Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A bumper sticker for both parties

FINALLY, someone has come out with a 100% bipartisan political bumper sticker. The hottest selling sticker comes from New York state.


Democrats put it on the rear bumper.
Republicans put it on the front bumper.
share on: facebook

Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm doing the "Happy Dance"

I knew we (I'll share who "we" is in a minute) were getting close to 100,000 hits on our website, but I have been so busy lately I haven't been watching the counter. No, no, no ... not 100K hits on this blog, on the ErtlReconstruction.com website!

I 'consult' for the Barr Foundation in Florida. This is a non-profit organization that works to provide prosthetic limbs for both those in financial need and for third world nations. We are also advocates for the Ertl procedure of limb amputations (see the website for additional info).

When I took over the webmaster duties just over a year ago, the hit counter was well below 1,000 hits and had been running for severals months. After one year, a couple of complete site make-overs, major marketing efforts with the larger search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) & some new features, our popularity has really taken off. It has also enabled me to provide connections between amputees and soon-to-be-amputees for counselling/support.

I was getting some info for a new amputee contact this evening when I saw the counter at 100,139!

All I can say is: WOW!!!
share on: facebook

Friday, January 27, 2006

Awesome 80 Parachute Diamond

Click on image to see the video in a new window.
 It is truly awesome
share on: facebook

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Don't worry, Brent will be fine

Special thanks to Jay Leno and his Headlines segment for this one!
share on: facebook

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Firefox and Gmail ... a great combination

I took a few minutes to update my Mozilla Firefox (web browser) install and see if there were any new extensions that looked interesting. What I found was very interesting. The newest extension for me to install is called Gmail Space.

Quick Description (from the above linked page):
This extension allows you to use your Gmail Space (2 GB) for file storage. It acts as a remote machine. You can transfer files between your hard drive and gmail. This is similar to "Gmail Drive" on windows platform. Your gmail account looks like a FTP host and you can upload and download your files. After you install, you get an option called "GSpace" in your "tools" menu clicking on which opens the window for transfer of files/folders.
* Files > 10 MB can be uploaded
* Fixed the problem of "googlemail.com" domain. Now, googlemail.com users can also upload and download files.
* Fixed the problem of "archiving". So, it picks the emails/files that are archived also.
* Now, harmful extensions like ".exe, .dll, .zip" can also be uploaded.( _gs added behind the extension)
* Uploading very big files > 100 MB is not recommended.
* Make sure that you have enough space in your directory while uploading large files (this extension creates a copy of the large file in the directory)

click on image for larger view

A new ‘mail message’ will be in your GMail account for each file you upload.  After I saw how the how thing worked, I decided to create a filter in GMail to automatically Label the message and archive it.
Matches: Subject contains GSPACE, has attachment  Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “Stored Files”
This way, all file I upload will not clutter my inbox, but be available via the “Stored Files” label.

share on: facebook

Caption Contest

I have mentioned a fellow blogger by the name of Brent (Law & Disorder) before, and while I have never met him in person, I refer to him as a “blogger friend”.  He is one of those people that finds unusual pictures, either by himself or via friends sending them to him.  I just had to post one from his blog, and then some of the comments received from his faithful/regular readers:

Possible captions for this image:
Uh oh! Someone came home early!! (Brent – title of post)
Spiderman has nightmares too (Jarod)
I wonder what other tricks he knows? (Bilbored)
Guns don’t kill people, husbands who come home early do (Bobby)

Care to add to the list?
share on: facebook

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Amputee of the Year" Award

Man throws prosthetics at trooper
CHEMULT, Ore. – An Oregon man was arrested during a traffic stop this weekend after hurling his prosthetic legs at a state trooper, the authorities said.
Joel Kackstetter, 53, of Chemult was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by a trooper for driving the wrong direction on Highway 97.
According to an Oregon State Police report, trooper Don Newcomb asked the driver, Adam Kackstetter, 26, to leave the sport utility vehicle after smelling alcohol on his breath. The driver refused, but a shouting Joel Kackstetter got out and told Newcomb that he would rip his head off.
Adam Kackstetter left the SUV and approached Newcomb from behind. Newcomb handcuffed him, but Joel Kackstetter continued to threaten the trooper.
Newcomb took the driver to the patrol car and then chased Joel Kackstetter.
After falling to the ground, Joel Kackstetter threw both of his legs at Newcomb, the report states. One hit the trooper in the chest and the other missed him.
Joel Kackstetter was booked Saturday in the Klamath County Jail on suspicion of menacing, assaulting an officer, interference with an officer, criminal conspiracy and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $45,000. Adam Kackstetter also was taken to the county jail. He was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, resisting arrest and attempted assault of an officer. His blood-alcohol level was 0.10 percent four hours after the incident, according to the report.
link to article

Two thoughts come immediately to mind:
1. Did the trooper confiscate the legs and book them into evidence (as the assault weapons)?
2. When he goes to court and attempts to defend himself, he won't have a leg to stand on (I crack myself up at times)

Note: I was going to title this post: I thought you might get a "kick" out of this
share on: facebook

Monday, January 23, 2006

Is there a 12-step program for Sudoku?

Hi, I'm Ron and I'm a Sudoko junkie! (your response: Hi Ron!)

A few days ago Renee found a magazine with a couple of Sudoku puzzles in it, and decided to solve one. I asked her about it and she explained the 'simple' rules. (From the Sudoku site: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column & every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. There's no math involved. The grid has numbers, but nothing has to add up to anything else. You solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic. It's fun. It's challenging. It's addictive!).

They weren't kidding when they said addictive!  After the demo puzzles were done in the magazine, I had to go to Hastings to get Sudoku books. (Yes, the word book is plural! Having two books is the easiest way to share)

If you like puzzles, try Sudoku, but I warn you ... it is addictive.

Example of a Sudoku Puzzle:

(click on puzzle for the solution)

share on: facebook

Friday, January 20, 2006

ouch! ... it's a disability thing

I found a very unusual website yesterday (imagine that ... an unusual website on the internet!). The site name is ouch!. It is based out of the United Kingdom, so some minor translation is needed for some phrases found on it, but all-in-all it is easy to follow. One of the subscribers to an amputee mailing list I am on submitted a Top Ten list to them, which I though was funny, so I decided to share it here.
    Ten unexpected benefits of only having one foot
  1. My feet don't smell half as much.
  2. I don't have to wash my socks as often.
  3. Half-price pedicures.
  4. Less fluff collects between my toes.
  5. I no longer trip people up in cinemas by blocking the aisle with my lanky left leg. (right for me)
  6. Less need for legroom on aircraft = more room for bags of duty-free.
  7. Wearing two right shoes won't feel uncomfortable. (left shoes for me)
  8. Tubes of athlete's foot cream last twice as long.
  9. Significant tactical advantages when playing hopscotch.
  10. I only track in half as much mud.
Thanks Will!
share on: facebook

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Last week a confusing e-mail was sent to the entire student population of the University of Alabama. It seems that all students were notified that some of their classes were dropped due to not completing the necessary prerequisites. Only 208 students were actually identified to receive the message about schedule changes, instead of the 21,750 that actually did. All students addresses had been queued up to receive a message about a disaster preparedness drill at one of the university's stadiums when the notification was sent. (Complete article)

Why did I even pay attention to this article? The duty described, sending mass distribution email messages to various groups of people, is one that I personally deal with on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Surprisingly enough, we have built a strong enough SOP around this duty that it would be very difficult for the above type of incident to occur.

Our Process:
1. Person requesting mass distribution message contacts our IT Marketing person (Jill)
2. After proper approvals have been met (Jill deals with this), all pertinent info concerning the message is sent to me (Sender, Subject, Message, list of addresses, Approval contact, etc)
3. I prep the appropriate listserv group with test addresses (several of mine and the Jill's) and I send a test message to the list to review formatting issues
4. If initial test looks good, add the approval contact's email address to the list and resend the message
5. Once the approver sees it, they notify Jill as to changes needed, or that it looks good to send
6. Jill provides the changes to me (repeat steps 4&5) or gives me a 'green light' to send
7. I update the list's subscriber info (to include target addresses) and send to the list
8. Clear the subscribers, and await next mass distribution.

Being that a single contact point is actually doing the sending to the target addresses, that will lower our likelihood to have an mistake like they had a UA. (at least this procedure is under control ... one down, hundreds to go!)

share on: facebook

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Obituary: Mr. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense.

Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, then she spilled a bit in her lap and was awarded a huge financial settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights and Ima Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
share on: facebook

Monday, January 16, 2006

Black Sergeant was 'loyal Klansman' (now that is PRICELESS!)

About 25 years ago, Ron Stallworth was asked to lead the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Colorado Springs.
Ron Stallworth carries his KKK
membership card as a memento.
     Problem was, the outgoing Klan leader didn't know that Stallworth is black.
     "He asked me to take over the lead because I was a good, loyal Klansman," said Stallworth, who had been in constant phone contact with the Klan leader while leading a yearlong Colorado Springs police investigation into the Klan.
     Stallworth later moved to Utah, where he recently retired after nearly 20 years as an investigator for the Utah Department of Public Safety. He says he's amazed that no one ever caught on to the investigation he led starting in 1979. After he was offered Klan leadership, he quietly disappeared.
     As a memento Stallworth still carries his Klan membership card — signed by David Duke.
     "It was one of the most fun" investigations, he said. "Everybody said it couldn't be done."
     Stallworth communicated with Klan leaders using the telephone. A white officer posing as Stallworth went to the meetings.
     "The challenge for me was to maintain the conversation flow," Stallworth said. At the same time, Stallworth also led an undercover investigation into the Progressive Labor Party, a communist group that protested at Klan rallies.
     Stallworth, of Layton, worked 30 years in law enforcement in four states. Stallworth's undercover experience and research led him to become a nationally known expert on gang culture.
     He calls the Klan investigation "one of the most significant investigations I was ever involved in because of the scope and the magnitude of how it unfolded."
     The investigation revealed that Klan members were in the military, including two at NORAD who controlled the triggers for nuclear weapons.
     "I was told they were being reassigned to somewhere like the North Pole or Greenland," Stallworth said

Complete article can be found at DeseretNews.com
share on: facebook

Thursday, January 12, 2006

AvantGo users:

If you happen to carry a PDA (Palm, Pocket PC or Blackberry) and are using AvantGo to read various channels at your own convenience, you can now subscribe to an AvantGo channel which was built from the RSS feed of my blog.

1. Click on this link: Tis Gar Plen - RSS
2. Login to AvantGo if required (if a cookie doesn't remember you)
3. Review setting (all should be set)
4. Scroll down and click on Save Channel

After your next synchronization with AvantGo, your channel list will include Tis Gar Plen-RSS, which should look something like this:


Here is a couple of other links, if you are interested:
The Internet Ate My Homework: Bubby's blog (a very good friend of mine)
WWdN: In Exile
Note: Both sites are in my "Blogs I follow" box in the right sidebar
share on: facebook

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hidden video found of my surgery!

I just found out there was some video taken of my surgery on 04 Dec 2003 (amputation of right leg, below knee). The video is doesn't involve a lot of blood and guts, so it should be viewable by my reading public.

Here is a link to it: Surgery video
share on: facebook

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wow, I had no idea! v2

On April 27th of last year, when I was reviewing my StatCounter statistics for this blog, I found that I had been viewed by readers in the Czech Republic and Spain.  As such, I made an entry titled “Wow, I had no idea!”. 

I’ve been feeling kinda bad that I haven’t made a post in a while, so I went to StatCounter to see the level of activity lately.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the following:
(StatCounter only keeps details of last ~100 visitors)

The activity within the last week is kinda cool to look at as well:
share on: facebook

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Dealing with the public

I didn't see this Leno clip live, but I have downloaded a copy for future viewing. It is about 17MB in size, so dialup users will have plenty of time to take a break before viewing, but it is well worth the time.

This segment shows what 911 operators and police officers have to deal with every now and then: WMV file
share on: facebook