Thursday, December 24, 2009

I am going to be poor

Recently the Fazolis by our house closed and they started stripping the inside of it. We had been wondering what would take its place. I don't think I can afford a Chickfila within 3 minutes of my house.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm An Animal

Went to In-N-Out with Chloe and Flater. Here are my animal fries. I also got my double-double animal style.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Performance of the Night

Chloe's violin concert was awesome! She did a great job. The concert was at First United Methodist church, which was a great place for a recital like this. It was a lot better than the school auditorium (where sound goes to die). Sorry for the darness of the video, but I'm not a professional and don't have professional equipment. I will try to do better next time.

Right Now

Chloe is playing right now. If you are not here you are going to miss it! I took some video and will get it posted.
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Last Performance of the Season

We are at the First United Methodist church downtown for Chloe's final Christmas performance. More to come.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jordan...Live and In Color

Above is Jordan playing in his concert, it is kind of like a "Where's Waldo?" Can you find him?

Jordan had his Christmas concert tonight. He plays percussion and played a total of three songs. In two on the songs, he played the tambourine. Let me tell you something, I have never seen a tambourine played better! Also, he got a solo on one of the songs where it is just him and his tambourine. It was awesome.

The movie below is of the song he played the drum for. As you watch you will see his music go flying off his stand and then requiring him to look over the drum at the person next to him. He kept playing without missing a beat! Way to go Jordan, you were awesome tonight!

Jordan's Turn

Chloe had dance last night, Jordan has band tonight. I will get some video and post it, but Jordan wants you to know that he is in the back and you won't see him, but he says, 'Hi."
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Chloe's Dance Part 2

This is a picture of Chloe's dance class.

Below is Chloe's dance (just the last half). The stupid camera was not working for the first half and I had to restart it to get the video. I was angry. At least you can see the ending. It is a good dance and Chloe was awesome during it.

Chloe's Christmas Dance

Here is the beginning shot. I am going to try and video the dance on their second run through and post later.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

White Elephant

At work today we had our Christmas lunch with white elephant exchange. This is what I got. It is desktop dodgeball. It is awesome. You can throw the red ball and try to knock the kids over. If you are ever around my office you can stop by and play.

By the way, I "stole" this from someone else. I didn't unwrap it. It came with a Family Guy DVD but I didn't want that.
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Making the donuts

Ok, I didn't actually make any donuts, I just stopped at Harmons to get them. But, I didn't use a cart at the store, I carried them all by myself. My work has a donut Friday every week and someone brings donuts and we all sit around and chat. Today was my turn to bring the donuts. I got three dozen and I believe everyone had a good time, but you would have to ask them yourself.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Jordan and Sprinkles

On the polar express Jordan got to sit by an elf while we read the book Polar Express. The elf's name was Sprinkles and was nice enough to let us take a picture.
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Ry-ry's family did not make it

But I got a picture of my Mom and Dad with antlers.
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On the Train

We are on our way to the North Pole. We got Diana on no problem and we are waiting for Ry-ry's family - will they make the train? We have drama! The clock is ticking on these guys, if they miss it they will miss the first gift of Christmas. I will let you know. I will let you know.
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Going to the North Pole

Me and the family are going to the North Pole tonight. We are riding with my parents and Ry-ry's family. We will have some hot chocolate and see Santa and then come home. It should be a fun night. I will post pictures.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Arrrrrrrggghhh! I'm a Pirate

In more home fix-up news, we need some new slats for our laminate floor. The fridge leaked and water got trapped beneath the old linoleum and the laminate. The edges of the laminate have warped and it is no longer smooth. Last weekend Flater and I started ripping up the floor and marking bad slats.

The rest of the story is that we couldn't get good enough cuts and/or have enough slats to finish. We ended up putting everything back, but now the floor looks like this:
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Look What I Did

Our microwave broke about a month ago. We have been warming things up in the microwave. It has been fun, and long. I don't know how people cooked without a microwave. I am happy to have one back.

I went out on Black Friday to get this, bit Sears was out so I ordered it. Diana and I went and picked it up last night and then it was up to me to install.

It took about an hour and a half to get installed. I was able to use the old back mounting for the old microwave which made things easier. I did have to drill new top anchor holes. I thought that microwaces would have standard holes, but they don't.

It was a good time, and now we have a microwave again. It looks good, doesn't it?
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Friday, November 27, 2009

Most ridiculous thing I have seen today

Dog in a jacket in a car waiting for Costco to open.
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Black Friday

Yes, I am out shopping. So far I have been to Sears, Target, and Walmart. I still have Shopko and Costco on my list. I have gotten a lot of the items on my list already. I did get our new microwave at Sears, but it won't be in until December 2. Target was a zoo and I got the one item that I needed from them and then checked out. Walmart was crazy and I ended up walking around the store 3 time to find everything, but I got most of it.

I got some of my shopping done this morning at 1am. We got home from Ry-ry and Anne's and I checked to see if any stores had their deals online already. Radio Shack did and that saved me a stop this morning that would have been problematic for me. I did some shopping then went to bed, then got up at 4:15am for my current shopping spree.

Nothing like 3 hours of sleep and then fighting with people, I mean, shopping black friday.
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Monday, November 23, 2009


My dentist and I are best friends. I had a checkup today and the result was: no cavities. Six months ago I went to the dentist for the first time in 12 years or so and I had four cavities. It wasn't that I don't take care of my teeth, I just never went to the dentist so I had a lot of time for something to go bad. Diana believes that good oral hygiene is good for your heart (I don't believe it, I told her I need to see some research but she has never given me anything, so it must not be true) and I have promised her I will go every six months to get a checkup. As long as this keeps up, me and the dentist can be BFFs!

By the way, my dentist asked about my Dad. You see, my Dad and I have the same dentist and occasionally meet up there for dual checkups and stuff. The dentist finds this funny so he always says how weird it is that we were there at the same time.

I Can Only Hope

Chloe is sick. She is complaining of a fever, headache, and a sore throat. Could be a cold, could be the flu. Could be something else. Whatever it is, I hope she throws up.

That might sound mean, but she is the only person in the family with a longer streak than me right now and that is just not right. I should have the best no-throw up streak in the house. That is just the natural order of things.

By the way, you can always check out my streak counter in the right-hand navigation. Almost up to two years without throwing up. Just like a pro athlete, I am taking this streak one day at a time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Chloe just said that she doesn't need help getting tested with her spelling words. She says she knows them because she writes them 5 times everyday. Then she goes, "See, certain...S...E..."

Yeah, I think she needs some help.
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First Thanksgiving and Powers Out

We just got home from Diana's Moms house for our first Thanksgiving (we had spaghetti). It was pretty tasty. Diana's Mom has a really good spaghetti recipe - she uses a mix of spicy hot and regular sausage and a spice mix from Colosimos. Tasty, tasty, tasty. While we were there it started snowing and snowing and snowing. There is probably an inch or so on the ground right now and it is still coming down.

As we drove home we saw some traffic lights that were out. Then we saw some neighborhoods that had no power. Then we got to our house and there was no power. We came inside and now the entire family is camped on my bed waiting for the power to come back on.

Jordan is reading. Chloe is practicing her spelling, Diana is playing her DS, and I am blogging. We are having a good time.

I am sure the power will come back on anytime.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Gonna Go Swipe Those Kids

We are watching some friends kids for the weekend. There has been some great quotes from the little ones. Our friends kids are 10 (boy), 6 (boy), and 2 (girl) and this is a rundown of what they have said:

I was a little dancing M&M.

Interrupting cow, MOOOOOOOO!

I'm Livi-bird. Tweet Tweet! Chicken Nuggets!

My tummy is really happy.

Chloe is my best friend.

I'm a little big bad wolf.

Ring, ring. Hello, Christmas!

(fake laugh)

It was a yucky bear.

We're going to McDonald's, I can see it!

Your my best brother. Can I have a kiss?

There has been many others that I cannot remember right now. It has been a fun couple days.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chloe and a Major Award

Chloe was accepted into the Junior National Honor Society at her school tonight. She got a pin to wear and a membership card that is needed to gain entrance to the meeting. At the first meeting they will probably teach them the secret knock so they won't need the membership cards after that.

Way to go Chloe!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fixing Toliets

Over the past couple weeks I have become a pro at fixing toilets. In the past month I have replaced 2 valves in 2 different toilets and 2 flappers. One of the flappers was just a slide-on so it was no problem. The one I fixed tonight was a clip on. It took me a minute to figure it out, but I got it.

I just wish all these things around the house didn't need fixing. That would be much easier.

Next up is the floor in the kitchen. I also need to make sure that the connector on the fridge is not leaking.

New Glass Is In

My Dad got me some replacement glass for the coffee table that Chloe broke a couple weeks ago. The glass fit right in. Looks good and I just sent her the $40 bill for it. I didn't want to be mean so I gave her 10 days to pay it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Am Sick

I am wide awake right now. I slept almost the entire day. I have been sick this week. Not feeling good at all. I just cannot get to sleep right now. Nothing is comfortable on the bed. I tried watching TV. I decided to come into the living room and blog for a minute to see if that would get me to sleep.

Don't know if I have the Swine Flu or not. One of the kids at Chloe's Halloween party did have the Swine Flu and has missed a bunch of school this week. That might be it. Or, I might have something completely different. If I can get to sleep in the next little while I am going to try and get to work on Friday, or maybe I will take one more day trying to get well. I don't know. A lot of it depends on if I can get to sleep tonight.

I do feel a lot better today. I actually ate something solid. From Tuesday afternoon to tonight I had only eaten a bowl of cocoa krispies and 3 yogurts. Tonight I had some spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. It was good.

I don't want to complain too much, Diana and Jordan have been sick as well, but I don't think they have what I have. I have had fevers, chills, sweats, pains and aches with a little cough. Those two have been mostly coughs, but Diana has also spoken of some aches and pains. But neither has had the fevers or the sweats like I have.

I know, pity me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Parent Watch Night

I am at Chloe's parent watch night for dance. She is a dancing machine. Her team is preparing for their Christmas concert - which will just be in the studio. Sorry, I won't be able to get you tickets.
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Broken Glass

We had family over on Sunday night (busy weekend, right? - haven't even told you that I fixed a toliet too!). We were happily preparing - doing last minute cleaning, getting chairs out, moving the coffee table. Well, let me go back...

We have a pretty small front room, enough room for our two couches face-to-face and our coffee table with aisles to walk through. It is great when people are over. No TV to distract, you are just face to face with the other people and you can chat. We bring in chairs from the office or kitchen or downstairs. We then take the coffee table and put it in Jordan's room or down the hall. We have been doing this for years with no problems (I am usually the one moving everything).

Yesterday, Diana and I were snuggling on the couch and having the kids take care of getting ready. They were doing a fine job, took the coffee table out, started getting chairs. Diana and I were reading the Ward Newsletter and all of a sudden CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think I could put enough exclamation points. I look over and see Chloe inside the coffee table - I did say it was glass top, right?

I run over to Chloe, Diana asks if she is OK, I can tell she is fine, maybe a small scratch where she broke through. I toss her out and start surveying the scene:

Glass is broken into hundreds of pieces
Table is scratched on the top and the bottom
I am pissed

I try not to yell, I think I do a pretty good job: I go outside for a minute to calm down. I do go in and give her some choice words, basically asking her 1) what was she thinking climbing on the glass with a chair; and 2) what was she thinking as she crashed through the glass. She just sobs. Now remember, she is not hurt physically, she is just mad/sad that it happened.

I get a box to pick up all the glass. My parents arrive and start babying her once the hear the story. I get things picked up and vacuumed, my Dad measures the opening so he can check with some people on the glass.

I now spend the rest of the night making "funny" (to me) comments. Diana is not happy and Chloe is not talking to me.

Now, the question I have is: did I do anything wrong? I was mad, but controlled, I left the house when things were too bad. I didn't kill her. I think I did good. What are your thought and comments?
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And Trick or Treating

The night finally arrives. Jordan is in his mad scientist costume. Chloe is in her Athena costume (to answer the door). I on my way to ChikFilA for dinner when I get a call on the cell phone. Jordan wants to go trick or treating with friends. Now, trick or treating is a family activity and I have turned the kids down many times on going with friends and no adults-we have gone with friends, but always with adults.

I had already spent 3 and a half hours walking the hike with Jordan and my feet hurt. I took the opportunity to stay home and hang out. It has been years since I stayed home on Halloween (one year I was in Germany).

I got back home, took Jordan to his friends and Chloe, Diana, and I all hung out listening to music and YouTube videos (mine were mostly met with Boo's or apathy). It was a good night and my feet didn't hurt by the end.

Jordan loved going with friends and he knows this is a one time thing as next year he will be having a party and no treating.

You know, a good Dad would probably have taken some picture or something. Sorry.
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A Hike

Jordan is an 11-year old scout. He is tryung to get to his Second Class Boy Scout badge. He has some swimming still to do (the boy sinks like an anchor- the swimming could be a problem) and a five mile hike and map orienteering. Jordan's troop was doing the 5 mile hike on Halloween (nothing like tiring out the kids before trick or treating). I decided to go on the hike with Jordan.

We looked at the map and set up our five mile path. Up 6400 West to 5400 South, over to 6000 West and then down throught the golf course. From there we cut through the neighborhood to get back to the starting point.

It was a good five miles and Jordan did pretty good. We stopped to rest a bunch of times but we made it through strong.

Once we got back to the house we hurried home for trick or treating! I thought Jordan would be too tired. I was wrong.
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A Party

At my house, kids do not trick or treat after the sixth grade. Chloe just started seventh grade. That must mean this rule now applies to her. Diana and I decided that becuase she cannot go out trick or treating, she should be able to have a Halloween party. Chloe happily accepted the terms of the deal and invited 16 friends.

About 12 kids total atteded the party last Friday. It was wild. We did "Witches Brew" which is where you get a list of food items to be blended and drunk by each person (everyone gets a custom made witches brew). We had food items like strawberries, blueberries, ice cream, pickles, string cheese and broccoli. Everyone got a prett wild drink - no I did not partake (I wasn't invited, I was making sure no one blended their fingers off).
After the witches brew we did "Donuts on a String" where you have a group of people eating donuts off a string with no hands. First one to completely eat the donuts wins.

At this point we broke out the glow sticks and the kids went outside to play tag in the dark. They really enjoyed this.

Lastly, the kids went downstairs and played "Mafia", don't ask me what it is, they tried to explain it and I have no idea.

Once we got all the kids out (some parents don't know what 10pm is I guess). Chloe then started the long taks of cleaning the house. She did an ok job that night and finished up the next morning.

I was asleep for all the cleaning - it wasn't my party.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 4 of SPC09

Updating your 2007 site to 2010:
This session dealt with a highly skinned site (which BG does not do).
There was all kinds of problems and errors that had to be fixed and the demos did not go smooth
The presenters blamed it on beta software, I am not so sure
I am glad that we do not have highly-skinned sites to worry about upgrading
After the demos, they started shooting out t-shirts, I did not get one. Sad face.

Driving End-user adoption:
SP is more about culture than technology
The Challenge of Adoption:
Users don’t have to use SP to get their job done (usually)
Really take 18-36 months to see results
Must-have elements in an adoption strategy:
Communication, training, content conversion, user support, incentives and rewards
Its not just for developers and IT
Power users and site administrators need it - they can do too much damage without it
Microsoft "buzz" kit for SP - google it
People love getting something that tells them they are smart
Training should be just in time and just enough - don’t bore them
User Support:
Contact person for every page
Internal user group
Metric and anecdote feedback - ratings, good/bad experiences
Must-have (free) resources:
SP Buzz kit
SP Training kit, videos, articles, interactive, tutorials, 2 versions: 1 can be installed on desktop, the other is installed on SP
MS Productivity Hub: installed on SP, is a site collection with pre-loaded content about SP - it is not static
Get The Point Blog: MS blog with tips and tricks for SP users
SP channel on YouTube
Demo Spotlight: MS resource

Upgrading 2007 code to 2010:
This session got pretty technical pretty fast, but there were no other sessions that really interested me. I left this one early because there was a problem on my hotel bill (you know how they just print them out and throw them into an envelope without you actually seeing it. I looked at during the break and noticed that I was double-charged for a meal. I headed back to the Luxor - I didn’t want to go back, but I had to.

After I got done with the hotel I am heading to the airport for a flight home. See you all later.

Day 3 at SPC

Art of the SP Story

Business value is more important now, people used to just buy, now people have to show Value for the money they spend
99% of failure is not product or technology, it is organizational culture (afraid of change)
People don’t WANT to do more - with less people or more time, it just let people mess up faster
Intimate engagement with an executive sponsor
ROI in 6 months is smoke and mirrors, need to have accountability
Need to be able to measure
IT should not be making the business case over business improvements
IT should be a teammate - a business leader should own it
Must always question "why am I doing this?" and don’t let IT answer - it must be the business leader than answers
MS expense management project - funny, same problems as BG
Why don’t we tell stories?
Don’t have a good one - make a good one
Cant remember a story - learn how to
Don’t tell good stories - you can get better
Need documentation to support my story - no you don’t
I'm new and don’t have many stories - start building your inventory, a story every day
Don’t get measured to tell stories - too bad, you are
Great stories drive action
Make value proposition tangible
Asks "they did it, why can't you?"
How the story is told can be more important than the data - doesn’t mean you can lie
The idea of the story is to motivate someone to do something
Is it a marketing pitch or is it real?
Storytelling is critical to your organizations success
Good story:
Make it stick
What makes great storyteller
Role Model
Action Oriented
Not a recession, but a reset, things will not come back quickly
Used properly, SP will make your face to face meetings better, through prior to event collaboration
To be the best you can be:
Develop your story inventory
Look for opportunities to tell stories
Find a coach
Expose yourself in critical review
Put yourself in front of people you trust
Get training
Practice and measure results

BG session - Governance

Went to Craig's governance session to say "Hi", it was super full with a lot of good comments afterwards.

SP Workspaces
Office 2010 - pro +
Rich client for SP
Fast - against a local copy
Anytime, anywhere
Sync's collaborative content: documents, tasks, information worker items
Works with LOB lists, external lists, doc libs, SP lists
Very easy to use - can be used in client or browser
Only connects to what you want
Has unread notice - green dots
Is searchable through your stuff (Windows desktop search), just stuff you have
Uses contextual ribbon, has "quick launch"
Follow unread icons to new/edited items
Has "Backstage" info about the site - things you might want to know
Brings down views
Upload like normal
New can have different content types
Syncs every 15 minutes, new content types will contact the server looking for changes, can save directly to SP or to Workspace (for offline)
Works with the Office 10 multi-authoring features
Has conflict resolution for changes
Does not have admin CRUD tools
Those must be done in browser
Will not sync a list over 30,000 items
Keeps permissions from browser site
Through browser, an admin can set "do not take offline" to stop offline access
There will be a Mac version, created by a different team though, won't guarantee same functionality
Version history controlled by SP Server, only keeps latest on Workspace

No Code Business Applications
Using the BCS (overview)
Ability to compose no code solutions, with some IT control
Presentation - extend office and SP UI to extend data capabilities
Connectivity - read-write capable from client and server to DB or other sources
Tooling - Integrated tools (SPD) for simple solutions
External Content Types (building blocks) for getting data into SP
This session needs to be viewed to see how cool some of the stuff you can do with this. Lets just say that you are in Word, accessing databases from SharePoint through Workspaces (so it will even work online), there was even tabs in Outlook that were using information from SP. Every company should be doing things like this.
Awkward typo during this session, his name is Dan, he wrote "Damn"
How about using this for dialogues - closing and such right in Outlook - the analyst would never have to leave - Consulting? Sales? Almost everyone can use this.

Deploying Office 2010 on the Desktop
I had hoped this session would talk about the different Office 2010 versions and what you need to run with SharePoint. It wasn't. It was a session about how to modify the install files (.msi) to give or take-away any features from the system. I sat for about 10 minutes and decided that Ivan would be the only person that cares about it.

I walked around to see what else was going on and nothing was that interesting to me. I went back to the hotel room dropped my stuff off and then came back for Ask The Experts and a night out with BG people. Long day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I'm Getting Diana

It is a rule that when you are away on a business trip you have to come home with stuff for your family. I have been wondering what I should get my wife, but I finally found it!
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SharePoint Fairy is back!

This time in white. All this time I thought she wasn't real.

Meet the Bold 9700

RIM announced my next phone today. It has been a while in the making. No, it is not Earth-shattering, or an iPhone killer, but what this Bold 9700 does do is improve every problem I have with my current phone (the Blackberry Curve).

You can find out more about the Bold 9700 here:

This phone will be available for purchase in early November. The carriers (AT&T and TMobile) have not announced pricing, but I have heard it should be around $200 (they can't make it more than the iPhone for sure).

Now, I know you probably aren't going to click that link, so let me tell you what improvements in the phone make this the next phone for me:
  • First TMobile 3G phone - finally some speed while on the cell network (I hate EDGE)
  • 3.2 megapixel camera - I cannot stand my 2.0, it is horrible (evidence of this is all over my blog). By the way, my current digital camera is only 3.2 megapixel, I will be able to get rid of it once I get this phone.
  • WiFi calling - that really works. My Curve has wifi calling, but I always (OK, maybe not always) lose the connection when the phone switches between UMA (wifi) and cellular calling.
  • Better QWERTY keyboard than my current Curve
And all this in a form factor that matches my current phone (the old Bold was quite a bit larger - width and height - than a Curve).

I am still waiting for TMobile to announce their launch date and pricing. Need to get me one of these.

Day 2 of SPC

What I learned the second day of the SharePoint Conference:

SP2010 - does not have PDF icon (again), probably won't search PDFs out of the box (again) when will MS really start to play nice? I have an interoperability session later today - we will see. Spoke with someone during lunch and he says Foxit PDF search is the best he has seen for SharePoint.

Dashboarding Session

PerformancePoint makes it easy
Can slice and dice the data.
Conditional data can be opened to see where the numbers come from
Dashboarding is easy as 1, 2, 3 with SP2010 and Performance Point

SP2010 based document assembly and manipulation using Word automation and services and open xml

Open xml software developer kit coming, based on .net, will work on server
Works on office 2007 and 2010
Uniform platform for solutions
SDK does not: replace office apps, perform layout or recalculate, perform conversions to pdf or xps
Version 1 of sdk (june 2008), v2 in development now
Shooting for release near office 2010, support all new features on 2010
Use document sets in SP2010 - binder of docs that are related, can use different types of docs
SDK can manipulate documents, but still tasks that need to be done in Office services (see above for things that SDK does not do)
NEW: Word automation services in SP2010
Allows word automation services to open, save, convert to docx, pdf, others,
Works on any file word can open - mainly for conversion tasks
Server-side rendering
Super fast, about 175,000 docs a day
SDK and Word Automation are meant to be used together, SDK for manipulation and Word automation for conversion/archiving
Excel services can query a word doc and make calculations
New File i/o for SharePoint: multiple word users collaborate at the same time on a document (need SP10 and Word 10), dotted lines to show where people have edited, new changes come in when save is hit, the changes show in green for other users
Building block - content control - "work item" to enter needs for docs, use workflow and can pull and push info through sharepoint
Tasks that result can be managed - and items added right through SP workflow and attachments
Allows you to stay in office while working, do not have to rely on busy-work tasks, automate tasks

Workflow in SP2010
Ability to modify a workflow and save it out as a new workflow
Buld on-demand columns as you build workflows
Manager and user-profiles/lookups are now built-in
Columns added to workflows as you bind workflows to a list
Ability to add user data (and tell the system how to use it) in emails
Impersonation Step is NEW - to get around the person that created the workflow shows as creator on SP lists - and this does not work in all environments
NEW ability to interact with "document sets" new SP10 feature
Ability to export workflows to visio for review - COOL
Ability to edit in visio and re-export back into SPD
NEW Task Process Designer - build robust behaviors in human workflows
Can add a "task process" (a mini workflow) inside of other workflows
Custom activities for SPD, deploy to sandbox

Multi-user authoring in Office 2010 and Office Web Apps
One note multi-authoring
Bold= new unread content
See content that has been added since last look
Markings to know who added and how much
System syncs back and forth
Sync rates get faster with more users on a notebook
Can move table rows/columns as others are typing, the system will figure it all out
Find changes by author/age of edit

Word multi-user authoring
Bubble notification alerts you that multiple people are editing, also new box that lists all people editing - with contact information (via SP or AD)
OneNote is more free for all, Word pops up dotted lines and names balloons - others are locked out of editing paragraphs that someone else has edited
Updates available once someone saves, changes get highlighted
"Backstage" shows versions
Word Office web app: slow load the first time (rendering slowness)

Alerted to changes that conflict
Broadcast a slide show through SP/2010 gives you URL to viewers, via email

Same kinds of things in Excel
Only works through the webapp - not in the client

General Info
Syncing is faster because they are just updating what changes - not replacing the entire item!
If system cannot reconcile the change, a popup will appear and user can make decision

Interoperability with SharePoint
UI Interoperability
Better user experience across browser - cross browser rich-text editor, firefox open/save integration with Office apps
Saw basic SP functions on: opera, chrome, firefox, safari (pc), ie
Better code output, html, css, wcag 2.0, xhtml
Identity Interoperability
WS-Federation 1.1, WS-Trust 1.4, SAML Token 1.1 will all be supported
Search Interoperability
OpenSearch Standard (from Creative Commons) for syndication and aggregation of results
Content Indexing via BCS - business connectivity services
Data Access
External Data Access
Line of business data in sharepoint UI
Build end-to-end client and server apps right within SP
Any SQL app data can be exposed through SP UI
BCS client runtime in Office2010 apps, allows for read-write compatibility both ways
Storage Interoperability
End users don’t care where data is stored as long as the data can come back, data can be stored outside of the SP SQL database - but why - who wants their data mixed around like that? MS heard that SQL is too expensive - but doing this will increase operation costs

Will need IE8 for interoperability > IE6 will not work as well

At the end of the day there was the Beach Party that was pretty cool. I posted a couple pictures from that. You won't see any of Huey Lewis and the News bacause I was so far away and my stupid camera wouldn't zoom, so nothing turned out. It was a good time. After that, I hit up the M&M store and then off to bed.

Now for this mornings sessions...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Favorite

Everyone has their own favorite place in Vegas or on the Strip. Mine is M&M World. 4 floors of M&M goodness. Everything you could ever want. Wish their was one closer to my house.

Michael Jackson dancers

These guys are on a glass floor on top of the water. They are pretty good. Hopefully one of them falls off.

The Party

This is the madness of the SP beach party. It is 80's themed. Love Is A Battlefield is on the speakers as I type. Huey Lewis and the News is about 20 minutes away. Right now I am just trying to live through the night.

Day 1 at SPC

What I learned day 1 of the SharePoint Conference:
7400 attendees
7.5 miles of cable for the "wireless" LAN
Microsoft is pushing the SP Online hard - Ballmer must have said it 25 times.
Using the Office 2007 ribbon all throughout SP2010 and SPD 2010. Microsoft loves their ribbon.
Inside content areas is very wiki like, add pages and links using wiki markup.
Media will automatically play in SharePoint via Silverlight (work on a Mac?)
Spell check in content areas - which is a big help. is Steve Ballmer's email address, hit him up if you like.
All new programs (designer, visual studio, the 2010 suite) must be upgraded together to get the benefit, you cannot get Designer 2010 and use it with SP2007.
OneNote on the web is what SP is trying to emulate
Power of the crowd - tagging, rating, taxonomy - favorite of the SP dev team
Silverlight org chart built by sp automagically
Made social and interactive a lot better
Scaling up and out on lists and libraries - over 1 million items in lists, actually multiple millions - and it was fast in the demos I saw
PerformancePoint reporting (NEW) can break down where the numbers come from. Slice and dice. Very nice.
2010 is mostly AJAX - don't have to wait for pages to post and redisplay - which will save me HOURS per month!
SPD 2010:
You can restrict spd and what it can do in central admin and site collection Summary pages, ribbon, quick launch navigation
Creating sp content
Manage site security
Manage lists directly in spd, which is brand new - and awesome!
List items must still be added via browser - link on summary page
Security is faster and easier in spd
Create content types and attach to lists directly
Site assets - images, xml, javascript, css - everything for the site XSLT data view web parts are everywhere and can now be manipulated through the browser and in spd
Drag and drop functionality in spd for data files!
Site assets are automatically added to lists/available content
Insert formula to combine columns - cool, but how useful really?
Connect to data sources outside of sharepoint - use single sign on
Business connectivity service external content types - user does not even know they are editing a database
Workflow: reusable workflows! YEAH! Site collection workflows as well!
Workflow subject line can contain workflow data and free text (string)
Rich text editing for workflow emails!

Overall, SP 2010 and Designer 2010 seem awesome, but I don't know if I have seen a compelling reason to actually upgrade. Today I have dashboarding, document assembly in SP and Office tools, a special Colligo lunch (the SP offline guys), workflow overview, and finally a multi-user authoring session. It will be another full day.

Now I know what Catalyst attendees feel like. Too much information...on overload.

I Knew It!

This elevator has felt like riding the Tower of Terror ride. I knew there had to be some problem, and today, it is closed and being worked on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mandalay Bay at Night

Sure wish the camera on my phone took better pictures. The Mandalay Bay just kind of "glows" gold at night. This picture just doesn't do it justice. At least you can make out the words Mandalay Bay across the top.

My Room

Just realized I showed you all the view from my room, but did not show you my actual room. Here it is. Notice the 2 queens when I specifically requested 1 king. Didn't even get an upgrade for that. The room is nice enough. Nothing spectacular. Cool to be in the pyramid.

View from my room

Here is the view from my room that looks back down to the Mandalay Bay and the conference area. You can compare and contrast the two pictures.

The SharePoint Fairy

Microsoft Fail

Waiting outside a breakout session that is supposed to start in minutes. The room is going to be packed.

As I write this they let us in - but insist on scanning our badges to see what we have attended, thus slowing the process down further.

The Luxor

Here is a picture of the hotel I am staying at (the Luxor). It is right across the street from the Mandalay Bay (where the conference is happening). Funny thing is - my room looks directly back this way. I will post a picture of that later today. I got this picture from out in the common area of the conference space.

So far today I have had an OK breakfast (don't like biscuits), a great keynote (lots of good things happening with SharePoint and an OK lunch. Had a good conversation with an analyst at CMS Watch over lunch. He was very interested in the vendor briefing system I help build in SharePoint (he knows about it because he knows Dan Blum, another BG analyst, who was bragging about it.

Alfreds of Sweden

The demo guy just connected an external database to SharePoint, made it viewable in SharePoint and Office. And it is not only viewable - it is editable. Inside Outlook the demo guy edited the server list. All with no hand code - just enter in URLs and click some boxes. He used SharePoint Designer for this - which is my favorite program. Sweet.

The Keynote

Steve Ballmer is keynoting right now. He is not discussing the economy because IT and productivity workers are bringing us out this poor economy. SharePoint is at the heart and center of innovation for Microsoft. Beta of SP 2010 available in November. Along with Office 2010 and SharePoint Workspaces (Groove). Workspaces will be client based and allow people to work everywhere. Release in 1st half of 2010.

More to come.

My Room...Wanna Take A Walk?

I had been to the Luxor before, just never stayed there. It is an OK hotel, not great by any means. The Luxor seems to have plenty of elevators, but they control where and how high each elevator goes in the hotel. The elevator I am assigned is 3B, which is way in the back of the hotel (by the second of three Starbucks inside the Luxor). This is all well and good, except for the part where when I get off the elevator I have to walk almost half-way around the hotel again to get to my room. It has to be a 200 yard walk, almost directly across from where the elevator lets me out. See the picture below to see where my room is compared to where I come out of the elevator.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Lines

Walking out the SharePoint exhibit hall I was met with this line. Holy cow. It went on and on and on. Tom would be freaking out if he saw this. FYI: Tom is in charge of registration for Catalyst.

I'm Here

I came to Vegas for the SharePoint conference. I just walked under the sign welcoming me. Sorry if you can't see it well. Can't wait to get a new phone with a real camera.

By the way, this place is a zoo and more pics of my room, hotel, and Vegas coming soon.

Welcome to Vegas

Want to wait in line?

I raced off the plane to get in the front of the taxi line for my flight, but, no luck, the line was already 4 deep.

By the way, in Vegas for the SharePoint conference. Expect frequent updates about things you don't care about.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What Is That There?

On the way home today I saw something weird in the back of some guy's truck. I couldn't quite make it out. I was behind him snapping pictures in my car.
I decided it was time to pass him. Here is the picture I got:
This guy has a dead animal in the back of his truck, a big animal. It is the beginning of hunting season here. I am not a hunter. I have many friends that love to go out and kill Bambi. I am not against hunting, I just don't see any joy from shooting at animals. Now, if the animals shot back, that would be cool.

I think hunting is like fishing, you just wait, hope something comes to you, and hope that you get lucky enough to kill when it all happens. I just do not think it is that cool.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Chloe, Diana and myself went to a movie last week. Diana and I wanted to see Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D. Chloe wanted "Cloudy With a Chance." We decided that because Jordan got to spend the weekend at a friends cabin we should let Chloe pick. I am glad we did.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is hilarious. There is too much funny to even talk about, I will just let you know that if you see this movie you will laugh, you will have a good time, and you will not feel bad about seeing it. There are so many good things - gummy bears, jello house, and the snow ball fight just to name a few. These three items are funny enough for a regular movie and this movie has even more funny!

Final say: go and see this as soon as possible. When you get to the movie theatre butt in line to make sure you get in!

3 days or $135

So, a little history here, I got a speeding ticket about a month ago. Just a little one. 13 miles over the limit (53 in a 40) and the officer marked it down to 5 over. The real story is that I saw the cop way up in front of me and checked my speed. I was going between 40 and 43 miles per hour (no more than that). I was completely surprised to see the cop pull out behind me and flip his lights on (there was other cars that pulled over as well to let the cop through, when he stopped behind me, I was pissed).

I, of course went to court and contested the ticket. Today was my court date. I got to the court pretty early (I wanted to get a feel for the "judge" - he was really just a court officer). Let's just say that after 10 minutes I knew I would not get far with this guy. Let me recap: he took away one guys keys because he was driving with a suspended license (the guys swears he got all the paperwork in) and then the "judge" threatened to arrest the guy if he did not hand over his keys. He basically screamed at a big rig driver that he was stupid for getting a ticket and that there was nothing he could do for him, it was going on his record and that he would not even offer him traffic school. There was a lady that barely spoke English that he intimidated into paying the full fine and going to traffic school when she originally said she did not want traffic school. He was nice to the two 18 year old girls that came in and both got their fine reduced and like three months to get traffic school done (1 had kids and it would be hard to get to traffic school, the other did not have a job so she got 3 months before she even had to pay her 1st payment on her fine).

I looked down at myself and noticed that I was not a young girl. I am screwed. When it was my turn I got up and tried my best to be polite, but this guy was a jerk. He told me I was going to pay the whole fine and to sign the sheet under guilty and that I waive my rights. I then told him that I would not do that and gave him my explanation of what happened. He said if I wanted to plead not guilty just tell him. I told him that I would not be taking this to trial, because the officer has his report and that will be believed over me. The guy basically said that I was right so I might as well just sign the guilty line and pay my fine. I told him that I wanted to make a plea in abeyance - which means that I will not say I am guilty, and then throw myself at the mercy of the court. I asked for community service which he answered with a, "I am not authorized to give that out." He told me my total fine was $135. I asked him what the jail time would be if I did not want to pay the fine, he said, "that would be three days, and if you take that option, I will make sure you serve all three days."

I decided to go with the plea in abeyance.

I paid my $135 and I still have to traffic school in November, but when I am done, the ticket will be dismissed and life will go back to normal. I was not a happy camper as I left.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New TV

The new TV season has started. Nothing new (that I have seen so far) has really knocked my socks off. I liked FlashForward, but I don't think they can keep the premise up for an entire season - or, especially, multiple seasons. A couple others have been OK.

Most of the returning shows I have seen so far were pretty lackluster (How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory especially). I can't believe that Sara is back on CSI, that is way too contrived. I still have not seen the entire premiere of Heroes (because I did not think it was that good).

Amazing Race was very good last night, I really like this show. You can see how people truly are. The one super-Christian guy saying he was going to rip his girlfriends head off, the poker players as homeless teen counselors, and the two gay brothers, "High-five!" This is a show that is worth watching every week.

Diana has already found multiple shows that she likes, but since this is my blog, I will not dedicate any more space to her crazy shows. Maybe, just maybe, this will motivate her to blog about why she likes some of the new shows she does.

Well, I gotta go, How I Met Your Mother is starting soon and since it can't be any worse than last week, I am expecting good things tonight.

500 Days of Summer

Diana and I saw 500 Days of Summer on the same day as District 9, it was for our anniversary. I really liked 500 Days of Summer. It has Zooey Deschanel (I don't really know how to spell her last name), and the main kid from 10 Things I Hate About You (not Heath Ledger). It is a quirky and fun comedy about their 500 day relationship. It is funny, but also touching in parts. Diana really liked this movie. I thought it was pretty good. There are definately some laugh out loud parts, but I found the ending a little contrived (warning: as the trailer and the narrator in the movie state, this is not a love story). Overall, if I was you, I would go see 500 Days of Summer while it is playing in your area.

District 9

I saw District 9 earlier this month. I usually keep you more updated on my movie goings on, so I feel a little weird about posting this now, but I feel that I should warn everyone to NOT SEE THIS MOVIE! It was horrible. Nothing like what you are promised in the previews and trailers. It is NOT an alien invasion movie, nor an alien vs. human movie. It is just stupid. Maybe a felt this way because I thought I was getting something else. The sad part is that I was really looking forward to seeing District 9 and I walked out of the theatre feeling cheated. Not good.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Still Camping

Jordan is playing at the playground. I am all done cleaning up. The garbages have been taken to the dumpster. While we are still currently camping, I am ready to get in the car and head out for the day. Gotta get home so I can sleep in a real bed.
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Friday, September 25, 2009


Jordan and I are at Fathers and Sons this weekend. We went hiking with Flater and Landen. We are at East Canyon and Diana and Chloe are at home hanging out.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Living the Good Life

So, a couple months ago I got a random email from the HR director of where I work. This email detailed a special deal for a hotel in Park City. I decided we should at least try it - the hotel is a Waldorf Astoria that is brand new (open just 6 weeks). We got here today and it is an awesome hotel. See the pictures and more to come.
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Sign at Dinner Last Night

Last night we went to dinner at the Loco Lizard in Park City. Their door sign of their hours is pretty awesome. "So, just when is close?" Is what Diana said.
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