Ski Club Video

In the summer weekends I help with the Fawn Lake Ski Club.  During a recent week we took some GoPro footage of our Slalom Ballet Squad and stitched it together to make a video.  It’s linked below.  I hope you enjoy it!


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Apple Watch Report Card – Now that I’ve had it a while (45 days)

My Apple Watch

My Apple Watch

Since getting my Apple Watch I’ve gone from “meh” to eager anticipation of the development of the Apple Watch ecosystem.  This post captures the background of my optimism.

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To the amazing Virginia State Trooper I met today

Virginia State Police Patch

On the way home from the office today I stopped off at the AutoZone on Plank Road in Fredericksburg.  When I walked in, a Virginia State Trooper was checking out at the cash register.  He had what appeared to be an upper radiator hose and hose fittings.  As I walked in and past him and the store manager I overheard something about a motorist.

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Software ate the parking meter


I had some in-person business at USAA the other day in Crystal City, VA.  Northern Virginia is not super on-street parking friendly so I was delighted to have my first experience with a mobile/software-powered parking meter.

Just a few easy steps:

  1. Get the app (street signs provided the Call-to-Action)
  2. Locate a parking zone (left panel screenshot)
  3. Pay for some parking time (center panel)
  4. Extend the time (USAA was VERY speedy in their service so I didn’t HAVE to extend but I thought a screen grab was appropriate anyway :)

parkingSoftware is eating the world.

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Civics competency

Image of a voting badge


Minimum competency.  In some cases we spend a LOT of time ensuring that people and organizations are qualified to do something.  Doctors, lawyers, even Master Gardeners have long and rigorous training regimens before we, as a society, decide they are qualified to practice their profession.

Yet, we allow people to cast a vote for the most powerful office in the country in what is arguably still the most powerful country in the world with ZERO prerequisites.

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Google Contributor: Pay with attention or pay with money

Google Logo

Conor Dougherty recently wrote a blog post for the New York Times entitled, “Google Experimenting With Removing Ads for a Fee.”

It comes down to this (from the blog post):

The service, called Contributor by Google, has users give between $1 and $3 a month to sites like The Onion and Mashable.

Why is this interesting/relevant?  First, it removes many (not likely all) of the ads in the reading experience.  Since most of these ads are invisible anyway (i.e., people don’t perceive them) this will save advertisers some otherwise-wasted ad spend.

As I noted in “You’re going to pay for your content; One way or another…” you’re going to, well, pay for it one way or another.  You can pay with attention (easy) or with your money (difficult).

  1. Login  – large scale federated identity is a game changer for pay walls – I visit a lot of websites every day for which I’d be willing to pay for articles of subscription.  I am NOT willing to create and maintain a formal account on most of these sites.
  2. Small payment problem – the lame state of affairs with respect to credit card payments makes small payments impossible.  With a cost-of-goods of $0 Google could accumulate consumer purchases across a large number of sites and process the payment when more appropriate.
  3. Central directory/discovery – Google would publish a directory of Powered by Contributor.  The ease of consuming (paid) content of those sites would generate audience for its members.
  4. Contributor.js – I expect an easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy implementation and central dashboard from Google.  You would install
    on  your site then login to your Google Contributor dashboard and configure your policies.  Done.
  5. Expense / budget management – Individuals would be better able to manage and control their content spending.  Organizations would be able to easily buy group subscriptions/access for their employees/customers.

Sign me up.  :)

P.S. – Where are Bing and Yahoo?  Sigh.






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Fresh ingredients, easy recipes – The Fresh 20

The Fresh 20 Logo

If you’re a headline reader you can stop here.  We recommend you click on the logo for The Fresh 20 above and check it out.  My thoughts are summed up as:

  1. Great idea,
  2. simple but excellent execution,
  3. really hope she’s making money so that my family can continue to subscribe, and
  4. why didn’t I think of that?!

Disclaimer:  We are nothing but (satisfied) customers of The Fresh 20.

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