Thursday, September 30, 2004

First Presidential Debate

Sharon and I watched the first presidential debate between Bush and Kerry. I am not sure that I am qualified to judge who won or lost. The thing that struck me most during the debate was Bush's propensity to make the oddest faces while Kerry was speaking; at times, I think Bush looked like some kind of gnome.

I can now understand why they were pushing so hard to prevent the networks from showing Bush while Kerry was speaking.

Where spam originates

Postini.com: A map of where spam originates from!--"Spam Volume in the U.S. is growing exponentially, and the threat has spread across the globe. Unforutunately, legislation alone cannot curb this problem: 50% of attacks are generated outside of the U.S. and are not covered by U.S. laws; and international laws are hard to enforce."

Doug Udell

Folsom Telegraph: Udell hopes for second chance at Folsom City Council seat--I worked with Norma Udell, Doug's wife, when I worked at Farm Credit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Drew's Fall 2004 Schedule

Drew started classes on Monday for his sophomore year at the University of California at Irvine. His schedule for the 2004 Fall quarter includes:
Code  Dept      Num  Days      Time

03055 DRAMA 40A M W F 09:00-09:50
03155 DRAMA 130A T T 01:00-02:50
03177 DRAMA 148A T T 08:00-09:50
21045 WRITING 30 T T 03:30-04:50

total units enrolled 16.0 0.0 p/np units
When I was in college, I always loved a schedule that finished early on Fridays and started a long weekend!

Drama 40A: Development of Drama-Greek Drama through Shakespeare. Readings from Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and the anonymous playwrights of the medieval theatre.

Drama 130A: Intermediate Acting-Rehearsal and presentation of at least five scenes from contemporary material. Exercises in developing relationship communication and character-to-character contact.

Drama 148A: History of American Musical Theatre-Discusses the composers, librettists, directors, choreographers, and performers in the American musical theatre. 1700s-1940s: ballad opera, minstrels, vaudeville, burlesque, operetta, revues, and musical comedy.

Writing 30: Beginners' workshop in the writing of poetry, evaluation of student manuscripts, and parallel readings.

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

Monday, September 27, 2004

Cameron Park Country Club



Cameron Park

Lew Gasper and I played in the Sutter Indian Summer Golf Classic at the Cameron Park Country Club. This scramble tournament is a fund raiser for the Sutter Medical Center Foundation. We played with vendor representatives from Dell and Western Blue.

We ended up shooting one over; we had three bogeys and two birdies. The opposite of the Sutter Hospice and VNA Tournament in June, I had a few good drives that helped us, but did not make any putts of any value. As a group, we just could not putt to save our lives.

There was a contest on the tenth tee to guess how far you would hit your drive. With my 5 wood in hand, I guessed 205 yards and hit it 201 yards. The prize for the top five closest guesses was a nice driver. I figured that I was going to win for sure with a difference of only 4 yards. Unfortunately, I did not win; two people were exactly on their guesses and three others were within 3 yards!

On the way back from the golf tournament, I caught up with Hunter, Connor and Geselbracht at Logan's Roadhouse while they were eating dinner. I had a chance to catch up with them.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Good Shepherd Festival

Sharon is continuing to train for Four Bridges Half Marathon at the end of October. As part of her efforts, she ran 7.25 miles through Laguna West on Sunday morning.



Sharon spent two hours working in the Cakewalk booth at the Good Shepherd Festival, while Jack and I wandered around played games in the different booths. Afterwards, Sharon served as eucharistic minister for communion at the 5:00 p.m. Mass.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Nine Doors Restaurant

We went downtown to the Nine Doors Restaurant for dinner. The Nine Doors was one of the restaurants serving food at the Amazing Grape Wine and Food Festival last weekend. I would agree with the Sacramento News and Review article; although the atmosphere was interesting, the food was generally disappointing and the service was harried. Much to my chagrin, it took them more than 25 minutes from the time we got to the restaurant until I got a beer! We will not go out of our way to go there again.

I spent the afternoon cleaning out the garage. Sharon bought some cycling shoes and then went to the American River Bike Trail for a long bike ride.

Soccer Week 2

Jack's soccer team lost 2 to 1. Jack scored the team's only goal and had five other good shots on goal that were stopped by the goalie. The other team played one of their best players as goalie for almost the whole game and he did a great job.

click on a picture for a larger copy!

Plantar Fasciitis

Sacbee.com - Christie will miss camp after treatment on his foot

"Kings guard Doug Christie, known for his durability as much as his defensive prowess, will miss the team's training camp that starts next week after undergoing treatment on his left foot Friday to ease discomfort from plantar fasciitis. Christie is expected to be sidelined for up to five weeks."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Culinary Institute of America

Sharon attended the State Bar of California Agribusiness Committee Meeting at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Sharon was chairman of the committe from September of 1997 to September of 1998. Other people attending the committe meeting included Larry Hultquist, Rita Whalen and Jim Connelly. They got a tour of the facility, including the kitchen, and had a great lunch.

Christmas 2000 and 2001

A couple more Christmas Cards from the past: Christmas 2000 and Christmas 2001

Herniated Disc!

ESPN.com--Divac sidelined with herniated disc

"Los Angeles will also be without center Vlade Divac for a while. He has a herniated disc in his lower back and is not expected to be ready when training camp begins Oct. 5.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

2004 InformationWeek 500

For 16 years, InformationWeek has tracked the technology practices of the nation's largest and most innovative companies. InformationWeek publishes an annual ranking of the top 500 users of technology.

Sutter Health ranked 205th in the 2002 InformationWeek 500 survey.

We jumped to 53rd in the 2003 InformationWeek 500 rankings.

Sutter Health IT was rated number 44 in the 2004 Information Week Top 500 Innovators annd Number 4 in Healthcare! This is the fourth year running that Sutter Health has made the list and has improved its ranking every year.

I love our CIO's quote in an article in the same issue: "My IT employees aren't making widgets, they're saving people's lives." The truth of this quote makes this a very rewarding place to work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Continuing to cross-train

Up early, I went out for an 18 mile bike ride as part of my continuing effort to cross train once a week. I spent most of the day going to San Francisco, attending the West Bay CIO meeting and then traveling back.

I incorporated two more old photos from my web site into the blog: the 1998 Christmas Card and the 1999 Christmas Card. Brun took both of these photos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

2004 Management Symposium

I spent the last two days at the Sutter Health Management Symposium. The agenda included a keynote presentation entitled 5 Skills for the 21st Century by CW Metcalf; the skills include: altruism, imagination, a sense of community, a sense of humor and understanding divine luck.

There were also a number of booths. One of my teams was showing technology for monitoring applications and hardware, while another team was partnering with engineering to show Blackberries, Toshiba Tablet PCs and IP Video Conferencing.

There is a huge amount of interest in the Blackberries by managers throughout the organization. As I said when we met with HP in July, I believe that the Blackberries are going to deal the Windows CE based PDAs a death blow.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Aspen 2004

From: John Wallen
Subject: Aspen

Well, we are back in a single piece! I think I had the only notable injury with a slightly pulled hamstring but Greg, John and Bobby pulled through as one would expect of such magnificently fine-tuned athletic machines. Sadly, we tied our first match with Boulder and then lost to Kansas City and Potomac in close matchs. The bottom line in that too many of our 45+ players are 50+ players…we are just getting a little long in the tooth. The one exception, of course, is Mike Comstock who seems only to look older but play younger each and every year. He also played with the 35+ on Friday.

click on the picture for a larger copy!


I went to Aspen and played in the tournament in 2002.

Home Computer in 2004

Here is a link to a picture of model created by the scientests from the RAND Corporation to illustrate how a "home computer" could look in the year 2004!

Quick Visit from Drew

Drew stopped by for a few minutes a little after 6:00 a.m. He is driving back to Southern California to start his sophmore year at the University of California at Irvine.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Two inches of rain in an hour

As part of checking on the status of an upgrade taking place at work, I was up at some odd hours over the last three days. I spent some time between waiting for updates incorporating some old pictures from my web site into this blog. Here are a couple of pictures from Jack's first birthday!

Jack spent the afternoon at a back to school party thrown by one of his classmates. Jack was a little ambivalent about going until he saw the bouncy house from the street; it was the biggest one that I have ever seen in anyone's backyard.

Due to roadway flooding, Sharon spent almost three hours taking food to her parents and getting back home. Downtown Sacramento got almost two inches of rain in the span of about an hour.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Amazing Grapes Festival

Sharon and I went with her brother Tom and his wife Becky, her brother Tim and his wife Kathy and another couple to the Amazing Grapes Wine and Food Festival. This was a fundraiser for St. Ignatius Parish School.

Hat Trick

Jack played in his first soccer game ever; he missed the first game of the season last week due to his birthday party. He scored three goals! He had a couple more shots that either went wide or were stopped by the goalie. Unfortunately, his team was a little overmatched. They were behind 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and eventually lost 8-3.



Kings first pre-season game

The Sacramento Kings first pre-season game is in 22 days on October 10!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Great Lunch Run

Listening a mix of Drew, Jeff Healey and George Thorogood on an arm mounted MP3 player, I had a great run at lunch. I ran seven miles with the following splits Mile 1-9:07; Mile 2-8:49; Mile 3-8:47; Mile 4-8:40; Mile 5-8:32; Mile 6-8:23; and Mile 7-8:59. I used the Garmin effectively to cut my split down every mile for six straight miles and then drifted home on the seventh mile.

Eightfold Gig

From: Andrew Heringer
Subject: Eightfold Gig

Hello friends!

I am sending out an email to get the word out that Pete Miller at Union Mine High school and I are going to put on a benefit concert for Sugarloaf Scholarships for Union Mine arts students. The show is going to be on saturday september 18th at the Union Mine High School Theatre at 7:30. the price is only $4 and all the money goes towards the scholarships. It features Thomas Cunningham, who has a great acoustic rock band, my band- Eightfold- me, matt lemaire and Kellen Garcia and we will also have a guest sitting in on sax with us- and last will be local favorite Bright Light fever- which is a dance/punk band. it should be a great event at a great venue. For directions go to the show- go here- www.andrewheringer.com/live. Thanks for your time- pass this on to anyone who might be interested! thanks weve got many new songs going! so come see some of the new stuff weve got going...

Andrew Heringer
www.andrewheringer.com

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Still Cross Training

Over the last month, I have started to cross train by riding my bike once a week. I have riden my bike once a week in three of the last four weeks. I got up early this morning and went out before work. I rode 18.1 miles with an average speed of 16.9 miles per hour. The Garmin Forerunner 201 has a setting for biking that displays your speed rather than your pace (miles per hour rather than minutes per mile). I have ordered a couple of bike mounts for the Garmin from Amazon.com so that Sharon and I can both use it on our bikes.

Playing with the Data

I built another graph with a different tool from the Garmin Forerunner 201 data. GPS Visualizer is web based tool that allows you to draw maps with several different backgrounds, such as topo, aerial and political maps. It can plot a third dimension, including data such as speed and evaluation. This graph shows the changes in pace over the course of the route.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

New Toy

My new toy is a Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS. It is a device designed to be worn on your wrist that provides distance, time and pace data using GPS technology.

When I first opened the box, I was surprised at how small it was; based on the pictures that I had seen, I expected something larger. Yet when I wore it for the first time today running at lunch, it initially seemed larger than I expected. By the end of my run, I had got used to it and it did not seem like a brick attached to my wrist.

I was very pleased with how well it worked. All of the features that I tried worked great, including the distance, stopwatch and pace. I really like the feature of being able to glance down and see how fast you are moving. I used this feature to adjust my speed up and down over the course of the run. There are a number of other features designed to support training that I will layer on over the next week; today, I just used the basic functionality.

My lunchtime work course is an idea track for using a GPS; it is wide open out in the middle of nowhere with no trees and few buildings. It will be interesting to see how the forerunner works on some of my other courses.

One of the features of the unit is that it can download the data to a log program on your computer. This log program can generate XML files that can be used by other programs. I used this process to create the map shown below. You can see the runways of the Mather Airport in the center and lower left part of the maps. One of the programs actually allows you to plot your pace on the map.

Map of 9/15/04 Run

Map of 6.3 Mile Run on 9/15/04
click on the map for a larger copy!

Miscellaneous Links

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

100 Photographs that Changed the World by LIFE

gmail invite spooler

Slashdot: U.S. IT jobs Down 400K Since 2001

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

High hopes for Airport

There was an interesting article in the Sacramento Bee last month about the September 23 opening of the new parking garage. The article includes the following graphic which outlines future expansion plans for the airport; I was dumbfounded at some of the renovations that they are planning!

sacbee.com: High hopes for airport


Monday, September 13, 2004

William Land Park Golf Course

Sharon played golf with Janie at the 9 hole William Land Park course in the afternoon. Established in 1924, this is the oldest golf course in Sacramento.





I ran with Larkin at lunch. Although I can remember running with him since we moved out to Mather, it has probably been May or June of 2003.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Morning of Work-outs

A number of years ago I wrote a list of the reasons why I married Sharon. High on that list is that she works to keep herself in shape. Sharon has her sights set on running the Four Bridges Half Marathon at the end of October and has started training over the last couple of weeks. She run about 5.5 miles this morning and then went to Yoga Class at the club.

I ran hard on the treadmill and the watched the first half of the Raider and Steelers football game in high defintion. The game was broadcast on CBS. Although better than the 480i broadcast, their high definition broadcast does not seem as good as the ABC/ESPN high definition broadcasts.

All three of us went to the 5:00 p.m. Mass at Good Shepherd. Sharon served as eucharistic minister for communion.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Jack's 6th Birthday Party

Although Jack's 6th birthday was almost two weeks ago, with the trip to Florida and the Labor Day weekend, today was really the first opportunity for us to get organized for a larger birthday party. We invited a number of the boys in his class and ended up with a group of eight 6 and 7 year olds.

We got a bouncy house, a balloon person who brought a face painter and a piƱata, fed them pizza for lunch, opened presents and had cupcakes. Along the way, the kids played basketball, football, hockey and raced slot cars.

I originally pushed the idea of having the party at the house, rather than at somewhere like a skating rink or Chunky Cheese. Although we managed through it pretty well, this was a mistake. The boys are getting so active and physical that I felt like I needed a striped referee's shirt, a whistle and an electric cattle prod to keep them in line.

There is a photo album from the party at:

http://www.heringer.org/jack6/index.htm



Pictures from Jack's 5th birthday party last year are at:

http://www.heringer.org/jack5/index.html

Friday, September 10, 2004

Pasta Pomodoro

Sharon, Jack and I had dinner at the new Pasta Pomodoro Italian Restaurant located at the corner of Bruceville and Elk Grove Boulevard. Sharon complained about the very causal atmosphere, but the food was good enough that we will go back again.

Next Generation Satellites

DIRECTV Next Generation Satellites: "The next two satellites, DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, will launch in early 2007. These satellites will have the capacity for more than 1,000 additional local HD channels, more than 150 national HD channels, and other new programming offerings."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

NFL in High Definition!

Running on the treadmill, I got my first chance to watch NFL football in high-definition; I watched part of the first half of the Patriots versus Colts game. The quality of the picture is amazing. I switched back and forth a couple of times to compare the High definition picture to the Directv satellite feed for the standard picture and was astonished at the difference.

Capture of bin Laden Close

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am positing that the Pakistanis and the Bush Administration are going to run bin Laden down in the next two months and parade him out before election day.

ABCNEWS.com : Official: U.S. Capture of bin Laden Close

Netflix-TiVo deal is irrelevant

It was a cool idea, but it looks like the announcement was more smoke than fire.

Why potential Netflix-TiVo deal is irrelevant

There are already two sites with limited libraries where you can purchase and download movies:
Movielink

CinemaNow

Every Kings game on TV

sacbee.com -- Deal puts every Kings game on TV: "For the first time in franchise history, every Kings preseason and regular-season game will be televised to Sacramento-area viewers under a new deal reached between the Kings and Comcast Cable. It will be offered for sale to other carriers, including SureWest Broadband, Charter Communications and DirecTV."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Paragary's Bar & Oven

Sharon met Janie and Jeana for dinner at Paragary's Bar & Oven

ESPN.com: Unfinished business

ESPN.com -- Heat, Kings and Grizzlies still have work to do:

Kings Holes: Depth at shooting guard, small forward and power forward

Skinny: "Remember a happier time when the Kings sported one of the deepest benches in the league? Those days are now gone. While Sacramento continues to have one of the most impressive starting fives in the league, its bench is going to be a big issue this year. With the exception of Bobby Jackson, who is great backing up Bibby, and big man Greg Ostertag, who the Kings added to help Miller, the Kings are shockingly shallow this year. The team is looking for rookies and one second-year player to help out the rest of the team's starters. That's pretty scary considering the team's injury history."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Almanor 2004

I have posted a photo album from this year's trip to Lake Almanor at:

http://www.heringer.org/almanor2004/index.html.

Netflix and TiVo

We have used TiVo for about eighteen months and have been extremely pleased with how it works. I am very interested in this announcement:

MSNBC - I Want a Movie! Now!: Subscribers who belong to both services will be able to download their Netflix DVDs over the Internet directly into the TiVo boxes in their homes, instead of receiving them in the mail.

PVRBlog: It's likely a ~700Mb DivX encoded movie would take around an hour to download for viewing.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Updated Reading List

I have posted an updated version of my reading list.

Quicksilver

In early July knowing that I was facing a couple of work trips and then two and a half weeks of vacation, I started reading Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. Weighing in at over 900 pages, I figured that it would be good for the long flights we were facing. I have not struggled as hard to finish a book in almost twenty years. While Stephenson primarily writes science fiction, this more of historical novel exploring 17th century science, politics and culture. There are parts of the books that were interesting and well paced, but these were offset by other sections that wandered on endlessly. This is actually the first volume of a trilogy; each of the pages is over 900 pages long. With so many good books to read, I can not recommend QuickSilver. The Amazon.com reviews for the second volume make it sound better than the first, but I afraid this is just some kind of plot to suck me into another 900 page book.

It's Not About the Bike

As difficult as Quicksilver was to complete, It's Not About the Bike, My Journey Back to Life was a breeze to finish. While people have criticized the poor writing style, this is an amazing story. Like several other biographies that I have read in the last few years, including Lindbergh and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the real life story is so incredible that it is almost unbelievable!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Giusti's

We spent a big chunk of the day working in the backyard. Sharon cleaned out the big fountain, while I mowed, edged and weeded. We are having a birthday party for Jack next weekend and are trying to get the yard cleaned up.

We talked on and off over the course of the day about calling someone to go out to dinner with us. With Matt in Southern California, we ended up calling Sherry Bell. Sherry, Madison, Jack, Sharon and I ended up going to Giusti's Restaurant in Walnut Grove. We had a great time! The place has a lot of character and the food was good.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Finches

Sharon's favorite hotel on the Florida trip was the Biltmore in Coral Gables. In the lobby of the hotel, there were a number of cages with finches. Both Sharon and Jack were very excited about the finches; they talked about them on a number of ocassions after we left Miami.

Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
click on the picture for a larger copy!



A couple of days after we got back from the trip, I noticed Sharon reading a book about finches while we were getting ready for bed. As it got closer to Jack's birthday, Sharon started talking about getting him a cage and some finches.

I went down last Monday and ordered a flight cage. Today, we went and picked up the cage and two pairs of finches. We got a pair a pair of Lady Gouldians and Society finches.

The whole process took forever. The store (The Bird Stop) was packed with people and it took a while to get waited on. Once we got everything, I realized that we could not fit the cage and Jack into the Explorer at the same time. I ended up having to take Sharon and Jack home and coming back for the cage and the birds; a sixty mile round trip.

Eventually, we got everything home, got the cage set-up and the birds in the cage. I will post some pictures of the cage and the birds over the next week. I am still not sure that I understand how the cat is going to coexist with the birds...

Nooter Family in Tanzania: Safari Report - Part 5

Barb Nooter has posted Safari Report - Part 5 on their web site!

Transcript: Jerry Reynolds Chat

sacbee.com -- Kings -- Transcript: Jerry Reynolds Chat

Question: i hear that peja wants to leave, now i don't want him to go but if we deny his request might he not play as well this season?

Answer: Peja's request to be traded will not be met. He is a King and is under contract to be a King for two more years. Knowing the kind of person Peja is and the pride that he takes in his game, he will come back and play at an All-Star level. Whatever differences there may be with Peja and teammates I don't believe are of a serious nature and most likely will be resolved and not affect his play. Peja is a young, still developing, star and the best is certainly still ahead.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Pirates of the Caribbean

With trips to Almanor and Florida, the start of first grade and a trip to the Giants game on Wednesday night, it has been a long month for Jack. After we picked him up from school, Jack was on the floor of Sharon's office and fell asleep. He ended up sleeping from before 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning!

Sharon and I took advantage of this to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. When this movie first came out, I thought it sounded like the dumbest thing I had ever heard. Yet, everyone we talked to who saw it in the theater raved about it. Although I thought that Johnny Depp's Academy Award nominated performance was great, I felt like the movie did not live up to the build-up that we had gotten from other people.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

World's Smallest Political Quiz

In regards to the Political Compass, Brun noted that he believed that coming from Europe with their tilt towards socialism it is skewed to make leftists be more in the center.

Brun sent me a link to the World's Smallest Political Quiz. This quiz is produced by the Advocates for Self-Government, a libertarian educational organization. My results for this quiz are shown below:


According the quiz, I am a centrist.
"Centrists favor selective government intervention and emphasize what they commonly describe as "practical solutions" to current problems. They tend to keep an open mind on political issues."

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Giants versus Rockies

Drew, Jack, Larkin and I went to the San Francisco Giants versus Colorado Rockies baseball game at SBC Park. Jack had a great time in the area above the outfield bleachers. There is a little replica of PacBell Park that the kids line up to hit in, a couple of slides and a pitching booth with a radar gun. We got to the game early and spent a bunch of time in this area and wandering around the park. Jack and I went back to the area between the bleachers for a couple of innings in the middle of the game.

This is the first chance that I have had to go to the new PacBell Park and I was very impressed. I would like to go back for a Saturday afternoon game with a designated driver other than me... The area around the baseball has a number of new bars and restaurants and would also be interesting to explore.



The Giants lost the game to the Rockies by a score of 4 to 1. Bonds was walked the first three times that he came to bat; the Colorado Rockies have intentionally walked Barry Bonds 19 times this season.

Miscellaneous Links

Worldometers

Time is running out on forecast of major quake: The most scientifically credible earthquake prediction for California in years has just a few days left for fulfillment - or bust.

Spectacular Pictures!

Barb and Rob have posted a new batch of pictures from their August safari to their web site. There are some spectacular pictures!