Tuesday, November 30, 2004

ITIL Foundations Day Two

I spent Tuesdsay in the second day of a two and half day training class. We brought a trainer in house to give a ITIL Foundation for Service Management Class. Over the second day, we covered sections on Change Management, Release Management, Capacity Management, Financial Management, Availability Management, Service Level Management and IT Service Continuity Management.

Words of the Year 2004

'Blog' Tops Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004

Monday, November 29, 2004

Art Docent

Sharon spent the afternoon serving as the Art Docent for Jack's first grade class. She covered two lessons. The first lesson covered the use of shapes in art. She reviewed lives of three artists: Wassily Kandinsky; Paul Klee; and Salvador Dali. The featured work for each artist included Kandinsky's Lines of Marks, Klee's Viaducts and Dali's Peristence of Memory [shown below].

Sharon pointed out to the class that She and Jack had been to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Peterburg which boasts the most comprehensive collection of Dali's work in the world.



The second lesson plan was titled "Artists Paint Gatherings." It focused on pictures of people gathering and learning the difference between warm and cool colors. The lesson talked briefly about Eugene Louis Boudin, Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot. It highlighted a painting by each Artist: Fair in Brittany by Boudin; Village Market by Pissarro [shown below] and Skating in the Park by Morisot. As part of the lesson, the kids colored pictures of Pilgrims and Indians at the first Thanksgiving gathering using only their warm color crayons.



ITIL Foundations Day 0ne

I spent all day in the first day of a two and half day training class. Yvonne and I and our managers are taking the ITIL Foundation for Service Management Class. Over the first day, we covered sections on the Service Desk, Incident Management, Problem Management and part of Configuration Management. Homework for the class included an hour of reading.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Friday, November 26, 2004

Xmas Lights

Traditionally, Sharon and I have started to decorate the house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. I dragged all of the Christmas boxes out of storage and spent most of the rest of the day putting up the lights outside.

Morgan came over for dinner. We barbecued some steaks. Afterwards, Morgan, Jack, Sharon and I played a brusing game of basketball on the hoop in Jack's room. It was Sharon and Jack against Morgan and I.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving 2004

For a change, we went out for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Sharon's brother Tom made reservations at a small place called The Family Room. The group included Sharon's parents, Sharon's oldest brother's family and Sharon, Jack and I.

Run to Feed the Hungry

Sharon rousted us out of bed early and we went to the Run to Feed the Hungry. We planned to run the 10k and took the jogger for Jack to ride in. At some point while we were at the starting line, Jack decided he did not want to ride in the jogger. He ended up essentially running and walking the whole distance. Jack set a pretty good pace early; we covered one mile at a 12:00 pace. By about 4.75 miles, he started to wear down, but still refused to get in the jogger. It took us 10 minutes to cross the starting line at the start so we covered the 10k in about 1 hour and 40 minutes.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Angela's Ashes

Over the last twelve plus years, I have kept a database of the books that I have read including observations and plot information. Looking back on this list, there have been books that I have struggled to finish, but I never wanted to stop reading a book in the first 70 pages as many times as I wanted to stop reading Angela's Ashes. The urge to set the book aside was driven by a recurring event in the early years of the author's life.

Ultimately, I am glad I struggled through this section and finished the book. McCourt's description of the abject poverty of his childhood is stunning. Winner of the 1997 Pultizer Prize for a biography, I have never read anything that personalized poverty as this book did.

Bar-coding drugs

There is a story titled Bar-coding drugs helps, Sutter finds in today's Sacramento Bee about our project to put bar codes on patients and their pills. This has been a very successful project to use technology to improve patient safety!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Kings versus Rockets

I bought one ticket in Row B of Section 123 off the web for tonight's Kings versus Rockets game. The seat ended up being right behind Doug Christie's wife. Sharon took Mary Maloney and met her brother Tim at the game.

The Kings beat the Rockets in a very close game. The final score was Kings 102 and the Rockets 96. Jack and I watched the game on Comcast Sportsnet West on DIRECTV.

Monday, November 22, 2004

End of season Soccer Party

Sharon, Mary, Jack and I went to his end of season Soccer party at Laguna Pizza. As part of the trophy presentation, the coach made up an award category for each of the kids. He gave Jack the award for the best overall offensive and defensive player on the team.


Back from Tahoe

Sharon got back from her girl's weekend in Tahoe about 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Wireless Set-up

With Sharon gone most of the last week, I have been banging around the house after I get the kids to bed working on a couple of projects. Over three years ago, I bought a Linksys Wireless B Broadband Router. I have always struggled to get VPN to run over this router. After spending more hours than I care to admit fussing with the router's configuration over the last couple months, I gave up and bought a new Linksys router/wireless A-G-B access point. I spent one late night reconfiguring the home network. My home wireless network now includes:

My work Tablet PC is configured so that it automatically attaches to either my home wireless network or the work wireless network depending on where I am. VPN runs great wirelessly over the new router; this means that I can sit anywhere in the house with my work PC and it is just like sitting at my desk at work!

One of the things that I have struggled with is back-ups for Sharon's business. I am looking at adding a Linksys Network Storage Link with a USB hard drive to the network to support back-ups.

Mass at Good Shepherd

Jack and I went to Mass at Good Shepherd Church.

Throw Down in Motown

Here is a link to a video of the last six minutes of ESPN's coverage of the Detroit Pistons versus Indiana Pacers game:

The Daily Recycler: Throw Down in Motown

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Off to Tahoe

After Jack's soccer game, Sharon and Mary took off to meet Janie and Jeana. The four of them have a house rented in South Lake Tahoe for the weekend.

Last Soccer Game

Jack played in his last soccer game of the season. He scored two goals on five shots. Jack played goalie for the first time this season in the last quarter of the game. His team won 5 to 4 and finished the season with a record of 4 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie. Jack scored 14 goals in the 8 games that he played.

I kept Jack out too late last night; it was almost 11:00 p.m. by the time we got from the Kings Game. While it did not seem to effect him physically, he was very emotional.





Friday, November 19, 2004

Kings versus Grizzlies

Jack and I went to the Kings versus Memphis Grizzlies basketball game. It was one of the more exciting games we have seen. After leading by as much as 16 points in the first half, the Kings fell behind by 8 points in the 4th quarter. Eventually, the Kings won 107 to 105; the outcome was in doubt right to the end.


Mary Maloney

Mary Maloney is here from the east coast and spending a few days with us. She and Sharon went over to Janie's house and then out to dinner.

Co-Worker is Away

When your Co-Worker is Away!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

November Pack Meeting

Jack and I went to the November Cub Scout Pack meeting. Since we missed the first pack meeting in September, Jack got his Tiger Cub Totem in a short ceremony. The totem is a tiger paw with space for four strands for totem beads. Jack earns totem beads by working on the five Tiger Cub achievements.



West Bay IT Integration Meeting

I spent the day going to the bay area and back to attend part of the West Bay IT Integration Meeting.

Monday, November 15, 2004

IT Thanksgiving Lunch

Annually, the IT department has a Thanksgiving lunch. With everyone's travel schedule, we ended up doing it today. I spent about 45 minutes carving turkeys and then over an hour serving mash potatoes to a couple hundred people.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Comcast SportsNet West

I was hoping to watch the Kings versus the Nuggets game on NBA TV on Sunday night as I ran on the treadmill, but the game was blacked out in Sacramento on Directv. Facing the prospect of not being able to watch 75% of the Kings games, I was seriously considering either switching to Comcast permanently or getting Comcast cable for a couple of months. I am been a Directv satellite customer since 1996.

As I logged on and started to look at the Comcast on-line sign-up, I found a press release on the Kings site that Directv had signed an agreement with Comcast SportsNet West late Friday night! Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 16, Directv customers can watch Kings games and other Comcast SportsNet sporting events on channel 656!

Off to the Airport

Sharon and Wallen both had early flights Sunday morning. Wallen was heading home to the Northwest, while Sharon was heading to Dallas for three days of training. She is going through a training class to get certified to do Small Business Administration Loan processing.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

OATS Reunion

After the morning run, Wallen, Jack and I took off for Davis for an OATS (Old Aggie Tour Side) Reunion. This is a group of guys that we played rugby with at UC Davis during the 1970's.

The group met at a park just off Russell across from Toomey Field for a barbecue. 15 guys showed up, including a number of wives and a bushel of kids. We socialized for about an hour and a half and then headed across the street to watch the UCD Davis versus North Dakota State football game.

The Bison beat the Aggies by a score of 25 to 7. The game was not even as close as the score. UC Davis had five yards of total offense in the first half.

At half time, Tomasin, Wallen, Hunter, Chabrier, Matthew Chabrier, Chris and Michael Tomasin, Jack and I threw a rugby ball around and played a little touch rugby on an IM field south of the stadium.

By the end of the third quarter, Jack had had enough ("This is a boring game, Dad."), I took off and met Sharon in West Sacramento. She took Jack and I headed back to meet up with the group at the park.

Eventually, we headed downtown to a restaurant called Cantina del Cabo. It was kind of an odd place. On the positive side, there was a wide selection of beer on tap. In spite of the name, the place did not serve Mexican food. It had an odd meal that included mostly burgers and steaks.

About 11 p.m., Wallen, Tomasin and I wandered down the street to a place with live music. Wallen and I headed back to my house about 11:30 p.m. and got home a little after midnight.

Early Morning Run

Wallen, Geselbracht and I went out for an early morning run. Wallen has been training for marathons over the last couple of years and is extremely fit. Combined with the fact that he is about 40 pounds lighter than I am, keeping up with him has always been a daunting task for me. For someone like Geselbracht who does not run that much it is an impossible task.

With Wallen setting the pace, we covered the first mile at an 8:07 pace. Geselbracht kept up most of the first mile and then dropped off. The splits for the next four miles were 8:05, 8:08, 8:13 and 8:19. I stayed with Wallen until about 1.25 miles to go. I felt like I had a piano on my back for the last mile and turned in an 8:35 split. I finished about 200 yards behind covering the 6.35 miles in 52:30 for an average pace of 8:16.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Late Dinner

Wallen flew down for the weekend. Due to fog in the northwest, his flight was delayed almost three hours. Sharon and I eventually picked him up at the airport about 9:00 p.m. We headed into downtown Sacramento and had a late dinner at the Waterboy Restaurant.


Reading

Jack has really gotten into reading books in the Magic Treehouse Series.

Swap fowards?

An article titled Kings, Pacers should swap forwards in the ESPN Insider claims that Stojakovic has been aloof with teammates and a recluse in both the locker room and on the team plane.

The article also suggests that Stojakovic has changed his legendary practice habits. It claims that for years Stojakovic spent an extra two hours in the gym, even on game night, practicing his shot. For the first time in his career, Peja's two-hour shooting sessions are off. With his heart no longer in Sacramento, he's spending the time with his wife and new child while he waits out the Kings.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sherry's Birthday!



TAG Meeting

I spent most of the day in the TAG Meeting. TAG includes the IT Directors from the affiliates. The agenda was almost exclusively dedicated to our EHR project. Topics included: governance and committee structures; charter including timelines and costs; scope of the project; infrastructure and technical operations; and, local expectations.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Kings drubbed

While Sharon was at class, Jack and I watched the Kings get drubbed by the Seattle Supersonics losing 78 to 108. After essentially taking the summer off, Peja looks like he is sleeping walking through games. Over the first five games, Peja is shooting .346 from the field and .194 from three point range.

TIG Meeting

I spent most of the day at the Samuel Merritt College in Oakland attending the TIG Meeting. TIG includes technical IT staff from each of the affiliates. The agenda included: a RLAN case Study; Server Consolidation; Enterprise Single Sign-on Update; Wireless Network Standard Update; Security Issues, and; Technology Roundtable.

After the meeting, I wandered home through the Caldecott Tunnel into Concord, across State Route 242 towards Highway 4 and into Antioch, across the Antioch Bridge using my Fastrak pass, east on highway 12 to I-5 and finally up I-5 to Elk Grove.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Kings versus Raptors

Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Toronto Raptors game. This year marks the twentieth year that the Kings have been in Sacramento and that Larkin and I have been going to games!

The Kings rolled over the Raptors by the score of 108 to 92. Webber earned his 18th career triple-double, and the first of the NBA season, with more than three minutes left in the third quarter.




Monday, November 08, 2004

Dan Brown Novels

I finished reading Deception Point. Over the last eighteen months, I have read all four of Dan Brown's books; Deception point is the weakest. The plot centers around a NRO [National Reconnaissance Office] employee. While I enjoyed the book, there are just too many outlandish plot twists.

I would rank Brown's four books in the following order: Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress and Deception Point. As I have said before, I think Angels and Demons is better than The Da Vinci Code.

Brown has indicated that he is writing another Robert Langdon thriller, a sequel to The Da Vinci Code. The new novel explores the hidden history of our nation's capital and is tentatively slated for release in summer 2005.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Up in the Attic

When we had the house built, I had the family room and the bonus room pre-wired with speaker wire in the ceiling. I started a project this weekend to mount five speakers in the ceiling of the bonus room to support surround sound. The work on Sunday involved getting up into the attic and sorting out how they laid out the wiring.

even more election maps

Maps and cartograms of 2004 US presidential election results

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Piatti's

We got a babysitter for Jack and went to Piatti's for dinner. Afterwards, we stopped by Brun and Kim's to visit and see pictures of their short trip to Paris and Kim running the half marathon.

7th Soccer Game

Jack's soccer team won by the score of 3 to 1; his team is 3-4-1. Although Jack had three or four opportunities, he did not score this week. This is the first game that he played this year that he did not score a goal. He was pretty unhappy that he did not score a goal. I think that it was a good thing; it was an opportunity to reinforce that it is a team sport and what is important is the team's success.

Overall, he played very well. He played a quarter at full-back and two and a half quarters at forward. He was very mobile and helped his team keep the ball mostly in the other team's end.

Sharon picked up her dad and brought him out to the game.




Friday, November 05, 2004

Shrek 2

Jack, Sharon and I watched Shrek 2 on DVD.

More Election 2004 Maps

Brun sent a link to a page with some more good maps highlighting the Election 2004 Results.

Turkeys




Virtual Partner

One of the features of the Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS is called the virtual partner. You can set how far you want to run and how fast. The screen will show you how far ahead or behind you are someone who is running that pace. I went out again at lunch and set the distance for 7.5 miles and the pace for 9:00. I ended up just slightly ahead with an average pace 8:59.

On Wednesday, it was a coyote. Today, a large group of turkeys were feeding on the trail.



Cars, A PIXAR Film

Cars
coming to theaters November 4, 2005
Disney presents a PIXAR film

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Popular Vote

The region voting patterns in the 2004 presidential election are interesting. Here are links to a couple of maps that illustrates the voting patterns on a county and state basis.

  • PDF file of the popular vote by county

  • JPG file of the popular vote by state

    Someone took this data and recast the map of North America. I am too much of pragmatist and a moderate to agree with the point that they are making, but I laughed when I looked at the map of the Republic of Jesusistan.
  • Another lunch-time run

    I ran again at lunch, covering 7.0 miles in 1:01:29 for an average pace of 8:41. The splits were: mile 1-8:56; mile 2-8:54; mile 3-8:45; mile 4-8:40; mile 5-8:38; mile 6-8:42, and; mile 7-8:48.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    the right thing

    No matter what your politics, Kerry did the right thing by by conceding the race.

    nice lunch-time run

    I had a nice lunch-time run. As it rained all morning, I kept my eye on the doppler radar. Just after noon, the radar showed a clear break in the rain coming towards Mather. I ran a solid 6.3 miles with the following splits: 1st mile-8:58; 2nd mile-8:56; 3rd mile-8:57; 4th mile-8:52; 5th mile-8:34 and; 6th mile-8:54. A very large healthy looking coyote ran across the road and over the bike path in front of me. As I got close to the building, it started to rain again and rained all afternoon.

    Very different from 2000

    With Bush winning the popular vote with 58.3 million compared to Kerry's 54.7 million and leading in Ohio by 130,000 votes, I do not support John Edward's promise that "we will fight for every vote." I fear that we are turning the presidential election in a legal process rather than a political one.

    Even if there are 200,000 provisional ballots in Ohio, it is hard for me to believe that Kerry is going to close the gap in Ohio. I think that this is a very different situation from 2000 when the election was clearly much closer.

    MSNBC has the electoral count at 269 for Bush, 238 for Kerry and 31 to be determined (Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire). CNN has the electoral count at 254 for Bush, 252 for Kerry and 32 to be determined (New Mexico, Ohio and Iowa).

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    going to bed

    Well, it is 11:15 p.m., NBC has it Bush 269 to Kerry 207. NBC has Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan as to be determined. Kerry's camp is making noises about not conceding Ohio, but they are more than 120,000 votes behind with only about 400,000 votes to be counted.

    Second Den Meeting

    Sharon and Jack went to the Tiger Cub Den meeting. Jack has completed two parts of the "Making My Family Special" Achievement and got one white bead and one black bead to hang from his totem. He got a white bead for completing a chore as a family activity and a black bead for going to the Discovery Museum as a go see it activity.

    Vote Save Error #9 photo

    Boing Boing: Vote Save Error #9 photo

    Voted!

    I voted about 7:55 a.m. this morning. There was no line. I walked right up, gave them my name and was in the voting booth in less than a minute.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    96 hours

    One of the teams that I am responsible for manages the Lawson ERP application. This includes finance, payroll, human resources, materials and account payable for almost all of the organization. Starting late Thursday night, the team started to upgrade the application. We had made an attempt in September, but had to back out because the process was running so long.

    I felt very much like an expectant father pacing the waiting room. I had a hard time sleeping; I would wander down to the computer in the den and check the progress of the upgrade every hour. We successfully finished the process Sunday night! I am very proud of the team's perseverance over the last six weeks to get this project completed.

    Bin Laden

    Bin Laden's new tape and the fact that it is November suggests that my speculation about an October Surprise was pretty dumb.

    Walter Cronkite

    CNN.com - Transcripts: Walter Cronkite said that "I think it's one of the biggest messes we've had in a long time. I believe that we're undoubtedly not going to know the results of this election. I don't want to knock you off the air on Monday night or anything, or Tuesday night. But I suspect that we're not going to know who the next president is, whether it is Bush or the new man, until very probably sometime in the early spring."