Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What happened to James?

A lot of stuff. Ken Canfield lost the primary; the person he lost to also lost the election to Sebelius. So goes politics.

This has been a time of growth for WiebeTech. The little company that started in the basement of my house over 6 years ago now employs approximately 30 people. I've been blessed to have gathered a constellation of hard workers who care about the company and each other. And by definition, if they care about the company, they care about the customers. That is likely to be you, as you are reading this blog.

I have many specific things I could write about here. Here's a couple of quick notes: I once started writing a book. I had quite a few chapters in draft form done. I recently sucked them in from an archival CD and hope to be posting a few of them here.

A while back, I wrote a white paper which really isn't right as white paper on the WiebeTech website. I may post it here.

I recently took 6 weeks off from the business. It was a wonderful time to reflect and think about all things. While I was gone, the business prospered, just as it has for the last several years. That is a testament to the able workers I have here who made it all possible.

Continuing that theme, I'd like to tell you what I told them before I left. I quoted from two different chapters from the Bible. I picked a section from Matthew 25, vs. 14-30 , which talks about how the master who leaves on a journey invests with his workers. The workers get one, two or five 'talents' to invest. Of course, some workers take the money and make more, while others bury it and return no gain to the master. My workers returned much to me. They are a blessing.

The second Biblical selection was from the Old Testament, and referred to the concept of a 7 year Sabbatical. Well, it's hard to believe, but I'm in my seventh year here at WiebeTech, and it was time for some time off.

I spent the first portion of my time in Alaska, working the Kenai river. (Many thanks to WiebeTech customer Kevin for hooking me up with some able local advice.) I had invited my good friend Mike Andrews up for a few days, and he and I caught many Dolly Varden, Trout and Salmon. Mike was followed by another good friend, Don Isaac. Don and I did more of the same (fishing, sightseeing, talking). While it was important to see Alaska and catch fish, it was more important to strengthen relationships and take a break from the stress of life. This was beneficial to me in ways that I choose not to fully express here. I merely hint at it.

I had a very odd experience in Anchorage as Don and I were leaving the airport to drive down to the Kenai Penninsula. We were getting ready to merge onto a highway when we came upon a SUV that had hit a bicyclist. I wrote this dramatic experience up into a short story. I will edit it and post it soon.

A note just to Alaskan fishing fanatics: I fished the Kenai river, along with the Russian and Ptarmigan. All were fantastic. If you know of some particularly good river in Alaska that might be worth checking out someday, I'd appreciate the tip. IN 2005, I have also floated the Kisaralik; what a river; it can be a little intimidating. Email me at james@wiebetech.com; TIA.

I also was able to explore the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. I flew to the Gatlinburg airport in my able airplane (N206KJ) and drove around the park for a few days. Thereafter, I ended up solo camping in the wilderness interior of the park on Hazel Creek for 3 days. Unforgettable experience; extraordinarily beautiful. September was the right time of year to do it - very few people combined with perfect camping weather.

I also spent some sabbatical time working on my home theater. I've been putting up 2x4s and have enlarged the room. It's a construction zone right now. Someday, when it's done, I'll post a description of the entire room.

I've been having difficulty getting Apple to perform warranty repair on an iPod. Anyone else had that problem? They claim a ding on the case invalidates the warranty.

See ya.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Breakfast with Ken Canfield and Ben Staley

Over the weekend, I was privileged to have breakfast with Ken Canfield and Ben Staley. Ken is a Republican candidate for governor of the state of Kansas; Ben is the pastor of the Church that I attend, Northridge Friends Church in Wichita, KS.

Ken is the founder of the National Center for Fathering. He resigned his position there in order to pursue the governorship of Kansas.

I was impressed with Ken's positions on a number of issues. He can count on my vote in the upcoming primary.

Friday, May 5, 2006

James eats lunch

One of my associates emailed me the following picture of myself:

It looks like I enjoy a good plate of wings. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

First Post

New White Paper...

I recently posted a white paper which analyzes the reliability of storage enclosures. In a nutshell: RAID 5 and Mirrored RAIDs are exceedingly more reliable than stand alone drive systems. Please read the white paper. Please send your comments to me.


In other topics, I gave up flying commercial airlines nearly two years ago. Instead, I fly myself around the country in a Cessna T206H airplane. I attend trade shows and conferences; a typical trip might involve myself; another WiebeTech associate, some trade show equipment (perhaps a popup booth), signage, demonstration hardware, etc., all in the airplane. A frequent destination is Washington DC. My house is 5 minutes from the local airport which also is less than a mile from WiebeTech's corporate office.

My travel time from Wichita to Washington DC is 5 hours and 30 minutes; I do not have to go through any security lines nor stand in line at ticket counters. It's wonderful!

A schedule for flying myself...
  • Here's how it works with N206KJ (the registration number of my airplane):
  • Get up at 6:00AM; shower and throw bags in truck.
  • Leave house at 6:40AM.
  • Arrive at airport at 6:45AM (6:44 if I'm pushing it...)
  • Preflight inspect N206KJ; engine start at 7:00AM.
  • After taxi out and flight plan activation, in the air at 7:15AM.
  • Arrive Washington DC (DULLES) 1:45PM (includes one hour time change)
  • Rent car and depart airport by 2:15PM.
  • Thence to the hotel, or meeting, or conference, or trade show...

Compare that to the commercial airlines!
I'm thrilled to have left the airlines behind. And I've never yet lost a bag!