Sunday wrapup…


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Here is a question for those with more knowledge in this space than I have. With iOS 5 on my ipad I had 4.8 gig of space remaining. That seems like not so much, but when I installed iOS 6 I was convinced I would have to clean up my device. Instead – I now have 6.9 gig of useable space and I have added 4 apps since the upgrade. So, is iOS 6 doing compression?

It is an interesting question and one that I am sure will continue to intrigue me. There are two styles of compression they could have implemented, the first being to actually run a compression algorithm on the device the second is to do a better job of sharing resources across the platform. Not sure which one it is, but it is something.

The net new feature I like the most in the new Apple iOS? The ability to create a hotspot on the fly with my iOS devices. Just one more thing I don’t need a laptop for now.

I can now officially see my desk – so I’ve cleared off enough crap. With Dylan helping me (by spreading trash all over my office whenever he is trying to get my attention) I suspect I will make even more progress in the next couple of weeks. He doesn’t like my messy office much – and he let’s me know that.

.doc

Why did you become a school teacher?


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I was a school teacher for a while in Indiana. Why? People ask me that all the time. Part of my desire to teach came from positive experiences and part came from negative. Yesterday I was walking with the “D-Meister” and starting thinking about the why so I thought I would share this morning.

Why Scott became a teacher.

There are four people in the end who led me to education. One because it was the worst experience of my life and the other three because they showed me the world can be changed if you keep teaching. We will start with my negative experience because of two factors, it was the second event that shaped my desire to be a teach.

I entered first grade a not-so-willing student. I didn’t like the rules of school much and spent most of the next 12 years rebelling against those rules. Mrs. Brown my first grade teacher didn’t like students who didn’t like rules. She told my parents in the first parent teacher conferences of the year that every year she had a student like me, and frankly I would never learn to read. I learned that from my parents many years later. But at the time I was frustrated. I didn’t understand why Mrs. Brown didn’t like me. I was a very active kid, and I learned by asking questions, asking questions about everything. She didn’t like that in me. So I struggled for a year.

The first positive story of my education was begun that winter. My father spent hours with me teaching me how to read. To this day I love anything by Dr. Seuss. Why? Because those are the books my father used. Was I an incorrigible kid? Probably not. I had too many questions and my dad answered all of them, over and over. By the end of second grade I went form the lowest reading group in the grade to the highest reading group. My dad was my first educational influence and he saved me from the painful reality of Mrs. Brown. For those who don’t know my father was a teacher for more than 40 years. I remember many years ago a survey done at Indiana University where they asked students which teachers they remembered, my father along with Doc Councilmen (the swimming coach of Mark Spitz and others at IU) made that list. It shows how amazing a teacher he was. Or maybe my being able to read shows that who knows.

The second positive influence came at a juncture in my life when I was struggling again. I of course as a teenager had distanced myself from my parents – as many teenagers do. I stumbled into an English classroom as a sophomore in high school at Bloomington High School South. For the next two years I would have this teacher for a total of 3 nine week periods. William “Bill” Sturbaum introduced us to the world beyond simply reading. He introduced me to the love of literature. The love of anything by Jean Shepard. He taught us to wait for the moments in great works to relish in the thoughts those moments produced. He taught to look beyond the words and find our own meaning. He never yelled at us when we were rowdy teenagers, but then again we weren’t very often. He controlled the room with kindness and opening doors we didn’t know were there.

The last positive influence in my life came while I was in college. This person, like my father influenced me my entire life but there was one moment of crystallization that he provided that changes everything for me. I was going to be a writer. To life like Hemingway, or Steinbeck and within the pages and words change the world. My Grandfather said to me “have a fall back plan.” If anyone else had told me that I would have told them to pound sand. But my grandfather had left college because his family had no fall-back plan. He was the fallback plan. He wanted me to make sure I could be the person I wanted to be. Much as my father did as he taught me Dr. Seuss.

I became a teacher because of those four people. I believe in education because of the last three.

.doc

The Reign of Terror


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I have a question.

Why did I travel all those years?

I love my wife and kids. I have been home all but 4 nights in the past year. I have come to realize that all those years of traveling did little for me. I love hanging out with my kids. I love hanging out with my wife.

I bought a set of the Creative Gigaworks speakers for the computers downstairs. I have more than one computer, but really only listen to sound for a couple of them (mostly music and video on the Macintosh). They are really good speakers overall. I am listening to my iTunes classical collection while trying to finish a bunch of documents for internal and customer projects. I don’t know why I work better when I have music playing. In my office at work I have a nice portable IPod music player. So now I have a large portable Macintosh Music player at home.

I am trying to shrink the crap in my office. Right now I am working through that. At my current rate of pieces parts absorption and removal it will take me a million years.

oh well.

Luckily Dylan rearranges my office and moves all the papers. So in the end at least I am getting rid of trash.

.doc

Do you miss traveling?


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The fitbit device is amazing. On the way to 6 million steps (should be there by the weekend) and over 10,000 flights of stairs. It is amazing to me to think about numbers that large – but then thinking back each step is another step forward so I guess in the end the value is to keep on trucking.

Someone asked me yesterday do you miss traveling? I used to travel all over the world. The honest answer? Not a single bit. I like coming home every night. Sure at times I come home at 8 pm. But I come home every night but two this year. It is a huge feeling of relief to not be traveling all the time. In the end I do miss the free vacations but having a family to come home to is better than anything.

Living in Maryland is awesome. I do hate the DC traffic. I had a meeting downtown last night and ended up driving (I should have taken the Metro I know lesson learned) but was someplace that I had driven to so I drove. It took me an hour and 25 minutes to drive 30 miles.  It could have been worse.

Live and Learn.

.doc

OK, so it wasn’t a touchdown


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Did the officials make a mistake on Monday night football? Yes. When you watch the replay you can clearly see the ball touched by the defender first and in the process of pulling the catch in, the offensive player reached in. Should it have counted? no. Should the NFL reverse that call? Yes. Will they, well they said they wouldn’t today.

The NFL referee strike comes down to pensions. It is pretty scary in our economy that a strike happens due to pensions. I could buy any other reason but pensions? Seriously?

As a long time football fan I would like to say bring back the refs. The game is suffering and it is frustrating to watch week after week, blown call after blown call.

However, refs, pensions? In this economy? Seriously?

Yeah being a ref is a tough job. It is however less physically demanding than playing so I don’t understand this strike.

For the sake of those of us who love the game, can we settle this thing fairly? Drop the pension request and get what you think is fair for everything else. The owners need to budget a bit to, coming closer to what you need other than the pension.

geez.

.doc

3 days journey with an iPhone 5


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3 days with the new iPhone – wow!

I am a huge phone junkie. Moving from phone to phone, painful. It will take me a week or so to get my apps back the way I like them on the new iPhone (I don’t like restoring so I am costing myself time not Apple).

Five things I love:

  • Battery life is better
  • I loved T-Mobile – but frankly their service on the East coast is horrible. I had LTE yesterday all day and even using my phone for over 2 hours of talking throughout the day – I still had more than 60% of a charge left.
  • The screen is fantastic
  • It just looks cool when you pull it out of your pocket
  • Call clarity and call volume so far are excellent

What don’t I like?

  • The lightening connector. I suspect Apple knew it, but I don’t like the connector. Sure its easy to insert and charge but when you switch connector types YOU HAVE TO FLOOD THE MARKET WITH THE CONNECTOR. Find a lightening connector anywhere but Apple? Nope. And they aren’t shipping until October. That means I have to carry one cable with me everywhere.

Overall the fit and finish is amazing. 10 years ago if you had asked me I would have said that fit and finish isn’t that important. Since then I have bought a mini-cooper and an iPhone. Fit and finish are critical. I was able to connect my iPhone to the mini in two seconds – it really is an amazing phone (and the car is bloody good as well). Other than my fussing about the connector – kudos to apple.

A more in depth review to come later.

.doc

Random Thoughts…


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Ok random thought day. I had a bunch yesterday afternoon while veg’ing and watching football. So, I am going to share a bunch of them…

Random Thoughts:

  • Do Flying Fish have enough frequent flyer miles that they always fly first class?
  • Why do letters still excite me?
  • Why do updates for computers come in bunches. They are built one at a time. But they all seem to roll out en masse
  • How did the iPhone get bigger and smaller? Feels bigger in my hand.
  • Why do two different blood pressure machines give you two vastly different results?
  • Why can’t you drop hard drives, they are hard after all.
  • Why does a splitter split and an enhancer enhance without working together?
  • What’s better, a bigger screen or more movies to watch?
  • When does fall actually arrive? When we say so or when the weather says so?
  • Yesterday was fantastically beautiful and I got to go on a walk with my girl Smile
  • Why would you name a pond Tranquility? Would you be afraid NASA would target it for a future landing of a spaceship or exploratory craft?
  • What does Tranquility really mean, is it a peaceful acceptance of the world around you or simply the ability to hide everything beneath the surface?

The end of my random thoughts today…

.doc

Colonial Williamsburg


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Many years ago (1976) my folks took us on a trip to Philly, and then down to Williamsburg VA. (we passed through the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia which I remember because all of us were either car sick or had the flu). I remember that trip to Colonial Williamsburg, so yesterday we took the kids there.

We wandered around the restored village of Williamsburg. It was a great trip down memory lane for me and I hope the bean and da boys got a great memory as well. You don’t realize how much history you list in until you make a point of going out and seeing what can be.  Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t in the end the real job of parents. Not to provide shelter and warmth but to pay forward the kindness and love their parents gave them.

Dylan and Fran were not happy about our trip until they found out we brought them Jelly Beans. Dylan ate the first one carefully as he always does, but now he’s decided in the pantheon of food that it is Bacon, Steak, Pancakes and then Jelly Beans. He is a funny little dog. Fran of course gobbled hers down and then look for more.

Time to get rolling – allergies are killing me.

.doc

fond memories of cigars


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I was walking toward the train station yesterday in downtown DC when I passed a man smoking a cigar. I love the blue acrid smoke smell of cigars. I don’t know why, I just do.

Which go me to thinking the three best cigars I’ve ever had. Normally I relax and smoke a cigar while walking. But over the years I’ve had a few social cigars that remain fun memories.

Iskandar Ahmet in KL. Smoking a cigar in a hotel (forgot the name) and preparing for the next day. It was an amazing evening spent in the muggy hot of KL.

Bob Hawk and sitting after work in a place called Burning Desires just outside Cincinnati Ohio. We would solve the problems of the world. He was the person that introduced me to a relaxing cigar walk.

Chris Bergman and I don’t recall the name of the Jazz club in N.Y.C.. Relaxing, enjoying a cigar. He and I found other places as well in London that were simply delightful as well as a nice London Cigar walk.

I know I shouldn’t enjoy cigars but I enjoy them and the people I share them with.

.doc

A day in the land of History and Random thoughts…


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200 years ago, and 150 years ago the area around me (Maryland) was alive with the War of 1812 and the Civil War. It is the 200th anniversary of the first and the 150th anniversary of the second.

On a person note, I wish it was the 150th anniversary of the last war ever. That is coming someday I hope. A world of peace and hope.

Its kind of cool to live amongst history.

I’ve been asking myself a question lately, as much because it comes to me as the fact that it bugs me. Why do things always seem to be the opposite of what you expect. Riding the DC metro yesterday heading to downtown DC, in every stop where we got out to wait for the next train the escalator going our direction wasn’t working, but the one going the opposite direction was. Why is it that happens? It happened three times in three different stations at two different times of the day.

Random Thoughts for Friday:

  • Why do new metro cars and old metro cars look the same?
  • Why are cobblestones never easy to walk on?
  • Why is a rain garden always wet?
  • Do you have confidence in a person, what they say or what they do? Or is it a combination of all of them adding in how they do things?
  • Where does the sidewalk end?

.doc