Autodesk University / CAD Camp

Well, St. Louis will be getting it's first CAD Camp ( a one-day regional training event ) on October 24th.

Hey, and, did you know, that if you attend an AUGI CAD Camp, you'll be eligible for a $150 discount on your Autodesk University registration?

And if you don't know what AU is... well, you're missing out. It's the 14th annual training mecca put on by Autodesk with 500 classes taught by industry gurus.

If you belong to an AUGI local user group, be sure to name them during your AU registration.

And, if you belong to a LUG, make sure your contact information is up to date and your spam filters allow your LUG President's important email announcements through so you don't miss any valuable information about upcoming training and special offers.

Okay, if that's not enough of a hint, nearly 20% of my members' emails have bounced on this message, come on people, work with me here. If you belong to the Gateway AUG and did NOT get an email from me, please send me a message
so I can fill you in. Thanks!

Oh, and if you'd like to know what you can expect from classes at autodesk university, please check out the Autodesk University Course Handout Archives hosted on AUGI.com (free registration to become a member and access all this and more!). You can find courses from 2000-2004, and, if you're still using older versions of AutoCAD, these may be just what you need.

Hope to see you at CAD Camp and AU!

To the St. Louisans, the next meeting of the Gateway AUG, showcasing some great Tips and Tricks, is planned for Tuesday October the 3rd at Vatterott College in Sunset Hills. We'll bring the food and the AutoCAD tips, all you have to bring is yourself... well, we'll let you bring a friend if you want to, as well. ;) We might have some nice give-aways, too.


Loads of Very Cool Tech Links

How Do You Use Your Blog? - take part in this survey of bloggers and they will email you the results 30 days after it closes

"This is perhaps the most inventive human-powered device that's come across my desk this month. It's a design concept for a wireless yo-yo powered MP3 player. The inventors estimate that between 10-12 tosses per hour are sufficient for continuous music play. A wireless headset allows the user to listen to music while yo-yoing. Chris Aimone and Tomek Bartczak created the design, and recently took home the Pop Sci and Core77 award for best human-powered device."

Thanks to Mark Kiker for the following...
or, the cursor you get, the further you fall?
or, what's the point?

alright, I'm running out of puns :-/ moving swiftly along...

Hey, while I'm up here, check it out!
50 hits on AutoCAD videos on YouTube

40 hits on AutoCAD on google video.

27 hits on Revit

58 on Autodesk ( neat one on Design )

Duct Tape outfits can add up to cold hard cash for high-school students.

The ticket gate electricity generation system relies on a series of piezo elements embedded in the floor under the ticket gates, which generate electricity from the pressure and vibration they receive as people step on them. When combined with high-efficiency storage systems, the ticket gate generators can serve as a clean source of supplementary power for the train stations. Busy train stations (and those with large numbers of passengers willing to bounce heavily through the gates) will be able to accumulate a relatively large amount of electricity."

erm... Tele-airhockey-conference?

This just looks too handy... oh, and for the curious, my brit hubby doesn't know why the reviewer is snickering? Anyone care to enlighten us?

From 'trash' to 'flash'... recycled rubber purses!

Need to charge the battery for your portable electronic devices? Try this handy charge box!

And, finally, the most mind-wobblingly-useful class I've ever taken at Autodesk University (and that is saying A LOT!) presented by Daniel Abbott - 'Changing hundreds of AutoCAD drawings in a hurry'.
Be sure to check out all of the other handouts here... (this was under 2004 - Customization)
(free registration is required, if you've already signed up and you can't remember your password, contact member services, don't start a new account please. thank you)

Something that might also be of note... the ransom to free the maps (DRG) was successful! GIS-ers rejoice.

Happy CADding!


Bentley has BIM for FM? wot?

Just decided to do a Google for Facilities Management BIM... and link #3 (~sigh~ and of course the first two show my pathetic self ranting alone on this podium to a seemingly empty room)... is about Bentley's BIM program... "for architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and operators to design, analyze, build, and operate buildings and facilities. These solutions support all phases of the project lifecycle—from conceptual design and construction documentation, to coordination and construction, and throughout ongoing facilitymanagement, maintenance, and operations"

What's this? Well, I guess I've got my head in the sand, as usual. I don't use any Bentley drawing programs (I'm sure you don't count Bentley Viewer? At last count, we've got about 40 pc's across the campus sporting that one), so I hope I can be excused.

It looks like, just like Autodesk's FMDesktop, they've got different modules geared toward specific tasks.
Alright... I'm watching their demo video (nice music btw), but, I really don't see what makes this a BIM FM program rather than just an FM program (aka an ASSET MANAGEMENT program). I saw reports and queries... and a 3d shaded model of a space. While those things are all a part of a good and effective Facilities-Management program, I'm not sure from this demo on how this makes a Building Information Model? Of course, I might be making a mistake in assuming that BIM means the same to them as PEN (parametrically-enabled) means to me and I'm just expecting something that is not at all what they're intending to offer.

Now, I do see that they have BIM systems design programs, I just haven't yet come across anything telling me that those two programs can work together seamlessly. *Perhaps* this module, Facilities Inquirer can work with the data/model, but, I'm not quite clear from what I've read.

Perhaps this whitepaper from FM Innovations will prove interesting reading to some...
Topics include: What is BIM? Will BIM replace CAFM? What can the model provide? What role will BIM play? Can BIM be applied to existing buildings?
Since the April 3, 2003 “Great Debate” between Autodesk and Bentley on the topic of Building Information Modeling (BIM), there have been many articles, white papers and responses on this topic. None of them however, including responses by the big 3 – Autodesk, Bentley or Graphisoft – seemed to discuss in any detail what the long term affects of BIM will be.
One key to all this is that the premise behind BIM is that it is a database housing both tabular and graphical information.
Conclusion: Building Information Modeling, or some evolved form of it, is the wave of the future.
Creating a BIM will never replace the “human factor” in designing, constructing and maintaining a building. The creativity of a design, the craftsmanship of the construction, and the fundamentals of maintenance have to exist. But the tools used to fuel these skills will make the process more efficient.

Hmm. Interesting enough. This paper covered the topics which facility managers should be contemplating, but, it was really long on speculation and short on definites... but, that's the point we're at today. I look forward to Autodesk's developments, of course. ?Ensuring that FMDesktop is compatible with Revit and ADT (~cough~Revit Systems and ABS~cough~I hope)?

I do realize that so much of what I am looking forward to is going to depend on human factors... support for the programs, budgeting, adoption, training, data gathering, data input, constant updates... but! that will be a challenge no matter what method... even if we continue to photocopy blueprints and not insist on accurate as-builts coming to us when a project is complete.

There are many unique challenges to our position, and I can't help but think that there MUST be more efficient ways to go about how we're doing things.


August 26th, National Day of Equality for Women

from the website for the History of Women's Equality Day:
What is Women's Equality Day?

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the worldÂ’s first womenÂ’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of WomenÂ’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to womenÂ’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with WomenÂ’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

I am happy to be a woman living in today's world. A world where I can pursue my education. A world where I can be employed in a male-dominated field (14% female overall). A world where I can vote for our leaders and new laws/taxes/etc. A world where I can walk down the street by myself. A world where I can own property. A world where I can look anyone in the eye and not be intimidated. A world where I can pursue any career that I choose.

Now, the other day in the Autodesk discussion group, there was a woman who asked about what she should be making in her job/her location/her level of experience. So, I sort of walked her through where this information is found and how to average it out to estimate what she should reasonably expect to be making. One item I threw in there, was to reduce by 12.5% for being female. One guy made a comment (he also called me by the wrong name, thanks!) oh, I'm surprised nobody commented on your -12.5% for being female comment, obviously you had a sense of humor about it.'

What's that supposed to mean? There's no sense of humour involved. There are just facts, me stating them, and her accepting them. But! I don't think I'm going to chalk that up to gender discrimination. If you look at the results of the Salary Survey, you'll see that women are working fewer hours and reaping better benefits. So, we've just got our priorities in different places than our male counterparts.

In the wider world outside of the field of design, a recent Redbook article claims that 33% of married women today earn more than their husbands.

In fact, women today are more educated than men: In 1998, there were 125,000 more college-educated women than men, according to the Center for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. By 2010, that gap is expected to double.
Most high-earning wives said they make the higher salary in the marriage not because they're more aggressive about job hunting or working longer hours, but typically because they are better educated, and therefore landed in a more lucrative field.

That 33% comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, no less. It's good to see that so many women have realized (not just mentally, but, actually) the attainability of education. It might open up a whole different can of worms in spousal dynamics and a man's view of himself, but, nowadays, it's all down to choice not lack of opportunity.

And to congratulate yourself on embracing your opportunities, I think that you should treat yourself to a new book... how about 'She's Such a Geek', due out this fall? So that you can enjoy seeing 'Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff'.

What is the point of my post today?
Not to put down those people still stuck in the dark ages (go ahead, ask me to get you a cup of coffee... I dare ya!) but to observe how far we have come, and to remind women how lucky we are to have the privileges that we do today and not to let them go unused/unappreciated! Cast your votes, get your education... enjoy your freedom and remember those who have made it possible.

Test Drive Your Dream Job

I just came across this site from a blogging buddy, and I thought, wow, is this not the neatest idea ever! Vocation Vacation! From the front page of the site:

Let's face it, most of us spend the majority of our waking moments at work -- and yet few of us are actually doing work that we're passionate about. But who says it has to be that way?

At VocationVacations®, we believe "work" can be much, much more than just a four-letter word. That's why we've made it our business to offer you the chance to test-drive your dream job -- completely risk-free! No need to quit your day job. No need to tell the boss. Just spend a couple days on a VocationVacation, working one-on-one with a VocationVacations Mentor, to see what your dream job is really like.

You can take a VocationVacation to truly explore a career change, to sample the “road not taken” or to enjoy a fun, unique learning experience!

Isn't that Fantastic? Well, depending on where you're at... in Missouri, I could pay $600 to spend two days being mentored by a photographer. That would be really cool to experience. If I decide to go to illinois I have the choice of 5 mentoring possibilities (dog training, photography, hotel general manager... ooor chocolatier/pastry chef). Now, if you don't care where you have to travel to, why not try... Film Production in New York, or Songwriting/Music Publishing in Tennessee!

How fun would it be to just slip into your dream job to try it on for size! Heck, there are even 8 opportunities across the countries to try your hand at being a Brewmaster! Woohoo! ;)


Office Work Is Funny

Funny? Familiar? Fantastic... a sampling of Useless Office Skills.

Through this site, I found links to other great (ie... funny and pointless) sites like this one, which shows more than 1000 Business and Computer cartoons. There's some good stuff in there.

There's also a link to a site called LaughNet, which includes jokes about Computers and the Workplace. I think I've read most of these before, but, it's always good to revisit and have a chuckle.

And of course, the quintessential office comic, Dilbert.
And, Scott Adams' Dilbert Blog. Stimulating and amusing reading, you should check it out...

Here are some site I've come across in my web wandering...

Nukees comic.

Heroes of Engineering comic on ASME.

Here's an eyeopening bit about Entertaining Engineers.

And of course, if you want to get Technically Funny, you can't forget Engineer-turned-standup comedian, Don McMillan. He was on Bob & Tom (radio show) earlier this week. Check out the video clip posted on his site, you'll want to buy his video.

You really can't talk about office humour without mentioning Ricky Gervais, creator of The Office.

And, finally, one of my favorite work experiences that we like to laugh about in the office.

In my facility we have one particular enclosed walkway which has always had problems with its cooling system. One day, I was walking through and stopped to talk to the HVAC mechanics who were up in the ceiling working on the equipment (which had been turned off during the repair, of course).

A little ways past us, they had set up a large fan to facilitate airflow during the downtime.

As we were talking, another employee walks past us and in front of the fan. She then declares loudly with incredulity 'Uh! Even the fan is blowing out hot air'. :-o


When is a Facilities Management like an Artichoke?

When you try to explain it to someone, of course.

An identifiable way of saying that, I suppose. There is sometimes a misunderstanding about what a facility manager does (the reason for my previous post laying out some definitions for frequently interchanged terms).

As an aside... i've just reached somewhat of a milestone here today... over 30,000 logged hits. I started this blog in April of 2005, but, didn't put a counter on it, until about a week after this announcement by Lynn Allen... that would be the end of June or beginning of August. So... 30,000 hits in one year seems decently impressive to a person working in such a niche field.

Thank you faithful reader. :)


Whatever happened to: Autodesk's Design Your Future (dyf)?

I recently pulled up the first annual augi salary survey from 2002 to check to see if a couple of numbers had changed drastically since then.

In the introductory paragraph, a mention was made of Autodesk's Design Your Future initiative to interest girls in Math, Science and Technology (launched by Carol Bartz in 1997).

When following that link today I'm told that the page is not found. The only mention I see of this initiative now is on the Internship Success Stories page.

Does anyone know if this program is not still active, what might have replaced it, if anything?


Undocumented Commands in Autodesk MAP3D

MAP power-guru, James Murphy, posts reminders about nifty, undocumented commands in MAP on his blog, Mapping the World.

Also, for more Autocad Learning...

Ellen Finkelstein reminds us... You can buy AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007 Bible at Amazon.com today or at your bookstore. The main new features are 3D -- and they're very exciting -- but there are lots of great 2D features, too. Buy it today! AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007 Bible

Also, here's a new one that is definitely worth checking out...
AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT for Dummies, by Lee Ambrosius and David Byrnes

And, not to leave out the Architects in the house... there is an ADT Implementation Guide in the works from Paul Aubin and Matt Dillon.

Happy learning... especially to those of us lucky enough to be attending Autodesk University this fall/winter.


What from you childhood will you pass on to your children?

What television, music, movie or book from your childhood are you excited about sharing with your own children?

Did you know that it's the 37th anniversary of Sesame street, August 14th?

My son is 3 years old, and I've really enjoyed delving back into my childhood for things to share with him.

A favorite right now is Legos. I bought a case of legos shortly after landing my current job, because I'd always wanted them as a child, and I enjoy building so much!

Shortly after he showed interest in the television, I ordered him a DVD of the Care Bears movie.
I also got him a copy of the Lion King. We've rented Mary Poppins on many occasions as well. When we went to visit my Grandmother last summer, she gave him the VHS copy of Lady and the Tramp that I and my sister and our cousins watched growing up, which he has just about worn out by now (when I tuck him in at night, he's just as likely to ask me to sing him 'He's a Tramp' as he is 'Rock'a'bye Baby')

Recalling my childhood, I can't go without mentioning my first board game, Candy Land. Of course, when I purchased one for my son, we had to go with Dora the Explorer in Candy Land.

His first christmas my sister gave him an Elmo video and he was immediately engaged. It was neat sitting down with him after that fateful day, to tune into PBS and watch Sesame Street.
I, of course, grew up on the show. Many of the characters have changed over the years, but, some have stayed the same. I do remember mr. hooper, and there was one episode where little 3 yr old Elmo learned why the store was called 'Hooper's'. It's great to have something with such continuity.

I also like to pass down special places to him. As a child, my Grandfather took me to every St. Louis attraction. The zoo, the science center, the art museum, the history museum, the arch, the botanical gardens, grant's farm and many others. Ty and I are regulars at any attraction in Forest Park (and the fact that most of them are free is a nice bonus), like the Boathouse.

I also hope to pass on travelling to him. He was born here in St. Louis. He's lived in two homes, 3 blocks apart... but, he's been to Washington state, as well as to England, and next year we'll make a trip to Ireland. I doubt he'll travel as much as I did as a child, but, I'll do what I can to expose him to as many different settings as I can.

I also enjoy reading to him. My mom, and other relatives, indulged me as a child by reading to me, and that has turned me into the voracious reader that I am today, and I hope to do the same for my son.

Dean Koontz on Wiki

Not what he's got to say about it, of course, but, what it's got to say about him.

I have been a Koontz connoisseur since Jr. High school. I was a voracious reader at that time anyway, but, once I picked up my first Koontz book, it was over! I fell in love. Which is sort of funny, considering that the book was Icebound, and I didn't really care for it.

He is a cross-genre writer, which works really well with my ADDled brain. Also, he's been criticized by some with short attention spans for using too many similes, adjectives, etc... being altogether too wordy. But! I love it. It just adds to the whole experience and makes the book seem more understandable and real.

While I do occasionally read up on my hero, Mr. Koontz, I was after something specific today...

I have been wanting to start a new blog. One specifically for reviewing books that I read. And, I wanted to keep it in the same vein as my other two, the mistress of the dorkness and the love dorkter. Meaning, for the dense, that I wanted to have the work 'Dork' in it.

So, I've been brainstorming, with other CADdie friends of my ilk, and a fellow female-blogger, Trisha.

The only idea I'd previously come up with was 'Reading in the Dork Ages' (as advanced as we are, how many of us truly immerse ourselves in the consumption of great literature! no, we'd rather be on the computer, or watching tv, or playing video games... I'm generalizing, but, not by much).

Trisha did suggest 'Dorktionary' or 'Dorkworm', which I did think were pretty cool (if you're a nerd like me!).

But, during the brainstorming session with my ilk, the idea for something based on one of my favorite author's titles would be acceptable came up... so, in addition to checking out my bookshelf full of Dean Koontz novels, I went in search of any titles which I don't currently own.

Here are my dorkified titles so far:

Dork Rivers of the Heart
The Eyes of Dorkness
The Dork to December
One Dork Away from Heaven
The Dork of Summer
A Dorkness in My Soul
Dork of the Woods
Dork Symphony
Down in the Dorkness

Now, while all of the above thoughts are great dorky titles, I do want to reflect the fact that the site will be about books. Reading. Literature. Reviewing/summarizing books.

I'd happily take any suggestions and/or comments?

What Role should a Facility Manager Play in BIM Adoption?

What role should a facility manager play in the adoption of new technologies?

This isn't just a point of discussion; it's a challenge, a calling-out... a pulse check!

Are we out there?
Do we care about reducing cost?
Do we care about sustainability?

In the first FM presentation I saw at AU 2004, it was stated that building cost for a facility is approximately $200 sq ft, but, annual maintenance cost is approximately $40 sq ft.

We're not just building and maintaining these facilities though, are we? We're renovating them. We have to keep up with times and changing technologies for the services we provide. Approximately 15-20% of my campus is under renovation at any one time. Can you imagine how much time is spent documenting/surveying/rechecking existing conditions?

How much nicer would it be to have a single intelligent building model in place that our designers, engineers, etc could access? Less rework in the field. Less cost overruns because of unforeseen, undocumented systems running through spaces?

Are we just sitting back and taking whatever our contractors choose to turn over to us?
If so, why? Is it because we lack experienced in-house staff to understand and dictate specifications? Is it because we're held back politically or socially ('we
can't tell them what to do, they've been doing work for us for 50 years' or 'they're a small shop and couldn't keep up if we dictated a change')?

Is it because we don't have the budget or desire to instigate changes within our own departments?

After all of our contractors have switched to BIM programs, will we still have our standard of R14 DWG files???

I'm not saying that we should go out tomorrow and insist that all of our deliverables take the shape of an intelligent building model. I
AM saying, however, that we as facility owners, need to look to the future.

We know that this change is coming. We know organizations are setting standards about the form these models and their data will take.

What can we, as facility owners, do to prepare for the future?

Talk to your contractors about the programs they're using. Discuss any plans they've got on their horizons.

Send your staff to training so they are prepared for what's coming.

Encourage education. Host some presentations or classes in your facility for your employees and the employees of your contractors.

Evaluate your documentation and processes.
How organized are your archives? Are they optimized for moving to electronic formats?
Are you ensuring today that you're getting usable data as as-builts?

Be involved. Be proactive. Be vocal about your needs to those who are making these decisions right now.

Ensure that you've got the contracts/standards/specifications/oversight in place to ensure that you're getting the documentation that you're paying for, so that you don't have to pay for it 5x over the next time you renovate that space.

I welcome any comments/questions/suggestions... any sort of feedback at all to indicate that someone out there managing a large facility is giving thought to the future.


Facilities Management (FM) Classes at AU 2006

From the Autodesk University blog: When Revit® Meets Autodesk® FMDesktop: Not Even “When Harry Met Sally” Compares to This Digging Deep into Databases [Part 1] From Blue Line to Bottom Line Using Autodesk® FMDesktop The Keys to Successful CAFM Implementations Implementing Scalable Facilities Management Solutions on the Web Using Autodesk MapGuide® Getting Results in Space Management Make FM Part of Your AutoCAD® World Digging Deep into Databases [Part 2] Facility Management Handbook Autodesk® FMDesktop from CAD to the Web Bottom Line Success with Facility Space and Asset Management Systems BIM and Facility Management Complying with the U.S. National CAD Standard Download the course scheduler for details on all classes and start narrowing down your choices now.

National BIM Standard

Did you know that there will be a national BIM standard soon? No? Well... you can find out more about the BIM Committee here on the website for the National Institute of Building Sciences.

Their goal is to finalize a National BIM Standard by the end of 2006.

Many in the constrution industry might cringe at the thought of another standard which they have to follow. But, personally, I am thrilled with the idea. We all have different ideas of what information is important, how to transmit it, and how strictly to abide by it?

If we can declare certain definitions and expectations, that will only help us all work together toward our respective goals.

From their website:

Building Information Models (BIM) for the facility industry are comparable to the transformation that occurred in the aircraft, microprocessor and automotive industries. There are some definitions being circulated that say BIM is simply a 3D model of a facility which is far from the truth. BIM is intended to be a open standards based repository of information for the facility owner/operator to use and maintain throughout the life-cycle of a facility.

Today nearly every piece of information that an owner needs about a facility throughout its life is available electronically. We currently don’t have the infrastructure in place to capture, organize and mine that information. Our goal at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is to create that infrastructure through all facets of the industry and weave that information into something useful.

There has been a life-cycle oriented cultural change gaining strength in the facility industry for years but adopted by only a few of the most sophisticated owners. Currently we look at facilities in fragmented 12-18 month views but we really need to look at them holistically over their complete life-cycle. Each discipline in the development of a facility, planning, design, construction, and management look at only their 12-18 month view and don’t really care about anything outside their window. The loser is the owner – to the tune of $15.8B annually according to NIST

We currently re-collect incredible amounts of information at each phase of a project. During operations and sustainment we recollect information each time we do a work order. Often the data is different and that ends up coming out of the owner’s pocket as a change order due to unforeseen conditions. If we could hold onto that original information and reuse it later we would positively affect the industry.

The mission of the National BIM Standard Project Committee as identified in the charter is to improve the performance of facilities over their full life-cycle by fostering a common, standard and integrated life-cycle information model for the A/E/C & FM industry. This information model will allow for the free flow of graphic and non-graphic information among all parties to the process of creating and sustaining the built environment, and will work to coordinate U.S. efforts with related activities taking place internationally.

The standard shall consist of, at minimum, the following:

* BIM Scope
* Coverage of Version
* Reference Standards
* Business Processes
* Business Rules
* Data Structures and Models
* Implementation Guidance
* Maturity Model

They have agreed that the work they produce shall be shared freely with the other members of the team. Wherever possible consensus industry and international standards development efforts, especially International Standards Organization (ISO) efforts will be recognized and incorporated into this standard so that the standard is usable by multinational organizations.

...to ensure that information gathered throughout the life-cycle of a constructed facility is collected in a standardized manner such that it will be useful to all interested parties for all purposes throughout the life-cycle of any constructed facility.

Membership in the Council is open to all individuals and organizations with an interest in and commitment to the Council's purposes. The Council's Board of Direction is made up of representatives from user organizations, private software developers and vendors, and governmental agencies.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Facility Information Council, contact Earle Kennett at NIBS, 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4905, (202) 289-7800; fax (202) 289-1092; email ekennett@nibs.org.


For Sid

Today I received some heartbreaking news from a co-worker of a very dear friend of mine, Sid Fontenot. It seems he suddenly passed last night.

The shock and disbelief is wearing off little by little, and we friends come together to remember Sid.

I met Sid through AUGI, where we formed a very tight-knit group that has met together IRL on a few happy occasions.

For those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Sid, I can't explain to you how much we all respected, admired and loved him. He adored his wife and young daughter, and couldn't say enough good things about them. He loved life and embraced it with gusto. Whether it was working long hours to restore power, or playing golf and sucking on crawfish heads (which led our nic-name for him of Crawdaddy Slim). Watching proudly at his nephew's baseball games or showing off pictures of his daughter practicing martial arts.

He has shared not only jokes to lighten my day, but, also heartfelt advice and steadfast support during my most troubled times.

As much as I try, the words I'm writing will never do this man justice and for that, I apologize.

And, as much pain as I am feeling over the loss, I realize that his family feels it even more poignantly. Please pray for their comfort as they make their way bravely through this dark and lonely time, and that they will soon only have smiles when they think of him.

Goodbye Sid. We love and miss you.

~pony - one of your ILK

(a photo of us with our friends at training at AU2005 in Orlando)