I love giving back. Especially when I’ve been beating my brains senseless for hours on something that could have been WAAAAY easier to configure than it should have.
With a Singlewire Paging Adapter (SPA) (or Singlewire Paging Gateway) – it comes as a Linux System on a Chip SOC burnt in computer / appliance. The stupid thing gives you no freaking idea how to get to the gui, unless you notice the recessed VGA and usb ports. Save yourself some heartache of lugging a monitor into your IDF because I’ll tell you in like 4 steps how to configure it:
1: Figure out the IP address by crossreferencing DHCP with an ARP off the switch it’s plugged into.
2: Go to http::8080/PagingGateway (I.E. http://10.10.10.10:8080/PagingGateway).
3: Log into your informacast (or theoretically Synapps or whatever) server and go to the plugins directory and get the registration URL (usually something like Http://:9876 and copy it.
4: Log into the singlewire gateway and go to configuration, paste the URL into the field with a description.
How freaking hard would that have been to put on a 2×3″ piece of paper Singlewire ?!?!?!
A few years back, my forcast for “New and swanky” sound in music in general was the banjo. For a while it was just freakin’ everywhere (Techno, Rap, Pop, Rock). That trend is dying off, even though I’m fond of the instrument, I got sick of hearing it all the time.
Well, the new and swanky, which will be replacing the old and janky (which is our aformentioned banjo in .. everything, or perhaps harpsichord in hip-hop) – is the accordion. You heard it here first folks. It’s in EVERYTHING, and I think it’s because of the popularity of french artists right now (David Guetta, Daft Punk) and Reggaton.
Recently, Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo banned their workforce from working from home. I have a very brief, albeit limited, experience with working from home recently. I would like to contribute my .02 about working from home – at least from my perspective.
I worked from home for 1 week. That’s it. I had a position at a terrific company, but out of nowhere another company blindsided me with an offer that I simply could not refuse. Here is what I found out about working from home:
1- Lunch every day with my wife was incredibly awesome. YMMV – whether or not your household relationships are good or not.
2- I had very little affinity for the people I worked with. Although they were all SUPER NINJA in their skillsets, which was very apparent. I think if we had used video conferencing it would have been a bit different.
3- Since there wasn’t a definite “start” and “stop” time – I was paranoid for a solid week about how long I should be VPN’d on, whether or not I could let me IM go to idle or not (I work on my macbook now, so I was RDP’d into my work PC). I never knew if I missed an IM if people would think I was screwing around or something.
4- It was really nice to be able to get my kids ready for school with my wife and eat breakfast with them.
5- It was HORRIBLE being on conference calls with a 9 and 7 year old boy watching Yu-Gi-Oh above me (We have a walkout basement where my office is). I didn’t want to be troglodite dad and yell at them to be quiet. At the same time I didn’t want to seem like a derpy employee who has too much background noise to make heads or tails of his conversation.
6- I was CONSTANTLY working when I was at home. I think this is universal in IT, but it seemed worse because I wasn’t fatigued by a commute.
Overall – I think whether or not you are social and whether or not you need social aspects for your job make working from home “work” or not. I’m incredibly social, so even in the brief time that I was at home, I was frustrated by how much tracking people down I had to do. That being said, if it was a component of a job (I.E. part of your job – not 100% of your job – like 20-40% of a job) I think would be the most beneficial. You get the added impact of a home workday which has in some studies been proven more effective.
At least that’s my .02
I’ve recently undergone a riveting journey down into the dark orchard of Apple devices. Complete with ruminations of working on a Macbook Pro Retina (more on that later next week – hopefully). As such I’ve had to really re-think how I get stuff onto my iPad since I can’t just plug it in and move the files like I did with my Nexus 7.
Enter in Dropbox. You can use dropbox to sync all of your files over “the cloud” which is just a fancy way to say “copy stuff to a bunch of places at once using a file server on the internet”. But cloud sounds better. Since my latest class at WGU required reading a massive PDF, I didn’t really want to read it using my computer, and thought I’d put it on my iPad. But I didn’t want to get a solution that required constant syncing. I sorta loathe the sync process through itunes because my PC takes for-freaking-EV-UHR. Dropbox is a pretty elegant solution. It gets it into the ipad easily. If you DON”T already have dropbox, click on the logo above and we both get a little love (I get like 200 megs free and you get like 2 gigs I think – as of this writing).
Now enter in Goodreader. At $4.99 it was a little bit much to stomach for a reader application. HOWEVER – like most technology magic, it just works the first time you start it – AND it natively hooks into dropbox to sync RIGHT OUT OF DROPBOX.
An elegant solution, and honestly, worth the 5 bucks that I don’t need to ever spend again, or at least for a very long time.
Cisco is changing out their CCNA track to the new portion of the CCNA track (the 200 series tests) starting September 2013. So far the best description of the changes I’ve found is from GlobalKnowledge UK – but since this is from the UK – YMMV.
As best as I can tell it’s just a major version revision and a realignment to what the “real-world” is like, which I heartily endorse. The changes so far are that you don’t have to pass ICND2 now for concentration CCNA’s. I’m having mixed feelings about this because in the real world, you probably do and should need to know basic CCNA information to work on VoIP and Wireless, although less so for security.
The heads and tails of it is that you don’t need to do anything if you’re already a CCNA – you’ll get a “new” CCNA whenever you pass something CCNA level or above. This CCNA will be called the CCNA Route-Switch (which is what almost everyone in the real world calls it now anyhow). Check the link below for more information.
I came across this article today through the LinkedIn group for security folks. What is interesting to me is the second page where folks are proactively seeking the government to Penetration Test their networks to be at least partially shielded from future actions.
I love and hate this idea.
I love that it’s proactive. There are PLENTY of people out there who are in the SCADA arena who minimize the potential of hacktivists. I’ve seen and heard it with my own eyes and ears (dual nic’d machines to both SCADA and business networks, etc). They don’t get that they don’t get it – which is frustrating. And it’s harder to tell a governmental agency to shove off.
But I hate that it’s the government. Not that as a country our government shouldn’t protect our critical infrastructure. But I don’t think that the governmental oversight and protection is the best layer of security. I think there should be some sort of referral set up to have people go talk to a security company and THEN have the government scan them. That way you weed out both crappy security companies and bad security practices.
This is a dump and re-edit of a post I put on LinkedIn regarding the methods I used to study the last few months. Hopefully my experiences help out others.
So I just recently wrapped up my CCNP security, here is what I did for studying:
GNS3 + ASA codes. I was fortunate enough to already be messing around with 802.1x before I went down the security route so the NA-Security and SECURE were fairly easy for me. IMHO – secure felt almost identical to the CCNA-S exam, but just more “switch-y”. For Firewall, I had taken a course in April of 2012 just on the firewall, so I gained a lot of experience on that. If you haven’t taken this course, GNS3 is really good. I also used this for the VPN course. What I think people will run into issues with is the IPS course. I was fortunate enough to be working with them at my last job pretty in depth and as a daily driver. The CBT Nuggets alluded to virtualizing it, but I honestly didn’t mess with it. I would think that if you got a good simulator like ucertify or the one on CBT nuggets you should be good. It’s basically a lot of knowledge of how Cisco’s sensorbase and the subscriptions work and how to write regex and the other types of types of engine signatures.
Now on to CBT’s. I used INE I had the unique opportunity to use both the INE CBT’s for their security track and also had access to the CBT nuggets ones. In a pinch, I would definitely direct someone to CBT nuggets if they could only afford one path. My NA-Security + 4 NP courses from INE ran 650 for pre-recorded CBT’s. I also had access to the all-IT library through CBT nuggets from my work.
INE Security bundle:
The videos were CBT and not streaming. This was REALLY nice because I travelled around a lot during my studies. What was annoying about them was that several of the modules from INE was that they were larger, harder to follow and the screenshot/consoles were harder to read. YMMV though. And this is just an over-arching statement, anectdotal without direct to point at evidence. I did feel that the guys teaching had some more “teachable moments” though because a couple of times the lab equipment during the videos was hoarked and you got to watch these CCIE guys troubleshoot stuff and fix it (like – for real – not the ‘fake’ problems of the lab). It was also gratifying to see that I mostly troubleshoot like they do so it gave me hope!!! The screen shot portions of it – especially on the CCNA security through secureCRT were REALLY difficult to read. I complained to INE and they said that the streaming versions were a little bit nicer and offered to convert me to that if I wanted, which I didn’t. I thought about being deceptive and saying yes because I already downloaded stuff, but being a jerk doesn’t help you in the long run.
What I liked a whole lot more about CBT nuggets was the fact that there were a whole lot more options for your study and passing the cert. INE was definitely more “You gotta know A,B,C to do this job”. CBT Nuggets was definitely geared more towards “You gotta know A, B, C to pass the exam”. It makes a HUGE difference in how they taught the courses. If you can swing it – DO BOTH. If you don’t have access to the gear and/or already do the security stuff, CBT Nuggets gets you through the exams, but is slightly less (IMO) real life applicable. HOWEVER – CBT Nuggets is slick, and they have a TON of resources looped into their program that prepare you for the exam, and make multi-phase learning possible (doing, reading, hearing, watching). For instance – I am a HUGE auditory learning guy. If you go look at my blog (www.uglyorangetruck.com) – a good 40% of my stuff over the years has been music and audio. CBT Nuggets includes MP3 audio of every course. I found this to be incredibly valuable when I was, say, walking my dog or vacuuming. You can’t realistically watch a CBT all the time. I used the MP3′s. A LOT. In fact I would say that a good 40% of my learning came from the MP3′s. I did not anticipate this, honestly.
As well, CBT nuggets includes their own self-test simulator and the transcender access for each of the 4 tests. As well, it is important to note that I liked the CBTN format better personally. For instance, INE was in the “I’m in a cert class minus the labs” format. Which is cool. And the INE guys are pro’s, so it’s not “bad”. But it didn’t seem to translate well like the directed “Hey, thanks for watching this”, directed “you’re not here so I have to explain stuff to you because you can’t really see my face or read ahead in the lab guide” format. I found it a lot easier to follow.
The major grumpiness I had with CBTN is that their non-streaming videos are STUPID expensive. I chatted with an agent and was quoted something crazy like 2 grand. Per class… Also – something that the IPS CBT nuggets said was that “you don’t really need to know regular expressesions that much on the exam”. I did not believe this because the INE guys said “you gotta know this in real life and you need to know it on the exam.” I’m not sure if it breaks rules to say how many questions one gets with what types of topics, so I won’t elaborate too much, but I totally explored the topics and that helped me (I think anyhow) pass a bunch of topics with regex in them.
Like I said YMMV, if you can swing it I would recommend both approaches.
For books I would recommend O reilly library since it’s basically the cost of just buying the books. But that is a flamewar battle I don’t want to start (renting vs owning your media).
Rarely does a piece of technology actually **REALLY** affect your life and/or budget. At least or not usually for a positive impact and/or save you money. It usually drains time and money for fun. Nest is the opposite. It affects a home for the positive.
When it does, it should be talked about.
Nest is one of those products.
What is Nest, you ask? Nest is a programmable digital thermostat that replaces your old one and connects up to the internet. Storm rolling in? Nest adjusts your heat just a smidge so you don’t crank the heat up to 75. Do you like 75 degrees every monday morning to get everyone up and out of bed earlier, but just monday? OK – nest will do that. By itself – once it figures out what you live like. Want to turn down the heat in bed, but you don’t want to get out of said bed because it’s sorta cold and you’re comfy? Yeah, you can do that now.
What you get when you first open the box is this beautiful little circular hunk of stainless steel and a mounting kit. You take off your old programmable thermostat and install the wiring harness for your new nest. Once it’s plugged in, you put it on the wifi network in your house (wifi only – no cat5/6 plugs). I learned the REALLY frustrating and hard way that the Nest doesn’t like ridiculously long WiFi passwords (my pre-shared-key was like 58 characters or something). After reducing the password length by 10 or so (created a wifi SSID for just the nest) you get it hooked up to your account.
The 7 days in which it first turns itself into a valuable asset were a bit weird. First, I thought I broke it because it cranked the heat up to something god-awful like 82 degrees or something (and it was like 9 degrees farenheit the day we bought it). It then let the temperature drop – a lot to like 65. To be honest, my hopes were just about dashed, but I was frustrated and went to bed (figuring if I got too cold I’d replace the nest with my janky old rectangular programmable.
The next morning it had assumed I wanted 69 degrees, and when I got up at 5:40(ish) it said “heating – 69 degrees in 30 minutes”. Sure enough, half-an-hour later the house was 69 degrees. For the rest of the week we fidgeted around with the thermostat up and down to get a standard temperature.
From a personal perspective – I believe in this technology. I think it will revolutionize home automation and will become the “ipod” that starts home automation for the masses. It was STUPID SIMPLE to install as far as a home automation product goes. As well, it has the iphone quality of “it just works”. My funky old programmable thermostat would frequently lose it’s settings, and I was ALWAYS cold. Despite being one of those people who thinks others are crazy for cranking the heat – I would sometimes turn the house up to 74 or so to “just keep the house warmer for a while”. This thing has probably saved me 10-15 bucks since I bought it. And I’ve only had it two months. That means at 7 bucks every cold/winter month the nest pays for itself (like in real life – not just on paper) in 2.5 to 3 years. Plus, my house is just more pleasant.
Also – AT LEAST 6 times have EK and I gone “ah crap, I forgot to turn the heat down” when we leave the house – or – better yet, turn the heat down and then use the iphone app to turn the heat UP on the way home. If you can afford to make the capital investment – get a nest – it really works.
Plust it looks fancy and cool – and you should get one before everyone has one (like the iphone is ubiquitous now – I belive the nest will be ubiquitous). I’ve had at least 6 people just .. stop .. while they are walking down my hall and stare at the nest. One person asked me if it was a camera or something. To turn its display on, just wave your hand in front of it (like magic!) and it lights up – or twist it up or down to adjust temperature. After a while – it will tell you how long it’ll take to get to the temperature you want.
OH- and a cool new feature pertinent for the events of tomorrow (spring forward 2013) – you don’t have to change the clock!!! It connects up to a public NTP (Network Timing Protocol) server and adjusts the time. When your month is over, it gives you a metrics email and tells you how much better or worse you’re doing compared to everyone else, and suggestions to reduce YOUR bills – not just random stuff but like “hey, turn your thermostat down at night for a few days and Nest thinks you’ll save 4 bucks next month” sorta stuff.
If you like saving money or you like home bling or you like saving money and home bling – go get one of these things. Or, if you’re just plain practical – go get one of these things. I can’t begin to say how easy it was to install it.
Only caveat I have found so far is that it is WAY smaller than your old programmable most likely. So (like my wall above) – expect to do some touch-up painting. Me – I am leaving it framed for a while to draw attention to it (because I’m a hippie deep down inside – who wants to save carbon footprint and influence others – but SHHH – don’t tell anyone!)
Whew. My brain hurts – sorta.
I’ve spent the last few months intensely digging under the permafrost that is Information Security. I’ve found it more difficult to get ninjas to talk about being ninjas than one would think. During this process, I found the general format of the CCNP security fairly easy to follow. But what I’m finding out now is that security was a great buzz word a few years ago, and it peaked a few weeks ago when the President of the US mentioned it again. But in reality, it seems as if it’s not as big of an initiative as one would seem to think.
I’m going to see if I can pull a few informational interviews and see what people are thinking.
So, about a year and a half ago, I took a gamble on a pair of active sound cancelling headphones. I was bound to Israel and had heard stories about how your ears ache from the long flights if you wear headphones for too long. Taking a chance, and not knowing the company was a local Colorado company, I bought the headphones.
Two Able Planet headphones later, I would honestly say I do not regret that purchase. For starters, I have compared side by side the Bose products with Able Planet’s on planes. The Able Planet’s headphones include a product called “Linx Audio” that they said increases annunciation somehow. After watching a movie with with Bose and Ableplanet on a plane – Able Planet smoked the Bose product. The only thing that I can say negatively is that they start to hurt after about 5-8 hours of use. Then again, I’m sure anything on your head would hurt after that long.
If you’re debating the Bose vs Able Planet choice – go Able Planet – besides, they’re based in Colorado and employ a ton of local folks here in Denver.
It certainly has been while since I blogged about music (or anything for that matter!) so I thought I would post one of those quandry albums I have come across.
As some of you know, I love RadioU. I’m sad that they’re getting ever closer to the bay area – now that I’m not there. Only because they have no plans to come here (perhaps Colorado is not angsty enough?) The morning DJ Obadiah kept talking and talking about the House of Heroes album coming out – “Suburba”. He went so far as to label it “album of the year for 2011″. However, being the fanboy that I am, I downloaded it.
I must say, it is such a weird album, but a GOOD weird. They posses a strange sort of harmony that is rarely seen in an alternative band. I highly recommend it.
I had been beating my head against a wall trying to figure out WHY some features of NextGen gallery was broken.
Turns out that on this version (latest version of WP – 3.4 I believe) it was somehow related to the plugin run for cover breaking NextGen. Once I disabled it, voila – it started working again.
So if your slideshows load forever (i.e. a really long time) with NextGen – try disabling all of your plugins and turning them on one at a time to see if that one breaks it.
Now to find a Run-for-cover replacement.
So I have been rebuilding the site as one can see, and one major facet in our lives have been our “big” dog Drake. He has been a joy to live with the past two years.
A terribly stinky, expensive, frustrating, and finally fun, joy.
Our first experience with the puppy was befuddled by the fact that I really wanted a “big” dog, and wifeofmyyouth didn’t explicitly say she didn’t. She sorta did, but honestly, I wasn’t listening hard enough. It has taken us on some very fun adventures (rally training for a bit, lots of walks, trips to lakes / ponds). It has also taken us on some not-so-fun adventures (spending like $200 USD more every vacation because we have to kennel the beast.
Overall, I think the last two years have been a challenge, but they’ve been worth it.
looking at managing my site’s gallery using nextgen:
For a slideshow :
What do you think? Is it superior to the gallery plugin I have on the other page (upper left corner – it says wpg)
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
The phrase “Three weeks later…” has become common vernacular in our household. It has, actually since before “our household” was even a thing, but back to when my wife and I were dating. It originated from an Adam Sandler CD skit, implying that some sort of time either long or ridiculously long in time could be concatenated into three weeks.
Three weeks later… and I’m back. Maybe for a few weeks as I have time, maybe more regularly.
Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was stirring – even the mouse – well ok, it was Comet the Beardie.
We had just woken up from a short winters’ nap – the adults at least, had presents to wrap.
The two boys and I were there playing with Drake, carefully distracting him so no presents he would break.
I thought to myself “Today, good sir, some pictures I’ll snap – plus the camera does gps and it’ll show up on a map!”
So I broke out the Sony and snapped them away – foolishly thinking I would be able to do this all day.
We got some great pics to share with you all, well at least until the dog made little M fall.
“What’s that!” Drake noticed with a perk of his ears – He jumped up and left little M laughing with tears.
He flew to the window, on which I had thrown up the sash.
Protective spidey senses alert, he knew there were enemies to Dash.
There in the flesh, more evil than cats, perched the mammal more ghastly than bats or even rats.
There it would stand that squirrel – so evil… so… giant! – He gave barking a whirl.
Fortunately or un, there I was chuckling and wincing, taking these pictures;
the boys laughing in hysterics at the dog barking on the window sill making small fractures.
I said to the dog “No! Drakey no! – we must go on outside!
Chase it away, leave no place to hide!”
So up on the decktop there rose such a clatter – the idiot squirrel decided the dog did not matter.
It ran ’round the swamp cooler and tried to reach the roof – but the dog, he proved to be not so aloof!
“I will defend my fair castle from you – foul knave – even should I have to cause the sides of the cooler to cave!”
The squirrel, well, paused, and ran back into the tree – “Stupid dog – you can’t catch me”
Pkil, surveying thought in dismay – I surely can’t let my dog end this way!
You see, the dog, in sticking to his word,
decided “I’ll fly – like a bird”.
Seeing a chair I dropped the camera – thankfully blessing it’s existence;
and caught my exuberant dog with a wee bit of persistence.
“You’re not R. Kelly and no, you can’t fly,
plus, I really really don’t want you to die!
Go down the stairs and chase him there –
Quickly now dog! We’ve no time to spare!”
So down the
chimey stairs he ran where the squirrel there perched.
With us egging him on he picked up some speed and charged at the tree – over the fence he lerched.
That squirrel, well I’m sure he lost two pounds of poo.
The rounds of his eyes grew by an inch – maybe two!
The sight of this crazy flying dog, so eager for them both to meet,
knew that he really had two endings – leave or become a source of lean meat.
Then I spent the next 10 minutes chuckling and getting into the van.
Wishing the neighbors “Merry Chirstmas!” as grabbed him from their yard after moving their dust cans.
That squirrel – well, he’s gone and we’ve not seen him come back.
But Drake vigilantly patrols – he’s taken no slack.
So do remember this – Squirrels are EVIL and dogs know this well.
But they long to protect you so much they succumb to the rodent’s spell.
So make sure your dog’s not a jumper or don’t have a camera taking shots.
You might not get lucky and miss your dog lots!
So, the last few months have been quite the bustling time in the casa de Killur. The first major thing has been the awesomeness that is my wife’s birthday present (and quite a few friends / family too) – a DSLR camera. I went to the store with my friend Steven, fully anticipating purchasing a Canon T2i and ended up getting a Sony DSLT camera instead, the SLT-55AV. It’s totally killer – full auto focus all the time, interchangable lenses, A-frame compatibility. It’s great. Expect to see more posts of pictures once I unbork my gallery.
The second has been lots of preparation for an overseas trip for work and EK working more hours at our church, so we’ve been swamped pretty well.
So I volunteered myself to test the Blackberry Torch 9800 for my work and make sure it doesn’t crater all the time and see if it is, indeed, the best blackberry ever. And it is – but this is not totally about the Torch so much as it is about my iPod.
For a while I have been just feeling “dampened” when I have been using my ipod. I thought maybe I had listened to too much metal in Jr. High or perhaps had one too many of those “turned it up accidentally when putting it in my pocket” moments and had blown out my eardrums.
Turns out that my iPod just kinda sucks when compared to a lot of other devices. I will give it some bit of “corrosion” factor due to age , but not that much. Why? I tested the same file on a friends iphone 4 and it still sounded noticeably BETTER on my Torch – which is totally not what I was expecting.
I will say though, that it makes me all the more reticent to give back the Torch next Monday when I’m done with the eval (I only have 30 days). Oh well, I guess I will have to Sad Panda until there is a comparable VZW model.
These were famous last words.
Many of you who know me personally have known that for about 9 months I’ve been OCD to get a dog. I was bound and determined to buy a purebred boxer from a breeder. I had even picked out the breeder from here in CO to make sure they came from a line of boxers that is cold tolerant (er). I didn’t have a name picked out, but I had the general idea – female, brindle, medium to large.
J and Drake
Then we went to lunch with my sister-in-law, and the restaurant was right next to a PetSmart that was doing an adoption event. There were lots of dogs, but the one that stuck out to us the most was a cool looking six month old puppy named Drake. At first I didn’t think that I dug him too much because he was sitting in the lap of a gal helping out with the adoption rescue. Turns out I was just creeped out by the human, not the dog.
It seems that there were a couple of dogs from the Bahamas there, called “Potcakes”. Potcakes are indiginous street / pack dogs that roam around the Bahamian Islands of Caicos chain, Turk chain, and Bahamian chain. They are incredibly hardy dogs as they have been basically interbred super mutts for the last 200 years. The story goes that South American settlers brought dogs with them to the Islands of the Bahamas several hundred or thousand years ago. These dogs went to form the sustaining base of what became the mogrel / potcake “base” dog if you will. During the revolutionary war in America, the loyalists got expelled and took their Danes, South Carolina Dogs, Labs, Shepherds and other hardy dogs that would survive the trip and left. Most moved back to England or fled to Canada, but some went to the Bahamian Islands.
M and Drake taking a nap in the sun.
Fast forward some 230 years and the Bahamas now have a problem: There are a TON of dogs roaming the streets and not enough people to offset the dogs’ food needs. So they are begining to spay and neuter strays and adopt out the puppies of the Potcakes that are found young enough to not be completely ferrrel. This is where Drake comes in. It turns out that someone (not sure who as of yet) brought some of Drake’s shelter and littermates back to the US after a vacation, specifically to Colorado. And about a month ago today, said dog was at a PetSmart near where we ate lunch.
We adopted drake not knowing too much about him or what a potcake was – at first we thought they were called “pupcates”. Now starting to be fully ingraned into our family we’re beginning to go through the grinding rigours of owning a puppy / “big” dog. Namely “oh, crap, I can’t do that I have to let the dog out” or “Yeah, let’s leave that route out, you might try to eat that cat again”. Least we forget “Supid rabits! Why are there SO MANY RABBITS at 5:15 AM on a walk!”
Drake and his "Hydrant" toy
One really cool thing to see is the boys bonding with the dog. Man he can frustrate them, but they always bounce back and give him love he needs when he’s not acting like a troll (he was a couple days ago). I will say that J and Drake have made much more of a bond than I would have thought. I thought that for sure only little M would dig a “real boy’s dog” (no offense to Tarla meant – she’s just old and lazy – cuddly but not too fun for little kids). However, both of them are very enamored with the pup.
Outsourced - Thanks to GoldenWeb's FlickrStream
My grandfather on my dad’s side was a mechanical engineer for several companies, including Coors (he designed and built some of the vats here in the Colorado location AND patented a crane arm in the process). He warned me about something when I was a kid, and said that I would be “doomed to re-Americanize outsourced stuff”. At the time, I believe I was 16 or 17 and seriously considering a career in IT (which, hey life goal checked off, looks like it was a pretty good choice). I will always remember the conversation, not because I find it rings true every joking day of my current career, but because I thought he was on crack at the time.
“You know I work sometimes, right? A garden like mine isn’t cheap to grow [my grandfather loves gardening]. I got a set of plans in for [generic I'm sure I wasn't supposed to know about this building] from the cheapo’s in Manhattan. You know what my job is? Redoing the plans for these guys because they pay some guy with a PC to build my plans and then I fix them. It’s kinda like having an intern. Except he’s better at math than me, but can’t speak English worth a crap, and has no common sense. So they hire me to clean up the plans. Normally it’s calculating load – boring stuff like that – but not the other day. The other day I’m looking at some plans and nearly fall over laughing. I was going over the AC plans for the building and came across the plans labeled “Air Ducks”. Air ducks! What hilarity! I don’t know why I thought it was so funny. Actually it got not so funny because every DUCT was labeled Duck and I had to change it.
But that’s what I get paid for now. Proofreading. You’re going to end up doing stuff like that too, especially in techie gee whiz stuff. Half that junk gets made in Asia [this is in the 90's, yes, I know it's like 95% now..] and it’s so poorly documented I think about hiring someone to translate for me so I can translate for them.”
Grandpa Jim didn’t have too many “old man rants”. Come to think of it, none of my grandpa’s did. But they would have enough to put the hesitency in the back of my head about what they were saying. I was 17 at all, a year away from being 18 and knowing everything. I just thought it would be ludicrous that we would take stuff from the US and move it internationally. Now I deal with it every day “Oh, we’re waiting to hear back from Engineering in China”. Or who could forget “Thanks for calling in to HP today. My name is Simon Mandipidipal”.