Tuesday, August 31, 2004

My below knee has a first name, it's O S C A R......

Last week, Renee and I met a couple of friends at a local coffee shop (no, not Starbucks) for an evening of enjoyable conversation. During the evening, Mr. Friend and I were talking about various amputee related items, while Renee and Mrs. Friend were talking about something else. Several times I referred to myself as a below-knee amputee. A few minutes later, Mrs. Friend asked me what I meant about my style of amputation. My buddy and I look at each other with quizzical looks, trying to figure out what his wife meant.

She then repeated what she heard (obviously not what I said): that I was a bologna amputee. (insert laugh track here)

You just had to be there.
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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Posted for Brent (looks best if you click on it and view the full-size image)
Note: this is not an animated gif (posted by "Hello" and that service requires a jpg format)
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Blogger's block?

I feel like I should blog ... but I have no idea what about. How about a few comments to the readers?
Brent: I almost decided to post a 'belated' software review, since you made that comment ô¿~
Joe and Kevin: Thanks for a slamming week of support ... you guys are tops in my book
Estee: Who is 'dissing' 2nd level? I have been thinking about that ever since I heard it!
Dr. E: Stress level is going down (either that, or I am getting used to it)
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Friday, August 27, 2004

Ever have a day where this seems like you are looking for the elusive black dot all day?
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Wednesday Software Review

...will return next week. We are slammed with the start of the new semester. Sorry ô¿~
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Monday, August 23, 2004

This has to be one of my favorite "cartoons" I have found on the internet.
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Friday, August 20, 2004

I haven't shared this with very many people......

Earlier this week, I called one of the local radio stations (KLVV) and talked to the DJs in the only 'character voice' I can do: Mr. Haney from Green Acres. The conversation went on for about 3-4 minutes, and we were all haved a great time. A few minutes later, much to my surprise, they played the tape of our conversation on the radio! I ended up making a HotPop email account with the address of mr.haney@hotpop.com to communicate with the DJs. During the course of the emails, I was asked to provide my real identity, so that I might be contacted in the future to do some radio spots as "Mr. Haney".

Earlier today I got an email from Janelle, one of the DJs who is coordinating a public appearance for the radio station next week, asking if I could work at their booth. The event is called "Lights on Stillwater" and is an annual event to welcome the students back to town. Janelle let me know that during the evening, she would be calling into the radio station, and that Mr. Haney might be allowed to do a live remote as well.

Sarah (my 14 year old) is extremely jazzed that I am going to be with Janelle (she is Sarah's all time favorite DJ), while Renee is simply puzzled as to why anyone would want to hear me talk like Mr. Haney. Sarah has already let me know that we (she and I) are going to be there, if for no other reason than for her to meet Janelle in person!

Renee thinks I should use this as a launching pad to work for Adventures in Odyssey, which is a weekly radio broadcast hosted by Focus on the Family out of Colorado Springs.

Who knows ... this might be my big break into radio (NOT!)
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Today was very productive ... at least in my eyes

Most of today was the type of day I enjoy in the office ... extremely busy, but hightly productive. There were a few issues during the day that I wish wouldn't have happened, but all in all, it was a good day.

For the past 6 weeks, I have been promoting the idea of us (IT) bringing up a 'secure' SMTP server, so all of our clients (students, faculty and staff) would have easy access for sending mail, if they were using IMAP access. We had already received the hardware to host the server, but other items took priority over the completion of this task. This week the rubber finally met the road, so to speak. We had students moving into residences which had no access to an SMTP server. In simple english, that meant they could check their mail, but not send any. With that ammo, I was able to leverage the resources to get the job accomplished. At 9:45 am this morning (the Friday before classes begin on Monday) I was notified the server was in place and considered a production server. by 10:00, I had completed my testing of the settings required to use the server, both from an on-campus connection, as well as two off-campus dial-up accounts. At 10:35, I had documentation created and delivered to our webmaster for publication, which included instructions for setting up IMAP/SMTP connections using both Outlook Express 6 and Outlook 2003.

At 11:30 I was notified that Cox internet customers weren't able to utilize our SMTP server, due to Cox deciding to block port 25 acess for all of their customers. By 12:15, after researching information on Cox's Customer Support site, I had additional instructions created for our clients that might be using Cox at their residence. The instructions explained why they weren't going to be able to use our SMTP settings, as well as a link to the page which provided the SMTP setup instructions from Cox. This new document was on-line (both as a directed link page from our "How To" site, but also linked from the two initial pages) by 1:45.

This is the kind of day I like, busy but with very noticible results. I even got a few verbal 'atta-boys' from people who don't give them out all that often. You gotta love it when a plan comes together!
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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Today is much better

If you couldn't tell by the last two posts from yesterday ... yesterday wasn't one of my better days at the office. However, last night Renee and I had a chance run in with a very fun couple, and the evening went extremely well. I also had a chance to 'vent' with the a buddy, and today I am felling much better. We (Renee and I) have also spent some time researching other employment opportunities, and I am thinking very seriously about dropping an application for one of the positions (federal job in OKC). We'll just have to see how that all works out.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

humm.... how does this work?

Status: I am a stupid idiot, incapable of self initiated thoughts
Plan: Utilize the decision tree, filling in the blanks, without any conscious thoughts needed (worker bee mentality)
Expected Date of Completion: to far in the future to see

(some of you will automatically recognize the format of this entry. I, of course, had to be reminded of it earlier today)
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I guess my brains were actually in my right ankle

Why else would I have gone from being a person who was considered "highly respected", "sought-out", "the go-to guy" (insert additional glowing adjectives here) technical 'guru', to a blundering idiot who doesn't even understand how a simple decision tree can be put in place of even the smallest amount of training for part-time help desk employees?

I mean, why should I even hope to imagine that a support position person would actually be expected to ask questions, other than the ones in the Decision Tree. Shouldn't a ticket with the following information: "Client has lost privileges in Okey", "User isn't receiving email", "Client is not able to open some messages in her inbox", etc be sufficent enough for a 2nd level person to be able to pull the answer/solution out of the thin air? Why should I have to inquire "what other pertenent information is available about this issue?" from a first line support person? I would tend to think that they would automatically attempt to obtain as much information as possible

It is almost as bad as the following cartoons: (yes, I love UserFriendly)

I expect drool to start rolling from the corners of my mouth involuntarily within a matter of days.......
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Wednesday Software Review: MyIE2

MyIE2 (recently renamed to Maxthon):
Website: http://www.maxthon.com/en/index.htm
Software type: Freeware (the screen capture is the current theme I am using: US Road Signs)
Use: MyIE2 (Maxthon) is a powerful web browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer engine (most likely, your current web browser) which means that what works in IE, works the same in MyIE2 but with many additional efficient features.
Ron's thoughts: MyIE2 (I like that name better than Maxthon) is simply Internet Explorer on Steriods! It uses the IE engine, much like Mozilla uses the Netscape engine. As such, your favorites are available. The thing I like about MyIE2 is the tabbed browsing and the ability to create groups. Every morning I read the same webpages. Instead of having to click on several links to get them all, I simply open my "Morning Read" group. Each page is openned on it's own tab and as I review a page, I double click on the tab to close it. When in the MyIE2 options, there are several Tab actions available.
From the Maxthon web page:
....with many additional efficient features like:
Tabbed Browsing Interface
Mouse Gestures
Super Drag & Drop
Privacy Protection
AD Hunter
Google Bar Support
External Utility Bar
And Much More...
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

What a difference a year makes!

Yesterday, after work, we took Sarah and Hope to Hideaway (a local pizza place), since it was the first day of school. Afterward, Renee and Sarah had to go to the Library, so I got to take Hope home. Renee offered to give Hope and I a ride to my car, but I told her would would just walk. Instead of going straight to the car, we decided to take a few detours :-)

First stop, the campus fire station to check out the fire trucks. When we first got to the station and walked into the crew quarters, I told the guys that Hope wanted to look at the trucks. Robert, the guy who eventually gave us a tour, asked Hope if she wanted to drive one of the fire trucks. It was so funny the way she said "Dad?" and looked up at me, as if to say "can I really?". All the guys laughed and told me how cute was ... and who am I to argue about that? Robert was nice enough to not only show use the driver's area of the trucks, but to also open all the storage areas and explained about everything on the truck. Hope even got to sit inside the truck, where the fire fighters ride. At the end, Hope was allowed to look through an ambulance "... just like what took dad to the hospital...". We thanked Robert and was off to our next stop.

Next stop .... to watch the marching band practice. The band now practices between the Student Union and Theta Pond. When the drums started, Hope just had to start dancing and spinning, and had me join her. When the director stopped the band, we were off to Theta Pond to see the ducks. Just as we were getting there, the band fired up again, so we were headed back for more dancing and spinning. In the middle of all the dancing/spinning, Hope told me she was happy I have my "fake leg", so we can play together.

That is the reason for the title ... I wouldn't have been able to have a day like this a year ago.
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Saturday, August 14, 2004

The fence is up (well, most of it anyways)

With a big thanks to GT, Tom, Sam, Peter & my daughter Sarah, we were able to get the majority of the fence up on Saturday. I knew we wouldn't get all of it up, as I haven't decided exactly where I want the gates on either side of the house, or the widths of the gates. Many decisions about the fence were made 'on the fly', and you can tell the fence wasn't put up by professionals, but who cares? It is up (relatively speaking) and looks good! By having friends help, I was able to save over 60% of the cost of having a fence company come in and do it. It really felt good getting outside and being productive ... I wasn't able to do as much as I could three years ago, butI will get back to that level eventually.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Hey, how did you get that info?

If you are new to this blog, you won't know the info in the upper right corner is new. If you have been reading for a while, you (hopefully) noticed and wondered about it. If you want the information on how to get one one your page/blog, leave me a comment. If you figure it our on your own, send me an email.
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Thank God for Wireless!!
Sitting in a meeting, but was smart enough to bring my laptop with wireless 3COM card ... at least I can stay productive, even if I am stuck in a meeting
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How does this guy do it?

Sidewalk Chalk Guy
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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: w.bloggar

I am going to attempt a weekly installment of software review/recommendation. I have plenty to talk about, but lets see if I can remember to do it each week.

Application title: w.bloggar
Website: wbloggar.com
Software type: Freeware (screen cap is a link to a larger image)
Use: w.bloggar is an application that targets to be an interface between the user and his blog(s), in other words, is a Post and Template editor, with several features and resources that the browser based blog editors can not offer.
Ron's thoughts: As I have mentioned before, after I found this little application last week, I had to share about it. Being that this series will be posted using w.bloggar, I felt it only right to start the new series out highlighting it. When I started blogging last year, I found that blogger had the ability to post a blog entry to another site, utilizing FTP information. Since I maintain a couple of websites for some friends, I found that using a blog was a simply way to keep the "site update page" current on each site. After doing the updates, I simply make a blog entry about the changes, and publish it. Blogger will update the page on my client's site. Two examples: Sunrise Health Institute and Youth Fitness Zone.

Additional features:
Edit past posts (even created prior to using w.bloggar)
Delete post
Spell check
Post to multiple blogs at once
Font formatting (bold, italics, underline, strike through, and colors)

If you end up using this program, send me a little note (or leave a comment). Also, let me know if I should continue to this new series.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

.... is bad news

I realize the the the titles are out of order, but I blogged earlier today (is blogged actually a verb?) and started with No News is ...., and now I have a sad response to that entry.

I just got off the phone with a friend who had a bad day. I wasn't aware of any health issues in his family until today, but that just changed. It turns out, his dad had an MRI recently and today found out he has a tumor in/near his brain (I didn't dig for complete info). Please remember to keep my friend in your prayers (sorry I haven't given his name, but he can share that info via a comment if he so desires ... )

Post for 10 Aug @ 6:55pm
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No news is .....

I've been staying busy with everything needed in preperations for the upcoming semester, and really haven't had anything to blog about. There were some interesting entries on the "This Day in History" site, but nothing that I felt like copy/pasting.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Left Behind .... the series

Some where during the last couple of years, I have let the reading of the Left Behind series slip. Renee and I went to the public library Thursday evening, and I stumbled across the 12th (and last) book, Glorious Appearing has been published. This discoverywas in the new books area. When I read through the list of titles inside the front cover, I realized I was a few books behind. I went ahead and checked out the last two, in hopes to finish them prior to the 14 day check out allowance.

When I checked out the books, I had plans to continue working on the fence (see a few days back), but Friday night those plans got changed. GT's (my fence building buddy) wife wasn't feeling well, so we decided to postpone until next week. Then Renee started one the first of a couple knitting projects (bably blanket and scarf), so I ended up with plenty of reading time. Just got through with the series, and it was worth the time.

Now it is time to look for a classic ... I think I will visit the Project Gutenburg site and use Reader Studio to turn it into a .lit format, so I can read it with MS Reader (pc and ppc formats).

Request for comments: What Classic should I read and why?
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Friday, August 06, 2004

Meetings, meetings and more meetings

This just takes the cake! I have been busting my hump all morning and into the afternoon (except to take a break to attend a congrats/BDay celebration for my new boss - three levels above me) so that I would have everything done prior to a series of four back-to-back meetings this afternoon.

After walking across campus to attend the first, I get told that the meetings are going to be postponed by 1.5 hours. So back I trot across campus to my little cubby-hole. Then, as I am getting ready to head back over, the admin asst (not mine, the head cheese of the meetings) calls to tell me the are all postponed until Monday. To make matters worse, what had been back to back 30 minute meetings are now scheduled for on the hour. This means a wasted 30 minutes between each meeting, since I am not walking back to my office to get 10 minutes of work done.

(Heres a thought: I guess I could take my laptop and get some blogging done wireless....)
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More time on the computer last night (who would have thought?)

Last night, instead of the planned time of activity with my wife and oldest daughter, I was on the computer updating important files .... my resume, a letter of application, and a few pages on my web site (About Me and My Resume). The resume and letter are for a position here on campus, the Director of Instituional Research and Information management.

Here is what they are advertising for (italics added by me, indicating what I believe my strengths to be):
Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field, extensive professional and administrative experience in higher education or industry, an established track record of significant accomplishments in institutional research, information management, or both, a commitment to customer service, keen analytical skills, a demonstrated ability to create a highly motivated and effective team.

Preferred Qualifications
Graduate or professional degree, extensive experience with a research university, at least one year of experience at a director level or higher, experience in environments requiring serious multitasking and meeting of deadlines, knowledge of statistical and other methods of analysis, extensive experience managing and leading teams of professionals, experience in creating internet-based solutions for information delivery, an extensive knowledge of current technology, and a proven record in rapid and successful design and deployment of IT solutions.

As you see, I feel like I should fit right in. I'll let you know if I ever get scheduled for an interview.
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Thursday, August 05, 2004

This Day in History:

Marilyn Monroe is found dead:
1962: Movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was "caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide."

Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic contollers:
1981: Who could forget that the late President Reagan fired 11,359 air traffic controllers, since they continued to strike in violation of his order for them to return to work. Reagan also declared a lifetime ban on the rehiring of the strikers by the FAA. (They had been on strike for two days, after negotiations for a pay raise and shorter work week failed)

Note: I am not a history buff (or at least I never considered myself one), but here recently several very notable entries have been popping up on This Day in History page on the History Channel's website.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Lizzie Borden took and axe....

On this day, in 1892, Lizzie Borden's parents were found dead in their Fall River, Massachusetts residence. Even though fingerprint testing was already becoming commonplace in Europe, the local authorities didn't belive in it's accuracy and declined to test the hachel (found in the Borden's basement) for fingerprints.

After 90 minutes of jury deliberation, Lizzie was found innocent. This indicated the jury didn't follow the prosecution's attempt to prove Lizzie had burned a dress simular to the one she was wearing on the day of the murder and the fact she purchased a small axe the day before.

Even though she was found innocent, the media continued to portray Lizzie as the perpetrator. To this day, she is still remembered because of this infamous rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whals;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

My one (and only) 'tattoo'

This is the logo that I created for the side of my socket (fake leg). The actual socket color (instead of the black backgroud in this image) is more of a heathered (camo) grey, which looks very sharp!

Tis Gar Plen: Original language of the first few words of Phil 1:18, which states "What does it matter?". This phrase was shared with me by my pastor during a very powerful message (for me, anyways). The series was on JOY, and week one dealt with: "Joyful No Matter What". "Tis Gar Plen" reminds me "So What?" that I am an amputee, it doesn't really matter in the big picture. - Thanks Craig!
(you can view the series at: http://www.lifechurch.tv//lifechurch/111003/event.html)

Christian Fish (Ichthus, Ictus): Universal symbol to identify me with my risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Phil 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Amen to that)

Whoever Finds God, Finds Life!: How we end our worship service every week. At the end of our closing song, our worship Pastor (JT) says "Whoever finds God..." and we all call out in unison "... Finds Life!"

Personal note: the font used for the Phil 4:13 and Whoever... text is using the same font our church uses for our church name and frequently used sayings. This feature is something that 99% of people would never notice, but I am a stickler for special nuances. That was mine. Took me about 4 days of internet searching to finally find the font, but I've got it!

After it was all over, thinking back, I should have had Mark 9:45 (see NASB version) put on there as well.
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Using w.bloggar v3.03

Hummmm, just found a new program for creating my blog entries, and I thought I would try it out real quick. I found it at http://www.bloggar.com/, and it is pretty much a mini word-processor for blog entries (including a spell checker).

I can also bring up pasts posts (even created prior to my loading w.Bloggar) and edit them within the client (that is how this sentence was added)
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In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocen blue

This day in history: On this day in 1492, Columbus set sail from the Spanish port of Palos in command of three ships - the Santa Marýa, the Pinta, and the Niýa--on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.
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Monday, August 02, 2004

This Day in History

1876: "Wild Bill" Hickok, one of the greatest gunfighters of the American West, is murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota.

1934: With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler becomes absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or 'Leader.' The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany's democratic government were dismantled to make way for Hitler's Third Reich. The Fuhrer assured his people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years, but Nazi Germany collapsed just 11 years later.

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It must be Monday

If Monday's couldn't get any worse ... how about Mondays when your boss is away from the office, but just got a new Blackberry device?

You know the old saying about "the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys"? Well, someone just got a new toy. (Hopefully that same someone forgot to take the recharger cord/base with him)


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