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October 20, 2004

Simple Stuff....

My oldest of three children, AJ - who is 6 and a half (just yesterday I heard him speaking and he's officially added the "and a half", so I have as well), has started Cub Scouts.

Officially, this began back in middle of summer or so. The ground level for Boy Scouts apparently is now what they call "Tiger Cub". Then you are a Cub Scout. Then a Webelo. I can tell you what that means, but I won't. It is a super secret. But, it is in the Tiger Cub manual and probably all over the web if you Google it. I just won't be the one to blow it. Anyway, from there a Boy Scout and I suppose after that an Eagle Scout. I'm not sure. I'm way back here at Tiger Cub.

Now, I don't know if we'll have the wherewithall, fortitude, or bandwidth in general to get all the way down that path. I say we because Tiger Cubs generally do everything with their "akela" - parent or guardian. It is really a two person thing. Anyway, we have a lot going on otherwise, and so far it has been a great learning experience for both of us. If AJ wants to stick with it, I'm all for it, otherwise, I'm fine with following other initiatives down the road if he likes.

For now it is a good thing. We are a part of a Den. Den 5. There are 6 boys which is a good size. Meetings are 3 - 4 times per month, with some outings planned and larger group activities with other Dens and the "Pack". We are part of Longmont Pack 166 - which has a website AND a Google Group. Wow, Scouts have come a long way since 1910.

Tonight we attended our first Pack meeting. It is fun. Scouts of all ages receive patches, badges, and other awards are doled out. Tiger Cubs get their first glimpse at what lies further down the path.

I guess I should have a point. The points are:

1) Youth activities are important. In general, youth sports, activities, things outside of family and school help contribute towards a well-rounded and appropriately socialized person.

2) Parent / child time is important. Specifically, families should have activities that include all members, as well as activities where specific members spend time only with specific others. e.g. Mom should have unique time/activity separately with each child, etc... This may get hard to manage, and is an easy ideal to state, but working something in over the course of each year should be plausible.

3) Organizations like the Boy Scouts provide a good infrastructure for both 1 and 2. There are countless options, 4h clubs, Youth Sports activities, etc...

I had a lot of fun, sitting in the back of the pack meeting, watching AJ participate, for the first time, in this large event. Just watching him take in the experience, the fun, excitement, laughter overtake him at times (all the kids) is one of the joys and benefits of parenting. We may not stay in Cub/Boy Scouts forever, but I'm sure we'll do activities like this and I'll cherish each moment like this that it brings.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

Geek Toolbox

Every Geek or Geek wannabe should have unix emulation tools on their Windows PC.

I am one of those folks who is jammed between my Linux and Windows PC's. On the Linux box, I run Perl, code prototype applications, whip scripts together for file processing - quickly and efficiently at a command line.

I've tried "Gnome" as the xwindows client, but can't really get into it. My UI sensibility has been overrun in the last 10 years by Microsoft. There are lots o' things I can complain about with Microsoft, but on UI, I have to say, I'm conditioned.

That's the other side of my world. Office Productivity. Email. Presentations. Spreadsheets. Word docs. Graphic Design. Sure, I could do all these things with free, opensource projects on Linux - but, really, honestly, I just can't.

Today's world, for me and I suspect many like me, require both. Or maybe I'm the odd duck. Either way, I recommend merging your OS environs just a tad.

I'm not even sure who to credit for these - a wise old geek gave this to me years ago - most of the commands are dated 1995, some 1993.


There are some downright handy Unix commands in this zip. On a windows system, just dump these in /winnt/system32 or /windows/system32 or somewhere in your %path%.

Just today, (with Robert's assistance - thanks Robert) I piped grep to uniq to sort to garner some numbers out of a massively borked file a client sent over. A 32 MB .rtf file that had malformed CRLF's in it, once I converted those with EditPlus (another geek requirement, WELL WORTH the cost - $30 bucks or so) and ran some formatting regexes, I used my handy unix ems to get the numbers I needed.

Didn't even have to shove this 32 MB file back and forth between Windows and Linux machines (Meanwhile Outlook 2003 choked to death on a 7MB text email because of he @#%$# preview pane - lost 45 minutes on that one, but that's another story...).

Had an answer to client in a jiffy. Go ahead, download and play and geek out a while. There are lots of fun commands in there.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack