Saturday, July 31, 2004

Colorado Pure bottled water and office coffee distributor

Hey... this is where Jaime works now! Working at Zach's folks business. My baby... a working woman.

Tiffany is here

Tiffany is here... Tiffany is here!

I'm so happy! :)

CBS News | Jailhouse Jingles Can Cost You $$

This is the kind of thing some of the Sheriff implementations look for. I heard about this kind of scam when we brought up the first system, probably 8 years ago.

NEVER push * at the request of someone on the phone.

Friday, July 30, 2004

FLX-1000 GrandTec Virtually Indestructible Keyboard at TigerDirect.com

I'm going to have to check this out more. I've been thinking, "Why don't they make a full keyboard that you could roll up?" and here it is. Cool. I found it on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools. I'm think about it some more, and then probably order it.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Who would have thought!

46 today. Wow... who would have thought. Time flies!

I changed my background color back to the original. Looks like it is definately a problem with amber alert stuff... as they changed off of yellow to the normal ticker colors and everything looks fine. So maybe I won't worry about it.

Extermely busy at work still, but hopefully things are quiteing down. Tif comes in tomorrow and VanHalen is on Sunday. Both those things RAWK. :)

And another quick note... Head a discussion by some folks about blogging personal stuff. Yeah, I know what you mean. Sometimes you just want to journal it (and blogging is how some of us are used to doing that), but you don't think it is for public consumption. I've done that before and just marked it as a draft. That way no one can see it... but I still can. And it gets it out of my system. Just something else for someone out there to think about. You know who you are. :)

Later peeps. Have a great day!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Ugly but readable

So I messed with my template a little - but I'm not sure what is wrong. I don't have time to mess with it now, so I changed the post background to peach. Not real nice looking, but it is readable. I'll try and fix it later.

Can you read that? I can't

Hmm... my blog text appears to be black on dark gray. Not very readable. I didn't change anything... I noticed my amber alert is different today. Maybe that changed the text somehow. I'll mess with it when I get a chance.

Yahoo! News - Donkey Wins Colorado Mayoral Election

In Guffey, the mayor used to be a cat, then it died or something and now there is no mayor. Politics in CO. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Its pErn not pOrn

So Tina is in staff meeting and they are done and just small talking and:

Tina: "I don't mind when James does Pern at night"
Teresa: "Did you just say porn? James does porn?"

Yeah... ok... there are enough problems at church without that going around, LOL.

ITS PERN. :) As any regular follower knows, I've been mushing on Pern. Dragons, playing my drum, worshipping, hanging out. Not to be confused what other people do with their computers. ;-)

Worship

(Yeah - nothing like blogging a ton all in one night, huh?)

Worship Thursday night was awesome. Practice starts at 7:00. At 4:30 Tina called and asked if I wanted to pick up dinner from Texas RoadHouse. I said probably but I was working a problem and I'd call her later. About 5:30 she said that Jaime would pick it up. I said that was cool, that way I could just head home. But I'd call when I was leaving. At 6:15 she called to ask if I was leaving yet. Nope, but just get dinner for the two of them. I'd be going straight to practice. At 7:20 we got things settled down and I headed to practice.

Usually I would have just come in late, we'd probably just be starting or maybe working on the first song and I'd just say sorry I'm late and join in. Not this night.

I entered and they were into worship. Bobby was sitting on the stage with his guitar in his lap just praying/worshipping (not playing). Greg was sitting on the stage thumping the bass. Teresa was singing in the spirit. Steve was singing some and Michael was playing the accoustic guitar.

I just kicked off my shoes, and sat down. I didn't even realize how much stuff was on me or how much my head was whirlling until I sat down. I just sat there for a bit praying in the spirit and letting His presence wash over me. Finally I could feel my spirit calm down. I got up and started worshiping. And we just went on worshiping until about 8:30 or so. Then we worked on a song we had done the previous Sunday.

I don't know if we are going to keep that format or not... but I think worshipping first, and then practicing is awesome. Rather than coming in with stuff, strees, pressues, etc. and trying to practice and then worshipping towards the end... doing worship first and then practicing once we are all "there" seems so much more productive.

It was awesome!

I, Robot

Went and saw I, Robot with Jaime this afternoon. First movie I've seen for a while. Her and Erika go all the time, but I've been busy enough lately that I pretty much just chill at home.

I thought it was pretty good. I like Will Smith anyway. I'd recommend it (as much as I'd recommend a movie. So many peoples tastes are different, what they think is acceptable, etc. But I thougth it was good).

And it was cool to do something with my kid, who is really starting to leave the nest as she gets a 5 day a week job, own car, friends, etc.

Code FireFighting

Been fire figthing at work for about 2 weeks now. The end of last week was really good. Made some good progress. We rolled out a brand new implmentation a little while ago, and I just got involved with it (now that I'm architect for the entire group). New implementations always take time to burn in. Almost every new implmentation uses functionality no one else uses and finds a few bugs. And then every new system has different performance requirements, so you end up having to tune it. Some things you can't find out until you are in production, taking production volumes.

Anyway, its been a certain amount of stress, and late nights. But like I said, we made some good progress late in the week. It a way its funny that we call it fire fighting. Not only are we fighting "fires" (big high visibility problems), but to a certain extent it feels like fire fighting to me. The same kind of adrenaline rush. The same amount kind of stress. The same kind of knowing you got something done when you solve the "problem."

I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but for short periods its a kick.

I worked for a few hours this morning, but things look pretty good for now. I haven't mushed for a few days and just scanned about a month of blogs... But, to use another fire fighting analogy, hopefully the fire is contained and things will lighten up some while we just put out a few spot fires and then clean it up. :)

My second win!

Last Sunday was the church picnic, and for the second time in my life I have won a jelly donut eating contest. :) Hey... you have to take joy in the small things in life. :) I won by eating 3.75 HUGH jelly donuts in 3 minutes. I think Rob ate close to 3 and Steve only ate... maybe 1. He choked right at the start. Shoved a whole one in his mouth, almost gagged and then couldn't get any more in. Ended up trying for a while and then spitting it out. And only got one more in.

I started slow, got down 2 right before 2 minutes, probably ate a about 1/2 the 3rd, and then stuffed the rest of the 3.75 into my mouth as people were cheering, "Come on, shove more in. Time is almost up" and they clock was counting down.

I guess my training paid off. :)

Hey... if you're going to do something, do it with passion!

Friday, July 23, 2004

OfficeMAX MicroSite

A bunch of the OffixMax "rubberband man" commericals. :)

Amber Alert

Keith made a comment on one of my entries. I visited his site and saw the Amber Alert ticker... so now it is on my page. It could be formatted better, but I figured I'd at least throw it out there for now.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Dragons and Jelly Donuts

Went to the IstaWeyr hatching last night. (There will be logs published at some point). Tiffany impressed a gold. How very cool.

Church picnic today. Jelly Donut eating contest... Yeah baby... :)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Software support - real time

After reading several posts on the new Blogger interface, I came across massless' entry.

The thing that most impresses me, and that I commented on, was the fact that he is taking comments from users real time, responding to them, and then fixing them and pushing them out to the server. I'm used to fire fighting and having to get stuff fixed if it ships with bugs... But for me its always been internal, and pretty much hidden (so to say) in the development group.

This kind of real time fixing is not only admirable, but it is also a sign of the times. Cool stuff.

Blogger's new editor

I haven't been on for a bit. Tonight (as I'm blogging) I noticed that Blogger has a new editor. Although it looks kind of cool, it has been causing me tons of problems. I'm having trouble publishing, my posts aren't formatted right. I'm not sure if its Blogger, Mozilla, or something up with my machine.

Anyway, if things look weird, that is why. I did figure out that if I use "Edit HTML" it works much better than "Compose". Closer to the old interface I guess.

Call of the Wild

So this morning I'm getting ready to head off to work and movement out the back window catches my eye. There is Belle (our puppy) running across the yard, and there are two black birds flying after her. They are squacking at her and actually kind of back winging, almost staying in one place. "What the heck is up with those birds", I think to myself and then open the back door to check it out. Belle has someone managed to catch a bird. It looks kind of small... so maybe one of their babies? (More like a teenager).

Anyway, Tina said the birds were after her for about an hour. They just kept it up.

Yeah, she killed a bird, and that's a bit of a drag. But... just nature in action.

Bill's last day

Today was Bill's last day. He was a manager who took the layoff. He's
going back to school to get his PhD and then become a professor. Cool
stuff for him. Been in the group for something like... 7 years
maybe. Great guy. He'll be missed.

Good luck Bill. Blessing on you and your family!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

USATODAY.com - MCI's wooers keep to themselves

Speculation that Leucadia is looking to buy MCI. This article contains some info on the company.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Kidnap-wary Mexicans get chipped | The Register

Mexico's attorney general has taken the unusual step of having an "anti-kidnap" chip stuck in his arm and then making the fact public - thereby ensuring that anyone lifting seƱor Rafael Macedo de la Concha will be certain to remove said limb at their earliest convenience.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Yahoo! News - Leucadia Seeks to Buy Control of MCI

Don't know what that means, other than our stock has gone up. Currently I own no stock, 'cuz all our old stock was worth 0 and we haven't been issued any new stock yet...

Friday, July 09, 2004

Security holes

With the recent security holes that are surfacing in IE, experts are starting to advise that user's quite using IE and switch to another browser. IE has had holes forever, but now Microsoft isn't issuing patches to close them all. At least not yet.

As I've always said, you should be running Mozilla.

On the heels of the IE problems, yesterday there was an annoucement that Mozilla had a problem, but they already issued a patch for it. This artilce discusses it and contains other info as well. And it was very easy to install. Took a couple of seconds.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I'm still here

Haven't been blogging much lately, due to the fact that I've been mushing when I get some free time, and also I've been much busier at work. New position has me fire-fighting the last few days and I haven't been able to do much else. I'm sure I'll get back to it once things settle down some.

Just didn't want everyone to think I've fallen off the planet or something!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Talking web ads

OK... so as if those annoying ads at the top of free web pages aren't bad enough... now they are talking.

In general I don't mind the ads, 'cuz hey, the web site is free and I'm using them to publish free web pages, etc. But now I clicked on one of my pages and the ad that showed up started talking to me. Great...

Context and its importance in natural language parsing

One issue with natural language parsing is context. As humans, when we see words in a sentence, we sometimes determine what they mean by their context, i.e., what they must mean based upon the surrounding sentences. As hard as it is for computers to deal with this, it is sometimes hard for humans as well.

I was on the PernMUSH Ista knot this morning (kind of an out-of-character chat area) and someone said,
Shimshon notes to himself something he's known for 5 years, "Never edit code the day before you wander off line for a whole day."
My context as someone who writes code for a living, was that Shim was taking about software in general. Probably some piece of code he was working on at work, and he returned to work (after the weekend) and wasn't sure where he had left off, etc. That has happened to me before. Furthermore, it wasn't something I didn't have an issue with when I worked at Digital, because our VAXes would stay up for years. Therefore, when going on vacation I'd leave 5 editors up, and editting different pieces of code, and return with context. I could look and see what I had been doing right before I left. Therefore, I made the following comment,
Jarill laughs - although on a Vax I'd leave my edit windows up w/o fear and return a week later. But w/o context it is rather hard. ;)
To which Shim replied,
Shimshon broke the runner parent, fixed it, and found out that the lead/follow code apparently hasn't working for a while. "Which is disturbing in and of itself."
"Runner parent?", "Lead/follow"??? What is he talking about? Maybe some other coding language term... then finally the context hit me. He wasn't talking about some software code... he was talking about the MUSH code. Shim, in character, works with animals. On Pern a 'runner' is a horse. What he was saying was that you should never mess with the MUSH code and be offline for a day, because if you just broke something you won't know about it - and you won't be around for other people to complain to.

I notice this kind of thing happening every now and then. I'll be at work and someone will call from church, and because my context is "work" I'll filter everything through that. Something they say will make no sense... but would if they had said it to me at church.

Anyway... just something I find interesting, having studied the problems computers have with it. Its not just computers... somtimes its us as well.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Drumming

I'm drumming tomorrow morning. Dominick is out of town. Greg and Teresa are as well, so Madison will be playing bass. Thursday night practice was a kick. I love to drum, as long as the songs are ones I'm comfortable with. I don't like having to think too much about worship... I just like doing it. :)

All the songs we went over Thursday were songs I'm comfortable with, so that was very cool. When I drum I like drumming... passionalty, ardently (thanks for the work Michael!). I like to attack the drums. Its kind of how I feel about worship. Going for it. Especially in slow worshipful songs. Not always loud of course. You can play hard w/o having to play loud.... Not that I'm against loud when the song needs it. :)

After practice Rich (the sound guy) said, "Make sure and really hit the cymbols. You can play them louder if you want" - at which point Steve said, "But make sure you don't start Be Glorified so agressively. I mean, we're just coming out of worship. Michael is bringing it up real softly and then WHAM. I was expecting it and it startled me." LOL - cracked me up.

I play drums so infrequently, that I have to watch picking up the pace, and I guess not being *too* aggressive until everyone else brings it up. But what a blast.

I was telling Rich that I think I'm actually playing better now (when I only play the drums a few times a year) than when I was playing them all the time. I think that is because of all the percussion I'm doing. Its freeing. I can just flow. I still have to "set the beat", or whatever, with the drums... but I also see how I can add some stuff, totally bring it down at times, etc.

Anyway, it was cool and I'm thinking tomorrow should be great.

Yeah, so this rocks

They installed the cable modem this morning and then I went and got a Linksys WRT546 Wireless-G Broadband Router. Oh yeah. Broadband into the house, 4 ethernet connections and wireless! So I've got both my laptop and home computer hooked up via ethernet... and I also tried unplugging my laptop, taking it in the other room and connecting over Wi-Fi. Its all good. It took a little to hook it up. Mostly because it said to use the setup-cd - which had some issues. Once I opted for doing it the "hard way" - by hand, it was easy.

So now when Tif comes out, Tif, Jaime and I can all be on the internet at once. Geek family? No - the family that surfs together stays together ;-)

Friday, July 02, 2004

New position

I have a new position at work. I won't go into the long boring details here, but rather than being the architect over one team (the infrastructure - which is used by implementations), I'm now the architect over all of the Sheriff teams under the Senior Manager. That is the infrastructure plus all of our implementations that use it.

Cool stuff. More work, more responsibilty, no extra money or title - but hey, more control and more interesting stuff to do. I'm happy with it.

But it does mean I'll probably be doing even less actual coding or development and more consulting, etc. Spent about 75% of my time today not even in my cube or "working" on stuff, but just discussing things with people, redesigning issues to get fire-fights put out, etc.

But its cool. :)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Cable modem

Yes... I'm finally moving into the 21st century and getting a cable modem. People are constantly amazed that I'm still using dialup. But... I am the eternal procrastinator. So why now? Well mostly 'cuz Tif is coming to visit at the end of the month. Since we are now both Mush addicts, we both are going to have to be connected. And seeing as how Jaime is probably *not* going to give up her nightly chat/email time... that means that 3 computer connections is *not* going to work with 2 phone lines. Not to mention we probably don't want to tie up our main phone line.

So... I called Adelphia yesterday and they will be running new cable on Saturday. Woo hoo! And then I'm going to get a wireless gateway. So, I'll be able to hook up multiple computers directly with ethernet, or run my laptop from anywhere in the house over wi-fi. Very cool stuff. :)

And it won't be that much more expensive that what I've got now, as I can drop my 2nd phone line and get rid of Juno. All told that's at least $35 a month. The cable modem will be ~$26 for the first 6 months, and then ~$46 after that. So its going to be about the same cost for the first year, and then only $10 a month more after that. Yeah... I should have done it a long time ago - but remember ... procrastinator...