Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Now that I've completed all of the requirements for the MCITP certification, I'm anxiously awaiting for Microsoft's records to be updated so I can print out a new certificate and get a new logo for the resume'. The next exam on the list is 70-640, Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring for yet another MCTS. Once passed, I will have all of the elements I need to get the Microsoft Certified Master certification. Well, almost everything, I'll need to get funding for $18,500 ($13,000 for a limited time) for the course, and three weeks to go to Microsoft in Redmond to take it. At this point, I'm not sure if it is worth it, since it seems likely that there will be an Exchange Server 2009. I guess we'll see.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Shawn's achievement is great, but at what cost? Earning merit badges is an important part of scouting, but it is not the only part. Was his focus on the number of merit badges earned, or actually learning what each merit badge program had to teach? I wasn't a big merit badge earner. I look back at all the things I did when I was in the Boy Scouts and realized that I probably came close to earning several merit badges that I wasn't even trying to earn. My focus was more on service to scouting. I did a lot for my troop and the district, and even the council. I helped perform many Eagle ceremonies, even though I never had one of my own. And I worked on countless Eagle service projects. I also enjoyed the outdoors, camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, etc. I learned a lot in the process. Looking back, I probably should have finished enough merit badges and did my own Eagle project, because now I have little to show for my time in Scouting. I figure that I'll make up for that as a Scouter now that Alex has started in the program.
Even though Shawn earned every merit badge, the timeline does not add up to earning all possible Eagle palms. It is possible to earn up to 20 palms, which would be displayed as six silver and one gold palm. (silver = 3 palms, gold =2) Each palm requires you to be active in your troop and patrol for at least 3 months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after the award of your last Palm. The Eagle rank would have to be earned by your thirteenth birthday. And at least five merit badges would have to be earned every three months. All requirements must be completed by your eighteenth birthday.
Shawn's 121 merit badge feat is commendable. I hope he continues with venturing, and as a scouter. I would also like to see his merit badge sash, which unfortunately, he isn't supposed to wear now that he is an adult!
Interestingly enough, the dollar coin is back in the news. I don't mind the dollar coin at all, I used to use them a lot when I used the Baltimore light rail regularly. Face it, coins last for a long time. The 1967 quarter in my pocket is still in good condition. When is the last time you've had seven paper bills over 25 years old in your wallet?
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I really haven't been given a lot of details on exactly what they want us to do, but regardless, this is a big event that will create communications gridlock. Ham radio operators are unique in that they understand how their radios work and they are frequency agile, not limited to specific channels. Combine that with message and traffic handling skills that many hams bring with them, and you get a good situation. I think the hard part will be getting folks to volunteer to go to Washington DC on inauguration day!
Friday, December 12, 2008
To make matters worse, I can't even access the virtual labs! I had sort of left the webcasts alone for a while as they were the same thing over and over again. But the new labcast concept sort of turned me onto it again. The webcast, I can just download, but the labcasts, they are online all the time, and it looks like there won't be an option for using them. In the IT field, staying on top of technology is pretty important as every new version of a product obsoletes your skills.
It seems just about anything modern is blocked and restricted. This organization will not do well attracting the best and brightest in the IT field if it continues to block the connections we use to interact with our peers and to improve our understanding of technology.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
$adsistr = "LDAP://" + $args
$group = [ADSI]$adsistr
if ($group.objectcategory -eq "CN=Group,CN=Schema,CN=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=local")
if ($group.authorig -ne $null)
foreach ($member in $group.member)
GroupMembers "cn=dl-all users,ou=groups,dc=domain,dc=local"
I actually wrote the script in Visual Basic script first, and then translated it into Powershell. While I've been doing well with various Powershell cmdlets with very simple logic one liners, I really don't consider them scripts. I've been trying to become proficient with Powershell for a while, and now I think I've found a way to do it. I think that I'll take some of my old standby Visual Basic scripts and rewrite them in Powershell.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I've been learning about Network Monitor 3 (3.2 to be exact) and it is great. What makes it great? Parsers, lots of parsers. And a fairly easy to understand language to write your own parsers if the packets you need to parse aren't included! Any systems administrator or engineer responsible for Windows or other Microsoft applications should definitely spend some time with the new Network Monitor. You are not likely to be disappointed. The Active Directory administrator could make great use of the DNS, Kerberos, and NetLogon parsers, among others. There is even an iSCSI parser for the storage folks.
Monday, December 01, 2008
65 Thomas Johnson Drive
Frederick, MD 21702
So, if you need to take a Microsoft, other IT, or whatever else is offered through Prometric and you live in or near Frederick Maryland, this is the place to go!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Microsoft Learning Manager - English Catalog, Free Products. So far, I've started Clinic 5091: Introduction to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging, and I'll probably do Clinic 6080: Deploying Microsoft Forefront Server Security Products next. I've recommended Clinic 3404: What’s New in Windows Vista and Course 4697: Introduction to the New Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface. I'll probably recommend those to some of my customers as well.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
When it comes to family life, I've already figured out that we aren't really normal, and after reading the Fox News.com AP story: In Lean Economic Times, Toy Advertising Under Fire, that notion is reinforced. What I take from this article, is that these parents haven't taught their kids that just because it is on TV, doesn't mean you have to have it, or that you even want it.
I think the biggest problem is what the kids are watching on TV. Alex isn't a TV junkie, but he still watches TV. I encourage the Disney channel. Their advertising is the tamest of them all, basically just advertisements for other Disney shows and videos. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are the worst. Every five minutes kids are bombarded with must have it latest piece of junk ads. The same is true with the cartoon blocks on broadcast TV, like on Saturday morning.
So, what is a parent to do? Basically, don't buy the stuff that is advertised, at least not regularly. Then, focus on gifts that will stand the test of time. A great gift for all of our children was the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Floor-Standing Wooden Easel on sale for $35. I've never seen this advertised on TV, and the kids love it, and they'll be playing with it for years. I guess it helps that since we rarely buy advertised products, we can say, and have said (to Alex) "Do we ever buy you what you see on TV?"
Friday, November 28, 2008
The pack web site is done in wordpress, which is pretty nice, but there are often security bugs in it that would concern me. Amy just updated it today due to a seuciryt vulnerability. She was holding off verson 2.7, but she decided to go to 2.6.5 to fix the security bug.
These days there are a ton of Microsoft certifications. The lowest being the MCTS, or, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. But the MCTS doesn't really mean anything unless it is followed by something, which in my case is, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 - Configuring. That is a lot harder to say, than MCSE. The good news is that there was only one test to pass, Microsoft Certification Exam 70-236. It wasn't the easiest test I've ever taken, in fact, I was surprised at just how hard it was. The MeasureUP practice test that came with my book probably made it worse. There were several question/answers that were just wrong. One even had two answers that were exactly the same, of course, only one of them registered as correct. The practice test did give me an idea of how the questions would be asked on the exam, but the content on the actual exam was very different from the practice test content.
The sad thing about the MCTS, is that someone can pass a basic Windows Vista exam also has an MCTS certification, so you have to be clear when explaining your certifications. The good news is that with the specialized certifications, you can really show your skill in a particular field, which is good for a consultant like myself. I'll be moving on to MCITP next, that is, Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional: Enterprise Messaging Administrator. That will require me to pass two more exams, 70-237, Designing Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 & 70-238, Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.
What I'm really looking forward to is the new Microsoft Certified Master program. As you would expect, it requires the MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator, plus Exam 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring. They also require your resume with five or more years of Exchange experience, with at least one in Exchange 2007. Those are all the easy requirements, the hard part is coming up with the $18,500 that the class and exams cost, and the three weeks travel expenses and time away from the job. This is also where working for a Microsoft partner will go a long way.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
After piecing together information from various sources, it turns out that IP forwarding is not enabled by default on Windows Server 2008. The following command enabled IP forwarding on the network interface.
netsh interface ipv4 set interface "NLB NIC" forwarding=enabled
Some management always wants a good source before they will sign off on anything, and various blogs and forum posts don't always count. Technet blogs seem to have the credibility they are looking for. You'd think that paying $180/hour for a consultant would be credible enough when he said that this is what you need to do! Well, the good news is, some of the good folks at Microsoft have posted the setting on their technet blog.
Now I have something more than, "trust me, I know what I'm doing" when I run into this again. Also, for the folks who are stuck in the Windows NT 3.51 days, they show you how to make the change via the registry editor.
Key name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters
Value Name: IpEnableRouter
Data Type: REG_DWORD
I'm so happy the came out with the netsh command.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I don't really understand how they figure out the order that the candidates are listed.
For president, it starts with Barack Obama, with John McCain second and some lesser known candidates further down if you are reading top to bottom before left to right. If you read the table left to right then top to bottom Obama would be first, with Nader second, and McCain third.
The order seems random, with the exception of the Democrats being first and Republicans being second. It doesn't go by alphabetical order for the first or last name, state, or even party.
The same goes with the candidates for Maryland's 6th congressional district. It starts with Jennifer Dougherty then Roscoe Bartlett, with Gary W. hoover, Sr. at the bottom for the Libertarian party.
The common theme, well, the top slot in both cases is occupied by Democrats. I wonder if it is just a coincidence or something more.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The crib has been disassembled, so Zoe will sleep in a bed from now on!
There is a pillow on the floor just in case, but I think she will do just fine.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I don't think I learned much about her platform. Most of her platforms seem to be aligned with Obama, but I don't think that Jennifer realizes that people generally have different expectations of their congressional representation than they do from their president. While there will be many voters who will vote for her because they are voting for Obama and she is another Democrat on the ticket, most voters, especially Maryland's 6th congressional district voters, will vote for a candidate based on the candidate's record, character, and their stance on the issues. Even if Obama gets more votes that McCain here in the 6th district, which is unlikely, I don't think that Jennifer will win.
Roscoe Bartlett isn't the perfect candidate, but I do believe that he looks out for the interests of his constituents, and his votes generally reflect their will. Interestingly enough, the first thing I saw on Jennifer's web site was about Bartlett. Roscoe's web site makes no mention of Jennifer Dougherty that I could find, even by using google to search site:bartlettforcongress.org.
I generally don't focus on the negative, but I don't understand how someone could lose a race for mayor in Frederick and expect to win a race for congress in the 6th district.
The car is a 1999 Dodge Avenger ES with a 2.5 liter 6 cylendar Mitsubishi engine. I'm not much of a car guy, but I do try to take fairly good care of it. Over the years it hasn't given me too much trouble. Early on, a transmission sensor would fail, and a few years back it left me on the side of I-270 a few times which turned out to be a problem with the coil pack ignition. The first time the mechanic couldn't find anything wrong, then a few days later it happened again, and I suggested that the mechanic actually find something wrong with it.
I hope it lasts two more years. That would be enough time for the van to be paid off and I will have some flexability in choosing my next car. If the car should die before then, I'll probably just get a new Toyota Corolla, or something similar. Cheap, good milage, and reliable will be my only requirements. Oh and it must have cruise control, without cruise control, I'll end up with tons of speeding tickets.
Monday, September 29, 2008
What really needs to happen is that people need to pay their bills. Despite the economic crisis, there are still plenty of folks with full carts at Wal-Mart, the mall parking lot is still packed. Are these the folks are carrying too much debt and can't pay their bills? I suspect some of them are. There are many Americans out there that don't have their priorities strait, they have houses or apartments full of electronics, DVD players and other gadgets, but their debt is going bad. Costing the rest of us money in our IRAs.
They say the root cause of the problem is the decline in home prices. Did anyone stop to think that these houses may have been overvalued in the first place? I over paid for my house, and even with the recent declines, is worth more than it was when I bought it, and it is still over priced. Of course, I didn't overextend myself to buy it either. I don't have a BMW 7 series parked out front (seriously, someone in my neighborhood does) and while I would love a bigger house with some land, I knew I couldn't really afford it, even if I could have been approved for the loan. It is that sort of common sense that more Americans should have used, which they didn't that got us into the financial crisis.
The best part of this scam is that "nobody saw this coming", well, it was pretty obvious if you ask me. I remember that several years ago my grandfather was talking about mortgage backed securities, and how they used to be good safe investments, but they are more risky now, and more people won't be paying off their loans. This was at least 4 years ago. The entire United States government couldn't figure this out back then and make some simple, and cheap, adjustments to prevent this. I'm OK with minor government regulation of items of national importance, that is a good role for government, to be a guiding hand, but not to be in the middle of everything micromanaging it completely. So we know that the government isn't the best at managing financial matters, but if they couldn't figure it out, surely the smart folks on Wall Street could, right? Sure they could, they knew what was going on, the just figured that there would be always be another sucker to pass these securities to after they made some money. What others have called, the "last sucker".
The 700 billion dollar Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 make taxpayers the "last sucker".
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
His first pack meeting is on Tuesday night. I hope to get a good picture of him in full uniform. Well, at least with everything he has so far. I really wish he had the belt, it is a pretty important part of the uniform as far as looks go. And once he starts earning belt loops, they'll need a place to go. The good news is that his belt should be here before the October pack meeting, which is when he would have his first chance to be awarded a belt loop.
So, we ate at Layton's concessions, just a little stand that had stools, everyone got a seat but Zoe, she was just too short!
Of course, there are rides too!
We are missing some critical pictures. Well, they aren't missing, we just didn't take them. One of the great things about the Great Frederick Fair are the agriculture exhibits. At first, Alex and Aaron, especially Alex, didn't want to see the animals, in their mind, they just didn't compete with the rides. But they saw cows get milked, an alpaca competition, more cows, goats, pigs, various fowl and rabbits. There were no animals giving birth while we were there, but there were some new born piglets and calves. They also saw a miniature donkey and a miniature horse. The best part was that once we got started, Alex and Aaron got into it!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
While thinking about the uniform that I will probably be wearing by this time next year, I thought about the service stars, which are a way display your years of service to Scouting. My first year, I was a Tiger Cub, after which I spent three years as a Cub Scout. The regulations say that I have the option of wearing a 1 year service star with an orange background and a 3 year service star with a yellow background. This is clear, but I haven’t figured out which I plan to do on my adult uniform. It gets a little more confusing from then on, as I was a Boy Scout for seven years, and Explorer for five years, and an assistant Scoutmaster for three years. But those terms overlap. The last two years I was a Boy Scout, I was also an Explorer, and my last three years as an Explorer, coincided with my tenure as an assistant Scoutmaster. I was wondering if it was wrong to wear a 7 year service star with a green background, a 5 year service star with a red background, and a 3 year service star with a blue background.
I consulted the official Boy Scouts of America Insignia Guide, which didn’t really cover the subject of overlapping service. So I consulted the Internet. The site http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/insignia.htm was quite informative on the subject, but still didn’t cover my specific question so I e-mailed the author, a Scouter with 47 years in the program. His answer was that I should wear the 7 year service star with a green background for my time in Boy Scouts, a 5 year Service Star for my time in Explorers, and a 3 year Service Star for my time as an assistant Scoutmaster, along with my choice of Cub Scout tenure service stars. In fact, he even said that it would be OK to wear a 10 year and 9 year service star with a blue background, even though the total number of years I have in the program don’t yet add up to nineteen.
The advice seems good, but when the time comes, I’ll also check with the local leadership to see if they have any specific standards.
After some thought, wearing these might seem like showing off, and while it is nice to have recognition for things, my hope is that the boys I will lead look at them and ask me questions like, “What does the green backing mean” and I could answer, “that was for Boy Scouts”, or “What does the red backing mean” and I could answer, “that was for Explorers and while Explorers isn’t a Boy Scout program anymore, they have added Venturing to replace it.” The hope is to get younger boys thinking about what they can do in the future.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Even with my regrets, I do not consider my Scouting experience a failure, in fact, nothing could be further from my mind. While I didn’t spend much time working on requirements, I spent a lot of time on service projects and the scouting organization itself. While I didn’t obtain the rank of Eagle Scout, I worked on many Eagle Scout service projects for others. I was also one of the most active members in my Order of the Arrow chapter, which during a typical month required much more time than troop and patrol commitments. Most of that time was spent doing things for the district, council, and troops beyond my own. I think I earned the backpacking merit badge, but even if I didn’t, that was my favorite troop activity, and I spent a lot of time as an older boy helping the younger boys learn the ropes of camping and backpacking. This was my scouting experience, and while I have regrets, I’m not sure I would have done it differently. Maybe it will prove to be valuable experience in mentoring boys who may have interests other than advancement and recognition.
They could improve the requirements by adding the ability to substitute the academic and sports pins as a substitute for boys who have already earned the corresponding belt loop. While pins require a higher level of knowledge and participation to earn, that option would enable the boy to earn belt loops while a Tiger, Wolf, or Bear, without concern that he’ll just have to redo it when he graduates to Webelos.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I ordered Alex's Cub Scout uniform tonight. There is a lot more to it than a shirt and pants.
-Cub Scout Long-Sleeve Shirt Polyester/Cotton, Blue, Long-Sleeve, Small, Youth
-Cub Scout Uniform Pants Polyester/Cotton, Blue, 06, Youth
-Tiger Cub Cap Small/Medium
-Tiger Cub Crew Socks X-Small (5-7)
-Tiger Cub Web Belt with Buckle
-Tiger Cub Neckerchief
-Tiger Cub Neckerchief Slide
-World Scout Crest Emblem
-National Capital Area Council Shoulder Patch
-Unit Numeral 2
-Unit Numeral 8
-Unit Numeral 5
-Cub Scout Den Numeral Den 5
Grand total, $97.31 including tax and shipping. I should have just made a list of what I needed and stopped by the Scout Store in Bethesda. I will pass by the area a few times this week. I would have saved $10 shipping. Oh well, if I forgot something, thats what I'll do.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
That being said, federal candidates and elected officials, especially the president and vice president should think differently. I think their focus on this matter should be on how to lower spending overall and lower taxes for everyone. Instead of sending money to Washington, it is in our pockets, and we wouldn’t need earmarks and other federal spending to get it back. Now this might make state and local taxes go up, so that these important projects can be funded, but I would much rather see this money under local control than in Washington (even though I live just 40 miles from Washington!).
I just think that in general, keeping your money local will lead to better government services over all while sending it to the federal government funds the bureaucracy above all else.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I have five virtual systems running in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. Two are running Windows Server 2003 with one being an Active Directory domain controller and the other running Exchange Server 2003. The other three are Windows Server 2008 with two configured with Exchange Server 2007 mailbox roles and the other soon to be running Exchange Server 2007 hub transport and client access roles, although I doubt I’ll get through setup before the battery dies. It isn’t even finished setting up Windows Server 2008. Even if I have to shut it down before it has been installed, it isn’t a big deal. I was able to use an otherwise wasted hour on the plane.
Thinking about it a little more, I should probably save a little battery life, just in case I need something from the computer between my arrival and check in to the hotel.
I started to think about the airports and airlines pushing the whole “get to the airport two hours early” line. Of course the would like you to get to the airport 2 hours early, that way you are stuck inside security with very few food or entertainment options. I’m surprised that they don’t charge you to use the bathroom. For that matter, I’m surprised that the airlines don’t charge you to use the bathroom. Maybe next time I’ll push my luck with security. I know I can’t bring any liquids with me, so, a can of Mountain Dew would be out, but maybe I could swing a decent meal. If I was really lucky, it would be something that Amy made for me and I could find a microwave!
Amy and I have never flown with our children, but traveling by car, we do our best to make sure that they have plenty of things to do and snacks to eat. We would probably so the same thing if we were to fly somewhere as a family, and this would add to the carry on luggage. Since checking bags is a pain, I try not to check any bags, but this has been more difficult after September 11, 2001, but even then, I think we could manage for all of us to take a short trip with two bags each. I guess if we do, I’ll want to be sure to check with the airline about their carry on policy.
I signed up to follow Barak Obama and John McCain, as well as just about anyone who mentioned ham radio or had a call sign. One of the skywarn groups is on there, but not the one that is local to me. It was interesting though, I got to see the updates from the southeast Virginia coast.
What I’d really like to get from Twitter are updates about things I’m interested in in relative real time. For example, I heard that some firefighters and EMTs use Twitter to send updates on serious incidents. It sort of reminded me of a service that I was on a while back that send e-mail summaries of fire calls in progress.
Right now I don’t have it set to send updates to my mobile phone. Mostly because I pay per text message, but also because I’m not following anything that I feel like I need to know in real time. Now, if Amy did Twitter, I’d have her updates sent to my phone.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Joe Lieberman is still on the short list. What do I like about Joe Lieberman? Well, he is the center left to McCain’s center right. I don’t agree with all of Lieberman’s politics, just as I don’t agree with all of McCain’s policies. I think that a McCain/Lieberman administration could deliver. It will be the first time that I can remember, and certainly since I could vote that there would be a true bipartisan ticket on the ballot. The only big question is, would Lieberman keep the right wing republican voters at home in numbers that independent and centrist voters couldn’t overcome.
I think for most American’s when wither wing, left or right is happy, the country is heading in the wrong direction. I think that a McCain Romney ticket would make the right wing too happy, just as the Obama Biden ticket has the left wing grinning.
The media seems to think that Sarah Palin, the current governor of Alaska will be McCain’s choice. I’m not sure if this move is good or bad, I don’t know much about her politics. It would be a good move for those who would like to see a woman on the ticket. Many Hillary supporters might take another look at McCain if that happens. For me, it doesn’t matter what race or gender is running, it is the delivery, can they make things happen? I’m not sure than a relatively unknown Alaskan governor will be able to complement McCain in that area.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
|From Ocean City '08|
Some times we don't remember to take pictures for some reason. There is really no excuse with digital cameras! But we'll always have the memories, and guess that is why we call them memories, because we remember them.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
After dinner I really didn't have anything planned, so we walked the boardwalk and talked. Walking the boardwalk on a full stomach, especially with a great tasting meal like we had just eaten is a different experience. Normally I'll smell something good and I want it, but not this night. It was getting late so we took the tram back to the hotel. The tram took a while, it seemed to take forever for some folks to get on and off.
When we got back to the hotel, Robin was pretty much ready to go, and shortly after, Amy and I were ready for bed.
The best part about Robin being there is that Amy and I could get our picture taken together!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This latest controversy is over the ages of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team. There were some old records that indicated that one of the gymnasts would be a month to young and another ten months to young. To be eligible, the gymnasts would need to be at least 16 years old by the end of the calendar year. The records disappeared quickly and China provided government documents that they say prove their age. But in China, the government controls everything, information, media, and official documents. Combine that with their will to win at all costs, it seems more likely than not that China has cheated. Should they win the gold, in the minds of many, it will be tainted. Maybe some time down the road the truth will come out, but I’m not sure that China will care. Being stripped of the gold metal happens long after the huge media pools and cameras have gone. China has shown time and time again that what is important, is what happens on TV for the world to see, and everything else should be covered up.
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Would NATO countries then declare war on Russia? Would they have sent troops to the region? While it wouldn’t be likely that NATO ground forces would be rushed to Georgia immediately, I would expect NATO Air Forces would get into the action rather quickly, and help force a cease fire that would be favorable to the Georgians, and then NATO ground forces would be sent to Georgia to help stabilize the peace. The NATO air power wouldn’t necessarily have to engage the Russians, given the superiority of NATO fighters, it is likely that the Russians would leave the skies, and pull back their troops less threatening positions.
All this talk about “if” Georgia was part of the NATO treaty doesn’t mean much, since they are not. Could it be that Russia’s real goal was to set back the process of Georgia’s acceptance into NATO? There is no doubt that Russia has done some damage to the Georgian military, which will take time to rebuild to NATO standards. Could this move backfire on Russia and draw Georgia into NATO sooner rather than later? It is hard to say right now, while the Russians are agreeing to a cease fire right now, there are still reports of fighting on the ground. Once the current conflict has ended, we’ll see how this shakes out.
Obama seems to be getting a little flack for going on vacation, and he is likely to get more over having never been to the region. Somehow, the Obama campaign is trying to turn this into an evil lobbyist story, because a McCain campaign staffer has lobbied for Georgia in the past. Somehow I don’t think that most Americans would have a problem with a small, relatively new democracy that was once part of the Soviet Union doing some lobbying.
McCain might benefit from this conflict. While eventually, the McCain and Obama positions became quite similar, Obama started out weak, while McCain’s original statement was just about right, and he stuck to it. No doubt that McCain’s experience with international issues was helpful in getting the right statement out right away, and he’ll use this to his advantage for all it is worth. I’m sure we’ll be hearing about McCain’s firsthand knowledge of Georgia in the next few days and weeks. This is exactly the sort of thing that exposes Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience.
Monday, August 11, 2008
The game itself is great, at least for its time. I really liked the squad based play. I liked sending the sniper to a nice spot somewhere to give me cover for my assault on a particular area, and having two other squads attack from different angles, which would either split the AI into smaller groups, or drawing them into a good position to be shot by one or the other squads. I really liked multiplayer. I wonder if I could find someone to play with these days. Until battlefield 1942 came out, I’d say that Ghost Recon was my favorite multi player game. I really liked using grenades and claymores for multiplayer games.
The game moves beyond Georgia, with the last level in that campaign being an extraction from the US embassy in Tbilisi, which is a pretty tough mission. If I recall correctly, it ends in red square in Moscow and you have to blow up several tanks. I figure I’ll play the game through again, just for the fun of it.
Back in real life, it is hard to understand this conflict. Georgia wants good relations with the EU and US, so it wouldn’t make much sense for it to target South Ossetian civilians as Russia claims. It seems to me that this is an excuse for Russia to flex its military muscle, but the world doesn’t like this sort of aggression. Look at the way the world looks at the United States in regards to Iraq, and that was a UN sanctioned war!
For now, the US isn’t involved, but Georgia is quite an ally with the 3rd largest number of troops in Iraq, at least until they were flown back to defend their territory. The US involvement in that is interesting. I would like to know more about this. According to the Deputy Chief of General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Anatoly Nogovitsyn at a briefing in Moscow, eight flights from Iraq, moved 800 Georgian military and eleven tons of cargo. I don’t believe much of what the Russians say, but this seems plausible. It seems that the US was involved in these flights, but I can’t confirm it. If so, what would happen if the Russians fired on or shot down a US plane? This thing could get out of control.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
So far this week I’ve played craps for about 4 hours while drinking several free sodas. I started with $390 in cash, and after 4 hours, I have $400. While at times I had $600 in chips, maybe a little more with the bets on the table, I was also down to about $180 at one point. I didn’t make any money, but I was able to play craps for several hours, and for me, that is the point, and it cost me nothing.
Don’t fool yourself, the odds are that in the long long run, you will lose money at craps, but if you play it smart, you’ll get to play for much longer for your money than you would with black jack, roulette, etc. And the winning streaks can really pay off, as long as you know when to quit. When Amy is with me, I seem to know when to quit, when she is not, I don’t. I’ll probably play for a couple more hours over the next two days, the best outcome, will be to quit on a winning streak, followed by breaking even, and even if I lose money, it will be plenty fun.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Here is an interesting example:
Obama had prevailed in districts with an odd number of delegates, so he was awarded the extra delegate, whereas Clinton's strongest regions were districts with even numbers of delegates, and Obama had kept the margin close enough to result in an even split.
In these cases, Obama won by just a little bit, but the reward was much more valuable.
Clinton was popular across the state -- but delegates were apportioned based on turnout strength in previous elections, meaning that heavily Democratic districts were disproportionately valuable. The biggest Philadelphia district -- an Obama stronghold -- was three times as big as the Altoona district.
Will this stradegy pay off? It can't really be used in the general election where you need to win entire states, not just the parts that are most likely to vote for you.
The dinner was pretty good, at least the main course and desert. The soup and salad wasn’t so, except for the bacon and fried mozzarella ball that was with the salad. The main course was fillet minion and salmon with potato and asparagus. I could have really used a coke though, drink selections were water and wine, so, I drank a lot of water.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 04, 2008
How did I do it? Well, I followed Bob's directions on http://eng.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/GO32-ops.html and used my new Kenwood TM-D710 with the dual band mobile antenna on top of Amy's van.
I'll try to explain the image below. It is a picture of the display on the Kenwood TM-D710. The top line basically says I'm in APRS 9600 bps mode and the time. The next few lines represent unsuccessful packets. The lines that matter are near the end.
NE3R-9>3Y2R2Q,4XTECH*:'i6(l ←v/]50W Mobile with 19" dual band whip=
That is my position report as I received it on the satellite's downlink frequency. The 4XTECH* represents the station that digipeated my packet.
Here is a pic of some random other packets I received during the pass.
Friday, May 02, 2008
I heard a few stations on, and then a break so I made a call. N5AFV from Huston Texas responded, then WA5KBH from Lake Charles Louisiana right after, and finally Leo, W7JPI from Sonoita, Arizona. All of this happened within about a minute. Since FM satellites only have one frequency for uplink that is shared among everyone, so you keep it brief, just exchange call sign and grid square.
I really need a recording device as I have a hard time operating the radio and writing at the same time. I think I have all the call signs right! The radio I was using was the Kenwood TM-D710 with a short dual band antenna on a lip mount.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
* Bugcheck Analysis *
This is a very common bugcheck. Usually the exception address pinpoints
the driver/function that caused the problem. Always note this address
as well as the link date of the driver/image that contains this address.
Some common problems are exception code 0x80000003. This means a hard
coded breakpoint or assertion was hit, but this system was booted
/NODEBUG. This is not supposed to happen as developers should never have
hardcoded breakpoints in retail code, but ...
If this happens, make sure a debugger gets connected, and the
system is booted /DEBUG. This will let us see why this breakpoint is
Arg1: c0000005, The exception code that was not handled
Arg2: 81c51e94, The address that the exception occurred at
Arg3: c23cc914, Trap Frame
Page bbe68 not present in the dump file. Type ".hh dbgerr004" for details
PEB is paged out (Peb.Ldr = 7ffd500c). Type ".hh dbgerr001" for details
PEB is paged out (Peb.Ldr = 7ffd500c). Type ".hh dbgerr001" for details
EXCEPTION_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000005 - The instruction at 0x%08lx referenced memory at 0x%08lx. The memory could not be %s.
81c51e94 8b4f04 mov ecx,dword ptr [edi+4]
TRAP_FRAME: c23cc914 -- (.trap 0xffffffffc23cc914)
ErrCode = 00000000
eax=00000efb ebx=0000013c ecx=000003ff edx=8e4ee1bc esi=8e4ee008 edi=00002310
eip=81c51e94 esp=c23cc988 ebp=c23cc9c8 iopl=0 nv up ei pl nz na po nc
cs=0008 ss=0010 ds=0023 es=0023 fs=0030 gs=0000 efl=00010202
81c51e94 8b4f04 mov ecx,dword ptr [edi+4] ds:0023:00002314=????????
Resetting default scope
LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from 81a7b5a0 to 81b12163
c23cc4d4 81a7b5a0 0000008e c0000005 81c51e94 nt!KeBugCheckEx+0x1e
c23cc8a4 81a9d63a c23cc8c0 00000000 c23cc914 nt!KiDispatchException+0x1a9
c23cc90c 81a9d5ee c23cc9c8 81c51e94 badb0d00 nt!CommonDispatchException+0x4a
c23cc9c8 81c22bff 8e4ee008 fffe5efb 00b135c0 nt!Kei386EoiHelper+0x186
c23cc9f4 81c2bb66 8e4ee008 8e4ee31c 00b135c0 nt!CmpAddInfoAfterParseFailure+0xcd
c23cca30 81afa215 0000000a 002c002c acdbdace nt!CmpFindSubKeyByName+0xae
c23cca7c 81a195b0 00000000 00000003 00000003 nt!EtwTraceContextSwap+0x14a
c23ccb78 81c8ae78 8b8f53f0 841102c8 84ae9008 hal!KfLowerIrql+0x64
c23ccc08 81c62fea 000003fc c23ccc60 00000040 nt!ObpLookupObjectName+0x11e
c23ccc68 81c59fa8 0381f234 841102c8 00000001 nt!ObOpenObjectByName+0x13c
c23ccd34 81c5a067 0381f318 00020019 0381f234 nt!CmOpenKey+0x1b1
c23ccd50 81a9ca7a 0381f318 00020019 0381f234 nt!NtOpenKey+0x16
c23ccd50 77819a94 0381f318 00020019 0381f234 nt!KiFastCallEntry+0x12a
WARNING: Frame IP not in any known module. Following frames may be wrong.
0381f270 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 0x77819a94
81c51e94 8b4f04 mov ecx,dword ptr [edi+4]
Log Name: System
Date: 5/1/2008 10:36:06 AM
Event ID: 1001
Task Category: None
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x0000008e (0xc0000005, 0x81c51e94, 0xc23cc914, 0x00000000). A dump was saved in: C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP.
I really don't have time right now to diagnose the problem. On Monday I upgraded the computer from two to four gigs of memory. It worked fine right after, but other than that, I haven't changed anything on the system. We'll see.
I just obtained my first copy of Windows Vista to install on my home computer. I hope that goes well!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I'm not a big reader, but I saw a link to this book while I was searching for info on the Cub Scouts for Alex who will be able to start in the fall. This is the first non technical book I've read since I read Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy in 1994. I must say, it is a great book. I don't consider myself ultra conservative, but definitely right leaning in my principles. The book is certainly written by a conservative politician, but it wasn't like listening to conservative talk radio either.
The book made me look back at my time in the Boy Scouts and realize what I learned then is what has guided me to be a productive member of society today. Although nobody is perfect, I still try to live by the Scout Oath and Law as well as the Scout motto and Slogan.
The Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
The Scout Law:
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly,
The Scout Motto:
The Scout Slogan:
Do a good turn daily
I could probably do more to live up to the slogan, and I've found myself drifting from those principles from time to time in the past, but one thing I know is that I want to raise my boys to follow these principles.
I've heard of the occasional lawsuit where girls wanted to join and the flaps about openly gay men being denied leadership positions in the Boy Scouts, but the book put this in perspective. These lawsuits are not random, but a more coordinated effort to force the Boy Scouts to change the principles they've stood by from the beginning. It isn't that the Scouts don't change with the times, I was reading some of the Cub Scout requirements for advancement and one of them had to do with "cyberbullying" and the Internet. But the core values of Scouting have stood the test of time, nearly 100 years now, and will still be relevant for another 100 years and beyond. Tell me, what mother wouldn't want their child to follow the Scout Law, or what teacher wouldn't want their student to adhere to the Scout motto. I certainly want my children, boys and girls to do so.
I would encourage anyone who believes that the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts can be a positive influence on young boys (and even girls 14-20 in the venturing program) to read this book.
It is also available on Amazon.com where I wrote a simple review.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Why did I discover this? I was eating lunch and thought to check out what the candidates had to say about Osama bin Laden. I started with John McCain's site, using the search box on the site I got several hits and read a few, but nothing really excited me. Then I went to Obama's site and figured I'd do the same, but all I did was look for the search box that didn't exist, so I turned to Live search, and found what I was looking for.
For those of you that want to know – you can search a specific web site with most search engines by adding the text "site:sitetosearch.com". IE: "Search Term site:www.barackobama.com". This will work on Live, Google, Yahoo, and others.