I've been tinkering again. I am preparing for a weekend photo shoot in Joshua Tree at the beginning of May. I've signed up for a class through Creative Photo Academy which is associated (and located next to) Paul's photo - a local photo shop. We will be learning astrophotography in one of the best dark sky places around. I want to take some photos of some deep sky objects like the nebulae of Orion and the Andromeda spiral galaxy. Unfortunately those constellations set early in the evening, so my time to shoot them will be short and the exposure not optimum. I will use this as a learning event and return in October when there are better celestial conditions. I have been working on building a star tracker EQ mount from a hinge and a DC motor so I can have my camera follow the stars for long exposures. I found the plan on makezine.com and it is lots of fun. I put a picture of the finished project below.
Finally a break in the rain
Mar 26, 2019
Today is a warm sunny day in So Cal. It sounds strange but this has been rare of late. We have had a very rainy winter this year, and it probably isn't over yet. This is what it looked like last week.
Proud of our Sami girl
Mar 19, 2019
Sami was initiated into the National Honor Society Tau Sigma at LMU today. We are so very proud of our little girl. It is so exciting to see her live her dreams.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day
Mar 17, 2019
Hope you all are having a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day. We enjoyed some Irish stew and Guiness oatmeal bread all made by me! I had no idea I could cook. I think I will surrender the kitchen when Jan is back on her feet though - cooking is too much work.
Mar 14, 2019
Well, I made my first pie on pi day. I made a blueberry pie from a recipe I found (probably should have made a Raspberry pi, but then I would have had to have it do something). It turned out a little tart, but everyone said they liked it. A small spot of sugar on top should do the trick I think.
Mar 06, 2019
Another rainy day. I opened the window so they could look out at the rain.
Our little girl is grown up!!!
Jan 28, 2019
Our little Sami girl turned 21 today. Where the heck did all the time go. It seems like just yesterday that she was four years old and pretending to be a teacher. Now she's twenty one and still wants to be a teacher. I guess I should have expected that. We plan on taking her to Las Vegas next weekend so she can try her hand at the slots - legally.
Our Smart Little Girl
Jan 10, 2019
Our smart little girl Sami made dean’s list at LMU with straight A’s on her first semester there. We couldn’t be more proud of her!
Oct 07, 2018
We went to the beach tonight to watch the SpaceX launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was really cool and the first stage actually landed back at a spot near the launching pad. This is a shot Jan took with her iPhone after first stage separation.
Disneyland times two
Sep 30, 2018
We went to Disneyland this weekend. We spent two days - the first day we went to the Disneyland resort and the second day we went to California adventure. We spent the night at a local Holiday Inn so that we can get an early start the next day. It was a little crowded as usual, but we still managed to get on all the rides we wanted. We were looking forward to getting a Monte Cristo for dinner, unfortunately we didn’t think to get reservations in advance and they were all booked up. While riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I managed to get a glimpse of the new Star Wars land under construction. It looks like it is going to be awesome.
I got my Apple Watch
Sep 21, 2018
Well I finally got an Apple Watch. I know what you're thinking. Why would a Apple fanboy like me wait so long to get the watch? Well I wasn't able to wear it at work and it didn't make sense to buy one and leave it in my car all day. Now I am retired, and I have no such restrictions. I didn't do the pre-order on 9/14 because I wasn't sure what size would look good on my wrist. So I took the gamble of waiting to try one on in the store on release day. My friend Allison Sheridan (who has her own Apple tech podcast) suggested that I go to the Beverly Center store because it is often not crowded. She needed to get a watch for her daughter as well, so we carpooled to the store early this morning. We got to the Apple Store and there was no line, just several helpful employees anxious to sell me my watch. I am now a proud owner of a series 4 aluminum space gray watch with cellular. And by the way - I got the big one.
Learning to Improvise
Sep 19, 2018
I decided to replace the tiny old range hood we had over the stove. I got the biggest one I could find that still fit in the space over the stove. My main problem was that the cooking area is all brick enclosed and there is no access from the top or the sides and I had to install it by going straight up. I got the old range hood out and all of the extraneous framing that was in there and was ready to install the new insert. It weighed about 60 lbs, but I managed to wrestle it up onto a small shelf I placed on the stove. Now the hard part. How to lift the insert up into the space and hold it there while I screw it in place. I didn't have any scissor jacks (that would have been too easy). I then got the brilliant idea of placing a deflated exercise ball between the shelf top and the shelf top the insert was on an slowly inflating it until we had success. It worked like a charm. Jan video taped the whole thing and her boss wants to post it on the Darwin awards youtube channel.
Aug 29, 2018
I took this picture of our water lily flowering today isn’t it gorgeous?
Automation is sublime
Aug 28, 2018
I had created a php script to batch upload photos. I use it to upload vacation pics after I have had a chance to “Bart” them. The script looks at files in a directory called “load” where I have moved them using ftp and saves them to the images database with the path pointing to my images directory. I then have to manually move the files to the images directory.
I made several changes tonight to help with my workflow. First I updated my php script to move the files automatically to the images directory. Then, on the front end of the process, I created a Hazel script to look at a folder on my desktop I called “photo upload”, scale the image files it finds there to 1000 pixels wide, then ftp a copy of them to the load directory on my server, then move them from the photo upload folder to the trash, then run a shell script which opens the batch upload web page. Now I pick photos that I want to upload and export them to the photo upload folder on my desktop. All the magic happens and I am presented with the text that I just paste into my page content. I love automation.
Aug 27, 2018
Well I finally changed my daughter’s last name in my contacts. Man that was really hard!
Aug 08, 2018
I love these little water taxis here in Victoria BC. We rode one to Fisherman’s Wharf and it was fun. I want to get a job piloting one of these all day
Crossing the bridge
Aug 01, 2018
We are in Vancouver on vacation. Our house sitter is guarding the dogs (I'm sure they aren't guarding her). We went to Capilano Suspension Bridge today. It was lots of fun. Jan got stung by a bee and it really hurt for a long time. She managed to enjoy the hike anyway. I plan to add more details to the Travels page when I get time.
My web server
Jul 29, 2018
I mentioned my web server before but I have never posted a picture of it. The little white box is the web server. It is a raspberry pi and the black and blue box is a solid-state drive out of a laptop. Originally I just used a thumb drive but it wasn’t very fast so I decided to go with a solid-state drive instead
Jul 18, 2018
We did a tour of the Eberle Winery today. They store their wine barrels in tunnels underneath the winery to keep them cool. It’s a really good winery and tasting’s are free and the wine taste really good
Jul 14, 2018
Sara & Brandon's wedding was amazing!!! More to come on a special page soon.
Sara & Brandon
Jul 14, 2018
Sara and Brandon were married on July 14th, and the wedding turned out fantastic. It was an amazing wedding and the bride looked amazingly beautiful, but I am kind of biased I have to admit. The wedding was held in a venue called Verandas in Manhattan Beach. It used to be a restaurant long ago called Orville and Wilbur's.
We rented a room at the Hyatt in El Segundo off of Rosecrans for the night before and the night of the wedding so we would be close to the venue when it was time to go. Sara spent the night with us the night before the wedding and obviously spent the wedding night with her new husband Brandon. Jan's boss Larry Murakami had paid for the bride and groom to have their wedding night at the Shade hotel in Manhattan Beach. It is a really nice hotel, very luxurious, and they had a fantastic time there.
We spent the day of the wedding getting ready in the hotel room and the girls had a make up artist and hairdresser come by the hotel room and fix them all up both my daughter and all of her bridesmaids. I was there but I was doing my best to stay out of the way, and just provide them with whatever they needed, lunch, coffee etc. I was rather surprised to find that I was getting very emotional during the day. It started off with me just mentioning how I was feeling about Sara getting a new last name. I started choking up and the girls ushered me out of the room really quick, they couldn't start crying or they would ruin their make up and then I would be to blame. Once again when Sara was getting in her wedding dress they decided they wanted to surprise me and had me go in the other room while she got her dress on. Then they opened the door with my little girl standing in front of me all beautiful in her wedding dress - I started to well up again and had to slam the door quickly in her face before I started getting all teary-eyed. Everybody thought it was quite hilarious.
The Wedding is in two days !!!
Jul 12, 2018
Jan is all excited!!!
Countdown to wedding
Jul 11, 2018
I can't believe my little girl is getting married this Saturday. Everything seems to be going by so fast. Well stay tuned, I'll post again after the ceremony.
Jul 07, 2018
Well Jan and I are finally retired. Jan retired on June 29th and I retired on July 6th. For Jan they held a nice pizza party at the Topsoil yard with all the workers and customers in attendance. It was a really nice affair and Ron Murakami took pictures. After I retired on July 6 we all went to Ballast Point brewery in Long Beach and had a great dinner and tried a few of their best beers. It was really nice however it was a really hot day well into the hundreds. Next comes Ed and Jan 2.0
Jul 04, 2018
I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Fourth of July
Jun 26, 2018
The gang at work just gave me a retirement luncheon at the local burger joint called Hopdoddy‘s. We had lots of fun telling stories and complaining about work. I told them that I would be thinking about them while I’m sitting on a beach sipping my mai tai. I’ve only been there a year but they seem like family. They are a good group.
Jun 10, 2018
We went to another one of Denny's barbershop shows last night. This one was called “Scarface” and was put on in a warehouse where an artist lives. They converted it to a speakeasy from the 20s. The photo below is of one of the barbershop guys who is dressed up to look like the man from monopoly. Boy he looks like the real deal. Sorry for the picture quality - it was dark and I had to crop the picture a lot.
Jun 02, 2018
We went to the Sugarland concert last night at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The concert was really good. It’s been along time since we’ve seen Sugarland, they haven’t been touring in a long time.
May 12, 2018
I finally did it, I updated the website to use the Bootstrap 4 framework. Thanks again to the podcast Programming by Stealth with Bart and Allison. Now this site looks good on any device! I may have a few cleanup items (like adding a carousel to the main page), but it looks really good in my opinion.
Lompoc Wine Festival
Apr 21, 2018
Jan and I joined Larry and Chris Murakami at the wine festival for the weekend. They stayed at flying flags in their motor home and we stayed at Pea Soup Anderson’s hotel. We had a fantastic time cooking out at their motorhome and couldn’t believe how much that place is changed. Lots of new cabins divided in to various themes. The wine festival was lots of fun and was held in a beautiful farmland
Apr 17, 2018
We are getting a landscaping makeover. We are revamping all of the flower beds and also replacing the lawns with new sod. Not trying to go drought tolerant or anything, just basically doing a "nuke and pave" approach. We are trying to get everything cleaned up and looking nice while we are still pulling in a paycheck. Below are the "before" pics. I'll add "after" pics in a few weeks when it is done.
The road to retirement
Mar 21, 2018
Well today’s the day that I met with my boss and told him I was planning on retiring at the end of June. He was sad and said that he wished I could continue on even on a part time basis. I told him that I decided I want to retire completely and start traveling with my wife who is also retiring at the end of June. If I were to have stayed another week I would have been in the industry for 40 years and that is a very long time. Just a few more months and the adventure begins!
Mar 09, 2018
Well the outside of our house got painted. The guys we hired (Evans Painting) did a fantastic job. We went with a darker color brown called Tree Branch with an even darker trim color, Turkish Coffee.I'll post a picture tomorrow when there is enough light.
I hate colds
Mar 05, 2018
I have been down with a cold for over a week. I hate colds. They always seem to turn into bronchitis with me. And of course there is no appointments available with my doctor, and if I go to urgent care, I am likely to catch something even worse and still not get any help.
Added RSS feed for blog
Mar 03, 2018
I added an RSS feed to the blog to see if I could do it. It seems to be working ok, but I'm not sure yet that I have gotten everything correct. The feed can be gotten by going to https://www.edtobias.com/rss.php.
My cat took down our website
Mar 02, 2018
Our new cat Tori loves to play with wires. I do believe that will be her undoing one day, but without me knowing, she unplugged the ssd drive that was connected to my Raspberry pi web server. I don't know how long the site was down, but I'm going to have to "cat-proof" my system.
Tori’s Tower of Terror
Feb 24, 2018
Our new kitten Tori likes her new kitty tower. As you can see, we had to get a tall one for a reason. Our dog Tess likes to climb!
I’ve made fire !!!
Feb 09, 2018
I wanted to move my website from my home Macintosh to a web server on a raspberry pi. And I actually did that. I got my raspberry pi and I installed Apache and PHP and MySQL and got it up and running. You are viewing this from my Web server being run by my $35 raspberry pi. I have now made fire !!!
Watching the Super Blue Blood moon with Sara and Brandon
Jan 31, 2018
This morning I got up real early and Sara and Brandon and I went to Hilltop Park in Signal Hill to look at the Super Blue Blood moon. I took the picture below with my iPhone, but I also took some pretty good pictures with my DSLR - I just haven’t processed them yet.
Our Baby is Engaged!!!
Jan 07, 2018
Our baby girl Sara just got engaged!!!! Her fiancé, Brandon, proposed at Crystal Cove this afternoon. We met them for dinner at George's Mediterranean in Long Beach to celebrate. We are so happy for her and so proud to have Brandon as a son-in-law
Dec 24, 2017
We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and we hope you and yours are safe, blessed and happy this holiday season.
Nov 22, 2017
I just found a cool toy at Bed Bath & Beyond (the store does have some cool stuff). What I found was an attachment for your sink faucet that lights up using three colored LEDs. The cool thing about it is that it requires NO BATTERIES !!! It has a miniature hydroelectric generator inside the housing that powers the LEDs. The LEDs are also connected via a temperature sensor and change color as the water gets hotter. Is that cool or what? I recorded a video below so you could see it in action
Hydroelectric Powered LEDs
Oct 12, 2017
I took Jan to the Torrance Orthopedic and Sports Medice group this morning. I got my thumb joint worked on there a month ago. She may have a torn meniscus and a inflamed bursa. She got a X-ray and a cortisone shot in her knee (lots of pain!). She is scheduled to get a MRI on Monday. We are going to the SanAntonio winery to celebrate their 100th year tomorrow. The Dr. said to drink plenty of wine and eat lots of cheese - Doctor's orders!
Oct 12, 2017
Today is Jan's birthday, but her age is classified and you don't have clearance. We both had to work today, and her friends from work (and Sara) took her to Martha's in Hermosa Beach for lunch. She had a great time and got a few nice gifts to boot. We had dinner at Stacked restaurant and waited forever for our food - they we very short staffed. On top of that, Jan had injured her knee and she could barely walk she was in so much pain. She used some crutches that she had from a previous injury to help her get around.
We finally made it home and Jan opened her gifts. She had a great birthday, but we are headed to the doctor's office in the morning for her knee.
Sam made me breakfast!!
Sep 27, 2017
I woke up this morning to find my daughter Sam cooking in the kitchen. She made me banana macadamia nut pancakes FROM SCRATCH for my birthday!!!! I love that kid.
Sep 11, 2017
As long as I am alive, I will never forget. God bless our country and keep us free.
Solar Eclipse Day!!!
Aug 21, 2017
Today was the solar eclipse. I had purchased a set of five pairs of special glasses from B&H photo so everyone in the family could watch. Everyone also shared with their coworkers since the eclipse occurred at 10:21am on a Monday. Below is a picture captured by Sam, and a screenshot of our solar panel power reading showing the lack of sunshine during the eclipse.
OC Fair butterflies
Aug 06, 2017
Here we are in the butterfly tent at the OC Fair.
Our condo in Maui
Jul 07, 2017
While the dog sitters are staying at our house and keeping the doggies at bay, we are enjoying Maui in our condo we are renting
Happy July 4th
Jul 04, 2017
I want to wish everyone a very happy fourth of July. We live in a wonderful country made up of the strongest most caring people. I feel honored and proud to celebrate our heritage
Jun 15, 2017
I just got a brand-new 27 inch retina iMac. The old 2007 iMac finally bit the dust. It lasted a good long time and served me well. The new shiny is very fast and very cool looking and I am very happy
Remember the fallen
May 29, 2017
Remember today those that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live free
Working at Raytheon
May 25, 2017
Well, I have started my first week at Raytheon. It was nice having a two month break from work. It kind of simulated what retirement would be like. I used to worry that I wouldn't be able to handle retirement, but it is not has hard as it looks.
May 06, 2017
Well we finally made it home with Sam and all of her belongings. She is here to stay and she is done with ASU. And she made it back in time for Sara's 25th birthday
My brindled dog
Apr 29, 2017
Tucker has such a beautiful brindled fur coat.
Apr 26, 2017
It looks like the butterflies will have a good breakfast today. The milkweed is looking very tasty.
Apr 22, 2017
We visited The Avensole winery in Temecula and had a winetasting there as well. This place was absolutely beautiful.
Jan and I shared a winetasting between us which involves six different tastes of wine. A taste is about an ounce of wine. We ended up buying a bottle of their red that goes well with just about everything.
Apr 22, 2017
Jan and I had a wonderful three day weekend away in Temecula. We went to Lake Skinner which was ok but not a must see. We did have a relaxing few minutes under a shade tree next to the lake. Jan read while I took pictures.
I saw an interesting tree nearby. This tree was not happy
Last Day at Boeing
Mar 24, 2017
Well, this is it. My last day of work at Boeing. I have been with Boeing / Hughes for almost 39 years. I find it very hard to believe that it is done. I still plan to work a little longer at Raytheon after taking a few days to practice retirement
Holidays are over
Jan 08, 2017
Well, the holidays are over. They go by so quick. We take Sam to the airport today to go back to Tempe for her spring semester at ASU. It sure was nice having her home over the break.
Sara and Ed spent the last week sick in bed with a horrible virus - not a great way to start the new year. We hope all of you have a happy and healthy 2017.
Rose Parade 2017
Jan 02, 2017
We got seats for the Rose Parade this year from a friend. This was our first time in person, and it was amazing.
Dec 26, 2016
We had a good Christmas this year. Cousin Bobby came over with masks and head decorations for us to take our picture
Thanksgiving in Arizona
Nov 24, 2016
We drove to Tempe to see Sam for Thanksgiving. Here we are at CrackerBarrel waiting for a table (1hr wait). Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for.
Nov 14, 2016
I got up early today to photograph the super moon over looking the lighthouse. I also took some time-lapse photos of a bike with flashing rear lights. This is fun, but I need a lot more practice
Oct 09, 2016
Sam is out for fall break and all of us are having a relaxing time in the back yard. Tess is chasing butterflies and Tucker is resting on the couch
Lunch with Sara
Sep 27, 2016
Sara and I went to much for my birthday. We went to the Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach. I had a really good time and she paid - which felt kind of weird. I'm the dad, I'm suppose to pay. Sara is very thoughtful that way, and I really enjoy going to lunch with her. I want to start doing it more often. These times are special and are so precious to me.
Resting at the park
Sep 25, 2016
Jan and I found a nice park near a lake where we are sitting and resting while we're waiting for Sara and Sam to finish getting their nails done
ASU vs Cal
Sep 24, 2016
At the Family weekend football game. The ASU Sun Devils won over California Bears 51 to 41. It was a thrilling game all the way to the end.
The Two of Us
Sep 11, 2016
I found this picture of Jan and I when I was looking for something to put in a family photo frame for our living room. This photo was taken of us in our back yard just before going to the Luke Bryan concert at the Hollywood Bowl. This was a sad time for us. We had just lost Jan's brother Jim the week before.
Labor Day visit with Sam
Sep 10, 2016
We had a wonderful time visiting Sam over the long weekend. We will be heading back again on the 23rd for family weekend.
Moving Sam to ASU
Aug 10, 2016
Well we are moving Sam to ASU to start her college education!
Jul 23, 2016
Sam had all four wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. She has been on the couch all day. Her jaw is still pretty sore.
Forging the river
Jul 03, 2016
This is Jan forging a river on horseback in Montana. I don't know about you, but I am impressed!!!
Schwabacher Landing and Mormon Barn
Jun 28, 2016
Sara and I got up real early to get some sunrise photos. The one of Schwabacher Landing was taken with my iPhone. The one of the barn with my Canon 60D. It is so beautiful here.
Jun 26, 2016
Heading out to the stampede rodeo in Cody Wyoming
Jun 19, 2016
I have been having a wonderful Father's Day so far. We went to Schooner or Later for breakfast (2hr wait!!!) we then came home and I opened my gifts (lots of great clothes for our upcoming trip to Montana). And later we plan to go to the movies and dinner.
Jun 04, 2016
We had a really good time at Jan's boss' daughter's wedding in Solvang this last weekend. We finished off our stay with a tour and wine tasting at Firestone Vineyards. The landscapes are very pretty there. I captured this with my iPhone.
Apr 22, 2016
Sam had a wonderful time at her senior prom. She looks so pretty - I'm sure she was the prettiest girl there, but I'm her dad and I'm a little biased. (one could say Too biased)
Back in LA
Apr 03, 2016
We are back from our college roundup in Arizona. So far it's looking like Arizona State might be the winner with Sam. I think it is too cold for her in Flagstaff. ☃
Adam and Tucker
Apr 01, 2016
We are having Adam stay at the house and watch the dogs while we go to Arizona to look at colleges for Sam. We are looking at both Arizona State in Phoenix and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. One choice is really really hot and the other choice is really really cold
German dining at Alpine Village
Apr 01, 2016
We are at the Steinhaus restaurant in Alpine Village. I'm having bratwurst - yum! We went to the village market and bought a bunch of German food for Sam to do a report on Germany at school.
Mar 27, 2016
I hope everyone is having a very happy Easter. I hope you are spending your day with loved ones and enjoying a good meal and good times. 🐰
Finished stage 1
Mar 11, 2016
I finally finished the CRUD pages (Create, Read, Update, Delete). Now I can more easily update the blog.
We be database driven!
Mar 09, 2016
Well, I have gotten the blog page to be driven by a mysql database. I'm still inputing the posts using the db admin tool until I can create a proper post page. This is fun - I must be a nerd.
Mar 04, 2016
I've been listening to a podcast by Allison Sheridan and Bart Busschots which is called "Programming By Stealth (PBS)". So far it has been teaching CSS and I have learned quite a bit. On my own I have taught myself PHP web programming. I have since revamped my website (where you are now) using PHP and the CSS I've learned from the PBS tutorials. But I've implemented this in a way that I think is kind of unique and I like to describe it. I wanted to be able to update the site from anywhere, using my iPhone. So I figured if I could edit text files on dropbox and then have the Hazel app look for any changes and update the website by moving the file over, thus I could update my site on the fly. I also update the images directory in dropbox and that is synced to the images directory on my website. So I can use HTML in the text file to reference the images and then move the images over using hazel. The text file with the HTML code is read into the webpage using PHP include calls. Actually I have created everything on this page using my iPhone.
Mar 03, 2016
I am considering documenting my progress toward getting better at photography. I'm trying to do it in an organized way by focusing on specific areas of photography, one at a time. It's a little nerdy but I created a mind map identifying the various areas of photography that I would like to improve. Some of these include blue hour photography, slow motion photography, depth of field, flash photography, portrait photography, etc.
Feb 01, 2016
This is going to be a compilation of my meanderings. As well as the meanderings of the rest of my family.