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Archive for December, 2005

Size does matter

December 22, 2005 Comments off

Dear All SUV Owners…:

YOU DO NOT OWN A COMPACT CAR. AT NO POINT IN YOUR SUBURBAN UTILITY VEHICLE’S LIFE WILL IT EVER TURN INTO A COMPACT CAR, SO STOP THINKING IT’S ANYTHING BUT AN SUV. YOU’RE NOT DRIVING A CAR, YOU’RE DRIVING A GAS-GUZZLING TANK. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOUR REASONS ARE FOR PURCHASING SUCH A MONSTROSITY, BUT PLEASE (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY) STOP TRYING TO PARK IN PARKING SPOTS CLEARLY MARKED FOR COMPACT CARS!!! BE AN IDIOT ON YOUR OWN TIME IN YOUR OWN DRIVEWAY, BUT STOP MAKING IT SUCH A PAIN FOR THE REST OF US WHO HAVE TO SHARE THE FUCKING ROAD WITH YOU. IF YOU’RE OVERCOMPENSATING FOR SOMETHING ELSE, GREAT. YOU’RE NOT A COMPACT CAR!!! YOU CAN’T FIT INTO A COMPACT CAR’S PARKING SPOT SO PLEASE STOP TRYING!!! IT’S SIMPLE PHYSICS, YOU FOOL! IF I SEE ANOTHER ONE OF YOU LAZY-ASS SUV DRIVERS TRYING TO CRAM YOUR VEHICLE INTO A SPACE THAT’S TOO SMALL FOR IT, I’M GOING TO WRITE DOWN YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER AND POST IT ON THE INTERNET FOR EVERYBODY TO SEE. STOP IT!!! STOP IT!!! STOP IT!!!

[Via Chris Pirillo]

Sing it like Chris Farley: “big truck in a little spot…”.  Hell, I drive a Honda Accord coupe and even I avoid certain spaces because I think they’re too small.  Meanwhile a certain special someone in my office drives an H3 … but at least he doesn’t park in compact spots.

Now if we can get everyone else to pay attention to the FRIGGIN WHITE LINES!!!

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Seattle Weather Forecasts

December 19, 2005 Comments off

One of the problems with writing Seattle forecasts in winter is finding new ways to say “45 degrees and rainy”, so I can understand the desire for occasional flights of fancy.  Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: Seattle Weather Forecasts.

The scan of the newspaper’s weather for the week is a must see.  Too funny!

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Who’s irresponsible?

December 17, 2005 Comments off

It seems our President decided to turn the powers of the NSA (spying) on our own citizens without judicial or Congressional oversight.  Here’s an AP article about the story.  I was just listening to NPR’s hourly news broadcast and Bush said today that those who disclosed this activity were “irresponsible”.  Pot calling the kettle black, now aren’t we?

Bush went on to declare those Senators who are blocking renewal of some expiring components of the Patriot Act “irresponsible” as well.  Perhaps they’re just against spying on our own citizens.  Don’t we have law enforcement at the city, county, state, and national (FBI, ATF, etc.) for that already?

Here’s the real pisser, why can’t our leaders have a healthy discussion about the issues on stuff like this?  Why does Bush have to come out and slam those who have a different opinion as “irresponsible”?  That’s personal slander, and gets us nowhere.  Frankly that’s why most folks in my generation can’t stand politicians … they’re they’re the popular kids from school who bullied everyone else with insults because they thought it was funny.  Never mind the fact that they don’t have any real ideas.  Instead of “[those who disagree are] irresponsible” why not just say “we had to do this to ensure our national security and I’m willing to take the heat for that.”

It seems to me that those who say everyone else is irresponsible need to take a hard look in the mirror and take some responsibility on themselves.

Just my $0.02.

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I can’t imagine…

December 15, 2005 Comments off

I honestly don’t know if I’d have the guts to do this.  A 1 month old?  YIKES.

Mom Trapped by Fire Tosses Baby From Window (AP):

This handout out image from video released by the New York Fire Department shows a crowd gathered by an apartment building in the Bronx, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 in New York.  Tracinda Foxe cornered by smoke and flames tossed her 1-month-old baby from a third-floor window to the crowd below.   (AP Photo/FDNY, HO)AP – A mother trapped in a burning third-floor apartment prayed and then dropped her 1-month-old son out a window to the crowd below. The infant was caught safely by a man who plays catcher for his employer’s baseball team.

[Via Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

Of course if I was faced with the situation of death vs. tossing my baby I’d probably go with the throw.  When it comes down to it how can any of us who weren’t in that exact situation make a judgement … either way?  It seems mother and baby are doing fine now, with mom being located by firefighters in the building “moments later”.  Thank God.

This brings to mind a cynical question, though:  if the baby has lasting injuries from the ordeal does the guy who caught it get sued?  How about the mom; does baby grow up, have massive therapy, and sue mom for mental anguish?

Welcome to the dark folds of my mind… enjoy your stay!  πŸ™‚

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Who needs sleep?

December 14, 2005 Comments off

“Well, you’re never gonna get it…”  -BNL

Why do I do this to myself all the time.  I’m kind of tired, but I don’t want to go to bed.  So I’m sitting here on the couch catching up on my reading in RSS Bandit, etc.  Could I go to sleep right now?  Probably.  But yet I’m compelled to not do it.  And then I’m going to wake up in the morning and complain that I’m tired, and I’ll be wiped all all day tomorrow.  And then the cycle will repeat.

This time of year it’s especially bad.  Between work and church I’ve been having early mornings (6a wake ups, or earlier) for the past couple weeks.  And we’ve got a maintenance window at work on Saturday, and worship through music at church on Sunday.  I figure the next time I’ll get to sleep in is Saturday the 24th … but my folks will be here from NC so they’ll be up early.  <sigh>

Somewhere deep down I must enjoy not being able to stay awake at my desk during the day.

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Year in review

December 13, 2005 Comments off

Look over there!First off, it’s been a while since I’ve put a picture of the best thing to happen to me this year on my blog … so here you go!  This picture is from the end of September.  You can see more pics of us at our Smugmug picture site.

I’m sitting here in my office at work with tons of stuff to do, but being distracted by what’s going on here at the office today.  All I can really say is that THE MAN is here today for our annual review meeting, and needless to say that’s taking over as the most important thing to be here for.  I don’t have to go give a presentation; I don’t get to sit in on the meeting.  But I do get to meet him later on.  And I do need to hang around to make sure something doesn’t go wrong (projector bulb burns out, etc.).  Anyway, it’s quite a day and there isn’t much actually going on here productivity wise.  πŸ™‚

So it got me thinking … today is roughly the 1 year anniversary of me blogging as it was last year’s review meeting when I got started.  My blogging “life” has taken quite a leap forward since that day when I first saw MSN Spaces had gone live (beta).  A year ago I signed up for an MSN Spaces account and was super-pleased to get “Nathan” as my blog.  Spaces was a little rough around the edges back then, and I even found a security bug that I reported to the MS team.  The service has grown substantially since then and added lots of cool features (RSS, trackbacks, new themes, etc.).  In fact my wife Alicea is still using Spaces for her blog.  But I moved on from Spaces to Blogger back in April because I wanted a more customisable experience, and a service supported by blogging tools like w.bloggar and BlogJet.  The fact that I had to log in to Spaces with my Passport account just to post something was a pain in the arse for me.  I haven’t looked back since.  [Note: I saw yesterday that Spaces now supports blogging tools – good work guys!]

Now I’m sure you’ve noticed that while I’ve had a pretty good platform for getting my posts out to the world over the past year, I haven’t exactly been the best at keeping up with it.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to … blogging just gets shuffled down the priority list.  Most often by the time I get home after a 10 or 11 hour day at work I’m not real interested in hopping on a computer and spending more time at a keyboard.  And my darn job has this bad habit of keeping me so busy I can’t blog at work either.  The nerve!  πŸ˜‰  Seriously, though, I want to make a re-commitment here to doing a better job of posting daily.  And I want that daily post to be content that is from me – my thoughts and comments – rather than just linking to someone else’s work (though I’ll still continue to do that).  BlogJet 1.6 has some cool new features for pictures and pings, so hopefully that will cut down on barriers.

My year “in reality” has been a blur, and most of it dominated by my beautiful baby daughter Kaitlyn.  I can’t begin to express how wonderful her addition to our family has been, no matter how stressful her entrance was.  Thankfully Alicea has emerged from her ordeal with preeclampsia (aka toxemia or PIH) with no reprocussions.  She’s back to work at church too, serving as a full time assistant in our music ministries department.  Fun times all around.

At work I’ve spent what seems forever replacing our aging Nortel PBX (phone system) with a Cisco AVVID voice-over-IP phone system.  We were supposed to launch in late-May, right before Kaitlyn was slated to arrived.  Then it got rescheduled for mid-September … which got blown out of the water by horrible project management from our vendor.  We finally launched in late-November and the project was a rousing success!  Of course we’ve got a few loose ends to tie up, but what project doesn’t.

There’s lots of other stuff that went on this year; some good, some bad.  But that’s the high level view that I’m going into right now.  Thanks for reading this post … all three of you!  πŸ™‚

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MS Office 2003: "more than meets the eye"

December 12, 2005 Comments off

I just stumbled across this post – pretty sweet that the document imaging part of Office 2003 can do OCR “reads” as well as TIF “writes”. Who knew? But therein lies the problem … has Office grown so bloated that nobody knows what’s in the package anymore? How does Microsoft communicate all these new (and existing) features in a manner that is concise (you can stand to read through it) and yet thorough at the same time? I don’t envy the people trying to figure that out.

Microsoft Office 2003 includes an excellent, but little-known utility called Microsoft Document Imaging. This tool allows you to recognize text from TIF image files. Document Imaging actually does a much better job of recognizing text than some other OCR (optical character recognition) programs out there. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Also included is Microsoft Document Scanning, which scans documents to TIF images. If you do a complete install of Office 2003, these tools are installed by default. If you didn’t install them along with Office, you can find these two utilities and plenty more on your installation CD. Just select a Custom Install and review your options.

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[Via The Office Weblog]

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