Hehe… Rocky beat me to it, but I wanted to let you know that my latest article for DominoPower is out. It’s entitled "Why do people blog in the Domino Community?" and it’s a continuing part of the Domino blogging series started so well by Tom Duff. In this article I explain why I blog, and I interviewed three pretty high profile Domino bloggers: Ed Brill of IBM, Rocky Oliver of LotusGeek and Carl Tyler of Instant Technologies. I asked them why they blog, where they see the community going and what is good and bad about blogging in general. I think it’s a good read and I hope you do too. Thanks much to Ed, Rocky and Carl for being wonderful interviewees!
For those of you that like to read your blogs via RSS (as I do) you need a good RSS reader to do the job. I’ve been using the beta of FeedDemon by Nick Bradbury. Nick is the creator of TopStyle (one of the best CSS products on the market) and he also created the HTML editor, HomeSite. He’s now created FeedDemon. It isn’t free, but as shareware you do get a version that will work for 30 uses. I urge you to try it out. It’s very simple to use, it’s aestetically pleasing, and is very powerful. For $29.99 it’s a very cheap investment.
I like to encourage shareware developers by actually buying the stuff that I think deserves to be paid for. This is definitely one of those programs.
I read some online comics, and one of my favorites is Penny Arcade. Tycho and Gabe put together a really funny strip that emulates a lot of the stuff I see in the world as a gaming enthusiast. They did something this holiday season that really deserves mentioning. They did a toy drive for the Seattle Children’s Hospital and they called it Child’s Play. They set up a huge Amazon wishlist and then asked their readership to buy items on the list or donate money to the cause. For one, the guys wanted to do something nice. For two, they wanted to prove that our gaming pastime does not create monsters that cannot function in society.
A lot has been made lately that certain games like Grand Theft Auto cause people to do things like kill in real life. It’s a ludicrous thought. I’m sorry. If someone cannot distinguish fantasy from reality then anything can send them over the edge. NOT just games. Games are not evil, and the overwhelming majority of gamers are decent, giving human beings.
This was evidenced by Child’s Play. Their drive netted over $175,000 worth of toys and gamer gear, and nearly $28,000 in cash. All of this went to the Seattle Children’s Hospital where it will make a huge difference for the kids having to be in treatment, or waiting for their family in treatment. To see how much it does matter, please check out the email from one of the Dads that were unfortunate enough to have children in treatment.
This made me proud to be a gamer!
I know that a lot of people have been moving to Mozilla or Firebird as their browser, so I wanted to let folks know that there is a googlebar add-in for these browsers. You can find it here. This is a great toolbar and makes google searches quick and painless. I’ve tested it on the latest stable releases of both Mozilla and Firebird, and they work flawlessly. Enjoy!
Okay, sometimes I feel like our rights are being eroded one by one until we will eventually have none left. I heard on the news last night that Illinois is banning tongue-splitting. For those of you that don’t know, tongue-splittinging is a body modification where someone has their tongue split down the middle. It’s cosmetic, and the latest trend to one-up tattoos and piercings. I can’t say I’m fond of tongue splitting, as it’s not something that will just go away if you don’t like it. I can just see you going in for an interview and causing your prospective boss to have a heart attack when he sees your forked tongue.
That all being said, what business is it of Illinois to legislate what an adult can do to their own body? Granted, they aren’t saying that you can’t HAVE your tongue split, you just cannot get it done IN Illinois. So, all this does is send people across the border into another state to have it done. So, Illinois is forcing dollars OUT of the state, and could be contributing to people attempting to do it themselves. I can only imagine the carnage that would happen there. Doesn’t our government have better things to do? And where does it end?
That brings me to the federal government banning Ephedra products. Um, why? The stats I’ve heard state that it can be dangerous to your heart when TAKEN IN LARGE DOSES. But, if taken in normal doses and as directed there are minimal if any ill effects. The stat I heard on TV is that there have been 1600 ephedra related deaths. Is THAT enough to make us take it off the market?
When I started college (and that’s been nearly 15 years ago) I took ephedrine. It was easily available over the counter. It was touted as a medicine for asthma. Everyone in college used it as a stimulant however. It was used to stay up all night cramming, or for a speed buzz before partying. Now I actually HAVE asthma, and as such, it worked well to help me breathe. It was also much cheaper to buy than stuff I could use at the Pharmacy. That being said, I did use it to stay up all night studying, or on the graveyard shift at some of my jobs occasionally. Taking too many of the pills did things like cause my hair to feel like it was it’s own sentient entity. After taking too many pills like that a couple of times, I decided that it was pretty stupid to do so, and I scaled back to using the product as directed.
So check this out. I was STUPID for taking too many pills. Just like the majority of those 1600 deaths were stupid for taking way too much ephedra products and then doing something strenuous enough to cause a heart attack. Trust me, if you OD on caffeine pills and do a heavy work out, the same thing is going to happen. You just have to take some personal responsibility. You will see that is a personal mantra of mine. Take Responsibility.
Now one of the mothers testified and said "How many children have to die before this is taken off the market?" To that I would reply. The stupid ones. Maybe if you had done your job as a parent, this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if little Johnny didn’t take 10 pills when he should have taken two, this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if people would take personal responsibility, this wouldn’t have happened.
But no. Another freedom taken away. People who could use epehdra legally and with good results will not be able to any more. Because we had to get the government involved, all because 1600 people took too many pills and wondered why their hearts exploded. I want Big Macs taken off the market next. For Christ’s Sake, too many people are having heart attacks for eating too many!!!!!
Well, now that it is 2004, it’s time to look at what would be good resolutions for the coming year. I have a few major ones, in no certain order:
1. Lose 20 more pounds. In 2003, I lost 20 pounds around mid-year and kept it off, even through the holidays. I feel a lot better, my clothes fit better and I do have more energy. But 20 pounds more will really do good things for me. I’m giving myself a whole year to reach the new milestone, and I think I can do it. Although I don’t think I’ll watch my figure too much during Lotusphere!
2. Spend one night a week focusing on learning new technology. The problem I’ve had these past couple of years is that I’m either too tired or too busy to really concentrate on learning a lot of new stuff when I get home from work. I know a little Java, a little about XML, a little about Linux, a little Flash, but I really need to expand and learn more. One night a week I am going to devote to learning something new.
3. Write more. I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve stagnated a little in the past couple of years. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. It was to get the juices flowing and get me writing more frequently. Well it has surely helped, and garnered me a couple of articles. An upcoming domino blogging article in DominoPower (to complement Tom Duff’s series) and a software review for ConnectedPhotographer. I hope to keep that going.
4. Take more photos. I’ve invested in a good digital-SLR camera. I need to start honing my photography craft. The more pictures I take, the better I’ll get.
5. Let my family know I love them. I already do this, but with the uncertainty in this world, you can never tell your family and friends enough about how much you love them. In an instant they (or you) could be gone. So make every moment count. Tell your family what they mean to you. Hug your kids. It’s never too much.
6. Post regularly on this blog, and make it count. I’m not going to be one of those folks whose blog falls by the wayside. I’m going to post often, and make it be something worthwhile to read or to at least spur discussion.
How about your resolutions? Trackback in the comments and let me know what you are resolving to do in the new year!
As many do this time of year, I want to use my blog to reflect on the year that was. A lot happened this year.
- I became a father for the second time
- I watched my youngest daughter grow from a baby to an articulate toddler
- I had the same job, but went through five different bosses
- I started this blog
- My dog’s daughter passed away
- Two of my best friends found out they were pregnant
- The space shuttle blew up, and a friend of mine had the unenviable task of investigating it
- We went to war with Iraq
- Johnny Cash and John Ritter died
- iTunes was released for Windows
- I made tons of friends through this medium
- Digital SLR’s broke the $1000 barrier
- My Miami Dolphins missed the playoffs a second straight season (with a 10-6 record nonetheless)
I know there’s more, but this was more of an interesting look back. Some good, some bad, but all interesting. Every year that myself and my family are alive is a good year. Thanks 2003.
I had been away from the computer the last week enjoying time with my wife and daughters. I returned today to find the post from Bruce that Dani, his daughter, had finally passed away after a long fight. You have my deepest sympathies. I can only imagine how hard this situation is. I started to think about what it would be like to lose Kali or Claire and I couldn’t keep the tears from welling up just thinking about it.
Bruce, know that we’re thinking about you and your family.
I’ve seen this site mentioned in a couple other blogs awhile ago, but I wanted to let everyone know about the Online Status Indicator page. This site allows you to enter your username for the major IM products and it will spit out code that you can put on a webpage to show your status to the world. Even easier, is that if you are a Blogsphere user, all you have to do is add the server to the Status Server field on the Contact Details tab of the blog config. Currently I’m using http://www.onlinestatus.org:8080 but there are several to choose from. Check it out.
I’m curious to see what most companies standards are on mailbox size quotas. Here at my workplace we have a 200 MB limit on mailboxes. You can of course archive to your heart’s content, but once you go over 200 MB in your server based email file, you are effectively locked from sending out email.
For me, 200 MB is MORE than generous. I cannot imagine why anyone would need more space than that, even if they dealt in large images and PowerPoints all day long. My users act like we’re some kind of evil bastards for imposing the limit. I just want to know what everyone else experiences.
What are your limits? And how do your users react? I’m really curious about this…