Legal Disclaimer

The opinions stated here in this ‘blog or elsewhere on my web site are my own. Any or all facts (real or imagined) are typically presented from my personal point of view. Furthermore these facts and opinions do not necessarily represent or even agree with those of my family, my employer, the US Government, any other organization, or entity (real or imagined). Any similarity (real or imagined) to other individuals, animals, places, items or concepts is purely coincidental.


'Blog Plug-ins 

I've been thinking on an idea for some blogging tools that would allow the creation of plug-ins.
A good example application might be in the realm of personal health care. With a "nutrition" plug-in, a 'blogger could record and track what they ate and could generate a report they could use with their healthcare professionals to improve their diet.
Another example might be a "bird sighting" plug-in that would help a bird watching blogger track their life-time species list and allow scientific analysis of sighting patterns using web spiders.
This requires a couple of things. First it needs a schema / API that defines how 'blogging tools should capture arbitrary data and/or render some kind of applet that captures the data. Next it requires a systematic way for plug-ins to include tagged data in or with a post. Third it needs tools to crawl through a blog, extract the data posted with a plug-in, aggregate that data and generate some kind of meaningful display of that data.
If you're interested in working on something like this drop me an e-mail.

Family Tech Support Continued... 

Well it looks like my Dad managed to more or less get my Mom's new laptop set up and working on their wireless network. Though I expect it will take a couple of hours on the phone with my Mom later this week to pick up the pieces and finish the job.
I could go into a long rant about what went wrong, but let's just leave it that incomplete information sure doesn't help.


Vaulting DVDs 

I spent an hour or so today talking with Angela, one of the other assistant coaches, about how she might use her TV/video production and grant writing skills to produce a couple of vaulting videos / DVDs.
We talked about the immediate need for an educational DVD with commentary by various judges for coaches and vaulters. We also talked about the need to develop some "B Roll" footage to get more / better TV coverage of Vaulting, and the long term prospects of getting vaulting produced for TV like gymnastics, figure skating and other equestrian sports.
These ideas are some that I've been thinking about for the past few years as an extension of the video taping and digital music stuff I've done.

Family Tech Support 

Dad got Mom a new laptop for her birthday, and of course I ended up spending several hours on the phone helping her set it up.

Tom's Tech Support. How can I help you?


Arc Welder 

I finally got around to using the hobby arc welder I bought two years ago for $30. I used it to affix the legs back onto the mini-tramp that we use with the vaulters. It was probably the first arch welding I've done in about 20 years. And I never really did enough back then to develop any real skills at it. So my welds weren't particularly pretty. I need to find some hunks of metal that I can practice on.


Fun with Vectors 

Recently the high school age daughter of one of my parents college friends asked my Dad for some help with a math class project on the application of vectors. The following is part of my contribution.

Consider a database that recommends movies. First users enter ratings, 1 to 5 stars, for movies they have seen. The database represents each rating as the component in dimension of a particular movie of the user's preference vector. Then when a user wants a recommendation, it searches for other user's preference vectors that point in similar directions and include movies that the user hasn't seen.

Given the ratings above, the database would expect Bill to give the new Keanu Reeves movie, "Constantine", a rating of just over 4 because Bill's preference vector most closely matches Bob's but tends to be a little higher on average. The example above uses 8 & 9 dimensional vectors, but a web site like NetFlix probably uses vectors with hundreds and hundreds of dimensions.


Cubby Prototype Built 

I spent the afternoon building an engineering prototype for the cubbies that I am building for the vaulters to stash their stuff during vaulting practice.

Sleep is a good thing! We should do it more. 

As I was headed to bed a little before midnight last night, I got to thinking about how adding a blog to my web site should impact the overall site design.

Thus my brain wasn't in much of a mood to sleep anyway, when the local cops must have chased someone down the alley behind our house. Think guys with flashlights, police helicopter over head, barking dogs, etc. It was all over in about 10 minutes, but I was wide awake.

It was almost three by the time I finally fell asleep. My alarm on work days goes off at 3:45 AM.


I moved all the style definitions for my blog out of the template and into a separate file. Looks like I managed to do so with out breaking my blog.


"It will rain soon, you see if it doesn't." -- Eeyore

Found this while digging around my computer and just had to add it to my blog.

Dad Needs a 'Blog 

I think I'm going to set up a blog for my Dad. He's running marathons for his retirement and likes to publish photos and race reports. His current web site, is hard to navigate and has an utter lack of color and/or graphic design.

I ought to be able to find a running template that I can tweak to fit my Dad.

Dad also probably needs a good photo gallery / album scripts for his web site. But I haven't found one I like yet.

Words of Wisdom? 

I think I may combine my blog and my "Words of Wisdom" pages. A blog is a good place to capture and store random bits of information. Mater of fact I think I'll change the title of my blog to Tom's Words of Wisdom.

I think that G.Tom (my grandfather / my mom's dad) would have liked the idea of a blog.

Hello world! 

This is my first blog post, and is only a test.