Archive for March, 2007

New Blogger from SJSU

March 31, 2007

My friend Keith Callenberg started a blog recently. It’s called biolinuxtechgarden. It looks pretty cool so far. Keith is also a Computer Science student at SJSU. I’ve written a post that mentioned his involvement with the SJSU Linux User Group before here. I’d definitely like to read more blogs from SJSU students, so if you are a student, please leave a comment and let me know.

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Camping at New Brighton State Beach

March 30, 2007

I just got back from camping for two nights at New Brighton State Beach. We didn’t go far, but it was still fun. The campground was nice. It was very pretty and the facilities were great. There are hot showers and the restrooms are very private and clean. It is also very convenient. The campground is extremely easy to get to from San Jose, and there is a Safeway ten minutes away.

Rocks on the beach

Our campsite was right up against a cliff with the beach below. So we had a great view and a did a lot of relaxing from there. Overall, the campground was very relaxing and quiet. There were a lot of old people there and a lot of RV’s, which is fine but things died down very quickly at night.

Nice view from our campsite

The beach was nice for walking along. No one was swimming, but the water is still too cold for that anyway. Beside the beach, there’s nothing to do at the campground. There are plenty of other places to check out in the area though. The park ranger working there was very friendly and helpful and gave us a map of nearby places to visit. She recommended we visit The Forest of Nisene Marks.

The beach view from our campsite

The picture above is also taken from our campsite. If you’re interested in visiting the park, check out more of the pictures I took on my flickr page.

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Stevens Creek Park

March 27, 2007

On Friday, Tamara and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to go on a hike at Stevens Creek Park. There is a whole system of parks throughout the mountains surrounding Silicon Valley. The Stevens Creek Park is in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Cupertino. You can read all about the park at the official Santa Clara County Parks Page and about the trail we took at Bay Area Hiker.

Deer Eating Grass

We actually went up the Stevens Creek Tony Look Trail which took us by the reservoir and through some woods. There were some ups and downs (climbing) but overall it was pretty even. We would have liked to continue on the loop described on the Bay Area Hiker page but it got dark and we turned around at the end of the reservoir.

Sunlight Through Trees

We definitely weren’t the only ones there, but it wasn’t as crowded as some other parks I’ve been too in the same area. I’m sure on weekends it gets worse though. There is a lot of fishing at the reservoir, but there was a sign that said don’t eat the fish because the mercury content is too high. I assume the mercury content has to do with the near by mining site which we got a good view of.

Mining Site

I would like to go again, and see the side of the park that has views of the valley. If we had continued on the trail instead of turning back, we would have. Check out my Flickr Set for more pictures.

Stevens Creek Reservoir

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Another Free Barbeque and Voting

March 21, 2007

I wrote last month about the free barbeque hosted by Associated Students. Today there was another barbeque that was even better. The food was probably the same, but the great weather and cool band made all the difference. One thing that surprised me though was the fact that they weren’t using the event to promote the election in any way. I figured they’d have a sign up or something that would say, “don’t forget to vote”.

I honestly believe that a large percentage of students don’t even know the elections have started. The only reason I know is because I walked by the voting tent and picked up a flier. But many people probably don’t walk through campus that way. I read the Spartan Daily on most days, but I didn’t learn that the election had started. I did read several articles about how the election is very important this semester and about how the last election had a very bad turnout. But after reading those articles, I was still wondering when the elections would start. Most of the people I talk to don’t know about the election and don’t know you can vote online. The barbeque would have been a good way to get the news out.

My recollection, is that in the past, Associated Students did a much better job of raising awareness about the election. Now I know why less than 2% of the student body voted last year. Another thing that might be stopping people from voting, is the confusing link. The placement of the link on my.sjsu.edu, is very small and off to the side. It makes it look like it is a link to something unimportant, like a disclaimer. When I was trying to show some of my friends how to vote, they had a hard time finding that link. It should be big, centered, and obvious in purpose.

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I Voted!

March 21, 2007

I just finished filling out my A.S. Election Ballot online. It’s nice that they have it online now (go to my.sjsu.com to fill out your own ballot). I’m usually busy running between classes when I am on campus. I wasn’t that excited about any of the candidates, because unfortunately I know very little about any of them. The bios weren’t that useful either. The only cool part about it was voting no on the San Jose State University name change. I’ve been looking forward to that. Kyle from Kyle’s Comments has some pretty interesting stuff to say about the name change:
Go San Jose State! not CSU-SJ!
SJSU name change a ‘bad idea’
San Jose is not a state?

Kyle’s blog has been pretty interesting to me this semester in part because he is writing for the Spartan Daily. I like reading the behind the scenes of how news stories are created.

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MESA Day

March 18, 2007

MESA Day

Last weekend was MESA Day at SJSU. There were students from high schools and middle schools who had worked on projects for months and were being judged. A group of us from the CS Club judged the Cyber Surf competition. The students created webpages about one of the other competitions following given criteria. All of the students did very well. One interesting thing we heard from students, is that many of them learned web design through customizing MySpace. Actually I was most impressed by their presentations. I know when I was that age, I would have been seriously nervous about presenting to a group of judges. So I think these kids have a lot of potential, because they have the confidence to give something a try, and put their best foot forward.

I was also glad to see that three of the CS Club officers attended. In the picture are Glenn Jahnke, Evan Luine, and Michael Butler. I just think its good that our officers are involved in community service on campus.

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