# Saturday, September 18, 2004

Jim Blizzard must be a very proud father. NerdDinner.com has already garned 14 16 18 20 24 ? nerd dinner sites and it will just continue to grow.

If you are part of a nerd dinner, know someone that is, or are thinking of having one, go visit the site and let the rest of the planet know!

Saturday, September 18, 2004 12:43:50 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, September 17, 2004

Here is my 4¢ on the rate information (zipped version) gathered at the August PADNUG meeting:

  • First, by no means was this a scientifically based survey – neither by methodology nor by sample.
  • As was pointed out by Ken, there was no differentiation between contractors and employees. Several of the respondents provided their hourly wage and some included their benefits as part of that number.
  • Also called out was the impression that VB rates were higher than C#. Well, when you see the actual data, you will find that there was only one person that indicated C# as their tool and I believe that person was an employee. There were eight people that wrote “.NET,” four people indicating “ASP.NET,” and nine that fell into the “other” category. Many of those persons are likely using C# and would have changed the balance substantially.
  • The “years of experience” written on the cards was interpreted differently by the audience. Some put their total programming experience, some, their experience with a given tool. Further, ten people did not provide the information. To provide more accurate data, we would need to better define that category.

If there is enough interest in PADNUG, we may want to formalize this survey and retake it with a larger group. Please feel free to let me know your interest level and we can go from there.

Friday, September 17, 2004 11:40:49 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

I really enjoy reading The Daily WTF. This week, we've been having a discussion on the local UG (PADNUG) discussion list about hourly rates that consultants could/should charge.

By sheer coincidence, The Daily WTF posted an example of code provided by a $250/hour consultant. I conisder it an opportunity to learn what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

Friday, September 17, 2004 1:05:27 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Wednesday, September 15, 2004

UPDATE: If it still feels like too much typing to find the information on the MSDN site, check out this little IE toolbar gadget by Nick Parker. Nothing fancy, but it will take you right to your namespace.

Just to make it easy to find the documetation you need, the brainiacs at MSDN are using a thing called URL Aliases. The gist of what it accomplishes is shown here with this tip:

Tip: Our system supports URLs of the format http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/.aspx.

For example: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/system.xml.serialization.aspx, so navigating to API reference pages will be quicker and easier.

This will make finding documentation much quicker to find. Kudos!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 12:15:33 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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?!?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 9:38:22 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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)

Monday, September 13, 2004 11:23:28 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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?

Sunday, September 12, 2004 7:49:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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, September 7, 2004 11:23:58 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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.

Dear Sirs

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
Richard Zheng
Qyield (Xiamen) Camping Products Co., Ltd 4/F., No. 20, Huaguang Rd. Huli, Xiamen, China.
Tel: +00 000 0000000
Fax: +00 000 0000000
E-mail: -------@----------.---
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:

  1. Get better translators
  2. Match your search term on whole words
  3. Don't ever spam me again!
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 11:49:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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.

Monday, August 30, 2004 11:12:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [4]

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 ticket@theclaussens.com.

This is well worth your time... take advantage of it!

Monday, August 30, 2004 9:36:13 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:51:35 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]

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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:39:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# 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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 12:30:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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.

Monday, August 16, 2004 9:47:11 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Once again, Steve Bass of PC World comes through with a really funny link. JibJab has put together a little diddy from our two major party candidates. It's good for both parties.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 11:46:03 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# 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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:03:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [4]
# 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!”

Friday, July 16, 2004 1:39:50 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# 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, July 13, 2004 7:29:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]