Using Google Calendar Effectively

21 September 2019

Google Calendar makes the world go 'round, especially for kids who travel between households and have lots of school events. There are a couple things you can do to get the most out of your calendar.

Set Locations

Calendar events obviously come with times and fixed reminders so many minutes before the event. It doesn’t matter where you are or where the event takes place: that notification is coming at the same time.

With a location set on each calendar event, other software, like Waze GPS, can continuously watch your current location and offer you a more useful notification giving you time to travel based on distance and current driving conditions along the way.

Set the Earliest Time

Most my calendar events have just one start time, but my kids' events aren’t that simple. A marching band performance may be at 7pm, but the bus to the stadium leaves at 4pm. Since we live by notifications, it’s important to get those notifications at the earliest time at which we need to act. The other times are likely just extra details that can go into the event title or event details. I can get a notification for 4pm and realize I don’t need to be there until 7pm, but I can’t tolerate a 7pm notification if I was supposed to be dropping a kid at the practice at 4pm.

If I find it’s important to see notifications for all the potential times of an event, then it’s probably best to break that event into more than one event: drop-off, performance, and pick-up.

Share the Calendar

This is the first and most useful collaboration feature of Google Calendar. A personal calendar benefits one person, but invite the other participants (the kids), and then they can start adding and maintaining events and following these rules as well.

Bachelor Week 2013

12 August 2013

Bachelor Week 2013 (where Claire and kids ran off to the beach and left me behind) started out with photographing at the Menges Mills Tractor Show for the third year, and the week ended with a quick road trip after work to join the family for a day on the beach.

In between, I got to a party with some photographer friends, sat in front of the computer for many, many hours catching up on photo processing for the Project 365 (whew!) and beyond. I also managed to have some friends over for an Xbox night to play a little good old Halo 2 and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed.

While continuing to go to work, I listened to podcasts like crazy (at 1.5x speed!) to get caught up on all the news in technology and photography.

It was a much-needed reset, and I was glad to rejoin the family at the end of the week (and start adding to my photo backlog again)!

Eating My Way Across Disney

28 March 2009

Back in the middle of January, the whole family (with my parents) took a vacation to Disney World in Florida. We spent a week there, had a great time, and we ate very well.

We went back to EPCOT for dinner a couple times, so we needed the park-hopper tickets to allow us to switch parks at dinner time.

Here are some of the restaurants we visited in order of my preference:

  1. Tusker House Checkin Lunch at Tusker House (Animal Kingdom/Africa) -- buffet with a wide variety regional dishes to try. (I remember this being very veggie friendly.)
  2. Marrakesh Hallways Dinner at Marrakesh (EPCOT/Morocco) -- beautiful restaurant with interesting Moroccan food I've not had previously -- we split the expensive "feast" sampler and an appetizer, so we could try lots of different things. While I may not really like Moroccan food, it was an awesome experience.
  3. Lunch at the quick burrito/taco place, La Cantina, in EPCOT/Mexico.
  4. Le Cellier Le Cellier Steakhouse (EPCOT/Canada) had excellent food and beer. I had the Trois di Pistoles from Canada's own Unibroue brewery.
  5. Kids with Eeyore Pooh character breakfast (buffet) at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom.
  6. For Italian, Mama Melrose in Hollywood Studios was better than Tony's in Magic Kingdom.
  7. Paige and Belle Norway's restaurant with the princess was only OK. The authentic Norwegian dish amounts to a meat loaf, and the appetizer buffet wasn't very extensive.

I also drank my way half way around the world, but I sort of ran out of time on that endeavor.

My parents made all the dinner reservations, some 2 months in advance (Le Cellier) and some 9 hours: (407) WDW–DINE takes care of all that.

The photos are in the gallery, and it's not just food.

Claire's Weekend Away

07 November 2008

Claire's headed off for her Manic Mommies cruise for the weekend, and I'm anticipating the rest of my weekend with the kids. Paige has a half day of school, so I figured I'd just take Friday off.

I figure it's an opportunity to do the stuff she wasn't jumping to do, so I'm looking for some things to do with the kids and people to join us.

Here's my loose plan so far:

Then everyone's back to school, day care, and work for Monday.

Anyone interested in joining us or have any additional ideas? More kids are obviously welcome.

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