so long, farewell ben!

After working with Ben for almost eight years he had decided to move on. I wanted to wish Ben all the luck in the world. We had a great time working together for many years…as he put up with my on again off again relationship with Mac OS X Server and I put up with his “not as funny as he thought” videos and comics 😉 We also had a good time playing Carmageddon 2, Diablo, Diablo II and Quake 3 Arena. We did do some great work in between all the games and great music (I got him out of the “ambient” music mode and opened the door to electronica, DJs, etc). We did do a kick ass job of putting together a really sweet Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server server set up using Apache, MySQL, PHP, WebObjects complete with failover. Best of luck and thanks for the good times.

another good first tuesday in november.

Even though I disapprove of our current administration, I still love being an American…and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, I love being an American even more. Voting is very important to me. Voting not only let’s me voice my opinion about the future direction of the government officially, it also gives me the right to then complain. Does one vote make a difference? Of course. Most of us have seen close elections in the decade and yesterday was no different (at least in IL). Not everyone I voted for won, but none the less, I am happy I went out and voted. I have no time or patience for people who did not vote. For you…I give you the status quo. You are obviously happy with how things are now and really do not care about anything in the future. Good for you. You are one of the major reasons change is so hard in our country. If more people cared, stood up, voted, voiced their opinion, things would change. End of rant. For me, yesterday was a great day and I look forward to next year.
[tags]voting[/tags]

Feel Better Soon Joe Paterno

There are few people that I admire more than Joe Paterno (Penn State’s head football coach). He inspired me when I went to my first Penn State football game when I was three years old, and he still inspires me today. During our last game in Wisconsin, one of the plays ended up on the sideline, coaches and players were knocked over, but nothing out of the ordinary…until I heard and saw Joe Paterno was among the people who got knocked down. Joe, the tough guy he is, stood up, and as soon as he did, his leg unnaturally hyper extended and I almost got sick to my stomach. I yelled “his leg is broken, his leg is broken” to Amy and I watched him try to keep standing. Finally the trainers and other coaches got him to go over to the bench where they could look at his leg/knee.

What I love about Joe is he is such a strong and positive role model. He wanted to stay strong for the team by trying to stand. He did show his fear or his pain, or even want to sit down. After he flew back to State College, Joe had surgery on Sunday and while in the hospital, started preparing for the next game on Sunday. He is not flashy, he is not concerned about money, and he just wants to keep doing what he loves. I can only hope I live to his age and can still be as happy with my favorite pastime as he is. Feel better Joe!
[tags]Joe Paterno, Penn State, PSU[/tags]

out with rocketboom, in with amanada across america!

I have been a faithful Rocketboom video blog watcher for almost a year now. I was very disappointed when Amanda Congdon left the scene as the host, but I thought I would give the new host a chance. After a few months of watching Rocketboom post Amanda I have finally decided to stop watching it…I am not a joanne fan (the new host). On a more positive note, I have enjoyed Amanda’s latest video blog: Amanda Across America which has focused on interviewing truly interesting people who look to improve our country and world. If you have some time, or are bored, or have an interest for alternative energy sources, like hybrids, or want to watch something refreshing by a great and upbeat interviewer, check out Amanda Across America.

[tags]Rocketboom, Amanda Congdon, Amanda Across America[/tags]

for a good time, take the metra.

Some days are better than others and the people on my train have decided to make the most of the their commute one day a week. If you have ever depended on public transportation, you know that people like to do a lot of the same. Same train, same car (in the train), same seat. Get a few of those people together over multiple years, and soon close friendships form. This is the case with a particular car on one of the evening trains I take. There are about 10 people who, once a week bring in snacks, sometimes fried chicken or a homemade dish, whip out a blender and make frozen margaritas, and have a great time for their hour plus commute home. They even offer the food and drinks to anyone in the car. I, at first got a kick out of them eating homemade food and snacks, but when I saw the blender, I knew they meant business. It is great to see some people walk into that car and then have one of the regulars unexpectedly offer them a drink or some food. You know that the stressed out newcomer is surprised, but it often breeds conversation and at the very least a smile. Way to go Metra regulars!
[tags]Metra[/tags]

it's a boy!

I have decided to finally share some awesome news…my partner and I are expecting a baby and being who I am and doing what I do, I have decided to create a web site for my soon to be child so that I can share all the information with my family and friends since many of you/them live so far away. I did not want to be “that parent” who sent billboard sized pictures, or who made you sign up for some photo sharing web site in which you never remembered your user name and password. I am still finalizing a few of the plugins and most of the content, but without further ado, check out Evan’s web site. No need to point out any issues…I know what they are and I will be addressing them one at a time. I wanted to get this out sooner in order to start blogging/post pictures, etc. Anyone can have a blog 😉
[tags]jappler.com, Evan[/tags]

Quick Paint Clean Up Tip

What do you do when someone you think is coming over to your house to do you a favor (“hey do you still need some help…”) , make a mess, request money and leave all while living with someone who is very detail oriented and who does not take any crap? I do not know what you would have done, but I called my resourceful father.

The main problem (besides having to rip down the existing crown molding to replace it, and having to repaint the trim and baseboards – was that sloppy edging work left paint all over our nice stained window molding/casing. Amy was extremely disgusted with the sloppy paint all over the stained wood so I called my dad to see what he would recommend. If anyone knew how I might be able to get the paint off (no it would not pick off) my father wood. He recommended – since the paint had only been on for a few days – to use some Mr. Clean and some hot water on the abrasive side of our dish sponge (one side is sponge, one side is rough to get off tough grease or paint apparently. I scrubbed the wood around the windows for about 5-10 minutes and then was able to then pick and peel off the paint.

I am having a carpenter come over in the next two days to look at our options with the baseboards and crown molding disaster. The way it looks now – it will be easier to buy new. (the paint color is a dark blue and we do not have the paint that was used for the white on the crown molding and base boards.)

Take home lesson…as I well know and am really upset this one got past me…if you want it done right, do it yourself or hire a well known professional.
[tags]home improvement, painting[/tags]

9/11 and the media.

Well, five years ago today I was glued to the TV, watching two live shots while also following two breaking news text feeds at the bottom of the TV screen while surfing CNN.com. Wow. Once again, I find myself watching countless shows about 9/11 and soaking up more information about the events of 9/11 that I never knew. Personally, as a historian, this is all very interesting to me. Why? I am curious to get as much information as possible because I am very curious how this will be portrayed in the years to come. How will my children and their children see this? I like getting the personal stories of the survivors, emergency workers, and their families. I also watched the CNN re-broadcast of their live 9/11 coverage this morning. Why? When all this was happening five years ago, I was in my office, next to the Sears Tower, without any incoming information except that of Amy’s dad calling me and telling me to get home, and a high school friend who was trying to explain the events to me over the phone. While some people are very negative about all the shows, interviews, conversations, coverage, I embrace it. Let’s not forget what happened, and let’s try to better understand it so we can learn.
[tags]9/11, CNN[/tags]

How to Keep the Loud Neighbors Quiet

While spending the long weekend at my not in-laws, we took Triscuit to her foster parents’ house to hang out with their two greyhounds. When we picked up Triscuit yesterday Triscuit’s foster parents had a great story to share. Apparently they have a neighbor who likes to play their radio so loud that the commercials vibrate through the walls of the neighboring homes. Triscuit’s foster parents have tried asking the loud neighbors to keep it down and have even had to call the police. The neighbors, after the police came, threats were made, and the radio continued to blare. After not being able to handle it anymore, the foster parents decided to come up with a plan…to hack their iTrip to boost the signal so they could broadcast silence. On Sunday, after hacking the iTrip, they figured out what radio station the neighbors were listening to and set the iPod to broadcast silence on that station (on their neighbor’s loud radio). To confuse the neighbors, they would broadcast the silence in intervals. Of course, this will most likely not quiet the neighbors forever, but now they can have some fun. Ahh the joys of having neighbors!
[tags] Triscuit, iPod, iTrip[/tags]