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.