A Gift of Photos

photos, family

For this past Christmas, one of the coolest gifts I got was from my father. It was a CDROM of a couple hundred old photos from our past, digitized at high-resolution from old negatives and slides.

Here are some highlights from the 165 or so I uploaded to Flickr (although a number are limited to family and friends):

Hall Lumber Company

This is an image of the lumber company, Hall Lumber Company, that my grandfather owned in Flagstaff, Arizona. This must be from the late 1940s.

Chris' fifth birthday

This is my Dad, wearing a conductor hat and bandana and blowing out a candle on a wonderfully-constructed train cake.

Chris (2)

My Dad riding an old toy horse contraption in the 1950s.

Chris and friend

This is an austere shot of my dad being held by someone over a dune at white sands, New Mexico (I assume).

Mother and aunt in Patterson (2)

This is a great, dark shot of my Grandmother (at left) with an aunt of hers. The image says it's from Patterson, which I assume is in Texas. I can't find a Patterson in Texas, New Mexico or Oklahoma.

Mother and cactus

This is my grandmother actually touching a Saguaro cactus (probably in Arizona).

Richard and Joe in front on Garfield

My brother and me playing in San Diego in the very early 1980s. Great composition with me frustrated in the back and my brother with a "what a wuss" look on his face.

Tracie, Joe, and Richard at Easter in SD

There can't be a cuter shot of my sister, my brother and me. Easter... probably 1981.

Joshua Tree (6) - century plant agave americana

This is a blooming Century Plant (Agave Americana).

ABA Panel: The Evolution of Voting Technology

elections, reform, standards, news, politics, berkeley, problems, friends, research, policy, legal, iSchool

If you're in Los Angeles in two weeks, come see this panel Deirdre and I will be on. (if you're a lawyer, you get CLE credits)

American Bar Assocation, Standing Committee on Election Law presents a FREE CLE program:

The Evolution of Voting Technology: From Paper Ballots to Touch Screens And Back Again?

Friday, February 8, 2008
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Bordeaux Room, Beverly Wing, Mezzanine Level
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California

Following the 2008 Super Tuesday primaries and in advance of the 2008 Presidential election, please join the Standing Committee on Election Law at a program examining the security and accuracy of current voting machines. By November 2008, can our election technology achieve greater accuracy, transparency, and public acceptance of announced results in close elections? A panel of experts will discuss recent developments, including the startling 2007 results of the "Top to Bottom Review" of voting technology that was commissioned by the California Secretary of State. The study resulted in imposition of unparalleled restrictions and mandated procedures to protect election security and accuracy. As nearly identical voting machines are used nationwide, other States are reconsidering their procedures and machine choices. Problems of technology and voter confidence, interim and long term solutions, and the role of lawyers will be emphasized.

Moderator: John C. Keeney, Jr., Esq. (Hogan & Hartson, Washington, DC)

Panelists:

  • Charles H. Bell, Jr., Esq. (Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP, Sacramento, CA)
  • Joseph Lorenzo Hall (PhD Student UC Berkeley, School of Information (SIMS), Berkeley, CA)
  • Dean C. Logan (Acting Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk of Los Angeles County, CA)
  • Deirdre K. Mulligan, Esq. (Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, UC Berkeley School of Law, CA)
  • Freddie Oakley (Clerk Recorder of Yolo County, California)

Undecided

politics

I realized the other day that I'm an undecided voter.

I'm looking to be wooed, I suppose.

(I usually try to not mention the flavor of my political leanings. Working in elections can mean that any partisan flavor can and most likely will be used against you. Oh well.)

I'm having trouble deciding who to vote for on the Democratic ticket. When I use the neat tool at VoteMatch, I'm essentially a Clinton and Edwards person with Obama coming in a close third. Obviously, Edwards ain't going to win the nomination so he's out.

So, it comes down to Clinton and Obama. I have tons of respect for Hillary and I don't think it's any secret that she's the smartest person running for president. I'm disappointed neither Obama or Clinton have a well-developed stance on USA PATRIOT Act and curbing problems we've seen with it. However, I was heartened to see that both have positive stances on innovation and specifically government transparency (See these posts). My impression is that Hillary has a more well-developed platform than Obama, and that she's not afraid, as is the case with Social Security, to say she doesn't have any good answers yet. Obviously, there seems to be a big independent voter factor between the two; many independents won't vote for Hillary for whatever reason (that's what the media tells me).

So, are you in a similar boat and also undecided? If not, why not? And, before you try: every single R candidate makes my skin crawl. Those guys suck.

Don't Forget to Register to Vote!

elections, news, friends, policy

As Kim "daredevil democracy fighter and all-around good gal" Alexander says, the last day to register to vote in CA is on Tuesday, January 22. You need to register if:

  1. It's your first time voting.
  2. If you've moved.
  3. If you'd like to change your party affiliation. (Warning: You can't vote for Republican, Green, Libertarian or Peace and Freedom Party candidates unless you are registered as affiliated with that party)

Kim points to a handy list of all 58 county election officials in California.

If you don't live in California but want to know what is the last day to register to vote in your State, you can fill out a new registration form at Rock the Vote and they'll send you a PDF you can print and send.

Success with the Wetshave

berkeley

Yes, this is another shaving post. Deal with it.

Success. Today I had my first completely successful wetshave. It's a remarkable thing, really. To know that you don't have to buy Gillette or any other company's crappy products... to know that your shave will be comfortable and fun... to relish in doing things right... and to use high-quality products that feel good, smell good and make you feel good. That's a bit of what it's like to be able to pull off a good wetshave. Feels kind of like when I learned how to really drive a manual transmission; there's just no going back.

I'll describe what works for me in this post. First, the accoutrements:

a shaving mug, safety razor, boars hair brush and two types of cream
  • A lather mug. The mug should be pretty wide, a small bowl works too.
  • Real shaving cream. I really like the Geo F. Trumper Violet and Rose creams... very good lather and amazing fragrance.
  • A good safety razor with good blades. I use a Merkur Hefty Classic with Merur platinum-coated blades; they stay sharp and end up costing about 50 cents a pop.
  • A badger's hair brush with a stand. Boar's hair apparently holds water well and you need the stand so that it can dry when you're done using it.

Here's my approach to a step-by-step wetshaving process. Nothing is very novel; it's just what works for me. The key is wet... you want it as much lather and water as you can possibly stand:

  1. Shave after taking a hot shower. As they say, hot water opens up your pores. Don't dry your face; make sure it stays wet.
  2. Run hot water (not scalding) in the sink and splash the hot water to rewet your face just in case any evaporation has happened.
  3. Turn the water up to the hotest it will go and plug your drain. Douse the shaving brush in the water so that it gets very wet. Drop the brush into the water in the sink.
  4. Put an inch-long cylinder of shaving cream in your mug.
  5. Take brush out of the water and run under the running water again. Let the brush drain until the steady stream of water stops. Shake it gently once.
  6. Put brush in mug and use circular motions (both ways) to work up a lather... you'll know your done when there's a good lather on the brush and the lather in the cup is starting to peak just a bit.
  7. Apply lather to your face with the brush in up-and-down motions. It's amazing how precise you can be with a brush given enough time... you can get every millimeter of your face lathered and no millimeter of your face that you don't want lathered with practice.
  8. Check your safety razor. Make sure that the blade is firmly screwed down onto the razor. If it is not, the edge of the blade can stick out a bit and you will cut yourself.
  9. Put teeth of your razor at a ninety degree angle to your upper cheeck and tilt the blade up until you feel the razor catch. Slowly let the razor "fall" down your cheek, don't pull. Adjust angle such that you get a good shave. Only use large strokes if you don't have much growth.
  10. Continue shaving going with the grain of your hair and washing off your razor in the pool of water after every few strokes. This is very important. With most men's faces, the grain points downward until about halfway down the neck, where it switches to growing upward. Shaving against the grain is for fools and can really hurt and cause other problems. Only shave each part of your face once, you can come back later if you need to.
  11. After you're done with your first pass, check and see if you need another pass or need to touch anything up. If so, relather your face and do it again, paying attention to details this time.
  12. Once you're done, let the water out of the sink. Run the water warm and rinse out your mug and brush. Make sure to gently open the brush to get into where soap can hide in the middle of the brush. Put brush back in drying stand. Use the now clean mug to rinse down the sides of the sink.
  13. Run the water very cold. Cup your hands and splash very cold water onto your face and neck many times (4 or 5).
  14. Dry off your face with a towel... don't rub but pat. Your face is very tender here and rubbing will only worsen it.
  15. Apply aftershave of your choice. When your face is dry, apply a moisturizer of some sort.
  16. Clean up the sink so that it doesn't look like a squirrel jumped in a blender.

UPDATE [2008-01-14T22:57:33]: I had said "boar's" hair above for the brush when, of course, I meant badger. If you've read this far, you must check out Mark's shaving videos on YouTube:

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