Bay Area Day Trips and the Computer History Museum

A friend and I have been making day trips to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sometimes the destination is set when we’re halfway there. Usually, we know before we leave. Some things in San Francisco seem as they were when we remembered them 60 years ago. Other things seem bizarre and foreign.

Last summer, one of those trips turned to the bizarre. We did something I’ve wanted to do for years – park the car in Vallejo on one side of the Bay a good 30 miles from San Francisco and take the commuter ferry. You solve the parking problem and for the princely sum of $11 round trip (the senior rate!) you get a nice 45 minute ride on the bay – past the silent cranes of the old Mare Island Naval Shipyard and under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge – to the old ferry building on the Embarcadero.

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Searching For That Part That Was Unobtanium

When my cars have needed interior work, I have gone to one place for years. Whether it is a simple replacement for a seat bolster, rubbed raw after years of sliding in and out of the driver’s seat, new seat covers, a new roof headliner,  or now, a new convertible top for my 27-year-old Mercedes-Benz SL500 I have only one place.

And without exception, when I go there, I always like to take pictures of the current customer cars having work. You might see a 1930 Bentley next to a 1957 Chevy. I have always felt that the owner is a perfectionist.

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Back to Google’s (Alleged) Beginnings…

Most people would not like to travel the way I travel. They want a specific route itinerary and planned places to visit.

For me, it is the spontaneity of the journey that I like. Last November I decided to drive from California to Minneapolis to attend Thanksgiving with my small family. And it was the unplanned stops along the way, a few way off course, that made the trip. I wrote about that trip here.

I have found a travel companion, and because of her background as a cruise director for the Royal Viking Line (and the first female cruise director), she is on board with my travel plans made at the last minute.

Inger once told me that she and her charge of passengers were in the middle of India, and the scheduled plane that was to take them to the Taj Mahal would not come. Now that is a challenge making arrangements “on the fly” for 20 people who are depending on you to get them to their destination in a timely manner. So she is used to travel’s unexpected detours.

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Selfish, Personal Post: If You Were to Start Tomorrow, What e-mail service would you use?

After a day of waiting on hold with my new internet server (I “bundled” for considerable savings but also because our local cable provider had been swallowed in a buy-out),  the last techie informed me that it was surprising I still got any e-mails – not that they were disappearing from my inbox and from deleted, etc.  (And pretty soon I wouldn’t get any.)   Suddenlink addresses, apparently, were being sent to some black hole.  Meanwhile, Optimum does not provide that service.

I guess I need to move on.  Opinions are generally well supported (and not in short supply) among Chicagoboyz; what has your experience taught you?  I’d love anecdotes  but statements like – XX is wonderful or terrible will also help.   After all, who is more savvy than a Chicagoboy?  On the other hand, I’m incompetent and totally rely on the Greek Squad so simplicity and safety are my biggest concerns.

If We’d Known Back Then What We Know Now

…and if we knew now what we will know in the future Then.

Palmer Luckey, at Twitter:

Think about what you could build with current knowledge if you were transported 100 years into the past. From industry to transportation to agriculture, many modern technologies were feasible but for the idea. In 100 years, the same situation will exist. Find those ideas now!

Seems like a fertile topic for discussion.  Two questions: What could you have created in the past (no need to limit it to 100 years ago specifically) with what you know now?..with reasonable realism constraints involving available resources and knowledge possessed by other people?  And, what could we create now that we haven’t and that will lead people 100 years from now to say, “How could they have been so dumb as not to do this?”