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Showing posts from December, 2009

Y2K + 10

How's this for an amusing trip down memory lane? Ten years ago, on the eve of the millennium, the big "Y2K," I was reporting for work in the basement of Gilchrist Hall at the University of Northern Iowa. I was to staff the university's "Y2K Command Center," the strategic hub of UNI's efforts to thwart any disasters due to Y2K.

As we now know, very little happened due to Y2K. The fear was that any digital device that recorded dates with only two digits wouldn't know how to properly handle a year "00" and would behave unpredictably. This was a valid concern, but not a surprise so almost all such problems were fixed months ahead of time.

Midnight came and went, and things were pretty quiet around UNI. One of our maintenance staff discovered a ventilation fan not working properly (for non-Y2K reasons) and that was it. All the professional staff went home a couple hours after midnight, but Robert Shontz (great student, individual, and co-worke…

I should have asked for ski karma for Christmas

Talk about your epic fail today. I decided several days ago that I wanted to ski Christmas day. I got close, but never made a single turn. Let's look at what turned out to be a waste of a day:

I was up before 7, checking the weather and road reports, and it's not exactly great. Chain restrictions at the tunnel and Vail Pass make me think twice about going. All I have is my car, as I don't trust my truck with its bad clutch and oil leak. At about 8:45 I get a positive road report from Lubin, who is headed to Vail from the west. I check some more reports and leave about 9:15. Way too late, but I've left late before and had great afternoons.

The roads are certainly passable, but I take it slow and arrive at Vail just after noon. I've heard from some that free parking is hard to find in Vail, but others have assured me that it exists and a bus will take you to the lifts. I explored all of Vail's three exits, and none have signs that clearly point to free parking. M…