I took a swing at HDR with some picture sets I took in Houghton.  I haven’t done HDR much before so I took some time so it didn’t look like overblown crap like many do.   I think these turned out OK in the end.   All of these were taken hand held, with bracketing and a high-speed burst of exposures.

Some fall color shots I grabbed yesterday before breakfast in Houghton.  The Portage Lake was surprisingly calm.  I was laying down on a pier with a super small tripod for these shots.    Pretty happy with how these turned out.

Before they are over written by this years IIC race in Vegas I captured the 3 races I ran in the 2013 race.   I am not going out this year, but I thought it was fun to capture and save the races I ran last year.

This race is the SpecGT D-Main.  This is a special class meant to run cars that look life like and more scale.   The class also has a super restricted electronics requirement.  The motors and speed controllers are handed out at the race and every one runs the same gear.

This was a fun race for me, but the car didn’t handle well all week, I didn’t put much time into it so that’s why.  I qualified pretty far down on the order.   But had a good time.   I started this race in 2nd place, and finished 3rd.


My car looked like this for the race:

Final results:

Before they are over written by this years IIC race in Vegas I captured the 3 races I ran in the 2013 race.   I am not going out this year, but I thought it was fun to capture and save the races I ran last year.

This race is the 17.5 Touring E-Main.  This is also called Stock racing.  This is the most competitive race @ IIC with over 90 cars in the class.  I qualified middle of the pack at 41st.   I started this main in 3rd position, worked my way to 1st for the first 10 or so laps, and then due to  multiple screw ups by me ended up back in 5th.  I used this race to test a setup change for the Amateur race.

The car body I ran in this race looked like:


Results:

Before they are over written by this years IIC race in Vegas I captured the 3 races I ran in the 2013 race.   I am not going out this year, but I thought it was fun to capture and save the races I ran last year.

This race is the Amateur Touring A-Main.  Which is the top 10 racers who are not sponsored. Out of 50+ entries I qualified 5th overall.   I started in 5th position for this race, worked my way to 2nd for most of the race, and then due to a screw up by me ended up back in 4th on the last corner, missing 3rd by .15 sec.    It was an awesome race, and the one goal I had for IIC in 2013 was to make the A-Main in this class.

The trophy:

The car I ran looked like:

Results of the race:

 Results image Amateur

New template/format for the blog.

I am testing out a new layout for my blog, not sure I am digging it yet, and may need hack a bit to make it fit what I want, but so far this is what it is.

I went on a fun bike ride today that took me along the clear creek trail from North West of Denver, to Golden.   I ended up doing about 27 miles of riding in around 3 hours, with about 45 minutes of that spent hanging out in Golden.    I missed out on the Coors Tour because I was there before they started, and if I waited, they wouldn’t let me carry my backpack, so I’ll go to it another time. (no place to lock up my gear besides the bike)

During the ride I burned (according to my HR monitor) around 1700 Calories.   There were some significant hills on the ride, but the downhill swing on the way home was pretty fast.   Hit 32Mph on the way back. I averaged around 15Mph in the end.  The trail was awesome in some parts, very scenic and pretty.

Gotta love the cooler fall days in Colorado, still lots of time left to do these kind of rides.

Something big in Chicago

A couple months ago Microsoft announced their reorganization of their technical conferences.   A consolidation of what used to be multiple product specific, and generalist conferences into one unified conference.   At the time of the announcement the only info provided was the image below:

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The Round Table:

Earlier this week I had the honor being invited to Chicago by Microsoft to participate in a round table focused on this new event.

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(note- that isn’t a beer at the bottom of the picture, it is cold pressed coffee from a Chicago company)

Around a dozen influencers from around the country from all different backgrounds were invited this week to help Microsoft make this new <still unnamed> event the best it can be.  Members included past attendees of various conferences including MEC, MMS, SPC, Lync, Project, TechEd, WPC, etc…   And backgrounds spanned from a CTO, front line MVP consultants, marketing experts, Educators, Systems Admins, and Solution Architects.   Microsoft representatives included the leaders who own and produce these conferences directly.  

We also had Microsoft superstars (and the faces of TechEd) Joey Snow and Rick Claus in attendance helping guide and encourage deeper conversations around the important topics.

McCormick Place:

We toured the massive McCormick Place, and saw many of the areas MS has already reserved.  Millions of SqFt are at their disposal, and hundreds of breakout rooms.  Including unique areas where the convention floor actually has glass windows overlooking Lake Michigan.

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Higher Res of one of the many the convention halls MS has access to: https://38.media.tumblr.com/e5d656b73b2552a7cea1914c21ce038d/tumblr_ncezxwRzpS1qmm86to2_1280.jpg

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(plumbing Expo going on, but you can see the walls of windows surrounding this area of the floor)

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This is the view from outside of one of the halls.

The next big event:

The conversations at this round table were incredible.  We were instructed from the beginning to “pull no punches” in terms of our feedback to Microsoft leadership.  Microsoft was there to listen, and ask questions, we did all the talking.   Topics and areas that were covered included (but not limited to):

  • How to incorporate the various Microsoft product/technology specific conferences into one.
  • Fostering better community building in general
  • Enhancing networking possibilities and opportunities
  • Enhancing the existing communities already built from the various other conferences
  • What is important to us as attendees (this was asked many times, in different ways)
  • Keynote suggestions
  • Event layout and flow
  • Closing party ideas
  • Schedule building
  • Social integration and apps
  • Overall event image and social “vibe”

While we all know every idea that was mentioned or discussed wont necessarily end up implemented in May, it was very clear Microsoft is taking a huge interest in doing this right, and is rewriting the entire playbook on this event.  The round table group isn’t done working with our visit to Chicago.  As specifics become solidified, and the event gets closer, more discussions will be happening with the team and Microsoft to further refine plans. 

What I saw in these last few days in Chicago gives me hope that this is going to be a new kind of event for Microsoft, placing community, and long term value ahead of marketing.  Taking the best parts of the various other conferences, and ideas from the round table to build something that is a “must attend” conference for every IT pro.

Look for more info in the coming weeks/months with more specifics. 

Thanks to Microsoft for inviting me, I am truly honored to have been included with this incredible group of people.  

Earning my beer today,  Rode 22 miles this morning around Denver on the bicycle, av 14Mph, and burned 1200 calories in 1.5 hrs in the process.  Nice way to start the day :)  Now, Oktoberfest!

Earning my beer today,  Rode 22 miles this morning around Denver on the bicycle, av 14Mph, and burned 1200 calories in 1.5 hrs in the process.  Nice way to start the day :)  Now, Oktoberfest!

That’s a wrap! Trip stats

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My little post labor day trip to SLC is a wrap!  1786 miles in the bag.  The above is from the data logger that was along for the ride. Look below for the rest of the stats I tallied.

Here is a link to the full res map:

http://www.jk720.net/private/image/97078115459/tumblr_nbnhjfTZv81qmm86t

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Overall stats for the ride:

  • 5.5 days riding
  • 1786 miles
  • 32 hours moving on the bike
  • Furthest distance on the bike in one day: 345 Miles - Far from my record, 485 is the most I’ve done in a day on this bike.
  • Longest day on the bike (including stops, detours, photos, etc…): 11hrs. (Which surprisingly is the blue line on the map, which is actually the 2nd longest day, shorter by only 15 miles from the longest mileage day)
  • 44.0 Mpg average
  • Top speed: -REDACTED- ;)
  • Hottest temp seen: 95.1F - Near Moab, Utah
  • Coldest temp seen: 41.0F - Near Kremling, CO.

Over the course of the trip, nothing broke, nothing needed to be fixed.   I checked the oil @ day 4, and again today, and it didn’t burn any, as its at the exact same level it was when I left.  Even the tires are within a 1 lb of pressure of where they were when I left.

 The bike didn’t fall at all, and I didn’t get hurt at all.

I did drop my helmet only 3” onto the visor  at a stop, and scratched the hell out of the visor…  So I had to replace that when I was in SLC.  That is really the only casualty of the ride.

For all its quirks, and its riding style for very long distances (which isn’t optimal)… I cant complain at all!  I honestly cant believe how sure footed the bike is in virtually all conditions.  Even loaded, the bike cut corners more consistently than I ever expected, not even a wobble.  Even with the fat rear tire, I was able to consistently clean off any sign of a “chicken strip” on the edge of the tire quite easily. :)

The bike looks just like it did when I left, only dirtier:

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So much fun!   But I got home and had new Ski gear sitting on the counter waiting for me… so I guess its time to indulge in that hobby now :)