Dolphins in the Monterey Bay?

I bet you didn’t know that Dolphins live in the Monterey Bay.  Actually, it’s quite common to spot Dolphins, Whales and other marine mammals, if you spend enough time on the Bay or if you go on a Whale watching tour boat.  What made our recent Dolphin encounter so special is that we weren’t seeking them out.  We were visiting Monterey for the day. We stopped by the Breakwater to admire the SCUBA divers, as we have done on every Monterey trip since we stopped diving.  Amazingly, this is the first time that I have spotted Dolphins so close to the shore, only about 150 feet away.  They hung around for a while, and provided lots of entertainment for the Kayakers, the people on the beach and the tourists on the glass bottom boat (typically not a great way to spot wildlife, just divers).  It was a very unexpected and unforgettable experience.

Click on the image below to views photos taken:

Dolphins Spotted in Monterey Bay – July 2008
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Thriving Wildlife at Rancho San Antonio

Over the July 4th weekend, my wife and I went for a short hike at Rancho San Antonio, an open space preserve that borders Los Altos, Cupertino and I-280.  Rancho is one of my favorite outdoor playgrounds, since it’s conveniently located in the heart of Silicon Valley.  It’s where I first discovered trail running and where I trained (PG&E Trail) for my hike up to Half Dome at Yosemite.  It’s also where I return year after year to find a new generation of lambs, goats and piglets at the Deer Hollow Farm.

I have also had my share of wildlife encounters at Rancho San Antonio:  Bobcats, Rattlesnakes, Blacktail Deers, Wild Turkeys, Quails, Rabbits, Owls, Acorn Woodpeckers, etc.  Each time, I always said to myself “If only I had brought my camera.”  Well, I finally brought my camera this past weekend, and I was not disappointed.  I’m sharing my pictures in this Blog (Press Play on Slideshow below), out of complete respect for the wildlife and their home.  In shooting these photos, I kept my distance, tried to blend in with nature, and captured the close-ups through a zoom lense.

In a world of global warming and diminishing natural habitats, I think it’s great that open space preserves such as Rancho San Antonio is able to sustain an ecosystem that is thriving despite being in the shadows of encroaching home developments, congested freeways and high-tech business parks.  As a parent, I often wonder if such wonderful places will still exist when my daughter is old enough to appreciate it.  As a nature lover, I’m quite hopeful (based on my observations) that I will find a new generation of thriving wildlife at Rancho this time next year, the following year, and for the foreseeable future.

BTW in case you are wondering, I have not had a Mountain Lion encounter.  They are elusive, solitary animals that hunt mostly during the wee hours when the parks are closed.  By chance if I’m lucky enough to spot one, I will be sure to Blog about the experience.  Stay tuned!

Wild Life Encounters at Rancho San Antonio – July 2008

Download Du Jour – FireFox 3.0

First of all, congratulations to the FireFox Community on establishing the Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in one day.  As one of the 8,002,530 people who successfully downloaded FireFox 3.0 on June 17th, I feel privileged to be displaying the FireFox 3 Download Day certificate on my Blog.  After all, I simply downloaded the latest version of the Web browser (for my Macbook Pro) that I already use daily for all my Web activities.

Well, it has been 2 1/2 weeks and I have not encountered a single crash.  Performance has been great and all my existing add-ons upgraded without a hitch.  Thanks to FireFox 3 I’m enjoying my Web surfing experience even more so.  Kudos to the developers who work on the Mozilla projects.

There are so many new features in FireFox 3 that I simply haven’t had the time to test drive them all.  Among the new features, my favorite include the Password Manager, Instant Web Site ID, and the New Location Bar with One Click Bookmarking.  I’m also a big fan of the FireFox 3 Download Map (Cool page, not a feature.) which provide an at-a-glance view of the latest FireFox 3 download stats across the globe in a very visually engaging manner.  I hope we can provide similar reporting UI for the software downloads at Sun.

Speaking of Sun, I was disappointed to not find FireFox 3 for Solaris readily accessible on the FireFox home page.  As it has been with prior releases, the download links to the Solaris port of FireFox 3 is buried in the Release Notes under Contributed Builds.  You really need to dig for it.  Well if you have been looking to download FireFox 3 for Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris, today is your lucky day.  I have conveniently provided the download links here on my Blog.

Download FireFox 3 for Solaris here:

Platform / Format
Download Link
Checksum README
Solaris 10, SPARC (Tarball) firefox-3.0-en-US-solaris-10-fcs-sparc.tar.bz2 cksum readme.txt
Solaris 10, SPARC (Pkgadd)
firefox-3.0-en-US-solaris-10-fcs-sparc-pkg.bz2 cksum readme.txt
Solaris 10, x86 (Tarball)
firefox-3.0-en-US-solaris-10-fcs-i386.tar.bz2 cksum readme.txt
Solaris 10, x86 (pkgadd)
firefox-3.0-en-US-solaris-10-fcs-i386-pkg.bz2 cksum readme.txt
OpenSolaris, SPARC (Tarball) firefox-3.0.en-US.opensolaris-sparc.tar.bz2 cksum readme.txt
OpenSolaris, SPARC (Pkgadd)
firefox-3.0.en-US.opensolaris-sparc-pkg.bz2 cksum readme.txt
OpenSolaris, x86 (Tarball) firefox-3.0.en-US.opensolaris-i386.tar.bz2 cksum readme.txt
OpenSolaris, x86 (Pkgadd)
firefox-3.0.en-US.opensolaris-i386-pkg.bz2 cksum readme.txt

To download FireFox 3 for all other supported platforms (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux), checkout the FireFox Home Page:

Download FireFox Now!