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The End Game….

Irene here to finish the story: ¬†Michael’s last post was June 9th, when he went on hospice, choosing to be sent home from the… Read more »

Talk for the Analy High School AP Computer Science Class

Last week I gave my third annual talk to our local high school’s programming/computer science class. The classes are taught by Analy High math… Read more »

Combining Historic and Modern Images

I have long thought about combining historic and modern images of San Francisco to make aligned, composite images that showed some parts new and… Read more »

Stratton Family Videos from the 50s and 60s

My mother-in-law, Joyce Stratton, who is 89, moved into a board and care home a few weeks ago. Irene and her siblings have been… Read more »

Three Exquisite Days in Pt. Reyes

It was 1979 when Irene and I drove north from Palo Alto for a weekend away in remote Pt. Reyes. I was 24, we… Read more »

I’m Still Standing

Barney Saltzberg is one of my few very-long-time friends, going back to elementary school. He was a year ahead of me, so we didn’t… Read more »

Creating a Lasting Website as a Personal Archive

I created this website as a way to publish my blog posts, essays, photographs, and a few other projects. My focus is on creating… Read more »

Gigabit Fiber Has Arrived!

Today, my household entered the true age of broadband. Sure, we’ve been there for years, depending on how you define it. But this is… Read more »

Gregory’s Triumphant Magic Act

My son Gregory has been passionate about magic for 20 years — and he is only 25! He has been working on his time-keeping… Read more »

Illness Creates Opportunity to Acquire Webvanta

Eight years ago, I cofounded Webvanta, a SaaS CMS platform and web development agency. I have been running Webvanta ever since, through all the… Read more »

Comedy Magic Show in Santa Rosa

If you love magic, and especially if you have kids, there’s a once-a-year event coming up in just one week that you don’t want… Read more »

A Lovely Visit with Mark Indictor

One of my best and oldest friends, Mark Indictor, came to visit this weekend, and we had a wonderful time! Mark and I went… Read more »

The 20th Century: Beyond the World Wars

In a previous post, I listed some of the countless historical fiction books about World War I & World War II. Of course, a… Read more »


Our weather this year has been just what we needed — some good drenchings, enough to stave off the immediate drought, and then sun!… Read more »

Welcome to the New, Unified Blog

For the past 3 months, I’ve been writing two separate blogs, one public and one private. Most of my writing has been about my… Read more »

Books Worth Reading

I’ve read (or listened to) a lot of books. There is such a vast range of books out there, it is hard to choose…. Read more »

Great Historical Fiction about the World Wars

What first drew me to historical fiction was an urge to try to make sense out of the two world wars. I now understand… Read more »

Historical Fiction: Engaging History

Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, listen to, or watch. I am drawn to history to understand how the world… Read more »

A Day on San Francisco Bay in 4 Minutes

Here’s a wonderful time-lapse movie of San Francisco Bay, shot from the Inn Above Tide in Sausalito. An entire day in 4 minutes. Click… Read more »

Why Are There Two Wires?

At the house I grew up in, there was a shelf in the dining room with a toaster on it. I’m not sure how… Read more »

The Wonder of Audiobooks

I have been a fan of audiobooks since you had to buy them on tape, and then on CDs. I used to drive regularly… Read more »

San Francisco’s Wonderful Cat Cafe, KitTea

It was a couple years ago that I first heard about the idea of cat cafes. As a lifelong cat lover, the idea immediately… Read more »

A New Direction

This blog has been live, in one form or another, for a decade. This year, I’ve done a full reset, keeping most of the… Read more »

Random mechanical beauty in google maps

It’s amazing what you can find wandering around in Google Maps.

Beardless for the first time in 42 years

The last time was in 1972.


Last January, we adopted Rio, a wonderful golden retriever. Here’s our first picture of him, at the Homeward Bound rescue facility: He was 20… Read more »

Analy Cheer Wins 2nd Place at Regional Competition

Amanda is one of the “flyers” on Analy High School’s varsity cheerleading squad. They won second place in the regional competition today in their… Read more »

My Mother’s Childhood Homes

My wife Irene and I recently spent a week on the east coast, starting in Washington DC for my nephew Oliver’s wedding, and ending… Read more »

Our Bedroom Garden

Clearly, the people who designed the 1959 house we bought last year did not share my priorities. Not a single room in the house… Read more »

Sebastopol’s Oldest Business Burns

Frizelle Enos, a feed store turned pet supply that was reportedly the oldest business in Sebastopol, burned tonight in a massive fire. Like many… Read more »

The Joys of Gardening

The past six months have been perhaps the most challenging time in my life, from moving my house and reinventing my business to the… Read more »

Gardening in Public

For 22 years, we lived on a 5-acre property a few miles west of Sebastopol. It’s a beautiful property, which we enjoyed tremendously. But… Read more »

Remembering My Mom, Helen Slater Zager

My mother, Helen Slater Zager, died on March 10. She was 92, and led a very full life. In the weeks since then, I’ve… Read more »

Welcome to Michael’s blog, reborn!

I started this blog a bit over six years ago, when I left Adobe to figure out what was next. In the first few… Read more »

Gregory’s Performance at the Magic Show in Santa Rosa

My son Gregory’s new act:

New Online Courses for Web Designers: HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, and Mobile

Teaching has long been one of my favorite activities. In the past five years, most of the teaching I’ve done has been online, through… Read more »

Moving into Town!

After more than 20 years on our beautiful country property, we have decided to take the plunge and move into town! We’ve enjoyed the… Read more »

Gregory’s Stage Debut: Mask Change

Last night my son Gregory was in Ken Garr’s annual magic show in Santa Rosa. He’s been hanging out with this community for many… Read more »

The iPad: Imperfect, But Enough for Me!

I’ve been lusting after a great tablet device for a long time. The iPad has its faults, but it’s the first that really appeals… Read more »

Webvanta Financing Closed!

Following a marathon effort, I’m delighted to announce that we’ve closed Webvanta’s Series A financing. It’s very exciting, and quite a relief, to have… Read more »

Mose Allison Performs

I’ve been a Mose Allison fan for more than 40 years. He’s now 82 and still playing clubs around the U.S. —this year, he… Read more »

10 Years Later: Thoughts on PhotoTablet/Fotiva/Adobe

The First Two Years: Conception It was 10 years ago last week that the idea for PhotoTablet came to me—an Internet tablet that takes… Read more »

Webvanta Update

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here, so I thought I’d at least give a brief update. On September 8 we officially… Read more »

Is Facebook Ready for Business?

I’ve been working lately on creating a Facebook presence for my company, Webvanta. It’s been a somewhat painful experience. You can see the primitive… Read more »

A Brief History of the Web, and a Glimpse of Its Future

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking at Ignite Sebastopol, the first-ever local Ignite event. Started a couple years ago by O’Reilly… Read more »

Adventures in Social Media

I was not an early adopter of social media, being of twice the optimum age. But in the past few months, I’ve become much… Read more »

Amanda’s Skating Triumph — and Interesting YouTube Behavior

Last Sunday, Amanda won first place in her group at the skating competition in Vacaville! Here’s the video—and below, some notes about copyright and… Read more »

Gregory’s Fire-Eating Debut