WebTrends – Official Pricks

WebTrends SucksYou may remember WebTrends from 10 years ago when they were just a web log analyzer. They would run reports based on your log files and grind your computer to a halt in the process.

Steadily over the years they increased their costs and we decided to drop them for a stats package that did the exact same thing but for 1/10th the cost.  This was around 2000.

Last week, after making some changes with our current stats provider, I thought about WebTrends and tried to see what new and exciting offerings they had.

Their website had no details on price, so I called.  There weren’t any salespeople around (strange for a large company), so I left a message.  Someone called me back within a day, but she wasn’t a salesperson and couldn’t tell me prices.  For that, she had to refer me to someone else.

That someone never called.  Only after sending an email entitled, “Do you want my business?” did I get an email telling me to call them.

When I called, I had to leave another message, but at least the woman called me back within an hour.

I explained what I needed again, and she danced around the pricing issues.  She even had to take out a calculator at one point.  Take out a calculator?  Seriously?

And then it came…some un-godly number that was about 1000% higher than what I already have.  Like a parent to a two year old, she asked “Does that work within your budget?”  I replied, “Yeah, but I really don’t like the vibe.  I think I will pass”.

It was obvious from the time they found out I didn’t work for a large conglomerate that they didn’t want to work with me.  I was treated like I was a homeless person walking into Neiman Marcus and asking to try on a Prada Suit.

I have a feeling I know why she needed the calculator.  It was to figure out the “f*ck off tax”.

Now playing: J.J. Cale & Eric ClaptonHard To Thrill

A Lineup Change Has Occurred

If this title sounds familiar, then I know you have a Tivo.  That is because Tivo feels it is necessary to let you know that channels have either been deleted or added every time it happens – which means every day.

Every time I turn on my Tivo, another channel I don’t care about has been moved around.  I am forced to delete the message before continuing on.

Tivo, please allow me to turn off these messages!

Now playing: RadioheadWeird Fishes/Arpeggi

Amazon Subscribe And Save

I didn’t know this existed.

With Amazon Subscribe & Save, you can “subscribe” to various items you need on a routine basis – paper towels, laundry soap, diapers.

By doing so, you “save” 15% of the cost, and get free shipping.

They definitely don’t have everything, but if they do, it could seriously save some time.

Now playing: Flight of the ConchordsRobots (Live)

Prius Check Gas Light Problem

Last week, on my way to work, I got a “low gas” warning.  My commute to work is almost 43 miles, and I knew I could at least make it that distance without running out of gas. (About 25 more miles)

I had made a mental note to get gas when I left work, but that note must of got thrown away because I didn’t remember until I was in my driveway safely at home.  (43 miles later)

“Ok, I gotta get gas tomorrow”, I told myself.

The next two days I left the house only to get lunches and dinners.  Oops.  (4 miles, approx.)

My wife asked me to drive 8 miles in the wrong direction before I go to work the next day.  By this time, I have completely forgotten about my gas issues.

I made her errand, and was about 15 miles into my journey to work when I broke out into a cold sweat, realizing I was WAAAAY past my low gas warnings.  (23 miles)

I got off the freeway and found a gas station.

Eagerly awaiting to see how much gas I needed, I was dumbfounded when the meter showed only “10.41 gallons”.

Huh?  Consulting my owners manual, it said I have an 11 gallon tank, and adding up the miles I drove past the warning light comes to about 90 miles.  And since I get on average 44 miles per gallon, that would mean my check engine light turns on when I have more than 2 gallons left in my tank.

And the weather was 86 degrees out, so there is no argument that the gas tank “bladder” had constricted and hence had a maximum capacity which was less than 11 gallons.

In other words, I can have 20% of my tank left, which gives me about 100 miles, and my Prius gives me a warning.

EFWC MMA Pictures

This past Saturday, I was asked to take pictures at the Anaheim Convention Center on for the EFWC MMA fights. It was a big learning experience figuring out how to shoot through a fence and still manage to focus on the action.

It was also a trip to be sitting a foot away from someones head being hit with a foot or elbow. Pretty surreal. Any thought of “I could do that” pretty much evaporated after the first strike to the head.

Here are a few shots I took:

Jennifer Tate submits a double-jointed Angela Hayes

Preston Scharf & Cleber Luciano

Nam Phan after his knockout win.

Nam Phan celebrating.

Using a Case Statement in a SQL Where Clause

It is common knowledge that you can apply a Case statement in the SELECT or ORDER BY portion of a SQL statement. What isn’t well known is that you can use it effectively in a WHERE clause.

Take an example I just ran into:

I want to show all orders to every employee unless the order is assigned to employeeid 263, EXCEPT if the person trying to view all orders IS employeeid 263 or if it is that persons boss. In that case, show every order.

This appears really simple and could be handled in a where clause, but I couldn’t figure it out. And even if there is a better way, why not use a CASE statement just for fun anyway:

select * from Orders
when @loginid = 263 or @loginid = 181
then employeeid
when (@loginid <> 263 and @loginid <> 181) and employeeid = 263
then 0
else employeeid
= employeeid

The first when says “if you are #263 or #181, set employeeid = employeeid, which will always be true and will the order.

The second when says, “if you aren’t #263 or #181, and the current order is assigned to #263, then set t.employeeid = 0” which will always be false, and never show the order.

The tricky part of adapting the Case statement is realizing you are only setting one side of an equation, and the second part, the “= employeeid” follows after the “end”. Gateway Causing No Internet Access

Sometime last week, I stopped being able to get access to the internet while at work.  I could get an IP address from DHCP, but couldn’t get any traffic past our firewall/gateway.

I thought it was DHCP server, and was ready to buy a new one as it is 5 years old.  But then I noticed in my ipconfig /all that I had two gateways:, and then on the second line, my correct gateway,  I had never seen two gateways listed, and almost scanned right over it.

I confirmed that no matter if I set the IP manually, or dynamically, I couldn’t get rid of the gateway.

I called my friend, the who knows all the technical nitty gritty in the TCP world.

We fired a command prompt and I printed my computer’s current route table by writing “route print”:

Route Print Before

You can clearly see the two lines showing  According to him, there should only be one line.  So we deleted them both:

Route Delete

This left us at:

Route Print Middle

So then we added the correct one back in:

Route Add

I did one more “route print” to make sure it took:

Route Print After

And viola, I have internet access!