Tuesday, March 15, 2005
[Some slightly gory detail, but not too bad]
It's coming to the close of flu and cold season around these parts and as is the norm, I couldn't resist getting a little bit under the weather. As Jesann pointed out, with all the stuff going on around here, I'm probably in a bit of a weakened state.
In all my years, somehow I've managed to avoid very serious stuff. Technically, I suppose I'm not too bad off now, either, but it turns out I have walking pneumonia. It just seems strange to consider. I've been coughing for two weeks straight. Yesterday, when I started coughing up blood, I thought it might be important to talk to the doctor.
After a quick examination, she sent me down for a chest x-ray. Sure enough, they found my lungs cloudy (or whatever tips them off). I got my prescription (which I can read much better with the experience I've gained at Daverci), ran to Costco to pick it up (>$50!), and started the regimen last night.
I expect that I will be feeling myself by the weekend. Just knowing that makes me happy.
Friday, March 11, 2005
I know - this is so '90's. Back in the summer of '99, I decided to participate in that little thing called SETI@Home. I had several computers under my influence and figured, what the heck? I might as well keep the dang machine busy while I'm away.
I just noticed a link to my blog this evening from SETI@Home's 10,000 Page. I was surprised, to be sure. I hardly even notice the little shell window up at the top of my third monitor anymore.
Sure enough, though, I reached the 10,000 mark yesterday. Only 27,287 people have 'analyzed' more data units than I have putting me nearly to the 99.5th percentile.
Shouldn't I get an automatic boost in my Nerd Score for this?
Spring has come early to us here in the Northwest. In fact, we have nearly the same weather that Jim is having way down there in Tampa, Florida. Darn it all! Let's celebrate!
It's time to have another Nerd Dinner!
What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Mall food court
When: Thursday, March 24, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: Because we miss Jim L
Be there and be square.
Spread the word!
Rory and Scott have been busy fellas lately. I've seen them in the planning stages - all animated and excited. It has now come to fruition. They are pimping for TechEd.
This is funny stuff. Heck, even my wife got a kick out of it and she doesn't even know who Don Box is; and her perspective of Chris Sells is "Naked Chris".
Yes, that's Rory in a men's room. Need I sell it any more?
I happened across a keyboard shortcut that I've wanted to know for a long time but didn't take the time to search for. By hitting <ctrl>*, you can turn the paragraph marks on and off quickly and easily.
Having spent a good deal of time in Word (tech writing classes, physics labs, etc.), this is one of those things that I should have taken a few moments to seek out. Today, purely by accident, I found this shortcut. I don't want to forget this one.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
(...at least as a resident)
It took awhile to gather the photos from this fabulous event and get them posted, but they are here now. Please enjoy them!
And yes, despite what the rumors say, he did put the thi(o)ng on his head. Tux did look happy there, too .
Just in case you worry, there is video, too. It has been captured and is simply awaiting a little quality time for me to cut it down to a reasonable length and get it posted.
Saturday, March 5, 2005
First of all, my posting restart is getting started... we'll be working to keep it up.
Now, note that there are a few bad words in the following, but if you've seen Office Space and still have a soft spot for Super Friends, you will get a kick out of this clip:
It reminds me of watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Thanks to my buddy Chris for pointing us to this clip.
Friday, March 4, 2005
Amazing that it's been two weeks since I last posted. I actually got a note from a friend today wondering if everything was okay! If nothing else, it sure is nice to know someone cares .
The short version is, I'm not on the computer enough lately. At least not long enough to gather my thoughts and leave a note for posterity. I started a job with a company in Hillsboro named Daverci. They are developing software that will be used between pharmacies and long-term care facilities to track medications and initialize orders. It's one of those areas that is still too dependent on paper.
It's great to actually go out and do the coding that I've been practicing for in school. I'm feeling pretty good about what I've learned, too.
On the other side of things, Jesann had a lump found. Talk about your massive bit of stressor. This one has been making me crazy for weeks now. It's hard to know what to say or do... I don't usually lack so much for words. This week, we found out that they should be able to make her well with a (relatively) simple lumpectomy. It's really strange how, what would have been bad news a month ago (the lumpectomy), is suddenly a miraculous event.
I really have to thank the folks at Daverci for allowing me the time to go with Jesann to the doctor appointments. I don't know if I'm doing all that much, but I sure as heck don't want to be away from her during these things.
Oh... and to that point, Legacy Good Samaritan, your people are wonderful and caring (thanks, Denise!), but please, don't ever try keeping me from going in with my wife again for a simple procedure. I'm not going to faint if I'm there, but I will have a problem if I'm not. It's that important to me.
I'm sure my blogging will continue to be a bit more spaced out (time-wise, not tone-wise ), but I'll try to be better. Heck, with Nerd Dinner time approaching and the next PADNUG meeting right around the corner, I have to get some posting done!
Saturday, February 19, 2005
It's time to let everyone know what we have planned for the February PADNUG (http://www.padnug.org) meeting. As has been the case for the last few months, meetings have moved to the **NEW LOCATION**. Please make a note of it!
||February PADNUG meeting.|
6:00 p.m. Pizza, Sponsored by 3Leaf (http://www.3leaf.com)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
||PCC Auditorium at Capital Center|
18640 NW Walker Road
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.
||Microsoft Enterprise Library (formerly App Blocks) |
Chris Tavares will talk about the MS Enterprise Library: Ever felt that you've done this code before? Enterprise Library is the new version of the Microsoft Application Blocks, providing implementations of common features like logging, exception handling, data access, and more. We'll look at what Enterprise Library provides, how to extend it, and what the differences are from the previous Application Blocks.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
...and catch a ride to see The Hitchhiker's Guide on April 29! Definitely a movie on my short list. Chris is rounding up the Portland Nerds for a trip to see the flick on opening day. I know that I'll be looking to take the afternoon off for this . (clip (for now)|clip)
I lost track of the number of times I've read these books. I enjoy all of the Douglas Adams stories. Several years ago (could it really be 17 years?), I managed to get down to Powell's Books to get a signed copy of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Trust me, I'm generally not one to go out of my way for something like that. I just had to meet Adams and shake his hand.
Keep an eye out for a bunch of nerds wandering around, looking up in to the heavens near the end of April. And remember, if you can't see what they are seeing, it just might be Somebody Else's Problem.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
I just couldn't resist any longer. I had to find the best picture I got with Jim and Tux together.
You'll notice that Jim's Tux is much larger than the one in the 'canned' picture that Jim displayed on his site. He just doesn't want to brag, I'm sure.
Further, I want to dispel an ugly rumor going around regarding this th
oing being on Jim's head... it was on his head most of the evening. I know that it must be hard to believe; especially with the lack of alcohol available in the mall, but this is just the kind of th oing that occurs when Nerds are let out into the wild.
As mentioned here, I will be working with Rory and Jason to make sure that we don't miss a PND beat in Jim's absence. This has become a wonderful tradition and we want to honor Bliz's memory by continuing it in perpetuity.
Hey, maybe in Jim's honor, we can retitle this th
oing, "The JB Portland Nerd Dinner." Of course, there would probably be too many ruffians coming out for a taste of Jim Beam. That could definitely strike fear into the heart of many a coy little nerd.
With a little bit of luck and time, I'll come up with a little bit of video from our celebration, too.
[Update: There seems to be somethong wrong with my keyboard... Please forgive all of the mixups with the 'o' and the 'i' above ]
Saturday, February 12, 2005
I spent the last four years back in school getting a BS degree in Software Engineering. It's been a most excellent journey and I have been really happy with all I've learned. I wanted to do this stuff twenty years ago, but mistakenly took a business path in school. I'm better now.
Well, if you follow the link above, you will see me effuse over the Computer Software Engineering Technology (CSET) program I attended at PCC and the Director of it, Taylor Hanna. That experience was top notch and I am so happy that I stumbled upon it while looking to start taking some programming classes. Lucky, I was, that day.
Not only was the program good, but we had a great class. I made some good friends there and learned so much with their help. Absolutely amazing!
This week, I found out that PCC was cancelling the CSET program.
As I've mentioned before, CSET was probably not the easiest program to get through at PCC. It probably didn't fit the mold for community college programs. But it's a shame to see it hit the floor like that. I wonder what might have happened with just a bit of decent marketing behind it. I know there are plenty of us out here that would have given glowing testimonials to them.
It sounds like Taylor will still be there at PCC teaching in the CS/CIS area. If you find yourself there, take his class. And, say 'hi' for me.
Thanks to Taylor and everyone else that made it possible for me to learn all I did there. You've improved my stature and enjoyement in life immensely and I appreciate it.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
I guess it was bound to happen... Our Nerd Dinner Bell, Jim Blizzard is well on his way to his new home in Tampa, Florida.
As you can see to the right, he's already beginning to look the part of an old beach guy with his new, thick glasses. Hey, if you look closely at the far temple of the glasses, you'll make out the tape holding them together.
Jim, we're going to miss you around here. I'm just so pleased that we live in a time where we can keep track of what's happening in your life through blog, email, chat, and whatever else you find yourself involved with.
It has been an honor and a privilege to know you here in the Portland area.
Folks in Tampa, it's time you learn what it's like to be caught up in a Blizzard. Get ready for some seriously crappy mall food!
Travel well, Jim.
A fellow that I'm working with asked how to insert a row or column into excel from the keyboard. I hate having to reach for my mouse unnecessarily while working in a keyboard intensive application and was sure there was a way. It's sort of a two parter:
One of the keyboard shortcuts I've seen previously in Excel but never committed to memory is the ability to select a row or column: <ctrl><space> for columns and <shift><space> for rows. You may use <shift><arrow key> to select, for example, cells from several rows and then hit <shift><space> to select those entire rows.
Now, choose <ctrl>+ to insert or <ctrl>- to delete. Viola! This also works with cut and paste operations: select a row or column, <ctrl>x to cut; move and select another row or column and hit <ctrl>+ to insert the cut data.
Good number crunching to you!
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Talk about your basic, fabulous application. Not surprisingly, it's fast, too. Just point your browser to http://maps.google.com and give it a spin.
As Omar points out, there are some great opportunities with using your favorite shortcut system, too. For example, if you are using the MSN Desktop Search, you can enter:
into the Deskbar to quickly access maps. If you prefer to use SlickRun (and I tend to), create a MagicWord:
It's hard to keep up with all of the cool Google tools, eh?
Saturday, February 5, 2005
EMERGENCY NOTICE: Jim is leaving early - The Nerd Dinner will be on February 10th!
What: Portland Nerd Dinner
When: Thursday, February 10, 2005, starting around 6:30 PM.
Where: The Lloyd Center food court
Why: Because (sniff) this is it for Jim...
As mentioned on Chris' site, if you would like to contribute to the finale, either financially or personally, contact me.
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Okay, I enjoy the Creating Passionate Users blog. I know I've mentioned it several times lately. But, just this evening I noticed that the CPU leader, Kathy Sierra, had one the prestigious Smartest Blogging Babe award from Michael Pollock's Small Business Branding site.
And no folks, it's not as naughty as it sounds .
I'm thrilled to see how much their blog has caught on. My buddy, Jeff Sherwin, is making the Head First Design Pattern book his core reference in the Architecture class he's teaching at OIT and has truly gotten in to the blogging idea because of their work.
All of the contributors on CPU deserve kudos: Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Freeman, Bert Bates, and Kathy Sierra. They are doing a fabulous job!
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Our good friend Kathy over at Creating Passionate Users is discussing how much teachers and advertisers could learn from one and the other. A generally good read, to be sure, but it reminded me of a phenomenon that I've been experiencing of late.
Now that the majority of television we watch is at least 'delayed' with our DishNetwork PVR, it's easy and worthwhile to skip over the commercials. Program coming on at three o'clock that you want to see? Go to that channel and let it start recording. In fifteen minutes come in and start watching. After skipping commercials, you will probably be just about caught up by the end of the program.
Now, the problem is, of course, that the advertisers are not capturing the eyes that they once did. There are efforts to remove the skip feature from devices and to have different advertising pop up on screen while a person is skipping.
Some advertisers are curing the problem a better way; At least in my mind. They are making advertisements that are... well, now what's that word?... ah, "Interesting"! I find that I'm skipping through the commercials and something catches my eye. I'll actually skip backward to take a look!
Nationwide insurance has done this with an ad that plays off of Lowe's/Home Depot. This couple gets home from the big-box hardware store with their new ceiling fan. They install it, turn it on, and WHOOOSHH! the whole ceiling is alit. Kind of sad, but it's very entertaining and eye catching.
Advertisers - Make your commercials interesting and I won't skip them. If they are lame, don't expect me to endure it longer than it takes to press a button. It's worth it.
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