Browsing the archives for the personal category.

Wannabe Tour Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area

family, personal, sports, technology

I end up spending a lot of time (and having a lot of fun) playing tourist guide when friends and family come to visit the San Francisco Bay Area…  I usually start by sending an email full of options based on the particular person’s interest.   Here’s a compilation from lists I’ve sent out:

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Welcome Home Ada!

personal

Vicky and I were overcome with joy when we learned we would be having another girl.  Last Spring, that joy was realized when we brought home Ada Victoria Bartholo.  The past few months have been tremendous as we experience life with two little girls at home.

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Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa Review

personal

For the first time since our first baby was born almost three years ago, Vicky and I decided to go for some R&R at the Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa. We chose this hotel because it was close to us and we remember it as very relaxing a few years ago. I had such a great time, I thought I would post a quick review of the hotel in case any others are considering spending time there.

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What Now Charlie Brown

personal

We checked out the Charles Schultz museum this past weekend and had a nice time.

The place was packed.  Being that it’s one of the few indoor activities in the North Bay when it’s raining, it wasn’t a huge surprise.  But Vicky got me thinking about something. She was wondering if future generations would understand this museum. Every couple of weeks or so, news comes out that another major newspaper is closing.  Subscriptions are sinking to new lows, and there are too many free ways to get news online.  Additionally, online news outlets just don’t dedicate a lot of space or prominence to comics.  Will comics die with newspapers?  Sadly, yes. Will Charles Schultz be forgotten sooner than he deserves because of this? I think so.

My whole career rides the wave of technical progress, but it’s sometimes sad to see what gets left behind.

Of course, a more serious question is who is going to pay the in depth journalists when all the newspapers die.  My prediction is that profitable blogs like the Huffington Post and Daily Kos will fill the space and have money to deliver what is not considered serious journalism more efficiently and in a new way.  In this age of environmental consciousness (at least in California), one angle I don’t hear very often is how much more earth friendly it is to get news online as opposed to in a physical newspaper.

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Welcome Abby!

personal

My initial flurry of posts never really happened. My excuse is that I set up the blog and didn’t write down the password, so I couldn’t post. But that’s obviously a pretty lame excuse since it was not so hard to reset the password. So the real reasons I abandoned my new blog are laziness, sleep deprivation from having a newborn, and the fact that I start too many initiatives than I can possibly maintain.

If I had been posting for the last couple of months, I would have talked a lot about my new baby girl Abby! She is absolutely beautiful. I know all parents say that, even if their babies are not so great looking, but I truly think that Abby is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. However, I do realize that I may not be the most objective observer. For the first couple of weeks of her life, I would agree with anyone that would mention how pretty she was. I finally realized that the more polite response is supposed to be “Thank You.” It’s funny how you more or less forget manners when it comes to compliments about your baby.

After about two weeks, we have been pretty courageous about taking her all over the place. It started with quick shopping trips. But then we took a whirlwind tour of California to show her off to all our family and friends within 500 miles!

I really am not good at determining whether a baby looks like either parent. Many people are saying that Abby’s eyes look like mine. I guess I should be proud, but I think everyone is a lot better off if she looks more like her mother than her father. For the first two or three weeks, the most prevalent personality trait I noticed in Abby is her seriousness. Until she learned how to smile, she always wore a very serious frown on her face. I am not exaggerating in saying that we’re up to about 1000 pictures of her already. A big reason for that is the fact that we keep taking pictures trying to get the right facial expression. At first, we were hoping for a big smile, but eventually we settled for any neutral expression. My father in law made a prediction that she would become a school principal because of her seriousness. This has all changed now that she’s a couple of months old. Though she still sports a killer frown now and then, she smiles quite a bit now, especially when her mother is holding her.

It is truly amazing how babies bond with their mothers. Obviously you hear stories to that effect, but you can’t really realized the extent of it until experiencing it first hand. Abby’s disposition magically changes as soon as she hears Vicky’s voice or feels her touch. I can now soothe her most of the time when I pick her up, but not nearly as effectively as Vicky can.

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I Go

personal

It’s about time I set up a blog, so let me introduce myself. It all started at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro just as man was about to land on the moon. Felippe Bartholo joined the world and soon became an avid soccer fan. OK, I know you’re bored, let me skip about 40 years, I’ll write my memoirs in some other forum.

I’m now expecting my first baby in about a month! That, together with the fact that my step sister just found a secret book written by my father before he passed away, is the primary reason why I was inspired to finally start a blog. My father’s book, which is a mixture of his memoirs and a fictional politial satire, was such a gift to me, that I hope my daughter can get a chance to enjoy my writings when she’s older.

My wife Vicky has been a complete champion during the pregnancy. We’ve been married for 11 years. She has been fanatical about a healthy diet, enough but not too much exercise, maintaining a low stress environment, taking all the right vitamins, and all the other things so important during pregnacy. She has one more week of work (as a Program Manager at Cisco Systems) and will then take four months off.

We’ve been taking the usual baby classes, to the tune of sixteen hours of instructions. We’ve contracted with a Doula to help with the birthing process. We’ve arranged for our parents, who live far away, to come and spend the first four months of the baby’s life with us to help. We’ve read books, received volumes of advice from all our friends, and also discussed our philosophy over the world’s biggest problems and how we will raise our daughter. We have a name picked out that we both really like, but are keeping it secret. We’ve arranged for day care, and also have a backup plan and a second backup plan. If you think we’re little neurotic, I think you may be right. We’ve done all we can to prepare, but I’m pretty sure the real learning will only start once we bring the baby home.

I currently work at Sun Microsystems as a Project Manager and Software Engineer. While Vicky has stayed at the same company for over a decade, I’ve moved around a lot. Sun, however, has been a theme in my career, as this is my fourth stint at the company, and I often worked with Sun as a partner in various capacities while employed by other companies. My focus has been Java and Web technologies.

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