Archive for misc

Grab bag update and other random stuff

Ok, I haven’t written for a bit and there have been many events and what not in my life. Each of these are too small to warrant their own post (in my opinion) but I figured I would write anyway.

General Update

Over the past six months or so I have decided to get my life more organized and work on tasks to improve myself and my home. I have attempted to adopt the 43 folders method to organize my tasks and I’m using Evernote to store everything. Basically, Evernote has become my second brain and keeps everything I need to work on. This has been a slow process and I’m not exactly the best at keeping up with it as I get distracted too easily (more about that later). This has gotten me to the point of doing some stuff around my house like getting my roof replaced and other home improvement tasks. I have also been working on reducing my email and fixing my passwords. I have also been trying to scan all new documents that I might need so that I can toss the paper versions. I strive to keep using this process and getting better at it.

Diving

I’m getting back into scuba diving. I just went on a trip to Boyton Beach, FL with the Orlando Reef Divers for a weekend of diving. The weather was unpredictable and I didn’t end up going diving on Sunday but I got two dives in and had a great time. I got back into the water and I tried out some new gear. This is all in preparation for heading down to Grand Cayman for a week-long of diving which I hope to blog about as well. Here are some pictures from the Boyton Beach trip.

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Running

So I have made a couple of short posts of my previous 5K runs this year. Well here is the one I ran yesterday (5/10/2014) which was the Operation Giveback. Here are my results. But for those too lazy to hit that link I finished the 5K with a time of 39:22.293 with a pace of 12:42 minutes per mile. Yes I walked and ran it. Again I think I had more energy I could have put towards the run but I have a mental block that I need to break through. Anyway, here is the obligatory shirt, bib, and bling photo.

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Work

All is good on that front but I was working on a certification package for the last few months. And by “working” I mean that I was procrastinating and working on it ever now and then. But I used that as an excuse for not getting other personal stuff done including updating this blog. Anyway, I submitted a workaround on the certificate package that’ll give me some more time to work on my full certification package. In other words, I figured out a way to procrastinate more.

Health, Exercise, and Diet

So I have been really good at getting in my 10,000 steps a day in with only a handful of exceptions. With that said I’m going to switch to averaging 70,000 steps a week so that I will do more steps on any particular day but it will allow me to have rest days or just some lee way when I miss my numbers on a particular day. I’ll make this switch at the beginning of June. Also, at the beginning of June I’ll start tracking my food intake. I’ve gained too much weight over the past few years and I need to start dropping pounds. My exercise regime has not accomplished this so I’m going to have to start watching what I eat and tracking it all.

What’s next?

Well, I need to finally write up my trip to England from last year. I’ve been procrastinating a bunch on that front but I will knock those out. I have a couple of projects that I want to complete around the house including a couple of ones that should pay off years down the line.

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A Request For Input

Hi My Readers,

I really don’t know how many people, actual living and breathing humans, visit my blog.  I can track hits/views/etc and see where people are coming from and which browser they are using and various other little tidbits of information but that really doesn’t help me all that much in determining who my audience is.

Now I have come to a dilemma in my writing on here. For over  two years I have been posting very infrequently about various topics from my travels and my health and whatever comes to mind. I feel these are good in helping me document some of the things that happen in my life but they really don’t let me express how I feel and what is going on with me emotionally at times in my life. I think I need an outlet to express myself.

So here are my questions for you, my audience. Would you still read if I wrote really personal details of my emotions, thoughts, ideas, etc? If I bared myself to the world would anyone care? Would they care enough to respond in kind? What if what I wrote was controversial in your eyes or in the public’s eye? Have anyone else written in this manner and what kind of experiences, good and bad, resulted from this? Could this cause me troubles in the future because something on the Internet is never completely removed from the Internet? Or would you all still like me to through in safely digestible content such as my travels and health updates? I have so many topics that I would like to write about but I fear alienating myself from friends and family.

Please take a little time and reply to this post. I don’t care if you do that as a comment, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or as an email, text message, or smoke signal. I just want to know what my readers want (if I actually have any) and how far I can push the boundaries.

Thanks!

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Why I personally can’t switch to Google+ completely yet

As some of you may know Google recently opened up a new social networking site called Google+ (G+). I joined the site and started using it. So far I’m enjoying the experience but as with all social networks it requires that the people that you want to socialize with have to belong. Well G+ actually allows someone to interact with it via email but I’m trying not to spam my friends and family so I typically don’t use that option.

Anyway, the reason that I’m writing this post is because I recently read a blog post by Chris Marquardt where he stated his reasons for totally abandoning Facebook(FB) for G+. I found the article enlightening and I wish I could make the switch completely so that I could drop Facebook but I currently have a lot invested in the FB site. Here are the reasons that I can’t quite leave FB yet:

Friends and Family

Ok, this is by far the most important aspect of why I can’t completely move yet. My friends and family aren’t over there yet. Quite a few of my more technologically adept friends have accounts on G+ but the majority of the people that I stay in contact with through in meatspace or social networks do not. Frankly I don’t quite understand the best uses for G+ yet so I couldn’t espouse the virtues of switching. And this is at the heart of it. How do I convince people like my parents (I’m not singling them out, I’m just using them as an easy example) to switch over when I have a hard enough time trying to convince them on anything computer related? Even worse than that is that I have to convince them so well that not only do they convert but they also become advocates to convert their own social networks. Without that last point it will be difficult to get anyone to move because FB is where there “friends” are.

It also doesn’t help that there are new concepts to learn, the product is really a beta, and it’s invite only. I’m not certain if you are still required to have a gmail account or not but that may be another limitation on getting my friends and family to move over.

Birthdays and Events

I have gotten so used to being able to have FB remind me of someone’s birthday that I should be ashamed. But I’m not. For the majority of my life I have been horrible with birthdays and other personally special dates that having this feature of FB is a miracle.

I also really like organizing events through FB’s events. Whether I create the event or not I really like having that ability built in. It’s so easy to invite people without having to use another site (ex eVite).

I used to have an FB app that would routinely download the birthdays and events from FB and dump them into Google calendars which were then automatically synched with my phone. But that app went defunct and although FB has the ability to export that data, it isn’t automatic. When G+ finally figures out how to gatherings (I’m not talking about huddles or hangouts) and integrates that directly with Google Calendar then I will be extremely happy.

Groups of semi-strangers

Another aspect of FB that I have used and am hesitant to relinquish is the fact that I’m part of some groups that are interest based and typically are made up of people that I am only partially acquainted with. I really enjoy this aspect that there is a group of people that exist as an organic entity that I discover and join or leave at will. Years ago I joined meetup.com for this exact purpose and I am still part of many of those groups. Some of those groups moved to FB as 1. everyone involved in those groups interacted on FB and 2. there are no fees to run a group on FB. So in order to move the group once again but over to G+ there has to be 1. enough of the group’s membership on G+ (see the first section for why this is difficult) and 2. some impetus beyond the fact that G+ is “new”.

Conclusion

I guess with that said I will have to stay on both G+ and FB and hope for a major exodus in the near future. I will attempt to keep updating as I see these challenges getting met.

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Post party thoughts

Well the baby shower/BBQ was a real hit. There were about 15 people that showed up and we all had a good time, well at least I hope we all did. Mary Jane and Aaron showed up sometime between 10 and 11 am to get things organized. Aaron and I left to meet up with Bill to get a table and chairs from Bill’s church so that people would have a place to sit. After bringing those back to my house I started doing a bit of last minute organizing before the guests were supposed to arrive. Aaron left again to get some last minute party supplies and MJ slaved away in the kitchen doing final prepartions on the food. I was under the impression that the party was going to start at 2pm but after re-validating the start time on the eVite website I found out that I was wrong. In any event, Aaron returned to the house with a helium tank, balloons and some supplies for the party games. Aaron’s sister, Ana Lee, arrived to help out and we three blew up balloons. Skipping ahead in time. The guests started to show up starting with a couple of Shannon’s friends from school who none of us had met before. I think their names were Nicky and Lisa. They both seemed somewhat shy. The Raglands, Chris, Mindy and Sarah, showed up next followed by the Cameaus, Hans and Martine. The party was starting to get lively. I started the grill up and prepped the chicken for cooking. The heat outside was very close to 100F and standing next to the grill in that heat was almost unbearable. The guests of honor, Shannon and Bill, arrived (they had actually arrived earlier but were sent away until some final preparations were completed). Very shortly after the Lee-Anavi clan, Jason and Fiona, arrived followed by Jeff Welch. Now the party was in full swing.

The chicken was grilling. People were chatting and laughing. It was a good time had by all. I would go outside to check on the chicken and people would follow me out. But it was too darn hot outside so I kept ordering them to go back inside and enjoy the shade and A/C. I guess everyone felt sorry that I was stuck out in the heat cooking but I tried my best not to stay outside for more than a couple of minutes at a time. We had chicken that was marinated in garlic and lemon or BBQ both of which seemed great. I moved the chicken to the top rack of the grill and put as many burgers on the bottom rack as could fit. As the burgers began to finish, I brought the chicken in and some of the burgers and notified everyone that lunch was ready. Expecting a mad dash to where the food was I was kind of disappointed when only a few people got up and headed toward the grub. Slowly people started to migrate toward the food and the complements flowed forth. I returned to my grilling duties and finished off the hamburgers. The food was good. MJ really did a great job getting everything prepared and laid out. I grabbed a plate and loaded it with food. I had a fairly difficult time eating from a paper plate while sitting in a chair without the assistance of a table.

After everyone finished eating, MJ gathered us into the great room for some party games. For the first game, MJ and Aaron passed out a stick of gum to each of us with instructions to sculpt a baby from the chewed up gum which Shannon would judge. Shannon chose Jason’s due to the creativity in using the wrapper as bushkin. The next game was a word scramble. I am horrible at such puzzles so I didn’t participate. Instead I hung with MJ in the kitchen while she prepared the final game. I don’t remember who won that game. The final game was the best. It was called “What did Daddy feed the baby?” Basically, there are 5 diapers each of which has a smear of melted candy bar inside. The job of the contestants is to determine what kind of candy bar is in each diaper. The looks on people’s faces when they openned up the diapers was priceless. Ana Lee and Bill took an extra long time looking at the diapers persistent in attempting to win this game. I think they both tied as winners.

Now that the games were over it was time to open presents. There were lots of gifts given to the expectant parents and I felt bad that I hadn’t given them anything. Maybe I will get them a gift when it gets closer to the due date. The party was winding down. As soon as the gift openning ceremony was over, Shannon’s two friends bolted out the door. Following shortly afterward were the Cameaus and Raglands and Jeff. Jason, Aaron, Bill and I took the table and chair back to Bill’s church with the utmost haste. MJ had left while we were returning the chairs and shortly afterwards the Colemans left and I ran into my next door neighbor, Sam (I assume is short for Samantha), for the first time since she moved in. She seemed to be very nice and a bit sunburned. The final exodus came shortly afterward and I was once again by myself.

In conclusion this event was fun. I plan on having some type of event at my house soon as I enjoyed hosting the party. Maybe when it cools down a little bit.

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In preparation….

I have a couple of friends, Bill and Shannon, that are about to have a baby in a few of months. Another set of my friends, Aaron and Mary Jane, are throwing a baby shower/BBQ get together for this occasion. With about 20 people invited they were having a difficult time finding a location to host the party so Aaron begged me and I will be the hosting location. This means that this will be the first “party” that I have had at my house since I bought the place. This also means that I need to clean my house and prepare it to be presentable enough for guests. I worked on finishing my baseboards last weekend but I became lazy and didn’t get too much of that accomplished. I also had my Uncle Richard visiting while he was in town for the Army Reserves. I have a ton of stuff that I should do. Oh well…..time for another game of Warcraft3.

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Richard Lewis!!!

Funny man! Last night I saw him perfom at the Orlando Improv and he was absolutely hilarious. At 57 years old he can still make an audience (mostly 20-30 somethings) laugh out loud. He was very random often going off into tangents but somehow he always got back and tied up the loose ends. As he keeps mentioning that he could die at any time I would reccomend seeing him sooner rather than later :-)

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Just a blog entry

Well, it’s been more than a week since I entered anything on here. I guess I need to be more diligent about creating entries. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster the last few days and I don’t know if I can blame it on the weather or just a cyclic thing. How do I express myself more openly? No idea. Until then…

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Bruised shins and sunburn

I guess I’ve gotten into activities where minor injury and pain is pretty much the norm. With Geocaching I get sliced by saw palmettos, stabbed by thorny vines, and bitten by mosquitoes and various other insects. With hiking I’ve gotten muscle aches and blisters. I’ve grown accustomed to those aspects of my new hobbies. But yesterday I went jetskiing on a friend’s jetski. I swear I am hurting in places I didn’t know existed. The jetski that my friend owns is narrow so it is quicker in turns and easier to do tricks with. BUT as a side-effect of this narrowness it is fairly difficult to re-mount if you happen to fall off. Falling off seems to be my favorite activity on this thing at least from the perspective of any onlookers. In getting back on I would fall off and usually strain something or bruise something. My poor shins are sooo bruised that it was hard for me to walk last night. I also forgot to put on sunscreen before I get burnt. Oh well, the price you pay for having a good time with no worries. And I had a really good time.

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GWIII, Where geeks go to play in the woods.

So, I guess one might say that I have gotten into geocaching pretty hard-core. I went to my first event in Jacksonville called GeoWoodstock III. It was very cool. Well, at least to me. Got to meet tons of people and had some really outstanding BBQ chicken. Searched for tons of caches. Lost my keys. That really sucked. But as luck would have it some very nice person turned them in to an event organizer and I was able to get them back. Of course the 3 hours I spent searching and stressing over them was a wasted part of the day. Oh well. I guess I learned a lesson from it. Had a blast anyway and am inspired to do more caching. But not until tomorrow :-)

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Little Big Econ Forest

Yesterday I had a wonderful morning/afternoon in the little BIG Econ Forest State Park. The main objective was to go geocaching throughout the park. I started off on my bike as it was hinted that biking may make it easier to find the caches. I must say I had fun on the bike but it didn’t make finding anything easier. In fact I got lost. I finally figured out how to get back to my car and stowed my bike. I then drove to another trailhead and hiked through the park. I saw many awesome sites. I just love the Florida wilderness. From baby banana spiders to swallow-tail kites diving into the palmettos. Turtles, alligators, snakes, huge trees, and flowers of all colors and shapes.

P.S. I would upload some pictures but it seems that there is a javascript error.

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