Tag Archives: Dogs

TechWomen Mentors Lunch

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16 TechWomen 2011-2012 mentors (and potential-2013 mentors) gathered at my house in San Jose California last weekend for a potluck lunch and to hear Conference Chair Taghrid Samak tell us about EgyptNEGMA (Entrepreneurship for Development in Egypt – to be held next week at MIT).  One of our own TechWomen mentees, Heba Hosny, is an EgyptNEGMA-2013 finalist. My guests enjoyed the new porch and a tour of WP668 – the backyard caboose where I have my office.  Three had also been mentors in my SEED mentoring program at Sun Microsystems.  It was such a pleasure to be able to host this remarkably talented and energetic group of technical women!



Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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Filed under Caboose Project and Other Trains, Home & Family, Mentoring & Other Business

Dog vs. Stone Cat


Last weekend, I picked out a cement-stone cat as a garden ornament. While I was shopping, it became an object of great concern to a small dog in an adjacent cart.

Image Copyright 2013 Katy Dickinson

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Family Feast


Since our dining room is still full of stuff pushed out of the way by our porch construction, my friend Laura Biche generously welcomed both of our families for Thanksgiving dinner this year. No matter how organized the hostess, potluck dinners are always a little surprising: we ended up with three dishes of baked sweet potatoes and a vast selection of desserts but only enough biscuits for about half of us. Laura’s dog Cassie (who, from the size of her ears, seems to be part bat) was overjoyed with all the friends who came to visit her. She did her best to entertain all of her guests.





Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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Non-Travel Diary

When I travel, I usually keep a diary, sometimes in a bound blank book and sometimes on my blog (depending on web availability and performance). My husband John left yesterday afternoon for a two-week business trip to China, so this is my non-travel diary. John texted me when his San Francisco – Hong Kong flight landed about 3 am this morning, then he called me at 7 am to say he had reached his hotel in ShenZhen. As usual, John is staying at the Hasee Paradise Hotel near the Huawei campus. I have stayed at the Hasee myself and it is a pleasant place – although the limited breakfast buffet every morning gets boring quickly.

  • Last night, a friend and I had dinner at the Great Khan’s Mongolian stir fry and then went to see the movie “Brave” which we both enjoyed. The Pixar animation, music, and story are all good. Paul (my usual movie-going partner) did not want to see “Brave” so Stephenie Cooper and I went.
  • This morning, the construction guys were outside the house early working on the new concrete base.  The pour is scheduled for later this week. We are fixing some dry rot and a floor that shifted out of level in John’s model train room and workshop. Also, we are pouring a pad for Paul’s potter’s wheel – see picture below.  This is part of Paul’s new clay studio in the side yard. See Paul’s ceramics at: Paul’s Element.  I am in charge of construction oversight while John is traveling.
  • I noticed that one the Cereus cactus has a bloom bud (which now looks like a small black ball of fuzz) – see picture below. I will enjoy watching it develop during the next week – the spectacular flowers are often ten inches across.
  • Tuesday noon at work, Yingying Lu holds a class for us English speakers in conversational Chinese.  In addition to working on basic vocabulary and pronunciation, we are collecting suggestions for helpful software.  My suggestions so far include the following iPhone applications:
    • Eng-Chi Pro (English to Mandarin Pro – talking translator phrasebook) by Medianet
    • KTdict+ C-E, Chinese-English dictionary by Klaus Thul
    • QingWen Chinese Dictionary by Karan Misra
  • John called by Skype during my late afternoon when he woke up – before he went to work in ShenZhen.  He said it is raining and hot in China.
  • I noticed going to dinner that Tavistock Freebirds – a beer and wine bar – is replacing the (now being demolished) Baskin Robbins – Togo’s, formerly near the Pasta Pomodoro Restaurant on The Alameda in San Jose, CA.  Business must have been very bad for someone to tear out an ice cream shop during the 95 degree San Jose summer.
  • I took one of the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood after dinner.  Redda enjoyed her walk but I could hear Gilroy whining a block away – he did not want to be left behind.  I can’t manage to walk two energetic dogs at the same time.  Maybe I will walk with Gilroy tomorrow.
  • I am almost done reading The Night Circus, a fantastical novel by Erin Morgenstern. I have enjoyed it but the book could have been a third shorter to better effect.



Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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Ball Dog


Gilroy is our 2-year-old shepherd-corgi mix (shepherd on the top, corgi on the bottom) who is obsessed with toys, especially balls. He has several tricks:

  1. Fetch – throw almost anything and he will bring it back
  2. Hammock Bounce – throw a toy onto the hammock and he will bounce it off  from below
  3. Gate Toss – stand outside a gate and he will throw his toy through then silently stare meaningfully until you throw it back

My daughter wrote a blog entry last year with a YouTube video of Gilroy bouncing a red rubber bone off of the hammock. Our other dog (a large but very shy collie-pit) has no interest in toys but she will crawl into your lap any time for a cuddle.  Both are rescue dogs – adopted after their first families abandoned them.

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Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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CMU Creatures

While we were trailing after my daughter Jessica during her graduation events last weekend, I was charmed to see so many animals had infiltrated the ultra-geeky world of Carnegie Mellon University. I don’t just refer to the CMU Scottish Terrier official mascot – although Scottie was there – but wild animals too. From the early morning robin and bunny to the sparrows in the grass during the commencement service, CMU creatures joined our celebrations.






Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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Past and Future Homes


Saturday, John, my mother, and I spent another day of sorting and packing my parents’ San Francisco home. As my daughter Jessica wrote, this is about Dirt, Dust, and Duty. I shipped five boxes of my father’s clothes to my older brother, put five more boxes of family quilts, lace, and linens into the car, then packed in two small tables, two mirrors, some art, and a shower chair. Everything but the shower chair goes into storage. My uncle came over to pack some of his stuff. Then I did a walk through with the mover in preparation for his crew returning next weekend.

Today was my day off. After church, I worked in my poor neglected and dog-pounded garden. Then, John and Paul and I spent several hours reviewing the construction proposal for the new addition to our home in Willow Glen. Comparing the proposal to the architect’s drawings, we discussed flooring, counter tops, lighting, electrical outlets, TV cables, and all of the other minutiae which are so expensive if you don’t get them right the first time.

Our house addition will initially be for my 80-year-old mother, so we are making it wheelchair accessible, just in case. This means more than just a roll-in shower and wider doorways. Can she get into the pantry? Should the doors open in or out? So much to consider!

Image Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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