Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa's List

So, I thought I would check on the boys to see if there were on the Naughty or Nice List this year... It looks like both the boys made the nice list at this point...




Friday, November 07, 2008

An update on the world around me...

Again, I am behind on my blog, but you have probably come to expect it by now :)

Facebook - I have taken the plunge, and built out my Facebook profile, so if any of you are on there feel free to look me up :)

School Computer Lab - We had our 1st Technology Committee meeting, and are now in the process of ordering some new lab equipment, and making plans for a mid-year upgrade.

Hockey - Tommy's Hockey is going great, and we are all still having fun going to the games etc...

New Baby - We had an appointment on Monday, and everything went well... Dawn is really feeling the baby move, and I am getting excited for the new addition.

Austin - We are still doing learn-to-skate, and Austin seems to be getting better. From a school perspective he is doing great, and we are really happy with his progress.

CIPTUG - I am going to conference this week in Orlando, so I ordered a 2-day Park Ticket for myself, so hopefully I will have some fun while I am down there and get re-energized.

Work - We are preparing for a major phone system upgrade in the next few months, so things are going to get crazy busy again. We are also still trying to replace the person who was working with me on stuff, so that will help settle things down.

Well, that's it for now... Have a Great Day!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Number Ten Scores Again!!!


Tommy scored again during his game on Sunday as his team won 6 to 3. They lost on Saturday 8 to 0, but on Sunday they played well, and Tommy even scored a goal :) Here it is for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hockey Baby!!!

I guess the title is backwards, because I am going to talk about baby first...

We are expecting a new addition to our family in March, and yesterday we had an appointment with the Fetal Medicine specialist... We know her pretty well, because she consulted on Austin's heartbeat issue, and was involved with Autumn's Turner's Syndrome. It was a little surreal walking in there after the last time when we received such terrible news, but this appointment was awesome. They did an ultrasound and checked everything, and by the looks of it we are growing a healthy jumping bean. It was a pretty big relief for Dawn and I, and hopefully Dawn will let herself get a little more excited now :)

Now, on to Hockey... We have been busy going to practice etc, and on Sunday we had two Exhibition Games in Port Huron. We won the first game 5 to 1, and tied the second game 3 to 3. The biggest excitement was that Tommy scored in the first game. I have a video of the goal below including the wave to Mom afterwards :) Great Job Tommy!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The McCain Team

I joined The McCain Team, and added an icon to my blog as well... The most important thing is that everyone needs to exercise their right to vote, because we are truly blessed to live in a nation where every citizen has a voice...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Passwords again...

I know it will seem like I am beating a dead horse here, but I think it is warranted based on the information in this article about how someone broke into Sarah Palin's yahoo email account...

So, again my post from July is worth reading again about how to create secure passwords, but I would like to add a little to it. You can add notes for yourself in the "comments or notes section" in KeePass, or Password Safe for the password reset questions that you setup.

Just looking out for my loyal readers :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Google Chrome

I just wanted to take a quick minute, and blog about Google Chrome. It is a new web browser that was built from the ground up by Google. All of the other major browsers in existence have been "upgrades" that have evolved over time. Here are some of the highlights...

- Individual Tabs as processes - We have all had a browser "lock-up" on us from time to time, but if this happens in Chrome it will only lock up 1 tab, because each of the tabs is its own browser running independent of the other windows.
- Task Manager - Yes, they built a task manager into the web browser.
- Tab Management - You can drag tabs fluidly, and pull them out as their own independent window, and then put them back into your main browser window. You can also setup a set of tabs as your homepage, so that all of your regular webpages open up when your browser opens.
- JavaScript - Fancy stuff on webpages has been re-programmed so that it can run extremely fast.
- User Interface (UI) - The UI is streamlined, and the goal for Google was for the browser to "disappear", so that you could use the application inside of the web browser without a problem.
- Independent Applications - You can turn any webpage into its own independent application that has its own icon on the desktop. It is really cool for Gmail, Google Calendar, and Remember the Milk.

Overall, the speed of Google Chrome is fast, and it really does change the browser experience... However, they haven't released the Mac or Linux versions yet, and there are still some web pages that don't work in it, but as with everything Google it is only a "beta" and they are working to correct those issues...

Check out Google Chrome by clicking here!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big News!!!

You might want to head over to Dawn's Blog for an important announcement :)

Dawn's Latest Post

Having a Great Time in Florida!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disney Excitement!!!

Well, I am up earlier than I need to be. *sigh* I couldn't fall asleep and the last I looked at the clock it was 10 PM, and then I was awake 2 AM. Well, I guess that is what happens when you are a Disney freak like me :) They boys were pretty pumped up last night, and Austin was really smiling from ear to ear, and super excited about going today when we tucked him in. It was cool to see him all "geeked up" for going.

I tried to check-in online with AirTran yesterday, but I couldn't so I called them to make sure our seats were assigned together. I think we have everything covered, and as long as we get some rain-free days we should be all set! Although, a friend at work made a good point that a wet day at Disney is always better than any day at work. I guess I agree with him :)

If you want to follow along I am going to try at Twitter as much as possible, or you can click this link to see a map or list of what we are doing... I have filtered it so it will only show updates from me.

Twisney for NetPappy

In other news the boys and I did a bunch of running around yesterday and we ended up getting Crocs. I couldn't believe how comfortable they were, and they should be nice for wet days at the parks. However, I don't like taking a new pair of shoes to WDW, because of the chance for blisters, so hopefully that won't happen.

Also, at church last night I spoke to Stan, and he is still interested in becoming Catholic. We had discussed it over a beer or two at a baseball tournament and I was shocked to learn that he wasn't Catholic. His two boys go to school with Tommy and Austin, and I know his wife is, so I guess I just assumed he was. Well, I guess we are good to go for RCIA classes, and I am looking forward to it, because it has been several years since I went through it, and I was a lot younger then. I was raised general Protestant, and at first Catholicism was weird, and I had heard so many "attitudes" towards it when I was young. I must say that I am really glad I converted, and that we have made church an important part of our family life. I also am really glad I joined the Knights of Columbus *shameless plug* because I enjoy hanging out with the guys, and doing the work we do for charity.

Well, I guess I should get going... Have a Great Week, and stay tuned to our blogs for continuing updates :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

WHOO WHOO Vacation!!!

Today is my last day of work, and then it is Disney World Vacation for me :) We will be at the airport 48 hours from now, and we can't wait!!! Of course we have some running around, and all the packing to do yet, but the team is ready to roll, and it looks like Tropical Storm Fay is finally moving out.

Stay tuned for more details :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Our Precious Angel...

So, here is my second post for today, but this one is much more important...

We found out today that the marker was placed for our daughter Autumn Rose. Dawn was busy tonight, and had stopped by earlier today, so I decided to stop by with the boys this evening. I had stopped by last week, and saw that they had set the foundation, so I figured it would be soon, but I wasn't sure if I was ready to see it. There have been some flowers on her grave most of the year since December (thanks to our parents, and my brother), but it was primarily the rectangular cut-out of sod that brought back the memories and pain of that cold day in December for me.

Dawn and I had selected the marker, so I knew what to expect, but I also knew that staring back at me was going to be her name. This was the name we had spoken about for years if we ever had a girl, and in my own mind I probably had walked her down the aisle a dozen times, taken her to breakfast at Cinderella's Castle, watched her play sports, and been to a dance recital or two. We never found out what we were having for either of the boys, and these are the thoughts that you have when you are excited about being a dad.

So, I headed out there... The marker turned out really nice, and I am so happy that we decided to get it. It was hard to stand there and read her name, but it was easier than I thought it would be. (I just spent a few minutes reading my old posts from December... Whew, that was a hard ordeal...) So, now the world will know that in that little piece of ground is buried Our Precious Angel that in just several weeks touched our lives forever...

My blog & twitter timeline...

I know I have been slacking on posting, but here you go... Hopefully not too techy...

Anyway, I received a link from my buddy Jason, but I have confidence that he won't blog about it, and I wanted to share it with everyone. The URL is http://www.dipity.com and what it does is allow you to create a time line and flip book that can include multiple feeds easily, so I added my blog, and my twitter RSS, and voila... You could also add your photos via their RSS feeds (photobucket, picasa, youtube, etc), and with all that stuff being date stamped you have an easy way to produce a chronological display of all those different sources. I can't help but think this would be awesome for a "baby-book" type application. Here is my timeline...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Poor Bird... A picture for Jill M...

Jason, and I were walking out to lunch on Friday heading to A&W for some draft root beer, and some world class coney dogs... We walked past this vehicle in the parking lot at work, and I had to take a picture for Jill M, because she is the only person I know that takes pictures of puke and dead rabbits...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Luck Adam!!!

So, today was the last day of work for a friend of mine, and I just wanted to take a second to wish him the best of luck... He is leaving a successful career in Cisco Routing and Switching to pursue his MBA from the University of Chicago. I have worked the closest with him over the last 3 years, and we have done several projects together including (but not limited to, because I am sure I will forget some)...

Initial Phone System Deployment
Remote Phone Testing and Deployment
Wireless - He did most of this, but I added my $.02 :)
VPN Implementation
New site integration - the one I am still working on
Video Conferencing Deployment
New Building Expansion

It has been a busy 3 years, and while there were challenges I would like to think that we had some fun along the way :)

I did have the pleasure of taking him to his first Disney experience last year at Disneyland when we went to the Cisco Networkers Conference :)

Good Luck, and God Bless...

Here are some pics I had handy...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Crazy Project, Voicemail, and Passwords...

Good Morning Campers... It is 5:25 AM at the hotel I am staying at, and I woke up, because I went to bed at a little after 10 last night. Of course the internet is down, so I am typing this in TextEdit, and will paste to blogger later. I have been really busy with this project I am doing to setup a new site for the company we purchased last year. The good news is that I only have one more telco circuit to be turned-up, and I should be doing that today. The bad news is that every time I think about this project I get overwhelmed by the amount of work left to do... I swear I am losing hair, and going grey (or is it gray) over this one. You can read over at Dawn's blog about the great weekend we had over the 4th of July. It felt like we were trying to cram in all the family time we didn't have last week while I was traveling into the few days I had off, but nevertheless it was awesome.

I was reading my Google Reader last night, and there was a post on lifehacker about whether or not we should get rid of voicemail in the world... I am totally for the removal of voicemail, because I find that it is cumbersome to access, slows me down, and doesn't fit into "my workflow" (which is driven by email). We have people at our company that can utilize our voicemail system so rapidly that I can't keep up which is crazy because I am the phone guy. They know all the buttons, and are proud of the fact that they can speed through it. I, however, am just glad that we have Cisco Unified Messaging, so that my voicemail shows up in my email box. I can then have the phone system call me and play the message, or I can play it through my computer speakers. The only problem this causes me is that people tend to forget their passwords (because they don't use them), and when they go on vacation and try to leave an out-of-office message they need their passwords reset. On my cell phone I have switched to YouMail which I love, because I get a text message that a voicemail was left, and it tells me who called, the length of the message, and I can login to a webpage to hear the message instead of dealing with the cumbersome TUI (in telco speak that is Telephone User Interface). *stepping off soapbox about voicemail*

BTW - the internet just came up, but I am going to finish this post here, and then paste it in :)

The next topic is for my dear wife, and while some of you might think tech post, you might want to read this one... I spoke on January 3, 2008 briefly about passwords, and the application of the year for 2007 being Password Safe, however, a former boss of mine used to say something to the effect of, "I reserve the right to be smarter today than yesterday", so I am going to speak about another program here as well... This all started, because I was logging into our Credit Union website to balance the checkbook, and they prompted me that I needed to change the password. I tried my latest and greatest password that is "easy to remember", and it didn't meet the criteria, so I looked a little closer to the rules for their passwords, and it apparently didn't like the fact that I had the same letter back-to-back. So, I got frustrated opened my KeePass, and generated a password... KeePass and Password Safe are two programs that allow you to keep your passwords encrypted and secure, and is the only way to have super-secure passwords (unless you are super duper brilliant, and can remember 20 letters, numbers, and symbols jumbled together).

Let's talk about the types of passwords that you have these days, because I see them fall into two categories... The ones I need to remember, and the ones I don't... We all need one that we can remember which should be created by using the first letter of every word in a phrase (provided those letters don't form a word themselves), and also include a number or special character. An example would be taking the phrase "Joe is an excellent blogger and I enjoy reading his posts", and the password I would use for that is Jia3ba13rhp* (I substituted a 3 for the e's and a 1 for the I), and you can see that it is a pretty good password, but because I know the phrase it becomes easy for me to use. I would use this easy to remember password for logging into my computer every morning at work, my gmail account and/or securing my password database in KeePass, or Password Safe.

The other type of password is the one that you really don't need to be able to reference from memory, and therefore the more secure it is the safer you are. In fact, think about the number of websites you sign-up for with the same username, and password combination, and the fact that with a cool webpage I could get you to sign-up for my site with those same credentials, and now I can access your bank account, ebay, paypal, etc... I am slowly moving all my passwords to a password database to alleviate this problem. The password database is encrypted, local to you (I recommend backing it up to a USB Key regularly), and can generate super-secure passwords with the click of a button. So, next time you are at a web page ready to register with your old standby password, stop and think that now would be a good time to be smarter today than yesterday and get your password database going...

So, my wife needs to download one of them, and I recommend KeePass (versus Password Safe), because it has better "cross-platform" support, so someday when she gets a Mac she can just copy her database over. Once she gets that setup I can give her the cryptic, couldn't type it if she wanted to, password that is on our Credit Union account :)

If you are looking for a really techie post check out this post from Jason that I use to sync my password database from my work computer to my MacBook with ease...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dawn at Today Show

Dawn went to New York, and left me at home with the boys... I don't want to sound like a wimp, but let's just say it has been a rough go of it for me. Keep in mind that she went to DC just a few weeks ago, and my work has been extremely crazy lately (and it is going to get worse before it gets better).

Anyway, several years ago I went to New York on business, and on a cold November morning trudged several blocks to be at the Today Show. I had told Dawn to tape it, but she didn't, because she got up late. So, as she sat there eating her Cheerios, she saw me waving, and saying, "Hi Dawn, I Love You".

Of course, I had to work this morning, but I setup the DVR, and after watching the video below you will see that she decided to say hello to Julie... So, I guess that tells you where the boys and I rate these days... Anyway, here is her 1/2 second of fame (if you look close you might also see Jill, Lupe, and Amy)... I put this together pretty quickly (on the MacBook of course)...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Dawn!!!

Today is my wonderful wife Dawn's 30th Birthday. We have been married for 10+ years and I know that I would choose her again in an instant. She is my best friend and I can't imagine my life without her. We have been blessed with two wonderful boys and a happy home.

So happy birthday baby and here's to another 30 years of happiness and whatever god has instore for us.

We are driving down to the Tiger game, so let's hope they can win.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Summer Time...

Summer Time is here...

The kids and wife are out of school. We won our first softball game on Sunday, and the weather is getting nicer here in Michigan.

Tommy is still playing Hockey, and we have the tournament in Toronto in a couple of weeks. He will then be done until August, so he will get a little break. He is also playing baseball, and seems to be enjoying it...

Austin is doing good, and seems to be really talking quite a bit, and with lots of clarity.

Dawn is still playing hockey, and it sounds like it is going to continue into the summer. She is also going to New York with a couple of friends right before we go to Toronto, and I think she is excited about it.

I am keeping busy at work with the integration of our new facility out east. It has caused me to miss going to Cisco Networkers in Orlando on June 22nd... I wish I was going, but I don't think they are going to change their mind, so hopefully the project will go well, and I can minimize the amount of traveling that I have to do.

Sorry for the short post, but not too much going on...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Softball Season...

We had a practice and cook-out for our Co-Ed Softball Team last night... Dawn is the coach/coordinator, so we had a practice, and then had everyone came over to the ranch for a cook-out and potluck.

The turn-out for the practice was good, and we were able to field a full team. I would like to welcome Nate and Amy to the team... That meant we had a house full of people for the party afterwards... I grilled the brats, burgers, and hot-dogs. Doug (who is now to be called Woody) brought some wood from his renovations, so that we could have a fire on our deck in the fire pit. We drank a ton of brews, and everyone had a great time... Here are some pictures the morning after...

We drank lots of beer...

We set the table on fire... Yes, I had to run and get some water to put the fire on table out :) It was pretty crazy that there was a glow below the table for a little bit...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mr. Mom Checking Out!!!

Dawn is on her way home, and should be here sometime tonight... So, that means I get to check-out from Mr. Mom action. The boys were pretty good for me, but I run a tight ship (ruh-roh Tommy just walked down here saying he can't sleep...) I just sent him back to bed :)

Tommy had hockey practice tonight for the Stars. After practice we went and did two Geocaches. It was raining a little, but we powered through... I had Tommy looking out for muggles on the second one, and I think he was loving it :)

If you don't know about geocaching, here is a quick description for you. It is a game where you utilize a GPS to find a "treasure" that has been hidden by someone else. We like to do it for an outdoor family activity, or as part of a bike ride... You can learn more at http://www.geocaching.com

I have gotten a new BlackBerry 8330 at work, and I love it... As you know I am the phone guy at work, and I suggested that we look into BlackBerry to replace our Windows Mobile Solution that was integrated with mNotes (we use Lotus Notes for email). I must say that this is one of my best contributions, because the BlackBerry is working great, and so far everyone is pleased with the results...

Well, that's all for now...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hockey - The Last Dance Tournament - GO STARS!!!

The Mid-Michigan Stars travelled to the greater Detroit Area this weekend to participate in "The Last Dance" tournament. Here is a quick run-down...

The first game of the tournament was Friday Night at 5 PM against the "International Stars" which we believe was a team from Kensington Valley. The MMStars were victorious by a score of 10 to 1. They didn't play great during the game, but they did play well enough to win, so we were happy for that.

We went to a Sports Bar with the team for dinner, and then back to the hotel for some R&R...

The second game was at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning... We were excited because this game was against the "5th ranked" Mt. Clemens Wolves. We had played the Wolves last Saturday in an exhibition game, and beat them 3 to 0 in a wonderful game. However, this was a new day, and we wanted to play tough against them. The game was good again, but we came up on the short side and lost 3 to 2.

We went back to the Hotel for the breakfast buffet, and some swimming... I decided to try and take a nap, but after laying down for awhile I was "mugged" by Tommy, and a bunch of his teammates asking me if I taped the whole game, or just Tommy. I told them the whole game, and in a few minutes there was this pounding on the door... I tried to ignore it, but eventually got to the door, and found Tommy, and Brady asking me to get the video working on the TV/Computer... I shut the door, and tried to ascertain whether or not I was properly dressed to leave the hotel room... I ended up getting the video pulled off of the camera, and on the beloved MacBook, so that the coach could review it. It was determined that the Head Coach watched the entire game at least 6 times, and knew what our issues were against Mt. Clemens...

The third game was at 5:00 PM on Saturday evening... We were in a must win situation, so that we could go to the Championship Game on Sunday. We played against the Livonia Knights, and won the game 5 to 1. The game was pretty good, but there were several penalties including Tommy for roughing the goalie long after the whistle was blown.

Saturday night we relaxed, ordered pizza, and then I put the kids to bed about 9:30 or so... I hung out in the hallway with some people, and distributed some beer to my new found friends...

The Championship Game was at 7 AM on Sunday morning... The Mt. Clemens Wolves scored first, but we were able to battle back, and win the game with a final score of 4 to 2. Tommy played pretty well, and one of the coaches even told me that he thought he played really well today... The MVP for the Stars was "The Team". The team is always the MVP for their games :) We were in the locker room, and the coach announces that while the players MVP is the team they are going to have a Parent MVP. He then announced that because the video seemed to help they were giving it to me :) So, I guess it paid off to get my nap interrupted :) We really love the team we are on, and are enjoying the players, and their parents. It is a great group of people!

It was a fun weekend, but we are all tired, and hoping to get to bed a little early... Dawn left for Washington DC this morning, so it is just me and the boys here at the Papesh ranch :) Here are a few pictures...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Update - still trying to blog again...

Here is a quick update...

Last Saturday - I completed my 4th Degree with the Knights of Columbus. It was a nice event, and I am really glad that I did it. Here is a link to some information about the 4th Degree. I wore my Tuxedo, and Dawn wore her fancy dress from White House Black Market.

Baseball - Tommy had a game on Monday, and on Wednesday. His team won both games. He is doing fine, and enjoys playing both 2nd base, and catcher. The coach pitched on Monday, and on Wednesday the kids started doing the pitching.

Tomorrow Night we have a scrimmage for the Mid-Michigan Stars, so hopefully Tommy will do well.

Work - It has been crazy lately... We are working to implement a BlackBerry solution for mobile users. We are also working on a phone system for our site on the east coast.

Whew! - We made it out of April! The month of April was going to be hectic for us with Hockey (for Tommy & Dawn), Volleyball (Dawn), Baseball (Tommy), Dawns Birthday Party and regular life... We are now in May, and it already feels like it isn't as busy at home :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We are geeks this busy week

Our family is exhausted tonight, because last night we had the big birthday bash for Dawn at the suite at Comerica Park. Thanks to everyone involved we did pull off the perfect surprise! She is still talking about it...

We are sitting in bed each with our laptops, and watching American Idol, so it is true we have reached utter geekdom :) She is working on posting some pictures, but they probably won't be up tonight...

Tommy had hockey practice tonight, and did a good job... He has baseball practice tomorrow night, and then a hockey game on Friday.

I have been really busy at work, and now that we are done with the birthday party I need to re-focus, and hunker down until the next Hockey Tournament :)

Saturday we have my Knights of Columbus event, and I am all set with my tuxedo (it is at the cleaners), and looking forward to a nice event and dinner with my lovely wife.

Well, time to get some sleep...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Disney World - Hockey - *sigh* Austin on the Potty...

I know I am horrible poster, so feel free to delete my feed :P

Disney World - Yes, you may have noticed the countdown is going here on the blog, and indeed we are going to Disney World this year. We got a great deal with the free dining promotion that they are currently running, and $800 for all 4 of us to fly non-stop round-trip. So, surprise surprise we are going to visit the Mouse :)

Hockey - My house is Hockey Central... Dawn is gearing up for her Chicks with Sticks (btw - her picture was in the paper this evening, but they put the wrong name on the photograph), and is now playing in her league on Monday nights. I am trying to get back into the Adult Learn to Play that I did a couple of years ago just so I can try to keep up... Tommy is playing on two teams House, and a spring "travel/tournament" team. We have a tournament in Ann Arbor this weekend, and Tommy really wanted a big banner, so I just finished painting the main portion of the banner, and hopefully Dawn will paint the kids names, and numbers on it. Yes, I love my Tommy, so I stayed up to 1 AM working on a banner that being paper could be utterly destroyed by Austin in 3.2 seconds :) Anyway, I am looking forward to the tournament this weekend.

Austin came home from school early today, because he was having potty problems... So, I left work, and took him to the doctor, got the oil changed, and we went to lunch. It was nice to have a surprise day off, and after speaking with the doctor we have a plan with how to make him for comfortable and operating at peak efficiency :P


Well, I gotta head to bed... Catch ya later...


Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I have been crazy busy at work, so sorry so slow on the posts :)

I wanted to take a moment to Thank Mike M. for his help at the school yesterday... There were some donated computers that didn't have any drivers loaded, and he found the correct ones, and got them loaded. I told Jill to give him a big hug, a smooch, and tell him I said Thanks! It is one less thing I have to worry about...

I went to Knights of Columbus tonight, and tomorrow we have a Spaghetti Dinner for the Knights, and then Tommy has baseball practice...

I hope everyone is having a great week...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trip to Maine...

In case you didn't know... I am in Maine for a couple of days this week... I am here to look at a building that some of our company will be moving into, and determine how we can meet the Telecom needs etc...

The trip hasn't been too eventful, but I do have a couple of items to share :)

We were awesome when it came to reviewing the facility, and figuring out some of the big questions we had...

We went to lunch yesterday at the Birthplace of Maine which is also known as The Jameson Tavern. The food was good, and definitely a building with some history... We then proceeded to some LL Bean store that everybody was all excited about... I guess I don't get it :)

Last night, we went to Portland, and looked at the ocean etc... Then we went to dinner at a place called The Street & Co... The first exciting event of dinner was when when our waiter stated that he was married, and that "he was a chef" referring to his spouse. We are from Michigan, so that caught us off guard a little bit, but in the end I was ok with it. However, it does cause me to wonder if they are both each other's husband, or is one of them referred to by a different name.

Also, at some point in the discussion about specials, and items on the menu he subtly drops the comment, "we don't serve great quantities of pork or beef here". At this point I got extremely scared, because as you should know by now I don't eat seafood... So, at dinner with the executive and my manager, I have to find a way to tactifully say, hey what can I eat... Keep in mind I am largest person at the table :P I finally just said that I am not a seafood person, so what would you recommend... He tells me that they can do pasta with alfredo sauce, or a red sauce, but the red sauce has anchivoe's (sp?) in it for flavor (but he could have that taken out just for me)... I decided on the pasta with alfredo sauce, and then proceeded to have the bourbon pecan pie for desert.

After dinner, we went out with Josh, and headed to Gritty McDuff's for a few beers, and some good conversation. Adam and I like to drink beer, but the waitress was giving us a hard time for not wanting to try anything other than "light beer"... I tried a couple of their brews, and all in all it was a good evening...

I fly home this afternoon... I can't wait to see the kids, and of course the wonderful wife...


Sunday, March 16, 2008

*sigh* Busy Week!

WOW! It has been a week since my last post... We have just been crazy busy! This will be a classic jumbled up post about several topics...

I cleaned my desk at work... I should have taken a "before" and "after" picture, because it is just awesome, and I am going to try and keep it that way. I finally took the time to go through some cabinets in my cubicle that had stuff from the person before me, and throw a bunch of it away. When I first started I didn't know what I needed to keep, so I just kept everything that was there... Now, I have some overhead room to put that various clutter that sometimes just happens. The interesting thing is that I have received more praise from cleaning my desk than I ever get when working on a project. So, either I don't do that well on the projects I work on, or cleaning your desk is more important than doing a good job on real work. *steps off sarcastic soapbox* Anyway, the desk is clean, and I am going to try and keep it that way.

Project Completed! - Speaking about work, I did implement an ACD setup for a group this week, and they were happy with the results... They even sent an email saying that I did a good job, so snaps for me (or high-fives... up to you).

On the personal front, I went to the Red Wings yesterday with my Father-in-Law Paul, Brother-in-Law Scott, and Dawn's Cousin Adam (not first, but I don't understand that mumbo jumbo to properly classify him). The Wings lost, but more importantly it was $1 Hot Dog Day, so we indulged! We ate a total of 19 dogs, and Adam only ate 1, so 3 of us ate an average of 6 a piece. Scott and I had 7 each, so my public education tells me that Paul ate 4. The best part is that we did our part to set a new record for Hot Dogs eaten at Joe Louis Arena!!! 12, 119 (I think this was it) is the new record. They had announced early on that the old record was 11k and some change, and then in about the 2nd period they mentioned that we had some work to do, because we were only at 5k Hot Dogs eaten. The dogs were supposed to be $3 each, so people in attendance saved about $24,000 on Hot Dog costs, and can now proudly say that they are part of the Hot Dog eating record for Joe Louis Arena. Maybe they can hoist a banner up there with the Stanley Cups, and President's Trophies etc to honor the occasion!

Today, we went to watch Dawn at her Hockey Practice... She did pretty well, and definitely isn't embarrassing poor Tommy. Then we stayed for open skate, because one of Tommy's old teammates was having a birthday party. Austin did pretty well skating, and actually used one of the walkers today. Finally, we headed to the Saginaw Spirit, and they won in a shootout versus the Plymouth Whalers 4 to 3.

In the last week I have done some "techy" stuff, but those of you that are normally bored might find this a little interesting...

Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) - Micro-blogging - I am giving this a try, but basically I can blog about something in 140 characters or less. I think it will be cool, because I can give some updates on things I am doing, or a random thought about something in the news etc... It is subject to be dumped at some point, but for now I am giving it a whirl. You can view my Twitter on my webpage.

Remember The Milk (http://www.rememberthemilk.com) - This is my new task list. It is a web-based task manager and I think it will work for me. It allows you to get reminders via email, im, and text messaging... You can utilize Google Gears to take it offline, so you have it without a connection to the internet.

Jott (http://www.jott.com) - This is the component that makes Twitter and Remember the Milk come together for me. Jott allows you to call from your cell phone, and do speech-to-text conversions... So, on the way to work I can call Jott, and utilize Remember the Milk to add a task, add an appointment to my Google Calendar, or update my status with Twitter. The text to speech is good enough for leaving myself a note, and as I get better I will feel more comfortable with having it email or text somebody directly.

YouMail (http://www.youmail.com) - I am testing this out based on a recommendation from a buddy... It allows you to have your cell phone voicemail come to you in email, and to do customized greetings for various callers (which I haven't tried yet).

Gmail - Email Heaven Update - I just wanted to re-iterate that using Gmail as my primary email has definitely allowed me to enjoy email again. It filters the spam so nicely on my email address that I have used to sign-up for everything on the internet.

Well, that's it for now...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mite Championship Game

We had the Mite Championship Game today at 9 AM. The team we were playing has been at the bottom of the standings most of the season, but has a really good goalie... The other team scored 15 seconds into the game, and then there were no goals until we scored early in the 3rd period to tie it up. The game then went into overtime (5 mins), and then into double overtime which was 4-on-4 play. We scored with probably about 3 minutes left in the 2nd overtime to win 2 to 1. The game was just awesome, and a great way to end a wonderful season.

We have the team party at Noon, so we are just at Barnes and Noble looking at books, and being "trendy" in the Starbucks cafe... Here are some pics from the MacBook PhotoBooth :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Pinewood Derby

The Cub Scouts held the Pinewood Derby today, and somehow over the last week we were able to get Tommy's car done. We had the race, and he took 3rd Place for his Den of Tiger Cubs. We went into it just hoping that the car would go down the track, but he won a trophy so that is cool :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

*sigh* Tag I'm It

I never participate in chain emails, but I can't let my good friend Jill down, so I will play along...enjoy :)

10 years ago-- Dawn and I were still Newlyweds, and were living in the mobile home. I was about 5 months into the job that took me from being "entry level" into a fairly successful career...

5 Things on my to do list today were:
1. Work on painting the Pinewood Derby car with Tommy
2. Go to Knights of Columbus meeting
3. Work on ACD Project at work
4. Go to the hardware store to buy the paint for the Pinewood Derby car :)
5. Pack my lunch (btw - I ended up going out for lunch)

Things I would do if I were suddenly a Billionaire:
Hmmm... This would be an easy one... Host my own vacation convention at Disney World for a week :) Then, I would build the dream estate which would be sizable, and setup such that on the 4 corners would be a house for each of our parents. Our house would be centered on the estate, and behind it would be a complete gym (yes hockey arena also), and the entire estate would be connected by golf cart trails. So, the boys could take their golf cart to any one of their grandparent's houses... See, I told this was easy :)

3 of my bad habits:
1. Stay up too late
2. Eat too much
3. Bite my nails

Jobs I've had:
1. Boy Scout Summer Camp Counselor
2. Chuck E Cheeses - Game Room Attendant - Yes, I wore the costume on occasion :)
3. *Customer/Technical Support
4. *Project Engineer/Sr. Project Engineer
5. *Manager
6. *Project Manager
7. Telecom Analyst III - current :)
* - these were all at Concentric Network/XO Communications

5 Things people don't know about me: hmmm - this is a hard one...
1. I am scared of heights
2. My first car was a VW Rabbit
3. I waved to Dawn and said, "Hey Dawn, I Love You" while in the audience for the Today Show
4. I was born on the same day as my Great Grandpa (his name was Joseph) that I was named after
5. I wore special shoes as a kid, because my left leg turned in. I think it still does that sometimes :)

Ok, I have to find someone to tag... I am tagging Mike and Sherri...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Red Wings Game - Mr. Hockey

Tommy and I went to the Red Wings Game tonight thanks to Grandpa Paul, who got Tommy 2 tickets for Christmas. The Wings lost 3 to 2 to the San Jose Sharks, but the evening had plenty of excitement anyway...

Mr. Hockey - Shortly after we arrived at Joe Louis Arena we learned that Gordie Howe (#9), yes, Mr. Hockey was there signing copies of his new book. The book cost $30, but to have it autographed the total came to $70. It was Tommy's first Red Wings Game, and the line wasn't long, so I sprang for it. We took a couple of pictures before Tommy got up there, but the interaction when it was our turn was awesome. He asked Tommy if he played hockey, and what position he played. Tommy answered that he played defense, and Gordie wanted to see what his shot looked like... Tommy backed away from the table, positioned his hands, and proceeded to "air stick" a shot. Mr. Hockey proceeded to tell me that we need to work on using both hands to both push and pull the stick simultaneously to increase the speed. Here I am (who has never played hockey) getting tips for my 7 year-old from Gordie Howe.

The interaction was going well, so I decided to ask if Tommy could step behind the table to get a quick picture. Gordie said, "sure if he doesn't get caught." I was encouraged by this, and then Gordie proceeded to ask one of the crowd control people, and then mentions that Tommy is a relative, so it should be all right... I was dying inside, because Gordie was showing that subtle disobedience that you would expect from a hockey player. The one crowd manager said, no, but before he could finish the other guy pulled Tommy behind the table, and the picture was staged :) Of course Tommy was nervous (partly because he was "breaking the rules"), so the picture isn't the greatest, but still we have a picture of Tommy with Mr. Hockey... I really love the one of them talking across the table... I had the Canon point and shoot, so not the fancy camera, but it was ok because my arms were already full of coats etc...

We settled into the game, and after the 1st period we decided to hit the pizza station. We bought a pepperoni pizza, large drink, and a bottle of water for $19.50. We got back to our seats, and while Tommy was holding the pizza, so I could remove my coat, it fell off his lap and toppled onto the floor. Of course, for the $12.50 Hot-N-Ready Pizza they don't give you a box, yes that's right you only get a paper cookie sheet to carry around your overpriced pie. I should have taken a picture, but at that moment Tommy was almost in tears... So, I calmed him down, and cleaned up the mess... We did end up getting some pizza between the next intermission...

Finally, after the game I was getting Tommy's sweatshirt and coat on, so that we could leave. I turned around, and some guy was taking the 2nd of our two mugs from the free giveaway. I called him on it, and he handed it back. I then proceeded to wait a few minutes, and found a completely abandoned mug, so we did end up with two. I was just disappointed that the people I sat by all night were trying to rip-off our mugs.

Oh well, it was awesome to have Tommy see his first game, and meet Mr. Hockey...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dizney World Info Blog...

I have created another blog... I know it is crazy, but I have always wanted a place to share my tips on Disney Vacations, so I will utilize this blog to write about Disney World, and things that I feel are important to know if you are planning a trip...

Here is the URL, so you can check it out: http://blog.dizneyworld.info/

Feel free to leave comments, or questions :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Blog Address...

FYI - I have setup blog.netpappy.com as the new address for my blog...

Email heaven and Apple Care...

I claim to be a Googlevangelist, and in the last 24 hours I have found email heaven... I have consolidated 5 email boxes into one Gmail account, and it is working great. The key to Gmail is the "archive" feature (believe it or not I have never used that before)... It allows you to save the email without keeping it in your inbox. I am now done with Thunderbird. I have a few more email accounts to consolidate, but at this point I am extremely happy with the results...

So, today Apple released new versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro... I called Apple this afternoon, and while they can't upgrade me to the latest version they are going to ship me a memory upgrade (which was the biggest let-down for me). I am happy with the resolution to my call, and my first Customer Care experience with Apple was very positive!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The quest for the perfect email solution...

I have a serious problem... I love email addresses, so I have joe@xyz.com from every one of my domains, and I currently have at least 3 active gmail accounts and 2 yahoo accounts... So, I just have a mess when it comes to email... I really need to get everything collapsed into one location with a good spam filter. My oldest domain was signed up for everything on the internet at one time or another, and gets about 200+ emails per day. I ran across this link the other day, and I am going to give it a try. I have started slow with just 1 email account (it was the big one though), and I will keep you posted as I hopefully get to a sensible number of accounts... The exciting thing for me is that I might actually be able to use that account again. It is so cool to have firstname@lastname.com (yeah I have the .net too), but it has been unusable for several years...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Championship Game

We lost the Championship Game, and ended up being the runner-up for the tournament. The boys were pretty sad, but they all still got a medal, and the team got a nice trophy. The team we lost to was from Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, and they were a very talented team. Our team played well, but the other team was just too much for them.

It was a Great Weekend, but we are all happy to be home I think :)

Traverse City Semi-Final Game

WHOO WHOO - We won the Semi-Final Game by a score of 3 to 2. The crazy thing was that we scored out 3rd goal with 6 seconds left in regulation, and we were short-handed. So, we are chilling in the hotel room until we have to check-out at 12, and the puck drops at 1:45 PM.

I will post as soon as I can after the Championship Game...

Traverse City Tournament Game #3

We literally man-handled that other team, and skated to a 7 to 1 victory (shots were 29+ to 3). So, the puck drops at 8 AM this morning for the Semi-Final Game :)

I headed out to the Casino last night, and played a little BlackJack... I doubled the $50 that I put down on the table to start with, and then cashed out. WHOO WHOO

Grandma Claudia made it up, because I ran into Andrew at 1 AM in the hallway when I was returning from the Casino.

Alright, time to get up, and get going :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Traverse City Tournament Game #2

WHOO WHOO!!! We won our second game of the tournament today 7 to 2. Tommy won the MVP for playing good Defense. It appears that we have now qualified for the Semi-Finals tomorrow morning. So, our next game is at 2:30 PM this afternoon...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Traverse City Tournament Game #1

We won the first game of the tournament by a score of 4-0. The team played well together, and we dominated the play. We stayed after the game to watch the next two teams, and it appears that tomorrow morning's game will be a tough one. I will post as soon as I can after the game to let you know how we do :)

Traverse City - Hockey Tournament

For all of you that don't know we are in Traverse City for the weekend, because Tommy is playing in a Hockey Tournament. We made it up here last night, and the boys played some "mini-stick" hockey in the hotel rooms while the parents chilled with some brews. We will keep you posted on how the tournament progresses. The first game is at 3:30 PM today. I expect us to have a good sized crowd, because we have Grandma Karen and Grandpa Jim, and Uncle Theo coming up to watch...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MacBook Update, VMware Fusion, IT Jobs in Michigan, New URL?, 1000+ Visitors

I know some of you don't appreciate my "technical posts", but I am due for one, and you haven't heard about the MacBook in awhile :)

As most of you know I have recently switched from PC to my MacBook... Here is a link from Chris Pirillo that discusses 50 reasons to switch. I have made the switch almost completely, however, I have a few apps that require Windows. I have decided to utilize VMWare Fusion to provide me a Windows environment to run those apps... It is quite versatile, because you can specify individual applications to run versus always running the full desktop. I am just starting with it, but I currently have my MS Money, and MS Visio available to me from the Mac. I decided not to install MS Office, and instead I am utilizing NeoOffice which is a port of the popular and free OpenOffice.

I tend to make the analogy that moving into a new computer is alot like moving into a new house. You tend to get the critical things setup first, and then work through the trivial stuff as time permits. I respect the amount of lost productivity that comes with a new computer, and in fact will put off an upgrade at work until the increased hardware justifies the amount of time it will take me to get myself back up and running again. Well, the switch from PC to Mac has created a huge learning curve, but at this point I can say that I have officially moved in. The last major thing was the MS Money, and after setting that up last night I think I am now good to go. I am sure I will learn new things, and make improvements along the way, but I am still thrilled with my decision to go to the MacBook, and really enjoy using it...

IT Jobs in Michigan...
I heard this on the news tonight, and had to research it further... Dow Chemical is creating 50 IT Jobs in Michigan that are going to be based in Saginaw, Midland, and Southfield. If you know anything about Michigan, the job market is horrible (especially in IT), so I would like to say kudos to Dow, and their continued investment in Michigan. Here is a link to the Press Release. I think the State of Michigan needs to work with the technology sector to attract additional IT Jobs to this area that has been so hardly hit by the decline of the Auto Industry.

New URL - yeah, I am contemplating setting one of my domains up to be my place on the net... I probably should have done this already, but I am slow on the uptake sometimes :) So, you may see a redirect coming soon... I just have too many domains that are idling, and as of right now I am very committed to the blog :)

1000+ Visitors - WHOO WHOO - I guess there are some people out there reading, so thanks to all of you, and I will do what I can to keep the content coming :) Here is my inspiration for saying WHOO WHOO the internet superstars Bubb Rubb and Lil' Sis

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I just haven't been inspired for a good post in awhile... So, here is a collection of tidbits...

Congrats to Tommy for the Saginaw Spirit Skills Competition Fastest Skater 1st Place!

Congrats to Jason and Autumn on the birth of their 5th child (3rd boy) on Thursday!

We are excited to be going to Traverse City this weekend for Hockey Tournament!

I helped Dawn get going on Picassa to do some picture stuff for her students, and she didn't call me a bully!

Work has been crazy busy, and I expect it to only get worse :)

Have a Great Week, and I will try go get my post on ;)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Rock Band!!!

If you haven't read Dawn's post this morning I will catch you up on our Rock Band Situation!

Tommy received lots of money for his birthday, and he wanted to buy Rock Band for our PS2. The game wouldn't play in our PS2, so I took him to the store this morning, and we traded in our old "almost broken" (it played every other game) PS2 for $45, and got a new Silver PS2. We validated that the game played before we left the store. We have spent way too much money lately, so we will have to be conservative for awhile :)

My living room has become a Rock Band stage to the point that Dawn and I have to utilize Google Talk to communicate when we are sitting across the room from each other... The game is pretty cool, because you can sing, play guitar, or drums... Austin loves to be in the middle of the action, and especially loves the drums. He looks like he might be the next Rick Allen (one-handed drummer for Def Leppard), as he waves his left arm frantically hitting the drum pads.

In other news... Dawn called me a "computer bully" this morning... I was trying to get her to use Launchy, and she said something like, "that's stupid when you can just double-click the icon". I tried to tell her that it was extremely convenient to press + and start typing firefox to get that open, but she wasn't interested and called me a computer bully. *sigh* Oh well... I guess it is her loss :)

Have a Great Weekend!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Photobucket Slideshow...

I was asked by a friend how to get a Photobucket slideshow onto a blog. I just uploaded some random pictures of the dynamic duo to demonstrate it :)

So, I did the following...

Uploaded the pictures
Clicked on slideshow, and added the pictures to the slideshow
Saved the slideshow, and gave it a name
I clicked the share tab
Clicked on blogger, and entered my credentials
Clicked login, selected my blog and clicked share

It was actually pretty straight-forward... You can see the slideshow below...

Please post in comments if you have any questions :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Skate - Shoot - Score Competition

I know all we talk about lately is Hockey and my MacBook (of course, because I love it!), but today Tommy competed in the Skate-Shoot-Score Hockey Skills Competition at the Dow Event Center. He qualified in the Fastest Skater event, so he is going to the finals event on February 17th, at 10 AM. He had a lap time of 21:91 seconds, and skated great. He didn't do so well in the Shooting Accuracy or Breakaway Shootout events. We may let him go Thursday night at 6 to try and qualify in those events for the finals.

I also have to give a shout out to Tony (who is in Tommy's class at school but is in the 2nd grade), because he qualified in the Shooting Accuracy and Breakaway Shootout events in his age division. Also, Shane (who is one of Dawn's students) qualified in his division for the Breakaway Shootout. Great Job Guys!!!

Well, it is going to be a busy week...

Monday - Tommy turns 7 - going to Chuck E Cheeses - Happy Birthday Tommy!
Tuesday - Fat Tuesday - Spaghetti Dinner for the School, and Cub Scout Meeting
Wednesday - Ash Wednesday, and Knights of Columbus Meeting
Thursday - Skate-Shoot-Score qualifier for Tommy
Friday - Tommy Hockey Practice at 5 PM

I am still sick, but feeling a little better today... I love the MacBook, and worked today on getting my Thunderbird email moved over, and setting up my Gallery Remote.

Have a Great Week!!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tommy Scores - Brought to you by the MacBook, and iMovie!!!

If you saw the clip earlier in the frame to the right, I apologize... I was trying to post right before church, and it wasn't working, so I didn't realize that it was over there... Here is the video of his goal. This was his first goal for the Mite 2007 - 2008 season! I utilized iMovie on the MacBook to import, clip, and upload the video to YouTube! I will get better at this as time goes on.

In other news - I am sick... I signed up Tommy for baseball today, and he is going to play minors. It is a step-up from T-ball/Coach-Pitch, but I think he will like it. The boys are over at Grandpa Paul's for a visit, so it is nice and quiet around here... We are going to the Dow Event Center tomorrow, so that Tommy can compete in a Shoot, Skate, and Score competition.

EDITED @ 9:16 PM EST on 2/2/08 by Netpappy - I removed the duplicate YouTube video that was posted.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

WHOO WHOO - MacBook!!!

I will keep this short, but here is the first official post from the MacBook!  Dawn took lots of pictures of me opening the box etc, so I will post those when I get a chance...

BTW - Dawn not only let me get it, she insisted on purchasing, so I have to say Thanks to the Best Wife in the Whole World Wide Web :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

The past few days & MacBook

On Wednesday night, Tommy and I went to the Reese park, and shovelled some snow off the pond, so we could do some skating. We had a blast, and Tommy has named himself my coach, and is teaching me how to stop etc...

Yesterday, I took Austin to Ann Arbor for some appointments (just regular follow-ups), and everything went pretty well. I told the Physical Medicine Doctor that we are trying to get him ice skating, and she said it was ok to proceed... My Mom went with us, and we went to lunch at Bennigan's. Last night, Tommy, Austin, and I went to the pond and did some skating... Tommy got to use his new skates, and Austin actually made some progress (after whining, and whimpering a little).

So, on the way out of Ann Arbor yesterday we stopped at the Apple Store. I have been wanting a Mac for awhile, but it is official now... I looked at the MacBook Pro's, but they are just too darn expensive. So, I started looking at the MacBook's, and I think this small profile could suit me nicely. I will probably be taking this along with my work laptop, so it would be a nice complement to my computing scene. The only concern on the MacBook was the ability to play World of Warcraft (WOW). Of course a little search on Google was enough to find this blog, and ease my mind.

The only thing left is to convince my wife that I deserve it. So, I decided that this important decision should be left to you my blog readers... After all, this is the era of Reality TV, and with shows like Survivor we should let the public decide. So, please vote on the poll to the right...


EDITED AT 9:27 PM on 1/25/08 to spell "poll" correctly. Thanks Julie :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

FeedBurner & Email Subscriptions...

I am still figuring this part out, so I may add some more later, but Google has recently purchased FeedBurner, and they will do several things including telling you how many people are subscribed to your feed after you register your feed with them via these instructions. In addition, they have some other features that you can use to Publicize your feed, and one of them is via email subscriptions (which is what Angie asked for in the comments of my blog). I have added the email subscription on the right as a link. You can use FeedBurner to add it as a link (like mine), or as a form that visitors can populate. I chose the link, because it requires a person to enter the "jumbled letters" to subscribe, and that should help with SPAM.

Let me know if you have any questions...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog Mania & Google Reader...

It is apparent that we are in a state of Blog Mania with regards to my friends and co-workers... Don't get me wrong I think it is great, but it is hard to keep track of all the latest posts on every individual blog. I have been using Google Reader for awhile. I took some time, and added all the blogs to it today, so now I get a nice consolidated view of all the blog postings. In addition, I can add a star to any that I find extra-exciting (like my birthday posts etc).

You can get to Google Reader by going to http://reader.google.com, and signing in with your Google Account. Then you can add blogs to it by clicking Add Subscription, and then inputting the blog url. It will bring in all the posts, and you can browse through them very easily... Here are a couple of links with tutorials for your reading/viewing pleasure...

A Beginner's Guide to RSS and Google Reader
Getting Started with Google Reader - a Video Tutorial (click view this tutorial on the page)

I also had somebody ask me about blogging privately, so if you are concerned about public information on the internet you can get some additional info here.

Last but not least... I started playing around with del.icio.us, and so far I am hooked. You will notice to the right on my blog that I have some new links of exciting web pages that I have found. I installed the browser extensions for del.icio.us, and now I can click a button to add "bookmarks" to my account. I am still learning about this, but right now it is like a "blog for bookmarks", and it is extremely easy to reference cool sites. I am way behind on this technology, but now that I am older and wiser I guess I might as well figure it out. You can add my delicious bookmarks to your google reader, by adding this feed: http://del.icio.us/rss/netpappy.

Whew! I know that was alot, but take it piece by piece, and you will hopefully be happy with the results :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

WHOO WHOO - Another Year!!!

Today is my 32nd Birthday, so I have updated my "about me" section to have the right age... It is bittersweet for me this year, because it was a month ago today that we had Autumn's Funeral Service.

I did have a pretty good year otherwise though... Here are some highlights & lowlights...

- Trip to Disney World with my Father-in-law in April - his first trip
- My Dad and his family were down there at the same time, so we ran into them a couple of times.
- I completed my Cisco CCNA Certification finally - I should have done this years ago...
- I attended Cisco Networkers in Anaheim - I have gone 2 years in a row, and it is always a good conference
- While at Networkers in Anaheim I was able to go to Disneyland for the first time. It was neat to be in the park that Walt actually walked around in :)
- Trip to Disney World in August for our Anniversary
- Celebrating 10 years of Marriage to my wonderful wife :)
- The excitement of being pregnant again :)
- I started this blog...
- My Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner was awesome
- We had a great Christmas including Tommy and Austin doing great at the Christmas Program
- Austin started to work on ice skating
- Tommy won his Tournament last weekend
- I made it to my physical - it has been several years...
EDIT: 1/21/08 @ 1:08 PM EST - I made Level 70 with Taustin in World of Warcraft (WOW)

- The ordeal with Autumn...
- Dawn's grandma passed away near the end of our spring trip to Disney
- My Dad has Parkinson's, and I can tell that it is progressing, and that is sad for me
- Watching my Austin struggle (although it is a blessing how great he is doing, I know that he struggles with tasks that most of us take for granted)...

Well, I am sure I have forgotten something, but I have confidence that Dawn will remind me :P

Let's see what this year has in store for me...

Friday, January 18, 2008

A month goes quickly...

It was a month ago today that we learned of Autumn's passing... They told us when we left the hospital that we would experience "shadow grief", and it must be true because I have thought about her quite a bit today... We have been really busy over the last month, so I think that has helped me move on, but I still find it really sad that Autumn isn't with us anymore.

I think she will be on my mind alot over the next few days, and especially on Monday which will have been a month since her funeral...

Happy Birthday Lance!

I wanted to take a second, and wish Lance a Happy 27th Birthday!

We are all going to Tiffany's after work for a drink to celebrate his Birthday today, and mine on Monday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not much going on...

Things are going kind of slow lately, but wanted to throw out a quick post...

We are trying to get Austin to sleep in his own bed, and I just got this link in my email from ParentCenter. That was timely, because I am going to move out if he doesn't :P

Austin is going on a field trip on Friday, and Grandma Karen is going to join him, so hopefully she will have some fun with that.

I have to wish my brother Jeff a Happy 32nd Birthday Today! We are getting together with the family on Friday at the Rocket for Beer, Pizza, and Bowling.

Our old Babysitter has started blogging, so I am going to add a link to her blog, and a few others...

Well, that's it for now :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friendship Tournament Champions

Tommy's Team won the game this afternoon, although it was a battle and went into sudden-death overtime. Tommy had an assist on the tying goal, and the game winner. I am so proud of him. They had a trophy for all the players, so he was excited. We went to Hooter's afterward to celebrate! He had a ton of fans at the game, so thanks to all of you for coming :)

Hockey Tournament...

Tommy is playing a Hockey Tournament this weekend, and I can't believe how intense it is to watch a group of 6, 7, and 8 year-olds play in these games... We have won 4 games so far this weekend, so we are in the Championship Game at 3:20 PM Today. Tommy has played Defense every game, but has played great, and I am really proud of him and the team.

Sorry for the short post, but I have to relax, and get something to eat... I am so nervous, and I am not even playing...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Am I A Bad Parent...

So, my buddy Adam who is single, starts this conversation today at lunch... He asks whether or not I would take my children to Tiffany's at 6 PM on a Friday. I say sure, why not, and he says that it is a bar, and that it isn't a place for children. We spent the entire lunch hour discussing this, and I determined that I am ok taking my kids to the Bar Restaurant Combo scene prior to let's say 9 PM, but after that I would probably avoid it. I would not however, take them to a Bar only scene. He thinks I am in the wrong, because I am exposing my children to the "bar scene". I think he just doesn't like the waitress slapping him for swearing, because kids are around... I am curious your thoughts on this, so am I a bad parent for even considering to take my children to a Restaurant/Bar on a Friday evening?

BTW - during the research for this I looked up Tiffany's website, and I cruised through the pictures carefully... I don't have a choice, because if there is a picture of me on their website Dawn will find it, so I figured I was better off exposing it myself. Luckily, there were no pictures of me, however, I did find the following...

- A picture of Diana on her 21st Birthday - I was there earlier that night, and actually got ridiculed by Dawn a week later when we were at another party and one of Diana's aunts recognized me from Tiffany's.
- I am disappointed that Todd and Adam don't have their pictures on Tiff's website, because I know they both have spent plenty of money there, so I am looking for them to correct that :)

If you don't know me that well you might wonder how I go from Talking about Internet Safety for Children to discussing my excursions at the local hang-out... I am just the person who usually has a few beers on hand in the fridge in case I get thirsty, or someone comes over, and likes to go out with co-workers on Fridays after work to wind down a couple times a month. Dawn and I have a very open relationship, and I respect it when she tells me it has been too frequent, because she is usually right. In all reality though... I don't really need to explain, because this blog is all about me, and this is who I am :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Children and Internet Safety - Web Browsing

My Catholic School Teacher Wife mentioned today that somebody should put together a seminar for parents with regards to Internet Safety, and Security... I worked for an Internet Service Provider for 9+ years, and have been to what I call the "end of the internet" (I got to the point where there was absolutely nothing else that I wanted to look up anymore). So, I thought I would start by putting together some resources for today's parents to get them started...

I am going to start with Web Browsing, because I think this impacts the largest group of users... I allow my 6 year-old to browse the web to play some games etc, but he isn't into email or chatting just yet...

Web Browsing Safety
You will quickly learn that if something is on the internet once it could probably be on there several times. The topic of Web Safety has been written about on several sites, but here are my personal recommendations, and a couple of websites that every parent should spend some time reading...

- Take Safety for granted anywhere - if you are on the internet then you are at risk. I learned this when a picture of a squirrel standing on its hind legs was referred to inappropriately by a group of students. An internet filter is not going to stop a picture of a squirrel that is just being taken out of context even though the overall situation became inappropriate.
- Click on random links from a search engine without reviewing the "summary information", or knowing that it is a reputable link. It is always wise to start the search of a topic with a known site such as Wikipedia, and then move on to the links that they cite as sources for additional information.
- Click on advertisements, or links that are provided by the service the webpage is using without knowing the risks. An example of this is the NavBar at the very top of this page. If you click "Next Blog" you will get to some adult material very soon.
- Click on links in email and fill-in information unless it is something you have requested. I like to use the analogy of receiving an unsolicited phone call. If they call me without me asking then they are not going to get my Credit Card information. "Feel free to send me some information in the mail about your Charity and I might be interested". is a normal reply. The same should be thought of with regards to email, and login (and/or cc) information.
- Assume that the information I am providing is complete, but know that it is a good start...

- Setup your computer in the middle of a high-traffic area in your house, so that you can review frequently what is being viewed.
- Specify times that your child is allowed on the computer utilizing the internet, and enforce those rules.
- Check the web browsing history on your computer regularly. If it is normally populated, and suddenly becomes empty then that should be a "warning sign".
- Talk to your children about the dangers of using the internet, and how you are going to work together to ensure their safety.
- Acquire a filtering solution to provide an additional layer of safety for your family. You wouldn't allow your child to go over to another person's house if you knew they were dangerous, so why would you allow them on the internet without taking some precautions.

Websites for additional information

A comment with regards to software solutions... There are several internet providers including an "online protection suite" with their broadband services. Here are links to two that providers that are popular in my area, but check with Customer Support at your local provider.

Charter High Speed Security Suite

ATT Yahoo DSL - Try both of these links Link1 Link2

That's all for now, and I would appreciate any comments on problems you have experienced, or additional tools you recommend...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Application of the year!

Dawn is still playing Guitar Hero 3, so here is a quick bonus post...

I checked with Adam at work today, and we decided the App of the Year was Password Safe... It is a great little program that lets you track all your passwords, and the corresponding websites. So, if you are sick of losing passwords check it out.


Another program I found this year is Display Fusion. It is a great little app for managing dual monitors by allowing you to move applications between monitors without resizing them first. It also supports some background configuration stuff, but I just use it to move my apps around.


Feel free to post comments on any little programs you have found useful this year :)

Wiimote really is high-tech!

I was browsing the internet and came across this link, and had to share it.


I can't believe what he is doing with a wiimote, and a couple of infrared LEDs...

I know I am a geek, but I was thinking it would be cool to play WOW on my TV from my couch with a wiimote :) Of course, a quick search on Google, and here is a link to somebody doing it already!


I need more free time...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I will keep this short, but wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year! I have been sick for 2 days, and am finally feeling a little bit better this morning. We got quite a bit of snow, so I need to go out, and do some snow blowing today. We had Austin at the ice arena the other day, and I am going to try some public skating for today also if I can... I would like him to play hockey in Spring league...

Back to work tomorrow... It has been a nice vacation though...

See ya,