|238|| ||8/11/2017 1:00 AM||IT; SharePoint|
To get up to speed for my new gig, I have had to take crash courses on:
- Visual Studio Team Services
Every day reveals a new technology. Thank goodness for Microsoft Virtual Academy
. I did learn one neat trick: Hook an HDMI cable from my laptop to the TV in my hotel. Much easier to watch Netflix, um, I mean training videos, yeah, just training videos on a big TV. Well, and some Netflix. It's fun to learn, I wish it was just one or two technologies instead of a half-dozen.
|237|| ||7/21/2017 8:00 PM||Cigars|
Just got home after my first full week (mostly) on the job. Really looking forward to it, although the drive home in the afternoon was pretty long.
Enjoyed a nice Perdomo Habano on the drive home. Excellent cigar.
|233|| ||8/30/2016 7:00 PM||Humor|
No one rains like Gaston,
Floods storm drains like Gaston,
Gives beach hotel owners great pains like Gaston!
Rises surf like Gaston,
Wash away turf like Gaston,
Makes dolphins and sharks give a wide berth like Gaston!
"I use sailboats in all of my decorating!"
|232|| ||2/28/2016 3:05 PM||Masonry|
I am about to tell you the biggest secret in Freemasonry. I hope it doesn't get me into trouble.
You know all those men you see in your Lodge and appendant bodies? The ones who have been Worshipful Master, High Priest, or whatever the Presiding Officer is, more than once in the past five or ten years? Who serve on every committee, every degree team? Who hold multiple important positions at the same time, in every body they are active in? They are not doing it for the recognition or because they crave power (well, most of them, I hope). They are doing the jobs that need to be doing, because no one else is stepping up and doing them. They care so much about the organization that they give so much of their time to keep the lights on.
Allow me to tell you something I have learned, in my three decades in Masonry: Every single Masonic body does not have enough active members to do the work that needs to be done. Every one of them: Blue Lodge, Royal Arch, Scottish Rite, Commandery, and the rest. There are always a handful of men who are stretched too thin, and they carry the load for the rest of us. So what does that mean to you? It means you aren't doing enough. That's right. Unless you are one of these men who are juggling multiple responsibilities, then you aren't carrying your weight. You know if you are, you don't need me to tell you if you are.
So, why did you join Masonry? To carry a dues card? To wear a ring? Or did you do it to be part of the oldest fraternity in existence, to improve yourself and help your fellow man and your community? Did you do it to learn? I have learned more about the philosophy of Masonry by memorizing degree work than I ever could just watching it. Do you want there to be a Blue Lodge, a Scottish Rite, a Royal Arch for your sons and grandsons to join? Well there won't be, unless YOU are more involved. There is a job for you, for every single one of you. It doesn't matter if there are a hundred members or a thousand, there are never enough ACTIVE members to keep the organization running, and avoid burning out those dedicated few that are carrying your share of the load. So get involved. Start attending, and start working. Volunteer your time and talents. Not for me, and not even for the organization, but for YOU. You will never be the Mason you thought you could be, by sitting on the sidelines or just staying home and paying your dues once a year. Pick up a chisel, and start building the temple with us. You won't regret it.
|231|| ||2/28/2016 3:00 PM||IT|
A little advice I provide on LinkedIn and elsewhere, to anyone looking for a new job:
If you have a security clearance, I strongly recommend http://www.clearancejobs.com
. It has a search feature where you can specify the clearance as well as the usual fields (location, area of expertise, etc.).
not only looks at monster.com, dice.com, careerbuilder.com, etc. but
it includes results from the job boards of larger companies (GD, CACI, ManTech, Lockheed, etc.). It also has a great ZIP code specific
search. Most search engines only narrow down to the STATE.
You should also create a profile on http://www.linkedin.com
with your work history, and join a few groups related to your field. You should also join any group that relates to any hobbies or organizations you belong to, such as Masonry. That is the easiest way to network, where you will interact with people who have similar interests. I like to call LinkedIn "Facebook for grownups". I am constantly being contacted about positions through the site.
|230|| ||11/23/2015 7:00 PM||Politics|
Rush nails Obama in his recent press conference:
"Barack Obama's No. 1 enemy is the Republican Party, and the conservative movement. You see he gets animated. He does not need cue cards, he does not teleprompter when he starts ripping into them. But when you get ISIS on the board or anything in the Middle East, he's very cautious, very precise, very... Don't want to offend them; don't want to make them mad... I think it's very dangerous."
|229|| ||11/20/2015 8:00 AM||Facebook; Masonry|
As I participate in many online Masonic groups, whether LinkedIn, Facebook, or elsewhere, it occurs to me that we should have a basic understanding of how to behave. Members need to be aware of what an online group is, and what it is not. These are only suggestions, the owner of the group has the right to set the rules. But it would be helpful to have these rules written down as a reference.
Code of Conduct for online Masonic groups
- This is not a Lodge, tiled or otherwise.
- There is no way to make an Internet discussion group secure, so we are not in any way "tiled".
- The owners of this group cannot verify that every member is a Mason in good standing.
- Even if they tried, we all belong to different Grand Lodges. This means most people in this group are clandestine or irregular to you, even if they are also regular Masons.
- Do not say anything you could only say in a tiled Lodge. Instead, assume you are in the dining hall downstairs and most of the people around you are not Masons.
- Learn the abbreviation YJMV (Your Jurisdiction May Vary). That means since all Grand Lodges are sovereign, what may be custom or even law in YOUR Grand Lodge may not be custom or law in ANOTHER Grand Lodge.
- You are allowed to talk to Masons from other jurisdictions even if they are not recognized. Just don't say anything you wouldn't say to a profane (non-Mason).
- It is not violating your obligation to call a non-recognized Mason "Brother". It is just a courtesy, and makes everyone feel welcome.
- Be courteous to everyone. If they are a member of an irregular Grand Lodge, you may point that out to them. But they probably don't know, and if the goal is to convince them to join us in regular Masonry, offending them probably won't help.
- Be courteous to everyone. Even if their jurisdiction does something you think is crazy, remember YJMV. We are not here to judge other jurisdictions, they may have valid reasons. Ask questions, but respect their rules.
- Be courteous to everyone. If a non-Mason is asking questions about how to join, the group may be set up to allow non-Masons to participate. The Internet can be a powerful tool to let people know about our fraternity and encourage them to join. If your group is restricted to Masons only, politely inform them and direct them to another group.
- Be courteous to everyone. Political and Religious discussions are not allowed in a Lodge, but this is not a Lodge. Unless the owner of the group forbids it, you can discuss politics and religion. But subdue your passions and be courteous.
- Be courteous to everyone.
If you have additions or suggestions, please email
me or comment online. Feel free to share this page with your online group. These rules are specific to Masonic groups, but for the most part could apply to any online group.
|228|| ||8/7/2015 4:00 PM||Masonry|
An elevator speech is one that you can deliver to one or more persons while taking a brief elevator ride. It may be 30 seconds, or 1 minute long. It must summarize and provide an important message in a minimum of words.
For example, you step onto the elevator with a business associate, who says, "What is that lapel pin you have on?" By the time you reach his or her destination on the 3rd Floor, you should be able to say it is a Masonic pin, and state a few positive things about your membership or about the organization.
How many times has an opportunity similar to that happened to you, but you quickly answered and hoped the other person would change the subject?
How often, when you thought about the opportunity later, did you wish you would have been ready to produce a short, intelligent response?
The time to prepare your "elevator speech" and explain Freemasonry and what it means to you – is now – before that chance arises.
The opportunity may come on the street corner; it may occur as you are departing from church; it could materialize in a fast-food line as you are waiting to order.
Some Masons believe the lack of having such an "elevator speech," is why membership is not advancing as it should. Too often, Masons are reluctant to speak up about their Masonic membership. Too often, they are not prepared to say something positive, and so don't say anything. Too often, they just feel unqualified to be that needed "public relations" representative for our Fraternity.
In the Indiana Freemason magazine in 2013, George Burkley, a Past Master of Tyrian Lodge #12 in Goshen, IN, presented his views on the need for an "elevator speech." If someone would say to Brother Burkley, as they were entering an elevator, "I hear you are a Mason. What's that all about?" here is what he might say:
Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternal organization for men over the age of 18. We are dedicated to serving our members and their families through building relationships, social networking, and activities with our members and in the community.
Freemasonry is not a religion but it is an organization where every member must profess a belief in God.
Freemasonry is not a charity but it is an organization that sponsors numerous charities, for example (and here he names charity endeavors that his Lodge, Grand Lodge, or one of his appendant bodies in Freemasonry supports).
And finally, Freemasonry is not a volunteer organization but it is an organization where its members voluntarily bind themselves together to make themselves, and their community, a better place. Personally, my closest friends outside my family are members of the Masonic Fraternity.
|227|| ||7/29/2015 8:00 AM||Family|
Between Twitter and Facebook, I forget to update my blog. So, got new glasses yesterday, they have Transition lenses which automatically darken in the sun. Saves swapping out to prescription sunglasses back and forth. Here is a pic:
|226|| ||6/23/2015 9:00 AM||IT|
I just passed my Security+ certification. Not an easy test, by any means.
|225|| ||5/22/2015 8:00 PM||SharePoint; IT|
I am learning about REST URIs in SharePoint, which generates XML. I use Chrome as much as possible, but the XML is not in a pretty format, like in IE. But IE turns XML into an RSS Feed. How do disable that default setting? The answer comes from Craig Pilkerton at NothingButSharePoint.com:
"Note: if you are not seeing the SharePoint List information as XML in the browser then you’ll need to turn off RSS feed reading. In Internet Explorer 7 or greater, go to Tools–>Internet Options–>Content tab–>Feeds and Web Slices-settings"
Here's a graphic:
|224|| ||5/21/2015 1:00 PM||IT; SharePoint|
I have been studying App Development in SharePoint 2013. There are a lot of good blogs and training aids available, I have been tweeting them as I come across them. Here are some important ones:
|223|| ||2/25/2015 8:00 AM||Masonry|
If you register at https://smile.amazon.com with your Amazon account, Amazon will donate a portion of each purchase to your favorite charity. You then purchase from Amazon as you normally would. There is no additional cost to you. There are many charities available, including the Masonic Home of Virginia, Alzheimers, Scottish Rite House of the Temple and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. This is not an endorsement of Amazon or any specific charity, but if you are shopping on Amazon anyway, please use this free service and support your favorite charity.
|222|| ||1/22/2015 9:00 AM||Masonry|
He comes into the physical world, travels along the highway of life for a few years, and then lays aside the working tools of life and passes through the transition that--for want of a better term--men call death. And at his passing he takes nothing with him, all his material wealth and possessions are left behind. He takes only himself, and what he has done with his life in the development of character. So it is a fair question to ask, "What is a man really worth?" I think that the answer is that he is worth exactly what he has given away. What he has given away of his time, of his substance, of his effort, of himself. He is worth just that, and nothing more. What we give away we keep--and what we keep we lose. And so it is that the real wealth of any man consists of the countless little acts of kindness in which there is no thought of reward.
M.W. Raymond C. Ellis, PGM of New York
|221|| ||1/11/2015 7:00 PM||IT; SharePoint|
I had a really good time at
SharePoint Saturday 2015
this weekend. As always, I had a chance to learn something new. Not as much as LAST year when I got a good look at Office 365, the SharePoint Store, and SharePoint 2013, but still plenty of new stuff to explore.
Anatomy of a Mail App talked about building Office Apps and making them available in the Office Store, much like the SharePoint store. Definitely going to look into this.
SharePoint Event Receivers covered new event receivers for SharePoint 2010 and 2013.
|220|| ||1/10/2015 12:00 AM||Cigars; Masonry|
Had a great evening tonight at Rt. Wor. Ralph Clark's homecoming, enjoyed a very nice cigar: Perdomo Reserve Champagne Sun Grown from Emerson's. Gave it five stars.
|219|| ||1/4/2015 8:00 AM||Masonry; SharePoint|
I have been updating my links on http://www.researchlodge.org. This includes all Grand Lodges in the U.S., all Eastern Star Grand Chapters in the U.S., and all York Rite International and U.S. grand bodies: Grand Chapter of Royal Arch, Grand Council of Cryptic Masons (except Virginia and West Virginia, I don't know why we are different), and Grand Commanderies of Knights Templar.
I had started this project several web site versions ago, but my list of Blue Lodge web sites was so out of date, I didn't even publish it this time. I have just reviewed the Lodges, and chose to just focus on Virginia. I had the crazy idea to go and get EVERY Lodge from EVERY Grand Lodge, but it's too much work to just maintain it year after year. So instead, I am adding a link to the lodge locator page for each Grand Lodge, assuming they have a list of Blue Lodges. If they don't, then why have a Grand Lodge web site in the first place?
It is a lot of fun to see all the different web sites that individual Masons like me sat down and created. The sad thing is to see a well-designed web site that has a list of officers from 2006 or something. It means some hard-charging Senior Deacon put in the time years ago to build it, and never kept it going, or found someone else to maintain it. I think every fraternal organization has a duty to maintain a presence on the web. It not only attracts new members, but it keeps the current ones informed. I am planning to write a paper on Social Media and Lodges, there is a lot of lessons learned that I need to record and organize, to be of help to others.
Check out the site, it even has a slide show of Grand Lodge web sites.
|218|| ||12/19/2014 9:00 AM||Entertainment; SciFi/Fantasy|
One of my new favorite Christmas songs.
|217|| ||12/7/2014 11:00 PM||IT; Twitter; Facebook; SharePoint|
I have not successfully added meta tags for Facebook posts from my various SharePoint sites, but I have managed to get Twitter Cards to work:
Basically, you add meta tags to the Master Page and Twitter will add a card to your Tweet if you reference the URL of your site. It's pretty cool.
|216|| ||11/5/2014 7:00 PM||Politics|
During a lengthy discussion with a friend on Facebook, I wanted to preserve a section for future use. It relates to my disgust with liberals trying to paint conservatives as Nazis or fascists, when the opposite is true:
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
synonyms: leftism, welfarism;
Communism: A political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
Fascism: 1. the tenets of a centralized totalitarian and nationalistic government that strictly controls finance, industry, and commerce, practices rigid censorship and racism, and eliminates opposition through secret police.
Liberalism (the way it is practiced in America, not the classic definition of individual liberty): Outcomes are unequal, which is unfair. Use taxes and regulations to level the playing field. "You didn't build that." profit is evil, and must be punished. Strong central government, high taxes, burdensome regulations, limitations of civil liberties. Also indulges in crony capitalism (not limited to just one party).
Marx wanted to turn the whole world socialist, and thought it would instantly flip to communism overnight, because there was no more competition between countries or individuals. ALL of these system share one thing: total faith in a strong central government and zero faith in the individual. Minimum wage is a small thing, but it reflects a central tenet of left-wing thought: The STATE gets to decide what a person (in this case, entry level or low-skilled) is worth, or at least gets paid. The BUSINESS does not. We have all grown up with minimum wage, so we are used to it, and most of you don't see it for what it is: government control.
Have you ever heard Barack Obama or Bill Clinton PRAISE capitalism? Private business? the rights of the individual? Or do they talk about how life is unfair, outcomes are different, people need a helping hand, businesses are taking advantage of workers. They don't believe in the free market. So tell me, Scott, what tenets or policies of the modern Democratic Party are moving AWAY from the principles of socialism?
To show the other side:
Capitalism: An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
synonyms: free enterprise, private enterprise, the free market, enterprise culture, "the capitalism of emerging nations"
Conservatism: A belief in smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation, a strong national defense. Championing the rights of the individual over the state. A belief in the free market. Yes, there will be unequal outcomes, but since people and situations are unequal, that is what is FAIR.
Libertarianism: An extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.
Libertarianism and conservatism are right-wing. All the other isms I mentioned are left-wing. there is nothing right-wing about a strong, controlling centralized government. As much as some try to paint fascism as right-wing, it simply isn't. You don't require a massive controlling government to have national pride, although fascism does promote nationalism. But that is the only thing we have in common.
I will stipulate that although the overwhelming majority of Democrats are liberals, and a good percentage of the Republicans are conservatives, the parties do not accurately reflect the left/right divide. Most of the GOP in power have no problem with an ever expanding federal government. it's like democrats are full-speed ahead towards socialism, but the GOP wants to tap the brakes once in a while. If conservatives could retake our party, you would see a more contrasting difference between the parties.
|215|| ||8/23/2014 8:00 PM||IT; SharePoint; Twitter|
I discovered a super easy way to add my Twitter Feed to my SharePoint page. I struggled with this in 2010, and it never seemed to work for long. Just follow these steps:
- Sign into your twitter account at http://twitter.com.
- Click the gear icon on the toolbar, and click "Settings".
- From the Settings page, click "Widgets" in the left-hand column.
- Click "Create New" in the right-hand column.
- From the "Create a user widget" page, you should be on the "User timeline" tab (if not, click "User timeline").
- Choose your configuration options and click "Create widget".
- Select the code at the bottom of the right-hand pane (underneath the preview) and click "Copy".
- Click "Save changes".
- Sign in to your SharePoint 2013 site and select the page where you want to add the feed.
- Unpublish and edit the page using the toolbar.
- With your page in edit mode, click "Insert|Embed Code".
- From the Embed dialog, paste the code from Twitter.
- Save and publish your page.
There are additional options on the "Create a user widget" page to display your favorites, your lists, etc.
You have to deactivate the Site Feature "Minimal Download Strategy" for the Web Part to display correctly.
|214|| ||8/14/2014 6:00 PM||IT; SharePoint|
SharePoint 2013 will display a Page Title at the top of every Site Page, use SharePoint Designer 2013 to hide the link:
- Open your site in SharePoint Designer 2013
- Open Master Pages.
- Using the arrow keys, highlight each of the master files until you find the one where "Set as Default" is greyed out in the toolbar. This is your default master page. NOTE: It should be either oslo.master or seattle.master. If you click on the master page, it will open the properties window.
- Right-click and drag the default master page and click "Copy here". Rename the copy.
- Check out the default Master Page.
- Right-click the Master Page and click "Edit File in Advanced Mode".
- In the Master Page, find the SharePoint:SPTitleBreadcrumb tag and comment it out using <!-- and -->.
- Save and check in the Master Page.
|213|| ||8/14/2014 5:30 PM||IT; SharePoint|
- Open the site in SharePoint Designer 2013.
- Open All Files to _themes and open the number folder (there may be more than one to try).
- Find the first .themedcss file that matches your master page (either Oslo or Seattle) and copy the title, minus the site URL.
- Open Master Pages.
- Using the arrow keys, highlight each of the master files until you find the one where "Set as Default" is greyed out in the toolbar. This is your default master page. NOTE: If you click on the master page, it will open the properties window.
- Right-click and drag the default master page and click "Copy here". Rename the copy.
- Right-click the default master page and click "Edit File in Advanced Mode".
- In the Master Page, find the SharePoint:CSSLink tag.
- Add the following tag, substituting your .themescss file path from the previous step as the name attribute:
<SharePoint:CssRegistration runat="server" name="/_themes/6/oslo-236A6B32.themedcss" EnableCssTheming="true" After="true"/>
- Save and check in your Master Page. Click "OK" to override the changing site definition warning.
|212|| ||8/13/2014 12:00 PM||IT|
I had this written down somewhere once, and played heck finding it again. So, here it is: How to set the Prompt command to always run when launching a Command Prompt for any version of Windows.
- Click Start Menu|Run.
- From the Run dialog, type "regedit" without quotes and click "OK".
- From the Registry Editor, select HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor.
- If the AutoRun value is not present, right-click and click New|Expandable String Value. Name the value "AutoRun" without quotes.
- Double-click the AutoRun value.
- Under data, add "PROMPT" and the value you want to set for the prompt. In my example, "PROMPT $p$_$g".
- Click OK.
- Repeat the previous steps for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor to apply the change to ALL users.
- Close the Registry Editor.
- Close the Command Prompt if open, and open it again. The Prompt you entered is now employed.
|211|| ||7/14/2014 7:00 AM||Masonry; Politics|
It is a good idea to know how much of your charitable donations go to those in need. Check out http://www.charitynavigator.org/ for an impartial rating of your favorite charity.
|210|| ||6/29/2014 9:00 AM||Politics|
One of my Facebook friends gave me a brilliant idea. Every person who supports green energy needs to immediately buy solar panels for their roof and/or a windmill on their property. Eventually, this will bring about a revolution and everyone will follow. I'll explain:
1. Solar panels and windmills WILL generate some amount of electricity and lower your electric bill.
2. This amount varies depending on where you live, but the cost of installation is so high, they won't pay for themselves for decades. So people don't do it.
3.This needs to be sold among rich people as a status symbol, much like wearing an awareness ribbon. Except in this case, it actually accomplishes something: As more people buy solar panels and windmills, more companies will spring up to meet the demand, competing with each other for your business, and they will become cheaper to buy.
4. As the cost comes down, more people buy them, thus encouraging the cycle. Eventually, they will be cheap enough for everyone to afford, and become the must-have item, just like plasma TVs are today. The poorest people you know have a plasma TV, don't they?
5. All of this is accomplished WITHOUT a massive taxpayer funded program run with great inefficiency by the federal government. WIN-WIN!
By the way, this concept won't work for electric cars. Electric cars run on electricity, which comes from coal, so it isn't green enough.
Who's with me? Let's start a national campaign to #BuyGreen!
|209|| ||5/31/2014 3:05 PM||Humor|
Yes, the joke page was down for the new move, it is back and even better - I added a search feature. UPDATE: Look for Jokes on the home page.
Warning: Some jokes are rather graphic, I tried to bleep out every swear word, but the topics are pretty descriptive. When time allows, I will add a rating to the jokes.
|208|| ||5/30/2014 2:30 PM||IT; SharePoint|
(Originally posted 2/6/2012)
Is it just me, or are the SharePoint 2010 Themes just not as easy on the eye as SharePoint 2007? With 2007, almost all of them would 'work' for a page, and I could go back and forth between two or three until one looked just right for a site.
With 2010, every single one is jarring to the eye. There is at least one color (link, header, background) in EVERY Theme that makes me reject it. Watch for my colors to change as I keep looking. I really don't have time to find a custom Theme, I wish I could find one out of the box and just be done with it.
And don't get me started on Themes not being visible to anonymous users. So, disregard my comment about you people seeing the changes.
UPDATE: SharePoint 2013 Themes are pretty cool. Plus, anonymous users see them without customizing the master page. So, a begrudging thumbs-up to Microsoft for fixing one thing in 2013.
|207|| ||5/29/2014 8:00 PM||IT; SharePoint|
I am moving to a new web hosting service, http://www.apps4rent.com. This lets me use SharePoint 2013, which is an eye-opening experience. It seems there are some lists, such as this blog, which can't be easily migrated. But I am looking forward to learning the latest version of SharePoint, and I will be documenting what I learn in Wiki pages on this site.
|206|| ||11/17/2013 1:03 PM||Politics|
Five million people have lost their insurance because of Obamacare. FIVE MILLION of my fellow Americans (and counting) had health insurance this year, and will not have it next year, because of a law passed exclusively by Democrats in the House and Senate, and signed by a Democrat President. Never forget that. It is completely a Democrat law that is causing all of this pain and suffering. Oh, and the 100K who enrolled? The government counts people who registered without committing to a plan in that number.
That's like you going to Amazon (except Amazon actually works and is easy) and putting something in your wish list, or your shopping card, without completing the purchase. If Amazon claimed that sale as income, they would go to jail. But that's how your government does things.