Garrett off the bili light

Garrett was taken off the bili light yesterday, and he checked out just fine at the hospital today. So now he gets to move about the house =)


Home from the hospital

Garrett and Amy were both released from the today. Garrett's bilirubin count is higher than it should be, but the hospital (or hotispal as Spencer calls it) release him anyway... we will put Garrett on a bili light at home (same bug light that we used with Spencer). That's not a big deal, but it does mean that Garrett will have his feet pricked every couple of days for blood to check for bilirubin.


Sheesh, more snow

Another 8 inches or so fell last night. As much as I love getting the snowblower out, this is getting old fast!


More Pictures

Garrett Gene Reagan

Garrett Gene Reagan was born this morning at 8:55 am at 9lbs 10oz (no, that is not a typo). Mom and baby are doing great. Despite Amy's high blood pressure problems over the last couple of weeks, delivery was remarkably swift and trouble free.

Pictures will follow here as time permits. Amy is also maintaining a care page at carepages.com (disclaimer: TLContact is a former client of mine). Care page name is "BabyReagan."


It's about that time

After a very interesting couple of weeks, it doesn't appear that Amy is going into labor anytime soon. She still has high blood pressure, although so far she's staved off pre-eclampsia.

As such, the doctor is going to induce labor Friday morning. That at least helps with planning =) Last time we did this Spencer was born 18 hours later. Here's to a shorter delivery cycle (geez I've been reading too many business books).

Get over it, people

What the heck are these people talking about? Get over yourselves. They're commercials (and a little amusing, if I must say). Miller threw down the gauntlet (creatively, I might add), and Anheuser-Busch responded very creatively. Frankly, I'm looking forward to Miller's counterpunch!

Geez, the networks think that politcal mud-sligning ads are ok, but some creative, clean, high road ads aren't? Go figure.

Unable to access work email

This is amazing to me. In the year 2005, I am working from home, I have working broadband internet access, yet I cannot access my work email. Whirlpool (a Fortune 200 company, mind you) uses Lotus Notes. IBM doesn't even use Lotus Notes anymore. Only way to access it is through the corporate network (directly or VPN). Well, VPN is down and has been for almost a day. So, no email access.

Wow. When I talk about the "relentless pursuit of WOW"... THIS IS NOT THE KIND OF WOW I AM TALKING ABOUT!


AOP Bashing

Ran across this entry today via my RSS reader. Interesting article, although I think it's a little off base.

First, I agree with Kirill's assessment on most AOP work going on today. Clearly there is the opportunity for gross misuse of any tool, including AOP.

However, I don't agree with throwing the baby out with the bathwater. AOP is going to go through similar growing pains that any new tool or technology faces. I remember OO 15 years ago. Wow, talk about bad design! It took a long time, a lot of influence from the Smalltalk community, and . C++ was bashed on a regular basis due to "bad code," ignoring the significant amount of "good code" and design that was built with it (anyone remember MFC vs. OWL???).

IMHO, aspects have a place in the software space. They should be incorporated as part of the overall software architecture and design. Yes, that means it can be misused. It also means it can be used to solve problems, especially around those areas that are truly aspects, such as:

  • Security

  • Validation

  • Persistence

  • Assertions

Good aspects, IMHO link a good OO design to another. The coupling of a security model with a business model is poor OO design, IMHO (JAAS anyone?). However, if that's the only tool you're presented with, then you have to make do. AOP provides a good tool for decoupling Security, Persistence, etc from application and business models/layers, yet linking them in a concise, easily maintained manner.

I expect over time patterns and anti-patterns will emerge in the AOP space as architects, designers, and developers further understand what AOP is (implementing true aspects) and what it isn't (a easy way to get those pesky logging statements into code).

Designers eventually "got" OO. I expect they will eventually get aspects as well.


Powerline Networking - Take II

Perhaps I spoke too soon... last night while working in the wee hours of the morning I had trouble accessing the Internet through my work computer - the one that's connected to my home network via powerline. I assumed it was an intermittent problem with my cable broadband connection (I get that pretty often), so I didn't think much of it.

This morning, I try to fire up my work computer, and no dice. Did some troubleshooting, everything checked out. Played around with different parts of the network for at least an hour. Finally, it starting working again (I would use the phrase "I got it working", but I have absolutely no friggin' clue what I might have done to cause it to start working again).

I did learn one thing... this event reinforced my belief in the importance of caffeine. More than once I ended up just staring at a powerline adapter (apparently I was using telepathy to reconfigure it... or that's what an observer would note).


Powerline Networking

Working at home this past work reiterated my need to find an alternative portable networking solution for the home. Our cordless phones are 2.4GHz, which interferes with our Wifi network when the phones are in use. And given the amount of time I have to spend on the phone for work, and the amount of time Amy seems to need on the phone, a solution had to be found.

Belkin gave us a couple powerline ethernet adapters to play with as potential infrastruture in the Connected Home space. I finally dusted them off and put them to use. And I must say I'm impressed. They work out of the box (even come with 3 foot ethernet cables), and I haven't noticed a drop in bandwidth. Certainly not a bad alternative to wireless, although I would say they provide "portability" rather than "mobility." Not to mention I get the phone back.

Might even try running my XBox through them... a little tired of the lag when Amy gets on the phone =)


First trip to the hospital

Amy had her weekly checkup with the OB today; sent her to the hospital as her blood pressure was off the charts. It stabilized while we were there, but she is now sentenced to bed rest and I am sentenced to watching Spencer 24 hours a day.

Will keep everyone posted on what's going on. With Spencer Amy was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia; hence labor was induced two weeks early. Well, it's about two weeks before Amy's due date, and she's showing signs of pre-eclampsia.


Who is stealing China's Manufacturing jobs

Found this old link cleaning up some folders. Great insight into the evolution of economies and workforce. Bottom line: Manufacturing jobs aren't being sent to China; they are disappearing, period. Sure, manufacturing is being sent to China, but jobs aren't (i.e. manufacturing with fewer people... hmmm, what a concept).

Never get too comfortable in a particular career. The other thing that is certain is change...


America's toughest Sheriff

Was forwarded information about Joe Arpaio, and verified (here) that this was true. You have to read this for yourself!

Let this be a lesson in innovation!

My Brand

Last March I read The Brand You 50 by one of my favorite authors, Tom Peters. I spent the rest of the year trying to pick up clues on my "brand." What is my brand promise? What do I mean to others?

Interesting enough, I'm starting to sense that my brand has little to do with my career path (Information Technology); it has more to do with big picture thinking, getting things done, learning things quickly, getting things done through others, being trustworthy, and working well with customers. The challenge with branding is a continual focus on what you're known for and marketing what you're known for. The good side is once you have a brand promise, your brand has value!


Sowing Seeds

I really have no idea how American businesses compare to businesses from other countries and cultures, but my impression is that American businesses are far too short sighted. How ironic that a county who's two greatest natural assets, and probably biggest reason for success, are ignored in many of today's large companies.

What are those two assets? Agriculture and risk taking. What is agriculutre about? Long term planning, pattern recognition and adjustment, working with others (cannot farm the same plot for the same crops year-after-year-after-year), adjustment to events outside your control, etc. Why risk taking? That's what the first several generations of immigrants had in common - they were willing to take a risk, come to a new world, and work to succeed.

Yet I do not see American companies reflect such cultural values; rather, companies have developed short-term, low-risk cultures (the great irony to me is that "short-term" is inherantly "high-risk," not low risk). Before I got into consulting about 10 years ago, I had a VP tell me one of the challenges of consulting was having to prove yourself over and over. Or, put another way, all you do is plant seeds, wait for them to grow, but do not get to harvest to "show" anyone your results.

A key component to the success of any organization must be the alignment of individual incentives and motivations with the goals of the organization. Jim Collins says in Good to Great (one of my favorite books) "People are not a company's most important asset... the right people are." With the right people, you can achieve the right alignment.

Perhaps the challenge American companies have is rather than aligning people with the company, the company needs to align with the people. Clearly as a company grows, at a high level it becomes more conservative; it has to. As a company grows the risk of failure is bigger, and the loss of investment is bigger. Hence The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.

How can companies ensure long-term growth without sowing seeds? Perhaps that is where our youth as a country presents some challenges. We are a "baby" on the timeline of world history. Our bretheren in Asia would be considered the grandparents of the world, and perhaps that is why they take such a long-term view of their businesses.

What's my point? There is none. I'm just babbling on a cold Saturday afternoon. If you read this far I will be shocked... in fact, if you did read this far please post a comment and I will owe you a lunch!


Bah, what an end to the Purdue football season

It's taken me a few days to even muster the brainpower to discuss Purdue football. Another bowl loss, and another sub-10-win season. And to think this team was ranked #5 at one point in the year.

I remember the day when we used to look forward to Purdue basketball, but I can't even do that this year.

What will 2005 bring? A more exciting QB, I think. A better OL and better defense. A good trio of RBs. A good mix of receivers. This SHOULD be the year Tiller gets over the hump... we'll see =)


Book notes: Seeing What's Next

The Innovator's Solution is a follow-up to The Innovator's Dilemma, both of which propose theories of innovation and, more importantly, what innovation means to entrenched businesses and entrepreneurs alike.

Seeing What's Next is the third book in this series, and promises to be a practical guide at applying theory to understand what will and won't take in the marketplace.

Already, I love the attitude that Clayton Christensen takes. Paraphrasing... "by the time data exists to make a decision on a newcomer to the market, it is too late to do anything about it." Amen. Perhaps this book will help enlighten me and help me solve the Bottled Water Dilemma that I struggle with.


Happy New Year

Can't believe we are already in 2005. Seems like just yesterday companies were scrambling to fix the Y2K problem =)

Wrapped up the last of Christmas gatherings today. Great to see my family, and it's great to have them over and spend a couple days with us. Spencer loves having them over too.

Ushering in the new year means we are less than three weeks away from Amy's due date (January 20th). This time around we do have the baby's room done, although I still need to get the crib put together.

Here's to wishing everyone a prosperous 2005, and hoping things turn out as best as possible in SouthEast Asia as they try to recover from the Tsunami disaster.