Wednesday, November 02, 2016

another Patent

Another patent was just issued yesterday with my name on it.
This was another idea that I came up with and was able to collaborate on it with another IBM Master Inventor.
See the "My Patents" page link here on my website ( for the link to it.
Thank God that he created me this ability to be creative.
I also thank my parents and schools for giving me the basis to think of these ideas.
I thank God and my family for giving me the experiences that help me think of these things and the encouragement to submit ideas.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Traveling In Europe With a Moose


I just got back from traveling on business to Europe (Germany and France).
I traveled with a moose.  "A moose?", you ask.  Yes, a moose. My granddaughter was given a plush moose by  my son and daughter-in-love as a souvenir gift when they recently came back from a trip to Sweden.
She put it in my suitcase to take with me on my business trip.
I flew into Frankfurt Germany and took 3 trains to Strasbourg France (The capital of Europe).
Here's a Map showing the train route:

We walked around Strasbourg, here's a short video showing the Cathedral (more about that later)


This moose is such a great traveling companion! Moose reads the maps, helps with directions, carries my bags, finds the best places to sit and the most comfy side of the bed for me. Moose watches my bags for me, and is a great translator because this moose is conversant in many languages. Many people enjoyed seeing me take photos with the moose. Some people from work even suggested some pictures that I should take with the moose. Someone on the customer team said that the moose needed a traveling friend: a cigogne. This is the White Stork which is the emblem of the Alsace region of France where Strasbourg is located.
Here is the moose helping me with directions:
Moose helped me know when to cross the street too! Here the Moose is telling me to wait for green:
here we are outside the Strasbourg train station
inside the train station
on the local train (Thanks to my manager for taking this photo for me)
Here the moose is helping me order the local traditional dish of pork with sauerkraut: Chouchroute garnie
Here's what that dish looks like:
While walking about Strasbourg, my manager's manager kindly took this photo of me in front of the cathedral
Later in the evening, we saw this light show on the side of the cathedral. You can see fish and a whale in this sequence:
The moose helped me with the train schedule. Here you can see the board that shows how the trains are configured so you can figure out where to stand on the platform and if you have a reserved seat where it is on the train.
Another train ride:
And, here is moose watching my bags on the train
The Frankfurt Train station:
IMG_20160721_211608443 IMG_20160721_211544079 IMG_20160721_215514079
The hotel gave me a room key that said that their low prices are "Lower than a sausage dog taking a lie down" - which is quite funny since our dog Toby is a dachshund.
Look at this huge signboard at the Frankfurt airport!
When I saw this opportunity in the airport to pose with a hot air balloon, the moose wanted to take a selfie with me
And, in the plane, the moose found this comfy seat for me. We both had a great trip and a good ride home.
What do you think of the moose?

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Raspberry Pi mutiboot, Node-RED, and more

I wanted to use my Raspberry Pi 2 in several ways.

So, I formatted the 8GB SD card (note: Windows will make it look like 128Mb, but that's ok, the Raspberry will use the rest of the card).
Then, I installed Berryboot. It's easy. I just downloaded Berryboot (a .zip compressed file) and extracted the files to the SD card.

Once I plugged the SD card into the Raspberry Pi 2, it booted and asked a few questions.
Then, I could install operating systems.

I installed Raspian, which has Node-RED included with it now.

I also installed OPENELEC which allows me to watch media online. We've used it to watch the Hallmark on-demand movies in the past.  There's even a Kodi app you can download on your mobile to control it remotely.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Peanut Butter Eggs And Why Eggs at Easter

When I was a child, I can remember being at my Aunt's house in Pennsylvania and having her Peanut Butter Easter Eggs.  We've made them a few times. A year or so ago, my Aunt told me that she was working with the ladies in the fire house to make hundreds of them to sell in their town for a few weeks. I decided to make them this year for our family. I had a good talk with her yesterday. We talked about the variation I have of this recipe that my mom had for "Chocolate Covered Balls." That recipe is very similar, but adds coconut flakes. It calls for much more butter and no milk. So, I made half of one and half of the other. The original Peanut Butter Egg recipe is below.

I got to thinking, why do we decorate eggs at Easter?

One reason is that they are symbolic of new birth. Jesus was resurrected! We can also have new life through him. 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Another reason that I can think of is that we've sometimes used the egg to explain the trinity. It's one egg, but has 3 parts (shell, white, yoke) just like God is one and there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Peanut Butter Eggs
3 cups Graham Crackers crushed (I put them in a plastic bag and rolled them with a rolling pin)
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 cup Peanut butter (can use chunky if you like)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter (melt or soften in microwave)
(You can also add coconut flakes, about 7 oz, if you like)

Mix together with mixer or by hand. You may find you need to add more milk  (just a little) or peanut butter to taste and to make it stick together, but not too sticky. I kept it fairly dry and pressed it tightly with my hands.
Refrigerate for about an hour. Melt chocolate in microwave (I found about 30 seconds) or double boiler and dip the eggs in chocolate and chill in refrigerator.

What are some of your thoughts about Easter, Eggs, and recipes for Easter?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Holy Week Skit for Children

Here is a Holy Week Skit that I am leading for some children.
This should work well with a group of about 20 to 40 children.
From Matthew 21,26 through  28

Select the characters:
  • The Crowd
  • The Disciples, especially Peter and Joseph, James and John
  • Mary and Mary
  • Narrator: you can have a narrator and while they hold the microphone, you can ask them to repeat after you
  • High Priest
  • Pilate
  • 2 guards at the tomb
  • Jesus
  • Note: there can be several of some characters if you switch the actors between scenes
Props (optional):
  • Palms
  • Chalice and a loaf of bread
  • A cross
  •  A chair for the High priest
  • A chair for Pilate
  • A stone or a step for Jesus to fold his hands and put them on when he prays in the garden

Scene 1: Entry Into Jerusalem
Narrator: It was the time of the Passover. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. The crowd waved palm branches. The crowd shouted " Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"
Crowd: wave palms, shout the words

Scene 2: Last Supper
(The disciples are seated around Jesus, eating.)
Narrator:  While they were eating, Jesus told them that one would betray him. One of his disciples would tell people where to find him and arrest him at night.
Jesus: one of you will betray me
Disciples all take turns asking: Surely, not I Lord?
Jesus: the one who has dipped his hand in the bowl with me, it is he
Judas runs off
Jesus: (passing pieces from loaf of bread to the disciples): “Take, eat; this is my body.
Jesus: (giving a cup to the disciples) “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Jesus: you will all leave me alone tonight
Peter: I will never leave you
Jesus: Before the rooster crows, three times you will tell people that you don't know me

Scene 3: The Garden
The disciples are with Jesus in the Garden
Narrator: The disciples went to the Garden with Jesus.
Jesus: “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
(Jesus motions for James and John to (with him)
(Jesus throws himself on the ground and prays. The disciples all fall asleep)
Jesus: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”
(Jesus returns to the disciples and finds them all asleep)
Jesus (to the disciples) “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?
Narrator: Almost the same thing happened 3 times
Jesus "My betrayer is here"
Judas: (coming with a crowd goes up to Jesus): "Greetings, Rabbi!” (Judas gives Jesus a kiss)
(The crowd arrests Jesus and take him to the high priest)

Scene 4: Jesus' Trial by the High Priest
(The High Priest sits in a chair with Jesus in front of him. The Crowd is gathered. Peter watches from a distance)
Narrator: Jesus was on trial.
High Priest: "Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Jesus "You have said so."
High Priest: "He deserves death"

Someone in Crowd: (to Peter): "You were with Jesus"
Peter "I don't know what you're talking about"
A girl (to Peter): "this man was with Jesus"

Peter "I do not know the man"
A few people "you must be one of them, your accent sounds like them"
Peter "I do not know the man"
(The Rooster then crows)
Narrator: Peter remembered that Jesus said Peter would deny him 3 times.
(Peter goes away crying)
(a crowd brings Jesus to Pilate)

Scene 5: Jesus' Trial before Pilate
(Jesus stands before Pilate. Pilate is seated)
Pilate:  “Are you the King of the Jews?” 
Jesus : “You say so.”
Pilate: “Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"
Crowd "Barabbas
Pilate: “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

Crowd: "Crucify him!"

Scene 6: The Cross
(Jesus can hold his hands out like he is on a cross)
Narrator: They took Jesus to be crucified. Some of his disciples and his mother were there.
(Jesus is in pain on the cross)
Jesus "it is finished"
Narrator: Jesus said those words and he died.
Narrator:  They took him down and laid him in a tomb
 (they take him to the tomb and lay him there)
Narrator: A large rock was placed over the tomb. Guards were placed at the Tomb. 

Scene 7: the Tomb
Narrator: Time passed and on the third day, Jesus arose from the dead. He was alive again!

(Jesus gets up and sits near the tomb) 
(The guards run away)

Narrator: Mary and Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, but the tomb was empty.
(Mary and Mary walk up to the tomb, they look in and see it empty and look surprised)
(an Angel walks up, Mary and Mary are surprised and afraid)
Angel “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised"
(The women turn to go tell the disciples and see Jesus, again they are surprised and afraid)
Jesus :“Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Narrator: The disciples did as Jesus said. They want to Galilee. Jesus appeared to them there.
Jesus (as you ask the Jesus actor to repeat this, break it into parts):
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 
and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. 
And remember, 
I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Finish up with a worship song

Monday, February 29, 2016

My Presentation Slides from IBM InterConnect: IoT Device on IBM Bluemix

 Above is a photo of my "Ask Me Anything" Session at the Dev@interconnect Session. Photo credits to IBMer Brian Bryson.

And, here are the slides from my presentation at IBM InterConnect:

IND-2119: A Primer to Programming an Internet of Things Device on IBM Bluemix
Download Presentation

    In this session, attendees will learn the basics of developing an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor using IBM Bluemix. I've been working on an IoT Smart Temperature Sensor project on my own time. I used to be a developer and moved into Project Management years ago. After being challenged in a presentation to learn Bluemix, I jumped right in. So, in this session, you'll learn from a newbie how to go from start to finish. You'll see how to setup some IoT device hardware, how to register it with the IBM Watson IoT Platform, how MQTT works, and how to program using Node-RED in IBM Bluemix. JSON format will also be covered.

You can read more about my thoughts on the session in my recent "My Second Day at IBM InterConnect" post here in my blog

Here's the link to the slides in case the link above doesn't work for you.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Fourth Day at IBM InterConnect

I just found out that I somehow lost my post on the 2nd day of interconnect, I'll have to figure out how to reconstruct it. I'll try to repost it next week.

I had breakfast with some folks from the IBM Academy of Technology. I sat with Lisa Seacat DeLuca. She is an amazing person. She is the most prolific woman inventor in IBM!  She has two sets of twins.  How does she do it?!

I went to a talk about Local Motors and the 3d Printed connected car. Yes, the car is printed with a 3D printer!

I saw Grady Booch do a session. If you google him, you'll see that he's a classic in IT.

There was the ability to get a professional portrait taken (for use for my IBM internal photo and on external social channels), so I stood in line for that.  They had a team of 5 people working on this: Makeup, computer, photographer, coordinator, and the assistant photographer (who did lighting and posing).

I had my "Ask Me Anything" session which was very successful. It was mostly about showing how Node-RED works in Bluemix to connect to the Internet of things

I packaged some meals with "Stop Hunger Now"

We recorded a video with John Cohn and played Rock Paper Scissors with the Robot

I did an IoT Lab

I got my selfie taken at the dev@ area

I saw the Elton John Concert  - Amazing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Third Day at IBM InterConnect

I went to a talk by Amy Wilkinson: The Six Essential Skills for Extraordinary Leaders:
1 Find the gap : look for where something isn't addressed. She mentioned how airbnb was founded by some folks who had a conference and hotels were full, so they had air mattresses at people's homes. They had to re-launch several times. They were an overnight 7 year success. It took lots of years and tries.
2 Drive for daylight
3 Fly the OODA loop (see picture below)
PayPal came along with eBay, 12 PayPal folks came out as the next wave with YouTube, Yelp and LinkedIn as well as others.
When they saw certain things becoming popular, they dive into them. Yelp was a referral service, but when they saw people writing reviews, they jumped on that. YouTube was online dating. When someone took a video of an elephant and it went viral, they jumped in it.
4 Fail Wisely
5 Network Minds
6 Gift small goods
I saw the Power Servers that we use at work (and I also saw and IBM Z mainframe, it has pipes in it because it's cooled by water!)

 I was able to see a presentation given by one of my co-workers at IBM. I also saw one of my other co-workers present

 In the evening, they had old school video games there. I played Tron!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Second Day at IBM InterConnect

Somehow this post was lost, so I am reposting it. I added a few links. This was about Day 2 at IBM InterConnect (Monday February 22, 2016)

My day was a busy one.  It started with a wonderful set of calls with my wife and then my daughter and grandson.

If you want to read about how my presentation went, scroll down

Interesting Kickoff to the day - My colleague misplaced his phone
My day had started with a Skype with grandson and my daughter and talking to wife.
I met my IBM colleague (Markus Van Kempen) at the lobby. We took a taxi to the convention center. When we got out were were walking to the curb and he realized he left his phone in the taxi. I immediately called it, but no answer. Fortunately I had taken a receipt from the cab and called the company and left a message. (We Could have used a new idea that I came up with when I lost my phone last year. It's filled as an IBM patent. Watch my blog for updates when I can talk about that idea when it's public.)
He tracked the taxi with his tablet and eventually the driver called and brought it back.

Opening Session
The opening session was amazing! (you can watch it here). There was breakfast to bring to our seats in an enourmous stadium. There was a live band and so many people! There was a section in the stand for media (I suppose mostly press and bloggers). It started with 3 clients talking. We were able to hear some new announcements from IBM!  Key points:
  • Disrupt of be disrupted
  • VMware partnership announced
  • New bluemix apps announced
  • Open wisk available in partnership with Apple
  • Apple has 1.5 million apps, 100 billion downloads,11m devs, 1 billion devices connected
  • Xcode is Apple's Dev environment
  • A humorous statement "C and c++ is a bummer."Apple created Swift to make it easier
  • Fastest programming language adoption than they've ever seen
  • Used with LinkedIn, Disney app, 
  • IBM is largest developer (over 100 mobile first apps)
  • Third parties have shown that Swift is as fast as c++
  • it's Safe: it designs out common programming errors
  • Apple wanted it to be fun too! Swift playground shows live simulation results live on screen.
  • Robert LeBlanc from IBM says "let the cloud work for you!" That sounds good to me!
It took 35 minutes to go between the MGM and Mandalay Bay convention centers! Here's a photo of the crowd lined up for shuttle busses:

Learning from other presenters:
I attended a session were it was so difficult to see slides due to the colors used
Amazing Lunch
I hurried through lunch. The place was amazing in size with so many tables for lunch. There were waiters all lined up, dozens of them, directing us to dozens of buffet tables set up with surrounding tables. It was like parking lot attendees at a big concert. I didn't get a photo, but it if happens again,  you have to see this.
Here's a photo of the room with all the tables. The food was very good.

Sessions Full 
I hurried through lunch to get to a noon bluemix session given by an IBM executive 3 levels above me. The session was full. I tried another one on blockchain next door that I wanted to go to as a second pick and it too was full. Here's a photo with the signs saying we couldn't get it.  boo

Changing my badge to see Elton John
I went downstairs and found out that I could change my badge to have my "icon" changed to a piano to see Elton John on Wednesday night. I ended up being about the 20th person on line. They were going to start the changes at 1pm and it wasn't clear how many seats were available. In minutes, the line had more than 100 people. I was talking to folks around me and asking people working at the desk if I might be able to get my ticket changed and get upstairs to speak by 1:15pm (I was supposed to arrive 15 minutes early to get microphone and computer connected). They started right at 1pm. There were people in line that graciously invited me to go ahead of them because I needed to speak. I gave them my business card and asked them to email me to let me know for sure that they got their tickets switched over too. I wanted to know that all of those who let me go ahead got in too!  They said, "don't worry, if we don't get in we'll all show up at your session and let you know!"  LOL
Here's a picture of the my badge with the treasured piano on it and a poster I saw!

My Presentation
I spoke at a breakout session on the topic of connecting a Internet of Things device to IBM Bluemix. My Slides are here.
My presentation went really well! I'm estimating maybe a few hundred people, but I have to get a count later. There were very few seats open and a bunch of people standing. They laughed at my humor and especially my repeated phrase "It's so easy that even a Project Manager (like me) can do it!"
The audio stopped working during the presentation but I asked if I spoke louder if the people in the back could hear and they did, so I continued on (they fixed the audio later).
I had several questions and people came up afterwards and talked for a while.  
I had several people coming up to me during the day and thanking me. Two people actually saw me at other areas of the show and called out my name and came up to me and thanked me. One IBMer told me that it was not only informative, but also entertaining. He said it was the best presentation he had heard at InterConnect!
Here's a link to a picture tweeted by one of my fellow IBMers (who helped answer questions when I was working on the IoT Sensor I presented about). 

 Later Session
At 3pm, I went to a big Cognitive IoT session. Harriett Green (IBM ) had a race car driver come up and talk about Honda and Montecarlo racing. They spoke about using Watson to analyze data from race cars. They also had the coach of the USA Olympic cycling team which will be using Watson this summer.
Vernon Taylor IBM told us that there were 9 billion devices connected to iot last year, in 2020 there are 30 billion connected devices are expected. He talked about Zetabytes of data ( 10 to 21st power)!
Then, John Cohn got up to speak!  Wow!  He had a great explanation of Cognitive IoT and showed several examples, including his VanDeGraff generator that he connected to Watson to generate music based on Watson's social sentiment analysis for a few US Presidential candidates!
Here are some photos:
John Cohn, IBM Fellow

His Generator
The Expo
I went to the expo center to hear my IBM friend Markus Van Kempen speak about IoT
he had a good size crowd

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking to folks I met and people coming up to me about my presentation. 
Then, I took a shuttle to the Mirage and walked the Vegas Strip back to the hotel
The fountains at Bellagio