Monday, December 31, 2007


2007 year end reflections

What a year!
The highlight to the beginning of the year was the best Lotusphere I ever had out five trips to Orlando. All of the moons aligned for that conference. Can 2008 top that conference? It will be hard to do. My wife and sister-in-law made the trip with me and we did the backstage tour of Magic Kingdom. They had an absolute ball at Disney World with small crowds and no one to hold them up. I totally enjoyed the company of my fellow Lotusphere buds and we had a ball at the parties and sessions. I got some great content I was able to use during the year at work. I was pleasantly surprised at how great the Robert Cray band was. I always wanted to see a show at the House of Blues and they delivered. My admin from work joined me there and we also made a point to take in some shows back home. Seems we have similar music interests. We took in RatDog and Gov't Mule/Little Feat during the year. My oldest son, who plays guitar, joined us for Gov't Mule. I thought he'd enjoy seeing a real guitar hero in Warren Haynes. He did!
Spring time brings Little League baseball. My team last year went 3-3 and then did not lose a game the rest of the year. This included a very exciting championship game that we won on the last play. 2007 opened with my totally new team winning it's first 8 games. We stayed in first and second place the whole year as one team went undefeated. We had two tough loses to that team. We were actually ahead of them in the first game after scoring 8 runs to take the lead only to get rained out. By rule, the inning didn't count and we lost. In the playoff game, my son hit an in the park home run to give us a 4-3 lead. They came back and went ahead 5-4. Again, my son got on base in the last inning with my best two hitters up with one out. They both grounded out and we lost. I've coached for over 10 years with my kids and the last two have been the very best. I've had great kids and supportive parents. Hope 2008 will bring more fun in our last Little League year.
In July, I had a very moving, uplifting and spiritual event. I joined my church youth, including my oldest son, on a trip to Niagara Falls, NY for a workcamp. It was great to get to know the youth of my church. I found the entire experience to be extremely rewarding. I had a great crew and I was so glad we finished our project for our neighbor. She was very happy and it felt good to give back a little.
My daughter and young son went on a trip with our Puppettude gang to Chicago for a national conference on puppetry. I'm very proud of their work in this ministry. In December, we visited 6 nursing homes and the local soup kitchen to do a Christmas show. The show brings great joy to the residents. It's such a unique thing and the kids do a great job. My daughter is very talented and has won first place in a regional competition. She also did well in the national competition for being one of the youngest competitors.
In June, we took a vacation to Wildwood, NJ. It was great to return after missing the trip last year. Many highlights to the trip. We took two cars and six kids on the trip. My parents and sister were there too. It was the first time for my parents and it was cool to see them enjoying themselves. They plan to return this coming year. The kids behaved great and a good time was had by all.
I had a really good year at work. Early in the year, we brought on some help for me. It's given me some breathing room to explore some other things. I did a brown bag session a couple times on 'Social Computing'. It was challenging to do some presenting in front of my peers. I don't get the chance too much and hope to do more next year. I received a 'Special Achievement Award' for one of my projects. It was nice to get the recognition from my business partner. Using some knowledge from Lotusphere, I built a new Domino application combining workflow and CSS techniques. A nice project combining MS Word integration and Oracle integration was well appreciated by the business. This will save the business a ton of time in creating and storing some required documents. From the 'Thank You' card program, I won three times. It was a really good year!
How can I forget about two trips to see the Yanks? First was a surprise by a neighbor who called me the day before. We took our sons and they had a great time seeing a winning game. Second, Chris contacted me and I was able to get tickets for a Yanks/Red Sox game. We won again! This all lead to my son teaching my wife about baseball and she's taken an interest in the Yankees. She even watches classic games on the YES channel. Looking forward to enjoying next season with them.
Also, I was voted on to our Church council. It's an honor and it's been fun working with some great people
My wife and I finish the year by losing 10 lbs. The holiday's have been tough but now the goal is to lose some more weight before our trip to Lotusphere 2008.
We are blessed with a talented and healthy family! I thank God every day.
Here's to a great 2007 and looking forward to a great 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Lotusphere 2008 sessions and Ben's schedule database

I finally see an update on the Lotusphere site. They have descriptions of the sessions and a link to Ben's schedule database. Check out the Tracks and Sessions link. Now, Where's the Wednesday party? Is it me or is the party announcement later and later every year?

Thursday, December 27, 2007


New Free Sirius player for iMac: StarPlayer

Browsing Apple downloads today and found this new Sirius radio player. Download page claims the following:
A new breed of Sirius Radio for the Mac. It has album art, an awesome user interace, the ability to record one station and play another. As a recording is finished, the stream is automatically converted from ASF to MP3 and can be played back in iTunes via the StarMP3 playlist. You can take your recordings with you on the road syncing to an iPod/iPhone any other PMP device that supports MP3. Scheduled recordings and other features is planned for the future.

Cool. Got it up and running and Gov't Mule's "I'm a Ram" was playing on Jam On. I had to sign in and set the Tracker setting to T2. Nice album art.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Lotusphere party guess

My wife, who's an expert on all things Disney, says that Magic Kingdom closes at 8pm and Disney Studios at 7pm on the night of the Lotusphere party. I really believe the party will be at a Disney park and I was thinking Magic Kingdom or Disney Studios. Being that the party starts at 7:30, my guess for this year's party is Disney Hollywood Studios. (new name as of Jan 1)

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Friday, December 21, 2007


Planet Lotus meets Curt's Island

Yancy Lent has created an awesome site for the Lotus community. Check out Planet Lotus and you'll find all your favorite Aliens(bloggers) from the Lotus community. All their content aggregated in one place. Sweet! Rock on Yancy! Yours truly has been added and with a quick email to Yancy, you too can be added with your Lotus related blog.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I rant about Lotusphere scheduling on Ben's blog.

Ben Langhinrichs does the Lotus community a great service with his annual sessions database. It's at version 1.o and it's an awesome resource to do your session scheduling. I'm just frustrated with the BP sessions I'll miss due to conflicts.

'I mostly look for BP sessions. After Sunday, Wednesday is the next nightmare to schedule.

10 am - Choose between the entertainment/knowledge of BP 213 Worst Practices or the great info of BP209 Moving IBM Lotus Notes Applications to the Web.

11:15 am - No BP sessions that interest me. Product showcase time?

1:30 pm Three choices for me
AD307 Advanced LotusScript: Design Programming using XML and DXL - Rocky and Andre
Try and make last showing of BP213 Worst Practices - the Best of the Worst?
..or BP216 Interface Matters - Basics of UI Design (admit it, this should be required for many of us)

3 pm I'm dying to see both of these
BP210 Reports, Charts, and Graphs in IBM Lotus Notes - Julian and Rob
BP217 Interface Matters - Advanced UI Design Concepts - Chris and Nathan

Reports are a real challenge in Notes for years and I need all the UI help I can get.

Hopefully at 4:15 there will still be a seat for BP212 The Great Code Giveaway: "Beyond Cool".

Pray for repeats I guess.'


Winter road rage

I spend much of my commute to work cussing under my breath. People ride my bumper, pass like hell right in front of the road merge and all kinds of other idiot moves. But my most favorite this time of year is the guy with the ice missiles on their car. I saw a car yesterday that only cleaned off the a small spot on their driver side windshield. They could not see out of any other part of the car. Of course, he was spewing ice missiles all over the rest of us. I have no idea what kind of brain allows this to happen. My brain tells me that your not going to be able to see, it will fly all over everybody and it will melt all over my garage if I don't clear it off. Glad to hear this mornings news report that it's a $100 fine and the state will be ticketing.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Photo Drop really saved me yesterday

I spent a lot of time working on a new web site for my Aunt and Uncle's business, "New Beginnings Spice". We have over 160 images of spices, licorice and sprinkles. I needed a small thumbnail and a larger image for the product listing view and product form. Photo Drop saved the day. I had bookmarked this from ...and forgot that I bookmarked it, Hey it happens). Its a Mac utility. You create a 'droplet' from the property style window with the dimensions you want or whatever changes you want to make to the images. You put the droplet in the folder you have your images. Then you select you images and simply drop them on the droplet icon. The program then resizes your, in my case 160+ images, in minutes. Awesome!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Is the Mitchell report biased and garbage?

As a Yankee fan, I'm shocked at players named in the Mitchell steroid report. Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton, Gary Sheffield, David Justice, Kevin Brown, Mo Vaughn and Eric Gagne are some that jump out at me. It's totally loaded with Yankees or Red Sox players that a Red Sox fan would love to condemn. Mo Vaughn left the Red Sox for a big Mets contract and they'd like to lynch Gagne. Then, you hear that Mitchell is a Red Sox director. It's bad enough that the evidence is suspect at best and would never hold up in a court but it's also presented by a Red Sox director. Huh! It's ok to ruin reputations and careers on hear say? It's a Red Sox witch hunt.

Google search finds this:Unfortunately, the prominence of Yankees stars in the Report and the near-absence of Red Sox stars raises the question of whether Senator George Mitchell, the Report's primary author, was compromised by his status as a Boston Red Sox director. Was he deliberately targeting Yankees players and/or purposely overlooking offenses by Red Sox?

From Mitchell investigation was doomed from the beginning. The report itself is 409 pages of cotton candy -- wisps of truth teased into a Don King hairdo full of air, hearsay and perhaps wishful thinking. Blow softly on it and it bends and rips apart.

Allegations against Clemons are a bunch of crap:But one attorney -- a man who doesn't represent players, by the way -- said the entire case is "all based on one guy [McNamee], and there's no documentation."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Image resource behaves like he wants to

Why do image resources behave like a good image resource my Notes Designer? I add the image and click on it to add code. HE SHRINKS like a scared puppy. I thought there was a way you could hold a keyboard key and then click so this would not happen. I couldn't remember the combination. So I added a bunch of these and then had to access the picture properties and reset the Scaling(%) back to 100x100. There's a reset button that does the trick. Weird behavior indeed?

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Monday, December 10, 2007


New Lotusphere Sessions database available

Ben Langhinrichs has already posted the Lotusphere sessions database. It's early but it's got the current dates and times for sessions. This is an awesome planning tool. As usual, it's difficult to decide which sessions to attend due to conflicts. This year, if this schedule is accurate, I'm seeing times where I don't see a session I really want to see and other times when I'd like to see three sessions. It begins with the jumpstarts on Sunday. The first and last sessions I may not need to get up for/stay out for. Then, I see 4 jumpstarts I'm interested in at 10:30 AM. This conflict thing is especially aggravating when you want to focus on a couple things and those two things are conflicting. Like on Wednesday, Advanced UI Design and a session on Reporting in Lotus Notes. Again, during the week, I see times when there's nothing I'm interested in but times where there is a conflict with some of my "must see" sessions.
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Thursday, December 06, 2007


New Car Stereo is pretty cool

Last Thursday, I ordered a new car stereo. I went with the Sony CDX-GT81UW from I went for this one because I have a Sony credit card and I have enough points to cover the entire cost including the iPod connection. I went with Crutchfied for their awesome technical service and they include all you need for the installation including wiring harness, antennae connection and the faceplate for your car. This was important as a local installer told me that they don't make the faceplate for my Subaru Legacy. Wrong! I've installed a stereo before and I was confident I could get this one in.
What did I do well with the installation?
1) I started the work on Friday night and got well into the taking out of the old stereo. I did some reading to get ready for the installation. The toughest part was the part that said I had to disconnect the temperature cable. I saved that for Saturday.
2) I took my time understanding how the stereo would fit. There's a cage around the new stereo that's not apparent at first. You have to take this off and install it into the faceplate and then slide the stereo in. Then, you get a nice tight fit.
3) I didn't totally trust the instructions and went to the internet for the real story. When I struggled to get the temperature cable disconnected, I found a tech article in a Subaru Legacy forum that explained that you could remove the outside screws and get the temperature housing out. It worked! Thank God for the Internet.

What did I screw up?
1) I nicked up my faceplate a bit trying remove it and putting back I scratched it a bit on the shifter.
2) I did't crimp the wire harness for all the wires as tight as I could have. They came loose during the installation and I had to pull out and tighten. The crimps I used were kind of junky.
3) The hazard lights not working now. I must have forgot to reconnect. (This Saturday's job)

Stereo looks and sounds great for the money. I like the variety of sound effects and the increased volume. Factory speakers sound pretty good. I suppose the next upgrade could be speakers. Actually, I thinking about a Bazooka powered subwoofer would be a nice addition. The unit has a lot of options for inputs. There's an aux. in for my Sirius radio so not I'm direct input. There's a USB input for a thumb drive to play mp3's and a cd player. The Sony iPod connector is so-so. It's nice to be connected for the power but the controls are slow and difficult to navigate. I'm using it but I usually figure out first what I want to listen to and let it go.
Overall, I'm real excited about it and enjoying the ride!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Best Lotus Blogger Award and my choice

The folks at asked me to post their logo for the Best Lotus Blogger. I already nominated Bruce Elgort. Bruce has made huge contributions to the Lotus community including OpenNTF, Taking Notes Podcast and now the new IdeaJam. As a blogger, you can always count on relevant Lotus related content. Way to go, Bruce!
If you've got someone in mind, head over to and let them know.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Love this LifeHacker post today for iPod utilities

Check this out
The 20 Best iPod Utilities. I've used HandBrake and it does a good job ripping DVD's to iPod. At quick glance, I'd like to try the Last.Fm service so I can get recommendations on music I'm listening to. Interesting to see a Rockbox firmware replacement for iPod. I used Rockbox on my old mp3 player from Archos. There were some cool features there that I liked but it seems ages ago.
Can't wait to get some time to try some of these. Cool goodies and mostly free.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Thanks for the present, Lindsay

This is funny. My daughter is a little geeky and I mean that in a good way.

My wife and I rock out in Elf style.

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