Thursday, April 28, 2005
Monday, April 25, 2005
From a hotel room in Dallas, Texas. First, the weather hear stinks. I would have used stronger language but I have discovered that my kids read this from time to time and I get chastised (Tori, look it up) every time I use the word s u c k s. So, it stinks. My parents are always telling me how great the weather is in Texas, it’s colder than in Kentucky, and that was pretty chilly this morning. Not only that, but they have thunderstorms like every 20 minutes here. That caused one of the busiest airports in the world to shut down for 30 minutes. But that doesn’t mean that I am 30 minutes behind, no! First the planes that are in the holding pattern get to set down. That was me. Then the planes that were in the gate get to all take off, but since nothing has taken off for now 45 minutes (15 to land the queue) we are now 45 minutes off. I happened to be on a plane that was one of the first to get to the gate, so I shouldn’t complain. Except, the baggage handlers were all on some sort of lunch break during the storm and I had to wait another 45 minutes for my bags to get to the baggage claim area. Good thing I didn’t have an appointment at noon.
I am here for myself, and that is a good thing. I normally travel all across this great planet searching for people to work for my company. But this week I am in Dallas to learn some management skills from a couple of leaders in my industry. I am stoked. I am going to take so many notes that my hand will be cramped for a week. I have been experimenting with a program that records from the laptop's microphone and saves it directly to MP3. I can't get it to work yet, but it would be cool so that I could play the lectures back later.
One last word on my writing. I have been writing rather prolifically again. I have been cranking out 3000-4000 words a night. I am not sure if it is quality yet, but I am determined not to stop until I have completed the novel. So far it has the iglorious title "Untitled Work". Decided that I wasn't going to pidgeonhole myself into anything.
That's all from Dallas for now. Back to the book until lights out.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Music is so subjective. There are some songs that I think should be on the list and aren't, there are others that I just scratch my head and wonder how they got there. The list that I am using is from KZOK in Seattle. I am not using that list because it is the station that I listened to growing up, it just happens to be the best list on the net. I figure that if I have 1000 songs, and each song averages 3 megs and 3 minutes, that collection will take 3 gig and give me about 4 days of solid music. Cool! I am also going to be simulatiously building a collection of jazz and one for praise and worship. Where I get sidetracked is that I look at the list and see an artist (Steely Dan, Heart, Steve Miller, etc.) and then decide that I want to get all of the music that artist has. Argh! Do you know how many songs the Beattles have?
For the record I put #14 as my number #1 - Heart "Barracuda". What a fantastic song.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Well, then I spent some time looking at a bunch of photoblogs from photoblogs.org. I found so much garbage there too. It seems that so many who have made the commitment that I have made to put up a new picture each day are often doing so with ordinary fluff. Looked at one today where the photographer showed us 7 different pictures of his office cafeteria when it was empty. That just stirs my soul! So, I am now rethinking my commitment in light of that. Are the pictures that I am posting of value, or are they just fill. I think that as of this moment they are of value, but when they get to the point of putting them up just to do so I will stop. But at this point of my life I think that I am improving my skills instead of declining in my talent. But that day will come I suspect.
I had planned on going to Owensboro today, but the work kept piling up and I had a lot of administrative things that I needed to do before I head to Dallas next week. Got a new guy in Louisville that looks incredible, will spend the day with him tomorrow. Then I am off to Indy for some interviews on Friday. There is a place in Indiana that almost always has wild turkey's looking for food, hope that I can catch them. Not sure what kind of time that I will have in Dallas to shoot. I won't have my own transportation so I think that I will be greatly limited. There is an incredible restaurant there (near Plano if I remember) but I don't thinkt that I will be able to get there. Bummer.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Had dinner tonight at Bonfish in Louisville, I have a new favorite fish - monkfish. Not sure where I will get it locally, but I am going to try. It was incredible. Now I am in Lexington for a couple of nights. Tomorrow will be not quite as exciting - Applebees. My diet is going better than I expected. I thought that I had lost 2 pounds since Monday, Peyton swears its 4. Either way, I am 6 lower than last week. Friday will be the official weigh in date and I will know then. Trying to get to a goal of 166 by May 20 (anniversary). The National Institute for Health says that I should be between 145-157. Oh my that seems impossible! I think that I was at about 160 in high school. But the good news is that my weight is perfect if I am a body builder, so I guess I will have to start trying to convince people that I am.
What promoted all of this was I made the reservations for the rest of the week at the hotel were I will be staying the next couple of nights. I am a big time collector of frequent stay points, frequent flyer miles, etc. I try to stay at Holiday Inn properties when possible. I am a platnium member (their highest) and I get an additional 50% points with every stay. Currently they have a double bonus program so that I can really rack up the points quickly. Last year I used these points for some free stays during vacation, a couple of MP3/CD players, and some other stuff. I have decided that I am going to work to get one of their top awards, an iPod (20gb). I have wanted one of these for a while and think that it would be cool to get one with my points. I am about half way there.
The digital decision for me centers around how to best get the most music into the player. I have looked at Napster To Go and for $15 a month to have unlimited downloads seems like a great way to go, except that they are incompatible with iPod. What? Why would the largest provider of music decide to do a format with iPod. In fact they have a page dedicated to telling people that they are fools if they are considering an iPod. That baffles me. Then I began to research it all and it is crystal clear. Napster doesn't allow you to upload MP3, they provide WMA format with Microsoft Janus DRM (digital rights management). Want to burn those Napster files? Forgetaboutit. Ain't happnin! Want to rip your CD and add it? No problemo. The players that are Napster specific are all multi format, but the good folks at Napster have been sued so much that they are being really careful here.
So, the question is, what could I do with the iPod, is it using a DRM algorithm? Not really. I can add any MP3 file. I can rip my current music collection, add stuff I have downloaded, and most importantly - I can add my Podcasts. Seems that the iPod is the way to go.
Before anyone comments, there is software that will allow me to convert my WMA files from Napster to MP3 format. I may try that option for a month or so.
63,000 points to go!
Thursday, April 07, 2005
I now have a sufficient inventory of pictures that I am comfortable with doing the daily photoblog, just need to mess with Movable Type. Everything I read tells me how easy it is, makes me feel stupid. We'll see. If I could figure out how to better do "scheduled include" with FrontPage I think that I would just stick with that.
Okay, today's details. This was a horse farm taken in Upton, KY on 05APPR05 right at sunrise. I have passed this farm hundreds of times and usually wished that I had a camera. This particular morning was a spectacular sunrise (mostly due to a gracious Father and lots of prayer for it) and I knew as I approached this spot that it was going to be just right. I really wish that I didn't have the lens flare, but Mary actually liked it. Shot a dozen pictures, some with the sun behind the barn, some as it was cresting, and then this one.
Canon EOS 20D, Sigma 80mm, UV filter. ISO 100, speed 1/250, f/10
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Weather was horrible this week. I didn't take but a couple of pictures. Leaving now to shoot some, we will see what "develops".
Practical joke of the week: Nick believing me when I told him that Mary was pregnant. Oh Nick, I forgot to tell you, its twins!