Category Archives: News

Google Cloud Conference 2019

Google Cloud Conference 2019
Gooigle Cloud Conference Anet Dunne


Had a great time at the Google Cloud Conference at Moscone Center. Learned about Kaggle from creator Ben Hamner, learned about Site Reliability Engineering from Ben Traynor Sloss, and learned how Megan Andsell, PhD astrophysicist from Cal-Berkeley uses Google computing power to find exoplanets (earth-like planets) in our galaxy.

Wow, are these people brilliant! So much fun to see.

MeetUp Guests at SoCoPhil

MeetUp Guests at SoCoPhil

Now there are more than 200 members of the MeetUp group “Finding Female Friends Over 50” which was started in January. Yesterday four members joined me for the final performance of the Sonoma County Philharmonic, and the reception afterwards for artists, volunteers, donors and sponsors. A wonderful day!


Oboe-player Ruth joined us
Lorinda and Debora

First ArtWalk for FFF>50

First ArtWalk for FFF>50

Yet another drizzly Friday April 5 did not stop 16 members of the “Finding Female Friends over 50” MeetUp group to meet near Spinster Sisters restaurant for the First Friday ArtWalk at South of A Street galleries. The rain washed out the expected live music and the food trucks, but we met artists Lorna and Linda and Carole Watanabe who gave me a copy of her book! Great fun!

Joan, Deborah, Janelle, Patricia, Lorinda
Carole Watanabe Floating Free Peaceful Alliance
Carole Watanabe gave me a copy of her book. Photo by Paula Park.

Doran Beach Perseids 2018

Doran Beach Perseids 2018

I brought some new equipment to this year’s annual SCPN campout at Doran Beach sites D & E. The Wind Warrior worked very well after Bruce enlarged the opening the plastic connectors and hammered in the “no tools” stakes.

Wind Warrior

Protection From Afternoon Wind

The inside of the plastic connectors were convex when they should have been straight, so Bruce corrected them with his pocket knife. I had spent hours trying to resolve this with the manufacturer and am grateful to Bruce for his resourcefulness.

The “no tools” claim is false

I also tried out my Big Agnes sleeping bag with integrated air mattress. It worked well in southern California last October, and in Loon Lake last month, but it is a summer bag and an air mattress is not insulation. I was so cold the first night I got very little sleep, and the second night the wind was even stronger. I could not tuck the sleeping bag close to me because the mattress held it away from my body. Finally, I moved to my car to at least get out of the wind. I forgot that it is always 40° at the coast and that the wind can make it feel like December in Alaska. I should have had some hot tea to warm up, maybe take the mattress out of the sleeve pocket in the sleeping bag. But it kept me awake enough that I got a chance to see the Perseids.

The food was delicious and the fire was roaring. The quinoa dish I brought to the potluck was not popular. This year we did not have the pleasure of the company of Helen, Jeannie, Gretchen, Lillith and others. Billy recently retired and invested in this Arctic Fox and will be letting go of his apartment in the area, so I wonder if I will see him again.

Sebastopol Art Walk

Sebastopol Art Walk

There were 33 of us, counting Bob’s Saturday Saunterers on the art walk. We visted some of the sculptures of Patrick Amiot, then visited the sculptor himself at his home and studio. We were told that he creates the scuptures for his neighbors based on the neighbors themselves. I don’t think I would like to see this one titled “Surrender Dorothy” as the choice for me!

Robert Amiot
Robert Amiot StudioThe studio was better organized than most people realized. There was a lot of very good art by others on the wall, and I loved the statue of the Madonna with a sunburst clock supplying her halo. The drawers full of many small parts were all carefully labeled. The artist and his wife are from Montreal, and they met when they were young and she was on her way to being a lawyer. He knew he was dyslexic and she encouraged him to become a full-time artist.

We were fascinated by his process. He prefers to assemble the pieces and based on that, plan the artwork. My guess is that part of his brilliance is pattern-recognition. He can remember the vast range of items he has and his creativity assembles them into a unique assemblage of found-parts. He is now doing commissions and he sounded frustrated in trying to fit what he has into a vision that has been already been committed to by contract.

We also visited a Seed Farm where plants are not harvested at peak but are allowed to go to seed to be shared so that people can grow unique varieties that work well in Sebastopol’s sandy soil. The team, pictured here, works every Wednesday afternoon and alternate Saturdays. There were a few Master Gardeners on the walk, so there was a lively discussion. We also visited the outdoor sanctuary of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and the mosaic artist who created the waterfall backdrop of the altar told up about executing the non-denominational imagery.

We continued on to Ragle Park to see the mother-and-child carved in to a chestnut tree by a Japanese woodcarver. The hike was a long five and a half miles by the time we got back to the central plaza in Sebastopol where we started. Martha and I topped it off with a delicious lunch at Gaijin Ramen which was decorated in woodblock prints of comic book superheroes.

Disposal Clog Fixed

Disposal Clog Fixed

I am turning into the man I always wanted to be. A couple of days ago, I put a banana peel down the disposal, and the next day, nothing else would go through. I found the YouTube videos for the make and model of the disposal. I found the “clog wrench” for the disposal. I found the reset button. None of these things made a difference. It was not the disposal that was clogged, is was something in the pipe.

I tried a plunger to force the clog through and discovered what the air gap was for. Dishwater squirted up and hit the lightbulb in the pendant task lighting, ending the life of the bulb. Now a trip to Home Depot was certain.

It is a double-sink arrangement, and the sink without the disposal drained normally, so the clog was in the horizontal pipe that connected the two. The problem was, I could not figure out what to detach in order to free the horizontal pipe. I unscrewed it at both ends, but it was firmly wedged in. I was reluctant to dismantle the vertical stack that was draining properly. In the picture below, you can see on the horizontal pipe that the black collar has been unscrewed on the left and the white collar on the right has been unscrewed, but I was baffled as to how to get the pipe out.

I slept on the problem, and in the morning I awoke with the ideal to put on my rubber dishwashing gloves, run hot water down the working drain to make it a tiny big more flexible, and see if I could pull out the horizontal pipe at one end. I tried, but I was afraid of breaking something, so I went to Home Depot at 6:45 on a Saturday morning and found Danny, the kitchen plumbing guy high on the restock cart.

He did not come down to look at my photos, I had to shout up to him and act out the plumbing using my arms, but I learned I was right, I would have to pull out the horizontal pipe with muscle power. He suggested that I NOT dismantle the other pipes, simply loosen them. He explained that this model of disposal has a “sleeve” style — the horizontal pipe is just forced in. I had to rely on the plastic pipe flexing but not breaking to allow me to get the horizontal pipe out.

Wearing my headlamp, I opened the connection about three-fourths of the way and dug out the clog with my clam knife, then put everything back together. I was quite proud of myself, and got to the Saturday morning hike on time. I will be more respectful of the pipes, and cut up any banana peel into much smaller pieces before putting them through, or else resume composting. I learned that the tubes connecting the dishwasher and disposal to the air gap should make a “W” not a “U.” I continue to be amazed at all the little things that need to be known to make home repairs. YouTube goes a long way, but I needed to find someone who understood how this particular model went together.

Google Cloud Next 2018

Google Cloud Next 2018

I was thrilled to score a free ticket for the Google Cloud conference July 24-26 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. On the first day, I was waiting on line at 6:30 a.m. for the doors to open at 7 a.m. Tickets purchased on the “day of” the conference were $2000. I felt very lucky that Google had reached out to include more women attendees at the conference. There were many women on stage, including Diane Greene, the CEO of Google Cloud. She opened and closed the keynotes, and interviewed the 2017 Turing Award winners David Patterson and John Hennessy, the chairman of Alphabet.

I was delighted to spend some time with another woman from the DevChix list who also was able to take advantage of the diversity ticket. I am very excited about her prospects as she sets out to start a consulting firm. I also was pleased to be able to borrow a couple of Chromebooks: the Asus C302 flip and the Samsung. I was frustrated because of the difficulty of saving my contemporaneous notes but was very impressed by the resourcefulness and gentle customer support of Luis and others on the “Grab and Go” team.

I learned how to use my Clipper Card on Golden Gate transit and that if I leave at 5 or 5:30 am the trip is about 90 minutes. If I take a 4 p.m. express bus back, the trip takes two and a half hours. The bus stops close to SFMOMA and Moscone. All in all, quite an adventure. I am gobsmacked at the range of AI, Machine Learning, Cloud Security and all the innovation including hardware, software and open-source. It was mind-boggling.