April 2004 Archives

Operation: Project Heresy

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Some of you know that I've been an Open Source/Linux advocate since 1996. I rarely waste an opportunity to unfurl the Linux banner, and wave it proudly in the faces of those who are afraid to detach themselves from M$ umbilical cord. In fact, I no longer use M$, err I mean Microsoft products at home. One of my friends recently learned that their outgoing mail (SMTP) service was interrupted by their ISP, b/c their Outlook inbox was infested with the Netsky/worm.

So unknowingly, they had become a spam relay, and their ISP shut them down without notification. Recognizing their ISP's concern for their other customers, I understand these actions, albeit pretty nasty.

Weblog: Open and Free Publishing

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Last evening, I gave a talk on the 'blogging' phenomenom to the NSBE-DAE. Essentially, the audience was comprised of mostly professional engineers. I have given workshops to this group before, but never discussed such an abstract subject. For whatever reason, I really do not believe I reached very many of them. I resorted to many different strategies to help them grasp some of the concepts. Typically, candy is pretty effective in helping them recall some of the key points of the discussion.

However, on this evening I had to do a bit more teeth pulling than usual. Oh well, I suppose you can't win them all. Nonetheless, I did reach a few. Perhaps there are a few new aspiring bloggers in our midsts.

Anyway, you can find the talk here

Blast From the Past

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Have you ever wondered what happened to all of the wayward websites that disappeared years ago. Well, I gleened this helpful
archive from a fellow blogger. It has mirrored many now defunct sites, it is really interesting to see how different web authoring techniques have changed over the years. I even found my old site from 1996.

Lesson in Humility

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Very interesting article written by Ejovi, who spent time in Japan.
Cultural differences can really teach us a great deal.

ejovi.net: digital divide -1: Humbling Experience

Distorted Soul

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The term live entertainment is used rather loosely when associated with live bands. Typically, I have visions of the Atlantic City variety. Some of you may be familiar with these types of bands. Well, last evening I got an opportunity to support an underground talent. Nadir and his five piece band, Distorted Soul, put on quite a show. I had heard some of his music via his website, but had not listened to any of the selections in their entirety. I was pleasantly surprised.

One item of note was their rendition of the Teddy P, "Love TKO." I have never heard the melody done in such an 'uptempo' fashion. Not sure what Teddy would say :)
Creative license for sure. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the music and stage show.

I suppose the bigger question, is how do we get underground talent onto mainstream radio, so that everyone can have the opportunity to hear quality music. I believe it's unlikeley that Nadir would subject himself to the typical A&R tale; whereas, he have to do a video next to swimming pool teeming with hot females dressed in thong bikinis. Or would he ? BET/MTV formulas for sure.

It appears that this is the avenue that must be traversed by underground talent. Definitely a fine line for artistic freedom.

Property Rehabilitation Continues

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There is no shortage of work. In fact, it can be quite intimidating at first glance. This is why it is extremely important to see continued progress. The stretch goal is to have all the repairs done by June. I wish to have it occupied shortly thereafter.

The entire rehabilitation effort has been very arduous, but quite educational. It is very rewarding to see real progress. The roof was the first large project, and was completed in roughly one week. The second major task will be plastering and painting.

I have replaced the furnace and hot water heater. Basically, the entire plumbing needed to be replaced. The water supply lines were run using c-pvc, which is not code in most states.

When pvc burns, it becomes a very noxious poisonous gas called Polyhydrochloride. So, I had all of it removed, and replaced with copper. I will need to replace some of the connections to various fixtures (laundry tub, toilet flowmaster).

Luckily, I have been introduced to much skilled (albeit unlicensed), laborers. Plumbing, plastering, and roofers. The power of networking is immense.

Once the repairs are complete, I'll re-finance the loan and pull the equity out and repeat the process on another distressed property. Instant equity position. Very nice..

Mentorship-Revisited

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Some of you may recall that I worked with a high school student. He 'shadowed' me for 10 weeks, hoping to get exposed to the engineering profession. Despite the expected academic deficiencies, his enthusiasm exceeded expectations.

He delivered a final project that was value-added for our department. On most days he was punctual, and seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience.

I also made every effort to curb the foul language. However, in my line of work, it is inevitable, that a word or two will slip. He was given a tour of our clay model design studios, Vehicle Proving Grounds, and Assembly plants

Because it is customary for interns to participate in an exit interview, I asked him to setup a short meeting with our Department Manager. Our manager was pleased with his contribution, and his ability to adapt to the new environment.

To my surprise, when he was asked if he still wanted to become an engineer. He responded, "I would like to pursue a career in Drama." I do hope that I didn't scare him away. Engineering really isn't a very glamorous profession. Nonetheless, I believe he received a valuable lesson. Perhaps he will change his mind, once he begins college ?

113th Dan Testing Success

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Although my right knee is still aching, I enjoyed every minute. The day started with a seminar led by Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim, Muk Doo Kwan, World Tang Soo Do Federation President. We started the seminar at noon, and it consisted of basics, hyungs (forms), focus drills, and sparring. The seminar ended shortly after 2pm. We were running 30minutes late.

The Dan testing began at approx 2:45p, and ran until 5pm. Luckily, there were only 6 people testing for 1st Dan. There was also one person was testing for 4th Dan.

I made an error on a Hyung Pi-dan O-Dan form, otherwise I believe the exam went pretty well. Actually, the Grandmaster was pleased with everyone. Yes, I plan to post photos and video clips to the gallery. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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As I have matured, I have begun to realize that personal achievement can only truly be gratifying if shared with someone special. There are a precious few people in my life who I am compelled to share all things of consequence. Pops (aka Dad) is one such person. Throughout my youth, he has fostered my growth and espoused wisdom, which I did not appreciate until I became an adult. He always made time to take part in significant happenings in my life (ie HS and College graduation, Navy milestones, etc.) Clearly, I'm sure he knew that I wanted nothing more than to make him proud.

So, he again has come to witness another life event. Promotion to the rank of 1st Dan. Often I wondered, if there will be a time when I could afford him the same loyalty, understanding, wisdom and strength. How can I manifest such a vision?

A prophecy indeed.

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