Monday, December 30, 2013

Books I've Read - 2013

This is only the second year that I have kept track of the books I read. I believe that I might have missed a couple but I believe I enjoyed them all. Hardly enough hours in the day for me to read. With less driving back and forth to Wisconsin I seem to have less time to read.
  1.     Mad River - John Sandford
  2.     Poseidon's Arrow - Clive Cussler
  3.     Cuba - Julia E. Sweig
  4.     The Faithful Spy - Alex Berenson
  5.     The Ghost War - Alex Berenson
  6.     The Silent Man - Alex Berenson
  7.     The Midnight House - Alex Berenson
  8.     The Secret Soldier - Alex Berenson
  9.     The Shadow Patrol - Alex Berenson
  10.     The Fear Index - Robert Harris
  11.     Fatherland - Robert Harris
  12.     Enigma - Robert Harris
  13.     Pompeii - Robert Harris
  14.     The Last Jihad - Joel C. Rosenberg
  15.     The Jerusalem Assassin - Avraham Azrieli
  16.     Unintended Consequences - Stuart Woods
  17.     The Empress File - John Sandford
  18.     The Devil's Code - John Sandford
  19.     The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20.     Hanged Man's Song - John Sandford
  21.     Silken Prey - John Sandford
  22.     Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
  23.     Inferno - Dan Brown
  24.     The Passage - Justin Cronin
  25.     Zero Hour - Clive Cussler
  26.     Red Sparrow - Jason Mathews
  27.     The Tombs - Clive Cussler
  28.     The English Girl - Daniel Silva
  29.     The Holy Thief: A Novel - William Ryan
  30.     The Darkening Field - William Ryan
  31.     The Twelfth Department - William Ryan
  32.     The 9th Girl - Tami Hoag
  33.     Never Go Back - Lee Child
  34.     The Hidden Order:A Thriller - Brad Thor
  35.     The Lions of Lucerne - Brad Thor
  36.     The Path of the Assassin - Brad Thor
  37.     Doing Hard Time - Stuart Woods
  38.     The Quest - Nelson Demille
  39.     The Neon Rain - James Lee Burke
  40.     Black Cherry Blues - James Lee Burke
  41.     A Morning for Flamingos - James Lee Burke
  42.     A Stained White Radiance - James Lee Burke
Reading:The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabelle Wilkerson

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting Near The End

As some of you may already know, I will be terminating my employment with Cardinal Stritch University as of the end of this month. It has been a wonderful part of my career. I started at Stritch in the mid-80's under Jim Kasum and Linda Simmons. Meeting these two people was probably the best thing that ever happened to my career. They were both wise as scholars and as people. They helped me mature as a teacher and guided my way while I was at Stritch.

As part of my Masters program in Computer Science Education, I did a bulletin board. This was before the internet and when telecommunications was something for airlines and big corporations. We logged over 50,000 calls before we shut it down and went all internet. It was suppose to be my Grad project but I never gave it up, until the internet made us.

Here is the brochure that I used when I went to professional conferences to hawk our program and the board. This was so cutting edge that many people could not get their heads around what we were talking about.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 is my new Favorite Guitar Store

I just bought a new guitar, ok, my friends and family know that's not a big deal. In this case I bought it from a new store. SweetWater. They are in Fort Wayne Indiana. Here is what is so neat about them. They act like my new guitar is a big deal. They talk to you on the phone like a person and then behave as if you are valued. Where do you find that kind of service online.

They offered to set it up and put my brand and guage of strings on it. Not only did they set it up and restring it, but they sent me pictures of my actual new guitar. They must have a guitar portrait studio. 

And the service.... Unbelievable. Bought it on Monday, arrived on Wednesday with my gauge and brand of strings and all set up and ready to play. Not just restrung but actually set-up. Spot on intonation, pickups adjusted. A pleasure to play right out of the box. These people are incredible. If you need a guitar, give a peek, they deliver in many ways. They even threw some candy in the package for my grandchildren.

This guitar is just like my first electric guitar. Originally Fender wanted to grab jazz guitar players with a special circuit just for Jazz. Now later in my life it has a great set of my favorite features, including the belly cut for my past middle age middle. It also has single coil pickups and a great look. This model has a little hotter pickups than the original but it still has that single coil pop that I love. It also has that great jazz circuit, just like I remembered it. Thanks Sweetwater.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What is this Omer Counter Thing doing here?

As a child, holidays came and went. Each had its own rituals and foods. Some I didn't even notice, others were pretty much good for a day off from school. Now that I am older, and have time to think about these things, I spend a little more time wondering what it is all about.

When my dear daughter asked me to write her an Omer counter I had to look it up to find out what it was. I find the idea interesting for many reasons. Most of which it makes the counter, if you choose to be one, congnizant of the passage of time and the season more than ever. It gives us a chance to prepare for the holiday that celebrates G-d giving us the Torah.

The Torah, everything you need to know about life in one easy to handle scroll, is an amazing gift and however you believe it came to be, it certainly has had a profound impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.

I found a couple of interesting articles on Counting the Omer. The first is from the blog PunkTorah regarding the counting:

So, what does this all mean to us now? Well, it can mean many things. Counting the Omer can be used as a tool of self reflection. We can take this time to recognize the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt, from the gift of our freedom. The Sages tell us that G-d freed us from slavery in order to give us the Torah on Shavu’ot, so this should be a time of preparation. Counting the Omer gives us the time to learn from the gift of freedom G-d has given us and incorporate it into our lives, to grow one day at a time, taking a spiritual accounting, to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, to look at what we are doing that is right or wrong and to try to make ourselves ready to receive the honor of the Torah.
Counting the days is another way of directing our mindfulness to the passage of time. Be aware of the days as they pass, count them, give them meaning. We have been freed from slavery, rejecting the confusion and idolatry (philosophically, literally, and spiritually) of our own Egypt’s and are being made ready to re-focus our lives.
I guess a good take-away from all of this is that one must make each day count. Make each day worth living for you and the people you love. 

(This is a repeat of a post from a few years ago)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Computing in the Clouds

Welcome to my personal Blog. I will have all the websites, links and goodies from our session, Monday March 11, 2013 assembled here for you to use. It will stay here so don't worry about losing the resource.

These presentations are shared from my cloud.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Can I take a Post Back?

About a year ago I did a post about a new printer. I was pretty excited about a wireless printer that installed itself and had an email address of its own. Wow, I could email documents to the printer no matter where I was and it would print out and be there when I got home.

The quality of the printing was excellent and I printed a lot of very nice snapshots and other documents. Worked great for a while and then one day my computer couldn't find it... I could see it but the computer drivers were taking a break, I guess, and I need to do a complete uninstall and reinstall of the HP software. HP product software is the very definition of "bloatware" I guess that's not a big deal until the third or fourth time you do the uninstall/reinstall thing for no reason at all.

This is a common problem with these printers but HP does not address it, they just offer a discount on ink and free shipping....  

Then there is the way it uses ink. The cartridges seem to empty automatically. i.e. not just while you are using it. The ink costs a fortune and seemed to always need replacement. I knew that inkjet printers were expensive but this was ridiculous. 

I finally decided to use up the ink and dump the thing. In the middle of my wait HP sent me an email saying that I hadn't used the email printing feature in a long time and I should try it again. Of course, I did and it didn't work.

That's right, I have three little brothers on my desk!
So today I gave up and installed a new printer. A Brother MFC-J825DW. Very easy installation it seems to work great. I'll let you know after I get to know it a little better.

BTW:I turned it on, used the tiny touch screen to configure my network SSID and it immediately was able to print from my iPhone and iPad. I can even scan from the IOS devices and have the files printed or saved to an SD card in the printer. Pretty cool.