Announcing Feldy’s Death Defying, Life Affirming, Adrenaline filled week-long adventure

So here is the idea. Fill a week with the most adrenaline filled adventures that Northern California has to offer. One a day for 6 days. A SUMPTUOUS dinner every night. On day seven, spend the day at a spa where you are pampered and you can come down from the adrenaline filled week.

Here is a list of potential adventures.

Bungee jumping off a 100+ foot high bridge:
Skydiving over Sonoma County:
Hang gliding off of Stinson Beach:
WWI biplane ride with loops, rolls and inversions:

White Water Rafting the middle fork of the American River:

Hike to the top of Half Dome:

And whatever other ideas people have (these are just some of the items on my bucket list.) I would love to have at least 1 person join me on each adventure, but believe me, I WILL do them alone.

So who is with me? Join me for 1, a few, or all of the adventures. I am contemplating the 1st or 2nd week of July 2012, so I need to get going on making reservations. It is time to do the things you have said “someday” to. Someday is NOW.

email me at or comment below!

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Why are there no “B” size batteries?

Common Battery Sizes

Common Battery Sizes

Something I have been wondering about for a long time. We have “D”, “C”, “A”, “AA” and “AAA” (yes there is actually an “A” as well as “F”, “G” and “J”. But there has never been (to my recollection) a “B” size (and apparantly there is no “E”, “H” or “I” sizes either).

Is there some fundamental problem that I am unaware of, of labeling something as “B”? If there was some insinuation of lesser quality, then we would not have any of the other letters either, and would probably have an “E” size signifying excellent. And an endless stream of ever increasing multiples of “A” kind of like all those “Rent-A-<add noun here>” yellow page ads. So that can’t be it.

Battery sizes seem to follow bra cup size designations with “A” being smaller and increasing through “D”. Although I have never heard of a “AAA” cup size…

Perhaps there was a “B” size once. Maybe it just inadequate for the bigger tasks, and too much for the smaller ones. Or maybe “B” was just BAD. Who knows. its a lot to ponder.


25 Years and Counting

This week, on August 15th, SAPIEN Technologies celebrated its 25th year in business. Yes, 25 years! It is hard for me to believe sometimes that I have spent pretty close to half my lifetime doing something that I love and working with a group of people that never fails to amaze, educate, inspire and entertain me. What a ride it has been!

I have been involved in this industry since it was a toddler. I still have “fond” memories of editing files with Edlin under DOS. My first computer was an IBM PC with 2 full height 5.25″ floppy drives, 192Kb memory and a monochrome (green) monitor. My second computer was a PC’s Limited (what Dell was called before it was called Dell) 286, with a 5Mb MFM Hard disk (full height) and 2 half height 5.25″ floppy drives with 512Kb memory.

I was working on my doctorate at the time and as part of that, I was writing a bullet trajectory analysis program (for those of you that don’t know me, I have a Ph.D. in Forensic Science). I had already written one in Turbo Pascal but this new Graphical User Interface had recently been introduced by Microsoft called Windows. I used part of my research grant money to buy the Windows 1.0 SDK and taught myself C so that I could rewrite my Turbo Pascal program as a Windows application. (It’s distractions like these that caused me to take 7 years to finish my doctorate…) In the interim, I had met my first business partners and we started Group Telein on August 15, 1986. A more detailed history of SAPIEN can be found at this Wikipedia article.

But even though the technology was ever evolving and mentally stimulating, what has kept me here for so long has been the people that I have had the good fortune of meeting and who have become an important part of my life. So I want to take a moment to single out a few of those people and say “Thank you.”

First a big shout-out to Alex Riedel, my business partner since 1998, creator of PrimalScript and a great friend. It has been a great ride the last 13 years and we have created products and memories that will last beyond us.

To the current staff at SAPIEN, particularly to Margaret Pratt who has been my right (and sometimes my left) hand for many years; Maricela Soria for her amazing artistic talents; and David Corrales for his incredible programming skills as displayed in the creation of PrimalForms. And a welcome to the SAPIEN family to Robert Morey as our new Technical Sales Director.

To all of those that came before and helped form SAPIEN into the company it is today. Too many to list, but my thanks go out to all of you.

And to Paul Lamoreux and David Gaertner. You opened my eyes to a world that spoke to the analytical AND the creative sides of my personality. What can be better than that?

Thank you all for 25 years of magic!

Ferdinand G. Rios, Ph.D.
CEO, SAPIEN Technologies Inc.
August 15th, 2011

How Dry is DRY?

How Dry?

How Dry?

I was doing laundry today, moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer. Now let me state that I have one of those new-fangled washer/dryer systems that sing to you when your clothes are done. Be that as it may, its not really the topic of this post.

I noticed today (yes, I have had the dryer for 6 months and I JUST noticed today…) that the dryer has 4 settings for DRY. Now I don’t know about you, but when I put my clothes in the dryer, I really only need 1 setting… DRY. That is the point of the dryer, no? To actually DRY your clothes.

Well what I noticed is that my dryer has the following settings: Damp dry, Less Dry, Normal dry and More dry.

I can understand (only peripherally) the Damp dry setting. Perhaps people used to living in very humid climates are so used to feeling damp that they would prefer their clothes to be “Damp dry.” But really, shouldn’t it be just called Damp? A bit oxymoronic.

And WTF does Less Dry mean? Isn’t that still damp? There must be degrees of dampness to which I am oblivious. Again, I would never use the Damp setting, so less damp, or less dry is meaningless to me.

Then there is More Dry. OK. Dry is Dry, no? I mean, really, can something be more Dry than Dry? Doesn’t the very definition of the word Dry obviate the need for a setting called More Dry?

I guess I will just continue to use my new dryer in my proletarian fashion, perpetually set to the Normal Dry setting. As long as my clothes come out Dry, that’s all I really care about.

Sweden trip – day 12

This is it. Last day of travel. Went to bed at 9pm last night and woke up at 6am. A good 9 hours and already adjusted to US time zones.

Had a great breakfast of arroz con huevos and platanos maduros. Hung out all morning with mom and the girls in the air conditioned luxury of her apartment. Way too hot and humid! At about 1pm Rick and Jackie came by and we all went to eat Indian food at a place near my mom’s. Then it was off to the airport and the final leg of our adventure.

In the next or so, I will be updating this blog with more and better pictures as well as better descriptions and names of places we visited. So come back again for more. And thank you all for following our adventure!

Sweden trip – day 11

BIG travel day today. We wake up cruising through the Stockholm Archipelago and dock at about 9:30 local time. By 10:30 we are at the Arlanda express, a 200+mph train from downtown Stockholm to the airport. By 11:00 am we are at the airport drinking frapuccinos at Stockholm’s only Starbucks. Our flight leaves at 2:10 pm.

What to say about the flights? Made it safely to Iceland and then to new York with no delays. Ready to eat arroz con gandules and pollo guisado! And then go to sleep! LOL!

Sweden trip – day 10

Today is our day in Riga. Boat docks at 10 am and we are off and at ’em.

Riga has a beautiful old town parts of which date back several hundred years. We are only in Riga for about six hours, so we focus our exploration on the old town. Pretty old churches, narrow cobblestone streets interesting buildings and big plazas all add to the charm of Riga.

We cruise around street vendors selling tons of amber and other products. Eventually we get hungry and discover medieval restaurant. They serve only food that was available in the medieval times. The restaurant proper was originally a cellar for a building above but has been used for many things over the years. The first legitimate reference to the location was over 800 years ago which makes this the oldest restaurant I have even eaten in. Zenia and I have French onion soup and Maia has venison soup. The food and the accompanying bread is delicious.

After lunch more strolling around and then we head back to the boat. We will have dinner on the boat tonight.

The heat of the day has just beat me to death today. To say I am exhausted is to be kind to exhausted people the world over. Tonight I take it easy, get to bed early and hopefully recuperate and store some energy for the LONG trip tomorrow. We get into Stockholm at 10am and leave at 2pm. We arrive in NY at 7pm after flying for 11 hours.