Friday, December 31, 2004

So I've gotten back into the video game sweep. What can I say, it's my addiction. It's hard to walk away and as soon as I come back, I NEED TO PLAY. The latest game is Pikmin. It's tons of fun, though I seem to be running out of days to collect the pieces to my space ship. But those little Pikmin are resilient! They can kick the crap out of a giant beetle, build a bridge, and even carry items 50 times their own size (though it takes a lot of them to do that). It's pretty fun and I see myself playing for quite some time during off work hours. It's too bad my job isn't playing video games. If anyone knows of an opening though . . .

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Vogel-miester has pointed me to a great link regarding the book The Da Vinci Code. Check it out (you may have to click thru a few ads).

To make a few side statement here I want to first say that anything lacking proof will always be called a conspiracy theory. And whose to say that some conspiracy theories aren't true? Also let me state that I am not supporting, nor disputing the facts and statements made by the author of The Da Vinci Code. Let's take a look at some of the great conspiracy theories of our time. First let's look at my favorite: alien abductions. Sure the ideas some might say are far fetched, yet there is evidence to both support and refute this theory (I've done enough research on this matter to know). To spare myself some humiliation, I will not state my person opinion on the matter of extraterrestrials here. Second, how about the conspiracy theory that the government is always watching us, all the time! Again, evidence exists to work this theory both ways. Conspiracy theories exist regarding man and dinosaurs co-existing, stolen alien technology, even disputing the fact that we walked on the Moon!

Evidence lies all around us, taunting us to believe this or dispute that. Let's face it, most people are quite closed minded anyway and they believe what they believe regardless of the real truth. The Da Vinci Code may not have an original plot or even an original idea, but maybe the author took a shot at possibly opening up the minds of his readers just a hint more. We can't learn what we don't want to. Why not get people interested in something so we find out more. Religion seekers will eventually find the Gnostic Gospels, and history about the Church and Christ if they are truely interested in the religion around them.

Without bringing my beliefs completely to the surface to be ridiculed let me leave you with a few words. Don't get so caught up in the history and factual knowledge that the Bible contains. There's more to The Book than that. My uncle claims his one seminary buddy always said, "The Bible tells you what happened, Science tells you how it happened." Perhaps a quite novel idea. History as we know it usually comes from the eye of the victor. Historical records come from the powers that win wars and burn other's documents (I'm guessing Janet may have something to say about this). Never can we truly know what exactly happened and why it happened. History is most always one sided and from a certain point of view. Don't let history be a determining factor in believing what you believe. Let your beliefs be guided by more of a . . . higher power . . .

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Well I finally made it up to The Knob after work today. I must admit I was greatly disappointed. Yeah I knew that there were only 8 slopes open, and yeah I figured there would be the signature Blue Knob Ice out there, but it was almost down right miserable. I couldn't carve thanks to the ice everywhere and you can't go real fast because you know there is ice right ahead of you. To top it off, it looks like the place hasn't made snow in a week! Come on people! It's frickin' 15 degrees out so turn your snow makers on! I don't care if I have to ski thru it, that's why I have a mask and goggles! It looks like the temperatures will rise this week so I can throw December out the window for good boarding. Hopefully I didn't throw $250 out the window as well when I bought a season pass this year. Well, with all that said I think it's time for a two...

Monday, December 27, 2004

So my birthday is finally over and hopefully with it will go the depression of being another year older. Let's not mention the B word for a long time!

So today I skipped out of work (with the bosses permission) so I could have lunch with some old high school friends of mine I haven't seen in a year. We do this lunch thing at Issacs in Lancaster with our calculus teacher every year after Christmas. It's great fun. I get caught up with my best friends from high school and a great teacher! It's amazing how we've all changed in the 5 years since high school, yet all still remain the same. It's also neat to see how dynamic our little group has become over the years. Our careers vary from radio in LA, to Parkinson's research in Atlanta, to teaching in London, to programming in quite dull New Enterprise, PA. But hey, it's great to see some familiar faces and hear how well life is going for them.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

There is so much to learn in this life and not near enough time to learn it. I recently finished The Da Vinci Code and nessled within the book was a wealth of information. The book is an exigent religious read and will challenge your very core beliefs about Christianity and the Church. Of course you can read the book and blatantly refuse to believe any message the book has to tell you. But maybe what The Da Vinci Code proclaims is not so bad. We all have our beliefs and whose to say every single thing I believe is entirely accurate? I can tell you now that I know it is not, and yet, I'm okay with that. I ask you to challenge yourself and pier into why you believe what it is you believe. Think about things you believe and other's don't and visa versa. No two people will ever have the exact same beliefs. It's sort of like a religious fingerprint of sorts. The nice thing about a religious fingerprint is that it can always change, grow, and become more prominent. All you need is an open mind . . .
So here I sit, it’s 204PM, Thursday afternoon and I am stuck at The Workplace trying to do work. It’s just not happening.

So here I sit, typing to you my loyal fans and attempting to at least entertain someone.

So here I sit to inform you that last night I went out to bar called Coaches in Bellwood where I had pizza and beer with some volleyball buddies. Why do half of my friends have to be teachers and get out of work for the next week and a half? It just doesn’t seem fair. And if Steph plays Free Falling one more time…

So here I sit to tell you that I went to the mall before going to Coaches last night. Big mistake! I didn’t know there were that many people in the Blair County area! But hey, the Eddie Bauer clerk was cute and she had red hair so it made the time worthwhile.

So here I sit trying to stay occupied. Unfortunately we have killer network security here so I had trick them and download VB projects that were actually games made by Joe Shmoe.

So here I sit, playing Connect 4 and kicking some serious computer bootie!

So here I sit, waiting, just waiting for that email that tells me to go home early. Where are you great email?! WHERE?!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

So here was my workday yesterday. Get up at 5AM and leave for Erie, PA at 6AM in The Van. Make it to Erie by 10AM and begin work. Install a new Workplace Time Clock. Install a new PC for a production plant by 11PM. Go get lunch at 1PM at Sheetz (Mmmmmm).

Let's take a slight break here. On Monday, Help Desk Mary made reservations for Dave (may also be referred to as Do Dah, Rudolph, or "Hey can you work any slower?!") and myself to stay over at Erie. Well Do Dah and I were not exactly thrilled to spend the night so we decided we would try to get everything done and leave Erie in the evening. Around lunchtime we were informed that the next day the forecast in Erie was for "heavy snow." Now, about this same time we were also informed that "heavy snow" in Erie is nothing like heavy snow we have ever seen back home. We’re talking like up to 6 inches of snow an hour! YIKE! With this in mind, Do Dah and I decided to work as hard as possible to get everything done and not have to stay over and be stuck in Erie, PA for the holidays. Okay, back to my timeline.

Begin installing hardware for wireless communications at 130PM and finish by 530PM. Weather forecast is calling for freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow! Already there is a nice wind blowing from the lake. Call and cancel reservations since it looks like we'll be heading for home in about 1.5 hours. Begin connecting cables and configuring new wireless hardware at 630PM. Uh oh…trouble at 700PM – Can't get wireless network to communicate. Doh! There’s no waiting until tomorrow because hotel reservations are canceled and there is some monster storm heading our way. At 800PM we are still troubleshooting the communication problem. Call up Tim the Cisco guy and have him VPN into The Workplace and take a look at the IP address for the wireless Cisco bridges we are trying to get to work. Doh! Tim only has a dial-up link to The Workplace so wait 30 minutes for him to modify IP addresses. Everything works perfectly by 9PM and we rap things up by 10PM. Go eat and leave frickin' Erie, PA by 1030PM. Stop at Sheetz and get gas and clean off windows and head lights and head for home! Hmmm, 12AM and it's very hard to see . . . but it's clear outside and the moon is shining. 1230AM – Can no longer see most of the line markings on the road. Decide that my headlights are completely caked with dirt and grime and also realize I can no longer see out the back window either. Oh well, I'm not stopping! It's frickin' one in the morning! Luckily the moon is out and casting some light on the road. Keep cars in front of me so I can see where turns and road changes are. Cross the centerlines a few times. Finally, pull into my driveway at 2AM and fall into bed.

Let me just say, it will be a looooooong time before I go back to Erie, PA again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I must have missed something. Last time I checked the New England Patriots were one of the best teams in the NFL this year with a record of 12-1 (their one loss was to Pittsburgh of course), and the Miami Dolphins were one of the worst teams in the NFL with a record of 2-12 (or something like that). So how is it that when these two teams play each other, the worst team in football defeats one of the best teams? Am I missing something here? Did Tom Brady completely blow it or what? At one time I was thrilled that the Stillers defeated the unbeaten Patriots but now that they have had a loss to the Dolphins, I’m not as excited anymore mainly because my posse and I could defeat the Miami Dolphins in a backyard bowl. It's no big feat anymore. But hey I guess when Tom Brady stinks it up, he really stinks it up. Maybe you New England fans should find a quarterback that won’t lose to the worst team in football.

Monday, December 20, 2004

So my primary blogging computer is down! Yesterday morning we had a power blip and when I went to boot the bad boy back up after that, it wouldn't turn on. I've had some issues with it before coming back on after a power failure but I've always been able to get it pumping again. Not this time. I'd hit the power switch and no sooner would the fans turn on, they'd turn off again. So I took the computer out of it's location in the desk cubby to take a peak inside. As I pulled the computer out I heard some rattling inside. This intrigued me a little, so I opened the beast up and shook it a little to see what was rattling. It was coming from the computer power supply. So I took that apart and opened it up and low and behold I found the problem. An exploded capacitor! The cap was what was rattling and it had completely blown off the leads and whatever foo is inside one of those things. There was a second capacitor with gunk oozing out of it and it looked like it was ready to explode all puffed out and stuff.

After seeing this I recalled an article I read more than a year ago that detailed failing motherboards with faulty capacitors that would explode. We even had some bad PCs at The Workplace due to this problem. Apparently these bad capacitors were inside power supplies as well. Although the power supply is under a 5 year manufacturer's warrenty, I decided against going that route for a replacement. I figured by the time I paid for the post and shipping costs, and whatever other hidden costs that went with it, plus the fact that me opening the thing up probably voided the warranty anyway, I decided to just by a new one. The thing only cost me about $50 from TigerDirect plus this one claims to be rather silent. Like any normal computer geek (I do try to keep that low key by the way) I'm anxious to get my hands on the new one and see how she runs!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

My legs hurt! Today was the big Robby Rhoades Volleyball Tournament in The Cove. My friend Kelly drove 3 hours for the opportunity to play. Like all other tournaments and leagues I've played in so far, the team made it to the playoffs, but never to the finals. We had a killer team too. We almost won the playoff game but just couldn't pull it off. I nearly had my fingers broken by blocking and Kelly about got knocked out with a wicked kill from the other team. When it was all said and done it was an awesome day. I know I'll be regretting it tomorrow, but hey, no pain no gain.

I need to check the weather tonight but last time I checked there was some snow heading this way for tomorrow! You'll find me up at The Knob next week probably multiple times. In fact, I may feel a cold coming on. *Weak cough* I may have to leave work early on Monday to, you know, "rest."

By the way, Andy you'll be very happy to know that I took my monthly "exam" this evening and passed with flying colors!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Well, the snow finally stopped today. Not that that's a good thing. It has been pretty nice. There is less than an inch on the ground as it has just been a real light constant snow. But the ground now seems frozen so the next snowfall should amount to something sizable.

So I've been reading a new book recently. I'm sure you've heard of it. It's called The Da Vinci Code. Not only does the book cross mathematics and religion (references to the Fibonacci Sequence, Golden Ratio (PHI) and countless other symbols) but it's somewhat of a mystery novel as well. I'm about 1/3 of the way thru and so far it's a great book! If you're interested in different views of religion and are open to different ideas, I highly recommend it! For those of you who have heard about the book and claim it is sacrilegious to read, I’d urge you to re-evaluate your opinions and open yourself up to learning more about what you believe in.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

No Christmas is complete with an office Christmas party! And this evening was no exception. Driving throw a slight blizzard on the way to Bellwood and then The Calvin House, Steph and I were able to actually arrive to the party on time. Though the invitations said open bar was from 530PM to 645PM, it turned out the bar was open all evening long! That was a nice Christmas gift! Some people enjoyed the bar a little more than others and provided some entertainment, but hey, that's what office parties are all about. I didn't win a gift this year again, even with the absence on Horseshoe Head Ashley and his trusty sidekick Leprechaun Leroy! But hey, that's not what parties are all about. And have I mentioned it's been snowing since Sunday?

Monday, December 13, 2004

GO STILLERS! I'll tell you what. I love watching the Stillers play football on TV, but that doesn't compare to seeing them play in person! The real party started around noon on Sunday when Brad, Wendy, Steph and I pulled into the $30 parking lot to do a little tailgating. By the way, 30 bucks for parking? Why haven’t I gotten into the parking lot business yet? We had a pass to get into a closer parking lot for free, but for whatever reason there was no alcohol and no tailgating allowed. There were two too many NO's in that parking lot so we decided to pay a $30 to tailgate. It was quite the crowd there let me tell ya. I may have been the only person in a whole 2 mile area without some sort of Stillers paraphernalia on my body. That changed once I got my Terrible Towel and some bumper stickers (though most of the stickers weren't Stillers related and the sayings on them are slightly inappropriate here (hey, it was for charity or something, though after the woman that asked for money from this charity came back a second time we thought something smelled a little funny. Hey she had a badge and everything. After we told her she’d already gotten money from us she asked for a shooter. What a job huh?)). Anywho we enjoyed our 4 hours of tailgating quite well. Lambert (some guy with a #28 Lambert jersey) decided to take a pee about 4 times right in front of us. One car even dragged in their own porta-potty! A group of teenage guys parked their Ford POS a few cars down from us and decided to take their shirts off at one point in the 30 degree weather and slur (major emphasis on slur) "GO STILLERS!" Finally, with my three pairs of pants, 4 shirts, winter jacket, Terrible Towel, and Santa hat, we made our way to the stadium. Despite the loss of feeling in my toes I still managed to enjoy myself watch The Bus throw a touchdown pass as well as run another one in. It was a time filled with new friends, alcohol, and a whole mess of fun! GO STILLERS!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Sorry, no bloggin' today. I just spent the last 2 hours modifying my blog template. That is my blog for today.

Today's Tea Bag Tag Quote: A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor man made perfect without trials. -- Jimmy's morning tea bag tag

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tomorrow is Friday! Time to celebrate (Droofus got the first buck since 1968). I'm looking forward to this weekend. Saturday I'm heading out to Pittsburgh for a wedding then hangin' out there until the Stillers game on Sunday! A little bit of tailgating and a heck of a lot of fun! I have this foobar feeling that work is going to take forever to be over tomorrow. Oh well. I guess that just means more time to code.

So let's talk about AIM away messages for a moment here. Are you an away message junkie? I am. I see a buddy has one up and I need to read it! It's an addiction. Why? I don't know. The thing about the away message is that it's an art form, much like a painting, the move creative, the more enjoyable. Andy's always got some good ones (especially when my name is in them). Vikki is apparently always going out to drink while her sister usually seems to put a decent amount of time into them to make her seem cool. If you've run out of ideas for some away messages, here are some good IM away message ideas.
  • Funny quotes from movies or TV shows. Seinfeld ones are excellent!
  • An observation that has a slight twist.
  • Making fun of your other friend's away message.
  • Saying something great about myself or the Stillers.
  • A completely random thought.
So let the creative juices flow and entertain me here people!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

So did you know that there is a difference between dinner and supper? I didn't know it up until I moved to The Cove. On more than a few occasions I've been asked out to dinner, but it seemed their dinner started at 1200PM. It didn't take me long to be thoroughly confused. Now I have come to realize that what I call lunch, people around here call dinner. And when you eat your last meal of the day around 600PM or so, that is actually supper. So to get caught up, here is how this works. People here get up in the morning and eat breakfast, then work and have dinner, then come home from work and have supper. I still haven't figured out where lunch went to, but it appears people just don't have it around here. Keep that in mind next time someone asks you out to dinner. They may in fact just want to have lunch.

And to give Andy a heads up, I just read they are planning to build a new Sheetz restaurant there in Raleigh, NC. The Sheetz restaurants are huge, have free wireless access points, fully automated gas pumps (you can only pay at the pump), and an expanded menu. So if you or Janet have been in Sheetz denial, it won't be for too much longer!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I'm counting down the days until Sunday. Why is that? Well, I'm heading out to Pittsburgh to see the Stillers play in person! Hot dog! Hamburger! YO! Turns out I know some people in high places. I'm hoping for some snow as this would be my first live NFL game and a little(or a lot of) snow would be sort of nice. The only downside is I'm missing the first week of volleyball playoffs, but hey the other people going to the football game play for the team we are playing against so while their team is upset with us, my team is quite pleased (though they are a little upset I won't be there). Here's to hoping the Stillers kick butt in the snow!

Monday, December 06, 2004

I think my co-worker got it right today when he said, "You need to write about work at least of some time [referring to this blog]. How else would people know why you're the way you are [making reference to my slight goofiness]?" We were talking about how I try not to write too much about work in my blog just incase someone from work were to come across this and get offended somehow. The fact of the matter is, work is plain chaotic. We get direction from here, and then direction from there and somehow it turns out the two go in completely opposite directions. We are told we will do one thing from someone then find out from someone else we are actually doing something completely different. It's a mess. Frankly I'm surprised we get anything accomplished at all. The big aid is being able to take everything in with a grain of salt. And it's a fine grain. But honestly, do I really care? No. We get things done and still have our fun doing it. Sooner or later things will get straightened out and who knows what will happen then. By the way, why do all barcode readers take 5 volts? All I want is a barcode reader than can handle 12 volts as in input! I don't think that is asking too much to make my world much simpler. WHERE ARE YOU 12V BARCODE READER!!??

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Has anyone noticed that commercials change over time? I'm not talking about commercials in general. I'm talking about specific individual commercials. One day the guy is saying this, then next day in what appears to be the exact same commercial the guy is saying something just slightly different. Let's look at an example shall we? Let's take the commercial for Brand X's heat rap. A few months ago the commercial consisted of a black middle-aged gentleman examining the rap with a completely white background. At the end of the commercial, the man says that he feels so good he could do back flips! As he assumes the back flip position (body like about to sit in a chair with arms swung back) then stands up straight and says, "Bad idea." Now when you see the commercial, its the same commercial and he still says the same thing (though way it is said with slightly different inflections) yet now the man just dances around and does not assume the back flip position. Why the change? Were people getting upset with this man about to do a back flip? Did executives think the product would sell better if the man did not assume the back flip position? What's the deal?

The most recent commercial I've seen with the minute change taking place is a commercial for Brand Y's Fajitas. At the end of the commercial some guy in mountain bike gear sees a man eating a fajita getting out of an elevator. Mountain Bike Man used to watch Fajita Eating Man eating his fajita while walking into and bumping his head on the closing elevator doors. Now Biker Dude has the doors close right on him! Why the change?! Was it too unrealistic the other way around? Did advertising experts thinks fajitas would not sell if someone only bumped their head into a closing elevator door? Instead, to really sell the product, someone had to stuck in the elevator door. These guys are genius I tell you! Pure genius (extreme sarcasm expressed right here in case you missed it)!

Friday, December 03, 2004

So apparently Boston isn't the only place CheeseBobs are disappearing from. All around the Blair County area giant CheeseBobs are vanishing from the tops of Burger Kings. The sad fact is that this is making big news around here. Honestly, does anyone really care? My questions is where are they all going? I mean have you seen these things? They're HUGE! It's not like you just throw the thing in your pickup and set it up in your room. My guess is all the CheeseBobs realize who they are, so they go jump off a cliff somewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the late 21st century giant deflated CheeseBobs start washing ashore in Europe and Asia with giant X's over their eyes.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend the movie The Incredibles. And if you're an avid reader of my blog you know that I don't see movies much and if I recommend one it must be good. Well it is! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and see it! It's always nice to have good company with you too so you don't feel too out of place laughing at a Disney/Pixar flick. And don't sit a row behind the make-out couple in the "fat guy" chair because . . . Well it's just gross.

So it seems to be official! Last night there was a Solstivus Miracle! The Miracle of Lights as it has come to be known occurred after my dad spent hours and days trying to get this one strand of lights to work on our Christmas tree and they finally did! Shortly thereafter, another Solstivus Miracle! As my dad was telling me about the miracle that had just occurred to him The Miracle of Tongue took place! My dad actually pronounced the prominent holiday correctly! For more than 5 generations (okay years really but generations sounds cooler) of celebrating Solstivus my dad has pronounced it stolstivus (apparently to be confused with the winter stolstis?) and after 5 years of correcting him we deemed the feet unattainable.

But now The Spirit of Solstivus is upon us and oh is it a joyous day!