Phoenix Temperatures

Here’s some interesting information — supported by actual pictures of temperature of surfaces near our home in Ahwatukee (Phoenix, AZ) — that shows just how hot the pavement can be. Read More

Snow in Southern Arizona!

While Nemo deposits huge quantities of snow on the east coast, and northern Arizona also gets a fair dumping of the cold white stuff, us desert-dwellers down in southern Arizona are getting a winter dusting as well.

Yesterday afternoon Carol’s mom reported snow in Green Valley, in the early evening we had BB-sized hail in Arizona City (just south of Casa Grande), and co-worker Mary sent this picture this morning from her home in Benson, saying “Got 2 ½ inches of snow. I even measured with a ruler. Was a little closer to 3 inches but I was sure I wasn’t lying if I said 2 ½.”:

2.5 inches of snow in Benson, AZ

Almost 3 inches of snow in Vail, AZ

Software development…

Most of you know I’m a computer geeky-type guy.  And most of you also know (or have a hint, anyway) that I wrote my first computer program on punch cards way back in 1970!  You probably also know I have lately been doing custom software development at Carondelet Health Network in Tucson.  My two most prized development efforts are:

  • Daily Labor Cost Tool – a productivity reporting tool that brings in labor data and units of service data, and displays hours per unit and dollars per unit on a daily basis, either by department (in detail) or by hospital (with department summaries).
  • Carondelet Access Request System – a system that facilitates requests for access to most of our computing resources, while also providing audit data to a level we have never before been able to achieve.

So what do I do on the weekends when I go home?  You probably think I’m crazy… but I do more programming!  It’s fun to me, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of the challenge of taking a concept and making it work.

I have several personal at-home development projects in the works:

  • eBid Assistant – a program that will search eBay for you every couple of minutes and send you an email if it finds a new item meeting your search criteria.  [I wanted to call it “eBay Assistant”, but you know how sensitive companies are about using their brand name.]
  • Camera Assistant – a program that sits quietly in the background, waiting for you to connect your camera to your PC, and when it detects it, the program moves all of the image and video files off of your camera on to your hard drive, and goes “ding” when it’s done.  Normally you have to go through several manual steps to move your pictures from your camera to the PC, but with this, you just connect it to USB, and unplug it when it goes “ding”.
  • My own web site – RayHarwood.com and the various sub-sites, like blog.rayharwood.com.  I have my weather page and my page of stock certificates.

And I work a little on web sites for other people now and then.  If you’re looking for a fancy art-work site with lots of animation and glitz, I’m not your guy; but if you need a data-driven site, with forms, a database, workflow concepts, automated alerts, etc., then maybe I can help you.

I’m also looking at taking my eBid Assistant concept “to the cloud”.  Currently, the software installson your PC, and sends email to your mobile device.  I’d like to make a web site where you register, provide your search criteria and contact information, and it all happens from there.  I’ve got plenty of experience going remote hosted web sites, but this concept will require a 24×7 “service” to run, which you can’t normally do on hosted web services.

I’ll post more about my computing adventures. Check back if you’re interested!