Tuesday, September 14, 2004
UPDATE: What a surprise... The Penton newsletters are back to their old format. I hope they come up with some sort of new concept, though. I don't mind receiving HTML versions of newsletters - I find it easier to differentiate content from ads and all - I just want the content to be in the newsletter.
I have a few favorite sites in my 'Links' toolbar of Internet Explorer. One of them is Paul Thurrott's WinInfo site. I enjoy the content provided through that site and by Paul himself.
Well, my interest in their content dropped a couple of notches this week. The email newsletters no longer provide content; just a brief paragraph introducing each story. I realize that the theory here is to drive readership to the website, but it honestly is having the opposite effect on me. I will likely be dropping several of the e-letters I receive from them, too.
Just to top it off, I went to the site to see if I could change a preference that would provide the complete content. I was unable to log in! I chose the 'I forgot my name/password' option and was told that my email address, “...was not recognized.” Excuse me? I've got at least a half dozen emails from you in my inbox addressed to that very address! The newsletter even tells me that that is the address.
Further, when I try to 'Update' my subscriber information, I receive a server error that asks me to email them information; I would think with modern technology what it is, somehow the webserver might be able to do that work and not burden the customer with it!
I hope this is just a momentary lapse of reason on their part and all will be made right in the next week or two. Please?!?
Monday, September 13, 2004
A month or two ago, we were in a Trader Joe's store here in Portland. As we were leaving, I noticed up on the chalkboard at the front of the store, they were advertising French Lemonade... you may know it better as Oui, Oui.
(Think about it)
Sunday, September 12, 2004
I come out to my car at the Home Depot today to find one of those really irritating advertisements under my wiper blade. Generally, I just swallow hard and throw these things away at the first opportunity, but this time was different.
Bally Total Fitness (or their agent) has placed a glossy door hanger under my wiper whilst it is raining. Guess what? This door-hanger-turned-leaflet has become rather glue-like and it sticks to my window! After some scraping and a car-wash, it has started to come off, but there are still several little specs of paper almost etched into the glass now.
This irritated me at so many levels:
- They did not have permission to market on the property there.
- They used a door hanger on car windows (thus, likely the reason it changed in the rain).
- The very fact that they use this as a marketing method at all.
Presumably someone has demonstrated that marketing this way works. Really? Who are the people that buy products or services based on a piece of paper on their car window? Are these the same people that brag about how there multi-level-marketing scheme has allowed them to purchase a Cadillac... but it turns out to be an early '80s model that shouldn't have spent so much time in the coastal, salty air? In other words, who are these idiots?
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
I just know this will be blogged all over the web in no time, but I have to get in on it.
Chris Sells and his wife went on down to Burning Man this last week. In their honor, Rory Blyth wrote and sang a little diddy (mp3) about their adventure. It was really good as it was, but then something happened.
Mr. Jason Olson got hold of it. Rory calls it "The Jason Olson Psychedelic Lederhosen Burning Man Remix 2000." (2000?) It involves the original tune with a bit of “added pizzaz.” See how you like it - (mp3).
And, since we are already on the Chris wagon, don't forget to go see him in all his glory here. No wonder he is a Software Legend.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Ok, I hate getting spammed as much as the next person. But when I read this little bit of spam that arrived, indirectly, from my blogspace, I just L'dMAO.
It's my great pleasure to contact you !
We learned from Internet you are interested in tents. We have been in this line of business for many years. We wish to establish friendly business relations with you and share the mutual benefits.
We are specialize in tents. We are offering them to our customers with the benefits of consistently high quality and performance and competitive prices.....
We are able to supply a wide variety of tents – manufactured to the specifications and requirements of the customer. We would be interested in receiving more information about your enquiry so that we will be able to submit an offer that is suitable.
For example ,what is the height of the tent?
Are you interested in windows?
What type of frame?
Who will supply the metal parts –
will you obtain them locally which will enable a much lower quotation from our side?
Do you have a drawing of your requirement?
What quantities do you wish to buy?
We would appreciate receiving your answers to these questions which will enable us to submit our offer.
Feel free to view our website:
If you don't want to receive the mail again, pls let us know we will take you off from our maillist!
We hope information will help you .
Awaiting your favorable responds
Qyield (Xiamen) Camping Products Co., Ltd 4/F., No. 20, Huaguang Rd. Huli, Xiamen, China.
Tel: +00 000 0000000
Fax: +00 000 0000000
Web Page :---.---------.---
I searched my blogspace to find out how it is that I have an interest in tents... As near as I can tell, it is because of the numerous times I mention tents on my blog: content(s), attentive, attention, extent, and tentative.
If, by any wild chance, the implementors of this spam search algorithm read this, let me suggest something:
Get better translators
Match your search term on whole words
Don't ever spam me again!
Monday, August 30, 2004
Ok, if you can't/don't want to go to Devscovery, maybe you would enjoy a nice, shiny-new GMail account? I got my six GMail invites to give out today. Let me know in the comments if you would like one.
I hoped beyond hope that I would be heading for Redmond tomorrow... it was not to be. But this could be your opportunity.
I have one ticket to Devscovery Redmond available for half of the regular $900 price. This event begins tomorrow morning and goes through Thursday.
This conference/training goes for three days and has more than thirty sessions put on by such luminaries as John Robbins, Jeffrey Richter, Jeff Prosise, Peter DeBetta, and Jason Clark.
If you are interested, leave me a comment or email at email@example.com.
This is well worth your time... take advantage of it!
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
These Portland Nerd Dinners (PND) are becoming almost as regular as much more formal gatherings... and that is good. Jim has really built a following with this.
This month we will be meeting on the 31st. As has become the norm, it will be at 6:30pm at the Washington Square Food Court.
As there was in June, the PND will be followed by a Portland Nerd Drinks (PND-b? (b = booze?)) Some luck folks may find themselves with a jump start on that portion of the evenings festivities by leaving their WikiSignature at the PND-b link.
As always, Be there and be square.
Last Saturday, Jesann and I headed out to see the Blue Angels perform in the local air show. It was well worth the time.
There is something spectacular about seeing these hunks of metal perform their maneuvers. First, I wouldn't want to drive as close to another car as these planes fly next to one and the other. The precision and trust that they have in their show is fantastic.
Second, how does it fly? I know a lot of the technicality around how these things function, but when you are actually watching them do their tricks, it still seems that some physical laws must be being broken.
After having fully enjoyed the show on Saturday, we found ourselves out and about on Sunday at just the right time. We drove over to the business park across the airfield and saw the show again from the other side.
We were in for a special treat: one of the planes made a fast, tight turn right over our heads! The roar of the engines combined with the sight of the plane and the wisps of condensation from the pressure it exerted on the air was something to behold. It sent chills through the body.
It's hard to say which was better: being at the show where they present to, or being across from the show where we saw the planes much closer. Maybe we'll just alternate from year to year where we go to observe the show. All I know is that we will continue to enjoy these shows for a long time to come.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Two weeks and a day ago, I went to my favorite restaurant, Nonna Emilia Ristoranté. My wife was still out of town visiting a friend in Las Vegas. This is when I found out that our dear friend, Dick Kokich, had passed away.
I've been going to this place for about fifteen years, so I know the people well. Dick had been playing accordion at the restaurant almost since it opened more than twenty-five years ago. He was a wonderful person that always had a smile and a nice thing to say about everyone around him.
As written by Christina Lent in the Beaverton Valley Times:
His ability to brighten a room with his warm smile, the music of his accordion, giant blooms from his garden and vibrant oil seascapes will be missed by loved ones and friends of the longtime Beaverton resident.
Not only did Dick provide a valuable service to the restaurant by playing there nearly every Friday and Saturday night, he was a huge promoter for them, too. Whenever or wherever he went, he handed out his Nonna Emilia business card to people. I even saw his card taped to the jewelry case at Costco once.
Dick Kokich, Strolling Accordionist
Dick lived in the Beaverton area for 75 years. Over that time, he ran a music store, taught hundreds (thousands?) of students how to play an instrument (piano, banjo, accordion, etc.), painted hundreds of landscapes and seascapes, and grew some of the biggest sunflowers and tomatoes around.
People all over the world know him and will now miss him. Do a bit of the Chicken Dance in his honor.
Finally, from the program given at his service:
Dick is now in heaven, probably with a golden accordion gathering all of the angels together for the ultimate Chicken Dance. They are all dancing among the clouds, laden with hidden business cards and tiny music notes as far as the eye can see....
We miss you Dick.
Monday, August 16, 2004
My wife, Jesann, was gone for the last week of July and into August. That was nine days of heck for me. Since that time, we have been spending a lot more time together. Thus, I haven't been at the computer more than I have to be.
I was approaching 3,000 unread emails and blogs. I decided that I should just blow a good portion of them away or I would never catch up. I'm sure that there was some interesting tidbits that I missed, but darn it, I had to do something.
School is out for summer... I am going to continue my education for a spell. Although the actual degree related courses are in the 'done' column, Patrick Cauldwell is teaching part two of his Web Service curricula. Highly recommended.
That doesn't start for nearly a month and a half, though. In the mean time, we will be having at least one more garage sale, getting down to the Oregon coast, making our annual trip to Black Butte and Bend, Oregon, and generally enjoying the summer time.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
This one (via Peter Provost) surprised me: At several McDonalds restaurants in Colorado (and some elsewhere), the drive through order taker is working from a remote call center.
This is amazing. Part of me worries about the dehumanization of the concept, but another part of me has to recall the mistakes made all too often at my local fast-food locations. How much better might the experience it be if the person taking the order was more skilled at the process?
Amazing what technology enables.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Especially for those who think they have all of the gadgets.
Make the experience of “driving” your PC all the more realistic with this beautiful cigarette lighter and beverage holder for your computer's last remaining empty drive bay.
Can you just imagine the tech-support calls? “No, really, it's not my CD drive. My cupholder is broken!”
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I have to believe that most of the rather 'geeky' people have thought this should exist before now. James Avery today led me to a site that demonstrates “Metric Time.”
I'll be looking for support on this when I purchase my MSN Direct Watch one day.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Scott Hanselman had a little WTF in his IM handle yesterday that I had to check out: http://www.askthetechgirl.com. This is just too funny. For just $2.95 a minute (minimum of ten minutes), you too can speak to a tech girl about C++, Photoshop, certifications, or other of your favorite tech subjects.
I really laughed at the tag line from Maria:
I'm not your average computer geek -
I'm also a professional wrestler and actress.
The world just gets stranger all the time.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
As I blogged several months ago, more than twenty years have passed since I first entered college expecting to get a Computer Science degree. I went astray and looked to get a business degree. At the time, the MBAs (Masters in Business Administration) seemed like the thing to get. Unfortunately, it was not the thing I was meant to get.
Not that there is anything wrong with business degrees; I just know now that I have a passion for the machines that I can’t ignore. About four and a half years ago, I realized that I wanted to return to my youthful passion. Then, in the fall of 2000, I practically stumbled across the Computer Software Engineering Technology (CSET) program at Portland Community College (PCC).
One of the issues I had with the typical Computer Science degree was the focus on history and theory. I know a great deal of the history and, although I enjoy the theory aspects, I want to apply it to problems right away. The CSET curricula did this. As I approached the end of the two-year degree at PCC, I visited the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). Here, I could continue my studies and receive my bachelors degree in Software Engineering.
Graduation was last week.
What a journey this has been. I find it amazing all that I have learned in the past three and a half years and can now see how much I have yet to learn. I’ve heard it suggested that it is harder to learn as one grows older… I don’t agree with that anymore. There are two factors that affect a person’s ability to learn later: It takes some practice to get into the swing of things. Compartmentalizing information from different classes and being able to switch amongst them is a skill that becomes rusty over time. However, it does come back to you.
The second thing is sleep. It was easier to go without it twenty years ago and that doesn’t change.
A great number of people have helped me get here. First, the instructor I had more than any other was Taylor Hanna at PCC. Not only did Taylor provide a great deal of knowledge to us students, he drove us, too. There were some who thought Taylor was not very easy – they were right. However, as I’ve continued through my classes, I’ve been constantly reminded of how much I learned in Taylor’s classes.
There are many instructors that helped me on this trip. Al, Ali, Barbara, Brad, Christian, Colin, Gary, Jay, Jeff, Julianne, Michael, Paul, Paula, RK, Ronda, Sean, Sergey, Shawn, Stefan, Terry, Vicki, and others, thank you for all you have passed on to me.
In addition, there are numerous other people at the schools that helped make my degree possible. My thanks go out to Abbie, Anne, Cheryl, Fran, Mary Lou, Peter, Sandy, Sylvia, and all of the other people who made it possible to go through these four years with some sanity preserved.
I had a chance to meet and work with many great people over this time, too. There have been many teams and tutor-ings that helped me get here. In particular, I want to thank:
Cat Anderson – You’re such a great pair-programming partner. Our family has really enjoyed getting together with yours over the years, too.
Mike Plourde – You’ve been a really good friend and we’ve had a great journey over the last years, haven’t we?
Jeff Sherwin – My goodness you know a lot! Your appreciation of good pizza is a testament to the quality of your character.
There are others too numerous to get to, but let me try:
Anita, Casey, Chris, Colin, Daniela, David, Earnest, Eric, Frank, Fred, Hope, Jamin, Janet, Jasen, Justin, Katy, Kim, Lael, Larry, Matt, Paul, Pat, Rhollic, Robert, Steve, Tess – Thank all of you for your help, support, and assistance throughout these years.
Another individual that helped me a great deal as a fellow student, instructor, and mentor is Scott Hanselman. First, Scott has been involved with the promotion of the programs at both PCC and OIT since before I started going through them. Second, after graduating last year from OIT, he immediately returned to teach an excellent class on programming in C#. Finally, on a personal level, he has become a mentor to me and helped me immensely in getting through my senior project.
Finally, I want to thank my family for there examples, support, enthusiasm, and love. You might think that taking over twenty years to get a degree would dampen the enthusiasm of the family… not mine. Even my siblings’ kids were excited and some even attended the graduation. Thanks all of you!
My mom didn’t get to stay around long enough to attend my graduation in person, but I knew she was there when I got up for my speaking portion and didn’t have any butterflies in my stomach. I know I wasn’t a perfect son, but my mom and dad always stood by me and made sure I turned out right. Thanks to both of them for all they did for me.
Last, but most, I want to thank my wife Jesann for her love and support through these years. Our household has a fraction of the income we did before I went back to school and I have spent way too much time staring at a monitor instead of helping her around the house. She’s been an inspiration to me and truly made it possible for me to get through this degree. Without you, honey, I wouldn’t have done this. Thank you and I love you.
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