Fall Sailing in Mississippi

Me, Sport / , ,

25 November 2013


Here’s a quick video I shot and edited last night of my maiden voyage aboard my new (used) Catalina 22 sailboat.

PS – excuse the wobbly video. First time editing a GoPro and I think there’s some settings in there an on YouTube that did that.


A Crisis of Masculinity with Today’s Boys

Culture / , ,

9 August 2013


Acclaimed documentarian, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, has a new trailer out for an upcoming feature length doc that explores the myriad pressures boys must endure as part of today’s hypercompetitive, sports focused American society. I often find my own understanding of masculinity and the man-values I wish to impart to my son to be contrary to the many messages he receives out in the world – be it from relatives, other dads, coaches, teammates and friends, school, religion, or video games.

The Mask You Live In documentary will examine how gender stereotypes are interconnected with race, class, and circumstance, and how kids are further influenced by the education system, sports culture, and mass media- video games and pornography in particular. (From Kickstarter page)

Looking forward to this.


Longing For Some Beach Time

Me / ,

30 July 2013


My son Chance is at the beach this week with his Nena and Papa and I’m missing him terribly. This was taken in the spring of 2012 off Gulf Shores in Alabama.


I’m Now Google Analytics Qualified!

Me / ,

25 June 2013


Google Analtyics IQ Certification - Rob Rubinoff

I’ve been working with Google Analytics for some time now both in terms of personal insights and client work. I decided to study up and take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) exam and I passed on my first go-round.

They even provided a URL I can share and add to profiles that confirms my passing.

Confirmation Link: https://googlerecords.starttest.com?code=I006BFA5D017CFA75066BF362027C027B2911C7B2


A Year Ago Today My Sister Had Life-Saving Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE) Surgery at UCSD

Me /

19 June 2013



A year ago today my little sister Laura Rubinoff had life saving surgery on her lungs.

Prior to the surgery, she was on oxygen and in a wheelchair. She could barely stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. Her heart was working overtime trying to pump oxygen deprived blood through her body. The prognosis was eventually heart failure – I heard my parents talking about a couple years of diminishing health and then death.

I live 900 miles away from my parents and sister. Laura had come to my wedding a couple years earlier but I hadn’t seen her since. When I saw her a year ago at an extended stay hotel in La Jolla, California, I was alarmed at her state. Blue lips, gasping for air after a few steps from the room to the car. It was really scary.

A Long Path

ed-laura-me-torrey-pinesLaura has suffered from blood clots for years. The first time I remember was about a year after I graduated college. She was admitted to the hospital and they used the clotbusting drugs to thin out her blood. She was stable for several more years but they came back again when I was living in Pinecrest, FL. Again she went into the hospital – this time for a few weeks. Getting her blood chemistry just right took a long time.

Then fast forward a decade or more. Laura was excelling in her career as a Paralegal and doing well in life. Inexplicably she developed a lung infection – Nontuberculous Mycobacterium. It caused her to cough and cough to no end. She bruised herself from coughing so much. It actually got to the point where she wasn’t able to work. In her diminished state, the blood clots came back. I don’t think anyone’s really sure what caused what – a chicken or the egg thing. Suffice to say, it was a perfect storm. She was in real trouble. She had blood clots in her lung that were causing massive hypertension and she had a crazy lung infection that she couldn’t get rid of. Double whammy.

Laura was seeing the best Dr’s at the University of Miami. They recommended she travel to Denver. She did and got her hopes up that maybe there would be a solution. They didn’t feel they could help her. She was too weak – they didn’t believe she would make it. Depression set in. Incapable of caring for herself, going to the store, dating, going to the movies, working, etc. And on top of her inability to be self sufficient, insomnia set in. She’d go days only sleeping a few minutes at a time between horrible coughing fits. A bad situation was only looking bleaker. She confided in me that she wondered what the point of going on was.

And Laura wasn’t the only one affected. My parents, now both in the 70’s were carrying the load. The toll on them was horrendous. I’ve had an opportunity to care for my wife this year in her battle with Breast Cancer and its not easy. Besides, Laura is kind of high maintenance to begin with so taking care of her must have been really tough!

At some point in the spring of 2012 we learned about a team at UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center that had developed what was being billed as a miracle surgery. We didn’t have many options. My sister was dying.

The surgery is called Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE). I’m not 100% sure how its done, but they basically are able to remove huge blood clots.

I made my way to La Jolla to meet up with my Family. I spent a weekend with my sister, dipped my toes in the Pacific and we were able to take my dad out for Father’s Day lunch at Torrey Pines. Before her surgery, the nurses came in and spoke to Laura about a living will and stuff. My Mom was having trouble talking to her so I took over and Laura and I talked about her options with humor and love like only a brother and sister can do. I said my good bye’s and kissed her and left back to Mississippi. She had surgery the next day and came out just fine.

The surgery is so major that they usually keep people there for months to recover. Somehow, her little heart and cardio system got back quickly and her recovery time was way shorter than normal. When I spoke with her on the phone I could just hear the health returning.

Back In Action


Her recovery has been simply amazing. Today, she’s back working and enjoying a moderately active and self sufficient lifestyle. Laura was never big on exercise and I doubt she’ll be running any marathons anytime soon. She’s alive though. Laura visited Mississippi a few weeks ago to celebrate my adoption of Chance and his graduation.

I’m grateful for the doctors at UCSD for all their work and for giving my sister her life back.


Lebron Stuffs Tiago Splitter

Sport / ,

10 June 2013


Lebron Stuffs Tiago Splitter


Getting Started with Android Studio on Windows 7 – A Guide For Complete Newbs

How To / ,

3 June 2013



For a couple years now, I’ve had a hankering to build an Android App for funzies and a couple times attempted to get started. Each time however, I got stymied by not being able to simply install the base set of tools needed to begin work. You see, often enough, ‘getting started’ tutorials in the development world assume you know what they heck they’re talking about when they start throwing around TLA’s (three letter accronyms). I’ve run into basic gaps that get me stuck, frustrated and have me move on to something more fruitful.

At this year’s Google I/O, one of the highlights was a new set of development tools for Android Apps. Now that there was a new set of tools, I thought I’d give the installation process another try and this time I was successful. Here’s the steps I took to get the new Android Studio up and running on my Widows 7 PC.

Basic Development Terms

Some basic definitions to help you out.

  • API – Application Programming Interface – in the android world, these are the different versions of android. While we typically call things by their code name (i.e., gingerbread, ice cream sandwich, jelly bean). In actuality, each version has a number associated with it. When creating apps, you tell your app what minimum and what target version of android to work on.
  • APK – Application Package File – file format / package used to combine all the files needed for an Android App.
  • AVD – Android Virtual Device – test device that can run on your computer that allows you to click through and test your app.
  • JDK – Java Developer Kit – bunch of software and code libraries that need to be installed to allow other software to run on your computer.
  • SDK – Software Developer Kit – the set of tools and code that companies distribute to help people build apps and software.
  • XML – Extensible Markup Language – language used to define all sorts of stuff within your app like Layout, etc.

Software Setup

The new Android Studio software package includes lots of stuff that got real developers really happy. This got me happy because I found the previous SDK confusing and was hoping this would make my goal of making an app easier! This release however is targeted at developers who most likely already are building apps so I found there were a couple gaps I needed to overcome.

Getting Java Installed

In order to run the new Android Studio software, you’re going to need to have Java stuff installed on your machine. This is more than whatever browser java plug-in you might have. I find the Oracle/Java site a nightmare to understand and am often overcome w/ fear when I see a list of like 30 potential packages to download. Head over here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk7-downloads-1880260.html and download the “Windows x64” version. I’m on Windows 7 and it worked for me. When installing it, don’t make any fancy changes, just go with the defaults.

Installing Android Studio

Download it from this page: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/studio.html. Good thing is that there are a bunch of instructions. The video below also has some good tips.

One thing to note is that I had to add a new system variable like it says on the install instructions. I followed the instructions exactly and it worked just fine. Start menu > Computer > System Properties > Advanced System Properties. Then open Advanced tab > Environment Variables and add a new system variable JAVA_HOME that points to your JDK folder, for example C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_21.


Starting a Project

I followed the video above and the tutorial for the previous Eclipse based Android SDK to setup my first instance/app.

Previewing Your App – Device Emulation

The last hurdle I needed to overcome was getting the new set of tools to emulate an android device. You can hook up real devices, but I haven’t got that far yet. I wanted to see the test app I created in a device emulated on my Win 7 pc. After getting some errors when attempting to see the app on a Nexus 7 device, I checked out Managing AVDs with AVD Manager which got me pointed in the right direction. Be sure to set the RAM size lower than default to get it to launch. My PC has plenty of RAM but there was a notice to not set above like 768MB which worked for me. The cool thing about these emulators is that they basically run a full version of Android right in a window on your computer. So when testing things out, be sure to give it some time to boot up just like you need to do when booting up a real device.

What’s Next?

I’m going to run through the Building Your First App and see if I can’t get something a little more complex than Hello World up and running!


Finding My Happy Place In A Porsche 911 YouTube Video

Found / ,

24 April 2013


Since the day I recognized there was a discernible difference between a cool car and my Mom’s station wagon, I’ve admired the Porsche 911. As I matured and my peers dreamed of Ferraris, DeLoreans and Lambos, my attention held fast to arguably Deutchland’s greatest export. I’d often dream of someday being rich enough to buy one of of my own.

About a year ago, I started perusing the web for classic cars and every couple weeks I find myself on eBay or similar sites looking for a perfect buy. I’m drawn to the 1978-1983 911 SC model. It’s probably the model I first saw as a kid on Miami Vice or something.

In my search for a classic Porsche 911 SC, I’ve gone as far as emailing a seller and in hindsight the deal was one I should have taken. I haven’t seen a similar 911SC for anything near the price of that one. I’ve also actually bid on a few through eBay, but each time it appears I’m up against some sort of bidding-bot because seconds after I place my bid, I’m told I’ve been outbid.

So when I’m in need of a little pick me up, I turn to the web and search for Porsche 911 videos. I came across this one a few months back. Enjoy.


Here’s A Good Reason Why There Should Continue To Be Reluctance For Increased Oil Drilling & Transport

Editorial /

1 April 2013


This past weekend, an oil transportation pipeline burst in Mayflower, Arkansas spilling thousands of gallons of oil and forcing the evacuation of a couple dozen homes. (Fox Business).

From YouTube user: Sheilaaliens.

From ABC News

UPDATE: photos from the affected area posted to Quartz: http://qz.com/69450/photos-what-an-oil-spill-looks-like-in-your-backyard/




28 March 2013


I’ve been sober seven years today. One little step at a time I’ve learned to love life and appreciate those who make it so very special. #w00t


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