Tag Archives: Matthew

San Juan Islands, Washington State


We are just driving home from a week with family in the San Juan Islands at the north end of the State of Washington, just below Canada. This is about a thousand miles driving each way from our home in San Jose, California! All along the way, we saw the looming background presence of some of the largest California-Oregon-Washington mountains: Shasta, Baker, Rainier – part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean.

As this was our first visit to the islands, we also saw many of the tourist sights: Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, Pelindaba Lavender, whale watching with San Juan Excursions, Orcas Island Pottery, the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Lime Kiln Point State Park, etc. There were a great variety of wild and tame animals along the way: foxes, orcas, a great horned owl, deer, a camel, a black snake, salmon, seagulls, harbor seals and dolphins, sea anemones and barnacles, bald eagles, turkey vultures, quail, honey bees and bumble bees, raccoons and alpacas – and of course, horses, cows, sheep, pigs, cats and dogs. We enjoyed two Shakespeare performances: Much Ado About Nothing (at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR), and Cymbeline (at Island Stage Left, Roche Harbor, WA). A delightful trip!



















Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson


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3 Realizations About Seattle


Last week, I stayed with my wonderful daughter Jessica and son-in-law Matthew while visiting Seattle, Washington, to speak on “History of Women in Computing and Women Leaders in Computing” at Microsoft Research. I was last in Seattle on New Year’s Eve 1999, when John and group of friends rented the Virginia City and another private rail car for a three day celebration trip from San Jose, California. In 1999, we saw very little of the city, so this was my first real tour. Jessica generously drove me into the Cascade Range the first day (where we walked a tiny part of the Pacific Crest Trail), and we walked around the city proper after that.

I gained three realizations about Seattle:

  1. Although it is 54 miles from Seattle, I learned how big and present Mount Ranier is during this trip. Even on the hottest day, the huge snow-clad volcano looms at the ends of long streets and above buildings.
  2. Another presence I did not expect was the many seagulls. We saw them at the port but they also flocked on rooftops at sundown to eat the rising bugs.
  3. I am a big fan of civic ironwork and Seattle offers a remarkable selection for the connoisseur of this humble art form.

I learned that there is more to Seattle than coffee and software!










Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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21 Years at the Lair of the Bear – Camp Blue


Last night, we celebrated Paul’s 22nd birthday at the University of California’s Lair of the Golden Bear Camp Blue. We have been Lair campers since before Paul could walk! We started in 12th Week and have slowly moved to earlier weeks as school start dates crept back into August. This is our second year as 9th Week campers. My niece and nephew start classes on Monday. Paul starts at San Jose State University in a few weeks.

My brother Pete, sister-in-law Julie and kids, with friends Steve and Olivia and their son are also with us. This week, other members of the family have been going on hikes, running, and swimming in Pinecrest Lake. We also went rafting on the Stanislaus River out of Knights Ferry. Our immediate family has mostly been playing board games and enjoying Advanced Lounging with Electronics. Jessica and Matthew celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary with pinatas full of candy and little plastic dinosaurs.

Jessica and I have been in email communication from Camp Blue Lodge with Susan Rodger (Professor, Computer Science at Duke University), collaborating on the design and content of our Notable Women in Computer Science and Wikipedia poster for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, to be held in October 2014. GHC14 is almost sold out – as it has been every year since at least 2009.

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Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Moby Dick, or, the card game


This week my family has been playing “Moby Dick, or, the card game” almost daily at the University of California at Berkeley’s Lair of the Golden Bear Camp Blue. This game was a Kickstarter project by King Post that I invested in last year. I gave it to my son-in-law Matthew, who loves games of all kinds. “Moby Dick” is great fun – we plan to buy more copies! The card graphics are interesting and well-executed. The game play is fast and dependent on both luck and strategy. An added benefit is that the classic 1851 whaling story Moby Dick by Herman Melville is one of my favorite novels.

Matthew, Jessica, Paul and I made some rule changes to improve play:

  • You cannot progress past the first chapter until a whale has been fought (this allows players to get some oil – so that more sailors can be hired).
  • Any time there is an uneven number to be distributed, we roll a die to see which player got more.
  • We designated any sailor without a specific name as a forecastle sailor.

Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Watching New Cities Grow


I grew up in San Francisco and live in San Jose, California, two relatively-old cities – for the American west. SF was founded in 1776; SJ was founded in 1777. Both were incorporated in 1850. I have recently returned from an Everwise business trip to run a Mentoring Design Workshop in Brasilia (Brazil).  Brasilia was founded in 1960 and had a population of 2.8 million in 2013. A few years ago, I worked for Huawei in Shenzhen (China).  Shenzhen was founded in 1979 and had a population of 10.4 million in 2010.

Besides being new cities, Brasilia and Shenzhen have in common that their quick creation is associated with a great leader. I was last in Shenzhen in 2010, the 30th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. During that time, there was much honoring of Deng Xiaoping. Deng lead China 1978-1992. In Brasilia, we stayed at the Kubitschek Plaza hotel – whose name honors Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, Brazil’s President 1956-1961.

Both Brasilia and Shenzhen are still in a skeletal stage of civic development. That is, I saw big buildings and well-developed districts like good bones providing form and identity but also large areas of open land that were marked with actual or virtual/mental “Under Development” signs.

My son and son-in-law like to play the virtual land development game Minecraft together. Minecraft in multi-player survival mode has the concept of identification/ownership “waypoints” to mark areas someone plans to build on – even if nothing is there now. I think Brasilia and Shenzhen are full of waypoints where development is under long-term consideration. It will be fascinating to watch the flesh of mature cities grow up over the coming decades around their lovely young bones.



Images Copyright Katy Dickinson 2010-2014

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Paul’s Graduation


My son Paul has graduated from Foothill College! Hooray! We are so proud!

On Friday evening, he walked with his fellow Studio Art graduates, then we celebrated with a wonderful late dinner at Sienna Bistro in Willow Glen. On Saturday, Paul enjoyed a day of video and board games and BarBQ with friends and family at home. Paul starts his studies again in August at San Jose State University where he wants to earn a degree in studio art with a teaching credential.




Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Happy Mother’s Day

Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Paul Dickinson Goodman, Katy Dickinson 2014

Today is America’s official celebration of motherhood – when flowers, candy, greeting cards, and brunch are practically required. John and Paul and I took my mother with her bouquet of roses to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, followed by Indian buffet at The Mynt Restaurant in Saratoga, CA. We squabbled over who got to eat the caramels out of the box of chocolates she gave me. We missed Jessica and her husband Matthew but hope to talk with them by phone later today.

One of the benefits of my being the keeper of the photo repository is that I have a pictorial record from birth for almost every member of the family, including those below.  This is a beautiful day to celebrate my wonderful family, of whom I am very proud!

Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Katy Dickinson 1958
Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson and baby Katy Dickinson, 1958

Katy Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson Goodman by Jeffrey Davila 1988
Katy Dickinson and baby Jessica Dickinson Goodman, by Jeffrey Davila, 1988

Wade Dickinson, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, Paul Dickinson Goodman 1992
Grandpa Wade Dickinson, Grandma Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, and baby Paul Dickinson Goodman, 1992

Katy Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson Goodman, Petra Jordan 2013
Katy Dickinson and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at Petra Jordan, 2013

Matthew Holmes and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at the Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest CA, 2013
Matthew Holmes and Jessica Dickinson Goodman, at the Lair of the Golden Bear, Pinecrest CA, 2013

Katy Dickinson and Paul Dickinson Goodman 2014
Katy Dickinson and Paul Dickinson Goodman 2014

Images Copyright 1992-2014 by Katy Dickinson

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