Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
On the back of the big pine green dump truck was a big orange sign with black block lettering. I'm sure you've seen it. It said:
CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE DO NOT FOLLOW
What are we supposed to do, pass you? Even with double yellow lines? If you don't want us following you, then GET OFF OUR ROAD!!
I feel like mounting a sign on the front of my car that says:
PLAIN OLD CAR PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE IN FRONT OF ME
COMMUTER TRANSPORT PLEASE PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY MY WIFE HAS CHRISTMAS COOKIES WAITING FOR ME AT HOME (THANKS, BABY)
I would put it in mirror writing, so the drivers in front of me could read it in their rearviews. I would even say "please." I really would.
Those big orange signs are sort of like the TSA, a completely stupid waste of our money, time and mind share.
If you're on the road, and you're headed to where you're going... please, feel free to follow whatever vehicle happens to be in front of you. Sometimes "the signs" are better off ignored.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Longest night of the year.
We've got the travel itch again. We're gonna need to go someplace soon. A change of pace is on order. Hopefully it arrives pretty soon. They forgot to send me a UPS tracking number on this one, though.
Sleep well, mein freund.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 27 through 30: 2, 2, 1, 1
Monthly sales, November 2011: 6
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $7.50
Votes for favorite charity: 0
Running totals: 45 units, $56.25 raised for charity
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 22 through 26: 0, 0, 1, 3, 0
Monthly sales, October 2011: 4
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $5.00
Votes for favorite charity: 0
Running totals: 39 units, $48.75 raised for charity
Saturday, October 22, 2011
After all, there's no other way you can be, actually.
Stop all the trying, and straining, and stressing, and faking, and pretending. And, please, for crying out loud, stop the whining and complaining. Just be.
It's ok. Nobody's really expecting you to be different than you are. And if they are, shame on them... Don't accept such silly, nonsensical expectations. Be as you are.
Accept it. Embrace it. Be proud of it. Nobody else is exactly like you. Not even if you have an "identical" twin.
Wear it. Own it. Love it. You.
Be as you are.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 18 through 21: 2, 0, 1, 1
Monthly sales, September 2011: 4
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $5.00
Votes for favorite charity: 0
Running totals: 35 units, $43.75 raised for charity
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Noontime, Friday: drive over, grab our first vacation lunch while still in town and meet up with Tim and Lara. After lunch, Robin surprised the rest of us with, what else? Home-knit Viking hats for all! Thanks to Shove Mink and her croshame ability, we started this trip in style. (Wait for it, wait for it: you'll see the photos below.) After that, straight down the Thruway to JFK airport, NYC. The first leisurely vacation dinner, then time to board the overnight flight to Iceland.
We flew through the night, sleeping on the plane, landed, took the FlyBus to our hotel, the Reykjavík Natura, and then stayed up mostly all day, wandering around downtown Reykjavík, checking out the local shops, bars and restaurants. First beer at The English Pub. Also the first shot of Brennivin, the classic Icelandic schnapps, semi-dramatically known as the Black Death. We found some lunch at a waterfront place called The Sea Baron, with really great "lobster soup," loaded with langoustines. I tried the Minke whale, too: ask me about that if you want to know. After that, we wound our way around and back to ye olde English Pub for another beer before the evening hit. The ladies made fun of the guys as we started nodding our heads from not quite enough sleep, and perhaps just one more beer/cider than we probably should have had.
We wore our hats constantly. People recognized us as "the vikings" everywhere we went. Most thought we had bought the hats somewhere over there and wanted to know where they could buy them. (Google Croshame, people, that's her, right there in all 10 of the top 10 results.) Shove, you could make a killing if you went over there for a few weeks during the summer and just made and sold these hats to tourists.
Here we were that Saturday afternoon:
We had an evening "northern lights tour" scheduled, so we headed back to our rooms on the 18:00 hotel shuttle to catch a one hour nap before the 19:30 tour... it ended up getting cancelled, though, because of the weather. Too many clouds to see them well. We tried to get it rescheduled for another night, but it kept getting cancelled each night. Too tired to venture back downtown again, we ended up ordering "take away" Chinese and having it delivered to the hotel.
Sunday, we got to go on a glacier "ice walk"... literally walking on the ice. A tour bus took a whole group of us down to Mýrdalsjökull on the southern coast of Iceland, and it was spectacular!
The ice of Mýrdalsjökull:
Vikings on ice (that's nice):
Most of the photos in this Best of Iceland photo album are from this glacier walk. It was incredibly huge, and we were just walking on a little "tiny" tongue of it sticking down from the mountain.
|Best of Iceland|
I kept singing (mostly in my head) the line about "the land of the ice and snow" from Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song for like three weeks before this trip. It stuck with me even as we toured the glacier that day. In fact, I've still been singing it since our return. It's funny, or maybe just the way things work: I looked it up on Wikipedia after we got back: they actually wrote that song after visiting Reykjavík in 1970 to kick off their tour that year. The words to that song describe Iceland exactly. You know there's no other place on Earth they could possibly be talking about. I find stuff like that amazing and fascinating.
The land of the ice and snow is also the land of fire and ash: balance in all things, the yin and the yang, ice and glaciers are cool male energy, while lava and eruptions are fiery passionate female energy.
Sunday evening dinner: hot dogs. At the most popular restaurant in all of Iceland. Pretty darn good, too. We'll be recreating these hot dogs best we can at our next annual chili/cocktail bash in January. They grill the buns, they put crispy fried onions, a smidge of chopped raw onions and a bunch of sauces on these dogs, and they really are quite yummy.
Monday, we went horseback riding on Icelandic horses, thanks to Íshestar. My horse's name was pronounced Ah-tee, emphasis on the "Ah," but I have no idea how you actually spell that. My guess is it's the Icelandic equivalent of Otto or Eddie. He was a bit of a stubborn beast. These tour rides are all single file, and mostly slow walking and trotting. Luckily, even the stubborn horses pretty much know to just follow the horse in front of them. After a little while, the leaders pause and say experienced folks to the left to move a bit more quickly, beginners to the right, to continue moving slowly. We all went with the beginners... but then, we all met up again at the half-time mark to give the horses a rest and a grass snack. After the break, Robin ventured on with the more experienced group to try riding a little faster. She loved it! We got back to the stables and she was giddy from galloping. She was beaming! They fed us a wonderful lunch as part of our package, and then offered to allow us to stay on for the afternoon sessions, too. Robin and I stayed on, and I even ventured to gallop with the faster group on the afternoon ride. On a new horse, this time, whose name I could not quite get, so I kept calling him "Buddy."
Back to the hotel, quick dip in the hot tub, venture into downtown again to find dinner. Dinner at the place with puffin on the menu. Not just plain puffin, but a puffin feast. And a lamb feast. And a langoustine feast. Feasts had by all. I would describe puffin meat as about halfway between duck and venison.
Tuesday, we rode on the FlyBus again, this time to the Blue Lagoon spa. Waded around the geothermally heated waters. Warmed up in the steam bath. Got massages while floating on a pad in the water. Ate lunch in our robes. Like the billionaires we are. Steam bath again. Back to the hotel, in to Reykjavík, shopping for gifts, quick before the shops close, then dinner at Hofnin, by the waterfront, at the recommendation of one of our cab drivers: best lamb in Reykjavík. After our cab back to the hotel, we walked out the back of the hotel, where about a dozen people were looking up into the sky, and there they were: the northern lights on display for even those in the glimmer of the city lights to see. They were faint green shifting curtains of light, but they were definitely the Aurora Borealis. It was Lara and Robin's first time seeing them: they were both thrilled by that, too.
Wednesday, we went on a whale watching cruise in the morning before we had to fly out in the evening. We saw Minke whales and dolphins. Got a couple of video clips of the action, not sure whether I'll call them "good" or not yet. And we let the teacher from Denmark (who was chaperoning a trip including 65 students, 65!) take a picture of us in our Viking hats. Cha-ching, Shove, Cha-ching! I asked her if it was true that the Danish people are some of the happiest people in the world, and she got a slightly skeptical look on her face and said, "No, I don't think so." But then she smiled.
Straight to the airport with you.
Ah, crap. Vacation's over already. Who said four nights was enough?
Iceland: definitely recommend a visit. And if you do: walk on the ice, it's incredible!
Friday, September 23, 2011
It's the season for starting new things, adventure, excitement of what's to come.
Good month for a road trip, or a quick jet over an ocean to a volcanic isle.
Time to enjoy a little super-long-weekend mini-vacation...
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 14 through 17: 2, 0, 2, 1
Monthly sales, August 2011: 5
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $6.25
Votes for favorite charity: 0
Wow. Even you folks who are downloading it are not voting for your favorite charities each month. Guess I'm gonna have to put out that update with the voting reminder built in.
Running totals: 31 units, $38.75 raised for charity
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Time flies when the weather sucks.
I mean, time flies when you're working too hard.
Wait, no: time flies all the time, no stoppin' this train.
Have fun, 'cause time'll fly, regardless.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Yet another reason why you should give Sgt Fitness a try. Or turn him back on if you've turned him off.
With a setting of 8 to 10 drills per day, and each drill taking a minute or two to complete... add in a walk from the far side of the parking lot and climbing one flight of stairs, and you're up to your fifteen minutes a day.
Don't you feel healthier already just reading about it? All righty then, go buy Sgt Fitness for your iPhone or iPod and get moving!
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 9 through 13: 5, 0, 1, 1, 1
Monthly sales, July 2011: 8
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $10.00
Votes for favorite charity: 1
Top (only!) voted charity: Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure
Running totals: 26 units, $32.50 raised for charity
Saturday, July 30, 2011
My sister-in-law got me a cool t-shirt for my birthday this year. It's got a drawing of a bike on it, and it says "Where there's a hill, there's a way." I love it. Perfect slogan, it's a nice neutral dark yellow color, it's lightweight, and it fits good.
We biked 22 miles this morning. 11 miles to the Cracker Barrel, a big breakfast, then 11 miles home again. There are a few hills along that route, none too ultra-challenging, but a couple of good stretches that make you work a bit.
Sometimes when I'm riding, I think of the perfect thing to say on the old blog... Then by the time I get home, it's usually gone. Unless it's really, really good. Then I can remember it.
Today, as I was going up one of the hills, it occurred to me that there are several strategies for tackling hills on a bicycle. I consistently use two of them: the one that I prefer is to keep pedaling, staying in the same gear, kicking those thigh muscles up a notch and working a little bit harder. With that technique, you keep your speed up, you get to the top faster, and you get a nice sense of accomplishment. But sometimes, I'm just a bit too tired and I need to use strategy #2: downshift until I can keep the same cadence with the same level of effort as before I got to the hill... This one slows you down a little bit, but sometimes ya gotta.
Looking forward to a few more bike rides yet this summer. The weather is finally just about perfect for bike rides a few times a week lately. I like it.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Just move it inside and stay in the AC. And let Sgt Fitness tell you what to do. A tiny afternoon nap might help, too.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
June, 2011 is my bloggingest month ever, and 2011 is now my bloggingest year ever.
Am I getting too talkative? Will I ever shut up again?
These and other burning questions shall be answered in July. Tune in again next month for more Reflections, on the Sarge and other topics.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for weeks 5 through 8: 1, 3, 1, 2
Monthly sales, June 2011: 7
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $8.75
Votes for favorite charity: 1
Top (only!) voted charity: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Running totals: 18 units, $22.50 raised for charity
Friday, June 17, 2011
Right now it looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sgt-Fitness/221545647858010?sk=wall&filter=1
June 17, 2011
Thanks for your video report shown on ABC World News last night regarding the health risks of sitting all day long:
This may be a cliché already, but I'll say it anyway. Believe it or not, there's an app for that.
In early May, I released Sgt Fitness, an exercise reminder app, exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It's a workout coach for the Twitter generation, if you will, an app that displays reminder notices several times a day for you to do some sort of exercise. The sergeant will drill you with pushups, sit-ups, squats, stretching, balance, laps and stairs.
It's a great app for people who have those office jobs where they are typically sitting all day long. Sgt Fitness turns your iPhone into the dose of self-discipline you need to get up and move a little during the day.
You can find Sgt Fitness and more information about it:
- in the app store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sgt-fitness/id427780309?mt=8
- on my web site http://www.dlrsoftware.com/SgtFitness
- in my blog entries from May and June, 2011 http://dlrdave.blogspot.com
I encourage you to check it out. It just might be a part of the solution to the problem of "people stuck at their desk" jobs.
Creator of Sgt Fitness
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Well, it's a useful app. A remarkably simple exercise reminder app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Really, anybody who is interested in getting or staying fit could use it.
But I imagine there is a certain sort of person who will be the ideal candidate for being an avid, every day, do or die Sgt Fitness drillee. (A "drillee" (you) does the drills that the driller (the sergeant) tells him to...)
This certain sort of person has the following characteristics:
- busy, possibly over-scheduled
- lacks discipline to exercise regularly without being badgered
- works in a sedentary job, frequently sitting for hours and hours and hours on end
- wants to be physically fit, but can't find the time
- can't / won't pay for a gym membership
- already has an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that is with them all day at work anyway
Perhaps you recognize one or more of these traits in yourself. If all of them apply to you, then you are the perfect candidate for using Sgt Fitness. You've got nothing to lose by giving it a try. Except maybe a little flab.
I'm sure this entire list of characteristics, each and every one of them, applies to millions around the globe... Now, I've just got to let them know the Sgt is here now, ready to drill them. Help me get the word out, and point some of them to my blog today.
Stay fit, my friends.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
This is absolutely amazing to me. I know I predicted when they first announced the iPad a year and a half ago that it would be a death knell for the personal computer as we've known it. But I didn't really think it could actually happen quite so fast. Now that I've been using an iPad for about two months since getting one at work, I'm quite convinced: it is definitely the way of the future.
There is no reason whatsoever that regular people should buy anything but iPads or their progeny from now on. There's no turning back. It's a brave new world: I'm embracing it; you should too.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
"Give it away, give it away, give it away now..."
One of the things that inspired me to give away a significant fraction of the revenue from Sgt Fitness was a twitter campaign for, believe it or not, a museum of computing history in the UK. They were trying to raise £1.5 million to build the museum, and their tactic was to appeal to the "twitter-verse" to see if they could get 1.5 million people from all over the world to donate £1 each. Their logic went something like: if certain unnamed (in)famous Hollywood personalities can garner twitter followings of a million or more fans in days with their drivel, then a worthy cause should surely be able to raise some money. A little viral fundraising action.
"I realize I don't want to be a miser"
The thought then occurred to me as I was putting the finishing touches on the first release of Sgt Fitness. What if I donate a dollar, or a little more, for each copy of Sgt Fitness I sell on the app store? And then, what if I spread the news far and wide that it's my goal to sell a million copies of the app, thereby donating a million dollars or more to charity? I know, let's make it even more interesting: let's let the folks who actually buy a copy vote on what charities to donate the money to, and put a deadline of the end of the year on it. Could we do it? Is this idea good enough to take off? Will the Sgt go viral?
"Come on everybody, time to deliver
Give it away, give it away, give it away now..."
Saturday, June 04, 2011
My wife's told a few people over the last month, handing out some of my Sgt Fitness promo cards, and she tells me some have asked "How are you going to give away a million dollars?"
The answer is really simple, actually. It's just a matter of a little discipline, some arithmetic, mixed in with a little publicity, a bit of luck and some dogged persistence.
Here's my pledge at its most basic: I will donate $1.25 to charity for each copy of Sgt Fitness that sells on the app store from now until the end of 2011.
To get from that pledge to $1M to charity is simply a matter of selling 800,000 copies of Sgt Fitness on the app store. Ambitious, perhaps, but certainly within the realm of the possible...
Now, Sgt Fitness only costs $4.99+tax for each person who buys a copy. A one time cost. There are literally now millions of iPhone users out there, each paying something like $30 a month each and every month just for their data plan. I really don't think it's a stretch to say that a very small fraction of them would: (a) be financially able to purchase a copy of Sgt Fitness, (b) actually find it useful in helping to stay fit, and (c) have that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing they're helping to fund a worthy cause or three.
Everybody who buys a copy also gets a say in how the money will be donated. I have set up a voting capability on my web site so that people who visit the voting booth from inside the app may cast a vote (once per day, per device) for their favorite charity. I'll tally up the votes at the end of the year, and use those votes to decide how to divvy up the million dollars (or however much we're up to at that point...)
Obviously, I'm going to have to exercise some discretion and judgment with respect to tallying and evaluating the votes. For one thing, the charities will have to be real, recognized charitable organizations, and not just "Joe the Plumber's Belt Fund." For another, depending on the numbers, I'll probably end up splitting the vast majority of the money proportionally among the top three vote getters, with "substantial" donations going to the runners up. Perhaps even up to 10 to 20 or more organizations, if there are that many organizations receiving votes.
So: regardless of how many copies I actually sell this year, whatever funds are available based on $1.25 per copy, will be donated to charities in December 2011. I, for one, am hoping to meet and even exceed the million dollar goal.
Hope with me, won't you?
Stay fit and be generous!
(And spread the word to help me reach this goal!)
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Weekly sales numbers for the first four weeks: 5, 2, 1, 3
Monthly sales, May 2011: 11
Funds earmarked for charitable donation: $13.75
Votes for favorite charity: 2
Top voted charities: Hannah's Hope (1) and 3 Day for the Cure (1)
I am still confident that the future is bright for Sgt Fitness. Once this catches on, it's gonna take off. You'll have to wear shades. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Let me know if you'd like a pile of 10 or 20 of them so you can hand some out, too. :-)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Possible? Or am I crazy?
Could we possibly go from 0 to 1,000,000 users in a mere eight months?
So far, only a handful of people have purchased and downloaded Sgt Fitness since its release 2 weeks ago. Thank you. You know who you are. ("Thanks, Mom, Rob, my sisters and my cousins.")
But it will ramp up. I am trying to figure out strategies to get the word out. Writing and publishing the app was a piece of cake... now comes the hard work of continuously promoting it. I'd like to see everybody who buys Sgt Fitness "talk it up" and convince one other person each month moving forward to check it out. And by check it out, I mean, buy a copy, use it, and then convince one other person each month to check it out.
If we can somehow get that sort of a user base as the first 4,000 Sgt Fitness devotees, and we can get to that 4,000 level quickly, watch what happens:
Starting with 4,000 people, each convincing one other person to check it out each month, after 1 month, we'll have 8,000 people.
Then after 2 months: 16,000 people
After 3: 32,000
Perfect. Eight months from 4,000 to over a million people once we get that rhythm established.
Now: how to establish such a rhythm?
Will you be one of my first 4,000 that helps launch us to the "million dollars to charity" level? I hope so.
If you are one of my early adopters: thank you. Help spread the word by leaving Sgt Fitness on all the time, and actually using it. When people see you doing pushups in the office, they're bound to ask "What's up?" When they do, tell them it's all Sgt Fitness's fault and they should do it, too.
Leave the sound turned on for your iPhone. With the sound on, people will hear your phone saying "Drop and give me 20!" and ask "What's up?" When they do, tell them...
Of course, to go from my first 16 users, to 4,000 may take just as long. It may take sixteen months rather than eight to hit the goal. I might not achieve the million dollar goal until 2012 at that rate... :-)
Starting with 16, which we will definitely have by the end of May, 2011, we can get to 4,000+ after 8 months by doubling each month:
Which, if it actually pans out that way, would put us at 4,000 users by end of January, 2012.
Or... we could get somebody famous to be our spokesperson, and accelerate the whole thing, by speaking to millions of people at once. Got any famous friends who'd be willing to have lunch with me?
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Help me give $1,000,000 to charity!
It's an exercise reminder app that drills you daily with short workout sessions that you can do anywhere, anytime. Each one only takes a minute or two, but over the course of the day, these drills add up to way more activity than you normally get just sitting in front of your computer.
If you've been making excuses like "I don't have time for a workout" or "I can't afford a gym membership" or "there's no shower at work" or ... then Sgt Fitness is for you. Everybody's got time for a minute or two here and there, the app costs way less than a gym membership, and working out in micro-bursts of activity won't get you too sweaty for your officemates.
Sgt Fitness converts your iPhone into a pocket-sized dose of self-discipline to help you get and stay fit.
Watch out, though. Sgt Fitness has a voice! If the sound is on, sarge'll let you know it's time for a drill with a verbal "Drop and give me 20!" Or, if you're like me, and you hate it when your phone makes sounds in the middle of a conversation with somebody, you'll get the old "vvvmmmppp" vibration alert. Either way, it's time for some activity, private.
Got ADD? No worries: the sergeant tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. You don't even have to think about it. And by the time you get distracted while doing the drill, it's over anyway. On to the next shiny thing, and before you know it, another couple of hours and a few hundred web pages have gone by, and it's time for the next drill.
"David, this is fantastic!" you say. "I've been thinking I should get more fit, and Sgt Fitness will help me there. I get it. But how will this help you give a million dollars to charity?"
I'm glad you asked. But I'm not going to answer that question until the next blog post. For now, suffice it to say that I am seeking the first 4,000 users of Sgt Fitness, and that I hope to recruit them within a month. Friends and family, I implore you: help me sell Sgt Fitness to the whole wide world -- blog, tweet, linked-in and facebook it up for me.
Sgt Fitness is available exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Buy a copy today, and then let all your friends know there's a new workout in town. No gym membership required.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Thanks, man. That was helpful.
(Hard to believe that page is almost 3 years old now...)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The Vibram Five Fingers shoes are awesome. They're "barefoot" shoes -- super thin, snug, you can feel the ground with much more tactile sensation in your feet than typical heavily padded running shoes. It's like your fingers on a touch screen, your feet in the Five Fingers on the road.
We got them last fall, and we do not wear anything else on our feet to run anymore... just the Five Fingers. If you are a runner, and you have not tried these shoes yet, then you must!! What's stopping you? And if you're not a runner because of knee, hip, back or other impact related issues... try again with the Five Fingers -- they really make a difference: you don't land as hard in these shoes, so you don't hurt yourself as much.
Before we got the shoes, we were lucky to be able to run for a half hour or so before knees or backs were complaining too much. Now we can run for more than an hour, no problem. Now we wish we had more time to run... Before we thought 5k, no problem, maybe 10k at the most. Now we're thinking maybe a half or even full marathon might be in the cards for us down the road.
By the way: "Yay for spring!" too... We were warm enough today when we started out for the first time in months. Literally, I think the last time we were this warm was last fall, maybe in October. Very nice to finally be past this winter.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
From their "about" page:
"Ohloh is a free public directory of open source software and people."
If my ranking is true, I'm in the top 1% of open source contributors in the world. Not sure I believe such a ranking...
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Fact and folklore in software engineering
...led me to want to read this blog entry:
...and these two books:
Aramis, or the Love of Technology
When am I supposed to find time for all this reading? When? Huh? Sheesh. Who filled up this internet thing with all this information anyway?