Category Archives: Personal

Represent your hood!

Posting this here as it is the best way to get the word out to everyone all at once…

I am not sure I have the home mailing address for all of my Geek Gather peeps. If you would like to get an officially printed and postal mailed invitation to the wedding reception, then “own up and represent your hood” as the kids like to say. Send your info to

Full details on the wedding, reception and the state of the union can be had here.

Backpack Gets My Money


I’m an educator. I’m a pretty damn good potter, an avid doityerselfer, and a wannabe geek. But at the end of the day, I’m an educator. But, lately I’ve been struggling with my own levels of productivity.
I know I can get more done during my day at school and at home, but so many things get in the way.

So, when I came to the first GGM over at Patrick’s house and started perusing his journal, his efforts at coming to terms with his org-fu, as he calls it, struck a cord with me. The theme of de-cluttering rings true with me, as does the mantra of less, less, less.

I signed up for a free Backpack account and started using it as my website at school for parents and students to visit for assignment information, extra credit offers, additional information for curious students, etc. I thought I’d give it a try before ponying up the $5 per month that they ask for for a real account. And, happily, that’s lasted me for quite some time.
Here’s one of the uses I came up with: Spanish Immersion Backpack page

But, the ghosts of scattered brains still haunt me.

I emailed the nice people at in response to their offer of a free Basecamp account for educators. They hooked me up and I dived right in, trying to see if this were the tool for me. It’s more than I need. And it’s really geared toward project management and collaboration, which isn’t really waht I need. It’s myself I need to collaborate with most of all!

So now I know what BP can do for me and am familiar enough with it to say that I think it could help in other aspects of my life- Today I made the decision to really give Backpack a try and I upgraded my account. I think there’s money to be made in creating a webapp like Backpack for teachers…

I’ve created pages for different home projects, areas of my professional life including the two thinking-skills initatives I’m leading at school, a text formatting tips page for easy access, and a page dedicated to creating a business for my pottery.

I’m more curious now then ever to see how Patrick is organizing his pages, and I’m wondering if any of you geeks out there are also using Backpack. (If not, just mention my referral number when you sign up ;) )
I suggest we have a GGM centered around organizational tools we all use- tools that really help, rather than bog you down. – Online Calendaring

OK, you all know I am on this quest to find the best online calendaring program so my wife and I can orginize our lives with our two small children, work, pets, family, etc. I think I have found it with 30boxes. However, I just learned of a different one I have never heard of before called This not only does calendar sharing but does contact sharing in the same app. It also allows you to do multiple calendars for groups incorporating bloggin and such. Very interesting. I would love to hear your thoughts on this web app. Michael, I know you hate them all so I won’t expect one from you. :) Patrick, I expect to hear feedback from you especially please. For you geeks having new babies you might want to think of an online calendar to organize your new more busy lives with your better halves. And of course coordinating all the Dr. appts, feedings, etc for the baby (and the mental health check-ups for yourselves). OK, check airset out below, if nothing else watch the demo.

Job Posting for General Dynamics

Hi Geeks. My father is retiring from his job at Genereal Dynamics in the spring and they have a job opening for a software engineer. If you or anyone you know of are interested, please email me a cover letter and resume or just the resume and I will get it into General Dynamics through my dad. This is the posting:

Posted Job Title: Engineer-Software/ JAVA (Multimedia system integration)
Job Location: Minnesota – Bloomington
Job Requirements: By leveraging our expertise and state-of-the-art technological capabilities, we are a leader in providing superior transformational mission solutions for the intelligence community. Contribute to a technological revolution by helping our nation’s intelligence effectively operate in data-rich, collaborative, network centric, C4ISR environments.Conducts or participates in the research, design and development of systems software, software applications and/or tools for new programs and subprograms as well as enhancements, modifications and corrections to existing software. Codes, tests, integrates and documents software solutions in JAVA.

Specific Responsibilities: Responsible for supporting MAAS (Multimedia Analysis and Archive System) program in the software development (JAVA) and Integration of COTS components and ensures proper system configuration and functional performance. Provides technical expertise in the context of software integration, interfaces, system performance analysis, and software configuration management.Works closely with the Spiral Lead to ensure full coordination and synchronization of integration activities, prioritization of discrepancy reports and problem resolution. Close coordination with SCM to ensure a smooth transition from the integration environment to the formal test environment.


There has been death all around lately. 2 very close friends have lost loved ones and I recently lost my uncle. It’s hitting closer to home and some day I’ll have to really deal with it. I’m realizing that in so many ways, I just don’t get it yet.
Son of a funeral director, I took my childhood experiences of vacuuming large open chapels with Mr. Eisenmeyer in a coffin behind me (constantly looking over my shoulder), or delivering flowers to the family, or helping to dress a cadaver in sunday best as the norm and never questioned the grossly overblown tradition of the american funeral until relatively recently. A friend in St. Paul started a green burial business- cheapest burial in town and environmentally friendly to boot.

I read blog posts like these that explain how my friend Elizabeth bathed and dressed her partner after her death. Caring for her during her last weeks, days, breaths… Makes me realize that I just don’t get it. There may not be anything more valuable on this earth than to be with a person you love as they die.

All that because I saw this other guy’s crazy idea- to witness his own funeral. I think it’s brilliant! Leave it to a thesbian. Those artists save my world from collapsing in on me.