17 November, 2012

To My Wife, on her birthday, a love letter

Happy Birthday, Kristie
-------- ----------- ---------

To she who has been my companion throughout the years,
I love you.

Others say "To my dearest ____, you are the most wonderful wife/husband/mate/F-buddy in the whole wide world!", but they are wrong.

Their mates are whores, a-holes, douche bags, pricks, meanies, compared to you.  On Facebook, they profess thanks, to God, for having the presence of their loved one, bestowed upon them, when in actuality, God had been busy elsewhere, when the couple hooked up, and like in Bryan Singer's 'Superman Returns' movie, when Superman had been off on a mission to [the blown up?] Krypton, and returns to Earth, to find some very boring, nondescript, vanilla dude had been bangin' his old lady, proclaims "WTF?!".

They think they've got it great, but they don’t.

Compared to being with you, they might as well be living in a Pearl Jam song.

They've settled. "This person is so great," they think, yet everyone - especially their parents and college friends - knows better, wondering how they could have chosen such a tool.

So, thank you for, via your very existence in the universe, and my life, for making it easy for me to see how everyone else’s relationships really suck. I don't cry for them, because I really don't care, having no horse in their race, but I do enjoy my life all the more, knowing mine is so much better than theirs (even if they are ignorant of that), because of you.

Others close their eyes and think of Ryan Gosling, or Scarlett Johansson, or that guy from Mad Men, or a cheerleader, but I don't have to do that, cuz I've got you, not being saddled with someone I met in a bar, back in the day, to whom I got hitched because I had nothing better to do, and I was getting old, and what the heck.

Love Always,

- me


04 October, 2012

2012-10-04 Obama vs Romney_Debate 01

As posted to my sister's page in response to a thread there, I place this item here, in my notes, so I can refer to it as needed.
- d.r.

I am judging the performance, in my posting, not the content. I thought both candidates were great debaters. Romney avoided directly answering several of the questions, and he did it deftly. Jim Lehrer, whom I've watched since the '70's, immediately lost control of the proceedings. I shed another tear for the loss of Tim Russert, who would have eaten both of those guys for breakfast, lunch, dinner, shat them out, and eaten them again.

I did not see Romney as either maniacal or psychotic, but as cool and professional. He operated extremely well within the confines of the rules*. That is, he got away with what he was allowed to do.

Obama performed well, but he looked tired. His words were well chosen, but his professorial approach hurt him here.

Make no mistake, Obama is my guy, but performance wise, Romney was the cooler cucumber.

That said, Obama was much FUNNIER. For that reason alone I'd vote for him, because comedy is my number one election issue.

As for content, it will take me days to read all the fact-checking stuff. For me, that's like pawing through the stats after a great game, and I love the task. I feel like Asimov sitting on the floor of his apartment and indexing his books manually, for fun.

*This sentence was written due to the assertion that "Romney looked maniacal and nearly psychotic", with which I disagree.

02 October, 2012

Webkey (ROOT REQUIRED) Remote Control Android App - Mini-Review

    I had been looking for an app to "take control" of my Android phone's SCREEN, and not just its functions.  Prior to trying 'Webkey' I had been using 'AirDroid', the latter of which, although great, did not give me a true screen control.  Webkey does just that.

    Currently (2012-10-02), however, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus' on-screen keyboard is disabled after running the app, requiring a restart of the phone prior to regaining on-screen keyboard functionality.

    My Google play review:

01 October, 2012

Information for Creating a Google+ Account

    To participate in a Google+ Hangout one needs a Google+ account, freely obtainable by Google.

  1. If you already have a Gmail account...
  2. Click the pull-down menu, on the upper-right portion of your Gmail screen, then select 'Join Google+', as shown in the screen shot below.

If you do not already have a Gmail account...

  1. Navigate to https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=oz&continue=https://plus.google.com/?gpsrc%3Dgplp0&hl=en
  2. Choose the "SIGN UP" button in the upper-right corner, as shown below.

20 September, 2012

Google+ Hangout & Other Phone Video Conferencing - Beware the Restroom Click

Yesterday, after working with a coworker and my boss, helping the latter familiarize herself with Google+ hangouts, I went to the restroom.  Sitting there, checking my phone's status updates, it looked like my boss had sent another hangout request.  I went to click it, with the idea of removing it from the droid notification list, but instead I launched Hangouts.  Since my last camera-related action had been using the forward-facing camera, I found myself looking at my startled self, upward from my lap.

I scrambled to turn off the hangout, before she signed-in, and in so doing, I was waving the camera around.  'Oh no!!!!', shrieked my mind, as the point of view blazed across my chest, my distressed face, and the walls.  Even navigating to my phone's home screen did not shut down the client.  I managed to find the appropriate command, and I exited the hangout, prior to anyone signing in, but it was touch and go (no pun intended) there for an eternal 20 seconds.

Beware, oh ye user of Google+ Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime.  This could happen to you.

17 September, 2012

ITIL Family Restaurant & Bakery

Inspired by the events in today's ITSM meeting:

ITIL Family Restaurant & Bakery

My Service Portfolio, My Recipes
My Service Catalog, My Dining Menu
My Experts, My Suppliers
You, My Clients, My Diners

You consume my sauces
Which meet FDA inspection

I do not divulge where I buy my tomatoes
My suppliers request anonymity
Their relationship with me is
As mine is with you

I deal with them on your behalf
As your appointed proxy
Your champion
To illicit from them their best

My bread is tasty
You care not what flavor
So long it meets your nutritional needs
And is tasty with complimentary morsels

I provide meals
You ask not for a plate of ingredients

You and your party plan to return
You have seldom seen food appear so quickly
And Steaming

You eat
You enjoy

You purge
You are happy

You converse while you dine
Oblivious to the kitchen machinations

As it should be

21 August, 2012

Historical Timelines (Yeah, it's redundant) - We Humans Be Badass

I recently overheard a cafe conversation where a woman, while talking to her mother, said, "People have literally been around for over 3,000 years!".  While I do not know the full context of their conversation, but as I was cringing, I was reminded that many people tend to think of human history only in terms of the Egyptian pyramids, the earliest of which was probably some 4,600 years ago.  It is good to remind ourselves of the hundreds of thousands of years that preceded that, for hominids, and the likely 250,000 - 200,000 years of Homo sapiens since then.

Here are some options:

A heepin' helpin' of history, including timelines for "major civilizations".  Check out its "Pre-History" section too, which goes back to our humble beginnings: http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html

Starting at 10,000 BC (that's 12,012 years ago, Folks): http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/TimeLineDisplay.cfm?Era_id=4

Contemporary yet very thorough timelines of specific people, times, and places.  Read it with a British accent: http://www.history-timelines.org.uk/

An interesting history of the Church (Christians, namely Catholics), and fascinating in that one can click on any period and expand it to more fleshed out little timelines: http://www.historytimeline.org/

25 July, 2012

Why the European Date-Notation is Great, but File-naming with yyyy-mm-dd is Better

As posted to FB by me in response to seeing a European date on one of her pictures:

The dd/mm/yyyy is much more logical than our backwards mm/dd/yyyy format, for sure. Littlest unit to biggest. Makes sense.

For my own file-naming needs though, I prefer the YYYY-MM-DD (biggest unit to littlest), because than one can find one's files, based on their assigned name-related dates, versus just their file system dates, which may not jibe with their content. E.g., if one waits months, to transfer pictures from a camera, to one's computer, the file dates might not reflect the pictures' actual taken-on dates, but such a naming convention preserves that information and allows the 'Sort by Filename' option, in one's folder, to effectively show a chronology.

19 July, 2012

Note to WPR's "At Issue With Ben Merens" regarding 2012-07-17 Episode

YOUR_COMMENT: LONG-TIME listener,  re: 7-17-2012 show:

Absolutely fascinating.

I listened to WPR's "At Issue with Ben Merens" and found that I was one of those who had to check my phone, while walking from room to room, or grab it when I heard it chime, or felt it vibrate, to see if I was "missing anything".  I have even experienced "Phantom Vibration Syndrome" (or whatever), when one thinks an itch, coming from the general vicinity of where one stores one's phone, is actually a phone vibration alert.  In just the course of one day I turned this all around via use of the add-on, for the Google Chrome browser, called 'StayFocusd' (That's the correct spelling.)  I now limit my Facebook, G+, and Twitter time to 20 minutes during the work day and an hour on either side.

Once again, your show has inspired me to take a look around...and at myself...and make improvements.

Link related my above note:

"At Issue with Ben Merens" episode that prompted me to utilize a tool to force me to limit, meter, and most importantly, be aware of, my online, non-work related time:  http://wpr.org/merens/index.cfm?strDirection=Prev&dteShowDate=2012-07-17%2016%3A00%3A00%2E0

Google Search for 'Stayfocusd' reviews:

18 July, 2012

Tip for Using Google Search as One's Quick Method of Searching Craigslist or Any Site

When I search Craigslist I prefer to let Google do the work, as shown below.  Typing such search strings directly into the Google Search field -- or into the address bar, on Chrome -- garners one great results.

Example Search String:

honda cruiser -trailer "good condition" site:milwaukee.craigslist.org

Above, we see my general search terms, including my desire for the word 'trailer' to NOT be included in the result set, followed by my desire for the exact phrase, "good condition", followed by the site I wish to search.

Note that I could as easily have typed:

honda site:facebook.com

and Facebook would have been searched.  You can try it for other sites too, E.G.,

windows 7 important updates site:microsoft.com

Or, you can do it all more easily by going to http://www.google.com/advanced_search and typing the domain (site) name into the domain field. 

In either case, you can bookmark your search criteria and click it at will.  For example, if you are watching for a specific product to arise, on your regional Craigslist site, you can simply click the bookmark periodically to see what is available.

[Note: In searching for the original bookmark, related to where I first learned this technique, I'm thinking it was probably here, back in 2009: http://www.pcworld.com/article/162030/10_craigslist_tips_for_power_users.html ]

14 July, 2012

A Break in the Drought...Notice It

Walking to a meeting yesterday afternoon, across campus
Laptop safely tucked away between two Target shopping bags
Warm down-pour
A few minutes early
Stopping on the sidewalk
Face turned upward
Eyes closed
Experience cleansing

06 July, 2012

Frickin' Shrink-Wrap Packaging

I was able to "brush" a bag of marshmallows into our cart last weekend.  I unloaded the cart.  I unpacked that particular bag, upon arriving home.  

The perfect crime.

My wife went to bed.  I heard the door close.  I got under the afghan and queued up the 'Dr. Who' via Netflix.  I partook.  She came down the stairs.

"What are you eating?", she asked.

"What makes you think I'm eating something?", I replied.

"I heard the bag."

Frickin' shrink-wrap bags....

03 July, 2012

Why Men Don't Make New Friends

Why men don't make new friends:

Misunderstood relationships
Friends of banter
Strangers to substance
Mostly isolated nodes
Occasional I/O
So we deal
And find our own paths

22 June, 2012

When Others' Opinions Matter...and When They Don't

A friend of mine recently posted some interesting thoughts about being a female, in US society, and the pressures inherent in that, including the apparent hypocrisy in stating that imposed ideals, are bad, and then turning around and running to the rest room, removing spinach from their teeth and making sure their nose is not shiny.  Some of that may be about someone wanting to represent themselves in a manner by which they would like to be perceived, as opposed to trying to impress someone else.  After eating spinach I too run off to the rest room to make sure I don't have it between my teeth, more to prevent someone from thinking I'm disgusting, and to honor my own taking-care-of-myself ethos (such as it is) than for any other reasons.  As for the shiny nose thing, I do not think it is most often done, to please the surrounding men, but rather, to avoid the shiny one passing a mirror and cringing.

So long as we know where we get our stances, phobias, hang-ups, habits, and other practices, I have no problem with us having them.  I think it is often less productive to fight them so much, because that too may be perceived as wanting to show others...that we don't mess around caring what others think, which seems hypocritical.

In a society, it does matter to us what others think.  To some extent, it should.  I consider that a feedback mechanism, and I'm hugely into feedback.  One might settle for not always asking, "Am I doing this right?", which may make one seem to have a low self-esteem or be otherwise not very confident, but instead being open to, "Hey, you really bungled that one".  I consider spinach teeth, externally visible mucus, ear wax, body odor, and spitting where people walk as all fair game regarding things which have a societal interest.  Their presence detract from the common aesthetic.

We primates are villagers.  Nothing wrong with that.

The extremes, of being dictated to, with regard to conforming to societal expectations -- imposed by both men and women -- are another matter, with regard to weight, cosmetics, and fashions in clothing, piercings, and sexual orientation.  These things need to be resisted, as they are simply someone gettin' up in someone else's bidness, yo.  If these items are perceived as distracting, then the perceivers need to edit their perceptions.

Of course, my lists may be different from others' lists, but these are the lenses through which I look as I make my way through my days.

We are taught to solicit feedback, for our project plans and documents, and we inherently know that incorporating the feedback, into our final works, will make the works better.  Although humbling, it is generally true.  However, when it comes to making ourselves better, we think we can do it alone. We are taught to be arrogant, in this regard.  Humility and Arrogance.

I find this interesting.

Let us listen to each other, using our critical-thinking skills, and act appropriately.  Call it a grain-of-salt if you like, but do not discount the feedback.

18 June, 2012

Original Thoughts - Perhaps Not, But Fun Anyway

There are too many of us to have many original thoughts. However, if the thoughts are original to myself, arrived at via being spit out the other end of a long logic flow, with numerous variables, where my conclusions amount to somewhat inspirational, "intuitive" realizations, this pleases me. Even if they are not original, in the cosmos, they are original to me, and I grin at having formed them.

Plus, gut-level intuition serves my natural lazy tendencies much better than research results, but I digress.

It's really a matter of follow-through.  How many people thought of internal combustion before someone actually pursued creating an engine?  The reason no one asks this is because it doesn't matter; what matters are the people who took the ideas forward.

A Birthday Wish to my Niece

May your consciousness be accurately duplicated, into a bio-crystal lattice, or perhaps an n-dimensional YOU stored in the very quantum structure of space-time, creating an effectively immortal you, and set forth, into the cosmos, to explore the universe, until the final energies of the universe dissipate to a state of no gradients, before you die.

- Uncle Dan

01 June, 2012

My Advice to a Dad Who is Being Mr. Mom for a Week

 We'll miss you, Vinnie. I promise to aim as many Twitter quips, at Melissa, as I usually target at you.

As a father of three myself, I offer the following advice culled from my nearly 1.5 decades of parenting:

  • Clifford is your friend.

  • Juice rots teeth, so utilize it only as a bribe, when needed.

  • My now-14 year old became a 4 yr. old PS2 prodigy during "Daddy Week 2002". #LifeSkills #AllThumbs #JustSayin'

  • Taking the kids on a picnic, to Frame Park, makes Daddy the hero to passers-by. "Wow, that guy has it all together!", you'll hear. At home that usually translates into, "I saw the McDonald's bill on the credit card statement! How could ANYONE spend $40 AT MCDONALD'S!?"

  • Training wheels, schmaning wheels. Helmets, schmelmets.

  • Re-usable grocery bags were made for sun-screen, extra hair brushes, Entertainment Coupon books, DSi chargers, phone chargers, e-readers, towels...OR five pounds of sand. Not both.

  • Never a better opportunity to have everyone in the car singing along to Foo Fighters. "It's too loud, Daddy" should be taken as a request to crack a window. #Acoustics

  • An entire day's "Honey Do" list can be condensed down to the last 45 minutes prior to one's wife's return home. This can be further reduced by an additional 10 minutes if one makes sure to have made the requested call to make a play-date for Child X. [Editor's note: I preferred to avoid that and simply start the list at the 45 minute mark instead.] 

17 May, 2012

Seeking Information Regarding Online Chat Support


I need information regarding what online chat tools you and/or your organization use to support your clients/customers.  Some things in which I am interested:

; Name of service

; Do you host the solution or outsource it?

; What is your staffing model?  I.e., do phone staff support online chat or do you have a separate staff for online support?

; Are you happy with the service?  What would you change for the better?

Thank you in advance for any information.

Please post your responses to this post.  Thanks much!

Liquid Direction

Awaking to whiteness
Vague shapes surrounding
Sense of form, structure
Scuttling away before nearly grasped
Sip, ingest
Swallow, breathe
Center found, growing to encompass
Coffee is the laser pointer to the white board that is life.

28 February, 2012

UWM Alternate Web Addresses

    Should the main UWM (UW Milwaukee) web site be down, please note you can access the other resources at the following locations:

PantherLINK: http://pantherlink.uwm.edu
PantherFILE: http://pantherfile.uwm.edu
PantherLIST: http://pantherlist.uwm.edu
PAWS:        http://paws.uwm.edu
D2L:         http://d2l.uwm.edu

18 February, 2012

How to Generate a Decent TrueCrypt Beginning Number Sequence & Smoke Afterwards

    When I generate a TrueCrypt beginning number sequence, I use my right hand, to randomly jiggle my mouse, up, down, and up again. Then, thinking perhaps I am using a predictable beat or cadence, I introduce my left foot, slowly stroking the mouse in a circular pattern, clockwise, left and right, counter-clockwise, etc. I lean up to my mouse, surprising it, by yelling at it, so severely, the vibrations move it, just a teensy bit, upon its near frictionless surface. My left hand comes up, pinching the mouse wheel, and I giggle, then go crazy zooming my mouse around the desktop.

    Finally, nearly spent from the effort, I click the 'Format' button, and together, we deliver a bouncing baby set of numbers, probably never seen before, or again. I then slide my 1997 Yahoo! email contact list, into the container, knowing no one, but I, shall ever access the data.

    And I rest.

16 January, 2012

The Rise of the New Group-Think - Thoughts on a New York Times Piece

A Facebook friend posted this link.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&smid=fb-share

This resonates with me. As someone who absolutely loves going off and creating, mentating, working, by myself, I got a lot out of the piece. I agree that the solo artist might not be ultimately as productive, in far-reaching, world-shaking efforts, as when he or she is involved in net-based, collaborative projects. Open source projects, in particular, benefit greatly via the group-think approach. Such projects are outside my own scope, however, and I prefer the epiphanies that solitude brings.

My preference for solitude is the cafe, where I can be among strangers, a human throng of activity, the random sights, sounds, and smells percolating in the background, provides an engine to my creativity. I am not bothered by commotion, but rather, the din is my vitamins. It's best if I know no one there, other than the casual "Hiya" of regulars and baristas, so I can concentrate. My solitude is mental versus physical.

Though introverted, during creative times, I appreciate and even like humans, even if I am not socially among them. Like the appreciation of good film acting, when not around the actors themselves, I appreciate the efforts and accomplishments, of my fellow hairless apes, even if I don't happen to be inhaling their dander at the moment.

12 January, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Being Retromingent

Being retromingent would make men's room defense easier yet a far more awkward experience for the pee-shy in line after a movie.

"Hi there."


"Gonna be a while?"

"Working on it."

"Take your time. It's not like I just had a 20 ounce Pepsi or anything."



03 January, 2012

My advice to a friend whose parents thought Twilight sucked

Have them watch the worst half hour of "The Vampire Diaries" and it'll be more exciting than the entire Twilight series combined. Have them watch any 15 minutes of "True Blood" and you may just end up with a new baby sibling.