Personal, Photography

A New Marine

My step-son, Devin, recently graduated from Marine boot camp. He’s the first Marine in the family, on either side, and we’re all super proud of him. Here are some pictures of the graduation and the family day that led up to it.

Photography, SharePoint

SharePoint Saturday Silicon Valley

I’m on my way home from the SPSSV event (blogging at 30K feet!) and I wanted to take a minute to wrap up a few thoughts from the past couple of days. Some business, some personal.

If memory serves, I’ve attended six SharePoint Saturday events. Although I attend as a speaker with the intention of teaching others, not a single event has passed where I haven’t learned something new. For this event I learned about an interesting new product offering from Pingar and got a personal demo/discussion by Owen Allen, their VP of Solutions. Pingar works with some very smart people to develop algorithms used to extract relevant terms from text such as documents or websites. It isn’t exclusive to SharePoint, but works quite well with the platform to extract those pesky terms and can help ease the process of content tagging. There are similar products out there but this is the first I’ve seen that extracts terms based on pure language rules instead of business rules. I’ll definitely be looking into this offering further.

During the speaker dinner the night before the event I was sitting at a table with some folks that have been in the SharePoint space a while. Some knew me, some didn’t. Some knew everyone, some knew no one. It was interesting hearing how people stayed connected through technology. Email was not mentioned. LinkedIn was not mentioned. Twitter, Facebook and (surprisingly) FourSquare. I’ve never used FourSquare and probably never will, but it was interesting hearing that a check-in site was being used to communicate with a network of colleagues. An example given by Christian Buckley was telling:  I’m forgetting the specifics, but he was visiting a building that had a private entrance and he didn’t have a code to get past the door. He posted his check-in to FourSquare and someone immediately came down to let him in. Like I said, interesting.

One last thought on the conference. It had a pretty low attendance, especially given the location. I haven’t heard final numbers but I’d be surprised if there were more than 150 folks that attended and there were never more than 100 there at any one time. I suppose that is a symptom of a new release on the horizon. However, what really surprised me was the attendance at my records management session. There were probably 15 – 20 folks that came, but it’s not the number that surprised me. It was the level of engagement. Every single person there had a records management story to share related to SharePoint. Some were starting the journey, some were well on their way. There was a wide range of industries as well:  Pharma, banking, technology. It was great having meaningful discussions with folks who were passionate about records management with SharePoint. By the way, if you are interested in talking further or getting the slides I used (although my slides don’t have much, I tend to talk off the cuff more than anything (don’t tell my wife Smile)) use the contact form here and let me know.

After the conference started winding down I chose to skip the SharePint (yes, Ryan is actually writing this) and drive up to San Francisco by way of the coast. The fog sucked so it wasn’t very scenic but I love to drive. It gave me some wind-down time and I always enjoy being next to the ocean. I ended up going through Golden Gate Park and across the bridge and spent a few hours fighting the fog trying to get some good shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll have to check them out when I get home, but I probably have one or two usable shots. I was really kicking myself for not having my tripod as I couldn’t do the dusk shot I had in mind without it, although I tried. We’ll see. Anyway, it was great to have a few hours to focus on photography. I need to do that more.

Edit:  Here are some of the shots I salvaged.

Photography, SharePoint

SharePoint Saturday Denver ShareSki Wrapup

It’s been a couple weeks now since the event, but I finally made the time to upload the pictures I took during the SharePoint Saturday Denver ShareSki event to Loveland. Although I was sidelined and stayed in the lodge, it was a great event and I had the opportunity become better acquainted with some of the attendees. It got off to a rocky start as the power was out at Loveland when we got there, but they eventually got one lift running on a generator and finally power restored 45 minutes or so after that. All in all, I think everyone had a great time. At the very least, based on the quiet bus ride home the skiing/boarding tired them out!

Getting ready to head out Group at Lodge Group at Lodge Tracy interviewing Clay

Enjoy the additional pictures over on Flickr and feel free to use them as you see fit. If you need a higher quality version than what’s on Flickr let me know.

.NET, BizTalk, Business, InfoPath, Mobile, Personal, Photography, Politics, SharePoint, SQL Server, Technical, Windows Workflow

First WordPress Post

I finally moved off of Community Server as my blog engine and migrated to this site using WordPress.  It’s all new to me so I’m still figuring out the settings, but with the help of my hosting company ( and Vincent (support guy), I was able to get all the content over (I think.)

I decided to move off CS for a couple reasons.  First, I was on an older version of the software and to upgrade would’ve been a pain in the ass.  Second, I initially created the site thinking it would be used to host blogs for other coworkers and friends, and post pictures.  It seemed like folks I ran into that were interested in blogging already had a blog, so it became my personal site.  As for pictures, I’m still trying to figure that solution out, but I know CS isn’t part of it.  Perhaps a newer version would’ve been useful, but see previous first point.  Lastly, although the CS setting for allowing comments was set, no one could comment on my posts.  Not what I wanted.  I realize I don’t have a lot of readers, but I’d like to have the option for communication with anyone that stops by.

Hopefully WordPress will last a while for me.  I’d, of course, like to get on a SharePoint platform some day, but that will have to wait.  If anyone has any WordPress tips, feel free to leave them in the comments (because you can do that now!)

.NET, BizTalk, Business, Mobile, Personal, Photography, Politics, SharePoint, SQL Server, Technical, Windows Workflow

Test Twitter Notifier from Live Writer

Personal, Photography

Family Trip to Orlando and Caribbean

A couple weeks ago the family went to Orlando for a couple days and then took a cruise out of Canaveral down to the Caribbean.  While in Orlando we visited SeaWorld in about 45 degree weather, but it was still a good visit.  My girls hadn’t been there before and they had a blast.  After that, we hopped on a ship sailing for Nassau where we visited Atlantis.  It was the first cruise for me and my girls, but Bridget was well experienced.  Her parents also joined us so we had a good group.  The cruise was a lot of fun but time demanding.  We had to be up at certain times, eat at certain times, etc.  It was well worth it though.  Especially when we got to Atlantis and spent some time with the dolphins.

Here are the pictures from the trip. 

And one here if you don’t feel like viewing them all:

Family With Dolphin 

Personal, Photography

The Library of Congress’ Photos on Flickr

This isn’t good for my marriage.  I already get in trouble for spending hours messing with photos I or other family members have taken.  Now The Library of Congress is publishing photos on Flickr for our viewing pleasure.  With no copyright restrictions, to boot!  It may take some time to get through them all, but there are some good ones.  With no restrictions I may even download some for print and framing.

Some of my favorites after browsing for 10 minutes: