29 March 2009

Bi-weekly Reflections 2009 - Week 10 & 11

"Bi-Weekly Reflections" is my small journal of events that have gone on throughout the last 2 weeks that I've decided to keep. New updates to this will (hopefully) be posted as soon as possible.
On Monday, 3/9/2009, I discussed with my boss about the commute to the new office. Explained to him that it had taken about 2 hours to go from the new office to Ashley's house (where going to my house would be only 15 minutes shorter). He expressed concern that the commute is much too long, and that he was willing to work with me, but I still believe that I'll have to figure out some way to move out to somewhere closer to work come this summer.
My morning started off fairly interesting on Wednesday, 3/11/09. I got to the Melrose Sprinter station and was standing at the station waiting for the Sprinter to arrive when some religious solicitors tried talking to me, which is the first time (and hopefully the last) that has ever happened at the train station. Then, while I was on the train, someone near me apparently decided it would be best to go out without deodorant and/or a shower in the last day or decided to use onions as a deodorant. Not only that, someone also decided it was okay to fart on the train not once, but twice! When I got off the train, I was on the shuttle and as many people where getting off, I moved to the front of the shuttle to go to the next stop and a woman was getting off (letting me pass her since she had this huge bag of stuff), but as I was sitting facing the door, she passed but I had my phone in my hand (typing a text message), to which she said "Please don't point that thing at me" and pushed it away! Umm, maybe you haven't heard, but electromagnetic radiation radiates in all directions. Maybe she hasn't taken a physics course yet.
On Friday, 3/13/09, I bought tickets for Ashley and I to go see Dane Cook live at the San Diego Sports Arena on May 29th. It will be my first time seeing a comedian live, and we are both very excited to go to this.
On Tuesday, 3/17/09, I publicly released a new version of Twobile (version 1.7), and its loaded with a number of new features and fixes. Unfortunately, shortly after releasing Twobile, some users were experiencing problems. Apparently, the problem stemmed from NullReferenceExceptions which were being thrown when a user had or changed their settings to have any of the tabs hidden. It was quickly fixed, and now users around the world are using it! So far, quick reviews are coming in that are good, and I am very proud of it!
On Wednesday, 3/18/09, I skipped class and called out of work to finish all the homework I had. I woke up and started working on my homework at 8am and didn't stop until 10:30pm. Well, I did stop a few times to eat lunch and dinner, but other than that, I worked on my assignments which were due the next day almost nonstop. Unfortunately, I still didn't finish all of it, but I damn near tried.
Thursday morning (3/19/09) didn't start off very well since Ashley and I got into another pretty heated argument over the phone and have yet to completely resolve our differences.
Friday (3/20/09) was an extremely busy day. I left my house in Temecula, drove on the I-15 south to the 78 West, then from the 78 West to the I-5 north to get to San Clemente, and somehow managed to get there in just over an hour. After I got there, I went straight to work getting our old Cisco PIX 501 firewall set up and running. Well, running was the key word as it didn't want to go anywhere. After almost 6 hours fiddling with it (and 4 hours of waiting for Cisco to call back), a call into Cisco's TAC finally got me up and running and we were able to VPN in and also connect out. The question remains on whether the other setup parameters were working properly, but I won't know until we move our other server equipment into the office.
Saturday morning (3/21/09) was somewhat long, but Ashley's family is now a little larger. Her and her family adopted another cat, named Cassidy, who looks very similar (and somewhat acts a little like) to her recently deceased cat Tiger. She is quite afraid of everything right now, since its a new home and very different atmosphere, so we'll have to see how things go.
Sunday (3/22/09) was a pretty calm day, where mos to of the day was spent working on homework. However, in the evening, Ashley and I went to dinner out our favorite sushi restaurant in Temecula: Love Boat Sushi at the Promenade Mall. It was a good dinner altogether, and was definitely a good chance for us to reconnect again after our spat on Friday.
Monday (3/23/09) was a little bit of a hectic day. The morning started off normally with me going to my morning networking class at school, but things were quite a bit different by the time I walked into work afterward. When I walked in, my cube and desk were gone (a requirement for our move) and my "desk" was now situated against a very blank wall, which I have to admit was quite awkward to work at. A little while into being in the office, it was revealed that the phone system that we had an installer put in on Friday and Saturday was not working properly, as only 1 out of the 6 lines we had installed had dial tone. After spending a few hours contacting the installer (who was currently on a job in Las Vegas) and AT&T (to make sure it wasn't something on their end), it was revealed that sometime this week I would have to go back to the San Clemente office to make sure the phone systems were working properly before our first office day in that office on April 1st, which is one additional thing I didn't want to have to worry about.
Thursday (3/26/2009) morning was a little wierd: I headed to school as normally, but when I finally arrived I realized that I had to register for my Spanish proficiency exam to allow me to graduate. However, when I realized that it would be my last day to do so, I also realized that I hadn't brought my checkbook to pay for the exam! Oops! Well, I managed to scurry over to the Ralph's across the street from CSUSM and buy a Sobe Liz-Blizz and ask for $60 cash back. I joked that it was the most expensive Sobe that I'd ever had - but it was good!
Friday (3/27/2009) was spent in San Clemente, where I set up and finished configuring the network as well as the phone system. I also waited for the telephone installer, who tried to fix a few of the problem we were having with a couple of the lines.
Saturday (3/28/2009) was spent moving the remaining furniture from the Oceanside office to the San Clemente office. After the furniture was moved in, we began setting up the various offices and desks, making sure the network and phone system worked, and that each person in the office had what they needed to begin work on Monday. I also sat with a couple of my co-workers and taught them how to use the phone system before finally heading out for the evening.

  • Obama reversed a ban on stem-cell research initiated by former President George W. Bush, which I have to admit that I am pleased to hear as it will advance medical sciences so that people with paralysis, such as my recently paralyzed neighbor, will get the help they need: [article]
  • If you're going to go on a diet, its probably a good idea to check these articles out: [article 1] [article 2]
  • Circuit City, one of the giant retailers for consumer electronics, has finally closed its doors on Sunday, March 8th for the last time. Though I never really liked the chain much because of their higher prices and somewhat limiting selection, it is still sad to hear that another large consumer electronics retailer has disappeared (the other big name being The Good Guys, of course). [article]
  • Teachers are beginning to experiment in the use of exercise stability balls in classrooms as replacements for standard desk chairs to improve posture and focus in students. Hey if it works, I'm totally for it. I remember when those chairs were so uncomfortable! I've actually been thinking about getting one for myself for work! [article]
  • Although I've had this article since last week, it just disgusts me the type of decisions that people have to make and the ridiculous social consequences those decisions have: a 9-year-old Brazilian girl was raped and impregnated by her stepfather. However, because the girl was so young and because she was also carrying twins, the risk of the pregnancy was too high and so her mother authorized an abortion for her. Now, the Catholic Church has excommunicated her, her mother, and her doctors for the abortion. It was a tough call, but I personally do not agree with the Catholic Church's decision, even though I do not agree with abortion as well. [article]
  • Signs of the times: over 700 people tried applying for 1, and only 1, janitorial opening at an Ohio school. Its really sad to see that the economy has forced so many people into such a position. [article]
  • Holy cow! 65 terabytes of movies! If I were the MPAA, I would totally say "Hey, it looks like you've digitized most of our movies, why don't we work with you in hosting them for profit instead of piracy?" But, alas, it is not so. [article]
  • I don't watch 'American Idol' personally, but from what I've heard, in order to vote, viewers can call a number that is 1800-IDOL-[2-digit number here] where the number is between 1 and 12 to vote for a particular contestant. However, since 'Idol' has changed the number of contestants this season to 13, they are now having a problem keeping with the pattern as a sex hotline currently owns '1800-IDOL-13' (or, better yet, its equivalent). So now the show must find an alternative for the wildcard contestant.... I'm so glad I don't watch that show. [article]
  • I enjoy how the author of this article is attempting to blame Generation Y (people of my generation) for some of the economic problems and strains on unemployment but then shoots herself in the foot for failing to provide adaquite proof. Although she mentions a few people that are in my age group that are abusing unemployment benefits (which is to be expected by any generation really), she puts out a few figures that are inconclusive: she asserts that the unemployment rate throughout the nation is currently 8.1%, where 13.9% of that 8.1% is under the age of 29. So, for those individuals in the 11-year-span of working age under 29, only 13.9 of the unemployed population receiving benefits is a cause of the problems? I highly doubt that. [article]
  • So much for oil companies investing in alternative, renewable energy sources: Shell has dropped investment on sources of wind, solar, and hydro energy sources, claiming that they are not financially sound investments. Umm, just so you understand, Shell, breakthroughs in these technologies will not be made if the financial investments are not made, and moreover, you are probably going to regret not investing in them as you yourself may be the one to make those breakthroughs. But if you don't want to invest in securing your future, that's fine by us. Everybody knows that renewable resources are cash-cows because there is virtually no end to supply. [article]
  • Sometimes its a shame that such ridiculous people have so much money. Monday night, 3/23/09, Lindsay Lohan apparently had gotten into a minor accident in her 2-week-old Maserati, driven by her assistant (why would she need an assistant? Oh, that's right - she got a DUI). I cringed when I heard this - not because she was involved in yet another accident, but because a $100k Maserati was involved and now is damaged. [article]
  • Its incredible to what extents people will go to do things - and they often do the wierdest things too. This woman, Helen Sun, wanted to reconcile with her husband, but wanted to do it in such a way that would prevent him from leaving. So what did she do? She changed the locks on the doors, handcuffed him to her while he slept, and then bit him on his torso and arms. Now what the heck compels you to do stuff like that!? [article]
  • So according to MSNBC's report about an excerpt from The Inquirer (oh, this has to be true, right?), "Octomom" apparently told a friend that she once was an exotic dancer when she was 18, but quickly quit when she found out that she was required to perform lap dances. Please tell me why the heck so-called "news" like this actually makes it into my legitimate news sources, and why the heck do I still read them?? [article]
  • Realistically, I don't think that things like this should be considered child pornography if the pictures were taken. The distribution and acquisition by 3rd parties of said material, on the other hand, should be considered child pornography. Although I do not, in any way, condone adolescents (or any child of any age for that matter), I do not believe that the subjects of said pictures should be prosecuted for being the subjects of the pictures. On the other hand, it is irresponsible of them to not have the pictures deleted, but then again, if the subject didn't know that the picture was taken then how are you to be deemed irresponsible? It is a sticky situation, and probably one that won't find resolution anytime soon. [article]
  • Earth Hour is upon us: on Sunday, March 28, 2009, the Earth Hour initiative is requesting millions if not billions of people throughout the globe turn off their lights for 1 hour between 8:30PM to 9:30PM local time. Though this does not seem like a very long time, some large cities, such as New York (to some degree), Los Angeles, and Paris have done what they can to join in the effort. What seems pretty spectacular (and I hope somebody records it and posts it on the Internet so I can watch it too at some point) is that Las Vegas is joining the effort, where some casinos on the strip will be shutting off their marquees for what may be the first time ever! It definitely is something big that I want to be a part of! [article]
  • Talk about vain: A woman had opened a line of credit and borrowed money under a false identity to undergo plastic surgery (read: obtain breast implants), then skipped town and never returned for any follow-up visits. Is this what people have been reduced to - stealing somebody's identity so that you can basically "steal" a plastic surgery? [article]
  • The U.S. Post Office may run out of funds quite soon if things don't get better. Due to less and less mail being sent, revenue from the Post Office has gone down significantly over the past few months due to the recession. And despite the idea of moving to a 5-day mail delivery service (which I totally support because of its huge returns), Congress is opposed to the idea and is looking for alternatives. [article]
  • Talk about scary: A scientist who was working with lab mice accidentally pricked her own finger with a needle that was used to inject the lab mice with the Ebola virus. In a huge effort to ensure her safety (because it was unaware of whether or not she had the virus or not since, just because she had been pricked with the needle didn't necessarily mean that she had been infected). Nevertheless, her collegues and other scientists quickly attempted to create an experimental anti-virus for her so that she would not suffer the painful fate that would await her if she had been infected. So far, she has not showed signs of infection, but it is inconclusive as to whether or not her infection is actually being fought off by the anti-virus, or she was just lucky enough not to have been infected in the first place. [article]

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