Friday, December 19, 2008

AoM: Dress for an interview

This is pretty good advice for anytime you would wear a suit. I think I'll print out a copy and pin it on my closet door.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

AoM: How to Be the Perfect Party Guest

With a few tweaks, this should be standard rule-of-thumb for all of us.
How to Be the Perfect Party Guest

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Teaching sons to be men

To all my friends out there who still follow this and are fathers, here is a nice post that explains what fathers need to teach their sons. (Besides what the bible says, of course.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I twitter now

What is twitter? Instead of a whole blog post, it fills in the blanks. It fits in between blogging and instant messaging.

Check me out:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to be a House Guest

I read Art of Manliness quite regularly. Here's a nice article about being a house guest, though I don't think you need to send money for food all the time.

How to be a Good Host

This article is nice for anybody who is going to have house guests.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Digital Picture Frame, Update

So, what has been going on with the Digital Picture frame? I gave up on sound, sort of. I got a cheap ($9!!!) USB sound adapter, and guess what, it works with DSL. So, let's look at my expenses so far?

New laptop keyboard
64Mb RAM chip
PC Card Network Adapter
USB Sound Adapter

Plus a media card reader

I've been able to get a slideshow and music on DSL, so I decided I was ready to rip it apart and stick the guts in an actual frame.

I'm not done yet. I have the guts sitting in the case, but the cables hang out the back. I'm in the process of finishing the back by putting power and sound buttons, as well as jacks for connections. This is the detail work. But you can see my progress and the laptop and media card reader sitting in the case running here:

Enjoy and thanks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The China Cabinet is done and pictures are up!!!

Take a look at our album (link below) to see the progress from this:

to this:



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In other news...

We will be posting pics of our recent project, repainting the china hutch, or as some call it, the break-front.

(Part of the reason I hadn't posted the pics of the fish.)

She caught a fish!!!

I'm finally getting them up.

I finally got around to adjusting them (size wise) to get them posted.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fixed, sort of

I'm not sure I'd trust it as I used to, but I'm getting the data off. Here it is, in process:

Why I don't like Dongles

What is a Dongle? A dongle is a small piece of hardware that connects to a computer.

Dongles stick out in places where they can get broken. Like when you put your foot down near a computer on the floor.

This was my main Thumb drive, where I kept all the little utilities I could carry from PC to PC. It had data files, and all sorts of other goodies I used frequently.

Of course, we Montoya's, er, I mean Kenyon's, have never taken defeat easily. Let's see what we will have to work with:

Hmm... I don't think anything got shorted, I think it just snapped cleanly off. Nothing was being read/written, so we should be good. Not a lot to solder back together, but I may be able to make do. I may also be able to pick up another connector with good terminals.

Anybody ever attempt this before?

This is a broken 2Gb Kingston DataTraveler if anybody's googling for it. I'll report my results.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our camping trip, or Surviving Hurricane Hanna!

Well, we got to promised land Thursday afternoon, and got right away setting up. All was well, we set up our tent, our food tent, and then my brother got there with his wife, and we helped them set up.

2AM, my wife’s brother and his wife got there, so I gave them the extension cord and fell back to sleep.

Friday was a beautiful day. The sun was out, and Chloe was having a good time.

We hadn't staked down our tents yet, so we took care of that. The ground there was especially hard, so our arms got tired. But we did it.

After that we decided to go for a bike ride and swimming.

Steph stayed at camp with Chloe.

It was 4 miles each way, and uphill both ways as well.

We made it home, got something to eat and did some fishing. Finally got back to camp, and toasted some marshmallows. Generally, a pretty good day.

Saturday started with no rain, so we had a nice breakfast.

And then the rains started.

Chloe did not like it.

We tried our best to keep dry.

Another joyous event of the trip, the power to the park went out, knocking out our power, and the bath-house power for several hours. Thankfully that came back.

Later, we took Chloe down to the bath-house to clean her up. Along the way, she discovered a toad. When we looked away, she tried for a taste. We saved the toad, and gave her a nice bath. We took her back to camp, and put her in the tent to keep her clean and dry. That’s when she found out that toads don’t agree with her. She was sick in the tent several times before we found it. So, it was a late night in the rain, cleaning up the tent and putting our gear away for the night. Yech.

And then, the wind started… rattling the tents, and making a generally loud noise.

Sunday was better. We made breakfast and packed up.

Chloe was even happy again.

We went fishing and everybody had a good time, even if Steph was the only one who caught a fish.

So, overall it was a good trip. We learned a lot, and look forward to making the next camping trip much easier, especially by avoiding any hurricanes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What are criminals thinking?

I'd say something, but that doesn't fit.

Take this, a guy wants to rob a house while the people are sleeping. But that's not enough, he wants to make it more challenging, so he wakes them up. How to do that? Well, a trip to the kitchen and you've got... the kitchen bandit:

Monday, August 04, 2008

WiFi on my DSL Digital Picture Frame laptop is working... I think

If you read my previous post, you saw that I wanted to get WiFi networking working on Damn Small Linux (DSL), which uses a 2.4 Kernel.

My PCMCIA card (had it in my junk collection, and didn't want to spend $$ on a newer one) is a D-Link DWL-G630 (DWL G630) card. Version A1. Not A1 as in awesome, great, easy to install on linux. A1 as in the first version, of which they've gone up to version E.

There are write-ups on how to set up network cards on linux in all manner of ways. Several for this card suggested MadWifi. I could never get MadWifi to install in a way that I saw it do anything.

The best one I saw was on
However, there were a few clarifications needed in his instructions.

This card uses mrv8k51.inf as the driver.
To get this card to work with ndiswrapper, use the Win98 drivers.
DSL doesn't have DHClient. I don't know where to find DHClient, or something similar for DSL.

Now, what do I mean 'it's working, I think'? Well, I'm at work. I can scan networks. But I have a wireless router connected to nothing, so I'm not online with it, yet.

Basically, follow his directions, with my clarifications in mind, and you should be good to go. At least this far, the lights are blinking on the card.

Converting a laptop to a picture frame

I recently acquired (thanks dad) an old Dell Latitude CP laptop. This is a little 166MHz, 32 Mb RAM system, nothing fancy. But it does have a 12" 800x600 16mil color screen.

So, I set out to do what I've seen others do, convert the little guy into a digital picture frame.

Important points are in bold if you want to skip through with just highlights.

I found several sites, including this one ( that pointed to Damn Small Linux (from here on out referred to DSL) as the OS of choice.

I'd played with it, but to no depth, so I rolled up my sleeves, got out a ReWritable CD, and downloaded the ISO.

First things first. DSL-N is not DSL.
It is like it, but the steps online are not the same.

One of the links to download DSL led me to a site that also had DSL-N. It took me a while to realize that I did that and that was why the online steps did not work.

Scratch 2 days.

Now, with the correct version in hand I set out to set up my picture frame. Considering I didn't have a network/internet connection on the laptop yet, I was working off of CD swapping with my ReWritable. Note to self: start with Network setup FIRST!

I got a .deb package of feh, and image utility, and loaded it up, got some pictures on the lappy, and tried it out.

Only one image loaded. It was one I'd gotten off the web somewhere. None of the images from either of my cameras worked.

I tried another image viewer on the laptop, qiv. It at least gave me an error on a couple of the images... a particular package wasn't firing correctly.

I know linux has different versions of packages for images, so I set out to find one that would open my images.

I then realized that DSL was using a 2.4 kernel, not 2.6. (DSL-N uses 2.6) So, I had to be careful which packages I used so that they didn't require too much from the kernel.

Debian, from which DSL is based, has a nice collection of packages, and I found the Sarge versions worked the best with DSL.

I also thought I might try sound on my little box. My sound card is not supported by the OSS sound system. This laptop uses a Crystal 4237B audio chipset.

I read online that ALSA (included in the 2.6 kernel, but not the 2.4) handles this by default, or at least with a little coaxing. So, on to downloading packages, one at a time, to my drive, switching the drive over to the lappy, then realizing there were more packages I needed. (When I payed attention, I could get all the required packages at the same time as the package.)

Scratch 3 more days.

I finally decided to try a couple of things. I tried the DSL-N again, since it had the 2.6 kernel. This didn't like my usb drive. So I went back to DSL.

Starting a new week, with a fresh, yet empty, DSL install, I plan to do the following:

1) Get my PCMCIA WiFi card working first!!! (This will allow for easier package installation.)

2) Get feh to view ALL my images.

3) Get Alsa to use my soundcard.

4) Get DSL to use a media card reader. (It so-far hasn't used mine.)

That's the software side of things. Then I will look into putting the guts inside a picture frame of some sort.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Travel tips and thoughts from Baltimore

So, some things NOT to do when you take your wife on a romantic getaway.

1) Don't take her to a grungy Burger King as your first meal on the way down.

2) After she's stressed about not getting a decent meal, DO NOT run over a defenseless squirrel while traveling at 75 miles an hour.

3) Do not let your wife unpack all your suitcases in your room and only then ask the front desk about the air conditioner that is crackling in the corner and has wires hanging out of it.

4) After you have re-packed your suitcases to go to the new room, and preferably BEFORE you lock the door of the old room, make sure your wife still has her wedding rings and other jewelry with her.

5) Do not let them give you a room that already has the inside dead-bolt locked, requiring you to wait 20 minutes in the hallway with all your luggage while you wait for the maintenance guy to let you in.

That was the first day.

After that things went well, and we had a good time. The aquarium was fun, Cheesecake factory food was great, and we have lot's of memories.

Monday, June 09, 2008

LOL Catz

more cat pictures

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Follow Up from last post

This is the Notice for Stephan E. Cooper.

Click on the above link or cut and paste the url into your browser's address bar.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sad News

As many of you already know, my father-in-law has been battling brain tumors for a while. He lost the fight Saturday afternoon while sleeping.

We want to thank all our friends for their support during this time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tommy K posts another video from Indonesia

My cousin Tommy is continuing to spread the good news of an important message in Indonesia. If you don't know him don't worry. If you do, or you've heard me talk about him, check out the link:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Domain Specific Language, or why people think I'm a genius

Let me specify right off the bat... I don't think I'm a genius.

However, when I begin to tell most people about what I do for work, their eyes glaze over, and their heart-rate slows to near-death levels. It seems overly complex to them.

Now, I'm not saying just anybody can walk into my office and take over what I do. I'm just saying that once you get over a few basic hurdles, I'm simply a problem solver.

The main hurdle is terminology. Not just learning what certain words or phrases mean, but what they mean at different times.

It may have been said, 'My home is my Domain', or some such thing. Most people wouldn't think of using the word Domain today, but if they did, they would likely think of an area they had control of. (Don't glaze over just yet.)

In the IT world, a domain would refer to a collection of computers networked and protected together.

But if you were to start coding, and happened to look at something like Monorail .Net you may run into the term Domain. Now what are we talking about?

See, that's the thing. Phrases are used loosely at times in the computer world, and using these phrases or words may confuse people who don't catch the context you are using it for.

How many people thought JavaScript has something to do with Java. And we don't mean the island, the town, the Russian cigarette brand, or coffee!

If people could understand what we were talking about, they'd be able to understand what we're talking about. Though they might not think of us as geniuses any more.

So, for those of us who may need to add a definition to our collection for Domain, here's a nice article from that nifty Wiki

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 put to the user test

I like how this guy did his test of Ubuntu 8.04. Personally, I use Ubuntu for a small server at home. But would not think of changing over any user PCs yet.

I'd love Linux/Ubuntu developers to see this and take some of the points to heart.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SD Chip to Cassette adapter!!!

This thing is cool!
Will the cassette tape ever die?

This MP3 player is built into a standard cassette tape, letting you use it as either a uniquely old-school-style MP3 player, or with any car cassette or cassette player to play your music. You will have no problems listening to hours of your favorite songs via the built-in SD card slot, and you can easily change to different songs if you have multiple SD Cards. If you are into retro style looks but with a new technology upgrade, this is a MP3 player worth adding to your gear.

PS. This is on my wish-list!

Monday, April 21, 2008


No, not that one, the programming language used by the Caste Project. (Click here for the Monorail page.)

As opposed to Ruby on Rails, this is designed to work with .Net. It was developed before Linq was released.

Here's a brief summary:
MonoRail is a MVC Web Framework inspired by Action Pack.

MonoRail differs from the standard WebForms way of development as it enforces separation of concerns; controllers just handle application flow, models represent the data, and the view is just concerned about presentation logic. Consequently, you write less code and end up with a more maintainable application.

Although the project name is MonoRail, we do not have any affiliation with the Mono project. MonoRail runs on Microsoft .Net 1.1, 2.0 and Mono.

One more feather to learn and stick in my cap.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Store!! Support the site

I thought I'd start an online store of media, books and music and such, that was safe of offensive lyrics. A lot of the music I have up there is instrumental/jazz/classical crossover with no lyrics. Please take a look.

The Safe Media Web Store

Monday, April 07, 2008

Another LOLCat

Get the RSS feed for all of them, but I wanted to post this.

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Why don't more guy groups rock like this?

I was in the mood for something different, so I tuned into a Classical Crossover station on LaunchCast.

I found a couple of groups I really liked the sound of. It seemed at first the only groups I liked on the station were Girl groups. I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea. But then I finally found guy I really liked to listen to, Maksim, who's sound was pretty cool.

Here's the other two I liked:
Bond - Play a sample of Fuego. (Requires Real Media player.)
Imagine Classical Electric Dance done right.

Opera Girls - The didn't have as many I liked... not that I've heard them all. But they were pretty cool too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gross, but funny

funny pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Then, of course, the original...
see more crazy cat pics

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Charge several USB devices from one AC outlet

If you're like me, you have several devices that
A) Need to be charged regularly.
B) Take up an AC outlet when charged.
C) Have a USB cable they can also charge off of.

If so, I'll pass this tip along.

1) Get a cheap AC-to-USB adapter, for charging USB devices.
2) Get a cheap USB Hub and plug it into the adapter.
3) Plug your USB devices in.

Now you are charging your devices, but only using one AC adapter.

What my cell phone sees

I think I'm going to start a new feature of my site,
'What my cell phone sees'

I've created a section of my gallery that will host these.

Here's the link:
Here's the RSS feed for it:

Here's my first:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Brooklyn Brewery is Green!

Many of my friends will remember this Brewery fondly. Thought the article was good.
Comment here if you like it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

IT Horror stories

These are beyond the old 'I stuck in the first 5 disks, and it still says 'Insert Disk'...' stories. These are IT things. From goofs to just wrong practices. Some reminders for IT people though.

Monday, March 10, 2008

AT&T to pay $ for religious bias

I'll simply post the link to the article here.

I'm sure the money is/was not the issue. I myself have never missed one of our conventions as it is a regular part of our worship.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Weddings, Illness, and Updates

Well, since my last post, I've been to Chris' wedding, I've been sick with the flu, and I've updated my online footprint.

Chris' wedding went very well considering. Brandi, the bride, was sick. Actually, Chris was too, but poor Brandi had the flu. She went to the hospital between the ceremony and reception to get a shot to settle her stomach. But for the ceremony and most of the reception she soldiered on and looked beautiful.

Then I got it. I was down for a week with the flu, but for me it was mostly congestion and sore throat. It's been a week and a half, and I've still got a tickle in my throat.

As for updates, I updated the link for that you'll see on the left. I've added several people, and been recommended a few times. Join in.

I've also added a nice Gallery to my site:

You'll see pics of the wedding there. This also offers slide shows, but is still hosted on my server.

Works busy, I'm trying to wrap up several projects, two of which I inherited when another guy left. But it's variety, and I like that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I did get my refund, as promised. So far no more headaches.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Continuing Vonage

Received a call from an Executive office person who discussed with me what the problem was and what I wanted. I told him that I switched my service before my January Invoice, but then received a February invoice and was charged for the February bill.

He said I had minutes used on my January invoice, which I agreed with, and did not dispute. My concern was the February invoice, during which time I did not have my phones hooked into their equipment.

He said that he would refund for February and I would see it in 3-5 business days. (I'll let you know about that.)
I think we ended the conversation amicably. I like the idea of cheaper phone service, but I'm realizing I don't care how it's delivered, as long as the service is good and the price is reasonable.

I don't think it should have taken a call to the main office, but it did, and they did resolve it. (If I get the refund.)

If Vonage can do that in the future to the point that I feel it's worth the hassle of switching back, I will.

Talk to the CEO

Jeffrey A. Citron
Chief Strategist and
Interim Chief Executive Officer of Vonage
(732) 528-2600 (Main receptionist.)

The number listed in the last post was wrong, it was a fax machine or modem that screeches in your ear, how pleasant.

But, I figured a corporate office would have similar numbers, so I dug around and found that one listed above. You can also get into their phone directory and possibly find his extension.

I just want my money back.

BTW, I obtained that number here:

Edit: I gave this a tag of Bad Business since I don't think I should have to call their main office to settle this. Cancelling my account should be automatic, or at least, if they don't cancel, they shouldn't charge me for service of a number they are no longer providing service for.

Don't use Vonage

In an effort to keep this non-inflamatory, I'll keep it to the facts.

Fact, In July 2006 I signed up with Vonage using my broadband cable modem internet.
Fact, The sound/audio quality was terrible.
Fact, I worked with tech support and was told to lower the audio quality setting of the service. This allowed me to hold conversations, at the lower quality.
Fact, I experienced several times when my number would be unavailable to callers, whether myself or others.

So, time to switch. In January I switched to Comcast, our cable provider, to use their phone service.
Fact, Vonage caused delays porting my number over to Comcast.
Fact, I received two (2) charges from them (1 month apart) for monthly service charges, EVEN THOUGH my phone number was not being handled by them. The first charge, January's invoice, I expected, though I has hoped it would be pro-rated since they didn't give me service the whole month. The second, February's invoice, was a surprise to me.

Fact, when I called to get a refund, I was told by the customer service rep that he could not refund the money they charged from my account.

You must cancel your service AS SOON as it's working with your new provider.

The customer service rep said that if I want to try to get my money back I had to call the home office. I was told that the Vonage Home Office phone number is: 732-528-2669. It's not. Call 732-528-2600.

I'll let you know how this turns out.

Edit: I gave this a tag of Bad Business since I don't think I should have to call their main office to settle this. Cancelling my account should be automatic, or at least, if they don't cancel, they shouldn't charge me for service of a number they are no longer providing service for.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I know what happened...

"I probably need some time to reflect on the game and some time to reflect on the season." said Brady. "It is extremely disappointing. This isn't something any of us prepared for." -

'Isn't something we prepared for.' Yea, I don't think you prepared for it either. It seems that when they took the lead with 2:42, the Patriots expected the Giants to roll over and let them have it.

I'll give the Giants this credit, they didn't. Hey Patriots... I'm a fan, but the Giants aren't gonna hand the Super Bowl to you. This isn't just a weekend game, this one mattered.

Venting aside, both teams played hard, very hard. But there was more aggression on the field than smart plays. The Giants defense had one play, HIT BRADY! and they did. They also made sure they did it with few enough guys so that they could cover any receivers. Brady's arm of course kept making connections, but it wasn't enough. For offense Manning passed, he ran, he weaved, Brady threw, and threw, and threw.

I saw too many plays where the Giants completed passes and the Patriots were just 2 steps away. Maybe the Patriots tried their best and the Giants really were that good, but I don't think so. I think they just wanted it more and knew what it took to get there.

Not that I know much about sports or football, but hey, we lost, I can be a little disappointed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What happened to the Patriots?!?!?!

ARG!!! 18-0 lost!!! What was that?!?!?!

The Giants were not giving up, that's what it was. They played hard. Hats off to them, see you next year.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Review of 7-in-1 Universal HD Remote Control

Originally submitted at Radio Shack

This remote can simplify your home theater and make it easy to control everything with one device.

Quick and powerful little remote

By M II the K from Lebanon, PA on 1/31/2008


5out of 5

Pros: Easy To Set Up, Durable, Nice Button Configuration, Nice Features

Best Uses: Upgrade

Describe Yourself: Tech Savvy

Primary use of this product: Personal

Haven't used it long enough to find any pros. Feel of the buttons leads me to believe the keys will stop working. (Oil builds up under the rubber.) Cleaning with a que-tip and alcohol works for that.

I'm controlling a media PC using GBPVR software. Also, Sony Receiver, Apex DVD changer, and Sharp VCR.


Note: When you do a review on you can have it post to your blog. That's interesting.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Techno Art

Beyond simplification of life, technology is good for Art.
Take a look at this digital sculpture.

Monday, January 14, 2008


This post was inspired by Jeff Atwood's comments, here.

I have 2 keychains. One has my keys and store cards. One has my thumb drive and led flashlight.

My main keychain (with the keys) has 2 car remotes, 2 car keys, 2 house keys (our front and back doors are different locks. Have to fix that.)
I also have 2 keys for a building I frequent, a key to my parents house, and 3 store cards and a gym membership card.

It's the remotes that make it so big... 1 of my house keys has a built in led light (Key Lights brand), great for finding the keyhole when you forget to turn on the porch lights.

I usually keep my big keychain in my coat in the fall-winter months, since it bulges in my pockets. I've actually been stabbed by some keys. I only keep my thumb drive key chain in my pocket.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

A look at Microsoft Marketing

I was thinking about some of the marketing campaigns Microsoft has been using lately and what they might mean. Let's examine them.

MS says: Where do you want to go today?
Means:   More than likely you will not be able to accomplish anything in (the) Office today. Why not go for a drive?

MS says: Do more with less.
Means:   We can't provide those features you want. Try to do more without them.

MS says: It's better live.
Means:   This online communication thing isn't working out. Why not meet people face to face?

Those are just my thoughts.