Thursday, August 31, 2006
no-speaky-da-english was a bit of a challenge, but we managed to turn it into a wrap! I was exhausted after this marathon of not actually writing much.
No-speaky-da-english decided that I had not suffered enough during our first encounter and so turned up again today for another session of abuse.
I was having a great afternoon, I had just written an article for a well read web site, had just gotten a couple of emails from 'a real person at google', life, all in all, was pretty darn good.
Then the temperature of the room cooled, the lights dimmed, and in walked No-Speaky-da-english.
Based on the amount of chicken scratches on it, he and everyone else in his entire ethnic community had obviously spent the entire week defacing his resume.
I am bound by privacy laws, so I cannot actually name names, but lets say that he took a course on how to run a 'hand mixer' at Safeway, and as a result has a certificate.
Of course having a 'hand mixer' certificate is an important aspect to anyone's resume.
In the original version of the resume I had the 'Hand Mixer' certificate mentioned under the Education topic.
No-speaky-da-english decided that this was not what he wanted. The changes included:
Objective: To find full time employment with a company that can use my junior 'hand mixer' skills, I have a 'hand mixer' certificate from Hand Mixer University which I got in Aug/06
Highlights Of Qualifications:
Certified 'Hand Mixer' operator, I have a certificate from the Hand Mixer University which I got in Aug/06.
Hand Mixer University, Qualified as a junior 'Hand Mixer' operator (I have the certificate, which I got in Aug/06)
Hand Mixer University where I got a Hand Mixer Certificate Aug/06
Hobbies and Interests:
I like to play with Hand Mixers (I made that one up! hahahahahahaha)
Of course the really sad part about all of this is that he got the 'Hand Mixer' certificate in Ontario, and that is not valid in Alberta. So he is going to have to go back to school to learn it all over again!
The only good part, as far as I can see anyway, there is no Hand Mixer University in Alberta, he will have to get his next one through some Online University.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
I get home, and tell Jan that we have to watch the news, she is pissed, 6pm is Judge Judy time. Well we watch the whole stinking hour, and nothing, nada, zip!
At noon today I am told that they are coming back. Apparently the two hours on Friday was not long enough.
1:30 they roll up, they got all their weapons of torture, they film for another hour, they ask a gazzilion questions, and they say that this is gonna be a big segment on the 6 o'clock news.
I get home, I tell Jan that she is going to miss Judge Judy again, and we watch the 6 O'Clock news!
WooHoo they run the segment. It lasts 1:55, and they have managed to confuse two different stories and merge it into something that the average viewer will just look at and go 'Huh, WTF was that about?'
The approximatly 40 mins of interviews with me was shortened into 15 seconds of audio and about another 15 seconds of 'general landscaping video'
hahahaha the good news is I am not a virgin at this. I have been through it many times, but it does amaze me how these people turn up so unprepared that they have to spend an hour or more scoping out the questions that they really want to ask.
My Blog was PNG this morning. The reason was that article I wrote about TV censorship, about how the F word was ok on the cooking channel, but not ok on TBS.
You just have to love software that chooses what you can see and read. I am the first person to support the need to clean up the damn internet. It is full of stuff tha is objectionable. However companies that blindly use these filters aare making a huge mistake.
Just to keep the kids happy, I am gonna take all the F words out of my post!
Saturday, August 26, 2006
It appears tho that we were all wrong. I have conclusive proof that the Germans had the IBM PC in World War 2. This picture clearly shows a WW2 U-boat in dry dock. If you look carefully at the bow (sharp end of the boat) you can see a PC! Weighing in at 50lb they make a damn fine boat anchor.
This picture clearly shows that the germans knew that PC's were 'Boat Anchors' in the 1930's.
History could be changed based on this historic picture.
I know this is hard to believe but it was 25 years ago (August of 1981) that IBM introduced the world to probably the finest WMD of all time.
I'll bet Saddam wishes he had invented it first, this thing beats a Scud by a million miles
It had a couple of names, the official name was the IBM 5150, the regular guy in the street called it the "PC".
IBM claimed that the PC was the answer to everyone's needs. At last you could have a computer on your desk, better still, it was at an affordable price. The adverts stated that you too could join the computer age for under $2000.
It turned out that the truth was slightly different. To use an automotive analogy, the PC came with a number of 'optional extras', among them wheels, engine, seats, and brakes!
Without the optional extras you had a car that did not go far.
The upshot was that after paying about $5000 you actually had a computer. Unfortunately in their haste to get to market IBM had forgotten a couple of bits to the jigsaw puzzle.
They had absolutely no programs to run on it except the operating system that our good buddy Bill had purloined from Tim Patterson.
And although IBM's main thrust was to sell these machines to companies that already owned IBM Mainframes there was no way to connect a PC to a Mainframe.
These minor issues did not dent sales. IBM had projected to sell 250,000 units in year one, and if they did, they were set to turn a tidy profit. They actually sold 3 million units in year one!
IBM was in heaven, they had cracked the personal computer market!
incidentally Bill was not doing bad either. The agreement that he had with IBM was that they would pay $20 per copy of DOS. So our good buddy Bill who had purchased DOS from Tim Patterson for $50,000 got $60 Million in revenue in year one! Now that's what I call a return on investment!
Friday, August 25, 2006
TV has had a long history of not allowing that little four letter word that begins with 'F' and ends with 'K'.
I have long been a believer that censorship is a bad thing, generally speaking censorship is a self defeating measure, if you tell someone that they 'Cannot do something' and make a great big deal about it, people will do it!
It was 10pm the other night, Jan and I had just watched the end of 'lethal weapon', and Jan was talking about how they had butchered the audio, there was nary a F**K in the whole movie. In the original there are 8 Gazillion.
We switched over to the 'Food Channel', it was showing a program staring my good buddy Gordon Ramsey. It took less than a minute for him to say "F**k off you fucking w@nker".
So, my advice is, if you don't like coarse language watch the violent movies, if you do like coarse language, the 'Food Channel' is the bet bet.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
There is a whole industry that has emerged to improve web site rankings inside search engines, and from what I can gather people pay big bucks for this service.
I discovered that when I did a search for "Axe Head" beer, my blog was the top ranked site, beating out even the biotech company that manufactures Axe Head.
You know you have arrived when ya got number one ranking on a Google search!
Of course you probably have figured out this already, I spent $zero to get this great ranking!
Due to being in exactly the wrong place at exactly the wrong time I found myself temporarily running a small ISP. ISP is maybe a bit of an exaggeration, I think the total client list was around 100 dialup accounts and amaaybe 40 DSL users.
The owner of this venture unfortunately had to spend some time at an all expenses paid vacation in a federal facility. I never have been able to figure out exactly what he did to 'win' this great prize, but I suspect it was some form of embezelment.
The deal was for me to run this operation for the 6 months of his incarceration and he would give me a 25% interest in his operation. Well I am pretty damn good at math and it took no time at all to figure out that 25% of fuck all, is $0. But being the nice guy that I am, I took the mission. What a mistake!
One night at about midnight I started to get 'tech support' calls from customers complaining that their e-mail was down. I discovered to my chargrin that I could not access the mail server remotely and so had to get dressed and drive down to out 'datacentre' (the data center was a large closet that we rented in an office building!).
I found the problem, the server had crashed. I then found out the reason why. Earlier that day I had signed up a new client, and the bastard was a spammer, he had crashed my server by trying to send out over 5 million emails!
I disabled his account, got the server running and went home to bed.
The next morning the moron called me and said he was having trouble signing on! hahahaha
I explained that his activity had caused me a great deal of trouble and as far as I was concerned his chances of getting his account back were as likely as Osama bin Laden winning the Nobel peace prize.
Now the one thing that I do admire in this class of person is their sheer dogged persistence, he apologized for the problems and asked if he could buy me lunch. I am always in favor of free beers, and arranged to meet him at my local watering hole. I wasn't sure how, but I was determined to obtain retrebution for my wrecked nights sleep.
Over beers he was fairly candid about his operation, it was to do with real estate refinancing, and he had bought an email list containing 125 million email addresses. His plan was to email everyone, and based on the sheer numbers game he would get 0.1% interested. And more importantly he would get rich. Then go out and buy another list and repeat as needed!
The problem was that every time he tried to get his business rolling people like me stopped him, he wanted to know what he could do.
Oh this was the opening I was looking for! I explained that what he needed to do was cut the 'middle man' out, become his own ISP and then he could do whatever he wanted. All he really needed for this was a 'beefy' computer, some big hard drives, and a high speed internet connection.
He asked me if I could arrange this equipment, and the deal was sealed. Of course I asked for money up front and literally ran to his bank to cash the cheque for $1600 for the computer.
$300 later at the computer store I had the makings of a really shitty little computer.
5 days later he called and said that the Pac Bell guys had installed his DSL and he was ready to go.
I threw the junk computer in the car and headed over. In less than 15 minutes he was online. And this was the point I left. My guess was that he was going to hit the switch on those 125 million email addresses and Pac Bell was gonna get very grumpy.
It was less than 20 minutes later that my cell phone went off. Boy he was mad as hell. They had canned his account, he was out of business, he had paid Pac Bell $200 for the installation, etc etc.
The big one was, he wanted the money back for the computer, I explained that all sales are final!
I just love it when I get the chance to screw with these people. The guy cost me a nights sleep and I ended up charging him the equivalent of $200 an hour for lost snooze time! hahahaha
Monday, August 21, 2006
One of the common things I am asked to do is to help people with their resume. I have been doing this for 4 1/2 years and in that time I have critiqued or written hundreds of damn resumes.
I have seen some very strange ones in my time.
A few examples:
Where I would have used the word 'Assertive', the author preferred 'I don't put up with no shit'.
Under the heading 'Hobbies and Interests' (which I personally think is potentially a mine field and never suggest that anyone should include it), "Nightclubbing and hanging out with my bro's".
'Reed and rite english good'
The absolute classic was a guy who did not want to put his name, address or phone number on his resume. "How are they going to get in touch with you?" I asked. His explanation was that if they were serious about hiring him, the company would find a way to track him down!
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me for help, he had no computer skills, so I invited him to sit down next to me and I would do the keyboard magic.
My usual technique is to use one of my sample resumes, most of the folks that I write resumes for are looking for pretty blue collar jobs, laboring, Painting, Restaurant, etc. I then pull up the appropriate one and change it around to meet the individual needs.
He had explained that he had an application for a job with the city and wanted to have a resume to send in with the application.
My question was "What is the Job?", the answer was "Ice Hockey Coach".
Hmmmm, well I must say that I do not have a hockey coach sample resume, but what the hell, I'll give it a whirl.
Objective: To find employment with an organization that can use my coaching, management, and sporting event experience.
So far so good!
I then flesh out the rest of the resume. The 'Highlights of Qualifications' was a bit of a challenge, so I added the tried and tested:
- Great communication and organization skills
- Dedication to the organizations aims
- Dynamic and well organized management style
This guy has 20 years experience as a house painter! Internal and external, residential and commercial, he was well rounded!
"So, I see you have over 20 years experience as a painter, what makes you think that Hockey Coaching is for you?" I gently inquire.
He thinks about this for a few seconds. "well I am fed up with painting f'ing houses, and when I was a kid I played Hockey, so I know a lot about it. They would be crazy not to give me this job".
ARGHHHHHHHH just another boring day in paradise!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Well the best thing I can say is it was an 'interesting' adventure. Axe Head beer is not for the beginner. This is a beer for the drinking professional.
It tastes like a cross between drain cleaner and Everclear.
I think the average drinker should limit their intake to one bottle. I managed 2, but I can honestly say that it was some hard going. Most of the day was lost while I 'slept off my Axe'.
The bad news is that I still have a bottle of Axe Head in the fridge. So if you are going to be in the Calgary area please drop me a line and I will be more than happy to share it with you!
I just got back from the liquor store and I am drinking some wimpy 5% stuff, and it tastes just great!
I declare the Axe Head story done!
Well it is 3:39am on Sunday morning. We have decided to start a little earlier than originally planned. The really great news is that Jan has decided to join in the celebrations.
She is not going to be doing Axe though, she is going to tackle a 2 litre bottle of cheap wine cooler. This stuff is the Canadian version of Mad Dog 20/20. I am so proud of her!
4:30 and we are off and running. I just took my first sip. I can definitely say that Axe Head is NOT a classic breakfast beer. This is gonna be a hard morning
This stuff is bad! Those first couple of slugs really take some intestinal fortitude to get down.
I think Jan got the better side of the deal with her Mad Canadian 20/20, which she says isn't too bad apart from the fact that it makes your lips pucker when you drink it.
All in all I think we are off to a great start.
5:15 am I am about 1/3 of the way through the first bottle. About the only good thing I can say about Axe Head is that after the first few swallows the 'gag reflex' subsides. The taste though does not improve. This might be due to the fact that it is warming up.
There is no question about it's potent 11% punch, I can feel it already.
5:45 am Well I am about 2/3 of the way through bottle number one. I suspect that Axe Head destroys brain cells. I base this observation on the fact that I watched the last hour of "Weekend at Bernies" and am now watching "American Ninja" on TV.
Jan is doing fine with her Mad Canadian, She is on drink three. Apparently the 'pucker factor' brings on the munchies, she is eating last nights leftovers.
6:30 OK we killed one of the nasty little buggers, only 2 more to go. I am feeling pretty confident about the project so far.
7:30 This is without doubt the worst beer I have ever tried. I am only about 1/3 into the second bottle, and I need a nap. It still tastes like crap.
There is no doubt about it. This stuff is bad.
I think I need Jan to look after me. The problem is that she is as wasetd as I am.
8:30 Ok 2 Axe's down and I need wild sex and a nap.
12:00 I feel much better, I am not sure if it was the wild sex or the nap.
I have cracked a Bow Valley Strong (7%) that actually tastes like beer, and I am happy.
The bottom line folks, Axe is not for me, the brain killing 11% combined with the gag inducing taste is not my thing.
The wild sex and the nap were great, but I just can not see me doing Axe Head on a regular basis.
On a 5 star scale, I give Axe Head -5,000,000 stars (for the numerically challenged that is MINUS five million).!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
With slightly less than 16 hours to go I thought I should bring you up to date with the preparations.
I had a 'dry run' of the big event this morning, I got up at 5am drank a cup of coffee and smoked a cigarrete. This dress rehersal went off without a hitch, so I am confident that we will be on schedule for 5am tomorrow.
Unfortunately I was not able to try a couple of beers at this mornings practice because I had to drag my butt into work.
I just checked the refrigerator and the Axe Heads feel nice and frosty.
Friday, August 18, 2006
It is Friday afternoon, we are approximately 36 hours away from the big event. Just like NASA there is a well prepared sequence to the events for the next 36 hours. To bring you up to date on the countdown so far:
At T-39 hours I dropped in on my local liquor store and purchased the Axe Head. Mel the guy that works in the store gave me a funny look when I put the bottles on his counter.
"It's for an experiment" was my comment.
"You are not going to drink that stuff are you?" he asked in a concerned tone.
At T-38 hours the Axe Head was carefully loaded into the refrigerator. Extensive research has shown that Axe Head should only be attempted when it is colder than a whores heart! 38 hours in the fridge should make it nice and frosty. I did try and contact NASA to try and secure some of that foam stuff they use on the shuttle to keep the bottles nice and insulated, but so far I have had no response from them. I can only assume that they are all too busy looking for the lost moon landing tapes.
At T-37 hours my wife made me go to the bank and pay all the bills. I think that she is a little nervous (a bit like Evil Kneivels wife probably was when he was about to take a jump) that something might go wrong on launch day, and she will get stuck with the gas and phone bill.
At T-36.5 hours it is time to start the simulated event. A 6 pack of Bow Valley Strong (7%) is going to be consumed as a dry run.
T-35 we are almost out of the Bow Valley Strong. I might need to drink some of the other beer I have in reserve.
T-34 the backup plan has been put into effect. The Bow Valley Strong has been exhausteded. Our backup plan uses 5% beer. I still feel confident about this project. I do not have the huge infrestructure of NASA but Jan will make sure that I am safe. Another 6 pack of 5% beer should give me the 'edge' that I will need on Sunday morning.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The first one was a story carried on the AP and Reuters news services regarding an attempted bank heist
And the one that just had me rolling on the flour was a do it youself guide to brewing booze while in jail.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
One of the prime motivations behind my "Around the World in Eighty Beers" series is that each story should have considerable personal exposure to the beer in question.
I have to admit that my knowledge about AxeHead is mainly second hand. Although my sources are reliable, and I have seen the 'Post Emergency Room' results, stitches, casts, bad bruising, etc. I personally have never taken "Axe to the Max".
This is going to be rectified next Sunday. My plan is to get 3 bottles of Axe and enjoy them for breakfast. My usual regime for Sundays involves getting up at about 5am and enjoying a cup of fresh brewed coffee with a beer chaser.
I must admit that AxeHead is not what I would class a breakfast beer. I am willing to bet that that first few slugs are going to be hard going, but I think in the interest of humanity this is an important piece of research. Who knows, I may win the Nobel prize for beer drinking as a result.
Most of my research has revealed that one bottle results in a pretty good buzz, two bottles most motor functions of the body are disabled, and three bottles results in the intervention of the emergency services (either the Police or the Medical folks, or both!)
It's going to be a great Sunday. I can't wait for my wife to read this post. She will be so happy with me! hahahahahaha (Jan you can always leave a comment if you want to)
I liked the 80's it was a lot of fun. I started the decade in England, spent the bulk of it in Canada and ended it in San Diego. Yes indeed a fun decade.
I can recomend Alastairs page, it is damn good reading
A recent post of his talked about 80's computers. I remember them well, big, clunky, slow, crude, and a pile of fun to use!
In my collection of 'stuff' I have a Vic 20, Commadore 64, Kaypro 10, TRS 80, and several early Laptops and Hand Held computers. I love playing with them.
The 80's were in many ways the golden age of the personal computer.
Bring back DOS, CP/M, BASIC, and 300 Baud modems! Thats my theory anyway.
Monday, August 14, 2006
I came home from work, and I was broke, she gave me beer and cigarette money! Now that deserves a big thank you. So I decided to put in a shameless plug for her new venture.
She makes stuff out of Plastic canvas. This would be the ideal gift for your wife or girlfriend (hint hint)
Take a moment and visit her site.
Oh, and she also makes custom licence plate holders!!!!!!!
I'll get beaten for this!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
The Attic web site is hosted on GooglePages for a couple of reasons, firstly its a piece of cake to slap a page together, and secondly, and maybe more importantly its FREE. This is a fundamental requirement for most things that I use.
To create the page I needed to set up a google account, well 'Attic', and 'TheAttic' were taken, I settled for 'Atticsrus' as in Attics-R-Us. This is a web site that gets zero traffic and has no purpose in life other than for my own personal amusement. (ohoh that sounds like this blog as well hahahaha).
This morning I was playing around in Google to see what it had and had not indexed. It may be the best Search engine out there, but it sure is hard to understand how it works its magic.
You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Attic was not only indexed, but actually search term number one with a keyword of "Atticsrus"!
I'll just bet the owner of the various E-Bay stores by the same name is pissed off hahahahaha.
Maybe I should put a hit counter on the page to see how well it does.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Here is a general shot of the Livingroom/Data Center
From this 'command post' we can run 'The Enterprise'. The outstanding item in this picture is the TV, which is an old Apple Mac Performa, with a 19 inch monitor, and a remote!
As with any 'Well Organized' computer network it is important to use meaningful names for the computers forming the backbone of your enterprise. This one is 'The Cardboard Box'.
My Co-Pilot Jan prefers a more traditional looking computer (she is old school!).
One of the big issues with a project of this size is support. It is important that all of the cables are well marked and easy to find.
Anyone can swipe their credit caard and buy Web Hosting. For about $15 a month you can find a gazzilion places that will host your corporate web site. The big fish tho like to host their sites on their own servers. Not wanting to have to rely on outside expertise I decided that 'In House' hosting was a must.
A better use for the BeerBox I can not think of.
With all of this networking going on it is critical to have a substantial 'Switch' to handle the Local and Remote network traffic.
Most serious data centers offer 'Hot Backup' servers, well mine are not really hot, more like 'Luke warm', they are ready to go when they are needed.
This IBM Aptiva is one of our 'Outdoor Puters', we drag it outside and use it to serve music and videos.
On the table is an IBM Thinkpad, Jan uses this as her Ipod. She drags it into the bedroom and listens to her music. Under the table is an Apple G3. I am not really an apple person, I really do not know much about them, but they are fun to play with. This apple G3 (old world mac) is running linux. It took 6 months of hard effort and drinking to get it to run linux, but I did it!
You can read the story here.
I do hope you have enjoyed this short introduction to 'Building Your Own Data Center in Your Livingroom'.
I am waiting for the job offers to roll in........
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Sunday evening, we are sitting around letting dinner digest, enjoying some light refreshments, reflecting in the successful completion of yet another mission. The transportation of the 27' sea ray from the mud bog at the side of the house, to its summer quarters in the city marina.
This was of course done using an entirely illegal trailer.
In order to avoid any 'close encounters' with the police, and more importantly 'the ministry of transport', a circuitous route was mapped out, using back roads and residential areas. With the assistance of some 'inside' information we knew where the 'MOT' was hanging out.
Jim our accomplice in crime (driving the truck) gave us some 'sage' advice before we left. He hooked up the trailer, then went around inspecting the electrics, disturbed that a brake light was not working eyed the vehicles around and selected mine (great!) for a little bit of cannibalism. Having rectified (sorta) the problem he remarked "when you are doing illegal things, there is no point in drawing attention to yourself", this seemed good solid advice. He then strode over to the 'beer' fridge, cracked open a frosty 'labatts dry' , climbed into his truck, and headed out. hmmm not attracting attention......
Greg and I leap into the Jeep and set off in hot (luke warm) pursuit, our mission, to stick like glue to the back of the trailer, no tags, boat is on lopsided, brake lights only working intermittently, no brakes, boat not secured correctly to the trailer, and, the driver of the truck is enjoying a nice cool one!
Well, in the case of any potential trouble with the authorities , our mission as 'rear guard' is to run interference, tho what that will entail, I have no idea. Some low speed chase through downtown Windsor with a 27' sea ray! I wonder if we will be on CNN.
Anyway, the good news is that we make it to the marina without incident.
The boat is launched, and, after slamming it into the dock a few times, (presumably to give it that 'lived in' look), we tie the critter down, and set out on the journey home. Jim, grabs a 'traveler' and hurtles out of the marina at break neck speed, Greg and I , in hot pursuit realize that the journey back is going to be somewhat different.
Jim has decided that now divest of the 8000 lbs of boat, he will demonstrate the awesome power of his Dodge Ram 4 wheel drive truck. With the trailer bouncing wildly around the road (and the sidewalk) we do a 70mph chase back to the house. Once again 'lady luck' is with us, and we make it back with no problems with the 'boys on blue'.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I seem to be on a kick for regional bad brews! Bow Valley Strong, is another of those brain numbing beers that hit the spot on a hot day.
Bow Valley Strong weighs in at 7%, definitely not as wicked as Axe Head or Perfect 10. But it does pack a punch.
Bow Valley is actually brewed by 'Big Rock'. Personally I am not a fan of Big Rock. Their signature beers are Trad, that after two pints I want to throw up, and a light beer called Grasshopper, after three Grasshoppers again I am getting that gag reflex!
Bow Valley Strong is without doubt the best of what Big Rock offer.
What was interesting was Googling about Big Rock, they claim that Bow Valley Strong is just a side line that they have spent $ZERO advertising the product.
While I do not have any hard stats, I'd bet that Bow Valley Strong sells better than Trad or Grasshopper.
Have a beery day!
A fine brew from the folks at Labbats. One of my favorite bargain beers to be found in Alberta. Although with all the stinking taxes that the government hits us with its still $7 a six pack! So its not really much of a bargain.
Lucky Extra was my inspitation for some computers I built:
The Original Beerbox
The Beerbox Clustered Server
The Beerbox Portable (Stacked servers on a golf cart)
In fact I had so much fun with Lucky Extra that the original Beerbox is my web server. You can check it out here.