A map of my writing organized by topic

Making Life Better
“Follow me if you want to live!” — A. Schwarzenegger
Culture and Politics
Opinions based in as many facts as I can find
Tech and Geek
Your user…

Business

Reflections on joining a Board of Directors at the wrong time

An arial view of surfers floating on a calm blue sea.
An arial view of surfers floating on a calm blue sea.
Photo by Jess Vide from Pexels

In November of 2019, with the US presidential election a year away, I felt the need to do something for the planet and local community in light of the past three years of political horror. I looked at various organizations from wildfire recovery to rescue dog transportation and settled on running for the board of directors of the food co-op here in San Diego. By volunteering for this owner-run organization, I would be able to think globally and act locally.

I was impressed by the 7 principles that were inscribed on the walls of the Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food…


Current Events

Trump’s Big Lie is keeping some Trumpers behind bars

Phot by the author.

There are now 455 January 6 rioters charged by the U.S. Justice Department. Most are out on bail but some have been denied bail and remain behind bars. These offenders being held are considered violent but also stated in their defense they were riled up by the former president by his statements on that day and his promise to join them in the insurrection.

While denying bond to Clevland Grover Meredith Jr., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote “The steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away; six months later, the canard that the…


Travel

I forgot the charts… twice.

A toy boat sits on the page of a nautical atlas.
A toy boat sits on the page of a nautical atlas.
Chart of Kirias where the store is. Photo by the author.

I perceive Finland as both large and small. It all depends on where you are at the moment. The land is 80% the size of California but only has 15% of the population. The space between cities makes them seem that much smaller.

Our plane landed at Turku, the second-largest city in Finland, though the airport was small, the airfield was huge. After landing it felt like we taxied past forests as if we were driving to another airport. I was wondering why we had not landed closer to the terminal when we finally arrived at the gate. …


Science

Your first clue is when your tongue sizzles

American astronaut space walks outside international space station with blue Earth in background.
American astronaut space walks outside international space station with blue Earth in background.
At orbital velocity. Courtesy of Pexels

The demarcation of where space begins is important for defining vertical sovereignty. Each country owns the airspace within its borders. The recent downing of a Ryan Air commercial aircraft by Belarus has made airspace ownership abundantly clear. Passenger and cargo flights must now go around Belarus both for safety and political reasons. Belarus is a small country, 207,600 square kilometers, and routing flights around it is not too difficult. If it were Russia, it would be nearly impossible for some routes as it spans 11 time zones.


Opinion

Stop with the silliness and give NASA the money.

A silhouted hand tosses a paper airplane at the moon during sunset.
A silhouted hand tosses a paper airplane at the moon during sunset.
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels

Space: the final frontier. These are the budgets of the American military. It's continuing mission: to strangle the American economy. To seek out new hardware and new missiles. To boldly spend where no nation has spent before!

It’s what America does best, militarize and commoditize everything. So it is no surprise that Space Force has become the latest effort to expand pork-barrel budgets in Congress. This comes just as criticism of the Air Force as a legitimate branch of the military was coming under scrutiny.

The Space Force is officially part of the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps…


Real Estate

Reflections on my housing journey

A black and brown dachshund stands in cardboard box
A black and brown dachshund stands in cardboard box
Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Americans move about 11 times on average during their lifetime. When I heard this I of course immediately started time traveling and counting. Here are the places I have lived and why. To qualify for this list the abode must have been my primary residence — hanging out at my girlfriend’s place for a week or more doesn’t count.

Sacramento

When my parents brought me home, they were living in the lower apartment of a four-plex. I am told my crib was under the stairs and I have no recollection of this place.

West Sacramento

My father was a school teacher in West…


Prime footsteps are following Sony, not Fred Astaire

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The announced purchase of MGM Studios by Amazon Studios sounds like the biggest Hollywood merger since Metro Pictures merged with Goldwyn and Meyer. But there’s the rub, All three theatrical companies were actual studios.

A studio is much like it sounds, a large space where creative work can be done. In Hollywood, a studio is a collection of sound stages, most times with a back lot for outdoor scenes. Excluding animation houses like Pixar Studios, there are only two movie production companies with “studio” in the name, 20th Century Studios (purchased from 20th Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company)…


All the surveillance and none of the safety for $10M

A vintage Hotel San Diego sign lays on the ground with a sunset and palm trees in the background
A vintage Hotel San Diego sign lays on the ground with a sunset and palm trees in the background
Photo by author.

San Diego installed smart streetlights in 2017, marketing the system and the city as the “The World’s Largest Smart City IoT Platform”. Being featured on the National Geographic Channel’s “World’s Smart Cities” gave a boost to the tourism publicity as well. The system presented some really useful data for public safety so imagine my surprise when the system was shut off without a whisper of comment from city hall.

The smart streetlight data

The smart streetlights have sensors that are capable of collecting and transmitting data on vehicle size (large/small), direction, speed, and time of day. Some sensors also collect parking and pedestrian data…


The Medieval Project Manager

Chandler on watch. Photo by the author.

Flemish weavers migrating to Wales in the early part of the 12th century brought the first corgis from the mainland. At that time the breed was still part of the Teckel family of dogs which included dachshunds and other short-legged mutts.

These spunky compact pooches earned their place on the farm as alert guardians but were quick to become excellent herders and drovers. Due to their short stature and ability to quickly roll, they can avoid being severely injured or killed by a targeted hoof. This trait and many others make these dogs excellent project managers.

Be an Excellent Herder

Project management is like…

Paul Coogan

Project Manager, Artist, and Data Visualization/Activist Geek

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