August 30, 2011

U.Va. is all in on Climategate cover-up | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner

U.Va. is all in on Climategate cover-up | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner


I love my job.  Every day I have members (customers) asking questions around something they want to be able to do with a computer.  More times then not I can offer them solutions they have not considered.  Most times this results in a sale now, sometimes a sale later.  Always, it results in another conversation with the same member at a later time.

While keeping up with the latest hardware requires a bit of investigation, keeping up with accessories can be daunting.  I haunt the various new tech websites and magazines.  Still something new will slip by me in a disconcerting manner.  The Knowledge base builds upon itself in an interesting manner.  Knowing what something can do makes learning what something new will do a quick understanding.

One of those things that snuck by me is WiDi (or Wireless Display).  Most televisions can be hooked up to a computer.  The picture quality will depend upon the resolution of the graphic card there within. Given that you have adequate hardware, you can then have a super-sized monitor for your entertainment needs.

This requires a cable, tethering you to the TV, which can be annoying and problematic.  Enter WiDi!

With a box hooked up to your monitor and the capacity on your PC you only need to be in the same room to broadcast sans wire.  So you plop your laptop onto the coffee table and start the slide show!  or Hulu up lost episodes of "lost" or something.

You can even hook this up to a projector for a presentation.  It is just a cool idea.

August 09, 2011

August 07, 2011

Book stores

So Borders Books is closing down their storefronts.  It is a sad time to their remaining customers and those who sat inside, reading books and never purchasing.  

I recall an outcry from the populace when the big book stores started displacing the mom and pop stores of yesteryear.  There was even a Tom Hanks movie about this very issue.  They had a sales model that did not keep up with the times.  You can read many analysts reasons for the giant going under.

My mind goes to the "whats next" arena.  Amazon and other online stores are starting to find governments interference causing a change in the way they do business.  E-readers are taking a toll from the printed page as well. 

August 02, 2011

Mount Thielsen

One of the surprising things about Roseburg is the elevation.  It just seems higher then 500 feet. Douglas County goes from the ocean to the High Cascades.  The highest point is Mount Thielsen  at 9,184 feet.  I climbed it at 50 years old.

When I lost my weight, I started looking for challenges. Recapturing youth?  Sure... why not?  Ego? Okay...  Things I always wanted to do? All of the above, plus plenty more upon reflection.

Turning 50 has been a bit of tumult.  There is some disbelief that a half century has passed. Then again, I am really happy with my life.  I am just in such a good place with good people that turning 50 is much more sweet then bitter.

Anyway - Last year I was thinking of climbing Mt. Thielsen for my 50th.  With the start of summer and all the planning and being included in plans, I kind of shunted that goal to the side.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking of ways to get up there.

So my birthday came and Tina, true to form, planned a number of fun things.  My co-workers were very gracious in accolades. I had a fun outing at a karaoke bar, and a nice dinner out with my in-laws.  It was all  a pleasant time.  I was actually having some down time from visitors, etc., when someone pulled into my driveway early Saturday morning.  The sound on our street plays tricks, and I had thought it was the neighbors.  Tina's out-loud wondering of who could that be, prompted me to investigate.

There is a context of your day-to-day life.  When something so totally unbelievable occurs, your mind can reel in flashes of justifications and possibilities.  I would categorize this as mental shock.  Which is what I experienced as my childhood friend Robert Shoemaker (Shoo) was standing in my doorway, with his teenage son Kenrick.

Shoo lives in southern California. Due to the wonders of the internet we keep in touch regularly.  His showing up on my doorstep was so beyond anything, I was just stunned and surprised .  Tina had been planning this for a year.  Which is all the more remarkable as she is usually less then able to keep surprises.

The three of us sallied forth to Mt. Thielsen.  This is just under a two-hour drive to the Trail Head near Diamond Lake.  The hike is an uphill trek for about three miles.  You go through wondrous forest with some snowy patches.  The trail vanished at one point, but was unerringly found again by Shoo's preternatural ability to find such.  The peak was slowly moving closer and closer.  I was able to keep pace with Kenrick, which I was quite pleased with due to my fitness level, as he is a sporto in wrestling and football.

With about two miles left the terrain changed. There was loose dirt with foot-sized rocks on a pseudo trail, cutting back and forth above the treeline.  Each step would be either a good step up or a slide back.  You quickly learn to plant your foot and ease the pressure in anticipation.  At this point I began to outdistance Kenrick.  We would pause at times and gather back together.  It was slow going at a lung-busting elevation.  Shoo's tenacity was remarkable.  He stated that he was concerned about making the climb, only to note his progress toward the peak and then double down on willpower.

The next section was loose rock over rock.  As luck would have it, a young Swiss gentleman by the name of Allen was not far ahead, providing a visual reference for the climb.  It was a hands and feet climb,  the last hundred feet or so.  Kenrick and I got to the top, Shoo was close behind us.

The views are spectacular.  There were geological curiosities to ponder and quite a sense of accomplishment.

Currently I am in my own personal feeling of grace.