Category: Misc Old Stuff

My Schedule at Work Until February…


  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUB)
    1/6/2009, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Trial Run: XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    1/6/2009, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUB)
    1/7/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/8/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUPUI)
    1/20/2009, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Trial Run: XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUPUI)
    1/21/2009, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUPUI)
    1/22/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/23/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    1/27/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUB)
    1/28/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/29/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUB)
    1/30/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUPUI)
    2/3/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUPUI)
    2/4/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 2/5/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUPUI)
    2/6/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    2/13/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Oy… so, looks like birthday celebration after Valentine’s Day…

Epic Climbing Adventure of 2009

Also known as This Year’s NCS Adventure

I found out last Thursday where I’ll be going for NCS this summer: Camp Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

View Larger Map

As you can see from that map, it’s nearly an eleven hour drive, and it’s likely to be exhausting. I am planning on making the drive, but I’ve decided that I’m going to take a couple stops in WI along the way. Granted, as of right now, I’m going alone, but if someone else is interested in following, I’d be happy to have the company.

Here’s the planned route, as of right now:
Leg 1:

View Larger Map

Yes, that’s right, I’m going to be making some stops in WI to do some bouldering. The first leg of my epic climbing adventure will be from Bloomington to Governor Dodge State Park, WI. There’s some decent bouldering there. I’ll be leaving Bloomington early in the morning on May 23, arriving sometime around dinner time that day. Set up camp, sleep, and on the 24th, get started on some bouldering. I’ll probably spend just a couple days in “The Dodge” (until the 26th) before making the second leg of my journey.

Leg 2:

View Larger Map

From Governor Dodge State Park, I’ll head north about two hours to hit up some bouldering in the Central Sandstone area of Wisconsin. The only rocks I want to hit are the ones located in Rattlesnake Mound.

It would be nice to bring along a partner of some sort because at Governor Dodge State Park, there are some sport and TR routes that I’d like to try out, but if I don’t have a partner, whatever.

All in all, I’m super excited about the trip. So excited that tomorrow I’m starting a five-day-a-week bouldering/climbing conditioning program to get my skill level up to the max-rated routes in the area. One question remains…

Who’s coming with me?

If you want to join me, you’ll have to drive yourself up to WI, unless you want to camp in The Dodge until I’m done teaching NCS on Friday morning, June 5th. If you do stay all week, we can hit up some more climbing on June 5th – 7th in some more Wisconsin area sites.

Let me know if you’re interested!

On a sadder note, on November 3, two climbers were killed in a gear-related accident. It happened in the Red River Gorge, KY at a region called Emerald City. I first heard about the accident on Thursday when Shotwell posted the article on Twitter. It didn’t really sink in that there had been a tragic accident until this morning when I found the linked article on the RRGCC’s website. When faces are put to a tragedy, it suddenly hits home.

It’s accidents like this that make me happy that I’m doing my part to teach climbing to today’s youth. If enough future climbers get the right instruction, accidents like this can be prevented. However, it also reminds all climbers that we participate in, and have an intense passion for a dangerous sport. If you slip up, or don’t pay attention to what you’re doing even once, it could potentially be fatal.

That’s all I’ve got.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
— G.K. Chesterson.

The Once-a-Month Posting Rut

Vote TuesdayThis Tuesday is election day. If you haven’t already voted early, like me, you better get your ass to the polls and cast your vote. This is possibly the most important election in our lifetimes.

Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, etc. I don’t care how you vote, who you vote for, what if you agree with me or not, I just care that you get out to the polls and cast your vote.

If you don’t vote, you’re dead to me… DEAD TO ME.

I’ve fallen into a rut that I’ve kept up for the last few months. I always mean to post more often, but things always come up, things like life responsibilities. I like to have some time away from computers, and I also like to have some time to just do nothing. So I guess it’s just a rut I need to work hard to break.

I recently purchased (on mommy-daddy credit) a new computer! For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a sexy machine. I know, I know… “Tom, why did you buy a Windows machine?” I bought it for a few reasons: 1) when I work from home, it’s faster and I don’t have the issue of the machine disconnecting because of lag, 2) its price-point was what I could afford right now, 3) it fits on my desk, 4) it’s good to have multiple platforms at my disposal, 5) I wanted a Windows machine just to have one around.

Overall I’m very pleased with the machine. It does everything I need it to do right now and over the next four months, I’ll have it paid off — just about the same time my truck gets paid off. After this machine and my truck are paid off, I’ll be able to get back into the Apple world with a machine I actually want, and not a machine that I need.

I went Geocaching this weekend and snapped a few photos that will be making their appearance on my photoblog over the next few weeks. I’m hoping to get out and do some caching again some time this week.

You can also check out my Facebook profile to check out photos from the CAC COPE and Climbing Committee trip to the Red River Gorge (they were all taken by Tyler, here’s the album (need to be logged in because you can’t get a public link from an album that’s not yours…)). That weekend was a blast and the best part, the Natural Rock Program was approved! Starting in the Spring, we will be guiding groups to the RRG to cut their natural rock climbing teeth.

That’s all I really have for now. Go vote tomorrow, scrubs!

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
–Doug Lawson

Time Lapse Cleaning

I had some fun today when I was cleaning the apartment. I decided to make a time lapse video.


I used my TI-89 calculator as an intervalometer and my Canon Rebel XTi as the camera. When I was done, I put all the photos into Windows Movie Maker and exported a video.


This Year’s Election

I haven’t said much about this year’s election.  In years past, I’ve been pretty vocal here, but this year, I haven’t felt the need.

I heard something interesting on the news this morning about the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin. In an interview with Katie Couric, Palin was asked to name some Supreme Court cases that she disagreed with and why. The only case she could name was Roe v. Wade…

It’s disturbing, to me, that a Vice Presidential candidate can’t name any cases that s/he disagrees with when asked… Here’s more to read about it, noteably:

Of concern to McCain’s campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin’s interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.

The Palin aide, after first noting how “infuriating” it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.

It may have been undisclosed when that article was written, but that clip was all over the news this morning.

I can’t wait to watch the debate tonight while I’m bottling my first brew. It will surely be worth my time at least only for entertainment value.

Now, I don’t like McCain anyway, but to choose a running mate who is against women’s rights and who isn’t even in touch with modern politics (her foreign policy experience is crying teacher when Russia flies airplanes into Alaskan air space? c’mon…) is just asinine and irresponsible. God help us if they actually win…

The fundamentals of our economy are strong.
-John McCain

In other news, Google has launched an informational campaign to get people to register to vote. They’ve put together a website that brings together information about registering to vote into the Google Maps API. It allows you to check to see if you’re registered, look up the deadlines for registering, find out information about absentee voting, etc.

They’ve also launched this video, full of celebrities:


So, if you haven’t registered yet, do it… and make sure you show up to the polls on November 4. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, what you believe in, how old you are, all that matters is that you exercise your privilege right to vote.


palindrome /pal-in-drohm/ n. – Thing or person that when put forward makes things go backward.
Pundit Kitchen

The Grocery Store

So I decided to head to the newly remodeled Kroger the other day to do my grocery shopping. It’s across town, but I was returning from a trip out to camp to pick up some speakers from Dave. I was only interested in buying stuff to make a vegetarian Ruben sandwich: sauerkraut, horseradish, ketchup, tofam (tofu processed like sliced ham), grated swiss, etc. First of all, it took me forever to find the sauerkraut; I only found it because I went over to where the brats were sold. As I was finishing up my grocery adventure, I was in the isle with the tofam. As I was walking in, there was a confused elderly woman turning around to walk out. What she said to me made my day just a bit less happy:

Oh! I’m sorry! I’m looking for the poor people food…

She had a cart full of fresh produce and I’m sure she was looking for things like milk, cheese, etc. She chuckled and smiled at me as she turned around and disapeared, I couldn’t help but smile back regardless of how bummed I felt. What else could I do though, an elderly woman smiled and giggled at me while at the same time saying to me something that was heartbreaking…

On a lighter note, here’s something for Erin:


Drinks All Over the Kitchen

I really need to get off this once-a-month blogging cycle. My 101 goals should help with that, but until that starts (i.e. when I have 101 goals documented) I have to remember to sit down and write here. For those of you who know me well, that doesn’t happen.

I’ve learned a few things the last few weeks, most notably, my food processor is not ice crushing capable. A couple weekends ago, we were hanging out in the apartment with the intention of having margaritas. Keep in mind; I’m terrible at mixing/making drinks of most any time, let alone one as complicated as a frozen margarita. I put the tequila and mix into the food processor, throw in some ice, cap the machine and turn it on…

Then hilarity ensued…

As the blades in the processor spun around and around at great speed, the ice spun around and around at great speed…

All of this momentum caused the tequila/margarita mix concoction to climb up the sides of the food processor and leak, with great velocity, out the top of the food processor covering my shirt, pants, the kitchen, floor and some walls with a deluge of not-so-frozen margarita liquid. Dejected, I turned the margarita making process over to a more qualified amateur barkeep.

From now on, I plan to keep to making drinks I can handle… whiskey on the rocks, gin and tonic, beer in a pint glass, water/Power aid in a water bottle, etc. Any beverage that requires fancy equipment (like a blender) I won’t even attempt.

I will, however, brew my own beer. Yes, you heard correctly, I will soon (this weekend) become a home brewer. Friday, when I’m done with work, I’m heading to Butler Winery to grab a starter brew kit and ingredients. I’ve been relying heavily on John Palmer’s How to Brew to get me started, but I think I’ve got a good grasp of what I need to do to get going. The first brew will be a pale ale that I’ve already promised to name Pale Jimi Ale. I still need to come up with a name for my little apartment-based operation, but I still have some time. I also need to devise a creative label to be placed on each bottle.

I’ve already planned my first three brews:

  1. Pale Jimi Ale (easy starter beer)
  2. 09-09-09 Barley wine (intended to be brewed on 09-09-08 for drinking on 09-09-09)
  3. A Holiday type beer (to be gifted over the holidays if it’s tasty)

After that, I’m not sure where I’ll go. I want to try a lot of things like 90 min hopping (a la Dogfish Head’s 90 min. IPA), a porter, stout, different barley wines, etc. It’s a new hobby that I’m excited to get started with.

The only down side is that the apartment will, from this day forward, smell like yeast farts, but I’m ok with it…

In other apartment related news, we have new overhead neighbors — Mr. Gardner, Ms. James, Mr. Goth and Jack. It’s going to make for some fun get-togethers and, since I’m brewing beers, it’s nice to know who’s living above you. That’s really all I have to add about that.

A few weeks ago, Jimi got a new kitten, Biff:
Biff, passed out
(I apologize for the photo quality. My iPhone’s camera was dirty.)

The day he showed up, Roark and Komodo became super territorial and thus turned against each other. Roark, being the fat-kid he is, claimed my bathroom (where the litter box and food sits) as his and Komodo claimed my bedroom. This became problematic for Roark because every time he wanted to leave the bathroom, he had to confront Komodo, who wasn’t too happy he had claimed the bathroom and did everything in her power to keep him cornered.

Luckily, this game only lasted until Roark got bored and Komodo got hungry. The two of them still didn’t get along too well for about a day and a half while they adjusted to the smell of the new “little one.” The three cats finally ended up getting along in about six or seven days. When the two older cats were out, the little dude was locked in Jimi’s bathroom and when the little dude was out, the older cats were locked in my bedroom as to avoid conflict. Now, Biff uses both Roark and Komodo as toys, chasing their tails, pouncing on them while napping, etc. Roark has earned himself the nickname “Biff’s favorite toy” and is the most tolerant of the playing. When they get tired of Biff’s antics, they either run away or just smack him in the face a couple times until he leaves them alone. Biff, being a kitten, isn’t the quickest of cats yet, but he does like to yell when he isn’t getting enough attention.

As I alluded to earlier, I’m going to be putting off my 101 goals experiment until I do, in fact, have 101 goals. This might mean it’ll be put off a few weeks or a couple months. One thing’s for sure, I’m not abandoning the project. I do have a handful more goals to add, so I’ll be putting them in when I’m done writing this post.

That’s really all I have for now. The quote at the end of this post is from my sister who knows full well I’m a vegetarian.


So, do you eat your meats Kosher?

Life Update July

It’s been a while since I wrote last (almost 2 months), but it’s not like you’ve been missing much in my life. After I returned from NCS, the summer began in full swing leaving me little to no time or desire to sit down and blog. It’s a bit depressing because I enjoy sitting down and writing stuff, but I just don’t want to a lot of the time.

To date, I’ve spent two weeks out at camp, both of them down at the COPE course. I’ve got one more week in me (the last session of camp for the summer) so I’ll be heading back out there in two weeks. The weeks I’ve had out at the ‘Burg this summer have been awesome. I’ve facilitated many old friends/participants through, tried a lot of new ideas — some worked, others failed, hopefully taught the scouts a lot, but most importantly, I learned a lot about my facilitation style and about myself.

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Firecrafter Mid-Summer Ritual. I decided to make the trip because I told Tyler that I’d keep him awake on the drive back. Going to Ritual is always a great time to hang out with old friends and to see the “New Face of Firecrafter.” I spent most of the day hanging out with Byer, and when I wasn’t around him, I was hanging out with Allen, DOB and various others. I ended up getting epic poison ivy on my arms and stomach (I still have scabs). Regardless, I don’t think I’m ever going to go back to camp Redwing for a Ritual — the poison ivy and bug bites are almost unbearable.

This week, Tuesday, I finally put my economic stimulus check to good use and bought a 2008 Schwinn World GSD bike from Revolution Bike & Bean. The guy I worked with in the store was awesome! I can’t say enough good things about the store. The bike itself is amazing and I have free maintenance for five years through the Bike & Bean. I’m probably going to be making some stops in there frequently to grab a coffee and chat. I’ve been riding the bike to work since I brought it home. It takes me just about as long to ride to work as it did for me to drive. Granted, I could probably get there quicker, but I take a more scenic route to work because 1) it’s more enjoyable and 2) I don’t want to die on a busy street.

That’s all that’s new in my life… exciting, I know.

I’ve done some work here on the site as well, most of which is under-the-hood stuff to streamline its operation. I’ve added a Photo Gallery link at the top as well as a 101 Goals link. The photo gallery will be used to host photos (obviously) and I’m thinking about replacing Facebook’s photo galleries with these, not the Photoblog. I’ll probably start using the gallery with the images I have from the two weeks I’ve spent at the course so far.

If you want to see what the gallery does, check out ScatteredThoughts\dev for an example. It’s at the top of the page, just like this one.

The 101 Goals link is something different and new that I’m going to try. I’m going to come up with 101 goals by the middle of August and I’m going to complete them in 1001 days. With the long time limit on their completion, some of them are pretty lofty. As of right now, I only have 51 set out, but I’ve been adding to the list just about every day. I’ll be starting the experiment on August 15th, which means I’ll be finishing on May 13, 2011. In about 2 1/2 years, I’m going to try to get a lot of things done, and if I can’t, I’ll donate $10 for each I don’t complete to a local charity. I’m thinking about donating it to the animal shelter, but I’m also trying NOT to think about it so I actually complete everything.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

But in the mud and scum of things \ There, always, always something sings.