Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Saturday, April 06, 2019

I've heard of Quince tree's and bushes and finally decided to give some ago.
We'll see how they do, they are difficult to find, Willis Orchards had some and I was luck enough to get a few.  Picked up a Red Baron Peach tree too.  Historically I don't have good luck with Willis Orchards, though the stock they send is great looking, I think it's just Georgia is such a different soil type and zone than Missouri, the tree's often experience shock, and even though they ship FedEx, the tree's often show up with dried up roots, or budded out and the new leaves dried up, which is disappointing.
But they are one of the few places that carry Quince tree's so got to try.
Stark Brothers is supposed to have some this fall and spring 2020, so depending on how these do, I will keep trying.

QTY Description From Picture
3 Smyrna Quince
The Smyrna Quince is the most popular quince used by famous chefs. Widely used for cooking in Europe, the quince fruit trees are finding new attention now in America. The Smyrna Quince is a large apple shaped fruit with lemon yellow skin and excellent flavored tender flesh. This self-fertile fruit is highly perfumed and ripens September to October. (100 Chill Hours) Grows in zones: 5 - 9
Willis Orchards
2 Orange Quince
The Orange Quince is a very adaptable growing well in a range of conditions. This tree is just about as hardy as the peach, surviving temperatures as low as 0º F. Its branches will most likely die back if exposed to temperatures below -15º F, though the root will survive. The Quince can grow up to 20 feet high with unusual, crooked branches. They do best grown in moist, heavy soils and are often found in the wild near creek banks making this fruit a delicacy for wildlife. The orange quince bears heavily with large, bright yellow pear shaped fruits that are flavorful and aromatic. The fruit ripens in October through December and can extend through February in some colder areas. The Orange Quince is a self fertile tree and requires 300 chill hours.
Grows in zones: 5 - 9
Willis Orchards
1 Red Baron Peach
The Red Baron Peach Tree is a patented variety of unsurpassed excellence. Not only is the fruit a large, beautiful red, but the tree itself is prized for its large double red blossoms that cover the tree for several weeks in early spring. These delicious 3" diameter fruits ripen over an extended period of time from mid-July to mid-August, and require a low 250 chill hours.
Willis Orchards
2 Pineapple Quince
The Pineapple Quince is popular for its firm aromatic white flesh with a delicious pineapple-like flavor. This large pear-shaped fruit has smooth, golden yellow skin that is good for fresh eating or for fine jellies. Quince Trees are self-fertile and ripen large crops of fruit in September. (100 Chill Hours)
Grows in zones: 5 - 9
Willis Orchards
2 Jumbo Quince
This large bright-yellow fuzzy cousin of pears and apples is getting a boost from the Agricultural Research Service and making a come back. In Colonial times, many American orchards boasted at least one quince and vendors sold them along with pears and apples. Jumbo Quince fruits are hard and sour when raw. When heated their flesh turns rosy, soft and sweet. An excellent variety for making tarts, pies, butters, marmalades and jellies. The fragrant aroma from the fruit of the jumbo quince has an appealing drawing to large wildlife. The fruit typically ripens in October through December. The Jumbo Quince is disease tolerant and cold hardy growing in zones 5-9. Choose Willis Orchards for top-quality quince fruit trees for sale! Grows in zones: 5 - 9
Willis Orchards

Saturday, April 06, 2019 7:42:28 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Strong Heat # 4


Saturday, March 30, 2019 1:55:55 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Was a very cold February for the cows !




Wednesday, February 20, 2019 8:26:20 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Corrupt model database.

Nothing more fun than bug in vm ware causing disk corruption and leaving your model database suspect.

You can run in this state, as long as you don't create a new database and as long as your server doesn't reboot or SQL server service stop and start, as when SQL Starts back up, it will have an issue with model database.

Standard TSQL Statement, Restore database model from disk = 'some location' with recovery.

What this has to do with Record Rater, I have no idea, but I found this cool old record and it even still had the survey card... Big Red Music.

Very Cool...




Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:14:20 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
Monday, December 31, 2018

Final Tree's for planting in 2018 were delivered and put in the ground the past week.


QTY Description From Picture
2 Pond Cypress
(Taxodium ascendens)
The Pond Cypress Tree is very similar to the Bald Cypress, except that it has finer foliage, thicker bark and is always found growing in non-flowing bodies of water. These trees maintain a desirable straight trunk and develop thick calipers towards the base, even on younger trees. The Pond Cypress is a relatively maintenance free tree requiring minimal pruning only to remove lower dead branches. The cypress will grow 50 to 60 feet tall with a 10 to 15 feet spread and prefers to be planted in wet, poorly drained, acidic soil.
Willis Orchards
2 Indian Blood Peach
This heavy producer of good quality, white streaked with red fleshed peach holds well for canning and preserving. The Indian Blood peach is a zone 4 peach tree of the large red skinned clingstone variety that ripens August to September. The Indian Blood Peach tree does best with a pollinator and needs 900 chill hours. Grows in zones: 4 - 8
Willis Orchards
2 Red Baron Peach
The Red Baron Peach Tree is a patented variety of unsurpassed excellence. Not only is the fruit a large, beautiful red, but the tree itself is prized for its large double red blossoms that cover the tree for several weeks in early spring. These delicious 3" diameter fruits ripen over an extended period of time from mid-July to mid-August, and require a low 250 chill hours.
Willis Orchards
1 20th Century Asian Pear
The 20th Century Asian Pear Tree is an August ripening Japanese variety that is semi-self fertile. It is a medium to large, round yellow-green colored pear of good quality and decent sweet taste. This juicy Asian Pear treat is great eaten fresh and it stores well for canning and preserving. The 20th Century Asian Pear will set a much heavier crop when planted with one of the other Asian pear varieties. Requires 400 chill hours. Will grow in zones 5-9a. Grows in zones: 5 - 9
Willis Orchards
2 Eliza's Choice Crabapple
Eliza's Choice Crabapple Tree is a naturally select cultivar found on a small family farm near McMinnville, TN. This select crabapple tree variety is an excellent pick for wildlife plantings and jelly making. It has beautiful showy white blossoms in Spring and the fruits ripen later than many other varieties. The pictures show Eliza standing by her Choice Crabapple tree loaded with fruit in mid-October. However, the fruits continue to ripen and fall well into November, which makes Eliza's Choice Crabapple a must have for hunting enthusiasts.
Willis Orchards
1 Giant Fuyu Persimmon Tree
This is a very large hybrid of the Fuyu Jiro. The Giant Fuyu Persimmon tree also ripens in November and is non-astringent. The fruit is a dark orange color when ripe and has a delicious smooth texture. (100-200 Chill Hours) Grows in zones: 6 - 10
Willis Orchards
1 Ivory Silk Lilac
Not Your Grandma's Lilac! Looking for something different? The Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk') is not the flowering shrub you might have seen in grandma’s yard, but a small tree that bears huge (foot- long!) flower panicles in late June, well after other lilacs have given up for the season. The monster flower bunches are creamy white and give off a heady, musky scent that will perfume your entire garden. These trees only get about 25 feet high which makes them perfect for small yards or as a focal point. For an even greater impact, plant several along a fence line – they make a show-stopping tall hedgerow! On top of all this goodness, the Tree Lilac can withstand temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero and isn’t affected by soil ph like other lilacs. It is the hardiest and most trouble free Lilac available, especially for northern climates. The Tree Lilac blooms more heavily than other Lilac varieties, too. It flowers later in the season, extending your Lilac pleasure. Through the summer your Tree Lilac will be densely covered in beautiful, deep green leaves, a refreshing sight in the height of summer heat. In the fall and winter the attractive, smooth, dark red bark adds an interesting dimension and texture to your landscape. Whether you’re new to lilacs or just want to add something different to your garden, the Tree Lilac is for you. Order yours today! * Huge flowers. * Fragrant blooms. * Cold hardy and trouble free. Don’t Prune Lilacs During Fall or Early Spring
Nature Hills Nursery
1 Shinseki Pear Tree
An early harvest of delicious Asian Pears on a hardy tree. Nothing beats a crisp easy-to-eat pear straight from the tree during the dog-days of summer. Shinseiki Asian Pear Tree is a beautiful tree that covers itself in loads of round, yellow-skinned pears. The tree is easy to grow and the fruit is oh SO delicious!
You will love these pears if you are a fan of Granny Smith apples over Red Delicious. Crisp, juicy texture and sublimely-sweet flavor are the hallmarks of these pretty fruit.
Since this is one of the earliest Asian pears to ripen available on the market today, you will be enjoying bowls of the yummy fruits weeks before your neighbors.
The tree grows naturally to a lovely conical shape and is covered in flowers in the spring. When the fruit is ripening, it looks like Christmas ornaments hung all over the tree. Young trees will produce up to 100 fruit, while 6-7 year old trees produce 500-700 pears each year!
Nature Hills Nursery
1 Falvor Supreme Pluot
Supreme Sweetness in a Gorgeous Fruit Pluots are an all-around great fruit and one of the best fruit tastes in all the world. In a field of amazingly sweet fruits, Flavor Supreme Pluot, Prunus 'Flavor Supreme', raises to the top with award after award for its taste. It’s like picking a winning diamond from a field of diamonds. You can’t go wrong with any pluot, but you will be very happy with the Supreme. It looks different than you’d expect – smooth, mottled-green skin with firm, juicy wine-red flesh. But don’t let the look fool you. These pluots marry the best of both plums and apricots and this brings out the sweetest taste imaginable. The tree itself has a classic shape and beautiful Japanese plum-like leaves. It makes a pretty landscape tree in your yard. A pretty tree with a bonus - you’ll have plenty of fruit to eat and an abundance to share with your friends and neighbors. Flavor Supreme needs a pollinator so order two. Or you can plant it with a Japanese plum like Beauty Plum or another pluot, like Flavor Grenade or Flavor King. Order a couple of these beauties today and enjoy this supremely sweet fruit next year. You’ll thank us! * Winter hardy * Super-sweet taste * Early harvest
Nature Hills Nursery

Monday, December 31, 2018 12:33:26 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thomas connects with 5 pointer twice !

AR15, with 300 Black out.

Hornady American Gunner Ammunition 300 AAC Blackout 125 Grain Hollow

120lb white tail before being field dressed.


Sunday, November 18, 2018 8:23:49 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, November 08, 2018

Eugene Horkay

Academic Letter for 2017 school year, awarded in 2018.

Thursday, November 08, 2018 8:18:33 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Saturday, October 27, 2018

Aaron Connects

First Deer

October 27, 2018


Saturday, October 27, 2018 5:26:00 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Horkay Family Farms first heifer calf, 3 bull calves in row up until now !

5/17/2018, Not yet named


Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:26:42 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, April 23, 2018

Planting Tree's for 2018.

Threw in some new cheap plants from Farmer Seed (aka burgess, plants are of questionable quality, hit and miss, but they are cheap).

Concentrating on removing invasive trees (locust, hedge apple, thorny Bradford pear) and replacing with Asian Pears, Arkansas Black Apple, Wealthy Apple and a few others.

We'll see what lives, success is usually pretty good with Stark Brothers and Nature Hills Nursery, though I've had terrible luck getting Sassafras trees to grow, 5 more this year.

QTY Description From Picture
2 Korean Fir Japanese Maples and Evergreens
2 Dolgo Crabapple Stark Brothers 1
Farmer Seed and Nursery 1
1 Starking Hardy Giant Asian Pear Stark Brothers  
1 Chojuro Asian Pear Stark Brothers  
1 Hosui Asian Pear Dwarf Startk Brothes  
1 Grimes Golden Apple Stark Brother's Nursery  
1 Arkansas Black Apple Nature Hills Nursery  
1 Sweet Chestnuts Farmer Seed and Nursery
2 Wealthy Apple Nature Hills Nursery  
1 American Holly Tree Form Nature Hills Nursery  
2 Flavor King Pluot Nature Hills Nursery  
1 Thunder Cloud Plum Nature Hills Nursery  
2 Scarlet Halo Peach Nature Hills Nursery  
2 Ichi-Ki-Kei-Jiro Asian Persimmon Stark Brother's  
1 Sunflower Paw Paw Stark Brother's  
1 Peruque Pecan Stark Brother's  
1 Chestnut Crabapple Stark Brother's  
1 Auburn Homestead Chestnut Stark Brother's  
5 Black Hills Spruce Chief River Nursery  
2 Green Giant Arborvitae Chief River Nursery  
5 White Pine Chief River Nursery  
5 White Spruce Chief River Nursery  
5 Concord Seedless Grape Chief River Nursery  
5 Somerset Seedless Grape (white) Chief River Nursery  
1 Heartnut Farmer Seed and Nursery  
1 Hall's Hardy Almonds
Farmer Seed and Nursery  
5 Sassafras Nature Hills Nursery - 2
Farmer Seed and Nursery - 3
1 American Persimmon Farmer Seed and Nursery  
4 Dwarf American Hazelnuts Farmer Seed and Nursery  
2 American Butternut Farmer Seed and Nursery  
2 Old Fashioned Lilac Farmer Seed and Nursery  
6 Canadian Hemlock Farmer Seed and Nursery  
1 Paw Paw Tree Farmer Seed and Nursery  
24 Rose of Sharon Hedge Farmer Seed and Nursery  
6 Purple Leaf Plum Hedge Farmer Seed and Nursery  
16 Forsythia Farmer Seed and Nursery  
1 Harry Lauder's Walking Stick
Farmer Seed and Nursery  
1 Golden Chain Tree Farmer Seed and Nursery  
4 Purple Smoke Tree Farmer Seed and Nursery  

Monday, April 23, 2018 1:48:59 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, April 09, 2018

Horkay Family Farms

Breakfast laid daily !


Monday, April 09, 2018 1:12:02 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Sunday, February 18, 2018

From a moth no less, no digital camouflage pattern needed here !

Sunday, February 18, 2018 11:02:09 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Saturday, February 17, 2018

      These speak for themselves.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 11:55:01 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thomas First Deer

Nice 8 point buck, 2 antlers a bit broke off, but well done job by a young hunter.

Rossi 243, trifecta.

These bucks have been stripping the trees around my property for years, probably the reason the only thing growing back there is hedge and locust !

Sunday, October 29, 2017 9:25:28 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017


Monday, August 21, 2017 9:29:35 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Faith has first calf of 2017, a Bull calf.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017 7:41:36 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, May 15, 2017

John Deere Gator 625 review.

A good machine, replaces an EZ-GO STS 4x4, many reviews of the specs on these so I won't re-iterate them, but it's basically the same as the ez-go with better ground clearance, Fuel injected (nice to not need to manually choke it), a design more updated and more like a car than a piece of lawn equipment (with a price to match), an updated design (vs EZGO), but basically still the same engine horsepower 18 vs 20, twin cylinder, Kawasaki vs. Honda engine, 2 and 4 wheel drive, with lever for locking differentials (EZ-GO had electronic locking differential switches).


This thing is loaded with power winch, roof with lights, power dump bed, brush guard with front storage, tool bag across back, and bucket holder, impressive towing power.  Would prefer a USB plug as opposed to the cigarette lighter accessory outlet (who uses a cigarette lighter anymore ?)


Transmission seems good, makes a weird whining noise when I go down hills (usually at very low speeds < 5), than makes a "bucking / catching" noise at the bottom when you hit the gas, probably the clutch engaging, not sure, we'll see how it holds up, I've learned to come to a stop at the bottom of hills and then proceed forward to avoid that "bucking / catching" noise.


Feature x feature and price, I found the gator 625 was better than others out there (Actually my wife did !).


Now I just need to rebuild the EZGO motor!


Only a few complaints so far after two months, about 60 some miles is

  1. Tail gate needed to be worked, not sure the dealer put that together right, wouldn't close and the "bar" would slide / fall right out that secures to the catch mechanism of the bed, took me an hour or so to find the thing in the grass after it fell out while riding around in the back pasture, PIA, but easy to fix, and most likely the dealer just didn't do it right.
  2. a tinny metallic sound coming from somewhere in the front right fender while riding, just a little annoying, still can't find what is rattling.
  3. It's a LOT louder than the EZGO, not as loud as some people that complain about (it's a common complaint on these).  There is someone that sells a suppressor for this thing, a MUST BUY.
  4. Of course it's just wide enough it won't fit in my trailer, so hopefully I don't need the warranty, as getting it back to the dealer will require a flat bed tow or borrowing / renting a trailer.  [ more of an observation than a complaint ].
  5. Floor needs more aggressive texturing, too smooth and when working with muddy boots it's slippery.


Options and Accessories.

  • Winch is nice, but you must use wheel chucks, as it's so powerful that it just drags the gator closer to whatever your winching, so far I think the winch is probably only useful for pulling the gator out of the mud if it's stuck, everything I've tried to winch, I had to go get the tractor and chains instead, so the winch is a waste for me, YMMV.
  • The power dump bed is the best option, as if you've ever tried to manually dump rocks, dirt or wood chips you quickly realize how much you need that, BEST OPTION, BUT, don't forget you have to lift the bed to check the oil, and remember to turn the key to the off position or you may wind up with a dead battery the next morning.
  • Definitely nice to have a BUZZER linked to the Parking Brake, can't tell you how many times I drove that EZGO around without realizing the parking brake was on (there is an idiot light, but hard to see in bright sun).
  • The fuel injected Kawasaki engine seems "thirstier" than the EZGO, no scientific way to measure that, feels like I fill it up more.
  • Bed Extender is nice, though the design to remove it with steel roll pins and springs is about unworkable, so far I've broken two of the steel roll pins and cursed up and down trying to get the stupid pins lined up, probably best if you need a bigger bed, buy a piece of plywood and lay it in there, or at least, don't ever plan on easily removing and putting it back in, once it's in, it's in, save the money on this accessory and buy some plywood and get a radio !
  • Doors made of netting, not sure about these yet, I may remove them.
  • Easy enough the kids can drive it with no issues (has retractable seat belts even).
Monday, May 15, 2017 9:27:56 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, May 01, 2017

Absolutely the best hot water heater.

Rinnai Hybrid Tank-Tankless Water Heater - https://www.rinnai.us/hybrid-tank-tankless-water-heater 

Bought at Lowes for a very good price.

Rinnai Hybrid 40-GPM 87300-BTU 1-Year Limited Liquid Propane Hybrid Water Heater


Recently installed this hot water heater, 5 people in the house and it keeps up, have done laundry, dish washer and showers simultaneously and one after the other, so far, it's awesome !

Installed exactly where the old electric was, and was simpler than a "true tankless" hot water heater, which would have required re-doing propane regulator, cutting ceiling / floor joist to route intack and exhaust, re-routing water lines, hang hooded thing on outside of house to cover intake and exhaust and the hyprid was only 700 more than a regular hot water heater, so cheaper too, installation cost is / was the same as regular hot water heater.

We'll see how long it holds up, and the long term cost difference between propane vs. electric, but so far this thing is good, and no longer have to time our showers, do dishes or wash around who wants to shower !



Monday, May 01, 2017 9:00:49 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Friday, April 28, 2017

Asplundh delivers, wood chipper mulch dropped right to you by the truck load.


Friday, April 28, 2017 7:51:13 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aaron's cast removal 2017, the year of the bone !


Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:32:53 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, March 06, 2017

Cast removal day !


Monday, March 06, 2017 7:53:42 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, February 20, 2017

Troubleshooting tlog backup failure in always-on environment, backups on read-only / passive node.

This was an odd failure, as it occurred 4 or 5 times, right after the full backup, than it would "resolve itself", but the next day, right after the full backup, it would happen again, repeating itself daily in this fashion.

Tracked this back to an issue with the disk, where it seems we had a 605 error during a checkdb, that also "resolved itself" and the next days checkdb was good, so no action was taken, but this is what started the chain of events.

Eventually I did find someone with a similar issue that a system spid was hung, I resolved my issue by rebooting the environment(s).  Link and text below my error messages.

Log backup for database "{db name here}" on secondary replica created backup
files successfully but could not ensure that a backup point has been
committed on the primary.  This is an informational message only.
Preserve this log backup along with the other log backups of this
database.          [SQLSTATE 01000]

Msg 35250, Sev 16, State 11, Line 39 : The connection to the primary
replica is not active.  The command cannot be processed. [SQLSTATE 42000]
Msg 3013, Sev 16, State 1, Line 39 : BACKUP LOG is terminating abnormally.
[SQLSTATE 42000]

The operating system returned error 665(The requested operation could not
be completed due to a file system limitation) to SQL Server during a write
at offset 0x00001cb940e000 in file
'{drive letter\db.ndf file}:MSSQL_DBCC12'. Additional
messages in the SQL Server error log and system event log may provide more
detail. This is a severe system-level error condition that threatens
database integrity and must be corrected immediately. Complete a full
database consistency check (DBCC CHECKDB). This error can be caused by
many factors; for more information, see SQL Server Books Online




This error surprised me when it showed up in the error log so I decided to dig into it a bit more.

“Log backup for database “MyDB” on secondary replica created backup files successfully but could not ensure that a backup point has been committed on the primary.  This is an informational message only. 

Preserve this log backup along with the other log backups of this database.”

The message appears on the secondary replica, where the backup was taken, and indicates one of two possible conditions.  To understand the conditions it helps to understand the state of the backup operation.

The error occurs after the point where the backup was successfully streamed to the backup media. The first concern I had was “is my backup valid” and the answer is YES!  The backup has been written to the backup media properly.

Now the secondary sends a message to the primary to update the backup position in the database.  If this message fails the error is logged.

1. The secondary sends the completed message to the primary.  The primary records the backup position but for some reason fails to respond the secondary (I.E. lost network connection.)   In this case the next backup will pick up were the current backup completed.

2. The secondary sends the completed message to the primary.  The primary never receives the message or fails in some way before it can record the current backup position.  (I.E. network, primary shut down, etc…).  In this case the next backup will acquire the same information as the last log backup and any additional log records generated.

As you can see the message may be a bit alarming but it is harmless to your backup strategy other than the fact that you might get extra log records in a backup but that can be properly handled during restore.  NO DATA LOSS!


Diane Sithoo says:

I'm seeing a third condition, trying to perform native log backups, where for some reason, although the backup has been written properly to the backup media, all further attempts to backup fail with Msg 35250, Level 16, State 11, "The connection to the primary replica is not active.  The command cannot be processed.".  This is then followed by Msg 3013, Level 16, State 1, "BACKUP LOG is terminating abnormally."

So far, even in dealing with MS support, there is no resolution to this.  What happens is that at that point, the background process is blocked.  When I use DMV view sys.dm_exec_requests, it shows as HADR BACKUP LOCK HOLDER.  The wait type on the blocked process is LCK_M_U and the wait resource is DATABASE: <id> [BULKOP_BACKUP_LOG].  On the blocking process, the wait type is HADR_BACKUP_QUEUE.  Until I either restart SQL Server Agent on the secondary, or run DBCC STACKDUMP, it continues to block.

Monday, February 20, 2017 12:33:34 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Still trying to get some Red Baron Peach trees growing.

From Willis Orchards

  • Red Baron Peach - 4
  • Fuyu Persimmon Tree - 2
  • Arkansas Black Apple Tree - 2
  • Hall's Hardy Almond Tree - 2
  • Pawnee Pecan Tree - 2


Tuesday, December 13, 2016 4:15:07 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Friday, December 09, 2016

The Kawasaki KLX140G is great intermediate size dirt bike for teenage kids.  Good trail riding bike, electric start, choke up on the handlebars, chain is easy to adjust, oil and filter easy to get too.  Had to replace a clutch handle already when it was laid down while riding, overall a great bike.   If you take it to moto track, remember to remove the kickstand or ziptie it up, even though it has a strong spring you don't want it flopping down on a jump, seen a bad accident happen, so even though we haven't experienced that with this bike, I always take those off when the kid rides anything with jumps.


Friday, December 09, 2016 8:01:45 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Couple different ways to get block size on windows.

Traditionally I used fsutil, previous blog post on that here, but recently I've been using powershell, and then using TSQL to run the powershell script and return it as a result set, which I then keep in a tracking system.

Here is the powershell script:

Get-WmiObject win32_volume | select SystemName, Label, name,

Here is the same script, embedded in TSQL (yes it uses xp_cmdshell).

Declare @Is_XP_CMDSHELL_Enabled Int

Set @Is_XP_CMDSHELL_Enabled = (
    SELECT CONVERT(INT, ISNULL(value, value_in_use)) AS config_value
    FROM  sys.configurations
    WHERE  name = 'xp_cmdshell');

-- not enabled
If @Is_XP_CMDSHELL_Enabled = 0 
    -- To allow advanced options to be changed.
    EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
    -- To update the currently configured value for advanced options.
    -- To enable the feature.
    EXEC sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 1
    -- To update the currently configured value for this feature.
(line varchar(255))
INSERT #output
EXEC xp_cmdshell 'Powershell –command "get-wmiobject Win32_volume |select Name,Capacity,Freespace,BlockSize,Label | ConvertTo-Xml -NoTypeInformation -As string"'

-- only disable xp_cmdshell if it was found this way
If @Is_XP_CMDSHELL_Enabled = 0 
    -- immediately disable xp_cmdshell
    EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
    EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 0
DECLARE @doc varchar(max)
SET @doc = ''
DECLARE @line varchar(255)
FOR SELECT line FROM #output
OPEN xml_cursor
FETCH NEXT FROM xml_cursor INTO @line
SET @doc = @doc + @line
FETCH NEXT FROM xml_cursor INTO @line
CLOSE xml_cursor
DEALLOCATE xml_cursor
DROP TABLE #output
item.ref.value('(Property/text())[1]', 'nvarchar(128)') AS VolumeName
,item.ref.value('(Property/text())[2]', 'nvarchar(128)') AS SizeBytes
,item.ref.value('(Property/text())[3]', 'nvarchar(128)') AS FreeBytes
,item.ref.value('(Property/text())[4]', 'nvarchar(128)') AS [BlockSize]
,item.ref.value('(Property/text())[5]', 'nvarchar(128)') AS Label
FROM (SELECT CAST(@doc AS XML) AS feedXml) feeds(feedXml)
CROSS APPLY feedXml.nodes('/Objects/Object') AS item(ref)


Thursday, October 06, 2016 5:03:45 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Wednesday, October 05, 2016 8:17:14 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, September 01, 2016

Always nice to have clustered disks having meaningful names other than "Cluster Disk 1".
Renaming lots of disks by hand is a pain.
In a multi-geographic cluster you may have clustered disks in different geographic locations, making it hard to distinguish by looking at the name what disk is in what data center, so we preface the name with an acronym for each datacenter. Refer to statement above, "Renaming lots of disks by hand is a pain".
Use power shell to automate the process.

Get-ClusterAvailableDisk | ?{$_.Number -eq "2"} | Add-ClusterDisk; start-sleep 05; Get-ClusterResource | ?{$_.ResourceType -eq "Physical Disk" -and $_.Name -like "Cluster*"}| %{$_.Name = "DC1_Backup_01"}

Thanks Vipin !

Thursday, September 01, 2016 11:12:04 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
Monday, July 11, 2016

1st Calf for 2016 !

Monday, July 11, 2016 7:13:52 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring 2016, Cows on break...


Monday, March 21, 2016 11:32:04 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, March 10, 2016

I've never liked girdles !

This is probably a vole that did this damage, since it extended so far underground I had a difficult time finding any cambium to graft into.

I tried it anyway.





Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:03:39 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Recently had some SQL Agent jobs that run SSIS packages start failing, with an error of "Failing Pending Execution".

Could find no real issues.

Thanks Tom !,

Finally found some relevant links related to Group Policy being changed that caused this.

  • Impersonate a client after authentication
  • Replace a process level token
  • Adjust memory quotas for a process
  • http://stackoverflow.com/questions/23643967/pending-execution


    Thursday, February 25, 2016 9:22:28 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server |  SQL Agent |  SSIS | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, February 13, 2016

    Mrs. T's are good, but ours are better !



    Saturday, February 13, 2016 5:17:02 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog | What's for Dinner#
    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    I always forget where to find the UNC shares on a server, so hopefully this will help me remember.


    Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:59:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, December 26, 2015

    Have you ever started a process and then realized, it's taking a long time, you don't want to sit there and watch it, and wish you had put a line in at the end of the batch to send you an email when it was done...

    Or had a long running job that you had to wait on, that didn't send an email as it's last step.

    Happens to me from time to time, this script will monitor a SPID and send you an email when it's done and every 10 minutes to let you know it's still running.

    -- email someone when a spid is completed (idle) or no longer exists
    declare @spid int = 60
    declare @email_to varchar(50) = 'rhorkay@hrblock.com'
    declare @completed_subj varchar(50) = 'SPID ' + convert(varchar(10),@spid) + ' is completed.'

    declare @check_in_time_in_minutes int = 10 
    declare @check_in_subj varchar(50) = 'SPID is still running'

    Declare @message varchar(100) = 'Your Message from server: ' + @@Servername

    declare @status varchar(100) = Null
    Declare @loop_continue int = 1

    while @loop_continue >= 1

     select top 1 @status = [status] from sysprocesses
      where spid = @spid

     if @status in ('suspended', 'runnable')
      waitfor delay '00:01'
      if @loop_continue = 10

       exec msdb..sp_send_dbmail
        @profile_name = 'SQL Mail',
        @recipients = @email_to,
        @Subject = @check_in_subj,
        @body = @message

       set @loop_continue = 1
       set @loop_continue += 1

      exec msdb..sp_send_dbmail
       @profile_name = 'SQL Mail',
       @recipients = @email_to,
       @Subject = @completed_subj,
       @body = @message

      set @loop_continue = 0

    Saturday, December 26, 2015 11:39:18 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#

    DISM /online /enable-feature /featurename:TelnetClient

    It's always frustrating when new server images don't have the TelnetClient installed.

     I usually use Package Manager to install, http://www.lifeasbob.com/2015/08/01/InstallingTelnetClientOnWindows.aspx , but lately that has not always worked. 

    I found a new way here: 


    DISM /online /enable-feature /featurename:<name of feature>

    Note: The featurename syntax is case sensitive so make sure you're typing it out as it appears in the list below.


    The following is the feature list for Windows 2008 R2 SP1:

    Features listing for package : Microsoft-Windows-Foundation-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.7601.17514

    ----------------------------------------------------------- | --------
    Feature Name                                                | State  
    ----------------------------------------------------------- | --------
    DirectoryServices-DomainController-Tools                    | Disabled
    IIS-WebServerRole                                           | Enabled
    IIS-WebServer                                               | Enabled
    IIS-CommonHttpFeatures                                      | Enabled
    IIS-HttpErrors                                              | Disabled
    IIS-HttpRedirect                                            | Disabled
    IIS-ApplicationDevelopment                                  | Enabled
    IIS-Security                                                | Enabled
    IIS-URLAuthorization                                        | Disabled
    IIS-RequestFiltering                                        | Enabled
    IIS-NetFxExtensibility                                      | Enabled
    IIS-HealthAndDiagnostics                                    | Enabled
    IIS-HttpLogging                                             | Disabled
    IIS-LoggingLibraries                                        | Disabled
    IIS-RequestMonitor                                          | Disabled
    IIS-HttpTracing                                             | Disabled
    IIS-IPSecurity                                              | Disabled
    IIS-Performance                                             | Enabled
    IIS-HttpCompressionDynamic                                  | Disabled
    IIS-WebServerManagementTools                                | Enabled
    IIS-ManagementScriptingTools                                | Disabled
    IIS-IIS6ManagementCompatibility                             | Disabled
    IIS-Metabase                                                | Disabled
    WAS-WindowsActivationService                                | Enabled
    WAS-ProcessModel                                            | Enabled
    WAS-NetFxEnvironment                                        | Enabled
    WAS-ConfigurationAPI                                        | Enabled
    IIS-HostableWebCore                                         | Disabled
    IIS-ISAPIExtensions                                         | Disabled
    IIS-ISAPIFilter                                             | Disabled
    IIS-StaticContent                                           | Disabled
    IIS-DefaultDocument                                         | Disabled
    IIS-DirectoryBrowsing                                       | Disabled
    IIS-WebDAV                                                  | Disabled
    IIS-ASPNET                                                  | Disabled
    IIS-ASP                                                     | Disabled
    IIS-CGI                                                     | Disabled
    IIS-ServerSideIncludes                                      | Disabled
    IIS-CustomLogging                                           | Disabled
    IIS-BasicAuthentication                                     | Disabled
    IIS-HttpCompressionStatic                                   | Disabled
    IIS-ManagementConsole                                       | Disabled
    IIS-ManagementService                                       | Disabled
    IIS-WMICompatibility                                        | Disabled
    IIS-LegacyScripts                                           | Disabled
    IIS-LegacySnapIn                                            | Disabled
    IIS-FTPServer                                               | Disabled
    IIS-FTPSvc                                                  | Disabled
    IIS-FTPExtensibility                                        | Disabled
    Smtpsvc-Admin-Update-Name                                   | Disabled
    Smtpsvc-Service-Update-Name                                 | Disabled
    NetFx3                                                      | Enabled
    WCF-HTTP-Activation                                         | Enabled
    WCF-NonHTTP-Activation                                      | Enabled
    DirectoryServices-DomainController                          | Disabled
    DirectoryServices-ADAM                                      | Disabled
    OEMHelpCustomization                                        | Disabled
    CorporationHelpCustomization                                | Disabled
    Printing-LPRPortMonitor                                     | Disabled
    Printing-InternetPrinting-Client                            | Disabled
    Printing-AdminTools-Collection                              | Disabled
    BitLocker                                                   | Disabled
    BitLocker-RemoteAdminTool                                   | Disabled
    BdeAducExtTool                                              | Disabled
    SimpleTCP                                                   | Disabled
    SNMP                                                        | Disabled
    WMISnmpProvider                                             | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Web-Services-for-Management-IIS-Extension | Disabled
    LightweightServer                                           | Disabled
    MicrosoftWindowsPowerShellISE                               | Disabled
    RemoteAssistance                                            | Disabled
    WSRM                                                        | Disabled
    TelnetServer                                                | Disabled
    TelnetClient                                                | Disabled
    BiometricFramework                                          | Disabled
    IIS-WindowsAuthentication                                   | Disabled
    IIS-DigestAuthentication                                    | Disabled
    IIS-ClientCertificateMappingAuthentication                  | Disabled
    IIS-IISCertificateMappingAuthentication                     | Disabled
    IIS-ODBCLogging                                             | Disabled
    Printing-Server-Role                                        | Disabled
    Printing-LPDPrintService                                    | Disabled
    BusScan-ScanServer                                          | Disabled
    Printing-InternetPrinting-Server                            | Disabled
    FaxServiceConfigRole                                        | Disabled
    FaxServiceRole                                              | Disabled
    DFSR-Infrastructure-ServerEdition                           | Disabled
    DHCPServer                                                  | Disabled
    DHCPServer-Tools                                            | Disabled
    DHCPServer-RSATClient-Tools                                 | Disabled
    NetworkLoadBalancingFullServer                              | Disabled
    FailoverCluster-FullServer                                  | Disabled
    NetworkLoadBalancingManagementClient                        | Disabled
    FailoverCluster-AdminPak                                    | Disabled
    InkSupport                                                  | Enabled
    DesktopExperience                                           | Enabled
    MediaPlayback                                               | Enabled
    WindowsMediaPlayer                                          | Enabled
    HandwritingRecognition                                      | Disabled
    AppServer                                                   | Disabled
    AppServer-UI                                                | Disabled
    Licensing                                                   | Disabled
    Licensing-UI                                                | Disabled
    SessionDirectory                                            | Disabled
    SBMgr-UI                                                    | Disabled
    WebAccess                                                   | Disabled
    SUA                                                         | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment-Services                       | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment-Services-Transport-Server      | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment-Services-Deployment-Server     | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment-Services-Legacy-SIS            | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Deployment-Services-Admin-Pack            | Disabled
    ActiveDirectory-PowerShell                                  | Disabled
    DirectoryServices-AdministrativeCenter                      | Disabled
    DNS-Server-Full-Role                                        | Disabled
    DirectoryServices-ADAM-Tools                                | Disabled
    DNS-Server-Tools                                            | Disabled
    WINSRuntime                                                 | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-Internet-Naming-Service-AdminTools        | Disabled
    IAS NT Service                                              | Disabled
    HCSRuntime                                                  | Disabled
    HCSUI                                                       | Disabled
    RPC-HTTP_Proxy                                              | Disabled
    Gateway                                                     | Disabled
    Gateway-UI                                                  | Disabled
    NPSManagementTools                                          | Disabled
    HCAP-Server                                                 | Disabled
    RasServer                                                   | Disabled
    RasServerAdminTools                                         | Disabled
    RasServerAll                                                | Disabled
    RasRoutingProtocols                                         | Disabled
    RasCMAK                                                     | Disabled
    AdminUI                                                     | Disabled
    NIS                                                         | Disabled
    RSAT-NIS                                                    | Disabled
    PSync                                                       | Disabled
    WirelessNetworking                                          | Disabled
    WindowsRecoveryDisc                                         | Disabled
    WindowsServerBackup                                         | Disabled
    WindowsServerBackupCommandlet                               | Disabled
    ServicesForNFS-ServerAndClient                              | Disabled
    ServerForNFS-Infrastructure                                 | Disabled
    ClientForNFS-Infrastructure                                 | Disabled
    NFS-Administration                                          | Disabled
    DFS-Replication-All                                         | Disabled
    DfsMgmt                                                     | Disabled
    FSRM-Infrastructure                                         | Disabled
    FSRM-Management                                             | Disabled
    CoreFileServer                                              | Disabled
    BITSExtensions-Upload                                       | Disabled
    BITSExtensions-AdminPack                                    | Disabled
    MSRDC-Infrastructure                                        | Disabled
    FRS-Infrastructure                                          | Disabled
    StorageManagerForSANs                                       | Disabled
    Indexing-Service-Package                                    | Disabled
    iSNS_Service                                                | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ServerAdminTools-Update       | Disabled
    TFTP                                                        | Disabled
    MultipathIo                                                 | Disabled
    DirectoryServices-ISM-Smtp                                  | Disabled
    SearchEngine-Server-Package                                 | Enabled
    CertificateServicesManagementTools                          | Disabled
    CertificateServices                                         | Disabled
    OnlineRevocationServicesManagementTools                     | Disabled
    OnlineRevocationServices                                    | Disabled
    WebEnrollmentServices                                       | Disabled
    NetworkDeviceEnrollmentServices                             | Disabled
    CertificateEnrollmentPolicyServer                           | Disabled
    CertificateEnrollmentServer                                 | Disabled
    P2P-PnrpOnly                                                | Disabled
    MSMQ-Server                                                 | Disabled
    MSMQ-Triggers                                               | Disabled
    MSMQ-ADIntegration                                          | Disabled
    MSMQ-HTTP                                                   | Disabled
    MSMQ-Multicast                                              | Disabled
    MSMQ-DCOMProxy                                              | Disabled
    MSMQ-RoutingServer                                          | Disabled
    Printing-XPSServices-Features                               | Enabled
    DFSN-Server                                                 | Disabled
    ADFS-FederationService                                      | Disabled
    ADFS-FederationServiceProxy                                 | Disabled
    ADFS-WebAgentClaims                                         | Disabled
    ADFS-WebAgentToken                                          | Disabled
    RightsManagementServices                                    | Disabled
    RMS-Federation                                              | Disabled
    RightsManagementServices-AdminTools                         | Disabled
    QWAVE                                                       | Disabled
    PeerDist                                                    | Disabled
    SIS-Limited                                                 | Disabled
    Microsoft-Hyper-V                                           | Enabled
    VmHostAgent                                                 | Disabled
    Microsoft-Hyper-V-Management-Clients                        | Enabled
    DamgmtTools                                                 | Disabled
    Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64                            | Enabled
    SMBHashGeneration                                           | Disabled
    ServerMigration                                             | Disabled
    Xps-Foundation-Xps-Viewer                                   | Disabled
    TIFFIFilter                                                 | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-RemoteFX-Host-Package                     | Disabled
    Microsoft-Windows-RemoteFX-EmbeddedVideoCap-Setup-Package   | Disabled

    Saturday, December 26, 2015 9:58:46 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Honey, There are cows out back, and they aren't ours !

    Had a couple visitors show up from the neighbors.


    Thursday, December 10, 2015 6:48:36 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, December 07, 2015

    Continuously I'm having issues with windows Explorer / File Manager with ACL's and NTFS permissions for SQL Server files, folder and logs.  All this is related to removing permissions and keeping things as granular as possible, but it creates headaches for DBA.

    Anyway, always use robocopy for file copy, ensure to open "command prompt" with "run as administrator".  [xopy can work as well, but different switches].

    robocopy o:\backups3\ o:\backups\ *.* /MT:10 /e /mir /sec /R:3 /W:15 /XD "RECYCLE" "System Volume Information"



    Don't forget that if you detach database in SSMS that sometimes "permissions" to the MDF, NDF and LDF are "removed" and / or replaced with your domain\{id} user credentials, and you may have to "default" them back to "NT Service\MSSQLSERVER" or "NT Service\MSSQL${Instance}" and/or the service account SQL Runs under as well.


    Monday, December 07, 2015 9:17:39 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, November 18, 2015
    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 7:00:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#

    Ever have that annoying problem where when you detach a database or stop sql and then go to copy / move the files and find you don't have permissions to the files ?  ACL (access control list) and NTFS permissions can be very annoying but they are manageable.

    I found a nice script for "take ownership", right click menu and it worked nicely, allowed me to take ownership and then add the sql service account back to the ACL for the file(s) and all was good.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ; Created by: Shawn Brink
    ; http://www.sevenforums.com
    ; Tutorial: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1911-take-ownership-shortcut.html


    @="Take Ownership"

    @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /c /l"
    "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /c /l"


    @="Take Ownership"

    @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t /c /l /q"
    "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t /c /l /q"


    @="Take Ownership"

    @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /c /l"
    "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /c /l"


    @="Take Ownership"

    @="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t /c /l /q"
    "IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t /c /l /q"



    @="\"%1\" %*"
    "IsolatedCommand"="\"%1\" %*"

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 6:54:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#

    Macro to parse emails and get information into excel, thanks Ben.

    Here’s the rule/macro I’m using to capture the SN Catalog Tasks to Excel. The code for the macro is below and that needs to be added to Outlook first. There are some security settings that need to be changed before Outlook will run the code, so that may be of concern (an alternative would be a VBScript file that would access the mailbox for you allowing you to keep code out of Outlook). Tools -> Macro -> Visual Basic Editor (or Alt+F11) will get you to the VBA code editor.


    After the code is in place, a normal rule in Outlook can run the modules with the “run a script” action. Here’s how I have my rule set:

    The spreadsheet I use is attached. It will probably give you a macro warning because it also has a function (UserSSO()) to lookup a login in Active Directory. It’s set to multi-user mode so Outlook can continue writing to it if it’s open, but the new records seem to show up until it’s been closed and reopened.


    There are a couple references to be setup (in the code editor: Tools -> References…)  before this code will run

    Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects… is needed to write to Excel with an SQL statement.

    Active DS Type Library is needed to look up the agent’s login in Active Directory based on the name provided in the ticket.

    And, the code (update LogPath to be the location of your spreadsheet):

    Public Sub LogRequest(MailMessage As Outlook.MailItem)

    'Public Sub LogRequest() '(MailMessage As Outlook.MailItem)

        Dim LogPath As String

        Dim ConnectionString As String

        Dim InsertCommand As String

        Dim olConnection As ADODB.Connection

        LogPath = "C:\Users\a698060\Documents\Current Projects\CatalogTasks.xlsb"

        ConnectionString = "Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=""" & LogPath & """;Extended Properties=""Excel 12.0 Xml;HDR=YES"";"

        Set olConnection = New ADODB.Connection

        'olConnection.Execute "select * from [Sheet1$]"


        If InStr(1, MailMessage.Subject, "has been assigned to you") > 5 Then Exit Sub

        Dim MessageBody As String


        Dim ReceivedDT As String

        Dim TaskID As String

        Dim RequestID As String

        Dim AssociateName As String

        Dim AccessType As String

        Dim UserType As String

        Dim DBName As String

        Dim ServerName As String

        Dim SecurityAccess As String

        Dim SelectInd As String

        Dim UpdateInd As String

        Dim InsertInd As String

        Dim DeleteInd As String

        Dim Notes As String

        Dim AssociateSSO As String

        Dim Hyperlink As String

        Dim HyperlinkTmp As String



        MessageBody = MailMessage.Body

        'MsgBox MessageBody

        'Notes = "Catalog Task TASK110993 has been assigned to group SQL DBA"

        'ReceivedDT = "2015-07-22"

        'MsgBox Mid(MessageBody, InStr(1, MessageBody, "Click here to view"), 1000)


        'Dim testEntry As String

        'testEntry = "Parent Number: RITM171796" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "Parent Item: SQL" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "Task Description: Provision SQL Database Access" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "Requested For: Puthiyedath, Sudheesh " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "Assignment group: SQL DBA" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "Request options selected:" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Who do you wish to request an access change for? = Puthiyedath, Sudheesh " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Cannot find user = false" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Enter new user's name = " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Who is this user's manager? = " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Approver = Coquyt, Jeff " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     User location = Onshore: Inside the United States or territory/possession of United States" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Access type = Add" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     User Type = Service Account" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Database Name = eFileODSReporting" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Database Location (server name) = tstodssql01.hrbinc.hrblock.net:1433" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Security Access Needed = Windows Authentication (Active Directory)" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Select (Read) = true" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Update = false" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Insert = false" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Delete = false" & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     null = " & vbCrLf & _

        '    "     Additional information (include items like specific tables needed or other special requests) = Please give access to Database for the account ecoInstall" & vbCrLf



    '''-----------------------Find the keys from the mail message

        ReceivedDT = MailMessage.ReceivedTime

        TaskID = Mid(MailMessage.Subject, 14, 10)

        RequestID = FindKey(MessageBody, "Parent Number", ":")

        AssociateName = FindKey(MessageBody, "Who do you wish to request", "=")

        AccessType = FindKey(MessageBody, "Access type", "=")

        UserType = FindKey(MessageBody, "User Type", "=")

        DBName = FindKey(MessageBody, "Database Name", "=")

        ServerName = FindKey(MessageBody, "Database Location", "=")

        SecurityAccess = FindKey(MessageBody, "Security Access Needed", "=")

        SelectInd = FindKey(MessageBody, "Select", "=")

        UpdateInd = FindKey(MessageBody, "Update", "=")

        InsertInd = FindKey(MessageBody, "Insert", "=")

        DeleteInd = FindKey(MessageBody, "Delete", "=")

        Notes = FindKey(MessageBody, "Additional information", "=")


        '''-----------------------Special code to find the hyperlink

        HyperlinkTmp = FindKey(MessageBody, "Click here to view", ":")

        'Hyperlink = ""

        Dim CurChar As Integer

        Dim InLink As Integer

        Dim CurCharStr As String

        Hyperlink = ""

        InLink = 0


        'MsgBox HyperlinkTmp

        For CurChar = 1 To Len(HyperlinkTmp)

            CurCharStr = Mid(HyperlinkTmp, CurChar, 1)

            If Mid(HyperlinkTmp, CurChar, 1) = """" Then

                If InLink = 0 Then

                    InLink = 1

                ElseIf InLink = 1 Then

                    Exit For

                End If

            ElseIf InLink = 1 Then

                Hyperlink = Hyperlink & Mid(HyperlinkTmp, CurChar, 1)

            End If

        Next CurChar


    '''-----------------------Pad single quotes for inserting into the spreadsheet

        ReceivedDT = Replace(ReceivedDT, "'", "''")

        TaskID = Replace(TaskID, "'", "''")

        RequestID = Replace(RequestID, "'", "''")

        AssociateName = Replace(AssociateName, "'", "''")

        AccessType = Replace(AccessType, "'", "''")

        UserType = Replace(UserType, "'", "''")

        DBName = Replace(DBName, "'", "''")

        ServerName = Replace(ServerName, "'", "''")

        SecurityAccess = Replace(SecurityAccess, "'", "''")

        SelectInd = Replace(SelectInd, "'", "''")

        UpdateInd = Replace(UpdateInd, "'", "''")

        InsertInd = Replace(InsertInd, "'", "''")

        DeleteInd = Replace(DeleteInd, "'", "''")

        Notes = Replace(Notes, "'", "''")



        AssociateSSO = UserSSO(AssociateName)



        InsertCommand = "insert into [Sheet1$] (Received, Task, Parent, Server, DB, AssociateName, AssociateSSO, AccessType, UserType, SecurityAccess, [Select], [Update], [Insert], [Delete], Notes, [Hyperlink])" & vbCrLf & _

        "values('" & ReceivedDT & "', '" & TaskID & "', '" & RequestID & "', '" & ServerName & "', '" & _

            DBName & "', '" & AssociateName & "', '" & AssociateSSO & "', '" & AccessType & "', '" & UserType & "', '" & _

            SecurityAccess & "', '" & SelectInd & "', '" & UpdateInd & "', '" & InsertInd & "', '" & _

            DeleteInd & "', '" & Notes & "', '" & Hyperlink & "')"


        'InsertCommand = "insert into [Sheet1$] (Received, Task, Parent, Server, DB, AssociateName)" & vbCrLf & _

    '"values('2015-05-01', 'TASK110993', 'RITM171796', 'tstodssql01.hrbinc.hrblock.net:1433', 'eFileODSReporting', 'Puthiyedath, Sudheesh')"



        'MsgBox InsertCommand


        olConnection.Open ConnectionString

        olConnection.Execute InsertCommand


    End Sub


    Function FindKey(FindIn As String, FindThis As String, AssignmentInd As String) As String

        Dim KeyStart As Integer

        Dim KeyEnd As Integer

        FindIn = Replace(FindIn, vbCrLf, "<<")

        KeyStart = InStr(1, FindIn, FindThis) + Len(FindThis)

        KeyStart = InStr(KeyStart, FindIn, AssignmentInd) + Len(AssignmentInd) + 1

        KeyEnd = InStr(KeyStart, FindIn, "<<")


        FindKey = Trim(Mid(FindIn, KeyStart, KeyEnd - KeyStart))

    End Function


    Public Function UserSSO(LoginName As String) As String

        'SOURCE: Interwebs. Same code seen several places, but adapted

        'to fit this need.


        'PURPOSE: Display information that is available in

        'the Active Directory about a given user


        'PARAMETER: LoginName = Users name according to Active Directory


        'RETURNS: SSO associated with the LoginName provided


        'REQUIRES: Windows 2000 ADSI, LDAP Provider

        'Proper Security Credentials.


        'EXAMPLE: msgbox UserInfo("Reese, Benjamin")


        Dim conn As New ADODB.Connection

        Dim rs As ADODB.Recordset

        Dim oRoot As IADs

        Dim oDomain As IADs

        Dim sBase As String

        Dim sFilter As String

        Dim sDomain As String


        Dim sAttribs As String

        Dim sDepth As String

        Dim sQuery As String

        Dim sAns As String


        Dim user As IADsUser


        On Error GoTo ErrHandler:


        'Get user Using LDAP/ADO.  There is an easier way

        'to bind to a user object using the WinNT provider,

        'but this way is a better for educational purposes

        Set oRoot = GetObject("LDAP://rootDSE")

        'work in the default domain

        sDomain = oRoot.Get("defaultNamingContext")

        Set oDomain = GetObject("LDAP://" & sDomain)

        sBase = "<" & oDomain.ADsPath & ">"

        'Only get user name requested

        sFilter = "(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(Name=" _

          & LoginName & "))"

        sAttribs = "adsPath"

        sDepth = "subTree"


        sQuery = sBase & ";" & sFilter & ";" & sAttribs & ";" & sDepth


        conn.Open _

          "Data Source=Active Directory Provider;Provider=ADsDSOObject"


        Set rs = conn.Execute(sQuery)


        If Not rs.EOF Then

            Set user = GetObject(rs("adsPath"))

            With user

            'if the attribute is not stored in AD,

            'an error will occur.  Therefore, this

            'will return data only from populated attributes

            On Error Resume Next


            sAns = .sAMAccountName


            End With

        End If

        UserSSO = sAns



        On Error Resume Next

        If Not rs Is Nothing Then

            If rs.State <> 0 Then rs.Close

            Set rs = Nothing

        End If


        If Not conn Is Nothing Then

            If conn.State <> 0 Then conn.Close

            Set conn = Nothing

        End If


        Set oRoot = Nothing

        Set oDomain = Nothing

    End Function

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 6:34:51 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, November 07, 2015


    It sure would be nice to be able to select multiple disks at once and delete them from cluster manager.

    But you can't, BUT you can use power shell to remove them all at once.

    Get-ClusterResource | where {$_.Name -like "Cluster Disk *"} | Remove-ClusterResource -force

    Thanks to Vipin for this script.

    Saturday, November 07, 2015 8:33:42 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    The outlook is bullish on Horkay's Family Farm.

    Meet Lobo Bentley !

    • A2/A2 Milk
    • E+ / E+ (Red)
    • Homozygous polled (all offspring will be polled (no horns).
    • Non PHA
    • Non Chrondro (short leg gene)

    Not quite halter broke yet but will be when I'm done with him !




    Sunday, September 13, 2015 10:46:49 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, August 01, 2015

    Because I always forget and the new installations of windows boxes we get don't have it pre-installed.


    pkgmgr /iu:"TelnetClient"






    Saturday, August 01, 2015 7:20:43 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, July 25, 2015

    Enteprise Only features when moving to standard edition.  In this case sql2008 enterprise to sql 2012 standard edition, I ran into both compressed tables and vardecimal data types which are enterprise only features.

    Lots of write-ups out there, so you can google them, i'm just putting this here as a placeholder for me.

    --script to identify compressed tables

    SELECT st.name, st.object_id, sp.partition_id, sp.partition_number, sp.data_compression,

    sp.data_compression_desc FROM sys.partitions SP

    INNER JOIN sys.tables ST ON

    st.object_id = sp.object_id

    WHERE data_compression <> 0


    SCHEMA_NAME(sys.objects.schema_id) AS [SchemaName]

    ,OBJECT_NAME(sys.objects.object_id) AS [ObjectName]



    ,[index_id] as [IndexID_on_Table]

    FROM sys.partitions

    INNER JOIN sys.objects

    ON sys.partitions.object_id = sys.objects.object_id

    WHERE data_compression > 0

    AND SCHEMA_NAME(sys.objects.schema_id) <> 'SYS'

    ORDER BY SchemaName, ObjectName


    ALTER INDEX [IX_DatabaseSizes_CapturedAt_dbSizeId_FileId_Totalmb_Usedmb] ON [dbo].[DatabaseSizes]



    EXEC sp_db_vardecimal_storage_format

    sp_tableoption 'DatabaseSizes', 'vardecimal storage format', 0

    SELECT OBJECTPROPERTY(OBJECT_ID('DatabaseSizes'),'TableHasVarDecimalStorageFormat') ;

    EXEC sp_db_vardecimal_storage_format 'SQLMonitor', 'OFF'

    sp_msforeachtable 'exec sp_tableoption ''? '', ''vardecimal storage format'', 0'

    select name, object_id, type_desc

    from sys.objects

    where objectproperty(object_id, N'TableHasVarDecimalStorageFormat') = 1

    select 'exec sp_tableoption ' + CHAR(39) + name + char(39) + ',' + char(39) + 'vardecimal storage format' + char(39) + ',0'

    from sys.objects where type = 'u'

    backup database sqlmonitor to disk = 'H:\MSSQL\Backup\Full\SQLMonitor_20150725.bak' with compression


    Saturday, July 25, 2015 8:35:48 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Friday, March 20, 2015

    It's that time of year, spring chicks !

    • 2 Golden Comets
    • 2 Golden Wyandotte
    • 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte
    • 2 red-sex link
    • 2 Rhode Island Red

    Pictures of mature Wyandotte's:

    Pictures of the chicks

    Friday, March 20, 2015 1:04:11 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    Strong HEAT

    One more Dexter in Pleasant Hill !

    Bull calf, now a steer calf.


    Tuesday, January 27, 2015 12:57:35 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Cows in the Barn, modified.








    Thursday, November 20, 2014 5:25:54 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Their was much excitement as the first egg is here.





    Friday, July 18, 2014 9:11:32 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    Built a milk stanchion for our Dexter cow. 

    It's pretty good, head gate will need some work, but it allows me to get started milking.

    The head gate is removable, and the whole thing is build on two treated landscaping timbers, so I can hook chains to the front of it and lift it with the 3-point hitch on the tractor and move it around to where I want.a

    Got Milk ?








    Wednesday, July 09, 2014 9:07:40 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Here is Vasilli working the best cane this side of Ukraine.


    Eagle Cane and walking stick

    Monday, June 16, 2014 12:37:30 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, May 19, 2014

    Wow, just picked up a little blue tractor, New Holland T1510 with loader and MMM (Mid-Mount Mower).

    New Holland Boomer T1510 tractor, it has a 3 cylinder Diesel Engine that produces 30 horsepower.  The Boomer T 1510 tractor has a category 1 three point hitch and its pto is rated at 25.5 hp. This New Holland tractor has hydrostatic power steering and is 4WD. 


    Very nice little work horse, boring, boxy, but solid as can be.

    Monday, May 19, 2014 6:35:33 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Very late frost this year, lost a few yearling trees and about 30 tomato plants, Potatoes look nipped but may still make it.


    Friday, May 16, 2014 7:43:15 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, April 26, 2014

    Faith and Cassidy arrived today in Pleasant Hill, MO.

    Right now I'm keeping them corralled in a very small area, letting them get used to us and vice-versa.


    They really enjoyed eating all the Henbit and dandelions !



    Some how the cat is probably laughing about this...


    Saturday, April 26, 2014 9:08:59 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Finished the Chicken coop today and put the chickens in there.





    Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:34:50 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, April 18, 2014
    Pictures of Faith and Cassidy taken at Nature's Own Dexter, soon to move to Pleasant Hill !
    Friday, April 18, 2014 8:19:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    Got some chicks today !

    2 Production Red

    2 Brown Leghorn

    2 Golden Comet


    They are all 1 day old, looking good, eating and drinking.


    Now to build a chicken coop out of:

    - Old Wooden Swing Set ( A Frame )

    - Old left over deck boards

    - Old pieces of a water bed (each with 3 compartments, nesting boxes !)

    - Old bed frame (wooden floor!)

    - I will still need some siding and fencing, but need to keep cost low , pictures coming.






    Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:29:35 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Had an issue with a SQL Server Always On Failover Cluster Instance.

    Lots of things happened at once that caused this thing to fail, It was not a production Always On cluster but one used for Load and Performance testing so it isn't monitored as closely as it should have been.

    A bunch of windows patches were applied, than the SAN Storage had an issue, the end result was a mess and we had to delete the availability groups and reset them up, in the process of doing so we received this error:

    Create failed for Availability group {name here}.

    Failed to create, join or add replicat to availability group {name here}, because node {Server} is a possible owner for both replica {replica instance} and {primary instance}.  If one replica is failover cluster instance, remove the overlapped node from its possible owners and try again (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 19405).

    This is in a bit of a complicated environment, where we are using Always On, to off-load read-only queries with the Read-Intent attribute.  So it's a 3 node cluster, with a SQL Server Fail over cluster on nodes A and B, and a Stand-alone Instance on node C where we host the replica's to handle the read-only queries.  Works Great, till you screw the environment over with patching and san maintenance all at the same time.

    This error means exactly what is says, but it took me a while to figure out that some how the sql server instance in cluster manager, was marked as having a preferred owner of all 3 nodes.  Which isn't possible as the SQL FCI was only able to be nodes A and B.  Simply unchecking the 3rd node fixed the issue, though it threw a sub-sequent error that the availability group already existed, so we had to go in and manually run a tsql command to delete the availability group on both the primary and replica instances.

    Thursday, December 19, 2013 9:28:38 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    There is always a need for reporting, but remembering those requirements is almost always left out, and always there is a desire to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) or SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and sometimes in combination with SQL Agent to get these done.

    Sometimes there are environmental or local policies that prevent the use of those technologies, but it's still easy to get done.  Attached here is a simple script for sending the results of a query via Email.  It could easily be enhanced to take the query, subject and to lines as attachment so it could be used generically for different results.  Scheduling can easily be done with windows task scheduler.

    This example uses vb script, just rename it to have .VBS extension, but could easily be done in power shell as well.

    Email_Query.txt (5.08 KB)

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:51:56 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, May 04, 2013

    Very nice wet spring, but it's been cold, but the Morel's are popping up, steak and mushrooms !



    Saturday, May 04, 2013 6:30:27 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Surprise, Taurus delivered my 992 back to me, actually tried yesterday but i wasn't home.

    Pretty quick turn around time.

    Taurus CEO claims to be delivering on increased customer service, and my experience agrees with that.  Sometimes all guns have issues and need to go back for work, I've had Smith & Wesson and Springfield Armory issues in the past as well, and they make up for it with great speed and customer service, looks like Taurus figured it out too !

    So far the repair looks great, just went out back and put 50 rounds through it, not one issue.

    The repair order states the cylinder stop was not adjusted properly and the tigger not adjusted properly, basically the cylinder timing was off.

    All good now,

    Thanks Taurus !

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 10:41:13 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Pivot Job History
    Pivot Job History Across multiple SQL Server Instances

    I have several hundred SQL Servers, many of these are clusters of federated SQL Servers working together for one particular "thing".  I regularly need to check certain jobs on the server and also compare run times across servers.  This started due to a EMC Clone (BCV) job, that needed to checked across a particular farm.

    We have a custom website called SQL Monitor (lame name alert), we wanted to display this job information, pivoted by runtime of the job and server, color coding it for success or failure and be able to drill into the information and pivot the step history of each job and it's average run time.

    All the information is there, you just need to query it and display it.  Doing Pivots in SQL Server has gotten easier, but is still poor in my opionion, especially when you are handling an unknown number of data elements to pivot on.  I generally do not do pivots in SQL Server, but prefer to "offload" them to the application layer, and allow the application layer to complete the pivot. 

    It provides a lot more control for the developer.  It is possible to do pivots in SQL Server, but for this particular requirement it would not have been (especially since it goes across multiple SQL Instances, I guess you could enter the world of linked servers, but when dealing with 100's of servers, that wouldn't be much fun).

    Included is a simple Visual Studio 10 web project, that sets up a web page and shows the results.  The queries are all in there, though I've included a seperate file of the queries.  The Pivot is actually done in the c# code so, don't look for it in the TSQL.

    Of particulare pain in the ass was setting up the query to to find the start time of each job and then getting the subsequent steps.  As the goal was to pivot by the start time, but each step in a particular job has it's own start time, and no real corresponding "key" back to the "start time".

    Another pain was the run duration for each step is in the format of HHHmmss, so this requires parsing that value to handle time span calculations for average run time of each step.

    I stayed away from using sp_help_job, as this stored procedure is way too "heavy" for such a simple query, and capturing the results of sp_help_job and then manipulating them, just increased complexity that wasn't necessary.


    Thursday, March 07, 2013 1:05:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server |  SQL Agent | Web_Blog#
    Monday, March 04, 2013

    I've given up on the Tracker 992.

    I contacted Customer Service, and I'd rate the experience as excellent.

    I waited less than 10 minutes, had a Fed-Ex shipping label in less than 15 minutes and on it's way back to Taurus.

    We'll see how long it takes them to repair, honestly I don't care if it takes awhile, as long it's fixed.

    The gun had a lot of issues with the 22 mag cylinder locking up when shooting double action, it did this occasionally with the 22lr cylinder as well.  Something is wrong with it.

    You can't beat a lifetime warranty.

    Monday, March 04, 2013 9:38:54 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    Put the food up high, also keeps the dogs from eating there food:


    Saturday, February 16, 2013 4:43:26 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, February 15, 2013

    My Taurus Tracker 992 came with an oragne sticker for a front site post.

    The sticker of course immediately fell off after being holstered a few times.

    I decided to paint the front site post orange.  I used nail polish, mostly because of cost and ease of removal if I was not happy with the results.

    I'd say the results are quite good, I even ended up doing the sites on my ruger LCP as well.




    Friday, February 15, 2013 4:41:25 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    This is the 3rd railing I've had to install on a house.  It is not a difficult job, but can be if not approached carefully.

    The most difficult railings I've installed were the metal posts that need to be bolted into cement, it is quite difficult to drill into cement and mount the bolts, i've also found that it usually requires some epoxy to keep the bolts in properly.

    The most recent railing I installed was a lot easier, I was able to install a 4x4 post and the other end of the railing bolted to the house.

    Dig a hole 30 inches, install 4x4 post, mix up one bag of quickrete, set post level and let set for at least 24 hours.

    Cover 4x4 post with decorative sleeve.

    Cut railing to length.

    Bolt in.



    Monday, February 11, 2013 8:56:15 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, January 05, 2013

    Tracker 992 review update

    The tracker is working great, the two issues of a nick on the inside of one of the chambers and occasional stickyness when shooting double action have been resolved. 

    I used a dremel tool to take the nick out of the chamber and then some polishing compound to ensure it was smooth.

    The double action stickyness really was confusing, and i finally decided to open her up.  This requires removing the ribber grip and the 3 screws in the side.  Be really really careful doing this, it voids the warranty if you make a mistake, and depending on if you break or loose anything inside, you have to send it to Taurus at your cost (for both shipping and repair).  So don't screw it up!

    The inside of the action had a really weird grease and gun oil on it, and you could see where it was "hanging up" in the action.  I didn't take pictures.  I didn't want to remove the internals, so I just sprayed it down really good with a gun scrubber high pressure spray, which I think is just carberater cleaner.  Then I blew it dry with compressed air (being careful not to mess anything up), re-applied some CLS gun oil and then tested.  The action is 100 times smoother.  The parts could probably still require some polishing and I'd love to put a lighter spring in their, but I will wait on these to see how well this holds up.

    It cleans up nice and fits perfectly in the little case (as of course there is no way to put a lock on the gun and have it fit in the original packaging).

    happy, happy, happy

    Saturday, January 05, 2013 11:22:33 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, December 31, 2012

    I can not resist a blued 4" revolver, and so I when I found a Taurus Tracker 992 22lr, 9 shot, with a 4" barrel that was blued, and it had interchangeable cylnders for 22 lr or 22 magnum, I had to take a chance.  Switching out cylnders is nothing new, but they are usually SAA, this was a double action.  Neat, though in reality I don't shoot 22 magnum very often, it's cost is too much, but options are always nice !  I do not like the "full lug" underneath the barrel, which is why I love the old smith K-22's and the new ruger sp-101 22 lr.

    Taurus has mixed reviews, and after purchasing this revolver, i'm still not sure if I'd recommend one.

    The good:

    • Great Finish on the revolver
    • Easy to swap out cylinders
    • 4" barrel length
    • Adjustable sites
    • Accuracy is excellent
    • The grip

    The bad

    • Nick on the edge of one cylinder
    • Front site post has an orange sticker !
    • The grip (love'em or hate'em)
    • Double action shooting seems to "stick" occasionally.

    The 4" barrell with the full lug underneath gives this revolver some "heft", it's what kept me from looking at the 6.5" barrell, as it was just too much weight.  Some people like the weight of the full lug for balance, in a 22, I don't think it adds anything.

    The accuracy of this gun was excellent, and it was quite fun to shoot.  I kept having an occasional flyer that I couldn't figure out, so I put up 9 targets and began to carefully shoot each cylinder to a dedicated target.  This is more difficult than it sounds, but if your careful with unlatching, loading and relatching the cylinder you can do it.  Eventually I found that the flyer was always coming from the same cylinder.  Close inspection of the cylinder, revealed a nick, right on the edge of one of the cylnders, right where the bullet exits the cylinder and enters the forcing cone. 

    Quality is not job one with Taurus.  It's almost impossibe to figure out how that got out of the factory.  With a 4+ week turn around time and Taurus's known customer service issues, this is one I will have to polish out myself.  The nick is such that the bullet can't properly exit the cylinder, it's a small imperfection but a big one.  A quick polish with a dremel tool has taken care of this and all cylinders shoot accurate now.

    Then while un-holstering the weapon for another round of shooting (after fixing the cylinder), I noticed my front site was gone !  At least on first thought anyway.  In reality the "orange sticker" had come off in the holster.  Wow, really ?  I'd never have thought of using an orange sticker on the front site post.  I'll have to use some luminescent or glow in the dark paint to correct this.

    An issue that comes up occasionally when shooting double action is a "lock up" or "stickyness".  This is not as alarming as it sounds, as it's not a defensive weapon.  I'd sure hope that this condition does not exist in any other Taurus revolvers that are used for Concealed Carry or something, as I would not want to depend on it with my life.  At first I thought some of the fired shells were "rocking back" a little in the cylinder and prevent it from turning.  This is not the case.  It seems to happen if after pulling the trigger once, you don't completely let go of the trigger and then start to pull it back again, some type of "reset" that is supposed to happen with the internals is not completed because the trigger wasn't completely 'let out'.

    I'm not sure how I'm going to address this, as the revolver needs a trigger job to really make it nice.  Not sure if this will require some spings to be replaced and / or some polishing inside, a trip to gun smith for that.

    I've got about 333 rounds through it now and now that the bugs have been worked out of it, it's a lot of fun.

    Pretty sure the "lock up" issue is just because you have be a Brazilian body builder to fire this thing double action, and if you don't let that trigger reset all the way, the next pull will be a "lock up", this isssure is really caused by user fatigue from pulling that trigger.  A good trigger job will resolve this right up.  But it's still a lot of fun. 

    Smith and Wesson makes a 10 shot revolver with a 4" barrell, 617-6 though it's twice the price of Taurus and doesn't shoot 22 magnum.  Of the double action 22 revolvers on the market today, Ruger still has the best piece (because it doesn't have the full lug that both the Taurus and Smith have), if Smith and Wesson would stop with that ugly full lug under the barrel (it's not needed for a 22), it would hands down beat Ruger, as the Ruger sp-101 requires a trigger job to bring it inline with Smith and Wesson.  Though it's still cheaper to get the Ruger and trigger job then the Smith and Wesson.

    I think I'm going to have start saving for the Smith and Wesson, so I can accurately compare all 3!

    Monday, December 31, 2012 4:41:40 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, November 04, 2012

    EJ's first Deer, Doe down.

    Rossi 243 trifecta, dropped on the spot.



    Sunday, November 04, 2012 8:03:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    I have a taotao atv, 125 cc, with a broken exhaust stud, of course slightly recessed in the engine block.

    Here is what I did to fix it:

    Well, it's never pretty !

    The exhaust stud is a nightmare.  The angle of it, combined with where it's mounted (the engine) means you can barely get in there.

    Go to FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store), and buy an extractor for broken bolts.

    Oh well, i tried anyway, because I'm an idiot and don't know when to quit.

    Drill bit, snapped off.

    Remember, I'm an idiot and don't know when to quit.

    Drill again, break another bit.

    Go to O'reilly's pay 10 bucks for a "titanium" drill bit.

    Drill again, gets a bit further, maybe a little bit further than 1/4", breaks again.

    Remember I'm an idiot and don't know when to quit.

    Pound extractor into drilled hole, it bites into it, i'm thinking, shit, this might work even though I'm an idiot.

    Try and turn extractor, 3/8" to 1/4" socket adapter snaps off in socket wrench, when did metal get so weak as I know I ain't that strong ?

    Remember I'm an idiot and don't know when to quit.

    Back to O'reilly's pay 10 bucks for 3/8" to 1/4" socket adapter with lifetime warranty, thinking I should start buying O'reilly's stock.

    Try and turn extractor, extractor breaks off.

    Remember it's 100+ degrees, so I'm in a rosy mood, F***!

    I finally know when to quit, bolt exhaust / muffler back together with one bolt and declare that it will just have to do.

    Order new engine with starter and transmission, 249.00, bolt in replacement!

    Then I head out with Grandpa for a beer, only smart thing I did all day.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 7:23:57 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, July 08, 2012

    Finally have about 8 gallons of gas through the 3 ATV's from taotao.

    My review is that you "get what you pay for".  If I had 6K to buy 3 ATV's from a Japanese dealer I would have.  Once you work the bugs out of your taotao and your kids aren't tearing them up doing jumps, donuts and other nonsense, I think it's a good deal.  Getting those bugs worked out takes some effort.

    I purchased 3 Taotao ATV's from FamilyGoKarts.com.  All three were the same model, different colors, model ATA-125E.



    So far they are running good, but I have had all the "common" issues and since I purchased 3 at one time, it's a pretty good sampling of what you will get.  ALL of the issues are due to loose bolts or not securing wiring, so shut down the riders every 15 minutes or so to check things out; so far once something has been corrected it has not cropped up again as an issue.

    Also performed the first oil change.  This is important, I didn't find anything exciting but smelly old oil.  Draining the oil is easy.  Checking it and adding it is a pain in the ass.  They hide the filler and dipstick behind the right side of the engine and it is barely accessible through the right tire fender.  Sure would be nice if they would design these engines to just take 1 quart, I did figure out how much they take and pre-measured it into a empty oil container so I could just "dump" it in and only check it once it settled to ensure it was good.

    Only one issue was serious enough that would have lead to a failure of the ATV, the exhaust stud.

    1. Two of the three had loose exahaust nuts, one actually had the exhaust stud fall out before I found it.  Fortunately no damage, and a simple trip to FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) fixed this.  Definetly tighten these, but do be careful as over tightening could easily strip the exhaust studs and I wouldn't trust how well the casting is on the engine casing.  I added a lock nut washer to each and so far it's holding nicely, this is something to check every 20 minutes or so, at least until I trust that the lock nut washer is working.  Unfortunately I do not think lock tight works at high temperatures so it is not a solution for this issue.
    2. One Battery seems to not hold a charge so well, I will call FamilyGoKarts on monday on this.  Two of the ATV's were from 2010 and one was from 2009 according to the date of manufacture.  I think the battery from 2009 is just not holding a charge properly as even when I move it around from ATV to ATV the same issue happens in the different ATV, so it's not a short, it's the battery.
    3. Wires pulled out from all three left rear brake lights, this happens because the wiring harness for this light really needs a zip tie to keep it from catching on the rear frame as the suspension travels up and down.  The solution is to use your soldering iron and rebuild the brake light, re-attach light and properly secure wiring harness so that it doesn't catch on anything.
    4. Two of the three sirens for the alarm have "snapped" off; to prevent the third from breaking I removed it.  I haven't found a way to re-secure these yet without putting tension on the wiring harness, so I just removed them temporarily.
    5. All three have had the rear brake light loosen up.  You have to catch this one early enough to not damage the light, as you need to disassemble the light so that you can put metal washers on the inside of the bolts that hold the plastic housing, and replace the bolts with nylon lock nut bolts.
    6. All three have had a decorative shiny plate (i'd say chrome, but I know it ain't !), on the right side of the engine work loose.
    7. 2 of the 3 had the bolt holding the head light ring come loose, not the bolts that attach it to the atv, but the bolt that is used to gain access to change the light bulb.  This bolt/screw goes to a plastic nut molded into the inside of the light, so far i've just tightened it, but based on the "quality" of the plastic nut, I'll be fixing this again with a better solution.
    8. There were some other various loose bolts here and there.


    Sunday, July 08, 2012 3:05:13 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, July 02, 2012

    Finally made the big jump and purchased 3 ATVs for the boys, Taotao 125 from FamilyGoKarts

    You can order these things from what seem like 100's of different places, prices all run about the same, the difference is the customer service you get from the supplier (as all the ATVs ship from a central place).  FamilGoKarts had great videos on how to put them together, what to expect and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. 

    If you do some research you will see that there is wide varaiety of opinions on Taotao (and chinese ATVs in general), many of the horror stories are from prior to 2006, quality is much improved, and many of the horror stories are about the customer service of who sold them...so know what your getting into.  It's a sub $1000 ATV, you get what you pay for...or you can spend 3000 on a (polaris, yamaha, honda or other Japanese brand).  Since I needed 3 ATVs, I had to take the economy route.

    Also you should pick a string of 100+ degree days to assemble these, as the sweat puring out of you will really help.

    These ATV's come in a metal crate, and require some assembly.  The ones I ordered required tires, handlebars, trim and front suspension.

    I got what I orderered though green camo came as red camo, big deal, I told EJ it was Fall Camo, he couldn't care less, and if he ever does, i have a thing called spray paint.

    I read about many issues of damage upon inspection or other issues, all 3 of mine were good.  I had some minor issues but all 3 of them went together, started and ran.

    Biggest issue I had to troubleshoot was an electrical connector issue on the "R"everse and "N"eutral idiot lights.  This was more frustruating than difficult, using a wire tester revealed both had bad electrical connectors, After cutting out and replacing them, it has been fine.


    Monday, July 02, 2012 12:52:50 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, July 01, 2012

    Just just know not to believe this when you hear it from the kids.

    But darned if it wasn't a dorsal fin of "something" popping up and swimming around in circles like a shark.

    All I can think of is it's a catfish or grass carp dorsal fin.

    Hard to see in the picture, but I circled it.



    Just for fun:


    Sunday, July 01, 2012 12:57:08 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Be better titled as eradicating Smooth Sumac.

    This stuff is invasive and seems to thrive on lack of water and poor soil !

    From what I can see the stuff can easily take over several acres a year, and it chokes everything else out, even the deer don't seem to like to eat it.

    It has no benefit that I can see.

    I've probably got 2-3 acres of this stuff growing, some of it 6 foot tall and so thick you couldn't walk through it.  Eradication has started.  Cutting this stuff does not work, it comes back even stronger.  Plowing it does not work, as even the smallest root segment will sprout LOTS of new shoots.

    So I'm actually doing a combination of cutting and spraying to erradicate it.  If you are going to cut it, do so before it starts putting out seeds (see pic), if you allow it to go to seed before you spray or cut, you are going to have a lot of work as the seeds stay viable for 2-3 years.  In some places it was so tall and so thick I ran it over with a brush hog, and then waited 4 weeks or so and started spraying the shoots.

    I think it will take a 2-3 years to erradicate it, as you have to break the cycle of the seeds and the roots from shooting up, but well worth it.





    Friday, June 29, 2012 12:43:11 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Finally harvested the first crop of sweet corn.  It is tasty, over-all the yield was very poor, many of the plants were dwarfed by drought and did not set corn properly.  What was picked is delicous.  First picking was about 150-175 ears of corn.  Sweet corn only lasts a few days, especially in 100 degree heat, so we ate it every day, sold some every and jarred up the rest.

    I'm still learning, but the biggest thing is weed control, irrigation, and a planter !




    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:35:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, June 15, 2012

    40 cc 2 stroke (32:1) pocket ATV Quad
    CentrifugalAutomatic Transmission
    Rear cross-drilled disc brake
    Pull Starter
    Chain Drive
    About 90lbs

    This is a youth ATV for small kids, my kids have outgrown it and are getting too large for it. The pictures can be deceiving, it is small, I can pick it up and put in a mini-van or the trunk of a very large car. I'd say the ideal age for this is 3 to 7 years old and the weight is probably 50lbs (though it will move much more). It's basically a glorified chain saw engine on a nice pocket quad frame, so it is perfect for teaching kids and allowing them to have fun with something that is designed for their size.

    Here is a link to a "similiar" one, I wish i knew what brand or manufacurer made this one, but it's not marked real well, though it's got a serial number and such on it, so it's not a home-made job,


    I bought this for 300 and sold it for 200, so I lost a bit on the deal, but the kids had 100 bucks worth of fun.

    New ATV's on the way !


    Friday, June 15, 2012 6:12:26 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, April 04, 2012

    Tilled about 2/3 of an acre for Sweet Corn, planted about 1/2 of that today; I'll wait 3 weeks and then plant the other half to stagger how it comes in.

    We'll see how it does, breaking ground that had been pasture for 27 years takes a bit of work, I started in late winter during a warm spell, so the plowed ground would have time to freeze and thaw helping break it up.

    You can see the size of the field here, took about 2.5 hours to plant 1/2 of it by hand; i've got to get a planter, probably just one on a hand wheel.

    End Result:

    Ford 4000 with 6 foot disk after final pass, better known as "Little Blue".

    Corn Seed:


    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:41:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Added a Whitney CrabApple to the North East Corner.

    Whitney Crabapple

    Small, sweet, edible crab apples. Pink-and-white blossoms in spring and loads of red, golf-ball-size crab apples in late August to early September. Perfect for canning, preserving, pickling and spiced apples. Flesh is sweet, juicy and slightly yellow.


    Elderberry - (Sambucus canadensis)

    Added a row of 25 Elderberry buses from MDC.

    Found throughout the state in open woods, fence rows, roadsides and along borders of streams and ponds. The flowers are large, showy, flat-topped white clusters that appear in late May to June. The dark-purple berries are edible and make an excellent jelly. Many species of birds and mammals eat the fruit, and deer browse the leaves and branches. Will tolerate both wet and dry sites.

    See Updated maps in previous post.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:34:04 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Mostly for my own benefit so that I can remember what is planted where, we'll see what makes it.



    Monday, March 19, 2012 12:59:54 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Picked up the King Kutter Professional Angle Frame Disc yesterday.

    6 1/2, 20 Blades 16" Diam, with 3 adjustments, Notched discs on front, smooth discs on back, category 1, quick Hitch compatible, 540lbs !



    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:36:54 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, February 06, 2012

    Other than that, the usual pictures of deer, rabbits, coyotes, squirrels, possums and racoons...

    Monday, February 06, 2012 8:25:54 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    I finally caught a pic of a Bobcat I've seen running the property:







    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:22:21 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    First shed of 2012 !  This is the second one I've ever found, so I feel pretty lucky !  Found this in the bottom of a creek bed on my property.




    Doe sneaking through creek:


    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:39:04 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    As usual, Ruger seems that it can do no wrong, LCP, LC9, LCR, 10/22, Scout Rifle and now the SP101 chambered in 22LR !

    This is another one of "the greatest things to come" from Ruger.  The SP101 is their small frame revolver. This one have a 4" barrel with fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight. Also has the wood insert rubber grips. Is all stainless and a 8 shot cylinder.  I found this one for 525, so I couldn't pass it up, hopefully the wife will forgive me...

    I prefer Smith and Wesson revolvers, as their triggers are a dream, but with the addition of a Wolf Spring kit from Midway USA, it brings the Ruger in-line.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:46:23 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#

    If you have a 92 or 96 you have to have one of these. The Ciener kit converts you Beretta to a 22LR in just seconds (It took me 10 seconds !).  I got these from a police department who used them for training and was selling them off.  Comes with two 15rd mags and the 22 upper. No FFL transfer was needed.  Very nice, not near as expensive as the Beretta conversion. 

    I think If you can afford the Beretta conversion, it is better.  The Ciener is different in two ways, the last round hold open does not work, and it does not have the decocker / safety.  The Beretta kit does have the last round hold open and the decocker safety.   The price difference was $300, so I'll live without it.  Also the Beretta kit only has one 10 round magazine, the Ciener has two 15 round magazines. 

    Accuracy is excellent on both, and 22LR is ammunition is cheap.


    Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:34:21 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Got some nice temperatures the past few days and managed to plan a few more trees I received from TyTy nursery (www.tytyga.com).  These were probably the best bare root trees I received, and the cost reflected that:

    1 6 foot Northern James Pecan

    2 Super Mulberry

    1 Gelato Red Mulberry

    1 Paw Paw Tree

    2 Keiffer Pear

    1 Bing Cherry

    1 Black Tartarian Cherry

    Update Map (does not include Orchard area, i still have to map that).


    Friday, December 30, 2011 10:37:24 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Well, we're about to find out how difficult it is to grow pecan trees in missouri, specifically Pleasant Hill, Missouri, Cass County.

    I ordered several varieties from different nurseries, trying to see what will do best.

    8 Pecan from ArborDay.org (pencil size about 18 inches)
    4 Pecan (Native Hardy Seedling) from WillisOrchards.com (Thick as your thumb,2-3 foot)
    4 Osage Pecan Tree (grafted) from WillisOrchards.com (Thick as your thumb,2-3 foot)
    4 American Persimmon from WillisOrchards.com (Nice size, about 2-3 foot, thick as a pinky or ring finger)
    1 Hazlenut from ArborDay.org

    I have a Northern James Pecan which just came from TyTy Nursery, I'll plant that tomorrow and update the map below.  Also from TyTy were some cherries and mulberries, I'll have to post an updated map of the orchard that is being planted.

    For Spring planting I have ordered an extra large nut tree bundle from the Missouri Department of Conservation: nut tree bundle
    species includes 5 each of :
    Shellbark hickory (see species 331)
    Pecan (see species 301)
    Hazelnut (see species 422)
    Black walnut (see species 300)
    Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

    I'm also wanting to plant some Paw Paw trees but they may have to wait until next year.


    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 2:18:58 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Finally got out back for the Fall turkey firearms season.  A nice little 10-12lb hen, taken with Reminton auto-loader 11-87, 2 3/4inch shells, pretty far shot, almost 50yards, Grandpop's gun still working fine...

    Monday, October 03, 2011 8:21:36 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    A good day of catching some green sunfish in the back pond.

    Aaron with a monster fish:

    Thomas has a live one !

    EJ Fights this one, but reels it in.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011 8:14:34 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, August 29, 2011

    I finally found a plow for my Ford 4000 tractor, I'll take pictures once I have it hooked up and working...

    Monday, August 29, 2011 1:13:57 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Every few days I have a flock of Turkeys come through the property, usually they are pretty far back, but recently they have been really close, if they come this close to the house after Sept 15th, one or two of them will be in the freezer...

    Friday, August 26, 2011 6:57:58 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

       The boyz are back in town !

    1. EJ 3rd Grade
    2. TJ 2nd Grade
    3. AJ Kindergarten

    Strength in Numbers.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:29:21 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, August 09, 2011

    Found this happy fellow by our window.  A very pretty spider.  Don't kid yourself, it's bite is not going to feel good.


    Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:24:25 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, August 05, 2011

    This is the bugger that got into my trash.

    Friday, August 05, 2011 1:19:34 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

       Breaking ground on a horse pasture that hasn't been plowed in 26 years.


    Tuesday, August 02, 2011 1:13:54 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    EX Go 4x4

    Some people like horses, my horse is made of iron (figuratively).  This thing is a lot of fun to drive around, goes about 30mph (on flat even ground) and seems to climb about anything.  18hp Honda, 2 cylinder, 4stroke engine, 75 hours on it, can tow 1500 pounds, has a receiver for a hitch on the front and back, I bought a winch at harbor freight for it.

    Wow !


    Thursday, July 21, 2011 1:09:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Well a 2nd story deck without stairs is called a balcony.  We wanted a deck and so we started putting in stairs, nice wide ones, 4 feet wide at the top, going to a 4' x 5' landing, then turning, last set of stairs is 5' wide.

    We are using "forever" wood.  I call it fake wood.  But I like it, I don't get splinters, I never have to nail pops, I have have to stain / seal it.  I've had one at my mother-in-laws house for about 5 years and it definetly is worth the extra cost.  I did not beleive in them, but the resuls are great.

    Currently we only put the steps onto the deck, we will be rebuilding and widening the rest of the deck this fall.


    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:01:23 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Running the brush-hog !


    Kids Tired !

    Aaron !


    Monday, July 11, 2011 12:35:58 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    The move is done.

    The Pool is setup !

    Even got a bull dozer ( the previous owner may come back to get it, but i doubt it !)


    My first burning of trash !


    Frog / Toad:


    Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:57:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    EJ's first trip mowing, obviously comfortable with the job !


    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:07:24 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, June 07, 2011

    Smith and Wesson 357 Model 66, What's in your nightstand ?

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:24:47 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Thanks to all Vets, this was at the Liberty Memorial.

    A Memorial Day t-shirt with attitude is a nice touch.

    Even old school vets rise from their chair when it's appropriate.

    Thanks Tony.

    Monday, May 30, 2011 8:17:13 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#

    Took a bike ride to visit Ebenezer the Donkey in Grandview !



    Monday, May 30, 2011 7:10:03 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Horseradish does flower, not every spring, seems to be about every other or every 3rd year.


    Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:00:43 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Quarter size hail does damage a roof !






    Sunday, April 03, 2011 1:07:07 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    That thing you get immediately after you needed it.


    Wednesday, February 09, 2011 11:04:29 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Snow Fort 2011


    Monday, January 24, 2011 8:22:54 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    Found a snapping turtle far away from his home, we decided to return him.  They can move much faster than you think !  He was calm until I picked him, they sure do have a reach with that neck so keep your distance !

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 8:36:09 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    It's becoming an annual event, snake round up.

    Links to previous years !


    Less of them this year so maybe we're starting to get rid of them.  I saw 5 in the front yard at once, I managed to grab 4 of them all at once, but 1 got away !

    Thursday, April 01, 2010 7:49:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    This has to be one of the worst ever toys for kids.  There are some positive reviews out there for this, and I'm convinced those are paid reviews or something.

    This toy does not work, it requires heavy objects to weigh it down and it is near impossible to get the car to run on the rope.

    A huge disappointment for the kid awaits with this toy.

    I don't blog product reviews, but this one sucks so bad i had no choice.

    I'd pay money for someone to show me this toy working...

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:36:46 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    January and February are peak times for my company's business; now I can start to focus on new things, here is what I learned during peak and where 2010 will focus:

    • Capacity management is the 2nd most important thing dba's do.
    • Performance tuning and monitoring is the most important thing (during peak)
    • Locking and Blocking is the biggest scale issue i regularly see.
    • Mirroring on SQL Server standard edition sucks (especially for geographically disperse sites).
    • Mirroring on SQL Server enterprise edition rocks (though the cost factor is prohibitive).
    • Informatica is no better an ETL Tool than SSIS
    • Oracle and SQL Server are a pain in the ass to make work together (Oracle DBAs are'nt much help either)
    • 1 terrabyte of disk space is almost enough !
    • Re-indexing and defragging is analogous to politics and religion and DBA's should be barred from discussing the topic
    • Encryption is a pain in the ass.
    • Surprise - Merge replication actually works and is not near the PIA I thought
    • 6gb of RAM is never enough
    • Polyserve is not worth the effort
    • VM Ware with VMotion is awesome
    • VM Ware is a good alternative to Polyserve
    • Hyper-V is not there yet
    • SQL 2008 R2 licensing sucks
    • SQL 2000 is finally no longer meeting the business requirements and we may finally get funding to upgrade the remaining instances !
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:12:30 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Need an H&R Block Coupon ?

    Coupon's for new H&R Block Customers, $30.00.


    Drop me a comment.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010 10:25:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Stock Break Even Work Sheet.

    This is something I worked out a while back.  Oddly I couldn't find an easy formula to plug in for excel, so I had to create one.  Recently somebody asked me for it, so I wanted to post it here so I could reference it.  The reason for creating this is I was trying to buy some ford stock at a 1.60 a share and wanted to know what the break even price was if I had to bale out of it.  Of course I didn't bail out and today it's a $9 something a share, "Quality is job 1"; Ford made my year !

    Basically I needed a formula that would help me calculate how much a stock must rise in price to cover my commissions and taxes and break even.

    There is some really good reading here in this book, Page 116, "Calculating the Stock Break Even Sales Price", my formula is adapted from that, good book to read.


    Technincally my formula is not 100% accurate as depending on your particular tax situation the rate can can change between 15% or 28% and there is some "cost basis" versus "individual lots".  The forumula is just meant to be used as a guide, your actual mileage may vary.

    I've updloaded the excel spreadhseet here.
    Stock_Break_Even_Price.xls (22.5 KB)

    Here is the formula, surprisingly my Algebra was terrible and it took me awhile to solve this.

    Variable Description
    N # of Shares
    B  Buy Price per Share
    C1  Buy Commission
    C2 Sell Commission
    P  Purchase Cost (Cash out)
    X Sell Price Per Share
    T Total Cash In
    TR  Tax Rate
    TX Total Taxes
    G Gain
     Calculate Gain

    Example Ford Stock 1.60 per share, 100 shares, 10 commission for both buy and sell
    Description   Formulas                          Example
    Cost            (N*B) + C1 = P                 (100 * 1.6) + 10 = 170
    Gross           (N*X) - C2 = T                 (100 * X) - 10 = T
    Taxes           ((N*X) - (N*B))*TR=TX     (( 100 * X) - (100 * 1.6)) * .15 = TX
    Break Even    T-P-TX=0                        ((100 * X) - 10) - 170 - ((( 100 * X ) - (100 * 1.6)) * .15) = 0
                                                            ((100 * X) - 10) - ((( 100 * X ) - (100 * 1.6)) * .15) = 170
     How to solve for x ?                            (100X - 10) - ((100X  - 160) * .15) = 170
                                                            (100X - 10) - (15X  + 24) = 170
                                                            100X - 10 - 15X  + 24 = 170
                                                            100X  - 15X = 156
                                                            85X = 156

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:41:59 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Hunting Public land evokes images and stories of many orange hats grouped together shooting each other !

    But when you don't have access to private land, you have to go public!  This past weekend for opening day of deer season, my buddy Dale and I went down to Clinton Missouri, around Truman Lake to hunt.  There is a lot of pulic land around Truman lake for hunting, i've read estimate of up to 75,000 acres.

    The key is scouting, scouting, scouting, and lots of walking.

    We ended up not doing as much scouting as we wanted, but found what we thought was a nice area with lots of potential.  We didn't see much.

    There was a lot of shooting around us, but they must have been poor shots as we didn't see anyone with a deer.

    Lots of "road hunters", many would drive down a path, jump out for 30 minutes and then walk back, not sure what these guys were doing; maybe they weren't seeing much either and looking for a better place.

    Ended up having some of these road hunters blast 3 rounds in quick succession at some running does (there's a good idea !), and scared them right to the side of me, about 25 yards.  Unfortunately they were so spooked that I was unable to swing around 45 degrees and get a shot off, so I just got to stare at them for a bit and hope to see them another day.


    I finally found some private land to hunt for no cost, we'll see how that goes next.

    Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:35:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    I'm in the middle of an all-nighter for a SAN Migration.  Lots of down time, here's what I found worth reading:

    The unspoken truth about managing geeks.

    Understanding Service Level Agreements for Database Development.

    Is SQL Server's latest security hole a real threat?

    Very interesting syntax of the in-clause I didn't know existed:

    SELECT * FROM person.contact

    WHERE 'thomas' in(Firstname,LastName,LEFT(emailaddress,7))

    From the I did not know this would work department

    Big competitors spark Netezza’s partner-friendly strategy

    Keeley Hazell looks hot while she's shilling for something.

    Don't ask me how I'd go from Keeley to Jeremiah Johnson, but all nighters due that to you, than and i've never been normal, it's boring.

    "where ya headed?"
    "Same place you are Jeremiah, Hell, in the end."

    Link to download sound track to the movie, Crow Corner., a long time ago I had it on LP, doubt I'd ever find it on cd or mp3, but all night'ers have a way of helping you find things.



    Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:40:51 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | General Technology | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, July 05, 2009
    What's for Dinner 7/5 - 7/11

     BBQ Beef Brisket
     Green Beans

     Ham Steak
     Macaroni and Cheese

     Chicken Paprikash with Egg Noodles
     Steamed Broccoli
     Sliced Tomatoes

     Salisbury Steak
     Mashed Potatoes
     Left-over vegetables


     Baked Fish with Basmati rice
     Stewed Tomatoes
     Mixed Vegetables


    Sunday, July 05, 2009 2:20:15 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog | What's for Dinner#
    Friday, May 29, 2009


    I have up for sale on Craigs list one Murray Tractor, $100.00

    I'll be sad to see it go, I enjoyed puttering with it...

    Murray riding lawn tractor with cart. 10 HP engine, starter and battery 1 year old. 32" cut rear discharge. This is definetly an older riding mower, i used it on another property and no longer need it. 100 obo. For an older tractor the thing just works, the biggest reason i'm getting rid of it is lack of storage and lack of safety equipment. The tractor was made before the "seat kill switches", and the mower blades have a tendency to spin (albeit slow with little power), even when the mowing deck isn't engaged. With 3 small children, it can be a safety issue. The only reason i ever kept and fixed this tractor is I liked the rear discharge cut, the yard i mowed with it was large, but I still disliked tractors with the side discharge, pia to cut around stuff.

    Friday, May 29, 2009 7:58:14 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Jeez, I hope this doesn't become a trilogy or worse have to go the prequel!

    Original Post:  Pied Piper of Grandview.

    This weekend was again a good one, hopefully now that the lawn mowers are in full action I won't be seeing any more friends. 

    Missouri Corn Snake, found this weekend crawling along the fence line, pictured are my neighbor Jimmy and his kids.  By far this was the biggest, most colorful and exciting one, very calm as well, never tried to coil and snap or snip, though it was quite quick and required two of us to catch.  I had to enlist Jimmy to hold the snake for pictures, as I don't mind grabbing them, but once I get them in the bucket, i don't mess with them again.  This one was about 3-4' long, I almost suspect this one to be someone's pet that they let loose, but it is now in the Horkay serpent relocation program.  The last picture is of the garden variety, curled up in a bucket(number 15 for the year).


    Monday, April 27, 2009 8:41:52 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Too many snakes, I finally had to take action and capture them this weekend, I caught 9 in all, and 1 donation from a neighbor, for 10.  At least 2 got away, so there's more...

    I don't mind the occasional garden snake, they have their place, but when I can count 4 or 5 at a time sunning themselves in the front yard, it's time to go.

    Now I didn't play any games with them, like the fellows on National Geographic, I just picked them up behind the head and put them in a bucket.  They were a pretty good size, and quite lively, each about 12-15" long.  If you sat quitely in the yard and waited in the sun, they just slowly start to come out of their holes, than you snag them.  At one point I had 3 or 4 poking their heads up at a time.

    No pictures, I want to forget the whole thing.

    I released them in the woods at the local park.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009 8:10:00 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    2000 Ford Windstar with a rough, low idle, occasionally stalling when coming to a stop. 

    I put off repairing this for as long as I could, which as with most things, is not a good idea as it causes more damage.

    The end diagnosis is what I expected, though the cost of repairing this via a professional is expensive, but I needed it done quick and with little frustuation.


    • Intake Manifold Gasket leak
    • EGR Valve failing due to working itself to death trying to compensate for the intake leak

    Other necessary work (120K miles)

    • Major tune-up
    • 02 Sensor, there are 4, but supposedly only 1 is bad

    Over-all putting off the work caused the EGR issue, but the tune-up and 02 sensor have been needed for a long time; i decided to have these done as well, if you've ever tried to get to the back plugs on the windstar you know why.

    Total estimated cost $1100-1200, ouch.  I should do it myself, the intake kit is about $109.00, but it is a big job, and then throw in the 02 sensor, egr, plugs, wires etc and it's easily $400+ in parts alone....I needed it done right so we'd have a reliable vehicle.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:04:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  |  Windstar | Web_Blog#
    Monday, December 29, 2008

    Aaron James becomes the first to make the Emergency Room visit to get stiches.

    Pushing a bike or running and trying to jump over a bike is how the story goes.

    Oddly he seems to have actually enjoyed the experience!


    Monday, December 29, 2008 10:43:19 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Putting in the ceiling...

    Monday, November 17, 2008 2:57:26 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    The outside walls are basically completed, clean'er up, trim it up, insulate it up, caulk, caulk and more caulk...


    Sunday, November 02, 2008 1:31:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Happy halloween, 1 day, 2 windows installed and 1 door, not bad for one days work.


    Friday, October 31, 2008 12:28:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Today was the day to button up the wall.


    Sunday, October 26, 2008 6:17:40 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Finally the one set of doors and one window are installed.

    Dealing with an unlevel floor and walls that are not plumb are a joy.


    Friday, October 24, 2008 6:50:05 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, October 20, 2008

    The roof is done.

    I still have some caulking and and gutter work, but for the most part it is leak proof.


    Monday, October 20, 2008 11:05:13 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Roof day 1.

    Now that the skylights are installed, time to get working, putting down the snow and ice wrap and tar paper and managed to get the first row of shingles installed.  The real difficult part is all the cutting of the shingles and properly aligning them to seal against the skylight flashing.  This simple pitched roof should be shingled in probably 6 hours without the skylights, but because of the skylights and low pitch it will take me two days and some hours.


    Sunday, October 19, 2008 11:00:29 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Saturday was skylight day, i tried to start friday, but rain and late delivery caused most of the day to be a wash.  Before really starting, had to remove and rebuild one wall which was supporting the roof, as the wood had started to deteriorate through moisture and the use of non-pressure treated wood on the footings.


    Saturday, October 18, 2008 6:50:11 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Tired of the screened in porch being a dirty space, with a leaking roof, that's always dirty....time to turn it into a room off the back of the house with heat, air and skylights to open it up.

    Initial pictures, concept, roof opened up and all old material removed.


    Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:52:07 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Might as well have been deliverance...

    Send the wife out to scope out a good deal for a new washer and dryer, emphasizing the need to be cheap and ensure it includes delivery and pickup of the old ones, i'm too old to be squabling over $50.00 and breaking my back lugging the crap up and down steps.

    Great deal secured.

    Deliverance, er... I mean delivery begins.

    Quiet, delivery shows up at 8:30pm in the evening, right as rug-rats are about asleep.  No problem, let the men get to work...take that back, let the man get back to work.  Man is late 60's, wearing a knee brace / prosthesis thingy on his leg, teeters worse than my mother-in-law, and barely speaks. 

    Somewhere, as I'm watching this unfold, i'm imagining a Monty' python or Saturday night live skit.  I'm guilted into helping, just because I can't take the site of this guy muscling around a washer and dryer, up a flight of steps, while I cooly enjoy a frosty mug.  The guy's reluctant to let anyone help, as he thud, thud's and grunts his way through his work.  I keep expecting the guy to drop dead any moment, i briefly wonder if i'm liable for that...

    Finally as the task is almost complete, the sound of breaking glass...fortunately it's just my favorite ashtray out back, which has been around since my Marine Corps days, and was wide enough for my favorite cigars, graced the desks of Colonels, Master Gunny's and lowley Sergeants desk's (I remember when you could smoke at your desk!). 

    Fortunately the task is done.


    Monday, September 08, 2008 2:00:50 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    The old craftsman mower finally reached the point of not working, the mower continues to run great, but the safety mechanism is broken.  I rigged it to run without the safety, but since there is no on/off switch, you have to pull the wire to the spark plug (tingly !).  Though it was nice to mow and not have to turn the mower off to empty the bag, but definetly a bit unsafe.  The wife was not pleased...and I guess with 3 kids, it's probably a good thing to have that little bar working so you can just let go and turn the mower off.

    My neighbor Jimmy has almost the exact same craftsman mower, but his handle broke where it attaches to the mowing deck and purchased a new mower this spring.  A 12 pack of beer later, and i've succesfully bartered for his mower.

    Now I have two POS mowers!  Not for long, I put the boys to work, turning some wrenches and now I have one working mower and the old mower parts (wheels [ever price one of those big wheel $10.00 each and self propelled parts are not cheap either), and some nice big items for the recycler center (too bad steel doesn't pay anything unless you 100's of pounds, but at least it'll be better than burying it in the landfill).

    Pictures below:


    Sunday, June 29, 2008 10:44:16 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Thomas was finally first, the first to experience a decent injury.

    What comes up, must come down, in this case, Rock meets open toed sandals....

    Very nice picture of a toe, i'm sure he'll loose the nail, but hopefully it'll all grow back normally..


    Monday, June 16, 2008 10:36:39 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    Just another Saturday.

    EJ Breaks ceiling Fan in living room.

    TJ Breaks light switch in ceiling fan in his room.

    Dad (me) breaks garage door window.

    Sunday will be a day of repairs....

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 2:12:43 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Fatally False Positives, and risk reward analysis.

    I Ran across this article in National Geographic Adventure, March 2008, Deep Survival Series, by Laurence Gonzales.  I read it, and just kept popping back into my mind, so I repost here, so it won't go away.

    The are many points and analogies, wheather it is investing in Yahoo (past performance is not an indicator of future success), Driving a 69 VW Micro Bus or some other behavior, re-think your thought process:


    By Contributing Editor Laurence Gonzales, author of the book Deep Survival

    On December 6, 1988, Todd Frankiewicz was on Tincan Mountain in Alaska, making his comeback as a top-notch skier. The previous summer, a serious auto accident had left him hospitalized, and after months of rehabilitation, he felt ready. The day before, he had gone to city hall for a license to marry his girlfriend of nine years, Jenny Zimmerman.

    That weekend the Anchorage Daily News ran headlines warning of avalanches. But Frankiewicz had skied Turnagain Pass before and took reasonable precautions, first discussing the danger with Zimmerman and then calling Doug Fesler, a friend and one of the top avalanche experts in the area. As Fesler’s wife, Jill Fredston, wrote in Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches, “Todd asked careful, intelligent questions.” Significantly, “he’d never before phoned us at home to ask for a personal update.” Fesler told him to “avoid steep north-facing slopes like the plague.”

    It was a gorgeous day, and the mountains were heavy with new powder. As friends came and went on the slopes, Frankiewicz skied in a party atmosphere that fit his mood. He was back. Various skiers tested slopes that looked as if they might avalanche by skiing the tops first, but the snow held. Unconsciously, they were building up a store of experience that would serve as their model for future decisions. The unconscious rule of decision-making is that the past equals the future, and that we tend to do what we’ve been rewarded for doing. Skiing provides a powerful emotional reward. Moreover, the common psychological effect called “confirmation bias” dictates that we will take any sort of evidence as proof of what we already believe.

    As the day drew to a close, Frankiewicz and friends decided to climb higher on the mountain for one last, long run down the North Bowl. While that was exactly the sort of slope his friend Fesler had warned him to avoid, the accumulation of evidence and experience throughout the day had gradually widened the definition of an acceptable slope. As they started up, however, one of the skiers had a bad feeling about it and decided to descend. But for Frankiewicz, the lure of a long and triumphant final run easily offset the attention he might have paid to that ominous signal.

    The fact was, the signs that would have given rise to a bad feeling were everywhere. The texture, slope angle, shape, wind markings, and structure of the snow were easy to read and test. Simply poking a ski pole through the surface would have revealed that the new snow sat as a consolidated slab on top of a rotten foundation. Everyone who knew Frankiewicz was aware that he had the knowledge and experience to have avoided the accident that followed. Or as Fredston put it, “Todd might as well have stepped in front of a bus.”

    Frankiewicz skied just 20 feet down the North Bowl and cut across the slope to test its stability, figuring that if it fractured, it would drop off below him. When he came to a stop, all looked good. He called to one of his friends, Regan Brudie, who skied down to Frankiewicz. When the two were a few feet apart, “the fracture line unzipped the mountain,” to use Fredston’s words. Within seconds, Frankiewicz was dead, while Brudie was swept away, miraculously unhurt. The following day, Jenny Zimmerman left city hall “with her marriage license in one hand and her fiancé’s death certificate in the other.”

    As Fredstone wrote to me recently, “It’s amazing, really, how many times the same Todd Frankiewicz kind of accident has happened. All that changes are the names.”

    That kind of mistake—or cluster of mistakes—is just as common in our daily lives as in the mountains. Frankiewicz had been a skier and mountaineer all his life. Being stuck in a hospital for months was like having his identity taken away. His first day out, he had to reestablish himself in the world that was familiar to him. He may have had a bad feeling about the dangers at the beginning of the day, which could explain why he called Fesler for advice. Most people who are caught in avalanches are aware of the hazard beforehand. But when repeated testing failed to fracture the snow, Frankiewicz’s confirming store of experience grew. The fact that he was skiing slopes that were familiar contributed to his willingness to take risks. An amazing 71 percent of accidents that involve avalanches occur on slopes that are familiar to the victims. Being in a group with its party atmosphere would also have increased his confidence.

    I used to run into similar accidents all the time when I was flying aerobatics. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with fellow pilots after someone tried a low-level maneuver and it went bad. We all knew not to do it, and we all knew pilots who’d died trying. And then we’d stand around and ask: What was he thinking?

    The same kinds of scenarios play out in business. The results may not be fatal, but they’re often costly. For example, reading a history of failed corporate mergers and acquisitions is like going through a history of avalanche accidents: They all know the dangers beforehand, but they go ahead anyway.

    Relationships can work in much the same way. A friend years ago had just gotten out of a really bad marriage and spent several months swearing up and down that he’d never do it again. When I received the wedding invitation a few months later, I just slapped my forehead: What was he thinking?! The fact is, simply wanting to do something can often overwhelm all other considerations, unless you really take the time to analyze the situation.

    The first step in avoiding this type of mistake is to be deeply aware of the channels of information, emotion, and influence that are flowing together to shape your decisions. Having a bad feeling is information. What if Frankiewicz had stopped the skier who decided to descend and asked him to explain his feelings more fully? Might someone have poked a ski pole into the snow and detected its rotten condition?

    In addition, a recent success or failure is always a powerful influence on behavior. Because we are a species of ape, we behave according to what rewards us. Moreover, we have a strong motivation to recover from failure in order to regain status. Status confers access to resources and the right to reproduce. Frankiewicz’s death can be seen as arising at least in part from his drive to regain status (don’t forget the marriage license), which encouraged him to ignore important information.

    Performing a risk-reward analysis can often clarify decisions. If the risk of a failed marriage is that you may have to experience heartache and an expensive divorce, you’d better think carefully. If the risk of a bad ski run is that you’ll die, you’d better think even more carefully about what you’ll gain by taking that risk. But be careful. As Christopher Burney, a prisoner at Buchenwald wrote, “Death is a word which presents no real target to the mind’s eye.” In a sense, Frankiewicz’s death was a failure of imagination.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008 9:36:28 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, March 03, 2008

    SOX Compliance has missed the target.

    I work a lot lately with auditors and sox compliance, and I wonder if this is just something that got created to drum up business.  Post Entron, SOX was supposed to restore confidence, I highly doubt Enron's balance sheet was corrupted by lax database standards.  It's always good to have a good security policy in place, but it seems that SOX Compliance and database security while on parrallell paths diverge when it comes to intent.

    A recent article about how companies still "hide" (really under-report) off-balance sheet liabilities, show how SOX has missed the target.  Reading this article than made me think, about why as DBA's we spend so much time on SOX Compliance, when the real issue has very little to do with IT standards.  Not that IT standards and security are not important, but when it comes to SOX, maybe these audit companies are spending too much time looking at the wrong department.

    The original article is located here:



    Off-the-balance-sheet mysteries

    Should we blame the accountants? Surprises multiplied as the subprime problem of 2007 grew into the credit crunch of 2008.

    It is one thing to have a bank report losses because some of the loans on its balance sheet went bad. That is part of the business of banking. It is something else, however, for a bank to report a multi-billion dollar loss from taking some risk that had never been mentioned in its financial statements.

    Haven't we seen this movie before, involving a company called Enron? Didn't Congress pass a law requiring that the problem of the off-the-balance sheet mysteries be solved?

    "After Enron, with Sarbanes-Oxley, we tried legislatively to make it clear that there has to be some transparency with regard to off-balance-sheet entities," Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the chairman of the Senate Securities subcommittee, said this week. "We thought that was already corrected and the rules were clear and we would not be discovering new things every day."

    Reed, a Democrat, has sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which sets U.S. accounting rules, and the International Accounting Standards Board, which does the same for most of the rest of the world. He is asking detailed questions about what went wrong and how it should be fixed.

    One rule that needs scrutiny now - called 46-R - was passed after Enron. Essentially, it says that companies can keep "variable special purpose entities" off their balance sheets if they conclude that the bulk of the rewards, and risks, lie with others.

    Suddenly, losses are booked. Investors learn that a company has taken a risk only after the risk has gone bad.

    That should not happen. The rules require that companies make some disclosures about vehicles off their balance sheets, even if they do not put them on their financial statements.

    But those disclosures have often not been made, or have been made in such a general way as to be meaningless. The SEC, and perhaps the Congress, should ask some companies to explain their earlier lack of disclosures.

    They will hear that companies thought the amounts involved were unimportant - "not material" in the jargon of accounting. They may find out that some managements did not understand all the risks that were being taken. And they may find that some companies failed to disclose risks that they should have disclosed.

    The 2007 annual report of State Street Corp., a Boston bank, is a model of what disclosures should be, in laying out the risks of some special purpose entities it set up to hold assets. Those entities, known as conduits, borrowed money to pay for the assets, with State Street promising to come up with the cash if the conduits could not find other lenders.

    In the report, State Street explains why it has not taken any write-off on those conduits, which contain $28.8 billion in what the bank believes to be high quality assets.

    It can avoid consolidation because other investors would suffer the first $32 million of losses - about one-tenth of one percent of the assets. After that State Street would be on the hook. But State Street says its model indicates that defaults on the underlying assets will not cost that much.

    So long as the conduits stay off State Street's balance sheets, it does not have to adjust them to reflect the market value of the assets in the conduits. But if State Street ever concludes that defaults are likely to be a little higher - say $100 million, an amount that is only 3 tenths of a percent of assets - then it would have to put the assets on its balance sheet. And if it did that, it would have to write them down to market value.

    At the end of last year, State Street estimates that market value was about $850 million below face value. Had it been forced to consolidate the conduits, that loss would have been posted, leaving a write-down of about $530 million after taxes. About 40 percent of the bank's 2007 profits would have vanished.

    Monday, March 03, 2008 11:06:19 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | SQL Server | Web_Blog#
    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    The best article I've read in a long time; I wish the focus would have been more on an "Angry American Man", as opposed to "White", and less focus on Hilary, as there are many points that resonate with every American Man, but over-all I enjoyed reading it.


    In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man

    Gary Hubbell
    February 9, 2008

    There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

    Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

    There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.

    His common traits are that he isn’t looking for anything from anyone — just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.

    The victimhood syndrome buzzwords — “disenfranchised,” “marginalized” and “voiceless” — don’t resonate with him. “Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him. He’s used to picking up the tab, whether it’s the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.

    He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a “living document” open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.

    The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he’s willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn’t bother him.

    The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

    His last name and religion don’t matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

    He’s a man’s man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn’t ask for a penny. He’s the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

    Women either love him or hate him, but they know he’s a man, not a dishrag. If they’re looking for someone to walk all over, they’ve got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am.”

    He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.

    He’s not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He’s willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

    Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don’t pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.

    He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

    There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.

    He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.

    Gary Hubbell is a regular columnist with the Aspen Times Weekly.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008 1:15:18 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    My latest "finds" are now working.

    I couldn't help my self recently, noticed two items in the trash of a house that was recently vacated by the occupants; snow blower and lawn mower.


    Both looked good, Toro Snow blower, litle 3hb job, nice; Troy Built 6.5 hp self-propelled mower, a beauty both side and rear discharge, why would it be in the trash ? ; even if didn't work, i can always use parts.


    Snow Blower, no-start, 10 minutes of tearing apart, cleaned carb and spark plug, shot of starter fluid in the carb, starts right up, very nice.  Electric starter is broken, but properly cleaned plug and carb, fires right up with the old fashioned pull rope.  These 2-stroke engines foul easy with lack of maintenance, oil-gas mixture goes bad quickly, snow blowers are rarely used (even in the midwest, most only see use 4-5 times a year), people rarely drain the gas out in the spring and few bother to start them occasionally.  I always like to have fun and tinker; once a month I start everything I have, generators, snow blowers, mowers, tractors, weed wackers, chain saws and leaf blowers...that's fun ! 


    Troy built mower, looks brand new, but diagnosis shows lack of basic care.  Carb fouled, spark plug fouled, electric cut-off safety device broken and underneath the mowing deck a side peice of sheet-metal tore off and impacted the blade (what the hell were they mowing, the african bush ?).  Hoping the engine isn't shot from the impact; so I clean 'er up enough to start, bend the metal underneath out of the way, rig-up the safety so it's ignored !, 6 pulls later she runs like champ, what a great mower.  Cut-out the metal under the mowing deck, fix the safety, this mower is better than the one I got, what a find !


    Of course the "boys" helped the entire time, they love fix'n stuff too !


    "People know the cost of everything and the value of Nothing", Unknown quote I heard from somewhere;  Nowhere is this more true than here, I can sell either of these peices of equipment for a few hundred bucks; absolutely nothing wrong with them except lack of care.


    Another man's trash is another man's treasure.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008 6:35:01 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
    Monday, November 12, 2007

    It has taken me some time to get this done.  As any good tech guy I rolled my own first, but found the functionality I wanted missing.  Though it is a great exercise to create your own.  I evaluated other options, but didn't want to use a commercially hosted solution; because I wanted to integrate the blog into my existing web site.

    Some might ask, why not just use one of the commercial sites, etc; I don't like the advertising; I wanted the blog integrated into my non-blog site content.  Also from a technical perspective I find it very important to stay current with technology, and my web site, which isn't the prettiest thing, is my place to work on things; gives one a new perspective on technology.

    Enter dasBlog.  Much more complicated than I thought, but I managed to get it up and running in probably 4-6 hours; than I had to get into the source code and see how it works; i'm impressed.


    Monday, November 12, 2007 2:59:03 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Web_Blog#
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