Archive for July, 2007

Bean counters

Can someone please tell me why too many bean counters don’t look at the big picture.  I work contract security, and my client contact called and informed me an accountant was questioning why my staff had two guards when “one was watching the door and the other was just walking around the dock.”  (By the way, I am currently working for a shipping company).  Now, this bean counter never asked me what I do and only assumed that all a security officer must do is watch a door for a living.  I guess he doesn’t realize that security can also be used for loss prevention and emergency response and mitigation.  Now, with my current position, I don’t feel like I am being used to my full potential on the emergency response and mitigation, but I spend most of my day on loss prevention.  Now, if my second officer on my shift were to no longer be there, I would be stuck at a door preforming access control duties.  Losses for the station I am at have fallen dramatically since I was moved to that site, and I believe that I have earned my salary since I have been there.  But, as many of the employees who work for this shipping company say, they “save a penny today, to spend a dollar tomorrow,”  so who know, half of my staff my be gone in a few weeks.  Oh well, I’ll just have to spend more time on my CrackBerry, sitting at a door all day.

Customizing Firefox

FirefoxAlthough this weekend was very busy, I did get to play around with my Firefox. I knew there were a bunch of plug-ins and extensions, but I never got to play around with many of them, and I just discovered all the themes. All of their add-ons can be found on the Firefox web site. Most Firefox users have herd of Greasemonkey which lets users alter the Java programing or upload other’s User Scrips. I also found Stylish, which lets you do the same thing as Greasemonkey, only for CSS instead of. Now, I won’t tell you how, but, but with a few of the above mentioned add-ons, I was able to get my Firefox to look like the screen shot I posted. What are your favorite Firefox add-ons. I have a few others, but I’m going to save those for later posts.

Quick link, thanks to Stumble.

I was using the Firefox plug in Stumble and came across this great website. Play around with it a little, it’s great!!

The Google Ginant

This guy has Google figured out. He has speculation that Google will start to move many of their applications together to create the Mega Social Site. I think he forgot a couple of apps that they offer that would fit in well.

  • Google Maps

Google could integrate your profile and map your location out for your friends to see.

  • Picasa

Picasa could be used to upload all of your pictures and display them on your personal page. Uploaded pictures could be sent to your friends’ Google Reader.

  • Froogle

Now your friends can see what your buying, so they could buy the same things and be just like you!!!

Ok, so the last one was more of a joke, but I’m surprised that the original author missed the other two. What do you think? Is Google preparing to launch the mega social web site? What else do you think they would need or could use that they already have? Leave your thoughts in the comments!!

The Simpson’s Movie

I have not been so excited to see a TV to Big Screen Movie as I am for the Simpson’s.  I have grown up with the Simpson’s on TV.  I remember when the phrase “Eat my shorts, man,” was heard all over the play ground during recess.  Even when I went away to collage, my fraternity brothers and I would sit down to watch the 5:30 episode, eat dinner at 6, then watch the 6:30 episode every day.

The Simpson’s are following the recent release of the Transformers, which did fairly well in the box offices, although I have not seen it yet.

I was wondering if there were any other shows you grew up with that you would want to see as a movie? Do you have any ideas for plot lines?

Security at Home Tip of the Week: How to prevent a car break-in

I have had my car broken into twice now and have learned from my mistakes. The most important thing to remember is that car break-ins are a crime of opportunity.

  • If you don’t give someone a reason to break-into you car chances are they won’t.
  • If your stereo has a removable face plate, take it with you.
  • Hide anything of value.
  • Stick your CDs under your seat.
  • Put your lap top in your truck or take it with you.
  • Stick your MP3 player in the glove box.

And the three most common sense deerants:

  • Don’t leave your car in bad neighborhoods.
  • Lock your doors when you leave your car.
  • Close your windows before you leave.

Both times my car was broken into, the only thing that was taken was my stereo. Both times I got complacent and didn’t take my faceplate off the stereo. Have any of you ever had your car broken into? What was taken? Do you have any other suggestions that I didn’t list? Comment if you have. Also, if you have any ideas for a Security at Home Tip of the Week, leave it in the comments.

It’s been too long

I apologize that I haven’t written a post in a few days.  Life has been keeping me busy.  I should have a regular post and the second instalment of the Security Tip of the Week tomorrow!!

Salary vs. Hourly

I will be going salary in a few weeks.  I think this may end up being a double edged sward.  On one hand, I will get much better benefits (an extra week off, payed vacations, personal days, payed sick days, better insurance), but on the other hand, I won’t be getting overtime when I stay late.  Now, I don’t get much overtime now, but I know both my company and my client, and I see 50 hour weeks in my future.  I don’t mind working, but working 50+ hours and only getting paid for 40 is not my cup of tea.  What do you think, is going salary a blessing or curse?  Has anyone made the switch while stying in the same job title?  How did it go?

Security at Home Tip of the Week: Family First-Aid Kit

This is the first edition of The Peon’s Security at Home Tip of the Week. I will do my best to publish the Tip of the Week on Tuesdays for now, although I may move it to Sunday’s.

This week is the Family First-Aid Kit. I personally keep 2 first-aid kits: one at home and one in my car. The one at home is not really a kit, but more the necessary supplies in our medicine cabinet. Your home first-aid kit should include adhesive bandages (Band-Aids(tm)), anti-bacterial spray or ointment, gauze pads, roller bandages (AKA a roll of gauze), medical tape, eye bandages, and a pair of rubber gloves. You should also have your pain reliever of choice (Tylenol ™ or aspirin) and at least 3 days worth of any medications you take. You should also have any other quick relief over the counter medications you may use (for heartburn, re-occurring injuries, etc.) You should keep all of these items close together if you don’t have them in a kit. You should keep at least 3 days worth of every thing, so in the event of a major disaster (tornado, flood, hurricane, earth quake, man made disaster), your family can be self sufficient for some time in case emergency crews can’t get to you right away.

The first-aid kit in my car consists of many of the same things as above, but in smaller amounts. I do carry more in my car than most people would need, but I was an EMT and have lots of accident prone people I play sports with. Just with my church group, I have treated a torn nose (he got it caught on another person’s glasses playing Ultimate Frisbee), a severely cut lip (football injury), and a concussion (he just didn’t see the tree he ran into). But I digress. I also keep a tea candle and lighter in the kit. In the winter, you can light the candle and (if it’s not too cold), it should help keep your car just above freezing if you break down. I also keep an emergency blanket (AKA a space blanket) for the same reason as the candle. I personally use more first-aid supplies out of my car than my home, but, as I said before, I know a lot of accident prone people.

The basics of your first aid-kit can be bought as a kit on-line or at a drug store of your choice.  Your kit will evolve over time, but that’s OK, as long as you re-stock what you use, and add what you find out you need.

Look for future editions of the Security at Home Tip of the Week. The tips will be both physical security and emergency management in nature. If you have any questions or suggestions for the Tip of the week, please comment with them. I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge (or research ability).

Sweat computer irony

About a month ago, my mom’s computer completely went dead. I told her that it was either a bad power supply or a blown mother board and wouldn’t be incredibly hard to fix. She decided she just wanted to get a new computer instead. My mom really only uses her computer for Internet and e-mail and the occasional Word document, so she really didn’t need to upgrade. I asked her if I could take the old computer off her hands to tinker with (or sit around like a lot of other no working electronics I have). Well, after briefly bench testing it, I was 99% sure it was the power supply. I stopped in at Fry’s today (boy it’s dangerous having one right down the street) and picked up a cheep 360watt power supply for $32. I brought it home, hooked it up, and the computer booted right up. Needless to say that my mom’s hastiness upset her just a little bit.