Archive for 2012

Blue Pane Studio’s latest app for Raleigh’s First Night

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

iOS version here and Android version here.

No Chance of It Happening, Right?!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

End of World 21.12.12 Preliminary Program
5am Welcome People of the World with bells and sirens
6am Arrival of Mayans
7am Arrival of Extraterrestrials
8am Arrival of the President of the G8 Countries
9am Arrival of Saints, Martyrs etc
10am Hymm of the End of the World: Highway to Hell & Adieu Mein Kleiner Gardeoffizier
1030 am Greetings from the Pope
1145 Apocalypse Brunch
1300 UNO General Assembly for the End of the World
1500 Moment of Silence
1505 Begin the Official Festival
1700 Buffet – Opening
1800 Departure of the Mayans
1900 Fireworks & Soccer Match: Brazil vs World All Stars
2100 Departure of Devils and Angels
2200 End of Ceremony – Open Bar with free beer
2330 Distribute free 3D glasses
2400 End of the World (including the Final Countdown)
After End of World.. Aftershow Party

Please note recommend songs:

Blue Pane Studio delivers iPad app for Finovate Asia

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Our 4th iPad and 46th app. Finovate is a special conference because only demonstrations of technologies, i.e. no Powerpoint presentations, are allowed. I attended the New York and London Conferences so I am able to vouch for the exceptional quality of the proceedings including the best refreshments of all conferences (ice cream sundaes in NYC!)

The Giants win the Pennant, er, the World Series..Again. Say Hey!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

My ignoble or certainly undistinguished naval career began in San Francisco in December of 1974 after temporary assignments to the English Department at Annapolis and for 8 weeks of ‘I can neither confirm nor deny’ weapons training in San Diego. I started-off this service on the wrong foot and, true to form, continued marching in that direction for over four more years. Even when things went right, such as meeting Angela Nardo of the USO for coordination of a ship visit over Halloween ’75 by a couple of frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy, they usually pivoted as when I transferred suddenly to Hawaii having known Angela for only a few months. In the meanwhile, my sister moved to the Bay Area from high school graduation and was left by her brother with a full two weeks of notice, but, hey, I’d just met Angela!

Despite my too brief tour, I’ve felt a kindred spirit with the City and even the East Bay (my turf was Oakland) in ways that I could never relate to the Valley of computer fame even though I’ve returned there numerous times in nearly every job that I’ve held. San Francisco became a special place the minute that I crossed the Bay Bridge upon arrival and remains so every single time that I return. It retains its aura no matter how many Google-ites drift north or how many start-ups root south of Market Street.

Halloween was not the outrageous adult night out in the 1970s that it is today. Really! Sure there were costumes and Trick or Treat parties and M-80s for blasting pumpkins (so I’ve heard) and nothing like the Mardi Gras in October we experience today. Maybe it was because of the malaise that President Carter described. However, Halloween in San Francisco has always been a sort of national holiday except that many visitors cannot distinguish who is in costume and who is not on the other days and months of the year. If I say ‘Castro’ and you know what I mean then you know what I mean. Of course, the other hills, valleys, wharfs, squares and towns of the City have their casts and characters too. If I say ‘Orient Express’ and you know what I mean… same deal.

This is not a homage to the city nor a jaunt down memory lane – well, it is in a way. I think of the Giants and how they won the pennant having been down 0-2 to Cincinnati and 1-3 to the Cardinals. They won three straight versus the Reds (best of 5) and three in a row versus St. Louis before sweeping Detroit in four. Quite the feat for a weak hitting team whose best player was suspended for drug use (steroids) and whose two better pitchers had poor seasons (Lincecum and Zito). I thought that the Joe Montana and Bill Walsh 49ers epitomized the City with their atypical and clever brand of football. Theirs was a system of interchangeable parts making the utmost of the prevailing talent. It must be the air or the water or the Anchor Steam because the Giants play the same way. The pieces fit well together even though the roster of this year’s champions is a reformation from the 2010 Championship team.. the brainy and brawny Buster Posey excepted.

In the end, pitching is what matters and the Giants have plenty to spare. Come on, Lincecum in relief of Zito! Hit that in 36 degrees in Detroit. I’m happy for them and the City and all of their fans who miss its vibe because once you’ve felt it, there is no other place like it. And no matter what your station in life, SF fans are egalitarians. Just ask my buds at the Harris Teeter vegetable section and the Kiehls’s counter at Saks; neither one minds that I’m software sort.

What does this all mean in the bigger picture of modern life? I foresee Obama winning over Detroit Mitt. Not that Chicago is the Bay Area; more that the electorate is out of the mood for smash-mouth politics and related, extravagant spending. I sense that they’d like to see the Obama team pull it together, come from behind to win the election and force the other team to play a more cooperative, more imaginative style of ball the next four seasons.

Remembering Rob Schmidt with an Afternoon of Tennis Doubles

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Beautiful Saturday afternoon on October 13. Sixty plus of all sorts, ages and backhands filled 13 courts for fun-doubles. Rob would be pleased with the large number of junior, and often better, players who participated. His friends and college teammates sent souvenirs and Smileys for prizes. This event outdrew the Club’s Doubles Championship.

Memories fade fast as life must go on. Most of us are better for having known Rob; several of us are better as a result of his passing in an honest, forbidden sort of way. That energy is neither created nor destroyed is accurate even amongst humans. My recollection will be the curiosity of how loss can establish connection. Like, right!

Birth Order + Astrological sign and Maybe This.

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Recommended to me by a fellow Cancer; actually, a female. We try too hard to be perfect. Recognizing early that we are mortal, we retreat or attack. Often, our shame has us on the lookout for exclusion; often, our wish to give others what we seek, solitude, is interpreted as rejection (one of my own particular failings).

We should be nicer to, more accepting of ourselves if only because we have less influence on our behavior and modest futures than we are lead to believe.

Saul Steinberg, Alfred E. Newman, Amelia Earhart and the Joseph Strauss

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I just didn’t want to lose these.

Mad Magazine and Johnny Carson supplied my irreverent laughs in those late grammar school and early high school years. In the modern time of Kindles and digital newspapers, it’s a charming memory to recall riding my bicycle with Spencer Hayman to the venerable New Orleans drug store, Katz&Besthoff, on Tuesdays, to purchase, I think for 12 cents, the latest edition of Sgt. Rock and Superman comics. How we would pore over each page. Oddly, I was never attracted to the offers of drawing lessons or Charles Atlas muscle building programs in the back of each issue. It’s a pleasant and comforting trip to the past to learn that Mad retains its singular, clever point of view even when its siblings such as The Onion appear faster and more hip.

At first, I thought that my connection to Ms. Earhart was my recollection of Apple’s Think Different advertising campaign of the late 90s. Much is expected of those to whom much is given; as well, I suppose, from those who achieve much. I think that the Mapgate furor is alot about a little, yet so seldom does Apple seem to stumble, stumble it does.

Now that I think about it, I do have tangential connection to Amelia Earhart. The proud ship, Joseph Strauss, DDG-16, anchored in Saipan in 1978 with yours truly as the navigating officer. In preparing for this visit, I became acquainted with a young lieutenant who commanded our Coast Guard station on this former battlefield of an island. His hobby was searching for and often finding artifacts of World War 2 including complete underground hospitals, rusted tanks and cases of 45 caliber pistols still coated in Cosmoline, MIL-C-11796C Class 3 for those in the market. He even established a decent sized museum for these artifacts all about the Loran Station’s grounds. One evening, as I asked for details about his discoveries – “I never go into the jungle without finding something,” he said- he offered that a persistent rumor about the island is that the Japanese kept Amelia Earhart prisoner here at the local jail. Of course, You Tube substantiates this supposition.

Having seen where 25,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide rather than surrender to our Marines, I can believe nearly any story about that island at that time.

Thanks to New York Times Bits, Found the Words

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

“When we invented the car, it was a substitute for horses, but it was the second phase of the car revolution — when we invent things around the cars like gas stations and drive-ins — that created new business markets,” Mr. Wallman said. “We’re seeing this happen now with the technology we have in our hands. We’re entering the second phase of this revolution, where entirely new markets will be created, and Apple could create those.” NY Times Bits, 23 September 2012

Hilarious US Naval Academy spoof of Gangnam Style

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 the original video in iTunes.

A Time in September

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

High in the sky on Wi-Fi enroute to Dallas from New York City in a brand new plane of the American Airlines fleet. Walked out of 590 Madison Avenue at 3:20pm, cab immediately pulls over, arrive LaGuardia at 3:45, no wait at TSA, snappy walk to my gate to receive a window seat on an earlier departing flight, gate agent holds door while I visit the men’s room (wouldn’t share this if it were not so incredible), board plane, flight leaves LaGuardia on time. Sort of expecting to have a seat next to Rod Serling of Twilight Zone. Compounding my sense of the abnormal is that my trip from Raleigh to NYC began in a similar way with beautiful weather, no inconvenience with TSA at the Raleigh airport, an early arrival at LaGuardia by nearly 30 minutes. It’s as though nature or life or the gods remind us once in a while of how things were or could be or even should be so that we are able to appreciate how far we’ve fallen in the execution or decline in the standard of delivery of contemporary goods and services.

My munificent fortune contiuned with the overheard comment that there must be seats at the US Tennis Open Championship Match because the rain delayed this match from Sunday to Monday and not all ticket holders could make the rescheduled event which was supposed to begin as we were supposed to land. Since we arrived early and the Billy Jean King Tennis Complex is nearly across the street from LaGuardia Airport, I took a cab to BJKT instead of to Manhattan. At the tennis complex, one of NYPD’s finest informed me that scalping tickets is illegal in NYC and that my chances of finding a good ticket would be at the south end of the facility. I walked around with a certain look of hope, I suppose, cause an older man looked me in the eye and said ‘I have one for $100.’ A quick check of my travel bag by security then into the tennis park where I heard the player introductions meaning that I left Raleigh at 2:20pm and sat in my seat at the U.S. Open at just after 4pm. At times this past summer, I’ve waited on both Raleigh and LaGuardia runways for longer while awaiting scheduled take-offs.

How was the Murray vs Djokovitch match? Exciting, even thrilling; long at over four and one-half hours. Up for grabs until Murray’s 3-0 lead in the 5th set and for certain his victory when the Joker (respectfully described) pulled-up lame at 3-5. After Murray’s courageous start began with victories in the the first two sets at 7-6 and 7-5 (first set required 90 minutes and a 12-10 tie-breaker). Down 1-5 in the second set, Joker rattled off wins in 16 of the 23 games to even the competition at two sets each with Murray rescuing 2 games in the second set after the Joker tied the set at 5-5. Despite my awkward accounting of the match, the fifth set began after a 7-6, 7-5, 2-6 and 3-6 history meaning the Joker won 23 games to Murray’s 19. You could look it up and in the end the games were split 25 for Joker and 25 for Murray. Oh yeah, they each scored nearly the same number of total points over the 5 sets. Unlike basketball with its quarters and baseball with its innings, in tennis it matters when you score your points.

For tennis fans, both players struck nearly twice as many unforced errors as winning shots. A rare occurence at the professional level. I doubt if the boxscore will record for posterity that the third opponent of this championship match was the weather in the form of a prevailing north to sound wind. It’s consistent strength in one direction was an obvious handicap for both players and an inhibitor for the player serving or receving serve or hitting a shot at nearly any time from south to north. Consequently, there were many long rallies of safe and conservative shots where the players tried to gain advantage by changing spin, height and pace without often attempting angles or put-aways. As the British Golf Open enjoyed American weather for its late July tournament (mild and windless), the US Tennis Open swapped for customary British Open conditions: windy, prevailing and mentally exhausting. Had to be an advantage for the Scotsman Andy Murray. Good on him. The Joker was a generous and complimentary finalist. The crowd favored Murray and appreciated the former champion’s caliber of play.

Two moments that I’ll remember for a while: the presence of Sean Connery in the audience. When feted with the 007 theme song, he looked to the Jumbotron screen, seemingly surprised to see himself, then smiled broadly, lifting his US Open Panama hat in greeting to all and deftly, debonairly and with the savoir faire and comfortable sense of the moment that one would expect of… you must agree, he’ll always be James Bond.

Moment two of my personal highlight reel will be filed under ‘just like you and me no matter how different they are’. At the bitter end of the evening, after the photographers were gone and the presentation tables folded and carpet rolled-up and carried away, after the final on-court and television interviews, Andy Murray gathered his tennis bags to head for the locker room, walked to the edge of the court with only a left turn to near seclusion, then stopped and dropped his bags at this intersection in front of less than 25 fans cheering and beseeching him. He nearly emptied his tennis bag, removing towels, wrist bands old and new in their packages and tee-shirt or two (I think). He shouldered his bag of now only racquets and showered the handful of fans with these momentos. Reminded me of throws or beads from a Mardi Gras float. The better part for me was his obvious delight in rewarding those who were the final assembly of his on-court well-wishers. Like his brave match, he gave them nearly all he had and could.

I’m a Federer fan. Andy’s victory will extend for a bit Roger’s #1 ranking giving us acolytes further hope for a modest postponement to his understood eventual retirement. Murray’s victory last night allots each Grand Slam tournament to a unique victor: Djokovitch in Australia, Nadal at the French, Roger at Wimbledon and Murray for the US Open. Despite the vicissitudes of the game and, especially this particular tournament, such seems fair and just about right in proper acknowledgement of their talents.