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Wrapping up another month!

And just in time too... it's February Eve!

I feel bad that I haven't written anything in the past month, but it's been a busy time & I have no excuse other than that I have posted something on the web, just not visibly. I guess this is a fine time to make my new hobbies visible! Introducing:
The Bornado is part of the Never-Be-Alone network of birthday gathering related sites. The others are linked at the bottom of this page. The idea is that nobody should ever have to be alone on their birthday. Simple as that. This is the brainchild of, & a collaboration with, Mom.com. The sites only currently contain a forum where folks where be able to meet up & plan off-line hang outs. I envision regional birthday bashes arranged to celebrate everyone born in February, for example. The meet-ups could be arranged on a grand scale or microcosmic. Two folks could meet at diner just to say Happy Birthday at each other. The forum is up & running stable, but the whole idea is still being planned. A calendar is setup & attached to the forum, but not much else has been arranged. The next step will be to get the word out & see if anyone actually signs in & posts their birthday. Wish us luck!

The second new project I've begun this past month is a blog devoted to my vocation, the IBM AS/400 aka the "System i". It seemed that just about every week some odd problem would crop up requiring an odd solution. This is the log of those exploits. There are only a few posts at the moment & most of it will be really dry *AND *OR incomprehensible to those who aren't familiar with the system. Take a look & leave me some comments, or better yet, blog roll me if you feel the need to seed. http://www.ericles.com/wrkreginf/

Another hobby I've picked up this month stems from a Christmas gift of a GPS device. It's one of those hand-held gizzies that's sold as a hiker's assistant. I've been lost a few times on foot & bike & figure this device will pull my bacon out of the fire. It's small enough to toss into the saddle back on my bike or carry in a pocket. Most importantly, it can help me find Geocaches! Geocaching is the sport of treasure hunting using a GPS device. It's an outdoor adventure sport that appeals to out-doorsie types & families & Adventure Buddy Clubs! I signed up with three of the larger Cache-fanatic websites & have been hunting & finding for a few weeks now. Heather even went out with me last week & found a cache all by herself! Here's my current stats:
Profile for ericles TerraCaching

My Fourth hobby for January is House Hunting. Heather & I are planning on buying a home in the near future! I'm thankful to be in the position to be able to buy a home. However. Ehem. RANT! It's a time consuming process made ever more difficult by the people who actually sell the homes. Give me ALL of the information about a house so I can make an informed decision please! None of this "you have to see it!" crap. Give me the address so I can check it out! Just listing the township is NOT sufficient! Tell me the square footage! Tell me it's next to a road-kill dump! Show me the floor plan! If it needs work, fine, if it needs demolished... well, tell me that too! END RANT. I'm just annoyed that I actually have to look at so many houses that I'll never want to own before I see any that I really like. I feel like I'm wasting my time along with the time of the home owners & the realtor. Unfortunately, there's no solution to this. Just wait until I start my rant on Closing Costs. Grrrrr! I just have to remember that it will all be worth it when I hang my picture above my fireplace in my living room in my home. BTW: Zillow.com rocks.

One other thing taking up precious precious father time is computer maintenance. Heather's PC went black two weeks ago & couldn't be persuaded to show us anything more than a black screen. We went through all of the standard diagnostics for a blown video card including checking the voltage of the ancillary power connector (Those crazy GeForce cards require crazy juice). Long story short, the video card could not be resuscitated& a new one was ordered up via our friend Mr. Internet. Last week my hard drive started to fail. I check on the SMART status of the drive with every boot, but alas, SMART doesn't have much to say about the little problem I call Sticky Heads. As best I understand (that is to say, not a glimmer in the faintest), the drive incorrectly detects that something is preventing either the spinning of the disc or the free movement of the heads & refuses to spin up the drive resulting in a non-booting PC. This is probably one of those "immanent failure" kinda pre-warning-warnings, but I've seen hard disks continue to live for years with this condition. The remedy? Give it bop. That's right, a slight jostle (while powered down) will force the drive to be no longer confused & 95% of the time it will spin up correctly with the next power cycle. It's the absolute coolest thing for an IT professional to have at their disposal... it's so Fonzie to walk up to a computer that appears completely dead (even novices recognize the black screen of death), give it the old thump with your hip and ~Poof~ it starts right up! It wont earn you friends or get you laid, but damn... it feels good. Well, when it's not your own personal HD dying anyway. The current sweet spot for HD capacity vs dollars is 320GB so I ordered up a pair & that should satisfy my needs... until the next month-end-wrap-up.

That's all for now. Catch ya next time!

Geocaching.com - The biggest list of available caches.
TerraCaching.com - High quality caches & Highly competitive cachers
Navicache.com - Home of the "other" types of caches.
Born-On-Same-Day - Part of the Never Be Alone Network of sites
Cake-And-Candles- Part of the Never Be Alone Network of sites
Birthday-Presence - Part of the Never Be Alone Network of sites
1in365 - Part of the Never Be Alone Network of sites