Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Things must be looking up in Afghanistan

If Microsoft wants me to call there to activate Vista...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Black Friday

It was a simple plan. Get up at 4:00am, head over to the local Best Buy, and get one of the 42 inch Panasonic plasma TVs that were available for 999.00. 2 out of 3 isn't bad...

Thing1 and I were up and at Best Buy a little before 5:00 am. The line was around the store. With only 5 in stock we knew the chance of getting what we wanted was zero. Hmmm... no line in front of Circuit City. We headed over there and the store was full of people. We couldn't even get to the movies we wanted to buy. Oh well.

We walked down to Dicks Sporting Goods. The store wasn't open yet. Ok walk down to Wal-Mart and kill some time. Lots of crazy people! Back to Dicks.

As we walked to Dicks I told Thing1 that, if they had the rifle I was looking for in stock, he was going to buy his first gun. Alas it wasn't in stock. So I bought some ammo and off we went to Target.

We got to Target just before they opened. Walked in and got the movies and games we wanted and were out the door in 5 minutes. Grabbed a couple of bagels and Panera and headed home.

In retrospect the long lines at Best Buy and Circuit City saved me almost $2000.00 on Friday. However that money will be spent soon enough on the 40 inch LCD that was at the top of our list.

Be safe out there. Shopping can be a contact sport.


Ours was great. 17 people in our little home including my brother and his wife who came up from St. Louis. Lots of food, wine (love wine!), and treats.

The turkey was cooked on the Weber by yours truly. 19 lbs in just over 4 hours - a perfect 185 degrees. Juicy white meat and yummy dark meat. Something for everyone. I made my first cheesecake this year. The wife had bought me a spring form pan at Bed, Bath, and Beyond so I gave it a show. Outside of the top splitting it turned out pretty good. My sister-in-laws husband, who makes excellent cheesecake, gave me some tips for avoiding that so I'll give them a shot next time.

And all too soon it was over. Folks headed home. We cleaned up and watched a movie. Black Friday was coming soon...

Sam is my kind of shopper!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A 100K Party

Green Beret killed in Iraq throws $100K party for friends in Vegas

Captain Jeffrey Toczylowski - A mans Man.

Rest In Peace Captain Toczylowski

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day by Day on the Election and Iraq

Chris Muir, once again, nails it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fixed it

In work related news we applied Service Pack 2 to our SMS server a few weeks back. We had some minor problems that were resolved with a few hours of work.

Or so we thought.

On Monday one of the desktop support group let us know that non-domain machines were no longer showing up in the SMS admin console. Having been the one who got this working 15 months ago I was kind of surprised as there isn't much to it. I also didn't really have time to work on it as I'm in the middle of setting up a DR site for our AD domain.

The other 2 SMS admins spent Monday and Tuesday working on it. Didn't get anywhere. I had advised them to call Microsoft but that never happened. On Wednesday one of the desktop guys called Microsoft. That didn't go over to well with our boss. Can't really blame the guy - he just wants to be able to do his job. So one of the other admins gets on the phone with Microsoft and spends the day trying various things. Thursday morning comes and it still doesn't work. I'm caught up on the DR site so I move a machine out of the domain, remove the SMS client and then reinstall it as a non-domain system to our test SMS server. I also run Ethereal (now WireShark). The trace was interesting as it showed a HTTP error - invalid hostname. Hmmm - where have I seen that before? And then it hits me - we have Host Header Names configured inside IIS. Standard procedure here as it helps keep the script kiddies away. I disable the Host Header Names, restart the SMS client software and within 5 minutes the system shows up in the SMS admin console. Cool!

So the SMS lead is on the phone with Microsoft at this time. I ask the Microsoft guy  what changed in sp2 that broke sites using Host Headers. Silence. So we change the settings on the production server and machines start showing up. Our information is supposed to make it into a KB article.

Thirty minutes start to finish vs 3.5 days going nowhere. Some days I suprise myself. :-)

Happy Birthday

To the USMC

The world is a much better place with you in it.

Semper Gratus

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Illinois Politicians

The D's took a lot of races here in the once great state of Illinois. Lets start at the top...

Blagovich. Under 2 investigations for corruption be he gets relected. I blame the Illinois Republican Party for ever thinking Topinka could win.

Ginan - whatever his name is as Treasurer. The 'financial expert's' family bank is under investigation for ties to organized crime.

Going local I am now represented by anti-gun, pro-abortion, and in at least one case - pro-illegal alien, State House and Senate members. Fiscally conservative proven leaders like Terry Parke and Billy Roth were passed over by voters for canidates hand picked by the Chicago Democratic machine.

I see higher taxes.

In closing I bring forth SaintSenator Barack Obama. For the past few months he's been spouting off on how bad the economy is. Except for his family. Obama recently purchased a 1.65 million dollar home. I wished the economy sucked like that for me! But then my job requires results.

Thoughts about the election

The Democrats won. Pure and simple. Thinking back neither party offered much of a platform. For the D's it was all about Bush and his 'misguided' war in Iraq. For the R's it was all about the evil that would be Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Toss in the MSM biased views against President Bush and the Global War On Terror - well it's hard to win. And too many voters, who normally vote Republican, stayed home.

And why should they have voted? For the past few years the Republican party spent money. Lots and lots of money on things that weren't necesary and that money had to be borrowed. Fiscal conservatives like myself, who live on a budget, have a hard time with that.

In my opinion the Democrats have ~15 months to show they have a plan. If not - one or both houses will go back to the Republicans in '08 - unless the Republicans show that they don't have a plan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Aren't there enough?

The wife went to vote after Thing2 headed off for school. I had told her of my adventure so she could have some fun with the judges. As she walked towards the school there was a woman passing out voting materials with a shirt that read "Say NO to Terry Parke" (not something that someone with a sign supporting Terry Parke in their yard wants to see). Anyways the woman tried to engage the wife in conversation and my wife just said:

    Aren't their enough Democrats in Cook County?

Not only did it shut the woman up but a man who was outside having a smoke burst out in laughter.

It gets better. As she went up to the table with the election judges she presented her name as "the wife of the man who you tried to keep from voting". The same judge I had found her registration in a couple of seconds. Needless to say her voting went way faster than mine.

Get out and Vote!

Instapundit nails it.

Professor Reynolds is a wise man.

"If you're unwilling to crack down on criminals, cracking down on weapons will never reduce crime."

Vote Early, Vote Often

As I do every election I headed off to vote at 6:00 am. As I entered the school some Union looking thug tried to hand me a Dart for Sheriff pamphlet. I just smiled and said no thanks. Gave the election judges my name and my registration was marked "Absentee/Early Voter". I asked them to check the list of early voters to verify and it was Thing1 who voted early - the judge marked the wrong registration. After a bit of discussion the judges filled out some form and I got my ballot. No chads this year - one either voted electronically or with a ballot that you basically had to connect the dots.

It had the canidate then a filled in box, 1/2 inch of white space and then another filled box in a horizontal row. To vote for a particular canidate you had to connect the boxes. Very strange. Anyways it was easy - all Republican all the time.

Get out and Vote!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I sure am popular today

I've gotten phone calls from Rod Blagovich and Rudi Gulani. Wow!

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Surefire story

Nothing exciting. I didn't save any lives or take down a mugger. Nothing like that.

It's Friday night so I took Thing2 to karate. She does better if I stay so I set up a chair in the corner of the gym and opened up The Blog of War (excellent read by the way). About half way through the class the lights blinked. And then they went off. The emergency lights came on. The first one went off about a minute later. The second lasted another couple of minutes.

I had a Surefire E2E with a KL1 LED head on it in my sweatshirt pocket. Brought it out, turned it one, and pointed it at the ceiling. It provided enough light for class to continue. Used it as a spotlight a couple of times to allow the instructors to show the move that they were teaching that night but for the most part I reflected light off the ceiling and class was able to continue. One of the instructors had a LED flashlight from one of the discount chains. Decent light level ... from 5 LEDs. Not a bad light but it felt cheap in the hand.

20 minutes later class was over. The E2E was a bit warm but the light level never really changed. Thing2 came up and told me she was glad that I don't leave home without a Surefire in my pocket.

Maybe it's time for her to have one...

Proof of Global Warming

It must be true. I got it from a scientist.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Math - the Microsoft way

I was promoting a new domain controller the other day and noticed this...

I hope the person who did the math function here wasn't part of the Microsoft Money team.

Your life might just depend on it

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

World's largest skateboard ramp in his backyard

We had 15 foot plywood halfpipes back when I skated (30 or so years ago). This one is just awesome. There is even video of the builder in action on his creation.

Via Althouse.

John Kerry - The troops respond

Michael Ramirez has another view. Look for the November 1st image.