Thursday, November 30, 2017

In San Jose on the 101.

This made me laugh because well... you know where I live. When I drove to Las Vegas or San Diego the freeways had pro Trump signs the whole way through California. But I didn't think anyone in Silicon Valley would dare. Yet right on the 101 in San Jose right now sits this sign. I'm not sure what's happening.

It's the creepiest thing.

You all have to know that cities seem to think that if you are going to drive on their roads, you WILL give them your data. And companies are happy to sell you out.

I've been to a couple of infrastructure cons where the cities are involved, and it's quite shocking how strong their tone is.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Car infrastructure conferences make me so mad. The government seems to want a very punitive approach. They are all.... give me all your data, and money and maybe we will let u drive on the roads.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Seems a bit extreme, but okay...

Pictures I should have posted.

It's not pretty, but it's GIANT. And it makes you laugh. You can see people at the front, and I purposely got the building in the background for scale.
I don't get it. I haven't seen one single person say that the improving economy is due to Obama's policies. Said in the most sarcastic way.

Monday, November 27, 2017

I don't get this guys angle.

I would try to explain to you what this thing is... but for some reason this guy was being super cagey. When I asked, he ignored me, so I tried to zoom in from far away and see what he was looking at. You could kinda see that there was an image on that screen but he noticed me taking pictures and gave me the biggest stink face. He was in a public place@! 

I've seen him at other places with other inventions, but I just don't understand a guy who thinks he doesn't need even the smallest exposure. And anyway - I think it's stupid. No one is going to hold a box like that up to their faces. Now if it becomes something else maybe I'm interested.

Our lady of Silicon Valley

Sometimes when I have time to kill I find myself at this place even though I'm an atheist. Buildings come and go, but this statue has been there since I was a kid. It's probably 40 feet high. You can see a tiny person at the base.

She's watched this place grow from fields to multi story office complexes. All day long people come and go. I watch them wondering what hopes and dreams they are praying for. What sadness provokes them to come and rub the feet of this statue. I don't really understand the comfort people get from these things, but sometimes even I feel it too.  It's once of the most peaceful places in that city now. A quiet in the middle of chaos. She overlooks the freeway! And if that is what people need to get them through.... who am I to judge?

Which way?

Whenever I cross this street in Santa Clara I smile to myself. I feel like most people don't understand the significance of this street sign.

I grew up in Santa Clara and Agnew was a famous mental hospital. One of my moms friends worked there and she was assaulted a bunch of times.  Sun Microsystems took over the hospital buildings at least a decade ago. Sun isn't even a company anymore. I think Oracle owns it. But they still occupy the grounds.

But I like that they pointed out the way to freedom from this place.

From the b-roll.

A woodpecker. Why? Because it wound up in my backyard instead of forcing me to talk the park where you can barely see them anyway. I didn't know they apparently eat ground bugs.

Pictures I should have posted.

I'm a fairly tortured photographer. So a lot of stuff winds up not making it to the blog for various reasons. But I have a lot of B-roll stuff and through the holidays it's kinda nice that everything slows down so I don't feel so much pressure. Blogging is a grind. Seriously. And I'm not even that good at it.

So this year, maybe I will just try to post some of the stuff that never made it.

I haven't seen as many Aston's lately so it was nice to see one in the wild. Honestly I was pretty curious about it because it had Aston branded brakes. And if there is anything I've learned about brakes this year is wow........that guy is going to feel butt hurt.

You see over the recession Mr S. and I bought a ridiculous sports car. Not spendy like this one, but not bad. It was when I thought we were going into negative interest rates. Which is fun to laugh about now. I decided I'd rather throw my money away in a fast car than have the government or the banks take it. It's a stupid purchase, but hopefully at the end I'd at least still have a fast car! Which is the effed up incentives the Obama administration was fostering. If anyone on earth told me they had done that I would laugh until I passed out. I literally would not think they were sane.

But anyway - the brake job for that car showed up this year and wooooow. So now I've become the rudest person in the world because this area is filled to the brim with expensive sports cars! And now that I've hit that landmine I want to know how much these guys are putting out for Aston Branded brakes.

He actually didn't know because there was only 7k miles on this thing. But someday if he keeps that car he is going to remember me and my stupid - hey... how much do breaks for this thing cost?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The bunny equivalent of.... I'm done.

Today it rained in California. So I'm hunkered down with a fire. The only thing I've done today is trim bunny nails. And she was none too happy about it. When you see that much lip and teeth, bunnies are NOT happy.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I've got nuthn' unless you find gutter cleaning interesting. I ~have~ been watching my fair share of escapism TV over the holiday and what is up with Canada? We've got Canada's worst handyman. And Canada's worst Driver. Makes you think there is a whole theme there. And how did Canada get Guido's?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Conversations with Mr S.

He goes to fix the toilet and when he comes back he says - I hope you aren't running out of shampoo's.

I just look at him.

Him - you've only got about a dozen up there.

Me - My hair is very finicky! And some asshole tricked me into buying mint shampoo again.

Him - Oh.... they tricked you?

Me - YEAH! I'm convinced that women don't really ~want~ mint in their shampoo or else they wouldn't keep trying to disguise that fact that it has mint. They call it "reinvigorating", or some other bullshit.

Him - See... I think it's sort of like Listerine. Their whole market campaign was - it tastes bad so you know it's working. The mint makes your head tingle so people think it's doing something.

Me - Even if you smell like a jar of vapor rub? No woman likes to smell like mint. It's ridiculous.

If women wanted that they would just put MINT in big giant letters. Makes your head tingly but makes you smell like a granny.
I fell off the world yesterday. If you aren't on the internet you cease to exist. Right? 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Basically..... more of that.

We are only one storm away from most of this being gone. It sucks the sky has been so hazy, but you work with what you've got.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Near peak.

My city is crushing it right now.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I don't really get it.

I walked up to this thing, took a picture and immediately texted Mr S the follow - Here is your stupid flying car. He responded - NO - that is a driving plane.

I don't really understand why men have this compulsive need to make one product do two tasks marginally well. Instead of having two products that do one thing really great. Especially when we all know that personal drones are going to be where the market goes. 

Hell, in the future I'm going to paint a giant X on my deck and I'm going to market this house as having a drone pad.

Still meh.

A couple of days ago I was going to make a post saying I was tired of rolling up to robotic conferences only to find cameras and robotic arms. I almost never find fully formed robots now. It's stupid.

Then on the last day I rolled up to a show that had some actual bots. Pepper is probably the most advanced, but really I haven't seen anything new out of it in at least a year. It seems with the computing power we have these days you could have a fully formed conversation with it. Just put an Alexa in there. Problem solved.

They are still showing off these toy robots.... for like the last 10 years. The one with the arrow seemed to be acting like it was trying to get out of a field sobriety test. For some reason it was just slightly rocking back and forth. But maybe he was just afraid that is he didn't perform well he'd wind up in the heap.

Pepper is a good robot though. I just can't believe they haven't really made any recognizable speech improvements.


A couple of days ago I got to see Henrik Fisker speak. He was releasing some new battery technology called solid state batteries which probably many of you have read about by now.

I've been shitting on electric cars since the beginning,. They take too long to charge. How are batteries better for the environment than oil were some of the reasons. Having said that - I believe there is a market for almost everything. Including electric cars. Are there old people who only need to get around the city they live in, and are willing to plug their car in every night? Sure. If they want to pay for a product like that, why not let them?

However, I start to get really resentful when guys like this start going to the government trying to limit the choices we get to make in favor of their technology. For example, Robert Honda a California politician showed up in the audience out of nowhere. He wasn't a speaker on the docket, so I imagine they were trying to find ways to ban traditional cars. They explicitly state this mission. So, it's not too far of a stretch to think that's what they were doing. Or maybe they are just lunch buddies. Said in the most sarcastic way.

I told myself that I would never had had a problem with electric cars if they hadn't forced us all to pay for them. There's a market for almost anything I said. But the more I thought about it - Fisker is kind of the prime example that this is just lies we tell ourselves in the rear view mirror. Is there a a market for electric cars? Sure? Is it a big enough market to sustain a company? Doubt it. Obvi.

I mean, this guy had access to the some of the richest people around. I saw his cars at the Monterrey Concurs for three years running. If rich people can't sustain you - not much else can.

I found it funny that Zero Hedge penned the following article: Is this the Tesla killer?

ZH gets the answer right. Which is no. But not for the right reasons. Tesla would not exist at all if it weren't for government force and intervention. And to think that Fisker who only sold 2000 cars is somehow going to take over Tesla is the most laughable. But..... Robert Honda was there... so maybe I'm wrong. And at any rate, while the battery tech seems promising - why wouldn't Musk just license the new battery tech like very other company in Silicon Valley does and call it a day?

As sort of a side story - I was talking to another guy about a totally unrelated newish battery technology and he said the following to me - I have a friend who owns a battery company. He told me - NEVER OWN A BATTERY COMPANY. This was at a completely different unrelated conference than the one Fisker spoke at. So, I'm going to take a wait and see approach for right now. All I know is that car history is a deep graveyard of companies. I'm still betting on history.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I was in three conferences today. I tried to give you a post but I just couldn't get the words out.  I'd say things might be better tomorrow, but I have another 2 or three conferences. Soooooo maybe Friday.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fall Good Guys.

Fall in da hood.

We just got our first cold weather only about a week ago, so fall is getting a late start. And since we are well into the rainy season now, you don't know if you are going to capture the peak. Plus I'm going to be in 6 conferences in the next two days, so this may be gone before I get another chance. This may be the best it gets.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The art of triangles.

I got to tour the new Nvidia building that is made of triangles. It's a really beautiful building. Very minimal.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

This is a cool car.

This was a pretty cool project. This guy Gary Apple, created this whole car. It's based on an Alfa Romeo roadster that only two were ever made. He shaped the whole body with an English Wheel.
And modified the passenger compartment to fit larger people.

You can watch more about it at the youtube link below. I guess his jam is creating car bodies. Which is super cool. I should have taken his cell because I run into a lot of car guys in Silicon Valley. If he ever sees this post email me.

The dash was wood that was etched with a wood CNC machine.