Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Into work early for nothing

I need to install an update to see if it fixes a problem. Last night I tried to do it from home but for some reason the bandwidth was horribly slow. I decided to get into work early in the morning and do it.

I'm in at 5am. Perfect, plenty of time before people need the application for me to install the update. Logon to the server, shutdown the processes. While that's running, logon to the citrix servers that need the update. Get into the first one, open up windows explorer, try to get to the server for the update and find out I can't. Hmmm... I must have typed it wrong, let me try again. Nope, can't. Let me try a different way. No luck. It says that has been turned off. Ok. Let me try it from my computer, can I get into to server with windows explorer? Yep, no problems. Ok, let me try it one more time. Nope, it's just not gonna let me in. Fine, let me try the other citrix server. Same problem.


Now I can't do the update because I can't get the update onto the citrix servers! Nice. Thanks for changing that. I'm supposed to be in the admin group for all the computers so I SHOULD have rights to do this. Someone is going to get an earful when they get in! ...well, actually they'll get a nice earful. As much as I want to yell at them, call them names, tell them various things about how they compare to pond scum, telemarketers and spammers, I've grown and learned over the years it's best to be nice first.

SO I get to try the update again tonight or tomorrow morning, assuming they can get this fixed for me. sigh....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not looking my age

When I was in my late teens to early 20's, I looked 5-8 years older than I was. That was cool because people didn't think I was some dumb kid, they took me a little more seriously.

Over the years things changed. Now I'm 45 and look younger, I've had people say I look as young as 34.

Normally I'm really happy about that. But sometimes it's a pain because people sometimes don't take me as seriously as they should, especially in a business/professional environment. Now and then either people write me off as some young kid who doesn't know enough or as some young kid who needs a lecture about stuff. It gets very frustrating when I have 20+ years experience yet people don't want to believe me even when I tell them how much experience I have and how old I am.


Maybe I just need to wear a t-shirt all the time with a picture of my drivers license showing my birth date, or next time I get my hair cut have it died grey. haha

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Freaking cool video!!

This is just simply amazing! After you start the video, put your mouse on the video, hold down the mouse button and move your mouse. Is that awesome or what?!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Men's vs. Women's Bathroom

At our office the women's bathroom is quite different from the men's. I've never actually been in there, only seen a little bit as I walked by and someone was going in or coming out. First off, there's music playing. They also have a bench to sit on and quite often you can hear several women in there having a lively conversation, I'm sure they've been there for longer than just the call of nature. I'll bet there's also candles, maybe some essential oil diffuser thingy, hints of lavender and and other women stuff.

The men's room is simple, plain, used for one thing. But if the women can have their special room decorated nicely and all womanly, I say we men should be able to upgrade our bathroom.

First, replace one of the urinals. Instead of pulling the handle to flush, you pull the handle to fill your glass with beer! Get rid of the bland colors and put up some posters and tool company calendars, sports team logos, street and other traffic signs, a nice hunting trophy or two. Replace the tile floor and carpet with garage flooring. Have a radio on the sports channel or better yet, a flat screen tv above every stall showing your favorite sporting event. When you flush, make it sound like you are reving the engine on a muscle car. Put a high powered exhaust fan in one area so you can have a quick cigar before heading back out. And instead of paper towels coming from a little ugly metal container, have some life-size carboard cutouts of some Hooters gals holding the paper towels for us.

We are men! Let us have our manthroom!

More ID 10 T Drivers

What was up yesterday with drivers? It must have been "Be an A$$hole to Rich" day or something.

I'm bringing Maddie home from the dentist and on 217. Speed limit is 55. I'm going 62ish in the left lane passing cars in the right lane. Car in front of me is going 62, I can't go any faster. The car behind me has to be less than 6 feet from my bumper. She's honking at me, flashing her brights and flipping me off wanting me to move over! Normally I don't move when they won't gain anything by getting around me. But this time I had Maddie in the car, asleep and recovering from the surgery, so I felt a little more like being careful. About 3/4's of the way up 217 I finally was able to pull over - and got flipped off as she went by. Then she went right up to the next car and did the same thing. Just once I really wish a cop were sitting somewhere to see that.

Then while bringing Riley home we stopped at Albertsons to pick up the X-Men Playstation 2 game I promised him. We're getting ready to leave, he's in the car and I'm talking to him, he's still a little out of it and upset about how his mouth feels. As I'm talking with his door wide open, this cab driver decides she needs to park in the spot right next to me but can't until I close Riley's door. I see her there but Riley is more important. Plus there are TONS of other parking spots. After maybe a minute, she starts honking at me and yelling at me to move. Well, by now I'm really tired and have already had one bad driver experience, so I'm in the best mood. I turn around, look at her, and say loudly enough so she can hear, "Gee, I'm soooo sorry the parking lot is sooooo full that you can't find another spot and HAVE to have this one." Then I go back to trying to calm down Riley. She honks again and this time I say, "Hey! My son just got out of oral surgery and isn't feeling great! I'm going to talk to him until he's calmed down THEN I'll get in the car! Go park somewhere else if you're in such a hurry!!" She honks, yells, and waits. I ignore her, get Riley calmed down and close his door. She zooms up fast but has to slam on the brakes when I open my door almost hitting it. I didn't think she'd do that or I would not have opened my door yet. I gave her a dirty look, had several choice words to say but for once wisely kept my mouth shut, and got in my car closing my door. She zoomed up, opened her door and continued yelling at me. Riley asked, "Why is she yelling at us, Daddy?" "Some people are just mad all the time and don't have any patience," I said. As we left I just gave her a big smile and waved.

It was really and truely a weird driving day.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Starlight Parade

Had a great time as always with the Starlight Parade this last Saturday. Man, a little over a week ago I got a little sick. Not enough to really put me down, but enough to make me tired, all phloemy, stuffed up, the usual ickiness. I've gotten back to about 98% and stayed there for a long time. Part of it I'm sure is not getting enough sleep. It was a little tough marching because I was tired. But I made it. Fortunately it's a short parade. The upcoming Rose Parade is much longer. I need to get lots of sleep this week, eat right, etc, etc. I just want to get over feeling tired and get rid of this stupid phloem stuff.

But it was fun and I had a good time. My lips survived which I was a little worried about since I'm horribly out of shape. My New Years Resolution this year was to keep playing until next years rehearsals start. It's easy to want to take a day off, play a game at lunch, etc, but I really need to keep in shape so next year my lips won't hurt as much, won't be as chapped, and I'll have more fun.

Geez, I sound rather pathetic, huh? Well, I know no matter what, I'll have a great time at the Rose Parade, I always do. :)

On another note (no pun intended), every year they get these beauty pageant types to hold our banners and march with us. This year they have Miss Oregon Teen. She's 17. I've been in the band longer than she's been alive!

I'm old. ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cookies & being sick

I don't understand this.

I haven't gotten a lot of sleep for the past week and yesterday woke up with a sore throat. As the day progressed, I started feeling worse and worse. Got home and was feeling your basic cold sick ickiness.

I was hungry. Looked through the kitchen to find something to eat, nothing sounded good. I had to pick up my OMTAAMB uniform, so I took Riley with me. On the way back we stopped at Albertsons to get some bread. As we walked in they had their fresh baked cookies right there on sale. Riley asked if we could get some.

I looked at them and all of a sudden my sick body started screaming, "YES!! THAT'S WHAT I WANT!! BUY SOME! BUY LOTS!!!!"

Sure enough, after I ate several at home they hit the spot. I've had this happen before and don't get it. You'd think you're sick and your body would crave something good for you, like chicken soup or fruit or other good things. Nope, mine wants chocolate chip cookies.

I believe your body does crave certain things when it is lacking in them, like oranges when it wants vitamin C or bananas, things like that. I also say when you're sick, your body needs the food to help fight the bug and get better, so eat whatever sounds good. SO, if my body wants chocolate chip cookies, who am I to argue? ...I think it's time to eat another... ;)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wynton telling the truth

If you're into playing music at all, you MUST watch this!

Why are you following me on Twitter?

Long time no post, sorry about that. I've been trying to focus on work and getting things done, and if I start blogging I get side-tracked REAL easy.

Twitter is kinda fun, would be more fun if I had more friends on there. And by friends I mean people I actually know. I'm following a few fun people, like Wil Wheaton and Samantha Murphy from SMTV.

But now and then, I'll have these random people decide to follow me. I don't know these people and when I look at their profiles, I haven't a clue why they have decided to follow me. Some have been companies wanting to use Twitter as a marketing tool, they get banned quickly. Most are just random people that I can't figure out what I might have in common or why they'd want to follow me.

I'm not upset they want to follow me, it's actually kinda neat feeling that some random person thinks my tweets are interesting enough to follow me. It would just be nice if they'd send a message to ME introducing themselves and why they want to follow me. Why? Because I'm the curious type (I HAD to be a cat in a previous life) . :)

So if you want to follow me (I'm richtpt), that's way cool! Just please send me a tweet introducing yourself. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Comcast fun

While they are getting better, last night and just now I encountered the old fun Comcast support.

Last night I called to get a service call setup for someone to come out and swap our box with one that has a hdmi output. I was told it would be better for me to go to the service center and swap it myself because 1) If a tech came out we’d be charged a minimum of $19.95, and 2) The tech might not have a box with a hdmi output by the time he go to us. Huh? I was told in the morning the toss in all of the stuff they need for the calls they have. But sometimes things happen and they no longer have what a customer needs by the time they get there. Like another customer might say, “Wait, this one doesn’t have a hdmi output. I need that.” Then the tech – trying to offer good customer service – gives them one of the boxes with that feature. Now by the time he gets to us, he’s given out all of those boxes.

Gee, that makes a lot of sense. How about, “Sorry sir, but I don’t have any of those on my truck.” Then he will still have one for us when he gets to us.

Oh well, that’s ok, going to the service center will save me a little money, no problem. Just now I tried to call the service center to make sure they have the box I want so I don’t make a trip for nothing. I was told I can’t do that. Even the Comcast support number I call can’t call them. When I said, “So there’s no way for me to know if they have the box I want?” I was told, “I’m 99.9% sure they have it. I don’t see any messages saying they are short on the latest boxes, so they’ll probably have it.”

That gives me a nice warm fuzzy. I guess I’ll cross my fingers and rub my lucky rabbits foot while driving over there tonight. ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jerry O'Connell is a RIOT!!!!

Oh man, this is soooooooooo funny!!!!

Stupid Alaska Airlines!

Each year I fly to Boston for a meeting at Progress Software (in Bedford). It's a 5 hour flight. On the flight back I fly from Boston to Seattle to Portland. I usually have enough frequent flyer miles to upgrade to 1st class, which is the only way to go on that long of a flight.

Well, last year (around August) Alaska decided to change their policy. Now you have to purchase a Value ticket (or higher) in order to upgrade using miles! There are two other ticket options that are less expensive, about $100 less and $150 less. Oh and let's not forget that I have to hope 1st class is available (which it usually is).

So for $100-$150 more, I get the chance to maybe upgrade to 1st class. What a ripoff!!

Sure, it's a nicer seat, more leg room, free drinks, better food (WAY better food), and a free digiplayer to watch movies, tv shows, and other things on. But is it worth that much extra? And if 1st class is full I just spent $100-$150 for nothing!

I have loved Alaska ever since I started flying for work many many years ago. I've always found them to be friendly, good seats, a good price (not great, but not the worst), generally just the most enjoyable way to fly. Plus being able to upgrade was great. Now in order to upgrade I have to pay $100! I've got plenty of miles but I can't use them. Oh, one more thing I learned. It's now 15,000 miles to upgrade instead of 10,000.

I know airlines are hurting and need money, but this just ticks me off! Alaska, you just went down a couple notches in my customer service book. Yes, I'll probably fly them again, I just won't be upgrading to 1st class anymore. sigh....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Joost is way cool!

I saw a blog that Joost now has classic Star Trek on it. I went to their website, looked at what they had and decided to try it - after all, it's free.


I watched a very high quality version of "The Trouble with Tribbles." It was awesome! I don't know how they are doing this free, but I'm VERY excited about it. I looked at their cartoons and saw they have several Rocky & Bullwinkle's, some Ren & Stimpy's, and lots of others.

This is a neat service, you should try it!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not a slimy car salesperson

A few months ago I contacted a few internet sales people at various Honda dealerships in our area. I wanted to let them know we are interested in a 2009 Honda Fit when they come out (probably around June). These are popular and the new models will be even more popular, so I wanted to get on the top of their list.

Most of the sales people emailed back with something like, "Ok, you're on my list." Nothing rude, but nothing extra either. One lady emailed back what looked like a form email saying stuff like, "I can get you in one NOW! Is this the right car for you? Have you looked at others? I can help!!" It was a rather pushy sounding email especially since I had just said we are NOT interested in a 2008 but a 2009.

I sent her a rather firm email back stating I thought that email was a bit pushy and reiterating we did NOT want a 2008, only a 2009. She sent back a really nice email apologizing for the standard response email. We exchanged emails many times and I discovered that first email was just a reflex response and she is definitely not pushy, actually quite the opposite.

Last week she sent me an email (actually everyone in her contact list) that everyone who test drives a car will be entered in a contest for a Wii. I emailed her back saying that'd be cool but we already have one, we definitely wouldn't be buying if we did test drive and we didn't want to waste her time. After talking with Marci we decided to drive the Fit - after all, sitting in it at the autoshow and driving it are two very different things. So we went out this last Sunday to test drive it.

She was really nice, friendly, not slimy or pushy at all. Marci took the car out first as I waited with the kids. Marci said she LOVED the car and it was tons of fun to drive. Cool! She also wanted to look at the CR-V's and Pattie (the cool sales lady) was going to get someone else to ride with me for the test drive. I decided if Marci likes it that's good enough for me and decided not to try it, I'll just wait until the 2009's arrive.

Marci drove a CR-V and really liked it a lot. Pattie told us she had a 2007 model fully loaded (navigation, the works) she could sell us for $200 over invoice. Well, for a moment we got caught up in the excitement of new cars and asked to see it. About that time Pattie had another customer show up who also just wanted to test drive a car for the contest. Pattie asked if this other sales guy could show us the CR-V while she took this lady out and she'd be right back. No problems.

WOW! What a difference! We went from feeling like we were chatting with a friend to someone who made us want to run away and never come back. He was pushy, slimy, kept asking about what we were looking for, wanted to run numbers for us, etc. When we told him we were here just to test drive the Fit and were waiting for the 2009 model, he said something like, "People are always waiting for the next thing because they think it'll be better. You gotta grab it now because there's always a next thing and you'll be waiting forever. Let me go run some numbers for you on the Fit and CR-V." That's when I said, a little more firmly, that we KNEW what the 2009 model's were going to be because we had seen the previews on the web. After seeing what they will have in them we would NOT be happy with a 2008 model. He then said, "Oh yeah, we were just looking at them online. Aren't they sweet?"

Just looking at them? Really? Then why the push to buy a 2008??

Finally after he got us a CR-V brochure, we thanked him and said we were just going to wait for Pattie to get back. While waiting we had time to realize we planned on one new car payment this year, not two, and while the CR-V is a great deal, we just need to pass, other great deals will come along. We thanked her a lot for her time and said we'll be in touch.

After we got home and had time to laugh at what a jerk that other guy was and how nice she was, I sent her an email again thanking her and letting her know how much we appreciated her. Marci said when they were test driving the Fit that Pattie said she'd take the job ONLY if she could be 100% honest and not slimy/pushy/the usual car salesman stuff. Her boss didn't think she'd have what it took but decided to give her a chance. She's now the top salesperson there! Guess she showed him.

What a world of difference! Pattie made us feel comfortable, right at home, and definitely want to come back to her. The other guy (I honestly forgot his name right after we drove off the lot) made us want to run away and never come back to that dealership. Why can't other's learn from Pattie and be cool? Oh, and when we got there, we weren't even out of the car before some guy was on us asking how we were doing and what he could help us with. No offense, but let us get out before you start trying to feed!

Here's to Pattie at Larry Miller Honda of Hillsboro! A different kind of salesperson, one that actually makes you want to buy a car and leave knowing you got the best deal possible. Looking forward to dealing with her for a 2009 Fit!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I need these printed...

There needs to be some kind of digital photo orientation everyone has to take because I get this all the time:
Here are some photos. Could you please print them as 8 x 10's?
Sure, no problem. Except the photos are small, 640 x 480 at 72 dpi, which is about 8.9" x 6.7". This means the chance of printing it as an 8 x 10 and have it look any good is slim to none. To print it 8 x 10 at 150 dpi means it needs to be 1600 x 1200 at least. Printing the 640 x 480 72 dpi photo at 150 dpi means it will print at 4.3" x 3.2".

Fortunately I have Photoshop, Genuine Fractals and Noise Ninja. With all of these tools I can get pretty close. 8 x 10 is still really tough and not looking that great, but 6 x 8 looks pretty ok at 150 dpi, thanks to Genuine Fractals which saves my butt and makes me look good.

I just wish I could do some Vulcan mind-meld so people would know what size the photo they send me needs to start out as so I can print it for them.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ah, Christmas vacation

Christmas is such a wonderful time, especially with little kids who really enjoy the season. Of course little ones also want you to play with them and all their new toys - all the time. While I don't mind, it certainly made for a busy vacation rather than relaxing. Part of me is a little happy to be back at work where I can just sit here quietly at my desk and write code. But part of me misses being at home, having our son or daughter come over asking me to play with them, where my biggest thinking problem is how to put something together and which pair of sweat pants to wear.

Usually Christmas seems to take forever to get here then it's gone too quick. This year seemed different. It seemed to get her fast and stick around a little longer. That was nice. Staying up late, sleeping in, playing games, eating cookies and other bad things, a time not to care about stuff like diets, rather to just enjoy.

It was a good Christmas, I'm already looking forward to the next one. :)