Monday, August 29, 2005
Therin lies the problem. Buying something more fuel efficient will help him, but it will not remove the Yukon from the roads, it will just shift to someone else that wants it. I think there needs to be a buyback program, similar to what local communities did for guns. Buy the SUVs back and destroy them, so long as the replacement car is a fuel efficient vehicle (more than 30 mpg). Maybe you won't get a lot of takers for this, but everyone that does it will help, because it removes that one SUV from the road.
Hybrids are only the start. I think Fuel additives and alternatives need to be investigated, funded and mass produced. Rather than look for the best solution, look for other fuels that work with the engines we have. Add more Ethanol to the fuel. Find other things that burn and are cheaper to thin the gas that we have out.
Not that this will be noticed anywhere. I've yet to receive a comment, but for now, this is my complaint.
Monday, August 22, 2005
I slept in this morning. I had thought about getting up and taking advantage of the great weather one more time, but decided that I didn't want my legs to be sore for a day of 5 hours on airplanes. My adventure today had to deal with getting the rental back to the airport.
I made sure I looked at the map and directions from Avis about how to return the car. Unfortunately I didn't have exact directions from my hotel (something that Avis may want to consider in the future, afterall the hotel won't move, these should be able to be made once and then just provided to the customer based on where they are staying). The generic directions state to head south on 405 and exit following the signs to the airport. Ok, and from my map I know I have to take 55 South to 405, piece of cake. I'm on my way.
Driving along in the right lane, again because most exits are on the right. Well, there's a sign that says 405 S exit left. (Not Again!!!) I merged 6 lanes to the left and here comes my exit, at least I can see it this time, what's that sign? Oh no, Exit 405 S on the right to the airport. There's also an exit on the left. Well, I just take this one to the left then get to the airport (Wrong!). The airport exit is immediately across 6 lanes to the right. I have to go to the next exit to turn around, only there is no exit for the airport heading northbound, I remember reading the directions this morning and they have to exit somewhere else. I get off at the next exit anyway, and that's the somewhere else that they have to head. After getting turned around to go the right direction, I see the back of the airport. With my map in hand I finally find exactly where I'm at, and all I have to do is go through that stop light directly in front of me and follow the road to return the car. However, when I get to the stoplight I see 5 cop cars. I can't get into the airport, nor can I turn left. All the rest of the traffic is open, but there's a lot of people stopped up for some reason, but it's obviously not an accident, just traffic is blocked.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I was up early and ran again today. I spent time in the hot tub also. I went back to IHOP for lunch. I couldn't pass up another Turkey sandwich for free.
Class ended at 2 PM. Officially it wasn't over, there was a 3 hour lab for queueing, however the product that we have at work doesn't have that capability. I went ahead and left.
I decided to go to the beach. For the first time this week directions were good. I made it to the beach and was able to see the ocean (actually the bay) Parking was a pain, there is no free parking at the beach. I pulled in and starting feeding change into the machine. It says 15 minutes for 25 cents. Apparently it meant for each quarter. All other change was ignored. So for the cost of just over a dollar I got 45 minutes. I only had 3 quarters, so I had to make my beach stay short. This didn't bother me too much, I'm not a big beach person. I saw a few jelly fish on the beach, and there was a natural (man made) rock pier that I climed out on. There were some crabs and the smell of dead fish. I then walked over to the real pier. A lot of people were fishing and the main catch seemed to be Stingray. I could see a bunch of Jelly fish floating in the water too. As beaches go, it wasn't all that exciting. I was kind of surprised when I got back to my car that the meter had expired already. Well, at least it was 45 minutes of exercise, even though it was just walking.
I decided to treat myself to the first quasi-expensive meal of the week for dinner. I went to Olive Garden and had Chicken Fettuccini. I ended my night by going back to the hotel sititng in the hot tub for a while longer and laying around watching tv.
The day was fairly normal, to start with at least. I had training. Lunch was back at WingNuts again, this time I had a Hot & Spicy wings, they were excellent.
Training covered using ADO to pull docs from FileNet and using the viewer control.
But my evening was slightly more interesting. I decided to take in an Angels game. I looked it up online, and the instructor ( a soccer fan that hadn't been to an Angels game in 16 years ) tells me that it should only take about 30 minutes to get there. I was excited because I would get to see some batting practice.
Well, the instructions on how to get to the park weren't very clear. I missed my corner, which wasn't named what it was supposed to be and drove right past Disnyland. I was driving along looking for a baseball stadium and Disneyland just jumped out at me. After fighting through the crowd there, I did a very unmasculine thing. I stopped and asked for directions. I had missed it and had to turn around. 15 minutes later I am turning into a parking lot that has a great sign. No Angels event parking. I asked (for the second time in 15 minutes) where I needed to go. Apparently I was at the parking lot for the train station and I had to turn around again. But it was easy, I just had to go left, then left, then left, then park. 20 minutes later I am almost one tenth of a mile from where I asked for directions, and parked. At least parking only cost 8$.
I walked the quarter mile to the gates and buy a ticket. Field level 27$. I was about 10 seats behing the foul pole in left field in row K ( 11 ) rows up. I figured a foul home run would be right at me (it never happened). I bought a large pepsi (20 oz) 5$ and a bag of peanuts 5$ (way too expensive). Sitting in the seats I felt really out of place and let the fear overcome me and purchased an Angels hat from a roaming vendor for only 7$ (a really great price). I wish I had bought the hat 10 minutes earlier. Some of the Angels were signing autographs only one section from my seat before the game and the people in front of me had 2 signatures on each of their hats. That would have been awesome.
Some comments on the Stadium:
Angels stadium is really nice. Everything is wide and clean. The seat was actually comfortable and not too small for me. The hallways were all really clean, even the bathrooms were clean. The fans there were more excited when Mike Sciocia was announced than they were for any player other than Vladimere Gurrero. Adam Kennedy was the next most popular. I find it strange, even though I like him a lot, because he's the number 9 hitter. There was even a text message vote during the game for which player would make the best male model and Adam kennedy won with 80% of the votes.
There was over 43,00 fans at the game and 90% stayed until 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th with the Angels down 4-1. Pulling for the Angels was a little tough, but the game was exciting The Blue Jays made 3 awesome diving catches (all 3 made ESPN). There were also two awesome plays in the infield, a clean bunt that was unexpected and caught the 3rd basemen off guard and a stolen base by each team. All-in-all it was an awesome game.
Driving home was much faster, I got on the interstate, instead of taking the backstreets again, but I missed my exit. 1 mile from the exit a sign read 55 south left lane. 1/2 mile from the exit was another sign that said 55 south left lane, so I merged from the right lane all the way to left 6 lanes away. Then the exit appears on the right (AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!) I took made my way back to the right and got off at the very next exit. I wasn't sure where I was, but I thought I was heading in the right direction. After about 5 minutes I got to a street that I knew, so I made it back to my hotel without a problem at about 10:30. I had trouble sleeping and was up until after 12:30.
Day 3 was much more exciting.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I showed up early for training and checked up on my email.
Training was interesting. We went through several modules.
We learned how to delete items through code and how to unfile documents from folders. I don't think we use folders at work, so that portion won't be helpful to me.
We then used a custom context menu in the browser application instead of the built in context menu, showing us how to override this menu when writing our own applications with the FileNet Listview and Treeview controls.
Next we learned how to rename documents in FileNet and what to do to update the IDMListview and IDMTreeview.
We then used an IDM Common dialog to add a document.
Finally we played with setting FileNet properties for a document on a custom Form with our own validation for the properties. We checked to see if the field was required and forced user entry when it was. This was finally something that I found interesting thinking that I could possibly use this back at work.
I went out to a place called WingNuts for lunch. It was a hot wing place that I got a Chile Taco from. It was OK. I wasn't feeling great though, so I went to buy Ibuprofen. I walked across the parking lot towards Target and saw Henry's Foods. I thought a grocery store would have what I needed. I was wrong. This was not a grocery store. Henry's is a health food store. Half the store was fresh fruits and vegetables with a quarter of the store being vitamins, minerals, and natural remedies. I felt like asking an employee where the section was for things that cost a lot but didn't do anything.
I still didn't feel well after training so I went to my room and laid down. After a short rest (not a nap) I went out looking for dinner. I found a Chile's and just wanted something familiar so I had a quick burger around 9 and was in bed early 10 PM pacific time.
Well that's it for day 2. I still haven't done anything exciting.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Breakfast, provided by the hotel is pretty good. They make omelett' s to order, have scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, pancakes, bacon, and sausage links. Also available is several kinds of cereal, donuts, muffins, English muffins, bread, and bagels. For beverages you can choose between coffee, milk, and several juices.
I ate a couple pancakes, some scrambled eggs, and potatoes.
Training itself was not very interesting. We had an overview of FileNet and started using the TreeView and ListView controls to build our own FileNet browser. We used the FileNet error object also and learned to show the ugly error box it provides. I want to play more with this to see if we can get access to all the errors without showing the dialog provided by the object.
Lunch was at IHOP. I had a Tureky Super Stacker sandwich. This was one of the best sandwiches that I have ever had.
After training I decided to drive around and see what I could find for dinner. After driving for an hour I ended up at a place named Spoons that is only 1 block from my hotel. On my drive I came to understand why Taco Bell was chosen as the restaraunt that won the restaraunt wars in the movie "Demolition Man". There were 7 Taco Bells or Del Tacos for every McDonalds I saw. The only other restaraunt that I saw that I could have chosen was IHOP. Since I was at one for lunch, I decided not to have it again for dinner.
Dinner at Spoons wasn't very good. it was a scaled down Mexican type restaraunt. The food wasn't very good and I probably won't be back there this week.
I guess tonight I'll have to try going a different direction for dinner.
My evening was spent just sitting around the hotel talking with Erin. It was a pretty relaxing evening, and I was asleep by about 9:30.
Monday, August 15, 2005
This made my layover in Chicago a little longer. It was a nice long walk from the landing gate to the departure gate, but I had over 2 hours before my next flight. I felt like I was out of place just walking nice and calmly along. I almost laughed watching everybody else practically running to wherever they were going.
Lunch was nice I had Panda Express right across the hall from my gate. Other than that, I roamed the airport, watched airport personel work on the planes and read in from the book I brought.
Boarding the plane out of O'Hare, was 5 minutes early. I was excited, thinking I that we could get to Orange County early and I could eat dinner at a decent time, since I was going to be eating 2 hours late already. Unfortunately after half an hour on the plane the pilot announced that we would be delayed due to some kind of communication issue between the cockpit and the flight attendants (they have forgotten how to yell, they should take a trip to a fast food joint). It took over an hour before the flight finally took off. I was extremely uncomfortable the entire time. The guy sitting in front of me laid his seat down as soon as he got into his seat and didn't set it up until he was standing up to get off the plane 5 hours and 15 minutes later.
The flight was nice, we only hit 4 or 5 small spots of turbulence. One of them was a little bigger and made my stomach drop like a small drop on a roller coaster. I was excited because the in-flight movie was "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". This was a book that I loved and a movie I wanted to see. Although the movie was very light-hearted and funny, it still did not live up to the hilarity of the books. Also there is a trilogy of books and the end of the movie just feels like there is more to the story. Strangely, Saturday night I was watching Elf and discussing with Erin that the woman that plays opposite Will Ferrel in the movie hasn't been in anything else. Then on Sunday here I am watching "The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy" and there she is again. She does a pretty good job again here.
The arrival in Orange County California was smooth. It's a nice small airport about like we have in Bloomington. Getting my bag and renting the car took no time at all. The hotel is nice and close to the airport. It took less than 5 minutes to drive to the hotel. Then I called home and went out to dinner. I didn't feel like looking around much so I took the first fast food I could find (Burger King). I ws starved. Lunch had been 9 hours earlier. I stayed up and read and watched some tv before hitting the sack. You can read about my morning exercise in my exercise journal if you are interested.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Limestone lost 8-6. You can follow them yourself if you want at http://www.unpage.org/greatlakes/glr-dir2005.htm
They play again tonight at 6PM. They have to win against Wisconsin, the team they just lost to. Hopefully they learned their opponent well enough to come out on top. Good luck Limestone I hope to see you on TV Saturday night.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Anyway, it's getting close to the Little league world series and Limestone Little league from district 18 is still alive playing in the Great Lakes regional tournament. Wether they win or lose today they will advance to at least the semi-finals and play on Thursday. If they can pull out a win on Thursday they'll be playing live on ESPN Saturday night. Although Limestone was always my opponent and I always wanted to beat them, which we did, I still want them to win now. I grew up playing and coaching in the area and always thought that there was some really good baseball there. The past few years the area has had a lot of success at all of the levels. Keep an eye out, I'll update my blog when I find out what the score of tonight's game was.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
After about 4 feet I got frustrated because I had already screwed up all 4 feet. I decided that I was going to be stuck painting the entire ceiling blue anyway, so I just hurried up and finished the rest of the room, not worrying too much about getting it on the ceiling. I still tried to keep it close to the corner.
Once I was done, although not very happy about how well it went I decided to go ahead and get the grass cut too. I got almost 6 feet along the garden cut, when I must have pushed the lawn mower over the brick border for the garden. The brick broke in half and went flying against my leg. I stopped ran inside and iced it for safety. Needless to say, the rest of my evening hasn't been great. Erin and I talked a lot, none of which was very good about the paint.
Well, as it appears now, there will be people over on Saturday to work on painting clouds in Ady's room, so I guess I'm going to have to finish painting the ceiling blue between now and then. I'm open to any and all painting tips so it doesn't happen again.
Monday, August 08, 2005
I bought the ring for Erin, which was a production in itself. And a story which I'll tell later.
For now I just wanted to say, I showed up at her Aunt Shel's house wearing a suit, tie and carrying a bouquet of flowers. As I came up the stairs into the living room she saw me in my suit and asked, "Why are you wearing a suit?". I just continued towards her. As she saw the flowers she exclaimed "No Way". I got down on one knee next to her and said "Erin you have taken my heart, may I have your hand in marriage? Will you marry me?" As I handed her the ring box. She said yes, then she opened the box and said "No Way" again. The box that she opened did not contain the real ring, it contained a 50 cent gel ring from Wal Mart that Jonas had bought for her this weekend. I then gave her the real ring and she said "Yes" again.
After which we went home and put Ady to bed and spent a romantic evening watching "The Pacifier", which just didn't seem to fit the occasion, but it was already rented.
The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.
-- Robert C Dodds
Saturday, August 06, 2005
The other day Ady (my soon to be step daughter) got a little overzealous with the crayons. The picture ended up not looking too bad, but there was crayon on the counter. It was a good thing that Erin knew that shaving cream removes crayon from counter tops. So after a quick trip to the store for a cheap shaving cream Erin and Ady went to town cleaning.
Any way enjoy the pic.
Friday, August 05, 2005
I have an issue with this. These schools have a history of these mascots. It makes me nuts that things like this are even allowed. Being from Illinois, I have been a fan of U of I, Fighting Illini for my whole life. Chief Illiniwik is a respected mascot. I've personally met a former Illiniwik mascot. He was put through a rigorous process of making sure that the Indian things that he did would be authentic. He had to learn dances and make sure that what he did was not insulting.
It is a proud thing to be an Illinoisan and cheer for the Illini. After all Illinois was named for the Illiniwik by the French http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois
What is next, the state has to change it's name so it's not offensive to the heritage of the people that lived here? Will it be that no school in Illinois can participate in post season sports if they bear the word Illinois?
The Florida Seminoles have asked for and received permission from the Florida Seminole Indians to use the name. They have signed documents from the Indians granting this right. Why do they have to change? The Seminoles in Oklahoma are upset. I guess the fact that they are the Florida Seminoles from Florida and not Oklahoma doesn't mean anything.
Indiana means "Land of the Indians" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana Shouldn't that put all of the schools in Indiana in the same boat. The entire state needs to be renamed, it can be named 19, because it's the 19th state.
What makes a politically correct mascot?
Indians are verbotten. Why then is it ok to have a pilgrim, demon, devil, orangemen, trojans, buccaneers, cowboys, raiders, chargers, gauchos, or minutemen? Should all mascots be animals, or some of them out of bounds as well? I haven't yet heard of a Screaming Pteradactile, but that doesn't mean that one isn't coming.
I guess to wrap up my ranting. Indians are a part of this countries heritage. We should celebrate that heritage. Is the final goal of the indians to wipe themselves completely from the map? Do they want to finish what the Europeans started when they came to this country? Or is it that they just want to be known for having casinos and being alcoholics?
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Several good things happened. First, the new application actually ran. This can sometimes be a really big deal. Second, it ran faster, as expected. My guess was that I would save about 10 seconds per record. It had been taking 30 seconds to process a single record. There were only 265 records to process, but when it finished it had averaged 14 seconds per record. That's a 50% improvement. Someone may read this and think, "So what, you saved 16 seconds" But this will save 4 hours a day in processing. That's awesome. I have some more tweaks in the work to try and make the overall process faster still without significant code changes. I'm also working on the design for a complete rewrite that could make it a lot more efficient.
This made me feel great.
Last night I was some of the muscle for loading gravel. They are going to pour concrete for a base for the waterfall. I have helped to get the ground below where that concrete will be ready.
Last night I was also helping to lower the pond. The liner that was bought is not big enough. The solution, rather than make the pond narrower, was to lower the edges of the pond. This is a real pain because the liner is up and the water is already in the pond, so you have to pull the dirt away fromthe edges without losing the liner. I was working on the side that will proobably be the hardest last night. I had to dig down about 8 inches and about 10 inches deep (from the edge of the pond) for the rock to lay after it's ready. I only got to do about 3 or 4 feet long on the one side of the pond, but it should be helpful.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Yesterday he came home from Lincoln's challenge and quit.
I'm not sure exactly the reasons, but for whatever reason, he could not follow through with a 6 month proposition. What I heard was that he was out looking for work. Good he needs to do something to gain back some respect. I hope that he gets and works hard at a job. I hope he starts applying himself in school too.
Lana asked her mom if he could live with her. Thankfully she was told no. A 16 year old does not need to live with his 15 year old girlfriend in her parents house. Or anywhere for that matter. She also asked if we would reconsider him living with us. The answer is still no.
I hope the best for the kid, but he's hurting himself by not following through on things he says he's going to do.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I've seen too often when someone has a lot going for him, but chooses indifference.
I would like to be able to help him out and offer him a place to live. His mother's boyfriend has been around off and on, and beaten James in the past. But he's 16 and has no job, and no prospects without even a high school diploma. I think the Lincoln's challenge that he's taking voluntarily is a good thing and can help to shape his life in a positive way. It can bring positive structure and mental toughness to his life.
I feel that I could be a positive influence in his life.
I would like to further his work ethic, which is already a strong point for him. I've been around when he's been helping aunt Shell, and he has had a good solid work ethic. He was extremely helpful to me when I moved into my house, as long as he was not being distracted by Alana.
I would like to further his education. I think he should continue with school and push himself mentally, but he first needs to have the intelectual desire to learn. It's more of a life philosophy than anything else. The hard part is trying to get him to understand for himself that education is good and that he can benefit a lot more from it, than he can from not having it.
I would like to introduce James to God. I know that nobody can be forced into faith and that attempting to do so will only push them away from faith. I've seen it many times with catholics growing up. But I'd like to put James into an environment where faith and openness of religion is encouraged. I would ask that he accompany me to church and discuss the bible with me. I don't have the most of the answers, but that doesn't mean I couldn't help open him up to the possibilities that exist.
There are a lot of things I think I could influence positively, but I also fear that I will end up riding him too hard and pushing him away. I after all have a stong desire to do great in everything that I do. I don't understand how others don't have the same desire.