Thursday, December 31, 2009

Closing another decade

Well, here we are.... ending not only another year but another decade. I really like what Joe Rogan said about getting old.... one day the bag boy says "sir" to you and you realize that you're an adult and the world is doomed. It's hard to believe that in about 6 months I'm going to be 30 years old.....

Sadly I don't know that all that much has really happened or changed in 2009 in my life. It's been a rough year with the economy and it's kind of left me in a slight financial bind but I know that God is in control and all I can do is pray that he takes care of me in 2010 and that he doesn't let the IRS hurt me too bad :) The business is now an LLC which, well, I'm not totally sure what all that means other than I pay Virginia an extra $100 a year..... but it sounds cool, right? I think the most that has happened in 2009 is that I've grown as a firefighter. I had all of my first real experiences this year -- including wrecking a fire truck.... oops. But life is like that.... you don't gain a lot without screwing up a lot.

Right now I'm sitting at the data center handling an urgent issue.... which is good because I can use the extra money to end 2009 on. Just waiting for a server to finish up an fsck and then I'm headed to the station for the night.... Don't really have much of a life but thats ok because I'm sure there'll be a few drunk drivers that will need our help.

One last thought..... does anyone else think its funny that 10 years ago today people were sitting on stock piles of food and water because all of the computers were going to explode and the world was going to end because we were all going back in time to 1900? Me? I wasn't concerned but I was in the basement to turn off the main circuit breaker at midnight and scare the crap out of my aunt.....

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a great 2010 and that God Blesses you and your families. Please go out and have a good night but if you drink please don't drive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Respect, Join, Fight

Lots of people always say that everyone has their purpose and the one thing that they were meant for. Most of the time its finding that purpose that's the problem but then even after you find that finding what you're supposed to do with that is a whole different ball game. I've been alive for 29 years now and I still can't tell you what I'm meant for. I can tell you that I have been given clues and I have ideas and that every day that goes by I learn just a little bit more of who I am. It's a process -- and I don't think it ends until life it's self ends. Of course, a few weeks ago I went home to PA for my great grandmother's funeral and I have to wonder that in the 109 years that she lived if she knew what her purpose was or if she really just lived her purpose without even knowing it. Personally, I think most people do just that -- and there isn't anything wrong with that.

If you look at any sports team you'll see different players serving a different purpose. They all have their position or their task. The greatest football player may just be the one that never gets a touchdown. Actually, there is no such thing as the greatest football player which is why it wasn't Ben Roethlisberger that won the Lombardi but the Steelers. Sure we have MVPs and awards that honor individual players but I don't think anyone will argue that the greatest award in the NFL is winning the Super Bowl. In a player's life they will go through many different positions and sometimes it'll take years and years for them to find their place and it'll happen by their coaches and team mates seeing something in them that would be great for another position other than what they may be in at any given moment. In fact, it's rarely the person that finds their place in anything but those around them.

I just finished watching an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger -- specifically Evil in the Night -- which made me again realize one component of me that defines who I am and what it is that excites me. Quite simply it is multiple people and organizations joining together for a common fight. If you asked any person what the most exciting part of that episode was I can all but guarantee that not a single person would tell you the same answer as I would. The part of this episode that got me most excited is when Ranger Trivette decided that the elders of the tribe needed to have a ceremony over an ancient burial ground that was disturbed in order to help Ranger Walker. The next scene was a van with the elders following Ranger Trivette in his truck with his red light flashing -- it was that scene that excited me the most. There is a lot to be said about that scene and more than most people probably even thought of.

This episode started out with the talk of ghosts and demons and Ranger Trivette really didn't buy any of it. As time went on he started to warm up to the idea but I doubt that he ever really understood or possibly even fully believed that evil spirits were being used in the attacks that happened in this episode. In order for my favorite scene to happen there was a very serious thing that needed to take place and that was simply that Trivette needed to respect the beliefs of the native americans regardless of whether he believed them or not. Aside from the respect there was another major component that had to happen and that was two groups that really don't always see eye to eye needed to join together and totally cooperate. The Native Americans could have easily said "these are the people that took our land" or refused to take part in easing the spirits of the souls of those buried in the burial ground that was disturbed in order to build a new building that had nothing to do with them -- but they didn't. They realized that people were in danger and that there was something that needed to be done for the good of everyone and they gladly went with Trivette.

All of us have our enemies individually but then we have our enemies that oppose the groups that we are in. I know I personally have a hard time with some people at the fire hall and in many cases it's better to avoid those people but if the call comes in and its down to me and those people we all have to put things aside and realize that our enemy as a group at that moment in time is the fire or the mangled car holding someone inside and we need to defeat that enemy as our major priority. It may not always be easy but I try. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to put aside your seniority or your rank and realize that everyone needs to learn from everyone and join together for the common good. On a larger scale one thing that I think is awesome is that when we're driving our ambulance or engine out of town and a police cruiser is sitting waiting for speeders that officer will often flash their lights at us to say hi and we'll do the same -- despite all the talk about the police dept did this or the fire dept did this we realize and recognize in that moment that we are on the same team regardless of our differences. When Joey and I arrived first on the scene to the accident where the 16 year old girl got hit by the drunk driver we went to work and we did what we knew best to do and as more engines arrived each person took their part in doing what needed to be done. We also had sheriff's deputies and state troopers on the scene and there wasn't any fights about jurisdiction -- it was people getting done what needed to be done. The officers handled the issues with the drunk driver and the fire department was there to help while the firefighters handled the scene and officers were there to help and the EMTs did their part and I still held c-spine on the girl even tho I'm a firefighter and not an EMT. Everyone doing their part is what took care of that scared girl and got the guy in jail that needed to be in jail.

It's really sad that you don't hear about these things and mostly don't see them anymore. And I don't just mean in the fire service, the NFL, or any other organization but in each person's personal life. We see Virginia license plates that say "Fight Terrorism" on a car that cuts off numerous people in order to save a few seconds of their commute. Instead of joining together to be prepared for what may happen we disrespect others and ignore the fact that others could use our help and genuine advice until disaster strikes and, only then, do we pull together.

As humans we all need to realized that it is a crucial part of our survival to respect each person and let them do what they believe they are meant to do and to help them, and allow others to help us, realize what our place in life is. Once we start respecting each other and start learning about each other then we can join together and fight the common enemy rather than arguing amongst ourselves. Without respect we can't join and without joining we can't win.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

John and Kari - September 19, 2009

This weekend my sister married her boyfriend of 7 years.... one of the most exciting and emotional days of my life. Being a groomsman I stood at the front of the church as my dad walked her down the aisle with tears rolling off of my face. I really had not dreamed that it would have been as emotional as it was for me but when I returned to Virginia and was still crying yesterday I realized just how important family is to me and how important family should be to everyone.

I've found myself thinking of my sister a lot and, as weird as it may seem, my first memory is when I was 3 years old and Kari was born. I remember being in the hospital and Lori (my other sister) and I had these red stickers that said "I have a new sister" and I remember, for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to see what happened if you stuck 2 stickers together and Lori seemed interested too.... so, that's what we did.... and then when my mom told us (I'm pretty sure in a joking manner that I didn't understand then) that we weren't able to go back in and see Kari since we don't have our stickers..... I cried..... alot....... I don't know why that memory is still in my mind but it is.... and I can't say that I remember much other about her being born other than that. Kari has always been a source of happiness in my life in one way or another.... whether it was her just being there as a really good friend over the last 10 years or so or back in our younger days when my dad was in a hospital bed in the living room from his motorcycle wreck and my mom hears Lori and myself running upstairs yelling "Mom, mom... Kari's in the washer and she turned it on".... Of course my mom didn't believe us until my dad yelled back that he heard the well pump running..... we all still laugh about that. And I'm sure that Lori and I did all kinds of needless harassing of Kari but all 3 of us were always close.... and we still are. It's hard living a few states away because I can't hang out with them like we used to but it makes the times that we can hang out that much more fun and special.

I think its kind of funny how life never seems to go the way we expect it to. Kari is the youngest of us 3 and always was noted as the "crazier" one.... The one who just floated around looking for trouble -- not in a criminal kind of way but in the way a kitten does..... And of course Lori and I are both still as single as they come and Kari is the one that's married and still the head gymnastics coach at the Greensburg YMCA. She showed us, I guess!

It's so hard to explain emotions such as these.... as Kari walked down the aisle I cried.... when she danced with my dad, I cried..... I just cried a lot..... being so happy for someone so close to you is overwhelming.... Of course she's still with us and always a part of our family but now we have to share her. I'll admit, John is a great guy to share her with if she has to be shared..... but she still is -- and always will be -- my baby sister.

Congratulations, Kari and John! I love you both and you will continually be in my prayers as I ask God to bless your marriage and your home and hopefully someday soon I'll be "Uncle Bob" and you two will be great parents!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Priceless Piracy

Season 1 of Man vs Cartoon on iTunes

Trying (and failing) to convert to non-DRM format
1 hr

Trying (and failing) to find a way to burn DRM videos to DVD
45 mins

Tearing your house apart to find external speakers since you'll HAVE to watch it on your computer
30 mins

Being able to pirate the shows you like


There are some things that money can buy.... but the free version is usually better

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"What About Them?"

Puff the magic Jesus
Floats around the universe
The United States is His favorite place on the whole entire earth
So sing your songs and wave your flag
And thank the Lord for all you have
But what about them?
Did you forget about them?

We came we conquered never speak of this again life
Must go on let’s not think of them
Things are comfortable now the pioneers have settled in
A perfect blend of progress and pale skin
For our sake and those to come
We’ll rewrite the text so you can forget where you came from
Tell it in a way that will build your self esteem
Repackage the product and sell the American dream


History is best forgotten and even better rewritten
And since there’s no forgetting let’s remember it different
Commit to it so strongly till you believe it
The truth is there but you aren’t able to receive it
You need to know you’re safe here
Hide your face here cuz you found your faith here
But four walls with no windows doesn’t mean you’re it
Four walls with no windows doesn’t mean they don’t exist


What a prosperous, wondrous place
Remember to say grace before we scrape our plates
And ignore the crying outside the door sure
You’ll pray for their burdens but you don’t want to make it yours
Thin lines divide but there’s a world of difference
So crawl back into your happy existence and feel the bliss of ignorance keep you warm
Blessed are those who mourn but it’s so foreign
The more you have the less you care
The less you care the more you become unaware
And sure life’s not fair but it favors us apparently
And how are we to interpret this excess
Is it God’s favor ill-behavior or simply man’s modern progress
God bless us as we sweep this mess under the rug
Don’t want to walk barefoot on the tile and step in the mud
Out of sight out of mind and pushed to the side
Left for someone else to rationalize and justify


"What About Them?" by John Reuben

Friday, June 26, 2009

I wish I was an asshole

I think the primary problem with the subject of this blog post isn't the content of it but rather the fact that this world forces people into that statement. Our world is going more and more downhill and it's been documented, planned, and pushed forward towards that than some people realize. Just sit back and think about it.... we're supposed to work together on everything and be a team.... its taught to us by people above us constantly..... almost every employer has those signs hanging somewhere or at least pushes that statement -- and statement is really the best way to describe it because how many of us actually know of employers that show that in their own day to day operations? It sounds really good to say that you support team work but it's really easier to work towards you own personal profits if you leave that part out.....

In my daily life I continue to be as helpful and kind as I can be and most of the time I get punished for it.... I'm still single but yet I'm told by lots of girls that I am so sweet and such a great person which is followed by them talking about their asshole boyfriend which she someday breaks up with and then finds another asshole boyfriend..... so why am I single? Well, it simply seems that a big reason is that I am NOT and asshole. Or how about trying to make things better for someone or something? I enjoy going the extra mile and helping people out but what happens if it steps on someone who just happens to like doing things the way it's always been done no matter how inefficient it is or how many people are put in danger or many other various reasons? Well it's obvious -- I get punished for it. Perhaps the saddest part about all of this is that if I were, in fact, the asshole then it wouldn't hurt nearly as bad as it does.......

..... it's hard to hurt if you can't feel anything :(

Friday, May 15, 2009

90's T-Shirts

[DISCLAIMER] This is sort of an advertisement :)

I'm totally having flashbacks to my childhood.... Just thought I'd pass this site along.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The day of a computer hardware technician

Here is just a brief breakdown of the typical day in the life of a computer hardware technician:

(25%) Waiting for an LSI or Adaptec controller to initialize

(25%) Waiting for a computer to reboot

(10%) Explaining something simple to an end user

(5%) Just doing that something simple FOR the end user

(10%) RMA'ing failed equipment

(5%) Explaining to corporate why something will or won't work

(10%) Trying to find a way to make whatever it was corporate bought that won't work for what you were trying to do since they ignored the above explanation

(5%) Turning a BIOS floppy image into a bootable ISO because manufacturers don't understand that no computer has a floppy drive anymore

(5%) Explaining to tech support that it IS their problem and then explaining how they should fix it

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We have a problem

Living in America is a symbol of freedom to so many people. Think about it... why do we have such a large issue with illegal aliens? People around the world look at the United States of America as it truly being the land of the free but the unfortunate thing is that we are continuing that slogan only in a dream world anymore -- little by little we are losing are freedoms and the biggest problem is that we're all too lazy to do anything about it.

"Fight terrorism and "stop child porn" is what we are continually told and these are both very important things to be done, however, we need to start understanding what that is actually worth giving up. If it eventually comes down to the law requiring each one of us to be on government video cameras at all times, including in our bedrooms, is it still worth it? I know that it sounds like I'm over-reacting and going to the extreme but the truth is that the path we are on could lead us to that scenario. Every year we lose more and more of our privacy and our rights are citizens of The United States of America but our government assures us that it's ok because its all in the interest of stopping terrorism and protecting our children. Is it?

So the reality that we are going to have video cameras in our homes so that the government can watch us is not something we'll see soon and, of course, if it does happen, it would need to be after they obtain a warrant. How about the government knowing exactly where you're car is at any given time of the day? If you think that sounds extreme, think again. The truth is that Wisconsin has decided that secretly attaching a GPS to a private car does not require a warrant. Believe me, I am not against technology being used to fight crime but in an era where the DoJ requests $233 million for improvements to technology crime fighting, don't you think the power being given to law enforcement needs to be kept in check with warrants?

There is a reality that it seems the American public doesn't want to face, and understandably so. We don't want to have to think that we need to watch out for our government because we have enough other stuff on our plate. Almost anyone will say that our politicians are corrupt but when it comes to actually doing something about it we make excuses and say that it really isn't all THAT bad. I remember when I first argued Net Neutrality with my family and the response that I received was simply that "there is no way that they could ever get away with that".... and then years later, Comcast is attacked over P2P filtering and then pays it's employees to fill seats in the FCC hearing. But don't worry, Comcast isn't the worst offender of our rights -- at least not when you look at AT&T who has been a major player in the NSA illegal spying on citizens. But again, we don't really need to worry about that because now Obama is finally in office and he is all about protecting our rights.... Wait... What? Obama is worse than Bush?

Ok, so we've got problems... but we're obviously still better than other places because this isn't a global issue, right? Well, Canda and Europe don't seem to think so considering they are purposely routing a lot of internet traffic to avoid the US because of the fear of the Patriot Act. Not only is it an example of the seriousness of the act but it also is hurting our economy and our jobs.

As Americans we are really under an attack but that attack is being fed to us with a sweet sugar coating. If we truly want to retain our rights and our privacy, we really need to start getting involved and writing our politicians. We're making it entirely too easy for them to corrupt our nation more and more because, well, as far as they are concerned no one sees their corrupt actions (except maybe Jane Harmon [VIDEO]). We need to stand up and let our congressmen know that we do not approve.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My First Fire

Well, it finally happened. I caught my first fire. Even better, no one was hurt in it... but it was a good one.

Here's the story:
Saturday blaze displaces couple

Friday night I had been out drinking for the first time in 1 or 2 years and, of course, it was only natural that I'd get to my first fire the day after -- not only that but one of the hottest days of the year. We responded in Tanker 4 with 2+1 (which means 2 certified firefighters and 1 extra man). Ron (the driver) and Mike shuttled water in the tanker and I went up to interior attack. Sadly, I only lasted about 20 mins initially. The house didn't really look all that bad as I walked up the driveway but when I masked up and went inside, well.... I could see the sky. I put the attic ladder up into the rafters of what was the living room and had the nozzle for a while and also was attacking fires that popped up. After being in for about 20 mins I was already getting a low air indicator and I was definately in need of water so I went out and someone from Frederick county walked by and told me to take my gear off and get cooled down. Apparently I was beat red and had a slight case of heat exhaustion. I sat the rest of the fire out and then went back in for salvage and overhaul. Despite me not performing as well as I would have liked it was exciting and a great fire to get some experience on how Warren County operates on the fireground. While I was trained really well in Loudoun County, things are done a lot differently out here in Warren.

I took some pictures of the incident and you can check them out here:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Can't Unlove You

Postcards and letters
And pictures made to last forever
To be boxed up and tossed away
Knickknacks and souvenirs
In an afternoon, they're out of here
They'll disappear without a trace
But what they mean to me
Can never be replaced

I can't unthink about you
I can't unfeel your touch
I can't unhear all the words
Unsay all the things
That used to mean so much
I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
I'm finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

Intestates and old songs
Like time they go on and on
I guess I could learn to do the same
I could wake up without you
These two arms not around you
Tell myself it's meant to be this way
No matter how I try somethings I can't change

I can't unthink about you
I can't unfeel your touch
I can't unhear all the words
Unsay all the things
That used to mean so much
I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
I'm finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, oh
Oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
And finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

"I Can't Unlove You" by Kenny Rogers

Monday, April 13, 2009

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

I had the opportunity to play the Easter Bunny at the firehall this weekend. It really took me back to my Disney days and made me miss those.... We all had an absolute blast and I'm sorry for anyone that missed it. Here is a promo video that I put together from the event. I hope that we see everyone next year!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I Shall Believe

Come to me now
And lay your hands over me
Even if its a lie
Say it will be alright
And I shall believe

broken in two
And I know youre on to me
That I only come home
When Im so all alone
But I do believe

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly you wont give up on me
And I shall believe
And I shall believe

Open the door
And show me your face tonight
I know its true
No one heals me like you
And you hold the key

Never again

Would I turn away from you
Im so heavy tonight
But your love is alright
And I do believe

That not everything is gonna be the way
You think it ought to be
It seems like every time I try to make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly
You wont give up on me
And I shall believe
I shall believe
And I shall believe

"I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Nagging Wife

When you hear so many men talk about their wives you generally hear a reference to her nagging. Its so often about the "nagging wife" that all of the good stuff is hidden. Our distorted views of reality are so hard to overcome and it gets worse and worse with every passing moment.

For me, one of the things that I want more than anything is a wife and kids to love but anytime I mention it I generally end up hearing about how I don't want to get married and how my life is over when I do.... and it goes on from there. I suppose it's possible that I'm just a single guy and there is no way that I could ever begin to understand but I tend to think the problem is not with me. We think that everything is supposed to be just perfect and we have the right to get angry when things are not perfect but the reality is perfection is boring. If everything was perfect, there would be no excitement.

Let me tell you about my life. I own my own house and I run my own business and I have no one to tell me what to do. I do what I want when I want. I have the life that most people dream of having but like almost anything that anyone dreams of there is no reality mixed in with that dream. When people find out that I run my own business and I own my own house they think that I must be the happiest person in the world, however, reality is that it's not the case. In fact, there are so many times that I seriously debate looking for a job and giving up this self-employed thing. People fail to see that things like health insurance are luxuries to the self-employed and that is just one of the many things that someone with a job takes for granted. I live alone and I don't have anyone nagging me and therefore, I must be happy. Reality there is that part of the reason I want to get married is to have someone that will keep me in check. If you walk into my house right now you'll likely be crawling over stuff. While I have free reign over my house I lack any kind of motivation -- and that's a disaster for me and I'm sure many other people as well. To top that off, I have no set time that I need to be at work. There is no structure and to make it even worse, with the way my business is set up, set schedules would be tough to do. It sounds great to be able to wake up and decide to sleep in if you still feel tired but, again, there is no motivation. Why should I rush to get myself up and moving when I can go to the data center when I want? The problem is the sun starts setting and I'm still in bed. And people laugh at me. Oh they laugh. Everyone seems to think that if they were in my position they could do it so much better than me. Some might. Of course, it is true that the grass really might be greener on the other side.

The problem just might be that we're all losing sight of structure. We've seen the checks and balances disappear from our government and we see the mess that has been created along with so many other examples. In the movie "The Matrix", the agent explains to Neo that the first version of the matrix was programmed to be a perfect world but the humans couldn't deal with that. We can't. We really can't. A big reason of this is the concept of ying and yang. How can something be good if we don't first know what bad is? Even if there is a constant hum of something in your house you stop hearing and acknowledging it after some time but if you have something that constantly makes a different noise, you'll never get used to that. I guess maybe that's the true definition of a "boring life"?

As a society we need to start looking at some of the negative things as good things. No one wants to see the bad things or to deal with pain in so many situations but we really need to start respecting those bad things as something that will make us a better person and help us live a better life. I'm pretty sure this is a big part of why God created Eve. God said that Adam needed a helper and I think that became true when God gave us our own free will. We make a mess out of it but at least if there is more than one person working together there is a much better chance of things staying in check so please stop looking at your wives as just someone who nags you but, rather, realize that she is a gift from God to help you -- even when it doesn't feel like it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yesterday's Glues

The stars are moving on and I am staying home and I can't help but ask myself where did I go wrong? It
had to be this way there's nothing left to say it never helps to hear that things will be okay.

You may not remember me but I remember you and years can hide your memories and what you used to do

If I could make this go away I'd wish that it was so,cause I should never have come here but I wanted
you to know time is harsh and won't forgive the way we have to live sometimes the only thing to say just
get in the way

I always knew that I could never live a lie and maybe if I'd let this go things will be alright I tried
again today to make this go away it never helps to hear that things will be okay.

"Yesterday's Glues" by Eleventyseven

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Singles Awareness Day 2009

It's upon us again.... Singles Awareness Day. This is the day that all of us single people are made fully aware of our single status. Some enjoy this and celebrate this day and others are just painfully reminded that they are alone, typically those of us "Nice Guys" who happen to fit what women say they are looking for only to be left behind those guys that women "can't stand".

I actually have a lot that I don't like about "Valentine's Day" and my main opposition to it is that it's a false holiday. What I mean by that is we are supposed to love one another all the time but yet we have to have a holiday to celebrate this? If you look at many relationships you'll find that Valentine's Day is a day where the fights stop and "love" is put in the air which shows a falsehood as to what the relationship really is based upon. Using this same logic I propose that we declare one day a year as "Golf Day" and that day every man goes out to golf. Sounds like a great idea right? What happens in the month that leads up to that day? Those wives that don't like their husbands going to golf will say "hey, you have golf day coming up, wait till then". Sure, this is a humorous look but the same line of thought seems to sneak it's way into Valentine's Day as well, although in a slightly different manner.

Another horrible thing about the holiday is commercialization. Around Christmas there is always the thought of the Jewish kid that doesn't get to enjoy Christmas like everyone else. That thought wouldn't even exist if Christmas wasn't so commercialized. Everyone's beliefs and feelings are the most important thing but when you commercialize something you end up putting the focus on something else. Society makes Christmas a day when EVERYONE has to give and receive presents and the stresses that go along with that are added to everyone so much to the point that no one seems to remember what Christmas is really celebrating. Because Valentine's Day is such a commercialized holiday, the same thing occurs between couples. Now the pressure is on to find the perfect gift or make the perfect moment happen that it's forgotten about what the holiday is supposed to be celebrating... then you add to that those that are single and made to be left out of the commercialized idea of what the holiday is.

I guess, all in all, there really isn't anything that one can do. Valentine's Day is going to continue to exist and people are going to continue to live the way they live. We can only hope that more people would start to realize the importance of love all year around and stop feeling the pressures that mean this day has to be something different. Sure, love really is in the air on this day -- just not any more than any other day of the year. There's just a little more pressure to be something that you may not really be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dude, don't get a Dell

I have gone from loving to hating and loving and hating Dell servers for quite some time. A couple years ago Dell announced they were becoming more "open" with things and allowing customizations and Open Source solutions. I just had a conversation on LiveChat with a sales agent that, well.... just check it out for yourself:

17:23:46 Customer Bob Mertz
Initial Question/Comment: I wnat to know if I can replace the PERC controllers in a 2970 with another controller of my choice?
17:23:56 System System
You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
17:23:56 System System
Connected with SMB_Mary
17:24:06 Agent SMB_Mary
Hi, this is Mary Wade from Dell Small Business Sales. I'll be the representative assisting you today, how can I help?
17:24:21 Customer Bob Mertz
I am currently investigating server solutions for a client of mine and I am looking at the PE 2970
17:24:34 Agent SMB_Mary
I believe this server requires a particular PERC card
17:24:39 Customer Bob Mertz
however, I would like to install a 3ware controller card
17:25:17 Customer Bob Mertz
Do you offer any similar servers that could accept a 3ware SATA/SAS RAID controller?
17:25:36 Agent SMB_Mary
well technically you can install it, however Dell does not support 3rd party parts therefore it would void your warranty.
17:25:51 Customer Bob Mertz
For the entire server?
17:26:23 Agent SMB_Mary
17:26:37 Customer Bob Mertz
My client likes Dell servers but I think that's enough for me to advise against Dell on this purchase then
17:26:40 Customer Bob Mertz
thanks for your time
17:26:56 Agent SMB_Mary
okay thank you, did you want the Dell part number?
17:27:07 Customer Bob Mertz
Dell part number for what?
17:27:21 Agent SMB_Mary
PERC card
17:27:25 Agent SMB_Mary
for 2970
17:28:20 Customer Bob Mertz
No. I have had bad experiences with all of Dell's PERC controllers. My client is asking for my recommendation on a project but if I can not replace the PERC controller without voiding the warranty on the entire server then I have to advise him to look at another vendor.

Sunday, February 01, 2009



I'm so proud to be from Pittsburgh.... I always am, but it's so much more fun in times like this!


Important info on the Stimulus Payment

"This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:
"Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
"A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

"Q. Where will the government get this money?
"A. From taxpayers.

"Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
"A. Only a smidgen.

"Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
"A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

"Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
"A. Shut up."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gotta Be Somebody

This time,
I wonder what it feels like,
To find the one in this life,
The one we all dream of
But dreams just aren't enough
So I´ll be waiting for the real thing,
I know it by the feeling,
The moment when we´re meeting,
Will play out like a scene
Straight off the silver screen
So I`ll be holdin' my breath,
Right up to the end
Until that moment when
I find the one that I spend forever with...

'Cause nobody wants to be the last one there,
'Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares,
Someone to love with my life in their hands,
There's gotta be somebody for me like that.

'Cause nobody wants to go it on their own,
And everyone wants to know they're not alone,
Somebody else that feels the same somewhere,
There's gotta be somebody for me out there.

Out on the street, out in the moonlight,
And damn it, this feels too right,
It's just like Déjà Vu
Me standin’ here with you
So I'll be holdin' my breath,
Could this be the end?
Is it that moment when
I find the one that I spend forever with?

'Cause nobody wants to be the last one there,
'Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares,
Someone to love with my life in their hands,
There's gotta be somebody for me like that.

'Cause nobody wants to go it on their own,
And everyone wants to know they're not alone,
Is somebody else that feels the same somewhere?
There's gotta be somebody for me out there.


You can´t give up,
Lookin' for that diamond in the rough,
(Because you never know)
When it shows up,
(Make sure you're holdin' on)
'Cause it could be the one,
the one you´re waiting on

'Cause nobody wants to be the last one there,
And everyone wants to feel like someone cares,
Someone to love with my life in their hands,
There's gotta be somebody for me...

Nobody wants to go it on their own,
And everyone wants to know they're not alone,
Is somebody else that feels the same somewhere?
There's gotta be somebody for me out there.

Nobody wants to be the last one there,
And everyone wants to feel like someone cares,
Is somebody else that feels the same somewhere?
There's gotta be somebody for me out there...

"Gotta Be Somebody" by Nickelback

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comcast Cared

Last year a new Twitter account opened called @comcastcares and Frank, the leader of a new department inside Comcast, was working hard to improve the image of a company who has, quite possibly, one of the worst set of morals of mainstream companies. Frank really was making an impact and word quickly spread about this new department and people began to think there was hope. I posted a blog about some frustrations I had and a couple others about how Frank had helped me. Frank was able to get me on a promotion and gave me some options. One option he gave me was only 6 months long but he was excited to get me to try the high end plan so he said that after those 6 months were up he'd get me on another promotion.

Somewhere in all of this I felt like Frank was the rebel that could really save the image of Comcast but that once his impact started to be known the company would step in with the "business types" and again show how the books are more important than customer satisfaction or company image. I hoped I was wrong - but I wasn't.

My promotion ended last month and my bill skyrocketed. I contacted Frank and he told me to email his department which got me the response that someone would contact me the next day. When I was contacted I totally felt the same old Comcast feel. The person who called me didn't care about anything and the end result was I downgraded to the economy plan. I contacted Frank on Twitter and really received empty responses.... and it highly reminded me of a guy who did care but who had hands tied. Despite my emails to Frank, Frank's department, and another Comcast employee about how I was told that I could get another promotion after the 6 month one finished ended up with empty responses or absolutely no response at all.

Here's where things get worse. Apparently with the economy package Comcast says streaming video may not work and, well, I've had some issues. The best part is that if you want to go one step above economy the price more than doubles. Oh but wait, it's cheaper if I subscribe to cable TV as well is what I'm told not only by Comcast but Frank as well. Oh, really? So I can get something I need cheaper by buying something I don't need or want. Where am I saving money here? This is certainly the work of "business types". To another level, you can also tell this is another attempt at Comcast killing innovation. Think about it - if you can now watch TV on the internet and don't need cable TV then Comcast loses revenue so the solution they have is to force you to pay them for TV anyway or to charge you more than double to have a plan that should support streaming video. I mean, really, why would you innovate and allow the customers to have what they want.

Its certainly sad to watch Comcast grab their monopoly and do all that they can do to rape their customers and absolutely destroy any innovation. They are a very important part of why the United States, the founder of the internet, is one of the worst countries to be in for accessing the internet. Right now all we can hope for is the FCC to step in and make sure we have real competition and start holding Comcast responsible for their horrible practices.