More Marathons

Monday, November 9, 2009

This is actually Cathy writing. Eric has been so busy with work, he doesn't have much time for telling stories. But we're so proud of him, we just can't sit tight.

This weekend Eric ran his Third Marathon! He ran the Air Force Marathon back in September in 4 hours and 30 seconds, then three weeks ago, he ran the Indianapolis Marathon at Fort Ben. He ran that in 4 hours and 2 minutes.

This week it was The Monumental Marathon in Downtown Indianapolis. It was a beautiful day for a Run!

He was off to a great start! He started out slower than last time, he wanted to be under 4 hours, but thought if he started slower than last time, that he'd keep the stamina throughout.

He had lots of energy, he was happy to see us on Monument Circle ready to cheer him on! For the first few miles he was with the 3:40 pace crew.

But about 15 miles in, he was starting to feel the effects. He wasn't happy with the way the water and gatorades had been distributed. The other marathons had water and gatorade at EVERY stop. Air Force had them at like every mile or two. This one only had gatorade at a few stops, and he had passed the first few by. By the time he needed them, they were gone. He'd also not noticed that the brand of power gel they were handing out was caffeine based until his 4th bar. And if you know Eric, caffeine at Any Time is iffy, he's so sensitive to it, let alone while he's busy running a marathon. But just so you know, he didn't have much trouble falling asleep Saturday night. He was happy to see us show up again to cheer him on at Butler. We were based at 46th street, and were screaming and yelling for him!

Once he saw us at Butler, he paused to give High 5s to Chris, and even to Sam too! Though Sam had finally fallen asleep he got a pat on the hat. Eric was still going pretty well, but he'd been left behind by the 3:40 and 3:50 pace crews. He was starting to slow down.

His slow down continued. And since he was not eating/drinking right, he was having a whole lot more cramps than the last two marathons. So, he crossed the finish line at 4 hours and 32 minutes!

We were immensely proud of him. Chris couldn't wait to give his Daddy a big hug after his big "Run Run". Eric was dissapointed, he's been chasing that "elusive 4 hour mark", and really wanted to be under 4. He has been keeping up with his training, for the most part, but it's really hard when most days he's only getting 4 hours of sleep. Work has been keeping him up late for the last months, he hasn't been getting enough sleep. But the days on this icky project are numbered! And there are more marathons to chase.

Eric sporting his newest Monuemental Marathon Medal! He figures, he'll keep running this race, because he wants to be one of Those Guys. He ran their inaugural half marathon last year, and he's going to keep going with them for I don't know, 25 more years or so. Meanwhile, we were talking, Last year he ran 3 Half Marathons. This year he ran 3 Full Marathons. So next year....3 of Each!

Rookie Marathon

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I have only run this distance once, in a training run a couple of weeks ago, and that took me almost four hours and forty-five minutes. My original goal when I started training a few months ago was to finish fast enough to qualify for Boston -- though I have two additional marathons this year for that attempt -- which would require finishing in 3:15.

When we arrived at the hotel last night, I made sure to prepare everything for the morning -- Laid out the clothes I was going to run in, pinned my number to my shirt, attached my timing chip to my shoe, set my alarm, etc. The one thing I forgot was to plug in the charger for my gps/timing watch -- what Christopher calls my "running watch". I discovered this shortly after waking this morning, and of course, the watch was completely dead. I immediately put it on the charger, but by the time we were ready to head to the race, it had only been on the charger for 20 minutes. I have an adapter for the car, so I moved the charger with the watch into the car for the 30 minute drive to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from our hotel. At home, the watch stays on its charger pretty much all the time except when I'm running, so I actually have no idea how long it takes to get a full charge.

As I walked to the starting corral, they had pace teams holding up signs (that they would hold for the entire length of the race) for paces starting at a five hour finish time, in ten minute increments down to three hours -- I guess they figure if you're fast enough to finish under three hours, you don't need a pacer -- or maybe they just couldn't find anyone willing to hold up a sign for three hours and guarantee that they'll stay on pace for a sub-three hour finish. Since my original goal was 3:15, but my training had been nowhere near that, after much internal debate, I decided to start with the 3:30 group (8 minutes/mile). I figured that was close enough to my goal that if I still felt good at the halfway mark I could increase my pace enough to take a shot at 3:15, but it was slow enough that even if I couldn't keep up that pace all the way, at least I wouldn't burn myself out and have to walk or stop.

That pace felt remarkably comfortable, and I actually stayed out a little in front of the pace group. Scattered periodically around the course was the occasional band or recorded music playing. Shortly after mile 2, there was a polka band performing "Roll Out the Barrel". I heard numerous runners around me making comments about how that would be more appropriate at the end instead of the beginning. Less than a mile later was a group blasting the original theme from Gilligan's Island -- not sure what it had to do with running a marathon (3-hour tour, maybe?), but many of the folks at that hydration station were even dressed as characters from Gilligan's Island. Most races have water or Gatorade stations spread throughout their course, but I must say the Air Force Marathon does an exceptional job with their "Hydration Stations". There was a hydration station almost every mile, and every station had at least these four things: Water, Gatorade, Porta-Potties, and a Cheering Crowd. Many of them had additional items, like fruit, or sport gel, or water soaked sponges. If anyone had any medical problems as a result of lack of hydration, it would certainly be their own fault.

Between mile 4 and mile 5, my watch beeped a "Low Battery" warning on me. Great, if I'm getting the warning this early in the race, I'll be lucky if it lasts to the halfway point. After mile 7 or so, the course takes a turn off of the Base and into the small town of Fairborne, which hosts its own official Marathon Party, and much of the town comes out to cheer on the runners. Some people hold up hand-made posters to cheer on friends or family members who are running; I saw two in Fairborne that stuck with me, the first because it brought tears to my eyes, the second because it made me laugh out loud. The first one said "Good Luck Captain Jeffries! Son - Dad - Husband - Brother - Runner - Cancer Survivor - HERO", with the word "Hero" taking up over a third of the sign. The second sign said "The reason that your feet are hurting so bad is because you are kicking so much ass!" I particularly liked that sign because when it comes to the most of the signs you see along the way, they are usually motivational but cheesy, or funny but de-motivational, like the signs I saw later on the course "Running Won't Kill You, You'll Pass Out First", and "My Mascara Runs Faster Than You". Apparently its not easy to put humor and motivation in the same phrase.

btw, I didn't realize when I started typing that this post was going to be so long -- if you're seriously still reading this at this point, take a break and get some water!

We left the town and back onto the Air Force Base around mile 10, and by this point it was becoming clear that I was not going to be able to keep up my sub-3:30 pace. The pace was beginning to feel much less comfortable that it had earlier. By mile 13, I was no longer out in front of the 8 minute pace group, I was right in the thick of them, by mile 14, I was distinctly behind the 8 minute pace group, and by mile 15 I could no longer see the 8 minute pace group.

My watch was still working, and it showed my average pace as only being a little slower than 8, around 8:06 -- but of course, it was averaging my current pace with about 14 miles of running sub-8. At each mile marker I looked down at my watch to notice another 4-5 seconds had gotten tagged on to my average pace. Around mile 19, just past the hydration station calling themselves the "rock 'n roll station", the 3:40 pace team (8:24/mile) passed me like I was standing still. I forced myself to pick up my pace a bit, but couldn't catch up with them, and they eventually continued out of view.

As I approached mile 20, I began to worry that perhaps my sub-8 minute pace for the first half had been a little too aggressive -- my average pace was slowly creeping towards the 9 min/mile mark. Somewhere around here, we joined up with the folks running the half marathon. They had designed the courses so that both the full and half marathons finished their last several miles together. Now the Half started about an hour after the Full, but that meant that folks that were at this point in their half marathon were on pace to take somewhere around 3.5 to 4 hours to complete, which basically means the half marathoners who were running as fast as we were were already done, and we were now running amongst those walking the Half. Trying to dodge walkers after running more than 20 miles was not particularly pleasant -- although this task took my mind off of the pain and discomfort, and I discovered that my pace had actually improved a little -- until somewhere around mile 23, when both of my calf muscles started to cramp up. Of all the aches and fatigues I've experienced in various races and training, I've never had a muscle cramp up while I was still running. My legs almost completely locked up, and I had no choice but to shuffle to the side of the road. I did several painful stretches, and got my muscles to calm back down. I started back off walking, and finally broke back into a slow run. About this time, the 3:50 (8:45/mile) pace team passed me. At least this group didn't pass by as fast as the 3:40 team did, but it was clear that 3:50 was not going to be within my grasp. For the next mile or so I had to alternate running and walking until my legs finally loosened up enough for me to stay at a full run. I was able to stay at a full run for the last couple of miles, and then as we approached the Air Force Museum, I pushed my pace as fast as I thought I could without collapsing, and ran through the finish line with 4:00:44 on the official clock, giving me a chip time of 4:00:21 and a final pace of 9:11/mile. I haven't run a race with that slow of an average pace in 18 months -- but for my first full marathon, I'll take it.

My watch died during the drive back to the hotel.

Four weeks now to recover and prepare for my second marathon.

It Didn't Say

Friday, September 11, 2009

The challenge: Create a SharePoint Content Database programmatically that uses Windows Authentication instead of SQL Authentication.
The answer: Although poorly documented, actually surprisingly simple.

In my current project, we had the need to programmatically create a Site Collection as part of a custom coded Workflow. Since that Site Collection will be holding archived data that could grow considerably over the years, there was also a design requirement that those programmatically created Site Collections exist in their own distinct Content Database. Well, easy enough, the object model supports creating a Content Database programmatically too, and then specifying that Content Database when you create the new Site Collection. Except that none of the overloaded methods for creating a Content Database appeared to support integrated Windows Authentication -- they all had parameters for the Username and Password of the database owner. The documentation for these methods doesn't say anything beyond the self-obvious parameter descriptions (i.e. the "DatabaseUserName" parameter is described as "A string that contains the name of the owner of the database." -- and here I thought that parameter was for ordering a pizza). There are no other remarks or other information about the ContentDatabases.Add method in the documentation.

For those familiar with the GUI Administration Page for creating a Content Database, there is a lovely little radio button to let you choose between Windows Authentication and SQL Authentication, and only after/if you specify SQL Authentication are the fields enabled for entering a username and password.

So, on a whim, I decided to see what happened if I called the Add method, but passed in null values for the username and password -- and guess what - it worked - the Content Database was created with Windows Authentication. I would say it worked as advertised, except this feature wasn't advertised anywhere - which probably means it will break in SharePoint 2010: The Search for More Money.

btw, for those of you using the stsadm "addcontentdb" command, the same is apparently true, just leave off the username and password parameters to create a database that uses Windows Authentication.

Tikka Room

Friday, August 14, 2009

As you may have seen previously, we have started getting a bin of random produce delivered every two weeks. Sometimes, we get fruits and veggies that we are very familiar with and can incorporate into our weekly meal preparation without much difficulty, sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.

In our most recent bin, most everything was pretty usual: cabbage, lettuce, sweet corn, blueberries, etc. But we also received about a dozen sprigs of fresh mint. Now I've eaten recipes with a teaspoon or two of mint, but what to do with that much mint? Well, obviously some form dessert comes to mind first -- probably something with chocolate. BUT, I am not the dessert maker in the house. So, if it is up to me find the creative use for an ingredient, then most of the time I will opt for something a bit more on the savory side.

Enter: Chicken Tikka.

According to WikiPedia, this dish is South Asian, though the various sources I found on the web when figuring out how to make it were not so conclusive -- while several agreed with WikiPedia that it was Indian, some said it was Middle Eastern, and at least one even said Mediterranean.

At first glance, with several very strong-flavored ingredients, it sounds like this would be horrible, but all the flavors blended in very interesting ways to result in a very tasty, flavorful meal.

Chicken Hariyali Tikka

  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup chopped mint

  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • 4oz. can of green chilies

  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

  1. Put all ingredients except the chicken in a blender and liquefy.

  2. Put chicken chunks in a gallon-sized heavy-duty zippered storage bag.

  3. Pour the blended sauce into the bag and seal (make sure it is tightly sealed with as little air in the bag as possible.

  4. Clean everything (since you've been handling raw chicken)!

  5. From the sanitary safety of the outside of the bag, massage the sauce into the raw chicken for a few minutes.

  6. Lay the bag flat in your refrigerator approx. 8 hours or so.

  7. Skewer the hunks of chicken and grill

When all was done, we still had a couple of sprigs of mint left, so after the kiddos went to bed, we polished those off in the form of Mojitos.

My Life According to Petra

Monday, August 3, 2009

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to at least 15 people and include me. You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "my life according to (band name)"

Pick Your Artist:

Are you male or female?
Praying Man

Describe Yourself:
Computer Brains

How do you feel:
All Fired Up

Describe where you currently live:
Right Place

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Over the Horizon

Your favorite form of transportation:
Run For the Prize

Your best friends are:
I Can Be Friends With You

What is life to you:
More Than a Thousand Words

Your fear:
Blinded Eyes

What is the best advice you have to give:
Don't Let Your Heart Be Hardened

How I would like to die:
Never Say Die

My Motto:
Think Twice

Kale to the Chef

Friday, July 31, 2009

second night of experimenting with greens -- Kale.

This meal was great, in my opinion much better than the collard greens -- although it was not exactly a scientific comparison, since the recipes were considerably different, its possible that the collard greens would have been equally delicious in this recipe:

  • 1 lb. mild country sausage

  • 1/2 lb. kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

  • 1 lb. whole wheat spiral pasta

  • 1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving


  1. Cook sausage, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove kale from water with tongs and place on paper towels.

  3. Return cooking water in pot to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

  4. While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add about a cup of the reserved cooking water to skillet, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined.

  6. Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water if desired.

  7. Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.

based mostly on this recipe from here. The original called for cooking the sausage in olive oil -- seriously? Since when does sausage need extra fat? Now maybe if I was going to use ground turkey or something, I might add the oil, but in this case I left it out. I also had no need of adding chicken broth -- it already suggested using the kale-y, noodle-y, boiling water, so I just added a little extra and skipped having to open a can of chicken broth just to get 2/3 cup.

With greens and whole wheat pasta, this dish would probably be whole lot healthier with a leaner ground meat, though that may significantly impact the flavor -- that experiment will have to wait for another day.

It Ain't Easy Eating Greens

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For those of you who follow my wife's blog, you know we took delivery of our first bin from Farm Fresh Delivery this past week. Basically a bin of random produce. So while there were some typical things we knew what to do with (cherries, green pepper, pluots, etc.), there were a couple of things that neither of us had ever prepared before. Namely, Collard Greens, and Kale.

Today, we experimented with the Collard Greens. Here is our recipe:

1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
8 oz diced ham
3/4 cup vinegar
3 cups water
1/2 cup splenda (or sweetener of your choice)

Mix everything in the crock-pot, and cook on low for 6 hours.

note: we left out the jalapeno, only because Samuel reacts badly to nursing after Cathy consumes hot peppers.

It turned out pretty good -- not necessisarily mouth-wateringly delicious, but it was pleasantly edible.

The Jawing Bone

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In advertising today's featured sales item, offered some nice poetic parodies. Since woot products change at least daily, the poems will likely be gone within a few hours. So, I am plagiaristically copying my favorite to preserve here. Had bluetooth headsets existed at the time, I am sure Robert Frost's Mending Wall would have looked more like this:

Jawing Bone
Frosty Snow

Something there is that doesn’t love a Bluetooth headset,
That sends one’s hands towards the chattering throat
To shake the voice out of the wearer in the sun
And shove that headset into the smallest gap one can find.
While mending the gaps in my chainlink fence
I heard my neighbor’s voice from the field beyond
And thinking he spoke to me, turned in humble greeting;
But the jerk was just chattering on his headset
About whatever stupid crap matters to stupid crapheads
To a fellow tool somewhere far off, unseen, but no doubt
Also getting on everybody’s nerves around him.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his stupid,
Empty, ugly, loud, obnoxious, self-centered, smug,
Pompous, asinine, ignorant, childish, annoying head:
“Bluetooth users make lousy neighbors.”

Virtually Possible

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just in case there is anyone out there who, like me, encountered difficulties trying to get Microsoft's Virtual PC working on the Windows 7 RC -- the short version of this post is, it does work, and works well. If you're having problems, read on to see my trials and tribulations which will hopefully get you on the right track too.

First, yes, I have been running the Windows 7 Release Candidate for a couple weeks now, and love it. It blows Vista away (and all jokes about Vista's catastrophe aside, it did have plenty of good features). Seriously, Windows 7 is not just a fixed Vista, it's pretty cool in its own right (will eventually post lengthier thoughts on Win7, but don't want to digress too much here). If you're thinking about upgrading from XP in the near future, I'd skip Vista, and go straight to Windows 7.

Second, if you visit the official Virtual PC site (, you get a lovely little microsite dedicated to telling you all about the new Windows Virtual PC beta (notice it's now "Windows" Virtual PC, instead of "Microsoft" Virtual PC), the "Windows XP Mode" (which is basically a shortcut way of launching a given application inside a Windows XP virtual machine), and download links to all the goodies. Both of which are currently available either as built-in features of Windows 7, or as free downloads for Windows 7, depending on when you downloaded your pre-release version of Windows 7, though its expected to be packaged as features when Windows 7 offically releases. So, I download Windows Virtual PC beta and get started.

Unfortunately, the new Virtual PC only supports "hardware assisted virtualization". What is that? ( Basically, it is technology built into newer CPU's that allow running virtual machines through Virtual PC or VMWare or other Virtual platforms make better/optimal use of the real hardware. In previous versions of Virtual PC, it's been an option to take advantage of "hardware assisted virtualization" if your hardware supports it. In this version, Virtual PC does absolutely nothing if your hardware does not support "hardware assisted virtualization". If your CPU has the necessary support, you are likely already up and running with the new Virtual PC. Unfortunately, my 2-year-old laptop did not have the necessary CPU support.

So, I notice that there is a link on the same site for the current "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007", just in case you're not running Windows 7 yet. Under the supported platforms, it says nothing about whether or not this version will run on Windows 7 -- it says that this is for people running some version of XP or Vista. Well, I already know that the version intended for Windows 7 doesn't work for me, so let's take a stab at Virtual PC 2007. It downloads and installs just fine (which I take as a good sign, since Windows 7 has so far warned me anytime I have installed something that is not compatible with it). Unfortunately, when I launch it, it gives me an annoying little message that Virtual PC 2007 is not compatible with my current platform and promptly shuts down. I was virtually unhappy.

So, I do what any other geek would do, and start google-ing for hacks that will let one of these run on my system. Of cource, since both Windows 7, and Windows Virtual PC are both so new, I am not getting much. Almost all my google results are people trying to run Windows 7 inside a virtual machine on some other platform. That doesn't help me.

Finally, I run into an post from someone (sorry, lost the link) who for some unknown reason was trying to get both "Windows Virtual PC" and "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007" to both work side-by-side on Windows 7. His trouble was that although he had the appropriate hardware to run the new Virtual PC on Win7, he couldn't get VPC 2007 to run side-by-side -- he was getting the same "not compatible with your current platform" message that I was getting. Ne noted that VPC 2007 WAS working on his Win7 machine until he installed the new VPC. hmmmm.

So I uninstall both Virtual PC 2007, and the Windows Virtual PC beta (rebooting after each). Then I re-install just Virtual PC 2007. Viola, it works, and I am virtually pleased. And apparently, if I had just ignored Microsoft's suggestion that I need the new VPC for Win7, and gone with VPC 2007 in the first, I would have had no troubles.

So my advice to you? If you have not yet installed any flavor of VPC on your Win7 machine, first check whether your CPU supports "hardware assisted virtualization" ( If it Does, then go with the new "Windows Virtual PC" for Win7. If it does Not, then install the standard "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007".

If you've already found out the hard way, as I did, that virtualization just isn't working on your Windows 7 box, then un-install all the flavors of VPC you have, then re-install "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007". You should be virtually good to go.


Monday, May 18, 2009

So, last fall I ran two Half marathons in the span of two weeks (Oct. 18 and Nov. 1). My time for the second was 45 seconds slower than my time for the first -- 4 seconds per mile slower. My combined time for the two was 3:21:16. At the time, I was averaging about 30-35 miles per week training.

So, I decided to attempt the same again this spring, on my road to eventually running a full Marathon. I ran "The Mini" in under 1:36 (about 5 minutes better than last fall), so clearly I had improved at least a little over the winter. However, the biggest difference has been since Samuel was born in March, I have only been averaging 15-20 miles per week. Doesn't sound like a big difference, but apparently it makes a big difference in how one's body is able to recover from a half marathon race. I ran my second Half marathon this weekend, the Geist Half Marathon ("race around the resevoir" -- although we could only see glimpes of the resevoir every few miles, most of the view was of the mcMansions near it) -- and it took me 1:50. That's more than a minute slower than two weeks ago, and a combined time of 3:25:52 -- so despite running the "The Mini" in Personal Best, I ran the Geist Half in my second-worst-half-marathon-time-ever.

And it was brutal.

The course was definitely more hilly than most others I have run, but I am pretty sure that my poor time was due more to not being fully recovered from the previous race than from the course conditions. The Indianapolis Half at Fort Harrison had similar hills, and I did that one in about 1:40. I ran the first 5K in just under 21 minutes -- on pace to do better than two weeks ago, but I could already feel my body telling me it couldn't keep this pace up. So I slowed down a little -- I ran the next couple miles at about 7:30 each, then somewhere shortly after the Five mile marker, I Hit The Wall. My body stopped running, despite my best efforts to keep it going. I walked for about the next half mile or so, took it easy at the next water station, until I could just barely see the Six mile marker in the distance. I forced myself back to a jog. I struggled to keep my pace in the low 8's for the next few miles -- slowing way down at each water station, but trying to get under 8 between stations, then had to walk again somewhere between mile Nine and mile Ten. As I approach mile Ten, I forced myself back to a run, but stopped paying attention to my pace. For the last three miles, I just forced myself to keep running, trying to go as "fast" as I could, just trying not to stop and walk anymore -- and it Hurt pretty much every step. My official finish time was 1:50:12 -- an average pace of 8:25. Most of the time, I really enjoy running -- but I think the last half of that race is the first time I can definitely say I was Not having fun.

I guess I need to make sure my weekly mileage is up to grade before trying to multiple long races so close together again -- Ugh!

Playing House

Friday, May 8, 2009

updated 04.Aug.2010: New floor plan design supercedes this one.

Another step towards building our dream home -
We finally "completed" our pipe dream floor plan. I think we've spend about four months working on this, making sure it meets all of our Wants, and makes the best use of the lot (the lot is 132 feet wide). See bottom of the post for the floor plans and link to the pdf being used for bid requests. Here is a rendering of the exterior:

Yes, it's quite possible that after this gets turned into blueprints and we get a true cost estimate that it will be beyond our budget range, but we're starting with our dream and will pare down if necessary. We are hoping that between being our own general contractor, and doing some of the actual labor ourselves, we might get the cost into our range -- but only research and bids will tell us for sure.

Beginning today, I am sending this to multiple firms for bids on design and framing packages.

If anyone is interested, this pdf contains the full floor plan and elevations that I am sending out for bid -- in fact, if any other vendors happen to see this post and wish to bid on the design, engineering, and framing package, your bid will be given due consideration.

Main Floor
Second Floor
Full Plans and Elevations Here

Two Strikes

Monday, May 4, 2009

So, I had three goals for my running for 2009:

1) Qualify for "Corral A" seeding for the 500 mini-marathon.
2) Be one of the top 500 finishers of the 500 mini-marathon.
3) Qualify for the Boston Marathon.

While I turned in multiple race times that qualified me for "Corral B", I was always a bit short of the top level. Strike One.

This Saturday, I completed the mini-marathon in 1:35:40 -- about 7 minutes shy of the 500th finisher. Strike Two.

I suppose I could blame it on the inconsistent weather at the beginning of the year, or having a newborn baby that plays havoc with sleep schedules, but the bottom line has been that for the past 6 months or so, my training has not been as strong or as intense as it had been last summer, and I have not improved as much as I had targeted.

Still, I know I should be pleased with the results. As many of you know, up until a couple of years ago, I was one the most Non-Athletic people you've ever met. As a kid, I was always the scrawny wimpy kid who got picked last for the kickball team. As my metabolism shifted in college, I became the fat guy who wouldn't even wander near the kickball team. I've gone from getting winded walking across the house to running 13.1 miles in under 96 minutes. This whole running-thing is still fairly new and exciting and I am improving by strides (pun intended). But, repeatedly falling "just shy" of my targeted goals is frustrating.

Before I switch my training into "full-marathon" mode, I will be running the Geist Half Marathon in less than two weeks. In order to qualify for Boston, I will need to run a full marathon in under 3:15 -- as a gauge to my progress, since I am running two half-marathons within a two week period, I am targeting a combined time from the two halves to be under that 3:15. Since I ran "the mini" in under 1:36, that means running the Geist Half in under 1:39.

Currently, my first scheduled 26.2-mile race is the Indianapolis Marathon in October. With my three month training plan, I would theoretically be ready to run my first Full in August or September -- unfortunately, Summer does not seem to have a wealth of Marathon opportunities, at least not in this part of country. There is one in mid-September in Dayton, but would require an overnight stay before the race, which raises the cost of participation considerably beyond the base entry fee.

Ran a two-mile "recovery run" this morning -- it was pretty brutal, nearly 19 minutes to complete those two miles, but I feel much better and looser than I did before the run. Hopefully I can be back to race condition in time for Geist.

Daddy Again

Friday, March 27, 2009

Been trying to keep the baby's blog and pictures up to date -- but figured I ought to post here too, just in case there's anyone out there that follows my blog but not the rest of the family.

Our second child, Samuel Elijah Willman was born yesterday at 7:55 am. For more details and more pictures, check out his site at

Spring Forward

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So, tonight, I presented our petition to the Brownsburg Town Council to get approval for running town water and sewer lines to "our" lot.

This was critical to determining "site suitability" -- fitting a septic system on this lot is going to be difficult due to the easement along the back, and would probably put limitations on the size and/or shape of our potential house, not to mention the fact that most of the trees would have to be cleared to install a septic system. So getting connected to sewer utility would not only be simpler, but also save lots of trees and leave us with more freedom for determining a home design.

The petition basically consisted of three parts -- the first part of the petition is the main body that asks for access to utility lines, and says we agree to incur the cost of extending the lines and connection (by the way, the ballpark cost of extending the utility lines to our lot is roughly equivalent to the cost of getting a well and septic system). I won't bore you with the specifics, but it's basically just a standard legal form that we signed.

The second part is the only part where we got to write anything. This is the part that explains where the lot is "in legal terms" and describes how and where utilities can get in. Below is the image used on this page, or you can download the entire page here.

The third part basically says that we agree not to remonstrate (fight) against annexation if they choose to annex the property into the town limits. This neighborhood is under the umbrella of a potential plan to annex four neighborhoods on the north side of Brownsburg, that would include a unique pressurized small diameter main sewage system -- and that would inlude a significant fee per property owner being annexed. This has been in the works for three years, so who knows when/if it is going to occur. I was told that by signing this part of the petition, we would be obligated to pay this fee (should it eventually come) even if we had already run our own utility lines. We figure this is still worth the value of getting municipal utilities instead of well/septic.

Unfortunately, the Council was unsure that this third section truly "legally" obligated us to pay this fee -- and they want to make sure that we cannot fight that project if it progresses. So they unanimously granted "conditional" approval -- contingent on my signing an ammendment drafted by the town attorney that specifically speaks to the fees associated with the potential project.

So we mostly have good news, and once we get the final approval for the financing, we should be able to close on the deal!

I ran over a snowman under my bed because I'm sexy and I do what I want

Don't spoil the fun, and keep it going............ Type out the sentence you end up with in the TITLE of your post and tag your friends.

This one was too good to pass up!

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena with
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 ----------- In a hole
4 ----------- Under your bed
5 ----------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I can.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

Now type out the sentence you made, in the TITLE line and tag your friends!

I can't wait to see what you get stuck with!

It Will Come To You, This Love of the Land

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Okay, I'm not Irish, and it isn't quite Tara, but this little 0.57 acre lot is likely the closest we'll ever get to living on a plantation.

As some of you have read on our Facebook posts, my wife and I recently made an offer on a residential lot in Brownsburg -- and after a couple of back-and-forths, the offer was accepted. We have 60 days to determine if the site is suitable for our home-building desires. Since it is zoned residential and located in a platted subdivision, "site suitability" primarily revolves around water/sewer utilities or determining feasibility of well and septic.

In case this blog wasn't erratically eclectic enough, I will post our progress and trials and errors on here. Starting with this process of determining suitability, and assuming this leads to final closure on the deal, continuing with logging the process around building our "dream home" on this property.

Checking for septic essentially involves two steps -- both of which will cost us money on a property that could potentially be found unsuitable. The first step is getting health department approval for septic system in general -- this involves at least a couple of different soil tests (that we have to pay an engineer to perform). If anything in those tests are "iffy", the health department could require additional tests before making a determination. Then, we would need engineering work to determine the size and type of septic system we would need and whether or how it could physically fit on the lot and how big of a house we would then have room for.

So, ideally, we would prefer to get connected to municipal water and sewer utilities. While the approval process for municipal utilities shouldn't cost us anything (the actually connection will cost us plenty, if we get approved), the approval/denial process may take up to several weeks (depending on our timing and town countil agendas). In our original offer, we had specified 120 days for determining suitability, which would not only give us enough time to fully pursue utilities, but if that process fails to give satisfactory results, we would still have had plenty of time to perform the tests for septic/well. Unfortunately, the current owner did not want to leave the property off the market that long -- which we can fully understand, but the eventual compromise of 60 days cuts our options short. We will pretty much need to work down both routes at the same time, paying for the tests, even though we may potentially get utilities.

Easement: Good News, Bad News. There is a 45 foot deep easement running the entire length of the back of the property. This is one of the main reasons why we are unsure if a septic system will even fit on the lot -- once you subtract the 30-40 foot setback, 45 foot easement, and room for a house, that doesn't leave a huge amount of space for a sprawling septic system -- especially since any part of the septic system needs to be at least 50 feet away from the well. The good news is that this easement increases the likelyhood that we can get town utilities -- the easement runs along the backs of the adjacent properties as well, so it may make the extension of utility lines "easier".

I have spoken with both the Town Planning Director and Town Manager this week, and both seem optimistic that utility connectivity will be feasible, so we're keeping our fingers crossed, but there's still plenty of research to do before we know for sure.

Give Us a Few Minutes to Lock it Down. Large Leak, Very Dangerous.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In This Post:
  1. What is Lockdown mode?

  2. When would I want to use it and when would I Not?

  3. Caveats and quirks when switching Lockdown mode on/off (enabling/disabling).

  4. Doing a partial or custom Lockdown.


So I've been struggling for about a week trying to allow anonymous users to be able to post to a Sharepoint List.
The Site was already configured for anonymous access (TechNet article on configuring anonymous access), and anonymous users were successfully navigating throughout the site -- but try to go to a page with a form that posts to a list -- or even to the default List view itself, and it would prompt for credentials and deny access.

Lockdown Mode

Turns out there's this little hidden Feature (literally, the xml definition of the Feature marks it as hidden, so it won't show up on the Sharepoint Administration GUI for enabling/disabling installed Features), called "Lockdown". Most of the time, this Feature is disabled unless an administrator explicitly enables it -- the exception being if you base your site on the Publishing template, then it is enabled by default.
The purpose of this feature is to hide certain non-friendly/admin type pages from anonymous users. For the "official" details on Lockdown mode, including the stsadmin commands for enabling/disabling this feature, hit this TechNet article. So, for example, the "View all site Content" (ViewLsts.aspx) page -- under most circumstances, all users can see this page. If your site is configured for anonymous access, then even anonymous users can see this page. Permissions still work correctly, if the user clicks on a link from the All Site Content page to something they don't have permission for, it does correctly deny access -- but if you're really trying to make your site a public/anonymous access site, you probably wouldn't want them to even see this page. Hence the Lockdown feature, and hence why it is turned on by default on Publishing sites.
Unfortunately, this also has the side effect of blocking anonymous users from Lists. Arrg!

When to Use (or Not) Lockdown

Now, some of you are reading this and saying
"Aha! Lockdown! Brilliant! That's exactly what I need!", and some of you are saying
"Arg! Lockdown! $@*{#&%! That's the source of all my problems!"
If you are using Sharepoint solely for its content management features for a public/anonymous site, then Lockdown from lists, admin pages, and other forms is exactly what you want -- but if you want to take advantage of some (or even just one) of Sharepoint's other features on your anonymous site, you'll probably want to ditch Lockdown (and yes, if you read further, I'll tell you how to do a kind of "partial" Lockdown).

Problems with the Lockdown Switch

So here comes the real fun part -- after disabling the Lockdown Feature, it didn't seem to take affect! Everything still acted as though it was in Lockdown. After trial and error and some Googling, I found that whenever you change this Feature, you have to then disable and then re-enable Anonymous access for the Site before the change takes affect (or use the brute force method and reboot your whole farm). Fine and dandy, but then it still didn't seem to affect List access -- which was the whole reason I wanted to disable this feature in the first place. This sent me back to just "playing" with permission settings, turning the Lockdown Feature on/off and just generally spinning my wheels, until, suddenly, something I did gave anonymous users access to the List. So then I started backtracking to figure out what I did. Turns out that if your List is NOT inheriting permissions from parent (i.e. you have customized the List permissions), then it does not pick up the change in the Lockdown Feature. Similar to the Site level anonymous access, you have to revert the permissions to "Inherit from Parent" before the change in the Lockdown Feature takes affect on that List. In my case, I want anonymous users to be able to Add to the List, so I have to break inheritance on permission in order to grant them write access, but if we change the Lockdown feature, we will have to once again revert the list to Inherit, and then back to customized permissions for the Lockdown change to take affect. So, finally, I had anonymous write access to my Lists.

Partial Lockdown

Trouble was, now anonymous users had access to ViewLsts.aspx, and a couple of other things we would rather them not. There's no configuration to the Lockdown Feature, it's either On or Off (If there's anyone from the MS Sharepoint Dev team that happens to stumble across this article, being able to configure which parts of Lockdown are enabled, and maybe even doing it through the GUI for those with command-line-aphobia would be a nice-to-have).
So I reverted to the "old fashioned" .Net technique: edit the web.config file. Within the configuration section, you can place a location element that specifies Deny access to unknown/anonymous users. If you search in your web.config, there is likely already similar entries made by Sharepoint.
  <location path="_layouts/viewlsts.aspx">
<deny users="?" />

In the path attribute, you can specify a specific page/file, or a whole directory (no trailing slash) -- although wildcard characters in the filename did not seem to work (actually caused parsing errors). All paths are relative to the root of the Site.
Use it with caution, and test the result -- I tried locking down the entire "_layouts" folder, since our custom form for the List resided with the rest of our content under Pages, but weird promptings for credentials occurred even on pages that did not exist under "_layouts".
Note that [users="?"] means unknown/anonymous users, [users="*"] means All users. Deny access in the web.config trumps any permissions/access configured in Sharepoint.
A slight drawback, note that if you have multiple front-end web servers hosting this Site in your Sharepoint infrastructure, you will need to copy the web.config file to each of them.

25 Random Things

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been tagged on this enough times, I decided to finally do it:

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (or however many friends you have...) then click publish.

  1. I am a father of a three-year-old and minus-one-month-old boys.

  2. I have been married for almost eleven years.

  3. I am not really comfortable talking about "me" -- at least not insightfully. I have a slight suspicion that one of the reasons my wife pestered me into joining Facebook was so that I would have to fill out things like this.

  4. I had never been good at, or enthused at partaking in, sports or athletic activities, until I became a running addict at 33 years old.

  5. I am a geek. My father brought home our first family computer (the original IBM PC) when I was seven, and I wrote my first computer program in BASIC when I was nine.

  6. Most of my family beat me to the social web -- my wife, my mother, my in-laws, my cousins, all were on facebook and myspace and twitter and had blogs long before me.

  7. The only posessions that I have ever been genuinely jealous of, or coveted, is other people's homes and their yards. I would be willing to drive a clunker, dress in rags, and give up tv for the rest of my life if it would help me afford to own a 8000 square foot home with a 20-acre yard.

  8. Upon waking, I almost never remember my dreams -- but when I do, its usually because they were either extremely bizzare or extremely disturbing, or both.

  9. If I could afford to travel, I would like to go (likely in this order): Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland, China, Australia, Italy, Spain, Egypt, and Antartica.

  10. I store all my blue and brown socks in one drawer, and the blacks and grays in a second, with white/casual socks split between them. This way I can grab the right socks in the dark without waking my wife.

  11. I was so thin for most of my childhood, even a bit into college, that when I started gaining weight, I considered myself a skinny guy with a just a bit of a "gut". It took several years of being overweight (and expanding) before I realized I was actually a fat guy. After a couple of years of roller coaster weight management attempts, I have since managed to return to my high school weight.

  12. I ran my first race in February of 2008, and have run numerous since, including three half-marathons. I have a goal of turning in a full marathon run this year that will qualify me for the 2010 Boston Marathon.

  13. Probably around 75% of the women I had dated in my life were in marching band. I met my wife through the Butler Marching Band -- she was playing Cymbals, I was marching Bass Drum (they had enough saxophones, but were short on percussion, and it stuck). Actually, we were initially introduced by Rachel Northcott, who I was dating at the time, and who was also in Marching Band.

  14. "My" first car was my parents' 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser Station Wagon. White with laminated "wood" panneling. My second was their gun-metal gray 1986 Dodge Caravan. The first car I ever owned myself was a gray 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis. My first truly New car, was a teal 1997 Geo Tracker.

  15. I was a newspaper carrier for six years.

  16. We are in the process of making an offer on a half acre lot, where we hope to build our "dream home" -- by doing the contracting, and much of the work ourselves.

  17. I consider "Die Hard" to be a classic Christmas movie.

  18. My wife and I discovered that we both were in Maui at the same time during high school, a couple years before we had met.

  19. I don't particularly like to drink pop (soda). I especially dislike basic colas (coke, pepsi, etc.). In general I prefer water and milk to most other non-alcoholic beverages. On the more leaded front, I prefer dry red wines, dark/stout/guiness-like beers, and jagermeister.

  20. I think our whole system of taxation is flawed. Income taxes, property taxes, capital gains, etc. -- all of it should be thrown away for the Fair Tax (see

  21. My wife and I lived in southern California (near LA) for two years. Although I like to travel and visit new places, those two years taught me that I want to live in Indiana. I love living near my family.

  22. My wife and I struggled with infertility for several years -- nearly every visit to a doctor had brought some more bad news about the likelyhood of conceiving. When my wife called me to meet at my workplace to talk with me about the OB appointment she had just had, all sorts of worst case scenarios played through my head, like cancer and hysterectomies and whatnot. When she pulled up and told me she was pregnant, the combination of shock, joy, and relief sent me into hysterical laughter.

  23. I love hot & spicy foods. At any given time, I have around 6-9 different types of hot sauces open in the fridge. I grow hot peppers in our little garden most years, and every few years get around to making and bottling my own hot sauces.

  24. Back in elementary school when we chose what instrument we wanted to play in band, my parents really wanted me to play trumpet, but I wanted to be "different", and chose the saxophone. After some grumbling, my parents supported my decision and got me a used saxophone and private lessons. I really enjoy playing the sax, but sometimes I have a tinge of regret and wish I could join my father, brothers, uncle, and cousins when they play trumpet ensembles at church and family gatherings.

  25. I usually gloss over the many web-based advertisements like wallpaper, but the various "Get Rich with Google" ads that keep showing up on the Facebook sidebar are really making me twitchy.

Why Am I Drippings With Goo?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is why I don't like to bake. Somehow, I always end up with a much greater mess, both on myself and all over the kitchen, when engaged in baking, that in just about any other form of culinary jujitsu.

I actually do most of the cooking in our house, but I normally leave the baking to my wife. She has a much more defined sweet-tooth than I, and so thus appreciates the baked goods more than I as well. But she has reached a point in her pregnancy, combined with high blood pressure and pre-pregnancy-back-problems, that she can no longer stay on her feet long enough to complete a baking project.

And here we were stuck with two Amish Friendship Bread starters. And yes, before anyone mentions it -- I know that Amish Friendship Bread was not Actually started by the Amish.

So, my wife suggested that I make bread out of our two starters. Knowing that I have a tendency to "stray" from recipes and conduct "experiments" when I cook, she thought I would be more inclined to bake if I knew that there were countless variations to the original Amish Friendship Bread that I could attempt.

Well, she was right. When I first heard her suggestion to make the bread myself, I mustered just enough enthusiasm to not sound like the ungrateful-husband-of-a-pregnant-lady-who-still-thinks-his-wife-should-be-in-the-kitchen-kind-of-guy. But upon her suggestion, I Googled for "Amish Friendship Bread Variations".

Ah, the beauty.

With several thousand resources returned for ways to make "unique" Amish Bread, I was more intrigued. Unfortunately, while we had the basic necessary ingredients (eggs, flour, sugar, etc.), we did not just happen to have all the ingredients necessary for many of these variations -- at least not the most interesting sounding ones. So after comparing what we did have in the pantry with numerous variations, true to form, I decided to experiment.

That's one more thing I don't like about baking. If I'm cooking something on the stove-top, and I throw in a little of this and some more of that, I can taste it as I am going to ensure that its not entirely awful. Unfortunately, when baking, I will just have to wait 'til it comes out to see if its edible or not.

The loaves of Bread are baking as I type. I might be tempted to taste-test when they emerge from the oven, but it's already way past my bedtime, so it is likely that they won't be quality controlled until morning. Besides, my wife (who crashed two hours ago) is much more the connoisseur of these sorts of things, and can give a much better assessment than I. We will be sure to leave comments to this post after giving the Breads due consideration.

For the record (in case it turns out worth repeating - or if not, then perhaps a warning of what not to try), here is what I did to the Bread:

Quadruple Chocolate
Amish Friendship Bread

  • Omit the cinnamon

  • Omit the Vanilla Extract

  • Substitute 1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix instead of the Vanilla

  • add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

  • After mixing up the batter, instead of sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans, sprinkle 1/4 of a jar of Chocolate Jimmies on the bottom and sides of each pan (using a total of 1/2 of the jar)

  • Pour in the batter, and sprinkle the remaining Chocolate Jimmies on the tops of the two loaves.

White Chocolate Raspberry
Amish Friendship Bread

  • Omit the Cinnamon

  • Substitute a box of White Chocolate Instant Pudding for the vanilla

  • add 1 cup mini-marshmallows

  • After mixing up the batter, instead of sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans, sprinkle 1/2 box of raspberry jello powder on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans (using the whole box between the two pans)

  • Pour in the batter, and sprinkle another box of raspberry jello over the tops of the two loaves.

My Crazy Loaves of Amish Friendship Bread

Paper Anniversary

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Today is the annivesary of the first official running race I competed in. I ran that first 5K a year ago in 32:06 for a pace of 10:20 per mile. That was the beginning of an addiction -- I ran 14 different races in 2008, including four 10K races and three half-marathons.

I ran today's 5K in 21:14, for a pace of 6:50 per mile. That was about 40 seconds per mile slower that my original goal for this race (a goal that I set last fall), but I suppose considering the illnesses I've battled this winter combined with difficulty of getting outside in the ice and cold, I shouldn't be too disappointed.

My goal is still to turn in a time that will qualify me for the top starting corral for the 500 festival mini-marathon in May. I have two more races for that attempt before the seeding cut-off date. I can achieve that goal by running either a 6:18 mile in the Polar Bear five-mile on February 21, or a 6:26 mile in the 500 festival 10K training run on March 7. Hopefully with the weather getting better, I can get back to full training schedule.

It Has to Hurt if it's to Heal

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

There's No Such Thing as an Organization That is Too Big to Let Fail ...
... what's more dangerous is helping a cancerous growth stay alive.

I am sure there are plenty of people out there who will disagree with this post, so feel free to rant-back in your comments...

Enough with the stupid Stimulus and Bailout packages already -- after the hundreds of Billions of dollars we've already thrown at the ailing economy, has it not gotten through someone/anyone's thick skull yet that bailouts are not going to solve the problem?

The economy doesn't want an extended recession, it just wants to "correct itself" -- or at least it would if we would quit screwing with bailouts.

Yes the economy had been "growing healthily" until the "banking crisis", but at least part of that growth was illusionary. What led to the "banking crisis" was years of bad loans and irresponsible debt being allowed. That was artificially propping up the continual rises in consumer spending, and consumer price indexes, and what not. If you keep loaning money to individuals/institutions who don't have the collateral or the means to pay it back, then you are artificially providing a means for them to "spend" and grow the economy with money they should not have had.

Eventually, that artificial growth would have imploded on itself, and the market would have gradually returned to the (slightly slower) growth rate that it should have had.

Yes, that implosion would have hurt. Yes, lots of people would have lost their jobs. Yes, corporations would have been shut down. BUT, then the healing would have started and the economy would right itself as everything slowly (maybe still a little painfully) recovered. Unfortunately, we decided that if we threw 700 Billion dollars at the problem, we could prohibit the implosion and save the world. But you know what? We needed that implosion! Those stupid stimulus packages are just gradually peeling the bandage off millimeter by millimeter instead of just ripping it off. And you know what, people are losing their jobs anyway, corporations are shutting down anyway -- it isn't helping anything, but we just keep dragging it on and on by wastefully throwing money at the organizations that should just be allowed to implode.

It we had not started down the road of stimulus packages and bailouts, we would have already seen the worst and already be on the road to recovery. At this point we have only postponed the inevitable. The economy can't even begin to heal itself yet, because we've haven't let it implode yet. We just keep playing with the gangrenous economic tissue and keep hoping we can halt the necrotic spread -- it's time to let that limb go!

We need to stop picking the scab on the economy, and let it heal.

Social Evolution

Monday, February 2, 2009

So I cracked under the peer pressure and joined Facebook.

My family (mostly my wife) have been bugging me for several months to get on Facebook. Even my mother mentioned yesterday that of all the first cousins in my family, my brother and I are the only ones Not on Facebook.

I am not a social creature by nature, I much prefer to stay in my own little Geek world, and occasionally poke my head out of my shell for close friends and family. But becoming more extroverted (or pretending to be more extroverted) is something I have worked on over many years, and so I finally decided the Social Web was the next step. Who'd have thought that something as geeky and technical as the Internet would actually encourage people to interact socially.

I guess there's just something appealing in being able to socialize without actually being around people.

The First Transport is Away

Sunday, February 1, 2009

So, I've finally broken down and started a blog.

Yes, I know I'm arriving about five years late to the whole Social Web party -- you'd think I was geeky enough to have hopped on this train long before it left clarksville. Problem was, every time over the years that I planned on starting a blog, I'd start considering what "kind" of blog I should write: should I write one of those technical blogs like many of my collegues with lengthy diatribes on the benefits of the Boolean Anti-Binary Least-Square Approach? Should I write about the adventures of family life and fatherhood and struggling-to-fix-the-jiggling-toilet-handle problem? Since I'm involved in Brownsburg Politics, perhaps I should write a Political Blog? Since I've taken up Running, maybe I should have a blog about my trials and errors with training regimens and chafing problems and muscle pains? Now that I am the director of the Handbell Choir at our church, perhaps a blog centered around the fine art of handbell ringing would be just the thing?

The list would go on and on, depending on where I was at that point in my life, and what my major focuses were at the time. I would come to the conclusion that I needed to start like seven or eight different blogs for all the topics I wanted to cover. And of course, the thought of having to keep up with posting on so many different blogs was so daunting, that the whole project would just get shoved aside until I had "some free time".

So I am starting one (1) blog. Just one. One day you may see a funny story about something my son and I did. The next you may see a lengthy rant about something in Brownsburg Town Government. And then you might find a bunch of .Net Code posted asking if anyone knew how to apply the Abstract Geometric Strategic Command Adapter architectural design pattern.

But I promise to Label/Tag every post as accurately as possible. I have organized the layout so that Labels for the post appear immediately under the title, so you can quickly leave my blog if you find that my most recent post is a topic that is of no interest to you, and I have provided quick links on the left hand side to the most popularly used labels (yes, I know its kinda bare right now, there's only one label so far).

In the end, this whole thing may be about as useful and constructive as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie, but at least I can now hold my head up high because I have a blog too, just like the rest of the world.
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