# Tuesday, 19 July 2005
There is a grass roots initiative, begun in the UK, called the ICE (In Case of Emergency) initiative.  Both the goal and the implementation are very simple.  Take a moment and add some additional entries to your cell phone / PDA addressbook that start with ICE.  Examples are “ICE – wife”, or “ICE – Mom”.  That way, first responders who are coming to your aid can quickly determine from your phone (assuming it’s working of course, but it couldn’t hurt) who to call on your behalf.  It takes only a moment, and could save a lot of time and hassle in case of emergency.
Tuesday, 19 July 2005 10:51:47 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 18 July 2005

For around 2 years now, I’ve been involved with my local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program.  I took the initial training a little over 2 years ago, and since they I’ve been to several refresher classes and exercises, and joined the Steering Committee as the newsletter editor.  For those not familiar with CERT, it’s a nation-wide program that teaches people how to prepare for disasters, and how they can help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods in times of disaster or emergency.  Our local program in Hillsboro is open to anyone who lives or works in Western Washington County, and involves 24 hours of training (3 hours, one night a week for 8 weeks).  The training includes disaster medical training, light search & rescue, team organization, and other important preparedness skills.

This past weekend I got a chance to go to the Western Territorial Citizens Corps Conference in beautiful Bozeman, Montana.  It was a great conference, and I learned a lot about the overall organization that is the Citizens Corps, which was really worthwhile.  I also got a chance to see a bit of Bozeman, which I really enjoyed.  What a gorgeous town!  We also got a chance to hit the Museum of the Rockies, which has a truly amazing collection, including some of the best dinosaur exhibits I’ve seen.

Citizens Corps is the (relatively) new umbrella organization under which the national CERT program is housed, along with four other “partner” programs. 

All of these organizations provide opportunities for the average citizen to volunteer some of their time to better prepare themselves and their communities for disasters and emergencies, as well helping out and saving a lot of money for our frontline first responders.  For examples, volunteers for the Fire Corps can do things like help cook at fire stations, or do paperwork which frees up firefighters for the work they are best qualified to do. 

Check out the websites and find out how you can help.  It’s every American’s responsibility to be prepared.  And if anyone has questions about the CERT program, I’d be happy to answer them.

Monday, 18 July 2005 15:29:47 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 11 July 2005

Cheb i Sabbah is an Algerian-born San Franciscan who makes some truly incredible music.  I’m a big fan of “Asian Underground”, which is a relatively recent genre that mixes modern electronica/dance music with traditional South Asian/Middle Eastern music.  I just finished listening to Cheb i Sabbah’s latest album, “La Kahena”, and it ROCKS!  It’s all centered around the traditional music of the Berbers of North Africa.  Fantastic.  It’s amazing how such ancient music blends seamlessly with modern electronica. 

Other great Asian Underground acts include State of Bengal, Billy Sagoo, Panjabi MC, Asian Dub Foundation, and Talvin Singh.  All worth a listen.

Monday, 11 July 2005 14:33:59 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, 08 July 2005
I’ll be teaching Introduction to Web Services (CST 407) at OIT (Portland) this Fall.  Tell your friends!  We’ll be covering the basics of Web Services, including theory, history, best practices, and a firm grounding in underlying technologies like XML and SOAP.  Should be a good time.  If you are interested you should be prepared to write code in C#.
Friday, 08 July 2005 16:21:38 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

Over the holiday weekend we lost our 11-year-old Husky/German Shephard, Saffy (short for Saffron).  She went quickly, and didn't suffer, which is all we could have hoped for.  We can only hope that wherever she is now that the sun is warm, and the squirrels are slow.  She'll be missed.

Saffy

Friday, 08 July 2005 08:07:38 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |