Archives: September 2006

Mon 25 Sep 2006

Reorg #3

We had another reorg. Woo!

Someone left. That person's last day was Friday. So I the new org was official on Saturday, but this is the first business day, so I'm posting today... Here is my new org history so far at this job.

Jeff -> Kal -> Mark -> Llew -> Sam (36 days)
Jeff -> Kal -> Scott -> Llew -> Sam (74 days)
Jeff -> Kal -> Colin -> Llew -> Sam (145 days)
Jeff -> Brian -> Colin -> Llew -> Sam (Starting 23 Sep 2006)

I'm averaging 85 days per org structure so far.

There should be no short term effects on me due to this change.

Abulsme - Mon, 25 Sep 2006, 11:44:59 PDT
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Thu 21 Sep 2006


At long last, the house in Florida is officially off our hands. It now belongs to the relocation company. They will in turn sell it to the actual buyer soon.

It has been a long and painful process with all sorts of problems and mis-steps and issues that came up at every turn, and this last month has been especially painful. We accepted an offer with the understanding that our involvemewnt would be all wrapped up within a couple of days when the buyer would present one last piece of paper and the relocation company would acquire our house. In fact all sorts of things came up and the buyer did not actually provide that last piece of paper until today, more than a month after it was supposed to happen.

I thought about going into all the dirty details of what happened with regard to this, starting way back in January and going up to today... but I'm not going to. At this point I don't care to rehash any of the stressful events of the last few months at all. All I care about is that it is over and we are done. And although it was nowhere near as much as we had initially hoped, we still walk away with a check and the selling price was more than we paid for the place (barely).

So... we are done. We are moved. We are now officially Bellevueites. And the stress of living on a significant month over month cash flow deficit should now also be over, and we'll be able to start getting the debt paid off and start rebuilding the savings buffer which was almost completely depleted between the last employer never delivering on their promises and the transition of the last nine months.

Whew. Whew.

Of course, the hunt for a more perminant place to live than the tiny apartment we are in now also begins today...

Abulsme - Thu, 21 Sep 2006, 14:59:26 PDT
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Sun 17 Sep 2006

Chair Claimed

Abulsme - Sun, 17 Sep 2006, 17:15:24 PDT
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Fri 15 Sep 2006

One of Many Things I Want

The new Series 3 HD Tivos are out. This is now better than the Tivo/DirecTV combos, even the HD one. And with DirecTV trying to move away from Tivo, it is time to move. Unfortunately the fake cable company here at the current apartment is really just a redistibution of Dish Network, so it doesn't support Cable Card and this won't work with it. Not to mention until the house finishes selling there still isn't money for such things. But after next time we move maybe... not sure it ranks with all the other things to spend money on though. It may still wait awhile. I'm thinking a 3rd SD DirecTivo might happen first. So that each of us can have our own. I want to hook mine up to a Slingbox (with no TV) so I can just watch on my computer. The Mac client is due out in public beta within a month or so. Or perhaps a StreetPilot 2820. I am really feeling the lack of one. When I came to Seattle I left mine in Florida because it had a big yellow spot in the middle, plus I didn't know where all the stuff was I needed to load Seattle maps. Now it is in a box in storage somewhere even if I knew where the other stuff was. And it had that big yellow spot that made it difficult to use. and the new one is sweet. Or a computer for Amy. Or new cars. Or many other things.

Oh well. For now, all such things still wait.

Abulsme - Fri, 15 Sep 2006, 21:43:34 PDT
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Run! Run Away!

Speak of the devil...

Accent Technologies, Proposal Software and eVestment Alliance Announce Integrated Set of Solutions to the Financial Services Industry at New York City's PAICR Conference

Three companies with best-in-class solutions for different critical processes faced by financial services firms announce that they have established common interfaces for their products that allows sharing of data, thereby creating a powerful, integrated suite of solutions that covers activities from database updating, through proposal creation and management, to digital document management and presentation/pitchbook generation.

The three-company data sharing technology partnership involves Accent Technologies, Inc. (Accent Librarian(TM) is the leading presentation and pitchbook management solution); Proposal Software, Inc. (Proposal Management and Production System, Financial Edition v2006 or PMAPSĀ® 2006, is the leading proposal management solution); and eVestment Alliance (eASE Exchange, is the leading tool used to update consultant databases).

Abulsme - Fri, 15 Sep 2006, 20:51:17 PDT
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12783.477 Days

I missed it when it happened. I think I was asleep, but I hadn't done the calculation yet of exactly when it is anyway. And I always forget that it is usually a day earlier than expected because of the crazy leap year business, but at 08:24:53 UTC this morning (1:24 AM Pacific, 4:24 AM Eastern) I was exactly 35 years old. Woo. Go me.

Paying attention to the calendar date instead of how many 365.242... day years have happened since the exact time I was born, the anniversary date is actually tomorrow. But never the less, the actual moment has already passed by some 12 and a fraction hours ago. Yes, I am old.

I think I'll celebrate by going to get a soda from the vending machine now.

Oh, one other note. Exactly one year ago was the day I got my first "modified" paycheck from my then employer cutting my salary by some 22%... in theory making it up with imaginary "commission" for sales I was to help generate. They had told me they wanted to do that, but had never told me a date when that would start or confirmed the exact terms or put anything at all in writing. I found out when I looked at my paystub. Thank you very much for the lovely birthday present. And of course this was after already not having delivered on much of what they had promised me monitarily (and otherwise).

Thank goodness I am at a much better place now.

Abulsme - Fri, 15 Sep 2006, 13:39:03 PDT
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Thu 14 Sep 2006


On Sunday we went to the Humane Society so Brandy could sign up to volunteer. Of course, the completely predictable thing happened, and Brandy fell in love with a dog. A dog who had been there for awhile and she had seen multiple times over the last few weeks on their website.

After some discussion of just which things needed to be in place before we could get a new dog we set a list of things that needed to be done before we got a dog. Four days later having partially accomplished two of the things on the list and deciding to ignore the rest, we went back and got Roscoe during my lunch hour.

Roscoe is 3. He was at the Humane Society one month after having been transfered from another facility. Roscoe is the name they gave him there, we do not know his original name. He is very friendly. He is a mix, but seems to have a lot of Bluetick Coonhound in him, but a bunch of other stuff too.

He will of course be kept away from the avian and reptilian members of the family.

Anyway, Brandy is as I write probably at the petstore with Roscoe getting some necessary initial supplies and then will be taking him home for the first time.

I think Brandy really needed him. And Amy and I liked him too. So this should be a good thing.

And I'll go back to taking my allergy meds religiously. :-)

Abulsme - Thu, 14 Sep 2006, 14:03:32 PDT
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Tue 12 Sep 2006

Bad Zuri

Zuri pooped on the bottom left hand corner of my iMac's keyboard while i was having a video chat with Cynthia. i wiped it off, but now the left shift key only partially works. "QWERtyuiop ASDFGHJKL ZXCVBNM" See, the right half of the top row doesn't work with that shift key. i can still get them caps by using the other shift key or the caps lock key, but that does not come naturally to me. All i can say is this better work once it dries.

Abulsme - Tue, 12 Sep 2006, 20:16:12 PDT
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Sun 10 Sep 2006

New Couch

Since the old one died and tried to eat my finger.

Abulsme - Sun, 10 Sep 2006, 17:09:34 PDT
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Wed 06 Sep 2006

Family Locator

We signed up for the Family Locator service from our cell provider (see link above for more info).

The map shown is where Brandy and I are right now. (I'm the one in Seattle, she's the one in Bellevue.)

Kinda cool. It only works with my phone and Brandy's phone though, not Amy's. So I guess that means Amy will be getting the upgraded cellphone she has wanted for awhile now, even though she has yet to prove she can keep hers charged and with her for more than a week straight. :-)

Of course, it is all restricted and you explicitly have to log in and push a button to find the location of one of the phones on the plan (or set it automatic times for it to check, but in a limited fashion.) Of course what I would LIKE is a system where it would automatically check my location once every minute or two, would save all those data points (or the last 24 hours worth or whatever) and then put the resulting plot on a map that I could automatically expose on my website either live or refreshed every X minutes or whatever.

But it doesn't quite do that. Now, might it be possible to use this along with some external automation to try to do something like that? Maybe. But it is probably beyond my current skill set, and would take me quite a while to figure out. Quite a while that I don't really have.

Oh well.

But this will prove quite useful as Amy is rapidly approaching teenagerdom... :-)

Abulsme - Wed, 6 Sep 2006, 12:51:37 PDT
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The First Day of Middle School

A little over two hours ago we dropped Amy off for the first day of 6th grade, the first day of middle school. She has been very excited for weeks. Last night it kind of got the better of her and she was practically making herself sick with all the tension. She even did what was started as a mock collapse and ended up as a real one, with her falling over and bonking her head nicely.

In the end, she ended up falling asleep curled up between me and Brandy. On the last night before a brand new exciting school started, a nice reassuing place was just what was needed.

This morning, we walked in, she collected a name tag and planner in the front lobby, then we went and founf the sixth grade lounge and lockers. Her eyes were wide and the whole experience was obviously pretty overwhelming.

A couple weekends ago we went to a "meet your new class" picnic and she already has become good friends with one girl in her class. She wasn't there yet though. So when we left Amy still hadn't quite connected and was still sort of, um, well, terrified. :-) But excited.

By now she will have met up with her friend and the others she met at the picnic and the first couple of hours of getting to know your classmates and how to get around the school will be complete. There may actually already be some real learning happening already too, although I expect the first day will mostly be about learning the school and the people and how things work rather than new academic material.

I'll be eager to hear how the first day went once it is over. We are prepared for a negative first day, cause that sometimes happens. But this should be good. The whole sixth grade is just 20 kids. With 10 kids per class (and several class changes a day). There should be lots of personal attention and lots of ability for things to adapt as needed to interests and abilities.

You could also see a lot of excitement on the faces of the RETURNING kids. They seem to like it there. As Brandy and I were leaving once kid was coming in (looked like maybe 7th or 8th grade) and she leaped down the stairs smiling and exclaiming "I'm back!!!". With all luck, a year from now that is how Amy will be feeling.

The school gives off a very good positive vibe. So far we've liked everything we've seen and everybody we've met including both faculty and other parents.

We'll see if at the end of today we have a happy excited Amy, or a grumpy sad angry Amy. You never can tell with those pre-teen hormones raging. :-)

Abulsme - Wed, 6 Sep 2006, 09:59:14 PDT
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Tue 05 Sep 2006

Recliner Tips

When attempting to unjam a broken recliner do not do so with one finger in the mechanism such that when it does come unstuck you nearly sever a finger.

This I say as I type with one hand, the other encased in ice packs with my left pinky finger black and blue and swelling with a very deep red dent all the way across, top and bottom... didn't actually break the skin much, but pinched in very deep from both sides... but I still have all ten fingers attached. I can still move it and feel it too. And the pain is receding with Tylenol and ice packs. So I probably won't even need a trip to the ER. But damn does it hurt.... and I was quite lucky not to have at least broken it. Although I suppose I might still have a minor fracture or something.

Yes, I am a dumb ass. Thank you.

Abulsme - Tue, 5 Sep 2006, 02:31:09 PDT
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Mon 04 Sep 2006

Updated Graph: Travel Warnings

I haven't updated this in quite a long time. Since November of 2004 online actually. (Although I added a couple of data points in between without pushing the changes up to my site.) So it has been awhile. So I dropped the lines between the data points cause they meant nothing.

But you can see that the number of State Department Warnings is higher than any other point I have (although I can't say for sure it wasn't higher during the gaps).

Since I last took a data point in January 2005 Libya is safe to go to again, but Sri Lanka, East Timor, Chad, Phillipines, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan have been added to the list.

So I'll try to avoid any vacations to those places at the moment.

Abulsme - Mon, 4 Sep 2006, 00:26:19 PDT
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Sat 02 Sep 2006

John Russell Minter

It has been a few weeks since I last posted an ancestor. That was Olive Sarah Wright who finished up the 3rd generation back from me. Now it is time to start the 4th. We start with my father's father's father's father. This is the first of my ancestors in this breadth first search who lived through the US Civil War. On the Confederate side this time. I actually have a decent amount of info on John Russell too.

  • John lived from 1833 to 1913, most of the time in South Carolina, with a brief interlude in California. He was married three times, with six children from the middle marriage.
  • Was a Farmer and Merchant
  • During the Civil War worked in the Confederate State Treasury Department.
  • He went to California for an unspecified time and was successful in real estate.
  • He gained a financial footing to run a successful farm and educate all of his children through college.
  • He returned to South Carolina but would not sign the loyalty oaths required under reconstruction.
  • John Russell was to marry Theodocia Roseboro of Chester, SC but she died on the wedding day. Remaining a batchelor for several years, John Russell acquired Sedalia house from the old Bobo family and established it as a plantation after the Civil War. It was originally a two room log house. He added to it until it was finally a large 12 room home with 100 foot long piazza. John Russell was called Papa.
  • There was a fire in the John Russell Minter home in Sedalia, SC on 15 Mar 1881. Daughter Fannie's dress caught fire before the fireplace. Her mother Fannie, pregnant with a near-term boy, rushed to help and her clothes also caught on fire. Daughter Fannie died that day; Mother Fannie and baby died 10 days later.
  • He was known all over the state as a splendid farmer who specialized in cotton, corn, cattle raising and other diversified crops. He won an exhibition in New Orleans on cotton and corn.
  • He was elected without running to the South Carolina legislature.
  • He built and supported Enoree Presbyterian Church and was elder there until he moved to Laurens in 1891.
  • At Laurens John Russell built a lovely Victorian frame home which extended beyond a creek and to another street.
  • Son James Ethelywn and family lived with John Russell and "Mother Catherine" in Laurens until her death in 1906.
  • From 1906 until John Russell's death son Edward Perrin and family moved in to be with John Russell.
  • Later in life as the family patriarch known as "Papa" with a short a
As usual, click on the picture for more information.

Abulsme - Sat, 2 Sep 2006, 12:43:32 PDT
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Fri 01 Sep 2006

All Hands 3

Abulsme - Fri, 1 Sep 2006, 08:57:32 PDT
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