2005-05-31


Camping in Fort Collins - More Later

2005-05-18

Grocery Store Wars

Star Wars take off - featuring 'organic' veggies and food. Silly! Waste 5 minutes of your life...
Grocery Store Wars | Join the Organic Rebellion

2005-05-12

Seeing Star Wars III

I have always seen Star Wars opening day. Always.

This year I was getting worried that I might not be able to see it opening day. The big theater in town listed as sold out of all the midnight showings a couple of weeks ago - about the same time I heard the tickets were on sale early.

I think my wife works the evening of opening day, so I was looking at possibly standing in line for hours after she got home, and maybe not getting to see it.

Then really good friends of ours called me up at work, to let me know that Pepsi had some sort of deal on the midnight showing of SW3. I said, 'Yes! Count me in!'.

When I asked him about the tickets this past weekend, he informed me that the tickets weren't available until Monday, and this is when he would know for sure. Then he mentioned he was driving to get them. Up to Denver.

It seems we will be seeing the movie up in Parker - Southern Denver suburbs. I wasn't expecting that. So instead of getting home by 3am, it will probably be more like 4am. And I'm planning on taking my 12yo son along too. I guess we'll both get in late to work/school. :)

I just checked with my friend - he did get the tickets! Yes! I'm psyched!! And relieved that I won't be breaking my streak if seeing the movie opening day. And this will mean my 12yo will have seen opening day for all 3 he has been alive for.

2005-05-11

Oh Boy! Dead Fish!

I noticed yesterday morning when I went out for the newspaper and fed the fish in the outdoor pond, that I only saw one of the fish.
The smaller, more timid of the two Koi. The bigger, orange one was not around.
I wasn't positive that the orange one wasn't just hiding. But it almost always came out faster than the white one.
But I didn't see it. I only saw the white fish deeply hidden in the plant pots.

I wondered if the fish had been taken by an animal and eaten. I had seen a cat prowling in our back yard just a day or two before. And it is possible for wilder animals to come through the area.

That evening I went out to look again. I still didn't see any sign of the orange fish. And the white fish had it's head stuck in a pot. I looked around from all sides and still didn't see it.

I decided it was time to backwash and fill the pond a bit. I use the hose to push back water through the pump, which always clears it a bunch. The water flows much better after I do that.

The pond was mostly filled, and my youngest son, 6yo, came out to join me. After a while he said he saw a fish. I thought he meant the white one. But it turns out he found the orange one. In the level below the pond. Dead.

Well, you don't want to traumatize kids. So I played it calm. I told him to leave it alone and I would take care of it. He asked in a concerned voice if the fish was dead. I said yes, that happens sometimes.

I shut down the hose, and put it away. I debated leaving the fish someplace to add to the nutrients. But then I though about decaying fish. Thinking of the potential smell, I got some plastic wrap and a zipper-bag. I checked the fish for signs of attack when I picked it up. It seemed intact. So I can only guess it either made a mis-judgment and jumped out of the pond in the wrong way - or maybe something scared it out of the pond.

But when I was telling my 6yo about the fish being dead, it reminded me of something. When I was a boy, maybe 4 or 5, my dad got me a fish tank. Being more techy than understanding biology, I was fascinated by the little lamp in the fish tank that stuck down into the water. But the light kept going off. So I would adjust the knob so the light would be on. I remember doing this a number of times.
I do not remember the next morning, but my parents told me the story a number of times. My dad came in to feed the fish. They were all floating on top of the tank. It seems they had overheated. My dad was really worried about how I would take it. He was sure I'd be upset, but he told me about the fish being dead. I was reported to have said: "Oh boy! Dead fish!"

Robot Meeting May '05


Description - more pictures


Saturday was the monthly robot meeting in Denver. Neat stuff going on! I, on the other hand, had nothing new to show :( I've got to find some time to do something before the next meeting to show!

2005-05-10

Laser Tag

My son's 12th birthday was a week ago. For his birthday, he wanted to do laser tag. So we signed him up for Sunday. This past Sunday. Oops - that is mother's day. Too late to change. It worked out okay - it meant that the laser tag place was a lot less crowded.

It was fun! We had about 12 kids - with about 3 being non-tag-players. I played laser tag 3 times. The first 2 times I was to score for my team - and highest score for the game the second time. The last time I switched colors, but forgot which color I was at first, and cost my team some points. Even without my mistake at the begining, it was a much more lopsided score - we lost badly. I wonder if some of the guns are configured to score higher than others.

I also took a turn at battle-tech - a mech game played with special networked PCs in pods. That was kind of neat too.

2005-05-06

Dodged a Bullet

At work today, I dodged a bullet. Once that I didn't exactally see coming, but was prepared for anyhow.

My boss stopped by my cube, and asked what I was doing. I was working on this project that keeping morphy and growing subtly. He seemed a tiny bit nervous. He asked me to walk with him. We talked about the project until we got down the hall.

He then informed me that they were not renewing the contract of the other guy who I work with in support. He started about a week before I did. It seems he has about a month left on his contract.

My boss said it was financial. They were cutting the budget. I knew they were considering not renewing the guy, but I didn't know they were playing budget games that hard. The budget came up in most meetings, with the old division boss and the new one. I knew they had budgeted for 3 people in our work - partly to cover the month overlap each year of having 4 people on support, and partly to cover when tough support issues fall onto the developers.

So to hear that they need to cut the budget back is concerning. The last few things I'd heard was that they wanted to change the budget reporting for our group to match the work we were doing. And the new department manager had a number of graphs showing we were doing more work in less time as a group in development.

So the guy who was one of the parts that was making the work more frustraiting is not staying. And this other guy who is really good at the work will be dragged back to support. I doubt he is too happy about it.

The real irony is the fact that this week, the other consultant really seemed to be catching on. Yeah, the workload was a little lighter. But he really seemed to be able to handle a better part of the workload. I was not looking forward to him leaving too much work at turnover like he did all the other times he was on the early shift. But all this week, he managed to turn over a pretty light load, and I always seemed to get it well in hand in very little time.

So the axe has swung, and I managed not to get hit. That is a mostly good feeling, as I've seen too much of the sharp end of the axe since moving to Colorado.

(These opinions are completely my own, and are not related to my job ;-) )

2005-05-04

Quick Kid's Quote

It had been foggy and cloudy a number of days throughout the weekend. My wife was driving the kids through town, and passed the power plant.

Our youngest pipes up as says: "Look! A cloud factory!", watching the steam billowing up to join the clouds.

Classic! :) Perfect imagery.

...Took me a bit of time, but I found a picture I took with the power plant spewing steam - in the distance - but it gives you an idea!

"Cloud Factory"

2005-05-03

Geek Meme

Okay - so I didn't rate anywhere as high as I thought I would. I guess some of the questions are more modern :)


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