June 2003 Archives

A Talk by Phil Armour

I considered a big advantage of working downtown that I would be able to go to meetings of the Chicago Agile Development (ChAD). Yesterday was my first chance. A quick bus ride across the river and I shared the lift with Phil Armour, who was giving the talk (although I did not yet know it at the time).

A Trip to San Francisco

A lot has happened since my last web log entry. Among the more cheerful items, I did get to go to San Francisco with Susan and my dad. (This was two weekends ago.) He took the photos and let me to post them on my web space.

We were there from Friday to Sunday inclusive but really only had two full days. That meant we had two big tourist items on the menu, the bridge and the island (Alcatraz of course). I had been on the bridge before but not walked across it. We knew we could do this because bike shops in San Francisco had signs suggesting people bicycle from downtown San Francisco all the way to Sausolito and take the ferry back. Starting at the bridge (short taxi ride from downtown) saved us some miles but it was still a long walk.

The visit to Alcatraz was better than I expected. No matter how many tourists were there, it still had an indescribable atmosphere — a combination of crumbling, not too pleasant history and, more surprising, great natural beauty. All this in sight of the city and the bridge and the hundreds of boats and yachts sailing in the bay. The audio tour is well worthwhile, by the way, because it is narrated by former guards and convicts.

The one part you don't see in the pictures is all the good food we ate. On the Saturday night, we dined with Susan's cousin and her husband at an Italian place. By no means full and not too hard to get a taxi afterwards either. Indeed the city was looking a bit gritty in parts. I never saw it during the high boom years but it did seem a bit down on its luck. We all enjoyed ourselves nevertheless.