Wednesday, July 30, 2008


If you had asked me last night what I thought of running, I would have spat. Then I would have shaken my fist in the air, and then just for good measure, I would have spat a second time. And if I had gotten spittle on you I wouldn't have apologized, because, after all, you were the one to bring up the topic.

However, my wife has been running for a few months now. In fact, she just ran a 5k out to the American West Heritage Center (who is that family on their site?!). It was fun to watch her, and she has said she has been having fun in the morning. She sent me this site which basically tells you how to go from the couch (what a lovely place to be), to running a 5 k in just 9 weeks.

I was unconvinced, but thought I'd give it a go. I downloaded a podcast that tells you when you should be running and walking, I woke up this morning at 6:45, and we headed out.

And it was cake.

I mean, come on. First you walk 5 minutes. Then you run for 60 seconds. I run that long trying to chase down one of my kids to give him his what have for. Then you walk for 90 seconds, and repeat. You only do this for a total of 20 minutes.

My legs are a bit sore, but you only do this 3 times a week. I actually enjoyed it. I'm going to give it a shot again on Friday, and then try the next week on the schedule.

Who knows, maybe I'll try a 5k before this is all over. But if not...I'm also fine with going back to the couch. The couch is such a nice place to be. You can sit on it. You can sleep on it. You can even eat on it, if nobody is watching.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quote of the day...

The setting for this quote is important. We were sitting in church, and it was the quietest part of church. Nobody is talking. Everybody is lost in their thoughts. They are thinking about the meaning of life, their relationship with a higher power. Complete silences hangs over the meeting house like heavy drapes. Then my son shatters this peaceful moment for everybody...

Jared: "Hey Isaac! Pull my finger!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scout Quote of the day...

Scout 1: "Did anybody bring face cards?"
Scout 2: "Keegan did, but they're all nines."

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The final chapter of The Super Trio is up. You can now listen to the entire book at

I've had a lot of fun doing this, even though my reading skills leave a lot to be desired. If you know of a little person, between the ages of 5 and 12, please send them my way. The book is free. There are no ads. It's just a whole lot of fun.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scout Quote of the day...

Scout: "You don't look like an American."
Camp Staff: "But I am an American."
Scout: "You look like you could be a French Canadian with a tan.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Scout Quote of the day...

I just got back from scout camp, so the next three quotes of the day are in honor of my blessed time up in the woods with a fine, fun, and wonderful group of heathens.


Scout Master: Go brush your teeth.
Scout: I can't brush my teeth. I don't know where the bathroom is. That is why I have been pooping in the bushes.
Assistant Scout Master: Ha ha're joking, right?
Scout: No, I had to poop in the bushes. There was corn in it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good News!

I've received permission from my publisher to 'podcast' at least part of my first book, Chickens in the Headlights. I'm very excited. I am hoping that I will be able to post the entire book. I wrote my first book with two goals in mind. First, I wanted to share my book/experience with the entire world. Second, I wanted to make gobs of money.

Well, I didn't make gobs of money, but that's ok. I've realized that it was the first goal that is the more important one. And I hope that this announcement is a step in the right direction. Anybody will be able to come to my site, listen to the book, and share the chapters with their friends.

So, I will likely start after The Super Trio is complete (another few weeks), around when school starts back up. So, if you want to listen in, drop by

See you there!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The beauty of technology is it allows for levels of specialization never before seen. For example, on the way to work I listened to a 'program' about boardgames. Not just any boardgames, but wargames, in particular. That's right, there are a couple of guys that do a very nice podcast about wargames, and I like to listen to it.

This program would never make it on regular radio, but with the broad distribution models now available to anybody with a mic and connection, we're seeing specialization like never before.

That being said, it's funny when you see a program about somebody else's interest, when you have none. Today I took my son out to eat, and they had Animal Planet playing in the background. I don't know what program it was, but animal planet is an example of specialization on TV. You'd never see these programs on mainstream television, but on a cable network that doesn't need to attract a large number of viewers, they get away with it.

This particular program was about...wait, let me present it like they presented it.

This is a serious situation! We have a black wolf, - an old black wolf - with matted hair. This matted hair can lead to a life threatening skin condition! We must hunt her down (with a tranquilizer dart), bring her back to the office, and give her a haircut! It's so intense! If we give her too high of a tranquilizer dose SHE MIGHT DIE! But if we don't give her enough, SHE MIGHT WAKE UP ON THE BARBER'S TABLE AND MAUL US! Think of the tension! Think of the anxiety!

In the end, they couldn't get the dose right, they decided the wolf had suffered some pretty severe stress, and so they trashed the idea. If I was writing the tagline in the TV guide, it would go something like this.

Vets think about giving a wolf a haircut, then change their minds.

To me, this isn't riveting television in any stretch of the imagination. But to's programming at it's best. The people who watch and enjoy this will also likely enjoy Greatest American Dog, which is exactly like American Idol, but you're voting on who has the nicest dog.

I'll stick to my podcasts, thank you.

Quote of the day...

Dad: "Good morning sweet pea."

Jared: "Good morning sweet poop."

Dad: "What?"

Jared: "You said sweet pee, so I said sweet poop."

Monday, July 07, 2008


The beauty of the internet is that when you write about things you're interested in, you get to meet other people interested in the same things. A few days ago I wrote a few thoughts about geocontent. deprimer commented on my article and pointed me toward Socialight.

Socialight is probably the closest thing yet to what I've been writing and talking about for years. It's a site that allows you to easily link content to a specific geographic location. Within 3 minutes of arriving on the site, I had an account, and had created my first 'sticky'. A sticky is a way to say, "Hey, this content is useful to this location."

There are several things Socialight is doing right. You can mark information public or private. It's very simple and intuitive to use. There are 'channels', which allow you to create or find stickys related to a certain topic. And of course there is the social side built into the site, you can follow other people's stickys or channels, rate stickys, and tag them.

I've just played with the web side of Socialight, but they have a JAVA and WAP version that apparently works on almost any phone.

As far as what Socialight might be able to improve upon...Currently you can only add text and images. I'd love to be able to add audio, video, or a link to relevant content already on the web. I know that there will be some issues involved with bandwidth trying to pull down video over a cell phone, but ultimately this is the goal. I also wonder if there might be a way to sync up stickys before you leave on a trip. You could pull down the audio and video on your broadband connection, and then sync them up with your cell phone.

I'd also love to see Socialight automatically sync up all of the wikipedia articles that have GPS data already built in. This would probably be a time/effort intensive project up front, but once completed, would prove invaluable. Many articles already have GPS coordinates or street addresses, so it would merely be a matter of downloading wikipedia, stripping out all the articles that don't have this information, and slapping them all up on the map. Of course, there are some articles that don't have GPS data that would still be useful to link up. The article on George Washington, for example, could be linked to the place he was born, where he is buried, where he lived, etc.

And while I mentioned the site was very easy to use, and intuitive, I did find there were a few user interface issues that seemed a bit clunky, but they are almost not worth mentioning.

Finally, I think there is one other thing I'd like to see, but I'm not quite sure how best to describe it. I think Socialight is a great step toward seeing geocontent really take off, but it needs something more. As I've thought about what that more is, I asked myself why I'm not anxious to go and add a bunch of stickys. Finally, I have a site that does just what I've wanted a site to do, so why am I not online creating a bunch of geocontent?

I think the answer lies in ownership. When I create a web site, I own the content. I know that I can take my files from one hosting service to another. I know that if Bluehost goes down, I've got the files and can put it up somewhere else. While I may put my pictures on Flickr, I've also got them on my hard drive, and can put them up on Panaramio, or Picassa online. For me personally, when I create these geocontent items, I want to keep them. I want to be able to put them on a disk and give to my kids, or friends. I want to be able to use them in one program or another, just like a .html file can be opened with dreamweaver, a browser, or even notepad.

Maybe that is what I want, is a file with an extension that can be read by Socialight, by an application on my desktop, or on my phone. While I will very likely use programs like Socialight to share my geocontent, for me I also want to have a backup just in case. Because I feel like a lot of the content I will be creating will be something I'll want to pass down to my kids. And to just put them up on a website doesn't seem secure enough. If I interview my father about the town where he grew up, I don't want that information lost.

And if the platform is 'open', meaning people can take and tweak what can be done, then you start to get a whole slew of really cool applications start to evolve.

I don't want to end on a negative note. I think Socialight is very slick, and you really should go check it out. Add firemeboy to your friends list, and let me know if you set up an account. I'm looking forward to the many cool things that are going to happen as we link up content and location.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Quote of the day...

Steven: "I can't wait until I'm 16."

Dad: "Why is that?"

Steven: "Because then I'll have a pop belly."

Dad: "What?"

Steven: "Yeah, then I'll have a pop belly, and have energy if I miss a breakfast."

Friday, July 04, 2008


The problem with the internet is that any whacko with an connection gets to throw out his/her opinion, however wrong it may be. The internet's saving grace is that other whackoes can point out just how wrong the first whacko is.

Charlie Barratt wrote an article over at Games Radar in which he points out that wikipedia is nothing more than a haven for nerds. Sure, there may be millions of articles, but they are all about nerdy things. Wikipedia lacks real meat.

Well, Mr. Barratt is either completley oblivlious, or just likes to poke fun. In the very first 'example', he points out that the Call of Duty video game has more words than the entry for World War II. Ha ha, very funny, but does he have any idea that Wikipedia has length guidelines? There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles related to World War II, Barratt just didn't bother to find that out. He combines the articles for all of the Call of Duty video games, but doesn't bother adding up the hundreds of articles for World War II.

Wikipedia seems to be everybody's favorite whipping boy, but rarely do folks stop to take a good look at just how remarkable a resource and phenomenon it is.

Think Wikipedia is a second rate web site? Go ahead, try to write an article and get it to featured status. It's probably easier to write a dissertation (thought I can't say for sure, since I've never done either).

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Making Strides

It's been almost one year to the day since I posted my article on about why web 2.0 wasn't enough, and how geocontent might just well be the next big thing.

I've yet to change my opinion.

During the past year I have seen many strides taken by many companies, in the effort to link content to location. Google is interested, Yahoo is interested. We all know the latest iPhone will have GPS. It is no longer a question of will this happen, but when will it happen. And who will be the big winner?

I've noticed that there are several companies trying to get their foot in the geocontent arena by hopping on the Web 2.0 bandwagon. Take Loopt, for example, or ByNotes. Loopt says they are connecting people and places. ByNotes looks to be a twitter/blog/GPS mashup. But these companies are working on geo 2.0 before geo 1.0 has been built.

Look at how the internet came to be. First there was nothing. Then there was a little bit of content. Then there was a boat load of content. Then there was so much content we couldn't wade through it all. At that point, Web 2.0 suddenly makes sense. We now need social networks, other humans, to help us sift through the billions of blogs to find the really good stuff (think reddit, Digg, etc.).

But the geocontent arena hasn't hit this critical mass. We don't have massive amounts of really good content yet. We don't have a way for people to create interesting content around locations. Or even tie exisiting content to locations. Until this happens, geocontent 2.0 will likely take a back seat as a sparkly bobble. Something fun to look at, but not as important.

It is my prediction that somebody, somewhere will come up with a very slick and easy way to tie content to a location. It will need to be easy to do with a phone, or at a desktop. It will need to be easy to access from a phone, or at a desktop. Once this happens, prepare to see an explosion of all sorts of wickedly cool apps.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The power of a good documentary...

A documentary is good if it makes you think, or increases your interest in a certain topic. A good documentary is anything but boring. Take Riding Giants, for example. I've never had an interest in surfing, but after watching that movie I was ready to ditch my job, buy a board, and move to Hawaii.

I didn't.

Anyway, last night I watched a documentary called Spellbound. It's not very new, and the subject matter sounds...boring. It's basically a documentary about 8 children who were in the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

It's a great show, and while I have always hated spelling bees, and can't spell to save my life, the show was incredibly intense. Each time one of these kids got up to spell I found myself gripping my pillow (I was in bed at the time), hoping they survived to the next round.

I think the most endearing kid is the boy who starts the movie. He is trying to spell 'banns'. The anguish on his face, his attempts at spelling it...priceless.

Anyway, if you're looking for a good documentary, I highly recommend it.