Wednesday, March 30, 2011
These are good tips, and enjoyables ones. I get the chance to network and bond with people, shake some hands, and buy a few drinks. I used to wonder how much value I get, but the chance to gain other perspectives, get inspired and be forced to think more is incredibly valuable in my work. Especially when it's a bunch of geeks that talk about things that are common and of interest to me.
A long trip, and I almost wish I could be heading home tonight, but it would mess up my evening and I'd be stressed about the flight, so I'll go to sleep and get up for my early flight home.
I managed to stumble down and run, and feel a little better, but tired eyes. One more day of conference life and then I am ready to head home.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I hit the sack right away after checking the conference schedule and groaning at the 8am first session. My site is sponsoring a track, which means that I need to be there to meet speakers and people. That means that trying to get in a run so that I'm not jammed up all day means a 6am wake up and run in time to get to breakfast at a reasonable hour.
I made it, but I was beat this morning. I staggered to the fitness center, and woke up after 5-6 minutes in a run, feeling better as I ran. Coffee, some breakfast,and I was ready for sessions. However that only carries you so far. I blogged and tried to pay attention to the sessions, and it mostly worked, but I was feeling a little rundown by the 4:00 session. I worked a touch, then drinks with friends and the speaker's reception that was followed by more drinks.
Great fun, and I enjoy sitting down and talking with friends and people that I'll work with. I built some bonds, did a little networking to meet a few new people, and enjoyed some time, but I was tired. As the evening wore down, I could feel my eyes getting tired and a check in the bathroom mirror showed them to be pretty red. Time to call it a night.
So back to the room, 45 minutes of work, and I'm done. Ready for bed.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I haven’t had to work on the Database Weekly newsletter in a month, and I knew my time was coming, but for some reason I didn’t realize it was this week. My calendar didn’t remind me, or if it did I ignored it. When I closed down work yesterday I thought it was strange that I didn’t see a newsletter scheduled and after volleyball this morning I thought I should check.
Yep, my week.
So I’m jamming this morning, trying to get a newsletter built and scheduled.
Kendall had volleyball this morning. It was her second game, at an early 9am, and down in Castle Rock. After date night last night, getting up at 7:30am wasn’t what we wanted, but we managed to get the little ones up along with Kendall’s friend and head down.
It’s amazing to see the girls progressing. We only have 3 girls from last season, but everyone seems a little more mature and skilled. Still a lot of standing around, but a little more movement, and definitely more talent in bumping the ball over the net. Kendall had some good bumps, and some good dives or attempts that didn’t’ work, but showed a lot of effort.
They won the last two games after losing the first one and played well overall. Tia got really excited as they closed in on both wins. I was excited, but managed not to get too verbal about it after learning some lessons with the boys.
A good morning, even though it was really early.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Delaney was a little nervous at first, and I think he was scared after some of our last runs at Steamboat, so he and I worked our way to the North, easy side of the mountain, letting him set the pace and we had some good runs. Hopefully he enjoyed it and will want to go again.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Kendall went to watch a DVD today on the iMac and pulled the bean bag over to her, grabbed a blanket and curled up. Milky Way, the cat, came over to lay with her, once Junior was gone, and she called Tia over to take some pictures.
She also took a few herself.
As I was getting the pictures, I got this one of the puppy. He’s a lot bigger now
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The wind was howling a bit, and my eyes were getting tired as I tried to work my way down, completing the first primer coat.
It got chilly while I did that, so I bailed on starting the actual trim color. I'll work on that this week, go out there a day or two during the week and finish that up.
My back was a little sore after all the up and down with painting and trying to get a target finished for Kendall, so I just played third, electing not to do any quick twists that might tighten it up. That was fine with me as I would have seen the 322 fence and tried to swing hard.
I missed a grounder in the 2nd or 3rd that was to my left. I managed to get over to it, but it skimmed the ground and I couldn't quite bend over that far on the run. I got a slow roller that was a mis-hit a few innings later and ran up, grabbed it, but pulled Sean off of first base to the inside. I warned him of that, and it was an OK throw, just to the side. At least I managed to make a good throw. In the last inning I also picked up a short grounder to the left and started a double play. A close one, but I think we got him and that was good.
Over all a good day, but each side wanted to get 4 pitchers in, so we ended probably playing 10 or 11 innings, moving a little slow and being out there for 3+ hours.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I posted some notes on the project over at the Sawdust and Splinters blog, but I finally added a back railing to the house. I got it up last week and today Kendall and I went out and primed the railing.
Well, she did the top rail and the fronts of 6 or 7 balusters before the wind chilled her and the effort of going back and forth got her tired. I’m hoping to get her back out there later and do the matching trim paint that will fit it into the house.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I am so looking forward to the weekend and sleeping in a bit.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
This has been a hard day. Busy as I’m trying to get things done and get ready to ski tomorrow. I travel in two weeks and so it’s a lot of stuff that I’m juggling. Add to that Tia is stressed about work and that adds to my stress. Kids are home as well and they’re bored.
Life is hard some days.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Great to see her doing well, hitting grade level on the standardized stuff, and impressing the teacher with her work ethic and attitude.
While we were in there, Kendall was back at the book fair, this time with her wallet and allowance in there. She spent $18 getting two more books, some school supplies that she wanted, and a couple posters for her room. Cool to see her spending money on that stuff and not more toys or stuffed animals. Here she is, getting change back and managing her money.
I’ve always admired Grant Hill, a guy that comes from money, made money, and could have retired a long time ago due to injury. He continues to come to play every night.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Daylight savings caught up with us today. I forgot to reset clocks yesterday and we woke up late. Actually I don’t know who woke up, but either Tia or Delaney got going late and Delaney was the one that came back to get Kendall and I to get up at 7:25. Delaney had already missed the bus and Tia was driving him. I got Kendall going, and we actually managed to get to the school just before the last bell rung. Everyone was inside from the school, but she likely was only a minute late getting to class.
I like having more daylight in the summer, but do we need to keep changing the time in the winter? That’s what it feels like to me and it seems unnecessary.
I’m not much of a bracket guy, and I don’t miss the time in the office working over brackets with people. However I do miss the eight eights tournament that my boss used to run.
Once upon a time I worked at a small company where the owner was a huge college basketball fan. This week, after Selection Sunday, was basically a time when a section of the office, including all the IT staff, was shut down and working on the tournament. My boss engineered one of the biggest private tournament pools I knew, calling our customers, friends, getting 300-400 people to jump into a $20 pool with the top three people taking home large prizes. We were sending out tons of brackets on Mon/Tue and then manually grading these over the next 3 weeks. My boss would even bring in a TV to watch on Thur/Fri the first two weeks and we were allowed to go watch if we had time.
However the highlight was a private, 8 person only contest. Another $20 each, and the 8 from the previous year had the right of first refusal to participate again. New people were invitation only. My second year there someone dropped out and I was invited. The rules were simple. We draw numbers out of a hat for a draft order, and we go around the room, each person “picking” a team in the tournament.
Eight people, each gets eight picks. You get one point per win, and the most points after 3 weeks wins the entire pot, $160.
Not as profitable as winning the brackets, which would be over $1000, but much more fun. Small, intimate, only 8 people that you can harass and joke with for 3 weeks.
I played for 3 years, and it was great. One of the things I remember the most. I tried to organize one a few years later at a new company, but couldn’t get interest. I’d like to do one remotely, but the draft online might be hard to pull off. I might try it at SSC as it was a lot of fun in the past.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
One thing I do think will live long after this is the nuclear power issue. There are problems at a plant over there as the cooling system is not keeping up. There's a real danger of meltdown, and this showcases one of the major issues with nuclear power. When there is an issue, or a potential for meltdown, humans can't easily get close to determine what's wrong. Exposure of the fuel is deadly. A person trying to run 5 ft inside the reactor to punch an emergency switch (if there were one), would likely be dead by the time they hit the switch.
That's scary. And I'm worried this type of disaster, even without a meltdown, will make people in the US more wary about expanding our nuclear power options. I'd like to see more nuclear plants, since I think it's a good fuel, but the hysteria, and all the news coverage plays on people's fear of radiation. The ignorance about what radiation is, how it works, and how it's transmitted means that more and more of the public is against nuclear power just because of that fear.
I can understand it, but I hope this doesn't set the US nuclear program back another 20 years.
Delaney has a friend coming over today, so he declined to go hiking with Tia and Kendall. They were going to Castlewood Canyon with the dogs to enjoy the 65F day here in CO. I declined as well, thinking I might do a few things around the house and run.
I also made Delaney come run with me, to get him some exercise and get him out of the house. I asked him if he wanted to go from the house or the mailbox and he said house. So we jogged up the driveway and road, and he almost made it, running out of gas near the last neighbor’s driveway. It’s quite a climb, and I know he struggled, but he kept going.
We made it to Kendall’s bus stop, and he had to walk a few times during the run, but he kept jogging again and worked hard. I told him at the end the run hadn’t killed him and he was stronger. He told me he wasn’t sure he was still alive
Friday, March 11, 2011
I had the dogs here, who I had to lock in the house so they wouldn't chase her down and upset Gemini. Delaney comes about 15 minutes later, and I wasn't sure what to do. I had his bike in the back of the Prius, but getting the Prius out of the garage without dogs chasing down the yard looked tough. So I loaded up Deuce and Junior, and we headed out, with my hoping Oscar would stay home.
We got to the bus stop and met Delaney, trading his bike for his cello and letting him head home. We met Tia and Kendall at the gate, and the dogs jumped out to walk home with her while I drove home, chasing Delaney who'd passed us while we were chatting.
Life at the ranch is fun. How many other kids get picked up on horses from their bus stop?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I just re-read my keynote from last year at SQL Saturday #28 in Baton Rouge: The Long Road. It was my first keynote talk, a non-technical talk to a large group, and I enjoyed it. It went well, and was well received.
No slide deck for that one, just me walking around and talking, but I enjoyed it.
Unlike the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta keynote, I recorded this one:
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The cat, Milky Way, is very interested in the puppy, but also wary. The puppy surprised her the other day and ended up with a scratch on his nose. Not bad, but enough that’s he careful.
However the puppy is interested, too. So while we were hanging out in the bathroom for a few minutes, Deuce and the cat were relaxing.
However Junior couldn’t leave well enough alone and walked over to see what the cat was doing. No scratches, but the cat let him know in no uncertain terms that jumping on her or moving too quickly isn’t well tolerated.
It’s nice to see the other animals getting used to Junior and playing with him a little.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The stress of last week, with travel to Seattle and 3 talks at the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta yesterday is bleeding off. Starting to feel a little more relaxed now.
The MVP Summit is fun, and it's a good use of some of my time to meet with people, see some technology, make contacts, and build up my Microsoft network for the future. However it's also a bunch of long days, poor sleep in the hotel, and too much alcohol. I never got tipsy, but having 2-3 drinks a day is a lot for me and it wears me out.
To top it off, I left early and started immediately stressing about my keynote for the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta. I had the main keynote, and expected 300-400 people there, plus Tia. She's never seen me speak, and so I was nervous about that. It's also a tough way to talk for me since I love feedback from the audience, but in this case it's not interactive. The audience is sitting there, while I talk for 40 minutes and not responding a bunch.
It was a good crowd, and I was on a real stage, standing backstage as they got started and introduced me. I snapped a picture as people were coming in from the stage as I set up my laptop and iPad.
I think between Wed and Friday I rewrote pieces of my keynote 10 times, trying to get a flow working and providing some motivation for people. As a result, I knew the topic well, but the wording and ordering were a pain to memorize. So I set up my teleprompter on the iPad and used that to keep me going. A small podium, a fixed microphone, and fitting my laptop for Powerpoint and my iPad for prompting was tight.
It went fairly smoothly, and I got to do something on the spur of the moment that is rare. It's not often you get on stage with a captive audience for something like a keynote and also have loved ones in the audience I've done three keynotes in my life and this was the first time this happened. So just before I used a short story from my life that included Tia, I stopped and took a moment to thank her publicly for all the support I've gotten. It was cool and the audience applauded for a moment.
I felt like a stumbled a few times, but overall I think the keynote went well. I got some nice complements all day long for it, and both my sessions later were busy and worked out well. It was a good day, but full of stress. I was very glad to get home last night and be able to unwind a bit.
He woke up around 7:30 and we walked around outside with Kendall, fed horses, and then went for a short ride in the Porsche, which I had to jump start.
Now he's off selling Girl Scout cookies with Tia and Kendall. Hopefully he's a help and not a nuisance.
Friday, March 4, 2011
To top it off, it's a busy week for me and Tia. She's always busy and this week doesn't help. I have three presentations tomorrow, including a keynote I'm trying to finish editing for the 10th time and practice. I'm nervous about the delivery, since the last time I did this I had technology issues. I've been practicing a bit with the iPad, and we'll see if that works out for tomorrow.