Northern California PSN Meeting Dec. 8 1998

Photos (7 JPG images, 190K bytes total)

Meeting notes by Ken Navarre

Last night several of the members of the mail list and AGU/USGS folks got together at the Menlo Park office of the USGS. Our host, Edward Cranswick provided several pizza's and drinks for us to gobble as we all sat around the "round table" which was, in fact rectangular. But let's not diddle over technicalities... The pizzas were retained by the members at one end of the table while the drinks were held by the members at the other. Bartering provided the solution so that eventually we all had more than we probably should have.

Each of us introduced ourselves and we spent a few minutes telling one another about our favorite part of seismology, tinkering, working with kids and classroom presentations, or whatever horror tales we found appropriate. It was quickly apparent that this was *no* gathering of nerds - not a pen/pocket protector was to be found... The blend of technical skills, humor, friendship, and hopes was amazing. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, too much pizza, an saw some neat stuff during the "show and tell".

Let's see... all together there was:

Edward Cranswick	Golden Co.
Steve Hammond		Campbell CA
Gary Lindgren		Palo Alto, CA
Larry Cochrane		Redwood City CA
Phil Giannini		San Francisco CA
Ted Blank		San Jose CA
John Taber		Wellington, New Zealand
			(winner of the long distance award!) 
Ken Hurst		Lebec CA
George Harris		Benicia CA
Jan Froom		Gilroy CA
Pete Rowe		San Jose CA
Bruce Kinney		San Jose CA
Al Broth		San Jose CA		
Ken Navarre		Sunnyvale CA
Sam Gasdik		Berkeley CA
Gary Wood		Seattle WA 

So, it was a really good turnout for a middle of the week during the Xmas shopping season! Hopefully some of the other members of the list can make the next meeting.

During show and tell Phil Giannini brought a really nice IBM XT "luggable" that he reworked to run on 12 vdc. It included the PC, a VGA monitor, an AT keyboard that had been hacked and crammed into the original keyboard enclosure, the telemetry demod board which had been modified to allow channel selection from the front panel and the A/D card - all inside the old IBM case. It made a really nice package for those of us who like to wander into the field and take our seismic goodies with us! Phil likes to go to the geysers for an outing and monitor the daily earthquakes.

John Taber had some of his Quake Finders posters from the AGU presentation. These are really a high quality presentation of the New Zealand high school project to build a student seismology network. Thus far there are 2 schools onboard and he is hopeful that soon there will be 5 schools with gear. He showed photo posters of some of the equipment including a GPS timing receiver that makes the data collected by the student's equipment valuable. It is a great project!

Ken Hurst is from JPL and got a lot of laughs when he listed his home address as the intersection of the San Andreas and Garlock faults (Lebec Calif). Beautiful country if you haven't been there! It's at the top of the Grapevine on Hwy 5.

Gary Lindgren described his prospective sensor location in his Palo Alto wine cellar. Ted agreed that the location was promising especially considering the number of glasses of fine wine that are useful during the calibration/tuning of the typical Lehman sensor! Many of us nodded agreement!

Ted and Jan described their work in the classrooms motivating kids to get involved in the sciences. Larry Cochrane said that he has been contacted by the Coyote Point Museum inquiring about placing an interactive earthquake demonstration at the San Mateo county facility. So, we can see that the interest from the kids is increasing and there is a need to get equipment and technical assistance to the classroom to keep them motivated and expose them to "science" where they can be a participant.

George Harris brought a box of his homemade sensors. We all enjoyed seeing his innovative design for his vertical sensor as well as his multichannel horizontal sensors.

Well, I could go on but I really do need to get back to work. Sorry that I couldn't provide an adequate description of the entire event. Everyone had some great stories that gave us insight and information that we can use as we chase our passion (seismic and otherwise...) I REALLY *do* wish that I could replay Edward's comments about seismology, philosophy, marriage, and directions for the pizza driver but I just can't do it justice! Suffice it to say that we all had a lot of fun and enjoyed the meeting.

If you we not able to make this meeting I strongly encourage you to try to make the next one!

One last bit of business took place that I would like to mention. Steve Hammond reminded us about the huge undertaking that Larry Cochrane has accepted to provide equipment, software, and motivation through the web site. Last year some of us offered him a donation to help offset the cost that he has incurred. Steve wanted to remind us, lest we forget, of the enormity of the project and the dedication that Larry has shown to develop professional quality software and hardware. And, if we were so inclined this might be a good time to look at what we are getting from the work he's done and offer our thanks - and if possible perhaps a donation to keep the work going.

Happy holidays, everyone!!!

Ken Navarre

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