12.30.2006

RC Truck + Aiptek DV camera

For Christmas from my father-in-law I got a remote control truck. From the wife I got an inexpensive Aiptek digital video camera. Charge, combine and voila!

12.18.2006

Photography news ...

Two months after the end of the racing season what kind of "news" would you expect to hear? None. At least that is what I expected.

I got an email from the editor of Late Model Digest asking me if I had received my copy in the mail yet (I hadn't). He told me he would drop a copy in the mail by the end of last week. This evening when I got to the mail I found a copy mixed in with the Christmas cards. Paging through I stopped on a familiar picture, two familiar pictures to be exact. Both were featured along-side articles about Oktoberfest. So, that was pretty cool, the first time my work was featured in print. Late Model Digest is a racing news paper with nationwide coverage and distribution. I hope to have the paper at work tomorrow if anyone who reads this blog is interested. Good news as my discussions with the editor of Late Model Digest continue, I've been asked to let the paper know where I would like to shoot next year and they'll help me make that happen.

Saturday Jen and I went out to eat for lunch. We stopped at Culver's on cottage grove road in Madison (in large part because they had free wifi). As we're perusing the menu I look down and notice there is a display promoting Culver's sponsorship of a local driver Frank Kreyer. Again I noticed a familiar picture, the pink Culver's #99 from the Wisconsin Challenge Series event at the Milwaukee Mile. It's wierd/pretty cool to walk into a business and see your work prominently displayed.

Well, that's enough carrying on for one post, just thought I would share.

12.09.2006

Get LOST ...

This is bound to lead to confusion as an internet game gains popularity at the same time as a show with the same name is extremely popular.

LOST, is not related to Lost. LOST is an internet social-networking game. It has the potential to take it's simple idea and become very popular. I am currently in 5221st place.

Would you like to play? Here's a required invite that will let you in ...

http://www.lost.eu/e969

11.24.2006

Polar Plunge 2007

It's starting to get cold outside so this must be the right time to think about jumping into a lake. ;)

February 17, 2007, I will take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. I am looking for folks not only pledge to make my jump worthwhile but, also to join me.

For those of you not familiar the idea is they cut a (large) hole in the lake and you jump in and swim the eight or so feet to the ladder. All in the name of charity of course.

If you'd like to a picture of me jumping in to Lake Monona 2004 click on the Pledge On-line link.

Pledge On-line


or I can hit you up in person for money... :D

11.10.2006

Coming home ...

Well, the hustle and bustle of the conference is over, no chance to enjoy it though, in 4 hours I need to be up to catch my shuttle to the airport.

Yesterday I hooked up with Rick from Alabama in the Aggreg8.net recovery lounge (Aggreg8.net is "MySpace for IT Professionals"). There, now I feel like I earned my free drink.

Anyway Rick hadn't left the hotel (hadn't been outside) in three days so we decided to go check out the fountains at Bellagio. Similar to timed fireworks shows its a cool technical problem to have to design a solution for. After a few more blocks and a few more drinks we wound up heading back towards the conference so I could pick up my bag. Met QNA, from Los Angeles, an aspiring musician who was demoing his disc released on Artistic Arsonist Records.

I've got lots of conference notes I hope to process this weekend. They may turn up as a Tuesday tech meeting topic, we'll see.

11.07.2006

Day 2: ASP.Net Keynote, Breakout Sessions begin

This is the space that I promised you would hold updates about my day at the conference. Sorry, not up to a review of my day.

I was out of the hotel room and on my way to the ASP.Net Keynote at 6:15AM this morning and just arrived back at my room at 9:45PM 15+ hours is a long time to listen to presentations etc.

Don't get me wrong, there was fun to be had in the form of a vendor bingo. Walking around talking to vendors and getting stamps on your pamphlet for those who collect 35+ stamps and turn it in there is a chance to win a Harley.

There was Microsoft Unplugged this evening. Beer and pizza were catered while the tippity top of the MS evangelists demoed software and gave away xBox360's and Zune MP3 Players (the microsoft ipod killer). I've got notes, ScottGu has slides he will be posting tonight. Visual Studio Team System demo etc etc. I'm going to bed.

P.s. Hung out with a guy from Michigan, Fei Qin (Fay-Kin, Fakin'?), who is a DBA for SBC (Telco). I'd post pictures but, my camera hasn't been making the trip to the conference. I've already got about 10 lbs of conference material plus the laptop.

Dev Connections Day 1: Opening Keynote

This morning they held pre-conference workshops and got most of the attendees registered. I attended the Keynote tonight. Eh. Lots of Sharepoint/Exchange talk, some BI (Business Intelligence) and whatnot. The final presenter was Scott Guthrie who managed to talk over the gentleman he had brought out to demo the BI stuff.

Funny story, ScottGu played a video and there was no sound. He called to the sound techs to "turn up the sound". Finally, after having at least 1000 people in the room tell him what the problem was he un-muted the sound. :) It was cute.

The video described how the #2 online retailer in the world uses MS technology. Propaganda from Germans who weren't prepped very well. I realize this is all sounding negative and I am not sure what I was expecting. Some of the demos were very interesting but, not useful to me or DFI. Tomorrow morning I will be attending the ASP.Net Keynote. Here's hoping...

After the keynote presentation they raffeled off about 16 items from event sponsors. I did not win anything but, at least it was painfully funny to watch. About the second item the mic of the raffler crapped out. That was a theme throughout the night. Someone in the audience shouted the suggestion that they should utilize the fifteen wall size screens to announce the winners. The person that jumped on the keyboard created a new powerpoint slide and started entering a bulleted list as well as commentary.

I took some free time this afternoon and rode the monorail to the other end of the strip. My destination? The Drive! For $10 you get two laps on an autocross course with your pick of GM vehicles from the Pontiac Solstice to Cadillac's CTS to a Corvette. There was also an offroad course where you could drive hummers and other GM trucks.

11.06.2006

Nightmare at the airport ...

Sorry, no live-blogging allowed. No internet access in the expo hall, you'll have to make due with nightly updates, which will probably happen about this time 1:00AM CDT.



Nightmare at the airport ...
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
Nervous that taking time to stop into work was going to make me late for check-in at Rockford, I raced down to the airport doing 75 MPH maybe a little more. 10:15 for my 11 o'clo... d'oh! 11:55 flight, oh well 1:40+ wait time in the terminal, no problem.

Flight 401 Rockford -> Las Vegas
DELAYED

Delayed? That's strange. The company that provides flight plans for Allegiant Air among others had an outage starting at 12AM Sunday morning. This outage left my and 60+ of my suddenly closest friends with luggage checked and no airplane to board.

At 12:10 PM, Fifteen minutes after we were supposed to be in the air we received word that the inbound flight had nt in fact left Las Vegas yet. With at least another 3 hours to wait i decided to go find a sports bar and catch the Packer's game.

Oh, that's right Rockford is in Illinois. I watched the Bears get beat with a bunch of mouth-breathers sporting mullets.

13 hours after arriving at the airport this morning I finally walked through my hotel room door.

11.03.2006

Off to Vegas shortly

Sunday morning I load the car and drive an hour south to Rockford, IL where I fly to Vegas to attend the .Net Developer Connections Conference. I'll be posting both here and on the TTL Photography blog, expect a couple pictures at least. No Chris, I am not sneaking my camera into the Rockette's show at New York, New York.

I'm flying solo as well, the three people that thought about coming (My wife Jen, and co-workers Jason and Jon) all bailed. My days will be busy and my nights are likely to consist of a poker tournament and walking around with the Camera.

10.29.2006

Dell 20" Widescreen LCD for $298

http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/11/dell-busts-out-e207wfp-20-inch-lcd-for-the-budget-set/

This is a good deal. I purchased my 20" Dell Widescreen for $360+ last year or two year ago. I've been very happy with it's performance.

Enjoy!

10.26.2006

Google in danger of slipping into common usage

The folks at googleblog want to point out that searching in and of itself is not googling. Therefore you cannot google something on Yahoo.com or MSN.com, you can only search for items there.

What are they trying to say? They like their trademark, Google. They don't want the term google to become so commonly used that they lose the protections afforded by it's trademark status.

I printed out a copy of this story, xerox'ed it and passed it around the office. Some people thought it was so funny they needed a kleenex. While we discussed the issue we ate jello.

Personally, I think this is an uphill battle for them.

-- Jim "I googled your mom last night." Remsik

10.16.2006

Surprise

Saturday morning I logged on to the TTL Photo site and learned that someone had ordered a print. Hooray, the first sale!

Also, metrics are fun. Between the InstaProofs admin screens and Google Analytics I have set up on the TTL Photo blog a wealth of information is being made available to me.

10.13.2006

Separation

I set up a new site for TTL Photography. This blog will remain my personal blog.

10.12.2006

Quick Milestone Update...

Well, that certainly didn't take long. In business for less than 18 hours and I've already had 200 shoppers visit the store. Granted I haven't made a sale ... yet. But, I am optimistic that I will at some point in the next week make that first sale.

In Business ...

Many years from now maybe I will look back at this point in time as a stepping stone that launched a long and prosperous career. For now it's just an exciting beginning.

As many of my readers know I have been taking photographs of racing all season sometimes I even got paid for it ;). This morning I officially opened for business as TTL Photography.

What does this mean exactly? It means that you can now purchase prints of pictures I have taken. The first event posted is from the Oktoberfest Race Weekend in La Crosse, WI. That includes an action shot of Trevor Stewart climbing up-the-side of another car. You will also find pictures of Landen Cassil the 17 year old who stole the race from Eddie Hoffman on the last lap.

10.04.2006

Sunrise over the chorus ...

From Oregon Trip


This shot was taken from the patio of the condo we were staying in near Redmond, OR. As I went out to take the picture I quickly realized that it was below 40 degrees out. As I stood out there adjusting my camera I heard a faint "moo." "What the heck was that?" I thought. Apparently on the hillside across from us there were cattle grazing. I never did get a good luck at them but, after the first moo I heard a chorus of more moos.

9.08.2006

Office Space sequel "released"

According to the Chicago Sun-Times Mike Judge's follow-up to Office Space has been released? If this is the first you heard of Idiocracy then some cheif high mucky-muck at 20th Century Fox has done their work by trying to bury this film.

See the article:
Chicago-Sun Times: Sharp, funny view of a stupid future

9.07.2006

Quick Reference in AJAX

QuickRef.org: A handy reference for a number of languages developed in AJAX.

9.06.2006

How do you describe what "Doh" means?

One of my co-workers found the cause of a particularly nasty bug to be a simple fix. When he showed me, in my IM client, I replied "Doh!"

His very appropriate response was "doh means?"

How do you describe the meaning of "Doh"? It's not in the dictionary (or is it?).

In fact the best way to describe it is to actually watch the Simpsons.

I pointed him to the link above and ran off to a meeting.

My nephew Nicholas

My nephew Nicholas



From Dad's birthday dinner on Sunday evening

8.30.2006

Lightweight Utilities With a Purpose

A list, mostly based on work needs, of free utilities that make life just a little easier.

SlickRun
This tiny little app (170k) packs a punch. It's "a free floating command-line utility for Windows." One nifty feature is the ability to create Magic Words that can open programs, launch a browser and what not.
(via Hanselman)

Foxit Reader
An Adobe Acrobat Reader replacement that is lightweight (1.5mb) and blazingly fast. I began using it about four months ago and have been very pleased with it.

SQLPrompt
Intellisense for Transactional-SQL what more can I say except, Free!
(via Jarts)

Chris' Wedding Pictures Posted

Ladies and Gentleman, Chris and Chateen Krueger

8.28.2006

Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 120+ MPH

Friday
To celebrate our anniversary Jen and I took the day off of work. We traveled to the Cave of the Mounds (Blue Mounds, WI), Little Norway (Mt. Horeb, WI) and The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. Neither of us had been to any of these destinations before. Cave of the Mounds was pretty cool (50 degrees year round) and a lot of fun. Little Norway is a former farm owned by Norwegian immigrants and later purchased and turned into a museum of Norwegian artifacts. The tour definitely gives you a feel for what the family lived through.

The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum is exactly what you'd expect, nothing more, nothing less.

We also attended Chris & Chateen Krueger's Wedding. Photos pending ...

Saturday
We ran a number of errands, I put in a few hours on a side project. We ate lunch at a new Mexican restaurant we discovered, Pelayo's Mexican Restaurant. For dinner we celebrated our anniversary by dining at Fyfe's.

Sunday
As an agent of D's Racing Imagery I found myself with an all access pass to the Milwaukee Mile for The Governor's Cup 50. This event was organized by the Wisconsin Challenge Series and had a series and speedway record 71 entrants competed to make the thirty-two car field. The majority of these drivers have never raced a one-mile track and were chomping at the bit to turn a thirty second lap around the oval for an average speed of 120MPH

The facility was great and I was working next to photographers who've covered everything from Road America to Bristol to Infineon Raceway and The Brickyard (Indianapolis Raceway Park). The racing presented some great photo opportunities and the overall experience was awesome.

8.23.2006

New Flash!

Hanna

I got a new flash for my Digital SLR today. After chasing the dogs around for 5 minutes I wound up with this keeper of Hanna. She's an attention whore but, hates cameras making her un-photogenic.

Update: Best viewed on black

8.16.2006

Windows Live Writer Released

Microsoft recently released Windows Live Writer a blog-post editing tool. I didn't think much of it but decided to give it a try while waiting for servers to reboot during a deployment.

I can see if you were someone who blogged daily where this would be really helpful. A rich editor with image and formatting and mapping tools. Here, I can embed a map into my blog: 

Nope that didn't work. My blog host "..doesn't support image posting.." That's only slightly untrue, but they are talking about the competition...

8.13.2006

Race Results - 8/13

Well, I thought I had set a modest enough goal. I just wanted to finish fourth or above.

As I won on Friday I started in the rear of Sunday's event. As the green flag fell I stuck like glue to the car in front of me, Dave Moore. We powered past the inside row and got past the one car that started in front of us, Andy Ward. Clearing Andy I began to race Dave hard for the lead. He was slow entering the corners but would regain all the he lost on the exit of the corner. In turn three and four he was sliding up the track. In getting behind him to make a run on the low side through the corner we came across a stalled car on the track. Dave checked up and I tapped the brakes and was sent around. I kept my foot on the gas as I slid through the infield and found the infield pit exit stripe and raced down it trying to catch the leader. Didn't make it but, I did break the pattern and meet my goal, finished second.

Yay.

8.12.2006

Race Results - 8/11

The first race of the weekend went well. Starting on the front row my car bogged down a little on the start, thankfully the guy on the outside bogged down worse. Once in the lead I was able to pull away from the field. I lapped two cars and finished over a half a lap in front of second place. That result earned me a start in the rear at tomorrow's Lions' Club race. My goal is a fourth place or higher. For those playing along at home here are the results of each race this season:

6/16 - 8th (Driving a borrowed car.)
6/30 - 5th
7/14 - 1st
7/21 - 5th
8/4 - 1st
8/5 - 5th
8/11 - 1st

As you can see there is a developed pattern that I am trying to break tomorrow.

Football didn't go as well as expected. Bears won 1-0 after the catalytic converter on the "Bronco Payton" nearly started on fire.

Columbus 151 Speedway 8/11 Press Release

8.09.2006

Brazilian racer in intensive care after hitting deer on Wisconsin Track

Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta's condition has stabilized but he remains in intensive care with a head injury after a collision with a deer at Road America.

When asked how the deer got onto the property, Road America media director Julie Sebranek said, "They have been known to jump the 8-foot [high barbed-wire topped] fences."

read more | digg story

New Website for Programmers and Designers to Find Each Other

A new website has launched for programmers, designers, web entrepreneurs and content writers to find each other and work together to create websites and web applications.

Jim says:
Not a new idea but a decent implementation.

read more | digg story

8.06.2006

Race Results 8/5

Bah, I got held up on the starting line by a slow car. I caught the fifth place car but got a wheel in the infield and lost a straight away recovering. Managed to come back and steal the 5th spot in the last turn of the last lap. Definitely was fun to chase him down and grab the spot right at the end.

The 8/6 event was rained out, postponed until next Sunday.

8.05.2006

Race Results 8/4

The race started off on an interesting note when the Winner of the Late Model feature decided to cross the track as we were coming down the straight-away. Had we not slowed down to avoid him he would have been upset.

Using my front row starting position I managed to break away from the pack and win my second event of the season. Tonight there is a special event that will include the back-ups in addition to a Late Model feature that will last 151 laps. I'll have to start in the back for tonight's race due to winning last night. If I can navigate trasffic I might be able to get a decent finish.

Sunday is the Lions' Club's annual race at Columbus 151 Speedway. That event will also features a back-up race making it three races this weekend. If I don't happen to win Saturday night I will more than likely start near the front again.

8.04.2006

Introduction to 90 Online File Storage Services

"You can use them to send big files, or backup your documentation. Some services can be accessed from your web browser, others may have a client program for you to auto-backup your hard drive."

Jim says:
One of the more useful 'lists' I've seen lately. Coincidentally I've been looking into the topic for backing-up photos so, we don't lose anything important like the 598 pictures of our dog's nose. :)

read more | digg story

Sam The Disaster Horse Teaches Children About Terrorism (PDF Link)

A coloring book including illustrated version of 9/11 attacks (page 4). The kids can even color-in Terrorism on page 5.

Jim says:
I'm saddened to learn that my tax monies went into the support if not creation of this crap.

read more | digg story

Photographer Sued By Plagiarist?

In a weird turn of events, it appears that photographer Kris Krug is being sued by another photographer who allegedly stole Kris' photographs.

Jim says:
I'm not naive enough to think that putting stuff on flickr might get it published or otherwise used for someone else's benefit. In fact I've been unknowingly featured in an AOL book of weird places on the internet that prominantly displayed the logo for my site. This goes beyond that. After being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he's suing the guy he stole from for saying that he stole from him. Uhhh...

read more | digg story

8.03.2006

Game show contestant finds bug in the shows random generator and wins big.

When CBS first aired Press Your Luck in 1983, it quickly caught the attention of Michael Larsen, an unemployed Mister Softee ice cream truck driver from Ohio...And so he spent his last $100.00 on a discount airline ticket and flew to Los Angeles, hoping to be contestant...Soon Michael had swept the board and his winnings became unstoppable.

read more | digg story

7.24.2006

Race Results 7/21

Chris Krueger came out to the track this past Friday and I was glad to have the extra hands. The alternator on the back-up car needed to be changed, piece of cake, not problems, until we went to test it. Chris was "driving" and started the car which ran for about a minute, then died. Cranks over strong won't start. Gas? yeah probably ran out. We threw 2.5 gallons of gas in the tank, same situation cranks strong won't start.

30-45 minutes later with some added brain power it was determined that the gas pick-up was a couple inches above the level of fuel. You're guess is as good as mine as to how it got up there. We pushed it back down into to the gas and she fired right up.

In the race the car died right off of the line. Started it right back up and took off a straight-away behind everyone else. I caught the last car, Jug Hur, who thought he was all alone and was therefore using the whole track. I finaly got up alongside him and the car in front of him Andy Ward spun and collected me. I got back running and caught up with George Wachuta (Wa-koot-ah) when I went around the outside of him he came up the track and hit me unintentionally. That left me in 5th place out of seven cars. Not ideal but, not bad given events. Next Friday I will be back on the pole position, just try to stop me.

7.18.2006

YouTube.com sued for copyright infringment

Wow, am I timely or what. After I started reading up on the legality of youTube.com as I prepared to upload a production, YouTube.com is being sued for copyright infringement.

7.17.2006

Japanese Game Show Segment - Silent Library

This video was introduced to me in an article discussing the apparently blatant copyright infringement endorsed by the YouTube.com video sharing model.

Trying not to laugh I watched at work but ultimately had to share with my co-workers why I was busting a gut.

Enjoy!

What no picture?

CNNSI.com reports via AP that J.R. Todd has become the first African-American to win a NHRA(National Hot Rod Association) Top Fuel Event.

He caught a break in his semifinal race with Hillary Will, when Will's parachute inadvertently opened in the final 30 yards with Will holding the lead.


Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. ;)

All joking aside I find the lack of a photograph with this article silly. Here's a photo of young J.R. Todd from 2004. If I can find a photo why can't the Associate Press?

7.16.2006

Columbus 151 Speedway Race Report

From the Columbus 151 Speedway Press Release:

In back up action, Jim Remsik, Jr dominated the field as he drove away from the pack at the drop of the green en route to the impressive win. He was followed by Jug Her in second and Ryan Oetzel in third.

7.15.2006

Racing Results 7/14/06

With starting mid-season I don't have many points in the season standings. Point totals are what determine the starting order which placed me on the front row for my second week of racing.

Earlier in the evening the street tires that came with the car were removed and replaced with eight-inch racing slicks. Officials allowed a couple laps of practice at intermission and the car felt good enough.

The back-up car Dad had inherited started on the front row, was not passed, and finished a half lap ahead of any other competitors. The victory scored me $30 and the most elaborate trophy I have received from Columbus 151 Speedway. The special event that afforded the trophy was the Dick Moore Memorial an homage to the former track owner.

7.14.2006

A funny thing happened at lunch ...

We were eating at the Roadkill Cafe in Seligman, AZ when about 55 people walked in the door. We thought, Tour Bus? No, PT Cruiser Owners Club. There were two more parked behind me in this shot. Jen (my wife) and I noticed that Chrysler seems to be a very popular brand in the Southwest.

7.12.2006

Online Poker Anyone?

I've been playing poker online for play money. Texas Hold'em as you might have guessed. I was turned on to a new site called DoylesRoom.net. This site is endorsed by Doyle Brunson and you can play against him and a few other poker celebrities at the play money tables.

What I like about Doyle's Room is the nice clean interface, ease of use and overall air of professionalism. I've played on PokerStars.net and PartyPoker.net and both seem to draw an obnoxious bunch who go "all-in" on every hand. The clientele at Doyle's Room just seems to be a step above.

There is also a wealth of information to learn rules, strategies and techniques.

7.08.2006

Bloggables ...

An actual conversation:

Jen: Moose crossing next 10 miles (noting the yellow road sign with a picture of moose on it)
Jim: Is that a moose or an elk?
Jim & Jen: DEER! (bolting from under the sign right in front of us)


In this part of Arizona they have elk on the interstate


The Grand Canyon is impressive, we didn't spend alot of time there and the overcast skies made our pre-dawn trip less worthwhile as sunrise was basically behind a big sheet. I would definitely come back and go down into the canyon.


Interstate speed limit in Arizona is 75 MPH. Backroads state highways (like US51/12&18 are 65)


It's surprisingly cold here and still rainy. The high temp has been 75-ish. It was a bad idea to only pack sandals.

7.07.2006

Good Morning?

We just got up and are on our way to the Grand Canyon's South Rim. I have no idea what time it is, between time zone changes and trying to figure out what time zone Arizona is in we got a little confused. We were up about 2 hours ago and decided that was too early.

It's still dark out. But, that's what we were looking for to capture the canyon at sunrise after missing sunset.

Later.

7.06.2006

The southwest is so .... Wet?



We're safe and sound in Flagstaff, AZ. Bonuses on this trip to date:
* Free High Speed Internet at our hotel.
* The path from Las Vegas to Arizona crosses the Hoover Dam, pictured above.

Downsides:
* Rain
* Rain
* Rain
* We missed our stop at the Grand Canyon tonight. We're are going dark and early tomorrow morning.

It's crazy how much rain we've seen, about 4 hours into our drive it finally quit. The only other reprieve we were a party to was just across the Arizona border for about 5 minutes. Might not have internet access the rest of the weekend. We'll see.

7.01.2006

Racing Results 6/30/2006

Right Rear 3/4 View

There she is, the new Back-Up car. She saw the track for the first time in approximately 10 years last night. I started in the pole position (first car on the front row) and wound up fifth out of nine cars. There is some tweaking to do on the car to make it handle better but, I think the most improvement will come from taking the rust out of the driver. :)

It was definitely fun to be back on the track.

Update:
Ha! I nearly forgot about this... I was filling in as the press release writer this week which meant I had to take notes of the feature events, including the race before the Back-Ups. After that race I ran to the car and started getting buckled in, as I pulled out on to the track I was still putting on my helmet. I drove out forward and assumed my spot on the front row. When the car hit reverse it stalled, I saw the flag man raising the flag to start the race and I turned the ignition. *turn over* *turn over* *turn over* *turn over* The flag fell and the car started at the exact same time. Thank goodness the previous owner had removed the neutral safety switch which allowed the car to start "in gear".

6.30.2006

Practice Last Night, Racing Tonight

We got the car out for practice last night. I only drove forward as we shook it out. It feels like pretty fast but, doesn't handle real well. After some adjustments it started too handle a little better. The radiator overflowed so we had to quit for the night.

As we had improved the handling on with tire pressures we measured the tires. It currently has all seasons on the rear and Mud and Snow tires on the front. The tires measured out like this:

















Left Right
Front 81 1/4" 89"
Back 90 1/4" 90 1/4"


That's right 8" of stagger across the front and zero across the back. Of course what we're not seeing in these numbers is the spring work that was done to achieve the desireable 1 1/2" of stagger in the rear. The stagger in the front is just old school thinking of how to put the rubber to the asphalt, at least according to my Dad. I don't get it but, the car didn't feel awful. Even with awful tires...

Pictures coming soon. Forgot to offload them from the compact flash last night.

6.27.2006

Inoperable ...

Yesterday dad went in for angioplasty and/or research for why he has been having chest pains. The outcome was not good. His bypass are is fine, upstream from that however is not capable of supplying his heart with enough blood.

From what I understand there is no surgery that can help this situation. They are putting him on time-released nitro pills and he is going to have to slow down and not stress his body. For anyone who knows my father that's going to be hard for him to do.

Update:
I just talked with Dad, he mentioned that he will be going through a cardiac rehab program with excercises designed to help his condition. There is also a more extreme treatment where leg cuffs are placed on the legs and squeezed on and off. This forces blood through the system and hopefully expand those narrowed arteries.

6.25.2006

Racing Photos From Columbus


Mike Amador
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
Dad came up to the track on Friday but, couldn't stay the whole night. I had hoped to drive a friend's car but, that wasn't available. With not much else to do I played with the Canon 580EX flash that Chris loaned me.

It's going to take a while to get used to shooting flash at the track. I guess that means I'll have to get one.

Deanna was nice enough to let me in the infield where she has an exclusive rights contract with the track. For that reason the pics are only available at an unprintable resolution.

Dad, Al,and I got the car "done" this weekend

We worked on the back-up car Saturday and Sunday and got it to the point that it is track worthy. There are still some things left to button up (window net, tighten exhaust, tie up wires).

Dad was motivated by a stress test last thursday that has him going back in for maintenance on his heart tomorrow (monday) morning. They discovered "new" blockage and think they are going to be able to clear it up with angioplasty. He'll be out of commission until at least Tuesday. Hopefully he'll be able to make it up to the track this Friday to see my compete in the car we just finished. Time will tell...

6.19.2006

Race Results - 6/16/2006

For the first time this season I made it out on the track as a driver at the Columbus 151 Speedway. With Rick Verdon absent Friday night I "borrowed" his car to get some laps under my belt. I started in the back, and finished in the back as expected. On lap 6 with the leader close behind I pulled off the track to avoid getting in his way.

Stiff Neck Ensues


Much like I imagine one would have to reacquaint themselves with wearing a crown, wearing a helmet took a toll on my neck. At least wearing a helmet and craning my neck to look behind me at speed took it's toll. It's still fun though. I am looking forward to having ``my`` car out this Friday.

6.14.2006

Typo saved me $500+

In September we are taking a trip to Bend, Oregon for my cousin Michael's wedding. We were going to purchase plane tickets back in March but, after talking to the fine folks at AAA Auto Club they recommended that we wait until after Memorial day when prices typically drop.

We had not been able to find tickets less than $340+ for roundtrip from Madison/Milwaukee/Chicago to Portland/Bend/Redmond back in March so, we waited. Sure enough I started looking yesterday and tickets for the same airlines and locations were running about $280+. Good deal, I thought.

I used a fare aggregator called kayak (www.kayak.com) and was pleasantly surprised by the breadth of the search. After a run-in with cheaptickets.com that where the flight at the advertised price was no longer available I chose to go with Orbitz.com. In a hurry to pick-up my wife and get to our evening plans I hastily filled out all of the required information and purchased the tickets.

After arriving home I checked my email and found my confirmation. 4 Tickets, Going through each of our names check, check, check, Waitaminnit??? For some unexplained reason I entered my wife's maiden name. Orbitz customer service made it quite clear that changing the name was not an option, FAA rules and all. The only option available was to cancel the tickets and re-purchase.

No problem, tickets cancelled and flights brought up again, purchase four tickets on same flight ... "We're sorry the price is no longer available." ARGH!!!! *cue Peanuts theme*

Now, I all the same flights are listed at the same price but actually cost $340+.

Back to kayak.com and start from scratch. Flights from Milwaukee to Portland:

"The cheapest option did not exactly match your search criteria. Would you like to include this result in your search?"

$140 from O'Hare to Portland, direct flight. 4 tickets purchased and $500+ dollars saved.

Yay.

6.03.2006

Jen says I"we should make a note of these...

An admittedly shallow and lazy list of things we would change...

If we build another house:

* Have external water faucets on all four sides of the house.
* Include the landscaping in the price of the house.
* Make the dining room larger (8' x 10' is too small).
* Install Cat5/networking prior to drywall.
* Make sure a trailer can be backed into the driveway/third stall.
* "Rough in" basement right away.
* Add skylights/solatubes to south end of house.
* Front door should have a window.
* More walls painted prior to move-in.

5.30.2006

It's vinyl siding ... And I helped!

Friday: Built a fire on the patio, uh, in the fire pit.

Saturday: Up and in the yard by 6:30am; Finished landscaping by planting the "last" 12 plants (hosta and goutweed); Changed sparkplugs on my father-in-laws pick-up truck.

Sunday

Out the door at 7am on our way to my Brother's house to put up vinyl siding. The whole process of siding is surprisingly simple. There is a fair amount of work involved and we had to go buy a ladder I was comfortable using. The old siding was mostly torn off and we installed siding up to the soffet on three sides.

There was a fair turnout of 12 adults and a pile of rugrats. Between us we had the combined knowledge of 2 people who had ever sided before. We expertly (read: luckily) crafted pieces to go around windows, doors, and electrical meters.

You'll have to take my word for it though as we forgot to take a camera.

Monday: We drove up to Waupaca to pick-up a desk from Jen's grandparents house. Four hours roundtrip we were all tired enough from siding that we didn't stop to socialize with the rest of her family up there.

5.21.2006

Long Weekend

It's felt like a very long weekend. We didn't do all that much. We started a landscaping project on Friday and finished it with some help from our families on Saturday afternoon. (Thanks Al, Mom, Dad, Matt, and Nicholas)

With the grueling labor portion of the weekend over we thought long and hard about going to the Drive-in theater in Jefferson. Our decision was made for us when my sister called wondering if we were done with landscaping. She had just gotten off of work and was looking to help if need or join us for dinner. We decided to take the Buick to the 5 And Diner but, all the kings mechanics and all the kings men couldn't get the battery to charge any faster.

We decided the next morning to make the trip to the 5 and Diner with the Buick. When we pulled up you'd have thought we were celebrities. The owner came out and told us to park in front in the striped area in front of the door. A number of the staff stopped by to compliment and a few patrons as well. Attention though is why you buy a light turqoise over white '55 Buick. It certainly isn't the gas mileage. ;)

And now, I'm sitting in my screened in gazebo on my deck next to a fresh fire and writing a blog post on my MacBook Pro listening to the sprinklers spray 6 cubic yards of mulch and 30 new plants.

Strike that, the fire just went out.

4.28.2006

Shipping Status

The MacBook Pro entered the US officially yesterday around 2:30PM in Anchorage, AK. This morning it was in Indianapolis, IN and was in transit by about 4:00 AM. According to Google Maps it's a 6.5 hr drive putting it in Madison, WI by 10:30 AM, likely too late to be delivered today. We'll see.

4.26.2006

MacBook Pro Ordered

Monday evening I ordered a 17" MacBook Pro.

I've been thinking about getting a Mac for a while and was swayed to replace my Sony Vaio laptop with a MacBook Pro by the ability to natively boot into OS X or Windows. I won't be the first (, second, or third) person I know with a MacBook Pro but, I don't know anyone with a 17".

Do I really need a 17" laptop? At a pound more than the hefty feeling 15.4" MacBook Pro if weight were a leading concern I doubt I would have gone with the 17". To be honest though weight isn't a factor. My need for portability isn't running down to the coffeeshop twice a day. It's taking my computer on vacation or occassionally to work. Once it gets setup, it is there for approximately 8 hours or more.

The Dual Layer SuperDrive 8x is pretty cool. Do I have such little free time or such a great need to burn CDs/DVDs that I couldn't wait for a 4x? Nope.

What it comes down to is the 17" is priced so close to the 15.4" that for my needs it didn't make sense to not get the extra screen real estate and enhanced features offered.

Jen got a new bike

Saturday we went and picked out a bike for Jen. The purpose being twofold fitness and transportation in and around De Forest.

http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/06bikes/townie/06_twn_25.html

The selected bike is an Electra Townie 8. It's built mostly for comfort and has a couple unique features. Flatfoot tehcnology TM, the Townie series incorporates standard bike design with a hint of a recumbent. The result is a forward pedal position that is very comfortable and when you adjust the seat to you height you can stand flat-footed on the ground and not have to tiptoe.

The other unique feature is an enclosed rear hub. There is no exposed derailer just a maintenance free hub that makes changing gears a simple twist of the wrist.

I'll probably be picking up a Townie in the near future for myself.

4.23.2006

Civic Duty

Monday morning I get another shot at serving the people of Dane County as a juror.

Last time was nearly 10 years ago and I was unlikely to be considered for a jury being just weeks past turning eighteen years old. Now, as a twenty-eight year old with a stable job and average values I suspect the chances of making it onto a jury are greater.

Stay tuned for, well, not details but generalities about the process etc.

4.10.2006

[Florida Round-Up] Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs was described to me as:

* A Greek Community
* The place with the Sponge Docks
* A good daytrip from Ocala, FL

It certainly fulfilled each of those. Like you think of chinatown so is Tarpon Springs a greek town and not just at the touristy areas. We went to Costa's for lunch which is... a greek restaurant. I had a gyro while Jen had chicken souvlaki (chicken breast gyro).

We went through most of the shops, it has a very Wisconsin Dells strip feel to it. Only instead of dells they have docks and some of the richest sponge beds in the world. We went on a sponge harvesting exhibition cruise. They showed us how the divers used to dive for sponges. Our diver Travis noted my Packers' shirt and asked where we were from, he had come down a couple years ago from Stevens Point, WI to make a living as a diver.

With a two hour drive down and back and a couple hours worth of shopping and cruising it filled out the day pretty well.

Inside the Ponce Inlet lighthouse

The spiral 212 step staircase to the top of Ponce Inlet lighthouse. Ponce Inlet was recently renamed from Mosquito Cove. Reportedly tourism is up 2000%.

I got a few quick shots posted. See more at my flickr page.

4.05.2006

Weather Update

We've been having terrible weather. It's the worst they've seen this time of the year from what I hear from the locals.

It's been between 85 and 95 degrees everyday and barely a cloud in the sky. The locals are worried because it usually doesn't get that warm until May and will stay that warm or hotter through November.

A death in the family ...

I called up and talked to my brother Matt (aka Version0) just to check in on things back home. Everything was fine and he was driving so we ended our call quickly.

A few moments later he called back with shocking news. The Mirage had died. He was on the Beltline and the poor little thing gave out. Trying to think of how to get it home from a couple thousand miles from home we set up roadside assistance on our cell phone plans ($2.95/mo), that takes effect immediately. He was able to call and get the little guy towed to my parents' house.

Oh well, she had a good run, there is some chance we'll be able to bring her back from the dead, again. We'll see.

Other than that we've been cruising around the state visiting a bunch of little attactions. Here's a non-exhaustive list of what we've done:

* Sat in the pool here at my parent's park.
* Went to the Market of Marion Flea Maket.
* Visited the Volusia County Beaches (Daytona, Ormond, Ponce Inlet)
* Climbed to the top of the Ponce (de Leon) Inlet Lighthouse. The tallest lighthouse in all of Florida.
* Enjoyed Silver Springs Park.
* And of course shopped until I wanted to drop...

That's all for now. We're on our way to Tarpon Springs a large greek community and sponge harvesting docks.

3.30.2006

Touchdown

We landed safe and sound at Orlando Sanford Int'l airport this afternoon around 3:45 PM EDT.

I wore a Packers t-shirt and took no end of ribbing as we went through the Rockford airport and again when we arrived in Orlando.

3.28.2006



This image was created using Motivator from fd's flickr toys. Check it out, it's a lot of fun.

3.27.2006

[Update] Dad is home

Gave Mom and Dad's house phone a call this evening and Dad answered. I guess that means he's home. ;)

They had a neighbor couple over who had brought them dinner.

LibriVox.com - Free Audiobooks of material in the public domain

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net (podcast and catalog). Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.


This is a great idea and limited by licensing and volunteers. Some interesting poetry and books available in the LibriVox Catalog.

3.26.2006

[Update] Dad called this morning..

I received a phone call this morning. He just called to see how everyone was doing. He's been out walking. He won't be coming to pick us up from the airport on Thursday but, that's not the end of the world.

He is slated to be released tomorrow and sounded like himself on the phone.

3.24.2006

[Update] "It's just a nappy day" on the way to recovery

Dad is out of the Intensive Care Unit, early this morning they rolled him into room #424 of the cardiac care wing of Munroe Regional Medical Center (Ocala, FL). This is the last address he will hold at the hospital before being released early next week.

Mom sounded tired when I called. Dad has been dozing in and out most of the day and is definitely feeling like he had open heart surgery. The process included cutting the breast bone, taking veins from his legs and performing the by-pass before wiring the breast bone back together.

His "arms feel like they weigh 90 pounds" as a by product of being physically tied over his head to keep them out of the way during surgery.

Tomorrow he will be allowed to walk around the cardiac unit.

3.23.2006

[Update] Surgery completed successfully!

Just received word that the surgery was a success! They performed a quadruple by-pass. Dad is likely to be in and out most of today.

He'll be in the hospital for at least four days.

3.22.2006

[Update] Unfortunately eventful day at Munroe Regional Medical Center

Got a nightly update from Mom.

Dad had another heart attack since my last post. Surgery is on for tomorrow morning at 8:30AM, with prep at 6AM (EDT). The procedure takes about 1-3 hours and we should hear the results shortly thereafter.

[Update] Dad moved to intensive care unit

Dad has been moved to the intensive care unit after suffering another heart attack this morning.

My mom called this morning. I thought perchance because 45 minutes earlier I had received a conformation email stating the flowers had been delivered.

Me: Good morning, how are you?
Mom: Not doing very well ...
Mom: Your father has been moved to ICU... chest pains last night ... heart attack this morning.

She had talked to him twice this morning. Once before the heart attack, once after. When she arrived at the hospital they were admitting another patient and needed my mom to wait for 15-20 minutes. That wasn't sitting too well with her but, our phone call ate most of that time.

Surgery is still scheduled for tomorrow.

More information as it is available.

ProFlowers, These people are serious.

My brother, sister and I decided to order some flowers for my Dad. Samantha asked, "Do you recommend anywhere?" Based on my Valentines Day experience I recommended ProFlowers.com. When I got to work the next day I, coincidentally, had a coupon waiting in my inbox. We ordered 32 Iris and Tulip in a nice vase. The total, including next morning shipping was $58.53.

About an hour later I received an email that our order had shipped. The flowers made the trek from Eureka, California to Ocala, Florida and were out on a truck for delivery some 3000 mi away in a matter of ~20 hours.

Pretty impressive.

3.21.2006

[Update] Surgery Re-scheduled

The by-pass surgery has been re-scheduled probably to Thursday. Dad said the cardiac team needed more help and that he was inclined to give them all the time they needed. ;)

He's only slowed by his condition and a monitoring device so he's got free reign of the entire cardiac unit. Basically, it's like staying in a (very) health conscious hotel.

[Update] Heart by-pass scheduled for tomorrow

I spoke with my dad this morning. They have him scheduled for heart by-pass surgery tomorrow morning. They still aren't sure if it will be 3x, 4x, or 5x by-pass.

Dad seemed in good spirits and said the recovery time would have him at least out of the hospital in 5 days from the surgery.

He's just a technophile at heart.

MacIntel in the wild courtesy of Jon Larkowski and all the people that did the work of making it happen.

3.20.2006

The South Park Episode Re: Scientology

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SSj9gc36Bw8

Tab Mix Plus - Firefox Extension

Tab Mix Plus

Quick Description

Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.

You can bill for this, it's work related ...

Which is more powerful? IT or Business Culture

This guy hits the nail on the head.

[Update] No quick fix ...

Just receieved a phone call from my brother Rick. Mom called him with an update, they were not able to do a quick fix today. The plan is for a little more investigation followed by a 3x, 4x or 5x by-pass operation.

They are confident that they can control the diabetes with medication in pill form. There was also concern about liver damage, separate incident ("Oh, separate incidents.") The damage there is considered to be "within normal levels" and should not be a concern.

"Is your father in good health?"

Coincidences are strange. I went and looked at a car on Sunday, a 1977 Ford Pinto. What makes this car unique is in 1980 it was converted to a gas/electric hybrid. Outside of needing batteries and some body work it's in operating condition. The owner, a former engineer for a railroad, demonstrated the functional bits and it is a clever design. We couldn't get close enough on price and I really wanted a pure gas configuration for my purposes. He suggested though if it is still sitting around in a few years he'll let me know and I can come pick it up.

On my way out we were discussing Ford Pintos and why either of us were interested in them. For him it was the perfect setup to create his second electric car. For me it's a unique configuration (RWD, 4 Cyl) and there is the nostolgia from my dad owning and racing them.

The owner of the Hybrid asked "Is your father in good health?", when I mentioned he was an ace pinto mechanic.

Sunday morning at 5AM my Dad went to the hospital with chest pains.

About 10 years ago he suffered an incident that found him in St. Mary's cardiac care unit although he contends to this day that he didn't have a heart attack.

While talking to the doctors on Sunday he said he's been having symptoms for the past two years. If he just sits down and takes a break they go away. He goes in for exploratory arthroscopic surgery today. If they can fix what's broken by way of stunt or angioplasty they will.

If they can't fix it today they will come out of surgery and devise a plan of action that would include a more invasive surgery, such as a by-pass. All indications seem to point to the fact that this will be a minor procedure and he'll be out tomorrow.

Here's hoping...

3.19.2006

Top 10 Coolest Robots from techeblog.com

Some of the coolest robots I've seen, including some you likely have already seen (Honda Asimo, Sony QRIOs etc).

Each includes a video demo. My personal favorites are the climbing robot and the "amphibious snake-like robot". I'm sure all of these are coming to a battlefield soon.

LED Throwies?

Yes, LED Throwies (in action), ignore pretentious soundtrack. :)

Note the HowTo and Flickr links at the bottom of the link.

Cute.

3.15.2006

Update on Monster iCarPlay (iPod compatible FM Transmitter)

By and large I am happy with the purchase of the Monster iCarPlay. I've run into a few more cons to add to the list however:

Add'l Cons
* Does not always recover well from ignition on/off. Occassionally, I run into a 2 second period of static when I start the car. The radio is usually turned up to compensate for the quietness of the iCarPlay/iPod output.

* When listening to books on tape I get more interference. The only plausible explaination to this I've heard is that the FM Transmitter only transmits when it has input. When listening to books on tape there is a fair amount of pausing for dramatic affect.

Stay tuned ...

"Senator Russ Feingold is an embarrassment to the US Senate"

I'm glad someone chose to write this:

William Greider's "A Peculiar Politician"

3.13.2006

Monster iCarPlay

After I left work a little early on Monday I went to BestBuy and picked up a Monster iCarPlay. Here's a quick review:

Pros:
* Built-in Charger
* One button operation
* Sounds Good, not perfect but, better than expected for an FM transmitter

Cons:
* Limited pre-set station list
* iPod only connector

Even if it wasn't their most modestly priced receptacle...

3.12.2006

iTunes Audiobooks, DaVinci, and Spoiler fun

With the travels we have planned for this summer we decided to look into a few audiobooks. This evening I purchased "The DaVinci Code (Unabridged)", one of the best sellers of 2003, which is 15 hours long.

There, that should keep us busy for a while. Of course, it will take a few moments for the 300+ MB content to download. It was broken into 7 files (or tracks) and a preview was offered. I listened to the first 8 minutes or so and the quality is good, the story sounds interesting. Did you hear the guy gets his head cut off?

That wasn't a spoiler, it's my default spoiler and it always catches someone, usually Chris. :D

Did you see the latest episode of Lost? Locke gets his head cut off!

Did you see The Price Is Right this morning? Bob Barker cut off some ladies head..

It's especially effective for Tivo owners.

Trip to Tenney Park


Mallard Seamus
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
After dropping Jen off at work I stopped by Tenney Park with my camera. You can see this and more at Flickr.

3.11.2006

Arizona Trip Update: Drive time lessened...

It's not the trip we'll be taking next but, we are already planning for the trip to Greer, AZ for Jen's cousin's wedding. As I mentioned in a previous post, we will be flying into Vegas, renting a car and driving to Arizona.

Looking on Expedia the difference between a full-size and a premium rental car was negligible. Being that we are going to be spending 20+ hours in this vehicle over five days we decided to upgrade.

What does Enterprise Rent-A-Car consider a premium vehicle? A 2006 Dodge Charger.

Even with the smallest available engine which is what a car rental company is likely to order it with it should still add some punch, and, comfort to the trip.

3.06.2006

Suddenly planning for a trip to Arizona

We received an invitation to Jen's cousin, Kevin's, wedding this weekend. Kevin and his fiancee are getting hitched in the foothills of the White Mountains in Greer, AZ.

Jen and I spent the night planning our trip. We are flying from Rockford, IL to Las Vegas, NV on Allegiant Air. From Las Vegas we are renting a car and driving to Flagstaff, AZ where we will drop off dead aunt Edna on a family member's patio.

From Flagstaff the plan is to go to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon for Sunset shots on Thursday. Depending on what we see or don't see we may make a second trip on Friday. Otherwise the plan is to make our way to The Petrified Forest National Park.

We'll continue on from the Petrified Forest to Greer where we are staying at the Tin Star Inn. I called and spoke to a cowboy sounding gentleman whose name escapes me. We told him our original plan of visiting only the petrified forest and he made an empassioned plea for us to go to the Grand Canyon.

"Not that there is anything wrong with it, but the petrified forest is just a bunch of rock trees."


After a few nights at the Tin Star and the Saturday night wedding we will make the nine hour drive back to Vegas on Sunday and get ready to fly out bright and early at 6AM.

Toothache

I had a toothache on Friday, off an on. Come to think of it, I had pain Thursday night at bowling.

Saturday the pain got worse and I wound up taking 4 ibuprofen, a shot of Rum, a couple vicodin and a half pint of Ice Cream. None of which helped. I brushed and then a while later, I used Listerine. The Listerine nearly killed all of the pain.

After a visit to the dentist on Monday morning I've got a supply of Amoxycillin and an appointment to fill a few cavities. Yeay :(

2.05.2006

Stan's Junkyard


What's left of a VW Bus.
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
Chris and I met my brother John out at Stan's Junkyard in Waterloo, WI this weekend.

Stan's is only open one day a week, Saturday. They open at 10:00AM close for lunch at 12:00 noon and re-open again from 1:00PM-4:00PM.

As you can imagine that doesn't give folks much time to browse. We hit the majority of the yard in about an hour and forty-five minutes. Our only goal was taking pictures. Had we been picking parts we wouldn't have been able to see much.

There is a large variety from the 40's, 50's, 60's, right on up to the 90's. The big three are represented well (Chryslers, GMs, Fords) and surpisingly we saw a few Hudsons, Packards, and Nash.

Unfortunately the majority are nearly beyond saving. Weather and scavengers have taken a toll on most of this lot.

I'd like to go back when the weather is more pleasant. Although, I was happy with the effect the snow provided in some of my shots. More photos on Flickr

Junkyard Scene


Junkyard Scene
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
This is actually a little disorganized compared to the rest of the yard. In general things are clustered together by make or at least aligned according to what's next to it.

1.26.2006

I got a new job, kind of.

It's official, I received an appointment letter today. I'm now categorized as an IS Systems Development Services Specialist.

I begin working at my new employer, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), on February 20th. That will give me plenty of time to give notice to DFI that I will be leaving for a position with DFI.

In case you didn't follow that, I am leaving the consulting ranks and have earned a full-time position working for the same agency.

Now, I need to plan my going away party.

1.22.2006

Care for a swim?


Care for a swim?
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
After my morning photoshoot plans went awry I stopped by Tenney Park Beach and was struck by the irony of the lifeguard stand and beach paraphenalia.

1.17.2006

I got a job offer.

This morning my boss and future boss offered me a full-time position with the Department of Financial Institutions (http://www.wdfi.org).

We are in negotiations on the items that I get to negotiate on, salary (from a posted range), work schedule, and start date. The only truly flexible item is the start date but, the switch is almost completely paperwork. If things continue as they appear to I'll be starting February 10th as a full-time state employee.

I got a job offer.

This morning my boss and future boss offered me a full-time position with the Department of Financial Institutions (http://www.wdfi.org).

1.08.2006

Jen's grandfather is doing fine ...

We took off from work around noon on Friday. Jen's grandfather had suffered a heart attack. Before we left Madison we found out that a full recovery was expected so we decided to stay for Garrett's going away lunch.

After that we drove from De Forest, WI to Marshfield, WI. Tom had been transported there from the hospital in Wild Rose. We made good time and got up there around 4:30 PM.

They had performed a procedure in which two shunts (one-way valves) were installed. He woke up shortly after we arrived and was talkative, as usual. There was a large collection of family in the room, clearly ignoring the sign "2 Visitors Maximum." We stayed at the hospital until 9PM and got a hotel in Stevens Point for the evening.

I have to recommend Bill's Pizza, it was good, fast, and fairly priced.

1.04.2006

Put Your Best Pug Forward

 

I grabbed this shot on the way to lunch last Friday. These guys were so friendly they practically rolled over when I started petting them.
 Posted by Picasa

Firefox won't display images ...

We recently got new machines at work. Since shortly after I got me new machine Firefox failed to display images. I often surf without images using the Web Developer Toolbar extension. There are occasions where images are helpful. I finally took the time this evening to discover the setting that was causing my trouble.

You find it through the menus, Tools > Options > Content (Tab):



You will need to check the Load Images checkbox.


My annoyance is not at the feature, it's useful. What I don't understand is what happened to disable my images. I certainly hadn't seen that option dialog before and I didn't have any extensions installed outside of del.icio.us, sage, and ie view.

I guess I chalk it up to gremlins at this point.

1.03.2006

My Interview with DFI

I had my interview with The Department of Financial Institutions today for a full-time permanent position. They were looking for a permanent employee to fill the role of Production Support Analyst. Basically, keep everything running on the website.

It seemed to go very well. I was nervous in the hours leading up to the interview, way more nervous than the situation warranted. The interview was being conducted by four people I work with on a daily basis. John, Donna, Sue and the soon to be departed Garrett, which is not to say that Garrett is not long for this earth rather, he is moving on to another position.

There were eleven premeditated questions, some of them multi-part. All crafted to elicit the skills possesed by the candidates some even skillfully. After being asked one particularly verbose and confusing question I asked the panel, "Is that the most poorly written question ever?" Forgetting, or momentarily not realizing that the questions had all been written or gathered by people at DFI. Donna pointed at John while Garrett's face turned beet red. Sue mentioned that she thought that Garrett might have written it much to his chagrin.

He recovered with a quick re-wording of the question that caused a sudden clearness to rush through my head. "AH! That's what you asked." (I'd argue that's not what they asked but, obviously what they were looking to cull. ;)

The question that caught me most off-guard was what five words would you use to describe yourself? I chose:

people-person
detail-oriented
leader
technophile
jocular

The interview proper consumed the first fifty minutes of the alotted hour. After which we discussed the process that ensued. There are more candidates to interview for the two open positions. Not all of the interviews have been scheduled yet so the timetable for any potential offer is unknown.

At the sound of the buzzer (4:00 PM) the final discussions wrapped up and the interview was over.

Now to get this stupid tie off.

1.02.2006

Another lazy sunday ...


Wrinkles Napping (Close-up)
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
It seems I have more time + desire on Sundays to play with my camera. Fortunately with everyone home and generally lounging about the dogs take the liberty of not protecting the house for a few hours.

I snapped off a few good shots of Wrinkles and one of Hanna and added them to flickr this weekend.

This picture has already landed on some strangers' list of favorites.