Monday, October 31, 2005
Well folks, the tickets have been reserved so it's official! I'm going to Australia and Singapore. (and not paying a dime for it) Next Thursday it's off to Australia, and then almost two weeks later I'll be heading to Singapore until early December.
Of course I'll be working, and I'd be crazy to spend all my free time blogging, so I have no idea if I'll actually do any blogging. (I'm not even sure if I can get a 50 to 60 Hz adapter suitable for my laptop.) Until then, I'll try to work in as much blogging as I can. And I'll try to get plenty of photos to post after I'm back.
(I stole this, but I don't remember from where)
Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal (tm):
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of Juan Valdez:
Thou annointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life: and
I will dwell in the House of Maxwell for ever.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
It may be a little low brow but here it is anyway.
TOP TEN THINGS THAT SOUND DIRTY IN LAW BUT AREN'T:
10. Have you looked through his briefs?
9. He is one hard judge!
8. Counselor, let's do it in chambers.
7. Her attorney withdrew at the last minute.
6. Is it a penal offense?
5. Better leave the handcuffs on.
4. For $200 an hour, she better be good!
3. Can you get him to drop his suit?
2. The judge gave her the stiffest one he could.
1. Think you can get me off?
Bad news: My rental car was lousy. Alignment was off, it was white (looks like a refrigerator) with road grime all over the place and scratches. The alignment was off too.
Good news: The folks at enterprise were VERY accomodating and took it back because of the alignment. They gave me a free upgrade to a Chevy Classic, one of my preferred rental cars. (I still wish they rented out more Fords, but that's coming from a man who has a blue oval tatooed on both cheeks)
Bad news: My flight is delayed for mechanical reasons so I'm stuck in Columbus for now.
Good news: The Columbus terminal has FREE WIFI!! Hence, I'm able to write this.
Bad news: The plant didn't have enough people on day shift to handle all the work I needed to do so I had to come in on night shift.
Good news: Since I worked a double shift I've got in over 40 hours this week (plus sympathy points) so it looks like I will only make a cameo appearance in the office before I head home for a good homemade meal (heck, maybe a beer too.)
All in all, not a bad trip. See everyone back in Chicagoland or Champaign!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Well, it happened. I finished my work here. So unless I get a call before 7AM telling me something broke, then I'm headed home. Talk about a satisfied feeling!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The weird thing...I love my job and these incidental little things! Am I addicted?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
-From Henry V by W Shakespeare
Monday, October 24, 2005
What do you call a county that lacks a fully integrated banking system?"Economically underdeveloped."
What do you call a country that lacks a well-connected public transportation system? "United States of America"
I am off to Dayton again tomorrow, but I am stunned by the fact that, unless I travel during the day, I have to pay over $800 bucks for a ticket!!! So I'm going during the day, but not to Dayton. Those flights are still about $600 bucks or sold out. So I'm flying to Columbus, getting a rental car and burning rubber to Dayton. Does anyone else find it funny that this trip will likely take as long as just plain driving there from Chicago?
Sunday, October 23, 2005
What I've just begun to appreciate, though, is how willing many people are to follow the direction of someone they've never met before.
Last week I traveled to a manufacturing facility where I've never been before. I've never met anyone there (though I've talked with a few on the phone) so they really had no idea what to expect. So I walked in, boss by my side, and started meeting people. I disappeared for half a day studying product samples and working with my boss. Afterwards we presented our findings to the plant staff.
Here's where it gets interesting. My boss gave me the go-ahead to change the equipment and then went back to studying samples, barely checking in on me. So I went out to the shop and the factory floor and started directing changes. Nobody questioned me. Not the workers on the floor, not the managers and technicians, not the guys in the shop who had 30 more years experience. They all wanted to learn from what I was doing and followed my lead without question.
My boss hardly interfered, even though he still wasn't positive that my analysis of the situation was completely correct. That changed later on when results started coming back. He approached me and (while giving me a good natured punch in the ribs) said he thought I had been right in my analysis. (He had gone out on a limb to support me.)
So we finished up our work together and packed up to go. Then the plant staff asked me to come back next week and work on another piece of equipment. Just two weeks before they hadn't "had the time" to do this work, and yet they wanted me to start in on it as soon as I could get back (regardless of whether or not my boss was along)
So it looks like it really is true...carry a clipboard and (with a little confidence) you can be the expert from out of town. Which is a good thing, because I like the folks at the factory and I'm glad they're having me back to work with them again.
Now if you'll pardon me, I have to re-pack my suitcase.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
There are four engineers traveling in a car: a mechanical engineer, a chemical engineer, an electrical engineer and a computer engineer. The car breaks down.
"Sounds to me as if the pistons have seized. We'll have to strip down the engine before we can get the car working again" says the mechanical engineer.
"Well, it sounded to me as if the fuel might be contaminated. I think we should purge the fuel system" says the chemical engineer.
"I thought it might be a timing problem or maybe a faulty plug lead" says the electrical engineer.
They all turn to the computer engineer who has said nothing and ask: "Well, what do you think ?"
"Ummm - I think we should close the windows, get out of the car and then get back in and open the windows again".
Friday, October 21, 2005
Until then, it's time to rest a bit. Driving takes a lot out of a person (especially when I managed to hit rush hour in two cities.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
*Hat tip to Ben for the article.
A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee." The husband said, "You are in charge of the cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee." Wife replies, "No you should do it, and besides it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee." Husband replies, " I can't believe that, show me." So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and shows him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says... "Hebrews"
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
(net address blurred for anonymity sake)
It may look like just a little bit of information, but where the hits are coming from (and when) can give you a really neat profile of the kind of people looking at your page. And there's more
You can also figure out the type of operating system and browser a person is using to view your page. Don't believe me?
Go here. There's a simple script to tell what kind of browser you're using.
Instant messaging systems can be dissected in similar ways too. AIM has a neat little blocking feature that let's you hide from specific users. But places like this let you get around that to see if the person is really online or not.
Of course none of this is perfect. Most software can't really compensate for proxy servers. The proxy is kind of a neat service really. It's like calling a buddy in some other city and asking him to download a webpage and send it to you. The website never has to know about it.
And the AIM check trick doesn't work perfectly either. I've enabled a little feature that hides you from all users not on your buddy list. I checked myself (while I was online) and this is what I got.
So it doesn't work all the time. But I'm sure there are other tricks.
So what's a fellow to do? Well, for the most part, don't worry about it. IP addresses can't easily be linked to a name, so your exact surfing habits can't be linked to you in most cases. And as far as personal information goes...watch out for spyware and don't post anything online you wouldn't want people to read about. In my case this means running scans of my computer and not mentioning my company's name online. In your case maybe other measures are called for.
Regardless, there's probably no need to worry, just be aware that everyone gives up a tiny bit of privacy by being online.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Essentially, this thing uses an electric motor to spin pellets around inside of a small circular chamber. As they reach the outer edge of the chamber they come up to the top speed and are ejected at an impressive velocity. And since there's no chemical propellant, and no cartridge, it's possible to get very rapid fire without ejectinc casings and without it being legally declared a firearm! Can you imagine the fun this type of thing would be with airsoft pellets?
Friday, October 14, 2005
The bad news, several of my coworkers have been laid off.
I am glad that I haven't been given the ax, but at the same time I can't help but feel a little guilty. There are people who were laid off that had much more experience than myself, and there were people who I had begun to care for. Guess I'm lucky to be low on the totem pole because it makes me a small target.
That's all the news for tonight. No blogging until tomorrow.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Full sized wooden wooden car... that floats!
*Hat tip to Mavromatic
That's right, somebody has figured out a way to add a flamethrower to that lovable animatyronic toy. Now you can launch destructive raids on any room in your house while still having fun.
I love it!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I really think this might be better off applied to other gadgets or appliances, but who knows, this could be a hot seller.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Happy Columbus day everyone. Some of you might have the day off...most of you don't. I don't have the day off, so let me just send my best wishes to everyone who does.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Over at the Nation of Riflemen daily rant, there's a post that I've been anticipating for quite a while. The range report for the Mech-Tech-CCU has finally been posted.
Now to explain why this is so important...A long time back I bought into the concept of "companion guns." Basically, any long-gun/handgun pairing which would allow you to share ammunition between firearms, thus making it possible to carry a rifle and a handgun without having to double up on the ammunition you're carrying.
For quite some I'm I've toyed with the idea of getting an M1911 style handgun, but, as many a marksman has said, a handgun is what you use when you don't have time to get your rifle. So if I get an M1911, then I'd want to get a rifle to compliment it. Sadly, Marlin is no longer making their Camp Carbine, so the best rifle using M1911 magazines isn't available at any reasonable price.
Here is where the CCU comes in.
The unit by itself is not a firearm (it can't fire a bullet) but if you combine it with the lower half of a M1911, then you have a complete firearm which takes M1911 magazines and gives you the basic benefits of a long-gun. Take the receiver out of the CCU, put the M1911 barrel and slide back on, and you have a functional handgun.
With the stopping power of a 45acp and the accuracy of a rifle barrel together you end up with the best of both worlds.
Sounds like it's time for me to start saving up my pennies! (and plenty of them)
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
- P. J. O'Rourke
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The other thing I don't miss was going to math class. I was never a natural at it like some people but I did alright so long as I didn't get frustrated.
OK, so I never did this, but I would have liked to hand in work like this on some occasions.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Thanks to all of you I had a wonderful weekend.
Susan, Jill, Mike, and Megan for being such great company
Joe, for dropping everything to see me
Erin and Jess for always being there
Anna, for showing me how much fun it is to hang out (literally) in a tree and talk all afternoon
And of course, Eva and Steve for always looking out for me
(Hope I didn't forget anyone)
You guys rock my world!!!