Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LinkedIn’s inCafe

inCafe Entrance
When I visited my grandson in Fremont this past August, the wife and I were fortunate enough to have lunch with my son, who works at LinkedIn in Mountain View, just across the San Francisco Bay.

I took pictures of their cafeteria, called “inCafe,” and had intended to run them in my restaurant blog, “A Place for My Taste.” However, after thinking hard about it, I decided not to run the pictures there, because inCafe isn’t a restaurant. It’s a private dining area for the employees of LinkedIn and it would not be appropriate to present it as a restaurant.

Start of the Lunch Crowd
LinkedIn is not a garage operation, not by a long shot. Situated across the street from Google, it occupies seven buildings and has more than 1,000 employees. They’re all fairly young. I saw hundreds of them in the cafeteria, and they all looked to be in the 30’s and 40’s. I mean, after all, the tech industry is fairly young and we old farts aren’t very adept at what they do.

inCafe is not a typical cafeteria. It’s like a buffet – specialty stations, healthful foodstuffs, a modern youthful dining area with colorful furnishings, a wide variety of foods, a game room. And the best part for its employees? It’s free of charge. Employees don’t have to pay for anything there.

Dining Room
Tempted as I was to do a multi-plate buffet experience, I decided not to. After all, this was a lunch as guest of a corporation. Instead, I had a salad plate and a few lunch items (gnocchi, pizza, spring rolls, pickles and roasted avocado).


My pix:

Peppers and Veggies

Wok Station


Grille Station

Dessert Fig Bars

Tandoori Station

My Salad Plate

My Lunch Plate
So ... how can you eat there? Three ways: (1) Be invited by management, (2) Know a family member who works at LinkedIn, or (3) Get a job there.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Phone Pix 30: Horizontal and Vertical

Horizontal (side to side, in case you forgot) and vertical (up and down) lines fascinate me. I don't know why, they just do.

And so whenever I spot them in nature or in a man-made arrangements of sorts, I whip out my smart phone and click a few pix so I can share them with you:

Christmas Tree Garlands, Long's Drugs Manoa, Aug. 8, 2013

Folded Paper Shade, Dr. Carl Yorita's Office, Aug. 12, 2013

Wood Fence, Craig's Son's Home in Fremont, CA, Sept. 28, 2013

Stone Wall, Black Angus, San Jose, CA, Sept. 29, 2013

Tree Trunk, Houge Park, San Jose, CA, Sept. 29, 2013

Dried Bamboo Arrangement, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Nov. 4, 2013

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Questionable Fixes 3

The other day, I talked about wanting to fix things. But one thing for sure, I won't fix them the way these people fixed their problems.

Here's what some people did to fix the problems they had with their cars (I sure hope these were just temporary):

I've actually done that side-view mirror thing when a truck clipped off my driver's side mirror.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bone, Bone on the Range

Remember those goats we saw during our previous trip to my son's home Fremont? Here's a picture to refresh your memory:

Well, they were nowhere to be seen on our last trip. No green grass for them to munch on in the glen. Everything was brown and dry, with lots of dirt patches, kind of like being in the Dust Bowl of the '30s.

The whole valley was brown, because of the extended California drought:

I did see one goat. Well, not an entire goat – just a skeleton. The skeleton was pretty much stripped clean.

Which led me to wonder: How did it die? It couldn't have died of thirst, could it? Did a coyote get it? Did it die when the grass was tall enough to hide it? Did vultures strip the bones of all the flesh?

And how about the herders? Didn't they notice that one of their goats was missing? Didn't they see the vultures? Didn't the herding dog alert them? (And on a weird note, did the herding dog munch on the goat meat?)

So many questions … so few answers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

KGMB-TV Messed Up Again

Somebody at KGMB-TV, Channel 9 Honolulu, needs be fired, or at the very least get his/her pay docked, for inexcusably confusing the words "affect" and "effect" on the station's early evening newscast last night.

The teaser promo should read, "The June Jones Effect." Not "Affect."

Didn't anybody there go to English class in school? Shouldn't everybody know the difference between "affect" and "effect"? I got that drummed into my head so many times in junior high and high school, not to mention in my undergraduate and graduate journalism classes in college.

Okay. One more time. Repeat after me: "Affect" is a verb; "Effect is a noun." Got that? Hey, KGMB writer, I'm talking to YOU. Better yet, get someone who knows proper English to proofread what you write. Or, email me the copy and I'll do it for you.

Er ... you do know what verbs and nouns are, right?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Alice's White Rabbit?

We saw something new this last trip to Fremont. A white rabbit was hopping around the neighborhood in the mornings, going from one manicured semi-dry yard to another.

It wasn't a scrawny, lean jackrabbit either. This was a pudgy, fluffy-white bunny with pink ears and eyes. It might have been an escaped pet from somewhere in the development.

And boy, could it move fast. I was upstairs watching it the first morning through the bedroom window and had difficulty zooming in to take a picture. It just never held a pose in one place long enough to take a photo. In the few seconds it took to locate it in the viewfinder and zoom in (it's hard to track and allow the lens to focus), it would hop away and I'd have to start all over again.

Only when it took a rabbit-pellet dump in our yard did it stop long enough for me to snap a pic.

And no, Alice never did show up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Turkeys in the Straw

Because of the recent California drought, the grassy glen behind my son's East Bay house was as dry as a field of straw wanting to be harvested.

Ergo, the wild turkeys that regularly wander the little valley were looking a bit scrawny the last time we visited in August. That is not to say they were dying off; in fact, the flock has grown.

We saw at least 14 across the way one afternoon, eight crossed the street in front of us one morning (unfortunately, I was driving and my camera wasn't quite handy). Plus there was a car right behind us. We also saw three young turkeys taking a dust bath not far from the adults.

The turkeys were all over the place. We saw one almost every time we drove down the hill to get to the shopping centers. The one thing we didn't see was any tom gobblers displaying.

Maybe it was too hot to get hot and they were having a drink to cool off? Mmmmm, could be.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines Comfort Class

A French Airbus A330 is pretty wide and when it's new, very comfortable (although I have gotten backaches in the new seats).

On our recent flight to Oakland on Hawaiian Airlines (HA), we sat in Comfort Class, what used to be called Business Class, I guess, for a little higher fare. We got early boarding, slightly better seats, and several inches more legroom.

Comfort Class on HA’s A330 is right behind First Class, with no separation between the sections – no wall, no curtain. First Class's seats are configured in three rows of 2-2-2. Comfort Class's seats are lined up 2-4-2 right behind it.

We could see First Class being pampered, as we are when we are fortunate enough to upgrade, and I was pretty envious. I heard the flight attendant reciting their dinner menu and overheard something like "Asparagus wrapped in roasted red peppers and eggplant," which made me very envious. My mouth watered.

Comfort Class Meal 1
(HNL-OAK) Turkey Sandwich
We had a hot turkey "salad" sandwich. It was okay. On the return trip we had pasta noodles. It was tasteless

First Class was served a cheese and fruit appetizer, and I could smell Parmesan. Now, that gave my tummy hunger-rumbles.

Then, a guy across aisle from me ate a piece of dried octopus (a Hawaii favorite). He ended up with stinky fishy octopus on his breath and I could smell it when he talked to the flight attendant. Thank God for the cheese aroma from First Class.

Comfort Class Meal 2
(OAK-HNL) Tasteless Pasta
Comfort is comfort only when it's comfortable, and it's not comfortable when the dried-octopus-breath guy is also the father of a crying baby.

Actually, I feel sorry for parents of crying babies on an airplane because there's not a lot one can so to stop the crying when the baby is majorly uncomfortable ... except for using drugs, and that's just not acceptable.

I just wish they'd been 20 rows farther back away from me.

Actually, there’s an interesting side story connected with a crying baby on the return flight. I’ll tell you about it another time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Phone Pix 29: First New iPhone5 Pix

All rightie then, I got a new phone - an iPhone5. So the first thing I did after getting out of the Verizon store was walk back to our car in Alii Place. It's a short walk, about two blocks in downtown Honolulu.

I just had to try out the camera, so I snapped a few along the way. Now, unlike my old phone, the iPhone seems to do some preliminary cropping on its own; maybe not, but I'm going to have to investigate.

So when I downloaded the pix, I saw that I had to do some cropping. Not all the pictures were reduceable to the 700 x 419 size that I used before. With the old phone, I just resized and didn't do any cropping or touching up. With the new phone, I did some cropping.

Here are the pix I practiced with, all dated Aug. 31, 2014:

Alii Place Foyer Floral Display

Alii Place Moon Painting

Alii Place Entry Mural

Alii Place Entrance Fountain

Bishop Square Concourse Pool

Bishop Square Concourse

Bishop Square Fred Kresser Memorial
Guiding Force in Building the Square

Honolulu District Court

The Hawaii State Art Museum

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Explaining Wind

This sounds like something the wife might tell our grandson. And y'know what? She just might be right ... 'cept we don't have a dog.