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February 11th, 2007

05:23 pm - Blue-tinted glasses
It's hard to believe that a week has passed since the Colts won the superbowl. That day, it was hard to focus on anything else. Reading things on the internet and listing to media experts talk about the game, you wouls have thought it was the psychic network hotline. Everyone had an opinion, it was different than everyone else's and the arguments were compelling. My dad and I have been season ticket holders since the mid-80s and it is amazing just how much you can get into something.

One of my coworkers had a small gathering which was much fun than watching the game alone. Only problem is that you have to control yourself a bit. After the Bears ran back the initial kickoff for a TD, I thought I would explode. Between that and the rain, I was concerned. The pacing began. I hovered around the food, grazing on a shrimp dip and triskets. I'd sit for a bit but the next break in the action, I was up again. I am certain that everyone thought it was funny. My PDA phone was convenient as I read postings on the Colts email list which I created more that 15 years ago. It was like a virtual family sharing the highs and lows. In the end, the Colts prevailed and the shirt I had worn for every home game and the playoffs remained Undefeated.

To say that this city needed something like this would be an understatement. It really was special. Probably better that as a city, we celebrated the way you should. There were no fires, no destruction. Just a lot of hugging, shouting, and dancing. That is how you should do it. Monday was the parade with temps in the single digits and a wind-chill that was frigid. A few thousand braved it to watch the parade. The players actually stood out in the cold for the entire thing. So where was everyone else? Sitting next to me in a filled RCA Dome. Me and several others skipped class to head over. While we waited for the team to arrive, a replay of the SB played on the Jumbotrons. You knew when each big play was coming and as you would expect, the crowd exploded as if it was happening for the first time. There was a buzz in the dome that was similar to what was there barely two weeks prior when the Patriots came in for the AFC Title game. Once the players arrived, it was awesome. There really wasn't much planned. The MC was the radio voice of the Colts who I knew from high school. One of his daughters was a classmate of mine and lived one street away. He announced the owner and GM, both who spoke briefly. Next was the coach Tony Dungy who was one of the people who really deserved to win. He is generally a great person. he too spoke briefly praising the entire team not just as players but as role models to be proud of. Last one for the planned part was the game MVP, Peyton Manning. I seemed very overwhelmed my the outpour of emotion as was everyone else. That was all they had planned. The crowd responded with "Defense, Defense!!!" and in responce, they much maligned defensive players took the stand. From there, the rest of the team came up in units... Offensive line, receivers, running backs, and special teams. Our punter, Hunter Smith, talked for the last group with one of the funniest comments. He thanked Peyton and the Offense for making him the least used player at his posiiton in the history of the game. While not true, it was a nice tribute.

And that was how it ended. It was only later in the week that it really started sinking in that we won. What a great start to 2007.
Current Mood: contentcontent

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December 28th, 2005

01:09 pm - Peace!!!
Poor Linda has to work this week and has taken the girls with her. MIL is also back at her place packing up her personal stuff. She is selling it and the furniture to Linda's boss. Looks like the snowbird will spend more time in Florida so no longer needs her trailer here. Ever since Linda's father died, her mom has just flitted around and wasted money. Oh well, her choice.

As for me, this has been a wonderfully peaceful morning. It's been a long time since I've just been able to relax and sleep in. I cannot remember feeling this rested. I'll probably do some reading in a bit - have less than 100 pages in the 800+ page book I have been trying to get through. I need to do this more often.
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

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December 27th, 2005

12:48 pm - And never a fall...
That was probably the acoomplishment from yesterday I am most proud of.

One of my former interns, Ryan, was in town to celebrate the holidays with his family. He gave me and one of my coworkers, Debbie, a call to see about doing something and somehow ice skating came out on top. Surprisingly of all the things I've tried over the years, this was not one of them. I suspect it ha something to do with concern about my ankles. I had my share of problems with them as a running in high school and college. Oh well, can't back out now.

Ryan dropped by my house about midmorning and after rounding up the kids, we were off. Linda was a little nervous too. She took the girls roller skating several months back. Caitlyn lost her balence (how much can a 4 year old have?) and pulled Linda on top of her. Ended in a trip to the ER but she turned out to be fine. She has such a hard head. The girls were excited in any case. We stopped at the major downtown shopping mall first to get some lunch which is where Debbie and her younger son met us. It's funny to link of him as young as he is a junior in high school and Debbie is several years younger than me. She loves watching me deal with the challenges of raising daughters until I remind her that he could have grandchildren before mine even date :-) Anyway, I digress....

We got to the rink which was originally built for the Pan-AM games back in 1987. I have walked past it millions of times but this was the first that I ever went in. From the ceiling hung the flags of all the participating nations. Nice touch. We got our skates and got set to go. I never really thought about it but I guess it makes sense that hockey skates are different and was thankful that that is what I got. There was no way my ankles would move in those things. Calling the metal part "blades" seemed pretty funny too. There wasn't anything remotely close to being an edge on them. Just flat surfaces the width of a pencil. So much for hollywood.

I carefully took to the ice following Heather. She decided that she would try to run on skates but with little success. She litterally crawled along the edge. After one lap, she went off with no desire to try again. No one could change her mind until I whispered something in her ear. She immediately smiled and headed back out. L and DD asked what I had said. It was simple, "I said she made a very cute ice skater." Always appeal to that kids ego :-) She eventually shuffled along nicely. Caitlyn already learned that and as long as she had someone's hand to hold, she was doing great. As for me, I used the same movements from ancient roller skating days and was able to amble across the ice. Not a lot of speed but I was passing the wall huggers. As I said before, I never fell. That surprised me though; not because I had never done this before but because the ice was so rough. I never expected that. I did find that if I worked toward the middle of the rink, the ice was much smoother.

After 2 hours, it was time for the zambonie to make an appearance and signeled our departure. We all had a blast. Only problem was when taking off the skates, Heather had a burn mark on the back of her leg. Told her she needed longer socks. Fortunately that drama didn't last too long.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

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December 24th, 2005

07:59 am - Ever have one of those nights?
The In-Law Christmas gathering was at our house last night - we have the only place big enough to hold it. Over all it went fine except for the normal in-law in-fighting. I am honestly thankful to come from a small and very close family. We don't go through all this melodrama. In any case, everyone eventually left for their respective homes (other than my MIL who is staying here for a few days). Everyone else headed to bed which gave me some time to relax. Finally I too was ready and crashed.

Instead of peaceful sleep though, my mind decided to kick into overdrive. I have no idea why. In my dreams I was writing parallel programs to run on a grid cluster and comparing them. First, I rarely program much and when I do it usually is something to automate some sysadmin task. The last time I wrote anything to run in parallel was several years ago as part of a grad course project. At about 5am, I told myself that I needed to think about something else and found myself having just been hired by the U. of Nebraska CS dept. their senior sysadmin. I hadn't even told my current boss yet. Huh? I spent 6 months in Oklahoma ages ago and there is nothing out there that would attract me. While many may make fun of calling Indy a city, I prefer and nice sized metro area to lots of rural space. Finally got up at 7am though I hope to crash again in a bit.

Now that I am typing this, I noticed there is a very tiny thread holding it all together. Perhaps two intertwined ones. Last night in the background, the IU Butler basketball game was on. During halftime was a 5 minute segment about IU and it's efforts in "Cybersecurity." Most of the people talking were people I work with there to include my second "boss" in the IU security research center. Earlier yesterday I got an email from one of the other associate directors of that center concerning my graduate work next semester (after eons, I finally applied and was accepted to grad school - another story). His big area concerns phishing (if you read slashdot, you may have seen something last summer about an experiment done on the IU students). Before I get started on readings he is going to send me, he wanted me to start thinking about what things could be removed from a system that could make it more vulnerable to attack. I think that has been percolating in the back of my mind all day.

Hmmm... maybe I am ready to go back to sleep now and after reading this, so are you. Sweet dreams...
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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07:54 am - Happy Holidays!
Has it really been over a year since I've written here? Oops!!! Guess I am not too surprised - it has been that sort of year. I keep telling myself it'll slow down but secretly I know I am just lying to myself. The one truth is that I will start taking more time off and enjoy life a bit more. No sense pushing myself to the edge.

In any case, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. I know I've not chatted with you in a while but you are never far from my thoughts. One day I hope to journey north across the border and see Toronto for myself just as I hope to return west. My Texas trip is already set but still a good 2 years away.

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August 30th, 2004

03:46 pm - SchlepRock
Did I tick off someone and have a hex placed on me? It sure seems like it. Seems like if things can go wrong, they will. I seem to remember a character on the flintstones named Schleprock. That's how I feel. At least no big things, just small, annoying ones. Take today for example.

Over the weekend I received a letter from my auto insurance carrier notifying me that when renewing my policy, they discovered that my license had been suspended for "administrative" reasons. Huh? This was the first I had heard of this. It's been eons since I last had a ticket and while I had been in 2 accidents in the last 2 years (rear-ended), neither of which were my fault. In fact, the insurance premium went down. Checking the web, I discovered that there is only one site in Indy for reinstatements. No problem, it isn't far from work. I get there early this morning and within minutes, I am talking to a person. Turns out my insurance carrier never sent info concerning my policy. All they need me to do is have them fax something while I was there. Not too big a problem even though my carrier is not local. I called a 1-800 number and eventually get to someone who can do this. Sitting in the waiting area, I hear the fax machine whine and someone mentioning my name. Great. All the original person said she needed was to see this; she'd call when everything is done. I know it's there and was walked to her counter. But nothing. She calls numbers of people just arriving or sits, chatting with others. I good hour goes by before she finally calls my name. All she said, "You're fine now." All that waiting for this?!?!?!

Next came parking on campus. This is something that is a real problem here and moreso getting there at 11. All lots even remotely close to my side of campus are full. I drove around most of them hoping to find a space. None to be had. I can except this were it not for seeing so many students parked in faculty/staff areas. I realize they are trying to get to class but if we can't park, there might not be any class. Believe me, I came very close to cancelling the one I teach this evening and just go home. Fortunately I eventually found one on the other side of campus. I already ran this morning, I didn't need another workout.

Last week, I discovered my university American Express card had been cancelled when trying to use it at a restraunt. The card includes the university name but the bills are sent to my home. The university gets kickbacks I guess if enough of us use them. Anyway, it was your typical embarrassing moment (no - he didn't cut the card in front of me). When I later called American Express, they said it had been cancelled my the university and they I had not been notified. Grrr.... I got the name of the person who did this and called him the next day. Turns out the university changed card providers and said they sent out letters. I never got one. So now my new application is being processed.

Last week I discovered my classroom had been moved from a nice one with computer and projector included to an ancient room without even AC. The reason? They overbooked the room and the person competing for the space was a department chairman. Fortunately for me one of my students also works for the other schools and thinks he's got a nice room reserved.

So that is what I mean. Nothing major, just lots of little irritations. I think I need a road trip.

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July 20th, 2004

05:16 pm - Pssst.....
< whisper>
It's nikidee's birthday

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July 9th, 2004

10:30 am - Good Old-fashioned Rock and Roll
For some reason, this has seemed more like summers as I used to rememebr them. The last few years, summers seemed to zip by without me really getting to enjoy them. Sadly, this one is flying by quickly too but at least I am taking advantage of it more. Maybe it's that we have a back patio with swing sets so I can watch the girls play while relaxing out there. Maybe it is because I am running again and am out on the morning heat much more than previous years. Maybe I am just feeling a little more at ease with things in general. Don't know but no complaints.

Years ago, the summers wouldn't be complete with going to a few concerts. Lately I haven't really liked much of what's come to town or those shows I would be interested cost way too much $$$ for tickets. This year was a nice exception. A year ago, I would probably have passed on this one too but when I learned that Sammy Hagar and the Van Halens had buried the hatchet and were touring together, how could I resist.

The concert was at our outside theater north of Indy and the weather was perfect. Unusually cool for a July evening. The area was packed - one of the local radio stations offered a promo on lawn seats. We got there in plenty of time, got some overpriced burgers and fries from the concession stand and settled into or seats. One the show started, we rarely sat. It was one song (or solo) after another. Was it a great concert? Not musically. You could tell that Eddie was rusty. Sometimes there was too much joking around in the middle of songs that caused them to miss cues. Sammy was pretty sharp though and really, he was who I went to see. Would I have gone again? Absolutely.

Great summer night!

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June 29th, 2004

10:02 am - Double the fun
I don't know why but it always seems that the summer flys by while the winter seems to linger on and on. At least this year, I am getting my money's worth out of the nice days. I have played sofball on sundays for about 5-6 years now - same team. We have a pretty good time and have had our successes.While warming up for the last game, one of the guys asked several of us what we were doing on tuesdays. Looks like he is putting together a team to play.

This was how I first got to know these guys. The team I was on back then played them all the time at this sports park. On a few occasions, I filled in for them too when they were short handed. It helped that at the time I was best friends with one of the guys brother (he got married and we rarely even hear from him anymore - why does that happen?). I imagine we'll use the same name as in year's passed, the misfits. Seems to fit somehow.

So tonight we are on. 8pm start. Somewhere in there I am sure we'll have a few 10pm ones. I forgot about how late some games can be. No matter, I am a night owl anyway and this gives me more time under the sun... um... lights?

Play ball!
Current Mood: chipperchipper

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June 28th, 2004

04:13 pm - Inflation
Last weekend I got a new introduction on how costs change. H was been wiggling a loose tooth for the better part of a month and finally (with the help of her aunt) pulled it. She was so excited. You would have thought that she hit the lottery. Maybe in a 5-6 year old's view of the world, she did. It meant it was time for the tooth fairy to visit.

I really don't remember being too into anything like this but L's family must have been. She had a special pillow for just this purpose. It was small and frilly with a special pocket sewn in for the tooth. Before we left this L's SIL, everyone was telling H what their kids got. No way out now - had to make sure the TF keeps up with modern times.

That night we were all exhausted, having been on the go all day. i thought H would crash immediately but no such luck. She tossed and turned a bit adding to the difficulty of the tooth fairy stunt double to make the switch. Adding to the difficulty was that the special pillow was underneath the one H sleeps on. have to check with L on pillow placement in the future. Fortunately a corner was exposed and pillow slowly pulled out. Out came the tooth (talk about tiny) and in went $5. The tricky part was getting the pillow back but H never stirred. Finally it was time for bed.

I received an announcement that morning had come when H ran into our room waving her money. She first stated that she got $5000 but eventually agreed it was $5. Still it was a fortune for her and she was excited. Made the effort well worth while. Poor C didn't want to be left out so she got an advanced load from the tooth fairy - she took $1 from my change dish.

I hate to think what the second tooth will cost :-)
Current Mood: amusedamused

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