Thursday, December 4, 2008

Joey Update!

It has been a bit since I posted an update on Joey, so here is a small one.

As you can see he is pretty content, and the leg in the forefront is the broken one, as such, he is pretty well mended. While the leg still has more rehab in terms of buildlng muscle and flexibility, he is a happy cat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joey - Update

Quick update on Joey. He had his splint replaced twice. This weekend he wore it out again, and it needed to be replaced again. However, rather than spend that money on a new wrap for about a week, we had the vetrinarian run x-rays and based upon the clean look of the mend, he is now operating under his own power.

Since he has not used his leg for so long, he is now much less mobile as he slowly recoups his leg muscles. Once the fur grows back from the rubbing/tape, we will take some photos of him and his recovery.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Meet Joey!

Well it is not a new cat, named just changed again. This one should be the final one. (Hey, don't ask me, ask her!)... Anyhow, we brought him to the vet again to have his dressing changed. They went with yellow this time... he is a kitten and mobile, and seems to not even thing he is injured.

He is scampering around the house without regard, attacking Mary's, Jeri's and My legs, Boyd and him have stayed apart for the most part (partial quarantine, as with any new cat); but as rambunctious as Joey is, they will be testing the waters soon enough. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Invasive ISP Surveillance

The Rise and Fall of Invasive ISP Surveillance
Paul OhmUniversity of Colorado Law School

Abstract:Nothing in society poses as grave a threat to privacy as the Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISPs carry their users' conversations, secrets, relationships, acts, and omissions. Until the very recent past, they had left most of these alone because they had lacked the tools to spy invasively, but with recent advances in eavesdropping technology, they can now spy on people in unprecedented ways. Meanwhile, advertisers and copyright owners have been tempting them to put their users' secrets up for sale, and judging from a recent flurry of reports, ISPs are giving in to the temptation and experimenting with new forms of spying. This is only the leading edge of a coming storm of unprecedented and invasive ISP surveillance.

This Article proposes an innovative new theory of communications privacy to help policymakers strike the proper balance between user privacy and ISP need. We cannot simply ban aggressive monitoring, because ISPs have legitimate reasons for scrutinizing communications on an Internet teeming with threats. Using this new theory, policymakers will be able to distinguish between an ISP's legitimate needs and mere desires.

In addition, this Article injects privacy into the network neutrality debate - a debate about who gets to control innovation on the Internet. Despite the thousands of pages that have already been written about the topic, nobody has recognized that we already enjoy mandatory network neutrality in the form of expansive wiretapping laws. The recognition of this idea will flip the status quo and reinvigorate a stagnant debate by introducing privacy and personal autonomy into a discussion that has only ever been about economics and innovation.

The author's homepage:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Oh lord, not another Vista article!"

"Oh lord, not another Vista article!" Like me, I'm sure many of you might be thinking something along those lines whenever you see an article with the word 'Vista' in the title these days. We've had what can only be described as a plethora of articles on Windows Vista, almost all of them repetitive, one-sided and of little practical use. Some of them have bordered on the absurd, such as Infoworld declaring Windows Vista to be the second biggest tech blunder in history, giving as its reason a one paragraph description that serves more to highlight the author's ignorance than provide any actual logic for their decision. We've been suffering under the weight of these nonsensical, sensationalist and opinion-laded pro- and anti-Vista articles for far too long."
This is a very interesting article, and one which does offer some quick fixes to Vista annoyances.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Introducing... Traffic

Here is a picture of traffic. He is a little unkept, as he is still recovering. The splint, really, doesn't allow him much mobility. He is able to play a bit with the ball, in the crate. He will be confined for 2-3 weeks, maybe more depening upon the vetrinarian's recommendation on his leg mending.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pets, People, and non-humans

Yesterday and today have been interesting days... I was off yesterday and ventured down to Dragon*Con with some friends. Jeri worked and had a very busy day on top of that. I returned home from Dragon*Con I needed to use the restroom, I ventured in and see a box with a towel over the top and a small scraggly tail hanging out from under the towel. I closed the door and headed upstairs to guest bathroom.

Afterwards, I talk with Jeri and it seems on her way into the office she saw a dead kitten on the road, and further up the road about a quarter of a mile another kitten (not yet dead), the car in front of her clipped the kitten. Understandably, she is a little freaked out and stops to to assess the kitten. It is alive but injured. She picks up the kitten and takes it into a vetrinarian her manager at work uses for his dogs. They briefly assess the kitten, saying it has a broken leg and it will need surgery to repair.

Jeri brought the kitten with her to work and tended it throughout the day and then brought it home, whereas I met it rather abruptly on my way to the restroom. The kitten eat, slept, and relieved itself. We had some worry as its urine contained some blood.

The following morning though it was much less than the night before. We brought the kitten to the emergency veterinary service and had them assess the kitten. After x-rays and a diagnosis, they assessed similarly to the first vetrinarian, but we had more rock solid paperwork to support (and if needed carry with us to other vetrinarians).

The leg was broken at the femur's growth plate. A clean break with no chips or shards.

The diagnosis from the veterinarian was one of two choices,

2.Surgery (estimated at $1,500.00-$2,000.00)

After the sticker shock set in, we had to take a break, so we went out to get some food as we both were a hungry and it was affecting our ability to think clearly. During this time, they were doing the pelvic x-rays, as they neglected to do them the first time, as they just focused on the single leg incident, which in my opinion was a little short sighted as we had fully disclosed the kitten had been hit by a car.

When we returned and spoke with the veterinarian a second time, we asked about a third option, which was just a local set-n-bandage scenario. The break was on the growth plate, one would assume that if they were realigned with the proper rest and treatment the leg would grow back together naturally. The veterinarian seemed to believe this was a possible scenario and worked up an estimate. The hope around this one is a with a clean set the leg would heal normally, and over time, the pelvic area would recover on its own. As the kitten (estimated at only 10 weeks of age) still has a lot of growing to do.

We choose this option, understanding that if not totally successful the kitten would possibly have issues mobility from the leg and/or pelvic trauma over the course of its life, however, that is better than the alternative of either another kitten lying dead on the road or euthanasia.

So how do humans and non-humans fit into my subject?

Well there are two classes of people, one I am calling non-humans. The kittens were found on the median of a six lane road in the middle of an urban area. They were almost no plausible way they could have or would have meandered out in to the middle of that road, as such, the simplest and most likely explanation is a human's (of the non-human variety) cat had a litter, rather than adopt them, sell them, or give them away to (qualified homes), they choose to drop them off one at a time in the middle of a busy road so that they would get hit by cars. This person is not a good person (remember cruelty to animals, more often than not is later translated to human beings as well by the individual).

Now, the flip side of this coin is the normal human being, which cares about life. While we were at the emergency clinic, there was another case. This time a dog was hit by a car. A couple either witnessed it or found the dog shortly thereafter.

They brought the animal into the clinic. They already had two dogs of their own the cost of veterinary care, much less emergency veterinary care is mind-bogglingly expensive... as such, a good samaritan is faced with the desire to help, but perhaps not the financial wherewithal to complete the job. That is a major emotional struggle. This couple filed the paperwork for the dog as a stray, which means they chose not to bear the financial responsibility for this dog, and thus could not dictate what care it was given.

They were clearly torn with this decision, as the couple left . Ten minutes or so later the woman came back in tears, stating that if the costs to save the dog could be kept below $1,000.00; they would take care of them. Sadly, the dog had major internal injuries and was put down later in the afternoon.

Back to the kitten. The third option is the one we choose, which is to have the leg set (which was successful), then splinted. We will be monitoring the kitten and the bandage changed every 2-3 days. This process will be going on for the next 6-8 weeks.

Hopefully the leg will have a clean mend and will the cat will have a chance at a normal life. All this to the tune of $837.33 (Money well spent thus far).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Coke-Cola Bottles and/or Caps

If you drink sodas you may have noticed, that Coke-Cola has a new bottle-cap for their twist off plastic bottles. I have purchased two bottles over the past two weeks of Diet Coke and I could not finish either, one because of the stench on the bottles (or the caps). I would smell the outside of the bottle and everything is fine, then when you put your nose over the bottle and sniff, you get a pretty rank smell. I only started to notice this on the bottles with the new caps. I have not checked just the cap, but today was the second occurrence and I thought I would Google it to see if others have noticed it as well. There is at least one person who has.

  • "Nancy T> // May 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I mean they really smell bad. I don't know why but many cokes I have bought with this new cap have a terrible smell to it and it makes me not want to drink another diet coke. Please go back to the original cap!

So, is this something that was not QA'd well enough? Did they change the Diet Coke recipe, did they change the bottles, or is it just the cap itself? I know, I will NOT be buying another diet coke (or any other drink with a cap like this, if that smell is present).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Patch 'em if you have 'em (and you have 'em)

Nearly everyone has a version Flash on their machines... As such, this applies to everyone. If you are not sure what version you have, head on over and update anyhow. Better safe then sorry. This allies to nearly every program you run on your compluters nowadays... We have reached the period of "liquid code", updates are common and neccessary.

Make sure you update your appliations periodically and when you hear of exploits that is a good time to double-check. It only takes a few moments.

More about this vulnerability :

Malware Attack Exploiting Flash Zero Day Vulnerability on Dancho Danchev's Blog. Adobe Flash zero-day exploit in the wild on

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hiking at Kennesaw Mountain

Today we went for a morning hike at Kennesaw mountain. It was a beautiful day, with a light breeze. Perfect for outdoor activities. The hike was nice, and we got to see a snake on the way back to the car. It was crossing the path and another hiker noticed it first.

We watched it cross the path. It was about 3.5-4 feet in length and looked similar to to the one pictured below, thus at this point I am going to state that it was a Black Rat Snake, primarily because it flicked its tail to simulate a rattle, and this is the closet looking picture I was able to find when we returned.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Video of the F1 tornado in Woodstock, GA

Nesset740 posted a clip of the tornado from their viewpoint on YouTube. You should be able to see below, or click on the link to go to the YouTube page.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Storms Damaged 1,000 Cherokee Homes

Seems like it may have been a tornado. The above image from CBS46, while below is a story from ABC2
"A spokesman for the National Weather Service told WSB-TV Channel 2 reporter Ross Cavitt some of the damage was caused by a F1 tornado."

Read the slight more expansive reporting here

Storms Damaged 1,000 Cherokee Homes

It really was this dark too, however, I was not able to see any light, there was too much, wind, rain, and debris. Also saw a clip for tonights newscast on FOX (I believe), which looks to have video from people in a car.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Alternative Rock Tracks

Looking for some alternative tracks? Just stopped by this site? Well check out the MP3 clips widget to the right for some alternative rock tracks... covering the whole genre from Ska, through punk, to american alternative.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Intel vPro Resources

A while back the new machines we ordered began coming with something called Intel AMT; we had not heard of it, nor did we have time to dig into it. We kept getting dialogs that AMT was disabled from our images (we had the drivers loaded), but since we had neither the time nor inclination to dig into the technology we just turned off or removed the drivers.

Well that all changed after this year's MMS. Intel was actively promoting vPro and with the information gleaned there I was able to see real uses that we would be able to begin to incorporate today. Thus, begins the long journey through documentation and is there loads of it (as is always the case nowadays).

I will say this, that AMT (or vPro) looks to be an awesome technology, Intel really needs to work on the sales/marketing folks as the information (as is pointed out in the links below) is not found as easily as it could be and the channels they were communicating through were not probably optimal… many a system admin is AMT? What's that… (The Word 2007 dictionary wants to correct vPro to vapor? I find humor in that.)

What do you really need to know to start?

What can it do?

  • Discover platform assets using data retained in non-volatile storage
  • Heals systems remotely even when the operating system is down
  • Protect against malicious software attacks by making it easier to keep software virus protection consistent and up to date across the enterprise
  • Limit the effect of "malware" and platform misuse by containing outbreaks and software tampering on the managed client, isolating the infected network element from the rest of the network.
    The above is just a partial listing.
Which Provisioning Platform?

Enterprise or Small Business, simply, if you have any security requirements go with enterprise implementation. Our machines are preconfigured for that (as I would assume most are).

What Infrastructure is needed?

  • Server
Pre-Requisite Patches (see documentation)
  • Database
  • Active Directory (w/schema update)
  • SMS 2003 or SCCM 2007
  • Add-on for SMS 2003
  • SP1 for SCCM
  • As you can see from the partial listing the enterprise deployment is not something that is going to happen overnight, especially when most of the functions that this will address end up crossing multiple group and political lines in most medium-large organizations. First thing ensure you have an executive level champion who can get this moving if you plan on utilizing in your organization.

    Core Links

    Additional Links

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    MMS 2008 – Las Vegas – The Venetian

    The Microsoft Management Summit kicked off today in Las Vegas, NV. The event is being held at the Venetian, which boasts a large conference center amongst the posh environment. We came into Vegas on Sunday a day early. A large number of people fly in on Monday and start the event with afternoon classes, coming in early allows us time to relax (even have a night to ourselves) and schedule a Monday morning session or two.

    This being my first trip to Vegas I am excited to see the sites and if time allows play a little black jack or craps. One thing I am pleased to see is (at least the Venetian) still has real cards, instead of the digital ones, most of the smaller casinos in the North Carolina area are using today. However, before we get to the gaming I will briefly talk about the accommodations.

    We heard from many people the Venetian was a very nice place and it thus far has lived up to its reputation. In many ways it is a stunning environment, with a lot of attention to detail. The rooms are spacious; contain 2 HD TVs, a business desk, printer/fax, huge bathroom with separate shower/tub and a host of other smaller niceties. See some of the pictures below for the room/view.

    Each of the modern hotels basically has its own mall and themed attraction (Think Disney world for Adults). The Venetian has the Plazio, which is a Venice themed mall with a canal and gondoliers running through the middle. The ceiling is styled to look like the sky at the perfect time of dusk and actually provides ample illumination. It is a large and winding shopping area, which provides the guest room to wander.

    Since this is a business trip and 90% of my time will be consumed with the expo, lectures, hands-on-labs, and networking there is not much chance we will be leaving the Venetian grounds. We may walk the strip on Friday (as we are staying an extra night to relax some), but largely a true visit of Las Vegas will be required on personal time to explore all the city and surrounding area have to offer.
    Tomorrow the conference really begins with breakfast, the first of three keynote speeches, and the launching into the lecture, expo, and labs with full force.

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Brief Instant Message Conversation - MMOGs

    The following comes from an instant message conversation with a buddy about the current crop of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs – I removed the R for role-playing as role-playing is not often found in the games today as a norm).

    HIM: Will someone dethrone blizzard? (Age of Conan or Warhammer)

    ME: No, because most of Blizzard’s subscriber base is Asiatic subscribers, they are still playing StarCraft by the millions and are brand loyal. Warhammer/AoC, unless they have GLOBAL launches planned will end up like EQ2, and unless they are games that fit into the culture they will be in trouble.

    HIM: Regarding the upcoming World of Warcraft Expansion Pack “I think I’m just dreading the level 80 grind”

    ME: I have done soo much leveling, in WoW nowadays; it is more fun than BGs/Dungeons.

    HIM: Coming from the man with 5 level 60's+

    ME: Actually only four, and the primary reason for that is there is too much hassle with other people/groups/drama and more importantly wasted time waiting on people... 60-70 are easy. 70-80 should be just as easy.

    HIM: See there is a fundamental difference in playstyles, if you are a PvP player that is fine but for raiders you need player interaction, and your progression is based on dungeons so I spend all the time in dungeons and now my progression will be for moot.

    ME: I will tell you what, the day (any game maker) releases a game that streamlines the party building/premade building processes, is a game I will go to. That is blizzards weak point, No community management tools, no guild management tools, not easy to find groups, build raids, and hell not even easy to build premade PvP groups.

    You solve those problems and have a fun game as well (with low system requirements); you topple WoW.

    HIM: So true. Well we have two contenders up we will see.