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I was chatting with a co-worker the other day about how we just got granite countertops installed over the weekend and how I was working on switching out all the plumbing fixtures at the same time. We started talking about the different view-points people have on buying homes - how some people look for move-in ready homes whereas others look for fixer-uppers - and I mentioned to him that we purchased our house because it was pretty much move in ready.We knew we needed some little things like window coverings and paint, but didn't expect any major changes.

It's funny how that all changes once you move in. We retiled the whole house - which involved ripping out old tile and laminate. We painted a number of the rooms and still have more to paint. We tore out the glass retainer on one of the showers in the master. We painted the whole outside of the house. We relayed sod out front. We installed a red-oak tree out front. We filled in planks on the fence to convert it back to a privacy fence (from a garden fence on one side) and restained the whole thing. We changed out almost all the lights (and fans), but still have a few left. We made a built-in, in-wall media cabinet, mounted the LCD, and started the rest of the home-theater. And the list keeps going!

The more I reflect on it though, these are all really cosmetic things. Laura watches a ton of HGTV, TLC, and other similar networks and on all those shows they always talk about making sure you love the layout and other "fixed" parts of the - not the paint on the walls, the carpet on the floor, or other cosmetic items. The floorplan of the house was somewhat a trade-off for both parties involved (Laura and I). I wanted a new, large, two-story home with large cielings. Laura wanted a more traditional home, with aged character, and was happy with one story.

We looked at a lot of homes with our first realtor, but never really clicked with her. After going out with our second realtor, the home we are in now was one of the first (if not the first) home we looked at. It has a great location - between both our offices, not too suburban but definitely not urban, good proximity to our friends, scenic canals, parks, aquatic center, etc. It's a two story with large open cielings, which I was interested in, but it's smaller than what I was looking for at 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It really is a great layout though - with the master bedroom downstairs with a massive attached master bath suite. The floorplan fits our style perfectly and we've been adding our touches on everything to make it fit us just right!

I've been working with Sharepoint on and off for the past few years and it's quite a love hate relationship. It's empowered me to do a lot of cool projects, but it's limitations and the way Microsoft has to come up with a special name for every feature drives me nuts. It's a good product that is a foundation for building other applications on and while the model is different than many other content management systems it's surprisingly flexible in most cases. There are some weird caveats to that - certain things that simply cannot be customized or simply cannot be configured in the way you would expect, but overall I think it's been a good platform for developing on.

 

What are your thoughts on Sharepoint? How have you used it to develop other applications or used it's built-in features?

A few more of the critical parts for my GTO to Monaro conversion came in. I originally ordered the VZ Monaro front bumper kit from JHP in Australia. They were really great to deal with - professional, friendly, and really helpful when I ran into some basic issues. The only downside to using JHP was that I had to pay a 3% conversion fee with my credit card company since the charge was in Australian Dollars and my credit card company is American Express and thus uses US Dollars.

I decided I would try to find a US based company to purchase the rest of my Monaro parts. I did a little research and found TopShelfPerformance. I ordered my badge kit and side-marker repeater light kit from them. It look a really long time to get the parts from TopShelfPerformance and it's a pain in the ass to try to get a hold of them as they never answer their phone calls, so I called up JHP and ordered my rear bumper insert from them even though they were $20 more expensive. Once I called them and placed the order, it turned out they were actually $50 cheaper at JHP than TopShelfPerformance (I guess the AUD:USD conversion swung in my favor).

The moral of the story is JHP is great and if you are looking at ordering from G8 to Commodore or GTO to Monaro conversion parts, I would highly recommend you order from them.

You can see the pictures of my GTO to Monaro conversion in progress at the following URL: GTO to Monaro 

The Dallas Stars are not moving to Austin. There is a new AHL team that going to start in Austin for the 09-10 season and will be a top affiliate of the NHL Dallas Stars. Each NHL team typically has a "farm" team in the AHL that they develop new talent in... the Texas Stars in Austin will be that new team.

Wikipedia Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Stars

Wikipedia Excerpt:
The Texas Stars are an announced American Hockey League team. They will begin play in Cedar Park, Texas in the 2009-10 AHL season.

The team will be the top affiliate of the NHL Dallas Stars. In April 2008, the Iowa Stars announced that they would no longer affiliate with the Dallas Stars. For the 2008-09 season, Dallas made agreements to send their AHL prospects to four different teams. AHL teams which the Dallas Stars sent prospects to include the Hamilton Bulldogs, Iowa Chops, Manitoba Moose, Peoria Rivermen, and Grand Rapids Griffins.

FYI:
The Iowa Chops used to be the Dallas Stars affilliate AHL team named the Iowa Stars until the Dallas Stars announced that they would be associating with the new AHL Texas Stars. The Iowa Chops have now signed with the Anaheim Ducks.

Like many companies in the world, my company has a focus on the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) and we have multiple "belt" programs. The "belt" program parallels that of karate to some degree. We have Yellow Belts, Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts. In this blog post, I'll talk a little bit about my company's CIP program and where I fit in so far, but I won't get into much detail on any of the tools.

Our Yellow Belt program gets you introduced to the program and gives you a taste of what six-sigma is, what tools are used in the CIP world, what Lean Practitioning is, etc. The trainers try not to go into to much detail, but they give you a good overview of a lot of the tools and try to hit the key points on some of the easier tools to understand, like 6S and 7W (aka. Muda). The yellow belt class is a good way to get people interested in improving things within the organization. It helps people think about things they may have normally taken for granted and gives them some ideas around tools they can use in their area.

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Name: Joshua Lyon
Location: Dallas, TX
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