Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

I received notice of this lecture being web cast before it happened, but being busy at work I didn't take the time to watch it. The video appeared in my feed reader this evening and I've got to say it is one of the most motivational lectures from an academic that I've ever heard. It is well worth the hour an a half.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. - EA

I'm dying and I'm having fun, and I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left.
Because there's no other way to play it. - Randy Pausch

Watch the video here

Randy's home page.

I've been inspired.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Moab


I spent the weekend in Moab, Utah. Having lived in Utah all my life and with Moab being four hours away by car, you would have thought that in twenty eight years I would have managed to get down there before now. Moab is a small town with a lot of energy and life. The occasion for the visit was a semi-annual mountain biking trip with my co-workers. The talent of our group's bikers varies greatly from guys who are willing to try all sorts of crazy stuff to people like me who are just grateful to be able to hike the bike along the trail at times.


We started out on Friday morning leaving Salt Lake City at 6:30 AM, by noon we were on our first bike trail in Moab. It was pretty hot outside, but I figured everything would be great because I did have 2 liters of water in my Camel Back. The trail was really picturesque and fun. There were lots of interesting obstacles, some that I could ride, others that I couldn't. Regardless of the ride ability it was a blast to be on the trail. Unfortunately for me, on the way back down the trail I started to feel really sick. As it turns out, I managed to get myself a pretty good case of heat exhaustion. I spent most of Friday evening in the Moab hospital with an IV dripping fluid into my body. As things turned out, I wasn't the only person to get injured that day. A co-worker managed to fall on his elbow resulting in a fracture. Because the two of us had been banned from biking for the rest of the weekend, while the rest of our team enjoyed trails such as Slick Rock and Porcupine we decided to take a four-wheel drive vehicle through part of Canyon Lands.

Though it was somewhat disappointing to miss out on the rest of the weekend rides, I was still able to have a good time with the team. There really is a lot to see and do in that part of Utah that doesn't require a bicycle. Even when seen from the window of a vehicle, the geography is just stunning. It's now clear to me why people will travel such great distances to bike, hike, and ride in these areas of Southern Utah.

The Neck

I'm excited for the Spring trip. I'll be more careful about the heat/hydration situation, and maybe I'll get to bike on three days instead of one. It was fun to get out of town for a weekend.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Happy Early Birthday

I'm kind of a clean freak. Particularly when it comes to my space at work. Maybe it's because I'm just pathological when it comes to my need to find order in things. I like to claim that my desires for cleanliness have nothing to do with my crazy brain; rather that it helps me to think better when things are organized. This means that there's a place for every tool I have at work, including my red Swingline stapler.

This morning when I arrived at my desk ready for the challenges of the day I noticed a piece of paper sitting where my stapler usually sits.

I kept my Swingline

I try to ignore it for about 30 seconds, then I ask my co-worker if he is playing some joke. He states that he "had nothing to do with it, really". I open all my cupboards and drawers, but alas no stapler was to be found. I mention to my co-worker that it's really going to be quite the challenge not going to all of our friendly cube neighbors asking if they've seen my stapler. I tried, but wasn't too successful at ignoring the happenings.

I ask around a bit. No one seems to know anything. I give up my search figuring eventually the stapler will come home.

I go to lunch, and when I get back the receptionist for the floor brings a box by my desk. Taped to the front is a sign.

Happy Birthday!

I open the box and see my stapler preserved in a layer of Jello. Well, it wasn't actually my stapler but it looked just like it. Yes, my co-workers re-enacted the prank that Jim played on Dwight in NBC's popular comedy "The Office".

In the end, I've got to say it was a pretty funny joke. No harm done, and really someone went to a decent amount of work to pull of a good joke. It really made my day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

For Sam


My friend Sam called to tell me that I should blog more and twitter less. That may have been something of an exaggeration, but he did ask me why I hadn't posted any more pictures from the trip. I guess that a lot of it comes down to being busy, and not being overly impressed with my photography skills. So Sam, for your enjoyment you have the Florence skyline as seen by my camera on August 11, 2007 at about 9AM. Kudos to you if you can name all of the prominent buildings!