I am honored to help mentor five TechWomen Emerging Leaders from Tunisia during their visit to the USA. The U.S. State Department – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – TechWomen program connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by providing them the access and opportunities to advance their careers and pursue their dreams.
So far, our team has spoken online, been to a kickoff event hosted by Twitter at their San Francisco headquarters (I got to wear the embroidered cape I bought in Tunisia in 2015), and enjoyed dinner together at my house in San Jose. We are learning about each other, and working on the project again online, Tuesday night! This term, I am happy to be a TechWomen Co-Mentor with Darpana Pendyala (Hardware Design Engineer, Marvell), and Priyanka Sahay (Director, Product Marketing, LinkedIn).
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I am honored to work with TechWomen Team Kenya this term. My Co-Mentors are Ella Morgulis and Samantha Raniere. Everyone was at my house in San Jose, California, last night for a team meeting and dinner. We are getting to know each other and enjoying learning together. They had fun touring my caboose office, WP668.
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and terrible air quality, my cactus garden has been happy this year. Several species which usually only flower once a year have bloomed again. The local honeybees are delighted to roll around in the pollen of huge flowers. There was enough prickly pear cactus fruit that my daughter Jessica made syrup from it, and John made pancakes to celebrate!
John and I are looking forward to our 20th wedding anniversary this weekend. Thinking back on some of our adventures and looking forward to many more. It is fun to be married to your best friend!
2020 virtual family dinner 2020 Mother’s Day 2018 family vacation 2018 Paul SJSU graduation 2018 St Andrew’s 2017 Reno 2016 Ashland 2016 Ashland 2016 Dunsmuir 2016 Klamath River 2015 Amtrak trip 2015 St Andrew’s 2014 Lalibela Ethiopia 2012 St Andrew’s 2012 Natural Bridges 2012 Jessica CMU graduation 2011 Jessica + Matthew 2011 Jessica + Matthew 2010 Lair of the Golden Bear camp Lair of the Golden Bear camp 2010 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Egypt 2010 Cairo, Egypt 2008 Flying to Baja Mexico 2008 Baja 2007 India 2007 India 2007 WP668 Caboose move 2007 WP668 move 2006 Dead Sea, Israel 2006 Dead Sea, Israel 2006 St. Peterburg, Russia 2006 Russia 2005 Beijing, China 2005 China 2000 2000 wedding 2000 wedding
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I just redesigned the WP668 caboose website. I am still reviewing and posting old photos but the basic structure is done. It is restful during the coronavirus lockdown to make progress on a project I have been wanting to work on forever. After reviewing hundreds in our online family archive, I keep discovering wonderful photos I had forgotten. I have finished 2006 and am about half done with 2007 now. More about WP668 :
WP668 is a historic Western Pacific Railroad caboose being restored by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher, a private family in San Jose, California, USA. More information and pictures are added as WP668’s story evolves.
Easter was on Sunday 1 April in 2017 (also John’s Birthday!) and as usual we had friends, family, and neighbors over for a potluck brunch and Easter Egg Hunt in our back garden and on WP668. The Associate Easter Bunny wrote a very difficult set of riddles for the adults to find the Gold and Silver Eggs.
Gold Egg The clue has 3 words; each quatrain is a clue for one of them.
Birds circle in their dances, bright pinions
a-spinning as they whirl; making circles
and ovals and untracable-shapes to
describe with their sleek bodies this first clue.
The second clue is the colonial name
of an Alaskan burb, whose name now means
either a place for gathering potatoes
or snowy-owl in old Iñupiat.
Third clue: what do snakes and shells and people
and varicella-pox and cats and dogs
and lizards and chameleons and rats
and nematodes and bats do in common?
Hold up one finger, tap three on your arm:
that’s quatrain one and two. A charades charm!
Solution: The Gold Egg was in a brown paper bag behind a storage shed next to a yellow wheelbarrow.
Silver Egg Literary references may require a search engine for non-English majors
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote |
In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a
song. | queer / old balloonman whistles / far and
wee and bettyandisbel come dancing |
Can curls rob can curls quote, quotable. As
presently. As exactitude. As | [Here]
keys in hand, I’ll reach the landing and / you’re
there—the one lesson I never get right. |
It has taken / seventeen years. This trip,
these characters patterned / in black ink, curves |
having been previously hardened, tempered
or sprung. Precision Steel’s inventory |
Solution: The Silver Egg was in a brown paper bag tucked into the end of a leaf spring under the WP668 caboose.
If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right). Images Copyright 2018 by Katy Dickinson (with one from Jessica Dickinson Goodman).
Thanks to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (and Ahmad Chapman, his Communications Specialist) who created the “Great 408” community celebration program for San Jose, which says about “77. Backyard Railroad Caboose” –
You can have your glass-walled high rises and ergonomic standing desks; Katy Dickinson has the coolest office in San Jose. That’s because it’s a 1916 Western Pacific steel framed wooden caboose in the backyard of the Willow Glen home she shares with her husband, John Plocher. The couple purchased the caboose in 2006 from the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in San Francisco after it lost its lease. It was in storage in San Jose for more than a year until it was moved to their backyard in May 2007. The couple has been restoring the caboose bit by bit for more than a decade. Be sure to check out Katy and John’s website for more photos and the history of the caboose.