Tag Archives: Family

Maybe Next Time

No Nashville for Me

Back on Jan I wrote about recapping my 2010 goals and set forth some new items for 2011. Well the first quarter of the year has come and gone and time to reflect a bit on where I’m at.

First off I had signed up to run the Nashville 1/2 marathon for the 3rd straight year. I’m sad to say that is not going to happen. I did train for it and am ready to run it but a few things have led up to me NOT heading down to run this year. I do plan on a long run this weekend in honor of this and plan on finding a 1/2 more local to get involved with over the summer. I am getting a new master bathroom unexpectedly however and that works starts this week so all is not lost.

I did win my weight loss goal/contest and actually have dropped 15 lbs this year. Feels great and just need to stay focused and keep the weight off at this time.

My involvement in the football program is going well. I’m currently on the board and contributing via helping with maintaining the website, setting up FaceBook, and twitter accounts. I’m also helping out in various other fun projects including merchandising and planning for a great game day experience. Here is a picture of one of my projects that I ran. I’m so excited to get the tunnel out there on opening day and watch the players run out onto the field.

Lake Zurich Flames Tunnel

Can't wait for opening day!

Spending time with the family is always a something that I want to continue to work on. I feel my focus on this and writing it down has allowed me to do so. I find that I’m able to pull myself away from the computer more often than I did last year.  The bills can wait, so there are weeds in the yard, and work is not down that can wait also.. As my kids get older they seem to need me less but I’m still finding things to do with each of them.

  • My youngest Emma (5)  just learned how to ride a bike with no training wells and loves when I watch her. She is really into soccer and baseball this year so that has become our bond.
  • Caleigh (7) still loves her crafts and reading is her big thing. I find myself letting her read to me for 15-20 minutes and not cutting it off at 5 like I used to because Quicken was not update with this months checks.
  • Finally the eldest Matt (10) is quite the gamer on his new PS3. We have had some good battles in Madden but most of all it’s the ability to play catch in the yard that I think we cherish the most.

Can’t forget the wife either. She is the glue keeping us all together and her ability to be in 4 places at once and still remember to pack snacks is amazing. She deserves an entire blog series as her ability to do what she does is mind blowing.

Continuing On

At this point i’m in maintenance mode. Need to keep things moving and identify what’s next but most of all it’s about enjoying the time as it passes and focus less on the end result.


Be a Hero

Giving Again

Last year around this time I wrote a post about my daughter who cut off her hair to donate it make wigs for cancer patients. The disease has hit my family and friends pretty hard as it has to many people. It’s very interesting to see my kids grasp the concept of service as it relates to helping those that are suffering. My wife and I keep open conversation about tough subjects with our children in hopes that that they grow up to help the community and others as we like to do.

This guy is going to helpsomeone.

Matt's going to jump for Heart!

Well this year my 10 year old son is taking his service to the next level. He will be raising money and jumping rope in the American Heart Associations Jump for Heart program.

Below are the Details

I’m joining millions of other kids to help save lives with the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart Program!  Will you help me?

I’m doing Jump Rope For Heart at my school and learning about kids with special hearts. I’m also learning about my own heart, and how to take care of it. And I’m getting active and jumping rope!

Some kids have special hearts – and need our help!  I’m raising money to help kids like them. The money I raise will help pay for education and for new medicines and treatments to be discovered.  It could help cure heart disease – for everybody!

You can help too!  Will you make a donation?  It’s fast and easy to do on my personal Web page! Just use the link below.
My Personal Page

Thank you for helping me save lives and be a Heart Hero!


2010 Recap

It’s the start of a new year. Time to reflect on what I did accomplish last year and think about what this year will hold. Last January I documented my goals for 2010. I felt that by writing them out and posting them my likelihood of success would be greater. For the most part this worked so I’m doing it again.

Looking Back

  • Blog once a month – I was able to do this, started off the year strong and struggled in Q4 to keep going. Topics are still a bit all over the board but I feel good about writing 24 posts in 2010.
  • Beat my 1/2 Marathon time by 5 minutes – I actually beat it by 9 minutes for a time of 2:21:51 as I wrote about in April.
  • SQL Community involvement – Started off the year great and tapered in the fall and winter. Still keeping involved loosely but other priorities took over such as my football coaching.
  • Looking back I feel good about all these things. As expected things changed mid year and I had to re-focus some of my attention to other things. This is natural when looking out a year ahead. I have read a lot of posts lately around people in the SQL community changing jobs and deciding to focus on different technologies. Things change and in my mind the only way to fail is to not plan for it or expect it.

    Looking Forward

    So with it being a new year I need some new goals. Not feeling as inspired as I was this time last year it’s been a bit more difficult. Here is what I’m going with.

  • I signed up for the 1/2 Marathon in Nashville for April again and I’m currently in a friendly weigh loss contest. So my first goal is to shave off another 5 minutes from my 1/2 time. To that end I have set a goal to run/workout 3 times a week.
  • Another thing I’m planning on doing is getting more involved in the youth football program I coached last year. I’m looking to get myself more integrated into the organization and help out more from a volunteer standpoint above just the coaching I have been doing.
  • This last one is hard to measure but its something I really want to focus on. I am looking for ways to play more with my kids and enjoy more family time. It’s scary how fast they are growing up and as they do they seem to need me less and less. I want to make sure that I stay involved with each of my 3 kids and can relate to what’s happening in their lives.
  • Nothing earth shattering here but documenting and posting this out there will hopefully keep me focused.

    One Month Away For Joggin For The Noggin!

    Folks we are exactly 1 month away from the big day. JogginForTheNoggin is here. Please think about signing up. Great post race party and plenty of other fun to be had as well.

    One funny thing about my earlier post about this is I actually spelled JoggnForTheNoggin wrong and my wrong spelling became a #1 search hit on Google. I spelled an early post as Jogging For The Noggin and that is getting lots of hits. So glad to spread the word and not so ashamed of my bad spelling. Hopefully people are getting to the page and signing up. Why not stop over there and sign up yourself, just click the picture below!

    Joggin for the Noggin

    Brews for Brains

    Quick Post
    So Quick update…. Life currently has me in a strangle hold. I find myself writing this and wondering why I’m not sleeping right now. Constantly on the go.

    A few of the finishers celebrate before the rain.

    We survived the Country Music Marathon. I won’t go into to many details but please check out our coach Kevin Leather’s blog for some details on the race and some great stories. He does a great job of capturing the moments. Congrats to all the runners and hope to see everyone again next year.

    Personally I smashed by goal of cutting 5 minutes off my time. I blogged about my goals for 2010 and you can read that here. However I beat this by almost 9 minutes finishing in 2:21:51. I actually had a much tougher time this year. I felt much worse but do feel that starting my training a bit earlier, training harder, and being a 2nd timer helped.

    Of course the after race party at the hotel with all the other Noggin families was fun as always, plenty of pool, beer, pizza, and action. It is so fun to get away and just take over a hotel every once in a while. Cowboy Glen was the kids entrainment this year with many renditions of Simon Says.

    Cowboy Glen

    Hey there you yellow bellied sap sucker!

    On To the Next Thing…
    This Sunday May 2nd at 2PM we will be having a fund raiser and race signup party for the Joggin for the Noggin 5K in August. Please stop out and have a brew, sign up for the race, or just enjoy our great company.

    Details on the event can be found here.


    Jogging For The Noggin Signup

    It’s official the Joggin For The Noggin 5K registration page is up. This is a great 5K run through downtown Palatine, IL. My wife Amy and I are very involved in this race from a volunteer standpoint.

    This race is very family oriented so bring the kids. More details coming soon.Joggin for the Noggin

    Video Editing

    The History
    I first started my video camera career upon the arrival of my first child who is now 9. The camera was a gift from my mother and step father. He was big into photography and video cameras and it was great gift for the new family. I still have that very first 8mm tape. For 9 years and 2 additional children later my mound of tapes has grown to be quite a collection.

    I vowed at some point to get these videos onto my computer to do some video editing make cute little moves to share with the family etc. This was long before YouTube was what it is today. Once DVD’s became the standard video format over VHS I had dreams of creating a DVD. I continually tell myself when I retire in 30 years I’ll have plenty of time to work on this project. My concern is that I’ll have 1000’s of tapes by then and hopefully I’ll be playing golf not sitting in front of a computer.

    I must admit, it was easy to tape every single moment of the first child’s milestones and every step for the first couple of years. I’m sure there are some priceless moments buried in the hours and hours of tape. As my wife and I decided to add on to the family the amount of taping has drasticly reduced over the years. The juggling of 3 children leaves little room to tape. I tried to keep the tape rolling but I’m sure I missed more on #2 and I’m positive I missed a bunch of poor #3.

    So I finally decided to start acting on the task of getting some of this video digital so I can edit out the shots of my leg for 15 minutes, etc. This is not an easy thing to do, especially for a first timer. I have learned a lot on this journey thus far and hope to capture some of this here to share my defeats and my small victories.

    Why the Change
    My revitalized interest in this area was sparked by my involvement in my son’s football team as an assistant coach and self appointed game film editor. As the only computer guy on the coaching staff it was a natural fit for me. One of the biggest challenges was that one of the other coaches had a very nice HD Sony Video camera similar to this one. Sony HDR-CX100 AVCHD HD Camcorder He also had a close friend that came to every game and did a great job of taking game film. So it was up to me to take the film and cut DVD’s for the coaches.

    My first challenge was figuring out how the HD camera saved the files and how I could get them onto my computer. I did a lot of web searches on HD video etc. In the end this Wiki page was the most useful AVCHD I then had the challenge of reading and editing the HD files. I had the free Pinnacle Studio Express that came with my video capture device but this did not recognize the AVCHD file format.

    I ended up downloading a free trial of this software avs4you It worked pretty well and I created my first few game filmes with the free version and the giant watermark on the screen. This did the trick so I finally plopped down the 59.99 for the unlimited subscription for the AVS Video Converter and all the other great tools they offer. The challenge with this was the once you install you are stuck on that PC and the license is not transferable. Bottom line it did the trick for 4 months and I created some decent game films to share with the other coaches and Parents on DVD and YouTube. I even used this to create a sweet end of year 30 minute highlight film for the end of year party.

    The Setup
    So where am I at today? Well the computer that I used AVS software on has been reformatted and I needed something to use going forward. I’ll start with some basic specs of what I’m currently using for this task. In later posts I’ll detail out my progress and some of the history on how I got to my current process. I have to admit for a technology person this setup is pretty weak. Although I work on computers and databases on a daily basis when it comes to spending my cash on this stuff at home I struggle to invest too much. As they say the plumbers faucets are always leaky.
    • Acer S285 Intel ® Pentium® 2.8GHz 2GB RAM
    • 1TB Hard Drive
    • Windows 7
    • Sony 8MM Video Camera
    • Pinnacle Dazzle DVC170 Simimlar to this Dazzle DVD Recorder

    • Pinnacle Studio HD 14 Pinnacle Studio HD V14

    As I get some videos converted I’ll share more details and hopfully help another aspiring family video film editor out there. I’m also curios to hear from folks on how they are setup to get there old 8MM films digitized.