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Permalink - Posted on 2021-06-30 00:00
Toliver had me watch a YouTube video today that demonstrated how carburetors work through the construction of a transparent one. It was really good, but then another video of a deleted scene from the movie Groundhog Day was recommended that got me thinking.
If you haven’t seen the movie, you absolutely should. It holds up, although I admit that it’s been a little while since I last saw it. Bill Murray does an excellent job of playing a weatherman who ends up reliving the same day over and over again. (I bet the day is an easy guess). After enjoying the concept at first, he runs out of things to do fairly quickly. The deleted scene video plays it out fairly well, showing that he’s basically memorized all the things he could.
But, the movie was came out in 1993. The Internet wasn’t all that ubiquitous at the time, although I was on it because of course I was. I’m a big nerd. How we live has changed quite a lot in the past almost 30 years.
I started thinking about what it would be like to reboot the movie, as seems so popular lately. Imagine the premise of the movie set in present day. It didn’t take me all that long to conclude that the presence of the Internet would completely change everything, and could almost invalidate most of the premise of the movie itself.
Think about how much content you could consume now compared to before. Streaming movies and shows, eBooks. Online learning platforms. You could learn all there is to know about so many subjects. Sure, you might get bored, especially since you wouldn’t be able to travel all that far (because of the reset once you fell asleep), but you get to retain your knowledge. That’s a big plot point for the original movie, our hero gets wiser over time.
The biggest downside I can see is that you’d always be stuck in that same point of time. Just like in the movie, how the same games played themselves out to the same scores, the current events would always be the same. This would greatly influence the algorithms that suggested content to you. You could find new stuff, sure… but you’d have to go actively seek it. Since you don’t lose your memories, this might not be all of that big of a deal.
Luckily, I think this movie is quite safe from getting rebooted. There wouldn’t be much point based on how things have changed in the world, and the original concept was so completely unique that it can stand on its own.
Also, RIP Harold Ramis.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-06-07 00:00
Ford released the details on their new Maverick compact pickup truck today. Honestly, I barely remembered they were even working on it, honestly. I basically dismissed it after being a little disappointed with the way the reintroduced Ranger came about.
This was a huge mistake on my part.
40 mpg with the hybrid engine, under $20,000 starting price. Using the Ford vehicle builder, I spec’d out a fairly well outfitted Lariat trim and only hit about $33,000. Truck utility, sedan comfort and features. Having the ability to haul things every once in a while, but still having most of the properties of a sedan or crossover is going to make a huge dent. Ford has done a pretty good job of hitting the greatest common denominator of the options most would need.
Built on the C2 platform and using tried and true hybrid and EcoBoost options. They’ve most likely killed the Hyundai Santa Cruz before the pricing even got announced. Ford has been trying to make their platforms reusable since the days of the World Car, but seems they’ve finally landed on the right combination.
Sure, it’s not a full-sized truck, and many of the folks who have one of those probably don’t see the need for this. They’re hauling stuff regularly, or towing big trailers. But there’s a reason people liked Subaru Bajas and Chevy El Caminos. There’s a reason a lot of folks were excited about the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck rumors based on the Holden Commodore, up until GM killed Pontiac.
I hope to see an option added to select AWD with the hybrid engine. Not sure why this wasn’t an option out of the gate considering AWD is all the hotness. There’s a reason why more and more manufacturers are going this direction, especially for areas that get
But more importantly, if they add a plug-in hybrid option in the future to allow you to do a few miles all electric? Crazypants. And sure, the PHEV option could add cost, but if you couple that to electric vehicle incentives? Most folks who could use this vehicle are only hauling stuff every once in a while. Zipping around town for basic errands like it’s a Prius Prime? Sounds pretty compelling to me.
For almost the last 20 years, I’ve preferred sedans. I was worried when Ford accounced they were moving to only trucks and SUVs, but looks like there was method to their madness. Between the Maverick, their recently introduced F-150 Lightning electric truck, and even the new Bronco, they’re making some impressive moves.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-03-30 00:00
I’ve made some pretty significant upgrades to my home network in the past few years. As the homelab bug started to bite again, I’ve begun transitioning back to using hard-wired connections where possible. I swapped out my older wireless equipment with UniFi equipment for better control, and started running cabling where I could.
My current living situation prevents me from making major modifications. I either had to configure the UniFi system to use wireless mesh and backhaul the traffic, or run cables all over the place somehow. Yuck.
I started looking at alternatives I remembered from a while ago, including Ethernet over Powerline and Ethernet over Coax. Each of these progressed a lot farther than I had expected. Luckily for me, there were already Coax cable drops exactly where I wanted to run my equipment, so going that route seemed the best.
I ended up selecting a solution from goCoax. For under $200, I was able to acquire three of the adapters (WF-803M), which was exactly what I needed. I ended up spending more time tracing and labeling the existing cables than I did getting the adapters up and running. Because I had access to all of the Coax drops, I was able to reconnect everything to suit my needs. Below is a diagram I worked up in Mermaid; any unlabeled connections are Ethernet.
The marketing site for goCoax boasts a data rate of up to 2.5 Gbps. I haven’t tested extensively tested this, nor will I. I have no need. I don’t see any blatant latency, and since I’m limited to gigabit for wired and obviously less for wireless, it doesn’t really matter.
The biggest downside I can think of for this solution is that you can’t use Power over Ethernet (PoE), for the fairly obvious reason that it’s not really Ethernet when you’re sending the bits over Coax. That’s fine, I have the needed PoE injectors and battery backup units, so it doesn’t affect my use case.
The only thing I haven’t extensively researched would be the security of the goCoax devices themselves. Specifically, if I’m using these things and the onboard bonding firmware/software is out of date, is there an attack vector there? Although it’s a concern, it hasn’t been enough for me to dig deeply enough or disconnect them.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-03-29 00:00
I really, really enjoy using static web site generation systems like Jekyll.
However, I generally hate getting them running after I pave over my desktop machine.
I started out with Jekyll back when GitHub first introduced GitHub Pages. It was great, but I was using Windows at the time and there were a lot of hoops to jump through. Even after moving to Linux, I found that Jekyll requires installation of things I only use for the websites (e.g.: I generally don’t do much Ruby development). When I regularly pave over my desktop, it makes it a bit of a hurdle to add new content to the site. A side effect of this was that it basically afforded me a great excuse to not add content.
I converted the site over to use Netlify a few years ago. This allows for a wide user of tooling to generate the site, including alternatives such as Hugo which I use at work. But, there is a cost to switching away from Jekyll, specifically that the content needs to be adapted to the new templates and such. Now, the overall look and feel of the site currently isn’t anything breathtaking, but I don’t really wish to rip this particular bandage off right now.
So, as with so many things, containers to the rescue! Microsoft announced the addition of container development tooling to VS Code back in 2019. I played around with it a little bit, but didn’t quite grasp how it could make my life better. Wow, do I wish I would have dug deeper! Lots of additional details about using remote containers in VS Code are available as well.
I did a little bit of searching, and came across a few kind souls who apparently had very similar thoughts, and before I did, too. The nerve! Specifically: Carlos Mendible, Steve Hocking, and Allison Thackston.
The final result ended up being fairly straightforward:
|Using the extension|
|Adding the extension gives you this cute little green panel in the lower right hand corner:|
|When you open a folder that the extension thinks can be containerized, it will prompt you:|
|After opening in the container, the green panel lets you know that you’re connected to a remote container:|
|Clicking the green panel gives you additional options in the command palette:|
|Running the configured tasks from the Command Palette:|
And, uh, that’s about it. I was able to clone the repo for this site to a fresh Linux box, and after a few minutes of restoration, everything just worked with zero monkeying around. I didn’t test on a Windows machine, but I have very little doubt that it should does what it says on the tin.
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface on where I can plug this into my workflows, but I’m pretty excited to dig deeper into the possibilities that the remote containers feature of VS Code offers.
Permalink - Posted on 2021-03-28 00:00
I rebuild my various computers regularly, possibly even far too often. It’s actually pretty rare nowadays that I have a daily driver machine whose operating system was installed more than 6 months prior.
A decent portion of this comes from using Windows for so long. Although things appear to be getting better, it still seems things get bogged down after you’ve gone through a few of the bigger OS updates. I do want things to updated, but I always find it annoying when the resulting system seems to be slower than ever. Not to mention that the updates always manage to come at the most inopportune times, because of course they do.
Since switching to Linux desktop usage full-time a few years, I’ve definitely done a bit of distro hopping. The advent of cloud services and other shifts in thinking make it easier to think of machines as being completely ephemeral. I first heard it described this way by Casey Liss on Accidental Tech Podcast awhile back, and I thought it perfectly encapsulated the approach I’ve taken to my personal computers for at least the last 5 years or so now. All of my data files are either backed up in multiple places, in the cloud (ugh, so cliche but also true), or easily recoverable.
Running my systems this way allows me to be able to take the trusty “Nuke and Pave” approach. Any time I feel like a change, or if things aren’t running right, I can destroy the installed OS (nuke) and start over with a clean OS install (pave). Thinking on it, it seems to me that this tried and true methodology of systems recovery helped in part to set up the “Cattle, Not Pets” approach for cloud-based systems deployment.
When it comes time to reinstall the OS for the machine, I first determine if I have any files that need to be saved. If I do, I get them copied to a temporary holding location. I also make note of those file so I can automate that process in the future. Then, I grab the installation media I’ve created so I can re-install from scratch.
Since the advent of USB boot drives for reinstall, I’ve always kept a few around, with each one labeled with whatever OS I need. For example, there’s always a Windows 10 one available, as well one with whatever Linux flavor I’m using on my desktop at that time. This way I always have the ability to recover from something catastrophic.
However, this hasn’t been without drawbacks. When I need to rebuild a server, I end up hunting around for an empty USB stick (or one I can temporarily press into service as such) and load it. When I flip to a new OS, I need another USB drive. Sometimes it seems like I’ve been resetting USB a lot. It was annoying, but just the cost of doing business.
Enter Ventoy. Paraphrased from the website:
Ventoy is an open source tool to create a bootable USB drive for image files.
With Ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the image files to the USB drive and boot them directly.
Ohmygoodness why didn’t I find this sooner? It’s like dependency injection for disk images via USB boot drives. Load the ISO to the USB drive, select from the menu, and you’re golden? I tested it out, and it does what it says on the tin. Below is a screenshot of Ventoy running in Linux KVM, booted from my USB drive with the following command:
The installation instructions on the site are fairly comprehensive, providing an EXE for Windows usage, a standard script for Linux, and even a neat little Web UI that can be used on Linux as well. Provide a standard USB disk and run the install. Copy the needed ISOs over to
So now, my new simplified plan is to have two identical USB drives with Ventoy installed. I’ll download the needed source ISOs, and load them into my homelab storage. Then I’ll load the ISOs to each of the Ventoy USB drives so I can use them. Remember the golden rule, kids:
Two is One, and One is None.
As an added bonus, in the case of something excessively horrible happening to my local machine, I can always fire up a desktop instance from the Live USB so I can still do my jobby job. Even more impressive is the ability to create and define persistent storage as well. Woot!
Permalink - Posted on 2020-10-11 00:00
I started out with a Commodore VIC-20 when I was really young (8 or 9, maybe?), and I was hooked. I transcribed a kaleidoscope program from a “Learning to Program” book. It was awesome, but there was a fatal flaw. Once it started, I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. I hadn’t saved it to the attached cassette tape drive (and I can’t even remember if it was an option, actually). I remember leaving the computer running for as long as I possibly could, until my parents finally told me to shut it off. I was sad and happy at the same time; sad I lost the program (that I typed, didn’t create), but able to start working on new stuff. Eventually as I got older, we moved up to the 64, and even got to work on other friends’ 128 systems. We ended up getting a modem, and I subscribed to services like Q-Link and Prodigy over time. Q-Link eventually became AOL, but that wasn’t my fault.
Later on, my Dad brought home a CompuAdd PC build kit. This came complete with a 40 mb hard drive AND a matching tape backup drive. That was amazing. It also marked the shift for me to PCs, and I never looked back. I glommed on to DOS, the menuing systems, everything. Eventually branching out to BBS networks, FidoNet (1:280/5!), and the like. By either 1991 or1992, I had found my way to the Internet, courtesy of a Johnson County Community College uplink.
I had access to Apple computers through some of the schools I went to. In middle school, we didn’t have a computer lab. Instead, they had a small fleet of Apple machines on metal rolling desks. On computer day, they’d roll all the desks and plug them in. We didn’t have much latitude in what we could do during computer time. I mainly remember three things about Apple at the time:
For whatever reason, those remembrances had always caused me to always think of Apple being primarily used for education. Obviously, this changed over time, but I didn’t necessarily change my view. Plus, once Apple moved to hardware that you couldn’t upgrade, I just didn’t see a ton of value in spending time in that ecosystem.
The introduction of Windows was pretty awesome (for the time). It reminded me of GEOS that was available on the Commodore 64, but it was much more powerful. By this time, I realized wanted to do this for a career, but I still wasn’t sure how to translate that. I stumbled through a few things as I was trying to find my way. It was awesome, the technology just kept getting better and better. I never really stopped to think about it, but now I realize I always liked figuring out how things worked as well as creating programs of various complexity.
I had a little experience with Unix-based systems, but I wasn’t all that drawn to them. Since I had mainly worked on systems with a GUI, systems that were terminal based seemed powerful, yet limiting at the same time. I had respect for them, but after using a VAX at UWGB, I wondered when (and if) that technology would ever progress.
Enter Linux. Around that time, Linux was starting to take off. I was intrigued by it, but it was awfully finicky. Device compatibility was terribly difficult to determine, and most answers to problems seemed to be “write your own drivers, and you’ll be all set”. There was potential, but since it wasn’t as polished, I opted to build my career on Microsoft tech.
I made a career, launched a consulting company, and even ran my own servers at home. After a while, I burned out a little bit. The boys were young, and I decided to wrap things up. All of the Web 2.0 companies were taking off, hosting services. Maybe I could just coast for a while, becoming a user for the most part.
Right around this time, the iPhone was released and looked like a game changer. I had no interest in the Mac platform, but man, could Apple make phones look attracted. I just wanted things to work; I didn’t want to have to mess around with things. That’s why I really enjoyed my iPhone (and still do).
Cloud was starting to heat up, which of course was the underpinning of the companies that let me take my foot off the gas. I found this fascinating from the start, but the companies I was working for weren’t even considering cloud at the time. This meant I needed to build my own personal projects, so I generated little things to keep me plugged in.
Finally, over the past two or three years, I have found myself getting interested in the nuts and bolts of technology again. I have been tinkering with a bunch of stuff, both on-prem and in the cloud, but I haven’t been documenting much here. Time to change that. I’m thinking to look back across all of the topics I raised here, as well as documenting some of the projects I’ve been working on.
Permalink - Posted on 2019-01-06 00:00
So much of the technology infrastructure that modern society today currently depends on was created long before security was even being considered as a primary concern. In many cases, how technology is being used now use is far different from what was originally envisioned or designed. While this is great for today’s users, many of the things we have come to depend on have vital flaws that can be exploited. What’s worse, we know that these exploits exist, but only limited progress has been made against the work required to protect these critical systems that we have come to depend on.
When many of these technologies were first created or developed, the focus was aimed directly at proving if something could even work. Of course, this makes sense as so much of what we take for granted today was the subject of science fiction not so long ago.
Companies burned large quantities of cash in order to unlock the potential of these products, so they pushed to get them on the market and profitable as quickly as possible. Adding in additional security features could have required additional time and money; it also might have slowed the adoption of the technology or product. Sometimes, however, the spec is right but the implementation is fouled. I believe an excellent example of this can be seen in Bluetooth pairing. How many times have you seen a default PIN of 0000 for a device?
Governments, especially their military components, have a lot of incentive to keep things secure. However, so much of the technology that was originally built for military use is now being used by consumers in a way that they don’t even realize is insecure.
For consumers, technology generally succeeds only once people find it easy enough to use and adopt it. This presents a challenge for those creating new products and technologies to find the correct balance between ease of use and underlying security. Too many times we see security being downplayed so as to simplify usability, but this is a recipe for disaster. The best options are those that
Nowadays, we are seeing shifts towards a world where security is considered during the beginning stages of projects, instead of as an afterthought. This is excellent news, but it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear yet. Any software developer knows that there are always bugs in code. Some of them can be catastrophic, but only when extremely specific scenarios occur. Even so, any product or technology that attempts to reduce security holes from the start is already in a better place than most.
Plans for updating and replacing existing technologies need to be created, and their implementation needs to begin quickly to allow time for consumers to adopt them. Some technologies that are impacted and need to be updated include GPS, cellular telephony, and the electrical grid. It is quite obvious that these systems are critical to everyday life in the modern area. In some cases, inroads are being made to secure them. In others, known vulnerabilities continue to exist without repair.
Much like our physical infrastructure, we must invest and maintain these systems to ensure they will continue to operate. We can choose to pay the cost now, which is admittedly quite expensive, or we will find ourselves with no choice to pay even more in the future… possibly after something disastrous has happened.
Permalink - Posted on 2018-12-31 00:00
Simply by adding an article now, I’ve created double of what I’ve posted to this site last year.
I’ve been writing so many papers for school that I sometimes find it difficult to sit down and construct posts for this site. I’ve been able to square that by considering that nobody really reads this drivel anyway.
Based on what I’m currently thinking, the next year might very well get interesting. I’ve gone back to my interests in cloud computing and other nerdy things, and I’m trying to push through to finish earning my bachelors degree 15+ years too late. What for? Is it simply to check something off of a list? Or am I trying to make a statement? I’m honestly unsure.
Anyway, Toliver is pushing me to write more here, and simply by including his name in this post I’ve fanned his potentially narcissistic flames.
I’ve got a place where I can post words, and it’s time I start using it.
Permalink - Posted on 2018-12-28 00:00
There have been a lot of rumblings over the past year or two suggesting that Amazon needs to spin off Amazon Web Services (AWS). These rumblings have waxed and waned as various pundits attempt to prognosticate on what Amazon is going to do next.
I find it increasingly difficult to parse the suggestions given in articles when trying to match it to the reality of the world at this time.
I completely understand that spin offs are designed to unlock the value in a company, I don’t think it’s nearly that simple in this case. There is far more to it than just making the numbers work as part of a business case. If you read the backstory as chronicled on TechCrunch, the idea behind Amazon launched from previous integration nightmares the company had experienced in the past. Amazingly, this was 15 years ago already, long before most developers were even thinking of integration at a scale like this.
The feasibility of a spin off is not the question here. Of course AWS could be spun off into a separate corporate entity, and it absolutely would do quite well. The reason it seems unlikely to me that they would do so is that Amazon would lose a lot of the flexibility that they currently enjoy from operating the AWS platform.
The principals at AWS most assuredly look at the needs of all of their customers; just a casual glance at the list of product announcements from AWS re:Invent 2018 should provide ample evidence of their intent. Ensuring the ease of integration as well as a convenient ability to quickly harness a large number of tools continues to help businesses of all sizes.
But, I’d be shocked to learn that Amazon proper doesn’t have the ability to put their thumb on the scale to push feature development as part of AWS development timelines. That alone indicates that the value proposition of retaining control of AWS hasn’t been fully considered, suggesting that the cost of an AWS spin off is higher than previously calculated. Considering how Jeff Bezos approaches, well, everything, it seems to be a stretch that relinquishing control of a well-run division of Amazon, when the company itself depends so much on it, would be something considered unless an unexpected hardship were to occur.
The conclusion that Amazon and AWS aren’t co-dependent seems quite short-sighted when considering the technical aspects. Sometimes the math is only part of the equation, and further investigation is required.
The idea of avoiding government regulation is an interesting one, but I doubt it’s a concern the company will need to face in the near future. It seems much more plausible that an entity like Facebook would need to worry about this. The Department of Justice took on Microsoft with little to show for it; for all of the bluster of the day, Amazon seems well positioned to avoid the scrutiny of U.S. regulators.
Of increasing concern could be the European governments with the implementation of GDPR, but AWS is well ahead of this. It’s always possible that Amazon could run afoul of the GDPR privacy rules, but a company with resources like Amazon should have that well in hand. Furthermore, while I haven’t read GDPR in its entirety, it seems more likely that Amazon would be charged with hefty fines than find itself burdened by regulation it can’t keep up with.
Permalink - Posted on 2017-06-12 00:00
Documentation in code is extremely important, even if developers hate doing it. We’ve all been there, stuck debugging some confusing code that has zero code comments. It made sense to the dev at the time, but they’ve long since moved on and you’re stuck supporting that bad boy.
I won’t give away many details from the podcast, as it was very well done (and you should go listen to it immediately). But, I couldn’t help but to reflect on a very important point. In the podcast, it was suggested that the code comments from the application(s) used to generate the fraudulent transaction statements and other corroborating documents were used to confirm that the trading programs were specifically constructed to target or avoid ongoing audit activity.
That caught my attention, so I did some searching. Sure enough, I came across an article that detailed that the RPG programs included code comments specific enough to convince a non-technical jury that the application was indeed built and subsequently manipulated in a way to pass various audits:
So the pair resorted to what any normal RPG programmers would do: They added comments to the code.
So, there you have it. Code comments are important to everyone, because you never know when you’ll be involved in a high stakes Ponzi scheme designed to defraud people of over 65 billion dollars.
Permalink - Posted on 2015-02-27 00:00
As part of Agile development, one of the many important processes is the Retrospective. This is a meeting held by the team at the end of a sprint or a release or some such other important milestone. The intent is to allow the persons involved the ability to comment on what went well, what went poorly, and offer suggestions on what could be done to improve things in the future.
One year ago, I elected to make two significant life changes on the same day. It was completely terrifying time in some respects, yet it was also exhilarating in others. On that day, I decided to both tender my resignation to my employer and advise that it was time to end my marriage. After it was done, more than a few people thought I was a little crazy to be making such big changes at the same time. I plan to discuss some of the things related to my employment changes on this site in the future, but will refrain from discussing anything related to the divorce as that’s private and only two people will ever understand those dynamics.
So, on to the retrospective. I’ve become much more active, have been making better choices when it comes to the food I prepare and eat, and have made significant improvements to my financial situation. I’m sitting down less, I’m reading more books, and I’m getting a consistent amount of sleep. I’m pushing myself to stay organized, and I’ve finally begun posting things on this site again.
In the negative column, I’ve somehow managed to lose contact with a few people who are really important to me, and I’m not sure how to get that back. I would never have expected that a year ago, and it’s still painful today. I also realize that I’ve been more moody and introverted as I deal with the fallout from some things. But I’ve always been like that, so I’m not really surprised.
In some ways, I hardly recognize myself from a year ago. I’d definitely do a few things differently given the chance, but in most respects I’ve made a lot of progress over the past year. There are a few more things that I’ve realized as well, but I have no plans to put EVERYTHING up on this damned site.
Permalink - Posted on 2015-02-13 00:00
As I stated in an earlier post, I’ve been struggling with back pain for quite a long time. Last year, I purchased a new mattress from Verlo, and that definitely helped. But I knew I could do more. I decided that I needed to figure out a way to try the option of working at a standing desk to see if that helped.
From what I can gather, standing desks are by no means a new idea. They’ve been utilized off and on for at least a few hundred years, but I couldn’t find any citations to confirm that. Supposedly, it is a healthy way to work compared to sitting at a desk all day, but that seems to be more supposition than confirmed fact. Personally, I’ve seen a few of these in use, and even had a few coworkers who had one. But, since I had never had a chance to use one myself, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to like it or not. So I knew going in that I needed to have a way to convert back and forth, and I also wanted to keep an eye on the budget.
There are a ton of articles on the Internet proclaiming various “do it yourself” methods of building a standing desk. Some of the ones I found were quite ingenious, but hardly any of them allowed for the option of converting back and forth.
Searching the web, it was no surprise that I found a ton of different vendors hawking their wares. The price ranged from as little as $249 to over $3,000 depending on the selected options and gadgets and widgets. I finally happened upon Varidesk, and decided to purchase their Pro Plus 48 unit. It was priced at $400, but because it weighs 85 pounds shipped, there was another $110 of shipping tacked on. This was a bit more expensive from what I had originally wanted to spend, but the mechanical operation coupled with the fact that I could use it with my existing desk was quite tempting.
On Wednesday, I received the behemoth. I was able to manhandle it up the stairs (they suggested team lift, of course, but I didn’t have anybody to give me a hand). The unit is fully assembled; all you need to do is remove it from the packaging and place it on the desk. I took a few pictures as I got everything set up; it only took me about 45 minutes to get everything situated and ready to go.
The only concern I have with the desk is that when it’s in the standing position, it feels a little wobbly. I suspect this really isn’t an issue with the Varidesk itself, but rather the cheap desk I have it sitting on. For purposes of style, the desk has only two legs coming up from the floor, mounted on a horizontal crossbar which makes it almost like a wide I-beam from the side (you can see this pretty clearly in the first picture). So, when the desk is raised, I have to be careful not to lean on it, but that’s probably better anyway.
All said and done, I really enjoy using the desk. I’ve written this entire article in standing mode, and I can feel it in my legs (which is a good thing). Standing has also made it easier for me to take short breaks and walk around a bit, or at least has given me the illusion that it’s easier. If I decide to continue using a standing desk, I already am starting to suspect that at some point I will need to make a decision and either replace the cheap desk that I have the Varidesk sitting on, or possibly purchase a more expensive electric standing desk like an Uplift desk.
But I need at least a month before I make a decision either way.
Permalink - Posted on 2015-02-11 00:00
I have struggled with various levels of back pain for years. Sometimes there’s none at all. Other times, it’s been so bad that I can’t even get out of bed. Granted, usually that seems to happen after I’ve done something pretty stupid, but that’s besides the point.
A few years ago, I discovered heat. Putting heat on my back seems to help reduce the number of occurances. Since that discovery, I have been know to do such crazy things as use the seat heater in my car on its highest setting during the summertime. Some would scoff, and I would definitely have the air conditioning on or windows down, but I’d push as much heat as possible to my back in an attempt to forestall whatever pain might have been coming.
I have been making a number of life changes recently, including getting much more active. But through all of that, I’ve continued to struggle with occasional back pain that I can’t quite pin down. Previously, I had generally attributed much of that pain to less than adequate sleeping arrangements. For every night I would spend in a bed that was not my own, I would spend the following day trying to prevent my back from hurting me.
Lately, heat hasn’t always been enough. I purchased a new bed last August that definitely helped, but every once in a while I’d still feel that familiar twinge of a back that was crying out in pain. Now, I’m not really a fan of general pain. To help frame things up, understand that when it comes to back pain, I would do just about anything to try and prevent any painful sensations that could be generated from my back. Much of that stems from the simple fact of not really knowing what level of pain I would receive. It could range anywhere from a simple annoyance to completely dehabilitating.
I made the decision last week to acquire a desk that I could stand at as well as sit. In the corporate world, there are options aplenty to facilitate every possible option. Usually you need to undergo an “ergonomic assessment”, where some person comes in and identifies all of the things you’ve been doing wrong, then proceeds to issue a series of “corrective actions” that you should undertake to prevent that pain. These actions include simple behavior adjustments such as sitting up straight, to environmental changes like getting a taller desk.
I underwent one of those ergonomic assessments a few years ago. Turns out my height exceeds the normal or standard range that most desks are set up for. So, I generally need to hunch down when I use a standard sized desk. No problem, but it was recommended I do a few simple things like elevate my monitors and sit up straight (flashbacks from Assumption Grotto suddenly appear in my mind).
I spend a lot of time working from my home office (which doubles as Toliver’s bedroom when he’s here). I’ve recently made some personal decisions regarding things I want to accomplish, which will require even more of a commitment to working from there. As such, I’ve committed to evaluating various options for improving my working environment, and intend to document those exploits here.
Permalink - Posted on 2015-02-10 00:00
According to a just published Washington Post article, it appears that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is the primary panel tasked with providing nutrition advisories on behalf of the United States government, is on the cusp of reversing a long standing policy regarding cholesterol. (This policy was introduced in response to a paper published in 1961 in conjunction with the American Heart Association).
In layman’s (egg joke?) terms, the policies break down as follows:
??? - 1960: No published position that I could locate (20 seconds of Google-Fu).
1961 - 2015: EGGS ARE BAD! BAD BAD BAD!
2015 - ????: Well maybe you can have some eggs. I guess.
So, what does this mean? In the world in which we currently live, I suspect that too many of my fellow Americans will interpret this as a license to eat as many eggs as they possibly can. If questioned, they might point to that article (or similar) and proclaim the new position that eggs don’t contribute to the overall cholesterol measurement a test might indicate.
But that’s the whole problem right there. There is something to be said for moderation, my friends. According to an extremely helpful Google search for “egg calories”, there are 78 calories in an egg. Alone, that’s just fine, especially in a single day. Eat three or four, and now it’s going to add up. Add some yummy bacon or toast? It easily becomes a big deal.
Now, in a perfect world, this announcement probably shouldn’t mean a damn thing. Any person who makes an attempt to reasonably monitor what they eat is already ahead of the game. They might adjust their breakfast menu a little bit to include an extra few eggs over the course of a week, but that’s about it.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, one of my favorite breakfast meals has come to consist of a single whole egg plus two eggs whites, scrambled to egg happiness. Then, I roll it up in a tortilla wrap, add a healthy measure of spinach, onions, peppers, plus a generous amount of hot sauce, and you have a tasty and nutritious breakfast that ends up being approximately 250 calories. But I digress.
See, the bigger issue in my mind is that this is just one more bit of confirmation that proves that the “powers-that-be” aren’t necessarily acting in anybody’s best interest. That’s not to suggest that there is an evil plot afoot or anything along those lines. But, sometimes external pressures can inadvertently or unexpectedly corrupt something that was originally begun with good intent.
Allow me to produce a single example. The decidedly Catholic practice of eating only fish on Fridays is commonly attributed to the Vatican’s political engine striking a bargain with various captains of the fishing industry to prop up demand for fish some 500 years ago. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that it is directly related to secret ownership of a fishing empire controlled by the Pontifex Maximus himself. What a great scandal. Something even something that the folks who lived during medieval times could really sink their teeth into.
Is it true? Nope. It’s even better, according to this article I found that was published a few years ago. Honestly, after reviewing that and adding it to everything else I’ve come across about Henry VIII, I’m inclined to think that a number of the things we take for granted were either directly or indirectly a result of his infatuations with females and his propensity to marry and then discard them. Oh and believe you me, I truly savor the ability to cross-reference this particular bit of knowledge with Lent right around the corner (*). I’m not suggesting anybody’s beliefs are incorrect, nor do I suggest you stop ordering the Filet-o-Fish over the next couple of Fridays. You should have every right to believe and act however you feel appropriate.
For over forty years, folks joked that eating too many eggs would result with that person having a heart attack. That, of course, was based mostly upon the conclusions delivered to us by the esteemed committee mentioned above, or its predecessors. If, as we’ve been led to believe, cholesterol is the cause of most heart attacks, this quote from the Washington Post article is also eye opening:
Only 20% of a person’s blood cholesterol—the levels measured with standard cholesterol tests—comes from diet. The rest comes from genes.
That statement alone calls into question even more the cholesterol tests that are being utilized today.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough? February is Heart Month! To be fair, there isn’t a single item on that page about cholesterol; rather, it’s all about controlling sodium intake, which at least makes sense considering everything processed contains a ton of sodium.
(*) With all possible due respect to Monsignor Sawyer of Assumption Grotto, rest his soul.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-07-22 00:00
I, myself, am here
Out on my own, all alone
Feeling quite lonesome.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-07-19 00:00
Everything in my mind appears to reminds me of something else as of late. Birthdays. Independance Day. Green Bay Restaurant Week. Nurses. Rock USA. Fireworks.
Being aware that there might be better things in the world than what I’ve experienced. Some of those things are BECAUSE of my past life. Others are IN SPITE of it. Unfortunately… I just can’t seem to shut these down. I try to, but it doesn’t always work. Some days are worse than others.
It truly is amazing to me how much I’ve ended up changing my life in the last 15 months. Some was expected, some was driven by hope, and some just happened however it did. I really don’t know what the next 15 months will bring, but I guess all I can do is put my faith in the choices that have been made.
I’ve never felt so alive, yet so completely alone and on my own. Some of the people I thought I would be in my life aren’t, while others I hadn’t planned on are. We have very little control over the day to day stuff. We have hope and dreams and expectations… but life does have a way of figuring things out regardless of what we hoped or planned.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-03-08 00:00
I feel as if I have arrived at a crossroads. There appears to be multiple paths, and each leads off in a different direction. Everything past the crossroads is foggy and cannot be seen. Cryptic signs appear next to each of the paths, but not enough information is provided to help with the decision process.
I remember well the path from which I came, but I know that if I spend too much time dwelling on how I got here, I will be paralyzed and unable to proceed. Absence of progress does not progress make, so I know I must push on. It’s difficult to make a decision, but I know I have to make a choice.
So I make my decision and start to move towards my selected path. As I approach, I see that there are even more choices available than I had originally anticipated. Additional paths become visible just past the crossroads, providing even more options and choices past the initial selection.
As new information becomes available, it’s important to constantly re-evaluate the choices that available based on the information that is known. But it doesn’t mean that the original decision isn’t valid… it just means it’s important to continue to evaluate and adjust as you get more information.
But the most important question is: did the crossroads exist before you got there, or did you construct it yourself?
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-25 00:00
The following represents thoughts of the past based upon the remembrances of my stomach. This doesn’t mean that it was the best, but personal recollections might very well override the otherwise shitty presentation of the sustenance. Perhaps.
Those fscking hushpuppies. Fsck you you flattering sons-a-bitches. I thought I loved you. A local branch opened up within the last few years… either the recipe changed, or you always tasted like ass. Either way, I just don’t see a future for us. But I used to love that place when I was a kid.
Sliders. Goddammn you. I’ve driven to Kenosha for those things before. I’ve written to the corporate office about opening a Green Bay location before. Memories of my father and I, stopping for the forbidden sandwiches in the past. Hell, that makes me want to put the offspring in the car and drive two and a half hours tomorrow just for some steamed grilled burgers. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a walk.
Yes I know, in all reality it’s the memories that make them tasty. I. DON’T. CARE. You can’t take that away from me. Kenosha is only one state away. I’m actually considering putting the child in the car and taking him down there to experience the wonder that is White Castle.
Don’t you judge me. You have no basis.
Best burgers ever by a chain. When I was 8, I didn’t know it was a chain. I thought it was heaven, delivered on a platter. Now you can get in Appleton, but not Green Bay. Seriously? Yeah I used to live there, but still. It’s right behind the Outback Steakhouse. Oh! Yet ANOTHER restaurant available only in Appleton. Blooming onion my ass, that’s 15 miles away.
Kansas City area. This place closed. CLOSED!?!! Can you believe that? Never you mind that you can get the same damned French Silk Pie at Perkins. When I lived in Kansas City, I considered this place to be an institution. FFS, replaced by Perkins! Home of the microwave pizza and whatnot! When you think silk, you’re supposed to think ladies’ stockings and French Silk Pies. Not fscking Perkins. Really.
I used to love this place. It was 50’s style everything. They had a steeple on top of the eestaurant. I went back in 2005 and it was almost exactly the same. Like Green Bay’s Kroll’s restaurant, before I even know what a Kroll’s was. I haven’t been here in close to nine years, and I don’t even want to remember the last time I was there.
There was a place in Shawano that came close, so of course that place closed. We just can’t have nice things, can we?
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-20 00:00
For as long as I can remember, I have been addicted to reading. I mean, it’s not like I was born with a book in my hand. That would be gross.
I distinctly remember reading Tom Clancy books for Mrs. DuPree’s sixth grade class. The Hunt for the Red October got me started, but I ended up reading all of his books even though I only needed one for a book report. Tom Clancy doesn’t write simple little 100 page books, either. The man can spent an entire twenty page chapter describing, in intricate detail, the step-by-step process undertaken when a nuclear bomb is detonated. I’m pretty surethe teacher thought I was full of shit when I told her I read them. Most people in class were reading “age-appropriate” books, whatever the hell that means. And I read them a number of times. Sometimes in a single weekend. I probably should have undergone an intervention at that point, but that wasn’t really fashionable then. Or maybe it was, how the hell would I know? I was like 12.
Reading in high school was a bit boring. It was all required reading and school textbooks and such. When I got to college, it was more of the same thing. I was only there for like an hour. But reading the classics didn’t quite do it for me. Tom Clancy wasn’t writing books fast enough for me. Probably something about being a big shot author or something, who knows. Maybe he had a life? I know he bought some sports teams or something. Whatever, my dealer wasn’t giving me my product fast enough!!
For the next few years, I was still reading, but usually the same Tom Clancy books. Every once in a while I would pick one up and fly through it on the weekend. Then I had kids and started a business. Wasn’t much time left for reading. Then I decided to really go back to college again, and there was even left. But every other weekend, I’d start reading. Sometimes it would be a new book, sometimes one of my go-to books. But it kept me sane through some really tough stuff.
About a year after starting school, I picked up an iPhone. Then I picked up the Amazon Kindle app. Have you ever tried to read a book on an iPhone 3GS? I have. I probably ended up reading 40-50 books on that screen. Nobody believes me when I tell them that, but it’s true. I had the text size up a lot, and spent a lot of time swiping pages. It is a bit tricky, but definitely possible.
After a while, I finally decided to give in and upgrade to an Amazon Kindle. I had resisted, only because I knew what it was. It was a crack delivery system. Totally a razor and blades business model. I never do well in these scenarios. They totally know how to get to me. So of course, I bought one. I had received a gift card for $50, so I bought the device and a cover with a light on it. It was great, and I still use it all the time three years later. Probably one of the better investments I’ve made.
One of my main motivations for purchasing a dedicated reading device was the fact that I kept getting distracted when reading on the phone. It’s the same reason I don’t usually read on a tablet today. It’s just too easy to read something that then causes me to want to reference something on the Internet. Next thing I knew, I lost a half hour of reading time surfing Wikipedia. (Another addiction?). Staying on the dedicated device allowed me to focus on reading time.
Lately, the addiction has gotten pretty bad. I’ve been reading anywhere between five and ten books in a month. Random fiction is the current thing. Amazon Prime grants you two free books per month. One is from the Kindle Reading Library, and the other is a newer option called Kindle First, which lets you select one free book before it’s released. Pretty cool.
In addition to that, I’ve realized that spending between $6 and $10 per book can of course get expensive. Amazon is always offering books for a temporarily reduced costs… sometimes free, sometimes a dollar. Much better on the wallet. Sometimes it’s worth springing for more.
Oh well. I’m not giving it up, either. You can’t make me.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-10 00:00
As time goes on, I remember less and less about the details, but I remember the general idea.
I remember that it was January. Probably 2007, which would have made Toliver 3 years old, and would have put Carter in kindergarten at Cormier School.
Toliver wasn’t feeling well at all, so I had to pick him up from daycare. Unfortunately, I still had a number of things to get done for work, so I was dividing my time between him and my work duties. He had a fever of 101, which is why I got called in the first place. I picked him up from daycare and brought him home to my duplex, and asked him what he wanted to do. He asked if he could do a puzzle, so I set him up with one right next to me. I could hear him humming as he worked on it. I only had a few more things to take care of, and then I could focus on my blue-eyed bundle of joy.
Suddenly, I realized it was quiet. Parents instinctively know that quiet is NOT good. “Where did he go?”, I thought to myself. He was right next to me only a minute ago.
So I got up to find out what he was doing. He wasn’t in his room, and he wasn’t in his playroom. Hrm. He has little legs, he couldn’t have gotten that far. My place was a two-story duplex with a basement, so I went downstairs to see where he was at.
As I descended the stairs, my eyes started to water. It was a very odd feeling, and I wasn’t sure why it was happening. Then my mind finally kicked in. Smoke. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot… smoke??
I turned the corner and walked into the kitchen. Smoke is pouring out of the microwave. There is a kitchen chair near the counter by the microwave… Toliver is sitting on the floor by the chair. “Daddy, I wanted popcorn. Is it ready?” he says. His eyes are watering due to the smoke. I’m not sure what to think, so I look at the timer.
It appears he set it for 55 minutes. There are 51 minutes left.
The poor little guy, with a fever, decided he wanted popcorn. Dad wasn’t moving fast enough to make him happy, so he made it himself. But he didn’t know what buttons to hit, so he set it to nuke for an hour or so.
What could go wrong?
I hit the Cancel button. Flames are exploding out of the back, but stop when I press the button. However, smoke keeps pouring out of the back. I open the microwave, and find a pile of nuclear waste in a convienent microwavable bag. It’s truly molten lava. The wall is charred, flames were shooting out of the microwave. It smells like dead bodies in the duplex. And not the good kind of dead bodies smell. The ‘OMG my son microwaved the shit out of the popcorn’ kind of smell.
I’m a good Dad, though. I dab the tears from his face, and then offer Toliver some cheese and crackers. This totally makes him forget about the fire hazard he created. As he’s eating his crackers, I start trying to clean things up. OMG! It’s alive! Kill it! The bag of popcorn is moving. Toliver, age 3, has created a new life form. I choose to beat it into submission rather than learning what it wants. I enter into a life an death struggle, as my son happily eats his crackers only three feet from where I choose to make my last stand. Custer, eat your heart out.
Fast forward 20 minutes.
It’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I have the windows and sliding door in the kitchen WIDE open. Toliver and I are wearing coats, because it’s still bloody January. He asks me “Daddy? Why is it cold in here?” as I move the expensive microwave out to the curb to be picked up with the trash. After that, I scrub the wall. Have you ever scrubbed char marks off of a wall? Hint… not a easy as you’d think. Especially with a 3 1/2 year old in your arms. I throw the microwave out on the curb and PRAY that Ashwaubenon will take it without a permit.
We go to pick Carter up from daycare. The little snot is on to me. “Daddy, why is it burning in here?” my little Sherlock asks. Trying to take the brunt of it, I say: “Dad had a cooking accident.”
Toliver, oblivious to the whole thing, says “I tried to make popcorn and started a fire and Dad saved me and then gave me crackes. Can we play cars Carter?” Carter falls for it, and they’re off playing cars. As I continue to scrub the wall, while making my boys dinner. Without the char marks.
Toliver’s such a good kid, and his blue eyes will look into your soul. He might have almost burned my house down. But I love him with everything I have.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-04 00:00
Why is it that I can always pick up when things are superimposed? For example, see this snapshot from Amazon.com’s Alpha House:
Adam Sandler’s The Goat said it best: “They fucking superimposed me!!” Seriously. I like this show, and I know that Netflix doesn’t have the powers that other studios have.
The fact that the bookworm girl in the front looks like she has been Photoshopped into the frame isn’t good. Is it really that hard to film this scene in an actual office? Stop cutting corners. I pay $79 per year for this shit AND FREE SHIPPING, and I don’t like it when you try to screw me over. That’s right, Jeff Bezos. I’m watching you.
… yeah, I actually don’t care that much at all.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-03 00:00
I begin walking towards the building filled with a mixture of fear and self-doubt. This is my first time, and there is nobody here to help me. I am completely on my own, and the outcome of this visit is entirely in my own hands. The backpack that I carry seems oddly out of place, but nobody seems to pay much attention. Can they see the trepidation on my face? Are they ignoring me out of pity or indifference?
As I get closer, thoughts of turning back manage to bubble up from deep within me. I resist, knowing what I am charged with doing. But my courage wavers, and I let my fears get the best of me. I quickly turn around in an attempt to return to the safety and comfort that the past offers, but that opportunity is no longer available to me. I have to plow forward, knowing that my world is about to change forever.
I enter the building and begin struggling past those who know exactly where to go. I silently resent them for their knowledge as I locate help. I feel completely unprepared, and the look I receive from the staffer seems to confirm it. “Can you direct me to Room 101, please?” I ask hesitantly, hoping for mercy. Surprisingly, she is both helpful and nice. She provides me a map, circles the room, and sends me on my way.
I locate the room and the next portion of my trial begins. I have no idea what to do. I stop and begin to taking in the foreign surroundings. Everything seems new and exciting, yet oddly familiar in some ways. After surviving a minute of embarrassing hesitation, I begin to emulate the actions of others. I scan a bank of lockers, and quickly locate one with the correct nametag pasted to it. I begin unloading the contents of the backpack I carried in. There seems to be no end to number of things that need to be removed, but finally it is empty and can be stashed away in the locker. I begin to fiddle with the placement of things, delaying for as long as possible.
With my options for procrastination exhausted, I finally begin shuffling towards the door. I step inside and see many smiling adults. What can they possibly be so happy about? One of the adults catches my eye and immediately rushes over towards me. She carries with her a Polaroid camera. “What new hell is this?” I ask myself.
I see her mouth begin to move and notice that I begin following her directions without conscious thought. I stand in the designated spot and get my picture taken, immortalizing the moment that I will always remember. I quickly scan the room, trying to determine what to do next. Thankfully she comes to my rescue by pointing out a desk.
As I finish getting my son Carter settled in to his first day of school, I cannot help but wonder if he was anywhere near as nervous as I was?
This is a paper I wrote for my English class four years ago. I was pretty proud at the time of the little twist I put in at the end.
Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-02 00:00
After an entire year of slacking, it’s time I get this site spun back up.
I’ve moved away from running a Wordpress site. I really enjoyed the continuous integration setup I had in place for automatically publishing code file changes from BitBucket to Windows Azure. But then I stopped messing with it.
Looking back, a number of things happened personally that made it hard to keep up with this site. Instead of writing about them via a public website, I started keeping tracking of them with the excellent Momento application. Things happen in life, and it’s how we deal with them that defines us as people.
Anyway, I’ve moved this site over to GitHub Pages. I’ve been meaning to move the site since September or October, but finally got tired of paying $10 per month to host a website I really wasn’t working on. In early December, I came across a post from Phil Haack about how he had migrated to GitHub Pages, and decided to give it a shot. I even stole his theme temporarily, but have been making a number of custom changes. The template features in Jekyll make it a snap to do.
Sadly, in that same article, Phil also bemoaned the demise of SubText:
It’s with a heavy heart that I admit publicly what everyone has known for a while. Subtext is done. None of the main contributors, myself included, have made a commit in a long while.
Initially, I built my first site on Blogger. After a couple of years of that, I moved over to SubText and ran it on for quite a while. I made other half-hearted attempts to run other software, but just couldn’t find anything I liked. SubText really was the software that I spent most of my time creating content on. I’ll miss that package.
At some point I’ll get into more detail on how I have this site set up with GitHub and Jekyll. There a number of other resources out there that will help you get things running. Most of them helped, but I ran into a few snags that took me a little while to work through. I can’t help but notice some of the similarities between Jekyll and Blogger, but I definitely feel like I have a lot more power under Jekyll. This in spite of the fact that GitHub Pages doesn’t allow custom plugins to run; but the simple solution is to run Jekyll locally and then check in the published content. This is similar to how Octopress runs.
Anyway… maybe I’ll actually stick with creating content on this site for a while. I don’t care if it’s considering blogging or writing or just simply blathering on. I look forward to having an outlet to randomly throw some words up to from time to time, because sometimes I vehemently feel like I need to say something that absolutely nobody will read.
Permalink - Posted on 2013-01-27 00:00
I’d like to start by stating that the Asus Zenbook UX31A is a spectacular machine. Although I’ve only owned it for about a week, I wanted to detail some thoughts about this Ultrabook in case anybody is considering it and would like some hands-on information about the overall experience.
In my previous article, I spent some time detailing my search for new a new laptop. That was a fairly comprehensive accounting of what ended up being important to me. I’ll touch on many of those features here also, but to really understand my mindset when I made the purchase, please refer back to that article.
At just under three pounds, Asus has managed to deliver an impressive looking machine that not only looks great, but also packs quite an impressive punch in the performance category. I’ve owned a number of laptops, but I’ve always felt the need to have a desktop that I can remote into to do the heavy duty work. The Asus Zenbook is the first machine that I believe will be able to replace my desktop for almost everything I need to do. The only thing I can’t do is to utilize optical discs as there is no on board drive. I hardly ever do that anyway, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything here.
When I picked it up from Best Buy, opening the shipping box was a delight. I’ve owned laptops in the past that weighed more than the entire shipping box. Beyond the boring shipping container, the Asus Zenbook arrives in a well designed piece of packaging. In addition to the machine itself, a number of extras are included. There is a nice brown lightweight sleeve that fits the Asus Zenbook perfectly. It won’t offer too much protection if it’s dropped, but it definitely will prevent scratching during transit. Additionally there are two provided dongles, as USB to Ethernet adapter and a Displayport to VGA adapter.
There are two Ivy Bridge processor options available for the Asus Zenbook UX31A, the Core i5 and the Core i7. I weighed the options and decided to opt for the i5 as I couldn’t justify the price increase to move to the i7 processor. I also have a sneaking, unconfirmed suspicion that I’ll get additional life on the battery with very little performance loss, even for larger tasks like software development and video transcoding. As for memory, it comes with 4GB of memory soldered on. Unfortunately this means that it isn’t expandable, but I decided that wasn’t enough to deter me from purchasing the device. The 128GB solid state drive (SSD) is amazingly quick and really pulls it all together.
The display itself is brilliant, with a full 13.3? 1080P IPS panel. It’s quite crisp, bright, and extremely easy on the eyes. What’s even more impressive is that it’s also a touchscreen, which really makes the touch portions of Windows 8 (like the improved Start menu tiles and apps) work well.
The backlit keyboard is very responsive and feels great to use for the most part. The only time I’ve felt discomfort comes when I’ve tried using it at an awkward angle, like lying in bed. When that happens, my hands sometimes rest on the deck, and I can feel the shape of the unit puts some rounded but still somewhat sharp edges right under where the wrist lands. This isn’t the normal location for your wrist to rest, and is ergonomically incorrect, but might cause discomfort to some. The trackpad is fairly large and easy to use. Asus provides their Smart Gesture software, allowing for gesture controls with multiple fingers a la the Apple Magic Trackpad. Some have reported that the trackpad on the Asus Zenbook can a bit tricky to use. I didn’t have any problems, but I’ve updated to the latest drivers just in case.
The machine arrived with about 70GB free on the SSD. I loaded a number of software packages on to the machine, including Chrome, Visual Studio 2012, SQL Server Management Studio, Dropbox, Trello, WebMatrix, Icenium, GitHub, BitBucket, etc. and still have about 50GB available. However, this doesn’t take into account things like photos, software projects, and the like. I assume that I’ll have to do some juggling, but I believe will be worth it. Besides, that’s a great use of an external drive: to store information that is infrequently used. Plus they’re small enough nowadays that tossing an external into the case or sleeve along with the Asus Zenbook shouldn’t add so much weight that the total is unbearable. From a day-to-day usage standpoint, the Asus Zenbook continues to excel. I’ve been able to switch to using it as my primary machine, and so far it’s been a great machine. I’ve performed a variety of tasks ranging from article editing to software development to streaming movies, and I’ve never seen a hiccup on the machine. Any performance loss that I’ve seen from selecting the Core i5 appears to be more than made up by the improvements of moving to the SSD.
Overall, I believe it’s safe to say that the Asus Zenbook really does a good job of fulfilling the expectations set forth by Intel for machines that carry their Ultrabook marketing designation. Unless something comes up that I’m not expecting, I’m looking forward to using this machine on a regular basis.
Permalink - Posted on 2013-01-24 00:00
As forecast by my previous article, I’ve purchased a new ultrabook. Or as I’ve heard they say in England, I’ve purchased a new piece of kit.
I spent a lot of time evaluating my options. There is a bunch of cool stuff out there that I didn’t expect to see. I’ve been running on the Windows platform forever, but I didn’t want past history to lock me in. I also didn’t want to purchase something that I would feel like I had to replace in six months…. whatever I purchased needed to have the ability to last, although I might still swap it out soon. Who knows.
At the beginning of the year, I began doing research. I had been watching the various options passively in 2011 and 2012, but really didn’t plan to purchase one. I read some reviews and started making a plan. I think I had about 25 options on the table. There were regular laptops, ultrabooks, and even some tablet options (I figured I could mate a bluetooth keyboard and maybe do some work like that).
Last week, I visited my local Best Buy to see what options they had. Of my 25 items, they had about twelve in stock. I’ve purchased laptops online in the past, but I mainly was trying to meet a specification. Fastest CPU, highest amount of memory, hard drive capacity, etc. I had planned to potentially do that this time also, but within only a few minutes I knew I had a problem. The fastest machine didn’t mean what it used to. Features and functionality mattered more than it had in the past.
I started in the Windows PC section, and weight became a key issue almost immediately. I actually shot myself in the foot… I picked up some of the lightest machines first, in the low three pound range. After doing that, the heavier machines felt like they weighed forty pounds by comparison. And I suddenly found a requirement I hadn’t realized I had wanted: keyboard backlighting. I work in darker locations on a regular basis, so the ability to see the keyboard was going to be important. Also, some of the higher end models had touchscreens… cool to play with, but not really important to me. The ultrabook offerings were really starting to stand out. I went over to the full laptop section, and even to the desk PC section, but kept wandering back to the ultrabooks again and again.
I wandered over to the Apple section next. Both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air were on my list of possible purchases. My various iPhones have served me well over the past few years, so I thought I might plug into the ecosystem a bit easier. I’ve been anti-Apple for a long time. Decent machines, but just too expensive for what you ended up with. They changed that with the various iOS devices… what they couldn’t solve for me in the desktop world, they nailed in the mobile device world. But, I digress.
Within a minute or two of playing with the Macs, I realized I was missing something big. The touchscreens I had played with on the higher end Windows ultrabook offerings were missing. This shouldn’t have been a problem for me, but it suddenly was. The Pro was nice and responsive, but felt very heavy. The Air looked great too as it has for years. But the interface started looking dated, and I couldn’t use the screen to change things. I wasn’t sure I loved the Windows 8 user interface, but it did feel more modern than those fancy looking Macs did.
With these thoughts, I left the store with plenty of things to consider but still empty handed.
Finally on Monday night, I decided to pull the trigger. Since my visit to the store, I had spent plenty of time working through the remaining options. I had basically narrowed it down to three potential options: the MacBook Air, the Asus Zen Prime Ultrabook, and the Dell XPS 12 convertible ultrabook.
Unfortunately, the Dell was fairly easy to eliminate, although it still makes me a bit sad because it was a simple thing. The shipping date for a purchase made on Monday night, January 21st, wasn’t until February 12th. That’s a long time to wait when there are other options out there. I also wanted to utilize some of the great financing offered by the
HSBC Card Services Capital One Best Buy credit card. Dell’s financing offer wasn’t that attractive as it only offered six and twelve month interest-free options with a high minimum spend. I intend to pay it off early, but I like the flexibility in case I need it. The features were cool and I really liked the convertible option (even though I was worried about the durability). And for an ultrabook, it had 8GB of RAM, wuich was pretty impressive when comparing to some of the other ultrabooks that were available.
I ended up passing on the MacBook Air for two main reasons: the interface hurdle and my planned usage. I knew that no matter what, I was going to be dealing with a new interface. I hadn’t used a Mac in forever, and hadn’t even touched the Windows 8 up to that point. But deep down, I knew that Windows 8 could still be adapted to run like my Windows 7 machines, and I knew that the collective knowledge and familiarity would pay off. I would be struggling with the Mac for up to a week. My planned usage was a lot easier to nail down; I utilize Visual Studio and other development tools on a regular basis. Once I realized I was spending most of my time trying to figure out how I was going to rig up a MacBook Air to be able to run Visual Studio, I realized that the Asus Zenbook ultrabook was going to be the best choice for me.
On Tuesday morning I ordered the ultrabook and picked it up within about an hour or so. I’ve captured a number of first impressions on the device and intend to share them as soon as I can get them complied. Short answer is that as a developer, I find this to be a great machine. As long as the hardware keeps up, this should serve me well for quite a while. I’ll be putting it through its paces over the coming weekend and will share anything that I might learn.
Permalink - Posted on 2013-01-10 00:00
I’ve had a serious problem that I’ve been able to repress for quite a long time. I’m a technology junkie. I used to make purchases all the time. I’ve been able to keep that at bay for quite a while, but the urge is coming back.
Over the years, I’ve made a lot of technology purchases. Desktops, servers, laptops… I’ve picked up my fair share. Initially I bought a few machines from retailers, and then I decided I could build it cheaper. That trend lasted for about ten years. A few years ago, I realized that I was spending a lot of money trying to build the ultimate machine, when I really didn’t need an ultimate machine.
That was a sad time in my life.
But I like to
think pretend I was also ahead of the curve. Cloud computing technology was just starting to take off. The Web 2.0 fad was starting to die, and people were seriously starting to look at what the future of computing could be. Moving more and more things to remote data centers and using their processing power was going to be the next big thing. I didn’t need to have impressively cool hardware anymore.
But I still wanted it.
I learned to behave myself, though. I definitely still bought stuff, but not as many big ticket items as I had in the past. As a matter of fact, the machine I’m working on right now is three years old. I had to look it up. I couldn’t even remember the specs on it… only the magic of Gmail search saved me.
Actually, right there is the true indicator of much things have changed… from 1992 through 2008 I knew the specs of my primary PC by heart. Everything. Now I can barely remember anything about it. I found myself no longer caring nearly as much about things like clock speed, the architecture and technology of the chipset, or the boot time.
I’m struggling with what I want to purchase. The landscape has changed a lot, and I wasn’t paying attention. Nobody buys desktops anymore, right? Only laptops. Wait, nobody needs a laptop… a table will do everything you need. Wait, how about a Chromebook? Of course! But more importantly, what needs am I actually trying meet?
Technology has changed. Apple has completely changed how we think about things. Technology is no longer about specs, but about speed. I don’t care if the machine has the latest version of CPU, but if I open a program or an app and it takes longer than a second, I start getting frustrated. Is this reflective of me as a person, the generation I’m a part of, or society as a whole?
A few years ago, I purchased an iPhone to replace a number of devices that I had been carrying previously. It completely met my needs for things I would previously do on a laptop. Lately, however, I’ve noticed I’m not using that platform to its full potential any more, either.
Exactly. Yeah, even with with that, I’m not sure how I lasted this long.
Permalink - Posted on 2012-12-20 00:00
After a multi-year hiatus, I’ve decided it’s time to begin rebuilding my online persona again.
I started posting content my first website in 1998. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with online publishing ever since. Some people do a great job of creating fresh content and posting new information on a regular basis. I, on the other hand, have been somewhat hit or miss.
I’ve worked with many of the popular content creation platforms. Blogger, Movable Type, Squarespace, DasBlog, Subtext, ExpressionEngine, TypePad, WordPress, BlogEngine.NET, etc. I was never quite happy with any of them, but that was mostly my problem, not a problem with the platform itself.
Being a developer, I decided to try my hand at building my own platform. I was sure I could do it better than anyone else. I picked up a few clients, and worked really hard on it. Unfortunately I never set a definitive road map for the product, so it floundered before I closed the business a little over three years ago.
This site will be less blog and more individual articles that I decide to publish. If it goes well, the content should range all over the place.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-29 00:00
So, remember a few weeks ago when I posted that I was taking a new job?
Oops. Things didn’t work out.
As of Friday, I’ve gone back to Associated Bank and have been able to resume my previous position with the Online Banking team, and I’m definitely looking forward to the challenges that 2009 will bring. So, it feels like I did a Control+Z and did an Undo of most of December.
I never had a problem with the work I did at Associated, and I’m very happy to return. When I chose to leave, It felt like it was time for a new challenge. Unfortunately, the new challenge came with a price - more driving than I was able to handle. With over 800 miles in four days, I felt like I was farther away from the boys than ever.
I definitely could handle the job, it wasn’t a problem of skill set or anything else. When I was consulting with Integrated, I was generally limited to the Northeastern Wisconsin area. When I joined with TCS, I found I was all over the state, even down in Illinois. I’ll take responsibility for not understanding the requirements of the job, but as a single dad, it was too much to be that far away.
So, when the opportunity to go back to Associated Bank presented itself, I decided to take it. And it turns out, I’m happier for the experience and definitely appreciate my position with the bank that much more.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-15 00:00
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
It has been horribly difficult to watch the Packers play this year. They looked okay at first, although Ryan Grant’s running game was a little off at first. They they had a few losses, and then a huge win against the Colts. Going into the bye week, it looked like there were finally coming together.
Since the bye week, they’ve lost 6 of their last 7 games. Too many of those have been close games that have been lost in the last few minutes. Unfortunately though, it just doesn’t matter how well you play for the first 55 minutes when you lose it in the last 5.
Don’t be fooled, there’s talent there. Somewhere. But it obviously just isn’t coming together as expected. I’ve seen reports that the Packers have been eliminated from the playoffs… no kidding. But that’s not the worst of it. The worst part is the last regularly scheduled game on the 28th… against the Lions.
I know, I know… my hometown team is having one of the worst seasons on record. But here’s the problem. If they lose against the Saints, and they most likely will, they’re going to throw everything into that last game. Everything. Plus, all eyes will be on the game at Lambeau to see if the Lions go 0 for 16.
The Packers had better make sure they take that game seriously and win it, because they keep finding new ways to lose them. The Pack CANNOT be the team that gets beaten by the 0 and 15 team… this town gets cold when the team loses one game. Imagine how frigid it would be if we lose that one. Imagine the questions that will be asked for the next 6 months…
Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-12 00:00
Okay, rant time.
In front of my daycare, there are four handicapped parking spaces, with two on either side of the main entrance. Now that it’s getting colder, every day, almost without fail, at least one of those spots is filled by a empty, running car. Somebody who’s dropping off their kids.
Now, I’ve been going to this place for over a year.. you get to know people. I know who drives the car, and I know they’re not disabled. Maybe the daycare shouldn’t have quite as many disabled parking spaces, but that doesn’t make those spaces become disabled and 5-minute loading/unloading, either.
Park in the regular parking spots, jerks. It’s not going to kill you to walk the extra 15 feet… and that applies to the cute women who do it because they figure that nobody will yell at them. I suggest voluntary compliance, otherwise I’ll make a new rule that the cuter the women are, the farther away they have to park.
Which then means that all the single guys can watch them walk in. Hey, don’t judge me!
Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-03 00:00
After five and a half years working for Associated Bank, it feels like it is time for a change. I have decided to take a position with Tushaus Computer Services, working as a consultant geared primarily towards enterprise design and engineer services.
It’s always hard to leave an employer, especially after being there for so long. There are many, many great people who work there, and after you leave a place, it never quite feels the same. There have been lots of great changes at the bank, and a few not-so-great changes, but all in all it was a good place to work. The friendships alone that I take away with me are more than worth it.
So, I’m pretty excited about the new job. I’ll be starting in a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to the challenges it will bring. I still plan to be staying in Green Bay, as the kids really like their schools.
If you haven’t already gotten the details on the going-away party on Friday and wish to attend, let me know…
Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-13 00:00
So I brought the boys home this evening and noticed a dark spot on the mini-blinds. A closer inspection revealed it was a wasp, although a fairly tranquil one.
I went to get a flyswatter to take care of the intruder, but when I returned, I saw two dark spots. Bugger. Before I could act, the second dark spot hid behind the blinds.
So I smacked the first one, and when he hit the floor, I saw another one buzzing around under the end table. So I killed that one too, then finished off the first one I smacked. Then I decided to go after the second one I saw on the mini-blinds. I opened the blinds and smacked that one, which totaled three.
I saw another one crawling on the floor and killed it. Four.
Then I saw two up on the window sill, each curled into a ball. I knocked each of them down onto the floor and whacked them too. Five. Six.
Then I saw another one taking a nap on the telephone adapter in the corner. Smack! Seven.
I thought I was done, but saw one more going for a stroll on the window itself, so I killed that jackass too. Eight.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What the hell were eight wasps doing in my house, and how in the hell did they get in? I hate wasps, and I hate how stupid they get in October.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-08 00:00
Around 3:30 this morning, Toliver woke up barking like a seal... the sure sign of croup.
Poor Toli has suffered from respiratory ailments since he was born, basically. When he was little, he had two trips to the hospital for RSV, one only two months after he was born, and then again in August 2005.
Ever since then, he gets croup at least once or twice a year. Usually it's at night, which always makes for a fun evening. Unfortunately, it also is "provoked or worsened by agitation or crying", which pretty much describes a pissed off kid at 3 in the morning who can't breathe.
Lucky for Toli, I'm a dad who comes prepared. Due to the respiratory problems that both he and Carter have had, I own a personal nebulizer kit. Unlucky for Toli, all I have is albuterol, which isn't effective (epinephrine is probably the only thing that DOES work effectively, but has limited life.), so I used saline instead. So, we spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom this morning attempting to get Toli's breathing under control.
If he's still having trouble in the morning, off to the doctor's office we go...
Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-03 00:00
On Friday, August 29th, a bunch of us headed down to Milwaukee to see Foo Fighters and Three Days Grace play. It was an awesome concert.
Parking was a small nightmare. Thankfully Proton had the GPS unit that I won and he stole from me installed so we were able to navigate around. We found some parking and walked through the park, down a steep hill, and then headed to the concert site.
We got there early enough that we had some extra time to kill before the gates opened up. When we headed in, we each received a wristband that granted access to the 200 feet or so closest to the stage.
The best part of getting in was when Kris decided to smuggle in his camera. Cameras were prohibited, so he “tucked it away” in an attempt to hold on to it. The guards didn’t even bother to pat him down.
The show was great. Unlike the great smuggler Kris, I did not have a camera, so I tried using the camera on my phone. I’m sure you can guess how well most of those turned out, but I did have success on a few pictures. I tried taking a few videos but haven’t looked to see if any turned out.
It was a good pairing, they sounded great, and it ended up being a really good night. Our parking issues from earlier worked out well, as we were able to hit the highway pretty quickly. Special thanks to Proton for driving and to Kris for his valiant attempts at remote stalking!
Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-03 00:00
In a word: responsive.
Google Chrome is pretty slick. Built on top of WebKit with independent processes, it seems to be pretty reliable. I’ve run it pretty hard over the last day and a half in an attempt to break it, taking it to sites that have caused me issues in the past. Nary a problem.
The Chrome Task Manager is a good idea that’s long overdue. Being able to determine how much memory each web application takes up is extremely handy information. Some have suggested that from a developer angle, the best bet is to utilize WebKit. While that’s not a bad idea, testing in the application that end users are likely to use just makes sense.
Of course, plug-ins and extensions aren’t available, so applications like LogMeIn, AdBlock, and Better Gmail 2 don’t work with it right now… this will slow down mainstream adoption a bit. I’m sure that won’t last long, though. The fact that Google Gears is included right out of the box is also telling.
The trend over the past few years obviously is to move towards web-based applications that are rich with features and responsiveness thanks to repackaged technologies such as Ajax, JSON, etc. Expect Google Chrome to quickly move to the forefront of application delivery, as Google has a vested interest in ensuring web applications are working smoothly.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-07-26 00:00
About damn time.
I completed my last test today, so I have earned three credits from Fort Hays State University. I enrolled in April in order to obtain a bachelor's degree, although I am currently undecided as to my major. While this may not be a big deal to you, it is to me.
Back in 1996 when I decided not to attend college and just go with it, I made a promise to myself that I'd be back in school within ten years.
Oops. Maybe I should have said twelve years.
I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far, especially considering all that has happened over the past 3 - 4 years. Wait... what the hell do you mean, there's 121 left to go? Bugger.
Well, with any luck I'll have my degree by 2016. Bloody hell. that's a long time.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-07-19 00:00
I've managed to see two movies in the theatre in the past few months, which is amazing because I hardly go out to movies anymore thanks to Netflix... there just isn't a need anymore.
But, I ended up making an exception for two movies. I went to see Hancock about a week ago with F.. although it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, it was all right. Will Smith did a pretty good job of playing a jackass.
I've also seen The Dark Knight with F and a bunch of other people from work. The movie was absolutely great. Obviously there was a lot of hype around Heath Ledger's character and whatnot, and hype aside, he really did produce a great performance. The entire movie was well-written and very entertaining, and even with the 2 1/2 hour length, it was very easy to enjoy.
As far as movie prices... I just don't know. We saw The Dark Knight for $6.50 each, so that wasn't so bad. But catching the 8:00 movie bumped the price to $8.75... that's a hefty sum for a movie, no matter how you look at it. Even after you look at all the costs of running a movie theatre, it's still pretty expensive. While I'm addicted to movies, at least I've been able to wait until the DVD release and watch them at home, which keeps me on budget. Kind of.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-07-15 00:00
Am I the only one in the world who hates vehicles with woodgrain interiors??
I've been doing a bit of research on cars and I just can't stand seeing that stupid woodgrain accent trim go around the cabin. Or worse... some vehicles are put it on the steering wheels or gearshift!!
I just can't see what the point is. It's supposed to add an air of luxury, but that's just pompous posturing. We all know it's fake, so what's the damn point?
And it's not like I'm talking about older vehicles like a woodie, either. Have a look at the brand new Ford Flex, it's a prime example. The base model (which isn't that bad actually) doesn't have the woodgrain option, but the next few models have it standard. Stop, please!
Nothing is more distracting to me than getting in a vehicle and staring at fake tree crap.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-07-13 00:00
Seriously, this may be one one of the most retarded things I've heard in a while.
David Partin of Orlando offered the right to name his unborn son to a local radio station that offered $100 worth of free gas to the listener with the most interesting item to trade. Radio hosts Richard Dixon and J. Willoughby took Partin's deal. When the baby is born this winter, he will be named Dixon and Willoughby Partin, with the "and" included.
You've got to be a special kind of stupid to offer naming rights of your child... and for only $100 of free gas? That's what, 20 gallons? What a complete jackass.
Permalink - Posted on 2008-07-02 00:00
Wow, it's been almost a year since I posted last. Shut up, I've been busy.
Here's a list of crap that has changed or happened in the past 9 months:
Toliver turned 4 in November, Carter turned 7 in April. I turned 30 a few weeks ago.
I've started dating again, believe it or not.
I took a new position at my full-time company.
I got to see a Google StreetView car up close.
I came down with pneumonia.
My company moved closer to launching its first web-based project..
I've had about 20 new ideas for new products for my company. Unfortunately I'm still working on the first one (see above).
At my full-time job, we recently completed a multi-year systems refresh. It was interesting, but now that it's done, I can start taking vacation time again.
So... while there has been a bit of silence lately, expect that to change. I plan to convert this blog over to new software shortly, so that'll be my next big thing to accomplish. I'll probably publish some articles on some of the above things when I get some time, too.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-09-26 00:00
Okay, seriously. The wristband fad is over.
Firstly, I'm tired of trying to figure out what the different colors mean. Secondly, yeah sure, it's nice that you support a cause or a charity or something else that helps people out. That makes you feel good. It eases your conscience, makes you feel about yourself, and an angel may even get its wings.
But just because you're wearing a wristband doesn't mean I have to care. Nor does it make you a better person for advertising your philanthropy.
The company I work for has chosen to support a particular charity. As part of the incentive to raise money, a wristband was distributed. To everybody. In the corporate color. With the corporate logo and whatnot on it. Jesuchristo! The pressure! If I don't donate, it's entirely possible they'll move me to the basement. Without my stapler!!
What ever happened to just helping people out without looking for the angle? I donated money last year, but you probably didn't know that? Why would you? It's something I chose to do, but I don't need your confirmation that I've done a Good ThingTM. I do it because I felt it was the right thing to do and I wanted the chance to help somebody out.
Why is that so many people need some kind of validation before doing the right thing?
Permalink - Posted on 2007-09-24 00:00
I expect that there are three things I will remember from this game for quite a while:
Hearing 70,000 fans essentially say "What the fuck was THAT?" all at the same time was pretty impressive, even if the reason for it was not.
Even though the Chargers lost, they've still got the Charger Girls. And the twins.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-09-21 00:00
For the last few months, I've been receiving complaints from some of my customers that they were having trouble with the FTP services being offered through Cartoli. Problems included being immediately disconnect from the server upon connection, fast timeouts, occasional problems with file transfers, etc. In other words, the transfer portion of File Transfer Protocol wasn't working so hot.
The one thing that remained constant is that I could get transfers to work when the firewall was shut down. Obviously not a permanent solution, it at least allowed the FTP services to be useful again. As always, it's the firewall that's causing the damn problem.
Oh yeah, SSL uploads via port 990 were working beautifully. That threw me for a loop, too.
After a ton of trial and error and investigation, I found some information on the Application Layer Gateway Service that is installed by default on Windows servers. Apparently it's sole purpose in life, besides messing with me, is to assist with Internet Connection Sharing plug-ins and whatnot.
It appears that it was acting as a proxy of some sort which was breaking the connection. This wasn't happening under the SSL sessions as the information was encrypted through the certificate.
I disabled that service on the server and immediately Passive FTP began working as expected. Mind you, this is after a few months of digging into the problem off and on.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-07-27 00:00
Sometimes I find myself wishing I could use the Contra Code in real life..
Up up down down left right left right A B select start.
Damn, didn't work. Stupid thing.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-06-12 00:00
Beginning almost immediately thereafter, in a tie-in to the season finale, over 20 tons of nuts were shipped to CBS in protest of the cancellation.
On June 6th, CBS announced via their fan forum that due to unexpected fan response they would be ordering an additional seven episodes for next year. They also expressed that to continue production of the series the fans will need to grow the number of viewers for the show.
Additional information was provided in a quote from one of the actors, a Waukesha native:
The biggest problem with our show is that so many people were watching it on the Internet or Tivo (which doesn't count toward Neilson ratings), so I think the fans are now aware to watch it when it's on.
So that's two different comments indicating that watching via DVR or online doesn't count toward the ratings of a show. This indicates to me the same problem that has been faced so often in the past... technology advances, but the big companies don't know how to deal with it.
While I agree that CBS needs to see an increase in the number of viewers to continue the show, I sincerely hope that they're going to take additional steps to determine how to track the "profitability" of a network show, especially one that was geared so heavily towards the Internet as Jericho was up to this point.
Hey ACNielsen... it's high time to figure out how to provide more comprehensive tracking data... those Nielsen Ratings need to be expanded to capture more information or else you're just misleading everybody in the long run. I don't envy the task, but as we move more towards Internet-centric broadcasting it will become more and more vital.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-05-05 00:00
You gotta love xkcd. Brilliant. Any way to capitalize on viral marketing is good with me. See here for more detail.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-04-29 00:00
Hmm. Now it seems that I only put up new posts when I've been drinking. Speaking of which, I'd like to thank the cute bartender and a few of those attending the wedding reception at the locat we ended up going to. Your attendance this evening helped to make this post possible.
I don't have the gift of being able to talk to women. I know a few guys that do, and for them it comes as naturally as breathing. That impresses me, because it's something I don't understand. 28 years old, and breasts and curves still intimidate me. Talking in general is no big deal, but any kind of discussion that may end up in a date is pretty much impossible for me.
Then again, not dating has been working out well. I've been keeping a majority of my money in my wallet, and I just have one ex to fight with regarding my kids. So pehaps this is a blessing in disguise. This isn't to say that there aren't nice, decent, beautiful women out there, but more to say that so far they seem to want very little to do with me. Grrr.
See, I knew I should have been working tonight instead of going out dirnking. The ham and cheese sandwich from the grill was pretty tasty, though.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-04-17 00:00
Permalink - Posted on 2007-04-01 00:00
Ashwaubenon schools are closed for spring break next week. This means that Carter and Toliver are staying at their Mom's house at her request.
I haven't decided how I feel about this yet. It's great that they can spend some good quality time with their mother, and I know that I can use the break, but it just seems weird when they're not here. My place is obviously designed for a family, and it's disconcerting when the majority of the family isn't around.
The biggest problem I face when the boys aren't here is my own laziness. When they're here, I make all kinds of plans of things I will do to occupy myself when they're gone. But, once they've actually left, I find it very difficult to begin following through.
I'm pretty sure there's no way I'll make it nine days without seeing the boys. It's hardly been 24 hours and I'm already having trouble with the fact that they're not around. I've been productive for at least part of today, so that's good at least. If I keep this up, perhaps I'll make it through the whole week.
Of course, that's when I remember that my ex wants to take the boys for the majority of the summer. Now how am I supposed to handle that?
Permalink - Posted on 2007-04-01 00:00
Google has announced that they are offering free broadband service, called TiSP. The delivery system is extremely forward thinking... forget electricity... instead, use the local sewer system. Installation is accomplished via their GFlush system and fiber-optic cabling. The best part is in their FAQ:
Why is TiSP in beta?
When things go wrong with TiSP, they go very, very wrong. Let's leave it at that.
Permalink - Posted on 2007-03-20 00:00
So, since it's been a bit since I've put anything up here, I should point out that spring is on the way, even the though the last time I made a post it was still last year. Stupid daylight savings time changes.
A lot of things have happened in the last few months, although nothing was really noteworthy. I managed to break my garage door somehow, got a new PC, had my stupid Christmas tree boomerang back to me, gone out for drinks with friends and coworkers (too many times?), and otherwise have generally made a nuisance of myself. I was really good at keeping up with the last one.
In other words, everything is on track as expected. Not much else to say besides that right now. I have the ideas for a few additional posts, but in the last 2 months or so I've really had a case of laziness. Sucks.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-12-25 00:00
I’ve been accused recently of being a bit morose. True enough, but things have been a bit… hectic, lately.
Bastards. Leave me along, I know the last few posts were shitty. Grr.
At least Christmas is here. The boys are back, fresh from a four-day run at their mothers apartment. They’re both excited for Santa to show up… took until almost 11pm to get them to sleep.
But now they’re snoring, so I did my fatherly duty and put all of the presents out for them to devour in the morning. Stockings are stuffed, the tree is both trimmed and properly gifted, and all that remains is the boys waking up and tearing the wrapping paper from the presents. Then the trek to my parents’ house for more gift opening and fun.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-11-26 00:00
It was a day that I intend to forget, but I doubt I’ll be able to. I just came across the photos that I took the night my ex moved out without warning. The events of the past 18 months or so haunt me from time to time. Especially the weekends she takes the boys.
I had just returned from Minneapolis, and it was getting pretty late. As I pulled into the driveway of the duplex, I noticed it looked different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Originally it was supposed to be a getaway weekend, where my supposed fiancée and I could spend a bit of time together without interruption. We were supposed to go Milwaukee, and I had even made reservations at Sybaris, which is by no means cheap. She had been down at her sister’s for quite a while, but didn’t give an indication that anything was wrong.
Towards the end of the week I ended up canceling the plans; apparently she didn’t want to go. Since I had taken a few days off the following week, I at least wanted to do something. My buddy Tim was moving to Minneapolis, so I offered to help him.
After I finished pulling the car into the garage, I opened the connecting door and found mayhem. Stuff was everywhere, it looked almost as if we had been robbed. In the living room, things started to make sense. Some stuff was missing, but other stuff wasn’t. The expensive things, television, stereo equipment, was all there. But lots of other stuff wasn’t there. Her stuff. She took everything she may have owned. She even took down her new curtain rods, leaving the curtains in the corner and all of my belongings completely visible from the road.
As I canvassed the rest of the house, it quickly became clear that she had moved out. And she took the boys with her. No note, no indication that something had happened. She was just gone… and took my life with her.
The worst was seeing the room the boys used to sleep in. Virtually empty. The entire house was like a tomb, so very quiet… but it wasn’t peaceful. As I looked through the rooms I noticed that she had even picked through the toys, only leaving the ones that either I or my parents had purchased for the boys. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Of course, people go through this kind of stuff all the time. She and I had been having a rough time, and I had spent far too much time at work on a big project. But was it really worth destroying a family? I hadn’t expected it to happen, that’s for sure.
I called my landlord to close out the lease the next day. Regardless of what happened, even if it could be fixed, I knew I couldn’t live there any longer.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-11-22 00:00
A few weeks ago I made a decision that I felt may have been hazardous to my health. I opted to purchase tickets for the boys and I to Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music. I knew that no good could come from it, but I decided to press forward. For the boys, I say!
To start things off right, we got a late start and ran into a ton of traffic generated by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, whose first show started one hour later than Sesame Street. To be honest, I wasn’t aware that they were playing, and I was even more surprised when I learned how many people were there. In my way.
It was at this point that I learned my first lesson. See, in a concert or other presentation, floor seats are the way to go, right? You get the best experience from the floor.
Except when the audience is only three feet tall. Whoops. The boys spent the entire show on my lap, etc., because the floor seats were simply folding chairs so they weren’t elevated in any way. Good to know, that’s for sure.
Regardless, as soon as we sat down, the inevitable events began happening. Carter decided he was hungry. Never mind the large lunch he just ate; he saw that other kids had popcorn and set his mind to acquiring some of his own. I put up a defense for about 15 minutes before I finally gave in. Then, not even 20 seconds after we sat down from buying popcorn, Carter then informed me that he absolutely had to go to the bathroom. So we went for a walkabout all around the Arena so that he could hit the bathrooms.
5-10 minutes after we sat down? Fifteen minute intermission. “When’s Elmo going to be back on?” Grrr.
The show continued on to show a segment of Elmo’s World, which if you’ve ever watched Sesame Street, it is the single most annoying portion of the show. The same rough idea happens each show regardless of the topic, as happened here also. Except, wait, Mr. Noodle is black now. Last time I remembered, he was white as could be. So I checked it out tonight, and I was spot on. The guy I had in mind stuck out in my head for some reason; turns out it was Michael Jeter who also had a role on the TV show Evening Shade and also a ton of other stuff. Then I saw that he passed on a few years ago. Whoops. Oh well, I suppose creative license allows for many odd things. Who danced very well, in my opinion.
All in all though, it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. The boys definitely had a blast, although every hour or so they ask me where Elmo is. Of course I provide the correct answer:
Hopefully they tossed his ass into the garbage can with Oscar the Grouch in order to get a little bit of the ass-kicking he has coming to him. He’s on Sesame Street so that all the other little boys and girls can see him too.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-11-19 00:00
On Friday, the boys and I decided to treat ourselves to a weekend of decidedly unhealthy breakfasts in the form of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Sometimes as I need to rely on incentive to positively reinforce behaviors. Yeah, that’s gotta be it – definitely not because I have a sweet tooth too.
When we arrived, the boys begged and pleaded to go inside rather than go through the drive-through. I relented because I decided to get some of that “My Dad is the Greatest! (TM)” feeling going on. Oh yeah, and even dictators listen to suggestions from the subjugated from time to time.
Of course, anybody who has been to Krispy Kreme is fully aware that the process of making the doughnuts is made visible via glass viewing areas as soon as you walk in the door. As expected, the boys made a beeline for the viewing area.
The next twenty minutes passed with a flurry of activity as I rushed to satiate the demands of two little boys who thought it was the coolest thing in the world that they could see the production of the doughnuts. It’s a good thing they wash that glass… the boys were practically licking it in an attempt to see what the warm doughnuts tasted like.
The best part of the entire visit? Carter and Toliver both decided that when the glazing was being applied, the doughnuts were “taking a shower.” I passed that on the the clerk behind the counter (who was kind enough to give each of the boys a free doughnut) and apparently she’s never heard it described like that before. I truly wasn’t surprised – I encourage alternate thinking in my house.
As long as it fits within the expectations set forth by the dictator, namely me.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-11-10 00:00
Toliver had a great 3rd birthday today, although I definitely found myself a bit frustrated. Of course, it was completely my fault.
First, I slacked off when it came to wrapping the presents. I actually did great (by my standards anyway) and purchased just about everything almost two weeks ago. Since I’m a guy, that’s almost unheard of. Turns out I guessed right; I’ve only had about an hour or so to myself where I could go shopping.
Last night I made a decision that I would start getting the presents wrapped. I ended up watching some TV for a while, until it was almost midnight. Crap. Even worse, rather than actually wrap presents, I decided it would be a good time to install my surround sound in the living room. Sounds great now, but I still needed to get going.
My backup plan was lunchtime. Unfortunately I had week willpower against peer pressure so I went down to Charley’s with Brian and Preston. Whoops. I ended up cutting out of work a bit early, and I was able to get everything squared away by 4:30pm.
Toliver had great fun opening his presents, but I had a bit of an issue with the packaging. Whomever decided it was a good idea to secure a powered truck to a bit of cardboard with 8 screws and then make it essentially impossible to get the bottom side where the screws are deserves to be shot. I wasted almost 5 minutes just trying to get to the screws. The photo only shows a small portion of the anger.
Toliver got to choose where he wanted to go for dinner. He ended up choosing McDonald’s. Not exactly my choice, but I can cope. That went all right for a while until the boys started getting overexcited, and then it just went downhill from there.
Regardless of the issues I came up against for Toli’s birthday (many of them self-inflicted) I think the boys had a blast, and I guess that’s what counts.
Excuse me while I go attempt to locate my sanity…
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-30 00:00
I was engaged to my ex for a little over two years. Turns out that I stopped being interesting and important to her right around the time I asked her to marry me.
It was before Toliver came along, and Carter was about two years old. She and I had some trouble in the past, and I had been busy trying to make a career for myself. Things were a bit tough, but we managed to get along OK.
Or so I thought.
I didn't find out until after she moved out last year the true extent of things, but there was definitely some behind-the-scenes wheelin' and dealin' going on. She had been playing the field for quite some time. I had my suspicions, but Toliver came along at the end of 2003, and 2004 was spent figuring out how to pay for daycare and getting used to having him around.
Just as things got back to normal, I got private, earth-shattering news near the end of 2004, and it took me about 6 months to get through it. Rather than get her support, she decided it was time for her to move out suddenly, even though she was definitely in the center of it all.
Looking back, I guess that 2002 was probably our best year, before we got engaged. I enjoyed her company and still do miss her, but I've pretty much moved on with life now. Sometimes looking through old pictures, even by accident, causes even the most resolute person to think back for a while. But knowing that I'll be picking the boys up tonight from school helps to ease the pain.
A post from almost a year ago comes to mind. Damn you, Johnny Cash....
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-22 00:00
Today the boys and I found ourselves down at Lambeau Field for their Spooktacular event. The event itself was OK but nothing great. Howard and his 2-year-old son Sam were also in attendance.
At one point we found some staff who were handing out stickers with the Packers logo on it. Howard's son insisted on wearing the logo immediately, so Howard put it on his shirt.
The funny thing is that Sam was wearing a Halloween shirt that said 'Spooky U' on it, and when Howard put the sticker on Sam he covered the U portion almost completely.
Now his shirt said 'Spooky G'. Of course, I immediately proceeded to make some comments about that being Sam's ghetto name, etc.
Come to think of it, he is about the right age to start banging...
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-21 00:00
Procrastination is king.
It's been over two months now since I've moved in to my house, which came complete with pool table. The number of pool tournaments held? Zip. Zilch.
When I was first checking this place out, some of the big selling points were that it was close to work and had a pool table. Bingo! Entirely possible to stop by and shoot pool for close to an hour before having to go back. Plus I could theoretically have a party on a weekend or something and enjoy the company of friends. And alcohol. Musn't forget the liquor.
Of course, being single, visions of office cuties stopping down to play immediately was the next image that popped into my mind. Double-edge sword though, because when it comes to playing pool I'm marginal at best. No chance to woo the woman of my dreams by impressing her with my pool skills. But, similar to the Detroit Tigers, I like to wait until the last possible second to swoop in and make my move.
Regardless, before I moved in I bought some cool movie memorabilia to put up in the basement. Picked up a dartboard. Held on to my old couch so we'd have somewhere to sit. Got a line on a pool table light. Plenty of preparation. Until I moved in.
Don't get me wrong, pool has been played. Alcoholic beverages have been consumed. Women have even been up on the table (for the long shots. dammit). But alas, very little work has been completed in the basement.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-16 00:00
The first time I got pulled over was just over 10 years ago. The first time I got pulled over for speeding was just over ten years ago. The first time I got a ticket was just over 10 years ago.
I was on 54, on the way back from work in Waupaca. It was just before prom, and I had just found out that the woman I had been intending to take to prom was planning on meeting some other guy there. I got a little pissed and that was the end of that.
So here it was, almost prom time, and I was without a date. I was pissed and was taking it out on the car in the form of speeding. Then I saw the State Trooper. Whoops. There went $150.
I remember that the Soundgarden song Spoonman was on the radio. This sticks out in my head because it was on the radio the first time I got pulled over, the day of my 16th birthday. We had it turned up so loud we could barely hear the siren. It is still one of my favorite songs.
I'm posting about it because I heard it on my way to pick the boys up from the ex's house; they were there for the weekend. I heard it and started thinking back to when life was a little bit simpler. Which just happens to coincide with being before I got involved with the ex. Hmm. Imagine that.
Perhaps I'll share the story of when I first got pulled over soon; its much better than this drivel. Seriously, who lets me type? Take the keyboard away! It's for your own safety!
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-12 00:00
Ever feel like you got hit by a freight train? Or maybe even a few of them?
I got to work this morning feeling fine. Within half an hour it all went downhill and I haven't felt OK since.
It's two in the damn morning and I can't fall asleep... not because I'm not tired, but because I feel horrible as soon as I lay down. I just sent my boss an e-mail letting him know I won't be in tomorrow. There's just no way I can do it.
One advantage of being up so late is that I was able to update the site's look and feel a bit. Definitely an improvement and the site is finally starting to look like what I want it to look like.
Now all I have to do is put the finishing touches on some sites for my clients and for Cartoli and I'll be all set.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-10-09 00:00
It suddenly hit me over the weekend. I think I'm on my way to becoming normal. Which is odd, because, well, I never used to be normal. I thought I was normal, but everybody thought different. Here are a few examples:
Not that these are bad things; they aren't. But combined they make for a pretty scary realization... I'm not the oddest one in the room anymore. Probably not even close.
Damn. At least I was unique before...
Permalink - Posted on 2006-08-09 00:00
So the President is making a stop in Green Bay on Thursday. He's giving a speech at a local firm and then going to a fundraiser. The company he's giving a speech at is about a block from my new duplex. I was planning on starting to move right about the same time.
I've been telling people he's really coming to Green Bay just to give me a hand. Is that wrong? I think he's bringing a bunch of guys with him to help out.
Oh yeah, I work with this guy. Hey, wait, maybe Karl will volunteer to help too?
Permalink - Posted on 2006-08-07 00:00
What the hell do I know about furniture?
I decided that even though I'm a bachelor now, the boys and I should step it up a bit. Since the ex moved out, I haven't had much in the way of furniture for the living room. Down to the bare essentials, really. Couch? Check. TV? Check. Badass AV setup? Check, although I never installed it at the apartment.
What more could a guy need?
Well, I decided that since I'm renting a nice duplex starting Thursday (yeah yeah, get off my ass, I'll buy a house as soon as I can afford it), I should upgrade my furniture. Obviously the point here is that I'm trying to get women to actually _want_ to come into the house.
So I bought a full living room furniture set on Saturday. It will be nice; it's the one thing I don't have to move, and it will basically take care of an entire room, give or take. Now I own a couch, loveseat, and chair.
So, back to the first question? I know that I have a lot of places to sit now. Now I just need to start getting dates. Hmm, in business parlance, that could be referred to as Return On Investment...
Permalink - Posted on 2006-08-02 00:00
The tiniest of sounds on the door to my apartment. I didn't even hear it, but one of the boys did. I didn't buzz anybody in, so I was a bit nervous. I don't want to buy anything right now.
I opened the door to see a young woman selling magazines. You know the kind, they're selling 'em to make money, or earn points, or some such thing. Hmmm, that miniskirt isn't covering that much, but it's hot out today.
Unfortunately she was a bit cute. And since it's been quite a while since that's happened, I listened for a bit. That crop top definitely helped in making my decision.
She looked a little hot standing in the doorway. She asked if she could come in while she showed me the magazine choices. Sure! Aw hell, you want to *sit* at the table? Stupid me...
Then the boys began acting up. Just a little bit, just to take away a bit of my attention. My your tummy looks nice. You must work out?
The boys started showing off. I remember a fleeting thought about what could happen if she decided she liked the boys... anybody who likes the boys is OK in my book. Hey! It's not my fault I keep looking at you like that, you've got glitter all over your shirt. It's SHINY!
She started telling me some of the exotic places she could go from this promotion and that she could take a friend. Of course she made the requisite joke about me going along. Hmm, Is my passport current?
She made the expected personal plea to help her out. Wow does she ever have nice eyes. Where's my #*!%ing checkbook?
After she concluded the sale she wrote some letters on the receipt and gave me 10 seconds to guess what they meant; if I guessed correctly, she'd stop back and wash/wax my car. For the love of... yeah, I know, it's BS, but she already looks good now. Imagine a sponge, soap bucket, etc.... holy hell.
WTF? How did that happen? What the hell am I going to do with 20 copies of Home and Garden?!?
Permalink - Posted on 2006-07-11 00:00
Nobody reads this crap.
That's the mantra I'll take whenever I decide to post on here from now on. I've done some demographic work: turns out most of the women who visit, like most women I know, are married. That really pisses off a single guy like me.
Wait, what the hell am I talking about? I forgot the first line of this post. Nobody reads this crap. Argh.
Anyway, I should get some good text up here for those who DO read this site, either for their job (Hello, FBI Criminal Investigations), or because they absolutely have no choice (Hey there, Googlebot! How's that site crawling thing working out for ya?).
I got home from work on Monday the 3rd around 8pm after stopping for a few drinks and bugging Mike at the liquor store, where he works to support his crack habit. I opened my car door only to hear a horrendous noise coming from the parking lot next door, which is home to the Oneida Family Fitness and Recreation center.
Anyway, they have they those crackly outdoor speakers to page people. Either as a joke or accidentally, they left the elevator music pumping out through the outdoor speakers, plain as day. I guess I could have called the cops or something, but I didn't care that much. Besides, I needed some content for this site. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose.
Long story short... it was blasting away until I got home from the Green Bay fireworks around 10pm. On the Fourth.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-06-25 00:00
Time to get a post up here; it's been a few days since I've posted.
In all reality I'm just postponing working. I've got a ton of DBG projects to work on, and a huge project or two at my full-time job too. Instead of working on them, I've been watching ER reruns and movies and such. Whoops.
I recently watched Crash, and was surprised to find it in the Top 100 movie list. It was interesting, but I didn't think it was all that great of a movie. It was one of those movies that I find myself unable to stop watching, but not because it's great. Actually, it's more because if I stop watching a movie because I don't like it, about 6 months later I end up renting the damn thing again in case I was simply having a bad day. Then I waste 2 MORE hours watching the same stupid ass flick, albeit all the way through.
Damn, that's annoying.
Anyway, I had intended to make a blog post on Thursday squawking about the number of production company logos I had to sit through when I watched Crash. It was 6 or 7, I believe. I mean, I'm all about putting logos on work, and for damn sure my company logo is all over anything I do, but still.... I thought perhaps the entire movie was going to be company logos crashing into each other.
Actually, I could make that post and backdate it so you'd think I was updating more regularly. I would, but nobody reads this crap. I mean, it's like I'm talking to my imaginary friend or something... nobody's there. Who the hell can spell Madajczyk, anyway?
Permalink - Posted on 2006-06-20 00:00
This just happened a minute ago. I decided to watch a movie, specifically Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels tonight once I had the boys down.
I set the disc in my recently purchased Samsung DVD player and close the drawer. Then I ran to the fridge to get a drink. When I returned, I saw the drawer was still open.
Curious. So I pushed it closed again, and about 2 seconds later it opened up again. No errors, no warnings, but there it was, sticking it's mechanically operated tongue out at me. Sonuva....
After a good thirty seconds of pondering, I remembered that I saw Toliver over by the player earlier this evening. So I took the disc out, picked up the the player, and then rotated the player so that it was facing the floor.
I proceeded to shake the living crap out of it. Lo and behold, out pops a 128 mb CompactFlash card of which Toliver apparently decided that he needed to install into the DVD player slot.
I'm somewhat waiting for the MPAA to show up and start screaming that I was trying to dupe the disc onto the CompactFlash card...
Permalink - Posted on 2006-06-18 00:00
Made some design changes to the blog yesterday and today. I'll probably make a few more changes, but since I'm not quite sure what look I'm going for yet, I don't know when I'll get it changed.
My search for new housing continues. Granted, I've moved a lot over the past 10 years, but this time I actually have a good reason: I want to get Carter (and Toliver eventually) into a different school district, preferably one that his daycare will work with. My lease isn't up until the end of August so I've got some time, but I'll probably be moving at the beginning of August to get everything situated.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-06-13 00:00
Had an interesting telephone call this evening. While speaking with a female friend of mine, she happened to mention that was horny. Very horny. Not necessarily with me in mind or anything, but just in general.
Dammit, I'm a single guy. She's a single woman. That particular comment is enough to ensure that sleep will come hard (okay, that was a singularly poor choice of words) for days. You just can't do that kind of stuff to a single guy!
Okay, well, maybe she can, because it's not like I'm going anywhere after hearing that. My attention is now solely and completely focused on the telephone and every word being spoken through it. Let's be honest, it's probably one of the better offers I've received over the past year, and it was more of a general comment than anything else.
If you've ever watched Keen Eddie, you'll understand better if you think about the teasing and beautiful Miss Moneypenny. If you haven't seen the show, go buy the DVD set. Now.
It's okay, I'll wait.
Anyway, I doubt there's anything new information-wise in here to most women. Most of you have figured out how easy it is to wrap a man around your finger, long-term or just for a few minutes. In our defense, it's not that we're stupid; it's just really hard (ugh!) to think when you're being deprived of oxygen to the brain.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-06-09 00:00
Every 8 years in Wisconsin, most adults make a pilgrimage.
Not to vote... the interval is different for that. Some vote more than that, others vote less.
Not to the bar. I said every 8 years, not every night.
No, this is the pilgrimage to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew the drivers license. Granted, every driver in every state needs to go down there on a regular basis, but I live in Wisconsin (dammit).
So, I made the trip down this morning to get my drivers license renewed. I knew it was going to be a blast, but I figured I'd be all right since I had already filled out the paperwork beforehand. I decided to take Carter with me. I had promised him most of the day out of daycare (unlike Toliver, who's too little to remember all those promises yet!).
We arrived just before 11 a.m. and I was given number A034. They were serving A029 at the time, so I figured I was doing okay. How long could it take to get to A034?
Just long enough to make a 5 year old antsy.
Twenty or so minutes later, just as the number clicked over to A033, Carter said that he needed to use the restroom. I asked him to wait because we were almost done. He then announced to the entire building that he had to go now, so I took him in there.
He managed to take just long enough for my number to be called. Now, these DMV guys don't screw around. They have a little tag board thing that has the current number on there, and it has a thing like a doorbell attached to it. If you don't answer immediately, they ding the doorbell and give you a few nanoseconds before they move to the next number. Sonuva...
So then we started over. Got a new number, started waiting again. Just before my number was called, he decided he had to go again. In no uncertain terms I turned him down. He was angry, mainly because he has no patience.
You know who else has no patience? The clerks behind the counter. For as much as they're making, and as many benefits as they get being state workers, you'd think they'd actually smile a bit. I mean, I thought I was in the Post Office or something.
The rest of the story is a blur, mainly ticked off DMV workers who were angry that I chose their office to get my license renewed. But, we ran the gauntlet and managed to survive the ordeal.
I have 8 years to get the hell out of this state.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-05-31 00:00
I'm getting tired of having to put things back together in my life.
In the past year, much of my life has been uprooted, and I've been the one who has held it all together. Don't get me wrong: I've had support from friends and family, and I'm very grateful for it, but the final determination of sink or swim would be on how well I managed to keep on with life.
For all practical purposes I'm a single Dad. Granted, the boys' Mom is involved, but I still take the primary role without a shadow of a doubt. This isn't a problem for me in the normal sense; I absolutely love the time I get to spend with my boys and I crave it when they're not with me.
However, I tend to put myself on the back burner a bit when it comes to other things. My boys come first, which isn't a problem. But... I haven't had a relationship since she left me for her new boyfriend last year. I guess I've had the odd date or two but nothing substantial in the least. No worries for her; she had a new boyfriend lined up a week before she moved out.
Each and every time my kids mention their mother, it manages to bring back a little of the pain. I've learned that it's hard to trust anyone once you've been cheated on (and apparently I'm a multiple qualifier for that distinction)... maybe that's a little bit of why I haven't brought anybody into my life. Not to mention that the (very) few attempts I've made resulted in failure. Dammit.
In all reality, I've made a lot of progress towards getting on with life, but sometimes I wonder how much I have left to go and when it will end. Let me tell you, I'm ready to put this part of my life into the past.
Damn, it's almost been a year already. Stupid calendar.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-04-21 00:00
It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since Carter entered my life. So many things have changed. He's grown so much, and learned so much. I've relocated a few times, lost a fiancee, gained a good job, built a company...
I'm looking forward to the next few years, although it just gets harder from here: kindergarten, girls... there's so much for him to learn and experience. Nothing beats watching a child learn and grow each day.
I can't imagine my life without him. Happy birthday Carter!
Permalink - Posted on 2006-04-10 00:00
Get the hell out of my way, Oliver Stone.
I uploaded a video to Google Video of a landing that Howard made into Austin Straubel on March 26th. The vid was pretty good quality to start with, and I'm actually impressed with how good it transferred over.
Check Howard's landing out here. Make sure you're ready to crank the volume at the end... in some ways, Howard's comments are the best part. They're not exactly the kind of words designed to make a passenger feel better.
I have a ton of pictures from the flight too, but I've been too lazy to get them posted. I was supposed to go flying with Howard again last weekend, but thanks to a miscommunication with my ex-fiancée, I ended up having to bow out. Grrrr.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-04-07 00:00
<p>"Somebody call facilities... Dave is stuck on the coat hanger!"</p> <a rel="lightbox" title="Dave Stelzer needs help from facilities... again." href="https://madajczyk.com/images/Dave.jpg"> <img title="Dave Stelzer is stuck!" src="https://madajczyk.com/images/DaveSmall.jpg" /> </a>
Permalink - Posted on 2006-04-01 00:00
Ah, yes, it's that time of year again. I always look forward to April 1st to see who has the most fun.
So does airliners.net (word is, Howard prefers the new look)
Select images from Google Earth reveal the truth about Area 51... it's all about the BBQ
Wireless Extension Cords introduced (anybody got an action shot?)
Google Romance introduced
WebHostingTalk becomes WebHarryPotterTalk and has some interesting announcements about their admins
woot sells MAG KleerDrain Instant Drain Opener
And a personal request of mine: the USB Memory Stick that plugs directly into your brain for download and archiving.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-27 00:00
The optical zoom on today's digital cameras is just friggin' phenomenal.
I purchased a Canon S2 IS over the weekend with a 1 GB memory card. Of the many features it offers, one includes a 12x optical zoom lens.
The so-called "super-zoom" cameras are amazing. From time to time they have a bit of trouble focusing at the outside range of the 12x zoom, but for the most part they seem to be just fine.
I went flying today with Howard and took a ton of pictures. From an altitude of 4500 feet, I was able to zoom in on a red truck that was on the highway. Although I can't seem to make out the manufacturer, you can definitely tell that it's a newer model. And it's extended cab. See for yourself.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-19 00:00
This is an article about Carter.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-17 00:00
So, here is the general cluster I am pondering right now.
First off, being single pretty much sucks. On a daily basis most people run into a number of single, eligible members of the opposite sex. That's great, but you never know what they're thinking.
For example, consider the young lady working at the counter of the hotel I'm staying at. She's attractive and nice, and seemed friendly. Could be single, could be attached. Most likely just being nice because I'm a customer. Should I check and see if she's interested or just leave well enough alone? Being the shy bugger that I am, I choose to leave it alone (not to mention that I live 4 hours away).
Did I just pass on true love and happily-ever-after? Most likely not. I sincerely doubt she was interested in me. Hell, I'm not even interested in me, so why should she be? In reality though, these kinds of situations seem to happen every day. I suppose the trick is figuring out when there's interest and when there isn't. I've never been good at that.
On another note, I had dinner at Davanni's tonight over in Eagan. The best brownies around, and the pizza was pretty good too. Although, maybe I was just hungry. For that matter, I might as well mention Axel's River Grille, which is where I went last night. I was there once before and had one of the best steaks ever. I tried to reproduce it last night... it was good, but just wasn't the same.
What the hell is blue cheese anyway?
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-16 00:00
Okay. Enough is enough. It's the middle of March. Go away, winter!
I'm in Minneapolis right now for my day job, and it's snowing like hell outside. I know that I should be used to it since I live in Green Bay, but I'm not. The sad part is that the forecast for Green Bay doesn't have near the amount of predicted snowfall as Minneapolis.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-13 00:00
I remember seeing this video a few years ago somewhere, but I lost it or something. Now, thanks to the power and awe of Google Video, I can see it again:
You idiot! You own a Macintosh! The file is fucking gone!
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-07 00:00
Not sure why or how, but today turned out to be a good day. Spent some good quality time with the boys, and I know more than ever how much they love me.
Elisha Cuthbert is back on 24. She's gotta be in my top 5 list of beautiful women. Say what you will about her previous performances on 24, but the hell with it. Funny, I'm strangely addicted to 24. I've watched all of the seasons thusfar, and although my interest has waned a bit, I can't stop watching.
Not that I'd want to, now that Ms. Cuthbert has returned. Hey you, snickering in the back - bag it! I'm single and I can look at a pretty woman if I want. Grrr.
Found some more solutions providers for dbgHosting. Should be ready to launch shortly... well, officially anyways. I've already got a handful of clients who trust me.
Speaking of which, why aren't I hosting YOUR site? :)
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-06 00:00
Firstly, yes, I know some shit is broken here. Deal.
Secondly, check out this vid on Google Video. It's hilarious, and the blonde on the right looks pretty hot, too: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8400730120188776481
Permalink - Posted on 2006-03-05 00:00
Note: the links to the different versions have been removed, because I’ve imported them all. That’s right, you suckers didn’t even know I did that, did you??
Woo hoo! The latest version of madajczyk.com is here!
Okay, so it’s missing a few things. To make up for it, I recovered a bunch of older posts from the older madajczyk.com sites and even the czyk.org site.
Version 4 of madajczyk.com [2005 - 2006] Version 3 of madajczyk.com [2000 - 2005]
There were a few other versions and revisions, but trust me, they sucked. No loss there. I haven’t decided if I’m going to bring the content into the new Subtext powered site or not. I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to do it, and all I managed to do was give myself a headache.
Anyway, now I feel a little better, since the site is now running from dbgHosting… much better to showcase your own company’s talents than somebody elses.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-02-19 00:00
This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
I am busy working on converting this site over shortly… my tenure with Squarespace, although a pleasant one, is no longer required since I’ve kicked dbgHosting into high gear. Who am I to sell products if I don’t even use my own resources??
I’ll be working to move everything over to my servers… with luck, I’ll have this completed by the end of the month.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-02-02 00:00
This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
I am taffy stuck, tongue tied Stuttered shook and uptight Pull me out from inside I am ready I am ready I am ready I am… fine.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-01-31 00:00
This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
I recently set up a website / blog on behalf of my friend Mike Govek.
I’ll be damned if his traffic hasn’t exceeded all of the hits I get on all of my websites combined.
Anyway, go visit The Govekian’s website. It’s quite entertaining, if nothing else because I still haven’t given him access to it yet.
Update: this site has been shut down for a long time. I never did end up giving him access.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-01-15 00:00
So, I queued up my MP3 player (a SanDisk 512mb model) and selected one of the albums. It was Ten from Pearl Jam.
For just a minute or two, I had a flashback thing going on. Funny some of the things that music can do; sometimes it seems that it can act like a drug that can change how you feel, or even how you see the world. I was maybe 15 and back in Kansas City.
I remembered sitting in a red ‘66 Mustang with AJ having Why Go Home cranked up. Then I remembered listening to Blind Melon’s Change from their self-titled album. I guess that the best part about that is that for the first 2 or 3 years I never heard the whole song. The first 1:30 of the song is divided across the left and right channels. AJ liked the lyrics so much he’d always push the balance to the left, so you’d hear nothing for 10 seconds, then a little humming, then a harmonica, and then Shannon Hoon’s voice singing.
I finally picked up the album a few years later after I moved up to Wisconsin and found out there was more to the track. Imagine my surprise and shock. Hell, half the time I have to push the balance to the left otherwise the song doesn’t sound right.
Anyway, the flashbacks got me to thinking… Why the hell am I still living in Wisconsin? I planned on moving back down to Kansas City as soon I turned 18… I’m 27 now. WTF happened? Where did I go wrong? I’ve contemplated it ever since I moved up here. Hell, when my ex-fiancée moved out, I damn near packed my stuff up and jumped in the car with the intention of never looking back.
Upon further reflection though, it doesn’t look like I’ll be moving there anytime soon. I can’t bear to be away from my kids, so I just don’t see it happening. But that just goes to show what music and flashbacks can do… it both reminds you of the past and puts things in perspective for the future. Maybe it’s all about balance… and maybe I’ve just had the dial pushed all the way to the left.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-01-08 00:00
I’ve been kicked from the Progressive TripSense research program.
It appears that my car, a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix, is no longer considered compatible with the TripSense program. I received this e-mail over the weekend:
Dear TripSense Research Participant:
Thank you again for signing up for the data gathering research program that uses the TripSensorTM to gather information about how you drive.
You may recall when signing up for the program that some vehicles are ineligible for participation because the TripSensor is not compatible with certain vehicle makes and models.
When a TripSense customer reports a problem to us, we investigate it and, if it turns out that that vehicle make and model is incompatible with the TripSensor, we add the vehicle to our “ineligible” list. This means that these vehicles cannot participate in the research program.
We have identified an incompatibility issue with your Pontiac Grand Prix 4 door. As a result, we need to immediately remove that vehicle from the program, and ask you to return the TripSensor to us for analysis.
We apologize for the inconvenience. A postage-paid envelope has been sent for you to return the TripSensor. Once the TripSensor is received, we’ll honor the $50 participation incentive.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We apologize again for any inconvenience.
Oh well… at least I still get the rebate.
Permalink - Posted on 2006-01-04 00:00
So my kids came back to my house yesterday and informed me that they have two Dads.
I’ve earned the title of Dad. I’ve been there for both of those boys since birth. I’ve put everything forward in their best interest and I’ve been the one to take care of them.
I don’t care what anybody says. If two people have a child together and later go their own ways, there’s only one Mom and only one Dad. The only possible exception to that rule is if one or the other stops taking an active role in the kids’ lives… at which point it’s still a gamble if you want to do that.
When I begin dating again, my kids will not be informed that they have two Moms. Mom is Mom, and that’s the way it is. Nobody has the right to take that away from her, and nobody has the right to take it away from me. Especially when I’m as active in their lives as I am.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-31 00:00
So, does anybody care that it’s the end of 2005?
I know I sure as hell don’t. This year just plain sucked. So many events kicked me in the a$$ that I don’t even want to think about it. I can hardly wait until I can close the door on this piece of shit year and move on with my life.
The first half of 2005 definitely sucked because I was working too much, and when I finally got through that, I had the rug pulled out from under me when my ex-fiancée moved out without warning. Then I had to spend a lot of time without the kids until we finally reached an agreement that allowed me to see them most of the time (over 80% actually). That was the one good thing that happened; without access to my kids, I don’t know where I would be right now. Love you, boys!
I have a lot of great hopes for 2006. I think it will be the year that I can finish putting my life back together and get moving forward again. I look forward to spending a lot of quality time with the boys. Perhaps I can get some bills paid down. Maybe I’ll meet a woman who can actually treat me decently and respect me for who and what I am. Hey, with any luck I can buy a house so that the kids will have a place to call home.
As for people who disliked some of the decisions I’ve made or how I handled some of the situations I was in… well, too bad. And to people who put themselves first without any thought for others, shame on you.
Most of all, to my boys: I love you no matter what. I’ll always be here for you regardless of what happens. Every minute you’re away from me hurts. I’m sorry your Mom made the decisions that she did, but that’s her choice. All we can do is try our best to enjoy life as much as we can. I can hardly wait to see how the next year turns out for you, because you’ve both come so far so fast.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-25 00:00
“Ho ho ho, you sniveling little… I mean, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
— overheard yesterday evening in my living room as Santa delivered presents
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-21 00:00
Mother of God.
Just when I thought I was done… Dell is introducing a 30” widescreen flat panel. This is the kind of forced upgrade that just drives a computer geek like me nuts. Or it would if I cared. 6” more doesn’t do a whole lot for me at this point since I already own a 2405FPW… but if I was still on a 17” or 19”, this would be the one I’d want.
Money isn’t that important, is it?
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-20 00:00
Everything AOL touches turns to crap.
I think that the idea behind AOL is simple: make things easy to use and available to everybody. That’s not a bad thought in general, but AOL manages to do it in a way that ticks me off… every time.
So now that Google and AOL are moving past first base, some of the ugly details are starting to come out. For example, this post on Slashdot that suggests that they will be adding logos and graphics to a lot of the advertising that is shown on the Google sites.
This concerns me greatly. I don’t care for advertising any more than anybody else, but I recognize it’s value and understand that in today’s society it is essential to sell products. However, Google has always done it so much better with the text ads. They’re non-obtrusive, easy to deal with, and sometimes very useful. I can pay attention to them or not, and I feel like I get a choice.
Now, I don’t want to start knocking on this change until I see it go live, but I will say that I’m worried about the direction this is going. Yes, Google is a public company now, and they need to increase shareholder revenue… but, try and do so without ticking off your core user base… please?
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-17 00:00
So I’m still somewhat dealing with the fact that my last relationship is over. I really wish for the kid’s sake that it wasn’t, but she decided by her actions and words that we’re far in past.
I was in court on Thursday to answer to the child support question, and for once, the system worked as it should. I’ve had the kids upwards of 75% of the time, but I was still being asked to make a payment as if I wasn’t in their life at all. We mutally decided that we could take care of things outside of the court and would only involve them if required.
I was speaking a good friend today and she said that her ex told her that the reason he wasn’t spending much time with his kids was because he was paying so much support. That’s not cool… child support doesn’t replace the relationship you should have with your kids. I know that I’m more than a paycheck, and my kids know that I’m the best father I can possibly be to them.
My friend Howard asked me on Friday how the “first day of the rest of my life” was going… he hit the nail on the head there.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-14 00:00
These lyrics are definitely speaking to me right now…
i hurt myself today to see if I still feel
i focus on the pain the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away but i remember everything
what have i become my sweetest friend
everyone i know goes away in the end
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-12 00:00
So, one bad thing that came out of my past relationship ending is that I lost contact with a bunch of good friends. I’m sure this is something that happens normally, and there definitely is no blame on either side for it… it just happened.
Anyway, I’ve been doing my best to hook back up with some of them and see how life is treating them. Tonight I found Jeromy, Chris, and Carrie… in the past month, I’ve also talked to a bunch of other people who I lost contact with. It’s good knowing that people you know and care about are out there, even if you do lose track of them.
I do feel guilty about not keeping up with them though. I guess I’ll be sending out a lot of Christmas cards.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-12-08 00:00
So, my insurance company, Progressive Insurance, sent an e-mail to me a week or so ago offering me the chance to participate in a research program they’re offering called TripSense. Essentially they have you attach a small device to the On Board Diagnostic port (ODBII)that is installed in most cars 1994 and newer. Then you drive around like normal while this little bad boy records various bits about your driving habits. After 6 months, they ask you to upload the data to their site and they use it for supposedly anonymous research.
I ordered one (it’s free), but wasn’t sure if I was going to plug it in. Received it today and figured what the heck; the data is no good until I upload it anyway. It has a flashing green LED light that stays active while you drive — a good way to remind you that you’re being monitored BEFORE you spin donuts in the snow.
Anyway, I’ll leave it plugged in for a bit and see what I think. If it choose to upload the data, it works out to $100/year for participation… not a bad offset against my insurance costs, but I’m not sure if it’s worth sacrificing my privacy for it.
Other web musings on this include this general one on mnot’s site, and also this article at Electronic Design.
Update on Monday, January 9, 2006 I’ve been kicked from the TripSense program because my car is ineligible. Read the update article on this to learn more…
Permalink - Posted on 2005-11-29 00:00
I haven’t posted in a while due to some things happening in my personal life, but I suppose it’s time to move on with life. Lots of cool things happening with my company, and I hope to get the update out there soon.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-09-14 00:00
Permalink - Posted on 2005-05-16 00:00
Okay, this is really sad, but I found myself thinking about Q-Link this evening. What is Q-Link? Well, take AOL, subtract about 20 years, and there you have it. Q-Link was the place to go if you had a modem with your Commodore 64. I remember thinking how cool it would be to get connected, and then how disappointed I was when I hooked up with my 300 baud modem due to the length of time it took to get a page downloaded.
Of course, I remember my father telling me about the expensive modems they used a the Detroit News to transfer copies of the front page between the plants, and how they used to be able to push one full megabyte in about 45 minutes…
Permalink - Posted on 2005-05-13 00:00
Awww, the hell with it.
I’m fed up. I’ve had Lingo’s VoIP service since September 2004. For $19.95 a month with unlimited calling, it was a pretty good deal, especially when you stack it up against the offerings from SBC and other providers. It was actually working pretty well…
…until the end of March. I was in Minneapolis on a business trip, and every time I tried calling home I was connected directly to voice mail. Odd, but I thought perhaps the power was out or something.
When I returned, I was informed that the phone service just wasn’t working. Restarting the ATA (the hardware adapter that converts the conversation into digital packets for transmission) didn’t do anything. It was dead, and it took my primary phone number with it.
I tried working with support. Many e-mails were sent, and a few hours on hold later, it was obvious that I wasn’t making any progress. My favorite part was that almost every one of the e-mails I sent generated the same response from Lingo support: Please call for further troubleshooting. No we can’t replace the equipment until you call.
Hey Lingo: How can I possibly call support when I can’t make phone calls on your device???
So, I’ve switched to Vonage. Picked up the equipment from Best Buy, which ends up being free after rebate, plus a $25 Best Buy gift card. Not a bad deal when you look at it. When making outgoing calls, Vonage spoofs my main number (I have a ‘virtual’ number that I can use until my primary number gets transferred over). The best part is that I can tell Lingo to forward my calls to the virtual number, so nobody even knows it’s going on.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-02-17 00:00
Dell should be introducing their new monitor, the 2405FPW, on or around March 1st. This bad boy is 24” with a widesreen aspect, has 4 USB ports and a 9-in-1 card reader, tons of inputs, and lots of other cool features. You have the option to do either Picture-in-picture of any two of the inputs, or you can split screen two inputs.
The best quote from Extremetech was this: “A 24-inch-diagonal, 1920x1200 display could replace two 19-inch displays while consuming less desk space.”
I see one of these in my future, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-02-17 00:00
Pretty cool news indeed. Seems that Firefox just exceed the 25 million download mark recently. Slashdot is also reporting in this article that an interview of Bill Gates by Peter Jennings indicates that he views Firefox to be competition and that he’s ensuring that Internet Explorer will continue to be the best available browser, which is why Microsoft has committed to releasing Internet Explorer 7.0.
Of course. That’s why it’s been 2 or 3 years since your last major release… Since I’m sure Microsoft isn’t planning on doing much work on the underlying rendering engine, I’m sure we’ll have to continue to code around all of the infamous CSS rendering problems.
See the official blog posting about the Firefox milestone here.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-02-14 00:00
You know it’s time to sell a branch when it keeps getting robbed… even when the customers can’t go inside!
A bank that has been robbed so many times it bans customers from coming inside was held up again anyway on Friday.
Anyone using the Bank of America branch on Silver Hill Rd. has been forced to go to the drive-up or the ATM for the last few months, after managers got fed up with the repeated heists. But when one of the tellers went out for a break, a robber saw a window of opportunity.
“There were two tellers inside of this bank. One of the tellers left to run over to the drug store and as she was walking back, a suspect wearing dark clothing produced a gun and forced her inside the bank,” Cpl. Diane Richardson of the Prince George’s County police. The suspect tried to lock both tellers in the vault, but could not.
Permalink - Posted on 2005-02-09 00:00
It was one of the most unexpected things for me to see on my trip to Kansas City. Iowa rest stops have wireless internet access available!
The service is provided by I Spot Access, and apparently has been available since June 2004. Anybody who signs up for an account with the provider has the ability to surf free of charge for 30 minutes. Now that’s a good way to market your product.
Well, that, and also the highway signs that are posted for all to see!
Permalink - Posted on 2004-12-04 00:00
A friend from work recently set up a technology blog… promises to be a lot of good information.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-10-13 00:00
At my fiancée’s request, I yanked all of the pictures from my digital camera off because the CF card was full. I wasn’t really sure why, but I’m not one to argue (too much).
While I was transferring the pics, I noticed that there seemed to be a few movies on there. No, not live shots of Paris Hilton… but it wasn’t anything I had taken either.
Closer inspection found that on Sunday, Carter had stolen the camera while I was sleeping, taken about 10 pictures, and replaced it. On Monday, just after I got home, he was playing with the camera again. Little did I know, he had it set to capture movies.
Out of the six or seven mini movies he recorded, two were so good I thought that I would share them. In the first one, he seems to spend his time getting used to the camera. By the second, he’s already moved into the director’s seat, and he’s barking orders left and right.
Carter’s First Entry: Still Photos
Carter the Cameraman - [AVI, 6.05mb]
Carter the Director- [AVI, 3.62mb]
NOTE: The above items still need to be imported.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-10-12 00:00
Permalink - Posted on 2004-10-10 00:00
Well, I finally got off of my lazy ass and I got the Photos section working. I’ve only been talking about doing that for a month or two.
You’ll notice, of course, that there really aren’t many photos out there. Bite me! It’s one in the morning… perhaps I’ll post some more in the next few days. Getting that section really kicked the crap out of me.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but at least I’m making progress!
Permalink - Posted on 2004-09-24 00:00
I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox for over a year now. I’ve seen a lot of feature enhancements, product name changes, and cool new features. I wanted to post some of the interesting things I’ve found, both for my own archive and also for the enjoyment of others.
Firstly, for anybody who doesn’t know it, Firefox allows you to download extensions, or plug-ins, to make the browser do all kinds of cool things. I would love to produce a plug-in, but honestly, everytime I have an idea, I’m able to find a plug-in that’s already available and mature…. it’s simply amazing!
One of the first things you notice when you first install an extension is the delay. Before it will allow you to install, it forces you to wait 3 seconds. Although I knew this was a security fix, I couldn’t figure out why until I happened upon this article, which really explained the whole thing. Very sneaky, and a very elegant work-around.
Some of the plug-ins I’ve found handy include:
Adblock - Blocks ads via regular expressions. Awesome!
ChromEdit - A Simple User Profile File Editor
Gmail Notifier - Notifies you when new mail arrives
Google Pagerank Status - The only reason I used to ever go into IE.
Linkification- Surrounds plain text URLs with anchor tags
Sage - A lightweight RSS and ATOM feed aggregator
SwitchProxy Tool - Allows you to become anonymous, also multiple proxies.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-09-05 00:00
Yet another FUBAR company to deal with. Yuk. I currently have SBC DSL service, from which I pull 1.3mb down, 70k up. Not awesome, but acceptable at $27 a month.
The contract ends on October 2nd. Cancellation before then results in a $200 early termination fee. Ouch. My plan is to have a cable modem installed in a few weeks, and leave the DSL dormant for a week or so until I cancel it. No big deal, right?
Here’s the problem. I’d like to replace my telephone line with a broadband phone service, either Vonage or most likely Lingo. I would like to use the Local Number Portability to transfer my home phone number over to the broadband service. They are claiming that it takes 15 - 20 business days for that to happen. Once the transfer is complete, service with the original provider is terminated. So, if they complete the cutover on October 1st, one day before my contract completes, I get nailed with a $200 early termination fee. Yuk.
This is yet another reason to hate contracts. Argh.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-09-02 00:00
Interesting. I did a search today through Google to see how well madajczyk.com was indexed since I switched to Movable Type. Not many hits, but I did see that I got listed on BlogShares on August 27th. That’s kind of cool. Here’s a direct link.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-08-30 00:00
Just what I thought. Leave it to AT&T Wireless to really figure out how to stick it to their exiting customers.
My wireless service contract concluded at the end of July. I decided to cancel my service on August 2nd, mainly since I really wasn’t using the phone. After I finished the call, I noticed that my cell phone was indeed cancelled, effective immediately. AT&T Wireless later processed the cancellation on August 4th, according to their own records.
On August 21st, AT&T billed me for another month of wireless service.
I noticed the charge today, and called their customer service line. After 30 minutes of waiting, I learn about their “end of billing cycle policy”.
That’s right folks! Cancel whenever you’d like; you still get the privledge of being charged until the end of the billing cycle.
So, after a year of service, they get that final shafting and stick me for about $18.00.
It’s not the money; it’s the principle of the thing.
Bullshit. Feel free to comment.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-08-27 00:00
Driving 31mph + 2 cases of beer = 1 bad night. [Edit: He wanted to make sure that I include the words “circumstantial evidence” when describing his evening. I have no idea why.]
This was recently experienced by a close friend of mine.
Oh well, he needs the exercise I guess. I mean, now he’s walking and all since he can’t find his license. Oh wait, that’s right, it’s now in the officer’s pocket…
Permalink - Posted on 2004-08-17 00:00
RSS is a cool bit of technology, there’s no doubt about it. But larger sites definitely run into issues when it comes to lots of people consistently polling the RSS data feed to find updates.
What can possibly be done?
I have a tool that I developed internally a while back to automatically update DNS entries on dynamic DNS sites. To determine what the IP address is for remote sites that may not be able to determine their own IP address, I run a simple IP address site. If you browse to ip.deepbluegroup.com, you’ll see it simply returns your current IP address.
So why can’t RSS feeds provide a similar mechanism? Provide a token from the most recent RSS download, for example mysite.com/rssver.aspx or some such thing that returns the value. If you were to do the calculations, I’m sure you’d see a dramatic decrease in outgoing bandwidth.
Of course, all of the aggregators would need to know where to find the additional URI to see what the current token was, but that should be a simple matter. Hey, don’t look at me like that, I’m just the ideas man…
Permalink - Posted on 2004-08-01 00:00
I’ve finished migrating madajczyk.com over to MovableType. I was previously using DasBlog, but I felt a bit limited by it. I couldn’t find time to contribute to the project workspace over at GotDotNet, and I needed a way to update content quickly and painlessly.
There are actually two blogs, the standard type blog at madajczyk.com/blog, and another that I hacked together to allow me to serve the rest of the standard content at madajczyk.com.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-07-02 00:00
This article was originally posted via Squarespace on a domain name I no longer utilize. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
Microsoft recently released the Visual Studio 2005 Express tools (currently in Beta). This is really a good idea… provide entry-level coding tools to developers who don’t need all of the frills and features. More important is the cost, which is free. The biggest question is… how long will that last? It’s important to provide the tools to get more developers to try them, which allows more exposure to the newest technologies.
I’ll happily relate my experiences in .NET programming to anyone who will listen, but the big point to be made is this: Microsoft IS making it easier and faster to produce code, and the code appears to be more bulletproof that what earlier tools could produce.
Is this something that Java offers? Yes, to a point. Does Java have more market share? Yes, I believe it still does. Does that make it a superior product? I can’t pass judgment based on my limited Java experience. However, I know from experience that for probably 70% of the programmatic challenges I’ve come up against, I can find some kind of code example to set me on my way.
Did any of this ranting make sense? Possibly. Did all of the points get made successfully? I don’t know… I drank before I wrote this… but I figure that the underlying main point stands.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-19 00:00
This article was originally posted via Squarespace on a domain name I no longer utilize. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
Yahoo! just released a draft specification for domain-based e-mail authentication. Essentially, each e-mail has a header with an encrypted hash of the text. In DNS, a special TXT entry with the public key information is stored. The receiving mail servers can use the public key to ensure that the message was generated by the authorized server.
Not a bad idea in concept. I’m still reading the draft, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities.
Comments on Neowin led me to another project, the Sender Policy Framework, which I wasn’t aware of. A whole bunch of cool ideas floating around right now!
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-18 00:00
This article was originally posted via Squarespace on a domain name I no longer utilize. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
When I arrived home this evening, I noticed that my neighbors across the street had put out a large amount of garbage for pickup. Trash day isn’t until Thursday, but it’s not the first time they were early.
In the past 90 minutes, a minimum of 4 people have stopped to pick through the pile of debris. Now, Packerland Drive isn’t exactly a quiet street, but isn’t that a bit much? And it’s not like I was staring out the window the whole time, either.
I’m all about not wasting things, but I leave the trash digging to others.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-10 00:00
The last Ford Mustang rolled off of the assembly line today at the Dearborn Assembly Plant in Dearborn, MI. It will be shut down shortly, although plans are being made to convert part of it into a museum. Henry Ford himself assisted in the design of the initial buildings.
I remember driving past the plant with my Dad from time to time when we still lived in Detroit. Lots of history built up in the Mustang, and at DAP.
I just don’t know if it will be the same when the 2005 model appears later this year. According to the press release, it will be built in the Flat Rock plant.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-04 00:00
I was listening to National Public Radio this afternoon during my lunch break when I heard an interesting story come over the air.
Reason magazine, whom I had not heard of before, is publishing their June 2004 issue with customized covers on the front. Apparently, each of their 40,000 subscribers will receive a copy of the magazine with their name on it in large font, the words “They know where you are…”, and an aerial photo of the address to which the magazine is addressed.
Per the guest on the show, Nick Gillespie (the editor-in-chief for the magazine), it only cost around $5000 more to provide the customized covers, mainly thanks to a few generous donations from the various contributors of information (including the satellite photography).
Is this the ultimate mail merge?
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-03 00:00
An elegant way to protect against the Sasser worm:
Permalink - Posted on 2004-05-02 00:00
My fiancée just purchased a new Pocket PC thanks to a few awesome deals we came across. It’s an HP iPaq 1945 with Bluetooth, very nice. The was a $20 instant rebate, and a $100 mail-in rebate. Plus, we found that HP is offering a trade-in program for older PDAs and whatnot… she was able to get 50 bucks back from HP by trading in her older PalmPilot. Essentially she got a brand new PocketPC for under $150.
Overall, it’s not that bad. I haven’t played around with it too much, but she’s already got games and updates downloaded to it. The only things left to do are to locate a Bluetooth USB adapter for her machine so she can surf the web in the house, and write some cool .NET Compact Framework programs so that I can play with it too.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-04-29 00:00
Jeremy Surma just sent me this link: http://www.pdf995.com.
Available on this site are three tools to create PDF documents for free or very low price (to remove advertisements). There’s also instructions on how to share the PDF generator across a network… took me about two minutes to do. Very nice.
There’s other tools available from their corporate site; I haven’t had much time to check them out, but I plan to soon.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-04-28 00:00
Looks like everyone at my employer is going to be busy for a while…
Associated Banc-Corp to acquire First Federal Capital Corp
I happen to think that it’s a good selection, and hopefully one that will be profitable to the employees and shareholders both.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-04-27 00:00
This is pretty slick. It’s a matrix of most of the icons used by the various OS versions over the years… Interesting to see the comparison side-by-side. Included in the list are the Lisa Office System, GEOS for the C64 (remember that??), and BeOS.
Permalink - Posted on 2004-04-26 00:00
So, a few weeks ago I installed the beta version of Windows Update on my laptop to check out the new features. No big deal. I downloaded a few of the updates, but didn’t really notice anything out of the ordinary.
Over the weekend, I was trying to install a few different pieces of software. No matter what I did, the installation was failing. After a bit of investigation I realized that I had installed Windows Installer v3.0 beta. Apparently this beta broke all of the install packages I was attempting to run.
With that in mind, I headed over to Add/Remove Programs… unfortunately, I found that the install package couldn’t uninstall correctly. So now I was stuck. Faced with the unpleasant prospect of rebuilding the laptop, and vowing to never install beta software again, I surveyed my options.
I took a stab and installed the Windows XP SP2 release candidate. So much for the vow. But, amazingly enough, it did fix the problem!
Permalink - Posted on 2004-02-06 00:00
From what I just read in an article, the Spirit Rover needs to reboot more that Windows NT 4.0 in order to allow it to function correctly.
Apparently, much of the problem with the Spirit Rover was due to the fact that the onboard flash memory filled up. When it was out of space, the system would reboot. It took until just recently to get the data cleared out to repair the problem.
The other thing I read is that it transmits at 11KBps. I’m sure that makes the dial up users happy… the thing is almost 5x slower than their connection. No need to complain any more!
Permalink - Posted on 2004-01-07 00:00
Provided by a co-worker:
Holy hell, does this thing look cool or what? Depending on pricing, this should go over pretty well. I know I’m already interested in it. Of course, Linksys and the rest of the industry are calling 802.11g “Wireless-G” now. Sounds a little goofy, but I’m sure we’ll get used to it.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-12-31 00:00
Well, another year, another re-design. I’ve just about finished everything up in regards to the site, and I’m working on a bunch of content to get posted up here. I’m in the middle of revamping the Picture Gallery, and you’ll already see some of the improvements. I’m working on adding in comments, and I’m also considering a picture submission section so that other people can upload their pictures (that’s you, Schuelke!)
Oh yeah, since I haven’t had a chance to blog much lately, let me get done to a few key things I’ve learned over the past year:
Permalink - Posted on 2003-12-20 00:00
Typical Moose Candle:
Permalink - Posted on 2003-07-03 00:00
With working the new job and all, I’ve hardly had a chance to see what’s new in the world. One thing that I wasn’t expecting was this: Microsoft has announced that Exchange Server 2003 has been Released to Manufacturing (RTM). Coolness! If you haven’t checked it out, you really should. I thought that the jump from 5.5 to 2000 was worthwhile, but the changes in OWA alone make 2003 required.
The big question is… Will Microsoft be shipping this as part of their Action Pack for small IT businesses? I assume they will. This is important to me, as I’m a subscriber.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-06-24 00:00
According to a post on Neowin, Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 has been officially released today, although it appears that Microsoft is still updating their web site.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-06-23 00:00
I really don’t like my mornings anymore. It’s not that they’re bad in general, it’s just one small portion that I don’t care for.
I drop Carter off at his daycare. The problem is, he’s figured out exactly what this means. When Dad comes in and wakes him up, he’s extremely happy. He loves to run around and play, even while Dad is changing him. Then… it happens.
He suddenly realizes that he has to go do daycare today. It happens at different times. Sometimes it’s when I’m putting his shoes on, other times it’s right before I drop him off with Julie in the room. No matter what, though, it never fails. His eyes well up with tears, he starts to cuddle. He may be thinking “What did I do wrong? Am I in trouble? Why is he leaving me here?”
Not in trouble, kid. Dad just has to go to work.
Right. YOU try explaining that to a 2 year old.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-06-22 00:00
According to this article on Wired, DNS was first successfully tested 20 years ago today. Pretty impressive, considering that with all of the changes we’ve seen on the Internet, it continues to be a reliable, if not completely secure, way of mapping domain names to IP addresses.
Hmm. I was 5 years old at the time.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-06-18 00:00
Additional Hint: I haven’t changed employers since… :)
Well, I’ve made the decision to change jobs again. Those of you who know me are free to ask for more details, but there’s nothing to tell. I’ve decided to take a position of which I’m probably more qualified for.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-05-21 00:00
Sesame Street be damned.
On Tuesday, I was called out to a client’s site to assist with an e-mail problem. Apparently, their Exchange server got hungry and began eating incoming e-mails. Even worse, messages and contacts were also disappearing at an alarming rate.
Turns out, Trend Micro released a buggy anti-spam rule set that immediately decided that any message with a lower-case letter P in it was spam. Not like that’s a common occurance or anything, to use the letter P in an e-mail. Anyway, within a few hours, the glitch was discovered and fixed.
This is an additional reason to triple-check all code before releasing to the public. According to an article at Internet Week, less than 100 customers were affected by the problem. Im not sure which is worse… the fact that there was a problem, or the fact that less than 100 customers had set the Auto-Update feature on the spam rules. What version of Trend’s rules are YOU running?
Permalink - Posted on 2003-05-21 00:00
One of the domain names I used to hold, czyk.org, has been puchased recently by a company named CZYK Enterprises. I would have never guessed that anybody was actually interested in that domain name.
Ah, wait, I see. A quick check of the WHOIS information reveals that the domain owner has a -czyk last name also.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-05-17 00:00
I stumbled across this during my journeys through Microsoft’s web site. It allows existing owners of Windows XP (both Home and Pro versions) to purchase additional copies of Windows XP at a 15% discount. It’s all automated online, and you receive the licenses immediately. Check it out here:
Permalink - Posted on 2003-05-02 00:00
Wow, it got really quiet around here again. I’m not sure where the time went. Maybe I’ll return soon. Good new last week though, Brad is coming home from the Gulf. He’ll be back at Camp Pendleton, CA for a few months, and then he is off to Okinawa. Lucky him.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-04-09 00:00
No surprises here. In time with the forthcoming release of Visual Studio.NET 2003, the final version of the .NET Framework v1.1 has been released on MDSN. Here’s some of the highlights, paraphrased from Microsoft’s propaganda:
Support for IPv6 Mobile Web Applications Support Side-by-Side Execution of .NET itself, or programs built on the framework
Permalink - Posted on 2003-04-04 00:00
Big ice storm rolled into town today, leaving roads slippery, and power lines down. Our power was out for about five hours… I had a bunch of development work planned, but nature had other ideas.
Instead, we played with Carter. We’re teaching him “Old McDonald Had A Farm”. He really likes the chorus. He also is quite familiar with the word hot, as he kept wanting to touch the candles. A lot.
So I was up until 2 a.m. trying to get caught up on lost development time. This sucks.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-04-03 00:00
RSS is all the rage now. I’ve been playing with a few different aggregators, which will collect multiple feeds and format them for proper reading.
The latest entry into the foray is SharpReader, a three-pane aggregator, built on the .NET platform. It minimizes to the system tray (Yes!!), supports drag and drop, and a bunch of other awesome features. There are a ton of people talking about it in their weblogs, and it sounds like it’s just going to get better and better.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-03-19 00:00
That includes my brother. Shit.
Stay safe, Brad. That goes for everyone else in the area, civilians included.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-02-28 00:00
It’s been over 6 months since I left my position at my last company. In style with the times, they have begun to liquidate positions. One of my very dear friends was let go two weeks ago, so a going away party was thrown. Additionally it was my best friend’s birthday recently, so that got lumped in to the party. I managed to stay sober and enjoy the fun, but being sober and unable to dance does make for a slighly less enjoyable time. Regardless, I had a great time seing everybody I used to work with. Why is it you never recall the place you worked, so much as the people?
Pictures have been posted, surprisingly, in the picture section.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-02-28 00:00
I made a comment regarding a post I saw on Kiruba Shankar’s web site. The next thing I know, I’m reading an article about a blog meet in India, and in the article is a paraphrase of my comment. Small world.
As a sidenote, I’d like to say hi to everybody dropping in from Kiruba’s site. Lots of extra traffic generated in the last few days since I posted that comment. I haven’t gotten around to building a comment system yet, but you can drop me an e-mail using Lee Madajczyk(at)madajczyk(dot).com. Maybe this will force me into finishing up my .NET blogging system, complete with comments?
Nah. Probably not.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-02-12 00:00
Just when I was getting a lot of work done, a new version of one of my all-time favorite games has been released!
You can find more details on the official web site. See you in July!
Permalink - Posted on 2003-01-31 00:00
My thoughts and prayers with the families of crew members of the shuttle.
A post on Overflow, run by a man who was working in Mission Control during the disaster, relays the sadness of the event.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-01-24 00:00
I ran across a site today that will allow you to detect if software has been installed on your computer that you never asked for. It’s generally the source of frustation for a lot of people. If you’re running Internet Explorer on Windows, stop by to see if you have any of these nasties installed on your machine.
Permalink - Posted on 2003-01-24 00:00
I heard from an old friend today. We’re not as close as we used to be, but with him living in Texas, and me in Wisconsin, that will happen. Hopefully we’ll find a chance to catch up again.
Permalink - Posted on 2002-12-29 00:00
I’m finally getting the site updated. Switched the content over to the new design today. I have to import the existing information still, and I also need to build a CSS file to handle your printer. If you’re checking this site out in Internet Explorer 5.5+ it should look fine. If it doesn’t, and you can somehow read this message, please let me know.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-11-17 00:00
This article was originally posted via Blogger on a domain name I no longer own. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
The crap going on with the elections in our beloved country, the United States, is bullshit.
The French are laughing their asses off at us right now.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-10-23 00:00
This article was originally posted via Blogger on a domain name I no longer own. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
It seems that a hacker has been dropping notes on the desktops of people who have broadband Internet access, telling them that their machine is unsecure. Imagine that! The note apparently directed people to grc.com, which is a site that deals with Internet security. So the FBI asked Steve Gibson if he had anything to do with it! Hmm, even if he did, I would have said no, too! Read the full article here.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-10-20 00:00
This article was originally posted via Blogger on a domain name I no longer own. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.
I passed my Win2K MCSE test today. First MS test I’ve taken in a year. Happy as hell. One test down, six more to go.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-09-27 00:00
Submitted by Jeremy Surma
The best thing about doing a resume in HTML is the li element. I finally figured out what it means. But there is one question….. why don’t they just let you spell the word lie out all the way?
Permalink - Posted on 2000-09-10 00:00
Unfortunately, my friend Jaz knew what he was talking about when he said that radio personalities who sound hot usually are not. I made the mistake of going to the website of the local rock station to see what someone looked like. Ten minutes later, after I came out the bathroom, still very pale and retching, I realized that I should not have done that. Yuck! That was horrible. Oh well. Why can’t people ever look like they sound? I want to click on a radio personality and suddenly see someone like this…
Permalink - Posted on 2000-09-05 00:00
Well, the move is complete. For the people that I haven’t sent my address to, send me a reminder e-mail and I’ll get it out to you. DSL is supposedly coming in 2 - 3 weeks. I’ll believe that when I see it. I remember the problems that I had with TDS the first time I tried to get DSL. Oh well, hopefully DataWave has their $h1t in one bag.
On another note, if you’ve been able to get the dual - monitor support to work properly under Windows 98, please let me know. I’ve had it working at a previous job, but I have been unable to get it to work in my home. I have two monitors, one 17” and one 19”. A Trident 9750 AGP and a Trident 9440 PCI card, and both show that they cannot be used in dual-monitor configuration. If I use the Windows 98 drivers, nothing works. If I use the drivers from Trident, I get the initialization text-based screen from Windows 98, but the screen will never kick into desktop mode. Oh well, guess I’ll have to find another card that’s on this list.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-08-24 00:00
Down goes the developmental web server. Down goes the Internet connection. Items are sold to the highest bidder. The phone line gets disconnected next. At some point, electricity will be cut.
Sound like a sob story from insert-your-favorite.com here? Could be. But I was referring to my upcoming move. That’s right, 2 hours away from one godforsaken place in Wisconsin to some other godforsaken place in Wisconsin. At least it’s worth more money to me. But that’s small consolation, considering that I’m almost 2 hours away from Madison, which is the closest major city.
But at least now I will get more freedom. Since I’m moving up from “Network Technician” to “Network Administrator”, I should have a bit more say in what happens on the network. Of course, like any other position, I still have a boss to answer to.
The move happens in one week. Things in my life are changing even faster than that.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-08-21 00:00
I really hate moving. I can’t stand having to pack up all of my stuff and throw it into another place. It really sucks, especially considering I just finished rewiring my computer room the way I wanted it. Oh well, what do you do…?
I have accepted a Network Administrator position in Wausau working side by side with my good friend Ryan. The best thing about this arrangement is that Ryan has only been with the company for two or three months, and he’s there because I sent him a copy of the job posting. Damn glad I did, too, because a hefty raise for both of us is the down and dirty result.
So, job offer in hand, I head to my current supervisor with a leave note. Since I’m within days of getting hired on from my staffing company, I figured I would get some kind of counter-offer. Yeah, right. Instead, I basically get this response: “OK, when are you leaving?”
How would that make YOU feel?
Permalink - Posted on 2000-08-10 00:00
Person 1: I’m so bored I’m playing with my sugar.
Person 2: Just as long as you don’t playing with something else, especially not in front of me.
Person 1: But I wouldn’t make you touch it.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-05 00:00
Just a quick update to let you know what’s up. Currently, I have a completely redesigned HTML version of the site, which I can hopefully launch in the next week or two. There’s a bunch of work, so please bear with me. I am going to work on a Flash version as well, but I need to get a few more things figured out first.
Special thanks to Brando, who will be the first contributing author to the new site. Hopefully I can add some more people so that I’m not boring you all the time! Anybody interested in posting on a semi-regular basis, please drop me a line.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-05 00:00
It was too good to be true. I know that I had read in the past that Yahoo was going to be using the Google search engine, but I was hoping that the format would stay the same. If you take a look at Yahoo now and compare it to Google, you’ll see some remarkable similarities. Like the fact that the only difference is that the Yahoo search displays the results in a UL bullet listing.
Maybe I just don’t like change.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-04 00:00
I need some fireworks. Fire! Work continues on madajczyk.com, but will most likely take a few more days. I’m going to be working with some truly cool stuff, like XML. I also plan on hooking up to a SQL 7 database for parts of the website. In addition, I’ve got a web application I want to build, mainly ‘cause I’ve had the tools to build it for the last year and I never put them to use… Oh well. Enjoy the holiday!
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-03 00:00
Suggestion: If you plan on rebuilding your computer system, try not to do it at 12:45 a.m. Wow. I decided to rebuild my workstation and put Windows 2000 Professional on, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for about a week. To make a long story short, I managed to leave a floppy disk in the drive and then I couldn’t figure out what I was getting a Non-system disk or disk error message. Damn, I’ve been seeing those kind of messages since I was twelve years old, and I didn’t even think of checking the floppy drive. I actually went to support.microsoft.com to figure out how to build a bootable NTFS floppy. Oops. Sleep is key.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-02 00:00
Wow. A follow-up to yesterday’s post. I had just finshed watching a wacky ass movie, Eye of the Beholder, when I decided to check in on all things Net. Lo and behold, a quick note from Robin Jean, who thanked me for the link in yesterday’s posts. I was suitably impressed. It’s not often that you find a beautiful woman who not only checks her referrer logs, but sends a thank you e-mail as well.
In other news.. I plan on moving the content of czyk.org over to madajczyk.com, which is my own personal server rigged up on a DSL line. Don’t tell my ISP, because I’m supposed to have a dynamic IP. Oh well, fsck ‘em if they can’t take a joke. IPCONFIG /RENEW is a great command. More details on how to drive your local ISP crazy as soon as I get the change moved over.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-07-01 00:00
I just blew off most of the morning hopping around the web doing various things. For example, I spent hours at John Halycon’s site, laughing my ass off. I was here once before a while ago, but didn’t have time to check it out. It was worth it. I also stumbled across Robin Jean’s site… and now I have some new wallpaper for my desktop. Sometimes I wonder why I have an interest in blondes.. and then I see one or two (most certainly including my girlfriend in this statement) and then I remember why. I hate to be one to discriminate, but there’s something about the color yellow. And long hair…!
I picked up a 30-day eval of Macromedia’s new product, UltraDev. I downloaded it on a whim, like I used to do when I was connected to the File Shop in Kansas City. I just did a search, and it looks like it was picked up by Birch Internet Services. I remember way back when I help the Sysop install door games… Oh well. I’ll let you know if UltraDev is any good. I also downloaded IBM’s WebSphere server.. holy 230 megs of download, Batman! I’m going to rebuild the Madajczyk.Com server today, and then maybe we’ll give it a go, guv.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-06-30 00:00
Apparently President Clinton used an electronic signature to sign a bill allowing digital signatures to be considered legal in a court of law. I only have one question… Anyone seen my copy of Paint Shop Pro? heh heh heh…
Permalink - Posted on 2000-06-30 00:00
GAS PRICES SUCK!
Permalink - Posted on 2000-06-28 00:00
When I was at work yesterday, I ran across this paragraph in a technical support knowledgebase:
“ProductName” has no recommended settings for DCOM properties. Any reasonable computer professional, however, should be able to determine whether or not specific settings within these screens are causing the errors launching applications that are noted.
“We don’t want to get into trouble, so we’re going to let you figure it out on your own. Let us know when you’ve got it all figured out, okay?”
Permalink - Posted on 2000-05-30 00:00
Hello… welcome to yet another busy damn year in my life. I picked up a job with an MIS department at a local telemarketing company about a week ago, so I am now back to working full time. Plus, FedEx fnally put me on their staff from 5:30pm until about 9pm almost every weekday. That should give me about 60 hours a week. Oh yeah, plus I am working with another local business to computerize their inventory. That will have to wait until the weekend. I’m still not sure when I’m going to sleep….
Permalink - Posted on 2000-05-24 00:00
Right above this post, I mention that I will be updating this site each and every day. Whoops. Apparently my resolve wasn’t exactly what I thought it was. I’ve been busy with a new job and with trying to get madajczyk.com operational. Oh well. Maybe I’ll do another update before the end of June.
Oh yeah, piss off, Surma. ;)
Permalink - Posted on 2000-05-16 00:00
Nothing pisses me off more that something done for a stupid reason. I recently checked a website that I did while I was at my previous job. One quick look told me that it had been ripped apart by somebody else who had inserted code. I understand the reasons, but I can’t understand the purpose. Thanks to that, I now need to re-engineer my resume. I no longer want to list the websites that I have worked on. Why not? Because those sites are no longer quality work. They aren’t held together by a common bond anymore. There are now two different themes in place, which I just can’t stand. This has now renewed my resolve to make this a better website. Screw ‘em.
Permalink - Posted on 2000-05-10 00:00
Hello everyone. Thanks again for checking out this page. I’m working on adding a few more features as I think of them, mainly because I don’t want this site to be like 10,000 other web pages. Since this page is a mix of business and personal information, I am constantly looking to expand the site both laterally and vertically. I have recently been rebuked by my good buddy Jeromy, who’s over in England with the USAF, that the site isn’t interesting anymore. I intend to change that as soon as possible. Expect to see some pictures popping up pretty soon, ranging from bland introduction pictures to the truly bizarre. I also have an idea concerning employer / employee relations, but I won’t spoil the surprise. Please send an e-mail to me with your suggestions. Thanks.