During the spring lacrosse season I helped
as assistant coach of Brady’s team and was
an umpire for Callie’s high school league.
Being an official is a lot of fun, especially
in a new sport like lacrosse because the
parents have not yet decided they know
the rules better than the officials. The high
school girls’ teams were great and also
forgiving when I blew a call (coaches, not
so much). After Brady’s regular season, he
joined a summer team which played games
in Oregon and in the Battle of Bothell. I
assisted the score keeper which gave me a
great view of the games: from the team
sideline and no-one was allowed to step in
front of us.
While Callie was working overtime to prepare props and run
lighting for her high school’s production of Cinderella Vicki and I
were parent advisors to Brady’s robotics team. We had two larger
teams this year and there was much chaos, but I
think the robotics
team had fun.
Brady’s knee surgery from a
nagging injury from his
regular season team kept us
pretty much home bound
during the summer but we
did get a chance to travel to
Forks Washington and the
Olympic rain forest. The
beach on the Pacific was
covered in fog much of the
time we were there; it was
beautiful and somewhat
eerie. We also stopped at one
spot to discover one of the
largest trees on the west
I spent most of the year contracting for Microsoft working on guerilla projects to utilize
and promote their Live Search engine. This work covered many areas of expertise:
programming, data warehousing, internet security and more. We built “error pages” for
the Microsoft web site (and for Microsoft’s partners) which used Live Search to help a
user find the right web page when they stumbled upon a missing page (aka: broken link,
404 error or removed pages). We also used Live Search and a special web site to prevent
ISPs from intercepting traffic to Microsoft’s inactive web sites (domains which are
registered by Microsoft but don’t have web sites up and running). I also used one of the
largest parallel compute farms (about 100,000 computers in some unknown data center)
to mine specific usage statistics through the Live Search peta-byte sized data warehouse
(mega-, giga-, tera-, peta-) to report on web traffic to these inactive web sites.
My year-end project entered “crunch-
time” right at the beginning of
December, of course, which made
balancing holiday preparations and work
load difficult, but things finally righted
themselves and I got a chance to take
some time off around Christmas. That is
when the 2 or 3 feet of snow showed up.
For the first time in 3 years the snow
was fluffy enough to get the snow blower
out of the garage for some extended big-
boy-toy fun. And I got to do it twice!