Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Cornell Experience Continues...

This past Saturday, a group of Cornellians volunteered to help cleanup Untermeyer Gardens.   I was there, along with my wife and son.  In part, it was for my son who needed community service hours for high school, but it was also a great outdoor experience.

At the garden, a fence was built to keep deer out, but what of the deer already inside? Here we are mapping out a "deer shooing."  

We formed a line, and moving slowly through the bushes, herded the deer to a gate exit.  

The photo above shows the team on the "easy" trail.  The bolder volunteers went through some tough and sloping terrain that included bushes, nettles, and dense branches.

There was an estimated 12-18 deer in the garden and we counted 7 departures.  Not bad, but another round of deer shooing will be needed.

We also got a tour and some history from master gardener Tim.

Finally, we spent a couple of hours clearing an area of some brush, fallen wood, and fairly large branches.  It was part of a larger effort to uncover and restore the "lost" garden.  Some branches were freed with shovels, hand saws, and clippers, but larger ones Tim had to cut down to size with a chain saw.  Then we piled the pieces neatly on the side of the road for a wood chipper. The scene reminded me of a busy ant colony.  It was heavy sweaty work, but fun in a team sort of way.

Laura Fratt and Jim Irish were the Cornell alumni who organized this event.  They lead the Cornell Alumni Association of Westchester.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

A Tale of Two Sun Dials

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair ...

With apologies to Charles Dickens, I am writing about two sun dials on Cornell's campus.  One is outside Goldwin Smith Hall in the Arts Quad.

As A Shadow Such Is Life

The other is in the Engineering Quad.

Designed And Erected In Memory Of His (Joseph N. Pew, Jr.) Loyalty To Engineering At Cornell

As an undergrad, I didn't pay much attention to either of these works of art.  Apparently, neither do current students as they hurried past me while I was taking pictures.  But these two sun dials merit contemplation.  One is from the past, and with the gravitas that a layer of patina brings, provokes thoughts of time and mortality. The other looks outward, and with modern, shiny arms, seeks to embrace a future where the sky's the limit.

When family and friends talk about college, and when college bound students ask me what they should study, I show them these two photos and ask them which one piques their curiosity.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ken Lin Racing

Last year I was able to reconnect with Ken Lin.  A former software developer with Lotus / IBM, he has struck out on his own at P1 Software.  He is following his passion for driving, auto-crossing, and racing.

Here, he is with his son in a sweet BMW Z4 M Coupe.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays 2012!

Happy Holidays!

I've become a car buff of late.  Mid-life crisis?  Perhaps.  Better late than never!

I dug up some old memories of the Cornell gang (see photos below) and their cars, but I am missing many of you.  Let me test my memory:

  • Frank: AMC Gremlin and Eagle
  • Peter: Mazda Mazda6
  • Wayne: Red Honda Prelude
  • Helen: Grey Honda Prelude
  • George: Blue Honda Prelude
  • Florence: BMW
  • Philip: BMW
  • me: Acura Integra

Enjoy the memories and here's looking forward to 2013!

Who is this guy and what car is this?
Toyota Celica replaces the Dodge Dart. But a new Dart lives:

The Evil Tercel

Keeta can't drive stick.

Garfield watches my back

Matthew leaves his Dad in the dust.

A Miata at the NY Auto Show suits me.

Or how about a 1997 Acura NSX?
The road beckons.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wendy Raymond

Wendy Raymond with her husband Dave

I found Wendy on Schoellkopf Field and we recounted the time she set her lab bench on fire. We were in chem lab 301 or 302, I can't recall precisely. I do know it was Professor Rasmussen's class and our TA was a fellow named Jay.

Anyway, the experiment involved distillation. Wendy needed to cool down her equipment and reached for what she thought was a water bottle. Unfortunately, the water bottle looked just the the acetone bottle, and acetone was what she wound up spraying on her flask. Jay came by and covered much of the fire, but I could have sworn he took a deep breath and blew out the remaining flames. Maybe he had a cape on too...
Wendy is currently an assistant professor of biology at Williams. She's also a Red Sox fan. Although I'm from New York, no worries as I am NOT a Yankee Fan. I'm a Mets fan. Let's go Mets!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Frank Loh

Left to right: me, Judge Ito, a young Frank ;-)

Okay, it's really me, Frank, and his son Garrett having lunch under a tent in the Arts Quad. Frank and I were roommates during our senior year. He is now a neurologist and a father of two. I learned that this Saturday morning, he and Garrett went on a long distance run to the Plantations. I remember needing my bicycle to get out there.

Frank introduced me to Gerry Cocco, also class of '82. I never knew him during my undergraduate years, but it turns out he does Palm software for the medical community. I used to do that too, but found it a really tough niche; I wish Gerry much success.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Phil Chao

Friday evening I ran into Phil Chao. Here's a photo of us in the lobby of Mary Donlon. As freshman we took Mandarin 101 and 102 together. Class met 8am Monday through Friday, a schedule I vowed never to repeat.

Today, Phil is a lawyer for the FDA and he hears it from both sides: "The FDA is approving too slowly. People are dying!", and "The FDA is approving too quickly. People are dying!"

I know Phil is one of the good guys.

Here are some photos he took during the reunion.