Thursday, June 30, 2005

8766 days...

So, here I am, seven minutes into the 24th calendar year of Jorin Slaybaugh...


Thinking back, the 23rd birthday had me a little worried about the future. I mean after all, look at what these very "intelligent" people had to say about it:

Twenty-three and so tired of life / Such a shame to throw it all away. / The images grow darker still / Could I have been anyone other than me?
      -- Dave Matthews, Dancing Nancies

A decade ago / I never thought I would be at twenty-three / on the verge of spontaneous combustion / woe is me.
      -- Incubus, Pardon Me

And that's about the time she walked away from me / Nobody likes you when you're twenty-three / And I'm still more amused by TV shows / What the hell is A.D.D? / My friends say I should act my age. / What's my age again? / What's my age again?
      -- Blink 182 / Whats My Age Again?

So, understandably, I was slightly concerned I might grow tired of life, develop A.D.D., and ultimately burst into spontaneous combustion. Woe is me, indeed.

On the contrary, however, I have to say it was the best year of my life. I started a new career (first time its not just another job) that I love. We just recently moved into our new house. I had a blast in San Antonio. We got Cassie a new car. I started a blog. I mean, really, can you ask for much more?

So, I'll take this opportunity to publicly give credit where credit is due without anyone having to see me get all gushy.

I'm thankful for all my friends and family to whom I don't say it enough. I love you guys.
I'm thankful for the way that history has been controlled for my benefit.
I'm thankful for my job.
I'm thankful for my life.
I'm thankful for all the things that I have.
I'm thankful for all the things that I don't have.
I'm thankful for Google and Dell.
I'm thankful for cookies.

I think that about covers everything, so its high time I get on living (read: "sleeping") and see what 24 has in store for me.

Jorin Slaybaugh

P.S. I don't know of any songs talking about being 24, so if anyone has any insight on some, it might be really helpful :)

Currently listening to: Sweet Baby James, James Taylor.

Words of Wisdom

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.

-- Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Microsoft Update

So, its just some more techno-babble, but something some of you may find interesting/helpful.

Most of you are familiar with Windows Update, the technology that searches your computer and notifies you if there are any available critical updates or software patches for your computer. This can either be done by turning on automatic updates and you will get a small icon in your taskbar that tells you when updates are available or by manually visiting

However, the problem was always that your windows was updated and secure, but your other Microsoft products such as Office or other applications were not updated through that process. You always also had to visit sites like to update that software manually.

Well, with version 6 of their Updating tools, Microsoft has released "Microsoft Update." This searches for applicable updates for all Microsoft products on your computer. So, with one fell swoop, you can update Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc to the latest, patched version.

I recommend that you install the Microsoft Update tool by going to However, it is imperative that you understand several caveats:

  • Please ensure that you have a legal copy of your Microsoft software. Or, if you don't, and you still download this software, please have a plan in place that involves sending your children somewhere safe besides my house while you are in prison. I will, however, keep an eye on any money that you want watched while you are in the clink.
  • You will have to install several ActiveX controls and agree to several License Agreements. Please read carefully and ensure that anything you install is published by a trusted source such as Microsoft Corporation.
  • I recommend that you back up any and all critical data before installing any of the updates. Many of these updates are system critical and can have adverse effects on your system if not configured properly.
  • I recommend that you NEVER install any of the recommended Hardware updates. Only install driver updates from the manufacturer of your computer. (I have had serious, unrecoverable issues from installing these driver updates--in particular, Video driver upgrades. It is very tricky to recover from an issue when you cannot see anything on your screen.)

Any other questions, post them here.

Till next time,

Jorin Slaybaugh

Thursday, June 09, 2005

iTunes in the Taskbar!!

So, as I've already mentioned, I love iTunes. However, there was always an excellent feature of Windows Media Player that I missed while using iTunes. Microsoft actually turned the table on Apple this time and thought of something creative and brilliant first. However, fortunately, Apple has taken a page from Microsoft's book and learned to copy quickly.

The feature I am referring to is the ability for play controls to still be available even when the media player is minimized to the taskbar. This is great for someone like me who listens to music in the background all day long while working on other stuff. This way, when the phone rings or a song comes up that I don't like, I can control playback without restoring the application to full size.

Microsoft's Genius Idea

And now, as of version 4.7, iTunes has provided the same functionality!

Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V from the folks at Apple

For those of you who use Windows XP/2000 and want to use either Media Player or iTunes in a similar capacity, first download the latest version of either software by clicking on one of these links (Windows Media Player, iTunes). Then, once the software is installed, right-click in an empty part of the taskbar and choose the "Toolbars" option. Select either "Windows Media Player" or "iTunes" from the submenu that appears. Now, simply minimize your media player, and you're in business.

Who knows, maybe one day Apple will start putting Intel chips in their machines, too..... :)


Monday, June 06, 2005

Bureaucratic Intelligence IS an oxymoron

For those of my readers who live in Wichita Falls, I am going to perform a public service and announce a silently passed city ordinance that is the epitome of idiocy.

I just had a truck load of wood, cardboard, and trash from our recent move. It was all contained in boxes and strapped down with bungees. However, for our fair Gotham, that is not good enough.

As part of a new city ordinance passed by our City Council (not sure if this was part of the New and Improved City Council 2.0 or not) all loads terminating at the Transfer Station must be covered entirely by a tarp or some other covering. If you do not meet this criteria, you will either be turned away without remorse or charged $25--with a similar lack of remorse.

This new ordinance is plastered all over the entry to the Transfer Station (which doesnt help me when I'm loading my truck on the other side of town, btw). The kicker is that the ordinance states that the objective of the law is (obviously) to keep all loads contained. So, I argued with the gentleman at the weigh-in station that I had actually conformed with the objective of the law because nothing had fallen out during my drive all the way across town, so please allow me to drive the additional 300 feet to properly dispose of the load. Instead, he turned me around to potentially lose all this ever-so dangerous debris as I returned on the 7 mile trip back to my house.

I asked what I should do if I don't have a tarp. I had more bungees and tie downs and could sufficiently cover my load with them. Perhaps that would work? After all, I was only going another 300 feet...


He said I could use anything that I had to cover the load: a tarp, old carpet, a blanket, anything. Now, I ask you, which is more dangerous: allowing me to continue for 300 feet to dump the debris or drive all the way back from my house with old torn carpet and bedsheets haphazardly covering my truck?

Clearly, someone important got hit by something coming out of someone's truck while that second someone was on their way to the Transfer Station. Also, clearly, the someone who got hit doesn't drive a truck and/or understand the beauty and simplicity of the open bed design which allows the contents of the bed to extend well beyond the 6.5' x 4.5', 5-sided container. Instead, they would rather we all drive a hybrid Toyota Prius that bottoms out when we sit in it and never emits any harmful materials from the engine or the enclosure of the vehicle itself.

Oh well, as is usually the case, one idiot has ruined it for us all. Hopefully this saves someone a trip to and from the Transfer Station.