Chuq Von Rospach is a Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management and amateur photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and landscapes. My goal is to explore the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found. You can find out more on the About Page.
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I'm thrilled to announce that I've launched a project I've been working on for the last couple of months. For Your Consideration is my attempt to re-think how we interact with information on the Internet.
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Monthly Archives: February 2009
Mitch Wagner at Information Week just published a piece called Where Does Apple Go From Here in which I’m quoted. That’s created a few more requests for interviews or emails with questions, which is nice.
Having just gone to work for someone who is going to be in direct competition with a part of Apple, I need to be careful here. The only reason I agreed to talk to Mitch (a few weeks back while I was still at Laszlo…) was that he and I go way back, and I know and trust him to quote accurately and use what I said reasonably, and at that, we talked at some length about what i wouldn’t go near, and how we’d disclaim the conflict before we agreed to move forward. And at that, I was still a bit uncomfortable doing it.
So for the time being, I’m going to be quite — discrete — on what I say about Apple, to avoid the possible conflicts that might arise. I’ll explicitly avoid going into things where there’s going to be direct competition. That’s the only safe and sane approach, not because I”m worried about what my new employer might say (“I’m not!”) but beacuse I know it’s inevitable that sooner or later, some of the fanboy press I love so dearly will take something out of context or blow something out of perspective, and then bad things happen, and I don’t particularly want to make it easy to paint that target on my chest again.
This also goes for talking to the “professional” press. Just too many chances for misinterpretation and yes, I have been badly misquoted in the past, thank you, and that’s no fun, either. So unless I know you and your writing and trust you, the answer is “not right now” and will be for the forseeable future. And even if I know you and trust you, it might still be.
We’ll see how things go as this all moves forward and adjust this policy as it makes sense, but right now, I’m trying to focus on looking forward more than rehashing the past (and at least two of the interview requests I got were little more than asking me the same questions Mitch asked, evidnetly in hope of getting the same answer without having to credit his publication for the quote. Hmm…)
Hope you all understand, but even I’ve finally learned that if you come across a door that says “free floggings inside”, it’s probably smarter to stay outside where they actually have to chase you down to flog you…And the potential conflicts (real or perceived here) are just an endless series of doors waiting to be opened to show the flogging gear or rabid weasels inside.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other things to talk about, no?
Those of you looking for pearls of wisdom about the new gig, be aware. I’m imposing a strict firewall between the “work me” and the “me me”, partly because it’s the only way to keep things sane and remotely tidy, and partly because I’ve learned the hard way that too many folks have trouble understanding the difference between “the guy who blogs and happens to work for foo” and “the foo blogger”. Since I’m now going to be both, the only way to avoid some inevitable and painful commentaries is to not go there.
Which doesn’t mean we aren’t going to be talking about that stuff. Just not while “off duty”. Which if you understand these things at all, you’ll know makes endless sense. Not that common sense was ever a strong point for me…
So if you’re interested in the work stuff, you need to head over here:
We’re working feverishly to start delivering new and interesting content and “other stuff”, and when it’s ready, that’s where it’ll show up. And I’m trying to pull together the other things we want to help build the developer community and give t what it needs to thrive and make us all rich and happy.
I’ll meet you over there. I’ll be the one in the red carnation.
Posting has been sparse. The new gig has been a huge grin to start, but I’ve waded in and just been really busy trying to do things like find the bathroom and set things up while taking on a number of projects and doing some planning for things moving forward, and stuffing all that information into my brain as fast as I can has left me feeling a bit worn out in the evening, and wanting more to sit and think things through instead of write.
That first burst of activty is starting to settle down a bit and I’m feeling more comfortable about life, and that’s made doing a bit of writing interesting.
With the weather being what it’s been around here (needed rain!), not a lot of outdoor activity recently. I have wandered the new neighborhood a bit, and the office is in a nice place — lots of mature oak pine and eucalyptus, along with some flowering plums and pears, all larger, older trees without that heavily manicured “campus” look. The trees are currently full of yellow-rumped warblers and dark-eyes juncos, most mornings I’m hearing well over a dozen of the butter-butts. It gives me hope there are other, more unusual birds in the neighborhood, but I haven’t taken the time to go walking and exploring too much.
Another nice aspect of the office is that it’s close to a bunch of good birding areas; about ten minutes to Don Edwards EEC and the Sunnyvale WPCP on Carribean, and probably 10-15 minutes to Shoreline and Baylands. Given I’m no longer putting in hour-long commutes, I can actually back off a bit and go out and do a little lunch birding and get some walking in.
I did that today, deciding I had a bit of slack time and wanted a walk, so I hustled out to EEC for a quick visit. I finally saw one of the burrowing owls near Jubilee, so I can now state that they do in fact exist and don’t hate me… (later visitors noted four)
I couldn’t see anything in the owl box today, but they sometimes hide in the corners. (later word from someone at EEC noted that one of the barn owls has been seen, but no partner yet)
Highlight birds on the path down to the pond and on the pond:
Female Yellow Warbler in the willows just past the last of the big trees along the path next to the slough. Someone I talked to there said she’d been there about a week that he knew.
A Western Grebe had arrived shortly before I did. It had a very yellow bill and pointed bill, but solid black on the back of the neck and black over the eyes. A bird to make you look twice, but even so, that seems to be unusual for the area. Also a couple of eared grebes fishing.
One Glaucous-Winged gull out on the island in the pond with all of the others (not found by me), as well as a Western in among the gulls. I admit the gulls just aren’t my first choice for spending time trying to tell the difference between a 2nd cycle western and a third cycle ring-billed, but I saw a later report of a total of eight species being seen there today, including Mew and a continuing Glaucous gull.
Lots of chattering marsh wrens and a couple of singing song sparrows.I didn’t see, but someone else reported, a savannah sparrow and a small flock of white-crowned.
But for me, it was just nice to get out and walk a bit…but taht yellow warbler looks to be very photogenic and accessible. Maybe this weekend…
—— Forwarded Message
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 16:37:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: eBird Report – Don Edwards NWR (Santa Clara Co.) , 2/24/09
Location: Don Edwards NWR (Santa Clara Co.)
Observation date: 2/24/09
Number of species: 24
Canada Goose 6
American Wigeon X
Northern Shoveler X
Ruddy Duck X
Eared Grebe 2
Western Grebe 1
American White Pelican 15
Double-crested Cormorant X
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot X
Western Gull 1
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
gull sp. X
Burrowing Owl 1
American Crow X
Marsh Wren X
Yellow Warbler 1
Song Sparrow 2
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)
As if I didnâ€™t feel sore enough already after my beer-league game last night, this sobering news from San Jose (hat tip to AOLâ€™s NHL FanHouse) got my attention. Two adult recreational players died Sunday night in separate incidents during their games at Sharks Ice.
Brian Kobata, 38. and Kelly Calabro (memorial at teamâ€™s website), 41, both collapsed on the ice just a few hours apart and rescue attempts failed to revive them.
Ow. Damn. My sympathies go out to the families and friends of both of them, and the folks down at Sharks Ice.
This just hitting the wires —for his hit on Patrick Marleau. , and I agree with him. Fair suspension for a cheap hit, the kind we want removed from the game.
We really enjoyed the Sharks/Kings game. The Kings played well — and hard — and clearly felt they needed to rattle the Sharks cage to have a chance to beat them. Emotions got strong, but the Sharks didn’t back down, which was a great response and encouraging to see.
In a bit, we’ll head to the tank where the Thrashers come into town. It’ll be interesting to see what plays down, but the Sharks are seeing some of the hurt players coming back; Marcel Goc and Torrey Mitchell continue to be out, but the rest are coming back. Perhaps this “slump” is starting to end, the team’s gameplay is getting back towards what we saw early in the season.
Mark Emmon’s did a nice piece on Cheechoo and his struggles today. My feeling on Cheechoo, pretty much the only player not living up to expectations this year, is that he really needs to be both healthy and confident to play well — his skating is marginal enough that if he isn’t working at it every shift he struggles to play at the NHL level, so when he’s banged up, or when he’s not confident about his health, his production fades.
He’s trying, working hard. I have no complaints with his work this year, but we have to remember that his talent level is a lot closer to Jeff Odgers than it is Joe Thornton — and Jeff Odgers stayed in the league as long as he did not through raw talent, but by skating his butt off every night and getting his nose dirty, not by scoring lots of goals. Cheechoo has hands Odgers could only dream of, but the core of his game has to be the same: skate hard, work hard, play in the hard areas, and find the seams where his shot can get through.
As long as he keeps working at it, you’ll get no complaints from me. The Sharks have enough depth there’s no need to worry about this much.
We were talking at the last game about trade deadline deals, and Cheechoo’s name came up. He’s basically the only roster player I could see moving from the Sharks, and it’s not a priority to me that it happen (but I wouldn’t be shocked if it did). There was some feeling that Cheechoo would be perfect on the wing with Sydney Crosby. If that happens, I’d love it for Cheechoo’s sake, and it’d probably be fun to watch, because ultimately Cheechoo is Brett Hull’s hands on Jeff Odger’s baby brother’s body. I’m not convinced he’d return to his Rocket production in that situation, but having a setup guy like Crosby couldn’t hurt.
Me, I think I’d just leave this team alone. Hard to argue it needs much fixing.
Last night during the Sharks/Kings game I was checking headlines during a break in action, and ran across.
It got my attention, because it seemed to be a lot more than “gee, this kid likes to party”. Looking at the quotes from the French press, like Jaques Demers ” I swear to you, I thought about Mr. Beliveau tonight … and I just hope I’m dreaming.” or Michel Bergeron’s “it looks like the foundation is going to be shaken. Not just for the Quebecois but for anyone who wears the Canadiens sweater around the country” had me wondering just what was going down. (if you haven’t seen the details, Mirtle’s got a good overview, including how the information flowed out into the public eye, so you can get a sense of how this evolved over time).
My first speculation, honestly, was some kind of legal problem involving claims of non-consensual activities between the players and some “friends”. Maybe it’s unfair of me, but honestly, with the rumors of the partying and the history of complaints against pro athletes about unwanted companionship — whether it’s the players from Duke or Kobe Bryant or any number of quietly handled incidenents — it’s always something I worry is going to end up in the press.
Then word started to come out that a mobster was involved and the police were meeting the team at the airport. Invovled with drugs? Were the players playing mule with their gear bags? Oh, the mind wanders after a couple of coffee-and-Bailey’s… But I was expecting the worst here.
Silly me. I should have remembered that this was the Montreal French Press and stopped worrying. For all Quebec professes to love it’s Canadiens, there are far too many there who aren’t afraid to use them to grandstand and use as a target for their public rants (thereby making sure the journalists get plenty of attention, which they seem to crave). The press isn’t alone here — the police have been known to grandstand and time things to maximize the pain of the team, and let’s not forget the politicians that have been happy to jump on the Canadiens and hockey players when people aren’t paying enough attention to them (just ask).
So I guess I should have really expected that the real problem, the one that caused Bob Hartley to claim he was going back to Atlanta (he was kidding, but that’s the level of rhetoric here, folks) was that a couple of the Canadiens players liked to party and liked girls.
Oh, and one of their party pals happens to have organized crime connections, but there are no connections known by the police beyond partying, girls, and some bootleg vodka the guy brought in for them.
Oh, the horrors.
Yes, the French Press is at it again. We can all stand down and stop paying attention for now. Next time, we should maybe be smart enough to not pay attention to begin with.
Does anyone still wonder why the Canadiens have so much trouble keeping free agents or attracting them to the team? Who other than Saku Koivu is insane enough to want to play in a city with newspapers this hostile? And better, they’re hostile because they love the team. Ah, the irony. the bullshit, the insanity.
Now, am I saying that this is not an issue at all? No — there are some significant issues here. The players are associating with someone they should know better than be around. This kind of “not thinking clearly” seems endemic in Montreal — remember Jose Theodore? There’s a problem with players enjoying the joys of the city of Montreal a bit too much there.
That’s a tough nut to crack; you can only talk and lecture so much. Ultimately it comes down to knowing the personality of the players and only bringing in those that know how to handle the situation appropriately. Montreal has to find a way to help players learn to avoid these problems, but ultimately, this is up to the individual players themselves.
Especially in a town like Montreal, where the players not only live in a fishbowl, but one wher ethe fishbowl has a 24×7 webcam and paparazzi waiting for an unprotected moment, and writers and broadcasters who seem to want to make their names by putting these people up on pedestals and then using them for target practice.
In reality? There’s a whole lot of “nothing to see here”, other than a bunch of press and broadcasters taking a molehill and turning it into a ski resort. Here’s hoping that it stays a molehill and there aren’t more and dirtier details to be found out at the investigation continues, but right now, it seems like this whole “foundation is going to be shaken” disaster scenario is a figment of the overactive imaginations of the French Press (again) insisting on proving there’s nothing they can’t turn into front page headlines.
No wonder nobody wants to play in Montreal. With “friends” like these, would you want to?
Way back in the late 1980â€™s, well before the Internet was known as the Internet, I wrote my first game recap of a Los Angeles Kings game.
That was a little over twenty years ago and it was nothing close to a solid piece of journalism. The â€œstoryâ€ was written and posted on the long-defunct GEnie online service, once owned and operated by General Electric, back in the days of electronic bulletin boards and 2400 baud dial-up modems (thankfully, I never had to use a 300 baud modem).
Back then, just for fun, I was writing up my observations of each game along with detailed descriptions of each scoring play. My game reports had a fairly decent following and eventually found their way onto the National VideoTex Network online service (also defunct long ago).
About the same time, Kings fan Stan Willis, who was in Long Beach, California at the time, was running an e-mail list (often, but inaccurately, referred to as a â€œlistserveâ€) devoted to the Kings and in between all the messages from subscribers discussing the team, just as you would find today on message boards on the World Wide Web, Willis posted detailed statistics that were hard to find in those days.
An interesting look back by Gann Matsuda, who’s been at this hockey blogging thing longer than anybody, seems to be the first of us to have been credentialed and the first to join the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and all of that kind of lost in the noise because (unlike some of us) he never really was interested in publicity or self-promotion, just hockey and writing. and he’s still at it, still a hell of a writer, and still a really neat guy.
And deserves a lot more credit for opening doors for bloggers than he’ll ever get. Congrats, Gann, and keep up the good work!
I guess it’s official, the sharks are in a slump.
Of course, when we talk about slump, we’re talking about 5-1-4 in their last ten, or a mere (ahem) 14 points out of a possible 20.
Okay, in the playoffs, there are no shootouts, so should we really count those four shoot-out-loss points? Well, is it better or worse for the Sharks to continue overtime until someone scores? I’m betting that the Sharks are a better team if they go to sudden-death overtime, look at the third period onslaught tonight against buffalo. Sharks clearly would have momentum going in, last-minute goal by Buffalo or no.
So the worst possible case for the Sharks? 5-5. Best case? 9-1. split the difference? 7-3. heck, if 5-5 is a slump, I’ll be thrilled.
this is with Blake with the sore jaw, Boyle with his “upper body” injury (a wrist, I think, because he’s had little strength behind his shot, although it’s coming around). Tonight, both Boyle and Clowe were playing with the flu, also. And lukowich is out, Goc is out…
And a little glitch in the schedule is good, because it’l force them to focus and bear down on their play. If they continue with this into mid-March? I might worry. For now? this is just the dog days…