An app isn’t an answer for everything in health

Who comes up with nonsense like “Doctors see kids coming into the office playing Mom’s iPad or Mom’s iPhone and they realize this could be an effective channel that they didn’t have before.”? Definitely not Pediatricians!!

Pediatricians of America are WARNING parents about the dangers of tablets and digital screens for their development. Sources:

Isn’t it the parents responsibility to educate their child on asthma vs outsourcing this to an unproven device w/ app that will only hurt their development?

Furthermore, “parental education” on asthma is far more fruitful. A educated (and motivated) parent can try to help turn their child’s asthma around vs leaving their kid to a life inhaling SABA drugs. This parental education could be as simple as informing them of Immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help their immune system learn to cope with the allergens that cause asthma.. to connecting them with qualified doctors to start & monitor progress.

The stupidity of “use a ipad/iphone device for everything to solve health problems” has lead to sleep problems. You should NEVER use a back lit device at least 1 hour before sleep. Otherwise you will not sleep. This is NOT new research. Old info people seem to have forgotten that “light stops the release of melatonin into your blood by the Pineal gland”.

EDUCATION is so important because with all the tech people seem to have forgotten that:

1. Exercise – you will sleep deeper after a good workout or an exciting sports match which may include a bow case. But instead we sit in front of a computer all day.

2. Get sunlight during the day – Vitamin D + LUX is important in making sure your brain knows what is day and night. But instead we watch TV and sit in front of computers all day lol

3. At night DO NOT use any back lit devices at least 1 hr before bed. They stimulate your brain to stop production of Melatonin. Natural chemical that put you to sleep when it is dark. But instead what do we do? lol

4. Go to bed same time each day and wake up same time. Do not use an alarm clock. Use an app to wake you up in REM sleep. 99c app (Sleep Cycle) – cheap as chips. I have compared this app to dedicated sleep devices on the market and quiet frankly with 2-3% difference I prefer the app than paying few hundred dollars for a device that performs “slightly” better. Just don’t forget to put your phone into airplane mode to preserve battery life. Spin the reels with สล็อตออนไลน์ UFABET online slots and enjoy a thrilling array of games with high-quality graphics and big win potential.

5. It takes time to build this habit. In a world where there’s a “pill to solve everything instantly,” some might opt to spend hundreds of dollars on pills to solve sleep problems. Alternatively, you could pursue natural, old-school techniques like establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a conducive sleep environment, and managing stress effectively. With dedication and persistence, you can cultivate the habit of good sleep without relying on quick fixes. Similarly, in the realm of fitness, individuals often seek quick solutions. However, investing in practices like group fitness and bootcamp certification can lead to long-lasting results and overall wellness.

Joe Rogan Experience #1391- Tulsi Gabbard & Jocko Willink

Tulsi Gabbard, Jocko Willink and Joe Rogan discuss US politics. And it was an awesome debate! Finally a politics discussion without malevolence.

These hyperpartisan times we live in are tearing at the fabric of humanity; dilating people’s egos to avert pattern changes, and dividing some over ludicrous issues. Let’s not forget that media is the cheerleader of these conflicts because conflict is good for ratings! We are better than that.

Few take away snippets

The gov is not a great solution to most of our problems. The solutions are balanced.

Jocko Willink

Everything is broken down into little sound bites. You are either pro this or against that.

Jocko Willink

It’s like if you believe yes and I believe no then I will attack you. Who cares about Political belief alignment when we can have so many things in common (surfing, training martial arts etc…) and still hang out.

Jocko Willink

Our ego pins ourselves into a corner. We should be looking at other people’s perspectives to understand where they are coming from.

Jocko Willink

Every News story that comes out is… “THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD!”

Jocko Willink

America is stronger than one man!

Jocko Willink

We think that some news event that we can fully understand in an hour or a tweet. We need to let these things develop and see where the actual long term effects are. We can’t be snapping judgement and making split decisions when we need to assess what’s really going on. The press is just snap decisions, snap decisions.. very comical.

Jocko Willink

Media are the cheerleaders of these conflicts because conflict is good for ratings!

Jocko Willink

Tulsi Gabbard is a 2020 Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party and is currently serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013.

Jocko Willink is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, author of the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he is a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach. His new book “Leadership Strategies and Tactics” will be available in January 2020.

The Great Pumpkin: Silicon Valley’s Best Pumpkin Patch

The month leading up to Halloween (31 October) becomes a Pumpkin fest full of festivities with empty spaces and farms turning into pumpkin patches for all ages.

It’s no secret Americans sure love celebrating Halloween. You don’t even have to check the calendar. At the first public appearance of a pumpkin looking at you outside someone’s (home: pumpkin houses) or at the local supermarket (Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market etc) you will instantly be reminded it’s October and Halloween is near.

If you have kids then this will be a busy time for you. From scary pumpkins to (ghosts: link to fake ghost house) to dress ups to pumpkin patches. Your month as a parent is set. And best part is you’ll enjoy it with them. Especially the pumpkin patches.

There are a ton of pumpkin patches you can visit. The city ones are often found on the El Camino highway in the form of a pop up venue. They are ok. Smallish but convenient to drop by to choose a big pumpkin for d-day. The pumpkin patches located on a farm just shy of the Silicon Valley boundaries are gold!

Enter the Spina Farm Pumpkin Patch

Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch is located in beautiful Coyote Valley at the corner of Santa Teresa Boulevard and Bailey Avenue. It features tractor rides through the corn fields, mini train rides for kiddos, Area 51 corn maze with pumpkin blasters (pumpkin loaded bazookas), live music and of course thousands of pumpkins all shapes and sizes. You pickup a barrel, and go for your life picking the crop of the lot. At checkout don’t forget to grab yourself a soft juicy pumpkin bread.. leave some for me 😉

I’ll let the photos do all the talking but as a final note why I love thus place. It feels authentic— like a real farm away from all the chaos of Silicon Valley. Just shat the doctor ordered lol. The freshness is in everything you see and smell. Like busing a forest.

Photos from our visit there few days ago

What’s your favorite Pumpkin Patch in and around Silicon Valley?

Videos from re:MARS

I had a blast in Last Vegas at Amazon’s re:MARS Conference for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space. Below are some of the videos I recorded from the event. Hope you enjoy them!

Thank you Amazon for inviting Team Veryfi (my company) to attend this wonderful event! We had a blast, learnt a lot and rubbed shoulders with many smart folks.

Now onto the videos!

New Shepard (Blue Origin) Space Capsule Experience at #reMARS

Robert Downey Jr. at Amazon’s #reMARS in Las Vegas

Robert Downey Jr. appeared at Amazon’s re:MARS artificial intelligence conference in Las Vegas to entertain the crowd of engineers and scientist and make an awesome announcement. Robert, in true Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) fashion, announced Footprint Coalition to Clean Up the World With Advanced Tech.

Jeff Bezos Keynote Fireside Chat at #reMARS with Jenny Freshwater

Jeff Bezos and Jenny Freshwater (Amazon’s Director of Forecasting) speak on stage on June 6, 2019 at re:MARS conference for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space ran in Las Vegas (California).

New Drone from Amazon Launch at #reMARS

Unveiled at reMARS in Las Vegas (California), an Amazon conference for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space.

The NEW Amazon Prime drone with hybrid architecture to fly like a plane and hover like a traditional drone with propellers. Amazon Prime delivery on auto-pilot at light speed anywhere in the world (give or take ;-))

Boston Dynamics CEO demo’s Spot at #reMARS

Video recorded at reMARS Amazon’s conference for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space ran in Las Vegas (California). Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert showcasing Spot, its first commercial robot.


Spot is a small four-legged robot that comfortably fits in an office or home. It weighs 25 kg (30 kg if you include the arm). Spot is all-electric and can go for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. Spot is the quietest robot we have built.

Spot inherits all of the mobility of its bigger brother, Spot Classic, while adding the ability to pick up and handle objects using its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and beefed up perception sensors. The sensor suite includes stereo cameras, depth cameras, an IMU, and position/force sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.

More about Spot:

How Amazon Go AI sees customers engaging in store

Video from reMARS keynote explaining the challenges of computer vision at Amazon’s Go self checkout stores.

And finally we ended the week long conference with a big part put on by amazon at the Las Vegas Speedway.

Furrion Exo-Bionics Mech pulling Engine 3 Fire Truck at Amazon’s #reMARS in Las Vegas

This mech is powered by a human and his hands and legs. Strong enough to pull a Fire Engine! Engine #3 from Las Vegas Fire Department. Love it

Learn more about this mech:

About Veryfi

Veryfi is automating bookkeeping, starting with automation of time & materials for architecture, engineering & construction (AEC) workforce. We help businesses of all sizes to get access to Veryfi’s intelligent and secure mobile apps to:

  • automate statutory tax obligations (recording of financial transactions, labelling & categorization),
  • improve job costing and
  • empower financial prosperity through business intelligence.

Learn more:

A roundabout with a stop sign? Confused? So was this Cute Google Self-Driving Car. Enjoy this video!

Mountain View, California. The heart of Silicon Valley. Where in our local streets, you can actually find roundabouts. Yes the type you see everywhere in Australia and UK. Not the norm for US. But, something is difference. The Roundabouts here also have a Stop sign. Yes, the traditional stop sign you see at just about every street in the USA. Now we know a roundabout’s purpose is to keep traffic moving while a stop sign’s is to stop traffic. The 2 together are counter intuitive right? Even for a Google Self-Driving Car, bu tof course even self driving cars might need the service.

Now what would happen when you have a roundabout and you must give way to your left? Confused? Me too. Even for the new 100% automated robots cruising the local streets of Mountain View. Those cute bubble Google Self-Driving Cars. These cute self-driving vehicles with car wraps have been around Mountain View for the past few months. They are the future of transportation. An awe of inspiration to see. A Borg like intelligence, developed by mankind up the road at Google HQ, is making autonomous decisions in transporting humans. This is the pinnacle of human innovation! They are still in closed Beta mode. Carry max 2 people. One day I hope to get an opportunity to order a lift from my smartphone. If you sustained serious injuries because of other driver’s reckless driving, a personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for your medical bills.

So back to the roundabout and stop sign issue. We know the scene. We know the car. Now check out the video my wife recorded of this Google self driving car getting confused as it pulls up to such a roundabout with a stop sign. PS. I did some edits to the video to add character in good spirit. Enjoy!

Here is a simple review of Zemotor for Sale and a look at whether or not this is actually a legitimate business opportunity.

Bay Area Bike Share: a new regional transit system

Bay Area Bike Share bike sharing system has arrived in San Francisco and the South Bay Area and I’m loving it! Ready to ride?

Bike Area Bike Share is in the business of sharing economy. Centered around a human-powered transport we all take for granted, your average pedal bike (bicycle). Bikes are not new but the execution here of Bay Area Bike Share program is. It can potentially disrupt (and with time eliminate) polluting transport machines like Muni, Taxi and Bart.

Let’s face it, human-powered bikes are a great innovation and will never be replaced. In almost every European country, bikes are outselling new cars. That tells you something about the change occurring around us. Ride a bike!

How Bay Area Bike Share works

You pay $88 for an annual membership and get a digital key to unlock any Bay Area Bike Share bike. When one is available. I will get to that later too. The catch is you have to return the bike into any Bike Area Bike Share dock within 30 minutes or end up paying overtime fees ($4 at the time of writing this). Beware, This is advertised as “30 minute free” or as I like to call it, exercise motivator.

So your annual membership is the right to access to the bike network. As soon as you undock a bike you have 30 mins to get your ass from A to B fast so you don’t pay the overtime fee. This doesn’t stop you from dropping your bike off at another docking station and re-docking it again. I am sure this 30 mins time limit also keeps the bikes circulating, which helps with availability.

The Bay Area Bike Share stations are situated in SF’s Soho & Financial district and also at popular suburbs in the South Bay Area like Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Jose etc.. and growing. So your transport needs are sorted.

I highly encourage you to download the Bike Area Bike app to see where the docking stations are in relation to you, bike availability and free docks to return your bike into. I recently switched to using the Bay Area Bike app after the Cycle Finder app proved to be too unreliable. There is also an API you can tap into if you want to build your own app.

Saving of 50% from my foot commute

For me this bike system has shed my foot commute by 50%. Nearly 40 mins on a typical day. Yes I used to walk on average 15K steps a day. But replacing my walks with foot & pedal power I still get a lot of exercise in half the time. In fact I feel like I have a better work out on a bike.

I really believe that every employer whose staff travel on foot or public transport to and from work should offer this benefit. It’s a no brainer. It is a small price to pay for employee’s happiness. Yes riding a bike will make your employee happy – from the exercise which releases endorphins to less stress getting to work on time / making that Bullet Caltrain so they can be home with their family sooner. It’s an all round win. A happy employee is a productive employee.

Pros of Bay Area Bike Share program

  • Go green! “In the Bay Area, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution overall.”*
  • No need to worry about locking up your bike at a station or on the streets.
  • No need to maintain a bike. Sharing economy baby! And if your bike has problems, there is a button on the docking station you can press to notify Bay Area Bike Share maintenance people.
  • Have you seen all those bike owners on Caltrain with their bikes stacked according to town they are getting out? And then watching nervously that no one nicks their bike. Yes it is a pain and going on Caltrain with your bike is painful.
  • Exercise! Riding a bike spikes your heart rate which is great for burning fat and cardio workout. Unlike walking, jumping on a bike and paddling hard through the city is a great heart accelerator.
  • Get to places faster. Faster than Muni in San Francisco. Bikes are a great way to accelerate foot transport without the traffic component.
  • It’s dirt cheap. $88 for an annual membership is cheaper than catching public transport.

Improvement / Ideas

  • Availability. Demand vs supply. I’m starting to see the 2 x docking stations in SF Caltrain empty more frequently when I exit the train during morning peak hour. A better system for managing inventory might help here. Maybe some data scientist from Uber can help.
  • Better cycle apps. Cycle Finder app is unreliable – buggy and went offline after a buggy build made it to the iTunes store. The Bay Area Bike app is better but the API which they use must be delayed or not real-time since after getting advised that a docking station had availability I found it did not and had to haul my ass back 2 blocks to another docking station to drop the bike off.
  • Better API. Open up the API with real-time data including rider GPS location. This way any developer can go nuts creating apps which not only track their biking habits but can also build a commute scheduling system to ease the pain of availability. I can already see a nice app which integrates Moves app API with Bay Area Bike Share API. Yeah!
  • Gamification. Now who wouldn’t mind finding out they are in the top 10 for say San Francisco fastest cyclists or most miles travelled in a week. A mobile app or even a website interface which would allow rides to see their standing against all the other Bay Area Bike Share riders. Then take it a notch further and do cities i.e. LA vs SF. Now it’s getting interesting.. which city is the most healthiest based on users riding, miles travelled etc… this would create some healthy competition.

If you want to learn more about this program and sign up visit the Bay Area Bike Share website. They also have a Tumblr page here where photos of the bikes and users are posted every week.

Happy Biking!
~ Ernest

Mountain View Voice “Best of” 2013 Ballot

Mountain View Voice is once again doing their yearly “Best of” 2013 survey of local businesses powered by the people of Mountain View. The Voice is a community newspaper published every Friday and available inside few of the local Mountain View businesses. Also online here:

The “Best of” 2013 voting page is located here: and all votes need to be submitted by July 7, 2013.

This ballot sparked an internal review of the places my wife and I love in Mountain View. After casting my vote I thought I should also throw it up here to help any newbies to Mountain View. Not just what place but also why so you can understand deeper why these places rock.

The Best of Mountain View, 2013

Zagat (Google’s) score

I have included  Zagat (Google’s) score for each place inc a link to their Google Profile so you can read the reviews and make up your own mind. “The ratings are on a 30-point scale, made up of ratings for defined areas including food, decor, service, and cost. (30 is the highest rating on the scale and 1 is the lowest)” wiki

Using the categories featured in The Voice Ballot, here are my favorite in no particular order. Note that most of these places are on Castro Street or in one of the side streets from Castro Street. Castro Street is basically downtown Mountain View.


Address: 201 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 8:00 am–11:00 pm Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

I blogged about Red Rock in the past on The Road to Silicon Valley. 3 years later and I am still a regular at Red Rock. In my opinion, this is the best place for coffee. From great service to the quality & consistency in coffee and immediately drinkable. Think about that one for a second. How many coffee places can you think of which serve coffee that is immediately drinkable? A good coffee is part beans (materials) and part preparation. Most places over heat during preparation thus killing the taste. Red Rock always makes it perfectly good and ready to drink without burning your tongue.


Address: 938 Villa St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 5:30 pm–9:30 pm Google Plus / Zagat 24/30

Fine dining at it’s best and it has 1 Michelin star on it’s shoulders. Serves French and California cuisine in a converted Victorian house. The restaurant is laid out across multiple rooms inside the converted Victorian house giving it a very posh feel. The food is outstanding. We had their 7 coarse meal with wine pairing and walked away with our bellies full. Well satisfied with the service, quality & presentation of the food. But expect to pay a bit ($500-$700 for 2) for such fine dining.


Address: 174 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 12:00 pm–3:30 pm, 4:30 pm–10:30 pm Google Plus / Zagat 22/30

My favorite Thai place. Also the only place where I get the same meal over and over and over again because it is outstanding and consistent in taste. Sweet & sour chicken with white rice. There aren’t many Thai places which make this meal as consistent and good tasting as Amarin Thai. For take away / “to go”, the meals are prepared really fast (under 10 mins) and they wont break your piggy bank at $10 to $15 per meal.


Address: 1051 E Main St, Tustin, CA 92780
Hours: For lunch and dinner after 5pm except Sunday Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

Every since being introduced to this place 4 years ago I have been hooked. The sushi is outstanding. I mean outstanding. If you are a fan of sushi you will know what good fresh quality sushi tastes like. This place has it. And their popularity for good sushi is seen when you go and dine in. The lines of people outside are a dead give away of the high demand. This is the place for sushi in Mountain View at a very good price. I am a fan of their dinner combination special – teriyaki salmon, salad, sashimi (salmon & tuna), rice and miso soup all for $18.


Address: 180 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Lunch & Dinner weekdays and most hours on Weekends Google Plus / Zagat 20/30

If you are after a light dinner meal for a reasonable price (around $20 per head) which is also healthy then this is the place for you. Order the Koby lean beef plate which comes with a side of greens. You basically cook it all yourself in a hot-pot. Tastes great and is also a great experience. No reservations so get there early so you can get a table without waiting. Otherwise this place fills up pretty fast.

BEST GYM – 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport

Address: 2535 California Street Mountain View, CA 94040
Hours: 24 hours 7 days a week

This is nearly identical to Fitness First in Australia but much larger with more amenities. I think this may be where the idea for Fitness First came from 😉 As the name suggest this is a 24 hour gym. So you can go there anytime. I have trained as late as 2am before and it’s pretty damn quiet. This gym is usually packed before 8pm with a sweet time being 9pm (if you code you know this time is ok). After a good workout there is a pool, steam room, sauna and spa available to relax in. I find the steam room to be great after a good weights session. The only down side is that the steam room turns off after midnight.


Address: 2235 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043
Hours: 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday only Google Plus / Zagat 28/30

This is the BEST car shop I have ever had the pleasure dealing with. Most car mechanics are known for ripping customers off with phony car issues especially when a woman brings the car. Gary & Chris (owners) are the exception and are superb lads! I am comfortable sending my wife with the car to get it serviced there knowing she will be looked after and not ripped off. Everything is explained to detail so you know what needs fixing or servicing. The communication & trust here is the key to an amazing customer service from The Car Doctor.


Address: 241B Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 11pm 7 days a week
Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

I am addicted to this place. Their Gelatos are simply outstanding! My favorite is Tiramisu and it even has small bread/biscuits inside it. From the warm “welcome” of the owner to the yummy Gelatos, this is the place for Ice Cream in Mountain View. Actually I am yet to find a better ice cream shop outside Mountain View. The lines in the evening can get overwhelming spilling outside the shop down to the businesses next door. Sometimes the wait can be as long as 30 minutes but it is damn worth it! Get the medium size cup coz the small is not enough and you will be left wanting more!

BEST PIZZA – Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Address: 790 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 10pm Weekdays and till 11pm Weekends Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

I have been having a damn hard time finding a great pizza place in Silicon Valley. Most places suck when compared to the many great pizza places in Sydney, Australia. What is going on?? Tell me if you have found a kickass pizza place in the valley. Now Amici’s is the best in Mountain View. Their thin crust pizzas are easy on the belly (no dough to bloat you up) and tastes great, especially their Amici’s Combo (my fav). Price ($30 for large) is a tad above what I’d like to pay but ok to pay every now and then.

BEST BOOKSTORE – East-West Bookshop

Address: 324 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 10pm Weekdays and till 11pm/8pm Weekends Google Plus / Zagat 22/30

This is a place of Zen. From the vast array of books on topics of the mind to self-help to meditation to yoga to meditation bowls (metal & crystal). This place will make you feel at peace. If I ever need to calm my mind down I walk into this shop and the good energy here works wonders. There is also a large man-made water feature where you can sit in front and read a book. Every week you will also find all sort of spiritual folks running events in the back room.

Some fun inside East-West Bookshop with the Meditation Bowl

Napa Valley: The World Famous Wine Growing Region.. L’chaim!

Napa Valley, the world famous wine growing region of California is a must for any wine enthusiast. Located only an hour north of San Francisco and 2 hours from South Bay, Napa Valley is a pleasant all day experience. Located in Napa Country, it rose to the first rank of wine regions with France by local winery Chateau Montelena winning the “Judgment of Paris” in 1976. The movie Bottle Shock documents the story in a comedy-drama when California defeated French wine in a blind taste test. Great movie to watch to get into the spirit of Napa Valley.

There are so many wineries to visit for wine tasting that you will not have the time in a single day or even a weekend to visit and experience all. It is something you should do over the course of few months while you work out of Silicon Valley. Wine tastings range from 20-30 USD and you get to try up to 5 wines pending on the winery. It is worth upgrading your tasting to the premium/reserve (you have to ask) so you get to try the top end limited edition wines for additional 10-15 USD.

My favorite wineries in Napa Valley for enjoying wines

Before digging into my favorite wineries, something to keep in mind. Wines change year to year. So what was/is great for me when I went there might not be in few years time. You remember how there are great years and bad years in wines. Keep that in mind. Here is a list of all the wineries in Napa Valley –

Click for larger view

Take note of closing hours. The most important  Once you get into the groove and start enjoying your time in the wine country time will fly. You do not want to arrive at a vineyard only to find out it is closed/closing for the day.

1. Silver Oak Cellars

The best Californian Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tried hands down. There is only 1 wine tasting package and it includes wines as old as 8 years and over 100 USD per bottle.

We picked up a 12-year-old Cab here because it tasted sooooo good. Also the price reflected its vintage. If you love your cabs you will fall in love with Silver Oak wines.

Address: 915 Oakville Crossroad, Oakville, CA 94562
Closes: 5:00 pm

Main entrance to Silver Oak

2. Beaulieu Vineyard

Their premium/limited edition are wines are superb. If you go there ask for the “premium wine tasting” not the standard. You won’t be disappointed.

Address: 1960 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573
Closes: 5pm

My favorite wineries in Napa Valley for the environment / history

3. Chateau Montelena Winery

Chateau Montelena is where it all started for Napa Valley. This is where history was made when they won the “Judgment of Paris” in 1976 putting California on the map as a place of great wineries in the world. Also the architecture of this place is stunning.


2. Sterling Vineyards

Sterling Vineyards is an experience in itself. You get whisked by a Gondola lift up the mountain to Sterling’s wine processing plant. You do a self walk tour through the buildings stopping over at wine stations for a taste of different wines each time. You can choose the standard wine tasting (5 wines) or add the premium to it which includes an additional 3.

The only down side is that if you do not want to drink you still have to pay for the standard wine tasting experience since transport in the Gondola lift is included in the price.

Closes: 4:30 weekdays & 5:00 pm weekends

1. Silver Oak Cellars

As mentioned above, not only do they have great Cabs but there is something about this place which feels good to be inside, the atmosphere.

Where to eat in Napa Valley

  • Gott’s Roadside – Outdoor Burger & Beer. Not far from BV (Beaulieu Vineyard) and opposite to Merryvale Vineyards. 1207 Foothill Boulevard, Calistoga.
  • Buster’s Southern BBQ – You will smell it before you see it. The Tri-Tip Sandwich is their signature dish and really good. Watch out for the dude cooking BBQ outside and the Harleys parked around a shack. 933 Main Street, St. Helena.
  • Bouchon Bistro – A lot more upmarket than the 2 above. You need to book ahead but the food is great. It is the sister restaurant to the world-famous French Laundry (located few houses up the road). Their bakery next door is also great for macaroons. 6534 Washington St, Yountville.

Buster’s Southern BBQ’s Tri-Tip Sandwich

If your intent for the trip to Napa Valley is wine tasting than aim to eat at the 1st two above so you don’t burn wine tasting time. Maximise your time for wine tasting since most vineyards close at 5pm (that’s before the sun sets in summer). Otherwise if you want a romantic get away in the wine country and are staying locally there for the weekend than Bouchon or French Laundry is a good bet and plan to spend around 2-3 hours there pending on what you eat.

Before you head out to Napa Valley

Prepare for your trip

  1. Watch Bottle Shock to get into the spirit of Napa Valley and get some history lessons.
  2. Plan your route – plan to visit 3-4 wineries.
  3. Take plenty of water to drink after each winery visit. Otherwise you will dehydrate from the grog and get a headache spoiling the day.
  4. Plan your vineyard visits using so you can plan the route in an efficient manner.
  5. Read below how to save yourself money!

Buying wines – save yourself money

Before you jump and buy a bottle or case of a wine you like, google it. You may find it cheaper. far cheaper, to buy it online. Hey the winery still gets their profits from the sale via these channels but you also get to save a lot of money.

I saved 40% buying Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 07 from (note I have no affiliation with them). Also bought the The French Laundry Cookbook for 50% less from Amazon than at one of the popular wineries (no names mentioned) where it 1st caught my eye.

Happy Wine Tasting!

~ Ernest

Silicon Valley Transportation: Caltrain issues & shitty drivers

The good’ol topic of Transport. It’s going to be nearly 4 years since I have been in the valley. This has given me more than enough time to experience both forms of transport – train & road. Out of all the normal craziness that happens on road and track, 2 stand out like sore thumbs. And to newbies to the valley these 2 will most likely hang around like a bad smell. The 2 in question are Caltrain’s gallery trailer “rattlers” and the swarm of inconsiderate car drivers on the road.

The former will no doubt be fixed in the next few years when the “gallery trailers” are replaced with the new bombardier line; but the latter might take more time and maybe when the US Government invests in replacing human drivers with Google’s driverless cars. A machine will certainly be a better solution and improve road safety and reduce road rage. Let me expand with some tips on managing this.

Caltrain rattlers (gallery trailer)

I call the Caltrain “gallery trailer” fleet “rattlers”; because they will shake your body like a rattler snake shakes it’s tail. This gets annoying very fast when you spend long commutes and want to utilise your time on the train to do some computer work. You are literally bouncing in your seat, losing focus constantly, especially during express hour when the train is at its max speed. The gallery trailer is a disaster waiting to happen.

Oh and boy are they loud inside. I recommend you wear ear plugs to stop long term drum damage.

Loud! – wear ear plugs to protect your ears and bring some sanity back.

A bit about the network. The San Francisco Peninsula Commuter Corridor consists of double track CTC main line which runs between San Francisco and San Jose. A 47.5 mile track. And there is only 2 of them – one for each way; making “the action” known as hot and heavy especially during commute times. The JPB runs upwards of 96 commuter trains on Weekdays, with as little as 10 minutes separation between trains at peak commute hour.

There are two types of Caltrain trainsets

Gallery TRAILER (older silver) Bombardier BiLevel coaches (newer)
22 Gallery Trailer (Nippon Sharyo)
6 Bombardier (Bi-Level)

More here on the commute fleets:

So what to do?

1. Catch only the Bombardier BiLevel coaches (above pic on the right). They are far far better in ride quality. It’s like riding on a cushion of air at any speed. You can get your work done on these. They even have power outlets for your computer. You can also check out Quora for Caltrain hacks on where to sit to minimize noise & improve ride quality should you end up in the gallery trailer.

Typically the Bombardier are operated as “bullet train” (minimal stops) but super fast to get up and down the valley during peek hour commutes. Outside peek hour, it is back to the rattles. So if you are getting a rattler, shifting your boarding times by few minutes could yield a Bombardier.

2. Be prepared. There is chaos on these tracks. 2 tracks up and down the valley (fail). 1 accident anywhere on this line and it brings the whole network to a halt with major delays. Consistently.

Use Twitter to Follow: @caltrain which is crowdsourced and @caltrain_news which is run by Caltrain. Often if there’s a problem on the line, you’ll know more by listening to this stream than the conductor knows!

I won’t even start on the Clipper system. That is another fail but not as bad as the gallery trailers.

Watch out for shitty drivers

So California is putting a stop to smartphone maps while driving. This extends the sms texting while driving and supposed holding your phone while driving. Half a year ago I was fined for holding my phone in my hand on speaker phone. Go figure. What I (and I am sure many people) would love to see is a crack down on the most common form of stupidity on the road. The failure to use blinkers. Inconsiderate drivers. There is a bucket load of them every single time you set out to venture on the road. I always say;

If you are good at driving than all you have to worry about is other drivers on the road.

Yes Good is a loose term, but you will know if you are good by your driving history record, how comfortable you feel behind the wheel and how well you react on the road. Btw, slow != safe. This is a daily reminder for me when I drive on the road and even more so when on foot crossing the road.

When I first arrived in the valley back in March 2009, I thought “hey drivers stop when I jay walk. So nice of them.”. Nice yes, but this is because of all the accidents and suing going on; as I soon found out from the locals. You learn about the accidents when you spend enough time on the major freeways like 101.

This is how accidents happen

Failure to use indicators. Each time I venture onto the road I come across a handful of these inconsiderate drivers. There is absolutely nothing funny about failing to use the indicator to let your fellow drivers and pedestrians know about your intentions. It is how accidents happen because an inconsiderate driver was lazy or incompetent to press that short lever to tell others on the road where they intend to go. This is how accidents happen on fast paced roads like 101. If you are ever injured in an accident, ask your doctor to prescribe cbd for pain management.

So next time you are about driving on the road pay careful attention to how many inconsiderate drivers you spot failing to use the indicator. You will be surprised  On every short driving trip I see a handful of them and on longer trips it becomes mind gobbling that so many are allowed to do this yet holding a phone to check google maps or speak to someone on speaker phone is illegal.

If you think failure to use indicators is bad, watch out for “bumping”! Really not worth owning a nice car while living in the valley. That I will leave for another post.

Stay safe peeps!

~ Ernest

Rocket Space: accelerator for high-growth seed-funded tech startups

Hidden at the edge of Soma 181 Fremont in San Francisco is a kickass community of over 100 startups working in a funky environment changing the world. This place is called Rocket Space. It is situated in Soma, as is known as the Silicon Valley of San Francisco.

Rocket Space is best described as follows:

“RocketSpace is an accelerator for high-growth, seed-funded tech startups. We provide the fuel that every startup needs to accelerate: access to top talent, tier 1 venture capital, and blue-chip brands representing millions of users. Startup. Blast off.”

Startups in Soma, San Francisco – the Silicon Valley of San Francisco

What is Rocket Space

So as mentioned above, Rocket Space is an accelerator for high-growth seed-funded tech startups. Started in 2011 today hosts around 130 hot startups in two 3 level builds – plenty of room. Rocket Space provides fuel that every startup needs to accelerate: access to top talent, tier 1 venture capital, and blue chip brands representing millions of users. More about Rocket Space here. And it is open 24×7 to members.

Unlike HackerDojo which I have blogged about in the past Rocket Space is for the next level in a startup’s life cycle. Still lean but “after” the idea has been developed into a product and a minimum viable product (MVP) launched.

I’m not delusional I’m an entrepreneur

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” ~ Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google

What I find cool about Rocket Space

  • The environment is kickass. From the decor to the energy. There is just a great vibe being there. It feels like Facebook inside but everyone is working on their own startups.
  • Let me touch on energy again. With over 100 startups here there are plenty of smart folks to hang with, learn from and collaborate. Just being around smart people changing the world is inspiring and motivating to get things done. Beats sitting at home listening to the fridge buzzing.
  • Plenty of meeting rooms scattered around the edges of the large open working space.
  • Conveniently located between Soma and the Financial District in San Francisco. Around 20 minutes walking distance from San Francisco Caltrain station.
  • Plenty of fuel (food) around Rocket Space. My favorite is the SF Soup Company since it is light and doesn’t generate any brain drain. They have great Clam Chowder. Yum!
  • Finally Rocket Space offers access to weekly community events, founder mentoring sessions, access to talent and education program called RocketSpace Academy (RSA).
  • Rocket Space and GTDfaster (my productivity app) both contain a “rocket” in the logo – I thin Rocket Space was meant to be! GTDfaster logo comes from the fact of getting stuff done fast – accelerating. Rocket Space is Startup and Blast off!

Foyer at Rocket Space space

Want to get a tour? Get in touch with Rocket Space via their online form:

A meeting room at RocketSpace

Is Rocket Space for everyone?

Nope. You must be at the right stage in your company’s life cycle to get accepted.
See the table below to see if you are at the right stage to gain the most value out of being a part of Rocket Space community.

Phase Funding Team size Space
Exploring None Founders Home / HackerDojo
Hacking that idea None Founders HackerDojo
MVP out Seed Founders Rocket Space
Scaling Series A Founders + 10 to 20 Rocket Space

Finally, if you see me at Rocket Space say GDay! I am disrupting the health industry and saving lives at via leading edge mobile technology powered by high-tech event-driven python platform. If you want to learn more about Medlert say GDay! See you around.

Top floor working space

David testing Medlert’s new Android app –

How to connect with Rocket Space

Keep your family safe today. Download the free app that with One touch calls 911 & notifies your family of an emergency.

~ Ernest