Every once in while life offers up some pretty amazing opportunities. This weekend was one of those for me. Jo and I were just talking about how we haven't had a chance to rest and relax lately, so this weekend was right on time. Our friend Drew pitched the idea of renting and staying at a vacation rental on a winery. So Drew and Maika, Mike and Lisa, and Jo and myself all pitched in for the estate vacation rental on the Gustafson Family Vineyards.

First of all the house was amazing. It was a perfect weekend for spending some time with some very good friends and doing so in a stunningly beautiful location. We also got to meet Drew and Maika's new baby boy Val. Also during our stay we made a new friend, Rampage, the winery dog. I'll let the photos do the rest of describing the weekend.


Well Jo will kill me for posting this but I think she looks like a rock star.  We ran the US Half Marathon in San Francisco this Sunday and the course included running across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Who could resist that on a run?  The run was beautiful and the weather was perfect.


Wow, so I have realized it's been a while since I last posted.  Well, where to start?  Jo and I spent Christmas, our anniversary, and New Years in Rome.  We spent two weeks just in Rome, no rushing around to other cities or trying to keep a schedule.  It was relaxing and honestly I fell in love with the city.  If only I could figure out how to move and live there permanently.  It was an amazing trip.  We have too many stories to tell so instead here is a link to some of our photos.

Rome Photos

Shortly after we returned from Rome I made the career move from Epicor to Teachscape.  I was at Epicor for over 9 years.  I think I stayed there too long to be honest.  I guess I was always hoping that they could turn things around but after too many missed opportunities in my opinion it was time to move on.  In a fortunate turn of events I had a recruiter contact me about a position in the city and for a great company.  Teachscape is a very nice change of pace for me and I am extremely happy with the move.  I am working with great technology and looking forward to being a valued member of the development team.

The job change comes with a huge change in lifestyle.  I no longer commute via BART to the east bay and Jo and I walk to work together in the mornings and home in the evenings pretty much every day.  We never have to touch a vehicle of any kind.  We stop at the Starbucks right in front of the gate to China Town on our way into work.  It's down right civilized.  Working and living in the city makes me feel like I am truly a resident of San Francisco now that I don't have to commute out during the week.

Well there's been a lot more to write about but I'll have to save more for other posts.



So, I made the switch to a double edge razor in 2009.  After some research I started with a Merkur Futur 4 Piece Shaving Set that I bought from Amzon.com.  I really appreciated the shaving experience from the start as compared to a disposable razor or even some of the more expensive multi blade plastic razors out there.  Not only was the shave better but it just seemed a "classy" way to shave as well.  I'm usually all about new technology but sometimes I think old school ways can be better and shaving is definitely one of those.

So I recently ran across a new razor on the Yanko Design site.

The Safety Razor, Redesigned

Here is the Standard Razor web site if you are interested.


I really like the minimalist design of both of these razors and they do look quite similar.  My Merkur Futur razor is shown below.

My new Standard Razor is Shown below.

Here are both for comparison.

My Merkur Futur razor is made in Germany and is made of zamak (a zinc alloy) with a chrome plated satin finish.  It has some heft to it when you shave.  It sort of has a quality feel though.  The Futur also has adjustable blade settings but I didn't really adjust it much.  Also the Futur has a metal clasp in the head that snaps the blade holder on.  I wondered about how this would wear over time but so far it has held firm with no problems.  Also I read reviews about the razor prior to buying it and others complained that the smooth handle would slip while they shaved but I never had any issues with it slipping.

The Standard Razor is made here in US and the design is similar to the Futur.  The Standard Razor is made from aluminum and that makes it quite a bit lighter than the Futur.  Also the head and blade holder screw onto the handle.  I've used the Standard Razor a few times now and I am very impressed.  I hate to say it but it may just replace the Futur for my day to day use.  It's light and the head is shaped better for shaving tough to reach places like just under your nose.  The Futur's head is rounded at the corners so the blade is inset a bit so that makes it tough to shave in tight places.

One other difference is that the Standard Razor came with an Astra Superior Premium Platinum double edge razor blade.  I have been using Merkur blades and I'm not sure but I think the Astra blades give a much smoother shave that is very, very comfortable to my skin.  I think I'm going to switch to these blades as well.   I guess it pays to experiment a bit since I have been shaving for several years with the same blades and didn't realize how much difference another type of blade could make.

All in all I am super impressed with the Standard Razor.  I even bought the black anodized version for my wife who was using disposable razors.  She seems to be very pleased as well.


Well, Jo and I had a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year. We have both been quite busy and we felt that we needed the time off to recharge and relax. So far it has been exactly what we hoped for. I hope the family understands our desire to have a low key Thanksgiving. I hope everyone else had a great one as well.



So my new software development blog, GrafCode.net is up and running.


I'm enjoying working with WordPress as well. So I'll keep ChitiGraf.net for posts related to Jo and I and the software development posts will all be on my new blog.


So I really do not like how Blogger doesn't let you host custom HTML pages with JavaScript and CSS. As a blogging platform I find this to be quite a short coming. So I have hosting through my current DNS register and I'm also looking into WordPress as a potential new platform for Chiti-Graf.net. I'll have my new blog for my development work set up there soon at www.grafcode.net. In the meantime this is my first code project hosted on my new domain. I refactored my predator chasing prey JavaScript code. See the following link.

Predator Chasing Prey