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birra's Journal

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11 entries this month
 

Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

14:29 Nov 30 2010
Times Read: 856


Decided to combine Mark Twain's and Billy Idol's birthdays today - I will find combinations of Twain quotes and Billy Idol lyrics that either compliment each other or just work together.


‎"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

-- Mark Twain


"If I had the chance to ask the world to dance, I'd be dancing with myself."

-- Billy Idol


And.. of course... giving you the video to go with it.




The rest will be on the company Facebook page.

COMMENTS

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birra
birra
14:32 Nov 30 2010

Oh, yes. And thank you to Morrigon for the inspiration on this one.





Morrigon
Morrigon
14:47 Nov 30 2010

I love that song! *gleek*





imagesinwords
imagesinwords
17:08 Nov 30 2010

One of my favorite songs, too.



I have a bunch of Mark Twain quotes written down somewhere - I'm looking for them. Certain ones that really struck me funny.





PAGAN
PAGAN
17:49 Nov 30 2010

whaddaya mean "...the video to go with it..."



youre gonna be dancing with yourself? LOL will pay good money for that





BLOODLIFE
BLOODLIFE
19:53 Nov 30 2010

Yay for Mark Twidle day!

Great track





 

Office celebrations

19:55 Nov 29 2010
Times Read: 894


I want to make office celebrations a regular thing. Last Friday we celebrated Jimi Hendrix's birthday.


Who should we celebrate tomorrow?


Mark Twain or Billy Idol?


COMMENTS

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imagesinwords
imagesinwords
20:03 Nov 29 2010

Sweet! I'd probably be the only vote for Mark Twain as I was just thinking about him in regards to a Facebook post I made a few minutes ago... but I also LOVE Billy Idol- can sing all the tunes from the first two albums by heart :P





birra
birra
20:07 Nov 29 2010

I'm sure I can find more multimedia based dedication material for Billy Idol...





imagesinwords
imagesinwords
20:13 Nov 29 2010

No doubt. Readings of Mark Twain probably wouldn't be a showstopper. But he'd be all about the celebration- he was known to tie one on in his day.





birra
birra
20:23 Nov 29 2010

Well, the reason I would lean toward Mark Twain is because he did spend a bit of time in Upstate New York - so there is a sense of his history already here in Buffalo.



But, you're right. No one is going to listen to me reading Twain...



...Morri, however... Hmmm....





Morrigon
Morrigon
21:28 Nov 29 2010

In the midnight hour, she cried "Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more, more more."





birra
birra
21:32 Nov 29 2010

I think we might have a winner.



It's just, pretty hard to sing to the tune of Rebel Yell.





PAGAN
PAGAN
11:00 Nov 30 2010

"All right, then, I'll go to hell..."

~ Mark Twain ~





 

Good to see...

04:48 Nov 26 2010
Times Read: 917


...yes, they're a money-grubbing credit organization, but it's nice to see American Express touting their "Small Business Saturday" promotion for this Saturday.


I caught the ads watching the Cowboys fail miserably, which is always enjoyable, and of course "liked" their Facebook page on it.


I have no deep love for AmEx and obviously their goal is to get people shopping and spending money with the small businesses that accept their card... but at least SOMEONE is bringing national attention to what the government is completely ignoring... and doing something charitable with it as well.

This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. "Like" Small Business Saturday and American Express will donate $1 - up to $1,000,000 - to Girls Inc. to teach and empower young women to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow...


As part of our commitment to supporting small businesses, American Express is giving registered Cardmembers a $25 statement credit when they shop at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.


To the wall!


COMMENTS

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The industry...

14:11 Nov 25 2010
Times Read: 954


...I guess this is a plea to everyone, everywhere that plans on going to the stores with the biggest ads at 4AM to try and save $20 on a blue-ray player or those who are willing to trample their neighbor through the doors of WalMart because the hottest toy of the season is on sale for 5 hours only and they only have 2 in stock.


Over the past two years, the economy of our nation has struggled. Over 10 million jobs were lost and unemployment rose to over 10% in some areas of the country.


However, for the big box stores, it has really been business as usual - their profits are up, and business continues to be booming. Everyone is waiting for the economy to recover yet there really hasn't been a downturn in the area of retail, consumer based stores. In fact, when the economy is at its toughest, these stores are usually doing their best.


Commerce needs to occur for the economy to recover and here we see it occurring without yield - yet, the economy is still struggling along. Seems a bit backward, doesn't it? Well, the reason it is backward is because the big box stores... do little to nothing to help the economy grow. They're full of minimum wage jobs which doesn't put their profits back into the local community - where ever they are headquartered, that is where your money goes. Not where you live, not helping your neighbors survive, not building a solid tax base and certainly not providing the jobs that will allow for an exponential economic growth in your community.


It is the small businesses - the corner stores, the proprietorships - those are the businesses that give the most back, that provide the most growth to the community, that are always the most willing to redistribute their money back into your local community.


In my industry, my business is considered a "Value Added Reseller." The concept being, you're not going to save a few bucks by buying an off-the-shelf product - you might pay a little more, but for that you're going to get the expert advice, support and best off all - a better selection.


You know, on average a BestBuy store has about 40 laptops for you to choose from - my store has about 4000 - just as an example.


But this isn't an advertisement for what I do; not at all. It is me asking everyone to reconsider their plans for their gift buying this year.


Instead of buying that iPod or digital camera for Aunt Sue, why not seek out a local spa or holistic practitioner and get her a gift card redeemable for their services? Or instead of buying yet another DS games for the kids - how about tickets for a visit to the zoo, or a local play facility?


Have that person on your list who is tough to buy for? Think about some other alternatives - a hot air balloon ride, a season pass to a local theme park, a day rental of a jet ski... I know in my area, you can get fishing packages and go fishing in the lower gorge right in view of Niagara Falls. How awesome would that be?


These are the companies that can help the economy strengthen and grow.


So think outside of the big box... and consider your gift something that will give back to you, your family and your neighbors eventually as well.


Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!


COMMENTS

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Nightgame
Nightgame
14:48 Nov 25 2010

You have hit on a very real problem in this country. I love your "outside the box" gift ideals.





Morrigon
Morrigon
14:56 Nov 25 2010

You've hit the nail on the head. There are so many awesome locally owned businesses that provide those services and more - even the tech stuff or things that you think only the big department stores have.



It also boils down to people being smart shoppers. Are you really finding the best deals if you just wait to be bombarded by advertisements from the biggest corporations around? They're telling you that for a few days, they'll give you $100 off of a product that you want.



YET if you had taken a little bit of time to shop around with locally owned businesses, you might have noticed that they offer the same product for $100+ off year round.





birra
birra
15:55 Nov 25 2010

Exactly, Morri. Smaller businesses don't have weekly sales ads - they don't low-ball or lost-leader a few items to charge a premium on the add-ons. They generally simplify and maintain a fair and consistent markup on all items, then back-up what you buy with more personal and focused support services.



Sure, you might have to pay for some of the advanced services, but I don't know any small businesses that when you call them with a question, you get a "service representative" that barely knows English and asks you for your credit card information before he will tell you anything... do you?





Blackstaff
Blackstaff
15:55 Nov 25 2010

I'd have a hard time adding anything but "well done" articulating the real issue in this country and its fascination with huge stores that are empty of anything local but those minimum wage paid employees.





LadyKowe
LadyKowe
17:44 Nov 25 2010

Yea, I hear you there. I try to support the local businesses as much as possible, but sometimes you just can't get certain products or they're too expensive to get for a family of three with one income, so you try to stretch it as far as possible, which involves stores like Walmart etc.



Also-if you're shopping the 4am sales, PLEASE be courteous to both other shoppers and your lowly retail clerks (such as myself), because Black Friday is HELL for us.





ChasingTheGhost
ChasingTheGhost
19:22 Nov 25 2010

I did black friday last year to get the toys I knew she wanted. Some of those toys are still in their packaging and waiting patiently to be packed up and donated this year. I think also, that some of us tend to think that high ticket items are better but that is not always the case. Supporting small businesses and local artists is money and time well spent.





 

No more.. please...

02:57 Nov 21 2010
Times Read: 978


..does every install these days have to come with a browser tool bar? Seriously?


You know, that is one of the first things we do when we perform PC tune-ups is uninstall all the damn tool bars. They are an incredible drain on system resources.


Please remember to decline installing them when given the option...


COMMENTS

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ThothLestat
ThothLestat
03:54 Nov 21 2010

no kidding.

Eveything comes with a damned Yahoo tool bar, it seems.

WTF?





RedQueen
RedQueen
21:28 Nov 22 2010

And I'll tell you something else- removing them yourself, with just the add/delete hardware option on your computer, is damned near impossible. Some of them I can't get off at all....





PandorasBx
PandorasBx
22:14 Nov 25 2010

They drive me bonkers, I ALWAYS decline.





placidchaos
placidchaos
23:14 Nov 25 2010

When I worked at the hotel, there was someone who kept installing various tool bars. I remember opening IE one day to find yahoo, google, some coupon one, one for an anti-virus, and a few more that I can't remember. All together, they took up half the page and crashed the computer everytime IE was opened. I spent hours fixing that crap.





ChasingTheGhost
ChasingTheGhost
03:54 Nov 30 2010

I have an AVG one that won't go away. It hates me.





 

Yet another...

17:06 Nov 18 2010
Times Read: 1,006


...I have to hand it to the virus writters out there - they sure do net their prey. They keep getting better and better at creating stuff that can dupe even experienced users.


I'm cleaning up a rogue A/V right now that is named Windows Advanced Security Center. Looks just like the Windows security center, and with the introduction of Microsoft Security Essentials, people assume it was a free update and click "Activate."


Brilliant.


There is also a new "Lenovo" virus out there... coming in the form of an email to appear as updates for Lenovo products. Since Lenovo is a fantastic brand of PC and our primary recommendation for Laptops, we have to keep a concerned eye on this one.


However, the first customer we've had that was duped by it... has... an HP computer, and cannot explain why they thought they needed an Lenovo update...


It gives me something to do, I guess...


COMMENTS

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PAGAN
PAGAN
17:18 Nov 18 2010

yep. Ive seen one of those that mimic security software updates- a nasty little bugger to get rid of too. My IT support took hours to find all the hidden bits. Gah, why dont these folk do something productive with their talents instead?





birra
birra
17:23 Nov 18 2010

Thieves and scumbags help make the economy go'round.





Deathroid
Deathroid
17:44 Nov 18 2010

awesome

\





 

I hate to complain...

15:52 Nov 17 2010
Times Read: 1,042


...but what are colleges teaching in their "Information Technology" degree programs?


We work with a local college and their career placement services - we take on their IT Program students that need internships. These are always students about to graduate that need to fill 90-hours of real world internship experience in order to get their degree.


Of the several we've had, only one came to us with even the most basic hands on ability. The one we have right now, I just had to teach her PS2 color coding, that there is a kill switch on the back of modern PC power supplies and, yes, you have to plug in the monitor cable if you want to see what you're doing...


I: "Uh oh.. there's nothing on the screen..."


B: "You have to plug in the VGA cable."


I: "The what? What is a VGA cable?"


B: "The video cable - for the monitor?"


I: "Oh! Where does it go?"



SERIOUSLY?? What ARE they teaching???


COMMENTS

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Morrigon
Morrigon
16:02 Nov 17 2010

You know... That boggles my mind too. It's not that they don't know, hell everyone has to start somewhere right? It's that they are supposed to have attended Technology classes and yet STILL don't know this stuff.



Is no one pissed that they put money into these programs and have walked away with nothing??!





Blackstaff
Blackstaff
16:03 Nov 17 2010

You should put more of these in here. It makes me laugh and it really really true. There is no substitute for experience...hmm, this seems to hold true for many things in life, no?





ThothLestat
ThothLestat
16:27 Nov 17 2010

I think it's shocking that degree programs are churning out people with highly technical skills & advanced theoretical knowledge -- but these graduates seem to have no grasp of some basic fundamentals.



And I hate they sometimes make more money than me.





birra
birra
16:45 Nov 17 2010

That's it exactly. Almost as interesting to me is, they are in these courses and didn't learn these things on their own PRIOR to going into the program.



I mean, how do they know if they even have an interest or aptitude for the skills they have to learn if they've never done these things on their own first? That seems a bit backward to me, especially given the social saturation of technology these days.



And, Thoth, I agree. Despite all my experience, I know some recent grads that have gotten jobs I would probably never be considered for. One of our former interns got a job he didn't like and would call or email me weekly to ask me how to fix something or solve a problem - he just got a new job... at Moog... *shakes head*








RedQueen
RedQueen
21:27 Nov 17 2010

What kills me is that people insist that college (book) learning is so much better than genuine experience. I have never taken an IT course, or any other computer course, but over the years I have had jobs that required I have a certain amount of computer proficiency. I learned as I went, poking around, asking questions, and just generally getting on the job training, which I then proceeded to take with me to every other job I had. Books are great for the basics, but to really learn, you have to get your hands in it, on it, or dirty with it.





 

Oye vey...

02:53 Nov 10 2010
Times Read: 1,069





And casually I have said that when I go there, I feel like death is stalking me around every corner...


Poor guys...

COMMENTS

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Morrigon
Morrigon
18:50 Nov 10 2010

Please please please do not die.





birra
birra
20:36 Nov 10 2010

I shall do my best.



I walk around the place like a ninja... people must think I'm paranoid, I jump at the slightest sounds...



...and there are a LOT of sounds.





RedQueen
RedQueen
01:55 Nov 11 2010

Duck and cover, dude- Don't want to lose my hockey buddy.





Blackstaff
Blackstaff
16:05 Nov 17 2010

Were you there? When did this happen? More info man!





birra
birra
16:46 Nov 17 2010

Nope, wasn't there. It happened while I was in Orlando last week. Everything is closed off and all info is classified.





 

Whirlwind...

18:14 Nov 09 2010
Times Read: 1,088


...I miss days like this - late flight in, have a meeting, run to the airport to fly out again.


The meeting went well. I think we'll get a shot at some of their business. Then it is a matter of performance when we do so we keep getting more opportunities.


Now I want to see if I can get some backing on some of our ideas and initiatives. They seemed interested in them.


COMMENTS

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Morrigon
Morrigon
20:59 Nov 09 2010

It is fun to get messages from you in different cities and states. *hugs*





 

Heh...

02:25 Nov 03 2010
Times Read: 1,120


...lunch was Subway, which there was one right next to the first site we had to go to. Pretty convenient. And an enjoyable day - the kids had a lot of fun. I doubt they learned anything useful except:


1. Vehicles cannot occupy the same space in time without disasterous consequences


2. Driving far above the speed limit on a busy highway can also have disasterous consequences, i.e. your car being upsidedown on a fence long side a corn field.


3. Deer don't stand a chance on a highway full of 18-wheelers...


Yep... that is what driving across New York State is like...


COMMENTS

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RedQueen
RedQueen
03:04 Nov 03 2010

I hope there was a meatball sub in there somewhere. Although I will admit to falling in love with this little hole in the wall place in New Hampshire that had veal subs....yum.



Highway driving in ANY state can be an eduactional event. However, in the south, if someone hits a deer on the road, THAT'S lunch...





Blackstaff
Blackstaff
06:21 Nov 03 2010

Road trip classroom...awesome. Oh and subway rocks, but not as much as Quiznos. Something about the over just changes something for me. Meh, just weird I guess.





Requiem
Requiem
11:14 Nov 03 2010

Those are all valuable lessons to learn ... without the painful object lesson part.





birra
birra
13:34 Nov 03 2010

Fortunately they didn't get any first-hand lessons on those... but when you're driving along the I-90 in New York you're almost guaranteed to see accidents and dead deer.



Even when coming back we hit Buffalo at rush hour and witnessed a guy in an SUV weaving in and out of traffic at obnoxiously high speeds. While everyone was cruising along around 60-65 in a 55 zone, he was passing through heavy traffic like everyone was standing still. My daughter gasped audibly when he cut in front of a car ahead of us and force them to brake.



And no, Morri, I wasn't tailgating - I had plenty of room to make any exit maneuver I would have needed to. :p





 

And, we're off...

11:28 Nov 02 2010
Times Read: 1,139


...off to Syracuse today to hit two sites for one customer. Should be a relatively easy day.


Excepting of course, for some reason our school district felt the need to close for elections. So I am going to turn the day into an adventure - road trip with the kids!


Wish me luck. Heh.


COMMENTS

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PAGAN
PAGAN
12:42 Nov 02 2010

are we there yet...?





Blackstaff
Blackstaff
15:27 Nov 02 2010

Bon chance :)





RedQueen
RedQueen
20:47 Nov 02 2010

I'm HUNGRY!! When are we gonna stop for LUNCH????








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