Saturday, December 27, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

7 things you don't know about me....

Hmmm. Considering the fact that I live a pretty public life, I may have to make this 7 things you MIGHT not know about me. I'm not exactly the shy type.... But to pass the meme along I'll put in my 2 cents (or is it 7 cents):
1) I am optimistic about people - in general I give everyone lots of credit and leeway - more than they deserve probably - because down deep I feel that every person has something to love and trust in themselves - if only it can be brought out.
2) I can't stop learning - I have this natural, consuming curiousity that cannot be satisfied. I sometimes envision "retirement" as spending the rest of my days learning about new stuff by auditing college courses, working with young people, researching things, and generally getting involved in everything I don't already know about. I'm an information omnivore, and a natural ADHD.
3) Gaming is fun - I love to game (most people already know this). It doesn't matter if it's cards, board, computer or something else - if it's a game I love it. I recently taught myself how to play Mah Jongg (not the computer solitaire version) and play online with folks from China, Japan and Malaysia. I like to play female characters and male characters in online games, and have to control how much time I spend at it. I don't understand people that don't like games - if you've lost the capacity for fun - you've lost a huge part of your life. I play paintball because I love the thrill and the adrenaline.
4) I am married to the smartest person on earth - it's true, it just is. She's also the most patient, thorough, organized and loving spouse a man could hope for. But that you probably already did know about me :)
5) Science Fiction is the key to keeping yourself young - if you read science fiction you are always living in the future. If you watch news you are always living in the past. Those who live in the future will live longer and have more fun doing it.
6) My son is way better than I ever was - better behaved (right mom and dad?), better at school, better at life, better socially, better academically, better at sports, skinnier, taller, more handsome, and more driven. He will go further than I ever went. Wanna know why? See number 4.
7) I want to eat my way across Asia - I am a cook (NOT a chef) and a closet foodie. I would love to start in Northern China and visit every country between there and Australia and eat in every one of them. Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern are my idols.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Taking a bit of a break...

I'll be on vacation with friends next week and will not be posting, unless we happen to get internet access. Hopefully Hurricane Paloma won't prevent us from having a grand time in the eastern Caribbean :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't be in a hurry....

Recent economic times have rocked the world of risky mortgage investments. Stock prices have tumbled, and we've been subjected to a series of failures amongst the big investment banks in the US. President Bush would have you believe that the best way to solve this issue is to just write a big check (which will be paid for to the tune of $2000/taxpayer) to REWARD the companies that did that risky investment. He says it's an emergency and we must rush this through congress so that the market doesn't tank further. Hmmm. Rushing something through congress because it's an emergency. Where have we heard that one before? Could it be when we embarked on the Iraq war? Or maybe when we passed the draconian Homeland Security Acts? $700B (with a B) is a LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY. To most Americans $2000 is also a large amount of money. And you know what President mc-spend-alot wants you to get for your $2000 investment? Nothing. Unlike the bailout of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you don't even get some equity in the companies we're bailing out. And the top brass that allowed those companies to make the bad investments in the first place? They're bailing, and opening their golden parachutes. Believe me when I tell you - they will be FINE throughout this crisis while their investors and the taxpayer pay the bill. If you care about your financial future, and don't want to be paying Bush's bill for the next 10 years I'd suggest you push your congressperson for the following:
  • No Bailout without equity - if we bail out a firm, we should get a share of it. If the firm asks for a bailout they should be putting up a portion of their company to get it. Your share of that contribution should come in the form of a mutual fund managed by the government and formed from the shares of equity that we get from bailing out these firms. If they make it back to profitability someday you'll enjoy the upside of buying low and selling high.
  • No Bailout without affirmative punitive action - the bailout should be tied to regulations that prevent this from happening again, and take punitive action against those that let it happen in the first place.
  • Save the derivatives - short selling is the grease that primes the investment wheels. People make investments because they can hedge those investments againt the unpredictable by investing in shorts as well as longs. An economy that's all longs doesn't allow easy adjustment when there is another downturn. And there WILL be another downturn, it's inevitable.

This solution was good enough for Sweden. Should work for us too...

The market is down - but a large part of that market adjustment is that prices were inflated and way above the market valuations. It was time for an adjustment. Let's look closely at whether we ride this one out with as little government intervention as possible in the market itself (outside of perhaps establishing some regulation of the mortgage investment market) or we throw dollars at a problem that may just sort itself out given time.

Let's not rush into anything. Let's especially not rush into anything President mc-spendalot suggests.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The great gig in the sky....

Pink Floyd's Richard Wright has moved on to that great gig in the sky..... Just another brick in the wall I guess:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rochester Eyes on the Future 2008

The Small Business Council and Greater Rochester Enterprises will again be sponsoring a panel discusion about Rochester's economic development future. OS-Cubed, Inc is sponsoring the website. To read some interesting blog content, where economists speculate about Rochester's future, and to see what's going on in the Rochester area, check out our blog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On land

We're back on land again after our cruise. I'll post cruise details over the next few days and a few pictures too.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday August 17th

Today we got up, had a leisurely breakfast and met a lovely family from northwest NJ. After a bit of unpacking and making ourselves at home we got in the car and did some exploring. First stop was a Tesoro Gas station to get a fishing license. Second stop was a nice local sports bar/restaurant called 5 chairs for lunch - very tasty. Next we trundled off the the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Preserve. While we were interested to see the wildlife close up - the feeling was too much like a zoo, so we spent a short time there then moved on to the Portage Glacier area. We did a lovely 2 mile hike to see the glacier and Val and Cal got to actually to up to and stand on a glacier for the first time ever in their lives. It was really liberating to take a walk in the woods and check out an ice cold glacial stream right after the long plane ride here. We also stopped at an area where y0u could watch the Salmon spawn - amazing. The little creek must have had 50 Salmon in an area of about 40 feet of stream. We then headed back to the b and b to change for dinner and went to the Aleyska resort for a fancy dinner at their top of the mountain restaurant 7 glaciers. The food was excellent and the vew just fantastic. Val and Cal split a baked Aleyska for 2 and declared it quite yumful. I had elk loin for the first time ever, Calvin had to die for salmon and Val had fresh caught Halibut. The food service and view were exceptional.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hidden Creek bed and breakfast

We've arrived at Hidden Creek Bed and Breakfast at around 11:25 pm local time. It took probably 15 minutes to get to the rental car from the baggage claim and another 1/2 hour to check out the car. But we're on vacation so the only hurry we had was to find a nice comfy bed to crash on, and boy did our hosts here provide it! This is in the top 2 bed and breakfasts we've stayed at (Hawaii had the top one, but that one was pretty special). The facilities are wonderful, breakfast was excellent with a great variety of choices and the house and grounds are b do eautiful. Even the bathroom rocks! We'll post some pics once we've unpacked everything. Today is a day of relaxing, we'll do some sightseeing and eat at the 7 glaciers restaurant tonite at the top of the moutain.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Alaska here we come!

We're on our way to Alaska. The flight to chicago is a little late but we should still have a bit under an hour to make our connection. Calvin is playing gameboy, and I'm on my chibi.... Val of course is reading a book :) Rochester airport's internet is nice and fast and has a good signal. See you in Girdwood!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer's here and the time is right...

What started off as a slow summer has turned (as usual) into a whirlwind of activity. OS-Cubed has significant deliverables for Knowledge Athletes this summer which is going quite well - watch them for new things. We finished up a project for Alvarez and Marsal - a green project involving reducing paperwork and improving turnaround time for expense reporting. We're also talking with a major NYC business consulting firm about some exciting projects that will be starting later in the summer. On top of this we've had significant new interest in regular websites and the folks from the Rochester Small Business Council and GRE are sponsoring a new Eyes on the Future summit in October. On the home front Calvin (Mr. I'm 6' tall and can loom over you) is off to Skidmore College to attend Center for Talented Youth, doing a class in Game Theory and Probability for a few weeks, and later this summer we'll be doing a retreat in Ottowa with my Vistage group, and a vacation in Alaska and to see friends in the Northwest part of the continent. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that OS-Cubed is now a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner - a significant achievement that we never reached in the 9 years I was at Aztek - it only took us a couple years at OS-Cubed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Let's all remember how much our Mom's have given us over these years. I know my Mom has been one of the most supportive and helpful persons in my life (not to mention having me in the first place and not leaving me out to die in the cold or something) :) As they say at Joe's meat market - nothing says "Happy Mothers Day" like a gift from Joe's (and yes - that is a pigs head....). Cheers, Lee PS Check out this reminder from Mr. T on how to be sure you respect your mama:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On our way to Atlanta....

We're on our way to Atlanta for the US FIRST Robotics competition. I'll try to blog from there so that you can see some of the fun and excitement. If you're interested in watching the competition live you can check out the NASA Webcast of the competition here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And Louies Lunch

Louie's Lunch So Friday night I tried to go to the Risley Dining Hogwarts event, but unfortunately the event was so popular that the line went all the way to the Theatre to get in. I didn't have time since I had to attend an event later that evening. Instead I went to Louie's and decided to get my "standard sandwich" from them - 1/2 a Tuna Sub, a bag of dipsy doodles and a soda. Well they had everything but the Dipsy Doodles (or Fritos would have been fine) - instead they had sun chips which are, as Val put it, like asking for Chocolate and getting Carob :) The cool thing was that it was only about a buck more than I remember way back in the late 70's early 80's. The reason I remember is that I would typically eat truck food when I was up late at night playing poker. So if my "chips" crept down to the $5 mark I knew it was time to cash out because I needed enough left to buy the above meal. The same thing costs about $6 now - not bad for 25 years later. Louie's did have a couple new things, though their menu was pretty much the same - including the good old Bo-Burger and others that have probably been around since the 60's. The new things I noticed were: they now had a huge bevy of energy drinks (no surprise) and they sold single condoms for ($1.75). I'm guessing there are some Friday/Saturday nights when they might do brisk business in both those items. :) All in all I enjoyed my visit back to Cornell. It was nice to see the alma mater plugging along, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they've kept up with the times. Their new entrepreneur program and the new master's in Real Estate program are quite impressive. Apparently the West Campus houses are for upper class only now, and are organized by interest much the same as the original Risley experiment that has survived lo these many years. Almost makes me want to go back :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I'm sitting in Risley Dining hall and it's a really interesting thing. I spent 2 years of my life here, and now it still feels like coming home. My wife and I were married on the Cornell Campus over 25 years ago - and had our reception in Risley hall. Not much has changed. It looks like the same menu roughly (maybe a few more salad choices and more alternative menu items), though lunch is $9 (though I was on Campus Dining and didn't pay cash back then). Other than a few different clothing choices you could be here 25 years ago and it would still "feel" the same. People crowded around one table to the point where there's almost no room, some students working, others sitting alone. Of course there's ubiquitous wireless now so I can whip out my laptop and post to this blog - we didn't have laptops back then, and moving my Apple II setup around wasn't really a choice :)
There is a Risley does Hogwarts event on Friday that I'm almost tempted to attend :) It certainly would give me a better feel for the people. I had some nice chats with the professional staff at the lunch counter and check-in. Very nice folks - every bit as nice as I remember the Risley Dining folks from the 80's.
The conference so far has been a success - made at least 2 good networking contacts already. Looking forward to more.
I must say being here brings back a flood of memories and emotions I welcome. Oh to be 20 again. Or to go back and talk to myself when I was 20 to give myself some pointers - like buy Microsoft stock NOW and sell it in 1999 :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cornells Entrepreneur Conference

I'm going to be attending the Cornell's Entrepreneur's Conference in Ithaca the next couple of days. I'm excited and interested in meeting other Cornellians and seeing how they've grown their companies and how we might all work together. I'll blog about the results here if there's anything interesting (I'm sure there will be)...

I love networking with other Cornellians, and I especially love talking to Entrepreneurs - I always learn something or have my abilities or knowledge challenged - a great result for sure.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Zune after a few weeks

I gotta love when I've had a device for this long and most of my complaints are around how I could easily use it more - not about how the device or it's software function. I've been very pleased with my 2nd generation 80gb ZUNE. The software continues to be easy to use, and I've had zero issues with the device itself. I've been able to find all sorts of accessories for it, and it works great with my Zune Altec Lansing speakers at work, as well as my iPOD type Altec Lansing's that are portable (using an AUX in port and a patch cable). Here are a few things I'd like to have as "Extras" though:
  • The ability to just right click a video on or other video sites and say "Copy to zune", or maybe drag and drop on the zune software and have it download and convert. I love having videos on it, but the conversion process is unnecessarily time consuming. This isn't unique to the Zune other portable media players are in the same boat.
  • The ability to easily import playlists from WMP or other players. I hate having to recreate playlists, and I miss my autoplaylists from the WMP.
All in all though I'm still lovin' my Zune. If people could just get over being peeved at Microsoft long enough to just LOOK at and USE the product they might find they too like it. MS rarely comes out with the first of anything (mp3 players included) and you generally like to wait till the 2nd generation comes out - but once they do they tend to get it about right. IMHO the Zune is just that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My mom's a teacher, my dad's a teacher...

Val's mom's a teacher, Val's dad's a teacher, and we have lots of teacher friends. I think they ALL would appreciate this video:

Those who can do. Those who can do it better teach.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Zune update...


I've had a few days with the Zune, and so far I like it. I do miss some of the "auto-generated" lists that the old GigaBeat inherited (Songs by decade, recently added, etc.). From what I've read that stuff was all in the last version of the software, but the most recent version removed it - not quite sure why. I'm ok with apps having a "simple to use" interface - especially if they perceive themselves as competing against companies such as Apple who prides themselves on being so "simple to use" they're almost useless, but for Pete's sake - leave in the OPTION of going to an advanced interface for those of us who want a bit more.

One thing I do love is the "Zune card" which - whenever you sync your device - updates the tracks and songs you're listening to. My Zune card is below the blog list - you can see what I've been listening to of late, and check out the faves I've marked. This is similar to the "Xbox Live" gamer card tag, and a great addition. They even have a facebook gadget designed to allow you to embed your Zune card in your profile - very nice.

I also tried converting a video ripped from my Tivo to the device. I downloaded a 1/2 hour TV show and converted it to the 320x240x30bps wmv format that the Zune plays back. The playback was very good - not grainy or hard to see. Words in credits of course were almost impossible to read, but in general the video and audio quality was excellent. The conversion time was pretty long though - you can do all the stuff in the background while converting but it does slow your machine down (I used Roxio Media Creator 10 to convert the video). In general if you have time to convert, you probably have time to watch it :) If I had more energy I could probably set up a machine to just "bulk convert" stuff that was ripped and that would take less time, and free up my laptop for other things. Of course having more time is like - yeah right :)

In general though I love the new player - nice headphones, good response time, very nice "touch sensitive" scroll and volume control without having to gum up the screen with my greasy fingers (the touch sensitive part is on a "dpad" like controller). And Microsoft has announced the possibility of mobile games to go with it. So far battery life has been decent, though you need to remember to turn off the wireless if you're not using it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The good.....

And the bad. I crushed my favorite mp3 player by sitting on it on the way to Robotics with the team. This was bad. It was a 60gb GigaBeat, so it held all my music, and pictures, as well as some videos, and required only Microsoft Media Player for syncing. The interface on the device was also similar to the Windows Media Center edition "twist" interface which I love. Repairing it would have been more than 2/3 the original cost, and about what you can get them for practically new on EBay. And they no longer make them. And it's just not very sturdy (As I discovered). So the good news is I got myself a Zune 80gb Generation 2 player. I went and visited and checked out all their reviews and decided the Zune was the way I wanted to go. So far I've been very happy with the software part of it. We'll see how things go with the actual device, but it looks pretty and seems to work well in the sync department... Oh and this time - I got a case with a screen cover.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Process your email - don't let it process you...

There are 5 things you can do with email. This video will show you what to do with your email so that you control your inbox, instead of having it control you. The 5 things you can do are:
  • Delete or Archive -> to ONE archive folder
  • Delegate -> forward or email task to someone else
  • Respond -> Quick response that resolves the email in whole right then
  • Defer until later -> Defer it to some other time
  • Do something about it -> Take an action as a result of the email
If you ALWAYS do one of each of these to each email AS YOU CHECK IT your box will never take control of it. Here's the original blog post.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

... and on the subject of late 70's early 80's bands

This one from Supertramp was probably one the best concert moments ever... War Memorial in Rochester with the movie showing the train on a huge screen behind the band. Waaaaay coool. Saw it with Val and my friend Doug (not sure whom else)...

What a blast from the past - watch the whole video its worth it for the rush :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I admit I was alive in 1974.....

And when visiting the list of the day blog I ran across a list of the top 50 songs from 1974. One that I loved was David Essex (one hit wonder as far as I know) doing Rock On! I'm sure my parents hated it based on how often I played it. For those of you who don't remember his slightly goofy super cool look, there is a google video (no embed allowed) of him doing the song on probably Wolfman Jack's show or something:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Running up that hill as interpreted by Placebo

I really enjoyed this video of Placebo and their interpretation of Kate Bush's "Running up that Hill".  It really is a different feel for an awesome song and shows that her music translates well, regardless of who performs it - it's not just her unusual and unearthly voice that makes her music work.

Embedded Video

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Flock - The Social Web Browser

Flock - The Social Web Browser  is a cool new browser created specifically for blogging and social networking.  It's based on Firefox/Mozilla, and has a lot of nifty features for bloggers - including easily adding media and pictures to a post such as this one.  For instance I created this link by dragging and dropping it from a web clipboard onto my post This explains it...  I can do the same thing with images such as this one: The composer even lets me resize the image, or modify the media. The same can be done with youtube videos, like this one:

Embedded Video

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