Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bahamian Rhapsody

So here I am chilling in the hotel lobby after a full day outside in the sun while Lori enjoys a 90-minute spa treatment.  We're having a good relaxing time here at the Our Lucaya Resort.  I hate that the word "Our" is in the name.  I guess it's not yours or mine, but Our resort.  Lori has a good synopsis of yesterday's events.  Today we actually slept in late (if you call 9 AM late) and went across the coast past the Westin hotel to a very nice fitness center.  After our attempt to play tennis got thwarted (crowded courts, steep prices), we spent most of the day by the beach and the pool near our hotel.  I managed to venture into the Caribbean blue of the Atlantic Ocean for a bit (and tried not to let Enya's song get in my head).  After lunch by the beach and a few Sands brews I enjoyed the pool a little, read and relaxed listening to my cellphone (which in the Carribean becomes solely an iPod).  I wanted to get a Gully Wash which consists of coconut water, sweet milk and gin but the bartender said (in his cool Bahamian accent) "We all out of Gully Wash."  Bummer.  I may try again tomorrow.  Cool techie side note:  Since my phone has WiFi enabled, I can just walk through the lobby of the hotel, switch on my wireless and sync up with my Outlook on the fly even without Sprint mobile access.  I can then browse my email at my lesiure later on.  Technology rules.

Tonight we may venture to a Latin fusion restaurant close-by and possibly hit the resort casino for a few low-minimum Caribbean Stud hands.  Tomorrow I'll be going with Lori to a spinning class in the morning (gotta work off all the food and drink I'm consuming) and then I have a tee-time at 1:30 tomorrow at the nearby Reef Course.  It'll be my first 18-hole round of 2009 and I'm a bit leery of the fact that there is no driving range at the course.  I'll still probably get there early to work on my putting and short game.  Unfortunately, we found out when we arrived yesterday that one of the resort activities is movie trivia and it's held at 1 PM tomorrow.  I'll have to miss it but at least everyone else will have more fun playing since I won't be there to dominate.

I'll leave you with some choice pictures (click for larger versions) I took today and I'll probably catch up on Battlestar now (I heart Slingbox) until Lori gets back and we head to dinner.  Needless to say, the weather here is perfect.  There are no bugs in sight and it'll be tough getting back to reality on Monday.

The back view of our hotel

Me draining buckets on the bball court this morning

One of the many pools on the resort property

A panorama of the vast beach area behind our hotel

A poolside Asian restaurant (we haven't seen Dana Delany yet)

Friday, March 6, 2009

And.. We're Off!

Sitting in the Charlotte airport now waiting for our connecting flight to Freeport in the Bahamas. Lori and I are taking a much needed vacation sans-kids until Monday evening. My dad and step-mom (AKA my heroes) are graciously taking the kids for the long weekend. We don't have much planned for our trip except for a lot of relaxation that we'll need before Daughter arrives in May.

I'm not sure about the internet situation at the hotel but if I get a chance I will try to post something from the island. I'm including a random pic from National airport of a Lego Statue of Liberty.

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Browser to Rule Them All

Throughout my career of working in web development I've run through the gamut of different browser incarnations.  From Mosaic to IE 8 I've managed to use and design for numerous browser versions over the years.  I used to be an IE hater and adopted the early versions of Netscape.  Slowly over time as a developer, I realized that IE seemed to display HTML styling in a more sensible manner than Netscape and I was sold on IE until Firefox arrived.  Firefox did a great job of rendering HTML and also integrated with third party plugins.  I personally think that both browsers create too much overhead with add-ins, toolbars and widgets that bog down the overall browsing experience.  I just want to navigate the web with my browser.  That's it.  I don't need an integrated MP3 player or address book or a weather widget.  In my opinion a browser should just be a browser.

With a very minimal UI and browsing experience, Google's Chrome browser was launched last year and I've been using it ever since as my primary browser.  Early-on a lot of sites did not look good in Chrome or wouldn't function properly.  For those sites I would switch back to IE to access properly.  Over the last few months though, these problem sites now work fine in Chrome either due to re-coding efforts by the webmasters to properly style for Chrome or due to the fact that Chrome updates the browser automatically with the latest stable version.  Besides being able to add tabs as all browsers do nowadays, Chrome offers an internal task manager so you can see how much memory each individual tab is using.  On the task manager screen there is even a link to "stats for nerds" so us web geeks can get even more behind-the-scenes info. 

Now Chrome is not that easy to design for right now since most of my clients want to focus on IE mainly and support Firefox as well.  Hopefully Chrome gains more of a market share in the upcoming years and starts to be considered as a major player in the browser wars.  I'd love to see Chrome eventually overtake IE as the top browser but that probably won't happen until Google decides to make a better OS than Windows (doesn't seem to be that difficult of a task).  If you haven't tried chrome yet, give it a test spin.  Less is more when it comes to the browsing experience and Chrome is the way to go.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Dunks of the Day

Last night I saw my Orange (21-8) beat up on Rutgers in their second to last game of the regular season.  During the game, Junior Paul Harris made highlight dunk after highlight dunk and eventually got so pumped that he threw his headband into the Carrier Dome crowd.  His best dunk is the one shown below (a playground toss to himself).

An even BETTER dunk was occuring at the same time at Comcast Center in College Park, MD.  Wake Forest's Jeff Teague absolutely posterized a MD defender with this dunk below.  

I watched Sportscenter this morning looking for Harris' dunk and was even more impressed with Teague's effort.  Both dunks failed to make the top 3 plays thanks to some boring hockey highlights.  March Madness is just around the corner boys and girls and for the first time in three years my Orange will be dancing.

Snow Day

On Monday we finally got actual accumulating snowfall in the DC metro area. For the first time in years I was able to take the boys outside to play in the snow. I worked from home that day but budgeted in an hour for snow-action. Alex had a great time and enjoyed walking around in the snow and exploring on his own. The "mittens" that Lori gave him were far too big for his little hands and they just dangled off his wrists like overgrown socks. I guess they don't make kid gloves that small. Alex wanted to make a "Snowmum" (his word for snowman which I consider to be a snowman's mother). Unfortunately the snow was fluffy and not conducive to snowmum making. He still had a great time and really enjoyed being out in the snow.

Josh had even more fun than Alex as he became a force to be reckoned with in a sled. We used the cheap green plastic saucer i had in the garage from the dark ages (the last big snowfall). Josh would tear down the hill with out any concern. He tried going down on his butt, on his knees, on his stomach, even backwards. Needless to say, I think we need a bigger hill. Alex enjoyed sledding on my lap as well. One time I put Alex on Josh's lap and the two went down together (without incident thankfully). When they got to the bottom, Alex exclaimed "That Awesome!"

After about an hour of snow fun, Alex fell down walking in the snow on his own and that was that (he started to cry and complain about being wet). It was fun while it lasted and I'm sure we'll try to up the level of sledding difficulty next time (2011 maybe?). Damn global warming.

Joshua Knievel

Monday, March 2, 2009

Screech: The Second Coming

My favorite baseball team The Washington Nationals failed to win 60 games last season (out of 162 total).  It was one of the worst seasons I've ever been through as a fan (this year's Wizards are making a run to top it).  How does a team turn around a season with over 100 losses?  Simple. Make your mascot dance better.  

The video below is from today's unveiling of the revamped Nationals mascot Screech.  See Screech and I go way back and I'm not sure how I feel about hiring a contestant from So You Think You Can Dance to wear the costume.  The best part of this video is the end when you see that Screech went all dance-crazy for a room full of 5 or 6 people.

So Long Heroes

Dear Heroes,

I think I've finally made the decision to delete you from the scheduled show list on my DVR.  We had some memorable times both good and bad over the last few years.  I was amazed with the strong story arc of the first season as we were introduced to a group of interesting characters.  On the flip side I wish I could forget the boring trip to feudal Japan for Hiro and company and Mohinder's transformation into The Fly.  Thanks for wasting my time with the crying Mexican siblings as well.  

The main reason I'm leaving you is that you're trying too hard.  You keep throwing new uninteresting characters at me and I find myself overwhelmed with way too many plot lines.  I no longer care about any of the characters on your show (with the exception of Sylar).  Unfortunately I think the next time I see Zachary Quinto he'll be wearing Spock ears in May.  I hope someone manages to save the world again eventually and maybe I'll check back in on DVD when all is said and done (I give you one more season then inevitable cancellation).  I just don't care about Nathan Petrelli and his shady politics or Matt Parkman and his forced relationship with the uber-annoying Daphne or any goofy plot point your writers bestow upon Hiro and Ando.  I have better shows (Lost, Fringe, 24) to fill my free time with.

Regards and Salutations,

Jordan L. Rose

PS:  Tim Kring, if you learn one lesson from this debacle it should be that less is more.