Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I am apparently easily entertained...

Last night I saw about the funniest dang thing I have seen in a long time... you may disagree, but I refer you to the post title.

My daughter has a pet toad named Lilly. She is a half grown American Toad and she really loves fire flies (lightning bugs). As we are in the midst of fire fly mating season, they are in abundance in our front yard and so the kids have been harvesting them and feeding them to Lilly (she ate about 9 last night). They told me the other night that Lilly lights up every time she eats one and I must confess I thought they were pulling my leg. They weren't. I spent about 30 minutes last night helping them feed the toad and laughing every time the toad would light up!! It was freaking hilarious. American Toads are like frogs in that they use their long tongues to snatch food and then basically swallow the bugs whole... so these fire flies have at least 4-5 flashes in them before dying in the toads belly and the light completely shines through even from her stomach. If they flash when she has them in her mouth, her entire throat lights up.

What can I say... I am just a big nerd, but I haven't laughed that hard in a while. I will try to capture the event on video and get it posted here at some point in the future.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weirdness from the world of particle physics...


Mini blackholes?? Man, they are completely overlooking the true danger: Resonance Cascades!!

(That was an inside joke for any 'Halflife' fans out there)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ah, the spirit of friendly competition

I thought this was funny (but also shows that Microsoft is not completely the evil corporation some make it out to be). Disclaimer: I've not yet tried Firefox 3, but plan to this weekend or next week.

The IE7 team bought a cake to congratulate the Firefox 3 team and delivered it in person.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

As Pappy's Day winds to its close...

I thought I'd post a few remarks.

Happy Father's day to all my friends who are fathers. Hope you enjoyed the day... I went to church (had a great praise service and good preaching), went to the in-laws and ate BBQ and hot wings, got a Best Buy gift card and from my wife and kids I got a really good bike pump with a built-in pressure gauge (woo hoo!), did some work on my father-in-law's PC, came home and cleaned out my front gutters (which had several tiny Elm trees growing in the silt), played a bit of Battle for Middle Earth 2 (doing the 'War of the Ring' game: It's like the board game "Risk" but fun), and NOW I am typing on my computer and about to head off to dream land.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon...

OK so it wasn't quite that bad but WHOA it was windy today during my ride home from work. Riding a bike up the west slope of Blue Ridge with a 25 mph Southerly breeze is shall we say... difficult.

At one point I was huffing and puffing uphill on 79th just passed I-435 and suddenly I hit a downhill stretch I wasn't expecting. Then I looked up and had to sort of do a mental doubletake because unless my gyroscopes were haywire... I was STILL going uphill. Then it occured to me that what had happened was the wind stopped for a minute and I experienced a sudden and unexpected acceleration. It was actually kind of cool but then the wind started up again and the exhileration immediately left me. Anyway I think I burned a few extra calories today, which were compensated for with the Little Ceasars pizza my wife brought home. Mmmmmmm... Piiiiizza...

Now I think perhaps a Boulevard Lunar Ale and then bed. Tomorrow I'm riding again so I need my sleep ya know.

*Oh and the stress of the ride began to break my left pedal, so I stopped by Bicycle Shack and got a pair of metal pedals that should last me a while.

Feels good to be riding again!!

Last week I had my Powershell class followed by a busy weekend and then Monday and Tuesday I had to drive to Excelsior Springs after work to play drums at my church's Elementary Summer Camp (This was my daughter's second year as a camper... and my 6th year I think playing with the band there).

Anyway... this morning I was finally able to get back on the bike and trek in to work. I had a 12 mph average and it was a fantastic morning to ride. Going home will be on the warm side though (and the return trip has more uphills than the morning ride) but it's all good. I'm saving $4 of gas every day I ride plus getting my lazy butt into shape.

I also finally got a little bike tire pressure gauge to ensure I am not over or under-inflated (both can cause flats).

Speaking of biking... a friend of mine from church recently was, well sort of attacked by some jackhole driver who had cyclist road rage for some reason. He ran him off the road and rode over his bike and then came back for more a few minutes later. What the hell gets into peoples' heads to make them behave like that??? It really makes me want to get a conceal and carry permit, but perhaps a good tazer would be just as effective and probably more satisfying. So you ran me off the road and then destroyed my bike without any cause... well I am not angry enough to kill you but I would love to see you stagger and fall in agony as 50,000 volts tear through your central nervous system and temporarily paralyze you... thus giving me time to laugh in your face as I call the police (or if necessary throw your car keys into the trees and make a timely getaway).

He ended up with a broken thumb. He said he got the tags, but it was a temporary tag and the car was likely stolen anyway. Well it makes the ride more interesting I suppose...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In honor of Steve's big day...

You've come a loooong way Steve...

Final thoughts on Powershell (and the class)...

Well now that the class is well behind me and I have a weekend of completely NON-IT yard work ahead of me, I can give an honest opinion. The class was generally frustrating because I didn't know what to expect and it was based on the assumption that students had some form of programming experience to build on which I did not unfortunately.

Now that said... I am extremely impressed with Powershell! You can literally do anything you could do in the GUI at the command line (and more) either directly or from a script! I really don't intend to learn to script myself in powershell because I simply don't have the time to devote to a completely new direction in IT since there are so many network related areas I need to learn to do my new job, but I still plan on using it. There are already a ton of resources on the Net with thousands of prewritten scripts for administrators and I do understand the logic of most of the scripts I read... I simply wouldn't know where to begin to write one myself from scratch. Therefore I feel fairly confident that I could take any simple to moderately complex script and modify it to do what I need it to do. Powershell version 1 which was what the class was based on did not have a lot of active directory integration, but version 2 which is currently in beta, DOES!

An example of how I might use this script... We as of right now only have corporate users in our Windows Domain, but in the future all remote offices will likely be joining the domain... so we could at some point be adding hundreds of user accounts. I could do all of that manually in the gui OR I could gather the names of all the users in a comma delimited text file including their office number and maybe even whether they would belong in a user group or admin group... then find/write a script which would pull the data in from the file, create the user accounts and depending on office number, put the account in the proper OU in active directory, and depending on group information in the text file, put them in the appropriate user group. This would all run automagically from the script and the work involved would be merely modifying the script and giving remote offices the format I need their users list in, which I would just copy/paste into my comma delimited file. Then if it didn't work, I would call my .Net programmer friend to help me debug it!

You can also do things like change, add, delete a registry file or value on a remote computer... shut down a running service.. shutdown a PC... monitor whether a particular service is running and if it has shutdown, email an administrator... it is very cool stuff and I wish I WERE a coder and could assimilate the "how-to" better. Maybe someday I will, but not this year for sure.

Also, I believe, today is officially the day when Bill Gates steps down from day-to-day activities at Microsoft and relinquishes control to Steve "DEVELOPERS!!" Balmer. Of course, Bill has so much stock he can still get whatever he wants, or sell all his stock and watch Microsoft tank.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Taking allergy medicine before a programming class...

Was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad idea...

Like having lapband surgery right before thanksgiving dinner.

Powershell class is underway...

Well this my first real programming class... I am learning the basics of the PS scripting language. It is based on .net and so far my head is above water. This is an objected based language rather than an object oriented language because you use existing objects but do not create new. He is talking about functions and variables at the moment.

I'll check back in later.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Today was bike-ride #3 to the office

It is getting better each time. I should qualify that this is the third "successful" ride to the office; last Tuesday I had a flat after 4 miles and at that time I was without tire repair (which meant a cell phone call to the wife and getting to work a little late). I now have a portable pump, pressure gauge, spare innertube and CO2 cannister for a quick air-up. It is a good ride from my house to the office at about 11 miles. There are plenty of challenging hills which of course come with rewarding downhill stretches. Also the scenery is pleasant... Swope Park for part of the first third and then a bit after the halfway point I am on Meyer Blvd and there are some nice houses along the way... then I finish the route by riding through Mission Hills where the REALLY big houses are.

I'd like to get to the point where I ride at least three or four days of the week (not including weekend rides) and maybe by the end of the Summer I'll be riding every day. 22 miles a day should about do the trick if I can stick with it. Of course I'm not really seeing any difference when I get on the scale because my leg muscles are increasing as my belt length (very slowly) decreases, which keeps the weight static. I fully intend to stick with it however as it is rewarding, both physicially and (as gas prices rise) financially.

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