Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello 2009

As we begin to say Hello to 2009, I begin to reflect on what has transpired over the past year. I have gotten another year older and worked another year at Comcast as a Network / Server Admin (and a Supervisor without an increase of pay or title). At least I am not Solo any more, that truly sucked. We went through a consolidation of the IS and IT departments, which in turn changed the reporting structure. Before, I reported to the IT Director with a dotted line to the IT Manager. Now, I report to the IT Application Supervisor, who is under the IS (IT) Director. I am not sure if my duties have expanded or decreased. We will have to see how that plays out.

We have seen fuel prices soar and the stock market crash to nearly half of what it was, trying to endure a 20k loss of my 401K portfolio. (Ouch) I have been selectively purchasing stocks of companies that will not go out of business, like Disney or Microsoft, at a record low. I have not made any money on them as of yet, but may in a few years. You now have to change your mind set from the short-term quick buck to very long-term. I still receive dividends on a few of my stocks, so my ROI is constantly going down. Like my ROI on the Microsoft stock is about $4 bucks over the 10+ years that I have held on to them.

I started and stopped playing Dark Age of Camelot. A coworker buddy of mine got me hooked on this game. I really enjoyed my Heritic and BoneDancer, who both kicked some serious ass. My friends called me Sparky when I was playing my Tic, who had a flame spell that was just simply deadly and a flail when I just wanted to beat the tar our of you. It is fun, but definitely a time suck, which started to piss the wife off. I was starting to neglect the family, which was going to be the death of me. So, we all gave it up and started to study for our next set of exams. CCNA, VCP, MSITP, and maybe a few others. This will make me more marketable in the event I get totally pissed off and screwed over (again).

The kids went to Great Wolf Lodge and had a fantastic time. We actually went twice this year and both times we had a great time. On this last trip, my youngest (4yr) made a posse, including two 17 year old girls, who were "tricked" into taking her on the big girls slides, which she loved. They all enjoyed playing together and she had a great time. My oldest (5yr), found a new Best Friend and went everywhere together. The family and I are looking to go there again in the up and coming year. I am thinking maybe for one of the girl's birthdays. Then we can invite a school friend or two to attend.

This year has not been all fun and games. In fact it has been rather traumatic, at times. In this year, over the last half of the year, I have lost my Father, my Aunt, and my Freya dog. It was... it just was.... nuff said.

My oldest went to the ER for the first time, ever! It all started on Saturday morning when she woke up with what looked like a bug bite on her finger. She is highly elurgic to any sort of bug bite. To this end, we keep a special purple pill for her when she gets one. So, I gave her the pill, put some ointment on it and wrapped it in a bandage. Well, it did not go away, in fact, it got worse. So, we went to the ER with 3 feet of snow on the ground. I am so glad that we live where we do, there is a Hospital, Take-Out, and a grocery store within a mile of the house. It was a good thing that we went to the ER, if we waited any longer, it could have been very bad. But, with a little medicine, direction from the ER doctor and care, she has fully recovered.

WOW!!! Looking back on this year, it really sucked! Full of disappointment, death, and traumatic events, with only a few high points. GOOD BYE 2008 and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow, Snow, Everywhere...

As for most of the country, we have snow and a lots of it. For the past week we have been having off and on snow. However, it was about Thursday, it was really melting off and looked like it was going to clear up. Not so much! For the past 3 days it has come down in lots of snow and freezing rain. Sucking to drive in it, but it was lots of fun to play in it with the girls. The ice on top of the snow was about a 1/2 inch thick. The snow is about a 1 1/2 feet. We enjoyed taking the ice and throwing it in the air and having it come down, hitting the ice, and shattering, skidding across the ice. There have only been a few people who have dared to venture out in this with limited success. I had to dig out the SUV, which had 2 feet of snow on the roof and snow up to the wheel wells. We needed supplies, milk, eggs, chips, soda, candy, salsa, more chips... You know, the necessities. I only saw about 3 people being really stupid in the ice and snow on my way. No counting for arrogance and stupidity.

Enjoy the snow, but BE SAFE!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is High Speed!

Sure makes my FIOS line looks like DSL!!!

The End...

On Wednesday evening, my father died. It was a long fight that no one thought that he would last as long as he did. There is not much more to say, besides...

We all will miss you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The following is an actual question given on a Washington State University
chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the
professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course,
why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs
heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law
(gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need
to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which
they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to
Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different
religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that
if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not
belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in
Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law
states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the
same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter
Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell
breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell,
then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year
that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,"
and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number
two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already
frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen
over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore,
extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine
being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hindsight is 20 / 20

Really works for any situation!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Offshore Techsupport

As you have not guessed by now, I am a bit more technical than your average bear. To this end, I really hate calling Microsoft or Dell's technical support. It is usually some individual in India that can understand what I am talking about. When I call and that there is a problem with my computer and here are the 5 - 10 troubleshooting steps that I did to make this determination, take my word for it. Please do not tell me to reboot or reload the drivers. It just makes me angry.

I had to call Dell on my wife's laptop, the monitor popped and needed to be replaced. It was not the video card, it was not the motherboard, it was not any drivers, it was the LCD monitor. So, I call... This guy tells me to reboot the laptop, update the drivers, press the function keys to disable the presentation mode. "Dude! If you don't get the Dell Boot-up Screen, updating Windows Drivers will not do JACK!" Serious EBKAC or id10t error Finally, I told him to quit reading from the script and that I work in IT and know how to troubleshoot PC issues, even though I am a Server Tech. (Hold the laughs)

So, what should have taken 10 minutes, took 45.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fuel Prices

Yesterday, we filled up the Yaris it I was shocked when the guy said $14 bucks. I know it had a small tank, but, geeezzzz. After looking at the receipt, I noticed that regular unleaded was $1.71 a gallon. I know that the prices have dropped, but I did not realize that they went that far. This is a very bad sign and I will tell you why. When the pendulum swings the other direction, we will see a higher price like nothing we have seen as of yet. I predict that we will see $6 per gallon during out next swing.

But, for now, I will enjoy driving the SUV again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thoughts and Stuff...

I received my 401K statement in the mail yesterday. Boy, was that a mistake. Down 47% from last quarter. Looking at the ye old stock report was a different story, only down 38% from where I purchased. Oh, wait, that is even worse. :P

I realize that everyone is talking about the economy or what their stock portfolio is doing (or not doing), but I just wanted to weigh in my thoughts and observations. This may be the point in history that we lose our 1st world status. Here is why.. Lets begin with the financial bailout of 700 billion. As we have seen, and I said before, what a stupid move by our government. I site AIG as my example. Here is a financial institution that receives their handout, the executive staff goes on a retreat and then comes back to congress and wants more money. I am sorry, but they go on a retreat.. WTF!!! The banks and financial institutions that received the money are not leading it out, people are loosing their homes to the banks, and the stock market went from around 13K to just below 8K. This is after a 700 Billion dollar bailout. Now, the car makers are wanting their handout. I am sorry, but I thought that the original bailout was a stupid idea, this one is just idiotic. What are you thinking??!!?? They got themselves into this mess, let them get themselves out. Oh, wait... They are helping out their buddies from the stupid mistakes they made.

I have a house payment, a car payment, credit cards, student loans, and private school tuition for my kids. Both my wife and I work and have been financially responsible. Even though, we could get financing for the five hundred thousand dollar house and the BMW. We did not want to over-extend ourselves, so, I drive a 12yr old truck. My point is, there is no Bailout for me or any of us, why should their be one for a company. If they did not see this economic issue 6 months ago, they are either too stupid or too arrogant and should suffer the consequences. They should all be terminated. Let them look for a job or better yet, let them flip burgers. They need a lesson in humility and how the real world works.

The US sneezes and the world catches a cold.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Time Change

Hey Everyone!
Did you change all of your clocks? Did all of your systems change? Are you really sure?
Here is a script that will run through a txt file and perform a net time on all of the systems listed.

Check Time.cmd
FOR /F %%i IN (c:\servers.txt) DO NET TIME \\%%i >> c:\temp\time.txt


Saturday, October 25, 2008

ePO Duplicate GUID script

Here is a script that I have been asked about several times. You just have to put in your LDAP / OU structure, where you keep your computers and this will fix that problematic duplicate GUID problem.
' VBScript Source File -- Created with SAPIEN Technologies PrimalScript 4.0
' COMMENT: gets guids

'Define Constants
Dim intRecCount
intRecCount = 0

LocalComputer = "."

''Create and load dictionary object
'Set objDictionary = CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")
'objDictionary.CompareMode = vbTextCompare
'Set objGUIDDict = CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")
'objGUIDDict.CompareMode = vbTextCompare
'' Determine DNS domain name.
'Set objRootDSE = GetObject("LDAP://RootDSE")
'strDNSDomain = objRootDSE.Get("DefaultNamingContext")
''Create connection and command objects
'Set objConnection = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
'objConnection.Open "Provider=ADsDSOObject;"
'Set objCommand = CreateObject("ADODB.Command")
'objCommand.ActiveConnection = objConnection
'objCommand.Properties("Page Size") = 100
'objCommand.Properties("Timeout") = 60
'objCommand.Properties("Cache Results") = False
'Define Search Query
'strBase = ""
'strFilter = "(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user))"
'strFilter = "(objectCategory=computer)"
'strAttributes = "name,userAccountControl"
'strQuery = strBase & ";" & strFilter & ";" & strAttributes
''Execute command and build recordset
'objCommand.CommandText = strQuery
'Set objRecordSet = objCommand.Execute
'Wscript.echo "-----------------------------------------------------"
'Wscript.echo "Running AD Query ..."
'Do until objRecordSet.EOF
' intRecCount = intRecCount + 1
' 'Wscript.StdOut.Write(".")
' strCN = objRecordSet.Fields("name")
' intUAC=objRecordSet.Fields("userAccountControl")
' AcctStat="Disabled"
' Else
' AcctStat="Enabled"
' End If
' If AcctStat="Enabled" Then
' errValue = Ping(strCN)
' If errValue = "Online" Then
' 'WScript.Echo strCN
' strRegValue=RegListValueString(strCN)
' 'WScript.Echo strRegValue
' 'add items to dictionary
' 'objDictionary.add strCN, strRegValue
' If strRegValue="" Or IsNull(strRegValue) Then
' WScript.Echo strCN & " " & strRegValue & " - Null"
' ElseIf objGUIDDict.Exists(strRegValue) Then
' WScript.Echo strCN & " " & strRegValue & " - Duplicate"
' Call RegDeleteValue(strCN)
' Call StopService(strCN,"McAfeeFramework")
' Call StartService(strCN,"McAfeeFramework")
' On Error Resume Next
' Set osvcRemote = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strCN & "\root\cimv2")
' Set oprocess = osvcRemote.Get("win32_process")
' ret = oprocess.create("c:\\program files\\network associates\\common framework\\cmdagent.exe /P")
' if (ret <> 0) Then
' 'wscript.echo "Failed to start process on " & strCN & ": " & ret
' Else
' 'wscript.echo "Started process on " & strCN & ": " & ret
' End If
' Else
' objGUIDDict(strRegValue) = True
' WScript.Echo strCN & " " & strRegValue & " - Healthy"
' End If
' End If
' End If
' objRecordSet.movenext
''Build a dictionary of the unique GUIDS
'For Each GUID in objDictionary.Items
' 'WScript.Echo GUID
' objGUIDDict(GUID) = True
''Compare guids to computernames and return all computers for each guid
'For Each strMgrName In OBJGUIDDICT.Keys
' strMbxName = ""
' index = 0
' ReDim arrayGUIDS(0, index)
' For Each strMbxName In OBJDICTIONARY
' If OBJDICTIONARY.item(strMbxName) = strMgrName Then
' 'WScript.Echo "Matched guid " & strMgrName & " " & strMBXName
' ReDim Preserve arrayGUIDS(0, index)
' arrayGUIDS(0, index) = strMBXName
' index = index + 1
' End If
' Next
' If index > 1 Then
' WScript.Echo strMgrName & " has more then 1 member."
' For Each strcomputername In arrayguids
' WScript.Echo strcomputername
' call RegDeleteValue(strComputername)
' call StopService(strcomputername,"McAfeeFramework")
' Call StartService(strcomputername,"McAfeeFramework")
' On Error Resume Next
' Set osvcRemote = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strcomputername & "\root\cimv2")
' Set oprocess = osvcRemote.Get("win32_process")
' ret = oprocess.create("c:\\program files\\network associates\\common framework\\cmdagent.exe /P")
' if (ret <> 0) Then
' wscript.echo "Failed to start process on " & strcomputername & ": " & ret
' Else
' wscript.echo "Started process on " & strcomputername & ": " & ret
' End If
' Err.Clear
' Next
' End If
'wscript.echo "Completed query - total records: " & intRecCount
'Function RegListValueString(strComputer)
' On Error Resume Next
' Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
' strKeyPath = "SOFTWARE\Network Associates\ePolicy Orchestrator\Agent"
' strValueName = "AgentGUID"
' Set oReg=GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & _
' strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")
' oReg.GetStringValue HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath,strValueName,strValue
' RegListValueString = strValue
'End Function
'Function RegDeleteValue(strComputer)
' On Error Resume Next
' Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
' strKeyPath = "SOFTWARE\Network Associates\ePolicy Orchestrator\Agent"
' strValueName = "AgentGUID"
' Set oReg=GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & _
' strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")
' oReg.DeleteValue HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath,strValueName
'End Function
'Function Ping(remoteComputer)
' Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & LocalComputer & "\root\cimv2")
' Set colPingedComputers = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_PingStatus Where Address = '" & remoteComputer & "'")
' For Each objComputer in colPingedComputers
' If objComputer.StatusCode = 0 Then
' Ping = "Online"
' Else
' Ping = "Offline"
' End If
' Next
' End Function
'Function StopService(strComputer, Service)
' On Error Resume Next
' Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
' Set colServiceList = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Associators of " _
' & "{Win32_Service.Name='" & Service & "'} Where " _
& "AssocClass=Win32_DependentService " & "Role=Antecedent" )
' On Error Resume Next
' For Each objService in colServiceList
' If (objService.State = "Stopped") Then
' 'wscript.echo "Dependant service " & & " is " & objService.State
' Exit For
' End If
' 'wscript.echo "Stopping dependent service: " & objService.Name & " ..."
' objService.StopService()
' wscript.sleep 1000
' Next
' wscript.sleep 2000
' Set colServiceList = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Service where Name= '" & Service & "'")
' For Each objService in colServiceList
' If (objService.State = "Stopped") Then
' 'wscript.echo & " service is " & objService.State
' Exit For
' End If
' 'wscript.echo "Stopping " & Service & " service ..."
' errReturn = objService.StopService()
' Next
'End Function
'Function StartService(strComputer, Service)
' On Error Resume Next
' Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
' Set colServiceList = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Service where Name= '" & Service & "'")
' For Each objService in colServiceList
' If (objService.State = "Running") Then
' 'wscript.echo & " service is " & objService.State
' Exit For
' End If
' 'wscript.echo "Starting " & Service & " ..."
' errReturn = objService.StartService()
' Set colDepServiceList = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Associators of " _
' & "{Win32_Service.Name='" & Service & "'} Where " _
' & "AssocClass=Win32_DependentService " & "Role=Antecedent" )
' For Each objDepService in colDepServiceList
' If (objDepService.State = "Running") Then
' wscript.echo "Dependant service " & & " is " & objDepService.State
' Exit For
' End If
' 'wscript.echo "Starting dependent service: " & objDepService.Name & " service ..."
' objDepService.StartService()
' Next
' Next
' wscript.sleep 2000
'End Function

This will check the system, keep track of the GUID and replace it if there is a duplicate.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Dog - My Dad

It has been a real crappy end of the year. As you know, my father has cancer and has been really struggling these past several weeks. I feel that time is short. My sister came into town last week to spend time with all of us. We had a nice family dinner with all of us talking and having my kids run around. He sure likes to watch them, brings a smile to his heart. I have been trying to spend as much time as possible over there and talk to him about everything but his health or his physical health. What is there to say? Feel like crap… Tonight, I will be heading over there after work to spend time there and have dinner.

About two weeks ago, Freya had a growth on the side of her jaw. I took her to the vet, who did a biopsy to figure out what it was, but it came back inconclusive. Last Tuesday, the vet wanted to remove it and send the entire thing as a sample. It grew to double the size of the prior week, so he just took enough to get a better idea of what it may be. When we where there, he said that it could be one of eight things, seven of which are fatal. Freya has been sleeping a lot, more than normal and wanting to be under me or my wife. This means that she is not feeling well. I have been giving her wet food to make sure that she has been eating. With a big thing in her mouth, I can understand that she would not want to eat this dry crunchy dog food. Last night, we got the test results back, it is cancer. The vet said that the treatment would begin with removing her jaw and beginning chemotherapy. I just can’t do that to my dog. I see what this is doing to my dad, I just can’t do it to my dog. So, we are going to have to put Freya down. It is the most humane thing to do.

And the hits keep on coming!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Winging my way Los Angeles and back again

Day 1 –
I am currently sitting on an overcrowded airplane on my way to Los Angeles for my Aunts funeral. This is the first time, in a very long time, that I am taking a trip without my family. Generally, if I am on a plane trip, I am accompanied by my wife and the young ones, going to some place sunny and fun… Like Disneyland. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this time. My trip so far has been uneventful and was able to get some work done while I waited at the airport. Stuff that I just simply did not have time to do while I was at work. So, I took the two hours that I am sitting on a plane to write some emails, update a spreadsheet or two, and a couple of updates that I forgot about. I guess that this is a better use of my time, than just sitting here, looking at the back of someone’s head. Speaking of planes, this is one small fracking plane. I hit my head on the roof when I walked in, on the cabin when I stood up to go to the lavatory, and when trying to exit. Talk about small.. Dude.. The bathroom was smaller than my closet. I think that Frodo would have had issues trying to use the facilities. I also came up with a realization…I need a larger battery…seriously….

Day 2 –
Today is the day of the funeral. My sister, her husband and I went to Brunch before the service, really good food. I forget the name of the restaurant, but it is at the bottom of the hill in Hollywood. Then we went to the Los Angeles athletic club for the memorial service. I was told that it this was going to be a celebration instead of a traditional funeral. Well, it was just that. A friend of the family did a sort of MC routine that at times was really funny, telling stories of my Aunt when she was on Broadway, dancing, performing in the theater, or performing ballet. However, it was not all fun and games. At certain points, it was just plain sad and even I felt a well of tears forming. There was a lot of studio and theater people present, obviously, who all told stories of my Aunt. Some funny and some not, which brought a tear to everyone’s eye. I was probably the youngest person in the room by at least 15 years. Which was sort of difficult, since a lot of things that they were talking about happened before I was even born. Everyone had something to share, which ended with a hug and smile… and then we broke for dinner.

Funny story… during the reception, I was talking to this group of people, who one of them was a producer, who’s cell phone rang. Okay.. I had mine vibrate, not to disturb anyone, but okay... So, he answers it and is like “Hey Ms. Portman, how are you feeling???” I was like –huh- So, when he gets off of the phone, in which I inquired about the call. “Portman.. As in.. Natalie Portman?” He nodded and proceeded to tell me all about how it is such a pleasure to work with her. He also said that Nicole Kidman, Alec Baldwin, and Uma Thurman were also fantastic to work with. However, I was like.. “Lets go back to Natalie for a minute” .. we talked for a bit more, before our drinks were empty and we parted. When I was leaving, I went over and shook his hand and let him know that it was a pleasure meeting him and that I was disappointed that Natalie never called.. "Wink-Wink"
It has been a very very long time since my sister and I just sat down and talked. We sat in the backyard, staring up a the Hollywood sign, drinks in hand, and talking about everything that is going on in our lives… Dad, Mom, work, my kids, husband/wife, and each other. At times, we were brutally honest with each other. We both found out that there was a lot of miscommunication and ill feelings between each other. It sure was nice to get a lot of things off our chests. At the end, we felt like we were a family again.

Day 3 –
Today is the day that I head back home. My wife and girls are anxious for me walk through that door. I was told that my youngest had a hard night last night with me gone. She was constantly looking for me or expecting me to come home from “work”.. I called several times while away, but she did not get it. I did pick them both up a little something as a present from daddy, while on his travels. A monkey that you can wear around your neck that makes wildlife noises. This should totally annoy my wife. However, before that, Sis and I did get to stop by Bill’s.. Bill’s place is a fantastic deli that has THE BEST sandwiches you have ever eaten in your entire life. My sister made a special point to stop there for lunch before my flight out. I was trying to come up with a way to take several sandwiches on the plane, perhaps to sell for a nice little profit.. but, could not figure out how to make this happen. Sure beat the dry crackers and two droplets of soda that they give you during the flight. Well, I will have to settle for what I was able to pack in the belly to hold me over. And… Yes.. The plane is still overcrowded and small… Same plane, I think…

Friday, August 15, 2008

My So Called Life...

Some of my friends are wondering if I am still alive... So, I thought that I would eliminate the mystery. Yes, I am alive, just really busy. I have worked the last 3 weekends, besides putting in a full week of work. I am also in Budget season for 2009. So, I have had to work a couple of hours at night to answer question that my Director may have regarding the budget plan that I put together. (Love Excel) There is no shortage of projects or upgrades to keep me and my team busy. The good news is that we have very few actual problems. I like not always fighting fires, unlike Cori. At Cori, it always seemed like the walls were crumbling down around us. I guess that was the price to pay for being on the bleeding edge. (Yes, they installed beta and RC products into a production network). I tried not to, but, I can see how people always blame the network for any issues. I was guilty of doing it myself and I could see how the network guys always were so short with people about it. I now understand. Here, I have applications the monitor the ping times of systems, bandwidth on the switches, CPU on the switches, ports, every little network/server/device, everything that I can think of. And I always seem to get... "The network is slow!" It is like saying "The Internet is Down!" It just slays me... No, the internet is not down and the network is not slow, it is your crappy application that you are trying to run.. Wow.. Okay, I got a bit off topic here.

Family is good. The girls still have a full line up of activities, Hula, Swimming, and Ballet. I am also looking to get my youngest into a martial arts. Just not sure of the time or place. Plus, we visit my parents almost every weekend. As you are aware, dad is not doing so well. He says that everything is fine, but you can tell that it is not. As he says, "It is all downhill from here." Mom is saying that his back is hurting more and more. I told him that he has some really kick ass pain meds, take them.. It is not like you are going to become an addict. Plus, he is really not eating much. Dad was a big guy and now he is down around my weight. Not good... But, he has a really great attitude, even if it is for show.

Well, the girls have a Hula performance this weekend, which will be a lot of fun. The girls really are excited about the performance. The nice thing is that I get to see the entire show, ranging from the little people all the way to the experts. And.. DUDE!!!... They are good.. pretty.. AND GOOD!

Also, we are getting new carpet for the house, once every decade you really need to put some money into the house. :) Lowes was having a sale on installation, $250 bucks for the whole house. So, we are doing all 4 rooms. So, we are in the mix of packing our house in order to have them come and install the carpet. I cannot believe the amount of pure crap that we have accumulated over the past 12 years of living in this house. We have put in a rule.. If you have not touched it in a year, it goes bye-bye. Got to tell you.. I have thrown away more programs (stuff that wouldn’t run on Windows98, not to mention XP), computers (P200), and parts of stuff I did not know that I even had.

Oh.. And playing DAOC, which is fun getting together with my teammates and creating havoc.

So, all in all, doing well - Just Busy...

Friday, August 08, 2008

My Experiences with the Game Dark Age of Camelot

It has been suggested that perhaps I need to expand on an entry… So, here it is…

I only play a couple of hours a few times a week, so I am not one of those people is always on playing… Like a few of my friends on EverCrack…(you know who you are). To begin you select your Realm. I choose the Albion, the realm of the Knights of King Arthur. In the relative short time of me playing with my buds from work, we managed to achieve 40th level, 50 being max. I am having a good time with my character. I am playing a male Briton Heretic, named Leifland. I am currently working on some crafting of leather, studded or cloth armor. Others in our group are spell crafting or doing alchemy that can be applied to the armor, which I am making, to increase our abilities and resistances. There is not much to it.. Just time and money… Lots of Money!!! But, we hunt in order to acquire items that we can sell, gold, and aurulite (a sought after money source). There is not much grind that I have seen with other games of this type. We are able to hunt, farm, and acquire XP very rapidly in a player vs environment (PVE). In DAOC there are three types – PVE, Relm vs Relm (RVR), and Player vs Player (PVP). The PVP aspect of this game is difficult and at times very frustrating. Here is why… In the Battlegrounds, each Realm starts out with a keep. There is one keep in the middle that you can either attempt to capture or defend, based on who holds the keep. That is a lot of fun, except when you are engaged in battle with the keep defenders and the other Realm thumps on you without teaming up for the common good. However, you can do the same and have from time to time.
The game is totally open, so you are able to go anywhere and do almost anything. If you see a hill and want to climb it, go for it… Nothing is stopping you.

As I have said previously, well worth the free trial. And if you choose to play, look me up…

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To: All Commands

Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEast For Inst 16134//24 K

All commanders promulgate upon receipt

The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East :

1. 'Eat Pork or Die' [both English and Arabic versions]
2.. 'Shrine Busters' [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]
3.. 'Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy' [Both English and Arabic versions]
4.. 'Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more.' [Both English and Arabic versions]
5.. 'The road to Paradise begins with me.' [Mostly Arabic versions, but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs.]
6.. 'Guns don't kill people. I kill people.' [Both Arabic and English versions]
7.. 'Pork. The other white meat.' [Arabic version]
8.. 'Infidel' [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.] The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.

In addition, the following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:

1.. 'Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range at 0800 Daily.'
2.. 'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.

Rules for the Military

One of my military buddies sent this to me.. It is a real hoot.. and some of it is true... :)

Marine Corps Rules:

  1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
  2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
  3. Have a plan.
  4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
  5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
  6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a '4.'
  7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
  8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral &diagonal preferred.)
  9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
  10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
  11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
  12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
  13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.

Navy SEAL's Rules:

  1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
  2. Kill every living thing within view.
  3. Adjust Speedo.
  4. Check hair in mirror.

US Army Rangers Rules:

  1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
  2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
  3. Request permission via radio from 'Higher' to perform killing.
  4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
  5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.

US Army Rules:

  1. Curse bitterly when receiving operational order.
  2. Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee.
  3. Curse bitterly.
  4. Curse bitterly. Do not listen to 2nd LTs; it can get you killed.
  5. Curse bitterly.

US Air Force Rules:

  1. Have a cocktail.
  2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
  3. See what's on HBO.
  4. Ask 'What is a gunfight?'
  5. Request more funding from Congress with a 'killer' Power Point presentation.
  6. Wine &dine ''key' Congressmen, invite DOD &defense industry executives.
  7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
  8. Declare the assets 'strategic' and never deploy them operationally.
  9. Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time.
  10. Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough to have tax exemption.

( And I Love This Next One)
US Navy Rules:

  1. Go to Sea.
  2. Drink Coffee.
  3. Deploy Marines

Go Navy !

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dark Age of Camelot

A couple of co-workers and I have recently started playing an on-line MMOG (Massively multiplayer online game). I was not a big fan of spending money every month for a service. My wife was okay with spending the $14 bucks a month, if I am able to spend time with friends. Besides, it has the added benefit of keeping off of the pron… . So, we are playing a game called Dark Age of Camelot. It has a lot of potential, there is NPC, quests, different characters, different classes, and different realms. The realms are at war and at times, need some serious help defending a castle, in the battle grounds. A great place to get some XP and raise the level of your character. Each class and race have very specific abilities. I have been playing a mix of classes called a Heritic, similar a fighter mage. It is a lot of fun, but at times it get a little trying.

Last night I was in the battle grounds, for my level, and teamed up with 5 other people. We came across some Mids (another Realm) but were able to take them out easily. I began by hitting them with a few spells and then opened a can of whoopass with my trusty flail. They just kept coming back for more and more and more. I think we killed them about 5 or 6 times before I called it quits. It was just getting silly.

If you are into medieval types of games, this one is worth the 30 day trial…for free.

Great Wolf Lodge – THE BOMB!!!

This last weekend, the family went up to Washington and stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. This place is totally awesome! Water, Water, and even more Water! There are three areas for the different age groups.. However, that does not mean that the little ones can go down the big slides.. My girls loved the big slides, the big pool and the wave pool. But, they mostly played in the kiddy area, doing laps around the purple slide that stood only about 8 feet tall. They did that for hours… Which gave me time to try out a couple of the big people rides, like the one-man inter-tube and the Howlin’ Tornado. This is a four man inter-tube that kind of looks like a big funnel. You sit facing another person and you get pushed down a tube of darkness. There are only these little lights in the side of the tube that looks like you are warping into another dimension. You pop out and scream up the side of this funnel, then to the other side, then to the other side.. finally being spun and flushed out the bottom. I do have to say, that my first time on it was a bit scary and I was not sure what I got myself into. However, it was a lot of fun and want to do it again.

Here is a little trick I found. We arrive about 1pm but, check-in is not until 4pm. So, I was standing in line to for check-in and I was overhearing the staff saying to people, “Here are some passes, be back at 4.” Groovy, they asked me how many. I said 4 and off I went. They did not ask for my name or if I was checking in or anything… So, I would say that you should get their early, so you can play even longer.

The prices are similar to Disneyland, but well worth it. And with the price of fuel, it was far cheaper than trying to get to LA or even Florida.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not happy with my FIOS!!!

As you may have read, I run both Comcast HSI and Verizon FIOS to the house. I mainly keep my wife's stuff on the Comcast line and run my "bad" systems and my game system on the FIOS. (Yes, I do download Porn from time to time...) That is why I want it seperated, I don't need my wife's system being infected with a virus from my system. I would never live that one down. But, as of late my connection speed has gone to total SHIT! I was playing online with a few buddys and I was lagging so bad, they were like... "DUDE!!! What the hell are you shooting at??!!! The guys are in this direction!!!" or the one I love... "Nice Shooting TEX! Their over this way!" So, I went out and did my speed test and everything came back fine... Just about 5meg down. That checks out.

And here is where my problem is... my Ping times suck! I did a ping test to Level3's DNS server ( and received a response back between 32-48ms. Okay.. that seems a little high.. I take my laptop and plug into my Comcast Line and perform the same steps. Ping times came back between 18-22ms.

So, I ran a cable down the hall, through the living room, into the kitchen where the Comcast router is sitting and plugged in my gamebox, so I can continue to play. (However, my wife did instruct me to run the cable properly, under the house, if I wish to continue to use this connection. Oh.. yeah.. and no porn!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Top 5 game sales per system worldwide, no surprise there!!!

Xbox 360
North America:
1. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar),
2. Grand Theft Auto IV — Special Edition (Rockstar),
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare — Game of the Year Edition (Activision),
4. Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft),
5. Rock Band Special Edition (MTV Games).

1. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Ubisoft),
2. The Idolm@ster: Live for You! (Namco),
3. Frontlines: Fuel of War (THQ Japan),
4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision),
5. The Idolm@ster — Xbox 360 Platinum Collection (Namco).

1. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar),
2. Halo 3 (Microsoft),
3. Grand Theft Auto IV — Special Edition (Rockstar),
4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Ubisoft),
5. The Orange Box (EA Games).

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Something has to give!

Well.. Today is Saturday and we begin the weekend routine. The girls are on the floor doing their gymnastics and then later they have a play date with their Hula Group. “Yes, they do Hula, too.” Then we are all off to my parent’s house. Some of you know that my dad has terminal cancer. We found out about 8 months ago, when dad went it for a physical exam. At that point, it was a done deal; the cancer was in the bladder and had breached the lining. The doctors gave him about 12 to 18 months. Since then he has been admitted to the hospital twice for various reasons and has seen more doctors and nurses than the astronauts going to the moon. But, with all of this he still puts on a good show. He wants to go the coast, they go.. He wants to dinner, they go… It is all about what he wants to do. Last week, my sister, her husband, my youngest daughter, mom, dad, and I all went to the coast for the weekend. (for the second time in two months) My oldest and mommy stayed home since they had plans to keep. However, we all had fun going out to dinner at fancy places to eat (mom and dad only go to the best), walking on the beach and collecting shells, and spending time with dad. This was the only time that dad and I have spent some quality time alone together in many many years. He told me everything I wanted to know about what has been happening, the money situation, plans for mom, and anything else I wanted to ask about. Dad had the suggestion that we go and loose some money at the local casino. I am always game and happy to throw a few bucks on the table. Dad would not hear of it, he through a Franklin on the table and split the chips. We were doing okay, holding our own, until I was allowed to cut the cards. I have really bad karma when it comes to cards. I never win anything, even when I am playing with my friend Keith and his friends. Well, we could not win if we tried… But, it was all fun and games. Dad and I had a good time and the $100 bucks that was spent would not give him a second thought. We laughed and talked about it all night. This is how I will remember dad, teaching the kid how to play blackjack.

Work this past week was okay, not great. I had several long days, one starting at 4am and not ending until 8pm. But, that is the life of IT. I do have to say that I work with a great group of guys. They all step up, especially one who is a supervisor who stayed with me after 5pm when he was ready to go home. He was concerned that after being up for close to 13 hours that I would have to take a drive to one of our offices. Even after telling him to leave and spend time with his family and that I was fine, he would not leave. That is genuine friendship. We decided that it was time for me to go home and be under the supervision of my wife, so I drove home. (the car knows the way) The next day I did buy him a Starbucks to say thank you for being there. He has always been a good friend and we bounce ideas off of each other as sort of a reality check. Some work out and some do not.

And on to my final rant, the cost of stuff… Something has to give… The local news states that fuel prices will be increasing to $4.30 per gallon in the upcoming weeks. I was talking with my sister in Los Angeles and she said that they are already there. They are looking at over $5 dollars a gallon. Fuel is not the only increase that I have seen lately. The cost of everyday food and milk, not to mention the cost of eating out, has increased dramatically. I stopped by Freds to pick up a quart of milk and taco shells. I nearly had a heart-attack when the lady said $4.79 bucks. Excuse Me?!?! Two items costs me five bucks… Hold on a sec.. I don’t pay that much for fuel per gallon. Which should cost more? Cow Lactation or a dead dinosaur! Let me do the math, carry the 1, that should be gasoline. I mean come on… Something has to give… Then I hear on the TV that the President says that this is not an economic downturn. Here is a question for you, if it is not an economic downturn or a recession, then what would you call it? Here is the problem. When Economist is looking at the economy, they do not factor into their calculations the items, such as fuel and food that really have the greatest impact on people. Something has to give!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Top 5 game sales per system worldwide in week 16, 2008

Xbox 360
North America:
1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision),
2. Blue Dragon (Microsoft),
3. Rock Band Special Edition (MTV Games),
4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Ubisoft),
5. Halo 3 (Microsoft).

1. The Idolm@ster: Live for You! (Namco),
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision),
3. Armored Core: For Answer (From Software),
4. The Idolm@ster — Xbox 360 Platinum Collection (Namco),
5. Skate (EA Games).

1. Halo 3 (Microsoft),
2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Ubisoft),
3. Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft),
4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision),
5. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Bundle (Activision).

Do you agree? Vote!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Next XBox....480...720... Whatever it takes!

A friend sent this to me and I just had to post about it!

Next Xbox 720 to launch in 2011-2012 according to Microsoft
While Sony already admitted to be thinking about the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo are no doubt developing a Wii 2… In an interview with the head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, Peter Moore, EGM magazine asked him when their next video game console would come out, and also asked if they’d drop support for the Xbox 360 like they did with the original Xbox. He said that they were going to support it “as long as it sold.” Possibly because they saw the Xbox sell well into 2007 despite not producing the console after October 2005.
He said the production team from the Xbox 360 is working on the next Xbox 720 [our pet name], and their looking into what kind of CPUs will be available on the market in 2011-2012. That would put the Xbox 360 at a lifespan of 6 or 7 years, a far cry from the Xbox’s 4 years. After spending $1.26 billion in losses launching the Xbox 360, they’ll want to get the most out of the system by lengthening it’s lifespan. As the longer you get into the cycle, the more profit you can make due to stopping being a loss leader, analysts always remark.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Poll: Best XBox 360 Game

I have often wondered (and asked) - what is the best XBox 360 game out? I know many of you have been playing and have an opinion, so here is the question... What is your favorite XBox 360 game and why?

At the end of the April, I will post the results.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I heard on the radio just this morning that both Hillary and Obama is coming to Portland. "Great, call me thrilled... (he says sarcastically)" Here are a couple of people that would not did not give 2 cents about our 8 electoral votes six months ago. But, now.. Look out.. "We care about you and need your support..." I just can not believe that politicians act in such a vulturistic matter. Oh, wait.. Their Politicians.. I don't trust any of them, Democrat or Republican. They don't give two shits about us or what we need, just how they can gain power and $$$$. I am looking for a canidate that would stand up and say.. "Yes, I smoked pot in college." or the line from the movie The American President "We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them."

You know what bothers me the most.. Traffic they cause. When ever a politician is in town, they shut down freeways, roads, and complete areas to accommodate them. This really causes havoc and inconveniences the rest of us trying to go somewhere. Besides, isn't it enough that they interrupt my television shows for a "debate"? (did you notice that I put debate in quotes?)

Yes, it is all about me...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Game Review: BioShock

BioShock lets you do the impossible as you explore a mysterious underwater city. When your plane crashes, you discover Rapture - an underwater Utopia torn apart by civil war. Caught between powerful forces and hunted down by genetically modified "splicers" and deadly security systems, you have to come to grips with a deadly, mysterious world filled with powerful technology and fascinating characters. As little girls loot the dead, and biologically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Now you're trapped, caught in the middle of a genetic war that will challenge both your capacity to survive and your moral allegiance to your own humanity. Make meaningful and mature decisions that culminate in the grand question - do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture to save yourself - or risk all to become their savior?

I started playing this awhile ago on a rental and really loved it. The graphics are fantastic, even better than Halo 3… Look at the water… The game engine was really well done and I did not find any faults in the game universe. I found myself really involved in the action and hacking stuff to make it work for me. I love hearing the diaries of people that died there and finding out little tidbits of information. (tee-hee) I just could not bring myself to kill the little girls. After I saved the first one, that was it for me – Save them ALL! I loved the good ending, it made me feel really good. However, I did go back and Harvest a few girls just to see the bad ending. The plot twist was a bit unexpected.. Would you kindly… The only negative that I can really complain about is searching around, picking up the item that I require, going back to “home location”, then having to go back to get another item where I just was… can’t I just get it when I was there the first time?

Final Thoughts:
Pros: Great Graphics, Great Game Play, Good story line.
Cons: No replay value. Having to repeat the same path to find additional required items.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

RIAA Looses again...

I saw this and I had to post it...

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the RIAA's 'making available' theory, which is the basis of all of the RIAA's peer to peer file sharing cases. In Atlantic v. Brennan, in a 9-page opinion [PDF], Judge Janet Bond Arterton held that the RIAA needs to prove 'actual distribution of copies', and cannot rely — as it was permitted to do in Capitol v. Thomas — upon the mere fact that there are song files on the defendant's computer and that they were 'available'. This is the same issue that has been the subject of extensive briefing in two contested cases in New York, Elektra v. Barker and Warner v. Cassin. Judge Arterton also held that the defendant had other possible defenses, such as the unconstitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory and possible copyright misuse flowing from the record companies' anticompetitive behavior."

Hurray for the little guy..

Monday, February 25, 2008

Game Reviews: C&C3 and GRAW2

Here is a review of a couple of new games that I have been playing…

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Product Description
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars takes you forward in the Command & Conquer universe, where a brief peace ends in a storm of war. The year is 2047 and a massive nuclear fireball explodes in the night sky, marking the dramatic beginning of the Third Tiberium War. With the corrupt substance Tiberium blanketing most of the Earth, the infamous Kane is back to lead his Brotherhood of Nod in a massive assault on the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the few remaining livable Blue Zones left on the planet. Only you can stop him. Welcome back, Commander. Build flying battleships, wield the power of terrifying Ion Storms&combine units to form powerful never-before-seen super-units Multiple online game modes, all-new multiplayer maps and fully featured content editor -- go online to see how you stack up in RTS' ultimate forum (Amazon)

Command and Conquer 3 for the Xbox 360. Here is a series that I really loved on the PC. I either have owned or played most of the C&C Series and would like to say that it lived up to my expectations. At first, I was not sure of how the controls were going to play out, given that you use the 360’s controller. (I have only played C&C using a mouse) However, after playing the tutorial, it was relativity easy commanding my units or constructing buildings or units. The graphics were stunning, especially when I zoomed in on a helicopter or a set of units. The cinematic movies are great, which includes both Six and Boomer from Battlestar Galactica. It added so much to the game that I just loved watching the briefings more and more. Good Game and defantany worth a buy.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Product Description
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 builds on the events of the first hit game, for an all-new tactical combat experience. In the year 2014, rising conflict between Mexican loyalists and insurgent forces throws Mexico into full-scale civil war. Under the command of Captain Scott Mitchell, the Ghosts are called upon to face an imminent threat to the United States. The fate of two countries now lies in the hands of the Ghosts as they fend off an attack on U.S. soil. Equipped with the most cutting-edge weaponry and technology, the Ghosts must battle on both sides of the border. New battlegrounds (Amazon)

I picked up this one on sale and would like to say that it is worth the money that I paid for it… But,…. The game is okay. Good for a first person shooter, the graphics are just okay, and the AI is not so good. From talking with the EB sales guy, I had high expectations for the game, which it just did not live up to. The AI is just plain dumb and most of the missions are far too easy, even if you have it on a harder setting. The graphics are okay, not as good as Halo or even C&C. I do get to play with a mounted mini-gun and a sniper rifle, which has merit. I have not yet played the multiplayer aspect of it, but I would say that this game is a rental, unless you can pick it up for a bargin.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A few years older.. I mean days...

Looking back at my previous entry, realizing that it was only a week ago, it sure feels like it was last month. I was talking with a colleague of mine and he was saying how the beginning of the year sure has sucked for him. I was saying it started in December for me and has not stopped as of yet. Well, that is not quite accurate. The whole go-go-go started around July of last year. It just has gotten severely worse over the past couple of months. Maybe it is the cold medicine talking or maybe it is just the fact that I am just tired all of the time, but I sooo want to stop this go-go-go all of the time. But, alas I have to work tomorrow and I am sure that there are 102 items on the "to-do" list that will have to be done by end of day.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Stop the Ride... I want to get OFF!

Currently, I am sitting here half watching the girls in their gymnastics class and the other half checking email and solving problems. Last night I came home about 6'ish, ate, washed the kids, tucked them into bed, cleaned the kitchen and went to bed. Seriously, I was in bed by 9:30. I am getting to work about 7am and not leaving until 5:45pm, every day. It is non-stop from the time I walk in the door until I shut the laptop down to call it a day. And I have to work this weekend... uhhhh...I have had to work two out of the last three weekends. This reminds me of the times at Cori where we were moving the facility from Beaverton to Hillsboro. That was really tough and long. Working long hours and moving at 110% all day used to not effect me as much back then... Of course, I was a bit younger.

The bad thing is that I have so much on my plate, I am starting to miss deadlines. This is really upsetting to me since I am the kind of person who is always early to an event. (Which really pisses my wife off - I like seeing the "20" at the movies"... twice) I am starting to loose track of projects, even though I use SharePoint to track things, and it just seems like there is a lot of hurry up and wait. One of the main reasons for my projects and tasks to be slipping.

Yesterday, I was in my GO-GO-GO mood and then someone pulled the plug on my work. This made we wonder around for a few minutes trying to find out where I need to be shifting my focus. "Hard Reset... Okay... Let's try something else.... Like trouble tickets, yeah..."

I just wish I was able to pass some of the daily crap that has to be done to someone else, so I would have time to focus on the more important tasks at hand.

All I need is some time, money, and effort.

Friday, February 01, 2008

How to Unblock Attachments in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Yesterday I was being very frustrated by Outlook blocking access to attachments. So, I thought that this would be a good post for the new month. How to unblock attachments in Outlook 2007!

Allowing executable extensions give you more freedom but less security (I've seen viruses pass AVs before). I would recommend allowing unsafe attachments just for a specific email, and undoing it after downloading the attachments. Of course make sure the email is from a trusted source and still treat it as if it's a virus by default (i.e. scan it, look for patterns in the email body, etc).

I'm sure you've seen before "Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments: xxx.exe". I found there's very little documentation out there on how to lower the security level or allow a file a know source sent you. You'll find below the registry hack to allow specific file types Outlook blocks by default. There's also a kb article about it and as the article mentions make sure you backup your registry before you start editing it.
Run -> regedit and go to :
1. Backup your registry first. Right click and select Export.
2. Add a new String Value called: Level1Remove

1. Edit it and save the value data to the extension you wish to allow (add a semi-colon delimiter for multiple extensions).
Ex: .bat or .bat;.exe;.scr

1. Restart outlook (no need to restart your computer) !
Here is the KB for some further reading.

Enjoy your new freedom.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sticking It to the RIAA

For the past week or so I have been really debating about purchasing a couple of MP3s from Amazon. BUT, I do not want in any way to support the RIAA. I don’t believe in what they are doing and feel that they have TOTALLY destroyed the record industry. Music is no longer something that someone can enjoy, it is something that has to be approved and licensed and blessed by the almighty RIAA. It almost feels like something you have to listen in private in the basement where no one knows what you are up to.. That is just wrong! So, as you can tell, I am a bit pissed off about the whole thing.

So, apparently I am not alone in my utter hatred and disgust for the RIAA. However, there is a website for artists that do not support the RIAA and lets you know which one is safe and which ones are not. I was a bit disappointed that my dearest Siouxsie was in support by the RIAA. But, that is something that I will have to seek guidance on.

There is hope and I thank the artists for choosing not to support the RIAA. This is the only way for them to die a slow and painful death.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Game Review: Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey (Wii)

Meet and interact with the popular Disney Princesses while expanding your creativity and exploring important themes, such as courage, friendship, trust and discovery. Customize your own unique heroine character and enter a thrilling adventure through four fun-filled levels. Help these amazing princesses restore order in their enchanted kingdoms and overcome the forces of evil.You can makes friends and interact with Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White and Jasmine. Each Disney princess in the game has a different story and magical world that is waiting to be explored. As you create your own princess character, you'll be able to choose dresses, accessories, hair, skin tone, eye color and even her name. With beautiful levels to explore and exciting adventure elements, this is one game sure to please the princess in you. – Best Buy

This is my first entry for the New Year and look at what it is… a Child’s Game… Go figure.
Well, let’s get into it.

We rented Disney’s Princess Enchanted Journey on the Wii for the girls. You get to play as your own customized heroine, taking part in an adventure and helping the Disney Princesses to restore order in their kingdoms. There is Areil, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, and even Belle at the very end. This game is more geared for girls of the pre-teen set, as you can clearly see. Since my girls are both under 5 and had a hard time with some of the puzzles. This is where daddy’s gaming skill came into play. But, I do have to say that once they figured out what each other’s strengths, one worked on moving the character and the other worked the magic. This game would be great for some father – daughter bonding time.

However, the game play is only worth one or two times through and therefore only should be a rental and not a buy. Sorry…