Tuesday, November 25, 2008

LISA '08 Conference Reception 4

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation

LISA '08 Conference Reception 3

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Guess I'm at the popular table :)

LISA '08 Conference Reception 2

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation
The table I'm at from another angle.

LISA '08 Conference Reception

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation
There I am....

Somewhere at LISA' 08 2

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation
I'm easier to spot from this angle.

Somewhere at LISA' 08

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation
You can kind of make me out....

I'm at the VMWare Guru-is-In Session at LISA'08

Originally uploaded by usenixassociation
I forget what work distraction was taking place.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another K-State Federal Credit Union FAIL.

Today, I had another FAIL with K-State Federal Credit Union.

I went to deposit a check from my parents, something I've done often with my other bank without any problems.

The teller stares at the check for a while, and then asks me my account information and then wants me to endorse the check.

But, then says it can't be deposited. Goes off and comes back saying it'll take up to a month before it can be deposited. And, wants to know if I still want to deposit it.

Well, she made me endorse it already.

And, then there's no sign that I did the deposit....so I have to take it on faith that when the check clears, it'll be deposited into my savings account? And, that I'm not going to get any notice one way or the other?

If they weren't going to accept the check, they shouldn't have made me endorse it first. I would then have had no problem with going to a different bank to deposit the check.

Remind me what were the advantages of being in a credit union, instead of a real bank?

Monday, September 01, 2008

HIS Free Furniture Giveaway

Helping International Students had their annual Free Furniture Giveaway this year on August 30th. Postponed from August 23rd due to rain.

It was interesting to see what all furniture was being given away, and that it was more than just furniture. Makes me wonder if I should rethink my upgrade plans.

Like someday I want to follow through on my threat to just have a recliner sitting in the middle of my living room in front of the TV. But, that calls for the displacement of the futon that currently occupies the spot. I've debated on whether it would move to another part of my condo, or find its way out to the trash. But, the giveaway gives me another option. Wonder if I'll get a new cover for it in the mean time?

Elsewhere, it does have me wondering if I could've found a new home for my old dryer...instead of having it hauled off. Too late for that, but it does make me wonder about other future upgrades. Guess it would depend on the process of having the goods taken off of my hands, etc.

Also I thought I saw things like clothes being available. I threw a whole pile of pants and shorts out soon after moving here to Manhattan, on account that I've gained a little weight starting the job at K-State. Actually, there's another growing pile of pants and shorts...and shirts now...forming since the expansion has continued.

Plus there's probably that pile of household gadgets I buy, that after I get...I find I have no use for it or that some better gadget has come along.


On another subject, it did also make me think about getting my driver's license...and maybe owning some vehicle so that I could help out with the transportation of stuff, etc.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

International Student Bowling 2008

Would you believe that this is the first time I've ever bowled?

Okay, I've bowled before...but this is the first time I've ever done 10-pin bowling.

Back when I was growing up in Calgary, my University's Student Union used to have 5-pin bowling. And, then there was this other occasion in Medicine Hat, where I had done some 5-pin bowling with friends.

It was kind of an okay time. Though the wimp that I am, I prefer 5-pin bowling.

My thumb is sore for some reason.... ;P

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer blood drive critical for Red Cross

There's a blood drive going on today (and yesterday) at the K-State Student Union (10am - 3pm).

Yesterday, I made my 33rd lifetime donation.

This time around it is not in the Union Ballroom, due to renovations. They are doing interviews in the Sunflower Room and the rest is in the Flint Hills Room.

Come on out and give blood, if you can.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ohio LinuxFest 2008

Well, I'm another step....or maybe I am the final step....close to going to the Ohio LinuxFest.

About 6 weeks ago, when the hotel information was released on the site, I booked a room for the Ohio LinuxFest. Even though I hadn't fully worked out how I was going to get there or if I wanted to do anything in Columbus, Ohio other than the LinuxFest.

But, now that the (non-refundable) flight is booked. I guess my itinerary is much more set.

It is basically take a day off work to travel from Manhattan, KS to Columbus, OH. Then LinuxFest it. And, then eventually find my way back at work in Manhattan, KS. Though it'll be like plan to sleep in on Sunday, so that I can do the dead dog.... And, also crash out Monday to recover from the travel. Kind of works, because I often take Columbus Day as my floating holiday/discretionary day.

At my previous job, we had what was called a floating holiday. Which somewhere out of all the holidays that the company observed, we ended up with one other company holiday that wasn't attached to a holiday. There were various holidays during the year that were observed by the company....and we could take one of those off. In my current job, we observe many more holidays than before....but Veteran's Day is a holiday that should be observed, and is by the government. But, since I work for a University...if there's class in session that day, then I have to work. So, I guess that translates to our discretionary day.

In either case, Columbus Day is not a holiday observed by either (or anybody?)...but it is known as Canadian Thanksgiving....so as a joke to having previously lived in Canada, I take that day off. Though I don't do the big turkey dinner(s) until regular Thanksgiving. Usually I just try to delivers land on that day and run other personal errands on that day. Like every few years there's that hike to the inaccessible (by foot) place to get my State ID renewed.

This year I'll probably just sleep off the Ohio LinuxFest. Though I do have a excess of vacation days acrued, and I'm at risk of hitting my maximum even before the Ohio LinuxFest....and with no Xmas plans on the horizon....or anything planned until Penguicon 7.0....I'll probably max out shortly after the event. So, may be in need to plan other ways to burn vacation days. Plus I've been thinking of other 'holidays' that I might use the discretionary day on instead.

Should be interesting to see what happens in the future...apparently, they are saying that they can't make us work on Veteran's Day anymore....though I would think students still need faculty to show up that day. Though they may distinguish between the teaching and non-teaching faculty....though how will the University run without us non-teaching faculty there? Personally, I don't miss not getting Veteran's Day as a holiday...since it wasn't a company holiday before I came to work a Kansas State University. Seems only government or related jobs observe it.

Anyhoo, it'll be interesting going to the Ohio LinuxFest...for the first time. Especially considering that I used to live in Columbus, Ohio.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bleed Purple Today

Apparently, I've lost count again....today's was only donation number 32.

Was kind of a different experience. Guess people's schedules are different this year, this is normally a busy time of day to go for a donation. Like I didn't expect to only see one person waiting in the chairs....usually its at least half full.

There was no waiting for a bed, either. Plenty of empty ones.

Though I think it is time to switch arms.....seems it is getting harder and harder for them to find the vein. Today, was even worse....because they missed, and kept pushing the needle around trying to find it. Maybe a little more left, maybe deeper, maybe in more.... After that it went pretty good.

One thing that held....witnessed a fainting. Probably a higher probability given that this is a University setting. For me I have to be more careful during the summer blood drive...especially since it is so much hotter here in Manhattan, KS....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More delays

It is 11:05ish and the Miami flight that should of left at 10:40 is still in the way...
You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry

Oh no, update.

Now 16 miles from the airport...

Still limping... Seem to have it out of 1st now...
You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry

Oh no

11 miles out on Kansas City, and we might not make it... The transmission is having issues...

You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry

Roadrunner bound for Orlando, FL

Here I am on the Roadrunner Express, currently in Topeka, where we have to switch buses due to a flat.

It was already a late start leaving Manhattan, though the home pick up went better.

Should still make it to the airport in time to make my flight.

Though there are other people that might be cutting things too close.
You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry

Roadrunner bound for Orlando, FL

Here I am on the Roadrunner Express, currently in Topeka, where we have to switch buses due to a flat.

It was already a late start leaving Manhattan, though the home pick up went better.

Should still make it to the airport in time to make my flight.

Though there are other people that might be cutting things too close.
You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry

Friday, February 01, 2008

ATM Withdrawal Fee

I guess I have been spoiled by the First Internet Bank of Indiana.

Today, I stopped on my way back from IDM in the K-State Student Union to get some cash. There's an ATM in there that doesn't charge a surcharge to make withdrawals....regardless of bank.

Not horribly important because FIBI doesn't charge ATM withdrawal fees, and refunds the first $6 in ATM surcharges each month.

The key here is the forgotten ATM withdrawal fee. I had forgotten that B&M banks charge you money to use other ATMs to access funds....to compound the injustice of surcharges (usually) added on by the ATM that you used.

Well, this time instead of using my FIBI Check Card, I decided to give my K-State Federal Credit Union Check Card a try.....

Because I used the no surcharge machine, there was no surcharge on that end of the transaction.... But, I found that the K-State FCU dinged me $1 on their side for the transaction. :(

Oh well....guess I'll keep the K-State FCU accounts for now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Washer and Dryer

My new Washer and Dryer arrived today.

It is so amazingly quiet...no more sound of a freight train driving through the building, guess I won't need to only run it during the day when I'm not at home anymore. No more running the washer while I run errands and then hear before I get to my door that I've gotten home too soon.

It does take a longer, perhaps more so because I watched it run the first wash load.

Now, I think I need to buy more clothes so that I can run full loads....though its more about not having enough whites to last two weeks.... ;P

Wonder if I'll try washing my comforter today.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

TD Ameritrade & External Account Verification

The other day, I was thinking I needed to tap the cash in my TD Ameritrade brokerage account...but I couldn't find a current check book for the account. Turned out that I never ordered one for the account after I moved here to Manhattan. Guess I had figured I would save the expense for until I had the need to write a check. Which has been rare....

But, while looking at my cash management options, there seemed to be the indication that I could do electronic (ACH) transfers out of my TD Ameritrade account. In the past, I could only transfer in...and it was a hassle if I wanted to create a recurring one (though I don't have the excess of cash these days to do that, now that the IRA contribution limit is much higher, I'm making less and now that cost of living is higher and growing faster than my pay).

And, since moving to Manhattan, KS, I have gone from doing all my banking at one bank to 3 banks now. I still have my primary accounts at First Internet Bank of Indiana. But, I added a local bank....mainly so I now have somewhere to convert the piles of coins (though not so much now that it is so easy to pay with a credit card now)....into more usable forms of currency. And, the high interest savings account.... So, I went and linked these new accounts with my TD Ameritrade account.

Normally, this process works where they send two small deposits to the account to link with, and you verify that you got these deposits to complete the linking. And, that's it....

But, I got a surprise this morning when checking my accounts. After I verified the trial deposits, TD Ameritrade then withdrew the trial deposits.

Kind of surprised that they were that petty about the small amount of cash.... 0.97 cents between the two accounts I linked. And, the fact that I wasn't told that they were going to do this....especially since none of the other institutions that I done this with in the past have done anything like this (IE: Capital One, E*Trade, PayPal, TD Waterhouse)....

Perhaps, I should've added the TD Ameritrade account as an external account to my Capital One account. But, someday I plan to be in the position to put cash into the TD Ameritrade account for investing again...and it seemed to make sense that I should be able to easily pull money from my other accounts into it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Mastercard got jacked!

Today was Wingsday.

It was a glorious Wingsday....6 free traditional wings (Asian Zing), 6 boneless wings (Caribbean Jerk), wedges with cheese (though it isn't the approved cheese...), and some blue cheese dressing to dip. And, we were served by Leslie.

But, when it was time to pay...I decided to use my Mastercard, instead of Discover (the 5% cash back bonus for restaurants was for October, November, December)....to which I was informed that it was denied. >:(

So, I had to use my Discover card to pay....

Later I called Chase customer service....after entering my information, it then asked me to verify four of my recent transactions. I didn't recognize the first 3 transactions...only the 4th was the denied authorization attempt by Buffalo Wild Wings was recognized.

Guess it was good that they were blocking transactions on my card. Somebody was trying to buy $1600 in computer equipment and services with it.

I pressed the button to speak to somebody about things, went over the details of the transactions and they decided to cancel my card. So now I have to wait for a new credit card to come again.

This is the second time this has happened to this particular Mastercard. None of my other cards have experienced this sort of thing....yet.

It did cross my mind that maybe I look for a different brand of Mastercard, though the work of finding a new reward card, etc. I don't know if I want that. Guess the Perfectcard is just too perfect....

It seemed interesting that after I used my Mastercard to make a purchase at a certain local business....another customer mentioned to me that now if I start seeing strange, large purchase on my card that it might be too much of a coincidence....which is why that person only spends cash at that business, even though he prefers to use his credit card as much as possible for its rewards.

Never crossed my mind at the time, but I would've probably still used it...since I was tapped for cash during the holidays....waiting for the surcharge free ATM in the K-State Student Union to become accessible again....(though I did make a withdrawal at an ATM that hit me with a $2 surcharge, because the no-surcharge ATM was out of order and I couldn't put it off anymore...)

Looking forward to Chipotday, tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Uncle Sam Starts Handing Out Digital TV Coupons

With the start of the new year, you can now request your (up to 2 per household) $40 off coupon on digital-to-analog TV converter boxes.

Word is that places like Best Buy will have the boxes in February for around $60. The analog TV ends on February 17th, 2009.

Wonder if the stations will fix it so that I can get digital over the air around here. Can get analog now, but the only digital station that I can get is WIBW-DT.....its the problem with digital...you get nice clean picture, etc...but its pretty much all or nothing.