Enjoying a weekend getaway in South Carolina.
Enjoying our spur-of-the-moment trip to Disney World during the kid’s winter break.
I love being able to board a plane using my Apple Watch.
Apple announced the dates for this year’s WWDC, and once again a lottery is being used to decide who gets to buy a ticket. I have no interesting is attending WWDC other than to attend the labs since I do have questions I would love to ask an Apple engineer. But it’s not worth spending $1599 on a ticket just for that.
During our stay in Whistler last week, I kept saying to my wife I thought the snow conditions, which weren’t the best, were about the same as the conditions we experienced in February 2003. Turns out I was wrong.
As we flew home from Vancouver I asked Rowan if he thought it was neat that we were flying from a snowboarding vacation to home where we will go snowboarding again. He said he thought it was neat, but I don’t know if he really gets it. I know it blows my mind to think that we live in a place where people come for a vacation to do exactly what we did on our vacation. The difference though is that we get to continue doing what we did on vacation once we return home.
Years ago I, with help from a couple of friends, organized an annual snowboarding trip to Whistler Blackcomb. Even after the annual trips were no more, Melanie and I continued visiting Whistler once every year or two. Our last Whistler trip was in 2007, and we’ve been wanting to return for many years. But it just hasn’t worked out for us. That is until this year when we finally made our return to Whistler, and we brought Rowan with us.
Here are pictures from our visit to Pawleys Island. The whole Davis Clan was there for this trip.
Melanie was working a flight to Paris this week, and as luck would have it there were seats available on the flight. So Rowan and I decided to join her. Rowan has wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower for as long as I can remember, so that’s what we did on this trip. We flew to Paris, went to the Eiffel Tower, then flew back home. Pictures from our short trip are available here.
Last week Melanie and I had the pleasure to join 13 others in Courchevel, France, for NSSnow 2013. NSSnow is a gathering of mostly Mac and iOS developers who love to ski and snowboard, well, mostly snowboard but skiers were welcome - Melanie was the token skier at this year’s NSSnow.
My southbound hike of the Long Trail didn’t go as planned. I had to stop after 13 days due to a knee injury. As I said in a tweet, “Th-Th-Th-Th-Th…That’s all, folks. I’m not continuing the hike due to constant pain that has zapped all the fun out of the journey.” I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to hike the trail end to end, but I’m glad I at least tried it. And I will be back next year to complete the remaining 182 miles.
Despite not finishing and having to deal with knee pain for weeks that followed leaving the trail, I still look back to my days on the trail and think to myself, “What an amazing experience.” Leaving the trail was a hard thing to do. I struggled with mixed emotions. My heart was into the hike and I wanted to continue. But my brain, and the pain, said it was time to stop. Even after I decided I would not continue the hike, I would stare out at the mountains and daydream about being on the trail. Even now, weeks later, when I see a tree covered mountain I think to myself how great it would be hiking up and over the summit. But a thru hike wasn’t meant to be for me this year.
This is not it for me and the Long Trail though. I’m planning to complete my hike next year, and I hope to re-attempt a thru hike again the following year. Also, I want to write up a blog post about my experience hiking the first 90 miles of the Long Trail from the Canadian border to Jonesville, Vermont. I hope to do this within the next week or so, but I also need to finish writing the second edition of my iPad book. Time will tell if I actually write the blog post. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures I took during my journey.
I decided to weigh every item going with me on my end-to-end hike of the Long Trail. I’m unfortunately carrying about 5 pounds more than I was hoping, but I remind myself this is a month long hike, not a 3 to 5 day trip. I can do without some gear, such as the Solio charger, on shorter trips.
With only 5 days left before I start my hike, I spent the day packing and unpacking my backpack. To my surprise, every thing fit. But also to my surprise, the unofficial total weight is 45 pounds. This includes food and water. I was hoping my total weight would be 5 to 10 pounds less.
One week from today, on August 23, I start a month long journey to hike the Long Trail from end to end. I plan to start at the Vermont-Canadian border, and hike south to North Adams, Massachusetts. I’m not exactly sure how long the hike will take me, but it should be somewhere between 25 and 35 days depending on my daily mood, how much or little I hike each day, and so on.
Rowan has gone to at least one Yankee game a year at Yankee Stadium since he was born in March 2008. The only year he missed was 2009 when the new stadium opened. And yes, he attended a game - though he slept through most of it - at the old Yankee Stadium.
We took a 3-night/4-day camping trip to Silver Lake in Vermont. We had a great time. Our camp site was on top of a hill surrounded by trees, and the lake was just a short walk down the hill. Pictures from our trip are available here.
I returned from my second trip using the GR1, and I can now say the Goruck GR1 is now my favorite everyday backpack. My latest trip was to WWDC, and the GR1 kicked ass. I packed everything I needed for the week in the ruck, and I used it as my daypack each day at the conference. I especially like how slim the bag is even when stuffed full. I had no problems sliding it in and out from under the seat on the plane. And the zippers are quiet enough when opening and closing as to not disturb those sitting around me at the conference during talks.
I’m in the final stagings of writing my book, and to help out, the wife gave me the okay to spend a few days in Vermont along. No wife. No kid. Just me and my laptop.
I attended my first Software Industry Conference this year and overall it was a great experience. I learned some good tips from the sessions I tended and from the people I met. I got to meet a number of people who, like me, are indie developers and or run small software companies. And I got to put faces on names of individuals from the ASP newsgroups and BoS forum. And of course I picked up a couple of new t-shirts too. Now if vendors exhibiting at conferences like SIC would hand out jeans and boxers I could have a new wardrobe each year.
The sessions covered a variety topics related to the business of selling software. There were sessions on distribution channels, alternative revenue models such as subscriptions and rentals, marketing, web site designs, the impact of social networks and more. I really liked the variety of topics covered. However, one thing I did not like was the lack of depth in many of the sessions.
Most of the sessions had multiple speakers providing different points of views on a topic. For example, the session on distribution channels had 3 speakers. The first speaker talked about breaking into the China marketplace. The second speaker talked about OEM distribution, and the final speaker talked about distribution through publishers and retail channels. With this particular topic the three speakers and the different points of view format worked well and was helpful and insightful. But the multi-speaker approach did not work for all sessions.
The session on web site analytics and metrics was one such session that I wish had been broken out into two separate sessions. The first speaker talked about monitoring your competitors, and the second speaker talked about tools and options for understanding what is happening with your own web site. What I would have liked to see was more in depth discussions and how tos on the two areas. For example, the talk about the tools and options for understanding what is happening with your own web site was good but it could have been even better if the speaker had time to drill into a sample web log using a tool of choice and explain in detail how to look for and understand the meaning of the data and how to uncover and find trends within the data.
It also felt as if each speaker was rushed to get through the information he or she wanted to share so that there would be enough time for the next speaker within the session.
Despite the lack of depth in many of the session talks, the Q&A; that typically followed was great. In many cases the Q&A; was more useful for me that the actual talk.
Another aspect of SIC that I really like is meeting a wide range of people who, like me, are producing and selling software products. Not only was it fun to share war stories and talk shop, I also learned a lot from the more seasoned veterans. For instance, Dan from TopoGrafix gave me some great feedback on my web site and suggested ways to improve my SEO with landing pages covering topics I had not thought of before. Not only did I learn a thing or two from others, but the conversations I had with various individuals gave me the kick in the ass I needed to re-motivated and come up with fresh, new ideas for growing my company and taking it to the next level.
So was the conference worth it? Absolutely. Granted my cost was low because the conference was held in the Boston metro area which is local for me and meant I didn’t not have to pay travel experiences (no airfare or hotel). But I do plan to return next year and I will be staying in the hotel so I can have more fun at the party-like receptions held each evening.
While my travel schedule is not like it was last year, we are finally traveling again. And I have finally posted pictures from recent trips. Enjoy.<ul>
<li>East Durham Irish Festival</li>
<li>Camp Turner 08</li>
<li>NASCAR Weekend - Loudon NH</li>
Last year I kept a travel log to see how much I really travel in 1 year. It was interesting to see that I do too much travel and explains why it seems like I’m always on the go. While I do not plan to travel nearly as much this year - actually my wife and I recently realized nearly 6 months will past between airplane travel for us, something that has not happened for me since 1997. I’m usually on an airplane at least once a month.
2007 is winding down and I return home later today from my final trip of the year. I started a travel log this year to see how much I actually travel. 46 trips in total for 2007. Too much in my opinion. I hope to see a lot less travel in 2008.
The travel log idea is cool, and I plan to do another for 2008 even though I’m hoping for fewer trips. I wish I had travel logs for past years. I think the biggest difference I would see for past years compared to 2007 is the diversity of trips. Vermont and New York City were my most common trips in 2007. In past years, I traveled more with Melanie on flights she worked and got to spend more time in places such as France. I made only 1 work trip with her in 2007, to Belgium, and I missed out on trips to France and Ireland this year which really disappoints me.
Even though I hope to travel less in 2008, I’m hoping to join Melanie on more work trips (as soon as she returns to work). And the best part of work trips in 2008 with Melanie will be bringing Baby T with us.
Monday night my wife and I made a last minute decision to make a quick trip to Killington for one last day of snowboarding. Well, skiing for her. We hit the slopes yesterday and had a blast. But our 2006/2007 season has officially come to an end.
This season turned out to be a great season for me despite the rough start. By mid-January I had far fewer days riding then I had hoped for or expected. New England wasn’t getting the early season snow it typically does. But in the end I got 32 days of riding and a few of those days included some of the best riding experiences I have ever had. Also, I can now say I have snowboarded in May and I snowboarded at least once a month for 7 consecutive months. Now if I can just get 40+ days next season…
It’s been over a month since my last blog posting. I’ve been very busy the last 2 months and haven’t had time to make any thoughtful postings. Today’s no different.
For those who don’t know me well I travel a lot. Not as much as I did a few years ago but enough. I have definitely scaled back on the travel in recent years, but I’m still out of town at least twice a month on average. So I thought I might be fun to track the places I visit in 2007.
March has been an incredibly busy month for me with the last week being the craziest. Since Friday I have been at an airport every day except 1. In other words 5 out of the last 6 days I have spent time at an airport in some city. But finally the travel is over…for the time being.