Friday, August 29, 2008

Sheppy Quest 2008?

Here is what I am thinking for Sheppy Quest 2008:

I am going to start on the same Goose Creek Trail from my last Sheppy Quest (see

But when Goose Creek crosses Hankins Pass Trail, I will take a left and head up almost to Hankins Pass and then cut across Lake Park Trail to McCurdy Park Trail which will take me back to the Goose Creek Trail.

The entire loop should be about 25 to 30 miles which I think would be the farthest I've ever actually backpacked on a Sheppy Quest. Looking at the profiles, it is certainly the toughest hike I will have done. Rather than doing just a weekend, I think I may do a Friday to Monday Sheppy Quest this time. Maybe I should plan on some more time. I am probably not in the kind of shape I ideally be in for a Sheppy Quest, but I cannot go three whole years without doing one. And of course, part of the appeal of the Sheppy Quest is pushing my body to physical exhaustion. Physical exhaustion should be easy as overweight as I am.

What is a SheppyQuest? Well, it is obviously named after a Vision Quest. Vision Quest is the Native American tradition where an older child goes out on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness. The child would tune into the spirit world for the purpose of discovering his (or her?) intended spiritual and life direction. Usually, a guardian animal would come to the child in a vision and at that point the life direction would become clear. My understanding is that the child would go out into the wilderness with basically nothing. No food. No water. I do not think they had a weapon for protection. Seems sort of dangerous.

I sort of doubt I will send Connor or Tyler on vision quests as they get older. For one thing, Mommy would never go for it.

My Sheppy Quest is quite a bit more tame. I bring food and water, and in fact have quite a big backpack full of camping stuff when I go. I have maps and a GPS unit and an overall plan of where I am going. I am able to give Tracy GPS coordinates of just about where I will be camping every night. I also do follow established trails so getting lost is almost impossible. Plus, I do always see some (but very few) people on my trips.

But, I do head off into the wilderness by myself. Last time, I saw a Bob Cat which I figured was my spirit guide, but he never revealed anything to me, so maybe it was just a bob cat. I think I do the Sheppy Quest more because it gives me a chance to back pack, which I love, but cannot do with a wife and kids yet. I do quietly contemplate life, think about all kinds of things in an attempt to bring some sort of self - clarity or understanding to my life. I would not say that I meditate. My thoughts are too random and scattered to call it meditation.

My wife begs me to bring someone along, and I have had offers of people who really want to come, but part of the Sheppy Quest is the alone time. My mother-in-law is convinced that going out camping by yourself is one of the most dangerous things you can ever do. I am convinced that where I go and the fact that my wife does know about where I am makes it much less dangerous than driving to work every day. So, obviously, it is not just about backpacking. If it were I would invite one or two guys to come along to satisfy my wife and her mommy.

This year, actually, my wife did not even bother bringing up the standing request that I not go all by myself. She did demand that I don't do anything dangerous. This probably means she finally accepts that fact that going off into the wilderness is not in itself a dangerous activity. Actually, she is just probably more tired of the argument than afraid that something will happen to me. I have enough life insurance that I am probably worth more dead than alive, but she hates it when I say that. Children need their fathers and all that crap.

So, there we are. I am currently "scheduled" for September 12 - September 15. Scheduled means I have permission from my wife and I do not have any auctions during that time. I am pretty excited. It has been too long since I've had anything to post at

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The Democratic National Convention is located in Denver this year.

Next week, downtown will be extremely busy.

Huge things are big for the economy of a city, but I have to wonder if anyone ever takes into account costs such as employees who either cannot get to work because of traffic concerns or decide just not to come to work.

Personally, I am planning on working from home and not dealing with the pain. Unfortunately, everyone at my client is planning on doing the same thing, and I am told the VPN probably will not be able to handle the traffic. As a highly paid consultant, if I cannot work, I probably just will not bill and do something else. CHFA has a great vacation and PTO package and I have a feeling a bunch of people there will end up being "sick". That will cost CHFA, but I guess officially it is time due their employees anyway.

But I imagine all across downtown there will be a staggering number of people who will not work that week because they cannot easily get to their offices.

The conventionteers are not so much of an issue apparently as the large number of protestors who will invade Denver. I have heard huge projections on how many there will be. Obviously, no on knows for sure, but I have heard guesses up over the hundred thousand mark. This on top of people who are actually here for the convention itself. Most of these protestors will have no place to sleep... All hotels are booked for hundreds of miles.

Anyway, it will all be a terrible mess.

Friday, August 15, 2008


School started for Tyler this week. It seems too early. School should start in the fall and there are still a couple of weeks of summer left.

Once again it seems like we wasted the summer. We only went camping twice. One of those was before summer started. I did not climb any 14ers. No SheppyQuest.

We may make one more family camping trip and it SheppyQuest is usually in September so I guess officially I could salvage the summer.

Plus we did have week of Trash 2008. We did get away for Tracy's birthday weekend. Tracy and I got away for a romantic weekend without the kids. So, considering my weird work situation, we did pretty well. I guess.

When I started working for myself, part of the appeal was the freedom. While I do have more freedom as my own employee, I take most of that up with my side business. I have the freedom to replace part of my high paying job with the more difficult hardly pay at all job. Does not seem that smart. Plus, now my client is the "boss". CHFA is an extremely easy-going boss which fits well with my side business, but it is a fact that working for yourself does not necesssarily mean you have more freedom. The customer calls generally calls the shots. I probably would not be able to do Auction Automations with just about ay other customer.

The truth of the matter, though, is that the summer went too quickly.

I am told that the mountains are expecting snow tonight.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

World Record

We seem to be on track for a world record in Silent Auction futility.

The silent auction has been going for 2 hours and they have raised a total of $225.

Of course, after one hour they were at about $25, so I guess it is picking up. Everyone is in the dining room now, so I do not anticipate this group even raising our minimum. People are just not that interested in the silent auction tonight.

It is a high-school class reunion group that has decided to raise money for "Fast Forward for Literacy".

We knew it would not be a big night because there are only about 110 people and only about 50 items. But, I never imagined it would be this pathetic.

I am not even really paying attention to it. I am watching the Broncos pre-season game on Sling Box.

The Broncos don't look that great either.

This damn thing goes until 11pm.

I was only supposed to work the during-event, but we were low on resources, so I had to be in charge of setup. At least it was a pretty easy setup.

14 bids in the system now. The Broncos are down 7 to 13. Almost half time. Offensive holding on the Broncos. 10 yard penalty. 16 seconds left until the first half is over.

We are up to $300. The customer owes us $1500 for our services. I hope they at least make the $1500. The only reason our fee is so low is because they signed the contract a year and a half ago when our fees were about half what they are now.

By 2009, the goal is for me not to have to do any of these events. I cannot wait.

18 bids $335. 2 hours and 38 minutes left. Broncos down 7 to 16.

One interesting thing about this event is that they are also having a casino night. People seem to be more interested in the gambling than they are in the silent auction.

The Broncos lost.

My wife is now trying to watch T.V. I am screwing with her by pressing pause. I wonder if she realizes what is going on. I'm not very nice when I am bored.

We are up over $1000 now. We have an hour and 18 minutes left.
I was just told to lower the minimum bid on a big-ticket item, so I think the total is going to jump up by $1,600 pretty soon. We might actually get above our fee. Sweet. Although I was sort of excited about breaking a record. Of course even with the $1,600 we are probably going to break the futility record.

Apparently, our employee, Mark is wheeling and dealing to get people to buy things at a reduced price. But, it has been several minutes since we lowered the trip to Cancun to $1,600, so I am a little confused. Maybe they got "cold feet".

Well, no sense boring my Blog readers any more on this subject.

Right now, we are at $1,026 with 1:10 left in the auction. I am assuming that soon some of these huge price cuts on the big-ticket items will bear fruit and we will jump above our fee for the total. Maybe.

I need a nap. It is going to be a real late night.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Blogging for the Glory of God

I came across

Actually, I came across it because my dad writes it and he left a comment on one of my blogs. His comment lead me to look at his Google profile and I discovered that he does the TULC blog.

By the way... is a "Blog" an individual entry ... or is a "Blog" the whole group of entries? I think it is the whole group of entries, although I use the term both ways. You will have to pay attention to my context to know which I am talking about.

One thing I started this whole blog with was a bit of wonderment on why I should blog.

I guess what it comes down to is that it is an easy way (at least Google's implementation of it) to distribute information. It is easier to put in a Blog entry than to update a website. And it automatically keeps a running history of what you say. Easy, but dangerous. You have to watch what you say or you might give someone more information than you want to give them.

And really, how important a blog is really comes down to how it is used. How useful or interesting or entertaining is the information being blogged about is really the measure of how good a blog is. Mine sucks.

I think using a blog for "Glory of our God" ( is a great use for a blog. Unfortunately, based on the number of entries in there, my guess is that it is under utilized. My guess is lots of people in the church never go there and read what is there, so the author probably does not feel a huge motivation to keep it up to date. Really, what should happen in a church-blog situation (in my opinion) is that there should be a team of people who work on the blog and keep it up-to-date and it could be advertised every Sunday in the church bulletin. Ideally, anyone in the church should be allowed to add to the blog. You would probably need an editor of some sort, but as long as you have a group of people with a common interest and do not abuse the "power" of sharing information, why not let everyone participate? And, why not participate? Faith and religion just based on its philosophical nature lend themselves to great thought-provoking discussions. Although, they also can lead to emotional fights and disagreements (thus the need for an editor).

Anyway, a church blog is a great use of blogging. Much better than what I use this one for.

I tried a similar idea for my wife's family reunion: Similar in that we had a group of people with a common interest and that everyone was invited to use. It did get used (less than I thought it should have been used, but more than I expected) . I offered everyone in the family access. Probably about half the families actually posted to it. It sent out an email of each post, so I do not know how many people actually read the blog as opposed to just read the emails, but I think it was pretty well used during the time leading up to the event.

Now, everyone is still invited to post stuff, but no one has. Well I have and my wife has, but no one else. It will probably start to get used the next time everyone wants to get together for a reunion (probably 2010). All in all, I think the great "Trash Blog" experiment was a success. Everyone else probably thinks it was stupid, but I think it worked out well.

Part of the reason this blog sucks is that it really has no defined purpose. My blogs basically range all over the place. Very few people in the world are interested in the the same exact things that I am interested about. And some of the things I write in here are not even that interesting to me. Probably about 60% of the time, blogging is just a way to take up time while I'm sitting on the light rail. The church blog has a purpose ... talk about topics that are useful or interesting to members of the church. The Trash Blog had a purpose, distribute and log information about an upcoming event. My blog is just a brain dump from one of the most un-interesting people in the world. And some of the most interesting things about me are things that I am reluctant to share with the whole world. Status of my Auction Automations company, for instance, we are going through an interesting negotiation which I cannot share because it is confidential at this point. Plus, potentially there are some interesting things I could share that would put us in a potentially disadvantageous negotiating position. Actually, that is not all that interesting either. But you probably get the picture. I'm just boring.

By the way... I just got some interesting news about one of my businesses that makes me happy. It is something I cannot really share on a blog. And perhaps it is just interesting to me.

Anyway, blog away.

Friday, August 08, 2008

SQL Partition clause

Here is something I did not know: SQL 2005: Subtotals and Totals

And I can think of a couple of places where things would have been much easier knowing it.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


So it looks like Favre is going to the Jets.

I hate Bret Favre sort of like I hate most of the Red Wings. I hated seeing him burn the Bears over and over. He was the kind of guy who would be virtually sacked and end up throwing a TD pass at the last second.

It would have been awesome if he would have ended up with the Bears. But for pretty obvious reasons that is something the Packers just could not allow. And I certainly prefer he not go to the Vikings.

The whole situation with Favre and the Pack just seems completely bizarre. Neither party came across as handling themselves particularly well.

On one hand it seems crazy not to want a three time MVP with all those records, especially someone like Favre who has been the face of the franchise. And the guy is still (or was last year) one of the best QBs in the league. On the other hand, why retire and come back in the next couple of months? And then pretty much force the team that has been so good to you over the years into such a bad PR situation.

It just seems that reasonable people would have been able to get together behind closed doors without making the whole thing such a media circus.

The Jets got Favre for a 4th round draft pick in 2009. Seems low for a proven superstar.

It seems odd for a certain hall of famer to come out of retirement to play for a 4 and 12 team. It probably was not his first choice, but if he does stick through it, it does support his claim that "I just want to play football."

And of course now that Bret is not a Packer, I do not have to hate his (as much).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Some thing

Thing 2 not with standing. Thing 1 not with sitting either.

The ZZZ told me the other day "I am the Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz." I am sort of shocked he knew.

He's got Pretty Persuasiion. I don't got Pretty Persuasiion. Maybe I should get me some. Poison Rationality. The problem with getting what you want is that usually it costs more than you think it will. Its just a talk. After all you do know best.

Streaming the consciousness. It makes for a stupid sounding (looking?) blog. But then none of my blogs reek of intelligence.

Right now I am sitting on a bench outside fado Irish Pub in LODO Denver. If you have a Brad Hop type arm, you can hit Coors field with a baseball from where I am sitting.

It is a nice little spot under a shade tree. It is a good little spot to come on days when I just have to get out of the office for a few minutes. When (and if) I leave CHFA, I will miss this spot...unless I get another gig right here in LODO.

Whenever I sit here I think about taking the rest of the day off and sitting on fado's deck drinking Irish beers. I do not think my customer would approve of me doing that. The Tweedle Beetles probably would not have a problem with me drinking beer instead of working. But then they would probably welcome the opportunity to tattle on me.

Damn those Tweedle Beetles.

So, thinking about it is as far as I will ever get.

Anyway, I need to get back to work. That computer program won't write itself yet.

Monday, August 04, 2008


The BNLs have a new (I think it is pretty new) children's album. There is a cute song about the alphabet on the album:

A is for aisle
B is for bdellium
C is for czar
D is for djinn
E for Euphrates
F is for fohn
G for Gnarly,
I for irk
H is for hour
J for jalapeo
K is for knick-knack
L is for llama
M for mnemonic
N is for ngomo
O is for ouija board
P for pneumonia, pterodactyl and psychosis
Q is for qat
R is for R-gyle (No, it isn't. Okay, you're right; I couldn't find a good "r" word)
S is for Saar, a lovely German river
T for tsunami, a wave that makes me quiver
U is for urn, but not like earning money
V for vraisemblance from French,
And therefore kind of funny
W for wren, wrinkly, and who.
X is for Xian, an ancient Chinese city
Y is for yperite, a very nasty gas.
And zed's the final letter

I don't really recommend the whole album, but there are some pretty good songs on it.