Egad the word of the day


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Egad. Always wanted to use that in my blog. Don’t really ever have a place so it is my lead in today. I took yesterday off from walking. At 51 I have learned when your feet hurt, its ok to take a day off.

Ok in the best sense of full disclosure I actually have a list of words I’ve been trying to work in for the past two months. I think it actually comes from my love of quotes. I don’t know where that came from in my childhood but there are certain quotes that have stuck with me (and I’ve used them over and over again). It may be some sort of illness.

I’ve always loved words. When I lived in Thailand I went to an English school. My very favorite thing was we actually had dictionary and word assignments in our classroom dictionary. I love words. Leaping from a blank and blinking cursor to the eye they can change the world. The art of rhetoric lives (not in this blog, but it lives elsewhere).

The path we follow and the path we want can sometimes come together.

Let’s end today with another Egad!

.doc

The silent footsteps roar


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Each foot

assigned a mission

and in moving forward

the steps falling behind

and lying in front

like a child ready for their first

taste of freedom

their first adult moment

savoring the steps

you hear them

the footsteps

some that get away

don’t fall in the echo line of the other steps

racing off in

directions that the other steps do not

or

sometimes will not

or

cannot follow

the one lost footstep taking

with-it

some small piece of what could have been

lesser now

a house divided

a house

that will not fall

but leaning

waiting for

the lost footsteps to return

will they?

The fog slowly covers

the path before

and the path after

and the footsteps separate further

time adding a stamp

to a long trail…

 

From the desk of Sandler Boggs

Loads of nothing…


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Yesterday I admitted defeat and had a professional install the stereo system at the house. I did that once before when we were in Indiana – had someone come in and rewire everything. The rationale that time was simply that we had in wall speakers and needed someone to wire the entire house. This time it was less of that and more – there are just too many items that have to be wired and connected. I have spent so long as a computer person now that I have lost my touch with electronics that aren’t computer driven.

The guys from HD Installer came in and did a fantastic job. I highly recommend them!

They even got my record player connected.

In the end I managed to purge a few more technology items which made Barb happy. She is all about getting rid of junk right now so happy that made her happy!

Today is my monthly charge and sync devices day. Its an important alignment day.

.doc

Riding the peaks and valley’s a bloggers lament


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So if you check your blog stats – you will see variances in the number of readers at any one time. In fact the problem is two fold – for example when I visit a blog ( and I visit a few every day – although most via my RSS reader which changes the “impact of the view.”) there is a noticeable behavioral change. For example when I hit a blog via the browser I tend to reach other posts by the author. If it is an RSS feed I tend to only read the post in front of me. That behavior makes the very numbers suspect. It is after all not about the number of people who visit your page rather how many people visit and stick.

As a blogger you seek stickiness.

This is actually an advertising and marketing concept as well (see “Made to stick” by Chip Heath and his brother). It is the concept that drives bloggers nuts. Unless you move past having to have readers and are simply blogging to get stuff out (which I do frequently).

Time on site is the stickiness factor you are looking for. Click throughSleeping half-moon is the thing you don’t want (hit your page and then click off your page right away – the game “Go Fish” not what I wanted problem).

There are a number of ways you can achieve this (catchy titles – great content – fantastic pictures – or my new thought a virtual $ for everyone who clicks on this blog Winking smile see its in your email now)

In the end it’s a numbers game – and you can’t despair if the numbers appear to favor another blog.

.doc

Another shameless review–Dish Network The Hopper


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Full and honest opening disclaimer – I’ve been a dish network customer for more than 15 years.

The hopper is a new system that dish has brought out to compete with some of the many cable offerings in the DVR and whole home television space. Dish purchased Sling a few years back and this is an extension/improvement/next generation of the Sling Catcher technology. The Hopper acts as a “base station” or home rebroadcast system. This rebroadcast is sent to the “joey’s” that are connected via cable to the Hopper. By cable it’s the wired cable within the house allowing for a rebroadcast of the digital signal from one device to the other.

There are a couple of other interesting innovations that move the receiver high on my list – the first is the full integration of blockbuster on demand. That puts thousands of movies at your fingertips, the newer Pay-per-view movies and the BB on demand service. I suspect they preloaded mine with movies they knew I would like, so I downloaded and watched the horrible movies 1941. It’s a guilty pleasure to watch a movie that stupid that it is funny.

I haven’t tried dish remote access yet – will try that and post another review later.

Another new feature that is interesting is the “Prime time” feature. It lets you record all the shows on primetime (plus up to 3 more shows for a total of 6 shows at once). You can then watch the shows at your convenience. I like to record discovery (How the planet was made and Universe are two particular favorites) and the boys like to record myth busters. In the past we had more shows in some time slots than we had ability to record. Now we can record and watch what we want, when we want.

Overall my personal assessment is that the system is a nice improvement over some of the other existing systems out there. As we get more and more services from our entertainment systems it will be interesting to see how things progress. So far Dish has done a great job integrating two of their purchases – Sling and Blockbuster to produce a more robust and improved solution.

.doc

in-pulse and random thoughts…


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I am super excited about the upcoming (September) release of the new Pebble watch from In-Pulse. I have their current product and use it to make my blackberry more useful – it actually helps although my BB is still more of a relic than something I can’t live without. At least the IN-Pulse makes it something that is marginally more useful.

In just a few days my beloved Barb will receive her Masters in Social Work. She still has to take the certification exam in Maryland but after a 4 years journey she stuck to her guns and graduated. At a time when most of us are slowing down to watch the race she is still lapping the field (of course if you ever go to a go-cart park with Barb you will know that she never slows down. She and Nick battle for household superiority at every amusement park we go to, Luke, Jackie and I just get out of the way, otherwise as they say we just eat dust). Believe in yourself and in the end good things will happen for you.

I listened to Irish music last night while walking. Don’t ask me why, it was just what I was feeling. I find that if I tailor my music to my walk the walk in the end is more enjoyable.

Nearing a couple of goals (4 million steps and 2500 blog posts).

Thinking a little about IT sprawl on my other blog (see link to DocAndersen above). It is something I ‘ve been chasing for 20 plus years now. I wonder if I will ever catch it.

 

.doc

Walking and technology…


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Do pedometers help you work out? I read in the Washington Post that in fact they don’t really help except as motivators. I would agree with that although as a motivator they really do help. I find myself walking a little extra and taking the stairs a little more often to get the maximum number of steps in every week so from a motivation perspective it really is working.

The new fitbit (which I shockingly highly recommend) also tracks how many stairs you climb in a day. I find it fascinating the overall number collected when you consider it (I do suspect their steps to miles conversion system isn’t as good as it should be – normally 10,000 steps equals loosely 5 miles I’ve noticed the fitbit system actually counts that as 12 to 13 miles).

The value proposition however of the Garmin sports watches is that in addition you can also view your walk in a mapping package (Google maps or Bing maps) which is very useful. I have been playing with the actual walking path I’ve been taking recently to shake things up a bit but also because its fun to explore new places. Having the route laid out on Google maps let’s me actually figure out how to extend or (when needed at times) shorten my walk.

Technology is a wonderful as you walk along in your personal stereo or telephone bubble listening to the music you want to hear knowing that you are where you wanted to be when you laid the trail out. Simply amazing…

So in the end I agree with the writer from the Post – the pedometer isn’t a great exercise tracking tool per se, but it is a great motivational device. Now I have to go to work and climb some stairs…

.doc