Sometimes computers show their age. :)

Sometimes computers show their age. :)

I worked 6 days last week with Sunday being my only day off until Friday, so I decided to get a lot of things done with my computer and other items Sunday.  About a month ago, we picked up at Goodwill an Android TV Box for well under what it should cost.  In short - the Android TV box turns your TV into a media streaming system.    I hooked it up and it worked for about a week then died.   With it costing less than a meal at a fast food place, I didn't feel too bad about it.  In came my Raspberry Pi though to the rescue, one of the main features I loved about the Android TV Box is it hooks up to your TV and you can load a program on it called Kodi which lets you connect to your network and play music files stored on

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How I love my wife

How I love my wife

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is how husbands should treat their wives.  This also applies to boyfriends as they too do apply in many areas for them.  After I had divorced in 2007, I had gone through many changes in my life, my emotional being, and I changed in ways that I still can not explain.  I like to think of my time single as a time of personal reflection, evaluation and while it was hard many days and nights to not have someone to come home to or call my wife, I was being changed without realizing it.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.  Eph 5:25 NLT

This was one of the first things that I remembered from growing up in the church and from sermons.   Whether you are

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Which way would you like to login?

Which way would you like to login?

I am evaluating methods to add extra login security to the site.  First and foremost, the site is secured 100% with an SSL certificate, which encrypts content to and from the server and your computer.  This helps scramble your password you enter in transmission to the site.   This helps protect your logins from potential 'eves-droppers' from reading your password if they should spy on you in the coffee shop, or another open wireless network.

In today's day and age though, scrambling your password is not enough and it is vital anymore to use multi-factor authentication.  I touched upon it about a month ago, I am still searching for other methods which would be easier to use and less cumbersome.

There are options to use QR Codes which you scan on your phone to authenticate you on the system using an app such as Google Authenticator on your phone.  When you

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Advertisements on Devices

Advertisements on Devices

As a consumer, I have always been bombarded by advertisements in print, on the radio, TV, and even movies.  With the advent of the Internet and ad-blockers, I was prompt to install one and have been spoiled by how 'clean' the web appears without advertisements.   When we started having smart phones come onto the scene, it was immediately a new avenue for advertising revenue for the developers of applications and Google (for Android), and the increase of advertisements in apps has become a nuisance.   I think most of us are used to or have become so numb to them invading our apps that we do not care about them that much.  

I have never and will never place advertisements on my web site for any reason. 

At Christmas time, I was at family member's house and they were complaining about how their phone would blare advertisements at night

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Weekends are too short!

Weekends are too short!

I had to work yesterday which took the majority of my day.   Up at 4:30am work at 6:30am to 3:30pm.   After work, I went to the auto part store to purchase a replacement blower motor for the car.   Over the last month or so, it was starting to make noise, louder and louder.  I knew that a bearing had come loose or something along those lines.   In my years of car ownership, this would be the second one I have replaced and it just so happens, both cars that I have done this on have been SUV's.  

I spent today installing or attempting to install the blower motor.  I found some guides on Youtube which went over how to replace them on the car I have.  I had the basic idea, and it was enough to get me started, the guide said I would need a 7mm socket.  I did

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A New Secure Login Method has been added

In short, I am going to be rolling out a stronger security sentry for this web site.   I have implemented a service called "SecSign" into the login area. Let me go over some basics of how it works.

You install their App on your Android (Play Store Link) or Apple device (App Store Link) through your play store and create a user id inside the app.    For example, you can use Jdoe or FancyUser or whatever you want it to be, once it validates that it is not taken on the server, then it will have you log into their site as a test.  It will give you file storage for following the steps,  which is up to use with whatever you want to do with it. 

After you complete these tasks, you can log into your account here, click on the Edit My Profile link:

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Thank God its Friday!

What a week!  From power outages to a couple of medical issues in the family, to various stressful events, I am glad that the weekend is now coming upon us!

I was in a conversation with a co-worker the other day about T.G.I.F. from ABC which used to air in the late 80s and 90's.  It still runs today, but it is not broadcast like it used to with the theme music and intros.  He is about 15 or more years younger than me and his recollection of those shows are different than mine.  But we both had the same feeling, that it was a good time and the shows were way different than they are now.  They were family oriented and had good comedy in them.  There was no violence, sex, drugs, or other things we see on TV these days. 

I sometimes yearn for those days as life

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Power outage last Monday

Power outage last Monday

When I wake up at 4:30 on weekdays, I rely on my alarm clock to do it's job.  We have had very unreliable alarm clocks for a while, one I have had for 10 years that auto set's its time using the Atomic clock signals.  That one has flaked out and rarely would go off, and the display had an odd flicker to it.  It had served me well with it's blinding blue light that was in fashion back then.  I ended up replacing it with another clock that was supposed to auto set, but it never has.  This one has a nice pleasant green display.  Lo and Behold, the alarm sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.   Mandy ended up buying a Timex one for me which we have been using for the last several months.   It is the one you see on this page, except for the phone of course!

Monday

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Things you may not know about tech support

Things you may not know about tech support

I thought it would be fun to share some interesting notes about tech support people and what goes on during the calls. I am a tech support operator and have come to these realizations from both a customer's point of view but also as a phone operator myself.

1) If you hear us typing in the background, it is because we are actively documenting our conversation we just had with you and what steps we took to troubleshoot the problem. We are also probably conversing with others in a local office chat interface to get assistance or answering other questions other techs have while we are waiting for you to come back with the serial number of your product.

2) Long pauses and dead air are very common in this industry. It is not because we are ignoring you, it is because we are probably looking at our help resources

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What's up?

What's up?

Alright, so we have not been around for a long time on the site.  There is a long story behind this, that is for another day.   Mostly, though - I have put the site back up and hope to add more posts in the future sooner than later.  As a more introverted personality, these things are just not a natural thing for me to do.

In short - from the last post here -

We virtually were cooked in our new apartment at the start of summer and were quickly faced with the reality of the fact that stores around here generally carry 10 or 15 air conditioners in inventory and are usually sold out before they hit the sales floor.   We finally did though, manage to snag a small 5100BTU A/C and install it in the back bedroom where we were able to.   Since the apartment has sliding patio

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Observations of being in a new city

Observations of being in a new city

Having grown up in Medford most of my life, I never really had a chance to explore any other larger metropolitan area than it.  Medford is the largest city closest to the California/Oregon border, but those of you in this area that I know already knew this!  As our journey landed us here in the Portland area, we have come to notice several really cool things about this place.

  • The Trees!  There are so many trees in our local suburb that even in the most “city” parts of here, there are tons of them.   I drive by ‘little forests’ daily to and from work and am looking forward to them turning green this summer.
  • The people here genuinely seem interested in our relocation story and overall, are very friendly.  We have had several different conversations with many friendly store clerks and people in general here.   At my job, I am
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Happy New Year!!!

Another year has passed and we are confidently saying "Good Bye" to it and ready to move on to greener fields and pastures as this year comes to a beginning. 

Like many people, I have looked back on what this last year has brought to us and I must admit, it has been very ugly to us.  With the job change I had, my back causing some issues and the loss of both my job and home, we have had to endure more than our fair share of trials than anyone should ever have to endure.  It truly has been a test of our endurance and faith to say the least. 

I have chosen to keep moving forward into each day of this year and only look back just long enough to see how far I have come and not dwell in the troubles and heartaches it had given unto

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A Case Against Outsourced Call Centers

A Case Against Outsourced Call Centers

Those of you who know me, know that for well over 14 years, I worked in a call center in various positions.  From basic order entry, telemarketing, customer service, supervisory, claims information specialist, to technical support operator, I have done them all.  Now that I have moved to IT Support, I don’t do this type of work anymore, but I still do respect and stand up for our Call Center employees who put in sometimes long hours, angry customers, happy customers, and your garden variety of customers.   You can learn a lot about human nature working in call centers and one of the things you learn pretty fast is that speaking clearly and being articulate when on the phone are vital to understanding the customer’s reason for the call.   If your customer can’t understand you, this creates a barrier against you and reduces the overall confidence in what you can

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Welcome!

Welcome to the site! Right now, things are very public, but this will soon change and within the walls of this site, you will find more things about us which are more private and not meant for public consumption. With this, I ask that you observe the following:

  • Please do not share anything within the Members only section with anyone outside of your computer screen. (Don't link or share anything that is not publicly displayed before you login)
  • Please make sure you keep your hands, feet and all other objects to yourself!

With that out of the way, Have Fun! And please come back and comment often. This helps me know you are 'listening' and at least here. :)

-Keith  

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