Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Uh Oh again

That magical word has presented itself at work. They must really want to see me in Hyderabad, because I was asked again today of I would like to visit India.

I said maybe in January when it's snowing here and it's cooled down to 80 degrees there. Have I ever mentioned that I hate snow? It would be a nice little cultural vacation for me if this ever happens. I've got a friend or two over there that will make sure I wont get bored if I go.

I have a funny feeling that before I retire or leave Infotech, I will be making the 26 hour journey to the other side of this rock. I'll have to get a bigger memory stick for my camera.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A day back in Frostburg

For the first time since I started working remotely two weeks ago, I returned to my Frostburg Office today to work. I had to be there to go over the specs of a new phase of a project we have been working on.

It was great to see everyone again, however it was like 96 degrees today and I think it was a little warmer in the office. Even our personel from India thought it was a little too warm for comfort.

I'll be working remotely from home the rest of the week. It was nice however to visit the people in the office for a day.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Some Highlights of Mokes graduation



His official walk.








Graduation Day for Moke

This morning at 10:00 at the WVU Coliseum George Ellis McClain will officially finish his pre-college education and graduate from Clay Battelle High School.

The last few years he has became very focused and motivated and has really started to excell academically and has a solid gameplan for the completion of his education. he will be entering Fairmont State University this fall where he has already been admitted. He is wanting to study engineering, but my advice would be to go find out all the possibilities of a major before you commit.

He's also come up with a solid gameplan to have his education paid for. He will also be joining the National Guard and they will be payign for his education, he will just need to make a commmitment to them for a few years post college graduation.

I, as well as everyone else is very proud of him. He has a dream, a gameplan to accomplish that dream and the willpower and motivation to accept any challenge that is placed in front of him to achieve his dream.

With his focus, dedication and the morals that Pam and George have bestowed upon him, he's got all the ingrediants for success.

Congrats Moke, we are all very proud of you


The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.--Bill Beattie

Friday, May 26, 2006

Family Night Under the Stars




For those of you looking for cheap or free entertainment tonight in Morgantown, BOPARC offers something every Friday Night at the Ruby McQuain Ampitheatre called Family Night Under the Stars.

Tonight is the first night of a summer long series of movies that includes the following schedule:


May 26- Chicken Little
June 2- The Legend of Zorro
June 16-Madagascar
June 23-Zathura
July 7- March of the Penguins
July 21-Harry Potter
August 11- Dreamer


The movies are free and open to the public, might even give you that old time family drive in movie feel.

Showtime is 8:30

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A few pics from tonight







M-Tech Graduation tonight.

Tonight at 7:00 at the Coliseum M-tech will have their graduation ceremonies. In the past a few family members have graduated from M-Tech. Nick graduated with his certification in HVAC, Abdul graduated with his CISCO certification and Amy has graduated twice previously with two certifications in Child care.

Next year Renee and Angela will enter the Surgical Technician program.

This year we have three people graduating from M-Tech. Amy will be graduating from M-Tech with her third Child care certification, Mary Mascioli will be graduating from the Surgical Technician program and Angela will also be graduating from M-Tech this year also.

A hearty congratulations goes out to all three of this years graduates and a good luck to next years two students that will be entering the program.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy (belated) Birthday Pam

A Happy (belated) Birthday to my Sister Pam. You want to know the ironic part of all of this, I was even there yesterday to look at her and forgot to tell her Happy Birthday. You want to know the sad part, I blogged about it not once, but Twice recently in my blogs. Talk about being completely absent minded.

Anyways, a very Happy Birthday wish to my sister Pam for yesterday.

Now while I'm on this, tomorrow is her Husband George's Birthday. So Happy early Birthday George.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Weekend so far

* I had a nice little surprise when I logged on to my website tonight, someone had attacked the server and set up a redirect from my photos to a page that said the account was suspended. Being Coppermine, the software I use, is a piece of software installed on the server rather than a static web page it took me a few minutes to figure out what they had done.

It was an easy fix once I knew what file was infected, and everything else is back up and running before the site was attacked. I don't know when it went down, but it only took about five minutes to trace down the problem and eradicate it. Problem solved and everything is back to normal.

Tonight was a softball night, we played at 7:00 this evening and everyone went to Prime Thyme after the game, however I stuck around the ballpark and started to talking to people and on e thing led to another and I never made it to Prime Thyme. This picture is from last year, and not from tonight. maybe I will have another chance tomorrow.

The game went well, but I found out I did something for the second time in three years on our last game but didn't realize it until tonight. I forgot to put my glove in my bag and ended up losing it. I did this a couple years ago also, so that is two gloves I have lost doing that. Something tells me I will be investing in a new one tomorrow like it or not.

The game went well though, we ended up winning like 28-20. My timing is finally back even after a three week layoff. With not much spring training I never felt like I had my timing on my swing just right, tonight I found it again a few times and hit the ball really well.

Tomorrow is looking like it's going to be a busy day, with my normal Sunday things, moving my old computer, and having to find a new glove and play ball again. Did I ever mention to anyone I really hate snow?

* I noiced Kim has decided to return to Blogger. Welcome back.

Friday, May 19, 2006

TGIF

It is Friday and that means that it is the end of the work week. My week has been pretty good though, I am finishing up my first week of working remotely from home. Believe it or not you can get more things done more efficiently with less distractions. Honestly I think I'm even more productive working from home provided I have the data that I need.

It has also opened up a good deal of free time for me, but I haven't really taken advantage of it as of yet. The weather has been kind of bad this week and with the arrival of my new computer, I've been busy getting it up and running. I was able to retain all my data from my other computer and transfer it to my new system. Things such as my pictures, software, family movies etc were stored on a slave drive on my old system. I managed to get everything transferred though and preserve all my files.

Let's see what's coming up in the next week or so:

Sunday is Pam's Birthday
Tuesday is George's Birthday.
Wed at 7:00 at the coliseum is the Mtech graduation.
Next Saturday is Moke's graduation and a pic nic at Krepps Park.

I have three softball games over the next three days, Saturday at 7:00, Sunday at 3:00 and Monday at 10:00. Our last two games have been rain outs and I missed the second game of the season, so I haven't been able to play in almost three week. I'm looking forward to getting back on the field and seeing my team mates.

It's nice to see that Val has restarted her Blog and Amy has been posting quite reguarly. This really helps keep people interested and involved when so many people update their Blogs. Kim
and Brittany have also been doing great jobs in keeping their blogs active. Readers want to see new material, so with so many of us Blogging, hopefully we can provide our readers with a reason to keep returning.


Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.--Arthur Schopenhauer

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And we have another returning blogger

We have another blogger on the internet, mt neice valarie has returned to the wonderful world of blogging. She has named her Blog Hello Again, and I have added it to my sidebar with links to all the other family members who are bloggers.

It'll be nice to be able to keep up with Val, Bobby and Erica jean now that Val is back on the net at home.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Nice Little Find



I was walking through Wal-Mart yesterday and saw something that got my attention. I was walking around the computer accessories section and noticed a USB phone called Skype. In the last few weeks I have been doing a little research about Vonage and was considering purchasing the service as a phone service for home.

I was walking around yesterday and saw a few phones that were skype compatible. Let's just say curiosity killed the cat and I decided to research it a little. Thinking it was just a way to call another computer, I was wrong. It's a telephone service that runs through your computer and get this. It's free until the end of the year. They are trying to build the service up and you can even buy an incoming number if you want, but I don't really need one.

I downloaded and installed the software and made a few calls from my computer (no phone, just straight computer) and I found it to work. The people I talked to said there was a little bit of an echo, but that was because they were getting feedback from my speakers for lack of a USB phone.

All domestic calls made from the skpye service will be free until the end of the year. That's a good seven months of being able to call people long distance anywhere in the US for free.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Picks from Moke and Angela's Prom

A few pictures from Moke and Angela's prom last night. We met them prior to the prom and got a few pictures and after Moke took her to "Taco Bell" for dinner we got a few more pics. He had her beliving he was taking her to Taco Bell and even pulled into the drive thru. It was a joke and he took her to the Hibatchi Steak House.

A few pics




Saturday, May 13, 2006

New computer ordered.

I ordered a new computer yesterday, It was time to upgrade to a more modern system for my needs. My current system is fine and runs great, but the work I do just has some ridiculous demands on a computer's system resources.

I have traditionally purchesed Hewlett Packards, the last two I bought were both HP's and I have never had a bit of trouble with them. However this time I purchased a more commercial friendly system, plus a few added perks for personal enjoyment.

Some of it's specs:

* Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB)
* 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (2x1GB) Yes, two GB of RAM. It will be 2 1GB to optimize the opportunites. Stiil leaves me with 2 open slots with this option and no smaller chips that I would just end up discarding if I upgraded.
* 19 inch Ultrasharp™ 1907FP Digital Flat Panel
* 256MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon X600 SE HyperMemory
* 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/ 8MB cache (I also have a 160GB slave drive on my computer that I will transfer over to the new system.
* Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/dbl layer write capability
* Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 (My computer can be a TV with all the DVR and Digital cable perks for no charge or no subscription)

It should ship this Friday and arrive the following week.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Last day in Frostburg

Today is my last day working in Frostburg on a physical day to day basis. Starting Monday morning I will be workign remotely from the comforts of my own humble little abode.

This should clear up three to four hours of my day that was committed into drivinng to and from work, time that I would either just get there too early or stayed around to BS or just idle time sitting around waiting to leave.

I'm pretty excited about this, at current gas prices It's going to save me more than $60.00 a week in gas alone. No more early morning drives on a daily basis over mountains, past ski resorts and through more fog than I've ever seen in my life for one region.

I will still make it up here on occasion, but don't need to be here five to six days a week anymore. I put 40,000+ miles on my car in the last year, I'm sure it's ready to relax a little bit too. Maybe I can finally find the time to clean my apartment. LOL


You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.--Yogi Berra

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What's in store

As you may have read last week, I made a trip out of town last week to interview with a very large defense contractor to do GIS work. Unknowingly and ironically simultaneously InfoTech/VARGIS presented me with a unique offer, and then later a decent financial package for the next year.

My interview I think went very well, however infotech has presented me with the offer of being able to ...get this...work from home. In my field most of the operations are very computer intensive and you need a super computer to run the majority of them. In Frostburg, I have such a computer.

My initial plan was to purchase a new computer at home that would have been able to perform these tasks. I had one priced from Dell, but learned yesterday I won't have to do that. I was initially thinking that I would need to have the license for my software on my computer, thus needing a high end commercial computer.

Yesterday, I learned the details and I won't need a high end computer, as a matter of fact my computer is up to standards to perform these tasks. I'll be working remotely through a process called VPN. I will be running my Frostburg computer from home on a Virtual Private Network. VPN is kinda new to me, but Kim's been doing it for a while and Robert knows it inside and out.

I already have it installed and set up my accounts on my computer, so I could actually start working from home anytime with complete access to our network at work However I have a meeting tomorrow and I need to get a few things set up and organized in Frostburg before I start working remotely. I will probably continue to commute to Frostburg for the rest of this week and then start working from home next week.

Quality of life had a lot to do with my renewed commitment to my current company. I realize we are still going through some growing pains, but I would also rather be a part of the team that builds something special than be someone who comes in after it's built.

This is going to be a perfect situation for me because I'll be able to work my own schedule. Meaning I don't have to wake up two hours before I start work to fix breakfast, shower, get woke up and drive 68 miles before I start work. Not to mention the drive home. This should open up another 3-4 hours a day for me in dead time, that's time committed to doing work things (driving to, getting ready for, returning from.. etc.) that you are not getting paid for.

I'll still have to make an occasional trip to Frostburg, but not on an every day basis. This will also remove a lot of stress of driving 68 miles in the early morning hours during inclimate weather. There were actually four or five days this past winter that I couldn't make it in because of the weather (two last October). This will no longer be a factor, because I can run the computer from here.


Have a good week.


Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.--Anais Nin

Monday, May 08, 2006

What's coming up

I've done tidbits posts numerous times, how about a what to expect coming up post.

* We have two softball games this week, Monday (tonight) and Thursday nights.

* This Saturday (May 13) is Moke and Angela's prom. I'm hoping to get a few pics of them in this once in a lifetime day for them (even though I went through three of them). I was hoping that I could meet them prior to them going to the prom at a location such as Rails to Trails and we could get a few pictures of the lovely couple.

* Sunday (May 14) is Mother's Day. Mother's day was founded in Grafton, West Virgina by Anna Jarvis for all you history buffs.

* The following weekend both Pam and george celebrate their Birthdays. Pam's is on Sunday the 21st and I can't specifically remember George's date. I'll make an update as soon as I know.

* Saturday May 27th is Moke's graduation. It will be at 10:00 at the Colseum and pam is going to have a little cookout afterwards.

* Amy will be graduating soon also, but I'm not sure of her date.

* Speaking of Graduations, This Sunday in addition to Mother's day is also WVU's commencement. Featured speaker has been announced to be the NBA Logo himself, Jerry West.


The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.-- Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Whats uppinings

Let me start off by saying I was out of town Thursday evening. I stayed overnight in the northside of Pittsburgh, and near my hotel was a name of a restaurant that I have always heard about, but never been to. Any of you who watch the Pittsburgh Steelers have had to see footage of these big sandwiches that are made in the stadium or around Pittsburgh. Primanti Brothers Restaurant is by far the best sandwich I have ever had in my life.

I can't even start to tell everyone how totally unhealthy this sandwich is, so that should tell you how good it is. If you EVER are in Pittsburgh and you see a Primanti Bros sign, stop in, the extra pounds will be well worth it.

* The reason why I was in Pittsburgh had to do with a Decision I made this January. I pretty much know what I am going to decide, I just am waiting to get all the cards on the table before I make my decision. I couldn't have asked for a better situation than what is happening right now. I've been shown both my marketable value and my worth value from my employer. In baseball terms, Infotech stepped up and hit a big home run with perfect timing. Even though they didn't know. I'll talk more about it at a later date.

I went out to the softball fields last night and watched Cool Ride (Mike Toth's team) kick the dogsnot out of the team they were playing 18-4. The looked really good last night and they looked real sharp. Good thing we don't have to beat their pants off again this year. They may be a real good team, but no one is Prime Thyme Softball good.

* I stopped down at Nick and Terri's Bar yesterday afternoon and visited with Terri for a little while. The bar is really starting to look good and they had a nice little crowd during the time that I was there. They should be getting their sandwich machine wired up and running this week.

* I have spoke with Kim a couple of times today. Her and Robert are off to Corpus Christie, Texas. They have met with a couple travel delays so far. Initially she called me from Dallas when they had to land because of a storm. They didn't know if they would be able to catch a their next flight to Houston in time for the final leg to Corpus Christie. She called me from Houston and they didn't know if they could get a flight out today. It's 212 miles and a four hour drive away, so they are considering driving the final leg. I'll let everyone know how they made it there, even if they have to rent a camel.

* I was up early this morning and went for a good brisk walk on Rails to Trails at 6:00 this morning. For any of you potential Job seekers, Civic Development Group was hiring Full Time and Part Time jobs for $9.00 an hour here in Morgantown. The jobs were also advertising medical and dental benefits. If you know anyone looking for a decent paying job, pass this on to them.


Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.--Demosthenes

Monday, May 01, 2006

Softball team starts on a good note

The season has finally began. We played Suncrest Gym tonight in our season opener and came out with a hard fought victory in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The game started out with us losing 1-9 after three innings. But we quckly rallied to take a 11-10 lead. They came back with 4 in the 5th inning and we countered to tie the game up 14-14 going into the 7th inning.

Suncrest Gym scored 2 in the top of the 7th, we counter with 3 runs and no one for the 17-16 Opening game victory. That's 1-0 on the season.