Saturday, July 31, 2004

Almanor Day 1

After a stop at Starbucks, Jack, Morgan and I left Elk Grove about 9:45 a.m. and headed up the valley towards Lake Almanor. We took highway 99 through Yuba City, stopping in Gridley for a subway sandwich, to Chico and then picked up highway 32 to highway 36 into Chester. We rolled into the Dorado Inn about 1:15 p.m. The Wallens showed up about 2:15 p.m. We worked on getting all of the cars unloaded and then John, Jill and I sat on the boat ramp and enjoyed the view of the lake.

Hunter showed up about 5:15 p.m. and the Tomasin's rolled in a little after 6:00 p.m. Jack spent most of the afternoon running around with the big boys playing golf with Danny, hanging out in the Hunter's cabin and then playing Basketball with Mike Tomasin.

Tomasin and Hunter ran out and got pizza for the group. Tomasin, Julie, Wallen, Jill, Hunter and I ended the evening sitting around the picnic tables and catching up.

Almanor Day 2

Jack and Danny Hunter

Jack and Danny Hunter

Friday, July 30, 2004


Drew has been suffering the last couple days from some of the same symptoms that he had in May. The end result is that he is not going to make it to Almanor this year. I was really looking forward to having a chance to spend a few days with him. After two weeks of long hours as staff at Sugarloaf, he is making the right decision, albeit difficult decision, to lay low and rest up.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

HP Briefing

Yvonne Risch, John Hummel, Todd Peterson and I spent a long day at the HP Customer Center in Cupertino. The agenda included: HP's Health Care Initiative; Adaptive Enterprise; ITSM Best Partices for Service Management; OpenView for IT Service Management; Business Continuity; Storage Solutions for Healthcare; Beyond TCO, and; Integrity Servers. It was almost 9:00 p.m. by the time I got home.

We have done a lot of briefings with different companies over the last year. I try to find a couple of nuggets of information in each briefing to take back and see how I can incorporate into all the things that we have going on. Looking at my notes and thinking about the day, two things stand out.

First, several of us in my management team have been talking about ITIL and have started some fundamental training. We need to acelerate those efforts.

Second, Windows CE IPaqs are dead. As an organization, we bought a lot of IPaqs over the last few years. I am an earlier adopter and have an elephant's graveyard of stuff that stretches back more than twenty five years. The current generation of the Blackberries are the most useful and functional product that I have ever seen. We started to roll them more than six months ago and still can not keep up with the internal demand. More importantly, the people who got the devices six months ago are actually using them. The Blackberries are not ending up in the back of drawer next to the IPaqs.

Photo Galleries

Here are a couple of links to photo galleries of the mission to Saturn and Titan and the Project Apollo. The photos can be used as cool backgrounds for our computer desktop!


The Project Apollo Image Gallery

Peja a no-go for Serbia's team

Peja has told the Serbian Olympic basketball team that he will not be playing in the Olympics this summer. I think that this is a very good thing for the Sacramento Kings!.



Wednesday, July 28, 2004

First Black President?!

In sharp contrast to my upbringing, Sharon was raised in a family with strong Democratic political roots. Watching Barack Obama speak at the Democratic Convention, Sharon said "He is going to be the first black President of the United States." While I do not know much about Obama, I am impressed by what I have seen. He is running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Listening to Teresa Heinz Kerry speak, I wanted to learn more about her background. To find out more about her, Obama and John Heinz, I turned to the Wikipedia. This is an example of an emerging web technology that I have been following called Wiki.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Degree Confluence Project

Brun sent me a link to the the Degree Confluence Project. The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world and to take pictures at each location. There are some very cool pictures of different parts of the world!

Kings Depth Chart

With the signing of Ostertag and Songailia, the Sacramento Kings depth chart for next season looks like this:


Monday, July 26, 2004

No Training Wheels!

After dinner, we took the training wheels off of Jack's bike and spent some time working with him. I was amazed at how well he did. By the end of the evening, he was riding a hundred yards by himself on two wheels. I was also impressed at how tenacious he was; when he fell, he would pop right back up and want to go again!

Kevin Martin in Summer League

From - NBA - Ford: The Boys of Summer:

"Martin was one of the most dominant scorers in college basketball over the past two seasons. Scouts were concerned whether Martin's skills would translate to the next level once he faced more athletic, physical defenders. They can start putting those fears to rest. Martin, by all accounts, was the most polished rookie in the L.A. summer league. He's got a smoothness to his game that is deceptive, and his ability to get to the free throw-line should guarantee him some playing time in Sacramento next season. He needs to get stronger and improve defensively, but it looks like the Kings got a steal late in the first round.

Songaila remains with Kings

Songaila will remain with Kings. The team will pay the second-year power forward $1.6 million this season. With Songailia's signing, the King's have ten players under contract for 2004-2005 season. There are still two empty roster spots that need to be filled.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Morgan's Solo

Morgan's Solo at Sugarloaf

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Tour de France

For the last three weeks, literally the only thing we have watched on television has been the Outdoor Life Network's coverage of the the Tour de France!

It is mostly Sharon's fault. She was rooting for Lance Armstrong to win his sixth and wanted to watch the race so we started Tivoing it. By the middle of the first week, we had live coverage in the morning and at night. Jack now knows the names of all the major riders and all about the yellow, green, white and poka dotted jerseys!

Sharon finished reading Lance Armstrong's first book, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, last night. Jack and I got his second book, Every Second Countsfor her to read.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Chorale Ensemble Performance

Sharon, Jack and I went to Morgan performance in the Chorale Ensemble at the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp. They performed six songs: Obwisana; All Ye Who Music Love; Friendship Song; Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go; Down by the Riverside; and, I I've Got the World on a String. Morgan sang a solo on Down by the Riverside. I have a video clip of Morgan's solo that I have downloaded from my DV camera and edited. I will probably post that tomorrow.

click on the picture for a larger copy!

On the way home, we had lunch at the Zinfandel Grille in Folsom. Sharon is shopping for a new touring bike. After lunch, we went into Bicycles Plus; Sharon looked at bikes, while I wrestled with Jack...

Friday, July 23, 2004

1975 Columbia Rugby Photo

Wandering across the web, I stumbled across this photo of the 1975 Columbia University rugby team.  Based on the picture's legend, Rob Nooter is second from the right in the back row!

click on the picture for a larger copy!

Additionally, Rob is also mentioned in a brief history of the Columbia College R.F.C.
Wallen and I were trying to remember on the phone today when we first saw Nooter wander across a rugby field in Northern California (January 1978 in Colusa?).  Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, I have some strong recollections of Rob wearing the blue and white striped rugby jersey.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

2004 Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp

For the second year in a row, Drew is spending two weeks as a counselor at the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp. The first session Session ran from Sunday, July 11 to Saturday, July 17, while the second session started Sunday, July 18 runs to Saturday, July 24.

Morgan is spending a week at the camp during the second session. She is majoring in Chorale.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Setting up Airport Express

The Airport Express that I ordered from Apple showed up while we were in Washington State. There is a good review and overview of the unit on the web site.

I have struggled to get it configured and set-up over the last two nights. The Airport Express Assistant utility had a number of error messages when I tried to start it. Finally, I resorted to using the Airport Admin Utility, but still got not get it working. After digging through about 60 pages of documentation titled Designing Airport Extreme Networks for Windows XP and Windows 2000, I found a note that said that you had to enter the WEP key in with a preceeding $ sign. When I tried this, the Airport Express started working and iTunes on the Media Center PC could see it. I am planning on setting it up with some speakers under the cabinets in the kitchen.

It rarely get over 100 degrees at our house; we are within about 1 mile of the main channel of the Sacramento River and we get a delta breeze that keeps things cooler. Today was one of those rare days where it topped 100 degrees!

Interesting Links

A couple of interesting multiple media links:

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Greg Ostertag?!?

When I got into the truck after work and turned on the Sports 1140, they were playing a series of highlights of Greg Ostertag's play against the Kings. At that point, I realized that the Kings had signed Ostertag.

If you believe the Salt Lake City Tribute article, Ostertag's new deal will be worth $4 million next season. He will also own an option on returning to the Kings in 2005-06.

Divac, an unrestricted free agent, received a two-year contract that will pay him the Lakers' full $4.9 million mid-level exception next year.

For additional $900,000 a year, the Kings are much better off with Divic! It is very difficult for me to understand what the team is trying to accomplish with these two moves. There was some speculation during morning sports talk that the team hopes Peja will take more of a leadership role if he does not have Vlade to hide behind.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Photo Albums, Divac and iPods

I posted two photo albums from the Wallen's 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. A collection of photos from my digital camera can be found at:

An assortment of pictures taken with my camera phone are at:

Divac is ready to return to the Lakers. Talking to Mike Lamb on KHTK tonight, Divac said that this was all about the money. The Lakers are essentially willing to offer Divac twice as much money and a two year contract. I think that the Kings are making a mistake; Divac presence in the clubhouse has been very important to the success of this team.

Apple has announced new iPods! While they don't appear to come in different colors, the new models are smaller, cheaper and have some new features. I think that I am going to break down and buy one of these in a 40GB size.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


Sharon has been talking about getting a BMW or Jaguar to replace the Camray. When I was making the reservation for the rental car on-line with Hertz for this trip I noticed that they had Jaguar Type-S's which is the model that she has been lusting after. We rented one on this trip to see how we would like it!

After driving it for a couple of days, my comments are that you are a little disconnected from the road and as a result the car drifts if you are not paying attention. Additionally, I did not like the way the automatic transmission shifted at times, but this could just be this particular vehicle.

Sunday morning, we slept late and then packed. We had breakfast at the Family Pancake and Dinner House on Kitsap Way.  I do not recommend the restaurant; I was underwhelmed by the food and the service.
We flew this trip on Southwest.  Normally, when I fly to SeaTAC I fly Alaska or United.  I am not sure that I have ever flown Southwest to SeaTAC; I will not do it again.  There was about a 200 yard long line to check our bags that took about 45 minutes to navigate.  At the end of this line was one of the rudest counter clerks that I have ever encountered.  I think that I saved about $10 a person by flying Southwest and it was not worth it!
Overall, the rest of the trip home was uneventful and we were back in Elk Grove before 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A Great Time!

Nathan picked a group of us up at the hotel about 4:30 p.m. and we headed over to the Wallen's for their 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. We left Jack and Jim Wallen's daughter at the hotel with a friend of Becky's. The Wallen's held the celebration in their backyard which overlooks Phinney Bay and looks West towards Olympic Mountain Range and the sunset. It was a great setting for a party; it would have been difficult to rent a more perfect spot!

click on the picture for a larger copy!

The weather was fantastic. They had a open bar with a bartender and caterers serving appetizers for about two hours while everyone arrived and mingled. There was a Jazz duet playing downstairs under the deck before dinner.  In total, there were about 65 people. John and Jill then renewed their vows in a short ceremony overlooking the water.

Dinner was a great meal of New York strip steak and salmon. Sharon and I had the honor of sitting at the same table with John and Jill. After dinner, there was a DJ and a dance floor; we partied and danced until after midnight.

It was after 1:00 am by the time we got back to the hotel and almost 2:00 a.m. by the time we got to bed. It was a wonderful party! Over the course of the evening, I took more than 100 pictures and will work on a photo album over the next couple of days.

Morning run

Wallen and I went out for a morning run covering a little over seven miles in about 59 minutes for about an 8:30 minute mile pace. We ran from John's house out to Kitsap Way and then out to near the end of the point between Oyster and Ostrich Bays. Afterwards, Sharon, Jill, Molly and Allyn went out for a run. Sharon and Allyn ran about 3 3/4 miles along Chico Way, while Jill and Molly walked.

After the runs, Sharon, Jack and I headed over to Silverdale to get a present and have lunch at the Red Robin. A big group then met at the Wallen's to finish setting up for the party. We spent a couple of hours putting on the finishing touches.

Friday, July 16, 2004

To Bremerton Washington

Sharon, Jack and I spent most of the day traveling to Bremerton, Washington for John and Jill Wallen's 25th Wedding Anniversary Party on Saturday night. We flew Southwest from Sacramento to the SeaTAC, rented a car and drove around to Bremerton. We got a room for two nights at the Oyster Bay Inn (The Pearl of Bremerton!?!).

Jack has been playing Chess in the extended day during summer school. I went Thursday night and got a chess set to take with us on the trip. Jack and I played our first game against each other on the plane and he beat me fair and square!

Once we got check into the hotel, we went by the Wallen's. After having a drink or two on their deck, a group that set off for dinner at the Yacht Club Broiler in Silverdale. The group for dinner included John and Jill, John's brother Jim, Jim's wife Allyn and their daughter Bailey, Jill's friend Molly, Jill's Mom, Sharon, Jack and I.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Financial Planner

Today is Matt and Sherry Bell's 15th Wedding Anniversary!

Sharon and I spent a couple of hours with our financial planner in the afternoon reviewing the revised plan.  This is the third year that we have gone through the planning process with this group.  The major issues that we talked about included buying long term health care insurance and getting all of the assets structured into the trust.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings...

Today is John and Jill Wallen's 25th Wedding Anniversary!

This is one of those weeks that flies by with every day filled with meetings.  Monday included a 4 1/2 hour senior management meeting and a two plus hour budget meeting.  Tuesday afternoon was spent in a session working on the 2005 to 2007 Strategic Business Plan.  On Wednesday, we hosted almost 80 people in a Lawson Summit for more than six hours.  The Summit was designed to get some forward momentum on customer satisfaction and system utilization issues.

click on the picture for a larger copy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

iPod or iPod Mini?

I got to see the iPod Mini that Larkin ordered from the on-line Apple Store. He thinks that he ordered in late May or early June and got it Monday. Morgan spent the last two weeks at our house loading her CDs on to the iPod that I had gotten her for her birthday. Having seen and handled both model, I am not sure which one I am going to buy. I like the size of the iPod Mini, but would love to have a 40GB model!

Maybe I should wait for the new models of iPod in August; reportedly, the top end of which will use a 60GB hard drive and be offered in purple, orange, and yellow!

I ended up having to put a new transfer case into the Explorer; it has just short of 140,000 miles on it. Interesting, Rudy has a 1998 Ford Explorer with just over 140,000 miles and he had to replace the transfer case about a month and a half ago. Lew also has a 1998 Explorer, but with only 120,000 miles. While Rudy and Lew were talking the problem Lew noted that his is making a funny noise! I recognize that a AWD (all wheel drive) vehicle puts on a tremendous strain on the transfer case, but wonder what the useful life of the transfer case should be?

Raising Kids--Who's Easier: Boys or Girls?
The article notes that when it comes to raising kids, gender matters. But our own personality and expectations may count even more. The bottom line is that raising children is hard work, regardless of gender. Some kids are just more challenging than others. Other bullets include:

  • Girls are emotionally high maintenance.
  • Girls talk back more.
  • Girls' bullying can be emotionally harsher.
  • Boys are aggressive and physical.
  • Communication can be challenging with a boy.
  • Stereotypes Don't Always Hold Up
  • Monday, July 12, 2004

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Morgan's Ear Ache plus Bike Riding

    Morgan started complaining of her ear hurting on Saturday. By Sunday morning, the ear canal was swollen and she could not hear out of left ear. Morgan was originally scheduled to play the piano to accompany the choir at her church on Sunday morning. While Sharon served as eucharistic minister for communion during Mass at Good Shepherd, Jack and I took Morgan to the emergency room at Marshall Hospital in Placerville. They diagnosed her with "swimmers ear," an outer ear infection. They gave her a prescription for steroids to treat the problem. Morgan had swam laps each night while Jack was getting his swimming lessons.

    In the afternoon, Jack and I went for a couple mile bike ride on a trail around the Stone Lakes development in Elk Grove. He spent the whole time pretending that he was racing in the Tour de France.

    Saturday, July 10, 2004

    The Wizard of Oz

    Saturday afternoon, Sharon, Jack, Morgan and I went to the Music Circus' performance of The Wizard of Oz. This is the first time I have been to the new facility; it is a very nice set-up. Everyone enjoyed the show, although Jack got a little scared during a couple of parts.

    After the show, we went to Sammy Chu's for dinner. Morgan chose a great Thai BBQ Chicken dish, but we don't recommend the Miso Soup. The restaurant is located in an odd part of town at 15th and R.

    The Living Room Candidate

    The Living Room Candidate is an interesting web site that includes presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2004.

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    2004 Best Places to Work in IT

    For the 2nd Year in a row, Sutter Health System Support (SHSS) Information Technology has been rated as one of the top 100 places to work for IT professionals.

    The honor is part of the weekly newspaper Computerworld 11th annual Best Places to Work in IT survey, which ranks the top 100 work environments for technology professionals using the categories of benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention.

    Out of the top 100, Sutter health ranked with an impressive 34th place! This is up from 64th in 2003.

    The lists are compiled based on a comprehensive questionnaire regarding company offerings in categories such as benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention. In addition, Computerworld conducts extensive surveys of IT workers, and their responses factor heavily in determining the rankings.

    Ordinary People

    After having dinner at Logan's Roadhouse, Sharon, Morgan and I watched Ordinary People on DVD. Sharon ranks this movie in her personal top ten list.

    2004 Tour de France Pictures!

    The site has some great pictures of the 2004 Tour de France. It has been updated every day with pictures from each stage.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    sad news

    From: Tom Richards
    Sent: Tue 7/6/2004 5:33 PM
    Subject: sad news
    I just heard some sad news and I thought I would pass it along to each of you. Jim Seth just informed me he heard that Dennis Cleveland passed away suddenly on July 4 from a heart attack. Dennis was one of the kindest individuals I knew. To me he was one of those people who always expressed an upbeat and cheerful attitude that made working at the old Bank a real joy. I believe he was married and I’m certain he had a son who he always took fishing at his annual bass fishing tournament. Dennis was just 49 years old.

    Steve Nash, Michael Moore's Blog and Fahrenheit 911

    I had previously noted Mark Cuban's Maverick Blog. The latest entry talks about how the Mavericks lost Steve Nash to the Phoenix Suns.

    Micheal Moore has also started a blog.

    Speaking of Michael Moore, the Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911 - Kerry names Edwards his running mate

    Although the New York Post reported on the front page that Gephardt had been named as Kerry's veep pick, Kerry names Edwards his running mate

    Monday, July 05, 2004

    Swimming Lessons and a dead truck

    As far as I am concerned, few things are as important as making sure that kids can swim and are comfortable in the water. This is one of the few things that my parents did right; making sure that my sisters and I could swim at a very young age. I have lots of memories as a kid of going during the summer to the old public pool in Gridley to take swimming lessons. Jack has taken some group swimming lessons the last few years. We have not been happy with his progress, particularly last summer. We have put him in some private swimming lessons at Sharon's sports club all this week. Morgan and Sharon swam laps while Jack had his lesson.

    On the way back from the hike yesterday, the tranmission in the truck started to act up. By late afternoon, it would not go into reverse. We spent Monday morning finding some place to get it looked at and getting a rental car.

    Sunday, July 04, 2004

    Lake Jenkinson at Sly Park

    Sunday morning, Sharon, Jack and I headed towards Tahoe on highway 50 for a hike. We met Drew and picked up Morgan. We went to Jenkinson Lake at Sly Park. There is an eight plus mile hiking trail all the way around the lake. We went past the main entrance, across both of the dams and parked just across the second dam. The trailhead for the south side of the lake starts just across the road. The south side of the lake has no campgrounds and is a much better hike than the north side of the lake.

    We ended up hiking more than 2 miles before stopping for lunch. The trail is relatively flat. Jack lead the way and sent a good pace; he kept wanting to run. For the day, we probably covered about 4 1/2 miles. This is the first hike that we have done that I did not carry Jack part of the way. He did great and did not start to ask about how much farther we were going until we were almost back to the truck.

    Sunday night, the four of us sent off some fireworks in the street in front of the house.

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    Boat Parade, Terminal and Eightfold

    Sharon and Janie Daigle have started a new tradition by going out on July 3 the last three years to watch the boat parade on the river from the Virgin Sturgeon.

    Saturday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I went to see the movie Terminal in the theater. Although a little slow in a couple of spots, I would recommend it. I particularly liked the fact that they stayed away from formula endings and did not tie up all the loose ends. You can find the trailer for the movie here.

    Drew's band, Eightfold, was the featured act for the Placerville Open Mic at the Cozmic Cafe in Placerville last night. Here's a picture of Drew on guitar and Kellen Gracia on bass from a blog of someone who was there.

    Friday, July 02, 2004

    2004 Rivercast versus Sidewinders

    Sharon, Jack and I went to the Rivercats game with the Bowers. Their son Jeffery goes to school with Jack and Jack and he have gotten to be good friends. The Rivercats beat the Tucson Sidewinders by a score of 8-7 in the 12th. We actually stayed until the game ended about 11:10 p.m. The game included 30 hits and 5 errors.

    It was one of those nights that you run into people you do not expect to see. While we were talking the boys to the play area, I ran into a family that we had known for five years from Jack's first daycare center; they eventually came and sat with us for the last couple of innings. Right after that, a kid comes up to me and says "Heringer." It was Craig Snipes. He was at the baseball game with a group for a birthday party.

    Test of Audioblogger

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Amplify, Hillary and more

    After a dinner of cornflake chicken, Sharon and Morgan went to see The Stepford Wives. I can remember seeing the original in a theater in Marysville in 1975.

    There was an article in the technology section of the Sacramento Bee about a new web service called Amplify. The site allows you to collect information from the Internet and create your own web page from a number of different sources. Using the service, I created a page of some information about Peja Stojakovic, including some pictures of the Greek model that he is marrying.

    The Drudge report is quoting a top D.C. insider that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be picked as Kerry's VP. -- Technology -- New Sony Walkman to rival Apple's iPod

    Larkin sent me a link to a New Sony Walkman to designed to rival Apple's iPod. The NW-HD1 will be the smallest 20-GB player on the market. It is slightly larger than a credit cardm less than half an inch thick.