Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Reagan Kelley Records a Shutout
Reagan got to play keeper for a half of her match on Sunday. She got held the opposition to no goals. When I saw her later (I had to cover Logan's game), I told her she got a shutout.

Later that evening she asked me again, "Dad, what was that thing I got in my game?"

"Do you mean the shutout?" I replied.

"Yeah. What's that again?" she asked.

So I had to explain to her that when Goal Keepers don't allow the other team to score, that's called a shutout. And its a GOOD thing!

Breakthroughs whether in sports or business take work and patience. For me, it took a year of dedicated training to knock 50 minutes off my Marathon time - something that frankly I did not believe was possible.

Marissa's team has struggled with its identity since its inception in July 2005. Their record is just 14 wins in 71 games, with three wins this season (out of 17 games).

Saturday they had a breakthrough, beating up Tony Bily's Andromeda Blue Team 6-0. To put this in perspective, consider that in those 70 games previously played the most goals that they ever scored in a game was 4. And that occurred with the help of some Division 1 guest players. Without ringers, the most goals that they had previously scored in a game was 3. The last time these two teams played, our goals beat them 1-0.

Hard work and patience. I think that these girls have reached a new level.

Thursday, October 26, 2006
Andromeda 3 SuperBlue 2
Here are some photos from Logan's game last weekend against her old team! (Click for a larger image)

This is Logan against Katie(16) with Alex(44) on her toes!

Logan Katie and Alex again!

Logan in keeper.

Logan in keeper - apparently bored.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Logan is a Star
On Friday Logan announced that she had been selected as Star Student for her class this week. Its a big deal. She gets to do the announcements in the morning and she gets to create a poster about herself which hangs in the hall. She is very proud.

Today she came home and announced that once again, she was named Citizen of the Month. Citizen of the Month is a much bigger deal because its harder to win. Every kid in the class is going to win a Star Student and a few of them will get it twice (Logan was Star Student Twice last year). But less than half the Kids will earn Citizen of the Month. (One of our Neighbors who is Marissa's age NEVER won the award in five years at Elementary School.)

As Citizen of the Month, Logan gets to attend a Special Pizza Lunch brought in for them by the Rotary Club. Its very cool.

Sunday, October 22, 2006
Busy, Busy, Busy.... time to blog...

It has been an action packed weekend. My friend Tim married Miss Gina. We had our annual appreciation party for Coach Vaughan. Two parties and a wedding would be enough for one weekend, but in addition the girls had five(5) soccer games (six if you count Marissa's game on Wednesday). Sheesh!

BTW - the girls won five of the six games! Marissa's team had a win and a tough loss. Logan had two wins including a win against her old SuperBlue team - a game she had been looking forward to for quite some time. And Reagan had two games today and her team won both, including avenging their only loss this season.

But I'll tell ya. I am pooped.

Friday, October 06, 2006
ITIL Certification Update
This just in from the ITIL folks:

Dear Chris Hughes

Congratulations. We are pleased to inform you that you have successfully
completed the requirements for your ITIL Foundation certification.

The results of your exam are as follows:

Training Provider: BMC Software
Date of Exam: 28 Sep 2006
Location: Dallas, TX

Your Score: 33/40
Passing Score: 26/40

Your EXIN certificate will be mailed to you directly. Please retain your
Candidate ID# for future reference.


Examination Institute for Information Sciences
As far as I know, everyone in our class passed the test - which is excellent! Now where is my lapel pin??


The Tivo is Back in Business
Almost exactly a year ago we lost the Tivo. Fran has been after me to get the damn thing fixed for a long time. This week was fall break for the kids. They had the whole week off from school. I figured I'd take time off from work and we would spend it together doing family stuff. Fran figured I'd take time off from work and fix the stupid Tivo.

Guess who that battle?

Not me.


This Tivo is a Sony SVR-3000. It originally came with an 80 gig drive. Then at some point I added in a second 160 gig drive. After some testing I determined that the original 80 gig drive had bit the big one. Tuesday I swung by Fry's where I found they were selling Maxtor 200 gig drives for $59! Score!

Then I spent another $20 on InstantCake, which is a software package that allows one to rebuild the Tivo software on a new set of drives. InstantCake requires that you take a PC and wire it up to the tivo drives and then boot that sucker from the Cake CD. From there Cake takes over and bakes the Tivo software on your drives. Then you stick those drives back in the Tivo and all is supposed to be good.

So a couple of problems. First - Cake comes as an ISO image. My CD burner is on our server which is not hooked up to a monitor. And the really dumb Roxio Media Creator refused to run through W2K terminal server at 256 colors. Arrrgghh....

To solve that problem I downloaded a nifty utility called BurnAtOnce. Burnatonce worked like a charm on terminal server and I had my bootable InstantCake CD.

Second problem was cracking open a PC to set up the TIVO drives. Up in the attic I found an old AMD K2/500 that the kids had used for a while. It actually seemed to start up OK but it had some problems recognizing the Tivo Drives. After screwing around with it for a while I realized that I had disabled the secondary IDE channel in the BIOS and once I reset BIOS it worked like a champ. Cake wanted the CD drive setup on the primary IDE channel as the Slave. So I pulled the CD drive to check the settings and noticed that something seemed to be loose or broken in the drive. But the drive worked OK so I just continued the experiment.

InstantCake booted with no problems. It did not ask too many questions and in very short order it declared the drives ready to go! Sweet!

I mounted the drive back in the SVR-3000, zipped that sucker up and then tried to remember which cables needed to be hooked up to the dish, to the audio system, and of course to the freaking TV. That actually took a while to sort out.

Once hooked up, the TIVO rebooted itself several times. It downloaded the program guide at least three times! But finally it got all the information to make itself happy (which is more than I can say for my wife).

Oh and with the new drives it reports that it has 446 hours of capacity - Yeah man!

After getting the Tivo working I turned my attention to that CD drive. I cracked that sucker open and found a penny had been rolling around in drive chassis. :-) Like I said, the kids had been using that PC for quite a while!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Email Situation
I basically have too many email addresses. Certainly more than most folks that I know. I have hotmail, gmail, aol mail, several addresses tied to various domains, work email, school email, and several email addresses at Comcast - my service provider at home.

For a long time, years actually, I would just POP all this email onto the main PC that I use at home using Outlook Express or Outlook. And if I was at the office I could use the various web interfaces to various service providers.

I am not sure exactly when I stopped using Outlook, but for some reason I just kind of switched over to using the web interfaces and that was also just fine.

Well maybe not exactly just fine, but I made due. The Comcast editor kind of sucks and it does not allow an alternate reply to address. Then last month I got the word that Comcast traded their Dallas customers to RoadRunner. I have had the same cable modem subscription since forever. I started with @Home, which was assimilated by AT&T, which was sold to Comcast. And now on to Roadrunner. Each time my email addresses and all the other email junk had to change with the switchover. And I am sure that the email will change again. So all the more the reason to use my domain email address (ChrisJHughes.Com) for example.

As a result, and frankly I should have done this long ago, I have most email now routed into GMail and GMail will use one or more of my preferred and sustainable return addresses. Prior to this I had not used GMail very much at all. But I have to say it is really outstanding. I had upgraded my hotmail to the LIVE beta. Gmail simply works much better than either hotmail or Live. And of course I have gotten very used to tagging stuff - and that is much better way to organize stuff compared to folders. And wouldn't you know, GMail has tags built in. Nice.

Now LIVE has the full screen preview, which GMail does not. But LIVE is so damn slow, that I don't miss it at all - probably because GMail is so damn fast! At work, where of course we live and die with Outlook, I have become addicted to the threaded conversations view. GMail has it, Live does not.


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