kgiff.com
Please excuse the mess. I'm in the process of moving to a new server and new blogging software. It'll be a while before this place gets to be looking like normal again.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
travelvacation

We're back! I'm still trying to get off of Alaska time and get my thoughts and photos in order. I'll be slowly going through my pictures and getting them uploaded over the next week or so (I took way too many pictures). I'll let you know when they're all up. In the meantime, I've started a timeline on CircaVie and have added some of the video snipets I took with my camera. I'll continue to add pictures and links to slide shows as they become available as another way to document our vacation.

Kelly • 11:13 PM • (0) Comments
Thursday, September 06, 2007
blograndom

I got tagged by Kerry in blog tag. What is it? I have to tell you 8 things that you don't know about me - and then I tag 8 different bloggers and they do the same!!

8 Random things you may not know about me
  1. My first computer was a hand me down TRS-80 when I was like 8 or 9.
  2. I broke my ankle playing softball and my finger playing soccer growing up -- both required screws to put me back together.
  3. My first "design gig" was doing band programs in 6th grade. (Thanks dad.)
  4. I got through an engineering program using macs before macs were cool. (68040 processors anyone?)
  5. My dogs have been in training for over five years and don't know how to shake or rollover (they do however know right and left).
  6. I have worked with my husband (who recently told me he isn't mentioned here enough) at four different companies.
  7. My first cell phone plan was $14.99/month for 15 minutes. I still talk on the phone like it costs me $1/minute. I'm trying to get over that.
  8. I have many irrational fears including public speaking, falling downstairs, and fish.

Now I'm tagging my dad, my mom (yup, you need to update your blog), Kate, Megan, Laura, Tony, Bill, and Jeff. Your turn.

Kelly • 06:53 PM • (1) Comments
Monday, September 03, 2007
randomtech

Summer is over. It's back to snarrled traffic tomorrow. But yay for a short week. We had a nice relaxing Labor Day weekend. This weekend and last have been pretty low key, which has been nice after the craziness of most of August. I got a chance to hang out and go shopping with my friend Sara on Saturday, and today I had coffee with my friend Kelly. Today finished with dinner with my parents at Casa G's and laundry.

There is a new technology network in DC launched by Justin Thorp. If you're in the DC area and interested in web and technology, I highly suggest checking out the DC Technology Network. The fine folks that brought us the super-fantastic BarCamp DC are involved, so I'm sure we'll see great stuff out of this group in the near future.

I've been playing with Tangerine! for creating new play lists for my iPod/iTunes library. Tangerine! Analyzies the beats per minute and intensity of the beat of music in your iTunes library and then based on a set of criteria you define, it'll create playlists for you. I've been enjoying the playlists that it created — something I never get around to doing myself.

Kelly • 10:02 PM • (1) Comments
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I purchased some photographs of Cisco from an agility trial he ran in. I hate doing it but, since you're running with your dogs, it's kind of hard to take pictures of them yourself. They arrived today and I'm a bit disappointed. Not only is there significant pixelation around Cisco's feathers, but the photographer's logo is on them (nothing about this is mentioned on the website), a sticker appears on the back of them stating copyright all rights reserved, and there is a sticker on the packaging stating they're copyrighted, and any unauthorized reproduction of these photos is punishable under the copyright laws of the US. Ok, I get it.

I have in the past posted photos of Cisco and Berkley I've purchased from trial photographers on this blog. Sorry, readers you'll have to find me in person to see these. I've also been able to buy the digital images from other agility photographers (yes, there actually are people who specialize in this area of photography). I've given these photographers credit when I post pics from them. I did e-mail this photographer a while back and ask if I could purchase digital images (I have this idea of creating a digital photo book of their agility careers once they retire), I never got a response back.

I understand the right of photographers to copyright their work. I understand that they need to make a living.

By paying for the image, I would like the ability to do the following:

I wouldn't expect to be able to without prior approval from the photographer:

So for anyone that's still reading, I know the line between the sides is a bit blurred, but what are your thoughts? What should the expecations of the photographer be and what are fair expecations of those that purchase the image?

Kelly • 09:42 PM • (0) Comments
Monday, August 20, 2007
agilitydogs
Cisco's Latest Stash

This past weekend was TAG's August trial at the Dulles Sportsplex in Sterling. It was a long weekend that started Friday night with set-up. We couldn't get into one of the rings until 10:45 for set-up which meant we didn't get done until 11:30 or so. I got home shortly after midnight and crashed.

Saturday was an early morning with the alarm going off about 5:30. Cisco and I headed out early that morning and didn't get back until close to midnight again. TAG had around 1100 runs on Saturday between the two rings with the last dog running around 9pm. Cisco was supposed to run in 5 classes, but I pulled him from his last run. He didn't qualify in any of his runs, but I can't complain. He was clean in steeplechase, but over time. I still need to figure out what makes him pokey at times. Cisco did get a massage towards the end of the day. Kim didn't find any soreness or tenderness and she said he has killer hamstrings.

We were back at it 6am Sunday. Sunday's standard run started out slow with Cisco barely getting on the dog walk and blowing off the teeter. After that things picked up. We qualified in advanced gamblers our first time out. And completed our last leg towards on starters jumpers title with probably our faster run of the weekend. I also had my first taste of running a border collie in agility when I got to run a very sweet girl Jossie. Turns out my run with Jossie got her a very pretty green ribbon (her Agility Dog title). Yay! Jossie! We finished clean up about 8pm Sunday night. It was a long, but rewarding weekend. But I'm so glad I don't have to work another trial until May.

This was the first show we used MAD agility equipment for. Major props to Jen and Mark for their hardwork and help this weekend. They were a pleasure to work with.

Kelly • 11:26 PM • (0) Comments
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
tech

Saturday was spent with a bunch of the coolest geeks in the DC area (and a few from out of town too). Jason Garber, Justin Thorpe, and Jackson Wilkinson along with others put on one awesome event this weekend. Congratulations to them for a job well done.

BarCamp as I've mentioned before is an unconference. If you ever have a chance to participate in one, take it. Here is hopefully a brief re-cap of the fantastic event.

Youngest BarCamper

My day started running into my co-worker Kevin and his son Max at the metro station. Max was by far the youngest attendee, but I have no doubt he'll be running the show in a few years. Max was really excited about spending the day with his dad and attending BarCamp. He, like a lot of us, can't wait for the next one.

The conference started out with people signing up to talk or hold discussions about a topic and then all the participants went through indicating which topics they'd be most interested in attending. The sessions were held in three rooms that varied greatly in size so this helped put topics in rooms that best fit with the interest level.

I started the day attending Kevin's Intro to Rails talk. I followed that with a discussion led by Samantha Warren on User Interface design. This session wasn't what I was expecting, but was pleasantly surprised by the engaging conversation on what exactly user interface design means. This is part of the beauty of unconferences, since everyone participates you're never sure what you're going to get. Usually, the conversation is very enlightening even if not what was planned or expected.

Next I went to a session on Web Typography that was run by Nathan Herald. This is a topic I'd like to see addressed more frequently as typography is a large part of web design (as Nathan says, it's 95% of web design), and I find good typography on the web to be challenging. I finished up the morning attending a session on Portable Identity — a topic that is becoming more and more valuable as people are required to or want to sign up for more and more sites on the web.

BarCamp DC - photo by Jason GarberPhoto by Jason Garber

Next up was lunch, sponsored by the AOL Developer Network. Mike had the opportunity to address the attendees during lunch about all the cool things AOL is doing these days. I even managed to speak somewhat coherently (I think) about CircaVie when called upon. And I didn't even turn red — a huge accomplishment considering my fear of public speaking (I really need to get over that).

The afternoon flew by. I started the afternoon in Productivity Tips, but ditched Bill and landed in the mobile web session. I had seen Jackson speak on the mobile web previously at Refresh DC and enjoyed the presentation and discussion in this session. Next up was a very informative session on Google Analytics. Anyone go to that session and not implement it on a site if you weren't already using it?

I finished up the afternoon with The Future of Television — there is a whole world of video content beyond that box sitting in your living room (I think I need to watch more tv, or less), the Facebook Platform, and an open rails session run by Bill and Joe.

Bill's First Sushi

Next came the after party at Cafe Asia where I spent a few hours hanging out with some current and former co-workers and a few other cool people.

There a lots of really cool, smart, creative people in the dc web community and without them, BarCamp would not have been nearly as cool. Overall this was an awesome experience and I can't wait to do it again! My only regret is there were some sessions I didn't have the opportunity to attend and I didn't talk to as many people as I should have. Thanks to Fleishman-Hillard for providing the space, Justin, Jason, Jackson and the rest of the organizers, the sponsors, and the participants for making this event great.

Kelly • 02:11 AM • (0) Comments
Monday, August 13, 2007
agilitytech

Saturday was spent at the rockin' BarCamp DC. Kudos to all the organizers, sponsors, presenters, and attendees -- it would not have been the same without you. I'll do another post with a full write up hopefully sometime this week.

Sunday was spent at the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club's golden only trial. (I backed out of Saturday after much debate when I found out the date for BarCamp DC had moved.) Cisco had a beautiful first part of his standard run and then had issues with the weaves (it always seems to be one thing or another with our standard runs). He made up for it in his second run of the day getting his 2nd Excellent A Jumpers with Weaves run!

2nd Exc A JWW Leg!
Kelly • 07:29 PM • (0) Comments
Thursday, August 02, 2007
tech

BarCamp is coming to DC! I'm going to hang out with some of the area's web and other new media professionals for BarCampDC.

BarCamp is an un-conference. (And no, I'm not going to be learning how to mix the latest drinks and practicing my flair skills.) An un-conference is a conference with no scheduled speakers, panels, or topics. At the start of the conference, the attendees propose topics they either want to present on, or even just hold a casual discussion on. From there a schedule is made and off you go.

Kelly • 10:45 PM • (0) Comments
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
random

I finally ordered Moo Cards. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of them, but they were too cool not to get. I'll probably stash some in my agility bag and a few other places to give out when people ask for my contact info. It's happened a few times at trials where we've had either a pen and no paper or paper and no pen.

Moo!

The Moo people are now doing sticker books. Now I need to come up with some cool ideas for stickers and get some of them too.

Kelly • 10:37 PM • (2) Comments
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
tech
What is it you ask? CircaVie is an exciting new way to recored a series of events. It allows you to attach photos and videos associated with these events creating a visual allowing for easy navigation through time.

I'm actually blogging about something I worked on! Over the last month or so, I joined a very small team of developers working on an exciting new product circaVie.

What is it you ask? CircaVie is an exciting new way to recored a series of events. It allows you to attach photos and videos associated with these events creating a visual that allows for easy navigation through time.

There are so many things you could add to a timeline on circaVie. One of my very talented colleagues has a collection of all the portraiture work he has done. You could document a vacation, a baby's first year, your entire life, the possibilities are endless.

My first timeline is naturally about my dogs and is displayed below. (That's another cool thing about it. We provide the code so you can easily embed your time line on your blog, MySpace page, or other online profile.)

Check out the link to the slide show in Maine Vacation (August 2006) and the video in TAG's fall trial (October 2005).

CircaVie uses the same signon mechanisms as Ficlets where you can either sign-in with your AOL/AIM screenname or you can sign-in with Open ID. I joined the project late in development but helped with the implementations of comments and a few UI clean-up items. This was a fun little project to be a part of and I had the opportunity to dip my toes in the Ruby on Rails pond. Of course, this is a beta product and any and all feedback is welcome and encouraged.

So what are you waiting for? Go create your timeline today!

Kelly • 11:22 PM • (1) Comments
Saturday, July 14, 2007
blogtech

I'm changing blogging platforms again. I'm now running the beta version of Movable Type 4.

I found a lot of good documentation online for installing Movable Type on Dreamhost. In particular, I used:

Since I've now installed the beta for Movable Type 4 twice, I've used both these posts and was able to install the software effortlessly.

The next part was trying to get all of my old blog entries moved from the old WordPress Blog to the new Movable Type Instance. This was a bit trickier. There are ton of articles on how to go from Movable Type to WordPress, but not so many going the other direction.

I found an entry on Code Monkey Ramblings on Moving from WordPress to Movable Type part I which worked flawlessly. Fortunately I didn't need the recovery instructions.

To expand on how to get the old entries into the new MT4 installation, here is what I did:

  1. I followed the Code Monkey Ramblings instructions down through putting the save file into the import directory.
  2. I selected Tools from the footer navigation in the movable type control panel.
  3. I then clicked on the Import link from the left column.
  4. Under importing from, I selected Another System (Movable Type Format).
  5. I left all other options alone and clicked Import Entries.
  6. The importer worked it's magic and everything was imported sucessfully.

The one issue I ran into was that the archives were not working properly (the pages did not exist when clicked on). I solved that by republishing all the entries even though the system said they had been published. Under Manage -> Entries You can publish entries 20 at a time.

The entire process took me maybe an hour.

Kelly • 02:05 PM • (1) Comments
Monday, July 09, 2007
tech

You may have heard Digg founder Kevin Rose has a new thing called Pownce. It's another "micro-blogging" service like Twitter or Jaiku.

First impressions, I still like Twitter better. Yes, I can be somewhat resistant to change, but despite Twitter's issues, I still prefer it. Of course everyone is trying out Pownce and none of these things are much fun without your friends.

I can see how Pownce will appeal to more of the masses. It is a little less geeky and a bit more polished. It's got some neat features -- like choosing whether messages are sent just to your friends or the public; being able to group your friends; and sending links, files and events.

Pownce doesn't have a mobile component. This is one of the things that sold me on twitter -- the ability to update or receive updates on a mobile device away from the computer. With twitter the updates come to me, I don't have to remember to go check a website. At this time, there are no feeds from Pownce. I'm sure it won't be long before Pownce mash-ups start appearing.

For now, I'll continue updating Twitter and playing on Pownce. If you feel like checking out any of these services, I can be found as kgiff on all three.

Kelly • 08:01 PM • (1) Comments
life
A Good Weekend

Our weekend started Friday morning after a conference call with the guys in Dublin about my latest project for work. Gotta love summer flex hours. Cisco and I headed out to Winchester to the Blue Ridge Dog Training Club's agility trial. Cisco had two great runs including getting second place in Open Standard. This is his first standard leg in almost 2 years. We took a large part of last year off to deal with teeter issues, but still that's a long time.

Saturday Berkley joined us in trekking back out to Winchester for day 2 of the trial. Cisco had two decent runs. Our standard run was screwed up after I became frazzled after almost tripping over the chute. Berkley had one run and he did outstanding. He kept all his bars up, got a perfect score and took second place for his 2nd novice standard preferred leg. (Not bad for the guy that usually gets left at home.)

Sunday the fun continued. Cisco had two more good runs. Not quite qualifying runs, but I can't complain either. Berkley continued his winning streak getting his 3rd and finals novice std. leg for his NAP title! I guess I really need to start taking him more often.

This is the first year we've done the Blue Ridge trial. It's a one ring trial so the day is a bit longer than a two ring trial, but it was a lot of fun.

***Updated: Turns out Berkley didn't get his 3rd leg on Sunday. I thought he had knocked over part of the broad jump, and I guess I was right. Upon closer inspection, they made us two ribbons for Saturday's run.

Kelly • 07:35 PM • (1) Comments
Sunday, July 01, 2007
play
IMG_0015.jpg

Last night I dragged Chris out to the ballpark with my mom, dad, my cousin Sue and her husband Mike. (Sue and Mike were down from Cleveland visiting my parents.) We saw the Hagerstown Suns take on the Lakewood BlueClaws in single A ball. It was a beautiful night for a ball game -- the humidity was low, there was a light breeze and most importantly no bugs!

Chris had never been to a minor league game. Last night's game was a good game with the BlueClaws leading by one run through most of it until the Suns rallied in the bottom of the 7th.

The Wave IMG_0046.jpg
Kelly • 09:11 PM • (1) Comments
Friday, June 29, 2007
photographylife

I've been away from the blogging for a while.

I was thinking about changing blogging software, but then I started having server problems and thought they might be related to the new software, so I took it out. That still didn't fix the server problems, but I don't feel like re-installing again, so I'll stick with this for a while longer. I just updated to a new version of WordPress today and it looks like some of the images are missing. That's okay, I was thinking it was time for a change anyway.

I second shot with K & R Photography a few weeks ago. Here are a few of the images from that shoot:

Amy & PJ Wedding

There's a bunch of stuff happening with Chris' job, but I think I'll leave that for another post on another day.

Kelly • 09:44 PM • (1) Comments

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