I've just released the first public beta of Stirling Blog for Windows Mobile Standard (smartphone) devices. Stirling Blog is a MetaWeblog API client and will work with any blog software that supports the MetaWeblog API (Blogger, Windows Live Spaces, etc.). The initial beta release of Stirling Blog supports uploading photos from the phone's camera or from a file on the phone, post categories, and setting the post time. Please see my Windows Mobile Smartphone Software page for full details about Stirling Blog and to download and participate in the beta.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 10:48 AM
This past Saturday, January 24, was Rockies Fest 2009 at Coors Field. The event was the first that the Rockies have ever done and was only open to the first 5000 season ticket holders that responded. Dave and I went with our two tickets and Lauren and Cora used Lauren's. We all got to Coors Field right at 10 when they opened the gates. During the day we went to an interview session with the Rockies' MLB outfielders (Ryan Spilborghs, Brad Hawpe, Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith, and Scott Podsednik) and later snuck into a session with the MLB Infielders (Garrett Atkins, Troy Tulowitzki, Jeff Baker, Ian Stewart, Joe Koshansky, Clint Barmes, Omar Quintanilla, and Todd Helton). Dave's autograph ticket got him 3B Ian Stewart's and 2B Jeff Baker's autographs and mine got P Ubaldo Jimenez's and P Glendon Rusch's. We also got autographs from about 15 of the Rockies' top minor league prospects. During the day, they also had all of the broadcast booths, the owner's suite, the Rockies's clubhouse, and the famous humidor open to tour. The Rockies' clubhouse was definitely one of the highlights of the day since that isn't even open to the normal Coors Field tours. It was really an amazing day full of the Rockies and totally worth the time and effort to get the tickets.
Saturday, January 24, 2009 5:47 PM
This past weekend, January 15-19, our friend Amanda from Peru was in town with some her other friends from San Diego, so we spent the weekend playing tour guide. They flew in on Thursday, so we met them for dinner at Papa Frank's in Broomfield.
On Friday, Andrea and I both worked in the morning then met Amanda, Christine, Monica, Maribel, and Adrienne at the Denver Mint for our 2 pm tour. The Mint tour was a little disappointing because they weren't actively making much of anything while we went home. After the Mint, we walked up and down the 16th Street Mall and had cocktails at the Rialto Cafe. We then took them to Casa Bonita for dinner because we couldn't persuade them to go elsewhere. They had seen it on South Park and had to go to the same places as Cartman, despite the fact that the food there is truly the worst Mexican food that we've ever had. Andrea said it best when she said that "Casa Bonita is Chuck E. Cheese's on Mexican steroids." Yes. It really is that bad. After Casa Bonita, we all went swing dancing for my birthday dance before calling it a night.
Saturday morning, they met us at our house at 9:30. We then drove to Golden and took a tour of the Coors Brewery. The Coors tour is a really good tour. You get a tasting in the "Fresh Beer Room" and then three more full size tastings in the bar at the end. After leaving Coors, we drove downtown and had lunch at the Buenos Aires Pizzeria before walking over to Coors Field for a tour there. During that tour, the Rockies' Winter Development Program was in town, so we got to see the lockers of all of the Rockies' top minor league prospects during our tour of the visitors' clubhouse. After Coors Field, we went shopping for ski gear for Christine and Andrea, and then had dinner with Amanda and Christine and Christine's mom at Pad Thai before calling it a night.
On Sunday, Amanda and Christine met us at our house at about 6:30 am to head up to Loveland for their first day skiing. Of the 4 of us, I was the only one who had ever been skiing before. It was an absolutely perfect day for skiing. I left them in the lesson and then went on a couple of runs in Loveland Valley before jumping on the shuttle to Loveland Basin. I went all the way to the top of Chair 9 on the Continental Divide at 12,500 feet above sea level. It was a truly unbelievable view. I went back to meet the girls at 12:30 and we had lunch in the lodge. After lunch, I took Andrea and Amanda on the ski lift for the first time. They both wiped out getting off, which is common for first timers, and then we worked down the beginner hill. Unfortunately Andrea's ankle was hurting a lot by this point, so it took us a long time to get down. I did go back up and make 2 more fast blue runs before the area closed at 4 too.
After leaving Loveland, we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel and then drove over Loveland Pass to show Amanda and Christine more of the scenery. We stopped in Idaho Springs and had dinner at Beau Jo's Pizza. After dinner we drove down Lookout Mountain to show them the view from there before heading back into Denver for the night.
On Monday, we had the day off, but had a bunch of stuff scheduled, so we met Amanda and Christine at Dino's for lunch before she had to head back to San Diego that night. It was a great weekend and we had a lot of fun.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 12:25 PM
In a scene that I can imagine was replicated in offices around the country this morning, my coworkers and I gathered around my computer to watch the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. We watched Obama take the oath of office and deliver a speech that was filled with equal parts realism and hope in the better side of America; a speech that will be remembered as one of the best Inaugural Addresses in American history. It made this moment in history that much more powerful to be surrounded by others in this communal celebration of the American spirit. On this day, I can truly say, "Godspeed, Mr. President!"
Posted using Stirling Blog on Windows Mobile
Friday, January 16, 2009 9:59 AM
On Wednesday, January 14, I had the privilege of attending the National Sojourners meeting and lunch at the Denver Elks Lodge where Grandpa Ideker was the featured speaker. A colleague of mine is a member there, and, when we had been discussing family histories, he asked if Grandpa might be willing to come speak to the group about his history in the nuclear weapons industry. I put him in touch with Grandpa, and Grandpa accepted the invitation.
The National Sojourners are a Masonic organization, so Grandpa began his speech with his personal history with the Masons before moving into his history in the nuclear weapons industry. His first stop was in Richland, WA for the construction of the Hanford plant. At that point, Richland was little more than a trailer park for the construction workers and he talked about the lack of shopping there and the need to go across the Columbia River to Pasco or Kennewick to get even the most basic supplies.
After the construction of Hanford was complete, he ended up getting a job as a machinist in Albuquerque building pressure vessels and the exterior shells for the atomic bombs. He spoke of how hot it was to work in that factory since it was a metal building with no air conditioning in the desert of New Mexico and of all of the tools that they invented specifically for fabricating the parts needed for the bombs.
In 1968, the government announced that they would be closing the factory in Albuquerque and splitting the manufacturing into three sites. Grandpa ended up following the manufacturing that he was involved in to Rocky Flats in Denver, moving here in 1969. When talking about Rocky Flats, Grandpa talked about the two separate sides of the plant; one dealing with plutonium, and the other with largely nonradioactive items. He worked in the latter, rising up to be a plant general manager by the time he retired. He also talked about the change in the media relationship with Rocky Flats after the first fire in Building 771, when the media didn't believe the damage estimates when the paint on the exterior of the building wasn't even scorched. This skepticism lead up to the FBI raid in 1989 that resulted in the final closing of the plant.
As he wrapped up his speech, he talked about how proud he was of the work they had done. The most poignant statement he made was when he talked about how he had "worked his whole life building things he prayed would never be used."
It was an excellent speech and a great time. The Sojourners' were all highly appreciative of his talk and I even learned some more family history that I hadn't known before. As the third generation of my family to have worked in the nuclear weapons industry in general, and Rocky Flats in particular, it was really fascinating to hear all of the stories of the beginnings of the industry. It was also bittersweet knowing that I had spent the first part of my career ensuring that his prayer was answered, dismantling and cleaning up the very buildings that he had helped build.
Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:29 AM
As I was getting up this morning, I had the TV on and, during one of the commercials, I realized that I knew some two of the people in them. Don and Claire Bagge both are long time members of our church and were featured in the 9News commercial shown above on the coming Digital TV transition. It's always pretty cool to see someone you know on TV.
Monday, January 12, 2009 11:37 AM
It's official. This morning was my 30th birthday. I woke up to what seems to be an annual birthday tradition: a snowstorm. We ended up getting 5 or 6 inches of snow here at the house and I worked from home this morning, but I'm going to head to work around noon now that the snow has stopped and the traffic has cleared.
On Saturday night, Andrea threw a wonderful birthday party for me. We had about 40 people over, including family, friends, friends from church, and former coworkers. We had a ton of great food, though my chile rellenos were clearly the hit of the party. The party started around 6 pm and the last people left around 1 am. It really was a great time.
Thursday, January 8, 2009 3:49 PM
I just saw this today, and Microsoft just released it into beta on January 7, but Microsoft Tag looks pretty cool to me. Right now it's free for anyone to use. You could put your business card information in a tag that's printed on your card or open up a link to a website. It works really well on my T-Mobile Dash, which really doesn't have a great camera at all. You don't have to hold the phone steady. It will recognize it instantly even if you're pretty shaky while you're capturing the tag. Point your phone browser at http://gettag.mobi and check out the tag to the right. I can see this being pretty cool as it gets more traction.
Sunday, January 4, 2009 12:00 PM
Today is Andrea's 27th birthday. Happy Birthday Andrea!