David's Blog | Misc ramblings about things in general, work and technical items of interest.



Big launch weekend

Spent all day/evening both Friday and Saturday at the office launching a major release of the web publishing platform. Sunday was spent at home with the morning wrapping things up. We only hit a few snags along the way of which just 1 was even of any concern. I guess that means as far as major releases, this went pretty smooth. It was a complete front end re-write, a significant back end change, a data migration and hardware swap all in one.

That means I have about 5 mins between when I think everything is fine until the first panic call of the day.

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Wild weekend weather

This was a wild weekend on the weather front. It started to rain hard on Friday and it didn’t stop until Sunday. Well, I think it stopped.

We lost power on Saturday night around 8:00pm. This wouldn’t be a big deal except our sump pump which protects our basement from flooding needs electricity. What my wife and I then did was drain the sump pump area manually, dumping the water into the basement slop sink. It would fill up as quickly as we could empty it so we were up all night doing this taking short 15-20 cat naps as the night went on between 10 min lowering of the water in the basin.

The electricity came back on around 9:15am just as I was about to leave for a 2 hour ride south to Southern New Jersey with my older daughter to head to a cheerleading competition. What a relief when it came on. We’re planning on getting a gas powered generator to be better prepared for this in the future. I got home around 5pm and crashed for 3 hours as I was exhausted.

On a good note, we had no damage that I saw and my daughters teams won all their competitions today including sweeping all the level categories and winning the grand champion award for the entire competition.




Time to resurrect this blog!

I haven’t written in quite some time in my personal blog – over 2 years!! I’ve just migrated the blog from Movable Type to WordPress and I will try to post ramblings at least every other week.

The posts from my old blog have been brought over but there’s probably formatting, etc which has been lost. I’m not going to go back and mess with all the old content but it’s here.  I might mess a bit with the  style/theme of this site until I’m happy with it, though I’m not a very “visual” person so it’s less about the colors and more about the content.

Here we go….

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The PERFECT Weekend

Feb 2nd and 3rd 2008 was a PERFECT weekend.
It started out on Saturday with my youngest daughter winning her playoff basketball game. That was followed by my older daughter and a trip to Reading PA for a cheerleading tournament where they came in 1st for their division. They then came in 1st out of 27 teams for their level as the grand champion for their level with the highest score.
Then comes Sunday and Super Bowl XLII. It was our NY Giants against the undefeated and heavily favored New England Patriots. In what turned out to be a low scoring first 3 quarters, the 4th quarter made up for it with the Giants scoring a TD to go ahead, followed by the Patriots scoring a TD to go ahead with 2:42 left. What happened next was a drive every Giant fan (and probably every Patriot fan) will forever remember. Great catches and plays by Manning and 5 different receivers with the most amazing play of all being Manning escaping from being sacked to throw a jump ball to David Tyree who caught it against his helmet and somehow was able to hold onto it. Another pass and an easy pass to Plaxico Burress in the end zone to complete the most amazing drive in Giants history.
A PERFECT win to wreck the Patriots PERFECT season to end a PERFECT weekend.

After obtaining my Technician Class amateur radio license back in August, I picked up a book to study for the General Class license. It’s a much more technical test with more questions on specific frequencies, power, components of receivers and transmitters, antennas and general electronics. I definitely didn’t study as much as I would have liked, and I didn’t ace the test this time missing 4 of the 35 questions (out of over 480 possible questions), but that is well within the passing level. So at the BARA Hamfest at Westwood High School, I became a General Class Amateur Radio licensee. Thanks to the BARA VE’s for randomly picking out a good test for me to take. The asked if I was interested in the Extra test, but I just laughed. That will take some serious studying.
Since getting my license the beginning of August I joined BARA – Bergen Amateur Radio Association – which is a local amateur radio group that meets in Ridgewood, NJ. I also participated in my first contest which was the ARRL 2007 September VHF QSO Party.




CQ CQ this is K2DSL

I have always been interested in scanners and ham radios. Over this past summer I finally said I was going to do it and studied for the first level ham radio license. In early August I successfully passed and received my Technician Class license.
Within a couple days of passing, I was automatically assigned callsign KC2SAU. They allow folks to pick their own vanity callsign so I applied for K2DSL and just received approval. So, on the airwaves, I’m K2DSL.




Old DOS batch commands still useful!

Every once in a while, the quickest way to do something is go back to using an old DOS Batch command. Every time I know I’ve done something similar before, I can never find where I did it and I hunt around looking. I figured I’d post an example or two here so I know where to find them in the future.
Both the commands below expect a file called filelist.txt to contain a list of file names to process.
Command 1:
for /f “tokens=*” %%a in (filelist.txt) do @xcopy /y “%%a” “.\%%~pa” >nul
processes each row in filelist.txt in the format of:
and copies file1.htm from a network share to .\directory on the current drive.
Command 2:
@echo off
for /f “tokens=*” %%a in (filelist.txt) do IF NOT EXIST %%a ECHO %%a
processes each row in filelist.txt and checks to see if it physically exists in the current directory. If not, it outputs the name of the missing file to the command window.
I don’t know if these will help anyone else, but I know I’ll be able to find these examples quicker in the future!

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My train derails but I wasn’t on it today

The normal train I take, and the car I ride in (along with a co-worker I commute with) derailed this morning. I got an email from the co-worker right after it happened. I happened not to be on the train today and working from home because of an appointment.
They just showed it on TV with 3 cars off the tracks and 2 leaning up against a pole. 150 people reported on the train and no injuries. Here’s a link to the first report by ABC on their web site – NJ Transit train derails.
For a change, I was in the right place at the right time.



Pets and death

My kids love pets. We have a cat for a few years now. Our neighbor has lots of pets. One cat named Rusty hung out with our cat a lot. It got to the point that whenever the house door was open, Rusty would come in. The kids really got attached to it and when the neighbors mentioned they might move, the kids wanted us to adopt Rusty. I said absolutely not! One cat is enough, plus Rusty already had a family.
A week ago, my wife was putting out the trash and I was on the train home from work. She turned around and the neighbors cat was dead on our lawn. I don’t think anyone knows what happened and why Rusty died, but my wife and the kids were heartbroken. She was balling when she called me to tell me. My one daughter was home but my other daughter wasn’t and I had to tell her when she came home. I can’t even imagine what will happen when our cat goes. Hopefully it will be a long, long, long time.

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Wow – long time no post!

I looked to see if the software I use was upgraded and it was so I backed things up and upgraded. Then I looked and the last time I posted anything was the previous time I upgraded the software. I guess I fall into the “Not a very active blogger” category.
So what has happened in the past 6 months? Launched a few new platforms at work with a great team of developers. The commute still isn’t bad which I’m sure shocks everyone that knows me more then it shocks me.
Went on an awesome Alaska cruise/vacation that was worth every penny, though I don’t want to know how many pennys it was. Over 3,000 pictures were taken in the 2.5 weeks we were on vacation.
Found geocache #600 though I didn’t do as much caching over this summer then I have in the past.
My little brother Barry has been on a couple more TV shows, the last being a good part on Windfall with Luke Perry.
The girls are ready to head back to school as 6th and 7th graders. Boy I’m getting old.
That’s it until next time and hopefully not the next time I upgrade the blog software.

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