Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daddy Daughter Day

We dropped off Delaney, then Kendall and I went to sell Girl Scout cookies, then back to the house to grab stuff, we went swimming and then to dinner. A fun day with my girl.

Tia met us for dinner and then we rented movies and are now watching "Get Smart".

Girl Scout Cookies

Once again, I'm a Girl Scout Dad, helping out selling cookies at a local grocer. We were outside with a few other moms and lots of kids, trying to sell cookies. It was cold, and Kendall wasn't thrilled, but I did manage to keep her out there for an hour and we sold a bunch.

Now it's more of a Daddy Daughter day, with Delaney on a sleepover / birthday with a friend, Kyle at a PeaceJam conference downtown and Tia riding her horse.

Up and Moving

I slept in a bit this morning, but then it's time to get going. I got up, started Delaney moving to his friends, and then went for a run. Going to be a busy day today. Delaney to a sleepover, then selling Girl Scout cookies, and hopefully finding a friend for Kendall.

Oh yeah, we also need a banana split.

For the last two weeks Kendall has been asking for a DQ (Dairy Queen) run after karate and wanting a banana split. She's never had one, and I keep putting her off since at 8:30 at night before school I don't want her to have a bunch of ice cream and sugar. The other day she asked again and so I said that we'd go after selling cookies on Saturday, and today's Saturday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cold and Snowy

After dropping the kids off at school, I came home and checked on work. Things were light, not a lot of activity, and since I'm leaving town on Sun for 4 days, and things might get busy next weekend, I decided to play a little hooky and go snowboarding.

I threw stuff in the car, checked cameras from CDOT, and then took off. I had an easy drive, stopped for coffee and a burrito in Idaho Springs so I wouldn't need lunch, and got up to Loveland. Traffic was light, and it was clear until Georgetown, but once I got past that it was snowing. Flurries, but still it was coming down and it was a cloudy, overcast day. The picture is 10am this morning when I arrived

I suited up, grabbed a ticket and went up the slopes. Almost immediately I noticed an issue with my zipper. Tia had purchased these coats from Lands End, and they're very warm, work great, but we've had zipper issues. Mine separated at the bottom, so it looked like I'd buttoned a top button and left the rest undone. I  unzipped and redid it and it seemed OK, so I went down.

It was alternately windy and not so windy, but always snowing. I noticed right away that it was tough to see bumps and shadows on the slopes, and it was a little cold, but not that bad. I needed goggles to handle the wind and snow coming down, but it wasn't a bad day.

Actually it was fun, with lots of thick powder on the slopes. It reminded me a little of Steamboat and I kept getting little puffs of snow in my front boot since I found myself in 6-12" of powder quite often. I went up the South side, moved to Lift 2, then 4, cruising all around Loveland and having a good time.

Around 12:40 my feet were a touch cold, so I decided to grab some coffee. I took stuff off, walked into the restaurant, and tried to undo my zipper. It wouldn't come, and as I was looking for a table I kept tugging on it until ...

The zipper handle snapped off.

That was fun. I actually was standing in front of the coffee machine, looking at the handle in my hand and someone had to remind me to move so they could get coffee. I moved, waited for them to finish, decided I didn't want coffee, grabbed juice and sat down. I fussed with the zipper and got the two sides of my coat apart. I saw then that the zipped on the left had actually pulled away from the coat and unraveled a bit. I tried to see if I could rig it, but I couldn't.

So I drank my juice and thought about options. I'd had 9 runs so far, and it had been a good day. I decided to do another with my jacket open. I went up the south side, rode down, things went OK, so I went up again. This time I could feel the cold, I made the mistake of trying a "new" run for the day, and wound up in a good foot of powder. After a slip and a little slide, I decided to call it a day. I boarded to the parking lot, packed up, and got home.

Not a great day, but a good one and one more time on the slopes before Feb ends.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

School Board

I went to the school board meeting tonight, at least part of it. I had the little kids, and it ran late, so we had to leave. I've never been to one, but after talking with our middle school principal about the district a little and hearing rumors that we might go to a 4 day a week schedule, I decided to attend.

When we got there, the board was sitting up there, basically having their meeting, but then inviting comments from the audience at times. Kind of surreal for me since it looked like something I've seen in movies. They have a policy to review positions that become open, in this case 3 positions that were open because of retirements upcoming. They talked about the impact of replacing the person or not, deciding to keep two people, closing one other position (district librarian).

There wasn't a lot of discussion, and not a lot of info from the board. I guess they don't have time to do too many details in these meetings, and I should read more about if before I come.

Then came one of the two big decisions that I wanted to hear about. We have an alternative high school, running on the expeditionary model that Delaney did for 2nd grade. It only has about 40 kids in it (compared to 500+ for the high school). Therefore they said it costs about $15k/student to run. Compared to about $6k/student at the high school. At first glance, in a rural district, you'd say "Close it."

However if you dig a little, there are about $5k/student they're allocating to the school that is a sunk cost. Between various other activities and the pre-school, those costs still are there. So now it's $10k/student v $6k. Granted we're talking a $400k savings, or are we? Is it really then a bit less since you have to educate those students? I didn't get to ask the question because we had to leave.

A lot of parents and students from that school had shown up and gave lots of comments on why the school shouldn't be closed.

I'm torn. On one hand I think that if the district has budget issues, we should close it. It's a harsh decision since I know many of these kids don't fit into "normal" learning situations, but high school is a transition time. Life gets hard after that and you need to start learning how to get along. Even if you don't fit in, you need to go along and get along with society. Time to face some hard realities and high school does help with that.

On the other hand I don't want to spend more on law enforcement if we can start to handle things in education.

There was a partial option to let some teachers go and move 1/2 the curriculum online, but I'm not sure that's a great idea. The principal himself said he wasn't sure that was really "education"

Not sure what's going to happen there, but I'll read up.

The other thing that I missed (maybe) was moving to a 4 day a week school system. Longer days, slightly longer year, but Friday's off. That's interesting and on the surface I think it's crazy, but the middle school principal gave me some good reasons, of which cost isn't one. I'd like to hear the debate on that one and I hope there is one in March.

Sore

We worked with shin guards and the heavy Muay Thai pads last night and I worked with the senior student. I don't think he likes me much, not sure why, but I get a weird vibe from him. The other night in boxing drills he was really coming at me. I don't observe him a lot, so maybe that's how he usually works, or maybe he took advantage of working with me being more experienced. In any case, we did a bunch of blocks against a kick using our shins.

My left calf/shin is sore, since I didn't quite block all of them straight. It was hard to run today, at least until the blood got moving.

Delaney did class with me, and he loves those drills. Afterwards we dismissed class, but I pulled him back to do ab work with me. He made a good effort, which I was glad to see, even though he wasn't thrilled I'd stopped him from leaving the mat.

Glad tonight is a night off, or that I'm taking one.

Subway Chef

I ran to Subway today for lunch to pick up subs for Tia and I. We work at home, you could argue it's a waste of money, but we're busy. Spending $10-12 so we can get a little more work done during the day, to me, is worth it. Especially as I was on the phone while driving up there and back, so I was working at the same time.

Tia coudn't decide what she wanted. She wanted meatballs, but then she wanted vegetables as well. So she said to get her a meatball with lots of vegetables. Then she said wait, looked at the menu online and said a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, but no teriyaki. Then as I was about out the door she called me back again. Her order?

A 6" meatball

A 6" Veggie.

Hot Chick Detector

Used the Hot Chick Detector on Tia this morning. She got a laugh out of it. Delaney used it on me in the car, but changed the text to “Dork Detected” and couldn’t stop laughing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cruising

I had to take a friend down to the Douglas County Courthouse today. He had a court appointment and couldn't drive, so I packed up my stuff at lunch thinking that I would work down there while he was in court. I started outside, dropped my stuff in the Prius, but then thought I might not be back in time to get kids, so I unpacked, moved stuff to the 911, and headed out.

Other than scouts, I haven't driven the Porsche in a few weeks, and it was a beautiful day. Too windy to take the top off, but clear, sunny, a great day to drive down through the back roads of Douglas County to Castle Rock.

Made me remember why I enjoy that car so much and I'm looking forward to some sunny days with no roof.

Struggling to Get Going

While uploading podcasts last night I started playing Spider Solitaire. Tia had shown me the game a few days ago (she loves it) and I didn’t get it at first. However I was tired of reading on the web, didn’t want to browse, needed to keep the laptop handy, and Delaney had my Kindle since he was sucked into “Old Man’s War.”

That’s a whole other story. Delaney started reading it a few months ago, and when he got done with karate Mon night, he didn’t have a book, and didn’t want to play with kids. He wanted to read, so he sat there with the Kindle while I was in class, then read in bed both Mon and Tue night.

So I played a few games, uploaded the podcasts and then kept playing until 11:45. I am beat this morning.

Sucking down coffee to get going, but the decaf doesn’t really do the job :(

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meat-Smalls

A few weeks ago I was going to make meatballs for spaghetti. I've enjoyed many a plate as I was growing up and single, and I've typically liked making large meatballs. I was in the kitchen, a hunk of ground beef in front of me, seasoned a little, and I grabbed some, rolling it into a 2" ball and putting it in the pan. My daughter, Kendall, sat at the counter, wondering how long this was going to take, and commented they were too big. She didn't like those rolling around her plate and they were too hard to cut and eat.

So I grabbed more ground beef and rolled a 1/2" ball. She liked that and decided to help, so we were both creating these little meatballs. Delaney joined in and we were done in no time. I cooked them up, added spaghetti and sauce, and when Tia came over, she asked the kids if they liked their spaghetti and meatballs.

"Meat-smalls, Mom," said Kendall, "They're meat-smalls."

So this past weekend I cooked again, making more meat-smalls for the kids. Today I had some spaghetti and meat-smalls myself, and they were delicious.

Getting Outside

I don't mind running on the treadmill, especially with a TV and a movie in front of me. Most of my 168 days to date have been on the treadmill, running over the winter, late at night, or just trying to get it done quickly.

However when the weather is good, it's great to run outside. Even my cold run in Steamboat Springs was OK since there wasn't any wind. And today I had my second run in a row outside, even with plenty of reasons to run inside.

Just before lunch, I ran upstairs, changed, and was going to go watch a little more Star Trek: The Next Generation while I did a run before heading back to work. When I came downstairs, however, I saw the wind meter barely spinning and the sun shining, and decided to head outside.

I put on my headphones, sunglasses, shorts, T-shirt, no hat, and started the Nike Plus system. With a playlist running with me, I headed up the driveway, which is always tough, but not too bad today. I had no goals, no aims for speed or distance, I just jogged along, varying my pace as I noticed it. When I felt stronger I ran faster, when I struggled, I slowed.

When I got the mailbox and turned down the road, leveling out, I felt great and picked up some speed. Before I knew it, lost in the music and great day, I was at the second bus stop. I turned around, headed home, and didn't look at the iPod until I was in the driveway and started walking. A great run for Day 168.

Grrrrrrrr

Bandwidth is really slow today. Blood pressure rising.

Put Your Pants On

This is great: How to put your pants on.

The Race to 50 (Prius Update)

When the weather is cold, the Prius performs much worse (relatively) than it does when it’s warm. It makes sense with the need to run the engine to heat the car, but it’s disheartening to someone like me that watches the mileage.

I filled up the Prius the other day in town and immediately headed home. Since I’m climbing uphill, immediately I ended up getting home with a 42mpg average for the 10 miles. Still good, but not great. I was careful for a couple days, but it was cold, so I only managed to get to 45,8mpg as the average.

When we left for baseball practice, I was careful and we got to practice, a good downbill fall of 5-600 ft across 20 miles with 49.1mpg average. We made it back around 48.6, and since then we’ve managed to creep around, getting to karate, the store, etc. and we made it to 49.9, but down we’re down to 49.3 at about 320 miles for this tank.

I’m determined to get to 50mpg as an average with the warmer weather, and I think I will when we head to scouts tonight.

The Downsides of e-Commerce

Last year I was in a bookstore and looking through some books with Andy Warren of End to End Training. I didn’t have the Kindle with me, and was waiting while Andy found a few books for his flight home. But I was still browsing since I hadn’t been in a bookstore in a long time and was enjoying the experience.

As I picked up a few books to glance through, I found a few that I wanted to buy later for the Kindle. It’s not that I don’t want to buy books, but the Kindle is very, very convenient for me. I had my phone, so I started to type in the title and author, but Andy suggested that I take a picture. So I did, actually a few pictures, and I ended up buying 3 of the books from Amazon later.

As we stood there, we talked about how if I had an iPhone, I would have just bought the books there with a very convenient and easy to use browser. I also mentioned that I saw an app for iPhones that would take a picture of the bar code and then search out pricing for you.

That’s cool, and I can see that it definitely makes things nice for bargain shoppers or those without much disposable income, but what if that practice and application became widespread? It’s an example of an idea that doesn’t scale.

If too many people were to “browse” for products, whether it’s books, toys, or auto parts, pretty soon the brick and mortar stores won’t be able to support themselves. If you go to a store, check out an item, and then decide you can save $10 or $20 by purchasing online, you are doing a dis-service to the store, and eventually you won’t be able to patronize or even check things out in the store.

I know I’m sounding more like a business person, but it’s also a common sense thing. The specialty stores, the local stores are dying out in many ways. They’ll never completely disappear, but even now there are many, many fewer of them. And it’s not just Wal-Mart, it’s also the pressures of purchases across the Internet. After all, how many of you can go to a store and check out music now? There’s some in Wal-Mart, and some in larger Barnes and Nobles or Borders, but I can see that disappearing. Browsing around, looking for music was something I used to really enjoy, just as I still do with books.

eCommerce can make things more efficient, but it can also get rid of some of the richness that we enjoy in this world. Browsing physical objects is still important in the world and I hope that businesses look to evolve to support both models.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crossing Over

I'm a couple weeks late, but here's some video of Delaney's cross over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. He got pulled up to be the representative of his den and did a good job.


video

What Have We Learned?

I got this quote from my Mom today in email. What have we learned in two thousand years? Apparently nothing:

 

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."


Cicero - 55 BC

Rooftop turbines

I like wind power, and this new one from Swift is supposed to work on roofs. That is compelling.

Monofilament

After getting kids to school, I went outside to help Tia with some chores, and spend a few minutes with her. I don't do that enough, especially with our busy lives, and while we split chores a lot to get things done, it's nice to actually spend a few minutes with her.

So I sat out there, but then walked around resetting GFCI breakers when I saw we still were missing one circuit. It finally occurred to me today, after a week of issues, that there might be a breaker in the shed, and there was. We have power again for now.

Then I spread hay, we let the horses out in front and I closed the gate while Tia cleaned up after grain. After that I harrowed around and pulled down some tape fencing that was a mess while she got manure up from the runs. Definitely a manure day. And with 60F, it was nice enough to take advantage of the day.

Our fence guy showed up then. As much as I'd like to fix fence, I don't have time to do it. So last week we paid them $1000 to replace about a dozen posts around the property that were broken, including some destroyed ones in the arena that I definitely didn't want to do.

Then today they were back to do the North side, put up vinyl wire to get around the barbed wire that's there. We've wanted to do something, but just haven't had time to tackle it. The guy came in and was asking if we had more of the high tensile vinyl wire that we use everywhere else. We have this PVC wire that is solid vinyl, so it's safer for the horses. Unfortunately it breaks more than I'd like.

It's also hard to find. Most places don't carry it and when the fence guy and Tia came in, we couldn't find it on the web at first. I remembered it was hard to find the first time and I spent time over a few days before it occurred to me to change my search terms. Same thing today, but after about 15-20 minutes I realized I needed to search for "monofilament"

:)

Kindle Update - Samples

I like being able to view samples on my Kindle. It's one of the very neat features of the Kindle experience, kind of like spending 10 minutes in a bookstore reading the first chapter or so of a book. The advantage to me, however, is that I don't have to be at the bookstore.

Don't get me wrong, I like being at the bookstore, I appreciate the art of the covers, and there's something soothing about just browsing through a store, looking at what might be new. It's a much different experience than seeing the books listed on Amazon, and in many ways I prefer it.

But I often hear about books from people, and I don't necessarily remember those when I get to the bookstore. That's where the Kindle is outstanding.

As an example, I wrote an editorial on Trust a few weeks ago and someone responded with a recommendation for The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. At the time I was busy working along, answering posts, scheduling content, etc. and I didn't have time to read the sample that Amazon puts online, but I did have time to flip to Amazon and do the search for the book. Once I got there, I selected the Kindle edition, and I ended up with a page like this one:

kindlesample

On the right hand side, there's the "Try it Free" sample button, which I clicked, and it marked this book as a sample to send to my Kindle. The next time I turned the Wireless on my Kindle, which is something I do periodically, the sample downloaded to the device and appeared in my TOC.

I've done this with tons of books, and probably ended up buying 20-30% of them once I'd finished the sample.

What's convenient is that I can grab a series of sample and then read them when I have time. They drop into my list of books and I'll scan one when I have a few moments or I'm looking for something to read. That could be while traveling, waiting for the kids at the bus stop, or in bed at night. It's very convenient and I love that.

Bad Samples

The downside of the samples is that each publisher appears to be building their own samples, or perhaps Amazon is just pushing out the first xx pages of content (or bytes). I'm not sure which, but the result is that the quality of samples varies greatly.

Most give me a chapter or two of the book, some have the copyright/title page/dedication/etc. in them, some don't. I got one sample for a kid's book for my daughter that was a title, copyright, and one page, so perhaps this was xx% of the book.

For the book above, however, I ended up with about 12 or 14 pages of quotes from various people that loved the book. It's the kind of stuff that's usually on the back of the book, a reference from various well known sources. That's OK, but between that, the title page, the introduction by Stephen Covey's father, the TOC, I got 3 pages of the forward by the author and that was it. I have no way of judging this book now.

I still might buy it, and likely if I think of it, I'll try to read a chapter the next time I hit Barnes and Noble, but this sample really turned me off.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Baseball Day 2

Only 9 guys, but not a bad practice. I got to field balls at 1st, 2nd, and left. Did OK and had fun. I hit OK, some long balls and it was good to see live pitching. Ready to get playing for real. While I was practicing, here were the kids:

Reset

I’m enjoying my new TMobile G1 Google phone, but I hadn’t been able to get it to synch with my online Google account. I was looking forward to having my contacts and calendar synced up.

So I did a little research today and found out I need to do a soft reset to factory settings. I did that, and it started up asking me to sign in with my “Google” account. I did that and a few minutes later my contacts and calendar from Google were synced up!

I had previously downloaded Googles gsync application that would sync my Outlook calendar with Google online, but it didn’t contacts. I looked around a bit, but didn’t see anything that would work well, or would do contacts without calendar. I liked the GSync, which is working well, so I stuck with that.

I manually added about 30 contacts over the last few days, and that works fine for me.

Rock Band

On my way home last night I grabbed Rock Bank 2, thinking that the adults, and maybe kids, would want to play if we got through the murder mystery quickly. We didn’t, but this morning I got up with the kids and we did a few songs together. Kendall struggled with the drums, Delaney sang, Tia watched and said she’d try it tonight, but today’s a horse day.

Now Delaney and I are making our way into Halo 3.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Italian Dinner

We're supposed to have one tomorrow when we host a murder mystery dinner with 3 other couples, but I was thinking about it and after plain spaghetti and sauce last night, I decided to try for more tonight. I hit the store today to but garlic bread, ground beef, sausage, and sauce, then got home and started cooking. I got the meat-smalls and sausage cooked, added some onions and peppers and cooked more spaghetti. I made a couple bloody marys to help me cook, and got things on the counter for the kids and realized...

we had no cheese.

I should have remembered that from last night, but didn't.

Can't do anything about that, but I ordered our lasagna from Olive Garden for tomorrow, so that's one less thing I need to do.

Moving Along

All the scripts (6 or 7) and the Questions (10+) that were submitted to SQLServerCentral are scheduled. It's been hard to get through the Q of work with all the breaks so far in Jan and Feb, but I'm making a concerted effort today before I need to write a bit and then get ready for the presentation tomorrow.

I'm going through articles, 3 done so far, but many more to do still.

I Want a Macbook

Video editing is a bit of a pain on a Windows PC I definitely have some flexibility with ULead’s Video Studio, but it’s still slow and cumbersome. Even the base iLife ‘07, which we have on the kid’s iMac makes it easier. Granted it’s limited in what it can do, less tracks, etc., but it still is a breeze to edit compared to what I go through on the laptop.

I’ve been doing it for a year, I’m used to it, but after watching the Geekbrief people blog live from the Macworld keynote, I decided to go check out iLife ‘09, which looked interesting. This was awhile ago, but I’ve been thinking about it and I rewatched some of the keynote later.

The first thing I saw was GarageBand lessons from artists. Now that is cool! I looked at some previews and I could see how this would get kids interested in music. Heck, it gets me a bit motivated. It’s a great idea and give it up for Apple’s excellent way to enhance their products and make a compelling reason to upgrade.

So I’m drooling a bit and wanting a MacBook Pro. At $2000+ that’s a bit of an investment and I’m not sure I’m that much more productive, but I bet I’d be a lot less stressed about video editing and it would be quicker. I don’t want the 17”er, but a nice 15” one would be cool and I bet I could make do with iMovie. I might have to since the upgrade to Final Cut is well over $1000.

Will I make the investment? It’s hard to say. It’s a lot of money to spend for an upgrade that arguably doesn’t get me a lot. If I could get my boss to go for it, I’d definitely move to a Mac, but I got shot down last year when I tried.

I’m tempted to make it myself and I might need to check out an iLife machine in the store the next time I go and see if the editor has enough stuff for me. If I move it to the basement, then I could set up for music, which isn’t really practical, but it might be fun with kids. I could definitely try to do more with video as well. However the smoother ability to edit stuff is something I’d like.

We’ll see. Maybe I can get some side writing gigs going and end up with a few thousand that I can blow on this.

As much as I’ve liked Windows, made a living off it, am comfortable, and don’t have major issues, video editing is one of these places. I know that I am instantly more productive with the iMac the kids have then after a year of editing video on my Windows machine. Even with more horsepower, the Windows machine is just clunkier.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pushing

I had editing to do, dinner to cook, a run to get in, and then I needed to get to karate. Putting the laptop in the kitchen helped me get the kids fed and then it was time to run at 6 so I could get to karate at 7.

We did a lot of rotations tonight with different partners and I actually got to work with Delaney. It was neat to go across the mat with him.

Challenger

I was looking for another picture, but here’s one from Delaney’s Challenger mission in the gifted program last year.

Moon Mission 009

Up and Down - The Nuggets and Broncos reverse

For most of the 11 years I've been in Denver the Broncos have been the important team and the most successful. There were some years where the Avalanche were very popular, and the Rockies made it to the World Series a couple years ago, but for the most part they haven't been successful.

The Nuggets have been interesting. They've been up and down, and it seems that people want them succeed, but they've been disappointing. However this year, they're successful. As of today, they're actually in 2nd place in the West, ahead of San Antonio! They have a 3.5 game lead on Portland, and Carmelo has actually been out for a number of games with injury.

Kind of amazing, though to be fair, the talk the last couple days outside of A-Rod has been on the Broncos cutting people. Most of them I agree with them, but I was a bit sorry to see Dre Bly let go. He might have been a bit expensive, but I liked his aggresive style. He was a good run tackler, a good complement to Bailey, and he played well. Took chances and got burned at times, but I think if they'd had better linemen and linebackers, it would have been different.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Youbng Leader

Delaney got an invitation today to the 2009 Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC this summer. His teacher recommended him and so we filled out an application and hopefully he'll be heading out there for 6 days this summer. We tried for July 4, and I'm thinking I'll take Kendall and work in DC for a week, speaking there at a few user groups as well.

Exciting times for our young scholar.

A Lovely Assistant

Last night I had to take Kendall to the Boulder SQL Server User's Group because Tia was out of town. I had pawned Delaney off on another Scout family who took him, but Kendall had to go with me. Fortunately she was feeling better, and I wasn't too worried. She attended the Denver group last month and was well behaved. She even came up front with me and flipped some slides, so I know she isn't embarrassed to be up there with me.

We got there and she ate her food, then played her DS while I started. She said she'd flip slides, but she was playing well and I wanted to work with my new remote, so I handled it myself.

I'm lucky here that she is well behaved and supports me. No complaints on the way there or back. To be honest, a few people I've known that brought their kids to events because of similar family issues, have had their kids behave very well.

Trying to do more than just your job, going a little above and beyond puts a strain on the family, but it's great when they support you. I really appreciate that.

posting from the G1

Does OK. A few tricks I need to figure out, but it works well overall

Over 400

After a few cold weather fill-ups of getting 360-380miles per tankful in the Prius, things aare looking up. Last. Night the low fuel warning popped up as we were almost home. This morning I checked the mileage and it's at 433 now. That car does way better in warm weather

Boulder SQL Server Users Group

Last night I went to the February Boulder SQL Server User’s Group meeting up in Broomfield, CO to deliver my presentation on The Modern Resume. It was a windy, chilly day where few people were wandering about. Perhaps President Obama being in town had something to do with it as well.

In any case, it was a small group, < 10 people, and a fairly intimate setting. I was hoping for a bit more of a discussion, which we got later on, but ended up with much of the talk being a lecture.

It was also a bit different than my other talks. This time I had more talks about “finding a job strategies” than building your brand. That’s OK, and it gave me some other content to talk about. It seems the Dice and Monster are still the places most people go to.

My author survey again showed that most people didn’t know what the people look like. The social networking survey showed about 50% of the people on Linked In and Facebook, no one on MySpace, 15% using Twitter. Plaxo had a couple people with accounts, but not really using it.

In any case, this was good practice for my delivery on Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Tech Tri-Fecta.

Racing

Trying to work around chores, I have a conference call at 10, so at 9:30 I raced upstairs, changed, went for a run, and just got to the desk.

Whew!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

G1

The G1 arrived, very exciting. So far it's live and working, we'll see how it does as I head to the Boulder SQL Server User's Group to speak tonight.

90 Minutes

I had a great 90 minute massage today, something I’ve never done. Last time the therapist recommended a bit more time to work my back since it was tight, so I’d booked 90 minutes today. It wasn’t a great day, having kids to get to school, Tia gone, a presentation tonight, work to do, and no dog food for the dogs, but I decided to just go and I’m glad.

It felt good, and she found a bunch of tight spots in my back and calves, which a few other therapists haven’t found (or they weren’t there). In any case, I felt better and she told me to do a few stretches with the arms and upper body over the next few weeks before I come back.

Steve - 2, Horses 0

No kicks today, or yesterday for that matter, despite working with the Herd of Glue more than I ever expected.

Tia left town last night and when I woke up this morning, I had a message that it was supposed to be warm today and she wanted me to remove the blankets from our boarder, Abby. She's a good horse, very calm, a little lame, so that makes it easy to remove stuff from her. It's the other horses that get in the way. Tia actually got kicked last week trying to remove stuff because another horse started acting up.

I didn't do it first thing because I didn't have time when I fed. I dropped hay before taking the kids to school and was on a schedule, so on the way back from my massage, all the horses in the SW pasture, I decided to give it a try.

It's windy today, howling actually, and so I was a little nervous. I stopped the car in the driveway and I pulled out my jacket. I got it on and when I did, I turned to see all 5 horses standing at the fence looking at me. All except for Abby, the one I needed.

Still this was a good time and I thought since it was 50, I should give it a try. Worse case I think she'd be OK since it must be a 20-25mph wind and not exactly warm, but I decided to try.

First I walked over to her, and of course everyone followed. I shooed away Gemini and Nina, who are the two most troublesome. I had to wave my arms and shake my finger, but they backed up. I turned around, felt a light push, and had to turn around again and back Nina up again. It worked OK, and I set about removing the top blanket from Abby. That one went smooth, she stood there calmly, and I managed to pull if off on the windward side easily without freaking her out. I dropped it, and took a deep breath.

It seemed windier, and I had to shoo Nina off again. In fact, I had to do that two more times as I tried to unbuckle this blanket with Nina bothering Abby. She walked forward a few times, and so it was taking longer than expected. Plus I didn't want it to take off. Finally I had things loose and it slipped off the other side before I could grab it, one loop still around Abby's rear hoof. Fortunately none of the other horses were causing trouble, so after two steps, Abby stood there, shaking her rear hoof and I managed to pull off the loop.

Then of course I turned around to see Gemini with the first blanket in his mouth. I waved some arms, yelled at him including a couple choice 4 letter words and he must have been upset since he started to run away with the blanket. A couple more yells and quick steps got him to drop the blankets and I picked them up and got back in the car.

Quite a horse day for me.

How Not to Start Blogging

Someone posted this resignation letter on Twitter. At first I thought this was from a colleague and was fairly shocked, but as I read through it, I realized this was someone that started a blog with the letter.

Now I’ve posted a resignation letter I wrote before, and I’m not necessarily opposed to this happening, but I think that this is an example of how not to do this. I hope this person doesn’t keep their career blog going with this.

Why?

I went back and looked at my letter, which was internal, but has since been posted on the Internet. In my letter I tried to outline the problems that I saw with the company, and give reasons why I thought these were problems. I didn’t blame anyone by name, but I did thank people by name. That goes along with the idea that you blame generally and praise specifically.

In this letter, the writer is obviously upset, and with specific people that are mentioned by name. While I can understand the issues that people have with their co-workers and we often have bad experiences at work, you can complain, vent, or write about them without specifically mentioning people’s names. While I might be concerned if I had to interview (or be interviewed by) and of the people mentioned, I’d definitely be concerned with someone that called people out by name.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sick

My little girl still has a cold, but no fever. She fell asleep as we ran a couple errands tonight, then woke up when we got to Wal-Mart. She lost her DS a few weeks ago and we haven't been able to find it, so she had permission to buy another one tonight with savings. She woke up, bought it, played on the way home and then in my bed a bit before crashing a little after 8.

Hopefully she'll be better in the morning.

First Day of Baseball

Today was the first baseball practice of the season for my new team. At least the first one I made. They've had a few, but I was up snowboarding both times. I was surprised about how different it was from the Shack.

I knew a few of the players from last year, but most were new. And they were rusty. Lots of throws a little wild, lots of missed batting practice, definitely a change from previous years. But they're losing 2 players out of 15, so it should be a pretty good year, and I think I'll get more time at a variety of positions.

I fielded OK, but didn't see a lot of balls. I hit OK, not great, but I had some guy throwing, not really pitching, and didn't see a lot of great pitches. However I still need to get in more practice.

Looking forward to the season, about 5 weeks away.

Steamboat Springs

We spent the weekend in Steamboat Springs, and it was great. Not quite what we expected, but still a good time. Kendall was a little sick, didn’t ski Saturday, tried Sunday and had a big wipeout. She said she couldn’t walk afterwards, but it was a bruise. I ended up getting a Ski Patrol guy, a toboggan, and snowmobile to get us down, which was interesting. She was fine at the bottom, walked to the shuttle with me and we headed to the hot springs.

When she wrecked, we were way on the right of the back side of Steamboat, about as far as you can be from the base. It was two lifts and 2 long runs to get back. It was a bumpy blue, and as I came out of a turn I saw a cloud of powder below me and then Kendall sliding. At first I thought she’d gotten scared and bailed, but when I got to her she was crying. Tia was there and she’d lost one ski and was hurt.

I felt her leg, trying to see if she’d broken anything. She swore she had, but she’d been sick on the way up and not feeling good, so we weren’t sure. We sat there for 10 minutes or so, got her to try to stand, but she said she couldn’t walk down to the lift (we were in sight of it) and couldn’t ski. Since Tia had been with her Sat, so walked down to call for help and Tia took off with the boys to enjoy themselves. I felt a little embarrassed calling for help, but I knew Kendall wasn’t feeling good anyway, and without pulling off her ski pants in 11F weather, there wasn’t a good way to check. There’s always the chance she was hurt.

A ski patrol guy skied over just as I hiked back up to her. He asked her what was wrong, triaged a bit, checking for broken hips, legs, etc. When he thought she was OK, he bundled her up in the toboggan, strapping her down, head in the front, and turned her around. A snowmobile drove up and I got on, and the Ski Patrol guy held onto a rope as he pulled the toboggan and got towed. It was a busy day as the snowmobile drove to the next lodge where he picked up a second person and Ski Patroller with his own toboggan.

We wound through the fairly flat, switchbacks up the mountain and then across to the gondola mountain. It was interesting because I’d seen those trails, but never knew what they were. They’re for snowmobiles, which can’t get straight up the mountain with a load. We had to keep watching for skiers coming down as we passed numerous trails.

I’d never been on a snowmobile and it was interesting. Not great, not sure I think it’s fun, kind of like the ATV, but cold. When we got to the gondola, we got off and the Ski Patrol guys started down. I grabbed my board and went after them. The guy with Kendall was waiting for me and of course I went to stop and slipped, tumbling nicely in front of him. I’m sure he thought going down the blue might mean he’d have to come back and get me, but we started down and no more falls for me. I followed him except for a few times I enjoyed the blue and raced down ahead of him a bit and then stopped to wait.

We got to the base, which amazed me, given how steep and bumpy the blue was, and he asked Kendall if she wanted to walk in or ride the gurney.

Silly Question

The gurney it was. They slid the toboggan onto a lift, which raised it to the level of a gurney and then slid Kendall onto that on a backboard. She rolled inside, got checked again, she seemed fine, and then we filled out some paperwork. I was sure they were going to ask for insurance and bill us something, but they didn’t. Nice to know the mountain covers things like this and provides a service. Probably balances out some of the lawsuits people want to file.

Once we were done, Kendall and I walked to the shuttle. They offered a ride, but I wanted to see how Kendall did. I figured if she couldn’t walk, we’d go back and get one, but she did fine. I carried her skis and poles and she had her backpack and we hiked the half mile to the base, stopped for coffee and hot chocolate, and then went to the shuttle.

When we got to the hotel, we had checked out, so we loaded the truck and drove to the Steamboat Springs hot springs and went in. It’s amazing there. The pools are outside, but they’re warm. We swam a bit, I tried the rock wall twice and failed miserably, and then we ended up in one of the hotter tubs. Kendall fell asleep in my arms, and after about 20 minutes, I walked back to the other pool since I was worried about her overheating. She woke up, and complained that the main pool was “cold” and it felt cool at first, but with the cold air (probably 15-20F), it warmed up quick and she fell asleep again.

We repeated this a few times, and she kept nodding off on me, I’m sure because she was sick. Tia and the boys got there later, Tia ran, then I ran while she watched Kendall and about 7:00 we finally got out of there for the drive home. Kyle had come up Sat himself, so he and Delaney followed us back, Kendall dropping off almost immediately. Just before Silverthorne, Kyle flashed us and we pulled over. He was too tired, so I drove his car home and followed Tia.

We got back around 11:30, got kids in bed, were both slightly wired, had to change sheets because the dogs had taken advantage of our absence, and finally dropped off around 12:30.

A long, but fun, weekend.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home

and tired.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Steamboat

Packing up the car now and leaving for Steamboat Springs and a weekend of snowboarding and skiing!!

Bloopers

Finalizing a blooper reel for Monday. I know it's almost done because Kendall is laughing out loud as she watches it.

I'm glad I save the clips. These are a nice break for me on holidays and other low readership days. Plus they're fun. It's amazing to me to see how many mistakes I actually make at a time :)

Look for the eyes

I edit podcasts a few times a week, and it's always a challenge. One thing I've learned is that I need to edit relatively soon after shooting them because I remember things I've done, mistakes, issues, and where to make cuts. However in making cuts, I've learned a couple things that have speeded up the process. One big one:

Watch the eyes.

I've noticed that when I get ready to talk, I give myself two cues. I take a breath (always handy for speaking) and I tend to close my eyes, open them, and begin talking. For not too jarring cuts, and cuts that match up when I want to speak, I listen for the intake of breath, look for the eyes start to close, and that's where I stop and cut to. This gives me tracks I can easily insert.

Some days it's a lot of work, but most days it's fun, and funny, to see myself on video and build a podcast.

Jammed Up

Both Tia and I are a little jammed up today, trying to get work done, little kids at home, planning on leaving for Steamboat tonight. Might be a late night for us, driving into the mountains.

On top of normal type work, I had to try and get a Database Weekly editorial written, a podcast shot, edited, and uploaded. Yikes!

SQL Injection - It's Not Just Me!!

I have a personal web site I set up years ago, mainly so I could post stuff for my extended family and kind of keep a log of my life. Back then it was a "weblog" instead just a blog and there wasn’t much software around for the Windows world. Plenty for the *nix world, and there was Moveably Type, but I wanted a SQL Server based solution. So I wrote my own, added some simple features and it worked great for me.

I added in some other interests, and like many people in the 2000-2001 timeframe, I assumed most people would come to look at the site and not attack it. After all, it’s just pictures and thoughts and comments from me.

Apparently not!

Last week, F-Secure, a security vendor, got hit by a SQLInjection attack, which is also what happened to my site a few weeks back. I was on my way back from the UK, arrived at home to find Google had marked my site as a malicious site. I ended up spending hours cleaning out the database, even whacking some data, and eventually removing all the “script” stuff that had been inserted.

Embarrassing for me, but way worse for a security vendor.

We all want to get things done, be effective, and sometimes that means quick and dirty, throwing up pages on a web site to put out information quickly. However those quick and dirty efforts still need to conform to some good security practices. Especially these days, with worms like Conficker out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Disabled

I have a Microsoft Wireless 5000 mouse, which I really like. It fits my hand well, the batteries last a long time, etc. However in addition to the two main buttons on the top, there are two side buttons near the upper edges. I rarely use them, and their defaults are magnify (right) and back (left).

Normally they don’t bother me, though I do tend to hit the magnify one more often than I’d like. However today I was editing something and hit the left one, moving my browser back and lost some work. After cursing the computer for a few minutes I did what I should have done a long time ago. I popped open the control panel and disabled the buttons.

I’m sure some people really use them, and it’s good if you can get used to having more functions on the mouse since you don’t have to move your hands as much. However it’s a hassle for me, so I’m glad I have the options to disable them.

Now I have a nice shaped mouse that fits my hand, has a good design, and doesn’t get in my way.

Feeling Better

I had an hour massage and I definitely feel better now. It was a good rubdown by a new therapist and I found out I have a tight back. Surprisingly I could feel her working some tight spots midway down my back. Typically I've been a fairly loose person, but I know I've been working hard lately, running and karate.

So I scheduled another one for next week. I have some built up and need to use them, and have been wanting to, so this is a good excuse, after more karate, skiing, running, and first baseball practice Monday.

Massage

Finally a massage. I have one scheduled for 11, after thinking for 2 weeks I need to get in there and get one. Something keeps coming up, but I decided today to just go and get it done.

A good thing as the body feels a little beat up today.

Things You Know Now…

Someone tagged me, and I’ve lost the email in all the pile up from vacation where I was very, very unwired from work, despite being wired to the world. Actually I’ll make that one my first thing:

Know When to Walk Away

Not quit, not stop progressing on something or giving up, but knowing how to take a break, regular breaks. Early in my career I worked lots of extra hours, partially to impress people, partially to learn, and partially because I thought I might miss something and I had time. That’s probably part of being young, but I wish that I’d still learned to take my vacation, enjoy it, and make more time for things outside of work.

My wife taught me this.

Interview Companies

Throughout most of my life before 32 or 33 years old, I took jobs as they were offered. I looked for new opportunities, but I worried about the opportunity and almost solely the opportunity (the challenge, the size of the database, etc.).

As a result in interviews I worried, I studied and crammed and tried to be the “perfect employee,” answering their questions, not asking many of my own and giving them no reason to avoid offering me a job.

Looking back I wish I’d interviewed the companies harder. I wished I’d been looking for jobs before I needed them, been more discriminating, talked to more people in the company, and really pushed them to match my needs as much as I tried to match theirs.

I learned this when I took a job to move to CO that really wrecked a good portion of my life and I quit. I slept in my office a half dozen times the first year, had bad management, and while I learned a lot, I think I could have done better. I’ve done this well for the last 8 or 9 years.

Give Back

Some of this requires that you succeed in your own life and career, but I think that along the way you should be looking for ways go give back to the community.

Early in my career I was never that interested in participating in user groups, and I often let people stumble more to figure out their own solutions instead of speaking up and giving them more of a helping hand. Over the years, I’ve learned I should have done more to help others along the way, and give back as I could.

Play Your Own Game

This is more of a business item, but I wish I’d learned earlier to focus on what I wanted to succeed in and play my game instead of trying so hard to please others. Not sure I’ve completely learned to do this, but I wish I’d have had someone to teach me this early on.

Thanks to Andy Warren for this one.

I have no idea who’s been tagged, so I’ll just leave this off here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Burpees

After quite a few weeks off, we went back to burpees tonight and they just about killed Delaney. I fed him dinner, we went to the store and then karate. He should have had plenty of food and liquids, but after class he said he felt sick. After falling asleep on the way home he made it upstairs and called for a bowl. I brought it, went to get aspirin for him and came out of the bathroom to find him throwing up.

Poor kid.

I wasn't feeling so hot after burpees and ab work, probably the worst ab workout I've done, form-wise, in a long time. Wasn't expecting the burpees after a relatively easy class.

G1

With my sidekick giving me issues daily, including problems syncing with the network, I've been tempted to just move to ATT and get an iPhone. I ran some numbers and it didn't seem to make sense to switch until April or May, when I'd lower my cancellation fee and could then make things almost work. However the data plans cost more, so it really behooved me to wait until June or July.

When I saw the possibility of a new iPhone, especially the $99 one this summer, I decided that I'd have to wait until July, which I didn't want to do. I'm not sure the Sidekick will last that long and I'm not sure I want to go back to a non-keyboard phone.

Instead I decided on a Google G1 for TMobile, my current carrier. I was tempted to just buy one, then was tempted to pay the $180 at Wal-Mart and just extend my contract for 2 years, but I don't want to do that. I looked on eBay and saw them around $300, so I really had to think. Actually there are plenty at $350-450 to just buy. I'd made some bonus money from the old company and some tech editing money, so it didn't seem like a crazy purchase. Plus Red Gate has purchased some shirts from me for giveaways, so I had a little cash to spare.

I researched a bit because I am still tempted to switch to ATT later and move to an iPhone, and sure enough the G1 can be unlocked, even unlocked from TMobile after 90 days, and so that sealed it. It's worth going for a G1, getting a case to take care of it, and trying that one. I can always move it to ATT or even sell it later, since it seems to be popular and still a bit of a novelty.

I also saw I can sync my Google calendar with it, and I'm thinking to move everything to Google and sync my laptop and desktop so I have one calendar. Right now I have 3.

I bid on a few, but kept getting outbid at the last minute. I'm glad because I was in the $320-330 range. Finally I found one closing in 6 minutes at $230 and bid $260. eBay goes for the next highest bid and it jumped to $237, and that's where it stayed. I watched it count down and I won!

So in a few days I should have a G1, that hopefully will work well for me. Now it's time to start moving some stuff online and get my machines synced.

Paradise

I never thought much of Paradise bakery before Tia brought me here last year for lunch one day. I had a blue cheese crumbley salad and then fire roasted tomato soup and I was a convert. I tend to like the same things, and probably 90% of the time (and rising) I come here that's what I get.

Today I raced out of the house after feeding beasts with the laptop to take my weekly conference call at Paradise (they have wifi) and then have lunch. I haven't run yet, but this was a great start to the day and put a smile on my face.

Kindle 2

The Kindle 2 was announced recently and it’s on sale at Amazon, starting shipping Feb 24, 2009.

I’m glad I didn’t wait to buy one as I’ve probably read 30-40 books since I got mine in early September and I’d have spent probably $60 or so more on books than I’ve spent so far.

What do I think of the new design? It’s better, but it’s an incremental improvement, not an evolution. Kind of like iPod 1st gen to iPod 2nd generation, not the evolution that the iTouch brought. Here’s another analysis from CNet

That’s OK, I like the smaller page change buttons, which still occasionally cause me issues. I’ve learned to get around them by switching to the home screen every time I stop reading. Keeps me in my place.

Faster page turns is good, should reduce some complains. More storage is a non-issue, I think, for most people. Maybe for heavy readers, but I read 50-60 books a year, used maybe half the internal storage. Not sure how a daily newspaper or mag subscription might change that.

The better battery life is good, as is the change to a more normal adapter. At least I assume it’s more normal. We should be able to charge from zero with a computer. Tying tightly to a specific adapter. especially when so many things use a mini-USB port, is dumb.

The 3G connection may mean something if it’s more widespread. A big thing in my mind is Amazon needs to get this working more globally.

Read to me, not sure I’d ever use it, but accessibility is always good.

Smaller is better, sharper is better. I’d definitely buy another one if I had the need. I can see this perhaps working better with college kids and I wonder if it will be a good option when my oldest goes in 2 years.

I love my Kindle, if you’re interested in my experiences, here’s a list of them:

Keep an eye on my Kindle tag as I’ve got more coming.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Still Plugging Along

It's 10:55 and I'm still working. It's a busy week with Tia out of town. I got the podcast uploaded and just out at 10, but then I've spent the last hour answering posts, trying to get closer to me goals. My plan was to have 400 a month, but between the UK and vacation, my rolling 30 day has fallen down quite a bit. Down to the 260s today, but I got to 300 and I'm done.

New Scout

Tonight was Delaney's first Boy Scout meeting, and it was a lot different than past meetings. We went early to fill out paperwork and the boys went off the meeting while we were finishing things off.

It was cool to see him interacting with people in the troop, and listening to the other boys. At one point the leader pulled out a couple of his peers since they weren't listening and goofing off. I think it was a shock and a good lesson for them.

One strange thing was that all the boys got put into one patrol, so they're together, but they lack some leadership, IMHO. We'll see if things change, or if I've missed something. I was reading with Kendall some of the time, so maybe I'm off.

Delaney realized that he has a lot of work to do and commented on that during the ride home. He asked if I'd still help him, and I said I would, as well as Tia and the siblings. Hopefully he'll stay motivated and work hard. Sounds like a fun troop, with lots of activities planned. I have the feeling I'll be learning to camp again as well.

A Little Work

a few weeks back I started this post:

Tia came down and asked if we should do something with the kids, bowling, movies, etc. I told her I wasn’t skiing with the bad weather in the mountains and would be up for something, but I needed to do “a little work” first.

She said I always need to do a little work.

I think that’s true, and probably something I need to work on, though I have been taking a bit more time off lately to ski and do other things. I’ll work on it, but some of it is trying to finish the year strong, meet goals, and get ahead so I can play hooky on other days.

I think I’ve done a good job of starting to have a better balance and get things in perspective. I’ve taken time to enjoy snowboarding, and I’ve been good about leaving work on vacation, both last week, and I’m guessing this weekend.

However I definitely feel frantic still today. Need to get more stuff pipelined before I can get away :)

Cogeneration

When I was in graduate school I wanted an internship for the summer to get some experience and get ready for the real world. I looked around a bunch of opportunities, applied, and got some interviews. One of these was with Virginia Power, which had been bought by Dominion Resources just prior to my interview. I grew up with Virginia Power, it was still logo’d everywhere, so that’s how I thought of them.

In any case, this was before most places had web sites, the Internet was still mostly text-based (Archie, Gopher, etc.) and so I went to the local library to do some research. I looked up a bunch of articles on the company. In one article, I saw a note about how some of the larger industrial companies in the Richmond, VA area were working with Virginia Power to build cogeneration plants. They were using waste heat, usually steam, to produce some electricity onsite. Virginia Power supplied and maintained the generators and the company lowered their electric bill a bit by producing some power onsite.

This idea for cogeneration at restaurants makes a bunch of sense and it’s a similar idea. a small engine that can use waste vegetable oil to produce power. It can save the restaurant power, and the costs of having oil removed. And it’s local, potentially giving them power in an emergency as well.

Is it green? It’s better than a diesel generator, but it’s probably less efficient and more polluting than a larger, more central plant. Or it is? There is a decent loss in sending electricity across transmission lines, perhaps as high as 7%. So if that’s the case than is this 10% worse from a pollution standpoint? I’d like to see some research done on this to make some sense of what the carbon cost is.

From a cost standpoint, if you can lease one for $450 and save about $800, that’s interesting.

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Moving Along

I got 2 kids out the door, fed 3 cats, 2 cows, and 8 horses this morning. I still have to check food for our 3 dogs, feed 3 more, 8 horses again, and get kids dinner plus Boy Scouts.

A busy day, and the 3 monitors are helping as I work the queue for Questions of the Day, add items for Database Weekly, shop for Valentines Day :), and answer some posts, running between windows as things slow down in one.

It’s a good way to handle a slow Internet connection today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Feeling Better

I've had a sore knee for a couple of months, and I've worried about it a little. The constant snowboarding and karate seems to be keeping it sore. I've been putting ice on it many nights and trying to relax it, but tonight I grabbed an ice pack after karate and noticed that my knee is doing much better. It wasn't sore tonight, thought to be fair we didn't push that hard tonight.

Catching Up

I feel I’m slightly caught up. Worked through about 8 articles in my queue, a combination of editing and just reformatting loading. I’ve got some good authors, and I forget that at times. They make it easy. Of course, I’m always mentoring first timers, and that results in lots of work as we go through drafts and I try not to make my voice their voice.

Still a touch frantic with work to get done, but at least I have content scheduled through the next two weeks to get a bit of a breather.

Frantic

I’m a little frantic this morning trying to get caught up on work, lots of stuff piled up, Tia leaving, kids had to get to school, etc. I need to run as well, which I was hoping to do early, but I might need to leave until before karate.

I have a ton of articles to edit, which isn’t my favorite thing to do. A number piled up before my trip to the UK, and I didn’t dent the load that much in the week between that trip and vacation. I’m not looking forward to going through them, and that will take me 30-60 minutes just to sort out.

Adding in another log to the fire is that the kids are off on Fri and Mon. We’re thinking of going skiing in Aspen, but that means mucho work for me this week and Tia’s going to be gone until Wed. Not something that makes me really productive. It’s quiet, but too quiet and I struggle to get things done efficiently.

On a final note, my neighbors are out of town, so I get to take care of tonight:

  • 6 horses (my house)
  • 3 dogs (my own, but easy to free feed)
  • 2 dogs (neighbors, let out, let back in tonight)
  • 1 dog (locked in because he wanders. Makes me sad to see him in there)
  • 2 cats at my neighbors house
  • 3 cats in their barn
  • 2 horses in one pasture
  • 2 cows in another
  • 2 kids of my own to feed. Fortunately the 3rd takes care of himself.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crossing Over

Today was Delaney's last day as a Cub Scout. The annual Blue and Gold banquet was tonight and it's when the second year Webelos cross over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. There's a ceremony, a little silly at times, but still pretty cool for the boys. They go onstage, there's a guy dressed like an old time trapper (JC Bear) and he talks them through some inspirational things. There was an Eagle Scout there as well and hopefully is inspired the boys to continue on.

Delaney got pulled onstage and represented the den, being asked some question, and then it was his neckerchief that got lit on fire in the ceremony. Pretty cool and we have lots of pictures and some video I need to post.

It was long, but a good ceremony, and no break. Tuesday night is the first Boy Scout meeting for us.

Back

Finally I got all the SQL Injection removed from the site and a clean Google scan. That was really bugging me.

This whole site has me rethinking the way I do things. The blog is most of dkRanch, though it is nice to organize some of the photos, videos, etc. on the site as well as some writings. Most of the site is woefully out of date, so I'm thinking to pick a framework, perhaps Dot Net Nuke, and rebuild the site on that. We'll see. It's definitely a big project.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sidekick

I was thinking to just hold onto the Sidekick until June, when my TMobile contract is up and then for a iPhone, but it's been acting up lately. The wheel button doesn't work well and lately it's been flaking on sending messages as well as even scrolling around. The keyboard gets me through some of that, but the lack of service and sending it a bit of an issue.

I need to crunch some numbers and see if it makes sense to switch earlier. Might be worth it to pay the cancellation out of my business account and absorb the expense.

Back to Keystone

Kendall doesn't want to come, so Delaney and I will head back to Keystone tonight, actually now, to go ski tomorrow. We have the condo for one more day, so it makes sense to just use it and enjoy the skiing.

At first Kendall wanted to come, but I then when Tia was staying back, she decided she wants to stay. My guess is she doesn't want to ski as much as she wants Mommy time, so that's OK. Delaney/Dad snowboarding, either Copper or Keystone tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Falling Behind

Another karate class tonight, this time Delaney went with me and got his second stripe on his purple belt. A few people that started just after me got their red belts and a few people I've worked with a lot got their first purple stripes, so I'm behind quite a few people that I was even with or ahead of last summer.

That's OK with me, especially as I have different priorities. Talked with shihan a bit at the end. He was asking how the knees are doing and I told him they're OK, but not healing great between the work at karate and then going snowboarding almost every week.

Still it's fun and I'm definitely in this for the long term, not the short one.

A Beautiful Day

Without much to do, I managed to log on and go through some email. I'll admit I was very tempted to do some work, but I managed to avoid doing much more than answering a few posts. I'd like to sit with the computer and to a few things, but I also wanted to enjoy the day.

So after helping straighten the house, and clear things out on the computer, I went outside to putter a bit. I got the barn doors adjusted so they close, but I couldn't get the light to work. I suspect it's got a bad sensor since I've tried 3 bulbs in it and none of them work. I have to write to the company for warranty work, so I think I'll first replace the light to get it working and then mess around with it more.

After that I had a nice 2 mile run since the weather was nice. I almost headed to the gym, but with karate tonight, I decided not to overdo things. A quick shower and then lunch with Bob, one of my old baseball teammates. He's old, but I've also left the team, so perhaps I should use "former" teammate. It was great to see him, and he's been a great friend over the last couple years. We ate lunch at The Shack, the restaurant that sponsors the team, and had a good chat. One of the owners was also on the team and stopped by to say "hi" as well.

After that I cleaned my car, something I've been meaning to do. I ran it through a car wash, paper towels and a towel ready to catch some drips. The targa top leaks a bit. Then I cleaned the inside windows and dash and it felt good. Today was over 60F, so it was a nice day and once the car was clean I popped the top and drove home, enjoying the sun.

The kids came home, went inside, and I puttered around in the wood shop a bit. I sharpened some turning chisels, something I haven't done in a long time. Then with sharp chisels, I started looking for things to cut. I found some half finished pens, cut 2 sides down (not matching), ruined two others, and started to last ones, but it was getting dark.

So I took a few swings on the Hit-a-Way, getting motivated for baseball season, then came inside to cook dinner for kids. Now it's time to get ready for karate, but I'm tempted to go swing in the cage downstairs for a few minutes before we leave.

Back Home

We got home around 8:30 last night, Kendall asleep, me nodding off on the journey and waking up to hear Tia and Delaney playing Stump the Wizard. After getting Delaney in the shower and Kendall to bed, I struggled off to a run and then to bed.

It was so nice to be back in my own bed, and I was looking forward to it the whole drive home.

Now puttering around today, fixing some things, cleaning up the house a bit, getting ready for maids.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Great Day

A great day of skiing for us today. We were up relatively early, hit the slopes around 10, and after warming up on a green, we moved to the back side of Keystone and a few blues. No one other than me had skiied back there, and the kids were a little nervous, but after lunch, we tackled it and had a great time. Moving around, trying new slopes, even got Delaney on a black for one run.

We had some good wipeouts as well. I tried to stop to help Kendall when she was sliding, stopped her, but fell over backwards and had a nice 100-150 yard slide on my butt. Then Kendall had a nice wipeout and fortunately someone stopped to help her with her yard sale so I didn't have to walk up the mountain.

A fun day, now time to pack up and head home. We got some good video and pictures that I'll process tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 147

After a morning and early afternoon of reading and drinking water, I felt better and decided to try a run. It was a struggle at first, but I perked up and felt better.

Better

I can't believe I'm hanging out in the condo and not skiing today. We went and had a nice omelet at Village Inn, and I felt better, but still not great. Delaney was happy to hang out, as was Tia, but Kendall wanted to ski (go figure), so Tia dropped D and me off and then went skiing. Delaney rented a movie, and I've been sitting here reading, feeling better. Still off, and I have a little headache, but I'm thinking to go struggle through a run at 2 if I feel up for it.

Not Prepare

Our Scout didn't do a good job of preparing. We had him shower this morning and get clean and when he got out, he asked for clothes. I was confused, and as I asked more questions, Delaney said he thought Tia or I was packing clothes. His bag, packed full, was just toys (guns, books, etc.).

He's usually good about packing, so I didn't check. Guess I've learned to watch him a bit closer.

Altitude

It's never bothered me, but it seems to be doing it now. I had a couple glasses of wine last night and started to feel sick. Headache, stomach slightly nauseous, at first I was thinking hangover (two big glasses), but Tia reminded me I wasn't drinking enough water. I sipped water all night and have been drinking it this morning, but still not feeling great. I need a good, greasy breakfast to get me started and a lot more water.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Good Day Skiing

Everyone got up earlier, and we were on the slopes by 11, though Tia and Kendall split up from us right away. I took the boys and we had a good run, though I ended up waiting for Delaney quite a bit. Some of it is his riding, some is, I think, his board. Need to have a wax/sharpen done on it next week.

Kyle eventually left us, but we still had a good time. I had music playing in the headphones, so I'd let Delaney and Kyle get ahead, and then race down past them, then stop, sit and listen to music. Got some video, but after a run and an hour in the pool with kids I'm too tired to edit anything.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Runs

Things moved really, really slow today. The kids went to play foosball, I got them back, but they wanted to swim, so they went to the pool, Tia was sleeping as was Kyle and I wasn't sure what to do. I hated to leave, especially with my phone dead. Finally Tia got up about 11:15 and said for me to go with Kyle, so we left and rented gear and got on the mountain. When we parked I realized I'd forgotten my gloves, so I had to come back and grab them. Kyle went on ahead and we had plans to meet at 2 at the gondola when Tia and the little ones should be there.

I got on the gondola just about 12 and decided I should make good use of time and headed down some blue runs first. I had a good time racing down and then went back up and down and then and headed to the green run. I found Kyle halfway down and shot some video of him. Actually I've got all kids here.

video

We went up and down a few times, then Tia called to say they weren't coming, so Kyle and I grabbed a snack and did another run. I got him to go through the terrain park, but he wouldn't run over anything. I went over a bar, then a jump and wrecked nicely. The landing reminded me I shouldn't be trying to get more than about a foot of height.

I could see Kyle getting tired on the ride up, and I had a slightly sore knee, so he went to do one more run and I raced down the blues, really pushing myself to go fast, make turns, and work hard. My right thigh was getting tired as I got to the gondola and went back up to try and get one last one in. I got to the bottom just as Kyle was taking off his board, so it was good timing.

A good day, beautiful weather. No wind, about 25, sunny, and fun. My knees got a little sore and I tried some new things, working on the jumps and slopes and learned a few things. I think I also raced down faster than I've gone on a snowboard before.

A Late Start

We slept in  a bit, and it was nice with the little kids heading to the clubhouse to play foosball and air hockey. I showed Tia her video and we talked a bit and then I went running since we were running late and I needed to get the kids.

Now I'm ready to ski, but it doesn't seem like anyone else is. Might be a solo day for me.