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    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Avoid Mindless Holiday Munching

    'Tis the season for spending time with friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family–and, of course, "spending time" translates into eating food. A lot of it. But don't resign yourself to a winter of baggy sweatshirts, or wait until January 1 to worry about your newly acquired gut.

    The No. 1 mistake people make during the holidays is self-sabotage, according to Jim White, spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. "[Gyms nationwide] are slammed the whole month of January," White says. "If you can lose weight by January 1, you'll beat the crowds." Not to mention look good in all those holiday pictures.

    Be merry this season with our 9 tips for smart holiday eating–and make it through the winter months without moving up a pant size.

    Avoid Mindless Holiday Munching: Men's

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    ZoomIt – Great Tool for Presentations

    ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs quietly in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image

    Free download  - ZoomIt


    I haven’t posted much on this blog lately so if you want updates I suggest my twitter account at

    I also try and share photos on my photo blog at Checkout my photos from a recent trip to Berlin.

    Quote of the Day:
    Light travels faster than sound so some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    --Joe Messmore

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Results will come

    I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.

               - Michael Jordan

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    New York – Before the City

    Eric Sanderson uses GIS for studying landscapes—past landscapes. Looks like he uses ArcGIS Desktop in the first part of this presentation.

    Better than you think…

    You are better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can

    -Ken Chlouber

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Get up

    It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up. - Vince Lombardi

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009


    If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. - Vince Lombardi

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Camp Pendleton Triathlon Report

    A few weeks ago the family and I packed up and went to Oceanside, CA for some beach time and the Camp Pendleton Triathlon.  It’s a big race with over 1200 participates but what made it extra fun was that 6 other friends from Redlands joined me for the race along with many of our kids.  IMG_0666Transition area is right at the edge of the sand so you start on the sand and fight your way through the waves for the swim.  The swim is tough with the strong current and waves.  Last year I nearly gave up as I was not ready for the the big waves.  But I did a lot better this year and improved on my time and felt really good.

    cp02The bike is mostly flat with a few hills and going through Camp Pendleton.  I felt good and reached my goal of doing the 2nd half of the bike leg fast then the 1st half.  I stayed aero for most of the bike but did have some stomach cramping.

    The run is boring and the only bad thing about this race as you cp05 - Copyare basically doing loops around parking lots.  I did pretty good on the run but still need to work on my speed to make up for my slower swim.

    Great day and a lot of fun with the family and friends. This is my 2nd time doing the race and really like it.  Here is the group shot of all the families in our group from shot

    Wednesday, August 05, 2009

    Almost over

    Summer is coming to an end soon…  The ESRI UC is over, we’ve had a little family vacation and the kids go back to school next week.  School starts early here in Redlands but they get extra time off at Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Spring.  Life is going good as I’m still swimming, biking, and running.

    Lots of really positive feedback on ArcGIS 9.4 at the conference last month but if could make it to San Diego, here are a few links to checkout.

    Quote of the day:
    Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others. - Jonathan Winters

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Live in San Diego

    I’m in San Diego today for the ESRI User Conference and the plenary session is about to begin…  Good music and a beautiful stage design welcomes over 11,000 GIS professionals from around the world to the opening session.  I believe this is my 11th User Conference and I’m still excited to believe in this great city with so many GIS users.

    Quote of the Day:
    The person who is not hungry says that the coconut has a hard shell.
    --African Tribal Saying

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    Photos from Channel Island Trip

    Have recently upload some photos from my trip last month to Santa Cruz Island – Channel Island National Park.


    Quote of the Day:
    Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.
    --W. Clement Stone


    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Clean install of Vista

    For reason I don’t want to go into, I had to reformat my hard drive and get a clean install of Vista on my laptop.  This is a test post wit the latest version of Windows Live Writer after reinstalling everything.

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Big Rock Triathlon – Olympic Distance

    Last Saturday I completed my first official Olympic distance triathlon (1.5km Swim, 40km Bike, 10k Run) – the Big Rock Tri at Lake Perris.  Here’s my report…

    Great weather and the water was warmer then I expected.  I still wore a wetsuit as I need all the help I can get in the swim.  I started out wide of the main group and did pretty good staying on course and not getting kicked.  My goal for the swim was to swim the whole way and not freak out.  I met that goal but now I need to work on swimming faster.  I wasn’t the last out of the water but I wasn’t in the main pack either.  The run to the transition area was tough - it’s up hill and mostly on rough sand / rocks.  But I did pretty good getting out of the wetsuit and on to the bike.

    The bike course is 2 loops with a small hill at the start of the lap and a big hill at the end of each lap.  I felt good on the 1st lap and it seemed like I was catching some guys in my age group.  I took a gel and some cytomax on the 1st lap and powered up the big hill passing few bikers that decided to walk. My plan was to take another gel on the 2nd lap but I didn’t as my stomach felt a little funny. I probably drank too much lake water.  I actually took my feet out of my shoes while still on the bike for the first time in a race and had a fast transition to the run.

    Everyone I talked to said the run felt long and I agree.  It was mostly flat but I had a hard time getting any speed till about the 2 mile mark.  Then my legs started cramping so I had to slow down a little but kept going and finished strong.  I finished 6th in my age group and faster then my personal goal so I’m happy but know I can do better.

    Here are some things I’m going to work on….

    • Swimming faster
    • Keeping my bike cadence up during the 2nd half of the bike
    • Running faster off the bike
    • Really kicking-it at the end of the run

    Tuesday, May 05, 2009

    spring time – “cinco de mayo”

    It’s a beautiful spring day here in Redlands, CA and things are staying busy at work.  ArcGIS 9.3.1 is now shipping but we are already deep into the development of the next release of ArcGIS.

    Time is flying by and the User Conference will be here before we know it. Speaking of time flying by, it was 15 years ago this week that I started my 2 year mission for the LDS church in Guatemala. A lot happen in those 2 years of missionary service that still influences my life today.  

    Quote of the Day:
    Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.
    --W. Clement Stone

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    ESRI Developer Summit 2009 Wrap-up

    As many of you know I’m involved in a lot of the planning leading up to the Dev Summit. I say that so you realized that I might be a little biased but I truly think the event last month was a huge success.  The feedback from you the attendees has been very positive.  The event was not perfect and there are things we can improve and luckily we’ll get that chance next March, when the Dev Summit turns 5 years old.  Here is a photo of me being interviewed by the talented Megan Williams for an ESRI podcast about Dev Summit 2009.


    Plus a a few other links you might be interested in

    Slides, Video and maybe some code from all the sessions

    Slides from Palm Springs

    Code Challenge Winners

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009


    If you didn’t already know, ESRI is using YouTube. See

    Quote of the Day:
    The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts - the less you know the hotter you get.
    --Bertrand Russell

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    ESRI Dev Summit part 7

    My live notes…

    Last section covered some new features coming to ArcGIS Server 9.4

    • Graphic Feature Editing Service
    • New Image Services based on enhancements to the current image catalog
    • New Tracking services

    Then a demo of ArcGIS Mobile 9.4 by Mike S.

    • The ArcGIS Mobile SDK is a powerful environment to build and extend your mobile applications using .NET
    • The same COTS mobile application you use today on handheld devices will work on a Tablet PC
    • This touch screen application will support day/night operational modes
    • Extensible using .NET
    • Mobile Project Center - Centralized project management and deployment our your mobile applications
    • Easy to configure mobile applications for BOTH tablets and handheld devices
    • Project Center has Simplified Installation – which is Separate from ArcGIS Server

    Good session!

    Lunch time

    ESRI Dev Summit part 6

    My live notes…

    The focus is now going to be on some future projects that Development is working on…

    Euan C. talks about ArcGIS Desktop 9.4 being a big project with lots of new stuff coming. More integration with python as it becomes part of ArcGIS at 94. Nathan back on stage to show the python window in ArcMap and map automation via python scripting.

    Demos of the new dock-able windows in ArcMap and a new editing experience with a goal to simplify and streamline the ArcMap experience.  The new UI is not just in ArcMap but also ArcScene and Globe as you can now edit in 3D. Demo from Doug and Nathan S.

    More on 94 at the UC this summer but here are some of the projects Euan mentioned.

    • Catalog In ArcMap
    • Faster Map Drawing
    • Search
    • Imagery
    • Better Cartography
    • Charting and Reporting
    • 3D GIS
    • Asynchronous Geoprocessing execution

    Positive reaction from the crows when Euan talked about a managed code plug-in framework. And the fact that 94 can be installed on the same machine as 9.3.1.

    ESRI Dev Summit part 5

    My live notes…

    ArcGIS Explorer 900 is next… Bern demos the new user interface for Explorer and how it is integrated with ArcGIS Online for searching and using data in Explorer. The new Layer Packages are created in ArcMap then shared via ArcGIS Online and can be used in Explorer.  New 2D display and a collection of different base maps for use. There is also a full screen “presentation” mode for giving presentations using Explorer 900.  It’s like PowerPoint for Geographers.

    Larry Y. then showed the new configuration capabilities of Explorer that allows you to create your own custom version of Explorer.

    Up next, Jim introduces Bill M. (Bill has been with ESRI for a long time and was a lead dev for ArcInfo Workstation).  Bill talked about the “power of python in ArcGIS”.  Nathan W. then gave a quick demo showing how 3rd party python modules can easily be integrated in ArcGIS to solve complex problem.

    ESRI Dev Summit Part 4

    My live notes…

    Back from the break with Jim Barry from the EDN Team talking about online communities and developer resources. He’s showing the Code and Media Galleries. Jim says that 70% of the attendees are already EDN subscribers.  As for the crowd, the room is packed, they added more chairs at the break.  I hear there are 1700 people here this morning.

    Next up is Art H. and he proudly announces the public beta of the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight and WPF.

    Super fast display of Virtual Earth data and a great interactive SDK on the Resource Center.

    Art gave a great developer focused demo – I really like the cluster display option and “flaring” of the points. And the WPF part of the SDK allows you to also build desktop applications.

    It also looked like Art was running Win 7 for his demo.

    ESRI Dev Summit Part 3

    My live notes….

    Sud and Jeremy demo the new release of ArcGIS Online to be released in a few months. New sharing and search capabilities.


    ESRI Dev Summit part 2

    My live notes…

    Jim M. back on stage so show ArcGIS 9.3.1 in action with Bronwyn and Bjorn. One of the big themes of 9.3.1 is “Creating Great Maps for the Web”.

    New tools in Desktop to analyze and tune your map document to improve performance for publishing to ArcGIS Server. Lots of talk of Web Maps and creating rich internet applications (RIA). A slick Flex web map application was shown with some cool client side functionality (add a local spreadsheet and change the thematic rendering from the browser).

    New Topic…

    Java support is extended at 931 with the ability to extend Desktop, Engine and Server with Java. .NET has had this for years but now part of the Java SDK.  I’m not a Java programmer but Jay and Eric did a good job explaining and demoing.

    ESRI Dev Summit part 1

    My live notes…

    Scott Morehouse (Director of Software Development) shares his vision of GIS.

    What is a GIS?

    An information system for spatial data

    • Geographic data
    • Editing and data management tools
    • Cartographic display and visualization
    • Spatial analysis and Geoprocessing

    An integrated system

    • Consistent data architecture
    • Complementary suite of applications
    • Consistent user interface
    • Consistent application programming interface

    ESRI’s goal is to provide the framework so developers can create the solutions their users need.

    Scott then talked about

    • Workstation GIS (Desktop is key and still very important)
    • Enterprise GIS
    • Web GIS
    • And how it can be an integrated system

    Up next, ArcGIS 9.3.1 demos

    ESRI Dev Summit has started

    The ESRI Plenary session here in Palm Springs has started.  Jack D just welcomed over 1100 developers to the event.  Jim M (Program Manager of ArcGIS) is now speaking and just announced ArcGIS 9.3.1 is coming soon.

    9.3.1 includes

    •Improve Quality & Documentation

    •Optimized Map Services – Performance

    •Extending ArcObjects with Java

    •ArcGIS Online Search and Share

    •Layer Packaging

    •Updates of Web API’s

    •Microsoft Virtual Earth Layers

    Plus he announced that there will be a Party Wednesday!

    Up next is Scott M. (Director of Software Development)

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Successful Sleep

    I know I haven’t posted much on this blog recently but I have been using Twitter to post updates on my training and life activities. But here is a good like that was sent me which is very appropriate as I almost always feel a little tired.

    Six Simple Steps to Successful Sleep

    Quote of the Day:
    No mind is thoroughly well-organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.
    --Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Just Do It

    I've always been a big fan of Nike products and their marketing style. Check out this Nike commerical featuring Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Manny Pacquiao, and Xiang Liu.

    Quote of the day

    Quote of the day for a training buddy: “Today I will do what others won’t, so that tomorrow I can do what other’s can’t.”

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    ESRI and Microsoft Team Up to Support Reforestation Efforts in Kenya

    The Green Belt Movement is a great organization…  I really like that they are teaching people how they can make a difference in their communities.

    Press Releases - Directions Magazine

    Quote of the Day:
    We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
    --Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    ESRI (UK) donates £5,000 to the NSPCC’s Child’s Voice Appeal

    Good job ESRI UK in making a charitable donation instead of Christmas Cards.

    Read more on Directions Magazine

    Quote of the Day:
    Adversity attracts the man of character. He seeks out the bitter joy of responsibility.
    --Charles de Gaulle

    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    Dynastree Maps Your Last Name

    Dyanstree's surname maps out how many people across America have your last name at the state level. Quick and easy way to see the distribution of people with your surname.

    Here's my map..

    Create your family tree at
    Distribution of the surname Elkins
    Distribution of the surname Elkins

    Where does your name come from?

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    If you missed the ArcGIS 9.3 Seminar Series – Good news

    If you missed the worldwide ArcGIS 9.3 seminar series last year, don’t worry. ESRI has recently posted all the content online for your review.

    This is a great overview of ArcGIS 9.3 even if you have already updated to version 9.3.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    David Chappell to speak at 2009 ESRI Developer Summit

    I think we have an outstanding keynote speaker for this year’s Developer Summit.  David Chappell is an excellent presenter and very knowledge on trends and patterns in technology. 

    My first knowledge of Chappell was in the late 90s via his popular “Understanding ActiveX and OLE” book.

    Quote of the Day:
    What single ability do we all have? The ability to change.
    --George Leonard Andrews

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    2009 ESRI Developer Summit

    Checkout the new and improved Dev Summit website which includes some new videos and lots of pictures for last year’s Summit. Plus you can search the agenda for all the Tech Sessions planned this year.

    2009 ESRI Developer Summit

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    20 Foods To Help You Lose Weight

    Good article from Runner’s World with practical suggestions for each meal of the day including snacks and dessert.

    20 Foods To Help You Lose Weight at Runner's

    Saturday Races

    I’m always on the lookout for Saturday events as I don’t race on Sunday due to family and personal beliefs.  So please let me know if you know of any triathlons or running events in your area not on Sunday.  I’m especially looking for events in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    The Fittest and Fattest Cities in America 2009 - Men's Fitness

    The new poll is out and Salt Lake City in the great state of Utah is America’s fittest city. I really enjoyed my recent vacation to Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.  I can see how it’s a fit city.  I was in October and had some great runs and hikes enjoying the fall colors in the mountains.

    But I was surprised to hear that Miami, FL was the Fattest city in America. Check out the complete top 25 here

    The Fittest and Fattest Cities in America 2009 - Men's Fitness

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    2009 ESRI Developer Summit

    Only 68 days till the start of the 2009 ESRI Developer Summit.  The Tech Session agenda was published online at the Dev Summit site today.

    Register now and save – The “Early Bird” discount ends Feb 6th 2009.

    2009 ESRI Developer Summit

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Now on Twitter

    I’ve heard and read about twitter for awhile now and figured I better give it a try so I can have a somewhat educated opinion.  So feel free to see what I’m doing at

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Welcome to Windows 7

    Check out this new site from Microsoft with overview video of what to expect from the new version of Windows.

    Welcome to Windows 7

    Quote of the Day:
    All men's misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone.
    --Jean de La Bruyère

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    Tortillas get a boost

    A BYU research team, working with mill owners in Mexico, has developed a commercial process to fortify corn tortillas with vitamins and minerals that are too often absent from Mexicans’ diets. Read More

    Quote of the Day:
    Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

    Monday, January 05, 2009

    How to Not Get Hit by Cars

    Great tips on not getting hit by a car when riding your bike




    Test post via email

    This is a test post from an email…


    I’m back in the office this week along with most ESRI staff.  It’s going to be a business year with the upcoming ArcGIS releases and events like the Developer Summit and International User Conference.