Happy New Year 2017


Well, 2016 was another average year for me.  Like many people, I need to take better care of myself and not let so many little things get to me.  Maybe I’ll do better with that.  I also want to experience some new things this year.  As I write this, I am listening to an Apple Playlist titled. “Here for the Party“.  It’s country music…something I normally don’t listen to.  Not bad.

I was bummed to hear about the passing of some celebrities (Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Price, Alan Rickman, Abe Vigoda, and Kenny Baker to name a few).  When I heard Carrie passed, I watched the Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and then saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a few days ago.

I am working towards earning my Woodbadge for Boy Scouts.  I am happy to say that i am well on my way to earring my beads.  Plus I started transitioning from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for some of my daughter’s activities.  I’ve enjoyed the last 9 years with Cub Scouts and I am thankful to have a strong group of adult leaders to take over.  Now it is time to start training for Philmont in 2018.

I wish you and your family all the best for 2017.


2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Palindrome Day

Today at 11:11 and 11 seconds, the date and time will be a perfect same-number palindrome.  What is a palindrome?

– A word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward.

So at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11 (short date) it will be Palindrome Day!

Got my Google Voice

Last week at work, a colleague at work was talking about a Google app he just configured called Google Voice. Google Voice reminds me of a service I use to sell at Bell Atlantic Mobile called Contact Line (which gave you a 800 number for people to call and that call would be routed to your pager, cell, office, or home phone); but Google Voice is more advanced with the web interface, e-mail and SMS notifications.

First you need to sign up for Google Voice. I had to wait about four days to receive the e-mail which invites you to setup the service.  I got to choose my new phone number from a list in my area code (you can use your zip code too).  So far here is what I like about Google Voice:

  • First I can give that number out to anyone without having to give them my personal cell, home, or work phone numbers
  • If I change jobs or move to a office, I can configure Google Voice to go to the new phone number without having to notify everyone of the change
  • I can configure any phone not to receive calls during hours when I know I am not there: example would be no need to ring the home phone when I am at work
  • I can have Google Voice transcribe the voice message into text and send me an e-mail to one or multiple e-mail addresses when a voice message arrives (see comments below)
  • I can have contacts in different groups to enable different features (Friends, Family, Coworkers)
  • Allow Caller ID to be passed through to my phone instead of of my Google Voice number

The one option that I don’t think works too well is transcribing the voice message into an e-mail.  I left several test messages and many words are wrong.  Plus I receive 2 SMS messages to my cell phone with each new voice message.  The first message states I have a new message then a second message follows with the poorly transcribed message.  To resolve that just disable Transcribe from the Settings screen.

I also decided to have the Caller ID send me the Google Voice number instead of the number of the person calling me.  I might change that back after seeing how well these settings I picked worked.