The recommendation is clear: January is the worst time to travel to the Amalfi Coast.* That kind of advice didn’t stop Napoleon, so it didn’t stop me either.

Here are some observations about activities and sights from my visit, and then you can decide when (not if) you want to visit the famed Costiera Amalfitana.

On Visiting in January

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  • The coastal villages are g̶h̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶w̶n̶s̶̶̶ peaceful. Positano had two restaurants, a coffee bar, and a car mechanic open. Amalfi’s main town square was open but not much else. Even with the businesses closed, the small towns are still lovely to walk around. The lack…


Hikers descending down a dusty volcanic trail
Hikers descending down a dusty volcanic trail

Are we really thinking of the future?

The ID Problem

Business and Innovation Leaders are often asked during interviews or panels, “What’s your long-term plan?” The response usually involves forward-thinking of, say, five to twenty years. But what about 50? What about 500?

One upcoming shortcoming that captures the imagination is the problem with unique identification tokens. These tokens are commonplace in the world of data, and they are used to single out a particular record. For example, Facebook associates a number with each post. Here’s one: 10211035557083058.

That identification number (ID) must be unique so that every time you do some action with a post, Facebook knows which post…


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And what to photograph.

Biking around an entire country seems out of the realm of possibilities to someone living in the USA. Riding around just my home state of California would be treacherous. But other countries are not like America: some are smaller, some flatter, and some are even islands.

Compared to California, Taiwan is one-tenth the size, has half as many people, and contains approximately the same number of Din Tai Fung locations. I spent two weeks in Taiwan, mostly biking around the country, and, unlike my last trip, this time I went with a group. …


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The South Island, known as “SouthI” (South-eye) to nobody, is a beautiful, majestic place on this planet. I recently took a two week holiday to travel the island, first by bike, then by foot and car.

A week of biking down the West Coast on a mix of specialized bike trails and the “Glacier Highway” eventually landed me in Queenstown. After a brief, obligatory trip to Milford Sound, I headed back up to Christchurch via car, stopping for terrific hikes in Wanaka and Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. Here are some thoughts about biking, hiking, and shooting photography on the SouthI.

On Biking

Alex Rich

Professional Engineer, Unprofessional Everything-Else

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