Wednesday, March 31, 2004

For those of you who are Anti-Microsoft and Pro-Walmart, maybe read this before buying your next PC.
So I spent the whole day making my new laptop work. Since I am a programmer, it is vital that I be able to program on my laptop. This means installing the main three programming utilities that I use; Dynamic C, Visual Studio 6.0, and Visual Studio.NET. Now, the first two installations went off without a hitch. The third seemed to go okay, but when I went to continue development on my stupid web application, it wouldn't work. The page would load up ok, but as soon as the page would refresh (like when you click a button or link on a webpage) I would get the stupid 404 error, your page does not exist. Of course it exists! You just looked at it! Well, I was at web forum after web forum with no answers. I unistalled and reinstalled .NET (this takes about 3 hours to do, and that's just the installing part), I installed new web browsers and I even knocked the thing around for a little while. Despite the concerned looks from the people in the surrounding cubicles, I came up with the correct sequence of steps to solve my problem. Uninstall IIS (this is web server stuff you can find under your WINNT directory), reboot the computer, re-install IIS, reboot computer, register ASP.NET components (this is what makes the web page do cool stuff like get information from a database and junk). Finally, come 4 PM, I was finally done and was able to continue coding some more. I'm not sure what I was more excited about. Did you catch that sarcasm?

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

So I guess it's ok for others to complain about life but when I do, then there's something wrong with it. It's ok, I understand. But just wait until I see you guys complain about something next. Something's gonna hit the fan. And, just so you know, it was hot today too Janet.

Today I sat in a two hour long video conference and honestly I can say I got absolutely NOTHING out of it. I don't even know if I'm supposed to keep working on my current project at all now. And I'm definitely not writing the software that I think was discussed at this meeting. I think I may have a little talk with The Boss tomorrow and see what's up. Stay tuned . . .

Monday, March 29, 2004

Man alive was the office hot today! I can't remember the last time I was sweating while I was coding. That's hot sweating, not gotta-get-this-senior-project-done sweating. I recorded an 80 degree cubicle this afternoon. I'm pretty sure it was colder outside. How can they expect me to do work in an environment like that? If they don't want melted down code, they better fix some things up and fast.

And I got my laptop today finally. This means I can now work after hours and weekends too. Why was I so anxious to get this?

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I guess the girl thing to do on the first nice day of the year is to paint your toe nails. It seems as though almost ever girl I know that wears toe nail polish was applying the nasty smelling stuff yesterday. I on the other hand, enjoyed the weather by driving 100 miles with the window down and the music loud. Maybe someday I'll own a convertible. It would be real nice on sunny days like yesterday. Awe, who am I kidding, I could never justify spending money on something like that. I hope Andy enjoyed his new car yesterday. If he didn't I may need to go down and take it away from him.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

You know, I enjoy shopping online as much as the next guy. It's easy, it's quick. All you is click on the "Add to cart" icon and you're practically done! Now, I also enjoy checking out deals in magazines when I get them in the mail. Side Note: Let me just clarify one thing. When I talk about shopping, it's not girlie oooh there's a cute shirt shopping. It's manly, OHH, look at that monster computer! Or, ahhh, 62" LCD TV! Now back to my story. Like I said, I like magazine shopping and online shopping. What I find incredibly stupid are the magazines that pretend they are online website. Next to each little add is a little "Add to cart" picture. Come on now! I can't click the stupid thing! And unfortunately, when I touch my finger to it, it doesn't add that item to the mail-in-order card. Can we wise up here a little bit? And it is really necessary to have models modeling stuff like bio-hazard suits and welders caps?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I guess my job now is baby sitter. Today I sat and watched a plant batch out at least 20 or so loads. This to make sure their batches were staying in spec. Of course, every load I watched stayed in spec so really nothing was accomplished. Luckily for me, Ashley volunteered to go down tomorrow morning at 5:45 AM to watch them load their first batches. To that I say, "Have fun!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

When a batch operator calls you up on the phone all hyper at you and says this: "This morning, on the first 3 batches we had sand go out of tolerance! In the first load sand went out by 10,000 lbs! In the second and third sand went over by 3000 lbs! The gate just wouldn't close! Once we switched it to manual1 then the gate closed. There HAS to be something wrong with the software!"
What he REALLY means is this: "This morning, on the first 3 batches we had sand go out of tolerance. In the first load, sand was over by about 3000 lbs and in the second it was over by 1000 lbs and in the third it was over by less than that. The gate just wouldn't close. Once we switched it to manual, we had to go out and beat on the gate to get it to close. This is obviously a mechanical problem and I should not have called you. Sorry about that."
I troubleshoot hours trying to fix these problems that have no connection with software at all!

1manual - When you switch from automatic to manual mode, the computer released power on everything, causing all gates to close (you need to supply power to the gates to open them, so if there is no power, they close) and other dangerous high voltage devices to drop voltage.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Was I right or was I right? As I continued my evil genius work on The Arcade I injured myself yet AGAIN! This time, it was not on my hand but on my head. As I was turning to grab my drill I smacked my head right into the edge (luckily I had sanded and rounded it slightly) of the side panel. Now there is a triangular shaped bloodied impression in my forehead inside a very round swollen bruise. It hurt like a mo-fo due to the fact that I usually turn around like I'm missing the game winning homerun. I quickly put ice on it and stopped the bleeding. By the time I'm done with this thing I'll be lucky if I'm alive.
It was another ergency today at my favorite place. Ashcom. Of course we (Ashley and I) were called in on what was most definately not a computer, but we had to prove that to the batch operator and some other fellows that were there. The overweighing stone is still a mystery after several hours of troubleshooting. But hey, it's not computer so that means I'm off the hook. Haha, yeah I wish . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2004

It seems as though ever time I'm putting something together, I injure myself. This weekend I started putting together my new arcade. If you read My Arcade Blog you'd be up on this. Anywho, I was screwing in some screws and running my thumb across them to make sure they were flush with the wood. However, on one screw I failed to see that my drill pit broke off and was sharply prodding out of the screw head. Too late! The blasted thing was so sharp I didn't realize I cut thru half of my thumb until I was done testing for flushness. Luckily I quickly (very quickly b/c blood was gushing rather quickly) went to the sink, washed it under cold water for a little bit, then walked around with my hand up in the air for a few minutes.

You know, I'm not a huge fan of Bandaids. I barely ever use them. Once in a while, I'll cut myself good enough that I require something other than my jeans to stop the flow of blood. When that happens I want a Bandaid. Now, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I bet it would be safe to guess that most cuts occur on the hand. Now, the question is, "Why is it so dang hard to open a Bandaid package with one hand! COME ON NOW! I'm bleeding all over the frickin' place because I have to use two hands to open that dang thing. You'd think Johnson & Johnson would figure something out and let you open the small packages with on hand! And those stupid non-stick covers on the Bandaid are NOT helping either.

Anyway, back to my original story. After I apply the Bandaid, all is better. I took the Bandaid off a number of hours later and now I have just about the worst paper cut you could possibly imagine on the fingerprint of my thumb. I was tempted to get out the super glue when I did this, but then I remembered I had super healing ability and I quickly abandoned that idea.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Today I was told by a certain individual who shall remain nameless for now, but mostly likely only for this entry, that he did want me to post his name on my blog anymore. This statement was not made out of anger or resentment, but fear that I might verbally slander him. Well, that's the breaks. We all like to laugh at other people. Let's face it. I bet even God looks down from his mighty thrown and laughs at someone that someone did. Who wouldn't? Anyway, I'll tell you this nameless one. Enjoy it now, because next time you're the butt of a joke, your name will go here!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Remember back when you were a little tyke and your parents, or some adult would read you stories? When was the last time you sat back and had someone read you a story? Tonight, I had a story read to me for the first time in a very long while. It was right after supper and UB (Uncle Boomer) read an exert from his book that he is currently writing. It was a fantastic tale with philosophical metaphors and diabolical allusions. As I sat there and listened to it intently, I thought not only about the story being read, but how it was being presented. I read all the time. Basically I read whatever I can get my hands on. I'm all over the internet reading news, science,, you name it. I read fiction books, non-fiction books, magazines, whatever. But no one ever reads it to me. It's nice sometimes to just sit back and be read a story. No straining your eyes or squirming in your seat. It's just you and the images you manifest in your mind. When was the last someone read to you?
There are only so many projects one guy can tackle. I've been working on this web application for the past few months and have not gotten anywhere on it in the past few weeks due to meetings, plant problems, and other work agenda. We have a Prestress project, 2 washout plant projects, a water pump project as well as two completely new blacktop and concrete apps due to be out in a year or two, and a time clock project. Now there are only two of us working on these projects and somewhere things need to stop. Let me breathe! LET ME BREATHE! Luckily stress does not affect me and as soon as I'm done with this web app, I will be very very happy.

Today's Quarry Tip: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT park a vehicle underneath a conveyor belt. DO NOT! If for some reason the conveyor were to turn on and there is 5 months worth of stone fragments and mud and other crap on them, your vehicle will not only get extremely dirty, there may some fairly large stones fall onto to roof of the vehicle. If you do not abide by this warning, and find yourself in this predicament, quickly run to you vehicle and get it the HECK out from under there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

It's been snowing for the past few days now and it hasn't really stopped. There's only a couple of inches on the ground, so it's not a huge deal, but it's just sort of nice. If it were up to me the weather would be like this all the time.
This just in on the amount of booze you can drink. This means you Boozer! Scroll down to close to the end of the document.
A new edition to the Blogger's of America Forum (BOAF) was discovered today. My neighbor, Christen has decided to post all of her inner thoughts on her new blog. Yeee hawww!

Not too much else news worthy today. I got my hairs cut again, this time the topic of choice was the legal alcohol tolerance and the fact of what exactly does .08 mean? Now I know what it is, but how many drinks is that? Of course it's different for everyone, but maybe we should change the rules for those who lack some brain cells (I am not referring to the ladies that cut my hair here, please note that I am referring only to stupid people) because they have drunk too much in the past, to something more understandable, like, "If you can't grab the door knob on the way out, you should not be getting behind the wheel. For most of us though, we can use our common judgment. If you're semi-intelligent and have second thoughts about driving home, then don't. The smartest thing you could ever do is designate a driver. Now let's all go out and drink some green beer!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What constitutes a message from God? Is it a good friend talking to you about something you've been praying about? Is it a gut feeling that you get, or a random note left on your car door? We always ask (at least I do) for guidance with decisions in our lives, but how does one know that he is actually hearing what The Big Guy is saying? One would not be expecting a booming voice from the sky, maybe the truth is what one is hearing and feeling and is not what one wants to be. But then again, maybe it's that other feeling of what one wants that he hears. God won't always tell us to do what we want, but He won't always tell us not to do what we want either. So how does one distinguish between the two? I've been around enough people that say, "Oh yeah, and God told me to do this and then He said to do that . . ." Am I missing something? Do people read into things or too much, or do I not do it enough? Am I deaf and not know it, or perhaps is what I know the problem. That's one of the greatest mysteries of life I think. Basically, it will always to come to what you believe . . .

Monday, March 15, 2004

Apparently it's slander New England/Boston day so I figured I might as well join it. Notice how multiple people use this New England/Boston context. Apparently the region of the United States that is New England thinks it is one giant city called Boston. Now, last time I checked, New England included such states as Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island (which isn't even close to an island, more signs of confusion). While the city known as Boston covers roughly an area of about 59 square miles. While obvious to me, as well as some others, the following equation is no where even close to true: New England=Boston. Even Non-Euclidean geometry can't prove that one. However, this concept still escapes a few others, mainly those that live in Massachusetts. While I live in the state of Pennsylvania, I do not consider myself from Pittsburgh, or Philly. But hey, to each his own.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I thought all you germophobes out there would appreciate this article. Next time I'll be the one asking if you washed your hands when I see you step away from your computer.

Friday, March 12, 2004

It happened yet AGAIN to me. I was sitting, perfectly content in The Van when the dude in front of me at the stop sign, randomly opens the door and decides to show me what he ate for lunch. If you are unfamiliar with my observing spews experiences, let me quickly recap them for you. Freshman year at college, I'm getting ready to hope in the shower when someone else hops in a nearby stall chunks stuff up. Later that same, this time, I just got out of the shower and some dude decides to get out what he ate earlier. Senior year, after class my friend decides to casually stroll over to the bushes after class and mess up the grass. About a month ago, I was chilling at a red light in Breezewood when the fellow in front of me opens his door and pukes. The light turns green and he's off like nothing happened. Personality I find puke extremely disgusting and if you see, please don't do it in front of me. It grosses me out.

While I'm on the topic of The Van, let me discuss Ashley's driving. Sometimes, when I let him drive, I think I'm going to die. Ok, so I don't think I'm going to die, but I think it's safe to say my heart rate increases a bit. This is one big van, and it has rear wheel drive. Ashley loves to whip around turns, peel out, and bring half the stuff in the back crashing down. But oh well. A guy needs some kind of excitement in his life right?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

It seems like most of my friends have interviews for new jobs today. I wish them all well! Today it was back to the old web application code. Luckily come lunch time I had business out at a plant so it got me away from that. I'm hoping with production season starting up and contract division getting their portable plants set up I won't be at my desk too much coding stupid web apps.

On a side note, the brightest star known to man was found not too long ago. This star, LBV 1806-20 is 40 million times the brightness of our own sun. The previous record holder was Pistol Star at about 6 million times brighter. At 45,000 light years from the Sun, LBV 1806-20 weighs about 150 solar masses, easily dwarfing our own sun. If the Sun could be represented by the period at the end of this sentence, LBV 1806-20 would be the size of a CD, easily swallowing the Sun 8 million times over. These findings can be found at the January meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Pretty soon I'll be walking around sporting a new pager and cell phone. The word is, that an order has been put in and I should get these two items very shortly. I do want to point out, I am getting these thru my job. If I had no job or I had a job that did not require me to have such items, believe me, I wouldn't have them. Also, I should be getting a laptop real soon as well. Pretty soon I'll be owning this company. Well, maybe not. Not that I would really want to anyway. It's hard for me to work for a company that destroys habitats that sustain Nature's beauty and magnificence in order to pollute the air with automotive exhaust and driver's empty McDonald's Big Mac containers. What keeps me their despite this fact is that if I were to quit, it wouldn't matter to them, they'd keep doing it. What I can do it make plants work more efficiently with controls and software so they run less and thus pollute less. So I can justify what I do, but it does bother me sometimes.

Anyway, life wouldn't be interesting without predicaments would it?

Today's Engineering Proverb: "Why fix what isn't broken?" You may always want the latest and greatest, but is it really necessary if things work fine the way they are?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Let's all just sit back and laugh at Vikki for a moment. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Ok, I'm done. Today was another day of fun filled training. This time, it was me training people for a different type of plant control than before. The only real difference is that I'm pretty sure I could NOT work in this kinf of plant at all if I were asked. You wonder why they would have me co-teach a class on it then right? I have no idea! I just learned how to use the program myself yesterday. It's a good thing I learn things quick. I cooked up a few exercises this morning around 8am, despite the fact that the class started at 9am. Just like old times. There's nothing like procrastinating until the last minute. Sure I had time yesterday before I left work, but, eh, oh well. Things seemed to go pretty well. Aside from a few comments like, "Why can't you default it to come up with this button checked instead of this button. You know, it takes me one or two seconds to click that box, that's one or two seconds I could have loading trucks." the day went pretty smoothly. Of course this comment came from Freddie and he was dead serious. Luckily, I wasn't fielding that question or else I might have just laughed in his face. Instead I did it behind his back. I believe Dr. Evil said it correctly when he exclaimed, "Throw me a frickin' bone here!" Luckily I have a week before the next day of training to possibly learn some more about this type of plant control.

Monday, March 08, 2004

I need to find something to do! Give me something to do!!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Another weekend has come and gone. I miss having friends around. I mean, it's great to have a job and a place to live and all but it's just not enjoyable when you only get to see the people that mean the most in your life a few weekends a month. I guess for now it will have to stay that way. For now, it will have to do to just know my friends are out there and always willing to be there.

It rained pretty hard most of the way back tonight. I hydroplaned a few times, once scared me a bit as I started drifting towards the median at 70 MPH. Luckily, control was regained and my stomach only hurt for an hour after then. What a rush! Speaking of rushes, after watching some TV this weekend I decided I was to get up close to a volcano. I'm taking stand feet away from exploding rock and monstrous lava flows. My heart starts to race just thinking about it . . .

Saturday, March 06, 2004

The party is over and all is as it should be. The big secret even was a semi--surprise "birf-day" party for my friend Amy. We all seemed to enjoy ourselves mostly at the expense of her parents. Don't get me wrong, they are terrific people, but come on, Banger?? Anyway, it was a lot of fun and it was great to see such a good friend even if it was for a short period of time. And just for the record, no blame should be cast on me for getting Andy on the phone last night with Amy's dad. Liz and Amy's dad are soley responsible as Liz gave him the phone number and he wanted to dial it up and talk to me. Under no circumstance should I be held responsible for any of it. But I will say, it was nice to talk to Andy. That's someone I don't see enough of.

On a side note, there's a little thunder and lightning going on outside the window here. I'm still waiting for more snow.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Boy I'll tell you, you make a program for someone and they only want more. I have a feeling, no matter what I do they always want more. Have you ever tried to make a web application based off of something that seems to have no logic and the only rules it abides by is "what can the user think of to do?" It is very hard. The thing that stinks about developing "in-house" software is that you have to make the app work based off of what people do. Where as if you write software for whom-ever, like Microsoft, then people have to work base off of what the app does. Trust me, the first is much harder and much less freedom. I like freedom.

Shortly I'm heading off to secret location known only to a select few. I'll provide more information when the matter becomes de-classified.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Today I came up with my life motto and you all can quote me on this. "The way to a healthy mind, is through a healthy body." Today I was in "the zone" during my running. It was great! So I was in the shower (a lot of thought is done in the shower. If you've never thought about stuff while washing yourself, I highly recommend it!) and I thought to myself, "Boy I feel great!" I thought about it a little. I'm in good shape, I care about myself, and I couldn't be happier. Think about it. When you sit around the house all day you feel groggy and down. And you think that your feeling groggy and down is causing you to sit around the house. RAHHHHHH!! It's the other way around. Get up! Go do something! Sweat a little, sweat a lot! Give your body a workout and give your mind some peace and happiness. I would highly recommend it!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Finally a break from coding. I was beginning to think production plants didn't break down anymore. Lucky for me, they still do. So they dispatched Randy and me to go fix it. We did. While we were there we decided it was a good idea that the two best people went. It like talking video game smack, but for automation instead. So after I saved the world, I got back in time to rap a few things up and head home. A much need break from some getting-boring code.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Well, my face is much less soar today. Most of the red is gone. My legs are a little soar too from running, but it's a good muscle soar. Gosh, I hope I didn't touch a soar nerve with anyone in my last few blogs. Sometimes I just worry about my grammar and spelling so much. Does anyone really care besides a select two? Or perhaps it just sores over your head sometimes.

On another note, tonight I went outside and looked at Venus, Jupiter and the Moon for a little while. You really need a telescope to enjoy these celestial bodies to their full potential. When looking at Jupiter, the orbiting moons just seem to capture the imagination. While the Moon displays its craters and uneven surfaces in a beautiful 3-Dimensional masterpiece. Perhaps if you haven't looked at the sky lately, it's time you did. You never know what you could catch a glimpse of . . .

Monday, March 01, 2004

The snow is receding faster than a bad hair line. I'm not too happy about it. Although it is nice to run is warm weather, it is not nice for snow to develop and coat the ground. Hmmm, I have nothing really to talk about here. It was a dull day.

I was told that Dr Pepper had prunes in it this weekend. I checked it out. It doesn't. According to the Urban Legends Reference Pages at "It does not contain prune juice, but the rumor is remarkably long-lived, having been with us since about 1930." In addition, Bottlecaps (the "Official Newsletter of the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute") emphasizes in their Vol. I, 1999, issue: "Prune juice is not and never has been in Dr Pepper. The prune juice rumor is an old story that has been in circulation since the 1930s." Also, the Dr Pepper company states on their website that "prune juice is definitely not one of the ingredients."

Here's some more info on the great soft drink! Dr Pepper is the oldest major soft drink in the U.S. It was first made and sold in 1885 in Waco, Texas at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store. Wade Morrison, the drug store owner named it after a Virginia doctor (Dr. Charles Pepper) who gave Morrison his first job. The period after the Dr was dropped in the 1950's. Dr Pepper was introduced to millions of visitors at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, where it was an instant success. Other major food products introduced there were the ice cream cone, hot dog rolls and hamburger buns. In 1986 the Dr Pepper Company merged with the Seven-Up Company to form the Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Corporation in Dallas. After its acquisition by Cadbury Schweppes plc in 1995, it became Dr Pepper/Seven-Up, Inc., based in Plano, TX. Dr Pepper/Seven-Up is the largest non-cola enterprise in North America with about 16 percent of the market [].