A Day of Remembering

heart_logothumbIt’s probably fitting (and a little bit scary) that today of all days (9/11) finds me boarding a flight to return home. Eight years ago I had another return home that was bittersweet, indeed. Every year I share the chronicle of a life-changing event that shook me to the core and I am doing so here. I wrote this chronicle right after starting jkOnTheRun, and I rerun it every year at this time. If you don’t like reading off-topic posts then please skip over this. I do this for me; it’s a blog after all.

“Mr. Kendrick, can you hear me? I’m Mrs. Reinhard, the patient care facilitator here at Methodist hospital. Are you comfortable? I’ll be making sure your wife and family are OK while you’re in surgery as you’ll be there for a while. Do you want to tell me anything before they take you back?”
I have to think about that one. I’m so cold, it’s so cold in here. How should I respond that won’t conflict with my Southern upbringing? You must be stoic when confronted with the most terrifying thing in your entire life. Scared beyond words that you will never wake up. Scared that they won’t be able to fix your problem. Scared that you’ll never, ever see your beautiful wife and wonderful children again. Terrified that you’ll be an invalid after the surgery.
“Thank you but I’m fine.”
“You understand the procedure you’re about to undergo, right Mr.Kendrick? Would you like to talk about it or ask me any questions?”
“No, I’m fine. Tell my wife that I love her and I’ll see her shortly. She doesn’t handle upsetting things very well.”
“Well, OK, Mr. Kendrick. Don’t you worry- Dr. Lawrie is one of the best surgeons in the world and you’ll be just fine. I’ll sit with your wife for a while and make sure she knows what’s going on with your procedure. They’ll be coming to take you into surgery in a few minutes. I’ll see you in the recovery room.” (What I didn’t know then is that Dr. Lawrie worked for 20 years on the personal surgical team of Dr. DeBakey, the pioneer of cardiac surgery. Sometimes you just get lucky.)
As she walked away I hoped that Sheri would be OK. A single tear trickled involuntarily down my cheek. I suppose it was still there when the doctors and nurses started their work.

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Apple Dismisses Product Update Rumors

In one fell swoop, Apple has put an end to the “speculating.”

Stating that their “holiday line-up is set,” Bill Evans, an Apple spokesman, has put to bed the rumors that were circulating Apple news sites stating an update to the iMac and Mac mini was coming. The source, a comment made by David Sellers, believing that Apple would refresh the aforementioned models to bring them in line with the recently updated MacBook/MacBook Pro as early as next week, was relayed across the Apple blogosphere with much vigor. However, in speaking with Sellers, we were able to confirm that it was pure speculation on his part.
While there is no doubt in our minds that a refresh would have been welcomed, that is obviously not going to be case. So, if you were hoping to get an NVIDIA-powered Mac mini or a DisplayPort toting iMac before Christmas, best not hold your breath, but chin up, there’s always Macworld.

Vista Internet Use Up (and Mac Down) in October

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt comments on the latest Internet market share numbers from Net Applications. Seems Vista got a bump in October while the Mac went down, and he’s curious as to why. 
It’s important to note that, as Philip himself explains, these numbers are an inexact measurement in the first place: 

The first thing to be said about these results is that Net Applications’ “market share” report doesn’t actually measure share of market as a percentage of revenue or unit sales. That’s the business Gartner and IDC are in.

Still, it’s interesting to look at the numbers to see what tentative conclusions could be drawn. 
The first thing I noticed when looking at Windows as a whole over the last year is that, while the trend is downward, there have been three points (Feb, Apr, and Jul) in addition to October where a gain was scored, so a monthly increase in and of itself is not out of the ordinary.
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Sunny’s “PatheticGirl 43” Suddenly Online

Sometimes, all TV networks need is a little nudge. A push. A gentle reminder. All I’m sayin’ is that at 1:47 p.m. on Sept. 30th, I pointed out that FX Networks had missed an opportunity by not putting the “PatheticGirl 43” clip from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia up on YouTube. On October 2nd, multiple clips were uploaded.

Not only are there two promos featuring “PatheticGirl” as they appeared in the episode up on the official Sunny YouTube channel, but it looks as though the network plucked the actual clips out from the show and posted them under the channel “PatheticGrrl43.”

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NTV Discount to Conference on Technology and Filmmaking

Later this month at Berkeley, a great group of people will gather to discuss the future of cinema, games, and online video. They call it “The Conversation,” and it will feature workshops and talks with speakers from Netflix, DreamWorks, Lucasfilm, JibJab, and many many filmmakers. If you’d like to attend too, the conference organizers are offering a special 10 percent discount to NewTeeVee readers if you use this link.

Rob Bushway’s daughter Maggie needs your help

From_the_heart_logoRob Bushway of GottaBeMobile is a good friend and right now he needs your help in a major way.  Rob’s daughter Maggie is suffering from complications of a past brain tumor and is not doing very well.  She is in a hospital in Saint Louis and they are about to induce a coma to give her brain a much-needed rest from severe seizures so they can figure out how to treat them.  Rob and his wife Kathi are with Maggie and exhausted and they need your thoughts and prayers to get Maggie through this critical time.  Rob is posting updates on his personal blog and they read all the supporting comments that are left there to Maggie which she greatly enjoys.  Please keep Maggie in your thoughts and prayers and leave some comforting words for the Bushways.  They need it.

This poem is for Maggie- I wrote this for her in the past when she was having some complications and I’m sending it again.  Looking back I sent this to her over 3 years ago so you can see how long little Maggie has been fighting this.

I touched a star today,
I didn’t think I could
it was so far away,
But I touched that star today.

When things seem too much
and I am too tired to go on
I close my eyes
and I see that bright star.

And when I see that star
so high in the sky
I know I can touch it
without batting an eye.

The star gives me joy
and warmth and love
and sends down its beacon
to me from above.

I touched a star today
and knew I was fine
just one touch is all it took
and then that star was mine.

I love my star
and you have one too
just close your eyes
and you will see it too

And once you see your star
so high up in the sky
just reach up and touch it
and you will be fine

I will share my star
with you here today
because you’re so special
in every each and every way

so take care of your star
and it will take care of you
be kind to the star
and it remains true blue

Your friend, James

Get well Maggie.

I miss Marc Orchant

I have some major great things happening in my life that are game-changing for me.  They are so significant to me and I miss chatting with Marc Orchant about them.  Marc was the most supportive friend one could have and I know he’d be so excited for me and I really miss him.  I do know he’s watching and giving me a big thumbs-up and that means a lot.

Happy Father’s Day!

From_the_heart_logoToday is Father’s Day in the US and I want to wish Kevin Tofel, Matt Miller, and all of you who are fathers to have a very special day and enjoy time with your family.  I intend to do the same and think back on the impact my own father had on me.  He passed away a few years ago and I find it fitting to run this tribute for him as he is in my thoughts this fine day:

Goodbye to a great man

Myfather was one of those people who understood that to achieve greatnesscould only be done through maintaining strength of character in allthat you do.  He instilled in his childred the unerring credo that you must always do the right thing.  It doesn’tmatter if doing the right thing is difficult, or if doing the rightthing is the popular thing to do.  What matters is you always stay trueto your convictions, and your actions must be consistent with yourbeliefs.

My father was a very simple man.  Some people might say he was toosimple in this world that is growing ever more complex.  But heunderstood that in everything there is a right way and a wrong way todo things and the only option is to do the right thing.  He once toldme you build your reputation in the world by always taking the higherground.  You build that reputation one positive action at a time andyou are the only one who can tear that reputation down through your ownactions.  Not your detractors, not your enemies, only youcan tear your reputation down.  He once confided in me that he didn’tunderstand why people didn’t just treat others with respect andcompassion.  He was continually confused by this fact so obvious to himbut one that is often not followed by others.  It’s a question I cannotanswer, in fact I’m not sure there is an answer.

My father instilled in me a strong work ethic, for working as hardas you can is the only way to have no doubts about yourself at the endof the day.  He taught all his children to always help others, for someday we might need help ourselves and good deeds have a way of gettingrepaid when the time is right.  He taught us to be strong for thosearound us, but not to be afraid to bend when you have to.  He was a manthat others knew they could depend on in their time of need.  He taughtus that leading by example was the best way to be true to yourself, andto those around you. 

My father lived a hard life, but he took that in stride and did thebest that he could with the cards he was dealt.  And in so doing, hetaught us to do the same.  Don’t cry about it, fix it was hisphilosophy, and it was a lesson hard learned, as important lessonsoften are.  He showed us that when you have troubles, the best courseis often to set your own troubles aside and help those less fortunatethan yourself.  Most importantly of all, he taught us that we are notthe most important thing in the world.  Instead, the most importantthings were those around us.  He lived his life being there for thepeople that needed him, and those who knew and loved him will alwaysthank him for that.

My father always led by example and to those of us fortunate enoughto know him that example was a very good one.  He was not a man to getlost in the fluff of life, instead he believed you lay a solidfoundation in the life that you have and then you build on thatfoundation until the structure is a good, strong structure.  You buildyour character one deed at a time until the structure defines theperson behind it.  And then you open that structure up to your lovedones so that they might be protected by it too. 

My father was a great man.  He touched everyone around him in such apositive way.  He loved his family with a passion that wasunquestioned, and he was proud of each of us in so many ways.  He isthe reason that we have become the people we are today, and I thank himfor that.  For I can think of no better thing in the world than to bethe legacy of this man.  Thank you Dad for all that you’ve done.  Thankyou Dad for showing us to always think of others.  Thank you Dad forall the examples you set for us.  And thank you Dad for being there forme when I needed you.  You are so missed but you live on in all thoseyou have touched.

James Grady Kendrick

November 1, 1916 – November 21, 2004


Day one of the web challenge: finding options for success

WakooparesultsYesterday was day one of my "web-only" challenge, the effort to examine if it’s possible for me to boycott desktop applications. The heavily-skewed pie chart shown to the right is the direct result of using Wakoopa, a small application that tracks and records what programs you run, how long they ran, etc… This also means I’ve taken another "exception" in my effort since Wakoopa is a client application. 😉

As you can see, I spent 99% of my day in a single application. Let me offer the breakdown so you can see what Wakoopa saw. Note: it only shows 5.5 hours of tracked data, yet I used my UMPC much longer than that. I suspect there’s a lag in the collected and reported data.

Now that you know I was pretty honest for my first full day of effort… here’s some thoughts on the experience so far.

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Having a stroke- from the inside

ConfusionSomething we don’t do very much here on jkOnTheRun is write about personal type stuff.  We figure that’s not what you want to hear about on a tech blog and we like to keep some personal things private.  I broke that rule when I originally wrote the "from the heart" series about my heart surgery and it’s resonated with a lot of people all over the world.  I am getting a lot of requests from friends and readers who heard about my recent stroke who wondered if I planned to write about that experience the same way.  I have been told that a lot of people would be interested to find out what the stroke experience was like and how it all went down.  I must admit that I had not planned to write about this experience as I didn’t think there would be much interest in it but since I still keep getting asked about it I changed my mind.  Thankfully, changing my mind is something I can still do, it could have been much different.  If this experience interests you read on after the jump, if you’re only interested in tech stuff then skip on and it will be business as usual.

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