Monday, September 26, 2011

Roseville Mostique and Pears

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Roseville Mostique and Pears
We went through a Roseville phase – it must be admitted – and hadn’t thought much about these pieces for a while until a friend brought over some local pears – three varieties. (Sorry, we don’t have the variety names.) The pears called out to us to be photographed with Roseville Mostique. Really. Mostique is a Roseville pattern introduced sometime between 1915 or 1916 (1915 given by the Roseville Pottery Information Center site and 1916 by the Roseville Pottery Information and History site). Plus or minus a year, they are fun pieces. And, a big thanks to Kerri for the pears!

Pears are part of the rose family (Rosaceae) and have the genus name Pyrus. According to Wiktionary, Pyrus comes from the Latin pirus for “pear tree”.
Roseville Mostique and Pears
Roseville Mostique and Pears

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Aurora Bridge Mural – A Fresh Coat of Paint

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A Fremont Resident Touching Up the Mural
When we last talked about the Aurora Bridge Mural (in Fremont) it was on a bit of a sour note. That was six months ago and the mural was accumulating lots of graffiti in the form of “tagging”. Well, some folks in the neighborhood are taking matters and paint brushes into their own hands and giving the mural a fresh coat. Thank you neighbors!

The 1982 Atlantic article Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety introduced the broken windows theory which put forward the idea that monitoring and maintaining an urban environment may prevent further vandalism and serious crime in that environment. From the article: “Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken.” The theory has its defenders and detractors, but you can’t deny that a maintained environment certainly has a positive impact to those living there. In this case, seeing tagging on the Aurora Bridge Mural is ugly and depressing.

Before (left) / New Painting in Progress (right)
Aurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and AfterAurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and After

West End of the Aurora Bridge MuralAurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) West End

Before (left) / New Painting in Progress (right)
Aurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and AfterAurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and After

Before (left) / New Painting in Progress (right)
Aurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and AfterAurora Bridge Mural (Fremont) Before and After

Organizing Volunteers
Aurora Bridge Mural - Organizing Volunteers

Waiting for the Bus at the Aurora Bridge MuralWaiting for the Bus at the Aurora Bridge Mural

Kähler and Colchicum

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Kähler Blue Glaze and Colchicum (Autumn Crocus) Kähler Vase and Colchicum (Autumn Crocus)
Another in the pots and plant series: Kähler meets Colchicum. In this mashup we have Kähler, a type of Danish pottery, and Colchicum autummale, called autumn crocus. The pottery is named after the Joachim Christian Herman Kähler and three subsequent generations of potters spanning from 1839 to 1972.

The plant shown here has the common name of autumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked lady. The genus Colchicum means of or from Colchis, an ancient region at the east end of the Black Sea. Also, colchicine is the name of an analgesic drug derived from this plant that is used to treat gout. Colchicum is part of the Lily family and is not a true crocus nor the source of saffron spice. Saffron comes from Crocus sativus and is part of the Iris family. We believe the plant shown here is autumnale.

Kähler Pottery shown here:
· Small vase (mostly matt brown), bottle vase (mostly turquoise glazed), and bowl in the characteristic 1960s manner of Nils Kähler. Incised: HAK, Nils. Impressed: Denmark. Note stamped fishbone pattern on bottle vase.We purchased two of the items at www.starkeld.com.

· A small, squat vase with blue leaf motif. We are guessing made before 1950, possibly 1910 to 1930.

An article on Ceramics Today gives the history of the Kähler clan as:
· Joachim Christian Herman Kähler (1808 – 1884) – establishes workshop in Naestved, Denmark in 1839.

· Herman August Kähler (1846 – 1917) and Carl Frederik Kähler (1850 – 1920) – two sons take over in 1872. Herman introduces the HAK signature.

· Herman Hans Christian (1876 – 1940) (son of Herman) – takes over in 1901.

· Nils Joakim Kähler (1906 – 1979) and Herman Joergen Kähler (1904 – 1996) – 4th generation; the Kähler factory closes in 1974. Nils always signed his items with “Nils”.

Autumn Crocus In Situ (Seattle)
Autumn Crocus In Situ

Kähler Tourquoise Glazed Trio
Kähler Tourquoise Glazed Trio

Kähler Tourquoise Glazed Trio

Kählder Blue Bottole Markings HAK, Nils
Kählder Blue Bottole Markings HAK, Nils

Kähler Small Vase
Kähler Small Vase

Gray Matter Gladiators

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Virginia Mason Gray Matter Gladiators
We had the opportunity to walk for and with a friend in the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk 2011 at the Seattle Center. The walk raised $840,000 dollars. The name of the group we walked with was the Virginia Mason Brain Tumor Support Group aka Gray Matter Gladiators with a cool shirt to match.

The Walk Starts
Seattle Brain Cancer Walk 2011

The Space Needle Nearby
Seattle Brain Cancer Walk 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Travelmarx Music Picks – Summer 2011

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Travelmarx Music Picks - Summer 2011

It’s been a long time since we’ve discussed music and our favorites. The Sonos system and the various services have becomes a routine part of our life and we’ve discovered a number of old and new releases through music services*. Here are some of our favorites of the summer in the order that they appear in the associated composite album cover art image. The 25 tracks in the playlist are on Spotify: Travelmarx Summer 2011.

* Back in 2011, we started with Pandora and Rhapsody, moving to Last.fm and MOG. As of 2018, we exclusively used just Spotify.

Row 1

Asaf Avidan – "The Reckoning" [2008] (Israeli)
A strange and endearing album. It’s hard to grok on the first listen. For our playlist, we have "Reckoning Song", which remixed became a worldwide hit.

Broken Bells – "Broken Bells" [2009] (American)
Nothing broken about this release. It works well. All songs are super catchy. We include starting track "The High Road". Love the ending lyric in the track "It's too late to change your mind / You've let loss be your guide".

Caribou  "Swim" [2010] (Canadian)
Part electronic, part folktronic, from a Canadian Dan Snaith. We include the track "Odessa" on this playlist.

Devendra Banhart – "What Will We Be" [2009] (American)
Part of the New Weird America genre of music, we love anything Banhart puts out. On this playlist, we include the track "Brindo", which starts with the lyric "Brindo este amor / Un amor tan raro" - "I offer this love, such a rare love".

Vetiver – "Tight Knit" [2009] (American)
This album and 2004’s self-titled album are popular with us. This playlist has the bouncy track "More of This".

Row 2

Camille  "Music Hole" [2008] (French)
Our favorite track "The Monk" is on this playlist. "Music Hole" is the third studio album by Camille.

Florence & The Machine  "Ceremonials" [2011] (English)
Our favorite track: "What the Water Gave Me" is on this playlist. The track title is 1938 Frida Kahlo painting of the same name.

Inara George – "An Invitation" [2008] (American)
Like crickets, starting with a track called "Overture" gets our attention. Also, having Van Dyke Parks as a producer gets our notice since we like his music too.

Kate Havnevik – "Melankton" [2006] (Norwegian)
Favorite Track: Travel in Time. An evocative song. 

Cotton Jones – "Paranoid Cocoon" [2009] (American)
Once, during the waning days of a work-from-home, going-no-where contract job, we listened to this album 50 times straight. That has to have an effect you think?

Row 3

Eddie Vedder  "Into the Wild Soundtrack" [2007] (American)
It was a yoga teacher at L.A. Fitness who first played the track, "Hard Sun", from this album and then we had to hear more...it's on this playlist.

Gabin  "Third and Double" [2010] (Italian)
The whole album is great. Wikipedia calls it “nu jazz”. Love the double album with contrasting styles. The track "Lies", featuring Chris Cornell (what a voice) is on our playlist.

Mezzanine de l’Alcazar IV [2005] (French)
A Pschent Music release. Compilations like this (think Hotel Costes) can be hit or miss. This one is consistently interesting. It's on this compilation we first heard "Twisted Cupid" by the Danish band Slow Train.

Michael Franti & Spearhead – "All Rebel Rockers" [2008] (American)
We could listen to "A Little Bit of Riddim (feat. Cherine Tanya Anderson)" all day. Who cares if that chick-a-lina in yoga class doesn’t like it.

The Sleepy Jackson  "Personality – One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird" [2006] (Australian)
We listened to this release once for two weeks straight and overdosed. It's addictive. Oh, all are gems here, let's put "Miles Away" on the playlist.

Row 4

The Great Lake Swimmers  "Ongiara" [2007] (Canadian)
Serious melodic folk – we'll put "Changing Colours" on the playlist.

Mike Snow – "Mike Snow" [2009] (Swedish)
Our favorite track "Sylvia: is on our playlist.

Telepopmusik  "Genetic World" [2001-2002] (French)
We remember when this album came out, but not until this past year did we start listening to it. Angela McCluskey’s voice is memorable. We put the popular "Breathe" on our playlist.

Fruit Bats – "Mouthfuls" [2003] (American)
On the playlist, our favorite track: "Slipping Through the Sensors" with the lyric “Slipping through the sensors / tripping over rails and fences / superheroes fighting crime with love and broken fists”.  

Trentemoller – "The Last Resort" [2006] (Danish)
Dark and melancholy – we like it!

Row 5

Elbow – "Build a Rocket Boys!" [2011] (English)
While the track "With Love" was popular, we love the opener "the birds", which is on our playlist. In the middle of the song the repeated lyric is: "What are we gonna do with you? / Same tale every time  / What are we gonna do with you? / Come on inside, looking back is for the birds".

Iron and Wine – "Kiss Each Other Clean" [2011] (American)
The track "Glad Man Singing" gets us going every time.

Lamb  "Between Darkness and Wonder" [2003] (English)
There has been a lot of Lamb-listening at Travelmarx, this and other albums by this group. "Wonder" is on this playlist.

LCD Soundsystem  "This is Happening" [2010] (American)
An odd album but strangely attracting album of dance-punk (that’s what this is called!?). We put the track "I Can Change" on our playlist. We first heard it over the L.A. Fitness speakers of all places. It was the day they weren’t playing the teen-angst, sneer- rock station.

M. Ward  "Transfiguration of Vincent" [2003] (American)
Start an album out with crickets and you got us hooked. We include the track "Involuntary" on the playlist.

The Perfect Playlist

Asaf Avidan from "The Reckoning" – Reckoning Song
Broken Bells from "Broken Bells" – The High Road
Caribou from "Swim" – Hannibal
Devendra Banhart from "What Will We Be" – Brindo
Vetiver from "Tight Knit" – More of This
Camille from "Music Hole" – The Monk
Florence & The Machine from "Ceremonials" – What the Water Gave Me
Inara George from "An Invitation" – Right as Wrong
Kate Havnevik from "Melankton" – Travel in Time
Cotton Jones from "Paranoid Cocoon" – I Am the Changer
Eddie Vedder from "Into the Wild Soundtrack" – Hard Sun
Gabin from "Third and Double" – Lies featuring Chris Cornell
Mezzanine de l’Alcazar IV – Twisted Cupid by Slow Train Soul
Michael Franti & Spearhead from "All Rebel Rockers" – A Little Bit of Riddim (feat. Cherine Tanya Anderson)
Sleepy Jackson from "Personality – One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird" – Miles Away
The Great Lake Swimmers from "Ongiara" – Changing Colours
Mike Snow from "Mike Snow" – Sylvia
Telepopmusik from "Genetic World" – Breathe
Fruit Bats from "Mouthfuls" – Slipping Through the Sensors
Trentemoller from "The Last Resort" – Evil Dub
Elbow from "build a rocket boys!" – the birds
Iron and Wine from "Kiss Each Other Clean" – Glad Man Singing
Lamb from "Between Darkness and Wonder" – Wonder
LCD Soundsystem from "This is Happening" – I Can Change
M. Ward from "Transfiguration of Vincent" - Involuntary

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Installing Windows 8 Developer Preview on VirtualBox

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Windows 8 Developer Preview

In this post we show you how to install the Windows 8 Developer Preview on Oracle’s VirtualBox (a virtualization product for enterprise and home use). This is just one of many possible paths – one that we figured out. Hope it helps.

Our Hardware: We tried these instructions on a Lenovo T510 and T410s running Windows 7. Both with 8GB of RAM and greater than 30 GB disk space free. The T410 has a solid state drive (SSD).

Enable Virtualization

If virtualization is enabled already for you, you can skip this step. For our machines, virtualization was not turned on.

  1. Before restarting, suspend BitLocker Drive Encryption. (This avoids BitLocker complaining about a system change.)
  2. Restart and go to the bios setup. (For T510 and T410s hit F1. Your computer may use a different key.)
  3. In the bios we went to Config > CPU and enabled "Intel ® Virtualization Technology” and “Intel ® Vt-d Feature”. The first feature allows the Virtual Machine Monitor to utilize additional capabilities provided by Intel Virtualization Technology. The second feature (Vt-d) is virtualization technology for directed I/O.
  4. Save and restart the computer.
  5. Resume BitLocker.

Install VirtualBox

Install VirtualBox if you don’t already have it. It should take a few minutes to install and didn’t require a reboot for us.

Get the Preview

Get the developer preview .iso (disk image) file from the link above. Here we are using the Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64), which is 4.8 GB. Save the disk image where you can access it in subsequent steps.

Create a Virtual Machine

Open VirtualBox and create a New Virtual Machine.

  1. Click the New button on toolbar. This starts the Create New Virtual Machine wizard.
  2. In the VM Name and OS Type step of the wizard, name your virtual machine, select Microsoft Windows as your operating system, and select version as Windows 7 (64 bit).
  3. In the Memory step, select your memory. We selected 3072 MB.
  4. In the Virtual Hard Disk step, keep the defaults.
  5. In the Welcome to the virtual disk creation wizard step, select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image).
  6. In the Virtual disk storage details step, select Dynamically allocated.
  7. In the Virtual disk file location and size step, keep the defaults (of 20GB).
  8. In the Summary pane, review the details and click Create.
  9. You are now ready to configure the virtual machine (VM).

Configure the Virtual Machine


The key configuration items are the System and Storage settings which are discussed below.

  1. Select the VM (make sure it is highlighted) Click Settings.
  2. Select the System icon in the left pane and configure Motherboard, Processor, and Acceleration tabs as shown below. The key settings are toe select Enable IO APIC on the Motherboard tab and Enable VT-x/AMD-V and Enable Nested Paging on the Acceleration tab.
  3. Select the Storage icon in the left pane. Select Empty under the IDE Controller in the Storage Tree and to the right of the CD/DVD Drive select the drop down icon and find the disk image. If you haven’t previously used the disk image, select Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file… and go find the disk image you saved previously.

  4. You are ready to turn on the VM.

Turn on the VM and Start the Installation.

  1. Click the Start button in VirtualBox Manager to turn on the VM.
  2. As you start, you will get a number of Information messages about mouse pointer integration, color mode, and auto capture keyboard. Don’t worry too much about these now. Just click OK on each.
  3. The first install screen, click Next.
  4. Then click Install now.
  5. Select the license checkbox and click Next.
  6. On the Which type of installation do you want? screen, select Custom (advanced) for a new installation.
  7. On the Where do you want to install Windows? screen, select the default disk and click Next.
  8. Wait a few moments as the install happens.
  9. Select the checkbox in the License terms window and click Accept.
  10. Give your Windows 8 virtual instance a name.
  11. Select express setting in the next screen. Express settings uses a Windows Live ID. (We do not show the path of using custom settings. It entails creating a user account.)

  12. Provide the credentials on the next two screens.

  13. Wait a few moments as it “prepares your PC”.
  14. Viola, your desktop shows up!

Basic Navigation Around the New Windows 8 System

  1. From the starting Metro UI, click the Desktop tile in the lower left to go to the “traditional” desktop.

  2. Right click and select Screen resolution. Set a resolution.
  3. Hit the Windows key (left of the space bar) to go back to the tile view (Metro UI).
  4. Touch the user tile image to access lock, log off, add user, and change user tile functionality quickly.
  5. Windows key + f brings up the search functionality.
  6. Windows key + i brings up some taskbar/settings.
  7. Mouse over the lower left hand corner to bring up a Start menu for Metro.
  8. To suspend the the state of the VM, go to the Machine menu and select Close. Then select Save the machine state in the next dialog box.