El Dorado Hills “Alumni” Hits a Home Run – Way to go Feross!

In 2010, I wrote a post about a site called YTInstant, and its founder  Feross Aboukhadije.  At the time, Feross was interning at Facebook and attending Stanford.  He’s stayed busy and according to Cathie Anderson from the Sacramento Bee, he just sold a company to Yahoo.  Well done Feross.  Kids in EDH, if you want to look up to someone, try Feross.

(From left to right: John Hiesey, Feross Aboukhadijeh, & Abi Raja) image from PeerCDN

Folsom Lake is Really, Really Low And Right Now You Can Walk in Gold Rush History

This isn’t a PR-related post. It’s a reminder to check out cool things around you post.  We live about four miles from Folsom Lake.  During the summer, we have a ski boat in a slip there.  The lake is formed by a dam across the American River.  It is currently at 22% capacity.  When the lake is this low, you can visit remains of the old gold rush town of Mormon Island that was flooded when the lake was built.

Pretty much everything you see below is normally at least fifty feet underwater.  If you are near Sacramento, go check it out.

Looking north into Folsom Lake from Brown’s Ravine.
The “Natoma Ditch,” which was begun in 1851 to funnel water for gold mining.
Amazing rock wall that I believe was part of a dairy.
Detail showing the craftmanship of the rock wall.
Artifacts found and piled by others on a piece of the foundation.


IMG_0168Some of the old articles I have found, point to this being either the remains of the Red Bank Winery or a dairy.


Buying local, supporting art and doing more

This Christmas most of the gifts given and received by my family were created by or bought from someone local.  One of these has a bit of a story behind it.

Let’s start with Maude.  Maude is our yellow lab. Here’s a picture of Maude that I took this Summer at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma coast.

MaudeSeaRanchNow fast forward a bit and my stepmother asked my wife for a copy of the photo.  We weren’t sure why, until on Christmas morning we opened:

MaudeLeeWrightThe painting was by an artist from Chico named Lee Wright.  At first glance, it’s a dog painting.  But there’s more.  Lee is using art to move forward from being homeless.  Through commissions, he has now moved into his own housing and continues to create.  If you would like to support Lee, go to Art Etc, in Chico or find Lee on Facebook. Who knows maybe you’ll find something else there too.

Telling stories….with Peter O’Toole

One of the trends in public relations right now is “telling stories,” as opposed to “communicating messages.” Of course you are still communicating key messages to targeted audiences, you’re just doing it in a different way.  Today in the car NPR replayed an interview by the late Peter “No Prisoners!” O’Toole that was recorded in 1993 with Terry Gross.  It is a masterclass in the telling of short stories.

Here’s a short example, but I encourage you to listen to the entire interview and challenge you to not be entertained and inspired:

On getting into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

A chum of mine — who intended to be a painter — and I hitchhiked our way into London to begin our lives and we jumped off the lorry, the truck, at a station called Houston and we were aiming for a men’s hostel. … And we were plodding down [the street] and I looked on my left and it said, “The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art” and my chum said, “Well, if you’re going to be an actor this is the kind of shop where they deal with such matters, so why don’t you pop in?” So I popped in and I saw a bust of Bernard Shaw, and I was looking at the bust of Bernard Shaw and … the sergeant commissionaire joined me at the bust and we started yawning about Bernard Shaw telling stories. … And we were joined by a joined by an elderly, burly, gruff gentleman and he turned out to be the principal of the Royal Academy. He asked me if I was a student, and I said I wasn’t but I was thinking of being. And one thing led to another and I found myself, that afternoon even, turning up for the first interview and then I did an audition and [another] audition, and found, to my surprise that I was in.