Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Personal and Humor

Personal and Humor

Pickled Dragon

September 14, 2005

This is just freaky considering it was created over 100 years ago - and not in some Hollywood special effects studio. It would be pretty cool if it were real, but alas dragons are no more real than the Lochness Monster, goblins, or witches with super powers.

(Source: Sydney Morning Herald, here's an excerpt:)

A pickled "dragon" that looks as if it might once have flown around Harry Potter's Hogwarts has been found in a garage in Oxfordshire, England.

The baby dragon, in a sealed jar, was discovered with a metal tin containing paperwork in old-fashioned German of the 1890s.

Allistair Mitchell, who was asked to investigate the dragon by a friend, David Hart, who discovered it in his garage, speculates that German scientists may have attempted to use the dragon to hoax their English counterparts at the end of the 19th century, when rivalry between the countries was intense.

"At the time, scientists were the equivalent of today's pop stars. It would have been a great propaganda coup for the Germans if it had come off," Mr Mitchell said. <more...>

Flight 93 heroes, I salute you with my tears

September 11, 2005

Today is the 4th anniversary of 9/11. I just finished watching Discovery Channel's The Flight That Fought Back (Flight 93) and after four years I was not expecting the emotional onslaught that this TV show would bring. No, I didn't personally lose anyone on 9/11 - just my fellow Americans. The scene where the Pennsylvania state troopers lined up in attention and saluted the buses filled with grieving familes visiting the crash site brought streaming tears to my eyes.

I'm not one to be brought to tears easily, but if I am to shed tears, my manly pride gladly accepts these tears for these heroes that fought for their lives and the lives of Americans on the ground.

Thank you to the 40 heroes on that flight that fought the first battle on the war on terror.

My tears are my salute to you.

Locking gas caps prevent gas theft

September 7, 2005

According to PhillyBurbs auto parts suppliers are rapidly selling out of locking gas caps, which were originally invented in the 1930s because of gas siphoning thefts during the Great Depression.

According to the article, "I've never seen anything like this before. These things were collecting dust," said Brian Drake, who works at Bridgeville Auto Parts. "We can't even get them from suppliers. We've placed a couple orders.

Unholy Alliance - Radical Islam and the American Left

September 7, 2005

The one thing I enjoy when there is a long holiday weekend is the time I get to spend reading books. Visiting the Blanchard's in Skaneateles, New York further forces you to read books since their lake-side home doesn't have a television. I bought a book several months ago titled Unholy Alliance - Radical Islam and the American Left, that intrigued me when I saw it in the bookstore, but I never seemed to find time to read it.

I don't claim to know all the political answers or who is more right - the Left or the Right. I would venture to say that there is fault both on the Extreme Left and the Extreme Right.

Ken Blanchard a man with wisdom

September 7, 2005

For Labor Day Weekend I spent time with my wife's godfather, Ken Blanchard, on one of the Finger Lakes in Skaneateles, New York. Many people know Ken Blanchard as the NY Times best-selling author/co-author of The One Minute Manager, The Leadership Pill, Whale Done, Lead Like Jesus and many other best-selling books. I know Ken as a great source of inspirational wisdom. Ken Blanchard always has great 'nuggets' of information.

Planets align tonight

September 6, 2005

I saw an article with a cool astrological chart displaying a few heavenly bodies in close proximity (conjunction) with one another. Specifically, Jupiter, Venus, and the moon will align.

Now for a brief astronomy lesson culled from Google searches and my prophetic analysis:

Jupiter - symbolizes power, expansion, kings, increase, preservation.

Venus - symbolizes the feminine - the power of love, relating and consensus; the principles of diplomacy.

Moon - symbolizes the changing of tides and our emotions. Actually, the #1 Google search result for "moon symbolizes" talks about how Islam is "symbolized by the moon".

So I will be on my astrologer cap now and interpret these "signs" to mean one of the following possibile prophecies:

1) Islamic terrorists (Moon) in Iraq will put on their peace caps (Venus) and see that the only true way to gain power (Jupiter) is to participate in the Iraqi democracy and stop blowing up innocent Iraqi civilians.

Analysis: Not likely, but it would be great if this were indeed true.

2) Anti-war peace activists (Venus), including Cindy Sheehan, will have a change of heart (Moon) and see that their leader (Jupiter), President Bush was absolutely right to deal with Islamic (Moon) terrorists in Iraq instead of here at home.

Analysis: Not in this lifetime. I won't debate the merits of the Iraq war, intelligence failures by several intelligence agencies that said Saddam had WMDs, etc.

Duchess, what have thou doneth to thy French Fries?

September 1, 2005

Baby product reviews

August 31, 2005

It is with great joy and excitement that I can announce that my wife and I are going to have our first baby. My wife is only 2 months pregnant, so she isn't due until April, but both of us are already doing extensive research. Besides reading baby books such as: What to Expect When You are Expecting, Birthing from Within, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, and What to Expect the First Year, we've also started our product research and product comparison as well. The Graco brand keeps coming up wherever I go, though Eddie Bauer is trying to get in on the baby act - saw some Eddie Bauer strollers in Babys R Us.

I know they say it's bad luck to buy baby products so early on, but we just had to buy this really nice baby cradle from Once Upon a Child that retails for $120, but we got it for $60.0.

War on Terror defeated by UNIX

August 26, 2005

Rich Tehrani's War on Terror by Nerds caught my eye where Rich referenced a blog post by which referenced Sun Ray Blog (the source of this War on Terror UNIX joke).

You have to be a UNIX geek to get this, but if you are, then this is pretty funny.

Here's a sample:

$ cd Afghanistan
$ ls
bin Taliban
$ rm Taliban
rm: Taliban is a directory
$ cd Taliban
$ ls
$ rm soldiers
$ cd ..
$ rmdir Taliban
rmdir: directory "Taliban": Directory not empty
$ cd Taliban
$ ls -a
. .. .insurgents
$ chown -R USA .*

Even funnier than this is Sun Ray Blog's full "translation" for the non-UNIX geeks along with a full set of commands that you should check out.

Got VoIP?

August 22, 2005

So you think you're a VoIP fan, do ya? Well, you got nothing on Kancharla, who not only provides hosted VoIP termination, but they're such big fans of VoIP that several of the cars in their corporate parking lot have license plates with VoIP in them. Check out the photos I captured when I visited them down in Huntsville, Alabama:

I was actually thinking I might put a vanity plate on my Dodge Viper that says "Got VoIP" but that would probably just confuse the next officer that pulls me over for not speeding and whose only knowledge of VoIP is the Vonage commercials.

In any event, I should tell you what Kancharla does. They provide end-to-end VoIP solutions for Service Providers including ISPs, MSOs, and CLECs. Their [Tone]IP service is an integrated solution which including product development/bundling, network/engineering design & implementation, sales/marketing support, billing, and OSS.

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