Episode 6 – Beyond San Francisco

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Script and Show Notes:

We’ve left our harts in San Francisco.  Now it is time to continue north.  This is Road Nomad, Episode 6, Beyond San Francisco.

We begin with Wine Country.  On this particular occasion we visit the Hess Collection Vineyard in Napa Valley, a little off the beaten path, but well worth a visit, not only because of the quality of their wines but also for the beauty of the state.

Our next stop is Domaine Chandon, established in 1973 by Moet et Chandon of France, it specializes in sparkling wines.  Moving on.

We were here once before, back in 2008.

On that occasion we passed by Sonoma Valley, on our way to Napa Valley, stopping at VJB for some fantastic Chardonnay.

Next we visit the V. Sattuy Winery for a fabulous tasting.  The also have a very well supplied deli market, with a great assortment of cheeses and other stuff.  But the highlight of the trip is Sterling Vineyards, located on a hilltop.  We take the aerial tramway to the top.

From the estate the views of the valley are fantastic.

There is a very informative tour on the art and science of wine making… and did I mention the views?

Back in the present, we pass by St. Helena.

We also visit Calistoga, but it is passed 5 pm and all the wineries are closed, so we continue north.  Tonight we are sleeping in Clearlake.  In the evening we get to see see the 4th of July fireworks from the hotel.  Unfortunately all I have is the iPhone to shoot the video and, well, and some drunken companions.

We are driving around the lake.  Clear lake is the largest fresh water lake that is entirely in the state of California.  The lake is supposed to be very popular for watersports, but we haven’t seen much of that, in fact the whole area looks kind of deserted.  Wrong time of the year maybe?


The next town is called Nice… I wonder if it is pronounced Nice like its French namesake.

A little further, to the northwest we encounter smaller Lake Mendocino, which is bustling with activity.

Going back south towards Santa Rosa, and Petaluma.  Our next destination is the TWiT Brickhouse, home of the TWiT network, which stands for This Week in Tech.  It’s founder, radio host Leo Laporte, started podcasting back in 2005 from a table at the 21st Ammendment Bar in San Francisco during MacWorld.  Now broadcasting live on the Internet from his multi-million dollar studio, I’d say he’s got this online media business figured out.  He’s inspired many people to put original content online, myself included.

Let’s listen in.

I’m streaming the show on my iPhone with a few seconds of delay.  The studio was partially financed by the sale of these sponsorship bricks, which give the studio its name, the Brickhouse.  Unfortunately we have to go.  Watch Leo at twit.tv.

Going back to San Francisco there is one more thing… as the late Steve Jobs used to say.  Let’s pay a quick visit to Silicon Valley.  We visit the obvious, Google, the Hewlet and Packard Garage, the Apple Garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple and we also visit the Mother Ship itself.  The have a store where you can buy t-shirt, mugs and other stuff.  But the gem is without a doubt the Computer History Museum.  The exhibits are very extensive from the first calculator, the abacus; to the early pocket calculators, classic video games, the Altair, the Apple I, the Apple II, the original IBM PC, early digital gadgets, failed robots… so much stuff… I’m in heaven!  Last but not least:  the Babbage Difference Engine, and early mechanical calculator, designed by Charles Babbage in the 1800.  The machine couldn’t be fully built until the year 2000, and lo and behold, it worked!

We get a lengthy explanation of how this incredible machine works, so I’ll leave you with some of that although I will post a longer version, nearly uncut, so look for that if you are interested.  We are saying goodbye to California for now.  As always thank you for watching and see you on the road.

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