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Feel free to let me know if you might like to participate. Safety always comes first and you will be trained in everything you need to know to safely be a crew member. Don’t be bashful, there are a few crew slots open and I welcome your help and participation! The requirements for crew participation per the U.

Thanks, and hope to have you on the crew! Get in touch! To pique your interest, here’s a sample video of a show we operated a couple years ago in Walla Walla:. Tech Crunch posted a list of Easter eggs – little hidden software treasures you have to search for inside a program to find. It’s a good list, and has a few that I had forgotten about.

Among those is what some say is the original software Easter egg I beg to differ, it might be the first video game Easter egg – but we can save that for another day , from way back in in the Atari Adventure game wow, I remember playing that one when it was new! Of course, Easter eggs aren’t limited to software. DVDs have become a popular place to hide fun little things, too. The Lost DVDs are a good example of discs that have extra stuff you have to poke around to find.

There are nine others in the TechCrunch list, plus a couple more scattered around in the off-topic comments. Check it out over at TechCrunch. I woke up this morning and started in on some non-flying related stuff that I had on my list, and at about this morning my instructor, Kelly called me. Turns out one of the local FAA examiners that conducts check rides for private pilot candidates had today open and so he wanted to see if I could be at the airport for my FAA check ride at 1pm today.

It wasn’t quite where my mind was focused at the time the call came, but I quickly started shifting gears in my brain and agreed to be at Twin Oaks Airpark to meet Kelly at noon so we could make sure all the paperwork was in order.

Read the whole story about the exam and check ride on my flying blog. Update: Thanks to the visiting crews from Clark Public Utilities in Washington for coming over to our side of the river and helping the CRPUD crews out with this huge outage during the holiday season.

The power was restored in our area Saturday night, almost exactly 72 hours after it went out. Yesterday evening I hooked up a new generator, freshly purchased from Lowe’s in Longview, Washington because the electricity has been out at my house since about p. In my neck of the woods which, by the way, is a fairly literal description , we have two utilities: electrical and telephone service. Internet is via a wireless broadband service and an antenna on my roof that points to a mountain over in Washington.

So, when the electricity goes out I’m basically shut down here. After nearly three days without power I now have a magical gas-powered, electricity-generating box humming away outside and a few awesome orange extension cords running under the big outer garage door, then under the door between the inside of the garage and the house. This morning I was even able to make coffee. It amazing what a difference that can make when your house is sitting at 47 degrees.

I’m going to have to toss out most of the food in my refrigerator and probably the stuff in my freezer, too. It’s freezing outside, and it was as cold as around 22 degrees a couple nights ago, so some heat is good to have. Most importantly the pipes won’t freeze when the temperature drops. We’ve had a big storm here over the past week or so, at least by Northwest Oregon standards, and especially in the City of Portland.

We have just over three feet of wet snow on the ground here at home in the woods north of Portland. Broken tree branches and fallen trees litter the area, falling across roads and of course on top of power lines. The other night while outside I could hear trees breaking left and right, and branches falling. Lots of people in the area are without power. On Christmas Eve a couple brothers who are friends of mine made the four-wheel-drive trek from Portland to my place in the blizzard and found utility workers asking us to wait to drive over the fallen lines until they cut the power, and burning wires in the roadway.

Those Columbia River PUD guys, out in the cold instead of home with their families, racing from broken line to broken line for more than 48 hours before going home Those guys are pretty darned great. Tough job. I’ve seen this much ice and snow at my place only one time before in the six years I’ve lived here, but the impact has not been this significant and the power has never been out for three straight days. Now that I’ve experienced the pains of a slightly drafty house in the cold weather, I’ll need to work to find the draft sources and try to fix them up a bit.

Trying to heat a house with a slight draft is not exactly fun. It’ll help with the energy efficiency of the house anyhow, so it’s worth it. To try to keep the heat in the downstairs area rather than trying to heat the whole house, I hung a thick blanket in the stairwell on the recommendation of a neighbor. That was a great idea. It’s chilly up there but not frozen , and respectably warmer downstairs as a result.

Oh, and my outside dog is now an inside dog, at least part time. He’s thrilled, like a king is his castle, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how well behaved and non-messy in the gross kind of way he’s been.

There’s the added difficulty of three feet of very wet, heavy snow on the roof of the house. At least one of my gutters is pulling away partially with the heavy icicles, so that will need to be fixed. So far the roof is okay, and I’m hopeful the snow on there will melt some before more comes. One of my neighbors was shoveling the wet, heavy snow off his roof on Christmas Eve because he discovered his double-wide home was actually separating along the roof peak where the two halves join together.

They had to re-order roof trusses at the last minute that were designed to hold a lot more weight. At any rate, the utility company says they hope to get a crew working on our area today and to get this large region back online soon. I hope they’re able to. It’s been an adventure for sure, but I’m definitely ready for the electricity to come back on. Got the kids all set for Santa’s arrival? There’s also a Google Earth feed that you can use to track Santa’s progress in 3D – Way cool for all the younger geeks among us!

They also have cameras positioned around the world to allow us to see Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve! I know, it’s not in any way tech-related but when it snows for the first time each year, I just have to write about it.

It always snows and sticks where I live before it does in the city of Portland. We got a couple inches of snow overnight. The snow started last night at around 8pm and that’s what I woke up to. The power went out three times last night, but each time came right back on.

It’s been snowing off and on all day and the forecast is for more tonight and into tomorrow. This first snow is wet and heavy, so I kind of hope it melts off some before today is over, so my neighbors and I don’t end up snowed in due to a frozen layer of slush under the next snowfall, like happened a few years ago. Try explaining to someone that you’re thinking of flying a route into the State of Washington from Oregon that will take you close to Rainier.

It’s not quite as simple as it sounds Let me know what you think. The entry can be found at this link. I’m truly enjoying learning to fly. I’d say “I should have done this years ago,” but in truth I’m enjoying having something new and challenging at this point in my life. I wrote all about it on my flying blog, but Sunday was an exciting and cool day, because I flew an airplane solo , all by myself with no one else in the plane, for the first time.

This whole flying thing might work out, after all! The full story is documented on my “Coordinated Flight” blog , should you care to read all about it. Well, we’re getting going full swing for a week of TechEd conference in Barcelona, Spain.

If you’re here, please let me know, or drop by and say hi at the “fishbowl” or TechEd stage. The weather when I flew in yesterday was bumpy and wet, but today it’s beautiful and sunny outside – more like the Barcelona I remember. Not that well be out in the air much, this week – but it’s nice to look outside and see sun.

The hotel and conference center are right on the sea, and as long as I can stay heathy this week, it will be great. I had the opportunity today to spend some time chatting with Ben Jackson, who’s the owner and technical director of Brainjuice, LLC.

His company created Blogo, the app I use on my Mac to write posts like this one. But today we weren’t talking about Blogo, we were discussing a new iPhone game Brainjuice is in the final phases of completing called Arcade Hockey. It’s just about done and will appear in the iTunes App Store in early to mid November. It’s a table hockey game and it’s a lot of fun, well-executed and designed. Here are a few screenshots of the game screens, so you can see what’s coming. You can click on each image to see the full-sized version.

You have the option of playing a one- or two-plater game. In the one-player version you play against the computer’s artificial intelligence opponent.

More on that later in the article. You can choose a few options, like the size of the paddles and pucks, as well as the version of the game standard arcade deck, or “boomerang” style. Game play consists of a classic table hockey game, and you use the tip of your finger on the touch screen to move the paddle and hit the puck.

The physics of the game are pretty good, and the puck reacts pretty how you’d expect and want it to. When you’ve played your “best-of” set, the game makes sure each player knows who won and who lost. This is Brainjuice’s first iPhone app. Until now you’ve focused on Blogo, your Mac-based blog authoring app. Why did you decide to create this game? We wanted to start with something light rather than jumping right into Blogo for the iPhone. Table hockey is fun, the competitor is selling and we thought we could do much, much better.

Also, there’s something about sliding your finger around on the phone which is a natural fit for air hockey. When will it be available, and how much will it cost? It will be available as soon as Apple accepts it, likely in November.

What’s left to be done before you ship it? We are really only working on the computer opponent AI at this point. Besides that it’s pretty much done. What did you learn in the process of creating the game? We learned that getting though the whole certificates and code signing process is a huge hurdle. And a lot of physics.

How many people worked on the game, and how much time did it take to build? On this project one developer and one designer did all the work. Total dev time About two months total. Our team is based in Brazil and Philadelphia, but we spend most of our time here in Brazil , as the weather is nice. What other apps can we expect to see from Brainjuice for the iPhone in the future? We’re planning to devote a fair share of out attention to creating Blogo for the iPhone after Arcade Hockey is out the door.

We’re itching to see what we can do with it. I ordered some new business contact cards since I ran out of the old ones some time ago. They arrived today. Rather than going the standard route or reordering the ones with my mug on the front, I decided to shop over in the UK via the Internet. I ordered one of Hugh MacLeod’s designs from over at gapingvoid. He’s made a bunch of his designs available for online ordering at Street Cards.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned working in IT and security management over the past several years, it’s what these cards convey. It’s been a bot of a motto of mine over the years, so it’s appropriate for my business cards, I think click the link to see the full-sized image. Thanks to Hugh for making it possible to use his artwork. He makes them available for download and use from his site, and they’re great stuff.

I got a call this morning, a variation of the same call I get around two or three times a month. Someone saw my phone number over in the sidebar and called me to find out about posting items for sale or rent on “Greg’s List. So, if you happen to be looking for Greg’s List, it’s actually called Craig’s List, and there’s the web address for ya. And don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Of course, you can still feel free to call me up and say hi anyhow, if you like.

Want to watch tonight’s final presidential debate live on the ‘net? Everyone should watch, and please don’t skip your opportunity to vote in the election. It’s just too important. Who needs a TV, anyhow? Space Aliens for McCain or Obama? Could be Someone’s trying to get the vote word out, that’s for sure. Updates: The corn field in the video is at Baggenstos Farms , and you can go walk through it. A portion of it was also aired on TV tonight on Anderson Cooper That was fun.

I had a flying lesson Monday morning and on the way back to our home airport , my instructor and I saw an unusual crop formation in a corn field from about feet above the ground. You’d never see it otherwise. You think someone out there is trying to send us a message? I captured it for you to see with my new Kodak Zi6 pocket HD video camera. You can get the higher-quality version of the video here.

Over and over it’s obvious that the vast majority of people I speak with have no real idea what the current financial situation is all about, how it happened and how it works.

It’s not often I’ll ask people to take the time to listen to an audio show, no matter what. But in this case, I think it’s important enough. With all the media discussion about the gloom and doom of the current economic mess, there’s been little or no meaningful education about what caused it and where we are now.

Panic reporting doesn’t prepare anyone. History and analysis does. So: Listen to two audio episodes of a show called This American Life, which are linked below, and you’ll be a much more aware citizen. You’ll find yourself much better prepared to think about where we’re at and where we’re going. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding where we’re going, and why.

I hope this is helpful to at least one person. I know I found the reporting and explanations cogent, thoughtful, understandable, non-partisan and non-political, and – as a result – quite valuable.

DirecTV had an unusual technical glitch sometime in the past 48 hours, and as a result customers with either standard or HD DVRs might experience issues with a “frozen remote” or similar behavior. DirecTV Has emailed customers to let them know see below. This is important because if your DVR is in the hung state they describe, you need to reset it, or your scheduled recordings will likely not be recorded. I had the issue exactly as described the night before last on my HD-DVR, and did a red button reset RBR at that time in order to restore it to normal functionality, which is pretty much what the email from DirecTV says to do:.

If your HD DVR or DVR receiver is not responding to your remote control or front panel commands, you can resolve this issue by pressing the red “Reset” button located inside the small door on the front right corner of your receiver. Please allow about 15 minutes for your receiver to complete the resetting process. Once completed, your picture will return automatically.

Unfortunately, any show you may have scheduled to record yesterday will not be available on your DVR. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Our promise is to provide you with the best television experience, and to resolve any issues that might arise as quickly as possible. If you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate in contacting us at Larry Dignan posted some interesting charts , graphs and figures today over at ZDNet looking at advertising revenue for the first half of , compared to previous periods.

He also asks what will happen to advertising revenue in the faltering economy. Good question. However, over the past few years I have watched my revenue trends from contextual advertising rise and fall. In these most recent “tough” times for the overall economy, my advertising numbers meaning impressions, click-through rates, eCPM, daily revenue, etc. If you think about it, this could actually make some sense.

Less discretionary, from-the-hip spending by various types of consumers means the market needs to find effective ways to reach out to buyers. In many cases, where consumers are looking to save a few bucks on a purchase, they will naturally turn to the Internet for better deals. So, maybe the Internet advertising world has a real opportunity.

My weblog and the few other site I have don’t rely on financial services or automotive industry related advertising, granted. I could be way off base here. Yet I can’t help but wonder what the second half will look like. I have at least some confidence it will weather this storm. Time will tell.

I’ve lately come to enjoy the relatively new video site, hulu. Decent quality and easy access offered by the site are great. The other day they posted the Saturday Night Live spoof sketch poking fun at Joe Biden and Sarah Palin , and quite literally everyone I know must have gone there to view that specific clip in the past few days. Tonight, Hulu takes it to the next level with the real candidates by introducing live streaming to their mix.

The U. It will be interesting to see what else they decide to stream live in the future. One would think they might have to limit live streaming to non-advertising-supported content like these debates in order to avoid diluting their local advertisers. But I certainly wouldn’t mind being able to watch certain shows live from the road, and ads focused based on geolocation or something similar would be just fine with me.

Oh, and as a sidenote: We can always continue to hope against hope for a hulu iPhone app. It’s been a fun and challenging week learning to fly. I found a couple good podcasts, and have posted a couple new detailed entries to my new flying blog, Coordinated Flight. Good stuff. Note: While I’ll likely cross-post the occasional flying post here or maybe I’ll just mention a few highlights , I’ve started a whole new blog called Coordinated Flight where I’ll publish all my flying-related stuff.

That way this blog won’t get overloaded with long, detailed flying stuff. The past couple days I’ve spent a little time down at Twin Oaks Airpark , a small private airport located on the far west side of Portland, Oregon. Yesterday I spent an hour there, and today I went for about two hours.

Both days I learned and flew with my new flight instructor, Kelly. I’ve always wanted to learn to fly and over the years I’ve spent quite a bit of time in small aircraft. But now I’m going to put the time and effort and expense into learning and practicing everything one needs to know to safely fly a small aircraft.

Yesterday was what they call an introductory ride. Kelly met me and we went to the airpark office, where we chatted with Betty Stark. The Stark family owns the airpark which is on an old dairy farm and has a single runway, several hangars, classrooms and a fuel station. Then we went to our aircraft for the day, a Cessna Kelly showed me the aircraft and together we went though the walk-around checklist.

The Cessna is a two-seater and is a smallish aircraft, but is a very common trainer. After checking out the aircraft we climbed in and started the checklist for starting the aircraft. I turned the key and the prop started spinning. Kelly explained some more necessary details about the controls and told me what was going to happen. And then we were off. We taxied from the ramp to the end of the runway and did the engine run-up and final checks on the list.

Kelly radioed the local traffic to let anyone flying in the area know we were departing, and he told me to put my hands and feet on the controls so I could feel the aircraft as we departed. He explained each task he was doing as he performed them, from the time we walked up to the aircraft until we were in the air. I think I’ve found a great instructor. He clearly knows his stuff and is confident. That gave me a feeling of confidence, too.

Once we were in the air, he told me he was going to hand the controls over to me. The next thing I knew I was flying the airplane. Of course, Kelly was still there, light on the controls in case I screwed something up. He didn’t overwhelm me with information, but instead balanced the doing, the explaining and the having fun and looking out the window.

We spent about 30 minutes in the air and a little rain from the clouds that were well above us and then returned to the air park. I learned about the traffic pattern for Twin Oaks it’s a left pattern with a degree entrance. It was a lot of fun, and probably just the right mix of time, information and experience for a first flight. Kelly gave me a quick-read intro book with some basic information to learn: Controls, attitude, parts of an airplane, climbs and descents, turns.

He assigned it as homework and we arranged to meet again the next day at 3pm for two hours – starting with a quick ground lesson followed by some time in the air. When I arrived today, we went into the small classroom and Kelly explained some of the performance numbers I need to start getting familiar with.

It clear to me that there are a lot of pieces of information that will need to become second nature. Today’s classroom lesson focused on common airspeeds and engine RPMs for different basic flight maneuvers, plus an introduction to flying the traffic pattern and the proper aircraft configuration for landings.

I had a chance to ask questions and took some notes and we headed out for the aircraft another C, but not the same one. Today our time at the aircraft was a bit different than yesterday. Kelly handed me the checklist and rather than having me following him as we did the first time, he followed me as I did the walk-around inspection, checking the aircraft from nose to tail, top to bottom.

He told me that the next time we meet, he may have me do the pre-flight walk-around on my own I’m sure he’ll check my work, too. After the outside inspection, he then moved the plane to a safe spot on the ramp and we climbed in. Once properly buckled up, we returned to the checklist and started the process of making sure everything was working, properly configured and ready for flight. I turned the key and Kelly showed me how the ground controls work.

It’s pretty counterintuitive to get out of a car and climb into an airplane: To steer in the ground you use the two foot pedals and toe brakes when needed. If you put your hands on the control yoke wheel , nothing happens on the ground. I’m sure looked pretty funny when my brain automatically told me hands to turn the wheel left or right. I had to force myself to use my feet.

Once I took my hands completely off the yoke, however, it got a little easier. I was taught how to do turns on the ramp, with and without brakes. After that, Kelly had me taxi the plane down the taxiway to the end of the runway, where we then entered the runway and taxied all the way to the end, did a couple turns, and then did the same thing all over again.

It was a good opportunity to try to get my brain around driving the aircraft on the ground with my feet. I think some future practice will be helpful in overcoming some of the counterintuitiveness.

Kelly then had me stop on the ramp at the end of the runway, where we did our engine run-up and other checklist items. Then he made the radio call and told me to taxi onto the runway and line up on the center line for take-off.

I managed to line it up and then let it point left a bit. After correcting for that I bet it looked pretty dumb from outside the plane, heh , Kelly walked me through applying full throttle and he controlled the plane with his feet as we sped down the runway. We’re doing a wheelie now,” he said as the nose started to lift. A little pull back on the yoke and we were in the air, climbing out. When you depart to the south out of twin oaks, you have to start a turn soon after departure due to a noise abatement area you’d think if you buy or build a house next to an airport you’d know what you’re getting into, but oh well.

So after a gradual left turn we straightened out and continued climbing. The airport is at about feet above sea level, and we climbed to about feet. The main in-air lesson consisted of progressively moving through various maneuvers and maintaining proper attitude of the aircraft: Climbs, gradual turns, medium turns, descents, trimming the aircraft for hands-off flight, and then combination maneuvers: climbing turns and descending turns combined with ending each of the turns on specific compass headings and returning to straight and level flight.

It was really fun. We were almost right on top of the airport before I even recognized it. That whole awareness-of-where-you-are thing comes with time, they say.

For now, it;s enough to pay attention and apply what my instructor tells me. By the time we were ready to enter the landing pattern, my brain was on the edge of overload.

I just kept feet on the pedals and fingers on the yoke to feel the controls move. Kelly explained what he was doing as we followed the landing pattern upon passing the end of the runway on the downwind leg turn carb heat on, throttle to RPM, flaps to 10 degrees three seconds pressing the switch , add nose-up trim Now I have my first textbook in hand, which is the basis of the ground school lessons which I am looking forward to.

I took a ground school class several years ago at Portland Community College when I was thinking about learning to fly helicopters I then did the financial math and decided maybe I should wait , and I am hoping some of that will come back and help me this time around.

I’m flying to Philadelphia this weekend for a family get-together, so I’ll have plenty of time for reading the first couple chapters and answering the questions for each – while on the plane. I borrowed all the pics here from the Twin Oaks web site. Sometime I hope I’ll get comfortable enough to be able to take some quick pics of my own but for now all I can really think about are the tasks at hand in flying that chunk of metal through the air.

Try it here. I thought it was pretty funny and smart. Subtle, very subtle. This made me laugh out loud: Gates’ “Shoe Circus Clown Club Platinum Card” picture is actually his mug shot from an arrest for traffic violations in New Mexico, way back in Classic, and funny. Here’s the new commercial. I like the idea of starting out really vague and we have to assume building from there.

Very Seinfeld-ish. You should not need to do anything to use the new feed – it’s automagical. As a result of this change, some people might see duplicates of past entries. It’s a one-time change I hope , so thanks for putting up with it. If you happen to subscribe to the feed for any single posting category here, that feed URL is unchanged. My knowledge and social integrity was called into question this evening in an instant messaging group chat session about a rule-related fact I declared to be true based on the Rules of Jinx.

I’ve always considered the rules to be pretty straight forward, and we all know they are unflinchingly rigid, but I’m willing to accept that evidence is the best proof when someone questions you.

And what better evidence than an encyclopedia of “facts” made up by pretty much anyone who says they know what they’re talking about? I went to Wikipedia, and the entry there about the rules of Jinx. I’m posting a portion of it here for easy future reference. See the wikipedia article for penalties, variations and details about the Jinx Sequence. Back to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress That’s 1,,,, pages. For those who don’t process the impact of adding that many groups of zeros at a time, think about this:.

That’s freakin’ huge, really. If you started counting from one to a trillion and counted one number per second, it would take you almost centuries before you were done and by the way I asked google to help me figure that out.

That’s almost 32, years. It almost completely boggles the mind. That’s a lot of web pages. Google also notes that every day, the number of pages on the web increases by several billion. Alpert and Hajaj have another explanation to try to explain the sheer size of the Internet today:.

That’s really just amazing to me. And now you know why we call this the Information Age. A lot of that information may be inaccurate, pornographic or otherwise useless, but some of it’s good, and the sheer immensity of it is truly awesome. TechCrunch has a slightly different take , calling the Google post misleading. The end of the TechCrunch post alludes to some news coming next week that might turn Internet indexing on it’s head.

Interesting – Is there some big search engine news in the works? Is it Microsoft’s BrowseRank or something else? Stay tuned. Microsoft revealed that beginning later this year, Netflix subscribers would gain access to the entire Netflix digital library through their online XBox ‘s. Gold membership is required to take advantage of this partnership, but the newfound capacity represents a large step forward in increasing the XBox ‘s appeal as a living room media box.

The present Netflix digital library includes roughly 10, titles, and on the will feature the ability for watching videos concurrently with friends over the Internet through the new community party system. Xbox will be the only game system that lets users instantly watch movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix.

Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers will be able to streaming movies and television show episodes from Netflix at no additional cost. I’m really looking forward to that. All we need now is a Blu-Ray drive for the console Also announced was a revamped user experience and interface implemented completely through software updates, and allowing more personalization and social interactivity , new HD programming partners and content including Battlestar Galactica, which I am looking forward to , a price cut on the “Pro” model of the Xbox and a new model slated for August, a future feature which will allow you to copy your game disk to the Xbox hard drive for faster loading and smoother play you still need to have the original disc though , and a bunch of new games.

Geeks and enthusiasts wearing WordPress t-shirts, using laptops covered in Data Portability, Microformats and RSS stickers lined up enthusiastically on Friday to purchase a device that is completely proprietary, controlled and wrapped in DRM. The irony was lost on some as they ran home, docked their new devices into a proprietary media player and downloaded closed source applications wrapped in DRM.

The announcement was greeted with a web-wide standing ovation, especially from the developer community. The same community who demand all from Microsoft, feel gifted and special when Apple give them an inch of rope. How can people who preach and pontificate open systems be so enamored with a completely closed, proprietary system as Apple’s?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I was in line at an Apple store last week with all the people Nik talks about in his article. I really like the iPhone and I think my Mac is great, hardware-wise okay, the OS is not too bad either. But there’s something that’s always lurking there in the back of my mind, like a pestering little voice that doesn’t want me to give in or forget lessons of the past. Either that, or it is so limiting as to stifle. Or both. Maybe I need to get my medication checked.

On the other hand, maybe the voice is right. Risking cliche cynicism, I think one has to consider whether The Church of The Steve congregation is further developing or devolving, if you prefer in its adoration, at the expense of long-term good.

Blind faith, crazed unthinking people saying one thing yet doing another, the how-dare-you-question mentality Sounds familiar. And that’s coming from an Episcopalian. An imperfect, sometimes-questioning, sometimes-doubting, cynical one — But you get the point.

I hope. Perhaps the scariest part of my thought process today is that I actually agree completely with Dave Winer on this one. He nails it right on the head. Okay, there are times when I agree with Dave, but until now I’ve never really admitted it in public. What do you think about Apple’s model? Who cares? End of the world as we know it? You can spend literally minutes many of them watching Gary Busey comment on various aspects of business and entrepreneurialism, and laughing in the process.

Highly recommended, since Gary is one of my favorites. You can click the buttons at the bottom of the video screen to get to different sections, each with several “episodes. And by the way, the gotvmail service this video series is meant to virally market is pretty great , too. You might want to check that service out if you need a more-formal call-handling system for your smaller-sized business but don’t want to shell out the money to buy all the classic PBX hardware.

Great for distributed teams and virtual offices, too. In the past we’ve seen many computer-focused terms become words of the year and find placement in the dictionary, and this year is no different.

Remember last year when “truthiness” a Stephen Colbert-ism made it in, along with “google? I made a trip back east a couple weeks ago to hand over the check, transfer the title and drive the car a bit, and then painfully left it there to wait for a vehicle transport company to pick it up and deliver to Oregon.

The car made a long and round-about trip all over the country, and it got pretty grungy while in New Mexico thanks to a dirt road construction zone detour in the desert. I used to live there, so I understand. The soil in the desert, if you can call it that, is very fine and it gets into the air and can find its way on and into everything.

When the car came off the truck today, it looked so dull and gross I almost couldn’t stand it. But, after two complete washes it looks quite a bit better. It will need another good hand wash and them some detailing and a good wax, but it looks pretty nice already. These pictures were taken after the second wash and a hand-drying. Most of my day was spent on the car: Receiving it from the back of the truck, washing it the first time, getting title and registration taken care of at the DMV, fueling up and washing it again, driving to town and giving some friends rides, stopping by the 60’s-style corner soft ice cream and burger place with outdoor tables in the town I live near, and driving home on twisty-turny roads through the woods.

It’s a powerful, cool sounding and fun-to-drive machine, without a doubt. It’s several years since I owned a convertible and I forgot how much fun and how relaxing it is on a nice day to just put the top down and drive. Add the raw power of this car’s engine, and wow A pretty darned good day, if I do say so myself. And a bonus, which I only discovered when I got it home tonight: It fits in the garage with just about 12 inches of room to spare, nose to tail.

Looks like I need to relocate some shelves. If you saw the season finale episode of Lost and happened to be paying attention to the commercial breaks near the end of the two-hour episode, you might have noticed the “commercial” for Octagon Global Recruiting, with a note to visit the web site octagonglobalrecruiting. So if you happen to need something to do and have expertise in the following areas from the commercial spot , be sure to click on through.

Oh, and you might want to think about going to Comic Con in San Diego at the same time the recruiting event is happening. There’s one more trade that I couldn’t quite get a screen grab of – dentists. And there you have it. Check it out here. And have fun. Found via Jeff Atwood on Twitter – thanks! A quick non-techie post for all my carbon-focused brethren scattered around the world.

Yesterday “it” couldn’t decide whether to rain or shine, and this morning “it” couldn’t decide whether to rain or snow. Yes, there is a common denominator there, but hey – It is Oregon. A couple pics Yesterday afternoon and this morning. Originals linked – note that they are quite large. Several months ago I described a number of things I wanted to do during my work sabbatical , which will be coming to an end sometime soon.

I’ve spent that time in a variety of activities, including doing some contract consulting work. But a significant portion of the time has been spent just remembering to enjoy life a little, and getting some much-needed rest. I made a list back in September of things I wanted or needed to do, and here’s a little detail about how each of those has worked out:.

Stuff I need or want to get done Get some real rest succeeded Finish the bonus room floor and trim at home thanks to a great friend, the trim and floor are done Finish the shed at home umm, no progress here yet – still on the list Add a deck to the side of the house did some designs, but have not pulled the trigger Travel somewhere in a wheeler with my friend Broc I did that, and it was fun – to California and back Dust off the cameras and get back into the photography swing have done some of this but not quite as much as I thought Sell my street motorcycle CBRRR – still for sale as of this post – email me if interested!

Finish reading this darned Koontz novel that I started 9 months ago, heh done – it was “Intensity” and it was a fun read Read another book or two – one for enjoyment, one for furthering myself done – read quite a few, actually Things I need or want to learn Learn a programming language, at least at a starter level – I an thinking C – any ideas? Ummm, no real progress here I need to study up for a couple certification exams that the whole we-got-bought-busyness process pushed off my schedule, and then reschedule the exams I’ve done the studying part Visit family in California done!

Visit New Mexico where I used to live still pending Visit a few friends and colleagues in Seattle done! I’ve also done a whole slew of other things since September. I’ve traveled to Spain and London, went to see the Patriots beat the Chargers during a weekend trip to Boston, went skiing a bunch of times, recorded a bunch of podcast shows, and a lot more.

All in all, it’s been a good experience. Now it’s almost time to get back at it, work-wise. I’m in the process of weighing options and deciding what’s next. I’m actively involved in a couple ventures that are challenging me and those might be what I decide to do full-time, but have not made decisions yet.

At any rate, I can say with hindsight that I am glad I allocated some meaningful time for myself. I was quite fortunate to be able to do that. Here’s to shifting gears! Silly, really. But every time I watch this film I laugh out loud, even still today. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.

Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. So go rent or buy a copy now, then watch it and relax, knowing your life is much more whole than it had been before you read this post. I’m sitting in a local Starbucks, doing the ol’ WiFi and latte thing.

A sign posted on the door as you enter tells customers that the store is closing today at p. According to CNN, the entire chain is doing this , to provide every one of its , baristas hmm, that’s a lot of workers per location eh?

Good move. I’ve been a little disappointed from time to time over the past year or so with the declining consistency and quality of my expensive habit. Here’s to hoping things get a little better. The chain needs it. Personally, I won’t be heading to Dunkin’ Donuts while the training is in progress because I don’t need more caffeine that late in the day. But if you do, rumor has it they’re running a cent special starting at p.

It’s a little strange, I suppose, even though I have this fancy home theater projector and sound set up in a room allocated just for that purpose, that my living room TV would a or-so-year-old RCA rear projection set. The old RCA is a reliable, still-going strong, 53″ wood cabinet model. But it has a glossy screen and reflects light like a mirror.

It’s hard to watch anything when it’s light outside, for sure. But the Fry’s advertised price this weekend was something else entirely. After a day of thinking about it, I decided it was a good enough deal to take advantage of, and that it would be nice to reclaim some space in my living room. It was 11pm by the time we got back home and I was tired, but that’s never really stopped me. We set it up and turned it on. In short, as I expected, it’s an amazing difference.

Color me impressed. This morning I was able to watch anything I wanted with the blinds pulled open and the sun shining in the windows. I’m a happy camper. Last night I got Chinese food from the local place and took it home. After the meal I broke open my fortune cookie. I handed the paper to a friend of mine to read since I didn’t have my glasses on and for all I knew I was trying to read it upside down turns out I was.

Favor Day is coming on March 12th, and it’s being organized on Facebook. Nothing quite like doing something simple and kind for someone else to make the world a better place. You should be a part – spread the word! Here’s how you celebrate Favorday — on Favorday, March 12th, , you do planned favors for people, just like you would plan on giving a gift to somebody for the holidays. Any kind of favor can suffice, whether its “I’m going to rub my girlfriend’s feet” or “I’m going to clean my neighbor’s garage” Favorday is for celebrating each other.

You can help by inviting your friends to celebrate Favorday with you! I have a set of Kenmore HE3 appliances for washing clothing, the matching washer and the dryer of course. I like them a lot and have had them for five years. They’ve served me well. However, ever since installing a drawer pedestal under both, the washer had taken to frequently hopping and jumping around on the floor while in the spin cycle.

It’s not a good thing, and I needed a fix. Luckily after some creative Google work I found this web site: Fixitnow. It’s a blog with lots and lots of entries describing how to resolve common issues with various appliances, including mine.

It gave me the information I needed to fix the problem. So I’m bookmarking it here on my blog for the benefit of others and – undoubtedly – for my own future reference. Over at Wired, they’ve posted a set of eight early-design logos that graphic Designer Ruth Kedar came up with back when the now-established company was first finding its identity.

It’s a cool look at the design process and it’s interesting to see how certain aspects of the design came full-circle. Click the image below to see the designs and an explanation of each over at Wired. It was pretty clear from the initial public offer that was made by Microsoft to acquire Yahoo! But just in case anyone doubted, today it became quite apparent that’s the case. In a statement issued today, Microsoft says:. Based on conversations with stakeholders of both companies, we are confident that moving forward promptly to consummate a transaction is in the best interests of all parties.

The combination also offers an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market.

Furthermore, the combination will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. As we have said previously, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!

Looks like a lot of people are in for a ride. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out, to be sure. Another Improv Everywhere “mission,” everyone frozen in place in Grand Central Station at precisely the same time.

No need to say more, really – just watch, it’s great. Story and some cool pictures here , and other missions are listed here. Thanks to Jake once again for pointing to something cool. If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? That’s the basic premise behind Ignite Portland , which is happening this week on Tuesday night at the Bagdad Theater in Portland, Oregon.

I’m going to be there – along with what looks like a few hundred others – checking out what people have to say. If you happen to be in the Portland area, why not come down and check it out?

It’s free. If you’ll be there, sign up ahead of time so they can plan not required, but nice to do and let me know so we can say hi! My friend Cory and I were driving back to Oregon after a couple days of skiing at Keystone, Colorado and decided to detour briefly to check out the place. It was about four in the afternoon and the light was right. Glad we stopped. The complete flickr photoset is here , and here is a link to my flickr photostream. Some people I know who live in the city Portland, Oregon that is don’t always “get it” when I tell them we sometimes get lots of snow out where I live.

If it snows down in Portland even just a little bit, the place just shuts down. It’s fairly ridiculous, heh. I suppose since I live relatively close, people just have a hard time imagining any significant snow in the vicinity. But it’s all about the elevation. Out my way you have to drive in the ice and snow, that’s just the way it is. I grew up in northern New Mexico doing just that. Now, we do get snowed in up here sometimes, between the amount of snow and the wetness of it all on the steep hills.

While we’re nowhere near snowed in this weekend, it has dumped a fair bit since the sun came up this morning. Well, more like since it got light outside this morning We’re certainly not seeing any direct sunlight today. We’ve had similar or deeper snowfalls several times here in the past month. Via Jake at UtterlyBoring. Don’t mess with Chuck Norris:. You can also buy the blenders there. If you keep trying can you eventually overcome the natural tendency to change directions?

I can’t seem to do that. Over the past year I have become more and more aware of the value of doing some of those things that I’ve always wanted to do, yet have never quite gotten myself to execute on. I certainly have my limits, but I’ve worked to push myself a bit and to welcome this likely-midlife-crisis with open arms — just jump right in and live a little.

What the heck, eh? So, this weekend I’m flying with a friend to Boston and we’re going to the playoff game between the Chargers and the Patriots for the AFC championship. A couple lucky tickets combined with frequent flier and hotel credits make for a cheap relatively affordable weekend of fun. We were darned lucky to be able to line it all up last minute with flights and rooms available purchased with mileage credit, etc. The idea didn’t even cross my mind until right after the Chargers beat the Colts last weekend.

For those not intimately acquainted with American Football, the winner of the game we’re going to will play the winner of the NFC championship game in the Superbowl in a couple weeks. The temperatures in the Boston area Sunday are supposed to be in the teens or lower 20’s Fahrenheit , but hey it could be a lot worse. ESPN has a great article on cold-weather football with lots of good trivia for anyone interested.

And before you ask No, I’m not going to spend the incredible amount of money it takes to go to the Superbowl these days. That’s why they make HDTV. Not too long ago I wrote about Blockbuster’s sudden and substantial rate increase. People were upset, me included. A few minutes ago I got a very “friendly” email from Blockbuster, letting me know some of the great rentals they have available in the first paragraph, encouraging me to exchange movies in the store in the second paragraph, and then pretty much putting it to me without so much as kissing me first in the third paragraph.

Here is exactly what it said click the image on the right to see a screen shot of the actual email with the section highlighted :. The benefits of your subscription plan will remain the same. The background check consist of the following components:. The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including low cost medical and dental insurance, employer paid life insurance, short and long term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 11 paid holidays each year.

Our differences make us stronger and leveraging them helps us create a workforce where everyone can thrive. The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at our workplace. We do this by developing strong leaders and advocates, increasing cultural competence and understanding among all employees, and removing institutional barriers and attitudes that prevent employees from advancing as far as their talents will take them.

We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions , marital status, familial status, receipt of public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or age. This vacancy is open for bids and all qualified applicants simultaneously. This vacancy will be filled in accordance with applicable union contract provisions.

Current State Employees: Please note that employment provisions including but not limited to seniority and leave accrual vary among the three branches of Minnesota State government. When considering a job with another branch of state government, you are highly encouraged to explore these differences. For assistance, please direct questions to your current or anticipated Human Resources office.

If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at To qualify, you must meet the following: 1 have separated under honorable conditions from any branch of the armed forces of the United States; 2 have served on active duty for consecutive days or more or for the full period ordered to active duty or have separated by reason of disability incurred while serving on active duty; 3 be a United States citizen or resident alien; and 4 have served in active military service at any time on or after 11, , as shown on your DD form.

To be considered under this legislation, you must: 1 meet all Minimum Qualifications identified in this posting; 2 meet all of the above RSV criteria; and 3 submit a copy of your DD form by the closing date to: MNIT. Recruitment state. Failure to submit your DD form will affect your consideration for an interview under this legislation.

To be considered under this legislation you must submit all documentation by the closing date to: MNIT. The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employer. We are committed to providing culturally responsive services to all Minnesotans. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at or email careers state. Please indicate what assistance you need. Direct Apply Report job. State of Minnesota. How to Apply This vacancy is open for bids and all qualified applicants simultaneously. Contact If you have questions about the position, contact Jolene Blaser at jolene.

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