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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

November
28
2008
6:57 pm
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Today on Twitter I posed a question asking

How many text messages did my 14yr old daughter have on last month’s cell phone bill?

Well, that’s approximately what I asked.  Let’s go back and look:

After two replies, I decided that I wanted to make a Predictify question and give away a prize!  I opened up the contest to everyone, but only readers/commenters of my blog can actually win.

So what you need to do is predict an answer – I’ll keep the contest open until Friday the 5th.  The closest answerer who’s commented at any time on any post on my blog before the 5th will be declared the winner.  

Yes I think it’s stupid that it allows decimal answers, and NO, I don’t know what half a txt message is. The answer is a whole number.

Now I just gotta figure out what the prize will be.  I haven’t been the best person at keeping up on the prizes people win around here, so I’ll make this one easy.  The winner gets a $10 gift card for whatever they want that I can purchase online with paypal.

November
5
2008
9:22 am
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No politics today.  Rather, today is a day for REAL CELEBRATION.

Those of you who follow me on twitter (thank you to @marilynzelha, @Ctug, @iounjeyn, @martymankins, @sybillaw, @Blogography, @mr_shiny, and @renmaddox for the warm wishes last night) already know the news, but for the rest of the world to know…

CPHS BAND TAKES 4TH PLACE AT STATE UIL COMPETITION.

Let me tell you – these outstanding students worked so incredibly hard to get where they are.  My hat’s off to the directors, students, and parents for an emotion-inducing and powerful performance.  

This show…. is simply amazing.  I’m not an overly emotional guy except when it comes to patriotic themes and family, but EVERY TIME I see this show, I’m moved to that lump-in-the-throat tears-start-brimming-at-bottom-of-eyelid place you probably have felt a few times in your life.  Two sections in particular just make your heart swell and you feel your body flush.

You can see their semi-official collection of photos at SmugMug from the various shows and Festivals.  Here’s one sample – I can’t BELIEVE how good the photography is – that shows just how busy and on-the-move sections of the show are:

This wonderful band has won several awards and top-place finishes and for good reason.  The videos we have of the band is currently on a secure server, so I’m not supposed to share it Internet-style but I’m hoping we can release something soon.

Congrats, Caitlin!  YOU MADE US VERY PROUD!

UPDATE 11/6/2008: 

There was another High School from Leander Independent School District that competed at State UIL – Vista Ridge High School Band.  They do a fantastic show.  Bryan Christian, the Director of Bands at Vista Ridge, sent a congratulatory memo to the Timberwolf Band that I wanted to share with everyone.  

Adding to my pride for the band itself is the supportive environment the school system provides to the students, directors, teachers and parents.  If all the public schools ran as well as LISD, there wouldn’t BE an education problem in America!

Here’s a celebratory picture of the Vista Ridge Rangers (red) and the Cedar Park Timberwolves (green) immediately after the Area Finals when they found out they were State-bound.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to put your hands in the ay-yer.  I think I only counted 12 people doing so.  Now, I don’t know if it’s that you can’t hear me, or if you’re just “not interested” but a slightly better attitude would be appreciated.  

Sycophants of the world, UNITE!

Why?

Because I TOLD YOU TO!

A very useful engine

Many of you know that Thomas the Tank Engine is a “very useful engine”. Jaden loves Thomas movies, action figures, train sets, computer games, and I blogged last year about the Day Out With Thomas, which he and I both loved immensely.

But this post isn’t about Thomas, as much as it’s about a “very useful computer gadget”

sata ide adapter

co-worker of mine picked up a couple of these at Altex and I must say, it’s gotta win some kind of product award. It’s incredible!

For those of you who do computer support, you’ve  probably run into the problem where a hard drive won’t boot. It still spins up, and it still has data, but it just won’t boot for this reason or that reason, usually a problem with Windows.

In the past, we’ve just used some special hardware to try to slave or mount the drive on a desktop machine with ribbon cables and room for extra drives. This was easy with desktop drives, but we had to get a special adapter for the laptop drives. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job.

Then came along SATA, the way-faster and way-simpler connector but made it harder for us to do the drive slaving. We had to use a SATA desktop or one of the cool combo units Dell sold for a while that had both EIDE and SATA. But still, it was a pain, and generally involved “open heart surgery” on the PC we used as the diagnostic system.

This adapter he picked up allows for just a simple USB connection and it supports all desktop/laptop PC drives – desktop IDE, desktop SATA, laptop IDE and laptop SATA.   When connecting IDE, you don’t even need a separate power adapter!  For SATA, there is a separate power cable you have to plug in, but still, all of this beats doing it manually.  Best of all, since it’s USB, you don’t have to open up any PC’s.

Plus, it’s all hot-swappable.  With our old way of doing things, we’d have to shut down and reboot every time we disconnected or connected a drive.

Kudos, VANTEC!

Marching Band is still cool

Caitlin, our eldest, joined “the big time” this year by reaching freshman high school age. Now she’s with the Big Time band, the Cedar Park Timberwolves. This band is something else, lemme tell ya.

Last night was the “LISD Festival of Bands” where all the Leander Independent School District bands (middle school and high school) perform to a very populated football stadium.  I shot some video that I might upload at some point.  Let me know if interested.

Last year, the marching band put on a show called “Pursuit of Happiness” and even ended the show with a winking smiley face:

The official videos of this year’s band are still secure and for staff/band/family, so if you want to see them, get in touch with me directly and I’ll send a link.

 

Best of LOLCats

 








August
30
2008
12:19 pm
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I’ve been selfish recently – pimping myself out for the Hot Blogger Calendar, and then accepting the McCain VP Spot.  I realized after mediation and deep reflection that this world is not. about. me. at. all.  Who am I to keep advertising to the world “LOOK AT ME!  PAY ATTENTION TO ME! DO SOMETHING FOR ME!”

The sickness inside is almost unbearable sometimes.

It’s time I did something for someone else.

so….

VOTE FOR MY DAUGHTER!  PAY ATTENTION TO HER!  DO SOMETHING FOR HER!

Her High School Marching Band is in a local “Marching Band Challenge”. They have a complete online voting system sponsored by our local TV station.  The local Cable TV company is even playing, for free, on-demand high school football games!

Normally, in the spirit of fairness, you should watch all of them to actually determine who is the best.  And I’m fine if you do that. But if it just so happens that you don’t have a lot of time, and you start watching them but get carried away with the rest of your day and you just need to quickly vote for one of them, I’m completely ok if you just go ahead and vote. And when you vote, vote “Cedar Park”!

keye tv vote

This voting is about the easiest one out there:

  1. Click the voting link
  2. Click “Cedar Park”
  3. Put in name and email address (what, fairness? who knew?!?!)
  4. Click Submit

I’m going to try to embed the video of their Marching Band Drum Line here. It’s only 1.5 minutes long…

If you watch to look at all the bands, click on over and do that. Cedar Park Timberwolves are Team 2 on Week 3.

August
14
2008
3:51 pm
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Last night was so funny.

gullible logo

Before our pool league, we were discussing “rumors” or “facts” about this teacher or that teacher at our daughter’s new high school.  She was saying what she heard about teacher X or teacher Y and we (my wife and I) challenged her on whether or not she should believe other students, or at least not completely believe everything she hears.

My 14yr old daughter cocked her head, put on a faux-insulted smirk and said “Dad, I’m not that gullible…” and our niece Kaili said “What’s ‘gullible’?”  And you KNOW that as soon as someone asks THAT QUESTION, they’re in for a little ride.

I was too slow to respond (yeah, I know! impossible, right?!!?).  Caitlin pointed up at a patch of ceiling right above our niece’s head and said “There’s a gullible right up there.” 

I was barely able to contain my shock that my daughter knew a NEW way of pulling “the gullible trick” on someone.  So we went along with it and looked, pushing Kaili to look as well.  And look she did.

Wait, where?” Kaili inquired.

Right up there.  There’s a gullible right above you,” Caitlin responded.  She was reveling in her enjoyment of verbally torturing Kaili with her superior vocabulary.  She glanced over at mom and me, with her all-knowing eyes saying “look at me, I can trick her!”

At this point I needed to chime in.  I told both of them in a severely matter-of-fact manner, “you know, they removed the word ‘gullible’ from the dictionary a couple of months ago…” and Caitlin, who had been the instigator and predator in this particular word battle, opened her eyes wiiiiide and said “they did?!?!  Why did they do that?!!!!”

Oh, we had some fun with that response for the three seconds it took for her to realize she had been had.  Her expression went from the look of sheer elitist contentment to awe and surprise at having a word removed, to indignant mock offense at being taken.  In the same way she was taking someone else just a moment ago.

A quick shout of “DAD!!!!” and a playful slap to the shoulder let me know she knew her place, and was appreciative of the lesson.  Then she looked over to Kaili and said “being gullible means you’ll believe anything” and smiled all the bigger, probably thinking to herself “yeah, even stuff your dad tells you.”

What’s YOUR favorite gullible story?

Speaking of gullible, I’m being anxiously impressed by the more recent spam comments.  They’re really starting to look real!  It seems they’re taking information from the blog article and submitting a comment that actually seems related to the content.

Take a look at this one, put on a post of mine about XP

The comment has decent english, is related to the post, has vernacular such as btw and a smiley, and the only thing that makes it suspicious is the name and email.  ARGH!  Why are they improving!

I’m just glad I have my blog set up to approve all new commenters.  You don’t get in unlessI approve, but once I approve you, you’re good to go from then on.  Not only does it help cut down on the annoying comments like the above, but it also lets me welcome new readers.

Some of you might want to MISC this week’s Stuff.  I’ll have to check my horoscope, but I bet something’s transiting that has me sluggish, tired, cranky and short with people.  Either that, or it was something I ate.  DON’T YOU JUDGE ME! Oh wait, that was me being cranky and short with people again. 


Happy 4th

We had a pretty darn decent Fourth of July.  Georgetown’s San Gabriel Park hosted the SERTOMA Fourth of July Celebration and we had a great time.

I have no idea who “SERTOMA” is other than it’s some creative mashup of “SERvice TO MANkind” but they put on a good show.  Hopefully it’s not, like, “To Serve Man.”

Did anyone else notice some “new” fireworks this year?  I’m talking about the ones that blow up like normal, turn colors like normal, and then fire off secondary pieces like normal… except for these new ones, the secondary pieces seem alive?  These secondary pieces look like tadpoles avoiding a predator, and it was COOL.

Here’s a 3min video of the Guinness Book of World Records Largest Fireworks show.


Caitlin turned 14

Yup, it’s my daughter’s second anniversary at being a teenager.  Smith and Wesson’s stock went up solely on this news alone.


Interesting Shortcut found on accident

Just now, I accidentally hit CTRL-ALT-LEFT ARROW on my keyboard.  All of a sudden, my entire desktop rotated 90 degrees.  At first I thought “WHOA, Not again! the World has tilted!” but then I realized it was just my laptop screen.  The fact that my drink didn’t spill was the first clue.

It took me a few tries, but then learned CTRL-ALT-UP ARROW fixed it to be normal portrait orientation.

Looks like this is a Vista thing vs a Video Driver thing.  I’m always thrilled to hear about more keyboard shortcuts.

What keyboard shortcuts do you rely on?


SharePoint 2007 upgrade

Tonight we’re doing our upgrade from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint (MOSS) 2007.  It’s a project many weeks in the making and I’m hoping it goes well.  For those of you who don’t know what MOSS is – it’s Microsoft’s Intranet platform.  It’s like a blog, wiki, online spreadsheet, collaboration headquarters and search engine for your company.  SharePoint 2003 was cool but 2007 is way cooler.

Some of the NEW features we’re most looking forward to are:

  • Recycle Bin
  • Workflow abilities
  • Per-item security settings

Best of LOLcats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janna has been in my “Round 2” of feed reading since I added her to my feed reader long ago.  Time for a promotion.  I really need to bump her up to “Round 1,” because I’m never disappointed in her posts.  They’re a little wacky, very cerebral, and I connect with them on various levels. 

jannaverse blog janna 

Maybe its because Janna “does Band” for a living and I completely and totally miss band.  I miss high school band, I miss Army band, I miss dreaming about being in a band.   I’m currently living vicariously through my awesome daughter, who is in the best middle school band around, is about to be in the best high school band around and is pretty darn good herself (she was 1st chair flute, 1st band last year at UT’s Middle School Band Camp as a 7th grader).

One of the more recent Janna posts I connected with was her “janku” post, where she invented her own style of poetry, namely, a “janku” which she defined as a 3-line poem following a 4-6-8 rule of vowel usage instead of a 5-7-5 rule of syllables.  It was a great follow-up to her Haiku of Melancholy.  I’m especially proud of my work on her Thirteen Things the Letters TCB Could Stand For (check the comments for a story made entirely of 3 word TCB lines).

I submitted my own collection of janku’s in her post’s comments.  I find it only fitting that I completely copy her idea and make up my own form of poetry, and I need to name it “whallku”. 

whallku (image created by cooltext.com)

There are several reasons I want to name it this:

  1. It’s a fantastic greeting response.  When someone tells you “hi, whall!” you can say “whall, ku” and it won’t sound so awkward, like if you hadn’t said it at all.
  2. You can use it after someone sneezes, because “whallku” is actually swahili for “gesundheit,” which is actually German for “hi, did you read the blog of whall today? haha of course you did, I only ask because it is custom!”
  3. If there were a martial art made entirely of the expert use of a guitar hero controller and a euphonium, delivered with an unfaltering stream of perfect LOLcat references, it would be called “whallku“.  What am I saying, “if”?  Pshaw.
  4. whallku.com isn’t taken.  Yet.

So, now for the rules of what a whallku is.

  1. It shall have 3 lines, like a haiku and janku
  2. The numeric phrase to remember is “3-5-7”.
  3. First line has three (3) words
  4. Second line has five (5) syllables
  5. Third line has seven (7) vowels
    (“y” does not count as a vowel)

Here are my submissions.  Give me some whallku lovin’, won’t you?  Submit yours in the comments!

What The Hell?
Does he really think
this a good idea?

Obama, Obama, Obama…
All we ever hear.
Well, better him than Hillary!

Guitar Hero IV
A.K.A. “World Tour”.
Guaranteed addict.

blog of whall:
Insommnia cure
if ever I saw one.

Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Innocent toy trend,
or evil spawn of Satan?

CPS wrong re
Polygamist sect.
Yoda: “Much power they have.”

For double extra credit, see if you can create a haiwhallku, which means you satisfy BOTH requirements: 5-7-5 for syllables and 3-5-7 for words/syllables/vowels.  You might be asking yourself, “how in the world can a line have both 5 syllables AND 7 syllables for line 2? Have you gone crazy, Wayne?”

Yes, I’ve gone crazy.  But that’s beside the point.  There is an answer, and the answer is – use words that can be pronounced in multi-syllabic ways.  Like Hyundai can be pronounced “Hi-un-die” or “Hun-Day”.  The word “actually” can actually be pronounced “act-you-al-lee” or “actch-yule-lee”.  Some leniency is granted, but it’s mob rule.

I don’ recommen’
Hyundai, actually.
dey be too darn cheap.

US building first
Nuclear athlete man.
Noose at eleven.

As I mentioned before, Guitar Hero is on the brain this week. 

Recently a friend called me and said “did you hear about that guy who was put into the Guiness Book of World Records for Guitar Hero?” and sure enough I google it and find out about a 16yr old named Chris Chike who currently holds the top score for any Guitar Hero song.  The song is the fast and furious “Through the Fire and Flames” by DragonForce.

I went and looked for it on youtube and holy crap, that’s one freakin’ fast song.

Too bad the video is from a cell phone or whatever, but DANNNNNNGGGGGG.

So Caitlin (13yr old daughter) and I got thinking — what if we played the song in multiplayer on expert?  We wouldn’t get kicked off the stage, and we could see who could sight-read the song the best.  Yes, I said SIGHT READ.  THE SONG.  THE BEST.  I’m talking about that nigh impossible song in the video above.

Let’s just say she SMOKED me.

guitar hero through the fire and flames dragonforce screenshot

Seventy Percent?!?!?!?  On a SIGHT READ?  That’s CRAZY. 

guitar hero through the fire and flames dragonforce

Um, yeah.  Player One (that would be me) totally bit compared to Player Two.  Well, except for 3% of the time.

UPDATE: Oh, did I mention I went ahead and got GH3 for the Wii now?  Thanx Dave2 for the gentle reminder.  For now we have one controller but I’m sure we’ll get a second one before too long.

Time to go back to the playing… and building up my groupies on guitarhero.com

guitarhero.com groupies

Did you know that 27 was my favorite number?  Well, maybe 17 is, which would make 27 my SECOND favorite number.  But I always stay away from 17 or 27 in any of my PINs in case you’re trying to hack into my bank account or ATM cards.  Good luck to you anyway if you ever get in.


Strep

Both the missus and I came down with strep – she got it bad Wed night and I started getting hit on Thu. We got on the antibiotics and are both bouncing back finally. It sucks getting sick during the holidays, although I seem to make a habit of it. It never fails – when I have some time off for work, SOMETHING major interrupts the time. A couple thanksgivings ago, the air handler in our data center went out. Or I get sick. Seems my body senses that I have some “downtime” coming up and it inevitably decides to take over the down time. I even tried to take Thu and Fri off this last week but it ended up being taken up by dr visits and feeling icky-poo. At least this time I kept my hands in my pockets and refused to shake people’s hands and stuff. I’ve decided to be stingy with my germs.

strep image

Did you know that you can get strep in the mouth, throat, skin, heart and muscle? I thought it was just a throat thing! There were many years where I got strep twice a year but ever since I started using Listerine twice a day (a knowledgable doctor gave me that tip) this is the first case of strep I’ve had in probably 6 or 7 years.


XMAS Holidays!

XMAS for us usually means family in town – Sister-in-law with 2 kids, another sister-in-law with husband and 2 kids, sometimes another sister-in-law with husband and one kid, and of course the people who are in town: grandma and grandpa, nana and granddaddy and brother with spouse and one kid. Sprinkle in some friends, movies, XMAS present exchanges, a little bowling at Main Event, shooting pool and some strep and you’ve got a full holiday.

One of the cool things we did this last week was attend Caitlin’s Canyon Ridge Middle School Christmas Concert. She had a 14-measure solo in one of the songs! The song was incredible – called “Imani”, which means faith. I have it on video but the stupid thing from my digital camera won’t convert to any of the formats so I can upload it to youtube or anything, ARGH. I’m hoping the school will make a digital recording available because it was truly awe-inspiring. You sometimes can’t believe these are MIDDLE SCHOOL students making these sounds.

caitlin hall in crms band 2007

One thing that was kind of interesting was that in the Imani song, there was also a percussion solo, and that soloist is the son of my Avaya reseller.  Small world!  Man, her solo was so so so good!  The Avaya reseller video taped it with a much better camera and said he’d give me a copy.


Best of LOLcats

lolcats don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

lolcats call the moving company

lolcats invisible frozen pole


Cabling job

I’m finally done with phase one of our re-cabling project at work and let me tell you – it’s nice to actually have time to do a job RIGHT. Here’s how the cabling for our new network area looks now, complete with actual labels on the cables.

cabling job with labels

Of course, I have 3 more racks to do, but now that this first half-rack is done, it gives me plenty of room to work with. mmmm, blinky lights…..

Twenty weeks of stuff you don’t want to MISC.  Been a busy week.  How have you been?


We three dogs

I thought I’d share a pic of our three dogs – Jupiter, Zina and the newest member of the Hall family – Bebe (shown in order). Actually, Bebe belongs to the in-laws but since we share a back yard and a kennel run, he’s over at our house a lot. He survived the Distemper false alarm and is just finishing up tackling an eye infection on his right eye (you can kind of tell in the picture). He’s cute, young, playful and gives Jupiter a lot of attention, for which we are eternally grateful.

jupiter zina bebe


Props

She’s not a bragging kind of person, so you wouldn’t hear it from her.  But *I* am a doting parent and not afraid to brag on my kids.

Caitlin got a ranking of 4th in the District at her most recent Flute District Tryouts.  This is out of more than 60 flutes!  It also means she qualifies to go try out for Region next weekend, and if she makes that, she gets to play in a Region concert made up of the best band members around.  At the middle school level, they don’t have a “state” competition; that’s not until High School.

We couldn’t be more proud!  Here’s a snap of me and Caitlin at this last UT Band Camp, where Caitlin earned 1st chair of the top band.

caitlin daddy flute ut band


Global Warming Alarmism

I don’t know much about Global Warming or the lack of it.  I don’t know if man is causing it, or if it’s just part of our normal cycles.  How could we possibly know?  The world is what, 6 billion years old or something and we’ve been crawling on it for a blink of an eye.  Plus, man is inherently flawed.  Practically ALL science we ever thought was true turned out to either be wrong or drastically different than we expected, and boy will our descendents 200 years down the line really scoff at us in the 20th century.

Unfortunately, Hollywood and alarmists like to spread fear.  And too many people just buy into the fear.  It is for that reason I’m thankful for a recent speech given by Senator James Inhofe.  It seems a lot more straightforward, honest and unconcealing than most of what you’d see on TV or in the papers.

global warming alarmism

It’s long (2hr speech) but well thought out and well delivered.  It should be linked to as a counter-point to all global warming articles out there that use little to no science to push forward their scare and fear.


Best of LOLcats

lolcats in ur computer cognitive

lolcats left footz in

lolcats invisible step ladder

lolcats you got it babe

 

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