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Archive for November, 2009

Getting Clean Carpets with the Groceries

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rent_rugdoctor_mpack_oxy

Have you ever passed those Rug Doctor machines in your local grocery store? They are carpet cleaning machines for rent. I have walked passed those machines countless times and never really gave them a second though until my wife suggested we rent one to clean our kids’ playroom. I was skeptical. How could a carpet shampooer you rent at the grocery store do a good job? This seemed like a waste of money to me. However, I was proven wrong.

I am happy to report that the Rug Doctor did an admirable job at cleaning our basement carpet. We rented the machine for an entire day, but we only needed a few hours to clean the room. I was amazed at how much dirt the Rug Doctor was able to pull out of the carpet. One disadvantage that I can think of was that you needed to empty the wastewater quite often. I could only do three passes across the room before I was out of cleaning solution and needed to clean out to discharge tank.

So, the next time you are walking out of your grocery store, think about picking up some clean carpets as well. Buy some carpet shampoo, rent a Rug Doctor, and enjoy clean carpets!

Written by Steve

November 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Product Reviews

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

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There’s a small store in L.A. that specializes entirely in soda pop. The owner of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, John Nese, is my hero. He is knowledgeable and a champion of the little guy. He often won’t carry Coke or Pepsi products because his low volumes can’t compete with nearby large chain stores which can offer his customers a better price. Instead, he carries brands from small and micro manufacturers from around the world. Nese says he doesn’t work, but gets to play all day long. His passion is rare and enviable. Check out this YouTube clip about John and his Soda Pop Stop.

Written by Steve

November 4th, 2009 at 9:51 am

Posted in The Web

Tagged with , ,

You’re Doing It Wrong

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¡Yo Quiero Trabajo!

¡Yo Quiero Trabajo!

Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, the job market is fairing even worse than the economy at the moment. Yes, being creative and thinking outside the box will give you an advantage over the rest of the folks competing for jobs. However, there is still a right way and a wrong way to go about securing gainful employment. For example, there was a man from Haverstraw, NY who we’ll call Bobby Joe. Bobby Joe was unemployed and facing a negative cash flow situation. He needed a job and he need a quick buck or two.

Last Monday, Bobby Joe’s money problems got to the point where he decided that robbing the local Haverstraw Taco Bell was his only way out. During the robbery it struck Bobby Joe that that very moment would be a great time to ask for an application. “I don’t want to have to come all the way back out here,” Bobby Joe must have thought to himself. Bobby should be given credit for trying to maximize the use of his time. Unfortunately, the story did not end up in Bobby Joe’s favor. The cash register was empty and the manager denied his request for an application. This cloud does have a silver lining; Bobby Joe hasn’t been caught after his attempted armed-robbery. Keep fighting the good fight, Bobby. Keep fight the good fight.

Linky

Written by Steve

November 3rd, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Whitehouse.gov moves to Drupal

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I like the decision that the White House is making to move its web site to Drupal, an open source content management system. However, not everyone is happy with the move. Chris Wilson over at Slate wrote a piece last week where he gave five reasons why the switch to Drupal will “… [end] badly.”

  • Drupal knows best.Chris complains that it’s not easy for content authors to add their own javascript. Drupal is right to make this difficult without sufficient privileges. Authors should be able to add and format text and add pictures. Anything beyond those tasks should be completed by an administrator.
  • Drupal is impenetrable.I guess the big gripe here is that setting up and administering Drupal can be difficult and that if you’re endeavoring to be a Drupal administrator that the support community expects you to have some base level of knowledge before asking for help. That’s probably true. Fortunately, there are lots of people that the White House can hire that know what they are doing. I’ve only used Drupal in the most superficial of ways, but I have had great luck in getting help when I needed it. If you’re a newb and you ask newb questions, you should expect to be treated like a newb. Be proactive and do more than a cursory search if you have a problem or questions. Chances are fairly good that someone has already provided a solution.
  • Drupal hates change.Wilson says that Drupal hates change which I read as Drupal rarely (never?) comes out with upgrades or security patches, but then he provides links to two sites that had a difficult upgrade experience. Perhaps, Willson is really suggesting that Drupal loves to make upgrades difficult? I can’t really speak to the difficulty of doing a Drupal upgrade having never attempted one myself. However, from what I understand the core modules that are part of Drupal’s default package are upgradeable with relative ease. Upgrades can become problematic when sites are running incompatible community modules. This is more of a problem with the community modules and less of problem with Drupal core. Either way, Chris’s point misses the mark.
  • Drupal is disorganized.I haven’t found it to be disorganized. Perhaps, it’s not organized the way someone might expect it to be organized?
  • Drupal is righteous.Wilson’s final point is that open source participants and supporters regard the open source movement as a kind of religion. There probably are a goodly number of people who will reject a commercial product outright simply because it is commercial and who will support another product just because it is open source. Whenever someone comes to me with an IT support issue I automatically assume that it’s an operator issue. That might sound bad, but I’m generally right. The problem, more often than not, is a result of incorrect usage of software or some other piece of technology.
  • I think the White House’s experiment with open source software will end up as a success. To assume that the road will be completely smooth is probably overly optimistic, but even a commercial path wouldn’t be without bumps. In the end, They will get where they want to go.

Written by Steve

November 2nd, 2009 at 1:08 pm