Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Texans Update
As promised Hassan came attended the team meeting today to address Joe's absence from our game. He said that if it happens again, Joe will cease be the girl's coach. He also said that Joe will coach only one 90 team instead of the two that he had. Its kinda sad in one way, because EVERYONE loves Joe. But at the same time, this is a no brainer - if you are gonna be a pro coach, then ya gotta be able to get to the game.

If this gets Joe to the games, then I will be pleased.

Marissa is not natural soccer player. She works hard, but she is small and she does not have an instinct for the game. I believe in girls soccer. Soccer provides lessons for the real world: Teamwork, Rules, Authority, etc. So it is important that she understand that if you don't make the game that there are consequences whether you are the coach or the player.

Sunday, September 25, 2005
Brewers Note
The specific gravity of today's brew is 1.54. This will come in handy in two weeks, when we measure the SG after fermentation. The difference will tell us the amount of alcohol in the final product and will also allow me to estimate how much wort to add back into the mix for bottling. Too much wort will create excessively fizzy beer. Too little will create a flat beer.

FC Dallas -4 LA Galaxy - 1
On Wednesday Logan got to play in front of 8000 people at the halftime of the MLS Matchup between Dallas and LA. Logan's team walked out on the field with the players of each team. Logan walked out with #15 Mark Wilson a midfielder who has just started playing with the team. It was a lot of fun for the girls and the players.

Saturday, September 24, 2005
Evil Sport Utility Vehicles
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, which is known around these parts as the StartleGram, published this headline, "Pedestrian dies after being hit by SUV". We learn from the article that the police have cleared the driver. So the only news here is that an SUV has independently committed this heinous act. Unreal.

Two weeks down, one to go..
Last week I racked the Big Ed's which entails moving the brew from one fermentation tank to a secondary tank. Today I bottled it up. And added the labels. The brew will continue to ferment in the bottle, which will add the carbonation. Next week it will be ready to drink!

Tomorrow, I plan to brew up another batch. Originally I was concerned that it was going to be a wet job due to Rita. However as Rita is heading east, it looks like I won't have to contend with the rain.

That reminds me, I need to turn on the irrigation system!

Texans - 0 Two Touch -3
I was not at today's game as I was assigned to take Logan to her game. Earlier this week I had handicaped the game as follows:
Two Touch is currently in second place with two wins and a tie. They
have played two of our opponents in League Play. As we did, they
played to a 1-1 draw against Texas Heat in their first game. Then
they came back and beat Spirit 1-0. This weekend they beat the
Longhorns 3-2 with the interesting note that these are the only goals
the horns have scored in league play.

Based on these results, I'd say it will be another close match. If we
can get the ball in the net first, we will win!

Well we didn't get the ball in first and we did not win. Apparently, it was close the first half. Of course soccer is a game of attrition.

Coach Joe had a conflict for today's game. He apparently told the girls that he would be at thier game. Sadly, he did not show. The girls were really pumped up that he had 'chosen' them. It really pisses me off that he built them up and then pulled the rug out from under them.

So for the fourth time, Dan coached the team. Dan is husband of Tamara, the manager, and father of Lauren, one of our defenders. After the game Dan ripped into the girls, which also hacks me off. He has no standing in my book to be anything other than nice to my daughter.

So, I have written the coaching directors about this. Hassan Nazari is the founder of the club and is one of the coaching directors. He has assured me that this is not how the club operates. He has promised to come to the team meeting which was called for Monday.

Othodontia Update
On Thursday, I paid a visit to Dr. B. It was time to remove The Torture Wire. There has been significant movement of my lower teeth. The problem tooth is no longer twisted. In fact a large gap has developed between it and the one next to it. Since my last visit, I had lost only one bracket.

On Thursday the plan was to add brackets to my last molars, which heretofore had been spared. So with those four teeth, plus the problem tooth plus the other lost bracket - that was six brackets to install. And two new wires.

Once more I can say that my teeth are all very sore. So far I have not lost any brackets - that's a good sign and improvement from my previous experiences with new wires.

SuperBlue -7 Shooting Stars - 1
hurricane Rita's winds offered a bit of challenge in today's match. I thought it might be more of a factor than it really was. In the first quarter Logan played defense rather solidly. The girls jumped to a 3-0 lead. In the second quarter Logan played keeper. In a really amazing turn of events she decided to wear her keeper jersey rather than throw on one of Coach Don's pennies. The Stars played their best player at forward and she was quite an athlete. She got three breakaways. In the first one she put the ball up in the air and Logan stopped it with her face, then grabbed the ball and punted over the stars entire team. Our forwards took it down and scored. In the second breakaway this girl shot the ball low and Logan scooped it up and again punted the ball over their entire team. In the third breakaway, Logan had no chance, as their forward directed the shot into the corner of the goal. At the half the score was 5-1. Logan did not play in the third quarter. And in the fourth quarter she was back to defense.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
In the past I have used the ubiquitous Cute-FTP or WSFTP for Windows based FTP clients. However, for the last five years or so, I have been happily using either IE or Mozilla's built in FTP capabilities whenever the need has arisen to transfer files. If neither of these got the job done, I could usually rely on the old tried and true command line FTP client build into W2K and XP.

On my current project, I am dealing with a vendor that is using some sort of weird Novell based FTP Server which has some really bizarre navigation paths. IE fails. Firefox fails. And of course XP's command line FTP fails. Or more likely in the last case, I simply can't figure out what incantations are required to make it work. Frankly once I learned it was a Novell Server, I just resigned myself to the fact that Novell intentionally prevents connections to any normal Windows client.

Anyway, this sad state of affairs led me to the FileZilla FTP project on sourceforge. I am very impressed with this project. I have been hammering on it for a couple of weeks now and I can't find any weaknesses. The client works wonderfully in many surprising ways. Drag and drop works from other open Windows to the remote site and vice versa. One can pause and resume transfers. Etc., Etc. I give it four stars! Joe Bob Sez Check it out!!

Monday, September 19, 2005
The Best Feeling in the world??
Beating the 'pokes on Monday Night Football, at the eyesore in Irving no less!!!

Ya gotta love it!

Skins 14 - Pokes 13

SuperBlue - 5 United - 2
Logan rode the bench in the first quarter, however, our neighbor Amanda played forward and racked up two goals. In the second quarter Logan played sweeper and did not allow any balls the reach the keeper. In the third quarter Logan played keeper and never got her hands on the ball (at least she got the shutout!) In the fourth quarter Logan played a tenacious forward. She had an opportunity for a goal, but the shot went wide.

On Wednesday Logan will be playing in a exhibition during the FC Dallas-LA Galaxy game. She will go out with the team on the field for pregame and stand with a player during the playing of the national anthem. Then she'll play in a 10 minute exhibition during halftime. She is very excited!

Sunday, September 18, 2005
Happy Birthday to Lance
Lance is 34 today!

Saturday, September 17, 2005
Plano Balloon Festival
This morning Fran got up at 5:45 and rousted everyone out of bed and out the door by 6:30. Sheesh. At 7:00 the balloons took off. It was quite a site. There was a balloon which looked like a tree; a daisy balloon; and Shepps Dairy had a moo-cow balloon. With every balloon that took off, Logan squealed with joy! It was fun.

Then at 7:30 we made our way to the main stage. And at 8:00 Reagan went on the stage an performed with her team mates. They were doing cartwheels, push overs; and stunts on a horizontal bar. She had a blast and it was quite a performance.

Texans - 1, Texas Heat - 1
The ladies played a nice game today. They have started to use the space on the field to help them create opportunity.

The Heat attacked about 15 minutes into the game and were able to put one in the net on a very strange goal. Katie, our keeper, slowly came out of the goal while their forward dribbled the ball around her. It was a poor effort on our part.

About five minutes later the Texans went on the attack. Marissa got the ball to the right of the goal about twenty feet out and made a spectacular pass inside where Torri was waiting. Tie game.

At that point the coach, Joe, put in another defender and played for the tie. The girls had a couple of nice attacks, but were not successful in putting the ball in the net. The last two minutes we were on defense and they had several shots. I am glad we did not have a repeat of Monday.

Next up Two Touch!

Thursday, September 15, 2005
Mother of Lance
Linda Armstrong Kelly, mother of Lance, visited the kids school today. She gave a very inspirational talk about how she raised Lance and some of the valuable lessons that she taught him. She talked about setting goals, and logging those goals and how to keep track of your progress. She talked about the importance of practice. I was impressed; she exceeded my expectations.

The kids at school gave Linda a check for $1200 which they raised for Lance's Foundation. Very cool.

Sitting next to me was a reporter from the Plano Star Courier. After Linda's talk the reporter interviewed Marissa and me for the paper! I'll post a link if and when they publish something!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
What do Nolan Ryan and Barry Switzer have in common?
...they both carry questionable items into airports! Apparently The Ryan Express had a pocketknife taken from him at Austin Airport. That reminded me of the when Switzer walked into DFW with a loaded 38! That one earned Switzer the nickname Gunsmoke with one of the local writers. Ya gotta wonder...

BMC India
Our India operation is moving into a new building. We were supposed to move today. Its been delayed for a week. Follow this link for pictures. There is no way it will be ready next week based on what I see here!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Reagan Kelley Update
With all of Marissa's and Logan's soccer, you might think that Reagan was being left out. Reagan is practicing with a Sting team like Logan, however they don't have enough kids to actually play in a league. But more importantly Reagan was selected, actually recruited to be on the University of Gymnastics Team! In many respects this is much more impressive than either of Logan's or Marissa's achievements. With Logan and Marissa, we had to try out for the team. Reagan was invited.

Anyway, Miss Reagan will be performing for the first time this weekend at the Plano Balloon Festival!

Monday, September 12, 2005
Texans - 0 Tejanos -1
Short summary: Texans played a tough game but gave up the only goal in the 56th minute. Heartbreaking.

Marissa was loping around in the first half, but snapped into focus during the second half. She had a few nice touches on the ball.

The Texans are still bunching up too much and not passing crisply. The two problems are related. Once they spread out, their passing will become more effective.

This is the second loss in three games where they gave up the game winner in the last five minutes. Lets hope that they improve in this area!

Next up Texas Heat.

Sunday, September 11, 2005
Sports Sunday
It was great to see Andre compete in the US Open finals. What a phenomenal athlete.

The Skins won! Yippee!

The Catamounts beat 14th Ranked USF to start the season 5-0-0!

Not a bad day in sports.

As promised, I also whipped up a batch of Big Ed's.

Saturday, September 10, 2005
And Speaking of Soccer
UVM SoccerVermont Soccer is off to a 4-0 start with a national ranking to boot! Tomorrow the cats host San Francisco.

Big Ed's Munich Style Ale
The start of football season means its time to fire up the still. Well not the still actually, but the brew kettle. Its time to MAKE SOME BEER! After Marissa's game today, we headed to the beer store to pick up some supplies. Tomorrow I'll be mixing up a batch of Big Ed's Munich Style Ale. Here is the recipe:


7 lbs Pale Malt Extract
2 lbs Ground Weyermann's Carafoam Crystal Malt
5.5 - 6.0 Gallons of Water
1.5 ounces of Challenger Hops (10.1%)
.5 ounce of Hallertau Hops (3.5%)
1.75 ounce package of Wyeast 1007 German Ale Yeast

Bring water to 160 degrees - shut off the heat and steep the ground Malt for 30 minutes. Remove grain, add fire, bring to a boil. Add the Malt Extract. Add the Challenger hops. Boil for 58 minutes. Add the Hallertau hops. Boil for 2 more minutes. Cool wort to 80 degrees. Drain 2 quarts and save in Fridge. Move the rest to 8 gal carboy. Add yeast. Ferment for one week, then rack wort to clean carboy. Ferment another week. Add back the 2 quarts unfermented wort and bottle. Ferment in bottle one more week. Enjoy!

Texans - 0 Texas Spirit - 0
The Texans have played three games against this team. The first meeting was a loss, the second a win. So it seems somewhat natural that they would play to a draw today. This was the first time that they did not allow a goal against Spirit.

Marissa played for this coach two years ago. He told me at the time that he did not want Marissa to play because he was afraid that she would get hurt. What a jerk. Needless to say I don't care for him much. There are also two very annoying parents on their side - neither was at today's match. A good thing.

Marissa did not demonstrate inspired play today. It was pretty hot though, so I can't fully blame her for that. She did clear the ball on an indirect kick from the top of the goal box. She had a few other nice touches - but that was about it.

Next up the Tejanos!

Super Blue 7 - Rocket Girls 0
Today is the start of league play. It's been a while since I wrote about Logan's team. Since April her coach moved from Andromeda soccer club to Sting. They finished the outdoor season and played two indoor sessions.

This fall they are playing in the PSA Second Grade Girls Division 1. However it looks like all of the better competition is in Division 2. Weird.

Anyway, today Logan played forward in the first quarter, keeper in the second, she sat out the third, and played Mid in the Fourth. She had a great game taking a couple of good shots and setting up some nice attacks on the field. As keeper she made one great save.

I should also note, that Logan is the youngest kid on her team and the only one player a year up!

Friday, September 09, 2005
Network the Tivo
Today I received the Linksys wireless for the Tivo. It was a snap to set up. Then I downloaded the Tivo desktop software, and loaded that on my fileserver. Pointed it at the music collection and the photo collection there. Voila! The Tivo has been transformed into a giant iPod with the worlds largest photo display!

Of course the downside in this is that on Monday I thought that the Mini was the coolest thing known to mankind. Then on Tuesday Apple discontinued the mini in favor of the way cooler Nano. Bummer!

Monday, September 05, 2005
Its all about the music
Or is it?

Fran got me an Ipod Mini for my birthday. This is one of the coolest things I own.

At first I was having problems ripping my CD's. I tried all the tweaks that I could and still the results were poor. Later I was doing something with a data CD when I got some errors. I finally realized that my CD Drive had taken a turn for the worst. I replaced it and ever since I have been on a CD Ripping Frenzy!

I have ripped everything in site. I have like 30 hours of music on the dang mini and it is only two thirds filled up! Unreal. I love the fact that I have all of this music on this little device and I can plug it in anywhere and jam away.

I love riding my motorcycle with the mini.

I love working out with the mini.

It is freaking amazing.

So, then, I also have this library that is building up on my file server at home. I really need a way to play that music directly on my stereo. Finally it hit me. The TIVO!!

I have a series two Tivo which supports home networks. Once you hook the Tivo up to your network then it supposedly can play MP3s from the server. So it turns out that there are only two wireless adapters which work with my particular Tivo unit. I pulled the trigger on a the Linksys WUSB11. I had to find version 2.8 of this model for it work. Thank god for eBay!

I love technology.

Dallas Texans White 95 Girls Dallas Update
I have not written much lately about Marissa's soccer team since she joined them. So there are quite a few things to note. First the name of her team is the rather wordy "Dallas Texans White 95 Girls Dallas". Second, the Everton team that offered her a contract, failed to make. Clearly we made the right choice.

The team entered their first tournament, The King Tut, shortly after signing. The results were not bad considering that this was a new team. They tied two teams and lost a 0-1 decision to Texas Spirit, a team coached by a guy Marissa played with a year ago. The worst part was losing 0-3 to Genesis, the team that cut Marissa after promising her a spot on the roster.

Next up for the Texan White 95 Girls Dallas team was the Lake Highlands Classic Qualifying tournament. This is the elite league and there are three divisions. The Texans were in a flight with three other teams. If they won their flight, then they would be in Division 1. If they finished second or third then they would play on to determine if they would be in Division 2 or Division 3. If they finished last, then they were out. They were seeded as the last team in the flight. They lost all three games and were out of the league. As a result they will play in the Plano Premier League which starts next weekend.

After the qualifying tournament, the girls played in the Andromeda Summer Classic tournament. Here they beat the Spirit team (2-1) that lost to in the in King Tut. Then they tied with another Texans Team (Dallas Texans Red 95 Girls West - to be exact). And they got hammered by Solar. Full results here.

This weekend the girls played in the Plano Labor Day tournament. They got beat badly by Solar. Then they played the Sting Team that they lost to in the Qualifying tournament (0-2). They played to a draw in the first half and gave up one goal with five minutes remaining in the game sadly losing 0-1 in a great effort. Their last game was against a team from Midland. This was a game where they controlled the ball the whole game, but their keeper stopped everything that came near her. We lost 0-2. Full results here.

So, in case you have not been keeping score that is 1 win, 9 loses, and 3 draws. Most of these games have been against teams that made the Lake Highlands league. The Spirit team that we split with, will be playing in our league, as will be the Everton team that we drew against. We have not played against any other teams in our league. The FC Texas team and the Dallas Texans team that we tied as well as the Sting team that we played closely all are in Lake Highlands Division 3.

Marissa has been playing very well in all of this and is enjoying the team. There are some photos here.

Gifts for the girls
Today I bribed Logan and Reagan for accompanying me to Fry's. I told them that they could pick out a movie or a CD or game. Nothing caught their fancy in the movie section so we quickly moved to the toys. Logan grabbed a big bucket of legos right away. It took Reagan an bit longer to choose, and settled on a rainbow catcher.

I am amazed at these two selections because they each characterize their owners perfectly. Logan loves puzzles. She likes to sit by herself building things or solving puzzles. Perfect. Reagan is high energy. She lives for the moment. I can't imagine anything that she would enjoy more than a rainbow. Perfect.

All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012