Monday, November 5, 2007

Tony Dungy: Quiet Strength

As a diehard New England fan and a fan for many years I almost felt like I was betraying the team I have been rooting for. I was searching around on the web for some new reading material and happened to come across Tony Dungy's book, Quiet Strength.

At first I was like "Nah", but I do have alot of respect for the man, rivalries aside. I see a man so involved with his family and has been able to perfectly balance the difficult see-saw of work and family. I know for me this has been a difficult task. I would imagine it's even harder as an NFL Head Coach.

I hesitantly bought the book and had it shipped. I finally sat down to give it a read and I couldn't put it down. I was impressed and I could relate to some of the issues Coach Dungy went through. His experiences, his wisdom and his examples make it easy to relate and see how things are different when you put your spirituality and your family above everything else.

The biggest parts I took away from reading this book were that my job is not my "life's work", but my job. My job does not define who I am as a person. It defines my career. This is an area that I have struggled with for many years.

The second part that hit me like a ton of bricks was a exerpt from scripture. Matthew 16:26 " And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul"

I highly recommend this well written book to anyone who finds themselves having trouble balancing family and work, and those who have put their careers before their families. I think even if you come away with something from this book, you will have gained more in your family life.

Check it out on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Strength-Principles-Practices-Priorities/dp/1414318014/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-9631306-6521669?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1194317816&sr=1-1

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ubuntu Rhode Island Community Team

I have recently begun working on the team resources for a Rhode Island based Ubuntu Local Community Team. Establishing these resources has been relatively simple, but as expected building a team and getting the word out has been relatively difficult.

The goal of LoCo teams is to build a stronger relationship between the community and the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Areas in the community can benefit from local support, installations, and a closer relationship with those who manage their IT assets versus getting an impersonal conversation with a tech support representative.

I feel as though our communities in Rhode Island, and non-profit organizations can benefit from the support of local experts. These experts can build friendships, network and a sense of accomplishment for something that does not feed the machine.

I am only one person and I feel that Rhode Island can benefit from such support and a strong team. Please check out the Ubuntu site. This team isn't just for developers, bug fixes, or geeks. If you are interested, curious or a newbie you can build upon your existing skills and network with other's that share your interest in Ubuntu.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Check out the Ubuntu forums at:

http://www.ubuntuforums.org

Friday, August 10, 2007

Autism Speaks

I am somewhat embarressed to say this but I was watching Oprah, yeah Oprah cuz there isn't much on tv. The show was very informative and a silent killer for children is Autism. Normal child development and those of us that see a future for our children would never imagine anything being wrong with them. I can say for me that frightens me to lose my son to a life long imprisonment. From the information I've gathered Austism affects 1 in 150 children. That is more than Pediatric Cancer, Aids and Diabetes. The hardest part to handle is that there is no known cause and there is no cure.

I watched these parents online talking and feeling my own heart break as I watch these images and hear the words of their daily struggles. My own mother has worked with Austistic people and have felt pain for their families having to watch their children grow up in a world locked in their own mind.

I truly do feel for these families and I hope the cause and the cure are discovered very quickly.

I found a site for the largest Austism Organization available. They have great information, forums, and additional links. I highly recommend researching this site for additional information:

http://www.autismspeaks.org

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slow Internet Links, Alienware & Linux

I am sitting here probably over the slowest Internet Link I have ever encountered trying to go through all of my RSS feeds. Everything is clicking by ever so slowly and I long for the days of dialup it's so bad. Maybe in a short period of time I will be in a place where I can get WiFi access or broadband. It's amazing what you take for granted.

That kinda of gives me a little segway to my next point. Linux. I've looked around the web and only see Dell selling proprietary systems with Ubuntu preloaded. I have absolutely no clue on how well these systems run, so I figured I would spec one out to see what I could get. I was rather happy with the price of the XPS system I configured. It looked good the price was under $1000, I didn't chose a monitor, and had alot of bells and whistles I wanted. I then chose a laptop and did a spec on that too. I wasn't happy with the offering at all, especially at the price. The embedded Intel Graphics card has to go. I wanted a graphics adapter that could handle the 3D rendering I have come to love with my HP DV2120 NVIDIA Card. I love that system. I then decided that the Dell desktop offering would be the way to go. I just have to justify it. I have just become so attached to using a laptop that I don't think I could really go back to a desktop. I'd feel weird and chained.

This then pushes me to look at Alienware. Maybe they have something that I could buy with all the toys I would expect from Alienware. I was disappointed but not too surprised that their wasn't a Linux offering. I did however find a survey asking how I felt about a Linux based Alienware system. I gladly completed the survey hoping this will spur their efforts to produce a product that I know I wouldn't mind purchasing.

My general feeling is that the marketplace is partially skiddish on accepting Linux as an alternative to Windows in their product offerings. I understand the need to educate the support staff and produce a quality product. These are the same growing pains they have had to go through when different versions of Windows are released. These pains are different from others but growing is just that, growing.

I am slightly disappointed in HP not offering a Home Linux based product line. I took my HP laptop and turned it into an Ubuntu system and I am rather happy with the end result. It's a matter of effort and jumping in with both feet. Dell did it, and I think HP is just testing the water to see how Dell's profit numbers are going to add up. In all reality I probably won't purchase a Dell Ubuntu system. Not because it's Dell, but because the product line is so slim. Their is no AMD processor offering, no NVIDIA chipset in the notebook offering and I can't have that. I hope they expand the offering once positive numbers are produced but who knows how that is going to be.

I hope Alienware follows suit and begins offering systems that the Linux community can be proud to purchase. I filled out the survey stating my case for Alienware to jump on the bus. If only HP and other's were so bold.

In case you want the link to the Alienware Survey here it is:

http://www.alienware.com/Surveys/AlienSurvey.aspx?Id=29607129825

Until the time comes where I can purchase what I want in a system I guess I'll just stick with my clones and my trusty HP laptop. It actually runs better than Windows ever did. Hint Hint HP.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Biggest Loser

I had the pleasure the other evening to catch the latest episode of "The Biggest Loser". The show was pretty interesting like how the contestants were suspended from air like 20 feet up and peddling like mad on bicycles. Contestants were crying due to fear of height, and images of them working out like animals.

The point I want to raise is that one of the contestants didn't have a weight change. His weight stayed exactly the same way. He worked out like crazy. They said he was in the gym multiple times. What happened is that they are only looking for weight changes. Now this guy prolly didn't lose any "weight", but he gained muscle. I think in order to make the game fair they should have male and female separate competitions. They should weigh each person and then do bodyfat composition testing. I feel as though this guy didn't lose any weight he probably lost bodyfat and increased his lean muscle mass in the process. Many fitness people know that mucles weighs more than fat.

I just feel that the game requirements need to be changed to ensure that the biggest loser, is the Biggest Bodyfat Loser, versus the Biggest Weight Loser. That would only make sense and would be fair to all the contestants.

FYI Compiz Fusion & NVIDIA Graphics Cards

I have hunted the Internet and scoured the forums for assistance with Compiz Fusion with an NVIDIA Graphics Card for my HP DV2120. I think I have figured it all out. I have posted similiar information in the Ubuntu Forums, which is an awesome place for information. Here's the link to my post:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=513639

This thread presents some good information on updating the NVIDIA-XCONFIG as well as setting options in the XORG.CONF. After making these changes and installing the latest NVIDIA driver from NVIDIA, I have been able to access all of that great eye candy that I've seen being used by other Ubuntu users.

Good Luck in your quest for the 3D Cube. Mine spins, twists and turns. I wonder what they'll design next.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Packing Heat at the Nudey Bar

I've been watching the latest news swirling around Pac-Man and Michael Vick and various others. I am honestly sickened by seeing how professional sports figures have been acting as of late. I believe the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB should lose the 3 strikes and your out rule. No more of these legal woes for professional athletes. They are hired as entertainers, and role models for our youth yet portray a figure of inmaturity.

In my generatation you never heard of Wayne Gretsky or Joe Montana walking into a strip joint with a gun and shooting up the place. It's time to get rid of all the "thugs" from professional sports, and re-create all the wonder and enthusiasm that professional sports is all about.

Now I know all about Wayne Gretsky's legal battles with sports betting, another Pete Rose case. Things will get worked out and taken care of. I just can't help but turn on the tv or go to ESPN.com and read about another Strip Joint incident or Drive-By shooting involving some of our newest most prominent sports figures. Wake up call guys, children and young adults look up to you.

If you can't handle the task of being a sports figure, quit and head to a gang. I don't care what color you are........that has no bearing on my post here. I don't care how good you are or if you are a Heisman trophy winner. Get on the bus or get out of the league. The NFL should not allow this type of bad publicity to continue. Drug addiction, violence, and steroids plague professional sports and glamorize it for our youth. When my children grow up I know that they'll have sport's heros. I'd rather it be someone as centered as Tom Brady, or even Corey Dillon when he went to New England than gun slinging PAC-MAN.

In all honesty if you want to be a gunslinger go get a job at a theme park. There's no room for that kind of behaviour in professional sports. The bus is leaving better get yourself to together or pound sand.