Saturday, 17 April 2004

I was catching up on blog reading and noticed Jim Blizzard points to Infopath training now available on MSDN. Very cool. I need this. For those who don't know, Infopath is basically an Office 2003 app that allows you to create and use XML forms - it's a pretty powerful front end. Sharepoint 2003 supports it, too, as do a few workflow tools that are offered by third-party channel partners.

He also points to a day-log session on April 21 in Portland being put on by Microsoft called “BizTalk Server 2004: Developing the Integrated Enterprise.” Registered.

I've never attended a Portland Nerd Dinner before, but as much blog reading as I am doing by the participants, and since I am sure Scott will be going (he's tried to get me to go before), I might just stop in and see what its about.

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Blogging | Office 2003 | SharePoint | Tech
Saturday, 17 April 2004 20:03:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Interesting interview over at with John Levine, co-chair of the Internet Research Task Force's Anti-Spam Research Group.

“I tell people that dealing with spam is like curing cancer. For example, cancer isn't one disease; it's 100 diseases, and you will need to come up with a 100 cures for it. Another way spam is like cancer is that when you try to cure cancer, you need to come up with something that will kill the cancer without killing the patient. If you kill the patient, it is easy to get rid of the cancer.”

Not sure I agree with all his positions, particularly with the stated need for new laws (although I agree the ones on the books now are ineffective). He may be right, but technology changes are what's really needed in the absence of laws that will actually work. Besides, I'm not exactly a big fan of lots of laws. :-)

Good read though. And if you're a security-watcher, The Get Up To Speed on Enterprise Security feature at (RSS feed here) is a good place to watch.

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IT Security | Tech
Saturday, 17 April 2004 18:47:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 15 April 2004

Yes, I jumped out a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, it was a blast.

Yes, I will do it again.

Want to see? Click here. It was a bad hair day, but hey - what the heck. These day's they're all bad hair days. Not enough to go around anymore. :-)

If you ever happen to be in the Southern California area looking for a fun weekend, check out Jim Wallace's skydiving school in Perris. Jim, Gail Sims and crew are truly awesome. Jim has more than 17,000 jumps and more than 276 hours of free-fall time in his career - Number one in the entire world! He's the one in the yellow t-shirt in the video. And on top of that, he's a really great guy. Gail's also a world-record holder.

In fact, I had more fun this past weekend than I have had in a long time. Not only did I do the free-fall thing, I also had the opportunity to spend a few hours walking and climbing all over the USS John C. Stennis, a *huge* aircraft carrier, with my friend David, who is stationed on the ship. He's also the one I went skydiving with (we both had birthday's this weekend, and it seemed like both the best and craziest thing to do to mark the occasion). We spent four days pretty much just wandering around southern California with no real plan. Unplanned time - wow, what a concept, and quite a relief from the usual!

I also purchased a replacement for my digital camera that was stolen last year. I managed to find a Nikon D70 kit, which was quite a challenge because they have not shipped very many since its release a couple weeks ago, but we found one out in the middle of nowhere. It's a great camera, but more on that later. In fact, it was that camera-finding detour we took that routed us through the skydiving capital of the Western Hemisphere, or maybe even the whole world: Perris, California.

Our original plan had been to go to California Adventure up at Disney - that was going to be our fun for the weekend - you know, roller-coasters and stuff. While driving between the town where I bought the camera and Anaheim, David looked out the window and saw a bunch of parachutes. Now, understand that he works on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and pretty much anything that flies is cool to him. So, since we didn't actually have a real plan or any kind of schedule to follow, we decided to take the nearest exit and check it out. Within 30 minutes, we'd decided Disneyland/California Adventure was for wimps, and that we were going to jump out of an airplane instead.

So, that's what we did. Captured on video for all to see. It was great.

And then we went ahead and drove to California Adventure, anyhow. Heh. This new Disney park is pretty cool - the big roller-coaster there is damn fast and they have some good fast-action rides. They closed at 10, so we ran over to the Disneyland park and did the obligatory Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides (classics and still great).

I wished I could have spent another week in California, but my Mom's birthday was Tuesday and she turned 60 (happy birthday, Mom), so I flew there from Cali and got to spend a couple of days catching up with family.

It was a great weekend. Not sure I can match that one again, but I am sure I will try sometime. Pictures coming soon.

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Personal Stories
Thursday, 15 April 2004 16:23:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Ok, so on April 29th, I am going to be arrested as part of a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association - you know, Jerry's Kids.

I need your help, so I can get out of there and back to work, and so MDA can do its great work. What I need from you is one or both of two things:

  1. Make a donation. Comment here or email me (greg-AT-greghughes-DOT-net) and we'll figure it out. Cash, check, credit card, whatever - and it's tax deductible as allowed by law. I'm not going to ask for specific amounts, but I'll be donating probably $50 to my own cause to get things started. I need to raise at least $1800.00, and not much time to do it (that's what I get for going on vacation eh?). HELP!
  2. Post a link to here (that's from your blog. BLOGGERS FOR MDA! :-) Cool idea eh? Let's see how much we can raise for them that way! Alternatively, email people you know (no email spamming though, please).

Help me, help them, help help help! Sure would be cool to see the community turn out for this one!

 - greg

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Thursday, 15 April 2004 11:19:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 11 April 2004

While heading for Disneyland, we changed our mind and stopped short. Found something that beats Disneyland hands-down. Got out at 12,000 feet, flew through the sky, pulled the cord at 5,000 feet, landed standing up. Fun way to spend your birthday when you're starting to feel your age, I highly recommend it! :-)

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Personal Stories
Sunday, 11 April 2004 15:18:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 10 April 2004

Found an open network. Skipping Disneyland, gonna do something more exciting. Film at 11 - April 11th that is.

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Personal Stories
Saturday, 10 April 2004 20:40:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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