March 31, 2003

Attack Of The Worms

If you haven't noticed, I didn't do any blogging this weekend. My wife and I took advantage of the rare, Washington sunny weekend and did some gardening (and shopping related to gardening). One of the first things we found was a colony of tent caterpillar cocoons. These nasty little buggers destroyed many trees last year and I'm not about to let it happen to my trees if I can help it. We didn't get any last year, but I'm told by disposing of the cocoons before they hatch, we'll head them off to an acceptable level. By disposing of, I mean either seal in a container and throw away, burn, or some other method of containment because just throwing them on the ground or in a compost bin will still allow them to hatch and cause the problems.

Posted by queue at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

March 28, 2003

Brace Yourself

Well, I've taken the first step. I went in for a consultation about getting braces. My teeth are not all that bad, but I figure I've lived with it long enough. It's not cheap, especially when your health insurance won't cover a dime of it, but in the end it will be worth it.

The orthodontist advised me against Invisalign. He says mostly it's a novelty thing that is really only meant for people who need only the slightest of corrections. Not only that, it's quite a bit more expensive than normal braces. I figure I can commit myself for the two years that I'll need to wear braces for. This will certainly be interesting.

Posted by queue at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

March 27, 2003

Random Thoughts

Why is it whenever a city needs money, they force their police force to write more tickets? Isn't that kind of like telling your child to bully other kids for lunch money?

I have this theory that the more urgent work I have to do, the more people come by my office asking for assistance with this or that. And speaking of having too much to do, why do bosses want to sit down with you to make a schedule of your workload, yet they don't include time for their meetings in the schedule?

I'm reminded why diseases spread so quickly every time I witness someone not washing their hands after using the restroom.

Who really believes that we can cut taxes and increase spending? Do these people think that politicians will take a pay cut to make this happen? Would you be willing to take a pay cut so that your customers could save a few bucks on your products?

It never fails that the people who make decisions on road improvements never even attempt to drive in the area they're making the decision about.

If anybody really cared what I have to say, I'd probably be writing this for some national publication. Oh well, it's probably good therapy or something.

Posted by queue at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

March 26, 2003

Got The NT Blues

Today, I was reminded once again how painful it is to install Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. It absolutely amazes me how many mouse clicks you have to make just to confirm various aspects of the installation. If it weren't for crappy driver software by Pentek, I could upgrade these systems to 2000 or XP.

The good news is, I've been given a bunch of money to fix all kinds of issues in our software and the first thing on my list is to remove our dependence on the Pentek driver.

Of course about the time I get this finished, we're going to start upgrading all of our old VME based systems to PCI based systems. Welcome to a whole new world of problems, I'm sure.

Posted by queue at 06:52 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Blog On

Once in a while, I surf around and read new blogs in addition to the few I try to follow. My brother had a link to the Defective Yeti blog and this particular entry just struck me as hilarious.

Posted by queue at 06:08 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

March 25, 2003

A Ride To The Stars

Here's some great news for the economy in my area. LiftPort Inc., a Bremerton, Washington based company has seen a tremendous boost in interest in their endevor to build the worlds first Space Elevator.

This is great stuff. There's all kinds of information on this site about how it would work, potential problem, myths, etc.

Posted by queue at 07:02 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Combo Update

Interesting. My brother posted this entry on his blog. I guess I should be very happy that I didn't go with GoVideo when I chose my DVD/VCR combo video machine.

I'm anxious to see if the GoVideo line gets any better under Opta Systems.

Posted by queue at 06:42 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

March 24, 2003

Lost For Words

Ever needed a way to look up a word for something you're writing (a blog entry maybe?!), and you just don't have a dictionary handy? Check out Dictionary.com. Very handy!

Posted by queue at 12:31 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Information

Select-A-Memory

It never ceases to amaze me how you can hand something to someone and a few months later, they'll deny ever having seen it. I had a person today who, when I found it in her area, she denied that she put it there. Never mind this area is under lock and key. And they guy who gave it to her to hold on to still won't admit that he gave it to her!

It's no wonder we have to sign material in and out in the government. That way we know who's head to roll when we find a hard drive behind a copy machine!

Posted by queue at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

March 23, 2003

Secure Like An Open Door

I have mixed feelings about the ruling against Microsoft's advertisement. On the one hand, I can see Microsoft's side, that it is obviously a dramatisation of the software's abilities. On the other hand, I think it's about time the courts start cracking down on misleading advertisements. Now if they would only force beer advertisers to stop making it look like if you drink beer, women will love you.

Posted by queue at 08:23 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

March 22, 2003

It's All In The Combo

I did a little research on DVD/VCR combo units. It's amazing, but it turns out that most of the big names produce decent units, but lack a lot of good features. The low-end names such as GoVideo and Samsung seem to have the most features at a lower price. Now I've heard all kinds of bad things about GoVideo, so I chose not to go with theirs.

I bought a lower end Samsung and I'm very pleased with it. It has lots of features, it's quiet, and the quality is better than my TV can handle anyways. I only paid $180 after tax, not too bad. We'll see as time goes on if I have any problems.

Posted by queue at 03:13 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Technology

March 21, 2003

Trying To Help

Ok, this is a little thing someone sent me supposedly by Dennis Miller. I haven't verified it, but it's actually pretty good no matter who wrote it.

"TRYING TO HELP"
By Dennis Miller

All the rhetoric on whether or not we should go to war against Iraq has got my little brain spinning like a top. I enjoy reading opinions from both sides, but I've detected a hint of confusion from some of you. Maybe this can help.
As I was reading the paper recently, I was reminded of the best advice anyone ever gave me. He told me about the "KISS" method ("Keep It Simple, Stupid!"). So with this as a theme, I'd like to apply this theory for those who don't quite get it. My hope is that we can simplify things and recognize a few important facts.
Here are ten things to consider when voicing an opinion on this important issue:

(1) Between President Bush and Saddam Hussein ... Hussein is the bad guy.

(2) If you have faith in the United Nations to do the right things, keep this in mind: the UN has Libya heading the Committee on Human Rights and Iraq heading the Global Disarmament Committee. Do your own math here.

(3) If you use a Google or Yahoo search and type in "French Military Victories," don't be surprised if your computer panics at its inability to respond to your inquiry.

(4) If your only anti-war slogan is "No War For Oil," hire a pit bull lawyer and sue your school district for having allowed you to slip through the cracks and robbing you of the minimum education that any non-troglodyte deserves

(5) You can take this one to the bank: Saddam and bin Laden will NOT seek UN approval before they try to kill us.

(6) Despite common belief among some, Martin Sheen is NOT the President. He only plays one on TV.

(7) If you are anti-war and even an outright "America Basher," to bin Laden you are still an "infidel" whom he wants dead.

(8) Be careful: if you believe in a "vast right-wing conspiracy," but not in the danger that Hussein poses, the only job you may be able to get is as an Ivy League college professor.

(9) Even multi-culturalists who try to browbeat us into believing that all cultures are equally deserving of respect have trouble explaining the past 500 years of Islam.

(10) Whether you are for or against military action, our young men and women overseas are fighting to defend our right to speak out on these issues. They deserve our unreserved support.

I hope this helps.

Posted by queue at 06:27 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Humor, Punditry

March 20, 2003

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Good: Your wife is pregnant.
Bad: It's triplets.
Ugly: You had a vasectomy 5 years ago.

Good: Your wife is not talking to you.
Bad: She wants a divorce.
Ugly: She is a Lawyer.

Good: Your son is finally maturing.
Bad: He's involved with the woman next door.
Ugly: So are you

Good: Your son studies a lot in his room.
Bad: You find several porn movies hidden there.
Ugly: You're in them.

Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids.
Bad: You can't find your birth control pills.
Ugly: Your 13 year old daughter borrowed them.

Good: Your husband understands fashion.
Bad: He's a cross-dresser.
Ugly: He looks better than you.

Good: You give the "birds and bees" talk to your daughter.
Bad: She keeps interrupting.
Ugly: With corrections.

Good: The postman's early.
Bad: He's wearing fatigues and carrying a gun.
Ugly: You gave him nothing for Christmas.

Good: Your son is dating someone new.
Bad: It's another man.
Ugly: He's your best friend.

Good: Your daughter got a new job.
Bad: As a hooker
Ugly: Your coworkers are her best clients.
Way Ugly: She makes more money than you do.

Posted by queue at 07:21 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Humor

March 19, 2003

The War Has Begun

As I sit here, I'm watching the current news about the beginning of the war in Iraq. I'm sure I will have plenty to say about this over the next few days. God be with us all.

Posted by queue at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | Category: News

Shocking Mistake

The other day, I got a new UPS for my office. When I plugged it in, a little light came on that said there was a wiring problem with the electrical outlet I plugged it into. So I and one of the engineers started testing sockets. My power is shared between two other cubicles and it turns out that the contracted electricians swapped hot (the wire that carries the current) and neutral (similar to the ground). Most equipment will operate this way, but it increases the risk of electrical shock due to improper grounding.

I think what bothers me the most about this whole situation is that it is not uncommon for licensed electricians to make this error. One coworker told me his entire house was wired wrong. He had to rewire every outlet. All it takes is a small $5-$10 device that you plug into each outlet and it will tell you if the outlet is wired properly. If I caught a contractor not checking his work, I'd fire him/her in a heartbeat.

Posted by queue at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

March 18, 2003

Door Ding Schmucks

Why doesn't anyone have respect for other people's property? I didn't expect my new car to stay perfect forever, but it just really burns me when people slam their car doors into mine. I purposefully park further out just to avoid the park-and-dashers, and yet, there's the ding in my door. I guess there are advantages to driving old beaters.

Posted by queue at 08:34 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Rant

Surrender Today, War Tomorrow

Let's talk about Iraq for a minute. How long is this war going to last when the Iraqi military is surrendering before the war even begins? This sounds like a bad repeat of Bush senior's war. Only this time, Saddam may have a lot more bite to go with his bark. You think this mystery pneumonia-like illness is scary? Just wait until our troops come home with every nasty disease that Saddam can throw at them.

Again I say, God help us all.

Posted by queue at 08:23 PM | Comments (0) | Category: News

Humor Day

As you no doubt realize, my brother and I both run blogs off the same Movable Type installation. Today, he's posted quite a few humours entries ending with a link to an article about Pepsi vs. Coke. This is good reading. Check it out.

Posted by queue at 08:04 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Humor

March 17, 2003

What Does War Prove?

So here we are about to go to war. As I see it, there are basically three outcomes that are feasible.

1) We invade. Saddam uses his weapons against us. The whole world realizes that Bush was right. The U.N. loses more credibility and possibly is eliminated.

2) We invade. Saddam fights with only conventional weapons. After the war, we find all of the hidden weapons of mass destruction. The whole world realizes that Bush was right. The U.N. loses more credibility and possibly is eliminated.

3) We invade. Saddam fights with only conventional weapons. After the war, we find no proof of weapons of mass destruction. The whole world loses all respect for the U.S. The U.N. is either reorganized or is completely eliminated since the U.S. holds so much power in the U.N.

No matter what, I see some major changes in the U.N., if it even survives. The real question comes down to whether or not Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. If he has them and is hiding them, chances are he'll use them during war. This is going to mean a lot of death, both U.S. and Iraqi, and possibly for a lot of other countries.

Personally, I believe he either has the weapons, or is at least hiding information pertaining to what he had or is capable of. Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily for invading, but something has to happen. It's obvious that inspections are not doing the job. It's only been the threat of war that has convinced Saddam to destroy weapons.

God help us all.

Posted by queue at 08:49 PM | Comments (1) | Category: News

Music To My Ears

If you haven't heard it, I highly suggest you check out Evanescence. They just released their first major album a couple of weeks ago. From the very first time I heard one of their songs, I was hooked. Their first hit, Bring Me To Life, was used for the DareDevil soundtrack. This music is a little dark, but it has a really great sound, and Amy Lee's voice is awesome. I'd be interested to hear what other people think.

Posted by queue at 09:54 AM | Comments (1) | Category: Punditry

March 16, 2003

Pop Goes The Window

I am getting thoroughly sick of pop-ups, pop-unders, spam, etc. I mean, I can deal with banners on a web page, even some of the annoying ones. And spam, well, you'd have to read my rant on that. Even the pop-ups at least are straight forward as long as they're not overused. But pop-unders are the most despicable method of advertising out there.

Take Excite for instance. Those bastards have totally resorted to pop-unders. Sometimes they come up right away, sometimes they come up while you're just sitting there reading the page, and other times they pop-under when you leave Excite. The only reason I haven't stopped using them is because most of the other good portal sites are no better.

What I really want to know is, does it do any good? Are people really stupid enough to fall for this kind of advertising? I'm afraid the answer to that is, yes. If they pop-up their ad for 5 million viewers and only 1 in 1000 click the link, that's 5000 customers they drummed up for very little effort, and virtually no cost.

You might say that I could just get an ad-killer. I've tried a few of those. Unfortunately, they tend to kill legitimate clicks that I make to start java applets and so forth. I'm lazy, I don't like to setup all the acceptable sites. But my disgust for this crap advertising may soon outweigh my laziness. Stay tuned.

Posted by queue at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | Category: Rant

March 15, 2003

Death Becomes Her

Nearly a year before I left home, my parents bought a pure bred Cocker Spaniel. We named her Princess Cassandra Lynn, III, after her mother, Cassandra Lynn, II. My mom always wanted a Cocker Spaniel named Princess. That was over 13 years ago. On Thursday, she had to be put down due to heart murmurs, and severe liver disease. She was deaf, blind, losing all control of her bodily functions, and most likely had cancer according to the vet. It was just her time. I am comforted by the fact that I was just down in Florida a few weeks ago and got to see her again.

Chase the birds and squirrels in your eternal sleep, Princess.

Princess Cassandra Lynn, III
Born: January 31, 1990
Died: March 13, 2003

Posted by queue at 09:55 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

March 14, 2003

Happy Birthday To Me

Another year for me has passed. As I move closer to my thirties, I find that I take this time to take a long hard look at my life and see if I'm going the direction that I want to go. I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the way things are going for me. I have a job that I love, a family I love, and although I may not be rich, I certainly have everything I need and a LOT of things I want. I'd have to say, I'm happy with my life.

Posted by queue at 08:24 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

Don't Judge A Blog By It's Software

I've finally done it! I hope everyone likes the new look of my blog. Since Charter doesn't allow me to have CGI or FrontPage extensions, I've piggy-backed on my brother's blog software, Movable Type, and directed my site to show a frame containing my blog on his server. A little round-a-bout, but it works. Hopefully this will encourage me to blog more often since now it will be a lot easier for me to make entries.

Posted by queue at 08:11 AM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

March 11, 2003

The Sound of Quality

For some time now, I've been using a pair of Sony headphones that I really enjoyed.  They fully covered the ear which shut out quite a bit of noise and they sounded really nice.

For my birthday, I was given a Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headset.  I'm absolutely in love.  These little babies shut out nearly everything.  When I fly, I turn these on and I don't hear the plane at all.  Heck, once I turned on some music, I didn't even hear the 16 month old screaming in the row behind me!  And let me tell you, this kid could scream.  I'm just glad my kid isn't that loud.

But I have to say, if you've got a spare $300 laying around, pick up a set of these.  You'll be glad you did!

Posted by queue at 08:26 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Every Keyboard Should Have One

Posted by queue at 08:24 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Humor

Humor Break

THINGS YOU'D LOVE TO SAY AT WORK, BUT CAN'T!

  1. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again...
  2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
  3. How about never? Is never good for you?
  4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
  5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.
  6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
  7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...
  8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
  9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
  10. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of crap.
  11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
  12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
  13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't care.
  14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
  15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
  16. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
  17. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
  18. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
  19. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
  20. And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion would be...?
  21. Do I look like a people person?
  22. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
  23. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
  24. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
  25. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
  26. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
  27. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
  28. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
  29. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
  30. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
  31. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
  32. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
  33. Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.
  34. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
  35. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
Posted by queue at 08:20 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Humor

March 10, 2003

Political Suicide

I'm told the Lois McMahan story is making headlines all over the nation and possibly the world.  If you haven't heard the story, check this out.  I actually met her when she stopped by my house during her first campaign.  She seemed nice enough until I started reading about her politics.  She's radical and doesn't always think before she speaks. This is absolute suicide in the political world.  I can understand not staying for a prayer if it goes against everything you believe in, but to turn around and say to the world that Islam is the root of all the terrorism is insane.  She didn't get my vote the first time around and she certainly won't get it the next time around.

Posted by queue at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Political

Fiber To The People

Speaking of broadband networks, here's an interesting tid-bit.  Recently, a new fiber trunk was run up from Olympia, WA through my county.  Surprisingly enough, the commissioners in this county believe that the Internet is the future for this county and they've done nearly everything in their power to increase technological access here.  Just yesterday, I read this article about the fiber in this county.

Here's a little background.  The commissioners asked private industry to consider last-mile links to this backbone and were given a resounding "Not interested."  Private industry claimed that there wasn't enough market despite the fact that our county is listed as one of the most ripe areas in the country for deploying internet services due to demand and previous success.  Even Charter Communications reorganized their internet business after having the most success and profit right here in the city I live!

So our commissioners decided that they give public utilities the opportunity to jump on this, and did they ever.  The power company, Puget Sound Energy, is looking to be the main player.  (Power line networks, anyone?) They've actually even considered running fiber to the home.

Suddenly, private industry wants a piece of this.  Now, of all the lame excuses I've ever heard, Elaine Davis, executive vice president of the Bainbridge Island-based Fair Competition Alliance said, "We expect the public sector to make good, conservative decisions.  I don't think this qualifies."  Then, to add idiocy to her statement, she says "There is not consensus in the telecommunications industry that fiber optics is the next best medium for data transfer. Even those who push for fiber can't guarantee something better won't come along. If that happened, those who invested heavily in fiber would be left with outmoded technology."

Wait a minute.  If I read this correctly, she thinks that we should not go with fiber networks because something better might come along?  What dream world is she living in?  Fiber has proven to be stable, safe, and probably the most efficient means of distributing large amounts of data in a timely manner.  Why do you think the telecommunications industry has been replacing all of their copper with fiber?  Has she got a better suggestion?  I'd love to hear it!

Posted by queue at 08:44 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

The "Power" Of The Internet

I've been reading a lot of information on this idea of using power lines as a means of implementing broadband internet for the home and small business users.  Of all the opinions I've read, I'm starting to side with John C. Dvorak.  This is not a new idea.  Power line technology has been used in some form or another nearly 30 years.

Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist or anything, but I have to admit, the potential for abuse is scary.  What would keep a "repair" person from installing some sort of monitoring device in your house or worse, a manufacturer of some sort of equipment spying on you through your always-on connection?  The only way I'll ever buy into this kind of a network is if there is some sort of physical firewall device attached to the main power line going out of my house where I can control what devices can connect to my network and what they're allowed to send.

Posted by queue at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Technology