May 2003 Archives

Is Good.


Life is good for me right now. No complaints at all. I feel better than I've felt in years (amazing what eating right can do for you (see walking entry)). I love what I'm doing at work, and am having fun when I'm not at work.

There really isn't much to say about life in general. I'm not dating anyone, though I'm definitely not opposed to finding another wonderful woman ... just can't figure out why they don't fall out of the sky... :) I've not been active in looking, trying to live by the adage of when you least suspect it and all. At this point, I certainly don't suspect anything! :P It has been nearly three years since I was in a relationship. The past few months have been interesting in that three old interests contacted me to catch up. Tracee is re-married and has a little girl. Dena just married and has her two children, and Mel has a little girl now. They are all extremely happy, and I'm happy for them!!!

Well, not a lot of news on the Life in General front. I think I'm going to go Geocaching now! Wish these daily entries would post in chronological order without reversing ALL of days too.

Busy, busy.

Work has been quite busy as of late. I had completed a vision for the future of our organization's network technology, but after review it was way too technical in nature. The vision was meant to be used as a document showing what the priorities in technology should be for our business unit in order to achieve our goals. My first version of the document ended up being more of an architecture description of how to do certain things and not an overview of how changes should be prioritized and specifically how those changes would achieve our business objectives.

The rewrite of the document was quite difficult for me. I am very proud of the doc now, but struggled as I worked to take my desire to stay technical and do my job of applying technology to business. I think it is the first work I've done that is of the type that a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) would do. I still have a way to go to realize my goal of becoming a CTO, but I look forward to the path and achieving the goal.

I'll probably be going back to Europe for a week or two over the summer which I am looking forward to. AOL has a goal of making our international business profitable (which is well underway) and I'll be going over to provide technical direction on the internal IT side. Last years visits to Paris and London were enjoyable and it was good to work with our international folks. Hopefully I'll be able to stay over at least one if not two weekends and get some hiking done. Would love to hike in Ireland or Scotland, but I guess that is a walking subject!

Recently I had a chance to hear one of my personal "heros" of the technology business speak at a small gathering. Vint Cerf was co-designer of TCP/IP, (you know the protocol that runs the Internet). We actually were able to arrange for a followup meeting with him in June. So about 5 of us will be meeting with him to discuss... um, to discuss some proprietary business and technology topics. I'm looking forward to it.

My other technology "heros" are Bob Metcalfe (Ethernet inventor), and Radia Perlman (Spanning Tree and IPX inventor, author of Interconnections). I have various reasons for my higher than average respect for all three of them, and yes I know there are folks who have had more of an impact than Bob and Radia, but they're my "heros", go find your own!

Well, lots of stuff going at work these days. Most of it I can't really discuss though. Sooooooo... you'll just have to trust me that it is interesting, challenging, and fun! The last couple of weeks were busy, busy... but things should be getting back to a more normal 9-10 hour day schedule. Woot!

Outdoors Again

I am happy to say that I am moving around again. This year I am determined NOT to sit inside every weekend! Yesterday, I made it out (in the rain no less!) to do a little Geocaching. I also plan on going out today (in the rain no less!) and catching a couple more sites as well.

I enjoy walking now more than last year mostly because I've actually been able to lose about 40lbs by just changing my diet. While I was never like some techies who were nothing but vending machine junkies, but I did drink a fair amount of sodas for example. Now, I drink NOTHING but water... and lots of it. I'm up to about 4-6L of water a day now. My meals before hardly had ANY veggies. Now, my meals are mostly veggies as they should be. My snacking comes and goes, but at least the snacks are usually a banana... though salty pretzels are working their way in every once in a while, which isn't good for my blood pressure (though it is under control through medication these days).

So, my plans this year are to get out and go Geocaching hopefully at least once a weekend, and have at least one big weekend hike (10-20 miles) each month. Those are my plans, hopefully they are better than last spring/summer/fall plans which fell through rather badly. I only went overnight hiking once last year, and only did about 3 day hikes total. No where near what I was aiming for.

In the 3rd week of June I'm going to Sedona, AZ with my mom and stepdad, sister, nephew, and niece. While there I plan on doing LOTS and LOTS of desert hiking and maybe some camping. I got to do some desert hiking a year and half ago when I was Tuscon, AZ for a few days for work... it was WAAAAAY fun. Such a different experience than hiking the mountains of the east and west coast, er, big hills compared to the Rockies I've been told. So many new and different things to see and not sweating at all is nice... but wow did I go through the water!

Fun Time

I had actually had enough time outside of work to have some playtime over the last few months. Of course, everything has an exception, and that exception was the past two weeks for me as I've been stuck at work pretty much every evening. More on that in the work update though. For this update, I have a few topics.

New Computer: I decided to treat myself to a new computer with my tax refund this year. I normally go for the sweet spot in processor technology vs. cost but this time I decided to just get the latest and greatest at the time (February). For my gaming machine I now have an Intel Pentium 4 Hyperthreaded 3.06ghz CPU, an Asus P4G8X Deluxe motherboard, 2 Gigabytes of Matched Pair Corsair RAM, an ATI 9700 Pro video card (soon to be a 9800 Pro 256mb as soon as it ships), Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum, 160gig IBM/Hitachi ATA Hard Drive, a Lian-Li PC68 windowed case (and of course I added a Blue Cold Cathode light to be ubercool ;P ), and a Antec TrueBlue 480W power supply. It runs the primary game I play (Asheron's Call 2) perfectly with all of the details and resolutions max'd. When it is at home it is plugged into my Sony F520 21" CRT monitor. I also got a carrying harness and the like to take to friend's houses or the office for LAN parties. When I do travel with the computer I have a new Samsung 191T 19" LCD screen.

New Game: Of course my new computer is COMPLETELY overkill for the new game I just started playing. A bunch of folks at work have been playing Pocket Tanks for a week or so now. I haven't had time to play at the office with them, but yesterday I went to visit one of them at home and got to finally play. WOW!!! Talk about addicting!!! I kinda knew it would be though. If you have ever heard of or played an old game called Scorched Earth then you know how addicting the simple game can be. We used to play after school back in the late 80's EVERY SINGLE AFTERNOON. Heh. Anyway, I bought PT last night and all of the expansion packs and played against the computer (not nearly as fun as against another human, wish it was network based) right up until I fell asleep... then I dreamt about the game all night long...

Ham Radio: We hired a new guy at work on one of our engineering teams who I've found out I have a lot in common with. Well... except for the fact that he has a PhD in CS... but we have a lot of the same hobbies and interests at least! He also is an "ex-ham" and as we were working on figuring out how to monitor and play back the 125khz RFID signal that is used in our badge cards so we had brought our ham radios in. That got me scanning the local repeaters again. It would seem that activity is waaaaay down for the hams even from just a couple of years ago. I do plan on experimenting with the new Internet-to-Repeater links that are being setup. Is really cool to be able to talk to a few hundred different places around the world with an HT (Handie Talkie) operating on the 2m bands (~144mhz) which at 5W should only be good for a few miles. By linking 2m repeaters up through the Internet though, you can talk to others all over the world. A new dimension that has got be interested again.

Electronics: Well, my new friend at work also got me back interested in general electronics as well. I pulled out my toolkit and oscilliscope that I've not used in years and years and started having a desire to build something again. I have NO idea what I'm going to build, but I'm thinking about a Nixie Tube Clock. Will just have to wait and see what happens here. Everything might just get shoved back in the closet while I play Pocket Tanks some more. :)

I guess that is a pretty complete update on my playtime. Now for walking.

Impossible I Say!

I have a problem. I just can't remember to write things down here. When I am reminded (thank you my friend) to update the site, then I immediately want to do so. But by tomorrow something will happen that I'd normally like to post about and posting to my blog will not enter my mind. Maybe I'll put a daily entry in my Palm Pilot for each night to remind me to post to my blog if I have something to say. Hmmmm. That might work. Well, I'll give updates right now for a bunch of different subjects.