Gift Sponsorships for Homeless Animals

November 30, 2007


The best gift doesn’t come from a store… it comes from your heart.

Share a gift of life and love this holiday season by sponsoring an animal at the Best Friends Animal Society. Gift Sponsorships for homeless animals provide your loved ones with the warm feeling of caring and sharing. Sponsor one of the animals at Best Friends and give the gift of love and life.



HUMOR: A note to our dog

November 29, 2007

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door – nose height.

Dear Dog,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food.  The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs  can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight-out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered.  Also, I have been using the bathroom for years –canine attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog’s butt.  I cannot stress this enough!

SHOCKING: Lower costs for HD DVD players & media creates droves of new purchases

November 28, 2007

Hilarious.  The folks at CNET UK wrote a great piece that basically echoes the sentiments of anyone that recognizes the basic economics of HD DVD:


  1. HD DVD uses tremendously less expensive components than Blu-ray DVD in all its hardware and media, in particular the optical components.
  2. HD DVD’s player’s price as a result is significantly lower than Blu-ray players.
  3. A drop in HD DVD’s price for its players to $99 each, results in people buying HD DVD drives, regardless of any other factor.


Additionally, the availability of technologies like 3xDVD, which allows average Joes to create HD DVD quality video and write it to traditional, mass produced dual layer DVD discs for playback on any HD DVD player, makes homebrew HD video a reality for the masses.

For example, company’s like Ulead who produce DVD production software can easily, with just a patch, now produce HD DVD discs as well as conventional disc.


Ten Commandments for Pet Owners

November 28, 2007

I’m not much for forwarded ‘deep thoughts’ email, but this one caught my eye (Thank you Tom Lavine) and got me quite a bit choked up.  Our beloved Sheepa is 13 and he doesn’t have that much time left on this earth so it’s quite meaningful being that he’s been absolutely the perfect dog for my wife and I.

  1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years or more. Any separation from you will be painful.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. Don’t break my spirit with your temper, though I will always forgive you. Your patience will teach me more effectively.
  3. Please have me spayed or neutered.
  4. Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up or out as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends, your entertainment, I only have you.
  5. Speak to me often. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me. Your voice is the sweetest sound I ever hear, as you must know by my enthusiasm whenever I hear your footsteps.
  6. Take me in when it’s cold and wet. I’m a domestic animal and am no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask for little more than your gentle hands petting me. Keep my bowl filled with water. Feed me good food so that I may stay well to romp and play. By your side, I stand ready, willing and able to share my life with you, for that is what I live for. I’ll never forget how well you’ve treated me.
  7. Don’t hit me. Remember, I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite.
  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been out in the sun too long, my ear may hurt, or my heart may be getting weak.
  9. Take care of me when I get old. For you will grow old, too.
  10. When I am old, or when I no longer enjoy good health, please do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having fun. Just see to it that my trusting life is taken gently. And be with me on that difficult journey when it’s time to say goodbye. Never say, "I just can’t bear to watch it." Everything is easier for me when you are there. I will leave this earth knowing with my last breath that my fate was always safest in your hands. I love you.

RELEASE: Asset Inventory Service for Desktop Optimization Pack RTWs

November 28, 2007

Last week, the Microsoft Asset Inventory Service for the Desktop Optimization Pack released to the web.  See the URL below for an explanation of the role AIS plays in the DOP:

Basically it’s the technology from the AssetMetrix acquisition we made a year or so ago except it’s almost entirely a hosted service that we make available.  It involves installing a 1.4MB client component on your PCs (2000/XP/Vista/x64) and waiting for it to collect the information that it needs to report back to  After that, you go to the web site and see the information collected from the machines you have registered with the service.

The information basically gives you very precise information about what software is installed on your PCs, what versions (v1.0, v1.1, etc), what media types (Retail/MSDN/Select/Trial/etc.), what editions (Pro/Ent/Std/etc.), and it works for not just Microsoft software but for all vendors, including Adobe, Symantec, etc.


It’s pretty simple.  It requires activating the benefit from  The activation process is documented over at the System Center blog at

Through an Group Policy ADM template.  We published one here:

More on this as I get details internally.

OMG: Guitar Hero 3 for XBox 360 gets the Halo 3 theme as a free download!

November 26, 2007

Steven Vai the guitarist behind the Halo theme has his Mjolnir mix being posted as a free download on Xbox Live for Guitar Hero 3 players.

Our dog snores.

November 26, 2007

My wife always tells me how similar our dog is to me.  We both sleep late.  We both walk kind of the same.  We’re both insistent big mouths and we’re both finicky. 

To be honest, I never really saw the comparison though until last night at around 1:00AM, there was this repetitive humming noise coming from the family room.  I started to home in on the sound and sure enough there he was:  Our dog snores.

Here’s a audio sample:!.wma

BLACKJACK: The importance of Basic Strategy for 21

November 25, 2007

On the plane home the other day, I realized that I’ve been playing A7-3 incorrectly at the Blackjack tables in Vegas for years.  I’ve also been occasionally playing 66-2 and 99-7 incorrectly at most of the tables that I play.  I mean, for all the time that I’ve spent learning the game, ways to get an edge, and suppress the house’s advantage, I’ve been playing some of the basic starting hands just plain wrong and while I’m embarrassed about it, I’m glad I caught them.  (Thank you Fred Renzey.  Your book really does rule and it was worth re-reading.  I learn something from it every time I go through it.)

A7-3 normally looks like 18 versus a dealer 3.  Things are looking good at this point for most people.  After all, why would you turn down what looks like a pretty good winner?  Well, the problem is that a STAND on this hand is dead wrong and the move that I’ve been guilty of for years of table play. 

Yes, you read that correctly:  The proper Basic Strategy play for A7-3 is to DOUBLE DOWN, as it is against a deal 4, 5, & 6.  The odds are that doubling down is simply a more profitable play than STANDING.  This is one of those chances where you get a to extract a little more cash out of the casino by pushing your bet,  It’s also one of those moves where people leave money on the table because they either stand or hit, but simply never consider doubling their bet size.  Obviously this is doubly important when the shoe is rich.

And then there’s 66-2, which looks like a 12-2 play which in virtually all books is a HIT… a tough one, but it’s a HIT.

66-2 = SPLIT
Yet another sketchy scenario, at tables where Doubling-after-Splitting is allowed, 66-2 is a SPLIT, and not a HIT like I’ve normally been playing it.  It turns out that you can take a a few cards after the split and turn your hand from a complete loser to a winner after splitting, especially if you have the chance to hit a 5, then double down to essentially balance out a potential loss with the other side of a split.  Again, this is only for tables with DAS which is most of the Vegas strip’s properties however in these cases, 66-2 is a SPLIT.

This is another one that bugs me:  I’ve been missing on 99-7 for years.  99-7 looks like a sure fire splitting opportunity, after all having two hands starting with 9’s against a dealer 7 looks pretty good.

99-7 = STAND
There was a older gentleman at 3rd base during my last trip to the Venetian that summarily corrected me on this play telling me, "Son – that’s a chump’s play.  Learn your tables:  You always split 9s except against a 7 or X."  I stopped to think about it for a minute  and it rang true… 18 against a dealer 7 did make a lot of sense but I didn’t have my strategy card in front of me (my bad) so I couldn’t look it up but I took his advice and won the hand when the deal flipped a K.

Goes to show you that everyone can learn something at any time and sometimes old ways die hard.

Xbox 360 pwns the SpikeTV Video Game Awards

November 10, 2007

The Xbox 360 has already won the SpikeTV Video Game Awards and the winners haven’t even been announced yet.  How? 


Spike TV’s 2007 Game of the Year Nominees are:
Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, The Orange Box

And, what a coincidence:  The Best Xbox 360 Game Nominees are…
Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, The Orange Box

And what of the PS3 & the Wii?  Not a single game of their’s – not Warhawk (PS3), not Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess (Wii), not Metroid Prime 3 (Wii)… were competitor’s for "Game of the Year".  And it’s no surprise:  In 2006, the situation was similar.

Spike TV’s 2006 Game of the Year nominees were:
Gears of War (XBox360), Guitar Hero 2 (XBox360), Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (XBox360), and Okami (PS2 – not PS3).

So… if you want the best games available on any next gen console, here’s a list submitted for your review: 

  • Halo 3 (Xbox 360 only)
  • Gears of War (Xbox 360 only)
  • Bioshock (Xbox 360 only)
  • Mass Effect (Xbox 360 only)
  • Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (Xbox 360 only)
  • Guitar Hero 2 (Xbox 360 & PS2 only)
  • The Orange Box (Xbox 360 only)
  • Madden 08 (60fps on Xbox 360 only)
  • Grand Theft Auto 4 (Complete game Xbox 360 only)
  • Guitar Hero 3
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Rock Band

Any questions?

ARTICLE: “The Great Double Standard”

November 7, 2007

Joe Wilcox wrote one helluvan article on the double standard that exists between Microsoft & Apple’s public perceptions.

The last comment from a reader is great:

“Leopard is still OSX, an operating system that released ~6 years ago, which at that time was incompatible with a lot of OS 9 apps and required people to dualboot. Leopard is OS X with a few bug patches and apps thrown on top. In the Windows world this would be called a service pack. Apple charges you for their service packs. Think about it.”

VIDEO: “Blame Halo 3” by James at War

November 7, 2007

James at War published a new song.  Well… you just have to watch it to understand.
Blame Halo 3 – Watch more free videos