I admit to a silly vice. I like watching the delightfully inane britcom "The Vicar of Dibley" on PBS. I'd guess that some of my UK friends probably view this as lowbrow and uninformed of me - like someone from Europe thinking that Denny's represents all American Cuisine (the French probably make that mistake all the time - but I digress). Be that as it may, I find the show to be wonderfully absurd and I suppose the high toned british accents make it seem far more sophisticated than it is.Read More
I have a customer doing bulk email. He's pretty careful as such customers go - but he really believes he is not sending spam. After all, his information is useful and helpful - not like that other junk mail. Anyway, every so often I remind him of the requirements of federal law and point him to one of many articles and sites out there regarding the CANN-SPAM act and it's requirements. Today, I was working on putting together some helpful links and I stumbled on this helpful FTC link regarding spam. The purpose of the page is to encourage users to send reports of abuse to the FTC. What I found enlightening and delicious was the link at the bottom of the page to "send a free e-card".Read More
So many of you were helpful with advice on my previous post on parenting my 11 year old son that I thought I'd share 2 more approaches that go into the dust bin of "nice try". It has been our habit to play games with our children on the weekends - particularly Friday and Saturday night. I must confess that I thoroughly enjoy it. I love playing games of all kind and my kids are quite entertaining. The biggest challenge is simply maintaining control.Read More
My oldest son is eleven. He's pretty smart and he's mature for his age... at least about some things. He has a few traits that get on my nerves however. One of them is that he tends to rush through the house making rampaging noises. There's not an apparent reason for it. He'll just be moving along and get to the stairwell and suddenly it occurs to him to rumble up the stairs making a sound like a rhinoceros in heat. It reminds me of the play (or movie if you like) "Arsenic and Old Lace" - where the brother would charge up the stairs like Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill.
When my daughter was eleven she didn't have this "kinetic Tourette syndrome" response to whatever was going on in her body. Of course she was (and is at 14) a walking emotional volcano capable of erupting at any moment - but I digress. Upon talking to our friends my wife and I were gratified to learn that our son is not unique among 11 year old boys. Apparently it's par for course.
Still, I'm periodically tasked with sitting him down to "connect" with him about his behavior and how to control it. Today as he sat still (with the exception of one leg that was sort of jumping around like a marionette) as I spelled out what was expected of him.
Me: "Did you know I could hear your voice throughout the house?"
Me: "I mean... it's mostly just noise... nonsense."
Me: "Is there a reason you have to raise your voice above everything else?"
Him: unintelligible sounds of agreement...
Me: "I mean you run around the house like a Kamikaze Pilot shouting Bonzai! I can barely hear myself think."
Him: silence and a little glaze in his eyes
Me: "I understand you are full of energy and don't realize how loud you are, but the cat is scared to come out of from underneath the bed. You have to get a grip on this behavior buddy. I need you to be more aware of yourself and .... and.... Aaron.... Aaron... are you listening to me?"
Him: "Uh.. yeah Dad... yeah... I'm listening."
Me: "Ok... what did I say?"
Him: "You said I had to control myself and not be a kamikaze Pirate."
I figured that was close enough. At least it wasn't as bad as when I waxed eloquent about how he sounded like a broken record. It took me ten minutes to figure out he had no idea what I was talking about because he'd never seen a turntable (ha). Ah well - I'll get back at him someday when I have grandchildren.
I stand corrected. The candidate is now actually going to GO WITH the blackmailing host company. Not only that, but the company supports no scripting languages - only Front Page Extensions. They do this for security reasons (security reasons?). So my friend the developer is busy converting his site into a front page site to make it more secure. Meanwhile, I'm going to contact the host and see if they are interested in my new idea - selling bottled Nebraska air on E-bay. I think they might be able to pull it off.
(this is a follow up to my previous post.)
Here's a story that defies explanation. A candidate for governor in my home state of NE, has a web site developed by a friend of mine. It was hosted at "readyhosting.net" - a popular hosting company. It's pretty standard brochureware with a couple of PHP scripts. The candidate recently received an email from a web hosting company here in NE (I won't mention their name but it starts with an "Meg" followed by a "avision" and ends with ".com"). The email indicated that the candidate was lying when he said he supported Nebraska business because he was hosting his site with readyhosting (a Texas company). It insisted that he bring his site to them or they would email their Nebraska customers about the issue. Now I'm no sales genie, but it seems to me that this sort of tactic is one step away from hiring a kneecap breaking guy named Guido. Of course the candidate will bring his site into the state of Nebraska - to a competitor (ha).
Note: There's a follow up to this post - Part II.
I was busy writing this proposal and I was on my fourth or fifth page. I reached for some sunflower seeds. If you know me, you know that I eat unsalted roasted sunflower seeds as my favorite snack. I especially like them when I'm engrossed in writing something long that takes concentration. Anyway, it was about 9:20 and I had had a few mouthfuls of seeds already. Something made me double take this time and I looked at my seeds again. I always work under low light so I had not noticed that the seeds were moving. I turned on the overhead light and the seeds were full of tiny red ants. They were delicious, but a little spicy. Anyway, I thought, "where are they coming from???". I went over to where I keep the bag of seeds and sure enough it was full of red ants. So I started searching around.Read More
Before you read this you should know that in this post I wax philosophical about society at large. There's nothing technically astute here. This post is a follow up to my rant on why you should give your relatives a break. In that post I mentioned that there is an emerging lifestyle with technology at the center. This may be just a morphing of an old lifestyle, but it bears fleshing out. So if you are a brave soul, read on.Read More