Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mosquitoes in March!

Noooooooooooooo! I was out last night putting the motorcycle mount on the trailer. Upper 60s. I was wearing shorts and I got almost a dozen bites! I never saw them so I can't swear they were mosquitoes. The little buggers love me for some reason and always swarm more around me than the others with me. My kids thinks its funny. My wife thinks I am imagining things. But I'm not! They are out to get me! I used to have the solace that the darn things died in winter and wouldn't show up until June. But now March!?!? I'm doomed.
dooce: Nooner

And afterward instead of feeling guilty or regretting that second fistful of French fries, we both agreed that we would look back on that delicious 10 minute period exactly as if it was some of the most spectacular sex we’ve ever had in our lives.

As always, the the whole thing. If you miss a reference, go read her other stuff. Warning, not for the easily offended...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More on my sister's job...

Sandra Burrowes joins Troncossi Public Relations - Bermuda Press Releases | Bermuda News -

In her new role, Ms. Burrowes will be responsible for advising on communication challenges, managing potential media crises, monitoring the media, writing press releases, newsletters and positioning statements, and liaising with the media as well as with clients. She will report to the Managing Director.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My sister's new job in Bermuda.
Troncossi PR names new consultant

The public relations firm Troncossi has appointed Sandra Burrowes as a consultant, it was announced in a press statement.

Ms Burrowes will be responsible for advising on communication challenges, managing potential media crises, monitoring the media, writing press releases, newsletters and positioning statements, and liaising with the media as well as with clients.

Ms Burrowes headed Ready, Aim, Market!, a consulting business providing publishing, marketing and media relations expertise to publishers, authors, and industry organisations.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Needed to move some large pieces furniture at my sister's house. Erik brought three of his friends along. They decided to take a break on the king size mattress bvefore we hauled it downstairs. Given the amzing quantity of pasta they had consumed an hour before, I'm not at all suprised at the food coma. They did eventually roust themselves and finish the job. I could not have done it without them. Good kids, all.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Our next lens

Nikon 18-200 mm Lens VR Zoom Lens - Instapundit Glenn Reynolds Out of the Box Review - Popular Mechanics

How does it work? Very well. I focused on a bookshelf and photographed it from across my study in available light. The focal length was 200 mm (equivalent to a 300-mm lens on a traditional 35-mm film camera) and the shutter speed was about 1/6 second. With the VR mechanism turned on, the image was quite sharp. With VR turned off—notwithstanding my steady hands—it was rather blurry.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

And sometimes when you think the dog is left handed, it really isn't. That causes all sorts of problems with the spinner and the exhaust windings. However, a simple dish of pad thai (do'nt be silly, remove the noodles first) often enough to rectify the situation if applied liberally to the windings, but not the dog. That will lead to all sorts of other problems, most of which involve a mop and Mr. Clean.

Baby Name Voyager

is really fun. Click your cursor to the top left and start typing in
names. A dynamic graph pops up with the history of the names. From: The
Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager

Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO)

A BFO is one a situation where you learn something that is so obvious you wonder why you didn't think of it before. For example I have always borrowed my sister's pastry bag for making deviled eggs. Then I read this:

Eggs! ( "Once you've mashed up all of the ingredients, you have to put them back in the egg halves. If you have a deft hand with a spoon, this isn't a problem, but there's a more fun alternative. You take a large ziploc bag, put the mash in there, and seal the top, then cut a small hole in one corner and squeeze the stuff out like it's a pastry bag."

BFO's can be met with two responses: 1) Doh! how could I be so stupid as to not think of that myself! and 2) Cool! I learned something. I usually have the second response (but not always!).

I learned about BFOs from a former collegue, Dave P, many years ago.

IT spending as percent of revenue

This is an interesting take on the question of proper IT spending levels. I think it is still important to understand the percentage, but his swapping of the dog and the tail make sense. The business are the dog and the percentage is the tail, not the other way around. Which should do the wagging?

Koch's IT Strategy - Home Page - Blog - CIO
The report identifies three broad ways to manage IT spending: resource management, work management and demand management. But those are basic principles of good governance in any IT organization--keep projects running well, keep infrastructure and people costs under control and have a good spending management process in place. They are necessary whether you are spending 25 percent of revenue on IT, as some financial services companies do, or less than two percent, as some retailers do.

What would really help is a better way of justifying the proper level of ambition of IT in the specific context of the company, its competition and its customers. For example, how information-intensive are the company’s products? How decentralized is the company? Are there obvious opportunities to create new products or business capabilities using IT that could justify being considered over and above the usual IT budget?

Starting with an average number and then trying to justify why internal spending should be higher or lower seems like a terrible way to determine your fate as an IT organization. How about starting with the business strategy of the company and proximity of customers to information products and services and working back to a number from there?
No where else can we imagine
No one else can be sure
No one thing can make us believe
No one except us
No one

Video from 2002 about the history of Rush. 5 parts

Rush Blog - Rush is a Band Blog: MuchMusic special - The Story of Rush - 1/5

The Story of ... Rush which aired on MuchMusic in 2002.

"A Few Signs Of Progress"

From a gentleman living in Baghdad...

IraqPundit: "A few signs of progress."

On the other hand, I'm far more inclined to take seriously a picture of Baghdad that comes from a life-long Baghdadi than one coming from a Westerner who has parachuted into town for a while, and who doesn't speak the language.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ramana's Garden

Joyce spent a few days at this orphanage when she was in India. It was a very powerful place for her. Folks from my work gave, as a wedding present to us, a nice amount of money to this place. One of the best gifts we got.

Ramana's Garden

Imagine abandoned, destitute, or abused children who are given love, shelter, food and education so they may thrive in a world that once seemed almost hopeless. That is what Dr. Prabhavati Dwabha envisioned as a result of her spiritual practice on the banks of the River Ganga in Northern India, so she formed Ramana’s Garden Home for Destitute Children (Ramana's Seva Samiti) there more than 10 years ago.

Not Bad Penny

Well, the band decided not to use Bad Penny as the name (was already in use). Working on a new name. The guitarist made a good point when he said the name matters less than what we sound like. Not having been in a band before, this is all new to me. All of the others have done the band thing. I'm clearly the weakest musical link, but everyone has been wonderful about things. We are working on building two sets: a lounge/torch singer set of tunes and a more uptempo bluesy/jazzy set for getting people on the dance floor. No idea if this will lead anywhere, but I am learning lots and having fun playing.

Saving money by going to expensive stores...

So we are trying an experiment. So far: two months gone by successfully.

The Plan: spend less money by going to more expensive grocery and household stores. Or put another way: Save money by avoiding Target, Wal-Mart, Cub foods, Rainbow Foods, etc.

Why? Two reasons: 1) Impulse buys, along with 2) the "going to need it" problem. Impulse buys we all know about. We do pretty well avoiding the stuff at the register. But when you couple problem 2), there is a whole new class of impulse buys. End caps of things that you use once and a while, sales on things that you use, etc. We often buy way more than we expect when we go to these stores.

So we decided to try to avoid these stores. We go to places that cost more and spend less total dollars. We go to the local small grocery store (Kortes) and the corner Wallgreens. We spend less dollars (according to Quicken) and don't seem to be missing out on much.

Do we know if it will work long term? Nope. But it is an interesting experiment and puts us more in touch with our spending. And has us actually spending less per month which is really the bottom line.

Kelsey had a very nice gymnastics meeting and I got this shot as she bounded up the stairs with all her trophies in hand. It was the first time that she won the all-around at a meeting. Very exciting!
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New pastor at our church

There is a lot of excitement at the church about this appointment. We will miss Pastor Cindy terribly as she moves to the next stage in her life. It is interesting how one can feel strongly both ways about things....

33 Names of Grace: Fourth Time to St. Paul

All the letters are out so I think it is safe to say it in this venue: this June we're moving to St. Paul where I will be the pastor of Fairmount Avenue church. The official language is, "It is the intention of Bishop Sally Dyck to appoint (me) to Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church."

Friday, March 02, 2007

interesting view on global warming -

Coal and oil are, over the long term, far more valuable as chemical feedstocks than as fuels anyway, and burning them is unacceptably filthy regardless of greenhouse issues. We should replace them as soon as possible with nice, clean, greenhouse-friendly nuclear plants and other environmentally friendly power technologies. Burning less carbon is good planetary hygiene, and good practice generally, regardless of what you think of global warming. So, I suppose, in a way we should be pursuing global warming remedies regardless of what you think about global warming.