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Showing posts from October, 2012

Scout Planning Meeting - A Lesson For Adults

Last weekend I attended our Boy Scout Troop's Annual Planning Camp Out. This is a meeting that the Scouts run, and they plan out all of the activities, advancements, service projects, and outings that they want to complete in the next year. The meeting was held in a cabin at Three Tree Point and was pretty low tech. The majority of the meeting was done with paper, pens, and Post-It Notes. The amazing (and slightly embarrassing) part is that this meeting, that is run by the kids, accomplished more than most "professional" planning meetings that I have attended in my software career. The Homeowner's association at Three Tree Point set aside space for the Youth Cabin, and volunteers built the cabin decades ago. Over the years, many, many Scouts have had the opportunity to stay there, and various plaques bear testimony to the many Eagle Scout projects that have helped to improve it. Our plan was to have the meeting over a two day period, and to camp out there at the

Selling Boy Scout Popcorn

It is the time of year that we take part in the annual Boy Scout Popcorn Sale. Part of that experience usually involves setting up a table in front of a grocery store and attempting to sell popcorn to people who are coming in and out. Interacting with the public is always an interesting experience, especially when you live in such a diverse city like Seattle. Just throw all of your preconceived notions about people out of the window because you just never know who you are going to meet. Last weekend my son and I were selling popcorn in front of a grocery store in an older, well to do suburb. It was a sunny, warm, Fall afternoon so the parking lot was like a mini car show. We saw a 1960's Mercedes SL, some old muscle cars, some custom Harleys, and other gems that only come out of the garage on nice days. One older gentleman parked his Harley, walked right up to me, and asked if I was gay. I just said, "No," so he turned to my son and asked, "Do you get a badge f

Hurricane Ridge

In September we made a family excursion to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park . I have lived in the Seattle area for 21 years now, and I can't believe that I never went there before now. It is absolutely amazing. The only challenge is that news of The Internet and GPS technology do not seem to have reached the Olympic National Park. They do have a Web site, but their maps and directions are terrible, and there is no address for the ranger station so you can't punch it into your GPS. You will just need to go to Port Angeles on Highway 101 and follow the signs. The road to Hurricane Ridge intersects with Highway 101. From Seattle to Hurricane Ridge is about a 3 to 4 hour drive depending on ferry crossings and traffic. Driving in the Olympic Peninsula is always nice. Any of the towns that start with "Port" are worth seeing, and there are plenty of things to do and see. The road up to Hurricane Ridge is scenic - which in a National Park seems to translate

4x4 iPod

I recently traded in my fleet of vehicles (The Rabbit, The Fire Truck, and The Country Squire) on a new Ford truck. It came equipped with a Microsoft Sync system which has a owner's manual as thick as the one for the truck. I keep discovering new ways to use it and today I have figured out how to make my truck into an iPod. I enjoy the NPR show Car Talk , but I can never seem to be in front of the radio when it is on. I have iTunes set to download the podcast every week, but then I have to actually play them somehow. For me, this works best on my daily commute. So the question becomes, how to play Car Talk podcasts in the truck while driving to work. As it turns out, there seem to be no less than 7 or 8 ways to play them on the Sync equipped radio, but I think that I have worked out the best way. When iTunes downloads the podcasts, it saves them as mp3's. If you copy those to a USB stick and plug that into the USB slot on the dash, then the radio will index them, after warn