igniteit2008.pngIgniteIT is coming up this Thursday night at 7pm in the ISU Research Park Rotunda. I suggest any geek/computer type person in Iowa (or anywhere for that matter) consider coming to the event. The event is free, and there will be food and lots of fun entertainment and networking opportunities. If you plan on going be sure to register.

It seems Colin will be giving a couple short, informal, presentations at the event about "Managing Information Overflow" and "Why Your User Interface Sucks". There will also be PowerPoint karaoke. IgniteIT is part of the Emerging Technologies Conference, which is also open to the public and will have some interesting, more formal, presentations.

St. Louis

It has been a while since we have been back from spring break. We took a few pictures for your enjoyment. Here is a quick run-down of what we did.


St. Patrick's Day. Gaila and I met up with Brett, Sheng, and Colin for lunch at Dublin Bay, and then prepared for the trip.


Drove down, more or less following a more or less planned trip following the Mississippi River in Missouri. We got a few pictures along some road-side parks, but it was really misty and the visibility wasn't the best.

Nearing St. Louis, it began to rain. By the time we got on the interstate leading into town it was coming down pretty hard. Having never been to St. Louis before, Gaila had my iPhone out directing me to the hotel. After arriving and checking in, we went to the House of Savoy, conveniently located in the hotel.


After sleeping in a good while on our overly soft bed, sheets, and pillows, we walked to downtown for breakfast at Teutenberg's then to along Market Street for a stop at Union Station. Gaila got some marbles and a book for her mom that would be given to her for her birthday before we get back, and I got my shot glass. I am getting a shot glass for every major city / place I go to. So far I have picked up San Francisco, Juárez, and St. Louis.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped to pick up tickets to the Arch. For dinner we ate at Hannegans in Laclede's Landing. We then returned to the hotel to get the car and drive to a show at The Fabulous Fox Theater to see "The Wedding Singer" musical. We enjoyed the show, but we seemed to be more impressed with the theater itself. We noted they had tours and planned to bump our planned zoo trip to get a tour the next day.


foxTheater.jpgWe slept in a little late, which prompted us to eat self-made sandwiches in the hotel room so we could make it to the tour of the Fox Theater. The theater tour was very nice. Unfortunately, we were not allowed backstage, take pictures of the stage, or get a performance of their big theater organ (Apparently the 2nd largest theater organ behind Radio City Music Hall). We were a few minutes late getting there, but managed to join the tour in progress with the organist at the lobby organ. The tour included stops through the Fox Club and the woman's and men's lounges. Gaila got plenty of pictures.

After the tour, we dropped the car back off at the hotel and headed for the arch via lunch at the nearby Cafe Mattino where Gaila ordered a intensely flavored mango-peach smoothie. When we arrived at the arch, we walked around the National Expansion Museum until it was time for our train to leave for the top of the arch. When we arrived for our appointment, it turned out they were running about 30 minutes behind schedule. To kill time, we spent a few minutes at the gift shop. The train to the top was fairly cramped. There were 8 cars, each seating 5 people snugly. After the arch, we returned to the hotel for a nap, because getting up before noon was way to early for us; plus, we were planning on staying out late.

Once we were well rested, we walked out to BB's Jazz Blues & Soup. We stayed for two sets of live music. The first set was just a guy and a guitar who was pretty good. The second set, things picked up quite a bit. The place filled up as the band was setting up. We ended up staying until around midnight enjoying the music, people watching, and a couple drinks.


We checkout out of the hotel and went for breakfast at Cafe Mattino before we headed towards Ottumwa. Once we got there we settled in and watched a couple Lipizzaner movies.


Gaila went riding with Adrienne and Ashley in the morning while I helped their parents move some furniture to storage and move some other furniture from their old house to the farm we were staying at. By the time it was 4:00 pm or so, it was time to leave for Des Moines after a brief stop at Gaila's cousin's place.

In Des Moines we met with Bob and Marty (Gaila's aunt and uncle who live in Des Moines), Becca, and Gaila's mom for her birthday at Buzzard Billy's where we gave her the book we purchased for her at Union Station. After the good meal, we stopped by Bob and Marty's to see the progress of their kitchen, living room, and dining room remodel.

The way back to home was greeted with falling snow, grocery shopping, getting Gaila's mom's car out of the mud at the redemption center, and a trip to Cold Stone.

So, that was the recap of spring break. We're still waiting for spring to come to Iowa.

Spring Break

stLouisArch.jpgGaila and I have decided to go to St. Louis for spring just because. We will be staying Tuesday through Friday, then heading back via Ottumwa for a day to visit with Gaila's family. The hotel we are staying at is the HoteLumiére. We got a pretty good rate for the 4-Star hotel at $120/night. If anyone has and good ideas for what to do down there, please let us know.

I am posting this from MarsEdit after enabling the XML-RPC plugin for Drupal. I am liking it a lot. Thanks for the tip Colin.

A Precious for my Precious

One Ring to Rule Them All

I couldn't get a better picture, my camera doesn't focus that well. I did not get it at K-Mart.

My New Job

So, I have been working at my new job for a week now and I am already taking care of all the requests that come in for web work, dumped the freshman scholarship data for the selection committee, and attended a couple seminars. I am setting things up to create a streaming server, make the college web site more user friendly, re-do the scholarship system, implement a system for managing users and sites hosted, and started a project showcasing research done at the college. Lots of fun stuff.

The best part is that when I turn around I can see the campanile. I also like the maxed out iMac with an extra display with Adobe Creative Suite Web and being able to walk to campus-town for lunch (with the exception of the bitter cold).

We'll see how things go.

my office

Macworld '08 Results

Wow, I guess I did pretty good. With the exception of the iMac, it was basically the whole keynote with the exception of Time Capsule and iPod Touch updates.

It is interesting to see the iPod touch upgrade costs $19.99 and is for sale in the iTunes store. Kind of seems like a dry-run for software installation before the release of the SDK.

Macworld '08 Predictions

I'm surprised Colin hasn't done this yet. Here is my last-minute predictions for Macworld.

  • Ultra-portable Mac
  • Bump the iMac line (waiting to order an iMac for work, I hope this gets updated)
  • new iPhone firmware with "GPS" capabilities
  • AppleTV bump
  • iTunes movie rentals
  • Fox ships DVD/Blue-Ray with iTunes compatible movies.
  • We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Mac Heist Bundle

Wow, the Mac Heist bundle has all the apps accessible now. The bundle includes CSSEdit, Snapz Pro, Pixelmator and more for only $49. If you wish to buy the bundle use my referral link to help me get the referral applications.

I'm Going Back to Ag

I have accepted an offer to go back to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I will be starting on January 21 (22nd actually because MLK Day is a university holiday).

Career Advancement Opportunity

Stone SculptureI am currently in negotiations between my current employing department at the Diagnostic Laboratory and the College of Agriculture to determine if I will be going back to manage the College of Agriculture web sites and web server. If I decide to go, this would have been the shortest time I have held a job at 10 or 11 months. I believe I will be happier at Ag, since it is where I came from, I know a lot of people there, and I have easy access to campus. Plus, my office would have a window. The idea has crossed my mind to go for grad school, perhaps an MBA or HCI if they would accept me with my undergraduate GPA. It would be much easier to work and go to school if class was just across the sidewalk from my office.

In other news, I enjoyed my birthday last weekend. Thanks to those who wished me a happy birthday. I still have a lot of holiday shopping to do and still don't know what to get for over half the people on my list. I bought one gift so far and ended up buying myself something I thought was cool from Worldly Goods on Main Street. It is a sculpture carved out of solid stone from Kenya. It is all in one piece.

Good luck on finals for people this week and happy holidays.

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