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Showing posts from 2012

not since college…

i found myself messing around with c++ today. it was my favorite language in college…20 years ago. had to refresh a big chunk of my memory (and google for a bit) in order to get this simple updated “hello, world” program compiled and running.

// ohaiwurld.cpp #include <iostream> #include <stdio.h> int main(int argc, char* argv[]) { printf("o hai, wurld!\n"); if (argc > 1) { printf("we haz argumentz!\n"); printf("argz = "); for (int i = 1; i < argc; i++) { printf("%s ", argv[i]); } printf("\n"); } return 0; } $ g++ ohaiwurld.cpp -o ohaiwurld $ ./ohaiwurld lolcatz cheezburger can haz o hai, wurld! we haz argumentz! argz = lolcatz cheezburger can haz
never thought i’d be messing with this. i don’t know if it will be part of a solution i’m looking into at work, but it was a neat moment to step back into this.

more blogging, less facebooking…

this article from gizmodo defines why my blog will get more use in the future for any substantial content (stories, family photos, etc.):

i will never forget the story told at a tech conference about one member of a couple who saw a photo of his significant other in a facebook ad for a singles matching site. photos were usable in their ads without consent when that happened. not sure if that has changed at all, but this bit from their latest revision of the notice makes me wonder:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacyand application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your ac…

christmas decorations

tree was up last weekend, decorated by wednesday night. yankee candles of the pine persuasion make up for the tree not providing the enjoyable scents.

south africa: final days

my last day in south africa was a fun one. first, in the morning, duncan, shawn, and i met early in the morning, and we went down to the beach and picked mussels from the rocks. it was great fun to climb around on the rocks, trying to beat the waves to move from one to another.

they showed me some neat spots in the rocks, some that could only be accessed during lower tides. the waves were strong and powerful, crashing and slamming into the rocks. it made the rock hopping more challenging and therefore more fun to run them.

we collected enough and shawn headed off to work.

next, duncan wanted to take me sandboarding, which is the same as snowboarding only on sand. he picked me up with his family, and we headed for the dunes. ahh, the dunes. i loved these dunes!

i am not much of a snowboarder. i prefer skis. two skis. one for each foot. but it looked like fun, so i decided to give it a try. i made it down once, but getting the hang of is something i would have been best done before that…

south africa: hanging out

the next few days after the weekend gave me time to relax a little bit. i was able to spend a little time on the beach, catching some waves. my dad taught me to body surf when i was a boy, but i learned on waves in north myrtle beach. these waves were quite stronger than i had experienced. very strong!

now, both my cousins are tall guys, well over two meters each. we waded out to the point where the waves were breaking, however the water level was just above my head a bit. for duncan, he could stand on his toes and be fine above the surface. i was having to push off the bottom to keep breathing. if you add  a strong undertow to the mix, then i was using quite a bit of energy just to keep in position while i waited to catch a wave.

it wasn’t long before everything lined up and started paddling. i could feel the force of the wave start to push me, and i was off! i was really moving too! it was a nice long ride…then the wave collapsed on top of me. normal for body surfing, but i had beco…

south africa: seaview

don’t let the name fool you. although it was set with a great view of the ocean, this park housed big cats and other animals. but before i mention them, duncan and family and i found a reptile and raptor rescue at the place we stayed overnight after visiting addo.

duncan’s girls were considering getting a snake, and he thought this might be a good trial run to see if they would really enjoy having such a pet. we saw some rather interesting snakes (especially the black mamba), a few of which i was glad to have run across in a controlled environment rather than randomly in the wild. interestingly, they had some snakes local to my home town in the states too (copperhead, rattlesnake, and cottonmouth). some interesting birds including the large falcon were also part of the tour. (see how big this bird is.)

after leaving the rescue, we headed to the other side of port elizabeth to visit seaview. it was here that we were able to get very close to the lions. we arrived just in time to see t…

south africa: addo elphant park

duncan got a kombi for all of us. shaun drove since he didn’t think his boys would be able to last the whole day at addo. we all piled into the kombi at addo, though, and headed in for animals.

first up: elephants. as we entered the park, we found a herd of pachyderms on parade to a watering hole.  it must have been morning drinking time because they all seemed to be heading that way.  perhaps they were stocking up for a long day of heat in the park.  a cool trunk of water is better than a warm one on days like this.  it give a whole new meaning to keeping your nose clean when you witness how they drink.  but it also makes you wonder what happens when an elephant tells a joke while they are drinking.

as we journeyed on, we came across another watering hole where some turtles were sunning themselves.  we also found some kudu in the brush, bush hogs keeping a low profile, some large buffalo, and the black headed heron.  of course, there were monkeys all over the place.  those things jus…

south africa: intermission

friday turned out to be a down day. some time at the beach with duncan, deanne, and the girls. the wind was still blowing rather hard, which made the waters cold. we moved from the main beach to the kaeriga river which was mostly shielded from the strong winds. the water was still cold. in my typical fashion, i took about fifteen minutes to fully submerge myself.

duncan had a few errands to run, so he dropped me back at milkwood manor. i wanted to check on my pictures, and it was good that i did. i was running out of hard drive space. but shaun helped me out. he phoned a friend of a local business and she had a 500gb hard drive she’d sell me. perfect!

i walked into town and got the hard drive. i then tried to back up as many photos as i possibly could in order to leave some room on my netbook for the pics i’d be taking from addo elephant park on saturday.

more dinner with shaun and tess. justin is starting to warm up to me but still won’t hold my hand when we pray. i also had my first…

south africa: post-hunt

the evening after the hunt, we got cleaned up and had some dinner. both david and cathy were great hosts. and after dinner, they introduced me to leon schuster, who is a well-known prankster in south africa for his candid camera type of hijinks. with commentary from david, cathy, and duncan, i learned more about the culture of people.

we hung out with david’s family on thursday morning. duncan had taken some times to help soften his water supply. we put all that together. david had written a book along with some other guides he worked with in botswana years ago. they were a collection of some of their memorable events. i had read a couple of his stories and asked for a book to bring home so i could read them all.

after some lunch with them, we started back to kenton. the sun sets around seven-thirty in the evenings. needless to say, we were able to watch the sun set over the south african mountains. again, another amazing spectacle.

african sunset

tree sillouette
next >> south afr…

south africa: hunting springbok – part two

we drove over the hill and found our next arena. as soon as we came down the hill, dunc was able to see some kudu hanging out on hill. (how does he see these things?) but wasn’t the season for kudu. we parked near the windmill and saw a few on the hill. more wandering around in the trenches. this time, we ended up moving far enough above them that it gave us a bit of an advantage.

they seemed to spot us…but they didn’t bolt. i moved slowly to a couple of different trees to get a good shot. this field was harder because it left me a bit more exposed from one spot to another.

i scoped one in the distance just looking at me. she was standing perfectly lined up for a kill. i didn’t look back for duncan this time. closed the bolt, BOOM!

the jolt of the rifle cause me to lose my sight of the animal for a moment. i tried to find them, but they had all moved at the sound. having made noise enough to scare, i took the other three shots. nothing hit. but oddly, after a short run they all starte…

south africa: hunting springbok – part one

on tuesday, we loaded up the car and headed off to david hood’s farm. the three hour road trip up took us over some of the most beautiful terrain. duncan had put together a massive mp3 mix. we found toto’s “africa” and did our own music video toward the end of our journey. already, duncan is pointing out some of the local wildlife. most of them were on farms.

david’s farm is another amazing place. we found our lodgings and went out for a ride in the bukkie to pick up the laborers. we had dinner with david’s family, wife cathy and two little girls. lara is a very adorable three made only moreso by her accent.

after dinner, we headed outside. it was very dark, but i believe this was the first time in my life that i’ve seen all the stars in the sky at the same time. no city lights bleeding out the view, no haze or humidity dulling the stars. it was the clearest i’ve ever witnessed a night sky. david had his binoculars with which we could see four of jupiters moons. and the stars move ver…

south africa: family

i had dinner with shaun and tessa the first night. i met their two boys. justin, the older, took a strange interest in my camera.

justin and his dad
tessa had made up some chicken, very tasty. we had a good evening chatting. after dinner as we were relaxing, duncan came over. i remember telling him: “you are much taller in person than on skype.” we all talked about the flight over, expectations, and of some of the plans for the week. duncan despite admitting not being much of a planner had quite a few things on tap.

the boys
on monday, i got to see uncle alex as duncan, he, and i headed out for a trip to port alfred. before we left town, i found aunt jackie at shaun and tess’s helping watch the boys. it didn’t seem like four years since we last saw each other…or maybe it was just the jet lag.

in port alfred, we dropped off some wood to richard, a craftsman who makes some beautiful tables with scraps. we then headed down into town. i saw the kowie fm radio station where both shaun and du…

south africa: arrival

the trip was a long jet flight. i slept as well as anyone can on a plane. that is to say, my neck hurt when i disembarked in joburg. the jump from joburg to port elizabeth was aboard british airways. those guys server food on their flights still! i felt like i’d been thrown back in time to more civilized time.

shaun picked me up at the jetport in port elizabeth (a.k.a. p. e.). this was the first time in 37 years that i’ve seen him. he drove me from p. e. to kenton. it’s about an hour’s drive east. he pointed out a few interest spots along the way. i took pictures of the drive out. not much to see, but this was my first real viewing of the south african countryside.

milkwood manor b&b was my lodging for the duration. the place is very nice situated at the mouth of the bushman’s river. the view from their lounging area was amazing. i found myself always taking pictures of the view when i would sit and look out. the blue water of the indian ocean filling up the river at high tide. th…

back home a year ago

it was about this time last year that i returned home from my journey to south africa. in fact, i had already begun work on blog posts of that event which i had planned to deliver a day at a time shortly after my return. however, i got sidetracked and the job grew daunting in my mind and it never go completed. it was a shame, actually. most of the work was done.

with the arrival of the springbok horns a week ago, i decided to revisit getting this done. plus it was the anniversary of my trip just now, so another good reason to get these posts out there. the pictures, of course, have been out on my flickr account since last year.

over the next week, a new post will show up highlighting some of that adventure. some pictures are from the set but not on flickr.

i had hoped i might get another chance to go this year before i started my new job with scripps networks, but the schedule wouldn’t allow. maybe next year. we’ll see.

next >> south africa: arrival

fall colors

as is usual, the leaves are looking awesome this year as the chlorophyll drains for their impending end of life. i love this time of year just for this reason. the few weeks of being able to drive around this side of tennessee are the most enjoyable.

last friday, i snapped a few shots of some of the dying leaves. always a fun challenge to find them. (note: you aren’t allowed to take pictures of the trees in the west town mall parking lot.)

more of this year’s captures are on flickr.


a year ago, i headed off to visit family in south africa. while there, i was able to go hunting springbok on the farm of a friend of my cousin.

bagged two, originally uploaded by mocktech.

i had no intention of bringing anything back of that hunt other than pictures and memories. but when david, my cousin’s friend, cut off the skull of one of the does, i rethought the matter.

i received in the mail on tuesday those horns mounted as a trophy.

next >> back home a year ago

first days

first days are not my favorite. i like being able to go into work and get stuff done. and even though i know i can’t get anything done because i don’t know enough, i still want to be able to feel somewhat productive.

today, i started as a systems engineer at scripps networks as a contract employee. i have met more of the team i will be working with and have met some of the other teams i will interact with. someone came by and told me my phone should be working soon. i think there will be quite a bit to wrap my head around, but i am ready to start piecing all of it together.

i am glad to be here. it’s good to see some of the guys i worked with several years ago. and i’m definitely happy to have a job.


i have received quite a few links recently regarding the predicted bacon shortage of 2013. i have been advised to start stocking up, which is always good advice. i even have been accused of being part of the problem, about which i have no beef (pun intended).

some on twitter recently termed this catastrophe as “aporkalypse.” well tagged, i say. if this shortage is indeed our future reality, stocking up is the best plan you can have.

am i stocking up?


i have been stocking up bacon for the zombie apocalypse, which could break out at any time. i don’t need to word paint the picture of zombies overrunning the planet and having zero bacon while trying to survive.

even if you don’t believe in the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, who doesn’t have some bacon in their house? if your pantry has pancake mix and/or your fridge has eggs, then breakfast is imminent. and you know that calls for bacon! wutup?

so, you have been warned. plan now, bacon later.

move along, move along

after almost 11 years working for the e. w. scripps company, i’m moving along to another job.

in september of last year, they had shuffled people at corporate around for some upcoming organization changes. in january of 2012, they announced that they were moving operations back to cincinnati. (working remotely wasn’t a business model they felt was effective, or at least that’s the reason they conveyed for this choice.) job opportunities would be available for us if we wanted to move to cincinnati. there were a few who took them up on that offer, but most of the group started to find other jobs, most locally.

i updated my résumé, passed it along to many people, and posted on linkedinmonster, and dice. most of my relative hits came from dice. i had a few interviews for a couple of positions which were telecommute. i had wanted to stay in the area since my family lives very close to me but was willing to move if needed. however, none of these positions panned out. i am continuing to fo…

RESOLVED: hacking twitter does not violate their terms of service

UPDATE:  twitter responded a few moment ago with this notice:

@dino has resolved this issue for me
much thanks to @dino for this response!


at least, that’s what i’ve been told by @dino at twitter.

so, let me lay this out:  in 2007, i signed up for twitter using the handle @mock.  i used a simple password, not one complex, because i wasn’t sure if this twitter thing would take off.  i should have changed it long ago, but i didn’t and that was my fault.

a week ago monday, i noticed i had been receiving twitter email digests and wanted to turn them off.  when i tried to log into twitter as @mock, i couldn’t.  after a few times of failure, i requested a password change email.  it never came.  on closer examination, i noticed finally that my username was changed from @mock to @mockockocklol.  what?!  i felt anxiety starting to load as the realization of what had happened unfolded.  when i tried logging in with that modified username, i was able to get in with my original passwo…