Sunny San Francisco

This weekend was an awesome weekend in the city: The sun was out, the fog stayed away, and people were out enjoying the great weather.

Dolores Park

I still had some work to do getting things arranged for my upcoming trip but when I was finished I walked over to Dolores Park to enjoy a little sun myself. It was great to just lay out on the grass and watch the people – Dolores Park is such a diverse place. You get the gay crowd to one side, the Latino crowd to the other, the Mission Hipsters of course show up with their track bikes, and then there’s the sun worshipers who come from all around to get some color after the long winter.

After a while I was getting too a little too much sun (love that Northern European complexion) so I had to head back inside. But it was the first day where I really felt relaxed and enjoyed the possibilities of what lies ahead in the coming months.

Continuing my trek through friends’ sites, I’ll again visit one of the older sites out there.

I met Jim through work at Intuit. He and I shared a similar work ethic and also both enjoyed getting to know rock climbing a little better. He and I, along with several other Intuit folks, would head up to the mountains on a pretty regular basis trying out different climbing routes and destinations. There were several trips to Yosemite, Fresno Dome and even a few great trips down to Joshua Tree

Jim had registered the JimSauer domain early in the days of the internet, and when I first met him the site was unmaintained and used primarily for the email address. Since then, Jim has spent a good amount of time overhauling the site into a bit of a blog type interface though he built the site and its publishing capabilities from scratch.

It remains his personal site, updated with select events from his day-to-day life including some photos and interesting anecdotes about what he’s been up to. This site probably won’t be of interest to too many, but I check in from time to time since he and I don’t manage to keep up with each other as much these days. I’d love to blame the fact that he’s moved to Tucson, but I know that’s not the case. Even prior to the move we weren’t spending as much time together. It’s a combination of no longer working together, me no longer climbing, and us living 40 miles away.

But that’s not completely it. I also feel that there’s a level of difficulty (that I feel anyway) of day-to-day living and trying to keep up with so many folks from over the years. I don’t know how unique I am in that regard or whether this is just a symptom of modern living – people living farther apart and creating larger and larger networks of people.

I think this at least partially explains the success of sites like FaceBook or LinkedIn. These sites would be unnecessary in a world in which people lived in the towns in which they grew up and worked in jobs that they maintain for 20 years.

Google applications

I just started using Gogle’s Calendar application and I have to say, I’m impressed.

For years I’ve been using Microsoft Outlook as a way to archive all of my email – both personal and work.  About a year or two ago I started to use GMail as a way to organize and coordinate my email for storage and writing both offline and online.

Basically, I like Outlook as an email client – which is not a rave review, but suffice it to say, I don’t think the web browser is the end-all be-all application environment.  There’s still something to be said for a fully-featured desktop app.  I would probably like other applications, like Thunderbird or Eudora or you name it – but I’ve used Outlook at every job for the last 10 years and it’s good enough for what I want.

The beauty of GMail is that I can continue to use Outlook when I’m at my desktop or I can use GMail when I’m away from the desktop – either way I still have all of my email accessible to me.  This is because of two beautiful concepts from Google.  First, they store all of my email – no deletion policies (ask me about my cell phone’s deletion policies in which I can’t have more than 50 text messages before it starts denying delivery).  Second, they have a very open policy with POP/SMTP connectivity, allowing the free-flow of emails back and forth the way I want it.

As an aside, Google also does not stamp stupid ads at the bottom of my email (a la Yahoo) and they allow me to send mail using my GMail account but signed from my domain name (

Well, after wanting better access to my calendar, I decided to follow suit.  I downloaded a Google App that sits on my desktop computer that automatically syncs my Google Calendar (GCalendar?) with my Outlook.  We’ll see how it goes (as I’ve only just recently done this) but I’m optimistic that this is going to work out as expected and allow me to have untethered access to my calendar – just like my mail.

Now I just need to upgrade my cell phone with better internet access (instead of the horrific Verizon internet interface).

Friends’ sites Fridays

One idea I’ve had with this site is to point out sites that friends are working on or working at, either personally or professionally.

Being in the Internet industry I work with a lot of talented and creative people who are also quite proficient in the field of web publishing and technology. It’s one of the things that inspires me to stay in the Bay Area and to stay in this industry.

When I moved to San Francisco the internet was really just taking off (this was 1995). My first job was at Intuit where I worked on the first iteration of their website (and specifically, During this time I also started playing around with my own personal web site – though it was hosted under my Pacific Bell internet account so it’s long-lost.

At that time I worked with Karl, who was also playing around with his own website on the side while also working on Intuit’s web publishing systems. Karl and I also spent a lot of time rock climbing back in those days, and he put together a website to host photos from our rock climbing trips as well as share his thoughts on and experements with gear.

I learned a lot from Karl, and I’m sad that I don’t spend more time with him (or more time rock climbing). He is also one of the first friends that I had that created a website so I’ve decided to start this series of posts with his site. Even though it is long un-maintained, it’s still fun to go back and check out the photos (and how they’re integrated into the layout) as well as how he chose to handle navigation around the site (this was still early on in the days of the web).. So go ahead and take a moment and check out It’s not someplace that you’ll spend a lot of time, but perhaps you’ll learn something just as I did all those years ago.

One more day

Tomorrow is my last day at StubHub.  It’s been just about 3 years since I started – and it’s going to be weird to move on, but the time is right.

The plan is to spend a week or so around San Francisco hanging out with the parents and friends and then head off.

The first stop is Michigan where I’ll go to Meghan’s graduation and hang out there doing any final packing and then it’s off to Africa.

I’ll write more later about some of the details about the Africa trip – there’s quite a few of them.  This will be the most organized and pre-planned trip I’ve ever taken.  For now, I’ll sit and reflect on the past few years of life at StubHub and what I’ve enjoyed and disliked and what I’ve learned from it all.

Tonight I’m going out for drinks with several co-workers and I suspect I’m in trouble as many of them are looking forward to a drink-fest and I’m expected to be in the center of it all.  We’ll see how tonight goes and more importantly, how tomorrow morning feels.

Weekly Photo

On my other site, PicsFromTrips, I just created a new feature called Weekly Photo.  I was able to do this by incorporating the WordPress blogging software onto the site.  I’m really having fun with the capabilities of these blog software suites.

Initially I just thought of them as a way to post random diatribes like this one, but through actually researching and using them I’m starting to recognize their content management capabilities.  They really make for an incredibly easy way to manage your own website.

So the idea behind the weekly photo is to have a way for me to showcase photographs from my catalog over the years.. I find that I don’t really poke through any of the old albums, so this is an exercise to force me to spend some time with my photos and also allows an opportunity to pick out specific photographs and provide some additional color.

We’ll see how well I keep up with this, but for now I really like the idea.