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Tue, Sep. 14th, 2010, 03:42 pm
Howto: In Outlook, ensure all appointments have reminders

I just wrote this up for work, but it seems like the kind of thing that might be useful to others, and that they wouldn't mind me sharing with friends, so I'm posting a copy here too. (Plus, it might be good for future reference, if you know what I mean...)


Apparently, there are some people in this world who are are able to perform certain tasks automatically:
  • Knowing what time it is.
  • Remembering that they have a meeting at a given time in the future.
  • Realizing when that time has arrived and actually going to that meeting.
I, personally, am incapable of doing any of these things. So, I rely on tools like Outlook and my Comm / PDA / Smartphone to do them for me. (Well, all but actually going to the meeting. I still have to do that myself, but the Comm does remind me of it.)

Unfortunately, Outlook has this annoying feature (more like a design flaw) that sets the reminder on an incoming event invitation based on the sender's preferences instead of mine, and not alerting me when they differ. So I get an invitation, happily accept it, with every intention of attending, then blithely forget to actually go, because no alert was triggered, because no reminder was on the original invitation.

("But," you ask, "can't you change the reminder settings to whatever you want when you get the invitation?" Yes, yes I can, but I don't remember that earlier. Let's add that one to the list of stuff I can't do:
  • Remembering to check the reminder settings of all incoming meeting invitations.
And move on.)
Finally, I've put together a working solution... Read more...Collapse )

Thu, Jul. 17th, 2008, 12:33 am
Dr. Horrible - Act II is up, and the website hasn't crashed yet.

It's a brand new day....

Sometimes it's worth staying up way too late. G'night Dr. Horrible!

Tue, Jul. 15th, 2008, 06:32 pm

I'm not sure how many people I'm going to get that haven't already seen it in fizzgig_bites' journal, or elsewhere, but it's kinda important, so I'm posting it anyway...

The ACLU is sponsoring an ad in the New York Times in order to illustrate public outrage over the Constitutional violations in the FISA Bill. If you want to add your name, click here.

Fri, Feb. 1st, 2008, 07:52 am
Spreading the word - online petition to support science education in Florida

From: http://www.flascience.org/wp/?p=416
Florida Citizens for Science has created an online petition. Please take a moment to sign it. Provided we can collect a decent number of signatures, we then plan on printing a copy and presenting it to the State Board of Education. We don’t have much time, though, so please don’t put it off!

Plus, meandering has created an LJ feed of the Florida Citizens for Science here: fl_citizen_sci.

Thu, Dec. 6th, 2007, 09:56 pm
Musical Interlude

Hey, gardenwaltz, I think you'd enjoy this.


(It's a few days old, but that's because I'm lazy!)

In related news, fizzgig_bites got me a near-complete JoCo collection for Hannukah, making me a very happy little code monkey. :) I love the little Creative Commons logo on the corner of the CD sleeve!

Sun, Sep. 30th, 2007, 01:28 pm
Unconfirmed news

From http://cariaso.livejournal.com/34309.html

I cannot verify the accuracy of any of this. I pass it on it hopes that it may be true.

> Dear All,
> Kindly forgive the brevity and the lack of
> formatting of the following email. I am now sending
> this information out as we are now receiving it. As
> many of you are now aware phone lines have been cut,
> mobile networks have been disabled, and Internet
> access has also been disabled. Information,
> therefore, is now very difficult to obtain and
> confirm. I therefore am unable to confirm any of
> that which follows, but my sources are adamant that
> this is the truth:
> Soldiers from LID #66 have turned their weapons
> against other SPDC soldiers and possibly police in
> North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are
> defending the protesters. At present unsure how
> many soldiers involved. Some reports cite "heavy
> shooting" in the area.
> Other unconfirmed reports have stated that soldiers
> from LID #33 in Mandalay have refused orders to act
> against protesters. Some reports claim that many
> soldiers remained in their barracks. More recent
> reports now maintain that soldiers from LID #99 now
> being sent there to confront them.
> Reports of approx. 10,000+ protesters gathering
> around the Traders Hotel in Rangoon.
> Reports of 10,000+ protesters gathering at San Pya
> Market in Rangoon.
> Further reports of approx. 50,000 protestors
> gathering at the Thein Gyi Market in Rangoon.
> According to Mizzima, an unknown number of soldiers
> from Central Command and South East Command are
> presently on their way to Rangoon to reinforce SPDC
> army troops.
> Also according to Mizzima, an unknown number of
> aircraft have been scrambled from "Matehtilar"
> airbase - probably a reference to Meiktila in
> Mandalay Division.
> According to one journalist, SPDC have turned water
> cannons against crowds at Sule Pagoda. The report
> maintains that the water contained some type of
> chemical. awaiting further information.
> Please circulate this information as widely as as
> quickly as possible.
> Regards,
> Jason
> Research Director
> Human Rights Documentation Unit
> National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma

Thu, Sep. 13th, 2007, 10:13 pm
More blatant self-promotion, as if you care.

A few days ago, I created a few syndicated accounts for some of my self-indulgent blather. I recently created another one for my Google Reader shared items at ximinez_greader. Again, shouldn't be much overlap with other feeds and such, just because of the way I use it.

This time, I waited until it initialized so that it won't slam anybody's friends page the first time around.

Fri, Sep. 7th, 2007, 10:06 pm
Hey, I forgot I could do that

Reminded earlier today that I can create syndicated accounts on LiveJournal now, I created one for my del.icio.us bookmarks at ximinez_delic, and one for my Twitter micro-blog at ximinez_twitter.

I don't tend to crosspost (much) between them, so anyone interested is not likely to see a whole lot of redundant garbage. No, it will be mostly new and unique garbage. How cool is that?

Edit: Catch up on your friends page before adding these. The first pull off the feed was a doozy.

Wed, Aug. 22nd, 2007, 08:36 am
Ear bugs

Listening to TWiT this morning on the way in to work. They were talking about the 25th anniversary of the CD, and went around the panel talking about their first CD. Naturally, this triggered me to think about my first CD, which I'm kinda embarrassed to admit was Guns and Roses' Appetite for Destruction. Coincidentally, Anna was going through my CD collection the other day, and asked me to play that CD for her. (Because she "thought it would be cool." Heh.)

With the combination of the two, now I've got Welcome to the Jungle stuck in my head, and I can't shake it.

Maybe I'll re-queue Coverville's Led Zeppelin cover story to try to drown it out... ;)

Wed, May. 30th, 2007, 06:42 pm
Keyboard woes

I wonder if there will be a nice ergonomic keyboard in today's woot off.

My keyboard suddenly died. They tend to do that when you spill half a glass of water into them.


Luckily, I kept the keyboard that came with my computer. Unfortunately, it's a "normal" keyboard that my big hands and bitchy wrists are having trouble with. As a bonus, most of the "extra" keys surprisingly seem to work with my out-of-the-box Ubuntu Linux installation. On the downside, the calculator button is crammed in next to the left ctrl key, and I keep hitting it by accident.

So, in all, not dead in the water, but not very happy about it either.

Tue, May. 1st, 2007, 08:44 am
First of May

Somebody celebrate for us, because this house sure ain't in the mood...

I woke up this morning
I had a scone and a large house blend
And then a little conversation with my squirrel and chipmunk friends
I said I’m sick and tired of winter
And I wish that it was spring
And then a little fellow named Robin Redbreast
Began to sing

And he sang
Ooh ooh child, what’d you think the cold winter’s gonna last forever?
Ooh ooh child, now’s the time for all the people to get together

Cause it’s the first of May, first of May
Outdoor fucking starts today
So bring your favorite lady
Or at least your favorite lay
The water’s not cold baby dip in your big toe
Maybe I’ll see you in flagrante delicto
Grass below you, sky above
Celebrate spring with a crazy little thing called fucking outside

I thanked him for the information
I cried a little when he flew away
I watched an episode of The People’s Court
And I tried to plan my day
I called up my old lady
She wasn’t home so I called my girl
I asked her if she’d like to join me as I
Entertain the world

And I said
Ooh ooh child, I’ll bring a blanket and I promise I will brush the ants off
Ooh ooh child, you’re gonna like it when we’re taking each other’s pants off

Cause it’s the first of May, first of May
Outdoor fucking starts today
So bring your favorite lady
Or at least your favorite lay
The water’s not cold baby dip in your big toe
Maybe I’ll see you in flagrante delicto
Grass below you, sky above
Celebrate spring with a crazy little thing called fucking outside

So we went to the park together
We were walking in the midday sun
We met all kinds of people and we
We fucked everyone
We fucked a lady who sells ice cream
We fucked a man with a tan Shar Pei
Everyone who needed fucking well they
They got fucked today

So come on
Ooh ooh child, open your mind and your heart, feel the spirit moving through you
Ooh ooh child, you’ll feel the warmth of the love when I stick it to you

Cause it’s the first of May, first of May
Outdoor fucking starts today
So bring your favorite lady
Or at least your favorite lay
The water’s not cold baby dip in your big toe
Maybe I’ll see you in flagrante delicto
Grass below you, sky above
Celebrate spring with a crazy little thing called fucking outside


Wed, Apr. 11th, 2007, 09:36 am
Ear bugs

I hate this new-ish Alka Seltzer commercial - the one with the fake rock / concert video. There's one hook that keeps getting stuck in my head, and I'm having the damnedest time shaking it.

Sun, Feb. 11th, 2007, 10:10 am
Breaking News

This just in! Anna Nicole Smith is still dead!

Tue, Feb. 6th, 2007, 06:33 pm

Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

Fri, Jan. 26th, 2007, 12:22 pm
How to tell you're a geek.

How to tell you're a geek, #21043:

This comic:

breaks your fracking heart...

Mon, Jan. 1st, 2007, 11:37 am

Happy Fucking New Year.

Fri, Dec. 29th, 2006, 10:30 pm
Hey kids!

Anybody wanna guess what time it is?!?!

Edit: Anybody have any experience buying machines with Linux pre-installed? I'm thinking laptop, but mostly, I want something that mostly works out of the box. I don't have time to do a full install, mess with drivers, etc. I found http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html via Google, but never heard of them. Opinions?

P.S. Will that smell ever get out of my nose???

P.P.S. fizzgig_bites is infinitely more patient than I!

Thu, Nov. 23rd, 2006, 11:55 am
*gobble gobble*

To those of you who celbrate it today, Happy Thanksgiving!

And to my friends in the United Kingdom: Neener neener neener!

(And, yes, I am fully aware that my Thanksgiving post last year was very similar to this one...)

Fri, Oct. 20th, 2006, 09:51 am
Sorry I haven't posted in a while...

For those of you who need inspiration for explaining why you haven't posted in a while:


Wed, Oct. 18th, 2006, 09:21 am
Word of the day: nocebo

Main Entry: no·ce·bo
Pronunciation: "nO-'sE-(")bO
Function: noun
: a harmless substance that when taken by a patient is associated with harmful effects due to negative expectations or the psychological condition of the patient

Yes, it's the opposite of placebo. The great example I heard was on Penn Jillette's Friday the 13th podcast where Michael Goudeau told a tale of wishing a magician "Good Luck" backstage, and the magician getting so freaked out at how unlucky that is that he burned himself on stage about a minute later.

For some reason, I really like this word.

Fri, Oct. 13th, 2006, 02:47 am
LJ Talk

For those of you who don't read news, LiveJournal has started up an IM service using the Jabber protocol. Just another way to keep in touch, and if you've got a multi-protocol client like Gaim, setting it up is easy.

Sun, Oct. 1st, 2006, 11:34 am
Mindmap thingy

Click here to see!Collapse )

Fri, Sep. 15th, 2006, 08:38 am
Quote of the arbitrary time period

Like the Terminator, Halley's Comet, or genital herpes, trivia just keeps coming back.


Tue, Aug. 22nd, 2006, 11:36 am
Blogging about blogging

Citrix (yes, I know I haven't posted about how awesome it is. I'll get to it once I figure out what the hell I'm doing.) now has an official blogging policy.

Coming from a place where they made me so paranoid that I thought twice before even telling someone the name, this makes me very happy.

The policy is pretty simple, reasonable, and straightforward, which is another thing that surprises the hell out of me. As one would expect, they want employees to post a general disclaimer
The views expressed here are mine alone and have not been authorized by, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, Citrix.
So, in the interest of completeness, I've modified my LJ profile
The views expressed here are mine alone and have not been authorized by, and do not necessarily reflect the views of: any current, past, or future employer, government, club, organization, family member, lover, friend, acquaintance, pet, mythological creature, or small woodland animal.
Yeah, I think that just about covers it.

PS. Because this also amuses me: Geotarget

Wed, Aug. 9th, 2006, 03:37 pm
Revenge of the Fish, part two!!!!


WILDWOOD, Florida (AP) -- A man riding a personal watercraft was injured after a 4-foot-long sturgeon jumped out of the water and hit him, wildlife officials said.

Keep your eyes open for the trifecta!

Fri, Jul. 28th, 2006, 11:20 am
Because a computer is better at evaluating my life than I am ;)

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Mon, Jul. 24th, 2006, 03:29 pm
Revenge of the fish!!!


A fisherman was recovering from surgery after he was speared in the chest and knocked into the Atlantic Ocean by a blue marlin during a fishing competition off Bermuda's coast.

Mon, Jul. 10th, 2006, 10:24 am


Monty Python's: Spamalot
Jan. 9 - 21, 2007
Broward Center for the Performing Arts


*bounce bounce bounce*

Tue, Jul. 4th, 2006, 11:46 am

Happy Independence Day to my American friends!

And to my British friends: neener neener neener! ;)

And to my Canadian friends (do I have any Canadian friends?): save me a seat in case we manage to end up with something worse after the next election.

And to everyone: don't blow yourselves up!!!

Tue, Jun. 27th, 2006, 04:41 pm
This is disturbing...


Do we really want to formalize our children thinking of us as farm animals?

And considering what little I've heard about adult pony-play.... no, nevermind, I'm not going any closer to going there.

Thu, Jun. 8th, 2006, 09:10 am
Meme of much troublemaking...

Borrowed from a friend, who borrowed it from a friend, who borrowed.. well you get the idea.....

There's at least one person on your LJ friends list that wants to date you or sleep with you. So let's play...FRIENDS w/BENEFITS.

The rules are simple...If you want to date the person who posts this, leave them a message saying "I'm yours."

If you just want to sleep with the person and stay friends, send them a message that says "I'd hit it."


*All responses will be screened.*

Post this in your own journal if it tickles your fancy.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006, 10:30 am
Plan B vs. the Right Wingnuts

http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/2006/05/the_b_spot.html (possibly NSFW images (don't know b/c I have them turned off for this site from work))

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/04/why_the_wingnuts_hate_plan_b.php (SFW)

This is an issue on which we can completely ignore any assertion that life begins at fertilization (which I personally find absurd), because it's irrelevant: fertilization doesn't take place. No zygote, no fetus, no embryo, no babies. The claim that this argument is about the life of a baby is null and void, and the opposition to Plan B makes it glaringly, brilliantly clear that this isn't about the sanctity of life at all: it's all about controlling a woman's ovaries. She will not be allowed to tamper with the timing of ovulation.

Thu, Mar. 23rd, 2006, 08:30 pm
A solution for women who can't make their own decisions (all of them)

Stolen from cambler who stole it from a whole chain of people back to the original artist:

(And, yes, the subject line is sarcasm.)

Tue, Mar. 14th, 2006, 11:55 am
Poor taste

There's a joke just begging to be made here...


Thu, Mar. 2nd, 2006, 09:04 am
He knew

WASHINGTON - On the eve of Hurricane Katrina's fateful landfall, President Bush was confident. His homeland security chief appeared relaxed. And warnings of the coming destruction — breached or overrun levees, deaths at the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelming needs for post-storm rescues — were delivered in dramatic terms to all involved. All of it was captured on videotape.

Tue, Feb. 21st, 2006, 09:52 am
One billion page views

So this guy made a bet that he could get one billion unique page views on his web site.


That's about it really. Click the link - it's harmless, AFAICT, and you'll help some random guy you've never met win £1000 from a buddy.

Fri, Feb. 17th, 2006, 05:50 pm
When people ask me why I'm changing jobs...

I am not going to miss this kind of thing:

A Tri-Rail train clipped the back of a recreational vehicle in Oakland Park this afternoon, causing traffic delays at the corner of Powerline Road and Prospect Road, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

No one was injured, BSO said.

The accident happened around 3:25 p.m. today. The rear of the recreational vehicle was left on the tracks when the driver got stuck in traffic, BSO said.

The intersection was still closed at 5 p.m. so crews could clean up fuel that spilled from the recreational vehicle, according to BSO.

It's going to be a long evening...

Update: Got home around 9. About an hour and a half late.

Wed, Feb. 15th, 2006, 05:54 pm
I will see you, in a little while, in a place where no shadows fall.

There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness
of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against
powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than
the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against
this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting,
in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one
knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only
that it is always born in pain.
-- Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar, Babylon 5, by J. Michael Straczynski

Rest in peace, Andreas.


Update: This was linked from babylon5: http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-17526

Wed, Feb. 15th, 2006, 09:16 am
My new hero (fourth place)


Italian minister to wear Muhammad cartoon T-shirt

15 February 2006 01:38

A prominent Italian government figure planned on Wednesday to wear a T-shirt sporting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have sparked violent reactions from Muslims around the world.

Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli denied that the T-shirts are meant to provoke, but said there is no point in promoting dialogue with Muslim extremists.


"It is time to put an end to this tale that we need dialogue with these people," he added.

Mon, Feb. 6th, 2006, 02:28 pm
This one goes out to the robots

Stolen from cariaso. I don't have much of an opinion about celiac disease to start with, but I do love gaming "the system", and doing a bit for the little guy.

V7ndotcom elursrebmem

This post is not really meant for my friends. In fact its not even really meant for people (at least not directly). Its meant for the programs written by google which crawl the web. But it seems like a good excuse to do a technical posting for my friends.

Google (and all the other web search engines) have little programs that crawl the web. They work a lot like your webbrowser, except they don't bother showing the pages to a person. Instead these programs just record what text is on the page and what other pages are linked to. From this google decides how relevant a particular page is when you do a search.

If lots of folks link to a page when talking about cheese, then that page becomes more likely to be the top result when you search for cheese. Being in that top spot is very important, not just for you to find information, but for folks who are trying to sell a product online. Where will French cheese related pages rank vs California cheeses vs Wisconsin cheeses. If you're in the business of selling cheese it matters to you a lot.

So much so that there are companies called SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers) which will help ensure your page is at or near the top. Sometimes they advise simple changes to your page that help google to better understand what your page is talking about. Othertimes they play little games like creating lots of fake pages that all talk about the page they want to push higher. It creates an arms race of sorts. SEOs try to push their stuff to the top, while google tries to automatically recognize genuine interest, vs the techniques SEOs use to fake it.

SEOs, like all hackers can be over simplified into two groups. Whitehats and blackhats. This is a tradition that goes back at least as far as old western movies where you knew who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, based on the color of their hats. Blackhats aren't always hiding in the shadows. BMW was just banned from google search results in germany as a penalty for playing these little games.

SEOs are always trying to get better at what they do. One of they ways they do this is open contests. Pick a made up word, one that doesn't exist anywhere on the net. Then see who can make their page the top rated page for that word. As long as this is all done in the open I think it benefits everyone. Especially when it helps to reinforce the idea that google is hard to trick, and that real popularity is hard to fake.

For the last of these contests that I know about, it was won by someone who wasn't an SEO. It was won by a guy who'd been writing a journal online for a while. He encouraged his readers to link to his page to send a message about SEO, and the idea that real popularity is earned not bought. And the message was fairly clear.

Now there is a new SEO contest. Top prize is $7k. Thats intended to encourage folks to really try. For an SEO that does particularly well this is great advertising. For many that will have to be reward enough. But there is an effort for folks like me, maybe like you, to use this as an opportunity to send a message or do some good. That random word at the top of this post helps the prize money go to Celiac research. I have one friend with celiac disease. Its hardly the most pressing issue on the planet, but its one more worthwhile cause. As I write this the charity page is number 6 on google's list. If you would like to help add this text to a blog entry or website of your own.

<a title="V7ndotcom elursrebmem for celiac charity"
V7ndotcom elursrebmem</a>

cariaso has a few links scattered throughout that text, but I'm too lazy to go to that much effort. Read his original post, if you're so inclined.

Fri, Jan. 27th, 2006, 09:41 am
Les is a teacher!

I am pretty vehement about not answering the phone while I'm in the head. I think it's rude, both to the caller, and to the people around you when you're in a public restroom, and just plain gross. I usually shunt it to voicemail.

But with everything else going on this morning[1], I figured that I'd better answer Les' call, if only to tell her I'll call right back.

"Hi. Can I call you right back?"
"No. School starts in 3 minutes, and I need to turn off my phone. I'm a teacher."
"You tell me this when I'm in the can? I can't woop or anything. Congratulations!"

So there ya go. Les is a teacher. I have no idea about details, whether she's replacing the guy she's been subbing for, or if she got one of the open positions she's been jockeying for, or what. I do know that she kicks ass.


[1] Saw a message on the machine this morning. Stepfather called last night. Mom is in the hospital. Had dizziness and double-vision, and they're worried that it's the precursors to a stroke. She's fine for now, and says she feels fine when I talked to her. She's in for observation and tests. If she is going to have a stroke, she's in the best place to have it.


Wed, Jan. 25th, 2006, 10:20 am
Public service announcement - Referrer spam

A brief public service announcement. If you run your own web server, don't make your server logs (or summaries of them) publicly accessible. The reason: referrer spam. Asshole spammers pound your website all day with their site as the referrer, so that your logs are filled with their garbage.

I doubt they expect little direct benefit -- visitors to my site are not likely to click on a link to phentermine.at.mimanet.com (note, don't go to that site.) -- but by having a legit looking link on a legit site, it boosts their Google rankings, and who knows what other indirect benefits they get.

Form more info, Google "referrer spam", or

This issue has been around for a few years, but it's the first I've heard about it, and I figure I'm probably not the only one.

Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006, 01:25 am
My daemon

The RaccoonCollapse )
RACCOON - your daemon may be a raccoon. You are a
trickster. Your daemon's nimble hand-like paws
can help in the creation of pranks. You may
prefer the cover of darkness to pull off your
stunts. You may be fascinated by gadgets, and
are probably good at figuring out how things
work. Independent and fun loving, you love to
get the best of someone. You have no
pretensions about yourself. Crafty and clever,
you can adapt to any situation and find a way
to make it work in your favour.

What Is Your Daemon?
brought to you by Quizilla

Fri, Jan. 6th, 2006, 01:54 pm
Pat Robertson strikes again

Why does this guy still get press?

Robertson suggests God smote Sharon

(CNN) -- Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.

Notable quote: According to The Associated Press, Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts said of people who criticized the comments: "What they're basically saying is, 'How dare Pat Robertson quote the Bible?'"

My immediate response: "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." -- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2006, 05:55 pm
Told ya so!


Study: SUVs no safer for kids
Hospital says larger size of vehicle is offset by its increased chance of rollover.

Sun, Jan. 1st, 2006, 12:08 am
Happy New Year!

Sun, Dec. 25th, 2005, 01:08 pm

Merry Christmakwanzahanukkahsolstiyulecimas!!!!

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