More Fake Web Pages

One of the silly things that I do is make fake web pages for the morning show host on a local radio station. They don’t get much traffic, but they amuse me. I have fun trying to come up with a page for the unusual products that the radio host (Paul Robins on KGBY Y92 www.y92.com) comes up with.

There’s some funny ones in there, at least I think so. You can get almost any picture on the Interweb. (They are all safe for work, although the muscle man one is a bit disturbing to look at.) Most of the pages are done in Adobe Fireworks, with a bit of work in Photoshop Elements as needed.

I’ve been doing those fake web pages each week for over a year, so there is quite a collection. So I came up with a ‘Random Fake Web Page” button that picks one out of the list. Some of the pages even have the audio file for the fake commercial.

So if you are really bored, you can start here (http://www.digitalchoke.com/paulshow ) and use the Random button to get started. To see other pages, just hit Refresh in your browser.

I’m easily amused.

No Labor on Labor Day Weekend

Smack dab in the middle of the US Labor Day weekend, with Monday as the holiday. Here in the States, we celebrate Labor by taking the day off.

The weather here has been warm (OK, hot), but not as bad a Phoenix (AZ), where there have been many days over 110F. (For you two readers that speak Centigrade, that’s hot.) Earlier this week, the humidity was higher than normal, in the 35% range. And the low temps at night were in the mid-70’s, about 10-12 degrees higher than normal.

Yeah, I know that 35% humidity is nothing to many of my four readers. But it’s unusual for us here in the Sacramento (CA) valley. So, we get to complain. But probably not much sympathy from others.

Not much planned for the weekend, other than some surfing of the Innertubes, some computer work, and goofing around with various web sites I own.

Hey, it’s a holiday weekend. Goofing off is what I do during holiday weekends.

Couch Potato Status

I’ll admit that I spend a bit of time in the family room in front of the widescreen TV. I often do it while using the laptop. In fact, at this very moment (as I write this, although this will be posted tomorrow), the TV is tuned to one of the DirecTV radio stations while I type this drivel.

I do put away the laptop in the evening to watch the shows that are on the DirecTV DVR. I’m not sure what this says about me (or if you three regular readers really care), but here’s a short list of my favorite programs (in no particular order):

– “The Closer” (USA)
– “Psych” (USA)
– “Burn Notice” (USA)
– “Saving Grace” (USA)
– “Painkiller Jane” (SciFi)
– “House” (USA)
– “Monk” (USA)
– “Heroes” (NBC)
– “America’s Got Talent” (NBC) (I really liked the winner)
– “NCIS”
– “McBride” (Hallmark Channel, although there don’t seem to be any new ones, so I watch the reruns).
– Various old westerns
– “Magnum, PI”
– “Simon and Simon”

There are others, but that’s probably enough to bore you for now.

Any of those on your list? Or others that I may need to search out? Send a comment.

Employment Changes for Pam

Pam (wife, for you three new readers) has been staying at home since our son’s death in April last year. It was (and still is) quite difficult for her. She’s had trouble sleeping and concentrating.

(One of the things that I have done to help out is establish a web site for Jason. You’ll find it at www.jasonhellewell.com , and includes some pictures, the music that Jason composed, and the funeral talks.)

One of her therapies (other than several discussion groups on the ‘net) is scrapbooking. She has gone through family pictures and made several hundred different scrapbook pages of Jason and our family and his friends. The office has a nice work area, and she has one wall of cabinets and shelves filled with scrapbook supplies. It has been a good thing for her to do as she works through her grief.

Lately she has decided that it might be a good idea to get back to work. She misses the social aspect of work, even though she does get out a bit and has a good support group of on-line friends.

Yesterday, she was offered a great job. Three days a week at a nice hourly salary, no overtime (that was a problem with her last job), and working with a known group of work friends (the job is with the same local government). She’s excited about the job; it will still allow her to pursue her “scrapping”, make trips to Utah to visit our oldest daughter and her family, and pursue other activities (like taking care of the house and me).

I think this will be good for her. There’s no financial or spousal pressure for her to go back to work; we’ve been able to survive quite nicely on my income. The extra income will help build up some long-term savings, and help with increasing her retirement options.

Don’t Join the Club

The Storm Gang has changed their messages. It started out with ecards, as mentioned before. Now they are sending out mail that verifies you joined some sort of club. The latest is over on our Security Dawg site here. Pay heed to the warnings there.

And I finally got around to changing the redirect on the old blog pages. So perhaps my three regular readers will be stopping by again. And I got my link on the Daynotes page (here; the gang there are regular daily stops for me) changed to point to these pages. I hadn’t remembered to ask Brian Bilbrey to make the change; once I got that ’round tuit’ to ask Brian to make the change, it happened within minutes.

Brian and his friend (and business partner) Greg Mazin run the servers that host my pile of drivel, along with more important sites like Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor. So if you are looking for a good host at reasonable prices, Brian and Greg are the guys to contact.

Servers Are Us

I’ve spent the past couple of days setting up a bunch of servers at work. There are a couple of SQL servers (one for the web filtering, one for the mail filtering), a new Windows Update Server (we’ll be upgrading to version 3), one for the corporate anti-virus solution, and a few mail filter servers.

Our data center uses HP servers, so the servers are a combination of DL360 and DL380 systems. They are quite easy to set up; it just takes a bit of time to get all the OS updates (we’re running Windows Server 2003) installed and other things configured. The HP SmartStart software makes it mostly painless, just takes a bit of time.

The process is pretty easy. Install the server in the racks (the rack rails just click into place), slide the server on the rack. Then cable up the network cards, power, and KVM. Then use the SmartStart software to start the configuration process, including setting up the drive arrays, and continue with the OS installation.

Next step is to install all the OS updates, add the security template, install the anti-virus program, and set up the computer for automatic updates from our update server (I wrote a compiled Windows Script to do that).

The whole process (other than physically racking the server) takes a bit over two hours. There’s additional time to install the needed application, but the whole thing is quite easily done.

I’ll be spending the next few days doing that, in between the other aspects of my job.