I’m in the minority, that is for sure.  There just aren’t that many people out there that heat their homes in the wintertime with wood burning stoves.  Not in the United States, at least.  Most of my friends think I’m nuts.  They prefer to simply flip the switch on the thermostat and adjust the dial to suit their comfort.

I was late this year getting all of my firewood processed for winter.  My goal is to be at least an entire year ahead of the game, but with the new baby last fall, and starting back to school this spring, I fell behind on some of my chores.  To try to make up for my late start, I left my winter fuel stacked in rows in the yard a little later than usual to give them a little more time to dry out in the sun and wind.

Today was a beautiful day.  The temperature was about 70 degrees, and the sun was shining.  That isn’t normal for November in Central Ohio.  The temperatures are supposed to drop steadily over the next 24 hours, back to a more seasonal weather pattern that looks like it’s going to stick around.  Winter will be here before I know it!  This was my chance to get my firewood moved into the garage before winter sets in.

For the past 3 years, Becky and I have moved our firewood into our attached garage in October.  The garage keeps the wood dry, and allows for easy access when it is time to reload the stove.  It beats the heck out of fighting with tarps.  Tarps get blown around by the wind and get loaded down with snow and ice.

It was always difficult to crawling out of bed early in the morning in the dead of winter knowing that I had to go outside to grab an armload of wood from under a snow covered tarp in single digit temperatures.  By moving the wood indoors, I get all the benefits of wood heat (cozy warm house, beautiful fire to watch, and cheap to operate), without one of the biggest drawbacks.

My stacks are moved the chimney is cleaned.  I’m ready for winter.  Bring on the holidays!

I always have trouble explaining what I do.  I’m not even sure that my family knows what it is that I do.  To avoid going into a long sleep inducing explanation, I usually sum it up by saying that I do “web service operations” or “SaaS Operations”.

But what does that really mean?  Most people have no idea what “SaaS” is, and “web service operations” just makes most folks say “Oh, OK, I get it.  You run a web site”.

If only it were that simple!  I’m not talking about signing up for a blog account somewhere like wordpress.com or making web page with some WYSIWYG editor and putting it up on GoDaddy.

Everybody uses web services today.  Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Yelp, just to name a few.  Even many of the interactive apps on your smartphone or tablet connect to a web service!  While they use them every day, not many people give much thought to what it takes to operate those services. Click to read more …

As a DISH Network subscriber, I occasionally read and post on a forum for DISH users.  It helps me stay up to date on new channels, new features, promotions, and problems. 

Recently, I was reading a thread in which another user was questioning the 1440x1080i resolution of many HD channels on DISH, wondering why they weren’t being broadcast at 1920x1080i.  He was wondering about how this affects HD picture quality.  As with most internet forums, there was some good information in the thread, and there was some not-so-good information in the thread.  I decided to weigh in myself, and this was my response. Click to read more …

I just set up a 1GB drive on my workstation so that I can run some VM’s locally for work.  For a simple hypervisor to run Linux virtual machines on my Windows box, I use Oracle’s Virtualbox software.  It works well, and is stupid simple to configure and build VM’s.

This evening, I downloaded a CentOS 6.2 (minimal) CD ISO image and installed it in a VM.  When I logged in, I was surprised to see that the network connection wasn’t coming up, even though the NIC drivers were correctly installed.

I brute forced my connection using ifconfig, route, and editing /etc/resolv.conf and installed a few things that I thought might help, including the system-config-network-tui tool that I’m used to using on CentOS and Red Hat.  After all that, still no joy!

At this point, I resorted to Google.  A quick search and I found that there had been a change in the default network configuration on CentOS 6.  This change modified the behavior such that the network connections aren’t brought up on boot like they had been in the past.

Here is the solution:

Edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and make a couple of quick changes.

First, set ONBOOT=no to ONBOOT=yes.

Second, set BOOTPROTO=dhcp if it isn’t already.  On my system, it was set to “none”.

Restart the networking services, and it eth0 should be up and running

Over the course of the last year, I have made a complete lifestyle change when it comes to food.  One of the big differences is the significant reduction in sugar in my diet.  Here are two videos that present a starling look at sugar, and the effects that it has on our bodies when consumed the way it usually is in the diets of Americans today.

The information in these videos supports other things that I have read recently, most notably in the book “Why we get fat and what to do about it”.  This book was instrumental in my re-learning much of what I thought I knew about nutrition.

Many people today could be much healthier if they stopped believing in the conventional wisdom of today, and instead focused on the facts when it comes to their diets.

The first was aired on CBS News recently.  The second, is referenced in the CBS News video.




New Years 2011 found me at my heaviest point ever.  I was 230 pounds.  I didn’t feel good, I had no energy, and it was time for some changes.  I started trying to eat healthier in January, but, having been overweight for much of my life, I had tried that many times in the past without success

In the past, I had always wanted to lose weight, but I don’t think I ever really WANTED it.  It was something that I wished I could do, but never could really commit to.  It was never important enough to force me to muster the will power to make permanent lasting changes to my diet. Click to read more …