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# Wednesday, 14 June 2006

If you're reading this and you attended my session on Monday morning at 9a but haven't yet filled out an evaluation, please do so.  I've been told the room seats over 800 and it was packed, but only 208 thus far have submitted evals.  I'd really like to know what EVERYONE thought, not just those few who've filled it out thus far.  It only takes a minute, and you get a chance to win an XBox if you do it sooner rather than later. 

Info again: 6/12/2006 - 9:00-10:15, WEB301 - Accelerating Web Development with Enterprise Library.

Just go to: http://msteched.com, log in, and go to fill out evals for breakouts (menu on left).

And remember, be honest but kind!  :-p

Wednesday, 14 June 2006 17:32:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 05 June 2006

As most of you know who follow my blog at all, I recently joined Infragistics.  Well, I finally got around to getting my company blog set up, so if you're curious or interested, feel free to check it out and maybe subscribe.  While you're there, if you are a customer or potential customer, you might want to look around at the other blogs and maybe subscribe to some of them to stay on top of Infragistics stuff.

Monday, 05 June 2006 11:16:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 04 June 2006

It's been on my mind for some time to (re)try my hand at fiction again.  I've got some experience, chiefly from my university days, but I've been feeling the urge to stretch those fictional writing muscles again.  Now that I've got some publisher contacts, I thought it might be worth pursuing.  Granted, they're tech publishers, but at least some of them work at houses with fiction publishing arms.  Maybe they could hook me up.

Then again, I thought that rather than committing myself to a book project with a publisher up front, I might try a different approach akin to the serials in the old days.  In essence, I thought I might set up a site for the book and publish chapters one at a time on the site, using RSS as the notification mechanism for when new chapters are available.  For those who don't mind reading online and waiting for the next chapter, I figure they could use the site and give me feedback as the book progresses.  Then, once I have something that might qualify as a book, I could see if any publisher would have me for those who (like me) still prefer to read from paper pages.

So what do you think of an approach like that?  Would you ever read a book published serially on a web site?

Sunday, 04 June 2006 20:46:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 

I ran into an odd problem the other day that I figured I'd blog for any other poor souls stricken with the same enigma.  Without going into the details of why I was trying to setup the indexing service on my Windows XP SP2 box, I found that when I tried to get into it from MMC (Computer Management), it would give me an error when I tried to expand the Services and Applications node saying that it failed to initialize the snap-in for the indexing service.

Searching on various combinations of the error message really didn't help, on Google or MS.  Everything appeared to be in order (the service acted like it was running) except that it wouldn't run the snap-in, and when I looked at the Windows Components tab in Add/Remove Programs, it showed that Indexing Service was unchecked.  Even if I checked it and clicked next (at which point it'd act like it was installing and configuring it, it would still show up as unchecked.

I had also noticed in recent days that I'd occasionally get one of those application crashed, do you want to debug messages about this SearchFilterHost.exe app.  When I first got the message, nothing came up for it on Google.  When I searched again on Friday, I found a few indicating that it was part of Office 2007 Beta 2, which I've been running since the day it was released, more or less.  I had kind of assumed that, but I just ignored the error and moved on.

Well, those two things gelled in my mind to suggest that maybe it was something with Office 2007 Beta 2 that was hosing up the Indexing Service.  More specifically, I suspected it had to do with the Windows Desktop Search that Outlook and OneNote 2007 prompt you to install.  On this hunch, I uninstalled the desktop search, and voila, my Indexing Service snap-in worked again, as did the program I was running that wanted to use it.

So the moral is that if you're having odd issues with Indexing Service, this is one thing you'll want to try.  It worked for me.  Now, I wish I could run the desktop search to optimize searching in Office.  I logged a bug on the beta site, but I figure my problem is probably just odd enough as to not be reproducible. :)  We'll see...

Sunday, 04 June 2006 20:40:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [9]  | 
# Friday, 02 June 2006

I recently ordered an audiobook on CD from Recorded Books, mainly because it was only available there from what I could find.  The book is Baudolino (great medieval fiction, BTW; I’ve listened to it from libraries 2x already).  Anyways, I was suprised when they charged me sales tax because they’re based in MD not NJ, so I wrote to ask them about it.  This is their response:

The state of New Jersey Department of Revenue now requires Recorded Books to collect sales tax on orders from residents of New Jersey.  They base the demand on the fact that outstanding rental audiobooks (in the hands of New Jersey residents) gives Recorded Books a "physical presence" in the State and therefore we are compelled by law to collect sales tax on all orders from New Jersey.

Before I moved up here, I knew that property taxes were high and that they have state income tax (unlike Florida), but since I’ve been here, I’ve heard other amazing stories about the ridiculous ways in which the state taxes its residents.  This has got to be one of the more creative ones, though.  They sure are creative bloodsuckers; I’ll give them that!

Friday, 02 June 2006 12:49:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Tuesday, 30 May 2006

I just ran across a rather interesting article while doing some book research for my upcoming book, The Contemporary Patriarch.  Of course, I'm kidding about the book; Mrs. dotNetTemplar has, tongue in cheek, suggested I write it a few times if for no other reason than that I might get an interview on The Colbert Report.

So, I was doing some searching to see what the competition is for my book, and I came across this article, which just happens to be on a site that appears to be about Catholic culture.  The excerpt is from something written by Christopher Dawson in 1933.  Remarkably, most of it is still quite relevant.  The only thing that seemed obviously dated, sadly, is the claim that "marriage is still the only form of sexual union which is openly tolerated by society."  Other than that it is an interesting read that considers the impact of marrital structures on broader society through history.  I recommend it.

In a related note, I found this quote quite telling (from this article on Newsweek):  "All my friends are having kids," says Penny Stohn, 33, a director for the New Jersey Department of Higher Education."They tell me how glamorous my life is but I just sit there and envy them their kids."  I find the frank admittance of the value of marriage and the family by career-minded, single women quite notable given what still seems to be the popular sentiment about full-time wives and mothers, which is that it is still somewhat looked down upon.  Motherhood is, to the contrary, probably the most intrinsically valuable career a person could have, and these single women attest that this is still the unspoken truth.

Tuesday, 30 May 2006 21:05:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 25 May 2006

I'm not usually one to bring my political views to bear, chiefly because they have changed a lot over the last 10 years. In some ways, I could sympathize with Kerry in his being labeled a flip-flopper simply because I try to have an open mind, see issues from as many sides as are presented to me, and try to choose what seems to be the most viable given the current data and my presuppositions. I'm not one to doggedly cling to an idea just because it is the one I previously selected as my own (or at least I try not to); if new data is presented or new arguments that make an alternative seem to be better, I'm not so intellectually inert that I won't ever change.

Unfortunately, I guess that approach to life can make one a flip-flopper, but I’d say in that respect, being a flip-flopper is a good thing to be.  Changing my views (or at least my professed views) based on popular winds of opinion or the advice of my campaign managers, however, is not a good reason to be a flip-flopper, and that’s where Kerry and I differed, or so it seemed to me.

All that said, I find myself wanting to say something about this post over on the Future of Freedom Foundation.  Personally, thanks to a very persistent Libertarian boss I once had, I’ve flirted with Libertarianism.  It certainly has its appeal, especially in this relativistic age.  I think Mr. Hornberger, though, is painting conservatives with too broad a brush (what else is new?).  In that vein, I’d say that we can sum up Libertarianism with the old dictum of “live and let live.”  It takes freedom to an extreme, such that it becomes the core tenet of their political creed.  

Unfortunately, it leaves out the central good of government, which is to promote the common good.  Certainly freedom is one of the chief goods that we have as humans, but it is not the only one.  It seems to me that government must also take action to promote the common good, which includes other goods such as public decency, protection of innocents, affordable transportation, and care for the poor, to name a few.  And it is precisely in these other areas that the Libertarian and I differ. 

While they might agree that these are common goods, they would argue (or have with me at least) that all these can and should be promoted through private organizations and peer pressure, not the government.  But as I see it, such an argument is flawed in that government, in a very basic sense, is just such a social organization, particularly a democratic republic such as our own.  Libertarians speak of taxes being akin to stealing and government being the modern day Robin Hood, but that would only be true if we were governed by a non-representative government.  It is this point, in fact, that catalyzed our founders to form this new republic.

As I see it, Libertarianism is the rich person’s religion.  It shares many similarities with feudalism.  In fact, if Libertarianism were fully applied today, I think we’d see just such a social structure emerge—those who can afford to fund their liberties would have them; the rest of us would have to attach ourselves to one such lord or another in order to ensure, as much as is possible under such a social organization, some subset of the liberties we have today.  Maybe the lords would be corporations, maybe they’d be individuals, but when you privatize every common good that is provided by government, that’s what you end up with.

It is, in fact, Libertarianisms failure to account for the common good that I find myself unable to attach myself to that party, despite its superficial appeal.  Of course, I don’t find myself able to attach myself to any of the current parties in our system, which is why I’m registered as an Independent.  Each of the parties have compellingly good platforms on different things, but none fully aligns with what seems to me to be the best approach to government.  Sadly, our mostly bipartisan system is just woefully inadequate.  And painting folks with broad brushes such as conservatives and liberals just doesn’t work; somehow I just don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way.

Thursday, 25 May 2006 09:00:09 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Well, for those of you anxiously awaiting (ha ha) this post since my last on the subject.  We’re finally all settled in up here in New Jersey.  The movers returned on Sunday, the 8th, and loaded up all of our stuff (except for the little bit we were taking to survive on until they came).  The trip up was uneventful (thankfully), and we arrived as planned in the afternoon on Wednesday.

We absolutely love the area; we’re in north Princeton (technically in Montgomery Twp).  Most every road is two lanes, and many of them cut through wooded areas and farmlands.  My drive to work consists of about 10 minutes of wood-lined drives and 10 minutes of farm-lined drives, and, apart from crossing US 1, there is very little traffic to speak of, even during rush hour, so much nicer than the urban, perpetual six-laned, traffic (and traffic-light) bloated roads I took to work in Tampa

The weather here has been lovely as well, at least as far as I’m concerned—I love cool weather.  It’s been lows in the 50s and highs no more than mid-70s, perfect, in other words.   With the occasional cool, rainy day, I don’t think I could order nicer weather.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but I much prefer this to the already sultry Tampa weather we were having when we left.

Our place is nice, too.  It’s a duplex townhouse backed by greenery and a babbling brook, nestled off a little road, just south of Rocky Hill.  The floorplan is very different from what we came from, this being a two-story townhouse and our prior being a one-story house, but with the huge attic and large, accessible crawl space, we’ve managed to make everything fit rather nicely.  Just last night I finished hooking up my desktop, which was the last bit of settling in really.

The job is great, too, better than I expected.  Of course, I’ve learned you gotta work at a place for at least 3, if not 6 or more, months to really get a feel for it.  But, especially compared to my last full-time gig, the overall atmosphere at Infragistics is superlative.  We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it is exciting.

All in all, I feel this has been a really great move for me and for my family.  Making cross-country moves with a family is a big deal, and I’m very glad this one seems to have worked out very positively.  We’re looking forward to our next N years here.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006 09:53:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 09 May 2006

Just doing my part to spread the good word:

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/05/08/445742.aspx

Tuesday, 09 May 2006 16:59:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 06 May 2006

I hope I'm not the only one who starts grooving to techno memories when I read "it has begun!"  Ah.. Mortal Kombat....

What has begun?  The move, the move to New Jersey.  Today the packers came (no, not Green Bay--you'd be surprised the looks you get when you say "the packers are coming to my house.").  They said they'd be here at 8a, so I was surprised when Mrs. dotNetTemplar yelled "I think they're here!" at me as I was in the shower at 7:40.  What a start, but it was a mostly uneventful and good day.

They packed for a solid seven hours, the two of them, and now, as I sit here amidst the walls of boxes and barren walls surrounding them, I think I should feel or think something great or deep.  Mostly I just feel relieved.  It's been more than six weeks since I decided to join Infragistics, but due to prior commitments, I've had to put off the move.  Of course, the wise angel on my shoulder tells me that it was good that I had so long to prepare, but I'm the kind of guy that wants to act right away when I make a decision to make it real.

But now it's here.  The move is upon us.  Tomorrow the movers (formerly known as the packers) return to pick up all our stuff and take off with it to various and sundry other cities across the eastern US to pick up others' belongings before they'll show up on our doorstep in a week or so. 

In the meantime, the fam and I will be leaving Monday morning for a three-day-tour of our own, overnighting in the well-known towns of St. George, SC and Colonial Heights, VA before finally arriving in our new home in Princeton, NJ on Wednesday, assuming all goes according to plan.  Traveling with two small children, a cat, and a bun in the oven should make it.. interesting, but we'll make it.  Fun fun fun!

Saturday, 06 May 2006 22:14:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 

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The opinions expressed herein are solely my own personal opinions, founded or unfounded, rational or not, and you can quote me on that.

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