Monday, December 25, 2006

"Am I Dead?"

Back in September when we were driving down to the Outer Banks for vacation, we met Andrea's grandparents and friends for breakfast before we started driving down.

When we were waiting for our food to come to our table, Owen (being filled with energy) started running around the table and hit his mouth on the back of one of the chairs!

He must have hit it pretty hard because he started crying and Andrea was comforting him, and he asked (while sobbing), "Am I dead?" ...

As you can tell, as a three year old, he doesn't yet have a grasp of what he said.

I still think about that and laugh, so I thought I'd share it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Niagara Falls - 2006

A picture of Horseshoe Falls from our hotel room. I use this as my computer's desktop wallpaper right now, and the more I look at it, the more I have to look at it!

Niagara Falls

Heat Index and Wind Chill Formulas

I'm writing this because nobody seems to have an easy to copy and paste formula out there for coders or even for spread sheets.

It's all fine-and-dandy that somebody understands all the ins-and-outs of weather and the math behind it, but sometimes we just want to display the Wind Chill or Heat Index, and that's it. I don't need to know all about the weather … some of us have deadlines to meet. These formulas are for those of you who are of a similar mind set.

Here are the formulas to calculate the Heat Index and the Wind Chill in Spreadsheet formulas and for PHP scripts (programs).

Heat Index

The Heat Index should only be calculated when air temperatures are greater than 80°F (27°C), dew point temperatures are greater than 60°F (16°C), and relative humidities are higher than 40%.



Where A1 holds the TEMPERATURE, and B1 holds the HUMIDITY.



Where $temp_f is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, and $humidity holds the humidity.

Wind Chill

The Wind Chill should only be calculated when temperatures are at or below 50°F and wind speeds are above 3 MPH. Bright sunshine may increase the wind chill temperature by 10°F to 18°F.



Where A1 holds the TEMPERATURE, and B1 holds the WIND VELOCITY (SPEED).



Where $temp_f is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, and $wind_speed holds the wind speed in Miles Per Hour (MPH).

I hope this helps to keep someone from spending an hour debugging their code when it was a simple typo that may have messed them up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Genre: Rock
Artist:The Beatles
First of all let me preface this with some information to give you my perspective: I like The Beatles ... a lot, and I might be a little too much of a purist to give this 'Mash Up' of their old songs a fair shake.

The Beatles - "LOVE" album has just been released. It is mostly a 'Mash Up' (re-mixing and combining) of their other songs.

After listening to the album I have to say that it didn't sound bad, but I found myself longing to hear the unadulterated versions of the songs.

Sometimes they would mix the guitar of one song and the vocals of another song, and they usually pulled it off ... it sounds good. But having known what the original songs sound like, it would occasionally sound as though a couple of people both had their radios on and each one playing a different Beatles song at the same time.

Some of the songs transition into each other, which has an overall effect that is just 'OK' for me.

There are some things in the album nobody has heard before, and that even Ringo says he had forgotten about recording, this is probably the biggest reason to listen to the album.

All in all I would say that the album is worth a listen. If you are a purist about your music, you may be disappointed. If you are just a Beatles fan, you might like it.

For me it just left me wanting to hear the original versions.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Prep'ing For Our Anniversary

Well, we (me and Andrea) are getting ready to go to Niagara Falls for our anniversary this year. We have gone there almost every year since we have been married.

We are going to be there Sunday through Tuesday. We dropped the dogs (Koko and Sophie) off at the kennel this morning, and tomorrow we are going to drop the kids (Alana and Owen) off at Gramag's (Thanks Vicki and Jim for watching the kids, we really appreciate it).

Unfortunately, I have to bring my laptop in case I get a call from work. I don't expect to get a call, but stranger things have happened.

We stay on the Canadian side (it is just so much cleaner), it started going down hill after the first casino came in, but after they added the Fallsview Casino it got better again. I just miss when there were just a few people there, now it is always crowded.

Our room is supposed to have a view of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls, it should be nice.

Last year we did this too, and it was the first time we were ever away from our kids for more that just a couple of hours. I think it was harder on me that it was on Andrea, but it didn't take me long to enjoy being able to do grown up things, without one of the kids whining about wanting to do something else.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stress at Work

(Warning: This will bore most of you.)

As some of you may know, I am a DBA (Database Administrator) for the City of Canton.

Last weekend we had upgraded the Income Tax DB (Database) server's disk drives, Long story short: the DB wouldn't come back up and I got the call around 10:30 PM on Sunday night. So I logged in remotely from home and worked on it for 2 hours (till 12:30 AM), and I still couldn't get the DB to come up. So I decided to work on it early in in the morning, but the thing is the Tax DB is the one of the most important DB's in the City.

In Sets The Stress (or 'Moving and Shaking'):
I started feeling so stressed that I couldn't sleep. As I would start to fall asleep, I would feel the bed shaking. At first I thought andrea was shaking, but then I realized it was me that was shaking.

I eventually fell asleep around 2:30 AM.

After about 1.5 hours the next morning at work, I got the DB up! Yea! (... and there was much rejoicing.)

Stress at Work:
Most of the time my job is free of stress, but a few times a year I have a lot of stress.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My 1st Mobile Blog Entry, and My Son

My first posting from my mobile phone. It is a picture of my son Owen at a rest stop on the way to vacation in the Outer Banks.

----- Edit -----
You still have to tweak the Blog entry online, but being able to upload entries from you phone is kinda neat!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Alana swimming in the pool at our vacation house in the Outer banks of North Carolina in 2006.

Monday, August 28, 2006

First Steps
Well, it has finally come!

Today is the first day that my daughter (Alana, 5 years old) goes to school (kindergarten). She never went to pre-school since my wife (Andrea) is a stay-at-home mom, so this is Alana's first step into a much bigger world.

That's all fine and dandy, but I still have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. Not because it is another milestone that signals that we are not getting any younger ... no I came to grips with that a long time ago.

It's A Big World After All
I guess I just feel that we (me and Andrea) are not going to have as big of a part in my daughter's life as we had before she went to school. After all, before she went to school me and Andrea were pretty much her whole world.

I guess we are just going to have to just try harder to stay in the center of her life ... at least for a while.

Silver Lining
One good thing that may come of this is for my son (Owen, 3 years old): He's looking forward to having the house and his mom to him self while Alana is at school.

We just put Alana on her bus, it was easier than I thought it would be.

Although now I kind of have a better idea of what I am feeling...

The Green Monster
"Then Jealousy reared it's ugly head..."

Yes, I think I'm jealous of the school and all of Alana's future friends. But I think I'll get over it, I think school will be good for Alana right now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Microsoft Buys SysInternals
Say it isn't so! (as I slowly shake my lowered head in disbelief)

Yes, that's right: Microsoft bought SysInternals.

SysInternals has long been a source for excellent software (free and paid) for the Windows and DOS Operating Systems. They even lampooned Microsoft when they made their BlueScreen screen saver that looks like a Windows system crashing and attempting to reboot.

We can only hope that Microsoft does not mess up the software that they have acquired by marring it with required Windows Genuine Advantage compliance/validation, or worse.

Why did Microsoft do it?
I find it hard to believe that Microsoft does not have so little talent or the knowledge of the internal working of Windows, that they couldn't write their own utilities and they had to buy SysInternals.

Instead I think that the existence of SysInternals (and the quality software they produced to fill the void of Microsoft offerings) was a slap in the face to Microsoft and it may be that they wanted to get rid of the free software maker, and this is the easiest way. They didn't do it for the consumers (IMHO history has proven that time and again), they only seem to do these sorts things if they feel it will profit Microsoft itself.

I hold high hopes for this union, but at the same time I also have low expectations. In the end, we will just have to take what we can get.

Maybe this is a sign to move on to Linux.

What to do...
I am not sure how things will actually turn out, but from my limited knowledge of Microsoft I suggest that you get what utilities you need from SysInternals while they are still available in an unmolested form.

Once Microsoft starts messing with the SysInternals software I am pretty sure that they will dumb them down considerably, cripple them, and/or put lame requirements on the possession/installation/use of the software.

So, go forth and download all of the original SysInternals software you may need ... and do it now! For tomorrow it could all be different.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Web Site
I have had a Web Site since 1996, it currently resides at

Unfortunately, since the birth of my children, I have not had time to keep up the computer tips on that site the way I used to. It has become a repository for links more than a site for getting current tips.

I see so many people now using their blogs to post tips and tricks, but it is just something that I have not tried yet.

I may start to transfer some of my old tips to my blog, then start adding new tips also. I will probably do it on both sites for a while to see which way I like it better. The only thing is that I have precious little time to do it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Am Feeling Old
I'm usually not one to dwell on my age, or the fact that I'm not getting any younger ... even tho I will be turning 40 this year!

But something struck me today, and it hit like a ton of bricks:
I married my wife in 1993, that's thirteen years this year, and the time has flown by very quickly (which speaks to the fact that I really enjoy being with my wife, after all: Time flies when you are having fun!).

That length of time didn't bother me until, after reading this story in our local newspaper, I realized that the kids that started kindergarten in 1993 are graduating from high school right now!

When I thought about that length of time in terms of those milestones, it really impressed on me how much time has gone by.

Hopefully I still have more years in front of me than behind me.

Speaking of Milestones
Our daughter, Alana (the oldest of our two children), is starting kindergarten later this year too!

It's amazing how old that makes me feel!