Archive for December, 2006

Did you see the Christmas Theme?

It was here for only a few days. If you missed it – maybe it will be back next Christmas. I hope you had a Merry Christmas. I will remember this as the first Christmas lunch I ever had at Benihana’s.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  With only four days remaining until Christmas Day, I thought I would take just a moment to share holiday wishes with my family, friends, and coworkers.  This year certainly seems to have slipped away.  In January, I started this blog at encouragement of my good friend Ian.  Here we are in December, and this is my 100th post of the year.  The best part about blogging is that it is almost like keeping a diary – it is as much for me as it is for all of you.

I thought I would be writing about technology, and occasionally I do.  As the year went on, I ended up writing about everything from NASA to LifeSavers to toe surgery.  You read along as I visited places like Tucson, Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Santa Ana.  Not quite as much travel in 2006 as I did in 2005, but that was a welcome break.  In fact, did I even leave the country this year?  Wow – can’t remember.

As the year winds down, I encourage you to reflect on your life and give thanks for all the ways God has blessed you.  I am particularly thankful for my loving family and good friends.  The time we get to spend together is truly a gift.  So join me this holiday season as we celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior.  God bless.

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Exchange 2007 – The “RU” replaces the “SP”

Could Exchange Server 2007 spell the end of the traditional service pack? by ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley — Starting with Exchange Server 2007, the Exchange team is committing to delivering multiple fixes and updates in the form of single “roll up” delivered once every six to eight weeks. Under the current model, the Exchange team has been releasing multiple, near-simultaneous hot fixes, some of which are incompatible with others.

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Shuttle Discovery in Orbit Again

The night launch went off without a hitch earlier this evening. In my ongoing fascination with NASA and the shuttle program, I decided to research two nagging questions that have been rattling around in my brain. The two questions are: 1) What is the story with those sparks you see below the shuttle’s engines just before ignition? 2) What does the term “Press to MECO” mean? Here are the answers.

1. At T-10 seconds, flares are ignited under the shuttle’s three main engines to burn away any residual hydrogen that may have collected near the main engine nozzles.

2. During the launch phase, the crew receives information from the ground concerning abort boundaries (points at which certain abort options become or are no longer available). Many of these calls are abbreviated to short phrases and acronyms. “Press to MECO” is one of these abort boundary calls and is defined as the point in the ascent at which the shuttle can still attain the minimum MECO targets (altitude and velocity) needed for reaching orbit after sustaining loss of one of the three main engines. “Single Engine Press to MECO” means that orbit can now be reached on only one main engine. In short – MECO refers to “Main Engine Cutt Off.”

12:00 AM CST – ASCENT FLIGHT CONTROL VIDEO REPLAY
12:02 AM CST – RMS CHECKOUT
01:00 AM CST – LAUNCH ENGINEERING REPLAYS
01:47 AM CST – DISCOVERY CREW SLEEP BEGINS
02:00 AM CST – FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
09:47 AM CST – DISCOVERY CREW WAKE UP

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Saturday activities …

Saturday morning, Shawn, Matt, and I made a trip to DFW Gun Range for some target shooting.  I must admit it was a lot of fun to get back out to the range (probably my first trip in about a year).  We shot a variety of pistols, and Matt even brought along his shotgun.  My favorite pistol is still my “Baby Eagle” 9mm – which is essentially the same as an Israeli Jericho 941 (mine just happens to be sold under the “Desert Eagle” brand name by Magnum Research).  I have been out of the “gun world” for a while.  I was doing some research on my baby eagle when I discovered that it is now legal (again) to manufacture and sell high capacity magazines.  It seems that everything changed when the Crime Bill of September 13, 1994 expired on September 13, 2004.  Since I only have the original 10-round magazine that came with the gun, I might consider picking up one or two 15-round magazines.

On a different note, last night I went to see the new James Bond film, Casino Royale.  Other than its title, this film shares little else with the original release from 1967.  We see Bond in his early days just as he has been granted “00” status – in fact we see his first kill.  The opening action sequence is visually stunning with scenes atop cranes – high above a construction site.  The rest of the movie does an excellent job of portraying Bond as a tough guy – less reliant upon special gadgets and fancy cars.  As the film progresses, you see the softer side of Bond’s soul slip away – sealing his future and turning him into the character we know and love.  In short – I liked it.  My only complaint was that the film was a bit too long (there were a few scenes I would have left on the cutting room floor).  It was however worth it – all the way to the end.  If you are a fan of James Bond movies – go see this one.

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