Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Returning to California …

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

After a week in Mendoza, Argentina it was time to get back to the job site.

Bryan’s flight left Mendoza on Monday afternoon and, after passing through Santiago, Chile, it arrived in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas this morning at 6:05 am.  After clearing U.S. immigration and customs, Bryan had a three hour flight to San Jose, California.  Then, to the job site!

Our good friend, Mike Calise, picked Bryan up at SJC and took him home.  Mike is with EVadvise, and provides advice to clients regarding EV charging infrastructure and how it will evolve as the world starts to adopt electric vehicles.

After picking Bryan up and during the short drive to Monte Sereno, Mike spotted a Nissan LEAF on Highway 17 and both Bryan and Mike enjoyed watching one of the first Nissan LEAFs navigate the freeway in San Jose.

Al had completed putting shakes on the East side of the East gable, and was now starting to put our yellow cedar shakes on the South side of the South gable.  This is great as our neighbors and friends can now see visible progress on our house as they drive north on Winchester Boulevard.

Finally, the day concluded with our son, Nikolas, blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.  Nik turned 12 today!

 

After arriving in DFW, Bryan collected hsi luggage and had to clear U.S. Customs.  Fortunately, the wine was wrapped securely in Mendoza and it was not leaking after travelling to DFW (via Santiago, Chile).

After arriving in DFW, Bryan collected hsi luggage and had to clear U.S. Customs. Fortunately, the wine was wrapped securely in Mendoza and it was not leaking after travelling to DFW (via Santiago, Chile).

 

 

Three hours later, Bryan was curbside in SJC and Mike was to show up at any minute.  The box containing the wine has not leaked ...  Yet.

Three hours later, Bryan was curbside in SJC and Mike was to show up at any minute. The box containing the wine has not leaked ... Yet.

 

 

On the way home, Mike Calise spotted a Nissan LEAF on Highway 17 and quickly navigated behind it ...

On the way home, Mike Calise spotted a Nissan LEAF on Highway 17 and quickly navigated behind it ...

The Nissan LEAF looks ok and was travelling on Highway 17 at a good clip.  White looks fine.

The Nissan LEAF looks ok and was travelling on Highway 17 at a good clip. White looks fine.

Back to the project site!  Our yellow cedar shakes are starting to go on the South side of the South gable.

Back to the project site! Our yellow cedar shakes are starting to go on the South side of the South gable.

Al had the roof and job site buttoned up nicely, so we will be fine with the forecasted rain showers.

Al had the roof and job site buttoned up nicely, so we will be fine with the forecasted rain showers.

The six bottles of Carinae wine that Bryan brought back from Mendoza, Argentina arrived safely (no breaks or leaks!).

The six bottles of Carinae wine that Bryan brought back from Mendoza, Argentina arrived safely (no breaks or leaks!).

The other container arrived in perfect condition.  It had three bottles of wine from Finca La Celia.  These wines are some of our favorites.

The other container arrived in perfect condition. It had three bottles of wine from Finca La Celia. These wines are some of our favorites.

We celebrated Niks 12th birthday today with his favorite cake!

We celebrated Nik's 12th birthday today with his favorite cake!

Smiling Because It Didn’t Rain Today!

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

It was a good day … Nik hit a home run in his baseball game, Kate celebrated her 7th birthday with 15 friends, and it didn’t rain at our project site.

Way cool!

Happy 7th Birthday Kate!

Happy 7th Birthday Kate!

 

Jo-Anne serving Birthday Kate!

Jo-Anne serving Birthday Kate!

Attending an EVent in Los Gatos

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

The first task of the day was to button up our project site and prepare for the rain that is forecasted for tomomrrow (Sunday). 

Then, Bryan was scheduled to attend an EVent in Los Gatos that Mike Calise was hosting to raise awareness of electric vehicle charging stations that could become part of the Los Gatos General Plan.

Preparing for Rain

In general, the site was looking good and there is a 30% chance of rain in the forecast.  Yesterday, the team from Statewide Roofing completed the ‘bottom layer’ of membrane on all of the flat roof sections.  In addition, they put in the 13 downspouts through the SIP roofs, which were provided by Wildcat Metals.  There were a couple seams where the transition from the gable roof to membrane could gather water.  And the skylights were not in.

Bryan made a quick trip to the Home Depot and bought a roll of Tyvek tape.  With the tape, he ensured the transition on the gable roofs to the membrane was seamless (so to speak).  And he covered up the four skylights with extra membrane so the rain will not enter the house.

We’re ready for the showers tomorrow.

Attending an EVent in Los Gatos

Mike Calise, an independent cleantech advisor for EVadvise (mike@EVadvise.com) is involved with electric vehicles (EVs) and their associated infrastructure.  One of the major barriers to the widespread adoption of all-electric vehicles is the short battery life, which limits the range of EVs between charges.  And, it takes time to charge an EV (unlike filling up a tank of gas quickly).

On July 31, 2010, we put down a deposit on a Nissan LEAF, so we are very interesting in seeing EV charging stations everywhere.  We enjoy being ‘early adopters’ of technology and new products.

Currently, the Town of Los Gatos is completing their 2020 General Plan and Section 9 Environment and Sustainability Element includes actions on providing and supporting EV charging stations and preferred parking for EVs. 

Mike and Donna Calise hosted an informational session at their home on Edelen Avenue in Los Gatos where they had Mike DiNucci of Coulomb Technologies educate the attendees regarding the projected adoption of EVs and the associated infrastructure that will be required.  Coulomb Technologies offers the ChargePoint family of products, which provide an easy to use, comprehensive platform for utilities, municipalities and corporations to deliver EV charging.

A number of interested residents attended the EVent.  There were several members from the West Valley Green Leaf Committee there, as well as Ira Spector (husband of the former mayor of Los Gatos, Barbara Spector) and current Town Council Candidate, Steven Leonardis.

The objective of the meeting was to share knowledge regarding EVs and the associated infrastructure in order to provide additional input to the Town Council at their meeting on Monday, September 20.  Currently, the language in the 2020 General Plan regarding EV charging stations is somewhat weak and Los Gatos has an opportunity to strengthen the language and establish a mandate to support the adoption of EVs.  Each person attending the meeting will be allotted three minutes to speak in the council chambers. 

We believe that, by providing EV charging stations in Los Gatos, the town could become a destination for EVs and their associated spending in local businesses. ’Range anxiety’ limits EVs to local travel and known charging stations.  The demographics and purchasing power of individuals that will own EVs is very attractive to the businesses located in Los Gatos, so providing EV charging stations and preferred parking could bring those individuals to Los Gatos and benefit our local businesses.

This message needs to be communicated to Los Gatos Town Council so they can strengthen the wording in the 2020 General Plan.

We will be including two 50 amp 240 volt circuits in our garage so we can charge two electric vehicles simultaneously. 

Mike and Donna Calise hosted an EVent in their back yard on Edelin Avenue in Los Gatos.

Mike and Donna Calise hosted an EVent in their back yard on Edelen Avenue in Los Gatos.

Mike DiNucci providing an overview of electric vehicle adoption in the U.S. and associated infrastructure requirements.

Mike DiNucci providing an overview of electric vehicle adoption in the U.S. and associated infrastructure requirements.

Mike Calise, left, taking notes to prepare for the Los Gatos Town Council meeting.

Mike Calise, left, taking notes to prepare for the Los Gatos Town Council meeting.

Flying the Canadian Flag!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

We were all excited to see the outcome to the Gold medal game for Men’s Ice Hockey at the 2010 Olympics this afternoon.

And we flew the Canadian flag at the job site to celebrate the win in overtime!

Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women’s Ice Hockey in Vancouver on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

We watched the Canadian men win the Gold medal for ice hockey today and celebrated by ...

We watched the Canadian men win the Gold medal for ice hockey today and celebrated by ...

Flying the Canadian flag at our job site!  Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women's Ice Hockey in Vancouver on Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Flying the Canadian flag at our job site! Note, this is the same flag that Bryan was waving at the Gold medal game for the Women

Leaving Bainbridge Island and Returning to San Jose

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Bryan’s flight was at 9:35 from SEA to SJC. Bob was extremely kind and made Bryan a latte before he left for the ferry to Seattle.

Leaving Bainbridge Island

Bob printed detailed instructions so Bryan could make his way to the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island and then from the Seattle ferry terminal to Sea-Tac Airport (SEA). Although Bryan appreciated the directions, it was extremely easy to follow the traffic going to the ferry terminal for the 7:05 am departure to Seattle Terminal (where else would traffic be going at that time on a Saturday morning?).  You can see the current status of the Bainbridge Island Terminal through the Ferry Cam.

On the way to the ferry terminal, Bryan saw the new location of the house that was floated from the original site on Bainbridge Island.  The DIY Network is airing the house move (float) several times during the month of March 2010 – see their web site for dates and times).

After getting on the ferry, Bryan grabbed another coffee so he could enjoy the crossing to Seattle and the views of the Wise houses on Bainbridge Island and of Mt. Rainier (Bryan climbed to the top of Mt Rainier with Alan Arnette as part of the Rainier 9 on July 12, 2004).  It is always difficult for the passenger sitting beside Bryan whenever he is on a flight into or out of SEA as they have to listen to the full story of his climb.  OK, in full disclosure, Bryan did say that one of the passengers on the ferry had to listen to the story that morning.

The trip to SEA was uneventful and Bryan’s flight into SJC was early at the gate.

Bob, the ultimate host, makes Bryan a latte at 6:15 am.

Bob, the ultimate host, makes Bryan a latte at 6:15 am.

The original house being floated to its new location on Bainbridge Island.  Note Seattle in the background.

The original house being floated to its new location on Bainbridge Island. Note Seattle in the background.

Bryan stopped and took this picture of the original house at its new location on Bainbridge Island.  Way cool.

Bryan stopped and took this picture of the original house at its new location on Bainbridge Island. Way cool.

The Wise houses on Bainbridge Island (with the lights on).

View from the ferry of the Wise houses on Bainbridge Island (with the lights on).

Early morning view of Mt Rainier (yes, Bryan stood on the very top of Mt. Rainier on July 12, 2004).

Early morning view of Mt Rainier (yes, Bryan stood on the very top of Mt. Rainier on July 12, 2004).

Arriving at the ferry terminal in Seattle.  Next stop - SEA.

Arriving at the ferry terminal in Seattle. Next stop - SEA.

Taking a Break (and Going to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver!)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Bryan took a break from working on the project site to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Quick Trip to Vancouver

Using his miles on Alaska Airlines, Bryan caught an early morning flight (i.e., 6:30 am) from San Jose to Seattle and then rented a car and drove to Vancouver.  Bryan met Paul Marcaccio at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, where they were guests of Paul Henderson, who was a long-term member of the International Olympic Committee.

Part of this break includes visiting Bob Wise’s newly constructed home on Bainbridge Island.  Bryan’s primary mission is to review the finishes on Bainbridge Island and generate ideas for our finishes.  We need to finalize our finishes so this trip is, somewhat, justified.  Ok, the trip is, at best, only rationalized.

Just after passing by the Peace Arch, Bryan crossed the border in Canada.  There was only one car in front of him - he zipped through.

Just after passing by the Peace Arch, Bryan crossed the border in Canada. There was only one car in front of him - he zipped through.

The roads were empty as Bryan crossed the bridge into downtown Vancouver.

The roads were empty as Bryan crossed the bridge into downtown Vancouver.

The Bayshore Westin Hotel was the 'Olympic Family Hotel' for the 2010 Olympics, and it was under heavy security.

The Bayshore Westin Hotel was the 'Olympic Family Hotel' for the 2010 Olympics, and it was under heavy security.

The International Organizing Committee rented the Bayshore Westin Hotel for the duration of the 2010 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee rented the Bayshore Westin Hotel for the duration of the 2010 Olympics.

The view of the harbour from the suite in the Westin Bayshore included the five Olympic rings.

The view of the harbour from the suite in the Westin Bayshore included the five Olympic rings.

After lunch at Carderos, Bryan saw the Olympic flame.  The glass block in front of him, which is what we will have in one of the two bridges across the Atrium, is where we took a similar photo on July 1, 2010 when we were on our 50-75-80 cruise to Alaska.

After lunch at Carderos, Bryan saw the Olympic flame. The glass block in front of him, which is what we will have in one of the two bridges across the Atrium, is where we took a similar photo on July 1, 2010 when we were on our 50-75-80 Celebration cruise to Alaska.

The Olympic flame.

The Olympic flame.

Paul and Bryan enjoyed a drink before the Women's final hockey game (for the Gold medal).  An RCMP officer was kind and took their photo.

Paul and Bryan enjoyed a drink before the Women's final hockey game (for the Gold medal). An RCMP officer was kind and took their photo.

With less than 13 seconds to go, the Canadian Women have won the Gold medal!

With less than 13 seconds to go, the Canadian Women have won the Gold medal!

Dogpile celebration!

Dogpile celebration!

The Canadian receive their Gold medals.

The Canadian receive their Gold medals.

The Canadian, American and Finnish flags are presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and are raised in the stadium.

The Canadian, American and Finnish flags are presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and are raised in the stadium.

And, of course, there are fireworks as the Canadians have their photos taken.

And, of course, there are fireworks as the Canadians have their photos taken.

After the hockey game, Bryan and Paul walked back to the hotel and enjoyed seeing the Olympic flame.

After the hockey game, Bryan and Paul walked back to the hotel and enjoyed seeing the Olympic flame.