Posts Categorized: news + events

Happy New Year!

Snow on Saddleback and The Moon Snow on Saddleback Mountain - The Tiny Planet Version

Thurs 01.01.15 – The night before last we had a brief, windy, and cold storm that whipped through SoCal and dropped more snow on the local (lower) Santa Ana Mountains than on the (higher/taller) San Gabriel Mountains. Thus, both yesterday – New Year’s Eve – and today, there was a good coverage of snow on Saddleback Mountain and some of the surrounding hills. It is / was AWESOME, in the true sense of the word.

The last time I saw so much snow, so low on Saddleback was after a freak cold snap just before Thanksgiving 2004. I was so excited about this that after going to dim sum with Erika at Elite in Monterey Park, a picked up Scruffy McDoglet who went on the lam after the gardener left the gate open, and then Scruffy & I drove out Santiago Canyon Road just a bit beyond Irvine Lake to take photos of the SNOW!!! on Saddleback Mountain.

Snow in SoCal is really the best New Year’s Eve gift that 2014/2015 could give me. So Exciting.

This is Good and Too Long Coming… Cuba & the US

Today President Obama announced that the US and Cuba are working on normalizing relations. This is good that the US and Cuba are moving forward into 21st century. It is even better to say goodbye to the vestiges of the 1950 and 1960s policy that no longer fits either nation or the current state of the world.

Many kudos to Pope Francis, President Obama, Raul Castro, and all the diplomats and staff of the Vatican, the US, and Cuba who worked on the talks to make today’s announcement possible.

We trade with and can visit Vietnam, so why not Cuba. We trade with and can visit Russia. And China. And Laos, as well as other formerly and currently communist countries. It is time for us to kiss Cold War posturing* goodbye.

United States, let’s take the normalizing of relations with Cuba one more step and lift the trade and travel embargo while we are at it.

* We can leave the Cold War posturing and nostalgia to Mr. Putin, which seems to be his favorite activity the last year plus. Maybe Mr. P. should think about actually governing his country and improving Russia’s economy…

Venus and Other Planets in the Evening Sky from Larry Koehn

Venus in the evening sky 45 minutes after sunset from December 2014 through August 2015 from LarryKoehn on Vimeo.

Larry Koehn has created a great visual in the form of the above Vimeo video to illustrate where Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter will be in the evening western sky over the course of the next year! EarthSky has a wee bit more info here.

Here is Larry Koehn’s description of the video:

Each frame represents one day with a total of 238 days from December 10, 2014 through August 3, 2015. The focus of the animation is on Venus, since it is the brightest planet as seen from Earth. Last year, Venus traveled low along the horizon from the northwest to the southeast. This year, our "sister planet" is moving in the opposite direction and making a steady climb high into the sky with it peaking early next summer. From now through August, Venus will come closer and closer to the Earth with it reaching inferior conjunction on August 15, 2015. But before reaching that point, Venus will reach greatest elongation east on June 6. Around May 10th, Venus will be the furthest from the horizon.Venus will be in conjunction with Mercury on January 11th, then Mars on February 22nd, and finally with Jupiter on July 1st. Many of the dates were obtained at In-The-Sky.org.

I have inserted a small view of what you would see if you were to watch Venus through a telescope over the coming months near the green buttons. Venus starts off small and round in December. As the days progress, Venus becomes larger and closer to the Earth, and it goes through various phases of illumination much like the Moon. By the time it reaches August 2015, Venus will have a thin crescent phase.

In Other News…

Local Passion vine flowers blooming...

In other news, the last 13 days:

April 15th – Tax day AND go to Chicago for super cool HERE Maps and Human Automated Driving demo day. Write up on the HERE day coming to a browser near you very soon.

April 17th – Ms. Jen moved away from Seal Beach for good, due to the damp/mold causing too many migraines and sinus headaches. Ms. Jen waves a fond goodbye to her fave little town by the sea with very good night star viewing. Ms. Jen does not wave a fond goodbye to the evil black mold that lived perniciously through out the town.

April 17th – May 17th – Ms. Jen sits on a house in West LA area whose inhabitants have buggered off to Europe for a month.

April 24th – Ms. Jen and this blog both have birthdays.

April 25th – 28th – Nokia Devices and Services finally is subsumed into Redmond’s Borg. Nokia HERE Maps and Nokia gets new CEOs.

April 26th – Real rain, yes – wet water, fell from the sky for a bit in the greater Los Angeles area. Followed by big wind and a nice chill.

Evening of April 28th – Ms. Jen still loves all of you. Ms. Jen does not love the Santa Ana winds that just started and the heat predicted for the next two days.

April 28th and forward – Ms. Jen is available for new career opportunities, esp. one that will include relocating and mobile.

Photo of local passion vine flowers taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia Lumia 1020.

Week 2400, Day 5

A portion of today, after work to-dos were handled, was spent moving folks from my ‘Nokian’ twitter list to my ‘SquashFolk’ list. Although, if I was being politic, I would rename the list Microsoft One or Microsoft Mobile.

È finito, indeed.

—– A few Updates —–

The best of the goodbyes, from John Kneeland.

CNET on Farewell Nokia: The rise and fall of a mobile pioneer

Nokia’s HERE Maps appoints new CEO

Nokia appoints Rajeev Suri as President and CEO and announces new strategy, program to optimize capital structure, and leadership team

—– An Opinion or Two —–

Ms. Jen says: I can only hope that the best of Nokia’s mobile DNA – the people, the ethos, the passion for design, the passion for innovation – will be injected into the Squash. Microsoft is in need of new passion. One can only hope.

CJ and Alvin say: UnleashTV Episode 76 : The One with ‘Microsoft Mobile’ [starting at 27:01]