Yesterday Cathy & I went to see Wicked on Broadway. Its the story behind the story of “The Wizard of Oz”. It is the story aboutthe wicked witch of the west and the good witch and how they came to be.

The first half of the play develops the characters in a way that is exciting and entertaining. Not all is as it seems. The storyline in the second half of the play intertwines with the “The Wizard of Oz”. As we see the true nature of the characters unfold, our perception of the original movie changes.

The costumes, the music, the actors on stage all combine into an event that is truly mesmerizing. The shear power of the vocals is amazing. I found myself lost in the story, waiting in anticipation for it to unfold.

We have seen Chicago, Gypsy and Phantom of the Opera all on Broadway. We even saw Gypsy with Bernadette Peters. They are great plays and would recommend any one of them to see. However the last play that truly captivated me to this extent was Les Miserables.

This is a must see on Broadway!

Computer Upgrades

I’ve been busy the past few weeks upgrading the PC in the house. My PC was a 900MHz dinosaur and MJ’s PC was a 300MHz dust ball. Yes – I’m a technologist running the equivalent of the Ford Model-T. Looking around at what is available and the cost, I decided to continue the Petersen tradition of building my own machines. I ended up buying the motherboards, CPU and memory off eBay. I went with a 2-CPU Xeon 2.8GHz with 6GB of ram for my machine. For the other machine I went with a 2-CPU 2.2GHz Xeon with 3GB of ram. Of course with the Xeon class chips, If I can get a faster chipset, I can always swap them out for more speed. Each machine ended up costing me around $200 to get a server class machine. With me running the different software packages and trying to max out the machine, the most I have been able to do is to get the CPU’s up to about 40% utilization.

Most of the machines in the house are running Linux. I’m forced to keep a few Windows machines around. Cathy prefers Windows and MJ needs it to be compatible with school. If I had my way, Windows would be all but taken out of this house. I find that Linux has come a long way. It is faster, cleaner and very convenient upgrading the packages.

After an hour or two everyone in the household is able to move around on a Linux box getting email and browsing the Internet. Plus the software that is available for Linux is mind boggling. In fact I find myself installing three or four variants of software that fits a particular function and playing around deciding which one I like.

For the moment, I’m stuck with some Windows. But at least with the server class Xeon processors, they function reasonably well.

Petersen’s went Mobile

This blog site is now mobile! That’s right, for those who couldn’t wait to get to a desktop, you can now read my blog posts from a PDA, Blackberry, iPhone or most any other type of mobile device! Just use your mobile device and browse to this website!

I can even post entries to this blog from a PDA!  Sweet!!

Granted, blogging from a PDA is a bit cumbersome. I don’t see myself trying to upload pictures or files from a PDA. But to post a quick text update to the blog – Its fits the bill very nicely.

Its Awesome!

Winterburg Campout

Our Winterburg campout was a success! We took the troop up to Forestburg Boy Scout Reservation this past weekend for an overnight campout. The entire troop slept out in tents on the snow! The boys had a great time. We hiked down to the nearby waterfalls. The boys went sled riding.

Ok, so some of the adult leaders went sled riding as well!!

We did have a small cabin to cook, eat and get warm in. However we choose to sleep outside in the 15 degree weather for the night. When you a prepared for the cold, it is quite comfortable to sleep on the snow.

The stew we had for Saturday night was very tasty. Especially after being in the cold for most of the day. Sunday’s breakfast, we tried to use a Dutch Oven to cook up Taylor ham and Eggs. Took over an hour to cook and it eventually turned out ok. We have to re-think cooking breakfast in a Dutch Oven on our next campout.

I’m actually looking forward to next year’s Winterburg!