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27 February 2007

Help Evangelize Coldfusion!

Or Bluedragon, Railo, The Smith Project, etc..

Since my blog is aggregated by MXNA, I thought it'd be worthwhile to blog about this item from yesterday's cf-talk.

Rey Bango announced the opening of a new web site - www.gotcfm.com - intended to chronical and list web sites all over the world that are powered by Coldfusion.

So if you've built, manage, or maintain a web site that uses CFML, whether it be powered by Adobe Coldfusion, Bluedragon, Railo, The Smith Project, or whatever, get it listed!

Posted by rickroot at 10:24 AM | Link | 0 comments
22 February 2007

Just a Mom?

Editors note:  I didn't write this, but I'm passing it along to some mom's that I know.  Excuse the "first person" writing.  No, I am not a mom in another life, nor do I have any secret desire to be a mom!  If you'd like to share it to, here is the web site address:




A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it??? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood!

What a glorious career!

Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"

And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"

I think so!!!

I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."

Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know.

May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!


Posted by rickroot at 6:25 AM | Link | 0 comments

Diet Update

245.5:  -21.7 pounds

The last month has been difficult for a number of reasons.  Primarily - my foot still hurts, but I'm pretty much ignoring it now.  I actually started weight training last week, with first first leg workout last Wednesday.  When I was done, my knees were wobbly, and for 3 days I couldn't walk down stairs without being in pain and holding onto the rails.  And sitting down on the toilet... well, I was wishing for handicap rails!  I followed that up with an upper body workout on Friday, and did legs again on Monday.  Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and yesterday (Wednesday) I did the treadmill and crunches.  I'll be doing another upper body workout tonight.

I don't like the equipment at the Nautilus Fitness Center as much as the equipment that was at my previous gym.  They're definately more focused on free-weights, and their machines seem to be pretty old.  I bought a 15 month membership for $12/month, paid in advance so I can't complain, the price is right!  But as of this past weekend, we also have a family membership at the YMCA in Cary.  The Y runs the before and after school care programs, and the discount they offer to members essentially makes up for the $82/month family membership rate.  So it's a wash.  And they've got a really nice gym with very up to date equipment.

Anyway, now that I'm doing the weight training, hopefully I can build some muscle and burn more calories!

Posted by rickroot at 5:51 AM | Link | 1 comment
20 February 2007

BBSes and Social Communities

Arbornet, M-Net, and Me

The year was 1985.  My uncle had loaned me his 300 baud Vicmodem to attach to my Commodore 64.  I used it for the same sort of thing everyone else did - calling up BBSes.  Only I wasn't very smart, and made a lot of long distance phone calls.  Many of the good BBS systems in the Ann Arbor area were actually in Ypsilanti, and that was long distance for me.  I think I also called some in Plymouth and Canton too.  And let's not forget MOM - the Michiana Online Messenger.  MOM was located in South Bend, Indiana.

Anyway, before I learned about "phreaking", my first phone bill came, and it was $300.

Mom took the modem away, and I was offline for nearly a year.  After I paid off the phone bill and assured my mom that I would be more responsible with it, she gave the modem back, and I focused on BBSes that I could actually call locally.  That meant the ones in Saline and Ann Arbor.  The only Saline BBS was running on a Tandy CoCo3 operated by Brian Stretch (someone I eventually shared an apartment with many years later).  Looking at the 313 BBS list, I remember a lot of those systems (though the years are not always correct).  I even ran a part time BBS myself a couple of times, but nothing serious enough to get listed on such lists.

Anyway, one of the Ann Arbor BBSes that I did discover this second time around was M-Net.  M-Net was unlike anything I'd used before, in that it was an actual multi-user BBS, with discussion forums and a live chat area called "party".  In that respect, it was like some of the online services (Compuserve, Q-Link, etc) but it was free.  Sure you could pay extra to get access to additional dial-in lines (at the time, M-Net had something in the neighborhood of 12 phone lines, 7 or 8 of which were reserved for "patrons", while guests could only access the other 4 or 5 lines.  As a guest, it meant "war dialing" a lot to get on, because people would log on and hang out in party, chatting away.

M-Net offered free shell accounts to anyone and everyone - and they still do today, if you can believe that!  Their 1992 merger with local non-profit Arbornet, Inc. has allowed them to survive long nearly all other "BBSes" out there.

I've been using M-Net nearly every day since I signed up in 1986 under the login id "ric" (someone already had "rick").  I met a lot of friends thanks to M-Net, and had a lot of good times.

In the old days, M-Net was very social.  Before the internet became popular, nearly all of the users were in the Ann Arbor area.  By the late 80s or maybe early 90s, the University of Michigan's state wide computer network had dialins all over the state that people could use for free, and in Ann Arbor, they also maintained "dialouts" so you could dial-in to the Merit network in Lansing, and use the dialout modems in Ann Arbor to connect to M-Net.  

These "local ties" allowed the online community to thrive, as there were weekly "happy hour" events at various locations.  In the 80s, they were frequently at a place on Campus called Dominick's, which featured terrible food and warm beer.  Users would post ASCII maps of where everyone sat and who their login ID was.  After the happy hours, some of the folks would head over to the UofM Diag to play frisbee.  Happy Hours then were primarily a warm weather activity!  They also stopped occuring for a while in the late 80s until I revived them (see below).

Each month, there would often be a larger party called a Picofest.  These would be held at restaurants or people's homes.  "Picofest" was the name because the conferencing software M-Net ran at the time was called Picospan, by Marcus Watts.  The most famous installation of Picospan was at a california BBS called The Well.  But Marcus wrote it for M-Net.

Some time around 1993, I met a girl online named "Garfield" (that was her login)... we chatted online a lot but nothing really happened until we met face-to-face for the first time in August 1993 at an event called KatieFest (a picofest of sorts, hosted by long time user Katie Geddes).  We hit it off in person, and started dating.  She lived in Redford, I was living in Kalamazoo at the time.  For those of you who don't know your Michigan geography, that's about 3 hours apart.

In order to see Kim more often, I revived the happy hour concept, and we started having weekly happy hours again, and I'd drive in from Kalamazoo from time to time, and she'd drive in from Redford.  This went on for about 6-7 months until I met someone new in Kalamazoo, and she met someone new as well.  Long distance relationships were hard to maintain.  We remained good friends, and I still talk to Kim via instant messenger just about every week.

The ball had been started on happy hours again though, and the M-Net social scene THRIVED, with the weekly happy hours sometimes drawing as many 50 obnoxious geeks to some restaurant that generally hated us because half the people didn't have any money to spend, and probably more than half were not old enough to buy alcohol either.  Users would have parties and invite all of M-Net, and some of these parties got pretty crazy.

After I graduated from college, I moved back to Ann Arbor and continued to organize the happy hours until I moved away in 1998.  The regularity of the happy hours decreased dramatically and essentially halted a short while later.

M-Net has no social scene anymore, really, and that's a detriment to the M-Net community, because the social interaction is what made using the online system FUN.  You *KNEW* the people online.  You partied with them, drank with them, sang karaoke with them, and sometimes partook of alternative substances with them.

The most active users of M-Net's conferencing system today have almost all been there for 10 years or more - from the social days.

Check out http://www.arbornet.org and log in today.


Posted by rickroot at 11:03 AM | Link | 4 comments
18 February 2007

John Edwards - The Issues Candidate?

The following article from the Independent Weekly I found to be pretty interesting... It talks about how former Senator John Edwards is the only candidate currently actually discussing and taking a stance on ISSUES. In the long run, that may or may not be good for his candidacy, but I think it's somewhat refreshing in an era where most politicians would rather not talk about "issues"... taking a stance on anything can turn potential voters against you - especially a divisive issue.

I like John Edwards. I like Obama too but I don't think there's any way he OR hillary can win the general election. The problem is, they probably COULD win the democratic nomination, and we'd be stuck with another "can't win candidate".  When it comes to Hillary, I know way to many Democrats who've already said they simply will not vote for her.

Anyway, here's the article link.... and follows is the first few paragraphs of the article if you're too lazy to click =)


About this time in the last presidential campaign cycle, a year before the '04 Iowa cau-cuses and New Hampshire primary, I remember hearing then-U.S. Sen. John Edwards speak in Raleigh—and con-cluding that his candidacy was issue-free.

What a difference four years makes.

This time, a year before the 2008 vote starts, Edwards is the issues candidate. Not Hillary Clinton, who must see "issues" as the only way she can lose. And not Barack Obama either, since his election, like Hillary's, would be plenty of "issue" all by itself.

Ironically, therefore, in a field featuring a possible first woman president and a possible first African American, white-guy Edwards' campaign remains afloat for the simple reason that he is the one offering the most concrete set of policy changes.

Posted by rickroot at 6:52 AM | Link | 5 comments
17 February 2007

New - The Bob Guiney Show

As some of you know, I am Bob Guiney's webmaster - Bob was on the Bachelorette and then he was The Bachelor for season 4.  Before that, he was the lead singer and songwriter for a band called Fat Amy that I was a huge fan of.  Anyway, it looks like Bob is recording a demo for a new radio show, and I want you all to check it out.

Here's the invitation....

A Digitally Engraved Invitation Just For You!

You are invited to be part of an exclusive virtual live studio audience on Monday evening when Bob Guiney sits behind the microphone for two hours to record a live demo of the Bob Guiney Show. We would appreciate having you join us on the Internet for this sneak peak at a new daily radio talk show. All you need to do to listen is go to http://www.verbotenmedia.com on Monday and follow the instructions for listening to the LIVE show.

Bob's special guests will include actress Bonnie Somerville, who played Mona on "Friends," and who starred in "Wedding Wars" with John Stamos. He'll also be joined by former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless, whose other credits include Battlestar Galactica and the upcoming TV drama, "Footballers' Wives."

Listeners will be invited to call and ask questions of our guests, as well as adding perspective to our conversations on a variety of topics that affect you in everyday life.

We do request that if you call in to this special Bob Guiney Show taping, please refrain from "fan" comments directed at Bob. It is very important that we stay on-format to the topics and guests throughout the program. This show will be presented to various sources that are giving consideration to picking up the Bob Guiney Show across the USA.

In preparation for Monday's broadcast on the Internet, please be sure to have installed:

  • If you are on a Windows PC, use the basic WinAmp 5.3 Player. This is free and can be downloaded from http://www.winamp.com. You do not need advanced players or products beyond the free version to hear our program, which is streamed in Shoutcast format as an mp3 file to your computer.
  • If you are on an Apple Macintosh, clicking on the listen buttons should launch the program in your iTunes Player as an mp3.

We will offer both a high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth connection to listeners on Monday. The Broadband connection should be used for anyone with DSL, Cable or high speed LAN. The Dial-up connection should be used by anyone dialing into an ISP on a 56kpbs or lower speed modem.

The audio stream will begin approximately 15-minutes prior to the start of the program. Before that, there will be other content on this stream. For the 15-minutes preceeding the Bob Guiney Show, there will be music by the Bob Guiney Band.

SHOW TIME: 3 to 5 pm Pacific, 4 to 6 pm Mountain, 5 to 7 pm Central, 6 to 8 pm Eastern. MONDAY, FEBRURARY 19, 2007

If you have any questions prior to Monday at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern, you may address them to: john@verbotenmedia.com

Thank you and we look forward to having you join us. And, while we've given you the Digitally Engraved Invitation, please pass it along to your friends! The more, the merrier! Help us make the Bob Guiney Show, radio's next great program!!

Thank you,

Bob Guiney and John McMullen
co-Executive Producers

Posted by rickroot at 6:55 AM | Link | 0 comments
15 February 2007

Peanut Butter Recall

If you've got a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, with a product code starting with "2111", throw it out or take it back to the grocery store.  Apparently, the CDC has linked over 100 cases of salmonella poisoning to this particular batch of peanut butter.


Curiously, we had a jar of this peanut butter - a very large jar - and we'd probably eaten 3/4 of it.  I threw it away anyway.

BTW, my legs hurt.  I started my weight training yesterday.

Posted by rickroot at 3:14 PM | Link | 5 comments
09 February 2007

"Cops" for Star Wars

Okay, for the first time ever, I'm goig to embed a youtube video in my blog.

This is a parody of cops, called "Troops" that features Storm Troomers.  Looks like it takes place on Tatooine.

Posted by rickroot at 6:00 AM | Link | 4 comments