Monthly Archives: February 2008

Ordeals

Why does every thing have to become an ordeal? We decided to eliminate two of our three phone lines at the house. One of the them was just forwarding calls for the business and one served as a fax line. Neither was really seeing any use, so there was no point to continue to pay for them each and every month. We had the DSL installed on the fax line because it was the line that had the least amount of use and only went to my room. In the process of canceling the lines, of course, we had to move the service to our remaining phone line. One would think that would be a fairly simple thing to do, but apparently it was quite that hard. It turns out the password was reset earlier so in our testing we got locked out of getting online, but we were able to get that solved. We got the service switched to the new line and it worked for a while and then just stopped. This morning I had to call in and reset the modem and tie it to our new phone number. How much security do we really need on one stupid DSL connection? Once we finally got things running again we discovered that they are painstakingly slow. So slow in fact that it can’t support a voice connection, nor can one possibly manage to watch a trailer. I’m estimating our max speed at about 300 kbps – and that’s a burst, the average connection is more like 160 kbps. My Verizon EVDO card can easily sustain 600 kbps while downloading a trailer, so I’ve since switched to using it.

I went to Coldstone today and got Batch a birthday cake. Actually, I got him some sugar free ice cream, and I got the rest of us a cake that said “Happy Birthday Batch,” but such is life. It was good, but was kind of a pain trying to cut pieces from with our plastic utensils.

We didn’t end up going to Disneyland tonight. Christa wanted to go, but Bouse didn’t so they decided to try and get a group together for bowling. While bowling isn’t quite my thing, I was thinking about it, but decided that my hand probably couldn’t take it. I think I have been typing too much this week or something because my right hand has just been killing me all week.  Alison and I talked about going to a movie, but I got stuck playing with DSL once I got home, delaying us too long. I ended up watching “No Reservations” which I thought was fairly good. It’s funny where life can take you sometimes.

I guess now it is time for bed. I’m not sure what the weekend is going to bring. We were supposed to be going to the LA Temple tomorrow, but Maegan backed out and we never really got a group together. I’m guessing it will turn into a nice day to rest and catch up on things around the house.

Chris Cagle

I won tickets this afternoon to tonight’s Chris Cagle concert. I certainly wasn’t dressed for the concert, so I had to head home, change and hit the road pretty quickly after I got the news. This meant that I spent a lot of time in the car today after driving to Poway for a meeting this morning, to the office, back to Fallbrook and then practically to Palm Springs. The show was good. It was a much smaller venue than I was expecting, but it turned out good. Kristin and I spent most of our time front and center. She ventured completely to the front at one point with some crazy girls we met there.

Movie Night

The rest of the day went fairly well. It was noon by the time we finished lunch that I picked up and brought back to the shop. I accomplished some things, but it seemed like I just didn’t seem like I really made any progress. We got some stuff together for a meeting tomorrow and I was able to check a few things off the to do list.

Before the branch movie night tonight I hit Claim jumper with Bouse, Christa and Georgia. The calzone was really good today. They ended up joining us for movie night where we ended up seeing August Rush. I thought it was pretty good, but very predictable. I wish I could pick up music like that kid! After the movie a few of us (Kristin, Mandi, Andrea, Krystal, Melissa) went to TGI Fridays for dinner/dessert and as usual it is past my bedtime now. It’s a good thing I’m not planning on getting up in the morning, but I’m pretty sure that since I don’t need to get up early, I will be up early.

Talk About Humiliating

I decided to go for a bikeride this morning. It is a beautiful morning, although I could probably argue for it to be a few degrees cooler. It was 60 when I left the house and is now 71. It is amazingly clear outside – we must have a mild Santa Ana. So I do my little ride, what I like to call the warmup and am on my last rest-stop, nearly home when this herd of bikers comes flying by me. Flying up the hill, not down. Here is little ol’ me sitting on the side of the road while these hardcore guys just keep pushing on. I guess it could have been worse: I could have been riding up the hill when they came up and overtook me. But then there is the thought going through everyone’s head who seems me riding after this point: Ahh, look at that fat guy, he’s trying to keep up with the pros that went by ten minutes ago…

I probably shouldn’t have extended the ride this morning, but it felt really good to get out there and do it. Now I can eat more ice cream this afternoon! We’ll see if Ryan and I can keep it up and get out there again on Saturday.

PPPOE and Password Change Notifications

So I have to wonder: Is there any purpose behind PPPOE or is it just to increase the total cost of ownership. With Adelphia and our cable modem the only times we had problems connecting was when their servers were done. With AT&T/Yahoo it seems that every time we turn around there is something new. It turns out that they reset our password when we called a few weeks ago about not being able to send email. Fortunately, they were kind enough to send an email notifying me that the password had been changed. There were instructions in the email about if I didn’t change my password, such and such.

Here is the brain teaser for this evening: Let’s say I have an account, which has a password. That account and password are tied together for my DSL modem, email account and online/support login systems. Now, let’s say that someone – not me – changes my password. They are kind enough to send an email informing you to your email account. We’ll ignore the fact that people don’t actually check their DSL email accounts because all they do is collect spam, and continue down the road of pondering. Let’s examine option A: I changed my password or at least know of the new password. I can now login to my DSL, member center and email. The bonus I receive for this is an email telling me that my password has been changed. Great. Obviously I knew it had been changed since I had to type in the new password. Now, Road B: Someone changed my password and I didn’t know about it. Since I didn’t know about it, they were kind enough to send me an email to inform me. Ahh… but you say “WAIT!” You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to login to your DSL, the member center and your email to find out your password has changed when none of the systems will accept your password because it has changed. I know I’m lost, how about you?

So, back to the real question at hand. What is the point of PPPOE? Why can’t AT&T keep track of the mac address of the modem I have or figure out that I’m coming through the copper they ran to my house? Heck, they could have double security and have both – requiring me not only to have a DSL connection at my house, a valid modem in their MAC address pool, but also to be at the physical location that the MAC address was assigned to! Can anyone figure out what I spent time doing this evening?

The rest of the day went fairly well. I don’t honestly have much to report, or at least don’t have anything to rant about.

Sense of Accomplishment

Today went well. I was able to set my mind to accomplish a few things at the office today and I feel good that I was able to check them off my list and not just push it onto someone else or farther down the list. I was able to spend my time well between the activities that needed to be accomplished and just felt like I was pressing forward. Of course some things that I would have liked to have gotten done didn’t get done, but I think in the end progress is being made and we just have to settle with it being where it is.

I left work about 5:30 to take packages to FedEx since our driver came before the UPS delivery today. I think it’s time to get rid of our daily pickup since it never seems to work out for us and we are just paying them to do nothing. In any event, after stopping at FedEx, i went to get my oil changed at Jiffy Lube while talking to Alison. I was thinking as I was driving way that we hadn’t been to Pat & Oscar’s in a long time so I stopped to get some bread for dinner – and to share at FHE. Mike gave a good lesson on not getting distracted from our prayers and then I came home to relax and watch some of the Oscar’s from last night.

Now I think it is time to put our FHE lesson into action, so I’m signing off.

Good Sunday

Today was good. It was quite different from the normal Sunday. In fact, I never made it to the Dowden’s! I had no meetings before church which was good because I enjoyed sleeping in and then spent time getting ready for teacher development tonight and making signup sheets for break the fast. Church went well, but our numbers seemed low. We had good lessons throughout the block, then had Frank’s baptism which was great. Shortly after that it was time for dinner and our class at the Rodriguez home. I was thinking about ditching out on branch prayer – I had told myself I was going to come home and do something productive like write to Tara – but Larilyn wanted to follow me to Sister Baca’s. Being that I knew I should be at branch prayer and that she wanted someone to follow, I decided to go. It was good, I’m glad I went.

I think our class went well tonight. We really just had an ongoing discussion regarding teaching and fortunately I didn’t have to talk much at all. I was happy with the outcome, but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of attendance. The problem is that the teachers who really need to be there are the ones that don’t come. We’ll have to find another way to reach out to them. Any ideas on how we could improve or how we could get more to attend? We’re already including dinner and while I know Sunday is a busy day, almost every other day of the week has something on it already so I doubt it is any better. I guess I’ll just have to extend more personal invitations to everyone next time around.

I’m interested to see what this week will bring. I have a feeling that things are going to get kind of crazy, but I guess only time will tell.

Lazy Bum

My life has just been pretty darn boring lately. It’s probably my doing. I guess I just needed a break from the craziness. I was home for dinner Wednesday through Friday! Things got crazy at the office with Tara gone Thursday and especially Friday with Tara gone. I spent way too much time watching television lately, I feel like a bum and yet that is about the only thing I feel like doing. As soon as I get done writing here I will watch the new made for TV Knight Rider movie and then it will probably be off to bed.

Sadly I can’t really think of anything worth writing. I haven’t really come up with what we are going to do tomorrow night for teacher development. It’s going to be more of a discussion/question & answer session than a necessary lesson so hopefully I don’t need to do too much prep, but I do need to come up with some questions and my answers to them. We’re probably only going to have 30-45 minutes so we may not make it through more than a few questions if everyone participates, but preparedness is really the name of the game. I’m probably not setting the best example here, but I have been thinking about it a lot which I think definitely counts for something.

Well, I guess I’ll stop boring ya all now and get on with Knight Rider…

Peaceful Warrior

I watched Peaceful Warrior tonight. There were lots of interesting themes throughout the movie. Life is what you make of it. Attitude is everything. Accept the consequences of your actions. Determination and so much more. I thought it was a good movie, definitely worth watching. I watched it on my new blu-ray DVD player which I picked up at Costco today with my rebate since HD-DVD has officially died.

I didn’t write Monday or Tuesday because I just didn’t have much to report or that I felt like reporting. Things have been good all around. Monday I worked all day and then attended FHE where we learned about being deceived. Tuesday was about the same except that it was dinner and a Sunday school meeting at the Rodriguez’s. I just need to figure out some more concrete plans for this weekends teacher development class.

I think on that note I’m going to bed. Wish me luck!

Full Sunday

Today was good. It was very full, but it was good. I woke up early for a Sunday to spend some time really preparing the lesson for Elder’s Quorum today. I think the lesson turned out well due to lots of great participation from others. I really didn’t do much, which is the way that it should be and instead was able to lead what I thought was a good overview of the chapter and discussion amongst the elders. Now if I can just come up with things for the other upcoming times I need to talk or present a lesson I’ll be doing good.

The fireside tonight got cancelled and our branch conference got pushed back a few months so things changed around quite a bit today. Beyond that we had great lessons and good time in fellowship. Jim and I went and home-taught Kim which was nice and was a good conclusion to the lesson today on becoming more like Christ. We need to continue to raise the bar with home teaching and many other aspects.

I’m missing the Knight Rider movie that’s on this evening, so I’m going to have to wait until Saturday night to catch it again. I think it is time to upgrade to an HD DVR. That means no ReplayTV and I’ll probably end up with the cable companies DVR so I have one less device. I guess the cost would be about the same in the end as what I’m paying now, so why not, right?

I’m hoping I can truly get back to work this week. The last few weeks just seem like they have been filled with too many sidetracks to really be doing what we are there to do. I’m going to focus on getting back on track here and pressing forward this week. I’m going to start by getting a good night’s sleep.

Bikeride

Ryan and I went for a bikeride this morning for the first time since October or November. It actually felt quite good and I’m glad we were finally able to make it happen. We’ve been full of excuses lately, but it has generally been quite easy with the rain or something going on Saturday mornings. I’m thinking I need to find a standard day to go riding during the week as well and get back on track.

After our ride, and blowing off the driveway (which I also haven’t done in weeks) I spent the rest of the morning clearing off my desk. Rather, I was just getting through the mail that had been stacked up on my desk waiting for some attention. Maybe someday I’ll get to the piles of things that have been sitting under or around my desk at home for months and do something with them.

I went to the office this afternoon to install more RAM in our server and get some other minor things done. Batch and Bouse came by and we talked for a while. Before I knew it, I had been there five hours and it was definitely time to get out.

I think I’ve gone the entire week without going inside Costco as hard as that may be to believe. I was there Monday or Tuesday for gas, but that doesn’t really count. I got my rebate in the mail today, so I’ll have to go shopping sometime soon.

I was hoping to get some relaxing in this evening watching a movie or something along those lines, but by the time I got home and made dinner, it was after nine and I didn’t get to reading the lesson for priesthood tomorrow until after ten. I’m hoping after reading it now twice it will all make more sense in the morning and I can get a lesson plan together. I also need to figure out what in the world I’m going to talk about or we’re going to discuss at teacher development next weekend. I just hope I’m not supposed to have anything together for our meetings this week.

Windows Mobile Wins

I’ve just been spending way too much time at the office lately. I didn’t leave till 8:30 tonight, went to Sierra’s birthday dinner at BJ’s and then came home to keep working! I guess it’s keeping me out of trouble for the most part. Windows Mobile won. The final nail in the coffin was when Batch sent a message last night and it had the signature line “Sent from my Verizon Wireless Blackberry.” I figured that indicated it was time to be done. There were enough reason to go Windows, we certainly don’t need to be sending out email through Blackberry’s servers so they can tag it up with whatever they want.

Things seem to be working fairly well on that front. I continued to immerse myself in Windows today. When I started having problems with my Windows in Parallels at the office, I decided it was time for a clean install. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my XP iso disc (which I used to install it in the first place) to work, so I grabbed the Vista disk that was sitting in the cabinet and went to town! I actually somewhat like it. Things seem to be going well with it and the two things I use it for I got installed and working: Outlook and Quickbooks.

And on that note, I’m going to bed. Ryan and I are going riding in the morning so I need to get some rest.

Blackberry vs. Windows Mobile Round Two

Not too much to report from today either, so I’ll try and keep this short. We continued playing with some phones and I still think that Windows Mobile is the clear winner. We got a Treo 700wx today but discovered that it is running Windows Mobile 5 instead of 6 Pro which my VX6800 is running. I also realized that the lack of buttons on the treo could be somewhat limiting. Maybe the fact that I can’t text message while driving is honestly a good thing with the larger keypad and it will help keep me out of trouble. I’m thinking, today anyway, that I’m going to stick with this new phone and we’ll take it from there.

I went to institute tonight and then came home. I didn’t get to bed early and instead spent time talking, playing and eating cake. We had some great rain today and it is pretty darn cold outside. It got cold enough in fact that our heaters stopped working at the office and we had to pull out the space heaters. Well, everyone else has already had theirs out, I just had to pull mine out to keep warm.

Oh, for the record: The Blackberry still hasn’t gotten any data from Exchange. We’ve still been struggling to get any of their conduits to work without installing something directly on the Exchange server which I am reluctant to do.

Blackberry vs. Windows Mobile

We got our new phones from Verizon to test today. The big debate is between a Windows Mobile based device or a Blackberry. I went for the Windows while Batch chose the Blackberry. My device is working great – I mean as far as Windows can work great – while he is still relegated to having nothing. My number one complaint about the Blackberry still seems to be true. You can’t do anything with it unless you have their enterprise server running next to Exchange. I don’t think we’ll be looking into forking out the money for another server solution so that we can push our email to another server so it can go to mobile devices. We’ll have to manage a whole other batch of accounts and devices that I don’t really feel like putting up with. I realize at this point we’re only talking a few, but I’m looking at long term. I don’t know if Blackberry has something better to offer, but so far my vote is going for Windows because it works out of the box and doesn’t require another layer of complexity. I guess we’ll see if the boys can come up with another solution to buying the pricey Blackberry server just to try it.

Other than that fun I don’t have much big news to report. Aimee joined Batch and i for lunch today and showed off her new MacBook. Jim and I went and home taught Christina tonight and then I came home to pretty much continue working. It’s so hard to stop when you are fully connected 24/7! And, I think on that note, I’m going to bed. Good night!