Monthly Archives: June 2008

Tee’d it up to today

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I got out for 18 for the first time in about three weeks.  Hard to believe it has been that long but it has.  I was in Europe for a week for work then came back and went to the beach for a week on vacation so when I got back to the office, I had two weeks of crap piled up.

I played pretty well today, shot 92 (45-47) which is the best round I have had in a while.  My short game was better than usual and I was reasonable off the tee.  I have tried choking up about an inch on my driver and I seem to hit it much more consistently and don’t really lose any distance.  I noticed Anthony Kim doing this when I was at the Wachovia Championship back in May.  Of course, he still hits it 300+ yards.  I hit a couple today which were about 250-260 out which is about as good as I can hit it.

I still left some strokes out there but not as many as I have lately.  I three putted a couple times and hit two balls in the water (#1 and #4).  I broke 95 which I have struggled to do lately.  I really want to get a few rounds in the 80’s – I think I can do it.  I am going to play on Saturday with two of my girls in the parent-child event.  Should be fun.

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SmartPhone Dilemma

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I still don’t know what to get.  It doesn’t look like the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1 which I want is going to be available on AT&T Wireless (my provider) so getting one will be a challenge.

My AudioVox SMT5600 needs to go, it just doesn’t do enough any more, particularly after using a Pantech Duo for so long.  Right now I am leaning towards the BlackJack II but I know as soon as I commit, something else I want will come out.

I like the HTC phone which Verizon (SMT5800 I think) has now but there is no way I am switching to Verizon to get it.  I like the freedom GSM gives me.  Get a new phone – pop in my SIMM card and it works!  Travel outside the US – my phone works!

Busy with Swim Team

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I have been really busy with swim team the last couple weeks, it is taking almost all of my free time.  I guess that is what happens when you volunteer to be the “IT guy” for the swim team!

Our swim team has been run over the years by volunteers (as most are) using paper and Excel.  It hasn’t been the most organized swim team but the kids had fun.  We did however, lose a lot of information which kids and parents would like, notably swim times.

Last year my wife agreed to run swim team and asked me to help her get the whole process computerized.  I have developed a WordPress based plugin I call wp-swimteam to handle much of the work which when used in conjunction with WinSwim, is working pretty well to manage our season.

However, it is all new and there are lots of questions and lots of “we didn’t used to do it this way” but by in large, people are pretty happy with the way things are going.  They certainly have a lot more information than they have had in the past.  We had a fire drill this week to get data submitted for the local city wide invitational meet which required me to do a bunch of work to get our data submitted.  This is the sort of activity which you don’t realize ahead of time, how involved it can be.  I must have submitted our roster 10 times with the various changes.

WordPress is a great platform for a Swim Team (and probably many other youth sports).  With the wealth of plugins available, it can handle pretty much anything we have thrown at it so far.

A week with a Dell XPS 1210

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I took a Dell XPS 1210 to Europe with me last week and I have to say I like it.  I wasn’t sure I would but after using it, I am pretty pleased.  A guy I know in IT loaned it to me as a stop gap measure – I had told him I wanted a Mac because I concluded the XPS 1330 wouldn’t work for me (no docking station).  He told me we would be getting some new Dell Lattitude E series machines in a couple months and he thought the 4300 would be what I’d want and he would loan me a 1210 until the new E series were available.  I decided it was pretty low risk for me so he sent it out.

The machine he sent me is a 1210 with 2GB RAM, an 80GB disk and WinXP (I have been running Vista).  The first thing I did was upgrade it to XP SP3 and then I went and bought a 250GB disk for it and Ghosted the image over to it.  I also installed VMWare Player and moved the VM I am using for my wp-swimteam plugin development over to it.

The battery life is wonderful, the best I have ever had in a laptop.  The machine is pretty peppy as well.  It hasn’t gone off in the weeds on me at all like my HP tends to do.  I used it on flights to and from as well as within Europe last week and I am happy with the smaller form factor – it isn’t such a struggle to use it on an airplane like my HP can be.  When someone leans their seat back (which they should never do except on a red-eye), I can still work.  I can’t with my HP.

At this point I am going to use it until the Dell Lattitude E series are out and then make my decision.  I am still intrigued by the Mac but being on our corporate standard also has some benefits.

The Marriott CDG doesn’t suck!

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I travel a fair amount for work so over the last 15+ years have stayed in some nice hotels and som really crappy ones.  This week I found one which truly does not suck.  The Marriott at Charles de Gaule Airport is a nice hotel.  It has everything I like in a hotel (except ESPN) and as anyone who has traveled in Europe will tell you, a known good hotel is not something to scoff at.  It was such a pleasure to stay here, I decided to put together a list of hotels that don’t suck.

Why do I like the Marriott CDG?

  1. It is close to the airport (CDG).
  2. Free shuttle to and from CDG.
  3. Free Internet
  4. Full size bed!
  5. Excellent pillows
  6. Nice bar
  7. Reasonable (relative considering the crappy exchange rate) good prices
  8. Drinks and Snacks available without having to use room service

The next time I am in Paris I will almost certainly stay here the night before I fly out.