Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Food: Chakri/murukku (First Impression)


This was the first time that I've tried chakri. It was a cracker with indian spices. At first, the texture and flavor was a bit foreign and would give it maybe an 'eh' rating. But then the flavors started to kick in, kind of like an after-taste... or my tongue is retarded.

I probably wouldn't go out of my way to eat it, but I'll eat it if its sitting in front of me as munching food (which I should not be doing as I am trying to lose weight). It definitely adds some kick to your munchies if you are looking for something to change things up. It is worth trying if you hadn't had it before.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bored: Blogger - The Little People Project

Not exactly what I thought it would be about but turned out to be quite a nice surprise. The blogger places little figures outdoors, some with more meaning than others. It seems like a nice way to bring awareness and making use of things that we overlook on our daily tasks.


Work: Executives Visit then Removes Offsite Work Perk

Recently, executives have mandated that everyone work in the office. The reason for this change is because there were a group of executives who made a visit and saw how "empty" the office is. The conclusion they came up with is that the company is wasting money on a huge office that is not fully used.

Perhaps I am reading too much into such a generalized statement, but to me this seems like a financial decision. Because they made the decision because they were onsite. I assume before the visit, they could not tell whether the effectiveness of the workforce was impacted because some of us work offsite.

This sort of decision-making also seems to be consistent with other decisions made on the executive level where they take a single instance and rule on it without inquiring if perhaps their perception of the situation could off.

I have worked in the office for quite some time before taking advantage off the offsite perk, and I can attest that most people just stay in their room. Personally, I was in my office practically the entire 8 hours except for maybe 10 minutes to go out for lunch or go to the bathroom. Even in those 10 minutes, it feels like no one is around even though you'll see people in their offices if you peek really hard.

Financially, the decision does not make sense either. Their concern is wasting money. They turn on the lights to every other hallway (to conserve energy) so this makes it look even more barren. I work in one of the dark hallways. Yet, they want to save money by bringing the people who are using their own resources to come into the office and consume the office's resources?

For most people, this has bigger impacts because they had used the perk to reduce unavailability during work hours like going to the doctor, dentist, or other personal chores that they used to have to take time off to do (although I never understood why those professionals work during the hardest period of time for normal people).

I am probably more of the minority where I spend the majority of my time offsite. Although I think that I work just as effectively where ever I am, not all people are as effective at home as they are at the office. Sometimes it is just as annoying hearing background noise of their dogs, kids, etc. I admit that this has happened to me once where my mother knew I was working from home and just kept ringing the doorbell while I was hosting an important call.

All this just because they thought the office should feel more robust.


I bet they think their flying around from corporate office to office, plus car rentals, food and hotel rooms are free too since they don't have to pay out of pocket.

Am I disgruntled? I cannot even get a cheap-ass $250 PC to write some software to streamline our process even when I said that I'd work on my time... or even a virtual system which we host and provide which probably only cost the company a couple dollars at most. I'll probably be even help testing the stupid thing.

(Sorry, my language does become a bit vulgar as I my irritation level goes up. Sometimes I just want to 'argh' and 'ugh' to get me through an argument.)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Work: New Boss, Same Learning Routine - Give Me All the Details then Complain About Info Overload

We have yet another new upper manager. I think we've probably have a new one every 2-3 quarters. Yet again, he requests that everything be spelled out just like all the others before him. Give him 1-3 months, they will start a "email reduction initiative" to be leaner and effective.

My first reaction is to ask, "don't experienced managers already know this?" Although I do at times like to think that I so wise and experienced, I doubt that these managers are really that dumb. I am starting to wonder if these are intentional and ways to set the bar low so that they have things to claim in the future.

I do notice a lot of work patterns that seem to confirm my feelings that the corporate world is more about conserving your reputation and job than to improve the ways of the company. And the more I see the relationships between so many random people, I am starting to see why this sort of culture seems to be bred by a corporate life-style.

With all these reorganizations, I find it difficult to forge any type of relationships even with coworkers that I have been with for several years. The churn just resets a lot of different things that are important to the "continual growth" of the company. We all understand that with most changes, we will take a step back to hopefully take two steps forward.

But I feel that (intentional or unintentionally), these rotating managers seem to take 1.5 steps back (round down) then take 1.5 steps forward (round up) so that reporting looks like they are making progress but in reality, we are in the same spot (which I feel we are always stuck in the same spot).

I do like my immediate boss, because he never really did anything like that yet still able to learn the ins-and-outs very quickly. He encourages to use executive-speak (ie KISS) where we just present the important information up the chain. My small gripe is that information is rarely summarized when information go down the chain. I am not sure why they want to waste more of our time sifting through all the information especially when there was only one paragraph that may or may not impact us. Then we wonder if it is a change or just regurgitation. Perhaps there value*time is much greater than our value*time*(# of members)... that thought just makes me more depressed how big our "value" differences are... even then it still saves them costs... so... (brain shut down on cyclic overload).

Anywho (sic), just another day at work... business as usual... just when you think we were finally reaping the fruits of our labors, we resow the ground before picking.

Life: Hole-ier Socks than a Decade Ago?

Is it just me or do socks seem to get holes a lot faster than like 10-20 years ago? I feel like I definitely put more stress back than then I do now, yet I always seem to have more and more socks with holes. Perhaps it is my selective memory, but I am pretty sure I did not have to throw away so many socks. Socks, today, do seem to be more comfortable than in the past. So maybe the endurance of the socks have decreased.

I guess while I am on the topic of socks. Why do I always seem to have one of each kind of socks? I even try to buy the same pack so I have the same socks, yet my washing machine or dryer seems to always eat them so I am always left with odd numbers of socks. But how do they know? Why can't that eat them in even numbers so at least make me think I just misplaced a pair of socks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life: Exercise 9/23

Except for the last couple days, I have been exercising almost every other day. My run (on a treadmill) is now at 38 minutes for the first 5k. I have lost a couple pounds on my average weight. Compared to the results from 9/17 exercise.

Part of my biggest problem is that I feel like I need to be chewing or eating even when I don't need to be eating. Late at night, I just want to eat even though I'm not hungry. Is this addiction? It really takes a lot of willpower to not eat something. Fortunately, I'm too lazy to go out to eat. Even then, that is not a very fitting solution. It is very easy to just say no when I do not have the crave, but once there is a crave, reason does not help at all. At the moment, I just try to not keep any food around. On the brighter side, at least I eat fresher foods even though it may not be as cheap.

On the note of buying foods, I have been suspecting fruits from Costco. Recently, it has come to the point where I cannot tolerate it any longer. Someone had offered me their Costco kiwis because they were going on a trip. The kiwis are rather hard in the middle but I just thought they were not ripe enough. It has taken me about 2 weeks to eat them all and they are were still as hard at the core. They also have no sign of spoiling either. I ended up throwing the rest of the kiwis. Because on top of being weird that it never became mush, they just did not taste good at all. I even had bananas that never ripened, it just stayed green for several weeks (almost 4 weeks) and were still hard. Peaches and plums were also not really good. I've come to the decision to just pay more for fruits from other supermarkets (although, I'm not pulling the trigger on organic fruits... at least not yet).



Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Wii U and New Super Mario Brothers U (First Impression)

Could the name of the game be any longer? Besides that, I like the system and game in summary. This is from someone who's last system was the original NES and the last major investment of time playing was the Nintendo 64.

I spent several weeks deciding between the XBox One and Wii U. I finally decided to get a Wii U as a "gift" but of course I've been spending a lot of time playing on it. I really wanted to get the XBox for the Kinect because I heard that it was open for development. Finally decided I decided to go with the Wii U since it was meant to be a gift.


The setup did not appear to be too difficult. I was not setting it up as (supposedly) I take too much time to open the box carefully, reading the instructions, etc., etc. There is a part in the middle where it had to download the latest patches. I think it said it would take like 30-40 minutes, but we went to the gym during this time so I do not know exactly how long this process took (less than 90 minutes).

New Super Mario Brothers U

There was only the game (New Super Mario Brothers U) that came with the system. Although it (kind-of) states 2 games, it really is more like a mini spin-off of the same game.

Since I am technically not the primary owner, I kindly cede control but fortunately the system is at my house so there is plenty of time when it is available. Also, it is always fun to see someone else struggle with the game.

Basically, I just played through the game. It is quite similar to the original Super Mario Brothers in play-style. I kind of raced through it the first time and finished the game within 11 hours of play over the span of 2 days. That only included beating bowser (no star world attempt). I am not really interested in search for the star coins to complete the game so there is no plan to complete 100%.

There are options to play multi-players but unsure how that works. I will need another controller to test that out.


At least that is what I like to call them. There are different types of goals the game gives. The first type is a speed-trial where you basically try to complete the level as fast as possible. Another type is to get as many 1-ups as possible. A third type is a boost which is like a time-trial but limited by the screen movement (like the airship levels in SMB3). The screen moves faster as you collect coins. The fourth type, I have not tried yet.

These games actually are more interesting to me because I get to play them in short amounts of time. Although it does bug me not to complete a game 100%, I no longer have that need... primarily I just have better things to do.


One of the reasons I got a TV was to play a console on it. I think I spend most of my time playing off the game pad. The game pad is like the hand held games like PSP, Nintendo DS, etc., but is limited to be within the sensor bar. Unfortunately, I cannot play on the game pad in the bed room or in the basement. The nice thing is that other people can watch TV or walk across the TV while playing (although it would be kind of weird that one person is playing while others are watching TV [but I guess that is nice if you had a kid]).


I have fun playing the Wii U. The purchase was worth it for me. Given that it is just under $300 and spent over 20-hours, $15/hour is not terrible. So, I already got my moneys worth within a week.

I may still consider getting an XBox. I was a little disappointed that it is not backward compatible with the 360. Probably be a few more months before I feel comfortable with the idea of getting it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Ryan Homes - Front door doorknob broke

It's only been 6 months, the inside doorknob (Kwikset) to the front door broke off. When opening, the knob slides off. I can turn, but then use the bolt lock to open.

Ryan Homes service was fast and easy. I just entered the problem into their site, a ticket generated, and a guy responded the next morning. He came by the following morning exactly on time (seriously, not a minute sooner or later than the agreed time). He was in and out in less than 30 minutes (I had other little problems to show him).

I feel bad that all I needed was a hex screwdriver. I had thought the part sticking out was a piece of the bolt (the head broke off) but really turned out to be the actual bolt to hold the doorknob. The screen door was easy to fix too which makes me wonder why the other guy couldn't fix it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Buggish: Bestbuy shopping cart not working right now

So, I've been spending the last few weeks looking for a new personal laptop. I've been using my home PC for the last few years. My last laptop died about 3 years ago. For some reason HP quality has gone down a lot since I've worked with them since early 2000. I had two of the same laptops, had to give one to my mom. Both died the same way, so couldn't even salvage one with the parts of the other. Also interestingly, they had different chargers even though they were the exact same model.

Anyways... I take my time when it comes to big purchases (anything more than $25). I've been looking at Amazon and NewEgg, but then recalled that I had an Elite card with Best Buy since I bought my TV there. I finally decided on an Asus then for whatever reason the shopping cart no longer comes up.

For some reason, this was extremely frustrating to me. I even tried to use my work laptop to test out if it was for some reason my PC. All the other pages works perfectly fine except for the shopping cart. So how am I supposed to make any purchases? Ugh...

I also noticed that I have a few unused certificates that expired a couple months ago. Unfortunately, I moved during that time so I never received them (probably went to the old address). Since they were out-of-site... they were kind of out-of-mind since I do not shop at BestBuy often. So, although partially my fault, 2 month expiration to certificates is an awfully short period of time. So this issue is now compounded on my frustration that I cannot even buy something.

I guess back to Amazon again. Sorry NewEgg, you have better higher end laptops but I don't really have the funds for that yet.

Shopping cart is back up while shopping at Amazon. The item I picked was out of stock. Then like a fool, I refreshed the cart anyways. Surprisingly, I can order it again. Odd? Very much so... Unfortunately during the downtime, I was reading some of the reviews and the 1 start reviews have me concerned. Although the 1 stars seem to be by people with only 1 review while there are far more 5 stars by people with multiple reviews. hmmmmmm

Food: Shrimp sandwich with brown mustard taste experiment

I was at the supermarket and passed freshly made potato and egg salad, but did not really feel like eating just plain potato/egg salad. Later, I found that shrimp was on sale and thought to it give a try with the potato/egg salad.

This turned out really good. But for some reason, I did not put two and two together when I bought about a pound of potato/egg salad and two pounds of frozen raw shrimp. So, I ended up with a lot of extra shrimp.

Since I didn't have anything else besides bread, I just decided to just eat shrimp sandwich. Ketchup and BBQ sauce did not sound very appetizing. Brown mustard also did not sound good, but I figured I'd give it a try. Surprisingly, this turned out a lot better than I had thought it would.

Interestingly, I also realized why food places like to mix the shrimp with other things to make them stick together like mayonnaise. If I did not hold the sandwich perfectly horizontal, the shrimp pieces kept falling out. I didn't have this problem with I had mixed it with the potato/egg salad.

Makes me wonder if I could use the remainder of my shrimp into some sort of shrimp cake. At least, brown mustard with shrimp sandwich turned out pretty well.

Buggish: Blogger/Blogspot not counting comments correctly in Stats > Overview

There are significantly more comments in the Stats > Overview page than actual comments showing on the actual blog page and in Posts (the section in the blogger admin). Both appear to be about double the amount of actual comments. Two is actually double, the other is one less than double.

At first, I thought perhaps it was counting spam comments but all posts were nearly double. I think this may be due to the switch to the Google comments from blogger's default comments, thus double-counting all the old posts. The one that is just below double, I think the comment was left after the switch thus having an odd number of comments (although in theory it could be even if another comment was left) but that was what caught my curiosity.

Although this is not a huge issue since it appears to be only in the admin portal end, it was puzzling to see (and little spark of curiosity that I suddenly got a boost of comments).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Life: Exercise 9/17

Reached a 40 minute 5k a couple days ago. My right foot is a little sore from the run, so decided to ride the stationary bike. This is much more relaxing than a treadmill. Since it's been years since I've been on a bike, this exercise started a little awkward. I was able to do about 8 miles in 30 minutes then finished off a cool down walking on the treadmill.

Hopefully, I can reach a 35 minute 5k by end of the year and 30 minute by March 2015. Weight-wise, I'm not making much progress yet. I have not been good, but have been getting back in the groove of working out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Twitch.tv has Chromecast capabilities (First Impression)

I just noticed this feature where the video now connects directly to the ChromeCast. and seemed to be really nice. I did run into a couple problems where it had trouble connecting. To get around the problem, I just stopped the stream then restarted. The first time was with Chrome browser on a PC. The second time was when I was experimenting from my phone.

Even using the ChromeCast icon on the browser will automatically transfer the stream to the TV. There does not seem to be an option to show the browser but I did not look very hard. When the streaming, the video stops on the PC. Before, the video will continue to play but without the sound. This was ok for me since I have the TV nearby. I actually preferred this because I could watch the video on my pc if I happen to be there browsing stuff or checking emails (with the sound lagging about a second or two).

Streaming from my phone seems nice. The new twitch interface seems nicer than before although I cannot recall what the old interface was like. It would be nice if there was a refresh button for the list of streams instead of just going back and selecting the channels again.

Overall, the stream does seem smoother but I do get this occasionally so time will tell whether this will keep up. Since it just came out, there will probably be other updates in the near future.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blogger's Ads Location Change after Implementing Google+ Comments

For a while, I was wondering why all of a sudden my CPC disappeared. Especially with a sudden increase in traffic, I should have statistically maintained approximately the same rate. I was only getting perhaps one click to two clicks per month so I thought maybe it was a fluke.

Then I realized that in the single post view, the ad's location changed from middle of the page between comments and post to the very end of the page (after the comments). In addition, the Google+ style comments take up more space than the default blogger comments thus pushing the ads further down.

Then I started looking into how to move the ad back to being above the comments. This actually took a little longer than I expected. The code needed is in Template > Edit HTML, not under Layout. In the Edit HTML mode, there were a lot of tags to filter through so I searched for ad. After going through a few, I found this block for posts (e.g. <!-- posts -->).

Took me a couple minutes to wrap what is going on here. I saw a section that would be near the location of where the ads were (i.e. near the bottom). I thought about moving this block, <b:if cond='data:post.includeAd'>. Then noticed it has some end statements.

Seeing <data:adCode/>, I guessed this was the specific line for the ad. I moved this up between posts and comments. I included additional parameters to mimic the original location:
        <b:if cond='data:post.includeAd'>
          <div class='inline-ad'>

I am not exactly sure what <data:adStart/> is supposed to end so I left that in its original location. It is odd because adEnd is above that line and when it is not the first post. Either case, I tried the code at this point and seems to have moved it to where I want it to be. Now I just have to wait and see if the clicks return to know if it worked completely.

Here is my hacked up code block I eventually ended up with:

    <!-- posts -->
    <div class='blog-posts hfeed'>

      <b:include data='top' name='status-message'/>

      <b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'>
        <b:if cond='data:post.isDateStart'>
          <b:if cond='data:post.isFirstPost == &quot;false&quot;'>
        <b:if cond='data:post.isDateStart'>
          &lt;div class=&quot;date-outer&quot;&gt;
        <b:if cond='data:post.dateHeader'>
          <h2 class='date-header'><span><data:post.dateHeader/></span></h2>
        <b:if cond='data:post.isDateStart'>
          &lt;div class=&quot;date-posts&quot;&gt;
        <div class='post-outer'>
        <b:include data='post' name='post'/>
        <b:if cond='data:post.includeAd'>
          <div class='inline-ad'>
        <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;static_page&quot;'>
          <b:include data='post' name='comment_picker'/>
        <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>
          <b:include data='post' name='comment_picker'/>
        <b:if cond='data:post.includeAd'>
          <b:if cond='data:post.isFirstPost'>
      <b:if cond='data:numPosts != 0'>

Rant: Why Do I Have Trouble Convincing People to Use Search in Outlook?

Unlike my fellow coworkers, I like to use the search features because it is faster to find specific emails for me. But for some reason, they are forever stuck using folders to categorize their emails.

Of course, this is not much of a problem with our personal emails, emails that go directly to us (for work purposes). These are primarily with group emails. We need folders for internal, for external, for processes, for projects, etc. Depending who is more direct (which is very subjective at times), emails are filtered however the person handling it wants to filter it.

This would not be a problem if Microsoft Outlook actually returns the correct emails with the correct search terms. I just do not understand why Outlook just does not return the correct results when I request it to search in all folders. For some reason if I search for a ticket number, not all the emails are in the result. This is not even missing a folder, some of the emails found are in the same folder as the missing ones. If I go to that specific folder and search for the exact same term, it returns me the emails missing in the other search from a different folder using search all folders.

The reason I am trying to convince everyone to stop using folders and use search terms is because there are times we need to audit a process and see all emails related to the search term. I cannot afford the time to go through each folder to find emails on something.

Their counter argument is that they cannot find the emails that way. I am like... what?! They just have to type in the folder name that they normally use and there it is. I even demoed this in front of them in our conference call on many occasions. This would also force them to use our standards so that we can all find emails related to specific topics.

For example, I have to trace what happened with Ticket#123. Did we get client agreement for the scheduling? Would this be under folder 'external' or folder 'processes' or folder 'scheduling'? To make it more confusing there is all 'processes' in 'external' and 'scheduling'. That is not to be confused with 'internal' and 'external' in 'processes'. I have actually raised this example to my group and their explanation is that they know which one it would be in. Somehow this makes sense because it works for them even though they could not figure out how the other person files their files. Yet, I am expected to know which folders they had filed it under. Yet, searching for 'internal process' will provide the same materials that they are looking for. And if they just want their specific emails, they just have to type in their name or email id.

Folders are so old-school (in my opinion). This folder structuring has always been a problem. I have been trying to convince them that labels, keywords, and searches are much more effective in our line of work because we handle a lot of different teams.

Anyways, this rant has really triggered within me to evaluate me value to the team. I have tried to instill a lot of different ideas from my experience but none has stuck with any of the new members. Although they recognize that I am bringing ideas, most of them (in my opinion) are so stuck with their old processes from their old teams. I know that I have some prejudices towards their generation of corporate engineers, but they just cannot convince me that they care for new ideas at all.

On a side note about ranting, I am starting to notice that I jump around a lot when I'm venting. It gets more difficult to focus on my original complaint as I get more.... 'passionate' about the issue. I wonder if there is a way I can focus the energy more effectively. But on the other hand, I can use being more passionate about certain things even if I have to become less rational then usual.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: M Burger (Chicago)

Stopped by this place with a few friends since it was near the hotel we were staying at (near Water Tower). I ordered the Hurt Burger. This place is a nice little place. Price is reasonable. Fast service. Food tasted good. Sat outside. No complaints from anyone. Would eat again.



Buggish: BMC Remedy Error - Log file did not open, IGWL Has Failed to Load Properly. Please Exit Remedy and Try Again

BMC Remedy User (version 7.6.04 SP3)

Error Messages

  • Log file did not open
  • IGWL Has Failed to Load Properly. Please Exit Remedy and Try Again


  1.     Enter User Name
  2.     Enter Password (do not hit enter or OK)
  3.     Click Accounts
  4.     Click Users
  5.     Click Add
  6.     Enter your User ID
  7.     Enter a Home Directory
    1. EX- C:\ProgramData\HOME\[[User ID]]
  8.     Click OK (accept users settings)
  9.     Click OK (accept accounts settings)
  10.     Click OK (to sign in to AOTS)


My system was just "reimaged." By re-imaged, he meant that he installed OS onto a new laptop then copied the user files to the new laptop. There have been several other missing settings that were missing which only enforces my suspicions. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

DL: Voice of Indiana Jones in IJ and the Infernal Machine

The other day someone was mentioning that they were the top search in Google. So of course, this started the conversation of what we can find about our namesakes. When it came to me, there were quite some interesting occupations that I work in. I was surprised Douglas Lee the Glass Harpist was no longer the top search. I was quite fond of that one. Now it is a bit more boring as a doctor.

Anyways, one of the new top searches was that I was Indiana Jones. I did not think much into it until recently when I was wondering which character I was. I had thought my friends were talking about the movie. But when I searched, I was actually the voice of Indiana Jones in a video game.

This really piqued my interest as to what I sounded like. I then searched for a demo of the game. Not surprised that I found a speed run of the game. It was quite interesting and brought back some memories of games from that time.

PS - The use of "I" is used primarily as my name and not me, personally. In short:

  • I = Douglas Lee = me.Name
  • I != me.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Buggish: User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded. (Microsoft Vista)

I was called to assist a family friend's mother who ran into an error with her laptop. Here the problem would have been a little more useful if they had told me what the problem was before I arrived there. The problem is that the user received an error the the profile cannot be loaded once they enter their password.

This made it rather difficult to troubleshoot because I cannot log in to figure what information is missing. Unfortunately, this was also the only user created on this machine. So to get into the machine, I had to reboot the system into safe mode. For Vista, this is F8 during the OS load screen.

Once in the OS, I looked up the error which I came across reference-1. I picked the registry fix:
1. F8 in Windows load screen
2. Safe Mode
3. Open to registry location: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\
4. Look for profile that matches the login in question and there should also be a bak version of the key
5. Rename the main key to another name (I added .bad)
6. Rename the backup key without the extension (remove .bak)
7. Reboot, and this fixed my problem

I then created a backup of the registry file (saved in a folder in the documents folder) so that it could be easier for the user to fix this problem in the future:
1. F8 in Windows load screen
2. Safe Mode with Networking
3. Open My Documents
4. Open old computer backup
5. Double click FixUserProfile.reg (although .reg may not show but should be the only file in the folder)
6. Reboot, and this should fix the problem

Worst case if you dont have a problem to work with, below is the keys needed within the registry profile (modified some values to remove identification):



1 - http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-security/user-profile-service-service-failed-the-logon-user/4ed66b21-c23e-42f1-98b2-706dcf931fae

Work: Am I Solution Finder or Fault Finder?

The way the question is worded, I would imagine almost everyone would answer that they are a solution finder. Who wants to be just a fault finder (i.e. a professional tattletale)? Of course if I word it that way, no one would ever claim to be one.

For me, I often a solution finder even to the point where I stretch my responsibilities like creating an in-house tool, script, program, wiki, etc. to make my work and sometimes the group. I also feel that I am good at providing a plan to success particularly with my peers. Feeling like a coach at times, I stress about the way things are than the way things are supposed to be. Because of this, many of my peers have stayed a significantly longer than previous employees.

Although I am more positive and enthusiastic, I feel that my value to the company is oftentimes stunted. I seem to fail to convey the importance of my ideas even after I have exemplified the success of smaller ones. Many of what I have worked on still exist at the companies even after 10 years (I stay in touch with many of my former coworkers).

At my current employment, I feel that my enthusiasm to contribute solutions waning each quarter. Either my idea is not within my manager's goals or there is no budget for it. I even offered that I could do it offline. Yet, I keep hearing that management wants new ideas and I still do not see any changes within the last couple quarters. I am becoming quite frustrated in my current employment. Now, I just primarily just keep notes of what I think our group should be doing and recording some information about what works and what does not.

Another source of my aggravation is a coupe of the senior employees (20 more years over me) can only complain. Even some of the solution they come up with are rather weak. My peers and I have oftentimes provided alternate solutions but usually are turned down and forced to work on their plans. Almost every time, we run into all the scenarios that we had mentioned in our initial meetings. Not only that, the story line is twisted to make it seem that it was our fault because we did not push our opinion.

Although I do like to rant at times, I am saying this because this is a more complex example of a fault finder. They do not just find problems here and there, but they know that they should be solution finders so chooses their own so they can get credit for creating a solution. Many of them are also finger pointers which in my opinion is another form of fault finders. 

So am I a solution finder or a fault finder. It seems that I am becoming more of a fault finder but mostly to keep myself sane and feeling trapped from providing a solution. There is only so many no answers that a normal person can bear before just giving up. This is how I feel within my current employment. Outside of that, I relieve my stress by coming up with other solutions. I hope one will someday take a more solid shape.

Anyone have an recommendations how I can get through old-school corporate lifestyles?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rant: MS SharePoint 2010 Hiding Lookup Item and Webparts Contradiction

Each passing month, I seem to hate SharePoint more and more. I thought I was smart to find a solution to hiding items from the lookup, but of course the other other side effects that you do not think about until later when you need the same information.

The latest episode is that I have finally a list long enough where it is worth hiding. If you had read my previous post, you'll find that you can no longer use calculated fields to hide items from the lookup list in the latest 2010 patch. So, I made a manual field just for display purposes. It is kind of dumb that you enter the same info twice but at least I had a way to control the lookup list... or so I thought.

So now the problem is when I clear out that field, I can no longer use web parts to display the "child" items into the parent list item. If I repopulate the field, the child items return back to display. The reason I thought this would have worked is because I used the Connections to value from the actual column that I thought it would attach to.

For example, I have columns DisplayText and LookupText. Initially, I have DisplayText and LookupText as "Release 1". When in the child item, there will be an item "Release 1". I add a few child items to "Release 1". On the parent item, I have added a web part to view the child lists. The connection I used was to compare the values in the lookup field with DisplayText (even though I use LookupText for the lookup field). Now when viewing the parent item, I will see the associated child items.

Later I clear out LookupText, the child item will not see "Release 1". By doing this, the parent item view with the web part to view child lists now will be empty. EMPTY?! WHY!?

Anyways... this is more of a rant because I just stayed up all last night because someone there were issues with the install process and the on-call resources could not be found or at least the proper on-call resources. I just do not understand why I cannot just do a simple relationship between two views in 2014. Or why an international corporate company cannot afford an enterprise sharepoint or even allow an inhouse server to host the data that we are managing, especially when we provide a cloud service which does not even need new hardware... the questions of why's are endless.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Work: MS Outlook hangs when opening a meeting invite

This suddenly happened to me today when opening a meeting invite today. The odd thing is that it is the only meeting invite that I unable to open. All the other invites are ok.

System Background

MS Outlook 2010 (desktop client, not OWA), Windows 7 Pro

Basic Troubleshooting

Restarted Outlook, restarted computer

Other Odd Behaviors

  • One coworker is having the same problem. Two others have no problems.
  • I was able to find the original invite. I noticed that I received 3 copies. I am able to open the first invite, the other two I am unable to open.
  • A coworker forwarded me the same invite, and I noticed that I received 3 copies just like the original. I do not know why that happens. I do not get it with other invites. Also, I am able to open the first but not the other two.
  • I noticed after a few minutes (about 3-5 minutes) the meeting will eventually load in my preview screen.
  • Appears that the problem is with loading the calendar which has "searching for this meeting..." although this is not a problem with the first email (by first I mean the first received email even though they all have the same times on it).
  • Rebooting machine does not fix the problem.

Exiting Problem

I cannot do anything else with Outlook once I attempt to open the broken invite. I end task the outlook. Reopening will allow me to do other tasks.


No fix yet except to wait 3-5 minutes. It has taken my coworker up to 10 minutes to open.

Blogger's Labels


I am not familiar how other blog sites handle labels, but I always find it difficult to keep my labels consistent. Occasionally, I find that I use two different spellings of the same label. Most of the time, one is the plural form and the other is singular. When I catch these, it is quite painful to go through each post to update the label. Another side affect is if I am not careful with the site tracking, I will at times artificially increase traffic on those posts.

Lessons on Label Usage

I have been trying to limit the number of labels used on each post. At first, I tried to include all topics. I have not quite figured if one way is better than the other. Having fewer labels is nice for separating the different posts that I have. With more labels, there can be more categories but lose the way I separate my posts.

The primary categories that I wanted to split were basically my point-of-view (POV) of the information. Review are my opinion on a product, process, service, place, etc. I will try to provide the information regarding a review. Life are my opinion on my personal life so there is some understanding needed about me which can be learned from other life posts. I would not provide all background information needed for the post. Work are my opinion on a more professional level. Similar to life, not all information will be provided but will usually have a little more weight since I typically work in that matter. Games and Bored are just posts that are not as important to me. Games are usually just informational about the game status. If the topic is more related to me, then will likely be in the Life topic. Bored just included things that I found interesting but having little information to add to it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life: Zagat's NYC Top 10 Burgers

I'd like to try one or two of these restaurants in the future. I've had shake shack in the past and thought it was pretty good. I had thought it was kind of pricey to pay $5 for a burger, but clearly on the cheaper end for this list and really not that more than today's fast food burgers of comparable size. The line is usually pretty long but it moves rather fast.


Life: Blogger July 2014 Stats

Missed July earlier in the month.

Google Analytics

Sessions = 605
Users = 524
Pageviews = 1383

Google Webmasters

Total Queries = 285
Approximate Impressions = 6276
Approximate Clicks = 307

Google AdSense

Page Views = 506
Clicks = 2


Does not allow for previous data.

* Approximations are rounded down
** Switching to Google+ comments removed the ability to count total comments

Life: Blogger August 2014 Stats

I seem to have missed metrics for July.

Google Analytics

Sessions = 594
Users = 511
Pageviews = 1362

Google Webmasters

Total Queries = 292
Approximate Impressions = 6595
Approximate Clicks = 318

Google AdSense

Page Views = 588
Clicks = 2


Pageviews Last Month = 1500
All Time Comments = **
All Time Posts = 261
All Time History Visits = 23142

* Approximations are rounded down
** Switching to Google+ comments removed the ability to count total comments

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: ChromeCast (2 month impression)

I still enjoy Google's ChromeCast. I use it primarily to stream to my TV from a PC browser. The ChromeCast device is very simple to move it from one TV to another within the same network. I am not sure if there is more setup if the network is changed. A friend was even able to broadcast from his Samsung tablet.

I have figured out one of the problems with the lag with ChromeCast (as noted in a previous post). After a few hours of use, the stick becomes really hot. I think this has an impact on its performance. To test this hypothesis, I turned off the streaming for a few minutes. This resolves all lag issues for a while. If I streamed immediately after turning the stream off, the lag still persists. Over a few days, I have also tried with cooler and warmer environments (primarily me having the A/C on or off). Performance seems to degrade faster when it is off where the room is noticeably warmer (probably around low 80s). Performance seems to last longer when in low 70s. My guess is that the temperature has an impact on the rendering of the video. The device becomes pretty hot to the touch but not burning (at least for an adult).