Monday, 15 September 2003
In perfect style, Microsoft released their Office Online web site, intended in part to let you learn more about Office 2003, which is about to be released.

So, I saw a section on the front page called "In the Spotlight: Infopath" and a link called "Designing Forms." "Cool," I thought - "I can learn something useful." So I click the link... and I get:
Buy Office 2003

You have arrived at this page because you selected an item that is available only if you have a Microsoft Office 2003 Edition product installed. Any Office user can still access most of the content on Microsoft Office Online, including content that you are used to working with on our former site, Microsoft Office Tools on the Web. But to view some of the new content on Office Online, you must have an Office 2003 Edition product installed on your computer.

To read and work with this premium new content - including all training courses and some templates, clip art, and more - you just need to upgrade to an Office 2003 edition product. All of the premium content is indicated by the symbol.
Of course, that symbol wasn't there, and while I do have Office 2003 installed at work all over the place, I don't yet have it at home. To learn about Office 2003 and decide if I want to use it, one has to first install Office 2003.... Hmmm...

I don't know what I was expecting.

- g

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Monday, 15 September 2003 19:32:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Speaking of Google, which is of course the best thing on the Internet since sliced bread, check out this Google search page. Cool huh?

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Monday, 15 September 2003 19:17:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 13 September 2003
I figured I would start some useful Googling today and see if I could find any sign of any of the foster kids that lived with me over the years, just to see what they may be up to these days. I've been curious and had some extra time this afternoon, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Oh and by the way if you have not yet seen googlism, check it out.

Sure enough, the one kid I thought I might find (well, not a kid anymore...) was notably mentioned many times in newspapers and athletic department results for his rodeo championships. Wow. This was a kid who, with his brother, was literally left at someone's house by a parent with a promise to pick them up that evening, and then no-show. Two weeks later they came to live with me for quite a while, til suddenly the other parent was found in a different state and was able to take them in. Now there he is, successful, in college, and apparently still a never-give-up kind of guy: He broke his neck/back on a bareback ride and kept competing in the state finals, then on to college. Newspapers wrote about it. Yep, that's him, and I am sure he did it all with a smile on his face. Literally. Just the kind of person he is.

It's good to see one of those kids following his dreams, being successful. I hope he kept playing baseball, too. But horses - that was the thing. Good for him. :)

- g

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Saturday, 13 September 2003 18:16:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback has made some changes to the way they are doing things to go along with their "birthday."

Of interest: "... The one big feature we are debuting is "Get Up to Speed," which helps you, well, get up to speed on--and make sense of--the six technologies and trends we believe are getting the most notice in the tech world: Enterprise Security, Open Source, Utility Computing, Voice over IP, Web Services and Wi-Fi ..."

Well, at least on the web services and security subjects, they'll have my attention for at least a while longer. Cool.

- g

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Saturday, 13 September 2003 16:06:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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So I have been thinking about what I should do during my vacation time that I need to take between now and the end of the year (the ol' use-it-or-lose-it thing), and I keep thinking back to what seems to happen every time I take a vacation: I invariably get really tired after a couple of day, sleep way more than usual for a few days more, and then have maybe a day or two feeling like I might actually be able to get to a point where I could feel clear-headed and rejuvenated, if only I could start my vacation the next day.

And if you add any kind of travel to the mix, it just extends the initial critical recovery time.

Which leads me to realize that in order to have a worthwhile vacation, I need to schedule it like this:
a) Four days off work, but not yet going anywhere. This will allow me to catch up on laundry, think of what I need to go wherever I am going (remember, my brain is not working well at this point), actually find the things I need, pack, and clean the house so it's at least presentable when I get back (nothing quite as bad as coming back from vacation to a mess stress). Plus one day at work to deal with whatever they forgot to throw at me and which has now become an emergency.[elapsed = 5 days]

b) One extra day to rest before I have to go anywhere. Those first five days nearly killed me. [elapsed = 6 days]

c) One more day to do all the last-minute things I forgot about in the first four days but remember now because of the time I took on day five. [elapsed = 7 days]
(there goes 40 hours...)
d) One day to travel to wherever I am going. [elapsed = 8 days]

e) Three days to mostly sleep and do some vacation-like things but without enough energy, and I won't remember them very clearly anyhow, so this should be the time for all those shops and crap that people seem to like. [elapsed = 11 days]

f) Now vacation starts. Seven days to see the sites, relax and have some fun [elapsed = 18 days]
(Uh oh we hit 80 hours of vacation in there somewhere)
g) One day to travel back home. Invariably at this point I come down with a sore throat and sinus infection. [elapsed = 19 days]

h) Sleep for 24 hours [elapsed = 20 days]

i) I now require one week to unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and do nothing but home projects. This is what finally clears my mind and makes me ready to go back. [elapsed = 27 days]
So, looks like 4 weeks should do it. I'll need the extra day to find my office anyhow, if I am gone that long. Of course, that's 4 weeks in a row. And 160 hours of vacation time (which, conveniently, is slightly more than I have to burn between now and the end of the year).

Hey, no problem, right? I am sure my projects will just lead themselves and everything will magically work out in the end.

Later, I'll explore the possibilities of spreading that time out, and look at the implications of that plan.

- g

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Saturday, 13 September 2003 12:48:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 09 September 2003
So, I get a call from someone at work late in the afternoon, turns out they need me to work all night. For real. This is starting to turn into an Office-Space moment, I think... "Uh, yeaahhhh... so, we're gonna need you to work this weekend... uh, yeah...."


It's an important thing they need me for, but man oh man, I am so ready to say "I told ya so" on this one. Could have been prevented. But since everyone is big time stressed and it would do no good to say that, I am keeping my mouth shut. In this particular case it's better that way.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, and by 10:00 this morning I was wiped out. It's been a really long week, and it's only Tuesday. Wow. Not sure I wqill make it through the end of the week at this rate. especially since today and tomorrow are realy one big work day.

I gave a presentation today at work. It sucked. Definitely not my day. It's so extremely unusual for me to have a bad day presenting - and everyone walked out of there confused. Not good. Now I will have to go back and recommunicate all this information, which takes up even more of their time and mine. Ugh again.

Oh well. Tomorrow may be better.

- g

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 18:46:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Of course, I forgot them. Even after typing myself a reminder. Sheez...

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 11:28:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I'm finding very quickly that I sleep much better when it's raining outside. Must be the background noise or something. I only woke up once last night, and I actually feel fairly well rested right now, which is a nice change. I might even remember my glasses when I walk out the door today.

- g

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Tuesday, 09 September 2003 06:00:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 08 September 2003
So I wrote a long entry and decided it was too much to make public. Hmmm... Well, I guess that’s just the way it goes. :)

I got to thinking about heroes today. Someone recently told me that I am their hero (or one of them or something like that), and that got me thinking. First of all, me - anyone's hero? Come on, that's like, well, wrong. Or something. How can I be someone's hero? I'm not exactly the poster child of how to live a life.

So then I started thinking about who my heroes in life have been. Not the astronauts or movie stars or musicians that no one ever meets. I mean more like people who I knew that were really heroes to me. I realize its a pretty short list. There's Jack Gehre, my high school geometry teacher, who not only made math fun but who also took me in as a foster kid for a while when I was at my lowest. My best friend's parents for the same reason. My mom, for making it through the crap she went through and for making a better life for herself despite the odds. My fifth grade teacher, because she had a really cool dog and because she really, really cared.

And then there's my eighth grade English teacher, who everyone thought was a senile old lady. I remember Ray Pacheco threw a big spit wad the size of a baseball that splattered on the blackboard like a foot from her head while she was writing an assignment, and barely glanced at it and just kept right on talking and writing while that thing oozed down the board. When I went back to visit her before I graduated from high school. she told me all the stories that we thought she never noticed in the first place, let alone remembered. And man, she was far from senile. She was smarter than any of us.

My 9th grade English teacher - He was tough and cared a lot, and man could he teach like it mattered. And Mr. Cotter, my 8th and 9th grade science teacher, who made fun of me (in a nice enough way) every day in the hallway and let me make fun of him right back, always with a big grin on his face. He was so funny and always watched out for the kids who needed it. He died a few years ago of a heart attack. I wish I could tell him thank you. But from that smile I think he knew. You could tell it, he knew.

I dropped by the Gehre's house, my one-time foster home for a short while, once a couple of years ago when I was back in my home town, because I wanted to see them and especially to tell them thank you. No one was home. Weird thing is, for some reason, I was uncomfortable going there. Why is that? Why was it so strange for me to go back and tell them thank you? I felt kind of like maybe my going back would be an inconvenience to them, I think. Why have I not tried since? I hope I haven't missed my chance, like I did with Mr. Cotter.

Heroes are important. I bet those people don't know they are my heroes. I bet they'd be surprised. Maybe even a little uncomfortable with it. Maybe I can learn something from that, too.

- g

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Monday, 08 September 2003 20:30:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 07 September 2003
I'm sitting here chatting on MSN messenger (hey, they have really improved that program...) with an old friend that I had not talked to in awhile, and my friggin dog FARTS. And it's a NASTY one... Now, there's two things about this that really stand out to me:

First of all, the last time this old friend and I chattend on MSN-IM, the dog was farting up a stinky storm, too. And I mean STINK. Tim (the old friend on chat) pointed that out to me. Funny what people remember about the last time you communicated with them, isn't it? :)

Greg H says: MAN
Greg H says: my dog farted
Figgy* says: Again??
Figgy* says: lol
Figgy* says: I remember you complaining about that last time we talked
Greg H says: HOLY CRAP
Greg H says: <COUGH COUIGH>
Figgy* says: Keep an oxygen tank near the computer
Greg H says: heh
Greg H says: yeah
Figgy* says: then get all "high" off of it too
Greg H says: high off oxygen
Greg H says: LOL
Figgy* says: lol
Greg H says: yeahhhhh
Figgy* says: Yeah, pure oxygen is messy
Figgy* says: Ok, time to read your journal
Greg H says: ok - I am writing about dog farts now LOL
Figgy* says: lol

Okay, so the second thing is that my dog is plotting against me. He knows well and good exactly what he is doing. How, you ask, can I tell? Simple: Every time this dog farts, he's lying there on the floor, or on the bed, or whatever... He lets one loose, immediately gets up and moves away or out of the room with that look on his face. You know - the one that says "please don’t kill me."

Here's what I want to know: If he KNOWS it's going to make me unhappy (because these are not your average run-of-the-mill farts), why can't he get up and move BEFORE he lets one loose? Leave the room and go fart somewhere else???

There's only one answer: It's on purpose. No doubt.

- g

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Sunday, 07 September 2003 16:59:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 05 September 2003

Greg Hughes is a high-tech executive working in the Security and Information Technology fields. He lives near Portland, Oregon in the United States and grew up in the high-tech town of Los Alamos, New Mexico.

After working seven years in photojournalism, he shifted gears and became a police officer. After another seven or so years of being paid small money to take big risks and deal with mean people, he made the bold move to become a professional computer geek.

Without a regular dose of police adrenaline comes a desire to continue to find new ways to walk out there "on the edge," so now he also blows things up as a hobby. Not a bad way to have some fun, when you consider someone else pays thousands of dollars to buy the materials and you get to blow it up. "Win-win," as they say. Recently he also became a pilot and bought a used airplane for a great deal, so on a nice evening or weekend he might be found up in the air defying the laws of logic and leveraging the laws of physics.

These day's Greg is involved in some stuff he can't talk too much about, but it is security related and it's quite enjoyable. His recent work as the Chief Security Executive and VP of Security and IT at the world's leading online banking company allowed him to combine the managing and building complex and important technology with forensics and investigation, and his personal weblog (which you're reading now) combines security and technology with some personal thoughts and experiences.

People who meet him often wonder how he has managed to pack so many experiences into his life. When it comes down to it, Greg is one of those guys who doesn't want to miss out on all those things that most people dream of. Whether it's helping catch cyber-criminals, skydiving, blowing things up, teaching, working with at-risk kids, climbing mountains, catching bad guys, riding motorcycles, hauling up and down the river in a jet boat or on a jet ski, or being the halftime highlight on Sports Center because some lanky basketball player crushed him while he was shooting pictures on the court, there's a decent chance he's done it - because hey, life is all about the experience.

His friends say Greg is a kind, patient and pretty darned decent human being. I guess he's got them fooled! He's been a foster parent for 14 at-risk and special-needs kids, as well as a cop, photographer, skiier, geek, student, movie theater projectionist, paperboy, bakery cleaner, skydiver, camera salesman, volunteer, bionic man, pyrotechnician, pilot, wannabe snowboarder (retired), friend, and a whole slew of other things.

It should be noted that he is not the same Greg Hughes of Opie and Anthony fame, and he's not the same Greg Hughes who works for another security company called Symantec, and he's not the same Greg Hughes who wrote the iPhone program called Wifi-Sync. He's also not the state politician from Utah. Those are all other guys. Who knew there were so many Greg Hugheses out there?

Want or need to reach Greg?

Or, if I am online now on Live Messenger, you can chat with me here:

If you want to keep track of whatever Greg writes on this weblog, there are a couple ways you can do just that:

  • If you use MSN Messenger, sign up for .NET alerts, which can be delivered to your Messenger program and/or mobile device. Click this button to start:
  • Use an RSS aggregator program like FeedDemon (or any feed-reader you like) to subscribe to Greg's RSS 2.0 feed (click the little button to access the feed).
  • Visit this web site by typing in your web browser's address bar.

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Friday, 05 September 2003 22:42:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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