Fifteen years ago our phone rang, our friend Amanda told us to turn on the TV. The buildings where I worked exactly two years prior were engulfed in flame and smoke.

I tried in vain to call my former coworkers. I learned the next day that they had an early conference call that AM that they all chose to take from home. I didn’t lose any friends that day, but I knew many who were deeply affected, a friend just a few blocks away who witnessed people jumping to escape the flames and a harrowing tale of escape from a friend who worked across the street. We were set to travel to my brother-in-law’s wedding in Battery Park that weekend, their event venue was converted to a makeshift morgue.

It was all surreal to me, a feeling of non-reality, until a few months later when I visited NYC and many posters of missing people “have you seen ____, 79th floor, south tower”. That was my floor. There were lots of people who didn’t make it, the second plane hit squarely on the 78th floor. It all hit me hard.

For many months I combed through at pictures of the wreckage, maps of the destruction, seeing shadows of places I had walked by every day, where I got my bagel, my favorite lunch spots, which ATM I used, all barely recognizable. I’m lucky, no friends lost, I wouldn’t have been there that early even if I had worked there, but yet it haunted me for years.

I still can’t bring myself to go to the site. In 2004, I had a press interview with the Wall Street Journal (a big deal) at the Millenium Hotel. The reporter had her back to the window, I had a view of the pit, I had such a difficult time focusing, I finally had to apologize to the reporter and explain why I was struggling. That was the closest I’ve been and haven’t been back.

I’m thankful I wasn’t in NY that day, that year. Not because I would have been at the WTC, but because of the pain that everyone in NY felt for days and months. The smell of the fire for months, the mourning of lost people everywhere. It was difficult enough from afar, I feel for all of you that lived it up close.

Maybe now that it’s been 15 years, I’ll make it to the site. I hope it can help me move on. There’s a new tower, and a memorial, but in that space, I will always imagine the tower where I worked, the lobby I walked through, where I caught the subway, grabbed lunch and walked to go to the gym. #NeverForget

So the summer is finally over and our son is off to first grade.  We ended up going to a number of different camps and all were good but some were big hits.

JCC Cosmo Kids – We did two weeks of this and they were “just OK”.  They didn’t seem to be as organized or as interesting as other camps.   It felt a bit like day care.   They do have amazing drive-thru drop-off & pickup, but it meant that our son spent 30 minutes at each end of the day just sitting around waiting, lost opportunity for him.

JCC Arts & Splash – in contrast to JCC Cosmo, this camp seemed more organized and each day focused on a different artist.   The name is a bit misleading since they only swim 3 of the 5 days, but it was still one of teh top camps of the summer.  Will do again.

Galileo – This camp was our son’s favorite, we did it for a week.  They have a structure like school classes.  Each week there was a theme (he went for “San Francisco”) and they go to an art class, a science class and a couple other structured sessions each day focusing on the topic.   He built his own cardboard cable car and tested it on a working cable track they built.   The art projects were also spectacular.   Will do more weeks next year.

Steve & Kates – We used this as a “day here or there” camp in between other things.  It’s excellent as a drop in solution.  The Noe Valley location was well run, the Sunset one not so much.  But all had amazing ipad animation studios, bread making, sewing, music studio.  The camp is unstructured, so kids just self choose their activities.  I don’t think we’d do a week here, but definitely will do the drop in days here again.

Tenacious Tennis – We did one week at this tennis camp located at UCSF.  The instructors are fun and kept the days interesting (not 100% tennis).  Our son rated this one highly and we’ll likely do it again, but only for a week, it still is a lot of tennis.   Note: don’t skip Friday: the day they do a contest to win prizes.

Tree Frog Treks – We did one week in Golden Gate park: “Climate Pirates”.  Worth all the kudos this program gets.   They were outdoors the whole time and stuck to the theme of learning about protecting our environment.   The picked up trash one day as a way to talk about litter.  Don’t know if I love that or think they got free labor 😉   It might be a little too preachy (our son told us that if we don’t fix the ozone layer we are all going to die), but I recommend this one.

I hope this is helpful for someone!


We’re just beginning the process of looking for Summer Camps for our Kindergartener.  This is just a post where I can keep track of my notes on potential programs.



This week we had a temp come into the office, so I pulled out an old Windows XP laptop for them to use.

However, it had IE 6 on it. I needed to upgrade to IE 8. Easy, right? Nope.

Windows Update wasn’t working in IE6. NO UPGRADE.
The download link on the IE8 web page clicked to a download, but nothing downloaded – guess it didn’t support IE6 either. NO UPGRADE

I clicked around forever with no success. Maybe 30 minutes. Then I installed a security update to XP and it recommended IE7 – hallelujah! I followed that install and got IE7 working. Our apps worked and I moved on. (Ie8-less for now).

We all bitch about IE6, and while it’s a tiny percentage, Microsoft isn’t making it easy to kill off that browser. If I weren’t so motivated (and tech-saavy), we’d have another IE6 browser out there forever. Please MSFT, make it less frustrating to kill IE6, please test those flows for IE6 and get people off of it!

I’ve long known that getting into the big schools is the hardest part of the experience, but I’ve never looked at it this way:

It turns out that merely getting into Harvard is as good an indicator of future success as actually going. It turns out that being the sort of person that can invest the effort, conquer fear and/or raise the money to capture some of the elite trappings of visible success is what drives success, not the other way around.

Via: Seths Blog: Do elite trappings create success? Causation vs. correlation.

But — on the agencies spreadsheets — garbage inventory from garbage sites aggregated on garbage networks often shows a lower cost per click. Many web advertisers, even those that buy banners, treat it as a direct marketing medium.For premium media properties such as ours, this is a contest that should be avoided at all costs. Its a race to the bottom — for the lowest quality ads and the least valuable visitors.

via Why Gawker is moving beyond the blog.