Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thank you Canada - September 11, 2016 Operation Yellow Ribbon 15 Years Later



September 11, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary the September 11 attacks, and while there will be a multitude of news articles and special reports on the courage and challenges of that day, this post is about an often overlooked act of a good neighbor which also took place on that day.

On the day of the attacks the FAA closed down US airspace and Canada implemented Operation Yellow Ribbon to handle the influx of aircraft which were beyond the point of no return and needed to land as well as quarantine aircraft to prevent further attacks on the US.

Not only did Canada provide a means to remove potentially dangerous aircraft from US airspace; Canada and Canadian citizens provided a safe haven for stranded air passengers. There are many stories of how the airports in Gander and Halifax Newfoundland were inundated with stranded air passengers, and how the people of those towns took them in. This act of kindness took place all across Canada.

Here are three articles which provide more insight in to the events and actions that took place on that day and the days that followed:


For the record other countries also took in aircraft that were diverted from US airspace, though it was Canada which took in the bulk of aircraft and Canadian citizens who took them in.

Operation Yellow Ribbon is a classic example of international cooperation, and individuals helping strangers in need.

Thank you Canada, as well those other countries who took in all those air travelers on that terrible day in September ~ Jim

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Yellow_Ribbon

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Over the line! #Linkedin is not #Facebook




The Lebowski meme above was inspired by people who I feel do not understand the difference between a professional networking site like Linkedin, and social networking site like Facebook.

On a social network like Facebook it is pretty much accepted for people to post their views, either publicly or just to friends, and if others do not agree they can either ignore the post, or make a comment to the contrary. People can also stop following or even unfriend the person if they choose to do so.

Linkedin on the other hand is a professional network and what is posted on Linkedin can be viewed by your coworkers, competitors, and prospective employers which is something people really need to consider before posting their views on politics, religion, or other "hot" topics.

While I have posted articles on Linkedin which were a little tongue in cheek those articles were either about issues I faced in my search for a new career opportunity and how I dealt with them, or about technologies which I have an interest in, and therefore I felt where appropriate for Linkedin.

There is a old axiom regarding how the discussions of sex, politics, and religion should be kept out of the office.

People should consider Linkedin an extension of their office.

For further reading may I suggest this Glassdoor article - Sex, Religion& Politics: Why You Should Never Discuss Them At Work 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Thursday getaway and the Bettie Page House in Seattle - #vandalismsucks


Today is Thursday and like Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "I never quite got the hang of Thursdays", and after spending the last six weeks job searching I decided to take a short break and go for a drive just to get out of the house. So I hopped in the car and drove over to the Wallingford District in Seattle. I stopped for lunch at Dick's Drive-In on 45th, and even though this is the first Dick's Drive-In to take credit cards (refer to this article for further details) being a traditionalist I still paid cash for my lunch.

After lunch I drove around Wallingford for a bit and then I headed over to the University District to take a first hand look at a classic example of stupidity and jerkery.

You see in the U District next to I-5 there is a house which on the side facing the freeway there is beautiful  mural of 50's pin-up model Betty Page. This house has quite a number of admirers who refer to it as "The Bettie Page House". Photos and articles about the house can be found all over the Internet such as this Atlas Obscura article. Unfortunately sometime in the latter part of June someone decided to defaced the mural and this is the stupidity and jerkery I mentioned earlier.

Below are some photos I took today of the vandalism. Seriously who would do something like this?




(This last picture is of the alterations of the vandals comments made by the owners of the house)


Here are a few articles on the vandalism:
In the last paragraph of the Seattle Times article one of the owners of the house made the following statement regarding donations for the restoration of the mural - “In lieu of donations for Bettie, I would like to draw people’s attentions to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. … Donate at Rainn.org.”

While the vandalism to this wonderful mural truly does suck, I guess some good can be found in the determination of the owners of the house, and their suggestion for donations.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Took the advice


Just a quick post to say I took "The Stranger's" advice and updated my profile picture on Linkedin. I am not too impressed with my camera work though I think the image is better than the original one that has been on my Linkedin profile for 10 years now. If you are interested you can check the new image by accessing my Linkedin profile via the link to the left.

While I was at it, I updated the image for this blog. Right now the approach to life I am taking is to "Abide"



(Official image credit unknown at this time, unofficial credit - "The Dude)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sage advice from "The Stranger"



(Image credit: https://memegenerator.net/)

Maybe I should update my profile picture considering it is at least 10 years old. Guess I better get a selfie stick or bribe a friend to take a decent picture of me.

If you have noticed a lot more activity on the blog it's because I am rediscovering my inner blogger and I have also found that lighthearted blogging is a great way to de-stress while searching for a new job.

I am also having a lot of fun with memes base on the The Big Lebowski which is one of my all-time favorite movies. As a matter of fact I think I will watch it again tonight.

Cheers ~ Jim

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pokemon Go vs. Job Seeker Quest

Here is another article that I posted today on Linkedin, and I am re-posting to my blog. The topic on balancing ones job search with other "priorities".

Below is the URL for the original post:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pokemon-go-vs-job-seeker-quest-jim-cox



(Image credit: https://imgflip.com/)


While Pokemon Go is the latest craze and the game looks like a lot of fun to play I do wonder if Job Seekers such as myself should stay strictly focused on our real-world quests rather than chasing imaginary creatures, or if by not playing the game are we robbing ourselves of new opportunities to learn and relax a little?

For me the technology behind the game is fascinating and I have shared some articles on Linkedin about the game and the augmented reality technology involved. While playing the game would provide me with more exposure to augmented reality the truth is I have as yet to download and install the game let alone play it.

As a Job Seeker I believe I must focus my time and energy on my quest to find a new opportunity where I will work with new technologies such as augmented reality. At the same time I do wonder if I am denying myself the opportunity learn more about specific technologies while having some fun in the process.

Looking for work is not always fun and at times it can be quite stressful if you make it so while according to all reports looking for Pokemon can be fun and relaxing (as long as you avoid of trouble).

There are times during a job seekers quest they will find they need to take a short break and possibly take a walk. Whether or not that walk is to capture a breath of fresh air, or to capture imaginary critters is up to them,

In the end it is a matter of balance plus some self discipline with regards to one's focus and priorities.

As always feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers ~ Jim

Monday, July 11, 2016

Maybe I was a little too creative?

The article below is a re-post of an one which I wrote on July 1st 2016 and posted on Linkedin concerning whether or not one should change their status on Linkedin to show they are unemployed and seeking new employment opportunities.

Here is the URL to the original post on Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/maybe-i-little-too-creative-jim-cox

I hope you enjoy the article and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.



(Image credit - AZQUOTES)


Yesterday I completed my 18 month contract at Microsoft, and knowing in advance that my contract was coming to an end I began searching for new employment opportunities though nothing has yet to materialize.

Since I am now seeking new employment opportunities I thought I should reflect this in my Linkedin profile. Now there are those who advise not to state in your Linkedin profile that you are unemployed and looking for work, and then there is the opposing view that you should change your status to reflect that you are available for new opportunities.

I agree with the latter opinion because I want people to know I am available for new opportunities and I want to utilize the new listing under Experience to state what sort of opportunities I am searching for. While the Headline and Summary fields in a Linkedin profile are intended to for these purposes I find that most people reviewing profiles tend to focus on the most recent status listed under Experience.

Having decided to make the change to my status I thought I should try something different from the normal “Self” for Company Name and “Unemployed” or “Job Seeker” for Title, and I felt these changes should reflect my experience and interests in technology.

So early this morning in a fit (more like spasm) of creativity I updated my profile and listed “Career R&D” for Company Name, and “Career Engineer - R&D” for Title, and then added additional information to show what sort of opportunities I was conducing R&D for.

Where my “research” fell short in this update to my profile was the effect Linkedin’s status update to my network would have and the number of congratulatory responses I would receive for finding a new job as a "Career Engineer". While I do appreciate the consideration from those who offered congratulations I must offer a mea culpa for the misunderstanding.

One other thing that I did not consider at the time was that recruiters may not recognize or appreciate the intent of the Company Name and Title, and therefore not review my profile any further.

I have since made some more conventional updates to properly reflect my status and search for new opportunities and as far as I am concerned the original update was not a failure but instead a learning experience. I have also disabled the Notify your network? option regarding updates to my profile which I originally enabled for this particular update and I will leave it disabled until I have finalized by profile. Also this entry in my profile will be deleted once I find a new opportunity.

What I would like to know from others here on Linkedin is what do you think about posting your status as unemployed and seeking a new job. Should you change your status to reflect you are unemployed and seeking new opportunities or should you just leave your status as is with only a change in date?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Cheers ~ Jim

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Something!

It has been over two years, so I guess it is time to write "something" on this blog.

A lot has happened since the last post, and most if it is really boring stuff, so I won't write about it.

You may notice that the link to the Urbanspelunkers blog is gone as well as the link to the Astrolink blog.

The Urbanspelunnkers site, blog, G+ page and community are no more. I just lost interest and decided to kill everything off over this weekend. To be honest, I lost interest in the urbanspelunking scene a long time ago. The only thing left now are the urbanspelunker.com and .org domains, and I am going to let those expire, or transfer the domains to anyone who wants to take them over.

The AstroLink blog which is a mirror of the Cloudymidnights blog will go away in a month or two, and speaking of mirror blogs, the Wordpress mirror for this blog will most likely go away too.

It is too much effort to have so many blogs and web sites for as little interest or time I have to maintain them and write anything interesting.

In the end I will only have this blog, as well as the Cloudymidnights and 8-bit Retro Computing blog. Astronomy and retro computing are hobbies and interests that I plan to continue focusing on. This blog will be focus on general ramblings that I feel like sharing with others.

That is is for now.

Cheers ~ Jim

Friday, December 27, 2013

New CoCo book available!


Long time CoCo enthusiast Boisy Pitre and author Bill Loguidice have collaborated on a new book entitled "CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer" which is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CRC Press.

I received my copy the day before Christmas, and I am really enjoying the read. Members of Facebook group for the book are also giving high praise to the book and it's authors. You can find the Facebook group by searching for the title.

There are also several posts about the book on the 8-Bit Retro-computing  blog's G+ page, and in the Color Computer G+ community.

(Image used with permission by Boisy Pitre)

Though the book chronicles the history of the Tandy Color Computer I believe many retro-computing enthusiasts will enjoy reading the book and appreciate the historical information it provides so check it out. Cheers ~ Jim

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Should we celebrate Columbus Day or Exploration Day?


Recently I watched a hangout on Google+ where Nicole Gugliucci of CosmoQuest interviewed Tom Diehl about a proposal he is involved with to rededicate Columbus Day to Exploration Day, and within minutes of watching the hangout and listing to Tom I was hooked on the idea.

Tom Diehl along with Karl Frank and Dr. Rod Wright are putting forth a proposal that Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day. You may ask why should Columbus Day be rededicated as Exploration Day? Well in my opinion this quote from Karl Frank in this Discovery.com article best sums up the rationale behind the proposal:

"Rededicating Columbus Day as Exploration Day will allow those who wish to commemorate his accomplishments to continue doing so," says Frank. "But for those who find Columbus's role in history disquieting, it will enable them to celebrate the day in a very different way. Exploration Day covers the depth and breath of America’s rich history of exploration, research and discovery. Thus, Exploration Day will be something that unites rather than divides." (1)

That quote drives home the one point that I really like about the Exploration Day proposal, and that is that Exploration Day would be an all inclusive celebration of exploration that anyone in the US can embrace. Also given that the holiday would be near the start of the school year it would also be a great springboard to get students more involved in exploring science, technology, engineering, and math; also known as STEM.

Below is the video of the Google+ hangout Nicole Gugliucci, and Tom Diehl that is well worth watching. I am hopeful that once you watch the video and check out the included links to the Exploration Day web site, and several articles, you too will also be a supporter of Exploration Day:



Links to the website and articles:

Happy Exploration Day ~ Jim

Credits:
(1) Discovery.com

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday fun: Mars:2020:Springtime


Here a hilarious piece of animation to celebrate the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars:



This great piece of work by  was originally uploaded to YouTube in Aug 17, 2006.  Check out his comments regarding the video here, and give him a thumbs up for his excellent work.

Have a great weekend ~ Jim

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday fun: POrtal: Terminal Velocity


This video has been making the rounds this week, and even though it has been posted elsewhere it's so cool that I just have to repost it here:



You can be certain that I'll be playing Portal this weekend..

Thanks to  for posting this video.

Have a great weekend ~ Jim

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music for a Monday: Sascha Funke - Mango (Original Mix)


I don't know what it is about this video, but I love it and I thought I would share it with you:



Thanks to for not only posting this video on Youtube, but for also introducing me to Sascha Funke.

Maybe some day I will visit the Netherlands and make the trip from Delft to De Lier.

Cheers ~ Jim

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday fun: Real Tracking and Shooting Portal Turret


After watching this I find myself in a quandary. Do I go and play Portal for a few hours, or do I get cracking on my Arduino project(s).



I think I'll get cracking with the Arduino.

Thanks to   for post this on Youtube.  Best of luck on your project!

Have a great weekend ~ Jim

Friday, May 18, 2012