Life Random

What the Heck Does Auld Lang Syne Mean?

I have always wondered why we sing Auld Lang Syne at New Years Eve. I found out today from this video from Vox:

So there are a ton of different versions of this song.

Two of my favorites are

  1. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  2. The Beach Boys

Yeah – harmonies from The Beach Boys? You can’t beat that.

Happy New Year!


Testing Hardware – QA and the Nest Thermostat 

I have had a Nest thermostat now for 3 years. For the first year it was great. Then, something shorted out in our furnace or something and it went haywire. 

Problem was, the furnace blower would try to start when the A/C was on. Not good.

A bug fix was to just disconnect the heat wire during the summer. But I am getting sick of that. 

And how can I prove that it isn’t a botched wire job or a screwed up Nest?

Most HVAC companies still don’t know much about Nest and that’s a shame, but their first line of defense would be to blame the Nest anyways.

Tonight I ran and picked up a $25 programmable thermostat and wired it up. All wires. To try to replicate the problem 

Well I hook it up and no problems. My guess is the Nest is borked. Now on to try to prove that.

In any event here is my test harness 🙂

So now the question is. Try to get it fixed/replaced or just buy a new one. After I get it sorted I will update this post.


Random Things around the Net Week of 02/14/2009

Yammer iPhone app goes Open Source – Yammer is a kind of Twitter clone, but for your company. I believe it is made by the same people that created Pretty cool that it is open source, just another way to get a good idea on how to build iPhone apps. WordPress has their app open source as well. – stumbled upon this site, good way to find nice apps for mac, iPhone, windows, see what people are using.

Best Website Monitoring/Performance Tool – from – if you manage web servers or are a server admin, read it.

wwwsqldesigner – if you want to make SQL ERD diagrams through your browser, check it out.

Feed Flix – if you use Netflix, check out this site. You link it to your account, then it gathers metrics on everything you do with Netflix, really eye opening. Things like tell you your average cost per dvd rental, an dhow long you keep titles rented out, etc.

Pismo File Mount – ever wanted to mount a zip file as a drive? Check this app out.


What Is Happening In Wisconsin?

Other than we just came out of the 2009 Ice Age? A few things.

This week we saw the temps drop to -22 F, and crazy low with wind chills. Talking with family and friends back in MN, they were seeing -37 F or more – crazy cold. To friends in PDX or CA or wherever, don’t complain about cold, ever.

Ok, so back to things going on in WI. I read blogs from all over on a regular basis and this week two stories popped up about WI (I’m excluding all the WI/Madison blogs I read – since that is what they are all about, these stories are from nationwide blogs)

1. Wisconsin Girl Cancels Online College Courses Thanks To A Mind Blown By Her Ubuntu Dell

What the heck? So this girl gets a Dell, it has Linux instead of XP, she can’t figure out how to use it, or get Windows on it, and can’t go to school. Wow…

2. Two Wisconsin Walmarts Evacuated Due To Mysterious Odors, FBI Investigates

Ok, so Wal-Mart has some sewer gas back up, call in FBI!

Maybe it’s just the cold getting to everyone’s head? Guess we will never know

Blogging Random

Sorry State Of My Blogroll

Doing some “Fall Cleanup” type stuff, I decided to hit the links in my BlogRoll to see the last time some of them have been updated. Boy, surprised me.

What happened? I don’t know, but the state of most of my buddies blogs is in total neglect.

  • Aaron Ballman – updates regularly, really techie, mostly Real Basic stuff (Last post Sept 26th)
  • Aaron Weber – updates sometimes, some good content (Last post Sept 16th)
  • Adam Rudolph – updates sometimes – but his feed was jacked for the longest time (Last post Sept 8th)
  • Bill Zitomer – started off good and fell off (Last post Feb 16th)
  • Brad Gocken – totally ghandi (Last post Nov 7th 2007)
  • Brye Weis – blogspot site shut down – removed him, yikes
  • Chris Super – was going strong, but..was twittering strong for a while (Last post June 13th)
  • Chris Super Personal – pretty much done (Last post April 14th 2008)
  • Jeff Bollinger – site was down, he didn’t know, fixed now, but pretty much gone (Last post June 13th)
  • Jennifer Dammann – was going strong, neglected (Last post May 19th)
  • Joe Gay – a few posts and nothing (Last post Apr 28th)
  • Joel Dahlin – good stuff every once in a while (Last post July 30th)
  • Jon Shern – good stuff every now and then (Last: post Sept 4th)
  • Kyle Ohme – post every now and then – hey Kyle, your site is down now, and when it isn’t it is slow, and the text formatting is goofy – Last (unsure, cant get to site)
  • Michael Fransen – good quality stuff, in spurts 🙂 (Last post Aug 21st)
  • Mickey Slater – brand new endeavor, good content (Last post Sept 23rd)
  • Reena – cant seem to pick a blog engine!! (Last post Jul 10th)

So there you have it, my blog roll.. most of them havent updated in months. What gives guys? I’m sure everyone has SOMETHING they can blog about. I know I don’t update that often, and I should post more, but some of you (Gocken?) are almost hitting a year with no updates!! let your knowledge out on the world, keep us up to date! I like to give the link love, but give me some content in return, something so we can have a conversation on this blogosphere of ours.

And feel free to get on my case when I don’t update 🙂

P.S. – if any of my friends reading this have a blog I don’t know about, let me know, I will subscribe and add you to the blog roll. But maybe if you update often you might not want me to add you, it seems to be a curse of blog neglect once you make the list – Mickey, don’t let the curse get you!

Geeky/Programming Ramblings Random

Why isn't there a Web 2.0 Ajax Visual Studio?

Was thinking about this today. You can now write Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and the like all online (Google Docs, Zoho, etc, etc). You can record video straight to websites through your webcam, you can video conference directly through the web.

Visual Studio in the Cloud:

Why can’t you code directly into the web?

I would like to see an app that lets you create a new .NET project through a web interface, reference dll’s if you need to (upload them to your “space”) and then go about creating code, Intellisense through Ajax, you hit compile, it sends it off to the server, compiles, and gives you a result. You can then browse to your exe or your new website and view the results.

No need for a bulky IDE installed on your computer, no worries about dependencies, etc. You could code C#/VB.NET on linux and a mac with no need for mono (although you couldn’t run the exe’s – it would be the most beneficial for web apps)

You could target different versions of the framework, use new features if you wanted, all that. Heck why not have the same thing for your database. mySQL already has it with phpadmin and all the other tools, you can query and do whatever you need to through the web. Where are the offerings like this for MSFT products? Maybe I just don’t know about them.

There is CodeIDE – but it is limited in languages and options. I want to see more of a full fledged Visual Studio IDE in the browser. Why? Because I want to be able to fire up a computer and just go to work, no installing, no waiting, no upgrading.

I can already see it now, Adobe Air IDE’s you can run on your desktop and sync up source code to the online IDE.

One feature built right in to this “online IDE” would be source control, revision history, etc.

I might not be possible right now, but I say give it a few years, and we will see a product like this come out, and I can’t wait.

Life Random

"Leinie's" Going Nationwide. Import or Domestic?

Now that I live in Wisconsin, I guess I have to write about this. Going to school at Saint Cloud State, which is a fairly good party school, you do end up going to happy hour now and then. At the bars there, they always have pretty good deals. “1 dollar for Domestic Taps” etc, etc.

So you walk in, and see that, and ask for a “Leinie’s HoneyWeiss” which is usually on tap in most bars in MN, but then you get a crazy response..

“We consider Leinie’s to be an Import”

WTF? An import? All the way from WI huh, so you can charge 4 dollars a glass? Man..

Anyways, I subscribe to Slashfood in my RSS Feeds, it’s one of my “fun” subscriptions, like xkcd, or gullible info, etc. I read today about “Leinie’s takes small town Wisconsin nationwide” What I have to wonder though, is it going to be served up as a domestic or import? We will just have to see.

As a side note. I wish Madison WI’s cool blog site Dane101 would let you submit stories. This is a trackback to them to see if they see this and take note.


The Real Reason Brett Favre Keeps Flip Flopping


He must have a deal with SI that he gets a percentage of the tribute book profits, so they can keep coming out with them every few years.


4 Stages of Karaoke Songs

We have all been there. At some bar, karaoke bar, whatever, and just watched people sing. There are really good people, really bad people, weird songs, good songs, and everything in between. But over time, I have come to pick up the 4 stages of Karaoke Songs.

Why am I even thinking about this? Well I need to pick 4-5 songs for the band, as we are going to learn some new songs, I think my first pick is Piano Man, we will see.

Anyways, here are the 4 Karaoke “songs” that you can do

1) You really suck, and you pick a no-name, horrible song

Everyone knows these ones, someone who can’t sing, or someone who is trying to be stupid, and they pick some song that even the KJ doesn’t know

2) You are really awesome, you pick a no-name horrible song

This is ok, if you really rock. Someone singing some “Little Shop Of Horrors” b-side that no one knows, but rocks it, is usually ok, but boring

3) You really suck, you pick an awesome song

Don’t go here. You take a song everyone wants to hear, dance even, and you sing to soft, or just bad. Please don’t do this!

4) You are really awesome, you pick an awesome song.

The best choice, you can rock out and you pick a song everyone knows, they feel like they are at a concert, with PBR and Tator Tots!!

Now get out there and sing, or at least make fun of someone else singing!

Geeky/Programming Life Ramblings Random

More Boring Tech..Atari, Brats, iPhones, Rock Band (fake and real!)

Well, new job is going OK. Not much to report really, as you can see from the lack of posting. No new tech or anything interesting leads to… well, boring posts like this. Basically I am knee deep in an older ERP system, and doing report mods and small .NET applications to automate some things, but nothing really exciting. A couple of weeks ago though I went through some online MSFT trainings for .NET 3.5 and SQL 2008 (free clinics on and that was some good info, now only if I could use it. 🙂

In other news, I picked up an SNES and TWO Atario 2600’s for like 55 bucks, with like 30 games, which is pretty cool. Went to “Bratfest 2008” and helped set the new world record for brat’s consumed.

Picked up Rock Band, so have been hitting that a little bit, but even better news is that I have been playing keyboards more now, and if everything goes right, will be playing with a local band here in Madison in a little while. I am learning the songs now and have some down and ready to go already.. fun stuff.

The iPhone 2.0 Firmware is going ok. Kind of slow at times. I am kind of mad, I lost all my pix of BratFest and other things from Memorial Day weekend, when the new Beta6 firmware came out, I updated, but dummy me forgot to download my pics to my computer first. I tried the Paraben Device Seizure tool that has been used to forensically get data off refurbed iPhones, but it didn’t work, didn’t find anything. oh well, I won’t forget to get the pics from now on 🙂

There is a lot of hoop jumping to get the new firmware loading. Creating certs, importing their certs, creating appid, provisioning profiles, blah blah blah. I do really like the exchange push email, and with my fetch Google Apps email, its like everything right there. That coupled with Google Reader and the Facebook iPhone site, I don’t even need a laptop to browse around anymore…

Also waiting for this Democratic Primary to be over, so things can move on to the General Election. This year needs to be different, if the last 8 years are any indication of what could be, things just need to change.

Last year on this day, my first day in PDX. Time flies.