Monday, December 24, 2007

Smells of winter

Beside the glow of my computer screen, I burn a candle to add a calming aroma to my office. Surprising how something so simple can add so much to easing stress and make the day go smoother.

Monday, December 17, 2007

First Weekend in December


For those of you who wondered were I was a couple of weekends ago.
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A few weeks ago

This is late November, just getting around to posting it.
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Welcome to Monday


What would a Monday be, without a little drama. Almost at dead up 8:00 a phase dropped from the electrical coming into the building and the smell of air handler motors trying to run at half power caused us to take notice. Servers safely shutdown, and work readied to take home. Fire trucks and Police come out nowhere. We were ordered out of the building while they tracked down the problem. 45 minutes later as we were all frozen in the 28 degree weather and wind, we wre allowed back in to a powerless building. The trouble was neighborhood wide and was fixed by JCP&L in less then 30 minutes. 30 miniutes after that we were back in full production, thawing out at our desks.

Just another Monday...

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Monday, November 26, 2007

HOWTO Win at Monopoly - Boing Boing

Posted by Cory Doctorow, November 7, 2007 6:43 AM | permalink

Tim Darling's "Surefire Strategy" for winning at Monopoly sounds plausible -- a great way to suck all the fun out of the game, leaving behind nothing but the relentless pursuit of victory.

* Always buy Railroads; never buy Utilities *
* At the beginning of the game, focus on acquiring a complete C-G (Color Group) in Sides 1+2, even if it means trading away properties on Sides 2+3. After acquiring one of these C-Gs, build 3 houses as quickly as possible: no more houses, no less!
* Once your first C-G starts to generate some cash, focus on completing a C-G and building 3 houses in Sides 3+4.
o Note: 3 houses is the "sweet spot" in the game as shown in Table 1 below. That's where you're making the best use of your money.
* Single properties are the least good investment if you don't build on them.
* The only exception to the above rules are when you need to acquire stray properties to prevent your opponents from completing their C-Gs to accomplish the above strategy.

HOWTO Win at Monopoly - Boing Boing

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Colors of Autumn


Even the trees in the parking lot at work sport the colors of the season.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If its Wednesday it must be Passaic

I put on my armor and headed into Paterson this morning. Project in its final stage so need to be there.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Breaking Health: E. coli warning Prompts Massive Frozen Pizza Recall - The Emergency Email & Wireless Network .......... www. EmergencyEmail.ORG ........
Breaking Health: E. coli warning Prompts Massive Frozen Pizza Recall

414,000 Cases Affected
Health Risk: High

Public health officials are urging consumers to throw away any Totino's or Jeno's brand frozen pizzas that contain pepperoni in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.
"We took action on that basis as a precaution, because of the possibility that a link might exist," said General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe.
The company is asking people to throw away any pizza that they may have purchased that is being recalled.
The manufacturer, General Mills, has recalled all frozen pepperoni pizzas produced at their Wellston, Ohio, plant. More than 120 million of these pizzas have been distributed since the beginning of July.
Public health investigators in Tennessee and elsewhere have linked a growing number of people infected with E. coli O157:H7 to pizzas produced at the Ohio plant. The investigation is ongoing, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies are working with General Mills to identify the source of the problem.
To date, at least 21 lab-confirmed cases have been identified in 10 states -- Tennessee, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakota. At least 10 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
"If you have any of these pizzas in your freezer, we recommend you throw them out," said William E. Keene, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior communicable disease epidemiologist at the Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division. "No cases have been reported in Oregon or other Western states, but this is a national recall. We don't want anyone to risk serious illness."
The specific products covered by the recall are as follows:
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Pepperoni, 10.2 oz.
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Classic Pepperoni, 10.2 oz.
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Pepperoni Trio, 10.2 oz.
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Three Meat Sausage, Canadian Style Bacon & Pepperoni, 10.5 oz.
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Combination Sausage & Pepperoni, 10.7 oz.
*Totino's Original Crisp Crust Party Pizza, Supreme Sausage & Pepperoni with Green Peppers & Onions, 10.9 oz.
*Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Pizza, Pepperoni, 6.8 oz.
*Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Pizza, Combination Sausage and Pepperoni, 7.0 oz.
*Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Pizza, Supreme Sausage and Pepperoni With Green Peppers and Onion, 7.2 oz.

Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O157:H7 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.

Consumers can contact Totino's / Jeno's for product replacement by clipping the UPC (bar code) symbol from each pizza box and sending their UPC's, along with their name and address to:

Totino's / Jeno's
P.O. Box 200 - Pizza
Minneapolis, MN  55440-0200

The product itself should be thrown away.  Consumers with additional questions about the relall should contact the company at (800) 949-9055

About E. Coli
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Breaking Health: E. coli warning Prompts Massive Frozen Pizza Recall - The Emergency Email & Wireless Network .......... www. EmergencyEmail.ORG ........

Sunday, October 21, 2007

George Lucas announces Star Wars TV spin-off (ripped from The Register)

George Lucas announces Star Wars TV spin-off

No Darth Vaders, however

By Lester Haines More by this author

Published Wednesday 17th October 2007 11:52 GMT

Download free whitepaper - NetApp Technical Case Study

George Lucas announced yesterday he'd "just begun work" on a live action TV spin-off set in the Star Wars universe, but warned fans not to expect a cathode ray tube outing for Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader.

According to the LA Times, Lucas revealed only that the series would be about the "the life of robots". He said: "The Skywalkers aren't in it, and it's about minor characters. It has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or any of those people. It's completely different. But it's a good idea, and it's going to be a lot of fun to do."

Lucas Animation is already hard at work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars - a computer-animated series which the director hopes will "introduce a new era of visuals to weekly episodic television".

Quite how the live action project works out remains to be seen. Producer Rick McCallum said yesterday that they haven't got past the stage of interviewing writers, and the world can only hope that Lucas's assertion that major Star Wars characters will not feature means the chosen pensmiths will not be tempted to resurrect Jar Jar Binks. ®

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cuz'z on the boardwalk

Joey needed to hit a boardwalk, so off to Seaside we went. Tonight Times Square, The village and Chinatown.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ice Cream anyone!!!

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more Waterbury

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Making cider

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Cider Mill and me

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Nothing says Rustic like a broke down wagon

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Thacker Brook Falls

In the city of Waterbury VT heading for a cider mill we saw this and had to stop for pics...
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Moss Glen Falls


This is along the way on Route 100 through the heart of the Green Mountains.
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Hogback Mountain

This is a shot of the valley from Hogback Mountain vistor center high in the Green Mountains. Beauty as far as the eye came see...
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Upper Brattleboro

Came across this lake as we were leaving town. Not as vivid as the reqal thing but just enough for you to get the idea.
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Day One revised

The Latchis Hotel/Theater. A 1920's theater that features two screens and is a historic site being renovated by the proceeds from the Hotel rooms.
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Waterburg VT on a sunny afternoon

Been a busy day. First homemade sauage patties, pancskes with REAL maple syrup. The a cider mill to see apple pressing. Then off to an artist glass blowing and spinning. And now Ben and Jerry's for tour and samples. Heading for Woodstock VT after a last stop at Green Mountain coffee... l8rs

Monday, October 15, 2007

That's not my nose...

A few things that are great about Vermont. Cider, cider and did I mention cider! Woodchucks and Blackthorns... Oh my!

Vermont by the seat of our pants

Complete change of plans! And for the better! We are heading over to route 100 as it runs through the Green Mountains and up to the Ben and Jerry's factory, Green Mountain coffee and a Maple farm. Time to hit the road. Temp outside=42 degrees and only heading up to 54.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happiness is a cellar cold hard cider

We have landed at the latchis and headed next door to the Flat Street Pub for a ploughman's platter and a hog's pudding. Ask me later and I'll tell you.

Day One: In the Great NorthEast

high in the hills of Connecticut with a cool fall temperature of 58, a small boy walks along with a 5 gallon bucket scooping up handfuls of red leaves that have fallen on the ground.  he can't be older then three of four and is dressed in the best of L. L. Bean's best for kids.  A true vision of the traditional Northeasterner.  There is a crisp feeling of fall, the sky was gray, but has turning that crystal blue that only fall can produce.  As the late afternoon comes on, the breeze is picking up and the crispness of a light frost is coming in. 

Today we stated in Granby, Ct and headed to New Hartford, CT for my wife to teach a class.  As soon as she is done we pack up for a 1.5 hour drive and rest for the night in Brattleboro, VT.  My first time in Vermont... there a hard freeze warning is out for the night with the possibility of a frosting of snow in the morning.


Things we are planning to do/visit:

  • Connecticut River Byway
    • (75 miles, 18 cities with a river running along it all)
  • Ben and Jerry Ice cream factory
  • Green Mountain Coffee roastery
  • Green Mountain train (steam locomotives)
  • Fall Festivals (apples and pumpkins)
  • A bed and breakfast that is part a 1930s movie theater)


Mobile blogging

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Time of Loss-Johnson City Press

 ‘A Time of loss’ - 2,800 turn out to memorialize Jehovah’s Witnesses ministers who died in crash

A large audience joins in the memorial service Friday for ministers Victor James Osborne, Leon Rosko, Randall Walp, Craig Clark and Gerald Booth, killed in a plane crash last weekend. The service was conducted at Freedom Hall. (Tony Duncan / Johnson City Press)

By Kristen Swing
Press Staff Writer
Thousands of people memorialized the five Jehovah’s Witnesses ministers killed in last weekend’s plane crash at a service held Friday evening at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Gerald Booth, of Unicoi; Craig Clark, of Elizabethton; Victor James Osborne, of Morristown; Leon Rosko, of Sevierville and Randall Walp, of Hixon, all were killed when the single-engine Beech Bonanza they were flying in crashed Saturday into the side of Holston Mountain.

The men, all members of a regional building committee, apparently were bound for Virginia Highlands Airport near Abingdon, Va., where they were supposed to be meeting with congregation members from Lebanon, Va., to discuss building a new church there.

At Friday’s service, Chuck Sedgwick, the only surviving member of the regional building committee to which the men belonged, spoke fondly of his fallen brothers.

“I knew them all and spent a lot of time with those brothers,” Sedgwick said. “I loved them dearly.”

Sedgwick recalled 65-year-old Booth as “a spiritual dynamo,” who “was never at a loss for words.” He said Booth was “organized” and “prompt,” always wanting to get things done “now.”

“A lot of us would like to be like Jerry, but we’re not going to be. I’ve never seen somebody with so much energy,” Sedgwick said. “It’s a beautiful thing to have known him and these other brothers.”

Clark, 57, lived “a simple life,” and always “thought before he spoke,” according to Sedgwick.

“Craig was known for being a good listener. He was known for being approachable,” Sedgwick said. “He was always willing to serve in the background.”

Sedgwick emphasized that Osborne, who reportedly was piloting the plane when it crashed, was always “very safe” while flying.

“I trusted my life with him and they did, too,” Sedgwick said. “I flew with those brothers quite often and I loved it. At 5,000 feet we’d pull out text and read the text. We’d read that together and I would listen to these spiritual men.”

Known for “being generous,” 50-year-old Osborne also was “patient” and “respectable,” Sedgwick said.

Rosko, 56, was a “teacher,” who “breathed the regional building work” and “smiled with his eyes,” Sedgwick recalled.

“He just could not do enough and he loved it,” Sedgwick said. “He was everywhere.”

Like Rosko, 55-year-old Walp was known as a teacher among his brothers.

“To be with Randy, I felt like I was in spiritual college,” Sedgwick said. “His wisdom in asking questions was unbelievable.”

More than 2,800 people showed up Friday night to remember the five men and pay respects to their families, who also attended the service.

“This is a time of loss. It is a time of mourning. It is a time of sadness and certainly it is a time for tears,” said Jonathan Smith, circuit overseer for the Jehovah’s Witness circuit that encompassed all five men. “But look at what these brothers accomplished in their days of life. All five of these brothers were givers. That’s the life that they lived.”

For those who knew, loved and respected the five elders, Friday’s event served as a reminder of what now should be done to honor them.

“They were your husbands, your fathers, your teachers, our teachers, counselors. They were spiritual organizers,” Sedgwick said. “We’re going to carry on and make them proud of what they taught us.”

An investigation into what caused the plane crash is being conducted by members of the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.


Friday, September 07, 2007

HTC slides out TyTN II 'super 3G' smartphone | Reg Hardware


HTC slides out TyTN II 'super 3G' smartphone | Reg Hardware


By Tony Smith [More by this author]

28th August 2007 13:48 GMT

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Smartphone specialist HTC has revamped its TyTN handset, packing in not only Windows Mobile 6 but integrating support for high-speed 3G downloads and a GPS receiver.

HTC's TyTN II smartphone

The sequel's unsurprisingly called the TyTN II. Like the original, it comes in a tablet form factor based around a 2.8in, 240 x 320 display, with Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g providing wireless connectivity in addition to the quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge and tri-band 3G UMTS radios.

Once again, there's a slide-out Qwerty keyboard. This time round, however, the screen can be raised up at an angle to the keys, clamshell-style. There's even what HTC called a "360° three-way jog wheel" for scrolling. And HTC has incorporated its iPhone-esque Touch front-end for Windows Mobile.


The TyTN II's main camera is a three-megapixel job, up from the old TyTN's two-megapixel snapper. Once again, there's a Micro SD card slot to boost the 128MB of on-board memory - up from the original model's 64MB.

HTC's bundling TomTom's Navigator 6 Taster Edition to work with the new machine's GPS pick-up. The Taster Edition is essentially the navigation software but no maps to go with it - these you'll need to purchase separately, though you can download one for free, we understand.


HTC claimed the TyTN II offers seven hours' GSM talk time, dropping to around 4.5 hours when you're using 3G. Having Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on too is likely to reduce both figures.

The TyTN II is due to go on sale at the end of September, not only from HTC but also from Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica and Vodafone.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Got to love September in New Jersey


Back in Florida they are still sweating, but here the windows are open and the breezes blowing.  Shorts are still the dress of the day, but the cool breeze signals that Fall is inching it's way here and the heat of summer is over.  A few yellow leaves can be seen on the ground. The knowledge of the coming changes and Fall's fire and rain.  The Fire of the trees as they turn red and yellow, the rain of leaves falling and blowing in the air. Time to light a fire in the backyard at night and stare up into the clear night sky. Weather E-mail - 9/5/2007 4:07:28 AM
====================================================5-Day Forecast for Brick, New Jersey
Today:   Partly Cloudy,  High: 79 F,  Low: 60 F
Tomorrow:  Mostly Sunny,  High: 80 F,  Low: 62 F
Friday:  Mostly Sunny,  High: 84 F,  Low: 64 F
Saturday:  Partly Cloudy,  High: 83 F,  Low: 65 F
Sunday:  Partly Cloudy,  High: 83 F,  Low: 67 F
====================================================Forecast Details

Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 79F.
Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

A few clouds from time to time. Low near 60F.
Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.

A few clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tenn. plane crash kills 5 ministers - U.S. Life -


Tenn. plane crash kills 5 ministers - U.S. Life -


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - A plane carrying five Jehovah's Witness ministers crashed in a remote area of eastern Tennessee, killing all aboard, officials said.

The crash, which happened around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, wasn't discovered until more than eight hours later, when another pilot spotted the wreckage.

Authorities had to clear a path Sunday to get to the crash site in the Cherokee National Forest on Holston Mountain. Five bodies were found, said Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes. One of the ministers was believed to be the pilot, he said.

The single-engine Beech Bonanza crashed after leaving the Elizabethton Municipal Airport, officials said. The aircraft had taken off from Hamblen County and landed in Elizabethton to pick up a passenger. It was destined for Virginia Highlands Airport near Abingdon, Va., about 40 miles from Elizabethton.

Robert Burpitt, an elder with the Woodland Heights congregation of Jehovah's Witness in Kingsport, said the ministers were all from East Tennessee and members of a regional building committee that makes decisions regarding Kingdom Hall building projects. The names of the ministers were not released.

He said the men were on their way to Abingdon Saturday morning to meet with congregation members to discuss building a new church.

"All of the congregations in this region are devastated by this news, and will continue to keep the families in their prayers," he said.

Monday, August 27, 2007

You know you're a Cast Member when (Continued)

Snagged once again from the Disney Blog

A few more.

You know you're a Cast Member when...

  • You don't know any of the names of your managers, but you have your shop stewards cell phone number in your speed dial!
  • You have an overwhelming sensation to pick up trash on your off time.
  • You are happy that High School Musical is doing well because that helps the Disney stock price.
  • You become an expert on the tipping pattern of at least 10 foreign nations.
  • You can still smile when faced with the most foul body odor imaginable.
  • You enjoy scooping ice cream @ 3:00am.
  • You know the true use of a "Honeybucket"!
  • On days off, you go to work to visit your friends.
  • Abbreviations (CDS, CES, FML, MLOA, ROS, STCU, AOP, SPLH, MDS, FDS, COS, COGS, PY, OO's, ODF, w/e, HC, OT, ST, FT, CR, CT, CP, ICP, CIF, CM).  I'm sure there are a ton more, but that is what I came up with off the top of my head (if anyone knows all of these, I feel sorry for you)

See the original list here and here's an even older version of the list. (Thanks to Jon H. of NYC for most of these)


You know you're a Cast Member when (Continued)