Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Mt.Tamalpais Watershed

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Japanese Tea Garden

Gorgeous Ginkgo Tree in Autumn and Pagoda from 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.

deYoung Sculpture Garden

Ginkgo Trees in Autumn and giant safety pin sculpture that used to be in NY. I forget which museum in NY I saw it at but it was on a rooftop.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let the sunshine in

Julia at the deYoung Museum sculpture garden in SF.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NO Teargas or Flashbangs in the Streets of San Francisco

Dear Mayor Lee, Supervisor Chu, and Supervisor Chiu:

I am writing about the upcoming planned police raid on the Occupy SF protesters in Justin Herman Plaza. I ask that the SFPD be directed to show restraint when removing protesters from the plaza. I absolutely will not tolerate a repeat of Oakland in the streets of San Francisco. Mayor Quan and the Oakland PD's decision to use flashbangs, tear gas, and non-lethal projectiles on a crowd of protesters is appalling, embarrassing, and regrettable. Such a decision in San Francisco will surely make the situation worse. I, for one, have no desire to protest. I work. I own property. I pay taxes. However the moment the city government makes it clear that people will be treated with violence in the streets when peacefully assembling, my sentiment will change and I believe it will for many others as well.

I have expressed my right to assemble and my right to free speech in San Francisco several times before, and have always been impressed with SFPD's professionalism in balancing that right with public safety. Please continue with that positive track record now.

Best Regards,
Craig Given

Mayor Ed Lee (San Francisco): mayoredwinlee {{at}}
Supervisor Chu (Sunset District): Carmen.Chu {{at}}
Supervisor Chiu (Financial District): David.Chiu {{at}}

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank You Steve Jobs

Very sad, and ironic that the news was delivered to me on a device that he had so much to do with. He helped revolutionized the PC, the music, the internet, and mobile industries - to name a few. Apple was clearly not the same without him while announcing the iphone 4S yesterday. His death was certainly premature for his age, but the man accomplished 3 lifetimes worth of work and contribution. His death is a blow to technology. He will be missed, but more importantly he deserved a retirement. Much respect. RIP.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Syrah at K Syrah Syrah

Syrah grapes ripening at the Osgood's in Napa.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Giants v Mets

That's me on TV standing with my beer in the stands at AT&T Park.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Glacier Flyover

Glacier near Soldotna, AK. Flyover in a sea plane. People in the background are responding to G-force as the pilot rides up and then down the Glacier.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

42lbs of Fish

Between 7 of us pitching in, we are each coming home with 42lbs of fish. 24lbs of it is Halibut and the rest is pretty much evenly split between sockeye, king, silver, rock, yelloweye, and cod. I hope my friends and family like fish, Halibut especially, because I've got a lot to give away.

Pictured: the inside of the processing plant in Soldotna, AK that will smoke, freeze, ship and otherwise process the fish for us.

The One King Salmon

Thought I'd throw in a picture of the one King that was caught by our group (Ed Mcallister) on the Kenai River.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

King Salmon

Spent a cold and rainy day on the Kenai River near Soldotna, AK fishing for King Salmon. Between 7 guys in 2 boats, only 1 was caught. It was about 40lbs and 4' long.

There are strict rules on fishing King. You need a special endorsement on your fishing license for starters ($30 extra). You are only allowed to catch 1 fish on rod & reel, and after that you cannot fish for anymore - not even catch & release. It's time consuming & requires a lot of luck.

Friday, July 1, 2011


We went out of Homer, AK today fishing for Halibut. We also caught a few Yelloweye and Lingcod. Halibut put up quite a fight! My arms are sore, but the fight is all the fun. Lingcod and Yelloweye are more heavy than they are fighters.

Due to Alaskan state law, we could only keep 2 Halibut per person (per day). They are very strict in that you need a license to fish. The seasons for fishing are also short and for some species they impose rules like "no bait" to make it harder. These rules are adhered to and strictly enforced, all part of an effort to fish in a sustainable manner.

I understand now more than before why most fish in our markets is farmed (especially salmon). Commercially fishing some of these delicate areas would be devastating to these ecosystems.

Tomorrow we are going on the Kenai River for King Salmon, as the season just opened on 7/1 for that species. I'm excited for the adventure, and the opportunity to bring home some wild caught Kings (superior to farmed).

Thursday, June 30, 2011


We've had 2 great days of fishing in Alaska so far. The first day we went out of Seward and our boat of 6 caught 140lbs of Coho Salmon, Halibut, Rock & Yelloweye. Salmon were definitely the most entertaining to fish. Coho eat whatever you put in front of them but it takes technique to set the hook, and they put up a really good fight.

Today we flew out of Soldotna,AK on a small plane to Wolverine Creek, which trickled into a beautiful glacial lake (notice the color of the lake in the photo, it's that way from glacial silt). The mouth of the creek was a slice of heaven with plenty of Sockeye Salmon, Grizzly Bears, and Bald Eagles all in a contained area. Sockeye were tricky to fish because they don't bite so you have to get lucky and hook them. Nevertheless, we managed to catch 33lbs between my brothers, my Dad, & I. The best part was flying back, where we flew up and over a glacier -absolutely amazing!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Heading to the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, Alaska for a week of fishing and nature. This trip is special because it's a boys trip- with my Dad and brothers. It's been a while since we've all gotten together for leisure. Let the shannanigans begin.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Princess Lauren

Happy Bday at Disneyland!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sea Ranch

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Selenium Remote Control to work

I was recently tasked with creating a suite of automated functional tests to run against a website in Internet Explorer. I've been using Selenium IDE for other functional tests because of how easy it is to create a baseline script with the record/playback feature, but unfortunately using IDE limits your testing to Firefox since IDE is a Firefox plug-in. So, we must use Selenium Remote Control instead.

Selenium RC allows for flexibility with browsers used, among many other things. Setting up Selenium RC though is more complicated than getting started with IDE, so I thought I'd commit my findings to the Internet - as other posts I had found during my setup process on the subject were inconsistent.

1. PC running Windows (I love Mac's but I'm using a PC for this)
2. Firefox with the Selenium IDE plug-in installed (see Selenium Downloads)
3. Selenium Server downloaded with a correct java version running on your machine. (Java download if needed; & more info if you have trouble)

Step-by-step instructions on setting up Selenium RC:
  1. Create a working directory on your hard drive (ie: C:\Selenium). Tip: Keep it close to the root so you don't have to type long paths in the future.
  2. Copy the Selenium server file to the working directory. Tip: You may want to consider giving this file a shorter name so you don't have to type so much in the future (ie: "selenium-server.jar").
  3. Write 2 different sample tests using Selenium IDE (just to get this set up) and save them to the working directory.
  4. Change the extensions of the sample IDE files to .html
  5. Create an html file called "TestSuite.html" and save it to the working directory. This file should contain a directory of tests in the suite, as illustrated in the image below. Just rename the variables to suit your needs or add more rows as needed.
  6. Create a blank html file called "Results.html" and save it to the working directory. (Selenium RC needs a file, blank or not, with this name to operate)
  7. Open a command prompt in Admin Mode (Start > "cmd" > CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER)
  8. Navigate to the working directory in the command prompt.
  9. Type this command to start: java -jar selenium-server.jar -htmlSuite *iehta "" "C:\Selenium\TestSuite.html" "C:\Selenium\Results.html"
From here the Selenium Server should start up and start running the test suite. It will use the "TestSuite.html" file to navigate to your individual tests. The "*iehta" in this case opens Internet Explorer, but other commands can be used to open other browsers. At the end of the test, a nice report will be saved to "Results.html" for you to review.

Happy automated testing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Best Wishes to Bryan Stow

I just bought a couple of bracelets from Bryan Stow's family. Bryan is the SF Giants fan who was savagely attacked in L.A. at the Dodgers home opener vs the Giants. His family has set up a blog and a donation account to help his family with medical expenses. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Update 4/16/11:
Now there is this site too:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did Barry Bonds Use Steroids?

Let's compare!



I guess the question really is - did he know about it and lie? I don't want to criticize the guy for working out and getting buff without enhancements. I suppose anyone could do it with some will and determination. If that's what he was trying to do, well then hats off to him b/c he really bulked up and accomplished amazing things. He feels he has something to defend, and for that he has to have his private life aired publicly. If he is found not-guilty in his perjury trial , I'd expect him to file a civil suit against the US Government (I would). If he is found guilty, people are saying he wouldn't do time but I think it's possible the judge might make him the scapegoat for all of baseball and give him a sentence of 3 to 5 years.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Verizon iPad2 Activation Fee

I wrote Verizon Wireless to see if they are indeed going to have an activation fee for data services on the iPad2, and the response I got was "YES". That is unfortunate for Verizon. AT&T's GSM 3G already has the advantage over Verizon's CDMA 3G in that GSM can roam internationally, and some say GSM 3G is faster than CDMA 3G. Verizon might have the edge over AT&T in reliability, but for a lot of people an activation fee will be unacceptable - especially since AT&T's data service for the iPad2 does not carry one.

Score 1 point for AT&T.

-----Original Message-----

Primary Subject: Internet and Data Products
Secondary Subject: Blackberry/PDA Smartphone
Message Body: Will the monthly iPad2 plan charge an initial $35 activation fee, and will this activation fee be changed again if I decide to stop using data for a few months and then order data again?


Hello Craig,

My name is Clyde. I apologize for the longer than usual response times. We are currently experiencing a high volume of emails at this time. I would be more than happy to assist you with your inquiry about the Ipad2 data plan.

If you already have an Ipad with us, then you will not be charged an activation fee. An activation fee is only charged on a new line of service. If the Ipad 2 you're getting is a new line of service, it will be charged an activation fee. While you have the device open as an active line, you may opt to have our data services active on your device.

There is an activation fee if this is a new line of service, and wont be if the line already exist for a current Ipad. This would just be a device change. You may have the data services inactive for up to 60 days, and anything past that will have a $35 activation fee.

Thank you for letting me resolve your concern about the data plan on the Ipad2. It was my pleasure to serve you today.

In closing, I just wanted to take this time to appreciate your being a very valued part of the Verizon Wireless family. Should you have additional questions or feel your concerns are not resolved, please reply to this e-mail.


Internet Response Team

Friday, March 4, 2011


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Claude Eating

Feeding Claude the albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on 2/20/11. He eat "biscuits" of food prepared for him by the Academy. He responds to the biologist's whistle by staying still, and then they throw a biscuit near him. The biologist with the pole is trying to keep the turtles away from Claude so they don't steal his food.

The video loses sound about 2/3 way through - sorry. Wasn't much to hear anyway. Also it was crowded and hard to shoot the video.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Lauren and the spotlight in the lobby of the SF Moma.

Spotlight from Craig Given on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Tribute to Wikipedia

This weekend, on January 15, 2011; turns 10 years old. Wikipedia is a website I use at least weekly, and it is absolutely wonderful that they have been able to continue operating for all these years without the use of advertising. I am not the only one who uses it; the PEW Internet and American Life Project reports that 53% of adult Internet users use Wikipedia. I even have the free Wikipanion app on my iPhone for fast and easy access on the go.

I use Wikipedia for a variety of reasons:
1. Most commonly, in the course of my daily activity, I may come across a person or event that I know little about. I use Wikipedia to give me a brief synopsis on that person or event. In this case, I am just looking for some quick background information - and Wikipedia delivers.
Example: I was reading a news article yesterday about how Arianna Huffington angered a fellow air traveler by not turning off her cell phone before takeoff, and I wondered how she came to be who she is today. Wikipedia gave me the background on her.
2. When I am bored and want to read a story. You can look up a host of things to read about. The other day, I was randomly thinking about how crazy the Salem Witch Trials must have been; so I read about it over lunch.
3. The key to Wikipedia's success is user contribution, so I started a page for my father-in-law Dr.David E Smith - who did not have one but is well known enough to have one in my opinion. Since I started the page, it has been edited by others. It is this collaboration and sharing of combined knowledge that makes Wikipedia great.
4. I used Wikipedia for research while I was in graduate school at USF between 2005-2007. Which is where I will give the one warning on Wikipedia. It is editable by anyone who feels they have something to contribute, and sometimes that information may be slightly inaccurate or from questionable sources. I haven't come across too many inaccuracies as the articles are moderated by the user community, but I was careful to never use Wikipedia as a cited source while I was in grad school. It was extremely helpful though as a starting point for a lot of research I needed to do for my degree.
Wikipedia operates off of donations and per their FAQ page, they are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization with offices in San Francisco, CA.

Thank you Wikipedia for providing a free, open, and collaborative forum for collecting an enormous wealth of information.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January at Squaw

A great hooky day with Rupert.