Friday, November 24, 2006

The Browes and i went to the omni max to see titanic movie and exibit. Here ir the large film re el.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jaycees Murder Myster Night

Recently, Jaycee Mike Liang had us over to his house for one of those murder mystery parties.

The entire event was a lot of fun. Joanne did really well, winning best actress and almost walking away with best costume, as well.

For anybody who is looking for pictures, stop by my Multiply account.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

IT Solutions to Deploy this Year

This is my technology article for the month of October.


With the end of 2006 rapidly approaching, many readers will be looking to invest some of their profits back into their company. If you haven’t taken full advantage of the IRS’ Section 179 deduction limit of $108,000 in capital expenditures, IT investments are a great way to help make your business more competitive while cutting down on your tax liability. By deploying your solution now your staff will be well adjusted to the changes made to operations, giving you a running start for 2007. Here are some project ideas that Delmarva businesses have successfully deployed this year:

Small Business Server – Microsoft’s Small Business Server is a very powerful solution for small businesses. Built with Windows Server 2003 and Exchange, SBS gives offices with 5 or more computers many advantages that used to be reserved for larger organizations with larger budgets including in-house email services. By deploying a network server for the first time, businesses will benefit from increased security, simplified data retention policies, and lower support costs over time. A network server sets the stage for future IT solutions, and is appropriate for almost any industry on the shore.

Paperless Office – Is your office over stocked with filing cabinets or banker’s boxes full of paper documents? Perhaps you’re paying high fees for a document storage service. If you operate in a document intensive industry, a paperless office solution could be right up your alley. To implement a paperless office solution, you need four basic elements: an efficient scanner, imaging software, a centralized data store (usually a server), and new workflows to take advantage of the technology. A basic solution for a small office can be had for under $500 – just the cost of a quality scanner with a document feeder. Larger organizations will look for higher speed scanners, Adobe Acrobat, and perhaps a storage server to store document images. These types of solutions can often pay big dividends by improving efficiency and reducing document storage costs.

Desktop Faxing – It's amazing how much more efficient you can become by saving a few steps here and there. While this technology has been around for quite some time, there are still many businesses that rely on the traditional fax machine. Because Windows Server comes with faxing software included and fax modems are built into almost every server, most companies have the ability to deploy this solution already. Outbound faxes can be sent from your desktop computer simply by changing the default printer. Inbound faxes are best delivered to a single person (such as a receptionist) via email for distribution throughout the office. If you work in a heavily regulated industry, you’ll want to automatically save your inbound and outgoing faxes should they be needed later.

Virtual Private Network – VPNs allow your business to connect multiple offices (and even people working from home) to your computer network using a high speed Internet connection. The old alternative was to use costly point-to-point leased lines to accomplish this task. Because VPNs pass encrypted traffic, your privacy is ensured. Using a VPN will allow you to share network resources as if the network were in the same building, so you can print from one office to another, and even share a single network server.

Optimized Edge Routing – The Internet continues to become increasingly important to area businesses, and competition is slowly bringing more connectivity options to Delmarva. The T-1 connection offers the highest levels of reliability, but it’s not uncommon to pay $500 - $800 per month for the service. If you are located in an area that offers both cable and DSL service, you can get more bandwidth and similar reliability for well under $200 per month. All that is required to take advantage of this technology is a Cisco router, which can also give you VPN capabilities.

Business Telephone System – Today’s new telephone systems offer many features to help your office communicate more intelligently. If your phone system is more than seven years old, it might be worth looking at what telephone vendors are offering. One of the best features that I have seen is Unified Communications, which allow your telephone system to email you voice messages to your inbox. You can easily save voice mails for future reference, and the single inbox for all of your messages is very handy. The new IP Telephony systems make your telephone system even more intelligent because they can make your phone system and data network one.

These are just a few ideas for projects that are usually deployed in a month or less, and feature a relatively high Return on Investment. If you have a business need, chances are there is a technology out there that can solve your problems. Don’t hesitate to investigate options to find what’s right for you.

Picked up two new publishers of my articles

I'm now writing in the Chamber publication for Sussex County, DE and the Salisbury Chamber (on rotation). My monthly circulation is up to about 12k readers!

Welcome new friends!

It's funny to see what information you can gain from the visitors log of your blog. People come from all over the world looking for bits of information related to bbq, delmarva events, how to cable your networks and how to promote your web site.

I'd like to offer a hardy welcome to some of my new readers. Certainly you've been "hanging on" for more great reading material.

See you soon!

Now on Blogger Beta

I haven't been active in the blogosphere lately. It was a nice suprise to see that I was finally given the chance to migrate to the new blogger beta!

In the past I had relied on Firefox and some DHTML scripting to tag posts using my del.icio.us account. Now Blogger has tags built right in!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An article to test the effectiveness of RSS Feeds and Search Engine Optimization

I've been writing technology articles as a way of promoting Inacom for about a year now. Called The Competitive Advantage, I pick a technology concept and explain how it can be used to make your business more They appear in the Chesapeake Business Ledger, which is distributed in Talbot, Ken, and Queen Anne counties to Chamber of Commerce members, and thousands of copies are distributed through area businesses. It's an opportunity to keep our name out in the business world to help build brand awareness. Next month, I'm to be picked up by the Chamber of Commerce publication for Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware.

One of the projects that I've been working on is improving our Search Engine Visibility through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. One problem that I've noticed is that our site doesn't have a lot of links to it. This, in turn, shows a search engine that a given web site is of high quality which improves rankings.

I've been playing around with RSS feeds through this blog, and it's been neat to see how these posts draw readers and how the content gets around the Internet. I stumbled across Ezine Articles the other day, and noticed that they have a high traffic web site with lots of RSS feed distributions. To see what would happen, I submitted my article on Structured Cabling Standards for Commercial Buildings. A link to Inacom's web site will ensure that whever the site gets published will provide a link (and a search engine vote of approval) for my company web site. Today, my article was accepted on the web site for publication.

I'll check in to see how this gets distributed through the Internet, and let you know if anything interesting happens.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Joanne and I are back from Vacation

I put a bunch of photos on my Multiply account. I'll post a narrative of the trip later.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Babble-On


There are 187 words in the puzzle above. How many can you find?

Babble is an awesome game for all of you Scrabble addicts/Boggle Heads/Linguists out there. I am a big fan of their AJAX interface - it makes the game play very quick and user intuitive.

The people who made this game made another of my favorites - Iron Sudoku.

Check it out. I'm sure that you'll like it. You can play the day's puzzle for free. If you want to play archived games , you can pay them $15 for a one year subscription.

Monday, July 31, 2006

RIP Patrick Lynch

This evening, I went to the "Life Celebration" of my friend Pat. This was one of a handful of funerals that I have attended in my life. Most of them happened when I was very young and did not understand what death really was. Others involved people that I didn't know very well.

Pat was a very caring and friendly person. He liked music and spending time with his friends. For a few years, we saw each other regularly. As time would have it, our journeys led us down different paths, and we fell out of contact. I'd venture to guess that I might have seen Pat just a few times in the past year or two. Last Wednesday, Hunter told me that Pat had taken his own life. He had taken the time to plan the event before hand - the time, the place, the method. He said goodbye to his friends at work and gave them hugs. Pat had written four letters - to his parents, his sister, his wife, and one of his friends.

Pat was the second "local" that I met while attending SU, and he quickly became a great friend. When I arrived at the funeral home, I looked around and saw so many people who have been close friends at one point or another in my life. It was a shame that it would take an event like this to bring this group of people together. We gathered to remember Pat, we cried, and we grieved together.

I can't imagine being in a place so desparate that life had so little meaning. He had his problems, but who doesn't? As I write this, I have really begun to contemplate life and what may lie beyond. Pat did not want his death to be a burden on his family and friends, so in the spirit of his last wishes, I'll give an update as to what my long lost friends are up to.

Graham, an extraordinary guitarist, has continued to pursue his dreams of playing music. He's played several local shows lately - I can't wait to go see one soon. He is engaged to a lovely girl who lived down the street from us while I was in college.

Bart has gotten his act together, and he works for the Worcester County Health Department. He recently purchased a house in Ocean Pines with his Girlfriend.

Ted was recently living with Pat. He received one of the letters. I introduced the two of them a few years ago, and lost touch with both of them.

Sara, whom I have known for years, is a year away from graduating with a Philosophy degree. She's still working at Papa Johns. She will be getting married in September to Rob. I worked with Rob about 6 years ago at Pizza Hut. He was a shift manager, having just graduated from high school.

I didn't get to speak much with Amy, Pat's wife. She was understandably receiving much attention from everybody in attendance. I passed along my condolences and gave her a big hug. I also wrote her a note about Pat, and the day that I met the two of them.

When the service was over, I visited the box of Pat's ashes to say my last goodbye. I placed my hand on the box, and said a prayer for him, his family, and his friends.

Patrick's life affected so many people. There were so many people in attendance, they had to open up the room across the hall. I don't know if Pat realized how many people cared so much for him, but I do know that everybody there considered themselves blessed to have Pat in their lives, if only for a brief moment.

Rest in peace, my friend. I'll carry memories of you forever.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Saturday, July 15, 2006

George W. Bush Coloring Book

George W. Bush Coloring Book

We all know that Bush isn't the most articulate person on earth. I thought this was a very creative way of showing it!
Tags:

Make Fun Of Me: Dumb Laws

Make Fun Of Me: Dumb Laws:

Here's a funny list of dumb laws from all over the country. Just so you know, it's illegal for men to walk around without a shirt on the boardwalk of Ocean City.
Tags:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Travis in action


We have a huge cabling job going on for a pharmaceutical company. It's had us hemmed up for a while now, and that week of severe thunderstorms have given us plenty of infrastructure and telephone work to do.

Everybody with a spare hand has been chipping in to get this job done. Here I am wearing a buffaunt and lab coat. We're in the production area, which necessitates special clothing and extra care to keep dust to a minimum.


Tags:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Feedburner is active for my Multiply site

I set up a feedburner feed of my Multiply site. This will allow you to get any flavor of syndication that you want. I'm hoping to eventually use it to auto update my blogger site when there are upcoming events, pictures, etc.
Tags:

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Chesapeake Mustard Sauce

Joanne is out of town, taking many of her youth to Lake Charles, LA for a mission trip. This means that I've had an entire weekend to myself. All of the extra time means that it's time to make some 'que!

I'm about half an hour way from finishing a rack of ribs. My last try was very dissappointing, so I thought I should give another go at it.

Yesterday I bought a rack of spareribs from Giant. Today I cut a slit in that tough membrane on the back and pulled it off using a paper towel. Many people choose to cut the extra flap of meat away and clean up the bottom of the rib - I didn't bother, because I'm just trying to impress myself. I covered the ribs with Texas Rib Rangers Spicey BBQ Seasoning this morning, and let them marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours. I used this rub to make pulled pork once, and it was really good.

I set the ribs on top of my ghetto rack, which is a wire rack from a toaster oven that fits perfectly on top of a heavy duty aluminum food pan. Inside the pan, I added about 1.5 inches of liquid - 3 parts water 1 part cider vinegar. The Big Green Egg has been holding steady at about 250 for 4.5 hours now. The ribs are very juicy looking, and starting to get very tender. I just added two ears of corn to the rack - I peeled back the husk, removed the stringy stuff, put the husk back, and dunked 'em in water. The plan is to have them in the BGE for about an hour or so.

I also made some mustard bbq sauce for dipping. It's based upon the recipe at bbq.about.com, but I was out of brown sugar and a few other things. You can search Derrick's site for the exact link, or find it posted earlier on my blog. Here's the recipe that I made up:

Chesapeake Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup French's Yellow Mustard
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Honey
1 T Melinda's Habenero Hot sauce
1 T Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
1 t Old Bay Seasoning
2 T Butter
Pepper to Taste

Combine all the ingredients, and let them simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring ocasionally. Let it sit, covered, for at least half an hour. The heavy mustard taste will diminish and the time to sit will ensure that all of the flavors get to mingle together.

Overall, I think it's a worthy recipe. I might add a bit more hot sauce to the mix for my personal love of all things spicy. The Melinda's is probably the most mild Habenero sauce that I've ever tasted. Feel free to substitute your own favorite hot sauce or change the quantity that you plan to use. Cayenne pepper or chipotle chile powder would also make for a great substitute.

If you use any of these ideas for your own barbequeing, let me know how it turns out!


Tags:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Salisbury Jaycees Fireworks

Joanne and I are working the salisbury jaycees fireworks. Right now there is a severe storm raining down on us. It should be ending soon.

UPDATE: The show went on, only a few minutes late. Not a lot of damage was done, although it appears our VIP tent took a little beating. The fireworks were awesome!

Tags:

Friday, June 30, 2006

I've been busy lately

Posts have been slow to come in as I've been busy and Internet challenged.

Here are some interesting things going on:

Friday July 4 will bring the awesomest fireworks show ever to Salisbury. I'm working the event with the Jaycees.

Joanne has been busy this week with her Fiesta VBS. She ended up with over 50 kids, a significant increase over last year's attendance. She was even told that her program is better than one of the other churches in Easton!

Joanne has also been watching two dogs, Ginger and Sampson. Ginger is a corgie, and Sampson is a Jack Russel. She's been living in a pool house near St Michaels, and the property has three points of water. It's nice to vist this excellent property!

I was on yesterday's WMDT news cast for an expert opinion on the stolen VA laptop. It's always nice when we can help and get free publicity. I think I'm up to 6 appearences on the news for various events and stuff.

Today I submitted another article to the Chesapeake Business Ledger. This one is about RSS and how it can help your business and personal life.

At Inacom we're pushing to make Cisco Premier Certified Partner status. Shawn just passed the CCNA exam. I've started studying for the Cisco Secure Foundations Sales Specialist tests. There are two that I've got to pass to earn this certification.

Geocaching has been a lot of fun, but I haven't been good about taking pictures. :-( Tomorrow Joanne, Mike Liang, and I are going to hit up the "Gone Fishing" geocache in DE, and maybe some others in the area.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How 'bout them O's hon?

Tonight i am at Camden Yards for an O's game. It's the bottom of the seventh. We are winning 2 to 1.

UPDATE: We won!

Joanne and I took my friend Jeff, aka Mr Foxx and his new girl Erin out for some fun. I got the tix from a friend of mine, who works as a K9 kinda prison guard. It was nice to make it back to B'more for a game. Camden Yards is so beautiful!

Tags:

Friday, June 09, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

A request to Senator McCain

When Joanne and I found The Politician, I did not realize that he had already been to DC. I thought it would make for a fun roadtrip to get pictures of him with all of those cool monuments.

Upon logging TP and realizing that it was time for him to return home, I emailed his owner to confirm that this is indeed what I should do with him. The owner asked me to hold onto him while he is given a new quest. One possible idea was to follow the Senator's future campaign for president.

On a whim, I emailed Senator McCain's office, and asked if I could secure a picture of the senator with The Politician. Below is my letter:

____________________

I am an avid geocacher (www.geocaching.com for info) - it is a sport which involves hiding and finding caches using GPS coordinates. Geocaching often involves hiking and exploring the natural wonders of the US and the rest of the world. It's a great way to be active and enjoy our unspoiled natural areas in an environmentally responsible way.

During one find, I came across a "travel bug" which was started by a constituent of the Senator's in AZ. This travel bug (aka "The Politician" - see http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?guid=fce56f57-0f7b-4cdb-9ca8-25c93df46161) was sent on a mission to go to DC, secure pork barrel spending for his friends, and make its way back to the Senator's home state of AZ. It's a rather tongue in cheek protest of our nation's irresponsible spending habits.

Senator McCain's position is well documented in these matters. He votes to protect our environment and also for fiscal responsibility. As such, I believe that the Senator's position is aligned with the meaning of this travel bug and the thoughts of his constituent from Arizona.

Would it be possible to secure a picture of Senator McCain with "The Politician?" The picture would be posted on the geocaching.com web site as a diary of its travels. This would be a purely non-commercial use. Many travel bugs have traveled tens of thousands of miles across oceans and continents, but I do not believe that one has actually met a senator.

I can arrange to personally transport this travel bug to the Senator's office in DC with a few days notice, or send him via parcel post to one of his offices in AZ. By possessing The Politician, I am obligated to help him get back to AZ - so if it is requested that I release control of him I ask that your office would help him return home to Arizona by placing him in a geocache.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter. I imagine that this is one of the silliest requests that you will ever receive.

Sincerely,

Travis Fisher
Salisbury, MD

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Very Very Sad

Cory Palmer is a hero who served our country in Iraq. Those God Hates Fags creeps are planning to disrespect his funeral and show themselves as the assholes they are today in Seaford DE.

Top Story Home

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Re: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks
"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

Thanks Travis!
 
Scott
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:35 PM
Subject: Re: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks<BR>"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

Hi guys.

Glad to see that you did so well in Richmond.  Per Sally's request, I added a link on my blog to the Dixie Bones blog and web site.  I also included your summary of the event, because I found it interesting.

Good luck in Chesapeake!

T.

On 5/17/06, robert cocherell <dkingofq@msn.com> wrote:
Sally,
 
Here is the Richmond Recap!!!
 
Looking to put Salisbury in the rear view mirror, we loaded up and went down to Richmond for the Virginia National Backyard BBQ Championships.  This event was an IBCA ( International Barbecue Cookers Association) sponsored event, with the representative being flown in from Texas to oversee the judging and organization of the event.   
 
We arrived at about 11AM Friday morning to begin setting up, Our team was the first one onsite and pretty much had choice of where we wanted to be.  It is always important to locate your power and water supply and try to set up close to it so hoses and extension cords don't have to be run so far.  We also wanted to be close to the stage, so all these factors worked in our favor.
 
In most cases so far myself and teammate Bill Brown usually go down early and set up our compound while the remainder of the team shows up later in the afternoon or early evening.  Once this is complete about 2 hours or so, we get our meat inspected by the female IBCA representative.  This is a requirement at every event, meat cold, not pre-seasoned in any way.  This being done all the prep work can begin.  On this trip we are cooking 3 pork butts, 2 briskets, 6 racks of ribs, and 6 chicken halves.  You always start with the large cuts of meat due to the long cooking time.  Butts and briskets are marinated, injected, seasoned, and wrapped for later.  The ribs and chicken will go later tonight.
 
You must always think about taking care of your team, so for the Friday night dinner I cooked my guys NY strip steaks, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, all smothered with a chipotle-lime butter.  We even invited the rep. to dine with us and answer some questions as this was a new event per say as for the rules and what was expected.  Everyone eaten, grill up to temperature, the briskets and butts are put on to smoke for the night.
 
The great thing about these contests is the folks you meet and hang out with, the team names, and the stories people tell.  The Texas Rib Rangers came all the way from Texas and invited a young man who is fighting cancer to join them for the weekend.  He got to be an honorary member of a legendary team, cooked, prepped, served, turned in their entries, and then walked to the stage and picked up their trophies.  Now the great part of this story is that the Rib Rangers have plenty of trophies and let this young man keep those trophies for himself to remember that he is and always will be a Rib Ranger.
 
We finished cooking on Saturday, sauced everything, prepped in the boxes, turned in and then began the agonizing wait to see how we did.  We had real high hopes and were not disappointed when we got our first call ever to the stage, 6th in chicken!!!!!  What a great feeling walking up to Mrs. Virginia and the Attorney General to receive our plaque and check.  Now that would have made us all happy Q'ers but low and behold we got another call for 10th in pork, walked up and received trophy and check again.  This helped us gain a 10th place overall finish in only our 3rd contest with escalating expectations for the next weekend in Chesapeake, VA.  See you on the road!!!!
 
Scott Cocherell
Dixie Bones BBQ Team
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:43 PM
Subject: RE: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks<BR>"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

Hi Travis! I am the marketing director for Dixie Bones and I write the Barbeque Blog. Scott gives me the information and pictures to publish. I found your blog by using Technorati to find links to the Pork in the Park web site.

 

I will forward your message to Scott and post your comment. Thanks for reading the Barbeque Blog- it would be great it you could link back to us.

 

Take care,

Sally

 


From: Travis Fisher [mailto:fisher.travis@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 11:55 PM
To: Sally L. Albright
Subject: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks<BR>"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

 

Travis Fisher has left a new comment on your post " Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks
"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD
":

Hey Scott.

Thanks for coming out to compete. I tried really hard to get a team together from the Salisbury JayCees, but didn't have enough interest. They say that if you're going to do something in life, you should do it as best you can - as a group we like to poor beer.

Each year this event gets bigger and better. I hope that you'll come out again.

How did you do in Richmond?

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Travis Fisher to Barbeque Blog at 5/15/2006 11:55:23 PM




--
See what's going on by visiting my blog, The Life of Travis.  http://trza.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dixie Bones Barbeque cooks in Richmond

The Dixie Bones team recently competed in Richmond after their appearance in Salisbury's Pork in the Park. Here's a great first hand account of what it's like being in a competition - I found it fascinating. They have a blog, too. Here's the link.

________________________
Here is the Richmond Recap!!!
Looking to put Salisbury in the rear view mirror, we loaded up and went down to Richmond for the Virginia National Backyard BBQ Championships. This event was an IBCA ( International Barbecue Cookers Association) sponsored event, with the representative being flown in from Texas to oversee the judging and organization of the event.
We arrived at about 11AM Friday morning to begin setting up, Our team was the first one onsite and pretty much had choice of where we wanted to be. It is always important to locate your power and water supply and try to set up close to it so hoses and extension cords don’t have to be run so far. We also wanted to be close to the stage, so all these factors worked in our favor.
In most cases so far myself and teammate Bill Brown usually go down early and set up our compound while the remainder of the team shows up later in the afternoon or early evening. Once this is complete about 2 hours or so, we get our meat inspected by the female IBCA representative. This is a requirement at every event, meat cold, not pre-seasoned in any way. This being done all the prep work can begin. On this trip we are cooking 3 pork butts, 2 briskets, 6 racks of ribs, and 6 chicken halves. You always start with the large cuts of meat due to the long cooking time. Butts and briskets are marinated, injected, seasoned, and wrapped for later. The ribs and chicken will go later tonight.
You must always think about taking care of your team, so for the Friday night dinner I cooked my guys NY strip steaks, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, all smothered with a chipotle-lime butter. We even invited the rep. to dine with us and answer some questions as this was a new event per say as for the rules and what was expected. Everyone eaten, grill up to temperature, the briskets and butts are put on to smoke for the night.
The great thing about these contests is the folks you meet and hang out with, the team names, and the stories people tell. The Texas Rib Rangers came all the way from Texas and invited a young man who is fighting cancer to join them for the weekend. He got to be an honorary member of a legendary team, cooked, prepped, served, turned in their entries, and then walked to the stage and picked up their trophies. Now the great part of this story is that the Rib Rangers have plenty of trophies and let this young man keep those trophies for himself to remember that he is and always will be a Rib Ranger.
We finished cooking on Saturday, sauced everything, prepped in the boxes, turned in and then began the agonizing wait to see how we did. We had real high hopes and were not disappointed when we got our first call ever to the stage, 6th in chicken!!!!! What a great feeling walking up to Mrs. Virginia and the Attorney General to receive our plaque and check. Now that would have made us all happy Q'ers but low and behold we got another call for 10th in pork, walked up and received trophy and check again. This helped us gain a 10th place overall finish in only our 3rd contest with escalating expectations for the next weekend in Chesapeake, VA. See you on the road!!!!
Scott Cocherell
Dixie Bones BBQ Team
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:43 PM
Subject: RE: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks<BR>"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

Hi Travis! I am the marketing director for Dixie Bones and I write the Barbeque Blog. Scott gives me the information and pictures to publish. I found your blog by using Technorati to find links to the Pork in the Park web site.

I will forward your message to Scott and post your comment. Thanks for reading the Barbeque Blog- it would be great it you could link back to us.

Take care,

Sally


From: Travis Fisher [mailto:fisher.travis@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 11:55 PM
To: Sally L. Albright
Subject: New comment on Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks<BR>"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD

Travis Fisher has left a new comment on your post "Dixie Bones "Road Show" Cooks
"Pork in the Park" in Salisbury, MD
":

Hey Scott.

Thanks for coming out to compete. I tried really hard to get a team together from the Salisbury JayCees, but didn't have enough interest. They say that if you're going to do something in life, you should do it as best you can - as a group we like to poor beer.

Each year this event gets bigger and better. I hope that you'll come out again.

How did you do in Richmond?

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Travis Fisher to Barbeque Blog at 5/15/2006 11:55:23 PM

Tags:

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Geocaching at Fairview Resource Management Area
















Today Joanne and I went geocaching at FRMA. This is a hugantic preservation area with many trails for people and horses. The area is located in NorthEastern Maryland, near the intersection of MD, DE, and PA. There are about a dozen caches in this area, making it a hot spot for geocachers.


We started the day hitting an easy cache - Francancone. In it we found The Politician, a Travel Bug on a missing, TP is trying to get to Washington DC to secure some pork barrel spending for his buddies. Here is Joanne with TP - he was very pleasant and amiable.

Our intent was to start our FRMA hunting with the FairField MultiCache, but I forgot to put the coordinates in our GPS. :-( Instead we went for the Ruined Chicken MultiCache, which is 6 caches hidden across FRMA.


Around the Fair Hill Multicache is a pond were many turtles live. According to a sign at the pond, this huge female turtle is over 30 years old. Happy mother's day, turtle!

Here I am with the first cache of Ruined Chicken.


Around the first cache was an abandoned house (there are many in this area). This is the pic of the chimney in the house - there were also some old appliances in there.

Joanne found the second cache.

A little further down the trail, we searched for the Ampitheater cache. Joanne found it in the roots of this tree, on the top of a very steep hill.

On our way to the third cache, we found this memorial just over a concrete bridge. To the left of the cross is a note left to the deceased.


And the third cache...

On our way to the fourth cache of six, we started hearing frequent thunder coming towards us. The decision was made to hike back to the car. We've got to go back another time to finish it up. Our overall hike was about 6 miles.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Quest is Over

Joanne and I did not get past the first round. I had a lunch meeting to go to, so Joanne completed the last puzzle. She had some Flash problems and was distracted by work.

By 1:30-ish PM, there were already over 10000 people chosen to be finalists.

It would have been fun to win all of the excellent prizes. Maybe next time.
Tags:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Daily Times - www.delmarvanow.com - Salisbury, Md.

In Monday's edition of the Daily Times, I received recognition for tying with the most BNI referrals for the month of March.

I got many "Seen ya's" for this one. Free press is always a good thing.

The Daily Times - www.delmarvanow.com - Salisbury, Md.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bach to the Future

After our day of Geocaching, Joanne and I went to see some friends perform in St Michaels, MD. Sarah was singing soprano, and Kevin was the guest conductor.

Upon arrival in St Michaels, we ate at the Town Dock Restaurant. We had a great meal overlooking the Marina in the quaint, historic town. I had the New England Striped Bass - it had a sundried tomato crust and garlic mashed potatoes. Joanne at some tasty grouper dish topped with pesto and accompanied with baby artichokes.

Next, we drove a few blocks to Christ Church St Michaels. This is an extremly beautiful, historic church - very neat. They had a lot of artifacts inside, including a gift from Queen Elizabeth from the 1700's and stuff from many long forgotten churches of convenience. The stained glass was awesome.

Joanne and I sent an hour or so ushering, or handing out programs. I counted about 100 attendees. Then we got to enjoy the choir music. It was awesome - 17 amazing singers, who performed arrangements of poems and the like.

We finished our evening with a trip to Scossa's for desert. Many of the vocalists came to join us.

Geocaching at Tuckahoe State Park

Yesterday Joanne and I began our new hobby - geocaching. For those unfamiliar with the sport, it's a sort of modern day treasure hunting. There are caches placed all over earth, and you are given the coordinates of the goodies. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to use the information made available to you to find the cache. Inside the cache, which is usually tupperware or an ammo container, you'll find all sorts of trinkets and a log book. Trade a trinket, sign the log, and rehide the cache.

We went to Tuckahoe State Park in search of 4 caches that live there. Later in the day we were to help our friends Bach to the Future with their performance, so it was only expected that we might find two of them.

Our first hunt was for Tuckahoe Valley Trail Cache. We started at the beginning of the Tuckahoe Valley Trail near Cemetary Lane, and decided to take the Cliffside Trail to our destination. The hike started out with what I think was an Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, which scared Joanne. We went past some power lines and then along some very steep slopes that follow a creek.

We then arrived at an intersection of trails and began searching for the cache. Our hint told us to look for a large oak tree about 75 feet from the intersection. After about half an hour, I was able to find the cache. Inside were some trinkets (McDonald's Incredibles Toy, matchbox cars, etc) and a log book. I signed the book - we didn't take a trinket becase I left them in Joanne's car. I had to hide the cache quickly because there were some mountain bikers coming up to the area.

Next up was our search for Tour de Lamahoe, which was about 1/4 mile East on the Turkey Trail. We entered a floodplain and saw many trees that had been felled by beavers in an attempt to dam up the area. After searching for about an hour, we gave up on this one. While we were in the right area, we just couldn't find the stash.

Given the time constraints, we decided to make our way back to the car. Our return trip was via the Tuckahoe Valley Trail, which was an easy hike through the woods. We didn't try the other two geocaches, so there are still three in Tuckahoe that we need to find.

We had a great time experiencing the wilderness. Our overall hike for the day was about 3.5 miles. Next weekend we'll be in Salisbury, so we're going to search for Geocaches over there.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TheHawaiiChannel - Family - 10 Traits That Make You A Great Girlfriend

I love Joanne so much - she's the bestest girlfriend ever. In case you were curios to know why, here's the scoop.

TheHawaiiChannel - Family - 10 Traits That Make You A Great Girlfriend

TheHawaiiChannel - KITV 4 News - Men Glued To Toilet Seats At Wal-Mart, Denny's

Salisbury has been making the national news lately. Seems that somebody has been putting super glue on public toilet seats. While it would be super embarassing to be a victim to such a prank, I still think that I'd laugh about it after the humiliation wore off.

This morning I saw a story on Fox News. Here's the story running on a TV station in Hawaii.

TheHawaiiChannel - KITV 4 News - Men Glued To Toilet Seats At Wal-Mart, Denny's

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

wikiHow - The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write or Edit

wikiHow - The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write or Edit

I was playing the Da Vinci game, and decided to look around my Google personal home page. One of the panes that I installed was the "How To" section. The content comes from this web site.

There's a ton of cool information here. I learned how to make a bow and arrow, how to make water in the desert, how to grow cacti, and how to include Jack Dog in my wedding.

Because it's a wiki, anybody with an account can add an article or edit one.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Quest by Google



Have you been playing the Da Vinci Code Quest from Google? You get these puzzles to play each day at 1pm. Once you complete the puzzle, you're asked a question that you must answer. Most come from the DaVinci web site . Others you need google for. I solved one today that had me convert dipoles into inches using Google calculator.

If you're one of the first 10,000 players to complete this round, you go to some type of second round. Win this new round, and you win a bunch of awesome prizes, including airfare to New York, London, Paris, and Rome, and other things. It would be perfect for me and Joanne! :-)

In order to compete, you need a Google account. If you don't have one, email me and I'll send you an invitation.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pork in the Park!


This weekend Wicomico County put on the third annual Pork in the Park event. It's a national barbeque cook-off sanctioned by the KCBS. I guess that means if you win, you get to go to the show and vie for the title of national champion!

Friday evening Joanne and I served beer for the JayCees. We had fun, and got some BBQ for dinner from Three Phat Boys catering.

Saturday I went back in the AM and participated as a BBQ Judge! I got suckered into being a Table Captain, so I didn't get to rate any food. I did, however, get to taste a lot of entries. I left the tent with several take home boxes full of BBQ goodness, and shared my spoils with fellow JayCees who were on beer duty.

Random observations about being a BBQ Judge:
1. Be prepared to eat a lot of BBQ. Think of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners combined.
2. Table Captains have to keep track of paperwork and bring entries to the table. Be sure to delegate responsibilities for the lucky judges - have them get more paper towels, bottles of water, crackers, etc. Expect them to share their food with you if there isn't enough of an entry for you, too.
3. If you are entering an event, be sure to include extras above the minimum amount you must submit. Sometimes ribs stick together, which could leave a judge without anything to taste. The judges also like it when there's plenty to go around for the table captain and others in the tent. It's a karma thing.
4. Don't enter food that's covered in sauce. A little sauce is OK, if it accents the meat. Some entries were so sauced up that's all you tasted. Somebody entered sausage that tasted like it was turned into candy. It was so gross that I had to spit it into a napkin. There were few dry rub entries, so they really shined and had a leg up on the others.
5. Charcoal matters more than you think. One team was using Kingsford briquettes and lighter fluid. The briquettes aren't bad, per se - if you pre-burn them so that all of the black soot is gone you can get heat and smoky flavor. If you don't it makes the outside of the meat taste funny. Same with lighter fluid. But if you're cooking "low and slow" it's almost impossible to get rid of all the fluid, meaning that your meat will absorb a funky petroleum taste. The judgest learned quickly which entries to avoid. Many people like Cowboy brand. My personal favorites are the Competition Blend from Wicked Good Charcoal and the Big Green Egg charcoal from Royal Oak.
6. BBQ is salty. I felt like I ate a huge bag of super salty popcorn for hours after I finished judging, with pickled lips, etc.

Because of the use of numbers, we had no idea who would have the best BBQ. Turns out that this team IQ did very well, winning overall, 2 or 3 first places, and 2 second places. They made a few grand in prize money. The team sponsored by the ultimate hot sauce store Peppers were a big suprise - they placed Top 10 in just about everything and won second overall.

Despite the several inches of rain and all the lightning that we received over the weekend, I thought that the event was awesome. Being a judge was a great learning experience - on my good tries I'm right up there with the best, and at worst I'm better than the people who use lighter fluid! If I can continue to improve my consistency and learn a little more each try, I'll be a champ in little time.

Thursday night: Jar Flys at the 8x10 in Baltimore

Joanne and I took a little road trip to Balmer, Hon to go see Jar Flys. They are a band fronted by Jimi Haha of Jimi's Chicken Shack fame. These guys are more mello, with a heavy jam band influence. They still retain Jimi's sense of humor, making for an awesome show.

Some of you may be saying "I thought the 8x10 was sold and turned into the Funk Box!?!?" Well, that's right. But nobody knew where the Funk Box was, or just refused to call it anything but the 8x10, so the owners fixed their mistake. Luckily, the place still retained all of the awesome sound qualities when they upgraded the venue to call it Funk Box.

It was nice to see all of the old crew. Foxx, Joe, Straitz, Brian, Christian, and all the other friends that I haven't seen that often since making a life for myself in the 'bury.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Did your tech provider leave you hanging?

We picked up a new client today - a lawyer in Ocean Pines. This is what the router and switch looked like - definately not up to industry standards!

The picture goes to show that you get what you pay for. I ran across an old addage the other day that hit home with me. Summarized, it states "It's far worse to pay too little than to pay a bit more for your products and services." To pay for a bad job and then pay to fix it at a later date will cost more in the long run.

Today I gave a speech

The Wicomico Convention and Visitors Association asked Hunter and I to give a speech on web development and Internet marketing. We discussed the history of web commercialization, the different pieces of a web site, types, and marketing through organic search terms and pay per click programs.

Overall, I'd have to say that it was a very productive use of time. One of the attendees liked it so well that he invited us to speak to a business group in Berlin a few hours after we got back to the office! We also had a few people ask us for business cards.

Based upon the success of this event, I'm working a few angles to see if we can do the same presentation in other areas of the shore.
Tags:

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Insaniquarium - MSN Games - Free Online Games


I recently stumbled upon this fun game. You start with some fish in an aquarium. As you feed them, they poo (produce) coins, which give you money.

As you collect more money, you can buy things like more fish, better food, potion that makes your fish poo stars, this star catcher creatures that turn star poo into diamonds, and blasters.

Why do you need blasters? Because every once in a while, an alien enters the tank and you have to blow them up before they eat your fish or shoot them with missles.

Along the way, you'll meet friends who can help you out. In this screen shot, there's a snail and a jelly fish who collect coins. There is also a mermaid who sings, making your fish poo more stars and coins. Obviously, I set the tank up for maxmum fundage.

Put all of this crazy stuff together, and you get Insaniquarium! Try it out...it's a lot of fun.



Insaniquarium - MSN Games - Free Online Games

The Towson Jaycees Shrimp Feast!

Last night Joanne and I went to the Towson Jaycees Shrimp Feast in Baltimore. We met some of the Salisbury members there, and proceeded to have a great time!


MMmmMmMmmMmm....shrimp feast!



Here is Kathy Kirwan, our State Director, and Mary Kingston, our esteemed president.


This is the amazing wheel of prizes. I lost money here.


Here is the money wheel. I made a few dollars betting with quarters.


The Salisbury Jaycees showed everybody how to get down. Jay Pepper is the man!


Here's a pic of me and Joanne.


At the end of the night, they raffled off the remaining goodies at the wheel of prizes. My ticket was drawn, so I went to pick a prize. Joanne wouldn't let me select the 6 pack of Heineken, so I had to get a plant. Here he is...Fred the House Plant!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Super Suppers is coming to Easton

Tonight Jack and Nancy van Dijk hosted a soft opening of their new business venture. It's a "make it and take it" kinda place. You sign up for an appointment, show up, prep your meals, and then put them in your freezer. All you need to do is thaw and cook according to the handy directions.

It's kinda like a salad bar with all of the ingrediants pre-prepped. You follow the recipe dumping stuff into a zip lock bag, and in a few minutes you've got a meal completely prepped. I haven't my meals yet, so not sure how it will taste. But with names like "spicy curried fruit with braised pork chops," it's very promising. Supposedly, it's cheaper for you to buy your meals like this than go to the grocery store and throw away waste.

Best of luck, Jack and Nancy!

After this event, I went to Joanne's house. She has had this nasty stomach virus all week, and hasn't had much solid food. She was hungry for a McDonalds cheeseburger, so I got one for her on the way over. Hopefully she'll get better soon.

The Orioles are undefeated?

For the first time in 9 years, the Os are 2-0.

Don't believe me? Click on the title to read all about it on Yahoo! Sports...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jonathan with his birthday treat!

Jonathan is turning 2 in a few days. So when Joanne and I went to my parents house over the weekend, we had a party!

We gave little J a wagon full of those big lego things. He was a bit hesitant to build with the blocks right away, but he was all about putting blocks in the wagon. By the time we had to leave, he was starting to make stacks of blocks on his own.

Off to nap town!

Joanne and i are going to see my nephews for their birthdays. We stopped in Best Buy for gifts, and Joanne needed some tech things that I couldn't get good deals on buying from Inacom.

Here i an playing guitar hero! It's a PS2 game where you get a Fender style guitar with 5 buttons on the frets. You press the fret(s) indicated on the screen and then "strum" when the screen tells you to. This makes your character play the guitar part in the song. If you are kicking butt, you can gain extra points by holding your guitar high in the air.

The publisher of the game chose some of the best guitar rock songs ever, including Boston's "More than a Feeling," Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," and more.

What Joanne bought at Best Buy:

1) Lexar Jumpdrive Sport (1 GB) - The problem with most jumpdrives that attach to your keychain is poor design. Either you have to plug your keys into the USB port, or you lose your jump drive and keep the cap (This is what happened to Joanne). That's why we got her this jump drive - it keeps the drive in a rubber holder that holds it snugly. I've had mine for about a year now, and it's the best one I've seen. You can get this from Amazon.com, too. It's not in BB stores, though - you need to go to their business web site.

2) Canon Powershot SD450 - Imagine a 5 megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom that takes great pictures and fits in your shirt pocket! I've had the SD100 for a few years now, and have loved every minute of that camera. Joanne liked it enough to get this version, which is 3 years newer and cooler! This camera is offered by one of Inacom's suppliers, but it's severly backordered. Retail is $299 - Amazon has it for $250!

While at BB, I signed up for their free business program. When you register, they give you some cool perks. I got about $50 knocked off of Joanne's stuff, a free bottle of water, and a personal lackey that doubled as a shadow. You also get $5 gift certificates for every $150 spent - 3% doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up. There's $10 coming in the mail for me! You also get "priority checkout," meaning that you can pay or return at a special register in the back. I hate lines, so that might be motivation enough.

Next time I go to BB, I'm going to try and be a big shot with my card, like when Homer had that all access pass at the Rolling Stones concert!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Today Joanne and I went to Richmond

We got up early and left Easton to go see Joanne's uncle Horace. He recently became very ill and had a very rough stay in the hospital. His condition was bad enough that many members of the family came up (or down) to make sure that they got to see him at least one more time.

It was very fortunate that he was in good spirits today. For a 98 year old man, he's been hanging in there. His skin was very thin and his hearing aids were broken or lost in the hospital, so it's hard for him to hear. This next week they are going to start giving him physical therapy to help him get up and moving again.

Horace is a very friendly man who has lived an amazing and adventurous life. I hope that he is able to make it to 100 - the world is better with him as a part of it.
Tags:

Popped Culture Theater

I've been a fan of Popped Culture Theater about as long as Yahoo's Internet music. For those who are uninitiated, PCT is a series of short animated cartoons that lampoon some of music's more popular artists.

This link will take you to whatever PCT videos Yahoo! has put out on the 'net. Enjoy!

Yahoo! Music - Search
Tags:

Friday, March 24, 2006

YouTube - Real Life Simpsons Intro

This is incredible. Somebody went through the trouble of re-creating the opening of The Simpsons in real life!

YouTube - Real Life Simpsons Intro
Tags:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cute Conservative: Read This if You Live in America!

Cute Conservative: Read This if You Live in America!

If you feel depressed because you live in the US, read this!
Tags:

'South Park' Responds: Chef's Goose Is Cooked

I've got to admit that I find a lot of humor in South Park. While I would likely be offended at some of the stuff they say, I realize that they make fun of everybody. That means that they make fun of me, too. And if you can't laugh at yourself, you're never going to make it in this world.

Tonight I came across this article from the Washington Post, giving a synopsis of the 10th season opener.

'South Park' Responds: Chef's Goose Is Cooked: "In the episode, pals Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman are thrilled when Chef, who'd left South Park to join the Super Adventure Club, returns. But in school the next day, he says to them, 'How about I meet you guys after work and we make love . . . come on children, you're my sexual fantasy, let's all make sweet love.' Those are the printable things, anyway.



Ever Wonder Why You Get So Much Spam?

RED HERRING | Email-Mining Firm Pays $1.1M

Here is the story of a large Internet marketing company selling email addresses in violation of their privacy policy.

And you didn't win that free iPod, either.
Tags:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Help Wicomico Sheriiffs Get Collective Bargaining!

Tonight at our Jaycees meeting, one of our deputies came to discuss their desire to gain collective bargaining powers.

These brave men and women get very little in the way of pay raises and retirement benefits. In addition, if they are disabled while doing their job they receive no compensation from the county - only social security benefits.

I think that this is a shameful how we treat these public servants. If you agree with me, make sure that you sign their petition to put their status to a referendum vote.

For more information straight from the FOP, you can click the title link. A link to a recent story from our newspaper is included below.

The Daily Times - www.delmarvanow.com - Salisbury, Md.
Tags:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Custom Ringtons on Verizon Razr

I just got the Verizon Razr VC3 and am exploring what you can do with it. I found a really easy way to get custom ring tones without paying large sums of money for them:

1) Sign up for a vzwpix account if you don't have one. This is how you get picture messages to your verizon phone.
2) Find or make an MP3 ring tone that you want to use. Make sure that you are abiding by copywrite laws (that is part of the reason why the ring tones cost so much money). :-)
3) Rename the mp3 file so that it has a .mid extension. (ie, newringtone.mp3 is now newringtone.mid)
4) Send the mp3 ring tone to your vzwpix account (yourtendigitphonenumber@vzwpix.com)
5) After a minute or two, you'll have a new message on your phone. Using the right soft key, save the file to your phone.
6) Change the ring in your phone using the standard instructions. You'll find your saved file last on the list of available ring tones.

I did this today, and now my ring is the beginning of "Take on Me" by A ha.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It is joannes birthday !

Here is joanne right after she turned 28 years old. We are going to ocean city and rehoboth to celebrate.

UPDATE: We went to the Home and Condo Show at the OC Convention Center, and then to the Rehoboth outlets where she bought a swim suit and I got some hot sauce at Peppers!

Tags:

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

BBC NEWS | Technology | Viruses leap to smart radio tags

BBC NEWS | Technology | Viruses leap to smart radio tags

RFID tags will have a huge impact on business and our personal lives once they become widely adopted.

Recently, a bunch of really smart people figured out how to put a virus on them. Better that we fix the problem now before they become more popular.

Amazon's Newest Product: Storage

Have you heard about this? Amazon is now selling storage space!

Amazon's Newest Product: Storage

Check out this site for local news

I stumbled upon this site, topix.net, as a provider of local news. Using RSS feeds (like the one I offer), topix is able to scan and aggregate local news from newspapers, tv stations, and blogs.

Overall, I think it will prove to be very useful. Enter your own zip code and decide for yourself.

Salisbury, MD News
Tags:

F i n a ' D r e a: Flavor Flav?

F i n a ' D r e a: Flavor Flav?

I ran across this blog post tonight and had to share it with you for a few reasons:

1) It involves Flavor Flav!

Remember him? He was a rapper for mega-influencial 90's hip hop group Public Enemy. Flavor was the skinny Chris Rock-ish guy who added the flavor or humor to PE's militant-black-islamic message. He wore a clock on his chest. Anybody who can pull that off is mega-cool.

2) It's written by a white, 22 year old mom. Her description of Flav is right on point, to the extent that it almost sounds absurd. It's good for a laugh.

3) It's a very nice looking blog. Mine looks like every other blogger site out there.

4) I think she's married to some guy named Travis. That rawks!

Read on and enjoy...
Tags:

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tonight we get some culture

Joanne and I are at the Country School in easton to see Seusical. It is a musical written by Eric Idle of Monty Python and some other people I've never heard of.

The kids did a great job on the musical. I especially liked the costumes, which brought to life many of Dr Seuss' best characters. The set consisted of some truffula trees, which had me hoping that the Lorax would take part. Unfortunately, the Lorax was missing. :-(

If you want to learn more about Seussical, I found this online quiz that tells you want kind of Seussical character you are. I am the Cat in the Hat, who Joanne dislikes because he is mischievious and gets others in trouble. A word of caution on the quiz, there are a lot of ads and popups. Make sure you have a popup blocker, or Firefox which is even better.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

We are @ the casting crowns concert!

They look a lot Bigger in real life. Joanne and i are having a great time!

Overall, I thought this was a pretty good show. Everybody was a bit more evangelistic than I like, but the musicianship was good.

You can't tell in this picture, but this group is a bunch of dorks! Since I was a dork, I thought that was great.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cisco adopts SIP

I'm very excited about the future of VoIP - unfortunately there have not been many compelling reasons for most businesses to adopt the technology. To date, primary motivation comes from cost savings when you can use VoIP systems for toll bypass. Because of this, VoIP systems are adopted by larg(er) companies with multiple locations that can show a cost savings and those who like to spend a lot of money on cool new gadgets.

VoIP systems will become more prevalent once there is a "killer app" out there that makes these systems a must have. Integration between your computer and telephone is going to encourage businesses of all sizes to take a serious look at VoIP.

Now that Cisco has finally gotten on board with SIP (Session Integration Protocol), VoIP adoption should become more worthwhile for a single location business. I point to two main reasons: SIP will make VoIP systems more intelligent, bringing convergance closer to realization; and secondly, SIP systems will be more interoperable.

By being able to combine a product such as Cisco Call Manager with lower priced phones from another vendor, there will be more pricing pressure put on the industry. While I find the Cisco VoIP system to be the most interesting, you're shelling out a lot of cash vs. a traditional POTS.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Readers speak about Blogs in Salisbury

There is a lot of buzz about politics in our city. Dissatisfaction in our local government and local media have led to a large number of local blogs which try to give us a new viewpoint and analysis about what is going on in Salisbury.

The Daily Times just published a reader's forum about blogs. It seems that enough buzz has been created to make them take notice! Perhaps it will change the way that they report the news for the better.

Click here for the Internet version of what was recently published. You'll also find links to some local blogs that I like to read on occasion.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Blogger Categories

I've been playing around with Blogger a bit to see what is available to make my blog a bit more unique. One feature of TypePad that I really liked was categories, which Blogger does not offer.

There are a few methods to give yourself categories. One of the more popular approaches is to use delic.io.us tags. That involved signing up for another service, etc. It was too much work.

Here is an easier method that I found:
1) Create an @blogger.com email address for your "master blog" so that you can post via email
2) Set up a new blog for each category
3) Tell blogger to send new posts to your email address
4) Create a rule that forwards posts created in your "sub blog" to your "master blog" post email address
5) Add links on your side bar to each of your "sub blogs"

If you think that these instructions were too complicated, here is the link where I found this tip. You'll notice the steps are the same as mine, but there are a lot more words. ;-)
Blogger Categories for everyone, by Oldcola
Tags:

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Where do you fall on the Political Compass?

Posted by Picasa
I came across this web site today. You answer some questions, and then it plots you on this graph. They also plot famous politicians from around the world and history to see where you compare.

The Left-Right axis is pretty self explanatory. Put communists and people like Saddam on the left, and Thatcher and Dubbya on the right.

The Authoritarian-Libertarian axis might be new to some. Absolute control by the state would be up top, and total anarchy goes on the bottom.

Who is closest to my spot on the graph? The Dalai Lama! The graph w. famous people may not be on the same scale as this screenshot, so it's hard to make a comparison other than we're in the same quadrant.

What does this placement say about me? I guess it boils down to this: I believe that the gubment should stay out of our business, and only step in when people are in need of help or commerce can't regulate itself in a manner that benefits the public as a whole.

Where do you rate?

MmmMmm...ribs!

Today i am smoking ribs for the first time. I've boiled/grilled them once, and they weren't really that good.

For the rub I used Tone's Southwest Seasoning blend, which I purchased at Sam's Club. At about $6 for a huge container, I figured that it was an inexpensive way to purchase a lot of flavor. It was applied last night, and allowed to sit on the ribs for about 12 hours. Most rubs are ground to a fine powder and this is chunky, so it will be interesting to see how things progress.

This is the first time that I'll be using Wicked Good Charcoal's "Competition Blend" exclusively. The last few times I've grilled or smoked I mixed it with Big Green Egg Charcoal. It seemed to take a bit longer to light, but the temp jumped from 140 to 225 in less than a minute. I put the rest of my hickory chips in the fire, and there is a little bit of water in the bottom of the drip pan.

Ribs hit the grill at 9:15 AM. The guy at About.com writes that ribs take at least 4 hours, but they get better with more time. My hope is that I can keep them at 200 - 220 for about 8 hours, when Joanne should arrive from the Easton diocesian convention.

FINAL RESULT: I pulled the ribs off the smoker around 6:45. Some were tender and moist, others were a bit dry. The seasoning was a bit strong, so it detracted from the ribs. Next time I'll find some sort of paprika-based rub with a milder flavor.


Tags:

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Horned Melon



So the other day I was at the Easton Giant with Joanne, and we saw this really cool looking fruit. It wasn't clearly labled, so the intrigue was enticing.

We went through the checkout line, and after about 5 or so minutes to allow the cashier to figure out how to ring up the horned melon and $3.50 later, we were on our way.

Tonight we decided to give it a try. When you cut open the bright orange skin, you see bright green flesh. How cool does this look?


Despite its unusual look and very attractive inside, this has got to be the most disgusting exotic fruit ever sold in a grocery store. It's like a cross between gelatin, grass, and cucumber. Brown sugar makes it taste slightly better, but only because you are eating sugar, too.

What is the purpose of this fruit? Perhaps they want to sell 1 of these to everybody in the US. Then they'd be rich! Yeah...that's the plan...

If for some reason you want to learn more about this inedible fruit, check out these pages:


Cooking for Engineers contains a fairly scientific examination of the fruit.
Obsess.com offers a description that makes me believe in deja vu!