Finding a window based dog door

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1968 number of posts to both of my blogs. Closing in on 2000.

I spent time yesterday looking for a window based dog door. The back door is one of those French doors so there is no way to put in a temporary dog door. There is however a window on one end of the deck and her majesty doesn’t seem to mind overly much going through a window so a little research was in order.

I finally found one. I need to talk to them which I will do before ordering but it was amazing. You actually have to know how wide your dog is. They don’t allow for variables (width=how well her eyes work on whomever is eating at the time). They also have more than 20 different window sizes. Ah the joys of moving. Oh well. The new place is great and the neighborhood is fantastic. We don’t have to clean the pool or pay for lawn moving anymore (although I do miss our Lawn Guy Jeff Wagoner.

Blog Shout Outs:

Great companies to work with on the south side of Indianapolis (Greenwood/Southport area)

  • Karl’s heating and cooling
  • ABC Pools (Brian simply rocks)
  • Waggoner Lawn Care (Jeff is a great person – and does super work)
  • Kelly’s Cleaning (Kelly is an awesome person)

My wife has this great system for picking fantastic people and all of the above are her choices. So the other kudo goes to my wonderful wife. She is an amazing person.


Congrats to Dish Network on 30 years–still loving your customer service…

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To be embedded so far that it takes weeks to disembark.

Dish network is 30 years this year. We became Dish subscribers in 1994 – when they had fewer than 5 million customers (they have 35 million now). It seems amazing to me that we have been Dish customer’s for more than 17 years. Three (soon to be 4) houses and countless dish receivers. We were all digital years before the HD revolution.

Now with sling loaded dish players and the acquisition of Blockbuster has added even more VOD channels – Dish is really improving. I’ve always been a huge fan of the service but now – it is becoming a must have thing. I’ve been a fan of sling for a long time, dish now owns them and has integrated a sling device into their 922 receiver.

They also include a 1 terabyte DVR – which seems excessive, but start recording HD shows and see how long that really lasts. Its less than 100 hours of programing (8 hours for the Kennedy Series, record 4-5 shows per week – and in the end you really only have about 15 weeks of recording). Luckily dish thought of that as well – you can attach external hard drivers to your receiver and transfer stuff you want to keep to the external drive. you can also use the old Pocket Dish player (converts everything to analog but who cares at that point).

From portability to flexibility its simply an amazing process. In the old days you used to be able to connect Archos media players but that has slowly faded away (which is too bad – the Pocket Dish only has a 40 gig HD). I used to love to be able to use my Archos device connected to my dish to carry my favorite shows with me (Universe, WWII in HD, Bizarre Foods etc. – must have TV).

Congrats on 30 years Dish – as a loyal customer I am quite happy with the high quality programming and service you have provided me for over 17 years now!



Random Thoughts

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What is the point of known return?

I loved that 1975 (maybe 76) Album by Kansas, the Point of known return. when can you  stop moving forward and begin to actually move a different direction?

It started in the early days of aviation around flying over the ocean. It was a fuel measure, when do we still have enough fuel to make it safely back to land. Now it simply has become a line in the sand you only step over when you are confident of your return. Of course the other side of that line is when you step over knowing you can’t return. That is still the point of known return but the intent is different.

Let’s end the week with a series of Random Thoughts:

  • ereaders are taking over – I’ve bought 6 books in the past month and only 1 was a physical book (because it wasn’t on the kindle)
  • I used to own more than a 1000 books
  • I am slowly but surely getting rid of all my books
  • Except for the books by JRR Tolkein – those are for my gradnchildren
  • What will we do in the future when eReaders are projectors and carry more capacity than the current library of congress
  • Why is it that what if questions really make me wonder?
  • Come on football – no outage this year – I need nap on Sunday’ afternoons and the only way I can do that is with a football game as the background noise.


I broke the camera

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His eyes had a certain gleam

as he leaned into the cube

“I knew it would happen,” he said


the smile on his face

warm and friendly.

Seeking simply egress

he had stood

against a wall

the camera firing twice

and yet


not working

not finishing the job

as if a job that,

once done changed everything

and nothing

he said as he left

“you should”

smiling broadly

“tell Sandler about this”

“I bet he would find a poem

in the line, I broke the camera.”

And frankly, he did.



Fair Dulcina, where are you?

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Where do we go from here? Seeking balance in software architecture leaves me with a question about tomorrow. You see, you can achieve short term balance, but in the end that isn’t really the balance of the overall situation. It is a temporal balance that can be snatched away from you easily. The balance both of the architect, architecture and overall solution implemented requires more than a temporal balance. It is a critical long term application of the right answers.

This brings me back to the concept of the “balanced architect.” I’ve talked about communication patterns for years now. Good and bad things that people do. Negative organizations and organisms that breed the negativity rather than growing new ideas. I’ve been reading a book about irrational thinking and the more I realize what is irrational around me the more I begin to wonder.

Doing things the same way over and over isn’t balance. It is more irrational than anything. When we expand the search for balanced software solutions, we have to consider the irrational situation we are often in.

What is balance and how do we achieve it in an irrational world?

  • Do things in a new way.
  • Consider the options.
  • Consider the negative data.
  • Don’t surround yourself with people that have the same attitude in life that you do.
  • Find the new path if the old one is blocked.
  • Think globally and act globally where possible.
  • Act locally if required.
  • Be a better person Smile

“Look upon my works ye mighty and despair.”

Sometimes I do.


Building a new Windows Home Server 2011 box

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I have had a Windows Home Server running at my house for more than 3 years now. I bought v1 and v2 of the HP media smart boxes – which were quite solid and reliable. The first run ran on my home network for nearly 2.5 years and the recent one has run reliably for the past 6 months. During that time I began the transition to the new WHS system.

My first attempt was a virtual server (running off Windows Server 2008R2 Hyper-V and a virtual machine for WHS). It worked ok, but wasn’t really up to what I wanted in terms of replacing more of my home network with the home server.

So I turned an old box I had into the server and turned my WHS V2 Media Smart box off.

That was ok but the box was older and only had three USB slots that were working (a couple were dead due to loving use). So I bought a cheap box with 8 gigs of ram and 6 USB slots to build as my new home server.

  • Remote access is much faster with 8 gigs of RAM
  • The 64 bit OS does a better job with the whole backup process
  • I am dying for some of the yet-to-be released add ons

So far so good, had the box up and installed in less than an hour. Between that box as my remote access host (easy to manage that) and my two Windows 2008 boxes, I now have a private cloud at home.

The beauty is I have room to grow, adding both SATA and USB drives. I can back up the essential systems in the house, and provide remote access to the other’s.

I remain a huge windows server fan!!!


.”handwritten” doc

Balance across the board

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I feel the weight of time this morning. I shouldn’t but I do. My back is sore and my head hurts. It is the part of aging that I don’t really like so far – the pain. I will muddle through. Yesterday was a long day. The greatest pain was that it took way longer to get to Columbus because of the rain. Days like that you wish for the teleporter from star trek (beam me to Columbus Bob! you didn’t think I would use the other name did you?)

This morning I am thinking through my various streams (I tend to blog two rivers – one technical and one personal) and realizing that right now the two are actually very close. I could leap one and end up in the middle of the other – not, with my back that I can leap anymore.

Balance extends beyond simply the realm of software architecture. It is a personal goal/process as well.  It is like a great extension all the way around from what you do to how you live.

The warm embrace that is balance.