Happy Thanksgiving 2003

Happy Thanksgiving. I have pictures from my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Check them out here.

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Switch fails, work slows

Today, technology failed us at work. For over two hours, our office did not have access to any network services. After years of telling us to save files on our network folders, we suddenly didn’t have access to them. Apparently, an update failed and created a chain reaction and brought down our Department’s entire network. So, no e-mail, Internet, network folders, or mainframe… basically all of our saved work. It demonstrated yet again our increasing dependence on technology… scary.

I’m working on more stuff for the new site. Currently, I’m developing how my UK vacation pages will look. I have a lot of pictures still waiting for an online unveiling, plus my notes from the trip. And you probably thought that I’d never get around to it.

Grocery shopping

I hate people. Okay, I don’t hate people, but I really detest how some people have no regard for others.

I went grocery shopping after work (just running in for a couple of things) and had a tough time getting into the milk section. To my left was some older woman with her cart in my way; to my right was some younger guy standing halfway in the way, his basket on the floor in front of the path. Rather than make a fuss, I just lifted my shopping cart over dude’s basket (all he did was stare at his basket, hoping that I wouldn’t drop my cart on his precious cargo).

So, I finally grab my milk, purchase some other things (well, butter), and go to the registers to pay for my stuff. I hopped into line behind an elderly woman. I paid for my stuff and proceeded to move forward when I quickly noticed that the elderly woman was just standing in my way, staring at her receipt and her cart. She couldn’t move off to the side; she just stopped right at the end of the aisle, avoiding anyone from walking by.

Well, I totally loathe when people do that. They have absolutely no consideration for others, and they should be smacked (with a steel-shank boot upside the head!). From now on, if someone’s in my way, I’m retaliating (no, not with a boot, but I have other, less violent methods)! Okay, I’m done venting… for now.

I also noticed another issue with iTunes. This time, though, it could be the source CD. Don’t worry, I’m still working on the next soapbox article. Watch for it soon! In the meantime, I posted two new pictures of my nieces. See them in My Scrapbook.

Oh yeah, another The Screensavers celebrity has a book coming soon: Mod-Mania with Yoshi. It’s great for your collection of TechTV books, such as Leo Laporte’s 2004 Technology Almanac and Secrets of the Digital Studio (both of which I own copies of).

Veterans’ Day 2003

Happy Veterans’ Day! Today we remember those that served the United States through military service. Here’s to supporting our troops, both past and present, and to a world where people are free to express their feelings. Our soldiers shed blood, sweat, and tears so that we could appreciate life. May we never forget their sacrifice.

New site look inspiration

I’ve added a new quote I read off of a fortune cookie to the Soapbox Quickies. You can see that not much is going on with this site. That’s because I’ve been putting some energy into the new site. I hope to have it up this winter. I’m taking some cues from yet another company’s web site: Apple Computers. I like the cleanliness of Apple’s site, and it’s no-nonsense appearance. It seems to make things easier to find. Since I have a lot on my home page, I’ve also chosen to take cues from other sites and clean this page up. I’m currently working on a navigation bar and some home page buttons (they’ll have a familiar look). I’m also debating what to do with my mascot. Finally, I’d like to add a search feature. I admit that I don’t have a lot on this site, but I think a search would be a useful tool.

Again, if you have suggestions, please let me know.

Sweepstakes hook

Don’t fill out that sweepstakes form without reading the fine print! I was about to fill one out when I chose to flip it over and read the back. The first line states that filling out the form allows the company to call you (basically, you’re adding your phone number to their calling list). Sure, there’s an opt out, but you have to mail a formal letter to the company. So the next time someone says that you could win a great vacation prize or some wicked amount of cash, read the entire form carefully.

I’m a little psyched because I just jumped from One to Fade to Black on the guitar. For some reason, I just can’t get enough of those melodic solos. Next is Unforgiven. Perhaps after that I should work on Master of Puppets… it’s loaded with some awesome harmonies in the solo. Knowing me, though, I’ll probably branch out on my own and work on the next two as well as the former tunes.

iPod issues

I recently discovered two major drawbacks to the iPod. The first is a simple connection issue, the second is a software upgrade. Anyone who has used battery-powered guitar foot pedals knows that leaving your guitar cable plugged in drains the battery. Today, I discovered that if you leave the iPod’s remote plugged in, it drains the device’s battery. I also had the headphones plugged in, which could probably also drain the battery. Bottom line: don’t leave anything plugged in when you’re not using it.

The second drawback occurred when I upgraded the iPod’s firmware. Apple ships the iPod with firmware version 2.0.1, but offers version 2.1 on its web site. After upgrading, I had a few operational problems. Scanning Apple’s message boards reveals that there is apparently a number of problems with the newer firmware. So, I managed to restore the device’s default factory settings. So far, so good. These items will be added to my soapbox article (which is currently under review, and now revision).

In other news, I spent the past couple of weekends in Milwaukee working on my desk. My friend Emil and I stained, sealed, and sanded it, and we’ll varnish it soon. After that, one more sanding and hardware installation, and some minor cutting and assembly, and it will be ready to ship here.

Before I forget, I added a link to a really cool show I’ve gotten into lately. MI-5 is a British drama about three agents who work for Great Britain’s internal intelligence agency. The series airs on A&E. It’s a lot more down to earth than James Bond, and the agents deal with real world problems. That and the espionage spin are probably reasons why I’m drawn to the show.