Carbonated soft drinks found to be leading cause of global warming.

Carbonated soft drinks found to be leading cause of global warming. 

The Farmington Institute of Global Studies found in a six-year study that the CO2 found in soft drinks and carbonated beverages were the leading cause of carbon dioxide that has been leading to global warming. The study in part funded by the UN Counsel for Climate Studies and the NOAA, found that the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere every year by soda dispensing machines and opening carbonated beverages such as cans and bottles led to a dramatic increase in CO2 put into the environment. Dr. Richard Kopft, the head researcher of the study, said the findings were “dramatic.” “This entire time we thought the primary contributor to CO2 and so-called “greenhouse gases” was the burning of fossil fuels,” he stated at a press conference held late Friday afternoon, “when actually a good part of the global climate warming is caused by the CO2 emitted by sodapop.”

Janis Ritoff, NOAA researcher, added “The automobile isn’t killing us,” she stated “it the soda fountain at McDonald’s, Burger King, and  Kentucky Fried Chicken this whole time!  We thought they were just bad for our waistline.  We didn’t know that they were also causing the polar bears to die.” 

Dr. Sanji Krupra, renowned physician, commented on this newly discovered phenomena. “As it gets hotter,” he said “people drink more soda, causing it to get hot, causing them to drink more soda. It’s a vicious cycle.  I don’t think that the soda pop industry can be held innocent in this case.  They’ve known what’s occurring for years but have ignored that CO2 is causing the warming and now we are all paying for it.”

A Starbucks representative was giddy at the news, simply saying “Drink more coffee!!!”

Comcast Business loves to host spammers!!!

Yes folks, that’s right…go right on over to comcast business with all your spamming needs!  You got spam you want to shovel out?  Well Comcast business network is the place for you!  Not only will they provide multiple venues  for your to shovel your crap out, they will help you change your domain and IP address when people start to block your ip address / domain.

Here’s and example:  after Ed sucessfully blocked a bunch of IP addresses that Comcast was allowing spammers to use, they allowed the spammer to change the domain and IP address they were using to shovel out the same old crap!  Now they are using the 50.195.29.0/24 subnet.

Look, I know spam filtering is like playing whack-a-mole, but I expect better from a “good corporate netizen” like Comcast.  Especially one so concerned with waste of bandwidth that they throttle their own customers

Meeting with NetApp

So during my little blow-up a few weeks back, I spoke with our representative within NetApp about the issues we were having with NetApp support.  Once all the dust had settled and we got the answers we needed and our issues resolved, he called and suggested a meeting between his team and my team so we could work some of these things out and discuss our pinch points and frustrations.

So we had the meeting at the beginning of this week and it went pretty well.  We touched on the major points of the nasty-gram CDW penned and we dismissed the points as a combination of straw-man and ad hominem attacks with no real basis or pertinance to the issues at hand.  We also discussed that the major issues we had were not design issues but issues with the 2040 and the latest round of patches they were rolling out (8.1.1+.)  They also begrudgingly conceded, in our discussion, that FlexClone was pretty much needed for any DR solution that you wanted to test (and as anyone in IT knows a DR solution that isn’t tested is NOT a DR solution at all.) One of the things that surprised me was that they actually have a document detailing how to go about opening a trouble ticket.

Another source of trouble which bothered me but there is no real good solution for is that the timing of opening a case is very important.  From what I gathered from our discussion, their data center where they handle trouble tickets for the U.S. is on the East coast.  They change shifts at 4 PM.  They start turning over current cases for second shift at 3 PM and will not take any new cases after 2 PM.  So for a guy like me in the Midwest that means that I best open a case before 1 PM Central time, or it isn’t going to be handled until the next day (or second shift if we indicate we will be available to work on it at that time .)  Only ifwe open the case on line can we indicate that we will be able to work on the case into second (or third) shift as necessary.

I don’t know how much this meeting really accomplished, but it was nice to know that at least they were concerned enough to want to meet face-to-face.  And if nothing else we got a document stating the official “right way” to open a case with NetApp support.  We are still wainitng for the long-awaited white paper on how to perform DR testing.  If we can get that, then I will consider this meeting a success.

(UPDATE 9-26-2012): Got word back from NetApp…they really don’t have any information or papers on how to do DR testing or any best practices.  Their advise: hire CDW to do it for you.

Arrrrgggghhhhtttttt!!!!!!!

(Update 10-15-2012)

Me, Chantix, and quitting smoking.

I started smoking when I was sixteen.  Not really sure why I did as I was kind of health conscious (or at least I thought I was) and I was on the swim team.  So smoking was never really something I saw myself doing.    And I hated the smell of tobacco too.  Despite these facts, however, somehow I did end up smoking for 24 years.

And then fifty-nine months ago I had my last cigarette.  And when I did, I did not honestly think it would be my last.  In fact I was certain of it.  I had tried to quit numerous times before only to fail miserably.  I tried Wellbutrin,  the patch, nicotine gum, and cold turkey, but nothing seemed to stick.  Oh, I would do fine for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month or two.  Bet inevitably I would smoke again.  It was almost a running gag in my office that every week I would try to quit.

So when Chantix came out I was hesitant to try it.  More than that, I was ready to quit trying to quit.  I was addicted and always would be addicted.  My wife was tired of the mood swings and crabbiness associated with me trying to quit.  I was tired of wasting the money on products to help me quit smoking.  I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to quit smoking.

So perhaps it was out of that desperate place that I decided to give Chantix a shot.  I started taking it on a Monday.  For those not familiar, Chantix is taken for a full week before the actual quit date to allow the chemical to build up in the body.  During that week the smoker continues to smoke. 

The following Monday came…my quit day!  The only problem was I didn’t quit.  There was no way I could as this stupid Chantix wasn’t doing anything.  I had the same desire to smoke as I always did.  I ended up smoking like I did on any other day.  I was ready to chuck the rest of the medicine and forget about it.

I woke up the next morning and decided I would give it one more chance.  “Let’s see if I can make it to work before having a smoke,” I remember thinking as I got out of bed.  I took my shower, got dressed, went downstairs and had breakfast and drove to work.  Then when I got there, my boss was waiting for me with an issue on the mail server.  So I started looking into that.  I got that issue resolved and there was another problem that one of the users off-site was having getting connected remotely.  So I worked on that for a while.

Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.  And I hadn’t had a cigarette yet.

But this time something was different.  This time I didn’t want one.

I was thunderstruck.  I had gone almost six hours not only not craving a cigarette the whole time, I hadn’t really even though about it.

In that instant I knew that if I gave it half a chance the Chantix would work and I would be able to quit smoking.

So here I am fifty-nine months later and I still haven’t had a cigarette.  I can only remember one time during the quit process that I was even close to smoking.  I went in to the convenience store, bought a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, walked outside, opened the pack, looked at them, and threw the cigarettes and the lighter away.  I hopped back in my car and swore all the way home.

But Chantix wasn’t without its issues.  Personally I experienced very, shall we say, vivid dreams, some pretty scary dreams, lightheadedness, and a little paranoia.  Knowing these were common side-effects helped greatly in dealing with them. 

The worst for me came when it was time to quit taking the Chantix, however.  Those scary nightmares I had while taking the Chantix became some pretty scary thoughts during my waking hours when I stopped taking it.  I read up on it (on the internet) and some people recommended stepping down the dosage over a week or two.  I consulted with my doctor and he concurred.  Stepping down the dosage helped significantly.

I’m still not certain if it was the desperation of a perceived last chance to quit or the effectiveness of the Chantix medication or a combination of both, but I am pleased to say that today I have been smoke free for 1796 days and look to continue that trend.  Chantix may not be for everyone, and I have heard a lot of complains about it, but the outcome for me was a positive experience.

5 Cool Things To Do in (and with) Evernote

Simply put, Evernote is the bomb!  There seems to be no end to what a person can do with it.  Here are the five latest things I have discovered to do with and in Evernote

 1.   Create a Journal – By creating a new note and inserting the date (as the Subject on a Mac using Shift+Command+D or Shift+Alt+D on a PC in the first line of the note) a person can quickly convert Evernote into a daily journal.

2.    Encrypt your Secrets.  In my previous post, I mentioned an issue with security and the risk involved with posting items of a confidential nature to Evernote.  Little did I know there was another level of security that I didn’t even know about.  By highlighting text in a note and right clicking the highlighted text, it allows you to encrypt the text with a password.  The password is the encryption key, so the longer and more complex it is, the better the encryption.

3.    You can add a note to Evernote via email.  Each account has an email address associated with it.  This can be found under “account info” and should end in something like @m.evernote.com.  You can use that email to send a note, picture, etc. right to Evernote.  The subject will the title of the note.  Additionally you can direct it to a pre-existing notebook by putting @notebookname in the subject line too.  And, so we don’t neglect the tags, it can also be tagged by #tagname in the subject line.  So if I wanted to put a note with the name of Macbook in my Apple notebook with a tag of Wishlist I would put the subject line as: Macbook @Apple #Wishlist

4.    Autosynch Dropbox and Evernote. If you use Dropbox as well as Evernote, you can use the folder Synch to auto-import Dropbox items into Evernote.  (Please note that currently there is no native way to do this on the Mac as the Mac Evernote client does not have a “Import Folder” command.) Here’s how I do it:

a.   In Evernote I created a notebook called “DropboxSynch”

b.   In Dropbox I created a folder called “EvernoteSynch”

c.   From within Evernote, I used the “Import Folder” and point it to the “Dropbox\EvernoteSynch” folder on the PC and direct it to import into the “DropboxSynch” notebook

impfold

 

Please note that deleting a note from the DropboxSych notebook in Evernote will delete the item from Dropbox as well.

 

5.   Send an RSS feed, Email,Tweet, etc. to Evernote.  This one requires the use of another service, ifft.com.  If you aren’t familiar with ifft.com it is a service that takes various things and does other things with them.  Sound confusing?  Well it is a bit.  But pretty simple too when you think about it.  It takes a trigger and does an action.  For example it can take a calendar event from Google Calendar and send it to Twitter.  In my case, I took an RSS feed (lets say CNN’s top stories) and send it to a note in Evernote.  The trigger is a new RSS entry on CNNs RSS feed and the action is append a note in Evernote.    The “recipe” for this can be found here https://ifttt.com/recipes/55670.  This is just an idea of what you can do with iftt.com and Evernote.  But it doesn’t stop there…you can send emails, web pages, tweets…just about anything to Evernote through iftt.com.  Give it a try.  It’s kind of fun.

Top Ten Horror Movies for Younger Teens

I love horror movies…good, bad, cheesy.  Love ‘em all.  (Except torture movies like “Saw” and “Hostel.”  They do nothing for me.  There is nothing creative about people being inhumane against other people.  I can read about that every day on the headlines.)  Give me a good old jump-out-of-the-seat horror movie any day.  They are the movie equivalent of roller coasters to me.

So with the stores getting ready for Halloween already, I thought it might be timely for this list.

I understand some parents may not approve of some of these movies or showing them to teens, and that’s fine.  Horror movies are not for everyone.  But I am imagining that if you’re reading this, you’re looking for suggestions to show your own teen, so we’re probably beyond that point.

Some of these movies have some foul language, some are violent, some have light drug use or sexual content, but by and large they should be okay for most younger teens.  I will try to identify those where appropriate, but in general it is the parent’s duty to determine if these are appropriate for their child and they alone must perform the due diligence to determine if they are right for their child.

So without further ado, here is my list…

10. Poltergeist – A classic.  A bit dated, but still a great first scare and a good chance of instilling a life-long fear of clowns.  There is some drug use (marijuana) but it is relatively quick.  Profanity as a minimum and the movie has some fairly decent scares in it.
9. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) –  One of the more graphically violent horror movies on my list, some of it comes off as almost cartoonish.  Yet at almost thirty years old, this one still has the scare factor.  Probably not a good choice for less mature teens, but I would imagine most 14 and 15 year-olds should be fine with this one.
8. Paranormal Activity – Language is a bit course at times, but a very good horror movie.  Slow at the beginning, the tense atmosphere and sense of ominous foreboding grow throughout to make a great movie.  Some good “jump in your seat” scenes too.
7. The Shining – This one has it all.  A classic with some pretty frightening scenes, ghosts, psychic powers, blood by the bucket load, and an axe-wielding Jack Nicholson at his creepiest.  Some brief nudity.
6. Friday the 13th (1980) – When this came out, it was kind of a benchmark for the slasher genre.  Often imitated, (and legendarily sequeled) time has dated this so most young teens can handle this movie pretty easily, but it still offers quite a few scares and starts.  Tamer by far than most “slasher” movies today, but still a good “Intro to Horror Movies” selection.
5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – My personal first horror movie.  Shown on WFLD TV in Chicago with warning for weeks before about the “graphic nature” of this movie and repeated after each commercial while being shown, this is a landmark. This is the stuff nightmares were made of.  Well, at least my nightmares.  Seen on a 9” black and white television with “rabbit ears” that constantly needed adjusting to get the signal to stay and a vertical hold that never quite seemed to stay put, I fell in love with the zombie genre.  It is still my favorite and hopefully I have passed some of that enjoyment on to my kids.  Just a cool spooky tale with a social message that will probably be missed by teens in this day and age.
4. The Ring 2 – A decent sequel to the original, the creepiness continues on.  Obviously only worth watching after the original is seen. PG-13 rating yet still pretty darn scary at times.
3. Paranormal Activity 2 – Out of the series (4 comes out this fall) this one is my favorite so far.  I think the writers and producers really did a great job of continuing the plotline and the sequel was actually better than the original.  Couple of F-bombs here and there, but nothing excessive.  Some good jump moments.
2. Misery – Holy cats…Kathy Bates is just downright scary.  The fight seen at the end is pretty intense, but overall I think this a good one for the kids to get freaked out by.  Also teaches them the value of putting things back in their place.  🙂
1. The Ring – My girls and I watched this and we were all on the couch huddled under the blankets before it was finished.  My favorite part is when my oldest turned to me about ten minutes into the movie and (half-laughing and half-crying) said “why did you do this to us, dad?”  Of course when I offered to turn it off and watch something else, there was much protesting, as this was way too fun to stop now.  This remains my girl’s favorite horror movie to date and the benchmark by which we measure all other horror movies.  Coming in with a PG-13 rating, it is one I recommend most highly.

Akamaru Japanese Restaurant Review

On our Great Road Trip 2012, we drove through Visalia, California on our way to King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Forest.  As we were hungry and it was dinnertime we decided to stop.  At this point in our vacation we had been on the road for over two weeks and were getting tired of eating out so we needed something different.  We decided to stop at Akamaru Japanese Restaurant.  And we were very glad we did.

The food was exceptional.  As we are not too familiar with Japanese cuisine, the waitress was very helpful in explaining what each dish was and offered suggestions.  They even explained how we eat the little green beans that came as an appetizer before the meal.

I and my youngest daughter had the Teriyaki Beef and my wife had the Bento box.  My oldest daughter had the Beef Noodles which came in a bowl larger than her head.  The Bento box was enormous and enough to feed two people.  You can’t say that Akamaru doesn’t give you enough to eat.

We left satisfied with both the food and our choice of restaurants.  In the unlikely event that we ever get back to Visalia again, we would certainly visit Akamaru again.

Akamaru Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon