Topic: California

Posts in this category capture the character of California, particularly the spirit of the forty niner gold rush that persists to this day.


Just as you can’t make a patient healthy by bleeding them to death, one can’t make a business healthy by simply laying off employees. Recently, HP announced that it would reduce staff by 29,000 (CNN) with the goal to simplify business practices and accelerate innovation (BGR). Massive layoffs are a sign of bad management (Forbes), [...]

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Mt Tam Fire Lookout

On a cool, clear Friday morning, Roger and I hike 4 miles with 2000 feet of elevation change to reach the 2,571 foot East Peak summit of Mt. Tamalpais.  Our destination is the Gardner Fire Lookout.  We go partly because it’s there, partly for the amazing view, and mostly because Doug has sandwiches and beer waiting. Doug [...]

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San Anselmo Patch

We live in a sleepy bedroom community, San Anselmo.  Our product is our kids.  That’s why we rally around academics and sports, drama and after school programs.  Extra dollars go to Yes! for music and arts. Many of us most leave this “Mayberry” each day, going to work in gritty urban areas like  San Francisco, [...]

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Balancing the Budget

Here in the land of drought and sun, we always look out for number one.  California’s school kids have been the biggest losers (2008, 2009, 2010).  And even though CEOs advocate for an educated workforce, initiatives like Prop 30 that target their income bracket to pay for K-12 education only lead to animosity and continued budget gridlock. [...]

Also posted in Government | Comments closed

Happy Cows

Are people happier in California?  This is a common misconception, mischievously manipulated by the California Milk Advisory Board in its Happy Cows ad spots.  Given the importance of the question, David Schkade (University of Texas, Austin) and Nobel-winner Daniel Kahneman (Princeton University) received a research grant to find a definitive answer. For their 1998 paper, Does [...]

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No Child Left Behind

Innovation flourishes on the foundation of an independent, highly educated, creative workforce. In Innovation Nation, John Kao outlines how Finland started in the 1970′s to make its own talent by “converting their schools from mediocrity to excellence.” Kao points out that the world is highly competitive now, and the US will soon lose its leadership [...]

Also posted in Government | Comments closed


In War Games (1983 movie), a teenage hacker convinces the War Operation Plan Response (WOPR) system to stop a destructive game of Global Thermonuclear War by learning futility from Tic-Tac-Toe. That makes sense, as the children’s game always ends in a draw when two contestants play to win. The “adults” at 576 Folsom Street, San [...]

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San Francisco changed after Herb Caen passed away.  He wrote a column each day for nearly 60 years and connected the people of the city.  My favorite part was the occasional namephreak – a name that sounded exactly like what that person did.

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