Good news Bad news

Well, Joshua made it official – the good news is that he started crawling for real today while at my sister’s house. The bad news is that he started crawling today.

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The cost of supposed fun!

So I’m trying to swing attending a SharePoint conference in Aneheim next week, and Aimee and I thought it may be possible to take the whole family, piggy back on the paid for hotel room, and then extend our stay a little bit. Being from southern California Aimee would have liked to use the opportunity to visit some friends, check up on her mother’s rental property, and we would have vistited my sister and her family while we were at it.

Of course, since we would be in Aneheim we’d have to go to Disney Land! I haven’t been there since my family moved to Texas from Huntington Beach in 1985, and I know that it has been quite some time for Aimee as well. Really, though, I thought Sara would enjoy it (although I know she is still a tad young to really get it). Here’s where the problem lies – Admission for our family would be $235! Yes, that’s correct $235! That is ridamndiculous! That’s before feeding ourselves! Forget it…out of the question…not for that price. I can maybe see it if this had been a long planned for trip, but apparently Disney takes themselves pretty seriously. Can you imagine what would have happened if Wally World had been open when Clark Griswald made it to the gate?

Teller: Hi welcome to Wally World
Clark : I’d like to buy tickets for my family. It is me, my wife and my two kids Russ and Audrey.
Teller: Wonderful – that will be $240
Clark: #E@E#@(!@&#^@&#@(! Two hundred and forty dollars?
Clark: Is that Canadian? What if my children were under 3?
Teller: Oh, in that case it will be $230

I just assume that you’ll let your imagination finish out that scene.

Needless to say, the family will not be going to the left coast with me this time. I’ll still try to see my sister and her family while I am there. I think that I’ll be skipping Disney Land, though!

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On the move!

Well, I can officially say that Joshua is on the move now. He is now 4 1/2 months old. We’ve been finding him in different places than we left him recently, but this evening I watched him army crawl to chase down a toy that kept rolling away from him. He’ll be crawling within the next couple of weeks. I was walking at 9 months – geez i hope that we have more time than that!

Also, today was a beautiful day in Dallas, and we took the opportunity to go to the Dallas Zoo. It was a lot of fun, and we even got five minutes into the park before there was a minor meltdown. Then then meltdown child’s sunglasses ended up in the lemur enclosure (thankfully that didn’t really phase her). I was happy to go too because we bought a family season pass and have hardly used it. It has been so hot this summer that going to the zoo would not have been an enjoyable experience. It was a good time today, though, and I look forward to going back often over the next several months. Since I work downtown it will be easy to take a half day and make a family event of it.

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Off to school

Sara was very excited to start school today. When pulling into the parking lot she said “Mommy, I am so happy to be here today.” Sara has been excited for school to start for a week – ever since meeting her teacher, Mrs. Morales, last Thursday. Sara knew Mrs. Morales from the playground, so she had no apprehension about walking right into her class. All three girls from Sara’s class last year are with her this year too! Mrs. Morales has a fun bunch of giggling girls who were happy to see each other today.

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Bing Search

Friends, I am by no stretch what one would call a developer, but lack of resources often requires me to dive into code on my own. I only needed to add a simple web search box to my SharePoint landing page, but I couldn’t find a simple way. Google has a simple method, but I wanted to use Bing as I find their search results often more accurate. Plus, if I’m already in the MS stack I may as well go ahead and use their brand.

Unfortunately, Microsoft stopped supporting their method of simply adding a search box in favor of the more robust Bing API. More power to them, but as I stated before – I am not a developer. APIs and API documentation are useless to me unless they come with exact code samples. I could not find a one…lot’s of code, but none of it complete. After doing some research and scrounging I ended up with this:

<FORM method=GET action="" target="_blank">
<A HREF="" target="_blank">
<IMG SRC="/PublishingImages/img_windowsBingLogo.png" border="0">
<INPUT TYPE=text name=search_phrase size=42 maxlength=255 value="">
<INPUT type="image" SRC="" alt="Search Bing!">

Make an html out of it and render it in a Page Viewer web part. It works like a champ for me.

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SharePoint 2010 – Search Error access denied

If you’ve been getting the below error in SharePoint 2010 you have probably come across the REGEDIT DisableLoopbackCheck fix.

Access is denied. Verify that either the Default Content Access Account has access to this repository, or add a crawl rule to crawl this repository. If the repository being crawled is a SharePoint repository, verify that the account you are using has “Full Read” permissions on the SharePoint Web Application being crawled.

This seems like an easy fix – you know – just add the new DWORD entry. Well, I did that a week ago, and it didn’t solve my problem. 5 days of trying everything under the sun I went back to check the registry entry. HERE IS MY ADVICE TO YOU – take note that when creating your new entry “DWORD (32-bit) Value” and “QWORD (64-bit) Value” are right next to each other!

As it turns out, when I created my new DWORD entry for DisableLoopbackCheck at 1:30 am I accidentally created it as a QWORD. This, if you hadn’t guessed already, doesn’t work. So – lesson learned. I’m now down from over 29,000 errors to less than 3,000, and those are largely due to poorly named files in an email enabled list.

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The Dentist

So Sara had her first dentist appointment today. All went well and she was a big 3 year old.

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Big Boy

Apparently Joshua hit 15.2 lbs today! Wow…a lot different then his big sister. Her third birthday doctor appointment is tomorrow and she is presently going through a growth spurt (tthe first in six months)

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You’ve got to see…

You really need to see Henry Poole Is Here. I thought that it was a fantastic movie starring Luke Wilson. Although I’m not sure how much it was intended to be it was very God-centric. It made light of the importance of hope and faith, and although I wish that it had distinguished more the difference between hope and faith it was a fantastic view into the difficulty that can lie in making the leap that one must take when making a declaration of faith or belief.

I’m not a movie critic so I can’t write on and on about the directing, script, etc. so I won’t say much more. I had never heard of the film until Netflix suggested it, and I don’t know what kind of theater release that it actually had. It’s a movie, though, that I think should be in one of those religion in film classes or sermon series.

Check it out – I think that you’ll like it.

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Family Vacation

We took our first real family vacation to Sea World San Antonio this week. It was successful if I must say! We had a great time even through the heat, a nearly 3 year old, and a 9 week old. Our decision to go in the dead of summer was largely due to us being cheap – we wanted to get Sara there before she turned 3. It was really a good trip (Wednesday through Friday), and I have a few things to list that we learned.

General Travel

1. Don’t feed a toddler a Fiber One bar for breakfast before a road trip. I’ll let you, dear reader, figure out why for yourself.

2. Plan for an extra hour or two of travel time due to number 1

3. Yes, San Antonio really is a destination city.

4. Check for hotel deals just before you leave. We had a $125/night hotel booked, but a Groupon for $73/night (with breakfast and parking) on the Riverwalk came through the day before we left. We bought 2 and saved a bunch! The hotel was the El Tropicana – the first hotel on the Riverwalk. Think ‘60s swank. It was great and all I could think of was AMC’s Mad Men. This image was even stronger when seeing the pool – particularly at night. Everything was ‘60s except maybe the fake grass!

5. I’m not a taxi guy, but it was worth taking a taxi home late at night with a tired toddler and hungry baby.

6. Check for all your belongings when leaving a taxi with a tired toddler and hungry baby. We left our diaper bag. Oh well – minor loss, but a great bag.

7. Take the taxi receipt when offered (see #6)

8. Pay cash for everything! It is fantastic to not have to worry about some plastic to pay off when you get home (see Dave Ramsey or even the Bible for that matter)

In the Park

1. Look into buying year long passes. Parking is $15 per day. Year Pass holders get free parking plus 20% off many purchases in the park.

2. Sea World offers a $29.95 all you can eat deal. This is a rip off IMHO. You can only use it in the restaurants, and unless you plan on eating 5 times per day you don’t need it. For us, we could all just split a sandwich or two for $9. It was so hot that’s all we really had an appetite for.

3. Yeah yeah – we’re not the smallest folks, but it was obvious that many park-goers were taking full advantage of #2.

4. Buy the $8.99 collector’s sport cup! It costs $1 for refills and if you go in the summer you’ll spend $3 to $5 on refills. Totally worth it! We refilled with lemonade slushies, clear sodas, and water.

5. Spread your park visit over multiple days if you can swing it. Our trip was immensely more pleasurable since we weren’t worried about trying to fit everything in in too short a time. We did some shows and oriented ourselves with the park on day 1, shows and waterpark on day two, and shows, attractions, and rides on day 3.

6. I can’t stress this enough – THERE IS NO MORE FREE BEER. I guess that Busch used to be more involved. Our last trip was blessed with free tasting – not this time, and we were really looking forward to it only to find out they were now $6.50 a pop. Consequently, the bar was empty!

Park Attractions

1. The Shamu shows just aren’t really good anymore – particularly the night show. I know, you can’t go to Sea World without seeing Shamu, but it’s just not that great anymore…maybe if you want to sit up front and possibly get splashed, but we just didn’t feel it. Plus, the stupid song they play through the whole afternoon show made me want to gag.

2. Azul is pretty cool – very Cirque du Soleil

3. Pay to feed the dolphins – it is worth it if you have kids. If you don’t, well…whatever. The park doesn’t really have anything to offer you if you don’t have kids.

4. The kids splash park is completely concrete! Maybe I’ve been spoiled at fancy splash parks, but Hey, Sea World, they’ve got this great cushy rubber material that you should use! Running kids, crowds, and concrete always covered with water is bad news waiting to happen! Luckily, we had no knee scrapes or anything, but I can see it happening.

5. The Elmo 4D experience is fun (and air conditioned). I’m generally not a fan of 3D movies, but it was awesome to see the kids reaching out trying to touch things coming out of the screen.

6. Go see the penguins (also air conditioned). Penguins are always fun, and there’s a moving walkway…again, always fun.

7. The Cannery Row Caper is always worth seeing. Seals and Otters make me laugh – enough said. Go feed them during times well away from show times at the Rocky Point Preserve. It is less crowded.

This post is already too long, and I should be in bed after driving home. All in all, very fun, and I’ve got great kids and a great wife.

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