The loves of my life…


Time is a funnyunsorted040 thing. It is hard to imagine that the two people in this picture were additions to my family that well in the end made my family. The first is the Beanie being held here by her mother. I couldn’t imagine life without Jakki. She is a wonderful person. I am so very proud of her. Plus she is the world’s greatest big sister for her two brothers. It isn’t easy being the older sister of twins. They are twice as hard and twice as needy. She has handled that job with aplomb so far beyond her years it is scary.

I have about 2 hours of video five days after Jakki was born in the swing on the left side of the picture.

The other person on the couch is my wife Barb. Holding her daughter. I think sometimes the two of them are peas from a similar cloth. They often think alike. Barb has been in my life for 24 years as of October 15. We met then in a bar (J. Aruthurs) for the 3rd time. We had been introduced by friends two times before that but it never took. And there was the bunny suit incident at school as well.

Harry Met Sally Vignette

The first time I met Barb she was wandering the halls of the High School we both attended. She was wearing a white bunny suit for April fools day. She was a senior and I was a freshman. I walked up to her and asked her if she had the time. She looked at me like I was a lowly freshman and moved on. Years later I was recounting my version of the white bunny suit to my fiancé. My fiancé looked at me and said “you were the rude person that asked me the time?” I was thinking white rabbit and of course through the looking glass. She was thinking she was a white rabbit. The second time we met was when Barb was working at Trojan Horse. A friend of mine said you should meet this girl I think you two would hit it off.  We talked for a moment as she waited on our table. I am sure she laughed because I am incredibly funny. But nothing happened. The third time we met was the night at J. Arthurs in Bloomington Indiana. We met, I was seeing someone but that relationship was ending. A week later my roommate invited a parent from his class (he was teaching at BDLC then) over for dinner. My roommate called twice to say he would be late. The person he had invited was Barb. We’ve been together ever since that evening 24 years ago. Just like in the movie “When Harry met Sally” we had munsorted039et but things weren’t right. Then we met and things were right.

The last picture is of the bubbies. Decked out as Indiana Hoosiers. As you can see from this picture they are rough and tumble guys ready for anything. Notice Luke on the left has no teeth. At this age they were very hard to tell apart. I think it is incredibly easy to do so. But they do look very much alike. This is one of my favorite pictures of the boys. Taken at the foot of the staircase in Greenwood Indiana.

Shortly after this we had to safety proof the entire house. Once the two of them started walking there was little hope for the rest of the world.

In the end these four are the loves of my life. My family. My everything.

I can’t imagine what manage the three little ones will do to the world. But for now there is no manage. Only promise.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Weather–you can never know too much…


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I got the NetATMO rain gauge yesterday. Barb took one look at it and said “How many weather stations do you have.” I responded “not enough.” She grimaced – I suspect under her breath she was uttering geek.

Netatmo is a great home weather station. It publishes your weather information to their web server so you can log into your weather no matter where you are (like connecting from Hawaii when it is –3 in DC would be a fun use of the remote capability). I Still think NOAA and NetAtmo ought to get together and do a data feed share. Today Netatmo supports the NOAA feeds in their software. It would be really cool to see a heat map of an area based on lots of points of data. An aggregated weather feed application if you would.

I also have a Davis weather station on the back deck. It is a more professional weather station and gives real time rain and wind velocity and direction information that NetAtmo doesn’t today. Well Netatmo has a rain gauge but I haven’t installed it yet. I suspect they have a wind gauge in the works but to date I haven’t seen that on their product page.

The Davis system also allows you to do weather data mining. It keeps track of 10 days of data so you can do a compare and contrast. For example, we live near DC, DC has a lot of concrete. It is normally 3-5 degrees warmer than where we live (near the woods in fact about 23 miles North of DC). The other interesting thing of course is the amount of rain. It truly varies across the region we live in. So its nice to be able to look out and see what the rain is where we actually are.

It is also a great opportunity to teach a fun science lesson that in the end is extremely useful. If you know how to read the weather where you are, you are less likely to find yourself in a compromised position. I will post a fun STEAM/STEM activity later around this.

.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

New Office Update!


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I found out from my folks yesterday that they can’t make the trek East. I was disappointed to hear it but things happen. Luke said “since grandma isn’t buying us dinner on Thursday now, does that mean you will leave us money for pizza?” The world of teenagers revolves around their concept of the next meal and fair.

Teaching children the concept of fair is very difficult.

I didn’t answer Luke’s question. Smile

I’ve been playing with saturated images (more FPS) with my Canon. Its an interesting thing, you can with a DSLR really catch a significant amount of frames per second. Yesterday I was taking a picture of a bee, I didn’t focus properly (so I won’t be sharing it) but with slow mo I was able to catch the fuzzy image of a bee landing on a flower. I will share a picture when I get a little better.

The boys and I have been talking about potentially getting one of the slow motion camera’s you can buy now for Andersen Mission Control. We were thinking it would be fun to show a rocket blasting off into “air” frame by frame. We will share those on YouTube if we head down that path. We may try our first launch with the existing cameras before buying a new one.

(for those who saw my Indiana office) PS my office in Germantown is actually still clean. Much more organized than the one in Indiana ever was. Of course for those of you who know the full story – Barb and I were sharing an office in Indiana originally. She, choose to move out of the shared office to a space in our bedroom. Now we both have offices, it’s a lot easier to work in your own space. I like music and have lots of screens running all the time, Barb likes quiet and focused workspace. So now she’s on the main level (which she loves) and I am in the basement. I can, however out the French doors of my office actually see outside. In Indiana all I could see was the bar area in the basement.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

A message in the bottle…


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The boys play is tonight – they are theater crew.

The best days are the ones where you look up and it is 5 pm. Or like yesterday heading past 5 pm. I do wish I had a window however, it would be nice to know the world is still there at times.

In thinking about the boys play today, I realized I have had every role in a school play. I have been a performer. I have been a leader and I have been a proud parent. I have to say that proud parent is the most rewarding.

All four kids have participated. Interestingly enough all 4 kids have participated in some retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Both Becca and Jackie were in the play and the boys are crew. Which is pretty cool overall.

Now. if we take a look at the bizarre world that is Alice in Wonderland we may not be as happy. It is a tale set in the eyes of a child filled with the rules of adults (off with their heads) and the bizarre interactions of the world around us. The enigmatic Cheshire cat remains my favorite character in the play – he (or she) provides little more than a smile. Which in many cases in a child’s eye that is what adults provide, little more than a smile.

Imagine, being late for an appointment (the white rabbit) and having to ask the Cheshire Cat for directions. In the end you would remain late.

Rule for today:

If you are wearing a bunny suit and someone approaches you asking the time reply with “I am late, late for a very important date.” Don’t look at the person and wonder if they are off their medication.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow