Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ten Miles

Our second Hiking Merit Badge hike was yesterday. Delaney and I got up, packed, and drove to Cherry Creek park to meet 10 other people.

It was a beautiful day, me in shorts and t-shirts, as we hiked halfway around the park and back again. A good, hike, not too strenuous but working our feet.

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For the most part, Delaney was in the front group, keeping pace ahead of the adults. He did fine, and didn’t complain much. Near the end, he was even ready to pose.

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A good walk, and a good hike. #3 in two weeks.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vroom, Vroom

Saturday afternoon Delaney and I stopped by the motorcycle shop to check out UTVs. We looked at a few and talked to a salesman. Then we headed home, calling Tia on the road to let her know what we found. She thought we should just move forward, and after we all got home, Tia, Kendall, and I headed back to FayMyers.

Tia test drove a Polaris Ranger, a 500cc UTV, and really liked it. She had been concerned before about turning radius, but some of the benefits, including being able to drive one handed, changed her mind and she decided to get one.


While she was doing paperwork and negotiating a roof and windshield to be added, Kendall and I wandered around the shop. I got Kendall to try out a Gold Wing

Photo Mar 30, 5 38 32 PM

and a sport bike, along with a few others. We chatted about the different things and while she was slightly interested, she wasn’t drooling over motorcycles.

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Tia liked them, however, and we talked about coming back for a few bikes when the kids get older and leave the house. I know I miss mine walking around the shop.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Enjoying and Modifying Yoga

I really look forward to the yoga classes once or twice a week. They truly are a distraction from life, and no matter how much my mind is whirling, I get lost in the class once it starts. Last night was another good class, and though not too hard, I sweated a lot and worked a bit.

I also modified a lot of the lunging things. The right knee is aching. Not sure, and no sharp pains, but certainly it aches when I bend and stress it too much.

It was better, but still went to sleep with ice on it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another Snowboarder

Looking good:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cars and Technology

When I grew up, it was only the radio that had any technology incorporated in cars. I know some of the cars had computers helping to run the engines, but for the most part the driver was insulated from the car technology. Aftermarket radios had more technology features, especially when it came to CDs, which were the rage as I left college.

These days I’ve been in lots of rental cars, looked at various cars as I’ve been in showrooms, and read a number of auto blogs. However as I’ve seen technology advance in many ways, I wasn’t sure where technology would go with cars, and how well it would work. It really seems there are limited ways in which technology really impacts me as a driver without causing danger. Or it did. I have some ideas now.

Note that I know lots of technology has been added for entertainment, especially for kids/back seat passengers. However that’s really been limited to video sources and limited PC integration.

Interesting Advances

There have been a few interesting advances over the years.

Keyless entry has been around for awhile, but proximity, or “smart keys” are fantastic. Our 2007 Prius has a key fob that will allow me to lock/unlock the doors when I’m next to the car. I can also keep the key in my pocket and start the car with a push button. There are aftermarket systems, though I’m not sure how hard they are to use. I love the convenience here, but I dislike the cost of keys ($200+). There’s also the issue of losing a key. It happens, and I’d prefer to have a real key as a backup, but many cars are moving away from that option.

Keypad locks are great, but only Ford/Nissan have implemented them. I’ve seriously considered moving to those models for that reason alone. Not needing a key is great, though I’d prefer a bigger keypad, perhaps a real 12 key pad.

Head Up Display, which I had hoped would catch on, is available in a few models, but only high end ones. I know this can be distracting, but I think a limited amount of information could be handy. I don’t want to get text messages up there, but I do think that it could be handy to have directions as in mapping, the speed limit, fuel alerts, even the road name I’m on.

Bluetooth integration is becoming more and and more common in cars. However the hassles I’ve found with Bluetooth often come from switching from device to device. For example, my wife and I have had to switch off Bluetooth on one phone to the other, which is distracting and arguably dangerous. Personally I’d like to have a few more features (see below).

Navigation started to gain traction, and we have it in the Prius, but with the advances in mobile phones, I think it’s mostly dead. However there are ways to integrate this better.

Entertainment services – I like to see Pandora, Spotify, etc. integrated into the car, but really these depend on your mobile phone. I think that’s fine, but rather that integrating a few apps, I think there ought to be better mobile OS integration instead (see below). The idea of grabbing DirecTV in your car is fine, but really with mobile advances, I’m not sure satellite makes sense anymore. 4G services more widely distributed might kills this.

Wireless Hot Spots – I’m not sure I want this integrated, or that it’s worked well, but it’s not a horrible idea. It just needs better integration.

Hybrid tech/electric cars – I think electric motors are a better idea, but the battery packs aren’t great. I love my Prius, but it really only works economically because I drive > 17k miles a year. Below that it starts to not be a great deal. I’m thinking that there’s a lot of work here to do, though regenerative systems might be table to help here with increasing MPG without as large a battery.

Things I’d like to see

One of the things I would love to see, and which would likely get me to upgrade/change my phone is wireless charging. The new Nexus 4 has a pad which can work with multiple phones. I’ve plugged in various phones, and even seen iPhone 30 pin chargers in cars, but those are susceptible to problems. However a slot or a holder, where I can drop my phone, and have it charge while still being Bluetooth connected, would be fantastic. As it is, trying to get a cord managed in a car is a huge hassle.

Voice technology, commonly called “Siri” is a great idea. My wife worked in this industry, and I do like Siri on my iPhone 4S at times. Not always, and it doesn’t always work in the car when I have passengers, but being able to ask for directions, ask to text someone is great. The problem is it doesn’t go far enough. Note this is available on other platforms, though similar services.

What I’d really like is more ability from voice services is to read me things. Let me ask for new emails, or tweets, or some set of things I’ve scheduled and have them read to me. I’d even like articles or new to be read to me, almost NPR style. I know this might require some content providers to add tags or something, but it’s possible and it would be handy. Let me get “customized” news or information, personal assistant style.

With that, I think the idea of separation needs to be a part of our audio. Bluetooth headsets work well, and this could be the technology that’s used, but in line with that, give me two options. One, a charger in the car, and two, a headset line that I can plug into if my battery is dead. I might have music playing, or want to privately hear texts/messages. Give me the option.

Inline with that, integrate with the various mobile OSes to take apps/functions installed on the phone and allow me to control them from the car. If there’s a voice service, let me have a button on the car that activates it. If I’ve got navigation, take the screen, or at least the directions from my device.

However taking apps from the phone is nice, but I’d also like to take the connection. Don’t give me another connection to my car, especially as speeds increase. I know carriers don’t like this, but they ought to get away from the “device” model and get to the “connection model” anyway. Let me activate a phone connection, tether it, and have the car repeat this, in a secure manner. Let me give the code to others in my car, and make it long and secure. Have it pop up on the dash somewhere for people in the car to read.

I also want more hard buttons. I like the ability to actually press a button or turn a knob. Especially when I’m driving and I can feel a button easier than I can find a place on the screen to press. The addition of buttons on the steering wheel, even the toggles on the back of the wheel, are really nice. However don’t assume that I want the buttons to do what you want them to. Give me hard buttons, but make them programmable. Let me set the buttons to change volume, or tune stations, or tune presets, as I choose. Let me set them to any function that’s integrated into the car. For example, the Prius temp controls are on the touch screen. However that’s not practical, or necessarily safe, when I’m driving. Fortunately I have a toggle on the steering wheel I can change by touch. Most cars don’t have that, but give me 10 buttons in places, and 4-6 toggles I can program away from the screen.

In terms of car technology outside of entertainment, there are a few interesting ideas in this article. I love the idea of cars communicating, especially if this is limited to warnings. I don’t want automatic braking. As much as I think this could help, I suspect it will get hacked to cause vandalism and trouble. Leave the driver in control for the most part. I do, however, like the idea of a self-driving car. I’d love to be able to read while the car tools down the highway.

There’s also a video on the top 5 reasons for self-driving cars. It raises some good points. Rather than having cars communicate, however, perhaps we’d like them to broadcast what they are doing, or about to do. Other cars can then look for braking, lane changes, or other cues that would allow them to respond quicker if necessary, and ignore the broadcast if the action didn’t materialize.

A few things to look at

C|Net Pictures of Ford EcoSport - 

Ford EVOS concept - I can’t believe Ford ignores the gull wing doors. I’ve love those:


The Tesla Model X – This interests me:

Tesla Model S -

The Aptera – I’d consider this if I wasn’t in the country:

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Healthcare Lottery

W. T. F.?

<sarcasm>yeah, this is a great idea</sarcasm>. I don't love the ACA (Obamacare), but is this a better idea? The problems this tries to address are the reason the ACA was passed. We can do better, but repealing the ACA is on the answer, despite all the flurry of GOP lawmakers scrambling over each other to do that.

If you don't like it, supersede it with something better.

Book #12 – Hell Island

51YS8I6smVL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_Delaney had mentioned this as another Matthew Reilly book and while I was traveling, I stopped by a Barnes and Noble and found Hell Island. I read it on the plane home, and it was a fun, though short and predictable read.

It takes place between Scarecrow and Scarecrow returns. A decommissions aircraft carrier stops off at Hell Island, an Island that doesn’t appear on any maps, having been used by the US as a research station after WWII. Scarecrow’s team is sent in, along with a Seal Team, a Ranger squadron, and the Air Force’s 182nd.

We can guess that something strange is happening. The 182nd leader assumes charge, arrogantly and doesn’t listen to Scarecrow. The groups are all killed, torn apart by some strange enemy. Scarecrow realizes that the radio transmissions are a problem and orders his team to switch to a new frequency and channel.

We quickly realize this is an experiment gone wrong, and Scarecrow just manages to escape, with just Mother and a few others.

This book was written for Australian schools, as a way to get kids interested. Only a little over 100 pages, it’s short, quick, not much development of characters. Still, if you’re wondering what happened here (it’s mentioned in Scarecrow Returns), read it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Family Volleyball

After the snow Saturday, it was a quiet, lazy day Sunday around the house. Kids slept in, I relaxed inside, doing a little work and reading. Tia had a lesson during the day, and around 6 we all packed up to get outside and play some volleyball.

It was a quiet night at the rec center. Only a few people were there and two kids were on one court. We warmed up, just the four of us, laughing and having fun, and when the court cleared, we started some 2 on 2. Just relaxed, not really serving. Eventually the two girls joined us, and we played.

It was interesting to see the contrast with Kendall and the girls. One of them had played on the losing team against Kendall Saturday, and she was trying, but clearly Kendall was in a different league. She’s a much better player than most anyone I’ve seen at her age. Hopefully that continued.

We had another Dad and high schooler show up later and we played a bit, but it was relaxed, somewhat slow. Tia dropped out for awhile, then Kendall. Not a great night, but still fun.

Afterwards family Chipotle night, where for once, no one had a screen and we could just chat. That was nice.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


We woke up to a snowy yard, snow still coming down and the wind blowing. We were sure the volleyball game would be cancelled, but when I called at 7:30, it wasn't. It was picture day, and I guess they didn't want to reschedule.

So I got out at 10 to plow. The driveway wasn't too bad, which was good. Tia fed horses and we packed up to leave. The driveway was already starting to blow over, so I'm glad Tia didn't try to use the Prius. We got down there, texting the other coach to delay things. Good since we were 5 minutes late.

Pictures were quick, and we had 10 minutes to watch the game before ours before warming up. The girls looked good. Only 7 today, so everyone played a lot. During warmups we had great passes back to the coaches, and things were looking good.

Kendall started the game serving. Her first one didn't go over, and I could see she was nervous. She was tentative with the swing, and when she's at the adult line, she can't be. Our team dropped 3 points in a row then, not getting good hits over, but we had some good passes. The next girl hit 5 over and that was about it. The team made lots of great 2 and 3 hit rallies on their side, they saved balls that would have dropped last season, and overall  they served well. We had quite a few girls going overhand serves, and they looked good, though a bunch were out of bounds.

Kendall played well. Without knee pads she had to be careful, but she moved well to call balls, and get under them, passing them nicely to other people. She had a couple nice saves on the third hit when she had to move quite a way to get it over. Her second serve was out of bounds on the side, and I mentioned she was stepping sideways. From there, the rest of her serves were hard, over, and in. She even had a couple sets.

None of the games were close, and the girls played well. A good day for everyone, and we were really proud as coaches. They're getting closer to playing real volleyball.

The other coach mentioned that she had seen Kendall and Tia during one of our Sunday night practices and thought Kendall was an 8th grader. She knew her team was in trouble when she say Kendall on our team.

Afterwards we hit the store and then came home to hunker down. It's a windy, snowy day outside. Perfect for relaxing inside.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Wrote this on Facebook:

This is somewhat a bad trend, with us stratifying our economic classes in the country. Across a hundred years or so, this leads to revolution. We don't need things equal, but we do want to make sure you have fair opportunities for people to move around and wealth to spread through hard work. I'm not sure our systems encourage this. Instead, it looks more like our laws are geared to help those that have more (really the 80-99%) and limit the abilities of people below that to move up (in general). Individuals will always find ways to succeed, I'm talking more as an overall view of large numbers of people.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book #11 – Scarecrow Returns

51rf8dXeabL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_I bought this for my son, but since I enjoyed the Scarecrow series, I wanted to read it as well. Scarecrow Returns is months after Scarecrow. He’s recovering from his trauma in the previous book and has been sent to the Arctic to test new equipment. This is because the French government has been trying to kill him.
However there’s another problem. A madman has taken over an old Soviet research base, with a  doomsday weapon that will likely destroy much of Europe if he can set it off. A scientist warns the world, but his plane is shot down before he escapes. The Soviets try to send a missile, but it’s diverted back to its launch site. The US sends in Scarecrow.
It’s the same action packed, quick pace of the previous books, but it’s too fantastic. While the stories in Ice Station and Area 7 were plausible, this one and the Seven Greatest Warrior series are too fantastic and that sometimes intrudes on what could be a great adventure.
It was a good read, and a wild ride, but a little too fantastic in places. I also thought this one felt rushed, without the details I enjoyed in Ice Station.

Snow Day

Yesterday was a snow day for us. We had planned on last week, but after late night Thur volleyball and feeling a little under the weather, we skipped things. I had friends in town from Ohio visiting family, and we planned on meeting them. After making the kids get up early to make the bus, I packed while Tia fed horses.

Photo Mar 20, 7 33 59 AM

We managed to leave before 8, grabbing our breakfast burritos and coffee before driving up.

Another friend from Denver went up as well, and we met at the bottom, heading up for some skiing. Tia and I go fairly fast, so we ended up waiting a bit for people, but it was still a good day. We chatted with various people on lifts and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Photo Mar 20, 12 44 03 PM

I saw friends up there and we skied a run or two, but they were a large group and moving slow, so we said goodbye and headed off.

The sun was shining with little wind and warm, but not too warm temps. Even on top of the mountain things were great.

Photo Mar 20, 12 44 06 PM

Not a challenging day, but a fun one. We smiled and laughed, and had a good time. Glad to be back on the slopes.


Photo Mar 20, 12 52 46 PM

We were headed back at 2, with me dropping off Tia at home to train a horse and then going to get kids.

Kids were really interesting. Delaney had track practice, and Kendall wanted to go to the library, so I had given her money before school to walk to Subway and the library. She did, and called us as we drove home to say she was waiting at the library. I picked up Delaney and then Kendall, who was proud of herself for making her way over on her own.

I dropped the kids off, and headed out again. A friend from TX was in town to speak in the Springs and I wouldn’t get a chance to hang out with him if I didn’t go. So after 200mi of driving for skiing, I headed down to the springs, clocking another 100mi to see him speak.

Photo Mar 20, 7 05 31 PM

Worth it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Good Day

It's actually been a really good day and I'm looking forward to relaxing with Tia later.

It started with me sleeping in. That rarely happens, and it was good today. Tia took Delaney to a Scout service project and then went to her mounted patrol training. Meanwhile I got to sleep in before watching a little TV with a cup of coffee before heading out the feed horses.

It was windy and a little chilly, but not bad. I had music in headphones while I got the hay out, without any events. It was easy and fairly quick. On the way back I texted Kendall to get dressed and come out. She did, helping me to get the hay covered in anticipation of rain. One of the tarps had blown off, so I lifted her up with the tractor and then climbed up with her. Together we secured the tarp back down before coming in to change.


I love coaching Kendall, and am a little sad I won't be doing it next fall. Today was our first game, and I'm sure we both were slightly nervous. We went a little early, and it was good to be there, relaxed, without being in a hurry. A short warmup, and then the game.

I knew it would go easy for our team when the other coach mentioned he had a lot of new girls. We ended on a hard note last year, losing in the tournament championship and a few of the girls struggled on Thursday. We had all but two start with underhand serves, which was good and we got a lot over. We had a few 5 serve girls, though a few messed up. Kendall and one of our other overhand servers hit their first balls wide. We also struggled to return some balls, mostly because we hit it back on the first hit and all volleys are two hits on a side this year. That was a bit tough in the first game, which was close, but we won going away.

The second two weren't close as Kendall and 3 or 4 other girls had 5 point serves (that's the limit). Kendall's serves have come back strong, with her hitting them high and long overhand, even from behind the adult line. She moved well, getting some good hits up, and even had two sets. Good to see her improving. She's the best player we have by far, and she showed it. A few other girls are moving well and reacting, and most had at least one good hit and a few serves today.

Afterwards Kendall wanted a friend to come over, so the two of us and her friend (named Tia) went to eat some lunch before a couple errands and coming home. When we got back, I headed out to work on fencing since the rain hadn't come. I've been meaning to dig out a couple posts, and decided to do that. As I walked out, I saw the driveway, somewhat in disarray after a few snowstorms and decided to run the blade down it a couple times. That worked OK, and I need to do it more, but I didn't want that to be my day.

I walked out with a shovel, Kendall and her friend following. I asked them to bring two fence posts out, and they did, watching me dig out two posts and replace them. That done, and it was relatively easy with wet ground, I gave them a tractor ride. They like riding on the forks and we circled the house and front yard before I called it a day.

A quick walk on the treadmill, burning some calories and making sure I keep moving got me to this point. Now time to cook and relax.

It's been a relaxing day. Lots of stuff getting done, but moving at a relaxed pace, things working out, nothing broken, no dogs running away, no problems. A good, productive, quiet day around the ranch.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Never Been a Delta Customer, Not Sure I Ever Will Be

I understand there are risks with any business, and I certainly understand that not every person working in a company represents that business well, or even as the business itself would want itself to be presented.

That being said, I was somewhat surprised by this story about a cellist losing not only the airline miles accumulated for his cello, but also his own. I don’t know everything about this story, but I’d like to know more, and I am very interested to see how Delta handles this.

We could argue about whether an inanimate object, like a cello, deserves the chance to “earn” miles. I think it does if someone is buying a ticket for it. It’s a bargain for the airline since they get the fare, but don’t have the hassles of feeding, serving, pumping sewage, or even using much fuel (many instruments weight less than people). However I’d be willing to listen to arguments that objects can’t get miles, and I wouldn’t say those were wrong. Just a different view.

However pulling an individual’s account as well sounds like some shit-headed manager or accountant taking some personal affront to the idea that a customer set this up. It’s uncalled for, and if avoiding paying out a few benefits to customers for minor transgressions is that important to you, you’re not someone I want to business with.

I’ve never been a Delta customer. I don’t know that I’d switch, but I do know if Delta decides this is the way they do business, they don’t deserve any of mine.

Feeling my age

This is one of those days where I’m struggling. Tia and I planned to go skiing, but bailed last night at midnight. After an hour of volleyball at the church, following a hard 45 minutes in our game, I was beat.  I slept with an ice pack on my knee and it was stiff and aching this morning. Didn’t want to get out of the truck and walk after taking kids to school. I sat there for 10 minutes or so listening to the radio and check email.

I think I’ve overdone something lately, and it may be yoga. Despite the slow movement, I think I need to watch the warrior poses and the bending, and also be careful with my running. I’ve been trying to keep speed up, but perhaps I need to slow down a bit.

I also think the lifting and running on Wed was a bad idea. As I went to volleyball practice with Kendall yesterday, I could feel my knee was sore. I wore a strap at one game, but didn’t put it back on for late night. Mistake.

On the plus side, I had some good spikes and a couple blocks last night.

The last digit of pi


This made me laugh.

Technology is so cool

A few things I’ve seen recently:

Company embeds USB drive in paper

Some interesting possibilities with that one.

A touchscreen for older people – I think about getting older more and more. Not worried or upset, but planning and considering how I want to deal with life as I age.


Paint a pizza – I like pizza

A self powered charger - Always have power, which is something I wish more battery packs/chargers would consider. Add a mini generator.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Assistant Spool

Tonight was Delaney's first real troop meeting as the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (A SPooL). It was a busy day, with me picking him up at 5 from track, then dinner out in town before a 6pm Patrol Leadership Council (PLC) meeting and then the troop meeting. I sat in on the PLC, and it was a lot for the boys to take in. I suspect Delaney and SPL were slightly overloaded. We'll see how they do.

They were up in front of the troop, however, leading them along in the opening. Delaney didn't call flags, but he did get boys organized and called for announcements, running part of the meeting. Good to see him taking a leadership role.

I also saw him introduce himself to some of the newer boys. Amazing how much he's grown since he came into the troop.


Back home, back with my wife, back to the kids, and back in my bed. All good things.

A few hours catching up with my wife yesterday before jumping into kid mode and then yoga at night. I think I have had too many slack days as my legs were tight at yoga, especially the right hamstring. Need to do a bit more stretching and movement today.

With the time change, the DST change, and a good, hard yoga class, not sure what happened last night. I was laying next to Tia and then I was waking up at night.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Step Away from Life

A quiet family day today. Not for my family, but my brother's.  It was really nice to step away from my life for a bit and catch up with everyone.

I had planned to spend Sat night, Sun, and Mon morning with them, but things took a turn on me. As I was working Saturday, I got a call from my younger brother that all of his family was ill. They were a little iffy on what to do about our trip. I agreed to call later and check on things. After a long day of work, I headed up to Maryland from the Richmond area.

After a nice call with my wife, who's hard a hard week, I called my brother. Everyone was much better, but we agreed it was a bad idea for me to stay at their house. I didn't want to get sick, so I booked a hotel on the way. Thanks to Siri and mobile apps, I was relatively safe on the drive up I-95 as I made arrangements for a hotel. As little as I use Siri, I am really glad I have capabilities as I drive around.

A quiet dinner for me, watching Duke dismantle Carolina, before sleep and a morning run. I heard that everyone was up around 9 and I headed over. I had brought over 3 copies of Wreck this Journal for my three nephews. The two younger ones loved them, going through a number of items throughout the day, including taking their books for a "walk" to the diner we hit for breakfast.

I was greeted by this sign, which I thought was really cute.

From there it was a mix of hanging out with my brother and his wife, chatting about life and what's been happening since we were last together. This alternated with some interactions with the kids. The kids had a few things to show me, but were mostly shy. We had brunch, and went for a hike, which was good. I had the chance to chat with Nigel as we walked, which was neat. I haven't had much chance to spend with them over the years, and I enjoyed it.

The afternoon and evening were all at their house, hanging out. I introduced them to Free Flow, a game on my phone that the kids put on their iPod and competed to solve the puzzles. I tried to hint to Deven the things I look for, without giving him answers. It was neat to see them work through the puzzles and figure things out.

A great, relaxing day away from my life. I love my life and I miss my family, but it was refreshing and enjoyable to spend a day with my brother and his family while I'm away from home. Worth the extra day of travel.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Outrageous Pay

Overall I think that if someone pays you something, you’re worth it. However that’s gotten out of control, IMHO, with some of the CEO pay in the US. There are plenty of business owners and CEOs in other countries that see our pay as excessive, and it’s gotten worse. Once we mandated disclosure after the roaring ‘80s, it seems executive pay rose. It became a competitive item among CEOs and boards.

I noticed the Switzerland recently passed some legislation to limit pay, which I thought was an interesting idea. Executive titles shouldn’t be a lottery, at least not without the executive working for years. It’s a job, especially for managers brought in that didn’t found a company.

Then I saw this piece on lavish CEO perks, and I re-thought things again. I’m all for paying people what they earn, but some of these perks are silly. I know many of them are ways to increase compensation in a tax-lowering manner, but honestly I think I’d prefer we level out some compensation and then let these CEOs pay for what they really want.

It’s silly for Boeing’s CEO to not pay for his own car and plane when he’s making $22mm a year. Just like it’s crazy for Comcast’s CEO to get extra pension payments. If he’s making $20mm a year, buy his own pension. To me, these are examples of taking money from shareholders inappropriately when they have no say. The shareholders should see more of that money come back to them in terms of increased value or dividends, not tens of millions of dollars for executives who arguably don’t do a lot more than the VPs who may make a fraction of what the boss does.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book #10 - From Chaos Born

I read the other trilogy from Michael Hicks, the "In Her Name" series and loved it. That's more science fiction, and this is more fantasy. From Chaos Born is the first in the trilogy of the Kreelan, taking place hundreds of thousands of years before humans came to be.

In this one, the Tesh Dar are the strongest of the six temples, and one of their priests is concerned about the rest of the Homeworld. The Dark Queen, from the seventh temple, has raised an army and is slowly conquering the world. However the priests are bound to not interfere if they are not attacked.

However the Dark Queen has plans to take over the temples, and manages to essentially possess oe of the acolytes of the Tesh-Dar. As she plans on sending him back to the temple, Keel-Tath, the first Empress with white hair and crimson talons is born to the leaders of Keel-Ar. Her parents are told by the priest of the Tesh-Dar that she is the child from a prophecy, who will one day unite all the tribes and temples.

The mother decides her child must be taken to the Tesh-Dar temple, to be protected and raised. She sets out just in time, as the Dark Queen makes for her city. The father manages to elude the Dark Queen and almost returns, but is captured, being killed as his city is burned. As expected, the mother makes it to the Tesh-Dar temple, but dies on the doorstep.

There's much more to the book, and lots of character development. I don't love fantasy, and struggled to get through this book, but near the end it captivate me and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Athletic Saturday

Once again I woke up alone, Tia off to wilderness training again for her mounted patrol time. I decided on a nice lazy morning, especially since I didn't get a lot of sleep Thur night after volleyball. I watched some TV, drank some coffee, all with Uma snoring next to me.

After a few hours, I was ready to get stuff done. I got Kendall moving to eat and get ready to come with me to yoga. While she ate, I took the dogs on a mile walk to get the mail. Probably a mile and a half for them with all their bounding around, but they burned some energy.

Hot Yoga this afternoon, Kendall's first class. She was worried, but it was a good day to go, with 4 or 5 other kids in there for the family class. She did well, though said it was hard. We both had a good sweat by the end and refueled with some lunch.

With Delaney working on the hiking merit badge, I wanted to get him out. When we got home, I changed and then he and I headed out. With two dogs, we did 4 miles, mostly to just keep feet and legs moving and used to some time on the road. A good hike as the sun was setting.

Now I'm ready to sit down and relax a bit.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Envisioning the Future

I'd like to work at the Microsoft Envisioning Center. Not really in the office, but if I could take some of this tech home, that would be cool.

There are some neat ideas in this video, though it's a bit staged. I rarely find a quiet enough place, especially in modern offices, to use voice. In fact, I only use Siri when I'm driving, to send texts. Now if I could get it to read to me ...

However the idea of software, and devices, being interconnected within the house (with strong certificate security and very, very strong firewalling from the Internet, and allowing me to move media/information easily from one to the other. To pop up messages on the TV or a computer, or a device seemlessly. To specify reading or printing, or both. Help with cooking. It's interesting.

Spring Season

It’s almost volleyball time again for Kendall. Last night was the coaches meeting, and it was good to see the league evolving into a more organized, more teaching group and less strict rules. It sounds like some of the issues of the last two seasons are being cleaned up and things made more consistent.

Afterwards I went to a short coaches clinic and got a few things to think about for the girls, including a nice site for them (and us) to visit:

Looking forward to the season, though a little disappointed I’ll be gone for the first practice and then for 3 of the 8 games.


My alma mater wins last night, over Duke, no less. As I ate some dinner before volleyball, I watched some of the game, hoping that the Cavs would hold off the Blue Devils.