Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guilty, I'm Sorry - a review of the 2012 Honda Civic

It was a Sunday night and I was headed out to pick up Chinese (food) for the family; I turned the key and the 2003 Kia Optima was a "no go," just a taunting "click, click, click".  I had replaced the battery early this year.  A couple of months ago, I encountered a similar situation (dead car) and took the car back to the Firestone where I had purchased the battery.  Extensive testing was done to try to find any drain on the battery.  Nothing was found.  About a month or two ago, an airbag light came on.  I had that checked out at the dealer and after about $200 of diagnostic work, their best guess is that it was the airbag in the passenger door.  They related that they "reset the system" (translation, they disconnected the battery so the the system was rebooted) and that if the light returned and I decided to get the airbag replaced it would be $1200 which they related they did not feel was worth it...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Work Like You're Retired

Harvey MacKay of Swim With Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive (book) fame is well known for saying, "Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life”.  While I find this advice a bit simplistic and glib, the fact remains that probably most of us will be working longer than the previous generation.  (Indeed, it seems that some of the most popular solutions to "save Medicare" run along the lines of pushing back eligibility to make sure that enough people die before they can collect, but I digress.)  The reality is that most of us don't "love" our jobs; rather, the great majority tolerate our jobs because we need an income.  This post is a reflection of strategies I have employed to tolerate my "day job."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's an honor?

We recently received a letter from the school regarding my son.  I never fear these letters because all of my kids are great students and have consistently done very well in school.  On this occasion, the letter related that my son had scored very high on some standardized math exam and as a result he is eligible for participation in XYZ.  The letter went on to laud what an honor this is and how participation in XYZ can offer so much for my child.  Also, sandwiched within the letter was a brief notation of the $40 membership fee which would make my son eligible to take exams from XYZ (for an additional exam fee of between $30 - $75) which may open whatever elusive, nonspecific doors of opportunity.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2 Essential Tech foundations for your kids

This post is for those families who are struggling, but aware that times have changed and that some things that were at one time considered optional are now essential.  While I do not believe struggling families need to provide the "latest and greatest" in technology to their children, I do strongly believe that there are 2 essentials that all households must have or they will severely place their members at a huge disadvantage.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Security and Tech Support

A few years back IBM's advertisement in some popular tech magazines showed a company who's tech guru had installed lasers to ensure security resulting in substantial obstacles for the employees to access the system.  My employer hasn't installed lasers...yet, but we definitely have layers of security and unfortunately I was a victim of "access denied" recently when one security update did not play nice with another security update... so much for working remote... after 3 calls to the "Help" desk, I was told, "you have to bring it in."

I suspect the buying decision for security software is something that could be well illustrated by Scott Adams in a Dilbert cartoon, resembling:

Vender:  This software slices, dices, toasts and roasts... (rambling on with incredible features)

IT Manager:  I'm not so sure... it sounds expensive and it might be a lot of work to install...

Later that night at Hooters after filling with Beer and Wings...

Vender:  ... so what did you think of our Security Fantasmo Suite?

IT Manager:  ugh?  Is it really that good (thinking that now that the truth serum of beer has kicked in, the "real deal" will emerge).

Vender:  Well it sort of stops everyone dead in their tracks; we're confidant that nothing will get through...

IT Manager:  Nothing?

Vender:  Nothing and no one, not even your users (...whoops)

IT Manager:  We'll take it (thinking... if my users are so buggered up by security, they won't have time to bother me....)