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April 29, 2009

The Career Express Tour Tweet-ups And You

And these...these are my Tweeple!

So, I’ve gotten a ton of nudges from folks about the cross-country Career Express Tour that starts Friday. Most of them have been virtual high-fives, etc. But there have also been some questions about the tour.

The top two questions have been, in order…

  • The bus isn’t stopping near me. You hate me, don’t you?
  • What’s this “tweet-up” thing that’s happening in Columbus?

To answer the first question…

No, I don’t hate you (probably). I didn’t have anything at all to do with the who, what, where, why or how of the bus tour. I’m just along for the ride. If you wanna blame someone, blame Dana, who did the bulk of the tour planning. But then I’d have to hurt you, because Dana rocks!

To answer the second question…

There are already lots of “official” stops on this tour, with full-blown events planned, which are all documented in a couple of official places like…




The key thing to remember is that this isn’t an episode of Scooby-Doo…it’s a bus tour, with living people aboard. So both the bus and its human cargo will need pits stops to refuel, etc. Which means that we’ll be stopping in even MORE places than what’s on the official schedule. We won’t be there long enough for a full-blown event to happen, but might be able to swing an impromptu meet-up. Like, a bunch of folks meeting us to hang for a little while, pick up some swag, chat about what-have-you, and basically say “Heya” before we hit the road again.

The plan is to use Twitter as the announcement mechanism for these. Which would officially make them “Tweet-ups.”

So even if you’re not on the official sked for a stop, that doesn’t mean we might not show up near you!

If you wanna watch for the Career Express Tour tweet-ups, you can watch for them a bunch of different ways…

Twitter channels (watch for hashtag #tweetup):


Blogs (subscribe to the RSS feeds for fastest notification)

Couple of other things to remember…

Since these are impromptu, there won’t be a whole lot of warning before one happens. Couple of hours notice, max. Maybe a little more if we can get in a groove.

And we do have a schedule to keep. So if we’re running late or something, or whatever…we might not be able to hang with our Tweeps this time around.

So keep watching, and here’s hoping we get a chance to Tweet-up with you between May 1 and May 11!

|| posted by chris under community, it pro, shoutout, time, timekiller, travel || comments (0) || ||

February 27, 2009

Better Than Minesweeper

A little while back, Eileen Brown from MS UK posted her experience with a new online distraction from MS Learning called, aptly enough, Are You Certifiable?

Are you certifiable? I know I am!

First off…this isn’t the typical online quiz game you’d prolly expect from MS. The stuff this thing throws at you are TOUGH! Unlike a real exam, you have unlimited time to look at a given question, but only 60 seconds to sift through the possible answers once you tell it “ready.” Some of the scenarios were as complex as items I have seen on real exams, without a doubt.

Over the course of a couple days, I ended up finishing the full IT Pro half of AYC. That was a grand total of 400 questions. Yes, there were shiny badges aplenty to be had.

Achievements really are the bane of completist, borderline OCD folks like me. Especially when there are broken or unachievable Achievements (like the damn Voucher Saver and Socialite badges, which are busted or impossible).

And I’ve yet to see anyone even close to my final score of 152,720.

Believe it or not, I found this thing to be a much more effective stress-relieving break than anything else. I don't smoke tho. I'll bet the inhalation of carcinogens still beats this for pure relaxation. But there are no nasty 'Hey...what are those spots on my lungs' side-effects to worry about in the following years.

But that wasn’t what kept me going to the end. The fact is, AYC was an amazingly handy way to kickstart my brain while taking breaks from working on other stuff. During mid-morning breaks and lunch I’d run through AYC questions instead of dragging cards in Solitaire or wasting time on Facebook.

I found that when I got back to “real” work, I was able to chop through thorny issues like a hot knife through butter.

I chalk that up to the instant feedback (right or wrong), which let me know right away areas where I was weak, and where I wasn’t. On top of that, I learned almost 2 dozen things about SQL Server during the course of rolling through AYC. Stuff I’ve used in the field since. Things I’ve been able to bill people for.

Which is the whole point of an IT career. If you aren’t committed to constant learning and then turning that knowledge into solutions that make a difference, you might as well get out of the business now.

And if you’re gonna try your hand at some AYC, do yourself a favor…

Just click that speaker button to mute the jingly muzak. Unless you really really like that sort of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Turn off the background music before you start trying to answer questions. Just trust me on that one.

|| posted by chris under business, game, it pro, timekiller || comments (3) || ||

October 23, 2008

The Problem Is Not In Your Set

Been fighting a few issues here and there related to a Wordpress upgrade. Never had one go this badly before. And after 2 days of off-and-on troubleshooting, I’m not much closer to an answer.

The Blank Screen of Death…that’s a new one.

|| posted by chris under clueless, freebie, migration, thumbs down, timekiller || comments (0) || ||

August 19, 2008

The Black Screen Of Death

I got a letter this mornin what do you reckon it read?

 Presenting the Mini-O-Death. Now with 2x the Death as before!

The totally wicked awesome HP Mini-Note with which I’ve been carrying on a complete hardware love affair suddenly gave up the ghost in the wee hours of the morning yesterday.

Very little warning. 2.5 days with some spontaneous reboots. Which, honestly…isn’t usually the first indicator of hardware death. Although they were Black Screens of Death. I guess Black is the new Blue.

Now, this unit was purchased in May, 2008.

That’s right… I said May. Gotta be some kind of record for premature hardware death.

Found a few other folks seeing this same issue over at the smokingly cool HP 2133 forums. Which still doesn’t change the fact that I’m looking at a 2–5 day turnaround on the repair.


Here’s some White Stripes to make us all feel better.

Performing…what else? Son House’s masterpiece ‘Death Letter.’

It said the Mini you love is dead

|| posted by chris under hardware, rx, thumbs down, timekiller || comments (37) || ||

June 29, 2008

My name is Chris…

and I’m a Facebook addict.

Damn you Nick. And MOM. And all you other Facebook junkies.

Sweet Mother of Moses.

There’s gotta be a 12 step program I can join for this one.

99% of the blame for getting me hooked on Crackbook rests squarely with Microsofties and the upcoming WPC in Houston in a couple of weeks.

Alright…I’m off to rob a liquor store to support my new habit.

|| posted by chris under freebie, timekiller || comments (0) || ||

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