Fr. Chris and I had the pleasure of seeing Fleetwood Mac last night (at the Nationwide Arena). We enjoyed their impressive 2013 show that ended their 3 year performance hiatus. They rocked it again this year and with the return of Christine McVie were even better. It is hard to believe that Stevie Nicks is 66, her voice is still awesome. Lindsey (age 65) and Mick (age 67) displayed serious skills and no atrophy due to age. They are definitely a must see band!
I skied a fun waterski tournament today at Barking Shores Ski Club in Haskins Ohio. My mind raced given that this was the first tournament I skied this year. I upped my tournament personal best to 2 @ 32′ off 34 MPH (and skied this score all three rounds). I really appreciated my parents and Brent coming out to support me.
Waterskiers are a great tribe. We wander the world looking for places to ski and strangers roll out the red carpet. I have skied at multiple private waterski lakes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana by reaching out to fellow skiers for a pull. The community is tight and fun loving always ready to share their sport with friends and strangers. I met a neighbor of Barking Shores Ski Club, Chuck Dunn after the tournament. He was one of the three founding members of the FNS (pronounced Fins) Navy Waterski Club on the Ottawa River in the late 1970’s. That club was later moved to the Maumee River and was renamed the Glass City Waterski Club. That was the club that gave me the opportunity and inspiration to try to ski the waterski course for the first time in the early 2000’s. My great friends at the Glass City Waterski Club taught me how to wakeboard, wakeskate, air chair, build a pyramid and trick ski.
Dave Hill was one of the few FNS Navy Waterski Club members that made the transition from the Ottawa River to the Maumee River. When Jason and I were frustrated with skiing the waterski course on the Maumee, Dave Hill gave Jason and I a heads up about a private lake that was rented in the past. With that tip, we found the owner, rented the lake and named it Lake Swerve. The waterski anchors were already in the lake just waiting for skiers to return hook up some buoys and turn them. Fast forward four years, I was skiing at Lago Santa Fe in Texas and I met one of the original skiers at Lake Swerve.
I skied with Dave Grude for the first time this year. He told me about when he contacted the owners about renting the lake (we now call Lake Swerve). The owner’s son, Dave prayed the night before that he would have the opportunity to learn how to waterski during his prayers before bed. Dave Grude showed up the next day to rent the lake for waterskiing. He skied many years on that lake before building his own private lake.
Waterskiing is a great sport, but the people and community are awesome too! Booyah!
Fr. Chris and I went to see Fleetwood Mac last night at Nationwide Arena. It was their 1st show in 3 years and opened their tour. Their performance rocked with intensity and emotion exceeding my expectations. Lindsey Buckingham is an amazing guitarist. Stevie Nicks had her signature sexy voice. Mike Fleetwood brought great drumming chops. They still have it despite being in their 60’s.
I went skiing in Colorado with friends back in January. On Saturday I went to confession before attending mass in Breckenridge. Fr. Marty threw me a curve ball penance to volunteer my time. I am more accustomed to a prayer penance to begin to repair my relationship with God after my confession. Well, I returned to Colorado on another ski tip in February with Doug and Fr. Marty had our mass. I remembered that I still needed to perform my volunteer penance. I saw science fair judges were needed in the church bulletin back home at St. Mike’s and I volunteered.
I reflected on my past junior high science projects and taking them on to compete at Heidelberg College. It was fun to be on the other side of the equation. It was a great experience and I was impressed with all the 7th grade science projects and the solid understanding of the scientific method. I am definitely going to volunteer again next year! I even got to pet a large rabbit at the fair. Perhaps, that is why Barkley carefully sniffed me when I came home.
My dad and I have been going to Michigan kayaking the last several years. We take a few friends and have a great time. I am reinvigorated by the natural smell of fresh air that finishes with a crisp pine scent. The sticky Michigan sand always makes its way home to Ohio. The weather was sunny but refreshingly cool. We cooked all our meals over the open fire and enjoyed treats like homemade kettle corn and homemade hot apple cider.
The Pine River flows with a fun quickness and swerves through a scenic natural forest. On the first day, we arrived in time to run the Pine River (before night curfew). We paddled from Dobson Bridge to Coolwater Campground. This was a shorter trip than we anticipated. Next time, we need to start at Coolwater Campground and paddle to Peterson Bridge. We paddled our favorite sections of the Pine River twice. We also drove North and paddled the Boardman River, first Beitner Road to Shumsky Road and second Brown Bridge Dam to Beitner Road. We could have done one longer trip of Brown Bridge Dam to Shumsky Road but we weren’t sure the distance and time required. Brown Bridge Dam was being removed and after our trip, the dam collapsed releasing water in hours instead of days. Below Shumsky Road is a 1/2 mile of class II rapids (Keystone Rapids) that I want to try next time.
My GoPro camera caught some great HD video. If you play the videos below, click the gear icon and increase the quality to a full 1080P for the best video.
Mandy likes to point out my family has a tendency has to hang onto stuff for a long time. My uncle, John Quenneville purchased a box of clay pigeons in Richmond Michigan on October 8th 1976.
John only used a few of the clay pigeons and put his empty shotgun shell casings in the box. John tragically passed away and my grandfather was given this box of clay pigeons. When my grandfather passed away in January of 2012 this box was still in his possession. I was given the box and noticed it was made in Findlay Ohio.
There is a nature preserve a short walk from my house that was donated by the DuPont Corporation. The famous Blue Rock clay pigeons were excavated from this site’s blue clay.
Some of the clays survived the many years without cracking. The local newspaper wrap helped protect them despite the fact clays are as fragile as eggs. They are a bright yellow color which I found intriguing as modern clay pigeons are orange.
I wonder if any other Blue Rock clay pigeons still exist. I bet they have an interesting history as well. I was thinking I should donate a clay pigeon to Findlay’s time capsule. Findlay dug up its last time capsule during its bicentennial celebration this year.
As a side note, Barkley loves the Blue Rock Nature Preserve. He is ready to run around the preserve and sniff everything.
I enjoyed reading Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston. I was drawn to this book after reading Jeremy Zawodny’s dust jacket quote, “Entertaining, inspirational, and human-a must-read for anyone interested in how some of the most important technology companies came to be.” The collection of stories is well put together and engaging. My favorite stories were Apple Computer, Gmail, Viaweb, del.icio.us, Flickr, 37signals, ArsDigita, Fog Creek software, TripAdvisor and Firefox. Of course, I may be biased as I am a customer of most of these companies and their products are as enjoyable as their stories. The theme of all these startups was an unflinching persistence and dedication even when there was a desire to quit.
I enjoyed Greg Kuenning’s article, Growing The Sport: One Buoy At A Time in Water Skier magazine. I came in second place at Tour Stop #2 – Lottawatta Top Cat Challenge and won a nice set of wing angle gauges. I never thought my name would be in Water Skier magazine! ;-)
Lets rewind a second and reminisce how I acquired schemer.com. My friend, Josh Woodward recommended that I use schemer.com for my personal website. He thought it was perfect as I am always scheming. I liked the name and purchased it. I used it as my personal website for several years.
I had several parties that contacted me with offers to purchase schemer.com over the last few years. I didn’t seriously consider selling the domain name at first but eventually I received offers that were large enough for me to think about it. I was not trying to sell schemer.com but at the same time I knew I wasn’t using it to its full potential. I never really branded my website as schemer and I didn’t even rank in Google for the word schemer.
I negotiated with Jonathan Nelson (co-founder of Meevine) but we weren’t able to come to a price point that his start-up could afford and I would be happy with. He had a good idea for the domain but I wasn’t looking for a tidy sum of cash plus potential value via equity in his company. He wasn’t interested in renting the domain name from me. I wanted enough to walk away or a nice steady stream of income over time. Another serious suitor came along. I had no idea who the company was but their offer revealed they had much deeper pockets. We haggled for a few weeks and reached an agreement. The deal was handled seamlessly via an escrow service. When the money appeared in my bank account it all felt unbelievable.
It has been a few months since the sale and it wasn’t until today that I learned the identify of who bought schemer.com. Drum roll please!!! It was… Google, which was the last company that I would have expected. I guess I should have also negotiated for a 100 shares of Google stock. ;-)
I tried a variety of Flickr backup solutions to varying degrees of success. I have a lot of Flickr content (over 12,000 photo and video files) and unfortunately many of the solutions would time out and not complete successfully. It was difficult to determine if I had a full backup of all my photos, videos and associated metadata. After trying a variety of prebuilt solutions that didn’t completely meet my needs I decided to find a Flickr API I could use to automate my backups.
I found Sybren A. Stuvel’s flickrapi 1.4.2 to be a solid solution. I had no experience with python and it took a little tweaking to get it to work on my 64-bit Windows 7 machine. I documented the installation steps (for 64-bit Windows 7) below:
1) Install python-2.7.1.msi (non-64 bit) from as an administrator. Before this I tried to install the 64-bit version of python. But I ran into issues and unfortunately this 64-bit Windows 7 python workaround didn’t work for me.
2) Install libxml2-python-2.7.7.win32-py2.7.exe as an administrator.
3) Install latest flickrapi to desired folder. Open command prompt as an administrator and run “python setup.py install”
Steps to back up Flickr
1) Use idGettr to convert Flickr username to Flickr ID. Flickr ID will resemble 11111111@N00. Replace 11111111@N00 below with your Flickr ID.
2) Backup photo set metadata via (command line running as administrator)
python Offlickr.py -i 11111111@N00 -d “e:\temp\flickr set metadata” -v -s
3) Backup photo metadata via (command line running as administrator)
python Offlickr.py -i 11111111@N00 -d “e:\temp\flickr photo metadata” -v
4) Backup photos and photo metadata via (command line running as administrator)
python Offlickr.py -i 11111111@N00 -d “e:\temp\flickr” -p
5) Use burning software to backup Flickr photos, videos and associated meta-data. Photo set and photo meta data attributes are backed up nicely. The one piece of meta data my solution does not backup is what photo sets make up a collection. If you have any ideas how to accomplish this please leave a comment. I needed to span several dual layer DVDs so I sorted by date (descending) to ensure I didn’t miss anything during the backup process. I used DateTaken: to filter data per disc.
Lets put it all together now into a BackupFlickr.cmd script for scheduling
REM Format current date set FILEDATE=%DATE:~10,4%%DATE:~4,2%%DATE:~7,2% REM Change drive to e:\ e: REM Change folder to where python script is stored cd \Data\Scheduled Tasks\Windows\Flickr REM Backup Flickr Set Metadata python Offlickr.py -i <strong>11111111@N00</strong> -d "e:\temp\flickr set metadata" -v -s REM 7-Zip the files using 7z compression which is much better than zip \Dropbox\apps\7-Zip\7z a -mx7 "Flickr Set Metadata %FILEDATE%.7z" "e:\temp\Flickr Set Metadata" REM \Dropbox\apps\7-Zip\7z a -tzip "Flickr Set Metadata %FILEDATE%.zip" "e:\temp\Flickr Set Metadata" REM Backup Flickr Photo Metadata python Offlickr.py -i <strong>11111111@N00</strong> -d "e:\temp\flickr photo metadata" -v REM 7-Zip the files using 7z compression which is much better than zip \Dropbox\apps\7-Zip\7z a -mx7 "Flickr Photo Metadata %FILEDATE%.7z" "e:\temp\Flickr Photo Metadata" REM \Dropbox\apps\7-Zip\7z a -tzip "Flickr Photo Metadata %FILEDATE%.zip" "e:\temp\Flickr Photo Metadata" REM Backup Flickr Photos and Video and Metadata except set metadata python Offlickr.py -i <strong>11111111@N00</strong> -d "e:\temp\flickr" -p REM Remove unneeded Metadata files that are automatically downloaded with Flickr Photos and Video cd \Temp\Flickr del *.xml /f /q