Tag Archives: Thursday

Thursday trivia #107

  • “Learned helplessness” is totally a thing, but perhaps some people are more prone to it than others
  • If I were critically injured, I would be totally OK with having my blood replaced with freezing salt water to “pause” my metabolism long enough for the ED docs to fix me up. 
  • In the past two weeks I’ve started watching 3 new shows: Longmire, Orange is the New Black (thoroughly enjoying it so far), and Halt and Catch Fire (atmospheric, but they muff a lot of technical details and the MacMillan character seems a straight ripoff of Don Draper). However, that’s all about to go by the wayside for two reasons: my “pre-order” list at Amazon is about to blow up with new books, and the World Cup is starting today.
  • Hopefully the airplane will be fixed in time for our scheduled trip to Perrysburg. If not, second prize  is the Fathers’ Day Weekend Inferno at Anaheim Chili.

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Getting ready for Lync Conference 2014 (bonus Thursday Trivia #106)

So, first: here’s the view from my second-floor home office:

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Actually, I had to walk across the street to get this particular shot, but it was worth it. We got about 4” or so of snow in my neighborhood; I got out of Raleigh just in time to miss their snowmageddon, which suits me fine. The boys and I had a good time about 10pm last night throwing snowballs and watching big, fat flakes fall. The roads are passable now and will get better as it warms, but tonight it’ll be cold again and they’ll probably refreeze.

I’m making my final preparations for Lync Conference 2014 next week. I’m presenting a total of four times:

  • VOICE401, “Deep Dive: Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 Unified Messaging Integration”, is on Wednesday at 1pm in Copperleaf 10. This session will cover some of the internals of Exchange UM; it’s targeted at Lync admins who may not have much knowledge of Exchange but are already familiar with SIP signaling and the like.
  • SERV301, “Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013: ‘Better Together’ Demystified”, is on Tuesday at 2pm in Copperleaf 9, and there is a repeat scheduled for Wednesday at 430p (also in Copperleaf 9). This session covers all the places where Exchange and Lync tie together so that you get a bette experience when both are deployed.
  • On Tuesday at 430p, I’m taking part in an informal session on Exchange-y stuff at the Microsoft booth in the exhibit hall. This is super informal, so it’s probably the best place to drop by and say hello if you can.

Dell has a pretty heavy presence at the show; Michael Przytula is presenting a session covering the Lync device ecosystem (Wednesday, 230p, Bluehorn 1-3) that I think will be pretty neat, because who doesn’t love shiny devices? George Cordeiro and Doug Davis are both doing sessions around how to identify the actual ROI of a Lync deployment, which is something customers often ask about before deployment. Even if that doesn’t sound interesting, the Dell booth will be staffed by some of our hotshot Lync guys (including Louis Howard and Scott Moore), and we’re giving away a Venue 11 Pro and a bunch of very nice Jabra and Plantronics headsets.

Now, your trivia for the week:

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Thursday trivia #105

Welcome, 2014! So far my year’s off to a great start; I ran a race at midnight New Year’s Eve; I have some idea of what my major 2014 goals are, and I now have a pet again. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Pancake the cat to the blog. I promise not to be one of those tiresome people who regales unwilling audiences with tales of their pet’s accomplishments and behavior, but I must say the boys and I are excited to have a family pet again.

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  • I bit the bullet and signed up for an accelerated IFR ground school with Aviation Ground Schools. Why them in particular? They had a schedule that fit my needs, they got good reviews, and then they had a one-day sale. Expect a full report once I attend the seminar next month.
  • The hardest thing I ever had to do as a business owner was fire people. Firing people in your personal life can be just as difficult, but sometimes it’s necessary.
  • After nearly six months I am finally feeling settled into the house: everything is unpacked, there are doormats, pictures are hung, and so on. I celebrated New Year’s Day by replacing the fill mechanisms in all 3 toilets. (Cue the “you know you’re a homeowner when…” jokes)
  • I’m excited to start the next round of group training with Roman and Mike Vacanti. Here’s to crazy gainzzzz.

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Thursday trivia #104

  • Last week I had a fantastic visit to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, bracketed by perfect flying weather. It was great to see my mom, grandmother, uncles, and cousins.
  • Next week I’m headed to Dell World in Austin, where I’ll get to meet my boss for the first time, help run some nifty hands-on labs, and see a number of family members and long-time friends. I’m also looking forward to Elon Musk’s keynote.
  • It amazes me that PayPal continues to prosper with as many problems as their back-end systems have. For example, my account contains ship-to addresses going back at least four years and there’s no way to remove them except by calling support. Ooops.
  • This article about what it was really like to fly commercially in the 1950s was fascinating. I know that I am much happier with the navigation and communications technology available to modern pilots than I would have been using the 1950s equivalents. 
  • My friend Glenn posted a photo to Facebook of one of Amazon’s new drones labeled “Amazon drones: Skeet Shooting With Prizes”. Yep.


Filed under Friends & Family, General Stuff

Thursday trivia #103

  • This was a big week! I spent the first part of the week in Redmond for the annual Microsoft MVP Summit. It was amazing— great content (all under NDA, at least for now) and a wonderful chance to catch up with my MVP peers. While there, I found out that my session proposal for the 2014 Lync Conference was accepted, so I’ll be presenting to an audience from what Jeff Guillet has started calling the “Skype Pro” community.
  • I’m also going to be working in the hands-on labs at Dell World. No word yet on whether I’ll get to take Michael and Elon Musk out for BBQ but it will be neat to catch up with family, friends, and coworkers in Austin.
  • Just bought John Ewing’s Concise Guide to IFR. I’m looking forward to reading it. I haven’t spent as much time studying for my instrument written as I need to, so I grabbed the Sporty’s Study Buddy app as well.
  • I sold my Surface Pro because I had planned to take advantage of an MVP discount on the Surface Pro 2 that Microsoft was going to offer at the Summit… then they withdrew the offer. I can’t decide if I want to buy a Surface Pro 2 or a Dell Venue 11 Pro; they seem similar in specs in most respects. The original Surface Pro was a great device for me but if I can get an employee discount on the Venue 11 Pro that might tip the balance in its favor. (I also like that the Surface line is starting to grow an ecosystem of accessories, too.)
  • Weather permitting, I’ll be flying to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, probably with a side trip to Texas. Have airplane, will travel…
  • This is very well said: weightlifting gives you the serenity of the iron. I certainly find that when I am lifting or running (not as much for cycling, meaning I’m probably not doing it with enough intensity) that it clears my mind wonderfully well.

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Thursday trivia #100

Boy, it’s taken me a long time to knock out 100 of these updates.

  • I’ve proposed 3 sessions for MEC 2014 and one for the Lync Conference. Let’s see which ones make it into the goal. Worst case is either 0 or all 4: in one case I have to pay for my own conference attendance, and in the other I’ll be so busy speaking I won’t get to really enjoy the shows.
  • I haven’t been flying much lately, but I aim to remedy that shortly. Every time I have a spell where I don’t have time to fly I am reminded of why people don’t buy their own airplanes. They cost you money whether you have time to fly them or not.
  • Fitness progress continues. I have an upcoming post on that in the queue.
  • This story (which has been mislabeled as “hacking”) is a great example of why optional mobile device management (MDM) isn’t worth a hoot: if you want to manage your organization’s mobile devices, users cannot be allowed to opt out. The LA Unified School District tried to go cheap and not spend money on a “real” MDM solution, and they paid for it.
  • Deb Fallows, wife of the estimable James Fallows and a noted author in her own right, has a great set of articles exploring aviation lingo (not surprising, given that she’s a linguist). Here’s one excellent example.
  • I’ve enjoyed using iTunes Radio, but the current version of iTunes for iOS is super buggy. I hope they fix it soon.
  • Apropos of music: the GDR2 + Amber update for my Nokia Lumia 920 has introduced Bluetooth stuttering and problems displaying song/artist data on my car stereo. GDR1 worked flawlessly. GDR3 claims to introduce a bunch of BT fixes, so I hope these problems disappear too, along with the iTunes 11.1.1 bugs.
  • PhotoReviewer sounds like exactly what I want: a tool to quickly triage large numbers of photos and decide which to keep and which to get rid of. I can’t tell from this review whether it works on existing iPhoto libraries or only on pictures you haven’t imported yet, but I’m going to try it.

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Filed under General Stuff, Musings

Thursday trivia #99

  • I’ve gotten to know Tim Bauer through the group fitness program we’re both in. What an inspiring guy: sample 1 and sample 2. Check out his blog.
  • Mike Vacanti is one of my coaches. This blog post on feeling insecure about your own fitness compared to others was very thought-provoking for me. It applies much more broadly than just fitness, too.
  • Speaking of fitness: you’d be amazed at all the stuff you can make with protein powder. There are so many flavors and varieties! I like the Optimum Nutrition stuff that Costco sells because Costco, but I’m always interested in trying new kinds. BioTrust is pretty good, but it’s expensive and they spam their customers. GNC’s stuff is edible but not great (at least the vanilla and cookies & cream flavors; haven’t tried any others).
  • Amazon’s new “Mayday” customer-support feature has the potential to be a huge game changer. It will be very interesting to see whether they can scale it and provide good quality service. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s like OnStar, but for your tablet.) 
  • I’m always interested in a good invasive-species story, like the one about the testicle-eating fish spotted in New Jersey. However, of more local interest, the plague of little white bugs we’ve been having here in Huntsville is actually the result of the Asian hackberry woolly aphid, an invasive species that was first spotted in Georgia in 1996 (no one’s sure exactly how it got there, it turns out) and has made its way north– and west, having been spotted in Texas. (It’s also in California but it’s not clear if it was imported from Asia to California or somehow made it from Texas westward).
  • I’ve mentioned the use of precision robotics for filming high-speed stuff before, but this video takes the cake. Projection mapping has huge potential for theatrical applications… and just think of what Disney could do with it if they wanted.
  • Like Bo, I have not had good experience refilling printer cartridges. The first time I tried it, everything went well, but it wasn’t my printer. The second time, it was, and I never could get the printer to recognize that the refilled cartridge was usable. When a refill kit costs $6 and an off-brand cartridge costs $13, you know what? I’ll pay $7 to not have to deal with toner backsplash and fiddling with the stupid flag gear.

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Filed under Friends & Family, General Stuff, Musings