Farewell Tim Tripcony
Fri, May 16th 2014 2:40p John Roling My friend Tim Tripcony passed away this weekend. As many others have said, he was a kind, caring soul who always gave of himself, and it’s a tragedy that he is no longer with us.
Since hearing the news, I’ve been haunted by something he said to me one time. One night after too many drinks at Kimono’s or some other Lotusphere party, we were talking and he no-so-jokingly said that he always felt “like he didn’t fit in.” When I asked “Where?” h [read] Keywords: ibm
Create the infamous Pretzel Cookie at Home!
Mon, Feb 10th 2014 3:20p John Roling Lotusphere Pretzel Cookie
Alrighty, my awesome wife found a recipe at cookiesandcups.com that emulates the taste of the infamous Lotusphere Pretzel Cookie almost perfectly. It requires the following:
1 cup butter, melted and browned
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
2 cups chocolate chips
How to Make
Preheat oven to 350°
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a [read] Keywords: ibm
Some other beginning’s end…
Fri, Feb 7th 2014 10:50a John Roling I spent the past week at a conference in Orlando Florida like I have fifteen times prior. IBM Connect (Lotusphere until last year) is an IT conference that focuses on IBM software and technologies. It’s been a place where I’ve networked, met lifelong friends, learned all about the software that manages our business, engaged with IBM and had some fun along the way.
I think this might be the last time I’ll make the trip.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought the conference was great this year [read] Keywords: connections
Cheating on the iPhone with the Google Moto X
Mon, Jan 13th 2014 11:40a John Roling As part of my job is to evaluate technologies, and I just cannot help being Android-curious, I decided to give the Google Moto X phone a try.
The Moto X is the first real new phone out of Motorola after Google bought them and started inserting its influence. As such, it’s a little different and more ambitious than other phones Motorola has released in previous years.
First off, when you order the phone, you have a wide variety of choices through the Moto Maker site. You can choose the colo [read] Keywords: apple
I Resolve That 2014 Will Rock
Thu, Jan 2nd 2014 4:50p John Roling Every new year, I like to come up with my resolutions here on the blog so they are public for all to see. It gives me a little more motivation to actually complete some of them. So, for 2014 my resolutions are as follows:
Lose Weight (Again) – Two years ago I did really well on some Biggest Loser contests and lost a lot of weight. This past year wasn’t as easy and I gained some back. I miss how I felt when I had fewer pounds on this frame. So I would like to get back under 200 [read] Keywords: gadget
How ‘Bout Those Resolutions Fat Boy?
Tue, Dec 31st 2013 2:30p John Roling Well we’ve completed another trip around the sun, and I always like to look back at the prior year to see how I did on my resolutions. Kinda half and half this year, so let’s see how I fared:
Enjoy my family - On this one I think I did very well. I made it a point to schedule work trips around recitals and gymnastics meets, and made it a point to say yes more often when I get asked “Do you want to play?” Could I still be better? Sure, but for the most part I didn [read] Keywords:
Da Coach Mike Ditka’s Number Retired
Wed, Dec 11th 2013 6:30p John Roling On Monday night, the Chicago Bears retired the number of legendary tight end and coach for the team, Mike Ditka. I’ve always liked Ditka, even when I didn’t like the Bears, so it was awesome to see.
After seeing him honored at half time, it reminded me of a time when my good friend and co-worker, Declan Lynch, and I got to meet the coach at one of his Chicago restaurants.
It’s one of my favorite stories of all time: Declan Does Ditkas. Check it out. [read] Keywords:
Things I’ve learned
Fri, Nov 22nd 2013 10:10a John Roling My 43rd birthday was back in October, and I had planned on doing one of those inspirational “Things I’ve Learned” posts to share what little wisdom I bring to the table. So it’s taken a few months, but here are things 43 years of living have taught me.
There is no better feeling in the world than returning home to be greeted by a happy dog, except being greeted by happy children.
You will never regret hard work. If you work hard at something, it means more.
Do not be afraid to fail [read] Keywords:
The anodized aluminum grip of Apple’s Messages
Mon, Oct 7th 2013 12:50p John Roling Since my day job is running an IT Department, I like to keep up with all different kinds of technology. I’ll often get equipment to test out and utilize in order to be able to talk about it intelligently and give the appropriate pros and cons.
To this end I recently obtained a Nokia Lumia 1020 smart phone. It runs the Windows 8 Phone OS and sports a 41 megapixel camera. It’s a very nice piece of hardware, and takes amazing pictures. It doesn’t have all of the applications I normally use on [read] Keywords: apple
#ThanksBruce for your work at OpenNTF
Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 8:10a John Roling Today my good friend Bruce Elgort ends his tenure as president of OpenNTF. For those not in the Notes community, OpenNTF.org is a repository of open source software solutions for IBM Notes and Domino. These free software offerings have helped thousands of people and companies implement great solutions, and inspired many developers to learn techniques for programming for the platform.
This community would not be where it is today without Bruce. His enthusiasm and dedication have really help [read] Keywords: domino
Dispensing Justice for Ten Dollars a Day
Wed, Aug 21st 2013 7:20p John Roling Last week, I was called upon to fulfill my job as a citizen and report for Jury Duty. Basically, you get called to a courthouse and do a lot of sitting around. Then, a group of 45 or so of you get corralled like cattle into a courtroom. You get to answer answer awesome questions like:
Do you have any religious objections to alcohol?
Does anyone here NOT believe in the US system of Government?
Once you’ve answered the questions, then the attorneys get to dismiss people they think m [read] Keywords:
Back in the Saddle
Fri, Aug 9th 2013 9:23p John Roling In order to get back into the rhythm of blogging, you have to actually sit down and write. That’s true of any writer, you just have to sometimes force yourself to put words to the page. I used to have the urge to write all the time, and that’s largely been satiated with various social media outlets, but I miss blogging.
So I refreshed the blog template with a new Parallax theme from Themify.me that I like quite a bit. It’s got some great ways to share photos, so that’ [read] Keywords: lotus
We have four paws in the house again
Tue, Aug 6th 2013 9:40p John Roling It’s been quite some time since I blogged anything here, and I believe some of it was a little bit of depression every time I came to the site and saw my last post. We had lost our dog Peanut to cancer, and whenever I came to the site to write, I never really had much to say.
We recently started looking to give a dog a forever home because we knew we wanted to get a dog in the summer months to get them acclimated to our house and the dog run and everything before the fall weather and rai [read] Keywords:
Say Goodbye To My Little Friend
Fri, Apr 5th 2013 3:30p John Roling A little over three weeks ago on March 13th, we had to put our dog Peanut to sleep. She had stopped eating, had a hard time getting around and looked at us like she knew it was her time to go. She had some non-cancerous tumors but they must have grown pretty rapidly, because one week she seemed fine, and by the next it was really too late to do anything.
If you didn’t know the story, Peanut came to us as a stray. Keeshonden are not a common breed, and for her to show up on our doorstep w [read] Keywords: roaming
Bucket List: Visiting the TWiT Podcast
Sat, Mar 9th 2013 3:50p John Roling I’ve been a huge fan of Leo Laporte since his days at MSNBC’s “The Site” and TechTV. Many years ago he started the TWiT Podcast Network. TWiT started as This Week in Tech and expanded to tons of different programming options. It’s all free and much of the tech news and punditry I get on a weekly basis comes from listening to those podcasts on my way into work.
Since I’ve been such a fan, I really wanted to visit the studios where the TWiT podcasts are re [read] Keywords: network
IBM Connect 2013 Recap – The People
Tue, Feb 19th 2013 8:28a John Roling In my last post, I spoke of the IBM Connect show itself, and what it meant from a show and technology perspective for me. That’s only part of the story. The real value in Lotusphere for me has always been the people. The business networking is invaluable, but the enduring friendships are what truly stand out. These folks have become family over the years and this conference has always been our family reunion.
That’s what I would really miss most if I decided not to come. Not seeing [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM Connect 2013 Recap – The Show
Sun, Feb 17th 2013 8:20p John Roling At the end of January I took my annual pilgrimage to Orlando, Florida for the IBM Connect (formerly Lotusphere) conference. It’s something I’ve looked forward to every year for a decade and a half.
This year I approached it with some trepidation. I was afraid that IBM was changing it away from the conference I loved to something… well more corporate. I wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The change was pretty evident in the Opening General Session. IBM did a great [read] Keywords: connections
Goodbye Lotusphere Hello Connect
Tue, Jan 15th 2013 1:10p John Roling The end of this month I’ll be attending a yearly technology conference in Orlando, Florida for another time. How long? Well, If I had birthed a child way back when I started attending, that kid would be in high school. It’s a long time to do anything in this world, and as with anything you do this long, change is inevitable. Up until now, that conference had been called Lotusphere. This year, the moniker has changed to IBM Connect.
For the first time in nearly a decade I’m not working th [read] Keywords: ibm
Planning a Resolute 2013
Wed, Jan 9th 2013 11:50a John Roling ‘Tis a little late I know, but it’s time for me to outline my resolutions and plans for 2013. So without further adieu, here it goes.
Enjoy my family – I want to put this here to remind myself to continue to maintain a really good family/work balance. This is going to be a busy year for my job, and I want to make sure I can balance work, time with my kids, time with my wife and even time with my buddies in the man cave. Family is the most important piece, so I want to make sure t [read] Keywords:
Mon, Dec 31st 2012 2:00p John Roling As is tradition in these here parts, it’s time to reflect on last year’s resolutions. A couple of them I did pretty well on, a couple, not so much.
Eat slightly less – Exercise slightly more. This one was a pretty excellent success. I was in a team based Biggest Loser contest where my team placed second (out of over ten teams) and I lost the most weight based on percentage and won the individual weight loss challenge.
We had a second individual contest over the months leading up [read] Keywords: wifi
We live in the future
Mon, Nov 19th 2012 9:50p John Roling A couple of weeks ago I flew to the US west coast for a business trip. Mid-flight I tweeted the following:
I’m at 38,000 feet, playing Words with Friends, listening to NFL Sunday Countdown and drinking a screwdriver. THE FUTURE, I AM IN YOU!
I had my iPad in hand and was connected to the WiFi in the plane. I was streaming a football game in the background, checking Twitter and Facebook and playing Words with Friends. It really struck me how insanely cool that is.
As a kid, I would have n [read] Keywords: facebook
Google Creeps Me Out
Mon, Oct 22nd 2012 9:31a John Roling I know it’s because I’m logged in, but it creeps me out when I open the Google homepage and this graphic is waiting for me on my birthday. Nice touch, yet still very creepy… [read] Keywords: google
Today, I am the Answer!
Sun, Oct 21st 2012 7:10p John Roling Today is another big milestone. It’s the day I become the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Yup, I turn 42 years young. I do have to say that I feel pretty good about things. Been losing weight, loving my family, enjoying my job, and trying to focus on keeping things positive in life.
I don’t always do a great job in this regard, and I recently had a couple of fairly pissy weeks. That said, when I just started tallying all up all the thin [read] Keywords: wiki
Sharepoint is the next generation of Lotus Notes
Fri, Oct 5th 2012 8:34a John Roling I got an email from a sales rep at a company called HexaCorp in Somerset, NJ. In my role I get emails from vendors trying to get my company’s business all the time. Most of the time I delete them and move on. Once in awhile I’ll respond and let them know that either we don’t need their services, or we don’t use the software they are shilling.
So this exec, let’s call her Marilyn (because that’s her name) left me a voicemail and sent me a message stating [read] Keywords: ibm
Nine Years of Meanderings
Mon, Sep 24th 2012 7:50p John Roling Nine years ago today I officially started my public-facing blog. I had done some personal blogging just for me before that (starting about a year prior) but it was Sept. 24th 2003 when I first said hello to the Lotus Notes and Domino blogosphere.
Blogging has been very good to me over the years. It’s been a creative outlet, a stress reliever, a matter of record, a gateway to paid writing gigs and a conduit to meet some people I’m very happy to call close friends. Starting to writ [read] Keywords: domino
My Brief Lusty Fling with the Galaxy S3
Mon, Jul 23rd 2012 4:33p John Roling Recently my long time love, the iPhone, had been seeming a little distant. We had fallen in a rut, the two of us. We did the same things, never switched it up, and life became kind of boring. Maybe it’s a mid-phone release cycle-crisis, but I was yearning for something more, that spark, that sexiness that was lacking. That’s when I saw her.
The Samsung Galaxy S III.
She was beautiful. Thin, gorgeous face, lightweight, and curves and buttons in all the right places. I’ [read] Keywords: lotus
Wed, Jul 11th 2012 9:03a John Roling Our Biggest Loser weight loss challenge at work is exactly two weeks away from our final weigh in. As of today, two months in, I’ve lost 25 pounds. Twenty. Five. Pounds. I know that’s not a lot in comparison to some folks in the world, but man it feels good, and more importantly “I” feel good.
When grabbing 25 pound bag of dog food I can only think, “Holy crap, was I really carrying this much around as part of my body?” And I was, and when you can visu [read] Keywords: application
The Power of Music
Thu, Jul 5th 2012 3:53p John Roling Last weekend, my family and I went to a little wine bar in town. It was open mic night, and a couple of my daughter’s friends were going to perform. We went and watched as the girls each performed, and then continued to hang out to see several different sets of people take the stage and do their own thing.
Some of the people did original songs, some did covers, there were even some really good instrumental guitar from a couple of the guests. The music ranged from pop, to punk, to flamenco, [read] Keywords:
Weapons of Mass Reduction
Fri, May 4th 2012 12:00p John Roling Earlier this week, my office at work embarked on a Biggest Loser weight loss challenge. I had planned on attempting to lose weight soon, so this was the perfect thing to jump start me. Myself and three of my colleagues formed a team, and we weighed in this past Wednesday. We are up against seven other teams of four people each. So with the competition so rough, we trained… by eating total crap.
For the week leading up to the weigh in, I ate all the nasty stuff I wanted as a last hurrah.
P [read] Keywords: office
Close your legs #firstworldproblems
Fri, Apr 27th 2012 2:29p John Roling Man, I’ve been away from the blog for quite some time, and what’s the first thing I do upon my return? Bitch.
There’s this burger joint near where I work that’s a Chicagoland landmark, and has been an awesome place to eat for years. Always has great food, and the waitresses (who have been there forever) are awesome.
Well today I go in there, have a seat and I don’t see anyone I recognize. No worries, the place always rocks. My never-before-seen waitress takes my order and then things i [read] Keywords:
For Jen – Happy Valentine’s Day
Tue, Feb 14th 2012 9:12a John Roling Never Stop by Safety Suit
This is my love song to you
Let every woman know I’m yours
So you can fall asleep each night, babe
And know I’m dreaming of you more
You’re always hoping that we make it
You always want to keep my gaze
Well you’re the only one I see
And that’s the one thing that won’t change
I’ll never stop trying
I’ll never stop watching as you leave
I’ll never stop losing my breath
Every time I see you looking back at me
I’ll never stop holding your hand [read] Keywords:
Lotusphere 2012 Recap
Tue, Jan 31st 2012 8:57a John Roling I know that Lotusphere was a couple weeks ago now, but this year I decided to digest it a bit before I put it down on the page here.
This year was one of the better Lotusphere events in recent memory. The OGS started with OKGo rocking though three songs and then Michael J Fox was our guest speaker. The OGS continued on a fast pace with lots of demos and nothing lagging. It was a huge departure from last year for sure, and very welcome.
The news was all mostly good. IBM is making [read] Keywords: ibm
Thu, Jan 12th 2012 2:06p John Roling For those of you that don’t know, I work in the trade show industry. I’m the Director of IT for a premier exhibit marketer. We do everything related to exhibit marketing. Design, Build, Warehouse, Ship, Install, Tear Down etc.
Since I’m on the back-end IT side of things, I normally don’t go to the show floor to see how things happen leading up to an event. This year I decided to change that, and go see what takes place before an event. I figured I might as well [read] Keywords: apple
It's not you, it's me!
Wed, Apr 20th 2011 10:50a John Roling Hey baby. Yeah, I know it's been quite awhile, and I'm sorry for leaving you hanging for so long. It's just that I've been so busy lately... I know, I know, that's never an excuse, it's just the way it is. Work has been insane, I've been travelling a lot, and I haven't had time to devote to us, and for that I'm sorry.
What's that? Facebook and Twitter? C'mon honey, you know that you and I were never exclusive. Those two don't have nearly as in-depth of a relationship and you and [read] Keywords: facebook
My Lotusphere 2011 Photo Album
Thu, Feb 10th 2011 8:35a John Roling Finally got around to developing all of my RAW files so I could post my Lotusphere 2011 photo album on flickr. If you've never seen any of my Lotusphere shots, you can see a collection of the last 8 years of Lotusphere pics here.
I shot with a new camera (the awesome Canon 7D) this year, and tried to adjust everything manually. I also only brought one lens, so I wasn't AS happy with my photos this year as in year's past, but I still think things turned out pretty well. You'll find pictu [read] Keywords: lotusphere
Lotusphere 2011 Blogger Photo
Tue, Feb 8th 2011 3:30p John Roling BloggersLS11-1, originally uploaded by Greyhawk68.
Here's this year's annual on-stage blogger photo. I have two more that you can also check out on flickr and figure out which one you like the best. Needed a lens hood as we got some flare from the lighting, and I didn't have the camera set up quite right before I handed it off, but they still turned out okay and captured the moment. Enjoy. Many of these folks are like family to me. It's a shame we only meet in person once or twice a y [read] Keywords: lotusphere
I take it back, Lotus IS Dead
Tue, Feb 8th 2011 12:22p John Roling Okay, okay I know. That was an attention seeking headline, but after the Lotus - Not Dead Yet post of a couple weeks ago, I figured I needed to eat some words a bit. That said, truth be told, 'Lotus' IS fading.
Not the software mind you, that's as strong or stronger than it's ever been, it's the branding that seems to be changing. Lotusphere saw little mention of the word Lotus, and almost no glimpses of the Lotus logo anywhere. This was obviously by design. Ed Brill has a great post o [read] Keywords: connections
Leaving the Bullshit Behind
Mon, Jan 17th 2011 6:38p John Roling There's something I've really been trying my damnedest to do over the last while, and that's simply purge my life of bullshit that I don't need. Get rid of things that bring me down, and cast away people that are nothing but downers.
Now I know that this might seem like it's aimed at the Lotus community right now, but it's not. It's to everyone. If you get rid of all the bad, you can start to really concentrate on the good. Some people are too quick to tear each other down, or engage [read] Keywords: lotus
Resolutions: Making 2011 My Bitch!
Mon, Jan 3rd 2011 3:50p John Roling As is the tradition here, every year I come up with resolutions to try to make myself and my life better in some way in the upcoming year. I've had varying levels of success in the past, but I've also been fairly specific. So this year, I'll be a little more general. So without further adieu:
Nurture my family relationships - This is just making sure I make time to spend with my family without distraction. More Daddy/Daughter dates, more trips to "do stuff" rather than just hanging [read] Keywords:
Fri, Dec 31st 2010 9:20p John Roling I kick off every year with my resolutions for the new year, and then I recap them here just to keep myself honest. So without further adieu, how did I do?
Keep up the Health kick - Well I wanted to keep the weight down, and possibly drop to 175. Well until the end of the summer I did pretty well. I played softball in the spring and really enjoyed it, and can't wait to play again next summer. My body at 40 takes a little more maintenance, but I can make it happen. Now, this fall, our sc [read] Keywords: lotusphere
SIUED: Delicious Bookmarks
Fri, Dec 10th 2010 5:30p John Roling In the latest installment of Shit I Use Every Day, I give you the bookmarking service Delicious. Delicious is simply a website that allows you to save your internet bookmarks to it's website. The main thing this does for you, is that it makes your bookmarks available from any web browser. It also serves as a backup for your bookmarks. I'm sure you know people, or have been one of those people, that have all of their bookmarks on a computer, and once that computer crashes they lose them all. De [read] Keywords: firefox
Wishes CAN come true
Fri, Dec 10th 2010 5:30p John Roling About a year or so ago. The Make-A-Wish foundation granted the wish of a seven year old little girl. This little girl wanted her and her family to go to Disney. Now for those of you that don't know, Make-A-Wish is a wonderful organization that grants wishes to children who are very sick, many of whom are probably not going to live much longer due to their illness. Well this little girl was stricken with cancer, and she wanted, just for a little while, to enjoy a vacation with her family. She go [read] Keywords:
Well Thank You!
Wed, Nov 24th 2010 2:49p John Roling Tomorrow in the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time punctuated by NFL football, family and tons of food. You are also supposed to reflect on what you are thankful for. I'm feeling particularly thankful this year, so I wanted to jot down a couple of reasons why.
The health of my family - I'm so glad that myself and my family are healthy. I've seen too much bad shit in recent years happen to friends of mine. So not having to deal with sickness is a true blessing.
Having a job I love [read] Keywords:
Thu, Nov 18th 2010 2:30p John Roling The second installment in Shit I Use Every Day is a password management program called 1Password. I first installed 1Password as part of a bundle of Mac software I had purchased, and then it quickly became essential in my day-to-day world.
1Password is simply a vault for storing all the passwords you use on various websites. You protect it with your master password, and it remembers all the rest. It can also generate random passwords for you with more security than something you might use y [read] Keywords: notes
Shit I Use Every Day (SIUED) : Dropbox
Fri, Nov 12th 2010 1:30p John Roling I often get asked by people what software I utilize a lot, so I thought that I would start writing articles letting people know the software I find useful and use nearly every day. The first installment is Dropbox.
Dropbox is a nifty little utility that does one thing, and one thing perfectly. It synchronizes your files between computers, the web and mobile devices. You install a small piece of software wherever you want access to your files, and anytime you add a new file to your Dropbox f [read] Keywords: desktop
Oh No, Four Oh.
Thu, Oct 21st 2010 1:30p John Roling This Friday, Oct. 22nd, I turn 40 years old. 40. It’s actually kind of hard to comprehend hitting this milestone. It doesn’t seem so far away that I was a punk high school kid working in fast food and chasing tail. Or a college student working as a local radio DJ to pay the bills. Or living in a van down by the river with my future wife.
None of those things seem that long ago, and I have vivid memories of them, but each were a minimum of a decade and a half ago.
Overall, b [read] Keywords:
Mon, Oct 18th 2010 1:10p John Roling Over the past year or so, I've been trying really hard to not let little things bother me. Part of that whole mentality came about with my epiphany post after a rather tumultuous summer.
Since then, life has been much better. That said, that doesn't mean everything is roses all the time, far from it. I've had some really trying weeks where it became increasingly more difficult to just "let go" of the small stuff. Add to that the fact that I'm ending my thirties at the end of this week [read] Keywords:
Seven Year Blogoversary
Fri, Sep 24th 2010 1:10p John Roling Wow. Time flies when you are having fun I guess, and I’ve definitely had a lot of fun here over the last seven years. On Sept. 24th, 2003 I posted here for the first time, and it really changed a lot of things for me.
Blogging has obviously always been a personal creative outlet for me, but even more than that, it allowed me to join a community of professionals centered around Lotus Notes and the companion products. I’ve made so many friends through this medium, and for that I a [read] Keywords: lotus
Reviewing Soon: IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide
Wed, Sep 8th 2010 12:00p John Roling Packt Publishing has a new book out. It's called the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide. I'll be reviewing it soon, but in the meantime, you can download Chapter 2 : To Chat or Not to Chat and check it out for yourself.
The book promises the following:
(To help you) Understand and master the features of Lotus Notes and put them to work in your business quickly
Contains comprehensive coverage of new Lotus Notes 8.5 features
Includes easy-to-follow real-world examples with plenty of sc [read] Keywords: ibm
Mon, Aug 16th 2010 10:40a John Roling The smoke rolls across my lips
Fading like the days
Spreading wings through darkness
The night clings to me
Like an embrace in the rain
It all feels so heavy sometimes
So yet another drag
So intent on the flames
So often I want to burn this whole world down
The last notes trail off
And the silence remains
"you're welcome" seems so empty today
Another grain tumbles down
And the coastline trails on for miles
It seems so vast sometimes
So strike [read] Keywords: notes