Entertaining Strangers

June 26th, 2006

Hebrews 13

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Matthew 25

35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

Job 31

32 The alien has not lodged outside, For I have opened my doors to the traveler.

1 Peter 4

9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

Hermitage and Adobes

June 24th, 2006

Hermitage view

There was lots of activity today in Monterey! First, just after my morning Old Coast Road run, I dove down for mass service at the Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur which is just ~1/4 mile south of the lodge/restaurant in Lucia on Highway 1. I must say that the service there was exceptional, very reverant and quite beautiful – perhaps the most beautiful mass I’ve ever seen or heard! My new friend Noelle introduced me to the hermitage just yesterday and I’m glad she did. I just wish it wasn’t so far (55 miles on Hwy 1) away! It is beautifully tucked up in the mountains though, and sits above the fog that engulfs the coast during the summer… which looks like clouds from above and might make you think you’re in heaven! Makes me ponder becoming a monk or at least going on a retreat out there.

As I headed back towards Monterey, I saw many colorful wind flags and found out they were markers for todays 8th annual Big Sur Hidden Gardens Tour presented by Big Sur Arts. One could drive along the highway and take a look at elaborate private gardens of the rich! Also today, and my reason for heading back to town, was the Adobes Fiesta hosted by the Monterey History Association. I didn’t make it back it time to tour any adobes, but I did volunteer as a docent from 4-5 p.m. at the San Carlos Cathedral and newly opened Heritage Center (museum) for visitors. It was great to see all the items in our tiny museum collection, and I hope to still visit the historic adobes in town.

Misc: I met Doc Wong today and a crew of people at the local Thai place, Siamese Bay Restaurant here in Monterey. I spotted the “docwong.com” logo on a van outside and found the man himself just inside the restaurant. I introduced myself but forgot to ask what brought him to Monterey. I do hope to make it up to Redwood City in July for the next motorcycle maintenance class though!

Old Coast Road Run

June 24th, 2006

This morning I ran the 10 mile Old Coast Road down in Big Sur. It starts on the northeast side of Bixby Bridge and then returns to Hwy 1 again just in front of the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park. This road was “the highway” along the coast before Hwy 1 and the Bixby Bridge was built in 1932. It is semi-popular for runners, mtn biking and general people driving through to enjoy the scenery (though you’ll pass up Point Sur and the Lighthouse along Hwy 1). The most popular direction of travel is North to South along the road, which provides some steep descents with relatively mild ascents. It is pretty remote though, so you’ll probably want to run with a buddy at the least, and with aid stations along the way if you’re lucky!

We had about 15 or so WNLR runners that ran it today as part of a birthday run for Brad, who organized it, and whose b-day was Friday, but Gene’s (I believe) was today. (Note: I passed up the doubledipsea for this, but am glad because this was a lot of fun!) We had Kevin driving around in a pickup truck as our aid station along the way which was great! A few runners started at Andrew Molera at 6:00 a.m. and ran the 8+ miles north to Bixby bridge where they met the others around 7:15 a.m. to start down Old Coast Road. I suprisingly woke up late, at 7:00 a.m. and sped my way down the 1 to get there in time. I arrived around 7:20 a.m. to find empty cars, then drove 100yds up Old Coast Road and luckily saw them there! I managed to catch up on some of the downhills and had a great time.

Afterwards we drove down to the Big Sur River Inn for breakfast and I had the Little Sur Omelet for $10 with a strawberry smoothie $4. After telling the waitress I needed to take off quick, I was suprised to receive my food in about 5 mins later! Talk about service! I’ll definitely be going back again, and also to soak my feet in the river which I hear feels great after a run! I also met Sally and was finally able to get my membership fee in for the WNLR group.

Hospitality Club Social

June 20th, 2006

I recently moved to Monterey in September, and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to get a few Hospitality Club guests stop on by and finally “pay forward” the genuine hospitality I received while in Europe over a year ago. I’m excited to be living in such a beautiful and tourism-rich area now, and hope to see the HC really ‘come to life’ here!

Since the whole HC idea is about ‘bringing people together’ and fostering international friendships to increase intercultural understanding and strengthen peace, I thought it would be great for the local HC members to get together and also to invite others to learn more about the Hospitality Club! So here it is… what I believe is the first Monterey-area HC social event ever!!! You’ll want to be a part of this!

What: Hospitality Club Social Party for the Monterey area

– meet fellow local HC members
– introduce your friends to the HC and meet other locals
– share stories of traveling, life, etc around a campfire on the beach
– sports activities?: frisbee, football, etc if interested
– eat, drink, and be merry… =)

When: Sunday June 25th, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Carmel Beach, near the 13th street intersection

Read the rest of this entry »

San Carlos Benefit

June 9th, 2006

Monterey is a city with a wealth of history, and perhaps the most historic and ‘well preserved’ as such of any city in all of California. Monterey was the capital of Alta and the entire “California” under both Spanish and Mexican rule, and it was here (in a building just a stone throw away from my house – Colton Hall) where the Constitution for the U.S. state of California was drafted and signed (in both English and Spanish). Only one building though remains that can claim to have seen “all of the history” of Monterey and as such California — and that is San Carlos Cathedral.

Originally a Spanish presidio chapel, the current San Carlos Cathedral structure was completed in 1794 and thus making it the “oldest stone structure in California”. At over 200 years old though, it’s in serious need of conservation work, and tonight one of many great fundraisers will be held. As the Monterey Herald reported, “Camerata by Candlelight” will be an exquisite evening to enjoy both great vocal music and history in the cathedral before the local Camerata Singers take off for their European tour. Tickets are still available at $35/$50 (373.2628), and the show starts at 8:00 pm with a preview part and hors’doerves served with wine from Chateau Julian starting at 6:30 pm. An after party is also included! If you can, you really should try to attend and make a contribution to preserving this great icon of California’s history!

Update: This evening was wonderful! The singing was incredible and we (Eleanor, Jeannie, Annette and I) had front row seats of the whole show. It was a chorus of ‘heavenly voices’ singing in a heavenly setting! I forgot to bring my camera in for the show (was rushed from also volunteering to bus tables) but Annette’s camera pics may attest to our great seating and view. Thanks to all those who attended, volunteered, and made other contributions to the evening such as the wonderful hors d’oeuvres prepared from fine restaurants in Monterey and excellent local wine! It was too bad that Angela (Jeannie’s daughter) got sick that morning, she missed a great evening and I wish her well!

On a separate note: The Monterey Maritime & History Museum is offering **free admission** for the entire month of June! This is another great local treasure to visit if in Monterey.

Save NPR/PBS!

June 8th, 2006

Everyone expected House Republicans to give up efforts to kill NPR and PBS after a massive public outcry stopped them last year. But they’ve just voted to eliminate funding for NPR and PBS — unbelievably, starting with programs like “Sesame Street.”

Public broadcasting would lose nearly a quarter of its federal funding this year. Even worse, all funding would be eliminated in two years–threatening one of the last remaining sources of watchdog journalism.


Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year!

Last year, millions of us took action to save NPR and PBS, and Congress listened. We can do it again if enough of us
sign the petition in time.

This would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting. The Boston Globe reports the cuts “could force the elimination of some popular PBS and NPR programs.” NPR’s president expects rural public radio stations may be forced to shut down.

The House and Senate are deciding if public broadcasting will survive, and they need to ! Thanks!

P.S. Read the Boston Globe story on the threat to NPR and PBS

Sxored!

June 7th, 2006

In the online blogging world, there’s a new synonym for SSO, and it’s name is sxore! Well, actually the protocol/architecture is sxip (see faq) and sxore is the “identity and reputation system for blog authors” but sxore.com also provides the “homesite” functionality now for me to manage my online identity in the blogging world!

I’ve just started hearing about Identitiy 2.0 since discovering Dick’s OSCON ’05 presentation, but his latest presentation Who is the Dick on your site? really got my attention — with a demo of a super-easy to install WordPress plugin — so that I had to drop everything to immediately turn my blog into a “membersite” for others to post to! Waiting for my first sxore-powered commentor!

First Thoughts:

Similar to drupal’s distributed authentication system where you could comment on a blog from any drupal account. (apparently there were some problems?) Unfortunately, this required the “membersite” and “home/base-site” to be running drupal. I’m patiently awaiting for the free “homesite”* software release so that I can store my identity information on my own server. =)

How long do you think before google tries to buy this one up? Likely they’ll quickly find a way to painlnessly integrate your google account into the SXIP framework. =)

*Update: posted too soon, just found the homesite 2.0 software on the sxip.org Downloads page. =) I save that for tomorrow! * re: terms “homesite” == “Identity Agent”, “membersite” == “Identity Consumer”, and I believe the homsite acts as an “Identity Issuer” as well.

First WNLR Run

June 3rd, 2006

This morning I had my first run with the Wednesday Night Laundry Runners in Carmel. I actually showed up at 6:30 (because I misread the schedule) for the 7:15 Saturday morning “Long Run”, and because of that got in 2x the amount of running! I ran for 45 minutes or so and was doing a cool down run along the beach, then asked 3 runners if they’d heard of the WNLR… they said, “Yeah, you can probably still catch them! Cut over across the Pebble Beach golf course and they’ll be on their way.” This is when I found out the run started at 7:15 instead of 6:30 (though I was still in disbelief.)

I found a footpath up from the beach, cut across to the golf cart road… and lo and behold — I saw about 40 runners coming my way from Carmel! I tagged along with the leading group of 4 runners and ran ~3 miles to the famous Cypress tree out on 17 mile drive, then turned around and ran back with Rick. Total running time: 1 hr 35 min. (A bit more than I anticipated though!) Rick said our returning 3 miles was about 7:08 min/mile pace! The run was beautiful, I highly recommend it! I think the best part was coming back through the golf course and cresting a hill when you can see Carmel beach again. =) See more runs on my good runs wiki page.

AID Summer Conferences

June 3rd, 2006

Americans for Informed Democracy (AID) has just announced their nation-wide list of Summer 2006 conferences. Most conferences are on the East coast, but also Lawrence, KS (June 17th) and (I’m especially excited about this) Omaha, NE (August 12th) are included! The key topics for each conference are varied, but all directed towards discussing serious global issues (e.g. world poverty and global warming) concerning the “U.S.’s role in the World” on such issues. These conferences are incredibly worthwhile and designed especially for young globalist leaders (high school, college and beyond).

AID is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works on more than 500 university campuses in the United States and in more than ten countries to bring the world home to the next generation of leaders. While studying abroad in the Fall of 2004, I attended a “Bringing the World Home” conference in Berlin and would then go on to start the AID Omaha chapter upon my return. Under new leadership, the Omaha chapter has really taken off in the community and been an exceptional success! If you are at all concerned with international relations I would highly encourage you to attend the nearest conference you can!!

Everyone Getting LinkedIN?

June 1st, 2006

I got my first invite to join LinkedIn a month or more ago. At first I disregarded it since I had more pressing things to concern myself with, but after getting a reminder email about 10 days later… I said “why not” and created an account. (I had been “invited” by a friend after all!) But what is the nature of this invite? I would only discover that after joining.

While setting up ones account, LinkedIn encourages you to upload your entire address book in text, csv or another format so that it can be parsed for email addresses to match up existing LinkedIn members… and of course let me select who to invite as well. I invited a few friends, because I thought they might be interested… even though I wasn’t completely won over yet. So I barely got any invites accepted at first, then a rush one day, and now again just over the past day or so.

This makes me really wonder then – are my friends joining because they wanted to accept my invitation, or is it because they’re tired of being bugged with email reminders from LinkedIn? Please comment or contact me to let me know.

I’m very interested in other people’s reasons for joining – since I haven’t even really used the service yet! Will LinkedIn become another Googlith (just made that up) of managing our personal relationship (social network) information – beating out Google’s long invite-only orkut system? It’s a concerning world we live in today!