Monday, June 24, 2013

Loon Ballon

We had a visit from a Loon balloon at the Googleplex last week. Loon is an audacious project that faces more than just technical challenges.

Loon balloon at the Googleplex.
The Loon balloon is pretty big.

Stan had to temporarily share the courtyard with the balloon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ken Taylor at Google

We hosted Ken Taylor yesterday for a talk at Google. He was the Canadian ambassador to Iran in 1979 during the hostage crisis and the rescue of the six American houseguests depicted in the move Argo. We'll be posting a video of the talk on the channel soon. Update: video here.

Ambassador Ken Taylor and Pat Taylor at Google.

Grapes, writing

I just finished reading Bill Barich's novel Carson Valley, which is set in Sonoma County. He weaves in a lot of interesting details about raising grapes and how hard it is to get it right. This morning I had  some free time while Cameron was taking a class with a friend, so I headed up the coast a bit and drove toward Bonny Doon and the vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Beautiful day and a beautiful road.

Vineyard off Bonny Doon Road, Santa Cruz, California.
Speaking of Bill Barich, if you love fly fishing and great writing (or just great writing), check out Crazy for Rivers. It will only take a couple of hours, and it will make you smile.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pinnacles, America's Newest National Park

Pinnacles National Monument was upgraded to be a national park on January 10, 2013. It was designated as a national monument back in 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt.

I visited Pinnacles back in the summer of 1987, and I can tell you that summer is the wrong time to visit Pinnacles. Way too hot. Spring is perfect. The California poppies are out, there's a little water running in the caves, and the weather is comfortable. 

Airline Highway to Pinnacles National Park, Paicines, California.

At the entrance to the Bear Gulch Caves, Pinnacles National Park.

Path through Bear Gulch Cave, Pinnacles, National Park.