Critical Section

Archive: October 31, 2009

<<< October 29, 2009


November 1, 2009 >>>

the Stonehouse

Saturday,  10/31/09  12:41 PM

So I'm back!  Got back from Washington DC yesterday, worked furiously (coding!), and then we took off for Montecito to celebrate Shirley's birthday with our good friends Kevin and Cynthia. 

to the Stonehouse... Shirley, Megan, Ole
heading out to dinner: Shirley, Megan, Ole

We had dinner at the Stonehouse at San Ysidero Ranch, and I must tell you it was one of the best dinners we've ever had.  I would put that place right up there with the French Laundry.  The atmosphere was amazing, from the softly lit olive trees lining the long drive up the hill, to the Stonehouse itself - an old farmhouse, perfectly decorated, to the beautiful gardens and misty views of Montecito.  And the service was impeccable.  And the food!  Shirley had a perfect Filet Mignon, I had perfect lamb, and we paired it with a pair of Mayacamus Cabernets which I must tell you were pretty close to perfect.  We have always liked Mayacamus - it is well regarded, but underrated - and boy was it fantastic.  Oh and thanks Cynthia for the wonderful cake.  A pretty excellent evening all around.

Mayacamus ChardonnayMayacamus Cabernet
oh yeah this is the good stuff

the Stonehouse
the Stonehouse
highly recommended
we will be back :)

We spent the night, drove back this morning, and are now in full preparation for Halloween.  I do think I will squeeze in a little bike ride...


touring the lakes

Saturday,  10/31/09  04:05 PM

Got a chance to do a nice little ride, touring the local lakes as it turned out... and working in a couple of stiff climbs.

Touring the Lakes: Westlake Lake
Westlake Lake, filled with ducks as usual

After a nice ride around Westlake, I climbed Decker Canyon, whew...  bringing me to the top of Mulholland...

Touring the Lakes: Mulholland (at the top of Decker)
Mulholland, at the top of Decker Canyon

And then down and around to Encinal Canyon, another stiff climb, whew...

Touring the Lakes: top of Encinal Canyon
top of Encinal Canyon, leading back to Mulholland

Then back across Mulholland and back down Decker, passing lovely little Lake Eleanor...

Touring the Lakes: Lake Eleanor
Lake Eleanor, also filled with ducks (as always)

And then finally a little detour into Sherwood, and passing Lake Sherwood...

Touring the Lakes: Lake Sherwood
Lake Sherwood, placid and [yes] filled with ducks

And finally back up Westlake and home!  A great little loop, 30 miles, with about 3,000' of climbing.  Perfect for pre-Halloween.  And now, this:


Saturday,  10/31/09  04:51 PM

A quick blogging pass before trick or treating...  (and I must say, it is kind of weird that the time hasn't changed yet, usually it gets dark around 6:00 and that when we go out, but tonight it is going to be around 7:00, huh.)

The Economist notes Falling Fertility.  "As industrialisation swept through what is now the developed world, fertility fell sharply, first in France, then in Britain, then throughout Europe and America.  When people got richer, families got smaller; and as families got smaller, people got richer."  The problem is that richer isn't better from a genetic standpoint.  As strange conundrum...

Philip Greenspun comments: Health Insurance is a basic human right.  This is such a weird concept to me.  Clearly if we provide health benefits to people who cannot otherwise afford them, then we are talking about socialism; those who have pay for those who have not.  It is a sort of forced altruism, and this never works.  The solution has to be for society to reduce the cost of healthcare to the point where everyone - or at least almost everyone - can afford it.  This cannot be done by government intervention, it can only be done by letting the markets work.  BTW this isn't a moral issue, it is an economic issue.

To see why this is so, try substituting something else for health care, like car ownership, as in "car ownership is a basic human right".  Okay, so that means those of us who can afford cars have to pay for those who can't.  We will actually have less money for cars as a result, and will probably not be able to afford as nice a car, just so the poorer members of our society can have one.  Does this make sense?  How about taxing everyone and then having the government give everyone cars?  Well that isn't going to work either, is it...  The best solution is to let Ford and Toyota and Tata flourish, so that they can provide low cost cars.

Venture Capital's wild rideSo, you want to be a VC, eh?  Prepare yourself for a wild ride, as this infographic from Fortune shows...  I will say that despite the tough times and uncertain future, the VC industry is not going to die; those who think so are unfamiliar with the tenacity and appetite for risk found in that group :)

Motorola DroidThe Motorola Druid is out, and Engadget has a review.  The verdict: really nice.  Of course they compare it to an iPhone, and in some ways it is lacking in comparison, but it is a legitimate competitor.  Considering that it is on Verizon, the largest cell carrier, and that Verizon customers can't buy iPhones, I'm sure it will be successful.  Count me among those who didn't think the Android platform was going to matter, and count me among those who were wrong.

So it is the first weekend of November.  Shopping Season!  Yep I have officially seen Christmas decorations and heard Christmas music, and the retail march is on...  I wonder how this year will stack up for retailers?  Probably a bit better than last year, but I don't think we'll be "back to normal".  Too many people are out of work, and too many others are worried about their future.

biggest cruise ship: Oasis of the SeaWow, the world's biggest ocean liner is also the ugliest.  "The Oasis of the Sea is five times larger than the Titanic, the $1.5 billion ship has seven neighborhoods, an ice rink, a small golf course and a 750-seat outdoor amphitheater.  It has 2,700 cabins and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew members."  Looks like a floating appartment building to me, with all the charm that implies...  [ via the horse's mouth ]

ZooBorn: Ripley, the Barking Owl chickZooBorn of the weekend: Ripley, the Barking Owl chick.  Wins "best facial expression" hands down :)  And also appears to be blogging...


Return to the archive.

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?