Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You Meet the Nicest People on Two Wheels...

The last week or two have just been fun experiences commuting (never heard someone in a cage say that!) My evening commute takes me thru an area that gets pretty congested, and people begin to drive with a bit less caution. The other evening I was in the right hand lane and the left hand lane was completely stopped. Along my route another bike had come in behind me, and we were riding in riding (staggered) formation. Suddenly, one of the cars in the left lane decided he wanted to switch lanes as I was beside him. He made a sudden weave into my lane and I made a quick swerve into the turn lane next to me and back in front of the car. I quickly looked in the mirror to see if my newly aquirred commute partner had gotten stopped without issue. What I saw was suprising, he had gunned the throttle and went around the car as well. He came along side me to air his displeasure with the cage driver. It was a nice to hear someone with my viewpoint on what just happened and that could understand what regularly occurs.

A few days ago, around the same place, I heard the melody of a V-twin pulling along side of me as I sat in traffic. I turned to see a Harley Road King that had to be the exact same color as my Sporty, and the fella had that thing shining to the nines (even had a helmet that matched). We had some nice chit-chat while we waited for traffic to move and as we inched along for a few blocks.

You just don't meet folks in traffic much when your creeping along in a cage, but you meet some of the nicest folks when you're on two wheels.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Joys of Commuting

Last night on my way home from work my commute was a little bit more exciting than normal. If you've ever commuted on a motorcycle in the Greater Atlanta Metro area, you have probably come to accept that someone is going to swerve over into your lane and force you to make a "survival maneuver" at least once a day. My experience has not changed that presumption. But last night was different. I'm riding on a controlled access major highway (what they call roads with overpasses and on/offramps). Traffic is moderately heavy but the left hand lane is running around 75 mph. I'm behind a mini-van (as the billboard says, there are NO cool minivans). Suddenly I see something round and white come out of the rear side window of the van and bounce in the roadway. Golfball? I don't know. Then another one comes out the window and bounces. I'm concentrating on not getting hit by whatever it is and avoiding running over it. Can you imagine running over a golfball at 75 mph? Then a third one come out and I manage to change lanes and pass the van.

A few miles later, we have left the controlled access section of the highway and are headed towards the first stoplight and my turn off. Suddenly, a woman changes lanes right over towards me. Usually, you swerve towards the white line at the shoulder of the road, hit your brights and your horn and they realize they should have looked and stop coming over, but not this time. She came all the way into my lane and I was forced on the last 6 inches of asphalt at the edge of the road. I managed to get past her without dropping the bike and into the turn lane. I look over at her and I can see her mouth is moving, but my lip reading skills are somewhat deficient. Maybe she was saying "I'm sorry I didn't see you or hear your uncapped exhaust"...*shrug*

So I'm thinking ok, two in 8 or 9 miles, nice. As I'm waiting for the turn signal at the stop light, I notice the mini-van is behind me turning as well. It even turned into my neighborhood. So, I decided to pay a neighborly visit and dicuss the golfballs(??). The young couple in the van (she was driving, he was riding shotgun) seemed suprised when I told them I hadn't appreciated having things thrown out the rear side windows at me on the highway. At first the lady said the kids rear windows were closed. The father opened the side door and asked who was throwing things out the window. The lady walked around the passenger side (where the items were launching) and said "Oh! This window IS OPEN!" and she quickly appologized. I'm guessing someone got dressed down by mom and dad. I appreciated their handling of the situation and drove home.

Those of you commuting on bikes, watch out for the swervers and the minivans tossing golfballs.

Those of you driving cages (cars, minivans, trucks) look before you change lanes, hang up the cellphone and pay attention to your driving, and use your signals.

Be Safe out there!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merry Chrismas from the Family

No one can put me in the Christmas spirit better than Robert Earl Keen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trunk Monkey

I mentioned the Trunk Monkey while talking to some friends this weekend and got a few blank stares, so... Here is today's moment of Zin!













Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Carpe Diem

"Carpe Diem" - sieze the day

what goes thru your mind when you hear that phrase? We get so caught up in what we are facing in life that we lose sight of the big picture. Financial struggles, career crossroads, illness, etc easily distracts us and we tend to put life on hold and focus on the current problem at hand. How much quality time in life have we wasted worrying, fretting, or stewing over the current problems facing us?

Several years ago my grandfather was battling cancer and was losing the fight. He made a mental list of the things he wanted to accomplish, things he wanted to see, etc before he died. One of the things he told me during that period was "live like there is no tomorrow."

Consider what relationships are valuable to you and make sure those people know how you feel about them. Despite whatever you are facing at the moment, consider what you could do today that would help you sieze the day.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gentle Reminders


I struggle with being so busy that at times I forget to stop and smell the roses. On my way home in August, I had an opportunity to remember how great God is and how wonderful His creation is. Here's a poor quality picture from my cellphone. I encourage you to pause and appreciate the beauty of the earth around us and recognize God's fingerprints on it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Harley


By the way, here's a picture of my Harley Sportster 883. I bought it in July of 2005 and have put 15,000 miles on it :)

OK, I did it


For my birthday, I gifted myself with my first tattoo. I've always heard everyone make such a big fuss about how painful it is. Hogwash! It was more annoying than painful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Still going...

Yes, it was 27 degrees when I got up this morning, and yes, I still made my 40 minute commute on my Harley Sportster. The secret is layered clothing and those magnificant electric gloves. Cold weather seems to seperate the avid enthusiasts from the casual. Up until a few weeks ago, I encountered several other riders on my way in to the office. Today, I was the loan biker. But, I enjoyed the startled looks from cage drivers when I rolled up the stoplights next to them.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Motorcycle Riding

I haven't addressed this and I'd be remiss to let it pass. I LOVE motorcycles. A week after purchasing my bike, My wife and I went for our first day trip. I had minimal experience on the bike having owned it a week and even less experience with a passenger. We set out for a trip to Helen which was going to be a lovely picturesque day. Half way along the winding road, I pointed the bike into what I thought was the apex of the turn, but soon discovered I was at least 20 feet from the apex, and the bike was coming out of the turn as the turn was still tightening. My little experience didn't help, and I ended up going off the road surface and onto wet foliage which dropped us instantly. We were both wearing long sleeve shirts and blue jeans which offered very little protection against the gravel we encountered at 20 mph. She ended up with road rash on her knee, and I ended up with road rash on a pinky finger and my forearm. After getting the bike repaired, I had learned a hard lesson - Don't ride without full leathers. What's with fingerless gloves?

Today I remember that experience as I do everytime I look at my finger or everytime I set out for a ride and my wife declines to accompany me, and I recall it everytime I see someone riding in shorts and flip flops. I read this article about a pretty young blonde that fell off the back of a crotch rocket wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. If you plan on riding a bike, whether on the back or in control, at any point in your life, you should read this girl's article and learn from it.

roadrashqueen story

Friday, October 27, 2006

Internet Explorer 7

IE 7 is officially out and in use. I tested the beta versions for about 6 months and have to admit I like it, especially being able to set more than one homepage and the use of tabs. I will quickly admit to having to get use to using tabs, but it grows on you pretty quick. Printing seems to be improved as well over earlier versions of IE.
Microsoft's IE 7 website

Windows Vista

We've been testing Windows Vista RC1 at work with all of the software products our company uses to accomplish our day to day work. We've been please to discover that 95% of all of the software we use works without any tweaking and that the remaining 5% work thanks to Vista's Compatibility Wizard.

We had to download the new Vista client from Symantec for their antivirus product, and Cisco's latest VPN client for Vista (as to be expected). We've also had to go to the sound card manufacturer for a Vista driver, but again expected.

All told, I'm impressed with Vista. If you aren't testing for compatibility in your company's environment, you certainly ough to be. Also consider developing a strategy for integrating Vista. My general impression is that Vista will require memory and possibly video card upgrades in a lot of cases when attempting to upgrade a win2k or win xp box. I'm seriously considering not upgrading current desktops, but moving to Vista on all new purchases and having a mixed XP/Vista environment for some time.

Get all the info and even download the VISTA release candidate at Microsoft's Vista site

You'll need a DVD burner if you download the iso image or you can order the Windows Vista RC1 DVD on their site and pay them $5 for it to be shipped to you.

You can also run the Vista upgrade advisor to get a listing of what you'll need to upgrade on any machine you are contemplating upgrading to Vista.

AVG Antivirus

Another AntiVirus product worth mentioning is AVG from GRISOFT. GRISOFT gives away a verison of their product for use on home computers which I've been quite pleased with as well. They've recently added a free Anti-Spyware product as well. AVG also offers solutions for client-server networks, Email servers, Windows and Linux Servers, etc.

AVG Free

Trend Micro

After years of relying on Symantec Corporate and Enterprise versions of Antivirus products in corporate/business environments, I am giving serious consideration to moving to Trend Micro's AntiVirus products. We've done some testing with their eval versions and have been quite impressed with their offerings. They offer multilayer A/V protection products including their VirusWall hardware device and even a A/V client for mobile devices (like your smartphone).


Trend Micro Website

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Office PCs – White Box versus Major Manufacturer

From time to time someone suggests that it would be cheaper to buy computers from a local computer store than from a major manufacturer or that locally assembled computer produce better performance. Computers assembled purely for performance criteria tend to have a shorter life cycle than those assembled for reliability. Over-clocking processors and other performance techniques are fine and good for a gaming application, but are less than desirable for office environments.

For corporate environments where employees are relying on their machines day in and day out to be productive, machines produced by a corporate manufacturer prove to be more reliable, are better supported by the manufacturer, and are more cost-effective over a three to four year period.

Local computer store assembled machines are not typically covered by three year or longer warranty service. If they are, local shops require the client to break down their machine and carry the machine into their storefront for service/repair. Major manufacturers cover their machines with three year warranties onsite next day service and offer longer terms for an additional price.

Additionally, major manufacturers maintain a database of every machine manufactured. At any point in time a customer or a customer support representative can access the online database, enter the serial number for the machine, and access all of the latest driver downloads and a complete listing of the machine’s original configuration allowing for easy identification of upgrade components (compatible memory, etc). Local shops typically do not track this information leaving the customer to have to break the machine down and open the case to determine what memory or other components are in each machine before ordering upgrades.

Major Manufacturers typically build a consistent machine (motherboards, bios, network cards, video cards, etc), such that a customer can buy an identical machine for 6-9 months apart. This allows the customer’s I.T. support staff to maintain one image for multiple machines. Local shops tend to assemble with what they have on hand at the moment. If a customer purchases machines 6-9 months apart (or even three weeks apart), the machines will be composed of significantly different components leaving the customer’s I.T. staff to maintain a different image for every machine that comes in the door adding significantly to the storage overhead and overall burden to the support staff.

Finally, local shops cannot afford to employ a fulltime R&D staff where major manufacturer’s typically employee electrical engineers and commit R&D resources to all of their commercial workstations. The end results of such R&D work are workstations that have a longer lifecycle in the corporate office environment.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Good Event Scheduling Software

If your church, business, or organization is looking for a good event scheduling, calendar, event registration type software package, let me suggest considering EventU. While serving at Roswell UMC a few years back, we carefully examined this product and then changed from a competing product to EventU and were quite happy with the results. It is easy to use and easily integrates into your website. Take a look at their website http://www.eventu.com and schedule a demo for an indepth look.

Monday, September 18, 2006

90 Minutes in Heaven

Put any preconcieved notions or ideas aside and read this book. It won't take long, I read it in under 2 hours. You'll love it and it will impact your life in a positive way.

http://www.amazon.com/90-Minutes-Heaven-Story-Death/dp/0800759494

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to speed up a scooter...

http://jeff.henshaw.org/?p=135

Free Voice over IP - No Long Distance Charges

Ok, so you wanna talk to someone overseas, on the other side of the country, or where ever and you are too cheap to pay long distance phone charges. Easy solution, if you have a pc and you have an internet connection, buy yourself a cheap headset and download Skype. http://skype.com

The people you want to talk to will have to install Skype on their end as well, but its free and its easy. If they don't have a pc or internet connection and you just HAVE to spend money, Skype will sell you an add-in to dial regular phones, they'll even sell you a regular phone number so folks calling from a regular phone can get you via skype, and they'll even sell you voicemail.

Isn't it a great world?

The Len Foote Hike Inn at Amicalola Falls State Park

Took the family hiking for Labor Day weekend. If you like the mountains and hiking but really can't get warm and fuzzy about sleeping on the ground, this is the ticket. Lenoard Foote was a flower picture taking kinda guy, the Hike Inn was built in his honor 5 miles above the Amicalola Falls State Park (near Dawsonville, GA). It's a 5-mile hike to the inn, and the trail covers some steep inclines a couple of times. But it also has several water crossings and a lot of beautiful views along the way. This is a must do for sure.

For more info: http://hike-inn.com/

Need to Create PDFs?

Ok, so everyone needs to create a PDF from a Word document and you don't have the budget to spend $425 a desktop for Acrobat Professional. Very familiar scenario. If they only need to create PDFs and not edit existing ones, then there is a wonderful FREE solution - PrimoPDF.

http://www.primopdf.com/

Primo can make a pdf from Excel, Word, and about anything you can print.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

How to Kill Volunteer Recruitment in a Church

During the service one Sunday, the pastor announced that the Preschool would be moving into their new building over the following weekend, and they needed as many volunteers as possible on Friday and Saturday to bring hand tools and power tools and help assemble things and get all of their things moved into the building. So a couple that had been visiting the church drove 15 miles to the church that Saturday and walked into the new Preschool building to see how they could help. They wandered around until they located the head of the committee overseeing the project and asked how they could help. The committee chair replied, "Oh, we haven't got our certificate of occupancy yet, so we really can't do anything."

Somehow, somewhere, someone knew they weren't going to be able to move in before that Saturday. It would have been a good idea to send an email out to the church email list cancelling the "move in days". Folks take time out of their weekends to volunteer to work on worthy causes. But they'll only get stood up like this a few times before they'll begin to ignore requests for volunteers.

Your Daily Moment of Zin

While returning from a week at the beach, we stopped at a rest station in Alabama. I saw this sign and had to get a picture as I did not think anyone would believe me.




Now you gotta ask yourself, do they consume that much watermelon in Alabama? And, what do they do with all of the rinds they collect?

Your Daily Moment of Zin

We went hiking Sunday afternoon and saw this sign on the trail. I do not endorse vandlism or defacing signs, but I did find humor when I saw this:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Good Reading

I love a good book as much as anyone. The topics span all my areas of interest (Christianity, self improvement, racing, etc). HINT: avoid buying books at a retail bookseller and paying list prices. Try shopping at http://half.ebay.com

Here's a few titles I've enjoyed that you might enjoy:

Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives by Laura Schlessinger
Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships by Laura Schlessinger
Boundaries in Dating - Cloud and Townsend
Give & Take: The Secret to Marital Compatibility - Willard F. Harley, Jr.
The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman
It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life - Lance Armstrong
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Beach Music - Pat Conroy
The Beachhouse - James Patterson
Lifeguard - James Patterson
The Hunt for Red October - Tom Clancey
They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat - Lewis Grizzard
If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground - Lewis Grizzard
I Took a Lickin' and Kept on Tickin' - Lewis Grizzard

Church Websites

What is the ultimate purpose of a Church's website? Is it just to list events and give directions to the grounds? Isn't it time to re-evaluate websites as a means of ministry? Does your Church website contain anything about establishing a relationship with Christ? Does your Church website give direction for someone fighting addiction? How can a Church website be re-tooled to serve as a ministry tool instead of just an event bulletin board?

Try this. If your Church website has a search function, search the site for "salvation" or "addiction". What results do you get? If a visitor can't find answers to these topics on a Church website, isn't that like them visiting your Church and not being able to get an answer to the same topics? How sad is that??

Kairos Prison Ministry is Looking for a few Good Men

Ever feel a tugging to do something but don't know what? Want to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Dare to move out of your comfort zone?

"I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me. " - Matthew 25:36

Consider working a Kairos Weekend. There are teams forming now for upcoming weekends in the Atlanta Metro area, as well as other parts of Georgia and the U.S.

For more info: http://www.kairosofgeorgia.org/ or email me breezeman13@hotmail.com