Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Course Work

It has been some what of a soft start to the waterski season. An impressive count of sets; just not up the ladder all that quick. A few days on Baboosic - as far back as April. Today was 12 overall. But it has been everything but the most conducive to quick start. And some of the days have been one set wonders. Nonetheless, it is late May and I've been on the water (more or less) for 6 days straight.



Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ripped Apart

I'm not ready to write anything about my niece, who I barely knew, yet touched me deeply. I know I'll be more up to it with a little distance, a little time. I figure it will provide some self-therapy to just write something.


Saturday, May 12, 2007


Stan possessed the exceptional ability to drive technological challenges to their inevitable conclusion. There would be no speculation, suspicion or doubt; just proof, the naked answer to what was before just conjecture. “We will take away all the excuses”, he would say.

Stan had engineering spot on. He understood one could contemplate science and math until they were blue in the face; but at the end of the day, there wouldn’t be any value until something was realized. Stan preternaturally knew the silicon canvas to first principles. Bipolar, CMOS, PALs, ASICs, FPGAs they were all just technologies. Stanley’s passion was to build things for the keen end-value he saw; not simply because something was technically feasible.

We met in the early 1980s. Datacube was young and growing its offering of “frame-grabbers”, devices that could acquire and display frames of video images. These devices were being used in the first machine vision systems. A conventional CPU could not process the video data sufficiently fast and Stan was among the first to appreciate the opportunity to provide a solution. Stan saw the value in fast math and I knew some DSP. He said “Siegel, I’ll double your salary and make you a millionaire in a year”. He was true to at least one of those points.

Which reminds me of my favorite Stan aphorism: “Perception Is Reality”. Descartes and Kant may have noodled with this concept a bit; but Stanley really put it out of the park. Stan was his own gatekeeper between conflicting goals. On one hand there was the stark truth, frequently embodied in the practice of infinite iterative technology refinement. And on the other hand there was the charismatic entrepreneur needing to close a deal now. He used this insight to terrific advantage not just for himself, but unselfishly to those around him, to empower them and to protect them.

I’m blessed to have a quarter-century of “Stan stories” stored somewhere between by ears. My attorney reminds me to add that, when discussing these, I clearly state that I don’t recall these specifically and that this is only speculation. So we were all in this sushi bar and Stan said “You know, let me tell you…”.

Stan with Fredi, Bearsville, NY 1989

Sunday, May 06, 2007

High Water Marks

After a chilly free ski with Brian, Brooke, and Jim on Baboosic, I drove over to Dubes to check it out. The water is still high, perhaps 8 inches over the dam. However the course is mostly intact (who needs 3-ball?). The much advertised warm-up is on the way; but my Nautique is still in winter sleep.

Water rushing over dam at Dubes