Sunday, February 24, 2008

Waves to Wine 2008 - Riding Again for Multiple Sclerosis

Yes, I was late getting out the thanks for the 2007 ride. But I am making up for this by starting the 2008 process fundraising early. My goal is to raise $12,000 for MS this year. You can help get this started by going to the Waves to Wine 2008 site.

Waves to Wine 2007 Thanks and Links

I rode the MS ride over 150 miles of cloud-shrouded San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma Counties on September 29 and 30; the weather was wonderful, sunny and cool, although we had headwinds for most of the ride up the coast. I doubled-back a few times to catch the view in the opposite direction and ride my committed 175 miles. It was a great weekend for biking. This year, your contributions and matching funds totaled $10,606, which was both over my goal and I was one of the largest fund-raisers for 2007 in Northern California for a fifth consecutive year. I want to thank everyone who made contributions, as well as Adobe for matching employee contributions. The ride this year had 1,300 riders, and received over one million dollars in contributions.

My thanks letter (pdf) references Maureen Manley of Team Copaxone. It was impressive to hear her describe the positive impact that new medications have had on her life. Below are some of the links describing her and Team Copaxone:

Seattle Times Article on Maureen Manley

Teva Neuroscience brochure on Team Copaxone

Current Team Copaxone Information

Finally, a movie about type design

I was lucky enough to enter the world of typesetting and typography in 1976 when I joined Datalogics and started to write Pager. Hot metal typography still existed, with financial printers using Linotype and Monotype machines; in fact, the world of typography solutions has its high level split as "hot metal" and "cold type." The old guys (skilled artisans who had trouble learning how to use a keyboard) who worked at Bowne, Merrill, and RR Donnelley taught me about type; it's all the more humorous as I'm now about the age of the people that I learned from 32 years ago.

One may look at financial printing as a wasteland of typography. However, companies like Bowne were the original designers of the Bodoni typeface. These people taught me french spacing, appropriate financial table layout, and the correct use of fonts. I learned about kerning, letterspacing, and developed an eye for well-placed type and extra or misplaced spaces.

A movie recently came out that captures much of the joy of typography I have learned. The film is Helvetica, and they have their own website and a blog on type and films. There are trailers posted on YouTube, as well as a review in the New York Times. The movie is also available on Netflix.

It is past time to clean up Almaden Air Force Base on Mt. Umunhum

Anyone who lives in the south bay has looked to the southwest and seen a massive tower on top of the mountains, specifically Mt. Umunhum. Many wonder what this is. This blog tells the story and gives a set of links to other resources, articles, and videos that tell the story well.

Simply stated, the United States government, and, specifically, the Defense Department and Army Corp of Engineers have left a polluted eyesore in open view to Silicon Valley. The site should be cleaned up so that the area is available to all hikers and mountain bikers in the MROSD; I do believe that the tower should remain as a remembrance of the cold war, much like the Nike site in Marin.

The MROSD is still trying to get this cleaned up. Notes from
the October 22, 2007 meeting
said "More than 20 years after the District’s purchase of the former Almaden Air Force Base atop Mt. Umunhum, near downtown San Jose, the Army Corps of Engineers’ has not fulfilled its promises, made at the time of the District’s purchase, to clean up the site. Over the years, the initially slow speed of cleanup activities has crawled along at a glacial pace before recently coming to a complete standstill. Even if the saying that all promise outruns performance is true, it is fully reasonable to expect the Corps to honor its commitment to clean up the site and that any remediation would have been fully completed in a twenty-year period. It is unreasonable of the government to require the District to wait any longer for progress on full remediation of the site. Based on the record to date, the District is left with little choice but to seek immediate federal action to ensure that the Corps fulfill its obligation and accelerate the remediation of the former Almaden Air Force Base."

My hope is that new blood in congress, such as Peter Myers and a new president will be able to drive this issue to a conclusion.

The Almaden Weekly Times had a very good article titled Mt. Umunhum: Up close and personal. There was also a Almaden Air Force Station Reunion Tour for veterans of the site in 2006. There is also a Youtube version called Almaden Radar Site - A Very Special Place.

There are a number of photo galleries: Almaden Air Force Base, a Flickr gallery

There have been attempts to get this situation addressed such as Excerpt from an article in the Mercury News in 2002 describing efforts to clean up the Air Force base (which, obviously, failed). A historical summary of the site and its turnover in the early 80's is also available.

There are a number of overview articles at Wikipedia for the Air Station, SummitPost, and a set of Historical pictures of the Air Force base

A number of people have braved the gates and the skull and crossbones on the road to the peak. A video is available, titled Assault On Mt. Umunhum. There are also two slideshows at Mt. Umunhum Slideshow and Mt. Umunhum.

More information on the Marin Nike site can be found at wikipedia overview, history of the Nike program, official website for the site, photo tour of a volunteer, history of all the Nike sites, and a YouTube video.