Monday, July 04, 2005

July 4th Weekend - Museums & Tour de France Stage 3

2005 was a long four day Fourth of July weekend. At night, I could hear the fireworks from Great America. I can even stand in my backyard and see some of the fireworks since Sunnyvale is so close to Santa Clara. But the days were what was memorable about the weekend.

Friday, I started the day by taking my dog Culo to Fort Funston for a walk. It was one of those days that are so foggy, you feel like a speeding fool going 30 miles an hour because the visibility is so limited by the density of the fog. Later, I went by the Stanford University Green Library to see the "The Rise and Fall of the Slide Rule: 350 Years of Mathematical Calculators" exhibit. You get to see Napier's Bones, the first mechanical calculating sticks. And find out links to other disciplines such as the fact that William Oughtred mentored Christopher Wren, a London architect. The graphic novel, From Hell, by
Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, makes the case that Wren incorporated many occult elements into his work.

On Saturday, I went to de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University to see Recovered Views: African American Portraits, 1912-1925. The exhibit contains black-and-white portraits were made by an anonymous African-American who lived and worked in Lincoln Nebraska in the early part of the twentieth century. Made between about 1912 and 1925, these portraits are more than just stunning images—they document life in a vibrant, middle-class black neighborhood in a small Midwestern city, a portion of society rarely depicted in any medium. You don't often see anything on African Americans in the west before World War II. There were at least 3 other photo exhibits by other artists on various topics.

Sunday, I got introduced to an excellent Vietnamese food place, Vung Tau II Restaurant in Milpitas. It's the kind of food that smells good, then when you bite into it, the food tastes even better than it smelled.

Today, I rode my bike over to the Sunnyvale 4th of July celebration. Even though it was only about 12:20 pm, the food advertised by the city was sold out and all gone. The event only started at 11 am and was going until
at least 2 pm. Excellent planning...NOT!!

Even though I'm glad to be working at PayPal, I'll miss watching the Tour de France live every morning. Last year, I was undistracted during the TdF, so I could afford to catch the pre-dawn show every day. Luckily, OLN repeats the broadcast so much, I can still see great finishes like the Stage 3 sprint to the finish today. I felt so bad for Erik Dekker and Nicolas Portal who led until within the last two kilometers before they were caught. Dekker especially gave a lot of heart. A perfect example of the power of the peleton over a few individuals.

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