Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sexist emails.

I have been shocked at the escalation of the sexist humor that gets passed around in office email.  I work in a male dominated department and have worked in predominately male office environs since, well, ever.  I would say this recent volley has definitely crossed the line.  After I chuckled until my abs were sore, I was a little offended by the fact that this passes for office humor.  Interestingly, there is not one single female in my management chain, all the way up the org chart, which may be a first.  That said, here are some examples of what I'm talking about, and I wouldn't rat out my teammates, but. . .  wow. . .

Friday, December 28, 2007


Almost nobody was in the office today.  It was eerily quiet.  I replied to emails and did some research.  I got some studying done.  I really feel like I have the time to prepare for the CCIE exam and pass it.  I have exposure to the variety of technologies and real life implementations for the first time in my career that span the breadth of what's on the test.  I passed the written portion about 10 years ago and never took the lab.  I'm not sure I would have passed the lab. 

Reset button.

Having a week to just shift into low gear and vegetate on my folks' couch, go way off the diet, and enjoy a relaxing Christmas around family was just like hitting the reset button.  I'm refreshed and ready for a new year.  I finally got all my gifts given and after tomorrow at work, I'll have all my documentation done for the projects I worked on all year.  I'll be ready to move on to the next challenge.

My dad spent Christmas Day fixing the brakes on their Tahoe.  We took it for a drive to the lake, which is replete with curvy, hilly roads and amazingly beautiful scenery.  It takes some confidence in your brake job to test it out on a boat ramp.

My New Year's Resolution involves very aggressive debt elimination.  I'm so sick of paying more interest than my 401k earns.  It doesn't make sense.  I'm raising rents and paying down mortgage principle, rehabbing a now vacant property which is holding me back, and getting ready to start taking a healthy profit out of my real estate holdings and get more diversified.  My goal by the end of the summer is to unload two or three houses and use the equity to pay cash at a foreclosure auction for an abode in Texas, since my career is pushing me in that direction.  I'm not in a rush to move there, so why pay retail?

On the geek news front, a company in Switzerland has made an amphibious electric car and the darn thing doesn't even float.  It doesn't have to; it's air tight.  Check out Rinspeed's new submarine concept car named "sQuba".  No emissions.  Carbon nanotube body panels.  James Bond cool!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

X shopping days til Christmas.

It's coming down to the wire and I have some gifts to buy.  I'm definitely traveling to Oklahoma this weekend and tonight is really my last chance to shop.  Yikes.

Even the office newsletter bears good news.  It's going to be slow next week.

Dress Code

Monday-Friday- Jeans

Visitors & Guests

 No visitors this week.

I took Monday and Wednesday off, Tuesday being Christmas Day.  I'm glad to have some down time.

No hockey until Jan 6?  I might develop withdrawal symptoms.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winding Down

I always have a rough time winding down after the Tuesday night hockey games.  I played as hard as I could, got a lot of shots, a goal, and a lot of assists.  I was playing on a team with a couple of college guys who play Division 1 hockey for Iowa State University and Missouri University and they happen to be home for Christmas.  Another guy on our team grew up playing hockey with these guys in high school, and probably before that.  I ended up cycling back to cover the point for him a lot.  These guys had a tendency to put passes just outside my reach, assuming I would read the pass and accelerate in time to intercept it.  Not knowing their systems, I would tend to zig when they expect me to zag.  By the end of the game we were hitting on all cylinders, though, and made up most of a deficit from the first period when our goalie took about 9 shots and let in about 9 goals.  I've never seen a goalie get an 0-fer.  He blamed the brittle outdoor ice surface and his dull skate blades.  He was slipping all over the place.  We would have done better just setting up some pylons in the crease.

The rink at the Carriage Club has a small parking lot full of very expensive cars on one end, and State Line Avenue at the other end.  I've seen some near misses.  I would hate to be driving up State Line Avenue and take a puck in the window, or worse, get a massive dent.  There's not much traffic on that street during the late hour when we play, anyway.  Shots that go over the glass on that end of the rink end up in Kansas.  The pucks that go over the glass into the parking lot, so far, haven't inflicted any known damage.

Friday, December 14, 2007

National Initiative for Democracy

As the political debates wear on, I'm learning about issues that never crossed my mind.  There is a group trying to implement an amendment to the Constitution to allow a law to be created by a ballot initiative at a Federal level, The National Initiative for Democracy, found at  We have ballot initiatives in Missouri, and the resulting laws from ballot initiatives are very sensible and reflective of the actual views of average people.  They tend to be struck down by courts if they're extreme, but I can't think of a truer form of democracy.  When you tack it onto our existing system, it's like having another house in Congress which supercedes Congress and we all get a vote.  I'm still unclear about whether Federal Ballot Initiatives would be immediately enacted as law, or still require a signature or veto by the President.  After considering the possibilities, like requiring a ballot initiative for Congressional pay raises or tax increases, it certainly gives the reigns back to the people on many fronts.  These are things which the Congress would never agree to, and it adds another means to get a law enacted without a particular political party having the power to block it based on their majority in a particular chamber.  The Republic system as it is seems broken, because the real power seems to lie with the lobbyists with the deepest pockets and those Congress members who would betray their constituents for their own greed.  The more I ponder it, the more I like having a true Democracy running in parallel with the Republic system, backed by the same checks and balances.  I went to the web site and voted for it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


My power was out last night, so I did double duty web surfing tonight.  I carb loaded and then found out, ironically, my hockey game was canceled because of ice. . . and the lack of power for the lights.  I normally play at the Carriage Club on Tuesday nights.  You'd think a fancy place like that would have a generator.

In my net stumblings, I found  This guy finds strange videos, particularly music videos, and mixes them together using XOVOX video mixing/scratching software.  It's like Sid & Marty Krofft meet DJ Icey.  What a trip?  I'm going to have strange dreams now.  I digress. Just check out an example.