The Muse is a geek to be sure but he's also eclectic in the breadth of his knowledge. In between banter about object instantiation and thread management I manage to go to the movies with my wife and kids. I even read a book now and then. My 19 year old daughter Jasmine forces me to stay up on enough entertainment news so I can have more interesting conversations with her at Sunday Lunch. So naturally I was interested in the Oscars. I did indeed watch the whole thing with my wife (actually I watched while I continued my reading of the 19th edition of the "Complete PC Repair and Upgrade Guide"... but it still counts). Here is the Muse review of the 82nd annual Oscars:Read More
For those of you using more than one monitor and using windows 7, I just accidentally discovered something that is pretty cool. Select a window on one of your screens. Hold down the windows key and the shift key and then use the right or left arrow keys to move it between your various monitors. That's something I do all day long - move various windows between my three monitors to make space for one thing or another. I suppose it's not new to some of you out there - but I thought it was nifty :)
Well only the brave soul (other than me) made it to the office today. That would be hardy stalwart and compadre Guy Rish. Everyone else is working from home. The final tally looks like 12 to 14 inches and the drive in was pretty daunting. Here are some photos of the final damage.
My back and arms are killing me from shoveling (and I even had my 2 teenage sons to help - yikes I'm getting old).
Every time someone hears I'm from Nebraska they ask about the cold and snow - followed by corn, cows, "do you have a Gap" and "how long before you get electricity and indoor plumbing". As I've documented here and elsewhere Omaha is a high tech thriving economy. Although I live within a few hundred feet of a corn field, I also live within a few miles of excellent shopping, theatre, music and the arts. Still, it actually does get cold and snowy in Nebraska. We are in the middle of a blizzard today.
Here's what it looked like outside my office door at 9:00 this morning.
And here's the progress after about 2 hours.
I'll post another update when it gets deeper. :)
Last night my wife and I attended an early evening bash thrown by the local chamber of commerce. These shindigs are usually pretty good with door prizes and drinks and fancy-pants hors d'oeuvres. I was milling about feeling uncomfortable as I often do in a "non technology" crowd. I'm a talker by nature but in these crowds the conversation usually goes something like this:
Anyway, yesterday I was sort of not in a mood to mingle. Ann and I were in a line for some little mini roast beef sandwiches (thank you Brandeis catering) and we were chatting to ourselves waiting for the door prize drawings. A man who was working the room came up to me and said, "How are you this evening?" I turned and said fine and shook his hand and said "I'm Mark Kruger". He shook my hand with a practiced grip and said, "Nice to meet you I'm Jim Suttle". I nodded and made a comment about the food and then turned away.
Something was tickling the back of my mind... nagging at me like bad mayonnaise in the back of the fridge. Finally I got it (Ann's poking me helped a little too). Jim Suttle is Omaha's new mayor. I turned back and said "I'm sorry I guess I didn't put two and two together. It's really nice to meet you Mr. Mayor." He laughed and I laughed and Ann laughed and the waiter (a charming fellow with half an ounce of gold in his mouth) laughed. I could think of little else to say other than "You are shorter in person than on TV" - which I thankfully kept to myself. Anyway, it was an awkward moment for me and funny for everyone else. Sometimes I wonder about the Muse... I have no lack of confidence yet I seem so inattentive at times. I wish I had brought my good friend Tom Long with me. He's got a sales radar like an Ageis cruiser. I bet he could have held the mayor's attention for 5 minutes or more. Anyway, now that the mayor and I are on speaking terms I'll have to invite him to one of my candelight suppers.
I like to say Omaha is a great place to live but you wouldn't want to visit there. Unless you are a College World Series fan or a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder there is little reason to choose Omaha as a destination for a vacation (or... let's be honest... even a weekend). Someday it might be known as the home of the Muse but for now it remains a hidden gem on the prairie. Folks around here are mighty friendly (if I could channel Buddy Epson for a moment). In contrast folks in truly recognizable "big" cities (NY, LA, Chicago et al) have a reputation for... well, let's just say impatience. I go most days in Omaha without ever hearing a horn honk, but it's hard to go a few minutes without hearing a horn in NY or Boston. I used to think this impatient, slightly rude state of mind was simply cultural, but my recent trip to the big city changed my mind.Read More
I stumbled across this typewritten letter on the documents page of famed computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra. The letter, written in 1965 is a basic request for a quote for a "general purpose digital computer" for the Technological University at Eindhoven (in the Netherlands). What is notable is the specifications and price:
In 1965, what is the expected price of a machine as quoted above with less power than the music player in those annoying musical Hallmark cards? Dr. Dijkstra indicates to his prospective vendors:
"A million dollars is the upper limit. One or two years after the delivery we might be able to spend a quarter of a million to extend the installation if desired"
Isn't it amazing how far we have come? Here's a shout out to Dijkstra and all the other largely unheralded pioneers who slogged in the trenches so we can have I-phones, Macs, Netbooks and PCs today. Thanks guys! (We'll talk to you later about those musical cards - talk about the law of unexpected consequences...).
I apologize to regular Muse readers for taking a short sentimental journey. You might want a tissue. Oh... if you don't understand the title I added a note at the end of this post.
Life is change and change is hard. My daughter Jasmine moved into Creighton University on Saturday. Creighton is right here in Omaha - 15 minutes from my house. Yet even though we picked her up and took her to church with us yesterday I still feel a yawning hole in my heart. It is unlike summer camp or band trips or even the time she went to Nicaragua. Nothing will every really be the same for my wife and I from this moment on. We are officially embarking on our empty nest (one down, two to go).
As for Jasmine, she is the epitome of what a daughter should be. She is smart - I mean really scary smart as in the Nobel Prize committee should be checking up on her. She is sharp and witty too. She is nerdy just like her father and brothers. She is a caring and positive young woman with a natural energy and warmth so like her mother. In 18 years she has never given me cause to fear her judgment. She never used the air bags on the car. She never earned less than an A. She never broke curfew. She has never been sent to the principal's office. She has chosen her friends wisely. She has never failed to live up to and exceed our expectations. This is not the hyperbole of a doting father. It is the truth with my hand up. If she could learn to clean out her car and straighten her room I'd say she was perfect.
So here's to you Jasmine. I hope your college experience is everything you want it to be and more. I hope you find a passion for something that energizes you for the rest of your life. I hope your mind expands and opens to new and dizzying heights. I hope you find friends and companions who love and accept you and encourage you like you encourage others. Most of all I hope and pray that you will continue to grow in grace and wisdom as you embark on this new season of life. Meanwhile, hang in there and remember, the kettle is always on for you at home. I'm up for baking you a pie and the boys are always ready to bake cookies :). See you on Sunday.
FYI for Muse readers: The title is a line by Mushu, the little dragon played by Eddie Murphy in the Disney movie "Mulan". It is one line of many from various movies that are repeated around the Kruger household - to the chagrin of Mrs. Kruger I might add. Now back to our regularly scheduled technical programming.