not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Laguna Seca

Last weekend I went to the Ferrari Challenge at Laguna Seca, with friends/teammates Jason and Prateek.

Here are some of the cars lined up on the straightaway.  A sign gave their speed as they exited the straightaway, typically 130-140 MPH.  Here’s a video.

The “corkscrew” is the most unique feature of the track at Laguna Seca; Wikipedia calls it “ of the motorsport world's most challenging turns, due to the drop in elevation as well as its blind crest and apex on the uphill approach,” and we did see one car get turned around on it.  Here are the cars going through it, and here’s a video.

We also got to see a lot of new and classic Ferraris, and the garage tents where mechanics worked on the cars.

Trump is a dangerously stupid, racist, sexist, fascist liar: part 1

Donald Trump is a dangerously stupid, racist, sexist, fascist liar.  Republicans control Congress and the Supreme Court is split, so it’s on the public to stand up to Trump.  So, get out and join the anti-Trump protests.

Here are some pictures of protests around the San Francisco Bay Area since Trump’s inauguration.

The NoWallNoBan protest in San Francisco’s Civic Center, February 4, marched “against Donald Trump's racist and exclusionary Executive Orders.”

The NoWallNoBan protest at Sunnyvale City Hall, February 12, marched “against the racist and exclusionary ban on Muslims along with the bigotry targeted towards Latino, BLM, women, LGBTQ and all other affected minorities under the new administration.”

“Not My President Day” protest in San Jose, on Presidents’ Day (February 20).

Tech Stands Up’s Pi Day Rally advocated for “inclusion, diversity, and civil liberties” in the face of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.

The March for Science Silicon Valley was April 22, and marched from San Jose City Hall to Silicon Valley Comic Con :) at the convention center.  The “goal was to promote evidence-based policy in the public’s best interest.”  

The People's Climate March and Rally, Santa Cruz edition, April 29, marched for climate action “on the 100th day of Trump’s presidency,” from San Lorenzo Park to downtown.

On April 15, I also joined the counter protest against a white nationalist Trump rally in Berkeley.  Unlike the other protests here, there were both anti-Trump and pro-Trump factions there, and both sides came to fight.  I captured some of the chaos on video here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Los Angeles

I was a tourist in Los Angeles for a few days, which combined great museums with the wonder of continually sitting in traffic.

The Getty Center has a great room full of impressionist paintings like Van Gogh’s Irises and Monet’s Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light.  My pictures are Cezanne’s Still Life With Apples and part of the Center’s exterior, which sits on a high hill overlooking the city.

The Huntington Library has a Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare First Folio, shown in the pictures; and an illuminated manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, the Ellesmere Chaucer.

In the Huntington’s art collection, I was surprised to find one of Joshua Reynolds's paintings of Samuel Johnson, which are a popular internet meme.

At the La Brea Tar Pits, I saw some fossils from the pits and a current excavation.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is next door.

Griffith Observatory.

Downtown, I saw the Pueblo, the site of the original Spanish settlement in Los Angeles; and the Bradbury building, whose atrium has great wrought-iron work.

Grauman’s Chinese theatre, Gene Kelly’s handprints, and Orson Welles’s star on Hollywood Boulevard.

Downtown, seen from the car. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Gen Con 2016

I was at Gen Con for the third time this year, for 2 days.

As always, there were lots of costumes.

It’s the year of Pokeman Go.  Here Rob and a pirate are trying to catch one.

I’m always amazed by the outrageous magic cards there.  Here’s one going for $11,000 at the CoolStuffInc booth.

If I’m around the house on a Saturday, a lot of times I’ll have the Dice Tower or Matt Chat on.  Here’s the Dice Tower’s Zee Garcia (left) and Sam Healey (right) in the exhibit hall.  (Sorry, I still need to figure out who the middle guy is.)

Most of my time there this year was playing D&D with Rob, Karen, Buck, and Lou.  Here are some vikings playing Saturday morning.

The high point was the last game on Sunday morning, “HILL 1-S Onslaught,” in which the characters fight a super legendary Blob of Death that’s taken over the center of Hillsfar.  In this session there was a kind of uber-DM who coordinated the action across all the tables and announced the collective progress from the center of the room.

Here’s our table.  The uber DM (I didn’t get his name) is visiting the table telling us that a black cloud has appeared over the city, raining down poisonous spores.  Our DM Daniel, in red, is sitting next to him.

The table captains meeting with the uber DM to report the parties’ progress.

The uber DM telling the room that our table’s wizard polymorphed the poison spores into a rain of flaming squirrels.

Downtown Indianapolis from the hotel room.