Friday, December 22, 2006

A different Christmas poem

Read this email this morning. Given my recent post on Seth - I figured it was very appropriate.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe.

Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Yeah... it was a blizzard

Out shoveling the driveway (for about 3 hours) yesterday and talking to the neighbor across the street who was shoveling her driveway with her son when we heard something coming down the street and looked up to see a dog sled team coming down the street. It was being pulled by 3 "snow dogs". First time I've ever seen that in Colorado!

Also a few snow mobiles driving down the street. Common in Big Timber, MT, where I grew up, but never have I seen it here.

Also heard the neighbor say to her son, after the two of them had been shoveling for about an hour, "I think we should get your dad a snowblower for Christmas!". :)

It snows big like this very infrequently - so you have to shovel maybe a couple of times a year. So there are far fewer snow blowers bought than in other "snow states". Its a pain - but when its only a few times a year, it just doesn't seem worth it. Although we've already had two big snows this year...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The war hits home

Jaime got word Sunday night that Seth Stanton, a friend of hers, had died from injuries suffered in Iraq. There were a number of news reports here and here.

I particularly liked this post:
One of the last pictures taken of Private First Class Seth Stanton was just as the sun was coming up in Iraq. The caption read "this is me, at 5 am, protecting those who sleep.

I didn't know Seth that well... saw him at youth a few times. But Jaime was talking about him the other night, "I don't think he'd want me to be sad. Any time I was sad at youth he'd always say, 'Jaime. Be Happy. Don't be so down.' and make me smile. I don't think he'd want me to be all sad at Christmas, even though he died." Seems to tie in well with someone that would say "This is me, at 5 AM, protecting those who sleep."

Not only was he protecting those who sleep there, but he was protecting those who sleep here.

Seth, Although words can't well express it, and you'll never read this, I appreciate that you were protecting me. I appreciate the sacrifice you and your family gave. And I appreciate that your words uplifted my daughter when you spoke them - and they continue to uplift her and help her to deal with your death.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Location Earth - Dog Tags

This is just what everyone needs! ;)

Actually kind of cool. Its worth reading the site. I particularly like:
should you ever be abducted by aliens while wearing Location Earth Dog Tags and not returned safely to Earth you will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price

T.F. Boggs - a solider's point of view

In this post by Hugh Hewitt, I found a link to T.F. Boggs' post about his thoughts on the ISG report. Good reading. I read some of his earlier posts as well, and thought they were all good. I especially liked the following from near the end of an earlier post:

I survived bullets and bombs now let’s see if I can survive a country where Nancy Pelosi is third in command

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pay attention

A number of posts this morning discussing the cluelessness (imo) of the Democrats - or at least the Democrats in power, Main Stream Media, etc. As a military person said on the radio yesterday "We are an army at war and a nation at peace." People don't believe there really is a war going on. We are just sticking our noses in where they don't belong. If we quite messing with them, they'd stop messing with us. Regardless of the fact that they have called for the destruction of Israel and of the United States.

So - as depresessing as that seems... Its a *good* thing to be informed. Yeah, the talk shows I listen to our biased... but I'm still hearing the congressional exchanges, hearing senators say that no intelligent young person would join the military, etc.

People feel like they can't make a difference. You can. Yeah, its just one vote... but its worth voting anyway. No one's perfect. No candidate backs all your beliefs, feels the way you do on all the issues. But come on - some are obviously worse than others. "The better of two evils" may kind of suck... but hey, if you don't vote, you're going to potentially get the "Worst of two evils".

So yeah - it might not be good news - but its news. And its good to stay informed and realize what is going on in the world right now and how important some of these issues are - and what they could mean to the future of our country.

And our media continues to be their propaganda machine

Speaking shortly before senior diplomats from six world powers were scheduled to meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned the European Union that any punitive measure would be considered an act of hostility by Tehran. "I am telling you in plain language that from now on, if you try, whether in your propaganda or at international organisations, to take steps against the rights of the Iranian nation, the Iranian nation will consider it an act of hostility," Ahmadinejad said.

Yeah - who would have seen that comming? After stating that we wouldn't attack them because it would be too costly they turn around and say "If you put sanctions on us, we'll consider it an act of war".

  • war is too costly and we don't want to go to war,
  • sanctions == war
  • therefore; we don't want sanctions

And people think that this (not getting into a conflict with Iran, minding our own business, keeping to ourselves, etc.) is in the best interests of our country and the world. Yeah... because we are too big and powerful and no-one would ever think of attacking us. Sigh.

Its just an unbiased study to get to the truth...

From Hugh Hewitt's post: From Tehran:Iran's study of the Holocaust "does not mean we deny the crimes of Hitler"., his quoting a news article that I couldn't get a link to:

MORE than 60 researchers from 30 countries will attend a controversial conference on the Holocaust next week to examine the event without any "preconceived ideas", Iran said today.

Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi said the staging of the conference on December 11 and 12 was a response to the lack of answers to questions posed over the Holocaust by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Ahmadinejad, who has also called for Israel to be wiped off the map, has repeatedly raised questions about the scale of the Holocaust and even described the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II as a "myth".

"Ahmadinejad asked, did the Holocaust happen or not? And if it happened why are scholars prevented from doing research on this and why are revisionists thrown into prison?" Mr Mohammadi said.

"And if it happened, why should the Palestinians pay for this?"

The conference would, "without any preconceived ideas, provide the atmosphere for scholars and researchers from both sides to give their papers in the utmost freedom".

Mr Mohammadi declined to give the names of the 67 international scholars he said would be attending, because of fears their home countries would ban them from travelling to Tehran.

He stressed that Iran's study of the Holocaust "does not mean we deny the crimes of Hitler"

And their study is going to find that the Holocaust did not happen, and be just one more reason for them to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

"There is no Holocaust, there should be no Israel, we have WMDs and the US Democrats and Mass Media have stated over and over that we are good guys and they don't want to go to war with us. What have we got to lose. Push the button."

Maybe I should stop reading political blogs and listening to talk radio. The cluelessness is really starting to get to me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Honor and Duty - its something not everyone gets

I was listening to talk radio the other night on the way home and heard a quote by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. It floored me. I found it today in
Military mockery: Democrats harbor outdated, outlandish views of those who serve our nation a post by Jack Kelly:

"I want to make it abundantly clear: If there's anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq."

It struck me that someone could be so out of touch with what is really going on in this country. Sure, there are some that join the army looking for a job or a paycheck (alhtough the pay isn't that good) - but there are many people that do it out of a sense of honor, duty, etc.

As Jack Kelly said:

But many bright young people have enlisted to fight and have re-enlisted after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. That the reason is a mystery to Rep. Rangel, Sen. Kerry and many other Democratic leaders is troubling for the future of our country.

They believe every inteligent/bright person thinks/feels like them, and the fact that they have no honor or sense of duty means that no-one else does either. So their *must* be some other reason for joining like money or because they can't get a job anywhere else.

And his closing comment:

For many Democrats, being an American is all about rights, not duties. Though the rights they demand would not exist were it not for the dwindling number of Americans willing to perform the duties of citizenship, they regard with barely concealed contempt those Americans whose sense of duty causes them to go in harm's way. If America's "leaders" have such attitudes, can the nation long survive?

Sigh. Good point.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

For Christ's sake -- literally

From Kathryn Jean Lopez article entitled: For Christ's sake -- literally:
Yes, seriously, red and green -- great threats to the Establishment Clause if caught anywhere near a public school, right? Gibson writes of his experience over the last year: "Many parents contacted me and said the story of Plano, Texas, where the school board wouldn't allow the colors red and green for the plates and cups and napkins at the kids 'winter' party, was actually quite common. I heard about one school where the principal went to each schoolroom before Thanksgiving and put all red and green construction paper under lock and key until after New Years. It is silly and paranoid actions like that which make people certain the war is real and not a figment of their imagination."

It just gets more and more stupid...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

joke of the day

irc post by "opie" at work:

Why did the multithreaded chicken cross the road?

to To other side. get the

He's a 4 digit badge

I was at DCU (Digital Credit Union) today. I started at DCU when I worked for Digital, and because its an excellent credit union, I'm still there today. Digital is gone - but its credit union lives on. I was talking to one of the bank employees and she was asking what I did at verizon. In the midst of this conversation she asked me my badge number and I gave it to her.

This reminding me of one of the small parts of the Digital culture. I had a fairly low 6 digit bad number. DEC did not pre-assign some format to their badge numbers, like starting at say 100000 because they knew they'd have over 100,000 employees at some point in time. So they had some pretty small badge numbers around. I don't know if they started at 1 or not, but I know they had 4 digit badge numbers. If you had a 4 digit badge number, then you started when there were less than 10,000 employees.

Because DEC was such a great place to work, "back in the day", families would end up working there. It wasn't uncommon when I worked back in MA to talk to someone who said, "My dad works for DEC too", or "My uncle works for DEC", etc. And usually when they said that some previous generation person worked for DEC, they would add in "He's a 4 digit badge" - this was the DEC way of saying "He's an old-timer. Been with the company forever."

Its a small thing... but it was just one of the cool things at DEC. At least I thought it was cool :) - It was kind of a sign of loyalty, etc. You could always pretty much tell when you were hired in relation to someone, even if you had a 6 digit badge. You were in the 200K range perhaps, and they were in the 300K range. Because I thought I'd work for DEC forever (why not - everyone I knew at the time was kind of planning on that - because they had family who had done it), I thought it would be cool some day when someone said about me, "He's a 6 digit badge".

DEC has since gone the way of many no-longer-present computer companies - but memories of them live on. Its not uncommon for me to talk about DEC at least once a month. Tell a story, talk about VMS, etc. It was a great company to work for, with a great culture. I worked at DEC for 8 years. 2 back east and 6 out here. I've worked for MCI, MCI-WorldCom, WorldCom, MCI and now Verizon for 11 years. I've never seen the same kind of culture, loyalty to company, etc. that I did there.

I hadn't thought about the concept of being a 4 digit badge for a long time. It made me smile...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


An Iraqi blogger. I only read the post from yesterday, but I'm going to try and follow it when I can. Its always good to read some blogs from locals.

Tis the season

Peace on earth? Not in our subdivision!
A homeowners' association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Do people not have anything better to do?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

WreathsAcrossAmerica and ArlingtonCemetery

Got this in email - so googled it to make sure it was true. A wreath manufacturer in Maine had donated 5000 wreathes to Arlington Cemetery for the last 14 years, and this year they are donating wreaths across america. The Patriot Gurad will escort the wreaths from Maine to Arlington. Pretty cool.

Honey Baked Hams - served at room temp

Because I didn't know... figured I'd post this. :)

Erika called to ask me how long to cook a Honey Baked Ham. She said there were no instructions on the ham. I figured a few hours them - just to warm it up... But then I looked around on the internet.

According to their serving instructions (which took a little bit to find):
The HoneyBaked Ham and Turkey Breast are fully cooked and ready to enjoy. For the very best flavor, take the Ham or Turkey Breast out of the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature a half-hour before serving. Refrigerate unused portions immediately.

Heating May cause the Ham or Turkey to dry out and lose flavor.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving - WKRP Turkey Drop

I remember when this first aired. Still makes my laugh till I cry. :) If you've got the band-width, check it out. Its a classic.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

another consolidation of news headlines

the news right now lists up-to-date news headlines from various news sources and counties.

Beirut: Lebanese minister assassinated

yonitheblogger posted an entry about the assassination. In part:

Lebanese politicians on Tuesday accused Syria of standing behind the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian minister and scion of Lebanon's most prominent Christian family.

I heard about the assissination several times on the news. Never once did I hear that he was from a Christian family...

Its good to get our news from other sources than just the American Main Stream Media.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time warp

Cell phone conversation

Me: Hey, I'm at Sam's and they have some good pies, should I get one?
Tina: What are you doing at Sam's? I thought you were at work?
M: I told you I was taking time off.
T: You said you were taking off Tues and Wed
M: It is Tue
T: Oh... yeah. I *thought* it was Monday!

Don't fix it if it aint broken

In the grocery store, waiting as the cashier checks me out.

C1: I hate where they put these new bar-codes
C2: Oh, the pepsi products. I know. I don't know why they don't put them on the end. I've been fighting it all weekend.
C1: Me too
C3: Are you guys talking about the pepsi products?
C2: Yeah
C3: I hate where they put the bar code. Why didn't they leave them where they were?

Almost another patent

While I do have 4 patents, the patent for Method and apparatus for testing air permeable waterproof gloves is not one of mine. Some marketing firm thought it was. I must already be on file with them, so when they saw James Wagner - they sent me stuff. This is a James Wagner in Glenwood Springs, CO.

Congradulations James... whoever you are. :)

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Although Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has been dogged in some christian press, I find it very entertaining and well written, and actually think that Harriet Hayes' character gives some balance to Christians that might not otherwise been seen in most shows today.

In any case, there was a rumor that it was being cancelled, which bummed out Jaime, Michael and I, because it is one of our favorite shows. The post on Wikipedia claims that this is untrue and that NBC has picked it up for the entire season (22 shows) even though its ratings are down. They are retaining it because:

Studio 60 has consistently delivered some of the highest audience concentrations among all primetime network series in such key upscale categories as adults 18-49 living in homes with $75,000-plus and $100,000-plus incomes and in homes where the head of household has four or more years of college.

Excellent :)

One thing the war is all about

There are many liberals who think we shouldn't be in the war in Iraq. That we should have never been there, that we should just pull out, and everything would be fine. For some reason they don't get that much killing had gone on before we got there, and that it is still going on.

Here is a great story on snopes that discusses Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt and how he was comforting a little girls whose entire family was killed by insurgents. They shot her in the head as well, but she survived. He was the only one that could get her to sleep at night, so for multiple nights he came by and slept with her in his arms. These are some of the stories of the war that really matter, and that probably won't show up much in main stream media.

If we don't protect these kids, who will?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ohio St. Tops Michigan in Thriller 42-39

It was a great game. Would have been better if we won, but still very good and very close at times.

The Game, replayed for the national title in January?

Could be.

Would be cool. :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Consumers to lose $2.8B to phishers in 2006

Consumers to lose $2.8B to phishers in 2006

The average loss per phishing attack was US$1,244 this year, Litan said, up from $256. Gartner estimates that the total financial losses attributable to phishing will total $2.8 billion this year.

Ex-Michigan coach Bo Schembechler dies


I was at Michigan near the end of his coaching career. Great games.

The Nature of LISP

A great article on the powers of the LISP programming language. I'm going to have to read it multiple times and think on it. Last year I did a little bit of LISP programming during the holidays. I think I'm going to have to do some more...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

U.S. intelligence unveils spy version of Wikipedia

The U.S. intelligence community on Tuesday unveiled its own secretive version of
Wikipedia, saying the popular online encyclopedia format known for its openness is key to the future of American espionage.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Diet Mt Dew so cold that when you open the bottle it starts turning to ice.

Some times it pays to listen to the weather man

Forecast: 30% chance of percip, high 40s.

Bright sunny day.

Very tempted to ride the bike.

Now its snowing.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Toy Run

We participated last Sunday in the Toy Run for Christmas Unlimited. The Pikes Peak HOG group is one of their top three contributors. Last year CU donated $30 - $40 worth of toys to 13,000+ kids!

New Life let us use their youth center; which was nice of them. I didn't hear a final count - so don't know what was donated this year, but there were quite a few bikes there (400 or something?) and everyone donated at least one toy.

We lucked out. Went to Walmart and they had a ton of toys on sale. We were able to pick up about $200 worth of stuff for $50. Score! :)


On Dilbert's blog today, Scott Adam's asked "Whats the strangest coincidence that ever happened to you?"

When I was at the University of Michigan, I was involved in the work study program. Basically making a small amount of money and getting some "real world" computer science experience. I had worked there for about a year when my boss left and we hired a new boss. She had gone to the UofM and was now living in Ann Arbor looking for a job. Her name was Melinda (I think - its been a long time) Goosey.

Me: Huh. I went to high school with a guy named Bret Goosey.
Her: He's my cousin!

Wow... Ann Arbor Michigan and I end up working with the cousin of somebody I went to high school with in a small town (Big Timber) in MT. What are the odds?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Its all relative

Working on some code the last few days. Was using one design that was really nice, but someone brought up that it might be a little slower than another approach. My design was nicer - but we need to worry about performance so I figured I'd better benchmark it.

It took an extra second to process 2500 records. Doesn't sound like much, but when you process 25 million records - it comes out to 2.77 hours in a day. So yeah, need to update the design.

And given we are processing 280 million records a day overall, in some cases you have to make it a bit more ugly if its going to save you some time.

Is something burning?

I'm riding home yesterday evening and its pretty warm out. I get a wiff of something burning. Not sure what it is. Maybe its the car in front of me... Nope. Ok, maybe the bike is somehow warmer than normal, because its been cold out lately? Doesn't make sense, but I'm just trying to figure it out.

Get home and I still smell something... Well we'll see how it is tomorrow.

Today I fire the bike up and within a few minutes I smell something burning. Almost like wood smoke - not oil or something like that. I start looking around. Ah...

An oak leaf stuck between your pipes and the frame - yeah, it will smolder and put off a smell.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Santa HOG

Driving down Woodmen Rd, and there in front of me is Santa Clause: red suit, black boots, white motorcycle helment; on a Road King.

Not ever day you see Santa driving thru the Springs on his Harley. :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Kerry - more context

In case you don't know about the Kerry "joke" - here is a good article with the text of the joke, some of the apology, and why it was insulting.

Is the liberal media influencing the election?

Much talk on conservative radio, blogs, etc. about the fact that the main stream media is influencing the election by siting that polls prove its a Democrate landslide. The thought is that "since its already decided" - there is no point getting out and voting. Why vote, they've already won, your vote isn't going to matter.

For me, its done just the opposite. I'm not always great at voting in non-presedential elections. But this year, I'm definately voting. If the Democrats are forecasted to take over, I better get out there and get my vote in to help prevent it! One vote is only one vote - but its the least I can do.

Response to Kerry's "apology"

Mark Steyn discusses the Democrat philosophy of supporting our troops.

Having a son-in-law who is in the Air Force, went through the academy, and is a very bright kid - as well as a nephew who is at the Navel Academy... Yeah, I was insulted for them by his remarks, and I agree his apology is really just a cover up.

They just don't get the fact that some people feel strongly about defending their country and are willing to do whatever it takes to do that - and that they intelligently make that choice, that it isn't because they can't do anything better or are just too stupid to know better.


This NY Times article as well as this radio host blog discuss the following GI photo in response to Kerry's "joke".


I'm walking down the "hallway" between cubes, heading back to my desk from upstairs. There is this guy that I don't know but see around once in a while. He is always wearing this kind of hunters/ski cap with flaps pulled down. Odd... but who am I to say what is in fashion... I usually use the "avoid much eye-contact" or a quick "Hey" when passing people. As I get close we make eye contact and he locks on. As I get close he backs up against the cube hallway wall, continues looking at me, kind of giggles, and says, "I had to bring in my own chair from home" and giggles some more. "Oh", I reply, and quickly hurry on my way.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


25 degrees, 70MPH - yeah, that's cool. :)

I need some warmer gloves and some thermal pants - other than that, I'm good. :)


Working this morning and all of a sudden I can't keep focus on any of my windows (I click it, it loses focus) - then all the windows disappear and then I get the "Windows is shutting down" msg.

Yeah... something that corporate is running on my machine (some push, some virus tool, something) decided to restart my machine without any warning.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Fall Riding

Went for a short run yesterday. 70 miles. Out Woodmen to Judge Orr, then out to ... some road - south to Ellicot and then back on 94. It was cool out, but nice.

Today - 35 degrees coming into work. Hands were a bit cold by the time I got here (need some winter gloves - maybe heated), but everything else was fine. Its fun to get all bundled up and ride. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Its how cold???

16 degrees outside right now.
Todays low 10 degrees.
Tomorrows 14 degrees.

Mainteance appt to drop the bike off at the dealership at 8:00 tomorrow morning.


Maybe I'll drop it off tonight before they close - assuming the roads are dry. Might be a little warmer then. And probably don't need to worry about picking up a loaner bike to ride to work...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm sure I just don't understand the importance

Names changed to protect the innocent and to avoid people losing their jobs.

So this person I know works in a cube. Lets call him Jeff Sharkey. Now Jeff really loves sharks (probably because of his last name) and so he has shark pictures all over his cube and hanging from the ceiling, etc. He also is similar to me in that he has a lot of clutter in his cube. Jeff started called his cube the "Shark Pit" and so did everyone else. And because its just kind of a Geek/Jeff thing to do, Jeff flipped his nameplate (that sticks on the outside of his cube) around, and taped a piece of paper to it that says "Shark Pit". And then we would say stuff like, "Can you come over to the shark pit." Ha ha... yeah, sometimes it the small things that keep geeks sane. ;)

At the place that Jeff works there are cube police. (Yeah, if you read Dilbert you've seen them there before). So Jeff gets told by his cube neighbor "Hey, the cube police were by and wrote up a citation and left it on your desk." Jeff was like, "What did they write me up for now... The sharks hanging from the ceiling (everyone's first guess) or maybe all the clutter in the cube (the second guess)." Nope...

Jeff got written up because it is a security violation to have "Shark Pit" in his nameplate rather than his official name. Security left a citation, along with "If you have any quesitons give us a call." I think he had 24 hours to get this serious violation fixed. So he flipped his name plate around so that now it says "Jeff Sharkey"

Good thing they have people whose job it is to enforce these serious kinds of issues. Otherwise someone might have some fun and actually get some work done!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

O'Malley's Steak Pub

As noted yesterday, we stopped at O'Malley's Steak Pub in Palmer Lake. Here is the ChefMoz review.

Informal. Usually a number of Harley's out front, but also locals, fire-fighters, etc. You cook the meat: NY, Rib-eye, burger or chicken; yourself on their grill. Price is pretty good. 12oz NY for 10.99 - including salad bar (pretty simple - but it is all youc an eat) and fries or a baked. Not bad.

Try it again...

OK. Now that today is *actually* the 15th, and the sun is poking through the clouds with a forecast of no rain until early this evening... We are going to give the PPHOG Fall Poker Run another shot.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

System, method and computer program product for processing event records

Woo hoo, patent #4. I didn't even know we have filed a fourth one. I think that is all of them now. Guess its time to invent something else. ;)

Its those little details that count

So Tina and I get all geared up. Leathers, cold weather gear, the works. Put everything else in the side bags. Cap'n Jack is washed, oil checked, gased up, ready to go.

We leave the house about 9:15, and its a nice 15 minute ride down to CSHD. I'm almost sweating as we leave the house, but by the time we hit 50 on Powers, I'm glad I've got cold gear on and pull the neck wrap up over my mouth.

We get to CSHD just about 9:30, when registration starts... and notice there is *one* bike in the parking lot. Tina says, "Are you sure this is where they are having it? Doesn't look like enough bikes for a run." and then that little quite voice that has been buzzing in the back of my head makes itself a bit louder.

"Ah... *tomorrow* is the 15th, right?"

Hmm... I guess yesterday at work when I put a revision history in the code with 2006-10-13" and thought "How weird, how can today be the 13th when tomorrow is the 15th and the ride", I should have paid more attention. :-)

Oh well... no run, but we are all dressed up and on the bike. So its up to Grandmother's Kitchen in Woodland Park for breakfast, than out through the "burn" on 67 as far as we can go till the road is closed. Then back to town, stop at PPHD to look at clothes and get some oil, then up north and lunch at O'Malleys. Great steak that you cook yourself. I've only been inside once, and it was so smokey I never went back... but now that you can't smoke in bars... Someone said the food was good so we tried it out.

Came outside and it was just starting to sprinkle a little. Numerous bikers leaving and getting on their bikes and heading out. Got home with only a bit of sprinkles, gased the bike up, washed the windshield, checked the oil and its ready to ride tomorrow.

TOMORROW is the run - 85 miles or so - out toward Ellicot. So, if its not raining, and doesn't look like rain, it should be a good couple hour run. But today's ride was good to. If there is nothing organized going on, and if its not raining and we have the time off, we just make up our own run.

Need to do the Woodland Park, Deckers, Sedalia, Palmer Lake run next spring when the road is open (or later this year if the weather is good).

PPHOG Fall Poker Run

The Pikes Peak HOG Chapter has their Fall Poker Run today. This is our first HOG poker run. It starts at the CS store on Powers - no idea where it is going, or how long. First bike out at 10:00, last bike out at 11:00. Last bike in... when final sweep comes in. So no time.

The sun is starting to come out now, so it should be a pretty good day to ride. A bit cool, but hopefully a nice fall day. According to the forecast, no chance of rain till 9:00 tonight. :)

I've *heard* that the fall run in the past has gone up through Victory to see the colors. We'll see when we get to the dealership and sign up. And adventure. :)

I've also heard that for the HOG runs, they have a road captain, a wingman and a sweep. We'll see if they do that on their poker runs. Also, no HOG runs can have stops at bars. So - should be an interesting day all around. I think this is one of the last big organized runs of the year. After that there is a toy drive, but it is just here in town.

Well... Cap'n Jack is calling. Gotta ride.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Paul Graham on taste

From Taste for Makers by Paul Graham:

For those of us who design things, these are not just theoretical questions. If there is such a thing as beauty, we need to be able to recognize it. We need good taste to make good things.


If you mention taste nowadays, a lot of people will tell you that "taste is subjective." They believe this because it really feels that way to them.

Saying that taste is just personal preference is a good way to prevent disputes. The trouble is, it's not true. You feel this when you start to design things.

This is so true. Perhaps some people believe this because they have never done much design. So to them, it seems like a reasonable thing to say. The problem is when you have bosses that think that taste is subjective and make you prove why one design or process, etc. is better than another. We can spend so much time trying to prove something that those that have taste just KNOW to be true.

At any given time there are a few hot topics and a few groups doing great work on them, and it's nearly impossible to do good work yourself if you're too far removed from one of these centers.


As a practical matter, I think it's easier to see ugliness than to imagine beauty. Most of the people who've made beautiful things seem to have done it by fixing something that they thought ugly. Great work usually seems to happen because someone sees something and thinks, I could do better than that. ...

Intolerance for ugliness is not in itself enough. You have to understand a field well before you develop a good nose for what needs fixing. You have to do your homework. But as you become expert in a field, you'll start to hear little voices saying, What a hack! There must be a better way.

It starts to become a problem when you don't work with people with taste. With people that aren't great hackers, that don't get its the right thing because to some extent they think taste is subjective. It becomes very demotivating. Not only is it a constant fight, but as it says else where in this article, having good taste isn't enough. You have to work with other people with taste because then you draw off each-other. If you are the only person with taste, you run the risk of stagnation.

Oh well... its one of those weeks. Anyway, good article.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Googling for Code

You can now google for code.

Here is an article about it.

And another article that talks about hackers using it to find security holes.

Love the rumble

Tues it had snowed. Wed it was in the high 40s, but the roads were dry and it was sunny. I took the Harley to work. It was awesome. Crisp air, feeling the rumble, etc.

Sitting at a light, stereo going, bike rumbling.

Voice: I just had to roll my window down so I could listen to the rumble of the bike.
Me: I look around and notice the guy next to me has his window down and is talking to me. I laugh. Yeah
Guy: Yeah, I just love that sound.
Me: The Ultra's aren't as loud as most Harleys.
Guy: It still has that sound. The Japaneese have tried to copy it, but they can't. I used to have a Harley about 20 years ago, till my friend totaled it... Nice bike!
Me: Thanks

Light turns green and I drive off.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Raised over $200K

Michael just said he heard on the news that the ride rasied over $200K. Besides the registration donations, there were also T-shirt sales and other donations.

Very cool.

Patrick - does you email work?


I sent email to both you and Elizabeth, but didn't get anything back. Since I know you read my blog - I'll just post here. :)

Looked for you yesterday, but with 5K bikes or so, never did spot you. We were probably about 1/2 way back. We only hung out at the school in Bailey for 10 minutes or so, and then headed back down. Watched for you in all the bikes we passed, but didn't see you there either. We gotta hook up some time. Drop me a line so I know if you guys are getting my emails.

Choppers roar for slain teen

Article says there were over 5K bikes, I heard from the Highway Patrol that there were 7K. So, we raised somehwere between $125K and close to $200K. They said the money is going to go towards Emily's family and helping the 5 other girls that were there. This is just a start - a foundation to help with school violence.

Probably the biggest ride we've been in so far. It was pretty incredible with all the people on the sides of the roads, ribbions, signs, ballons. You could tell the little communities around Baily really appreciated it. The folks around town were great. We stopped at the Cutthroat Cafe on the way out for lunch. Turns out that was where Emily worked. The owner was there. We were going to sit outside but there was no shade, "I'll set an umbrella up for you guys if you want. Whatever you want. You guys rock." I think it really touched folks that 5K to 10K bikers came out to ride.

Pretty amazing that they put all this together in 10 days time. It wasn't super organized, but pretty good - and as far as I could tell, everyone kept in mind the reason we were there and were cool about things.

The news channel wanted to interview Tina, but she was too shy (WHAT?) - and said no. Turns out we later read something that said the family would appreciate if people did not do interviews, so it was probably for the best.

My prayers are with the family and those involved. Both here and around the country as there were three school violence incidents that week.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I saw on b-may's site a link to World66, so I checked it out. Registered and generated the following map:

No, these aren't the only states I've been to... But rather than "Here is everywhere I've been", I think I'm going to use it for "Here is everywhere I've been on the Harley." :) You can also fill in a world map... but since I've only been to the US on the bike, not much point. Maybe later. If I ever win the Lottery (which isn't likely since don't buy tickets - but you know what I mean), I'd love to ship the bike to Europe and ride around. Would be very cool. But I'll work on the US first... And maybe Canada. Well and maybe Mexico. We were very close to that on our last trip - if I had only known it would get me another big read country. ;)

create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

Thursday, October 05, 2006

“Columbine to Canyon Ride” / “Emily’s Parade”

Doing a ride Saturday in memory of Emily Keyes. It will go from Columbine to Platt Canyon.

We were going to go up to Buena Vista on Friday night - but a friend of ours that rides told us about this and it seemed more important. Several of us our going. I hope there is a good turn out.

Donations can be made to the "Columbine to Canyon Account" at any "Bank of the West", and the “I love U guys” Emily Keyes Memorial Fund at Citywide Banks ( The "I love U guys" fund is named in memory of the last text message that Emily sent to her parents.

Event Filter

Email conversation...

Me: Here is a link to the HOG events
T: Why did you send that to me?
M: So you could see the upcoming events
T: Ok, but that is your job! I just say yes or no!

Ah... I'm the event filter... I didn't know that. ;)

Science and Space News

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Beaming people in "Star Trek" fashion is still in the realms of science fiction, but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Short term memory loss

So if you've read the posts from a week or so ago, you know the trip down to AZ was not fun the first day. Seriously considered giving it up. Cold and rain. Not a fun combination on the bike.

So... yesterday, 20% chance of rain. Cloudy out. Take the bike or not? ... OF COURSE I take the bike. How can I not?

Leave work - it is raining - but not so bad that I gear up. I've got leathers - I should be fine...

Not a fun ride home. It is somewhat sleeting and in places the wind is really blowing. Going down one side road at 30 - the whole bike felt like it moved sideways 6 inches or so. Not swerved - just slide sideways. I took a long route home, because I didn't want to hit any big hills. Finally made it home, a bit stressed, a bit cold, and somewhat wet. So... the plan for the next day (which is today) is "Take the Jeep to work. Its not worth riding home in the rain."

So... I'm sitting here, looking out the front window at the sun beaming off the golden aspen leaves - checking the weather ... Hey... its only 30% chance. And the forecast says only a slight chance of rain. How bad could it be?

Yeah... I'll probably take the bike to work... But *maybe* this time I'll keep the radar up on my monitor and if it starts to look bad - head home. I think I'm at a state on the project where I can do that and work from home just fine. So maybe I'll be leaving today... or take the jeep... Yeah... the bike is probably going to win.

Monday, October 02, 2006

JoAnn's Ranch O Casados Restaurant

As I mentioned in a previous post, JoAnn's Ranch O Casados Restaurant was very good. They are right on 285, which is the main road from Santa Fe to Taos. So they aren't hard to find. Like I said, great chicken enchiladas. Get them with blue corn and covered in green chile. Some of the best green chile I've had. Not too hot, and very fresh tasting.

Back to work

Didn't do any work since Thur. Friday I logged on, but was doing trip stuff and didn't have time to do any work. This morning read through irc logs and past emails. Sigh... just normal work "stuff" going on. Some progress made while I was gone, but some things just kind of stood still. Well... a week of stuff to get caught up on, some install issues with the new kit to figure out and delegate/fix, and get started on a new release. Nothing like jumping back in with both feet.

Yeah... much rather be riding down the road on the Harley, stero blasting, bike rumbling, leaning back against Tina and just exploring the country side.

Oh well... bills to pay, responsibilities and all that... - but man the road calls to you...

1860 miles

Well, we are back. Friday we made it to Espanola, NM. We had planned on making it to Taos, but were too tired, plus it was starting to get dark. We left Holbrook plenty early, but headed SE down 180 (I think it was) and into the south entrance of the Petrified Forest National Park. This was a very cool ride. 28 miles through that and the painted desert. AZ has some spectacular country. The ranger at the gate drives a Harley, so gave us all the scoop on portions of the road to watch out for, etc. :)

Turns out that I-40 is a MUCH better drive than I-10, in terms of scenary. It was pretty for the most part. I-25 -> I-10 is probably faster, but coming through the Salt River Canyon, etc. was worth it, and then I-40 itself was nice too. Plus we picked up a little Indian jewelry. :)

Headed north out of Albqu. and ran into an accident. We were sitting on the road for probably an hour in stop-and-go traffic. Plenty of people jumping the median to head back to town and take a different road north (which we don't know - so we stayed on the highway). Finally after about an hour, 3 motorcycles went down the right shoulder in about a 10 minute period. I waited a few more minutes, then followed. If I would have done that in the first place, would have saved us an hour.

Got into Santa Fe, found the Harley shop and bought a few things and asked how long to Taos - an hour an a half or two. Yikes! Made it to Espanola and stopped for the night. Ate at Joanne's - which had "authentic" southwest food. Awesome blue corn enchilladas with local green chiles. Yum.

Next day I let Tina sleep in, and we headed out around 10:00. Made it to Taos... totally wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it was a mountain town, but it is in the foothills. No mountains roads in... and none out. I was told we'd go through some twisty roads, but nothing. Maybe if we had turned to Red River at Questa... but we weren't sure where that would come out. Or maybe if we had headed east out of Taos towards Raton. But we just went due north, which was pretty flat.

Hit the CO state line... and saw clouds and mountains with snow on them. Yup, out of the desert and back into the Rockies. But the clouds were sparse, and we were in foothills most of the way. East out of Fort Garland to Walsenburg. Last time: raining, hyper-planning, etc. This time: sunny and warm. MUCH NICER. :)

Stopped in Pueblo for a bite to eat and to stretch and then home.

1860 miles total. A great ride. I'd do it again next week if we could, it was so fun. And great time with Tif and Brian.

Definately our last "major ride" for this year - but we've got a few poker runs coming up, so I'm sure we'll get some short rides and some day trips in. When we left it felt like winter was around the corner. Coming home it was in the 80s and nice. We'll see what fall holds for us, in terms of riding!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Globe to Holbrook

Coming out of globe the country starts getting cooler. We are driving along and see a sign "Salt River Canyon" and all of a sudden there it is. Oh my gosh. What a sight. It was very cool. I have a great picture, which I can't upload right now. Will do it later. Anyway, it was spectacular. We drive down into the canyon and back out. Quite a long ride so we are in the cooler temps for 30 minutes at least. A few "Tina grabbing my vest" points, but mostly just very cool. From there up into the Mountains. Really mountains with no desert plants. Very similar to CO. By the time we make Snowflake, its dusk, but we only have 45 minutes to go, so we head on. It turns dark with about 15 minutes to go. I don't like driving at night because I like being able to see what lies in the road, what is up ahead, etc. But its a straight, pretty flat road, with traffic. So its fine. Our first night ride on the road.

We pull into Holbrook, ride around and find the Best Western. Internet, ground floor room where we can park the bike, and a Steak House right next door. Awesome.

So - day 1 was great. Today we go through the Petrified Forest. We are going to go out of the way to trek through there - then east to Alburq, north to Santa Fe and stop in Taos. Weather looks good, should be warm as we are back in the desert, and then cool off as we head north.

Sunrise to Globe

Followed Sunrise down to Oracle and took a few turns so I could go to the Oro Valley post office to snap an ABC picture. No luck - turns out the post office was a Tuscon post office. So we headed north. This took about an hour to get out of town and we were very hot.

Heading up the highway I spotted a great "Welcome to Oro Valley" sign on the side of the road, so we snapped a shot and continued on.

Tucson to Globe was very hot. I didn't mind the 90s, but it was baking Tina. We decided to stop at small town to get water, etc. - but we were through it before we knew, so just continued to head north. That was a mistake. I started getting really baked, but we made it to Globe anyway.

Stopped at Taco Bell and then I went to snap a few ABC shots. One for 'G'lobe and one for 'G'ila County. I had directions to the buildings. County offices on 1100 South Stree... except it doesn't exist. Sigh. Spent some time looking for it, and having people look at me drive in circles, cops staring at me. Don't draw so much attention to yourself. :) - Oh well. Found the post office - one with a sign up high. Parked the bike across the street and got a good shot. Then back to Taco Bell... one more try along the way for the county sign. Spotted a small one and snapped it. Then back onto Ash St (highway and main street) and passed a really nice County complex with nice signs, etc. That's the way it goes. I finally find *some* sign to snap, snap it and then pass a really good one w/o trying. Oh well, told Tina I'd be about 15 minutes, and its probably been 30, so I head back. Pull up and she is asleep in Taco Bell. She hears me, wakes up. We load up and head north.

Stick Together

Left Tif's and decided to take Sunrise Drive. This would take us west along the foothills, rather than driving along I-10 and through town. Looked at a google map and got a general idea of where to go. So headed out, took a few turns, and were heading back east *way* too long so decided we better turn around. Stopped at a gas station and asked how to get to Sunrise Drive. The cashier told us and we headed back out to the bike:

Tom: Glad I overhead what she said, she didn't give you the correct directions
We turn around to see a guy standing there. He explains how to get there. We thank him.
T: Yup, us Harley guys have to stick together.
M: Turning toward where he is walking I see a Harley Dealership truck that is used to go pickup bikes. Oh, so you work at the local store?
T: Yeah. If you need anything while you are here, just call and ask for Tom. I'll come pick you up.
M: Thanks!

He then proceeds to pull past us as we are driving down the road, and then pulls into the right lane as he gets near an intersection, and motions us over. We follow him. He does this for a few turns, and then we head up a long road and he motions us past.

T: 3 lights ahead is Sunrise.

And he waves us on.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trip Home

The trip home is looking good. Very nice weather - sunny and in the high 70s to low 90s, depending on part of the country and time of day. It will get down to the high 30s at night, so might be cold when we leave in the mornings - but that is why we have plenty of layers.

Bought some good cold weather gear for our necks/faces here. The Tuscon HD shop had some good stuff - the Pike Peak one did not when we left. Go figure - get cold weather gear in AZ not CO. :)

Will try and pick up some ABC Rally points. I think we can get 5 the first day, and then a few on the other days. That puts us way past the first goal of 26 and about 1/2 way into the second goal of 36. Don't know if we'll hit 36 before the end of the year, but just in case we go for it, we'll be a good ways along.

Rerouted our trip. Now heading north out of Tucson to Globe and up to Holbrook (first day) SH-77 north to I-40. Then across. Will give us a totally different trip all the way to Albuq. Then up to Santa Fe, stopping in Taos (or maybe Santa Fe depending on how we feel, etc.). Then up to Fort Garland, across to Walsenburgh and then home. We've done the Fort Garland to home part, but not the Taos part, so that will be cool for a new road as well.

Well... should start packing up soon. More reports from the road as time/internet-availability allows.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mt Lemmon

Yesterday we decided to do a "short" ride, rather than ride down to Nagolos, MX. We wanted to go up into the mountains, as it was in the 90s or so, pretty hot for us. Not that I'm complainig, because I'll take dry hot over cold rain any day!

So we got up and stopped for breakfast - although it was already 10:30 so it was really an early lunch. We had read up on Mt. Lemmon
25 miles and 6000 feet above Tucson, Arizona's desert floor you will find a completely different world. As you drive up the beautiful Catalina Highway, you travel through four completely different ecological strata. From stately saguaro cactus at the bottom, to the pine and aspen groves at the top, the drive is incredibly beautiful. Especially interesting along the way, are the many fascinating rock formations.
One of the phrases in the brochure was, "If you are afraid of heights, just make sure and look up and not down".

While we were eating we asked the waitress if she was from around here, and did she know how to get there. She did, and gave us directions (which turned out to be longer than we actually needed - there was a shorter way - but got us there none-the-less). Her biggest comment, other than how pretty it is, was how scared she was "Because its really high and there are places where you are looking straight down on both sides." and "I'd never go up it in a motorcyle." By this point Tina was having very strong second thoughts... but I said, "Hey, its AZ and we are from CO. How bad could it be?"


OK... So it was pretty bad I guess. Personally I'd ride up any paved mountain road on a motorcycle way before I'd do it in a car. The road looks so much bigger to a bike. :) Anyway, it was VERY cool. There were some pretty "on the edge of the mountain" roads, and a bridge or two across things, and one place where the road was on the ridge of the mountain top so there were drops on both sides. But all in all the road was very good and I never had any issues. It was very pretty, and because we were up so high the climate was much cooler ("Make sure and take sweaters, because its at least 25 degrees cooler up there.) So we did... but didn't need them because it got all the way down to a bone chilling 70 degress. ;) - Just right for us, apparently pretty cold to people use to 110 degrees. :)

If you ever get a chance, I'd say take the trip. Its pretty cool and a fun ride.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ride to AZ, Day 2

Day two was long, but the weather was much better. We left Albuquerque at 9:30 in the morning. We layered pretty good because it was still pretty cool out. Getting down to the turn towards Silver City it was pretty cloudy looking in the mountains, and sunny towards the south - but we decided to head into Silver City anyway.

Although it looks shorter on the map, google was right. Its a much longer trip. It winds through the Gila National Forest. Much of the road had 35 MPH speed limits, with 10, 15 and 25 MPH curves. But it was beautiful. Really the range of vegetation - coming out of the desert, then into desert mountain, then into mountain terrain. Not quite like CO, but still very lush. Cool stuff. We kept watching the clouds, and we hit some splatter here and there, and then it started raining. Not hard, but we could tell we were going to head into it. So we pulled over and geared up. About a mile further and we came out of the heavy splatter and it didn't rain for the next 30 minutes or so! By then we were coming into the valley on the other side of the mountains, so we pulled over and took the gear off. Around 2 corners and about 1/2 mile further, and you could smell the rain and the road wasn't just wet, but had water on it in spots. Must have just rained - but we never hit any again.

Stopped in Silver City for a late lunch and Tina was going to call her Uncle Tommy who lives near by - but we didn't have his number and Jaime couldn't find it at home, plus Tina was getting worn out and we had another good 4 hours or so to go. Still cool so we were still wearing leather jackets, although I did take my liner out.

Down out of the foothills and onto I-10. Going down the highway, saw a sign for Basken Robbins... Ice Cream stop! :) - That was in Bowie, NM. We didn't do much "ABC Rally" picture taking. Either too cold or tired to stop and take pictures of signs... but as we got close to AZ I started watching for the sign. There it was in the middle of the highway... great not going to be easy to stop with all the truckers going by and trying to stop on the left shoulder, but I slowed down anyway. Got close and noticed a turn-around. Woo hoo! Pulled onto it and got close to the sign. And as I postioned the bike noticed the NM sign was on the east bound side of the road, and right behind us. Tina got both pictuers with the bike in one spot. Sweet. :)

Got into Tif's about 6:00. Sun was still up - actually in my eyes for a while and the windshield was COVERED in bugs by now... CO doesn't have many flies, at least where we live. You'll see one, once in a great while. There were 4 or 5 buzzing us in Bowie as we ate our ice cream, and when I came out to gas up the bike, there was one on the windshield eating splattered insect remains. So anyway, the bike was covered.

Sunday I gave Capt'n Jack a bath. He needed it bad!

So that's about it. Have a good time here. Eating good food and swiming in the pool. We were thinking about heading down to Mexico, but Tina is pretty tired, so we'll probably do a short trip around here today while the kids are at work.

Because the trip was pretty long down here... yeah, its only 13 hours or so by car but its about 20 hours on a bike from start-to-stop. You stop more often, but you get on the bike in the morning and get off 10 hours later. In any case, Tina wants to leave Thur around noon. The plan now is to make Las Cruces, NM the first night. About a 4.5 hour ride (maybe 5 hours with a stop or two). Then up to Taos the next day if the weather up there looks good (forecast currently says it will be) - if not stop in Santa Fe. Taos is a 6.5 hour drive, so probably about 8 stopping for lunch, etc. That will be the longest leg. Then from Taos home, which is about 5 hours. Although that will take 3 days, and we'll spend one less night with Tif - :( - it will be less tiring for Tina and will break it up pretty good.

Our longest trip yet - and I enjoyed it when the weather was good. Which was most of the time. I'd still like to try Michigan in a couple of years... but we'll probably have to figure something like 5 days out for that, given this trip.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 2 - Morning

Weather looks good. A bit cool, but will warm up as we head south. 20% chance of rain here, turning to 0% as we head south... Packing up the laptop so I can get everything stowed on the bike. More updates later...

Work note: Needed to have kit done. It wasn't turned in yesterday. I kitted it, tested it and got all notifications sent out this morning. Now I don't need to worry about that!

Note to self

Always check the alarm clock in the hotel... just in case someone left it on and you don't want your wife getting woke up at 6AM.

Yes... I'm blogging again

Its 5:26 AM, Tina is asleep (and probably will be for 2 more hours), I'm working, and so while stuff builds, I'm blogging. :)

I'll try and post at least during the trip. Maybe upload some pictures too. We have one when we left CO. I think I'll get Tif to take one when we hit AZ.

Well - enough rambling. Later...

At least we aren't wimps. ;)

So like I was saying, by the time we hit Colorado City, I was really questioning if taking the bike was a good idea. Cold, tired, a little wet. Then the rain stopped and it was great. "Well of course we should be on the bike. This is awesome." Prespective and all that. :)

Checked into the hotel and there were a couple of long-haired guys checking in. Loud, rock looking t-shirts. Dude looks over at me,

"Where you coming from?"
"Colorado Springs"
"How was the ride"
"A little wet at first, but then it turned Ok and now to bad since Raton"
"Yeah... we almost rode, but then we wimped out."

Well cool - at least I'm not a wimp... Almost chicked out, but not quite. :) LOL

Like Tina says, "Its all about the adventure."

She was pretty tired and sore when we got in. Hopefully today is a good day and she's ready for the adventure again!

Ride to AZ - Day 1

Left the Springs about 8:30 AM. Plan was to head south to Walsenburg, then west to Fort Garland, south to Taos, Santa Fe, and then Albuquerque. Cloudy when we left, but wasn't raining. That was no longer true by about the time we got to the south ead of town... Not so much what I'd consider "rain" as it was "splatter". Pretty much when cars turn on their wipers every once in a while. So we didn't put on rain gear. We were hoping it wouldn't actually come down much.

By the time we hit PPIR or so, it was was raining. Stayed that way all the way through Pueblo. We had thought about stopping in Pueblo for breakfast, but I wanted to just keep going - hoping to drive out of it. By the time we hit Colorado City, we were cold and I was stressed enough, that we stopped at a diner there. Lots of locals. Talked to a waitress that did a similar trip one year.

"Headed north out of Red River and it was beautiful in the valley. By the time we came up into the mountains it was sleeting, and stayed that way all the way to Denver. Bought a rain suit after that - best investment ever."

Yup... we have rain suits so are staying dry. Folks said we'd probably come out of this after hitting Raton... about 100 miles south. Good and bad news. I didn't want to stay in it that long, but at least we'd come out of it. Talked to a rancher on the porch.

"Man, bad day to be riding. Hey", he said with a twinkle in his eyes, "I'll make you a deal. I'm heading to Phoneix this afternoon. Leaving around 5:00. I've got a 28 foot trailer. You can put the bike in it, ride in the truck and stay nice and warm."

I almost took him up on it. I was NOT having fun in this... but then he just smiled, said good luck, shook my hand and left. We got suited back up and hit the road. About 10 miles south and the rain stopped. Thank you Jesus! By the time we hit the pass, we could see blue sky (or at least lighter sky) on the other side, and there were bits of sun.

Stayed that way most of the way south. Would hit some splatter once in a while, but nothing bad. God was watching over us. Dark skies, light skies and a patch of blue. Where the best spot was, that was the way the road turned. This helped us make time, as my avg speed in the rain is about 60 - whereas I'll do 75 if it is nice out.

Hit Albuquerque about 5:15. Tina was exhaused. I gave her one bag, and by the time I got everything else off the bike, she was asleep. So I called the kids, told them where we were, and called Alan and told him we weren't going to be able to make dinner.

I went and got dinner from Cracker Barrel - about the worst customer service experience of my life - especailly after riding all day. The brought my food out, I didn't hear them call my name, and they never called it again. I asked 3 times if they could check on my food - and after about 30 minutes they were like, "Oh, its been sitting here the whole time." Sigh. And then they ripped me off and didn't give me the soda I ordered and I was too ticked to notice it till I got back to the room.

Oh well - did talk to a guy from Boston while I was waiting. Discussed Digital, the No Name, etc. Typical Boston guy. It was fun. :)

Logged in and checked work... I was up till 11:30 on Thur trying to get a kit done. Close but no cigar - couldn't tell from status if it was out or not. Guess I'll go look around. It really needs to get out Monday.

Guess that's about it... Tif said it was 91 yesterday and "not a cloud in sight". Today's ride should be great. The plan is to head through Silver City - which we'll do depending on the sun. When we get to the fork in the road... totally depends on the weather. We follow the sun. :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

New template

Yes, I've updated my template. I haven't gone and pulled my old list of sites I read, etc. I'll do that eventually. Luckily when you upgrade from templates to layouts, they keep your old template, so you can always go look at it. In any case, layouts are supposed to be easier to use, easier to customize, etc. We'll see. At least this one stretches, which I like. I hate when things hard fixed in size and you can't make use of your whole screen.

Beta Blogger

I've switched over to the Blogger beta version. I don't have time to figure out all that it will give me yet, but the fact that it will give me lables is cool. Defective Yeti has had labels on his site forever, and I always thought it was cool. Now a way to label posts for food, HOG, whatever. We'll see how it works. :)

I've added two labels so far: Admin (for notes like this) and HOG (for stuff about the motorcycle, etc.) And now that I've added 2, turns out they can be lists, which is cool. So I could do something like HOG,Vacation.

Wired News: Play FarCry, Earn $300K

Craig Levine, 23, owner and manager of Team 3D, said there are now more than a dozen U.S. players who make as much as $70,000 a year. This year, Team 3D will likely see more than $500,000 in revenues from winnings and sponsorships.
Wow... maybe I need to hone my game playing skills. ;)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Harley - conversation magnet

I've talked to more people since we got the Harley... I mean total strangers... like at stop lights and stuff. Unbelieveable.

  • 2 guys in a station wagon roll down their window and start telling me all about their bike, when the one guy got a ticket for laying his down, etc. The light turned green and I had to move and they were still talking to me
  • A guy in a service truck starts telling me about his bike
  • A kid (about 10) yell's out his window at me "Sweet bike" and gives me the thumbs up, with a big grin on his face.

And then there is the two couples, probably a good 10 years older than us, at the Katmandu in Nederland who start asking if the bike is comfortable... and the one woman comes over and pushes on the seat "Oh...". They were riding softails.

And the waitresses that talk to you differently when you have your Harley gear on. Must scream blue-collar and anti-establishment. "Hey... hows it going. Welcome to my Hell. Don't get the scrambled eggs... the cook has made enough today." All kinds of things like that.

Kind of cool really. Riding the bike itself is an adventure. Seeing a cross section of Colorado (and soon AZ and NM). But not only the country, but actual the people too. Surprising how many people have bikes. "What you riding. Yeah, I had one of those once".

The trip should be cool. Interesting to see who we meet. :)

Don't mess with me when you're boxing my food

I stop at the grocery store on my bike. I'm riding a rental (cuz the bike is in the shop) and so I've got a helmet on. I take it in with me and I set it down at the end of the checkout counter while I'm getting ready to pay.

BoxBoy: That is one nice helmet... We'll be taking real good care of you. turns to the cashier And you know why right?
Cashier: Looks at meBecause we better!
BB: 'Cuz he rides a Harley
C: Yeah, I know, that's what I meant.

Yeah... that's me. Mister mean biker dude. ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Short-timer's disease

We leave next Friday for AZ. We both can't wait. Its really getting hard to concentrate and focus... short-timer's disease big time...

But I've got a very important release that has to go out before then. Major code complete by this Friday, cleanup and kit turned in before I leave next Thur... and I'm sending email to Tina and blogging this morning instead of working...

As someone said, "Boy, that motorcycle has really corrupted you. You have a life now and aren't getting all kinds of work done on the weekend." Yeah... sucks for the company not to get all kinds of free work out of me, but probably much better off for me. :) And winter is coming soon - less bike riding. :(

Oh yeah... I need to get around, get ready for work, and go to work... that's right. ;)


Quote of the day

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. Frank Tibolt

Friday, September 08, 2006

Getting ready for the trip

Went into PPHD yesterday and picked up a Dekker Supreme. In terms of luggage - not all that big. In terms of luggage for a motorcycle, outstanding. It will dobule the amount of stuff we can carry on the back, and it looks nice as well. Saw some T-Bags at the Rally last weekend, so visited their web-site. Turns out that PPHD carrys them, and had the DS in stock. Cool.

Now just praying that the weather is nice that week. Tif said the monsoons should be gone by then and it should be in the 90s... 90s in AZ and we are just praying we don't hit snow on the way back. Weird huh.

It will be very cool to see Tif and Brian again, and the riding should be excellent. NM HOG State Rally is going on right when we go through Taos and Santa Fe, so we might stop there for a bit. Should be an excellent trip.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Goodbye Croc Hunter

For those that haven't heard - a report on how the Croc Hunter died. The video that is discussed has now been destroyed at the request of the family. A good thing I think.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Beautiful yesterday

What a great day it was yesterday! We decided to stay another night, and it was a great choice. The day was so beautiful. Sunny and warm, but not too warm. There are some *great* roads up here. We went into Estes on 34 and then down to Lyons on 36. Different route than most of the poker run on Saturday. Between the two of them, some great country.

Given the weather is nice today (/me goes to look out the window) and it looks like it is going to be, no clouds yet; we are going to probably go home via the poker run route (into Lyons, Nederland, down to Boulder), and then into Golden and down C-470. When we hit I-25 we'll decide if we'll shoot straight home, or maybe cross over Lincoln to Parker and down SH-83. Should be a really nice trip. Have to be home by around 4:00, but that should be easily doable, if we don't get too late a start.

Our first really Rally experience, and it was great. (Cripple Creek's POW/MIA ride was at a rally as well, but we only hung out for a few hours. This time we stayed 3 days of the 4 day event!)

Our next rally might be the NM state rally - at least stopping by. We are planning on hitting Santa Fe on the 2nd day of the Rally, when it is in Red River. If nothing else, it would be cool to go the HOG pin stop. We'll see...

Oh... and those wondering - production systems all seem find. Just had to squeeze in fixing them between coming back from a ride through the Rockies and heading to a comedy show. :) Yeah... life is good. Riding down the road, Tina on the back of the bike, wind in our faces, winding through the mountains.

Now that's a waitress for you!

The Bill Engvall concert last night wsa awesome. Both Tina and I were laughing so hard we had tears coming down our face. Great stuff! :)

After the concert we drove around looking for someone to eat. We decided to go to the I*Hop. They had a "Funnel Cake" special.

Me: What's the special
Waitress: I really don't know. I haven't bothered to look today.
M: Oh. I think its something to do with funnel cakes?
W: Oh yeah. Its that funnel cake thing.
M: Well what is that?
W: Its just a special promotion that we had going on that is over but we still have some of the funnel cakes left, so we are trying to get rid of them.
M: So, what is a funnel cake? Since I wasn't sure if it was the funnel cakes they sell at street fairs. I wanted to make sure
W: I don't know... Ummm. Deeeep-friiiied stuff... Maybe pancake dough or something.
M: OK. I'll have that.
W: Stares at me in disbelief. OK. What size?
M: What zize is there?
W: Regular, Large and Sampler
M: What's the difference?
W: More stuff
M: ok... I'll have the Regular


W: So how did you like those.
M: They were good.
W: Oh. I think they are disgusting. Just like most our soup. People ask me, "What is the soup today" and I tell them, "Don't even bother ordering it."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Life of a HOG Software Architect

Thunder in the Rockies is awesome. Ride yesterday was pretty cloudy and somewhat wet, but still fun. We pulled in this morning and there was just row after row after row of motorcycles, as far as the eye could see. Cool stuff.

I *finally* got a network cable from the hotel and got looged on; only to find out a system has been having problems for the last 5 hours and no one fixed it. So, I'm fixing that, and then heading back over to the event center to see Bill Engvall (sp?) at 7:30.

So - some work, lots of fun. Will blog more and put up a few pictures later.

now... back to checking the system, then back on the bike.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


And yes, like many HOGs we don't ride with helmets most of the time. But we take them with us, just in case we hit weather or something.

So, when we hit rain today, we pulled off and "geared up". But since it looked blue ahead, and since the rain wasn't coming down *that* hard, and since my rain coat has a hood... I just went with that.

Yes, rain at 60MPH, even if it is coming down "not *that* hard" still hurts! Note to self... next time, put on the helmet.

Good thing though, I did wear the hood and found out that it really is good for keeping the water from running down my back (duh) which is very nice. So next time, put the hood on, but then put the helmet over it.

Oh... and turns out, once you buy a helmet, you can't return it; which we knew. But might was fitted pretty tight... and turns out too tight. So... $275 for a helmet, kind of wasted unless I can mess with it some. It fits tight, which is good, but after I get my com stuff (mike and headphones) on, and a dew-rag or hood from a rain suit - it is just WAY to tight and not comfortable - which is one reason I don't wear it. Better to spend the $$$ to get one that fits right, then to have it uncomfortable and not wear it. So - guess I'll be messing with it this week to see what I can do, and if I can't do much, will have to order a bigger one... Although I would have *thought* that XXL would have been big enough. Looks like I might have to go for a 4x. :0

Good intentions and all that...

I will seriously try and get some pictures posted. :) - Yeah, I keep saying that - and it only takes 10 minutes or so... but I'm just a "I'll do it later" kind of guy.

But just to keep folks up-to-date...

We did go to the sand dunes last weekend. It was a great trip OUT, not so much fun BACK - although it was an adventure. Tina had never seen them, so that was very cool. We only spent a few minutes there... On the way there we saw clouds in the sky ahead of us. "Should we turn back", she asks. "Of course not", I reply. Hey, who knows, maybe we'll miss the rain. So we went, and it was cool. Then on into Alamosa for a late lunch. This was about 2:00. We were stopping at every little town to take a picture by their town sign, for the "2006 ABC Rally". Where we get pins/patches/etc. if we send in pictures of us in different towns/states/counties that start with different letters. Anyhow... so we stopped in Alamosa at a pub for lunch - where we ran into 4 other bikers who were going on a big ride.

Heading back towards the mountains and the pass that gets us from the Alamosa side of the mountains to "our" side of the mountains, we saw rain. So we put on our gear and road on. A detailed story for another time, but just picture us coming down out of the mountains, on a long road, hard rain, much water, hypergliding at the bottom of toward the guard-rail and me yelling "TURN!" at the bike (yes, I talk to the bike) and finally sticking my foot out as we slowed down from 60 to about 30, catching the pavement enough to get the bike to grab, and then going merrily on our way. Yeah, it was an adventure! :)

Pretty much every time we've ridden since then we have hit rain. Both yesterday on our way up to Jaime's office, and then today coming back down "the pass" - from Woodland Park to home. We did a quick ride up to Cripple Creek just to see what it was like on the bike.

Next weekend - POW/MIA ride from PPHD (our Harley Dealer) up to Woodland Park, and then on into Cripple Creek. We'll go up to Woodland in groups of about 20. I'm not sure how many on the "procession" from WP to Cripple Creek. I heard there will be about 40,000 bikes. Yes, 40K. I'm just not sure how many ride together. It should be pretty cool!

And then Sept 3 a ride up to Loveland to sponser MDA. I'll be posting more on that later.

And we went to the PP HOG meeting last night. Cool stuff.

And I still have to get up to Castle Rock and Denver to see some friends. Busy, busy.

Intend to write more on the sand dunes ride later, and post some pictures - but we'll see. If nothing else, I will post about how the Cripple Creek ride went.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wired News: Hackers Clone E-Passports

Wired News: Hackers Clone E-Passports: "The controversial e-passports contain radio frequency ID, or RFID, chips that the U.S. State Department and others say will help thwart document forgery. But Lukas Grunwald, a security consultant with DN-Systems in Germany and an RFID expert, says the data in the chips is easy to copy.

'The whole passport design is totally brain damaged,' Grunwald says. 'From my point of view all of these RFID passports are a huge waste of money. They're not increasing security at all.'"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sanddunes maybe?

Might try a day trip down to the Sanddunes. The entire round-trip would be close to what we'd do for a single day ride down to Tif's - so it would be good practice, dry-run, etc. Let us know how it went.

Then there is a HOG pin-stop in Loveland in a couple of weeks. We might try that. We need to stop by some folks in CR and Denver and show them the bike - so this would be a way to get a ride in, get a pin, and do such catching up that is sorely needed.

Speaking of rides. Found out that Billings, MT has a great rally. The "Iron Pony Ride". Bilings to Cody - through some great areas. Many HOG rallys require registration *way* in advance, so although it isn't until Aug 24th, its already closed. Its registration opened in Feb! In any case - looks cool. We are going to have to keep our eyes open for rallys/rides for next year so we can get signed up in time. That ride sounds great because we'd be able to get with friends on both ends! Hopefully next year!

corporate vs startup

A while back I was talking to Tif on the phone and she said "You haven't updated your blog in a while". Turns out she reads it regularly to see what is going on in my life. So... figured I would start updating it more - even if it isn't that relative to anyone but me. :)

Went to an internal customer site last week. Not an external customer, but a group who we build tools for. Jack was leaving the company and he was our main interface, so we needed to go meet his replacement, talk about future work, etc.

It was such a drag. Jack, and his team, have requested some really cool stuff from us, and its made the job really interesting lately. Given I helped start Sheriff, and its been 10 years, things can get stale after a bit. But here was someone who really got it, had a clue, etc. A real "hacker" - given Paul Graham's definitionl. And has he said, great hackers like to work with other great hackers. Although I'm not sure I'm a "great hacker" - I'm pretty good and really enjoyed working with Jack.

But Jack came out of a startup where they could do what it took to get the job done, and worked with other folks with a clue. Now they've been swallowed up by the "big corporation." That has its advantages and disadvantages, but in this case it seems the disadvantages were too much and so he is going elsewhere.

Just a drag. We lost a great guy. Had me upset for a number of days, and I'm talking to my boss about it etc. See if things can be improved in general - but meanwhile, have schedules to make, things to do, etc. so life goes on.

So - thats one aspect of work lately... speaking of which, I guess I should get to work. So - more on how work is going later.


Went to an LOH (Ladies of Harley) meeting last night. Our first HOG meeting. :) As you can tell by the name, its a ladies thing, bug they "drag the guys along so they can bond". So Tina went to the meeting and I went and had dinner with a few of the guys. Started out with just one, but by the end there were probably 7 other guys there. The director of the chapter as well as the lead road captain where there, so that was cool. Some good stories, etc. We plan on going to the chapter meeting on the 11th.

Turns out that the PikesPeak chapter is the largest HOG chapter in the US. Kewl. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Birthday Ride

Yesterday was my birthday. Tina and I decided to do a trip up to Estes Park. We left Friday and got back Saturday at 5:00. I didn't want to be gone all day, because I wanted to spend some time with Jaime on my birthday.

It was a beautiful trip. We took 105, to Santa Fe, hit 470 and then 70 for a bit up to the Black Hawk turn (went past the EMF camp), and then up to Estes. Pretty much the "back way" - off-road. We really like riding the small/back roads and staying off the interstate. Much more relaxing, scenary is better, hit some small stores/places-to-eat.

Hot afternoon, walk into a small general store, golden lab laying on a piece of carpet right in front of the door, looks up with one eye, acknowledges your presence and then closes the eye. We step over him and walk in. Yeah, its just that kind of lazy day. As we head toward the 2 soda display cases, the owner says, "We just installed the 2nd one, soda probably isn't cold yet, you might want to try the other". He's right, so I look at the display of Stewarts - picking a lime. "Hey Tina, what do you want?" - "Whatever". Owner's wife says, "The Black Cherry seems to be our most popular". So, grabbing two cold Stewarts and the obiligatory cinnamon roll that Tina grabs at every stop, we head out and sit on a couple of milk crates. Watching the few travellers and locals heading in and out. Just gazing around at the mountains and watching a dog in a far off pasture chasing something only he sees back and forth. Its a great day.

That kind of thing is great about back-roads and not something you usually find on the main highway!

Anyway - it was a beautiful trip. Ate at the Big Horn Restaurant. We headed west out of town a bit, say a place to stay that looked not too expensive (it wasn't cheap - but when they said they had a room with a hot-tub - well my back was hurting a bit and I just had to do it!). We asked where was a good place to eat and the owner said "Right next door". "What kind of food do they have?" - "Well the smoker is going, so they will have BBQ today" - and she could have stopped talking right then, because I was sold. But they also had Italian and Salad Bar. I got the ribs (ate 1/2 of them - I'm less hungry when traveling) and Tina got fish and chips and we both had salad bar. Their sign outside said "Grits" and inside they had a review of "Voted best breakfast in Estes Park" - Yup - we were back the next morning for breakfast. The grits were probably the best I've had. Yum.

Went to the Safeway to get some soda and snacks. Long line. Woman behind me (maybe in her mid 50s or so?) asks me, "So what model to you ride?" - "Excuse me?" - "What model of Harley do you ride?" - Guess the dew rag, vest, t-shirt and chaps - all with Harley Davidson plasterd all over them was a dead give away. ;) We ended up having about a 15 minute conversation about how her and her husband used to live in the Springs, built customer Harleys, her son races high performance bikes for Harley now. Very cool stuff. Like they say "Its a brotherhood". :)

Next morning we headed into the park, taking the road across to Grand Lake, Granby and back to Idaho Springs, were we hit I-70 and back the way we came. It was awesome. I have a picture (which I'll post later) that shows Tina and I on the bike with a 12,750 ft peak in the background. Tina was pretty nervous. We are both nervous on high Mt roads (yes, the kids can tell you great stories of us going up to Pikes Peak) - but I'm not so nervous when I'm on the inside and on a bike. Much better a bike than a car! In any case, it was a great ride - really beautiful country.

We were pretty spent when we got home. We plan on probably going down and seeing Tif in AZ in the fall... But so far we've only covered about 200 miles in one day. We tend to just enjoy riding - and stop very seldom, and then only for a few minutes. Because I had a head-ache (I think I need to do some glasses adjustments) - we stopped at Starbucks when we hit I-70 and sat there for probably 15 minutes, watching the Big Horn Sheep. I think we need to do that more. I think the trick is to stop more often, and more longer periods of time. I can usually feel pretty fatigued, and after 30 minutes I'm ready to go again. We usually eat breakfast before we hit the road. I think riding for an hour or so, then doing breakfast, then riding, do lunch, etc. will let us go further in a day. But we haven't gotten into the swing of that yet. Usually we are a) excited to go and just want to grab something and hit the road, b) love to ride and so don't stop often or for long, c) not all that hungry when we are riding. But I think if we can make this adjustment it will really work out for us.

Plus last night I was watching a few Food TV shows about guys on the road looking for the cool dinner, backroads place to eat, etc. Yeah... I need to do that. Not just hit the fast-food joint, eat the same-ol/same-ol food, and hit the road... But make it an adventure. Look for the small town place with good reviews, lots of cars, whatever. A "Hey - hows it going. Where you heading" type place. That will make trips more of an adventure and more fun. And should break up the ride some.

Anyway - it was a great birthday and one I won't forget. And I wore my new vest (birthday present) - as it was way to hot for the jacket. And when I got home I put my first pin on in - a HOG pin. :)

So its all good... now just have to figure out where we are going next weekend... There's always Sturgis. ;) - Nah, not this year... but maybe next. :)

There are a couple of Pikes Peak Chapter or just HOG in general rides this coming month. Some folks have said the Cripple Creek run is a bit of a pain. 40K bikes riding to Cripple Creek. Lots of stop and go... but we might do it anyway. Just to do it.

Anyway - its an adventure and one we are totally into. We've literally seen more of CO in the past month than we've seen the entire time we've been here. 365 miles this weekend, and 1635 total this month. :)

See ya on the rode! :)

Tri-Lakes Poker Run update

The Poker run was great. Our first poker run! I think the best part of the run, from a motorcycle ride point of view, was the first part. We left and there were probably 50 bikes all together. Pretty cool.

Because a poker run has multiple stops - and because those stops are very organized, at least on this run, folks pretty much leave when they want to. So at each stop the "group" gets smaller and smaller, until the last leg there was just our party of about 4 bikes. This was still fun, especially riding with Steve and Robert, but it didn't have the whole "run" feel.

Tina asked later what I liked best, doing a group ride or going "lone wolf". I like them both - they are just very different. In a group ride you ride in staggered formation. Reading one of the HOG newsletters they have definte rules about this - how far apart, handle signals, etc. It has the "thrill" of being in a large pack, which is very cool, but I'm new enough to it that I'm really paying attention to the people in front of me and concentrating more than just riding. So pros and cons. But I think most of the cons will go away as I get more used to it.

All in all, it was a great day. Great company, great ride - just a real fun time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Our first "run"

Today is the Tri-Lakes Fire Department Poker Run. A Poker Run is an organized ride where you stop at 5 different locations and pick up a playing-card. When you get to the final destination, you play Texas Holdem with the 5 cards. Someone wins - something. Its not really about the cards, its about the ride. But it gives you a goal. And besides, as they say "Its not the destination, its the journey".

We really don't know much about it. Steve went before and said it was fun, so we are going with him and a few of his friends. It should be a blast. Its our first organized ride with a group, and we are totally psyched. We were both up off and on all night. Like Tina said, "Its like Christmas". "Is it morning yet?". :)

Looks like the weather should be good for it.

All we know at this point is that registration starts at 8:00, first bike out at 9:30, last at 10:30. Steve said he thinks it finishes between 4:00 and 5:00. You get a map, your 5 destinations, and how long you can stop at each. Last year it went up through Evergreen. So - some mountain riding, having to make 5 stops (so not all straight riding). We plan on leaving here about 8 - so we aren't the first ones there. Get there about 8:30 - plenty of time to get registered and eat free breakfast, and then leave hopefully in one of the earlier groups. There is a BBQ when we return - not sure how late we'll be staying... we like to kind of avoid the late afternoon storms that are happening this time of the year - but we'll see.

Will post on how it went. Hopefully with some pictures. You can see the 3 of us: me, Tina and Cap'n Jack. :)

Cap'n Jack

Tina has named the bike. Since its color is Black Perl, she decided to name "him" Captain Jack. It seems to fit.

He was in the shop for 3 days for the 1000 mile tuneup. Not that it takes that long, but the shop was heavily booked and squeezed it in where possible. He came back in great shape. The loaner bike I had was a single-seat. More of a street bike. It was fun... but it wasn't Cap'n Jack. I've ridden to work every day this week - some coming home in slight rain. I just like big ol' Cap'n Jack. I like the feel of riding a bigger bike through the rain. (Picture "us" on a ship riding the storm out... yeah something like that :)). It just sturdy and already "my" bike. I know the feel. I'm really happy we decided to get the Ultra. Its a great bike.


Just journalling...

Work is going well. Agile/XP is working very well for us. When we were in Vail, Bec asked how work was going and I talked to her about XP some. She was very interested. I need to pursue that - would help bring XP into another organization.

Anyway... I worked as the lead on an implementation for 3 releases now. Whereas there were quite a few defects, slips, etc. under the waterfall process; we have been able to use XP and have minimal defects (maybe 2 - 4) come out of system test. The releases have been on time as well, and I have done some major refactoring. One that allowed me to suggest a better algorithm for fraud detection to the user. They liked the idea and it took me less than a few hours to implement. Excellent. :)

Going out to DC Monday/Tuesday. A *very* fast trip. Leave here at 6 in the morning, get to DC around 2 - head to work, do some catching up and go over a few things; then out for dinner. One of our customers there is leaving Verizon so we are going out to do a brain dump, say good-bye, etc. So - may be out late for dinner. Than start at 7 the next morning, meetings all day with aout 10 people (the participants are expanding as folks learn we are coming out and meeting with the customer), and then make Dulles around 6:30. Back home around 10:30 or so. Will make for a long two days... and no Harley. But its all good stuff.

So - all good stuff at work. Interesting, getting things fixed, etc.