Memories of things that used to be…


I love Billy Crystal’s sense of humor. His impression of Ricardo Montalbán used to make me laugh really hard. These two pictures are album116ones that we put together of me sitting in my hideaway being Billy being Ricardo.

Yes we had that kind of time.

No it wasn’t for anything specific. The hand writing is that of Bob Degrof a good friend and fellow teacher at the time. Bob and I used to watch Cubs games in the late afternoon.  We did stuff like this back then it was our idea of fun. This was around the time of the Miami Slice Halloween party and some other fun events we did.

album115

That is me in my hideaway. I don’t know why back then I insisted on longer hair. I don’t wear long hair and haven’t in many years but there was a time in my 20’s when longer hair was the way for me.

You would figure after the great Colorado debacle (the man preparing the horses asking my father if all three of his daughters wanted to ride the horses. My father only had two daughters and one son)  I would have had short hair. But it went long for a time after high school and before I got serious about being a teacher.

I think this was one of the offices at BDLC. BDLC was the first school I taught at many years ago. I don’t think they knew what I was about the entire time I was there.  I believe in order to educate girls and boys you have to treat them the same. You have to expect them to play quietly at times and at times you have to get outside and play sports. If someone isn’t good at sports at least they have a chance to try.

album011

The other thing I did that the director and assistant director never understood was I tried to do fun things that made our school seem like a better place to be.

Indianapolis is famous for the 500 mile auto race held every May. In Bloomington the University sponsors the famous Bicycle race (Breaking Away) every year called the Little 500.

There is also a tri-cycle race that is part of the Little 500 festivities. So I created the big wheel race for the kids called “The really Little 500.” we had a blast! There are many more pictures of the event that I will share at some point. But it got us into the newspaper. We also raised money for the Saint Jude Children’s Hospital.

Oh yeah and we had a blast!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow!

TGIF–oh crap busy weekend ahead…


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Busy weekend ahead. The nasty living room carpet finally goes away. They are power washing the deck and then painting it.  We are couch free in the basement as well, so its going to be a sit in the bedroom watching TV weekend if we have time to watch TV. I like to watch NBA playoff games but I think this weekend I will be to busy to watch.

I signed up for a service (wind energy) to reduce my overall energy bill. So far, not so much. We are thinking, if the HOA allows it (no dad that isn’t you authorizing it it’s the Home Owners Association) of putting Solar Panels on the roof. When the power goes out in our area based on area to cover and number of people it takes a 1/2 day or more to get the power back. However, right now, its more of an up to my neck in alligators problem. Yes the original job was drain the swamp (or save money on my power bill) but frankly it isn’t effective or working.

Hurricane season starts June 1, our most likely power outage based on the last three years is July/August timeframe. So I have to get that decision in and operational quickly.

I’ve been thinking about home wi-fi and in particular the reality of WEP or WPA security. Certainly, you can get a router that supports the security standard. You will most likely get that from your ISP with a pre-configured password. I wonder however if you couldn’t make life a little easier going forward. If in fact you actually created a security node on the network that required a specific dongle wouldn’t in the long run that be more effective? The node would connect directly to your router, with nothing else plugged into the router. You then route everything through the secure node. I am sure CISCO could make one very quickly or any of the other home router manufacturers. It would allow you to create a secure segment on your home network. It could even leverage low bandwidth spectrums to broadcast a radio id specific to dongles that would force managed connections.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Some innovations I would like to see…


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The political tug of war in the world right now makes me sad. There are so many problems in the world that if we stopped building bombs and started reaching out and helping people we could make long lasting permanent change. Like I said, just sad.

Products I would love to see in the market (some exist some do not)

  • EyeTV Wireless not currently available in the US. Interesting product – I have their 30 pin for the iPad right now it works well and receives 3/4 TV stations.
  • Bluetooth hub. Reduce the frustration of too many BT devices by connecting all of them to the hub and then your device to the hub. One connection multiple devices and a much better reality for all of us. (I could get rid of all my keyboards – just one for everything)
  • Universal HDMI adapter (wireless connection any device to the dongle and then your Television) these are coming – two different versions on Kickstarter and Indiegogo now. Can’t wait – it moves so much closer to my screen as a service reality.
  • More spectrum devoted to wi-fi and an intelligent home router that evaluates your bandwidth at home and then places different device types of different networks automatically so that your bandwidth is well always functional.
  • Better Wi-fi portable hard drives

There are a number of things done that are moving these ideas forward. I suspect watching both Kickstarter and Indiegogo these technologies will begin moving forward. The concept or idea of a single Bluetooth hub is gaining momentum – the only issue I see in the short run are devices that require a specific code to pair. In those cases I think the HID will have to allow for a remote administration connection or possibly use wi-fi and an embedded web page to manage the hub.

Oh to live in interesting times.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Breaking the 7 reasons why not to blog…why? for the one reason that matters to me…


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T-Minus 3 days and Counting.

I read an interesting blog yesterday – 7 reasons to stop blogging. I think the author missed a number of critical points. I blog (particularly this blog) to get things out of my head. My technical blogs have many more readers and followers than this blog does. One of her comments was stop blogging if the only comment you get is from your mother. Personally I am honored with either of my parents comment about my blog either on-line, via email or on the phone. So that is another miss.

That is why roughly 6 years ago I split into two blogs. The Docandersen blog (see above) is my serious focused blog where I discuss the technical issues that are my personal passion. Family, which is my other passion is featured here on this blog. Frankly I couldn’t care less if anyone other than my family reads this blog. It is meant as a way for me to write down the things we sometimes wander through life forgetting to say. Like I love my family. 24 years ago a fantastic woman (that anyone who meets her says she is a Saint – just for sticking with me) was willing to share her life with me. I couldn’t be more grateful. My parents are awesome people that I adore. My sisters and their families are incredible people. My children are awesome. Becca is off to grad school, Jaki is finishing her associates and then on for her Bachelors and Nick/Luke are freshmen in High School. Dylan has his new sister (Raven) and they are learning to adjust to each other.

This blog is also home to the poetry of Sandler Boggs. It isn’t great poetry often but it comes from where I am at the time of the poem. I share it because if I don’t it rattles around inside my head for days at a time. What do you do with a poem that is rattling around inside your head?

“Poet’s who read their poem’s out loud may have other nasty habits as well.” Sandler Boggs

I post my reviews here as well. I’ve been doing reviews since 1992. That is the year I started the Dead Teachers Society magazine “Kindle the Flame.” KTF featured technology reviews for teachers. Its where I got my start as I did roughly 90% of the reviews for KTF. We had 85 issues before the KTF flame got too expensive to send around. From there I moved my reviews to a website I hosted and changed the name of the reviews to “The Savvy Tech Guy.” That lasted for roughly five years until I started my blog in 2005. That was when I started my blog series “Another Shameless Review.”

Reviews have three rules for me. The first is I have to be using the technology I am reviewing. Some of them end up on the scrap head (Lexmark S800 printer got a good initial review, later I realized I was not so happy with it – I should have printed a retraction but it was 6 years ago and frankly I forgot to). The intent for my reviews is to show the things I like and the things I don’t like about a specific solution.

Lastly I’ve been adding lately Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects I find intriguing. Why? Because I find the reality of the shift of innovation to be intriguing.

In the end this blog is for me to share what I am thinking about not bound my the rules of my profession. If you need a more serious blog from me, feel free to look up the IASA Blog, Safegov or CloudTweaks. I publish on those as well with more serious topics.

I guess this blog breaks the 7 reasons you should stop blogging right now. There is really only one reason for this blog, it makes me feel connected to the world around me.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Rambling man…


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T-Minus 6 days (not counting today)

I am working on my podcasts and will get them up next week. No new Fred and Ed. Those take a couple of months to develop and honestly the last one wasn’t the best one I’ve done because frankly I rushed it a bit.

We are still planning our Civil War site vacation – although it isn’t next week it is the week after. We’ve got a few ideas we’ve bounced around between the three of us. We have to work with Dylan and make sure he can fit us into his very busy schedule. To paraphrase the Grinch “afternoon nap, I can’t reschedule that.”

The funny thing about considering a Civil War Site vacation in Maryland? You really never have to drive more than 40 miles other than Gettysburg and you get a huge number of sites. There is one in Poolesville which is just 5 or so miles West of us.

When I was a younger person my parents took us to Thailand. On the way we stopped in Ireland, Denmark and Paris. There is a difference in history (reading it in a book or IT HAPPENED RIGHT THERE) as far as where it happened and your perception of that. I love history and the concepts of it. We explored the old city of Bangkok Thailand when we got there. We did it again when we took the kids in 2004. The old city of Bangkok is 3 or 4 thousand years old (or more). The old city of Bloomington Indiana where I grew up is well just heading towards 200 years old.

Here in the DC area you can find some history that heads towards 300, 400 years. You can watch the terrain and landscape and understand why the British were confounded in finding George Washington. (one modern tool and there wouldn’t have been a Revolutionary War). We may even take a day and go hit the National Mall.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Why I can’t buy the book “The Divinity of Dogs…”


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I’ve been reading the Facebook posts from the book the Divinity of Dogs and I actually am now officially not sure I can buy the book. The stories cause me to tear up over and over. I listened to the audio book “Marley and Me” in the airport lounge in Copenhagen, well I ended up listening to the end of the book in the lounge. I was waiting for my flight early in the morning. I plugged in my Zune and started finishing the book and by the end I was crying. The attendant in the lounge actually walked over and asked me if I was ok.

Then like a whack job I watched the movie. I cried again. So now I start reading the stories on Facebook and I can’t buy the book because each of the stories make me cry. I love dogs. There has been a dog with me for most of my life. Currently two have graced our home, one of them is a Lab Rescue.

Unlike shelters where dogs come after they have been abandoned, which is often too late (the physical and emotional toll on the dog is often too great at that point and they struggle for years to recover) rescue organizations also go into places and take dogs away from abusive owners. Both groups seek to find forever homes for dogs which is why we donate money to both organizations shelters and rescue.

Dylan is a lab rescue. He is without a doubt the sweetest dog I have ever owned. He is also probably the smartest dog we’ve ever had except for maybe Gwen. Dylan, however has one toolset that Gwen never learned. He likes to snuggle next to someone in the evening while they are watching television or reading. He curls in and waits for you to idly pet him. Gwen wasn’t much for people, so while she may have been smarter she wasn’t as smart as Dylan. You see he often snuggles next to Barb which after some of the days she has, makes her smile.

The concept is forever home. Or you can call it forever family. Either way Dylan found his. Or perhaps more frankly we found the missing piece of our forever home. Last year when I got an inner ear infection and didn’t walk for over three weeks, Dylan spent all day every day on the bed with me for the first 6 days (when I actually couldn’t stand up). Except for when I threw-up (he doesn’t stay in the room when someone is throwing up) he was there, with me, beside me and helping me. Like I said the missing piece of our forever family.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

What isn’t connected…


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First off my apologies for my “serious blog” and the podcasts posted today. The recent spate of articles about Internet connected devices and malware attacking those devices honestly made me laugh. When I laugh things start to jiggle in my head and well things are thought and without a good filter system, things are posted.

Do I need a filter?

Anyway January Podcasts are posted.

If you take a serious look at what I was making fun of on my other blog and in my podcasts it does post an interesting reality. What happens when connected things go bad. A smart fridge seems like a cool idea but what do you do when you fridge attacks you or your family by spoiling food or worse, locking drawers so you can’t get things out or worse. Internet connected doors that lock you in, or out of your house, demanding new doors so that they can reproduce. Or Internet connected devices that unionize and demand time off for holidays and the like.

It’s a brave new world.

It has me thinking – the connection perception. So I decided to think about what is connected in my house today (not the fridge Smile). The TV’s in the house are for the most part connected to the manufactures systems. They can download local applications to run on the TV. The cellular phones, laptops and gaming systems are all connected. The front door is waiting (I sponsored a cool Kickstarter called Sky Bell a front door camera system). The security system is connected via the phone and Internet for updates.

Everything is connecting to everything else.

Should we panic?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow