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May 8, 2007

AMY WILL YOU MARRY JOSH?

Sometime blog opportunities just fall into your lap out of no where...

My friend Josh Baer pinged me with his good news earlier today - on May 4th he proposed to his girlfriend Amy.

Now, I'm not a mushy, mushy guy, but having checked out the engagement, captured on video, I have to say, this was pretty heart warming to watch.


After Amy saw the words, "AMY WILL YOU MARRY ME?" on the Paramount Marquee, Josh got down on one knee and presented the ring with the following words, "11 months ago today we met here at the Paramount, and every day since then you have been my best friend and the love of my life. And with this ring I ask you, Amy Susanne Vail, to be my wife."

Not only is it fun to see what Josh pulled together to make his proposal memorable and unique (check out the marquee on the theater) - it is so cool that it can be easily captured on video and shared with today's technology.

I wonder how much bandwidth Josh gets with his host... we'll see if he cries uncle and moves this to YouTube ever...

Congratulations Josh and Amy!

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2007

Dental Hygiene in the New Millenium

In addition to dozens of plastic, candy-filled eggs scattered about my in-laws house for our kids, the "Easter Bunny" also brought three new "Toothtunes" toothbrushes to our house - one for each of our three kids.

I was a bit disappointed that rabbit didn't bring FOUR of these - that is, a Toothtunes for me too, especially since I recall having sent in the actual suggestion to the "Easter Bunny" just a few weeks before Easter. Much thanks to my mother-in-law, however, who noted the oversight by way of my massive disappointment and who then brought me a Toothtunes of my own last week.

What cool technology - you literally hear the songs "in your head" - through vibrations that travel from your teeth, through your jaw bone and up into your inner ear. It is just fun - you turn on the tooth brush and without placing in your mouth, you can hear a faint buzz, like an ear bud laying on your desk blasting AM radio - you know, you can kind of hear something, but not really make it out.

Place the toothbrush in your mouth, and there it is - music! Depending upon where it is on your teeth, you can find positions that are more optimal for transferring vibrations through your head. I've found that biting down on it can bring a fairly full sound. Cool.

One down side I've found is that it seems to discourage lots of movement around your mouth. As you brush normally all around your teeth, the vibration transfer varies and the effect is the song fades in and out, stronger and weaker. I find myself "resting" in spots, to hear the song. I can't decide if this will ultimately encourage more brushing "events" for my kids, but lower quality brushing during each event.

I've heard of the concept before, but this is the first product application I've seen actually implementing the idea. According to this quick post at Wired Labs - the concept is an old one for hearing aids and is now showing up in phone headsets. In the photo at this headset site it is easy to miss at first that the "ear piece" is not over his ear, but resting against the bone in front of it. Finally, Wired also notes that the technology is likely to show up in a tidal wave of kids toys. At least one so far.

So, fortunately for me and my kids, the "Easter Bunny" is a practical bunny, and an advocate of responsible parenting.

By the way, my Toothtunes plays "I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night" by KISS. That is cool too.

Needless to say, my kids have enjoyed these - bu maybe not quite as much as I have.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2005

Got It Done!

How did an excellent time-management tool help me climb a 14,255 foot mountain? I'll tell you...

First, the background. One of the personal development issues I've been working on professionally at Return Path is my time and task management. I've made fantastic progress, most this quarter, using the "Getting Things Done" system.

For those not in the now, Getting Things Done is a method and support system for time and task management.

The basic premise is that everything you have to do, from business related tasks, to personal items - needs to be captured somewhere. That somewhere is referred to as your "Operating System".

Capture your tasks: get them off of sticky notes, get them out of piles of paper on your desk, and most importantly GET THEM OUT OF YOUR HEAD and get them INTO your operating system. For me, this along with the basic triage concept are probably the most important fundamentals of the system.

Once you have captured everything, it can be dealt with. Everything can typically be dealt with in three ways:

1) Do it.
2) Delegate it.
3) Delete it.

There are few exceptions.

GTD has not only provided me with an effect triage method for dealing with your day-to-day tasks, but it also has enabled me with tools. I purchased the GTD Outlook Plugin and it is worth its weight in gold. (Thanks to colleague Jack Sinclair for this tip!) Specifically it allows you to manage email easily - with some custom buttons I can convert an email into a task, archive the message, set an alarm, categorize the item, set a due date, etc... with basically 2 clicks. I highly recommend it if you adopt this system - and obviously I endorse the Getting Things Done system overall.

Now, one of the things I like about GTD, is it allows me to capture everything I need to get done. Of course the broad focus are day-to-day business items, but the system intentionally captures all personal items. This includes things like, "wash the dog", or "pick up the dry cleaning", or "get flowers for wife" (that one is still open... I'll do it next honey - promise!).

Along these lines you are encouraged to have a category for long term goals. Things like "learn how to fly a plane" or "take rhumba lessons".

While I get great satisfaction from working through several or even dozens of tasks per day, as well as managing dozens and probably hundreds of emails - there is something about knocking down one of the bigger "life goals". When I first setup GTD and inventoried all my tasks, one of the items in my "Someday" category was "Climb Longs Peak". This has been "on my mental list" since 2002.

So, what can a great time management tool do for you? Not only can it get your email inbox average count down from 800 or so to under 100 (on my way to the pinnacle "empty inbox"!) - but for me, it pushed me up a 14,255 foot mountain. 15 miles of round trip hiking and climbing. 4,875 feet of elevation gain. Six hours to the summit and three and a half back.

I'll post a full gallery soon, but for now here is the proof! Special thanks to the climbing party that adopted me - friends and neighbors Jim and Stephanie Busby and their clan the "Bice Descendants"! And thanks to Joie for letting me go!

So tomorrow I may be back to the daily grind, but today I had the pleasure of marking the task"Climb Longs Peak" complete. Cool! Good thing it was on my list!

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 5, 2001

Mile High Field at Invesco

Mile High Field at Invesco Stadium Mile High, whatever...

Well, September 1st was the big game... the CSU/CU intrastate rivalry game.

Well, CU sort of refuses to admit it's a rivalry... mostly because the
all-time record is way in their favor (53-17-2) and CSU's only won 3
times since 1986 (there was a small gap in the rivalry which resumed in the late 90's). It's a rivalry because it's over a century old, it
(now) happens annually, and neither team can stand losing to the other.

Bottom line is -- state bragging rights are on the line. So,
unfortunately for the Rammies, College Football is very cyclical. We
graduated a very successful senior QB and start fresh with two
inexperienced sophomores. Well, you can read the lead story at RamNation.com
if you want the recap.

Put it this way, it wasn't pretty. Any hoo... last year we won with similar issues on CU's side contributing.

I am a CU fan. CSU fan first, they are my alum. CU fan after that...
but some CU fans are single minded. They want to brush of CSU as a
rival, but claim they are a rival to Nebraska. CU has beaten Nebraska
twice (1989-90) and tied (1991) and that's it -- since 1967!!! They
want to dismiss CSU by virtue of record, but claim Nebraska on that
merit?! Pshaw! See what I mean?

Mile High is a very cool stadium. I have many more pics and will post a gallery in Bartelevision soon.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2001

RamSpam

Tomhoo! - RamSpam

Wow...
pretty busy weekend... spent alot of time online preparing my
Pre-Season and Pre-Game RamSpam's for the upcoming season.

One of the best places for CSU Rams information and insight isRamNation.com.

An interesting photo done for a brief discussion thread you can see at
left.

Friday night we were at the Green's for Rachel's second birthday...

Saturday was library day with the fellas and lunch at Gramma and
Grampa's. Today was muck with the sprinkler day, errands to Home Depot
day, and mow the lawn day.

Any sprinkler system experts with spare time and can take payment in
beer is invited to contact me immediately -- tomneedssprinklerhelpandineedbeer@tombartel.com. Seriously, that email address will work... so if you are he/she, please click.

All for now, I'm pooped. -- later, Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2001

Da Boyz Today

Da Boyz

Today Joie had a doc appointment, so I left work around 11:30 and took
the fellas to Gymboree in Boulder ( a play group they've attended for a while, it's pretty cool, but I'm typically the only "dad" there).

After that, I worked from home.

After dinner I was hanging with the fellas in the backyard... the
weather was great, like 75 degrees, the sun was approaching the
mountain horizon, and I was just really pleased.

AJ was playing with me, he had a strip of fabric, about 2 feet worth,
and it was his "bandaid" and he was applying it to various hurt places, my wrists, head, ear, ankle, etc... really he was playing very
creatively and learning "knots" at the same time.

What struck me though is that the whole time this 41 month old child is just chattering away all sorts of instructions, insights, thoughts etc... and I just thought, this is the best. Max would rimble by every 30 seconds and jump on me, toss in a word or two, and be on his way again. Then I thought... I am so lucky -- and rich - not in financial terms though.

So, I thought I'd share this composite photo I made for Joie for Mother's day this year.

Digitally edited and created from two separate snapshots, I had it printed as an 8x10 at Shutterfly.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2001

RamSpam - Volume 2, Issue 5

RamSpam - Volume 2, Issue 5

Well, it's been a busy week or so... I *finally* got another RamSpam
out of my system... the last issue was early May, so it was long
overdue...

Took the boys to the county fair again, last Thursday, with Joie and
the inlaws... AJ let me take him on the "roller coaster"... it's for
kids... it's a real coaster, but it's pretty small... he loved it... I
figured Max would be the adrenaline junkie of the two, but I've got a
feeling we'll have two of them on our hands...

Ran 4+ miles on Saturday, about 40 minutes round trip... running
outside really stresses my muscles and joints alot more than the
treadmill, but it sure is more interesting, and despite not having a
"computer" it is more motivating relative to "making progress" and
"getting somewhere"... although as far as you run... you have to run
that far back as soon as you turn! :)

The whole WGD gang at work had today off, but it ended up being no
biggie... did a basic HTML typesetting job for Countrywide and Josh
wrote the American Red Cross thing for me (thanks man!)...
Oh well, I'm out -- later, Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2001

Greg, Bernard, and me

Greg, Bernard, and me

Scott was over tonight with the girls and we got to talking about Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France victory - Armstrong's third straight... basically there is only one other American who has won the tour at all, I believe, and that is Greg Lemond, who won two in a row and three total.

There is Jacques Anquetil, Eddie Mercykx, Miguel Indurain, and Bernard Hinault, very different eras but they won 5 each. I remembered an old cycling hat I had, from when I was about 15 and we rode touring cycles alot... there was a popular race called the Coors Classic and we ran into a bunch of famous riders at a bike store in Boulder.

I checked my hat tonight and among the doze or more signatures is that of Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault. Cool! This was in 1985, so Greg had not yet won any Tour's and Bernard actually won his 5th and final one that year. It looks like I actually got Bernard's sig twice... I'm sure I didn't have a clue who he was and asked him twice... duh... anyway, I guess I'll just hold onto that hat! If I get my scanner running I'll scan it and post it. -- later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:16 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2001

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Well, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill again... 50 minutes worth. I've made good progress since January. Back then I started at 30 minutes for 2 or 2.5 miles. Slowly I've ratched things up and now I'm approaching my 10k goal... basically I considered running the Bolder Boulder this year, but my training regime didn't get me far enough along to feel comfortable with it... within a few months I hope to be running two "Bolder Boulder's" a week on the tread mill (6.2 miles or so). Then next year I should have it nailed.

Anyway, Asimba
is a cool site for tracking workout information. There are many fitness related tools and lots of good info (such as the differences between running outdoors and on treadmills). The down side is it's a slow site (probably IIS with ASP dynamic pages). I hate updating the workout calendar, each transaction is SLOW. Oh well, check it out! -- later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Well, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill again... 50 minutes worth. I've made good progress since January. Back then I started at 30 minutes for 2 or 2.5 miles. Slowly I've ratched things up and now I'm approaching my 10k goal... basically I considered running the Bolder Boulder this year, but my training regime didn't get me far enough along to feel comfortable with it... within a few months I hope to be running two "Bolder Boulder's" a week on the tread mill (6.2 miles or so). Then next year I should have it nailed.

Anyway, Asimba
is a cool site for tracking workout information. There are many fitness related tools and lots of good info (such as the differences between running outdoors and on treadmills). The down side is it's a slow site (probably IIS with ASP dynamic pages). I hate updating the workout calendar, each transaction is SLOW. Oh well, check it out! -- later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 
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