Its behind you! The bear hunt through
the giant sequoia trees in Yosemite national park was unsuccessful (thankfully).
Coburns in California
The Great American Adventure is underway. We packed up
and moved to the US in August, renting a house in the Oakland Hills overlooking the San
Francisco bay. Californias looking good so far - but where are all the bears?
|So begins our stay in the San Francisco Bay Area, for the next
couple of years. Alice and Henry are enrolled at Bentley School in Oakland. Helen is a
Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. Andrew is Chief
Knowledge Architect (no, really!) at Risk Management Solutions Inc., whose
headquarters are in Newark, just down the freeway. .
The house has great views across the Bay. The sunsets are spectacular. And, if
you have a big telescope and it's not too foggy, you can see distant San Francisco city
and the Golden Gate Bridge. Honestly...
American home, Japanese car, British wife.
How thrillingly exotic - the garden has a lemon tree! Walnuts! Grapefruit too!
We are surrounded by big trees and wildlife. So far we have spotted humming
birds, blue jays and turkey vultures - and we have seen a deer trot across the road.
|But despite a determined expedition and close examination of loads
of poo in the woods we still havent found a continent bear.
Weve got mirrors on the ceiling and pink champagne on ice... Come and
Pilgrims, a turkey and some native Americans -
our first Thanksgiving.
Bumps Party 2002
The sun shone and the entertainment was pure magic.
For the first month in US we assumed the identities of the Schatz/Peele family
of Novato. We took over their place - north of the Golden Gate Bridge - while Mark, Amy,
Gracie and Bennett stayed at our house in Cambridge.
We fooled everyone except Georgio, the cat - it took a kings ransom in
sardines to win him over. .
Uncle Nick Coburn and all
The British are coming!
'You must come and see us', we said. And they did.
A whole gang of us whooped around San Francisco having fun and embarassing
Harley rumble - Nick and niece
Uncle Nick thoughtfully hired the noisiest motorcycle he could find to drive us
all round California, then went kinda poetical on us: .
Ode to a Hog (extract)
Harley roaring to the pool,
Sun beating down but I feel cool,
Tiny hands: "You hold on tight",
Down Hangar Lane we'll hang-a right...
|The Bumps party at Ditton Corner saw bright sunshine and oars
glinting in the water. Great hats abounded again. .
We witnessed Francis Fawcett - the son of William and Di - getting his oar. His
boat caught and bumped the boat ahead on all four days of racing, so Francis gets to take
his oar home. His proud parents now need to build a new extension to house it.
year we will be having the party again, returning to Ditton Corner to host it. .
it on your calendar now.
Coburn and Mulligan
Bumps & Carnage Party
Saturday 14 June 2003
Ditton Corner, Fen Ditton, Cambridge
Big Teeth and Strong Stomachs
Touristy stuff culminated in a great day out to the Six Flags Marine World.
Amazing to see the white tigers romping in the water tanks, splashing the audience. Who
said cats don't like water? Then there were the sharks... .
...and the rides.
See you in the Med
Once we'd got the educational stuff out of the way we could get on with the real
business of the park - hanging upside down from thin monorails. .
Wickedest of all was the Medusa. A mile of corkscrewing track that has you
screaming for four minutes. And guess who went on it?
Carbon Emission Trading
project at Berkeley
Helen is spending the next year as a Visiting Scholar at the University of
California at Berkeley - that's across the bay from San Francisco, on a beautiful campus
with views to die for. Still known by many as Beserkeley, the campus is dedicated to
preserving its sixties reputation as the bastion of free speech and inexpensive herbal
Her research topic is Carbon emission permit trading in the international
marketplace: implications for the built environment. This area is coming to the
forefront as a great way for developed countries (in Europe, for example) to meet their
promise to limit greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto protocol.
Solar City San Francisco
The USA doesn't subscribe to Kyoto - ask George Bush's friends from Dallas why
not. But California might just lead the way (as usual) in showing the rest of the US what
can be done. The Mayor of San Francisco launched a Solar City initiative to put solar
panels on key buildings. Song and dance courtesy of Ms. Bonnie Raitt. Helen was there!
Terrorism attack simulation modeling in New
Terrorism Insurance Bill Gives Boost to Risk Modeling
Since the World Trade Center attack last year Risk Management
Solutions has been helping its clients manage terrorism risk. In November 2002 a Federal
Bill was passed providing a US Government backstop for insured losses - and making
terrorism exclusion clauses invalid in commercial insurance policies. .
World Class Expertise
This has ensured a surge of interest in RMS capabilities of modeling terrorism
attacks. Dr. Coburn has continued to help pioneer the analytical approaches. This has
entailed working with some of the worlds leading experts on Al Qaeda, from the
renowned Centre for Terrorism Studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
It also meant working with RAND, the eminent
government advisory think-tank, which lead to an invitation from RAND to RMS to form a
joint new study center on terrorism risk.
Seminar in New York to launch RMS terrorism
Publication of the Second Edition
Coburn & Spence completed the second edition of Earthquake
Protection. The launch party was held at the London Barbican in September at a major
conference on earthquake engineering.
|Since the publication of the first edition ten years ago, there
have been 110 lethal earthquakes, killing 130,000 people. But there have also been major
advances in the field of earthquake risk management - including the development of the
catastrophe modeling industry. The second edition incorporated a major update and
financial modeling chapter. Professor Haresh Shah provided the foreword.
A.W. Coburn, R.J.S. Spence
John Wiley & Sons
Available from www.wiley.com
SPORT : QUIZ : WEATHER
The names Bonds... Barry Bonds.
Giants Go Nearly All The Way, Urged On By New Fan
Base, But Stumble At Top Of Ninth In World Series Final*
(*Parody of American sports newspaper headline).
Brit support proved decisive in getting the Giants into the World Series. We
cheered on the ace hitter Barry Bonds as he powered his 599th and 613th homers at the
fabulous PacBell Park in San Francisco. But our shouting at the TV proved insufficient to
get them to win the World Series against another Californian team. Baseball
fact: The Interplanetary playoffs involve teams from as far away as New York.
Henry (the 8) is learning karate and how to say worder instead of water, and
skedyule instead of shedyouall.
U.S. Geological Survey says one's due soon
Here in California we dont need weather forecasts
(Today will be fine - again...) instead we have earthquake reports. We live
smack on top of the Hayward Fault - a probability of 70% of a magnitude 6.7 in the next 30
years. Recent weeks have seen an exciting small earthquake cluster in San Ramon, perhaps
the precursor to a monster rumble. Andrews keeping his fingers crossed (for a big
Alice (11) has just completed her first trimester of Blues
Harmonica. Shes into stonecarving, sculpting a baboons head for her first
project. At least she started at the right end of the baboon...
Mr Hershey Hershcopf, model
Spot the Difference
Humber bridge, Hull, UK, April
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, US,
a): 3°C in Hull, 30°C in S.F.
b): Grandma Edna wouldnt be seen dead in Hull
c): the fog on the Humber lasts all winter; the fog on the Golden Gate lasts all
Cheshire Cat Productions 2002