Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Have a Blog?

So I touched my blog for what appears to be the first time in 18 months. I had a few draft posts sitting around that I pushed out, including one from December of 2009 apologizing for not blogging lately. (It's only three posts below this one.) The same reasons still apply and then some. My short thoughts and interesting links show up on Twitter and/or Facebook or sometimes my Google Reader feed. Anything much longer tends to just get filed away for later, never to be seen again.

We've been busy.

Work keeps kicking into higher gears - but in a good way. Among a lot of other things, in the past year we've hosted two technical conferences here in Tampa with many of our developers and other technical staff from around the world. We were also acquired earlier this year.

Our First LEGO League team TechnoForce had a very successful run over two seasons. We made it to the second round (regionals) in our second year, but didn't make it to the state level. I really need to write up a couple of posts about all the lessons we've learned along the way. Unfortunately, TechnoForce has now dissolved as a team and we'll be focusing our efforts on other things. We may be returning to First LEGO League though, especially as our son gets old enough for it.

We joined Cub Scouts - Lutz Pack 86 - and had a very active first year. Lots of group camping, Pinewood Derby, and other activities. I have a couple blog posts in mind about what we've learned as parents new to the Cub Scouts.

For Van Dyke Church's annual Sports Camp last summer (2010), I coached chess. Despite considering coaching soccer or football a couple times, I've always wound up doing non-sports activities for kids that just don't want to (or can't) do a sport. I've done robotics and science olympiad before, but chess was the most like a sport so far. I got to teach almost all of the kids something and they still wanted to play even at the end of the camp. I wrote a few related posts over on Gifted Homeschooling about teaching chess. This summer I'll be coaching a LEGO engineering activity.

We helped host TEDxYouth@TampaBay. I mostly handled video. It was a little rough but I learned a lot in a hurry about producing live and recorded video. You can see all of our speakers on this YouTube list.

We continue to homeschool. This is our first year using Florida Virtual School which has been a different sort of challenge - less burden on us to teach but a whole lot of supervising a student that doesn't want to follow someone else's schedule. We continue to be active in our homeschool co-op, THINK Day.

I also finally picked up a more serious camera - a Canon T2i. I'm still learning a lot about making it work right - shooting a lot with the 50mm 1.4 lens - which absolutely blows me away with it's ability to gobble up available light and turn out a reasonable photograph. I'm now always quite behind in processing photos from different events with the kids (I often shoot over a thousand photos a weekend), but someday I'll get back to updating my Flickr account with some good shots.

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