Moving, a song I know well


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In the end what do you do?

Today is closing day. After nearly two years of not owning a home, we once again will be home owners by around 1 pm. Interesting tidbit the longest job I’ve had (around 15 years) and the longest single place I’ve lived (Greenwood) overlapped each other. We moved from Cincinnati Ohio to Greenwood while I was working for Microsoft. We owned our house in Greenwood for 7 months after I worked for Lockheed. So the two are a huge overlap. Dumb Andersen trivia.

I have moved a number of times in my life. 2 times while living in Chicago (one of those was moving to Indiana). I moved 13 more times (to Indiana and then I moved 4 times while in Ohio. Two of the Indiana moves were to Bangkok Thailand and then home again. We moved back to Indiana and then we moved to Maryland and in about 20 days we are moving one more time. The number over the course of my life is pretty staggering. 22 times in 52 years. The longest span in any one location was 26 years in Indiana. The longest in any one house was 12 years. Goofy numbers but just something to think about. My kids have moved far less than I did as a kid, but

When you add to that the countries I have visited (enough to fill a passport in 10 years the life of a passport) it becomes interesting. The only thing I regret is letting my kids grow up while I was away. But that is for another day.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Weekend Wrap-up Edition


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The boys have been doing spiritual reading on the weekends (yes at our request). So I am doing the same thing. Right now my other blog is focused on the travelers story. Depending upon your personal religious beliefs it is either a retelling of an old story or the new presentation of old information.

Dylan hurt his neck. No strenuous activity for the next 30 days. I am not sure who it impacted more me or him. Our walks are a time for me to unwind and I feel guilty walking without him so I am using the treadmill. It is not as much fun and frankly I don’t get as much thinking done on the treadmill as I do walking with Dylan.

Fran had her 12th birthday over the weekend. The old girl has been a fixture in our family since she joined us in Indiana. Although it is not recommended that you feed her by hand, unless you are able to regrow fingers.

We went to a wedding yesterday. A co-worker of Barb’s got married. The topic of conversation around our table (and I suspect most the other tables as well “the ice breaker” )how long it took to get there. I realized how annoying it must have been for my mother – we always lived further away from my parents than the other kids did (admittedly a 1/2 mile further away for 12 of the past 14 years) but we were always late to family events.

Sorry Mom.

Still, we went 270 North, and just past where we turned on you could see a mile of brake lights ahead of us. We escapted a 25 or 30 minute delay by one exit on a Sunday afternoon. DC has horrible traffic. We ended up arriving just a little after the original start time so in the end we were successful in getting there (5 minutes late). Again, Sorry mom.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Not quite time to go solar…


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I’ve been looking at Solar Power solutions the last few days. Mostly because we went through a house in North Potomac that was 90% solar powered, their average bill to the electrical company was 30 bucks a month (what the company charges to maintain and keep the line running to your house). Some months they actually sold power back to the power company.

However, it only adds a little value to your house and it costs a lot of money. Let’s say your average electric bill is 250 dollars per month. You reduce that by 200 dollars a month and that represents 2400 dollars a year. The system you will need in order to power your house is around 25000 installed. Take off 5 grand (and than .05 % of the 5000 grand in the incremental value add and over a ten year period your going to add about 9000 dollars in value to your house). So subtract the 10 year ROI of 9000 from the initial cost of 25000 and that leaves you with 16,000. That means you won’t make back your investment for at least 8 years. And all of of us know, after the last few years that a growth rate for home value isn’t guaranteed. Which means you need the full ten years for a real ROI.

I’ve had IT projects that returned 100% of their value cut in 24 months because they weren’t paying back the investment fast enough. 10 years is a long time for an investment to break even.

Now in defense of solar panels you do also get a 5 year tax break. So there may be a faster payback but the math is still tough to sell. When you consider that you will be also maintaining the system it really pushes that payback out. Now if the price comes down 10 thousand dollars you are looking at roughly a 5 to 6 year payback. That would be something to consider.

Until then, oh well.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

T-Minus 4 days.


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Be careful what you choose. There was a commercial for 7up years ago (the cola nut, and the uncola nut) that was always thought provoking, which do you choose?

The why of this is of course the thing that is intriguing. There are people I know who make that choice in a different way, choosing to be angry. They say (in defense of their actions) that they feel powerless therefore the anger is their way of dealing with that. But anger and explosions of anger have nothing to do with being powerless.

Certainly the very first time you are in a disagreement with someone and you lose your temper then and only then can you claim you don’t have power. Every time after that? Then you are exerting your power.

We are four days from closing on our new house. There is so much to do as we are, 22 days from being moved from where we are to where we will be. Its an exciting journey!!

Of course family and friends – we do have a guest room and we are not that far from the Red Line (Shady Grove) that takes you right into the heart of DC.

We are also near the S. Germantown Recreation area, which is very exciting. They have year round swimming and a even have a field dedicated to cricket. I haven’t played cricket since I lived in Thailand. We use to play on a sand bar on the beach. We also played at the school I went to as part of our PE class.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Fun day, Friday


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Change is always a hard thing.

Not being able to finish what you start however can be even worse. Last night my favorite show (great comedy wonderful characters) The Big Bang Theory delved into the reality of not being able to finish what you started.

Sheldon is accused by Amy (ersatz girlfriend) that he cannot allow things to be unfinished. The resulting comedy is incredible as we see two characters (Penny, facing her own reality, Sheldon unable to let go) end up focusing on their problems and dealing with them. In the end, Penny accepts her problems and prepares to move on. Sheldon, however, as is his wont simply plays along and then later redoes everything he wasn’t allowed to finish.

Great comedies focus on the things we cannot change about ourselves. Our worse the things we wish we could change and are unable to do so over and over. It is what makes the comedy funny and what makes it stick in our heads.

I have way more to do today, on a Friday than I normally do so its time to get rolling.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Time for reflection and a new post series


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I am going to start engaging directly with more Kickstarter projects hence my new series that I will post once a month or so. Its like the various technology projects I get engaged with, some are interesting, some are just geeky.

Technology has been a passion of mine for more than 40 years now. It is an interesting concept when you think about it. I started my computing career in the days of mainframes and minis. Well the PC was alive and well when I started, but you still offloaded most of your hardcore business processing to a larger centralized computer (anyone, anyone? Cloud?). It is amazing to me when I think back to what I wanted to do in 1992 and what I can do now, with an iPhone. Oh the times have changed…

Once a month or so I am going to feature a Kickstarter project that I think is amazing. Here is the first one:

For more information this project go here: http://www.alianzahd.com/kss/ which is the RSS feed they have set up detailing more information. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bricomnj/dxb-walkie-talkie-dock-for-iphone-android-and-blac is the link to the project on Kickstarter.

A blurb from the KS page:

The multi-band feature allows the two-way radio to communicate across all frequency bands(VHF, UHF, 800Mhz) allowing for seamless interoperability. It also uses your existing smartphones data to extend the communication distance from 25 miles to anywhere in the world using Radio-Over-IP repeater/gateway feature.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

It is the way of memories..


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I have a fragmented memory of a beach from a long time ago (41 years to be exact). We were somewhere in Thailand, not near Bangkok and we spent the day on the beach. I remember white sand, a picnic lunch and just playing in the water all day. There isn’t any boundaries to the memory, it just begins and ends on that beach.

There are many other connected memories of Thailand in my head, that one is one of the many disconnected memories. There are others, I have many disconnected memories of my parents, grandparents, dogs, aunts, uncles, cousins and my sisters over the years. Just a moment in time when I see almost a freeze frame a tiny slice of life.

Another one I have is of being outdoors I believe in Indiana and I think in the neighborhood park where we moved to when I was 8 or 9 years old. There were a lot of snowmen around us, my sister and I and my dad was throwing snowballs at us. I remember Macgregor coming to our rescue and wrestling with my dad and then the memory fades. No introduction, no rolling credits at the end, just that one moment. My mother says “its your memory.” It is my memory, just can’t place the where of the moment.

Back in the day (I hear my voice aging as I type this) we called them Kodak moments. Treasures that you placed on a piece of photo paper and put on the wall. Sometimes you walk by them and you smile, the memory slice popping into your cortex and dancing in front of your eyes. Those moments comprise our childhood.

There are millions of them, some so well connected that they live in the forefront of our thoughts. Some forgotten a fragment of a larger story that we not longer recall. It is the way of memory.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow