Category Archives: posts

I don’t want to know!

I sit in this cube, day after day, listening to those around me. The sighs. The phone calls. The personal information that I really, really, really don’t understand why you’re sharing with 5 of your co-workers sitting around you. It’s a cubicle, made out of fabric and 1/4″ of foam, not Fort Knox. Seriously?

(Image taken fromĀ Success Yeti)

What a week

Thursday my car ran out of gas while I was warming up in the driveway. Embarrassing to say the least. The rest of the day was downhill from there – very frustrating.

Now it’s Friday. Time to unwind. I got some things done, but it wasn’t the day I had hoped it would be for various reasons – but no reason to dwell on the past there. Time to go home and just relax…..

RIP, Steve Jobs

Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs


Like a lot of people, I’m a fan of Apple Computer. I buy their products, I own stock – I even worked there in college as an intern in their Customer Relations Department (one of the best years of my life). If cut, I know I’d bleed six colors (*). I never knew Jobs personally – he was still in “exile” when I was at Apple, instead working during the end of Michael Spindler’s tenure. But enough of the full-timers I worked with – friends even now – have shared stories, and there’s more than a few stories about him online. All of them awesome. All of them inspiring. When he stepped down in August, he looked a little bit… less Steve. Now the world knows why.

Thanks for being insanely great, Steve.

Have you heard of Guenter Wendt?

Have you heard of Guenter Wendt? I’m pretty sure you have and don’t know it. Featured in the movie “Apollo 13” during the “closeout” scene, Guenter was the last person to see the astronauts before launch – he strapped them in and shut the door. Ironically, during the test of Apollo 1, Wendt wasn’t working at Cape Canaveral due to North American Aviation after McDonnell Aircraft lost their contract. After the accident, the astronauts insisted that Wendt be brought back – a testament to their faith in his quest to make sure they were as safe as possible.

Read the full “Honorary Unsubscribe” here.

You can’t make this stuff up….

Popular Science reports….
The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, just cannot catch a break. First, a coolant leak destroyed some of the magnets that guide the energy beam. Then LHC officials postponed the restart of the machine to add additional safety features. Now, a bird dropping a piece of bread on a section of the accelerator has, according to the Register, shut down the whole operation.
Best billion dollars ever spent, right?

Remember, remember….

In honor (?) of Guy Fawkes day….
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

FLA Road trip, day one: 2009-09-18

So, we got off to a late start – like leaving my house at 8:30pm or so. A quick trip to the store to get some snacks, then off to see what kind of trouble awaited us. Traffic was fine, except the part that I dreaded – rightfully, it turned out – in New York, before we got on the George Washington bridge. I’d driven through this part of the Bronx once before: a trip to Sesame Place with another family, in two minivans. I managed to see the EXACT SAME GAS STATION this time that we stopped at the last time. To say it was weird is an understatement.
Our stop for the night was a hotel to be named later in Edgewood, MD. It’s to be named later because, despite me calling Thursday night to confirm and double-check the reservation, they got it wrong. When I called, they said that they had a King non-smoking room set for us. I corrected them and told them it was to be a double queen non-smoking room – and the person I spoke to said they’d take care of it. They didn’t. The woman at the reception desk looked in the computer and couldn’t figure out what the problem was, and asked if I had called to make a change to the reservation on the 8th of this month. I didn’t. She also didn’t see any indication of me calling on Thursday night, which cheered me up no end. Besides offering a double queen smoking room – NOT acceptable – she was able to get us a king non-smoking with a sleeper sofa. Guess who ended up on the sofa? Me. To say that I was unhappy with the arrangements is an understatement, but considering it was 1:30 in the morning, I just wanted to go to sleep. Like, now. So we took it. The woman at reception said she’d tell the manager so they could look into it, and then provided us with sheets, a pillow and a blanket “just in case” the sofa bed wasn’t made.
As the photos below attest, it wasn’t made.
IMG_5577 IMG_5578 IMG_5579 IMG_5580
I also found the “no-smoking” sign AND the ashtray, in the same room, to be a nice “yin-yang” kind of indication of the night. Messed up.
In the morning, I talked to the day shift supervisor – who was aware of the problem, and looked at the computer again. She said that I had talked to her when I called, and she made the changes – so she wasn’t sure why the reservation change didn’t take. Since the manager isn’t going to be in again until sometime this week, I’ll have to wait and see if the call me. If not…. I’m not sure. I want to give them a chance to do “the right thing” but I’m not really sure what that would be….. Time will tell, I suppose.

My phone is broke…

And I don’t know why.
Verizon Wireless: Your Motorola KRZR K1m won’t text. It also won’t let me go into the calendar – it says it’s locked.
What’s up with that? I’d call, but I can’t call you from the phone that’s broken – limiting my ability to just call you all…..
Also: welcome to my “new” website. All of the wit, none of the content. The carpenters home is never finished, the cobbler’s children don’t have shoes. My website? Always in flux. You can take THAT to the bank, baby!
Also: I’ve powered down the phone, I’ve removed the battery, I’ve removed the battery to power it down…. I think I can find a chicken if the cell phone gods require a sacrifice. Leave me a comment and let’s see if I can get it fixed without having to call Verizon. I’d like to avoid committing to another 2 years at this point if I can….

Snoopy making a come back?

Peanuts Snoopy Sno-Cone MachineBack when I was a kid, there was only one effective way to cool down in the summer. Well, two, if you had a pool. Number one? The Peanuts Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. Pop a bunch of ice cubes into the top (under Snoopy) and turn the shaver – the snow starts coming right out, making the fun instant – the best kind.
Just wish they had them in stock right now, and not “coming soon now…”

USPS being slightly less than helpful…

USPS-track-confirm_thI came home from Noah’s baseball game yesterday to find a “Sorry we missed you” note from the fine folks at the USPS. It seems that someone is trying to send us a certified letter and no-one was home to sign for it. Now, for most people, the question becomes: who’s sending us a certified letter? And even more importantly, why?
Did we inherit some money? Are we overdue on some bill? Is the town about to take our property and turn it into a park? Did my letter to the furnace maker have something close to the desired effect? Except for the last one, I’m not sure. The furnace maker actually had something in the mail that same day, telling me I was foolish for neglecting to include the serial number of our furnace. Silly me, thinking that if my name is the same as the one that paid for the dang thing, that they’d be able to look me up. But I digress.
The problem here is that I can go to the USPS website and track the certified letter – it’s got it’s own tracking number and everything. But when you go to the page, you learn more about the letter and where it’s going than you do about where it’s supposed to end up. While I can see that this would be useful for the sender, it seems that having even the city and state that it’s coming from might also be helpful.
For the sender, to maybe make sure they entered the 20 digit tracking number in properly (especially since it can be hard to read the handwriting on the little slip).
For the recipient, to maybe give you a small clue as to who’s trying to get in touch with you. Granted, something like “New York, NY” might not tell you much, but it’s a little bit more than knowing that someone from somewhere is trying to send you some bits of paper and really wants to make sure you have it.
But that’s just my thoughts on the matter.
Oh, and Noah’s team won, in case you were wondering.

That sucked

So, the problem with the new version of the backend that runs this site? It’s that it requires a version of MySQL that I don’t have access to. That’s all geek to you, hopefully, but the long and the short of it is that an upgrade would need to be done to the server before I can upgrade my software. I don’t really think that’s going to happen anytime soon. This leaves me flustered, flumoxed, and irritated. But enough about that.
I bought a SATA drive a few months ago to go into a USB enclosure. It’s super fast, but… not quite fast enough. So then I recently managed to get an external SATA enclosure (two drive) and an SATA Express Card for some super-duper high speed fun (editing a few videos, mostly). I tested it out a couple of times, and it was very nice.
Today, for fun, and since I don’t use my computer much at work, I decided to see how long it would take to backup the computer via this new highspeed connection. A long time, apparently.
RIght now, it’s doing about 130mb/min. I started it almost 3 hours ago, and it’s done just over 20gb of backup, which is about 6gb/hour. That means that for the other 115gb, it would take about 19 hours. That’s not… optimal. Of course, I have Mail, Photoshop, and a slew of other programs all running in the background, so that’s not helping things. Regardless, it’s not as super-duper fast as I had hoped it would. It is, however, still fast. And faster than the USB connected drive.
Now if only I could afford the 3TB of storage that I would probably need for all my data…..

Withdrawal

A quick note to say that I’m now completely off the internet. For a whole weekend. Part of me is really cranky, and another part doesn’t care simply because Cablevision no longer gets my money (well, after they finally send us a bill for the correct amount).
The problem stems from cancelling the TV service – the phone rep didn’t understand me when I said “I also have a cable modem provided by Cablevision under a separate account” and I didn’t realize fully what “disconnect you from the cable system” meant. Mostly my bad, but I feel that the phone rep should share at least some of the blame. What happened is that Cablevision feels that since I’m no longer a paying customer, then I shouldn’t be on their network at all. You see, you can get basic cable for free if you’re still connected – they can’t stop the signal without a physical disconnect. The problem is, as I said, that I get my internet from them too. I hadn’t fully fleshed out all my options for a replacement for them when it came to the fore on Thursday night – no internet. I called to complain, and Cablevision was nice enough to offer to send someone out between 10 and 7 the next day – provided I would be home in case they needed to come inside the house to check things.
Not for nothing, but if the internet stopped when you disconnected me from your wires, why would your tech need to come inside the house? Needless to say, I declined. They said that they could see about getting someone out on Saturday, but that was also not much more than a “we’ll see what we can do, but no promises unless you’re willing to stay on hold for 15 minutes” sort of thing. I passed on that too.
I called AT&T from work and signed up for a DSL package. I’m not happy about it, but I think I’ve made it clear that I want Cablevision out of my life. They overnighted me a kit, and I hooked it up, and…. nothing. A call to their tech support for new installs reveals that they can’t hook me up for some reason, and they’ll get back to me about it. I expect to get a call on Monday, but who knows. I’m not happy, especially since what I received from them (a wireless router/DSL modem) is not what I requested (a DSL modem) since I have all the extra fancy stuff I need already at home.
At this point, I fully expect them to tell me that they need to replace the equipment outside the house (a terminal, I think it’s called) since it’s a few years shy of being ancient. Oh, and quite dirty. But we’ll see how that turns out on Monday.
More updates as events warrant.
Oh, and thanks mom and dad, for letting me use your internet while Ethan took an entirely too long nap.

Zombie attack!

42%

Mingle2Free Online Dating

I think I scored so “poorly” because I decided should Zombies attack, I’d try to save Jen and the kids. Obviously when I say “save,” I’m referring to non-zombie attacked people – if they’re bitten/infected/touched (a new variant of zombie, apparently) then I’m not going to be in denial and hope they can be saved. Zombie lore says that once they’re infected, they’re done for. Sad but true!

Long time, no blog. Again.

So, it’s been almost three weeks since the last post. Wow. Time sure flies when you’re having fun.
Well, not exactly. More like been super busy. At work I had to help make sure all the labs were up to date before we started the semester – since the last post was on 1/18, that only left a few days. It wasn’t hard, especially with the very helpful student workers, but that’s on top of the normal workload – so the extra work isn’t cool. Regardless, we got through it, and I think we did a good job in the process.
Personally, we’ve had to deal with a stomach bug (which I detailed a little earlier in the month) as well as just the normal fun and games involved with running a family.
Today, however, was the icing on the cake. While a friend and I were at Target, I walked into a display. In retrospect, it might have been sticking out into the aisle a little bit, but I might also have walked off the aisle – we were almost at the end, so I might have just been trying to get ahead of myself. Regardless, I bashed my shin – no big deal, except for the pain. Or so I thought.
I’ve now got a HUGE swollen cut. I’ve got anti-bacterial junk and a band-aid on it, sitting underneath a big ol’ ice pack – I just hope it doesn’t hurt like heck in the morning.
In less painful news, although :ethan: is still spending more time in our bed than we would like, he’s developed a fun new habit: giving everyone goodnight kisses. He’s very irritated if someone tries to go to bed without getting a kiss from him, and he really seems to enjoy the process. First he goes into :noah:’s room, where he can just lean over and get a kiss. For :emma:’s room he needs a boost to get up to her for her kiss. Up in :abby: and his room, he climbs up the step and then onto her bed to give her a hug and a kiss. Since she will, more often than not, already be asleep at that time, he usually gives her a kiss, looks over at me and says “Ssssshhh!” and then kisses her again before climbing into his bed.
He doesn’t stay there, of course, but I think he’s starting to get our bedtime routine, and Jen and I hope that he will soon try sleeping in his own bed for more than a nap here or there, or when we stick him in his bed.

The most expensive absentee ballot. Ever.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Rare stamp ‘used on US post vote’
A rare stamp worth as much as $200,000 may be on an envelope sealed in a ballot box after the US mid-term elections, poll officials say.
Officials in Broward County, Florida, say they saw a famous “Inverted Jenny” stamp while reviewing postal ballots.
About 700 of the stamps were mistakenly printed in 1918 with an upside down illustration. Just 100 went on sale.
But it will be 22 months before laws will permit the box with the envelope to be reopened and the stamp checked.
The original stamps bear a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 plane, known as a Jenny, which was used for training pilots in World War I and later became an airmail plane.

I can only imagine that any and all philatelists (stamp collectors) in Florida are rushing to their collections to see if their stamp is missing. Well, if they had one in the first place:
Four “Inverted Jenny” stamps sold for almost $3m last year

General update

Two out of four kids have ear infections. Nice.
Lamont lost to Lieberman – I’m sorry, but I’m not surprised. I really don’t want to get into the debate about all this crap, but I agree that Lamont lost because he made the election about Lieberman, not the issues. Either way, we’re not going to leave Iraq anytime soon, and I honestly don’t know what the heck Lieberman has to do with that – HE isn’t the one who got us into this quagmire, Bush is. Let’s focus on getting him out of the Oval office, then we can address Joe’s problems.
Britney Spears: yes, she’s getting a divorce. Yeah. I think I already addressed this. The reason I mention it: she drives a lot of traffic to my site. Not her personally, of course….. People looking for photos of her. I’ll save you the trouble: look here – they’re all in one place. I might add some to the page. Why?
I used to include the posts about Britney in the “Posts” category. Now that page is about 2mb in size. When the search engines spider the site, they put that page in their index under Britney Spears, even though it’s not really appropriate. I’ve taken the liberty of removing those posts from the page, but also of using a robots.txt file to block spider access to that page. Since doing that, traffic to that page – and my monthly bandwidth usage – have shot way down. Coincidence? I think not.
I’ve noticed that the Britney page is making it’s way up the “popular pages” list, but not quite as quick as I expected. I wonder how long it will take for the photos page to make the list? Let’s find out.