Saturday, October 27, 2007

CSI: Graham

Cut on Zeus’ tail
This is the cut, after being cared for, that made our house look like a Halloween bloodbath had occurred.

One of my favorite shows to watch on TV is CSI. The original one, set in Las Vegas. To this day I still find it interesting that William Peterson is one of the stars as I remember him from a movie that I really liked - To Live and Die In LA. That was one of the first movies that I ever saw where a main character (perhaps THE main character) died before the end of the movie.

Anyway, thanks to Spike TV aka the CSI 24/7 Channel, I not only have seen every episode, I've seen most episodes multiple times. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting to be like John Boy from the The Big Show who knows everything there is to know about The Andy Griffith Show - except my trivia covers CSI. My wife and I joke at times about all the hints CSI has provided on how to kill someone and then conceal that (or not).

CSI: Graham

Cut on Zeus’ tail
One of my favorite shows to watch on TV is CSI. The original one, set in Las Vegas. To this day I still find it interesting that William Peterson is one of the stars as I remember him from a movie that I really liked - To Live and Die In LA. That was one of the first movies that I ever saw where a main character (perhaps THE main character) died before the end of the movie.

Anyway, thanks to Spike TV aka the CSI 24/7 Channel, I not only have seen every episode, I've seen most episodes multiple times. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting to be like John Boy from the The Big Show who knows everything there is to know about The Andy Griffith Show - except my trivia covers CSI. My wife and I joke at times about all the hints CSI has provided on how to kill someone and then conceal that (or not).

Cut on Zeus' tail thumbnail

Cut on Zeus' tail

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Paths

In a recent post, I mentioned as a post script to my thoughts about tithing that I had received a job offer. Now that everything has been finalized and I have officially started, I can reveal that I have accepted the position offered - Chief Financial Officer for the Durham Housing Authority. This means that I will have to make some adjustments to the management of my consulting business. Fortunately for me, my wife is very skilled and capable in some of the services I provide and will be able to take over those parts of the business. This will leave me able to concentrate on more discrete projects and product/service development.

As far as the position with the DHA, it is an opportunity for me to work with a public agency and in an area that I'm qualified. I've never worked with public housing in the past, so I will be able to learn some new things. And based on the conversations I've had and research I've done, I will have to opportunity to address some problems and issues. Seems to be a niche I constantly find myself in - the role of "fixer".

Toys and Games

First pic

As some may know from past posts, I have been hoping and working towards obtaining a digital SLR camera for a long time. Photography has always been something I've been interested in and enjoyed. With kids, it has become even more of a longing for me to have a really good camera to capture images of their lives as they grow up.

So a few weeks ago while talking with some other parents prior to one of my girls' soccer games, we were discussing my desire for a new camera. My wife made the comment that if I got a new job, she'd get me the camera I wanted. Lo and behold, the next day was when I was contacted with a job offer from the DHA. Fast forward a week or two and my wife was asking what I wanted for my birthday. I took the opportunity to remind her she had made a deal with the devil and owed me a digital SLR. :-)

Toys and Games

First picFirst Nikon D40 pic - Claire hamming it up in my Undertaker hat.


As some may know from past posts, I have been hoping and working towards obtaining a digital SLR camera for a long time. Photography has always been something I've been interested in and enjoyed. With kids, it has become even more of a longing for me to have a really good camera to capture images of their lives as they grow up.

So a few weeks ago while talking with some other parents prior to one of my girls' soccer games, we were discussing my desire for a new camera. My wife made the comment that if I got a new job, she'd get me the camera I wanted. Lo and behold, the next day was when I was contacted with a job offer from the DHA. Fast forward a week or two and my wife was asking what I wanted for my birthday. I took the opportunity to remind her she had made a deal with the devil and owed me a digital SLR. :-)

William in football gear

William in football gear

William in football gear

William in football gear

William in football gear

First pic

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Paths

In a recent post, I mentioned as a post script to my thoughts about tithing that I had received a job offer. Now that everything has been finalized and I have officially started, I can reveal that I have accepted the position offered - Chief Financial Officer for the Durham Housing Authority. This means that I will have to make some adjustments to the management of my consulting business. Fortunately for me, my wife is very skilled and capable in some of the services I provide and will be able to take over those parts of the business. This will leave me able to concentrate on more discrete projects and product/service development.

As far as the position with the DHA, it is an opportunity for me to work with a public agency and in an area that I'm qualified. I've never worked with public housing in the past, so I will be able to learn some new things. And based on the conversations I've had and research I've done, I will have to opportunity to address some problems and issues. Seems to be a niche I constantly find myself in - the role of "fixer".

Friday, October 12, 2007

Marketshare Memes

In a recent discussion on the OpenOffice.org marketing list, we were looking at some data about MS Office marketshare. As we discovered, market share for office suites is apparently measured based on revenue share. Thus, for a free product like OpenOffice.org, there is no market share. So, we are trying to enlighten users and others trying to get a grasp on this metric. Something like "seats" (same way they measure operating systems) would be more appropriate.

Why is this important to you? Unfortunately, statistics and psychology (perhaps sociology) suggest that many people who hear that MS Office holds 95% of the market for office suites will feel pressure to go out and buy a copy as well so they can "be like everyone else". But if that 95% number is not accurate, then perhaps you are not being like everyone else if you continue to use or buy MS Office.

Benjamin Horst has posted an entry, Marketshare Memes, over at his SolidOffice blog in which he explores some of the information regarding market share. Interestingly enough, this rose out of an analysis of price on office suite selection. I encourage you to read Horst's article. And of course, I continue to encourage folks to try and adopt OpenOffice.org.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Bit on Tithing

For a few Sundays in September, Pastor Mark from Graham Friends Church included some words about tithing in his sermons (I'm not real sure "sermon" is the correct word for a Quaker based church, but I"m guessing most people will be familiar with the concept). Sometimes the subject was the primary focus and sometimes it was secondary. I know one of the points he made is that tithing does not have to be viewed strictly within the confines of monetary commitments - it may involve other aspects of what you can give back to God (or let him keep?) like your time and efforts.

A few years ago my wife and I made the commitment to tithe at the church we were members of at the time. We had been giving, but felt it was time to step up. Unfortunately, a combination of events brought that to an end. First, I left my job and that caused some severe strain on our finances as we were essentially living off of savings and credit for a while. I suppose technically there was nothing to tithe in that situation, but it was still unfortunate. The second issue were some changes at that church that caused us to abandon it. For a while we didn't attend anywhere, then my wife found a church she liked, and I finally got in gear and started looking around, eventually finding Graham Friends Church.

A Bit on Tithing

For a few Sundays in September, Pastor Mark from Graham Friends Church included some words about tithing in his sermons (I'm not real sure "sermon" is the correct word for a Quaker based church, but I"m guessing most people will be familiar with the concept). Sometimes the subject was the primary focus and sometimes it was secondary. I know one of the points he made is that tithing does not have to be viewed strictly within the confines of monetary commitments - it may involve other aspects of what you can give back to God (or let him keep?) like your time and efforts.

A few years ago my wife and I made the commitment to tithe at the church we were members of at the time. We had been giving, but felt it was time to step up. Unfortunately, a combination of events brought that to an end. First, I left my job and that caused some severe strain on our finances as we were essentially living off of savings and credit for a while. I suppose technically there was nothing to tithe in that situation, but it was still unfortunate. The second issue were some changes at that church that caused us to abandon it. For a while we didn't attend anywhere, then my wife found a church she liked, and I finally got in gear and started looking around, eventually finding Graham Friends Church.

An XP Reprieve

A short post, but I thought some folks might be interested in this. Microsoft has announced that it is extending the availability of Windows XP through June 2008. Sales of XP were originally scheduled to end in January 2008 - only 3 months from now. Given the continued demand for XP and I believe the lack of sales and implementation of Vista, Microsoft has decided to keep selling XP a little longer.

I don't know anyone myself that has made the switch to Vista. I know of a few people who bought new computers this past summer and all insisted on staying with XP. Of course, this does present a challenge for those who want to purchase a computer in a retail store as I never see any XP computers on the shelves any more. I think you have to order a computer direct from a manufacturer to have XP installed on it. Or, you could buy a separate copy of XP and install it yourself replacing Vista (I assume that would work). Again, you'd probably have to get a copy of XP on-line or off of eBay.

Or, if you don't necessarily need Microsoft's operating system, you can buy a Linux computer. More computer makers are offering Linux based options, including Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Another alternative is the Apple route. Of course you know I'm very happy with Linux as all the computers I have running it are rock solid. I'm intrigued by the Mac OS and want to give it a try. I'm not sure about the fact that it runs on proprietary hardware and although the user interface is supposed to be excellent, I'm not sure it would be worth the additional cost.

Anyway, if you think you'll be in the market for a new computer and wanted to have Windows XP installed, you have a few additional months now.

An XP Reprieve

A short post, but I thought some folks might be interested in this. Microsoft has announced that it is extending the availability of Windows XP through June 2008. Sales of XP were originally scheduled to end in January 2008 - only 3 months from now. Given the continued demand for XP and I believe the lack of sales and implementation of Vista, Microsoft has decided to keep selling XP a little longer.

I don't know anyone myself that has made the switch to Vista. I know of a few people who bought new computers this past summer and all insisted on staying with XP. Of course, this does present a challenge for those who want to purchase a computer in a retail store as I never see any XP computers on the shelves any more. I think you have to order a computer direct from a manufacturer to have XP installed on it. Or, you could buy a separate copy of XP and install it yourself replacing Vista (I assume that would work). Again, you'd probably have to get a copy of XP on-line or off of eBay.

Or, if you don't necessarily need Microsoft's operating system, you can buy a Linux computer. More computer makers are offering Linux based options, including Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Another alternative is the Apple route. Of course you know I'm very happy with Linux as all the computers I have running it are rock solid. I'm intrigued by the Mac OS and want to give it a try. I'm not sure about the fact that it runs on proprietary hardware and although the user interface is supposed to be excellent, I'm not sure it would be worth the additional cost.

Anyway, if you think you'll be in the market for a new computer and wanted to have Windows XP installed, you have a few additional months now.