seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy


Miscellaneous topics

Stuff I Done

I don't want you to think that just cuz I ain't been blogging much means I ain't been doing much. I just put up a piece looking at who decides what channels are available on your TV and how to change that.

Last week, I was on the radio for almost an hour - a local station called KFAI. You can listen to the stream here or an MP3 of the full program here, or a short version featuring mostly me, here.

I also upgrade the gallery software running my photo gallery but I have not fully finished that. Need to spruce it up a bit. But that was a big hassle and is kind of done for now.

Great Weather Weekend

This was a good weekend. We intended to go camping, but that fell through. Still enjoyed the weather though - biked on Friday, Sat, and, Sunday for a combined 80 miles or so. Finished my paid photography work backlog.

Nearly done editing the photos from Texas but am stuck trying to upgrade the gallery software right now. Been wrestling with it for hours - hope to finish in another day or two. I use a product called "gallery" and I am really unhappy with its SPAM control. I want better control over comments, so I may have to switch to another product if I find a superior one.

Michelle and I watched "Talk to Me" - a recent movie with Don Cheadle. Very good, highly recommended. On the other hand, Kimmi and I recently watched "Chaos" and I have to think that if someone allows you to choose between a broken leg and watching the movie, consider the former if you have good insurance. May be less painful.

Russert, RIP

Tim Russert has just died. I've received a bunch of tweets (on twitter, of course) lionizing him. Well, I'm sorry that he died but I will forever remember him as a softball pitcher for the Bush Administration who saw him as the best way to get Dark Lord Cheney's message out.

Tim has probably done laudable work that I should remember, but I'm sorry to say that is all I think of when I hear his name.

Radio Show

Wanna hear me on the radio? Tune into KFAI on Wednesday, June 11, at 11:00 AM CDT. FM 90.3 in Mpls, FM 106.7 in St. Paul. The rest of you can listen online - I recommend the MP3 stream. The subject is broadband networks - we will speak for 1 hour with a couple of in studio guests and also take phone calls.

After Mem Day

Back from Michelle's parents - another great weekend up in Cass County. Michelle and I biked, I drove the John Deere bulldozer and moved stuff without breaking nuthin, and we did a lot of relaxin' and chattin' with the 'rents.

No complaints. Except that I'm off to DC for the rest of the week.

I'm on twitter now - if you don't know understand, ya don't understand. I'll explain for those who are curious.

Took a bunch of photos of birds - mostly with a remote setup that was fun to play with. Good some usable stuff, but I need to take a closer look before I get excited. Birds are hard, and guessing where they will be is hard when deciding where to focus. Good thing Michelle's dad was always happy to help me rig something up to position the camera.

A great weekend - looking forward to more like it this summer. Need to get Michelle to bike down to Ma & Pa's with me - maybe next weekend.

Weekend: Flash

What a weekend. Went by super quick. I spent a few hours shooting the MIAC Conference track meet on Friday afternoon and early evening before heading to the Gopher baseball game to take more photos. After, finally got to see Gina and Perry after not seeing them for a long time.

Woke up early on Saturday to bike for the MS Society - 30 mile loop - with Michelle and Kris. Thanks to Kim and my parents for generously helping with fund raising! The ride was fun and we totally avoided the rain, so that was nice. I could tell my body was already tired from too many days with too much activity and no rest periods.

Nonetheless, after the skies opened up, I headed to the second day of the MIAC track meet. I shot for 4 rain-soaking hours. Mac struggled and did not do particularly well in the few events they were still in. Nonetheless, I did get some good shots and I'm glad I went out into the rain because I need to practice shooting in these adverse conditions.

Kim came down with Hitman on DVD so Michelle and I joined her in watching that rather poor movie. I did not have much energy for photo editing, so I'm continuing to fall behind.

On Sunday morning, Mom came over for breakfast. Kim and I made sour-dough french toast and veggie sausage (thanks to Kimmi and Michelle for cleaning up as I ran out the door). It was a good breakfast that gave me energy for another day of shooting. By noon I was shooting the Gopher baseball double-header against Michigan State. It went long. Very long.

Michigan State is the Big Ten team to beat. Unfortunately, the Gophers have struggled this season after decades of continued success. Nonetheless, the U played strongly and took them into extra innings in the first game. In the second game, more of the younger players got a shot, giving me a chance to get photos of fresh faces.

Finished sometime between 6 and 7 and headed to Tiffany's in Higland Park to meet James, Autumn, Kim, and Michelle for greasy food and Flyers-Penguins in the semis for the Stanley Cup. The Penguins (my second favorite team) defeated the Flyers (my fav team) in an exciting up tempo game. Hockey is better with announcers - I don't know that I'll try to catch other games in the sports bars.

MS Fund Raising

Michelle and Kris are doing a bike ride tomorrow to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I did not think I would be able to join them due to a conflict with some events I am shooting - however, they do not overlap after all.

So I signed up at the last minute and am trying to do some quick fund raising. I have a modest goal - if you can contribute $10 dollars, it would help greatly.

Thank you for any help.


Arrived home last night - exhausted. If Michelle hadn't brought those amazing white choco mac nut cookies to the airport, I might not have made it.

Had a great time in North Carolina - was amazed at the Interstate highways there (and I drove on several of them). They appeared to be quite new - with fresh paint and wide paved shoulders. Good signage too. I definitely want to head back to NC for a vacation with Michelle - perhaps in Asheville and Boone. But I think this is the time of year to do it so we'll have to wait at least a year.

Still in NC

I presented at the conference today. Among a crowd of 50 folks, I suspect I was the youngest by at least 5 years. Median age was probably between 45-55. Presenting to such an audience requires at least a little hubris. I get extremely nervous before presenting - but it starts to fade over the few minutes before hand.

I quite enjoy it once I get going. But I can derail myself by focusing too much on what I am doing wrong. For instance: do not drum your fingers on a podium with a mic. It rumbles. I stopped after 2 or 5 times. I think. Maybe I just stopped noticing. But I noticed others did the same thing =)

I always lobby for an extending period of Q&A rather than long individual presentations. I do much better in a conversation style than a long presentation. So we each went for 10 minutes, then spent another hour fielding questions. It went remarkably well - especially since I threw my speech together in the 30 minutes before I went on. But this isn't rocket science, it is basically the same spiel I go over constantly with all kinds of folks.

It was well received - though the audience was clearly already biased toward my position. It is that sort of conference. Just a friendly crowd. I noted that it was nice to be here since it was winter in MN last week. I could have mentioned that I was now missing spring in MN, but didn't want to spend the whole time talking about the weather.

After, I got high praise from one of the most well known folks in this field nationally. He has praised me previously for some of my reports and now said he enjoyed my responses to questions - adding that I usually hit all the points he is hitting in his head and occasionally some other ones. There aren't many folks I would rather hear praise from in this line of work, so that made it a great day.

Of course, I have a long way to go before I will get any of that praise from folks who don't already agree with me, so there is a long way to go. But it is a fun journey. I suspect the crowd I'll be speaking to in Dallas in 2 weeks will be more mixed, so I will have to prepare better. But I'm looking forward to it.

Subway Reef

Ever wonder what happens to old subway cars? Well, they go to Delaware, get sunk, and attract lots of fishies and all manner of sea life. That attracts fisherman which start arguing and demanding more subway cars.

But other states want to build fishy homes too, so there aren't enough old subway cars for everyone. This is an odd story but quite interesting.

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