Home Robbery Caught on Video

Chau sent me this via email the other day…watch it till the end.  Very interesting!

Drive Safe! Never Forget.


September 11 2001: How We Helped Columbia University

September 11, 2001

Lori’s mother’s birthday started out just like any other day.  I was just getting up, Lori was already getting Kristen ready for school, Sunny (our currently 11 year old yellow lab who now has a tumor that is scaring us) was bouncing around as only he could do.

Lori had the TV on.

Suddenly, she yelled to me….”Mike…a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center”. Yikes!  We were just there the month before and took the picture shown below from the Ferry from New Jersey.

I thought to myself all the things that might have gone wrong.  I decided it was possible.  But then, as I watched, a SECOND plane barreled into the other tower!  OK, I read too many spy novels not to know what happened: terrorism.

In addition to having family in the New York City area, I also had ton of friends and colleagues.

Maybe I can help!  I turned on my computer in the study and started working.

Internet-based video conferencing was in it’s infancy in 2001.  We were still slightly less than 3 years away from announcing it as a service.  But it works, now….maybe we CAN help.

An email came in from a colleague at Columbia University asking for help to connect to the outside world.  I sprung into action.  It was “easy” for us at that time to connect virtually anyone with a decent Internet connection to anyone else via video (and audio).

I shot an email back telling Columbia University that we can help.  See this link and scroll down to 11:23 AM…I was the FIRST.  

I can do this.  ESnet can do this.  I called the people at Accord (at the time they were our MCU-multipoint control unit) and spent time figuring out how exactly to get done what I knew could be done.

We did it!  Yes!  We were ready, and all Columbia needed to do was use ESnet video conferencing to make telephone calls if they needed it.

The days passed, our family members were all safe, and I experienced an immense sense of loss (and un-real-ness) that I had not felt again until Sept 18, 2010 when we lost Carol (that day the horrible feeling of loss came back….1000 times worse and remains to this day).

These are very tough days.  I am not looking forward to the next week or so (Sept 9 (60 years), 11 (10 years), 18 (1 year)).  Now Sunny. Our world can calm down…please…Update on Sunny (9/12/2011):  His thing burst this weekend and he feels much better!

911 taught me that in an emergency: telecommuting works and so does video conferencing via the Internet.

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, we took this picture on a visit to New York and New Jersey.

We discussed going up the Twin Towers, but, decided against it and went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island instead….

A few days later, we flew home to San Francisco on an early morning United Airlines flight out of Newark, NJ.

Little did we know what would happen less than one month later….

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Volcano in Chile: June 2011

Chau sent an email the other day with pictures of the volcano in June 2011 in Chile.


I did a Google search and found this web site at National Geographic.  I grabbed a few of the pictures using the wonderful Snipping tool, but for the rest…please go to Nat Geo.

Very powerful images showing the awesome power of mother nature…

UPDATE:  Here are more stunning pictures from the Boston Globe.

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Klepto the Cat Burglar

Chau sent me this link last night via email.  Very cute.


Drive Safe! College Scholarships

405 Carmegeddon in LA

LA is closing 405 for some repairs, and the area is expected to gridlock (have they not heard of TELECOMMUTING??).  Anyway….a FB friend’s friend posted a link to this extremely funny (but a bit scary) video….Drive Safe!

Drive Safe!  Never Forget (Carol, Chris, Kassy and Bobby)

Print this coupon on July 20th and show it at Chilaberries when you pay…all money goes to the Carol Phan College Scholarship fund for Tracy, CA students.

Click the pic then print….

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

Originally posted on TelBitConsulting.com, re-posted here on May 31, 2011 because of some interesting late breaking news.

UPDATE May 31, 2011:  You all need to listen to me!  The powers that be are coming around to the possibility that cell phone use can cause cancer.  Here is a Reuters report.  OK, this is big news…that I have been saying for years!  Here is a CBSNews report.  The BBC picked up on it.  The Washington Post.  This one is very interesting by CNN showing the 10 most emitting and 10 least emitting cell phones.

I have been talking about the issue of cell phone use and brain cancer on this blog for years. (here, here, here, and here).

If you read those, you will know I did a fair amount of research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on the human body, and that I have a healthy respect for the possible effects.

NPR has added the latest information in the ongoing discussion.

They say that there is no conclusive study showing that there is a definite link to increased cancer risk and cell phone use.

On the other hand, they say that there is also no conclusive study showing no link.

As NPR says, “the jury is still out”.

What I Think

Unless you talk to me.  When (yes, when) brain cancers increase rapidly in, maybe, 20 years (and I strongly believe they will….studies be damned)…it will be too late.

Take steps NOW to protect yourself.

Moderate your usage of cell phones.  Interestingly, texting will help (at least with brain cancers).

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Weird Weather in Tracy, CA

We got hail the size of peas today….I captured much of it on video.  First in the backyard, then I moved to the front.

As I was filming, how ironic is this, an unsafe teen driver came sliding around the corner adding excitement to this video….hey….teen driver….look to the right, and at the end of every blog post.  DRIVE SAFE!

For those who don’t know about the weather in Tracy, CA.  May 15th is time for the 80’s and 90’s (no more rain until October or November) getting ready for those wonderful 100+ degree days in a couple of weeks.

Actually, the driver did not go all that fast….but still…

Drive Safe! Never Forget.

Earthquake and Tsunami

If you have any doubt as the AWESOME POWER of Mother Nature…

Here is hoping that the people in Japan are safe in the aftermath of the 8.9 earthquake and, worse, the resulting tsunami.

Interesting how fast and far ranging the tsunami travels!  Hawaii, the West Coasts of the US, Mexico, Central America and South America will all feel the effects.  Mother Nature….

Check out this video of the tsunami tidal surge in Crescent City, CA.  Wow!  Apparently the docks there and in Santa Cruz, CA sustained damage.  And to think, Japan is several thousand miles from these locations.  Mother Nature, did I say that already?

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.