Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I implemented and have become a BIG fan of Microsoft Operations Manager just for this very purpose. All of their product teams have written management packs for MOM so that if you want to monitor Exchange, the Exchange mgt pack knows what to look for in a log and what are or aren't tolerable states. (same for SQL, same for AD, etc). It even monitors itself and the servers it monitors can send alerts when the MOM server isn't responding.
One of the nice parts about it is the built in Knowledge base, such that if MOM gives you an alert with an error msg and you are scratching your head thinking "OK, that is definately a problem but how do I fix it?" You click the Knowledgebase tab inside the alert and it gives you resolution steps. How sweet is that?
I've been running in for close to 90 days and I think it is the best thing they've ever bought, renamed, and marketed.
Microsoft MOM website
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A recent breakfast with a friend of mine got an old fever rekindled. Seems Jeffrey used to ride a 125cc about 25 years ago and after listening to me talk about how much I have been enjoying riding my V-Twin, he got the bug really bad. He was the winning bidder on a gorgeous Honda Shadow this evening, so I'm guessing I'm going to be making a trip to bring his newly purchased bike home :) I'll try to get pictures of him with the cheshire cat grin to post when we pick it up.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Casey Mears celebrated his first career NASCAR Nextel Cup Series victory Sunday evening at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC after winning the Coca Cola 600. Mears had managed to work his way into a top-10 position and then made the gamble to stay out while the competition was pitting for a gallon of fuel. Mears team calculated his car would be out of fuel with half a lap to go, but Mears finished under power and ran out of fuel on the cool down lap, coasted the National Guard sponsored No. 25 Chevrolet down pit road and into Victory Lane.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Dario Franchitti won the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 after the race was called due to rain on lap 166. The race had been delayed for 3 1/2 hrs before resuming and then encountering rain again!
The race had three women drivers this year (a record for the Indy 500). Danica Patrick finished 8th, Sarah Fisher 18th, and Milka Duno finished 31st. It makes you wonder if there were three women competing in the Indy 500, why there aren't any currently competing in NASCAR Busch or Cup Series.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history" - Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter claiming the Bush administration is the worst in history at foreign policy has got the be the biggest demonstration of a pot calling a kettle black that I can possibly conceive. The Carter administration sucked air. Jmiiy might have made a good govenor for the state of Georgia, but his time in the White House produced nothing positive that I can see.
Jimmy has been beating the drum for years for peace in the middle east and has went so far to waggle his finger at Israel. I find it perplexing. Jimmy is a Baptist sunday school teacher. If he has studied his Bible very much, he should know the history. God gave the children of Israel the promised land. They were later conquered by the Babylonians who then exiled them from their land. During the Persian Period, many of the Jews returned to Israel and the temple was rebuilt. Alexander the Great conquered the area. Jewish autonomy was granted and eventually Jewish independence, under the rule of the monarchy, was granted.
Jerusalem was captured by Roman general, Pompay and then Herod ruled as King. Jesus was born, crucified, and resurrected. 33 yrs later the Jews revolted against the Romans. The Temple was destroyed 4 yrs later and 3 yrs after that marked the last stand of the Jews at Masada.
Between 639 and 1099, Israel was under Arab control and the Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph Abd el-Malik on the site of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
In 1917, the British Foreign Minister, in the Balfour Declaration, pledged support for an establishment of a “Jewish national home in Palestine.” In May 1922, the British and the United States negotiated a Mandate for Palestine that was approved by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922. In this Mandate, Israel was divided into fourths, ¾ designated for Transjordan and ¼ for a Jewish national home with a Jewish Agency representing the Jewish community vis-à-vis the Mandate Authorities. (Basically giving the Jews a fourth of their country back). Large-scale immigration, and the large-scale Arab anti-Jewish riots led to the issuance of the White Papers, official reports by the British Government. These reports stated that “if Jewish immigration prevented the Arabs from obtaining work, the Mandatory government should curtail or even terminate it.”
In May 1939, Britain drastically restricted Jewish immigration. However, this restriction denied European Jews a place of refuge from the Nazi persecution. Soon after World War II began and David Ben-Gurion, later Israel’s first prime minister, declared “We will fight the War as if there were no White Paper, and the White Paper as if there were no War.” (The State of Israel Ministry of Affairs) Thus, 26,000 men and women of the Jewish community joined the British forces in the fight against Germany and its Axis allies. After the War, Jews continued to be brought into the land by secret.
As a result of Britain’s inability to reconcile the demands of the Jewish and Arab community, it requested that the “Question of Palestine” be placed on the United Nations agenda. On 29, 1947, the assembly adopted the Partition Plan that divided the land into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. However, large scale violence continued and the Jewish state was never established.
On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate came to an end. As a result, the State of Israel was proclaimed according to the UN Partition Plan. On the same day, the members of the National Council signed the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. Eleven minutes after the proclamation, American President Harry S. Truman extended recognition to Israel. Not even a day later the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded, thus beginning the Israel’s War of Independence. Israel fiercely defended its sovereignty, losing 6,000 Israeli lives and lasting 15 months. In 1949, with assistance from the UN, negotiated Armistice Agreements with each of the invading countries, except Iraq, which has refused to negotiate with Israel to date. As a result, “the coastal plain, Galilee and the entire Negev were within Israel's sovereignty, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) came under Jordanian rule, the Gaza Strip came under Egyptian administration, and the city of Jerusalem was divided, with Jordan controlling the eastern part, including the Old City, and Israel the western sector.” (Armistice Agreements, The State of Israel Ministry of Affairs) On May 11, 1949, the UN admitted Israel as its 59th member.
In 1967, Egypt moved troops into the Sinai, ordered the UN peacekeeping forces out, imposed the blockade of the Staits of Tiran again, and entered into a military alliance with Jordan. Israel invoked its inherent right of self-defense and launched a preemptive strike, followed by a counterattack against Jordan. As a result, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights became under Israel's control. On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242 that called for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the guarantee of the freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area. However, in 1968, Egypt began a war of attrition, which escalated into an exchange of artillery fire. Soon, Russian air and ground troops became involved. The US, afraid that the conflict may escalate to a nuclear war, agreed with the USSR to end the conflict in 1970.
In 1973, On Yom Kippur, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated assault against Israel. In three weeks, Israel overcame the attackers and in two years negotiated disengagement agreements. In September 17, 1978, twelve days of secret negotiations between Israel and Egypt occurred at Camp David. The resulting Camp David Accords set the framework for peace between Israel and Egypt, as well as containing a framework for peace in Middle East. On March 26, 1979, Israel and Egypt signed the Peace Treaty Between Israel and Egypt bringing to end 30 years of war.
Carter touts the treaty signed at Camp David brought peace to the middle east and effectively ended all of the conflict. Consider that Israel and Arab conflict has been going on since 639. Consider that their temple was continually destroyed in their holy city by invading forces. And, consider that the Dome of the Rock was contructed on top of the temple mount. Then consider that this is the land that God promised them in the time of Moses. Do you really think you can mediate peace in the Middle East?
Has Jimmy read any of Revelations? If so, he'd know how this all ends and that no where in the book of Revelations does it say "and there was peace in the middle east and all was well". Actually it says the temple will be rebuild on its original foundation. For that to happen, the Dome of the Rock would have to be destroyed. One would have to imagine there will be a great deal of conflict when that happens. Perhaps Jimmy doesn't believe in the book of Revelations?
Monday, May 21, 2007
At 7am Sunday morning, it was around 45 degrees. A bit nippy for the open face helmet, but I toughed it out for the 15 minute highway ride down to the Church. When we got out of the service at noon, it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and it was just over 80 degrees - Perfect Bike Weather! A couple of guys suggested a bike ride, and all we needed was the suggestion. Five of us quickly assembled and were soon winding thru the backroads of north Georgia. One road was so narrow I joked that I thought someone had halfheartedly paved a goat trail. But it was a gorgeous ride thru the countryside without incident and a great time was had by all.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
After riding all winter with electric gloves, scarves, and face masks to stay warm, the recent warm weather and clear skies have been a welcome sight. It has been so pretty as of late, when I go to lunch I'm tempted to head for the mountains instead of back to the office. I'm fought the temptation, but a trip on the two lane roads thru the north Georgia mountains is on my radar.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
A week doesn't go by that I don't have someone stop me and say "Why do you commute on your motorcycle?" Typically my initial response is "Why not?" But over the last few months, I have encountered several other motorcycle owners, and I have been quite baffled at the fact they don't commute on their bikes. Now that gas prices are hovering at the three-dollar-a-gallon mark, I'm really perplexed to see motorcycle owners driving SUVs to work that avg 18-20mpg and cost $75-90 to fill up. Why wouldn't they consider commuting on a motorcycle that averages 45-55 mpg?
So, yes you guessed it. I've begun the conversation "Why do you NOT commute on your motorcycle?" The answers vary and quite honestly, I haven't heard one yet that really holds water. Most of the answers amount to excuses not real reasons.
A friend that works as a loan officer said that if he didn't have to wear suits to work he would commute on his bike more often (currently he does about once every 2 or 3 months). I had to respond that I have worn dress slacks, dress shirt, and tie under my leather on several occasions without any real issue. And, you can carry dress shoes in a saddlebag rather easily. Leave one or two suit coats hanging on the back of your office door and you're good to go. I'd venture to say that if he REALLY wanted to commute on one of his numerous motorcycles, he could work out the details.
Another response I have gotten pretty regularly is that they enjoy riding their motorcycles in the rural mountain roads but would never dream of riding in the city traffic. I give this answer a little more credence as traffic jam commuter traffic on the metro interstates can be daunting, but it is not a deal breaker. Riding in interstate commuter traffic is an opportunity to sharpen one's riding skills. It requires keen attention. Being observant, alert, and aware of one's surroundings are the skills required, but aren't those the same skills we should be exhibiting every time we throw a leg over the saddle of a motorcycle?
If you own a motorcycle and aren't commuting, I challenge you to give it serious consideration. Not only is it good for the pocket book with rising fuel costs, the mental and emotional returns on riding everyday are immeasurable. You know how good it feels to get on your motorcycle on a Saturday morning and ride for a couple of hours? Imagine walking out of a stressful day at the office and knowing you're about to climb on your motorcycle and riding for 20 minutes.
As Ben Bailey would say, "Are you in?"