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Ok, I lied last time. Here's one last post before Blogger turns off FTP. We'll see if/when I resurrect this blog in one form or another.

Excepting a possible credit, TDS is finally completely behind me. And after having no DSL for 5 1/2 days, phone and DSL are now both with AT&T. Hopefully things just stay working so I don't have to deal with any of this again for a while.

Slowly but surely various things are getting cleaned up around the house, inside and out. Over the past few weeks I've done some serious brush trimming outside, and inside I've been going through and organizing things that were dumped once and never looked at again. A somewhat draining process, but also a rewarding one.

I've had a few small victories at work lately, but for the most part things are pretty status quo there.

Fortunately the kids are still doing good. Jake is getting a bit hard of hearing, but other than that, the vet claims he's as healthy as a dog several years younger. And after a few months of a strict diet, Freckles has lost a good amount of weight. They are both just as crazy as ever.

This feels a bit like I'm writing a Christmas letter.

Well, to the few people who still read this thing, I bid you adieu. It's possible I'll move to some other form of blogging software, but I don't have any immediate plans, nor is doing so at the front of my mind. If anyone has any great ideas, feel free to share them.


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This may be my last blog entry for a while. Not that I've exactly been prolific as of late, but Blogger is turning off FTP publishing soon, and I haven't yet bothered to figure out an alternate setup. At any rate...

Since my last entry, I've (after a seemingly endless process) refinanced the house, interviewed and been rejected for a promotion at work, and finally (almost) dumped TDS. Yes, after over two and a half years of DSL headaches and no improvement in sight (with things getting worse, actually), I signed up for AT&T DSL a few weeks ago. While I had been stuck at just over 1 meg (and rocky) with TDS, I'm at 6 megs (and steady) with AT&T.

Not that AT&T customer service hasn't sucked (it has, to the tune of getting transferred a half dozen times while spending an hour and a half on the phone), and I haven't officially canceled TDS yet (I need to get the phone line moved over first), but all in all things are a significant improvement. AT&T only gives you 1 public IP address, but TDS now does the same, so there wasn't much reason to stay. In my heart I would have preferred to stay with TDS, since they are local and I have friends that work there, but in the end the quality of the connection was just too poor to continue staying with them.

At any rate...not much other news. Other than the lack of promotion, work has been good. After a protracted (nearly 6 month) battle, the developers finally have Firefox/Firebug. The bad news is a lot of code needs a serious overhaul. Job security?

Until next time...

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I find it interesting how significantly one's outlook on particular subjects can change over time. Some personal examples:

The summer between seventh and eighth grades we went on trip to (among other places) Colonial Williamsburg. I was, to say the least, pretty bored. I don't remember what my 13-year old idea of fun was, but it wasn't walking around a bunch of historic buildings. As it happened, though, eighth grade history was early US history, and thus a mere few months later I was mildly kicking myself for not paying more attention to everything.

For a history class in college we were required to write a report based on primary sources. I.e., original newspaper articles. My report was about the coming of the Beatles to America, and while I duly gathered up some articles from (if memory serves) the New York Times and the Washington Post, I was never terribly interested in the exercise, and probably didn't end up doing that great of a job on it. These days, however, I'm fascinated by primary sources, be they complete (as it was happening) videos of Kennedy assassination coverage or transcripts of events that have been selectively quoted by major media outlets. Context can be fascinating. We've all seen Walter Cronkite's announcement of Kennedy's death many times over, but the coverage that surrounds it (including the chaos that defines it) is much more interesting.

On a semi-related note, a question to my fellow Computer Science grads (UW or otherwise, BS or MS (or PhD!)): do you feel got all that you should have from your education? Do you feel you use it on a regular basis? It seems like I generally felt pretty comfortable doing project work (and feel pretty comfortable with projects at work today), but that there was a disconnect between that and the theory we were supposed to be learning in lecture. Even in classes I got great grades in I look back and think "did I really get out of that class what I was supposed to?"

Part of me is quite glad I'm done with school, but another part is slightly interested in what it would be like again.

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So much for WiMAX from TDS:
Thank you for checking back on WiMAX expansion. Although our initial intent was to have full coverage around Madison, we no longer plan to expand this service. We appreciate your interest in our WiMAX product. If anything does change, we'll let you know.

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How can it already be the second week of August? Where has the summer gone?

The good news at work continues. While the wheels have been in motion for a while, a few weeks ago I got a promotion. I'm now at the middle level of the 3 developer tiers. I know I've said it before, but it is nice to finally enjoy work.

This past weekend the family got together in Decatur. It was the first time I'd seen my cousin Sue and her husband in 7 years, and the first time in 8 years I'd seen my cousin Lisa's daughter. I fixed my aunt and uncle's toilet and generally had a nice time.

I recently discovered that Harvey Danger is disbanding. Sad, but as luck would have it, they are playing in Chicago this weekend, and I was able to get tickets. It should be a great show!

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They say you can't get something for nothing, but I guess you can get close. I've wanted a film scanner for years, but I could never justify the several hundred dollar expense on what's basically a fancy toy, especially now that I don't even shoot film anymore. Those problems flew out the window a few weekends ago, though, thanks to some luck in the form of a rummage sale. I happened to stop at this particular one on a Saturday morning, and just before leaving I noticed a small cardboard box on a table next to the cash box. Scrawled in black marker was "$10 Nikon slide scanner & SCSI card".

I quickly started looking in the box and found a Nikon Coolscan III complete with all the accessories. I then asked the guy there "does it work?" Apparently he had some issues with it randomly crashing, but other than that he said yeah, it worked. Half of the accessories were still in their original packaging, having never been opened. He even told me it was worth $800 or more originally. But $10 and a smile later it was mine.

And, with the exception of a few SCSI demons initially and a shipping screw still in place, it's been working great. I've already scanned a bunch of my negatives (I've found it's much better than the photo CDs I was getting from Wal-Mart at the end of my film days) and have been going through hundreds of my parents' old slides, scanning a few here and there.

I do like my toys.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.