CodePrairie .NET

South Dakota .NET User Group

I Hate Linux

  • I love hate mail

    Between work, work and more work, my time for blogging, let alone side projects has been limited... but as I sit back in a hotel room in Webster, SD in between stakeouts near a local farm field as part of the 2010 muzzleloader season (white tail deer is the target), I was... entertained this morning by the following piece of hate mail:

    Subject: There are so many ways to be a loser
    From: Sam Handel []
    Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:40 AM

    Thanks for personally embracing so many at one time as to make your blog a classic of the "My Life Is A Warning To Others" category.

    You use your blog to make yourself out to be a sadly typical ***-licking corporate kiss-up. When are you putting up your "I hate System 390" site? Did the amount of your student loans force you to sign on with an over-the-hill, used-to-was toy software company? What's the weather like in 1995?

    Thanks for the feedback Sam.

  • Red Eye Podcast!

    Admittedly this blog has been silent for too long. Work you love can do that. Tonight I had to break the silence with grand news... the Fox News hit show Red Eye with Greg Gutfield... now has a podcast!

    Unfortunately they only advertize it as being available through iTunes and this link... luckily any serious podcast fan will have a copy of iTunes installed only to extract the actual RSS URL for those who do not have an iPhone/Pod/Pad or similar listening device.

    I present... the raw URL:

    Or for my Zune loving brothers & sisters, simply click here to subscribe in the Zune desktop software.

    What is Red Eye? Only the most hilarious late night news/comedy show.

    As a quick example, enjoy the following montage of old intros from serious Fox News anchor Patti Ann Browne:

  • Predicament

    Despite being raised in the Democratic People's Republic of Minnesota and disliking almost everything about it... I still find myself listening to Garage Logic (one of the few redeeming products/exports (aside from scotch tape))... I still tend to root for the Vikings and Twins as I've not found new teams to root for.

    While working on some coding this evening I've had the Vikings vs Packers game on and honestly in a predicament... do I root for the hated Packers... or for the 'hometown' Vikings who so easily gave into the demands of the drama queen that is Brent Favre.

    Either way... it's been some good football... well except for all of the TV breaks which completely ruin the flow of the game. Oh how I miss attending college football games where the outcome is more or less pre-determined (massive loss).

  • One more reason to distrust Jay Inslee

    Today I received what amounted to a bulk email from my congressmen Jay Inslee which attempted to answer a question I wrote down at one of the town hall meetings back in August... unfortunately his office conveniently ignored my question and opted instead to address one that is tangentially related.

    That's not the problem.

    I hit Reply in Outlook, typed a response, clicked send... and got a nice little bounce back a moment later which said:

    Please do not respond to this message. This is an auto-response to notify you that this email address is no longer active and you can send your message at my "web form" message system which can be found at: This email address has been closed because an overwhelming amount of spam messages and comments with non-standardized sender information have made it a less effective means of hearing from and responding to constituents.

    To ensure that all constituent comments are received and are responded to, and as the rest of Washington's House delegation has been doing for some time, Congressman Inslee is operating a more commonly-used web-based system to receive messages.

    Congressman Inslee both needs and welcomes your thoughts. As email correspondence to Congressional offices has more than doubled in the past five years, the web-based message system is a way to improve the accuracy and timeliness with which your comments are viewed and replied to by Congressman Inslee.  Thank you for your understanding.

    Again, your comments can be sent at any time to Congressman Inslee through the following link:

    Not being a big fan of web forms as they don't offer the same kind of paper trail (for me) as email, I went looking for another email address that I saw in his bulk email which ended with

    DISCLAIMER I cannot guarantee the integrity of the text of this letter if it was not sent to you directly from my Congressional Email Account:  If you have any questions about the validity of this message, please email me at: or call my Washington, DC office at: 202-225-6311.  If you would like to be removed from my email update list, please email me your name and address at: and type "REMOVE" in the subject line.

    With this new address in hand (one he also mentioned at the town hall meetings), created a new reply, and a couple of copy and paste jobs later later clicked send... only to get another bounce with the same text as above... but from the same address as the first.

    That's right... the Congressmen and his office are giving out an email address that doesn't work. Rather than allowing his constituents to use a communication medium that most are well accustomed to, are forced to use a web form with a broken tab order (Issue comes after Zip, not the check box) and asks for more information that I should have to specify to reply to an email which has all of the same information.

    Way to go Jay!

  • See ya in Rio!

    Given the recent failure of President Obama to secure the 2016 Summer Olympics for his home town of Chicago and the growing realization that the President is not as competent as people once thought, after seeing this image on the New York Times website, only one thing could be done with it:

    We no an has Olympics?

  • I knew I heard it before...

    For the second time this evening I saw the following commercial:

    Both times the tone was very similar to something I'd read several times before... then I remembered the quote:

    "The John Galt Plan," Wesley Mouch was saying, "will reconcile all conflicts. It will protect the property of the rich and give a greater share to the poor. It will cut down the burden of your taxes and provide you with more government benefits. It will lower prices and raise wages. It will give more freedom to the individual and strengthen the bonds of collective obligations. It will combine the efficiency of free enterprise with the generosity of a planned economy." - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p1124

    This is by no means the first time I've heard words from this Administration or it's supporters that could have just as easily have been spoken by the looters or moochers in Atlas Shrugged... and somehow I doubt it will be the last.

  • Most moronic bumper sticker EVER!

    A few years back Channel 9 had a video about "sensecam", a device that one could wear from their neck and which would take periodic pictures of your day so as to augment your memory of what you saw/encountered through the day.

    I want the same thing.. but in a high-resolution form, and for my car as last weekend I saw three things that were not only shocking, but almost unbelievable, especially considering I was not able to take photos of any.

    The first... while driving through Bellevue saw a Sears store to my left with a large banner which said "Now Hiring"... while on my right was a couple sitting on a street corner with a cardboard sign asking for handouts due to their prolonged unemployment.

    The third, was a woman with a poorly wrapped leg that tried to portray the appearance of being in a cast but was an obvious DIY job, sitting atop of one of two overturned Target shopping carts (1/4th of a mile from the nearest Target) and a cardboard sign that said something to the effect of "Hurt leg, can't work"

    In both cases... no "god bless" was to be seen.

    The biggest reason though that I want this technology was something I saw while on a freeway, it was a bumper sticker on the back of a minivan I passed which said:



    It was a sight that I had to read several times to make sure I was reading right... as if my eyes were deceiving me, and then saw me fumbling around to see if I had my digital camera at hand (I didn't and my cell phone came could not have taken the photo well enough to be reprinted).

    In shock I made a couple of quick calls to relay what I'd seen.

    When tdaxp returned my call later in the evening I relayed this bumper sticker and he was silent for a full 7 seconds before bursting into uncontrollable laughter which lasted for a full 30 more seconds, only to be followed by another 60 seconds of trying to talk but unable to due to continued laughter.

    Me thinks I need to go have a chat with some of the Research folks to see if this kind of technology might be part of a 2010 or 2011 Ford... if so, I may just have to buy a new car much earlier than I'd planned.


    For those who still do not understand the meaningfulness of this bumper sticker... a number of people who were eagerly looking forward to the Bush administration and the swearing in of any other President looked forward to 1-20-09... however this sticker was assuming that all would be grand a full year earlier and indicates that not only was the driver of the vehicle a complete and utter moron (assuming they were the one who attached it to the vehicle (which given some of the other bumper stickers, isn't fairly likely))... but so to was whatever store sold them the sticker as well as whatever manufacturer printed the sticker and other persons involved in it's approval.

    Granted... this idiocy may be limited to the driver of the vehicle who placed a custom order for it online (which I can only hope for so as to reduce the circle of stupidity).

    Interestingly... this van owner was not the only person to make this mistake:

    Agreed... the above are just a small number of people who goofed on various web forums. That does not in anyway reduce the stupidity of those involved in the creation and use of a bumper sticker with the wrong date.

  • "Speaking truth to power"?

    A few weeks back I wrote about my cowardly and disingenuous Congressman Jay Inslee and his lie of omission that illegal aliens would not be covered under the current health 'insurance' reform being considered in congress.

    While I certainly can sympathize with the President and having his Congressional Address momentarily interrupted by a heckler... when one is going to go out of their way to call someone a liar while not being honest themselves... even then civility has it's limits, even when it is later apologized for.

    One wonders if the likes of Pelosi and others will apologize for their likening some town hall goers to ***, racists, Astroturf, evil-mongers, gun-toting, angry mobsters.

    Ok... maybe that last one is true:


    h/t to Gateway Pundit via HotAir.

  • Seattle area oddities – the homeless

    Since moving out to Redmond last year I’ve encountered countless oddities that were quite different than what I’d come to know in South Dakota and Minnesota... a few weeks back I finally put words to something that I'd not been able to quite explain... the homeless and other beggars here are not of the sort I've seen in past.

    Despite being raised Catholic (and still technically caucusing with them for cultural and family reasons)... I am not a God fearing man... the same it seems can be said for the homeless/beggars around here... or their intended audience.

    Over the years I always found it... interesting when the majority of street/exit side beggars would end their cardboard sign with the words “god bless”... it occurred to not long before writing this post (but several weeks before posting it I fear) that since moving to Redmond, I’ve not seen a single sign that ends that way.

    Does this mean that the homeless/beggars are not particularly religious themselves... or they believe that such words might turn off potential donors?

    Truly I am no longer in Kansas, Madison, or Sioux Falls anymore.

    And this all being said by a non-religious, non-God-fearing but still (most) religion respecting guy.

  • "Wild" Bill Janklow Sues Dell?!?!?

    I've got another political post in the queue... but I had to post this first after hearing about it while chatting with tdaxp on the phone this afternoon while waiting for the ferry.

    Former South Dakota Governor, Congressmen (at large) and convicted manslaughter(-er?) Bill Janklow has recently decided to sue Dell over some tech support issues.

    While I voted against him every chance I could (granted only once)... watching the following video I am reminded of part of why I voted against him when I lived there and why I was so anti-him the rest of the time.

    While I agree with him in principal with regards to his case... his presentation and... rather whiney/nasal attitude... doesn't instill much sympathy in me, watch for yourself:

    Don't get me wrong... he did some good things for the state... reintroduction of the death penalty, massive wiring of the schools (K-12 and higher ed), helping to bring various banks into the state (most notably Citibank), reduce the damages required to make a crime a felony ($500 IIRC), not to mention serving as a joke for citizens and former residents well beyond his time in office.

    Granted... I am semi-biased in all of this because I had a couple of email arguments with him when I was a student in the state (yes.. that is the sort of State that South Dakota is and that was the sort of Governor Bill Janklow was (I really wish I still had those emails))... hell, I even got to shake his hand once and ask him a question regarding state law (~3-4 weeks into my freshmen year of college no less).

    Of course he did top it all off with a big ole middle finger to the state of South Dakota (after his conviction and subsequent joke of a sentence (100 days for a man's life)) when he agreed to represent the Mayo Clinic (in Minnesota) against the DM&E railroad expansion in the area (of the Clinic specifically)... a campaign that was eventually joined by Tom Daschle (a man who also had a reason to be angry with South Dakota (we did after all run him out of office the same way that Harry Reid will be in 2010).


    On an unrelated note... oh how I hate you Kelo... I always refused to watch you simply because of your labeling of the area as "Keloland" rather than something more generally acceptable as "Sioux Empire"... and that despite the fact that my aunt used to work for you as an on air personality!


    ... what can I say? South Dakota is a rocking place and I miss it greatly... and a place I expect to see this fall and taunt (and hopefully take home) some deer within.

  • Photos from the Jay Inslee town hall (8/30/2009)

    Do note the box sitting on top of the garbage next to the bench on the left... we'll come back to that later:
    Town Hall Entrance

    Planned Parenthood was there as well... complete with pink shirts (shame it's not my color):
    Planned Parenhood

    Hand outs about the bill, unfortunately they aren't the most accurate given they to make the false claim that illegal's will not be covered under the plan:
    Hand outs

    Hands Outs title

    Those with questions were asked to write their name and city on a peice on a card and put it into one of 3 boxes... Agree, Undecided, and Disagree... only the bulk of the questions on Sunday seemed to be more of the Agree sort... but they claimed to be drawing from all of the boxes equally:

    ~1 hour to go:

    The beginnings of our conservative section:



    "Make no mistake... let me be clear... I am not paid to be here":






    The above gentlemen wasn't the only one sporting an Obama 2008 shirt:



    If it is now fair to use Ted Kennedy's memory to push this bill... is it also not fair to push back and remind people of his actual history?

    Fox News was also not a popular group:

    This woman wanted to go beyond HR 3200, all the way to actual universal healthcare (as proposed under HR 676)


    Despite the box out front, not as many pink shirts were seen within:

    This was by far my favorite sign, but not because of the front...
    My fav sign

    But the back:

    The back of my fav sign

    "This signs was made by two seniors from garage stuff"... I think it's safe to say that he is a garage logician.


    About 15 minutes before the go official starting time, we saw a start of a parade around the room of various people holding their signs, and in all cases getting various reactions from the crowds.



    Another sort of professional sign we saw more of on Saturday than Sunday:




    Below is by far the sign that got me going the most... (and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a good shot of it)... it said "I (heart) socialism & communism too":
    I (heart) socialism & communism too

    Oddly enough this man's sign was a converted sign for Dino Rossi (two time GOP candidate for Governor of Washington)... which on the other side said something to the effect of "Have you no shame Republicans?"




    We even had a couple of SEIU members join us:
    SEIU Members

    Standing room only midway through:

    Socialist Alternative... .ORG?
    Socialist Alternative? .org

    While leaving I noticed something strange sitting upon the trash can:
    What's that box?

    What is it? The very box that likely the bulk of the "Health Care for America NOW" signs came in, all 41 lbs of them that fit in this first (of 2) boxes:

    UPS Label 

    Who is Health Care for America NOW? A quick read of their About Us page indicates that:

    Our Steering Committee includes: ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America’s Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Campaign for Community Change, Children’s Defense Fund Action Council, Communications Workers of America, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW),, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Women’s Law Center, SEIU, UFCW, USAction, Women's Voices, Women's Vote and Working America.

    What's even better... is that it appeared that the person who brought this box (though different than who it was addressed to (who appears to be a rather prolific protester/organizer in the area)) was the same person who was responsible for the "Single Payer Now" banner which was being taken down as I photographed this trash.

    For all of the photos, see the Flickr set.

  • Are Seattle drivers that bad? Apparently so... are the pilots who fly here it seems.

    If you aren’t familiar with the Seattle area... it’s best to start with a map:

    Map picture

    While the city of Seattle is on the left side of the map, the ‘East side’ (Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, etc) rests on the right, separating them is Lake Washington over which run a pair of relatively narrow highways (I-90 & SR-520).

    Every summer the city of Seattle has it’s summer fair known as Seafair, part of which often involves an air show over Lake Washington.

    This evening while looking for dates of when the Blue Angels would be performing this year, I noticed a Bridge Closure Information link which lead to a page which amongst other things said:

    By closing I-90, WSDOT is complying with Federal Aviation Administration rules to create a safer environment for drivers and Blue Angels pilots by reducing distractions to both.

    This paragraph got me wondering... exactly what sort of distractions is WSDOT claiming that the FAA is claiming that the pilots may be subjected to? Do they honestly think that some cars driving or people waving from below will throw the aircraft off course?

    Furthermore... are we being told that Seattle area drivers are such lousy drivers that the sight of an airplane flying by might cause traffic accidents?

    Actually... lemme answer that last one real quick... are Seattle drivers bad? Yes.

    Worse than Minnesota drivers? Ehhh... yes... but mostly because Seattle drivers do not understand how to drive on surfaces with reduced traction (rain, snow or ice).

    Are Seattle drivers so bad that a low flying airplane would cause them to get into a road accident? Perhaps... but I’d expect these are the same drivers that are distracted by the existence of other cars on the road, billboards, pedestrians and traffic signs and lights.

    In either case... it’s always sad to to see the nanny state at work... though since it’s already working so hard, perhaps we must consider the possibility that even these restrictions may not be enough. Perhaps the city should take the next logical step to ban all boats and swimmers from the area during such flights... after all, just imagine the shock to a swimmer at seeing a loud aircraft fly over head could do to their concentration!

  • It better not happen again...

    On Wednesday night as I sat in my living room watching some Torchwood I heard someone fumble with my apartment’s door.

    Being puzzled I got up to see what was going on and was met by a person with a grocery bag in tow who opened the door, looked around for a moment, saw me and said “oops, wrong apartment.”

    That night I lay awake in bed with some some work related design bits preventing sleep... at one point I got out of bed, walked into my second bedroom to grab my Zune when I heard some rustling outside in a bush near my window… as I got closer I saw the top of a head partially climb a staircase that leads to my main bedroom, look in my second bedroom for a moment then walk off again.

    Casing the joint or an accident followed by curiosity I do not know... however given my previous history... tonight I broke out a camera I’d forgotten I had, and after a cleaver bit of lashing with an old belt and some metal bending to a coffee table that is at present on it’s side (long story) have rigged it into a position where if this happens again there... I’ll know it.

    Tomorrow I’ll mention (not report) the previous events to management as a heads up in case something does happen, and make sure they’ve no problem with the camera I’ve setup pointing to a place that can only see (and be seen in) a place where no one should be except in the event of an evacuation where people have to use their bedroom windows... or are engaging in misbehavior.

    “Again?” more recent readers ask... In fact we are just days away from the 5 year anniversary of the break-in at my old apartment in South Dakota which I happened to have captured on camera and not only lead to the identification of the burglar (who lived behind me)... but also her conviction!

    Frankly... I’d rather not have that as a repeating anniversary... though July 13th is truly something to celebrate! (details/reminder then)

  • An unfortunate contrast

    What does the Google home page show today?

    d-day google - full

    That's right on this the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy Google honors.. Tetris:

    d-day google

    For comparison...


    d-day bing full

    d-day bing 


    d-day cnn

    Fox News:

    d-day foxnews


    d-day msnbc

    Shameful Google, shameful.

  • When beta software attacks

    One of the (many) interesting parts about working at Microsoft is the opportunity to see, use, test and give feedback on early versions of a wide variety of products... it all depends on what your interests are and the openness of other teams.

    This evening while working with a beta service something rather… strange happened, so strange that it was flat out wrong and shouldn’t have happened, ever.

    What’d I do? I emailed the Program Manager who is my contact for the product explaining the issue, expressing amazement at what happened and even ended it with a big ole “WTH!”... his reply:

    Agreed, agreed. Apologies. Two people on the team have been sacked, and we apologize for the bad form. We may have to sack those who sacked the first two, too soon to say…

    Good thing this is pre-beta-beta. ;)

    Ahh well, at least we are working out bugs... and that he’s a Monty Python fan.

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