Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pipe Hike

Each weekend, we try to get out on a hike that is not too difficult for the kids and we can take the dog. Out favorite is on the Manchester Trails just a short distance away. We call it Pipe Hike for the gas pipeline running through the park. Most of it is buried, but there is a wash that was exposed the pipe so it acts like a bridge. The kids like to cross the over it.
One our last trip, I took my eTrex and tracked our route. Through the wonders of Google Maps and GPSVisualizer, I made a map of our trip. Our route is 1.7 miles which is just right for the tykes. There is one steep stretch where we climb 160 ft. in little over a tenth of a mile.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I have started to integrate Lucene into one of my projects at work. Now I can be a genius like my colleague.


To fire Marty or not to fire Marty...that is the question.
IMHO, Marty is a good coach. He has made a few poor decisions in key playoff games, but most of his losses have been due to bad luck. Charger fans can now share in their grief with Cleveland Brown v1.0 fans. The coach always gets blamed because he is in charge. But in the end, it is not him on the field.
Instead of firing Marty, they need to fire some of the players. Eric Parker has to go. He is a mediocre WR at best and a game-killer at worst. McCardell is getting too old to play anymore and should retire. Then, they need to get a big-time receiver to line up with Vincent Jackson. I have my eye on T.O. You could probably get him cheap from the Cowboys. Yes, he's a headache, but look at those numbers. They bring back the same team as last year but with another playmaker for Rivers, they could go 16-0; then lose in their first playoff game :(

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Post Vacation Blues

Upon returning from my vacation, I had the following waiting for me:

  • Car covered in bird poop

  • Dead battery in said car

  • Lost cell phone

  • Many pounds to be worked off

  • Down DSL

St. Louis

I spent the last week in St. Louis visiting my brother and his family. He has a girl and a boy that are year behind my kids (my mom got grandkids in four straight years) plus an infant. The kids got along great even though they are very different personalities.
My family has deep roots in the St. Louis area. My mom grew up in Cahokia and met my dad while he was attending Parks College. My brother also attended Parks and worked for Anheuser-Busch before moving to Merrill Lynch.
We hit some great sites this trip:
  • St. Louis Zoo - an awesome zoo and free to boot! It was pretty cold so alot of the animals were off exhibit keeping warm. However, the antelopes and other hoofed animals were in a big barn. You could get very close to them and the highlight were the giraffes.

  • The City Museum - probably the greatest playground/children's museum I have seen. It has to be seen to be believed. If you have kids and are in the area, plan a day to go here. We stayed for over 7 hours and kids didn't want to leave.

  • U.S. Grant Historical Site - a small, but very interesting park. It contains the house that the Grant's owned. The rangers where extremely informative. I plan on visiting this park again when the museum is finished.

  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - best known for the Gateway Arch, this park also has a good museum and a great film on Lewis & Clark. The arch is not for the claustrophobic or altophobic. Imagine getting into a large clothes dryer and going straight up for over 600 feet. The angle of the viewing windows at the top let you see behind the arch.