First day in Dallas…in a long time.
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First trip this year – in Dallas. Of course what one essential thing from my years of travel experience did I forget? 3A batteries for the keyboard. That of course means hotel gift store and frankly paying through the nose. Oh well. At least there is a Starbucks around the corner. Life is good.  Still after 15 years of constant international travel you would think that wouldn’t be an issue. Maybe not traveling for 10 months other than a family vacation or two reduces or even kills your travelers instincts.

When I landed in Dallas last night it was 8 pm, the sun was setting and it was 105 degrees. There is no way that is anything but hot (dry or wet its just hot heat) of course global warming is just a plot by scientists to make money.

I ate dinner at IAD last night. I’ve forgotten how awful the food is at IAD. I am not sure why I keep forgetting that. So a list of the airports that have good food:

  • Schiphol (Amsterdam and its probably spelled wrong)
  • Narita Tokyo (also spelling)
  • Minneapolis MN
  • Chicago O’Hare
  • Denver CO

Ease of access at airports is another pain. Smaller regionals like Indianapolis or Louisville are always easier to get in and out of then O’Hare or Dulles are. Anyway time to get rolling.


Another Shameless review–2 android tablets…
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I am playing with two android tablet’s right now. The Samsung galaxy 7 and the Nexus 7. They are both really well made and fit easily into your hand. So far battery life is comparable to my iPad but the applications are a little less intuitive. The Nexus 7 has a solid feel to it but with only 16 gigs of RAM I suspect it will be my kids tablet pretty quick. They have my old iPad now and use it frequently although they tend to use the Sony Vita more than the iPad.

What’s good (both):

  • weight is nice
  • Screens are both impressive
  • Apps that are in common have a great look and feel
  • integration with the Amazon cloud drive is fantastic – I had music running off my cloud drive in less than 3 minutes
  • Integration with Google and all the offerings they have is slick – much easier to use than iCloud.

What’s good Nexus 7:

  • I love the Google apps button – really nice way to quickly get to your online Google applications
  • Google play is a nice touch
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS (why do android OS names seem to make me hungry
  • Micro (or is it mini) USB standard connection for changing and connecting to PC
  • Mounts as a drive easily on any Windows PC – will try the mac over the weekend.

Bad Nexus 7

  • no memory expansion (Sad smile)
  • No rear camera

What is good Samsung Galaxy 7:

  • Universal remote (and by the way all Samsung devices built into the universal remote amazing)
  • cool screen saver
  • preloads a number of applications
  • comes preloaded with ICE Cream sandwich (Android 4)
  • Has a Micro-SD slot so memory expansion is possible (I am trying 32 gigs now, will try 64 next week)
  • Front and rear camera
  • Built in screen capture application (that is truly useful)

What is bad Samsung:

  • Norton is pre-installed and really hard to uninstall
  • Has Ice Cream sandwich not Jelly bean so you have to upgrade to stay current

These devices have come a long way. I had an Android phone for awhile but it just isn’t at the phone level of the Iphone today. These tablets are close to the functionality of my iPad and do offer interesting alternative views of what is possible. Most of the gestures are effective and the camera’s are solid. Holding a tablet up to take pictures still feels strange, but the inward facing camera is nice for video chats.


The impact of dogs on the man in the moon…

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Yesterday I talked about Mac the first dog I truly recall missing when he left us. Mac was the dog our parents got my sister and I because my parents loved dogs, and at that time my sister and I had been sans dog for a few years (we moved from Chicago where we had Anna, to Indiana and lived in student housing for a few years, so no dog). Actually I think it bothered my parents more that both my sister and I were scared of dogs. So Mac came into our lives. For 3 short years he changed everything.

Our next dog was a family project. We researched a dog that would be the right kind of dog to add to our family. Mac passed away shortly after my baby sister was born (I think – its fuzzy now because of the passage of time). We in researching dogs decided that we wanted to get a Newfoundland. Not that we were going to go exploring and find a new land but that we wanted the dog – it seemed the perfect fit for where we wanted to be.

Phoebe Kuma (we had friends of Japanese descent – Kuma is Japanese for black bear that frankly Newf’s look like)  joined our family in the summer of 1970 or 1971 I don’t recall now. She changed everything. What I imagine a dog to be comes from Phoebe. She was an amazing dog and even though we left her in the care of the people who rented our house when we were in Thailand – she jumped back into our family with all four (huge) feet.

Interestingly Phoebe and my mother had a love hate relationship. I suspect deep inside there was a high level of mutual respect there. I remember so many things that dog did over the years I am not sure where to start. Instead today I would like to list all the dogs that have shared my life with me (and my families) making the days brighter and the walk less onerous and lonely.

Dogs I’ve lived with:

  • Anna Banana
  • Macgregor
  • Phoebe Kuma
  • Frostella (Frosty)
  • Duo
  • Twit
  • Nessie
  • Gwen
  • Fran

We had a penchant for naming dogs strange names and for that matter the many nicknames often stuck better than the chosen name. Each of the characters on that list remind me of something crazy and something wonderful.


The path to a million steps

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On the journey to a million steps the first thing you notice is the world around you. The world is ever changing, leaves that turn brown and then fall from the trees spring green again from tiny buds that creep out of the limbs of bushes and trees and the cold of February fades into the wind of March. It is a world of life and death. Humans are predators so as you walk you hear the scurrying of animals that you might be hunting for, dinner perhaps? A Robin omelet with Robin’s eggs blue?

Each step becoming less a movement of muscles and more a separation, the application of distance in two foot measures, each step further from where you were and closer to where you could be but never arriving or returning to either. You find, in that journey of a million steps that each step is unique and each step becomes like all the others.

Looking back all steps are the same.

Looking forward each step is unique.

So the dance goes. Always one eye ahead and one eye watching the ground that swells and falls in front of you. What do you hear on that journey of a million steps. The sounds of a world awakening and a world that is heading to sleep. The sounds of children, held on the shoulders of grandparents crying. Asking for the person not there, the person they can’t have now and so their tiny cries fill the air with loneliness for you are walking and most likely facing the world along as well.

Each step echo’s and that resounds as well and then there is the birds. Always around and above, scurrying about their daily lives filling trees and air with sound and fury.

Sometimes on the journey of a million steps you long for quiet. Instead the cacophony of noise assaults you like a train roaring past and filling the air around you as if there was nothing but air nothing but noise. You pause for a moment, letting the rush of noise fill the void around you, but eventually each step carries you further from the noise towards?

From the desk of Sandler Boggs

What we say, what the dog hears

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I wonder sometimes.

There have over the years been a number of comic strips, books and movies that focused on the world from a pet’s point of view. Last night, as I watched our yellow lab sitting in the living room I wondered. We changed our routine a little and her response was comic. She kept staring at us in the living room as we watched TV, trying to get us to go upstairs so she could go to bed. Her girl is on spring break and the lab is struggling with putting everything together this week.

Normally during the week she can be “mad” at the girl. With the girl gone she has to be mad at someone (it’s the female yellow lab thing, “I will allow you to love me now” thing).

So she sat in the living room imploring us to go to bed and not stay downstairs.

Like I said, sometimes I wonder.

Random Dog Thoughts

  • Why do I have to wait for them to feed me
  • Hey, how come you guys get to stick your hands into the popcorn bowl and I get yelled at when I stick my face in
  • You people leave food everywhere (said as she cleans the floor)
  • (sitting head cocked looking at a specific person) seriously are you that dumb?
  • I am not sure I understand that pack hierarchy – I get that I am in charge, but which one of you humans is?
  • Barking at strangers is the same as you yakking on the phone.
  • Dog food is ok, people food is so much better
  • excuse me, my water bowl is empty (followed by tail wagging and an imploring head toss)
  • I am sorry, my food bowl is empty (followed by bouncing, tail wagging and several imploring head tosses)
  • You may love me now, (followed by a head butt to the leg and then a do stranding right in front of you refusing to “mush mush”)

,doc in the land of dogs today

How to improve productivity

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I was thinking about productivity  improvement last night. From the broad perspective of what are the core goals of product ivy improvement (get more done with less time and effort in theory). Based on that I started thinking about the things I use to do my job and I realized that I am more effective today than I was as recently as 10 months ago.

  • decrease the stress around you
  • come to work with a smile
  • Tablet computing

First of all 8 months ago if you had asked me I would have said that working with the customer I was lucky enough to work with I went to work every day with a smile. The stress at the customer site was small. The internal stress of working at MS was pretty high. Taking that away helped me become more productive. The other side of productivity is leaving the monolithic world of Microsoft technologies.

Disclaimer, I like my windows tablet a lot. I use it every day. It is however, not the best tablet I use.

  • The Ipad makes you more productive.
  • The Kindle or Nook devices make you more productive – while increasing the amount of offline information you have.

Those two changed the way I read and used information both online and offline. They make it easier to consume information and reuse that information effectively. 10 months ago I never would have known the missing pieces of the Windows Tablet story. Now I realize that the holes aren’t just in the windows platform they are pervasive throughout the stack.

Time to get rolling.


What I am thinking about…

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We got the new Soda Maker machine last night. Make your own soda at home. It was really easy to setup and we were drinking home made diet and regular pop in about 10 minutes.  We tried the pink grapefruit diet drink and the boys consumed root beer. My grandfather would be proud (for a lot of reasons) but the fact that his great grandsons love and appreciate real root beer would have made him very happy. Frankly it makes me happy to think that as well.

Ever since I was a little kid I have liked the concept of thought experiments, focusing on “how things work.”  I have tried to pass that on to my children because its always been sometimes I have enjoyed doing. The concept of solving for the answer is fun.

The problem I am thinking through now has to do with global warming. I am not sure why it popped into my head but it did on my last walk and I can’t shake it. The concept has to do with the fact that the earth is getting gradually warmer due to human pollution. It has happened before in the geologic past but not quite to the level that is happening now.

A lot of people don’t believe in global warming (which is scary) and a lot of people believe for the wrong reasons (they haven’t really thought through the concepts and process of global warming). The science in the end isn’t pretty, in fact its kind of scary. To think that much of what is the eastern seaboard of the US would be underwater is a little scary.

Anyway, its what I am thinking about.