Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex and the City - the escape

While I won't be dragged to this tonight, I have to give credit to the Geek Squad for thinking of this.


"Geek Squad is heading to movie theaters in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles with quarters—lots of quarters. Anybody who got dragged to the movie and doesn't want to be there can meet a friendly Geek Squad agent tonight at midnight in select theaters and get quarters for some Area 51 or Time Crisis 4—as well as excuses for why they have to leave the theater."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Giving credit where credit is due - even if it hurts!

Hats off to Syracuse for their 10th national title in Lacrosse.

Having given my brother John and friend Joe nothing but grief for a while, I have to say the Orangemen won two big games this weekend.

Joe and I have a tradition, that on Memorial day, we go to up to a neighborhood bar and watch the lacrosse finals, regardless of who is playing. Well, this year Syracuse had a great season and went to the finals against Johns Hopkins.

I walked over to Joe's at 12:45 and when I walked in his only comment was 'would it have killed you to wear orange?'. In my defense, I did look for something orange and I don't own anything.

We grabbed a beer and walked up to the bar. We got there in plenty of time this year and watched the game. 3 dozen wings, 3 pitchers of beer and one spilled beer later, Syracuse had won and we were walking home.

A few comments on the game:
- 6 goals by one Hopkins player. Damn that was impressive
- the Hopkins goalie was incredible. I'll bet they'll be back in the championship next year
- the Orange mid-fielders played an incredible game
- once the Orangemen's goalie got into the game it was a great battle
- I know I booed Belichek when they showed him at the beginning of the game. Anyone else?

When does basketball season start again?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

16th Anniversary Yesterday

Yesterday, May 24th, was our 16th wedding anniversary. Things started out with a bang around 1 am with Courtney falling out of bed. The 23rd was the last day of school so she was at the pool all afternoon for the neighborhood 'ice cream social'. She was exhausted and excited so we think she tried to get out of bed while not completely awake.

Around 5 am Christopher decided it was time to get up. yes 5 am. We tried for about 45 minutes to get him to go back to sleep, but he wanted to play. Deb took him downstairs around 5:45. I slept a couple of more hours then we traded and Deb went back to sleep for a couple of hours.

Meantime, Meghan sleeps until 11. Yes we're fully in the teenage years.

Maile watched the kids so we got to go out, just us. We had a nice dinner, without a high chair or chicken fingers! Went to Cheesecake Factory since we couldn't think of anything we really wanted ;-(

We did some shopping, looking for clothes for Anna's Christening next month, but didn't have any luck. I did get a couple of new suits from Jos A Banks. Must say it has been a while since I spent that kind of money on clothes!

Rather than going to a movie, we did something we haven't done since college: we went mini-golfing. The place was pretty busy and it was fun to do some people watching. The couple in front of us were in their 20's, obviously having been dating for a while. The couple behind us were in their teens, probably a couple of dates into it. Then us in between them, having known each other 23 years.

We'd catch parts of their conversations as we'd get queued up behind the 6 giggling high school girls 4 groups ahead of us. We're talking about granite counter tops, rebuilding the shower and other middle-aged things, the couple in front of us is talking about vacations and playing real golf. The teenagers didn't say anything, just hung on each other ;-)

We were on our way home when a cop pulled up behind me on a backroad to our house and turned on his radar. The Passport lit up and I didn't flinch, I just muted it. I was going 45 in a 40 so I wasn't concerned. He sat behind us for a few seconds, radar still going, then pulled a long side for about a minute. Not close enough I could see him, rather where he could see into our car. Flashback to being a teenager in Danbury! Deb and I had a good laugh, it had been a long time since we had a cop following us.

Overall, a pretty calm anniversary for us.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Daddy does what?

Slightly work related ;-)

These Playtex bra videos on YouTube have won a number of awards, and I sent the link home to Deb. (I know they won awards because they are an excellent use of video for online marketing without creating a :30 commercial). Really. This was for work.

So Deb is watching them and Courtney was with her. Courtney asked Deb what she was watching and Deb said 'this is what your father does at work'. She gave Deb a totally 10-year old look. So I had to explain ;-)

Joys of having 3 women in the house ...

Watch all of them, they are pretty funny.

Frakkin' Toasters!

This is way too cool not to point out!
Details on the models created for the new series here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why getting outside our 'circle' could reap huge rewards

From a fascinating article by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker:

"Surgeons had all kinds of problems that they didn’t realize had solutions, and physicists had all kinds of solutions to things that they didn’t realize were problems. At one point, Myhrvold asked the surgeons what, in a perfect world, would make their lives easier, and they said that they wanted an X-ray that went only skin deep. They wanted to know, before they made their first incision, what was just below the surface. When the Intellectual Ventures crew heard that, their response was amazement. “That’s your dream? A subcutaneous X-ray? We can do that.”

I don't post about work here since this more about my family and my random thoughts on things, but this article was very interesting on a couple of levels. First, I love solving problems, even when they aren't related to highly scalable web architectures. Second, I love being in groups of people, many smarter than me, and watching them brainstorm, solve problems and even interact. I have (yet) to get an invitation to TED, but that looks like someplace I wouldn't want to leave.

The history of the phone is interesting (okay, sometimes boring) but it fits nicely into the belief that sometimes talking about our problems, or neat things we've found out, can apply to other industries.

Makes the whole discussion about 'how to innovate' take a different turn, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hat and Bats Ladies, Hats and Bats

We just got home from Courtney's end of season softball party. I was surprised to receive two nice cards from her coaches and the girls. This season I did the book (kept score) as well as being 'dugout dude' (or 'dugout dad' depending on which kid you asked) so they thanked me.

As I mentioned previously, this was our first season at this park and looking back, I think we made the right decision changing parks. Courtney had a great time, learned a lot and we met a lot of new, very nice people.

About the title of this post. As the girls would come off the field, I would start yelling 'hats and bats ladies, get your hats and bats' so the girls would get their batting helmets and bats. Nothing disrupts the rhythm of a hitting streak like a girl not being on deck or not ready when it is her turn to bat.

Of course, every girl told me they were 'helmets' not 'hats'. I'd reply with 'helmet and bat don't rhyme!'. The few games I missed I had the KIDS asking me why I wasn't there.

Deb thinks I liked doing that so I could yell during the games and not be 'one of those parents'. I really did it because it would allow the coaches to focus on the game instead of whether the girls were ready. I also got to cheer a lot and be objective when the coaches were going nuts (plus I enjoyed showing the pitchers how they did each inning. For a girl who walked in a bunch of runs, showing how she got 2 strikes on each batter before the walk was important instead of focusing on the walk)

The coaches read from the story last weekend about the Central Washington University vs. Western Oregon championship game. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this and share it with your kids. (video here). They thanked the girls for being good sports despite problems with one team in particular and reinforced that this is a game to be fun.

I'll rant about the team we had 'issues' with later ;-)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bon Frakin' Jovi

Meghan went to her first concert Thursday night. (Well, she's been to dragon tales and some kid stuff, but this was a REAL concert). Deb, Meghan, Christopher's Godmother Maile and our friend Carin went. (Along with a bunch of neighbors and 1/2 the kindergarden teachers at Courtney's school, just not all together)

To set some background. Bon Jovi was popular WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. They were more popular in College, but HIGH SCHOOL is when I first heard them. Of course 'Daughtery' opened for them, he is the American Idol almost winner from a few years ago. Meghan knew who that was.

To give you some context: Meghan is 13 and in 7th grade. My first concern was at the end of Freshman year in high school. I saw Def Leopard (yes, I know they are touring). Deb's first was Ricky Martin, well after we had Meghan and Courtney. No, I don't know why we never went to concerts together.

Deb said the crowd was mostly people in their thirties and forties. Meghan said most of the people were old 'like you guys'.

The 'Bon Frakin' Jovi' subject is a tip of the hat to Laryssa. She of course used a different word for Frak in college ;-)

(Yes I snuck a Battlestar Gallactica reference into this post. ;-)