Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Contact Mike Ball if you want to bring your family to Southeast France to say in an Alpine farmhouse.

The Web page for it starts:
Les Places is a traditional alpine farmhouse which was constructed in 1828 and extensively restored to a high standard in 1995.

The house is situated on the edge of the village of Bonnevaux in a quiet location served by a private road leading off the main village through road before it climbs up the Col de Corbier. Bonnevaux is situated just off the main Thonon (Lake Geneva) to Chatel road. It is 22 km from Thonon (30 minutes).

The house has extensive mountain views and a large front garden (fenced to gate and driveway) and large pasture at the rear of the house. There is ample off road parking.

The garden at the house is ideal for sunbathing and for children, barbeque equipment is provided in the cave.

The property can be entered from two levels via the front gate to the lower house or the side road to the upper apartment. Because the house is built on a hillside both entrances are on a road level.

The accommodation is spacious and flexible and can be rented in a range of combinations including two large self contained apartments.
He'll rent you the big apartment, the small one or both.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Two Wheels, Many Times

In British Columbia, Canada, serious cycling (300, 400 and 600 kilometers) is the norm at the BC Randonneurs Cycling Club. They describe their macho spinning here.

Michael Ball reveals the good, bad and terrible in his rookie trips. He did some, failed miserably elsewhere, and tells all in a long, chatty report. For example, the bitter end of his first attempt at a 400KM includes:
Then the heartburn started, saddle sores and numb feet. My paced slowed slightly, but I was still making good time. I arrived in Duncan at 7:30 pm. Just over 50 km's to go, but I was done, I'd hit the wall. I had been unable to eat anything since 2 pm. The previous 50 km I struggled to keep water down. My vision became blurry and I felt very unstable on my bike. I phoned my wife to pick me up. She encouraged me to rest and then continue, but I felt so sick, cold and tired. About an hour later I loaded my bike onto the van and we drove home. The next day I felt much better, with my stomach accepting food again. I was mad at myself for not being tougher and sticking it out. I now know what it is like to suffer. Next time I vowed that I would be mentally tougher.
Whether or not you're a jock in general or a cyclist specifically, it's a fascinating profile.

Friday, June 24, 2005

One Blind(s) Mike

Down in Rockledge, Florida, near Cocoa Beach, Mike Ball is a certified professional installer for Blinds of All Kinds.

His CV is:
Mike has already attended the Certified Installer seminar from Hunter Douglas in Miami and he also attended the Heritance shutter seminar in Tampa. He is a fast learner and totally committed to doing the job right. Mike has a great attitude, is well liked among his peers and his customers praise his installations. We are proud to have Mike on our installation team.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Drill Field Drill

Just because you're on the battlefield, you don't have to skip that tooth extraction. That was the message from Staff Sgt. Michael Ball at the Tipler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. He was a featured source for the article in the August 2000,Medical Minute newsletter.

The equipment is fairly different from that in a dentist's office, and there's less of it. Yet, during field exercises, the Army dentists (scary phrase to civilians) got to practice on the obedient soldiers.

Mike was operations NCO for the Pacific Regional Dental Command. The patients probably didn't need to know that, as he said, "Some of our assistants have never seen this equipment before. It’s important that they be able to work with it because they may end up going to division next.”

The field equipment is lighter and made for mobility. Mike said it didn't take much time for his staff to get the hang of it. “Everything you do (in the clinic), you can do out here and vice versa."

The newsletter reported that to make sure there were enough "emergencies":
With the field site just feet from the clinic, patients regularly scheduled for treatment were escorted out to the treatment tent for their appointments. During the exercise, the dentists and their assistants performed numerous treatments in the field environment including tooth extractions, fillings and routine examinations.

“This shows (the patients) that they would get the same treatment out in the field as in the clinic,” Ball said.
That could be interpreted several ways. I trust the joke that military justice is to justice as military music is to music doesn't carry over to his field.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Genologics Update

Late last year, we cited President Michael Ball at Genologics Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He is still shy. His company is thriving, but the press material on it makes scant mention of him and there is no image or profile of him to be found. From time to time there is a quote from him.

Meanwhile though:
  • In March, the company introduced its ProteusLIMS™ Version 2.0 into Europe. This was at the big pharmaceutical show (InfoTech Pharma/Pharma Solutions Expo) in London.
  • Last month, Genologics and the Institute for Systems Biology formed a strategic partnership for open-source software tools distribution to the life-sciences community.
Does anyone have a pic of this Michael?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Same or Different?

Is there a guitar gene for Michael Ball? Either from some other band already cited or a new one plays for Ambassador Now!.

You can check out the band members, with their seriously AV club look, here.

They are D.C. based, started in 2002, may still be playing (or not), and you can grab three loud, fast tunes from their site.

By the bye, I have no idea which one of the five is our guy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pipe News

Down in D.C., the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) lists Michael Ball as the editor of its The Insider. That's the newsletter of the Municipal & Industrial Division of the PPI.

You an see a sample here. Note that this is a PDF file and you need an Adobe Acrobat compatible reader to view or print it.

This particular issue leads with the headline "HDPE Pipe Reviews Drought Crisis in Texas: Town Receives State Aid for Water Pipeline."

Monday, June 13, 2005

Political Ignominy

One once noted Michael Ball has literally disappeared off the face of the earth. According to the Political Graveyard site, this one was from Manhattan, New York. He was a noted Republican. Among his credentials was being alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention from New York, 1908, 1916, 1924.

Unlike many politicians of the era, his circumstances of demise and burial location remain unknown.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Wire Bending Mike

Craftsman specializing in variety of media, this British Michael Ball started on jewelry. On his site, you can find basic bio info:
Date of Birth: 20 Nov 1967

Michael is a crafts designer living and working in East Sussex, England. He set up his first business as a self-employed craftsman in 1989 making simple cast and constructed silver jewellery. Since then he has produced work in a range of media including carved wooden designs, painted glass window hangings, and traditional wooden hand tools. At present Michael designs craft projects for magazines in Britain and the US, and produces websites for clients in the South of England.
He also runs a crafts-idea and project site here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Alabama Tech Zones?

In Madison, Alabama, the planning commission hopes to establish the first technology zones in the state. Rep. Mike Ball is helping the Technology Ad Hoc Committee make this happen. The zones would foster business growth and innovation.

The committee includes:
  • Tracy Lamm of the Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Mayor Jan Wells
  • Councilman Marc Jacobson and representatives of the Community Development Department, Information Technology, Madison Water and Wastewater Board
  • City Attorney Anne Marie Lacy
  • Richard Knox and Don Palmer of the Industrial Development Board

Lamm said
, "Other members of this committee will be added as needed. These efforts are being coordinated with Sen. Tom Butler and Representatives Ray Garner and Mike Ball. Our initial research has resulted in finding no other city in Alabama with a designated technology zone."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Risible Surnames

There is a masochist's pride in a funny last name, specifically Ball. Several other with our name have noted in emails that they too belong to the club. It may be like a dueling scar having had to suffer thousands of jibes.

I confess I have only a little sympathy with the Shoemaker or Fuchs who decry what they endured. It is small beer to have a name with such a limited set of puns and insults.

A linguist told me that Ball is likely the worst in the English language. The humor set includes:
  • any sport with a ball
  • coitus
  • dances
  • clichés, such as on the ball, have a ball, and behind the eight ball
  • testicles
  • hair balls
  • sour balls
  • wrecking balls
  • tea balls
  • and even bullets.
Ball is a noun and a verb in far too many formats and contexts.

I honestly had a slim hope that my linguist chum knew or could think of another funnier name. Not yet.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Risky Mike

In Cardiff, Wales, Mike Ball is the manager of the Corporate & Major Incident section of CMIT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crawford & Company.

The firm defines itself as, "...the world's largest independent provider of diversified services to insurance companies, self-insured corporations, and governmental entities. Among the many services provided are claims management, loss adjustment, healthcare management, risk management services, class action administration, and risk information services."

Friday, June 03, 2005

Have a Hive

In Cherokee country, Georgia, Mike Ball has been vice president or secretary of the Cherokee Beekeepers for several years. See him here (second from left).

The next meeting will be Thursday, June 16th at 7:00 PM in the Jury Assembly Room of the Cherokee County Justice Center in Canton. Bill Posy will demonstrate removing, extracting and handling honey.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another Mike Ball Star

This Mike Ball apparently knows not only his stars, but his scopes. At the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club Star Gaze 2003, he brought his handmade Dobsonian telescope.

He also demonstrated how to make one.

The topic was new to me. There are many Net sites with the how-to, including this one.