world is wresting with, and has for some time. In Sunnyvale we’ve got just one branch, built in 1960 or so, to serve 130,000 residents (as of 2000).

But anyway, here’s the main thing that I wanted to say: it occurred to me during one of our sessions that the machinery of our civic life — the people and processes that run our towns & cities & states & countries — are mostly invisible until things go wrong or you want them to work differently. Sort of like technology, actually. You use the end product every day, and generally things work. You only pull back the covers to see how the internals go if you want to change things or affect them.

Seems like maybe that’s the way things always work in our society, for better or worse: small groups of people do the heavy lifting to create the infrastructure that we all use every day.

Here’s a picture of what happened during a break in one of our meetings: the mayor and the parks department planted a tree (a gingko tree) for arbor day outside the library. Maybe 15 small kids and their parents were there, plus some of the city council members and library board members. Plus a couple of guys from Parks & Rec, who clearly know a *ton* about their work and were incredibly gracious and open in talking about the tree to the kids. I was really happy to be there.


Apr 06

great day at the d.school


Snap above is a pic from my camera phone of the fantastic d.school trailer at Stanford, where Asa & I spent the afternoon yesterday. My friends Diego and Bob are teaching a very cool class there called Creating Infectious Action (CIA) and their first class project is about spreading Firefox.

The class is just completely amazing, and I can’t wait to see the projects that the teams come back with. They asked great questions — some tough ones — and are already starting to think about creative ways to get to audiences that we haven’t effectively reached before.

And I’ll say this, too: every time I have an interaction with the d.school I’m reminded of all the things that I really loved about my time and Stanford, and more. The spirit of inquiry and curiosity that they’re creating there is completely infectious, and, like the Mayfield program, I’m a little envious that these programs weren’t around back in the old days when I was there. Can’t say enough about the great job that Diego, Bob, George and everyone there is doing. Feeling very lucky to be a part of it in our small way.